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Everything posted by debmartin

  1. well i'm poor and i think this was a terrible idea! they already have "houston hope homes" or some other such nonsense but when i went to har.com the areas of town were so bad you could not pay me to take my kids there! i've rented the same dump of an apartment since 2002 which now rents for $736 per month, over half of my monthly fixed income. it does seem messed up that someone could spend 50% of income on throw away rent but not get a house payment for the same AND acquire some equity. if i ever paid my rent late (never have, not once) it's a $50 late charge. but i know many people out in the burbs with $2,000 home mortgages who went through a job loss/change or stock market crash, then went a year without even making a house payment. all of these same people "worked it out" with various lenders and eventually restarted their mortgages, but if i missed a monthly rent payment it would have been straight to eviction court, as many of my neighbors went in the last year. each time the management recycles a unit, rent goes up around $25 until my lease comes up again and mine goes up around $50 to $75 to keep up with their "market" rate. pretty impressive racket for the partnership who owns it, long timers to give the place stability in marketing and turnover to get the price up. i'm philosophical about it, but no doubt home ownership eludes many people. and the words "affordable housing" are really just that, words in my experience, that no mayor in my voting lifetime ever cared about. i think white is fishing around for publicity to assist him in his senate bid, because his "low income" housing ideas have come up before and their just bs to get attention.
  2. responses across the board about this are a disappointment to me while not surprising. my 18yr old son turned out to be quite knowledgeable about the shirt and he's a basketball player from another district! fraternity attitudes of "boys will be boys", "jeez can't you take a joke", "this is tradition" etc illustrate how the "good ol' boy" culture perpetuates. i have counseled victims of sexual abuse where women have viewed things like this ambiguously & impassively, observed offender group sessions where perps were genuinely perplexed how sexually degrading images to children or women contributed to their deviance, and sat through constitutional law classes where first amendment rights were lectured to reign supreme above all else. for me it comes down to this, how can ANY credible justification exist for something that inflicts emotional duress or damages self esteem to any student, female or male for that matter. for me the answer is none does exist. the drawing could find a home at hustler or somewhere where like minded individuals gather to enjoy such images under protected speech, like a college campus where adults make up their minds about its fundamental right to exist. but not a secondary educational setting. the subtext of the message is clear, and how many of the students and their parents who defend this would feel the same if each football player and coach ppeared in variations of the shirt for sale. my guess is not even one could manage a smile. was this printed in someone's garage or did a business feel ok to handle the commerce aspects, morality aside? societal sexism aside, is it clear that beatings, stabbings, shootings and deaths occur for lesser perceived transgressions of honor? throw the book at them all is my opinion, and start with each and every teacher & administrator from every school involved in the long term cover up. if the image can be matched to a RL likeness, the cheerleader & her family should sue the school & whatever moron parents raised these little darlings. it's what has girl & boy students labeled sex offenders for "sexting".
  3. i thought bill white declared himself a candidate for kay bailey hutchinson's senate seat? i think he's already been mayor twice, which should mean term limits and a new mayor. i've only just started receiving mailers from a few candidates and seeing commercials. time to research them and what they're about. as far as being gay or having religious preferences, i'm one of the "separation of church and state" voters. most of the difficulties i encounter have little or nothing to do with city services, which seem largely outsourced like metro. i would like to see something done about homelessness when i see so many people living/camping in hermann park.
  4. starting an art project with newspapers from the 40's, inviting friends to participate!

