Archive for April, 2015

I honestly didn’t think that this Governor would make us a national punchline just a little over three months into his administration. Here is Nick Anderson’s cartoon from today’s Chron: http://blog.chron.com/nickanderson/2015/04/commander-in-chief/.

Here is from the Chron:

Greg Abbott’s letter directing the Texas State Guard to monitor U.S. Army soldiers taking part in training exercises in Bastrop and other parts of the state drew widespread surprise and criticism from Austin to Washington on Wednesday as pundits and officials questioned what the governor was thinking.

And this:

“Governor Abbott deeply trusts and respects the United States military,” said Amelia Chasse, Abbott’s press secretary.

No he doesn’t! Why else would he go through this exercise!

The ‘Stros are 14-7. What was our record after 21 games last season?

You can say, err tweet this again:

Bill King ‏@BillKingForHou 32m32 minutes ago
Getting from point A to point B without fear of blowing out a tire is definitely part of getting #BackToBasics

It certainly wasn’t one of our nation’s finest hours. I am talking about 40 years ago today when we got the heck out of Saigon. Yesterday at the H-Town City Council meeting, District F Council Member Richard Nguyen got very emotional as he discussed the events before and after April 30, 1975. NPR did a powerful piece yesterday about the last two U.S. servicemen who lost their lives in Vietnam. I still remember watching the tube and seeing the chaos unfold as folks tried to climb into the choppers on the roof of the U.S. Embassy.

Before yesterday, nobody had ever heard of Chad Shanks. Check this:

Alyson Footer @alysonfooter • 15h 15 hours ago
I’ve never met the Rockets SM manager and never heard of him before today. But he seems to be well-liked and he did a good job. Come on.

Shanks was the fella behind the Rockets tweets.

The ‘Stros were 7-14 after 21 games last season of course.

On the MLB Network they showed the first part of the White Sox and Orioles from an empty Camden yesterday and I had to tweet the following:

Marc Campos @MarcCommentary • 21h 21 hours ago
Why do they need a PA announcer at @whitesox vs @Orioles if nobody is there? #BaltimoreUprising #MLB

That was weird.

It looks like folks are finally to show an interest in the ‘Stros these days. Are they the real deal! Head on out to The Yard to find out!

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We Are Who We Are

We are H-Town. We are big. We are different.

We don’t have a river walk. We don’t have a Magnificent Mile. We don’t have Broadway, an Empire State Building, or a Statue of Liberty. We don’t have a French Quarter or a South Beach or a Golden Gate Bridge or a Strip or Hollywood or Disney World.

I mention all this because a front page story in today’s Chron is about Houston First increasing the budget to promote the H-Town area as a tourist attraction. The article also mentions that it would be nice if we had an “identifiable icon.” Here is from the Chron:

Stephanie Haynes, president of Hotel & Lodging Association of Greater Houston, said corporate and convention visitors keep hotels full during the week, but hoteliers want to increase weekend and holiday traffic.

“I think Houston has had some issues with defining the role of tourism and understanding its impact in the city,” Haynes said. Houston First, she added, “is trying to shift the image of the city as truly being something that is not just a convention and corporate destination, but somewhere you can bring your family or where you want to visit.”

She said Houston’s lack of an iconic image “has been a challenge for us.”


One of the goals Houston First noted in its announcement was a “renewed effort to draw a major new attraction or identifiable icon to the area.”


…… a defining or iconic venue would help make Houston a more attractive destination.

Here is the entire Chron piece: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/economy/article/Tourism-board-unveils-aggressive-agenda-for-6229965.php?cmpid=btfpm.

I get what they are saying and what they are saying is not news. Folks have been trying to figure out who we are for decades now.

Remember “Houston’s Hot” and “Expect the Unexpected” and “It’s Worth It” to name a few?

Give it up! Just tell the world that you can come here to have a nice time, eat in nice restaurants, check out some good entertainment, visit the gulf, nice shopping, and meet nice folks of different colors and backgrounds – and a lot of this stuff isn’t going to cost someone an arm and a leg. We are not going to build or create something so they will come.

Which teams leads the MLB in dingers?

I really do not want to talk about conspiracy theories and the Governor and Occupy Texas.

The White Sox at B’More game will be played today but the public is not allowed to attend thanks to the rioters and looters. It will be on the flat screen and on the radio, but there won’t be any booing of the umps. No Kiss Kam. I wonder if they will play the National Anthem or sing “Take Me Out To The Ballgame.” Way to go, B’More!

