Special Labor Day Edition: Housing and Zoning in America
A long form Labor Day edition in which it is explored if California is all that different from Texas
Happy Labor Day to those who are working and those who are not.
A quick thank you to the teacher/coach in Uvalde who recently signed up as well as the director of multi language in Harlingen, Texas. If you like this, please subscribe and share. It’s free and different from other newsletters you get. At least I hope so.
OPINION - the opinion of this author, Ryan Hernandez, does not necessarily reflect the views of his employer, the Ryan Hernandez Newsletter. haha.
San Angelo, TX -
A couple of months ago, I found a story quite ironic. In it, reporters from the WashPo or NY Times (don’t tell their masthead this, but I sometimes think they are the same) wrote about people who were upset about the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade AND were also upset that people were protesting at the houses of SCOTUS judges. They were progressives, but they lived in Chevy Chase or Kalorama or insert generic rich white enclave in the DMV.
It’s a tale as old as time. They complain about how they cannot live their daily lives. Protestors who are usually younger, without families, say they that it really does not matter, the end justifies the means.
To get abortion rights back, they have to make the Justices’ lives living hell even if it makes someone who is on their own side a little uncomfortable. As Tom from Succession says, “You can’t make a tomlette without breaking some Greg’s.”
Before 2016, conservatism used to mean conserving something and only making changes incrementally.
Lawmakers on both sides when it has benefited them have decried the use of the filibuster, wanted to pack the court, or just plain use Orwellian language in their campaigns (looking at you Mr. Turtle from Kentucky.)
Ask those around you how you can change or amend the Constitution. If they do not mention the Bill of Rights or the 13th and 14th amendment, I give you permission to get their voting card registration and rip it up. THIS IS A JOKE. DON’T DO THIS.
Side note: it’s funny to hear the complaints from my friends on the Right about the Senate Minority Leader. It was mainly him, not 45 that has transformed the federal judiciary. It was he and the Federalist Society who made the list for Trump as a way to appease people who were queasy about voting for him. That the other nominee was Hillary Clinton did the rest. It was McConnell (and Hatch & Grassley who is a kindly old farmer from Iowa who doesn’t have a legal degree) who was resolute after the Borking of Ronald Reagan’s SCOTUS pic before he picked Anthony Kennedy in the 1980s. It was Cocaine Mitch that made a promise to himself to never let what Ted Kennedy did happen again.
I’m not talking about Chappaquiddick, although I’m glad that also never happened again.
You see, the problem with disinformation is not that the disinformation is so patently false. It’s that the disinformation has a kernel of truth to it, that an effective orator, communicator, or someone who says that he has the best words use it to exclude others and make an “us vs. them” argument.
It brings me to a sky is falling theme from people on the Left on twitter. They talk about how CNN has lost its luster, how it’s no longer the same network when, in all honesty, the executive that left was the person most responsible for Trump in the first place given all the free airtime given in 2015-16. Or who gave him a reality show on the peacock network in the early aughts.
Breaking News: have they found that Malaysian airplane yet?
The sky is not falling, of course. Things change. Outrage is outrage. People who say we’ve never been in a place like this before conveniently forget that we had a LITERAL civil war in this country.
The 21st anniversary of 9/11 is on the horizon. I was young, and I remember what that feeling that Tuesday night felt like.
I remember what it felt like when 43 stood in the rubble in Ground Zero and told New Yorkers that he could hear them and that the people who did that would soon hear them. I remember when he threw a strike in Yankee stadium, a kid from West Texas, a former Texas rangers owner throwing a pitch in “liberal” New York City. It’s why Ted Cruz was rightfully criticized when he tried to say 45 had NY values in 2015-16. I think that was in between Trump making fun of Heidi and saying that Ted’s father was partly responsible for JFK’s assassination.
More recently, I remember the feeling when a kid from Plano drove to El Paso to shoot up a Wal-Mart and yes, when someone went into an elementary school in Uvalde.
I was there to see a state rally around a community in hurt and pain. This is different. You don’t mess with Texans. Not one of us.
The other day I was with my sisters when I noticed an app on their phone that I didn’t have: Nextdoor.
I didn’t ask them about it, but I looked it up online and found it was like an app for a neighborhood.
Why would I need it? I’m single, relatively transient and don’t necessarily worry about things other than me.
Being egotistical, I went straight to thinking of all of the posts that were probably about a guy running shirtless or the guy who takes his dogs on long walks around the neighborhood. After that wore off, I thought about just how great an app it was. It brought your community together.
The other reason I noticed it is what I’ve seen happen in my lower middle class neighborhood on the north side of Houston Harte Expressway. Whereas before there were definitely some interesting neighbors growing up, it never felt like a community.
Well, I take that back. I never tried to make it my community.
Now, with seemingly every person I know becoming a realtor and families moving in next door, it hit me. People care more about family and the right place to grow up for them. That and the right school choice matters more than ever.
In my hometown, I’ve mentioned that I’ve always been partial to the high school and community in which my father taught. It’s felt like the red-headed step child to the other bigger high school in town. That it feels like that is probably because it was annexed by the local school district in the mid 20th century. It has a relatively new building, but the school is landlocked both in building size and in zoning. When someone tries make the school sizes more equitable, citizens who are zoned in the original school’s district make sure they aren’t a part of the group that is zoned to Lake View.
It also instructed me that on the communities that we have and how sometimes we are so comfortable in said communities, we don’t venture out to new places.
One time, a friend asked for directions to this school, and I was taken aback because they had never been to it before despite living in the same city their whole life.
Another time, during the campaign, a mayoral candidate proudly stated that they had lived in all of San Angelo, including Lake View. It was like they deserved bonus points for living there!
