Archive for January, 2019

Three Baseball Hall of Fame greats were born on January 31. One is still with us. Name the greats?

The Chron E-Board has a take today on the ignorant stuff said by Tom Brokaw this past Sunday. Here is how the take ends:

As a nation, as a state, we fail every day to give Latinos — from Dreamers to third-generation families in the East End — their rightful shot at the American dream.

There are so many things that we as a community can do to aid this assimilation process if we are truly concerned about it.

As Americans, we can elect leaders who value the richness of our country’s diversity and the contributions of immigrants, and view them not as a hindrance but as an economic asset.

As Texans, we can persuade our lawmakers to adequately fund public schools that need more resources to educate children learning English and children in poverty.

Here in Houston, those who are truly concerned about immigrants learning English can volunteer to teach it to the scores of adults in this city eager to learn it. The Houston Public Library has gone from offering English classes at four locations in 2016 to 27 locations today. Attendance has increased by up to 900 students per year, according to Helen Chou, international services manager.

There’s no question that Hispanics — and all immigrants — work hard every day to become Americans. It is America that should return the favor.

Here is the entire take: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/What-Brokaw-got-wrong-What-America-can-get-right-13575384.php.

Some folks like Sergio are still waiting for Opinions Editor Lisa Falkenberg to announce that they finally have a Latino on the E-Board.

I heard yesterday that Tony Buzbee, who wants to be H-Town Mayor, was a huge Dem donor to judicial races this past November. How come he’s hiring GOP consultants? Oh, well.

I have to give props to the folks running the local elections. Yeah, I know it was only one race with 3,481 voters and 27 E-Day voting locations, but it was nice that the final report came in at 9:11 pm.

Saw this tweet yesterday:

Greg Tepper‏Verified account@Tepper 2h2 hours ago


What was the cereal situation in your house growing up? For us, it was a lot of Rice Krispies and Honey Nut Cheerios — nothing extra-sugary.

Ours was Cheerios, Frosted Flakes, Jets (don’t make them anymore), Rice Krispies, and Trix.

These days, Raisin Bran and Shredded Wheat

Nolan Ryan, Ernie Banks and Jackie Robinson were all born on January 31. Jackie Robinson was born 100 years ago today – wow!

Happy Birthday, Nolan!


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Christina Morales

Alex Bregman led the team last season with 103 RBIs. When was the last season where an Astro player had 100 or more RBIs?

Remember when the Chron E-Board said this a couple of weeks or so ago:

We were also impressed with Christina Morales, 50, a businesswoman and city planning commissioner whose family has been a longtime fixture of east Houston’s Hispanic community. Morales is probably running the strongest campaign in this race.

They were right about the strongest campaign. When you run first, you have the strongest campaign in my book.

Go on ahead and admit. You were impressed with Christina Morales’ showing last night. If you weren’t, I can’t help you on this.

Observers, players and other folks need to acknowledge this and give her deserved kudos and props. This was Christina Morales’ first run for public office, and she led an eight person field with 36% of the vote. Her runoff opponent was on a ballot for the sixth time, yes, sixth time, and finished with 31%. Christina also raised more money than all of her opponents combined.

I have been to all of Christina’s events this past month. They are always packed houses. Last night was no different.

Here are some tweets from last night:

Mark P. Jones‏@MarkPJonesTX 2h2 hours ago

Hats off to #txlege #HD145 3rd place finisher @HarrisCountyRP @FierroforTexas, who won 25% of the vote, for mobilizing so many Republican voters in a Blue District Special Election. As in the #SD6 special, she came pretty close to the 2nd place Democrat.

7:11 PM – 29 Jan 2019 from Houston, TX

Patrick Svitek‏Verified account@PatrickSvitek 2h2 hours ago

Patrick Svitek Retweeted Mark P. Jones

FWIW, too: Fierro ended up placing second on Election Day, edging out Noriega. #HD145 #txlege

Keir Murray‏@houtopia

Replying to @PatrickSvitek

I saw something similar after the #SD6 special election. Donald Trump got just under 30% of the vote in #HD145, and down ballot Republicans did better than that – some as high as 36%. 25% of the vote for a Republican is an underperformance in this district, any way you slice it.

