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Archive for the ‘Harris County Commisioners Court’ Category

Today is the deadline for members of the public to turn in their Astrodome proposals.  In yesterday’s Chron, Kuffer and former County Judge Jon Lindsay penned Op-Eds and gave us their thoughts.  The Chron also published an Op-Ed on the Dome that appeared in the NY Times a week or so ago.  None of the three advocated Commentary’s well known position on the Dome’s future but Kuffer had what I thought were words that ring loud and true.  Check this:

The fact is that in this country, when a stadium stops functioning as a stadium, it gets torn down. Several of the teams that the Astros played against in 1965, the Dome’s opening year, are in their third stadium since then. Ebbetts Field, where Jackie Robinson made his groundbreaking debut in 1947, was demolished in 1960, two years after the Dodgers headed to California. Apartments were built in its place. The only historic venues that still stand are those that are still used as sports arenas, such as Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, Lambeau Field and Madison Square Garden.

There is no precedent for turning an unused stadium into some other functional structure, which may be why we have struggled so much to come up with a new use for the Dome.

Hear, hear!

Here is all of Kuffer.

Here is Judge Lindsay.

Here is the NY Times.

Show me the courage!

How many times have the ‘Stros had the number one pick in the MLB Amateur Player Draft?

Speaking of Numbers Ones and dumbarse stuff falling out of your piehole, Chipper Jones tweeted the following:

Y’all think if they took all them gators they trap in Fla and La and put them in the Rio Grande, it wud stop the illegals from crossing? Jk

Then he tweeted this:

I realize that my tweet yest was offensive and distasteful. An attempt at humor was a terrible mistake. Please accept my heartfelt apology!

Here is from the Chron’s Jose de Jesus Ortiz:

Chipper Jones, who built a solid reputation during his long career with the Atlanta Braves, has atoned a bit for an ugly tweet about illegal immigrants.

“Y’all think if they took all them gators they trap in Fla and La and put them in the Rio Grande, it wud stop the illegals from crossing? Jk,” Jones tweeted from @RealCJ10 Saturday. Jones got a relative pass from the baseball media, but his tweet was beyond offensive.

Many people die each year trying to cross the border in a desperate attempt to improve their lots in life, and I simply don’t find it funny when athletes attempt to dehumanize immigrants by joking about them as though they’re some sort of prey.

Whether you agree or disagree with the U.S. immigration policies, I would assume we all agree that we must treat each other with respect and common decency. Chipper Jones is no John Rocker, and I’m glad Jones decided to apologize in another tweet tonight.

“I realize that my tweet yest was offensive and distasteful. An attempt at humor was a terrible mistake. Please accept my heartfelt apology!” he tweeted.

Chipper Jones has always been a class act when I’ve dealt with him, and I hope this was just one silly mistake. We all say stupid comments that we ultimately regret from time to time. Jones recognized his mistake, and hopefully he learned from it.

I’m putting Chipper Jones on my list of dumbarses and he’ll stay on it until I think he’s seen the light if you know what I mean.

This past Saturday With the 557th pick in the 2013 MLB Amateur Player Draft the ‘Stros selected Jake Rodriguez.  Jake!

Of course I’m not talking about our Jake but rather Jake who catches for the Oregon State Beavers of the PAC 12.

Talk about letting folks down or misleading them or playing the hidden ball trick, I ‘m talking about the Harris County Department of Education Board of Trustees.   HCDE Trustee Jim Henley announced he was resigning.  The HCDE Board then invited folks to apply for the vacancy and send in their resumes.  The list was whittled down to six finalists that included public education activist Sue Deigaard, Latino activist Rey Guerra, and former State Board of Education candidate Traci Jensen (Commentary’s former client). The six finalists were then interviewed.

After a few special called HCDE Board meetings to deliberate on the vacancy the board went for none of the above.  This past Thursday the board met and selected former NAACP honcho Howard Jefferson.  I like Howard and consider him a pal but I don’t think he even applied.

