Archive for May, 2018

The big news in MLB last night was Justin Verlander striking out batter number 2,500. Who will be the next pitcher to reach the 2,500 strikeout milestone?

In 2014, Gov. Greg Abbott won Harris County with 51.4% of the vote. Only a political fool would say he is going to carry Harris County in November. His response to Harvey has been disappointing at best. Here is the latest from Mike Morris and the Chron:

Gov. Greg Abbott blasted the city of Houston for its response to Hurricane Harvey Wednesday, critiquing what he described as a lack of sound financial planning and sluggish progress repairing flooded homes.

The governor’s assessment, which he delivered in two terse letters Wednesday, was prompted by a request Mayor Sylvester Turner, Harris County Judge Ed Emmett and 55 other Gulf Coast mayors and county judges sent Abbott on Tuesday, requesting state help meeting the local match for a key federal disaster mitigation program.

And this:

(Harris County Judge Ed) Emmett said he was taken aback by Abbott’s letter to Turner.

“The tone of the governor’s letter is troublesome, and I don’t think it recognizes reality. All of us are merely seeking to speed up recovery and to take the burden off local taxpayers,” Emmett said. “Why that deserves a lecture I don’t know.”

Here is the entire article: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Abbott-criticizes-Houston-s-Harvey-response-12920659.php.

A couple of things on this. What is going on in the Governor’s brain for responding like this? We are still in response mode in these parts and elected official folks need to be working together.  Why become divisive on this? Why the attacks? Where are you going with this? Who are you mad at?

Secondly, will Judge Emmett tell us if he is going to vote for Gov. Abbott this November? I know, I know. Judge Emmett has a bond election he wants to pass in August and he probably doesn’t want to upset the way far right wing Abbott supporters, but at some point, he kind of owes it to all of us who went through Harvey if he intends to vote for a Governor who has hoarded over a $10 billion plus Rainy Day Fund that could have alleviated some of the misery around here. At some point, Emmett has to fess up and tell us who he is supporting for Governor.

On a related note, as far as this part of the state is concerned, Andrew White has pretty much proven that he would be far much better at going after Gov. Abbott on Abbott’s handling of Harvey. It would not hurt Democrats to have someone who went through the Harvey mess leading the ticket. That’s politics, baby!

On another related note, I wonder how GOPers running countywide here in Harris County are feeling?

Oh yeah, let’s not forget Donald Trump calling Latino immigrants animals.

Bartolo Colon of course is sitting on 2,486 strikeouts so he should be the next to reach 2,500.

We are 28-17 with a 2 game lead in the AL West and the third best record in MLB and only 12-10 at The Yard.  Let that sink in for a moment.

Read Full Post »

Today is special.

Marisol Valero will become a U.S. Citizen by noon today! How about that!

I will be there watching. Anna Eastman will also be there.

It has been a remarkable journey for Marisol and I am glad and honored that she shared a small part of it with me.

Marisol is sharp, smart and articulate. She speaks her mind. I can always count on her to give me the unvarnished and honest take. She is never shy about asking questions.

She is the future of this town. She is one of our young leaders.

We have worked on a few political campaigns together.

We have gone together to quite a few ballgames at The Yard over the years including the last couple of Opening Days.

She is one of my favorites to hang with at The Yard. We are never short of interesting conversational topics – from baseball, politics, current events and family. And yes, Jose Altuve is her favorite ‘Stro of course.

I am really looking forward to her joining the tradition with Beth Arnold and me and voting Early in Person in every future election then having lunch. Marisol has been to a couple of our lunches in elections past. Now she will join us as a voter. It looks like the county flood bonds in August will be our first.

I have been proud of Marisol and what she has accomplished, and it has always been a pleasure to introduce her to family, friends, and clients. Folks really like Marisol.

Today is her day and I’m delighted she invited me to her citizenship ceremony!

Congratulations Marisol Valero! U.S. Citizen! Voter!

Read Full Post »

The team is batting .255. What was our team batting average for the 2017 season?

Ok. I will address the elephant in the room. Nobody else wants to talk about it.  They got their woman. They stopped voter fraud dead in its tracks. Here is from the front page of today’s Chron:

A Montgomery County grand jury indicted a Harris County woman last week on two charges of illegal voting after law enforcement alleges she obtained documents to steal the identity of a U.S. citizen and illegally register to vote.

