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TexasTowelie's Journal
TexasTowelie's Journal
March 2, 2013

Brennan High Schooler says pulled pic is discrimination

Lialani Hernandez (left) and Felicia Rivera cuddle in a photo deemed too racy for the Brennan High School yearbook. Photo: Courtesy Photo

A Brennan High School student is gathering signatures for a petition in response to what she believes is a case of discrimination.

Felicia Rivera, 16, was incensed when a fellow classmate told her last Friday that the school's yearbook supervisor, Amey Graybeal, pulled a photo depicting Felicia and her girlfriend, Lialani Hernandez, 17, cuddling at school.

The photo had been included on a page featuring six couples for Valentine's Day. Felicia believes Graybeal pulled the photo because the girls are a gay couple.

“On Friday, February 22, 2013, the yearbook staff refused to put a gay couple on the couple's page in the yearbook,” reads the petition. “They claimed that they have nothing against gay rights, but are scared of how much criticism the school would get and how parents of straight people would refuse to buy the yearbooks.”

More at http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local_news/article/Brennan-High-Schooler-says-pulled-pic-is-4321787.php .

Cross-posted in LGBT (Group) at http://www.democraticunderground.com/113725160 .
March 2, 2013

Proposed law would replace Texas Windstorm Insurance Association

CORPUS CHRISTI — The private insurance market as soon as 2015 could be required to again provide wind and hailstorm coverage to coastal homeowners under legislation proposed by an influential member of the Texas Senate.

John Carona, R-Dallas, chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee, on Tuesday filed Senate Bill 18, the first of several legislative efforts expected this session related to the struggling Texas Windstorm Insurance Association.

The legislation effectively would abolish the windstorm association and the Texas Fair Plan Association in favor of a state-managed pool in which private insurers would be forced to pick up wind and hailstorm policies covered by the association.

Carona said he is hopeful the legislation will lead to only modest increases on insurance policies for homes in the highest risk areas of the coastal zone, a backhanded reference to a territorial rating program proposed — and later withdrawn — last year by Insurance Commissioner Eleanor Kitzman.

More at http://www.caller.com/news/2013/mar/01/proposed-law-would-replace-texas-windstorm/ .

[font color=green]This bill is getting mixed reviews because it will most likely result in premium increases statewide.

The bill also would allow for surcharges on property and automobile policies that are issued or renewed on or after Jan. 1, 2014. Coastal policy holders would pay a 5 percent surcharge on their premiums; inland policyholders would pay a 1 percent surcharge.[/font]

March 2, 2013

48,000 marijuana plants found in Washington County

More than 48,000 mature marijuana plants were found Friday on a 1,000-acre property on Egypt Lane in Washington County, according to Sheriff Otto Hanak.

Hanak said the plants, valued at $1,500 each, were discovered after a search warrant was executed at 10:20 a.m.

The case is being investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Texas Department of Public Safety Aircraft Service, and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

Source: http://www.theeagle.com/news/crime/article_232d7a38-82c8-11e2-98bb-0019bb2963f4.html

[font color=green]I'm living in the midst of the Fields of Ganja! Earlier this week this story appeared in the Brenham Banner-Press:[/font]

A marijuana growing operation has been found on a Washington County ranch, authorities say.

Sheriff Otto Hanak said Monday that about 1,000 marijuana plants were found at the 128-acre ranch off FM 1155 East after authorities received a tip about the weed-growing operation.


[font color=green]Hey people, please share and I'll preview the album selected for Friday Night Catnip in the Music Appreciation forum![/font]

March 2, 2013

Republicans, Democrats make purple statement

Feel-good terms like “civil discourse,” “good will,” and “bipartisan” weren’t exactly on the tips of lawmakers’ tongues two years ago, but they sure are now.

And in an unusual display of unity, just about all of the 41 new members of the Texas House have been wearing purple — a combination of Republican red and Democratic blue — every Thursday to help get them into the spirit of bipartisan harmony. These “purple Thursdays” have even started to catch on among more senior members and legislative staffers.

