Thursday, April 22, 2010

Feel a Draft?

Three Sooners taken in the first four picks of the NFL Draft? Freakin' amazing. Congrats Sam on being taken number one. Guess going back to school wasn't such a bad move. The Rams aren't great...but I'd rather be there than in Detroit which is where he would have gone last year. Also...three Oklahoma natives are going in the first round. Oklahoma has 3% of the American population. Quality over quantity!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Urban Sprawl

According the Dallas Morning News, Kaufman County where I reside, was the fortieth fastest growing county in the entire United States. Our northern neighbor Rockwall County, about three miles north of our house, was the third fastest growing county in the United States last year.

Just in my town (Forney) alone we have seen amazing growth. When we moved to Forney in 2001 there were only 5,000 residents. In 2010 we now have 13,500 residents and the rate of growth is actually increasing. We opened a new second high school this year.

Good things that come from this growth are new amenities such as a new community park, new restaurants, movie theaters, stores and shops. The bad side...traffic headaches, road construction and infrastructure expansion. Our city is barely recognizable from the sleepy town that lived just outside the DFW monster. Now the monster has creeped up on us and we are a part of the sprawl.
photo: This hawk landed on our neighbors yard a few weeks back. Won't see many more hawks if the population keeps exploding!

Thursday, April 08, 2010

The Tan Tax

One of the provisions I'm happiest about in the new health care bill is the tax on tanning. Starting soon tanning salons must charge a 10% tax on artificial tanning. This tax will go to help pay for key components of the overall health care bill.

This was a fantastic idea. As a high school teacher I have been preaching against artificial tanning for years. So many of my students, male and female, indulge in the practice regularily...but even moreso during the weeks leading up to prom. Tanning has been scientifically proven beyond a shadow of a doubt to have serious health implications...especially in regards to causing skin cancer.

Skin cancer and the other health issues associated with tanning pose a drain on our health care system and divert funds from other health research. Hopefully placing a 10% tax on these beds will serve as a nice deterrant to a practice that is entirely based on vanity and is extremely dangerous. I would expect millions of dollars to be raised from these taxes. And if the tanning business collapses...then that wouldn't be so bad either.

Unfortunately, my high school had their prom last month...too late to fall under the new tanning tax. Maybe the prom organizers knew something.