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A Closer Look: The ins and outs of a few important races

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The QueQue

The QueQue: Pearl to get railroaded, ACLU sues ICE, CCA over Hutto assaults, TCEQ’s plot to destroy the planet exposed

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“I am deeply concerned that the synopsis of a peer-reviewed, fact-based scientific study is apparently subject to a state agency’s capricious bowdlerization,” she wrote TCEQ chairman Bryan Shaw on October 19. “That three members of the scientific community” — Anderson and two co-editors of the project, Jim Lester and Lisa Gonzalez with the Houston Advanced Research Center — “have stated they do not want their names associated with the report as currently edited by TCEQ provides sufficient reason to assert that the report no longer reflects science.”

In the letter, Van de Putte writes that she “cannot help but arrive at the conclusion” that the edits were made because of ideology, not science, and goes on to quote philosopher John Stuart Mill: “We can never be sure that the opinion we are endeavoring to stifle is a false opinion; and if we were sure, stifling it would be an evil still.” Though she had hoped for some justification from Shaw, her office staff reports that none has arrived. Perhaps we’re all supposed to share TCEQ spokesthing Andy Saenz’s comment to Reuters when he complained that: “Using a word like censorship is very powerful. It isn’t censorship to accurately report in our document what we believe. That’s being responsible. That’s being accurate.”

Honestly, they’re probably still looking up “bowdlerization.”

 

Attaboy: Build SA Green bags KB Homes

Build San Antonio Green has been recognized year after year as one of the best smart-building resources in the nation. They’ve been lathered in love from none other than that National Association of Homebuilders, Energy Star, San Antonio Water System, San Antonio Business Journal, and Alamo Area Council of Governments. (We’re not counting that TCEQ nod for environmental excellence. We’d like to maintain BSAG’s reputation, after all). But Tuesday’s announcement that KB Homes, one of the nation’s largest homebuilders, is coming on board with a pledge to certify all homes built in greater SA at BSAG’s level-one criteria (a minimum 15 percent more energy efficient than city code requires) means homeowners will save an average $1,000 per year on electricity costs. But better than that: those planned 800-plus homes expected to be built in 2012 will be helping keep the area’s energy demand in check. BSAG Executive Director Anita Devora said she expected the deal to “open the floodgates” and raise the standard on new home construction. Fortunately, existing housing stock — representing the bulk of wasted energy in the city — isn’t being left in the dust. The KB Home announcement was made a day after CPS Energy trumpeted their stimulus-fueled weatherization program with Casa Verde SA has weatherized 3,000 homes — more than double the original target. The $16.5 million in federal funds should ultimately weatherize 3,400 homes by the spring of 2012, CPS officials said. •

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