It was smart political messaging but still stung.
Lately, it’s been all the rage to go back to retro. For what it’s worth, I believe that retro has been in style and will always be in style. That people are referring to the 90s and 00s as retro is what’s truly terrifying.
The Spurs are going back to the Alamodome. Their most popular merchandise is fiesta themed.
In NYC, when I went to watch them play at Madison Square Garden against their 1999 Finals opponent in early January, I got a lot of props for wearing fiesta themed spurs gear from even the ushers there.
I won’t name them because I fear James Dolan will fire them.
On second thought, I really like going to that venue! I love JD and the Straight Shot! Please don’t ban me!
Locally, that means Lake View fans have been clamoring to go home: to play at their own stadium on their own side of town.
I’m sure school district administration in their paternalistic view can’t understand that. Why wouldn’t they want to play at the stadium that is big in town? In this case, I agree with SAISD.
It goes back to how California and Texas (and really America) are all alike.
Around seventh months ago, The NY Times produced an editorial video on housing in California. It mentioned Palo Alto and how the zoning commission changed a small part of their city to multi family units. That basically means apartments.
Surprisingly, there was a citizens’ campaign to overturn it, and it succeeded. Now, there are single family units worth over a million dollars in an area planned for retirees on social security.
It reminded me of a couple of years ago when there was a proposed affordable multifamily unit building close to the local Sam’s club and an elementary school here in San Angelo.
Citizens came out and said that although they wanted affordable housing, why did it have to be built in that neighborhood? Why couldn’t they build it in say Lake View or Blackshear? Wouldn’t they want it there? “They.”
It eventually passed, and now it is being built.
I used to get upset and angry at this, but as I grow older, I guess I understand it.
Like my sisters, the people who say this sincerely want the best for their family. Like mentioned before, however, there is more growth from getting uncomfortable or doing things not normally you do.
From Trinity, I think of my friend MF who even at that campus was considered eccentric.
Do you ever wonder how someone can be so smart yet wonder how they could survive? If you know of someone like that, you know what I mean. If this doesn’t sound familiar to you, I’m going to need you to sit down and understand that it’s you that I’m talking about.
MF was from Oak Cliff and was planning to attend a community college in Dallas before a counselor told him to look at this school in San Antonio. He applied and it turns out, his financial aid is was so great that everything was paid for for him.
My dad has a similar story growing up in Robstown, Texas. He didn’t realize how poor he was until he got money back from the financial aid office. Imagine his shock when he went to Southwestern Ass. Of God University in Waxahachie (Trinity’s old campus) and there were people who had summer AND winter wardrobes.
I admire the Bushes for many reasons. One of the biggest is that George Bush Sr. left his comfortable life in tony Connecticut and moved to Odessa, Texas. He even lived with his wife and his son in a duplex next door to Ladies of the Night.
In a similar way, I really like Chris Beard because I remember seeing him coach at Angelo State and now he’s the head basketball coach at the University of Texas.
I prefer people who are fans of long suffering sports teams to front runners. You’re a Brown or Jets fan? I like you. I’d like to think I’d be a Houston Oilers fan if it wasn’t for Bud Adams. I’m stuck with the Cowboys, unfortunately, which is a funny thing to say to someone who was a fan of them during the 90s.
Side note: I remember being an astros fan in NYC during the 2019 ALCS. I spent good money going to a playoff game at Yankee Stadium. The astros lost. And I made sure I had my jacket covering my Astros gear on the 4 train returning to Manhattan.
This week an op-ed columnist wrote about how Martha’s Vineyard was truly America. I laughed. I stopped laughing. Then I laughed some more.
You see no one has the sole right of claiming to be the real America. San Angelo is no more real America than Kansas than New York City than LA and, even yes, San Francisco. My experience in San Angelo, Texas is not better than someone who was born and raised in Westchester County to someone in West Palm Beach to someone who is straight outta Compton. Hi, Ann!
Texas is a great state with great branding. “Don’t mess with us!”
However, if I’m being honest, it’s people we’re talking about.
I’m reminded that things are more similar than different in the world. I don’t need the NextDoor App or a white neighbor in Chevy Chase to tell me that.
Hi y’all. It’s me, Wally not Wall-e
My human decided to give me this spot in his daily newsletter. I decided I’d take pity on him and save him from himself. He’s paying me in belly rubs.
My human likes to lecture me like I’m his son. He does know I’m just a dog, right? How many times does he have to say “this hurts me more than it hurts you” or “I’m doing this because I love you” when he puts me in my crate when I misbehave?
Rewatching Wishbone. That Spot was a really good actor.
I got an X-ray at the vet. It turns out I do have that dawg in me.
Does anyone have any good tips on dealing with annoying little sister?
Back to my human: my little sister is a brown Labrador who is bigger than me. Why does he say stuff like “Family is all you have.” “And stop doing that to your sister!” We’re not biologically related.
I like watching Dog College Gameday on the Worldwide Liter, does anyone know who Jack Harlow is? Asking for a fellow dog who may not be up to date on the newest thing.
Started watching Dog Elvis on Dog HBO Max. Pretty pretty pretty pretty good.
Have any suggestions for Halloween? I’m thinking Bibleman or maybe I can do something political. I want to wear a British flag with an exit on it. Would the other dogs get it?
Hello, this is coco.
My human told me I could be on the Internet. I accepted. How can I deprive the world of me?
I like to annoy my big (little) brother.
He doesn’t realize that the more it bothers him, the more I like doing it.
I’m a whole year younger, but I’m much bigger.
My human gets mad at me for stepping on his toes. Sorry I annoyed you with my presence!