REAL WORLD EVENT DISCUSSIONS

Shout out to Second - hope you are doing well

POSTED BY: G
UPDATED: Friday, November 17, 2017 08:34
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Thursday, September 7, 2017 1:53 PM

JEWELSTAITEFAN


Quote:

Originally posted by JEWELSTAITEFAN:
I was also wondering: of the 75% in Houston who were above Flood Level, how many were unaffected? Any power interruptions for them? Looting? Water and sewer continued service? Gas stations still working? Got flooded anyhow?

did this get missed?

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Thursday, September 7, 2017 3:25 PM

WISHIMAY

There will be fire and brimstone and Earth will be destroyed!... in several billion years!----------------------------------------- "Well, so long Earth. Thanks for the air... and what-not." -Philip J. Fry


Quote:

Originally posted by JEWELSTAITEFAN:
where was the segue?
Were they older? Where was this "class" - Voc School, or what?



The segue was 6ix's video where he jokes if you aren't religious you usually end up a "spiritual massage therapist".

The class was a run by a guy who ran a reflexology massage business. It no longer fulfills the legal requirements, but back in the 90's it did. The other guy and girl were about 6 years older. No, they didn't teach "happy endings." That was a joke.

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Friday, September 8, 2017 12:50 AM

JEWELSTAITEFAN


Quote:

Originally posted by JEWELSTAITEFAN:
Quote:

Originally posted by JEWELSTAITEFAN:
Quote:

Originally posted by second:
Quote:

Originally posted by JEWELSTAITEFAN:
I heard that JJ Watt's fund page has topped $1.5 Billion in a day or 2. Apparently shut down the fund servers unable to handle the traffic.

Are you deliberately misleading? Because you are off by about $1.5 Billion.

Houston Flood Relief Fund
For: Victims of Hurricane Harvey
Houston, TX
Organizer: JJ Watt
Houston Flood Relief Fund (Victims of Hurricane Harvey)

Raised $2,166,539 of $3,000,000 goal.
Raised by 25,947 donors
www.youcaring.com/victimsofhurricaneharvey-915053


news tonight reports Watt's fund is over 7.2 million.
That's $5 Million in the past day.

News reports over $18 Million now.

news reports over $29 Million now.

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Friday, September 8, 2017 7:16 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Quote:

Originally posted by JEWELSTAITEFAN:

news reports over $29 Million now.

To put that puny $29 Million into prospective, and to show how most flood damage could have been avoided if only Houstonians had acted like they have enough commonsense to learn from the many, many past floods:

FEMA looks to buy out homes flooded by Hurricane Harvey

September 7, 2017

The Federal Emergency Management Agency said it is working to accelerate buyouts of repeatedly flooded properties following Hurricane Harvey in hopes of helping Houstonians escape perennially soggy neighborhoods and keeping the federal government from paying to rebuild homes time and time again.

It's unclear how many homes in Houston might be affected by the buyout plan. Roy Wright, the FEMA official who runs the National Flood Insurance Program, declined to provide details.

Wright said the buy-out acceleration was spurred, at least in part, by a Houston homeowner who called his office late one evening last week. The homeowner, whom he did not identify, had returned to her home after the Harvey flood and called to ask for a buyout.

Harris County has already bought out more homeowners than any county in the country, Wright said, spending $225 million in purchases over the last 20 years. [ If 100 times this amount had been spent, equal to $22.5 billion, FEMA would not be looking at a bill for $180 billion in Federal aid to the flooded. ]

Of the 1.1 million residential structures in Harris County, only one in five, or about 230,000, have national flood insurance. Of the county’s 130,000 residential buildings in “high hazard” areas — those in the so-called 100-year floodplains -- less than half, or about 55,000, are covered, despite requirements for such insurance.

www.houstonchronicle.com/business/article/FEMA-looks-to-buyout-homes-f
looded-by-Hurricane-12180372.php


99.5 percent of people are able to remain in their homes.

94 percent of homes suffered no damage.

At any given point, more than 98 percent of Houstonians have electric power, and 92 percent of Houstonians never lose power.

The economic damage caused by the disaster is estimated to be 10 percent to 20 percent of annual regional economic output, some of which is covered by insurance or tax deductible. This is like someone who makes a salary of $60,000 having suffering loss of $6,000 to $12,000.

www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/outlook/article/Linbeck-Hurricane-Har
vey-was-not-a-catastrophe-12174976.php

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Friday, September 8, 2017 4:47 PM

JEWELSTAITEFAN


Quote:

Originally posted by JEWELSTAITEFAN:
Quote:

Originally posted by JEWELSTAITEFAN:
Quote:

Originally posted by JEWELSTAITEFAN:
Quote:

Originally posted by second:
Quote:

Originally posted by JEWELSTAITEFAN:
I heard that JJ Watt's fund page has topped $1.5 Billion in a day or 2. Apparently shut down the fund servers unable to handle the traffic.

Are you deliberately misleading? Because you are off by about $1.5 Billion.

Houston Flood Relief Fund
For: Victims of Hurricane Harvey
Houston, TX
Organizer: JJ Watt
Houston Flood Relief Fund (Victims of Hurricane Harvey)

Raised $2,166,539 of $3,000,000 goal.
Raised by 25,947 donors
www.youcaring.com/victimsofhurricaneharvey-915053


news tonight reports Watt's fund is over 7.2 million.
That's $5 Million in the past day.

News reports over $18 Million now.

news reports over $29 Million now.


I was thinking that part of the good here was that one person was able to provide a conduit for people to funnel support. One that did not reek of corruption, was going to result in less than 5% of funds actually applied to the intended and pledged purpose.

Some people can use the help, even if they were stupid enough to buy in flood zones which flood every year lately.

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Friday, September 8, 2017 4:59 PM

JEWELSTAITEFAN


Quote:

Originally posted by 6stringJoker:
Quote:

Originally posted by JEWELSTAITEFAN:
Quote:

Originally posted by 6stringJoker:
Quote:

Originally posted by SHINYGOODGUY:
Hey Second, sending you good thoughts, prayers, vibes and everything positive; and that you and yours are safe. Also sending good thoughts to the good folk of Texas.

I'm sure Second's fine. He doesn't seem to be the type that would have bought a home in a flood zone on purpose or on accident. Besides, I don't think Second ever met up with a problem he couldn't buy his way out of.

Save your prayers for all those people who just lost everything they owned.

ummmm, because, according to you, they intentionally bought a FLOOD ZONE HOUSE so they could "lose everything they own" - and then ask for sympathy for their incredible stupidity? Right?

Of course, this does not apply to those in a non-Flood Zone.

News says floodwaters are breaching or overflowing levees, reservoirs.

I'm not even going to reply to this one because I think you need to re-read what I posted. I have no idea what you think you read from your reply.



Which of these parts are you confused about?
Quote:

Originally posted by JEWELSTAITEFAN:
Quote:

Originally posted by 6stringJoker:
I'm sure Second's fine. He doesn't seem to be the type that would have bought a home in a flood zone on purpose or on accident. Besides, I don't think Second ever met up with a problem he couldn't buy his way out of.

Save your prayers for all those people who just lost everything they owned.

ummmm, because, according to you, they intentionally bought a FLOOD ZONE HOUSE

Originally posted by 6stringJoker:
the type that would have bought a home in a flood zone on purpose or on accident.
Quote:


so they could "lose everything they own"

Originally posted by 6stringJoker:
all those people who just lost everything they owned.
Quote:


- and then ask for sympathy for their incredible stupidity? Right?

It kinda looks like I directly quoted you.

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Friday, September 8, 2017 5:39 PM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Quote:

Originally posted by JEWELSTAITEFAN:
Quote:

news reports over $29 Million now.


I was thinking that part of the good here was that one person was able to provide a conduit for people to funnel support. One that did not reek of corruption, was going to result in less than 5% of funds actually applied to the intended and pledged purpose.

Some people can use the help, even if they were stupid enough to buy in flood zones which flood every year lately.

Four Texas Congressmen disagree with you about the need to help the weak, the elderly, the stupid, and the ignorant from their mistakes.
www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/these-gop-lawmakers-voted-against-harv
ey-aid-debt-limit-extension/ar-AArw3Mb?li=BBmkt5R&ocid=spartandhp


Whether $29,000,000 or $129,000,000 in charity, it is less than 0.1% of the $180,000,000,000 the Republican Texas governor wants from the Republican President. $15.3 billion is already on the way, but it's just the first installment on a recovery and rebuilding package that could eclipse the more than $110 billion cost to taxpayers of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Sunday, September 10, 2017 6:36 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


A Harris County Flood Control District report from two decades ago predicted with "chilling accuracy" reality experienced by thousands of homeowners.

The report, which concluded the aging reservoir system was severely insufficient, proposed a $400 million fix that could have pushed water toward the Houston Ship Channel more quickly. It also suggested buying out properties at risk and regulating development in the area.

None of it happened. The report was mostly forgotten. Over time, land on the western fringes of the reservoirs filled with rows of brick homes.

Today, many sit mangled and destroyed - a preventable outcome that haunts Arthur Storey.

In a surprisingly candid interview with the Dallas paper, Storey, who was flood control director at the time of the 1996 report, said he regretted that he didn't do more to pressure officials to act, and that he was "not smart enough, bold enough to fight the system."

Storey didn't return my call on Friday, perhaps because he was busy tending to his home, which flooded as well. The longtime public servant, who retired from the county in 2015 at age 78, was clear in his assessment to the Dallas paper:

"This, what we have before us, is a massive engineering and governmental failure. I'm both angry about it and embarrassed about it."

Storey's honesty is commendable, and also heartbreaking.

But no one person is to blame for shortsighted policies. Forward-thinking, long-term investment requires buy-in from every level of government.

It also requires something else: Buy-in from you and me.

We, the people served, must acknowledge that, yes, government matters. Yes, there are some things government can solve or just make better.

Start at the polls.

We can't keep electing people openly contemptuous of the government institution that signs their paycheck. Their obstruction is not helpful, or cost-effective. We can't keep demanding ever-lower taxes without regard to the cruel consequences.

www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Harvey-s-l
esson-We-must-make-government-work-12185828.php


The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Sunday, September 10, 2017 2:04 PM

JEWELSTAITEFAN


Is using an elevator during 2 days of a hurricane overhead something recommended? or not prohibited?


https://ca.news.yahoo.com/apos-water-rushing-apos-discovery-000006727.
html

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Sunday, September 10, 2017 2:07 PM

JEWELSTAITEFAN


Quote:

Originally posted by second:
A Harris County Flood Control District report from two decades ago predicted with "chilling accuracy" reality experienced by thousands of homeowners.

The report, which concluded the aging reservoir system was severely insufficient, proposed a $400 million fix that could have pushed water toward the Houston Ship Channel more quickly. It also suggested buying out properties at risk and regulating development in the area.

None of it happened. The report was mostly forgotten. Over time, land on the western fringes of the reservoirs filled with rows of brick homes.

Today, many sit mangled and destroyed - a preventable outcome that haunts Arthur Storey.

In a surprisingly candid interview with the Dallas paper, Storey, who was flood control director at the time of the 1996 report, said he regretted that he didn't do more to pressure officials to act, and that he was "not smart enough, bold enough to fight the system."

