Yearly Archives: 2007

EXPERIENCING THE LIGHT RAIL AGAIN!

HOUSTON TRAFFIC SIGNALS FAVOR THE TRAIN OVER HUMANS!


As I’ve previously posted here on The Insite the downtown light rail train can put you in a very scary situation. I reported how I was once crossing the street in my car during a green light when it instantly turned red on me and out of know where there was the train. The yellow signal must have been like half a second. I assumed the city signal lights favor the train. This Saturday night I was walking across the rail line with a white signal for pedestrians. It also instantly turned red on me when the train approached. Now most downtown pedestrian crossings have the countdown on them. This countdown went straight to zero when the train appeared on the next block. I had to move it before I ended up a light rail statistic. So The Insite warning of the day: Be very careful crossing the light rail anywhere because the signal lights prefer the train over you!

JUST BECAUSE THEY SAY AIR IT DOESN’T MEAN THEY’RE AIR JORDANS!

WOULD YOU WEAR A PAIR OF K*AIR SNEAKERS?

My sister in Baton Rouge, La. said she learned a very good lesson this year: Every pair of sneakers labeled ‘Air’ ain’t necessarily Nike Air Jordans. She tells me she thought she had quite a bargain for her sons. She picked up two pair of ‘Airs’ from the local convenience store (mistake #1) for $19 each. When she got home her sons schooled her and told her those weren’t Nike Air but ‘K’ Air. A cheap no name brand knock off they sell at convenience store. My sister said she ended up taking them back and passing on the $100 pair that most parents have come to know and hate. Have you ever purchased a pair of ‘K’ Air sneakers? Would you?

YOU KNOW YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD TACO BELL IS CLOSED WHEN….

THE EMPLOYEES USE AN ENTIRE CAR TO BLOCK THE DRIVE THRU!

It was quite clear the employees of the Taco Bell in The Woodlands had enough of people pulling through their drive thru after they’ve closed. When I pulled up late one night they actually had a car blocking the drive thru. Now if that doesn’t send you a message nothing will!

(p.s. I think this qualifies for the ‘hot ghetto mess’ way of doing business in The Woodlands!)

THE FBI INDICATES HATE CRIMES ARE AT THEIR LOWEST LEVEL IN HOUSTON!

DO YOU AGREE WITH THE STATISTICS?

Hate crimes in Texas fell to their lowest level in five years and Houston has the lowest per-capita rate of hate crimes among the nation’s ten largest cities. That’s according to
FBI statistics. The FBI says that there were 7,722 hate crimes motivated by prejudice against race, religion, sexual orientation or a disability in the United States in 2006. That included 245 in
Texas. Those figures represent about a seven percent increase nationally but a six percent drop in Texas. Houston, which is the state’s largest city with about 2.1 million people, reported 20 hate crimes in 2006. The FBI says that Dallas recorded 39 hate crimes and San Antonio recorded 28.

THE OFFICIAL STATEMENT FROM OUR AREA’S TOP ATTORNEY!

For Immediate Release:

Friday, December 28, 2007

Statement by Chuck Rosenthal

Recently some Harris County District Attorney inner office emails have been released in the media.

I understand that I have said some things that have caused pain and difficulty for my family, my coworkers and friends. I deeply regret having said those things. Moreover, I am sorry for the problems I have caused anyone.

I also understand that sometimes things happen for a purpose. This event has served as a wake-up call to me to get my house in order both literally and figuratively.

Charles A. “Chuck” Rosenthal

Harris County District Attorney

WHERE DOES THE WATER COME FROM AND WOULD YOU BUY IT?

THE MYSTERY WATER SUPPLY!

I’ve always wondered where the water comes from in those water dispensing machines you find outside of convenience stores and inside Walmart. I figure they’re too small to hold a lot of water because dozens of gallons are sold from them each day. Are they hooked to a regular water supply and people believe they’re getting spring or purified agua? The Insite would love to have one of the smart readers out there answer the big question of the day. Also, would you buy water from the dispenser/vending machine?

THE INSITE’S TOUGHEST INTERVIEWS: CHILDREN LOOKING FOR A HOME!

FIVE KIDS WHO NEED A FAMILY TO CALL THEIR OWN!




