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Posts Tagged ‘school zones’

69 and Counting

Today, Alicia and Tony Campos are celebrating 69 years of being married. Way to go Mom and Dad!

I’ll be heading to Baytown today to pay them a visit.

Today is Labor Day. How about remembering those who risked their lives and livelihoods so we could enjoy days like today, paid vacation, and workplace safety – just to name a few.

Dante and I were at The Yard Saturday evening and the KissKam came on with the usual kissing. Then they showed two fellas in ‘Stros gear within a heart with this proposal caption: “Douglas, Will You Marry Me? Love, Cary.” Then the fans applauded. I didn’t hear any boos.

My ticket neighbors who sit right behind me and who hail from far northwest Harris County, their eighth grader said, “Hey they didn’t play the music.” Usually when they show a KissKam proposal, they play the generic wedding tune intro. That’s what the eighth grader noticed.

Way to go ‘Stros!

Name the pitcher with the most innings tossed this season?

Bernie Sanders is leading Hillary in New Hampshire. What coronation?

The City of H-Town continues to hold their ground and not move forward on banning cell phone use in school zones. Hard to believe, isn’t it? Here is from Saturday’s Chron:

Houston City Attorney Donna Edmundson and her predecessor, David Feldman, however, said they interpret enforcement as optional.

The debate centers on a provision about installing signs advising motorists of the prohibition.

“The law does not require the City or other entities to enforce the ban. However, if the City or other entities are going to enforce it, proper signs must be posted,” Edmundson said in a statement Friday.

And:

Houston Mayor Annise Parker said Wednesday that school districts, most of which have their own police forces, could assume the burden if they wanted. She questioned the value of mounting signs and said the decision also comes down to money.

And:

Houston City Councilman C.O. “Brad” Bradford, a former Houston police chief, said earlier this week that the city should install the signs. Councilman Dave Martin agreed.

“I don’t know why we can’t do it and I don’t know why anyone would object to it,” he said. “Cellphones are a problem, especially in school zones.”

Councilwoman Brenda Stardig, whose district includes Spring Branch ISD, said she’s heard from a concerned school board member. In that school district, some school zones have the signs because other local cities there have installed them.

“It became a battle over who was going to pay for it,” Stardig said. “If I had my negotiating hat on, I would ask each entity to put up half and move forward and keep our children safe.”

And:

Houston mayoral candidate Bill King held a news conference Friday and pledged that, if elected, he would have the signs installed within 30 days. He said Houston’s price estimate seemed too high.

“But even if it did cost $2 million, how can we not have the money to prioritize the safety of our children?” King asked, adding that he would be willing to take the funds from the budgets of the mayor’s office and City Council.

Like I said earlier. It is a matter of priorities. It is kind of sad to see the City lamely hold their ground.

Dallas Keuchel of course leads MLB with 200 2/3 innings pitched.

Our lead is at three with 25 to go. The next 10 are on the road. This is it folks

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Dropping the Ball

There is certainly no argument here. It is just a matter of priorities. I am talking about the City of H-Town dropping the ball big time on cracking down on cell phone use by drivers in school zones. There is no excuse for not having this in place. Here is from Ericka Mellon of the Chron:

Six years ago, state lawmakers hoping to protect students banned drivers from texting and talking on hand-held cellphones in school zones.

The ban, however, has never been enforced in Houston. City and school district officials have opted not to install the warning signs needed to issue tickets, citing a lack of funds.

The city puts the cost at roughly $2.34 million for about 7,800 signs. Based on estimates from the Texas Department of Transportation, however, the price tag should be significantly lower.

Houston lags behind the state’s other major cities and several of its neighbors, including Bellaire, Conroe and West University Place, which installed the signs years ago and enforce the law. With school back in session after summer break, police in some jurisdictions have started issuing tickets for a seventh straight school year.

If they thought this was important, they could find the money. They just don’t think it is a priority.

And this:

Former state Rep. Dan Branch, who sponsored the 2009 school zone bill, said this week that he never anticipated the sign requirement would make the law too pricey to enforce.

“Active school zones require a driver’s undivided attention,” said Branch, a Dallas-based attorney. “It’s hard to put a price on the life of a child.”

And this:

About two years ago, Mock said, the city clarified that HISD could take on the task. HISD, however, hasn’t budgeted funding, either. Mock estimated that the district would need about 2,000 signs to cover all the school zones.

Price estimates differ. Using the city’s figures of about $300 each, including anti-graffiti coating and mounts, the HISD signs would cost about $600,000.

The Texas Department of Transportation estimates the tab at $100 each, assuming the cellphone notice can be added to an existing school zone sign. The price tag for installing independent signs is $450 to $600.

In Dallas, spokesman Richard Hill said the city’s public works department funded the installation of more than 2,360 signs in 2010. He said the material cost was less than $22,700 – or about $10 each.

And this:

Houston City Councilman C.O. “Brad” Bradford, a former Houston police chief, said the signs should be funded.

“What is a child’s life worth?” he asked. “We do a lot of things at City Hall that cost a lot more money. We have a $5 billion operating budget, and to say we cannot find money to erect signs in school zones to help protect children, that’s unconscionable.”

Councilman Ed Gonzalez, a former police officer, said the city should continue to discuss whether the cellphone ban would have a long-lasting impact on safety or whether other measures such as driver education would be better.

Huh! What is there to discuss? Find the money! Having signs up and enforcing the ban would be pretty effective driver’s education.

Commentary has made it pretty clear that I wouldn’t mind a federal or state or local law banning hand held phone devices while driving. If we can’t get that, we at least ought to be doing what the law says we can do. It is just a matter of priorities.

The ‘Stros have tossed 12 shutouts this season. Name the team with the most shutouts tossed?

It is good to see Lisa Falkenberg and the Chron E-Board today write about toning down the rhetoric. We are a community that has pretty much avoided the strife that has hit other communities across the country. Let’s keep it that way and keep the discussion civil and responsible and based on the facts.

There were not any fireworks at last night’s mayoral candidate forum in Garden Oaks. Another good crowd showed up and I am kind of more convinced that a lot of them have not made up their minds.

The Dodgers of course have tossed 18 shutouts this season to lead MLB.

Tonight is Dollar Dog Night, so expect a lot more than the 18,000 plus who showed up last night at The Yard. Our lead is back down to three and SpringerDinger might be ready to take the field this weekend.

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