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Posts Tagged ‘Carol Alvarado’

Remember former State Rep. and now Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller and his vaginal probing sonogram bill back in 2011?

And State Rep. Carol Alvarado (Commentary’s client), in a classic and memorable response said this:

“This is not the jelly on the belly that most of you think. This is government intrusion at its best. We have reached an all high, a climax, in government intrusion.”

Here is the clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yBrbGrvDPvE.

Looks like Sid and Carol have gone from the vaginal probe into the deep fryer. From the Trib:

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller on Thursday restored the option for public schools to serve certain fried foods and soda by lifting a decade-old statewide ban on deep fryers and soda machines.

The policy, which supporters say gives control over nutrition back to school districts, instead of the state, goes into effect July 1.

“We are working to put an end to a one-size-fits-all approach mandated from Austin,” Miller said in a press release. “We want families, teachers and school districts to know the Texas Department of Agriculture supports their decisions and efforts to teach Texas students about making healthy choices.”

School groups that sell fatty foods or sugary sodas on campus for fundraising purposes are now allowed to do so six times per year, up from once, and to sell during school hours.

Critics have argued that Miller’s push is a step backward for childhood nutrition. In 2013, 16 percent of high school students in Texas were obese, up from 14 percent in 2005. Only Arkansas, Kentucky and Alabama reported higher rates. Nationwide, child obesity rates have jumped from 7 percent in 1980 to 18 percent in 2012. Among minorities, the rates for children and adolescents were significantly higher, with Hispanics at 22 percent and non-Hispanic black youth at 20 percent.

Ironically, the reversal was announced as part of a new plan by the Texas Department of Agriculture to reduce childhood obesity. The primary objective of the plan is to connect farmers with schools to provide more local food. It’s designed to promote community engagement and student involvement, as well as training to help schools serve meals that are “attractive and taste great.”

Rep. Alvarado’s Statement:

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller announced that the Texas Department of Agriculture is repealing certain prohibitions under the state’s decade old school nutrition policy that restricted the use of deep fryers and soda machines in Texas schools. State Representative Carol Alvarado issued the following statement:

“First, he granted amnesty to cupcakes and now it is deep fryers in the lunchroom. Will his next step be recommending that schools replace physical education classes with doughnut eating contests?

I think it is mind-boggling that our Agriculture Commissioner would think that placing deep fryers and soda machines back in our schools would help reduce childhood obesity.

Healthy eating should not stop once a child enters the school house doors. Most children consume about one half of their daily calories at school, so our schools play a vital role in helping cultivate a healthier lifestyle. Commissioner Miller’s plan is a mistake and a huge step backwards in ensuring that our children are eating healthy and living healthier lifestyles. This Commissioner should be finding more ways to provide healthier food options instead of finding more ways for the state to subsidize obesity.”

Only in Texas. This fella is a caricature for sure.

A-Roid is sitting on 2,999 career base hits. How many MLBers are in the 3,000 career base hit club?

Nobody can say Bill King doesn’t take a position. Here is from Rebecca Elliott of the Chron:

Houston mayoral candidate Bill King wants to put ReBuild Houston, the city’s controversial streetnand drainage program, back up for a vote.

Narrowly approved by voters in 2010, the pay-as-you-go maintenance and repair initiative has come under increased scrutiny in recent weeks, with the mayor’s race underway and a series of storms testing the limits of Houston’s drainage infrastructure.

Criticism of the program has only intensified in the last week, after the state Supreme Court ruled that the language of the ReBuild charter amendment did not adequately describe the program’s character and purpose. In a unanimous decision, the court sent the case back to trial court, where legal experts expect the city to face an uphill battle.

Then, on Wednesday, a Houston resident filed a separate class-action lawsuit seeking to have the city to refund property owners some $500 million in drainage fees.

King, the most vocal opponent of ReBuild Houston in the race, has seized the moment to attack ReBuild.

“I only see one way out of this quagmire,” the former mayor of Kemah said in a statement Thursday. “We need to have another election on the ReBuild Houston program in November. But this time with clear and transparent ballot language.”

Should ReBuild make it back on the ballot this year, King said he would continue to oppose the program, proposing instead to finance city infrastructure projects with bonds.

King’s statement does not name any other mayoral candidates by name, but City Councilman Stephen Costello — an engineer and strong advocate of ReBuild — is the implied target.

In the crowded race to replace term-limited Mayor Annise Parker, King and Costello are seen as direct competitors for the votes of Houston’s fiscal conservatives.

I am not going to say anything about the Governor’s appointment to chair the State Board of Education.

