Friday, December 7, 2012

Texas Tribune publishes Trans-Texas Corridor recap

Aman Batheja of the Texas Tribune has written a recap of the Corridor fight and has described how its tolling component can affect Texas highways into the future.

The accompanying photo was taken by Coupland resident Dawn Fischer of her daughter Libby and of Caleb Ging on the Ging farm--near ours.  The article quotes me and also Ralph Snyder, who with his wife Marcia, fought the Corridor in the Holland (Bell County) area.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Coupland news in Taylor Daily Press

The November column of Coupland news is in today's Taylor Daily Press.  It covers the incorporation election, cooking class, school and church news, and more.

Incorporation Committee co-chair Jack Piper shows a map of surrounding cities advancing toward Coupland at the Oct. 29 Coupland Civic Organization meeting.
 Buz Garry buys a new custom-designed Coupland tote bag from Fundraising chair Ruby Wabbel.
Master Chef Peter Wabbel teaches the Oct. 27 cooking class in the beautiful outdoor kitchen of Cole Barton.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Coupland votes to incorporate

Coupland voted to incorporate, with 96 for and 19 against.  This was a huge turnout, considering that there are approximately 200 residents (all residents--registered voters, non-voters, children) within the proposed Coupland city boundaries.  Incorporation Committee Co-Chair Jack Piper said, "Thank you to the citizens of Coupland who voted to maintain our identity as a peaceful, small community."

To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin, who said, "We've given you a Republic, if you can keep it," today's Coupland citizens say to their descendants, "We've given you a close-knit, rural, beautiful community, if you can keep it." 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Coupland votes on incorporation tomorrow, Nov. 6

Over the past two years, the Coupland Civic Organization presented a series of meetings on the expansion of surrounding cities toward Coupland.  To keep Coupland from  being taken over by another city, the Coupland Incorporation Committee was formed.  They raised money, hired a surveyor, and arranged for the issue of incorporating Coupland to be on the Nov. 6 ballot.  Co-chair Jack Piper said, "We have obtained large maps of the proposed city limits for Coupland and posted them at the depot. There are three black & white maps showing the different sections of the total 2 square miles, which are inside the dark black lines. There is a large color map, thanks to Tony Prete with Waeltz & Prete, Inc., (Civil Engineers), showing the entire 2 square miles with all boundaries, including the ETJ, clearly marked."

Other points  from the Incorporation Committee are:

• Only qualified voters of Williamson County who reside within the geographic area described in the Application to Incorporate shall be entitled to vote in the incorporation election.

• During the November 6 election there shall be one election precinct for the election. The polling place for such election shall be the Coupland School, 620 S. Commerce Street.

Jack also notes:  "Due to the recent redistricting, on November 6th, some people will be required to vote at their assigned voting location for the general election and vote at the Coupland School for the incorporation election."

"Your vote will help determine the future for our community. We are fortunate to have a choice at this time. Do we want to remain a small farming and ranching community with the ability to make decisions for our citizens? Do we want to abide by another entity’s policies? The choice is yours! The Coupland Incorporation Committee believes it is of the utmost importance that we maintain the right to decide for ourselves the appropriate path for Coupland! Vote YES on November 6!"

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Coupland's National Night Out on Aug. 7

The Coupland Civic Organization (CCO) hosted the annual National Night Out on August 7 at the Depot. Residents enjoyed a hot dog supper with all the fixin’s. Deputy Matt Kreidel from the Williamson County Sheriff’s office spoke about crime trends and how homeowners can protect themselves. Deputy Bryan Jordan also attended.

Pct. 4 Commissioner Ron Morrison visited with attendees and spoke about county efforts to help protect residents. Fire chief Tracy Gardner and other Coupland Volunteer Fire Department firefighters also attended. The children enjoyed exploring the fire trucks that the firefighters brought to the event.

National Night Out is part of the Neighborhood Watch program. The CCO maintains a Neighborhood Watch email list. If you are a Coupland-area resident and want to receive email notices about crimes reported in our area, email Jennifer Dollins at to be added to her list.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Coupland National Night Out on Aug. 7

The Taylor Daily Press has covered Coupland's upcoming National Night Out event.

Coupland observing NNO Aug. 7

Amanda Sena
Posted: Wednesday, August 1, 2012 1:00 am

It’s the time of year again for Coupland’s National Night Out, which is scheduled to take place Aug. 7, starting at 6:30 p.m. at the Depot.

According to Susan Garry, a Coupland Civic Organization board member and editor of the Coupland Herald, the night will include a hot dog supper with all of the trimmings, as well as chips, homemade cookies and soft drinks.

“There will also be somebody from the Williamson County Sherriff’s Department there to talk about crime prevention and emphasize how important it is to watch out for your neighbors and report any suspicious activity,” she said, adding that people are asked to bring their lawn chairs. “ ... In the past, we have had representatives come from Commissioner Morrison’s office to talk as well, but we are not sure whether or not anyone is coming this year.”

Garry said National Night Out is a part of the community’s Neighborhood Watch program, which was started a few years ago in order to prevent crimes from happening in the community. Because of this, she said all community members are encouraged to attend.

“It’s good to keep people aware that we need to keep an eye out for suspicious activity,” she said. “It has helped our community; people have seen burglaries about to take place and have reported it. It’s just a good thing to have, especially in a rural community like we are.”