  5. "When I was a child, the year of 1985 Westbury Square had a Halloween costume contest which I won first place as a home made robot. And today I still have the trophy which is what I wanted to share with this forum. Here are two photos of it which I snapped. Yet I wondered if anyone else here has photos from those costume contest or stories about them." (Aland11223) i posted over the summer about my dad's shop in westbury square in the early to late 80's but did not get any feedback, so i'm glad to read about your memory. perhaps you visited our family business, it was called "roy's collector showcase" and was located in the clock tower. i remember the halloween costume contests and each merchant would give candy for trick-or-treat kids in costume of all ages. we also went to plays at company onstage, and my dad was good friends with the owner of cromwells. my dad's store sold comics & cards, and he also had a very large collection of original movie posters and vintage vinyls and 45's. we were in westbury square from '84 to '89, i recall my dad had to leave because the lease went up to unaffordable and he'd come in on a lower 5yr amount when westbury square was being "revitalized". so they ran off good businesses out of greed looking for higher rent and it fell apart (again). what a shame small mom & pop businesses cannot find affordable lease space, but of course walmart sells cards which means my dad's business would be obsolete nowdays. thank you for sharing your westbury square memory and photo!
  6. i'm not qualified to discuss football, but i went to many concerts at robertson stadium during the 70's, before cynthia mitchell was around. pink floyd was one of the best, in the pouring rain. one of the huge balloon animals got loose, i always wondered where it landed:)
  7. matt79 wrote: "in the late '80s there was a comic book shop (I think that's what it was) that would give free Garbage Pail Kids cards to kids on Halloween." --------------------------------------------------------------------- yes the comic store "roy's collectors showcase" belonged to my father roy bonario and his partner, randy franklin, a card dealer. my dad would buy, sell & trade comics, carried one of a kind movie posters, all kinds of movie memorabilia and an extensive collection of music from the 20's all the way to the 70's. the westbury square merchants association planned several special events throughout the year, always emphasizing children and family, with good merchant participation. our business handed out the cards and bags of candy to any child wearing a costume. i also kept some face paint crayons in case a child showed up minus a costume so i could offer one in a pinch. kids went from business to business, "trick or treating, it was sad that by then several of the stores were empty, but i recall many happy kids. at christmastime and easter, the westbury square's company onstage would set up plays & programs with the little red school. often these productions would be held outdoors, they were free and almost all served refreshment which made them popular.
  8. i'm very fortunate to be surrounded by fragrant magnolia trees. i grew up in a house surrounded by mimosa trees and the fragrance is imprinted in my mind, although the blooms were annoying to my parents when they fell on the car. haven't seen one in years. i also grew up with honeysuckle plants and china-berry trees that provided my friends & i china-berry fights that now seem like a crazy activity for kids:) we also had a fig tree but you have to stay on top of picking and/or clearing them off the ground when they ripen & fall off because the fruit rots. my grandmother loved to cook the figs, make preserves and fillings for cookies. the next door neighbor let me pick pecans, as a grown up i came to appreciate the value after buying them in the grocery store for a steep price.
  9. there is a "coming soon" sign around westheimer & wilcrest for a houston community college campus. this looks like a positive sign but i'm unsure when it will be built.
  10. i was irritated to come back to houston and find metro eliminated the day pass when they could have raised the price instead. don't bike as it never seems safe where i live, but i know many who live in the burbs and bike for exercise and local errands using sidewalks. i used metro as primary mode from 1999 to 2007. living by the galleria and trying to utilize public trans now costs me $1.25 for each stop & start, so a trip to borders on the way downtown or med center, with a stop at the water wall and other spots could cost me $20 or more roundtrip. hope metro is putting the money to good use. my youngest uses metro with a student discount and likes the q-card because he can reload it on board, although he reports frequent malfunctions. i suppose the 53/82 is one of the better routes , although it does not connect with wheeler station so i have to get off and walk several blocks, which is ok unless i'm on a deadline. also have to either take 2 buses or walk too far to utilize hilcroft transit that would connect me to 163 or 132 and the rail. so i car share when i need to, and walk which i enjoy, mainly mornings & evenings because of houston's humidity. up north public trans is significantly more practical, something i miss. for now i remain optimistic about houston's future for mass transit, especially rail projects that might change the landscape sufficiently and allow houston to realize its true urban potential.