It’s always tough for a reporter to interview children on a serious subject. And what I talked to five children about last week was very tough. They’re orphans looking for a family to call their own. Currently the kids are living in a foster home here in Houston but they all dream about finding that permanent home one day. They’re Benjamin (11), Christopher (12), Dorian (6), Juqua (9), and the anchor of the group – 13 year old Jennifer. The kids say this time of the year is difficult because they don’t have any parents. A feeling some of us have never known. The very bright and active siblings are hoping to get adopted together. You can find out more information about them at Depelchin’s Children Center. It would be a great way for some couple or family to start the year off right!

Link: http://www.depelchin.org

IS IT THE DEATH OF DEMOCRACY IN PAKISTAN?

KILLED BY A SUICIDE ATTACK!

Pakistan opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was assassinated Thursday in a suicide attack. Her death threw the campaign for critical Jan. 8 parliamentary elections into chaos and stoked fears of mass protests and violence across the nuclear-armed nation, an important U.S. ally in the war on terrorism.

At least 20 others were also killed in the attack on a campaign rally where the 54-year-old Bhutto had just spoken.

Her supporters erupted in anger and grief after her death, attacking police and burning tires and election campaign posters in several cities. At the hospital where she died, some smashed glass and wailed, chanting slogans against President Pervez Musharraf.

Musharraf blamed Islamic extremists for Bhutto’s death and said he would redouble his efforts to fight them.

“This is the work of those terrorists with whom we are engaged in war,” he said in a nationally televised speech. “I have been saying that the nation faces the greatest threats from these terrorists. … We will not rest until we eliminate these terrorists and root them out.”

Musharraf convened an emergency meeting with his senior staff, where they were expected to discuss whether to postpone the elections, an official at the Interior Ministry said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the talks.

The attacker struck just minutes after Bhutto addressed thousands of supporters in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, 8 miles south of Islamabad. She was shot in the neck and chest by the attacker, who then blew himself up, said Rehman Malik, Bhutto’s security adviser.

Sardar Qamar Hayyat, a leader from Bhutto’s party, said he was standing about 10 yard away from Benazir Bhutto’s vehicle at the time of the attack.

“She was inside the vehicle and was coming out from the gate after addressing the rally when some of the youths started chanting slogans in her favor. Then I saw a smiling Bhutto emerging from the vehicle’s roof and responding to their slogans,” he said.

“Then I saw a thin, young man jumping toward her vehicle from the back and opening fire. Moments later, I saw her speeding vehicle going away,” he added.

Bhutto was rushed to the hospital and taken into emergency surgery. She died about an hour after the attack.

“At 6:16 p.m., she expired,” said Wasif Ali Khan, a member of Bhutto’s party who was at Rawalpindi General Hospital.

“The surgeons confirmed that she has been martyred,” Bhutto’s lawyer Babar Awan said.

Bhutto’s supporters at the hospital exploded in anger, smashing the glass door at the main entrance of the emergency unit. Others burst into tears. One man with a flag of Bhutto’s Pakistan People’s Party tied around his head was beating his chest.

ROSENTHAL SAYS LLOYD KELLEY IS PLAYING POLITICAL GAMES!

By: Brian Rogers (left) Houston Chronicle

Attorneys for Harris County District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal today are expected to ask a federal judge to seal dozens of e-mails released as part of a federal civil rights lawsuit and which reveal a close personal relationship with his secretary.

The e-mails, sent from Rosenthal’s county e-mail address, highlight some of the inner workings of the DA’s office, exposing details about past criminal cases and civil lawsuits.

And they include personal, affectionate notes to Kerry Stevens, Rosenthal’s executive secretary with whom he said he had an affair in the 1980s.

“The very next time I see you, I want to kiss you behind your right ear,” Rosenthal writes to Stevens in a note dated Aug. 10, 2007.

The e-mails are exhibits in a civil rights lawsuit against the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, alleging misconduct by sheriff’s deputies in 2001. Rosenthal was deposed in the case, which alleges sheriff’s deputies violated the civil rights of two brothers who filmed police executing a search warrant on a neighbor’s house.

In court documents, Sheriff Tommy Thomas called the suit frivolous and said the deputies acted within the scope of their job.

Rosenthal, who is married, on Wednesday called the disclosure of the personal e-mails “bare knuckle politics” engineered by Lloyd Kelley, the lawyer for the brothers.

Kelley is a friend of former HPD Chief C.O. Bradford, who is Rosenthal’s opponent in his bid next year for re-election.

Bradford and Kelley were law partners in the 1990s, Kelley said.

