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The QueQue

 

Know when to fold ’em

Dehydrated and with a detectable heart murmur, the Rev. Seymour Perkins, renegade Congregationalist and font of jarring urban-folk-art assault, was held over the weekend under medical supervision. The streetwalker-adoring artist, retired minister, and thorn-in-the-side of certain East Side powers-that-be only days before escaped a blaze at his Hackberry home sought so eagerly by City bulldozers just a few months before.

Perkins, whose work is on display at San Angel Folk Art inside the Blue Star Arts Complex, said he had been living without power ever since the City came to demo the property under its Dangerous Premises ordinance, since amended to give property owners better notice of pending destructions. [See “Prayer before the demo,” December 5, 2007.] The blaze appears to have been started by a candle Perkins was using for light.

Piles of charred possessions are heaped along the west side of the house, along with a hand-tooled Egyptian-themed high-backed chair — the same chair Perky may reclaim after he is released today and settles back into his too-often-disputed home. The fun just never ends.

Rumble dish

Nearby Gonzales hosted its first-ever motorcycle rally this past weekend. Geriatric hard-rockers Great White and Brett Michaels were there to do their part to Keep South Texas Hokey. But someone forgot to alert the promoters at Rock Festival Productions or the teams of gearheads blowin’ in that Gonzales Police Chief Tim Crow had learned all he knows about motorcycle culture from Marlon Brando’s performance in The Wild One.

At least that would explain why the Chief stationed his men at the town gate, requiring all motorcycle club members to check their colors at the door. The overt discrimination has both the event’s promoter and would-be attendees horning their lawyers this week.

While Gonzales Thunder Rally’s website got 530,000 hits in the week before the event kicked off, only about 400 showed on Friday. Saturday saw that number maybe double. Maybe.

“Beyond a doubt, attendance was hurt,” RF Productions’ Ben Piggot said. Horror stories were cycling across the state early Saturday. Some complained that groups of bikers were being signaled by police on the highways to turn around before they even reached town.

Crow was unapologetic.

“The experience of other law-enforcement agencies, it shows that yes there is trouble when different motorcycle clubs meet,” he said.

Queque asked what studies or police groups said so and was countered by 33 seconds of brooding silence.

“Are you through asking questions? Because I believe I’m through talking to you.”

Click.

Prognosis for GTR ’09?

“No one’s going to go to something like this when you have these kinds of rules in place,” Bandito member Toolman Tim told the Queque. “Because of the oppression and the opinions of the police chief, I think they killed this thing for the vendors.”

Piggott didn’t argue.

“What they did totally bombed me,” he said.

Perry and thrust

Taking a cue from Wall Street’s yo-yo market, Governor Rick Perry threw fistfuls of currency promises at Homeland Security last week, upping the state’s $46-million promise for the National Bio- & Agro-Defense Facility to … $46 million. Perry wants to bring the commitment to $100 million, but it will take a vote of the Texas Legislature to make that a reality.

“In a perfect world, we wouldn’t have to do this,” Perry said of his attempt to bribe the federal government, now $9.5 trillion in debt, to bring the $501-million project to Texas. But, he added: “If it will bring jobs and wealth to Texas, it’s appropriate for us to do that.” You see, in Perry’s perfect world Texas has unlimited wealth and jobs. Until then, creative accounting is the order of the day.

Though most of N-BAF’s longterm jobs will be imported, according to the Draft Environmental Impact Statement, a $32-million annual payroll is a $32-million annual payroll, after all. I’m seeing The Rim II here, folks. [See “Last Words,” July 2, 2008.]

Plans to possibly move foot-and-mouth research from an Eastern Seaboard island to one of five U.S. mainland sites has bitterly divided the country’s agricultural community. The addition of Japanese encephalitis and Nipah virus to N-BAF’s roster has inspired unpatriotic resistance in communities like North Carolina and Georgia (to pilfer a popular Republican insult from back in the good old days of Let’s Roll nationalism).

Homeland is expected to announce its selection in the coming weeks.

Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius, meanwhile, accused Perry of meddling with the “fundamental fairness” of the site-selection process by his late $54-million ejaculation, arguing that the window for dangling tantalizing incentives before Homeland closed at the end of March (back when Kansas was setting prettier, with $105 million tucked away for the germ lab.)

Homeland, according to at least one federal official, has sided with Sebelius.