“While we are going to disagree on policy, the way the system works best is when Democrats and Republicans can work together,” said Rep. Ron Simmons, R-Carrollton, who came up with the idea of purple Thursdays. “One of my goals is to try to promote civil discourse.”

Nearly two months into the 83rd session, only the debate on House Bill 10, the Medicaid IOU bill that authorizes $4.5 billion to pay for the amount lawmakers left unfunded last session, has offered any chance for a political throw-down. But the measure passed unanimously after Republican leaders pledged to address Democrats’ concerns about restoring some of the $5.4 billion that was cut from education last session.

More at http://www.statesman.com/news/news/republicans-democrats-make-purple-statement/nWfBR/ .

[font color=magenta]It only works if you are not colorblind![/font]

March 2, 2013

Tight power reserves expected this summer

A forecast for a hotter and drier summer than normal has state officials bracing for conditions that could again test the limits of the state’s primary electricity grid.

Managers at the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) say the state is better prepared than in 2011, when record heat and drought conditions raised the threat of rolling blackouts.

“Current estimates indicate that we likely will see very tight conditions on the hottest days,” said Kent Saathoff, ERCOT’s vice president of grid operations. “Although we expect to have more resources available for summer demands than we projected at this time in 2012, we also expect higher demand this year.”

He said Texans should expect to be called on to reduce energy use during times of peak demand, usually between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. during the summer.

More at http://www.statesman.com/news/business/tight-power-reserves-expected-this-summer/nWd5W/ .

March 2, 2013

Friday Night Catnip: C.A. Quintet--Trip Thru Hell

The C.A. Quintet, from Minnesota, U.S.A., was a Psychedelic music band active in the late 1960s. They failed to gain national notoriety during their heyday (all their records were locally produced in Minneapolis and none had National distribution). Their only LP released during the band's existence, Trip Thru Hell, sold less than 1,000 copies and was virtually unheard of outside of their home town. Despite its minuscule initial distribution, the record slowly gained popularity over the next twenty years among collectors and musicians. Due to increasing demand, it was re-released in the early 1980s, by "Rape an Ape Records", then released on CD in 1994, on the Sundazed label, including their singles and unreleased material. A live album was released in 1986 of their last performance as a group, re-released in 2006 with additional material by Swordfish Records U.K.


1.Trip Thru Hell, Pt. 1 (Erwin, Reynolds) -00:00
2.Colorado Mourning -09:11
3.Cold Spider -11:44
4.Underground Music -16:28
5.Sleepy Hollow Lane -21:16
6.Smooth As Silk -23:21
7.Trip Thru Hell, Pt. 2 -25.34
8.Dr. Of Philosophy - 29:17
9.Blow To My Soul (Sandler) -31:31
10.Ain't No Doubt About It -33.34
11.Mickey's Monkey (Dozier, Holland, Holland) -36:08
12.I Put A Spell On You (Hawkins) -38:39
13.I Shot The King -41:30
14.Fortune Teller's Lie -43:56
15.Sadie Lavone -46:09
16.Bury Me In A Marijuana Field -49:04
17.Colorado Mourning (Alternate Version) -51:19
18.Underground Music (Alternate Version) -53:35
19.Smooth As Silk (Alternate Version) -55:48
All titles by Ken Erwin except where indicated.

C.A. Quintet
*Rick Johnson - Drums
*Jimmy Erwin - Vocals, Bass
*Ken Erwin - Vocals, Trumpet, Guitar, Bassm Keyboards
*Toni Crockett - Vocals
*Tom Pohling - Guitar
*Doug Reynolds - Keyboards
*Paul Samuels - Drums
*Rick Patron - Drums, Percussion
*Larry Honhart - Lead Guitar
*Tom Reid - Keyboards
*Donny Chapin - Drums
*Tony Wright - Keyboards
*Dan Zamanski - Bass

It's very unusual to have trumpet and Hammond organ in psychedelic music, so break out the headphones and the catnip to enjoy a [font color=magenta]Trip Thru Hell[/font] !

