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Article by Josh Allen * Managing Editor/eParisExtra!
The Paris Community Theatre is announcing the upcoming showing of their season’s big musical, Into the Woods – a Stephen Sondheim musical – running August 9th through the 19th. Tim J. Wood will direct the show.
They will be holding auditions for the show on June 4th & 5th. Rehearsals will begin on June 14th.
This is a very strong musical so be expected to ‘carry a tune’. The auditions are open to all ages from 17 – 50+. On June 4th, at 7:00pm, PCT is calling the women to audition and the following day, June 5th, at the same time, the men. Auditions will take place in the Brown Center for Creative Arts, 115 Clarksville Street. If you have any questions or problems pertaining to the scheduling of the auditions or for more information, contact email@example.com.
Into the Woods features lyrics and music by Stephen Sondheim and is a book by James Lapine. It premiered on Broadway in 1987. The main characters are taken from the stories of Jack & the Beanstalk, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, and Rapunzel. These characters, tied together by a more original story involving a baker and his wife on their quest to begin a family, makes it a comically evoking and fun plot full of great characters — with a more adult theme, but kid friendly also. Several references to other well-known tales are made as well. The story takes the characters ‘into the woods’ and explores the consequences of their quests and wishes.
This is a big musical for Paris Community Theatre’s show season and will feature some of their best. That could be you if you come down to the auditions. There are several spots to be filled for both men and women. They are open to anyone wanting to sing, dance, and entertain.
Click here to visit Paris Community Theatre’s Facebook Page.
Paris Economic Development Corporation executive director Steve Gilbert (right) will make a report at tonight’s Paris City Council meeting on the PEDC’s accomplishments over the past 17 years. Also in the picture are assistant executive director Shannon Barrentine and PEDC president Pike Burkhart. (www.eParisExtra.com Photo by Charles Richards)
By CHARLES RICHARDS
Steve Gilbert, executive director of the Paris Economic Development Corp., will appear before the Paris City Council tonight to give “more than a rebuttal” to Mayor AJ Hashmi’s criticism in April of the PEDC’s accomplishments.
Fred Green, director of the Red River Region Business Incubator (R3bi), who frequently sits in on PEDC meetings, sent out an e-mail inviting businessmen and other community leaders to be at tonight’s presentation of the PEDC’s activities and accomplishments since 1995.
“This is more than a rebuttal of the mayor’s statements,” Green said in the email. “It is a complete analysis of the PEDC from someone who has only been there for two of the 17 years and has looked objectively at the history. Hope to see you there.”
The PEDC posted a notice saying a quorum of the board’s five members could be at tonight’s meeting.
Gilbert’s presentation is scheduled as item No. 18 on a 34-item agenda, but the first nine items generally take only a few minutes.
However, one of the early items is reception and deliberation on reports and/or minutes from various boards, commissions, and committees – one of which is the PEDC’s minutes of April 26, pertaining to a meeting the mayor attended.
The minutes reflect that the board convened into executive session at 3:01 p.m. and came out at 3:31 p.m., adding: “There was no action as a result of executive session discussion.”
Hashmi says he brought an economic development matter before the PEDC during that executive session, on which a consensus was indeed reached.
Hashmi said he would point out that the action in executive session should have been ratified in open session as required by the Texas Open Meetings Act.
At the city council’s April 9 meeting, in a 20-minute PowerPoint presentation, Hashmi said the PEDC hasn’t shown much of a return on the quarter-cent sales tax that funds it. He asked what the PEDC had accomplished with the $17 million in revenues since 1993.
“Looking at our success rate of jobs vs. dollars spent, we fall very short. We need to re-look and decide if the present PEDC way of doing business is the best way. So far, we really have not done a great job at what the PEDC came into existence for,” Hashmi said.
“I do not know what is the best solution,” the mayor said. “I just know the PEDC has not achieved all of its goals as initially set. My recommendation is to seriously look into the viability of this organization as a source of spending tax dollars that belong to the residents.”
Hashmi said a member of the PEDC board told him the PEDC “does not trust the city.”
Gilbert — along with PEDC members Bruce Carr and Doug Wehrman and assistant executive director Shannon Barrentine — attended that meeting. Gilbert declined comment that night, telling the council he would respond with a presentation at a later meeting.
That response will come tonight.