Replying to @houtopia @PatrickSvitek

Fierro got 23% in the #SD6 special election. Trump got over 25% and some down ballot Republicans got into the upper 20s in the presidential election, which would normally see higher Democratic turnout than a special election.

The actual votes cast on election day, Melissa Noriega placed third. Think about that for a while.

On Election Day, yesterday:

Morales, 652, 34,74%

GOP Fierro, 563, 29.99%

Noriega, 547, 29.14%.

Third place on E-Day?

Then this:

Harris Democrats‏@harrisdemocrats 9h9 hours ago

Congratulations to Democrats @Moralesfor145 and @NoriegaforTexas headed to a runoff in the #Hd145 Special Election. We’re excited that the district will continue to be represented by a Democratic woman.

Shut up! How about a Latina.

Nice job, Christina! On to the runoff!

In 2009, Carlos Lee of course had 102 RBIs.

50 years ago today, the roof top concert happened. Get Back!

Nothing to report from The Yard.



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Vote Today

If you live within the boundaries of the #TXHD145SpecialElection, vote today.

Here is from Senator Carol Alvarado:

Dear Friends,


That is how many of your neighbors have cast ballots early in the State Representative District 145 Special Election. Every vote matters.

I am reminding you to vote today in this election that is very important to our community. We need to elect a successor to my former state house district who will work with me on the key issues like school finance, Harvey recovery and affordable health care for all families.

You can vote today up until 7 pm. To find your personal voting location visit https://www.harrisvotes.com/.  

Please take the time and make a plan to vote today. Make sure you take your family and remind your friends and co-workers to also vote. In this special election, your vote will certainly count. Your vote could very well make the difference.

Thank you and go vote today.


We will find out tonight what happens.

No MLB question today.

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Progressive Field in Cleveland will host the MLB All Star Game this summer. What MLB city has never hosted an All Star game?

This tweet came out Friday:

Sylvia Garcia‏@LaCongresista Jan 25

If you live in House Dist (1)45 & haven’t voted early yet, you have 4hrs till polls close. Vote at Ripley, HCC Southeast, Moody Park, County Law Library on Congress or County Annex on Scarsdale. Polls close at 7p. If I could vote, I’d vote for Christina Morales.

I would say it is the strongest endorsement for any candidate in this race. From the first Dem Latina from Harris County to go to Congress. The strongest in my book. Hard to argue with Commentary on this.

Here is what happened on Day 11 of Early Voting in Person in the #TXHD145SpecialElection, and the final day, may I add:

139 HCC

119 Ripley

81 Scarsdale

36 Moody

32 Downtown

12 Mail Ballots

419 Total

Final overall totals:

540 HCC

381 Ripley

314 Scarsdale

112 Moody

98 Downtown

83 Mail Ballots

1528 Total to Date

Remember this tweet:

Evan, Voight-Kampff passer liked

Justin L. Farrell‏@houstonstrategy 4h4 hours ago

Justin L. Farrell Retweeted Diane Trautman

This election will be lucky to break 1500 #HD145

1528. Oh, well!

Well, some incredibly ignorant manure fell out of Tom Brokaw’s piehole yesterday on “Meet the Press”. Here is the transcript:

CHUCK TODD: The problem is in Wyoming and in South Dakota, they think they need a wall. And in Texas and in Arizona, they don’t.

TOM BROKAW: I know. And a lot of this, we don’t want to talk about. But the fact is, on the Republican side, a lot of people see the rise of an extraordinary, important, new constituent in American politics, Hispanics, who will come here and all be Democrats. Also, I hear, when I push people a little harder, “Well, I don’t know whether I want brown grandbabies.” I mean, that’s also a part of it. It’s the intermarriage that is going on and the cultures that are conflicting with each other.

I also happen to believe that the Hispanics should work harder at assimilation. That’s one of the things I’ve been saying for a long time. You know, they ought not to be just codified in their communities but make sure that all their kids are learning to speak English, and that they feel comfortable in the communities. And that’s going to take outreach on both sides, frankly.