If you ask me why ask folks to apply and have them interviewed then say no thanks. Some of the applicants would have been outstanding trustees.  What a bum deal if you ask me. I hope they have a good ‘splanation.

If the City of H-Town really wants to get serious about recycling then why don’t they have the Westpark Recycling Center open on Sundays.  It is open Monday thru Saturday.  A lot of folks can’t or won’t drive out there during the week.  Having it open on Saturday and Sunday would be a convenience.

The ‘Stros have had the number one draft pick four times of course:  Pitcher Floyd Bannister in 1976, infielder Phil Nevin in 1992, shortstop Carlos Correa in 2012, and pitcher Mark Appel last Thursday.

The ‘Stros have now lost four in a row as the bats have gone on silent mode.  We’re playing like a team that is 22-42.

 

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On the front page of today’s Chron is a story about the Dome and its future.  There is nothing really new and you can only read if you have the hard copy or are a subscriber.  Folks have until next month to turn in their Dome project proposals.  Hunker Down has said that it will be up to the voters to decide the future of the Dome.

Hunker Down has also said that he is not inclined to hold a Dome election this November because H-Town voters will turn out in greater number than non H-Town voters because we are having City elections.  I’m going to go out on a limb and disagree with Hunker Down on this point.

This wouldn’t be one of those bond elections to build a jail, a courthouse, schools, or parks.  This is the freaking Astrodome – the Eighth Wonder of the World.  A lot of voters across the region would be talking it up.  If a Dome demolition component is included, debates, discussions, and arguments involving nostalgia, history, and the future would be pretty common around the so called water cooler.  Most folks would have a take on what to do with the Dome.  

The local media (I’m talking about print, TV, radio, and online) which does a p___ poor job of covering our City and local elections would be all over this story. One of the lowest voting turn out Demographic – the sports talk radio audience – would probably come out and vote.  It would be a better informed electorate across Harris County and isn’t that what we want?  I guarantee there would be tons more coverage of the Dome proposition than the mayoral election.

In the last major contested mayoral election in H-Town in November we had a tad over 19% voter turnout.  I’m thinking we could get that countywide for a Dome referendum.

Don’t sell Dome voters short, Hunker Down!

The A’s visit The Yard this weekend.  How many World Serious titles do they own while in Oakland?

You know we’re not having a good season if the only story to go national from The Yard this season is a vendor going numero 2 with his snow cones nearby.  Check it out from KPRC:

Cell phone video shows a ball park snow cone vendor sitting on a toilet in a stall with an entire box full of the products he’s about to sell. They sit on the bathroom floor right next to him.
The person who recorded the video and gave it to Local 2 said: “I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. This guy is taking a dump. There’s no doubt about it. What sane person could possibly think, yeah this is a good idea. I’ll just put the food that I’m about to sell on the floor.”

Here is the entire story.

PGAer Sergio Garcia just needs to shut his pie hole.  He is an embarrassment and a dumbarse.  He pulled the fried chicken line on Tiger and he is getting skewered deservedly.  He is not a victim and that is for sure.  Here is from Yahoo.Sports:

Sergio Garcia crossed a line Tuesday he never should have toed.

At the European Tour’s annual gala dinner ahead of its flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship in England, Garcia responded to a question asking if he would have dinner with Tiger Woods at next month’s U.S. Open at Merion.

His reply, according to The Guardian: "We will have him round every night. We will serve fried chicken."

And:

The 33 year old could have said any other kind of food. Snowballs would have been clean and funny as a reference to Woods’ girlfriend Lindsey Vonn. He could’ve gone with Swedish meatballs as a more edgy shot across the bow about Woods’ defunct marriage to Elin Nordegren. How about a Hank Haney reference and say "popsicles"?

Garcia chose to allude to fried chicken.

Here is all the Yahoo about the yahoo.

Here s from a bit of ESPN:

One of Garcia’s sponsors has also weighed in on the matter.

