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Archive for March, 2011

During my 18 years I came to bat almost 10,000 times. I struck out about 1,700 times and walked maybe 1,800 times. You figure a ballplayer will average about 500 at bats a season. That means I played seven years without ever hitting the ball.
– Mickey Mantle

The 2011 MLB season opens today!

Implementing Rebuild Houston was delayed a week.  My pal CM Stephen Costello drew up an amendment that would eliminate The Mayor’s exemptions.  Now that is interesting.  Meanwhile, in Chron.com there is a photo of GOP State Senator Dan Patrick and his colleagues Ellis, Gallegos, and The Dean flashing their grinning mugs and supporting Patrick’s bill to meddle in Rebuild Houston…tsk, tsk, tsk.   Patrick’s bill would exempt churches, schools, and non-profits from footing the bill.  I’m trying to figure out if these four were aware that there was an election last November on Rebuild Houston.  If they were aware, I’m trying to figure out if they had an opinion.  There was a pretty loud debate last fall on Rebuild Houston and where were their two cents?  I would have more respect of their position if they would have said last fall that they were opposed to Rebuild Houston.  Heck, I would have more respect of their position if they would have said last fall that they supported Rebuild Houston!  BTW:  Commentary worked for Renew Houston, err Prop 1 last fall.

You can go check out their silly looking mugs here.

The last City of H-Town Redistricting Town Hall Meeting is tonight (Thursday) at 6:30 pm at the Sharpstown Park Community Center (District F), 6600 Harbor Town Drive.  Be there!

Tomorrow when the ‘Stros open in Philly, it will be our 50th Opening Day.  Name the two NL teams that the ‘Stros have never played on Opening Day.

Well, the price of a St. Arnold in a bottle increased by over 10% at The Yard this season.  I formally complained and they told me to just drink 10% less – huh!

McLovin snagged him a Jacoby Ellsbury foul ball last night sitting in Commentary’s seats while I sat in Pam-In-Charge’s seats.

It looks like local architects and engineers will have to cough up some more dough for GOP Harris County Commissioner Jerry Eversole’s trial – again.

The D-Backs and Mets of course have never played the ‘Stros on an Opening Day.  We have never played the Nationals on Opening Day, but we did play them when they were Expos – got it!

We got smoked last night by the Red Sox but the real deal starts tomorrow! 

 

 

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Commentary attended the City of H-Town’s Redistricting Town Hall Meeting last night at the Acres Home Multi Service Center (District B).  About 125 folks attended including staff, security, and children.  The Mayor and CMs Johnson and Jones were there.

Most of the attendees were African Americans. The Greater Heights neighborhood made another plea to be kept with the Greater Heights.  Commentary spoke again.  A couple of folks complained about the cost of adding two new CMs.  Folks from Acres Home wanted to be kept together.  Folks from the Fifth Ward wanted to be reunited.

The City of H-Town Redistricting Town Hall Meetings take a break tonight and will resume tomorrow (Thursday) at 6:30 pm at the Sharpstown Park Community Center (District F), 6600 Harbor Town Drive.  Be there!

Commentary isn’t going to say nothing about being written up by MLB.com.  Here is how the article starts out:

Baseball fan Marc Campos will have his familiar front-row seat in section 132 down the right-field line at Minute Maid Park for the Astros’ April 8 home opener against the Florida Marlins. After all, it’s slowly become a tradition.

This year will mark Campos’ 21st consecutive year of attending Opening Day for the Astros, a streak that began at the Astrodome in 1991.

"I just kind of think it’s exciting, particularly at Minute Maid Park," said Campos, who owns Campos Communications, a firm that does political consulting and public and government relations. "I enjoy all the hoopla involved with it."

Also included in the article is a photo of Commentary and my dearest buddy Beth Arnold.   Check out the piece from the ‘Stros website here.

Not bad at all if you ask me!

Eleven years ago tonight, The Yard officially opened with the Inaugural Game versus the Yankees.   Commentary has mentioned before that Dwight Gooden was the starting pitcher for the ‘Stros that evening.  Who was the starting pitcher for the Yankees?  Bonus:  Who was the lead-off batter for the Yankees and the first to step up at the plate?

The H-Town City Council is fixing to take up implementing Rebuild Houston today and the opposition is pretty fierce.  First of all, let me say again that Commentary worked to pass Renew Houston, err Proposition 1 last November.  That being said, the opposition is more intense this time around than it was last fall.

