Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Boil Water Advisory Lifted

Day thirteen in Third World Corpus and we are finally flushing the pipes because, just this afternoon, the TCEQ gave the City permission to lift the boil water advisory as disinfectant levels have stabilized in our water supply.

Since no bacteria was ever found, several Council members and City officials have been saying that this was all the TCEQ's fault and we should never have been under a boil and only the Mayor should be able to call one, etc.

Dangerous nonsense.

Just because there was not bacteria does not mean there could not have been in the absence of enough chlorine to keep it out.  While the water was doubtless safe for the average person, not everyone living in my house has an average immune system and there are numerous people across the city who are immunocompromised or just, you know, infants.  It is not okay to have people drinking water from a system so completely vulnerable.

Real estate agents and title company owners and the city management that has supervised the continued degradation of our infrastructure are clearly not public health experts and it is clearly not safe for our water supply to rest solely in their profiteering hands. Council and City Management must take responsibility.  

It is not the TCEQ we will be voting out if these issues of neglect continue -  it is them.

Monday, May 23, 2016

SDG Mondays: Cities

It's SDG Monday! Today we focus on the eleventh of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): "Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable."

 This goal has ten associated targets:
Honestly, my own supposedly developed city seems to need a lot more of some of this as we are on Day Eleven of no drinkable water.

What do you think of this goal and its associated targets?  What can you do to help meet this goal and its targets?

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Day Ten in Third World Corpus

We need clean water.

Erin Brockovich Sending Help for Corpus Christi

Celebrated environmentalist Erin Brockovich spoke with one of the local news stations in Corpus on Friday about our water woes in Corpus.  She said the problem is the ammonia being used in our water systems which is apparently a cheap way to comply with water regulations which ultimately results in problems like the ones we are having. The water treatment expert she works with is coming to Corpus to meet with City Council tomorrow.

I hope he can help us.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Day Nine

Still no clean water. The city does, however, have enough money to put signs up about town discriminating against people who are homeless by telling people not to give them money.  "Keep The Change" - I guess they think they are cute and catchy and all. I can think of better ways to spend our tax dollars.  Like safe drinking water.  And by the way, the Lone Star Girl is mad now.  She just noticed the signs.  Watch out, City Hall.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Ark Shopping

I picked the youngster up early from school just now in case a flood intervenes between now and the time aftercare lets out, as seems likely. The place where her school is does tend to flood.

Day Seven

Corpus Christi needs clean water.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Day Six of Not Such First World Conditions

It is Day Six of the Boil Water Advisory in Corpus Christi.  We have been drinking and brushing our teeth and preparing food with bottled water and we have been using disposable dishes.  My kid still feels sick today, though.  She is going to stay home from school. Thank you, Corpus Christi.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

A Boiling Buh-Bye

Corpus Christi City Manager Ron Olson has resigned amidst the dissatisfaction of Corpus Christi residents who are experiencing our third boil water advisory of the year, making us the only Texas city to have more than one such advisory since 2005.

Still no safe water, though.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Still No Safe Water In The Sparkling City By The Sea

Day Four.

Grocery shopping is complicated when you don't have a safe drinking water supply.  One runs out of clean dishes.  One has a hard time sanitizing surfaces.  One feels nauseous from all the hand sanitizer.  One would not live in a major metropolitan area and have a career that prevents one from making vats of bleach water and dunking dishes in it all day if this was the lifestyle one desired.

I am not voting for these people again.  All they care about is expanding the ritzy south side for the realtors and the title companies, it seems.  They say that continuing southern expansion by the nouveau riche the will pay for city services in the interior, but it clearly does not.  

And they don't have clean water, either.  

So what exactly is the point?

You can't drink real estate, people.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

400 Parts Per Million

Scientists are saying  that the world’s carbon dioxide concentration may soon never be able get below 400 parts per million (ppm) again, according to data collected at two important measuring stations.

We need to act.  This is not the time to  allow Trump to become President to make some burn-it-all-down point, people.  Whatever we can get, we have to get, in terms of reining in climate change.  We can't wait.


Dan Patrick wants Fort Worth School Superintendent Kent Scribner to resign because he clarified the FWISD policy that allows students to use the bathroom that corresponds to the gender with which they identify and also makes provisions for students who want extra privacy to use a single stall restroom.

Scribner wants to bring physical and emotional safety to the transgender students who are too often victims of bullying (apparently by people like Lieutenant Governors).  Dan Patrick wants to spread more hate and lies about LGBTQ kids.

Down with Dan.  Stand with Scribner.

Monday, May 09, 2016


It's the dreaded STAAR week.  Pencils at the ready?  Breakfast?

My kid has just two this year, today and tomorrow. 

Hugs to all the teachers and students having to put up with this baloney.

