Archive for July 10th, 2018

We Got it Right

In November of 1996, when Harris County voters voted on approving a baseball and football stadium, what was the final percentage of yes over no?

Commentary has said it before. On local public policy issues, one of the big things H-Town got it right on was the decision to build The Yard in the eastern part of Downtown H-Town. Remember how that part of Downtown looked in 1999, the year before The Yard opened. Now look at that part of Downtown on July 10, 2018.

Night and day doesn’t even come close. What would have happened if we had decided to build The Yard over at the Astrodome complex like a few folks wanted?

The decision to build The Yard Downtown is arguably the biggest factor in Downtown’s transformation over the past twenty-five years.

You can thank folks like Drayton McLane, Jr., Pam Gardner, the late Mayor Bob Lanier, Mayor Lee Brown, The Dean, the late State Senator Mario Gallegos, State Rep. Carol Alvarado, Dave Walden, the original members of the Harris County – Houston Sports Authority and I’ll mention my best friend, Al Luna, who was one of the original Sports Authority Board Members, key Downtown Business leaders and the list goes on and on, and I’ll mention Mayor Bill White who brought us Discovery Green.

I am sure I left some folks off the list.

It was great to see the ‘Stros sign a lease at The Yard through 2050. That tells me The Yard is in good shape and a very good investment.

Here is from a tweet from State Rep. Carol Alvarado yesterday:

Woo Hoo! @astros will call Minute Maid Pk home till @ least 2050! Attended the lease signing 2day. I campaigned for the referendum in 1996 w/ @MarcCommentary, Sen. Mario Gallegos, @whitmire_john Al Luna, the Lanier’s & many others. Good 2c my fav gals @cindy8000 @DrLauraMurillo

Here is the Chron article on the lease extension: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/sports/astros/article/Astros-extend-Minute-Maid-Park-lease-through-2050-13060770.php.

Commentary was told bout this a couple or so months ago. Here is from the Chron:

A state commission has opened an investigation into the Houston Fire Department’s safety standards after the firefighters’ union accused the department of failing to protect its members from carcinogens to which they are routinely exposed.

Texas Commission on Fire Protection investigators will examine whether HFD complies with state laws requiring departments to clean protective clothing, called bunker gear, and maintain a standard operating procedure to do so.

“Houston firefighters are responding to multiple working fires a day and there is no mechanism that has been initiated to ensure firefighters do not have to wear contaminated bunker gear,” Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association President Marty Lancton wrote in a letter to the fire commission.

Six current and former Houston firefighters — four of whom are battling cancer — said the department’s gear cleaning procedures are inadequate and force members to repeatedly wear equipment that is contaminated. They say the fire department leadership has been reluctant to adopt new practices despite research establishing links between firefighting and cancer, and that City Hall repeatedly has refused to invest in firefighter safety.

HFD Chief Sam Peña said the department has procedures to keep gear clean, but he acknowledged other deficiencies the department faces.

Here is the entire article: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/State-launches-probe-into-HFD-safety-procedures-13060778.php.

They need to fix this, like right now. Please.

Harris County voters approved the baseball and football stadiums in 1996 by a 51% to 49% margin of course.

It is Dollar Dog Night this evening at The Yard.

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