Wednesday, December 31, 2008

THESE ARE A FEW OF OUR FAVORITE THINGS: THE BABBLE'S 8 FAVORITE THINGS IN DRIPPING SPRINGS IN 2008

We began our "favorite things" posts as musings with no grand plan, but we have one more favorite thing to add and, as it turns out, we had 8 favorite things. This will be our last post for 2008, so to recap and cap off we present The Babble's 8 Favorite Things in Dripping Springs in 2008 :

#2-8 (in no particular order)...

THE BIG DRIP'S SAUSAGE & CHEESE KOLACHES
The Big Drip is not just ice cream and sweets; they open every morning at 7:00AM with fresh-brewed coffee and the best savory kolaches we've ever had. The sausage and cheese to bread ratio is perfect. There are no superfluous bready bites just to get to the stars of the kolache show, rather the snap of the sausage and ooze of the cheese is immediate. And, speaking of the sausage, it's sliced in a clever fashion to also give complete side-to-side coverage (again, perfecting the ratio).

BLOOM
Elizabeth McIntosh and her landscaper husband John have created a colorful and charming oasis on the grounds of Rolling in Thyme & Dough with their beautiful nursery, Bloom. Thanks to Bloom, our own gardens bloomed beautifully this year as Elizabeth patiently helped us choose the right plants for our respective homes (and we love her deer resistance scale).

CHICKEN MOUSSE RAVIOLI @ CREEK ROAD CAFE
We remember with great excitement when we first saw the Creek Road Cafe sign go up at the former Orgeron's location. We liked the local-vibe name and the simple, but country-hip, look of the sign; once inside, we were not disappointed by the new, soothing, muted colors and use of local photographs. But what about the food? We've become at least semi-regulars and have yet to be disappointed. While we could wax poetic over the spicy shrimp dish with sausage and cheese grits, we're dedicating this 2008 memory to their refined (not fussy) ravioli stuffed with chicken mousse, dressed with a cream sauce, and finished with chopped pistachios.

HARRISON RANCH PARK
Early in 2008, the City of Dripping Springs acquired Harrison Ranch Park, located directly across from Dripping Springs Elementary School off of RR 12. The 64 acre property, on rolling Hill Country land complete with charming farmhouse (wrap-around porch, no less), should prove to be a real boon for the Dripping Springs community and culture. In November, the City hosted Wines, Sunsets, & Stars, a tasting of local wines, and the City's inaugural event held at the park. We look forward to similar events at the park in 2009.

CHICKEN FAJITA TACOS @ DRIPPING'S ORIGINAL FLORES
Thinking back on our favorite things, they're clearly, umm, food-focused. Indeed, it was a bit of a stress-eating year, but thanks to several Dripping establishments that eating was no dull, mindless endeavor. A consistent (at least twice a week) standby was "chicken fajita taco with pico and cheese, please" at Dripping's original Flores in the green and yellow taco shack (not the new restaurant by Kirby Springs). Their breakfast tacos are also the best we've ever had, but we could not have survived lunchtime in 2008 without those chicken fajita tacos. The chicken is tender and perfectly spiced, the cheese is mild and melty, and the pico is fresh and crisp. Wrap it all in a soft, flour tortilla, drizzle a little red sauce, drizzle a little green sauce, and take the perfect bite.

Dripping's original Flores is located at 920 W Highway 290.

PAIN AU CHOCOLAT (AKA CHOCOLATE DANISH) @ ROLLING IN THYME AND DOUGH
In February we were lucky enough to once again visit Paris, France, where our strolls along the Seine and through awe-inspiring cathedrals were interrupted only by lingering repasts at cozy cafes. Every morning was begun with a stop at a patisserie for "un café et pain au chocolat". But, interestingly enough, no Parisian pain au chocolat could match the perfect balance of flaky, buttery pastry and rich, silky chocolate being turned out right here in Dripping Springs at Rolling in Thyme & Dough. The little sign in their pastry case may declare it a "chocolate danish", but a rose by any other name is still our favorite pain au chocolat in the world.

And #1...
DRIPPING SPRINGS BABBLE READERS
Thanks to all of you who read the Babble and who have given us such words of encouragement. Thanks to everyone who sends news tips (and please keep them coming!) We love living in Dripping Springs and talking about Dripping Springs, so thanks for listening! We wish everyone the happiest and healthiest 2009.

UPDATE 2009: We started at 8, but changed our mind on one. So those were 7 of of our favorite things in 2008.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

DRIPPING TREES: STRIPPING TREES - FOLLOW UP

On December 1, we reported that residents on Creek Road had rallied to halt the County's tree cutting on their road. Having witnessed the over-cutting or "skinning" of trees from other Dripping Springs roads, the Creek Road residents quickly formed a coalition and, thanks to their concerted efforts, the cutting crews were pulled. No more cutting crews were seen on Creek Road until today. We just received a report from a resident who met with them and it looks as though the cutting specs have been changed from 10 feet back from hardtop (12 feet up), to 4-5 feet back from hardtop (12 feet up). It sounds as though these new specs are not set in stone, but it's hopefully a start at trying to preserve the trees and atmosphere of our Hill Country backroads. If you have an opinion on the matter, contact your County Commissioner:

Karen Ford
County Commissioner, Precint 4
karen.ford@co.hays.tx.us
512-858-7268

DRIPPING MUSIC: ALEJANDRO ESCOVEDO & CHARLIE SEXTON IN DRIPPING ON JAN 4TH!

Holy cow. On Sunday, January 4th, music superstar Alejandro Escovedo is playing a benefit concert for his daughter's school, Parkside Hill Country School of Wimberley, at Dripping's Memory Lane (from 290 & 12, go 4.3 miles headed toward Wimberley, take a right on KC Memory Lane and go about 1/4 a mile). Escovedo will be backed by guitarist Charlie Sexton (yes!), cellist Brian Standefer, and violinist Warren Hood. Hood’s combo will open the show, which also features singer-songwriter Amanda Mora. In Dripping Springs, advance tickets are available at Itsy Bitsy Spider (on Mercer) for $25 (their hours aren't the standard, so call first to see if they're open @ 512-858-2688). Tickets will be $30 at the door. Concert doors open @ 4:00PM.

Monday, December 29, 2008

ROAD CLOSURE: SPORTSPLEX

The City of Dripping Springs has posted a public notice for the temporary closure of Sportsplex Drive for construction of a water line this week (Monday 12-29-08 through Sunday 1-4-09). Access to the library will be available via Mighty Tiger Ln. off of Highway 290. For more information, contact City Hall at (512) 858-4725.

Friday, December 26, 2008

DRIP SPOT: THE CHRISTMAS FAMILY @ FIRST BAPTIST DRIPPING SPRINGS

The Statesman had a sweet story yesterday on the Christmas family, members of First Baptist Church Dripping Springs. Check out the story here (and note the photo with one of our favorite performers).

Thursday, December 25, 2008

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Wishing everyone a merry and peaceful Christmas!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

BUDDY THE ELF, WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE COLOR?

We'll be cooking and wrapping today and eating and opening tomorrow (plus watching Elf at least twice more), so no more Babble posts until Friday.

Hope everyone has a safe and happy Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

DRIP SPOT: AMBER FETT

KEYE has a feature on Amber Fett, a Dripping Springs teenager who suffers from Cystic Fibrosis and who is awaiting a double lung transplant. Through the years, the Christmas break from school provided the best opportunity for Amber to get her lungs cleared, which required lengthy hospital stays. During those stays, she noticed other kids at the hospital who didn't have anybody or any gifts for Christmas day, and she decided to change that. Amber created the non-profit Amber's Angels, now in its fourth year, to deliver Christmas gifts bags to children at Dell Children’s Medical Center. Get the complete, and inspiring, story here.

Monday, December 22, 2008

NEW SHERIFF APPOINTED

Hays County commissioners today appointed retired Texas Ranger Tommy Ratliff as our new sheriff (sole dissent from Will Conley). Ratliff, replacing Allen Bridges who died unexpectedly earlier this month in his Dripping Springs home, is expected to be sworn in tomorrow morning.

DRIPPING GREEN: CHRISTMAS TREE RECYCLING

We can't help you fit into your skinny jeans after Christmas, but we can take one post-Christmas worry off your list: The City of Dripping Springs is offering the city’s first ever Christmas Tree Recycling Program. Marcus Lees, owner of Lees Trees, has generously donated the services of his company to recycle undecorated Christmas trees into high quality mulch that will be given away for free.

Residents participating in the Christmas Tree Recycling Program should drop off their trees, also free of charge, at the Triangle, located at intersection of Hwy 290 and RR 12, from 8:00AM until 5:00PM on Saturdays, January 3 and 10, 2009. The mulch will be available on a first-come-first-service basis. Individuals picking up mulch should bring their own bags and tools required to carry it away.

Before depositing trees, all tree stands, lights, ornaments and other tree decorations must be removed. Please do not illegally dump any other items at the drop off location. If you have any questions, contact City Hall at (512)858-4725 for more information.

We'll post a reminder before that first Saturday.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

RR 12 LANE CLOSURE MONDAY & TUESDAY

The North bound lane of RR 12 will be closed Monday and Tueday (9:00AM - 4:00PM) for Sports Park Road improvements. Access to Sports and Recreation Park will be available via Rob Shelton Blvd. off Hwy 290. Any questions? Call City Hall at (512)858-4725.

THE PEC REPORT

The Statesman has a rundown on the just completed (and 849 page) report on the "management gone awry" at PEC. Read it here.

