MORE NEWS THAT’S NOT NEWS

December 31, 2012 by  
Filed under Blogs, Hot Button / Lynn Ashby

Your Papers Are Not in Order: So afraid are they of moles, snitches and infiltrators, the prison gang Aryan Brotherhood of Texas demands resumes, including government-issued criminal credentials and background FBI reports from applicants. Murderers, kidnappers and drug lords are welcomed, but the Brotherhood draws the line at rapists and child molesters.

Houston Chronicle headline: “State wants $1 million for Alamo.” And how much did Trump offer? What’s 52 feet tall, wears size 70 boots and a 75-gallon hat – and is black? The State Fair of Texas’ Big Tex, which caught fire in the middle of the fair. We now have highway Texas 130, a tollroad that lets you drive from Georgetown to Seguin at 85 mph, the fastest legal speed in the nation. That is, if you really want to get to Seguin that quickly.

You may recall that last week we took a look at Texas in 2012, checking off those people and events who made the year so, uh, so different. Such as Bruce J. Fleming of Sugar Land, who has voted in the local elections since 2006. However, he also voted in the Bucks County, Penn., elections during that time. Oh, and Fleming was the Republican candidate for county commissioner. When all this became public, the GOP asked for its $10,000 campaign contribution back. Fleming refused.

After a mere 80 days on the job, 39-year-old Brian DeAngelis is no longer the athletic director at the Texas A&M University-Kingsville. A policeman reportedly saw DeAngelis fleeing a San Antonio Walmart, pursued by the angry mother of a 14-year-old girl. The mother claimed DeAngelis had a cellphone camera attached to his shoe and that he had maneuvered his foot under her daughter’s dress. The cops found an upskirt video of a teenager’s underwear. DeAngelis was charged with improper photography.

We’re Number 51. Yee-haw! — Texas ranked dead last in the federal government’s annual report card on the delivery of health services. Texas scored 31.61 — less than half of top-ranked Minnesota’s 67.31 — out of a possible 100 points. Rated “weak” or “very weak” in nine of 12 health delivery categories, Texas dropped from 47th place in 2010 to 51st, behind all other states and Washington, D.C.

Polls Apart: When 1,200 Americans were asked in 2012 for their opinion of Texas, 31 percent responded unfavorably. The good news is that 40 percent responded favorably. That still put us 37th most-liked state. California is the most hated state on the list. Some more findings from the survey: If you are black, you probably don’t like Texas, but it’s better than Mississippi or Alabama. If you are a Republican, you probably love Texas and hate California. (The reverse is true if you are a Democrat.)

 

 

BAE Systems Tactical Vehicle Systems in Sealy paid $55,000 and provided six months of outplacement services to Ronald Kratz II, who weighed as much as 680 pounds before he was fired. The EEOC, which sued on behalf of Kratz, said he was qualified to perform the essential functions of his $21-an-hour job

A five-year-old girl came home from Austin’s Pease Elementary school to tell her father that “Mrs. Fuller” — the girl’s after-school teacher — said Santa wasn’t real.

Good Nabors make, well, a lot: After much screaming from stockholders, Houston-based Nabors Industries’ retiring CEO Eugene Isenberg rejected a $100 million golden parachute. He still received $176 million in compensation between 2006 and 2010 during which the company’s stock fell 38 percent.

The Sportin’ Life: After the 2011 season when Houston Texans got into their first play-offs ever, they raised ticket prices by 8.5 percent. The Astros were in a perfect game – losing 10 to 0 to the San Francisco Giants whose pitcher, Matt Cain, threw only the 22nd perfect game in MBL history. That game fit right in the Lastros season; they again finished with the worst record in Major League Baseball.

Tour de Lance: Bicyclist Lance Armstrong was found guilty of doping by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles, along with their yellow T-shirts. His Austin cancer foundation split with him and he didn’t win the Lotto. Speaking of cycling, Texans don’t — only 22 percent of Houston household solid waste is recycled, ranking the Bayou City 13th in North America. Austin – 37 percent, San Antonio – 25 percent. Dallas – 17 percent. Big D stands for Disposable. Seattle is first with 60 percent.

Take a Truncheon to Luncheon: Fired HPD officer Andrew Blomberg was acquitted on charges of beating a 15-year-old burglary suspect, Chad Holley, even though video tape showed Blomberg treating Holley like a piñata on Cinco de Mayo. Brian Claunch was fatally shot by Houston Police Officer Matthew Marin. Claunch was a double amputee in a wheelchair, wielding a shiny writing pen.

From the LBJ School of Voter Tabulations: Houston Chronicle: “It shows even Republican support for paying more taxes for some key education items. For example, of the 74 percent who said they would pay more taxes to raise teacher pay, 60 percent identified themselves as Republicans; 91 percent were Democrats.

Paul Roberts, 53, was charged with engaging in an improper relationship with a student, a second-degree felony, and relieved of duty, after exchanging messages with students that used profanity of a sexual nature, officials said. Roberts was the reigning “Teacher of the Year” at Stafford Middle School.

Wild Blue Yonder: Southwest Airlines wanted to fly internationally from Hobby, saying the move would add 2-million jobs and a billion dollars annually to the local economy. (OK, maybe just 1-million jobs and half a billion dollars.) United, which had just moved 1,200 jobs from Houston to Chicago, said SW’s plan would devastate the city’s economy. Both estimates were wild fantasies, but SW won. United We Fall: After losing its fight with Southwest Airways, United dropped its daily flights from Houston to Paris.

 

Ashby spent 2012 at ashby2@comcast.net

 

 

 

 

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