Archive for April 21st, 2017

For those of us who care, today is San Jacinto Day. The Chron E-Board cares because they have a San Jacinto Day take today so go pick up your Chron and check it out. Just to remind you, it was 181 years ago today.

Commentary has mentioned before that growing up in Baytown in the 1950s and 1960s, you kind of were reminded regularly of your Texas history and San Jacinto battle significance.   It is kind of fitting that Chron.com today has a photo essay of sorts of Baytown history. The photos I can relate to are the oak tree on Texas Avenue, riding down Texas Avenue, the Jack In The Box, which was our first fast food joint, and the old Baytown Tunnel. Pretty cool. Here is the essay:   http://www.chron.com/neighborhood/bayarea/article/A-photographic-history-of-Baytown-11078843.php.

And on this San Jacinto Day, some of us celebrate the latest federal court ruling where the Texas Legislature violated the voting rights of its African American and Latino citizens in the 2011 redistricting. Thanks, Texas and have a happy San Jacinto Day, 181 years and you are still screwing over folks, be proud!

This former MLBer played 15 years in the bigs including 10 seasons as a ‘Stro. He is no longer with us and was born 54 years ago today. Who am I talking about?

It is good to see my good friend and client State Rep. Carol Alvarado become a player in the higher education debate in Texas. Here is from the Texas Tribune:

There might be no more dangerous place for a university official this year than a Texas Capitol committee room.

On several occasions in recent months, a chancellor, university president or regent has sat down at a hearing and been chewed out by lawmakers who were frustrated about rising tuition rates, expensive land purchases or new programs being pursued against the wishes of elected officials.

But left out of those complaints about schools run amok has been a key detail about how that happened in the first place: Just a few years earlier, the Legislature willingly gave Texas universities more freedom.

In 2003, lawmakers opted to give schools full control of their tuition — a move that has been frequently discussed and often lamented in recent years. Ten years later, they made a less prominent but still important decision to defang the state agency that had overseen the universities.

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board had the power to block schools from taking on expensive new construction projects, or force them to get rid of degree programs that the board found wasteful. The Legislature erased those powers in 2013, essentially shifting the board’s role from a regulatory agency to a collaborator and data collector.

The idea was that university leaders — and their governing boards of regents — were in the best position to know what’s best for their students and institutions.

Now, lawmakers are having second thoughts. A series of bills are making their way through the Legislature that would restore some of the coordinating board’s power — or create new powers the board never previously held.

“There have been some situations arise that made us question” those past decisions, said Rep. Carol Alvarado, D-Houston, during a recent hearing on one such bill. “We are trying to strike a balance. How do we have some measures in place, some oversight, making sure we are not misusing state money?”

Here is the entire Trib piece:  https://www.texastribune.org/2017/04/21/lawmakers-want-rein-texas-universities-theyre-who-set-schools-free/.

This is going to get interesting. Hang in there, Carol!

Ken Caminiti of course was born 54 years ago today and he left us way too early.

We are 11-5 and still have three game lead and are in St. Pete for three.


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