Best of SA 2005 - People & Politics Everyday people

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The good, bad, and the ugly

Baryshnikov's grand jete might be more graceful, but you'd have to pay to see him; tickets to see the Trinity Men's Soccer, critics pick for Best University Sports team, are free. (Photo by Mark Greenberg)

More than 1 million people live in San Antonio and more continue to arrive, clogging freeways, crowding into subdivisions, standing in the Express Line at H-E-B with more than 10 items. At the risk of sounding xenophobic, we don't need any more people in San Antonio. We have plenty and some are the best people and politicians money can buy.

You can't buy an "A" from Miguel Angel, a professor at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, who teaches Spanish to gringos like me. He has a dry, or seco, sense of humor that makes learning the subjunctive case less painful, even fun.

You can't put a price on the health of your pets. A cat lover, I am more concerned about the health of my felines than whether my compound fracture needs immediate attention. When Eubie, a rescue cat, ambled onto our porch in shock with a bloody tongue and broken jaw, it was Dr. Robert Granbury at Fredericksburg Road Animal Hospital who wired him back together. Eubie's tongue now sticks out of his mouth slightly, like a pull tab, but he's hearty, hale, and one of the best cats you could hope to have.

Best of SA 2005

Readers' picks - Best People & Politics
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You can't buy a ticket to see the city's best university sports team, Trinity Men's Soccer, because all their games are free. That's a deal at twice the price to see the 2003 NCAA Division III National Champs, who romped through a 43-game winning streak before losing to Gustavus Adolphus 1-0 in the NCAA semifinals last year. Honorable mention goes to Trinity's football team, which won 42 consecutive home games.

There's not enough money printed to send all politicians to Mars, but one person in this year's poll voted for "Kennedy," without specifiying which one. If you meant John Fitzgerald, perhaps you should sit down, because there's something we need to tell you.

Speaking of politicians, District 3 Councilman Ron Segovia's "apple incident," in which he and his then-girlfriend and KSAT 12 reporter Gina Galaviz held a midnight food fight, won the readers' poll for best scandal. Yet, the "apple is mightier than the hamburger" feud is little more than fodder for second-tier daytime talk shows. The Bexar Metropolitan Water District paying its lobbyists more than $20,000 to apparently do nothing is scandalous. City Manager Terry Brechtel getting the ax-a-roo in a stealth tactic is scandalous. Extending tax breaks to South Side businesses that are bound to earn beaucoup bucks off Toyota is scandalous.

"Watch out for flying apples... and crazy people!"

It's an old scandal, but the Alamodome is a perennial favorite under the waste of taxpayer money category. Yet there is another big black dough hole: The countless number of local elections, including bond issues, the river authority, water boards, federal, state, councilmembers, and runoffs. Let's combine some of these elections, thereby saving money and thwarting chronic voter fatigue syndrome.

Last but not least, all these new San Antonians have to live somewhere, and many of them choose master-planned communities. Note to newbies: Don't believe our readers when they tell you that Pulte and KB are among SA's top three developers. Pulte gained notoriety for clear-cutting acres and acres of land for a subdivision, while KB Homes has been sued by at least 100 Texans over allegations of shoddy construction of their tract shacks. You can find some of that iffy craftsmanship - no rear windows, for example - in homes KB built for the San Antonio Housing Authority.

We don't need more people in SA, but if you insist on coming, you've been warned.

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