"Sergio Garcia’s recent comment was offensive and in no way aligns with TaylorMade-adidas Golf’s values and corporate culture," the statement read. "We have spoken with Sergio directly and he clearly has regret for his statement and we believe he is sincere. We discussed with Sergio that his comments are clearly out of bounds and we are continuing to review the matter."

Good for TaylorMade-adidas.  Stick it to Garcia.

Here is the entire ESPN piece.

The Oakland A’s won World Serious titles in 1972, 1973, 1974, and 1989 of course.

We won a game last night and 12,000 and change that attended stayed away from the yellow snow cones – yikes!

 

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FYI:  Commentary’s client is Graci Garces, candidate for H-Town City Council District I.

Graci will have her “Campaign Takeoff” at the 1940 Air Terminal Museum at Hobby Airport this evening at 6:30 pm.  The Museum is located in District I.   It is a neat and real cool place to have a political campaign “takeoff” announcement.  If you are a Houston history buff, the Air Museum is a place to visit.  They have a lot of interesting stuff on exhibit from the early days of commercial aviation in Houston.  You can spend a lot of time walking around checking out the display cases.  Here is from their website:

The 1940 Air Terminal Museum is housed in the original art-deco Houston Municipal Airport building at present-day William P. Hobby Airport. The Museum showcases the rich heritage of civil aviation, including the airlines, general aviation and business aviation. Exhibits include Houston’s fascinating aviation history.

We gave it a 6:30 pm start to give folks time to head over after work.  They also have some gear for sale there.

The 1940 Air Terminal Museum is located on the west side of William P. Hobby Airport, near Telephone Road.

Check out their website here.

This former MLBer was drafted out of West High School (West, Texas) in the third round of the 1994 MLB Amateur Player Draft and during his career smacked a dinger against the ‘Stros in the 2005 World Serious.  Name the player?

Yesterday CNN, AP, and Fox were reporting that an arrest had been made in Boston. It turns out the report wasn’t true.  Here is what the Chron E-Board said about this:

Speaking of journalists, CNN on Wednesday afternoon carelessly leaped before looking when it announced that a suspect had been identified. Fox News and the Associated Press followed.

CNN retracted its report soon afterward, but still took a credibility hit, as well as a spanking from the FBI: "Since these stories often have unintended consequences, we ask the media, particularly at this early stage of the investigation, to exercise caution and attempt to verify information through appropriate official channels before reporting."

I wonder if the Chron posted the CNN or AP story yesterday.

Here is the entire E-Board take.

Your guess is as good as mine when it comes to the Dome.  Here is from Chron.com:

The Harris County Sports & Convention Corp. will spend the next two months collecting and analyzing ideas for what to do with the vacant Reliant Astrodome in hopes of taking recommendations for repurposing the aging stadium to Commissioners Court in late June.

Under a resolution approved Wednesday by the Sports Corp. board, which oversees Reliant Park, private parties will have until June 10 to submit proposals on how to renovate the nearly half-century old stadium.

Agency staff will analyze any proposals received and deliver recommendations to Commissioners Court on June 25, the day the court is scheduled to consider the county’s capital projects plan.

GOP Cong. Goober from Tyler says that radical Muslims are being trained to act like Latinos so they can get into the U.S. of A. to create havoc or something like that.  Here is from the Chron:

“We know al Qaeda has camps over with the drug cartels on the other side of the Mexican border,” the Republican from Tyler said on C-SPAN Wednesday morning. “We know that people that are now being trained to come in and act like Hispanic when they are radical Islamists.

I don’t know about that.  You got to practice real hard to get the Latino thing down. 

You have to be able to sit through hours and hours of novellas.  

You have to learn the right way to climb on a burro.

You have to become knowledgeable of futbol or beisbol or both.

You are going to have to get by on rice, beans, and corn tortillas.

You are going to have to live with another dozen fellas in a one room apartment.

You don’t keep your dog on a leash and just let the pooch roam the ‘hood.

You also don’t fix your dog.

If you are a male, you better not control your temper.

If you are female, you need to strive to look like Sofia Vergara.

You have to drive in a car with sound systems no lower than a kazillion decibels.