It is not just the fans that are getting punished but all the folks that work at Camden like those in the concession stands, ushers, ticket takers, and aisle vendors – the folks that make just above the minimum wage and tips in some cases. They are also moving this weekend’s series against the Rays from Camden to the Tropicana in St. Pete. That’s more folks that are losing out on work at Camden. This is just sad!

Well one of my questions just got answered with a tweet from this morning:

Erin McClam retweeted
Kasie Hunt ‏@kasie 20m20 minutes ago
Orioles EVP Duquette tells me that Camden Yards in-park experience will be the same today: National anthem, feather bed in 7. Just no fans

Yesterday, I mentioned the games the two games the ‘Stros had moved because of Hurricane Ike. The Yard never lost power and the teams actually could have played the Saturday/Sunday (Ike hit on a Friday evening) games there but it probably would not have been a good move because most of the H-Town region was reeling, without power, and law enforcement was dealing with one huge mess. Plus they would have had to have the basic personnel come in and open up The Yard – you get the picture.

The ‘Stros, Dodgers, and Jays lead MLB with 28 dingers each.

It looks like the ‘Stros are doing their part to get folks to visit H-Town and come by The Yard. We got us a four game lead.

We lost our shortstop Jed Lowrie for a couple of months or so. I am thinking that they will bring up Carlos Correa from Corpus within the next couple of weeks. Why not?

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Play Ball – NOT

Today is the day up at the U.S. Supreme Court. It will be interesting to hear the court experts give us their takes after the arguments.

Really, B’More!

There are no riots in baseball!

Check these tweets:

MSN ‏@MSN 4h4 hours ago
MLB game at Camden Yards between Orioles and White Sox postponed because of safety concerns http://bit.ly/1QC7Km0

Richard Deitsch retweeted
Baltimore Orioles ‏@Orioles 5h5 hours ago
After consultation with Baltimore City Police Department, tonight’s game between the Orioles & White Sox at Oriole Park has been postponed.

From an AP story:

The Baltimore Orioles’ home game against the Chicago White Sox was postponed Monday night because of safety concerns after riots broke out near Camden Yards following the funeral of Freddie Gray.

Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred, at the stadium for a previously planned visit, said Tuesday night’s game between the Orioles and White Sox could be moved — possibly to Nationals Park in Washington — if safety continued to be an issue.


Major League Baseball has postponed and shifted games in the past because of unrest.

In 1992, the Dodgers had four games postponed in Los Angeles following the Rodney King verdict.

In 1967, the Orioles and Tigers had a game postponed because of riots in Detroit. The next two games were shifted to Baltimore.

The best video of yesterday has that mom chewing out her kid and slapping him upside his head for hanging with the wrong crowd, err mob. Way to go!

Since 1965, how many ‘Stros home games have been cancelled or postponed?

The Chron E-Board went after the HCC Board today. They even called out former Trustee Carroll Robinson.

There are a lot of accusations out there and I guess the E-Board wants all of this wrapped up and explained. Here is the entire E-Board take:

Houston Community College offers a diverse range of classes, but apparently you have to sit on the Board of Trustees if you want to take courses in hand-to-hand combat. That elected board was the site of a fist fight after one trustee accused another of accepting bribes and kickbacks, according to allegations by HCC’s former acting chancellor Renee Byas.

Beyond the disregard for civic duty, these sorts of scandals risk undermining Chancellor Dr. Cesar Maldonado’s plan to restructure the splintered community college system. The board needs to come clear on Byas’ allegations, and it shouldn’t have to take a lawsuit for taxpayers to learn the truth.

Byas originally divulged her first list of HCC wrongdoings in October 2014, when she countersued the community college after they cut her contract. At the time, she claimed that HCC trustees had tried to skirt procurement rules and divert public bond dollars to their own personal buddies and political supporters. When she refused to play along, Byas said, they pushed her out.

Her new allegations, part of the ongoing lawsuit, provide a disturbing list of collusion and kickbacks between trustees and contractors, such as:

Trustees texting with contractors before votes

An HCC vendor treating a board member to a free Caribbean vacation on a private plane

Attempts to orchestrate a land-purchase kickback scheme

And, yes, there’s that fist fight.

The one-sided nature of these allegations, and the lack of specific identities associated with the acts, should garner some healthy skepticism. Intervening elections also mean that some of the involved board members may no longer hold office. However, Byas’ stories fit with a long and sordid history of an HCC board that’s been more enthusiastic about doling out contracts than educating students.