Laura Janeth Garza, 38, who is registered as a Mexican National, was arrested Friday on a warrant for her arrest on two counts of election fraud related to the November 2016 presidential election in Harris County.

A joint investigation by Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office and the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) determined that Garza obtained documents to steal the identity of a U.S. citizen and illegally register to vote in Harris County. She cast ballots in 2004, 2012 and 2016.

Here is the entire must read story: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/neighborhood/moco/news/article/Harris-County-woman-charged-with-illegal-voting-12912969.php.

The ballot box in Texas has been saved.  Just when we thought democracy was being robbed here in Texas.  They maybe should put the waterboard treatment on her and find out why she didn’t vote in 2008? Did she have a problem with Obama?

Say what you want about the HISD Board of Education, but I do think the Trustees are listening to the community these days. They have to! Nobody else is coming forward with a solution to the problems facing the district.

You can’t say that about the Katy ISD Board. The Katy Trustees are tone deaf. They get deservedly skewered by the Chron E-Board today and here is the first part of today’s E-Board take:

“Hey boss, I quit. Now, pay me for the next two years of work I’m not going to do.”

Try that line out where you work and see where it gets you. Hard to imagine that logic paying off — unless you’re a disgraced executive at Katy ISD.

Superintendant Lance Hindt, who’s spent the past few weeks fending off accusations that he bullied fellow students when he was a youngster, will walk away from his job with an eye-popping severance payout. The blame lies not with the outgoing superintendent, but with the Katy Independent School District board of trustees. Voters need to remember that elected school board members have squandered three-quarters of million taxpayer dollars, money they could’ve put to better use hiring a new superintendent.

Here is the entire E-Board take: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/Katy-ISD-board-abuses-taxpayer-dollars-Editorial-12914062.php.

Way out of touch and not listening for sure.

Somebody is going to have to tell Commentary what the folks from the Port of Port Lavaca are thinking these days. I wonder what Gov. Greg Abbott thinks about this?

Folks are remembering Margot Kidder who is no longer with us. I loved her as Lois Lane in the “Superman” flicks. Who didn’t? She was also in “The Amityville Horror.” Commentary is probably the only person in H-Town who saw her opposite Gene Wilder in “Quackser Fortune Has a Cousin in the Bronx.”

Last season the ‘Stros batted .282 to lead MLB of course.

We only have one regular hitting above .300, Jose Altuve at .305 and that says it all.

Read Full Post »

Early Vote Now

Name the MLB club with the lowest ERA this season?

The Chron E-Board endorsed Andrew White and here is what they had to say about the debate Friday evening:

A few sparks aside, (Lupe) Valdez couldn’t match White on education, taxes and even the criminal justice issues where you’d expect the sheriff to excel. He had solid answers where she often appeared to struggle.

And this:

Unlike fans at Minute Maid Park, Democrats who tuned in for Friday night’s debate didn’t see much fireworks. Nobody hit any balls out of the park, but one player dominated the game.

Andrew White once again proved himself the better Democratic candidate to face incumbent Gov. Greg Abbott in November.

Here is the entire E-Board take: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/Texas-Democrats-best-hope-rests-with-White-for-12908721.php.

Commentary watched the debate online. I can’t argue with what the E-Board said.

At the debate, Sheriff Valdez was asked about not getting endorsements from newspapers.  She said she didn’t speak newspaper language or something like that.  Commentary would have preferred a better response, I mean, what is newspaper language?

Maybe Commentary is old school politics, but I would have had Andrew wear a necktie though, just saying.

Dems need to Vote Early in Person today thru Friday. It will be somewhat inconvenient next Tuesday, Election Day if you don’t. All of the Heights precincts including the Montie Beach folks will be voting at the Bingo Hall on Beall in the Dem Primary on Election Day, so there. On E-Day, Dems in the East End will vote at HCC or Ripley. Near Northside up to North Lindale will vote at Moody. You get the picture.

On a related note, Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart sent out a press release this past Friday afternoon, and this is part of it:

 “Voting early is the best option because in Primary Runoff Elections, the political parties significantly consolidate many voting precincts into one poll due to low voter turnout. As a result, a voter’s usual polling location likely has changed for Election Day,” concluded Stanart, urging voters to take advantage of the early voting period.

Primary Runoff Elections are a party function. The political parties determine the number of voting locations and where the polls are located on Election Day.

Nope! The state needs to do a better job of funding primaries and their runoff elections, so they can have more Election Day locations. It is ridiculous and kind of very dumb for the Heights to have only one polling location next Tuesday.

