bloggin' all things brownsville

Thursday, January 19, 2012

I Took Advantage of My Elected Position




I had the opportunity to visit the new library at Harmony Science Academy today! The school didn't have a library, and its administrators expressed to me their frustration with collecting books a couple months ago when I was a guest speaker. With just one phone call to HEB, they shipped more than 5,000 books collected from customers and employees! These are the moments I so much enjoy! Did I take advantage of my elected position to solicit the books? Heck yeah! It's for the children!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

An Award With a Message

Sometimes, when the Mayor's unavailable, I get the opportunity to represent the City Commission at various events.

He was to unable to attend tonight's 41st Annual International Art Show. I was tasked with providing the welcome to artists and guests. I was also asked to choose one piece to receive the "Mayor's Award."

I went during my lunch hour to make the selection. Although there were many pieces, I found myself returning to the same piece.

“Generation Boom” by Angel Cabrales.

This piece consisted of a plastic gun, a helmet and combat boots. All were colorfully painted and adorned with children's stickers.

It was a timely piece. My interpretation was that society -- through media, television shows and even cartoons -- has desensitized weapons and war so much that our youth see their use to be more acceptable and having minimal consequence.Of course, everyone's interpretation is different.

An artist and judge for the show said the piece conveyed a woman's struggle in the military.

Let's see if I get asked again by the Mayor to represent him at another art show.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I'll Take Moral Turpitude for a $1,000, Please


The City Commission tonight will decide on a policy for the selection of board/committee appointees. There's been quite a hold-up on appointments with many boards having vacancies because of this proposed policy.

I missed the special meeting held earlier this month while away at a marketing conference.

Here are my thoughts on board appointments:

1. I believe boards should be equally represented by the commissioners, hence, the respective districts.

2. I do not believe in setting up a new board/committee to review applicants.

3. I do not believe in appointing folks who do not reside in Brownsville.

4. And, according to the proposed policy, individuals with a felony conviction or who have over the past 10 years been convicted of any crime of "moral turpitude" may not appointed. I don't believe this should be included in the policy. Some folks make mistakes at a young age, and later become contributing members of society via volunteerism/civic engagement. Why should these folks be excluded?

Besides who defines "moral turpitude," and what makes that person better than the next? I found this on one Web site: "Moral turpitude is usually vague, in a context where it's vitally important not to be vague."

We'll see how this goes tonight.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

No Good Reasons ...


“There is no good reason. Don't waste your life waiting for good reasons ... You'll wait and wait.”
― Susan Minot, Evening

Great movie. Bought it for $3 at Big Lots. What a find. Can't wait to find the book.

Friday, January 13, 2012

New UTB Land Purchase to Support Growth

New UTB Land Purchase to Support Growth

BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS – JANUARY 13, 2012 – The University of Texas at Brownsville has recently acquired additional land to support the growing needs of the university.

Dr. Juliet V. García, President of UT Brownsville, made the announcement on Friday, Jan. 13 at the annual Spring Convocation for faculty and staff held at The Arts Center.

The property consists of 20 acres on the corner of East Avenue and Expressway 77/83 adjacent to 80 acres of existing UTB property at the site of the university soccer field. The UT System Board of Regents approved the university’s purchase of the land last year.

“This latest acquisition will be the site for much-needed expansion at UT Brownsville,” García said. “We are greatly appreciative for the support of the UT Board of Regents and Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa, for their genuine enthusiasm in helping build the new UTB and for the many UT System and UTB staff who generously lent us their expertise to help negotiate this latest acquisition. Every step forward creates new momentum and excitement.”

This most recent purchase is one in a series of decisions that the UT System Board of Regents has approved to move the university forward, from planning for physical expansion to the approval of a new university mission.

In May 2011, the Board of Regents approved UTB’s purchase of new student housing as well as several tracks of adjacent land for university expansion.

In August, the regents also approved UTB’s new mission statement, admission standards and a $30 million investment focused on science, technology, engineering and mathematics education in the Rio Grande Valley. The new logo and school colors were approved in November.

Last semester, Casa Bella, the new student residence apartments, welcomed its first class of almost 400 students in affordable and student-centered residence halls with amenities that include private bedrooms, full kitchens and many shared spaces to enhance student life.

Demand for more housing quickly exceeded supply, so the university immediately began to develop a waiting list for students who had not been fortunate enough to get into the housing on the first round.

Last summer, UTB purchased an additional three acres of land in front of the Casa Bella residence halls with plans under development for additional housing to be added in the future.

SOURCE: UT-Brownsville Press Release

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Just Say No to Robocalls, Candidates.

I never understood why local or even regional candidates find the need to hire folks to send a pre-recorded message via a telephone call. It happens here. Call me Old-Fashioned, but I'd like a knock at my door. I'd like to shake your hand. I'd even be grateful for one of those expensive mail-outs.

Give me SOMETHING that doesn't take me back to the frustrating experience of pressing 1 or 2 or 3 or 7 to finally speak to a real customer service representative with a cable company.

If I'm making dinner or rushing out of the shower just to answer a Robocall that asks me to vote for a candidate, I'd be inclined to do the opposite.

Obviously, I'm not the only one who feels this way. Check out the video below. If it's this annoying in a presidential race, imagine a local race?

Like my son, Sammers, says, "Imaginate"?

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

What Character Arc Really Means


Do your research, kid.

A friend, who is currently on the outs with me, said today he never grows tired of witnessing my "peaks and valleys. Better than a telenovela."

My response: "Happy to amuse."

His response: "At least a couple of volumes of Amazon best-seller material right here."

My response: "Hope so."

His response: "Only thing lacking is some kind of character arc."

My response: "Do my peaks and valley compare to your state of contentment?"

His response: "As any good entertainment, they've propelled me from such a state. I'm beyond content."

My response: "What a life of vicarity."

His response: "Better you, than me."

I had to look up what a character arc was. I think I've done a great job of shoring up resolve against whatever is thrown at me.

See here.

Picking up the pen, again, so to speak



It's time I write. It's been a while since I've touched or even looked at this blog until a dear friend reminded me of its existence.

Folks won't always agree with what I have to say, never have and never will. So be it.