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Archive for August, 2019

HISD Today

71 years ago, today, Babe Ruth, arguably, the greatest baseball player ever, died. Care to guess how old the Great Bambino was when he passed?

Well, we woke up this morning and still have an active HISD Board of Trustees.

Here is part of Ted Oberg’s take on the current HISD situation:

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — Despite incredibly hard work by HISD students, teachers, administrators and parents to raise accountability ratings, it was not enough.

The chronic low scores at HISD’s Wheatley High School leave the Texas Education Commissioner with no choice under state law but to close the campus or overturn an election, kick out the entire Houston school board and appoint a new one.

According to state education leaders who spoke with 13 Investigates, that takeover now seems increasingly likely.

State Sen. Paul Bettencourt, a Republican from Houston and member of the State Senate Education Committee, told ABC13, “I’ve never had any criticism for the interim superintendent (Dr. Grenita Lathan) and will not, because she’s not the problem. The problem is the board of trustees and everybody out there knows it, and that’s what needs to be replaced.”

State Rep. Dan Huberty, also a Houston Republican and chair of the Texas House Education Committee, echoed Bettencourt’s assessment.

“If you have leadership problems at the top, uh, governance issues at the top, sooner or later, you’ve got to fix it and you can’t let it go on forever,” Huberty said.

It could be late fall before the official decision comes down. State accountability ratings aren’t finalized until November, but HISD does not appear to be fighting the accountability ratings.
And this:

Even in the midst of a Thursday morning celebration of rising test scores at Houston’s Kashmere High School, current HISD board member Jolanda Jones said given the level of board dysfunction, a state takeover may be the lesser of two evils.

“I never thought I would ever say that I believe that elected board needed to be replaced, but the alternative is worse,” Jones told the crowd.

Here is all of Oberg’s take:  https://abc13.com/politics/hisd-facing-near-certain-state-takeover-on-multiple-fronts/5470945/.

If Trustee Jones says a takeover is better. Well?

Filing deadline for HISD Trustee positions is this Monday at 5 pm. Stay tuned!

The Sultan of Swat was 53 years of age when he died on this day of course in 1948.

We are playing like the third best team in MLB. Commentary is not letting myself get worked up over our current three game losing streak. The players know what to do. Justin Verlander starts tonight

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HISD-Day

We will know today if we make history. Commentary is talking about TEA announcing a conservator and board of managers and taking over HISD.

A lot of H-Town folks don’t want this. Some do.

HISD Trustee Sue Diegaard has an Op-Ed in today’s Chron. Here is the headline from the hard copy:

HISD board failed to make children a priority

Here is how it ends:

I do not know what lies on the other side of the TEA investigation or whether any of our longest-struggling schools will trigger sanctions under HB1842 this month, either of which could result in the replacement of the current board with an appointed board of managers. What I do know is that I refuse to defend the failures of the board to prioritize the education of our students.

The public needs to hold us accountable to the commitments we’ve made to our students. And we must also be accountable to honoring the transparency in government that is essential to our democracy.

If we can’t cooperate with state officials and can’t stop spending tax dollars on lawyers to try to fight the public release of documents, we’re failing our constituents. We must focus less of our attention on our own well-being as adults and more on our students’ wellbeing.

No exceptions. No excuses. We must do so as if the future of our children depends on it, because it does.

If we can’t, then the public should call for a replacement of the entire board, no matter where the TEA investigation leads. Voters elected us to meet these goals. We need to change the way we work or get out of the way.

Here is the entire Op-Ed:
http://digital.olivesoftware.com/olive/ODN/HoustonChronicle/shared/ShowArticle.aspx?doc=HHC%2F2019%2F08%2F15&entity=Ar01203&sk=5784F32D&mode=text.

Not a good Op-Ed. She ought to know.

All we can do is wait.

No MLB question today.

We are now two and a half games behind the Yankees and Dodgers for the best record in MLB. Our relief pitching melted down yesterday. Oh, well.

We are in Oakland for four.

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Traffic Vote

Among active MLBers, name the player who has played in the most career games.

On the Houston Metro deal we will be voting on this November, here is how the Chron starts their story today:

The future of the Houston area’s transit system now lies in the hands of voters.

Metropolitan Transit Authority board members voted Tuesday to ask voters in November for permission to borrow up to $3.5 billion, without raising taxes.

