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Posts posted by Porchman

  1. Some guy on Channel 11 said she is inheriting the worst financial mess any mayor of Houston has ever inherited.

    A little over-spoken. There are many moving parts.

    As I stated in the mayoral race thread ( http://www.houstonarchitecture.com/haif/index.php?showtopic=22243&st=200 ), the debt was not created by many of the people who now have to manage it. The issue is also not imminently desperate. The City has 1.5B of well-rated debt and a 2B investment pool to back it. However, a committed plan will be necessary to ensure the long-term debt is appropriately handled.

  2. nice to meet the polite lockmat.

    rsb320....dec 7 only comes once a yr and you're late by 4 days.


    musicman, thank you for arranging it. BTW, we should have our own ensemble...but we more plastic bell.

  3. Some gay groups are pretty angry with Locke considering that he came to them requesting their endorsement and is now accepting endorsements from people running anti-gay attacks on Parker.

    Apparently, Locke is more than just accepting such endorsements..

    From The Houston Chronicle

    According to financial documents, Hotze's political action committee received a $20,000 donation about a week before the mail pieces went out from Ned Holmes, finance chairman of Locke's campaign, and $20,000 from James Dannenbaum, who is on Locke's finance committee.

  4. Salty roads people!

    Also, I thought most were inner loopers?

    I think most are ITL'rs.

    I believe COH uses sand, not salt. Due to limited distribution equipment, it won't be on all roads. We're going to have a lot of wetness throughout the day. That could create slippery conditions when the temps dive into the 20's this evening.

    Personally, the driving is not a huge deal for me. I know what it is to lose total control of a vehicle on ice and how to regain that control (or to stem the damage). However, I recognize that I live in a metropolitan area of several million people who have not had the opportunity to develop such intuition. That's some square dancing I would like to avoid.

  5. EDIT: I move that we reschedule to next week.

    I second Niche's motion !!! For my own selfish benefit of course . wink.gif

    I'm with Niche and TJ on moving to next Friday. Holiday cheer + potentially icy roads not a good idea. Bummer, but safety first.

    Agreed. We'd probably get there ok, but the forcasted temperatures would leave icy roads to take home.

  6. Look what Dr. Hotze sent me! (The joy I experience from list sharing and supporting candidates according to office, not political affiliation).

    Look carefully at the left column. Apparently Dr. Hotze knows whom he hates better than whom he supports.


  7. Earlier this yr, councilmember holm asked the controller whether the 2009 budget was balanced and she responded it was. In actuality it hasn't been since 2004. As a candidate claiming to be fiscally responsible, she has no voting power but does have a voice and can respond to any concerns she has with the budget. We've seen that in the past with Kathy Whitmire, Lance Lalor and George Greanias who were all vocal controllers in the 80's and 90's and each had no reservations elevating budget concerns. As mentioned earlier, the city has borrowed about $700 million by issuing pension bonds. About $200 million from these bonds have been funneled through the general fund to make contributions to the pension plans and thus went to “balance” the budget. Without borrowing money to make the pension plan contributions, the city’s general fund balance, instead of increasing, would have actually decreased by about $30 million since 2002. Is borrowing money a fiscally responsible way to balance the budget? Why is she now willing to admit that the budget has not been balanced for years but yet didn't answer that to councilmember holm earlier this year? i will add that i don't think gene locke is any better.

    Are you referencing this http://www.houstontx...09/20090331.pdf ? Councilmember Holms raised the question because of a red flag that the Controller had in her annotations. The Controller responded that measures were being taken to bring the FY numbers in conformance to the budget.

    No doubt, the pension debt is a scary animal. From my read, it becomes scarier if considerable allotment to principal does not start in the next 3-4 years. It's sad that the White administration, this Council and this Controller have to wrestle with a problem that was caused by previous administration's poor tallying on pension estimates. In the end, this bond debt is part of the budget that's why it's "funneled" through the budget.

    Is borrowing money a fiscally responsible way to balance the budget? It's not the preferred way, no. However, fiduciary responsibility for a government entity goes beyond just balancing short-term numbers. It means delivering services, making capital improvements, and, yes, paying off poorly constructed promises of the past as such needs arise. In the short-term, these bonds allow the City leaders to do City business, while remaining more liquid and more fiscally nimble, all while emerging from a period of lower revenues and maintaining a high rating on its bonds backed by its highly rated, $2 billion general investment pool.

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  8. What kind of place is Warren's? They don't serve any food?

    a bar. serve food only during lunch.

    ...so we bring our own food, because we like places that let us control our own nutritional intake. That is an essential factor in choosing venues...really.

    Join us Friday! We always have good food. Muselixman brings some of the best.

  9. Rice needs to step off. In merging or even affiliating with BCM, they would be stepping into managed care. In an environment where that may mean something very different in the next few years, their governance does not need to enter into that picture.

    The best partner for BCM is TMH. Go figure! They, SLEH, and TCH need to discuss merger. The combined institution would rival The Mayo Clinic and Cleveland Clinic. (Imagine Houston could have the same medical prestige of Rochester, Minnesota and Cleveland, Ohio!) Hubris needs to be set aside.

  10. When was the last fire? Seems we've been 'combustion-free' for a while now. Either the cops got the right guy, or the real arsonist is letting that guy take the fall.

    Blair St on 11/18 was the last arson. It did not appear to follow the same m.o.

  11. GHPA e-news:

    The congregation of Immanuel Lutheran Church has voted to delay until spring 2010 the proposed demolition of its Gothic Revival sanctuary on East 15th Street at Cortlandt in the Heights East Historic District. GHPA has been advocating the historic building’s preservation for several years, and encouraging church officials to retain the 77-year-old landmark as the cornerstone of the Immanuel campus. The church members' decision gives preservation supporters additional time to develop other plans for the congregation's consideration.

    Great news, Sevfiv! I am hoping this conversation will create good energy around preservation and around the life of Immanuel Lutheran, as well.

  12. So, I get up to have a glass of water. I look outside and think "My, it's foggy". Then I hear numerous sirens approaching the area. Now, I'm thinking "Is that really fog?" (!)

    Fire in the western section of Heights Annex.


    BLK W 15TH ST


    11/24/2009 03:13

    House on Fire

    1A011, D006, D031, E011, L006, L031, SQ062, E062, E015, HR011, E031

    Oh, BTW, I stuck my head outside. It's fog. Be careful driving this morning, all.

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