Here is a Chron front page story that ran on Saturday on the HISD Board President: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/In-the-crosshairs-HISD-board-president-vows-to-12908842.php.

She is holding on to her position right now.

Rice is not bringing back their longtime Head Baseball Coach, Wayne Graham. The Big Puma is interested in the position. I wonder if Rice is interested in The Big Puma? If Rice interviews The Big Puma, I wonder if they will ask him about this quote from a couple or so years ago, “To me tolerance is the virtue that’s killing this country.

Oh, well.

The ‘Stros of course have the lowest team ERA at 2.47 and they also have struck out the most hitters with 440.

The team is certainly drawing great crowds at The Yard this season. We are in Anaheim for three then come home to host Cleveland this weekend.

Read Full Post »

Every now and then, Commentary mentions the Mendoza Line when it comes to MLB players hitting below .200 like 3 current ‘Stros. Who is the Mendoza Line named after and which MLB clubs did he play for?

This will be my first Mother’s Day without my Mom.   It happens, I guess.

I don’t know if it is because of the Donald Trump effect, but folks want their voices heard by elected officials these days and it looks like people matter.

A few hundred people showed up at yesterday’s HISD’s Board of Education meeting and a number of speakers demanded the resignation of Board President Rhonda Skillern-Jones over her handling of last month’s Board meeting.

To Rhonda’s credit, she had this to say in an interview before the meeting:

“That meeting was not indicative of who I am or where my heart lies. I hope there’s room for forgiveness. I hope there is an opportunity to be able to give this work what I have left to give.”

Not many elected officials would say what she said.

To be fair, there were some folks who spoke in support of Rhonda last night.

The Chron E-Board today has this to say about Rhonda and the Board. Here is the end of their take:

For as long as she (Skillern-Jones) continues to lead, she and other board members must ensure there are always plenty of chairs available, that limits imposed on speakers are reasonable, that open meetings law is followed, that armed HISD officers do not manhandle or intimidate and that everyone who wants to participate in rebuilding HISD is regarded with respect.

Parents and community members, no matter how rowdy or passionate, are the HISD board’s best allies in its struggle to improve the district. If the board continues to treat them as adversaries, don’t be surprised when they call for someone else to be put in charge.

Here is the entire E-Board take: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/Failing-conduct-for-HISD-trustees-Editorial-12905706.php.

On a related note, here is from the Chron today on last night’s Board meeting and if more people start thinking like this, we may be in trouble:

“Quite frankly, it appears to the public that HISD has no idea what it’s doing, and it’s no exaggeration that a large percentage of the people I come across as a parent are deciding whether to stay in HISD,” Amy Maddux, the mother of two eighth-grade students in the district, said during Thursday’s meeting.

People matter in the Katy ISD. The Katy superintendent who was accused of past bullying is a goner at the end of the year. Some folks who came forward earlier this year can take credit for sending him to the showers. Now the Board is bringing in a law firm to go after the people that matter. They need to hire a law firm to figure out how they missed the past bullying during the vetting process. They also really just need to move forward and acknowledge that people matter.

Commentary has mentioned the City of H-Town revenue cap lately. The H-Town Mayor has. Kuffer, Bill King and others, too.

This is a good time to remind folks that this was a policy approved by the voters in 2004. Remember, there were two rev cap proposals on the ballot that year. One received 64% and the other 56%. The one with 64% took effect – it got like 278,000 votes, not chump change. That’s more folks than voted in the last Mayoral election. Some voters voted against both. Got it?

This would be fun. Commentary is talking about H-Town hosting the Democratic National Convention in 2020. We would be the center of the universe for a week. Cool!

The Rangers first started playing in their current crib in 1994. They will be playing in their new crib with AC and a retractable roof in 2020. Hey, the voters in Arlington in 2016 said they wanted a new crib. It’s about time they get a retractable roof with AC.

The D-Backs started playing in their crib in 1998. It is located in Downtown Phoenix. I saw the ‘Stros play there in 2001 and it was Ok I guess. I didn’t have any complaints, but it doesn’t compare to the new era parks like The Yard, PNC in Pittsburgh or AT&T in San Francisco. New Busch is better, so is Camden in B-More and so is Safeco in Seattle.