  11. a few places from my early days: thornhill cafeteria in palm center, where my dad's record store "harmony hut" was located albrittan's cafeteria sky terrace (sakowitz where my mom worked, we would go as a treat) warwick hotel (few rare dinners with my dad's business associates) youngbloods (fried chicken family place, now aunt beas on the northside) gee's (airline @ crosstimbers, chinese my mom & sibs loved where i could get a cheeseburger & jukeboxes on the table:) princess hamburgers downtown, eat in the car (as a teen drink orange tommy's with my mom) shakey's pizza by northline mall piccadily cafeteria in northline mall windmill dinner theater howard johnson's I45 & crosstimbers (waitressed as a teen, they made saltwater taffy) its now something of a crackhouse monterrey house - they put candy at the bottom of the bowl of chips! antione's on taft santa anita's (downtown, an elderly gentleman served us who also served my parents in the late 50's) gallagher's steakhouse (served great bread & wisconsin cheese spread) mr. bake-a-tater (around the westheimer curve, late 70's) one's a meal (next to river oaks theater) now by katz's deli sam's bbq on airline, late 70's, great food & they sponsored my softball team bennigins (late 80's, my kids loved it, took my son to 59 location every st. patricks on his birthday old san francisco steakhouse on westheimer boston sea party also on westheimer never been here but my parents met at a place called the "buccaneer drive-in, 1955, currently 2016 main residential & sammys my mom had 4 kids in tow & liked cafeteria dining. we also drove to the country to visit my grandparents often down I45 north outside centerville, stopping at stuckeys in conroe, madisonville & centerville. the corral cafe in madisonville was so good my grandparents drove there many sundays from marquez where they lived, a considerable distance!
  12. hey thanks for the westbury square history. my dad had a shop there in the clock tower back in the late 80's. as i recall at that time they were trying to revitalize the square and made him a sweet deal on sqaure footage. i remember the couple from holland, they used to give chocolate bars to my son, who was around 2 at the time. there was a father & son tailor/menswear place called "cromwell's", they customized suits. also the red school, tuesday morning, a community theater and unfortunately quite a bit of empty space. my dad's business was called "collector's showcase, his business was movie memorabilia, original movie posters, lobby cards, stills and rare lp's, 45's & 78's. he shared the space with a card dealer who sold rare and new sports cards and collectibles. unfortunately the square never quite made a comeback at that time and we had to relocate. my dad's original location was the outskirts of the village, bissonnet & greenbriar, i think where "murder by book" later went in.
  13. thanks, i've been lurking a bit but could not help myself after catching up on topics:) i'm open minded yet definitely opinionated, this time i vow to show restraint!
  14. "I'm still waiting for a "Thank You" from the person in front of me at the grocery store when they check out with a Lone Star Card.. - Zippy" zippy, this statement might otherwise be disappointing to me personally except for the fact that i deal with this variety of ignorance on a daily basis. i too do not have a pink cell phone, do not believe in credit cards (paid them off 10yrs ago) or any other useless materialistic waste of good money. i'm cash & carry, recycle, worked all my life, achieved my college degree and raised two sons as a single professional parent. i also might be the person in front of you in line using a lone star card as i also take care of my son, aged 23yrs who has been critically ill for over 5 years. didn't attend any tea parties as i found the message to be fragmented and the event astro-turfed. if this was your thing more power to you, and i hope it was everything you were looking for. myself, i spent april 15th with a group of volunteers serving high tea at various old folks homes, and placed a box of lipton tea in my local red barrel - tea is nutritious, antioxident rich and often unaffordable to anyone suffering loss of income or otherwise down on their better financial days. seeing bags of tea dangling from hats and signs, not to mention stomped into the dirty grounds was a sight i found disturbing and repulsive - the sight of children holding signs reflecting their parents politics, mainly concepts they are not age-appropriately developed to comprehend also was unsettling and in my opinion in poor taste. these same parents could have simply given their children american flags to wave or signs that were patriotic, like "i love america", incorporating their presence into a family-oriented event without the exploitation. no doubt you could go to rallies run by liberals and find equally disgusting displays of inappropriate behaviour, but my guidepost is "2 wrongs do not make a right" and each individual