In 2013, Trustee Carroll Robinson was accused of trying to direct a contract to an unqualified friend. And back in 2010, an internal investigation known as the Veselka Report found that trustees violated their fiduciary duty by inappropriately directing contracts to family members, demanding kickbacks from vendors and failing to disclose relationships with subcontractors.

HCC bears a heavy duty of educating the next generation of Houstonians, but it will never succeed if its leaders have other goals in mind.

I am more interested in knowing who was throwing punches.

In June of 1976, flooding of H-Town streets forced the postponement of a game with the Pirates at the Dome. 9/11 postponed three games with the Giants. Hurricane Ike cancelled a game with the Cubbies and moved two others with the Cubbies to Milwaukee of course.

How about this tweet:

Aaron Stough retweeted
Ace of MLB Stats ‏@AceballStats 7h7 hours ago
#Astros 12th season win 2015 – game 19
2014 – game 38
2013 – game 43
2012 – game 27
2011 – game 29
2010 – game 33
2009 – game 30

We have a three game lead. I wonder if our winning ways will get more folks to The Yard later on this week?

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The Harris County Sheriff announced disciplinary action Friday on that mess over at the jail. We are talking about dismissals and suspensions involving 35 folks. Also on Friday, Rep. Sylvester Turner announced the endorsement of two local Latino State Reps. Here is a bit of what Kuffer said about the Sheriff’s Friday announcement and its impact on mayoral politics:

Most people – for better or worse – just don’t pay that much attention to this stuff, and those that are paying attention are either already aligned with a particular candidate or who are political junkies like me who may not be sure who they are voting for but who have a pretty good idea who they’re not voting for. I don’t think any of this has changed anyone’s vote, is what I’m saying.

Here is all of Kuffer: http://offthekuff.com/wp/?p=66804.

Let me put up a bit of what Teddy Schliefer wrote last month on the Sheriff deciding to run:

Garcia, who declined to comment, will portray himself as a fiscally responsible executive who has directly managed a large, complex agency and strengthened the financial health of the sheriff’s office, the sources said.

This is what the Chron reported on Friday:

At Friday’s news conference, Garcia – who is widely believed to be running for mayor but has held off announcing formally – defended his department and blamed the organization’s chain of command structure for creating the environment that allowed (Terry) Goodwin’s situation to fester unchecked.

“That’s the way we were always doing it – until we realized that we needed to improve it,” he said. “We learned about this and understood there could have been faster responses earlier on; it’s changed now. We wish the earlier documentation created bells and whistles to go off, but apparently it didn’t.”

Here is the entire Chron article: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Sheriff-fires-6-disciplines-others-over-6222905.php?cmpid=gsa-chron-result.

And then this from Ted Oberg on Friday night:

Goodwin’s mother called the punishments, and particularly the one- to 10-day suspensions handed out a “slap on the wrist.”

“Ten days? I’m furious,” Mashell Lambert told ABC-13. “For what they did to our son just 10 days? This is not what I call justice. This is a slap on the wrist. They say and watched our mentally ill son deteriorate and prepare his cell to commit suicide and did nothing.”

Here is the entire Oberg piece: http://abc13.com/news/hcso-takes-action-against-35-employees-over-inmates-jail-cell-condition/680224/.

Kuffer is smart and so are the folks that run the mayoral races. I am just going to say that none of the other candidates faced these type of challenges when they launched their campaigns. It is kind of tough to say “vote for me and don’t pay attention to Oberg and the jail mess.”

And then it gets worse, err better, err interesting – depending on where one stands. Yesterday, Goodwin’s mom and Quanell X called for the Sheriff to resign and it got a lot of run on the local news last night.

Here is a bit from the Channel 13 story:

“If you didn’t know, Adrian Garcia, you should have known. You are incompetent and I want the citizens of Harris County, I want everybody in Houston and surrounding areas to understand, if this were your son, would three days punishment be enough for his heinous treatment,” said Goodwin’s mother, Mashell Lambert.

“Adrian Garcia was not in the dark about what took place with this brother in this jail. Adrian Garcia was kept in the loop,” said Quanell X.

And here are parts of the Sheriff’s response:

“The people of Harris County rightly expect and demand accountability and transparency in their government. My administration strives every day to give the public the highest level of transparency and accountability. I’m proud of that fact.

