Dear friends and neighbors,

Yahoo! Today is the first day of fall. The date may not mean the
temperature is any lower, but psychologically the change of seasons gives
us hope.

The City of Houston employees are the best in the world. Over this past
week, their dedication and service to assist the citizens of Houston has
been incredible. So when you see a city employee, make sure you give him or
her a smile or a wave and a thank you. While they were out working for you,
many of these employees had no electricity, children out of school, and
some had no running water. But they sacrificed so they could help all of

Gee, were you surprised when you read the headline on the front page of the
Chronicle today: "Ike Likely To Up Cost of Power"? From the article: "The
reason: Under deregulation, ratepayers are responsible for the expense of
maintaining and expanding the power grid in Texas." Then why aren't we
sharing in the profits? I don't know about you, but I'm asking for the
names of all the state representatives and senators that voted for
deregulation. If we're going to have to pay to upgrade the system, how
about having a conversation about paying to bury the system underground? It
seems that me that if we had done as so many of the surrounding communities
did, we would not now have so many Houston homes without power.

There were new sounds in my neighborhood over the weekend: chainsaws and
generators. The equipment that produced these sounds made my neighbors'
lives easier. But the sounds weren't as nice as the piano or clarinet that
I heard last week. But I do thank the person was practicing the trumpet in
the neighborhood..

I am so grateful that I lived near Yosemite when I was young and that my
parents took me camping a lot. Everything I learned then has helped me cope
with not having electricity. I just now pretend that I'm on one of those
camping trips again. I have my lanterns, my barbecue pit, my coffee pot (by
the way, coffee made in an old percolator still tastes great), and my
clothesline. I also have an ice chest, which I have decorated with a
painted face and named Igloo—kind of like the movie "Castaway," in which
Tom Hanks had his volleyball named Wilson. Igloo has become my good friend,
and I thank her for keeping my drinks and my food cold.

The difference between camping then and my experience now is that then you
tied your food in the tree to protect it from bears. Now you do it to
protect it from teenagers.


Over the weekend, I missed going to my fortieth high school reunion in
Fresno. But I did call in, and my classmates put me on the speaker system.
I greeted them with "Hi, y'all!" and was greeted by loud laughter. When I
lived in Fresno, I didn't say "y'all." My classmates individually wished us
well in Houston. One of my classmates asked that everyone stop and say a
prayer for me and all of the people of Houston. Then one smart aleck said,
"Hey Lovell. Don't you wish those nuns could see you now?" I again replied,
"Oh, they do."

Today the only thing I'm going to whine about (and I've worked very hard at
being patient) is that the plywood still covers the windows at the City
Hall Annex. I really miss looking out my window at Heritage Park.

Again, if you need any help or have questions, please contact us. Our phone
number is 832.393.3013, and our e-mail address is
atlarge2@cityofhouston.net. We're here for you. I want to thank members of
my staff, who were in the office over the weekend, answering questions from
fellow citizens.

Way to go, American Ryder Cup team. After nine years, this underdog team
took back the Ryder Cup from the Europeans.

Best regards,


Sue Lovell
Vice-Mayor Pro Tem
City Council Member, At Large Position 2
900 Bagby, First Floor - Houston, Texas 77002
832.393.3013 Main // 713.247.2580 Fax // sue.lovell@cityofhouston.net