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Archive for the ‘Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County’ Category

I may be way off base but I’m guessing the reason the METRO CEO is resigning his position is because he isn’t on the program.  You know, he didn’t like the deal or the ballot item that passed so he’s moving on.  In today’s Chron there is a story on maybe him getting a consultant gig with METRO after he leaves.  Why?  If he’s not on the program, it’s adios baby!   Don’t hand him a consultant gig to buy his silence!

Welcome to The Yard new ‘Stros DH Carlos Pena.  Name the best dinger season for Pena?

Talk about a sore loser, the ousted Tax Assessor Collector is refusing to cooperate in the transition with his successor Mike Sullivan, a Commentary pal and current H-Town Council member.    That’s BS and CS if you ask me.   I guess the ousted Assessor Collector forgot that the position belongs to the public. 

I would like to have shown you the articles on the METRO CEO and the lack of transition but it is getting harder to find stuff on Chron.com and it is getting frustrating.

In 2007 with Tampa Bay, Pena had 46 dingers of course.

Five years later (last season), Pena batted under the Mendoza line – .197 – oh, well!

 

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Harris County Commissioner Steve Radack is real good at having his county crews go by the county owned Early Vote locations in his precinct and clean up all the candidate signs at the end of Early Voting.  They are usually all gone by noon the day after the end of Early Voting.  His crews did a less than stellar job Saturday morning.  All the Vote Yes METRO signs are still up – interesting.  I also noticed that Vote Yes METRO signs are all over right-of-way in many part of the City and County – also interesting.

When was the last season that the team wore the blue and orange and I’m not talking about throwback gear games? 

On the front page of yesterday’s Chron, Ericka Mellon dusted up HISD Trustee Larry Marshall pretty good.  It was a real stinger.  The good news for HISD bond supporters is that maybe 60% of folks had already voted before the article hit the stands.

Check out Ericka’s article here.

FYI:  Commentary is working for the HISD bonds.

Locally everyone is talking about the 700,216 that voted early in person here in Harris County surpassing the 678,312 in 2008.  How much gas is left in the tank?  How many more folks will vote tomorrow?

The new leader in turnout for Early Voting Locations goes to Champion Forest Baptist Church out on Strack Road way up in North Harris County.  They had 38,329.  West Gray was knocked off the top and fell to numero 3 with 35,639 – down from 35,987 in 2008. What does this all mean?  I’ll let you know later this week!

I’m not going to give any election predictions even though I did on my Roundtable ballot. 

Maybe I’m getting into a touchy subject here but here goes.  Commentary was watching SNL a couple of days ago and I laughed at the skit where the sign interpreters were used. This morning deaf actress Marlee Matlin slammed SNL for poking fun at sign interpreters.  Isn’t that what SNL is supposed to do?  Oh well!

1993 of course was the last season the ‘Stros wore the blue and orange.

The ‘Stros GM is interested in talking to The Big Puma about coming back to wear the blue and orange and maybe playing DH – interesting.

Check out the story here.

I’m OK with the old new look or the new old look or the blue and orange or the orange and blue but I’ll still wear the brick red on occasion – got it!

 

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The Chron E-Board endorsed in a couple of civil court races today.

Check them out here.

Bittersweet is probably a good word to describe last night.  After going to a meeting of the Spring Branch Dems with Traci Jensen I zipped over to The Yard to catch the last few innings of the game against San Luis.  It was the last home game of the season.  It was the last home game as an NL team.  It was Milo’s last game.  It got a little teary eyed and emotional when Milo took the mike during the seventh inning stretch and said his “Holy Toledo” farewell to the fans on El Grande.

Most of the 18,000 and change stayed at The Yard as the ‘Stros headed to the top of the ninth with a two run lead.  In the last inning every pitch was cheered.  It was probably fitting that our only All Star Jose Altuve fielded the final ground out and then we won and there were hugs, tears, high fives, and fist bumps for all.  Everyone had forgotten that we were still sitting on 105 losses.  It was a good night and one that I’ll remember for a long time.

Here is the Channel 11 story about our last NL home game that includes Commentary.

How many no-nos thrown by the ‘Stros did Milo call?

As of yesterday in Harris County, 53,042 had requested mail ballots with 22,185 generated by the GOP and 17,331 by Dems.

