SOL 17: City Planning Meeting

I attended a city planning meeting about the widening of I-16, an east-west street north of Tyler that turns into Hubbard, once it hits Lindale, the most expanding town in East Texas. This road crosses the northern boundary of Hideaway Lake. It’s north of I-20, a major highway that goes to Dallas. I was invited to attend the meeting by the Director of the Transportation Committee of the East Texas Human Needs Network (ETHNN).

I took the opportunity to voice my concerns about raggedy sidewalks. Currently, sidewalks may not be repaired with asphalt. I’ve suggested twice that we start by applying a strip of asbestos when on cement block is higher than the next block. This would prevent tripping. A nurse friend broke her hand under such conditions a couple of years ago! Alternatives to the car must be nice, not just possible. The poor will put up with torn up sidewalks because we have no choice. But more bus riders would relieve street congestion.

Once again, I suggested that bike racks be installed at the central bus hub near Downtown Tyler on Oakwood, as well as at the Bergfeld Center in the south.

Anyway, I took a bus to get most of the way to the meeting, but I walked home–a distance of 1.1 miles. Is that COPD Olympics or what?…lol

Proposed Budget Cutbacks to the Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD)–Including the End of Community Development Block Grants (CDBG)

Trump’s budget proposal have severely threatened the Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD). Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) would be destroyed. Apartment rent subsidies for the poor would be in trouble too–especially since it’s a federal-only program, unlike Meals-on-Wheels. Let’s check an article from The Atlantic on this proposal. How Trump’s Budget Would Impact Cities’ Poorest Residents

I brought my annual apartment subsidy paperwork to our Neighborhood Services office, located on West Gentry & Palace on the North Side. While I waited for the Green South bus, I not only ate and shopped, but copied information on the Community Development Block Grant program.

Let’s start with the definition of how Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) funds are used. They “may be used for public facility and infrastructure improvements in low income areas. The funds are concentrated in the annual “target area” for a variety of projects, including street renovations, curbs and gutters, sidewalks, and water, sewer and drainage improvements.” Park improvements may be to create new parks or enhance existing parks. There’s also a Home Buyer Assistance Program that includes using the voucher towards buying a house, provided the individual completes Home Buyer Education workshops. Here’s the description of CDBG on the City of Tyler website, including eligible and ineligible activities. http://www.cityoftyler.org/Departments/NeighborhoodServices/CommunityDevelopment/CDBG.aspxCity of Tyler: Neighborhood Services, CDBG

As you can see, these HUD programs are relatives of infrastructure repair programs. My voucher keeps me from spending over half my SSDI (disability)check in rent. At least I have one more year. My COPD has improved from severe to moderate in the past year, contrary to folk belief that we either get worse or stay the same. Let’s save these fine programs in the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

SOL Tuesday: Printing at the Library & Some Nice Satire

I scurried to the Downtown Tyler Library this afternoon because my home computer was too slow, and I wanted to print a favorite contemporary article on Confucianism. I didn’t realize it was 12 pages! Then I printed my 2-page talk on the Transportation Conference in Austin at the East TX Human Needs Network (ETHNN) Transportation Committee meeting. Appropriately, I rode four out of five bus lines that day.

I’m going to look up something funny on my Facebook page from my birthday week. In the meantime, have a definition of sustainability. “Sustainability is a difficult term to define, as many view it in different ways. Essentially, it can be defined as it was at the world’s first Earth Summit in 1992 – maintaining operations and development that “meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” From @CompareFootprin

Whoops, I’m not sure about my funny story since it’s political; however, the caption is Nice Satire. Anyway, one of my friends was so amused that he bought me some treats at the local restaurant hangout. It’s hard to scroll three weeks back on one’s active Facebook page. To summarize, I asserted to Former President Barack Obama that if he was “tapping” my efficiency’s computer, then he’d know I’d make a great family traveling companion to Hawaii or Alsace, France. That was the weird story of Mid-March.

My research in the Confucian tradition began in the early 80’s, largely by reading two fine journals published by the University of Hawaii’s East-West Center, That’s where Obama’s parents met! Furthermore, my grandfather, Joe Leo Meyer, fled Alsace for Victoria, Texas to live with his Uncle Xavier when the Germans conquered Alsace in 1890. Grandfather lived in Blodelsheim, a small village outside of Strausberg, the capital and where President Obama’s mother’s side of the family lived.

Perhaps I should use this blog to suggest a third trip: Indonesia. President Obama lived there when he was a kid, and I’m Twitter friends with the Director of the Jaringan Islam Liberals, Ulil Abshar-Abdallah. Furthermore, there’s a Confucian Church in Indonesia that I used to read about a decade ago. The late Dr. Thomas Kang, a former Library of Congress scholar, moved there and was a major author for those Indonesian Confucians.

Anyway, it’s getting late and time for dinner. By the way, I crossed 7000 Twitter followers today after only 24.5K tweets since my start in October 2011.

First April 2017 #SliceOfLife & I’m a Day Late! Spring Cleaning +

OK, technically this SOL entry may not count because Tuesday was yesterday. Nevertheless, I’m ready to ramble. Plus, I love reading old Slice of Life stories from 2015 when I was active. Right now, I’m waiting for the annual apartment inspection by Neighborhood Services, which will determine if I keep getting a subsidy. This wonderful program is through the Department of Housing & Urban Development(HUD). It’s in danger of being cut in Trump’s budget proposal. Without the program, 60% of my SSDI would go to rent.

Anyway, I’ve been on a serious Spring Cleaning binge. Plenty of old papers have gone to the dumpster, and I’ve gone through a bottle of purple, generic Fabuloso floor cleaner. (Break to sweep maroon rug). I’m back. I focused on different parts of the efficiency each day. A major change was moving a laundry basket from the path to the second closet!

I’ve been playing catch-up on Twitter followers. I started on Twitter in October 2011. Now I’m up to 24.3K tweets and around 6900 followers; they’re on every continent and 1/3 are outside the USA.

I’m watching “Live with Kelly” while I type my day-late SOL. I was really happy to hear Kelly Ripa tell about some man who corrects grammar and spelling mistakes on signs. She added that poor grammar is a pet peeve of hers, and feels that schools don’t really teach grammar much anymore because of grammar checks on computers and no more cursive teaching. When I taught Developmental English/Writing, I only allowed for one of the essays to be on the computer for that very reason. I’d give two grades on each essay–grammar and writing. I read every essay and corrected grammar before returning a second time to evaluate writing style. A new Twitter writing education reminded me of that practice. Do you think “narrative” is a good tag for this post?

Last night at my nearby “watering hole” was extra special because I got to visit a couple of friends from my previous neighborhood–Chris and Calvin from the North Side. Then Facebook revealed today is Chris’s birthday! I joked on the site. “You’re kidding! I just saw you at Stanley’s Famous Bar-B-Q last night…” Let’s say I’m more conservative than in the past, so these two friends are folks I’d like to see more nowadays.

I’ve become a fan of spicy chicharrones, aka. fried pork rinds but sometimes they’re wheat. Way back when, I tried the soft version of chicharrones and didn’t like them, so I didn’t try the snack version is a bag. Golden Flake, Louisiana Hot Sauce pork rinds are my current favorite. Takis in most flavors also get my attention. I just made myself hungry.