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TexasTowelie's Journal
TexasTowelie's Journal
March 3, 2019

If we count everybody, Hidalgo County will be at 1.2 million

MCALLEN, RGV – Hidalgo County Judge Richard Cortez says if everyone in his county is counted during Census 2020, the population will be close to 1.2 million, not the current 860,000.

Cortez spoke about the importance of an accurate and full census count in a speech to the McAllen Chamber of Commerce’s governmental affairs committee last Wednesday. He brought with him a map of the county showing lots of yellow and red areas. These signified rooftops missed by the Census Bureau.

“Why is the census important? Well it affects us politically, socially, health-wise and also economically,” Cortez said.

“It affects how many representatives we have in the (U.S.) House and in our state government. It affects our social and health well-being because of Medicaid programs, the indigent care, the disabled, nutrition programs, children’s health, CHIP. If we are 35 percent poor here, all of that becomes very important.”

Read more: https://riograndeguardian.com/cortez-if-we-count-everybody-hidalgo-county-will-be-at-1-2-million/

March 3, 2019

Tomato trade war will hit the Rio Grande Valley hard

MCALLEN, RGV – Famous fast food restaurants such as Wendy’s, Subway, and Taco Bell all use Mexican tomatoes in their food.

Large retailers such as Wal-Mart, HEB, and Kroger offer them to their customers as well.

According to estimates, one in every two tomatoes consumed in the United States is grown in Mexico. The majority of these are grown in the state of Sinaloa and cross through the Pharr port of entry in the Rio Grande Valley. By value, this trade was worth $532 million in 2017.

The popular red vegetable, a must in salads, salsas, and Italian food, could soon become more expensive after the United States announced that starting May 7, it will withdraw from the 2013 suspension agreement on fresh tomatoes.

Read more: https://riograndeguardian.com/gonzalez-tomato-trade-war-will-hit-the-rio-grande-valley-hard/

March 3, 2019

Down the Toilet

FORT WORTH -- Donald Trump vowed to “drain the swamp” if elected president – who knew he was talking about Panther Island?

For many years, U.S. Rep. Kay Granger (R) of Fort Worth has been counting on hundreds of millions of federal tax dollars to complete the $1.1 billion Panther Island development in her hometown. What started as a flood control project that might have cost about $10 million to finish has evolved into a stagnant retail and residential development overseen by a secretive agency (Tarrant Regional Water District) and a federal lawmaker (Granger) who hasn’t been able to snooker federal lawmakers out of huge stacks of tax money that will benefit people only in Tarrant County.

Federal pork might have been easier to stab with a fork in the mid-1990s when Granger first became a congresswoman and Panther Island, then known as the Trinity River Vision project, was a fresh and exciting dream. All these years later, federal tax money intended for flood control is stretched thin by real floods stemming from actual storms. Since 2016, four Category 4 hurricanes – marked by winds above 130 mph – have smacked the United States and caused an estimated $300 billion in damages. Hurricane Harvey alone killed 68 people and caused about $125 billion in damages in the Houston area.

National voters would be right to scream if federal lawmakers threw money at Fort Worth’s imaginary flooding problems while cities were literally drowning. Research indicates global warming increases the temperature of ocean water, which likewise increases the amount of rainfall in modern hurricanes, making them fiercer than ever.

Read more: https://www.fwweekly.com/2019/02/27/down-the-toilet/

The Panther Island project might one day look like this, or not.

March 2, 2019

Cemetery granted state historical status in South TX town believed to be the oldest settlement in US

PEÑITAS, Texas (AP) — Norma Mandujano Herrera prayed before the grave of her great-grandmother, Sinforosa Perez Mandujano, where she lay interred in the St. Anthony Cemetery when a man approached her.

The Monitor reports the man, 96 years old, said that not only had her great-grandmother delivered him, but she was also responsible for delivering more than 90 percent of newborns as the town midwife.

"We didn't know that," Mandujano Herrera said, speaking on her and her sister's behalf. "The little we know, we've heard from townspeople."


The small town, tucked between Palmview to the east and La Joya to the west, is believed to be the oldest settlement in the United States, De Luna said, tracing its establishment to the 1520s.

Read more: https://www.victoriaadvocate.com/ap/state/cemetery-in-south-texas-town-granted-state-historical-status/article_78e7ab40-b175-50bb-be51-27f344935818.html

March 2, 2019

Ex-Dallas City Council member pleads guilty to taking bribes

DALLAS (AP) — A former Dallas City Council member has pleaded guilty to accepting bribes from a real estate developer in exchange for supporting an affordable housing project, according to court documents unsealed Friday.

Carolyn Davis, a former chair of the council's Housing Committee, took tens of thousands of dollars from the developer between November 2013 and June 2015, according to her plea agreement.

The developer, Ruel Hamilton, is accused of paying Davis at least $40,000 in bribes and promising her future consulting work. In return, Davis lobbied and voted for more than $2.5 million in city "funds and obligations" for Hamilton's development in southern Dallas, according to a separate indictment.

The charges come as the latest out of a series of public corruption probes federal prosecutors have brought against government officials and elected leaders in the North Texas city.

Read more: https://www.victoriaadvocate.com/ap/national/ex-dallas-city-council-member-pleads-guilty-to-taking-bribes/article_9c43f1cb-0619-5776-b07e-a83c9d7d544c.html

March 2, 2019

South Dakota state senators reject request to amend 1863 law forcing Sioux tribes onto reservations

PIERRE — South Dakota senators turned down a request from Sioux tribes asking the state to send resolutions to Congress supporting the amending of the 1863 federal law that led to their removal from Minnesota to reservations elsewhere in the Midwest.