Commentary might have to go get a check-up on my eyes to see if I need new eyeglasses because I can’t see the hand writing on the wall that my pal Gary Polland apparently sees.  Gary’s latest review blames the media (that’s fresh) for Romney’s problemos, he gives a big mention to Vince Ryan getting hammered by Wayne Dolcefino, rants about The President’s logo on the red, white, and blue, and posts a piece from a right winger who says that if The President wins, he is going to “replace Liberty, In God We Trust, and E Pluribus Unum.” 

Boy that’s scaring folks!  What about baseball, hot dogs and apple pie?

You can check out Gary’s take here.

The Golden Bear endorsed Romney yesterday in Ohio.

My old pal Yolanda Black Navarro put this out yesterday:

Friends, as we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and where we have been, where we are, and how much more we have to do, I want to inform you of the following:

Tomorrow (Today) at the Metro Board Meeting, at 1900 Main, Sylvia Gonzales and myself will address the Board and President with regard to dismal amount of Latinos employed by Metro overall, and in particular in Senior Level positions and see how our Latino community can begin to work outside the box to recruit as Metro has not had success.  Please join if you would like as supporters at 9 am. at 1900 Main. Metro Headquarters

Friday at 10 a.m. at Holy Name Catholic Church, we will hold a press conference, Latinas Enhancing Advocacy and Development (LEAD), LULAC, NHPO and others to unite and address the change of early voting location of Moody Park to Holy Name Catholic Church.

In addition we are asking everyone to do their part and reach out to churches, congregations, organizations and set up voter registration tables and register Latinos to vote.  Registration deadline is Tuesday, October 9th.

On the Moody Park Early Voting location change, I asked the folks in charge of the election about the change last week and they told me that Moody Park wasn’t available.  It is a City of H-Town facility so maybe the City needs to ‘splain why it isn’t available.

My pal Bill King has a piece about the METRO referendum.  Here is part:

The conventional political wisdom is that with all the heavyweight political support for the "For" proposition, that is to continue the rebates, it will be easily approved by the voters. However, I am not certain.

Steven Klineberg’s regional surveys show widespread support for transit and for rail playing a significant role. Even though Metro’s light-rail plan covers only a tiny fraction of its service area, it has been able to persuade many that the light rail is precursor to a large commuter system. Notwithstanding that the proposition is total nonsense, suburban voters who believe it might be inclined to say the money should stay at Metro to advance such a mythical regional system.

Predicting a result is further complicated because there seems to be a great deal of confusion among voters as to what the "For" and "Against" propositions actually mean.

Either way, Metro will likely never be the same. If the "For" proposition prevails, Metro will be forced to spend much more of its time and resources on the bus system – a good thing in my opinion – and light rail will effectively be shelved indefinitely – also a good thing in my opinion.

If the "Against" proposition prevails, you will see an all-out, knock-down-drag-out fight in the Legislature next session over Metro and its governance. In such a fight, the city of Houston would likely lose its control over Metro, another reason why the city is anxious to see the referendum pass.

Here is all Bill’s column.

I still haven’t run in to anyone that is voting for the METRO deal.

Milo called four no-nos thrown by ‘Stros pitcher of course:  Don Wilson’s against The ATL when Milo was with The ATL (1967), Mike Scott’s against the Giants (1986), DK’s against the Mets (1993), and the six pitcher no-no in Old Yankee Stadium (2003).

We ended up 35-46 at The yard this season.

 

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Voters will start getting their mail ballots today.  The voting will then begin.

As of Friday, 47,728 have requested mail ballots in Harris County.  20,699 have been generated by the GOP and 15,581 by the Dems.  That’s not bad at all if you ask me.

Early Voting in Person starts in four weeks.

The first debate is nine days away.

The Chron had a story this past weekend on the METRO ballot initiative.  It was about the ballot language for the measure.  Not counting the consultants that work for the METRO proposal, I haven’t talked to anyone that says they are voting for the measure.  They don’t like the deal and think the City and METRO caved in to the County.

“Meet the Press” was interesting yesterday morning. GOP talking heads were arguing with each other over Romney’s bad week. 

Name the ‘Stro pitcher that has started the most post season games?

I think Commentary mentioned a while back that “Game Change” and Julianne Moore as Governor Palin would get some serious Emmy Award mention.  They did!

The last thing Commentary wants to do is lecture Austin voters as they consider going to an all single member district city council or a combination single member district/at-large system or none of the above.  Commentary was here in H-Town back in 1979 when we went from an at-large to a combination single member district/at-large system.  One of the most dramatic changes was the empowerment of neighbor organizations and associations.  District council members certainly pay attention and cater to them.  That is definitely a good thing.

