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Posts posted by Porchman

  1. This design sucks! They need to be more sensitive to the Heights. They should emulate the McTorians that exist throughout the Heights, and, from an environmentally sensitive standpoint, they need to make a smaller footprint.

    WalMart should develop a two-story, antebellum-styled, double-porch edifice: A 150,000 square foot Tara. It could be complemented with magnolia-styled parking lot lights and grassy-looking asphalt. Better yet, a Sanders-driven KFC could take one of the pad sites, and put up a giant inflatable of the Colonel to wander the front of the grounds to say, "Howdy".

    They also need to rename this Walmart. Call it "Rollback Manor".

    Clearly, this development does not gratify the gentrification of the Heights. How skewed are these developers?

    • Like 3
  2. Did Lauren lay down her life for you in some politically questionable way?

    By the way...

    Sam Houston Park...no downer monuments that I've seen.

    Tranquility Park...no downer monuments, but if you believe the moon landing was staged I could see your offense.

    Sam Houston...died of pneumonia, monuments celebrate his life.

    Dick Dowling...died of yellow fever, monument celebrates one of Houston's greatest saloon keepers (at least to me).

    Holocaust Museum...private musueum on private land

    Ghandi...you may have a point, but the monument celebrates his life and achievement, not his death.

    The servicemen, and shuttle crews...I'll give you those, though they died in service to their country.

    Oh, and the garden does look nice.

    Nicely put, Red. The memorials are an honor to those who have passed. They are a comfort to those who remember them. They are honered in large ways as you noted above, in burial places, and with white crosses where they met sudden death.

    There was a proposal to recognize the Death of Ghandi, too. Last year, some folks were pushing to rename Hillcroft "Mahatma Gandhi Avenue".

  3. Clearly you haven't been paying much attention to KUHF. The station's 60th anniversary HAS BEEN a very big deal all year. There have been several large station events -- including a big anniversary dinner -- celebrating the fact that KUHF was the first public radio station in the United States and it's still on the air 60 years later.

    The station's website http://app1.kuhf.org/main.php prominently displays a sharp looking 60th anniversary logo, which is also emblazoned everywhere it can be emblazoned, including T-shirts, coffee mugs and a lot of other stuff that's given away at promotional events the station holds around town.

    The Spring Membership Campaign in April was built around the anniversary. 60 years and counting. We need your help to keep a good thing going. I'm sure the Fall Campaign in October will also mention the 60th anniversary a few times. And look for the station to pull out all the stops on the actual anniversary of the first broadcast on November 6th.

    In the words of Foghorn Leghorn, pay attention son.

    I have to admit, as a sustaining member, I may put a lot of the campaign promotion on ignore. You're right. There is a logo on the upper left of the website. I just saw it when you mentioned it here. Still, I thought the absence of the anniversary's mention in the press release was odd.

    "You're doing a lot of choppin', but no chips are flyin'." - Foghorn Leghorn

  4. A little off-topic:

    Isn't KUHF suppose to be celebrating a big anniversary this year? I have not heard much about it overall, and it was not mentioned in their press release yesterday. Did tier one aspirations smote 60 years of history? I'm not a PR guru, but it seems something is missing.

  5. The worst part of this is, with 2 stations to fund, the beg-a-thons are going to be twice as insufferable. Is that even possible?

    I'm not so sure about that. They already are running a bulk of the programming on their two HD stations. They pay for the programs according to the size of the market. With greater accessibility, they could actually achieve a more efficient funding with listeners who just want news/commentary or just want arts/culture or want either on demand. There may be an opportunity to maximize grants, as well.

    They could also draw listeners from other news stations. However, many of these stations tend to cater to those who say "oh yeah!" to those who uphold their opinion...like they're listening to a good jazz sax solo. Still, I noted that Nandita Berry opposed UH's purchase of the station. (http://blogs.houston..._approve_pu.php)

  6. HPR's press release.

    "We now have the cultural assets to deliver NPR news, public affairs and classical programming to Houston 24 hours a day, placing the University of Houston in the company of an elite group of
    Tier One
    universities," [Chancellor] Khator said.

