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The QueQue

The QueQue, June 8, 2011

Camp Bullis: Trees today, trees tomorrow

If we had a Doomsday Clock at Current HQ (something we’ve been seriously considering — since, like, way before the last non-rapture rapture), some poor intern would be tasked with pushing the minute hand forward this week. What with official word that the Drug War has failed, our cell phones are killing us, and — what’s this? — the cartels are building tanks in Tamaulipas? If anything out there has tempered our scary-bad assessment on regional affairs, it would have to be the fact that San Antonio has (apparently) survived a swipe in the Lege after our tree-protecting powers in the extra-territorial jurisdiction in Bexar County. By the time the Lege gets another shot in two years, James Cannizzo, environmental attorney for Camp Bullis, expects to have purchased all the mitigation credits the military needs to say, finally, that Bullis has fulfilled its obligations to the Golden-cheeked warbler. But that doesn’t mean he won’t be back before the Lege in 2013 supporting tree protections again. “If we have to go up again in two years, we’ll do it,” Cannizzo said. “Long-term we’re better off if we have the tree ordinance.”

After all, threatened clear-cuts — which could push the region deep into non-compliance with expected tightening air quality measures — could still crimp the Camp’s style. “Whenever the EPA finally gets around to doing that re-designation of ozone we’re probably going to be two rungs down in non-compliance, so the more trees we have around the better. If everyone wants these military installations to grow, they need to get a handle on [air quality].”

 

Charlie Gonzalez meets Gerry Mander

An overly GOP-friendly congressional map that cleared the Senate Monday and will likely sail through the House has Democrats and Hispanic groups seething. But was anyone expecting ruling Repubs to play fair with redistricting? Sure, we expected they’d draw Austin liberal U.S. Rep Lloyd Doggett into a heavily red district (and they did), but when they took on SA’s Charlie Gonzalez, that was too much.

On the senate floor Monday, state Senator Carlos Uresti said Republicans typically score 55 percent of the vote in Texas, yet the new map is designed to give over 70 percent of the state’s seats to GOP congressman. “In what world would this be seen as proportional?” he said.

Luis Figueroa, a legislative attorney with MALDEF, called the new plan “retrogressive,” saying it ignores that Latinos accounted for 65 percent of the state’s population growth over the past decade and actually cuts away at existing Hispanic-majority districts. While the map creates a new Hispanic-majority district between San Antonio and Austin, it carves out heavy portions of Charlie Gonzalez’s District 20 so that it is no longer a Hispanic-majority district, Figueroa said.

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