They are starting to pull out all the stops and getting private schools and non-profits all riled up.  The public schools and churches are getting some exemptions but I guess that still isn’t good enough.

Those that say that they were faked out by last fall’s ballot language aren’t being genuine.  Hey, if you are a leader in your organization, church, trade association, business group, or political caucus, it is your duty to find out what’s on the ballot and how it impacts you.  Everybody knew this was going to cost us in money.  We talked about a $125 million a year fund.  Where did they think the money was going to come from?  Proposition 1 wasn’t snuck in through the back door.   There was a pretty good debate. 

The fact of the matter is a lot of the opposition was asleep at the wheel and the folks they pay good money to look after their interests were apparently more interested in state and county elections.  Maybe they bought in to the BS that Prop 3 was Ok and Prop 1 was going down the drain.

Since the voters approved Prop 1 back in November, City Council has no choice but to implement.

What will probably happen afterwards is that those that oppose will probably work next year to get the signatures to get it back on the ballot for a vote to repeal in 2012.  Stay tuned!

The Chron’s E-Board weighed in today on Rebuild Houston.    Check it out.

Here is what Hutch had to say about The President and Libya:

"We want to help citizens of oppressed nations help themselves as they fight a despotic government, but the line must be drawn at America leading the effort to topple a dictatorship."

That’s not what you were saying eight or nine years ago.

The Mayor and the firefighters’ pension fund got major run in today’s Chron. 
Check it out.   There is major battle brewing for sure on this one.

The Vegas line on a hung jury for GOP Harris County Commissioner Jerry Eversole is looking pretty good.  That’s probably bad news for a bunch of local architects and engineers as they will have to cough up some more contributions to his campaign that will be used to pay Rusty Hardin for the retrial.  As long as there are road, bridge and park projects in his precinct, the feds won’t be able to wear him down.

Dante and Lucas got to do the weather on Fox 26 this morning – cool!

The Rocket of course was the starting pitcher for the Yankees on March 30, 2000.

Yankees second baseman Chuck Knoblauch of course was the lead-off hitter and drew a walk.

Did I mention that the Red Sox are in town this evening?

 

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Commentary attended the City of H-Town’s Redistricting Town Hall Meeting last night at Jeff Davis High (District H).  About 125 folks showed up including staff and security.  The Mayor and CMs Gonzalez, Bradford, and Jones were there.  Let me just say that the lighting was bad in the auditorium.

There were a lot of Latinos, a lot of folks from the Heights, and some African Americans from Independence Heights in attendance. One fella wanted Denver Harbor back in one council district.  A lady from Denver Harbor disagreed and liked the current map that has Denver Harbor in two council districts. The Greater Heights neighborhood made another plea to be kept with the Greater Heights.  Super Neighborhood 22 would prefer to be represented by two council members instead of the current three – got it!   Commentary also spoke.  The neighborhood historic district fight crept into last night’s town hall meeting – oh well.

The City of H-Town Redistricting Town Hall Meetings resume tonight at 6:30 pm at the Acres Home Multi Service Center (District B), 6719 West Montgomery Road.  Be there!

The Mayor trotted out a modified Rebuild Houston with exemptions and she got major push back from the folks that wanted exemptions – huh!  I think the other side should take the compromise if you ask me.   
Check out the Chron story.   Stay tuned!

Eleven years ago today, MLB played their opening game of the season in Tokyo, Japan.  What two teams played in that season opener?

Bonus:  Who was the home team?

The Chron’s E-Board reads Commentary for sure.  They sent me the link to Nick Anderson’s TEX-OPOLY that was in Sunday’s hard copy of the Chron. 
Now all of Commentary’s readers can check it out online here.   Cool, don’t you think?

Adam Everett, who used to be a shortstop for the ‘Stros, is now on the Opening Day roster of the Cleveland Indians. 

At Barry, Barry’s perjury trial yesterday, his ex-girlfriend went to great lengths to describe the state of his Johnson during his alleged ‘roid use – ouch!

This is going to be a good week for big time sports here in H-Town.  We have Final Four games this Saturday and next Monday.  The Rockets have games Friday and Sunday.  The Red Sox are in town tomorrow evening.  The PGA Tour is in town this week.  That’s a lot of action!

