Open Letter on Bike Path Diversion

Mayor Sylvester Turner
sylvester.turner@houstontx.gov
@SylvesterTurner

Council Member Ellen Cohen
districtc@houstontx.gov
@EllenCohen1

Dear Mayor Turner and Council Member Cohen,

When I read the Chronicle article attached below, I understood the need for a detour around the often used route, and appreciated the thought put into it. It seemed like a good solution.

The article states “The detours will not be continuous, but periodic throughout the construction project when construction nearby could create unsafe conditions along the original bike trails” as well as “the detour and reroute are expected to begin between April and May and will last through the third quarter of 2017.”

However there seems to be either,

  1. a miscommunication,
  2. a failure to execute, or
  3. deception by someone

going on in this situation.

There are already signs up along the path redirecting users to use the detours. They have been up for over 10 days. There is also signage that appears to indicate that cyclists should use the sidewalk on the west side of Houston Avenue as the detour.

This is neither safe, nor acceptable.

I would like to know if the original decision has been changed or if there is a timing and communication failure occurring. Please remedy the situation.

Your Constituent,
Bill Shirley

Heights Area Bike Trails to be Rerouted to Houston Avenue“, Tara White, Houston Chronicle,  Wed Mar 9 2016

CC:
Council Member Karla Cisneros (as the detour is in your district)
districth@houstontx.gov
@Karla4Houston

Deidrea George, TxDOT Houston Public Information Office (quoted in the article)
Email via web-form
@TxDOTHoustonPIO

Tara White, freelance writer for Chronicle (author of the article)
viewpoints@chron.com
@houstonchron

Continue reading Open Letter on Bike Path Diversion

Politically Correct Incorrectness

Recent Reuters coverage by Emily Flitter of the 2016 campaign was asking Donald Trump supporters why they liked and supported Trump. Many of the answers were “he’s not Politically Correct”, that he “says what he thinks, I like that, he’s not political [sic] correct”, “he’s not afraid to say what he thinks”, and “he’s speaking for a lot of people … who have been hindered to say anything because of how political [sic] correct we’ve become as a nation … Trump’s made people feel like they can ‘voice out'”.

trump quoteFrom there the comments went on to The Wall™– “there needs to be something done about our border, he got right to the point”, “we need to just not let any more people in. Their values are different than ours. Are we allowed over there without a visa?”, and “he says what we’re all thinking”.


The phrase “he’s not politically correct” seems to be the politically correct term for “openly racist” to me. Certainly among parts of his base. They feel they can “voice out” their racist opinions. (‘Racist’, ‘Dangerous’, and ‘Un-American’ -U.S.News.)

I’m sorry if they didn’t feel they can always voice an opinion. I’m also sorry they feel it’s acceptable to voice out their racist views in public.

I think even more of his supporters aren’t necessarily racist, but ignorant of the overall economic necessity of the flow of people, for everyone but, in this case, specifically for the U.S. We do need to fix immigration policy. But it needs to be changed so that we can track and manage those in our country supporting the lower tier of our economy.

Yes, there’s something we need to fix. No, the solution is not a wall.

Aside: travel, with or without a visa, is not particularly the issue here. In response to the supporter asking “are we allowed over there without a visa?” …

Yes. Yes, we are allowed to travel “over there” (by which I suspect you mean “south of the border”) without a visa. American citizens can enter 166 countries visa free. They include most of Central and South America, most of Europe, Southeast Asia, and large parts of Africa.

Take them up on it. Please travel. Perhaps your xenophobia will be tempered after you do.

Who ever thought … not, Scalia

The United States Supreme Court today affirmed the right of marriage for all people in a 5-4 judgement in Obergefell v. Hodges.

Justice Antonin Scalia dissented. Among other things he wrote:

Who ever thought that intimacy and spirituality … were freedoms?

In his heavy-handed need to disparage his associates, he seems to have forgotten some of our basic roots. If not a legal basis, a sounding on where the framers (Thomas Jefferson, et al) stood:

heading of Declaration of Independence… all men are created equal, … with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are … the pursuit of Happiness.

If intimacy and spirituality are not among some of the basic pursuits of happiness of anyone, then nothing is.

I also think the irony of the invective that he throws earlier in his dissent is lost on him.

It is one thing for separate concurring or dissenting opinions to contain extravagances, even silly extravagances, of thought and expression; …

Yes, it is “one thing”, Mr. Justice.