Tag Archives: HCC

Lalo Alcaraz Takes Houston

laloCartoonist, author, and 21st Century Renaissance Man, Lalo Alcaraz, spent a day and a morning in Houston giving several presentations, appearing on a radio show, and on several interviews. After being unlucky at catching him all day Tuesday, luck was on my side when I found out he had one more presentation on Wednesday morning at HCC-Central.

Alcaraz regaled the audience of mostly college students with stories about his development as a cartoonist, his style, and his recent achievements. Alcaraz’s strips appear on numerous print- and web-editions of newspapers around the country.

Seven years ago, as I mentioned yesterday, the local fish-wrap basically banned him (although it still appears online). As Dr. Alan Ainsworth of HCC stated, it was because he was edgy and political. And as Alcaraz stated, his intent is not to bring one to his way of thinking, but just to the point where they are actually thinking.

Alcaraz spoke briefly about a recent published history book in which he is paired up with academician Ilan Stavans.  A Most Imperfect Union, A Contrarian History of the United States adds some truth-telling to historic tales of the U.S.’s development and founding. The book was on the New York Times’ best seller list for a couple of weeks.

A new project, which if one follows Alcaraz on Facebook, one would have gotten an almost daily update on its development, is the creation of a new Fox animated series, Bordertown. Alcaraz serves as a writer and consulting producer on the series which was developed by the creators of Family Guy and is about the daily lives of an Anglo border patrol agent and his successful Mexican immigrant neighbor. With the Family Guy guys involved, and five Latino writers (which is probably some world’s record to have on a series), I’m sure funny will be achieved. The series takes off in March, 2015, so, get ready.

By the way, Lalo had me when he stated that Hank Azaria will play the border patrol agent, Bud Buckwald.

The rest of his presentation took us through many of his hard-hitting and thought-provoking dailies and color-Sundays. Alcaraz admits that some of his best works begin to appear on his digital canvas while watching the evening news. While the internet has certainly helped spread his works, he was still amazed when one of his works was slightly changed and turned into a protest flier during the demonstrations in Egypt.

Now, I don’t want to give away everything he talked about since he’ll be in San Antonio next. But the next group of folks and fans to see him should expect an interesting conversation with a lot of comic relief.

Alcaraz has a couple of talks and a meet and greet at Palo Alto College, and on Saturday will serve on a panel at the Voto Latino Power Summit, along with State Senator Leticia Van de Putte, Wilmer Valderrama, and MSNBC contributor Maria Teresa Kumar. You can’t get more star-studded than that!

UPDATE:  Big kudos should go to Dr. Lydia French of the HCC Mexican American Studies Program, Dr. Alan Ainsworth, Tony Diaz and the Librotraficante Crew, and everyone else involved in supporting Lalo’s tour-stop in Houston.

It was great seeing Lalo and talking to him for a bit. It had only been seven years since I saw him last, but it looks like we haven’t aged much–or at all. (No one asked you!)

lalodos

 

 

 

HCC Ends the Wilson Thing

The Chron is reporting that Houston Community College has cleared the way for the local bigot, yet, winner of the HCC District 2 race, to take his seat at the first board meeting of the term. How does this affect the County Attorney Vince Ryan’s lawsuit to keep Wilson from taking office? (Shrugs)

The college’s legal team decided that there is no current barrier to him taking office.

“Right now, Mr. Wilson has been elected and has taken an oath of office and there is no prohibition from any court that would prevent him from taking his seat, so – from the perspective of Houston Community College – there is no legal basis at this time to deny him the opportunity to sit as a trustee,” HCC special counsel Gene Locke said on Tuesday.

I can’t say I expected much to happen regarding the residency issue; that’s if anything continues at that end. Nothing really ever happens in the courts regarding residency–and I was starting to wonder if anything could happen even  as obvious as the residency violation may be, as in the case of Dave Wilson’s warehouse-slash-showerless bedroom. Obviously, the legislature needs to write some detailed rules about this, but they won’t.

Of course, this takes nothing away from the way Wilson won in a heavily black district. He lied to voters, or at the very least was a bit disingenuous with his supposed blackness. Or whiteness, as the case may be. One thing is for sure, half of the folks that voted didn’t like the incumbent or were looking to replace him. I just wish voters would learn more about whom they were giving their vote.

Update:  Kuff has a recap of the legal events.

Early Voting Begins on Wednesday, December 4

Well, it’s that time again–Early Voting for the Run-Offs for City Council begins on Wednesday, December 4. You can vote at ANY early voting location (PDF of locations). The important thing is to VOTE!

And what are the DC nods, you ask? Well, here goes. I’ll start with those things on my actual ballot. I’ll probably make comments at a later date.

City of Houston At-Large 2:  David Robinson.

City of Houston At-Large 3:  LEAVE IT BLANK ~ With all due respect to my friends in the GLBT community, I cannot and will not vote for an anti-immigrant Hispanic.

HCC District V – Robert Glaser

The other races not on my ballot, but for whom I’m rooting.

District D – Dwight Boykins

District I – Robert Gallegos

HCC District I – Zeph Capo

HCC District III – Adriana Tamez

HCC Set to Add $425 Million Bond to Ballot

There’s no doubt that our community college systems are bursting at the seams and Rick Perry and the Republicans at the State Capitol have cut deeply into investment in higher education. And the results are quite noticeable as those of us served by Houston Community College System may get to vote on a $425 million bond package in November.

HCC officials say the bonds are needed to cope with exploding enrollment, rapidly-changing technology and shrinking state funding. In the last five years, enrollment has increased from 50,000 to 75,000, straining classrooms and campuses to their capacity, said HCC spokesman Dan Arguijo.

Anyone who feels investment in higher education should be a priority has some very good reasons to vote yes on this bond, if approved for the ballot by the HCCS Board.

As an example of the need for more space, HCC board chairman Mary Ann Perez pointed to HCC’s Coleman College for Health Sciences in the Texas Medical Center.

Built for 1,500 students, the facility now holds 3,500, leading to parking shortages, crowded classrooms and the turning away of 9 out of every 10 nursing applicants, Perez said. The bond proposal allots $120 million for a new health care education and early college building.

The plan also emphasizes workforce development in energy and the STEM fields – science, technology, engineering and math, Perez said.

“Houston is the energy capital of the world. The only way to maintain our leadership is to have a well-qualified and trained workforce,” Perez said. “Right now, we are simply unable to support student demand.”

Money would be designated for renovations or new construction at all six HCC colleges, including $27 million for a new workforce building in Stafford, $40 million in North Forest for workforce and early college buildings, and $53 million for a new westside campus at Westheimer and Eldridge Parkway.

There’s some opposition coming out of those served in Alief because they feel some of the promises made by HCC when they took them into the district have not been met. But the cash seems to be in the pipeline. Alief must be made a priority before some of this new bond money is expended on newer facilities. Still, there must be some strong demand for a westside campus.

It seems to me that this would be a worthy investment with a small increase in the property tax. Now that I actually live in the big city, I get to vote on this. Let’s see what the Board decides on Thursday.