There was a palpably plaintive tone to the comments of Fondren Southwest (and nearby) residents who went before the Houston City Council earlier this week to plead, literally, for a heightened police presence in the crime-besieged area. They told the same sort of stories we’ve been hearing for months now---that things were getting bad crime-wise along the Fondren Corridor before the Katrina evacuees arrived, but since then the area’s been inundated by a tide of random gangsta-ism, and all the short-handed police can do is grab a pail and bail.
One resident used the terms “under siege” and “war zone,” and from the descriptions he and others offered, it didn’t sound like rhetorical overkill.
We didn’t hear any animosity directed at the mayor over this turn of the events, at least during the part of the meeting we caught on The Municipal Channel, but you can bet that it’s simmering there below the surface. We’d presume that White’s smart enough to have figured that out and is moving to get serious about the predicament, lest he jeopardize that bright political future he no doubt envisions for himself.
Meanwhile, we lost all respect for Council member Ada Edwards after watching her high-hat (with barely concealed exasperation/disdain) the president of the Maplewood West Civic Club over his entreaty that somebody please do something about the problem. We understand that the councilwoman is backing one of the Two Guys Who Aren’t Al Edwards (no relation, we think) in next week’s Democratic primary, and her performance made us briefly consider (but just briefly) casting our lot with Al, whose quarter-century in the state House is testament to the truth of the G. Harold Carswell Maxim that mediocre people deserve a little representation, too. (Very little, in Al's case.)
… And in case you missed it, check out the truly wonderful sidebar to the Houston Chronicle’s Thursday Enron coverage, wherein the paper suggests that Jeff Skilling may be sharing digs, or at least a mailbox, with college buddy Jim Dent, the wastrel, drinking-and-driving author of The Junction Boys (a good idea for a book), who, somewhat to our dismay, has already been sprung from the state corrections system. This is a coupling that's almost too good to be true. Perhaps Skilling is assisting Dent with his rehab (and if so, that’s good!)
We couldn’t find this story in the online version of the Chronicle, but it’s worth digging the Thursday paper our of the trash, if you have to.
Or maybe we just dreamed this ...