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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: 78,438

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

Sen. Fraser says Lower Colorado River Authority does not qualify for loan to finance new reservoir

The Lower Colorado River Authority would not be eligible to borrow $250 million from the Texas Water Development Board to pay for the construction of a new lower basin reservoir because the project does not meet the qualifications spelled out in the law that created a new $2 billion water fund, Sen. Troy Fraser said Friday.

“The reservoir does not qualify for funds under the law as it is now constructed,” said Fraser, who also said he will work to prevent construction of the new reservoir unless the utility tightens its rules related to releasing stored water from the Highland Lakes for use downstream.

Fraser is chairman of the Texas Senate’s Natural Resources Committee and authored the bill in the last legislative session that created the fund to be used for financing water supply projects.

LCRA officials announced this week that they plan to apply for the loan from the water development board.

More at http://www.highlandernews.com/fraser-says-lcra-does-not-qualify-for-loan-to-finance-new-reservoir/ .

Advocates urge Perry to ban Tasers in schools

After a Round Rock high school resource officer used a Taser on a 16-year-old student to stop a fight Monday, some youth advocates on Tuesday sent a letter to Gov. Rick Perry, urging him to ban the use of Tasers and pepper spray in public schools.

“Use of Tasers and pepper spray has become far too routine in public schools, despite rigorous restrictions in other child-serving settings, including juvenile lockups,” Texas Appleseed, a nonprofit that advocates for social justice, wrote in the letter.

Appleseed, along with seven other groups, has sent Perry two letters in recent months — the first one on Feb. 26 — regarding what they called “abusive uses of force” in schools. The letters came after a November incident in which then 17-year-old Noe Niño de Rivera suffered traumatic brain injury after collapsing when a Bastrop County sheriff’s office deputy tased him at Cedar Creek High School. Rivera was in a coma for 52 days and is currently in rehabilitation, Appleseed deputy director Deborah Fowler said.

Some law enforcement officers, however, are skeptical of the requests for a ban, arguing that they need more options to handle violence in schools.

More at http://www.themonitor.com/news/local/advocates-urge-perry-to-ban-tasers-in-schools/article_96078d96-c822-11e3-a4d6-001a4bcf6878.html .

Everything You Need to Know* About Rick Perry’s Newest Scandal (*But were afraid to ask)

These days, we’re hearing increasingly less from Gov. Rick Perry. It’s his last year in office, and he’s been taking it easy—having fun in the South Pacific while his would-be competitors in the 2016 presidential primary flame out in spectacular fashion.

He may not keep that low profile for that much longer, though. A little scandal from the doldrums of last summer is roaring back to life, and Perry faces the threat of criminal charges over accusations that he tried to force the Travis County district attorney to resign. There’s the added intrigue over the allegation that Perry’s aim was to kill an investigation into the scandal-plagued Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT). It’s one little thread in the well-worn sweater of Gov. Perry’s long tenure in office, but it threatens to damage his presidential ambitions.

With stories like these, which build up and fade over long periods of time, it’s difficult to follow what’s really going on. Many people—including more than a few national reporters—seemed surprised to learn this week that the longest-serving governor in Texas history may be facing indictment. We hope this primer helps catch you up on the story so far.

So how’d all this start?

Like many schemes, it started with vodka. Rosemary Lehmberg had been serving as Travis County DA for a little more than four years when, late on the night of April 12, 2013, she was pulled over near Lake Travis, west of Austin. Police found an open vodka bottle in the car and arrested her. She verbally berated the arresting officers, and she didn’t stop the verbal abuse when she got to jail. Lehmberg was strapped into a restraining chair. Hours after her arrest, she blew a .239, almost three times the legal limit.

More at http://www.texasobserver.org/everything-wanted-know-rick-perrys-new-scandal/ .

Southwestern Christian University (Oklahoma) student pays tuition with 500 pounds of pennies

It was a heavy load, but Andrew Magbee wanted to make a point.

To show how important it is to live debt-free, the senior at Southwestern Christian University in Oklahoma paid his final school bill in rolled up pennies.

He wheeled nearly 100,000 coins onto campus in neatly stacked boxes, all to prove that saving every cent can really pay off.

“I’m paying my last school payment with pennies. It kind of reminds me and will remind me in the future that every little penny counts,” he told KOTV in Tulsa.


TEA flags Waco ISD for discipline missteps with black students

Waco Independent School District is working to correct problems with discipline after it was reprimanded by the Texas Education Agency for placing black students in the district’s alternative education program at a rate higher than other groups, among other infractions. WISD was issued a Stage 4 indicator for discipline, the most severe rating given, according to a report presented at the district’s Thursday night board of trustees meeting.

Data from the TEA report indicated that black students are three times more likely to be placed in the Disciplinary Alternative Education Program for offenses that don’t automatically require that placement, such as being involved in a gang or threatening another student.

About 60 percent of discretionary DAEP placements were black students, even though they make up about 30 percent of the student body.

Additionally, the district expelled 20 students for actions that are not considered expellable under the Texas Education Code, such as fighting and persistent misbehavior. Expellable offenses include possessing a weapon and selling drugs, among other misconduct.

