E-News from the Office of Senator Van de Putte
I hope this e-news finds you doing well. I am writing to send you the latest update on the ongoing child custody case in Eldorado; plus helpful information for you too.
On Monday, the first status hearings began in the County courthouse in San Angelo regarding the children removed from the YFZ Ranch outside of Eldorado. Hearings to review each child’s service plan are scheduled between now and June 5.
Due to the large number of people affected, Child Protective Services (CPS) created a template service plan for both the parents and children involved. The plans address the goals for the child; goals and tasks the family must fulfill and services for which CPS must provide to aid the child’s return to a safe environment.
Each parent and child have an assigned CPS caseworker, who is meeting with both, the children and their attorneys, to address any specific needs and concerns. A separate CPS caseworker is meeting with individual parents and their attorneys.
I look forward to a successful resolution for all parties involved; and will continue to update you as developments occur.
Taking Care of Texas
As protecting our environment is an imperative to us all, many may wonder what we as individuals can do to help. Texas places many demands on its natural resources. Our population is booming, areas are rapidly expanding and this growth generates environmental challenges. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has developed a campaign, called Take Care of Texas, encouraging Texans to make a personal commitment to protect our environment. The campaign offers simple suggestions that go a long way toward improving our environment and conserving our resources.
Below are the suggestions I believe will be most helpful to you:
- Choose compact fluorescent light bulbs, which use 67 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs and last up to 10 times longer.
- To reduce cooling and heating costs, install a programmable air-conditioning thermostat, or just adjust the thermostat for nighttime or when no one is home.
- Help reduce energy consumption by making sure that pots and pans are not smaller in diameter than the stove's burners. A 6-inch pot on an 8-inch burner wastes more than 40 percent of the burner's heat.
- On average, each Texan generates about 7 pounds of garbage every day. Recycling paper, metal, plastic and other materials will reduce waste, conserve energy and preserve natural resources.
- A dripping faucet, at one drop per second, wastes up to 1,660 gallons of water per year. If all households fixed just one leaky faucet, statewide water consumption would fall by 13 billion gallons per year.
- Washing full loads, as opposed to partial loads, of laundry can save more than 3,400 gallons of water each year. Using cold water for laundry instead of hot or warm water can save more than $30 annually.
- Proper maintenance of a vehicle—such as changing the oil, checking tire pressure and replacing filters—will reduce emissions and improve gas mileage up to 5 percent, which can save up to 35 cents per gallon of fuel.
- Carpooling is another practice that reduces vehicle emissions, as does using public transit or combining errands. By ride-sharing every day, commuters can save up to $3,000 per year on gas, insurance, parking and wear and tear on their cars.
We must all do our part to take care of Texas, and help to preserve our precious resources for the generations to come.
If you have additional ideas to share with TCEQ, please contact Dana Macomb's at 512-239-4745. For more information visit www.takecareoftexas.org or www.tceq.state.tx.us.
Energy Star Tax-Free Holiday
This Memorial Day weekend, Texas celebrates a tax-free holiday on certain energy-efficient products and appliances. In an effort to encourage consumers to use less energy and save money, Energy Star ceiling fans, refrigerators (under $2,000), programmable thermostats, dishwashers, incandescent or fluorescent light bulbs, washing machines, dehumidifiers and air conditioners (under $6,000) will be tax-free. The 2008 Energy Star sales tax holiday begins at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, May 24, and ends at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, May 26.
Qualifying products will display the Energy Star logo. Energy Star is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy. The Energy Star logo indicates a product meeting strict energy efficiency guidelines.
Future Frontrunners Contest
Lifetime Networks, CosmoGirl! and Declare Yourself have created the Future Frontrunners Contest to search for tomorrow's Madame President. Young women across America can win a chance to attend the Democratic National Convention or the Republican National Convention by Answering the Question: 'What Would You Do If You Were President?'
The contest offers 16 lucky winners a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet the country’s top women in politics at a Future Frontrunners summit. The summit will bring the girls together with key political and business leaders, journalists and advocates. Winners will also be acknowledged in an on-air PSA on Lifetime and featured online.
The competition, open to women nationwide ages 16-22, runs through June 16. To enter, contestants must submit either a written or video entry at www.myLifetime.com. Winning entries will be selected by a panel of judges, of which I am proud to serve; and winners will be announced in August. For more information, visit: www.myLifetime.com.
Please do not hesitate to contact my office if you have any questions.
HOW TO CONTACT SENATOR VAN DE PUTTE
700 N. St. Mary's St. #1725
San Antonio, Texas 78205
(210) 733-6605 - fax