    You knew she had to go there.^_^

    I am intrigued to see how HPR maps out its new formatting. I believe it will enhance Houston radio.

    I am a bit pensive about the loss of KTRU. I realize that the technology of today offers different media for broadcast and for listener access. However, back in the day, it was a station like KTRU which exposed me to the stuff that was not mainstream. That exposure was significant to me.

    • Like 2
  7. Reminder from the GHPA:

    The City of Houston Planning & Development Department is hosting the fourth in its series of public meetings to discuss proposed changes to the historic preservation ordinance tonight (Thursday, August 5) from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Glenbrook United Methodist Church, 8635 Glen Valley Drive.

    Although anyone may attend, tonight’s meeting will primarily address property owners in the proposed Glenbrook Valley historic district. The complete schedule of meetings and a summary of the proposed amendments are on the Planning & Development Department website.

    There is a great deal of misinformation circulating about the proposed amendments. GHPA’s website addresses these misrepresentations. Click here to view the information in pdf format, which can be e-mailed or printed to share with your neighbors.

    GHPA will continue to provide its members with updates on this issue.

    Sev, thank you for posting this. Annise Parker listed the same bullets in The Leader. (and they reprinted these bullets point-for-point). However, the ordinance, as written, is open to draconian interpretation. At the very minimum, there needs to be a press from the preservationists to make the City define "conforming". This one issue, I think, would address many fears. If this issue is not addressed, the objective, as I infer it, will fail.

    Here we are...a City without zoning, This ordinance has all the good feel of a toddler attempting to walk in Daddy's Birkenstock's. I and others view that with its inherent awkwardness. The Mayor needs to get clear about what is enforced under this ordinance.

    To simplify..

    • 67% of a neighborhood can agree to be part of a district
    • They will agree to certain restrictions

    What are those restrictions....by ordinance, not by HAHC's discretion? Can anybody answer that, specifically? As an example of where this proposed law stands, why does this ordinance need digest in hearings in multiple neighborhoods? Is the neighborhood concept of Hawthorne the same as West Heights? Who gets to decide that?

  8. I don't think a majority of people in the Heights are either of those things. There certainly is a hipster element in the area but it's down in Montrose too.

    For the most part, people here are "normal".

    An excerpt of comments on the HBJ....

    We do not want Wal-Mart in the Heights. This area is undergoing a major redevelopment and Wal-Mart moving in will STOP this progress. The reason Target worked is because Target attracts a different type of buyer.

    Let's hope we do not equate this sense of "progress" with a sense of "normal'.

    • Like 2
  9. Porchman,

    HUH? I want to take offense but I honestly can't figure out what that post was about. I appreciate you posting a picture of one of my favorite houses but I don't see the relevance to my post. I'm particularly proud of that one because it was on a half lot on a corner 1 block from Shepard that had been sitting vacant for years. Nobody wanted to touch it but I was able to put up something that a family lives and people enjoy looking at. I've had more complimants from that house than pretty much any other I've built. Why don't you post some of the others? There are 3 in there that were nominated for Improvement awards by the Heights Association.

    My point was that The landmarked houses in River Oaks are not subject to this ordinance. They can still be altered and demolished at the owners whim, where the little bungalows in the Heights are protected. Isn't that hypocritical? How is a bunglaow more worthy of protection than a one of a kind, truly architecturally and historically significant, landmark? Why? Because if the City tried to apply this kind of regulation on the property owners in River Oaks it would never fly. They, the Powers that be, understand that this is unpopular and unfiar to the homeowner so they went out of their way to exclude the people that have real power and money from being included.

    As a tax payer I am outraged that classism is guiding our public policy so blantantly. They are usually much more subtle about screwing the plebes.

    SC, I did miss your point on this post, partially because it seems incongruent with your “everything inside the loop” and “everything inside the Beltway” rants. I don’t think it’s an issue of classism, tough. It’s largely a matter of where residents have been more active.

    As far as the house is concerned, it’s not bad…for Memorial. In that, it may constructively define the issue of “compatibility”, and what the ordinance may be seeking to address. Where I believe the draft ordinance fails is its lack of setting forth that definition.

