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nlj

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  • nlj 

    It'd be great if there were a trail along the drainage ditch that connected the mall area and Target with Benchmark and Country Club.

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  • nlj 

    “…is there ANYONE who can honestly say that they have been influenced to make a purchase because of a billboard?”

    I made a trip to Rufugio to taste some of Braman’s wine after seeing their little billboard on John Stockbaur – and I bought a couple of bottles. Does that count?

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  • nlj 

    “This is why they should allow certified CHL carrier to carry in banks. A robber would think twice if he thought that a possible carrier was in the building standing next to him or in the same room.”

    I doubt that the average robber would give it much thought at all. Besides, who would have shot him? Did anybody besides the teller know he had a gun? Even if the teller were allowed to carry a concealed weapon to work, somehow I doubt that her supervisors would require, or even remotely desire him or her to whip it out and shoot an armed robber while the crook is inside their lobby full of paying customers–I don’t think tellers get training on that and I’d argue that neither do many CHL holders. I’d object to it even more if I were in line behind the robber – I don’t want to accidently get shot by some hotshot CHL yahoo who thinks it’s a good idea to shoot up crowded bank lobbies just because he can

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  • nlj 

    Initially, I’d probably give enough away to friends and charity to absolve any irrational guilty feelings that I’d inevitably get for getting so much money without actually earning it – I’d most likely do that right alongside purchasing insanely extravagant toys that I have absolutely no use for. Naturally, I’d delude myself into thinking that these toys were sound investments and I’d consider anyone giving advice to the contrary as being overly jealous – I’d especially avoid people like Dave Sather.

    It’s an inconceivable amount of money, so I’d probably be okay for a decade or two. At some point, I’d probably have spent all my money on non-income producing goodies and I wouldn’t have enough left to maintain them – so I’d spend the next few years selling stuff off for a fraction of what I paid for it. Also, I’d be so fat, lazy, and old by that point that actually going back to work would be next to impossible. I’m thinking that either I’d commit suicide or turn to back to the religion that I thought I didn’t need when I had so much money – hopefully religion. If so, I suppose that the whole debacle would have been worth it! I think I’d continue to avoid Sather and the like just on the off chance that they might tell me “I told you so.” Still, I’d like to give it a try!

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  • nlj 

    And, it's a lousy one at that, but it's the only one - so, it's hard to argue with it being the best in town. I suppose I'd get voted as the best "me" in town despite how rotten I am.

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  • nlj 

    “Really? Gambling and bribery is what it's come to?”

    It’s a reward system – some reward systems work and some don’t, but it does show some initiative, doesn’t it? I suppose they have so many students that they really can’t give a reward to each and every student who attends regularly; thus the random rewards. It’s not gambling – at least not legally so. And I can’t see how it’s unethical either. Random door prizes seem to be effective in keeping people from leaving meetings before inept speakers finish talking, so I can see how they might work for students too.

    “How about mandatory community service (scrubbing walls, picking up trash, digging ditches) and then add one day of schooling (before they can graduate) for every day they have to be put to "work." “

    I’m not sure how that would improve school attendance, but it sounds like a good plan for the juvenile detention center.

    “…most of them never will change. Threaten them all you want, it won't change a thing. These kids are vastly different in their outlook on life than any of us. For all intents and purposes, they have checked out and tuned to a different channel.”

    Possibly, but isn’t that a tad defeatist – shouldn’t we at least entertain solutions? If you’re right and it’s really too late for the older children, then what can be done with the younger ones to intercede before they become hopeless? If we can’t change disadvantaged children’s home lives, their economic situations, or their neighborhood environments and if the ineffective VISD bureaucracy won’t or can’t budge, then what can be done at the community level, by volunteers, to improve the situation? There must be something that can be done with the resources that are already in place.

    “I was once told by a councelor at Crain, "You don't need to waste your time worrying about college, you aren't going to be able to get in".”

    Sadly, I find that really amusing (Ferris Bueller amusing). Did you ever go to college? That statement alone would have probably prompted better performance in me – just so I could prove him wrong.

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  • nlj 

    "1. What are your ideas on how we can work together to create a strong education community? 2.What are your ideas for improving student attendance?"

    I'd like to see some really high octane afterschool programs operated by local organizations! Convince organizations, such as the Rotary Club, Junior League, Shriners, Masons, VFW, the Zoo and any others that you could find to set up, fund, and most importantly, to get personally involved with the students in their programs.

