LORDS OF THE BLOG
Steven Den Beste
Official Baby Jessica
The Community Web Log on Media and Government in Midland, Texas
Tuesday, December 31, 2002
I don't know if this qualifies as an area blogger or not. It probably does. Meet Kathy from Fort Stockton, a Computer Science Major at some obscure school back East called MIT. Congrats on your Finals!
Sunday, December 29, 2002
Here is a thought: I know that by regulation the local affiliates can force the local cable providers to take their signal (at no charge). But if access to the signal is refused by the local affiliate can Cox simply bring in a feed from the ABC affiliate in Lubbock or San Angelo....or even Abilene? Does anything prevent them from doing this?
Meanwhile, the manager of the local Radio Shack is trying to convince corporate to ship him ten thousand TV aerials before the Super Bowl.
Big Gold Dog has another view on the war between the monopolies. Although I agree that Cox price increases have been somewhat aggressive over the years I also know that alternatives to their service are available now in the form of satellite television (which is prohibited from carrying network feeds to protect the local broadcaster...in this case KMID) and also cable television from (at least) BurritoGrande Communications of stadium fame. For ABC programming there is, by market regulation and not market decision, only KMID. Where I do agree is that sympathy is hard to muster for either of the involved parties.
LARGE 2 GETTING SMALLER
Now comes a second letter to the editor blasting Nancy Adamson for her critical review of the Neil Diamond concert in Lubbock a while back. Note to Ms. Adamson: The children of the sixties have few things they hold dear but their pop/rock idols are their gods. Don't mess with them. This whole episode reminds me of the time a few years back when Nike (or someone) had the audacity to use one of John Lennon's greats (Imagine?) in a commercial to sell their shoes. There was a huge outcry from Lennon fans that were absolutely offended that one of the great ones song's would be used commercially (as if Lennon himself gave them away). Of course, no one gripes when Mozart is used to score a Toyota ad.
Saturday, December 28, 2002
Some predictions for the New Year from National Review Online:
Saith? I thought it was sayeth. And by all means continue to smite your enemies and drive the forces of whatever back to their wherevers.
Mr. Site Admin: Does your Christmas day epiphany mean that we can no longer smite our enemies? If so, I’m signing off. Vengeance is mine saith Ignatius.
Friday, December 27, 2002
Granted, Mr. Doreen is not paid to be the local economist but this statement from his article bears some further thought:"ECISD, in giving their coaches approximately $3,000 more than Midland's coaches, is paying for potential. MISD should pay more for its proven winners. "Isn't it possible that ECISD is overpaying their coaches? Midland has teams in four of the last five state finals for x amount of dollars per year. ECISD pays x + 3000 for zilch. Nada. Nothing. Snake-eyes.
Just another one of those things that you run across where it dawns on you that we may never pass a bond issue to improve the schools:"We would like to see all teachers in Midland get raises in 2003, starting with our head football coaches."Read the rest of Stewart Doreen's article here.
Wednesday, December 25, 2002
Thursday, December 19, 2002
"If MISD had maintained the buildings properly to begin with........."
There is a new community type web site for Midland over at www.westtexastalk.com. They have an open forum if you want to tell the world that MISD administrators shouldn't be paid more......well, more than "grouchy" gets paid anyway. That is probably the real rub with 'ol grouchy.
Wednesday, December 18, 2002
Top 5 stories you will see on the TV station that brings you “News You Can Use” from now through Christmas:
Saturday, December 14, 2002
The heartbreaking outcome aside, that was simply the finest High School football game that I have ever witnessed. Midland High alum Wallace Craig comments.
Friday, December 13, 2002
UPDATE: Coach Yenzer did select Ratliff Stadium in Odessa as Midland High's "Home Site" but several e-mails have explained that they were not flipping for an actual "Home and Home" choice. San Antonio Judson's actual home stadium is too small to hold such a game so their "Home" stadium was a near but technically not "Home" site (Alamodome) and Midland High then selected Ratliff for the same reason. Glad we cleared that up.
Thursday, December 12, 2002
Now that Mr. Glasscock has declared that his building is worth $900,000 to $1.2 million he certainly couldn't object if the Midland Central Appraisal District were to agree with him and begin taxing him accordingly now could he?
More info from an attendee at the school board meeting. It seems the CRC/CFR made a joint pitch with Woody as their front man, flanked by Sparks. When Tighe asked why the price of the buildings had gone from $100,000.00 to $900,000.00 Woody deferred to Sparks who said something to the effect that “well in our discussions with the board we mentioned that the buildings could be in that price range.” With the implication clear to all present: Glasscock paid $100k. MISD might be willing to pay as much as $900k. What’s wrong with a guy trying to make a buck (or 800 thousand bucks), as long as MISD gets stuck with the bill? And the whole time, this citizens’ protection agency, these same watchdogs who go ballistic over waste, the guys who tell us that MISD is full of incompetent managers who over pay for everything from toilet paper to administrators, yeah....the C.F. and freakin’ R embodied by its regal jefe himself, Wayne Woodside, has the cajones to attempt to foist this scam upon the taxpayers of Midland County. Can we get a transcript of the meeting? This is too good.
