Wednesday, May 14, 2008

No matter where we start, we can make a difference.

District 34 News

There are a number of important issues facing our district that we will discuss today. As you may know, this week, TCEQ held a public hearing about the ongoing cleanup at the Ballard Pits. They have assured our community that they will do everything to protect our health and the surrounding water supplies. Although TCEQ has said there is negligible danger to the health of those near the pits, I am deeply concerned that TCEQ will have to stop the project mid-way due to funding concerns. Therefore, I have written to Governor Perry and the Legislative Budget Board (LBB) about the urgent need for an emergency appropriation to keep the project going at full force until the site is completely cleaned. I have attached the letter I sent to the Governor and LBB on this issue. I will advise you of any further developments on this issue.

Additionally, some of you have been following the ongoing situation at Christus Spohn Hospital over the residency programs. I am doing all I can to ensure that a residency program continues at the hospital, especially considering that residents play such an important role in emergency room care at the hospital. We cannot afford to go without that vital service. I have attached a letter we sent to the hospital board about this matter. I hope the issue will be resolved by those involved so that there is no lapse in care for our community.

Many of you have been concerned about the upcoming deadlines for franchise tax returns. If this applies to you, remember that there is a June 2nd deadline for initial reports and a June 16th deadline for annual reports. Our office, Rep. Ortiz, Jr., and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce hosted the State Comptroller's office in Corpus Christi this week to discuss the franchise tax. For a copy of their power point presentation, please email Michael Garemko in my office at

I may have seen you at any number of events across District 34 this week. On Saturday, I was at the Stand Up for Kids 5k in support of our area's CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) program. A CASA is a volunteer appointed by the court in child placement and custody cases. I cannot say enough about how important CASA volunteers are to the children in our community. I included this in April, but here is the information again: Become a CASA volunteer today.

You may have seen me during the procession of the 70th Buc Days Illuminated Parade on Saturday night. We were happy to participate in this traditional community event that has been celebrated by countless families for many generations in our area. The bands, floats, and other festivities made for another successful parade.

As part of my focus on youth issues last week, I gave a talk and took questions at the 2nd Annual Foster Youth Conference, which had inspiring attendance as well as stories of hardships overcome and excellence achieved. No matter where we start, we can make a difference. The tremendous foster youth that I met on Saturday are testimony to that.

Having previously been a member of the panel that interviewed applicants of the Nueces County Junior Livestock Show Scholarships, on Tuesday I attended the awards banquet for the scholarship recipients. It is always enjoyable to see the dedication and tremendous skill of those who applied and those involved in the Nueces County Junior Livestock Show.

Also, I wanted to send along word about an upcoming job fair in the area. The LCS Federal Detention Center will be holding a job fair to fill approximately 200 positions between May 1, 2008 and June 15, 2008. It will be held Saturday, May 17, 2008 from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM at the RMB Regional Fairgrounds Center, Ballroom A (next to Circular Drive). This is a great opportunity if you are looking for employment.

Finally, a very special announcement is in order. Congratulations to the people of Corpus Christi for having the very best commuting conditions in American small cities according to Forbes Magazine. If you missed the story, here it is: Not only should we be happy that our commute is such a breeze, we should be proud of how we do it: by carpooling and using public transportation. We are getting to work and avoiding damage to our environment at the same time.

And with that high note, I wish you a great weekend.

Please continue to reply and send me your comments or suggestions. Together, we can be successful in moving Texas forward.

Yours truly,

Abel Herrero
State Representative, District 34

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