People, Places & Events



  Recycling helps turn trash into treasure, Kiwanis hear
Monitor Staff Reports
GUN BARREL CITY–Throwing something in the trash doesn’t make it go away – it just goes in the ground a long, long distance away.
It’s better for the environment and for the economy if one can recycle that plastic bottle, bundle of newspapers or tin can, Kaufman County Environmental Co-op director Marilyn May told the Cedar Creek Kiwanis club Wednesday.
There are no more dumps, where your father/grandfather pulled up to a ditch and unloaded the trash, May said. All dumps were closed, and now all trash must go to permitted landfills.

Monitor Photo/Kerry Yancey
Kaufman County Environmental Co-op director Marilyn May holds up an orange safety vest made out of recycled plastic bottles. Recycling can reduce the amount of trash going into landfills, May told Kiwanis club members Wednesday.

“Anywhere you see a pile of stuff by the road, that’s illegal dumping,” May said.
Finding out who dumped the trash is sometimes pretty easy. “People throw everything away in the trash, even Social Security numbers,” she said.
Every permitted landfill has to have a thick rubber liner to keep fluids and semi-fluids, such as that rotted banana peel, from leaching into the groundwater.
“The earth doesn’t make any more water,” May said. “The water that’s out there is what the dinosaurs drank – it’s just recycled.
“However, some of the things in the water can’t be treated out, (such as) mercury,” she added.
A liquid at room temperature, mercury is a metal, and won’t dissolve in water. Prolonged exposure to mercury or mercury vapors can cause disease and death.
The “mad hatter” of Alice in Wonderland fame was based on real people who put a mercury-based compound on hats, and subsequently suffered from exposure to the toxic metal.
“They went mad – they had holes eaten in their brain,” May said. “You do not want to get mercury in your system.”
Unfortunately, the new energy-efficient florescent light bulbs, touted as being better for the environment, all contain mercury – mercury powder lines the inside of the tube and makes the gas inside the tube glow, she explained.
“You don’t ever want to break a florescent light, because the mercury powder will go into the atmosphere and straight up your nose,” she said.
Since mercury doesn’t dissolve in water, it gets into the food chain and winds up concentrated in fish. Eating fish puts that mercury into you, May said.
Recycling is a way to remove items from the trash stream so they won’t go into landfills.
“Plastics are high on my agenda,” she said.
Plastic is made from oil. “The price of oil is a big issue, and we’re throwing away drinking water bottles like they’re going out of style,” May added.
Every plastic bottle has a number stamped on the bottom. A stamped 1 or 2 means the container is very easy to recycle, she said.
May passed around several items – carpeting, shirts, tote bags and safety vests – all made of recycled bottles, which are mostly made of nylon, a man-made synthetic.
“This T-shirt is 50 percent recycled cotton and 50 percent recycled bottles,” she said.
Recycling glass has also become popular in the last year or so, as more and more manufacturers are using glass as a component in flooring and other hard-surface applications.
“The Texas Department of Transportation uses ground glass as the foundation for roads,” she said. “The paint that glitters in your headlights glitters because it has glass in it.”
As the price of making plastic from oil goes up, the price for recycled plastic goes up.
“Plastic is really worth quite a bit,” May said. Plastic grocery bags can be ground up, melted and mixed with sawdust to create “wood” flooring, decking and playground border posts.
“It’s more expensive, but the more we buy of it, the less expensive it will be,” she said.
Nike and other shoe manufacturers are now marketing shoes made of 100 percent recycled shoes.
Tin cans are mostly steel, and up to 80 percent of all steel is now recycled.
At the Environmental Co-op, “we deal with what’s going into people’s trash,” May said.
Fallen leaves and food waste can be recycled as mulch, and the Co-op will hold a Master Composter class in March. “You can get a natural, good fertilizer for your yard,” she said.
The Co-op also offers a vermi-composting (worm composting) class. “Worms will eat your garbage and extrude a natural fertilizer your plants will just love,” she said.
While Kaufman County is working toward recycling at its trash collection centers, Henderson and Van Zandt counties don’t have recycling programs.
That may change as residents become more educated about the cost of sending trash to the landfill (where it lasts almost forever), compared to the cost and benefits of recycling, she said.
“Your trash is definitely a treasure to somebody,” she said.

