Archive for the ‘Air pollution’ Category

I’m really not going to spend much time talking about Carol Alvarado’s opponent going negative yesterday.    It speaks for itself.  I don’t think Kuffer wants to deal with this kind of campaign.

Check out Kuffer here.

This lefty pitched for the Tribe (1963-1964), White Sox (1965-1971), Dodgers (1972-1974) and (1976-1978), Yankees (1979-1982) and (1986-1989), Angels (1982-1985) and A’s (1985) and he won 288 games – the seventh most all time among lefties and he’s not in the Hall of Fame.  He didn’t play in 1975 because he had major surgery.  Name the player?

Folks are already talking about challengers to The Mayor next year.  I won’t name names but they are out there.  I will let someone else roll them out but one is a Latino, one is African American, and the other is an Anglo.

It looks like we’re going to have a second convention center hotel in District I.  Way to go CM James Rodriguez!

Ravi Shankar is no longer with us.  I saw him play with George Harrison a long, long time ago.

My friend came to me

With sadness in his eyes

He told me that he wanted help

Before his country dies

Although I couldn’t feel the pain

I knew I had to try

Now I’m asking all of you

To help us save some lives

Another candidate just jumped in to the SD 6 race.  Welcome to the party, Rodolfo “Rudy” Reyes!

Tommy John of course has 288 career wins and is not in the Hall of Fame but he does have a surgery named after him.

From the ‘Stros website:

The Astros will tune up for their first season in the American League by playing their former National League Central Division rivals, the Cubs, in two spring exhibition games

March 29-30 at Minute Maid Park.

So JD does make an appearance this year.


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Things continue to get testy in the race in the new 35th Congressional District.  The “old, white guy”, err Dem Cong. Lloyd Doggett visited San Antonio yesterday and it didn’t sit well with his opponent Dem State Rep. Joaquin Castro.  Check out the SA Express News story.   Was it a campaign visit or official business? Who cares?

The race is going to boil down between new leadership versus the old reliable liberal warhorse.  If the Latino community feels like it wants to be empowered, then Doggett is toast.  Everything else is window dressing.  This race is shaping up to be one to watch. I wonder how many Latino elected officials will endorse Doggett.

Remember back in 2000 when the Democratic National Committee cracked on H-Town’s air quality in a dig at W’s leadership here in the Lone Star State.  Remember also when a lot of folks including some local and Lone Star State Dems took offense at the DNC cracks on H-Town’s air quality.  It turns out a few years later then Mayor Bill White said we did have an air quality issue.  If Guv Dude decides to get into the race for prez, quality of life issues in the Lone Star State will once again be under the microscope.  I have a feeling that Dems this time around will not mind if the DNC decides to do some cracking on us.  Stay tuned!

Do you want more on the LA Dodgers blues?  When was the last time the Dodgers went to the World Serious?

There is a little Facebook campaign going to get The H-Town Mayor to cancel the Fourth of July fireworks show.  A lot of cities across Texas are cancelling because of the dry conditions.  I don’t go to them anymore.  It is too much of a hassle.  I just watch them on the tube.  The Mayor says the show will go on.   I’m thinking a lot of homeowners close to Downtown will be sitting in their front yards holding their water hoses Monday night.

The LA Dodger beat the A’s four games to one in the 1988 World Serious.  That was when Reagan was still prez – yikes!

Nolan Ryan says it would be a good idea if the ‘Stros played in the AL West.  Who asked Nolan?

We’re at the halfway point of the miserable season and we looked desperate last night especially when Numero 45 tried to steal second base last in the bottom of the ninth.  It also wasn’t pretty when Michael Bourn got picked off late in the game.  We need some help real bad! 


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For old school guys like Commentary that go out and pick up the fish wrap every morning, we got to read about the four Texas State House Insurance Committee members that made a tidy sum dealing with the Texas Wind Insurance Association – a state agency they oversee.  Of course, the Chron doesn’t say that the four didn’t do anything wrong other than it looks bad. 
Check out the piece.

Dems can’t pounce on this because two of the four that made a tidy sum are Dems – drats!

