On March 8th at 6:00 PM Central Standard time ten Cadets from the JROTC program made history! They are the first, and only, High School team to ever complete the rigorous Texas Independence Relay.
The Texas Independence Relay is composed of 40 relay legs totaling 203.2 miles. The course starts in Gonzales, TX, where the Texas Revolution began, and it finishes at the San Jacinto Monument, where Texas Independence was won! To tackle this formidable task the team was composed of 11 members, ten Cadets and one Instructor, and several very dedicated adults who drove the support vehicles as the team traversed the country side. The race ran through the towns of Shiner, Moulton, Flatonia, Schulenburg, Weimar, Borden, Columbus, Altair, Eagle Lake, Wallis, Orchard, Simonton, and Fulshear, then through the city of Houston and ended in La Porte at the San Jacinto battle grounds monument.
One of the many highlights from the race was when Governor Perry took it upon himself to find the team and congratulate them on their efforts. He found them at 2:30 AM along highway 36 preparing to begin leg 24. He gave them some encouraging words and told them to keep up with their running. Governor Perry commended the team for their strive for excellence and to take the lessons learned from this experience to help them learn how to overcome other obstacles they may find in their lives. He also shared his personal experience on how running had impacted his life. Embeded HiLife reporter Will Sheffield interviewed the governor at that time. Look for his story in the next edition of the Creek HiLife.
Texas came in first place in yet another ranking based on growing jobs and the economy. In a survey of CEOs, Texas, for the fourth year in a row, ranked as the #1 best place to do business:
As the nation’s unemployment figures continue to reach new heights, Chief Executive magazine’s 2009 "Best & Worst States" survey took CEOs’ pulse on what the best and worst places for jobs and business growth are. For the fourth year in a row, CEOs rated Texas as the #1 state to do business and California as the worst.
Chief Executive's fifth annual survey asked 543 CEOs to evaluate their states on a broad range of issues, including proximity to resources, regulation, tax policies, education, quality of living and infrastructure. Providing additional insight to the evaluations, CEOs were also asked to grade each state based on the following criteria: 1) Taxation & Regulation, 2) Workforce Quality, and 3) Living Environment.
Texas maintained its #1 spot in the ranking for the fourth year in a row, as North Carolina, Florida, Georgia and Tennessee all jumped up in ranks, taking the #2, 3, 4 and 5 spots, respectively.
“Texas and the Carolinas are great for business,” said one CEO. “South Carolina's Research Authority is exemplary in terms of creating new economic growth and Texas is strategically centered, has low taxes, and outstanding demographics.”
As a testament to this statement, in contrast to much of the nation, in fiscal 2008, Texas’ gross state product grew by 4.2 percent, compared to 1.9 percent for the national economy.
Conclusion: The U.S. could see a huge outflow of educated, productive, upper-middle-class families from the high-tax urban blue states to more congenial places.
Investment implications? Look at two vibrant states that have no income taxes and have reasonable house costs. One is Washington State, especially in the urban centers of Seattle, Tacoma and Spokane, as well as in Vancouver, Wash., a suburb of Portland, Ore., which is the perfect tax arbitrage: no income tax in Washington, no sales tax in Oregon. The second state is Texas, which also has no income tax. Snoop around the high-tech areas of Dallas and Austin, as well as the better neighborhoods of energy-producing Houston.