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Archive for November, 2010

They threw everything at Judith Cruz, candidate for HISD Trustee District VIII.  Some of the folks helping the opposition or on the other side are buddies of mine.   I respect them, but come on!  They strongly hinted that she was not a Latina.  On their last mailer they referred to her as Judith Jacob Cruz.  They said she was out of touch even though her teaching career has been in the most challenging environments here in H-Town and in Washington, D.C. and she is a parent with her little boy attending their neighborhood school.  Then they said she was a Republican even though her voting history that anyone can access says she is a Democrat.  

 The opposition knows better but they figure they needed to throw the kitchen sink at Judith.  Well, let’s settle this today!

 At the 1989 MLB All Star Game played in Anaheim, California, who led off the bottom of the first inning for the AL and slammed a 448 foot dinger in his first ever All Star at-bat?

 Jeff Bagwell is on this year’s Baseball Hall of Fame ballot.  I wonder if his opposition will say that he is out of touch and isn’t a White dude.

 Bo Jackson of course of the KC Royals in his first ever All Star at-bat had a dinger and was also named the 1989 All Star Game’s MVP.  Bo Jackson is celebrating his 48th BD today.

 The ‘Stros are in talks with Wandy over a multi-year deal and at least that’s something from The Yard.

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The opposition’s attack on HISD Trustee District VIII candidate Judith Cruz continues.  The latest was in a mail piece that kind of hinted that Judith was not a Latina.  Oh brother again!  

 I was checking out the campaign reports and it turns out the dreaded Coalition of Harris County Democratic Elected Officials plunked down $10,000 for Judith’s opponent a week before the November 2 election.  I thought they were only supposed to play in judicial races.  I thought they were supposed to help out the Dem ticket candidates.  What are they doing playing in HISD races?  I don’t know about that. 

 The opposition attacked Judith over the weekend because some GOPers are supporting us.  Of course they didn’t say anything about the big check Judith’s opponent received a couple of weeks ago from that Dannenbaum fella that gave Guv Dude, the Lite Guv, and other GOPers over $100,000 this year alone.    Of course, they are not going to mention that Dannenbaum fella also gave that Hootze fella $20,000 last year to pay for that mailer during the mayoral run-off.

 Things will get settled tomorrow for sure.

 Reliever Trevor Hoffman holds the MLB career record for saves with 601.  Who is number 2 on the all-time career save list?

 There is a piece on Chron.com about The Big Puma still wanting to play for the ‘Stros next season but it isn’t going to happen.  Check it out: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/sports/7314078.html.

 Governor Palin is in H-Town today to sign her books for her faithful.

 Yankee great Mariano Rivera of course is number 2 on the list with 559 career saves.  Mariano Rivera is celebrating his 41st BD today.

 My pal Drayton still owns the team and that’s all I have from The Yard.

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Lone Star State Dems got a consolation prize of sorts when a Travis County jury convicted DeLay.  I wonder if DeLay thinks it was all worth it.  I wonder if he thinks it is worth jail time. 

 The Chron’s E-Board would like to do away with straight ticket voting.  I don’t know about that.  It is what it is.  If a bunch of voters like to do it, then why do away with it.  Check out what the Chron says:  http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/editorial/7311700.html.

 Sen. Rodney Ellis wants a state holiday for Election Day.  Yesterday was a holiday and a whole lot of people still had to work at grocery stores, at some restaurants, at bars, at gas stations, at convenience stores, and even at some malls.   I don’t know if having an Election Day holiday will make voters more aware or more participatory.

 My pal Bill King has his Chron column today on the likelihood of a Voter ID law here in the Lone Star State.  Check it out: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/editorial/outlook/7311705.html.

 On September 28, 2005, DeLay was indicted by a Travis County grand jury and the ‘Stros played their last regular season game ever at old Busch Stadium that evening, beating San Luis 7-6.  What ‘Stro knocked in his 100th RBI of the season that evening? 

 The only political decisions of interest remaining are the HISD Trustee District VIII run-off and the state legislative race out in the Seguin area.

 Happy Birthday today to My Best Friend!  Happy Birthday to Big Al Luna!

 Happy Birthday tomorrow to Pam-In-Charge who still has the Best View in town from her office.  She also has the best job in town if you ask me.   My Brown Eyed Girl don’t need touching up.

