Texans FTW?

Football fans comment on "The New Normal."

Texans FTW?

Online readers comment on "The New Normal," by Sean Pendergast, September 7:

Maybe this year: If Foster stays healthy, and Kubiak actually uses him for a whole game, I think this may be the year we finally make it to the playoffs. I think everyone knows Kubiak did a horrible job of game management last year. That being said, I have to think there is some kind of personal issue going on between him and Foster. Like the way Tate looked in preseason as a second option.

Early Cuyler

Hype warranted: The annual preseason hype around the Texans might be getting old for some, but I say this: At least there is legitimate reason to be hyped again, and coming off a 6-10 disaster, that wouldn't normally be easy to say. And unlike last year's "blind faith" experiment, the hype is much more deserved this time around. It's just a matter of taking the sense of urgency that was blatantly obvious this off-season and translating it to the field. This team has 11-12-win talent, but still has a lot to prove.

Of all the must-wins I see them needing the mulligan on, I think Jacksonville is the one. In fact, I'd switch the Tennessee road game with the Jacksonville road game on the list of coin-flippers. The Titans are better (way better), but EverBank Field is a haunted house from the deepest bowels of hell from which the Texans never seem to get out alive. And Jake Locker isn't as good as Blaine Gabbert.

I think they'll win three of the coin-flippers, and I do think they'll get a steal or two. Not necessarily because I think they're better than those teams, but even last year, when they lost all three steal games, they could have easily won two of them were it not for the horrendous pass defense, which is largely fixed. Eleven-5 is my overall prediction (with a few bottles of Jack stashed in a special place just in case).


Texas, Gay Married Men and Children

Online readers comment on "Judge Orders Gay Married Man Not to Leave Children Alone with His Husband, Or Anyone Else," Hair Balls blog, by Mandy Oaklander, September 12:

Damned both ways: The problem is, of course, that as a judge, you're damned if you do and damned if you don't. Had that Republican judge acknowledged Evans's relationship, he would have been blackballed when the next election came along and likely faced a Republican primary challenger.

That's what happened about ten years ago when a three-judge (Republican) state appeals court found the Texas sodomy statute to be unconstitutional. The state GOP said that they would take action against the Republican judges who found against the law, and sure enough, when the appeals court heard the case en banc, the two Republican judges suddenly found the same statute constitutional. (Ultimately, the Supremes threw the sodomy law out)...

Come Election Day, it pays to discriminate in Texas.


Bigotry: The judge didn't have to acknowledge the relationship, though. All he had to do was deny custody and leave it at that. He added on the provision (which, from what I've read, the ex-wife didn't even request). It's bigotry, plain and simple.


Gay rights before children's rights: These kids have been put through enough. Now they get to be made fun of at school. Thanks, GLBT, you just made these kids' lives worse.


No big deal: Kids today care more about what age they can get a phone than if their parents are gay. Anyone who says kids of gay parents are proportionately more messed up than kids of straight parents probably hasn't even met any kids to speak of.


The Nabers Case

A reader writes in about "Amanda Nabers, 25, Accused of Sexing Up 13-Year-Old While Leaving Own Kids Unattended," Hair Balls blog, by John Nova Lomax, August 30:

Inappropriate: The author of this article needs to issue an immediate apology for his insensitive and atrocious reporting. He should be reprimanded and, in my opinion, fired. This article is about rape. And it needs to be treated with sensitivity and care. This is Journalism 101.

The writer uses language like "sexed up" and "way too neighborly" which belies the seriousness of this issue.

The victim was raped and exploited by an adult. There is nothing funny or light about this. It is entirely inappropriate to encourage dialogue and comments with: "Cue the 'I'd hit that' comments now..."

This is not the appropriate tone or handling whatsoever. This article is contributing to rape culture. Plain and simple. You need to address this and you need to do it now.

Name withheld by request
Livonia, Michigan

"Happy 9/11"?

Online readers comment on "Petrol Station Employee Wishes Muslim Customer 'Happy 9/11,'" Eating Our Words blog, by Richard Connelly, September 13:

True colors: Tragedy brings out the best and worst in people. Like beer, tragedy has a way of getting people to show their true colors. I don't know which bartender it was, not that it matters, but I am glad to see Ben step up and fire him.

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Quoting from your latest email, "Mayor Annise Parker announced today the kick-off to a plan to get 2,100 dos and cats adopted out of Houston facilities in order to win a $100,000 grant sponsored by TV food-guru Rachael Ray." Is spell check down? If not, perhaps you would care to run a picture of the "dos" that need to be adopted.


