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Shall I Rant Why I Dislike Houston?

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SHANEA

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Shall I Rant Why I Dislike Houston?
« on: March 27, 2007, 07:54:31 PM »
Turning on to Chartrest Street from the George R. Brown Conv. Center (who was George R Brown anyway?), going down the service road next to 59, all of a sudden some idiot jumps out of an allyway from underneath the bridge and waves me over.  My first instinct was to PUNCH IT that it was going to be a car jacking or a drive by, as I reached behind  my seat for my new automatic Glock 9mm with my drum magazine loaded with hollowpoints, see http://youtube.com/watch?v=07sFa30qwVM for a demo of this fire power.   Until I realized that it was Houstons finest running a scam.  Scam you say?  Yea, speed radar enforcement (up in East Texas our law officers have much better things to do - like chasing criminals and not performing revenue enhancement).  Turns out the posted limit was supposedly 30 and I was booking along at 42 :shock:  - of course, I was just keeping up with traffic and  trying to get the heck out of H town before I did get car jacked or in a drive by.  Only reason he picked me was that I was in the left lane nearest him.  As it turns out, the left lane and one of the speed limit signs was blocked by 18 wheelers parked along the ROW.    He'd been hiding in the shadows with his little toy radar gun.  Turns out, there were other officers running the same scam too.   Weird since of humor, this officer.  Gave him my TDL and POI and he looked at the insurance and said, this ones expired, I said what, and he laughed and handed it back to me.  (weird huh?  yep, it was not expired).  So he goes off to his car and runs the DHS CBP background check, DPS check, FBI check, etc. and all of a sudden my vehicle is surrounded by eight police cars that come screaming in with everyone having their guns drawn - SWAT drops out of the rafters and tosses a tear gas grenede into my vehicle.    Nothing like having M16's leveled at you by dudes in back urban cammo.  We bale out of the vechile and hit the dirt and "assume the position".  Well, after some more checking, turns out they had the wrong vehicle and wrong person - after we were stuffed and cuffed - with ankle braclets no less and a black hood - I know what Saadam felt in his last moments....  As soon as it started, it was over.  The LE's hopped in their vehicles and sped off and the SWAT guys went back into the rafters.  By then my Avalanche was totally in flames from the tear gas canister.  By the time the fire department arrived, the Avalanche was a total loss.  The officer that pulled me over went ahead and had the audacity of writing me a ticket, said good day, and drove off.  There I stood with my Avalanche a charred ruin and no one to complain too.    Hitched a ride home.  OK, so I over embellished the story just a tad bit.  Yep, he wouldn't even consider a warning or anything else.  Made me sign one of them funky electronic pads so that they can keep my signature on file forever and forge documents with my signature attached to them and say that I wrote and signed them.  

I have a disdain for speed radar traps where the sole purpose is to pick a spot where everyone speeds and then setup some entrapment scheme to pull over as many vehicles as possible.

I also have a major DISDAIN with the Government setting up websites like www.houstoncourt.OR G and using the .ORG designation or .COM or something else and NOT using the .GOV domain extension.    How do I know someone hasn't setup a bogus site to collect money?  Kinda like www.whitehouse.com (used to be the number 1 porn site) :P  
 :twisted:      

This little quick trip to Houston will cost me $188.

So, I'll take the dang little drivers safety course, pay the City of Houston $103 for the pleasure, pay $ to DPS to get my driving record, pay $ to some outfit that has the system rigged so that they can offer defensive driving courses, etc.  

If a terrorist had of struck Houston while he was writing that ticket, I'd have had to ask him why he didn't prevent it.   :twisted:

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Offline The Scorpion

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Shall I Rant Why I Dislike Houston?
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2007, 08:23:55 PM »
welcome to Houston....

for your next trip, if HPD will allow you back to Houston after all the rucus you caused here, here is a warning, HPD also hangs under the u-turns looking for NO front license plate, expired inspection or registration sticker or to see if you are NOT wearing your seatbelt.

