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Posts published in July 2018

EPA CHIEF PRUITT RESIGNS

The beleaguered head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, resigned his position last week, on July 5th, only one day after attending a 4th of July event at the White House. President Trump accepted his resignation, and said that his assistant, Andrew Wheeler, would take over EPA as Acting Administrator.

Pruitt had befriended local Houston environmentalists such as Jackie Young of the SJRC, and Scott Jones of the GBF. It remains to be seen whether the new administrator will be as open and helpful on their local issues.

Pruitt had become well-known in Houston environmental circles, having visited the San Jacinto River Waste Pits in person, and placed their disposal on his “Top Ten” list of projects to receive his attention.

Pruitt’s tenure at the EPA was controversial from the beginning, and as he made a number of questionable choices in his style of administration, he became a constant source of embarrassment to the President and his administration.

He had been questioned by Congressmen and the media about high travel spending, security team costs, dealings with lobbyists who he would have to rule on later, and misuse of government resources.

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GUARDS BLOCK ACCESS TO IMMIGRANT KIDS FACILITY

Armed guard, Chief G. Fuentes blocks State Senator Sylvia Garcia (left) and State Representative Ana Hernandez from entering the children’s detention facility in their district. (Photo by Allan Jamail)

State Officials Sylvia Garcia and Ana Hernandez turned away

By Allan Jamail
Edited by NCS staff

CHANNELVIEW, TX. – North Channel – Friday, June 29, 2018 — State Senator Sylvia Garcia and State Representative Ana Hernandez went to Casa Montezuma, a child detention facility in their district, to check on migrant children being housed there. The children have either been separated from their parents who immigrated to the United States seeking political asylum from violence and persecution, or else they arrived without parents.

Armed officers in uniforms bearing the name Fort Bend County Patrol swarmed Garcia and Hernandez, stopping them and telling them they could not enter to see the children even though they both proved they were elected state officials.

Allan Jamail, a photojournalist for the North Channel Star, accompanying the state officials, had his camera grabbed by an officer whose uniform identified him as Chief G. Fuentes. Fuentes told the visiting group that the area is private property and off-limits to visitors and photo-taking.

Fuentes said, “Visitors must first make an appointment by phone to visit the facility,” but when Garcia and Hernandez told Fuentes they’ve called for days but no one will answer the phone, Fuente then said, “I know because they don’t want any visitors, so they’re not going to answer the phone.”

Not easily persuaded to leave without first checking on the welfare of the kids, for almost an hour a standoff with security in over 100 degree scorching heat, finally Fuentes agreed to allow Garcia and Hernandez to go to the front door to make an appointment for a visit on another day.

The door was locked and no one inside would come to the door or answer the intercom system, so after numerous attempts Chief Fuentes said, “You need to leave because no one is going to come talk to you or allow you inside. They don’t want visitors.”

Fuentes said he was only doing his job, but Garcia and Hernandez responded and told him he was preventing them from doing their jobs to check on the welfare of children in their District.

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