Bradford could not be reached for comment.

Kelley is a former Houston city controller and lost a previous bid for district attorney against Rosenthal in 2000.

Kelley denied that subpoenaing the e-mails — which were sent and received on county computers and e-mail accounts — was politically motivated.

Among the things he is alleging in the civil rights lawsuit is that Rosenthal refused to investigate the conduct of the sheriff’s deputies in 2001.

Vigorous deposition

The e-mails, he argues, show that Rosenthal’s reluctance to investigate the sheriff’s office stemmed from a concern that if he did, his own behavior may be more closely scrutinized.

“It’s five years later; why weren’t they investigated?” Kelley asked. “The e-mails establish the reason why Rosenthal did nothing — you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.”

When deposing Rosenthal on Nov. 29 for the case, Kelley asked if he was having an affair, a question Rosenthal’s attorney wouldn’t let him answer.

He also wasn’t allowed to answer Kelley’s question about whether his friends, Sheriff Thomas and Harris County commissioners Jerry Eversole and Steve Radack, were aware of his relationship with Stevens.

Kelley then asked, “Mr. Rosenthal, is it because you are engaged in activities that you want to keep quiet, is that why you won’t rock the boat and investigate the sheriff and his activities?”

“No,” Rosenthal responded.

During discovery for the case, Kelley asked for all of the e-mails sent or received by Rosenthal, his first assistant Bert Graham and his general counsel, Scott Durfee from July to Oct. 15.

In court documents protesting the release of the e-mails, attorneys for Rosenthal argue they “relate to private expressions of affection between Rosenthal and Stevens.”

While the 51 e-mails between the two contain the phrase “I love you” more than a dozen times, and Rosenthal asks Stevens to let him hold her, the messages are not explicit.

Rosenthal said Wednesday he is not having an affair with Stevens, but that he had an affair with her in the 1980s when he was married to his first wife. He said the affair did not end that marriage, but he did later divorce.

Rosenthal later remarried and said he told his current wife about the affair before hiring Stevens as his executive assistant when he took office in 2000.

Several attempts to reach Stevens on Wednesday were unsuccessful.

A position of trust

Kelley took issue with Stevens’ salary and the fact that she drives a county pool car, which is an extra car that belongs to the department pool. County records show that she makes $75,000 a year.

Rosenthal justified the expense by saying Stevens occupies a high position of trust in his administration.

He also said Stevens took responsibility for the car — a suggestion from one of his administrators — so it would receive regular maintenance.

Kelley also took Rosenthal to task for preferential treatment for Stevens.

Included in the e-mails is an exchange in which Stevens asks for a day off.

Rosenthal responds, “You do not have to ask. Just tell me what you plan to do. You have to know by now that I’m not going to tell you ‘no’ about anything you want.”

“It is still proper for me to ask,” she wrote back. “There may be a day that something could be going on that you would want me here.”

Rosenthal writes, “I always want to see you. You own my heart whether you want or not.”

Answering Kelley’s charge of preferential treatment, Rosenthal said he didn’t think he has ever denied an employee’s earned time off.

Although Rosenthal said the release of the e-mails was politically motivated, the Republican said he would not change his campaign or strategy.

More at Chron.com!

COUNCILMAN RONALD GREEN TAKES OVER THE OFFICE!

HE PACKED THE HOUSE ON A SUNDAY NIGHT!










It was the big Christmas Bash held at the downtown nightspot the Office on Main Street. It was thrown by attorney and city councilman Ronald Green with others. The Insite, Kalele ‘Party King’ Thumbutu, Torrey ‘T-Dub’ Walker and others dropped by. Who knew you could get a crowd on Sunday night but Green was able to do it. His wife Judge Hillary Green also made an appearance at the event. The Insite and The Party King shared picture duties at the party. Here are the photos we were able to snap!

TIS THE SEASON TO PARTY!

THE COTTON EXCHANGE CHRISTMAS PARTY!






It’s that time of the year when there will be a lot of invitations to celebrate the season. This year there was no shortage of events for the Insite and staff to attend. One such gathering was held Sunday night at the Cotton Exchange in downtown Houston by its owner Karton Zawolo. The Insite, Kalele ‘Party King’ Thumbutu, Torrey ‘T-Dub’ Walker and others attended Zawolo’s Christmas party for his clients and friends. The added surprise was the karaoke open to all guests. Here are the pictures Thumbutu snapped at the festive affair!