The September 14, 2017 issue of The HCC Egalitarian

Page 1


Car-centric Houston struggles after storm • Page 4


iPhone X gives glimple of Apple strategy • Page 8


Texans undecided on starting QB • Page 10

Thursday, September 14, 2017 • Vol. 45, No. 1 •

Facing Harvey’s Wrath

Houston, South Texas begin recovery process • Page 6

Image by Karen Bonilla/The Egalitarian

Stars turn out to push for donations for hurricane relief David Bauder

AP Television Writer

NEW YORK — Urged on by dozens of stars who turned out to sing, tell stories and plead for support for hurricane victims in a one-hour televised benefit, organizers said more than $44 million was raised Tuesday and donations are still being accepted. With Stevie Wonder singing “Lean on Me” and Usher and Blake Shelton joining for “Stand By Me,” the message was clear: Americans were being asked to help those whose lives were

upended by wind and rain. Justin Bieber, George Clooney, Barbra Streisand, Al Pacino, Lupita Nyong’o, Jay Leno and dozens of others sat at phone banks to accept donations. Beyonce, Will Smith and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson sent in taped pleas for support during the event, shown on more than a dozen television networks and online simultaneously. Originally conceived as a benefit for victims of Hurricane Harvey in Texas, the “Hand in Hand” telethon was expanded to help people in Florida and

the Caribbean devastated in recent days by Irma. “We’re here to raise money, lift some spirits,” said Jamie Foxx, standing with actor Leonardo DiCaprio. “When tough times hit, this is who we are. We’re compassionate. We’re unstoppable.” Hollywood talent manager Scooter Braun, who organized the event with Houston rap artist Bun B, said that after the show, all the celebrities manning the phone banks stayed to take more calls. “No one left,” he said. “Everyone just kept answering phones

John Salangsang/Invision/AP

Bun B, left, and Scooter Braun attend the Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Harvey Relief held at Universal Studios Back Lot on Tuesday. and answering phones and answering phones. People want to give. Like, people want to help. And you don’t have to be a celebrity to do it.”

The official student newspaper of the Houston Community College System

For many of the stars, the storms hit close to home. “I have family in Puerto Rico, see Hand in Hand, Page 7


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Man pleads guilty to killing Texas deputy Michael Graczyk Associated Press

A man accused of fatally shooting a Texas sheriff ’s deputy at a gas station pleaded guilty Wednesday to capital murder and accepted a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. The plea by Shannon Miles, of Houston, allowed him to avoid a possible death sentence for the August 2015 slaying of Darren Goforth. The 47-yearold Harris County sheriff ’s deputy was shot 15 times while at a suburban Houston gas station where he was putting fuel in his patrol car. Prosecutors had said Miles ambushed Goforth, a deputy for 10 years, simply because he was a law enforcement officer. Miles, who turns 33 on Friday, has a history of mental health issues, initially was found incompetent and spent several months at a state hospital since his arrest days after Goforth’s death. Doctors later determined him competent and a judge ruled him competent to stand trial. Brett Ligon, a special prosecutor brought in to handle the case, said Miles’ mental health issues “weighed quite heavily on me.” He said he was confident in getting a conviction and death sentence

but believed the likelihood of Miles being executed was “zero” because of his mental issues. Instead, life without parole meant justice for Goforth’s wife, Kathleen, and two children, he said. “I would say there’s not a single one of you or anybody in your family that would want the beat down that is life without parole,” Ligon, who is district attorney in nearby Montgomery County, told reporters. “You die nameless. You die faceless. And you die an anonymous death. That is the beat down that is life without parole. “I’ve executed people and I’ve put then on life without parole. And I tell you, neither one of those is a good option,” he added. “They both suck if you’re the defendants. And that’s what I want. The ultimate suck. And he got the ultimate suck.” Ligon said when he presented the plea idea to Goforth’s wife, she “said it was a no-brainer.” “It took me by surprise,” he said. Under terms of the plea, Miles also waives any appeals. “We think it’s a just outcome taking into consideration all the evidence and circumstances in the case,” Miles’ lawyer, Anthony Osso, said. He also said Miles “accepted

Karren Warren/Houston Chronicle via AP Shannon Miles sits in court during a hearing at the Harris County Civil Courthouse, Wednesday in Houston. Miles, accused of fatally shooting Harris County sheriff’s deputy Darren Goforth, pleaded guilty Wednesday to capital murder and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

responsibility when he entered his plea of guilty.” The seemingly senseless slaying prompted outrage in Houston and spurred an outpouring of support for police. At a news conference, Kathleen Goforth held up what she said were the last photos of her husband with her and their children. They were taken during a mini-vacation shortly before his death.

“Mine and Darren’s two children have been spared,” she said of the plea, her voice shaking at times. “They will not have the backdrop of their lives for the next 10 to 25 years being court dates, trials and appeals. ... Nor will they be accosted by ... the image of the man who so violently ended their father’s life. They won’t have that inflicted upon them. “And that is merciful and compassionate and the right

thing to do.” She described her husband as “a really good dad.” “That’s how I want him remembered, as a man who loved his family,” she said. Ligon was named special prosecutor after the Harris County district attorney, Kim Ogg, asked to be recused because her chief of staff while in private practice represented two witnesses who could testify on Miles’ behalf.

Ryan: Deporting young immigrants not in nation’s interest Jill Colvin

Associated Press

WASHINGTON — House Speaker Paul Ryan on Wednesday said deporting hundreds of thousands of young immigrants brought into the country illegally is “not in our nation’s interest,” as he and President Donald Trump prepared to huddle with top Democrats to try to hash out a legislative fix. Speaking in an AP Newsmaker interview, Ryan said he believes the president “made the right call” when he announced he would give Congress six months to figure out what to do with former President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program before dismantling it. DACA has given nearly 800,000 young people protection from deportation and the right to work legally in the country. “I wanted him to give us time. I didn’t want this to be rescinded on Day One and create chaos,” Ryan said, arguing the time would allow Congress to “come up with the right kind of consensus and compromise to fix this problem.” As part of that effort, Ryan will be meeting with the House’s top Democrat, Nancy Pelosi, on Wednesday evening, before Pelosi heads to the White House for a

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Photo House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis., left, answers questions during an interview with Julie Pace, AP chief of bureau in Washington; and Erica Werner, AP congressional correspondent, at the Associated Press

dinner with Trump and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer. The leaders were expected to discuss DACA, among issues, according to congressional aides and the White House. Trump also met with a group

of moderate members of Congress from both parties Wednesday afternoon, where he urged them to come up with a bipartisan solution to protect DACA recipients, who have become known as “Dreamers.”

The get-togethers come amid new signs that there may be room for compromise on the thorny issue of immigration, which has been vexing lawmakers for years. Trump, who was deeply disappointed by Republicans’ failure to pass a health care overhaul, has shown a new willingness to work with Democrats in recent weeks, despite railing against them as “obstructionist.” Last week Trump infuriated many in his party when he reached a three-month agreement with Schumer and Pelosi to raise the debt ceiling, keep the government running and speed relief to states affected by recent hurricanes. Both Pelosi and a top White House staffer also indicated Tuesday that they were open to a compromise on border security to expedite legislation protecting DACA recipients. Trump urged lawmakers gathered to discuss tax reform not to forget the immigration issue as they dig into the fall agenda. “We don’t want to forget DACA. And it’s already been a week and a half and people don’t talk about it as much,” he said, adding: “We want to see if we can do something in a bipartisan fashion so that we can solve the DACA problem and other immigration problems. So we’ll be discussing that today.”


