Monday, December 27, 2010

My Observations Entering the New Year 2011

- The BP oil spill was over-blown by the media creating a giant panic and millions of wasted tax dollars. The reason I say this is based on observation of the multitude of news programs, news articles, an extensive understanding of the industry and two eye witnesses who covered the spill from Texas to Florida. The first was my Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response Standard (HAZWOPER) instructor this year. This fellow spent 3 months working the coast line and never saw oil other than one time when he saw a light sheen in one small area. No oily birds, no blobs of oil – nada. The second is an independent film maker friend of mine who, on the government dime, documented…nothing and this for 2 months.

- Garry Brumback leaving Baytown may be very bad for Baytown. Mr. Brumback has been very good for Baytown and I am basing this on my personal observation and personal communication between him and myself. Whenever I brought up a concern, he was quick to address it and as just one individual in a large city, this impressed me very much. I vote to offer Bob Leiper the job.

- The Red light camera removal will prove to be a step backward. Before the cameras, people in this town drove akin to 19 year old soldiers driving a HUMVEE on the crowded streets of Baghdad and with the removal of the cameras, things will return to that sad state of driving. I am already witnessing a return to reckless red light running. I pray the fellow who stirred up the whole city against them continues to compile data to expose his error in getting them removed.

- The Bark Park in Jenkins park is one the best things to happen to our city. It is my desire that continued effort is put into keeping it in tip top shape. The few trail system in the adjoining field will make this park a real draw for walkers and runners. I’ve expressed hope they will certify a 5K trail in this park.

- Geocaches in Baytown are drawing out-of-towners to our city. Larry Houston, Aaron Barbee, Brian Hillier, myself, and others have placed a large number of geocaches around the city to invite geocachers to hunt for them. People are driving in from as far as Huntsville, Louisiana, San Antonio, and folks traveling on I-10 to find them. Many of them eat in our restaurants and stay in our motels. It’s a win-win for Baytown.

- Los Torito’s on N. Main is the best place to buy tamales. They are friendly, locally owned, big fat tamales, which taste delicious. My favorite is the bean, cheese, & jalapeno.

- I’m not sure my councilman is listening. Lynn Caskey is the councilman over my district (5) and I’ve never had a conversation or an email response from him over a single issue, but I do hear from the others often enough to know they are listening. I don’t see evidence he has helped improve my area one iota. We need sidewalks in the most desperate way and shoulders on our side roads for starters. Riding a bicycle in our town is suicide. Walking is not much safer. McKinney road connecting Massey Tompkins and SH-146 is a good example of a dangerous road, which is shoulder and sidewalkless.

- Power lines should be installed or reran underground. Why oh why does the power company continue putting power lines on ugly poles? I lived in north Georgia 50 years ago and they put their power lines underground. Can you imagine N. Main with the ugly power lines, or Garth Road?

- Goose Creek should be dredged. Considering the barge/container expansion on Cedar Bayou is most likely inevitable, we need to develop Goose Creek pronto. Dredging should begin with added boat ramps and tie it into the Goose Creek Trail with expanded parking and pavilions.

- Bayland park needs trees planted. The tall pines are thinning out and soon there will be nothing there, but dirt. The marina island is barren and why that is, is a mystery. I’ve raised this concern to the city numerous times, but no change has taken place that I can see.

- The Eagles have landed. The observation area on Tri City Beach road where people stand and park to observe our bald eagles needs to be improved and maintained by the city before it turns into a giant headache and trash strewn area. It’s called being proactive folks and should be on the short list of our council.

- La Porte and Pasadena have new bike trails. Whatever those city council members are doing over there, we need to do over here. I’d like Mayor DonCarlos needs to get on the horn and see if we can secure some of that state and federal money.

- The TV series “The Closer” is canceled. Kyra Sedgwick has the worst Southern accent I’ve ever heard on a series. I couldn’t get past it.

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