“When I took over the county jail there were many issues and challenges and I have implemented many reforms that have contributed greatly to our public safety. We no longer just warehouse inmates, as had been the practice for many years prior, but now there is incredible time and effort to helping those once in our custody to live more positive and productive lives. Under my leadership inmate GED instruction, vocational education, spiritual ministry and counseling has been a priority since I took office – a priority that wasn’t there before.”


“The county jail will circulate about 120,000 inmates this year, I have nearly 5000 employees, and on any given day there are about 9000 inmates in my custody of which almost 30% are suffering from a serious mental illness. We have dramatically reduced the jail population in Harris County and improved the conditions of those in our custody and at the same time coming under budget four consecutive years. This isolated incident should not let this track record be forgotten.”

You can check the full statement of the Sheriff, as well as the rest of the Channel 13 story here: http://abc13.com/news/activists-demand-sheriff-garcia-to-resign-over-jail-abuse-claims/682784/.

And then there is this from today’s Chron:

Though he has yet to declare, Garcia is widely expected to a run for mayor. Quanell X said other leaders in the black community had asked him to refrain from criticizing Garcia’s handling of Goodwin because it could hurt the sheriff’s chances.

“We thought when we finally elected a minority sheriff that minorities would be treated better – we were duped,” Quanell X said. “If Garcia runs Houston like he runs the jail, we’re all going to hell in a hand basket.”

Here is today’s Chron article:

I am sure that some folks will be dismissive of the call for resignation because Quanell X is involved. These folks will say since Quanell X is in the mix, it probably helps the Sheriff politically. That’s silly. The Sheriff certainly wasn’t dismissive. After all, the Sheriff put out a pretty lengthy response on a Sunday night.

I am also a bit puzzled by what Quanell X said. Who are African American leaders who are worried about the Sheriff’s chances for mayor?

Now let’s replay what Kuffer said:

Most people – for better or worse – just don’t pay that much attention to this stuff, and those that are paying attention are either already aligned with a particular candidate or who are political junkies like me who may not be sure who they are voting for but who have a pretty good idea who they’re not voting for. I don’t think any of this has changed anyone’s vote, is what I’m saying.

It is on the news and if you have the flat screen on, it made it into your living room or den. It may not have changed anyone’s vote, but it probably doesn’t help if the voter is undecided. Stay tuned!

The ‘Stros are 11-7. Can you believe? What is our best start ever after 18 games?

Andrea White has a piece on an effort to get a statue of President Lyndon Baines Johnson for Downtown H-Town. Here is Andrea’s article:

I am OK with that but I think it needs to be in a location folks will visit, like NOT across the street from the Downtown post office.

What I thought was Cecily Strong’s best joke was one that didn’t get a lot of laughs. Here it is:

“Let’s give it up for the Secret Service. I don’t want to be too hard on those guys. You know, because they’re the only law enforcement agency that will get in trouble if a black man gets shot.”

You know! You are not supposed to joke about the President’s security.

I think she did a good job.

Will Blue Bell ever serve another scoop? Check this tweet:

Lisa Falkenberg @ChronFalkenberg • Apr 24
Give that brewery an extra good scrub, @ShinerBeer. This Texan can do without #bluebell. But I can’t do without you.

How about this tweet:

Nick Mathews retweeted
Reid Laymance ‏@ReidLaymance 3h3 hours ago
After three weeks, Astros on pace for 99-63.

I don’t know about that.

In 1979, 1980, 1986, and 2006, the ‘Stros started out 13-5 for our best ever starts after 18 games of course.

We scrap the DH over the next three days as we visit Petco.

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Without looking at the Sports Section, name the MLB club with longest current winning streak?

Last night’s Ted Oberg story on the Sheriff’s Office was just another report about a government agency plunking down too much money for a consultant. We’ve seen that before. Nothing new. Nada!

Now the response and pre-response was apparently the story. Prior to last night’s Ted Oberg report on Channel 13, the Sheriff’s folks sent out a press release and here is the headline: HCSO CELEBRATES CONSECUTIVE YEARS OF TAXPAYER SAVINGS.

Here is how the press release starts and you can hit the link to read the rest but you won’t find a dollar amount for savings. Where are the savings? Here is how the press release starts:

When Sheriff Adrian Garcia took office in 2009, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office was overspending its budget by about $58 million annually. In fact the agency had balanced its yearly budget only once in a decade.

In 2015, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office has come in under the budget allocated by Commissioners Court for the fourth consecutive fiscal year.