It looks like the D-Backs are going to get a new crib by 2022 even though they have a lease that runs through 2027 at their current crib. The D-Backs front office claims that their current crib needs a lot of work and they want the local county government who owns the crib to pay for repairs to the tune of $130 million plus. The local county government said no so they worked out a deal where the D-Backs can go find them a new crib in the area and get out of their lease early.

As far as The Yard is concerned, they spent a ton of dough refurbishing the old Tal’s Hill area and that part of the stadium is now always buzzing with activity and it looks to be very popular with the fans. The Yard is still very comfortable inside, and nothing seems to be wearing down and falling apart.

Last year, the owner of the team opened two nice restaurants right across the street from The Yard. New residential housing has sprung up in recent years across the street and the down the street from The Yard. That whole part of Downtown looks a kazillion times different than it did in March of 2000 when The Yard first opened. Enough said.

Mario Mendoza of course is the source of the Mendoza Line and he played for the Pirates, Mariners and Rangers from 1974-1982 and had a career batting average of .215. Mendoza played in the 1974 NLCS and batted – what else – .200.

The Rangers are in town for three this weekend.

Have a safe and happy Mother’s Day weekend!

Read Full Post »

I’m Confused

This morning the Yankees have the best record in MLB. During the 7 game 2017 ALCS last season, which team scored the most runs, the Yankees or the ‘Stros?

I am a bit confused about the following. Maybe Pulitzer Prize winning Chron columnist Lisa Falkenberg will enlighten me this Sunday in her column. Here is the beginning of an online story in the Chron this morning:

The Houston man released from death row after more than a decade may have “bluffed his way out of prison,” Harris County attorneys alleged in federal court filings this week.

Alfred Dewayne Brown was sentenced to die for the slaying of Houston police officer, but was freed in 2015 after a police investigator uncovered phone records in his garage that defense lawyers said corroborated Brown’s alibi.

But now, the county is alleging the phone call doesn’t prove Brown’s innocence because it was actually a three-way call, showing he was not home at his girlfriend’s. The shifting interpretation of the old records stems from a new expert analysis that Brown’s attorneys have already begun calling into question.

Now this is the same story in the hard copy that landed on my sidewalk this morning. Check the italics in both versions:

The Houston man released from death row after more than a decade may have “bluffed his way out of prison,” Harris County attorneys alleged in federal court filings this week.

Alfred Dewayne Brown was sentenced to die for the slaying of Houston police officer, but was freed in 2015 after a police investigator uncovered phone records in his garage that defense lawyers said corroborated Brown’s alibi.

But now, the Harris County Attorney’s Office is alleging the phone call doesn’t prove Brown’s innocence because it was actually a three-way call, showing he was not home at his girlfriend’s. The shifting interpretation of the old records stems from a new expert analysis that Brown’s attorneys have already begun calling into question.

Here is the entire read: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/article/County-alleges-former-death-row-inmate-bluffed-12900548.php.

So, is it county attorneys or the Harris County Attorney’s Office? It kind of makes a difference. How come they got involved anyway? How come the Chron used two different versions?  I guess I will soon find out.

The Trib has two articles on the Dem candidates for Texas Governor. This is the only line that stood out to me:

Also as White was making the rounds, Valdez had started to emerge as a potential candidate. He dialed up some people he knew in Dallas and asked for their opinions of her. His conclusion: “I need to stay in this race.”

That was kind of an ouch line.

Here is the story on Andrew White: https://www.texastribune.org/2018/05/10/son-governor-andrew-white-long-avoided-politics-then-health-crisis-his/.

Here is the story on Lupe Valdez: https://www.texastribune.org/2018/05/10/lupe-valdezs-quest-oppose-gov-greg-abbott-could-hinge-single-debate/.

In the 2017 ALCS, the Yankees scored a total of 22 runs and the ‘Stros 20 of course.

We swept the A’s in their crib and now host the Rangers this weekend. We also have the best pitching staff in MLB, don’t you think?

Read Full Post »

Only two ‘Stros players have hit triples this season. Name the two?

That was also my reaction. Commentary is talking about the bullying move the Katy ISD Board is fixing to pull by hiring a law firm to sue anyone who accuses the Katy superintendent of past bullying. That is a typical bullying tactic. Commentary is glad that Pulitzer Prize winning Chron columnist Lisa Falkenberg is taking the bullying move on in her column today. Here is how Falkenberg ends her column today:

A defamation lawsuit will resolve nothing. It will only waste taxpayer money on hefty attorney fees in a legal battle that has slim chance of prevailing.