Thursday September 14, 2017

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Thursday September 14, 2017

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Car-centric Houston struggles after storm Paul Wiseman & Dee-Ann Durbin

AP Business Writers

KATY, Texas — Bryan Harvey is frequently reminded that he shares a name with the storm that dumped 50 inches of rain on metropolitan Houston and unleashed the floods that have him working 14-hour days towing water-logged cars. Even in their despair, some victims have salvaged a smile by posing for pictures in front of the “Harvey’s Towing” sign on the side of his red Dodge Ram 5500 flat-bed truck. More than a week after Harvey slammed Houston, wreckers like Bryan Harvey are still hauling cars and trucks from flooded neighborhoods to dealerships or to vast fields where insurance adjusters can assess the damage. Harvey killed at least 70 people, destroyed or damaged 200,000 homes — and inflicted an automotive catastrophe on one of America’s most cardependent cities. The Houston area has lost hundreds of thousands of cars, says Michael Hartmann, general manager of Don McGill Toyota of Katy, a city of 17,000 about 30 miles west of Houston. “We have a shortage of rental cars and people not sure how to go about handling claims and just what to do with their lives.” The wreckage has forced Houstonians to scramble to try to rent or borrow cars or to work from home — if they can. Some have it worse: They can’t return to work until they resolve the transportation problems, depriving many of them of income and slowing the city’s return to business as usual. ——— WHERE CARS ARE EVERYTHING Few American cities depend on cars as much as Houston. More than 94 percent of the city’s households have cars, second only to Dallas, the Cox Automotive consultancy says. Houston is even less amenable to walking, bicycle-riding and mass transit than freewaymad Los Angeles, according to Walk Score, which promotes walkable communities. Fourteen-lane highways link downtown Houston to its sprawling suburbs. Off-ramps are stacked five-high at some interchanges, inducing vertigo for motorists unschooled in driving Houston-style. Outside the city center, isolated islands of office towers are connected only by concrete and asphalt. Cars are “everything here,” Hartmann says. “Cars are part of a person’s lifestyle. Most people in our area work 25, 30 miles from home.” Houston is used to flooding. But it had never seen anything like Harvey, which dropped a year’s worth of rain onto the

LM Otero/AP Photo Gillis Leho looks for documents in her car that was covered by floodwaters brought on by Tropical Storm Harvey in Houston, Texas. The Cox Automotive consultancy estimates that up to 500,000 cars and trucks were damaged or destroyed by the storm, amounting to nearly $5 billion in damage.

metro area. Flooded roads and neighborhoods left cars submerged and, in most cases, impossible to salvage. “Almost every square inch of your vehicle has wires in it,” says Rebecca Lindland, executive analyst at Cox Automotive. “The materials are often flameretardant, but they are not waterproof.” Cox estimates that up to 500,000 cars and trucks were damaged or destroyed, amounting to nearly $5 billion in damage. Auto insurance claims have reached 160,000, according to the Insurance Council of Texas. Cars are being taken by the hundreds to a make-shift lot at the 500acre Royal Purple Raceway in Baytown, about 35 miles east of town. Most of the time, the insurance adjusters shake their heads at the damage Harvey has wrought and declare the cars a total loss. “Put yourself in the shoes of the adjuster,” says Mark Hanna, a spokesman for the Texas insurance council. “He’s just seen, say, a 2015 Toyota Camry. He knows this vehicle has been underwater for six days. They can look at it, but they know water is all throughout that vehicle. They know it is totaled ... He’s going to see the same vehicle many times.” Many insurers are reluctant even to try to repair cars that risk further problems and repairs later. In the meantime, there’s a desperate shortage of rental cars. Enterprise Holdings, which includes the Enterprise, National and Alamo brands, has moved thousands of vehicles to southeast Texas and plans to have brought in at least

17,000 by the end of September. The Avis Budget Group, which operates Avis and Budget, is moving 10,000 vehicles into the affected areas, waiving late fees, one-way rental fees and rental extension fees in and around Houston. ——— RETHINKING SUBURBAN SPRAWL? Tanya Dubose, executive director of the redevelopment council in Houston’s Independence Heights neighborhood, loved her car, a 2010 Chevrolet Equinox with 140,000 miles on it. She kept her files in the backseat, along with paperwork on her family genealogy, a hobby of hers. “I use my car for everything — to go to meetings, to lug people around,” she says. “It was my office. It had Bluetooth speakers, so I could do business.” The Equinox has been missing since Harvey hit. The vehicle had been in the shop undergoing work, and the surrounding neighborhood was flooded. “I have no idea where my car is,” Dubose says. She can’t reach the mechanic who’d been working on it. Flooded out of her home, she’s been getting rides from friends and has set up shop in a hotel near the George R. Brown Convention Center to help Harvey victims. In Katy, Ysabel Saez, her partner and three daughters fled their apartment by wading through chest-deep water, leaving behind a Ford Escape sport utility and an F-150 pickup. Both had been swamped. Her Escape was insured; her partner’s pickup wasn’t. Without a ride, he’s been unable to get to his job at

an audio-visual company near the George Bush International Airport, over 40 miles away. “We were doing fine,” says Saez, who works as a nanny. “Now we’re so behind. We want to get back to where we were.” Urban planners, like Kyle Shelton of Rice University in Houston, say the city and its suburbs were ill-prepared for a storm like Harvey. “We’ve lost 500,000 to 1 million cars,” he says. “How are those people getting around now?” Bus and train service is limited, especially in suburban areas such as Sugar Land, which never joined the region’s transit authority. The region would benefit if people were living closer together rather than spread out over 2,000 square miles as they are now. “Denser places would be more easily served and better connected to emergency services,” says Shelton, director of strategic partnerships at Rice’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research, who wonders whether Harvey will change attitudes toward suburban sprawl and the area’s dependence on cars. Hartmann at the Toyota dealership is skeptical: “I don’t think it will change anything.” Car culture runs too deep. ——— CARS LIKE BOATS These days, Bryan Harvey, who runs a one-man towing operation, starts work at 7 a.m. and gets home after 9 p.m. Cellphones and police scanners let him know when someone needs a tow. The phone rings. “I’m coming that-away,” he says en route to a drenched Kia Rio. As Harvey tows the Kia,

Jessica Kong mentions that it’s the third car her family has lost to the storm. An employee for a billing company, she’s been working from home. Others in her household have borrowed cars from family and friends to get around. “Good thing we have a lot of family,” she says. Harvey pulls away in search of another stranded, waterlogged car. Sporting a tattoo, a knee brace and crucifix necklace, Harvey maneuvers his truck through Katy’s muddy residential streets, past homes where mattresses, drywall and other debris are piled up on what used to be neat suburban lawns. In some places, the streets remain filled with a foot or more of water. Harvey drives cautiously to protect his truck and avoid swamping other vehicles in his wake. Other motorists aren’t so careful and stall in the flooded streets. “Houstonians think their cars are boats,” he says. “It’s a recurring thing. They are attracted to it like bugs to light.” Harvey has car problems of his own. His youngest daughter was flooded out of her home and is living at his place. She also lost her car. She’s borrowing a car from Harvey’s girlfriend, who, in turn, is borrowing Harvey’s. He doesn’t need it much. He spends most of his time working in the Dodge Ram. On Tuesday, he did five double loads — 10 cars — and ended up giving someone a ride after hours. He staggered home around 11. “I drank a beer,” he says, “and went to sleep.”

