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Letter to the Editor

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Dear Editor,

I am the father of a 29 year old adult male who has cerebral palsy and is legally blind. I know that there must be others in our community who are in a similar circumstance. I have found out in the past few years that there are not any programs for these citizens. They are a totally forgotten and abandoned segment of our society.

Unless they are declared mentally retarded by the State, they get very few programs that are available to them. The money that they get is not anywhere near what a person can live on.

The county has no programs for them.. Even the cities totally ignore them. Missouri City will not even repair the sidewalks in my subdivision so that my son can take his wheelchair for a short drive. I have spent days making calls trying to get an adult day care in a safe neighborhood that is affordable so that my son can possibly make some friends.

I am on social security and most day cares are out of our price range. I am really frightened to think of what will happen to him when I am gone because I now see that nobody really cares. It is a shame that in our society, people with disabilities must face this kind of future. Is this what we have become?

J. White

Dear Editor,

My name is Karla Dion. I am one of the managers of the Swinging Door for the past 23 years. I have been blessed with meeting the most wonderful customers a business could ask for. One in particular is Bev Carter, “Politics Aside”. What a big heart! When I lost my cat Waldo, Bev and the “Fort Bend Star” staff showed me what putting an ad in their paper would do to help me find Waldo. It paid off! Waldo was found on February 25 by Mr. and Mrs. Huey of Quail Valley.

I cannot express the gratitude to all the “Fort Bend Star” readers that helped me on this two month journey. Special thanks to Bev Carter for being a great friend, Becky Faust of Remax Fine Properties for putting it on the Quail Valley news line, Quail Valley Proud, Missouri City Animal Control, Lake Olympia Animal Hospital, and all my friends and neighbors in Quail Valley and Lake Olympia for looking for Waldo and for feeding him and all the strays on his long journey home.

What a wonderful community I live in! I cannot imagine living anywhere else other than Fort Bend County!

Thanks again to all the “Fort Bend Star” readers!!

Karla Dion

Dear Editor,

FBISD should uphold its zoning principles, otherwise it will continue to foster public distrust. On January 24, FBISD announced “Option Three” as an alleged remedy for alleviating high school overcrowding. A review of the proposal shows it violates FBISD zoning principles: www.fortbend.k12.tx.us/about/zoning.cfm.

The Board must consider the following when rezoning: (1) Building capacity; (2) Keep neighborhood and feeder schools tracking together; (3) Campus proximity; (4) Reduce overcrowding; (5) Community involvement; (6) Best interests of students; (7) Plan for growth; (8) Minimize rezoning; (9) Efficient campus utilization.

Building capacity is ignored. Removing students from Clements to Elkins will result in the following disparity by 2014: (Elkins: 2682, Clements: 2343). The plan fails to keep First Colony and feeder schools tracking together: Lake and Heritage Colony students will be detoured from First Colony feeder schools to Elkins HS. The plan also splits Lake Colony: 1/3 at Clements and 2/3 at Elkins. It ignores transportation and safety issues: Lake and Heritage Colony students may safely bike to Clements, while a journey to Elkins requires passage down Hwy 6. There is no plan for growth: Board is merely shifting students from one over-crowded school to another. The plan does not minimize rezoning: this would be the third rezoning of Lake/Heritage colony in the past decade. Community feedback wasn’t solicited. First Colony was not consulted by FBISD before announcing this proposal.

Lastly, the plan is inefficient: Marshall and Willowridge remain under-populated under the plan, nor does it consider removing academies to a centralized location.

Bart Evans

Lake Colony Resident

Dear Editor,

As a taxpayer, educator, and concerned citizen, it was very disappointing that the entire board saw fit NOT to attend the zoning meeting at Kempner High School on the evening of February 22. Such an important decision is about to be made regarding the future of STUDENTS in our school district. I am sure that each of you has some excuse for not being in attendance. However, to me , this lack of RESPECT shown to members of YOUR community leaves a very bad impression. You could at least have sent a message through the district spokesperson who was in attendance.

The audience that was in attendance deserved to be listened to; leaving notes to be reviewed does not convey the true feelings of concerned school stockholders. I heard many skeptical comments about whether the board would even look at these comments or pay any attention to them. The credibility of the board was not expressed in good terms. Is it any wonder why the Fort Bend ISD school community is concerned about the forthrightness of the board and their relationship with the administration when members are not in attendance for such an important event?

Thank you for your attention to this matter,

Roy Adamcik

Dear Board Members,

The State of Texas as well as all of its public school districts are facing unprecedented financial challenges. Times are tough. The time to supplement budget shortfalls by merely increasing the tax rate has expired. FBISD is fortunate that appraisal values have not declined as steeply as those of other sections of the country. What are the solutions if a majority of the budget is allocated to salaries? The first obvious response is that increasing the student-teacher ratio would save substantial amounts. Should this be a consideration?

Consider academies, “the small learning communities that function within the larger high schools.” What is the cost per student in those programs versus the cost per student in a regular program? How about the transportation expense for these programs? Can we morally justify the discrepancy in cost when the majority of students are “severely average.” Certainly, the focus on a particular interest or area is commendable and educationally sound. How would the “severely average” students function if they were afforded the opportunity to be motivated to learn in “the small learning communities.” Is learning improved in the academies because of the curriculum or because of the smaller student-teacher ratio? What is the student-teacher ratio for the academies when compared to that for the regular program?

Does it make sense to rezone students from a particular existing zone and the same time bring in students from all zones (that will have to be transported) to the school that has to be relieved of excessive number of students?? I realize that the concept of academies were approved in2006 at a time when the economy was much different than today’s economy. Are you ready to cut teachers in the regular program to save the jobs of those in the academies? Are areas of study which may be better served by community colleges being usurped by secondary schools? Are programs being designed to foster learning for all the students or for creating a public relations success? Are we enriching education for the majority of students or for developing “items” for resumes that are looking forward to future opportunities?

Part of the problem of today is that we have not lived within our means. Have budgets not being spent at the last minute with the thoughts, “if we do not use the money, then it will not be available next year?” We continually compare ourselves with other districts and ponder our progress in meeting “world standards”. In our greed for bigger and better, we build mortar and brick schools that have to be better than those of the district next to us. (The thought of additional items for resumes just crosses my mind once again). Have we evaluated the cost of maintaining upscale facilities? Could many of those costs-and those of maintaining such facilities be considered adequate within the entire scope of educating and fostering the desire to learn in our students? How do our buildings compare with those of other nations who surpass us in achieving the almighty “world standards”?

Because of your position as board members you have an awesome responsibility to the community and its students. You have the duty to question and analyze the suggestions given to you by the administration. Times are different, the litmus test has changed. The “paradigm” has changed and will keep on changing. The statistics and educational jargon, “we must not act without appropriate input,” are important; however, what does your gut feeling and common sense tell you? No arrogance, no aggrandizement, no intellectual flatulence, just what is sensible and morally right for the kids.

Your attention and consideration to these matters is appreciated. Thank you for the work you do.

Norma Mendez

Dear Editor,

Last night I attended the FBISD rezoning meeting at Elkins High School. The person conducting the meeting kept insisting that the numbers the district is using to arrive at their rezoning conclusions are the most accurate. I would like to suggest that the numbers must not be too accurate, if the district has a chronic problem of rezoning every two years.

I moved into Heritage Colony in 1999. My oldest child is only in the 4th grade, so this particular rezoning is really not troublesome to me. In addition, I really do not see Elkins High School as a negative campus and would actually welcome my kids being zoned there.

My problem is the chronic rezoning illness the district has. Since living in my house, I have seen the students in my neighborhood rezoned just about every two years. The district has created a transient student, from a population that has remained at the same residence for the entire time that they have attended FBISD.

It seems that the district does is not really concerned with the full development of a child. As humans, we identify ourselves by our associations. For those that work, our jobs become our principle identity. How much stress does an adult experience when changing jobs or even switching office locations? As adults we are able to handle these transitions because often times the switch is done by choice. Usually we have a period of adjustment that provides unneeded stress, and time helps to alleviate that.

I submit that students are no different in feeling stress as a result of being “transferred” to a different campus. However, I feel that the stress the student feels is even more than that of and adult. The students did not make the choice to switch locations, the district makes the choice for them without taking into consideration the difficulty students may have in adjusting to a new campus, establishing new relationships, becoming a part of a new team/group, etc.

