Category Archives: Casi Houston But Not

Gregg Barrios Interviews James Franco

Yes, my friend Gregg Barrios, the playwright, interviewed THAT James Franco. Apparently, Franco just published a book of poetry. Gregg explains it best.

YOU KNOW WHO James Franco is. He is a household name, an award-winning actor, the sexiest person on the planet. But that was then. The 34-year-old Franco has been turning a new page in his life, walking down roads not previously taken as a teacher, a poet, and a writer.

His collection of short fiction, Palo Alto (2010), was praised by writers as diverse as Amy Hempel and Gary Shteyngart. Now he has published his first chapbook of poetry, as well:Strongest of the Litter (2012). The award-winning poet Frank Bidart (who advised Franco on the arrangement of the poems) calls Litter “a superb, touching debut.”

Go read the interview at the Los Angeles Review of Books. And congrats to Gregg on a major coup of an interview!

What’s Going on in Pasadena?

Looks like a recent vacancy on the Pasadena (TX) City Council is now causing some frustration for some in the Hispanic community.

The delay comes from, “The allegations of which (district) map to use, the old map or the new map, and we’re just trying to get legal opinions and make sure we’re on firm footing before we recommend one or the other,” Isbell explained.

Brannon was elected with district maps and boundaries determined by the 2000 Census.

New maps with new district boundaries based on the 2010 Census have been drawn and approved by the federal government for use in the 2013 elections, but it’s not clear whether they can be used now to fill the District E seat.

Isbell wants the lawyers to decide which map to use.

Richard Serna, a runner up for the now vacant seat, has received a lot of support from the community, including a current Council Member, Ornaldo Ybarra. Isbell’s explanation for not going ahead with an appointment for a district in which the people are calling for Serna to take the seat leaves much to be desired, apparently.

“I am of the opinion I am not going to choose a person by the color of their skin. I’m going to consider an Asian, an African-American, Caucasian or a Hispanic. I disagree with the fact that the Hispanics come forward and say, ‘You’ve got to appoint a Hispanic for this seat and it’s got to be this Hispanic.’ I think that’s wrong. We just created four Hispanic districts in Pasadena through the last redistricting, so I am not going to choose a person by the color of their skin, period,” Isbell said.

Looks like Isbell forgets the concept that these are Hispanic opportunity seats and that, really, any person can run (and win). What the people seem to be asking for is someone to take over the seat with whom they are comfortable, and that’s the way it should be.

According to Marc Campos, Pasadena is 62% Hispanic, but Ybarra is the only Hispanic on Council. Redistricting might take care of the discrepancy, so, I don’t know what Isbell’s intent on delaying things is, unless he wants an alternative to Serna. I mean, that’s how politics is played, right?

Good luck to CM Ybarra in helping the people get whom they want on Council.