OK, sorry MRT. You were working on the story while I was busy criticizing your indolence. Today’s article exposes Mr. Glasscock’s motive: pure profit. His best line was, "It became a business venture at this point," Glasscock said. "I was looking at it as an investment." At what point? At the point you saw an opportunity to pocket $800 large? Jesus, this guy and his CRC make Kimball and the CFR look positively altruistic.
Wednesday, December 11, 2002
Nice try Mr. Walsingham but your pleas will fall on ignorant ears at the MRT. Remember “entrepreneurial law enforcement?” The MRT covered the biggest story to hit Midland since our own eponymous well, by reprinting the Dallas Morning News story day after day. They had access to the players, could have walked right into deputy McKinney’s office and asked, “so are we really chasing small time drug pushers all over the country so you guys can drive cool, confiscated camaros?” but that would have taken a little initiative. No, the CFR has duped the paper for too long. The MRT would have to admit their gullibility to start asking tough questions after giving the CFR a free ride for two years. So how ‘bout we join ‘em? Think where we might provide the “other side” of a story and create a non-existent group to be available for interviews on a moment’s notice. We’ll be media stars! I’m not really fond of telethons (Easter Seals, NPR, any of those things) so how about we start a group called Citizens for Resuming Actual Programming – CRAP. You be the smooth-talkin' Mark Kimball, OK? I'll be Mr. non-sequitur, Woody. And we'll get Ernie to play himself. He's just in it for the pub. anyway.
From today's MR-T article on the newly proposed bond:"CFR also says it could complete project costs cheaper than MISD's proposal. The project costs in its proposal are consistently lower than those estimated by MISD. CFR President Woody Woodside said these costs were developed by local builders and developers but did not have documentation to support the projections."I am reminded of the last scene of "Raiders of the Lost Ark" when Indiana Jones is trying to find out what the U.S. Government has done with the Ark. The government bureaucrat tries to assure Jones that "top people" are studying it. Knowing that the number of top Egyptologists in the world is very small and that he would know who they are, Indiana Jones asks the simple question: "Who?" The answer is merely "Top.....People."
Reader Chey the Dog checks back in:"I am thinking "Six Citizens from a Smoke-Filled Room for Fiscal Responsibility" and McCarthy had a lot in common. The MRT reports: "CFR also says it could complete project costs cheaper than MISD's proposal. The project costs in its proposal are consistently lower than those estimated by MISD. CFR President Woody Woodside said these costs were developed by local builders and developers but did not have documentation to support the projections."
Of course the CFR isn't going to support the new MISD bond proposal. Their patented chin music serenades notwithstanding, they weren't even going to support their own proposal. And neither was anyone else when it dawned on them that it would mean going away from the neighborhood school concept that it took years to get back to. "Sure Louisa, we can get you your south side elementary school just like we always promised.....all we have to do is close Jane Long and Quanah Parker first."
Tuesday, December 10, 2002
You can add my name to the long list of those who will not be seeking to replace Larry Combest in the United States Congress. If nominated I will not run. If drafted I will not serve. But if you were to serve me a draft or two, I may waiver a bit.
This tip from a reader:"Judson athletic director Frank Arnold said that he tried to work with Midland on finding a neutral site for their possible meeting, but venues in Central Texas and Austin - specifically Memorial Stadium - were unavailable. Both schools ended flipping for home-and-home, with Midland choosing Ratliff Stadium in Odessa.".Here is the link. I don't remember reading about this in the MR-T......but I have been out of pocket. Any help here? Was the $48 mmmmmmmillion dollar BurritoGrande Communications stadium already booked? If not.......
Hey guys, this is kind of fun. If you do a Google search using the term "Midland Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility" it returns Jessica's Well at the TOP of the list. If you use just Midland CFR it only drops to number 4. That has to hurt!
"CFR stubbornly refuses to release its membership roster. We don't know if this shadowy organization has 600 members or six. They refuse to tell us. Its data is often porous. They are self-appointed, not chosen by ballot."Don't forget the other pertinent questions: Any By-Laws?. Regularly scheduled meetings? Voting procedure from the, ahem, membership in order to take a position on an issue? Is there a secret handshake?
A proposal to move San Jacinto Junior High School into the A, B, and C office buildings on Desta Drive? Can the owners of the Western United Life Building downtown be far behind with a proposal to fill up their money losing office building?