    Then get dedicated teachers to engage in relentless recruitment, especially for kids from disadvantaged backgrounds and expose them to local businesses and organizations – people doing what they love to do.

    Teach the kids how to fish, show them how a locomotive engine works, let them see the inside of a judge’s chamber, or how excavators are manufactured. Give kids the ability to spend their afternoons seeing the various ways that people actually apply their education in ways that improve their circumstances.

    I’d bet that fewer kids would want to miss school if they thought they were going to miss the fun afterschool programs that they’ve grown to love; and it would encourage the community to take more of an ownership role in the education and attitude shaping of our students instead of completely outsourcing it to a huge bureaucracy that, by its very design, has to be ineffectual and personally defeating.

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  • nlj 

    “…he was stopped for driving Mexican!”

    Possibly, but I’m as non-Mexican as I can get (not that being Mexican is a bad thing!) and I’ve been pulled over for seemingly dubious violations and had my vehicle painstakingly searched. I understand that it wasn’t personal – apparently, what I was driving, the time I was driving, or some other condition that’s frequently associated with drug activity was erroneously linked to me or my vehicle. That is, unbeknownst to me, I was probably inadvertently exhibiting some type of common indicator of criminal activity.

    It could have been the make of the vehicle, a bumper sticker, or something else entirely, but the trooper’s stated reason was that I was weaving. I doubt that I was actually weaving and I wasn’t cited for anything, but he did ask me for permission to search my car and, before I could answer affirmatively, he let me know that if I refused to consent to the search, then I’d have to wait for a K-9 unit to arrive and that might take a while. So, I had a choice of being detained for an undeterminable amount of time, or letting him quickly search my vehicle and be on my way. I chose the latter – he found nothing because I had nothing, I drove away, and all was good with the world, which kind of affirms SugarMagnolia’s statement that: “OBEY THE LAW AND YOU WON'T GET IN TROUBLE!”

    Still, I believe that the trooper was manufacturing a probable cause (weaving) for his traffic stop, and then pseudo-extorting the search with a non-violent threat of an inconvenient detainment. However, he would probably just argue that he was using sound personal judgment in exercising the enormous amount of discretion that came with his job and it’s his opinion that carries the most weight, which seems apparent since those with big stashes of money and drugs are usually successfully prosecuted with no noteworthy probable cause issues.

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  • nlj 

    “Thanks again for prompting me to clear my technical hurdle.”

    You’re welcome Chris – I’m glad my innate paranoia was put to good use! Of course, now some will suggest that you’ve performed your journalistic duties in a sexist, or in at least a chauvinistic way, since her picture is much smaller than her husbands and is placed second, under his photo! Tophat may be right – you might never win this because there will always be a growing abundance of suspicious nuts that will invariably fail to recognize that everything in the paper is not an evil conspiracy.

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  • nlj 

    “If you think we're not reporting on Rangel fairly in any way, we hope you will let us know.”

    Okay, it’s really nice of you to ask! From the blog, it looks like the Advocate supports Rangel and not Alvarez - that’s the way it looks to me since the story was wrote in a way that put a HUGE photo of her in it with no photo of Alvarez. However, there may be nothing unfair about the Advocate supporting one candidate over another. I suppose that if Alvarez wanted equal coverage with a giant photo of himself appearing in a reporter’s blog, he could have married a local reporter too, but he didn’t and that’s just too bad for him.

    There’s also the number of times Rangel’s name was mentioned – I calculated 5 times if you count the caption next to the ginormous candidate supplied photo, where her opponent was only mentioned once. Of course, that piece of information may be more indicative of the fact that I really should find something else to do with my time and not evidence of a media conspiracy. Still, I can’t help but to suspect that this blog entry was more of a call for Rangel supporters to remember to show up and vote on Election Day and warn them of the fact that she’s being challenged. Am I being overly paranoid? Sure I am, but being paranoid isn’t the same as being wrong even though it may eat away at my stunted ability to trust the media.

    Then again, I’m not the only one with credibility issues – I’ll bet that most people have trust issues with what they see reported in the media. Readers suffer from preconceived ideas about the media before they even think to open their papers. All those years spent chasing ratings and readership came with an inadvertent cost – I think that cost has been mainly credibility. However, what you’re doing with this blog, with sharing your editorial meetings online, and with showing up at area restaurants to interact with the community are probably steps in the right direction if the goal of those things is to build bridges, enhance your relationship with the community, and increase your credibility with readers.

    There, aren’t you sorry you asked!

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