Hey Houston! You're "Extremely Pleased"!

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The preliminary estimates for Ike damage are coming in -- the Harris County Housing Authority is issuing

a report

that pegs the figure at about $8.5 billion -- but you shouldn't worry.

You, as a Houstonian, could not be more pleased with the job the city has done picking up storm debris. At least according to the people who pick up that storm debris.

Here's how the Solid Waste Department puts it: "Preliminary Survey Results: Houstonians Extremely Pleased With Storm Debris Removal Efforts." The release says "A huge majority of the citizens who were interviewed were extremely pleased."

A huge majority? "Extremely" pleased? Well, maybe.

The department conducted a random survey of 590 residents in Memorial, Third Ward and Westbury earlier this month, says Gloria Bingham, director of the city's helpline. Of those called, 176 were actually interviewed.

And, according to the department, "86 percent of those surveyed had already received an initial pass and were pleased with the service rendered."

Solid Waste Department spokeswoman Marina Joseph tells Hair Balls that the 152 respondents who had gotten a first pass were listed as "satisfied" while the 24 others were "not satisfied."

OK, but where does the "huge majority" of "extremely pleased" Houstonians come from?

From comments made by some of the 152, Joseph says. "It was things like 'very satisfied,' 'excellent job,' 'they did do a good job,'" she says. "The ones who that might not have been happy were the ones that had damage done by the contractor."

We guess one person's huge majority of extremely pleased people is another person's small sample of adequately satisfied people.

-- Richard Connelly

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