NO BORDER WALL, by J.D. Meyer

More Flooding & Less Ecotourism—a Major Income Source for Rio Grande Valley. Ruin for Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge.

1. https://www.npr.org/2017/04/25/525383494/trump-s-proposed-u-s-mexico-border-wall-may-violate-1970-treaty Mexico Worries That a New Border Wall Will Worsen Flooding “Mexican engineers believe construction of the border barrier may violate a 47-year-old treaty governing the shared waters of the Rio Grande. If Mexico protests, the fate of the wall could end up in an international court.”… “A concrete wall that blocks trans-border water movement is a total obstruction.”…. “To protest the border wall, Mexican officials on the Boundary and Water Commission would first lodge a formal complaint with their counterpart across the river in El Paso. If they don’t resolve the dispute, the matter goes to the State Department and its Mexican equivalent, and finally, to arbitration before a world court.”

2. https://www.mystatesman.com/news/state–regional/new-map-details-trump-texas-border-wall-plan-renewing-flood-concerns/PZxH0kZJAb1X8c5JtGL2nO/ New map details Trump’s Texas border wall plan, renewing flood concerns “…the U.S. Border Patrol has plans to build 32 miles of barrier in Starr County, where flooding concerns helped kill off similar plans half a decade ago….In addition to addressing concerns over flooding, the Homeland Security Department will face potentially lengthy battles with private landowners. While some areas sit on federal land, including the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge, the proposed wall route cuts through the land of dozens of private owners.”

3. https://www.texasobserver.org/trump-border-wall-texas-wildlife-refuge-breaking/ Trump Administration Preparing Texas Wildlife Refuge for First Border Wall Segment. If the levee wall is constructed, it will essentially destroy the refuge, a federal official told the Observer. “…first piece of President Trump’s border wall through the Santa Ana Wildlife Refuge in South Texas. The federally owned 2,088-acre refuge, often called the “crown jewel of the national wildlife refuge system.”

4. https://www.expressnews.com/news/local/article/Rio-Grande-Valley-s-eco-tourists-wary-of-12384823.php Rio Grande Valley’s ecotourists wary of Trump’s border wall plans “More than 165,000 nature tourists visit the region each year, infusing $463 million into the local economy and sustaining 6,600 jobs, according to a 2011 Texas A&M University study.”

5. https://www.mystatesman.com/news/national-govt–politics/why-private-property-owners-may-the-biggest-obstacle-trump-wall/WL4uZXLWYCGKwByV7goFqM/ Why private property owners may be the biggest obstacle to Trump’s wall. “Trump’s wall will have to cross miles of roadless mountains, traverse expansive deserts and parallel a serpentine river. But the biggest hurdle to building a coast-to-coast border barrier may not be the terrain but its inhabitants, especially those in Texas, where property rights are second to none. ………. “The power of eminent domain is established in the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which provides that citizens cannot “be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

6. https://www.cnn.com/2018/01/08/opinions/border-wall-cartels-trump-opinion-driver/index.html Trump’s Mexico wall would be a gift to the drug cartels “According to a 2015 report by the US Drug Enforcement Administration, 95% of drugs coming into the US were entering via container ships and other vessels…..In addition to drones and submarines, drug dealers and human traffickers rely on the trucking industry to move drugs and people via the 52 legal crossing points along the US border.”

7. https://edition.cnn.com/2015/10/23/us/drug-super-tunnel-tijuana-san-diego/index.html Feds raid drug ‘super tunnel’ with railway on U.S.-Mexico border “The tunnel is the tenth large-scale drug smuggling tunnel discovered in the San Diego area since 2006. In all, authorities have found more than 75 cross-border smuggling tunnels, mostly in California and Arizona, prosecutors said.”

8. https://www.politifact.com/wisconsin/statements/2017/apr/26/ron-kind/yes-experiencing-net-outflow-illegal-undocumented-/ “We’re experiencing a net outflow of illegal, undocumented workers from America back to Mexico,” U.S. Rep. Ron Kind, D-La Crosse, said Feb. 16, 2017 on Wisconsin Public Radio. “To build a wall now would be locking them in this country.” “…peak of 6.9 million in 2007. But the number began dropping in 2008.”

