Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Port of Corpus Christi Executive Board Members Get Obscene Raises, Bonuses!!

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Today's edition of the Corpus Christi Caller/Times carried a story that can only serve to outrage the people who work hard for a living and struggle in today's economy to keep their jobs, much less feed and clothe their families, on the normal working wages paid here in this city. This story outlined the outrageous, obscene bonuses and pay raises given to some on the executive board of the Port of Corpus Christi.
This arrogant, insensitive action comes on the heels of the naming of former CITGO plant manager Bob Kostelnik as Port Commissioner when he was apparently not in compliance with legal residency requirements, that is being a legal resident, registered to vote in the county for at least six months before he could be appointed.
These episodes smack of the smell of the continuation of "the good ole boy" system wherein the insiders of local industry take care of themselves and their friends at the expense of public interests.
Below is an excerpt from the article:

Port executives get raises, bonuses

The top three executives at the Port of Corpus Christi will get
hearty pay raises after port commissioners narrowly approved pay hikes and bonuses totaling nearly $235,000.
For Executive Director John LaRue, it’s the second raise and bonus this year. His 12.6 percent raise Tuesday brings his base salary to $310,000. He also was awarded a $75,000 bonus.
Frank Brogan, the deputy port director of engineering, finance and administration, and Maynard “Sandy” Sanders, the deputy port director of operations and business development, each received 7 percent raises and $50,000 bonuses.
Port commissioners voted 4-3 to approve La-Rue’s raise, with chairman Ruben Bonilla and Commissioners Kenneth Berry, Francis Gandy and Robert Gonzalez in favor and Commissioners Richard Borchard, Mike Carrell and Judy Hawley against.
While Borchard and Carrell voted against all three raises, Hawley joined the other four commissioners and voted for the two deputy port directors’ raises.
There wasn’t public discussion about the raises, which came after an executive session in which commissioners evaluated job performance.
“I don’t believe in giving raises twice in one year,” Borchard said after the meeting. “The amount of the increase, considering the state of the economy, is not right.”
LaRue received a 7 percent raise and $60,000 bonus in March, but that was based on his 2008 job performance, Berry said. Commissioners conducted his 2009 evaluation in December instead of the spring so that Bonilla, whose term expires in January, could weigh in on the staff’s job performance.
Berry said it was essential to pay port staff well to keep them in Corpus Christi. He pointed out that the Port of Houston recently hired a new director with less experience than LaRue and will pay him $325,000.
“How do you let your employees know they are doing a good job?” he said. “A pat on the back is great, but give them a wage increase and a bonus, and they understand.”
Berry said the port has done well during the poor economy,which should be rewarded.
“It’s not the commissioners out there doing the good work,” he said. “It’s port staff.”
By the numbers:
John LaRue Executive director
Old salary: $275,267
New salary: $310,000
Bonus: $75,000
Frank Brogan
Deputy port director: engineering, finance and administration
Old salary: $180,315
New salary:$192,937
Bonus: $50,000
Maynard “Sandy” Sanders
Deputy port director: operations and business development
Old salary: $180,315
New salary:$192,937
Bonus: $50,000

Notice the article said there was no public discussion and was enacted by a vote of the commissioners after an "executive session." This is so over the top of any sense of fairness or reality. It clearly demonstrates that this board needs to be reconstituted and stripped of the power to vote themselves such rich compensation which places these commissioners, supposedly public officials, into the ranks of the most wealthy percentile in the country. And this is in addition to the high paying positions they already hold!
The city and county governments, who are responsible for selecting the members of the Port commissioners, needs to step in and put a stop to this and possibly legislation should be enacted in the state legislature to regulate the pay and terms of service of such boards.
There have been many examples in the past when high powered executives performed governmental leadership roles for the sum of one dollar a year. Such a magnanimous gesture is woefully absent from the Port of Corpus Christi.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Adame Administration Adrift

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Friday, November 27, 2009

Neanderthal Rick Perry Opposes Climate Bill

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Texas Governor Rick Perry is now ready to mortgage the future of coming generations and the environment they will live in to further his own political aspirations. The following is an illuminating story from AP.