Fiscal Year 2015, as it was known in county government, ended Feb. 28. After allowing for all accounts to settle from the previous budget year, the HCSO is celebrating another year of successful budget discipline.

Here is the entire press release: https://local.nixle.com/alert/5400560/?sub_id=1000000405.

Now here is from the Oberg story from last night on the so-called savings:

But Ted Oberg Investigates examined the contract and found that it’s unclear exactly how much the taxpayers have been saved because of Griffith’s work. The savings numbers the sheriff’s office provided to ABC-13 in interviews and via email have wide variations.

Indeed, in a recent interview, estimates of the cost savings escalated continuously, with Garcia at one point claiming a savings of $60 million because of Griffith’s work. Minutes later, Griffith said he saved the county $100 million. And then, after a few more minutes, the saving claim hit $112 million.

In an email to ABC-13 after the interview, the sheriff’s communications staff calculated the savings at $123 million.

When asked to clarify the wildly fluctuating savings estimates, sheriff’s officials provided an analysis of jail cost reductions with no dollar figure attached to it.

Here is the entire Oberg piece: http://abc13.com/news/thousand-dollar-a-day-consultant-fuzzy-variations-on-taxpayer-savings/678992/.

The fact is they are quibbling over savings. However, if you are going to say that there are savings, then an actual dollar amount would help and stick to it and believe it. Stumbling to find a response does not bode well if you are looking to move on up if you know what I mean.

Blue Bell made it to Letterman again last night.

We are up on the Mavs and Ken Hoffman of the Chron decided to talk about H-Town’s superiority over the Big D here: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/life/columnists/hoffman/article/Houston-wipes-the-court-with-Dallas-in-more-6219239.php. I don’t like these kind of comparisons. It opens us up to the fact that they have gone to and won multiple Super Bowls and we have zilch.

I will be checking out Cecily Strong handling business in D.C. tomorrow night.

The Mets, who went 79-83 last season, have an 11 game winning streak and lead the NL East by 4 ½ of course.

We are still in first.

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TxDOT certainly has an impact on our quality of life here in H-Town especially if you use the freeways. It seems like our freeways are always undergoing some sort of major repair, overhaul, or reconstruction. That’s life around these parts. These are the inconveniences we endure daily. Now TxDOT is thinking about doing a major Downtown makeover and scrapping the Pierce Elevated. One of the reasons given is that rerouting the Downtown freeway system could increase driving speeds on a revamped Downtown freeway system. I don’t know about that. It seems like we have always been congested and are always struggling to catch up. Don’t put Commentary in the good idea column on this one for sure.

Bad reporting last night out of Kemah by some of the local news media outlets. Come on! That’s all I am going to say about that.

Channel 13’s Ted Oberg is promoting this for tonight:

Updated 2 hrs 30 mins ago
Sheriff Adrian Garcia gave a consulting firm a no-bid contract worth more than a $1,000 per day.

To date, the firm’s been paid $1.7 million from profits on the inmate commissary at the Harris County Jail. The consultant and the sheriff say the deal has saved taxpayers millions and that the consultant is worth every penny.

Ted Oberg Investigates the deal and asks why if so much money has been saved why the sheriff’s budget continues to expand.

Just another topic to discuss, err ‘splain in the upcoming Mayoral contest.

Speaking of the Latino vote factor, check this tweet from yesterday:

Rebecca Elliott ‏@rfelliott 11m11 minutes ago
.@orlando_sanchez says mayoral bid is looking less likely but he “wouldn’t rule it out 100%” #hounews

Free at last! I am talking about Barry Bonds. Where does Bonds sit on the career all-time RBI list?

We got teased big time by the Chron today. They have this story about alleged corruption over with the HCC Board (past and present) but they don’t name names. I don’t know about this. Why write the story? Now you got folks thinking who is corrupt and who isn’t. Here is part of the story:

The former acting chancellor of Houston Community College said she detailed numerous corruption allegations to authorities, including claims that current and former board members tried to steer taxpayer-funded contracts to supporters and to line their own pockets from HCC business deals.

In court records filed Tuesday as part of an ongoing lawsuit with the college, Renee Byas offered the most comprehensive description yet of her communications with the FBI, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.

Byas, ousted by the HCC board of trustees in 2014, listed an array of alleged acts that she found questionable over the last several years, the records show.

In one instance, she alleged, a board member took a free trip to the Caribbean with an HCC vendor on the vendor’s plane. Another time, she claimed, a board member accused another in closed session of accepting bribes and kickbacks, and the accused starting punching that trustee.