Friday, December 19, 2008

LIVING NATIVITY AT FIRST BAPTIST DRIPPING SPRINGS

Get into the real Christmas spirit tonight (Friday) and Saturday night with the living nativity at First Baptist Church Dripping Springs (203 Hwy 290 West). They have two performances each evening at 6:30PM and 7:30PM. Each performance lasts approximately 10 minutes and then folks are invited into the fellowship hall for the good stuff – cookies!

Performances of particular note by Violet the donkey and the two littlest shepherds.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

GOAT HERD "NON-GALA" FINALE

The traveling Tour de Goat wraps up its tour de Drip today with a silent auction. All proceeds raised go to local children's charities and activities in Dripping

Time: 6:00PM - 9:00PM
Location: Prosperity Bank (formerly Franklin Bank)

WE'RE NOT DRIPPING SMOKED SALMON

Where in Dripping Springs does the smoked salmon hide? Not at Super S. Not at Main Street Deli. Not even at Ray's Butcher Block headed toward Wimberley. Have we missed a place? Does anyone know where one can get smoked salmon without "going into the city"?

UPDATE ON SMOKED SALMON CRISIS 2008: Brookshire Brothers in Wimberley has plenty of smoked salmon. Cheers, Brookshire Brothers!

UPDATE ON SMOKED SALMON CRISIS 2008: We were in Super S in Dripping on December 28th and there are now 2 brands of smoked salmon! Way to go Super S (where the "s" stands for "smoked salmon").

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

MCDONALD'S IS OPEN

Dripping Springs is now a link in the world's largest chain of fast food restaurants. The McDonald's on 290 (directly across from the Sonic) opened today. When we drove by just a few minutes ago there were cars in line at the drive-thru and people at the counter inside.

DRIPPING BEEF: LOCAL AND GRASS-FED

At a holiday party last night, one of the appetizers served was venison sausage made from a deer harvested by one of the party hosts. This turned the conversation to knowing your food source. Some preferred a don't ask-don't tell policy, while others wouldn't touch a hamburger unless the cow could be identified, which brought us round to Red Barn Beef here in Dripping Springs. On a working cattle ranch in operation since 1934, the grass-fed beef is "produced with humane, sustainable, and natural methods". The beef can be ordered directly from Red Barn Beef (see their website here for minimum quantities and ordering details) and we're getting word that Onion Creek Farm may also have some available for purchase shortly (we'll keep you posted).

For information on more local products like Red Barn Beef, be sure and check out DrippingThings.com.

DECISION ON NEW SHERIFF NEXT WEEK?

Following the death of Sheriff Allen Bridges, it will be up to the Hays County commissioners to appoint the new sheriff. It looks like a decision could be made early next week. Bridges' family members have indicated their support for Chief Deputy Sherman Brodbeck.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

CAN YOU SMELL THE FRIES?

We're getting word that the new McDonald's is this close to opening.

STORYTIME AT THE LIBRARY

For those with young kiddoes, the Dripping Springs Community Library does "storytime" every Tuesday. Today's storytime with "Ms. Marie" is from 10:30AM - 11:00AM for listeners ages two and up, accompanied by an adult.

Monday, December 15, 2008

DRIPPING GIVING

Dripping Springs photographer Kristen Joy Moore is giving away $1,000 worth of custom photography to a deserving person in the area. She is asking for your nominations. Get all the details on her blog.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

IT'S A BIRD! IT'S A PLANE!...IT'S A BIRD!

Our superstar hummingbird is still in the news! The San Marcos Daily Record has a new story on the rare hummingbird that has made itself at home with Babble reader and Dripping Springs resident Howard Williams. Read the new story here.

Friday, December 12, 2008

DRIPPING EVENTS: THSD OPEN HOUSE

Tomorrow (Saturday), the wonderful Texas Hearing and Service Dogs will hold an open house on their Dripping Springs campus at 4925 Bell Springs Road. The open house is 11:00AM - 2:00PM. THSD trains dogs to assist Texans living with hearing or mobility challenges. Call 512-858-1495 for more information on the open house, and learn more about this inspiring charity at ServiceDogs.org.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

SHERIFF BRIDGES LAID TO REST

The Statesman has a nice report on the funeral yesterday for Sheriff Allen Bridges. Read it here.

Reports we received from law enforcement relatives in the procession to Dripping Springs (estimated to have stretched out over 4 miles), and those lining the roadsides as it passed, all echoed the enormity and emotion of the moment.

Sheriff Bridges' obituary is online here.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

DRIPPING DREAMS

Thanks to all who have submitted their "Dripping Dreams". We've received quite a few and hope they'll keep coming throughout December. We'll do a wrap-up first of January. But, we just couldn't keep this wonderful dream to ourselves until then:

"A DANCE HALL! Please Santa, bring Drippin' a dance hall where we can scoot our boots to Texas Swing! Oh, and Santa, please please please make sure it has a wood dance floor."

Thanks for the dream, "T"!

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Christmas is a time of dreams and wishes, what do you wish for Dripping Springs? A lower speed limit through town on 290? A brewpub? Another bank? Not another bank? A dog park? Send us your thoughts at driptips@gmail.com (names and addresses in emails will be kept private).
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FOUND DOG

An older female short haired dachshund found her way to another porch near Hamilton Pool Road in the storm last night. She has a collar but no tag.

UPDATE: OWNER FOUND!

QUICK DRIP: ROLLING IN THYME & DOUGH ON THURSDAY NIGHTS!

It's no secret the Babble love for Rolling in Thyme & Dough, so we were very excited to learn that, starting tomorrow night (December 11), Rolling in Thyme & Dough will open every Thursday evening from 6:00PM - 9:00PM serving coffee, savory and sweet treats, and featuring an open mic. They have expanded seating by adding tables inside and a patio heater on the new deck.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

DRIPPING CHRISTMAS: HOLIDAY MAGIC JUST DOWN THE ROAD

Austin has the Trail of Lights. We have the Templeton lights.

And if you think that’s not saying much, just let the sun set and then take a short drive to Driftwood. Hill Country holiday magic lies just down Ranch Road 12.

Judy and Bobbie Templeton have lived near Dripping Springs on Elder Hill Road in Driftwood for 35 years and, for the past 34 years, they have lit up their property every Christmas with an ever-growing holiday display. Now entailing at least 33,000 lights (conservative estimate) festooned across approximately 3 acres, the Templetons are once again spreading their Christmas joy.

Beginning around November 1st of each year, wife Judy starts wrapping trees, testing timers, and checking lights. The week before Thanksgiving, husband Bobbie takes a few days off work to run wiring and set up their burgeoning collection of lighted figures. Start to finish, the couple estimates it takes about 2 full weeks to get everything up and running. Just setting up the electricity takes a couple of days.

The Christmas light tradition began humbly enough in 1974, with Judy painting reindeer made from plywood Bobbie had cut with a jig saw. Simple spotlights were the only electrical concerns then. But, about 10 years ago at a garage sale, they purchased a couple of light-wrapped wire deer and the rest, as they say, is history. The Templetons try to add a new feature every year (to accommodate their holiday lights collection they’ve built dedicated storage rooms in their big barn). The new feature of this Christmas season is a 10 foot trellis with more than 1,200 lights flashing on and off to 20 different Christmas songs.

They make no money from their efforts (only spend it) and every year brings blown breakers and fuses and plotting an intricate maze of extension cords and time clocks (not that they’re complaining), so why do they it?

“We just want to wish everyone that passes on our country road a very merry Christmas and a happy new year,” says Judy. “We hope our lights bring them a smile.”

To see the magical display, driving from Dripping Springs, take RR 12 headed toward Wimberley. From the intersection of 290 and RR 12 it’s about 6 miles to Elder Hill Road (the Driftwood Vineyards turn off), take a left. Drive a couple of miles up Elder Hill Road. You’ll know it when you see it.

The Templetons keep the light display turned on every evening during the Christmas season from about 5:45PM to 10:00PM.

UPDATE: Judy wanted to make sure that the other spirited Driftwood folks get recognized. In "downtown" Driftwood, at the intersection of 150 and Elder Hill, just 1.5 miles from the Templeton home, the old Masonic Lodge built in 1924 (now Chic + Green) is done in lights and the Methodist church next door, built in 1884, has also turned out the Christmas spirit. From Dripping Springs, you can also get to Driftwood by taking RR 12 to FM 150. "Downtown" Driftwood is at the intersection of FM 150 and Elder Hill Road.

DRIPPING DREAMS

Christmas is a time of dreams and wishes, what do you wish for Dripping Springs? A lower speed limit through town on 290? A brewpub? Another bank? Not another bank? A dog park? Send us your thoughts at driptips@gmail.com (names and addresses in emails will be kept private).

Monday, December 8, 2008

CATTLE DUMPING ON PURSLEY ROAD

Over the past week, dead, apparently diseased cattle have been illegally dumped on property along Pursley Road in Dripping Springs. If you have any information regarding this crime, please contact the Hays County Sheriff's office at their non-emergency number: 512-393-7896.

SERVICES FOR SHERIFF BRIDGES

Funeral services for Sheriff Allen Bridges, who passed away Saturday, will be on Wednesday at 10:00AM at First Baptist Church San Marcos. Sheriff Bridges will be buried here in Dripping Springs at Phillips Cemetery (intersection of RR 12 and FM 150).

Visitation is scheduled from 4:00PM - 7:00PM on Tuesday at Thomason Funeral Home in San Marcos (2001 RR 12, 512-396-2300).