 Earlier this week, H-Town CM James Rodriguez endorsed HISD Trustee District VIII candidate Judith Cruz.   Here is what CM Rodriguez had to say:  “I ask the voters in District VIII to join me in supporting Judith Cruz in the run-off election. Judith will make sure every student is held to high standards, work for strong schools in every community, and fight for an effective teacher in every classroom. Judith will put ALL of our children’s interests above the special interests. Judith is ready to challenge the status quo.”

 Commentary had turducken yesterday for the first time ever. 

 Morgan Ensberg of course knocked in his 100th RBI on September 28, 2005.

 It looks like lefty reliever Tim Byrdak won’t be with us next year and that’s all I have to report from The Yard.

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Commentary won’t be saying anything today about the HISD Trustee District VIII run-off other than to say that today at 7 p.m. is the deadline for Early Voting.  You can go to Austin High, Furr High, Gregory-Lincoln Education Center, or West Gray.

Other than the HISD Trustee District VIII run-off and the state legislative race out in the Seguin area, the only political decision of interest remaining is in the hands of a Travis County jury – yikes!

Which state has produced the most MLBers from 1871 to the present?

In an oddity of sorts, tomorrow’s NLF matchups include the 8-2 Patriots at the 2-8 Lions, the 7-3 Saints at the 3-7 Cowboys, and the 2-8 Bengals at the 8-2 Jets – cool.

California of course has produced 1,828 MLBers out of a total of 16,640 that have gone to the Big Show.

Commentary is not a big fan of all this reality stuff on TV.    So I’m not going to comment on the political ramifications of last night’s “Dancing with the Stars” decision. 

I’ll be enjoying Thanksgiving Day tomorrow with dinner with family like Dante, Luke, Rachel, and all the others so I won’t be able to have a Commentary tomorrow.  I truly hope you understand.  I’ll see you Friday.

Preparations for tomorrow’s Downtown Thanksgiving Day Parade are all I have to report from The Yard. 

 

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From Judith Cruz, HISD Trustee District VIII Candidate:

Much has been made recently about my alleged opposition to "nutritional breakfasts" for HISD students.  I want to take a couple minutes to set the record straight.

First, I’m an HISD parent.  I send my eldest child to my local HISD school in the Eastwood community.  The school is predominately low-income and predominately Latino.  Second, I’ve spent all of my professional career teaching some of our nation’s poorest students.  I know what I’m talking about, but I don’t need to talk.  Others can speak on behalf of this issue.

Here’s who agrees with me on the problems with HISD’s "Breakfast in the Classroom":

(1) Teachers:  Most teachers want to spend their time teaching and not serving food.  I hear it at my own child’s school; I hear it from my friends who are HISD teachers; and you can learn more about a teacher’s perspective here:  http://blogs.chron.com/schoolzone/2010/05/   (and note the picture of the muffin with melted plastic that is serving as a "nutritional meal" for our children via Breakfast in the Classroom).  (2) Parents: Parents want their kids LEARNING during the academic day.  Most parents aren’t too thrilled to have important academic time "eaten" up by meals their kids don’t want.  Check out this post.  http://www.schoolfood2010.blogspot.com/.   While I am 100% supportive of having children fed before school begins, academic time needs to be protected for the sake of our children and their education.  (3) Employee groups including the Houston Federation of TeachersDuring HISD consultation with employee groups, it was noted that the accumulated time taken up by "Breakfast in the Classroom" came to a lost 6 to 7 days of lost instructional time.  See here: http://andy-dewey.blogspot.com/2010/01/january-7-2010-consultation-minutes.html.
(4) TaxpayersJust take a look at all the pictures at the posts above of wasted food–either muffins with plastic melted into them or full milk cartons discarded by the trash cans full.  As liberal blogist Susan Ohanian wonders, is Breakfast in the Classroom for kids or is it for for-profit food service organizations?  I’ll let the readers decide.  See here: 
http://www.susanohanian.org/show_atrocities.php?id=3166.

So, in the final analysis, who wants Breakfast in the Classroom?  The answer is my opponent and our Superintendent.  For anyone who wants a Board Member who will stand up for teachers, parents, kids, and taxpayers, I am here to be your voice.

I stand behind my statement….I’ve got a child in HISD schools and I’ve taught in the toughest teaching situations out there and I’ve yet to meet a starving child.  Those that are starving deserve the sort of attention that a simple classroom breakfast can’t even begin to provide.  They need very serious family intervention and I will stand behind making sure that happens.