28 former MLBers have reached the 3,000 career base hit milestone of course.

Our lead is now up to three and a half games. We are the first NL team to win 40 games this season. Not bad at all!

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Don’t kick this tweet down the road:

Teddy Schleifer retweeted
John Arnold ‏@JohnArnoldFndtn 1h1 hour ago
Houston mayor kicks the can to the next generation to solve the pension crisis. http://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/outlook/article/McGee-Firefighters-pension-deal-will-cost-more-6126228.php?t=9318cf1266cca1ae63&cmpid=twitter-premium … @anniseparker #generationaltheft

“Kicking the can down the road” could very well be the local political phrase of the year this campaign season. The phrase is often associated with politics. We have been hearing it a lot lately in regards to pensions. The latest is in an Op-Ed in today’s Chron from Josh McGee from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation on the proposed pension deal. Here are parts:

After complaining that previous administrations have failed to fix the city’s broken pension system, some city leaders are now doing exactly what they have faulted their predecessors for. They are kicking the can down the road.

The recent deal between the city of Houston and the firefighters’ pension board does nothing to solve the pension problem.

And:

There is no reason that officials from elsewhere in Texas should be dictating how Houston structures its retirement plans.

State law already allows most cities to make these decisions locally. Houston and all of the major cities in Texas should have that same authority.

It is time for the city and the pension board to stop pushing the pension problem into the future.

Mayor Annise Parker herself has said the deal is “not pension reform,” it is merely “cost avoidance.” The city and the board should implement responsible funding practices now and should work with the Legislature to obtain local control of the pension system in order to implement a structure that is affordable, sustainable, and secure.

Firefighters risk their lives to protect our city. They shouldn’t have to risk their retirement, too.

Here is the entire Josh McGee Op-Ed: http://www.chron.com/opinion/outlook/article/McGee-Firefighters-pension-deal-will-cost-more-6126228.php.

BTW: Did you check out Laura Arnold’s Op-Ed on a death penalty lawyer in yesterday’s Chron here: http://www.chron.com/opinion/outlook/article/Texas-defender-drew-unfair-treatment-6124191.php.

This Chron.com story today on the state legislator who was supposed to be the City’s point man on pension reform says a lot. Here are parts:

Houston lawmakers introduced dueling bills this week to reform the city’s fire pension system, with one piece of legislation backed by City Hall and the fire pension board and the other backed by neither.

Democratic Rep. Sylvester Turner introduced the bill backed by Mayor Annise Parker and unveiled on Friday that would lower the city’s pension costs over the next three years.

Also Monday, Republican Rep. Jim Murphy, who has introduced pension reform legislation in the past and was seen by City Hall as an ally on this issue in the Legislature, introduced his own bill.

Murphy’s bill would eliminate the state’s involvement in Texas cities’ pension systems, granting the local control that Parker long has sought to negotiate binding agreements with the city’s fire pension board.

“There’s no real reason for why people in Austin should decide what people in Houston should either pay in taxes or receive in benefits,” Murphy said. “My very wise father once told me: ‘If it’s none of your money, it’s none of your business.'”

And:

Parker will not formally lobby for or against Murphy’s bill, mayoral spokeswoman Janice Evans said, though the mayor has attempted to push local control bills in the previous two sessions.

“Best of luck as he tries for a third time,” Evans said.

Thanks a lot! I am sure Janice Evans didn’t mean to sound this grateful – ouch!

Here is the entire piece on Rep. Murphy’s bill:
http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/politics/texas/article/Murphy-introduces-competing-fire-pension-bill-to-6126041.php.

The pension deal is supposed to be discussed at City Council today so stay tuned!

BTW: Some fella named Steven Houston has posted a couple of comments on this website on the pension deal.

Jeff Bagwell stopped by Spring Training yesterday. When Baggy won the NL MVP Award in 1994, how many first place votes did he receive out of the 28 votes cast?

State Rep. Carol Alvarado’s online over registration bill got the lead editorial in today’s Chron. Here it is:

During a week in which President Barack Obama, civil rights icon John Lewis and some 80,000 Americans gathered in Selma, Ala., to commemorate a people’s valiant effort to secure the sacred right to vote, it’s appropriate for a Texas lawmaker to remind us that it’s the obligation of government to encourage voting, not to erect barriers.

Toward that end, state Rep. Carol Alvarado, D-Houston, is sponsoring legislation that would allow Texans to register to vote online. It’s an idea – a simple one, in fact – that’s long overdue.