You know it is stinky-poo when the GOP Chair of the House Insurance Committee says:

"There is a bit of a public perception problem when you have a quasi-state agency overseen by legislators and some legislators have involvements with it.  At the very least, you need total transparency where the public can go and see what’s going on with their officials and perhaps have some prohibition of where a legislator could make money off of TWIA."

I wonder why they waited so long to put the story online.

H-Town is now officially celebrating the Final Four even though we still haven’t played the First Three Rounds and the Regional Rounds.  CBS and TBS even proclaimed today as National Bracket Day.  In honor of the Final Four in H-Town, the Chron had a story yesterday on the city of Brackettville – where they filmed the movie “The Alamo” with John Wayne and Richard Widmark – huh! So what are we supposed to be celebrating today and where? 

When the ‘Stros take the field in Philly on Friday, April 1, it will mark the 50th season of Major League Baseball for H-Town.  The first game ever played in H-Town was back on April 10, 1962 when the Cubbies visited Colt Stadium.  Who was the first player to step up to the plate that day?

They say these days that kids are not taught geography.  You can also say the same about the Final Four Selection Committee.  In the West Regional, games are being played this weekend in Charlotte, North Carolina and Washington, D.C.  In the Southwest Regional, they are playing games in Chicago.  In the Southeast Regional, games are being played in Denver – huh!

Hall of Famer Lou Brock of course, then a Cubbie, was the first MLBer ever to step up to the plate in H-Town and he struck out.

New this season at The Yard is the Astros Press Club which falls under the premium seating category.  It is located where the press used to sit right behind home plate.  It is kind of exclusive with capacity of 188 and your ticket includes gourmet grub and non-alcoholic beverages.  You have to pay for the beer, wine and other signature drinks. The area also has flat screen TVs and a private bar – all for the price of $150 per ticket plus one of those seat licenses.


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Former Lieutenant Governor Bill Hobby said it was “idiotic” for the Lone Star State not to accept federal funds for public education in light of the revenue challenges the state faces.   I don’t have a problem with the former Lieutenant Governor calling Guv Dude “idiotic.” 

In an article in today’s Chron, the former Lieutenant Governor thinks the state ought to dip into the rainy day fund, raise taxes on sugar loaded drinks, do away with some sales tax exemptions, and increase taxes on tobacco and alcohol.  I’m OK with everything except raising taxes on St. Arnold.

In the same Chron article, the Texas Association of Business says we should dip into the rainy day fund and put slot machines at racetracks.  Why didn’t they just come out for the full blown casinos?

In the same Chron article, the head of the Greater Houston Partnership says they are taking a “vigorous and active approach” to the budget mess by sitting on the sidelines for now – huh!

Of course, the CEO of the Partnership is an old pal of Dude’s, so don’t expect the Partnership to rattle any cages so to speak on this budget mess.  That’s too bad since the Greater Houston area will probably take the biggest budget hits if Dude gets his way.

Commentary told folks yesterday that Ernie “Mr. Cub” Banks was the first Cubbie to have his number retired.  Five others Cubbies have had their numbers retired since then.  Who are they?

The Yankees are still waiting to see if Andy Pettitte is going to put on the pin stripes this season.

Ron Santo (10), Ryne Sandberg (23), Billy Williams (26), Ferguson Jenkins (31), and Greg Maddux (31) of course are the other five Cubbies that have had their numbers retired.  Jenkins and Maddux both wore the Numero 31.

Go to Alyson’s Footnotes to see how the new scoreboard is looking – cool!


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The Chron has been running daily articles on their Goodfellows program where they take donations so they can get gifts for folks in need.   I wonder if they will do a story tomorrow on the local Democrats not having very many gifts under their tree.

Somebody finally slapped down Guv Dude.  Way to go to the The President’s Administration for having the EPA snatch from TCEQ some air quality permitting responsibilities.  Hey, it’s the Feds against Dude and that’s the way Dude wants it so I hope our local Dem members of Congress don’t step in and try to broker a deal.  Stay tuned!

On Sunday, September 28, 2008, the Florida Marlins played the New York Mets in the last game ever at Shea Stadium.  Who threw the final pitch of the game?