is responsible for his/her actions. my brother is a beck "912" disciple, i had to enlighten him about what is obviously a false concept about "bottom feeding, lazy welfare queens" as the obama model using my situation as an example. i asked him to think about mikey on medicaid and other govt assistance, our grandmother who recently passed in a nursing home on medicaid with alzheimers while grandpa was a decorated WW2 navy vet, and our parents who worked all their good years, paid off a home and now subsist on social security and medicare. meanwhile, many americans have no problem running up the plastic, deferring to corporate welfare, filling up landfills with plastic and obsolete computer components, while opting out of the political process like sheep by not challenging elected officials who squander responsibility of their offices. the entire "entitlement" derangement is perhaps the most falsely perpetuated fantasy, citizens who qualify for assistance must be up to 300% below poverty level, not average income. recertification is required every six months, medicaid recovery law assigns a lien on any property upon death (goodbye grandma's old frame house) and to add insult to financial injury, every person unhappy with their situation, career or feels life is "unfair" is compelled to pass judgment at any time in the grocery store line, doctor's office, even metro bus or rail. i'm always interested to learn what motivates this behaviour so feel free to enlighten me if you have the time.
  15. several community leaders are disgruntled that metro is changing the rail plan previously put before the voters. do they have a legitimate gripe, or is mayor white doing what's best for the city? debmartin
  16. i had a great amount of respect for the former pope, especially his stance on human rights, so i'm not opposed to a park being named after him. i am opposed to commissioner's court spending so much time debating what to name a park, having the goal of creating dog parks as a priority, while saying the hospital district could "trim millions" from their budget. it seems to me commissioners court should concern themselves with real issues that impact residents of harris county. what to name parks should be left up to a citizen's advisory board, or in the case of controversy, the voters. debmartin
  17. "As for Debmartin, it's no surprise because i remember some time ago sending her a PM and never got a response back, yet she would still continue to post on the forum." (quote, c2h) dear c2h, sorry but i never rec'd a pm from you, or i would have for sure responded. there are several people here on the board that have traded pm's with me who know this is true - if you remember what it is you wanted to ask me, please try it again as i am always glad to hear from a fellow forum member. i have had my ups and downs with people because just like most of us here, i'm opinionated, but my primary purpose for joining was to engage in dialog and sometimes that gets a little complicated. i would also like to take this opportunity to thank the moderators for their efforts to keep it all civil. thank you editor, for sharing the fact that i am still alive - i am so very flattered that anyone would notice my absence. to those who know me not quite so well, my older son is a patient at md anderson and has recently had some setbacks, although the latest prognosis was positive. i just returned from a 3wk vacation, where i spent the majority of the time glued to my laptop and on a cell phone. i make my living doing research for writing projects and i found myself so far behind i was not sure i could pull it off, but i did. even when it seems i don't have a minute to spare, i usually can't resist logging on to the forum and trying to keep up. i'm looking forward to spending some time here again - it seems things in houston can change dramatically in only a short time and we should all have plenty of current events to keep the topics lively. getting back on topic, does anybody know what happened to greystone08? debmartin
  18. i didn't vote in the poll as my choice was not included: CLEAN THE PLACE UP! no need to change the name, instead use it as an opportunity and a theme. most kids today have no idea what it meant to have the astrodome named the eighth wonder of the world, and baby boomers are into nostalgia right now in a big way. but astroworld is dropping off the family entertainment map because it is dirty, in disrepair, unsafe and still expensive as ever. make it bigger and it would just become a bigger dirty, unsafe, expensive park in disrepair - this is due to poor planning and management. one idea would be to utilize the astrodome as part of the theme park, although you'd need a tram or people mover to get people back and forth efficiently. it would help by bringing in some of the shows and concerts indoors, which for houston weather is a must for daytime shows in the summer. i know this sounds crazy, but they could even add some marine stuff, like sea world