A couple or three things. I didn’t know Metro had the authority to raise taxes. Check your property tax bill. Metro isn’t on it. We pay a penny sales tax. I don’t think Metro has the authority to raise taxes. It is kind of a bold statement that the “future of the Houston area’s transit system now lies in the hands of voters.” Really? Do you really believe that we will be voting on our future transit system?  If folks really believed that, we would have close to 100% voter turnout.  We are just voting for more stuff.  Traffic and mobility and street conditions for the most part isn’t in good shape in the H-Town area these days. If it weren’t for the traffic apps on our phone gizmos we would really be hurting. What we really need is some sort of technological breakthrough in mobility.

I got this from the Astros yesterday:

Original Thirsty Thursdays are all new. Get to Minute Maid Park for the last four Thursdays of the regular season and be treated to half price draft beers from when gates open through the last call for alcohol.

That means a Saint Arnold will cost me $6.25. I will believe it when I see it.

Albert Pujols of course has played in 2,787 career games to lead all active MLBers.

We split a doubleheader yesterday. We play this afternoon.

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After 118 games, the Astros have 77 wins. How many games had we won at the 118 game mark during our 100 plus win seasons of 1998, 2017 and 2018?

Sigh! I saw this a while back and just sighed. Now Kuffer has put it out today and I am sighing again. Here is from public radio:

At Wednesday’s council meeting, District E Councilmember Dave Martin said the city should consider redrawing city council district boundaries, particularly in his own district.

District E includes two far-flung suburbs, Kingwood and Clear Lake. Martin said it’s a “ridiculously arranged council district” where it is difficult to coordinate meetings.

“I’ve always felt that the folks in Clear Lake do indeed deserve their own representation there, because it is tough for someone to drive 60 miles on a weekend to get to a certain area,” Martin said.

Mayor Sylvester Turner agreed with Martin’s assessment of District E.

“I will tell you it is an interesting drawing,” Turner said. “Because you certainly cannot go from Kingwood to Clear Lake for a town hall meeting, two town hall meetings.”

Here is the entire story:
https://www.houstonpublicmedia.org/articles/news/local/2019/08/01/341367/houston-city-council-map-could-change-after-2020-census/,

Here is Kuffer: http://offthekuff.com/wp/?p=91664.

Sigh! This is a non-starter. Everyone should know better.

It is City of H-Town redistricting 101, folks. The reason Clear Lake and Kingwood are in the same council district and connected by waterways and dots is because if they weren’t, they would have a negative impact on African American and Latino council districts – period.  That is the way it is.

CM Martin should and probably knows that but is just trying to stir sh_t up. He should have known that when he first ran for city council.

The H-Town Mayor should know that or have someone who works for him who should know that.  A non-starter folks.

Sigh.

Manuel Barrera sent me a response on my response from yesterday. Here it is:

Marc so that is your response I guess you forgot how Rod Paige got to be the superintendent. But I am glad that you finally show some concern for the immigrants without paper now.

Back in 1994, when some members of the HISD Board of Education pulled a fast one and selected Dr. Rod Paige as the Superintendent, I like many in the Latino community was not happy. Back then, we didn’t have electronic social media, so folks couldn’t go online and express immediate outrage and concern. We had a few community meetings where folks vented, and I think a lawsuit was even filed. I told anyone who would listen that we, the Latino community, had let our guard down. We knew that there was a vacancy and we sat on our arses and didn’t get organized. Our fault.

Back then, cell phones were kind of primitive. We didn’t have text messaging or emails so there wasn’t a trail so to speak of what was going on behind the scenes. I think they took depositions during the lawsuit, the local media talked to some folks and reported on it, and former HISD Trustee Don McAdams wrote a book that included his version of the events.

Don’t get me wrong though. I got along with Dr. Paige during his years running HISD. The selection process spoke for itself.

On the immigration stuff, I am not going into the times I spent over on Emancipation Avenue in the rain or sweltering heat or at the Reflection Pool at City Hall since families started being separated. I am not going to elaborate on folks who have been a big part of my life, who have dealt with challenges and situations living in this country. That’s all I will say on that.

In a Chron article today, the Sen. John Cornyn Campaign called U.S. Senate Dem candidate Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez a “true progressive.” I’ll take that. I would shout out a name and label at Cornyn but he probably couldn’t hear because he has is head up so far up Donald Trump’s, err well you get the picture.

The Texas Rangers will be investigating the Texas House Speaker and the meeting. The Rangers don’t have a shot at the playoffs, so what the heck.