Thursday September 14, 2017


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Children return to city schools Juan A. Lozano

Associated Press

HOUSTON — The first day of classes for students in Houston on Monday was filled with the excitement of meeting new teachers and making new friends, while also allowing the nation’s fourth-largest city to return normalcy to an area still wending its way through the healing process following massive flooding from Harvey. Students “are excited to be back. Parents are excited to get students out of the house, to get them back to something normal, to be with their friends,” said school secretary Demitra Cain as she greeted students and parents outside Codwell Elementary. The longtime school district employee said she had probably given out at least 200 hugs on the first day of the new school year, which was delayed by two weeks due to Harvey. Superintendent Richard Carranza said the new school year was “going to be a year of not only incredible academic achievement, but it’s going to be a year of healing.” None of the district’s more than 300 schools and facilities escaped without some impact from the tropical storm, Carranza said. The district estimates Harvey caused at least $700 million in damage to schools and other buildings as well as other costs. Students at 268 of the Houston school district’s 284 campuses started classes on Monday. Houston has the nation’s seventh-largest school system, with about 215,000 students. Some of the students who

returned to school on Monday included many of the less than 1,500 students who remain at shelters because their homes and apartments were flooded. The district bused these students from shelters to their campuses, officials said. The remaining campuses will start classes on Tuesday, Sept. 18 and Sept. 25 due to ongoing clean up and repairs from Harvey, which last month dumped more than 50 inches of rain in some areas around Houston. Nine campuses were so severely damaged that their students will have to be temporarily relocated to vacant district buildings or transferred to nearby schools and three of these campuses likely will be closed for repairs the entire school year. These nine campuses served about 6,500 students last year. “We are working hard to make sure that we’re going to be as normal as normal can be, given the circumstance. We know the quicker we can get students into a routine, it allows mom and dad to get into a routine. It allows the healing to begin,” said Carranza after visiting with students at Codwell Elementary and helping serve some of them breakfast. “So we’ve burned the midnight oil for the last two weeks to make sure we can get as many schools up and running today.” For students who didn’t start on Monday or who have been staying in shelters, teachers and community groups have been working with them to ensure they get organized instructional activity until they return to the classroom, Carranza said.


County looks to buy high flood risk homes The Associated Press

David J. Phillip/AP Photo Deric Brown, center, walks his twins, Kaydence, left, and Avery, right, to their first day of school at Codwell Elementary Monday in Houston. Students in Houston are finally starting their new school year following a two-week delay because of damage from Harvey.

Chitiquita Myers, who dropped off her 9-year-old son James at Codwell Elementary, said the start of the new school year will give all her seven children a chance to focus on something good and forget about the fear they felt during the tropical storm. Myers said her home did not flood but her kids were scared and “slept in their closets” during the torrential rainfall. “They’re doing good now. All night (Sunday) they were talking about going to school,” said Myers, 33. At a news conference with Carranza, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said he will continue working with the school district to offer students and their families whatever help they need from the city and local community groups. “The city, along with our

partners, are working to make sure (students’) homes are livable. There is a lot of work to be done,” Turner said. “There is no better way to demonstrate to the rest of the world that this city is open than for them to see kids in our schools and learning.” Other school districts in the Houston area have also had to make adjustments due to damage from Harvey. In the Houston suburb of Humble, Summer Creek High School will share its building for the entire school year with students from Kingwood High School, which was severely damaged. In the Katy school district, students at Creech Elementary will attend classes at an unused satellite location belonging to the University of Houston until repairs to their campus can be completed.

County officials in the Houston area are asking the federal government for $17 million to purchase more than 100 homes at the highest risk of flooding, though over a thousand residents have requested buyouts since Hurricane Harvey pummeled the area. The Harris County Commissioners Court voted Tuesday to apply for a Federal Emergency Management Agency grant, the Houston Chronicle reported . The funds would be used to buy and demolish 104 homes that are at least 2 feet (0.61 meters) below the flood plain. The grant application was based on flooding in the previous two years, so it may not apply to the estimated 136,000 buildings in the county that were flooded during Harvey. The homes being eyed for buyouts are scattered across the county and aren’t clustered in one area, said Russ Poppe, executive director for the county flood control district. But in recent days, more than 1,000 residents have expressed interest in buyouts. “It’s absolutely, by far, the most significant and the most volume I’ve ever seen,” said James Wade, property acquisition manager for the flood control district. “And, of course, this is also the largest flood event to ever hit Harris County. I guess it goes hand in hand.” Local and FEMA officials say they hope to expand and speed up the buyout process.

FEMA: Harvey losses could top $11 billion Michael Biesecker Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The head of the National Flood Insurance Program said Wednesday early estimates show Hurricane Harvey will result in about $11 billion in payouts to insured homeowners, mostly in southeast Texas. That would likely put Harvey as the second costliest storm in the history of the federal insurance program, said Roy E. Wright, the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s deputy associate administrator for insurance and mitigation. More than $16 billion was paid out after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. It is still too soon to estimate

losses from Hurricane Irma, Wright said. But he predicted that the storm damage in Florida and other affected states could rival the nearly $9 billion paid out after Superstorm Sandy in 2012. Even before the recent backto-back hurricanes, the federal flood insurance program was about $25 billion in debt to the U.S. Treasury. Wright said the program currently has enough cash to absorb the initial wave of payments to help homeowners get back on their feet but will need billions more within about a month. “Congress has never turned their back on a flood insurance holder, and I cannot imagine them looking away now,”

Wright said. “I am confident there will be no break in the flow of funds.” The Associated Press reported earlier this month that the total number of federal flood insurance policies nationally dropped by about 10 percent over the last 5 years, to about 4.9 million. The drop came after Congress required a premium hike in 2012 and about a half million homeowners elected to drop their coverage. As a result, scores of homes flooded by Harvey and Irma will not be covered by federal flood insurance. Those uninsured homeowners will likely have to seek grants and loans to rebuild. Wright said such federal emergency help should

be seen as a life vest, but not the full protection offered by flood insurance. Wright said that nationally there are about 10 million residential structures, twice the number of properties currently covered, in areas that could potentially flood. That includes many homes that are outside 1-in-100 year flood plains or that don’t have federallybacked mortgages requiring flood insurance policies. Wright said uninsured homeowners around the country should learn from what is happening in Houston and other flood-ravaged parts of the country and seriously weigh whether they should buy a policy.

“Collectively, we need more people covered,” Wright said. “We have to get beyond this conversation about what I have to do and what I’m mandated to do, and put folks in an educated position by which they are making a back-pocket economic decision.” Wright said that under current law, FEMA is not allowed to cancel policies covering waterfront or low-lying homes that have been flooded and rebuilt multiple times. In the wake of Harvey and Irma, he said the flood insurance program will likely be refining its policies to allow the owners of such multiple-loss homes to be bought out and moved to higher ground.

6 Harvey could impact victims’ mental health Thursday September 14, 2017

The Egalitarian


Jimmieka Mills

To say that emotions around Houston are high would be an understatement. The devastation that Hurricane Harvey left in its wake was not limited material possessions, many residents in the Houston area are experiencing a mental hurricane of emotions that they themselves may not be able to make sense of. “It is important for individuals to understand that a lot of what they’re feeling is not just normal day to day stress. If you’re experiencing heightened emotions and other symptoms of trauma it most likely is a response to the storm and you should seek someone out and at least have an initial conversation about what you’re feeling.” Says Annalee Gulley, Director of Public Policy and Government affairs at Mental Health America of Greater Houston. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD has long been associated with veterans of war, but PTSD can occur to anyone who has experienced a traumatic event. “I think when we label trauma as only as PTSD individuals have difficulty identifying their experience as similar because that term is so tied to the military. That is not the case. Anyone’s mental health can be affected greatly by a traumatic experience and there shouldn’t be stigma attached to seeking help,” says Gulley. Whatever the name, the trauma that Houston residents are feelings is widespread and undeniable. “One thing that we’re seeing across the board throughout Houston is no matter where you go people have been affected by the storm. Whether it’s that their house flooded and they had to evacuate, losing everything, or just someone who was watching the news non-stop and saw all this devastation, the resulting trauma is very real.”