More at http://www.wacotrib.com/news/education/tea-flags-waco-isd-for-discipline-missteps-with-black-students/article_e0c88634-4453-5bab-b46c-57df5023928d.html .

Bitcoin not gaining traction despite Abbott's embrace

AUSTIN — Are campaign contributions in Bitcoin the wave of the future? Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott seems to thinks so.

Abbott, the Republican candidate for governor in the Nov. 4 election, said Thursday his campaign will accept the digital currency as a form of campaign contributions in his race against state Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth.

“I am excited to see our campaign add another tool to our cutting digital outreach, which is allowing us to reach more Texans than any previous campaign in the state,” Abbott said in a statement.

“The spirit of Bitcoin embodies the free market principles that make Texas a leader in innovation and entrepreneurship,” he said. “We welcome the Bitcoin community to join our team.”

More at http://amarillo.com/news/local-news/2014-04-18/bitcoin-not-gaining-traction-despite-abbotts-embrace .

Perry's passed-over pick for A&M president resigns


A Texas A&M University executive who Gov. Rick Perry wanted promoted to school president quietly resigned after not getting the job, becoming the latest top campus official to step down in recent months.

Guy Diedrich left his $300,000-a-year post as vice chancellor for strategic initiatives in March, the Bryan-College Station Eagle (http://bit.ly/1piytca ) reported Saturday. His departure comes after Perry lobbied regents in December to name Diedrich interim president at the 53,000-student flagship campus.

Perry's public endorsement rankled faculty who accused the governor of trying to impose his political will on his alma mater. Regents instead chose Mark Hussey, a longtime dean at Texas A&M who's highly respected in academic circles at the school.

Diedrich, who came from the private sector, thanked Perry in a resignation letter obtained by the newspaper.

More at http://www.statesman.com/news/ap/texas/perrys-passed-over-pick-for-am-president-resigns/nfdNq/ .

[font color=green]Will somebody please let me know if Diedrich is spotted in the unemployment line at the Texas Workforce Solutions office in Brazos County? $300,000 a year jobs are difficult to find.[/font]

Year after the blast, West ponders new plant

WEST — Leaders in a Central Texas town that was devastated last year by a deadly fertilizer plant explosion are contemplating building a new facility, calling it a crucial step toward West’s economic recovery.

The idea rankles some residents, who say the continued lack of state and local regulations would put them at risk of another disaster. Fifteen people died last April when a fire inside the West Fertilizer Co. ignited 34 tons of ammonium nitrate and caused an explosion that leveled homes and schools.

“It’s disheartening for the families to know that these guys went into that fire without knowing what they were walking into,” said Melinda Hagar, whose older brother, Morris Bridges, a volunteer firefighter, died in the blast. “What’s to say it will be any different the next time?”

But others in West, residents and officials alike, see a new plant as a necessary risk for a town that’s surrounded by fields of corn, maize and cattle and whose economic lifeblood is agriculture.

More at http://www.theeagle.com/news/texas/year-after-the-blast-west-ponders-new-plant/article_96c20f7c-c782-11e3-af6a-0019bb2963f4.html .

Texting-and-driving ban may still fail after Perry leaves office

AUSTIN, Texas —

Repeated efforts to implement a statewide ban on texting while driving in Texas may continue to fail even after Gov. Rick Perry leaves office next year.

Texas is one of only seven states without a law prohibiting all drivers from texting while driving. Many major cities in Texas have passed local ordinances, but a statewide ban has been a nonstarter under Perry, who in 2011 called the idea misguided and vetoed a texting bill.

Lawmakers in favor of a ban may not have any better luck under his successor. Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott, the favorite to replace Perry, is also opposed to Texas putting a statewide ban on the books, The Corpus Christi Caller-Times (http://bit.ly/1hYdcRg ) reported Saturday.

The Democratic candidate for governor, Wendy Davis, co-wrote one of the bills that would have banned texting while driving during her time in the Texas Senate.

More at http://www.statesman.com/news/ap/texas/texting-while-driving-ban-could-revive-after-perry/nfdQL/ .

A Texas Case of the Red State Blues

By Carol Morgan

Texans are slow learners. To grasp and master a concept requires the dreaded drill-and-kill technique, constant repetition; it’s a little like teaching English in middle school. Knowing that fact, it was no surprise when I read the AJ story on the Tech survey.

A 62 percent approval rate for Rick Perry? Even with his latest legal problems? Perhaps those responders need to read about the rise and fall of the boy from Paint Creek. Corruption, political patronage, and cronyism has flourished under the Guv and it’s hard for me to believe that 62 percent of any group would go along with the Perry corruption.

The Perry era is like a bad case of subterranean termites proliferating beneath a house. Thousands of the wood-chomping pests scurry away underground in a maze of tunnels, all connected to the queen of the hive. The drones of the underground serve the queen who is useless and insatiable, all the work performed by the mindless drones. In the end, the house is destroyed, collapsing upon itself, decimated from within, only because the damage was skillfully obscured from public view.

After this is all over, Texans will be surprised to learn that Perry’s “Texas Miracle” was merely a card trick to enrich himself and maintain his personal employment agency which feeds his drones.

More at http://lubbockonline.com/interact/blog-post/carol-morgan/2014-04-18/texas-case-red-state-blues .
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