Posts Tagged ‘San Antonio’

Conscientiousness citizens in San Antonio, Texas have been observing, and videotaping, other residents STEALING items left at a donation station belonging to Medina Children’s Home.

It is shocking, when confronted, that the thieves do not consider their acts of stealing to be theft! They argue that because they may have left something they have a RIGHT to take other goods.

Initially, the videos taken just recorded the acts of the theft, vehicles, and license plates. However, as time went on, and frustration over the frequency of the thefts increased, the thieves were confronted.

Father and son steal donated lawn mower:

Woman walks regularly to the station to “shop”:

These women are regular shoppers, but use different vehicles for each trip:

This woman feels it is her right to steal:

Kudos to thebigdog210 for caring and stepping in!

Read Full Post »

Our country really takes care of its soldiers (tongue-in-cheek). There have been other and similar stories like this – this one just caught my eye this evening and I’m tired of seeing them. So many “mysterious” deaths. Drug mix-ups, overdoses/overmedication, lack of proper care and attention, transmission of infectious diseases, such as AIDS, due to improper sterilization techniques… The place is a dive and a disgrace. Why anyone would want to serve in the U.S. military these days baffles me…

From San Antonio Express-News Online Edition

Web Posted: 06/10/2009 7:35 CDT

Injured soldier found dead on post

By Scott Huddleston – Express-News

BAMC200Another soldier recovering from war injuries died this week in his barracks at Fort Sam Houston, the Army said today.

Spc. Franklin D. Barnett Jr., 29, was found dead in his room Sunday afternoon, according to a release from Brooke Army Medical Center. Barnett, who was hurt in Afghanistan, had been assigned to C Company of the Warrior Transition Battalion since Oct. 15.

Barnett’s death, at least the third in less than three months involving members of the battalion, is under investigation.

Barnett, a native of Covington, Kent., served as a combat engineer and was assigned to the Louisiana National Guard’s 927th Engineering Company, officials said. He received a Purple Heart on Oct. 10.

A casualty affairs officer at Fort Polk, La. said Barnett’s parents live in Deville, La. Barnett also had a wife, he said.

Earlier this year, Spc. Craig Reginald Hamilton and Warrant Officer 1 Judson Erick Mount, also members of the warrior transition battalion, died on post. Army officials have not released details in either death, citing ongoing investigations.

Hamilton, 35, of Milford, N.H., had been injured at Fort Sill, Okla. He died at Fort Sam on March 27.

Mount, a 37-year-old former San Antonian, was badly wounded in a car bomb blast near a market in Iraq. He died April 7.

At least one of the 11 reported deaths that have occurred in Fort Sam’s warrior transition unit, created in late 2007, was linked to overmedication. The Jan. 22, 2008 death of Sgt. Robert Nichols, 31, of San Antonio, was ruled a result of an accidental “mixed-drug intoxication.”

Toxicology tests revealed at least 11 different drugs in Nichols’ system that he’d been prescribed for post-traumatic stress and brain injury. In response to the case, medical officials raised concerns about mixing painkillers, sleep-inducing drugs and antidepressants while treating war wounds.

The Army has initiated new measures to better control the distribution of drugs to injured troops.

11/6/09 Recent related story: After Fort Hood: Count All the Dead

Read Full Post »

Time Warner Cable is starting it – soon other companies will follow. Charges for using the Internet do not just stop with getting connected. I recommend that you read the Businessweek article and learn more as this will be something that everyone will face with their service provider. I’m sure we will see more creative ways that charges are assessed as the years pass…

timewarnercable_logo_1Time Warner to charge for Internet usage

By Creighton Welch on Apr 01, 2009 9:39 AM

Downloading a lot of “movies” via the Internet these days? Be prepared to pay a little extra for all that high bandwidth downloading.

Businessweek reports that Time Warner Cable this summer will begin charging a premium to the heaviest broadband users in San Antonio. Austin, Rochester, N.Y., and Greensboro, N.C. also are on the list. Time Warner is supposed to start collecting data on customers’ Internet usage this month.

The plan works similar to cell phone plans, where you have to pay more if you exceed your minutes. The article says customers will be charged from $29.95 to $54.90 a month, depending on what gigabyte cap level you want. For each gigabyte over that cap level, you’ll be charged $1. A download of a high-definition movie typically eats up about 8 GB.

Time Warner has been testing the program in Beaumont, the past few months and found that 14 percent of the test group busted their limit and paid an average of $19 more per month.

UPDATE:  4/13/09 ——————————————————————————————–

Time Warner delays meter program in South Texas

Officials with the cable company said Monday they are postponing implementation of a new billing format for San Antonio and Austin customers based on Internet usage until October.

A trial program intended to charge varying rates depending on usage was slated to begin this summer. The decision to delay the meter program was prompted mostly by customer reaction, said Gavino Ramos, Time Warner’s vice president of communication for South Texas.

“What happened as we’re continuing to listen was we worked in some of the comments and ideas that got sent to us,” Ramos said. “We came to the realization, let’s do this in October.”