The Mets hosted the Cubbies of course in the Tokyo Dome in the MLB season opener on March 29, 2000.  The Cubbies won 5-3.

The big clocks at the top of H-Town City Hall are getting repaired.  If you ask me, they should have let major clock makers bid on naming rights to the clocks and rake in some dough.  Sticking a Timex, Bulova, Seiko, Rolex, or Fossil logo up there wouldn’t look so bad.

I wonder if we will get a verdict today in trial of GOP Harris County Commissioner Jerry Eversole.

The ‘Stros will make a stop in Oklahoma City this evening before coming home.

 

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The Chron’s E-Board certainly weighed in yesterday on the budget fight going on up in Austin.  They had a killer editorial.  Here is some of it:

Texas children need a legislative bill of rights that ensures their freedom from hunger, a safe place to live without the threat of physical or sexual abuse, decent medical care and a good education.

 

And:

As the session continues, we plan to speak up in favor of legislation that furthers our Texas Children’s Bill of Rights. We’ll have words of praise for lawmakers who keep these priorities top of mind, and we’ll identify those who sacrifice our weakest citizens on the altar of mindless budget cutting.
Check out the editorial.

To put icing on their editorial, they had Nick Anderson lay out the border of the editorial page a la Monopoly Board Game style and they called it TEX-OPOLY and you can only see it if you are old school like Commentary and have to go your front yard to pick up your paper.  TEX-OPOLY mentions sanctuary cities, universities, public education, health care, voter ID, Guv Dude’s cribs and book tour, concealed weapons on college campuses, fracking and so on.  The page also included letters-to-the-editor on legislative issues.

Way to go Chron E-Board!

Former ‘Stro Mike Hampton is hanging up his cleats.  Hampton had his best year when he was a ‘Stro in 1999 when he went 22-4 and finished second to the Big Unit for the Cy Young Award.  He was traded away after the season to the Mets.  When did the ‘Stros face Hampton in postseason play?

The City of H-Town Redistricting Town Hall Meetings resume tonight at 6:30 pm at Jeff Davis High (District H), 1101 Quitman and tomorrow (Tuesday) at Acres Home Multi Service Center (District B), 6719 West Montgomery Road.  Be there!

It looks like Rebuild Houston will be modified.   It looks like there could be some exemptions after all.  The H-Town City Council will meet today to check out the proposed modifications.

The Final Four is finally here and I’m betting that the only folks in the U.S. of A. that picked Kentucky, Connecticut, Butler, and Virginia Commonwealth as their Final Four are folks that don’t nothing about NCAA basketball – got it!

On the ‘Stros website they have all kinds of ticket promotions.  The all-you-can-eat ticket promotion features a photo of Numero 45.  I don’t know about that.
Check it out here.

Speaking of, the ‘Stros changed the look of their website. 

In the 2004 NLDS of course, Mike Hampton started Game 2 for The ATL and we lost 4-2 in 11 innings.  Hampton pitched 6 1/3 innings and gave up the two runs. In Game 4, Hampton pitched an inning of relief and didn’t give up a run as The ATL snatched a 6-5 win.

This season’s ‘Stros tickets also feature in the background the H-Town City Hall, NASA, the Medical Center, the H-Town Skyline, Battleship Texas, and the Sam Houston Statue.

Jason Castro who was supposed to be the starting catcher for the ‘Stros is out for the season.  Clint Barmes who was supposed to be the starting shortstop is out for 4-6 weeks.  Brad Lidge of the Phillies will start the season on the DL.  The Red Sox visit The Yard for an exhibition game this Wednesday evening.  Don’t forget to check out the El Grande photos on this website!

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SPECTACULAR!  WOW!  EL GRANDE!  “El Grande” is the name given to the new HD scoreboard last night at the official unveiling.  It is about as HD as you can get.  Commentary was there last night at a VIP gathering at The Yard. 

Pam-In-Charge spoke and so did my pal Drayton.  Brownie and JD also were on hand and part of the program.  They welcomed the new scoreboard, err “El Grande” with the THX tune – cool.  Milo narrated the video and a number of ‘Stros were in the video including Numero 45, Pence, Bourn, and Wandy.

Here is from the ‘Stros website:

On Thursday, the Astros unveiled to the media and VIP guests, Minute Maid Park’s new state-of-the-art high-definition scoreboard in right field. The scoreboard is 54 feet high and 124 feet wide, along with ribbon boards. It’s the largest video board in the Major Leagues to feature a 1080i display format.