You need to know how to handle a switchblade and steal tires while the car is still moving.

Get rid of the AK-47 and learn how to handle a leaf blower – our weapon of choice.

It is not that easy learning how to be Latino, Cong. Goober.

Check out the story here.

Former MLBer Scott Podsednik of course went to West High School in West, Texas and he smacked a dinger against the ‘Stros in Game 2 of the 2005 World Serious.

Our ace lasted 2/3 of an inning yesterday and we’re 4-11 and on pace to lose 118 games this season.

 

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In what inning do they play “Sweet Caroline” at Fenway?

You learn something every day.  I didn’t know bombs could be made using pressure cookers.

Lisa Falkenberg has a must read column today that you can only check out if you subscribe.  It is about marathoners.  Great job Lisa Falkenberg!

Meanwhile the immigration bill was unveiled yesterday and here are some reactions in the SA Express News:

Democrats and immigrant-rights groups have endorsed the Senate bipartisan bill, while voicing concern that border security goals not be used to block progress on citizenship plans for people in the country illegally.

“I’m hopeful that the trigger mechanisms are created in good faith and that they are not an attempt to further move the goal post,” said Rep. Pete Gallego, D-Alpine.

Still, Rep. Joaquín Castro, D-San Antonio, and other Democrats said the bill “makes clear Congress is willing to deal with immigration reform with a reasonable plan.”

Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin said: “Finally, there is hope that families can stay together and ‘Dreamers’ can succeed.”

Alicia Torres, however, could not bring herself to match his enthusiasm. The 27-year-old from San Antonio immigrated to the country illegally with her parents and nine siblings two decades ago. And while she is likely to qualify for the bill’s five-year fast-track to citizenship for immigrants whose families brought them into the country as minors, she worried its 13-year path for all others and emphasis on labor-based rather than family-based visas showed a shifting priority for the country.

“It just reinforces the same ‘good immigrant’—’bad immigrant’ stereotypes,” she said. “They’re OK with immigrants coming here to leave their sweat and hard work, but they’re not interested in families fully integrating together into the citizen community.”

Here is the entire piece.

I want to wait and see what Latino groups say.

The Chron E-Board has a take today on the Dome.  Here is the main part:

The University of Southern California knows something, but they’re not sharing. According to the Sports and Convention Corporation Executive Director Willie Loston, the corporation will vote whether to approve a non-disclosure agreement so that USC will share its super-secret plan for the Dome. A mystery wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a climate-controlled stadium.

Whatever happens today, Loston says the Sports and Convention Corporation will also vote on setting a timeline to have Dome proposals ready for the Harris County Commissioners Court’s capital improvement plans meeting in June.

We’ve seen too many Dome dreamers high on ideas but short on cash. With a recovering economy, Houston now has the opportunity to do something worthy of the Eighth Wonder of the World. County Judge Ed Emmett is talking optimistically about a bond vote in the November elections, and we may finally see a future for the Dome beyond a reminder of past grandeur.

This whole process feels a bit like diligent students ramping up before finals, with a slow and steady studying turning into cram sessions. But are voters being left out of the discussion? As county-created agencies consider secret dealings, a commissioners court that was all too willing to kick the can down the road now could be all too quick to make a decision without proper public input. While a bond election likely will be necessary to fund any Dome plan, an up or down vote on the county’s decision is hardly a choice at all. Given that each commissioner represents around a million people while lacking the public spotlight afforded a legislator or city council member, it is questionable how well the county can translate the will of the people into a ballot choice.

Here is all of it.

Here is from Chron.com:

A team of scientists, including Texas A&M researchers, believe 2-million-year-old skeletal remains may be a new type of species that played a role in human evolution.

I wonder if Guv Dude will now go to war with his alma mater.

Let’s be thankful that A&M doesn’t come under the jurisdiction of the Texas State Board of Education.  Whew!

Here is the entire story.