Why Trade Deficits Can Be Good, But Tariffs Can Be Terrible, by J.D. Meyer

1. https://www.investopedia.com/news/why-deficits-are-flawed-measures-unfair-trade “Why Deficits are Flawed Measures of Unfair Trade,” by Michael Kolakowski. The USA consumes more than it produces, and it doesn’t save.

2. https://www.investopedia.com/articles/economics/08/trade-deficit-effects. “In Praise of Trade Deficits,” by Michael Schmidt. “Increasing trade deficits can be a sign of strong GDP. They will not create a drag on GDP, and any potential downward pressure on the local currency is actually a benefit to that country.”

3. http://money.cnn.com/2018/03/14/news/economy/what-is-a-trade-deficit/index.html “Trade Deficit Isn’t Always a Bad Thing,” by Christine Romans “The money that flows to other countries doesn’t simply disappear. It becomes cash that in many cases has to be reinvested. And where does it go? Back to the United States, parked in Treasury bonds, stocks, real estate, factories and other investments. America imports goods, and other countries export capital in return.
The last time the United States ran a trade surplus, Gerald Ford was president and the country was in the middle of a recession.”

4. https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/canada-is-slapping-tariffs-on-dollar128-billion-of-us-goods-%E2%80%94-here-are-the-states-that-stand-to-lose-the-most/ar-AAy7gKv “Canada is slapping tariffs on $12.8 billion of US goods — here are the states that stand to lose the most,” by Bob Bryan. “Canada is slapping tariffs on $12.8 billion of US goods — here are the states that stand to lose the most.” Ohio, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Texas.

5. http://www.newsweek.com/trumps-tariffs-make-no-sense-treating-friends-enemies-senators-warn-953086 “Trump’s Tariffs ‘Make No Sense’ and Treat Friends Like Enemies, Senators Warn,” By Damien Sharkov. “Those set to suffer the most from the new tariffs will be Canada, Mexico and the European Union, who exported $23 billion worth of steel and aluminum to the U.S. last year.”

6. https://www.forbes.com/sites/stuartanderson/2018/06/11/evidence-that-new-tariffs-not-immigrants-costing-jobs/#1ffcfdc8313f “Evidence That New Tariffs, Not Immigrants, Are Costing Jobs,” by Stuart Anderson. “Sixteen jobs would be lost for every steel/aluminum job gained;…One reason for this result is that nearly 40 times more people in America work in jobs that use steel and aluminum than in jobs connected to producing steel and aluminum. “American workers making steel/aluminum: 170,000. American workers consuming steel/aluminum: 6.5 million,” notes trade attorney Scott Lincicome.”

7. http://fortune.com/2018/06/09/donald-trump-trade-deficit-terrified-g7-speech/ “Why American Businesses Should Be ‘Terrified’ After President Trump’s Comments on Trade,” by David Z. Morris. “In fact, the U.S. has a global surplus in service exports – Americans sell more to other countries than they buy from them. Once they’re added back to the tally, the overall U.S. trade deficit drops to $566 billion – 30% lower than Trump’s number….In reality, the U.S. has a trade surplus with Canada.”

8. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-06-12/the-1-4-trillion-u-s-surplus-that-trump-s-not-talking-about “The $1.4 Trillion U.S. ‘Surplus’ That Trump’s Not Talking About,” by Bloomberg News “For China, the image of a massive trade deficit with the U.S. “is at odds with the fact that Chinese consumers own more iPhones and buy more General Motors cars than U.S. consumers,” wrote Zhang in the report. “These cars and phones are sold to China not through U.S. exports but through Chinese subsidiaries of multinational enterprises.”…”The U.S. also ran sales surpluses with nations including Mexico and Canada but had deficits with Japan and Germany last year, Zhang wrote.”

Sustainability from a Confucian perspective- 从儒家的角度来看可持续发展

I’m improving on eating my leftovers. I combine tidbits from Tupperware containers & jars for a meal. Now these leftovers have a shelf in the ‘frig to themselves.