As part of the $13 million in upgrades, a new secondary LED HD video board was installed in left field. Both boards are made by Daktronics. The ribbon boards are above the Club Level, spanning foul pole to foul pole and the outfield mezzanine area.

"This is revolutionary," said Astros chairman and CEO Drayton McLane. "It will make a big difference for our fans. It will make coming to the ballpark a lot more fun."

"Technology changes every year. We got the latest version," said McLane. "I think it’s one of the best ballparks in America. It takes a lot of planning. It was a three-year effort and planning to get here."

Drayton gave Pam-In-Charge and VP Bobby Forrest all the credit.   It is a sight for sure.

We also got to tour the new Insperity Club premium seating – nice.  Oh, and the grub was delicious and scrumptious.   Everybody there also received a cool replica scoreboard photo frame – very cool.  I like that Pam-In-Charge and her crew named it “El Grande.”  They certainly paid attention to the latest census numbers.

BTW:  Pam-In-Charge definitely don’t need touching up.  Later on this morning, you can see photos from last night on Commentary’s website.

When was the last time a southpaw was a starting pitcher for the ‘Stros on Opening Day.

Bonus:  How many times have southpaws started on the mound for the ‘Stros on Opening Day?

The state’s Legislative Budget Board (LBB) came out with a report yesterday saying that if the proposed House budget passes and becomes law, the state will lose a few hundreds of thousands of jobs over the next two years.  The fellas that run the LBB, the Lite Guv and the Texas House Speaker, said yesterday that the LBB doesn’t know what it is talking about.  Why don’t we just axe the LBB?

The Chron’s E-Board put a spanking on the Dem State Senator from SD 6. 
Check it out.    Ouch!

Kuffer says today that the City of H-Town has the recycling center land up for sale.  It is the one the Commentary frequently uses over by Star Pizza.  Kuffer says the City needs the money.  Kuffer says he’s OK with the sale because he has the fancy green bin-on-wheels.  Commentary doesn’t have one of those.

In 1974 of course, lefty Dave Roberts was the starting pitcher for the ‘Stros on Opening Day in San Francisco against the Giants.

Roberts of course also started Opening Day in 1973 against The ATL and lefties Bobby Shantz of course started in 1962 against the Cubbies and lefty Mike Cuellar of course started in 1967 against the Dodgers.  That’s it – four times.

Roberts and Cuellar are no longer with us.

The tickets arrived yesterday and they feature Hunter Pence, Chris Johnson, Numero 45, Brett Myers, Michael Bourn, and Wandy.

There are 6 weekday day games this season.

On Sunday, September 11, the tenth anniversary of the horrible tragedy, the ‘Stros are in D.C. to play the Nationals. 

That’s all I have from The Yard!

 

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A who’s who of around 90 or so folks showed up at the City of H-Town’s Redistricting Town Hall Meeting at the HCCS Southeast Campus (District I).  The Mayor was there as well as CMs Rodriguez, Noriega and Bradford.  Also attending were JPs Burney, Rodriguez, and Vara.  HISD Trustee Rodriguez and HCCS Trustee Perez were also there.  Former State Rep. Roman Martinez and former CM Felix Fraga were there.  Roman and Judge Burney are on the Mayor’s Redistricting Advisory Committee.

The crowd was mostly Latino and most folks that testified called for more Latino representation on city council.  There were a lot of experienced Latino activists including Frumencio and Janie Reyes.  Frumencio was part of the original legal team that ended up getting us the current nine council districts and five at-large council members back in 1979.  Once again the Greater Heights neighborhood folks showed up that want to be kept with the Greater Heights.  Commentary spoke again and got some applause after my remarks.

It was a good crowd that sent a strong message.  A “way to go” goes to CM Rodriguez, Yolanda Black Navarro, and this office for getting a lot of quality folks to attend last night’s meeting.

The town hall meetings resume next Monday night at Jeff Davis High (District H).  Be there!

What are the most runs ever put up on the scoreboard by the ‘Stros on Opening Day?

I have to hand it to GOP Harris County Commissioner Jerry Eversole.   First he went for an early trial date and now he didn’t even call a single defense witness. Closing arguments are tomorrow and we could have a verdict this weekend.