Brokaw apologized. Sigh.

After a long day of campaigning Saturday, Christina Morales attended a small dinner for Lance McCullers’ charity that was attended by McCullers, Jose Altuve and Justin Verlander. She scored me a baseball with their John Hancocks. Cool.

Remember when former County Judge Ed Emmett said he was going to work on fixing the local GOP or something like that. Check out this headline in today’s online Chron:

Harris County GOP draws fire for post blaming “leftism” for the Holocaust

Here is the read: https://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/texas/article/Harris-County-GOP-draws-fire-for-post-blaming-13566040.php?utm_campaign=CMS%20Sharing%20Tools%20(Desktop)&utm_source=t.co&utm_medium=referral.

Good luck, Judge.

St. Pete, Tampa Bay, has never hosted an All Star game of course.

Nothing from The Yard today.


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Jose Altuve has 1,419 career base hits. Among active MLBers, where does he rank in career base hits?

Here is what happened on Day 10 of Early Voting in Person in the #TXHD145SpecialElection.

69 Ripley

60 HCC

43 Scarsdale

17 Moody

11 Downtown

44 Mail Ballots

244 Total

1109 Total to Date

Big jump in Early Voting in Person turnout yesterday.

Today is the last day of Early Voting in Person. Do it!

Then this tweet:

Diane Trautman‏@dtrautman 12h12 hours ago

Diane Trautman Retweeted Harris County Clerk

There have been 1,109 votes cast in the #HD145 special election. Tomorrow is the last day of Early Voting, polls are open from 7AM until 7PM. Locations and more information are available at http://harrisvotes.com . #hounews #TXLege

Followed by this tweet:

Evan, Voight-Kampff passer liked

Justin L. Farrell‏@houstonstrategy 4h4 hours ago

Justin L. Farrell Retweeted Diane Trautman

This election will be lucky to break 1500 #HD145

I don’t know if 391 will show up today.

The Chron E-board has a take on the City of H-Town trash pick-up situation and here is how their take ends:

Opinion // Editorials

Houston trash pickup stinks. Here’s how to fix it. [Editorial]

By The Editorial Board Jan. 24, 2019

First, we suggest council consider this, a smart solution we found, of all places in the City of Houston’s own Ten Year Plan, dated November 2017.

On Page 161, the plan suggests “managed competition,” allowing private firms to bid against the city for the best deal on many services, including waste management. The report lists savings other cities saw through managed competition: Phoenix: $25 million the first year, in the 1970’s. Indianapolis: $28 million annually. Philadelphia: an estimated $16.4 million annually.

With “effective oversight,” the report says the approach could solve problems in areas such as solid waste and recycling, along with fleet maintenance – where, we should note, mechanics are currently accumulating, along with drivers, thousands of hours of overtime pay to clear the backlog.

The report even notes the bidding could be done by zone, to reduce risk. City jobs would be lost, but it could create some in the private sector. And there’s already precedent in Houston, where more than 50,000 residents as of 2017 were relying on private solid waste providers through sponsorship agreements with homeowners associations.

There you have it, city leaders. A solution right under your nose. What do you think? Smells good to us.

Here is the entire take: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/Houston-trash-pickup-stinks-Here-s-how-to-fix-13560379.php.

That probably will not happen. Folks would have to be laid off.

My green bin is supposed to be picked up this Sunday.

In the career base hits department, Jose Altuve of course ranks #46 among active MLBers.

I don’t have anything from The Yard today.


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Vote Early

Who will be the fourth MLBer to reach 2,000 career RBIs?

The next State Representative from HD 145 will serve on the Corrections and Urban Affairs Committees.

Here is what happened on Day 9 of Early Voting in Person in the #TXHD145SpecialElection.

HCC 39

Scarsdale 30

Ripley 18

Downtown 9

Moody 9

Mail Ballots 18

Total 123

Total to date, 865.

Senator Carol Alvarado sent this out this morning:

Dear Friends,

In my election for the State Senate last month, 15,339 turned out to vote. I avoided a runoff by 55 votes. Every vote matters.

