Tag Archives: METRO

Thoughts on Viernes…02142014

Abbott and Pé

Finding no credible brown face from South Texas or the RGV to defend him, it looks like Greg Abbott settled for a defense from the Little Brown One, AKA “Pé” (en la frente). And it was a pretty weak defense since the people of South Texas are still waiting for an apology from Abbott.

Pé Bush isn’t doing himself any favors defending a condescending gringo non-Latino elected official. I mean, c’mon, doesn’t Pé know that those of us who grew up in South Texas had to deal with condescension and general meanness from right-wing bigots? One would figure he would have learned this at his private school in Florida growing up.

Anyway, South Texas awaits a sincere apology from Abbott for “third world,” as well as for defending K-12 funding cuts, trying to block health care for those who can’t afford it, etc. There’s a long list of stuff for which he owes South Texas an apology.

Contaminated Soil and METRO

This made the news earlier this week (pay wall) and I must say it is quite concerning. The community fought a plan to build an overpass for the East End rail line and negotiations ended up with agreement for an underpass so the rail would cross some freight rail lines. Building an underpass would ensure the area wasn’t divided by a huge wall of an overpass. It was even an issue CM Robert Gallegos ran on in his race for District I as he was among the community activists who supported an underpass.

Well, now, it was revealed that there is a nice-sized area contaminated with gasoline and even some cancer-causing pollutants which leaked from some of the freight rail tanks. According to consultants, if they don’t dig the underpass, then there is no need to clean the site. And that’s when my alarm went off, since I grew up in a town with an area close to schools and housing projects that was polluted so bad it became a Superfund site back in the 80s. Since 1994, according to the article, the contaminated area in the East End seems to have grown–unless they didn’t measure right the first time; they weren’t clear.

The METRO folks are correct, it takes years to mitigate–it was in the mid-90s when the mitigation in my hometown was considered a success to the Feds. But to just leave it there? One way or another, the soil needs to be dug up and removed from the area before anything is built. But it does beg numerous more questions about contamination in the East End, particularly in areas around freight rail lines. I hope we hear more about this soon because I find the solution of simply not digging a bit hard to believe.

Music Break – Los Lonely Boys – Fly Away (Official Video)

Thoughts on Viernes…08172012 (Sabado Edition)

Voters Will Decide Metro Proposition on November Ballot, Too

The way the Chron describes it:

The Metropolitan Transit Authority board agreed Friday to ask voters in November to continue an agency program that funds road projects for local governments, with provisions to return certain funds to Metro after 2014.

The board voted 8-1 for a measure that, if approved by voters, would continue the so-called General Mobility Program in its current form, allocating a quarter of Metro’s 1-cent sales tax to Harris County, Houston and 14 small cities in Metro’s service area. The local governments use these funds for road and bridge projects.

However, the payments would be capped at 2014 levels, and any growth in revenues from October 2014 through December 2025 would be split evenly between Metro and the other jurisdictions. Another referendum on whether to continue the payments would be required prior to Dec. 31, 2025.

If voters reject the ballot measure, the payments would stop and Metro would retain all its sales tax proceeds.

According to METRO Chairman Gilbert Garcia, who visited a group of us bloggers today, the increased revenue will not be used for rail projects, but to pay down short-term debt and to increase ridership with the purchase of more buses and more shelters. Garcia added that the availability of a shelter actually increases ridership by 30 riders, so, with 1000 shelters, METRO stands to significantly improve its bus service.

Some may be concerned about the future of the University rail line; however, Garcia stated that METRO’s financial house must be in order before moving forward. I will say, though, that, as someone who resides a few blocks from the Hillcroft Transit Center, the University Line would be a welcome addition to my neighborhood.

So, folks, we have yet another measure to vote on in November. I’ll get back to you to see where I fall on this.

Weekend Activities:

Fort Bend Democratic Party HQ Grand Opening – Saturday, 8/18 at 5:30. 4103 Main Street, Stafford, TX. This one is down the road from me.

Texas Dem Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa is in Montgomery County today if you’re up in points north of here.

Enjoy the weekend!