Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Intake on Desiree's Stage 7

I agree with my collogue Desiree on her intake on Higher Education in Central Texas regarding the article “Higher Education” that was featured on Austin American’s Statesman. Yes Texas students and parents are in the need to understand how the higher education system works. From financial aid to the degree requirements we lack on the basic information. Many students apply to colleges and get acceptance, the next step shouldn’t be figuring out how to pay for it, but rather getting ready to start a life time experience. Exploring the adventures of education and research should be the greater part of the student’s main concern, rather than having to learn to file a FAFSA or apply for a loan. All these things could be accomplished by having to teach the materials to students who are planning to attend colleges early on, especially during their high school years when they are exploring colleges and universities.

The large sum of money that is given to the University of Texas may become an eye opening experience for many students and parents, by having to meat with the school officials they will have an aspect on how to afford higher education. There are very many opportunities for the minority students to pay for college but the only way to receive and use these scholarships and need based supports is to know the ways around the paper work.

I see this method of educating the young will succeed to minimize the first year dropout rate, and also increase the number of students who will be graduating on time. I believe higher education is becoming more accessible to Texas, knowing the system is everything to becoming a successful student at colleges. I would like to thank Desiree for bringing this issue to our attention; I believe this will be money well spent.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Response to Janna's Stage 5

I understand the point of view Janna Stage 5 is taking on the issue of Lions Municipal Golf Course being proposed to be developed into an apartment building.Yes, it would be helpful for the the community if University of Texas decide to build an affordable apartment building; but the question should be; are they going to build affordable housing on such a high demand area? It is unlikely. While most apartments around the school , especially in the west campus area, are being demolished so that high-end apartments would be built in their place, it is almost naivety on her part to think they would build affordable apartment housing once the golf course is gone. In addition, Janna failed to mention the aesthetic value of the golf course to the city and the surrounding area. One clear benefit that comes from having a beautiful golf course in the neighbourhood is that the houses sell for a steeper value than the market would dictate if there were no golf course in the area. Take the golf course away, the value of the houses drop significantly. In the end, an apartment that meant to help the families of the area would end up costing them dearly.
On the other side, I can understand the need for affordable housing. While the population of the city of Austin is growing exponentially, the housing development seems to lag behind. Anything that alleviates the problem would be greatly appreciated. So, I value one good point Janna made in her argument. If UT would build affordable housing complexes and agree to build another golf course nearby, it would be a worthwhile goal to pursue. Even in that kind of scenario, the community should actively encouraged to participate in the decision making process. However, as I have said, I don’t believe they will let go of the chance of making millions of dollars just because it wouldn’t anger the community.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Agency slow to hand out Texas hurricane aid

Article Link

It has been 3 years since Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana and Mississippi making Texas to be the home for the majority of the evacuees from New Orleans. Followed by Rita the evacuees have been under stress by problems created by the displacement of their residence, most importantly their families.

After the hurricane had passed all there has been was pure desolation, with out their home they were faced with several issues including the inadequate amount of money for living. The response from FEMA in the early stages was to hand out the money loaded debit cards to the individuals who presented with an ID card, which resulted disastrously, the people who needed the most help were turned back for lack of identification or they were just too far away from the centers for this type of aid.

Fast forward a year on May of 2006, the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs was awarded $42.6 million to help with the hurricane, in which the money was to be allocated to repair/ rebuild the damaged homes, four months later in September, only 13 homes have been built and 1.1 million dollars spent in the project; Unsatisfying more than 4000 families who have applied for this particular aid.

Came April of 2007 there was another addition money awarded to Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, 428 million dollars for hurricane recovery programs. With this amount of money many would say yes we can recover the damages done by both Katrina and Rita. But things are going as slow as it can get the money does not have a chance to be allocated to the families in need until the early months of 2008 because of a not finished contract with a firm that will be building the homes of the evacuees. What I don’t understand is not how long the families have been waiting but rather how we let it happen as individuals to be part of a society who is in charge of this decision making ladders.

We have moved on hearing about the news and the catastrophic state the hurricane has left these places, but we must not forget this could have happened to us, to our family. Once we have that mentality in our head may be things will go faster for all those families who have to move away from their home, their neighborhoods, and their beloved cities. I think it is time for evacuees to have some peaceful time I think they have see enough of this hardship it is time for all of us to carry a part, allocate the money swiftly for them to rebuild their homes.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Perry endorse Giuliani

The endorsement made by Governor Rick Perry to the former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, came as a surprise to the people of Texas. Considering the state being a strong conservative republican when it comes to politics I couldn’t figure out why he made that decision.

In the previous years Perry has been a strong supporter of the conservative Republican Party, so why would he sell out to a more liberal candidate? Well my thinking is that he would like t run alongside with Giuliani in the coming presidential race in 2008. The coming thirteen months would be the ground for the candidates to gain the support of the voters from every corner.

The plan Giuliani has devised might just work for the coming election, Perry being the great governor who came out to be a hero in the Katharina catastrophe opening his doors to the neighboring states combined with Giuliani’s strong presence at the 9/11 tragedy to unite America. This sounds so superb to the ears to have two men who have been known for the great presence they had during a time of distress that affected many lives.

In the political arena Giuliani a liberal republican can gather supporters in his area while Perry is drawing in the conservative population. Regardless of how sweet this combo sounds it is surely going to be a hard road that lay ahead. The challenges lay before these candidates to overcome before the voting days for the presidential election come close. Texas is a big state and it would be a while before it goes for the Democratic Party….so Giuliani/Perry combo might just make it.


Friday, October 5, 2007

Texas Youth Commission

The juveniles in Texas Youth Commission custody had been the center of controversial issues that stirred the state of Texas law makers for the past few months. The legislative investigators that have been working to end the physical abuse of imprisoned youths have faced resistance from the TYC employees. Even though the public along side the lawmakers are determined to get to the bottom of what went wrong at the TYC the head office failed to do its duty.

What does it take to change the laws that oversee these facilities; these are young men and women who are underage to be charged as an adult. These centers are supposed to be a youth center, a place where they could develop in to adulthood and carry responsibilities for their actions and mold their futures. For most this would be a turning point between making the right choice for their future. They could leave their trouble times behind and move to new and better things to educate and widen their opportunities for their future.

It was not long ago we heard the physical abuse in the centers isn’t that enough? How long do we need to over look these matters if it is taking place at one center isn’t that the TYC office job to expand its investigations on to the other facilities to find out these allegations.

I think we all have heard enough of these incidents taking place it is time to take some action to a better future for Texas youth.


Friday, September 21, 2007

U.S. Produces Record Amount of Flu Vaccines

It is fall again and many of us will be suffering from the contagious flu virus (Influenza). The headaches, fever, and the muscle fatigue will be amounted to this infectious illness. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Influenza, without being treated on time, leads to fatal results every year accounting for 36,000 lives in the U.S. The solution is to obtain the immunization given to the public every year to minimize the outcome of this infectious disease.

For the past few years the limited production of the vaccination has resulted in many people passing on the opportunity of getting their shots in order for the elderly and children under 5 to have enough vaccination. The fact is that all, from children to people who are above the age of 50, and to those who can handle the vaccination should be getting the shot to prevent the horrific consequence of Influenza.

Amazingly this year the U.S. has produced 130 million doses of the influenza vaccination in which 20 million of it has been distributed across the nation. What is left for the public to do is, finding the nearest location to obtain the vaccination. This surely will save the time you will be spending at home tending to your feverish children or having to miss that exam you have been studying for.