In the Cheap Seats
Bobby "Butch" Burney | News-Telegram Sports Editor

Oct. 19, 2005 - My hair is turning gray - at least what's left of it - but I'm feeling kind of young these days.

I keep hearing people talk about the "new high school" - you know, the one on Houston Street - in relation to the bond proposal. If the high school building is still new, then I'm still a teenager.

It was new back in 1978 when I attended class there as a junior in high school. But, that's been almost 30 years ago. 

The new has worn off, and a lot of things have worn out.

My parents' generation passed the bond proposal to build that high school, and now it's time for our generation to do the same. Those of us who have school-age children must pass the bond issue to repair and add onto the high school.

The proposal, with final voting on Thursday, calls for roughly $2 million for foundation repair, $3.2 million for a science classroom wing, $2.6 million for a fine arts addition, a half-million for asbestos abatement and $1.5 million for an addition to the Early Childhood Learning Center.

Not only do we, as parents, need to pass this proposal, we need to tell the school board that we want something bigger and bolder.

Though a $32 million bond issue to build an elementary school failed earlier this year, I would like to see a well-thought out, clear-cut bond issue to build a new high school with all the amenities that go along with it. If other towns can do it, so can we.

If you think that what we have in Sulphur Springs in terms of educational and extracurricular facilities is in good shape, you haven't been around. 

You haven't seen Lamar Elementary teachers holding classrooms in closets and teaching two different classes in the same room at the same time. You haven't seen the SSHS hallways full of students practicing their extracurricular activities because there is no room in the gyms or band hall. You certainly haven't been in the bathrooms at the Middle School.

It's time for Sulphur Springs to quit having a poverty mentality. There was a time when parents and grandparents wanted their children and grandchildren to have things better than they did.

Have we lost that vision? If not, then the first step - and hopefully it will only be a first step - is to pass the bond proposal.

Voting is 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday at the SSISD Administration Building on Connally Street.

Going back to the age thing, I guess I must be getting old when I agree with David Stern on the dress code for the NBA.

Despite some people (Kevin Blackistone, Allen Iverson) playing the race card, the dress code isn't racial. It's generational.

It's not racial because you'll see just as many white kids holding their pants up with one hand and wearing a sideways ball cap as you will black kids. You just don't see many middle-aged men doing it.

Iverson made the point of saying that he's 30-years-old, so he should be able to wear whatever he wants to. So, can 60-year-olds go naked? If they're twice as old, they should have twice as many liberties, according to his rationale.

Iverson needs to take a cue from Michael Finley. The ex-Maverick is never interviewed without wearing a tailored suit. Finley is classy and well-spoken. He's also 30-something and African-American. On the other side of the spectrum is Jason Williams who dresses sloppy, speaks poorly and looks thuggy. He's 20-something and white.

Stern wants to clean up the image of league that has been tattered by the style of play, arrest records and brawls that have hampered the NBA in recent years.

Wearing appropriate clothing won't do anything but help it.

Some random thoughts - There was a time when Tom Landry and others wore suits on the NFL sidelines. You won't see that anymore. The league doesn't allow players or coaches on the sidelines without wearing NFL-sanctioned shirts and/or jackets. ... North Lamar is building an indoor practice facility adjacent to its football field. That makes Sulphur Springs as the only school in the district without either a Field Turf football field or an indoor facility. Some schools which support their children have both. ... Mount Pleasant attracted literally thousands of visitors to its town last week with the UIL marching band competition. Those people ate and bought gas all over town. Mount Pleasant's merchants benefited because of their first-rate school facilities.

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