Category Archives: Dumb Houston

Emmett to Isaac Evacuees: Hunker Elsewhere!

Can’t say I’m too shocked, but it’s true. Harris County Judge Ed Emmett has told folks coming this way because of Isaac that they are not welcome, according to a KPRC report.

“To take people from one dangerous area and bring them to another dangerous area, another hurricane zone really doesn’t make sense,” said Emmett.

That’s the reason? Because according to the forecasts, it ain’t hitting Houston. How about a little more honesty, like, “We don’t want you here,” or “We’ve cut our budgets to a point where we can’t even help our own people,” or…I can go on.

Well, the Houston SPCA is accepting four-legged evacuees.

(Houston SPCA) August 28, 2012.  These little evacuees, fleeing Tropical Storm Isaac, arrived at the Houston SPCA in the middle of the night from the St. Bernard Parish Animal Control Center in Louisiana.

They and all their friends will be up for adoption today!  Doors open at 11 am!

I guess there will be agreement with Emmett from a cross-section of folks. I understand the fear of crime and the “drain” on social services aspect of it, but when it comes to helping people, I think Houston is a lot better than this. If we are worried about the “drain” and the crime, then we need to decide if our local budgets are indeed moral documents that ensure we are ready for these kinds of situations.

Something to discuss, because it’s bound to occur again.

An Opportunity For a Safe Charitable Food Service Program?

Well, I agree with the Mayor when she states:

“This is exactly how the process should work,” said Mayor Parker.  “We identify a problem, put an idea out there to address it and then listen to find out if it is the best we can do.  In this instance, we have received a number of reasonable suggestions so I am recommending incorporating some of those suggestions, taking a step back and listening some more.  I am certain that by working together a good product can be crafted.”

According to the newest draft of the Charitable Food Service ordinance, it is using private property without written permission that is criminalized.

The new draft prohibits any charitable food service on both public and private property without the written permission of the owner.  Organizations that fail to obtain written permission may be charged with a misdemeanor, which carries a penalty of up to $500.

Aren’t there trespassing misdemeanors already in the books? And if this law only pertains to charitable food service, then why not begin with a civil penalty, then elevate it to a misdemeanor at the second violation? But if this is all about private property rights, then I would think that the property owner has every right to drive anyone off of their property utilizing what is on the books, no?

As far as the food service component is concerned:

The voluntary component of the draft ordinance would create the Charitable Food Service Provider Program.  This was prompted by the organizations that indicated their desire to coordinate services, but without concerns about red tape.  Organizations desiring to participate in the voluntary Recognized Charitable Food Service Provider Program will be required to:

  • Register basic contact information with the City of Houston
  • Cooperate with the City in scheduling any food service event at which five or more individuals will be fed
  • Follow basic hygiene, sanitation, and food safety rules provided by the Houston Department of Health and Human Services
  • Have at least one person at each food service site who has completed the free training in sanitary food preparation offered by HDHHS
  • Authorize inspections by the HDHHS of their kitchens, transport vehicles and the like
  • Implement changes suggested by the Health Department
  • Clean up after the event

There’s no doubt that this has been cleaned up by the Mayor, but the voluntary aspect of it makes one wonder why it would be needed. Still, I think some regulation is good as far as food safety goes; however, setting times and locations still seems a bit much. Charity should be allowed anytime and anywhere, but that’s just the Liberal in me.

I do commend the Mayor for taking seriously the views of others beyond the organizations and City Hall insiders who supported and defended the original version.

The Chron has more.

Exposing Vasquez and King Street

Why on earth would losing Republican Leo Vasquez want to be associated with a right-wing anti-voter group which uses fake video to make their false voter fraud accusations?

If you go to 1:36 of a video on the front page of the King Street Paranoiacs (, one will find a doctored photo of an African American woman with a sign that states, “I only got to vote once!” Of course, the “homemade” sign is written in perfect Comic Sans MS font, one of the numerous fonts available on Photoshop. questioned the validity of Vasquez’s accusations toward Houston Votes given the fact that he allowed access to voter information to an obviously partisan organization.

Anthony Gutierrez, spokesperson for the Texas Democratic Party, has released this statement regarding Leo Vasquez and his work with the right-wing anti-voter group, King Street Patriots.