Saturday, December 6, 2008

HAYS COUNTY SHERIFF ALLEN BRIDGES DIES

Hays County Sheriff and Dripping Springs resident Allen Bridges died early this morning. Update from News 8 Austin:

"According to Hays County Public Information Officer Leroy Opiela, last night Sheriff Bridges spoke at a Brown Santa fundraiser then went home. It was there that he collapsed. His family tried to revive him using CPR and called an ambulance. Sheriff Bridges was taken to South Austin Medical Center where he died...Bridges was a resident of Dripping Springs for 21 years. He leaves behind his wife Kathy, four daughters, one son and eleven grandchildren...Sheriff Allen Bridges was 63 years old."

Read the complete News 8 Austin report here.

Our thoughts are with the Bridges family.

STATESMAN REPORTS SHERIFF ALLEN BRIDGES DIES

The Statesman is reporting that our Hays County Sheriff Allen Bridges passed away at 12:15AM this morning. Awaiting details.

Friday, December 5, 2008

BREAKING: MCDONALD'S OPENING NEXT WEEK?

We're getting word that the new Dripping Springs McDonald's could be opening Wednesday or Thursday of next week. Looks like that's what they're shooting for. Further word is that this McDonald's is making an extra effort in the appearance department. Sounds like we should soon see. We'll keep you posted.

DRIPPING CHANGES: NEW POST OFFICE

Inquiring minds have asked us what is going in on the property next to Security State Bank between Highway 290 and Old Highway 290 Road, near the Hidden Springs and Meadow Oaks neighborhoods. We checked in with the always helpful and knowledgeable Jon Thompson, City of Dripping Springs Development Coordinator, and the answer is a new post office. They are scheduled to be open this time next year, just in time for the 2009 Christmas rush.

DRIPPING EVENTS: THIS VERY MERRY SATURDAY

Dripping Springs is Dripping Christmas all day tomorrow, Saturday December 6th:

CHRISTMAS ON MERCER STREET
Date: Saturday, December 6
Time: 10:00AM - 5:00PM
Location: Downtown Dripping Springs

FRIENDS OF THE LIBRARY ANNUAL CHRISTMAS TOUR OF HOMES
Date: Saturday, December 6
Time: 10:00AM - 5:00PM
Location: Around Dripping Springs

3RD ANNUAL PULLING TOGETHER ART BENEFIT
Date: Saturday, December 6
Time: 10:00AM - 6:00PM
Location: The Gallery of the Republic (2600 Highway 290 West)

CHRISTMAS ON MERCER STREET LIGHTING OF THE TREE CEREMONY
Date: Saturday, December 6
Time: 6:30PM
Location: "The Triangle" (290 @ RR 12)

Get all the detail for these and more under "Events" on DrippingThings.com.

And if you're in Austin around 3:00PM, don't miss Dripping poet Nancy Fierstien at Book People (6th and Lamar).

Thursday, December 4, 2008

DRIPPING HELP: MOBILE HOME TRAGEDY AFTERMATH

As was widely reported, on November 10th a tragedy occured at Terry's Mobile Home Park on RR 12 here in Dripping Springs. That morning, a man took a female hostage in one of the homes, leading to a SWAT stand-off, ultimately ending with multiple rounds of tear gas being shot into the home and the man committing suicide. The story was told that day, and we heard nothing more on the matter. Until today, when we learned the ripple effect of that tragedy.

The mobile home where the events took place is owned by a 60 year old woman who has lived in the park for 30 years. She had recently paid off the home and lived there with her granddaughter, the female taken hostage. In the wake of the tear gas shot into the home, it became uninhabitable (not to mention the trauma of splattered blood from the suicide). The powerful chemicals in tear gas linger long after the event, invading the walls of the home and causing eye irritations and respiratory distress. Crime scene clean up companies specialize in tear gas clean up, but at a considerable cost. With her home uninhabitable due to the toxic tear gas and associated damage, the grandmother sought victim's assistance help but was reportendly denied. Now, friends are seeking help for her. If anyone has any suggestions or ideas on how to get this long-time Dripping Springs resident back into a home, please call family friend Jana Erickson at 512-496-5338. And, be sure and keep the Babble updated on your efforts.

STORY CORRECTION: The grandmother's daughter was the female taken hostage, not her granddaughter who lives with her grandmother.

DRIPPING POETS: NANCY FIERSTIEN

There is so much going on in Dripping Springs this Saturday (more on that tomorrow), we didn't want to let local poet Nancy Fierstein's reading in Austin to get lost in the crowd. Nancy will be one of the featured poets reading from the 2009 Texas Poetry Calendar, beginning at 3:00PM on Saturday at Book People (6th and Lamar in Austin). As many know, Nancy hosts the "Thirsty Thursday" poetry readings here in Dripping. Information on the next Thirsty Thursday in January and more 2009 events will be coming soon on DrippingThings.com (and while you're there sign up for the email updates to receive weekly event and other local updates and reminders).

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

QUICK DRIP: DRIPPING SPRINGS HOME CENTER

The sign is up, along with leasing information contact, for the "Dripping Springs Home Center", the new Whit Hanks' retail center in the former Dripping Springs True Value Hardware location

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

TOUR DE DRIP: HOMEBOY LANCE CONFIRMS TOUR DE FRANCE RETURN

As we've mentioned before, Babble founders are Tour de France junkies. One has followed the Tour for more than 20 years. As of yesterday, homeboy Lance Armstrong's spokeman confirmed he will be riding in the 2009 Tour. The Dripping Springs connection as reason to obsess over the Tour is also now confirmed.

Monday, December 1, 2008

DRIPPING TREES: STRIPPING TREES

Creek Road residents rallied today to halt the County's tree cutting on their road. Having witnessed the over-cutting or "skinning" of trees from other Dripping Springs roads, the Creek Road residents quickly formed a coalition and, thanks to their concerted efforts throughout this morning, the cutting crews were pulled from Creek Road just a short time ago. No more cutting will take place until our County Commissioner Karen Ford has driven the road with the project engineer. Creek Road residents urge those affected by the County tree cutting to contact Ford and express your concern over the amount of trees being cut and the cutting methodology. The residents raise concerns over increased speeding along the road due to the increased openness and, at a time when the county is in the throes of a tree disease epidemic, it would seem greater care and preservation would be observed.

Karen Ford
County Commissioner, Precint 4
karen.ford@co.hays.tx.us
512-858-7268

DRIPPING TREES: DROOPING TREES

The City of Dripping Springs Community Newsletter has an informative article on oak wilt, the destructive tree disease that has left an unfortunate and indelible mark on the Dripping Springs tree population and our landscape. Many new Central Texas residents (as well as old-timers) are not aware of their ability to stop (and spread) the epidemic that has killed more than 1 million trees in 70 Central Texas counties. If you received the newsletter in the mail, be sure and check out the article and the timely tips for helping manage oak wilt. If you did not receive the newsletter, or if you want to learn more, visit www.texasoakwilt.org. Highlights for helping prevent the spread include least hazardous times of year to prune (such as coldest days of midwinter) and the importance of immediately painting all wounds on oaks. Even if you know about oak wilt, your neighbors may not and oak wilt spreads via a vast interconnected root system. What we must do is spread this information.

The oak wilt problem is a serious one, affecting not only the beauty of our landscape, but our land values as well. Indeed, the Dripping Springs City Council is considering adopting a disesed tree ordinance to help prevent the spread of oak wilt. A free workshop on Managing Oak Wilt will be presented at City Hall in January, but don't wait until then to learn more.

QUICK DRIP: KOI-RIOSITY

The sign for Koi Lantern has gone up at the new "Shops at the Springs" (where the McDonald's will be) and, for the curious, it will be a restaurant with an "Asian-inspired" menu. Koi Lantern is scheduled to open in 2009.

Friday, November 28, 2008

QUICK DRIP: HOLIDAY LIGHTING CONTEST DEADLINE

Tomorrow (Saturday, November 29th) is the entry form deadline for the City of Dripping Springs Holiday Lighting Contest. The form is simple (download the PDF here), just get to City Hall (511 Mercer). Judging will take place December 1st through 3rd.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Today we're the Dripping Springs Gobble, wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

DRIPPING TRUFFLES: PART DEUX

In September, we posted about Francois Picart, a Frenchman who ventured to Dripping Springs in the 1980s and dared to try and cultivate the elusive truffle here in our limestone hills. Picart dreamed of making Dripping the truffle capital of the world, planting truffle spore-innoculated oak seedlings on property off of Prochnow Road and Bell Springs Road. Picart's "Agri-Truffle Inc", the American affiliate of the still-existing French concern "Agri-Truffe", eventually dissolved, but evidence of his grand experiment remains. While the trees planted on Prochnow are now gone, on Bell Springs Road, just barely visible behind a tree, is a sign identifying "Texas First Truffle Orchard" and past that, now a bit unruly and overgrown, sits a small orchard of those trees.

In our original post we asked if anyone knew more of Picart and his truffles. We were recently contacted by the wonderful Jim Swift of KXAN who let us know he did a report on Picart in the late 1980s. Jim came to Dripping last week to do a follow-up story which, as we understand it, should air on KXAN tonight during the 10:00PM broadcast.

UPDATE:
Jim Swift's report just aired. We learned much more about Picart's efforts and experience here and the Babble even got a "shout out"! -- Thanks Jim and KXAN! If you missed the report tonight, visit KXAN.com for more.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

DRIPPING CHRISTMAS: HOLIDAY LIGHTING CONTEST

And speaking of art, or at least artistic expression, as you drift off for a turkey and carbs-inspired nap on Thursday (just a few winks before the UT-A&M game starts), let visions of strategically placed white twinkle lights dance in your head because November 29th (Saturday) is the deadline to submit your entry form for the City of Dripping Springs' Holiday Lighting Contest.