AP Graphic

There are several signs of trauma, ranging from increased anxiety to struggles with personal relationships. Individuals who may have already been experiencing issues within their personal life may face even greater barriers to recovering following Hurricane Harvey. “One of the things that you’re going to see in PTSD or trauma affected individuals is that all emotions are heightened. If you have trouble with your spouse, that’s going to be exacerbated, if there are family issues that you’re grappling with those are going to become more difficult to deal with. If someone has previously experienced a mental or behavioral health issue, they’re going to feel heightened symptoms, they’re going to be more agitated, they’re going to have more anxiety, they will have depression sink in.” Says Gulley. The hurricane left thousands displaced and many found refuge in emergency shelters set up around Houston two of the largest being The George

R. Brown Convention Center and NRG Stadium. MHA of Greater Houston staff were at both locations and through their partnerships with local pharmacies which included CVS, Walgreens, Kroger and Walmart 18-wheeler trucks filled with prescriptions for victims were delivered to the shelters. “We had an overwhelming response from the mental and behavioral health provider network to ensure that these clinics that were set up quickly within these shelters were well staffed and that individuals could both receive their medication but also have access to either an MD or a licensed clinical social worker to start working through these issues immediately to stop the exacerbation of the trauma they’ve experienced.” Says Gulley Although Gulley believes that the healing process from the trauma caused by Harvey may not be truly seen for one to three years from now, there Is critical work that she feels

needs to be immediately. “I think the biggest thing we have to make sure we’re doing right now is educating people in Houston about what they’ve been going through - especially individuals who might not have gone into the storm with any type of medical or mental health diagnosis which doesn’t mean what they’re experiencing is not truly trauma.” Students may be feeling especially anxious about things at home, the shortened semesters impending deadlines or any of the other signs of trauma, if this is the case Gulley urges students to seek support. “We are really working to proactively push counselors into the community. At this point we would suggest if you’re on a college campus and you have access to a counselor try to find an appointment time and just talk about the feelings you’re experiencing. If you’re involved in a faith based organization, go and talk to your pastor or rabbi and start talking to any individual you trust and start sharing the emotions that

you’re feeling.” MHA of Greater Houston’s current mission is to make sure they are prepared to reach directly to the communities within the coming weeks to provide the aide to many who because of the stigma surrounding trauma, have remained silent. Gulley says, “Symptoms that are seen with PTSD will be seen community wide in varying degrees. I think there is less of a need to classify it and more of a need to make sure that individuals understand that when they are feeling these things first of all it’s a common reaction and response to the events we’ve seen over the last 10 days but that it’s also something that they should talk to someone about because the best way to combat trauma is by talking about it.” ——— Crisis Intervention Houston (832) 416-1177 Disaster Distress Hotline 1-800985-5990 or text “talkwithus” to 66746 to be connected to a trained crisis counselor.

FEMA sees trailers only as last resort after storms Emily Schmall & Frank Bajak Associated Press

Frank Bajak/AP Photo

Salvador Cortez, 58, shows debris in the front yard of his home in Houston on Saturday. Unable to afford an alternative and awaiting a solution from the Federal Emergency Management, he is sleeping in his musty, flood-gutted home.

HOUSTON — In a 2017 hurricane season that has already seen two monster storms, Harvey and Irma, manufactured homes are turning out to be just a small fraction of the federal government’s plan to deal with displaced people, with only 1,700 trailers available. Where exactly the Federal Emergency Management Agency plans to send those trailers, Texas or Florida, is not yet clear. But what is clear is they will only be used as a last resort.

That’s in stark contrast to 2005, when 144,000 FEMA trailers became symbols of the troubled federal response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita after lawsuits accused some of those units of being riddled with high levels of cancercausing formaldehyde. FEMA’s new model for monster storms honed in the wake of 2012’s Superstorm Sandy puts the emphasis on paying for hotels and apartments for temporary housing. That, along with see Last Resort, Page 7

Thursday September 14, 2017


Steps to recovering from Harvey John Cañamar

Hurricane Harvey made landfall 19 days ago and changed the lives of millions. Now nearly three weeks later what do you do to return to normal? Many families are back to their daily routines as before the storm, but for many more from Rockport, Texas, through Houston and East Texas in 39 counties it is far from normal. For all that were affected by Harvey in any form there is the Federal Emergency Management Agency more commonly known as FEMA. FEMA helps people that have been affected in federally declared disaster zones with assistance in housing and personal needs. FEMA has created a Disaster Survivor’s List: • Call your insurance company and file a claim. • Register with FEMA at www. • Schedule a FEMA inspection. • Read your FEMA determination letter. • Use FEMA grant wisely. • Save receipts and maintain good records. • Stay in touch with FEMA. • Visit a Recovery Center. • Visit a FEMA Hazard Mitigation display. Registration is straightforward and takes around 20 minutes to complete. Items needed to register are a social security number (your own or one for a minor in the household), the address of the location that was damaged, name of the people who lived there, family’s gross income at time of disaster, contact information and a bank account if direct deposit is desired for funds that may be granted. There are five types of assistance being offered to Harvey survivors; Housing

Karen Bonilla/The Egalitarian A rain-swollen Greens Bayou floods neighborhoods along East Freeway during Hurricane Harvey.

Assistance, Miscellaneous Items, Personal Property, Critical Needs and Lodging Reimbursement. Critical Needs Assistance is intended to cover immediate disaster related expenses like food, fuel for transportation, hygiene products and food. This assistance is processed the first day and can be as high as $500 and in your bank account as soon as the following day of filling your application. Lodging Reimbursement Assistance is not actually reimbursed to survivors. FEMA places you in a hotel or motel for up to 30 days for temporary residence and is paid directly to the property. The decision for the help takes from instantly to up to a few days. One room is provided for every four members in your household. Housing Assistance is similar to the Lodging Reimbursement with a few differences. The biggest is that money is granted to the survivor to find new housing or repair their home that was damaged. This assistance is not determined until after your property is inspected. Personal Property Assistance is for the repair or replacement of items such as essential clothing, household furnishings,

educational items and tools required for employment. Like the Housing Assistance this assistance is not determined until after your property is inspected. Miscellaneous Assistance is to be used for items much like critical needs after the disaster. This aid may be given at any time. FEMA also helps with childcare expenses and finding work after disasters. FEMA is not insurance and will not cover all your needs. The highest amount available to each family if deemed qualified is $33,000, but it is more common for families to receive grants totaling in the $4,000 to $6,000 range. FEMA also has a Small Business Administration loans at low interest rates to individuals who are property owners or renters. There are two Disaster Recovery Centers in the Houston area to help with the process of the application and setting up inspections: • George R. Brown Convention Center, located at 1001 Avenida de las Americas in Houston • Sienna Annex, located at 5855 Sienna Spring Way in Missouri City