“Not only have they completely destroyed whatever credibility they had, but all Harris County residents should be deeply disturbed by how closely Republican Voter Registrar Leo Vasquez is working with this Republican group.  They apparently are being given access to voter registration applications [1] [2] which contain personal, private information and which the Voter Registrar’s Office refused to turn over to the Democratic Party in the course of our lawsuit arguing that the personal nature of the information on the cards needed to be protected, an argument they even made in federal court.”

[1] King Street Patriots Press Release 8/24/2010

“King Street Patriots is double-checking all registrations leading up to the election…”

[2] Link to the Powerpoint Leo Vasquez presented at his press conference.  In the powerpoint are several voter registration applications which were made available to the King Street Patriots and which clearly show voters’ name and date of birth.

Early Voting Observations…02162010

  • I put up some signs for some favorite candidates at two polling locations.
  • Kingwood location is full of GOP signs, but no Perry, KBH or Medina signs.  But there were signs for a couple of Dems thanks to yours truly.
  • @ The HomeOffice working on some stuff the HD-127s Martin Basaldua and Addie Wiseman (Los GOP Mascotas)–the two most anti-Mexican Mexicans I know.  Never have I seen two Latinos spew hate more than these two, as if they’re trying to prove that they can hate just as much as the next teabagger?  It doesn’t work that way, Mes’kins!
    • Wiseman’s ad:  “It’s our Texas.”   Who’s trying to take it away?
    • Basaldua:  In his doctor coat spewing lies about Latinos burdening health care.  What? Sick people, any sick people, don’t deserve medical care?   Talk about taking the hypocritical oath!

More Observations as they happen…

No SSNs Required by Salvation Army

DosCentavos greets with a smile the good news coming from the Salvatation Army:  No Social Security Numbers required for kids to qualify for donated toy.

“It was never our intention to offend anyone with our registration requirement to provide a Social Security number, or to give the impression that we were discriminating against those individuals and families who do not have a Social Security number,” Major Chris Flanagan, Area Commander for The Salvation Army Greater Houston Area Command said in a statement.

Along with the SNN requirement was the reason behind it:  Fraud.  My question still is if there had actually been fraud.  And if there was fraud, did they have stats on said fraud and if they knew the fraud came from immigrants.

DosCentavos has no problem tracking who is getting the toys; if anything, some sort of identifier is needed to get a kid’s name, an address to deliver (because some groups do that in “Santa” style, etc.  So, I did not understand how a Social Security number would provide such a deterrent to fraud.

Anyway, that has been cleared up and Christmas can continue.  Bottom line:  There will be thousands of kids who will be without, and not just a toy.  During the holiday, it is a good idea to donate a little to many groups because it is amazing how they can stretch that dollar.

A good example is Houston Area Food Bank–$1 provides a full day of meals for a child, an adult, or a senior.  On top of a toy, kids and families also need nutrition, so give a few bucks to them here.

UPDATE:  State Rep. Alvarado Meets With Salvation Army

State Rep. Carol Alvarado met with the folks at Salvation Army.  Unfortunately for SA, this story went national and was covered on CNN this afternoon.   Alvarado released this statement:

State Representative Carol Alvarado was pleased with the outcome of her meeting with Salvation Army’s Greater Houston Area Commander, Major Chris Flanagan and Director of Development Caesar Grantham.  Major Flanagan stated that the Salvation Army is in no way using immigration status as a determining factor in deciding which children are to be given presents.  He also stated that the Salvation Army does not have the ability to check immigration status.  Representative Alvarado was concerned that asking for social security cards might deter some needy families from receiving assistance.  The Salvation Army has agreed not ask for social security cards next year during the application process leading up to the holiday season.

“Asking families for social security cards may prevent some needy children from receiving gifts,” said Representative Alvarado.  “The holidays are about giving, and we want everyone to feel safe when applying for much needed aid and assistance in their time of need especially during the holiday season.”

Representative Alvarado will help the Salvation Army revise their application for next year in hopes that all children in need of assistance obtain gifts given out by the Salvation Army’s program.

This entire story is unfortunate, but when a nonprofit mentions something like asking for an SSN for a toy, the media will take it and run with it.  Not only will it anger one group of people, but it will cause even more division and give anti-immigrant groups a chance to jump in and do their worse (just read some of the ugly comments in the Chron).