Perry leads Texas fight against climate bill
Associated Press
Nov. 26, 2009, 7:23PMShare Print Share Del.icio.usDiggTwitterYahoo! BuzzFacebookStumbleUponDALLAS — While the U.S. Senate considers a climate bill aiming to dramatically slash air pollution linked to global warming, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and other Republican leaders in the state that leads the nation in greenhouse gas production are watching closely — and objecting loudly.
Perry, backed by powerful business and industry groups, for months has been denouncing the measure, saying it would cripple the vibrant Texas economy and the heavy-polluting oil, gas and chemical industries it depends on. The governor plans to keep up his campaign against legislation he claims would lead to massive job cuts, industries fleeing overseas and more expensive energy for everyone.
“The bill does not help the environment,” Perry said in an interview with The Associated Press. “It seems like it's more about controlling than it is on having a real impact on the environment.”
The U.S. House narrowly passed the measure in June, with the Texas delegation voting against it 23-9, and a similar version is facing a tough fight in the Senate. Each bill would cut emissions significantly by 2020, with a “cap and trade” system allowing companies to buy and sell permits to release limited amounts of heat-trapping gases.
Most of the nation's 22 Republican governors oppose the measure — including Mississippi's Haley Barbour and Louisiana's Bobby Jindal — but Perry is one of the most vocal. He recently railed against it after being named the head of an oil group that includes elected officials from more than 30 states, and he says he'll use that position and the “bully pulpit” of his office to attack legislation he's called draconian, disastrous and onerous.
Environmental groups and Texans who support the bill say Perry is ignoring the legislation's economic benefits in order to help powerful polluters that support him.
“In short, we can ensure the people of Texas have the responsible and clean energy policies they deserve and that Texas remains at the forefront of the energy field, or we can get left behind,” said state Sen. Rodney Ellis, a Democrat who traveled to Washington with state leaders this year to work with the White House on clean energy legislation. “We can't continue fossilized thinking, pretend there is no problem, and resist innovative thinking.”
Texas leads the nation in industrial pollution and has more oil refineries, chemical manufacturing plants and coal-fired power plants than any other state. The massive oil and chemical plants employ nearly 270,000 people and pay billions in state and local taxes. Texas provides about 20 percent of the nation's oil production, one-third of the natural gas, 25 percent of refining and 60 percent of chemical manufacturing.
Carbon emissions in Texas have dropped in recent years, and Perry says that's happened while those industries have helped build a strong economy that attracts about 1,000 people a day to the state.
“We've been able to reduce emissions and have a growing population and a growing economy, and we didn't do it through regulations and taxes. We did it through incentives,” Perry said. “Put the cap and trade legislation in place, and those businesses at some point will pick up and move offshore. They just can't stay in business.”
Jim Marston, director of the Texas office of the Environmental Defense Fund, doubts that claim. He says Texas companies can be at the forefront of a new green economy and that Perry's employing the same scare tactics used when the 1990 Clean Air Act was considered.
“This is just not credible,” Marston said. “Rick Perry gets extra campaign contributions from industry folks or these people he spends time with at the country club and he's going to say what they want him to say.”
Perry, locked in a tough primary re-election fight with U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison — who also opposes the measure — has been traveling around the state discussing the bill and the predicted consequences for Texas should it pass.
Environmentalists do agree with Perry on one point: his pushing of alternative energy.
Texas tops the country in wind energy, plans to expand a south Texas nuclear plant into the nation's largest and offers incentives for energy efficiency and solar-power use. In fact, Perry's usual speech calls for Washington to follow Texas' lead by offering incentives to cut emissions while promoting all sorts of alternative energy.
“This isn't just the governor of Texas standing up and saying no. I'm an all-of-the-above guy,” Perry said.
But it's his ties to the notoriously polluting big oil and chemical industries that rankle environmentalists. That, and the fact that Perry is skeptical of the science linking climate change and carbon emissions — a stance shared by the three commissioners he appointed to lead the Texas environmental agency.
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality contends that capping emissions will not affect global warming, and it would be bad for Texas.
“Due to the significant petroleum and petrochemical industry base of Texas that supplies the rest of the nation with fuel and other commodities, it is certain that cap and trade legislation being discussed will disproportionately affect both citizens and industry of Texas,” spokesman Terry Clawson said.
Environmentalists say Texas needs to quit clinging to the past.
“I would say they are protecting the status quo — or even worse, protecting the status quo of the 1950s,” Marston said. “It's playing to the stereotype that we're yahoos, and we're not.”