As a parent, I will do my best to remain at my residence so that I can help to minimize unnecessary stress in my child’s life. However, FBISD is doing a fine job of disrupting our students by changing their identity just about every two years…whether it is switching elementary, middle or high school.

I strongly feel that FBISD has created a student mobility problem of their own, when in many cases the student has never changed their residence.

I would respectfully request that when the district makes a zoning change effecting neighborhoods, that they keep the change in place for a period of no less than five years. That would be sufficient time so that students are not chronically moved, and so that the district may see how effective their rezoning truly is.

Maria Bjorngjeld
Heritage Colony

Dear Editor,

In the letter the parent is supporting not having staff cuts ---- She’s talking about Sugar Mill Elementary --- she states: “...transferring teachers around, cutting down to one librarian (not that we really need two...but always have) etc.....”

The problem with her statement is that the elementary schools got rid of Library AIDES ---- they weren’t certified librarians ---- each school lost an aide who helped keep the library organized, etc. FBISD did not get rid of a second librarian (elementary schools have never had 2 librarians) ---- just one librarian and one aide. Now they just have one overworked librarian.

As an employee in these funky times we can’t correct or speak out ---- but I’d like the mistake corrected --- the parent is misinformed on that point.

Name withheld by request

Dear Editor,

City of Sugar Land employees were told that there was no money for raises in 2010, yet the City Manager, Alan Bogard, was given a $15,000 incentive payment by City Council on Oct 1, 2010 to supplement his $190,925.00 salary and $12,000 car allowance. In 2009, City employees were told that they may not get raises because times were tough. Employees did eventually get a small increase in pay (4% or less depending on evaluations), while Bogard again received a $15,000 incentive bonus. In 2008, employees received a 2% pay increase citing financial problems with the City’s retirement plan, yet Bogard received a $12,000 bonus that year.

How is the city manager entitled to such large bonuses when employees, many of whom who are barely making it from paycheck to paycheck, are told that there is no money for raises?

I am leaving my job as Deputy City Attorney because I can no longer afford to work here. I loved my job and had planned to stay until I retire, but I no longer trust Mr Bogard to make the financial decisions for my future. As a prosecutor, my job is to see that justice is done. How is this justice?

Jan Baker
Municipal Court Prosecutor

Dear Editor:

I’m writing you this letter to inform the community of Fort Bend County of the transportation barrier that many of our youths have when trying to access services from the Fort Bend Unit / Community Center.

Fort Bend County sponsors a community center in Missouri City, which is operated by the non-profit organization, Boys & Girls Club of Greater Houston. The community center offers a variety of programs to youths, who are disadvantaged and is at risk for academic failure, pregnancy, substance abuse, and juvenile delinquency.

Early intervention community-based programs is vital to our community and to our youths, such programs as academic achievement, socialization skills, leadership building, self-esteem enhancement, arts and crafts, and computer technology. The community center also prepares our youths for adulthood so that they can become productive members in our community.

Due to the fact that there is no public transportation in Fort Bend County, I advocating that the county provide transportation from our community to and from the community center so that those youths who want to attend can.

As a concern member of the community, I would like to encourage others in the community to join me in advocating for transportation for our youths by calling or writing your precinct commissioner and ask them to advocate to the commissioners court for the funds to transport our youths.

Thank you,
A concerned citizen

Dear Elsa,

I wanted to thank you so much for everything that you have done for us. The Medicare workshop was a tremendous success. We had over 300 people show up to learn about Medicare.

One man showed up because he was diagnosed with a terminally ill disease and was given less than 2 months to live. He told the Pastor that was there that he was not a big church guy but he needed someone to pray for him. He found GOD that day and that was the best thing that could of happened. We are even helping some people maintain their health and also keep their lights on.

We would not have had nearly as many people show up if would not had been for you and your newspaper. The article was amazing and so was the ad. We cannot express in words how happy we are about it and cannot even begin to thank you enough.

Please keep up the good work because you guys are making a difference.

Toni King

Dear Bev,

Regretfully, you did not check your facts before posting your 11-17-10 editorial regarding the FCCA election. I am highly offended that you have attacked my integrity. I was one of the FCCA residents who served on the FCCA nominating committee for this coming Board election. I am curious as to your sources...I think that you have been played.

I would like to set the record straight. Board members did not participate in the discussion to nominate board candidates. The nominating committee was made up of residents in the community. There were board members who “observed,” but they were required to remain silent...and they did. Ms. Knoepfel was never present during the discussion. I never felt that I was pressured in any way to vote for a particular candidate and I feel like all the members who served with me were good honest people. We worked hard to choose candidates who would be dedicated to serving the community. I am curious as to why you would endorse one of the selected candidates and “exclude” the others. We had some very qualified candidates, and I don’t think you have given them a fair chance.

I am not defending “the process” but you have no right to attack the committee. We did our job with integrity. You also have no right to dismiss some very qualified candidates without cause. Your “endorsement” also failed to show why residents should vote for “your’ candidates.

Again... I think you were played by those wishing to gain power. The board nominations were never about swimming pools. Please print the truth!

Betty Caveny

*Editor’s note: I wrote that the nominating committee was unfair and I based my observations on the fact that a lawsuit is still under litigation and is pending about FCCA’s whole nominating process.

I’m supporting Eleanor Blain, Myatt Hancock and Howard Paul because they are running on a reform platform and promise to listen to the residents, as opposed to the current board which has ignored over 1,000 signatures on a petition.

I’m sure you served on the nominating committee with distinction and no one pressured you on your vote. However, evidence points to the fact that only compliant people are appointed to the nominating committee to begin with. I fail to understand why everyone who wants to run for the board can’t do so. There’s something “funny” about that.

It is with great discomfort that I am left with after coming across and reading the article on the personal opinions and views of General Manager Michael Fredrickson. After reading it a couple of times to insure I had maybe not missed something of importance, I confirmed that there is not a single contribution by this article other than name calling and general statistics on the recent elections. If he meant to write the article on the excuses the liberal media is making, I believe readers will very much appreciate the mention of what excuses he is referring to. What makes him think the following is the one and only valid reason why Democrats lost their seats in congress? He claims it was because “independents and conservatives that don’t believe in extremist policies turned out to vote out every Democrat possible.” If he is calling the President’s policies extremists, tell us why he believes these are extremist. Without this, it is nothing more than a rant against liberal media and Democrats in general that has no place in a paper that is thrown unsolicited in my front porch. Its saturation of these contentious labels without further insight or a little less bias certainly labels this particular article as nothing more than a one-man rant. This ranting is reaching every home in my neighborhood. It is inevitable to think that those who read you paper and hear nothing but this sort of raving will come to believe (because it is the General Manager’s article) that The Star is endorsing cheap, biased and unfounded political media for the reasons aforementioned. I hope to see more responsible articles coming from the General Manager of a paper that reaches “61,000 homes” in my neighborhood.

Andrea Cordoba

Fredrickson explains the lack of complete details

Andrea, thank you for reading my rant. Have you read my semi-weekly column over the past two years? You might take note of the title of the column. What I’m sick and tired of are liberal Democrats that only believe in free speech if said speech follows their political beliefs.

I try to conserve space by not restating or quoting what everybody heard on election night and the day after. Every pundit on every channel was pondering ‘what does this election mean.’ That pretty much boiled down to... is it the economy or is it the president’s policy’s? I use the term extreme policies because Obamacare is quasi-socialized medicine and taking over GM and handing it over to the unions turned 100+ years of contract law on its head. Then you have Cap and Tax (nothing more than a payoff to the Democrat’s Wall Street buddies), Financial re-regulation, Cash for Clunkers, etc.? All of these policies are extreme. Most did not need me to list them again.

I listed some of the excuses (really distractions) like the economy, the Tea Party, not winning certain Senate seats - like California ...big shocker! Andrea, “I’m Sick and Tired” is not an article. It is an opinion column. Articles are unbiased local stories written by our staff of professional reporters. By the way those articles are delivered to your door unsolicited.

