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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: 78,328

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

Texans Remember Space Shuttle Columbia's Final Flight

Fifteen years ago today, on a clear blue Texas morning, the Space Shuttle Columbia reentered Earth’s atmosphere after a successful 16-day science mission.

But after communications were not regained with Columbia when expected, it became apparent something was terribly wrong. The shuttle had disintegrated over east Texas skies, killing all seven astronauts on board.

Here are the voices of several Texans whose memories of February 1, 2003 remain vivid, and whose lives were forever changed by what happened that day.

For Laurel Clark, a member of the Columbia crew, it was her first mission. Her husband, Dr. Jonathan Clark, was a NASA shuttle flight surgeon.

Read more: http://www.texasstandard.org/stories/texans-remember-space-shuttle-columbias-final-flight/#
Posted by TexasTowelie | Fri Feb 2, 2018, 01:13 AM (3 replies)

Austin ISD Delays Decision To Rename Schools Named For Confederate Figures

The Austin Independent School District’s board of trustees is slowing down its timeline for a vote on whether to change the names of five schools named after Confederate figures.

When the school board started this discussion in November, it proposed changing the names of the following buildings:

Eastside Memorial High School at the Johnston Campus (formerly called Johnston High School)
Sidney Lanier High School
John H. Reagan High School
Zachary Taylor Fulmore Middle School
The former Allan Elementary School (now an administrative building)

Each was named after a man involved in the Confederacy. The board said these men didn't align with the district's current core values.

The discussion came about during a wave of anti-Confederate actions across the country, including at UT-Austin, where Confederate monuments were removed from campus.

Read more: http://kut.org/post/austin-isd-delays-decision-rename-schools-named-confederate-figures
Posted by TexasTowelie | Fri Feb 2, 2018, 01:10 AM (0 replies)

African-American lawmakers react to Sid Miller tweet linking Nunes memo to emancipation of slaves

Several African-American state lawmakers criticized Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller Thursday for a controversial tweet Miller sent Tuesday night during President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address.


Referencing the likely release of a classified memo on the Russia investigation that Republicans say shows improper use of surveillance by the FBI, Miller wrote that “Democrats haven't been this upset over Republicans releasing something since Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves!”

Two state senators and six state representatives wrote a letter to Miller Thursday, saying his tweet “indicates poor judgment and a temperament not befitting of a public servant. It is our hope that few find your remarks humorous and that most will find them repulsive.”

The lawmakers wrote that there have been too many occurrences in which statements from Miller’s social media accounts have not befitted a public servant. In November 2016, Miller had to apologize for a tweet that called Hillary Clinton a misogynist profanity. At first he blamed the tweet on hackers, but then said it was sent “inadvertently” by a staffer.

Read more: http://www.statesman.com/news/local/african-american-lawmakers-react-sid-miller-tweet-linking-nunes-memo-emancipation-slaves/gxYEUUxgcEnIAFlgzJZjRJ/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Fri Feb 2, 2018, 12:36 AM (1 replies)

Texas' Finance Chief Warns Lawmakers: The Next State Budget Will Be Tight

Despite an economy that is reportedly continuing to grow, the state’s budget chief is looking ahead to the next legislative session, and warning lawmakers that some bills with hefty price tags are set to come due, and that revenue will be tight.

This warning to lawmakers from Comptroller Glenn Hegar comes after a legislative session during which state budget writers resorted to a couple of accounting tricks to free up more money, and in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Hegar says lawmakers are likely to tap the state’s Rainy Day Fund for storm recovery.

Hegar says unemployment in Texas is low, while economic growth is getting back on track after taking a hit from Harvey. Constraints on the state budget include the economic hit caused by Harvey, as well as the need to construct more roads to accommodate the state’s growth. Increased Medicaid spending will be needed, too, Hegar says.

“The overall economy is doing really well,” Hegar says “but I wanted to remind [lawmakers] that even though that is occurring, the next session is probably going to be another difficult session.”

Posted by TexasTowelie | Fri Feb 2, 2018, 12:20 AM (0 replies)

Lawyers claim last 2 Texas executions botched by old drugs - and Dallas killer should get a stay

Alleging the state of Texas botched the year's first two executions by using too-old drugs, lawyers for a death row inmate filed last-minute claims to halt a Thursday night death date for a Dallas man who killed his two daughters. A federal judge denied the claim just an hour before John Battaglia's scheduled execution.

The lawsuit comes on the heels of one execution where witnesses said the prisoner appeared to be jerking in pain, and another where the inmate said the drug burned.

"Ohh weee, I can feel that it does burn," Houston serial killer Anthony Shore said as the lethal dosage began coursing through his veins during his Jan. 18 execution, witnessed by a Chronicle reporter.

Less than two weeks later, William Rayford grimaced and twitched on the gurney before he died, witnesses said.

Read more: http://www.mrt.com/news/houston-texas/article/Lawyers-claim-last-2-Texas-executions-botched-by-12543974.php
Posted by TexasTowelie | Fri Feb 2, 2018, 12:14 AM (4 replies)

Flower Mound Marcus High School confronts racist photo posted online

Allegations of racism are swirling around Flower Mound schools after a photo taken at Marcus High School included racial slurs and a swastika.

