Archive for October 11th, 2017

I Want to Hold Your Hand

Including the playoffs, what was our record against the Red Sox this season?

I wonder if someone caught the following two incidents on their phone video gizmos and for background lay in John and Paul’s hit tune from 1963. I am talking about a couple of H-Town firefighters refusing to shake the Mayor’s hand. I get why the Mayor is upset – the insubordination thing. I kind of get the firefighters’ deal – they helped get the Mayor elected and the rest is history.

Here is from the Chron:

Simmering tensions and acrimony between Houston firefighters and Mayor Sylvester Turner have boiled over after the mayor erupted at firefighters who spurned him at two recent public events.

The most recent incident, which took place at a Houston Rockets game Thursday, prompted the Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association Local 341 to send Turner a letter warning him not to threaten the association’s membership.

“Twice in the past week, you threatened firefighters that declined to engage with you in public settings,” HPFFA President Marty Lancton wrote in a Friday letter sent to Turner and city councilmembers. “We believe these confrontations violate state law. If they occur again, we will take appropriate action.”

When asked about the incident, Turner said the firefighters had engaged in unprofessional and inappropriate behavior.

“If I’m going down and I’m shaking everybody’s hand, I’m shaking the firefighters’ hands, and then I get to this firefighter and this firefighter refuses to shake my hand, number one it’s not professional,” he said. “Do I ignore that? I think not. … What the president of the association is saying is that there should be no discipline taken against any firefighter that chooses not to engage with their mayor. Well, if you’re in uniform, on duty, whether it’s in a second job at a civic engagement, there is a code of conduct and you should adhere to it if you want to be a city employee.”

“You can’t tolerate that. And the association shouldn’t tolerate it either,” Turner said. “Because once you allow that to happen, you have lost total control of your force. And again 99% of employees are fine, but for those who choose to operate on that level, they should not be a part of the city of Houston employee base.”

And this:

“Firefighters deserve a good contract and a raise,” said Gaylon Davenport, president of the Houston Black Firefighters Association. “They do a good job and everyone knows that. They deserve a raise and it hasn’t happened and because of that it’s toxic.”

Davenport added, “If a man or woman does not want to speak or shake your hand, they have the right to do that, period. I don’t think in the job description it says you have to shake someone’s hand. I’ve never seen that.”

Lancton said a fire inspector had been working at the Rockets game Thursday, which Turner was attending. The firefighter – who has been with the department for 15 years – saw the mayor approaching and tried to walk away.

“You don’t walk away from me,” he said Turner yelled, threatening to make sure he wouldn’t be able to work security at the stadium in the future, and making him give his identification details to several cops working on his security detail.

“It’s absolutely inappropriate from anyone in power to intimidate and aggress someone — a classified member of the fire department — when they’re trying to diffuse a situation,” Lancton said. “There are clear guidelines and laws, if someone felt someone was behaving inappropriately. There are ways to handle that situation.”

Just days before, another firefighter had gotten crosswise with Turner at a National Night Out event in Gulfton, Lancton said.

After Turner spoke, he tried to speak to some firefighters also participating in the event, one of whom declined to shake his hand.

Turner apparently told the firefighter, “I’m still your boss,” and stormed off, Lancton said.

Here is the entire read: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/article/Houston-firefighters-mayor-tangle-over-perceived-12266924.php#comments.

Today, the Chron E-Board put it on the firefighters pretty good. Here is how their take starts today:

Perhaps next they’ll start kneeling during the Pledge of Allegiance at City Council meetings.

Two Houston firefighters protested Mayor Sylvester Turner – one by refusing to shake his hand during a National Night Out event in the Gulfton area and the other by turning his back when the mayor approached during a Rockets’ game on Wednesday.

City employees serving in uniform have a responsibility to the public to uphold the highest standards of professionalism – especially while they’re on duty.

Imagine a football player refusing to talk to the head coach while in the middle of a game. This isn’t a protest – this is insubordination.

And end with this:

City Hall does not exist to serve the Houston Fire Department. Firefighters serve the city. Mayor Turner and City Council need to start asking the tough questions about how, exactly, HFD can best live up to that obligation.

We call on City Hall, yet again, to convene a blue-ribbon commission to study the future of the Houston Fire Department.

The rate of fires has been cut in half since the 1980s, according to the National Fire Protection Association. About 80 percent of HFD’s calls are related to emergency medical responses.

What should a 21st century fire department look like? Houstonians deserve an answer. City Hall can’t simply turn its back on taxpayers.

Here is the entire take: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/Tensions-between-Houston-firefighters-and-City-12268103.php.

Nope! Let’s see now, two years ago the firefighters endorsed the Mayor and the Mayor gladly accepted. The firefighters worked their arse off for the Mayor. The Chron E-Board endorsed the Mayor and the Mayor gladly accepted. Now the firefighters feel they got the short end of the stick. Nope!  Y’all figure out this mess.   Commentary is rooting for the Yankees.

Speaking of, remember when I said this yesterday:

It is pretty simple. It is a no brainer. In the MLB playoffs, teams strive for the home field advantage. We are in the ALCS and start play on Friday. The Yankees and Cleveland play tomorrow evening at Progressive in the deciding Game 5 of the ALDS. A Cleveland win and we play the first two, Friday and Saturday, at their crib. A Yankee win and we host the first two at The Yard. It is a no brainer. Go Yankees!

But no, there are a couple of articles on who should the ‘Stros face in the ALCS. Here is the headline from the Chron on Jake Kaplan’s piece:

Would it be best for Astros to face (Cleveland) or Yankees in the ALCS?

Here is the article if you care to read: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/sports/astros/article/Should-Astros-face-Indians-or-Yankees-in-the-ALCS-12268212.php.

And this headline from MLB.com and Mike Petriello:

How Astros fans should watch Yanks-(Cleveland) G5

Here is the piece: http://m.astros.mlb.com/news/article/258141362/how-astros-fans-should-watch-yankees-indians/.

Sigh. I am thinking why the analysis? It’s the MLB playoffs. It’s about homefield advantage. We want the first two games at The Yard. The players want it. The front office wants it. The fans want it. The Skipper wants it. All of H-Town wants it.

I don’t have much to say about the NPL Commish talking about taking away the players’ right to take a knee before the game and I don’t have to explain NPL.

We were 7-4 against the Red Sox this season – 4-3 in the regular season and 3-1 in the ALDS of course.

The Red Sox skipper was fired this morning after winning two straight AL East titles.

Go Yankees!

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