The city is encouraging residents and businesses to let their holiday spirit shine in three contest categories: residential, business, and public service/non-profit. Entry to the contest is free and everyone is welcome to participate. All entries will be due to City Hall by November 29th. Judging is scheduled to take place December 1st through 3rd.

Lighting contest entry forms are located on the Christmas on Mercer Street webpage on the City of Dripping Springs website at cityofdrippingsprings.com, or stop by City Hall, located at 511 Mercer Street, to pick one up.

An awards presentation for the lighting contest winners will be held at the Christmas on Mercer Street Lighting of the Tree Ceremony at 6:30PM on Saturday, December 6th. Winners will receive a special award and recognition their business/organization.

DRIPPING ARTISTS: TEXAS ORIGINALS


There is some serious art in these Dripping hills and the Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA) agrees. The TCA's Texas Original (TxO) program was created to help preserve the unique arts and crafts heritage of Texas and provide Texas artists with an outlet for marketing their products. Artists included in the TxO program have been through a review process overseen by the TCA. When you see the TxO brand, above, often displayed on an artist's website, that means they have been through the TxO process and selected by the commission. A scroll through the commision's website of artists from across the entire state, here, reveals quite the Dripping inclination. Indeed, few towns are as well-represented. Look for Dripping's own Bridget Hauser of Sunset Canyon Pottery, Melodie Greider of Stickhorse Studios, Wayne Rossi of DS Iron Works, and Gary Thompson of Lone Sage Ranch.

And for even more Dripping art, be sure and take a scroll through the Artist's of Dripping Springs directory, here.

Monday, November 24, 2008

QUICK DRIP: CELEBRITY HUMMER

The rare hummingbird we reported on last week made the Statesman.

JIM MATTOX TO LIE IN STATE AT CAPITOL

Former Texas Attorney General and Dripping Springs resident Jim Mattox, who died in his home last week of an apparent heart attack, will lie in state in the House chamber of the Texas Capitol from 3:00PM to 7:00 PM today (Monday). Family members will be present from 5:00PM to 7:00PM. Mr. Mattox is survived by his wife, Marta, his two children, Jim Mattox and Sissi Mattox, both of Dripping Springs, his sister, Janice Mattox of Dallas, and brother, Jerry Mattox of Dallas. Governor Rick Perry ordered flags on state buildings to be lowered to half-staff. The last dignitary to lie in state in the Texas Capitol was former Governor Ann Richards. Funeral services will be at 11:00AM on Tuesday at First Baptist Church of Austin. Burial will be in the State Cemetery.

Friday, November 21, 2008

DRIPPING WEEKEND: EVENTS

The Dripping Springs United Methodist Church Christmas Bazaar continues today (Friday) and tomorrow. Friday will feature booths and a silent auction. Saturday will have booths, silent auction, and an added bake sale and BBQ sale. Start the Christmas shopping season early and support the church's Children's Weekday Ministries.

Tonight, Star of Texas Liquor & Wine continues their Beaujolais Nouveau free wine tasting, but quantities are limited, so when it's gone, it's gone! Tasting starts at 6:00PM.

On Saturday, at 1:30PM, the Dripping Springs Community Library presents a fascinating multi-media event, "Riders on the Orphan Train". Between 1854 and 1929 over 25,000 orphans and unwanted children were taken out of New York City and given away at train stations across America. The last train came to Sulphur Springs, Texas in 1929. Discover this largely unknown part of our nation's history through literature, music, archival photographs and film interviews.

Get all the details on these events and more in "Events" on DrippingThings.com and be sure and sign up for the weekly email update while you're there!

DRIPPING FOOTBALL: PLAYOFF GAME TONIGHT

Dripping Springs' historic football season heads to San Antonio tonight where the Tigers take on Kerrville-Spivy. The Statesman has a breakdown of the match-up here.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

BREAKING: DRIPPING RESIDENT AND FORMER TEXAS A.G. JIM MATTOX HAS DIED

Former Texas Attorney General and Dripping Springs resident, Jim Mattox, has passed away. Mattox, 65, reportedly died here in his sleep last night. Mattox was an undeniable Texas political institution and he will be missed. Our thoughts are with the Mattox family.

DRIPPING EVENTS: CHRISTMAS AFFAIR AT HILL COUNTRY SENIOR CITIZENS CENTER TONIGHT

Tonight, starting at 5:30PM, the Hill Country Senior Citizens Center here in Dripping Springs holds its annual Christmas event. The evening breaks down thusly:

5:30PM: Bake sale begins.
5:30PM - 7:00PM: Silent antique auction.
7:00PM - ?: Live antique auction.

Call 512-858-4663 for more information.

DRIPPING EVENTS: DSUMC CHRISTMAS BAZAAR

Happening right now until 3:30PM this afternoon, plus tomorrow and Saturday, it's the Dripping Springs United Methodist Church annual Christmas Bazaar! Get the details in "Events" at DrippingThings.com. And while you're there be sure and sign up for our weekly email update for all things Dripping Springs!

DRIPPING EVENTS: THIRSTY THURSDAY (TONIGHT)

While Beaujolais Nouveau is welcomed the third Thursday of every November, the third Thursday of every month (save December), Thirsty Thursday, at New Life Lutheran Church (120 Frog Pond Lane) in Dripping Springs, welcomes poets, storytellers, songwriters, and musicians. Admission is free, and donations to the Helping Hands Food Pantry are encouraged. The doors open tonight at 7:00PM and light refreshments are provided.

DRIPPING WINE: BONJOUR BEAUJOLAIS NOUVEAU!

It's the Thursday before Thanksgiving and what does that mean? It's time for the great brown gravy versus giblet gravy debate to begin raging in our family and it means the release of Beaujolais Nouveau, the young red wine made from the Gamay grape and aged less than a year before it's time to pull the cork! According to French law, and adhered to by retailers worldwide, no Beaujolais Nouveau can be legally sold or released until the third Thursday in November. Star of Texas Liquor & Wine right here in Dripping Springs has secured a few cases of the 2008 vintage that will be flown in from Lyon, France and they're having a tasting party to celebrate from 6:00PM - 8:00PM tonight (Thursday) and tomorrow night, but as this is strictly a limited production wine, when it's gone, it's gone! No reservations necessary, just drop in and join the party. Star of Texas Liquor & Wine is located in the Spring Bluff Center at 400 Hwy 290 West. For more information, call Kathy Duck, owner of Star of Texas Liquor at 512-858-7007.

Note: Quite fortuitously, Beaujolais Nouveau is a perfect wine for a traditional Thanksgiving meal.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

DRIPPING HOLIDAYS: TOUR OF HOMES

The Friends of the Library Christmas in the Hills Tour of Homes has announced its holiday home line-up for this year and it looks festive, indeed. With a theme of "The Sounds of Christmas", each decor takes on a famous holiday carol from It's Beginning to Look Alot Like Christmas to Auld Lang Syne. This year's tour takes place Saturday, December 6th, from 10:00AM to 5:00PM. Tickets can be preordered through November 22nd for $12 each at the library circulation desk. After that date, the price is $15 each. On December 6th, they will also be sold at the Friends' booth set up as part of "Christmas on Mercer Street," and at participating homes on the tour.

And speaking of the library's booth at "Christmas on Mercer Street", the Friends of the Library are continuing their traditional holiday bake sale. This year, the goodies will be sold at the booth. If you would like to bake something tasty for the library's bake sale, please bring it to the library on Friday afternoon, December 5th. For any questions, or if would like to volunteer to work at the booth, contact Bonnie Eissler, bake sale coordinator, at 512-858-7843 or 512-608-1963.

Finally, the Friends are also in need of docents on the Tour of Homes. Each docent works a 2 1/2 hour shift at one home on the tour, and receives a ticket to visit the other homes. If interested, contact Joan Mihal at 512-829-4537 to choose a shift and location.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

BREAKING: RARE HUMMINGBIRD SPOTTED IN DRIPPING

A rare hummingbird was spotted in a Babble reader's yard yesterday. The bird is a Costa's Hummingbird (Calypte costae) and, according to hummingbird expert Nancy Newfield, the only other known record of this bird in Central Texas was in San Marcos in the early 1980s. Quite fortuitously, an immature male of the species alit right here in Dripping Springs in the yard of local photographer and bird fan Howard Williams. Williams reports he knew the bird was unique when first observed late yesterday afternoon and, although the light was poor, he was able to get a few photographs of the unique visitor, all of which can be seen here.

Note: To see gorgeous bird photographs and bird baths created by Williams, be sure and visit his website at learnedbird.com.

Monday, November 17, 2008

QUICK DRIP: ARTISTS OF DRIPPING SPRINGS

Tonight (Monday) is the annual planning meeting for the Artists of Dripping Springs when they decide what events they will sponsor and create in 2009. If you are curious about the group, they say this is the "perfect meeting to attend" and learn more about this "eclectic" group of artists from around the Dripping Springs area. For more information, visit their website at artistsofdrippingsprings.org. The meeting tonight is at 7:00PM at Wesley Gallery on RR 12.