Yesterday was August 11, and the Astros still have 44 games left and they released next season’s schedule. Huh! We host the Angels on Opening Day, Thursday, March 26. Most of our interleague games will be with the NL East. We go to play in Citi Field, D.C., and end the season in The ATL. We host the Mets, Philly and the Fish. We ago to Arizona for two and host them for two. The Yankees and the Red Sox visit on separate weekends in May. Our last roadie includes a series at Yankee Stadium. We host the A’s on Memorial Day, play in D.C. on the Fourth of July and are in Anaheim on Labor Day. We get to visit the Rangers’ new crib on Friday, April 10. Of our first nine home games, seven are against the Angels. That is all you need to know about the schedule.

After 118 games, in 1998 the Astros had won 72 games, in 2017, 72 and last season, 73.

Let’s play 2 in Chicago today!

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Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez

80 years ago, today, the third best movie of all time made its world premiere. Commentary is talking about “The Wizard of Oz.”

Manuel Barrera sent me a take on my take Friday on HISD and TEA. Here is is:

Marc, a “walking quorum” is unconstitutional per the State Criminal Court. How can one violate something that is unconstitutional. Need to keep an open mind and not read what they want you to read into it. Even so, two groups met with one person. Did they talk about the same thing? Based on your beliefs if five board member went to have dinner after a meeting that would be a walking quorum.

The part about the contract is a lie, you should know how those investigations are rigged to come out the way they want them. In fact almost everything smells of a group of people writing something to reach a conclusion they wanted. One trustee creates a violation because she helped a constituent. Santos has already submitted prove that the so called political event is a lie.

From my understanding most of the unnamed accusers are lackeys beholding to the administration and responding the way the administration wanted them to respond to attack Latina and an Asian. That is how the people that run Houston operate.

OK. Got it. It doesn’t matter what I think. It matters what TEA thinks.

There is a list of mass shootings in the USA where 10 or more folks have been murdered. There are 26 mass shootings on the list. 6 are in Texas. That’s 23%.  3 of the 6 since Gov. Greg Abbott has been in office. Time for another roundtable, don’t you think?

The Texas House General Investigating Committee will meet this morning and here is from their notice:

The committee will meet for consideration and action on the possible investigation into the circumstances, events, and allegations in connection with a June 12, 2019 meeting between Members of the House and representatives of a Texas nonprofit corporation.

It will be must see TV for State Capitol insiders.

The Chron E-Board wants #BetoForAmerica to go back to #BetoForTexas. Here is how they end their take yesterday:

So Beto, if you’re listening: Come home. Drop out of the race for president and come back to Texas to run for senator. The chances of winning the race you’re in now are vanishingly small. And Texas needs you.

Two years ago, you ran an inspiring race against Sen. Ted Cruz. Sure, you lost. No shame in that. Texas hasn’t elected a Democrat to a statewide office since 1994. You chipped away at a wall that wasn’t quite ready to come down. You showed it’s possible.

For too long, Texas officials have had only to consider how far to the right they must go to stay in office. No one is asking whether there might be a good idea or two on the Democratic side of things. We need you, Beto, because Texas badly needs that other view of the world, those differing opinions. You’ve brought us closer to having real, competing parties than any other candidate has, and than any candidate on our radar could.

Would you beat John Cornyn, who is seeking his fourth term? It wouldn’t be easy. You’d have to fight for it, and do better than you did against Cruz. But a lot has changed since 2018 — you had a lot to do with that — and Trump is no longer rock-solid in Texas. Neither are the Republicans who support him.

Imagine the effect you could have on our state. Ideas get sharper when they’re challenged, when points of view clash. We think Texas will get smarter, and its politics more sophisticated, if campaigns here were a true test of ideas, not one-sided races set to autopilot.

So please, Beto, after you’ve taken some time to mourn the dead in El Paso, consider whether now is a good time to leave one race and join another. Texas needs you back home.

Here is the entire take: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/Beto-come-home-Texas-needs-you-Editorial-14294396.php.

#BetoForAmerica got a lot of run this past week. He’s going to stay on his current course.

Commentary has never met Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez, candidate for U.S. Senate. I know about her from what I have read online. She is articulate and smart. I find her candidacy the most interesting. She could very well be our nominee. Commentary is going to give you a lot of Ramirez this morning. Here is from the Statesman:

Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez, an Austin-based civil rights activist, is running for U.S. Senate, drawing a sharp contrast between herself — a “pretty damn feisty” person — and the three-term Republican senator she hopes to replace, John Cornyn — who she said “plays a gentleman.”