What I have seen are a whole bunch of kids who are absolutely starving for academic opportunities and I will make 100% sure they get what they deserve.  Our many talented young people who are not getting the education they deserve are counting on you and me to make sure they get what they need to succeed.

Yours,

Judith Cruz

Candidate, HISD Trustee District VIII

Take that!

In the race for HISD Trustee District VIII race, Judith Cruz’s opponent is letting Two Cents be her attack dog.  Now he’s accusing Judith Cruz of promoting hunger and starvation and I guess famine is coming next.  Oh brother!   This is already on top of the opposition saying Judith wants to close schools.  This is also already on top of the opposition saying Judith moved into Precinct 27 just to run.   This is also already on top of the opposition saying Judith wants to dismantle HISD.

Here’s my favorite the opposition is putting out – that Judith isn’t a Latina – huh!  That’s kind of low if you ask me since most of my conversations with Judith’s mom are in Spanish.

I guess the opposition’s only strategy is to sling mud and dirt and hope that something sticks.  Is that really the best they can do? 

Early Voting continues in the HISD Trustee District VIII Run-off.

In Game 6 of the 1975 World Serious, Red Sox catcher Carlton Fisk hit the dramatic game winning dinger in the bottom of the 12th inning against the Reds at Fenway.  Who was the starting pitcher for the Red Sox in Game 6?

Sometimes you just have to eat your words.  I remember when I was promoting getting Vince to play with the Texans.  So I’m just going to have to eat my words.  Of course, the fella we picked hasn’t really been tearing up our opponents’ backfield.  The fella the Saints picked with the number two pick hasn’t really done much either.

One of the hardest parking spaces to find tomorrow will be at the Midtown Spec’s, so make your Thanksgiving Day run today if you ask me.

Luis Tiant of course started Game 6 of the 1975 World Serious for the Red Sox but the Reds won the Serious in 7.  Luis Tiant is celebrating his 70th BD today!

My pal Drayton still owns the ‘Stros and that’s all I have from The Yard!

 

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On last week’s Port Commission deal, the blah, blah, blah, and blah continues.

Brotherly Worthiness sent out his “observations” and put some words in CM Bradford’s piehole.  CM Bradford then demanded a “retraction” and got it yesterday.

The Chron’s Columnist put out his take yesterday on the Port Commission deal with more blah, blah, blah, and blah including Brotherly Worthiness’ choice words on ribbed Trojans.  Check it out here.

Commentary’s pal, HPD’s Connie Park, made the front page of yesterday’s City State section as part of HPF’s cold case squad. Connie definitely looked all Hollywood with her windswept hair and the huge piece strapped to her hip – nice.  Connie definitely don’t need touching up.

Who was the 1957 World Serious MVP?

There is another piece in the SA Express News and Chron about the “relevancy” of Dems in the Lone Star State Legislature.  Check it out.

It looks like if the Dems stick together, they’ll get run over on a selective basis.  If they don’t stick together, they’ll get run over on everything.

Seven years ago yesterday, my old pal Ross Allyn was taken from us and they still haven’t solved the case.  I wonder if the cold case squad is working on this one.

Early Voting continues in the HISD Trustee District VIII Run-off.

Many fellas my age all know what happened 47 years ago today.  I miss watching the annual images of Teddy going to visit his brother’s gravesite and kneeling down and saying a prayer.

Once again yesterday I was at my desk thinking the Texans pulled one out and then once again I was stunned.

Lew Burdette of course was the 1957 World Serious MVP after leading his Braves to a 4 games to 3 Serious win over the Yankees.  Burdette pitched three complete games, winning all three including shutouts in Games 5 and 7.  Lew Burdette who is no longer with us was born 84 years ago today.

I drove by The Yard yesterday and it looked weird without the scoreboard and that’s all I have from The Yard.

 

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First, the bad news.

If it’s true that the countries that out-teach us today will out-compete us tomorrow, we’re in deep trouble. American kids’ test scores are consistently lousy compared to those of kids in other industrialized countries.

And at the very bottom of the American heap are urban kids, minority kids, kids from poor families, kids whose parents didn’t go to college — in other words, the vast majority of kids enrolled in the Houston Independent School District. Our future work force. Our future tax base. Our future, period.

Now, the good news.

