Wednesday, April 30, 2008

ASARCO's illegal actions.

Many El Pasoans know of how ASARCO poisoned our city with their toxins and almost everyone who worked there is sueing ASARCO for their ill health, mutations, and diseases caused by the plant for pain and suffering etc. The company has finally hit another road block in their plans to reopen. ^_^

What had happened was that Representative for ASARCO had met with members of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) before they received their permit to reopen. The evidence of these meetings is cited in invoices that surfaced during one of ASARCO's bankruptcy cases. The meetings were a violation of Texas law and is a perfect example of ASARCO's underhandedness. The city of El Paso has filed another petition to have ASARCO's permit revoked.

ASARCO's response was that all the major proceedings in their case had concluded in March of 2006 and the meeting was legal, proper, routine, and just part of the due process. Even so, they did not yet have a permit, as the commissioners still needed to vote on whether or not to grant them a one. Ex parte communication would still apply to ensure fairness. TCEQ is reopening the case but because it is considered pending, they are not discussing anything with the city.

Also noteworthy, the United States Environmental Protection Agency sent a letter to TCEQ asking them to answer several serious questions regarding the permit they issued. Click here for more information.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A little more anime.


I mentioned earlier that there exists an anime inspired by Sherlock Holmes called Case Closed, Detective Conan, Meintantei Conan or 名探偵 コナン . I kinda forgot to mention that it was a manga before it was an anime. For those unfamiliar with Japaneses pop culture a manga would be considered a comic book here in the U.S. but the actual library term for them is graphic arts. An anime is a serialized cartoon. Even though Walt Disney was the first animation artist Disney's cartoons are geared toward family films with G age group ratings. In Japan it is common for adults to be going to watch animes which would be considered strange, even pedifile in the U.S.

Most of the episodes involve murder where all of the suspects are identified with Conan giving us all of the clues before revealing the identity of the culprit, how they did it and the evidence against them. I prefer the Japanese version that is hopefully subtitled in English better than episodes that have been dubed in either English or Spanish just because I think it looses more in that kind of translation and it also helps me to learn a new language. There are plenty of episodes out there with a lot of them on detectiveconan.us even though some of them are missing. To watch some of the missing videos you can find them on megavideo.com. If you want the episodes in Spanish, go to Google, search "detective conan tutv episode #" replacing the '#' with an actual number.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Just a little info on one of the great actors if you're interested.

Back in 1984 a television production of Sherlock Holmes mysteries began making episodes that, in my opinion at least, accurately portrays most of the Canon mysteries created by Doyle. This brilliant series went on to last until 1994 still staring the same actor Jeremy Brett as Sherlock Holmes. Although certain aspects of appearance may not resemble the images created by the original illustrator Paget, Brett embodies everything about Sherlock from his manner, tone, and even the way he carries himself, all are spot on. Most of the mysteries he stared in can be found on youtube although because of health issues, Brett did not complete the entire Canon and the production ended after more than 10 years.

Below are some adventures that were posted on youtube if you all are interested. This user divided them into six parts so if you want to see the entirety you have to go from part 1 to part 6 on each.
A Scandal In Bohemia:

The Dancing Men:

The Final Problem

The Empty House



Thursday, April 10, 2008

OMG a runoff election and I haven't posted yet!

Yep, two days ago the city held a runoff election to try and settle positions in which nobody had a clear majority such as Sheriff, two judgeships, a constable, and two county commissioners.
Unofficially the winners are:
Sheriff: Wiles 61%
Commissioner (Precinct 1): Perez 70%
Commissioner (Precinct 3): Gandara 57%
Constable (Precinct 7): Sommers 58%
Judge (448th District): Arditti 69%
Judge (65th District): Gutierrez 60%

I also forgot to mention in a previous post that the new police chief is Greg Allen. This position is not voted for but is filled by a City Manager, in this case Joyce Wilson picked Allen because of what the community told her. I know a retired cop who used to do patrol with him and he told me that Allen was a great guy who really worked his way up.

Friday, April 4, 2008

New rules for pools.

As crazy as it sounds, the city of El Paso has passed into law measures that they believe will help stop accidental drowning (especially with young children). I praise the city for trying to make El Paso a safer place to live, but the way they are going about it is rather strange.

Basically everyone who builds a new pool, spa, sauna, etc. will have to follow these new rules.

All pools are required to have a five foot primary or secondary barrier surrounding the pool. Where a house serves as part of the barrier, a five-foot high primary or secondary wall or fence will not be required if the pool is equipped an keyed, power-operated cover or screen.

Additionaly: Doors leading from the house or guest room into a yard with a swimming pool must swing away from the pool, be self closing, and self-latching and equipped with a locking device that is at least 4-1/2 feet off the ground. Windows facing a pool must also have a latching device 54 inches above ground. Sliding glass doors facing a pool must have an automatic closing and locking system.

Other changes were approved to keep children from being trapped underwater by suction from drainage and filtration systems like requiring young children to wear armband floaters and the like.

Although this is added security, it does not solve the reasons accidental drownings occur. This is mainly people placing the blame on others. Instead of saying "Oh I wish I had not left my child near the pool when I went into the house for half an hour", people are saying "It is the city's fault for my child's death by not requiring me to have five foot high walls and a secondary barrier that automatically locked."

It is a shame but most people just do not follow pool safety. No running near the pool, no horseplay, no diving in the shallow end, always swim with someone else (even if they're not in the water), and don't be an idiot. Most people have a lot of trouble with that last one.