Last Resort, From Page 6 money for super-fast fixes that allow people to move back into their own homes as quickly as possible, even before all the repairs are done. “Our role is to provide sort of the bridge to get through the disaster,” FEMA spokesman Kurt Pickering said Saturday. “We are not intended to make people or households back the way they were before, to make them whole. We’re designed to get them through the emergency.” A joint state and federal housing task force in Austin is working with FEMA on the best way to allocate resources. But those affected are far more likely to get government support by way of a few weeks at a hotel, a couple of months of rent in an apartment or a check for repairs, than a FEMA trailer. “To put a mobile home or travel trailer out there is a significant expense — it really is the option of last resort,” said Mark Miscak, an emergency management consultant and

former director in FEMA’s recovery division. That’s the way it’s playing out so far after Harvey, which damaged or destroyed more than 210,000 homes across southeast Texas, mostly from the effects of floodwaters from an epic downpour of nearly 52 inches. FEMA is picking up the tab for hotel rooms spread across Texas for about 60,000 people affected by the storm for up to two weeks. The agency is also paying a couple months’ rent at the government’s fair market rate for 27,000 additional households. So who might get a trailer? It might be people like the Ochoa family of hardhit southwest Houston, with parents and two grown siblings still sleeping in their heavily damaged, moldering home, its skeletal walls recently stripped of soggy drywall. Claudia Ochoa, 21, said FEMA offered to put her family up in motels but they were located in cities four to five

hours away and they couldn’t afford to abandon their jobs. “If we had some money, we would leave, but we don’t,” she said as her 5-year-old son played on a couch salvaged from the storm. FEMA sent a $500 check for food and cleaning supplies, Ochoa said, but the family is still hoping for a more permanent solution. The Ochoas’ 58-year-old neighbor, Salvador Cortez, is also sleeping in his musty, flood-gutted home. Cortez said he’s received no money or housing options from FEMA yet, despite repeated phone calls. But he didn’t want to continue imposing on his son, where his wife has been staying with four other people. Going into the current hurricane season, FEMA had 1,700 trailers on hand in staging areas in Alabama and Maryland. It has put out bids for another 4,500, but officials could not say when they would be ready to meet needs arising from Harvey, Irma and potentially future storms.

The Egalitarian

FEMA spokesman Bob Howard stressed the units are of much higher quality and do not have the formaldehyde problems of the trailers of the past, which resulted in multimillion-dollar lawsuit payouts to survivors who lived in them for years after the storms. The new trailers, which cost FEMA between $40,000 and $60,000 each, range in size from one bedroom to three bedrooms, and are equipped with sprinklers and other features designed for longerterm habitation. “They’re built to house survivors much longer than previous units used after disasters,” FEMA said in a release last year announcing its new fleet, “an important consideration because rebuilding can take months or even years.” Still, FEMA stressed in a January 2017 release, units “are not intended to be a permanent housing option for flood survivors.”


Hand in Hand, From Page 1 I have family in Miami. I’ve been on the road. I haven’t been able to be there. So you can imagine how it’s been,” ‘’Despacito” singer Luis Fonsi said after the show, adding that all his family, including his wife and young children in Miami, survived the storm and are safe. “”Helpless — helpless is an understatement,” Fonsi said of being on tour and unable to be with his family. He noted that his experience paled in comparison to the pain the storms have caused for many. “You can imagine how frustrating it is to not be able to sort of protect your own family,” he said. “Imagine all of these people that have nothing to do. The videos that you see online. So as an artist, as a singer, I think it’s part of our job, it’s part of our resume, to take time off and come together and do these kind of things.” The quick-moving show took a form familiar to viewers since a sad template was set in the wake of the 2001 terrorist attacks. Celebrities requested donations, told heartwarming survival stories involving people caught in the storm and sang songs. Several organizations will benefit, including the United Way and Save the Children. Stages in Los Angeles, New York and Nashville, Tennessee, were filled simultaneously, although the night’s final performance — a tribute to Texans by George Strait, Robert Earl Keen, Chris Stapleton, Miranda Lambert and Lyle Lovett — originated from San Antonio. Fonsi and Tori Kelly sang “Hallelujah” together. Dave Matthews picked his guitar from a studio above New York’s Times Square, and Darius Rucker, Brad Paisley, Demi Lovato and Cece Winans sang the Beatles’ “With a Little Help From My Friends.” Wonder, backed by a gospel chorus, opened the show with the Bill Withers classic. “Natural disasters don’t discriminate,” Beyonce said. “They don’t care if you’re an immigrant, black or white, Hispanic or Asian, Jewish or Muslim, wealthy or poor.” Cher and Oprah Winfrey told the story behind a frequently seen picture of strangers forming a human chain to save someone from flooding in Houston. Usually competitive network morning personalities Matt Lauer, Norah O’Donnell and Michael Strahan stood before a satellite image of an ominous Irma to describe devastation the storm had caused. Donations were announced from some deep pockets. Computer maker Michael Dell and his wife, Susan, pledged to match the first $10 million in donations Tuesday. They’ve given a total of $41 million to the Rebuild Texas Fund.


Thursday September 14, 2017

The Egalitarian



iPhone X shines light on Apple’s pricing strategy Michael Liedke & Barbara Ortutay

AP Technology Writers

CUPERTINO, Calif. — Apple has made a luxury iPhone that punctuates its technological swagger with a high-priced exclamation point. And that exclamation point appears to be a sign of things to come. The long-anticipated iPhone X unveiled Tuesday will sell for $999, double what the original iPhone cost a decade ago and more than any other competing device on the market. That’s very much in line with Apple’s long-term positioning of itself as a purveyor of pricey aspirational gadgets. But it’s also a clear sign that Apple is ramping up that strategy by continuing to push its prices higher, even though improvements it’s bringing to its products are often incremental or derivative. Among other things, that runs contrary to decades in which high-tech device prices have fallen over time, often dramatically, even as the gadgets themselves acquired new features and powers. On Tuesday, for instance, Apple also introduced a TV streaming box that will sell for $179, far more than similar devices, and a smartwatch with its own cellular connection that will cost almost $400. In December, Apple will start selling an internet-connected

speaker, the HomePod, priced at $349, nearly twice as much as Amazon’s market-leading Echo speaker. Apple is also raising the price of its runner-up phones, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, which will respectively cost $50 and $30 more than their immediate predecessors, the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. PAYING MORE FOR SOMEWHAT MORE The premium pricing strategy reflects Apple’s long-held belief that consumers will pay more for products that are so well designed that they can’t fathom living without them. Apple CEO Tim Cook left little doubt in the company’s confidence in the iPhone X (pronounced “ten”), whose name references the decade that’s passed since company co-founder Steve Jobs first pulled out an iPhone that sold for $499. Cook attempted to frame the iPhone X as a similar breakthrough, hailing it as “the biggest leap forward” since the original iPhone. But the original iPhone revolutionized society by putting connected hand-held computers and apps into the hands of millions of ordinary people. The iPhone X mostly promises to do what earlier smartphones have done, only better. The technological wizardry in the iPhone X is unquestionably impressive. It includes a bright new edge-to-edge screen, a

Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP Photo Apple CEO Tim Cook announces the new iPhone X at the Steve Jobs Theater on the new Apple campus, Tuesday in Cupertino, Calif.

special artificial-intelligenceenabled chip, new sensors for facial recognition and a grabbag of fun items like animated emojis that mimic your expressions, portrait-mode selfies that blur the background, an augmented reality game platform and wireless charging. Apple said the phone’s battery will last two hours longer than that of the iPhone 7. But rival phones — many of them from Samsung — already offer similar displays, facial recognition, augmented reality and wireless charging, if often in cruder forms that mostly haven’t won over large numbers of phone users. BREAKING NEW GROUND None of which is to say that Apple won’t break new ground. In particular, the iPhone X gives Apple the opportunity to bring augmented reality — essentially the projection of computergenerated images into realworld surroundings, a la the

monster hunts in “Pokemon Go” — into mainstream use. No one can say with certainty what sort of “killer app” will make augmented reality a hit. Whatever it turns out to be, it seems as likely to emerge from an unknown startup as an established company. But Apple is certainly taking a stab at the problem. On Tuesday, Apple demonstrate a simple use for sophisticated camera technology on the iPhone X with “animoji,” which lets people animate emoji characters with their voices and facial expressions — and then send them to their friends. Showing off a new technology with something that everyday people can use and understand is “what Apple does best,” said Gartner analyst Brian Blau. Augmented reality won’t be restricted to the iPhone X; the apps will also run on hundreds of millions of other iPhones

so long as they install new operating-system software called iOS 11 when Apple pushes out a free update next week. In a way, Apple may have its rivals to thank for this opportunity. Fiercer competition from Samsung, Google and Huawei increased the pressure on Apple to make a big splash with its new iPhone, says technology analyst Patrick Moorhead. “It looks like they have a good chance at creating a new market segment called the ‘super phone,’” Moorhead said. “You could tell they really poured their heart and soul into this.” Other Apple devices are also getting better. A new Apple Watch can finally make phone calls and stream music over cellular networks without an iPhone nearby, and the company’s Apple TV streaming box will now deliver supersharp “4K” video.