I have a photo of them in action in the u-turn i will post shortly.

to me it is not a safe place for this type of trap as I almost hit a car they had pulled over for some form of violation. I have seen 5 or 6 other cars almost hit a pulled over car as well.

oh and we have those lovely red light cameras scattered all around town as well.

there is map in PDF format towards the bottom of the page
http://www.click2houston.com/automotive/10103894/detail.html

James
everything is better with bacon!!!

http://jamesb.smugmug.com/BigBendNationalPark/

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Offline The Scorpion

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Shall I Rant Why I Dislike Houston?
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2007, 08:36:39 PM »
I was about 3 cars back from this when I saw it happen. all cars roll up to the red light, we sit for a few minutes, then the cop gets out of his car and walks up to the car at the head of the lane and proceeded to write him a ticket. the light turns green and he is still scribing away, this was during rush our and im sure it left a mess





this is the u-turn patroll



they say there is no ticket quota that HPD officers are held to, but it sure is funny how they come our of the wood works the last week of the month. I see more cops from the lst week of the month through the first week of the next month, then they all disappear for 2 weeks.

James
everything is better with bacon!!!

http://jamesb.smugmug.com/BigBendNationalPark/

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SHANEA

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BB is Watching
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2007, 08:43:50 PM »
Big Brother is Watching.

Yep, where I got busted is obviously a fav spot for them as the pickins are good with all the out of towners leaving George R. Brown.

A "brief" survey, of online tickets,
@  
http://tinyurl.com/2podme

 seems to indicate that it is a fav spot based on the number of tickets written at that location.  Poor ole ticket holder   M00607002  really got the book thrown at them.  Good thing I didn't have my lisc. plate covered up, my inspection and BIBE LISC plate were valid, etc.   What the "heck" is a defective windshield?   And, if you look at the bottom, not even a year ago, he got busted for fail to signal turn - heck, I thought if you lived in Houston that it was the law to not use turn signals.  

Poor ole M00607011 did get busted for altering or obsecuring letters.

Speaking of red light cameras, how do I know if a light had a camera?  Maybe I should be expecting several letters in the mail.   :evil:   Tell you what, why don't we just tap into that little black box that is already installed in your car/truck, then have "road sensors" with the speed limit encoded in them, or we could get fancy and use GPS, then anytime you speed 24/7 regardless of where you are at, then the little black box will fire off a message to a waiting satillite, automatically debit your credit card, and send you an email that you are going 83.0mph on I-10 West near Fort Stockton on xx/xx/xxxxx hh:mm:ss in a 80mph zone and you were assessed a tickety of $250.   BTW - it was a construction zone, the workers had clocked in, (the system is pretty smart), and your fine is doubled for speeding in a construction zone - please pay $500 and at the same time you passed a school bus unloading children off of I-10 so your ticket is $1000 (the system knew that there was a school bus there).

Hey, how about this idea for improving GPSing?  Make it so that any speed entrapments are automatically logged or equip every police and DPS vehicle with a sensor, then in real time fire it off to the satellite, then download it to your GPS so that you know in real time where the speed traps are at?

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SHANEA

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Mean While...
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2007, 08:52:52 PM »
Quote from: "jamesb"
I was about 3 cars back from this when I saw it happen. all cars roll up to the red light, we sit for a few minutes, then the cop gets out of his car and walks up to the car at the head of the lane and proceeded to write him a ticket. the light turns green and he is still scribing away, this was during rush our and im sure it left a mess





this is the u-turn patroll



they say there is no ticket quota that HPD officers are held to, but it sure is funny how they come our of the wood works the last week of the month. I see more cops from the lst week of the month through the first week of the next month, then they all disappear for 2 weeks.

James


Mean while, while the person w/o a front lisc. plate was being ticketed, call it Talliban enforcement, a person at the Jack in a Box was being car jacked at the drive through, someone was dealing crack at the bridal shop, Circuit City was being shoplifted, and Starrbucks was stealing customers money with over priced coffee that never tastes good.  :P  :P  :P

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Offline Burn Ban

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Shall I Rant Why I Dislike Houston?
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2007, 08:54:00 PM »
i'm sure this was inconvenient, expensive,  and a little disappointing; but, there are many more reasons to hate houston.  why limit yourself to just this?..with all due respect to houstonians on this board.

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SHANEA

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I'll Show You Mine...
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2007, 08:58:25 PM »
Quote from: "jamesb"
NO front license plate,James


Oh, I pay the premium for license plates, especially those with Big Bend National Park on them  :P , and want to make sure everyone can see it coming or going...  I'm dang proud of my BIBE lisc. plates! :!:

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SHANEA

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RichardM & Randell amongst others....
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2007, 09:00:01 PM »
Quote from: "Burn Ban"
with all due respect to houstonians on this board.


The above quote will be soon removed  :P  by moderater RichardM - not cleared by BIBE, US, and Sauid censors....  :P

Moderator note:  Just cuz I live in Houston doesn't mean I love it.  Same goes for most folks I know around here.