Storey didn't return my call on Friday, perhaps because he was busy tending to his home, which flooded as well. The longtime public servant, who retired from the county in 2015 at age 78, was clear in his assessment to the Dallas paper:

"This, what we have before us, is a massive engineering and governmental failure. I'm both angry about it and embarrassed about it."

Storey's honesty is commendable, and also heartbreaking.

But no one person is to blame for shortsighted policies. Forward-thinking, long-term investment requires buy-in from every level of government.

It also requires something else: Buy-in from you and me.

We, the people served, must acknowledge that, yes, government matters. Yes, there are some things government can solve or just make better.

Start at the polls.

We can't keep electing people openly contemptuous of the government institution that signs their paycheck. Their obstruction is not helpful, or cost-effective. We can't keep demanding ever-lower taxes without regard to the cruel consequences.

www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Harvey-s-l
esson-We-must-make-government-work-12185828.php


Of all the people to buy a Flood Zone House, this guy did?

W T F??

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Wednesday, September 13, 2017 6:42 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Quote:

Originally posted by JEWELSTAITEFAN:

Of all the people to buy a Flood Zone House, this guy did?

W T F??

WTF is right. People see that buying a house in a flood zone will save them money, but only 1 person in 100 sees that the eventual flood damage will destroy all the money they "saved" plus 9 times more. I saw a news story this morning about the politicians who can't understand that spending $20 billion now will save them $180 billion in the future:

Too Little Too Late

Harris County Commissioners Court on Tuesday voted to ask the federal government for $17 million to purchase 104 homes at the highest risk of flooding even as more than 1,000 residents have called the Flood Control District in recent days to request buyouts of their Hurricane Harvey flood-damaged homes.

The grant application for Federal Emergency Management Agency buyout funds is part of an annual application to Washington based on flooding in the previous two years, meaning it may not include homes flooded during Harvey.

If approved, officials plan to use the funds to continue the county's slow, piecemeal process to buy and demolish some 3,300 homes located at least 2 feet below the floodplain, also known as "hopelessly deep."

An estimated 136,000 homes and structures across Harris County were flooded as Harvey dumped more than 51 inches of rain in some areas, sending water into some homes for the third time in as many years and sparking increased calls for buyouts from property owners and local officials alike.

Officials estimate nearly 178,000 structures are in the county's floodplain. Only a fifth of the county's 2,450 miles of bayous, creeks and drainage channels can contain a 100-year storm event.

Flood control officials estimate that providing 100-year-flood protection to all the homes in the county - through infrastructure upgrades or buyouts - would cost upward of $20 billion. That seems big, but is not compared to $180 billion for cleanup of Harvey asked for by the Governor of Texas.

www.houstonchronicle.com/news/politics/houston/article/Harris-County-s
eeks-FEMA-help-on-home-buyouts-12193177.php


The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Wednesday, September 13, 2017 8:55 AM

6STRINGJOKER


Where does buying a house in a flood zone save you money?

That sounds like rich people problems to me. Unless you're buying a house with cash, you're going to be forced to purchase very pricy FEMA flood insurance for the life of the loan. In the case of the 30 year loan, this could add $60,000 or more to the price of your home in the long term easily.

And you just know that when you cancel that insurance when the loan is up that next year will be the year the flood of the century hits and destroys everything you own.

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Thursday, September 14, 2017 5:00 AM

SHINYGOODGUY


The Constitution directly is a law FOR Free Speech, and I believe in the Constitution, so there's that.

As I researched secession, I found that the Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional in the case Texas v. White, although they said that revolution or consent of the States "could lead to a successful secession."
Some may argue otherwise.

Quote:

If there were, how many Democrats would be punished right now after Trump was voted in. Think about it.


The above statement has me scratching my head. What do you mean?

Quote:

Freedom of Speech covers stupidity.


Sure does. We have a president who speaks fluid stupid. But I exercised that
right by calling out Ann Coulter, as did you:

Quote:

Almost everything Reaverfan says is stupid,


Is this a great country or what?


SGG


Quote:

Originally posted by 6stringJoker:
Quote:

Originally posted by SHINYGOODGUY:
Why not punishment for trying to secede from the union? Both Ann Coulter and that pastor ARE idiots for saying that (hell, Ann pretty much corners the market in stupidity) and anyone listening to such garbage better hand in their "Get Out of Jail Free" card.



There's no laws against free speech, and I wouldn't want there to be any. There shouldn't be any laws against trying to secede from the Union either, as long as it's done in a peaceful manner.

If there were, how many Democrats would be punished right now after Trump was voted in. Think about it.


Freedom of Speech covers stupidity. Almost everything Reaverfan says is stupid, but I'll defend his right to say it.


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Sunday, September 17, 2017 9:41 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


As support for Ike Dike grows, we still need stubborn boosters

By Lisa Falkenberg September 16, 2017
www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/As-support
-for-Ike-Dike-grows-we-still-need-12203387.php


It’s been a long, hard slog for Bill Merrell since he first proposed the concept of an “Ike Dike” nine years ago. At times, the Texas A&M oceanographer probably could have used his own dike of sorts to keep all the dismissiveness at bay.

Merrell’s fight isn’t over just because political leaders in the weeks after Harvey are calling for action on his concept, but he says it’s heartening to finally see progress. His plan, a “coastal spine” composed of a system of floating gates, is intended to protect Galveston Bay and much of the Houston region from a killer wall of water known as a surge that could accompany a direct-hit monster storm.

“The parade is forming,” the 74-year-old professor said in an interview last week as he sat in a maroon swivel chair in his office overlooking the Galveston channel.

“I learned a long time ago,” he said, referring to his time as a Reagan appointee to the National Science Foundation, “if you’re going to be a hammer, you’ve got to be an anvil, too. People are going to hit back and you can’t take anything personally. Just keep working.”

Early skepticism is perhaps best summed up in a colorful rant by Harris County Commissioner Steve Radack reported by the Chronicle in 2010, when he suggested the closest we’d get to the Ike Dike in his lifetime might be people lining up their cars along the beach.

“Who knows what it’s going to be? Train a bunch of dinosaurs to stand up at a given time?” Radack went on. “Do I believe that man can stop a category 4 or 5 hurricane? The answer is, ‘I don’t believe man can stop a (category) 4 or 5 hurricane unless they pray a lot.’”

Radack wasn’t alone in his resignation about Houston’s vulnerability. Merrell says he once held a similar view himself — that an engineering solution to prevent death and destruction might be well impossible for an area prone to powerful hurricanes. Then came Ike.

Merrell remembers hunkering down with his wife, daughter and grandson for the 2008 hurricane on the second floor of a sturdy 1870 brick-andiron building he owns on The Strand in Galveston. He recalls the helpless feeling as he listened to the 100-mph winds howl, as he watched the streets turn into rivers. The next morning, as he surveyed the destruction around him, he heard about an old friend, a World War II veteran who had lost one hand in combat, who had tied himself to a signpost to avoid being swept out to sea during the storm. When rescuers got to him, he vowed never to weather another hurricane.

A policy ‘of failure’

He was one of the many people Merrell knew, most elderly and poor, who would leave the island and never return. There had to be another way, Merrell thought. He questioned the wisdom of focusing all efforts on recovery and nearly none on prevention.

“Our national policy is one of failure,” he says. “We don’t prevent. We let them hit us in the nose, and we fix it. And we let them do it again. Think about it. If we were doing that for terrorism, we’d throw every damn politician out.”

He says even if a storm is “equal opportunity” in its aim, the poor and elderly — the people lacking in money, insurance and energy — are always the hardest hit. They may escape with their breath, but their lives as they knew them are often wiped out.

“You’re bused up to Dallas or Austin. Your possessions are bulldozed. You only have what you can carry in a sack,” Merrell says. “That’s not how you should treat people.”

Merrell says Ike left him with an “epiphany” that an engineering solution was possible. He sat down and began sketching out an idea for a coastal barrier in Galveston Bay, similar to one he’d seen in the Netherlands.

“The Dutch wouldn’t put up with this,” Merrell says.

It’s become a familiar refrain that poses a provocative question: Why do Texans?

Merrell, a native Texan raised in Bellaire who has lived in Galveston since the 1980s, knows part of the answer: our rugged, risk-taking culture.

“Texans are a pretty resilient lot, but we’re kind of cowboys, too,” he says. “I wish we’d accept the fact that we could reduce risk, rather than just live with risk.”

That’s at the heart of Merrell’s argument — prevention is not only possible, it’s smarter and more cost-effective than simply spending billions of dollars to rebuild things the way they were and expecting different results.

Last week, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner led a bipartisan group of local officials to demand a “coastal spine” project be federally funded as part of any Harvey recovery package. The estimated cost cited at Turner’s press conference was up to $14 billion, but Merrell believes it’s not more than $8 billion.

Regardless, he says, “it’s going to be cost effective at any cost,” if one accounts for lives and property saved, and the nation’s largest petrochemical complex protected. “Prevention is expensive, but usually, you only do it once.”

He acknowledges the millions of dollars in maintenance costs, which would likely be paid by local or state governments. And he knows there’s plenty of skepticism about whether Congress, outside of the Texas delegation, has the political will to fund the massive project.

Fighting for his idea

Bob Stokes, president of the Galveston Bay Foundation, wrote in an op-ed published in the Chronicle last week that leaders should consider a less expensive option. Others agree, including environmental lawyer Jim Blackburn, who is also concerned about the environmental impact of Merrell’s concept.

“Bill’s done some beautiful work. I think his initial conceptualization was great,” said Blackburn, who is also co-director of the SSPEED Center at Rice University. It stands for the Severe Storm Prediction, Education and Evacuation from Disaster Center. “I just think we should have more detail on it than we do. And I don’t think it’s the best alternative for the money.”

Merrell acknowledges his concept is just that, albeit a concept heavily studied and already tested in other places. He’s not an engineer, and Merrell notes that neither the state nor the federal government has funded a design phase anyway.

He’s simply an academic who, rather than publish an idea and let it wither in the literature, decided to fight for it. He spent years, and plenty of weekends, raising money for research, educating local government leaders over coffee, cheerleading to congressional members, and organizing trips to the Netherlands to observe a real gated barrier system that has worked more than two dozen times.

Merrell says he shares Blackburn’s environmental concerns, but he believes engineering can address those, as well as aesthetics. “Nobody wants to go down and look at a concrete wall and somebody tells you the ocean is on the other side.”

At this point, he and his colleagues have turned over everything they’ve learned to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Merrell says. The agency, which would be tasked with building such a structure, has a broad study going on coastal resiliency.

Merrell credits any progress he has made on the Ike Dike to the colleagues who have helped him and to his own hardheadedness — a characteristic he shares with the man whose endowed chair he holds at A&M: George Mitchell, the late Texas billionaire shale pioneer known as “the father of fracking.”

“He used to say it’s OK to be stubborn if you think you’re right,” Merrell says.

‘Hard decisions’

Of course, it’s not enough to think you’re right. You actually have to be right. Merrell is convinced that he is, and he has persuaded leaders across the region.

