Pompous Circumstance: Rick Perry to give commencement speech in the path of TTC-69
by Donna McCollum
Around Martinsville, in eastern Nacogdoches County, country roads trail past farms and ranches. It's a place where people used to talk about hay yields. Now discussion has turned to politics. Protest signs reading, " No Trespassing to Trans Texas Corridor" hang on their fences and gates.
This week's discussion centers around a rally on the day Governor Rick Perry will be in Nacogdoches delivering a commencement speech. He may need more luck than the graduates.
Trans Texas Corridor opponent, Larry Shelton said, " We want to send a message loud and clear to the governor that we are tired of him wasting our time and our money for doing this absolute absurd project." Shelton describes his community as the epicenter of the Trans Texas Corridor. He stands to lose his property. He's not alone. " It will go straight through my house. Right through my kitchen, " said a Martinsville third grader.
The school district is concerned the corridor will cause the district to lose tax revenue, forcing it some day to consolidate with nearby districts. Consequently, the opposition includes school children. Their classroom assignment has been to write politicians about their concerns about the TTC.
Today letters went out to President Bush. " Our small school will go out of business. We will have to pay to go on the TTC, " read one child from his letter. Another wrote, " We need money for other things as food, water and bills. Have you thought about it?"
In Martinsville, the Fighting Pirates are fighting Governor Rick Perry. The children's teacher, Jan Tracy said, " A lot of people here in the rural areas are rather insulted and upset that he's been invited to come here and speak and want him to understand what a big issue this is for us and how important it is for our county and our area of the state. "
Despite their disapproval with the governor, participants say they're not wanting to disrupt anyone's graduation day. The rally will be on the main campus, away from the Johnson Coliseum. The 'Citizens Against The Trans Texas Corridor' rally will be from 10:30 to 1:30 in the wooded area across from the SFA university center. Texas Turf and Independent Texans will be present. Tractors can be parked by the Turner Auditorium. Participants are confident the governor will feel their presence.
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