To a large degree, the solution to the United States’ education problems is being worked out here in Houston. We’re the birthplace of some of the nation’s most successful charter schools – schools like KIPP and YES, which have shown long-term, measurable success in propelling low-income and minority kids to college.

The secrets to their success aren’t secrets at all. (Have you seen Waiting for "Superman"?) At the very top of the list is an insistence on high-performing teachers.

Research confirms what PTO moms already know: Some teachers are far better than others. No other single factor – curriculum, class size, dollars spent, or use of technology – makes nearly as much difference in a kid’s academic performance as the quality of his teachers.

As much as any urban school district in the nation, HISD has tried to raise the level of its teaching: to recruit the best new teachers; to reward those who perform best; and to improve or get rid of those who don’t measure up.

The district has a long way to go. And naturally, the strategy isn’t popular with teachers’ unions, which fight to save their members’ jobs no matter how poorly those members perform.

But we believe that our public schools’ main purpose is to educate children – not to provide guaranteed employment for adults.

For that reason, in the runoff election for HISD’s District VIII board member, we support Judith Cruz.

Cruz understands teaching: A Teach for America alum, she’s taught both Special Education and English as a Second Language in some of the toughest urban schools that Houston and Washington, D.C., have to offer.

She knows, first-hand, how hard teachers’ jobs are. And she also knows, first-hand, the enormous difference that a good teacher can make in kids’ lives.

She vows to fight for an effective teacher in every HISD classroom, and to see that those teachers get the support they need to do their jobs.

If you’re eligible to vote in this runoff, you too can make an enormous difference in kids’ lives.

Vote for Judith Cruz.

The election is Nov. 30; early voting started yesterday and continues through Nov. 24. For more information, go to  www.chron.com/news/politics and  www.harrisvotes.com.

In the 1950s, this MLBer was the only catcher to win the NL MVP – and he won it three times.  Who am I talking about?

Somebody needs to tell Guv Dude that the campaign is over and there is no need to talk about invading Mexico and snatching up Tony Montana.  I don’t know about that.

CEWDEM is still letting folks blow off some steam on this Port Commission deal – blah, blah, blah, blah.

Early voting continues in the HISD Trustee District VIII run-off.

Hall of Famer Roy Campanella of course won the NL MVP in 1951, 1953, and 1955.  The Dodger great is no longer with us and was born 89 years ago today.

The Chron has a piece today about my pal Drayton having the ‘Stros up for sale and I think that’s all I have from The Yard.

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Nails!  That’s a good description for H-Town CM James Rodriguez and Port Commissioner Janiece Longoria.

A lesson was learned yesterday.  Don’t underestimate CM James Rodriguez or Port Commissioner Janiece Longoria.

There is no disputing that CM Rodriguez established his position as our community’s leader yesterday as he led the effort to protect the Latino community’s representation on the Port Commission.  CM Rodriguez was nimble, savvy, strategic, patient, mobile, unwavering, and decisive during this process.  He put it all out there for his community and in the end we won out.

Yesterday’s vote by the H-Town City Council on the Port Commission appointment and the politics leading up to the vote will be remembered as one of those local Latino political events that kind of changed things up here in H-Town.

What can I say about my good friend Janiece Longoria?  Her acceptance speech yesterday after the City Council vote will be talked about for a long time.   Here is from today’s Chron:

After the matter was settled in her favor, Longoria called out the mayor directly, questioning why Parker had promised labor leaders an appointment on the Port Commission.

"I didn’t see this coming," she said. "It did not occur to me that the Port of Houston, which is an asset of great importance to this region … would be used as a bargaining chip to repay a political favor, and I really regret that that happened. … It’s a shame that labor was used as the lever to try to unseat me."

Janiece was steady, focused, and cool.  She’s one of our leaders pure and simple.  She had a lot of c__p thrown her way and she responded in her own way.      Here’s the Chron article.

My pal the Working Man Hero sent out a message this morning questioning the “class” of Commissioner Longoria’s acceptance remarks.   Of course, yesterday, after the vote, the working man hero said this about some of the Dems on council that supported Longoria:

“Labor dislikes liars and the above who lied to us.   Labor expects loyalty for loyalty.”

I don’t know about that.  I have to go look up the definition of class.

I got to give congrats to Cin and Argentina for handling the ground game on this deal.  Their offensive line skills were downright devastating.  I also have to give congrats to Rep. Alvarado and Sen. Gallegos for doing a lot of heavy lifting on this matter.