“Just because he says things in a nicer way (than other politicians) doesn’t make me like his policies and the outcomes any more for Texans,” she told the American-Statesman, adding that Cornyn has aligned himself with many of President Donald Trump’s policies and that Texas needs a candidate “that has the courage and guts to stand up for what they believe in.”

Tzintzún Ramirez, the founder and former executive director of Jolt, which works to increase Latino participation in politics, and co-founder of the Austin-based Workers Defense Project, joins a crowded Democratic field. Already running: former congressional candidate MJ Hegar of Round Rock, state Sen. Royce West of Dallas, Houston City Council Member Amanda Edwards, former U.S. Rep. Chris Bell of Houston and Sema Hernandez, who ran for U.S. Senate two years ago and won 23.7% of the vote in the Democratic primary against Beto O’Rourke.

As quick as Tzintzún Ramirez has been to blast Cornyn on a number of issues — among them, the high number of uninsured Texans and an economy that has “boomed on the backs of immigrant labor” — she said she was hesitant to run, admitting it took convincing from a handful of Democratic operatives.

“I didn’t think at first I was the right candidate to run. I’d never held office before. I’m not independently wealthy. And I owned three nice dresses,” Tzintzún Ramirez said. She also said it didn’t seem like the “personally right moment” for her since she has a 2-year-old son whom she said she’ll be taking on the campaign trail.

“I imagine his first memories will be shouting in front of crowds,” she said. “Luckily, he’s a total extrovert and loves crowds.”

Tzintzún Ramirez said she will rely on some of the strategies used by O’Rourke, who lost to U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, last year by 2.6 percentage points. She’s built a campaign team with three staffers from O’Rourke’s Senate campaign and committed to using a firm that O’Rourke used last year for digital fundraising and advertising.

“Beto got closer than any other statewide candidate has in recent memory, so there’s a lot of things that they did pretty damn perfect,” Tzintzún Ramirez said.

She’s also quick to point out things that the O’Rourke campaign could have done better, including reaching out to young voters earlier in the campaign cycle. She said she plans to visit college campuses and register as many young people as possible as soon as possible and, for young people not in college, to hold community and cultural events, “my bread and butter of what I do at Jolt.”

She sounded the alarm bells after last year’s Democratic Senate primary when she wrote in an editorial in the Statesman that “I see trouble ahead for Beto O’Rourke’s campaign,” noting that the candidate had spent millions of dollars and held town halls all around the state but lost several border counties and “took serious hits” in counties with large populations of Latino voters.

“Both parties and candidates for both parties are to blame because it’s a cyclical problem. They don’t invest and talk to Latino voters. And they say Latino voters don’t come out. But Latino voters don’t come out because no one talked to them. We are not going to make that mistake,” Tzintzún Ramirez said.

Still, she emphasized that the path to victory requires the support of a “broad coalition” of voters in the state: young voters, people of color and infrequent voters.
“I don’t intend on being the Latina candidate. I intend on being the Texas progressive candidate that just happens to be Latina,” Tzintzún Ramirez said.

She joins a race with no clear front-runner. West has the most political experience, having first been elected to the state Senate in 1992, but he isn’t well known statewide. Cornyn took out television advertisements against West last month, signaling he appears to consider West to be his most formidable opponent at this point.

But Tzintzún Ramirez said Cornyn’s just “trying to pick his opponent versus leaving it up to the voters.” She also said that she and her Democratic opponents are all “at the same starting place.”

“All of the Democratic candidates have a lot of work to do to make themselves a household name in Texas. Many Texans are just living their lives,” she said. “The way you break through that is you let people know that ideas you have … will actually solve the real problems that they face.”

She said she plans to make health care, climate change and immigration the focal points of her campaign.

Here is from the Trib:

“I know how to speak to the diversity of this state,” Tzintzún Ramirez said.

Here is her team, also from the Trib:

Tzintzún Ramirez had been the subject of a draft effort by a group of progressive operatives, including alumni of O’Rourke’s Senate bid. They will fill top positions on her campaign — Ginny Goldman, co-founder and former executive director of the Texas Organizing Project, will be campaign chair; Katelyn Coghlan, O’Rourke’s deputy field director, will be campaign manager; and Zack Malitz, O’Rourke’s field director, will be senior adviser. Alexa Sousa, O’Rourke’s distributed organizing director, will also be involved in the campaign.