Meanwhile, GOP congressional leaders are saying that border security trumps The DREAMERS.  I think somebody needs to ask the GOPers how they define “border security” because The Administration has poured in a lot of resources the last couple of years. 

Matt Lindstrom (a Marlin at the time) of course pitched the final out on September 28, 2008 at Shea Stadium as the Fish knocked off the Mets 4-2.  Yesterday the ‘’Stros traded away Lindstrom so I hope closer Brandon Lyon has a good year.

Merry Christmas!



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It doesn’t look like BP and the feds are going to stop the flow of oil anytime soon.  What happens when that sh_t starts washing up on the shores of the Lone Star State?  Does it become an issue in the race for governor?   It is already taking a toll on tourism in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana.  The BP fellas have that look in their eyes that they don’t know what to do at this point. It is being called the all time U.S. of A. environmental catastrophe.  I hate to say this but unless there is an act of God, this thing is heading our way sometime this summer.

Speaking of, does the state have a plan to deal with this or are we just going to sit on the dock by the bay and watch this thing come ashore?   Do we have an oil spill contingency plan?  I wonder if my buddy Bill King has plan.

I’m thinking it is going to be tough for any side to score any points on this oil spill.  Yeah, The President is in charge of the situation, but the GOP has had a bigger love affair with the oil companies.

An impressive group of H-Town leaders came out with a Declaration of Principles on Immigration Reform in this past weekend’s Chron.   Check it out.   Too bad our two U.S. Senators are ignoring them.

The ‘Stros are now a miserable 17-34.  What is the best the team has ever been after 51 games?

Bonus: The U.S. Constitution and the New York Yankees have what number in common?

The Chron said we would go 13-16 in May and instead we went 9-20.  The Chron said we would be 22-29 at this point and we are not.

In 1998 of course after 51 games the ‘Stros were 32-19.

Twenty-seven of course as the U.S. Constitution has twenty-seven amendments and the New York Yankees have twenty-seven World Serious Championships.

FRUSTRATION was clearly on Roy O’s mind yesterday when he was given the old heave ho in the third inning and it went all downhill from there.  Well, it is three more with the Nationals and all we can do is watch.


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Commentary caught H-Town Mayoral candidate Peter Brown’s first ad this morning during “The Today Show.” It’s a nice ad for an intro. Peter now has the airwaves to himself which is always advantageous. Now the clock is ticking for the other candidates…tick, tick, tick, tick.

Peter Brown also sent out a press release on the Ashby High Rise deal. He didn’t send one on Big K Environmental though.

In today’s Austin American Statesman there is a story about the City of Austin thinking about making texting illegal if you are behind the wheel. There is nothing weird about that. They must have seen that powerful and graphic British PSA about the lethal consequences texting can produce while driving. I couldn’t even finish seeing the PSA – it is that graphic. You can probably go fetch it at You Tube.

I think H-Town is ready for a texting ban while driving. I wonder where the mayoral candidates stand on this.

At Sunday’s game, in between inning they ran this jumbotron deal involving a ‘Stro player where they ask him some question about overexposed celebrities. I asked Dante who he was tired of hearing about. You guessed it – Michael Jackson. Speaking of, when I’m having a hard time sleeping, I just count how I caught all my foul balls.

One of Commentary’s favorites – Sean Connery – is 79 today. One of the all time lines from movies comes from his “Jim Malone” character in “The Untouchables” that I sometimes keep in my desk drawer. “They pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue.” Great line! Happy Birthday, Bond, James Bond!

A little bit of trivia. He and Kevin Costner were in “The Untouchables.” In the 90s, Costner played Robin Hood in “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.” Connery had a bit part as “King Richard” at the end of the movie. In the 70s, Connery played an aging “Robin Hood” in “Robin and Marian.” “Lady Marian” was played by the great Audrey Hepburn who never needed touching up.

DeLay’s dancing partner was announced yesterday. Cheryl Burke also don’t need touching up.

In order to reach Cecil Puede’s goal of 90 wins, we’re going to have to go 29-9 the rest of the way which is going to prove difficult since we still have six left against the Cards and seven against the Phillies – both first place teams – yikes! It ought to be worth watching as Wandy goes against Adam Wainwright this evening to start three against the Cards in San Luis.

