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Posts published in “Day: May 12, 2005

TXDoT hears overpass pros and cons

CROSBY – The Texas Department of Transportation (TXDoT) presented a public hearing at the Crosby High School Commons to exhibit illustrations, and engineering drawing, present their findings then hear comments from the public concerning an overpass at the railroad pass on May 5. About 300 total residents of Crosby attended the viewing, presentation, or public comment phases. Six individuals (representing their opinions) made comments about the designs, several made written comments. The subjected area of FM 2100 is from before the curve all the way to South Diamondhead Boulevard.

The subject crossing is now a four lane crossing at ground level with gate and flashing light warning. TXDoT indicates the reason their experts decided to install an overpass at the location are primarily based on the Crosby/Huffman Chamber of Commerce request to “soften the curve on FM 2100 at First Street, poor vertical sight distance at the crossing, 200 buses cross the railroad daily, 21 accidents occurred at or near the railroad over a three year study,” there are about “24 trains crossing the location daily,” interrupting traffic flow and their is “no dedicated left turn lane inside the project limits.”

TXDoT indicates their purpose in building the railroad crossing is to improve safety and upgrade roadway flow, improve traffic movement while maintaining local access, and design a cost effective facility to accommodate future traffic needs. Among options for the proposal is a no build option, with indication of no change.

Subject to right of way acquisition, according to TXDoT, are 2 new acres, 12 business displacements, no residential displacements portions of business are single residential properties.

During the viewing of the renderings, Sam Purkiser argued with engineers that the widening of the roadway will rather increase the amount of traffic on FM 2100 from the northern regions, destroy all businesses near the location due to the congestion during construction, lack of parking and loss of access.

Tim Mock says, as do many other residents, “When this thing was first proposed it was with the understanding that people wouldn’t be hurt. People wouldn’t be left less than whole. The way this is proceeding, there are several people particularly between that First Street curve and the grade separation.”

He continued, “My understanding is that the county is trying to do it cheep rather than do it right. They are trying to put five lanes in less than 80 feet, 80 feet is not illegal but their is going to be very short distance between cars that way. I’m all for it as long as people don’t get hurt and displaced without recourse. The original proposal had plenty of space but they squeezed it down from 100 to 80 feet in that area. It seems to me that by doing that they are trying to avoid buying out a bunch of while undermining the foundation of existing businesses by being so close with the construction. I’m for progress but let’s do it right the first time not come back a year after it’s all done and say, ‘Well, now that these places are out of business we need to come back and get another 20 feet to widen the roadway.'”

During the public comment phase several residents would echo Mock’s opinion.

Another individual indicated that the county was trying to get off cheap by not purchasing right of way up First Street and leave existing businesses alone as they exist. This much discussed citizen’s counter-proposal would put the crossing over from First Street straight to Miller-Wilson Road. It would require the purchase of much more land and build another roadway passed the ball fields and county facilities at and passed Hare Road while straightening another (less used curve) near Ramsey Road. Another citizen counter proposal is to put a new roadway access to US 90 avoiding the disruption of FM 2100.

No announcement has yet been issued by the state concerning the public hearing. Written public comment is still invited on the issue.

MUDs elect for progress

CROSBY – Three Municipal Utility Districts here passed bond referendums on Saturday, May 7. Crosby MUD had a vote of 87 for and 72 against for a $10M bond over following a lively public debate and publicity on the issue. The necessity of the bond was to increase capacity. The board is looking at building a Clear Well, an underground storage, replacement of several lines and boosting pumping capacity.

Newport MUD passed a $30 million dollar bond over 15 years with a vote of 198 for and 96 against on the first proposal to ready preparation for expansion of capital improvements. In the second proposal voters passed an initiative for $5 M. for parks and recreation by a 182 to 105 margin. Newport by next year will begin to build a water tower to accommodate increasing numbers of homes in the neighborhood but that project has already been handled by existing funding.

According to board members, MUD 50 in Barrett Station passed a $32 M. bond over the next 10 to 15 years by a 67 to 9 margin. The Barrett MUD published their announcement in their own self generated newspaper, “The News Writer.” It is unknown what the scope of distribution is for the newspaper other that the assurance of “everywhere in Barrett Station.”

Problems in Barrett Station are well publicized including a leaking pipe systems, water going to persons that are using non-metered taps, a past history of less than prosperous economic growth and generally lacking enough tax base to keep pace with growing demands from regulatory agencies. Currently, even a single million dollar sale of bonds will substantially increase the burden on the few residents in the area.

Bland electrifies Crosby

Bobby “Blue” Bland brought electricity to the stage last Saturday night. Fans thronged to watch the veteran blues singer considered to be conduit from blues to rock music. Bland is a two time inductee to the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame, and 1997 Grammy Lifetime Achievement winner.

Bland, Blackfoot, The Superiors & Lady Audrey, Jeff Floyd, Big Cynthia and the Ray Parsee’s All Stars featuring Vanessa laid down beautiful classical Jazz based Blues while Willie Clayton, Archie Love, Pat “PG Man” Green, Kenney Wayne, new sensation Omar Cunningham and others presented exciting soul music.