Additionally, Tzintzún Ramirez is working with Middle Seat, the digital firm that helped O’Rourke raise record-shattering amounts of money last cycle. Her campaign treasurer is Eugene Sepulveda, the Austin entrepreneur, philanthropist and Democratic fundraiser who chairs the Jolt Leadership Council.

Here is the Trib article on her announcement:
https://www.texastribune.org/2019/08/12/latina-organizer-enters-democratic-primary-challenge-john-cornyn/.

Here is from Texas Monthly:

Her entrance into the crowded Democratic field—there are now seven announced candidates vying to take on Cornyn in 2020—gives primary voters the chance to nominate a candidate much closer to the Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wing of the Democratic party. The comparisons are fair as far as they go—both are social-media-savvy Latina millennials with outsider cred. But unlike AOC, Ramirez has more than a decade of experience in politics. She was one of the co-founders of Workers Defense Project, a new-style labor organization that the New York Times called in 2013 “the nation’s most creative organizations for immigrant workers.”

In the small labor community in Texas, Ramirez was known as a ruthlessly focused, if not always beloved figure who built the Workers Defense from a two-person outfit into a significant player in the construction industry and other sectors with a light labor footprint and rampant abuses. When she left Workers Defense in 2016, the group had a staff of thirty with a $1 million budget supported in part by the likes of Alec Baldwin. If she can transfer her nonprofit fundraising abilities into the campaign chase, she’ll be a force to be reckoned with on those terms alone.

Here is the Texas Monthly article:
https://www.texasmonthly.com/politics/cristina-tzintzun-ramirez-is-the-latest-democrat-to-take-on-john-cornyn/.

There is something about this candidacy that has me interested.  She could very well be a driver of Latino primary voters.  If I am a Latino interested in running in the primary, I may get in.

After we scored 23 runs Saturday night, I was let down big time when we lost it yesterday in B’More. Oh, well.

No MLB question.

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I Buried Paul

Name the MLB club whose hitters have struck out the least?

Manuel Barrera sent me this on my take yesterday on HISD and the TEA report:

Have you read the report Marc? You are like the people that believed William Barr’s interpretation of the Mueller Report. My experience has shown that Chronicle reporter have a strong anti-Latino bias. At least wait until the Chronicle publishes the report before you pass judgment.

Fair point. I have admitted before when I get it wrong. If this turns out to be much ado about nothing, I will say it and apologize. BTW: William Barr is full of sh_t.

Here is the report: https://www.scribd.com/document/421252293/Texas-Education-Agency-Investigation-Report-Houston-ISD.

I went over it this morning. On five HISD Trustees walking a quorum stuff, it doesn’t look good. On a HISD Trustee messing with contracts, about the only defense would be to call HISD administrators untruthful or making stuff up.

Donald Trump was talking about his crowd rally size at the El Paso hospital a couple of days ago. Not a single GOP talking head was on CNN yesterday trying to defend him.

The reason I like my Astros seats is because they are right there next to the field. I have had the Big Puma nearly land in my lap and the Flying Hawaiian literally flew into the seats next to me. I often feel like I am right there where the action is. Not anymore. The Astros announced yesterday they are putting up netting in front of my seats. Adios, foul balls.

If they are going to extend the netting, where are the kids going to get autographs before the game? I always take napkins with me when I go down to my seats, because often times kids have been standing on my seats. I use the napkins to wipe off the dirt.

Yesterday was the 50th Anniversary of the Abbey Road album cover photo shoot. Yesterday, on the Sirius XM Beatles Channel, they were talking about the photo and the Abbey Road album that was released in September of 1969. The discussion then turned to the Paul is Dead thing that happened at around that time. The Abbey Road cover photo was a key point on the Paul is Dead thing that radio stations put out for a short period of time then. On the album cover Paul walking barefoot was how they buried a body, without shoes. Ringo in dark clothing was the undertaker. John in a white suit was an angelic figure. George in denim was a gravedigger. They also mentioned John supposedly saying at the end of “Strawberry Fields Forever”, “I buried Paul.” Listen closely at the end and that’s what it sounds like. I also remember having a reel to reel gizmo and playing “Revolution 9” and the chorus in the lyrics consist of “number nine, number nine, number nine” and when you play that part backwards on the reel to reel, it sounds like “turn me on dead man, turn me on dead man, turn me on dead man.” That’s what we were up to 50 years ago at around this time.

Astros hitters have struck out the least number of times this season with 825 whiffs of course.

