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IS MAYOR WHITE AND THE CHIEF MUNICIPAL JUDGE GETTING A FREE PASS ON FOUL UPS?

THE CITY’S COURT SYSTEM CRASHES AND NO ONE IS HELD ACCOUNTABLE!

Houston Politico Marc Campos poses a very interesting question this week in his daily commentary. He wants to know why heads haven’t rolled after the so called “Muni Virus.” That’s the computer bug or glitch that has shut down the city’s Municipal court system computer. The city is losing millions of dollars with the doors of the courthouse shut on Lubbock. Here’s a segment of Campos’ commentary:

I guess the City of H-Town forgot to budget for the McAfee updates this past year. How else do you explain the City�s Municipal Court System getting hit by a virus? Somebody needs to get their arse run out pretty soon if you ask me.

Can you imagine how folks would have reacted if the municipal courts computers would have crashed under Lee P. Brown�s watch. Heck, he would have had to hang out in one of those undisclosed locations for a few days, errr weeks.


What do you think? Is Mayor Bill White getting a free pass and should Chief Judge Bert Majia be held accountable as well?


AND THERE’S ALWAYS THAT MUG SHOT!

The stepson of prominent Dallas bishop T.D. Jakes was arrested last month in an undercover sex sting.

Jermaine Jakes exposed himself to an undercover officer and began masturbating, police said.

The alleged incident happened on Jan. 3 at about 10 p.m. in the 2100 block of W. Kiest Boulevard.

According to police, Jermaine Jakes approached an undercover officer with his penis exposed through his opened pants, stood next to officer, made direct eye contact with the officer and began pleasuring himself.

Jermaine Jakes was arrested and charged with indecent exposure.

Police said the arrest happened a few blocks away from The Potter’s House church, which is headed by Jermaine Jakes’ father, bishop T.D. Jakes .

THE HOT CHICKS WELCOME YOU TO TALL TIMBERS IN RIVER OAKS!

RAISING MONEY FOR THE YOUNG PEOPLE IN HOUSTON!





It’s turning out to be another great year for the Hot Chicks. The charity group’s goal is to raise money for the Houston Livestock and Rodeo Junior Livestock Poultry Auction. All the money ultimately will go towards scholarships to help educate the young people in our community. Their fundraiser this year was held at the home – no – I should say the estate of Astrid Van Dyke. What a crib and the backyard is like some pro athletic club with a pool, waterfall, cabana, tennis court, boats and the amenities go on. The theme for the fundraiser was all western. Lots of people turned out for the sale which ran from 10 in the morning until 6pm. Some of those attending and shelling out the dough at the event were: Julie ‘The Socialite’ Grayum, Liz Jameson, Astrid Van Dyke, Rosemary Harrison, Janet Battarbee, Lisa Lents, Karen Hartnett, Jo McCurdy and many more. Here are the pics I was able to snap in the time I had. Way to go Hot Chicks, keep raising those scholarship dollars for the kids!

GOOD NEWS: JEREMY DESEL RETURNS TO TELEVISION!

WE’RE GLAD EVERYTHING WORKED OUT AND HE’S OKAY!

KHOU (Channel 11) reporter Jeremy Desel returns to the air tonight with a story about the future of NASA and the Johnson Space Center — vital stuff, no doubt, but hardly the taut, personal, dramatic sort of tale that has characterized his decade on Houston television.

Desel’s mere presence on the air tonight, though, is sufficiently dramatic in its own right.

At age 39, he is two months removed from open heart surgery to repair a defect that could have struck him down in the middle of the newsroom or, for that matter, in the middle of Galveston Island during Hurricane Ike.

“I look back now and see things that should have been red flags, things that I wrote off at the time to the fact that I had a baby at home,” he said. “What this has taught me is to listen to my body and to see my doctor at least once a year.”

Desel’s off-screen tale began with the sort of coincidence that normally highlights health-related stories on TV newscasts. A few weeks removed from back-to-back stints on hurricanes Gustav and Ike, he scheduled a doctor’s visit in November in search of antibiotics for a sore throat.

“The doc put the stethoscope on me and said, ‘How long have you had that wicked murmur?’” Desel said. “I said, ‘What?’ I think it’s fair to say that I wasn’t expecting any personal drama.”

His physician referred him to a cardiologist who diagnosed a defective mitral valve, which had produced a condition known as mitral regurgitation, in which blood flows back into the chamber after the heart muscle attempts to push it forward.