Surely, Katy school trustees can find a better use for public funds. And surely, they can set a better example for students.

Bullying — whether by children or by full-grown elected officials — is never the answer.

Here is Lisa’s entire column: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/columnists/falkenberg/article/In-Katy-answer-to-bullying-allegations-isn-t-12898942.php.

Really, Katy school board? Who came up with this bullying tactic idea? Dumb move by the Katy school board and they certainly deserve all the bad publicity that this creates.

Commentary and others have said that the current state of GOP politics has brought the haters to the forefront. In some cases, they hold key positions in government. Heck, just look at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Here is how a Chron E-Board take starts today:

It must be tough to be a Republican state attorney general with a member of your own party occupying the White House. All that fun you had suing a Democratic president gets taken away.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, like his predecessor Greg Abbott, took great pleasure in suing the Obama administration. Sometimes he won, sometimes he lost, but it was always red meat to the base. Now with Donald Trump in the White House, what to do, what to do?

Sue the Obama administration, anyhow. That’s essentially what Paxton did this week when his office filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging the constitutionality of Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. Six other states — all with Republican attorneys general — joined Texas in the lawsuit.

It’s a move that has even perplexed other Texas Republicans.

“I honestly don’t understand what the state is asking for,” U.S. Sen. John Cornyn said Friday in Dallas.

Here is the entire E-Board take: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/Paxton-s-DACA-lawsuit-strays-from-Texas-12898883.php.

Come on! Sorry, pal! Guys like Sen. Cornyn have allowed haters like Paxton to climb up the GOP ladder, so don’t tell us you honestly don’t understand what the state is asking for. You know exactly what Paxton is up to.

Latinos will certainly remember who the haters are this November.

Candice Bergen is celebrating her birthday today. Everyone knows her for her Emmy awards winning portrayal of “Murphy Brown.” Some might remember her “Boston Legal” days. Others for “Gandhi”, “Carnal Knowledge”, “Miss Congeniality” or her Oscar nominated role in “Starting Over.” Commentary loved her in “The Wind and the Lion” as Mrs. Pedecaris starring with Sean Connery and in a flick folks have probably have never heard of, “Soldier Blue.” Happy Birthday Candice Bergen!

Tags pointed out last night that no nos have now been tossed this season in Oakland, Monterrey and Toronto – three different countries for the first time ever in a MLB season. Cool!

Derek Fisher has two triples and Jose Altuve has one of course.

Lance McCullers, Jr. leads the team with five wins and the team is playing better.

Read Full Post »

Ranger pitchers lead MLB in giving up 201 runs this season. Name the MLB club that has given up the least number of runs?

All I can say about the NY AG, he didn’t even last a news cycle. Yikes!

Thank you a mil, NRA!  Your gift to us of Oliver North will go a long way toward helping Dems win big this November!

Gov. Greg Abbott says Harris County can hold a flood bond election on Saturday, August 25. Now comes the hard part. Where are the proposed projects going? Everyone knows that Harris County government is notorious for short changing H-Town city residents when it comes to providing services. Well, we get to vote on this, so H-Town voters will be looking for some love from the County, all things being equal. It can’t be the business as usual BS.

An Op-Ed in today’s Chron is urging Rockets fans at Toyota to be in their seats by tipoff this evening. Here it is: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/outlook/article/Why-can-t-Rockets-fans-show-up-on-time-12895249.php.

Have to get our priorities right tonight.

On this National Teacher Appreciation Day, Commentary had some good ones like Mrs. Elms and Mrs. Stone but the one I have to give a nod to today is my high school geometry teacher, Drew Dunlap.   Coach Dunlap used to hand out the test results in grade numeric order from worse to best along with a running commentary. It was funny. Once I figured out geometry, it was smooth sailing and I have to give Coach Dunlap credit, it’s due.

Read this from the Chron:

Coach Dunlap honored by running buddies

FACES IN THE CROWD Former coach taught students about ethics

DOUG DODSON, Chronicle Correspondent

Published 5:30 am, Thursday, September 22, 2005

Drew Dunlap said it was the highlight of his 29 years as a coach.

The Goose Creek Consolidated Independent School District honored the long-time Baytown educator and coach by renaming the track complex at Sterling High School the Drew Dunlap Track and Field Facility.

More than 250 friends, colleagues and former students watched the formal dedication Saturday.