The Rocket and Roy O. of course have each started seven post season games as a ‘Stro.

After the game yesterday at The Yard, Commentary and others participated in a meeting with the front office and found out that a lot of season ticket holders are not happy with the ugly signs in left field.  

We took two of three from the Pirates this past weekend.    San Luis is in for the final three NL games at The Yard!

 

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The DREAMer activists across the U.S. of A. need to be trading high fives right now for getting their concerns prominently addressed at last week’s Democratic Party National Convention.  The President, Vice-President, the keynoter, and a host of speakers all addressed the plight of the DREAMers.  Heck, the historic appointment of Justice Sonia Sotomayor barely got a mention.

A DREAMer was even invited to the podium to speak.  You have to give the DREAMers full credit for their efforts. They have kept The DREAM Act and immigration reform alive and have kind of set the agenda on the fight for the Latino vote over the next eight weeks.  Way to go DREAMers!

Meanwhile, the Chron E-Board lectured major Dems donors for leaving the Lone Star State Dem Party behind.  Here is part of it:

Congratulations to state Republicans on their successes. These are the product of literally decades of grass-roots cultivation that have brought the GOP from literally nowhere to dominance.

If state Democrats want to change that, they’ll have to do almost the same – and that starts with opening wallets for their candidates at every level across the state – as well as being certain that those candidates are well vetted and qualified.

Here is all of it.

The 2013 MLB schedules will be announced this Wednesday.  Name the three NL teams that we have never faced on Opening Day?

Meanwhile, Burkablog reiterated that he doesn’t have high regard for the folks that run the Lone Star State Dem Party.  Here is part:

(SA Mayor Julian) Castro flashed signs of big-time political talent in his speech at the Democratic convention, but he is faced with the same problem as all Texas Democrats: all dressed up with no place to go.

Democrats are not positioned to win a statewide race anytime soon. They don’t have the party infrastructure to win–the money, the organization, the top-tier consultants.

Ouch!  Here is all of Burkablog.

What else is new?

The Chron E-Board endorsed the METRO proposal yesterday.

Check it out here.

At the Houston GLBT PAC endorsement meeting this past Saturday, a vote on the METRO proposal was put off until next month’s meeting.  Commentary heard some grumbling from a few folks in attendance.  They are unhappy with the proposal.  They think METRO caved in to the County. 

A poll that was reported by the Chron this past weekend said that 39% of voters would support the METRO proposal.  This initiative is going to have grass roots opposition.  I don’t know if I would bet on its passage today.  Hey, that’s why we have campaigns.

This past Saturday the Chron business section had a piece about local car dealers and The President’s auto bailout move.  Here is a taste:

"Despite what Romney says, he would have done it, too," said Carroll Smith, owner of Monument Chevrolet in Pasadena. "I think anybody sitting in that seat would have, because it was the right thing to do. How could you not?"

Smith explained: "I’m very much conservative and a free-market advocate, but it wasn’t a free market in play then. The credit market completely shut down, and there was no money to be borrowed."

And:

Smith, though, said he is simply more aligned with Romney when it comes to "business, taxation and leadership." Of Obama and the bailout, he said, "He did it and I applaud him, but I’m not going to vote for him."

What a moron!   What an idiot!  What an arsehole! 

We need to put this fella in a windowless room and make him listen to last week’s Jennifer Granholm’s fiery speech on the bailout 100 times. 

Check out the entire piece here.

Meanwhile, Mitt Romney is taking Senator John Kerry’s advice and trying to wrap up the debate with himself as he now likes parts of Obamacare.  This fella is a worm.

Lisa Gray of the Chron slapped around the new owner of the ‘Stros for putting up those hideous signs in left field.  For some they block the cool view of Downtown H-Town.    The team says the signs are generating money for local parks.  Oh, well!  There is nothing but bad news from The Yard these days. 

Check out Lisa Gray’s column here.

Things should turn around on November 14 when Sir Paul takes the field at The Yard.

The ‘Stros have never played against the D-Backs, the Fish, and the Mets of course on Opening Day and next year’s Opening Day foe will be the Rangers at The Yard.  We finally won a series and today the Cubbies come in for three.  Come on out to The Yard during this seven game homie if for no other reason than to be there when we finally lose numero 100 – yikes!