  10. Check out their advertisement on swamplot if you think this is misinformation.

    From Rice's Glasscock School..

    Historic Houston Neighborhoods

    Houston’s tremendous growth from village on the bayou to town to city came about because of increasing wealth from trade in cotton, lumber and eventually oil. Beginning in the 1890s, architects and landscape designers created suburbs now seen as close-in neighborhoods to house the influx of people. Local historians, including Stephen Fox, will look at several of these unique neighborhoods, including Courtlandt Place, Westmoreland and Independence Heights, to tell the story of the birth, growth and in some cases, the rebirth of some of these neighborhoods. In the opening lecture, Betty Trapp Chapman will examine the roots of Houston’s planned neighborhoods, and Courtney Tardy of the Greater Houston Preservation Alliance will close the series with a look at methods and attempts to preserve Houston’s neighborhoods.Neighborhoods to be discussed:

    • Westmoreland
    • Garden Oaks and Oak Forest
    • Broadacres, Shadow Lawn and Shadyside
    • Independence Heights and Magnolia Park
    • Country Club Place and Idylwood
    • Courtlandt Place

    "Misinformation", no. Misinterpretation, yes. This discussion is lacking "ears" and discernment. That's not productive.

  11. From the GHPA:

    A great deal of misinformation is circulating about what the proposed changes will mean to property owners in Houston's historic districts. GHPA is determined to clear up these misrepresentations:

    * The amended ordinance will not dictate paint colors.

    * The amended ordinance will not govern the type of air conditioning units that can be used in historic buildings.

    * The amended ordinance will not govern interior remodeling. In the United States, preservation ordinances do not govern the interiors of privately owned residences.

    * Routine maintenance and emergency repairs do not and will not require the approval of the Houston Archeological and Historical Commission.

    * The ordinance does not require a minimum $50,000 investment in rehab projects for historic houses.

    * The ordinance allows and will continue to allow the construction of additions to expand the size of historic houses. Houston Archeological and Historical Commission has approved many such projects; some of these projects have been recognized with Good Brick Awards from GHPA.

    GHPA is developing a Web page to further address these other misconceptions. We will provide a link when the page goes live online.

    Thanks, sev. However, what might help further dispel misconceptions is to state what is being sought in the ordinance. What is the vision? Because the way this reads (and, BTW, the draft does leave a great deal to interpretation), it's a lot about restriction of individual homeowners. The reason I'm concerned is that the sense of such restrictions is going to undo and undermine the greater good. On this thread, we're hearing about recission of the petitions which create historic districts in the first place.

    I think most people here in the Heights have a sense of the neighborhood they want. They may personally engage in that neighborhood in different fashion. They might beautifully preserve a bungalow. They might enjoy cocktails on the porch of their new Tricon. However, I don't think the vision of the neighborhood is really not that different for people.

    One other issues that muddies the ordinance is it also addresses landmark status. I think that creates some of the misconception on the ordinance, itself. It also potentially waters down the ordination of landmarks.

    There has been a lack of clarity in presenting this and agility in responding to concerns. I hope GHPA and other groups dedicated to preservation can develop that common vision of what is being sought. People buy into vision not restriction.

    it did not say:

    The GHPA will not tell you what your house must look like

    The GHPA will not tell you what materials you may use on your house

    The GHPA will not tell you what size your home may be

    The GHPA will not tell you what landscaping is required

    The GHPA will not make you bring up to their "standards" before issuing any permits to do work

    The GHPA will keep their not intrude upon individual homeowners private property rights.

    The GHPA will not change their mind and add hundreds of new restrictions at a later point.

    It's HAHC which would make decisions about such things. GHPA is an independent preservation group. They advocate in a balanced manner unlike AWBA (Angry White Boys of America).

    • Like 1
  12. Go to this site, and at the top they have all of the districts listed. If you click on them, a map pops up. Based on your screen name and past posts about Mam's, my guess is you're in Heights West.


    He's not. He and I are the bastard children of the Heights. And we get to act out here. If the ordinance passes, our property values will increase because people will be able to modify their property the way they want.