We play 10 straight days on the road followed by 7 straight days at The Yard. That’s 17 in a row. The menu includes B’More, White Sox, A’s, Tigers and Angels. I know, I know, I should refrain from using terms like menu. I should have more respect for the other teams.

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Justin Verlander is 15-4 and Gerrit Cole is 14-5. They could very well reach 20-win seasons. Have we ever had a season where two Astros pitchers won 20 or more games?

According to news reports last night, the injured in the El Paso shooting said no to a visit from Donald Trump. I don’t blame them.

I am probably going to catch flack for what I post on this. I have to, though. Our local Latino political leaders are not perfect. I have in the past called out our leadership. This isn’t a good look for all Latinas and Latinos who work to empower the local Latino political community.

TEA is one step closer to taking over HISD. Talk about a letdown. Check this from the Chron:

Through interviews and a review of text messages, state investigators determined the five trustees — Board President Diana Dávila, Holly Maria Flynn Vilaseca, Sergio Lira, Elizabeth Santos and Anne Sung — secretly met with former HISD superintendent Abelardo Saavedra in two separate groups to coordinate ousting Lathan and installing him as interim superintendent. The meetings took place at a Houston restaurant on the same day in October 2018, the report said. Investigators determined that arrangement constituted a “walking quorum,” in violation of state law that requires trustees to conduct district business in public.

Here is the entire Chron article: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/education/article/TEA-investigative-report-cites-misconduct-14288680.php.

If you are not a Chron subscriber, go fetch you a copy and check this story out.

It is certainly not the local Latino political community’s finest hour. We have been let down by our Latino HISD Trustees, for sure. Don’t argue with me.

This looks like a whitewash to Commentary. Commentary is talking about the City of H-Town recycling mess. Here is the Channel 11 news story: https://www.khou.com/article/news/investigations/recycling-trashed-city-audit-confirms-1300-tons-of-recyclables-were-sent-to-a-landfill/285-43849e1c-65c3-4fcb-8be6-1f0756d40c5a.

Here is the entire story by KHOU-TV’s Jeremy Rogalski:

HOUSTON — An internal City of Houston audit confirms what KHOU 11 Investigates uncovered about the handling of curbside recyclables: 2.6 million pounds ended up at the landfill in the first five months of this year.

The 12-page report, drafted by Chenella Queen, Senior Auditor for the Solid Waste Management Department, identified a total of 532 mishandled incidents across every sector of the city from January to June.

The 1,301 mishandled tons were about 11 percent of all recycling properly collected during that time.

The scope of the audit covered more than 11,700 documents related to daily driver work performance as well as landfill disposal data.

It also included interviews with solid waste truck drivers, supervisors, a senior superintendent, deputy assistant directors, deputy directors and Harry Hayes, the Solid Waste Management Department director.

It stated that solid waste drivers did an “excellent job” of documenting their activities in daily work logs, but supervisors failed to react or respond to entries that showed policy violations.

The report never states that management directed employees to haul recyclables off to the dump. One environmental watchdog said that doesn’t add up, given the number of incidents over so many months.

“From my experience, this is not the case of rogue drivers,” said Robin Schneider, Executive Director of the Texas Campaign for the Environment.

“I would put money on the fact that this was some level of supervisor that was directing people to do this,” Schneider said.

The audit suggested in some cases, mixing recycling with garbage was a consequence of sloppy practices rather than intentional rule breaking.

“A process should be put in place and strictly enforced which identifies partial loads remaining on trucks overnight or through the weekend,” Senior Auditor Queen wrote.

“In several instances employees unknowingly used a “parked” truck that contained either garbage or recycling and took that unit to their work route, thereby mixing the load unknowingly” Queen wrote.

But another audit finding pointed to a more deliberate disregard of city policy.
Mayor Sylvester Turner had a memo issued April 24 threatening “immediate disciplinary action” for any employee violating recycling rules.

Despite that directive, the audit found 106 mishandling incidents after the memo was issued.

“I think the mayor needs to seriously look at a change at the top,” Schneider said. “Firing a few truck drivers does not solve the problem at this department.”

In a cover letter to Mayor Turner, Solid Waste Management Director Harry Hayes said he “will administer corrective action per city/department policies.”

Hayes said that discipline will cover employees and members of the management team.

He did not say how many workers would be punished or how high up the discipline would reach.

A few takes on this.

Why is the head of Solid Waste still there?

This report only covers from January of this year. You gotta figure a kazillion loads were taken to the landfill in previous years.