Alvarado points out that we do everything else online, including banking, taxes and stock transactions, so why not voter registration? Twenty states already offer an online voter-registration application, and the Texas Association of Elections Administrators also supports the idea. It’s convenient, it saves money and it’s safe against fraud and cyberattacks.

Arizona was one of the first states to implement online registration. Alvarado notes that officials in Arizona’s largest county have reported that the cost of a single registration dropped from 83 cents per registration card to 3 cents. Applying those numbers to the slightly more than 14 million Texans registered to vote, the savings to taxpayers would amount to more than $11 million.

For those worried about the integrity of the process, Alvarado’s House Bill 953 would cross-check driver’s license information with Department of Public Safety records and would be rejected if the information the would-be voter provided was inaccurate. The applicant also would have to have a signature on file with DPS.

Minnesota, one of the 20 states that provides online registration, traditionally leads the nation in voter turnout. It was a cause for alarm among Minnesotans last fall when turnout fell to 50 percent. The Texas turnout, meanwhile, was a dismal 24.9 percent. Obviously, a variety of factors account for the difference in turnout between the states, but registration convenience must surely be one of them.

Parties, politicians and Texans overall benefit when more citizens participate in the governance of their state. Ease of voting, including online registration, is one way to nurture a healthy democracy.

Nice job Rep. Alvarado!

I tweeted the following yesterday during Secretary Hillary Clinton’s press conference:

Marc Campos ‏@MarcCommentary 1h1 hour ago
#ClintonEmails press conference responses are not going to satisfy GOP critics. #PersonalEmails pic.twitter.com/bOltLiSpBn

Then this was tweeted:

Teddy Schleifer retweeted
Carly Fiorina ‏@CarlyFiorina 28m28 minutes ago
In effect, @HillaryClinton told us to trust her. Nothing in her track record suggests we should do so.

Knock yourself out! 23 years! That’s how long the GOP has been trying to take down the Clintons.

On a related note, GOP U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina who admits he has never sent an email is criticizing Hillary on her emails. Sorry pal! If you haven’t used email then you don’t know what you are talking about!

In 1994, Jeff Bagwell received first place votes from all of the 28 writers who cast a NL MVP Award ballot of course.

I got this from The Yard yesterday:

Join the Houston Astros as we celebrate Craig Biggio’s induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame!

2015 Hall of Fame Travel Packages

Official Astros 2015 National Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Weekend packages are available now. Choose from the following packages:

Induction Weekend Package – $795
• Three Days/Two Nights Hotel Accommodations
Hampton Inn, Albany, NY – July 24-26, 2015
• Induction Ceremony Lawn Seating

Induction Weekend Extra Innings Package – $995
• Four Days/Three Nights Hotel Accommodations
Comfort Inn & Suites, Albany, NY – July 24-27, 2015
• Induction Ceremony Lawn Seating
• Legends of the Game Roundtable

VIP Induction Weekend Package – $1250
• Three Days/Two Nights Hotel Accommodations
Albany Marriott, Albany, NY – July 24-26, 2015
• Induction Ceremony VIP Seating

Ultimate VIP Induction Weekend Package – $1795
• Three Days/Two Nights Hotel Accommodations
Albany Marriott, Albany, NY – July 24-27, 2015
• Baseball Hall of Fame Artifact Spotlight
• Induction Ceremony VIP Seating
• Legends of the Game Roundtable
• Autographed Baseball

What’s in your wallet!

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Yesterday, State Rep. Carol Alvarado was named Chair of the Urban Affairs Committee of the Texas House of Representatives. Congrats! I have not had the time to do the research but in the history of the Texas House, there have not been too many Latinas that have served as Chair of a committee – a couple or so maybe? I am also trying to remember the last time a Latina/Latino from the H-Town area served as a Chair of a committee in the Texas Legislature – maybe somebody can help me out. Way to go, Carol!

Carol will certainly do a great a job. BTW: GOP Rep. Molly White, yeah, that Rep. White of Belton, is also a member of the Urban Affairs Committee.

Name the two MLB clubs with the lousiest home records last season?

On the #HoustonPotholes stuff, Commentary said this yesterday:

Well let me just say that potholes don’t vote. That being said, I am kind of flabbergasted and perplexed a bit that the City hasn’t been more aggressive in defending their processes. In the Channel 11 story that follows, Public Works continues to let their spokesperson take the hit. Heck, he’s earned a pay raise over the last couple or three stories. Maybe the City has a secret pothole repair plan they are fixing to unveil.

Well the Mayor responded yesterday and here is what she said in today’s Chron front page lead story: “We have a full, all-hands-on-deck emergency plan in place. This is my issue. We’re going to deal with it.”