Re: The Houston Chronicle's full-page "Celebrating 125 years" in the Sunday March 4, 2012 print edition (wish I could link to it, but I can't find it on the Chron site).

What an amazing, self-serving, self-worshiping, history-bending, circle-jerk piece of hack fluff!

(I get to use the exclamation point, because the associate professor at the University of Missouri School of Journalism did.)

I'm assuming this guy got paid well for his love letter to the Hearst Corporation (sad, if that's what "journalism" professors are up to these days; but I guess times are hard for everyone [dude might not want to include that on his C.V.). No mention of William Randolph Hearst's role in inciting the Spanish-American War; his jingoism; the fact that the Seattle Post-Intellegencer ("the nation's largest daily newspaper to shift to entirely digital [on-line] did so not to innovate but because it had almost no circulation; the massive layoffs of journalists in San Francisco and Houston; the fact that the print edition . . . well, there's just nothing there; the fact that the most breaking news in the Chron on-line seems to be linked to local TV stations; the fact that there's absolutely no neighborhood news in the print edition and little more on-line (try everyblock).

I am truly amazed!


I thought it was curious that the Houston Press has been absolutely silent regarding the fact that Jessica Tata trial which was scheduled to begin in January 2012 never happened. According to DA information officer this morning it looks like there's a "Pre Trial Conference" scheduled for February 17, 2012 though. Even more curious though is that there is no trial date currently listed on calendar -- anywhere. I'm not an attorney but a pre trial conference could be pretty much only two things -- (1) simply a time to go before the judge in the case to discuss and establish procedural points; (2) or that a plea agreement is either decided or in the works. I suspect the later. Stay tuned Houston. Looks like the DA office may have gotten this one right. There will be no chance of an inane Casey Anthony decision here in Houston.


hello amy this is mine and others stories. please help. my child is in the 4th grade. she went to humble elem. since 2nd grade. her grades have been fine all these years. never worries. my only complaint ever was things like the school locking kids out by street never knowing ( i caught them and they freaked out) and other ones like boys touching girls privates while teachers not paying attention, janitors stealing jackets from children (made police report cause i caught her). teachers dancing provocotivly on stage, kids singing curse words in talent show in songs. things like that but never grades. so for those things i tried to get my child transfered several times. and also asked to speak to superintendant of humble Guy Sanzo. and i got denied everytime !!! so i was basically stuck here. now we moved to kingwood where they have awesome schools. and in the first week her math teacher tells me that she is unable to do any of the math. she doesnt know any math. so she has tutoring thursdays after school. teacher says its not enough she dont understand how she ever passed the taks and how she ever got A's and B's on her report cards. (same story with another parent at humble i talked to) so i take her to sylvan to test her. her test shows that my daughter is on a kindergarden level and first grade comp. they said she is so far behind she needs intervention for math. and my daughter had told me the teacher helped her on the taks and i didnt believe her cuase thats against the rules and schools get shut down for that. i was crying. they printed papers for me to show. so at humble elem they never sent papers home saying that they do hands on. they told me she was doing great. so i never had reason to worry. all the homeworks were never checked to see if they are right they just put a check on them to say they turned them in. this school should be shut down have a full investigation. i know other parents who are going through the same issue and cannot have their children transfered. i do not have the money for sylvan they say it will be 9000 dollars. i cannot afford that even though my baby needs desperate help on a level and a kindergardener. i wish there was a way that sylvan could help us. it is humble elem. fault and something needs to be done about that school. please have someone look into it and help us parents and other parents out that dont even know yet. thank you and God bless.

Ed Hughes
Ed Hughes

Re the story on Mark James

You may like to consider the unfairness of the US Judicial Process

Mark James is a man of previous good character, he is happily married, with 4 young sons, who he brought to the US for their education. He has been in custody since his arrest on 9 November. His wife and children have NOT been allowed to pay him a visit. During the time he has been detained two of his young sons have had birthdays and have been upset by the absence and lack of contact from their devoted father. He is being detained in Houston whilst his family reside in San Diego, so even if visiting rights are granted, the distance prevents the family travelling on a regular basis.It now looks like he will be in custody over Christmas and into the new year. The reason, the prosecution say he is a 'flight risk' , this is absolute and utter nonsense! He has agreed to wear an electronic tag, he has had his passport taken by the Authorities, he has people willing to stand bail for him, he has a stable family environment in accommodation in the US. Whatever happened to the principles 'a man is innocent until proven guilty' and more significantly, 'America is the Land of the Free'. There is such a huge injustice here, HP are not $millions out of pocket. They sold this equipment under a 'Big Deal' arrangement, they made a profit, nobody sells this amount of goods at a loss, particularly HP. They made their profit on the sale! This absolutely smacks of a 'Big Company' trampling opportunity. Free Mark James TODAY!!! Habeas Corpus must prevail!I cannot believe this is happening today in America, a Country held in high regard by all of us in the UK . He is being treated like a terrorist, absolutely incredulous.