    Block people from building homes that look like Jiffy Lubes. However do not tell people that they cannot modify the crown molding above their door, that they cannot use Hardiplank, that they cannot modify the color of their house, or that they cannot replace the windows on their porch with French doors. This ordinance feels like an over-reach. As others have suggested ,it could do more harm than good. The perspective I would seek is preserve the front-porch aspect of the neighborhood, not the specifics individual buildings.

  13. The family lives in a 700 SF Ike damaged home.

    All 7 members were out at a comedy club when they were "surprised" ... I know I would certainly bring my 5 children along when the wife and I went out.

    And they all happened to have passports ready... and Mr Johnson happened to be able to get a week off from work at Texas Children's just like that.... Right. ... Surprise!!

    Disney Paris!

  14. Certainly, and in some sense I'm glad I don't work in such a process-driven software-heavy field as GIS. Technical skills are virtually useless in my current field. The people who work behind the scenes handle that. All I need to understand now are economic trends and human nature.

    Certainly, that does not require any CE like a studies in fututrism.

    Agreed, but I was talking about jobs for recent college grads.

    The ability to adapt is important. My first job was in fundraising. Colleger grads can get jobs i fundraising at big offices like Rice, BCM, or UH. I learned about planned gifts and trusts. It and CE have brought me a long way.

    Could it be that we're better at parsing through BS?

    Perhaps. You're the one who is in line to put up 2,000 posts in the year since you joined a year ago, so I'll leave that answer to your discernment. :P .

  15. No doubt, but I did have a marketable sub-specialty. GIS is important to a lot of land companies, but the wall I seemed to encounter was companies wanted to do their own training. It was in '07, so they had that luxury then. Regardless, it doesn't matter much now. I barely remember the software, and I imagine in the three years I've been away from it, the software doesn't resemble anything I once knew.

    Continuing education is going to be critical to most careers. That's just a fact.

    Anyhow, the old notion that the piece of paper the degree's printed on is all that matters is no longer true. The only people at any real advantage coming out of school are people with finance or business degrees from top tier universities. These days, the only other jobs awaiting college grads are paper-filing admin jobs and retail. Even in the land o' plenty that is Houston.

    Mmm...not buying it. Can engineers and economics folk get easy jobs? Yeah. Are they going to be the most easily re-employable in a changing economy? Not so sure. Very often they are employed in a specialized area, and to transition from there, they have to go through some of the technical challenges you reference above. There are some engineers who are very challenged in this economy. There are some who are doing rather well. Some have their fate in the balance of the moratorium. What do they do if they lose their job?

    There is also the importance of discernment to a City. There is an importance to that in this Forum - the HAIF. As exemplified in the discussions here over preservation districts, HEB in Montrose, and WalMart in the Heights, we are a City that does not treat issues in a purely conservative or liberal manor. I've lived in other areas of the Country. These discussions are unique.

    Engineering and finance, alone, does not get you to that balanced discussion. Vesting oneself in altruistic humanities does not either. In reaching that point, our landscape is not so flat. In that sense of reality, we're everythingt to which Richard Florida feels we should aspire, and nothing he describes.

  16. Anyways... I moved to Houston in August '07 and didn't find the job market terribly inviting, at least not for someone with my particular skillset. I eventually took a job far beneath my education level, but after a year or so scraping by in the equivalent of the mailroom, I started making respectable pay and was given a respectable job title.

    The article makes another important point, though. Houston is affordable. They specifically noted that the entry-level jobs were not as plentiful here. However, you don't have killer COL. That's a really big plus, particularly if you're in the process of looking for a job.

    Attica, no offense dude, but NO city is good for finding well-paid work if you graduated with an archaeology degree.

    Once the economic reality sunk in that I'd be perpetually broke history professor, I changed career paths. Houston has been

    very good to me ever since.

    Yeah, reppin' that! However, you might be surprised how useful Uta Hagen is to counseling clients.;)

    BTW, when happy-dog dude calls me "a maroon", it's not taken seriously.

  17. How does this show work? Surely they won't be broadcasting live tonight, will they?

    I've never watched a show from start to finish so please forgive my ignorance. Will they do the surprise to the family today and then do the real work all next week?