Now we need details and careful study to be sure. We need a member of Congress to call on the Corps of Engineers to draft a design.

As Harris County Judge Ed Emmett told me Friday, we need action.

Merrell points to Emmett’s tone these days as proof of how far the Ike Dike has come. He says Emmett is among the elected leaders who initially laughed at the idea. Emmett says he didn’t laugh, only cautioned that there was no way the Obama administration was going to foot the bill.

“I don’t know anyone who ever thought it was a ridiculous idea,” Emmett said. “But it’s time to quit having press conferences and saying, ‘Yeah, we want a coastal barrier,’ and get on with designing it and making the hard decisions.”

He’s right. Merrell gave us a concept that could help protect our region from the monster storm we all know is coming. Now we need someone just as stubborn to make it a reality.

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Thursday, September 21, 2017 6:56 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


The shouting would have been 10 times louder and more acrimonious if Houston had to pay 100% rather than only 10% of the cost, with FEMA paying the other 90%.

Stalled debris removal spurs council mess

Council Members want plan now-Now-NOW, despite that being impossible because the council refuses to pay more, while Mayor weighs how city will pay its share of inflated rates. Mayor said FEMA also increased the payment rate for debris removal to $11.69 per cubic yard from $7.69, a move he said would help Houston attract more haulers.

www.houstonchronicle.com/news/politics/houston/article/Mayor-council-c
lash-over-Harvey-debris-removal-12216212.php


By Mike Morris

Crews work to remove debris in the Denver Harbor neighborhood. Mayor Sylvester Turner said higher rates have stymied the city’s cleanup efforts.

City Council members under pressure from constituents to remove the thousands of piles of Hurricane Harvey wreckage on Houston curbs spent Wednesday morning shouting over one another about the topic before delaying a proposal Mayor Sylvester Turner said is needed to meet the city’s goal of trucking 150,000 cubic yards of that debris to landfills each day.

Houston had removed a total of 400,000 cubic yards of debris by Tuesday night, the mayor said, noting the ongoing struggle to draw enough trucks into service. The difficulty is partly because the region is competing with a similar cleanup in Florida and partly because the debris removal rate the city had received through competitive bidding before Harvey proved too low to attract subcontractors.

Turner said he has received approval from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to be reimbursed for 90 percent of the city’s debris removal costs not only at the competitively bid rate, but also at a newly negotiated rate that is 50 percent higher.

That higher rate will entice more subcontractors onto Houston streets, he said, but also will require the city to contribute more to what now is expected to be a $260 million effort.

To that end, council considered allocating an additional $60 million to its main debris removal contract. That the item was delayed one week — over Turner’s strenuous objections — likely will not have a noticeable effect on the cleanup, but it reflected council members’ unrest over a lack of communication about the debris removal effort that had left them flat-footed in answering constituents’ questions.

“There’s a lot of debris everywhere. I know people want it up right now,” Turner said. Still, he said the process may be slower than desired because some truckers have sought even higher rates. “I’m not going to be aggressive in going beyond the FEMA-approved rate. I’m not going to assume an added amount more beyond that when we don’t know where those dollars are going to come from.”

Against a backdrop of intense constituent interest, the discussion quickly went sideways.

District K pushback

Turner already was miffed at questions from Councilmen Jerry Davis and Michael Kubosh about what value prime contractor DRC was providing for its fee when Councilman Larry Green chimed in, seeking information about minority contracting and when trucks were slated to visit neighborhoods in his southwest Houston district.

When Turner declined to answer his queries, Green responded by tagging the item, forcing a one-week delay.

The mayor accused Green of slowing the debris removal process and even suggested the other council members were acting irresponsibly by not voting to override Green’s tag — one of the few powers granted to council members in Houston’s strong-mayor system.

“No one is in a position right now to provide that specificity. There’s debris all over the city in large amounts,” Turner said. “Everybody wants it out of their districts. I got that. But it’s citywide, not just district-specific.”

Green defended his decision and questioned whether a week’s delay would change anything when the current contract is not at risk of expiring or running out of funds. He added that Councilman Dave Martin had been sent crews from the city of San Antonio to clean up Kingwood and that Martin had been receiving detailed information about the debris removed and the next areas to be visited.

Martin retorted that he had better information because he had worked for it, angering his colleagues.

“Maybe that’s some Kingwood stuff that’s happening,” Green said, “but it’s not happening in (District) K.”

Council asks for a plan

Turner was furious, and appeared to question Green’s motives.

“That statement is blatantly false,” he said. “If you’re after something else in terms of subcontracts, say it.”

Other council members kept their tempers in check but joined Green in asking for clearer information.

“Just give us a plan: where you intend to be and when you intend to be there,” Councilman Mike Laster said.

The key focus right now, the mayor said at his post-meeting news conference, is adding trucks to the roads to remove an “unprecedented” amount of debris, then to improve communications.

“I’ve spoken to a number of these contractors and subs, and when I’m talking to the subs the thing they keep asking me (is), ‘Mayor are you going to pay us? Are there going to be any delays?’ I’m telling them, ‘We are going to pay you,’” Turner said after the meeting. “What happened today doesn’t strengthen my hand. It sends the wrong signal.”



The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Friday, September 22, 2017 7:00 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Harvey - and storms to come - raise worries about dam safety

www.houstonchronicle.com/business/article/Harvey-and-storms-to-come-ra
ise-worries-12219484.php


State climatologist says reservoirs are vulnerable to extreme storms

By Ryan Maye Handy, September 21, 2017 11:07pm

John Nielsen-Gammon cites climate change as culprit.

The state climatologist is warning that Texas dams will become less able to withstand extreme weather events like Hurricane Harvey, which are expected to occur more frequently as the Earth’s atmosphere and oceans warm in coming years.

Dams are designed with a wide margin of safety and are meant to withstand extreme, worst-case scenarios that are never expected to happen. But what stunned state climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon and other weather experts was that Harvey exceeded or matched the preposterous amounts of rainfall that dams in Texas are built to hold back.

“The probable maximum precipitation amount should never be reached,” said Tye Parzybok, the chief meteorologist at Met-Stat, a Colorado-based company that helped Texas calculate the rainfall amounts. “It should never get close to it.”

After Harvey, regulators will have to recalculate the maximum amount of water that dams should be capable of holding back, said Nielsen-Gammon. Climate change means that powerful storms are bringing vastly more rain than they did a century ago, he said.

“I’m not saying they’re unsafe,” said Nielsen-Gammon of Texas’ dams. “They will be less safe than they were designed to be.”

While the relationship between climate change and hurricanes is uncertain, many scientists believe the increasing concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere — much of it from burning fossil fuels — is raising global temperatures and warming the oceans, causing more water to evaporate. The buildup of moisture, in turn, is leading to more extreme rains; the record-breaking rainfall brought by Harvey — 51 inches in Harris County — was likely up to 7 percent greater than it would have been a century ago because of climate change, said Nielsen-Gammon.

Local and federal governments, regulators and private industry are now grappling with managing the effects of climate change in designing and constructing buildings, highways, bridges, water and sewer systems and other public works. There is no method, yet, for factoring climate change into the rainfall amounts dams should be capable of withstanding — but that’s something Nielsen-Gammon hopes to change.

On Friday, he will give a presentation in San Marcos at a conference of civil engineers making the case for incorporating climate change into rainfall measurements that are used to design dams, nuclear power plants and other projects that are meant to never fail.

There are 4,008 state-regulated dams in Texas, more than 1,200 of which are considered high risk, meaning their failure would kill people, according to the Association of State Dam Safety Officials. Dams are designed to hold a hypothetical amount of rainfall over a given time period and over a certain area, a calculation called a probable maximum precipitation amount.

The calculations are based on historical rainfall data, which is part of a complex calculation to create a margin of safety. Last year, after nearly 40 years since probable maximum precipitation amounts were first calculated for building dams, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, which oversees dam safety, updated the amounts the state’s dams should be designed to hold.

Harvey has challenged those values, and that should warrant another update that factors in a storm that holds the record for most rainfall in the continental United States, said Nielsen-Gammon.

“Climate scientists expect — based on observations and models — that the maximum is increasing and will continue to increase,” he said. “The frequency of extreme rainfall events is increasing and it’s expected to do that because of climate change.”

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Friday, September 22, 2017 7:11 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Sen. Ted Cruz said Thursday that Congress will make flood control and mitigation a focal point of efforts to rebuild after Hurricane Harvey, citing the Addicks and Barker reservoirs as potential projects that could be targeted for upgrades.

Meanwhile, House Speaker Paul Ryan, who toured the Houston area with Texas Sens. Cruz and John Cornyn and other lawmakers, said the next round of funding for disaster relief could come as soon as next month.

But Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, did not commit to funding a long-sought coastal barrier that area officials say would protect the region from massive storm surges. Funding for the estimated $12 billion project has been stalled for years in Congress, despite similar walls having been built along other disaster-prone coasts around the country.

The Ike Dike has after Harvey taken on new urgency for many officials and business leaders, who warn a serious hurricane could have devastating effects on the Houston Ship Channel and the national economy.

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Friday, September 22, 2017 11:20 AM

6STRINGJOKER


There's always talk about building walls, but no walls ever seem to get built.


Twelve billion seems a bit excessive. Why such a high price? How big of a wall does that buy?

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Friday, September 22, 2017 5:47 PM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Quote:

Originally posted by 6stringJoker:
There's always talk about building walls, but no walls ever seem to get built.

The Federal government would not pay for the Galveston Seawall, at least not until 6 thousand died in the 1900 Hurricane and there was literally hundreds of thousands of dollars of damage. I don't expect the Ike Dike until thousands die and a hundred billion dollars of damage. That seems to be how Congress and Texas have always been. They always react too late.

Quote:

Originally posted by 6stringJoker:
Twelve billion seems a bit excessive. Why such a high price? How big of a wall does that buy?

You never know what it will cost to buy out the land owners. Believe me, they're crooked in Texas and if you don't pay their extortionate prices (think Malibu California seashore) the project will be held up in litigation for decades. It would be worse than what will happen for the Texas/Mexico wall along the Rio Grande. And then the construction companies will want to get rich. A lot of One-Percenters will make out like bandits on the Ike Dike project. You can read about the swindles in Wall Street Journal ten or twenty years from now, once the project is finished, long after some huge hurricanes have ruined Houston.

www.wsj.com/articles/SB124407051124382899

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Friday, September 22, 2017 7:56 PM

JEWELSTAITEFAN


Quote:

Originally posted by SECOND:
Harvey - and storms to come - raise worries about dam safety

www.houstonchronicle.com/business/article/Harvey-and-storms-to-come-ra
ise-worries-12219484.php


State climatologist says reservoirs are vulnerable to extreme storms

By Ryan Maye Handy, September 21, 2017 11:07pm

John Nielsen-Gammon cites climate change as culprit.

The state climatologist is warning that Texas dams will become less able to withstand extreme weather events like Hurricane Harvey, which are expected to occur more frequently as the Earth’s atmosphere and oceans warm in coming years.

Dams are designed with a wide margin of safety and are meant to withstand extreme, worst-case scenarios that are never expected to happen. But what stunned state climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon and other weather experts was that Harvey exceeded or matched the preposterous amounts of rainfall that dams in Texas are built to hold back.

