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Chad’s Morning Brief: Julian Castro’s Mother Under Fire, Lubbock City Council Says They Work Well Together, & More

Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of September 10, 2012. Give us your feedback below and tune in to Lubbock’s First News with Chad Hasty for these and many more topics from 6-9 am.

Alex Wong, Getty Images

 

1. Castro & His Mother Under Fire (link)

If we learn morals and ethics from our parents, what does this say about San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro?

After more than a century the Battle of the Alamo still raging, but instead of Mexicans and Texan settlers this time it’s Fox News and the Democrat’s new Latino star, San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro.

A Fox News web site article draws ties between Castro and his mother, “a member of the La Raza Unida, a radical movement that defended the civil rights of Mexican-Americans in Texas” who apparently hates the Alamo.

The article cites a 2010 New York Times Magazine interview with Castro and his mother, who Castro said is his inspiration.

In the article San Antonio native Rosie Castro bashed the Alamo, a longstanding symbol of American courage to many Texans and a tourist hotspot.

Here’s Rosie Castro’s quote in full:

“They used to take us there when we were schoolchildren,” Rosie Castro told The New York Times Magazine. “They told us how glorious that battle was. When I grew up I learned that the ‘heroes’ of the Alamo were a bunch of drunks and crooks and slaveholding imperialists who conquered land that didn’t belong to them. But as a little girl I got the message — we were losers. I can truly say that I hate that place and everything it stands for.”

Nice. By the way, when Castro was elected in San Antonio he hung up a political poster for La Raza. No wonder Obama and the Democrats love this guy.

2. A Friendly Council (link)

According to the report from the AJ, the council is working well together and they are all independent. Hmm, okay?

Though council members may not agree with Ward’s interpretation of their work as herding cats in City Hall, the council reaches a consensus with Ward: The city’s governing body is independent and on the right track.

“I don’t think it’s my job to herd cats,” Mayor Glen Robertson said. “It’s my job to help the council move efficiently.”

Councilman Todd Klein agreed. Klein, who has served on the council since 2006, said he believes the current council’s members act independently, but declined to offer comparisons to previous councils.

“I think all councils strive for that,” he said.

Council members said their recent 4-3 vote on the first reading of the city’s proposed 2013 budget exemplifies  members’ thinking for themselves.

“If we all thought the same way we probably wouldn’t have a very good council,” Councilwoman Latrelle Joy said.

The vote came as Robertson pushed fellow council members to pass the city-staff proposed budget featuring a 1.8-cent property tax increase, a 3 percent, across-the-board city employee pay raise and a Lubbock Power & Light rate freeze balanced by committing to $10 million in bonded debt.

“It’s not a great budget, but it’s a good one we can live with,” he said.

Each dissenting council member argued different reasons for their vote.

Councilman Victor Hernandez opposed committing to the $10 million bonded debt, calling for a third option avoiding the rate increase and debt.

Klein was opposed to the property tax increase.

And Joy wanted to scale back the pay raise for city staff she says already received raises in 2011.

All three said their votes were independent of the others’, and council members denied creating alliances on the vote.

Nice puff piece I guess. With a couple of exceptions, I still believe this is one of the weakest council’s Lubbock has had in a while. I don’t care if everyone likes each other and gets along. That’s just me though.

3. AJ Endorses Tax Hikes (link)

Hey, here’s a shock. The AJ is just fine with the County tax rate going up.

Considering the proposed Lubbock County tax increase, it’s unfortunate County Judge Tom Head cast a cloud over it with his strange comments about President Obama bringing in United Nations troops to quell civil strife if he’s reelected.

The proposed increase would fund public safety matters involving the sheriff’s office and criminal district attorney’s office.

The tax increase would raise the county taxes about $20.64 for a $100,000 home.

Criminal District Attorney Matt Powell’s office would receive about $200,000, which would be used to buy two vehicles and pay raises for prosecutors.

Powell said he has lost 20 prosecutors — from a staff of 35 — in the last three years. Some went to private practice, but about half went to other prosecutor offices where they could make more money.

Powell wants more to stay in Lubbock and we all want the most experienced prosecutors in our courtrooms.

Sheriff Kelly Rowe’s office would receive about $890,000 if the tax increase passes. He would add seven new deputy positions and vehicles and would increase starting salaries, which will help him attract and retain more qualified employees.

Historically, city and county residents have supported strong public safety, and proposed increases from the city and county would increase public safety.

It would be nice if the county could offset the tax hike like the city has done.

But most of us would agree public safety is not an area where we want to cut corners.

I don’t believe the County should be raising taxes right now and I’m not convinced that they cut enough from the budget. Those upset at the city’s tax hike, remember that the citizens voted for the increase with the bond election a couple of years ago.

4. Do We Really Need to Turn-Off Electronic Devices? (link)

Have you ever wondered if your phone or other electronic equipment is really dangerous to an airplane? Two professors say the answer is no.

To gather some empirical evidence on this question, we recently conducted an online survey of 492 American adults who have flown in the past year. In this sample, 40% said they did not turn their phones off completely during takeoff and landing on their most recent flight; more than 7% left their phones on, with the Wi-Fi and cellular communications functions active. And 2% pulled a full Baldwin, actively using their phones when they weren’t supposed to.

Consider what these numbers imply. The odds that all 78 of the passengers who travel on an average-size U.S. domestic flight have properly turned off their phones are infinitesimal: less than one in 100 quadrillion, by our rough calculation. If personal electronics are really as dangerous as the FAA rules suggest, navigation and communication would be disrupted every day on domestic flights. But we don’t see that.

Why has the regulation remained in force for so long despite the lack of solid evidence to support it? Human minds are notoriously overzealous “cause detectors.” When two events occur close in time, and one plausibly might have caused the other, we tend to assume it did. There is no reason to doubt the anecdotes told by airline personnel about glitches that have occurred on flights when they also have discovered someone illicitly using a device.

I doubt the FAA will change their rules, but they should. They only make themselves sound silly by saying my iPhone could bring down an airliner.

We are not suggesting that people should disobey the current rules. But we believe strongly that policies like the FAA’s ban should be based on evidence rather than on fear. The evidence shows that nearly every flight must have some phones and gadgets on, and those flights have not been falling out of the sky.

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These and many more topics coming up on today’s edition of Lubbock’s First News with Chad Hasty. Tune in mornings 6-9am on News/Talk 790 KFYO, streaming online at kfyo.com, and now on your iPhone and Android device with the radioPup App. All guest interviews can be heard online in our podcast section after the show at kfyo.com.

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