This is a major breach of trust with H-Town residents who take the time to sort their recyclables. Pathetic.

Did I say this was a whitewash?

In 1999, Mike Hampton went 22-4 and Jose Lima 21-10 of course.

Yuli Gurriel tied the club record yesterday with 8 RBIs. Yuli has been on fire and guess what? He bats seventh!

75-40. Off today. Start a 10 game roadie in B’More tomorrow.

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This hits home and this gets personal. My niece, Linda, from Laredo posted this a couple of days ago:

We live in very sad times when your 11-year-old is scared and nervous to go with you to the grocery store. It’s even more disturbing when the conversation includes, “I don’t understand why people hate me just because I’m Mexican.” This madness has to stop, the inflaming, racist rhetoric has to stop, and we need to reclaim our country.

She lives in a border community where 96% of the population is of the Latino persuasion. How does a Latino or Latina feel getting out of their car at a Laredo HEB parking lot and watching a young white fella that you don’t know drive into the lot?

Next time I see my family that still live in Laredo, they will get extra hugs from their Uncle Marc.

Commentary thinks the next thing the Texas House Speaker will be sending out is his resignation letter.

Let’s see. Folks max out to the Donald Trump Campaign. Anyone who can access the internet can check out who is giving money to Trump, where they are from, and what they do.

Newspapers write about this all the time.

Cong. Joaquin Castro post the names of the maxed-out Trump donors from SA and the right freaks out. They said it is dangerous. So, I guess giving to Trump and having it out there for everyone to know is risky – got it.

Texas newspapers ran a story last month about two folks giving Gov. Greg Abbott a mil each and where was the outcry?

Shut up.

74-40. 9 game lead. Keep winning!

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Galling. Sick.

I was watching the El Paso Mayor on CNN announce Donald Trump’s visit to, err invasion of El Paso tomorrow, and it was clear from his carefully chosen words and body language that he did not want the visit.

Galling. Trump has no shame. His isn’t a visit, it’s an invasion.

El Paso has suffered enough.The next 24 hours should be interesting.

Wow! I hope the Dallas Morning News doesn’t get upset at me putting out this story on hate at Globe Life Park:

CLEVELAND — The Rangers are investigating an incident of harassment toward a Hispanic family from Fort Worth that took place at Globe Life Park in Arlington only hours after the deadly Walmart shooting in El Paso Saturday.

According to a Facebook post by Jessica Romero, since viewed more than 47,000 times, a man vocally complained about having Hispanic families sitting in front of and behind them at the stadium. The fan is pictured in the Romero family’s selfie flashing an obscene gesture.

“He made it perfectly clear during the second inning that he is not a fan of Hispanics,” Romero wrote. “And he just so happened to have a Hispanic family [us] sitting in front of him and another one sitting directly behind him. During the second inning the little boy behind him who looked to be about Nomar’s [her son] age kicked the back of his chair. And for the next three innings I had to hear him complain about all the illegal immigrants that were surrounding him at the game. That he should kick little Speedy Gonzalez all the way back to Mexico for kicking his seat. That Trump needs to hurry and build the wall and send all these illegals back so they won’t be kicking his seat.

“We left during the 5th inning,” she wrote. “Sadly this is not the first or the last time we will ever experience this kind of racism.”

The Romeros did not respond to requests for comments from The Dallas Morning News Monday. The Rangers have reached out to the family and said such harassment is a violation of the club’s code of conduct for fans.

“The Rangers are committed to providing all of our guests with a safe and enjoyable experience and we are truly sorry that this family was subjected to this offensive behavior at Saturday’s game,” the club said in a statement. “There is no place at Globe Life Park in Arlington for this type of conduct to occur. After learning of this incident on Sunday, we have reached out to the Romero family and pledge to make their next trip to Globe Life Park a memorable and enjoyable experience.”

Wow!

I checked out Ms. Romero’s Facebook post which included the selfie and the racist dumbarse is shooting the bird, so now the whole universe can get to know him. What a racist dumbarse!

This was in the Chron this past weekend:

Major League Baseball named Yuli Gurriel, Gerrit Cole and Yordan Alvarez the Player, Pitcher and Rookie of the Month of July in the American League.

The last team to earn three winners in one month was the Minnesota Twins in June of 2006 (Joe Mauer, Johan Santana and Francisco Liriano).

Cole and Alvarez also won their respective awards for June.

Zack Greinke goes tonight on Dollar Dog Night!  I can’t make it. Drats!