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SHANEA

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Did You Know?
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2007, 09:05:35 PM »
Quote from: "jamesb"
then the cop gets out of his car...
James


You are in way more trouble than I.  Did you know that it is against the law to take the picture of a "public safety" officer  without their permission while they are conducting official business :shock:

Quote
March 24, 2007, 11:39PM
Wreck photos put freelancer in hot water


By JOHN MACCORMACK
copyright 2007 San Antonio Express-news

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WHARTON As a prize-winning freelance photographer who has shot numerous accidents and fires for the local fire department, Elmer Cavender likes to work close to the action.

On Jan. 19, when Cavender's portable radio scanner alerted him to a major accident just east of town, he quickly rolled to the scene in his old gray Buick.

But this one would soon prove different from the hundreds of other wrecks and fires that Cavender has covered over the past decade.

It would lead to the loss of his film and negatives and a felony charge, making him the reluctant subject of a First Amendment debate.

On April 2, his 64th birthday, Cavender is set to go to trial in Wharton County on a charge of misuse of official information. He is accused of selling accident photos taken in the capacity of a volunteer firefighter.

"I was never a volunteer fireman. They gave me a vest that said, "Fire Photographer," a flashlight and an ID, but I wasn't allowed to ride on any vehicle," Cavender said.

Had the victim in the Jan. 19 accident not been a respected local police chief, it's possible that none of the high drama would have followed.

"It didn't take me long to get there. I had already heard on the scanner it was too late, so I knew there would not be any rescue attempt," recalled Cavender, a former local sheriff's deputy.


Law enforcement anger
It was a fatal head-on collision between a police car and a pickup. After snapping a couple of dozen frames of film, Cavender said, he left the scene just as state troopers were pulling in.

Ernest Mendoza's death, allegedly caused by a drunk driver who was charged with murder, rather than intoxication manslaughter, left feelings raw among his fellow authorities.

On Jan. 21, after his accident photos had run in several area papers and he had shown them to some local police and firefighters, Cavender said he was confronted by a Department of Public Safety sergeant.

"He started telling me how I've got every law enforcement officer in the county upset," he recalled of Sgt. Dan Terronez.

"He said, 'I could arrest you right now for interfering with a felony murder investigation and for taking pictures of law enforcement officers on duty without their permission.'"

"He said, 'We need your pictures and negatives,' " recalled Cavender, who quickly turned over the goods.

Contacted in Wharton, Sgt. Terronez declined to comment.


Debating 'official capacity'
A DPS spokesman in Austin offered only a brief remark. "The photos were surrendered voluntarily," Tom Vinger said.

The agency has refused to return the photos to the editor of the Wharton Journal-Spectator, who says they belong to him.

"I buy the film. I pay for the development. I own the photos," said editor Ron Sanders, who defended Cavender's conduct.

The loss of the photos was just the beginning of Cavender's troubles.

In early February, he was indicted on a third-degree felony charge after he sold the pictures to the Houston Chronicle and Victoria Advocate.

Wharton city officials and Fire Chief Anthony Abbott say Cavender was never a volunteer fireman and that his only role was an honorary one. Since the accident, the department has severed ties with him.

"He was dismissed because I was getting heat from the DPS and all local law enforcement. They felt he got in the way," said Abbott, who said he was also unhappy that Cavender had displayed the sensitive photos in public.

Wharton County District Attorney Josh McCown could not be reached for comment. His assistant, Becky Ivy, said the case is ready to go to trial.

But Cavender's lawyer said the case is flawed.

"If he's not a volunteer fireman, how could he be acting in an official capacity? I don't think any jury would find him to be a public servant," said Richard Manske of El Campo.

He said the district attorney has already put out feelers about resolving the case with a misdemeanor plea, but Cavender says he will not plead to anything.


Tracking the case
Meanwhile, First Amendment watchdogs and freelance photographers in Texas are incredulous.

"It's unbelievable. I've never seen anything quite as bogus in my life," said Joel White, former head of the Freedom of Information Foundation in Austin.

"He's a journalist. He's not out there as a firefighter. Confiscating his film was blatantly unconstitutional," he said.

Cavender, who says he takes pictures as a community service and barely makes ends meet between that and his part-time convenience-store job, has no plans to change.