“I thought there might be three or four people showing up for this,” Dunlap said. “So I couldn’t believe it when all of these people came out. It was very touching to know that they thought enough to come out for this. Some even flew in from Florida just to be here.

“I just about broke up when I got up to speak. It really means so much to me,” said Dunlap, who now resides in Wimberly.

First coach at Sterling

Dunlap was the first track and field coach at Sterling when it opened its doors in 1966.

He served as track and cross country coach there until his retirement in 1995.

During that time, Dunlap also taught math for 14 years.

Dunlap, who specialized in the half-mile (800 meter) run as a member and senior captain of the University of Texas track team, discovered his love of the sport by accident.

“When I was in junior high I wanted to play football,” he said.

“But they had a rule that in order to play football, you had to run track, too.

“It turned out I was pretty successful at running. Then I tore up my knee in football, so that’s when I just concentrated on running track. I really loved it and was pretty good at it,” Dunlap said.

While at Sterling, Dunlap led the Rangers to 15 district track and field championships and 11 district cross country titles.

In addition, 11 of Dunlap’s teams advanced to the state meets. Although his list of success is long, Dunlap has no trouble recalling his most memorable moment as a coach.

No championship was on the line in the spring of 1967, only Sterling pride.

“The first year Sterling opened, all we had were freshmen and sophomores, but we still had to play the 5A teams,” Dunlap said. “That first track team had all freshmen and two juniors that transferred from Lee. We got shut out in our first two meets. I mean we don’t score a single point. So everyone was expecting us to get shut out again at district.

“But we managed to get two fifth-place finishes that gave us four points. You never saw such a big celebration,” the veteran coach said.

By the fourth year all of his original freshmen, who were now seniors, used their training and experience to race away with Sterling’s first district track crown.

“From that point on we had guys who were well trained, and we did pretty well from then on,” Dunlap said.

While the Dallas native was adept at coaching track, he also provided his students with lessons they would need to succeed in life.

Robert Knight, Sterling class of ’93, who ran track at Baylor University, says Dunlap’s impact on his life can’t be measured in words.

“He’s a guy with the highest morals and values,” Knight said. “He taught us things that we didn’t appreciate at that time in our lives.

“There are different levels of coaches out there, and he is at that highest level. He was extremely dedicated and one of those guys that you can’t put into words how much he did. He helped us mature, and helped us develop a strong work ethic.”

‘Like a father to me’

Barry Coffman , Sterling class of ’78, says Dunlap was a father figure, especially after his father passed away in 1980.

“He was like a father to me. I use his values to this day, and I explain that to my kids. He didn’t just talk the talk, but he walked the walk. He always led by example.”

Mark Seale, who has been the Sterling girls track coach for 21 years, including 14 with Dunlap, said renaming the track was an honor that was well earned by Dunlap.

“Honesty, integrity, and follows the rules to a T — that’s Drew Dunlap,” Seale said. Seale remembered an instance of Dunlap’s impeccable character during a one-day trip to Lake Charles, La.

“On the way home we stopped at a restaurant and ate,” he said. “After we were all back on the bus and on our way, he discovered we didn’t pay for one meal. He said we had to go back and pay, so we turned the bus around and went all the way back to that restaurant.

“He went inside and explained to the manager what happened,” Seale said. “The guy told him not to worry about it. That summarizes just what kind of guy he is all about.”

Former Sterling principal Ed Wachtel said although Dunlap was a great track coach, he was also an excellent teacher in the classroom.

“One thing most people forget is that he was an excellent math teacher,” he said. “And he taught higher math classes, like trigonometry. He had a total dedication and caring attitude about kids.”

Dunlap thanked the Goose Creek board, administration, teachers and students who supported him through three decades at Sterling.

But, he said, the greatest appreciation comes from seeing the fruits of his labor.

Fruit of his labors

“The best thing about all this is just seeing the wonderful men those guys turned into,” he said. “Once they were a bunch of 13 and 14 year old kids, now they are doctors and lawyers. They are all good citizens.

“That is something I pride myself on — following these guys and seeing what great people they have become.”

That reward, he said, has made his journey worthwhile.

“I only applied for two jobs my whole life — one at Lee (as an assistant coach) and then one here at Sterling,” Dunlap said.

“We came over here in the fall of 1966, and knew that we wanted to live in Baytown for a long time. I have enjoyed it here, and my entire family enjoyed it here,” Dunlap said.

“If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t change a single thing.”