I look forward to your column in the Star. It’s rare to find an articulate, logical summation of the serious trouble our country is in. I find myself gritting my teeth when Beverly Carter starts supporting the people in Washington who are hell bent on destroying our freedom, and the bashing of Republicans who are trying to save us from total bankruptcy. I think it’s probably a good idea that Beverly doesn’t write about the candidates next time we have an election. I find myself reading whom she supports, so I can vote the opposite.

Carole Trojcak

Fredrickson responds to reader’s kudos

Thank you for reading my column! My negative e-mail rarely refutes any statements of fact that I make. For instance, the lower fifty percent of all wage earners pay no federal income taxes. Under the Bush tax cuts, the lowest tax bracket for wage earners that do pay taxes was cut from 15 percent to 10 percent, or as pointed out by L. Collins of Sugar Land, a cut of 33.3% of taxes paid in this lowest bracket.

Do you remember the liberal Democrats that said the Bush tax cuts were only for the rich (and the liberal news media repeating their claim)? You see, liberal Democrats will NEVER approve of a tax cut for job and investment creators, even when everyone that pays taxes is given a tax cut too. Now, Chuck Schumer (Democrat, New York) proposes a threshold of $1 million and higher to be “hit” with a tax increase. There are NO tax cuts proposed by anyone - Democrat or Republican. What these liberal Democrats are all making such a fuss about (and not doing their job by approving a budget) is maintaining tax rates exactly the same as they have been for the past 10 years.

By the way the federal budget for fiscal year 2011 is $3.6 trillion. If the Democrat-Obama tax increase on wages over $250,000 is passed, it will represent $70 billion for fiscal year 2011 or about .001 of the annual budget. In other words, it won’t amount to a hill of beans and won’t make a dent in these liberal Democrats spending.

When I raised this issue a few weeks ago, my goal was to create awareness and encourage people to question whether so many trees really must go. I want the LID to discriminate properly in all respects how and when they remove trees.

Is it not possible to rather consider both trimming broken trees and removing diseased trees a part of what defines maintenance? Could this not include planting new trees occasionally where determined safe, and in doing so avoid creating an ugly barren wasteland?

The LID says no, ALL the trees must go. Over the next few years they will continue to thin out the trees until they’re all gone

What would I like to see? Certainly, please remove diseased trees. Space the trees so that enough sunlight filters through to keep the grass healthy. Similarly, trim the branches to allow more light through. Smaller trees and shrub between the big trees will also help protect the big trees from the wind.

This levee is considered an “internal levee”. Internal levees compartmentalize any breaches in the perimeter levee. Does this mean that in the event of such a breach, that the homes adjoining the levee will be flooded? Are these citizens aware of the danger of living right up close to an internal levee?

Our neighborhood streets are mostly lined with trees which make it very attractive and soothing for our human spirit. At the same time they’re potentially dangerous and could certainly damage our homes, or worse. Does this mean we should live without trees? No! Maintain them by trimming branches, removing diseased trees, and replanting where possible – and do the same along the levees!

Charmaine van Niekerk, Sugar Land

Dear Editor,

I have been using the Lost Creek Park almost daily since it opened. Yesterday morning I was so discouraged and upset by the way the soccer fields at the end of practices were left. There were several empty water bottles and trash left all over the fields and parking lot! I just don't get it - why would parents and/or coaches allow the fields to be left trashed??

Isn't it a privilege for the Eclipse Soccer Club to be allowed to use our fields that the city of Sugar Land tax payers fund?

I think it would be appropriate for the Eclipse Soccer Club to hold an event to help clean up the Lost Creek Park/Oyster Point park -- it would be a nice gesture for the club and maybe help their image.

Certainly the least you all can do is let the players know that the fields should be cleared before they leave their practices during the week or games on the weekend. I just cannot believe adults do not see the trash left and if they do they do nothing about getting it cleaned up??!!

Please take care of our parks!!!


Dear Editor,

I was pained to read the news of death by drowning of a worker during cleaning silt of a water storage tank. I failed to understand the manual cleaning of silt from a 40 ft. deep storage tank.

I doubt that mechanical silt flushing device had not been provided in the tank.

If a silt flushing pit is provided in the base of tank and a silt pumping unit is connected to base of the silt pit,regulated operation of the pump could avoid such mishaps.Regulation shall be done on basis of rate of silt deposition.It can be done by automatic controllers and starters.Operation monitoring can be done by underwater cameras.

I wish that no loss of human life may occur on such accounts henceforth.

Gyanesh K Mittal(B E Mech.)
Sugarland, Former Consultant Hydropower

Dear Editor,

Wake up voters. Where will you be when the Tea Party and the Republican Party get together and DESTROY Social Security and Medicare, which the Republicans have wanted to do for many years! Reagan wanted to privatize SS. George W. Bush came in “to Privatize Social Security.” Republicans are still talking about privatizing it, which will destroy SS for the millions who could not live without it.

On Chris Mathews show a few months ago, Jeb Hensarling, Republican of Dallas said that – “for people who are presently on Social Security and Medicare, they have to have it, those who are close to it, 55 and above. But for those under age 55 they should be on a Defined Benefit Plan.”

My OPINION! Just how does a man without a job contribute to this Defined Benefit Plan? What if they get disabled – do we kill them? What if the breadwinner gets Cancer – kill them too? What if the stock market goes down when he is 63 years old or even older? Social Security and Medicare are the best programs that our government has ever created.

Thanks to the Koch brothers and the Tea Party, Sarah Palin is now worth $12 million and she requires the very best of everything when she goes to her Tea Party meetings. Remember when the Repub Party bought her clothes in 2008!

Why can’t the Democratic Congress do what they want to do? The U S Senate has SENATE RULE 22 whereby just ONE SENATOR will say that he does not want a bill to be voted on and IT STOPS that bill cold. I have seen them do it. And the only way that the Democrats can overcome that is with 60 votes – which are hard to get. We have about a dozen Democrats who, in my opinion are really Republicans.

Remember when we were paying $4.00 for gas! What caused it? Equity Funds or funds with gigantic amounts of money available to them were “buying the oil.” They did not take possession of the oil, but the oil companies had to go through them to get the oil and these Funds controlled the price. And these funds were talking about doing the same to FARMS and the companies that sell to farms – because people have to eat.

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will cost at least $1.12 trillion – and counting.

Our military is giving their ALL but the rich don’t need to go to war and Republicans think these millionaires should get tax breaks – I mean even more than they get. Before the war started, The Downing Street Memos of the British Government said that our intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.” www.downingstreetmemo.com/memos.html

In a book titled “The Way”, Ron Suskind said that Richard Deerlove, head of the British MI6 (British spy agency) said that he didn’t know about Bush, but that Cheney knew without a doubt that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction. And, wasn’t Cheney dividing up the oil fields of Iraq when he had the Energy meetings that the American public wasn’t supposed to see! These meetings were way before the war.

And, of course, the Bush administration did not fund the wars.

Wake Up!
Jenny Hurley

Dear Bev,

What happened to the bonds voted for an entertainment /music complex for the Sugar Land area?

Why can't Sugar Land/Fort Bend County have something like the Mitchell Pavillon in the Woodlands? It would be so much closer for people to attend and closer for Houstonians and surrounding counties and their residents to attend.

Glynn Tanner


I saw the ad that Charlie Howard was holding an Open Forum for HD 26. As a resident of this district I decided to attend to see what he had to say about my District as to what was going on and what his plans were for HD 26 if he is re-elected.

Did you attend? Did you have someone cover this meeting? If you or your rep did attend what were your(their) reactions?

The meeting was not about HD 26 but about the Texas Conservative Coalition and their plans for the TX 82nd legislature. About 7 members of this group were on the panel. All they did was tell us how to think and how to vote for their "Pledge with Texas". The entire meeting was about their "reform agenda" for the 82nd legislature and cheer leading for this group.

I hope you cover this in your column and in your paper. Can you tell me what is going on here and how this kind of thing addresses the needs of those of us who reside in HD 26? Is this the kind of thing our legislators do for us?


Stephanie M. Tamborello
Resident of Sugar Land for 33 years

I was dismayed to read about the Sept. 23 incident when the Bush high school football players rushed the Mercer field during a scheduled practice session of the Kempner high school band.

As a band parent from another high school myself, I was horrified to think that a football coach would "order" his team to perform such a potentially dangerous task. This was incredibly poor judgement on his part, and, it would seem that the apology should come from him and not his players.