Yesterday my pal CM Stephen Costello got cleared of a City of H-Town OIG investigation of conflict of interest.  Good for him.  I don’t expect him to climb to the roof of City Hall and thump his chest for all to hear though.

The ‘Stros have scored eleven runs of course on Opening Day twice.  The first time was in our first ever Opening Day in 1962 in an 11-2 win over the Cubbies and the second was in 2001 in an 11-5 win over the Brewers.

After work today, Commentary is heading over to The Yard for the “Grand Slam Unveiling VIP Event” and you’re not.  They are going to fire up the new HD scoreboard, give us a tour of the new premium seating area – “The Press Club” – and hand out some grub put together by Celebrity Chef Bryan Caswell – cool!

 

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Commentary has to hand it to H-Town CM Brenda Stardig.  She had 175 or so folks including staff and security at the City of H-Town’s Redistricting Town Hall Meeting last night at Oak Forest Elementary.  The Mayor ran the meeting.  CMs Stardig and Noreiga were there.  Once again the super neighborhood and management district folks showed up and stated their case to be kept intact.  The Greater Heights area neighborhood once again stated their case to be kept with the Greater Heights.  Asian Americans once again said they didn’t want to be split up.  Commentary also spoke on Latino representation on City Council.

So far partisanship hasn’t surfaced at the meetings.  That is probably a good thing.  My pal Yolanda Black Navarro was there and here is what she sent out to Latino leaders last night:

Tonight I attended the District A Meeting at Oak Forest Elementary where over 175 people were in attendance.  Of those attendees, there was a handful of Latinos.  I saw Marc Campos, Lenora Sorola Pohlman, Hector Carreno, Dr. Adolfo Santos and maybe a few others.

Tomorrow, Wednesday, March 23rd the Redistricting Town Hall Meeting will be held at Houston Community College-Southeast Campus for District I.

If we do not have over 150 people there then shame on us as citizens, business owners, community leaders, and residents.  We talk the talk about why we are so underrepresented but our voice is not heard when it needs to be or present when we should be.  We cannot talk about adding 2 more seats to City Council, wanting more Latino representation without our presence.

Where are the e mails, calls and engagement from the chambers, management districts, civic clubs, superneighborhoods, et al.  to rally around the importance of attendance.  Precinct Judges should be making calls and we should all be responsible for good attendance.

Next week on Monday, March 28 there will be a District H meeting at Jeff Davis High School.

I respect you all and share this frustration so we can do better and hope you forward to everyone you can.

Way to go Yolanda!

The City of H-Town Redistricting Town Hall Meetings resume tonight at 6:30 pm at the Learning Hub of the Houston Community College Southeast Campus (District I), 6815 Rustic.  Be there!

How many times was B-G-O in an Opening Day starting line-up with the ‘Stros?

Bonus:  How many times was B-G-O the lead-off batter in an Opening Day starting line-up?

Now we know why there isn’t an urgency to fully fund public education in the Lone Star State.  Check out the following from Chron.com:

The number of non-Hispanic white children attending Texas public schools continues to decline and again reinforces the state’s rapidly shifting demographics.

This school year marks the first time Hispanic children represent a majority (50.2 percent) of the 4.9 million student enrollment, which includes Pre-kindergarten and early childhood education.

There are 218,557 fewer white students in Texas public schools today than 1995-96 when the white student enrollment peaked at 1,756,966, according to Texas Education Agency records. While the white student enrollment keeps declining each year, the Hispanic student enrollment continues to climb.

GOP State Senator Dan Patrick wants to tell the City of H-Town how to implement Rebuild Houston.  Commentary worked on Proposition 1 last year.  I can’t recall if Sen. Patrick put in his two cents worth back then.
Here’s the Chron piece on what Patrick wants to do.

Patrick wants to exempt churches and schools from paying the Rebuild Houston fee.  If that happens, home owners, and commercial property owners will have to cough up more.  As far as I’m concerned, the H-Town voters have decided this and now it is up to City Council to do the implementing.

B-G-O started 19 consecutive Opening Days from 1989 to 2007.

B-G-O was lead-off batter on 12 Opening Days.

The Chron’s columnist has a piece today on the 2011 H-Town Mayoral race.  I kind of think he is itching for a fight.  For now you can only read the piece if you are old school like Commentary and get a hard copy of the newspaper in your front yard.

One week from tonight the Red Sox come to town for a practice game at The Yard.

 

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