New twist to landfill opposition may be
The fact that three of Houstonís major
television stations have now joined the fight to oppose the
Blue Ridge Landfill may put a different twist to the quest.
Letís face it the Texas agency that
governs such permits seems to have turned a deaf ear to the
pleas of residents who complained of the stench, the
lowering property values and perhaps a health threat from
leakage of various substances that arenít the best to inhale
Fort Bend County and Missouri City
government officials were kind of between a rock and a hard
place in offering any support to residents. They had earlier
joined in an agreement not to oppose any future expansion
plans of the trash giant. In return the two entities get
tipping fees based on the amount of garbage at the facility.
While some residents feel the fees are nothing more than a
legal bribe, they are being used to help that area. Now
whether or not the choice of where to put the money and for
what purpose is a whole new chapter.
Anyhow, with three TV stations and a
really successful environmental attorney bringing up not
only the health and well being of the residents in the
sparsely populated area, but the well-being of citizens
throughout the Gulf Coast, the scale may have tipped in
favor of the grass-roots group. After all, there is not a
one of us who wants to go back 40 years and have no advance
warning on hurricanes that may threaten the coast. Nor do we
want to sit in the dark with our battery operated TV
wondering if that noise from the thunderstorm is just really
serious thunder or an approaching tornado.
The trash dump is going to be higher than
the Doppler radar and that, my friends, is a serious
situation for this area. It is so serious it may even get
the attention of the state officials. Perhaps Gov. Rick
Perry can pull himself from his confidential dossiers long
enough to run over to the Emergency Management Office and
take a look at what would happen if this state didnít have
early warning systems in place. Not a pretty picture.
I held out little hope for the grass
roots movement, though commendable, would have the end they
wanted. Now, I just donít know ... but the chances are a lot
better than they were a week ago.
What dufus did that?
Every time I look at plans for the new
jail tower and listen to all the costly changes that will be
necessary to make the older facility user friendly and curse
free, I canít help but wonder what dufus designed that first
tower. OKóletís put a bunch of inmates on the top story in
rain, sleet and snow or typical coastal heat and humidity
and letís just put in screen windows and open air
ventilation and let Ďem go. Duhódidnít anyone realize that
sounds would carry? Small wonder the inmates are cursing
loudlyóafter all how calm can you be when the temp is, say,
96 degrees and youíve been running up and down a concrete
floor chasing a basketball?
I donít know which of the last few
sheriffs played a part in this but I can say whichever one
played a primary role in suggestions for this design was
indeed a dufus.
Sad thing is that we, the taxpayers, are
always having to come up with a ďdufus taxĒ which in this
case is about $1.5 million. Too bad we canít bill public
officials for such costs.