Confucianism sustainability

Source: [https://newsela.com/read/lib-ushistory-ancient-china-taoism-confucianism/id/32144/]

The mass devastation and environmental destruction that has resulted from the devaluation of nature in today’s capitalist economy can be considered one of the major security issues in the twenty-first century. As scholar and activist Dr. Vandana Shiva (2014) points out, ‘Nature has been subjugated to the market as a mere supplier of industrial raw material and dumping ground for waste and pollution’ (p. 14). The push by governments and corporations to unrestrictedly consume in order to develop a strong market has led to mass-scale desertification and wastage, where consumers in industrialized countries waste almost as much food as the entire net food production of sub-Saharan Africa on a yearly basis (222 million vs. 230 million tons). The United Nations Food and Agricultural report (2017) found that as one-third of the food produced for human consumption (about 1.3 billion tons) gets lost or wasted every year, uneven demographic…

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Midtown Pantry: Convenience Store/Valero Gas Station Finally Re-Opens in Tyler, Texas–by J.D. Meyer

The Midtown convenience store/Valero gas station re-opened on at 720 S. Fleishel Ave; Tyler, TX 75701 on Sunday, April 22nd. Located on the southeast corner of S. Fleishel & E. Dawson, it’s called Midtown Pantry by White Oak Pantry—a company based largely in Arkansas. It’s across the street from the new Christus Trinity Mother Francis 6-story parking garage.

The store went through extensive repairs after closing many months ago—including its sewers. Now it’s a snack grocery store (lots of chips) with a taco restaurant that sells beer and wine too. The beer selection is extensive with budget beers along with higher-priced beers. Midtown Pantry sells the strongest alcohol beverages for take-out in Tyler—Wild Irish Rose wine (various flavors) and some simulated liquor drinks—all at 17% alcohol.

Your soft tacos can be on corn or flour tortillas. The meat filling choices are coarse ground beef, chopped pork, and chopped chicken and coarse ground sausage— all mildly seasoned. The topping is a blend of sautéed sliced bell peppers and onions. Red and green salsa is available too. I bought four fried jalapenos stuffed with melted cheddar cheese for $1. Thanks to their first Taco Tuesday, my beef taco on a corn tortilla with bell peppers and onions was free! But they’ll be $1.99 from now on.

Midtown (The Hospital District) now has a wonderful new store that’s really close to both hospitals–Christus Trinity Mother Francis (TMF) & UT Health East Texas—formerly known as East Texas Medical Center (ETMC), as well as Pulmonary Specialists of Tyler, also on Fleishel. The Midtown Pantry and its location exemplify the “Eds & Meds” economy of Tyler, Texas. Cities with dominant industries of colleges and hospitals attract restaurants. Furthermore, the population of Tyler is just over 100K, but it swells to 250K during the day from those living in nearby rural towns coming to work or to see the doctor. I will return, and you should check it out too.

Xing Tan of Guizhou, China & his Plans for Tyler, TX: My Take for Assistance, 4th Edition—by J.D. Meyer

1. http://www.scmp.com/tech/enterprises/article/2102390/apple-build-massive-data-centre-chinas-new-hi-tech-hub-guizhou Apple built a data center in Guizhou’s capital city—a poor area in China!

2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guizhou General info on Guizhou, China.

3. https://www.corporationwiki.com/p/2rgbt0/america-hongyun-city-international-enterprise-group-llc Xing Tan’s (aka. Zhixing Tan) concept of Hongyun City

4. Here’s my article that’s a response to the 2010 Industry Growth Initiative (IGI) in favor of starting a branch of the Intellectual Entrepreneurship (IE) program at UT-Tyler. UT-Austin has had this consortium for decades. My article ended up at the University of Toronto’s Creative Class consortium, directed by Dr. Richard Florida.
http://www.creativeclass.com/rfcgdb/articles/Intellectual%20Entrepreneurship%20at%20The%20University%20of%20Texas.pdf

5. http://www.asiamattersforamerica.org/china/data/sistercities Nine Texas cities have Sister City relations with 12 Chinese cities. Laredo leads with three, & San Antonio has two. Fort Worth is Sister Cities with Guiyang in Guizhou province. Xing Tan is from Guizhou! ……….Check out East-West Medicine sites; many are in California.

