Archive for March 30th, 2015

On Campaigns and Bins

You have to figure the State Rep. Sylvester Turner campaign folks are not too thrilled with the Chron E-Board these days. Check out the thumbs down the campaign got this past Saturday:

[Down] A thumb down taxpayers’ collective throat for this week’s back-scratching between “unannounced” mayoral candidate Sylvester Turner and the police and fire unions. Those groups endorsed the state rep without waiting to screen other candidates, including former HPD officer Adrian Garcia, another “unannounced” competitor. So what the heck is going on? The endorsements came two weeks after Turner introduced flaccid legislation that kicks Houston’s pension problems down the road, taking the heat off the firefighters and eliminating the possibility of true reform. The bad news for Turner is that more than 75 percent of firefighters and cops can’t vote – they live outside the Houston city limits.

Just in case you wanted to know the definition of flaccid: Lacking firmness; hanging limply: Lacking force, vigor, or effectiveness– got it!


Yeah, I get that they may blow off the E-Board and say something like “nobody reads the editorial pages anyway.” I don’t know about that. I would think that an E-Board reader may fall into the more likely to vote category.

This is a tweet, err, view from Austin this past Friday:

Harold Cook ‏@HCookAustin 19h19 hours ago
Looks to me like @SylvesterTurner’s running away with it down in Houston.

Oh, well! Why have an election? What are we going to do over the next seven months – go through the motions?

The Dean and State Rep. Turner got some run today from the Chron’s Teddy Schleifer. It is about why The Dean is running interference for Rep. Turner during this election. It is behind the paywall here: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/politics/houston/article/Alliance-means-a-new-Sylvester-John-orbit-in-6166747.php#photo-7736755.

What else is news?

This season we are celebrating our 50 years of being called the ‘Stros and 50 years ago in 1965 we hosted the Yankees in the first ever game at the Astrodome. What kind of season did the Yankees have in 1964?

Commentary has never been a fan of the One Bin idea of recycling our waste because it is just an idea. One Bin doesn’t have a record of working. It is unproven technology. I will say it again. Here in H-Town we haven’t done enough outreach to get folks to recycle. Heck, we just got around to handing out the last set of green bins.

Katherine Driessen of the Chron has a front page piece today on the status of the One Bin proposals for the City of H-Town. It does not appear to be happening. I kind of think it is too late to get this going and then have the next Mayor inherit what could be a mess. I say to just put it on the shelf for now and let the next Mayor decide on One Bin’s status. Here is from Driessen’s piece:

The fate of the city’s cutting-edge “one bin” waste system that would feature a privately built, $100 million sorting facility is becoming increasingly uncertain, as sources familiar with the company proposals say there remain significant operational and financial concerns.

It’s no secret that the One Bin review has taken longer than expected. As a specially appointed advisory committee began meeting last summer, officials said they would send a recommendation to City Council by the end of the year (2014). Last week, city spokeswoman Janice Evans said she could not assign “a specific time for a decision.”

With Mayor Annise Parker nearing the end of her final term, the timeline to select a bidder, garner approval from a skeptical City Council and begin construction on a system that has never been built on such a massive scale is becoming increasingly daunting.

“Certainly, the project won’t happen on my watch,” Parker said of getting the facility built. “We’ll either say ‘not quite there’ or here it is and here’s how you do it and let the next mayor carry it forward.”


Environmental critics who have pushed back on the proposal said the lapsed timeline is likely proof of what they have long argued: The technology simply isn’t there – and neither is the financing. Critics have encouraged the city to allow its still relatively young cursbide recycling program to mature.

“We’ve known the whole time that this was not a good idea,” said Melanie Scruggs, Houston program director for the Texas Campaign for the Environment. “So we hope, and it would make sense, that the delay means the city is coming around to the same idea that one bin is not the solution.”

Let me say it again. The City needs to do a better job of educating the folks with the black and green bins. Kind of like the “Every Litter Bit Hurts” campaign of the 1960s and the “Don’t Mess With Texas” campaign of the 1980s and 1990s. It really is not that hard if you ask me and guess what? They don’t ever ask me.

Here is Driessen’s One Bin status article that sits behind the paywall: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/City-s-One-Bin-proposals-raise-financial-6166862.php.

The Yankees won the AL Pennant of course in 1964 and then lost the World Serious in seven to San Luis.

Here is what MLB.com columnist Dan O’Dowd wrote about our starting right fielder and starting third baseman:

George Springer, OF, Astros – You can knock him for the strikeouts, but Springer makes up for them with mammoth homers and insane athletic ability. He will be one of the most exciting players to watch all season, and for years to come.

Luis Valbuena, 3B, Astros – This is my sleeper breakout player. This 29-year-old late bloomer started to show signs of hitting for power in 2014 (16 homers), and he will hit for average and power in 2015, with an OPS above .800. Valbuena plays with a confidence and toughness that make him a joy to watch.

This what MLB.com columnist Jonathan Mayo said about when to expect our 2013 top draft pick to make it to the bigs:

Mark Appel, RHP, Astros: After a largely subpar 2014, Appel finished strongly, then pitched well in the Arizona Fall League. That carried over. ETA: July.

Sounds good to me!

Matt Dominguez, our Opening Day starting third baseman from last season and the season before, was sent to the minors. Hey, he had his chances.

One week from today is – you guessed it – Opening Day!

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