I am reminding you to go vote early in the State Representative District 145 Special Election. This election is important to our community. We need to elect a successor to our state house district who will work with me on school finance, Harvey recovery, and affordable health care for all families.

You can vote early from 7 am to 7 pm now through this Friday, January 25.  The early voting locations are as follows:

Harris County Law Library – Conference Center

1019 Congress Avenue, 77002  

Moody Park Community Center

3725 Fulton Street, 77009 

Ripley House Neighborhood Center

4410 Navigation Boulevard, 77011 

H.C.C.S. Southeast College

Parking Garage

6960 Rustic Street, 77087

Harris County Scarsdale Annex

10851 Scarsdale Boulevard, 77089

Please take the time and make a plan to vote early over the next couple of days. Make sure you take your family and remind your friends and co-workers to also vote. In this special election, your vote will certainly count. For more information visit https://www.harrisvotes.com/.  

Thank you and go vote. 


I saw this tweet last night:

Sylvester Turner‏Verified account@SylvesterTurner 18m18 minutes ago

Tonight, I accepted the Antonio Villaraigosa Leadership Award with pride and humility. Thanks to the @LLN_USA for honoring me as a mayor from a city with a significant Latino population who has exhibited an outstanding commitment to bringing diverse communities together.

44.5% of the H-Town population is more than significant. We are the largest population group. Last thing Commentary wants to do is argue with H-Town City Hall.

I don’t have much to say about the HISD Board and the TEA investigation on meetings.

I also don’t have much to say about our local member of Congress taking some #MeTooMovement hits.

Albert Pujols of course has 1,982 RBIs and needs 18 for the 2,000 club.

Dallas Keuchel and Marwin Gonzalez are still free agents. Something fishy is going on here.


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HD 145 Contributions

Mariano Rivera who has 652 career saves got all 425 votes yesterday. Billy Wagner has 422 career saves, how many votes did he get yesterday.

I meant to say this yesterday:

The Astros have retired 5 jersey numbers worn by pitchers, name the pitchers?

The 8-day reports for the #TXHD145SpecialElection are in and to date, Christina Morales has raised $56,478.59 and has loaned herself $5,000. Her Democratic opponent has raised $24,874.65 and loaned herself $31,750. Christina Morales is a first-time candidate. Not bad at all.

Here is what happened on Day 8 of Early Voting in Person in the #TXHD145SpecialElection.

Ripley 31

Scarsdale 28

HCC 24

Downtown 9

Moody 9

Mail Ballots 6

Total 107

Total to date, 742.

A tweet on Mariano Rivera’s historic Hall of Fame selection:

Erik Boland‏Verified account @eboland11 48m48 minutes ago

Highest percentage of votes in Baseball HOF history. What stands out is the, and there’s no way around this, absolute idiocy of the fact that it took this long for a unanimous selection

Griffey, Jr., Seaver, Ryan, Ripken, Cobb, Brett, Aaron, Ruth, Mays, Williams, Musial so no need to paint you the picture.

Billy Wagner received 71 votes of course.

Lance Berkman and Roy Oswalt won’t be on any more ballots.   They had good careers, but not Hall of Fame careers.


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Hall of Fame

The Astros have retired 5 jersey numbers worn by Astros, name the pitchers?

From the how low can we go department, a CNN GOP talking head was on the air last night trying to say Donald Trump wasn’t the Grand Wizard of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

It looks like there will be two MLK Day parades in H-Town for a while. Check this from the Chron:

Thousands of Houstonians wrapped in thick blankets and puffy jackets lined Houston’s sidewalks Monday to view the 41st annual Original Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade presented by the city and the Black Heritage Society downtown and at the MLK Grande Parade in midtown.

And this:

At the parade in midtown, just miles away, children bounced up and down San Jacinto Street moving their hips and dancing along with the dozens of bands celebrating King’s legacy. They were among thousands of people who lined the mile-long MLK Grande Parade route.

Here is the entire article: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Martin-Luther-King-Jr-Day-parades-brings-13549797.php?utm_source=sftwitter&utm_campaign=sftwitter.

Commentary doesn’t think H-Town suffered yesterday because of two parades.

