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April 6th, 2007:

City responds to Jones again

As Matt Stiles notes, the city has filed its response (PDF) to Ray Jones’ appeal to the Supreme Court to get on the ballot for the May 12 special election. I don’t know if the Supremes will act as quickly as the 14th Court of Appeals did, but they’d better do something soon or the question will be moot. Early voting begins April 30, and the ballot has to be printed and certified before then. I’d say if the matter isn’t settled by the end of next week, it may not matter what the Court does. We’ll see.

More on the Center Serving Persons with Mental Retardation

When I first read about the Center Serving Persons with Mental Retardation, I said I needed more information to know how I’d feel about the issue. I’m at that point now, having seen more news and yesterday’s Chron editorial, with which I agree. I also had the chance to speak to a gentleman named Ed Davis, who works for a communications firm that is representing the Center. He helped me to better understand the Center’s position, and after speaking to him I feel confident that a workable agreement will be reached. I think they’re probably closer to an agreement than some of the initial coverage might have led me to think.

I’m not going to get into a long discussion of the merits of the Center staying where it is for an affordable price. The Chron editorial covers that ground well, and if I hadn’t been persuaded before, I am now. Just a couple of observations while I have the time to blog today: One, as I said before in response to Cory’s statement about Weingarten and the River Oaks Theater/Alabama Bookstop, is that while the support for preserving those landmarks is wide, as so many people have frequented those places, it’s not particularly deep. If the bulldozers come tomorrow, I’ll be sad, but it won’t wreck my life. I daresay the same is true for most people who’ve signed those petitions. But in the case of the Center, while you’d expect the support to be narrower since it serves a small community, it’s much deeper, since it’s about people protecting their children. What was surprising to me (and to Ed Davis) was that the support has turned out to be pretty broad as well. He told me that their petition was drawing 75-100 signatures an hour, which is pretty extraordinary all things considered.

One reason why I expect a resolution that will be acceptable to the Center is that the support it has is the kind that won’t give up and won’t go away. What else would you expect – it’s families fighting for their own? It will therefore attract high-profile supporters like Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, who had a press conference there yesterday and whose statement in support of the Center is included beneath the fold. Interestingly, Rep. Jackson Lee is not the representative for the Center. That would be Rep. John Culberson, as the Center falls within CD07. Given how much support for the Center has come from some of my colleagues on the right, perhaps we’ll eventually hear something from Rep. Culberson on this matter. If nothing else, there may be some federal funds that could be made available to the Center to help offset any increased operating costs they may incur under a new agreement.

Anyway, bottom line is that I think we’ll have a solution soon. Common sense and compassion, as well as political calculations, will likely prevail. Stay tuned.


MLB returns to InDemand cable

Since this was the very first thing my mother asked me about when I picked my parents up at the airport yesterday, the least I can do is blog about it.

Extra Innings will return to cable television under a seven-year agreement announced Wednesday by Major League Baseball and the In Demand cable group.

The agreement ensures that cable subscribers will have access to out-of-market baseball games, and it also ensures that the new MLB Channel will be available on at least 40 million households when it launches in 2009.

“Our chief goal throughout the process was to ensure that fans would have access to as many baseball games and as much baseball coverage as possible,” MLB president Bob DuPuy said. “With this agreement, the MLB Channel will launch with an unprecedented platform.”

And there was much rejoicing in Portland, where my folks live. Apparently, both of my siblings who live out there called Mom and Dad first thing in the morning to make sure they’d seen this. I would have, too, but I actually didn’t see the sports section yesterday until they were already on the plane to come here. In any event, here’s to the art of compromise.