Archive for March 10th, 2010

In November of 2003, METRO Service Area voters went to the polls to vote on extending light rail.  Here’ the ballot language on the measure:

“Authorization of Metro to issue bonds, notes, and other obligations payable, in whole or in part, from 75% of Metro’s sales and use tax revenues in an aggregate principal amount not to exceed $640 million for Metro’s transit authority system, including the Metro Solutions transit system plan, which includes construction of extensions and new segments of Metro’s rail system known as "MetroRail," approval of such plan and construction of MetroRail and commuter line and dedication of 25% of Metro’s sales and use tax revenues through Sept. 30, 2014, to street improvements and related projects, as authorized by law.”

Here’s from today’s Chron on METRO going way beyond the $640 mil in bonds:

“The Metropolitan Transit Authority intends to issue an estimated $2.6 billion in bonds in the next four years to help pay for five new light rail lines, about four times the debt capacity voters authorized in a 2003 referendum, Metro officials confirmed Tuesday.  Metro leaders insist the borrowing will not exceed the $640 million debt ceiling set by voters because the agency is allowed other borrowing capacity by state law, and much of the bonds will be paid with money from ridership fares.”  Check out the article.

I don’t know about most folks but it sounds like a disingenuous way to treat the voters.  My pal Bill King agrees: 

“This is just a different deal than what they made with voters in 2003 and if the voters want to approve that, that’s fine, but they ought to go back and ask the voters if they’re OK with spending three times as much and borrowing four times as much as they were told in 2003. The truth of the matter is that they’re doing what they told the voters they would not do in 2003.”

Bill goes on to say METRO’s argument is “pure sophistry” – huh!  (I had to look up “sophistry” and it means “subtly deceptive reasoning or argumentation.”  Bill needs to use easier words.)

I have to agree with Bill King on this.  Six years ago during the election we were led to believe that all we needed was $640 mil in bonds.  If METRO wanted more bonds, they should have put it on the ballot last November.  METRO is making a mockery of the 2003 election and that’s too bad.  All METRO is doing is fueling the cynicism folks feel for government these days.

Commentary dropped by new HISD Trustee Anna Eastman’s Community Meeting at Davis High School last night.  It was well attended by teachers, parents, community activists, labor leaders, and HISD staff.  About 70 or so folks showed up.  Anna ran a good meeting.  It was informative and those in attendance got to ask questions.  Way to go Anna!

Former MLBer Willie Davis left us yesterday at age 69.  According to the LA Times he was  “blessed with blistering speed.  Davis played with the Dodgers from 1960 to 1973 before being traded to the Montreal Expos.  He played in two All-Star games, won three Gold Gloves and set a Dodger record with a 31-game hitting streak in 1969.  Davis also played for the Texas Rangers, St. Louis Cardinals and San Diego Padres. His last season in the majors was 1979 with the Angels.”

Davis won two World Serious rings with the Dodgers in 1963 against the Yankees and in 1965 against the Twins.  In the 1966 World Serious against the Orioles, Davis committed 3 errors in one inning.  In what game, inning, and name the batters?

Forget about that I said “enough said” on voter bias.  The Chron’s Columnist jumped into the fray.  Here are some lines from his column that is directed at local Dems:

“But before Democrats start feeling morally superior, they should take Republican Judge Ed Emmett’s advice and look at their own performance in the Harris County primary. By my count, 14 candidates with Hispanic or Hispanic-sounding names appeared on the county-wide ballot in contested races. Of those, only two won or led in their fields.  And one, Mary Connealy Acosta, who defeated Miles LeBlanc with only 52 percent of the vote, isn’t personally Hispanic. She might have increased her margin if she had used only her maiden name.”  Check out the column.

AT&T is launching it’s “It Can Wait” campaign which urges folks not to text and drive.  If the mobile phone company doesn’t have a problem with it, then the City of H-Town should go on ahead and put together an ordinance banning texting while driving in H-Town.  What’s the hold-up?

In Game 2, in the top of the fifth inning, Oriole center fielder Paul Blair hit a deep fly ball that Willie Davis lost in the sun for an error.  The next batter catcher Andy Etchebarren hit a fly ball that again David lost and he compounded the error by making a bad throw to third base.

Meanwhile, on who will start behind the plate on Opening Day in 27 days against the Giants, here’s from Alyson’s Footnotes:  “It’s still early and the Astros haven’t even played a full week of spring games. But it’s nice to look at the stat sheet and see that (J.R.) Towles is hitting at a .667 clip (8-for-12), and (Jason) Castro had six hits in 12 at-bats after Tuesday’s game in Port St. Lucie.  It’s healthy for teammates to engage in Spring Training competition, and it’s nice to see the Astros have some depth behind the plate. “


Read Full Post »