Archive for January 27th, 2015

I try not to get into the business of telling our local news organizations how to conduct their operations.   I will say this.  If newsies are going to cover the H-Town Mayor, the former City Attorney, and the sermon subpoenas, then they have to cover the trial of the HERO petitions if you ask me.  After all, the story has gone freaking national!

I really didn’t find much detailed coverage of what happened yesterday over at the courthouse on the first day of the petitions trial.

Kris Banks retweeted this:

Kris Banks retweeted

Houston Equality @HOUequality  ·  21h 21 hours ago

Mayoral candidate Ben Hall just came into courtroom and sat with #HERO opponents. #HOUequality

And this:

Kris Banks retweeted

Houston Equality @HOUequality  ·  20h 20 hours ago

Mayoral candidate Ben Hall to #HERO opponent Pastor Nash in court corridor, “This is gonna happen.” #HOUequality

I really couldn’t find anything in the Chron or much with the local TVs with the exception of Fox 26 here:

Chances are you’ve heard of the fairly new Houston ordinance that allows transgender men to use women’s restrooms among other things. Now a judge and jury will hear about the ordinance. Today is day one of a trial that names Mayor Annise Parker as a defendant.

The Houston Equal Rights Ordinance or HERO as it’s called has been at the center of a lot of controversy since before the law was passed by Houston City Council last summer. There was a petition with thousands of signatures to try to get the law repealed. The city decided the petition isn’t valid and that brings us to where we are today. A trial started this morning to decide if the signatures on that petition are acceptable or not worth the paper they’re written on.

“We will fight to the legal death to repeal this bad law,” says the plaintiff’s attorney Andy Taylor. 65 people showed up but only 12 will be chosen as jurors to hear all about the petition opposing the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, known as HERO, which among other things gives transgender men the right to use public ladies restrooms.

“Why in the world would we create a law that confers special rights on men who just want to pretend they are women so they can go into female restrooms in Houston and take advantage of young girls?” asks Taylor.

“The Houston Equal Rights Ordinance provides protection for all Houstonians. There are 15 protective classes in the ordinance. I believe the majority of Houstonians support the equal rights ordinance,” says Christina Gorczynski a HERO supporter who was in the courtroom.

This trial isn’t to decide if the law is right or wrong. It’s to see if a petition against the ordinance, with 54,000 signatures, is valid. Defense attorneys claim the document is full of forgeries, fraud and people who signed more than once. “That kind of stuff is a tiny, tiny part of these signatures. So can the city come up with a couple hundred or couple thousand signatures that aren’t valid? Sure they can,” says Taylor. Taylor represents Houstonian Jared Woodfill and several pastors who are suing Mayor Annise Parker, The City of Houston and long time City Secretary Anna Russell. Russell first told the group they had more than the minimum number of signatures to get the law repealed and get the ordinance put on an election ballot to have voters decide on it.

“She’s going to testify in this trial and she’s going to say we had enough signatures to get this on the ballot and you know what? Anna Russell has outlasted a lot of Mayor Parkers. Russell has served as City Secretary under eleven different Houston Mayors. Taylor claims this case is going to trial not because of an invalid petition but because Mayor Parker doesn’t want the issue on the ballot.

“She just told her lawyers kill this thing. Smother this thing in the crib because she doesn’t want voters to have a chance to pass on the lunacy of this bathroom ordinance. Well her day off reckoning is about to come.,” Taylor says. Pastors from Grace Community Church, First Baptist and Second Baptist, to name a few, are among those fighting for the validity of the petition. A number of ministers are said to have jumped on board after the city moved to subpoena church sermons regarding the equal rights ordinance. “We have so much support for our side because of that one lone solitary idiotic move by the mayor. We are very confident the jury, after it hears all the evidence, is going to say one thing, mayor you got it wrong. Let the people vote,” says Taylor.

Attorneys for the mayor and the city declined to comment until after a jury is chosen. The trial is expected to last two to four weeks. If the jury decides the petition is valid city council will have to decide whether to repeal the ordinance. If they don’t, there will be an election in November so voters can decide.

You better follow Houston Equality @HOUequality for the latest from the courthouse.

It wasn’t until 1986 that a ‘Stro got a first place vote in the NL MVP Award balloting – 6 first place votes for a second place finish.  Name the 1986 ‘Stro?

Everybody knows that concussions are a very serious problem in the NFL – well just about everyone.   Check out what our local NFL owner had to say in GQ:

By the summer of 2013, (NFL Commissioner Roger) Goodell was determined to put Bountygate and the broader concussion issue behind him. He held a series of meetings with team owners in New York and persuaded them to settle the class-action lawsuit brought by more than 5,000 players who were seeking financial payouts for concussion-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, and depression. Goodell argued that while the league could fight in court and likely prevail, the litigation would be a festering wound on the league’s image.

“It was about protecting the brand,” recalled Bob McNair, who attended the sessions. “Do we want the brand attacked on this for the next ten years? Or do we want to go ahead and take the high road? In effect, we don’t think most of these concussions referenced even occurred in the NFL, but we’re not going to complain about it.”

Chron.com put the above out yesterday but it is not in today’s hard copy.  I give credit to KHOU-TV’s Bob Allen for calling out McNair yesterday.   I didn’t see anything else locally.  I hope the local newsies are not giving the owner a local homer pass during this Super Bowl Week.  Stay tuned!

Glenn Davis of course scored 6 first place votes out of 24 for second place in the NL MVP Award balloting in 1986.  Mike Schmidt won that year.

The new MLB Commissioner is thinking about doing away with one the ‘Stros’ key strategies – the defensive shift.  Oh no!   Say it ain’t so!

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