Band students and football players alike are taught to be well-disciplined and follow directions from their leader, as that is the only way their organizations will function at a high level. What a shame when the leader doesn't model appropriate character traits like cooperation and teamwork!

Debbie Dansby


I need to take issue with the column when you said you can’t use “Imperials”.

In fact, you can use Imperials. I personally spoke to Imperial Sugar and got permission from their CEO John Sheptor and their General Counsel, Louis Bolognini. I have a letter from them stating it was okay for the team to be named The Sugar Land Imperials if the fans voted it in.

Contact me if you need further details. Also please make that correction so that people may offer that name since you have told them they can’t offer it.

Chris Hadden

*Editor’s note: I never said we couldn’t use “Imperial.” In fact it was my first choice. The head of ODP said we couldn’t use Imperials.

Bev Carter

A previous reader wrote to you about the City of Sugar Land not giving its employees pay raises this year. City Manager Allen Bogard issued a memo to the mayor and city council on July 20, in which he said the operating budget (the part that includes employee pay) is being reduced 0.6%, but the proposed total budget increased by 28.2% from 2010 to 2011.

Part of the budget increase is due to the minor league baseball stadium, infrastructure to support the new baseball stadium, design work for the seniors’ and community center, and construction for the US Highway 59 beautification project. The city is being aggressive in capital improvements “to take advantage of low construction costs” at the expense of the employees.

There are some projects in the five year Capital Improvement Plan that are unfunded, however if the city finds money it will be considered for use on those projects, not for pay raises. While the budget has increased for next year, none of that increase is for pay increases. The city’s web page says the citizens of Sugar Land will enjoy “one of the lowest rates in the state and second lowest for cities with population greater than 25,000” and the average homeowner will see a decrease in their tax bill this year. It is too bad most city employees can’t afford to live in Sugar Land.

Mr. Bogard says there are no layoffs planned, but 20 positions will be eliminated. He says some of this will be accomplished by redistributing work among existing employees. The city can’t give its employees even a small cost of living raise and it will increase their workload, but it found money to create two new positions, a third Assistant City Manager and a special projects manager in charge of the baseball stadium project. Why do we need a third Assistant City Manager when there will be fewer employees to manage? Employees have been warned there will be no pay raises for next year either.

Name withheld by request

Dear Editor,

There are no Class A or Grapefruit League teams here for a good reason. Folks in TX like high school & college football better than baseball. I don’t think folks will fight sultry conditions and mosquitoes to watch beginners play baseball. Pro baseball has moved around half of their recruiting and player development efforts to cheaper terrain – Latin America and the Caribbean islands. In the US, the most successful minor league teams have been in cities with 500,00 or more residents with no major league team to draw market share. They are also at the AA or AAA level. Not Class A or lower.

I don’t see any corporate support here either. Round Rock has the DELL Diamond. Corpus Christi has WHATABURGER Field. Oklahoma City has AT%T Brick Town Ball Park. Until I see NALCO Field or SCHLUMBERGER Stadium or FLUOR Fantasy Park, I wouldn’t put up a nickel of tax money…. Especially with looming deficits.

There is only one major league team in Texas that would arouse the interest in a minor league team in FB County….the Astros. They have lost Round Rock as their AAA affiliate and are pursuing a PDC (player development contract) with the Oklahoma City Red Hawks. Oooops, there go the Stros! Nolan Ryan’s group (owners of the Rangers) are taking Round Rock next year and Corpus could follow in 2013. What will happen to Corpus if the Rangers keep AA Frisco? Do our local developers see opportunity? Apparently not.

I think the best chance for baseball in FB would be to do what the Frisco, TX folks did in Collin County. They moved a failing team from Shreveport. They signed a PDC with the local major league team (Texas Rangers) and built them a new stadium in the fastest growing county in North Texas. Maybe we could lure the Corpus Christi team to Sugar Land if they don’t make their numbers. Maybe we could lure the Missions from San Antonio. They have struggled for attendance. Beyond those, I don’t see a baseball future in Fort Bend.

Hopefully, better business acumen will prevail. The team will have to be AA (Texas League) or AAA (Pacific Coast League or American Association) to draw the crowds. IT works best if it is affiliated with the Houston Astros. Corporate support is imperative even if it is just a naming contract. If those criteria are ignored, I would rather watch the Sugar Land Little League. Maybe they will beat Pearland next year!

Stephen Schuster

Dear Editor,

Come on Ms. Carter, is your usual rant on the third page not enough? Now you have to print your rant on the front page so some people might mistake it for actual news. Everyone is entitled to an opinion on the viability of a minor league ball club in Sugar Land, however, conjuring up demons that don’t exist is just plain fear mongering.

Cherokee Development along with Southerland Development purchased the property from Imperial Sugar at least a couple years ago. Johnson Development had absolutely nothing to do with the purchase. Johnson only became involved less than a year ago as a development partner for Cherokee.

The new location was based on a market study prepared by experts for the city. I am not an expert, but even I can tell you a ballpark stuck along the Brazos Bottom, away from the cultural center of town will not succeed. There was a reason the land along the river was available for free.

Makes one wonder why a supposed sophisticated newswoman can miss such a fact? Do you not have access to the Fort Bend County Official Records (here’s a hint: you need a computer with internet access)? Please do not become a stereotypical whiner, paranoid that every venture is somehow politically tainted because no one asked for your permission first.

Sometimes a good development can be a win/win situation. I grew up in a town with a minor league ball club and I can tell you first hand what a positive impact it will have on the youth of this community.

Eugene R. Baker

Dear Editor,

Like Michael Fredrickson, I too am sick and tired of something - his sporadic, misinformed columns. In his latest rant he states that under the Bush tax cuts, the top tax bracket went from 39.6% to 35%. True enough. Then he claims that this means taxes on those millionaires went down only 4.6%! I’m sure Mr. Fredrickson is good at a lot of things but obviously math isn’t one of them. If I’m in sales and make a 1% commission and my boss raises it to 2%, is my commission paycheck going to increase by 1%? Ugh, no. It will increase by 100%. Taking 39.6% down to 35% is nearly a 12% decrease. And that 39.6% rate that the president wants the wealthy to pay again is precisely the rate they paid in the 90s, which I seem to recall being a pretty good decade economically.

Over 43 million Americans are below the poverty line and Fredrickson wants to have a pity party for people making over $250,000 a year. Spare me. Classic GOP.

L. Collins
Sugar Land

Frederickson’s response:

What I pity is an American citizen that calls out other hard-working taxpayers and tells them that they need to pay more, that they are keeping too much of the money they earn and the government needs it (to buy votes)!! My numbers are correct. The decrease in the tax rate from 39.6% to 35% is a decrease of 4.6%. I was not referring to how much 4.6% represents of the 39.6%.

I wonder if whatever your tax rate is, you sent in a little extra. The U. S. Treasury will be glad to take (confiscate) it. The way you liberals keep harping on “tax cuts for the rich” you would have thought that Bush decreased taxes from 39.6% to 19.6 percent instead of lowering the marginal rate by only 4.6%.

By the way, you didn’t point out anything in the column that was factually wrong. Misinformed, I think not. Just like I said, Nancy Pelosi is already referring to extending only parts of the current Bush tax cuts as “Obama’s Middle Class Tax Cut.” Remember there is no cut with Obama. There is only an extension of the current rates (hopefully).

You forgot to mention that the 43 million Americans below the poverty line is the highest number in the U.S since 1955. Obama attained this goal almost two years into his presidency after a $1 trillion “swindle-us” bill.

What you still don’t get is the Bush tax cuts lowered the marginal rate on the lowest wage earners from 15 percent to 10 percent. So, L. Collins of Sugar Land they got a 50% reduction in their income taxes. Is your President going to reduce the lowest wage earners taxes by 50 percent? I doubt it.

I’m sick and tired of politicians including the President of the United States telling me that Obamacare will reduce the deficit but we cannot afford tax cuts. All liberal Democrats want to do is spend money that they confiscate from us. We can afford that, but not tax cuts? But when conservatives want tax cuts they all say, ‘we can’t afford that.’

I say, “We can’t afford you!” Lower taxes even more for everyone and cut your stinking federal budget. We have all had to tighten our belts during these trying economic times, but I have not seen the federal budget decrease one red cent.