“The probable maximum precipitation amount should never be reached,” said Tye Parzybok, the chief meteorologist at Met-Stat, a Colorado-based company that helped Texas calculate the rainfall amounts. “It should never get close to it.”

After Harvey, regulators will have to recalculate the maximum amount of water that dams should be capable of holding back, said Nielsen-Gammon. Climate change means that powerful storms are bringing vastly more rain than they did a century ago, he said.

“I’m not saying they’re unsafe,” said Nielsen-Gammon of Texas’ dams. “They will be less safe than they were designed to be.”

While the relationship between climate change and hurricanes is uncertain, many scientists believe the increasing concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere — much of it from burning fossil fuels — is raising global temperatures and warming the oceans, causing more water to evaporate. The buildup of moisture, in turn, is leading to more extreme rains; the record-breaking rainfall brought by Harvey — 51 inches in Harris County — was likely up to 7 percent greater than it would have been a century ago because of climate change, said Nielsen-Gammon.

Local and federal governments, regulators and private industry are now grappling with managing the effects of climate change in designing and constructing buildings, highways, bridges, water and sewer systems and other public works. There is no method, yet, for factoring climate change into the rainfall amounts dams should be capable of withstanding — but that’s something Nielsen-Gammon hopes to change.

On Friday, he will give a presentation in San Marcos at a conference of civil engineers making the case for incorporating climate change into rainfall measurements that are used to design dams, nuclear power plants and other projects that are meant to never fail.

There are 4,008 state-regulated dams in Texas, more than 1,200 of which are considered high risk, meaning their failure would kill people, according to the Association of State Dam Safety Officials. Dams are designed to hold a hypothetical amount of rainfall over a given time period and over a certain area, a calculation called a probable maximum precipitation amount.

The calculations are based on historical rainfall data, which is part of a complex calculation to create a margin of safety. Last year, after nearly 40 years since probable maximum precipitation amounts were first calculated for building dams, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, which oversees dam safety, updated the amounts the state’s dams should be designed to hold.

Harvey has challenged those values, and that should warrant another update that factors in a storm that holds the record for most rainfall in the continental United States, said Nielsen-Gammon.

“Climate scientists expect — based on observations and models — that the maximum is increasing and will continue to increase,” he said. “The frequency of extreme rainfall events is increasing and it’s expected to do that because of climate change.”

Golly, almost 4 inches more than 100 years ago. Because only 47 inches in 48 hours would have been completely different.

Why does this sound like attempts to distract from Obama's dereliction of the dams since 2009 when those dams were ID'd as among the 6 worst in the Nation, from all 57 States? Or was Bush President from 2009 to 2017?

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Friday, September 22, 2017 10:30 PM

6STRINGJOKER


LOL all 57 states.


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Saturday, September 23, 2017 7:40 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Quote:

Originally posted by JEWELSTAITEFAN:

Golly, almost 4 inches more than 100 years ago. Because only 47 inches in 48 hours would have been completely different.

Why does this sound like attempts to distract from Obama's dereliction of the dams since 2009 when those dams were ID'd as among the 6 worst in the Nation, from all 57 States? Or was Bush President from 2009 to 2017?

It is Congress, not the President, that provides the money for fixing dams. It is not Presidential dereliction, but Congressional dereliction of duty. If Congress won't provide the money, the dams don't get fixed. If you can show me money Congress authorized for fixing dams that a President refused to spend, then you have shown that it is the President's fault that the dams are not fixed. But it has never happened where a President declared that Congress is wasting money on dams and refused to fix one. It has always been Congress not paying for repairs. I can recall Congress shutting down the government while Obama was President. Congress wouldn't pay for anything, not just dams.

By golly, you have a point, but it is that Texas only learns a small part of the lessons taught by major storms. From today's Houston Chronicle about Hurricane Harvey:

I remembered a warning from the post-script of the only book-length account of Indianola’s colorful history.

“In time,” the late Malsch wrote, “new catastrophes comparable to those of Indianola in 1875 and 1886, of Galveston in 1900, of Corpus Christi in 1919, of hurricane Carla in 1961, to name only a few, will overwhelm parts of the Texas coast. When? Who knows? One can only say with certainty that they will come.”

Malsch chided coastal Texans for ignoring “the examples [Indianolans] set and the lessons they were harshly taught.” More than 40 years after he penned those words, his warning goes unheeded [by Congress].

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Saturday, September 23, 2017 2:28 PM

JEWELSTAITEFAN


Quote:

Originally posted by second:
Quote:

Originally posted by JEWELSTAITEFAN:
Golly, almost 4 inches more than 100 years ago. Because only 47 inches in 48 hours would have been completely different.

Why does this sound like attempts to distract from Obama's dereliction of the dams since 2009 when those dams were ID'd as among the 6 worst in the Nation, from all 57 States? Or was Bush President from 2009 to 2017?

It is Congress, not the President, that provides the money for fixing dams. It is not Presidential dereliction, but Congressional dereliction of duty. If Congress won't provide the money, the dams don't get fixed. If you can show me money Congress authorized for fixing dams that a President refused to spend, then you have shown that it is the President's fault that the dams are not fixed. But it has never happened where a President declared that Congress is wasting money on dams and refused to fix one. It has always been Congress not paying for repairs. I can recall Congress shutting down the government while Obama was President. Congress wouldn't pay for anything, not just dams.

By golly, you have a point, but it is that Texas only learns a small part of the lessons taught by major storms. From today's Houston Chronicle about Hurricane Harvey:

I remembered a warning from the post-script of the only book-length account of Indianola’s colorful history.

“In time,” the late Malsch wrote, “new catastrophes comparable to those of Indianola in 1875 and 1886, of Galveston in 1900, of Corpus Christi in 1919, of hurricane Carla in 1961, to name only a few, will overwhelm parts of the Texas coast. When? Who knows? One can only say with certainty that they will come.”

Malsch chided coastal Texans for ignoring “the examples [Indianolans] set and the lessons they were harshly taught.” More than 40 years after he penned those words, his warning goes unheeded [by Congress].

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

OK. Obama had 2009 to 2011 to get those dams repaired, after they were identified in 2009. Bobo and 2 chambers of Congress, all under Democrap control. But instead, their priority was to destroy, not build.

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Sunday, September 24, 2017 7:15 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Quote:

Originally posted by JEWELSTAITEFAN:

OK. Obama had 2009 to 2011 to get those dams repaired, after they were identified in 2009. Bobo and 2 chambers of Congress, all under Democrap control. But instead, their priority was to destroy, not build.

Obama could not spend more on the Army Corps of Engineering projects, such as rebuilding dams, because the deficit was soaring in those years. You remember why, too, don't you? Tax collection was down, which had everything to do with a previous President crashing the economy. You could look at the graph about the growing deficit: https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/GFDEGDQ188S

I noticed you got a serious case of amnesia in 2008 for everything wrong in government that happened before Obama, plus you started posting your delusions about Obama being the cause of the crash in the economy. In 2017 Obama is now the cause of the dams not being rebuilt. You're consistent over the years, but your political theorizing doesn't leave any room for Congressional Republicans being at fault in even the tiniest way:
http://fireflyfans.net/mthreaduser.aspx?u=28350
http://fireflyfans.net/mthread.aspx?bid=18&tid=35735&mid=65659
4#656594


The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Sunday, September 24, 2017 9:42 AM

JEWELSTAITEFAN


Quote:

Originally posted by second:
Quote:

Originally posted by JEWELSTAITEFAN:
OK. Obama had 2009 to 2011 to get those dams repaired, after they were identified in 2009. Bobo and 2 chambers of Congress, all under Democrap control. But instead, their priority was to destroy, not build.

Obama could not spend more on the Army Corps of Engineering projects, such as rebuilding dams, because the deficit was soaring in those years. You remember why, too, don't you?

Yep. Rock-The-Vote Democraps wasted no time enacting a budget to crash the economy, bloating spending to plummet revenues, and Obama's ACORN bubble popped, and then, like I pointed out, from Nov 2008 to Mar 2009 Bobo worked feverishly to further the economic trashing that his Libtard bozos already had under way.
Quote:


I noticed you got a serious case of amnesia in 2008 for everything wrong in government that happened before Obama, plus you started posting your delusions about Obama being the cause of the crash in the economy. In 2017 Obama is now the cause of the dams not being rebuilt. You're consistent over the years, but your political theorizing doesn't leave any room for Congressional Republicans being at fault in even the tiniest way:
http://fireflyfans.net/mthreaduser.aspx?u=28350
http://fireflyfans.net/mthread.aspx?bid=18&tid=35735&mid=65659
4#656594



I'm certain that I faulted Congressional Republicans for not stridently protecting Americans from bloated debts, deficits, spending, ACORN practices well before Bobo was elected.
But the electorate continues to choose RINOs, and even my state is guilty of it.

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Sunday, September 24, 2017 11:57 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Quote:

Originally posted by JEWELSTAITEFAN:

I'm certain that I faulted Congressional Republicans for not stridently protecting Americans from bloated debts, deficits, spending, ACORN practices well before Bobo was elected.
But the electorate continues to choose RINOs, and even my state is guilty of it.

Finding fault will get you nothing in the real world.

Election after election, the same Republican electorate keeps returning the same old Republicans in name only to Congress. It is their fault for not learning, yet whining about the results. Similarly, Republicans I know blame the government for hurricane Harvey flooding of their homes, never taking personal responsibility for their bad decisions that I have shown seven Republicans, so far, where their homes are on the flood map. They don’t grasp easily the concept of buying a building in a flood zone means you will get flooded. Their action ought to be buying a different house at an elevation provably above floods. And not taking word of mouth that the house can’t flood. Similarly, their action should be to elect a different Congressman who is provably a "pure" Republican. And not taking the future Congressman's word as sincere and without intention to deceive you. It is that straight forward.

Here is the flood map: www.harriscountyfemt.org/

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Sunday, September 24, 2017 12:47 PM

6STRINGJOKER


Well... voting in somebody that isn't lying to you is a tough job for anybody.


I agree with you about the flood zone thing, for the most part. It all depends on the circumstances surrounding the issue though. It's possible that a few of them didn't know what they were getting into.

I'm in a flood zone. The house was sold as-is, I didn't buy with a mortgage, and the bank selling it to me surely wasn't going to volunteer that information. It was bad news when I found that out from neighbors after I bought the house and even worse when I had to deal with it first hand.

I thought I had done my due diligence. Any of the other cities I had been looking at had this information listed on their tax property cards. So did mine, actually, but it wasn't correct information. (I actually got quite a bit shaved off of my property taxes when I had them fix this. Since I don't plan on moving any time soon and by devaluing my home wherever I could I've benefited from an average tax savings of around $1,250 every year since I've been here.)

I'm not considered a major risk. It's actually just barely considered a flood zone and the way things have been trending with the ditch work they've done in the area I might actually be outside of it one day. The problem is that if I lose power or the sump pump goes out and it's been raining a lot, my basement will flood. I actually had damn near gotten hypothermia around 4 years back when the pump went out and I was knee deep in freezing November waters replacing it.

