Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Bicycling between City Hall and the Harris County family court

-- Kuff got ahead of Schleifer's Horseshoe this past week, catching Jack Christie's no-go for mayor and the At-Large ins and outs (Atlas Kerr in 3 throwing down against Kubosh, Jan Clark dropping out of 5).  Click here for more, but you really ought to be subscribing to the weekly e-mail newsletter by now.  Nobody is doing this beat any better than Teddy.  (He's linking to my questions for the Sheriff, so this is a bit of pimping myself out.  No response to those questions as yet.  It's early.)

Update (3/26): And Charles leads this morning with news on two Democrats jumping in to challenge Christie in AL5 and one controller candidate announcing his bid.

Sylvester Turner grand-opens at Minute Maid Park this weekend, Chris Bell has a big fundraiser set for April 1st (hope that's just a coincidence), and Stone Cold Steve Costello speaks to Harris Democrats tomorrow night.  Somebody get me a transcript of the fireworks, please?

-- Big Jolly busted the Republican judge who's Kickstarting her honeymoon.

I was contacted by a family law attorney that does business in Judge Alicia Franklin’s 311th District Court. The attorney complained that she felt pressured to give money to Judge Franklin for her upcoming honeymoon. Say what? Sure enough, Judge Franklin and her fiance', Doug York, have a website asking for contributions to pay for their honeymoon.


Folks, we aren’t talking about a couple of lovestruck teenagers that are starting a new life together and need a wedding shower or two. We are talking about two very successful attorneys and an elected district judge. Heck, Franklin received over $800,000 from Harris County taxpayers alone for appointed cases. Which reminds me, where again is Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson? It has been over six month since Greg Enos filed a criminal complaint against Judge Franklin (click here to read more about that complaint) and still NOTHING from the DA. NADA, ZIP, ZILCH.

Do you think the DA would have been silent if Judge Franklin had run as a Democrat? I surely don’t.
Franklin and York are obviously classless and tasteless. One attorney I talked to about this said that there is no way he would beg for money for a honeymoon – if he couldn’t take care of his new bride, she shouldn’t have married him.

That’s funny. But the bigger issue is a judge sitting behind a bench pressuring the attorneys in front of her to pay for her pleasure activities. And a DA that sits on her hands when a Republican is involved.

Nothing to add.  The comments at his OP are priceless.  I appreciate what Jolly does as the lone watchdog within his party to call out this sort of thing.  It's one thing for me to point it out, quite another when he does.

-- A La Porte cyclist was severely injured in a yet another hit-and-run between cars and bikers.  It's an epidemic locally.

Investigators say that the cyclist was traveling northbound on 2400 Sens in La Porte and was hit from behind by a Ford F-150 this weekend, as KHOU details. The truck fled the scene shortly after, leaving the biker lying in the street with life-threatening injuries.


This accident's a reminder of the dangers bike lovers continue to face on the area's streets from hit-and-run drivers. An alarming number of cyclist injuries and deaths led Houston Mayor Annise Parker to take initiative on the issue last May. The mayor donated $2,500 from BikeHouston to Crime Stoppers of Houston in an attempt to reduce the number of biker deaths and draw attention to the problem.

Crime Stoppers tips helped the Houston police solve the case of the infamous hit and run that killed cyclist Chelsea Norman, who was run down pedaling home from work at the Montrose Whole Foods. On the other hand, unresolved accidents remain throughout Harris County.

Houstonians complain about traffic, potholes, the tax money needed to fix both, and then pile into their pickups, run down bicyclists, and flee the scene of the crime.  What's wrong with this picture besides everything?

The only thing these jerks aren't bitching about is gas prices.

Now me personally, I wouldn't ride my bike in La Porte just due to the quality of the air.  But I never ride on a street with moderate traffic because of the likelihood of this sort of thing happening.  And that's the concern of others who might ditch their gas-powered four-wheelers for two and pedal power.

"The key here is that physical separation, which makes cyclists feel more comfortable, that their space is defined," Payne said. "When you're on a bike route you're right out there with the traffic. The whole objective here for Houston is to develop infrastructure that makes people feel comfortable, safe and encourages them to get out of their houses and out of their cars and use their bicycles both for recreation and for transportation."

Yeah, that's the key all right.  It might be a nice place to start if we could stop seeing everyone -- including cyclists -- complain when the city DOES put some bike lanes in.


Katy Anders said...

The Judge Franklin story is... something we should hear more about.

David Collins said...

I try not to think too much about municipal elections that are 7+ months away, but the race to replace Annise has my attention. Even having voted for Ralph Ullrich and Don Cook, I'd be happy (though not thrilled) with Turner, Bell, or Costello. None of them is as progressive as I'd like, but they seem to know which levers to pull to get things done.

Anyone care to advise me which horse to back—or not to back?

PDiddie said...

Costello is not an option.

Bell and Turner are as left as it's going to get if Greens don't run a mayoral candidate. But the Houston chapter of the Socialist Workers Party has fielded a candidate in the last two municipal election cycles. My guess is that they will again.