6. http://www.chinatourguide.com/guizhou/index.html Norway & Guizhou, China started China’s first ecological museum. Lots of tea is grown in the province too.

7. http://emwcenter.com/ East Meets West Holistic Center Based in Los Angeles, the center treats depression & anxiety, weight management, stress, pain management, women’s health, and fertility. … Acupuncture, Mindfulness, and maybe Yoga are a slam dunk! Tyler has many of those types of medical facilities.

8. https://venturebeat.com/2018/02/25/how-universities-could-drive-more-innovative-research-to-market-and-share-in-the-profits/ A venture search fund model was developed at Stanford. This article was liked by UT-Tyler’s Graduate School after I posted it on Facebook!

9. http://www.forerunnercollege.com/en/Menus.aspx?id=22 Check out Guizhou Forerunner College and its corporate partners!
“GFC prides itself on partnering with a range of corporations and institutions. These partnerships aid to promote a rich learning environment for students. Businesses such as Marriott International, HTC, Lenovo, Baidu, Ecological Agriculture Co. Ltd, Red Cross Foundation and Chengdu Industrial College work closely with GFC students by providing material, job placement and internship opportunities.”
10. https://www.asbestos.com/blog/2013/12/16/traditional-chinese-medicine-herbs/ Using Traditional Chinese Medicine to Treat Lung Cancer Approximately 133 Chinese herbs have been historically used to treat lung cancer. The herbs used most frequently for lung cancer tend to exhibit healing effects on the lungs and stimulating effects to the immune system. Here are the top 6.

11. http://www.scmp.com/tech/china-tech/article/2127841/how-one-chinas-poorest-provinces-morphing-world-class-hi-tech-hub More news on Guizhong Province becoming a hi-tech hub and experiencing the 2nd highest increase I GDP among China’s provinces.

12. https://www.jiangtea.com/green-tea/meitan-cuiya-guiding-yunwu/#.WrPacLgpXCc The green tea of Guizhou grows well because of the lack of air pollution in this Chinese province.

13. http://www.freepatentsonline.com/D432868.html Polyhedral bowl by Zhixing Tan of Zunyi City. Check out a patent by Zhixing Tan (aka. Xing Tan).

SOL 18: March for Our Lives—Tyler, TX—My Statement, by J.D. Meyer

Tyler, Texas was one of the hundreds of cities which had a March for Our Lives event on Saturday March 24th from 10-Noon. It was held on the Downtown Square, just like the Dreamers event on March 6th. It was estimated that 200 people attended the event; all ages were represented, and lots of folks had signs.

Tyler is in Smith County–a city of 105K, roughly 100 miles east of Dallas. Politically, Tyler is known for always voting Republican but having a low voter turnout. Economically, Tyler is classified as an “Eds and Meds” Economy with two large hospitals and three colleges. There are lots of restaurants and hotels too. A quarter-million people work in Tyler during the day, then they go home to some small town.

Anne McCrady was the host of the event. She is locally famous for the annual Art of Peace event in Fall–as well as poetry and activism in general. We heard from Reverend Stuart Baskin, a Presbyterian minister–who gave a stirring speech at a Martin Luther King celebration several years ago. The 2010 MLK Community Celebration fulfilled Dr. King’s prediction that one day the sons of the slave master and slave would sit at the table of brotherhood together. The other keynote speaker that day was Wallace Jefferson–the first African-American Chief Justice in Texas. Reverend Baskin’s great, great grandfather once owned Judge Jefferson’s great, great grandfather! http://english.ohmynews.com/ArticleView/article_view.asp?no=385940&rel_no=1 I told him about my account of his talk that I’d had published in South Korea. His daughter remembered me as her substitute teacher at a nearby high school. Then it was time to “pass the mic around.” Here’s my take, to borrow an expression from Fareed Zakaria.