Performances went on for 21 hours and thirty nine minutes. Multiple vendors were on hand.

Longneck Wildlife Festival opens for 3 days in Baytown

BAYTOWN – This weekend will see the first annual Longneck Wildlife Festival take place in three different locations, according to Carl Burg, one of the directors of the Festival. Burg spoke to the Highlands Rotary club last week, as part of the promotion of the new event.

He explained that a citizen’s group had decided to stage a large, city-wide spring festival, to promote the idea that Baytown had a lot to offer, and was more of a community than just a “refinery town.”

The volunteer group known as Baytown Outdoor Inc. started planning a year ago, and enlisted a large board of citizens.

The goals of BOI are to promote tourism, and raise money to improve existing outdoor facilities, and to give scholarships to students interested in pursuing field of study related to outdoor professions.

The Festival has been organized around three “venue” areas, which are the Wetlands Center, the Brownwood Nature Center, and the complex around Baytown City Hall and Convention Center on Market Street.

The idea of the show is to combine entertainment and exhibits, and to have family involvement.

The Festival will take place over a three day period, Friday through Sunday, May 13 to 15th.

Family events, exhibits and amusements will be at the Wetlands Center and the Nature Center on Saturday from 10 am to 6:30 pm, and Sunday from 11 am to 4 pm. Admission is free.

The Concerts and Cook-offs will take place at the Community Center and adjacent park, and admission will be $10 per event, or $25 for a 3 day pass.

Concerts and cook-off start Friday from 6 pm to 11 pm, and continue Saturday from 11 am to 10:30 pm, and Sunday from 11 am to 8 pm.

Crosby restaurant robbed

CROSBY – While most were trying to settle in from a day of celebrations of values and virtues associated with mothers, one guy decided to take advantage of a lull in the rain, the cash register, and the patrons’ purses at 14602 Crosby Lynchburg Rd.

That location is directly across the street from the Wal-Mart, Murphy’s gas station.

Baytown Seafood employees indicate it was about 7:08 p.m. on May 8, when a gap-toothed, short, ruddy shaven, red-haired, slim, younger man wearing pantyhose over his face, latex gloves, a blue sweater and black pants began to rob patrons and the restaurant brandishing a pistol. After amassing an undisclosed amount of cash, he ran out of the restaurant and toward the Northeast, a wooded area is nearby in that direction. Employes indicate he was brash yet nervous with the patrons.

Harris County Sheriff’s Deputies were notified at about 7:20 p.m. They obtained a slightly different description: the white male was said to be wearing a blue sweatshirt with a hood, and blue jeans. The suspects height was described as between 5’4″ and 5’7″.

Hopefully, someone reading this saw the suspect, or knows the suspect or has some information that could help authorities apprehend this suspected of aggravated robbery and apparently dangerous person.

The number of the Harris County Robbery Division is (713) 967-5770, the number for Crimestoppers is (713) 222-TIPS.

I’ve got friends in low places

It is Mother’s Day as this is being written. Rode by the cemetery on Beltway 8 and noticed a whole lot of cars parked there. Then remembered if my Mother was buried nearby, I’d visit her today and take some flowers too. She left this world at the age of 53, I was 26.

Guess you could say I’ve run wild ever since having no parents to keep me in line. Read my fortune the other day on my page. Says, “You have an unusual magnetic personality. Just be aware of your polarity.”

What’s that mean? Must have to do something with friends and acquaintances and maybe why I get so much various and assorted emails from my friends in low places.

I can say that because if you saw some of the stuff I get, you would understand the true meaning of friends in low places. I can honestly say some people have way too much time on their hands.

Of course I have had some pictures sent to me that have been copied and are hanging on the wall in my office. Fer instance a 121 pound catfish, a cougar stalking a deer within ten feet and a shot of a seven trophy deer on top of a mountain.

Heard the catfish shot is a fake, but it looks good on the wall. Have another picture I’m taking to work tomorrow. Bitterroot, Montana – this picture is of a mountain side on fire with a stream at the foot of the mountain with two deer getting a drink. The man who took the shot was crossing the bridge and took the picture. Awesome!

The month of May is about my favorite, I reckon. For some reason, May brings out the nomadic ways in me. Of course at my age, I best stay put.

During the month of May, I left home voluntarily and joined the Coast Guard. Not to mention two job changes in May.

Also started writing these articles in May, been eleven years this month doing them.

Odd that I would start writing but I asked the owner of the paper, David Herfert? if I wrote an article about something would he run it in his newspaper. He said yes and even put me on the front page too, I couldn’t believe it, didn’t last either. It was titled WORD ON THE STREET.

Wrote for some newspapers across the river for a while but they fired me. Put in a nice way, they said they would not run my articles. It all boils down to the fact I would not sign an exclusive contract with them. That is too restrictive and sort of like getting married again. I figure it was their loss.

My cousin in Montana sent me an email this morning with new names for the Seven Dwarfs entitled The Seven Dwarfs of Menopause with a photo of the dwarfs in a row with their names: Itchy, Bitchy, Sweaty, Sleepy, Bloated, Forgetful and Psycho.

Cain’t hang that one on the wall.