Ritual neckwear & the dovetailing dimensions of waste

Sun king

We’ve been turning the silken fabric over in our fingers for almost 22 hours. Around our neck we twist it and knot it. We are perplexed. We get angry. We throw it down and storm out of the room only to return later, sulking, to make up.

Queque admits to being bested by a bowtie.

More than that, the bowtie’s representative on Earth in SA has got us wrapped around his iconoclastic little finger. Of course, we are speaking of Mr. Bill Sinkin — 95 solar orbits strong and still pumping for a sun-baked economy. (For the uninitiated: The icon he’s clasting would be that piñata of petroleum addiction.) How we longed for and admired the happy shoulder flares worn by countless admirers in Sinkin’s honor at his birthday lunch at the Pearl Brewery Stables on Monday.

But how far will San Anto’s growing solar audience take this thing?

Well, getting past the schmaltzy politics of the day, Councilmember Diane Cibrian, who is taking backstage lumps for claiming more than her share of credit for the city’s Solar City designation at the bash, has started pushing negawatts in public. An appetite for more solar investment was expressed by various council district reps at Thursday’s council meeting before they buzzed the requested 5 percent rate hike down to 3.5 percent.

There is a push on to get San Antonio talking to Austin Energy about a solar farm project being considered for West Texas.

Then the $500,000 U.S. Department of Energy Solar City grant might be used to retrofit an SA neighborhood with solar. That sounds like a demonstration project with application. We’ve had enough experimental hot-water tanks, thank you very much.

Catching the bowtie fever, Cibrian gushes into waxen Que2’s ear canal, “Bill Sinkin’s a rock star.” Claro. And the sun is, well, God.

Waste not

At the other end of the power and decay spectrum, Dallas-based billionaire Harold Simmons’ Waste Control Specialists is up for permit permissions at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality this week. A high sign will convert a patch of Andrews County into a shallow grave — just 14 feet above the largest aquifer in the county, according to one of the original technical review crew — for Cold War-era DOE radwaste and contemporary nuke plant leavings.

Now we’ll see how WCS’s feed money — scattered out among the State Supreme Court, Attorney General, and Governor’s office — makes itself felt. That is: how quickly it overrides public concerns brought by current and former TCEQ employees about the deal with potential to pollute the nation’s largest freshwater aquifer.

Simmons’ contributions this year have included $50,000 to Attorney General Greg Abbott; $30,000 to the state Repub Party; $5K to our Railroad Commissioner; another $5K apiece to Supreme Court Justices Don Willet and Dale Wainwright; and liberal pours across the board of under $2,500 that we don’t have time or patience to sort out.

Now Queque doesn’t pretend to understand campaign-finance laws or why a waste-company man would so prefer the elephantine party (Is it for the same reason smaller men buy Hummers?). In 2006, $559,600 of $570,000 went to Repubs, according to data maintained by the National Institute on Money in State Politics.

Maybe WCS board members Kent Hance ($110,000 of $111,000 to Repubs in 2006) could enlighten us. Maybe Texas is just too damn light on Dems these days.

Big Daddy’s snafu

Now, James Myart (DA Reed’s press release lent him ironic double-quotes as a quote-Civil Rights-unquote attorney. Abysmal.) has burrowed deep into bitter fruit, turning over his license to practice after confessing to keeping more than $13,000 that should have gone to his jailed client of Mexican Mafia fame. More than the shoplifting from Habitat for Humanity, we suspect this little indiscretion may rebound in extra-judicial fields of play.

Beyond old man Myart’s physical well-being and the financial stability of EME (Queque admires the fearless legal turbulence created by the former and the economic cross-pollination and banking-house padding by the latter), we wonder after those dozens of clients with cases against the SAPD and who will rise into that absence of space. There’s a shattered leg and split scalp that may still need tending.

Not that we’re anxious to be rid of our man Myart. Our boisterous Big Daddy of Justice hasn’t expired (though we’re sure the thought has crossed his mind more than a late night tumbler’s worth). We refuse to count him out. SA still desperately needs renegades and street-fighters, chanters and storm-bringers, organizers and populist preachers. So, when you’re smoked out, James, know that Queque expects and is watching for a comeback.

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