Ken Fountain

Ken Fountain, managing editor

Did you hear that?

I'm talking about the fireworks, of course. If you'll allow me to channel my inner Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino (you know, the one where he belts out "Get off my lawn!"), the older I get the more I find the whole people-shooting-off-fireworks-in-my-neighborhood thing grating.

I've never actually been one for firing my own fireworks. I've always preferred seeing the professional fireworks shows. One year when I was in the Navy, I had duty on the Fourth of July and watched several spectacular displays along San Diego Bay from the flight deck of my aircraft carrier. Before moving into Fort Bend County a few years ago, I lived inside the Loop and could easily walk to see the City of Houston's displays on Buffalo Bayou.

To each their own, of course, but it seems there are a lot more of the unprofessional types these days, and they go on for much longer than they used to. And judging by my social media feed, it's a phenomenon that is growing more and more pervasive.

Anyway, rant over. Happy New Year!

And we all hope it will be. There are still a lot of issues to deal with: the still-going pandemic, war abroad, inflation at home, and the ever-present political divisions in this country.

Those divisions exist right here in Fort Bend County, too. On Sunday, all of the newly elected or re-elected County officials took part in a mass swearing-in ceremony at the County Courthouse. I wasn't able to go to the event, but news footage I saw depicted officeholders of both major parties enjoying the moment and each other's company.

One would like to think that that kind of goodwill could prevail when those officeholders go back to work. But as we've seen all to well in the last several years, too often that's not the case.

A couple of weeks ago, an example of what seemed (to an outside observer, at least) of raw politics occurred right here in Fort Bend. I'm new to covering politics here, and I can't pretend to know what people's true motivations might be. But it looked like the particular action might not have been made with the county's long-term interests in mind.

I think most people would prefer that whatever officials' political affiliation might be, when they are voting on key decisions, they will put the benefit of their constituents at the forefront. It may be naive, but I still hold a residual ideal from high school civics class that that's the way government is supposed to work.

But maybe that's why I've always been an observer of politics and never a participant. Still, in this new year, I'd like to think we can all strive to do better.

As always, please send story ideas or news tips to me at

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