 

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Let’s hope not but I don’t feel good about this.  The dreaded General Mobility Payments (GMPs) is in today’s Chron.  One of the reasons I like The Mayor is because she doesn’t like to kick the can down the road. She takes on the challenges like the GMPs.  She is also trying to get the other 14 METRO service area mayors to buy in but I don’t think that is going to happen.   They are all addicted to their GMPs fix.  Here is from the Chron:

"I’m between a rock and a hard place on this," (Mayor Annise) Parker said. "The general mobility money fuels our street capital projects plan. It’s a significant portion of that, but I also know if we don’t allow transit money to go to transit, we’re never going to be able to grow our system. I think there’s some compromises out there that can be made to allow more money to flow into Metro without unduly burdening the cities."

And here is more:

Missouri City Mayor Allen Owen said he and other mayors have met on separate occasions with Parker and (METRO Board Chair Gilbert) Garcia in hopes of reaching a compromise. They plan to meet with Garcia again Friday.

"What we’re trying to prove to her, as well as Metro, is, I think, she can cap her general mobility funding and do what she wants to do," Owen said. "We can’t, and we won’t."

Here is the entire Chron story.

I really don’t see a resolution other than the ballot box.  Hey, that’s a novel concept – settle it at the ballot box!

You see the other 14 mayors don’t feel the pressure of being “between a rock and a hard place.”  None of their voters are going to get upset if H-Town ends up with light rail tracks without light rail trains.  Stay tuned!

Commentary will be attending his first ever Dynamo Match tonight at BBVA Compass Stadium thanks to CM James Rodriguez.  My Best Friend and his wife Julie will also be there.  I’m not a soccer fan but I’ll go to check out the experience.  I wonder what soccer grub looks like? 

“Taj Mahal” is a dirty word in HISD.  That’s what they used to call the administrative offices over on Richmond Avenue before HISD moved its headquarters to 18th Street.  Here is from today’s Chron on HISD’s proposed bond campaign:

"What I don’t know is, what are we getting for $80 million? We have not sat down and gone over all those costs," HISD board president Mike Lunceford said Friday. "We know there are special needs for that (HSPVA) school. We need schools that are going to hold up, but we’re not trying to build Taj Mahals."

Here is the entire bond article.

I like Mike Lunceford but I don’t know if I would have used the words Taj Mahals.  If opposition to the bonds ever emerges, you can bet they are now going to use those two bad words against HISD.

When was the last time the ‘Stros sent more than one player to the MLB All Star Game?

I’m sure a lot of Numero 45’s critics are having a field day and going after him for not agreeing to wear the Dodger Blue.  All I can say is Numero 45 has a contract and he had his rights too.  Here is from today’s team website:

"You try to smooth that out as much as you can," (‘Stro Skipper Brad) Mills said. "It comes down to he played by the rules and he (Numero 45) exercised them. I don’t know if there’s awkwardness or not. I haven’t sensed awkwardness in the clubhouse from any players or him. We’ll see how that is moving forward, but I’m not expecting any problems at all."

It just wasn’t handled properly by the front office so just move on.

In 2009 Hunter Pence and Miguel Tejada of course represented the ‘Stros at the MLB All Star Game.

The team continues to play poorly.

 

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“Economic Development and Jobs” was H-Town CM James Rodriguez’s campaign slogan last year.

Here is what the Chron E-Board said when they endorsed CM Rodriguez’s reelection last October:

In his two terms, Rodriguez has been a strong proponent of economic development within the district. He supports the Metro light rail line currently under construction along Harrisburg and worked to make sure a key segment includes an underpass to facilitate traffic flow.

Rodriguez also was heavily involved in the Dynamo soccer stadium project and expects a new hotel, to be built in the same area, will increase economic opportunities for local residents.

Here is from CM Rodriguez’s Chron Op-Ed from April, 2010:

It’s about jobs, economic growth and quality of life.  There is no question that the construction on the stadium will create close to 1000 jobs.   Development of surrounding retail, commercial, and residential areas will also add hundreds of part time, full time, and permanent employment. 

And:

Eight years ago we had 4 Downtown hotels with 1,800 rooms.  Today we have 15 hotels with close to 5,000 rooms.  You have to figure that this increase is due in part to the demand created by non residents visiting Houston to take in an Astros series, a Rockets game or a concert at Toyota Center.  Now we can add Major League Soccer to the list.

The development that accompanies the construction of a major professional sports venue and a Downtown park will allow for the surrounding property values to increase.