Principal Gary Shafferman sent a letter to parents saying, "Please hear me clearly — this type of hateful speech will not be tolerated at Marcus High School," KXAS-TV (Channel 5) reported.

The photo shows someone standing in front of a whiteboard where an expletive was written along with a racial slur. A swastika was drawn off to the left.

"When I asked them to show me [the letter], I was really just beside myself," grandparent Prophetess Hayden told NBC5. "If we don't take a stand and do something and stand up for what change really should happen, then this is just going to be another incident that slides back under the carpet after things die down."

Read more: http://www.dentonrc.com/news/news/2018/02/01/marcus-high-school-confronts-racist-photo-posted-online
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Feb 1, 2018, 11:29 PM (0 replies)

Denton Co. Confederate monument committee votes to keep statue with additional plaque, videos

DENTON -- The Confederate monument will stay put, but many questions linger about the proposed additions around the 100-year-old statue.

The monument advisory committee voted 12-3 Tuesday to keep the Confederate monument on the south side of the Courthouse on the Square lawn with an additional plaque and videos about the history of slavery in Denton. The plaque is supposed to include language denouncing slavery and segregation in Denton County.

The committee's decision was a culmination of two and a half months of discussion and research into the meaning behind the statue, which some feel symbolizes racism and pro-slavery ideals. Other county residents feel removing the statue would be an attempt to erase or revise history.

Denton residents Paul Meltzer, Willie Hudspeth and Alfred Sanchez cast the dissenting votes, though they all said they generally supported the proposed additions to the monument. Hudspeth and Sanchez told reporters after the vote they misunderstood what they were voting on. Meltzer said he would have voted for the proposal with more extensive discussions about the plaque's language.

Read more: http://www.dentonrc.com/news/news/2018/02/01/confederate-monument-committee-votes-keep-statue-additional-plaque-informational-videos
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Feb 1, 2018, 11:27 PM (1 replies)

SpaceX funding request may indicate broader scope

SpaceX isn’t talking, but a state representative said the company’s request for additional state funds could point to an expansion of SpaceX’s plans for its Boca Chica Beach launch site.

In April 2016, Caryn Schenewerk, senior counsel and director of governmental affairs for SpaceX, testified at a joint legislative committee meeting in Brownsville that the Texas Spaceport Trust Fund — which had received no money during the 84th Legislative session and was tapped out — needed a fresh infusion of cash.

She made it clear that SpaceX planned to lobby for TSTF to be funded during the 85th Legislative session and, in fact, lawmakers added $5 million in general revenue funds to TSTF during the course of wrapping up budget negotiations last spring.

In November, the Office of the Governor, Economic Development and Tourism Division, issued a Request for Proposals for infrastructure projects supporting the development of Texas spaceports. Dec. 15 was the deadline to submit applications, which are now being reviewed by the governor’s office. Selected projects will receive some portion of the $5 million in TSTF money.

Read more: http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/news/local/spacex-funding-request-may-indicate-broader-scope/article_1b89e814-06ff-11e8-bb50-1fa136efb96f.html
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Feb 1, 2018, 11:19 PM (1 replies)

La Crosse rewriting sign ordinance after order to remove 'Impeach' sign leads to ACLU intervention

When Dennis Lawrence of La Crosse put up a white sign reading simply “Impeach,” he didn’t think he’d be hearing from the city’s buildings and inspections department.

“I wasn’t expecting any kind of response other than to just express my opinion of the immoral, ignorant buffoon in our president’s office,” Lawrence said.

Instead, Lawrence received two notices that it had to be removed before the orders were rescinded in a letter Lawrence received Jan. 26.

The 5-foot-by-3-foot sign went up outside Lawrence’s West Avenue home last summer, about six months after President Donald Trump took office.

Read more: http://host.madison.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/la-crosse-rewriting-sign-ordinance-after-order-to-remove-impeach/article_42aa17a5-321a-50cb-83ef-19ef2cac7b55.html
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Feb 1, 2018, 10:17 PM (2 replies)

Scott Walker open to gas tax hike, tax cuts elsewhere, to land federal road funding

Gov. Scott Walker said Thursday he is open to raising the state’s gas tax, if offset by other tax cuts, to pay the state’s share of a federal proposal to spur $1.5 trillion in public and private infrastructure spending.

Responding to President Donald Trump’s call during his State of the Union address for more federal funding for roads, Walker said he hopes to work with U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Janesville, to encourage Congress to pass “a sizable package,” but maintain the typical match of 80 percent federal and 20 percent state funds.

The White House has said only $200 billion of the $1.5 trillion package would come from the federal government paid for with cuts in other areas. The remaining funds would come from state, local and private sources.

“We’re willing to invest to obtain those dollars to grow and build our infrastructure here,” Walker said. “I’m willing to look at ways to add to our revenue in the transportation budget as long as we have a net neutral or really a net reduction for the overall burden to the taxpayers in this state. If we could cut taxes, income taxes or other taxes, we could look at revenues in the future, particularly if it helped us leverage federal dollars.”

Read more: http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/govt-and-politics/scott-walker-open-to-gas-tax-hike-tax-cuts-elsewhere/article_bcaf699a-c4f5-5aef-857a-cf7c9207d5da.html
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Feb 1, 2018, 10:11 PM (1 replies)
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