has. not a killer whale show, but small mammals like dolphins and penguins. since the dome is indoor whatever they put there could be year round. astrowold shutters up except for weekends at the end of summer, and closes for good after halloween until spring break. one thing houston has always had going for it is year round weather, and if astroworld combined with the dome and extended their hours it could become an attraction that could put houston back on the tourist map. if the summit can be transformed into a giant church, the dome could become part of six flags. many newer hotels do well when combined with indoor rides and amusement park themes. houston's traditional themes like sports, the rodeo, and the space program combined with the nontraditional ones like the art cars, orange show, art cows etc. would make for an interesting hotel theme. and the light rail offers direct access to downtown theater, nightlife and sporting events, so tourists would not have to roam around the south main area after dark and risk being carjacked. debmartin
  19. i hope your friend can solve this problem without too much hassle. in the future, he should "lease" instead of "rent" his place, as there are different laws pertaining to rental and lease agreements. i sold my rental property last year because the market was good and the whole landlord thing is too much work. as you are finding out, the property owner has a great deal of responsibility, not like it used to be where you throw a sign in the yard and shake hands on a deal when the right person came by. that said, it is also very important when doing criminal and background checks to verify sources of income. one sign of drug dealing is someone with accumulated material goods out of proportion with obvious means. in english, someone without a job who drives an expensive car, wears expensive clothes and jewelry and has cash to flash could be a drug dealer. they could also be someone with a trust fund. besides drugs, people without "day" jobs could be involved with organized crime, gangs or be FBI agents like a neighbor i had a few years back. the old fashioned tried and true interview, backed up by references is still probably the best way. credit checks should indicate an individual's employment history, which is very important, and you can also ask for personal/professional references which speak for character. don't be scammed by phone numbers only, get a name AND address for each reference - enterprising frauds can set up elaborate false references by phone, and there is always the chance you could be dealing with identity theft when dealing exclusively by internet or fax. several of my friends who elected to lease out their larger homes have been scammed by the person signing the lease - good job, credit, references, etc. a few months after move-in, old neighbors called one of my friends to say the house was always full of people coming and going and it turned out the guy on the lease was collecting from "friends" who were staying there temporarily while looking for places of their own. so you must spell out your policy on guests like how many and how long, etc. and whoever said the cops are not concerned was telling it like it is, they usually don't appreciate the extra work involved with checking out tips on drugs, prostitution, gambling, illegals etc. debmartin
  20. "Which intersection did this happen at?" (quote, westguy) veterans memorial @ north sam houston tollway deb
  21. just read in the paper that a man selling the houston chronicle was run over at a busy intersection. the chron was careful to call him a "vendor" and emphasize he did not work for the paper, but for a "distributor". they casually mentioned he had a history of homelessness and intervention with a local shelter, basically implying he was a street person. i have heard that these distributors routinely round up vagrants, toss them a blue chron t-shirt and drop them off at a busy corner with a stack of papers. many times i have seen these "vendors" on the 53 bus at westheimer and dairy ashford, where they exchange a paper for a day pass, kick back after a long day and sit at the back of the bus throwing back a few beers. one vendor told me the 53 bus is popular because they can ride down westheimer from west oaks mall into downtown, while getting out of the elements. many of besides the drunks, many of these people are disabled and move slowly, so it's no wonder they could easily get run over. combine these paper sellers with the ones selling candy, flowers, those collecting for "charity" or holding signs for beer, and the ones trying to wash windshields and you've got a crowd, all trying to slow down or stop traffic. i thought mayor white was all about keeping the streets moving, but not only is nothing being done, there are more of these people than ever running in front of and behind cars. i'm always hoping the person in front of me will not stop, but often this is not the case and the entire light is wasted, backing