Byas also said she told law enforcement authorities that three trustees tried to orchestrate a deal in which the college would buy property, and they would receive 10 percent of the money that HCC paid to the seller, according to the court records.

Byas, a lawyer who also served as HCC’s general counsel, did not tie each allegation to specific trustees but said she talked to authorities about eight current or former trustees and believed they attempted to violate the law or did so.

Here is the entire story: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/education/article/Former-HCC-head-details-alleged-corruption-by-6216988.php.

That’s not fair if you ask me. Either print the names or scrap the story.

Blue Bell made Letterman last night and that’s not good.

Here is what the Chron E-Board said about Blue Bell today:

Are you ever going to try Blue Bell again?

Nationally syndicated columnist Ruben Navarrette has been slamming the GOP on immigration. Now I guess he has to do a little slamming today on Hillary on immigration. Sorry, pal! Latino voters know what is going on. Hillary is going to be right where we want her to be in 2016 and the GOP isn’t and our vote will overwhelmingly go to Hillary. We know who is holding up the President’s executive decisions.

Here is the Navarrette column: http://www.chron.com/opinion/outlook/article/Navarrette-Clington-campaign-should-get-to-know-6217348.php.

Hank Aaron has 2,297 career RBIs, Babe Ruth has 2,213, and Barry Bonds has 1,996 of course.

We lost last night but we are still in first place.

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Endorsement Time

If you are not in the game, you won’t get endorsed. That’s the way it goes. I am talking about the race for H-Town Mayor. Get in the game and you might pick up some endorsements. Check this:

Sylvester Turner retweeted
Greg Groogan @GrooganFox26 • 14h 14 hours ago
@RepWalle tells #Fox26 he will endorse @SylvesterTurner in Houston Mayoral race. No to unannounced Garcia. #LatinVote

Sylvester Turner @SylvesterTurner • 13h 13 hours ago
Thanks to my friend @RepWalle for the endorsement. Great colleague to have in the House and great supporter for my campaign. #Turner2015

I prefer #LatinoVote over #LatinVote.

This is the season for endorsement roll-outs so stay tuned!

I know it is just April 22 and we’ve only played 14 games but we are in first place with a game and a half lead and we are 4-1 on the road. When was the last time we finished with more than 90 wins in a season?

How about this endorsement?



HOUSTON – The Bill King for Mayor campaign today announced a list of current and former Houston-area education leaders who are endorsing Bill King to be Houston’s next Mayor.

The education leaders cited King’s longstanding record of community leadership and positive results as the reason they feel King is the best candidate to address the big challenges facing Houston.

Here is the list of endorsers at the time of release:

Paula Arnold (former HISD Board Member)
Rick Berry (former Cy-Fair ISD Superintendent)
Nelda Luce Blair (former University of Houston Board of Regent)
James Calaway (former HISD Foundation Chair)**
Bob Davee (former Clear Creek ISD Board member)
Marie Flickinger (San Jacinto College Board Member)
Nhgi T. Ho (Alief ISD Board Member)
Dr. Don Hooper (former Ft. Bend ISD and Galena Park ISD Superintendent)
Dianne Johnson (former HISD Board Member)
Mike Lunceford (HISD Board Member)
Don McAdams (former HISD Board Member)
Dr. Leonard Merrell (former Katy ISD Superintendent)
Greg Meyers (HISD Board Member)
Harvin Moore (HISD Board Member)
Ralph Parr (former Clear Creek ISD Board member and retired educator)
Dr. Kaye Stripling (former HISD Superintendent)
Lori Vetters (HISD Foundation Chair)**
Mills Worsham (former Houston Community College Board Member)

“Each of us knows from personal experience just how capable, inclusive and effective Bill King is when it comes to tackling big challenges in our community,” said Harvin Moore. “He knows the issues, and he knows how to lead – and we know he will make an excellent mayor if given the chance to serve.”

Bill King has demonstrated a longstanding commitment to education. He served on the Board of Regents for Texas Southern University; the HISD Foundation board; and was recently asked by the chancellor of the University of Houston System and President of the University of Houston, Renu Khator, to serve on the search committee for the dean of the UH Law Center. Kings holds both an undergraduate degree and a law degree from the University of Houston.

In 2012, King also co-chaired the HISD bond campaign rebuild its dilapidated high schools throughout the city, which won nearly 70 percent voter approval.