Commentary likes the Big Puma but sometimes I don’t agree with his takes.  He doesn’t like Wrigley Field and this is what he said yesterday:

If they’re looking for a guy to push the button when they blow the place up, I’ll do it,” Berkman said Monday to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “Chicago’s one of the worst places in baseball … really for anything,” he said.

I don’t think anyone ought to be talking about blowing up anything these days. I’m glad he wasn’t asked about Fenway.

“Sweet Caroline” is played in the middle of the eighth inning of course at Fenway.

“Sweet Caroline” was played last night at Yankee Stadium.

It was also played in Oakland.

The ‘Stros lost again to the A’s last night and we’re 4-10.

 

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I’m not going to spend a lot of time talking about yesterday.  This time it was a marathon.

You just get plain numb when you hear about the latest act of violence or terror.  I’ll just wait until the investigators sort it out. 

Yesterday they said the JFK Library was bombed.  It wasn’t.

Yesterday some news outlets said 14 were killed.  As of this morning three are dead.

Yesterday they said they defused other devices.   They didn’t.

Sometimes you just want to take Paul Simon’s advice and just get all the news you need from the weather report.

Today I will skip the MLB quiz if you don’t mind.

According to Chron.com tomorrow the Harris County Sports and Convention Corporation Board of Directors will vote on a Dome timeline.  Here is from Chron.com:

A spokesman for Harris County Judge Ed Emmett, noting that you never know what’s going to happen until it happens, said they are expecting a vote on a timetable that will  result in the Sports Corps. essentially shoving the ticking clock into the hands of the Harris County Commissioners Court this summer.

Joe Stinebaker said the timetable is June, when the county adopts its capital projects plan, meaning the Sports Corps. would gather and analyze proposals on what to do with the dome and present the best ones to commissioners court late that month.

The proposals will fall into three categories, he said:

1) Privately financed ideas for re-purposing the Astrodome (“There haven’t been any great signs of that happening”)

2) Publicly financed recommendations for re-purposing the Astrodome, i.e., projects that would require tax dollars, and more than likely require a bond referendum that could end up on a ballot this November (“The ideal arrangement would be for this not to cost taxpayers a penny and for some private investor with deep pockets to come up with a fun and beneficial idea”)

3) Tearing the Astrodome down, which also seems unlikely given the intense nostalgia and resistance to the idea.

Here is the entire piece.

Commentary went and visited the Ben Hall for Mayor web site this morning just to see if he has posted a list of supporters.  He has and it is heavy with African American leaders including Constable May Walker, Cong. Al Green, Constable Ruben Davis, former CM Carol Galloway, former CM Jarvis Johnson, former Cong. Craig Washington, former Supt. Rod Paige, and Sylvia Brooks just to name a few.  I can’t find a list of The Mayor’s supporters.

Last night the ‘Stros looked like the team they are supposed to look like this season.

 

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Commentary has been reading about changes the Texas Legislature is contemplating to the governance structure of the Port Commission.  Port Commissioner’s term limits are definitely going to happen.  As we all know, Port Chair Janiece Longoria is the only Latina/Latino on the Commission.  I hope The Dean and others that are leading the effort to alter the Port’s governance structure don’t end up adopting a measure that results in the possibility of Latinos not having representation on the Port Commission in a year or so.  There has been a Latino/Latina on the Port Commission since the 1980s.  I hope in their zeal to make changes they don’t end up with a Port Commission without Latino/Latina representation.  This is the Texas Legislature so you know it is a possibility.

It kind of says something that we finally get a Latina to Chair the Port Commission and now some are proposing that she gets shown the door.

Name the player to win the first ever MLB Rookie of the Year Award? 

Last week The Mayor and the Uptown Houston Management District announced they were going to spend a bunch of dough on a bus system with dedicated lanes that would run on Post Oak.  That’s not sitting well with Mattress Mac who authored an Op-Ed in yesterday’s Chron.  He took some shots at The Mayor, METRO, and the Management District and called them a bunch of “hacks.”  FYI:  Mattress Mac has a Gallery Furniture on Post Oak.  Here are bits of his Op-Ed:

Post Oak and the Galleria area are the greatest shopping destinations in Texas. But how many people do you know shop the Galleria by bus? Years ago, the Uptown District offered a bus service for area residents and shoppers for free – and they discontinued the program for lack of riders.