It is not a secret plan but a response to those that raised the issue the past week or so. You have to give credit to those that got out front on our potholes. I am talking about Bill King, KHOU-TV Channel 11, and KTRK-TV Channel 13. They got folks to talking and complaining and City Hall just had to act – or else.

I am sure some local politicos kind of dismissed Bill when he first brought up the #HoustonPotholes a while back but they are certainly not dismissing him this morning. Like I said, give Bill his credit.

Here is how today’s Chron story starts:

Confronted with the age-old political headache of fixing pesky potholes amid surging resident complaints, Mayor Annise Parker acknowledged Wednesday that the city has not acted quickly enough to make repairs and called Houston’s roads a “crisis situation.”

Parker was responding to media reports detailing lingering requests for pothole fixes on city streets.

Here is the entire story from behind the paywall: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Parker-says-city-has-fallen-behind-on-pothole-6063307.php.

Commentary still thinks spokesperson Eric Dargan, Deputy Director of the Department of Public Works, should be given a raise for being put out there in a position that was impossible to defend.

Are #HoustonPotholes now off of the table so to speak? Nope! Stay tuned for sure!

At 33-48 the D-Backs and Rangers of course had last season’s lousiest home record.

The Rangers will make their first visit to The Yard on May 4 and the D-Backs visit for three on July 31 – August 2.

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Who wants to be the next Harris County Constable for Precinct 6? Here is from today’s Chron:

Harris County commissioners are preparing to accept the resignation of convicted Constable Victor Trevino and to start looking for his replacement.

And:

One local Hispanic leader expressed optimism that Trevino’s replacement will be a person who reflects the constable’s Precinct 6, which is overwhelmingly Hispanic and Democratic.

“It’s important to find someone who is qualified, and has a history of living and working in the precinct and is community-minded,” said state Rep. Carol Alvarado, D-Houston, adding she has told commissioners she favors a Hispanic who is a Democrat.

Drawing a replacement from among Trevino’s staff could prove difficult because of a state law requiring the constable to reside in the precinct. Several of Trevino’s top deputies do not meet the residency requirement, Alvarado said.

And:

Most of Trevino’s precinct is located within the boundaries of Commissioner Jack Mormon’s district; about one-quarter is in Lee’s. Mormon’s staff confirmed the screening process is underway with 12 to 15 applicants under review.

David Walden, Mormon’s chief of staff, said all candidates are under consideration regardless of race or ethnicity, but added, “It’s obviously a Hispanic district, with an overwhelming majority, so you want someone there who has community support.”

A replacement is expected to be announced on Nov. 18, when commissioners officially canvass the results of last week’s election.

Commentary is hearing that former candidates, former elected officials, current elected officials, and current and former law enforcement types are interested in getting the appointment. Some live in the precinct, some used to, some say they do, and some say they will. Stay tuned!

Name the first African-American to win a MLB Rookie of the Year Award?

Check this out from the Chron:

David Dewhurst is not ready to leave Texas politics.

The outgoing lieutenant governor said Monday he is planning to start a “large public policy venture” and may consider a run for political office in the future.

He offered few details on either front, deferring questions about the policy venture until a formal announcement planned for next month and declining to answer specific questions about his future, but he seemed eager to keep as many options on the table as possible.

Among those he would not rule out: a run for Houston mayor next year.

“I ain’t riding off into the sunset, ever,” said Dewhurst, who keeps a home in Houston, adding, “I’m a real believer in the Lord’s will, and He’s got something else He wants me to do, and so I’m pursuing what I think is good for me and good for the state.”

And:

Dewhurst said he has been focused of late on border security – a problem he said he spotlighted when he first took office in 2003 and is finally getting the attention it deserves. In particular, Dewhurst said he supports indefinitely continuing the surge of Texas National Guard troopers and Department of Public Safety officers on the southern border.

“I want to make sure we don’t do in Texas what Barack Obama did in Iraq and Afghanistan – telling al-Qaeda when you were going to wind down,” he said.

He surely has to be kidding. I don’t think a lot of H-Town voters take too kindly to his years of bashing of The President. Voter ID isn’t a priority of ours. We kind of would like to see an expansion of Medicaid. A lot of us don’t like that bill that passed in the 2013 Special Session just to name a few. Best he could do is win Council Member Oliver Pennington’s seat if Pennington chose to run for Mayor.

Pitcher Don Newcombe of course of the Dodgers won the 1949 NL Rookie of the Year Award.

In today’s Chron, GM Luhnow acknowledges that the team has to get better productivity from our first baseman, shortstop, and third baseman. I am glad the GM is going public with this analysis.

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