• Budget Talk: Thanks to Lubbock Mayor Dan Pope and City Manager Jarrett Atkinson for going over the proposed 2018-2019 budget for City of Lubbock with the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal editorial board (including yours truly) this week. Here is one of many interesting things about the budget - a primary part of Lubbock's debt is for water/wastewater - 41 percent. The next two largest categories of debt do not eclipse 18 percent as far as the percentage of debt. Another key highlight to the proposed budget - $8.5 million for street maintenance, which is an increase of $1.5 million from 2017-2018. 

• Hoops Dreams: So the NCAA thinks the way to improve college basketball is to increase the influence of agents? This seems tantamount to increasing the number of wolves guarding the hen-house. This is a description of one of the new rules proposed this week by the NCAA from espn.com, "The NCAA will now allow agents to represent college players and pay for minor expenses tied to their professional ambitions, as long as the agents complete a certification process and the players request an evaluation from the NBA's Undergraduate Advisory Committee." What the NCAA has accomplished is allow agents more access to players, which may not be a good thing. On the topic of basketball, it is curious as to why there is such concern for young basketball players, yet relatively zero concern for young baseball players.

• Social Media Comment Of The Week: This week it was a Facebook comment from a Lubbock Avalanche-Journal editorial (Editorial: Trump barbs are not racist, Aug. 8, www.lubbockonline.com). Wrote Danny Atwood, "Trump insults all sorts of people in a multitude of ways. It has nothing to do with race." This was the point of the editorial - that president routinely insults those who disagree with him - no matter their skin color. This may or may not be considered presidential behavior - but to allege that Trump is only insulting people of one particular race is not accurate.

• Phone Call Of The Week: This week it was a caller calling the office line of yours truly. When the phone rang, I answered, "Lubbock A-J. This is Dave Henry." The caller replied, "I didn't think you would answer your phone, which is the reason I called." This may have been an insult or a compliment. I am not really sure.