And:

Tell me another world-class city that tears up its most prominent commercial street to run dedicated bus lanes? I thought we were "Space City." Instead we have political hacks pushing the same lame "solutions."

Here is the entire Mattress Mac take.

Ouch!

This Wednesday the Harris County Sports and Convention Corporation Board of Directors will meet to act on the future of the Astrodome – finally.  I am betting all the local media will be at the meeting.  Whatever they come up with still has to be approved by Commissioners Court.

The freaking flagstick was Tiger’s undoing this past weekend.  If he misses the stick, he wins.

Jackie Robinson of course won the first ever MLB Rookie of the Year Award in 1947.

I stayed up Saturday night to watch Albert Pujols do it to us again with two outs in the bottom of the ninth – drats!  Brett Wallace is 1 for 24 and batting .042.  Heck, he can’t even see the Mendoza line.

Every player will be wearing numero 42 today.

 

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My friend Edgar Colón is Chairman of the Board of the Harris County Sports and Convention Corp., the entity created by Harris County Commissioners Court to manage and develop Reliant Park.  He has an Op-Ed in today’s Chron explaining the hold-up on deciding what to do with the Dome.  Here are parts:

Back in 2012, we presented several options for repurposing this regional icon. These options were the result of preliminary feasibility workshop sessions with world-class architectural, engineering and attraction design and development consultants. This was not "just another study."

As a valuable asset of Harris County, the repurposing of the Astrodome has to take into consideration its impact on the overall Master Plan for Reliant Park. As a result, our study assesses our current and future needs at Reliant Park with particular focus on a comprehensive plan for future development at the complex.

The main guidelines we have considered in developing the options have centered on four core principles: public purpose (any proposed redevelopment must serve the interests of the taxpayers); flexibility (for both short-term and long-term use); compatibility (with current Reliant Park operations and our contractual obligations to our existing tenants, stakeholders and clients) and fiscal responsibility (considering both capital and operating costs).

In addition to these core principles, substantial consideration was given to implementing a "Green Initiative" at Reliant Park. The goal here is for Reliant Park – particularly the Dome – to serve as a showcase for emerging environmentally responsible energy efficient technologies.

I would think that tearing down the Dome would fall under the “public purpose”, “compatibility”, and “fiscal responsibility” core principles if you ask me.  Guess what?  They are not going to ask Commentary.

Edgar also says that the 2008 economic meltdown and economic climate since then has made financing difficult for “repurposing” the Dome.  Edgar is a Harris County appointee and the County will decide when to put the Dome’s future up for a vote and right now it doesn’t look like anyone at the County has the stomach to tear it down.  See what Edgar says:

The demolition of this fine structure not only destroys an icon but also forever takes away the possibility of future private development of the building.

Moreover, as the recent editorial in the Houston Chronicle points out, we should seize the moment to build something more worthwhile than more parking spots.

In other words, don’t expect a decision this year.  Stay tuned!

Here is the rest of the piece.

We have the day off today then go face our old nemesis Albert Pujols in Anaheim tomorrow.  How many career regular season dingers does Albert have against the ‘Stros?

Check out Kuffer’s piece on Dem members of Congress that still aren’t on the program on equality in marriage.

What’s the hold-up?

We won again last night for a series win.  I don’t know what to say!  Today our offense is kind of in the middle of the pack of all MLB clubs.  We’ve only played nine games though.

Albert Pujols has 42 dingers against ‘Stros pitching of course.

Brett Wallace was given the day off yesterday to clear his head.  That’s never a good thing to hear.  Here is what the Skipper told MLB:

"Sometimes you need to take a step back.  You can be trying so hard with extra work and video and reading game reports and over analyzing each and every at-bat to where you probably need to take a step back. We’re going to give him the day off, we have an off-day on Thursday, and Friday send him back in there. I think the results are going to be in a more positive light for Brett."