For more information about Bill King and his campaign to get Houston “Back to Basics,” please go to billkingforhouston.com and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

** An endorsement from individual HISD Foundation board members does not imply an endorsement from the overall Board.

Visit http://www.billkingforhouston.com for more information.

More props for Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Lisa Falkenberg this morning. She has a full page congratulatory ad on page three of today’s City/State Section. Nice!

Hey, if you can take advantage of the Rockets for political gain – why not! Check this tweet:

Chris Bell @ChrisBell2015 • 18h 18 hours ago
Now if only Houston could fill potholes the way @DwightHoward fills nets. Go @HoustonRockets!!!

It gets personal. Someone close to me told me that his dad suffered a busted rim after hitting #HoustonPotholes on Washington Avenue. We are at war with #HoustonPotholes and they are winning.

Is this the end of Blue Bell? Will we ever see it at The Yard this season? How do they make a comeback?

The ‘Stros were 92-70 in 2004 of course.

And finally this tweet:

Nick Mathews ‏@Nick_Mathews 6m6 minutes ago
#Astros currently have a 1.5-game lead over A’s in AL West – the first time they’ve had a division lead of 1+ games since April 18, 2006.

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Hey Texans! Today is San Jacinto Day. Hey H-Town! That’s right down the road off of HWY 225 or I-10 right before you get to Baytown. 179 years ago today!

Who leads the ‘Stros in dingers this season?

This is a Big Deal, H-Town. Congratulations to Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Lisa Falkenberg. The first ever for a Chron writer!

Appreciate this huge accomplishment for the hometown newspaper.

I am sure she will be getting a lot of offers to go national or something like that. I hope the Chron makes every effort to keep her here for years to come.

You may not always agree with what she writes, but she is a treasure for sure. Way to go!

On her win, here is what she said:

“It’s an amazing feeling.”

“It doesn’t change who I am.”

“It’s not the reason I do this work. It’s just an award. But I guess it’s nice to feel respected. While I’ve gotten a lot of encouragement through the years, I’ve often felt discounted at times, either because I was young, or because I was a woman, or because my dad’s a truck driver and I sometimes miss obscure literary references. People like me aren’t supposed to win the Pulitzer. But now I have. And if it means that people read me who otherwise wouldn’t, or that people pay more attention to the issues I write about, then that’s a beautiful thing.”

Here is the Chron article on Falkenberg: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Falkenberg-wins-Houston-Chronicle-s-first-Pulitzer-6212508.php#photo-7851957.

I drove way out to Carmelo’s yesterday evening to a Bill King reception and found a big crowd – nice job!

Luis Valbuena had two dingers last night at Safeco and leads the team with five of course.

We are still in first place.

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We will know at 2 pm today so good luck!

The Uber folks sent a letter to the H-Town Mayor on Friday and said they were complying. You and I know they will be out of compliance sooner rather than later.

H-Town City Council Member Oliver Pennington withdrew from the Mayoral race due to a family illness. Let’s hope for a quick recovery. Here is what the Chron’s Mike Morris said about the impact of the CM Pennington wirhdrawal:

The 75-year-old retired attorney’s exit removes the candidate best positioned to secure conservative votes, said Rice University political scientist Mark Jones. That could have a significant impact on a crowded race in which any candidate with a reliable base has a shot at earning one of two spots in the December runoff election that will surely follow November’s initial vote.

The news is an obvious boon to Councilman Steve Costello and former Kemah mayor Bill King, Jones said, two centrist-to-conservative candidates who were set to spar with Pennington for the same supporters.

“There simply was not enough room for them to all three run and have a real chance of entering the runoff,” Jones said. “Pennington had at least a potential path to the second round. But it would have been a very uphill battle to actually win a runoff because the characteristics that made him one of the more viable Republican candidates also made him less viable against a Democratic foe in a runoff.”

Here is the entire Morris piece: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/politics/houston/article/Councilman-Pennington-ends-run-for-mayor-6207311.php.

We will see.

Here is an easy one. Name the opposing MLB player with the most career dingers at The Yard?

The Chron’s Ken Hoffman had a Q&A with Hunker Down yesterday and here is one question:

Q: Haven’t the taxpayers made their wishes clear to you? No tax money for the Astrodome. There was an election …

Emmett: They haven’t made clear their wishes. The polls that I’ve seen say people overwhelmingly support saving the Dome. But you’re right, they just don’t want to use their money to save it. The bond election in 2013 was poorly presented to voters. To this day, people still think they were voting for a convention center. That’s what failed. People did not vote to tear it down. Some people think they did, but that wasn’t on the ballot.