QUICK DRIP: THE OLD DS HARDWARE BUILDING

We've received a few queries about what's going into the former Dripping Springs Hardware building on RR 12. Earler this year the hardware store was purchased by Whit Hanks who, as we understand it, plans to use for an antique business similar to his current location in Austin. Initially, the building may be used to house overflow from the Austin location. Ultimately, the vision is said to be a retail space with his home furnishings store and complementary businesses.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

DRIPPING FOOTBALL: TIGERS ADVANCE IN STATE PLAY-OFFS

Dripping Springs HS Football has our attention once again as the team advanced to the second round of the state play-offs with a win on Friday night over Travis. The Tigers play Kerrville-Tivy next.

Friday, November 14, 2008

DRIPPING EVENTS: THIS WEEKEND

The weatherfolk are promising a cold front for this weekend, which should make all events feel a bit more holidayesque. Events on tap include Texas Hill Country: A Food and Wine Lover's Paradise book signing tonight (Friday) at Clifford's Original Wine Bar . The gorgeous book by Terry Thompson-Anderson features several Dripping Springs locals including Rolling in Thyme & Dough, Onion Creek Farm, and Pure Luck Dairy. On Saturday, Main Street Market & Deli has local band, Garrett Endres & Friends, performing live on their outdoor pavilion. On both Saturday and Sunday, Cowgirls & Lace is having a holiday open house with live music (Saturday) and photos with Santa (Sunday). Get all the details on all these events (and more) in "Events" on DrippingThings.com.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

DRIPPING HOLIDAYS: DSUMC CHRISTMAS BAZAAR

The Dripping Springs United Methodist Church is still accepting vendor applications for its annual Christmas Bazaar (November 20-22, 8:00 AM - 3:30 PM). All vendors pay a one-time registration fee of $40 and get to keep 100% of profits (sounds like a deal).Thursday and Friday will feature booths and a silent auction. Saturday will have booths, the silent auction, and an added bake sale and BBQ sale. Proceeds from the event help support their Children's Weekday Ministries. Vendor registration form is online here or call 858-7541 for more information.

DRIPPING EVENTS: POTLUCK @ SOL'STICE

Sol'stice is having a community potluck tonight with free live music in the garden. Share a dish, meet neighbors, and listen to some great tunes. Starts at 6:00PM. If you plan on attending, let Chris know at 512-569-0175.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

LOCAL DRIP: DRIPPINGTHINGS.COM

As the pre-fab concrete walls of the new Walgreens loom large, we want to remind everyone of our "go local" project, DrippingThings.com, for all things Dripping Springs. If you haven't visited yet, please do and make sure we haven't missed one of your favorite local products, places to shop, stay or eat. Also, if you know of any upcoming Dripping events we've missed, please drop us a line with the details (contact link is on the site).

QUICK DRIP: OAK CREEK CAFE

If you're one of the wandering coffee mob, you already know this, but we love this story. Apparently a group of old-school coffee drinkers traditionally met early every morning at Rosie's Tamale House, but after Rosie's closed they were left adrift and coffee-less. After word reached Oak Creek Cafe, it started opening earlier, at 6:30AM, just so our displaced and desperately decaffeinated java joes would have a place to meet and drink coffee.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

DRIPPING DOGS: AFTER THE "PAWTY"

Thanks to everyone who came out on Sunday for Stay-N-Play's 10th Anniversary and benefit for PAWS. Two of the Babblers were there to volunteer as proud PAWS dogs adopters. Thanks to all the sponsors and a special shout out to Bubby Biscuits, Dripping's own organic dog treat makers, and the wonderful Tammy at The Big Drip.

If you're thinking of adding a dog to your family, please consider adopting a shelter dog. The PAWS shelter is just down FM 150 in Kyle. Visit the PAWS website to see some of their adoptable dogs and cats online.

DRIPPING EVENTS: VETERANS TRIBUTE TONIGHT

The annual Veterans Tribute will be held tonight in the Dripping Springs HS cafeteria. The event begins at 5:30PM and will include recognition of local veterans, fajitas, entertainment, and a silent auction. Visit this link for more information.

Today, November 11, is Veterans Day. The date stems from November 11, 1918, when fighting ceased between Allied nations and Germany and an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. While the purpose of the day and its significance has experienced several permutations over the years since President Wilson, in November 1919, proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of "Armistice Day", the nation's observance today on November 11, now called Veterans Day, not only preserves the historical significance of the date, but helps focus attention on the important purpose of Veterans Day: A celebration to honor America's veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good. To learn the complete history of Veterans Day, click here.

Monday, November 10, 2008

BREAKING: SWAT STAND-OFF AT TERRY'S MOBILE HOME PARK

A swarm of Hays Country SWAT members were spotted at Terry's Mobile Home Park on RR12 this morning. For the complete story on what transpired over the course of today, visit KXAN.

DRIPPING HOLIDAYS: CHRISTMAS LIGHTING CONTEST

The Macy's in Chicago has unveiled it's 2008 Christmas window, essentially telling New York to "bring it", but perhaps Chicago should look a bit more southwesterly to see where it will be brought as the City of Dripping Springs is bringing back the town Christmas lighting contest. Dripping will have three contest categoies: residential, business, and public service/non-profit. There is no entry fee and the winners will receive a special award at the Christmas Tree Lighting at Christmas on Mercer Street, and recognition for your business/organization on the Triangle along with city publicity. All entries will be due to City Hall by November 29, 2008.

You may still be cranking the A/C in your truck, but November 29th is just 19 days away! The entry form is online here. For more information or questions please contact Ashley Seay, Michelle Fischer or Ginger Faught at 512-858-4725.

DRIPPING RAIN? TODAY COULD BE THE DAY

Rainwater collectors, today could be our day. Weather predictions in the area are ranging from a 50% - 70% chance of rain.

DRIPPING COMMUNITY: VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTERS - TRAINING TONIGHT!

The North Hays County Volunteer Fire Department is looking for firefighter candidates. Trainings are held the second, third, and fourth Monday of every month at 7:00PM at the Central Station at 400 Sportsplex (the road, Hanks Way, that runs between Oak Creek Cafe and Main Street Market turns into Sportsplex). Volunteers help protect us and our homes. For more on training and contact information, visit NHCVF.org.

Friday, November 7, 2008

DRIPPING EVENTS: THIS WEEKEND

We've appreciated all the comments and update emails regarding the distillery. As soon as we know more, we'll keep you posted. In the meantime, we did want to let everyone know about this weekend's Dripping events.

On Saturday, the Dripping Springs Library is presenting what sounds to be a fascinating program on the history of our town. Next, our friend Tammy, "The Ice Cream Lady", is having a "Double Drip Twins Party" at the Big Drip. Apparently this town is also dripping twins! Lots of fun contests and activities for everyone.

Finally, on Sunday, Stay-N-Play Pet Ranch is throwing a PAWTY! This event will be packed with loads of free activities, agility course, ask the vet and ask the trainer sessions, plus seriously discounted doggie pedicures, photos with our without Santa, pet psychic, and great fundraising opportunities (silent auction with really cool stuff), and just loads more all to benefit PAWS Animal Shelter. PAWS will also have some great dogs on site for adoption (just as charming as PAWS adoptee, the foxy Jane Austin, below).

Get all the times and details on all of these events on the "EVENTS" page on DrippingThings.com.

UPDATE: EXPLOSION AT SAN LUIS SPIRITS

The explosion this morning at San Luis Spirits on Bell Springs Road happened between 6 and 7AM. According to the spokesperson for the Hays County sheriff’s office, a worker was welding in a shed where the Dripping Springs Vodka stills were kept, and a spark ignited a chemical, causing an explosion. The man was taken to Brooks Air Force Base in San Antonio with burns on his face, hands and legs. The shed is considered a total loss, along with everything inside. (Via the Statesman).

BREAKING: EXPLOSION AT SAN LUIS SPIRITS

It appears that there was an explosion this morning on Bell Springs Road at San Luis Spirits, the Dripping Springs Vodka distillery. Hays County sheriff's Deputy Pam Robinson says one person was airlifted to the burn unit at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio with burns to his hands, legs and face. No identity nor condition was available, but Robinson says the man was conscious at the scene. (Via KVUE).

We will update as soon as we learn more. Our thoughts are with the folks at San Luis Spirits.

DRIPPING EVENTS: WINES, SUNSETS, & STARS POST-MORTEM

The City of Dripping Springs' wine tasting last night, its first foray into Harrison Ranch Park events, was, from all appearances, a success. This recently acquired property should prove to be a real boon for Dripping community and culture. The 64 acre park is located directly across from Dripping Springs Elementary School off of RR 12 and features a wonderful farmhouse, where the tasting was held. This Babbler's mom, who recently moved back to the area from Dallas, even got a high-five from our mayor. She can confirm she was never high-fived by the mayor of Dallas. We're definitely looking forward to more Dripping events at Harrison Ranch Park.

Special thanks to Ashley for her hosting skills.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

DRIPPING EVENTS: IS THURSDAY EVER!

The party stars have certainly aligned for this evening. Tonight (Thursday) is jam-packed with activities! "Girl's Night Out" at Sophie's Garden Salon, "Wines, Sunsets, and Stars" at Harrison Ranch Park (pre-registration required), and "Hill Country Top Chef" at Wilson Appliance. Get all the details at DrippingThings.com and, while you're there, be sure and sign up for the DrippingThings.com email update.

QUICK DRIP: HEB UPDATE

Rumors abound about the HEB and whether and when it's coming, so we went to the source for all things Dripping development. According to Jon Thompson, Development Coordinator for the City of Dripping Springs, the HEB people have paid the City for their wastewater (sewer) impact fees. There is also buzz that they are working on their engineering for the site plan, but no confirmed date as to when the site plan submittal could occur. In light of the payment of the wastewater impact fees, however, Thompson personally suspects that the submittal could be any day, but stresses that there is nothing official yet.

