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TexasTowelie

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: George West, Georgetown, Austin, Brenham and Irving, Texas
Current location: Irving
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 03:57 AM
Number of posts: 10,426

About Me

BS - Mathematics from Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX. Statistical Analyst. Played trumpet in college. Middle-aged white guy.

Journal Archives

Abbott donors raked in over $42 million from CPRIT

Last week, the Lone Star Project released research exposing Attorney General Greg Abbott’s failure to fulfill his responsibilities as a member of the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) oversight board. Abbott looked the other way as taxpayer dollars were given away to businesses whose grant requests received low review scores or were not reviewed at all.

Why did Abbott fail to attend a single CPRIT oversight board meeting? (Dallas Morning News 5/11/2013)

Here’s the likely reason.

Since 2001, Greg Abbott has received nearly half a million dollars in campaign contributions from a handful of individuals who are connected to CPRIT. Companies connected to the Abbott contributors have in turn received $42,800,861 in grants from CPRIT.

Read more: http://lonestarproject.net/abbott-donors-raked-over-42-million-cprit#ixzz3BQUBktUL

TCU gets $30 million gift for business school expansion

FORT WORTH — A $30 million gift to Texas Christian University is the first big step toward a $100 million expansion of the Neeley School of Business, TCU officials announced Tuesday.

The gift is from Spencer Hays of Nashville and his wife, Marlene Hays. He is an emeritus TCU trustee and a businessman who graduated from TCU in 1959.

“It’s a transformational gift for Texas Christian University,” said Chancellor Victor Boschini Jr. “It will allow us to dream even bigger dreams.”

The expansion will be called the Marlene and Spencer Hays Business Commons.

Read more: http://www.star-telegram.com/2014/08/26/6069661/tcu-gets-30-milllion-gift-for.html


An architectural rendering depicts a $100 million expansion at the Neeley School of Business, 2900 Lubbock Ave. at TCU. A $30 million gift announced Wednesday gets the fundraising started for the project.

Dewhurst: ‘Someone’s Going to Get Hurt’ in Border Surge

In October 2012, game wardens with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department gave chase to a red pickup truck near La Joya in the Rio Grande Valley, believing the truck was carrying a load of drugs beneath a tarp over the bed. The game wardens called DPS for backup, and soon a DPS helicopter joined the high-speed chase. As the truck sped along near the U.S.-Mexico border, DPS trooper Miguel Avila opened fire on the truck, killing two young Guatemalan men and injuring a third huddling underneath the tarp with six other undocumented immigrants. None of the men were armed and no drugs were found in the truck. The incident provoked international outrage and led DPS to revise its shoot-from-a-helicopter policy.

Now, Texas is “surging” National Guard soldiers and DPS troopers to the Texas-Mexico border in response to an influx of unaccompanied children and families fleeing violence and mayhem in Central America. The “surge” has raised concerns that the border region is being militarized, and many residents—some of whom are undocumented or have family members who are—say they feel less safe, not more.

The delicate situation begs for caution and restraint, especially from elected officials. But Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst has approached Texas’ border operations with all the subtlety of a coal-rolling F-350 diesel dually.

Dewhurst is a frequent guest on Waco Tea Party Radio, a two-hour local radio and web program run by two tea party activists. It was on that program that Dewhurst said last summer that he saw “bags of feces” at the Capitol during the abortion protests. And three weeks ago, he was on the show again to talk about Texas’ border security operations. Dewhurst made all sorts of blustering comments on the show, and added a new spin to the wildly inaccurate figure—first generated by DPS and later repeated by Gov. Perry—that undocumented immigrants have committed 3,000 homicides in Texas since 2007. (Dewhurst’s twist was to say that there were 3,500 “capital murders.”) But, there were several comments that struck me as particularly incendiary. Asked by co-host and Waco Tea Party President Toby Marie Walker about what the Texas Rangers are doing on the border, Dewhurst said:

“I don’t want to see any loss of life, but if anyone is listening from south of the border I’d recommend them that if they are approached by the DPS put your hands in the air and don’t fight, otherwise it’s not going to be pretty.”


Read more: http://www.texasobserver.org/dewhurst-someones-going-get-hurt-border-surge/

Davis calls for expanded technical job training

Saying she wants to expand Texas high schoolers’ access to technical job training programs, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis has announced a plan to create a Career-Technical Coordinating Board.

The plan is the latest in a string of education reform proposals from Davis. It also includes recommendations on college affordability and improving graduation rates.

Davis promoted the proposal Tuesday at an event in San Antonio, saying she hoped to build cooperation among “local industries, community and technical colleges” in helping prepare Texas students for the the technical jobs of the future, according to the proposal.

“At the very time when we need an educated workforce to lead the economy of the future, we need to put quality education within reach for Texas families,” Davis said.

Read more: http://www.news-journal.com/news/state/davis-calls-for-expanded-technical-job-training/article_7b9aeb96-e1f7-5bcb-bbda-0d1bcc3ce9ba.html

Round Rock Teen Accused of Selling Pot Brownies Won't Get Life Sentence

A 19-year-old in Round Rock is no longer facing the possibility of life in prison for allegedly making marijuana brownies and selling them for $25 each. The case involving Jacob Lavoro attracted national attention. An online petition against the punishment has more than a quarter million signatures.

Williamson County assistant District Attorney Mark Brunner says they decided not to pursue a charge based on the total weight of the brownies to avoid jury "distraction" during a possible trial.