I don’t know about that.

 

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The Chron E-Board today called out Commissioner’s Court on getting a vote on the Dome on the ballot for this November.  Here is a part:

It was created by a vote, and it should be saved or destroyed by a vote. Much like the bond elections that gave Harris County the capital to build the Dome, the future of 8400 Kirby Drive should be in the hands of the voters.

Right now, there are only five votes that count – the four powerful, and often unknown, county commissioners and the county judge. Those five have not been the visionary leaders we once had in men such as Roy Hofheinz. They seem either too fearful of going down in history as the men who destroyed the Dome, or too scared of the higher taxes necessary to fund any grand endeavor. So instead we wait, and the Dome decays until the once-wonder’s only redeemable feature is its ruin value.

Enough with men fearful of history. Harris County deserves better. It is time to let the people decide what we should do with the Astrodome and how we should spend our money. Come November, the voters who matter shouldn’t be at Commissioner’s Court, but at the ballot box.

I don’t think much more needs to be said.  The Chron E-Board wants a vote.  The Rodeo, Texans, NFL Commissioner and Commentary want it torn down.  What’s the hold-up?

Here is the entire E-Board take.

A lot folks know that last June Matt Cain of the Giants went perfecto on the ‘Stros.  Name the ‘Stros that played in that game last June that also got into the game last night?

The First Lady is recommending the movie “42”.  It is about Jackie Robinson getting  into the MLB back in 1947.  Here is from an article:

Michelle Obama said Tuesday that a new movie chronicling Jackie Robinson’s rise through Major League Baseball, including the racial discrimination he endured while breaking the sport’s color barrier in the 1940s, left her and the president "visibly, physically moved" after they saw it over the weekend. The film, "42," also left the couple wondering "how on Earth did (the Robinsons) live through that. How did they do it? How did they endure the taunts and the bigotry for all of that time?" she said.

And:

Mrs. Obama said everyone should see the movie, which opens nationwide April 12.

"I can say with all sincerity that it was truly powerful for us," she said. "We walked away from that just visibly, physically moved by the experience of the movie, of the story," and the "raw emotion" they felt afterward.

I wasn’t at The Yard last night but I watched the game and around the sixth inning I started to think it might be a perfect game and no hitter and I thought about missing history. Did I want to be there and watch the Rangers go perfect on us in our crib?  Did I want to have a ticket stub for the first no-no or perfect game ever tossed at The Yard?  My answer is a resounding NO!  In the end it turned out A-OK as Marwin Gonzalez with his base hit up middle saved us from getting perfected on two seasons in a row.

Jose Altuve, Brett Wallace, Jason Castro, Xavier Cedeno, and Rhiner Cruz of course saw action in the perfecto last June and in the near perfecto last night.

Our bats looked anemic last night, we’re not in first place, and we wrap up the series with the Rangers this afternoon.

 

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Here is from an article that says new polling shows rank and file GOPers support a path to citizenship:

Nearly two-thirds of Americans favor giving undocumented immigrants in the country an opportunity for legal status with a path to citizenship, according to a poll published Thursday by the Public Religion Research Institute and the Brookings Institution.

Support for an earned path to citizenship for those immigrants came from 71 percent of Democrats and also a majority, 53 percent, of Republicans, the poll found.

The option that drew the least support in the poll was legal residency for undocumented immigrants with no path to citizenship; only 14 percent of Americans favored that approach.

Here is the article.

The GOP leadership needs to step up on this.  I doubt we will see any leaders from Texas step up.  Stay tuned!

Yesterday Commentary mentioned the last regular season MLB game held at the Dome on Sunday, October 3, 1999 versus the Dodgers.  Name the starting pitcher for the ‘Stros that afternoon?

The debate on the Dome is heating up a bit.  Here is from the Chron today:

Harris County officials on Thursday disputed an estimate released this week showing it would cost $29 million to implode the vacant Reliant Astrodome and build a 1,600-space parking lot in two and a half years.