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Kay Bailey And Governor Rick Continue Race To The Right
Each Lines Up Endorsement Of Right Wing Heavy Hitters

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Kay Bailey Hutchison may be demonstrating feet of clay as she decides not to resign from the U.S. Senate before the Texas GOP gubernatorial primary next year.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Texas GOP Selects Nutcase As State Chair!

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Texas Republicans recently selected a bona fide nut job as state chair. Cathie Adams resigned from the Texas Eagle forum in order to take the position. Adams has a history of false, misleading and insulting statements against President Barak Obama and on many issues. She can only help push the Texas GOP even farther to the right than it was already!
Below read some of her more noted quotes:(from The Texas Observer)
- Earlier this month, she compared President Obama to Adolf Hitler, suggesting that his speech to American students was “eerily like Hitler’s youth movement.”

- In an e-mail to far-right activists in 2008, Ms. Adams viciously attacked the faith of then-candidate Barack Obama:

“While many question Barak Hussein Obama’s ‘religion’…, the more important question is whether he has a ‘relationship’ with Jesus Christ because that is the only HOPE that any of us have to obtain eternal life. I personally see NO evidence that Obama has that kind of ‘saving faith.’”

- Two years ago Ms. Adams opposed a ballot measure providing $300 million annually over 10 years for cancer research. Voters approved the measure, which had the support of Gov. Perry and then-President George Bush. But Adams didn’t, falsely claiming that the money would be used in embryonic stem cell research and suggesting that medical researchers are amoral monsters:

“Scientists are on the verge of cloning humans, injecting them with diseases and studying them, then killing them.”

- Defending the dominance of failed abstinence-only programs in Texas schools recently, Ms. Adams blamed the state’s sky-high rates of teen births and sexually transmitted diseases on the supposedly inferior morals of Mexican immigrants:

“If mom had a baby at age 15, are her morals going to be setting different standards than someone who has grown up in the American culture where that is not typical? As a matter of fact, we would look at someone impregnating a 15-year-old as child abuse.”

- She opposes the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which gives children of the working poor access to health care:

“Now illegal aliens will be able to purchase cheap insurance for their children. This is an incentive for them to come here.”

- In May she attacked legislation by fellow Republicans (and signed into law by Gov. Perry) to aid the study of how mental health services might be used in treating patients with other health conditions. Such a thing, she said,

“is now more dangerous than ever with the federal government taking up nationalized/rationed health care. Texans must not surrender our mental and physical health to a socialist State that President Obama is striving toward.”

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Power Lines Went Down As Storm Hits Yesterday

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The storm was like a hurricane with winds clocked over 81 mph and driving rain. It was quite something!
Power lines along the access road near my house were blown down. The fallen power lines trapped motorists in their cars until power was turned off. Power was out at my house from 12:30 pm till 1:30 am.

A very Strong Storm Wreaked Havoc At My House!

A limb hit my car on the roof as I drove into my parking spot
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Big Storm Blew Through Yesterday!

