Patrick Bulanek fits the mold of many of Brazoria County’s new generation of judges. He is in his 30s, respected and carries conservative principals to the bench.
The person appointed to launch the 461st District Court when it officially opens Sept. 1 also has a strong background in family law, which will be the new court’s primary responsibility.
The Danbury native, though long anticipating an opportunity to wear a black robe, is right when he says it’s hard to determine what type of judge a person will be until they actually have cases to decide. With his experience on the other side of the bench, however, he has been guided by strong influences that helped shape his legal vision.
Retired Judge Ogden Bass, who served with distinction in Brazoria County, offered this advice to Bulanek through his son, lawyer Brooks Bass.
“To temper your decisions with mercy and justice, and above all, remember that all people that appear in front of him are equal in the eyes of the law,” Brooks Bass said.
It is sage advice for the new judge from someone whose demeanor and public service he could do worse than to emulate.
We join Bulanek’s family and friends in offering congratulations.
Retired teachers helping future educators blossom
It’s a fundraiser that perhaps has taken place under a lot of people’s radar through the years, but the annual Alpha Delta Kappa luncheon deserves some praise for its help helping aspiring teachers to achieve their goal and make classrooms better.
Alpha Delta Kappa is an honorary sorority for women educators, and the Angleton-based chapter each summer has incited people out for a delectable feast. Members put together a menu of favorites and cook it themselves, then provide the recipes for people to try to replicate what they enjoyed.
The organization awarded three education majors $1,000 scholarships during last week’s luncheon. Elizabeth Ebner, Allyson Smith and Gamma Eta, all Angleton High School graduates, are the lucky beneficiaries.
To qualify for a scholarship, an applicant must have 60 school credits completed toward a teaching degree Patti Bludau, the Angleton chapter president.
The luncheon, the chapter’s largest fundraiser, also provides support for Angleton schools, said retired teacher Linda Winder, a member of the honorary sorority for almost 50 years. Winder said the chapter tries to donate money or meet other needs to one school each semester.
These dedicated women know what it takes to become a teacher then succeed once in the classroom. They also know how to put on a fantastic luncheon that helps those wanting to develop upcoming generations achieve their dream.
Objections can go too far
Confederate Railroad is long past its prime as country-rock start in the Lynard Skynard mold, but like a lot of music groups from their era, nostalgia keep them touring the country. The venues are smaller but the draw remains significant enough for county fairs to bring them in as a headline act.
Not all counties, though. They won’t be playing the Ulster County Fair in New Paltz, New York, as planned Thursday after some protests were lodged with fair organizers.
Not over the group’s music, but because of its name.
“The Ulster County Fair must be an event that everyone can enjoy while representing the values of all members of our community,” a representative for Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan said in a statement . “Any showcasing of a symbol of division and racism runs counter to that principle and will be vigorously opposed by my administration.”
We have argued often that the Confederate flag, while having historical volue, has been propagated as a symbol of racial intolerance. Efforts to confront the idolatry of such symbols are, on an important level, quite necessary to quell the division they create.
Discriminating against a band because of its name, however, exceeds reason that needs to be at the center of any move for change. A little investigation would show the group’s name isn’t just a tribute to the group’s hometowns, but isn’t pro-Confederacy at all.
Danny Shirley, the frontman of Confederate Railroad, said the group’s name was inspired by a steam locomotive called the General, which was commandeered in Georgia during the Civil War by the Union during a raid. The engine is currently on display in Kennesaw, Georgia, where Shirley lived when he landed his record deal, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
The group’s banishment actually is its second of the summer. The Du Quoin State Fair in Illinois earlier canceled Confederate Railroad’s scheduled gig for late August for the same reason.
It is true a significant group of people use the Confederate flag and other symbols of the Civil War’s losing side to promote hate instead of respecting its heritage. That is not the case with Confederate Railroad, whose name tells a interesting historic event if small minds could get past their own hate to look into it.
“It seems that everybody kind of gets looking for something to get upset about,” Shirley told the Chronicle. “And I guess I’m just the flavor of the month.”
It’s a flavor, sadly, too many people have taken a liking to.