Using words like “ignorance” and “arrogance,” PEDC president Pike Burkhart fired back at Hashmi at the PEDC’s meeting the next day.
“There is a reason why the community wisely separated the economic development responsibilities from the direct supervision of the mayor and city manager. Mayor Hashmi’s economic development ‘plans’ are a perfect example why,” Burkhart said.
Burkhart went on:
“Mayor Hashmi is a bright physician, but he is no guru of economic development. The economic development ideas he posited last night at the City Council meeting show his ignorance of economic development, his lack of respect for the hard work of the community in putting together the first PEDC Sustainable Strategic Plan and his arrogance in not participating in the plan’s formation.”
Wehrman and Carr immediately distanced themselves from Burkhart’s remarks.
Wehrman said he admired Burkhart’s opinion, but didn’t necessarily agree with the statement toward the mayor.
While he said he found some of the mayor’s comments “irritating,” Wehrman said everyone will have to work together to benefit Paris. He added that the PEDC hasn’t gotten credit for retaining jobs that might have gone elsewhere without local efforts.
“No one cares for Paris more than Pike Burkhart,” Carr said at the meeting. “I respect his opinion and his feelings, but I don’t necessarily agree with his conclusions.”
Regarding Burkhart’s comments, Hashmi said he appreciated the PEDC president’s response.
“The purpose of my presentation was to excite them, so they work hard. I think even just the response is good enough to know these people are thinking hard about it. “
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“What do you want to be when you grow up?” This is a question that kids are usually asked by adults. But it was the Everett Elementary Career on Wheels Day event that had North Lamar 2nd and 3rd graders asking the questions.
“Careers on Wheels is a program to promote early career exploration and to provide insight into career paths,” said Everett Elementary Counselor Christie Welch. “Students had the opportunity to see various career centers and vehicles or equipment that relate to the careers. The career representatives spoke to the students about a typical workday, education, and any special training or experience needed for the various career positions.” There were also opportunities for the young students to ask questions of the professionals while visiting the different centers.
Welch said, “We appreciate the businesses, companies, and people for sharing their insight with our students.” Those who participated were Lonnie Elrod with OnCor Electric Company, Bill Allan, pilot with Southwest Airlines, and Summer Allan, flight attendant with American Airlines, Becca Besteman, nurse, Dana Stanley, Dental Hygienist with Calabria Dental Clinic, Paris Fire Department Firefighters, Emergency Technicians with Emergency Medical Service, Dr. Wally Kraft, veterinarian with Animal Health Center, Barry Diamond, DJ for KITX 95.5 FM, Zach Saffle, insurance salesman for Pierson & Fendley Insurance, James Welch, credit officer “banker” from Lone Star AgCredit, Nick Burton, Blue Collar Landscaping, and Paris Police Department, NL Resource Officers.
The Lamar County Relay for Life team, Cancer is a Word Not a Sentence, is having a garage sale and baked goods and lemonade sale on Saturday, June 10 from 7am to 2pm at 2552 SE 41st St. Paris, TX.
If you should have any items that you would like to donate, please call Brandi Allred at 903-737-5437.
And, don’t forget, also this week, East Texas Broadcasting is hosting their Karaoke For a Kure at the Eagles Lodge, 7pm, June 1st, the EXCELerators will host their Run 4 A Cure at the Trail de Paris Pavilion, 8am Saturday, June 2nd, and the PRMC team has their Bark For A Cure at 10am, same day, same location.
All this is to raise beneficial funds for Lamar County’s Relay for Life mission. All these teams are trying to support and help a great cause. So bring the family – and the dog – to these events and let’s raise some funds for Relay for Life and find a cure.
Josh Allen/Managing Editor
Fifth grade students in Mrs. Debb Fleming’s Socrates classes at Crockett Intermediate School were concerned recently with the news of enemy forces trying to hurt our soldiers in Afghanistan.
The students learned that a troop of reserves were there from Paris, the 721st En Company, and wanted to send goodies to the soldiers to let them know that they care about them.
Students donated toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, beef jerky and snacks. They sold “boots” that students purchased for $1 and then decorated for a display in the front hallway. Over $138 were raised to ship 18 boxes of goodies to our soldiers.
Students also made cards that were included in the boxes to bring “Smiles” to our troops from Paris, Texas.