There are still green bins sitting out on the streets in my ‘hood. This letter to the Chron editor today does not surprise me:

Trash pickup

It’s pretty clear from the sad state of our solid-waste garbage trucks and lack of timely trash pickups that previous mayoral administrations and city councils have been downright negligent in properly budgeting for this department’s needs. Ancient trucks, extensive repairs and a million dollars of mechanics’ overtime, not to mention delayed services, are the result of chronic underfunding this essential service.

I’d like Mayor Turner to do something about this. Quit glossing over the situation and pretending it’s just a temporary hiccup. It’s not. Here are a few things he can do:

Announce that you cannot meet the biweekly schedule. For the third cycle in a row, my green trashcan, placed on the curb on Tuesday, is still waiting for pickup on Friday evening. Change the schedule to one you can meet until you get this fixed.

Tell us what you are doing to permanently fix this mess. What is the budget going to be? How many new trucks are going to be deployed? When is it going to happen?

Transparency, please, about the severity of this problem and what you are going to do about it.

Wayne Herbert, Houston

Best I can figure, my green bin will be picked up next Sunday. Maybe.

The Astros announced they will create a team Hall of Fame. Here is from Tags:

HOUSTON — The greatest players in Astros history will be immortalized at Minute Maid Park beginning later this year when the club opens a Hall of Fame with the goal to honor, preserve, communicate and educate fans about the rich history of the state’s oldest baseball franchise.

The Astros on Tuesday will unveil plans for the Astros Hall of Fame presented by Houston Methodist, with construction to begin in March. Hall of Fame Alley will replace the current Home Run Alley that runs along the concourse beyond left field and will provide a physical space to honor the greatest players in club history with their own plaques.

The inaugural Hall of Fame class will be large and will include Astros players who have had their numbers retired — Nolan Ryan, Craig Biggio, Jeff Bagwell, Jimmy Wynn, Jose Cruz, Mike Scott, Larry Dierker, Don Wilson and Jim Umbricht — and those who have been honored on the Walk of Fame along Texas Ave. — former players Joe Morgan, Bob Aspromonte, Joe Niekro, J.R. Richard and Shane Reynolds and broadcasters Gene Elston and Milo Hamilton.

If the team is genuine, in the next few years, they will add Drayton and Pam Gardner. If they are petty, they won’t

Astros pitchers Jim Umbright (32), Mike Scott (33), Nolan Ryan (34), Don Wilson (40), and Larry Dierker (49) have their numbers retired.

The 2019 Baseball Hall of Fame class will be announced this afternoon. I wonder how Barry Bonds and The Rocket will do?

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145 Vote

I urge you to read Tag’s story on #SpringerDinger serving as Grand Marshal of the MLK, Jr. Day Parade today: https://www.mlb.com/astros/news/george-springer-to-rep-astros-on-mlk-day/c-302927524.

On this day, name the 4 African Americans on the Astros’ 40-man roster?

This has to be the best tweet I saw this past weekend:

Aaron Stough liked

Not a lawyer‏@InternetHippo 39m39 minutes ago


When a football player points to the sky after a touchdown he’s saying “That one’s for you, international space station”

The Chron E-Board wasted some good space yesterday when they called for the GOP to stand up to Donald Trump. Sure.

The Chron’s Erica Grieder penned a column yesterday on the #TXHD145SpecialElection. Check it out here: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/columnists/grieder/article/Heads-up-Houston-It-s-important-to-vote-even-13546784.php#photo-16766432.

Here is what happened on Day 5 of Early Voting in Person in the #TXHD145SpecialElection.

HCC 54

Ripley 34

Scarsdale 27

Moody 11

Downtown 4

Mail Ballots 3

Total 133

Here is what happened on Day 6 of Early Voting in Person in the #TXHD145SpecialElection.

HCC 44

Ripley 24

Scarsdale 20

Moody 10

Downtown 5

Total 103

Here is what happened on Day 7 of Early Voting in Person in the #TXHD145SpecialElection.

Ripley 13

HCC 11

Downtown 7

Scarsdale 6

Moody 5

Total 42

Total to date, 637, including 5 mail ballots.