Now that I know, I have a spare pump and parts on hand as well as a generator. I plan to build a complete second pump system with a battery backup and maybe even buy a Generac system if and when money allows. I figure in the mean time I'll just replace my pump every 6-7 years just to be on the safe side.


I still blame myself for the situation though. I was far too focused on some things and not focused enough on other things when I was buying. I know a lot more now and wouldn't make the same mistake again, but for now all I can do is prepare for the worst as best I can so I don't have to worry about it all of the time.

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Sunday, September 24, 2017 2:08 PM

JEWELSTAITEFAN


Quote:

Originally posted by second:
Quote:

Originally posted by JEWELSTAITEFAN:
I'm certain that I faulted Congressional Republicans for not stridently protecting Americans from bloated debts, deficits, spending, ACORN practices well before Bobo was elected.
But the electorate continues to choose RINOs, and even my state is guilty of it.

Finding fault will get you nothing in the real world.

Election after election, the same Republican electorate keeps returning the same old Republicans in name only to Congress. It is their fault for not learning, yet whining about the results. Similarly, Republicans I know blame the government for hurricane Harvey flooding of their homes, never taking personal responsibility for their bad decisions that I have shown seven Republicans, so far, where their homes are on the flood map. They don’t grasp easily the concept of buying a building in a flood zone means you will get flooded. Their action ought to be buying a different house at an elevation provably above floods. And not taking word of mouth that the house can’t flood. Similarly, their action should be to elect a different Congressman who is provably a "pure" Republican. And not taking the future Congressman's word as sincere and without intention to deceive you. It is that straight forward.

Here is the flood map: www.harriscountyfemt.org/

Agreed all around.
Very few of the candidates I vote for win, but I still vote for the best candidate.

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Wednesday, September 27, 2017 6:19 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Quote:

Originally posted by 6stringJoker:

Now that I know, I have a spare pump and parts on hand as well as a generator. I plan to build a complete second pump system with a battery backup and maybe even buy a Generac system if and when money allows. I figure in the mean time I'll just replace my pump every 6-7 years just to be on the safe side.

I still blame myself for the situation though. I was far too focused on some things and not focused enough on other things when I was buying. I know a lot more now and wouldn't make the same mistake again, but for now all I can do is prepare for the worst as best I can so I don't have to worry about it all of the time.

31,000 property owners in Harris and Fort Bend counties learned during Harvey’s mass evacuations that their homes lie in what the federal government considers emergency lake beds behind the Barker and Addicks dams. Engineers call them “flood pools.”

The two earthen dams were erected by the Army Corps of Engineers in the 1940s to protect downtown Houston after flooding wrecked the city in 1935. Unlike traditional “lake-forming” dams, the reservoirs are not clearly defined and are dry much of the year. The water they impound during heavy rains sprawls west across flatland into what was once open prairie. The flood pool grows depending on rainfall and on how much water the Army Corps releases through the dams’ gates.

Homeowners in the reservoir area, many of whom do not have flood insurance, worry about what the next downpour will bring.

The threat to these suburban subdivisions has been years in the making, a Chronicle review found.

Harris and Fort Bend counties and the city of Houston approved construction of thousands of homes near the reservoirs, even though county leaders and engineers have known since the 1990s that the properties could be inundated by flood pools in a major storm, according to public documents and interviews.

Subdivisions kept sprouting even as bigger and more frequent storms created ever-larger flood pools. Of the 11 biggest pools ever recorded at Addicks and Barker, 10 have occurred since 1990, according to Army Corps records. Harvey generated the biggest pool ever.

Yet public awareness of the danger has been minimal. If a home is within the 100-year flood plain, bank rules and insurance policies require a prospective purchaser to be told. Banks typically will not grant a mortgage for a home within the 100-year-old floodplain unless the buyer takes out flood insurance.

A flood pool is different. The Army Corps doesn’t require homebuyers to be notified of the risk. Nor does Texas law. Nor do federal flood insurance rules. Nor do mortgage lenders’ disclosure practices.

www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Many-homeo
wners-unaware-they-lived-in-reservoir-12231188.php


The people profiting from selling you a home won't tell you the truth, but the Flood Map will: www.harriscountyfemt.org/

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Wednesday, September 27, 2017 7:37 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


How a historic house in Meyerland was elevated

Cheryl Joseph, via OffCite
September 26, 2017

On the right: A historic house in Meyerland was elevated above the 100-year floodplain and largely spared the damage of Hurricane Harvey.

A large portion of the housing stock in and near Meyerland has flooded three times in the last three years.

Homeowners there have lessons to share about the hard choices people across the city are facing now for the first time. Among the options to rebuild and recover is to elevate.

Doug and Erin Anders of Heatherglen Drive elevated their home a month before Hurricane Harvey, and they were thus spared from the muck-and-gut their neighbors faced.

Having flooded as much as a foot during the Memorial Day Floods (2015) and two feet during the Tax Day Floods (2016), the Anders decided to look into elevating their home above the floodplain. Doing so would be a difficult task – like most homes in the neighborhood, their home was built on a slab foundation. A slab foundation is composed of a single layer of concrete poured on the dirt, and is therefore more difficult to separate from the dirt during the elevation process than a house built on piers.

The 1959 home was also historically significant, designed by the architect Arthur Steinberg for Mr. and Mrs. Alan Finger of Fingers Furniture. To the Anders, preserving the windows in their nearly 18-foot tall living room and the handcrafted, white-stained, rough-hewn paneling in their den were paramount.

ARCHITECTURE: After Harvey, do pier-and-beam houses make even more sense?

Arkitektura is an elevation company that specializes in lifting houses on slab foundations. With a degree in architecture from the University of Texas at Arlington, Phillip Contreras focuses his company on providing architecturally minded design solutions to raising homes. Arkitektura offers their clients a turnkey elevation solution – accounting for permits, material and labor.

The 1959 house on Heatherglen Drive in Meyerland, before it was elevated. Photo: Arkitektura

Since 2000, the company has elevated more than 100 homes across Texas and Florida, with nearly 10 in Meyerland alone. Their lifting of a different house days before Harvey hit received national and local media coverage.

Even though the method to elevating a home is multifold, the entire process takes only about 6 to 8 weeks. The Arkitektura team first partners with Aran and Franklin Engineering to develop a design that is resilient, meets site constraints and conforms with both HOA requirements and city building codes.

The city and Harris County require structures to be 18 inches above base flood elevation. Arkitektura recommends at least two feet above the 100-year floodplain.

More at www.houstonchronicle.com/local/gray-matters/article/How-a-historic-hou
se-in-Meyerland-was-elevated-12229328.php


The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Thursday, September 28, 2017 5:09 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


According to today's Houston Chronicle, there will be class action lawsuits against the government that allowed dumber home owners to be defrauded by clever home builders aware they were building on cheap land that floods. The cheaper the land, the higher the builder's profit, which is what makes Texas and America great, at least for the rich and clever.

Small-print warnings

Fort Bend County officials added small-print warnings about the flood pools to subdivision maps beginning in 1994: “This subdivision is adjacent to Barker Reservoir and is subject to extended controlled inundation under the management of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.”

But few home buyers consult the maps, known as plats. Harris County, which has far more homes threatened by the flood pool, never included advisories about the reservoirs on its plats.

Harris County Commissioner Steve Radack said he didn’t believe warnings were necessary. He said all Harris County homeowners should be aware of risks of flooding posed by the area’s many creeks and bayous — and by the reservoirs. Radack said that for 20 years he had been warning constituents about the flood pool, but most paid little attention.

“We knew the water would leave the federally controlled land and would flood neighborhoods in Fort Bend and Harris counties,” he said. “The reservoir had never been tested to capacity.”

www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Lawsuit-sa
ys-Army-Corps-should-compensate-12235977.php


The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Thursday, September 28, 2017 5:35 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


A stunning 64.5 inches of rain fell during Hurricane Harvey in Nederland, Texas, a town east of Houston, during the storm’s five-day onslaught, shattering the record that stood for more than six decades, the National Weather Service announced Wednesday.

It is the heaviest rainfall total ever logged in the U.S. during a tropical storm, easily breaking Hawaii’s 1950 record of 52 inches.

“It’s still surreal to comprehend 64 inches of rain,” Nederland City Manager Chris Duque said Wednesday. “We did not know the flooding would be — for lack of a better phrase — biblical, but that’s what our area faced.”

www.expressnews.com/news/local/article/It-s-official-Harvey-sets-U-S-r
ecord-with-12236335.php


The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Thursday, September 28, 2017 11:50 AM

6STRINGJOKER


Quote:

Originally posted by SECOND:
Quote:

Originally posted by 6stringJoker:

Now that I know, I have a spare pump and parts on hand as well as a generator. I plan to build a complete second pump system with a battery backup and maybe even buy a Generac system if and when money allows. I figure in the mean time I'll just replace my pump every 6-7 years just to be on the safe side.

I still blame myself for the situation though. I was far too focused on some things and not focused enough on other things when I was buying. I know a lot more now and wouldn't make the same mistake again, but for now all I can do is prepare for the worst as best I can so I don't have to worry about it all of the time.

31,000 property owners in Harris and Fort Bend counties learned during Harvey’s mass evacuations that their homes lie in what the federal government considers emergency lake beds behind the Barker and Addicks dams. Engineers call them “flood pools.”

The two earthen dams were erected by the Army Corps of Engineers in the 1940s to protect downtown Houston after flooding wrecked the city in 1935. Unlike traditional “lake-forming” dams, the reservoirs are not clearly defined and are dry much of the year. The water they impound during heavy rains sprawls west across flatland into what was once open prairie. The flood pool grows depending on rainfall and on how much water the Army Corps releases through the dams’ gates.

Homeowners in the reservoir area, many of whom do not have flood insurance, worry about what the next downpour will bring.

The threat to these suburban subdivisions has been years in the making, a Chronicle review found.

Harris and Fort Bend counties and the city of Houston approved construction of thousands of homes near the reservoirs, even though county leaders and engineers have known since the 1990s that the properties could be inundated by flood pools in a major storm, according to public documents and interviews.

Subdivisions kept sprouting even as bigger and more frequent storms created ever-larger flood pools. Of the 11 biggest pools ever recorded at Addicks and Barker, 10 have occurred since 1990, according to Army Corps records. Harvey generated the biggest pool ever.

Yet public awareness of the danger has been minimal. If a home is within the 100-year flood plain, bank rules and insurance policies require a prospective purchaser to be told. Banks typically will not grant a mortgage for a home within the 100-year-old floodplain unless the buyer takes out flood insurance.

A flood pool is different. The Army Corps doesn’t require homebuyers to be notified of the risk. Nor does Texas law. Nor do federal flood insurance rules. Nor do mortgage lenders’ disclosure practices.

www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Many-homeo
wners-unaware-they-lived-in-reservoir-12231188.php


The people profiting from selling you a home won't tell you the truth, but the Flood Map will: www.harriscountyfemt.org/




There is just so much wrong here.

Anybody who profited off of any of this is a criminal and should be required to face jail time and participate in financial restitution of anybody who was swindled. This is malevolent, premeditated and predatory.