Ed Hughes. Scotland


Don't let the fire burn out. Keep putting kindle to the fire "To save North Forest." I couldn't sleep last night after many of you did not take the time to attend the community meeting regarding North Forest. As I was lying in bed my mind got busy. Where are all of the Black and Hispanic Leaders, Professionals and the like? Where is the NAACP and LULAC? Where are the many Professional Organizations that support Blacks and Hispanics? Where are all of our Elected Officials that depend on this community to be elected? In my Bernie Mac voice....Texas, where are you? I thought of a sinking vessel with approximately 7,000 Black and Hispanic children. I could see this vessel sinking and everyone looking but no one attempting to help. Later, I visualized the history books stating that 7,000 children sunk right before our eyes and we did nothing. There were doctors, lawyers, ministers, judges, policemen and women, business men and women, laborers, teachers, plumbers, electricians, administrators, elected officials, etc just watching the vessel sink. Then, I changed my trend of thinking of what if the History books stated that a vessel with 7,000 children was sinking and all of the people came together and saved that vessel with the children. Now those children are writing the History, teaching the History, they are now the President, the Governor and the list went on and on. I even visualized that our children because of our love, concern and efforts were no longer crowding the jails rather the jails were converted into educational learning facilities and the children saved were in charge of the facilities. They are now teaching and training the younger generation. Finally, I awakened and discovered that this was just a dream. Dreams can become reality! Dr. Martin Luther King's dream became reality. Again, in my Bernie Mac voice....Texas, where are you? That vessel is sinking and we refuse to let 7,000 children drown. Let's form a coalition of not allowing our youth to dwindle away. We are too well educated to not remember what our forefathers encountered and now we sit quietly watching 7,000 plus children fade away. This is not the best written memo but it is the best solution that I know that can start a generation that will go down in history being saved by those that had the desire to love, care and save them. When a child is in trouble, shot down, beat up, killed someone etc. We see a group gathering and fighting for the rights much too late. Let's go in a different direction and help our youth before it is too late. This may not be the community that you live in but it is your community and your city. Let's form a coalition right now and work with this community that have a vessel of 7,000 children drowning and let's save them. They are crying for our help and this is my outcry to you. Again in my Bernie Mac voice...Texas, where are you? Please don't let this vessel sink. My Outcry,


Ms. Katharine Shilcutt: Thanks for your map on Farmers' Markets. I don't know if you are aware that Central City Co-op, localed at Grace Lutheran Church on Missouri at Waugh Dr. also sells locally grown fruits and vegetables. It is not a Farmers Market because the co-op buys all the food from the farmers and sells it themselves. The market is open on Wednesdays from 9 to 6:00. For more information please visit their web site: www.centralcityco-op.com

Donny Wallace
Donny Wallace

I'm gettimg to where I can't trust food reviews in the Press. I went to the best of all time touted Himalaya and the owner picked our meal which was goal and lamb and some kind of cheap steak. The steak was too hard to cut, the goat was awesome to me but like a taco truck version of awesome and the Lamb was good but not spectacular. I did like the giant Naan bread, that was awesome. But there is no way this is the place the Press raves like it is a fraction of a point from Da Marco on the scorecard. I will be very careful with HP food reviews from now on. I will say we did gte $4 off the bill for the owner ordering our food and he did say that if I put it in the oven that the steak would be even more tender that it already is as the most tender steak in Houston.


This is the only place I could find to post a comment: My prayers and best wishes go out to Chris and his family; Get Well Soon


A Pig with Lipstick is Still a Pig…Posted by lhawthorne on October 5, 2011

More news regarding the most recent events in Neighborhood Protection by Houston City Council, At-Large Position 5, Jolanda “Jo” Jones.

Department of Neighborhood Employees Laid Off Unfairly….

The City of Houston is wrong for what it has done to its laid off employees in the Department of Neighborhood (DN). We all get that during tough economic times layoffs occur; however, we all expect that they be done objectively and that all employees know what the rules are.

Prior to this round of layoffs in the DN, ONLY non-classified employees were forced to take furloughs and layoffs. My respectful opinion is that in hard times, everyone, not just a certain class of employees should bear the sacrifice of Houston’s economic downturn. To make matters worse, the lowest pad city employees took the financial hit.