Abrams to write and direct ‘Star Wars: Episode IX’ Lindsey Bahr AP Film Writer

LOS ANGELES — J.J. Abrams is returning to “Star Wars,” and will replace Colin Trevorrow as writer and director of “Episode IX,” pushing the film’s release date back seven months. Disney announced Abrams return on Tuesday a week after news broke of Trevorrow’s departure. After several high-profile exits by previous “Star Wars” directors, Lucasfilm is turning to the filmmaker who helped resurrect the franchise in the first place. Abrams will co-write the film with screenwriter Chris Terrio, who won an Oscar for adapting “Argo,” and also co-wrote “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.” As the director of “The Force Awakens,” Abrams rebooted “Star Wars” to largely glowing reviews from fans and more than $2 billion in box office. Abrams had said that would be his only film for the franchise, but he’s now been pulled back in. Lucasfilm President Kathleen

Christopher Smith/Invision/AP Photo Director-producer J.J. Abrams poses for a portrait to promote “The Play That Goes Wrong” at the Lyceum Theatre in New York. Abrams is returning to “Star Wars,” and will replace Colin Trevorrow as writer and director of “Episode IX.” Disney announced Abrams return on Tuesday.

Kennedy said that Abrams “delivered everything we could have possibly hoped for” on “The Force Awakens” and added “I am so excited that he is coming back to close out this trilogy.” This move also means Abrams will be

the only director aside from “Star Wars” creator George Lucas to direct more than one “Star Wars” film. “Star Wars: Episode IX” was originally slated to hit theaters in May 2019, but in the wake of the shift has officially been

pushed back to a Dec. 20, 2019 release. It is the final installment in the new “main” Star Wars trilogy that began with Abrams’ “The Force Awakens” in 2015 and will continue this December with director Rian Johnson’s “The Last Jedi.” Lucasfilm has had a number of public fallouts with “Star Wars” directors over the past few years. Earlier this year the young Han Solo spinoff film parted ways with director Phil Lord and Christopher Miller and swiftly replaced them with Ron Howard deep into production. In 2015, the company fired director Josh Trank from work on another Star Wars spinoff. And extensive reshoots on “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” led to widespread speculation that director Gareth Edwards had been unofficially sidelined by Tony Gilroy. News of Abrams’ return was greeted warmly by fans on social media Tuesday. He hasn’t directed or committing to directing another project since “The Force Awakens,” and instead had been focused on producing.

Thursday September 14, 2017


The Egalitarian


Emmys reflect TV’s narrow ethnic view Lynn Elber

AP Television Writer

LOS ANGELES — When cameras pan across the faces of eager, anxious Emmy Award nominees at Sunday’s ceremony, TV viewers will see a record 12 African-Americans vying for comedy and drama series acting honors. But it’s a lop-sided outcome in the struggle for diversity. “Master of None” star Aziz Ansari, who is of Indian heritage, is the sole AsianAmerican to be nominated for a continuing series lead or supporting role. Not a single Latino is included in the marquee acting categories. An Emmy version of the 201516 #OscarsSoWhite protests would miss the point: Worthy films and performances from people of color were snubbed by movie academy voters, while insiders say the scant Emmy love for non-black minorities largely reflects closed TV industry doors. “There are a lot of us, but because we haven’t gotten the opportunity to shine you don’t know we’re around,” said Ren Hanami, an Asian-American actress who’s worked steadily on TV in smaller roles but found substantive, award-worthy parts elusive. The hard-won progress made by the African-American stars and makers of Emmynominated shows including “black-ish” and “Atlanta” has brought them creative influence, visibility and, this year, nearly a quarter (23.5 percent) of series cast nominations. While that success is cheered by other ethnic groups, they say it illuminates how narrowly the entertainment industry views diversity despite the

fact that Latinos and AsianAmericans are America’s first and third largest ethnic groups, respectively. But it also stands as proof that change is possible with a combination of activism, education and business savvy, according to industry members and outsiders seeking change. “TV has never been ‘brownish,’” said actor-comedian Paul Rodriguez, riffing on the title of the hit African-American family comedy. He starred in the 1984 sitcom “a.k.a. Pablo,” one of the handful of Latino-centered series, and wrote “The Pitch, or How to Pitch a Latino Sitcom that Will Never Air,” a 2015 stage show he reprised this month in Los Angeles because, he said, Hispanics haven’t gained ground. “They don’t put us on television enough for them to even know if it’s not working,” Rodriguez said. “They just assume it won’t work. And it goes on year after year. Our population keeps growing, and so does our frustration.” It’s reached critical mass, said Alex Nogales, president of the National Hispanic Media Coalition. In 1999, the coalition joined with the NAACP and others to demand action from broadcast networks in the wake of an all-white slate of new shows. “I’m tired of being the nice Mexican. It hasn’t taken us anywhere,” Nogales said. His new plan: Make sure networks and increasingly popular digital platforms such as Netflix know when Latinos — nearly 18 percent of the U.S. population and with an estimated buying power of about $1.5 trillion and growing — are unhappy with their programming. “Networks have brands that have been around for a very

Netflix via AP This image released by Netflix shows Aziz Ansari in a scene from, “Master of None.” Ansari is nominated for an Emmy Award for outstanding lead actor in a comedy series, the sole Asian-American acting nominee.

long time. We can damage that brand, we can do it by marching in front of their offices and embarrassing them. We can do it through social media,” Nogales said, including putting pressure on TV advertisers. The financial bottom line is key, agreed Gary Mayeda, president of the Japanese American Citizens League, which focuses on civil rights issues affecting Asian- and Pacific Islander-Americans. “Diversity is profitable,” he said. “Cultural diversity takes nothing nor steals from any other group.” He called for more and better market research on consumers, a point Rodriguez drives home in his play “Pitch.” In one scene, a network executive character uses a pie chart that purports to show why Latinos are a loser for TV: Compared to blacks, they

don’t watch enough TV. But a different picture emerges in the Nielsen research the industry uses. According to a recent report, the number of Hispanics that TV reached monthly in the first quarter of 2017 exceeded AfricanAmericans (50.7 million compared to 39.3 million). Blacks still spend more viewing time weekly than other ethnic groups (43 hours vs. 23 hours for Latinos and 14 hours for Asian-Americans), but with smartphones and other viewing devices favored by young people the gap narrows or disappears. Dispelling stereotypes and tired assumptions is familiar to Tiffany Smith-Anoa’i, CBS’ executive vice president for entertainment diversity, a department she created in 2009. “I’m always saying diversity

doesn’t mean black, it means so much more,” Smith-Anoa’i said. She’s used to encountering the industry attitude of, “’We have a black woman, or we have a black guy, we’re done for the day.’” “’Have your eyes look a little further,’” she advises producers. “It might take three phone calls to find an actor, writer or director instead of the two that you’re used to. But it definitely is worth it when you’re looking for real authenticity and fresh voices, and you get it.” There’s been some progress but not enough, according to a six-university study released Tuesday. Researchers examined a year’s worth of broadcast, cable and streaming shows and concluded that Asian-Americans are underrepresented and “tokenized.”

