The situation with SYSCO is laughable. In Texas this would not even be an issue - jobs and business. You go to cities like Houston, Austin, San Antonio and Dallas and there is almost continual growth and not the stagnation. A company with an excellent reputation and a potential influx of tax dollars and payroll would be welcome. In Lakeville it appears to me that certain elements would be elated to have a passel of $10 jobs and the latest mall Du Jour. I did a Google Maps peek at the Norton facility of SYSCO and there are houses around the complex and Norton is trying everything to keep them in town. Attleboro is also interested and is hoping the deal falls through in Lakeville so they can get a shot. Did anyone ever contact those folks in Norton to get some feedback?
The Strand is the historic district of Galveston. This area was devastated by Hurricane Ike and it has almost totally recovered as businesses have been refurbished but there is one small problem - crime. An article from outside Texas appeared showing that the Strand - about twenty square blocks - is a festering pit of criminal activity. The key piece was the incredible high number of rapes and sexual assaults until it was pointed out that the rape crisis center for the Island and a good portion of off Island is located in The Strand. The statistics simply record where it is reported and not where it happened. I guess they have a confirmed liar somewhere doing some Clark type research. That killed that “report.”
I like Victorian homes and Galveston has about the most I’ve seen in one city - something for a place with 56,000 inhabitants. Many did suffer some damage in the storm but have been repaired. We did notice a few exceptions and some where being dismantled for “parts.” The homes have unique color schemes that have that touch of the Mediterranean with some bold greens, pinks and reds. Many have small gardens that are open to tours a few times a year for charity events as are a few of the homes. You can actually walk around one thirty block are and see them. In some instances questionable housing has taken root over the years so you can see that squeezed in among stately Victorians.
The Houston Ship Channel entrance is through Galveston and the first thing we noticed at night was the great number of ships at anchor as their lights stretched out into the evening. Turns out there was an accident the day before that closed down the channel and it would take a few days to clear the mess so everyone has to queue up to get in and out of Houston. Was forty ships waiting to get in and twenty-four waiting to leave. Think of a seagoing version of air traffic control only some of those ships are a 1,000+ feet long.
April 6th of 1830 represented a day that tossed down the gauntlet on illegal immigration to Texas only it was the Republic of Mexico that was attempting to curtail immigration from the United States from coming into Texas. What was first encouraged was now to be discouraged since the new immigrants refused to adopt the laws, customs, religion and just about anything else that the Mexicans were promoting. Despite this ban land grants were still being sold in the U.S. by impresarios who were Angloes and immigration still continued. The law was finally rescinded but it was too late. Texas independence was on the way. When revolution did come it came with significant support from the native Mexican population who considered themselves Texans first.
Austin bills itself as the Live Music Capital of The World. There is an area between 2nd and 6th streets that is littered with small clubs and live music in addition to the almost steady stream of concerts. The area was not as crime infested or run down as similar areas in Memphis and Nashville but it was not for us. Littered with the under 30 crowd on the prowl.
Austin has a pension problem. Public pensions that is. It’s killing them. Sound familiar? A city worker - non safety and teacher - can retire at age 55 with 20 years service and get a full pension. That is 90% in Austin. You retire at 50K you collect 45K for life. The proposal is to increase service time to 23 years and age a few years.
On the plane from Dallas to Boston my seat companion was going to Boston for a health care conference. He worked for the Franciscans that operate a non profit system in Texas. The Obama plan is causing problems already as they have seen some facilities and doctors refusing to take any new Medicare patients since the government has reduced reimbursement figures. He was excited about the portability of the new legislation and not denying for pre-existing conditions but now is starting to measure the plus and minus of the situation and is getting more and more in the minus column.
Austin is the Texas version of Berkley or Cambridge but with more moderation. Many of the Texan moonbats are mystified at how Massachusetts can continue to send Barney Frank to Congress. They wonder why we can’t see what is under our noses? And now with the latest being Barney’s jet excursion for one of his bailout buddies I have to agree.