Category Archives: Galveston

Not Looking Good For Casinos in Texas.

The Texas Legislature will meet in a few short weeks and its biggest challenge will be to pass a  balanced budget that is currently projected to have a $24 Billion shortfall. The new very Republican Lege isn’t going to be eager to increase taxes, and there isn’t a lot of fat to cut in the current budget. One would think that gambling revenues would be looked at as fruit ready for picking. Ain’t so.

But The News found that the incoming GOP-dominated Legislature presents a daunting obstacle.

In the House, 115 of the 150 members responded to the gambling question, with 54 saying they would not support its expansion in any form. Only 27 said they favored doing so, and 26 said they were undecided. The rest who were reached declined to comment.

Because of the two-thirds mandate for constitutional amendments, 51 “no” votes would kill the proposal in the House.

Charles Kuffner sums it all up pretty well:

I know I’ve beaten this horse many times, but it bears repeating. Gambling expansion is a tough sell, which is why it hasn’t happened after all this time. It’s certainly possible, as suggested by gambling lobbyists and State Sen. Jeff Wentworth elsewhere in the story, that some legislators who are currently opposed to expanded gambling might reconsider once they see what a cut-only budget approach begins to look like. This assumes that they will recoil from such a realization, and I at least am not prepared to make that assumption. I say it’s doomed, and I don’t see any reason to change that assessment.

$43,000 Dollar for a 3 mile Tow.

A driver decided it was a late night and dropped off his flat bed trailer on the far East end of Seawall Blvd. A&A wrecker decided that $43,000 was a fair price, and billed the owner.

One night last week, Galveston police say a driver for Wellco Tank Trucks of Dover, Oklahoma, parked his trailer in the right lane of traffic facing westbound near the end of Seawall Boulevard by East Beach.

Tino Ordonez with A & A Wrecking said, “It was the trailer and the load. It was right in the lane of traffic.”

Police had it towed. Tino Ordonez was among the crews from A & A Wrecking.

“It was in a lane of traffic,” he said. “It was basically endangering everybody.”

But the owner of the truck says A & A Wrecking charged him by the pound. With the big bulldozer they were trying to deliver to the port, he says the towing company estimated the vehicle to weigh about 172,000 pounds, asking him to shell out $43,000 for the three-mile tow.

Mike Matthews with Wellco Tank Trucks said, “I thought it was extortion and I was pretty upset about it.”

A & A Wrecker tried to justify the bill.

A&A Wrecker Service in Galveston was next in line for the heavy-duty tow, company owner Noel Anderwald said. Although Anderwald said he was within his rights to charge $40,000, he reduced the fee twice.

“Legally, through the state of Texas and the city of Galveston, I can charge 25 cents a pound,” Anderwald said.

The tow was an exceptional one, taking eight hours, seven men and lots of vehicles, Anderwald said.

I can’t understand why it would involve so much to tow a trailer.  Usually whats involved is backing into it hithching it up and driving off, now more than 1 person and 15 minutes. I have some advice for A& A, “Just because it’s legal doesn’t make it right.”

Update 11/19/2010

Provided source link for second quote

Early Voting

Today, early voting begins in Texas,  Equality and I will probably vote on Saturday.  It is critical that voters show up for early voting in Harris county.  A fire has destroyed all the voting machines, and while the efforts to scrounge and gather replacement machines has been heroic, Early voting is critical in pulling off a successful election.

Galveston Reinstates Inside Smoking

Those who are so inclined will be allowed to light up if the restaurant or bar wishes to permit it.

Despite an outburst of public opinion against Galveston City Council’s September vote to overturn its smoking ban, council members defeated Mayor Joe Jaworski’s effort to find a compromise to the argument Thursday.

Only Councilwoman Elizabeth Beeton voted with him, while Mayor Pro Tem Linda Colbert abstained. Dianna Puccetti, Chris Gonzales, Steve Greenberg and Rusty Legg all voted against his motion to ban indoor smoking in the city’s bars, clubs and restaurants but to allow it on outside patios and at least five feet from the establishments’ front entrances.

After the vote, which visibly upset indoor ban supporters who had waited until 8:30 p.m. to hear it, each of the council members except Jaworski and Beeton explained their stance on the issue.

Puccetti said she believed many businesses would remain smoke-free.

Legg said he had received information that some of the smaller bars will not be going back to smoking.

Gonzales said he encouraged businesses to remain smoke-free, “but it’s not our responsibility to set the rules.”

Emphasis mine.

Mayor Joe, seems to find it hard to understand that he the mayor and not our nanny.  While I may choose not to smoke at the establishments, It really isn’t the cities business but an arrangement between the proprietors and their clients.  I also hope that those who do not like the smell of tobacco smoke will find places that suit them also.   I think the council members are begining to understand that the citizens are expecting their city to have a lighter hand on their approach to governance.

Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics

Galveston once again is painted a hellhole, but by those who have no knowledge or understanding the city I call home.  A Website called walletpop Listed the Strand area as one of the 25 most dangerous neighborhoods.   The conclusions and statistics come with no understanding of the charactor of the city. This is drawn from 2008 statistics as near as we can tell from the described methodology. The Galveston Daily News also claims its from 2008 Data. Continue reading Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics

Another Anniversary


Two years ago Huricane Ike made landfall into Galveston. We were forewarned and well prepared.  The evacuations were organised and orderly. Ike had been a good teacher.  The storm hit Galveston and Bolivar Pennisiular with all his furry, a 16 foot storm surge damaged almost 100% of the structures and severely damaged or destroyed 80%. We here at Casa Libertad evacuated safely to the Woodlands which is 75 miles north and inland from here.  When we made it back we weren’t allowed to use the municpal sewage system because it was inoperable.  The causeway was a canyon of refuse and wreckage,  Our neighborhood was lucky, There was only 4 feet of water in our homes. Others fared much worse.

Today the Island Island is alive with hope, most of the people have returned. This weekend after Labor day is traditionally the weekend that we take our Island back, the beaches are ours, and traffic is easy. This year it was even more special. We have taken our Island back and an we aren’t in mourning but in celebration.  A flash mob formed yesterday in celebration with Mayor Joe leading the dancing ..

Surfs Up

Hermine is making land fall pretty far south of here,  but we are getting some pretty good surf stirring out there.  BTW this is my first You Tube posting:

Tree Sculpture


Mermaid with Dolphins

It was almost 2 years ago on Sept, 13 that Hurricane Ike struck Galveston. The destruction Island wide was devastating. Weeks after the rebuilding we saw some of our majestic oak trees start to die off.  Rather than just cut them down folks decided to turn them into art. There are about 30 of the sculptures around town all are within view from sidewalks and the roads. The informal Tree Sculpture Tour has become a popular thing to do on our Island, and the homeowners have been so gracious.

On September 13th, 2008, Hurricane Ike covered most of the Island in a tidal surge. The damaging combination of powerful wind and waves immediately uprooted many trees, but ultimately the salty storm waters led to the demise of the thousands of others. Ike forced Galveston to say a sad goodbye to so much of its beautiful tree canopy.

Months later sculpture artists have breathed second life into something Mother Nature attempted to destroy. Whimsical sculptures have replaced the majestic oaks that once lined many neighborhood streets and shaded homes. Tucked into gardens and nestled in side yards the sculptures are there for the public to enjoy.

More can be found at the Galveston Daily News a link to pretty kewl PowerPoint slideshow is at the bottom.