The heart muscle expanded and thickened to keep pace with the increased workload, and by the time Desel was being prepped for surgery, he said he could see his chest expand and contract to match the rhythm of his overworked heart.

He underwent successful surgery Dec. 8 at Methodist Hospital’s DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center, but his recovery was complicated for a time by a series of transient ischemic attacks, or mini-strokes, as his body coped with the aftermath of the procedure.

He was released from the hospital six weeks ago, he said, with a series of general instructions on how to progress in his recovery.

“They told me I should avoid high-stress environments,” he said, laughing. “So I walked back into the newsroom (10 days ago). But I’m easing into the deadline pressure as I see what I can do and what my comfort level is.”

One of the first things he did was to examine some of the stories he filmed before he was diagnosed to see if he could pick up any signs of his compromised physical condition.

One of the clearest signs, he said, came from a trip during Ike to the 16th floor of the San Luis Hotel, site of Channel 11’s storm bureau.

“I’ve always been a relatively in-shape guy,” he said. “But I got stopped dead in my tracks after four flights of stairs by shortness of breath. That should have been the absolute red flag, but I wrote it off to the baby, getting no sleep and being on the road for two hurricanes.

“Now, I can watch my live shots during Ike and hear the shortness of breath. And so can others I’ve shown (the stories).”

That group presumably includes Channel 11 news director Keith Connors, who understandably was shaken by Desel’s subsequent diagnosis.

“He’s a big, burly, strapping guy, and it’s hard to think of him as being vulnerable,” Connors said. “… He did incredible work in Galveston. He was working 12, 20, 24 hours and never backed down from any of it.”

Desel, a veteran of the Chicago Marathon, is limited to walking these days but is pleased with the pace of his recovery. He’s happy to be working, and Connors is glad to have him back.

“We were very worried that he wasn’t going to make it through, much less make it back on the air,” Connors said. “But we’re happy he’s on the mend and hope to have him back on the air and breaking stories for us.

“His is a cautionary tale to be sure that you take your health serious. It could have been a tragedy and not the triumph we’re talking about today.”

david.barron@chron.com

IS SHEILA JACKSON LEE MOVING TO THE STATE DEPARTMENT?

WHO SHOULD REPLACE HER IN THE CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT?

Texas Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Houston) will leave her post in Congress to work in the U.S. State Department under Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, sources tell Capitol Annex.

Jackson Lee was among Clinton’s most prominent African American supporters until the final days of her presidential campaign, in spite of the fact that her Congressional District overwhelmingly supported Barack Oabama. Jackson Lee made no apologies for her support of Clinton, although it could have caused her difficulties in the Democratic Primary next year.

Jackson Lee has held her seat in Congress since winning it in 1994, when she defeated Congressman Craig Washington in the Democratic Primary. A former Houston City Councilmember and municipal judge, Jackson Lee is one of Texas’ most outspoken Congressional leaders on issues of foreign policy, including the genocide in Darfur.

Speculation on who will replace Jackson Lee is already beginning. Leading the pack among likely contenders is State Sen. Rodney Ellis (D-Houston). Former Houston City Councilwoman Ada Edwards is also a likely contender for the post. There is some speculation that former Texas House Speaker Pro Tem Sylvester Turner (D-Houston) will seek the seat now that he is essentially exiled within the House Chamber. Turner seeking the seat, however, seems unlikely.

State Reps. Garnet F. Coleman and Dwayne Bohac are unlikely to seek Jackson Lee’s post, although parts of their districts lie within the boundaries of the Congressional District. Bohac, as a Republican, would be immediately slaughtered at the ballot box. Coleman, on the other hand, is sorely needed and wields far more power and influence in the Texas House right now.

A special election will likely be called for the seat by Texas Governor Rick Perry sometime after Jackson Lee’s resignation is official.

SUPPORTING QUANELL X!

IT’S TIME TO COME UP WITH A STRATEGY!

The Insite hears members of the activist community are coming together Wednesday for a private strategy session to help and support one of their own. That person is Quanell X. You may remember just last week Quanell was hit with a lawsuit by one of the Houston police officers originally accused of beating Marvin Driver. Those officers sued X and Driver claiming defamation of character. The next move is for Quanell X to make. Part of the strategy I hear is for this brainstorming session to decide the next step for the activist community in dealing with this lawsuit. It’s my understanding this meeting will not be open to the public or the news media. Stay tuned to see what comes out of it and the next move of Quanell X. I’m sure he won’t disappoint us!