"We just thought it would be clearer and simpler to just go with the hash oil that was found there in the kitchen and had not yet been added to anything else," Brunner says. He says they didn't want to have the jury wondering, "Exactly how much hash oil was in these brownies compared to all the other ingredients that may have been in there?"

The first-degree felony charge that could have yielded a life sentence for Lavoro was based on the total weight of the brownies, including legal ingredients such as flour, water and sugar.

Read more: http://kut.org/post/round-rock-teen-accused-selling-pot-brownies-wont-get-life-sentence

Wendy Davis' Second TV Ad Focuses on Greg Abbott's Lack of Oversight of Cancer Research Center

Wendy Davis has launched her second tv ad in the 2014 race for governor of Texas. In the ad, Manuel Alvarado, a cancer survivor from Fort Worth, narrates his struggles of surviving and overcoming the deadly disease. He quickly pivots to Greg Abbott who was in charge of overseeing the state cancer research fund. Readers will recall the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) has been under investigation for favoring services from those who were political donors to Governor Rick Perry. Many of those donors who had allegedly not been completely screened are now major donors to Greg Abbott.

The ad accuses Greg Abbott's donors of using their favorable political standing with the Attorney General to profit with funds which were meant to help find a cure for cancer. The ad further promotes the message that Greg Abbott has used his elected position to act as another powerful insider, only working to serve those who can afford access to him.

The ad is currently playing in multiple television markets across Texas.

http://www.burntorangereport.com/diary/15614/wendy-davis-second-tv-ad-focuses-on-greg-abbotts-lack-of-oversight-of-cancer-research-center

Texas Pastor Calls For Removal of "Demonic" Twilight Books From Library

There's at least one person who's not torn between Team Jacob and Team Edward.

A Cleveland, Texas pastor has called for the removal of the popular Twilight series from the local library, claiming that the "sexual element" and "creatures that aren't human" are dangerous for young readers.

Missick also thinks teens should have parental approval to check out such books. Currently, library policy requires parental consent for minors to get a library card.

As reported by ABC 13:

Pastor Phillip Missick of King of Saints Tabernacle, a Messianic church, filed a complaint with Austin Memorial Library, Cleveland's public library, asking that many fiction books on vampires, demons and the supernatural be purged. He says he was stunned to find the young adult section full of books like "Blood Promise," "Twilight," and the "Vampire Knight" series.

"This is dark. There's a sexual element. You have creatures that aren't human. I think it's dangerous for our kids," said Missick.

Cleveland City Manager Kelly McDonald declined an interview but we have Library Director, Mary Cohn's response to Missick's complaint, as well as to a petition he had signed by a handful of local pastors. She noted only five percent of all the 1,500 titles in the teen section deal with occult, vampires and the supernatural, and then spoke to the mission of a public library saying materials should not be chosen or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.


Read more: http://www.burntorangereport.com/diary/15617/texas-pastor-calls-for-removal-of-demonic-twilight-books-from-library

Rep. Elliott Naishtat Hospitalized After Bike Accident But In Good Spirits

State Rep. Elliott Naishtat was hospitalized following a bicycling accident in Minnesota, but fear not -- the progressive champion is on the mend and in good spirits.

During the annual bike ride at the National Conference of State Legislators held this year in Minnesota, Naishtat hit a guard rail hard and punctured his calf which resulted in severe swelling and internal bleeding.

Thankfully Naishtat is expected to make a full recovery and be back here in Austin shortly.

http://www.burntorangereport.com/diary/15615/rep-elliott-naishtat-hospitalized-after-bike-accident-but-in-good-spirits-sign-his-card

Elliott was my state representative when I lived in Austin during the 1990s. I was able to meet and discuss various issues regarding state employees during that time. He is a true gentlemen and I hope that he recovers quickly. A "Get Well Soon" email card is available at the link.

Perry: Campaign, not taxpayers, will pay legal bills

MIDLAND — Indicted Texas Gov. Rick Perry says he believes taxpayers should have picked up his legal tab but opted to use campaign funds "to keep from having folks grouse about it."

The possible 2016 Republican presidential candidate told reporters Tuesday in Midland that he had considered it appropriate for state funds to pay his legal fees because a criminal investigation dealt with his official duties as governor.

Perry has pleaded not guilty to two felony charges of abuse of power. At least $80,000 in taxpayer dollars have been spent on his defense so far.

Following questions over who would pay for a new team of high-powered attorneys, Perry announced last week that campaign funds would start footing the bill.

Read more: http://www.dallasnews.com/news/politics/state-politics/20140826-perry-campaign-not-taxpayers-will-pay-legal-bills.ece

Texas education chief under fire for low passing standards on STAAR

State Education Commissioner Michael Williams came under fire from members of the Senate Education Committee Tuesday over his decision to retain low passing standards on state achievement tests for the fourth year in a row.

Some committee members suggested that social promotion of many students would result from the commissioner’s decision, while others said Williams retreated from an earlier plan to gradually raise passing standards on the STAAR as has been done in previous testing programs.

Williams insisted that Texas students are not ready to be graded by higher standards because the instruction they are receiving in core subjects is not up to the rigorous level of questioning on the STAAR.

“Our instruction has not yet risen to the level it needs to be,” he told committee members. “We haven’t jumped high enough in the classroom.”

Read more: http://trailblazersblog.dallasnews.com/2014/08/education-chief-under-fire-for-low-passing-standards-on-staar.html/
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