QUICK DRIP: BEST WESTERN UPDATE

As we reported end of August, a site plan was approved for a Best Western (58 rooms) east of the Domino's Pizza. But we're now getting word that the hotel is still waiting on funding. It's believed the project is not dead, just delayed.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

DRIPPING POLITICS: THE DAY AFTER

Hays County has posted election results here.

In a nutshell:

Patrick Rose won his fourth term as our State Representative.

John Cornyn returns to the U.S. Senate and Lloyd Doggett to the U.S. House.

Allen Bridges is still our Sheriff while Ron Hood defeated incumbent Debbie Brown to be our Constable.

Luanne Caraway will keep assessing and collecting our taxes which will be raised thanks to the road bond which was approved.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

DRIPPING POLITICS: UPDATED LOCAL RESULTS

The Texas Secretary of State is updating Texas election returns every 5 minutes. Fellow obsessive/compulsive political junkies, visit the site here.

DRIPPING HISTORY (AND A BREAK FROM THE SUSPENSE)

Anyone needing a break from watching or surfing the election coverage can take a step back in time today at the Dr. Pound Pioneer Farmstead Historical Museum from noon to 3:00PM. The museum is located on five acres cleared 150 years ago to make way for a log cabin for one of Dripping's founders, Dr. Pound and his family. This same log cabin remains there today and is now the heart of the home that eventually sprawled into a six-room house. Docents are on hand to describe early events and activities and answer your questions. The museum is open every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday except in December when it is closed.

DRIPPING POLITICS: TODAY'S THE DAY

It's election day! If you're unsure as to your polling place, the Texas Secretary of State has a nifty search function to find out exactly where you vote based on your precinct. To do a polling place search on the site, you can search by voter ID (found on your voter registration certificate), OR your Texas driver's license number (if you provided it when you applied for voter registration), OR your first and last name. Click here to launch the polling place search page. Hays County polls are open from 7AM - 7PM.

As a reminder, the Babble conducted Q&As with 2 of our state rep candidates. You can read Republican candidate Matt Young's answers here, Libertarian candidate Tom Gleinser's answers here. Our incumbent Patrick Rose (D) had his office call to let us know he would not be answering the questions.

Monday, November 3, 2008

DRIPPING BANKS: ARE WE EVER

Framing started last week on the new Broadway Bank, located just across the Home Depot driveway from the soon to be completed Chase Bank (and both located just across 290 from Cattleman's National Bank). Cross RR 12 and the new Pioneer Bank is also now open (about 3 blocks from the Wells Fargo).

DRIPPING FOOD: FLORES OPENS

As we reported on October 22nd, the new Flores Mexican Restaurant on 290 did indeed open for business at the end of October. If the packed parking lot at almost any given moment over the weekend is any indication, Dripping Springs has been in desperate need of an enchilada.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

TOUR DE DRIP: LANCE TAKES GRUENE

Babble founders are Tour de France nuts. One Babbler, in particular, has watched the Tour religiously for more than 20 years. Now that Tour megachampion and homeboy Lance Armstrong is on the comeback trail and bringing back the Dripping Springs connection to the Tour in 2009, we'll be doing regular updates on his progress. On Saturday and Sunday Lance raced in the Tour de Gruene (yes, dance hall Gruene) and won.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

QUICK DRIP: HUNTING SEASON STARTS TODAY

Open season on deer and turkey starts today, November 1st. For complete hunting season information for Hays County, visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department here. If you're reading this, that means you've already slept too late! Hunting season is about sleepily stumbling around in the dark a minimum of 2 hours before sunrise with truck-jostled coffee spilled down the front of your camouflage and crumbling biscuits stuffed in your pockets. Or at least that's how my grandfather taught me.

Note to squirrels: There is no closed season and no bag limit. Watch your tails!

Friday, October 31, 2008

DRIPPING CHANGES: FEELING BETTER

On the way to meet with some of the folks who work for our little city, I passed the future location of Walgreens where concrete walls now stand, and my heart sank. You know it's coming (just look across RR 12 at the Home Depot or across 290 at the McDonald's), but to see that homogenous, pre-fab construction where an amusingly-shaped rock building and 100 year old oaks once stood was deflating. But after spending some time with the people who work at our city hall and seeing how very much they care about Dripping Springs and how much they want to do to keep our town special, I felt encouraged.

Particularly interesting is the city's recently acquired Harrison Ranch Park (on RR 12 across from the elementary school). This property holds real promise for Dripping who so often has to turn to other towns to host our events. On November 6th, the park's farmhouse will play host to the city's inaugural Wines, Sunsets, and Stars . The Parks Department will conduct an educational and fun event for adult participants to sample a range of Texas wines in the quaint Harrison Ranch Park farmhouse, on 64 acres of rolling Hill Country landscape. The setting should make a perfect retreat for wine lovers. The event is from 6PM - 9PM and costs just $20 per person, but you need to register by Monday as space is limited. Download and return the registration form by clicking here or call Ashley at 512-858-4725.

DRIPPING CULTURE: POETRY POST-MORTEM


Such a treat was the Doyle Morgan Fellers poetry evening at the library last night. If you think poetry is just for and by the preening, pretentious, and turtlenecked think again. It was an evening filled with friends, neighbors, and laughter, punctuated by Fellers' true-to-life poetry from his new book Come Sit With Me: Poems and Points. He lives in Dripping Springs and he speaks Drippin', from introspections on the changes happening around us to reflections on our local beauty (landscapes and people, inside and out).

Drip, drip, drip like a timeless clock.
Tap, tap, tap on the limestone rock.
Sparkling waters from secret wells,
Deep within the earth's dark swells.

- From 'Dripping Springs" by Doyle Morgan Fellers

Thank you to Mr. Fellers, Dripping's own poet laureate, and to our library for a special evening.

DRIPPING CHANGE: A FAREWELL TO ACE

Today is the last day for Ace in the Hills. When it closes this evening, it will be for good. With the holiday season upon us we realized yesterday, with sadness, there will be no Christmas tree by Carol this year (unless another store has already snapped her up, as they should!). Thanks to everyone at Ace for the laughs and wonderful customer service, we will sincerely miss you.

Carol, keep us posted on your whereabouts; that store will have new loyal customers.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

DRIPPING FUN: FREE ZUMBA FRIDAY @ THE SPRINGS

The Springs Family YMCA has recently added Zumba to its fitness class lineup. Here's the word:

"Zumba is the Latin based fitness class that makes you want to "Ditch Your Workout and Join the Party!" The Y will be holding a free 1 hour Zumba Party on Halloween and the community is invited to come check it out and dance it out! Come dressed in you Halloween best or just come as is! Class starts at 9:15AM in the Wellness room and will be followed by refreshments."

DRIPPING RUMOR: H.E.B. DELAYED

Overheard over coffee this morning that the new H.E.B. (to be located near Home Depot) is still planned, but has been delayed.

QUICK DRIP: "GOAT" KIDS FOR KIDS GALA CANCELLED


The Gateway of Arts Trail (GOAT) Kids for Kids Gala scheduled for November 21st at the Terrace Club in Dripping Springs has been cancelled. Word is a more economy-friendly replacement "un-gala gala" is being organized and actually sounds like a fun idea, basically a series of events over the holidays at various local establishments where the wonderful herd of artful goats will be on display and for auction. We'll keep you posted as additional details come in.

QUICK DRIP: ONION CREEK FARM

We heard from the wonderful Marianne at Onion Creek Farm who let us know that her farm stand, which she had hoped to re-open in October, remains closed due to the dry weather. She is hoping to open again in late November and will keep us posted.

Pray for rain!

DRIPPING POLITICS: EARLY VOTING

Today, Thursday, is the last day to early vote in the Dripping Springs area:

Belterra Clubhouse
801 Belterra Dr.
Dripping Springs, TX (10 am – 8 pm)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

DRIPPING CULTURE: OUR POET LAUREATE

Did you know Dripping Springs has its very own poet laureate? Indeed, Doyle Morgan Fellers is the poet laureate of Dripping Springs and tomorrow (Thursday) evening at the library you can get your culture on for a poetry reading and book signing with Fellers who has donated copies of his new book, Come Sit with Me, to benefit the library and will be present to sign copies for those who purchase them. Says our poet, "Poetry is a literary art all should experience and what better place to introduce my poems, many of which are about Dripping Springs, than the community’s library."

Book Signing and Poetry Reading with Doyle Fellers
Thursday, October 30, 7PM-9PM
Dripping Springs Community Library
501 Sportsplex Drive (512-858-7825)

DRIPPING POLITICS: KVUE ON LOCATION

ABC station KVUE reported Tuesday on the record early voting in Dripping Springs (or as resident Bob James notes, "We say Drippin', now"). According to the report, 25% of Hays County voters have cast early ballots. Watch the report online by clicking here.

Cheers, Bob!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

QUICK DRIP: YOU BETTER RECOGNIZE

Following an appeal by Dripping Springs ISD, the Texas Education Agency has upgraded the rating status of Dripping Springs High School to "Recognized". Trying to crawl through the TEA's website and its pot pourri of acronyms and links to get a precise definition for "Recognized" was too painful, but we do know that sort of thing makes local realtors happy.

Via the Statesman

DRIPPING POLITICS: EARLY VOTING TODAY

Today is the last day to vote early at the Dripping Springs ISD office before the election:

Dripping Springs ISD Office
510 W Mercer St
Dripping Springs, TX (10 am – 8 pm)


Early voting at Belterra on Thursday.