Jennifer Lawrence stuns in the audacious ‘mother!’ Lindsey Bahr AP Film Writer

Women give, men take and the Old Testament crashes into modern anxiety in director Darren Aronofsky’s “mother! “ It is an audacious, bold and fascinating fever dream of a film. It’s allegory for, well, everything (the environment, marriage, art, spirituality, you name it!), that will challenge, distress and edify anyone who chooses to submit themselves to this creation for two hours. Like many Aronofsky endeavors, “mother!” is a film doesn’t fit neatly into one genre. It starts out as one thing, a sort of psychological thriller and chamber drama about a couple living in a stately and remote home, and devolves gradually and then very suddenly into jaw-dropping chaos that almost seems to be testing the viewer. How much of Jennifer Lawrence’s

suffering can you take before covering your eyes? Or storming out of the theater? “Mother!” will get under your skin, that’s a guarantee. This film begs for a viewing unencumbered by lengthy summarization. It’s not that it defies explanation, what happens is fairly straightforward as far as nightmare logic is concerned. But the less you know the better. The setting is a grand Victorian home, plopped down in the middle of a field surrounded by trees. There lives a married couple (Lawrence and Javier Bardem), and it is peaceful and bright. It is an Eden dressed in Restoration Hardware linens that Lawrence’s character (who is credited as “Mother” but never called that) has rebuilt for her husband (credited as Him) from wall to wall after a devastating fire burned it to the ground. She is earthy and quiet and perches her head to the wall to listen to

the beating heart of the home in order to find the right shade of yellow for the space. And then one night, a strange man (Ed Harris) comes to the door. Bardem’s character, a famous poet suffering from extreme writer’s block, invites him in, and the paradise Mother has so painstakingly created begins to crumble. The next day, the man’s wife (a wickedly funny Michelle Pfeiffer) shows up too. Mother, while trying to be polite and a good hostess and still continue restoring her house, is also understandably bewildered by the sudden changes and her own husband’s apparent disinterest in her objections to these strangers occupying their home. For all the stress and anxiety that “mother!” will inspire in viewers, this section is really quite funny, human and relatable as Mother grapples with her absent husband and rude houseguests who drink their liquor and break their

valuables and ask invasive questions about why she doesn’t yet have children. It is a host’s worst nightmare, and it only gets worse for poor Mother — the only sane person around who of course is predestined to be driven crazy by everyone else. Aronofsky has a special appreciation for hyperbolic depictions of female madness and suffering, whether it’s an aging woman looking to lose a few pounds in “Requiem for a Dream,” a ballerina striving for perfection in “Black Swan,” or a wife just looking to make an impeccable home for the person she loves in “mother!” It is a tense and exciting film — one of Aronofsky’s best — and Lawrence has never been better. Hers is a truly stunning and elevated performance full of beauty, empathy and rage at her own powerlessness and the greed and apathy spiraling out of control around her.


Thursday September 14, 2017

The Egalitarian



O’Brien, Texans mum on starter

Sumlin: Family didn’t feel safe

Kristie Rieken

AP Sports Writer

Kristie Rieken

AP Sports Writer

HOUSTON — The Texans quarterback situation remains unsettled with just three days remaining until they face the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday night. Coach Bill O’Brien benched Tom Savage for rookie Deshaun Watson at halftime of Houston’s 29-7 loss to the Jaguars on Sunday. On Monday O’Brien said he hadn’t decided who will start against the Bengals yet. “You guys have to give me some time here,” he said. “Look, I haven’t even met with the players yet ... we’re going to do what’s best for the team.” O’Brien pulled Savage after he lost two fumbles — one that was returned for a touchdown — and threw for just 62 yards as the Jaguars built a 19-0 lead by halftime. Watson led the Texans to their only touchdown on his first drive, but lost a fumble and threw an interception after that as Houston failed to score again. Houston’s quarterback woes are the latest in years of problems at the position. Watson is the ninth quarterback to play for Houston in the past five years as the team has struggled to find a consistent

David J. Phillip/AP Photo Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) runs out of bounds past Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback A.J. Bouye (21) during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday in Houston.

signal caller. They signed Brock Osweiler to a $72 million contract before last season, but he was benched late in the season and traded to Cleveland in March. Savage spent all of camp as Houston’s starter despite the team trading up 13 spots to draft Watson with the 12th overall pick in this year’s draft. Watson, who led Clemson to a national title last season, was 12 of 23 for 102 yards and had two carries for 16 yards on Sunday. O’Brien was asked to evaluate the play of both quarterbacks. “Tom plays very calmly,” O’Brien said. “I think he knows how to operate our offense. I didn’t see him have, when it came to X’s and O’s, any mental mistakes. There are things that he can do better, things that I can do better to help him.”

Then he moved on to Watson. “Deshaun went in there and made some plays,” he said. “Deshaun’s a playmaker. He can make plays with his feet. He knows what to do. He checked us in and out of plays. He has good instincts out on the field.” O’Brien was asked if he wished he would have given Watson more snaps with the first team in camp and this week in practice so he could have built a better rapport with DeAndre Hopkins. O’Brien said that Watson got plenty of work with the first team and that it wouldn’t have mattered if he got more work since Hopkins was out with a thumb injury for most of camp. “We make decisions in the best interest of the team,” O’Brien said. “Sometimes those decisions don’t work. That’s why you have to go back, see

what you did wrong, analyze it, figure it out pretty quickly.” Whether Watson or Savage starts on Thursday, the Texans will have to find a way to protect the quarterback better. The line was terrible on Saturday, giving up 10 sacks, without veteran left tackle Duane Brown, who is holding out. It was also the first career game for center Nick Martin, who missed all of his rookie season in 2016 with an injury. “There’s a lot of different things that we can do from a scheme point,” O’Brien said. “There’s a lot of different things that the players need to do from a playing standpoint. Everybody in that room in there needs to improve.” O’Brien said he’ll evaluate many things in deciding who to start against the Bengals, but that one thing carries more weight than the others.

Texas not set on starter for trip to No. 4 USC Jim Vertuno

AP Sports Writer AUSTIN, Texas — Tom Herman has his first win at Texas and now faces a quandary that has dogged Longhorns coaches before him: who to start at quarterback. Texas (1-1) heads to No. 4 Southern California (2-0) this week with Herman evaluating whether regular starter Shane Buechele will be well enough to play or if freshman Sam Ehlinger, who won his college debut last week, should start. Buechele has a sore shoulder and if he’s not ready, the decision is easy. But if he heals, the coach will have to pick between Buechele, the more accomplished passer who is just 5-8 as a starter, and Ehlinger, who Herman describes as an “alpha” and provides an extra dimension with his ability to run. Even if Buechele is healthy, Herman made clear it’s an open competition. “He’s got to prove that he’s also competent in practice,” Herman said Monday. “He’s got to have a really good practice to make sure that he stays with the (first team).” Ehlinger is a work in progress. He threw for 222 yards during last weekend’s rout of San Jose State but also missed reads and held the ball too long. His ability to run got

Eric Gay/AP Photo Texas quarterback Shane Buechele (7) celebrates with teammates after a score against San Jose State during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday in Austin, Texas.

him out of danger and picked up first downs, and he didn’t give up a sack. He gained confidence passing as the game went on. But throwing Ehlinger into the national spotlight against heavily-favored USC would be a tall order. Herman predicted Ehlinger could handle the emotional roller-coaster, noting he has come through the adversity of losing his father while still a teenager. Ross Ehlinger died while competing in a triathlon in 2013.