Eustace trustees approve ’08-’09 school calendar
Monitor Staff Reports
EUSTACE–Eustace school district trustees adopted a 2008-09 school year calendar proposed by the DEIC committee following a lengthy discussion.
Teachers and staff will begin on Aug. 19 with students returning to school Aug. 25.
Graduation will be on Saturday, May 30, 2009, and June 3 would be the last day for students, with June 4-5 set as bad weather days.
Holidays were also set as Sept. 1, Nov. 26-28, Dec. 22-Jan. 2, March 16-20 for spring break, April 10 and May 25.
Trustee Sara McAtee volunteered to represent the board at future DEIC committee meetings.
In a related move, the board decided Feb. 19 to participate in the Optional Flexible Year Program, which allows the district to modify its calendar to include intensive instructional services.
In addition, the board agreed to apply for a waiver to modify the class schedule on TAKS testing days, to reduce interruptions during testing periods.
The trustees also reviewed and compared property values for 2006 and 2007, and also reviewed an unofficial list of M&O and I&S tax rates from other nearby school districts.
Superintendent Dr. Coy Holcombe explained the reason property values increase each year was several properties selling for considerably more than appraised value.
Discussions with Henderson County Appraisal District chief appraiser Bill Jackson resulted in Jackson saying he intended to appeal the values to the state appraisal board, Holcombe said.
Eustace ISD enrollment figures this year have gone in a downward direction, Holcombe reported.
The district total is 1,532, or 37 fewer students than last year.
In a previous board meeting, Holcombe noted that the budget, forecasting a rising enrollment as was the case last year, was being skewed by decreasing enrollment.
“It’s nothing we can’t adjust for,” Holcombe had said. “But the easiest solution would be to gain a few more students.”
However, attendance percentages in the fourth six-week period averaged a little more than 95 percent:
• Primary campus, with 459 students, attendance 94.39 percent;
• Intermediate campus, with 299 students, attendance 96.13 percent,
• Middle School campus, 341 pupils and attendance of 95.7 percent, and
• High School campus, 433 students and 94.59 percent attendance.
In other business, trustees:
• moved the board’s next meeting to Thursday, March 13, because of the spring break holiday.
• hired Smith Lambright & Associates to provide audit services for the fiscal year ending Aug. 31.
• agreed the statement of impact from two charter schools applying to expand enrollment limits and a geographic boundary will most likely not adversely affect the Eustace ISD.
• heard the pre-k expansion grant is valid for another year.
• acknowledged a card of thanks from the family of Ashtyn Hughes, the nephew of former athletic director Brad Scoggin; and an e-mail from Primary School teacher Holly Bailey for supporting her son, Roland in the annual MDA Stride and Ride. Eustace ISD raised $5,600.78 on behalf of the team Roland’s Racers.
• noted Eustace representatives to the All-Henderson County football team were Trevan Johnson, Nick Shutak, Josh Unruh, Byron Whitlock, Lucas Cope, Josh Lopez, Chris Compton and Garrett Rhodes. Academic All-State nominees were Brandon Grayson and Rhodes, with honorable mention for Harley Mitchell and Matt Hickle.
• extended contracts an additional year for assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction Janice Beasley, athletic director Doug Wendel, principals Dianne Shaffer, Robert Reeve, Karyn Mullen and Stan Sowers giving all the above two-year contracts beginning July 1, 2008, and ending June 30, 2010.
They also extended a one-year contract to director of special programs E. L. Kirk from July 1 to June 30, 2009.


Come Adopt Us At
The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake

My name is Nelson. I am a beautiful male Dachshund. I was brought to the shelter by animal control, so I have no history. So far, I seem pretty laid back and gentle. I am a wonderful boy looking for my new forever home.

My name is Oreo. I am a beautiful female black Lab. I was brought to the shelter by animal control, so I have no history. I seem to get along with other dogs. I need help with leash training. I have been started on my shots and need to be fixed. I am a beautiful girl looking for my new home.

We are a whole litter of Shepherd mix babies. We were brought to the shelter by animal control, so we have no history. We have been started on our first set of shots. We are good kids looking for our new forever homes.

I am a beautiful Border Collie, who is four months old, or so. I was brought to the shelter by animal control, so I have no history. I have not been at the shelter long, so not much is known about me. I am a beautiful kid looking for a new home.

Pictured are just a few animals at the Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake in Seven Points in dire need of a good home. Please call or stop by the Humane Society today and rescue one of these forgotten animals. The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake is located on 10220 County Road 2403 in
Seven Points. For more information, please call (903) 432-3422 after 11 a.m.
We are closed on Wednesday and Sunday.

For further information visit our website at


Copyright © 2008, MediaOne, L.L.C.