Yeah. I know about the flood maps now. I didn't before I bought the house. It's funny... just after we were talking about this one of my neigbors a block over was driving around and stopped and asked if I lived here. He was planning on selling his house but the locality just a month ago had put his house back on the flood zone list. He had the flood map of the area on him and he was going around asking people if they knew anything you could do to get off of it because he knew it would hurt his chances of selling the home for a good price.

I wished him well and told him he was asking the wrong guy. I actually had gone to my assessor and purposefully made them put me on the flood zone in their database for the tax savings. That actually took a LOT of work to get done. Everybody I talked to knew how to get people off of it because that's something that they get asked all the time (and it raises the property tax immediately). Nobody actually knew how to put me back on it.

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Thursday, September 28, 2017 1:58 PM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Quote:

Originally posted by 6stringJoker:

There is just so much wrong here.

Anybody who profited off of any of this is a criminal and should be required to face jail time and participate in financial restitution of anybody who was swindled. This is malevolent, premeditated and predatory.

Yeah. I know about the flood maps now. I didn't before I bought the house. It's funny... just after we were talking about this one of my neigbors a block over was driving around and stopped and asked if I lived here. He was planning on selling his house but the locality just a month ago had put his house back on the flood zone list. He had the flood map of the area on him and he was going around asking people if they knew anything you could do to get off of it because he knew it would hurt his chances of selling the home for a good price.

I wished him well and told him he was asking the wrong guy. I actually had gone to my assessor and purposefully made them put me on the flood zone in their database for the tax savings. That actually took a LOT of work to get done. Everybody I talked to knew how to get people off of it because that's something that they get asked all the time (and it raises the property tax immediately). Nobody actually knew how to put me back on it.

Whether you know it or not, you just pointed out the fatal flaw, and I do mean deadly, in the lower 99% of Americans, the flaw in their way of "thinking" that makes them completely vulnerable to the top 1 percenters. Nobody, and I do mean nobody in Texas, will be going all vigilante on their builder. I would, but then I'm the 1%. Instead, the lower 99% will be suing their government, which is easily the stupidest, slowest, least profitable way to get compensated for your builder placing your house in a flood zone so that he can make a bigger profit. Here is a case mentioned in today's Houston Chronicle where the lower classes are squandering their efforts rather than effectively attacking the real culprit, their builder: www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Lawsuit-sa
ys-Army-Corps-should-compensate-12235977.php


If the lower 99% did have the good sense to sue the builder, he'd probably declare bankruptcy to avoid returning his profits to the rightful owners. Some crooked builder named Trump has pulled that trick four times and it worked beautifully every time.

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Thursday, September 28, 2017 2:46 PM

6STRINGJOKER


I doubt "my" builder is even alive anymore. The house was built in 1959. I'd have to call the Ghostbusters if I wanted to go after him.



I think your pride of being a 1% is misguided. You were born into it. You didn't do anything special to get there. You also have the time and money to take care of problems as they arise that most people don't have.

I do agree with your general assessment of the 99% though, although there are always exceptions to any rule. If I lived like most of the 99% there's no way I'd be in my position on such a limited lifetime income as I do now. I'd have spent all of the money I made at good jobs on stuff that would now be outdated and/or falling apart and rent reciepts.

I'm not living in a palace, and this place does have its unique problems, but anytime I start regretting the purchase I think about the alternatives that were available to me and see how everyone else around me is living and then I stop feeling sorry for myself.

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Friday, September 29, 2017 6:45 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Quote:

Originally posted by 6stringJoker:

I think your pride of being a 1% is misguided. You were born into it. You didn't do anything special to get there. You also have the time and money to take care of problems as they arise that most people don't have.

I was not born rich. At least in my imagination, if not always in reality, I do not start projects that are not straightforward and do not have steps to move them forward every month. For an imaginary project, after I finished watching PBS's The Vietnam War yesterday, I decided that the straightforward way to win that war would be to invade North Vietnam. That invasion did not happen because the number of American deaths would have been as high as WWII. (America did drop more tons of bombs on Vietnam than in WWII, so the comparison between the two wars is not out of line) Since Vietnam War was not worth that cost (419,400 dead, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II_casualties ) to me or any President, it should not have been fought. But that dumb ass Texan, LBJ who was so much like Texans alive today even if he was a D and they are R's, thought he could finesse the problem and do it cheaper with so much less blood. We live in the aftermath of LBJ's stupidity from 50 years ago. (And Nixon's) And what does that have to do with flooding in Texas?

Today's Houston Chronicle shows the local politicians trying to finesse their way around solving flooding. They are not willing to pay the real price. They hope they can get a victory cheaply. When the next hurricanes come to Houston, it will be the Houston politicians' very own Vietnam. Parts of Houston will be destroyed by future hurricanes and future Houston politicians will be perfectly fine with that, so long as it is not their house destroyed. I predict they will have to explain why their half-ass efforts failed and their explanations won't be any more truthful than LBJ's or Nixon's:

Flood plain overhaul eyed
Officials concede current maps are inadequate after third 500-year storm
www.houstonchronicle.com/news/politics/houston/article/Harris-County-l
ooking-at-stricter-regulations-for-12239276.php


By Mihir Zaveri
By the numbers

136,000 Harris County structures that flooded during Harvey.

1,500 Flooded homes that met flood plain regulations.

18 inches Height homes must be built above 100-year flood mark.

Ed Emmett wants to re-examine the region’s flood control policy.

Harris County officials have recommended replacing the 100-year flood standard that has mapped out hazards and helped shape the county’s booming development, a move that could result in one of the largest overhauls of flood plain regulations in three decades.

After Hurricane Harvey — the third 500-year or greater storm in three years — county officials concede the 100-year flood plain maps are inadequate in some areas to show how stormwaters would spill out of county waterways during that level of storm.

County Engineer John Blount said he recommends expanding to a 500-year standard or greater to further regulate new development in the county and is considering forcing developers looking to build in those areas to elevate homes further than currently required.

A 100-year event refers to a storm so severe that it has a 1 percent chance of occurring in any given year. A 500-year event has a 0.2 percent chance of occurring in any year.

“I don’t know if this is our new normal, but it’s certainly clear we can’t continue on with business as usual,” said Precinct 2 Commissioner Jack Morman, who represents the eastern portion of the county, including much of the San Jacinto River watershed. “I think changes have to be made.”

The recommendation is part of a growing philosophical shift among Harris County officials on how best to prepare for and protect against the region’s repeat, severe storms and floods.

Harvey dropped up to 52 inches of rain in the county, flooding an estimated 136,000 structures and killing nearly 80 people across the state. Blount said a direct hit of a Harvey-level hurricane on Harris County would have been far more catastrophic, and the county needs to be prepared.

“Can you imagine this with 150-mile sustained winds?” Blount said. “I would think that every house in this region would have some sort of damage, and many would be destroyed.”

Bond issue discussed

Harris County Judge Ed Emmett earlier this month called for a sweeping reexamination of the region’s flood-control strategy, which could include a new dam and reservoir system, large-scale buyouts of homes in flood-prone areas and upgraded waterways. At least three members of the five-person Commissioners Court said they would support a bond issue that could fund more than $1 billion in flood control projects.

Under existing county regulations, new developments inside the flood plain are required to build homes at least 18 inches above the 100-year flood elevation.

During Harvey, roughly 1,500 homes flooded despite meeting that regulation, Blount said.

“One house flooding is too much,” he said. “But we need to figure out why they flooded.”

Harris County will hold a meeting Friday for architects, engineers and developers to comment on any proposed changes to the regulations. Eventually, the county plans to hold public hearings on any changes.

Casey Morgan, executive vice president and CEO of the Greater Houston Builders Association, said she would have to see the county’s proposals before commenting on any changes.

Morman, Emmett and Precinct 3 Commissioner Steve Radack said they would support increasing regulations on development in and around the flood plain.

“We need to conduct a comprehensive review, hold public hearings and consult with academic experts from around the country and other stakeholders as we work to take meaningful action on this issue,” Precinct 1 Commissioner Rodney Ellis said.

‘Probably not adquate’

A spokesman for Emmett said the judge also wants the state to give the county greater authority to regulate development.

Blount said, for example, the county cannot adopt a building code. He said if the state were to give the county such authority, it could require every new development to install hurricane straps to help secure roofs.

Meanwhile, officials plan to further re-examine the county’s regulations beyond the flood plains.

“Ultimately, I want to look at what was flooded outside the flood plain, in subdivisions that meet current requirements,” Blount said.

A growing number of jurisdictions across the country are finding the 100-year standard falls short, said Larry Larson, director emeritus and senior policy analyst with the Association of State Floodplain Managers. Internationally, countries such as Germany and France use higher standards to regulate development.

“Frankly, the standard is probably not adequate for protection of life and property,” Larson said.

The National Flood Insurance Program enshrined the 100-year flood as the national standard in the 1960s, Larson said. Since then, a patchwork of policies have cropped up across the country to restrict development in the flood plain or look more broadly at areas outside of it.

The City of San Antonio, for example, does not allow residential development inside its 100-year flood plain. The flood plains are based not just on rainfall, but on an assumption that everything upstream will at some point in the future be fully developed, increasing potential runoff, according to city officials.

“It’s really sort of just for safety and future planning,” said Jacob Powell, stormwater engineering manager for the city. “Just historically, with some of the major events we have had, the decision was this would be a conservative approach to allow development but also protect the public.”

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Friday, September 29, 2017 1:23 PM

6STRINGJOKER


Nothing wrong with re-evaluating the 500 year rule since it hasn't even been around for 100 years.

That being said, I'm glad I don't pay for flood insurance. I'm sure my premiums would have gone up quite a bit this year.

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Saturday, September 30, 2017 7:52 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Quote:

Originally posted by 6stringJoker:

That being said, I'm glad I don't pay for flood insurance. I'm sure my premiums would have gone up quite a bit this year.

I am a believer in paying now to prevent paying ten times more in the future. Texas politicians don't think that way. They always act like there will never be another hurricane, but if there is, it won't be their problem, so why do anything about it now? Why worry about 10 years in the future when your political career will only last 8 and you're already in year 4?

The various parts of Texas government will never be able to agree about who will pay to prevent future floods when they fight so hard over the trivial expense of picking up storm debris. It shows that some future hurricane will cause $200 billion in damage from flooding because $20 billion seemed too much money in 2017 for politicians to spend preventing that damage.

From Today's Houston Chronicle:
www.houstonchronicle.com/news/politics/houston/article/Turner-drops-ta
x-hike-after-Abbott-give-city-50M-12242172.php


Gov. Greg Abbott presents a $50 million check from the state to Mayor Sylvester Turner to assist Houston with Hurricane Harvey recovery during a news conference Friday at City Hall.

Mayor Sylvester Turner on Friday said he will withdraw a proposed property tax rate hike after Gov. Greg Abbott handed him a check for $50 million to help fund the city’s recovery from Hurricane Harvey.

The exchange came as the mayor and governor held a joint City Hall news conference, a sharp departure from the last several days when the pair had traded letters and criticism over each other’s response to the historic storm.

Turner had tried to pin his proposed tax hike on the state’s unwillingness to tap its $10 billion savings account, while state officials viewed the city as seeking a blank check rather than targeting requests for specific emergency funds.

