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February 11th, 2006:

Say bye-bye to Krispy Kreme

The Krispy Kreme franchise is exiting Houston next month. For now, anyway.

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts is exiting the Houston market after reaching an agreement with its Houston franchisee, Lone Star Doughnuts.

The five Houston-area stores will cease operations on March 8, as will the location in Beaumont.

Lone Star Doughnuts said Thursday that it will launch its own brand of doughnuts as soon as Krispy Kreme closes. And Krispy Kreme said it plans to reopen stores in Houston, but didn’t say when.

Lone Star’s new brand, Jumbles Dough Factory & Coffee Bar, will be in the same six locations, selling doughnuts, kolaches and coffee beverages in a softer setting, said Dan Brinton, Lone Star’s chief operating officer.

My place of employment was primarily a Shipley’s shop in the pre-Krispy days. Once in awhile you’d see a Dunkin Donuts box, but for the most part if someone brought donuts to work, they were from Shipley’s. Once Krispy Kreme entered the scene, however, that was just about all you ever saw. It was a near-total takeover. Which is a bit funny, now that I think of it, because there are at least two Shipley’s locations near my office and no Krispys, at least according to the included map. I think on the whole I preferred Krispy Kreme, though there are some specific donuts that I think Shipley’s does better. Houstonist begs to differ, while Sue is not happy about this at all.

Not that this has any bearing on the situation at hand, which has to do with a nasty franchisee lawsuit. Tom’s been following all this – his posts on the subject are here. I just like donuts. So there.

Daily Ciro update

The support for Ciro Rodriguez keeps coming in. First, from organized labor:

Add steelworkers to the list of unions gunning for U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar.

“He is our No. 1 primary target in the United States,” said Chuck Rocha, national political director of the United Steelworkers of America.

[…]

United Steelworkers has been the loudest union seeking to bring down the first-term congressman. But it’s got plenty of company among unions that assail what they consider Cuellar’s Republican leanings.

Rocha said labor has put together “a comprehensive plan” to unseat Cuellar and return Ciro Rodriguez , whom Cuellar narrowly defeated two years ago, to Congress.

“Every affiliate of the AFL-CIO is involved in this race — every international is doing what it can to help,” said Alicia Garza, president of the San Antonio AFL-CIO Central Labor Council. “This race has gotten national attention, so we have internationals who have sent people here to help.”

[…]

[Labor activists are] targeting District 28’s 10,000 union members. Rocha said the number rises to 18,000 after adding in spouses and voting-age children. The biggest chunk — possibly three-quarters — live in the San Antonio area.

That doesn’t include members of the Teamsters, Service Employees International Union and other labor organizations that broke away from the AFL-CIO last year.

The steelworkers union is spending money on direct-mail pieces and a phone bank. Also, its national field director is temporarily moving to San Antonio to prepare for the primary.

[…]

As he has so far this campaign season, Rodriguez won a slew of union endorsements in 2004. But unions threw far fewer resources into the battle then. Garza said the national AFL-CIO sent only one organizer to work full time on the race and the number of volunteers was lower.

“It goes way beyond what happened in 2004,” said Oscar Sanchez, Rodriguez’s campaign manager. “One of the things that’s different is the people power — the troops.”

As I said before, this is going to come down to Bexar County turnout and support for Rodriguez. It’s true, as a commenter said in that last post, that there are also contested races in Webb County that will help drive turnout there, but how in the world can you improve on 2004’s effort for Cuellar? Bexar is the biggest part of this district, and there’s plenty of room to grow there for Rodriguez. Cuellar will need to get a higher percentage of the vote there (the split was about 80-20 for Ciro last time) to offset Rodriguez’s turnout effort.

On the money side, Rodriguez has now gotten the support of Democracy for America, and his ActBlue total is over $96K. I’m not sure if that includes DfA fundraising – the verbiage at ActBlue is ” 2187 individuals from ActBlue, the netroots, and Democracy for America have contributed $96232.86 to Ciro Rodriguez”, but I don’t see a link from DfA to ActBlue or a link on ActBlue for DfA. Regardless, that’s a pretty amazing amount to get in, what, ten days? And there’s still 23 days to go, so you can still help.

Criminal justice reform proposals: Not so impressive after all

Scott has read the criminal justice reform proposals in detail, and he’s not impressed. Read why here and here. I confess, I went by the news story instead of the original document, and it sounded better to me there. So I sent an email to Scott and asked him if there was anything worthwhile about this report. He graciously responded here. All I can say is I should have known better than to think Rick Perry was serious about this. Read Scott’s posts and you’ll see why.