Photo: Todd Yates CC Caller/times

Photo: Rachel Denny Clow CC Caller/Times

Photo: Rachel Denny Clow CC Caller/Times

Storm winds up to 81 mph were recorded at the Naval Air Station nearby my home as the storm toppled a series of power lines just down the street from me along the SPID acces road.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

City Guv Plans City Pride Campaign To Clean Up City Yet Plans Still In Place For Once A Week Garbage Pickup

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A new logo was released today to promote a city wide cleanup effort.
This is part of an effort to instill civic pride and decrease litter and trash. A noble idea to be sure.
Mayor Adame formed the Advisory Committee on Community Pride composed of 11 "young professionals" (as described in a Caller/Times story this morning) who worked on his election campaign to lead in this effort.
The logo was created by the company headed by comittee chairwoman Monica Mcleod Sawyer.
The Advisory Committee on Community Pride, the mayor and members of the city council plan to take up trash bags and go to yet to be designated areas of the city to pick up trash on November 14.
It is a good thing to promote city pride and clean streets but this "Pride" campagin sure seems at odds with the notion of going to once a week trash pickup.
Mayor Joe Adame and the Corpus Christi City Council have once again demonstrated they put more store in PR stunts than the public interest.
Red Tide Affects Local Beaches

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

City Government Must Protect Public Property, For A Change...

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The contention around the Memorial Coliseum and what to do with it is symptomatic of a long time problem in Corpus Christi. There are, and has been, some on the City Council and in city government who are always ready to give away public property to private developers for large, over reaching, grandiose projects in the name of "development." The American Bank Center was built to take away the functions of the Memorial Coliseum. However this has not worked so well because smaller organizations and events cannot afford the fees for that "Cow Palace." And the American Bank Center has been a loser for the City guv losing over $11 million so far!
But the Memorial Coliseum has been allowed to deteriorate and now the pro-development crowd, in the name of "doing something" about the Coliseum, want to give away this prime, bay front public property so a huge project with high buildings, private residencies, hotels, restaurants and God knows what else can locate right on the bay front. The project looks as if it was designed by a mad architect on LSD!
This is progress? For this you want to destroy the ambiance and familiarity of one of the city's best assets?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Joe O'Brien; Our Local Don Quixote

Our local Don Quixote
Is Mr. Joe O’brien.
He fights waste and fraud
Wherever he can find ‘em.
Some say he’s tilting at windmills
But he’s fighting governmental ills!

Joe O'Brien is one of my local heroes. He has for years, much to their chagrin, tried to hold our local governments accountable.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Coliseum Follies

Coliseum follies
By Leon Loeb
Saturday, September 5, 2009 (published in the Corpus Christi Caller/Times)

Frustrated by the overreaching redevelopment proposals for Memorial Coliseum and the breathtaking lack of competence, discretion, and moral compass that brought them to us, I was ready to join the chorus for demolition.
Then a friend reminded me of some history: While World War II was fresh in their minds, our parents and grandparents erected buildings all over this nation and called them war memorials. They built them with the expectation that the sacrifices of family, friends, and neighbors would be forever honored.
They didn’t expect their descendants to demolish and replace these memorial structures with apartments and shopping centers. Is it moral for this generation to demolish the building, deal off the site for private development and create a “new memorial” from the old plaque? Absolutely not.
Another friend recalled that we had done a lot of listening to the public involvement in the bayfront master plan, the downtown redevelopment committee, the Coliseum committee, and my South Wharf proposal.
The Coliseum committee’s concept, developed after listening to citizens, is consistent with everything else we heard: We want a place that feels like it’s “ours.” We want a place on our bayfront where we can have a school dance, a craft show, a wedding, or quinceañera. We want a café, a shop, a drink stand, and some nice restrooms near McGee Beach. We want shade. We want a recreation center. We want to learn more about the wars in which our neighbors have fought and died. We want free parking. We want a facility which is public and maintains the memorial
character of the site. In other words, we want something like Memorial Coliseum once was, and a little bit more.
How did we get from that simple concept to mammoth, heavily subsidized, private ventures that take over public space?
The Coliseum committee concept included a few small tenants and concessionaires paying rent. It is a huge leap from there to building apartments on McCaughan Park. Even asking the question of the city’s legal department shows a lack of comprehension or willingness to dismiss the politics of our public spaces that’s
astonishing. Time and again this skirmish has been fought. The people of Corpus Christi do not want public spaces used for private development. Can’t our leaders understand, abandon the “public-
private partnership” dream, and move on?
Common sense says razing Memorial Coliseum won’t be cheap or fast. There is a lot of concrete underground, and thousands of citizens believe that the structure is important for memorial, architectural, or even sentimental reasons. Given the millions of dollars it will cost to clear the site, and the inevitable delay,
disharmony and legal cost of any attempt, working with the existing building seems both economical and expedient.
Can we afford to have the public facility we want? We can afford the Nueces County Fairgrounds, Whataburger Field, and American Bank Center. My conclusions? Commercial development of the Memorial Coliseum site should be permanently off the table. It is
the wrong thing to do. Besides, our city government can’t handle the process. Learn to live with and honor the Coliseum; it is the path of political feasibility. Execute the bayfront master plan and the concept developed by the Coliseum committee. That is what the community has said it wants. How difficult can it be?

