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Planet Houston

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  1. OK fine, y’all are right. This blows.
  2. Shit loss, but Paredes is fucking nasty. Great performance out of him. I know I’m not the only one who is reminded of Octavio Dotel when he’s out there. Fun shit to watch. PS y’all are a bunch of pussies
  3. 160,000 are dead, motherfucker. There’s no such thing as non-apocalyptic numbers in the US anymore - too late for that. You’re so transparent. 🖕
  4. I have taken four tests. I have received zero calls after any of them - including a positive test (turned out to certainly be a false positive). I have lots of friends who have been tested. I haven’t heard of one contact tracing experience.
  5. I’ll take that trade all day every day. They did their job. Edit - I really don’t mean to diminish the win. It was a great performance without Westbrook. House has been so much better in this role since the restart that I’m not sure we miss Gordon too much. Sure as shit if he’s shooting like he was pre-shutdown.
  6. Did their job against the LBJ-less Lakers. Great game from Harden. 🤘
  7. User name is appropriate yada yada
  8. This blast was apparently sent out by a parent in West University, where a cadre of parents are protesting schools starting online. Please feel free to give your unabashed opinions. July 2020 - Thoughts and Questions on Physical School Reopening in Houston Highlights · Adults need to get educated on the recommendations published by trusted organizations, particularly AAP and CDC, regarding physical school reopening o Multiple resources provided below · Parents must ask key questions regarding HISD, city and county-level decision-making on physical school reopening o Key questions to ask below · Opinions and recommendations among Parents will inevitably vary. Regardless, Parents must be proactive in educating themselves and give their children a voice. o Take action: email your local leaders to demand accountability and transparency – email addresses and suggested message below Situation Overview We sit here, nearing the end of July, seemingly deeper into the COVID “fog of war” than we were two months ago. Unfortunately, there appears to be an unacceptable level of ignorance regarding what we do and do not know about COVID. News is dominated by political sniping and anecdotal stories rather than facts in context. This is particularly true in the context of the school reopening debate. By now you hopefully have heard about the various reports and studies recommending that schools physically reopen this fall. Below are links to a few of these reports, issued by organizations such as the American Association of Pediatrics, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, and, most recently, the CDC. (Links to each report: here, here and here). To be very clear, these reports are not political documents. They provide objective / data-driven recommendations on the policies and procedures that schools should follow in order to physically reopen in the fall. Importantly, they are very clear that each school district must adapt to its particular situation i.e. what is the COVID situation in that particular community. There is no one size fits all solution across the country. However, there is an overarching philosophy that motivates the conclusion in these reports. It is very simple yet continuously overlooked amidst the political sniping and finger pointing - the negative consequences of not physically reopening outweigh the risks associated with COVID. It is worth considering how these organizations arrived at similar conclusions. Did they ignore the fact that we are in the midst of global pandemic? Are they indifferent toward the safety of teachers, staff and administrators? Do they not understand the dangers associated with COVID? Surely not. In fact, they have examined these risks very closely and concluded that measures can be taken to minimize the risk to students, teachers and staff. Consider that closely - the analysis is realistically focused on minimizing, not eliminating, the risk of spreading COVID. Of course, the zero-risk approach is for everyone to stay home until we have a vaccine or the virus simply goes away. Measures such as masks and face shields, with the primary focus on protecting adults. So what about the negative consequences of not physically reopening? The CDC report summarizes it well: “At the same time, the harms attributed to closed schools on the social, emotional, and behavioral health, economic well-being, and academic achievement of children, in both the short- and long-term, are well-known and significant. Further, the lack of in-person educational options disproportionately harms low-income and minority children and those living with disabilities. These students are far less likely to have access to private instruction and care and far more likely to rely on key school-supported resources like food programs, special education services, counseling, and after-school programs to meet basic developmental needs.” Questions for Local Leaders Despite the above, many school districts - including HISD and others in Houston - have already delayed physical reopening until at least October 19th. On Friday, July 24th, County Judge Hidalgo ordered all non-religious public schools (i.e. non-HISD public schools within Harris County, like Spring Branch ISD) to delay physical reopening until at least September 7th. The rationale is that the local COVID situation is too severe to allow schools to physically reopen. Recognizing that decisions have already been made (i.e. I am not here to litigate what has already been decided, even if I do not agree with it), I am willing to stipulate that our local leaders (Mayor Turner, County Judge Hidalgo, members of school Boards, et al): · have read or been briefed extensively on the aforementioned reports; · understand that this is not a one-sided equation (i.e. that the costs of not physically reopening are real; · have weighed the costs of physically reopening and believe they outweigh the benefits; and · are willing to stand behind a transparent discussion of this balancing act i.e. what are the long-term educational, social and economic impacts of delayed reopening? Parents must then ask the following questions: 1. What conditions must we see in Houston / Harris County to allow schools to physically reopen? a. Are there specific metrics being used to make decisions? b. What source are we relying on? c. Are all school boards using the same metrics? d. Are school boards using the same metrics as city and county leaders? 