Ultimately, Abbott said he would draw upon a disaster fund within the discretion of his office, producing the $50 million amount Turner had intended to collect from raising residents’ property taxes. That fund is one of several the state will replenish using its so-called rainy day fund when the Legislature next convenes in 2019, the governor said.

“The city of Houston has some urgent needs they need to have addressed and part of it is debris and some other things, and it totaled $50 million,” Abbott said of his talks with Turner. “And I said, ‘This is what the state of Texas is for and what we can do. We are here to help you and help you rebuild because we are one team together.’ This is what you call a common sense case of helping a flooded town.”

It was unclear whether the amount was based on a specific tally of needs, but both men noted needed repairs to public infrastructure and the city’s need to reinstate its exhausted flood insurance policy, in addition to the costly removal of millions of cubic yards of debris.

Turner listed the liabilities the city has projected thus far: An estimated $26 million for debris removal, a $15 million insurance deductible, $75 million in damage to city buildings beyond what insurance will cover, and $9.7 million to reinstate flood insurance coverage.

“I want to thank you for this check of $50 million because it does address some of those immediate concerns that I would have been asking people in this city — many of whom have been directly impacted and are having now to get back into their homes or to purchase furniture — to assume some of the sacrifice in order to rebuild this city,” Turner said to Abbott. “Because of what you’ve given today, let me say there will be no need for me to do that.”

‘ Doing the right thing ’

Turner initially had announced plans to enact an 8.9 percent tax rate hike, noting that a voter-imposed cap on property tax collections allowed him to propose a one-year exemption in the event of a federally declared disaster. Such a hike would produce about $113 million in additional revenue. On Wednesday, he cut that proposal roughly in half after federal officials agreed to increase their contribution to the Harvey recovery.

Friday’s announcement eliminated the proposal, as well as a political headache.

Some council members opposed to the increase said they believed the mayor lacked the votes to pass it. Before the mayor and governor spoke, William-Paul Thomas, the mayoral aide charged with counting votes, had smiled and said he was “prayerful” that the governor would produce a check and make his life a bit easier.

Passage of Turner’s proposed rate hike could have threatened the city’s plans to issue $495 million in general obligation bonds in November, in addition to $1 billion in bonds tied to Turner’s landmark pension reform plan. Rejection of the pension bonds could unravel the complicated reform plan and thrust the city back into a fiscal crisis leaders had spent years trying to fix.

Councilman Dave Martin, who opposed the tax increase, said he always thought the state should step up with of its own funds, rather than simply funnel federal money to the city.

“I think they showed they’re doing the right thing,” Martin said of state officials. “I still believe we could have found the money, I didn’t think you needed to go to the taxpayers, but it would have been tough. This is a better solution.”

Councilman David Robinson, who had said he was open to a supporting the rate hike, also cheered Friday’s announcement.

“We’re grateful for the governor to come home anytime he wants,” Robinson said. “Today was a great day for the unifying forces of — as he said and the mayor said — our state, our local and, we’re hoping, our federal partners in relief.”

Tapping the rainy day fund

Both Turner and Abbott made oblique references to their public spat earlier in the week, speaking at length about unity and teamwork.

Asked why he had made funds available after appearing reluctant to do so earlier in the week, Abbott said, “After looking at all the options, this looked like the best solution at this point in time.”

Achieving such costly goals as building a coastal spine to protect against storm surge, a third local reservoir or other flood mitigation projects, Turner noted, is going to require “wearing the same jersey, running the same direction, tackling others and not ourselves,” a comment that prompted smiles from both.

“Plus,” he added, “he found out this was my birthday week.”

Abbott stressed that state officials always have known they will tap the rainy day fund, but would do so after drawing on flexible emergency funds first.

If recovery needs deplete those funds before the Legislature’s next scheduled gathering in 2019, Abbott said, it is possible he could call the body into a special session. Another reason to do so would be if a state role in contributing to large flood mitigation projects comes into focus, he added.

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Saturday, September 30, 2017 1:18 PM

6STRINGJOKER


Quote:

Originally posted by second:
I am a believer in paying now to prevent paying ten times more in the future.



So am I.

The only reason I choose not to pay for flood insurance is because I know what my situation is. Unless we're talking Noah's Arc type end of days flooding, there's no worry of that happening where I live.

My house was simply a poor design for the region. I'm not sure that can even technically be blamed on the builder at the time since it was back in 1959 and as far as I know there wasn't any flood zone maps and statistics back then.

The house shouldn't have a basement, period, yet it is a tri-level home with living area in the basement. Even moderate and average rainfall accumulates enough around the house and makes its way into the well so if the pump fails due to the electricity going out or a burnt out unit it will slowly accumulate until there is a flood condition inside the basement.

I've done some preparations against this, but there is more to do. Once I get me a job I'm going to actually pay a professional to have a good backup system installed. Not as ideal as a Generac would be, but I don't think I'll ever be making the kind of money again to afford those types of luxuries.

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Thursday, October 5, 2017 8:35 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


From today's Houston Chronicle. The last paragraph has a reminder that the local politicians and the land developers have deliberately screwed the home buyers. Maybe the buyers should pay back the politicians?
www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/Homeowners-may-hav
e-had-no-idea-they-were-in-a-12253803.php


Only over the objections of developers did Fort Bend County officials require a frightening notice at the bottom of an obscure land record mapping the Cinco Ranch subdivision: “This subdivision is adjacent to the Barker Reservoir and is subject to extended controlled inundation under the management of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.” A lot of homebuyers in Fort Bend County clearly either didn’t see or didn’t understand that fine print. Harris County homebuyers needn’t have bothered looking for such a notice, because their county didn’t require it.

A good many of those homeowners apparently thought the green space preserved as parkland would protect their neighborhoods from flooding. Little did many of them know the reservoirs were developed to protect downtown Houston, not new subdivisions built as the city expanded.

Now untold taxpayer dollars will go toward buying out properties in flood-prone areas where developers should never have been allowed to build houses in the first place. But those developers might have thought twice about building in future disaster areas if they knew homeowners would have been warned about what they were buying into.

Texas shouldn’t tolerate new home construction on property the federal government has already decided it will someday flood. As for the homes already standing in those areas, a single sentence of fine print buried in a land record is utterly inadequate notice. Our state lawmakers need to see to it that property owners are notified, both verbally and in writing, before they purchase real estate in areas designated as flood pools.

Homeowners may have had no idea they were in a flood pool but many others did. Those are people serving in Congress, in elected county positions, on MUD boards and in developer c-suites. As they contemplate action, we’d urge those in the affected areas to remember them when the next election rolls around.

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Thursday, October 5, 2017 11:34 AM

6STRINGJOKER


I agree. This information should be much more prominent.

Then again, I think the same could be said for any contract that anybody has to sign, especially stuff that you agree to when clicking OK online.

If you actually take the time to read these contracts and learn the Legalese, you'll notice that everything you agree to is 2 miles long when it only really needs to be a few paragraphs. It is all purposefully filled with a ton of barely readable bullshit to ensure that almost nobody will actually read it.


Here's a great example of what I'm talking about.



What this video doesn't tell you is that when you submit your horror movie short for the contest that you agree to a contract stating that New Line Cinema is obligated to pay you 50 dollars for all rights to your idea if they like it and they maintain the option to use your idea for 7 years without ever having to pay you another dime for that option. (That means that if you ever went and tried to make another movie based off of that idea in the next 7 years, they could sue you).

If within those 7 years they decide to make a movie out of your idea or otherwise use it as a vehicle to make money, they are obligated to pay you another 50 dollars for it without having to pay you another dime.

I hope everybody who did this enjoyed the small chance that they could have won that contest as payment. These rules were in effect for everybody who sent something in. Not just the winner.

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Saturday, October 7, 2017 7:15 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Flood warning idea died 22 years ago

Corps shelved plan some say could have made difference during Harvey
www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Corps-stud
ied-flood-warning-system-for-dams-but-12259810.php


By Mihir Zaveri

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1995 examined a series of proposals to reduce flood risks around the Addicks and Barker dams, including a flood warning system and evacuation plan to protect lives and homes, but dropped the ideas after deciding there were “insufficient economic benefits” to further investigate.

The 1995 report was part of a larger study in the aftermath of a 1992 flood that “severely tested the capacity of the reservoirs,” looking at whether the Corps should make any changes as the threats around the reservoirs increased. Development upstream was increasing runoff into the reservoirs, threatening to swamp more homes in the designated flood pools — emergency lake beds behind the Barker and Addicks dams that fill with water as the reservoirs fill. Downstream, prolonged releases were eroding Buffalo Bayou’s banks.

In anticipation of the increased flooding, the report examined several alternatives, including home buyouts upstream of the dams, buying out homes downstream, excavation of the reservoir pools, and the implementation of a flood warning system.

“In the absence of a public awareness program, residents are likely to forget or ignore the flood threat,” the report states. “Turnover in homeownership could also result in a significant proportion of residents being unaware of the risk. A low intensity information program backed by a strong, direct early warning system and an implementable evacuation plan could substantially reduce health and safety risks and moderately reduce flood damages.”

Ultimately, the report’s authors concluded that further investigation into the idea “be terminated because of insufficient economic benefits to justify project modification.” (That actually means that higher levels of government refused to pay for the improvements so the authors at a lower level will simply pretend in the report that the benefits are too low because the authors do not want to be fired at the request of a vindictive Congressman.)

Pressure is building at the federal, state and local level to spend money to prevent the next flood.

An Oct. 5 letter from Gov. Greg Abbott, Texas senators and representatives to congressional appropriations committees calls for nearly $19 billion in funding, including $10 billion for the Corps. (The cost of flood damage was estimated at $150 billion to homes and business, enough to have paid for all the improvements about 8 times. It is very unlikely Congress will approve the $19 billion, but we can always hope they will have a change of heart.)

Harris County Judge Ed Emmett last month called for a sweeping re-examination of the region’s flood control strategy. He, and other members of the Commissioners Court, have said they would back a bond referendum that could fund upward of $1 billion in flood control projects.


The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Saturday, October 7, 2017 11:57 AM

JO753

rezident owtsidr


I had this crazy idea many yirz ago - housez made to withstand the enviremental conditionz they are likely to encounter.

Crazy! Wuts rong with my brain?

----------------------------
DUZ XaT SEM RiT TQ YQ? - Jubal Early

http://www.7532020.com

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Saturday, October 7, 2017 1:25 PM

6STRINGJOKER


Nice of Mihir Zaveri to write about that subject after it's too late.

Where was he, or the rest of the Huston Chronicle staff the last 22 years?

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Sunday, October 8, 2017 8:11 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Quote:

Originally posted by 6stringJoker:
Nice of Mihir Zaveri to write about that subject after it's too late.

Where was he, or the rest of the Houston Chronicle staff the last 22 years?