Below: An email I sent to Mr. Loeb:

Dear Mr. Loeb,
I read your piece concerning the future of the coliseum the other day and I congratulate you on writing the best thing on the subject I have yet to read. I think you hit the nail on the head.
So far the developers, the mayor and several council members have only shown interest in maximizing the redevelopment of the area and have favored these large, elaborate plans which are promising more bay front clutter, diminished views of the bay, more loss of
green space and public parks and a total disregard for the purpose and history of the building.
Like it or not the Memorial Coliseum is a local landmark and many have special memories of events there. World War II, and those who died in the service of their country, should be remembered and not allowed to just slide into the oblivion of ancient history.
The public has an interest, a paramount interest I feel, in what happens to the city's most important attractions, that is the bay and the Padre Island and Mustang Island beaches.
Though labeled as "aginners" and other choice epithets, people who are opposed to the many over reaching development plans, to use your very appropriate words, are not necessarily opposed to all development but to the kind of development which alters the character of the city and would deny public access.
I hope everyone in the city, and especially the city government, will read your piece and consider the wisdom and correctness of your position on this issue and I certainly endorse the sentiments you so ably expressed.
Best wishes and thanks,

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Coliseum Bay Front Plans Favor Developers At Public Expense

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The long running fiasco over what to do with the Coliseum on the Corpus Christi Bay front continues to get "curiouser and curiouser!"
The interests of the public have always taken a back seat in all of the proposals put forth over the last several years. The process has been pretty strange and the most ardent supporters of allowing development plans, which include huge, grandiose projects, have been in such a rush to get it done they have overlooked deed restrictions which state much of the land must be used for public park space and that no demolition of the building be allowed without a review by the state's board concerning historic buildings.
So now the scope of the project, if it is to be allowed at all, is reduced in square footage so the new plans are now composed of taller structures.
The pro-development factions would not be satisfied unless every inch of bay front or beach property has been developed, leaving the public on the outside looking in, that is unless one could afford to pay for the view of the water!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Under The Wings Of The Gulls
Los Tres Malditos De Tejas!

Rick Perry will be challenged by Kay Bailey Hutchison for the Republican nomination for Governor of Texas in the primary of 2010. John Cornyn may be looking ahead to the 2012 Presidential race. Imagine a Palin-Cornyn ticket! Guvmint Lite!
Perry and Hutchison are engaged in a race to the right in order to appeal to the Republicans of the state, which, they believe, will ensure a victory in the general election to follow.
Cornyn continues to be the classic example of the "empty suit" as he continues his vacuous rhetoric and self aggrandizement. Cornyn's explanation of why he opposed President Barack Obama's nominee to the Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor, was a perfect example of his demagoguery. Hutchison, too, opposed Sotomayor in a hypocritical attempt to cozy up to the Texas far right and demonstrates she is not worried about the Latino vote in the state. Maybe she should be.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Rick Perry's Border Boondoggle

Yessir, ole Governor Rick Perry is a real "conservative" all right! This staunch right wing conservative spent $2 million dollars of federal money installing 17 cameras along the border to help prevent the entry of illegal aliens. The program planned to have 200 cameras along the border.
The cameras helped to generate 8 drug busts and 11 arrests. 300 illegal aliens were reported.
It's hard to see how the program, in effect for over a year now, could spend so much and accomplish so little.
Perry's office has claimed the program a great success and wants to spend yet another $2 million!
This from the governor who turned down millions of federal dollars for unemployed Texans!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Sherriff Jim Hickey: A Blast From The Past...