Monday, October 27, 2008

DRIPPING YELLOW: LIVESTRONG WRAP-UP

Yesterday's Livestrong event was as thrilling and inspiring as expected. Thousands of riders, volunteers, cancer survivors, and their supporters from around the world converged on Dripping Springs. Local businesses and residences on the route were festooned with Livestrong yellow to support the riders.



"Live Strawng, Y'all!" Residential display Sunday on the Livestrong route down Creek Road.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

DRIPPING FOOTBALL: TIGERS ON A TEAR

We typically don't cover Dripping Springs High School football on the Babble, but the team's now 9-0 record simply can't go unnoticed. As reported in the Statesman, not since 1949 has the team done this well (and given last year's season of just 3 wins, expectations were tempered, at best). This Friday DSHS will meet rival Lake Travis High School, also undefeated and the state's #1 ranked team.

Go Tigers!

Friday, October 24, 2008

DRIPPING POLITICS: EARLY VOTING TOMORROW AT DSISD OFFICES

Dripping Springs ISD Office
510 W Mercer St
Dripping Springs, TX (10 am – 4 pm)

DRIPPING WEEKEND: IT'S ALL (FOR) GOOD

On Saturday, Texas Hearing and Service Dogs is holding their fundraising Snoopy's Haunted Carnival at their Bell Springs Road location. The cost is $5 a "ghoul" at the door.

In case you haven't noticed, Dripping is dripping yellow! This Sunday is the Livestrong Challenge. You've probably seen the signs on the road warning of travel delays and they're not kidding. If last year was any indication, we'll be dripping with cyclists! Even if you're not riding, this is a truly exciting event for homeboy Lance Armstrong's charity. Be sure to check the route and if you're on it do some yellow festooning and cheer 'em on! It's like our own little Tour de France (but better and with a cause).

For details and links for both events visit the DrippingThings.com "Events" page and if you know of local upcoming events for the calendar please be sure and submit them.

Also! Don't miss Dripping Springs United Methodist Church Pumpkin Patch at 290 and RR12. Pumpkins for sale until October 31st.

UPDATE: One more! We just received word of the Starlight Symphony Orchestra Fall Concert - Music for Divas and Dancers. Hear an enchanting assortment of pieces taken from famous ballets and operas that everyone will recognize but didn't know why! Many orchestra members are Dripping residents and would love the local support. The free concert takes place Saturday at 7:30PM at Sunset Canyon Baptist Church. We never cease to be amazed how much talent are in these hills! For details and links visit the DrippingThings.com "Events" page

Thursday, October 23, 2008

QUICK DRIP: LA CASITA UPDATE

We're happy to report that La Casita (currently on RR 12 across from the former Dripping Springs Hardware location) is indeed moving to the former GiGi's location (2400 Highway 290 West). They will be re-opening as Los Compadres Restaurante y Cantina with an expanded menu. As soon as we have a grand opening date, we'll let you know.

DRIPPING POLITICS: EARLY VOTING TODAY @ BELTERRA

Early voting today (Thursday) in the Dripping area at Belterra:

Belterra Clubhouse
801 Belterra Dr.
Dripping Springs, TX (10 am – 8 pm)


Download the complete Hays County voting schedule here (PDF).

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

DRIPPING RUMOR: FLORES SOFT OPENING

Rumor has it the new Flores Mexican Restaurant might be ready for a "soft" opening end of this month.

DRIP SPOT: DEVIN ALEXANDER

Spotted in the Statesman:

"Devin Alexander, 17, son of Karen and Rory Alexander of Dripping Springs, led the installation of rainwater collection systems for Hill Country Cottages, a senior citizen facility in Dripping Springs. The 300-hour project included planning and assembling rain gutters and rain barrels for the eight-unit facility. Alexander is a member of Troop 2001, chartered by Sunset Canyon Baptist Church in Dripping Springs. He is a senior at Dripping Springs High School."

Bravo!

DRIPPING POLITICS: EARLY VOTING TURNOUT

We have no idea what the actual numbers were, but, wow. This Babbler waited in line 2 hours yesterday afternoon to vote and, at least per people who were working there yesterday, that "wasn't as bad as earlier in the day." Two Babblers went to the DSISD offices to vote around 6:30PM and they were guessing the wait was 1.5 hours at that time (they abandoned ship and plan to be in line first thing Saturday morning). The candidates were also there in force yesterday afternoon. We saw and spoke with Matt Young, Patrick Rose, and Debbie Brown. The Allen Bridges contingent was also out in force. There is voting tomorrow at the Belterra Clubhouse and again at the DSISD offices on Saturday. Download the Hays County early voting schedule here (PDF).

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

DRIPPING POLITICS: EARLY VOTING TODAY

Today (Tuesday, October 21st) is the first day to early vote here in Dripping:

Dripping Springs ISD Office
510 W Mercer St
Dripping Springs, TX (10 am – 8 pm)


Hays County has posted an early voting schedule which you can download here (PDF).

For our State Representative (District 45) we have Babble Q&As with Matt Young (R) and Tom Gleinser (L). Patrick Rose (D) did not participate.

For the Sheriff's race, News8 has Q&A with current Sheriff and candidate Allen Bridges (R) and rival Bill Huddleston (D). Read and watch the Q&A here.

Hays County has also posted a sample ballot which you can download here (PDF).

Monday, October 20, 2008

DRIPPING POLITICS: EARLY VOTING

Early voting starts today, but if you want to vote in Dripping Springs proper you'll need to wait until tomorrow (Tuesday, October 21st). Hays County has posted an early voting schedule which you can download here (PDF). Per the schedule, you can vote early tomorrow at the Dripping Springs ISD Office (510 Mercer) from 10AM - 8PM. For other places to vote in Hays County starting today and for additional dates and places to vote in the Dripping area, check the posted schedule.

Friday, October 17, 2008

DRIPPING WEEKEND: CHILI AND HAZARDOUS WASTE

(Insert your own chili and hazardous waste joke here)

This weekend has two Dripping events of note on Saturday: The Dripping Springs Chili Cook-off and the subtly named Household Hazardous Waste Collection. While the HHWC party does not take place in Dripping proper (rather, it's in San Marcos) anyone with a tool shed piled high with rusting cans of scary substances that you don't know how to dispose of should welcome this opportunity to pawn your problem off on the county.

For details on both visit the DrippingThings.com "Events" page and, if you know of local upcoming events for the calendar, please be sure and submit them.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

DRIPPING POLITICS: STATE REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 45 (MATT YOUNG Q&A)

As posted previously, we sent questions to the three candidates for State Representative District 45 (that's us), Patrick Rose (D), Matt Young (R), and Tom Gleinser (L). We have heard from Mr. Gleinser (his answers here), Mr. Rose's office called to say he "would not be participating" (that post here), and we now have answers from Wimberley's Mr. Young, see below. For the questions, we focused on the issues we have seen get folks the most riled at Dripping Springs City Hall, what the candidates see as the biggest issues facing us, and how the candidates have presented themselves. Big thanks to Mr. Gleinser and Mr. Young for taking the time to let Dripping Springs learn more about you.

BABBLE:
Do you see the changes in Dripping Springs as a positive or negative (e.g., the influx of national chains such as Home Depot, McDonald's, Walgreens)?

YOUNG: Change and growth is inevitable. How we manage this growth will make the difference in having positive or negative results. For the past 6 years we have done little to manage growth in our district and it shows. We need to turn this around and put in place a "Hill Country Environmental Growth Plan" (HCEGP) that will not restrict existing business and families but will hold new development accountable for water and roads. These developers must share in this cost if we are to keep our hill country beautiful and livable and it must be done in a way that conserves our district. Additionally, I will advocate to give county officials more authority in managing such growth, because currently commissioners have little authority in these matters.

BABBLE:
You are positioning yourself as "Not a Politician". How do you define "politician" and, if elected, what keeps you from becoming a politician?

YOUNG:
Answer - Term Limits! I believe that a Politician serves him or herself and that the Statesmen serves the people. I propose 5 terms in the House of Representatives and 3 terms in the Senate only. We have many good people that can serve in this district and state and it is time that we get rid of the career politicians and begin to put the power back into the hands of the people where it belongs! We need more teachers, business people, accountants, workers, doctors and moms and dads serving in our government and less career attorney politicians. If we can get this done then we can start to fix some of the real issues that continue to mount in our district and state. IT'S TIME FOR REAL CHANGE!

BABBLE: You are also positioning yourself as a "Proven Leader" and "Battle-Tested". Please elaborate on the details behind both of those claims and how they relate to the position of our State Representative.

YOUNG: As a Father of two teenagers in public school and Husband I have been faced (like most of you) with day to day challenges. Such as paying the rent or mortgage, putting food on the table, paying the bills in tough times and not quitting makes all of us Proven Leaders and Battle Tested in many unseen ways. In addition, I am a U.S. Marine who served in the first Gulf War, a business owner with employees who started as a simple warehousemen and worked my way up. Life experiences, which gives strength and wisdom during tough times and having the political courage to stand against the majority at times makes all the difference in our districts and government.

BABBLE: What do you see as the greatest issues facing District 45? And what is your position on each.

