Archive for the ‘Houston Education Crisis’ 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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Stop the Madness sent me a mail piece yesterday wanting me to sign a petition so we can once and for all put an item on the City ballot this November on our sanctuary city status.   Here is from their website:

We Need 20,000 Signatures. Have You Signed?

Two proposed ballot measures need signatures that will challenge the status quo on illegal immigration in Houston:

  1. Sanctuary Cities: Public Safety policy designed to allow Houston Police Officers more discretion in identifying and reporting those who fail a valid ID check on a probable cause encounter.

  1. E-Verify: Contractors and subcontractors benefitting from taxpayer funds on a City of Houston contract would be required to use E-Verify to authorize the legal working status of their employees.

You would think that their mail consultant would do a voting history check and maybe make sure a voter like Commentary (Latino, frequent Dem voter) would not get their mail.  Oh, well!

Only three times in the history of the ‘Stros has a player played in all 162 games of the season at the same position.  Name the players and the positions?

The State of Texas wants to shut down North Forest ISD and have the kids go to HISD schools.  The folks that run North Forest are resisting.  I’m betting the state prevails.

The Mayor is holding a press conference today to announce a campaign to get rid of texting while driving.  Wouldn’t an ordinance do the trick? 

Bill Doran (2B in 1987), Baggy (1B in 1996), and B-G-O (2B in 1996) of course have played in all of the 162 games in a season.

The first place ‘Stros are back in action tonight at The Yard.


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From today’s SA Express News:

“I think it’s just going to be harder for poor kids to go to college,” (State Sen. Steve) Ogden said, “because there’s just not as much financial aid, and if money’s tight at the universities, it’s going to be hard for them to basically provide big discounts for their students to attend.”

We’re better than this.  We’re now a “No Mas” state.  We’re now a state that throws in the towel.  Way to go!

Things ought to get interesting at the Port Commission meeting today.  The Port Chair and the Port CEO are kind of under the gun.  Leading the charge to get things cleared up are Port Commissioners Janiece Longoria and Elyse Lanier. 
Check out the Chron story.

The Chron E-Board also weighed in on the Port stuff today.  Here is a part of what they said:

(Port Commission Chair Jim) Edmonds has come under fire for taking a tour of Libya with his wife two years ago paid for by AECOM, a port vender that has since hired Edmonds as a consultant. The chairman told the Chronicle’s Jenalia Moreno that his contract with AECOM began last fall and ended this spring. He declined to provide details of the pact, calling it a private business matter. That’s an unacceptable position for the chairman of an agency board that spends taxpayer dollars.


Whatever the findings of the district attorney concerning these allegations, it’s clear the port governors need a stronger code of ethics and increased transparency in their official dealings and on-the-side employment. We urge the commissioners to make instituting those reforms their top priority.
Here is the entire E-Board piece.

You have to give some credit to Commissioners Longoria and Lanier.  The City of H-Town and City Council should be glad that Commissioner Longoria was reappointed last fall if you ask me.

Oh, I almost forgot!  The GOP Tax Assessor-Collector for Harris County also weighed in today on the Port stuff with an Op-Ed in today’s Chron.  He certainly didn’t mince any words like:

While the port generates tremendous economic benefits for this area, its promotion fund generates tremendous benefits for those bold enough to reach into the cookie jar. So much so that(Channel 13’s Wayne) Dolcefino is calling the Port of Houston the "Port-o-Plenty."

Maybe it is. Certainly Harris County no longer is the land of plenty in which mismanagement of the port’s resources can be overlooked or swept under the rug.

The port should immediately increase its accountability by publishing online the promotion fund’s check register and the tour boat’s log of trips and related expenses.     Check out the entire Op-Ed here.

Things ought to get interesting over at the Port so we all better stay tuned!

Four years ago today, this pitcher beat the Mets to become the first pitcher in MLB history to win 200 games and collect 150 saves.  Who am I talking about?

Speaking of “when you got nothing, you got nothing to lose.”  Zimmerman is celebrating his 70th BD Today – wow!

Last night in Arlington at the Rangers-White Sox game, a high pop foul landed right in front of 43.    Check out the replay here.  I don’t blame him for kind of just freezing up.  I’ve been there before.  Those are the toughest to snag.  I am not a physics expert but it is probably safe to say that the ball comes down faster than it goes up. 

The ATL’s John Smoltz of course pitched seven innings in a 2-1 win over his ex-teammate Tom Glavine of the Mets.

