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Gender: Male
Hometown: South Texas. most of my life I lived in Austin and Dallas
Home country: United States
Current location: Bryan, Texas
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 03:57 AM
Number of posts: 83,350

About Me

Middle-aged white guy who believes in justice and equality for all. Math and computer analyst with additional 21st century jack-of-all-trades skills. I'm a stud, not a dud!

Journal Archives

Officials: Georgetown working to improve electric utility finances

The city of Georgetown expects to add more than $4 million to its electric utility reserves as part of an effort to lower prices for its energy customers, officials said.

City officials are still involved in calculations, City Manager David Morgan said Friday, but expect the utility to end fiscal year 2018-19 with more than $6 million in reserves.

Last fiscal year’s reserves were less than $2 million, he said. The city added money to its utility reserves by selling assets, increasing rates and decreasing expenses, according to a city new release this week.

It also raised more than $700,000 to add to the utility reserves by selling renewable energy credits, the release said. Since it sold the credits Georgetown lost its status this year as a 100% renewable electric utility, Morgan said.

Read more: https://www.statesman.com/news/20191129/officials-georgetown-working-to-improve-electric-utility-finances

Why Georgetown’s green energy gamble didn’t pay off

Schwab is the latest company leaving California for Texas and it won't be the last, expert says

When financial services firm Charles Schwab announced its $26 billion mega-merger with TD Ameritrade, it also dropped a bombshell about relocating the combined company’s headquarters from San Francisco to North Texas.

The Dallas Morning News talked to corporate relocation site selection expert John Boyd about Schwab’s decision to make its campus under construction in Westlake the new headquarters, and why even more California companies are likely to pack up and move to the Lone Star State in the future. One study estimates 13,000 companies fled the Golden State in a nine-year period from 2008 to 2016.

It’s been rumored for a long time that Schwab may be looking to get out of California. Why would the company choose to have this move coincide with a major acquisition like TD Ameritrade?

There's a unique driver here above and beyond Dallas's superior business climate versus San Francisco and that's this new era of zero commission trading.

Read more: https://www.dallasnews.com/business/2019/11/30/schwab-is-the-latest-company-leaving-california-for-texas-and-it-wont-be-the-last-expert-says/

Evacuation order lifted as huge Texas plant fire 'contained'

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Officials lifted evacuation orders Friday for around 50,000 people on the Texas Gulf Coast, determining a massive fire was finally under control at a chemical plant rocked by two major explosions two days earlier.

“We are in a position to say it’s contained. We feel comfortable with the efforts that have been made by our firefighters,” Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick said at a news conference in Port Neches, about 80 miles (129 kilometers) east of Houston.

But the area around the TPC Group plant remained dangerous. Several isolated fires were still blazing and visible at the facility, which makes chemical and petroleum-based products. Officials said they could not predict when those would be fully extinguished.

The explosions began early Wednesday morning and were so big that nearby homes captured the bright balls of fire on front-porch security cameras. The blasts shattered windows and ripped doors off hinges. Three workers were injured, and when a second blast erupted 13 hours after the initial overnight explosion, evacuation orders covered a 4-mile (6.4-kilometer) radius around the plant took effect.

Read more: https://www.oaoa.com/news/business/article_7d40bebc-79ba-5817-b03e-fdfa664c8dba.html
(Odessa American)

Reaction mixed to MSU president's $150k raise

BOZEMAN – The Board of Regents has approved a $150,000 pay raise to retain Waded Cruzado as the president of Montana State University after she received an offer for a higher-paying job.

Supporters say Waded Cruzado's vision and fundraising ability make her worth the $476,000 annual salary, while opponents noted her raise is nearly three times the median household income in Montana.

Commissioner of Higher Education Clay Christian supported the raise, saying it would allow Cruzado to continue the momentum she has created on the Bozeman campus.

The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports two classified MSU employees noted some workers are paid less than $11 an hour, vacancies are hard to fill and people have left because they can't afford to live in Bozeman.

Read more: https://www.greatfallstribune.com/story/news/2019/11/26/150-k-raise-approved-montana-state-university-president/4306270002/

Court rules against state in Blixseth bankruptcy case

HELENA – The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld decisions by other courts Tuesday that the Montana Department of Revenue lacked legal standing to file an involuntary bankruptcy petition against Yellowstone Club co-founder Tim Blixseth, noting other creditors had withdrawn from the case.

“We hold that MDOR’s claim was the subject of a bona fide dispute as to amount on petition date, and, therefore the bankruptcy court and district court correctly concluded that MDOR lacked standing to serve as a petitioning creditor,” Judge Michael Daly Hawkins wrote in a 22-page opinion.


Blixseth said the ruling, which was an appeal from the U.S. District Court by the state, was a victory for him.

“I feel like there is justice in America,” he told the Tribune. “I’m delighted (the panel) agreed with our decision for the past (eight) years that Montana should never have done this.”


He said he planned to seek damages from the state for hundreds of millions and punitive damages for destruction of evidence. At one time he said he would seek $700 million.

