Archive for the ‘News’ Category

California union moving into Texas hospital – RNs fight back

According to This Week in Houston, the California Nurses Association is making a move to unionize the Registered Nurses (R.N.s) at the Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center. Cypress Fairbanks is a 185 bed community hospital in Northwest Houston.

Registered Nurse, Machel Oswalt says, “We were blindsided by this because, unfortunately, the union works by gagging our management staff. This makes our managers unable to discuss anything about the union with us. They are unable to educate us in any way. So, several of us have done our homework and researched for hours to become educated about the union. We have discovered the union is making numerous verbal promises without written guarantees and nurses are falling for this. Many of the things they are promising us, we already have. We have made multiple attempts to meet in our hospital to educate staff about the union. These meetings were educational only, not anti-union. The union blocked these meetings. We feel that denying us the right to meet in our facility to educate staff about the union is a violation of our First Amendment Rights. They are taking away our voice and our freedom of speech.”

Peace Out!

On second thought, I’m resigning from MetroBlog. Doesn’t seem like many people want me here and I’d rather spend less time online anyway due to the pain I’m in.

It’s been fun!

You can always catch me at, & ArtForTruth.Info

Thanks for letting me be a part of this and for putting up with my rants.

Houston Press Using FOX News Tactics?

After reading the latest article in the Houston Press about the Elder Street Artist Lofts I was utterly disgusted. First of all I could not even figure out why the article was being written. I had heard it was going to be written about the process of getting into affordable living spaces for artists here in Houston. However, it turned out to be one big slam jam on the Elder St. Lofts spouting one negative comment after another.

I want to go on the record right now and say that just about every single piece of negative criticism written is completely false when it comes to my experience of getting into this space. The editor even hinted at getting my input numerous times as far back as one month before this article dropped. For reasons unknown I never received a call back even though I agreed more than once to help out. Instead, he decided to focus the story around one poor girl’s experience there and support the argument with rumors spouted by disgruntled people which are no longer there.

Condition of Texas Bridges

With such intense media coverage of the recent bridge collapse in Minneapolis, I thought this 2006 report on Texas Bridges released by the Texas Department of Transportation would be of interest to you all.

Points of interest:
– Texas leads in the largest number of bridges in the country with 50,183 bridges.
•4% of Texas bridges are categorized as ‘structurally deficient’ (2,125 bridges).
•16% are ‘functionally obselete‘ (7,802 bridges)
•77% are ‘sufficient bridges’ (38,425 bridges)

KHOU lists the following Houston bridges that are considered unstable but still usable:
•I-45 over Buffalo Bayou downtown
•The Eastex over the San Jacinto River
•The North Freeway bridge over the San Jacinto River

You can check out the rest of the state’s critical bridge list here.

Marvin Zindler 1921-2007

Houston cultural icon Marvin Zindler passed away today after a battle with pancreatic cancer. A local legend, a father, husband, journalist, and all around great guy… Mr. Zindler will be missed by the many he touched.

If you would like to leave a message for his family, KTRK has set up a forum.

11th Street Park (officially) saved!


Houston gets to keep a little bit (as in 21 acres) of green, thanks to state funding to buy W. 11th Street Park land from HISD. The park area had been declared ‘surplus’ by HISD in 2005 and was put up for auction to the tune of $10 million.

Residents and Houstonian nature enthusiasts banded together to save the park and, in conjunction with the City of Houston, raised nearly $5.8 million. But now… from Jeff Balke:

I finally spoke “face to face” with Lara Wendler, Sen. Whitmire’s executive director.
She emphatically assured me that the allocation of $3.75 million for the W. 11th Street Park was 1) intended to pay for the PURCHASE (not improvements) of the remaining property of the park and 2) not constrained by any “matching funds” rules. She said that despite language or misconceptions to the contrary out there in the ether that the house, senate, and governor knew the intent of the Senator’s allocation and that she was fully confident that this would happen and that a check would be cut on September 1. (I asked her if she thought there was any chance the governor would strike this/not approve it and she did not)

Woo hoo! Now we can all continue to wander through nature in the middle of Houston, while still being connected to the Internet (or hopefully pretty soon at least). Doesn’t get much nicer than that.

Airing a Houston company’s dirty laundry…


Uhmm… ewwww??? Technical Knockout, Inc., a Houston-based company, sent a customer a punching bag full of used underwear and bathing suits. (See full story here)

“(There were) bras, thongs and bathing suits. We could not believe there were clothes inside instead of sand,” he said. Heckel said the smell was “bad, real bad.”

Heckel said that contacting the store where he’d bought the bag didn’t go anywhere.

“I called to ask them if they could tell me if these were clean underwear, but I don’t think that he believed me,” Heckel said. “I said ‘I’m a cop, I’m telling you that’s what’s in there!’ He stated that he had never looked in a bag so he didn’t know what was in them.”

A TKO, Inc. representative has promised to send another ‘new, non-underwear-filled bag’ immediately to the family. Hee hee.

Houston’s road rage makes it to #11 nationwide


AutoVantage recently published its In the Driver’s Seat Road Rage Survey listing the country’s worst places to drive (and craziest fellow driver antics).

Okay, so I’m surprised. Houston is way down at #11 on the list of nastiest road rage-filled cities in the U.S. Considering what I see on a daily basis in our fair city, I can’t EVEN imagine what happens in Miami.

1. Miami
2. New York
3. Boston
4. Los Angeles
5. Washington, D.C.
6. Phoenix
7. Chicago
8. Sacramento, Calif.
9. Philadelphia
10. San Francisco
11. Houston

Your thoughts? Photo thanks to Mayotic via Flickr.


According to the Houston Biz Journal, The Weingarten group has responded in kind to the petitions to preserve the theater (25,288 Houstonians can’t be wrong). A little further down the road, I noticed while driving by that Whole Earth will be expanding, taking over where Cactus used to be. Anyone heard anything more about Cactus coming back to life?

Photo courtesy of Landmark Theaters

New source for local news


The web has given birth to another site that encourages citizen journalism. is a site that lets you type in the name of your neighborhood or zip code to pull up news that is relevant for you. The site seems reminiscent of another site that was mentioned here a while back ( I love archives ) called I like a bit more just because it doesn’t seem as cluttered. You can add your blog so that your stories can help power the site. I suppose the big news item that’s worth mentioning is the sun finally came out!!!!

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