Amy Kudwa, a spokeswoman for DHS, told one Kansas paper that Perry’s late-breaking bid was rejected “out of fairness” to the other candidates.

Blinded by the blight

Thwarted to some degree by a newly glacial pace in the completion of municipal open-records requests, your own poky little puppy wishes to remind you that s/he hasn’t been resting on his/her laurels, but slowly piecing together what puzzle pieces are at hand and nosing around the fringes of the John Foddrill whistleblower suit [see “Off the hook,” October 8-14] while awaiting the big paper delivery in re: How does that digital-billboard math work, again? Thanks to the diligent work of more singleminded souls, the Queque has been able to determine that a “partial pass” seems to be the default inspection designation for the old Clear Channel billboards axed in exchange for 12 shiny new digital signs. The reason you care: If “partial pass” meant non-complying, those billboards would have been ineligible for the tradeoff authorized by City Council last December in the Digital Billboard Pilot Program. Clear Channel would have had to repair them, and use ’em or lose ’em rather than count them toward their demolition total. You’ll want to raise the issue when someone proposes extending the one-year pilot program.

The reason the Queque cares: S/he wondered why the Development Services Department unbidden assured us that a “partial pass” was more like a “note to self” for inspectors when the Current first started digging into the issue a couple months back.

The demolition application for one former Highway 281 advertising prop certainly raises questions: Its time stamp says it was received February 12, 2008, while accompanying photographs dated February 10, 2008, show a rickety looking empty frame waving like the storied tattered Stars & Stripes that inspired Francis Scott Key. Not a working billboard in other words; but it exuded a sort of worn spaghetti-western magnetism, and at least you could see the sky through the slats. Unlike the gaudy new digital on Avenue A, which manages to conceal the freshly sand-scrubbed, red-brick smokestack of the Pearl Brewery development from drivers rounding the 281 onramp curves. Instead: an orange-backed (seasonal?) reiteration of information your car radio and TXDoT readily supply, and Red McCombs familiar script. (The smoke stack perhaps should count its blessings; had the relationship been reversed, god knows what would have happened. Visit the Curblog for a citizen’s ode to a tree that was suddenly, violently pruned after a digital billboard sprung up nearby.)


MADPR

Bad public-relations pitches are a bitch — and, well, insulting. Do these people not bother to check out our punchy little pub before firing off what is for all intents and purposes high-grade spam? I say “high-grade” because sometimes they do take the time to learn your name before stuffing your box. As in:

Greg,

I don’t mean to be a bother, but, would you be interested in the following?
Because of the recent rain and flooding, a new product by Duraban has been able to put a transparent coating on appliances, floors, patio furniture that does not let mold spores
penetrate.
Would you be interested in learning more or setting up an interview?

But wait, there’s more ...

Moving Box Company Offers Own Bailout Plan: Free Moving Boxes

Los Angeles, CA – October 7, 2008. Earth-friendly moving box retailer UsedCardboardBoxes.com announced its own economic bailout plan today, offering its “two cents” towards economic relief, nationwide. From now until Election Day ’08, the company will provide one free, earth-friendly moving kit to any US homeowner that has just lost a home to foreclosure.

... Homeowners are only required to pay for shipping.

After IKE it’s time for some fun here in Texas

Please consider covering the following press release so that we can alert the public and help bring them back to the Kemah area, which as you know was recently hit very heavily by IKE. We’d appreciate your help. 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Boaters beware — this brand new concept in boating just might become a habit

Houston, TX, October 14, 2008 – There is a far more appealing pastime than gardening or working around the house to be found at the Nautic Boating Center on the Texas Gulf Coast, located at t he scenic and trendy Kemah Boardwalk Marina.  This center can be added to the list of maritime accomplishments of Kevin Kaiser, Founder and mastermind of NauticShare Global Ventures.

Hand-washing class

The HCA Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Nashville-based hospital company Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), has teamed up with teen actor and recording artist Mitchel Musso to create a public service announcement educating kids and their parents on the importance of hand washing to prevent the spread of MRSA in schools.

Mitchel Musso from Disney’s hit series Hannah Montana will be promoting The HCA Foundation’s ‘Clean Hands are Cool Hands’ Campaign and will talk to children about the importance of clean hands as well as demonstrate how to keep hands clean. Mitchel and an HCA spokesperson will be available on-site for interviews. Also, a digital press kit along with b-roll is available upon request.

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