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Today's Caller/Times(Sunday, Feb. 19, 2012) featured a story concerning abuse of the drug forfeiture program by an area sheriff.
Sadly, this is not a new thing in south Texas. Back in 1993( I think, close anyway) the Sheriff of Nueces County was involved in a scheme misusing drug forfeiture money.
Sheriff Hickey used large sums of this money to pay his personal attorney, Brad Condit, who was not a county employee, for legal services that had not been rendered but as a contingency fund for future litigation the Sheriff thought he might be the subject of. Sheriff Hickey also gave himself a substantial raise and he did so without any word or consultation with the county commissioners.
Hickey purchased two Heckler-Koch 9mm machine guns with some of this money. He then gave these weapons to the King Ranch security force.
There was much more to this story; Hickey paid himself a large sum from this fund, which received matching funds from a Federal program, saying his pay was too low compared to other sheriffs in large counties, he bought worn out, used vehicles from a relative and many other abuses.

Monday, June 22, 2009

City Favors 'Go Green' Plan...

The mayor of Corpus Christi, Joe Adame, has endorsed a plan for the city to go greener in some of it's operations. This plan includes wind power, solar power, more recycling and hybrid city vehicles. All a good idea. There is a shadow on the horizon however...the proposed coke fired power plant with the rather deceptive name, Las Brisas!

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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Solomon In A Snit! His Brother Is Not Placed On LRA Board!

U.S. Representative Solomon Ortiz is in a snit and says he may "take back" $3 million earmarked for the Ingleside Local Redevelopment Authority which is trying to develop plans to make up for jobs lost with the closing of Naval Station Ingleside.
Ortiz is angry because his brother, Nueces County Commissioner Oscar Ortiz was not named to the board. Nueces County Judge Loyd Neal, who heads the Commisioners' Court, was. There is no love lost between Neal and the Ortiz brothers.
Representative Ortiz was quoted in the Caller/Times as saying "If they think they love Loyd Neal more than they love $3 million then I can't change their minds. If they love Loyd Neal more than the $3 million then go with Loyd Neal!"
This is a form of extortion, perpetrated by an elected offical, against a local governmental entity with public monies made availible by a President which Rep. Ortiz did not support, and done for the advancement of a family member.
Rick Perry In Town To Sign Windstorm Insurance Bill

Friday, June 19, 2009

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Corpus Christi City Council Once Again Reverts To Closed Meetings!!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Joe's CC Diner!

Where you can get anything you want, if you are a fat cat!
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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Once Again, Once A Week City Garbage Collection Rears It's Ugly Head!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Tow Truck Rip Off On Padre Island

Please check out the banner on the bottom of the page. This worthwhile group is seeking counselors and other positions for their summer programs. Here is a link for more information.
The Fresh Air Fund is also in need of hosts for this summer. Host families are volunteers who open their hearts and home to a child from the city to give a fresh air experience that disadvantaged children never forget. Below is a link which explains everything.
Here are some links to a nice Polish lady's blogs with pictures from Poland, her dogs and other things.
Here's a link to my old friend Dave Terry's photo blog:
port a cam link
This link is for the We The People newspaper.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Ethics Regulations? We Don't Need No Stinkin' Ethics Regulations!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Today They Laid Old Rocky Down

Today they laid old Rocky down
They put a good man in the ground.
Now Rocky was a wonderful soul
Playing his blues just never got old.

Rocky would pick up his harp and wail
And sing the blues as if he were in jail.
And you knew he was the real thing,
He was blind, black and how he could sing.

Rocky played ‘bout everywhere around.
Folks would come to see him from out of town.
He sang about women, drinkin’ and automobiles
And most anything else that had that blues feel.

