I originally sent this to one of your partners in crime, but believe now I should have sent it to you since you as Webmaster solicited input from the huddled masses. Anyway...
I am a San Angelo ex-pat. I was born and raised there, moved away and back a number of times for reasons of no great import now, and currently reside in the DFW Metroplex (or MetroMess, as some describe it). I am retired and working diligently on becoming an obstreperous grizzled old fart, and doing rather well at it (according to those who know me).
Over the years I have had occasion to describe San Angelo to a number of folks, and in summary I deem it to the Largest Small Town In The United States. In terms of population some might consider it to be a city. In terms of attitude, atmosphere, and governance it clearly is not. It is a small town. I see this every time I visit, and when I'm driving there and hit Bronte I say to myself, "Self, remember where you're going. It ain't Dallas. Slow down. Put your gun in the trunk. Be civil. Smile more.".
This is not a bad thing. I have long maintained that God put some of the best people on His Good Green Earth in San Angelo, and I love 'em all... or at least, most of 'em. However,...
I read the Standard-Times Web page every day in a feeble attempt to keep current with the happenings there, and find your site to be a very worthy addition to my sourcing. I must say over time I have been at times amused and at other times distressed.
I have read of the monetary issues regarding the school district and of the deterioration of SACHS, from which I graduated in '65.
I was there when a significant part of the water supply system cratered.
I read statistics related to average pay in the area and wonder how anyone can live even reasonably well on such. If the area counts on burgeoning local job growth that is call center based, it must be acknowledged these are in general not well paying and rather crappy jobs to boot.
I noted in one of your blogs that someone considered nuclear power to be a potential godsend for the area (someone please explain the economics, licensing, waste disposal, cooling, and site location realities to this person. It ain't gonna, nor should it, happen.).
I read about the benefits of corn-based ethanol processing plants in the area when in reality the program is simply a sop for corn growers and processors like ADM. If one looks at the numbers it's a disaster, with both Republicans and Democrats proving themselves to be whores regarding the issue.
I read of water sourcing ills and proposed solutions like energy-intensive desalinization and pipelines to more reliable sources than currently available (like the Mississippi River). Face it, guys, you live in a semi-arid area that is doomed to become ever drier as population grows and farmers continue to draw down the water table with their irrigation. Then there's the issue of long-term projections of rainfall...
And the good Mr. Blaine takes his party somewhere else because of BYOB-phobes. I don't blame him.
Ah, the theatre, large and small, attendant in all this. It is entertaining, and I have touched on only a small portion of it.
Of course, I have no all-consuming answers for the ills of the Pearl On The Concho. I'm smart, but I ain't that smart. I love the place and always will. It's just that at times I find the whole thing amusing, especially when I read of things like ASU's now sucking up to the Texas Tech way of doing things and this being portrayed as being a Big Fat Hairy Deal when the area has infinitely more important issues than a local college's affiliation. I knew Drew Darby a thousand years ago. I'm still looking for him to do something significant, if he's so influential.
But then, what the hell do I know?
Peace, my new friend. Forgive my ranting.
San Angelo Ex-Pat