“I’m a former teacher too. Assault rifles should be for the military, not civilians. And not many military need assault rifles either–except the infantry and some others. You don’t need an assault rifle if you’re taking care of a helicopter.
We should be embarrassed at being the most dangerous advanced country. It’s not enough to be safer than Honduras.
And finally, when we closed our eyes and thought of a shooting victim, I remembered a favorite student and got misty-eyed. Not all gang violence is Crips vs. Bloods. It can be Intra-Crip violence. Thank you.”

Mrs. McCrady and I happened to attend the same church today, and she congratulated me for my talk. I visited with her husband, Dr. Mike McCrady before the service. It turns out Dr. McCrady knows my pulmonologist, Dr. Luis Destarac. This has been a good weekend.

SOL18: Assisting a Local Journalist: Future Story About Coping with Obstacles to Success Faced by Locals

I received a Facebook message from our star local newspaper’s photojournalist that she was in the process of co-authoring an article about obstacles to success faced by locals: poverty, medical/mental disabilities, incarceration, and lack of housing. I was flattered that she wanted my input; she’s been a favorite acquaintance and neighbor for a few years. You’ll notice that I added “coping” to this article.

I’m a former teacher who is disabled with COPD and asthma. To get on SSDI, I went for tests at a local hospital–East Texas Medical Center. Later I got on Medicare and became connected with the East Texas Council for independent Living (ETCIL) and entered a nursing home for eight months. I got two overdue surgeries while I was there. However, I couldn’t get discharged until I got on Medicaid and was turned down the first time. So I went to the Records Department of ETMC and got a complete list of my Emergency Room visits for the previous four years. Most of y’all have probably heard that Texas is the largest state not to have Medicaid expansion. It’s so wonderful to have Cigna health care. I get maintenance medicine, have a pulmonologist and a G.P. that are really great and nice, and discovered what else was wrong with me health-wise. I study my Asthma-COPD Overlap Syndrome and have a binder and a couple of folders on the illness; some articles are by me on my Word Press.

I mentioned that I went to the City of Tyler Neighborhood Services to get an apartment rental discount through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The local center for independent living relocation specialist facilitated the process. Later when I moved across town, I did it all myself. Before I got on Meals on Wheels and SNAP Food Stamps, I went to a couple of local food pantries once per month.

Besides specifically telling her to call Neighborhood Services and ETCIL, I told her about my main volunteer activity: East Texas Human Needs Network (ETHNN). We have five committees: Education, Employment, Healthcare, Housing, & Transportation. Transportation is my main focus because I ride the bus regularly, as I quit driving several years ago. I’ve arranged field trips with lunch for all five lines. We went to both shopping centers, two grocery stores, and Neighborhood Services. I also attend Education and Healthcare committee meetings.If more people rode the bus, we’d have less traffic, pollution, and more bus routes.

Just between us for now, I’ve really been trying to advertise the importance of finding a match between personality and college major choice/vocation. The local university wants to improve its graduation rate, so I sent my article on the topic to a couple of friends who work there. Furthermore, career counseling centers should advertise the free online Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) instruments.

To conclude for now, I told the photojournalist that I may not make much money, but I don’t spend much either. Just because one may be a retired teacher (prematurely, in my case), a teacher never quits teaching.

SOL18: Recent Highlights: Supporting the Dreamers, Pulmonologist Visit Followed by Long Walk, and Reaction to Resilience Talk, by JD Meyer

After writing a lengthy description of the first part of the Transportation Works Conference in Waco on Thursday, March 1st, I’ve missed doing blogs since then.

This afternoon, I went to a DACA Dreamers event downtown and held up a beautiful sign for the cause that had a picture of a big butterfly. Apparently, butterflies are symbols for the cause since they don’t have to worry about national boundaries. I’d gone shopping at La Michoacana on my way there, and bought two jars of pickled nopalitos (cactus), spicy tamarind candy, granola, and more. A photographer took a picture of my groceries and outfit—a red T-shirt with a Maya pyramid, a cap with a flag of Mexico, and a long-sleeved shirt with a Mexican design. She talked into her fancy cell phone too. Watch for me on a Mexican TV station! I met the principal of one of one of Tyler’s two high schools at the event–quite a pleasant surprise.