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Last Friday, the City of H-Town said it was A-OK for developers to build a 23-story high rise (Ashby High Rise) next to the upper crust neighborhood of Southhampton and those affluent folks aren’t too happy about the city’s decision.  The Chron has a story so check it out.  Southhampton residents are upset because they think a high rise is going to alter their quality of life. They printed bumper stickers and signs and got the attention of City Hall folks but they still came up short. That is the way it goes in H-Town because we don’t have zoning like a lot of other burgs. One of the H-Town Mayoral candidates put out a press release opposing the Ashby High Rise.

Meanwhile, out on Little York Road in North H-Town, smack dab in the middle of a lower income and predominantly Latino neighborhood, Big K Environmental processes the stuff from portable toilets – yikes! How they set up shop in the middle of a neighborhood in the first place is a classic case of the Lone Star State and the City of H-Town dropping the ball. Big K now wants to expand to process highly odorous grease trap waste – ditto yikes!

Commentary was hired by some environmental conscious folks to oppose this expansion. I spent an afternoon in the neighborhood a while back and it took me a couple of days to clear the bad smell out of my car and clothes – it is that bad. Folks out there don’t grill outside or have back yard barbecues or BD parties.

I have to give credit to State Rep. Armando Walle, H-Town CM Ed Gonzalez, and the Harris County Attorney for opposing the Big K expansion request. There was a TCEQ hearing out there a couple of months ago and about a couple of hundred residents showed up to oppose. There were a couple of TV news crews out there but no Chron coverage and certainly no H-Town Mayoral candidates. The Mayoral candidate that sent out a press release on the Ashby High Rise didn’t send one out on Big K. It figures since Southhampton probably has a 20 to 25 percent higher voter turnout rate than the Little York neighborhood. The folks on Little York also probably don’t write campaign checks to candidates either.

Ashby High Rise opponents, let me introduce you to the Big K expansions opponents since you are both H-Town residents.

Congrats go to Matt Luna (My Best Friend and Julie’s kid) and the West University Senior Baseball Team for winning the Senior League (ages 14 to 16) Baseball World Series this past Saturday held in Bangor, Maine. The game was carried live on one of the ESPN channels.

Former ‘Stro Eric Bruntlett – now a Phillie – pulled off an unassisted triple play yesterday – cool! There have only been 15 unassisted triple plays in the history of Major League Baseball.

In order to reach Cecil Puede’s goal of 90 wins, we’re going to have to go 29-9 the rest of the way which is going to prove difficult since we still have six left against the Cards and seven against the Phillies – both first place teams – yikes!

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The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) held a public hearing last night on Little York Road on the Big K Environmental application to process grease trap waste which can be highly odorous. Bib K is a waste processing facility that sits smack dab in the middle of a mostly Latino plus some Anglo neighborhood on Little York Road. Big K currently processes porta potty stuff and the surrounding neighborhoods have been complaining about the rank odor for years. Over 150 folks showed up last night and about 30 spoke against and nobody spoke for. State Rep. Armando Walle help lead the charge against. H-Town CM-Elect Ed Gonzalez also spoke for the community. Big K is a pretty bad actor on the environmental stage. The hearing lasted for close to three hours and Commentary was there on behalf of an interested entity. It probably would have been a great place for H-Town mayoral candidates to be and show support. My hat goes off to Rep. Walle for the way he handled things last night. Stay tuned on this one – I’ll have more on this later.

Harris County Tax Assessor Collector Leo Vasquez doesn’t read Commentary. Leo has decided to stick with his problemo Ed Johnson ….tsk, tsk, tsk.  Check out his Op-Ed in today’s Chron. 

Hey, what can I say? He rejected my free advice. Leo will hang on to the partisans in 2010, but those ticket splitters are going to be bombarded about Ed Johnson’s side job. I warned him.

“Boneheaded” is what the Chron E-Board calls Guv Dude this morning regarding Dude’s dance with The President’s stimulus.  Check it out. 