Another MR-T Online Poll:"DECEMBER 9, 2002 (mwt.com) - Have you put up Christmas decorations yet? Go to today's Online Readers Poll and tell us what you think."Go to the poll and tell us what you think? The question is "have you put up your Christmas lights yet" and they want to know what you think? It was at least a Yes/No option.....although perhaps they should have included the usual "Not Sure" or "No Opinion" options also.
Wazzamatter Iggy, you don't think simply getting a statement from both sides constitutes comprehensive reporting on an issue? You ain't from around here are 'ya, son?
Roone Arledge, creator of Monday Night Football, Nightline, 20/20, and other shows died this weekend. As would be expected, much was made of this by the national media that he was a part of. The national media always goes completely bonkers when it loses one of its own and it was no different this time. But as much fanfare and attention was given to Arledge, the all time winner in the How-can-we-ever-get-by-without-the-elite-media-icon-now-dead sweepstakes still has to be Katherine Graham.
Monday, December 09, 2002
Oops, sorry, I just read today’s front page and under “MISD ready to officially set date for referendum” we are treated to…you guessed it, another story chock full of CFR reaction. I give up. The MRT is hopeless.
Sunday’s MRT editorial was a classic – “School Board must face difficult task in difficult times.” After two years of printing every gaseous emission from the CFR they now tell us that “CFR stubbornly refuses to release its membership roster.” And “We don’t know if this shadowy organization has 600 members or 6.” Well, no S*** Sherlock.
Friday, December 06, 2002
I don't think that the NCAA has any rules regarding the "pirating" of coaches, do they?
Much as I hate to criticize anything that takes place in College Station, is not this week's hiring/firing farce too much even for one whose blood is tinged maroon? The biggest winner coach is trashed with hardly a "nice to have met you" and a new guy is found and tied up in what must be record time for a Division I job. Is it not fiscally irresponsible as well? At least four years of contracts for work to be not done have to be paid for, as well as really big bucks for work that WILL be done, theoretically.......and the whole spectacle of NCAA rules about pirating coaches being, if not ignored, at least seriously flouted........or is the new coach such a quick decision maker that he can read a contract and know all the ramifications is 10 minutes flat? Would like to hear comment from Aggies and other fans.
Dear Mr. Site Admin: How about altering your counter to read “Days with no realistic plan from the CFR?” And would you consider adding Mr. Woodside’s mug to the line-up? This thing they previewed in the paper today smacks of his wackiness, so give him some credit would ya? It reads like an early Gary Ott column minus the Marlboros & whisky & big tips for the waitress. At least Gary titled the column, “Random Thoughts.” Dufford says in the paper today that their proposals “have a little more planning in them.” More planning than what? 6 guys sitting around the coffee shop pulling numbers out of thin air, filling up their buddy’s building (Prude’s A, B, & C) is "more planning?"
Thursday, December 05, 2002
The rumor mill has it that Mr. Dollahite is soooooo impressed with the new plan from the CFR that he only plans to vote against it once.
LOUISA, THY NAME IS PATSY - PART II
As much as I think that the Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility are purposefully shooting for the equivalent of "Springtime For Hitler" (but one that, in fact, does bomb) with their proposed school improvement plan, the CFR has, technically at least, come up with a plan of their own so I will have to remove the counter that has been in the upper left hand corner of the site since September. The CFR has never come up with a plan before so this is good, if only to illustrate how unserious these people are about the whole affair of updating and improving the local school infrastructure.
Wednesday, December 04, 2002
Lamar Smith (R-AOLTime Warner) has an article....well...a press release really, concerning file sharing among computers and the transfer of copywrited material. An excerpt:"Whether the solution is stronger penalties for pirates, authorizing copyright holders to engage in cyber self-help methods, expanding the "fair use" doctrine, a combination of these proposals, or something different is what Congress and the Judiciary Committee on which I serve will examine next year."Stronger penalties for pirates....OK...sounds reasonable. But look at the next sentence....."authorizing copyright holders to engage in "cyber self help methods". For the uninitiated that means Ted Turner may get to poke around on your hard drive. I vote for stiffer penalties for pirates.
Tuesday, December 03, 2002
Midland has a new blog site. Check out Eric Seigmund's Fire Ant Gazette.
When the biggest blog site on the planet puts you on its blogroll it is a good thing. Thanks to Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit for the blog roll listing! This will generate traffic.....and we haven't posted since last Wednesday. Ok guys and gals....time to get off of our duffs and do some posting. Other major blogs now linking to Jessica's Well: USS Clueless, GreatestJeneration, Samizdata.net, and Scrappleface. Now if James Lileks were to ever give us a plug........
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