Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Houston We Have A Problem!

Houston, Texas was snubbed for one of the four retired space shuttles…really? Are we to believe that the home of mission control; the place that first heard the words “one giant leap for mankind”; the place many astronauts have made their home will not receive an orbiter?

The city of Houston is deeply rooted in the institution that is the space program. Anyone ever heard of the Astrodome; the eighth wonder of the world? Houston even named their sports teams in accordance with the space program…the Astros, the Rockets, the Comets. One of the nicknames for our town is Space City! Not to mention we are the home of the NASA - Johnson Space Center which houses mission control and the astronaut training facility and Space Center Houston.

City of Houston mayor, Annise Parker was quoted as saying, “This is certainly disappointing, but not entirely unexpected as the Administration has been hinting that Houston would not be a winner in this political competition. I am disappointed for Houston, the JSC family and the survivors of the Columbia and Challenger missions who paid the ultimate price for the advancement of space exploration. There was no other city with our history of human space flight or more deserving of a retiring orbiter. It is unfortunate that political calculations have prevailed in the final decision."

The Administration Ms. Parker refers to are currently residing in Washington, DC, which brings up another interesting point. The number one criteria for receiving an orbiter was that the city must have significant ties to the space program. Houston and Florida should have been tied in that category. I’m not the only one who finds it funny that the other three states receiving shuttles are “blue” states…apparently Ms. Parker does too. Why President O…you knew there was no way you would ever win Texas so you decided to screw Houston? Hmmm

The biggest crusher of all is that New York City is the recipient of one of the orbiters. A city that has absolutely NO ties to the space program whatsoever.

Representative Jason Chaffetz of Utah has introduced the bill “Space Shuttle Retirement Act” of 2011. The bill orders that the shuttles be sent to Florida, California, Washington…and Houston. In response to Rep. Chaffetz bill, Senator Charles Shumer, Dem., New York said, “I say to the people in Houston: When people all around the world - in London and Tokyo and Paris and Buenos Aires - say 'Gee I can't wait for my trip to Houston,' then (they) can have a shuttle. Until then, it's staying in New York because New York is where it belongs." Shumer went on to bastardize a famous Texas saying, coining the term, “Don’t mess with New York.”

You know who can’t wait for their trip to Houston, the 160,000 patients that visit the Texas Medical Center from all over the world every single day, that’s who. Mr. Shumer probably isn’t familiar with the largest medical facility in the world. In his eyes we probably all ride horses and raise cattle. Another group of people that can’t wait for their trip to Houston are the ones looking for jobs. I assume Mr. Shumer also doesn’t know that Houston is the oil capital of the world. And who else would love to see that space shuttle in it’s real home of Houston, Texas, the more than four million people who live here!

The saddest thing of all is the slap in the face this decision gives to the widows and widowers of the Challenger and Columbia disasters. Here’s what they had to say about it.

We are heartbroken to learn of the decision that the Space Shuttle will not be allowed to return home to Houston. Home is where the heart is, and Houston has served as the heart of the space shuttle program since its inception nearly four decades ago. All the astronauts lost were Houston's residents. We again share a collective loss as a result of the political decision to send the space shuttle elsewhere. We had prayed that the incredible sacrifices this community has endured would have allowed the shuttle's legacy to continue here. Although we disagree with this decision, we will persevere in our support of space exploration, just as we have done in the past.
Evelyn Husband Thompson
Jonathan Clark
Sandy Anderson
Lorna Onizuka
Cheryl McNair

On Houston being snubbed on receiving an orbiter, Apollo astronaut, Gene Cernan said it is an example of "politics over history."

New York, you definitely have a problem.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Interview With Annette O’Hare

Today we will be interviewing an up and coming author who I know you will want to read, well as soon as she’s published that is! Her name is Annette O’Hare. Annette hail’s from Deep South Texas, just north of Houston.

Interviewer: So tell me Annette, what are you working on right now?

Annette: Oh, so glad you asked! I’m currently working on a historical romance novel set during the Civil War.

Interviewer: Can you tell us a little bit about the book?

Annette: Of course. Main character, Margaret Logan’s fiancĂ© is killed in the war. And to add to her misery she’s been uprooted from the magnificent city of New Orleans and moved to desolate Bolivar Point, Texas. Her father, a lighthouse keeper, is re-commissioned to man the Bolivar light only to find upon their arrival that the lighthouse has been completely dismantled because of the war.

Interviewer: Interesting. So where does the real conflict come in?

Annette: Well, the action starts when Margaret comes across a severely wounded Union soldier washed up at the bay. Because her fiancé died at the hands of the North, Margaret instantly hates this man. Much to her surprise, her parents insist on bringing him to their home to nurse him back to health.

Interviewer: Sounds Interesting! Did the book require much research?

Annette: Most people have no idea how much work goes into researching a historical novel. Fortunately I really love this part of the novel writing experience. I happen to have a connection to the lighthouse at Bolivar Point, a real place that’s featured in the book. You see, my great aunt was married to the man who bought the lighthouse at auction in 1947. One of the two houses adjacent to the lighthouse bears the name “Maxwell” which is my grandmother’s maiden name. I understand that a Maxwell currently lives in the house with his young wife. I would love to meet them.

Interviewer: Wow! That would be wonderful.

Annette: Yes, especially if I could hand them a signed copy of my book! Hi I’m your cousin. We’ve never met, but I would like to give you a copy of the novel I wrote about this lighthouse.

Interviewer: Hilarious! Well, Annette I’ve enjoyed our interview and thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk with me.

Annette:  And I thank you. I hope we can talk again soon so I can tell the readers about another book I have in the works for young adult readers called Puppy Ciao!