Archive for April 26th, 2017

More on Prop 1

Nice job, Rockets!  Keep basketball alive in H-Town!

I saw a pro-Prop 1 ad on Channel 11 last night.

Early Voting in Person turnout on Day 2 for the HISD Prop 1 race didn’t really get any better over Day 1. West Gray had 109 (84 the day before), Palm Center 32 (35), Sunnyside 30 (34), Northeast 24 (31), Tracy Gee 26 (14), Bayland 42 (390, Ripley 6 (5), HCC 7 (8), Hardy 9 (4) and Moody 20 (21). Once again it looks like the Latino voter is unaware that an election is going on. Maybe if we would have called it “deporting” instead “detachment” Latino voters might have gotten interested.

In today’s Chron, Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Lisa Falkenberg urges a yes vote on Prop 1.  Here is a part:

This same question came before voters in November. And this same columnist told voters, albeit late in the game, to vote “for” the proposition, which approved writing the check. But this is why more people should read newspapers. The message didn’t get out.

Voters rejected the proposition, and chose to give Houston’s most valuable properties away. With no foreseeable hope of getting them back – along with all their future value, and future tax dollars.

Now, in voters’ defense, it was a confusing issue then as well. You had Mayor Sylvester Turner telling voters to reject Prop 1. You had HISD subtly suggesting the same thing in mailers.

The strategy, it seemed, was to test fate, but also to send a strong message to lawmakers to find a fairer way to equalize funding. The Robin Hood law was never intended for big urban districts like HISD – with nearly 80 percent of students economically disadvantaged and a third learning English.

So the message was sent. It was apparently heard. And hey, maybe it even did a little good. The state education commissioner agreed to adjust the way HISD’s homestead exemptions are factored, which helped reduce the district’s first recapture payment from $162 million to about $77.5 million.

Of course, he may have done that anyway. But even board Trustee Anna Eastman, who disagreed with those urging a “no” vote last time, acknowledges that route may have ultimately tipped the scales in the district’s favor.

Plus, she said, “we are seeing more productive conversations around school finance this session than we ever have.”

Still, there’s no school finance reform on the horizon. Lawmakers are battling over a tight budget, foster care reforms and, well, lesser priorities such as bathrooms.

The Robin Hood law is still the law. HISD is still rich in the state’s eyes. And the bill is still coming due. So, here we are with a Prop 1 redo.

Eastman is still urging voters to approve the measure. So is a coalition of businesses represented by the Greater Houston Partnership. The mayor is staying silent. And HISD is eerily neutral.

As for me, I still think it’s a clear choice. Vote for Prop 1, now or on May 6. Write the check. Keep Houston’s valuable property. But don’t stop fighting in Austin for a better way to fund public schools.

There is a vocal group of opponents – it’s not clear how big or influential – who urge rejecting the measure again. Among them is board Trustee Jolanda Jones. In an editorial published Tuesday in the Chronicle, she argued the votes cast last year deserve respect, and that the current situation – “deal,” as she calls it – is worse than the original.

But some of her claims – that the reduction of the first recapture payment will result in higher payday loan-style payments later – aren’t grounded in reality. The homestead exemption change was permanent. She also argues recapture will hurt our neediest students, forcing HISD to cut early childhood education, mental health resources, college counseling and other programs.

“I believe that’s pure speculation on her part,” said Jones’ board colleague, Eastman. “We have never been told that, and we have never discussed it.”

Here is the entire Falkenberg column: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/columnists/falkenberg/article/Houston-voters-get-a-second-chance-to-do-the-11098863.php.

If Anna and Lisa are voting yes, then that is all you need to know. Folks should have listened to them last fall.

Pasadena voted 285 yesterday, down from 380 on Monday.

Dallas Keuchel racked up his 11th complete game of his career last night. Among active MLB pitchers, name the one with the most complete games in his career?

So, Commentary said this yesterday:

Donald Trump’s daughter was booed and hissed today in Berlin. That is A-Okay by me. Keep it up and make my day!

So, Chris Cillizza of CNN wrote a piece sort of pooh poohing the folks that booed Trump’s kid.

Here is how the story ends:

You can hate Donald Trump’s views on and treatment of women — and lots of people do! But, to expect Ivanka Trump to publicly condemn her father or his record on women’s issues is a bridge too far. It’s impossible for us to know what Ivanka Trump does (or doesn’t do) to influence her father’s views behind the scenes. And, because of that — and the fact that she is his daughter! — booing her for defending her dad is poor form.

Here is the headline from his CNN.com piece:

In defense of Ivanka Trump after she was hissed at in Germany

Here is the entire article: http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/25/politics/ivanka-trump-boos-hisses/index.html.

I totally disagree. She went out and campaigned and lied about her father last year and now she works for him helping to promote his sorry arse agenda. She is fair game in my book. She doesn’t get a pass.

Remember when Cillizza tweeted this three months ago:

Chris Cillizza‏Verified account@CillizzaCNN Jan 20

Ivanka is a such a boss

This what he has under his avatar on his twitter account:

“One of the dumber and least respected of the political pundits.” — Donald Trump

I kind of have to agree with Trump on this one. Why did CNN hire this guy? What did I miss?

I was wondering about the early start times in Cleveland then Blummer tweeted this:

Geoff Blum‏Verified account@blummer27 4m4 minutes ago

NEWS: @astros fans wondering about the early 6:10pm EST start time here in CLE, they are accommodating families on school nights & weather

Got it.

CC Sabathia has 38 complete games in his career which is the most of any active MLB pitcher of course.

The ‘Stros and the Nationals are tied for the best record in MLB at 14-6. Now are you thinking about heading to The Yard this weekend?


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