The figure, calculated by local firms Linbeck Construction and Walter P. Moore and Associates after a three-month study commissioned by the Houston Texans and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, is less than half the estimated price tag released last year by consultants hired by the Harris County Sports and Convention Corp., the county agency that runs Reliant Park.

And:

Linbeck Vice President John Go said the firms stand by the findings of the study and the price tag.

"The Houston Texans and the Rodeo asked us to develop a methodology and a report that will stand up against questions because they knew that someone might question it," Go said, noting that Walter P. Moore was the structural engineer when the stadium was built in the mid-1960s and again when it was expanded in 1989.

Go said they consulted more than a half dozen local companies and specialty subcontractors, including for asbestos removal, demolition and filling the more than 30-foot-deep hole that would be left after razing the structure.

The County sent out my friend Edgar Colon to challenge the Rodeo and Texans.  Here is from the Houston Press:

But on Thursday afternoon Harris County Sports Convention Corporation chairman Edgar Colon said that the Dome wasn’t the only thing hindering a bowl bid.

What those other things were he didn’t specify. What could that be? A hulking mass of steel and concrete smack in the middle of the complex isn’t the only thing?

Speaking amongst dusty left field-line seats, he took questions about the $29 million figure, which he seemed to have pushed up to $40 million during the press conference, confusing most of us.

Here is the entire Press piece.

It looks like the Texans and Rodeo are stepping things up. Good for them and for us.  I have nothing but respect for Edgar and sending him out was a good first step, but if the county wants to resist for now, Edgar is going to need some help.  He can’t do it alone.

Edgar mentions that something else may be hindering a bowl bid.  He needs to let us know what it is. 

I like where this is heading. I’m still waiting to see if any elected officials side up with the Rodeo and Texans.  In a Rodeo/Texans versus the County match-up, I’ll bet on the Rodeo/Texans. 

Mike Hampton of course started the last regular season game for the ‘Stros at the Dome back in 1999.

The Skipper announced that Brett Wallace would bat second against righties for now. 

 

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Harris County Commissioner Steve Radack is real good at having his county crews go by the county owned Early Vote locations in his precinct and clean up all the candidate signs at the end of Early Voting.  They are usually all gone by noon the day after the end of Early Voting.  His crews did a less than stellar job Saturday morning.  All the Vote Yes METRO signs are still up – interesting.  I also noticed that Vote Yes METRO signs are all over right-of-way in many part of the City and County – also interesting.

When was the last season that the team wore the blue and orange and I’m not talking about throwback gear games? 

On the front page of yesterday’s Chron, Ericka Mellon dusted up HISD Trustee Larry Marshall pretty good.  It was a real stinger.  The good news for HISD bond supporters is that maybe 60% of folks had already voted before the article hit the stands.

Check out Ericka’s article here.

FYI:  Commentary is working for the HISD bonds.

Locally everyone is talking about the 700,216 that voted early in person here in Harris County surpassing the 678,312 in 2008.  How much gas is left in the tank?  How many more folks will vote tomorrow?

The new leader in turnout for Early Voting Locations goes to Champion Forest Baptist Church out on Strack Road way up in North Harris County.  They had 38,329.  West Gray was knocked off the top and fell to numero 3 with 35,639 – down from 35,987 in 2008. What does this all mean?  I’ll let you know later this week!

I’m not going to give any election predictions even though I did on my Roundtable ballot. 

Maybe I’m getting into a touchy subject here but here goes.  Commentary was watching SNL a couple of days ago and I laughed at the skit where the sign interpreters were used. This morning deaf actress Marlee Matlin slammed SNL for poking fun at sign interpreters.  Isn’t that what SNL is supposed to do?  Oh well!

1993 of course was the last season the ‘Stros wore the blue and orange.

The ‘Stros GM is interested in talking to The Big Puma about coming back to wear the blue and orange and maybe playing DH – interesting.

Check out the story here.

I’m OK with the old new look or the new old look or the blue and orange or the orange and blue but I’ll still wear the brick red on occasion – got it!

 

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