Boy howdy, if I am put in charge I will make a few changes. I am assigning a real cool sounding name to this sweeping referendum: “Baytown Bert’s Top Ten List for Global (read Baytown) Change” and make it so. I don’t even know who is in charge of making these kinds of decisions, but give me the go ahead and I will jump in feet first. I will be tough as Ted Poe, Chuck Norris and that Maricopa County Sheriff rolled into one.
Here goes: If someone is caught red-handed shoplifting or convicted in a court of law, I will make sure their photograph is printed on a billboard beside the store they stole from, printed in the local newspaper and their name and image broadcast on our local TV channel for one year. I will set up a national database and register them as thieves along with putting a mark on their driver’s license to remind officers and shopkeepers that they steal. As much as fifteen percent of the cost of items we purchase is to pay for security and shop-lifters greedy fingers. I say make the thief pay for their crime and then we honest shoppers can get lower prices.
Number two will be converting our school system over to an “advance as you progress” system, where each student moves forward on their own merit. What? We have that already? Let’s change it then to where each student moves forward each month, or repeats it right then. Instead of TAAS, TAKS, or some other kind of mandatory State test, students are aptitude tested on a two to three year reoccurring basis. This way parents and students will know individual strengths and weaknesses and can get a head start on a specific education, rather than a general or generic degree. Maybe students will finish 12-14 years of school in 8-10 and actually know something that will help them secure employment.
Here’s number three and it’s a doozy. I will demand the power companies move all electrical wires under ground and remove the “telephone” poles. They are ugly, make the city ugly and fail repeatedly during bad storms.
I’m already into number four and I’m just getting warmed up. We need a cable company which provides paying customers 10 channels worth watching. I will settle for 10, even though I pay for 150. 140 channels of stupid stuff by stupid program directors and we are paying for it? Who is stupid here? We stupid. We are paying this company to pump stupid stuff into our homes.
Hello number five! I want to see a coordinated and driver friendly traffic light flow system set up on Garth, North Main and Alexander Drive (for starters) and I don’t want to pay another consulting company to figure this out. I want it to happen.
Call me butter, cause I’m on a roll with number six. I want a bi-weekly free concert of local aspiring talent, church choirs and jazz ensembles in Bicentennial Park. It could be co-sponsored/promoted by Lee College and the City of Baytown and would promote culture exchange in this historically blue-collar oil city and that’s something we would all benefit from.
7-UP! I would like to see more than three cash registers open at Wal-Mart at any one time, excluding the self-service registers. I would settle for the manager of this store making a public apology for coming to this conclusion before someone makes a scene. See the Food Town on North Main for how it should be done.
Number eight is a desperate plea more than a simple wish. I will institute an emergency radio station for Baytown and surrounding areas to inform local folks when disaster strikes. If Hurricane Ike taught us anything, it was we can’t rely on Houston radio to give us specifics or instruction from our city leaders.
Here’s number nine, number nine, number nine (that’s a reference to the White album by The Beatles for your amusement). I want to see more advocates for the city of Baytown and less folks griping about the city and its failings. The city is what we make it folks and it’s that simple. It takes two hands to do almost anything. City leaders need input and they need it before decisions are made.
My number ten and last wish for Baytown, Baytonians and all of us living close by is we somehow learn to embrace a philosophy where we are generally proud to be from here. Like number nine, we individual citizens must work together to make our schools safer and more productive, the quality of work emanating from Baytown superior and the overall positive attitude of this area significant in the total scheme of Texas life.
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