Thanks, Coach Dunlap!

‘Stros pitchers of course have given up the least number of runs in MLB this season at 105.

16 runs, 6 base hits for #SpringerDinger, 5 RBIs for Marwin, 8 innings from Keuchel, that’s what we expect, right?

Read Full Post »

HISD Again

Who leads MLB with most innings pitched this morning?

In case you wanted to know, Germany signed an unconditional surrender at Allied headquarters in France 73 years ago today.

Commentary’s guess is as good as yours as to what is going to save our failing schools and prevent a state takeover of HISD. Here are parts of yesterday’s take by the Chron E-Board with my comments for your review:

Parents have demonstrated an impressive passion for and patience with HISD. Many families waited more than two hours as board members convened in executive session during the now-infamous HISD meeting that resulted in arrests and community members booted from the district administration building. Parents will have to keep up that engagement and advocacy if HISD is to rescue its improvement-required campuses and remain a viable option for all Houston children.

The HISD board needs to start working hand-in-hand with these parents. That means transparency in its plans, listening to parents and students — even if they go over their allotted time during public comments — and putting an end to internal squabbling.

HISD really hasn’t tried this before. Commentary is talking about listening to the parents and working with them.

And this:

The business and nonprofit community also has an opportunity to help provide guidance and resources.

You know how I feel about the business community collectively. They have failed us by not confronting the GOP state leadership on behalf of funding for our schools.

And this:

It would be an easy way out of this mess if Mike Morath, commissioner of TEA, had the manpower and the resources to rescue our kids while Houstonians applaud from the sidelines.

This won’t work and has not worked because they don’t have the resources or wherewithal.  What would they do differently?

Here is the entire disappointing take: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/Don-t-give-up-on-HISD-Editorial-12890026.php.

Why disappointing? Commentary has said it before. Like it or not, the Houston Federation of Teachers were huge players in the last HISD Trustee elections and they should not be discounted. They need to be at the table and I hope the E-Board recognizes this one day soon. The should have gotten a major mention in yesterday’s take.  Like it or not.

I have to hand it to the Donald Trump legal team. The strategy of blowing up stuff is working. Bringing in Rudy Giuliani to unload grenade after grenade was genius. It has everyone all over the map. It certainly doesn’t help out the GOP’s prospects this November but that is not the goal of the Trump strategy. Their goal is to save Trump’s arse from the Robert Mueller investigation.

Don’t bother to ask Commentary why Stormy Daniels went on SNL.

I couldn’t find the obits in the today’s hard copy of the Chron unless they moved them again.

Justin Verlander of course leads MLB pitchers with 53 and 2/3 innings pitched and he also has a 1.17 ERA.

We can talk about the blown call yesterday that I watched, or we can talk about the inconsistent hitting. I know it is only May 7 and we have a lot of baseball left, but still.

Read Full Post »

HISD Surprise

Commentary stayed up last night to watch Albert Pujols reach the 3,000 career base hit milestone. He didn’t make it. He’s sitting at 2,999. Name the MLB club that Pujols has the most career base hits off of?

Under normal circumstances, an HISD Trustee asking the HISD Board President to step down is big news. An HISD Trustee asking the HISD Board President to step down while the Texas Education Agency is deciding to takeover HISD is huge news. See this from the Chron:

Houston ISD Trustee Elizabeth Santos on Thursday called for school board President Rhonda Skillern-Jones, to “immediately step down” from her position in light of last week’s heated board meeting, which resulted in two arrests and dozens of community members temporarily booted from the district administration building.

In a message shared on Facebook, Santos said Skillern-Jones’s “wholly unjustified” actions at last week’s board meeting have eroded public trust, prompting her call for Skillern-Jones to relinquish her post as board president. Santos did not demand Skillern-Jones resign her position as a trustee. She is the only member of the nine-person board who publicly has called for Skillern-Jones to give up her post, though other trustees have criticized Skillern-Jones’s handling of last week’s meeting.

“Right now, the shame of our actions and inactions at the April 24 board meeting looms over our board,” Santos wrote. “It clouds our decisions and intentions from proper public scrutiny and erodes the trust our community places in us.”

And this:

Many crowd members who were ordered to leave last week’s meeting have called on Skillern-Jones to step down as board president. Reached by phone Thursday, HISD trustees Wanda Adams, Jolanda Jones and Sue Deigaard did not echo those calls.