DO YOU SUPPORT PRESIDENT OBAMA’S ECONOMIC RECOVERY PLAN – VOTE ON THE LEFT OF THE BLOG!

AND LEAVE YOUR REASONS WHY IN THE COMMENT SECTION BELOW!

For the second straight day and less than a day after his first presidential news conference, President Barack Obama has traveled the United States, trying to build public support for his economic stimulus proposal. This time, he spoke and took questions from a crowd in Fort Myers, Florida – a city with the nation’s highest rate of home loan foreclosures.

“We know that in order to address our economic crisis, we are going to have to help homeowners, not just banks, but the homeowners as well,” he said.

President Obama said he will unveil an overall housing strategy in the next few weeks. But he’s already looking at ways to help homeowners avoid foreclosure.

As the president spoke in Florida, the U.S. Senate passed its version of the economic stimulus plan. The legislation will go to a committee which will work out differences with the recovery plan that passed the House of Representatives in January. The resulting bill will go to the president for his signature.

“We have had a good debate. That is part of what democracy is all about,” he said. “But the time for talk is over. Folks here in Fort Myers and across America – they need help; they need action and they need it now.”

Mr. Obama was introduced in Fort Myers by Charlie Crist, the popular Governor of Florida, who is one of few nationally-known Republican politicians to endorse the president’s economic recovery plan.

“This is not about partisan politics; this is about rising above that, helping America and reigniting our economy,” he said.

On Monday, the president addressed a community meeting in Elkhart, Indiana, which has one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation. Later in the week, he will visit a factory in Peoria, Illinois, where workers are facing job cuts.

THE NAACP HOUSTON OFFICE FLOODED WITH CALLS FROM COPS!

WHERE DID THE MYSTERY PAGE COME FROM?

It’s a mystery officials with the Houston office of the NAACP still can’t figure out. Around 11:30 am Tuesday morning the phones at the NAACP office on Wheeler Avenue began ringing off the hook. Every time a worker would answer the phone the response would be: “This is Officer XXXXX did you page me?” Somehow the number to the NAACP office went out in a mass page to some officers with the Houston Police Department. The officers weren’t sure why they were paged and NAACP President Carol Mims Galloway says she had no idea why they were being called. Galloway and workers at the office say for at least a half an hour they received dozens of calls from Houston police officers. No one was able to figure out what happened. Anyone out there got any idea why some many Houston cops received a page from the NAACP office in Houston?

HAVE YOU READ THE COMMUNITY BULLETIN BOARD TODAY?

THE LATEST NEWS AT HILL’S GROCERY STORE!

I caught this picture in Anahuac Monday. It’s Torrey ‘T-Dub’ Walker reading the community bulletin board at Hill’s Grocery store. The announcements weren’t too terribly exciting. There’s a couple of missing pets, dinners being sold for a fundraiser and lots of activities for senior citizens. I think T-Dub is interested in the new exciting bowling night in Anahuac. Are you going too?

BIPARTISAN EFFORT TO HELP WITH DOCTOR SHORTAGE!

WOULD YOU SUPPORT THIS PIECE OF LEGISLATION?

U.S. Representative Gene Green introduced H.R. 916, the Preventive Medicine and Public Health Training Act, and H.R. 914 the Physician Workforce Enhancement Act, with Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) in a bipartisan effort to address the growing physician shortage in the nation.

“Our public health system is already spread too thin and not enough trained professionals are available to cope with the growing demand,” said Rep. Green. “These bills are aimed at providing more resources to hospitals and to individuals wanting to be part of the public health system. ”

The Preventive Medicine and Public Health Training Act will provide $43 million in training grants through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to schools of public health, public health departments, medical schools, or hospitals to plan and develop residency programs in Preventive Medicine, to provide financial aid to residents (to pursue an MPH), or to defray costs associated with a residency training program.

“Every year fewer trained Preventative Medicine professionals are available to fill essential leadership roles at hospitals and clinics,” said Rep. Green. “They provide health screenings, promote disease prevention in at-risk populations, lead public health agencies, become epidemiologists or experts in occupational health. They are essential to maintaining a healthy general population.”

A second piece of legislation introduced with Representative Burgess, the Physician Workforce Enhancement Act, will assist small hospitals that serve rural or growing areas. The goal of this legislation is to provide hospitals with interest-free loans to establish a residency training program for certain high need medical specialties. Under the program, hospitals could receive up to $1 million over 4 years.

“The legislation we are introducing is targeted at the weakest spots of the medical workforce – specializations like family and emergency medicine for small and developing communities,” said Rep. Burgess.