Specific to this situation, the Administration represented that all layoffs were complete for this year, back in May, if my memory serves me correctly. HOPE, the civilian employees, negotiated their collective bargaining agreement in good faith. They understood the economic crunch; therefore, they didn’t ask for money, including raises, in their negotiations. Instead they asked for respect by having a layoff process that was fair and transparent, with meaningful notice and hearing, as well as representation on the civil service commission. That’s not a lot to ask and it is, in my respectful opinion commendable. Although HOPE didn’t like the layoffs, HOPE understood.

Soon after the collective bargaining agreement was signed, the hoodwink and bamboozle became apparent. Out of nowhere, the DN announced over 40 more layoffs and acknowledged that those 40 layoffs were anticipated prior to May they just somehow forgot to let anyone know about it until after the collective bargaining agreement was signed. Not only was it a shock to HOPE but it was a shock to me. Now the City is alleging that the DN most recent round of layoffs is not subject to the collective bargaining agreement even though the collective bargaining agreement makes no mention of that supposed excluded department. The City is alleging that the layoffs are reorganizations and not technically layoffs.

Catherine Flowers, the Director of the DN, kept employees with low evaluations and with not much time with the City, even some probationary employees, over senior employees with excellent evaluations. Her justification was a 10 minute SUBJECTIVE interview where she gave the employee insufficient notice, sometimes with less than 30 minute notice and even asked employees about being loyal to her. The questions seemed more about loyalty to her than loyalty to providing service to Houstonians.

Then Flowers came up with a certification requirement for inspectors. Hypocritically, some who kept their jobs did/do not have certifications yet inspectors who already had certifications were laid off. To make matters worse, Flowers required the soon to be laid off employees to pay for the certifications personally ($300 – $500) and laid them off anyway. After outrage by employees and a few council members, including me, the Administration said the employees would be reimbursed for the mandatory certifications. To date, over a month later, there have been no reimbursements. Likewise the DN said that laid off employees would get interviews with other employees.

Article in October 3-9, 2011 “African American News & Issues”

Galloping Gourmet
Galloping Gourmet

I would like to know what the draw is to The Black Labrador? Uncomfortable seats. Boring bread. Mediocre, previously frozen food. Unenthusiastic service. We'll stay home next time.


Sure - remove all the Admin and all the School Board...maybe....meanwhile :

Teen shot at North Forest High SchoolBy Zain Shauk, HOUSTON CHRONICLEUpdated 10:15 p.m., Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A school shooting Tuesday that left one student injured and another in police custody inspired a sudden move by officials hoping to increase safety at North Forest High School: transparent backpacks.

The idea came after a shooting that left students rattled, even in a school where the presence of a gun on campus was not a surprise. In October, two students were expelled after they attempted to hide a gun that one of them had brought to class. That made the incident Tuesday more troubling, students said.

"I was kind of mad because they didn't step up their protection for us," said Steven Ntanyosha, 16, a sophomore.

Tuesday's incident involved an 18-year-old male student using a handgun to shoot a 16-year-old boy in the leg in the middle of a hallway about 12:30 p.m., said Sue Davis, a spokeswoman for the North Forest Independent School District,

The older student, identified by school officials as Warren Lewis, was subdued without incident by a teacher who also is a deputy constable, Davis said. Lewis, a senior, is expected to be charged with aggravated assault.

The condition of the 16-year-old, a freshman, was stable, she said. The shooter was in the custody of the Houston Police Department, she said.

The shooting "was apparently the result of a dispute between a group of students that started off-campus and continued onto the campus," Davis said.

The 16-year-old was not part of the dispute and was not the target of the alleged shooter, who managed to bring a gun onto campus despite metal detectors.

Students said those metal detectors are only monitored at the start of the day and are easy to evade by going through side doors or coming late. The district now plans to extend the school's metal detector hours to 10 a.m., Davis said.

As a result of the incident, Superintendent Edna Forte decided to prohibit backpacks that are not clear or transparent. The district will purchase a transparent backpack for each of the 1,285 students at North Forest High. "We hope to have them here by next week," Davis said.

"We don't know if he brought it in a backpack, but you know what it's still a good thing to do," she added.

Transparent backpacks can be a tool in improving school security, but students still can find ways to smuggle in weapons, said Kenneth Trump, a national school safety consultant.

"If a kid's going to carry a gun to school more often than not it's going to be on their person rather than in a backpack," he said.

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