Friday, November 30, 2007

The Price of Playing Battleship

In an attempt to attract more tourists to the area, Texas has spent more than $4 million in South Padre Island. The money has been used to try to sink a WWII battleship to create an artificial reef for divers to explore, due to chemical spills and sinking errors, the endeavor has become very costly. The most recent attempt to sink the ship resulted in it landing the wrong way so that divers are unable to get into the holes that were created for them. The problem now is how to fix this without adding more money to the already costly project.

Although it seems like a good idea to bring tourists to the area which would boost their economy and encourage growth, it is gone a bit beyond convenient and is now becoming a complete waste. It is hoped that the project, once completed, will bring in $30 million a year, if this is successful, hopefully some of that revenue will be used to better other areas and maybe support or fund another project. With the amount of poverty in Texas it just seems pointless to spend so much money repeatedly trying to sink a boat for tourists to play in. Wouldn't that money be better spent somewhere else? Perhaps if the operation had been successful the first time it could have had a positive outcome, but it is the fact that the money is available that is probably causing the mistakes. If there was only enough support for one attempt to sink the ship, a lot more effort would be put in to minimize mistakes, but because they can always just try again people are being careless and not worrying about all the money they're wasting.

Perhaps the city should have looked at other options for funding this project, maybe offering other tourist attractions in or around the ship or maybe the 200 students who took classes in the ship every summer could have put their studies to use and researched and figured out teh best way to sink the ship instead of having a few professionals with a large budget play trial and error to figure it out.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Safety in Public Schools

I don't know about you, but I don't really want to be stabbed. It reminds me of a stand up comedian, Nick, who said, "getting stabbed is not like getting shot. It's like your there the whole time. When you get shot your just walking along and then BAM, you get shot and your like man that really hurts, but if you get stabbed you can actually see it coming, and then you see it going. No thank you, if I can go through life without being stabbed, I win." Not that I really fear for my life when on campus, but reading your blog just reminded me of it. Anyway, I agree that campus security gaurds are a joke, especially in middle schools and high schools. Metal detectors are a bit extreme, and the problem lies closer to home. There is no question in my mind that the majority of the responsiblity of school shootings rests on the parents of that child or children. If a child were to grow up in a loving nuturing environment the chances of him/her bringing a gun to school is drastically decreased. Research shows that the majority of shootings are a result of lack of a parental rolemodel, drug abuse at home, or mal-nurtured kids. The best way to stop a problem is to cut it off at the source, and that is at the parental level, teaching parents how to be parents sounds like as adequate idea as to minimize school shootings.
Give a kid a hug, and save someone's life.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Baby Moses Law

Another child was saved this week thanks to the Texas Baby Moses law. The law states that mothers can leave an unwanted child up to 60 days old at a hospital, fire station or emergency infant care provider without facing abandonment or endangerment charges. This law was put in place after abandoned babies were being found in unsafe places and it has shown some success.
The Dallas Baby Moses center says that of 100 abandoned babies each year in Texas at least 16 will be found dead and an unknown number of them will never be found at all. After parental rights are terminated, the Moses babies are put up for adoption or into foster care. The article covering the story in the Houston Chronicle says the mother is not likely to face any charges in the matter.
Although some people might think this is cruel or wrong to allow or even encourage mothers to abandon their infants, many beleive it has lowered the abortion and infant death rates. Although it is not ideal, it was Texas lawmakers way of proposing a solution. A Dallas based site states that legislature provides no funding but it is all done by local hospitals. This is a great law that allows citizens to help eachother out. If a mother cannot take care of her child, then others, nurses, firefighters, CPS workers, foster parents, step up to help her out. This helps aleviate the stress of not knowing what to do that sometimes leads parents to harming or killing their own children. Hopefully in the future more laws like this can help lower the number of unwanted babies and help give children better, safer lives. For those who disagree, maybe they can be the ones to step up and propose a solution, or help save the abandoned babies.