Who holds the MLB record for career dingers as a DH?

There are some folks like Two Cents and others that are going to be critical of CM Rodriguez and Commentary and Rep. Alvarado and we are going to be labeled as “establishment Hispanics” and blah, blah, blah.  That’s OK because everybody has a right to express their opinion.   I’m going to have to disagree with Two Cents and others on this deal.

In the end, CM Rodriguez, Commissioner Longoria, Rep. Alvarado and all the others got scoreboard and scoreboard is the last thing you see when you leave the arena.

There are some folks that are determined to spin it one way or the other.  I will say this.  Every side threw everything into this deal including the kitchen sink.  In the end, as CM Rodriguez told me last night, it was about better clock management – we threw the last kitchen sink.

I want to say that I want the H-Town Mayor to succeed because if she doesn’t, then the city suffers and we suffer.  On the Port Commission deal, I disagreed with her position.

David “Big Papi” Ortiz of course has 305 career dingers as a DH.  Big Papi is celebrating his 35th BD today.

Early voting starts today in the HISD Trustee District VIII run-off.

After yesterday’s City Council vote, CM Stardig thought it would be a nice touch to scold folks for coming out and getting involved – huh!  Thanks for chewing us out for expressing our opinion.

‘Stros skipper Millsie got one second place vote for Skipper of the Year and ended up in sixth place as the award went to Bud Black of the Padres and that’s all I have from The Yard.

 

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On chron.com, there is piece out of the Brownsville Herald about Latinos not having a national leader.  I knew that.  Here’s a bit of what is said:

Nearly two-thirds, or 64 percent, of Hispanics surveyed said they did not know whom they consider as "the most important Latino leader in the country today." An additional 10 percent answered that "no one" qualified.

The most frequently mentioned individual — named by 7 percent of respondents— was Sonia Sotomayor, who was appointed last year to the U.S. Supreme Court. About 5 percent chose U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., of Chicago, followed by 3 percent who cited Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and 2 percent who selected Jorge Ramos, an anchor on Noticiero Univision, the national evening news program on the Spanish-language television network Univision.

No one else was named by more than 1 percent of respondents, according to the Pew Hispanic Center, a branch of the Pew Research Center in Washington.   Check out the story.

There is nobody from H-Town on the list. There is nobody from the Lone Star State on the list. 

In 1992, this MLB Hall of Famer was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Baseball Writers with 98.8% of the vote – the highest percentage of the vote ever recorded.  Who am I talking about?

Leave it to The Dean for a good one liner in today’s Chron.  He says we might want to rethink Voter ID since it looks like there was massive voter fraud here in the Lone Star State a couple of weeks ago.

43 is in town today for his book signing.  He’s in precinct 200.

Tom Seaver of course was elected into the Hall of Fame in 1992.  Tom Terrific is celebrating his 66th BD today.

Well, it is official.  On April 1 of next year when we go to Philly on Opening Day we face another Cy Young Award winner in Roy Halladay and that’s all I have from The Yard.

 

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The Judith Cruz for HISD Trustee District VIII campaign must be doing something right as more charges were leveled at her yesterday.  I’m not going to mention yesterday’s charge other than to say “you gotta be kidding.”  Judith’s campaign will be putting out some good news later today so stay tuned!

The front page of today’s Chron has a story about the City of H-Town’s budget problems now that we have to give up the red light camera revenue. 
Check out the story.

Speaking of, Kuffer did a breakdown on how Dems and GOPers voted on Prop 1 and Prop 3.  Check it out.

It looks like Dems shot the red lights down and kept Prop 1 alive.  African American voters in particular spanked the red light cameras big time – ouch.

It looks like all this adds up to furloughs and layoffs at City Hall next year.

On March 30, 2000, the ‘Stros had their inaugural game at The Yard against the Yankees.  Who was the starting pitcher for the ‘Stros that evening?

The big news on the tube this morning was the prince getting married.  I remember about 30 years when the other prince got married and he’s still the prince and it looks like the queen isn’t going anywhere soon – got it!

Dwight Gooden of course was the starting pitcher for the ‘Stros at The Yard’s inaugural game on March 30, 2000.  Dwight Gooden is celebrating his 46th BD today.

Hunter Pence was named MVP for the ‘Stros this past season and that’s all I have from The Yard.

 

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