Again, no MLB question today.

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Killing Mexicans

Commentary has been thinking about putting this out for a while now. It won’t happen in my lifetime or in yours – well, at least most of yours. The Second Amendment will be repealed by the end of this century. I don’t think the gun manufacturers and the NRA can keep this sh_t up for the next 81 years. Just saying

That was a first. Commentary is talking about two mass shootings in the same news cycle.

Killing Mexicans. It is on you, Donald Trump. Your white nationalist hateful rhetoric got to El Paso, Texas. Your mission was accomplished. Isn’t that what you wanted?

The fact that the murderer drove hours to kill Mexicans and twenty bodies later finally has some GOP elected officials saying it is white terrorism. That’s progress in my book. They still need to call out Trump and his racist rhetoric.

On this Mexican invasion of Texas. F_ck you, mother f__ker! We were here second, behind Native Americans.

My niece, Cristina, her hubby, Alex, is from El Paso, and his family is Ok. My nephew Dave, his son, Jackson’s grandma and family are from El Paso, and his family is Ok.

I never mention this. Being Latino all my life, I have had my share of discrimination but not even close to what an African American my age has endured. Or even to what a darker skinned Latino had experienced. My Dad is a darker skinned Latino, my Mom was not so much. My older sister, late older brother and me, were lighter skinned. My younger sister got the darker pigmentation treatment.

Being a lighter skinned Latino, I definitely knew I didn’t get the full brunt of discrimination. I can’t tell you the number of times I have had to break the news to folks who didn’t know me that I was of the Latino persuasion. There have also been a few times in my life where Latino folks who didn’t know me would say something about me in Spanish thinking I wasn’t one of them and couldn’t understand, then I would correct them in Spanish. (That’s been cool and fun to do.) I have never thought that I should be thankful or lucky that I was lighter skinned. Those were the cards I was dealt

This is how the Chron E-Board ends their take today on calling out Gov. Greg Abbott on doing absolutely nothing on ending gun violence:

Gov. Abbott, why make it easier? Admit the obvious: guns are part of the equation. Do the obvious: condemn hate in all its forms and lead lawmakers, Republicans and Democrats, to pass commonsense gun reforms that don’t violate Texans’ rights.

Governor, three mass shootings in 22 months. Fifty-six Texans killed. A church, a school, a Walmart.

Texas needs a leader. Somewhere, you have the courage to save lives. Find it — or body counts and memorials will be your most enduring legacy.

Here is the entire take: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/Abbott-vowed-to-lead-on-guns-and-safety-He-14280113.php.

The H-Town Mayor’s Campaign got what they paid for Saturday afternoon at the GLBT Political Caucus endorsement meeting. I don’t understand why they have a rule where you can’t video or take photos at the meeting and tweet them out. It does not seem First Amendment friendly like or free democracy like. I don’t think any other endorsing groups have that rule. I also didn’t like some GLBTer saying this was their house meaning non-GLBTers should not be there. That’s all Commentary has to say about that.

Commentary said this last Friday:

Here is what is going on with the rash of announcements of GOPers in Congress and the #Txlege throwing in the towel. It is going to be harder for them to win reelection or/and they can no longer go to sleep being an elected official in a GOP that is led by a racist and liar. Pretty simple to Commentary. There is only so much you can take. They are human beings after all.

The GOP Congressman for #TXCD24 is throwing in the towel. Not surprised. Just see the above.

It is very difficult to pivot to the Astros, but I will try.

There are not very many people in the universe who have witnessed two combined MLB no-nos. Commentary is proud to say he is in that elite group. Commentary was at old Yankee Stadium on June 11, 2003, when the Astros tossed a combined no-no with six pitchers: Roy Oswalt, Peter Munro, Kirk Saarloos, Brad Lidge, Octavio Dotel and Billy Wagner. We won that game 8 zip. I was also at The Yard Saturday evening when Aaron Sanchez, Will Harris, Joe Biagini and Chris Devinski, tossed a no-no against the Mariners and beat them 9 zip.

Commentary was in the restroom right after the seventh inning when I overheard a fella say something about the no-no jinx, then I heard on the radio telecast that you get in the restrooms that the Mariners didn’t have any hits. I rushed out and looked at the scoreboard and sure enough. The last two innings were certainly tense. Wow.

For Sanchez and Biagini, that was the first time they got into a game as Astros, so that is cool!

We are playing great baseball and have today off.

There is no MLB question today.

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