It has now been two weeks since the 16-1 vote to Free Hobby and I’ve been meaning to mention the nice month of May for H-Town CM James Rodriguez.  On Saturday, May 12, CM Rodriguez was beaming with pride at BBVA Compass Stadium for the inaugural match between the Dynamo and D.C. United.   I heard he got a high five from just about every one of the 22,000 plus in attendance.  CM Rodriguez’s dogged efforts over the years to get the stadium built finally paid off.  BBVA Compass Stadium is in CM Rodriguez’s District I so he put in the time to make sure it got done right and on schedule.   FYI: CM Rodriguez is always quick to credit The Mayor for  getting this project moving right after she first took office.

Here if from an Op-Ed by CM Rodriguez that appeared in community newspapers a couple of months ago:

Because of the economic and social benefits associated with greater airline competition, the time is right to move forward with the proposed international expansion at Hobby Airport.  More options in international air travel and greater competition will benefit Houston’s business and leisure travelers, as well as create new jobs and business opportunities for Houstonians. 

On Wednesday, May 30, CM Rodriguez was a key player in a major collaborative effort to Free Hobby by a whopping 16-1 vote.  Here is what Commentary said the day after the 16-1 vote:

And of course, CM James Rodriguez’s (my client) advocacy, playing the role of the whip, and offering strategic advice was essential in getting the deal done.

CM Rodriguez was there at the beginning when the Free Hobby movement was hatched.  Hobby is also in District I and CM Rodriguez worked his arse off on this one.

FYI: Commentary will once again say what I said the day after the 16-1 vote:

It was an outstanding win for The H-Town Mayor and the City.   The Mayor’s leadership and handling of this issue was right on.

Oh, I also forgot that CM Rodriguez celebrated another BD in May.

How many times has a ‘Stros pitcher started the game for the NL at an MLB All Star Game?

Here is from hoping you don’t wish upon a star or maybe the Harris County Dem Chair should not have said anything department.  It is from a Houston Press piece today about waiting on Godot, errr the local Latino vote to show up:

Democrats may presage the looming Hispanic vote, but the percentage of residents in this demographic who actually do so has, in fact, dropped. In 2004, roughly 42 percent of Latinos went to the polls. Then, in 2008, that number deflated to 38 percent. Two years ago, even lower: around 22 percent. Across the nation, the population of registered Hispanic voters shriveled from 11.6 million in 2008 to 10.9 million in 2010.
So what’s going to make this year any different?
We asked that question to our local Democrats and, after some stuttering and hesitation, we got an answer on the Hispanic vote. "It’s not going to happen this election," said Lane Lewis, Harris County Democratic chairman. "We’re still waiting for it." He added: "Texas is already blue." Awkward pause. "In our hearts. People just aren’t voting."

I’m sure the Chair will be ‘splaining this today.

Here is the entire Press piece.

The Houston Press made it to last Saturday’s workshop on "Ignorance Is Not a Texas Value: Electing a Smarter State Board of Education," put on by the Texas Freedom Network at the Lone Star State Democratic Convention.

Here is the Press’s take on the workshop.

Speaking of yabba dabba doo public education thinking, a billboard or two will be going up around H-Town promoting the Creation Museum in Kentucky, I think.

Check out the story here.

The fight over the METRO GMPs has landed over at the County Courthouse.  This one continues to get interesting.

Check out the Chron.com piece here.

Meanwhile the Harris County Commissioners Court delayed action on the future of Port Commissioner Jim Fonteno, Jr.

Here is the Chron.com blow-by-blow.

A few weeks or so ago the New Orleans Times-Picayune announced it was only going to print three days a week – yikes!  They started informing staff about layoffs yesterday.  The editor says their top priorities to cover will be New Orleans politics, culture, food, music and sports.  What about NOLA business?

MLB fans still read Commentary.  ‘Stros second baseman Jose Altuve moved up a notch to fourth place in the All Star Game balloting.  I guess MLB fans didn’t finish reading all of Monday’s Commentary because ‘Stro shortstop Jed Lowrie still hasn’t cracked the top 5 in the NL.

‘Stros pitchers have started four MLB All Star Games for the NL of course:  J.R. Richard (1980), Mike Scott (1986 and 1987), and The Rocket (2004).

Speaking of, I wonder if The Rocket jury will reach a verdict today.

We lost last night so we’re now 7 ½ back.

 

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