Newspapers are NOT law enforcement. Have you not noticed how Republicans react to bad news? With shouts of FAKE NEWS and accusations of mainstream media bias and threats to sue the Chronicle if the following story had been published before the flood. The crafty land developers withheld information about flooding in order to outwit bond holders about the riskiness of the tax-exempt bonds. Wouldn't you love to have your earned income declared tax-exempt? But that special "tax-exemption" is just another part of the gigantic financial fraud that goes on constantly, making at least the smarter rich ever richer. The dumber branches of the rich get defrauded. You can't get the tax-exemption, but I can. Too bad for you, great for me, but it is an example of how unfairly the USA is run:

Bond prospectuses did not warn investors about potential flooding
By James Drew October 7, 2017

www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Canyon-Gat
e-bond-prospectuses-did-not-warn-12259584.php


Homeowners in the Canyon Gate neighborhood say they were never told that their homes had been built in the flood pool behind Barker Reservoir, despite warnings in official subdivision maps that they could be subject to "extended controlled inundation."

Nor was any mention of the warning made in a series of disclosure statements prepared for investors who purchased tax-exempt bonds that were sold by Canyon Gate's de facto government, Cinco Municipal Utility District 8.

Since Cinco MUD 8 first sold bonds in 1996 to reimburse developers for infrastructure costs, none of the bond prospectuses prepared by the MUD's lawyers have referred to the warning, which Fort Bend County officials have included since 1994 in these records: "This subdivision is adjacent to Barker Reservoir and is subject to extended controlled inundation under the management of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers."

The only reference to flooding for nine years in the prospectuses, required by the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board to protect investors, was one paragraph that said none of Cinco MUD 8's land was within the 100-year flood plain, except for the banks of drainage channels. Subsequent prospectuses, issued from 2005 to 2012, referenced drainage and flood plain studies, but still said nothing about how the neighborhood was right next to Barker Reservoir and could be inundated for long periods of time by the Army Corps of Engineers if it rained long and hard enough.

That is exactly what happened during Hurricane Harvey to all 721 homes in Canyon Gate.

Coats Rose, a Houston law firm, prepared all of Cinco MUD 8's bond prospectuses. The firm said it wouldn't answer questions about why no reference to the "extended inundation" warning was made unless the MUD's board gave its approval later this month.

Since the law firm went to the trouble of listing risk factors, it really became incumbent upon them to disclose this potential flooding. Because the bonds are secured by property taxes, theoretically people will be flooded out and they won't be paying their real estate taxes anymore and that goes to the security of the bonds.

There is a lot more to this story at www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Canyon-Gat
e-bond-prospectuses-did-not-warn-12259584.php


The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Sunday, October 8, 2017 9:49 AM

6STRINGJOKER


Quote:

Originally posted by second:
Newspapers are NOT law enforcement.



No, they're not. Never even came close to implying they were. I don't even know what that means.

They get to write things after the fact with complete 20/20 hindsight and apply it to their political agenda though. In Texas, they have the benefit of never having Democrats running the show there, so they can play make believe that if Democrats had been in control the last 25 years they wouldn't be in the exact same situation they are now.


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Tuesday, October 10, 2017 7:24 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Quote:

Originally posted by 6stringJoker:

They get to write things after the fact with complete 20/20 hindsight and apply it to their political agenda though. In Texas, they have the benefit of never having Democrats running the show there, so they can play make believe that if Democrats had been in control the last 25 years they wouldn't be in the exact same situation they are now.

Publicizing changes nothing. This same story has been on the front page many times over many years. From today's Houston Chronicle:

The flood maps that help determine where homes are built in Texas, how much insurance costs and which areas would benefit from flood control projects are based on rainfall data that hasn’t been updated for as long as a half-century, meaning that development has expanded for decades without a complete understanding of the flood risks.

Those risks have come into sharp focus following the record-setting rainfall of Hurricane Harvey, which inundated areas never touched by floodwaters before, and growing expectations among climate scientists that powerful storms will not only happen more frequently, but also pack more rain as global and ocean temperatures rise. Of the 39 Texas counties that experienced flooding during Hurricane Harvey, only seven, including Harris County, have flood maps based on precipitation data from this century.

And even that data, from 2001, is more than 15 years old and doesn’t capture severe storms that included Hurricane Ike in 2008, the Memorial Day floods in 2015 and the Tax Day floods of 2016.

Texas is one of six states that have yet to update rainfall data under a program of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which encompasses the National Weather Service. NOAA, which launched the program in 2004, requires state and local governments to pay the costs of data collection and analysis, which identifies weather patterns and determines the probabilities of heavy rains and catastrophic storms that cause flooding.

It would cost Texas about $1.5 million to build the comprehensive, up-to-date database of rainfall statistics and probabilities. So far, about $1.4 million has been raised to fund the program, including $400,000 from the Army Corps of Engineers, which launched the effort to fund the project four years ago, and $200,000 from the Harris County Flood Control District.

Rainfall data should be refreshed for every 10 to 20 years, but often goes decades without an update, said Cotter of the Army Corps of Engineers.

Even in the Texas counties that updated rainfall data in 2001 - including Harris, Galveston, Brazoria and Liberty - flood maps were drawn and development proceeded through the 1980s, 1990s and into the new century based on rainfall data primarily from the 1960s.

It took Tropical Storm Allison in 2001 to push Harris and the other nine counties to update rainfall data. Allison dumped as much as 30 inches of rain over five days, flooded 73,000 homes and caused $5 billion in damage.

Harvey, which flooded more than 100,000 homes and caused, by some estimates, more than $100 billion damage, could have the same result. But once the state gets the new rainfall data, updated flood maps could be years away as they go through the lengthy approval process and face pressure from developers and residents who want to keep the costs of building and living in the flood plain low.

www.houstonchronicle.com/business/article/Houston-area-flood-maps-base
d-on-outdated-12265229.php


The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Thursday, October 12, 2017 8:18 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Texas Gov. Greg Abbott complained Wednesday that U.S. House leaders are poised to sidetrack the state's request for an additional $18.7 billion in Hurricane Harvey aid, and challenged the Texas congressional delegation to get a "stiff spine" and fight for the funding.

A bill scheduled for a House vote Thursday provides $36.5 billion in disaster aid for victims of hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria and Nate, and for those fighting wildfires across California and other western states.

Although Harvey victims would be included in the aid package, it does not specifically include some $18.7 billion that Abbott and nearly the entire Texas congressional delegation had sought to earmark specifically for the victims of Hurricane Harvey in the Gulf Coast. Much of that was targeted for the Houston area.

"I am disappointed that most members of the Texas congressional delegation have agreed to go ahead and vote for this bill, from what I know at this time, when Texas needs this money," Governor Abbott said in an interview with the Chronicle. "It appears the Texas delegation will let themselves be rolled by the House of Representatives."

www.houstonchronicle.com/news/politics/texas/article/Abbott-Texas-abou
t-to-get-rolled-on-Harvey-aid-12270619.php


The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Sunday, October 15, 2017 8:00 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Harvey proved that poisonous dioxins need to be removed from the river.

www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/San-Jac-solution-1
2279000.php


All you need to do is drive Interstate 10 across the San Jacinto River and glance out of your window to see one of the most toxic and dangerous pieces of property in the Houston area.

A small island alongside the freeway bridge is marked with ominous signs — “DANGER, PELIGRO, NGUY-HIEM” — warning about the hazards hiding in the water. Without the signage, you would never know the little patch of land beneath the bridge is the site of the infamous San Jacinto Waste Pits.

Homeowners have spent years fighting cancers and other unusual health problems they’re convinced are linked to the carcinogenic dioxins buried under the river. And the companies responsible for the waste pits have fought efforts to clean out the site. Now the Environmental Protection Agency has come down on the side of the homeowners, and it’s way past time the industrial concerns resisting the cleanup give up the fight.

A paper mill used this site for waste storage until the 1960s. As the decades passed, the pits were pretty much forgotten, and they were partially submerged by the shifting waters of the San Jacinto River. But in the 1990s, Texas Parks and Wildlife employees noticed that fish caught in the river were contaminated with rising levels of dioxin. In 2005, the long neglected pits were rediscovered.

By that time, a lot of people living around the area were suffering some debilitating health problems. Among them was the family of Jackie Young, a college student studying environmental geology, who began documenting a pattern of diseases residents of the nearby Highlands area believe were caused by contaminants from the site.

The San Jacinto Waste Pits were added to the EPA’s National Priority List as a Superfund site in 2008. A trio of companies was tasked with taking care of the site, including the business that once operated the pits and the corporation that currently owns the paper mill. In 2011, a part of the site was capped with a concrete barrier that the companies argued would keep the dangerous dioxins safely sealed underground.

But county officials and environmental researchers said dioxin continued to leak from the site. The Harris County Attorney’s Office won a $29.2 million judgment against two of those three corporations. Nonetheless, the companies have fought against the expensive option of clearing out the dioxins, claiming the cap was strong enough to withstand even the dangers posed by a hurricane.

Just as people who live around the river feared, the cap was breached during Hurricane Harvey. The EPA found dioxin in concentrations more than 2,300 times the level at which the government mandates a cleanup. So last week, after years of court action and citizen activism, federal regulators approved a plan to permanently remove the tons of toxic chemicals from this notorious Superfund site. County officials said the companies involved will have to pay an estimated $115 million.

Unfortunately, it appears that’s not the end of the story and the EPA’s order may only launch another round of litigation. At least one of the corporations, McGinnes Industrial Maintenance Corp., opposes removing the dioxins, claiming the cleanup operation itself will endanger the river and areas downstream from the site.

Pardon our skepticism, but these companies claiming to know how to keep the San Jacinto River safe no longer have much credibility. For years they argued that the cap was strong enough to keep the carcinogenic dioxins safely buried, but Harvey proved them wrong.

The EPA has finally done the right thing by ordering those hazardous carcinogens removed from the riverbed. The companies tasked with the cleanup shouldn’t fight the inevitable. What we all should fight for is a San Jacinto River that is safe, clean and environmentally sound for wildlife and for future generations of Texans.

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Wednesday, October 18, 2017 7:25 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


www.houstonchronicle.com/news/politics/houston/article/State-water-boa
rd-OKs-47M-loan-to-speed-up-Brays-12285667.php


The Texas Water Development Board on Tuesday approved a $47 million no-interest loan to the city of Houston that will be used to speed up long-awaited flood control improvements on Brays Bayou.

Under a plan announced earlier this year, the city will give the money to Harris County Flood Control District to replace eight bridges that block the flow of stormwater during heavy downpours, a key part of long-delayed Project Brays.

“When you have people that flooded, they want everybody at the table helping to solve these problems,” said city “flood czar” Steve Costello. “This is the first time we’re going to be able to say every sector of government is at the table helping resolve the flooding problems along Brays Bayou.”

The plan is for the Army Corps of Engineers to reimburse the county after the work is complete, at which point the county would send the city the dollars needed to pay off the loan.

Sluggish federal reimbursement has been a key factor in dragging out for two decades the Brays Bayou Project. Work originally was slated to finish in 2014 and now is scheduled to be completed in 2021. But it could take decades more, county documents state, without sufficient funding.

I must remark that $47 million is small compared to $47 billion with a "B" in flooded property damage. And yet, Houston has great difficulty finding $47 million to spare. Do you see what is wrong with this? I hope you do.

City officials hope to repeat this financing model to spur improvements along two other bayous — White Oak and Hunting, likely in that order.

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