The Chron E-Board also took the time to put it on the HISD School Board for saying the new superintendent search will be conducted behind closed doors.  Check it out.  I definitely don’t think we have heard the last of this.

Now it looks like Mike Hampton and Geoff Blum are on the ‘Stros injured list – the DL – as we got run in Arlington last night and as Pudge sets the record tonight. Samsoid, err Sosa is the latest to …well, have to ‘splain things.

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Here’s what my good friend Edgar Colon asked (he was actually reading a question from the audience) yesterday at the Hispanic Chamber’s H-Town City Council District H Special Run-Off Election candidates’ forum yesterday: “District H is supposed to be a Hispanic district. Should it be represented by a Hispanic?”

Check out the Chron story.

Commentary figured sooner or later the Latino district thing would be discussed in the Chron, on the campaign trail, in the ‘hood, on websites, and at The Yard. Stay tuned!

Commentary found the following three Letters-to-the-Editor in today’s Chron re the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (ACES):

“Buried story: I see the Chronicle buried the piece about Gene Green and Charlie Gonzalez voting for the disastrous Waxman-Markey bill (“‘Courageous’ Texans vote for climate bill” Page A10, Saturday). Courageous? LOL! This is very bad for the consumer. It’s just more of the global warming scam, which is only about control. But not all of us are caught up in the wave of hype and mass hysteria. We must all pray for America….Rodney Fenn, Houston”
“Support district: The America Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (ACES) will put countless numbers of Houstonians to work in new green jobs — building wind turbines, installing solar panels, weatherizing homes and laying a smart electric grid that will power our new economy. It also strives to rescue our children, grandchildren and all the generations to come from the ravages of climate change. Unfortunately, it is far weaker than it should be in this respect. As a constituent of Congressman Gene Green, I hope that he will stand up for those in his district by asking that emissions cuts be strengthened. Cuts of 35 percent to 50 percent under present levels by 2020 would be consistent with the advice of the world’s scientific community. There should be no offsets or carbon speculation, in order to reduce the possibility of “gaming” the system. And 100 percent of the pollution allowances should be auctioned, so that companies will not be allowed to pollute for free. The money raised will provide tax rebates to help defray higher energy costs for middle- and low-income homeowners, investments in and subsidies for renewable energy and energy efficiency measures, and funding for the transition of workers employed in carbon-based energy industries…Juan Parras, executive director, Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services, Houston”
“Covering behind: The Democratic Congress and Obama administration are heaping praise on Congressman Gene Green for going along with climate change legislation that will no doubt substantially increase our cost of energy in the not too distant future. Green was won over by some crumbs thrown his way in the form of 2 percent of pollution permits for refiners. This is hardly a heroic stunt on the part of Green. He is merely covering his behind for the 2010 election cycle…Moises J. Garcia, Spring”

I guess that is what you call drawing three ACES.

Commentary checked out the final three contestants on the National Spelling Bee deal last night. Where in the heck do they get those words? Laodicean? My computer’s Word program doesn’t recognize it. How come on my computer I got a red line under laodicean? I nearly fell out of my chair last night when they threw out a word I had actually seen before – guayabera – that by the way my computer also underlined in red.

It turns out, Julie Luna, the wife of My Best Friend, Al Luna, went to the same elementary school as Judge Sonia Sotomayor. Julie is also from the Bronx and is of the Puerto Rican persuasion.

Here’s what Julie said: “She went to the same elementary school as I did…graduated a year before me.  I don’t remember her but my uncle who had a grocery store in the neighborhood said he remembers her.  I am going to the 40 year Blessed Sacrament School reunion and all alum are invited regardless of when they graduated.  She was sent an invite.  We know it’s highly unlikely she’ll attend but it’s pretty neat to wonder.  Regardless…I am proud of my fellow Boriqua!”

It looks like the ‘Stros front office still reads Commentary. The Chron Sports Section headline today reads: “Cooper on firm ground.” According to the Chron’s Jesus, my friend Drayton says “firing the manager is not in the cards.” Check out the article.  I’m glad Drayton, GM Wade and me are all on the same page on this as we visit PNC Park for three against the Pirates this weekend.

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