DC at Festival Chicano

DosCentavos was at closing night of the Festival Chicano.  Daniel Bustamante, the concert’s producer/promoter lined up some major sponsors, like Fiesta Stores, to help provide three days of free entertainment at Miller Outdoor Theater.  Because of a business trip, DC only made it to the Saturday’s show featuring Joel Guzman/Sarah Fox, Roberto Pulido y Los Clasicos, and Little Joe y La Familia.  Local singer Norma Centeno was the opener.

Joel Guzman and Sarah Fox

Joel Guzman and Sarah Fox

Guzman/Fox put on one heckuva show.  Guzman with his magical accordion prowess and the Guzman/Fox vocal harmonies provided classics, such as Por El Amor A Mi Madre, Hechale Un Cinco al Piano, and Cumbia Con Salsa.  The classics provided a great segue to new material, such as the cumbia Sangre Azteca, whose lyrics, “Esta tierra fue sembrada con el sudor y sangre azteca…” were very appropriate for the celetration.  Another track earning some listeners is their newest, Rosa Negra, where Guzman shows off his accordionic (I just invented a word!) abilities.

El Primo

"El Primo"

Roberto Pulido y Los Clasicos lived up to the band name…Classic!  A performance filled with Pulido classics, the crowd never stopped stomping their feet from their seats.  Senorita Cantinera, Flecha Envenenada, La Tumba Sera El Final, and La Ronera reminded us of the late 70s, 80s, and 90s era of big-time Tejano performances.  At the end, Pulido’s little brother, “Flaco” and the band gave us a few rock classics to set the night on fire.

Little Joe Belts Out Another Classic.

Little Joe Belts Out Another Classic.

A staple of the Festival Chicano for 30 years has been the King of the Brown Sound, Little Joe y La Familia.  Always a showman, Little Joe opened the show with a rousing rendition of “America,” which had the crowd of 10,000 on their feet and singing along.  The sing-alongs didn’t end as LJ gave us classics, such as Prieta Linda, Ella, Redneck Mes’kin, Borrachera, and the Chicano National Anthem, Las Nubes.  Joe even threw in some country classics, such as Good Hearted Woman and some Hank, Sr.

And yes, 10,000 folks were in attendance, under the pavilion and in the rain-soaked hill under umbrellas.

Little Joe also provided a few PSAs.  On October 18th, Little Joe will be at Ikea on Katy Frwy. for an autograph session on behalf of the Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  Little Joe has also taken on the fight against Diabetes and Child Obesity.  Joe announced that after years of being “borderline,” he got the diagnosis that he is now a full-fledge diabetic.  With that, Little Joe decided to not only fight it for his own health, but to raise money for the overall effort.  Fresh from a major press conference in one of San Antonio’s barrios, Joe announced that he has pledged to raise over $100,000.

The concert also had some political overtones, as Bustamante reminded folks that Chicanos have rights for which to fight and that is done through our votes, which brought on plenty of cheers from the crowd.  It was pretty obvious the crowd is in tune to the attacks on Latinos from the right-wing, and the crowd cheered loudly when the statement was made: Tell all the gueritos…We didnt cross the border, the border crossed us!”  Even Little Joe took on the health care debate and the lack of push from politicians and their insurance lobby-funders to provide added funding to the fight for preventive health care.

Festival Chicano has been around for 30 years, and we’ll make sure it’s around for another 30 y mas!  Unfortunately, the politicians weren’t around last night.

From the What A Dummy Department?

Photo by Nick de la Torre,

Photo by Nick de la Torre,

I will give this guy a passing grade for the effort.

Metro said a solo driver who drove onto the HOV lane with a mannequin as his extra passenger caused a four-car accident on the Northwest Freeway Thursday morning.

First of all, what was the mannequin doing?

Lately, I’ve been seeing more Kingwood folks taking the HOV without anyone sitting next to them.  Of course, there are no cops to be seen, unless some dummy, so to speak, causes an accident.

And here’s a question.  Why are the rules so anti-childless folk?  I see drivers on the HOV with babies in child seats, and they can go through.  Why can’t single-cool-guy-me go through with say, a dog?

Oh well.  I’m looking forward to the day we get rail up here.