    Do you think the family really does not have a clue? It'd take me a week just to pack. Or longer........

    The way I understand it, they get submissions from people who nominate worthy families. They choose a locale. Inform the lucky family within 24 hours of start time. (Shake a stick at the unlucky famies? I don't know.)

    They go to the lucky family's house at an absurdly early hour. The host of the show calls them out with a megaphone. They pour out of the house sleepy-eyed (but fully dressed!), and they scream and hop up and down. These families typically have a plethora of children who look like Vulcans and eat dirt. They get interviewed about how ghastly their life is. A construction company, with a bunch of volunteer suppliers and builders, takes the lead in curing all their ills by building them a house they may not be able to afford to heat, cool, or pay the taxes on.

    Meanwhile, the family goes to somewhere exciting like Disneyland, Disney World, a Disney cruise, or Disney Vegas. They show up at home about five days later in a limo. Supposedly, when they step out of the limo, they cannot see the new house, because the bus where host gets his hair coiffed is blocking their view. The host and all the building people start chanting "Move that bus!" They move the bus. The family wets their pants.

    Break for commercials which include an ad for a bladder control med. {Insidious, I tell you}.

    They come back from commercial. They tour the house which is HUGE and VERY CUSTOM. They tear up a lot and hump the host. Here endeth the show.

    little frau, you are living a sheltered life. How could you not be wasting your Sunday evenings this way? (BTW, watching it with the sound off and listenting to really good music is far more...efficient).

    In the end, it's a great reminder to give to Habitat for Humanity.

    • Like 1
  18. I rarely lol, but I just LOLed myself.

    I think someone needs to inform the author of the opentravel.com boring cities blog about the American Cowboy Museum.

    That was in my thinking since I posted slightly later than that boring thread began. I also was stopped by the fact they mentioned one museum and all them performing arts. Alright, I can get on a soap box for the MFAH, The Menil, the Art Car Museum. The HMNS is one of the most visited museums in the U.S. with its butterflies, stinky flowers and the old chick from Ethiopia.

    I actually had to confirm that this American Cowboy Museum was in Houston. If you had asked me where the ACM was prior to my search, I would have guessed OKC, Dallas, or Fort Worth. We do have the World's largest rodeo, so it's not unexpected that this museum would be here. Perhaps, it's a good celebration of the trail rides that have existed for generations. Their website sucks, so I don't know.

    Regrettably, this posted comment feels like a back-handed, provincial slam disguised as a compliment. We, here, know there is a lot to enjoy. Should we care? Should we doing more in PR? (Perhaps, this is a topic for another thread).

  19. From Bloomberg Businessweek

    Although it has fewer entry-level employers posting jobs compared with New York and Washington, D.C., the city’s low unemployment rate and cost of living make it an ideal home for young people launching their careers.

    But, wait, there's more....

    With such attractions as the American Cowboy Museum....those working in the city will have plenty to do in their free time, too.

    I had not yet fully appreciated the impact of this asset.

    • Like 1
  20. Why is the Mayor giving 'unwavering support' to a group dedicated to knocking down an inner loop residence just to build a new one, while telling me that I cannot do the same?

    Because she hates your guts. You have bad street rep.

    I expect this will be in a neighborhood not charted for more restrictive provisions. You know, the neighborhoods in which white people aren't interested...yet. However, get a new, 3000 sf home in place, courtesy of HHN homes and ABC/Disney, you never know what folks might chase.

    I just hope the family this is supposed to help can actually afford it. There have been a few instances in which their winners could not sustain the prize.

  21. Apparently, FM 1960 is getting a new name. Bucolic strip malls! Fairies tripping up and down the new medians! It will be fabulous!

    From ABC 13 - KTRK

    One of Houston's longest roads is getting a new name. And it's taking neighbors by surprise. They say they had no idea their community leaders were pushing to change FM 1960.

    A road by any other name is apparently not the same to business owners along FM 1960. The newly designated name, "Cypress Creek Parkway," isn't getting rave reviews from everyone because most people don't know about it.

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