Also in response to the Neighborhood Watch program, Garry said a community-wide email list has been created for people to get monthly reports of activities in the area. If anyone would like to be included on the list, they can email Jennifer Dollins at

Friday, June 1, 2012

Lone Star Rail takes aim at Coupland area for new freight rail line

Since the 1980's, the Coupland area has been targeted for one massive project after another--Austin's airport, the first bullet train, relocating FM 973 farther east, and last but not least, the Trans-Texas Corridor.  Now, it seems the area west of Coupland would make a dandy place for a freight rail line.  As one resident said,  "Do we have a target on our back, or what?!"

On May 23, representatives of Lone Star Rail made a presentation in the fellowship hall of St. Peter’s Church of Coupland regarding the proposed freight rail bypass that would run from Taylor to San Antonio, through the area west of Coupland. In attendance were Coupland Civic Organization board members, Coupland Incorporation Committee members, Blackland Prairie Concerned Citizens members, and Norman’s Crossing Community members. Thanks to Coupland Civic Organization President Barbara Piper for organizing this meeting.

The presentation was made by Joe Black, director of Lone Star Rail, assisted by Jenny Gregorcyk and Mike Madison of Hahn, Texas, Lone Star Rail’s public relations firm. Lone Star Rail, which is an independent local government agency created by the state legislature, wishes to run passenger rail on the existing Union Pacific line from Georgetown, through Austin, to San Antonio. This would require that the current freight rail be moved off that line to a new line.  The perfect place for that new line will be somewhere east of SH 130 and west of Hwy. 95, meaning the area west of Coupland.

Lone Star Rail distributed a map that shows the rail bypass study area that is several miles wide and includes the Coupland area. The possible rail route alternatives have been narrowed to three, which are not yet being shown to the public. The rail bypass project will be subjected to the process of a Federal Environmental Impact Statement; Black does not expect this to begin until 2013. Coupland residents will have to wait until then to see what routes this rail bypass might take through their area.  After all, we're only the residents and property owners--just waiting for others to try to arrange our lives for us, once again.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Coupland incorporation election in November

As reported in the April Coupland Herald newsletter by Susan Schmidt, Incorporation Committee Co-Chair:
Good news from the Coupland Incorporation Committee: please note the following paragraph from the County Judge on the official Order of Election.

"Special Election Ordered. An incorporation election shall be held within the Coupland Community, within Williamson County, Texas, on Tuesday, November 6, 2012, on the question of incorporating the area of the Coupland community, as described in the Application to Incorporate, as the City of Coupland, Texas. Qualified voters of Williamson County that reside within the geographic area described in the Application to Incorporate shall be entitled to vote in the election."

The Coupland Incorporation Committee will meet periodically for updates, concerns, and to plan for the November election.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Jim Garry speaks to Coupland students

On the evening of February 11, storyteller Jim Garry presented a program to students and their families in the Coupland School gym. Carolyn Lowry, the school's information technology director, who organized the program, treated attendees to hot chocolate and s'mores, in keeping with the theme of tales told around the campfire.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Folklorist Jim Garry entertains Coupland meeting

The Coupland Civic Organization held its official annual meeting on January 30, in the St. Peter’s Church fellowship hall. President Barbara Piper reviewed the past year’s activities and introduced folklorist Jim Garry, who told entertaining, historic stories about the Coupland area.

Although Jim is from our area, he spends much of the year in Wyoming, where he teaches classes and guides wildlife trips for various organizations, including the Yellowstone Institute and the Smithsonian Institution. He has written two books on Western lore, The First Liar Never Has a Chance and This Ol’ Drought Ain’t Broke Us Yet. His third book, describing the armaments of the Lewis and Clark expedition, is due out later this year.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Jim Garry to speak at January 30 CCO meeting

The Coupland Civic Organization will hold its official annual meeting on Monday, January 30, in the St. Peter’s Church fellowship hall. Refreshments will be served at 6:30 p.m., and the program will begin at 7. The past year’s activities will be reviewed and elections will be held for open director places. After this business meeting, Jim Garry will present historic and entertaining stories.

Jim, who is a professional folklorist and storyteller, is from the Coupland area. He spends much of the year in Wyoming, where he teaches classes and guides wildlife trips for various organizations, including the Yellowstone Institute and the Smithsonian Institution. He has written two books on Western lore, The First Liar Never Has a Chance and This Ol’ Drought Ain’t Broke Us Yet. His third book, describing the armaments of the Lewis and Clark expedition, is due out later this year.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Coupland resident on the Trans-Texas Corridor in New York Times

Caleb Ging and Libby Fischer with anti-Corridor cotton trailer. Photo by Libby's mother Dawn.

Even though the Trans-Texas Corridor has been officially removed from all Texas statutes, it still pops up in the news from time to time. It was the subject of a December New York Times article that quoted Coupland resident Scott Ging and included a photo of the cotton trailer with anti-Corridor signs that Scott placed on his family’s farm on Hwy. 95 in 2007. Back at that time, ACRE distributed a news release with photos to area newspapers and received some coverage.

The New York Times article says, “Unveiled by Mr. Perry in early 2002, the public-private transit project was intended as a centerpiece of his governorship . . . 4,000 miles of road, rail and utility corridors each as wide as four football fields. . . . Can you imagine a farmer sitting on his ranch thinking of a 1,200-foot-wide corridor hacked through the middle of it?”

The article continues, “Scott Ging sat on his century-old family ranch in Williamson County and thought about just that. He imagined the corridor splitting his land, with no crossings ‘and for no good reason.’”

Scott said, “Traffic is not that bad in Texas; if we have to wait 10 or 15 seconds to get on the highway, that’s a traffic jam. The idea that they would take our land and give it to somebody else to make a profit on it — I don’t know how Perry thought that would ever fly.”