"It hasn't slowed me down," he said.

jmaccormack@express-news.net



http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/headline/metro/4659021.html

Confiscating film?  Happened all the time out here in East Texas when the shuttle Columbia made an unexpected stop out this way.  Lots of people, including the local press, had memory cards seized, film exposed, etc.  Reporter for the Nacogdoches Daily Sentinel had his film confescated while he was standing on a sidewalk taking pictures of the command, control, and recovery center.  People that took pics of shuttle debris also had pictures destroyed.  Being the kida guy that I am, after I heard about the incident at the command station, why - I drove to San Augustine, pretended to fill up with gas, and shot pictures galore.

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Offline Roy

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Shall I Rant Why I Dislike Houston?
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2007, 09:54:49 PM »
I feel your pain :evil:   I grew up in Houston and learned about speed traps at an early age.  Back then, they'd station a single radar unit in a hard to see spot with 5 or 6 motorcylce units to do the chasing and write the tickets.  The radar unit would radio the bikers which vehicles to stop;  they didn't always get the right guy but there was no appeal.  

One of many reasons why I moved out.

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Offline randell

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Shall I Rant Why I Dislike Houston?
« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2007, 10:12:43 PM »
They have dummy red light cameras all over the city.  The live ones are preceded by a sign that says something like "Photo Enforced Intersection".  

I live in Houston.  Never wanted to live here.  Have hated every day I have lived here.  I don't dislike it because of cops, though.  Just too many people, too little scenery, and too much heat with nowhere to cool off except in man-made pools of concrete-contained water (I prefer lakes/rivers).  

The only reason we stay is because my wife and I really like our jobs - so we skip town every chance we get.  Usually at least twice a month.
There's nothing like a good quest to get you intimate with a place. - Tom Clynes

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Offline The Scorpion

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Shall I Rant Why I Dislike Houston?
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2007, 10:47:14 PM »
yes the intersections that have the cameras are marked with signs as you approach.

Shane, the article you posted about the photographer being arrested, I have read and discussed that on another forum.  photographers all over and of all types (you, me the pros and the reporters) are being looked at in a different way since terrorist and sexual predators have cameras to.

i could care less about taking a photo of a public safety officer while they are on duty or not with our with out their permission. they take my photo many times a day with out my permission. but wait...thats allowed because its for my safety...what ever...  


there is no revenue  for the city in arresting drug dealers, but there is a lot of money to be made for writing speeding tickets. so what do you think the cops are told to do......we gotta pay for that damn safe clear wrecker service some how here in Houston
http://www.houstontx.gov/safeclear/index.html

James
everything is better with bacon!!!

http://jamesb.smugmug.com/BigBendNationalPark/

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Offline The Scorpion

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Re: Did You Know?
« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2007, 11:05:37 PM »
Quote from: "SHANEA"

Confiscating film?  Happened all the time out here in East Texas when the shuttle Columbia made an unexpected stop out this way.  Lots of people, including the local press, had memory cards seized, film exposed, etc.  Reporter for the Nacogdoches Daily Sentinel had his film confescated while he was standing on a sidewalk taking pictures of the command, control, and recovery center.  People that took pics of shuttle debris also had pictures destroyed.  Being the kida guy that I am, after I heard about the incident at the command station, why - I drove to San Augustine, pretended to fill up with gas, and shot pictures galore.


was the local police rounding up film and memory cards or was it the feds????

I will put up a pretty good fight and even do jail time before i willingly give up my memory card to any one who thinks they need it more than i do.

James
everything is better with bacon!!!

http://jamesb.smugmug.com/BigBendNationalPark/

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Offline presidio

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Re: Shall I Rant Why I Dislike Houston?
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2007, 11:19:53 PM »
Quote from: "SHANEA"
We bale out of the vechile and hit the dirt and "assume the position".


Yeah, but they didn't ask you where you were coming from, or going to, or what you where doing there, did they? :D
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<  presidio  >
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Wendell (Garret Dillahunt): It's a mess, ain't it, sheriff?
Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones): If it ain't, it'll do till the mess gets here.
--No Country for Old Men (2007)

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Offline presidio

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Shall I Rant Why I Dislike Houston?
« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2007, 11:23:34 PM »
Houston? Why, the last time I was in Houston was Dec 1974. Swore I'd never go there again....and, so far, have been successful except for a time or two that my commercial flight landed there enroute to where I was going.
_____________
<  presidio  >
_____________
Wendell (Garret Dillahunt): It's a mess, ain't it, sheriff?
Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones): If it ain't, it'll do till the mess gets here.
--No Country for Old Men (2007)

 


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