Speaking of, I snagged Pam-In-Charge’s seats at the last minute yesterday so I took McLovin and his steady with me.  I momentarily lost faith in the team and left in the eighth inning when we were behind 3-1.  I got home and watched us make a bottom of the ninth comeback 4-3 win – wow!  What do I know!   It is OK with me as we take on the Dodgers again this evening.


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The H-Town Mayor announced her proposed budget yesterday and a few hundred more layoffs are on the way.  She wants to close some community centers and swimming pools.  It looks like just about every part of town will take a hit.  I’m okay with that.

The Mayor says there is no sentiment on City Council to raise property taxes right now.  We just got hit with our Proposition 1, err Rebuild Houston fees.  I think that is enough of fee raising for now if you ask me.

I have to hand it to my HISD Trustee Anna Eastman (who is for sure the smartest HISD Trustee) for speaking out against creating new “career academies” a week or so after we closed four schools.  They may be a good idea but I don’t think we have the funds.  Here is what Anna said:

"We closed the doors of four schools last week. We have had to rif [reduction in force] hundreds of teachers.  We’re looking at proposing a pretty drastic change in our bell system to save money. … I think the planning and looking toward something like this in the future is a good idea but I have a real problem funding a $1.6 million increase to something right now when we still have a $59 million projected shortfall. I really struggle with my ability to go and possibly ask taxpayers to pay more tax and I think right now we need to be focused on either keeping stuff funded that we value and that we know works and implementing all these other new things that we’re trying to do like the literacy initiative, I really struggle with being able to support something like this right now."

Way to go Anna! 

Who holds the ‘Stros record for most innings pitched in a season?

Trustee Eastman is certainly paying attention to what is going on up in Austin and the expected $4 bil hit to ISDs across the Lone Star State.

Commentary watched Katie Couric’s final broadcast from the “CBS Evening News” desk yesterday.  I wish she hadn’t left but I hope she comes back to the tube soon.

Well it looks like we’re not going to create Texas A&M University at the O.K. Corral this session.  That’s a real good thing.

Milo Hamilton will make his way to Toronto today to make it 59 different ballparks where he has called an MLB game.  Way to go Milo!

Larry Dierker of course holds the ‘Stros record for innings pitched in a season with 305 and 1/3 in 1969.

Of course, most folks know that the only MLB team that we have never lost to is the Blue Jays.  We’re 3-0 against them as we swept them at The Yard back in June of 2005.   Maybe we will get to face former ‘Stros reliever Octavio Dotel and chat with Jays radio announcer Alan Ashby, another former ‘Stro.  Heck, maybe we can sweep them and keep our undefeated record against the Jays intact.  We need something to reverse the misery index!    


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First let me give a shout out to Brotherly Worthiness for taking one for the team at yesterday’s Day of Outrage Rally at the H-Town City Hall.  An elderly protester from the other side apparently got a bit outrageous with Worthiness.

Speaking of outrage, some members of Congress are a p_____ off about the fact that The President is pulling the National Guard off of border duty because the funding isn’t there.  Many of the outraged members of Congress are the same ones that voted for huge budget cuts a few weeks ago.  Sorry pals!

Sensing a showdown this spring, Guv Dude is making robo calls urging the right wingers to hold the line on spending.  Dude’s trying to hold on to the State House GOPers.  I guess he’s acknowledged that he’s lost the ISDs.

Dude finally acknowledged rainfall yesterday but says this is it.  Stay tuned!

Of the nine ‘Stros that were in the starting line-up on Opening Day against the Giants last season, who is no longer wearing the brick red?

Bonus:  What came first, the Baby Ruth or Babe Ruth?

Every now and then a promotion company will send Commentary a pen, calendar, or key chain with Commentary’s logo on it and want me to order their stuff.  Yesterday I got a pen with my mug on it.  It is from my website and the pen also has The Mayor’s mug on it.  How about that?

Kaz Matsui (2B) is back in Japan, Geoff Blum (1B) is now with the D-Backs, Pedro Feliz (3B) is trying to make the Royals, and Roy O (P) of course is with the Phillies.   Michael Bourn (CF), Hunter Pence (RF), and Carlos Lee (LF) will be in starting line-up on Opening Day on April 1 in Philly.  J.R. Towles (C) and Tommy Manzella (2B) are trying to make the Opening Day roster.  FYI:  Lance Berkman was on IR on Opening Day last season.

Babe Ruth of course was born in 1895 and the Baby Ruth candy bar was introduced in 1922 and they are not related.

‘Stros first baseman Brett Wallace had seven RBIs yesterday and the Red Sox come to town two weeks from today.



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