traffic up even more - even in rush hour! i feel this should be banned, not only for traffic efficiency but to save people's lives, like this poor man who was just trying to make a few bucks selling papers. and shame on the chronicle, they know who's on the corner selling papers, people who are desperate, working for beer money without even the benefit of being called a chronicle employee. reminds me of the way BP and the other refinery's hid the accidental deaths from the governmental reports, by having contractors hire them so they would be sub-contracting. awhile back a chron employee was tragically run over on a narrow street, coming home from a church event. they ran stories for days, about how the city neglects to provide sidewalks, etc. i wouldn't hold my breath for any future stories about a vagrant killed on the corner selling papers. do all of houston a favor, DO NOT stop your car for a paper, get one somewhere else. debmartin
  22. for about a year i have been using the metrorail to get to the med center a few times a week, although recently we've been getting dropped off as i refuse to drive there anymore. besides paying up to $15 to valet the car, gas is through the roof and traffic on fannin is often bumper to bumper. there are also times we have to go to more than one building, and with no "in & out parking" this becomes impossible. the trains run about every 7 to 10 minutes, although many times they have been delayed due to technical problems, wrecks, etc. when this happens they make announcements at the stations, although with traffic and noise it is not easy to hear. then there are the buses that are supposed to help navigate rail passengers past the problem and many times these bus drivers are clueless. since i live by the galleria, i drive to hillcroft transit center, catch the 132 to wheeler and catch the rail to dryden tmc station. the 163 and 53/82 busses SHOULD connect to rail, but they sail through midtown and take you all the way downtown, forcing you to backtrack which is a waste of time. if i'm alone, i can get off at holman and walk a few blocks over to hcc/ensemble station - this just gives me more options since the 132 only runs once per hour off-peak. right now my son's illness has taken a turn, and we are being dropped off because the dryden station is an impossible walk for anyone going to md anderson. i have said this before, but what i enjoy about taking metro busses and trains is that i can sit back, crank up my ipod and use the time to reduce my stress. i've been using metro since 2000, but can remember all the years i stressed myself out driving to the med center - i've often wondered if the stressed out drivers contribute to all the accidents with the light rail. debmartin
  23. debmartin


    i too am shocked at the graffiti that is allowed to stay on buildings, and feel it sends a message that either nobody cares or taking it off is useless since it will go right back up. in any case the real message it sends to those vandals who perform graffiti is that they are allowed to break the law without consequences, which indirectly condones the practice and reinforces most people's feelings that removing graffiti is pointless. i have little occasion to use I-10 into downtown, but did so recently and was surprised to see that so much graffiti has gone up over the closed businesses. i'm guessing so many places have closed due to the freeway expansion, although the place i was headed was still there (princes hamburgers). the graffiti i saw was complicated and must have taken hours to put up, and it was obvious that more vandals had stopped by to leave their territorial pissing marks. i find it impossible to believe all the people that drive the freeway daily do not see this. debmartin
  24. kz, i hope when things settle down with your re-relocation you revisit haif and tell us what's up in seattle. 7 months does not seem like such a long time, but hopefully you had the opportunity to enjoy the best here and not get bogged down by the rest. i have enjoyed your posts, and hope to see you here again. deb martin
  25. "Correct me if I am wrong, but hasn't it already been replaced by a CVS. I think its almost done, if I am thinking of the right lot. Such a waste." (quote, yakuzaIce) i think the cvs you're thinking of is going up @ westheimer at hilcroft, but it's hard to keep up with them all. they start at 610 and run down westheimer, about every few blocks. throw in a walgreens or two, and westheimer can now be officially called "pharmacy row". i went by the old san francisco today, no signs but a van pulled up to the door and people bringing stuff out. i thought westheimer/fondren was doing allright. we eat at landry's often and it's always crowded - the startbucks across the street does brisk business, along with the kolache place, although the last thing to go up was a crappy carwash. i'm hoping something decent goes in where old san francisco was. debmartin
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