That’s less than 1% voter turnout.

In observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, there is no Early Voting in Person today.

Michael Brantley, Josh James, Tony Kemp and #SpringerDinger of course are the African Americans on the 40-man roster.

Nothing else to report from The Yard.

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Diana Davila

Dallas Keuchel is still a free agent. How many career wins does he have?

Here is what happened on Day 4 of Early Voting in Person in the #TXHD145SpecialElection.

HCC 32

Scarsdale 22

Ripley 11

Moody 7

Downtown 2

Total 74

Total to date, 359.

You can never count HISD Trustee Diana Davila down for the count. Commentary certainly does not underestimate her. She can count, can you? She is now the HISD Board President and you are not. Check this from the Chron today:

Houston ISD’s four Hispanic trustees took hold of the school board’s top officer positions Thursday, led by Trustee Diana Dávila winning election as president of the much-maligned governance team.

Here is the entire article: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/education/article/Veteran-trustee-D-vila-chosen-president-of-13543298.php.

Before you start complaining and moaning, this is happening because we have fair and square elections.

Let’s try to all get on the same page and make sure TEA doesn’t come in and snatch our school district from us.

Here is the headline and a Chron story today on the #TXHD145SpecialElection:

Votes scarce in House District 145 special election

By Jasper Scherer

Updated 8:37 pm CST, Thursday, January 17, 2019

Voters in Texas’ 145th House District are trickling to the polls for the first week of early voting in a sluggish special election to replace state Sen. Carol Alvarado in the lower chamber.

Four days in, a mere 359 voters have cast ballots in person or by mail, amounting to less than one percent of the district’s registered voters. Polls will remain open each day through Sunday, close Monday for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and reopen Tuesday through Jan. 25.

The five polling locations will open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. each day except Sunday, when the hours are 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The election has drawn eight candidates, including six Democrats: Elias De La Garza, Oscar Del Toro, Ruben Gonsalez, Christina Morales, Alfred Moreno and Melissa Noriega. Republican Martha Fierro and Libertarian Clayton Hunt also are running.

The blue-leaning district went to Hillary Clinton with 67 percent of the vote in 2016; to Democrat Wendy Davis with 57 percent in the 2014 governor’s race; and to Barack Obama with 60 percent in 2012.

However, with few residents turning out this time, Republicans are hoping for a strong showing from Fierro.

“The dismal turnout opens up the prospects for really anyone getting to the runoff if they’re able to mobilize a small number of individuals to actually turn out,” said Mark Jones, a political scientist at Rice University.

The low turnout is typical for special elections, such as last month’s Senate District 6 special election won by Alvarado, D-Houston. Less than 5 percent of registered voters turned out, some of whom are being asked to return to the polls once again.

In that race, Fierro received 23 percent of the vote, bringing her close to a second-place finish but far behind Alvarado’s 50 percent showing.

Even on uniform election dates, turnout tends to run low in District 145, which runs from the Heights through downtown to parts of Pasadena and South Houston. During the 2016 midterms, about 33,500 of the district’s 71,000 registered voters cast ballots, the sixth-lowest vote total of Harris County’s 24 state House districts.

Only Morales and Noriega appear to be raising and spending significant funds on the race, according to campaign finance reports filed this week.

Through Dec. 31, Morales had raised about $20,000, lent herself $5,000 and spent $4,000. She headed into the final month of the race with about $23,000 cash on hand, her finance report showed.

Noriega maintained a similar campaign balance — $22,600 — on Dec. 31, much of which came from $21,750 in personal loans. She reported raising about $5,200 and spent $2,100.

Otherwise, Del Toro had spent $2,600 of his own funds. The other candidates either did not raise more than $1,000 or had not filed campaign finance reports by the Jan. 15 deadline.

I do sense a bit of voter fatigue. (I am out there, and you are not.) You just have to keep plugging away. That is all you can do.

H-Town City Council Member Karla Cisneros sent out an email yesterday letting folks know about the recycling situation.  She didn’t send a letter to the Chron editor.

Dallas Keuchel has 76 career wins of course.

Nothing to report from The Yard.

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