Now Rocky wasn’t that old, he was only 57
But if there is such a place he’s in blues heaven.
I bet that the blues angels are havin’ a hell of a jam
And Rocky is out front and really layin it down.

Everybody loved Rocky, he was a great blues man.
He’s left it for us to carry on as well as we can.
But I know some night I will hear a cryin’ blues harp
And it will be Rocky Benton playin’ out in the dark.

He will be singing the blues cause they can’t go away
And I’ll have the blues then like I have ‘em today.
I’ll think about Rocky and the good times we had
And those harmonica blues never made me feel bad!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Rocky Benton, Corpus Christi's "Main Man," Passes Away

Rocky Benton was Corpus Christi's "main man!" No local musician was more admired and loved by so many. His passing leaves a huge hole in the local music scene.
Rocky's road to the blues began in Silsbee, Tx. about 20 miles south of Beaumont where he was born to hard working parents of moderate means. He was second to the youngest of 6 children, and was no stranger to trouble and pain. As a young child he began to lose his vision and was blind at the age of 4. At the age of 6 he attended the Texas School for the Blind in Austin where he learned to read Braille, started his education and got his nickname "Rocky".
He said one of his teachers called him 'Rocky'. His teacher would tell him that he knew someday he would drive by a billboard somewhere and would see "Rocky Benton" up in lights. The name stuck with him and since then he has had his name in lights on many a marquee.
Music came to play a role in Rocky's life at an early age. He said he grew up listening to old gospel tunes that his mother played on their record player and sang for him.
Rocky was introduced to the harmonica by his uncle Bill who could play only one song. He was fascinated with it and wanted to be able to play. Rocky got his first harmonica at the age of 6 and later learned to play drums and keyboards. At the age of 10, Rocky was performing professionally as a drummer and singer in an Austin Jazz band led by James Polk.
"I came up in a day when a kid playing a bar was kind of like an act", Benton said. "Even if I was not the headliner, it seemed I was always somehow the center of attention."
Rocky first played Corpus Christi at the Downbeat Club, while attending high school at the Texas School for the Blind.He moved to Corpus Christi in the early 80's and hooked up with Mike Cross, another excellent musician, and they made a team!
Rocky's stage prescence was powerful. He wore a leather belt that resembled a western holster belt which held twelve harmonicas in different keys. The letters "R O C K Y" were emblazoned on the back.
'Rocky' was the real thing, a consummate blues singer and a great harp player. His audiences loved him and there was no one who enjoyed rocking the house more.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Governor Rick Perry Takes Leave Of His Senses!
Hints Texas May Have To Secede From Union!

Texas Governor Rick Perry is obviously running scared lately. He has been doing a lot of public appearances and kissing up to the right wing but he has really gone over the top hinting that Texas may need to secede from the union at some future date.
This is nuts! And Perry said that Texas had reserved the right to secede when it joined the union. That is not true. And even if it were the War Between The States settled such ideas. Texas did reserve the right to split into five states when it joined the United States in 1845. This was all part of the free state, slave state debate of the day. This proposal was never seriously considered.
I was born in Texas in 1947. I am a history buff and have read Texas and American history. For years I have heard folks mistakenly claim the notion of possible Texas secession. Frankly, I think that is an outrageous idea and I don't think most who said such a thing have ever seriously considered the ramifications of such a hare brained idea.
Rick Perry is not an honorable man. He has shown he will kiss ass and drop to the lowest common denominators in society to gain some political support.
I am not a Republican and I am not very fond of Kay Bailey Hutchison but I hope she kicks his ass! It is enough to make me think of registering as a Republican just so I can vote against Perry in the primary!

Monday, April 13, 2009

2009 City Council, Mayoral Election, Put Foxes In The Hen House!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

A Good Idea For The Coliseum...Seriously!!

