Press "Enter" to skip to content

Posts published in “Day: July 12, 2022

Aldine residents protest against TCEQ

The Protest Group from East Aldine poses in the Rotunda of the State Capitol in Austin on Wednesday June 22 as they prepare to testify before the Sunset Commission about TCEQ. Among the group, Bo Fraga, Veronica Sanchez, Rocio Witte, Ruben Salazar, Shirley Ronquillo, Connie Esparza, and others from the Aldine area.

Busload demands more aggressive environmental protection

AUSTIN – East Aldine Management District staffers joined local residents at the Texas Capitol on Wednesday, June 22, as they urged the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission to reform the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to better protect Texans from environmental hazards.

Chief on the minds of East Aldine residents who testified at a hearing was a company’s pending application to the TCEQ for permission to construct and operate a concrete “batch” plant in the neighborhood, adjacent to James Driver Park and a residential subdivision. The state agency has granted preliminary permission for the company to move ahead, but further hearings on the application are pending.

One of the group, Ruben Salazar commented: “Today I joined my fellow East Aldine community advocates and representatives in Austin to testify before the Sunset Advisory Commission. We asked the TCEQ (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality) to make drastic changes to its protocol for granting permits to industrial facilities, specifically Concrete Batch Plants to ensure that effects on infrastructure and residents’ quality of life that may arise from the creation of these plants be taken into consideration when granting permits. Our community has been a victim of environmental racism for far too long. It’s time for change. Thank you to everyone who took part in planning this very long, tiring, yet informative and uplifting trip. Let’s keep up the work!”

Griner pleads guilty to drug charges in Russian court

Brittney Griner appeared on Russian television on the first day of her trial. Here she is leaving the courthouse with handcuffs and a tether to a jailer. The woman behind her, in a striped shirt and jacket, is US State Department charge d’affaires Elizabeth Rood, who was allowed to attend the trial, and later took cellphone photos of Griner leaving.

RUSSIA – Aldine native and American WNBA basketball star Brittney Griner pleaded guilty to drug charges in a Moscow court last Thursday, her lawyers said, leaving her facing the prospect of up to 10 years in prison as her family and friends step up their calls for the U.S. government to do more to free her.

Griner, 31, was detained in February at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport after Russian authorities said they found vape canisters with cannabis oil in her luggage.

Griner’s lawyer, Alexander Boikov, told reporters outside the courtroom after Thursday’s hearing that the basketball star admitted that the vape canisters were hers, but said she brought them to Russia unintentionally.

“She was in a hurry as she was packing, and it was just by accident that it ended up in her luggage,” Boikov said.

He said that Griner is a “responsible person” in response to a question about why she decided to plead guilty.

“Considering her personality, that she is a role model to many people, to many young people — she just thinks she should be responsible for her actions,” her other lawyer, Maria Blagovolina, told reporters.

In a statement, her lawyers added that because of the “insignificant” amount of the substance found and because of Griner’s “positive contributions to global and Russian sport, the defense hopes that the plea will be considered by the court as a mitigating factor and there will be no severe sentence.”

Griner’s next hearing is scheduled for next Thursday, July 21st.