Read more: https://www.greatfallstribune.com/story/news/2019/11/26/appeals-court-rules-blixseth-montana-case/4309532002/

Bullock unveils national plans on workers, infrastructure

HELENA – Montana Gov. Steve Bullock unveiled two plans this week as he seeks the 2020 Democratic nomination for president; one focusing on infrastructure and the other was one he said would increase rights for working Americans.

Bullock said his $975 billion infrastructure plan offers $350 billion in highway and transit funding, offers $150 billion over five years to ensure clean drinking water, creates $380 billion in grants to reduce greenhouse emissions, and $61 billion to connect every rural school, library and health care provider to broadband internet.

“When we invest in our infrastructure, we can create jobs and revitalize communities across the country,” Bullock said in a news release.

He said he would fund his infrastructure proposals by restoring the corporate tax rate back to 31%, which he said was still four points below where it was in 2016. He also said he would implement the “Buffet Rule,” by taxing carried interest earned by investment fund managers as ordinary income, which he said would raise $14 billion over 10 years.

Read more: https://www.greatfallstribune.com/story/news/2019/11/27/montana-governor-offers-u-s-plans-infrastructure-workers/4320097002/

8:33 p.m. A Kalispell man called 911 because someone broke into his car but didn't take anything.

Yes, it's the Flathead County Police Blotter for November 26.

1:05 a.m. A Helena Flats resident reported that their neighbors were blasting loud music and having an enormous bonfire.

5:14 a.m. A drunk guy was trying to direct traffic with a flashlight.

8:41 a.m. Someone was shooting at deer from a road.

9:07 a.m. A Kalispell man said someone threatened to “mess you up old man.”

The action heats up in the afternoon at https://flatheadbeacon.com/2019/11/27/bearded-man-cargo-pants/ .

Tester Town Hall in Kalispell Draws Crowd of Curious Constituents

U.S. Sen. Jon Tester on Friday fielded questions from a crowd of more than 200 people in Kalispell, where audience members quizzed the Democrat on everything from the impeachment hearings roiling the Trump administration to Montana’s mental health crisis.

Staff members for Montana’s senior senator billed the town hall-style event as Tester’s eighth “unvetted” public forum of the year, which they say represents a departure from his congressional counterparts, who have opted for “tele-town halls” rather than face-to-face assemblies.

Indeed, the latter have become a signature of the third-term senator’s tenure in public office, and some of the questions from audience members, who gathered at the Flathead Valley Community College’s Arts and Technology Building, caught Tester flat-footed — including one from a Glacier High School student who grilled the senator about socialist nations and their viability in the history of civilization.

Others were right down Tester’s lane, including several questions from locals concerned about the continued trend in high suicide rates among Montanans, as well as the barriers blocking their way to mental health care access.

Read more: https://flatheadbeacon.com/2019/11/23/tester-town-hall-kalispell-draws-crowd-curious-constituents/

Colstrip owner speeds up exit plans 9 years to 2025

A Colstrip Power Plant owner has accelerated its exit plans by nearly a decade and has agreed to compensate the community.

Avista Corp. agreed to be financially ready to exit both Units 3 and 4 by 2025. Based in Spokane, Washington, Avista had previously given itself until 2034 to be financially ready for Unit 3’s closure and 2036 for Unit 4.

The change in plans is part of a partial settlement agreement between Avista and multiple intervening parties in the utility’s general rate case in Washington State. Avista has a 15% share of each unit. Customer debt associated with Avista’s ownership share is about $50 million. The settlement calls for lowering customer depreciation share to $38.5 million, or $6.7 million a year through 2025.

One subtle settlement detail with big implications for the power plant's future, Avista won't be spending money on any improvement that would keep Colstrip running beyond 2025. That agreement places a higher cost burden on owners like NorthWestern Energy, which plans to keep Colstrip running for longer than six years.

Read more: https://billingsgazette.com/news/colstrip-owner-speeds-up-exit-plans-years-to/article_ea8e81e9-a0ef-5442-834b-99f177a8fce1.html

Montana clothing company sues fashion giant over copyrighted camo design

An apparel company out of Montana is suing a designer brand over their copyrighted camouflage print.

ASAT Outdoors LLC (All Season All Terrain), an apparel company out of Stevensville, filed the copyright suit on Nov. 11 in a New York federal court against Chapter 4 Corp., the parent company of the street-wear brand Supreme.

According to the filing, ASAT claims Supreme used their unique print without licensing or authorization for sale on hats, jackets and pants.

The jackets are listed on Supreme’s website for the Fall/Winter 2019 preview. Jackets on the website typically range from about $200 to $300.

Read more: https://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/crime-and-courts/montana-clothing-company-sues-fashion-giant-over-copyrighted-camo-design/article_06f48c81-f959-5644-9f51-a82d6632ade0.html

A screenshot of ASAT Outdoors' website shows the camo design it is suing national fashion giant Supreme for copying.
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