Gotting to moove these refrigerators, color teevees 

Equinox omens

Earth’s regurgitation of color and the return of Leo the Lion to the night sky are not the only reminders that a season of renewal is underway. Actor-Jesus was actor-beaten through downtown city streets to remind us all how authorities deal with peacenik radicals; dirty rain was followed with a frosty blow and bombaderos exploding eggshell and confetti on teetering child-huge pates; and there is the return screech and warble of warpathing energy independence and anti-nuclear denizens.

Queque’s own witness to spring’s sprinkling came during a tranquil traipse in the woods and the awkward discovery of one green reptile toothlessly mawing on the head of one brown reptile until said morena hobbled away with a malformed, be-slimed noggin and submerged eyelet.

These strange and wondrous appearances portending (if anything) that You and I, Sant Antonio/an, have our work cut out for us.

Power plays

Today, aggrieved state residents who hunger for the right to produce non-polluting rooftop energy — and be compensated for the power the utility’s then suck up to sell elsewhere — are challenging the Texas Public Utility Commission’s illogic that expensive new meters be required for solar arrays but fail to guarantee that utilities pay something — anything! — for the power they receive.

While the Lege has stated that “net metering and advanced meter information networks be deployed as rapidly as possible to allow customers to better manage energy use and control costs,” the proposed PUC reg would dash any hope of getting solar off the ground in the state this year. You have today to make your feelings heard.

Then, when you're all done setting the PUC straight, you are most cordially invited to another showdown of sorts, when dozens of local residents opposing the economic silliness of City-owned CPS Energy's plan for additional nuclear power will sound off at the utility's meeting on planned rate hikes. Oh, shit. That was last night. 'Course, you CurBloggers already know this stuff.

Rough seas

Those happy few of you still unforeclosed upon may rejoice in the creation of a special Texas Foreclosure Prevention Taskforce, including SA Mayor Pro-Tem Mary Alice Cisneros. Or you may shrug and wonder about the holes in promised federal protections to subprime-banking-house mismanagement. A press release sent out on Easter Monday states the taskforce is a “statewide information campaign promoting home foreclosure counseling services” with a 24-hour hotline. So, there is a phone number you can call (1.800.995.HOPE) for information about how to get information, but where are the Regulators riding into the Texas dust devil of fiscal inequity? They’re shooting rye with Bear Sterns titans and Bush’s sharpshooters, waiting for those of you with any credit blush to load the wagons and head on out. (Renting can be such a liberating feeling, dontcha know?)

‘Still’ two bits

Print will never die — though the traditional want-ads may digitize.

Ye Olde X-News, which recently retracted chunks of coin-rack geography with cries of fiscal pain, has been selling the pity play of market woe for all it’s worth. Placards at some news racks announce the paper is “still” 50 cents while the paper has now adopted arguably the most whorish of print behaviors: front-page advertising. A weekend edition encouraged young people to sign up as medical guinea pigs in a two-column frontpage advert.

Strangely, Hearst’s vice chairman was simultaneously urging publishers to set more realistic profit goals at a California conference. While typical businesses celebrate 5 to 10 percent profit margins, the newspaper industry has gotten used to 20-percent plus. When promised investor returns stagnate, newsroom guillotines are wheeled out — just ask the Dallas Morning News.

Frank Bennack Jr., according to Follow the Media, said that laying off news staff is not the answer (“If newspapers don’t cover the news and do it with detail and context, someone else will,” he warned). Instead, publishers must get real about profit expectations and move into new media technology in a big way, with “every gadget that people will use to tether themselves to their work, their friends and family, and to the news.”

You can expect to hear Clack’s soothing voice emanating from your coffeemaker by year’s end. The Queque predicteth.



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