Archive for July 19th, 2018

Our Firefighters

#SpringerDinger and Alex Bregman had All Star Game dingers Tuesday night. If you read today’s Chron Sports Section, you now know who are the other two ‘Stros with All Star Game dingers – name the two?

Commentary tweeted this about Donald Trump’s first lying mouthpiece who was on my flat screen this morning:

Extremely disappointed to see @NBCNews @TODAYshow and @SavannahGuthrie give air time to this guy to promote his book. You are better than this.

This fella doesn’t deserve air time on any credible news network. Why does NBC News do this to itself?

He is still lying. He is still lying. He is still lying.

Commentary is glad the Chron E-Board ran this editorial today on our H-Town firefighters. Protecting our firefighters is a nobrainer for sure. Here is from the E-Board:

Firefighters routinely are exposed to carcinogens, an occupational peril that’s become increasingly evident in this century. Now a group of city of Houston firefighters, some of whom are battling cancer, complain that the department doesn’t have the equipment or the procedures necessary to adequately clean dangerous substances from protective equipment they wear on the job. The Texas Commission on Fire Protection has rightly opened an investigation, but this problem needs to be addressed locally — and quickly.

Everybody knows firefighting is a dangerous job — one that requires not only courage but stamina. Lugging around 60 pounds of bunker gear, including a heavy coat, thick pants, breathing apparatus, air tank and a helmet is challenge enough while battling a blaze. Now imagine hauling a hose or an axe into a burning building on a hot summer day while carrying an injured victim down a staircase. But there’s a difference between dangers that can’t be avoided and those that can.

Only recently has the likelihood of contracting cancer been quantified. In 2010, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health concluded that nearly 30,000 firefighters whose careers spanned six decades had a roughly 9 percent increase in cancer diagnoses and a 14 percent increase in cancer-related deaths. The firefighters’ union says 28 of its roughly 4,000 members have died since 2000 from cancers caused by on-the-job carcinogens, and at least 10 active-duty firefighters currently have cancer.

Modern building materials and furniture made from plastics and other synthetic matter can release carcinogens when they burn. Firefighters’ bunker gear can absorb microscopic particles of those substances that can stay in place if the material isn’t deep-cleaned in machinery called a gear extractor. HFD follows national protocol by requiring each article of gear to be deep-cleaned at least once a year.

Firefighters argue that’s not often enough. They also complain that none of HFD’s 94 fire stations has extractors to deep-clean gear more than once a year, even though Dallas, San Antonio, Austin and El Paso all provide their firefighters with several in-house extractors. Fire Chief Sam Pena has been passing the hat since shortly after he was appointed in late 2016, seeking private donations to purchase gear-cleaning equipment for individual stations. The chief says he’s now in the process of buying the equipment for the downtown station, and he plans to eventually install commercial extractors in 25 stations. But this equipment should have been in place a long time ago.

Houston City Council’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee, chaired by Brenda Stardig, needs to ride herd on this issue. Council members should call Chief Pena and union representatives into chambers for a public discussion about what our city must do to adequately protect its firefighters from cancer. After studying the best practices instituted by other departments, the mayor and city council need to ensure that enough stations have cleaning equipment to adequately protect firefighters from this potentially deadly hazard.

Here is the entire take: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/Fighting-HFD-cancer-13086600.php.

Let’s fix this soon, please! Thanks, E-Board.

Race car driver Danica Patrick got panned last night by AP for her monologue to open the ESPYs. Yes, I watched the ESPYs. It was Ok in my book.

Hey, she’s a race car driver! Go after the writers instead.

The 141 female athletes on who stood on stage at the end was a powerful moment for sure. Wow!

Shame on USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic Committee.

Check this from the Trib:

Surge of candidates leaves Texas Democrats struggling to recruit qualified staffers

The uptick in the number of Democrats running across Texas this election cycle has exposed a weakness in the party’s statewide apparatus: a shortage of experienced operatives equipped to run so many campaigns.

And this:

With the 2018 midterms on the horizon, Democrats have more candidates competing in congressional and state legislative races in Texas than the party has seen in years, as a wave of liberal enthusiasm fueled largely by opposition to President Donald Trump sweeps across the country. But the uptick in Democratic candidates has exposed a weakness in the party’s statewide apparatus, according to interviews with more than a dozen candidates, consultants and political experts: a shortage of experienced operatives equipped to run so many campaigns.

The origins of the problem date back to the 1990s, when Republicans swept Democrats out of the state’s major offices, making it harder for many Democratic campaign staffers to find work between elections.

“It’s a problem that has been around for a while,” said Colin Strother, a longtime Democratic strategist in Texas. “It’s just more pronounced this cycle because we have more competitive Democratic races than we have had in a generation.”

Here is the entire story: https://www.texastribune.org/2018/07/19/texas-democrats-candidates-recruit-qualified-staff/.

In a way it is a good problem to have, I guess.

One of the things I like about playing in the AL West is that we get to see Angels center fielder Mike Trout nine times or so a year at The Yard. The guy is a class act. Most folks think he’s the best player in the game right now. I just don’t like him to do too much damage to us when he is batting here.

The MLB Commissioner said the other day that Mike Trout is hard to market because he doesn’t want to be marketed. Got it? I think what the Commissioner really meant to say is Mike Trout won’t help market MLB. Got it?

We still have seven opportunities this season to see Mike Trout at The Yard this season.

Cesar Cedeno and Craig Biggio of course have All Star Game dingers.

B-More owns the second lousiest record in MLB. They just traded away their shortstop Manny Machado, their best player. Commentary looks at it this way. Our last four games of the season are at Camden Yards so that’s Ok with me.

That was pretty cool to win Best Team last night at the ESPYs.

Nice job by the Chron headline writers this morning for their hard copy headline on the ‘Stros: Hunt for deep October resumes. Nice.


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