Back in the day when Seattle had an NBA team, the Emerald City had a gem of player, Fred Brown, known as “Downtown Freddie Brown,” because of his reliability as a shooter.

Lake Jackson has its own straight shooter, Freddie Brown, who was rewarded with the Brazosport Chamber of Commerce’s first-ever Lifetime Service Award on Thursday. Brown was honored not only for his lifetime of contributing to the business and civic service in the area, but also for being known as a hail fellow well met with a great sense of humor, as exemplified by his description of military duty in the early 1950s as an “all-expenses-paid trip to Korea.”

It was, said his presenter on Thursday, Judge Jack Brown, the only time he didn’t live in Brazosport. Freddie is a businessman, public servant and jokester, in no particular order we presume, the judge said. Freddie Brown cited the influence of Buddy Curry, his mentor at Curry Motor Co., eventually to become Brown Auto Sales in Clute, as a guiding light in his development in running a business and how to get along with people.

“We had lots of fun, lots of good people,” Freddie Brown said of his time in the auto business.

Freddie Brown, who described his marriage to Ruby in 1954 as the best thing that ever happened to him, joined the chamber in 1958 and served as its president in 1994, Jack Brown said. The chamber honored him as an outstanding man of the year and volunteer of the year in the past, Jack Brown said.

There are so many people who have done so much in this area, Chamber CEO Sandra Shaw said.

The Brazosport community should count itself lucky to have someone so committed to investing in their community who calls this home.

Acclaim

UTMB, Angleton Danbury relationship valuable

It’s become kind of a time-worn cliche, but the coalition between UTMB Health and Brazoria County definitely qualifies as a “win-win.”

A 2014 partnership put UTMB Health in charge of the Angleton Danbury Medical Center. UTMB Health brought in more specialized care providers to the community and prioritized rural health care by adding 30 physicians to the system’s full- and part-time staff.

While the infusion of UTMB staff has greatly enhanced the services the Angleton center has to offer, the folks from UTMB also appreciate the opportunities they’ve been offered in a small-town setting.

“I think it’s been a great marriage between the two communities,” said Dr. Lucy Villarreal, an OB/GYN who previously worked at UTMB Health in Galveston and went to work part time for the UTMB Angleton Danbury Campus. “UTMB has been able to offer things to the community, and Angleton teaches just as much in return, so I really think the partnership has been a marriage. I think it’s been really great.”

It’s vital work that UTMB is providing.

The investment is likely appreciated by those who have benefited from UTMB’s efforts to further develop the campus, and that’s worth celebrating.

Shame

Cat euthanization isn’t animal shelter’s fault

Sometimes hard decisions have to be made for the greater good. That’s certainly the case with the Angleton Animal Control and Adoption Center, which had to euthanize 71 cats in July due to untreatable diseases.

In the month of June, 97 cats were brought in to the shelter, Angleton Police Chief Aaron Ausmus said. Despite the efforts of staff and veterinarians to treat the diseased animals, the illness spread and proved too overwhelming, Ausmus said.

The animal shelter has been designated as no-kill since the beginning of 2019 after staff and the police department worked to improve the facilities and space, a feat city officials shared excitement about. But the developments in June left the shelter with a dilemma that left them little choice.

“This (euthanization) will be classified as sickness and is not for volume, which does not negatively impact our goals to be considered ‘no-kill,’ but it is still a very significant action that will be reflected on our reports,” Ausmus said. “Despite my heavy heart with euthanizing animals in general, it is the humane and right thing to do in this unique circumstance.”

While the decision had to be made, it likely was made with heavy hearts at the shelter.

But to place blame on those who had to make the decision would be misguided. Those who allowed the animals to continuously breed were irresponsible by not taking advantage of the many low-cost opportunities to spay and neuter the cats.

Of those put down in July, 39 were from the Holiday Lakes cat colonies, Ausmus said.

That isn’t a cat problem, it’s a human problem.

As the cliche goes, there should be a law against letting an animal population reach that unhealthy tipping point. Allowing continuous breeding to the point of overpopulation in a home and the spread of diseases is cruel and inhumane.

The Angleton Animal Control and Adoption Center has worked hard to make improvements in the last year, and it’s unfortunate that irresponsible breeding had to get the shelter involved in such a sad situation.

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