March 1, 2013

School District Arms Some Employees, One of Whom Gets Shot During Training Session

The East Texas school district for the town of Van watches the news (Fox, we're guessing sure) and they know that it's time to arm themselves against the hordes of shooters trying to attack schools everywhere.

So the school board voted last month to arm some employees, such as janitors, so they could go all Dirty Harry and nip any crazed shooter's actions in the bud.

"By approving this policy, the board addressed concerns about effective and timely response to emergency situations at schools including invasion of the schools by an armed outsider, hostage situations, students who are armed and posing a direct threat
of physical harm to themselves or others, and similar circumstances," the district said in a prepared statement.


At one of the first training sessions designed for specific employees to get a concealed handgun license, an accident happened and an employee got shot in the leg.

More at http://blogs.houstonpress.com/hairballs/2013/02/van_isd_gun_chl_accident.php .

March 1, 2013

US seeks $2.5 million in laundering case against former Carnegie Mellon University trustee

EL PASO, Texas (AP) — Federal prosecutors are seeking the forfeiture of $2.5 million in cash from a former Carnegie Mellon University trustee accused of conspiring to launder more than half a billion dollars for a drug cartel.

An indictment filed Wednesday in Texas alleges that El Paso lawyer and philanthropist Marco Delgado defrauded millions from a firm doing business with a Mexican utility and used that money to underwrite a lavish lifestyle.

According to the indictment, Delgado wired $200,000 to Pittsburgh in July, 2010. Carnegie Mellon is in Pittsburgh, but it's not clear from the indictment if the money was donated to the university. The school says only that it is cooperating with authorities.

Delgado could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison if convicted. Authorities also have requested forfeiture of $2.5 million in cash, a house and furniture in El Paso and a New Mexico apartment, as well as two vehicles.

More at http://www.chron.com/news/texas/article/US-seeks-2-5-million-in-lawyer-s-laundering-case-4316726.php

[font color=green]Fifteen money laundering and two wire fraud counts against the former attorney.[/font]

March 1, 2013

UT-Arlington gets $7.5 million for scientific research, technology

ARLINGTON -- Scientific discovery, innovation and research at the University of Texas at Arlington received a $7.5 million boost Thursday with a record gift from Shimadzu Scientific Instruments.

"This is the largest single cash commitment in the history of UT Arlington," President James Spaniolo said during a celebration to highlight the gift. Faculty, students and representatives from Shimadzu attended.

Shimadzu, a world leader in technology, has now given UTA a total of about $10.5 million; the $7.5 million cash commitment and a previous $3 million in-kind equipment donation.

"We are investing in both the future of UT Arlington and in our future," said Dave Jorissen, manager out of the Shimadzu regional office in Houston. "It's a classic win-win for us."

Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/2013/02/28/4651597/uta-gets-75-million-for-scientific.html#storylink=cpy

March 1, 2013

Texas A&M System implementing outsourcing at other campuses

The Texas A&M University System has announced system-wide outsourcing that will privatize nearly a thousand landscaping, building maintenance and custodial services jobs across the state. Officials said the move will save the 16 affected A&M system campuses a combined $92 million over the 12-year life of the contract.

Chancellor John Sharp on Wednesday announced that the system has formalized letters of intent with SSC Service Solutions, a subsidiary of Compass Group North America, the same company that netted the largest outsourcing contract in system history last year, at $270 million, for providing similar services to Texas A&M University and system buildings within Brazos County. The company provides facilities support services to more than 100 educational organizations nationwide.

"We intend for the A&M System to not only be the most efficient, taxpayer-friendly system in the state, but to do it in a way that enhances our core mission of teaching and researching," Sharp said.

The letters of intent are non-binding, but they all but seal the deal, system officials said. The individual contracts should be signed in the upcoming weeks.

More at http://www.theeagle.com/news/local/article_581a5c56-a751-56ca-bbb0-27367dfcf42b.html .

[font color=maroon]This move will transfer 920 employees from the state to the private sector. The only campus in the system that isn't affected is in McAllen. The comments for this story are also interesting to review.[/font]

Profile Information

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: 113,550

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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