Today's newspaper carried a story about a new movement to allow casino gambling in Texas. Of course all eyes in Corpus Christi turn towards Padre Island beaches because that is far and away the most desired, coveted location for all of the big time projects around here.
This possibility of Texas Gulf Coast casinos may or may not be a good idea but it is not a good idea to put them on Gulf beaches. Padre Island development needs to be slowed down, not accelerated. It seems that we have trouble around here remembering that hurricanes happen! The function of Padre and Mustang Islands as a barrier to storm surge doesn't seem to matter to the many ambitious, and often foreign or out of state, developers.
In Corpus Christi there is a large, publicly owned building that is vacant, in need of repairs and near the water on the Corpus Christi Bayfront. It would be perfect for a casino.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Developer Seeks Tax Zone For Proposed $50 Million Development Along Packery Channel

More local development is in the wind. (click on pics for larger image.)

The results of the city election are still warm and today's Caller/Times featured the headline "Tax Zone Sought For Padre Island."
The new mayor and city council are expected to be all in favor of giving tax free zones and such things for what this developer says will be a "high end complex of restaurants, condos, a marina..." Plans include five or six restaurants, a boardwalk, a marina and a hotel with a conference center. He also says it could bring "nightlife and retail that has been missing on the island."
Oh my goodness!
Like all such developments they will expect the city to build infrastructure and the local and state taxing entities to give them a huge break.
He also says it will be a "high end" development. No one ever does a "low end" development do they?
Oh yeah, there is also a small matter of hurricanes. People seem to think there will never be another to strike this coast. How short the memories!

Please check out the banner on the bottom of the page. This worthwhile group is seeking counselors and other positions for their summer programs. Here is a link for more information.
The Fresh Air Fund is also in need of hosts for this summer. Host families are volunteers who open their hearts and home to a child from the city to give a fresh air experience that disadvantaged children never forget. Below is a link which explains everything.

Here are some links to a nice Polish lady's blogs with pictures from Poland, her dogs and other things.

port a cam link

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Joe Adame Defeats Henry Garrett For Mayor

Real estate developer Joe Adame has been elected as mayor of Corpus Christi, defeating the incumbent Henry Garrett. So much for the mistaken notion that incumbents can't be beaten.
Adame ran on economic development and won by a large margin. However only 16% of the registered voters bothered to vote. So Adame took over 60% of that 16%. This was considered a good turnout! That's a disgrace right there!
With the election of Adame and the return of Mark Scott and Brent Chessney to the city council, along with newcomer Chris Adler, it looks as if the foxes are now in charge of the hen house.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Rick Perry's Marie Antoinette Moment!

On Thursday, March 12, Governor Rick Perry said he would reject about $555 million from the federal government for expanded aid to unemployed Texans.
Perry has been all over the map about whether or not he will accept federal dollars as part of the economic stimulus plan.
The money in question would extend benefits for Texans who have been laid off during the economic downturn.
Perry did agree to accept $17 billion from the proposed plan he says will go to other purposes. You might read that as "toll roads!" ...To be operated by private companies, a really lousy idea!
By rejecting the $555 million targeted for unemployed workers Perry said he is protecting employers from higher taxes.
"Employers who have to pay more taxes have less money to make their payroll" said Perry. He said this would cause higher taxes and businesses would have to raise prices on their products, Perry told a news conference. "The calls to take the (stimulus) money and sort out the consequences later are quite troubling to me."
That's vintage Perry, all his concern is for employers, mainly big time corporate employers, and zero concern for those who have lost their jobs.
This is a heck of a legacy to carry into his reelection campaign. It seems likely Perry wont get much support from the workers who have lost their jobs and whose unemployment runs out!
Just to make matters worse Texas Workforce Commission Chairman Tom Pauken has warned that the state's unemployment compensation trust fund could be operating at a deficit by October and could fall into insolvency in the future. In light of this Perry still wants to turn down the money.
Perry, expecting a strong challenge from Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison for the gubernatorial nomination in the
Republican Party, is attempting to move to the right of Hutchison and to reinforce his conservative creds.
It will be interesting to see how it all works out but in the mean time Perry is using working and recently laid off Texans as pawns in his political game.