YOUNG: There are many, Growth, Mobility, Water Conservation, Improper Funding for our Schools, High Cost in Property Tax, the new Business Gross Margin Tax (which is killing small business across the state) and list goes on...We cannot begin to address these issues properly as long as we keep electing career politicians who continue to serve special interests and lobbyists. And about lobbyists, I believe that organizations DO NEED an advocate fighting for them at the capitol...but THE LAW MAKERS DO NOT NEED TO ACCEPT THEIR MONEY IN ORDER TO CARRY THEIR LEGISLATION. It is time to end this cycle of purchasing our legislators' votes and start answering back to the people of Texas.

BABBLE: It appears that we are in the midst of yet another drought. Wells in the area are going dry, yet drive through the growing number of subdivision in the area and you'll still see lush, green lawns, vanity ponds, and water features. What, if anything, do you believe should be done to protect our water resources?

YOUNG: We need to begin to reduce the cedar population first. These trees are not native to Texas, and they are draining our creeks, rivers, and aquifers. This is a real problem. In addition, we can also begin to require rain water collection systems and zero-scape landscaping in our new developments across the district. Again, giving county officials more authority in the area of development will greatly help conserve our precious water resources. Additionally I propose a property tax credit or abatement for existing homeowners that install such systems. This is just a start, but with Pro-Active efforts, we can manage our most valuable resource.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

DRIP SPOT: ED RUSSELL (AND WILLIE NELSON)

The Statesman has an article on Willie Nelson's partnership with Ed Russell of Dripping Springs and their water-from-air venture. The aptly named company Willie Nelson's Water From Air will market and sell machines that condense water from the air, clean it, and make it drinkable. How the machines from Canada got to Dripping Springs and then to Willie is almost as interesting as what they actually do. Per the article:

"The machine works like a de-humidifier, extracting moisture from the air, then pushing it through a series of filters before treating it with ultraviolet light to remove mold, bacteria, algae and other organisms. The water is stored in a reservoir, where it is chilled or heated for drinking.

A home-sized version of Wataire's machine, which is manufactured in South Korea, makes about 8 gallons of water a day in Austin's relatively high humidity. (In drier environments it makes about 4 or 5 gallons a day.) Larger versions of the machines can make 2,500 or 5,000 gallons a day. "

Find out how Dripping got in the loop and more about the machine here.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

DRIPPING SPRINGS CITY HALL: TONIGHT

Lots on the agenda tonight for the Dripping Springs City Council. You can download the entire agenda PDF here. One item of particular note is consideration of, and possible action on, the Preliminary Plat for Arrowhead Ranch, the subdivision planned for 362 acres across from GiGi's old location. You know that beautiful drive down Creek Road along the creek, over the bridge and by Onion Creek Farm? It borders that. At last count, 200 houses are planned for the development.

DRIP SPOT: THYME & DOUGH and PURE LUCK and ONION CREEK FARM

A gorgeous new book about our Texas Hill Country has just been published and it features two hometown favorites. The Texas Hill Country: A Food and Wine Lover's Paradise is a gorgeous collection of photographs and recipes from our area, including Rolling in Thyme & Dough and Pure Luck. Rolling in Thyme & Dough plans on selling the book at the bakery or you can learn more and buy it online here.

UPDATE: We inadvertently left out Onion Creek Farm in our post yesterday, also featured in the book!

Monday, October 13, 2008

DRIPPING TRAFFIC: SCHEDULED STREET PAVING

Not sure if the rain will effect these, but paving on Mercer Street, with one lane closure from 290 to Mercer Street Bridge, is scheduled for today.

Paving on Creek Road by Pioneer Bank is scheduled for tomorrow (October 14) The Bank will have access on 290 and all other traffic for Creek Road and Ramirez Lane will be detoured to Roger Hanks Road.

Now, someone needs to do something exciting in Dripping because that may be our most boring post ever.

Friday, October 10, 2008

DRIPPING FUN & CHARITY: EMPTY BOWL FOR HELPING HANDS

This Sunday (October 12th) from 11:AM - 3:00PM is the 11th Annual Empty Bowl Project benefitting Dripping Springs Helping Hands. Hosted by Sunset Canyon Pottery (4002 E. Hwy 290), the tasty event is for a great cause. For a $20 donation you can choose from over 1,000 handmade bowls and receive a serving of gourmet soup and bread dnoated by some of the finest restaurants in the area.

DRIPPING POLITICS: STATE REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 45 (PATRICK ROSE NO Q&A)

As we posted yesterday, we sent questions to the three candidates for State Representative District 45 (that's us), Patrick Rose (D), Matt Young (R), and Tom Gleinser (L). Mr. Gleinser's answers are posted here. Yesterday afternoon we received a phone call from Rose's office saying he "will not be participating", which we take as pol-speak for "we're not answering the questions, little blog". Alas, we tried! Rose is going for his fourth term as our representative, so there is plenty of fodder for a breakdown of his record and what his constituents think of him, which we'll post before the election. If you have an opinion on Patrick Rose please feel free to drop us a confidential line at driptips@gmail.com.

DRIPPING SPORTS AND POLITICS - FOLLOW UP

Last Thursday we posted news on the efforts by DSYSA and Hays County Precinct 4 Commissioner Karen Ford to get $266,000 in emergency funding for sports fields here in Dripping. This week, the Hays County commissioners broke their "self-imposed moratorium on dispensing what’s left of $30 million in parks and open space bond funds...(and) awarded $266,000 to the Dripping Springs Youth Sports Association for ball fields." Read the full story on the San Marcos Mercury.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

QUICK DRIP: BBQ AT THE SALT LICK BY THE FRIENDS FOUNDATION & BLUEBONNET AUXILIARY

It's tonight at ths Salt Lick! Starting at 5PM until 10PM and Dripping's own legendary Johnny Gimble is playing! Tickets are available at the door. Click here to download the PDF with details.

DRIPPING POLITICS: STATE REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 45 (TOM GLEINSER Q&A)

We sent questions to the three candidates for State Representative District 45 (that's us), Patrick Rose (D), Matt Young (R), and Tom Gleinser the Libertarian candidate. We will publish the answers if and when they come in. Mr. Gleinser, of Dripping Springs, was kind enough to take the time to answer our questions. For the questions, we focused on the issues we have seen get folks the most riled at Dripping Springs City Hall, what the candidates see as the biggest issues facing us, and how the candidates have presented themselves.

BABBLE: Do you see the changes in Dripping Springs as a positive or negative (e.g., the influx of national chains such as Home Depot, McDonald's, Walgreens)?

GLEINSER: Although I see the changes as negative, it really doesn’t matter what I think. I’d rather see Dripping Springs stay a small town, but it is none of my business what people wish to do with their property and how businesses want to conduct themselves as long as it is constitutionally legal. I do like the convenience of having new businesses in town.

BABBLE: You are positioning yourself as the “Un-Politician”, how do you define "politician" and, if elected, what keeps you from becoming a politician?

GLEINSER: A politician is one that is loyal to Party first and their constituents second. I put Party second to my principles and my constituents. Pat Rose is a consummate politician. He attempted to thwart a Democratic process by running off and hiding in a motel in Oklahoma in order to enhance his party’s power. I will work to free people of the binds of government. We have too much regulation, too much taxation and not enough production from government. Government has primarily become a vehicle for redistributing the wealth. It must be stopped. People of all classes will benefit from my policies. Only the well connected will benefit from the policies of Pat Rose. I will not become a Politician because my Party, the Libertarian Party, is a Party of principles, not a Party of bureaucrats and money.

BABBLE: You are running on the Libertarian ticket. What defines and distinguishes a Libertarian from Republicans and Democrats?

GLEINSER: A Libertarian is a person that believes Social and Political change should come through the actions of free men and women. Republicans and Democrats think that people need to be forced to do the right thing. The right thing is doing whatever you want as long as you don’t do harm to others.

BABBLE: What do you see as the greatest issues facing District 45? And what is your position on each.

GLEINSER: The most important issue in District 45 is the same issue plaguing the State and Nation. . . Education. If our young don’t receive a quality education, our nation will continue its steady decline that started when teachers unions and the Federal government started dictating how our children were to be educated. Public education has become far too expensive in violation of the Texas Constitution which states that “it shall be the duty of the Legislature of the State to establish and make suitable provision for the support and maintenance of an efficient system of public free schools.” Our system of Education is not only inefficient, but a total and gross failure. There are any number of suitable alternatives that parents should be allowed to choose rather than being forced into our failed public schools. The second most important issue is the runaway growth of government. Year after year we see government growth far exceeding the growth in population and economy. It cannot be sustained. It is probably already too late to avoid national bankruptcy. Perhaps we can save Texas.

BABBLE: It appears that we are in the midst of yet another drought. Wells in the area are going dry, yet drive through the growing number of subdivision in the area and you'll still see lush, green lawns, vanity ponds, and water features. What, if anything, do you believe should be done to protect our water resources?

GLEINSER: The wells are not going dry because of increased development. I’m on a well, I have a “vanity” pond (which just recirculates water) and a sprinkler system. Most of the water that I use is returned to the aquifer after being filtered through several hundred feet of limestone below my septic system. One reason wells are going dry is our heavy Cedar coverage. A medium sized Cedar will consume about 35 gallons a day of water. Multiply that by the millions of Cedars in the area and you have your real culprit. People couldn’t begin to keep up with Cedars for using water. Wherever there are high population densities in the area that might impact our ground water supply, the LCRA has begun to supply water. The last thing that we want is some full-of-himself bureaucrat forcing his way onto our property and slapping a meter on our wells. If your well runs dry, dig it deeper. I’m at 840 feet and have never had a water problem.

Thank you to Mr. Gleinser for taking the time to answer our questions and share his views. If and when we hear from Mr. Rose and Mr. Young, we'll get those posted.