In speeches, the President chastises Republicans and even the minority leader of the House John Boehner by name for not having a plan. They do have a plan. It starts with reversing any and everything you have done to try to destroy our great nation. If they won’t do it we will elect grass roots TEA Party members to do it.

Michael Fredrickson
General Manager
Fort Bend Star

Dear Editor,

I, too, am a little concerned with the plans to build a baseball stadium in Sugar Land. As a resident of a nearby neighborhood I am concerned about the impact the traffic and other undesirable elements will have on an area that is densely residential.

What is of more concern to me, however, is how we can afford to finance the stadium, but as a City of Sugar Land employee, we can't afford to give me a raise. This will be the second year that we have been told that we are not going to get a merit increase. These raises have traditionally been increases up to 4%, depending on your job performance. But last year and this year we are not getting one.

We're told that the sales tax returns are not strong enough to give us a raise. So how is it that they're not strong enough to give us a minimal raise but they are strong enough to buld a multi-million dollar baseball stadium? Or how hard is it for me to stomach the fact that I can't get a raise but we could spend all that money on landscaping on Hwy 90? Granted, it looks nice, but when I drive down the road I'm not looking at the palm trees, I'm concentrating on the road.

Name withheld by request

Dear Editor,

This is in response to the transportation issue in the FBISD school district. I will have to agree with Kelly Sacky they should have informed us about this year’s transportation changes.

It’s good and dandy in neighborhoods where you have sidewalks but how about a neighborhood like mine where there are no sidewalks and students are being asked to walk across newly developed West Bellfort in the Four Corners area.

So they say they are trying to help cut back on cost for the district but yet put the safety of our children aside over fuel cost.

Then yesterday, (Wed. 8/25), at my son’s middle school I found out that there will be no after school transportation for athletes. Parents must now pick up them up after school practice.

It used to be that everyone wanted to move to FBISD schools because of all they had to offer but with these new changes it seems to be going backwards. This is the way it used to be when I attended school in Fort Bend over 25 years ago.

A concerned parent
Agustin Martinez

Dear Editor:

It now appears that the owner and feed supplier for Iowa’s giant Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farms, associated with the recall of more than 500 million eggs, has a long record of violations.

Austin “Jack” DeCoster has paid millions of dollars in fines and restitutions for violations of food safety, worker safety, immigration, sexual harassment, animal cruelty, and water pollution laws in Maine, Maryland, New York, and Iowa. Iowa’s attorney general labeled DeCoster a “habitual violator.”

More than 1,500 people have been reported sickened by the DeCoster eggs, but the Centers for Disease Control estimates that the actual number may be as high as 45,000. DeCoster lawyer’s admissions that “Contamination is common in poultry operations” and “The notion that eggs will ever be free of salmonella is ludicrous” convinced me that this is indeed an industry-wide problem, and that eggs are not safe to eat.

I have found www.vegcooking.com/vegcooking-eggreplace.asp very helpful in making my transition to an egg-free diet.

Stanley Stryker,

Dear Bev,

I have been communicating with the FBISD, the transportation dept. of FBISD, Kempner High School principals, my city councilman, theTEA and anyone who would listen concerning the changes FBISD has enacted in regards to transportation to Kempner High School.

Initially, they were planning on stopping bus service to the subdivisions of Covington Woods, Greenbriar and Gannonway Estates as these were in the “new” 2.0 mile radius. I responded with many questions concerning the safety of the main intersection at Burney and Voss, students walking in the dark (during fall), students walking in inclement weather, the risk of increased exposure to the 279 sex offenders, why more expensive subdivisions within the 2 mile radius were still to receive bus service, etc. I even suggested consolidating stop to 2-3 areas and thus having students only walk 1/2-3/4 mile. Still the answer is no.

So, after the 20 years that I have lived in Covington Woods, this year they will not have bus service to Kempner High School. My daughter is old enough and we are fortunate enough to have purchased her a car so she can drive. However, not all residents of FBISD were notified of these changes, only if your child attended Kempner. This has become a matter of principle and informing all residents who are and will be affected. As it stands I will be having to file a Grievance and I have contacted as many parents, Homeowners’ Associations to help change this policy.

I understand the need for budget cuts, but if they are going to change the policy it should be fair to everyone as well as additional safety measures implemented due to these major changes. They would not even consider a campus police and or security guard to help with the traffic. I had even taken pictures to show the reality of the school traffic. The pictures and audit presented to the board did not reflect the reality of the situation. I would tend to make the budget cuts at the Administration office. It took me over 30 minutes to obtain an audit that I had completed the proper forms etc and faxed.

As with everyone else in the country, your job performance is measured by productivity and customer service. This is sorely lacking at the Administrative Building of FBISD.

Kelly Sacky
Sugar Land

Dear Editor,

Regarding your recent article about the $1.87 million the City of Sugar Land will receive as part of the Tx Dot Transportation Enhancement Program, as a young citizen of Sugar Land, I am very excited to learn that the funds will be spent on pedestrian and bike improvements in the Town Center/US Hwy. 59 area.

I am proud to live in a city that recognizes the importance of promoting alternative modes of transportation for business and for pleasure. This part of the Transportation Enhancement program will hopefully  have the added benefits of a healthier population and a less polluted city.

Reese Meredith
BSA Troop 828

Yesterday I listened to over 35 special education teachers and paraprofessionals describe how the pay cuts meted out by Fort Bend ISD will affect their lives. These employees were given notice just days before they were to report to work for the new school year. There was no time to consider applying at other districts (most districts have their staffing completed by this late date.) No, these 35 special ed teachers and paras, members of the Fort Bend Employee Federation, are just the tip of the iceberg of over 300 employees dealing with this crippling blow to their livelihood. Many have 10, 15, or even 20 + years of service. They’ve made a career in Fort Bend ISD, but with up to a 13% cut in pay and a 15% increase in insurance these rock solid educators will soon consider other jobs, positions in the health and medical fields, or to subcontract their services to this very district trying to balance the budget on the backs of our educators.

Let’s make no mistake about this: Our paraprofessionals who have been reclassified “severe and profound” aides to “non-severe” do the very work that the Richmond State School and other mental health facilities have done in past generations. Now state law mandates that the schools take on this job which often entails workers changing diapers, handling wheelchair bound students, and in general dealing with students who have severe handicaps both mental and physical.?

Our teachers will lose a $1500 stipend. A stipend that paid for many conferences, travel expenses, legally mandated meetings with parents (ARDs) after school to accommodate parents, early morning conferences to discuss new strategies for dealing with our most troubled students and a host of special requirements for our special ed kids.

It’s further degrading to learn that without reasonable notice or consideration of the employee the district has summarily stripped them of income that will in many cases force these professionals to apply for food stamps and other government assistance.

Today I am filing a grievance requesting that the FBISD administration recommend to the Board of Trustees at their August 23rd business meeting that all special education teachers be given a 1500 dollar stipend for 2010-2011 and all aides should retain their previous job classification as “severe and profound” aides. Let’s hope the Board recognizes the need to correct this injustice.

Yours truly,
Karrie Washenfelder, President
Ft. Bend Employee Federation

Dear Editor,

I find it somewhat curious that Missouri City is so proud of losing money for the second year in a row on the Quail Valley Golf Course. I read in one of the community newspapers that one reason that they are so proud is that they didn’t lose as much as last year.

That’s kind of like the Astros saying that they only lost by a little bit ... again. Who is paying for this loss? I guess the residents of Missouri City are at the expense of city infrastructure.

One neighborhood had mudjacking started in the neighborhood, they drilled over 30 holes packed up and left over a month ago, never repairing the sidewalk or filling in the 30 plus holes. These holes are over a silver dollar size and just big enough to break an animals leg.

Where are they? Where’s Waldo? In a perfect world, workers just don’t walk off the job. But in Missouri City I guess they do.

Name withheld,
Concerned, poor, citizen

This month is the 20th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act.  We have made many strides to ensure that disabled people are treated fairly in this country.

For five years I have been trying to get Missouri City to repair sidewalks so that my son may be able to take his wheelchair around our small neighborhood of 96 homes, but I have had little results. 

The city has managed to switch the responsibility of the repair of city right of ways to its citizens, which is in essence double taxation since we pay taxes for city infrastructure repair and then turn around and have to do the repair ourselves or mitigate damage ourselves. 

I wrote a letter to Public Works as I noticed that Lake Colony had a lot of their sidewalks repaired. The city came to our subdivision, marked sidewalks, took pictures and sent letters to residents telling them that they must mitigate the damage. 

I got a list of the letters sent to Lake Colony which is 10 times larger than our neighborhood and 5 years older which means that the sidewalks have 5 more years of age than ours. There were only 5 letters sent to Lake Colony and approximately 25 sent to our neighborhood of 96 homes. 

I mentioned in a letter to Public Works that my son was disabled and was concerned about the Department of Justice's ADA requirements for city sidewalks. I would assume that these letters are possibly a way to again switch the blame and responsibility of adhearing to ADA rules to city residents. I have written to my city Councilman Robin Elackatt and have not gotten a response.

I am concerned that a city that is rated very highly as a great place to live, totally ignores the needs of its disabled citizens.  Maybe it is a great place to live if you don't need to use a wheelchair.

James White

Dear Editor,

I had a similar situation that was no accident. The City of Sugar Land should be held accountable for their “lack of communication”.

My ex-husband turned over my dog to the City of Sugar Land. Even at my request, they would not return the dog to me. They too, told me that they would keep in touch with me with the upcoming decisions about the dog.
Since the dog was signed over to them, the City of Sugar Land acted liked total fools trying to capture the dog that got out of the house. They were screaming at all the neighbors saying that the dog would bite and he was dangerous. That dog was no more dangerous than a fly.

I saw the dog the next day at the kennel in which they saw how the dog responded to me. They never called me back to tell me that they put the dog to sleep.

Thanks for listening,
Name withheld by request

Dear Fort Bend Star,

I think you should write a story about how school districts want to make school year-round. School should not be year-round because kids need a break from school and summer is needed. If we had to go to school year-round, I would feel overworked and sad.

Teachers also need the break from teaching and students to be better teachers. The summer gives them time to come up with new ideas and methods of teaching.

Summer is important because kids need a time for themselves and need the time to relax. School can be stressful. People get vacations from their jobs and summer is a child’s vacation from school.

Without summer, I would not try as hard in school because I know I would be there all the time. My grades would be lower. I also think kids would pay less attention in class too.

Alejandro Ortiz
Boy Scout Troop 1424

Editor’s note:
Alejandro Ortiz wrote the article above to earn his merit badge in communication .... Alejandro, thanks for sharing your view on year-round schooling. I’m sure there are other students that feel the same as you.

I am writing this letter in response to Elsa Maxey’s article in the July 14 edition of the Star referencing Parks Youth Ranch. The Fred and Mabel R. Parks Youth Ranch when completed will co-locate a 20 bed emergency shelter and counseling center for abused, at-risk and homeless youth from our community, ages 13 to 17. Currently, there is no emergency shelter for youth in Fort Bend County. Tom and Christine DeLay’s facility, Rio Bend, is a long-term residential foster care facility for children referred through CPS. We intend to serve three youth populations at the ranch, children in the custody of CPS, youth referred from Juvenile Probation, and homeless youth.

The incidence of youth homelessness in Fort Bend County is no less acute than that of other counties.... When the 2009-2010 school year ended there were 109 youngsters registered with Fort Bend ISD as unaccompanied/homeless. These are youth who are homeless and on their own, not youth who are homeless with a parent or guardian.

I agree with Ms. Maxey’s concern about the duplication of programs. But, as I stated earlier, we are not duplicating existing services to children but rather filling a serious gap in services in Fort Bend County for homeless and at-risk youth. In the future should Ms. Maxey have any questions about the ranch I would be more than happy for her to call and interview me prior to writing the article.

Linda Shultz
Executive Director, Parks Youth Ranch

Dear Elsa Maxey,

I was very pleased to read your article in the Fort Bend Star tonight regarding the FCCA Amenities Plan.

We, at Crescent Lakes, feel the plan is misguided and removes an asset in our neighborhood.  As such, we are organizing a neighborhood group to voice our displeasure to FCCA.  It is apparent from FCCA’s response to the efforts of the citizens of Lakes of Edgewater that they intend to “plow” ahead.  This is in disregard to their own survey response noting that removal of pools was the least desirable of the options.

I hope later to provide you with a detailed written response but want to have consensus within our group.  

Again, I want to thank you and your paper for your article and look forward to future articles regarding this matter.

Kermit Pittman
Sugar Land Texas

Dear Editor,

Thanks very much for all who made a generous donation to assist Missouri City Police Officer Chris Vargas and his wife, Heather. Over $15,000 has been raised and put toward their growing medical bills.

The baby, Christian Troy Vargas, is still in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and has had three surgeries. He now weighs 6 lbs. and is growing stronger every day. Christian is not expected to go home for another two to three months.

Your support and generosity is greatly appreciated.

Additional donations may be sent to MCPOA, 3849 Cartwright Rd. Missouri City, TX 77459.

The Family of Christian Troy Vargas &
The Missouri City Police Officers Association

Dear Bev,

I wanted to express my gratitute to Detective Vanessa Lucio Brady for her heroism in May while on vacation (again after Vegas).

I know I had my doubts about her ability to do her job as a detective. It was difficult for me when the deputy sheriff’s mis .... girlfriend... had been given a detective job despite having no training other than being a jailer.

She got the detective job while so many other hardworking, long time sheriff’s deputies, dedicated to serving Fort Bend County were overlooked. I must say that she has proven the old motto of “on the job training”. I’m sure the family of that young girl is greatful that she was at least able to learn CPR on the job.

My faith in the “Brady” campaign has been restored with this month’s attention to them by local Channel 13 (who seem to be big contributors with all the publicity). I hope they both keep up the good work and that all of their good deeds don’t end once the campaigning is over.

Name withheld by request
Fort Bend resident (who’s not falling for this act of kindness)

Dear Editor, 

Reflecting on this year's election in Missouri City I seem to always come back to the sidewalk issue which has really never been resolved.. Residents still have responsibility to mitigate tree damage before the city will repair the sidewalk which is clearly city right of way. 

I come back to this issue often because I have a son who is in a wheel chair. He is virtually a prisoner in his own home because the sidewalks are so bad in our neighborhood, he can't go very far before he has to go into the street. He is legally blind and the option of entering the street is really not the smartest choice, so his only option is to stay in the house. 

Our current administration has ignored my request for repair for over 3 years. I have contacted public works and filled out online request forms with no luck. They have fixed several problems close to my house but he is still limited to the distance that he can travel because of the uneven sidewalks in our small neighborhood. 

I am for the purchasing of the golf course but not at the expense of city infrastructure and the rights of the disabled to do what the rest of us take for granted.  We must have priorities and public safety and infrastructure, in my opinion this takes precedent over the few in our city who play golf. 

I know that our leaders cry "we must maintain property values" but isn't city infrastructure maintaining property value?  Don't we have the same rights as those who live close to the golf course? Don't those in wheelchairs and the elderly have the right to walk down a sidewalk and not worry about tripping or having to go into the street? 

The current administration has had over 3 years to come to a good solution for this problem, how long does it take? 

Name withheld by request

Dear Editor,

If you drive along Highway 6 through Sugar Land and Missouri City you undoubtedly have seen the street signs for University Blvd. It intersects Highway 6 near Highway 90 in Sugar Land and again near FM 1092 in Missouri City. Construction of University has been going on for several years now. It runs through the new subdivisions of Telfair at one end and Riverstone on the other. Construction is about to begin to connect the two ends that will run through the Commonwealth, Avalon and Brazos Landing subdivisions. The stretch of University that is slated to run through Brazos Landing is causing major concerns to the residents.

When the Board of Directors of the Brazos Landing Home Owners Association were informed of the City’s plans for University through their area they were needless to say shocked. It wasn’t a surprise that University was coming through their neighborhood. What was a surprise was the original City plan for the road was a 4-way intersection at University and Monarch which has now been eliminated by the City’s Engineer. They plan to make an extended median at that intersection which the residents feel is a major safety issue limiting access to emergency vehicles and limiting the subdivision of over 200 homes with only one 4-way intersection as well as it will prohibit them from exiting their community to the south. The City’s Engineer has also planned for a 45 mph speed limit along this stretch of the thoroughfare, which is adjacent to Fort Settlement Middle School, with no prevision for a school zone when it runs adjacent to Fort Settlement Middle School.

The board and concerned residents are canvassing the neighborhood to inform all residents of the City’s plans for their neighborhood. A meeting has been scheduled for the residents of Brazos Landing on Thursday, May 6th at 6:00pm at City Hall with City Council Members Mrs. Jacqueline Chaumette and Mr. Michael Schiff to discuss their concerns. “We are gearing up for the residents to attend the meeting in full force,” said Brazos Landing Board Member Dr. Michael Tran” and I am especially interested in the answers to the questions of safety and fairness that I asked since January 2010.” If their concerns are not addressed satisfactorily then the residents plan to continue their effort at the next City Council Meeting.

University Blvd. through Riverstone could have had the same issue but the City of Missouri City addressed this issue in a different way with varying speed limits and median crossovers. One Brazos Landing resident said, “It seems like the City of Sugar Land is taking the cheapest way out at the expense of our safety. We are a small subdivision and they are ignoring us. Missouri City did a better job.”

A concerned resident of Brazos Landing

Dear Editor,

I am responding to Michael Fredrickson’s recent column regarding people who pay no income taxes.  According to the figures he cited, “In 2009 around 47 percent of earners will pay no federal income taxes according to the Washington research organization - the Tax Policy Center.”

He then went on to rant and rave about things like a “fair tax,” “simple tax” and “VAT.” But I’m really shocked, shocked I tell you, that he made NO MENTION of all the ginornous corporations that pay no income tax. 

Take General Electric for example. They collected $139 billion in FDIC guarantees and used the Federal Reserve program to support their finance division. 

And after getting bailed out by the American taxpayer, GE went on to post profits of over $10 billion. Trouble is, that profit was all “overseas.” According to their domestic balance sheet, they lost over $400 million. So they were spared the burden of having to pay any income taxes in 2009 on the $10 billion. Yeah, that’s right. Billion.

And GE is not alone. According the the non-partisan Government Accountability Office (GAO), two-thirds of U.S. corporations avoided taxes between 1998 and 2005. 

Why aren’t you sick and tired of that, Michael? I guess because Rush didn’t tell you to be.

Sherry Carter


My name is David Lantz and I am a Meadows Place home owner since 2007, previously a resident for the first 20 years of my life, leaving only for a few years for school and having moved back as soon as I could afford to. My parents bought their first home in Meadows Place in 1969, and mine is the fourth home our family has lived in here.

I am writing to express concern over the traffic situation in Meadows Place and the City’s plan to address this problem. Living on Meadow Crest I frequently enter and exit the neighborhood via either Meadow Valley or Amblewood from West Airport. As you all know, turning out onto West Airport during most times of the day is now a challenge. However I have been told repeatedly the city will not consider puttinga traffic light at either intersection, but instead wants to put one in between the two, for the sake of the Senior Village on the opposite side of West Airport. This will do nothing to help residents get in and out of the neighborhood. In fact, it will make things more difficult for us. It seems the city has prioritized its corporate resident over its home owners in this regard.

Of even greater concern is the newly announced plan to install roundabouts on Kirkwood at four intersections all within a half mile of each other. This will create long-term gridlock, and force morning and evening commuters who do not live in Meadows Place but choose to drive through here, to find alternate routes. I suspect those routes will often be through our neighborhood streets rather than around them. For instance, many will turn onto Scottsdale and try to cut through the neighborhood on Meadow Valley or Amblewood.

The chaos caused by the initial construction will create a dangerous situation on our streets, with cars and trucks belonging to non-residents cutting through to find a way around the mess. While this would be excusable if the plan itself made sense and would solve problems for the long-term, it is clear to many of us who live here that the roundabouts will make this chaos permanent. If the city’s intention by installing roundabouts is to limit traffic on Kirkwood, I must say, be careful what you wish for! Traffic on Kirkwood will decrease. But, commuters will find other ways to get where they are going, and there will be unintended consequences!

When I moved back to Meadows Place in 2007 I saw some things that had changed for the better, and some for the worse. The improvements at the
city parks, the beautification of the West Airport corridor, and other cosmetic improvements have certainly been positive.

However, it now seems the city government has begun to lose sight of what really matters to most of the residents, and instead is pushing it’s own agenda without our approval. As crime in Meadows Place rises, we make due with fewer police officers than in the past, ostensibly because hiring more officers is not in the budget. But funding for projects dear to city government seems to be plentiful.

A major change to our neighborhood such as the installing of roundabouts is, in the very least, something that should be voted on by the city’s residents, not only discussed in a couple public hearings which are hardly publicized, and then forced upon us. I believe strongly our money can be spent more wisely, there are other ways to improve the traffic situation that focus on making life easier for those who live here, and that if put to a vote, this plan will be struck down by a significant majority.

Ask your neighbors! Talk to long-time residents. You will find this is not a popular plan, and I hope, you will consider some alternatives.

David Lantz

Dear Editor:

I am writing on behalf of all the concerned citizens who’d like to see their kids use their bikes to get to Dulles school, instead of clogging Dulles Ave. with their four wheelers.

In the AM especially, I, along with other parents who drive with guilt for adding to the pollution with huge four wheelers just to get their high schoolers to school.

These “independent minded” kids would otherwise ride their own bikes if only there was a sidewalk along Dulles Ave. It’s a simple solution to a long standing traffic problem on this busy road.

Has the Stafford Mayor ever driven by this important link to Hwy 90 & 59 around 7:00 a.m.? If so, he’d have done something to construct a pavement all the way along, a long time ago. The kids would enjoy the morning breeze on their face (also called new found freedom to get to school) while their driving counterparts are stuck on the congested Dulles Ave., if there was a safe sidewalk to ride their bikes.

I hope my fellow environmentally conscious drivers would strongly agree & sign a petition if needed. Hope the Stafford city would listen to the readers’ suggestion on this issue.

Thank you.

Goms Ranganath
Missouri City Resident

Dear Ms. Carter,

Can you imagine if everyone in the state of Maryland walked around with a disease called "the silent killer" ... and didn’t know it? Or if every single resident in New York and California were at high risk for developing this "silent killer?"

Nearly six million Americans are unaware they have diabetes. Look around you. One in five Americans is at risk for type 2 diabetes. Could one of them be someone you love?

For many people with type 2 diabetes, diagnosis may come years after onset. Yet, early diagnosis is critical to delay or prevent the debilitating complications such as heart disease, blindness, kidney disease, stroke and amputation.

What can you do to stop diabetes? Know your risk.

Tuesday, March 23 is American Diabetes Association Alert Day. Discover your risk for type 2 diabetes and join the movement to stop this terrible disease by visiting stopdiabetes.com or 800-DIABETES.

It’s time to stop this silent killer once and for all.
Doug Acker
Missouri City

Unless you have been out of the country for the last few months, you are aware that our school district is eighteen million dollars in the red. I remember not too many years ago we were an excellent school district. That was then, and now we are going down the tubes.

How did this happen you ask? Our esteemed board president said the State of Texas was to blame. Let’s ask districts like Katy, Stafford, Lamar, Alief and many many more and see how these districts landed on their feet.

Our board president’s assessment of the problem is “hogwash.”

When I first got married , my dad told me, “son, never spend more than you make.” Our Board and superintendent missed Economics 101. This extreme spending is going to cost many innocent teachers and staff their jobs. The innocent will have to pay for what the guilty did!

What is the answer to this very serious problem? We, as concerned citizens, must weed out these bad apples. We can begin this in earnest on May 8th when we go to the polls to vote for new board members.

A New school board that cares about our kids, and a new superintendent who knows the meaning of wise spending will go a long way in healing the wound.

Fred Lee

Dear Editor,
I read the article “When Facebook Goes Wrong” in the March 3 issue of "The Star", talking about the new law that took affect on September of 2009 saying that it is a crime to spoof, post as another person, or post personal information about anyone without their consent intending to harm, defraud, intimidate, or threaten any person.

This article interested me because I knew a person who went through a similar problem around 4 or 5 years ago. This incident happened over MySpace and some people that did not like this person made a fake user name that had a couple extra letters and told people to look at this MySpace page instead of the real one. They put false and revealing information about this person and threatened and intimidated this person over MySpace.

It is too bad that this law was not in place before this happened because the victim could not do anything about it at the time. I’m glad that this law is now in place.
Thank you,
Travis Gore

Dear Editor

The time is 9:36 PM, Tuesday March 2, 2010.

Why are ALL the 8 tower lights still lighting the baseball field? There are no vehicles in the parking lot. There is not a person in sight. Is this physical and fiscal responsibility for my dollars given in FBISD taxes?
Robert Heron
Sugar Land, TX.

Dear Editor

Election day was Tuesday and I have a request for the Fort Bend County Bar Association. Please conduct a judicial poll for the 2012 Primary Election.  Why 2012 you say?  Because it is too late for this election season, but this poll is a valuable service to all voters, especially the majority of us who do not have constant contact with the judicial system.

All voters should immediately check out the Houston Bar Association Judicial Poll at HBA.ORG.  What you will find are 2,202 opinions of attorneys who have indicated No Opinion, Not Qualified, Qualified, or Well Qualified for all candidates in all judicial races in the Houston area.  Some races cross over into Fort Bend County such as the various Supreme Court or Texas, Court of Criminal Appeals, Court of Appeals, and Attorney General positions.

Now, back to the FB Bar. Cost is not an issue. If you search ‘free online survey’ you will find many options to survey your members.  And please, don’t decline because your membership numbers don’t rival those of HBA.  Let the voters decide how to interpret your results. You could team up with HBA, or Houston and all bordering counties, or even all 13 HGAC counties and make one big survey. Attorneys cross county lines and many of you already participate in the HBA poll. I want to know your opinions of our Fort Bend candidates for DA, District, County and JP courts! 

Thank you.
Robert Wolter

FBISD Board President Bob Broxson was recently quoted by a media source as saying:

“It bothers me when people come up and give misleading information about how this board does its business. To hear people say that we are recklessly spending money is not true.” 

This statement appears to be in defense of his behavior during a contentious February 8, 2010 Board meeting. This is Mr. Broxon’s opinion, to which he has a right. However, the citizens have a right to express their opinions as well. The tensions appear to have occurred when Mr. Broxon took exception to speakers exercising their right to express an opinion that was contrary to his own and, to be fair, critical of the board.  

After attending numerous board meetings, I have become disheartened by the level of discourtesy and animosity shown toward some community speakers, by members of this board.  From scolding the audience, as if they were misbehaving children, to being disrespectful to the speakers (rolling their eyes and other impolite facial responses, exiting & re-entering the room while a speaker addresses them etc.), this collective board does not, in my opinion, provide an inviting forum for parents and taxpayers to express their concerns, seek action or information.

I do not want this to be perceived as a “Bash the Board” article.  I sincerely appreciate those who volunteer their time to serve our community and our children.

It is important to remember that when we elect someone to serve on the Board of Trustees, we are in essence hiring them to represent the concerns, the values and the interests of our community. Hence, they should welcome reasonable, warranted and civil scrutiny of their performance.
Jim Babb, Missouri City

Dear Bev,
Much has been made of the budget difficulties we have faced at Fort Bend ISD. To date, many of the rumors have been inaccurate .... The bottom line for us is that we have insufficient funding to meet our growing student population and the costs to deliver a first class education to every student in Fort Bend. This is due to the fact that in the last session, the legislature froze our student allocation at 2006 levels.

Fort Bend ISD is the 7th largest school district in Texas, and we continue to grow. If we do not get funding help, and soon, we will face very serious financial constraints in the future, and the delivery approach we will be forced to take will be much different than what we have become accustomed to in Fort Bend ISD.

I would like to take this opportunity to invite all of our state legislators, local government officials, and you to a Budget Workshop that will precede our next regularly scheduled Business Meeting on February 22, 2010, at 5:00 p.m. If these legislators and local government officials would attend this session they would hear firsthand the issues we face and the proposed actions that the administration recommends and the Board is considering.

I hope you will join me in challenging these legislators to attend this vitally important session.

Bob Broxson
Fort Bend ISD Board of Trustees

Bob, I know what funding problems you are having and I will be there. I will also be taking names of all the officials who are there and those who are not.

Most of our local state legislators have opponents this year so it might be incumbent upon the board to also invite those who are running. I'll take their names also. 

And to our other letter writer, Mr. Babb, complaining about the lack of civility from the board, he should attend also to get a sense of what the board goes through.

And Bob, if rumors are true that the district has already hired an architect for the global science center monument, now might be the time to put all those rumors to rest. A "broke" school district shouldn't be building a global science center even if private business is willing to pay for it. Maybe those same businesses could forego their sweet tax deals and pay their fair share and relieve the burden we all feel. 

If we are going to be operating our school district on a "back to the basics" budget for the next several years, then we don't have the money to pay for transporting teachers and students to a monument to the superintendent. Just get that completely off the agenda and tell everyone it's on permanent hold. BKC

To the Editor:

Mr. Oldham, the election administrator was less than accurate in his comments concerning Ms. Bishop’s, “dirty trick” with her opponent’s name on the ballot.

First, the day before my meeting with Mr. Oldham, I had called letting him know we would seek judicial relief if the mess wasn’t corrected.  Contrary to his statements, I had to set 3 deadlines and threats of a lawsuit  to get him and Ms. Bishop to comply with the Election Code to send corrected ballots to our servicemen and women fighting overseas.  In fact, he told me the reason he finally agreed was County Attorney Cordes told him it was likely a judge would rule in our favor. To this day, I cannot understand why he and Ms. Bishop opposed sending corrected ballots to air troops in Iraq and elsewhere.

What Mr. Oldham and Ms. Bishop don’t understand is someone must be held accountable for her “dirty trick.” This is not the first time she and the elections office have had errors on candidates names. It’s bad enough for Ms. Bishop to ignore local candidates and Barack Obama’s campaign efforts, it is intolerable to have such indifference in our electoral process.

Donald W. Bankston
State Democratic
Executive Committee #18

I totally agree with Dillon, a student who wrote a letter that was published in last week’s paper. Drivers in Fort Bend are totally irresponsible in school zones and where students cross.

I am a crossing guard at a Ft Bend school in Missouri City. Daily I witness cell phone use (some by teachers) illegal u turns, failure to stop at stop signs, turning right on red while school zone is in effect and countless speeding violations. One major contributor is the lack of police presence in the school zones.

Since the start of school in May, I have not seen one Missouri City police officer in our school zone. I feel that this is one reason that people have become so complacent in school zones. When we have rainy day dismissal, I try to get the kids across and sometimes the cars (who are warm and dry) may have to wait an extra 30 seconds. This does not sit well with them. They honk, curse, and as I have heard by another guard, even try to become physically abusive.

If one of you careless drivers ever hits a child, it will ruin your life forever, not to mention the life of the child. Give these kids a break, give them a chance to grow up and live their life to its fullest.

Crossing Guard

Dear Editor,

As a student at Fort Settlement Middle School, this has come to my concern. Every morning I walk to school and cross at the crosswalk at Commonwealth and Elkins. Some days I cross ok, but other days not so much.

Many drivers are very impatient and don’t wait for me to cross, even though the light tells me to. They either ignore me and go through, sometimes almost hitting me, or they blare their horn at me to run across. This has been happening a lot more lately, and I don’t want to end up run over.

I want people to realize that just because they’re late or in a bad mood, doesn’t mean they fly through the intersection and have it be okay. They need to watch for kids and adults at every crosswalk so pedestrians can be safe.

Dillon K.

Editor’s Note: I totally agree with you. Nothing could be that important to risk the life of an individual at a crosswalk.


All past great civilizations have collapsed from within. How would we feel if America did the same? If it became the England of the 21st century?

For generations we have offered our resources to the world’s poor, the starving, the ill, the oppressed. When we turn to our own we get caught in our greed.

Health care insurance is not available to millions of our brothers and sisters. The rising cost of health care is crippling our economy. The insurance companies are spending millions to shackle reform.

The Democrats are fighting among themselves. The Republicans stand silent. Our congressman is a no show. All this as our poor and infirm die and others lose their life savings to illness.

Will we overcome our greed, regain our moral footing and care for our own?

We should. We can.

The Rev. Jim Alcorn
Sugar Land

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