Yesterday, I read and commented on three SOL blogs. One was about how multicultural education is needed to reflect the composition of your class. Another was a response to the prompt, “If you really knew me, then…” The other was about a mom taking care of her baby.

Earlier that day, I got a pulmonology exam and showed improvement since October. Since I moved in February and started going to three committee meetings instead of one for my favorite non-profit, I’ve missed pulmonology rehabilitation meetings, so I was told to go get a new evaluation. Not only had I improved in the past four or five months, but I’m better than when I first started going to a pulmonologist in 2012! I brought a backpack full of folders and binders on my research of asthma and COPD: original articles, journal articles, drug descriptions, and illness descriptions from the hospital emergency room.

Ironically, I missed my bus transfer on the way home, so I took a less direct bus (straight south) and walked several blocks to the southeast in one hour and 12 minutes! I finally used a $25 gift card to buy a book at a store on the way—something on urban studies. Aren’t we supposed to be vague and not try to sell the book nor the store? On my walk, I found some artificial flowers too—white, yellow, and red. I wash out fancy beverage cans and convert them into industrial art vases.

I heard a fine talk on resilience on Sunday at church. References were made to plants by the speaker, a biology professor. That got me thinking about the concept. Resilience is the opposite of being fragile or showing withdrawn shame and a lack of assertiveness. I feel more resilient since my move across town.

SOL18: Report on TX SILC Transportation Works Summit to ETHNN Transportation Cmte, Part 1 by JD Meyer

I attended the 2nd annual Transportation Works Summit in Waco, TX “Collaboration & Connectivity” on Thursday, January 25 through Friday, January 26th in Waco. Last year’s conference was in Austin, and the theme was “Identifying & Removing Barriers through Innovation.” Major topics included city transit, paratransit, Uber and Lyft, violation of parking for the handicapped, and sidewalk concerns. If there was less dependence on cars, there would be increased efficiency and safety because there would be fewer cars on the road.

The first speakers were from the Texas A&M Transportation Institute. Their topic was “Emerging Issues & Advances in Accessible Transportation.” Low-vision people can be helped through Smart Cane Assistive Navigation (SCAN). Pathway Solutions for wheelchairs examines sidewalk conditions and curb cuts. Carnegie Mellon developed smart phones with traffic signals.
Houston METRO has 12 routes with 2400 stops and aspires to have 9600 stops. Plus, they’re being funded by Google! Houston also has a paratransit feeder service pilot program. It serves an area within a ¾ mile area around fixed routes, as well as beyond the required area. Capital Metro of Austin’s grant application, Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP IDEA), integrates transit and pedestrian planning. The technology is Open Source, so anyone can use it. San Antonio has a bunch of bond initiatives, including sidewalks.

The speaker hoped that someday sidewalks would be viewed as important as roads. Later we heard from Brian East, that sidewalks built after 1-27-92 must have curb ramps. Brian East works for Disability Rights Texas.
As for other states, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority has a paratransit agreement with Uber and Lyft. Washington Metro Area has an on-demand paratransit that’s partly subsidized and allows service animals. Some places are experimenting with autonomous vehicles; that means they can drive themselves without a driver. Texas A&M has low-speed autonomous vehicles that are golf cart look-alikes for its giant campus. Automated Vehicle proving grounds are in seven Texas cities: Arlington, Austin, Bryan-College Station, Corpus Christi, Huston, and San Antonio.

Wheelchair passengers riding planes is a concern as a staggering 98% of them don’t travel by plane. However, more children would survive a plane wreck than a car wreck. Qstraint is the leader of wheelchair tie down services, and it’s passed a 20G crash test—doubled in eight years! Wheelchair test criteria examines if the rider would be thrown out of a plane, fall over on its side, be ripped away from the floor, and if the straps were adequate. Partnerships have developed between airlines, plane manufacturers, wheelchair manufacturers, and universities. Recall that Collaboration & Connectivity was the theme of the 2018 transportation summit.