San Antonians have plenty to say about this “stay in execution”:

Time Warner Delay Comments

UPDATE:  4/17/09______________________________________________________

Time Warner backs off tier-based billing

Amid resounding backlash from customers and lawmakers, Time Warner Cable said Thursday it will shelve a trial tier-based billing system for Internet users in four U.S. cities, including San Antonio and Austin. And while critics of broadband caps claimed victory after the announcement, the cable company gave no indication that it was permanently backing down from the bill-by-the-byte business model.

In fact, Time Warner plans to continue collecting usage data from customers and outfitting them with measurement tools intended to help them understand how much bandwidth they use. A Time Warner spokesman said no date has been set to resume the trials, and the company would reconsider implementing a test program that charges varying rates based on Internet usage after renewed efforts to educate customers.

Read Full Post »

From the Statesman

Trans-Texas Corridor

Trans-Texas Corridor name dies, but not entire concept

Work will continue on I-35, I-69 pieces of original plan of cross-state tollways, railways and utility lines, officials say.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

The Trans-Texas Corridor, as a name and as a guiding concept of the state’s transportation future, is dead, Texas Department of Transportation Executive Director Amadeo Saenz told an audience of more than a thousand people Tuesday at an Austin hotel. But Saenz acknowledged that all elements of the original plan, including a tollway twin to Interstate 35, could be built as stand-alone projects if and when they are deemed necessary.

Gov. Rick Perry in 2002 unveiled with great fanfare the corridor plan as an almost $200 billion blueprint for the state’s transportation future and then took withering criticism for it in a tough 2006 re-election race. On Tuesday, he said, “The days of the Trans-Texas Corridor are over.”

Critics of the corridor plan and TxDOT officials differed Tuesday over whether the body is truly cold and what would constitute the death of the proposed network of cross-state tollways, railways and utility lines. Planning and environmental studies of the twin to I-35, which would run from San Antonio to Oklahoma, and of I-69 , from Brownsville to Texarkana, will not stop, officials said.

And Perry, talking to reporters while in Iraq on a brief visit to Texas troops there, said, “We really don’t care what name they attach to building infrastructure in the state of Texas. The key is we have to go forward and build it.”

Asked if the announcement means that private toll road contracts, which have been central to the two corridor ventures under way to date, are a thing of the past in Texas, Perry said no: “We’ll continue to use all the tools available to build infrastructure.”

So, is a name change really all that occurred Tuesday?

“That’s basically it,” Saenz said. “The connotation of the name was that we were going to build all these elements (roads, rail and utilities) in one footprint.”

By all accounts, the 1,200-foot-wide conglomeration of side-by-side projects, captured in a TxDOT rendering in 2002 that helped set off alarms around the state, won’t be happening.

Saenz’s surprise pronouncement of last rites came a week before legislators gather for a session during which they must decide whether to allow TxDOT to continue pursuing long-term toll road leases with private companies — and just over a year before Perry is likely to face a GOP gubernatorial primary against U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.

A Hutchison spokesman said the problem wasn’t the Trans-Texas Corridor name but rather the tollways associated with it and the fields and pastures that would be consumed to build them.

“When citizens pointed out the flaws in his original corridor idea, specifically trampling private property rights, the Perry administration responded with condescension and arrogance,” said Todd Olsen, an Austin-based spokesman for Hutchison’s gubernatorial exploratory committee. “It wasn’t about a name.”

Perry spokesman Mark Miner said, “If the senator hadn’t been asleep at the wheel for the last 15 years and saw that Texas got its fair share of federal tax dollars, we wouldn’t need to look for alternative ways to fund Texas roads.”

Whatever projects emerge from the remains of the corridors — TxDOT is still using that portion of the original term, at least — would be no more than 600 feet wide.

Several years ago, TxDOT officials conceded that much of the plan, particularly its West Texas pieces, would not be needed until far in the future, if ever. And the Trans-Texas Corridor idea all along generated fierce opposition, including from some Perry allies like the Texas Farm Bureau that objected to the large amounts of farm and ranch land that would be lost.

David Stall of Fayette County, southeast of Austin, founded a group called CorridorWatch in opposition to the plan. Stall took TxDOT at its word Tuesday. Even if some pieces remain under study, he said, “the Trans-Texas Corridor as a statewide, massive, multimodal, over-reaching project is dead.”

So why would TxDOT go out of its way to declare the project dead?

“They’ve got some bridges to mend with the Legislature that don’t have asphalt on them,” Stall said. “So if this is a foregone conclusion, it’s an easy gimme.”

The term “Trans-Texas Corridor” for now survives in one very prominent place, the Texas Transportation Code.

A bill eliminating that entire section of law has been filed, something TxDOT would not like to see, given that doing so would wipe out other powers it wants to maintain. “For instance, that’s the only place we have authority to build rail,” Deputy Executive Director Steve Simmons said.

TxDOT officials couldn’t say Tuesday how much had been spent on the corridor plan.

Cintra-Zachry, a Spanish and American consortium hired by TxDOT to develop a plan for the I-35 twin, signed a contract for $3.5 million. But the agency has spent much more on environmental work, public meetings, legal fees and other consulting on the agreements associated with the plan.

TxDOT spokesman Chris Lippincott said almost none of that money should be considered wasted. “We’re still going to build Texas 130 … we’re still going to build I-69,” Lippincott said. “Maybe we wasted some money developing a TTC logo, but that’s about it.”

bwear@statesman.com; 445-3698

Read Full Post »