“Many may not support her actions and the way it was done, but this doesn’t warrant stepping down as board president,” Adams said. She added that she believes it was “not proper” for Santos to publicly call on Skillern-Jones to step down without talking to the entire board of trustees.

Here is the entire article: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/HISD-trustee-calls-on-Skillern-Jones-to-12886406.php.

This kind of came as a surprise to Commentary. I have no idea what others in the H-Town political community are thinking. I have no idea where this is going.  It certainly is not business as usual.

How aggressive will Trustee Santos move on this? Do some folks get her to back off or stand down? We will see.

Commentary said this last week:

Don’t do it! Commentary is talking about any self-respecting city in America thinking about hosting the 2020 GOP National Convention.

Commentary is glad the City of San Antonio listened to me. Here is this from the SA Express News:

The city of San Antonio will not submit a bid to host the 2020 Republican National Convention, a decision announced after council members met Thursday in closed session to discuss the matter.

The cost of pursuing the event — an international spectacle that could draw 40,000 visitors, including 15,000 reporters — outweighs the potential economic impact that could be $200 million, Mayor Ron Nirenberg and most council members agreed.

The host city, through a local committee that would be composed of business leaders, would be expected to raise about $70 million, including about $6 million from public coffers.

“As a whole, the City Council did not feel it was worth it to move forward,” Nirenberg said shortly after concluding the closed-session meeting with his colleagues.

He said there was absolutely no discussion about politics, and the discussion centered on economic issues.

Council members Greg Brockhouse and Clayton Perry chided the decision, saying they believe the city is missing a golden opportunity to put San Antonio in the international spotlight and bring jobs and millions of dollars of spending to the city.

Though there was no actual vote in the council’s executive session, the mayor said the consensus in the room was not to proceed with a bid for the multi-day convention scheduled for August of 2020. The decision, he said, extends to the Democratic National Convention.

San Antonio has not bid on a national political convention in two decades, Nirenberg said.

The RNC issue has come to the forefront because party leaders specifically asked for a bid from San Antonio, and the GOP representative in charge of site selection visited San Antonio in March to personally ask for leaders here to consider submitting a bid.

At a late-March lunch, when Ron Kaufman, the chairman of the site-selection committee, dined with several local leaders, including the mayor, Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff and former Mayor Phil Hardberger, it was apparently made clear there wasn’t much interest in pursuing the convention. Those who attended the lunch say they thought the matter was closed. The following day, Nirenberg received a call informing him that the RNC was no longer interested in San Antonio as a potential location.

Then, last week, Brad Parscale — President Donald Trump’s current campaign manager and former San Antonian — began making phone calls urging the city to bid on the convention and ultimately took to Twitter to trash Nirenberg for not immediately submitting one.

Nirenberg informed council members that there appeared to be renewed interest in San Antonio and convened Thursday’s executive session on the matter.

Meanwhile, local business leaders have circulated a couple letters, insisting that there’s a strong desire to bring the convention to San Antonio — and solicit the requisite funds for hosting the event.

One letter claims that the RNC has relieved the city of a requirement to put up public dollars toward the cost of the convention.

“Historically — and in most cases with political conventions — the city and county would each allocate $2 to $3 million towards the overall cost of the convention,” according to a letter from B.J. “Red” McCombs, John Montford, Dennis Nixon and Eddie Aldrete. “However, the RNC has informed San Antonio that as long as there is a genuine commitment of a hand-in-hand partnership to ensure a successful convention, the city’s financial commitment can be made up with funds that are raised privately.”

Here is the entire read: https://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local/politics/article/City-Council-decides-against-bidding-for-GOP-12886026.php.

Why would any major city want this gigantic headache these days? San Antonio is a city with a rich Latino culture. Why would they want a Latino hater like Trump and his followers spending a few days in your city? Nice job, SA!

Texas U.S. Senator John Cornyn is up for reelection in 2020. Did he send in a letter asking for his San Antonio to host the 2020 convention?

Albert Pujols has 282 career base hits off of the ‘Stros – the most off of any MLB club of course.


Commentary is not going to question the Skipper’s pitching moves yesterday. There are a ton of others doing that. I will save my energy for other things.

And on this day 48 years ago, a day I still remember, from Neil Young:

Tin soldiers and Nixon coming,
We’re finally on our own.
This summer I hear the drumming,
Four dead in Ohio.

Never forget Kent State.

Have a safe Cinco de Mayo weekend.

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »