John Kanelis

Piece of Mind: Princeton Charter Fight Might Resume

Oct 8, 2020
John Kanelis

Princeton is in serious growth mode, with a population set to virtually triple in size from the 2010 census to the 2020 count of residents.

A Wolfe City man is dead and citizens are trying to find answers to the death of a community pillar.
Mark Haslett

By John Kanelis

Northeast Texas now has been swept up in the maelstrom of police violence and the death of an African-American at the hands of a white cop who, it will be argued, deployed his weapon prematurely.

At issue is the death of Jonathan Price, 31, in Wolfe City as he was allegedly breaking up a domestic disturbance in the middle of a convenience store. Wolfe City Police Officer Shaun Lucas has been charged with murder and was taken into custody and placed in the Hunt County Detention Center.

Piece of Mind: Texas AG Faces New Allegations

Oct 4, 2020
Austin Chronicle

By John Kanelis

The hits just keep coming for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

Think of it. The AG is awaiting trial on allegations that he committed securities fraud. A Collin County grand jury indicted the former McKinney-based legislator on felony charges. That was in 2015 and he still hasn’t stood for trial.

Piece of Mind: What a Choice for Senate District 30

Oct 1, 2020
Texas Tribune

By John Kanelis

The race for Texas Senate District 30 is going to feature a most interesting tandem of candidates who finished at the top of a bipartisan primary.

One of them is Shelly Luther, a Dallas salon owner who rose to meteoric notoriety by refusing to close her business at the height – or depth – of the coronavirus pandemic. The cops arrested her and she spent some time in the slammer before coming out and declaring her candidacy for the Texas Senate.

Public Domain

Shelly Luther might be a wonderful hair stylist.

Piece of Mind: Vote Early, But Surely Not Often

Sep 15, 2020
File photo

By John Kanelis

Readers of the blog I write for my own pleasure know of my longstanding preference for voting on Election Day.

Well, I am going to say it here – and say it loudly – that I intend to vote as early as possible in this election. It is the “new normal” brought to us by the COVID-19 pandemic and by specious assertions of corrupt voting consequences brought about by all-mail-in balloting.

Piece of Mind: Come Clean, Mr. DNI?

Sep 5, 2020
Garbriella Demczuk / New York Times/AP pool

By John Kanelis

Surely, I am not the only observer who sees the irony in Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe's decision to forgo direct briefings to Congress on foreign government election interference.

Ratcliffe, who formerly represented a Northeast Texas congressional district once served by the late, great Rep. Sam Rayburn, has declared that from now on all briefings will be submitted to Congress in written form. Ratcliffe said he wants to prevent leaks. Hah! As if they won't occur anyway?

Piece of Mind: Courthouse Restoration Back On Track

Sep 1, 2020
John Kanelis

By John Kanelis

Fannin County got a historical preservation grant to restore its 19th-century courthouse.

The county hit a pothole or two along the way. Work had to stop for a time. Then it resumed.

And then … the coronavirus pandemic struck. It swept into the nation. It helped slam the brakes on work such as what had commenced on the Fannin County Courthouse in downtown Bonham.

Piece of Mind: Abbott Reaches Too Far

Aug 24, 2020
Texas Tribune

By John Kanelis

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is angry with the Austin City Council.

He is so angry that he is threatening to meddle into a level of government that is none of the governor's business. He said the city's decision to "defund" its police department might result in the state imposing a property tax freeze, which would deprive the city of any sort of budgeting flexibility, which is essential to the governing body.


By John Kanelis

School is about to commence at Texas colleges and universities very soon.

This will be the most unusual start of an academic year in anyone’s memory, with a pandemic continuing to sicken and kill Americans.

Is the Texas A&M University-Commerce campus ready to go? Is it set to welcome students back on Aug. 24, when it plans to resume classes on the campus. TAMUC officials say “yes.”

Hmm. Well, let’s hold on to that for a moment.

John Kanelis

By John Kanelis

Commerce’s recycling efforts could have tanked when Commerce Community Cares bailed out of a volunteer effort it had joined with the City of Commerce and Texas A&M University-Commerce.

The efforts did not die. I had been concerned when Commerce Community Cares decided it no longer could volunteer for the joint project. The recycling efforts did become a “bit more difficult” without the volunteers, according to interim Commerce City Manager Ned Muse.

Courtesy photo


Princeton Mayor John-Mark Caldwell only thought he was resigning from the City Council after moving to Rockwall.

It turns out, according to the city's legal counsel, Caldwell is required to stay in office until after the next election, which occurs on Nov. 3. That's what the state requires, so Caldwell must remain in place, gavel in hand, running City Council meetings.

Piece of Mind: Litter Stokes Militancy

Aug 2, 2020
John Kanelis

By John Kanelis

SEA RIM STATE PARK, Texas -- I am married to an anti-littering militant.

I have known it for the nearly five decades of our married life, but I saw it on full display on a morning walk along the Texas Gulf Coast.

We sauntered onto the beach from our fifth wheel. Immediately, she became incensed at what she saw ... and what she began to collect on our stroll. I figure we must have picked up close to a 40 pounds of trash on our walk of several hundred yards.

I am proud of her, as you might surmise.

Piece of Mind: No Football This Fall?

Jul 28, 2020

By John Kanelis

Are you ready for a fall without football?

I do hate being the gloom and doomer, but there might be that dire fact staring us in the face and it might be soon.

Think for a moment of what is happening to Major League Baseball. MLB has commenced its 60-game season, with teams playing in front of empty seats and piped-in crowd noise. Except that a lot of players are testing positive for the COVID-19 virus. Teams are sending players home or ordering them to quarantine themselves. Games are being postponed left and right.

Public Domain

By John Kanelis

I admit to having trouble understanding how this campaign played out.

State Rep. Dan Flynn is among the most conservative members of the Texas House of Representatives. He has earned the highest praise imaginable from conservative political activists … yet somehow, he ran into an opponent who said Flynn isn’t “conservative enough.”

Piece of Mind: Volunteers Step Up In Time of Crisis

Jul 14, 2020

By John Kanelis

It's time to acknowledge some folks who get damn little recognition during the good times, but they certainly deserve it these days while the nation is struggling in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

I refer to polling-place volunteers, the election judges and assorted volunteer staffers who herd voters to the proper places, making us all adhere to safety measures designed to keep us healthy, not to mention alive.

Piece of Mind: Good Call On Canceling State Fair

Jul 7, 2020
Texas Monthly

By John Kanelis

If this was to be the year you would try out some fried beer at Fair Park in Dallas … you’ll just have to wait until 2021.

The Texas State Fair isn’t going to occur this year. Fair organizers have canceled the annual event for the first time since the end of World War II; back then we were too busy celebrating the end of the bloodiest conflict in world history. This year’s cancellation comes – as if you need reminding – because we are in the midst of another struggle against the coronavirus pandemic.

Piece of Mind: Communities Honor NE Texas Legend

Jul 2, 2020
John Kanelis

By John Kanelis

This much is likely true: When you go off to war and then distinguish yourself by becoming the most highly decorated soldier in your nation’s history, communities are likely to compete for bragging rights to be known as your designated “home town.”

PBS photo

By John Kanelis

This story disappointed me greatly, but at some level I wasn’t terribly surprised, as I have seen this scenario play out before.

Commerce Cares Recycling decided to discontinue its work collecting recyclable materials, saying that too many residents were carelessly tossing trash into the recycling bins. Commerce Cares couldn’t devote the time and effort to separate the trash from items to be recycled … so it surrendered.

Piece of Mind: Love For This Hero Lasts Forever

Jun 16, 2020
John Kanelis

By John Kanelis

How proud are they of Audie Leon Murphy in Farmersville, Texas?

They are so proud of their favorite son that they wouldn't dare let an international medical pandemic -- which has shut down ceremonies and outdoor events around the world -- stop them from honoring the most decorated soldier to serve during World War II.

Piece of Mind: Antifa Gets Tarred Unfairly

Jun 13, 2020
Associated Press/NPR

By John Kanelis

“Antifa” as become a four-letter word in some circles around the nation.

It is meant as a sort of shorthand for a group that opposes fascism, as in “anti-fascism.” Of course, it has morphed into a more militant sort of operation. Of late, though, it has been blamed for fanning the flames of discontent and discord on our city’s streets in the wake of George Floyd’s tragic killing in late May by Minneapolis police officers who were arresting him for – get this! – allegedly passing a counterfeit $20 bill.

Piece of Mind: They Rallied for Unity

Jun 6, 2020
John Kanelis

By John Kanelis

On a day when Donald Trump preened and proclaimed that George Floyd would be “happy” with the huge job gains registered in the wake of the global pandemic, a group of Princeton, Texas, residents gathered at a park under a sweltering sun to honor Floyd’s memory.

Floyd, as the world knows, died more than a week ago when Minneapolis cops arrested him for a non-violent offense, put face down on the pavement and then snuffed the life out of him. The officer who killed him is white; Floyd was black.

The Space X rocket is a new chapter in the United States' proud history of space exploration.

By John Kanelis

Amid all the gloom and grief, and all the mayhem and misery associated with a global pandemic and the death of a man at the hands of brutal cops in Minneapolis, Minn., I found time Saturday to cheer an event for which I have been waiting.

At around 2:30 p.m., Central Daylight Time, a rocket launched from Pad 39A at Cape Canaveral, Fla. It carried two American astronauts into orbit. It was the first launch of Americans from a U.S. launching pad in nearly a decade.

American soldiers advance through a rice paddy during the Vietnam War.

Jose De La Torre would be about 75 years of age today. I don’t know how he would have lived his life. I don’t know about his family history or what he aspired to do after he took off his Army uniform.

Piece of Mind: Hazardous Duty Pay Extended

May 18, 2020
John Kanelis

Farmersville Police Chief Michael Sullivan has been protecting and serving the public for 34 years while working for various police agencies throughout North Texas.

Piece of Mind: Looking For a New Trump loyalist

May 15, 2020

John Ratcliffe is likely to be confirmed as the nation’s next director of national intelligence.

Piece of Mind: We're In Good Hands

May 8, 2020
Public Domain

By John Kanelis

Socrates, the great Greek philosopher, was a brilliant thinker to be sure. He also was dead wrong as he sought to forecast the future of civilization.

The quote you see attached to this blog is attributed to Socrates, who took his own life more than 300 years before Jesus Christ’s birth. He lamented the disrespect shown by young people. If we were to take what the great man said to the bank, we would indeed be in a world of hurt.

Piece of Mind: Follow This Trail ... Please

May 4, 2020
Public Domain

By John Kanelis

Do you want to take a hike? Or ride a bike? How about taking your horse on a ride? Maybe even jog a bit to get your heart started?

Some folks along a 130-mile trail that runs from Farmersville to New Boston have just the place for you to do all of these activities. At least they intend to make it even more suitable for such activity, but it’s going to take some time, some effort and more than just a little bit of money.

Public Domain

By John Kanelis

Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp has put out the word: School will open this fall at all 11 system campuses with in-person classroom study and, get ready for it, there will be football.

Are you ready? For some football? 

Let's not jump the gun just yet.

Piece of Mind: Go Slowly, Gov. Abbott

Apr 25, 2020
Izod News

By John Kanelis

I am full of contradictory emotions at this moment in light of the COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic.

Although I miss doing many of things I cannot do at the moment, I am in no rush to return to doing them. I fear contamination. I don't want to get sick. Nor do I want my family members and others I love to become sickened by the virus.