SDG Mondays: Reduce Inequality

Welcome back to SDG Mondays!  Today we focus on the 10th of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

 "Reduce inequality within and among countries."

This goal has 10 associated targets:

What do you think about this goal and its targets?  What can you do to help implement it?

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Forget The Flowers

 Below is an oldie but goodie Mother's Day column I wrote long ago for We The People News.

Forget The Flowers

      I like to receive flowers as much as the next person, especially pretty tulips, not that anyone cares.  Flowers aren’t what Mother’s Day is about, though.  Ditto candy, gifts or even breakfast in bed, although I must say that breakfast in bed is a very nice touch … very nice. 

      However pleasant the tokens of recognition are, however, Mother’s Day is about more than appreciation.  Mother’s Day is about action – or it should be. 

      Julia Ward Howe is often credited for the creation of Mother’s Day, as she issued a stirring call to mothers to demand peace in 1870 and tried unsuccessfully to get formal recognition of a Mother’s Day for Peace.  A woman named Ann Jarvis who organized women to work for better sanitation during the Civil War inspired Howe.   Jarvis’ daughter in West Virginia celebrated the first official Mother’s Day there in 1907 or 1908.  Woodrow Wilson declared it a national holiday in 1914 … and it’s been in decline ever since, as far as I can tell. 

      Here in the U.S., we mothers rarely use Mother’s Day as the rallying cry it was intended.  We don’t, for example, use the day to draw together into the most powerful force of influence our nation has ever seen and demand that you idiotic little boys behave.  No.  We eat the burned toast and shy from organizing to shape the next generation’s policies.  We accept the foibles of our sons, letting them grow into bullies and pirates, cannon fodder and killers.  We suck.

      We can do better.  We can raise better.  We can demand better. 

      The first step in transforming the world via the proverbial cradle is to think about what we really want the world to be like.  What are our values?  Are we living them?  What would a better world for our children and grandchildren look like?  Are we raising our kids to help us make that vision a reality?  These are the things we must ponder.  I am pondering them this Mother’s Day. 

      For now, let me tell you this:  I don’t want flowers for Mother’s Day.  I want:

  • world peace
  • universal health care
  • end to world hunger and homelessness
  • flexible working arrangements for families
  • quality, affordable child care and after-school care at all levels
  • equalization of Social Security credits for spouses
  • addition of unpaid household labor to the Gross Domestic Product
  • child allowances for all families so that children are adequately supported
  • better education
  • work-related social insurance programs for all workers, whether they work in the workforce or as unpaid caregivers …

I could go on. 

      What do you want for Mother’s Day?

Feliz Dia de Las Madres!

Happy Mother's Day, Mamas!  I hope you had a beautiful day! 

My day has been good.  I blackmailed Lone Star Pa and the Lone Star Baby into taking me to Luby's and the Botanical Gardens and got no work done at all.  Also, let it be known that they all owe me a game of Book Lover's Trivial Pursuit when the Lone Star Girl comes home for a bit. 

That said, these nice things are not really what Mother's Day is about.  Mother's Day is about using our moral authority as Life-Givers and Milk-Nurturers to bring Peace to this world.  We have a long way to go, mamas.  A long way, but we must struggle on for our children and all the children in the world.

I would like to honor my mother, Carol, for instilling the songs of Justice and Compassion in my heart.  I remember so many ways in which my mother showed me that we must help others and struggle for what is right.  My first memory of this is from when I was about three years old.  My mom and I lived in a pretty sketchy apartment and she worked hard to keep a roof over our heads, very hard, and was fortunate that my grandma was available to help with childcare while she worked.  I never went without, although I know things were very tight.  When we had leftovers, though, my mom did not put them in the fridge for us.  She wrapped them up and took them to an elderly woman in our apartment complex who had no one to care for her.  The lady's name was Leona; I will always remember.

My mother organized the nurses who worked with her in the county hospital to get the hospital to start a daycare center that was open 24-hours so that childcare was available for the nurses working all shifts.

My mother had us deliver meals on wheels with her on the holidays.

My mother looked around one day, after she had married my stepdad and become more economically privileged and had more children and decided it was not enough to keep all that for us.  She started taking in foster children when I was a teen.  Later, when she was not officially doing it anymore, she just took people in.  Just recently,  she took in another foster child for awhile. 

We all want our children to be kind and to help people, I think, but sometimes our actions show that we value other things more (I often value my kids' safety above all else).  Children are going to learn what to value from what we value.  I hope to teach mine to care for others the way my mom taught me.  I hope we can all teach this to the next generation.

Happy Mother's Day!

I'm Back.

It feels like I keep having to say that in recent years.  Things have been very busy.  Little walk-up apartment upstairs of Whelm is becoming all too familiar.  I'm not really downstairs yet, but I am ready to start heading in that direction. Summer calls me.