At the Lunch Panel, we found out that Texas is a leader in accessible buildings. There have been efforts to move into rural areas with Uber and Lyft because the drivers would have their own vehicles. Public transport is stronger when cities are bigger. It’s expensive for transit to run paratransit.

Upon hearing that paratransit can be hampered by a lack of funds, when I returned to Tyler, I proposed that we look for the for-profit businesses that would have a vested interest in paratransit and get a tax deduction for donations! “Eds and Meds” place like East Texas Medical Center (ETMC) and UT Health-NE are the most obvious. But how about banks? Tyler has a bunch, and it could be really good public relations. Then a lawyer friend suggested looking for businesses that have a large percentage of employees using Tyler Transit as possible donors.

#SOL My New Apartment, by JD Meyer

I moved to a new and improved apartment at the start of February 2018. It’s my fourth neighborhood in Tyler: South, North, East-Central (Midtown/Hospital District), and now Southeast. My new place is almost double the size of my previous efficiency! It’s a one-bedroom with a dining room, dishwasher, and balcony.

I still receive a HUD discount and received a lot of help from Neighborhood Services when I was trying to move. I’m a retired teacher on SSDI with COPD among other issues. My major teaching fields were Developmental English/Writing, the pre-College Composition remedial education course, and ESOL. I at least subbed in all grades from PK-12.

Choosing a good location isn’t easy–especially if you ride the bus or walk and no longer drive. For example, there are a couple of apartment complexes in Far North Tyler that are on the other side of a river and a few miles away from any stores. Another time, I hiked a couple of blocks east to find an apartment complex that cost less than average but nowhere near a HUD discount. Now I live close to a giant WalMart and a few convenience stores with plenty of beer. I’m close to a bus stop, though not as many as before.

Importantly, I’m quite near East Texas Human Needs Network (ETHNN)–the non-profit organization where I’ve volunteered for several years. We have five committees: Education, Employment, Healthcare, Housing, and Transportation. Transportation has been my major focus, but I’ve also gone to Education and Healthcare meetings too. I’ve organized Tyler Transit field trips with lunch for each of the five lines–going to both malls, two grocery stores, and Neighborhood Services. Now I’m going to more meetings than ever and doing more research too. They helped me with the move financially, and a neighbor non-profit donated some wide metal file cabinets to me! All this excitement occurred a week after my all-expense paid trip to Waco for my second Transportation Works conference for Texas Society of Independent Living Councils (TX SILC). Last year, my Cigna representative nominated me as a Consumer Advocate for Transportation(CAT), one of 30 in Texas and the only CAT in Tyler. Our Transportation conference was in Austin last year.

I just called the two Neighborhood Services ladies, and they got my note under one of their department’s cars that was in my complex’s parking lot a week or so ago. I went two weeks without TV, phone, and Internet. Glad to have seen a rerun of the Super Bowl last Sunday night. I’ll return after some more breakfast–anew invention–guacamole dip with cold collard greens, chopped onions, pickled cactus (nopalitos), minced garlic, cilantro, and spices. I’ve been more creative lately.

Just did some editing after the Healthcare Committee meeting; last Tuesday was the Education Committee meeting and next Tuesday is the Transportation Committee meeting. I’ve revived my Bilingual All-Level Academic Vocabulary (BALAV) project, as well as publicizing the Intellectual Entrepreneurship (IE) consortium at UT-Austin again. Much of my motivation, besides the kindness of my movers, is the UT-Tyler President’s plans for university improvement and the upcoming arrival of Chinese businessman, who wants to build condominiums, bring exchange students and retirees, and research East-West medicine. Earlier in the week, I sent my article on the personality type-major-vocation choice link to the UT-Tyler Faculty Senate President. That was my answer to improving the graduation rate.

Hopefully next Tuesday, I’ll describe some of my interior decorating moves–such as hubcaps and a bar stool look great on a balcony. Plus, my review of the Transportation Works conference in Waco will be due. Do you think for-profit businesses with a vested interest in the senior population would donate to local transit to help finance a struggling paratransit service for tax deductions?