Crow Creek Tribal Chairman Lester Thompson explained to the Senate State Affairs Committee that his tribe was "forcibly banished" from Minnesota to South Dakota following the Dakota conflict in 1862. The conflict resulted in the mass hanging of 38 Dakota men in Minnesota, said Flandreau Santee Sioux tribal attorney Seth Pearman. The conflict and its reasons for it are no longer an issue today, but the 1863 Dakota Removal Act is still in effect, Thompson said.

"Now we're U.S. citizens so treat us like U.S. citizens," Thompson said.

The resolution isn't ceding any land or requesting any money, but is instead cleaning up the federal language stating "that these Dakota people have no place in Dakota Territory or in Minnesota," explained resolution sponsor Sen. Troy Heinert, D-Mission. The resolution also calls for the United States to issue a formal statement of reconciliation to the tribes who were affected by the act.

Read more: https://www.argusleader.com/story/news/politics/2019/02/22/senators-reject-request-repeal-1863-law-forcing-sioux-tribes-reservations/2950439002/

March 2, 2019

Rapid City senator apologizes for 'true black history' flier at Capitol

PIERRE — Sen. Phil Jensen, R-Rapid City, says he didn't intend to offend anyone when he handed out a flier to high school students at the Capitol on Wednesday that some may have found offensive.

The flier contained statements about black people in the Republican Party, some of which equated racism and the Ku Klux Klan with the Democratic Party. The flier also asked students to contact Jensen if their teacher has violated their "conservative values by pushing their own ideology."

Senate Minority Leader Troy Heinert, D-Mission, said it was "completely inappropriate" of Jensen to hand the flier to students "who are very impressionable and come up here to learn about our process, not about the politics." He said he hopes Republican leadership handled the situation and will inform legislators about the result.

Jensen said the information on the flier was the "true black history" according to David Barton of WallBuilders.

Read more: https://www.argusleader.com/story/news/politics/2019/02/28/black-history-rapid-city-senator-apologizes-flier-capitol/3018063002/

March 2, 2019

USD law students change party theme after 'Hawaiian Day' deemed 'culturally insensitive'

A student organization at the University of South Dakota has been told that holding a “Hawaiian Day” social event violates the school’s policy on inclusiveness.

As a result, the Student Bar Association of the USD School of Law changed the name of the event to “Beach Day.” In a Facebook message to its members, the group said: “We greatly apologize to those we offended; it was unintentional.”

In the same message announcing the change from Hawaiian Day to Beach Day, members were told that the dress code was the same – floral shirts – and that leis, the traditional flower garlands that are often given to tourists in Hawaii, would also be handed out. But in a second message that went out to members on Wednesday, bar members were told that leis had been nixed from the event.

“It was determined that these are culturally insensitive by the administration after doing research based off of the essay written by the initial complainant,” the message said.

Read more: https://www.argusleader.com/story/news/2019/02/28/university-south-dakota-law-school-hawaiian-party-theme-nixed-usd-deemed-inappropriate/3020086002/

March 2, 2019

Haugaard: Jobs, Schmobs, I Want My WASP Culture!

The dumbest thing said in committee testimony to defeat a smart bill yesterday came from Speaker of the House Steven Haugaard (R-10/Sioux Falls) against Senate Bill 117, South Dakota’s effort to catch up with 44 other states that offer driver’s license exams in Spanish. Prime sponsor and economist Senator Reynold Nesiba (D-15/Sioux Falls) joined the South Dakota, Sioux Falls, and Rapid City Chambers of Commerce and other advocates of jobs and justice to say offering driver’s license exams in Spanish would boost employment and public safety. Speaker Haugaard pointed out his obvious inability to put practical problem-solving ahead of his imagined role as a brave culture warrior:

“The idea that we’re going to dilute our population with a second culture and encourage that second culture it doesn’t advance our state at all,” Speaker of the House, Steven Haugaard said. [Ricardo Lewis, “South Dakota Lawmakers Reject Bill to Allow Spanish Driver’s License Tests,” KSFY-TV, 2019.02.27].

Allowing residents to take a test in another language does nothing to dilute our culture (which belongs to everyone, not just powerful Protestant male descendants of Danes like Speaker Haugaard). If “assimilation” is really a valid cultural goal, communicating with new Americans in other languages actually helps integrate those new Americans into our economic, political, and social culture.

My Representative Drew Dennert and eight other Republican House State Affairs members voted SB 117 a la muerte. Only Democratic Reps. McCleerey and Smith and Republican Reps. Anderson and Kent Peterson voted to listen to the economist and the business community and say we should help our new neighbors get their driver’s licenses.

Read more: http://dakotafreepress.com/2019/02/28/haugaard-jobs-schmobs-i-want-my-wasp-culture/
March 2, 2019

Legislative committee votes down $8M save for South Dakota nursing homes

The clock is ticking for legislators to solve what industry experts call a statewide crisis for South Dakota nursing homes. With just over two weeks until the 2019 legislative session wraps, lawmakers have killed two bills that aimed to resuscitate the industry.

Five nursing homes in the state have closed in the past three years, due in part to South Dakota's low Medicaid reimbursement rate for residents of long-term care facilities. South Dakota's reimbursement rate is the lowest in the country — $146 per day — even though the average daily cost to house a nursing home patient is $181 per day.

For every Medicaid recipient they treat, South Dakota Health Care Association Director Mark Deak said a long-term care facility loses money. He told members of the House Appropriations committee on Tuesday, Feb. 26, that the unreimbursed costs add up to $66 million annually across the state.

"It's absolutely critical that we change course," Deak said.

Read more: https://rapidcityjournal.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/legislative-committee-votes-down-m-save-for-sd-nursing-homes/article_460e8a42-800e-54aa-b975-7aa971ec4ebe.html

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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, 02:57 AM
Number of posts: 107,836

About TexasTowelie

Retired/disabled 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!

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