What with the closing of the S-T comments and some new interest here, I thought I'd throw out some topics of local interest, something to get conversations started.
Of course everyone is concerned with gas prices. I share your pain, it hurts me every time I mow the lawn. Otherwise, my 32 year old pickup runs on propane, an engine-friendly, domestic fuel which has sky-rocketed to $2.53/ gallon. If that sounds like a gloat, well yeah, it is. Rate I'm going, I will send perhaps $8 to our buddy Hugo in Venezuela this year.
Last time I was able to attend a school board meeting, I advised some polling and lots of public push. We seemed in agreement that not much attention would go that way until after the May election, some notice of the FLDS headline-eater. OK, SAISD, the election is gone, FLDS is winding down for better or worse, where are you? Looked at the website today, I could find the 300+ page facilities plan from 2007, if the current bond is there, it is artfully hidden. I thought to call my more computer-savvy co-author, but what the heck; if one needs tech support to find it, SAISD has not presented it properly.
I advised them they were swimming upstream by going for a Nov. ballot when all eyes are going to be Presidential. We really do need a bond, probably a larger bond than they dared. If they don't clean up the proposal and drum up support, we could see a second bond go the way of the last. Dr. May, Superintendent Bonds, Board members; the ball is in your court, make your case.
The news on the windmill factory is encouraging. Texas, for all it is supposed to be the oil patch, is way ahead of the rest of America on wind power. At this time, wind is the closest to self-sustaining of the alternative energy sources, though there are some promising developments on solar. God knows, if we have a solar breakthrough, West Texas will be at the top of that list. Going west from here, we have as our biggest stock in trade, miles and miles of miles and miles. Congress left the two cent per KWH subsidy for windmills out of our last energy bill, but either winner in Nov. is almost certain to restore it. Kudos here to Ralph Hoelscher, our Commissioner has been working to make wind power a local reality for a while now. If this comes about, it would be a huge boost for northeast Angelo, a long neglected part of town.
Just to try for a dig for comments, one of my last jobs in NC was working the Shearon Harris nuclear (note: nook-kli-ar, not nucular as every President since Eisenhower has pronounced it, our peanut-farming nookiar engineer from Plains included) power plant, I believe the last commercial plant built in America. I hold that anyone wanting to reduce "greenhouse emissions" and simultaneously refusing to consider nuclear power is at best blind, at worst conciously wants us to freeze in the dark in penance for past sins of consumption
Next week will see three public meetings, evening hours, to talk about the new federal rules on stormwater abatement. This is the poster-child for unfunded mandates. The Feds have had this in the hopper since at least 1980, now they and state TEQC drop the hammer on us at a time we as a city are dealing with a plateful of costly issues. No way around it, we do not have the option of ignoring it and hoping it will go away. If you want to be heard on this, show up and rise on your hind legs.
Baseball, the American sport we are told (tell that to the NFL, but that's another column). Congratulations to the Grape Creek Eagles. Hard loss to a great team, but you did one fine job getting there. As to the SA Colts, good start. Hope your hitters continue to produce, some big scores out there. This brings back fond memories. If you remember the movie "Bull Durham", I was living in NC and attending games in the ballpark the movie used, normally the home field of the Durham Bulls. Literally, the only changes the producers made was to repaint the outfield ads to make them contemporaneous with the movie. The extras in the stands were proud Bulls fans happy to do it. On a good night, might hold 4,000 fans. Get there early, one could sit right above the dugout, players at this stage are almost all friendly, autograph requests are taken as a compliment, not a per/pay item. A body could get a luke-warm 16 oz. draft beer for a buck and usually see a pretty good game.
One final item I have to throw in: personal thanks to Dr. Brad Baker at La Esperanza. I presented to him with what I thought might be a melanoma this week. He told me he could do it, but strongly encouraged me to see a dermatologist. I plead finances, I will have to pay for what I get. Talk about put one's money where one's mouth is, Dr. Baker offered to no-bill me for his visit if I would spend that money for a specialist. I go in Monday to have this carved off my face, it is small, early, great prospects, but Dr. Baker, my heartfelt thanks. If I ever win the lottery, you and La Esperanza will get a generous donation.
San Angelo is a great town to live in. Anytime one is tempted to doubt it, move away for a while. If I sometimes sound as if I am always kvetching about something, well, that's kind of my job, but I wouldn't bother if I didn't care and didn't think things were fixable.
Enjoy the "cold front", pray for rain today, otherwise I will be forced to water the pecan trees.