I am thinking that the Dome is certainly on its way to becoming the longest running local public policy discussion in H-Town area history.

Dante and I made it out to The Yard Saturday. We took our annual photo at The Yard. Now he is taller than me. I put out photos of us at The Yard over the years including our first in June of 2001. This is what I tweeted:

Marc Campos‏@MarcCommentary 3h3 hours ago
With @DanteD__ at #MMP for @astros June,2001 – last night. #GoAstros. pic.twitter.com/0Wpw3907Uv

Check out these tweets:

Brian McTaggart ⚾️ ‏@brianmctaggart 28m28 minutes ago
Albert Pujols now has 46 career home runs vs. the Astros, tying Hank Aaron for most HRs hit against the Astros.

Nick Mathews ‏@Nick_Mathews 1h1 hour ago
The MLB division leaders: NL East: Mets NL Central: Cardinals NL West: Dodgers AL East: Orioles/Red Sox AL Central: Tigers AL West: Astros

You got it right if you said Pujols has 25 career dingers at The Yard to lead all opposing players of course.

The first place ‘Stros are in Seattle for three. That has a nice ring to it!

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Commentary posted this from Channel 13 yesterday:

HOUSTON (KTRK) — When Mayor Annise Parker delivers her final state of the city address on Thursday, she plans to offer a challenge to the mayoral candidates.

She didn’t. She just ended her speech yesterday saying she wanted a truth telling mayor who would tackle the tough issues or something like that.

I also said this yesterday:

Because of term limits, an H-Town mayor gets six and done. During the six years, a mayor gets to rack up a few accomplishments and make sure they don’t run the City into the ditch. Because of term limits, you don’t really have the time leave a legacy of sorts. After your six years, you are gone – that’s it. Then a few years from now insider folks will be sitting around having a beer or two and playing a trivia game trying to name accomplishments of former H-Town mayors. Like who created Discovery Green? Who started light rail? Who brought us the drainage fee? You get the picture.

Here is the headline of a story today in the hard copy of the Chron: As clock ticks, Parker seeks to define mayoral legacy. Here is the story: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Parker-s-state-of-the-city-seeks-to-define-her-6205141.php.

I watched her speech on the flat screen yesterday and yes, she listed her accomplishments. Hey, I guess that is what you are supposed to say in your last State of the City speech. Heck they even introduced her with the Alicia Keys “Girl on Fire” tune.

Here is an interesting bit from the Chron story:

Mark Jones, a political scientist at Rice University, said Parker’s speech at times resembled a “laundry list” of legacy-building accomplishments but said her underlying claim that the city has improved under her leadership is largely true.

Jones credited Parker with significant successes early in her term: giving scandal-ridden Metro new leaders, shoring up the city’s books by increasing water rates and health insurance costs for city workers, particularly retirees, and by laying off 776 city workers to balance the budget without a tax hike, though she did raise fees and cut deals to defer some bills.

“Is she leaving the city of Houston better off than when she arrived?” Jones said. “Broadly speaking, across the board, I think that’s definitely the case. You could say, ‘How much of that has to do with her and how much of that has to do with the state’s economy, with the energy industry?’ But the reality is, under her tenure, things improved in Houston.”

Can the same be said of the last few H-Town mayors? Who left the city in worse shape? Oh, well!

In the last regular season game played in the Dome that I mentioned yesterday, name the ‘Stros pitcher who was credited with the win?

Check this tweet:

Nick Mathews ‏@Nick_Mathews 12m12 minutes ago
A fun read: Search is on for the Astrodome’s mysterious time capsule, via @HoustonChron. http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Search-is-on-for-the-Dome-s-mysterious-time-6205224.php?t=0a1093e451cba496f0&cmpid=twitter-premium

Of course, if the Dome was demolished, I bet the capsule would turn up.

Mike Hampton of course picked up the win in the last regular season game played at the Dome in 1999.

This is from the ‘Stros website on what is happening this weekend:

Six members of the first team to be called the Astros, which originated 50 years ago in coordination with the opening of the Astrodome, will be at Minute Maid Park on Saturday as part of the Astros 50th Anniversary Weekend.

The members of that original 1965 Astros squad scheduled to be in attendance Saturday are Bob Aspromonte, Ron Brand, Bob Bruce, Dan Coombs, Larry Dierker and Jimmy Wynn.

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