2. Does either the Mayor and/or the County Judge have a forecast of when these metrics will be met? . Based on current testing trends in Houston, is October 19th even a realistic date for a physical reopening? a. Based on current trends, when will local COVID conditions meet the required metrics referenced in 1a? 3. Is HISD going to maintain an “all or nothing” approach to physical reopening? . Why not create a contingency plan that allows K-4 grades to physically reopen this fall? Every report concludes that physical reopening should prioritize younger children, namely K - 4th grade. 4. Will HISD consider the potential to prioritize at-risk students as the first to return to school? Conclusion Every parent should be keenly focused on how and when schools are physically re-opened, regardless of whether or not your children attend public schools. School districts are setting the tone for the entire education system in our area, which has implications for so many facets of life. Decisions are being made and parents need to get in the game by requiring accountability and transparency from our local leaders. Finally, a few general qualifiers to avoid the inevitable reflexive politicized talking points. My intent is not to play politics or create another flash point. Everyone wants to go “back to normal” - parents, students, teachers, administrator. I do not for a second think that anyone in the education system is trying to avoid a physical reopening. Teachers chose the profession because they love it. And we all love our teachers. Again, I think we have to assume our leaders are making decisions in good faith, with a full understanding of the relevant facts. However, true leadership requires transparency and accountability, allowing all stakeholders to have a voice. Politicians and school boards are entrusted with their platform and authority. On this critical decision, parents and children should also have that platform. I believe these are the questions that must be asked before we find ourselves in a series of recurring delays until 2021, if not longer. Every parent should have a sense of urgency on this topic. TAKE ACTION Write emails to our local leaders. Email addresses and suggested text are below - or simply forward this email to local leaders. They need to hear from voters. For ease I have provided email addresses for Mayor Turner, County Judge Hidalgo and all of the HISD Trustees. · Email Addresses Mayor Turner and County Judge Hidalgo judge.hidalgo@cjo.hctx.net, sylvester.turner@houstontx.gov HISD Trustee Emails Sue.Deigaard@houstonisd.org, wadams2@houstonisd.org, Judith.Cruz@houstonisd.org, Patricia.Allen2@houstonisd.org, Daniela.Hernandez@houstonisd.org, Elizabeth.Santos@houstonisd.org, Kathy.BluefordDaniels@houstonisd.org, Holly.flynnvilaseca@houstonisd.org, Anne.Sung@houstonisd.org · Suggested text for email to local leaders We Demand Accountability and Transparency - Questions Regarding Physical School Reopening Mayor Turner, County Judge Hidalgo and HISD Trustees, I respectfully ask that you address the following questions in regards to school reopening. We demand accountability and transparency on decisions being made throughout our local government. Thank you, [INSERT NAME] 1. What conditions must we see in Houston/Harris County to allow schools to physically reopen? a. Are there specific metrics being used to make decisions? b. What source are we relying on? c. Are all school boards using the same metrics? d. Are school boards using the same metrics as city and county leaders? 2. Does either the Mayor and/or the County Judge have a forecast of when these metrics will be met? . Based on current testing trends in Houston, is October 19th even a realistic date for a physically reopening? 3. Is HISD going to maintain an “all or nothing” approach to physical reopening? . Every report concludes that physical reopening should prioritize younger children, namely K - 4th grade. Why not create a contingency plan that allows K-4 grades to physically reopen this fall? 4. Will HISD consider the potential to prioritize at-risk students as the first to return to school? Key Resources (Not Comprehensive!) · School Reopening o American Association of Pediatrics: COVID-19 Planning Considerations: Guidance for School Re-entry o National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine: Schools Should Prioritize Reopening in Fall 2020, Especially for Grades K-5, While Weighing Risks and Benefits o CDC: The Importance of Reopening America’s Schools this Fall o The Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity: Reopening America’s Schools and Colleges During COVID-19 · COVID Stats o Texas Daily Stats: Texas HHS o Houston Daily Testing and Capacity Stats: TMC Daily COVID Stats o Stats on COVID Impact by Age: CDC · Other Articles / Resources o What Parents Can Learn From Child Care Centers That Stayed Open During Lockdowns o Study: Household COVID-19 infection rarely starts with children § “Counterpoint” study: Older Children Spread the Coronavirus Just as Much as Adults, Large Study Finds o No known case of teacher catching coronavirus from pupils, says scientist
  9. So I presume Pressley is the new closer? Is he even healthy?
  10. Ha, that’s exactly what I texted my buddies. Followed by basking in the glory of Harden forcing Giannis into that turnover.
  11. Seems to me this rule isn’t going to have the intended consequences of shortening games significantly. Maybe slightly. I’ll be interested to see how the numbers look at the end of the season.
  12. Heard on the radio today that we are leading the AL in runs and in runners left on. The offense will be fine, chill.
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