“From the day I met him, this is an extremely mature guy. You don’t go through what he went through ... all of a sudden have to be the man of your household, and not mature very quickly,” Herman said. “He’s a bit of an old soul. I think that’s what has allowed him to step into this role maybe a little bit easier than most.” Texas running back Chris Warren III said after the game that Ehlinger rarely seems rattled: “Sam’s a baller. He’ll come out and

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin said Saturday night that his wife and four kids didn’t feel safe after receiving a racist and threatening letter at their home this week. His wife, Charlene Sumlin, posted a picture of the letter , which had a return address in Houston, on Twitter on Thursday night. The handwritten letter read: “You suck as a coach! You’re a (racial epithet) and can’t win! Please get lost! Or else.” “When you cross the line like that with people that have nothing to do with decisions that are made when it comes to my job, that’s not OK,” Sumlin said after Texas A&M’s 24-14 win over Nicholls State. The letter came days after Texas A&M blew a 34-point third-quarter lead in a seasonopening loss to UCLA. That loss led to waves of criticism directed at the coach. Noteworthy among those critics was SUMLIN university s y s t e m regent Tony Buzbee, who took to social media to call for Sumlin’s firing. The 53-year-old Sumlin, who has three years and $15 million left on his contract, said he’s used to dealing with critics, but that there is no reason to involve his family. “I’ve done this a long time and I get lots of mail. I get a lot of it at the office, both positive and negative,” he said. “I get critic-ism, which that’s part of the job. I get suggestions. That’s part of the job ... (but) for that to come to my home and for her to open it and read that, I think that is completely different. My wife and kids have never called a play. My wife and kids have never done anything footballwise that led to us losing a game or winning a game.” He added: “The racial piece of that is one part of it, but the open-ended threat at the end at my house I’ve got to draw the line there.” The Brazos County Sheriff’s Office has opened an investigation to find the person who sent the letter and Sumlin thanked them for the work they’re doing.



Egal•i•tar•i•an (adjective) aiming for equal wealth, status, etc., for all people 3517 Austin; 303 Fine Arts Center; Houston TX 77004 Phone: 713.718.6016; Fax: 713.718.6601 Adviser: Fredrick Batiste

FALL 2017 EGALITARIAN STAFF Editor-in-Chief........................................... Jimmieka Mills News Editor................................................................ TBA Sports Editor............................................. John Cañamar Culture Editor.............................................. Erik Calderon Photo Editor............................................................... TBA Social Media Mgr....................................................... TBA Staff Writer............................................................ Zain Ali Staff Writer...................................................Fabian Brims Staff Writer....................................................Ana Ramirez Staff Writer..........................................Skarleth Velasquez Staff Writer................................................................. TBA Staff Photographer..................................................... TBA ——— The Egalitarian has been the official student newspaper of the Houston Community College System since September 1974. The Egalitarian is published bi-monthly, every other Wednesday except during holiday breaks. Print circulation is 8,000 copies per issue and distributed to selected HCC campuses in the Houston, Spring Branch, Alief, Katy, North Forest and Fort Bend areas. Comments and contributions are always welcome. Deadlines for contributions and advertisements are one week before the issue print date. The Egalitarian is written and edited by students of Houston Community College. This publication does not necessarily reflect the opinions, views, interests, attitudes and tastes of the Board of Trustees, HCC administration, faculty, staff or students. Opinions and editorial content of The Egalitarian that are unsigned do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Egalitarian staff or adviser. The Egalitarian reserves the right to edit any submitted material for grammatical errors, offensive language, libelous materials and space constraints. It may also refuse any advertising that does not adhere to the HCC mission.


The Egalitarian staff consists of HCC students who must complete all tasks required to produce the newspaper, which serves all campuses of the HCC System. We want all students from all majors to contribute. However, we must follow our submissions policy in order to operate under our limitations of time, energy and staff. All staff and contributing writers must be currently enrolled students at Houston Community College. The Egalitarian interacts with contributing writers via e-mail and telephone. Visiting The Egalitarian will not help contributors get published, only quality work will. Publication priority is given to staff members and assigned articles, and verbal commitments for assignments will not be accepted or recognized. Press releases, story ideas, news tips and suggestions are always welcomed. Any student interested in joining The Egalitarian staff may request more detailed information regarding story length, topics, style, etc., by e-mailing The Egalitarian Faculty Adviser Fredrick Batiste at

Thursday September 14, 2017

The Egalitarian


Trump gets bullied into ending DACA program Skarleth Velasquez


was 5 years old when I first arrived in the U.S. All we had was a backpack with a few clothes for the way and some food. The bus arrived and there I was saying my goodbyes to the only parents I had known so far, my grandparents, with tears running down their eyes. Fast forward a couple days, maybe even weeks, I’m laying down on a mattress next to my aunt who was next to who knows who, in someone’s attic in Mexico with 40 other people. I still remember not being able to breathe right because it was really hot, I fell asleep. Fast-forward a couple days later, our bags are gone, we are in a raft with a man using his hands as paddle boards, we are crossing a river and then we were dropped off in the middle of the street with no sense of direction of where we could be. I met my parents for the first time that night. I don’t remember much about the life I had in Honduras, except from pictures I have seen and things my parents have told me. I always knew I was undocumented. It was never kept from me; my parents had made sure they made it very clear. They wanted to make sure I knew the risks of what being an undocumented person in this country meant. They wanted to make sure I knew that any type

of problem with the law could cause my deportation and also theirs. In 2012, DACA (Derived Action from Childhood arrivals) was introduced by the Obama administration. Not only did it relieve many students like myself from the fear of being deported to a country some of us barely knew, or had not been back to in a while, but it also took away the fear of having everything we had worked hard for being taken away. Fast forward 5 years later, I’m being told, not by our president because who knows what else he had to do that day, that the program is being taken away. “We love the DREAMers. We love everyone.” Is what president Trump said days before his attorney general, Jeff Sessions announced the end of the DACA program. The program gave thousands of students like me the opportunity to live a life without fear of deportation. Ending DACA has left more than 700,000 undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children or teenagers at risk of getting deported. The program will expire in 6 months giving congress the opportunity to find a replacement program. DACA was not a free program and had very specific requirements that not everyone qualified for. Ending the program without another solution for it at hand has left

thousands of DREAMERs in a state of uncertainty and fear. Trump did not need to attack the program now, and could have easily refused to accept the threat of the 10 attorneys who said they would sue if the program didn’t end by September 5. DACA was not just a protection from being deported, but it allowed us to receive basic rights many undocumented immigrants are denied, and that many citizens take for granted. Being able to apply for an ID or driver’s license, being able to apply for a job, amongst many others are privileges that not all of us are able to have. Jeff Sessions used the words “illegal aliens” to describe DREAMers who for some, have been living here most of their lives here. Using the term illegal alien is inhuman and offensive. It criminalizes the efforts, sacrifices and struggles our parents and ourselves have made to come to this country. No, we are not taking your jobs, no we are not benefiting from government money. We are contributing to the country just as much as the next person, and nothing is being handed to us. We are just as American as anybody else here. We are your neighbors, your classmates, your co-workers, etc. The only difference between us and somebody that is a citizen is that they have a document that says so.

Thankful for help during Harvey Fort Worth Star-Telegram

The line outside of the west side Salsa Limon one afternoon in late August consisted young men and women anxiously awaiting the call — not to their schools, but to Texas’ southern coast. They were members of the Texas National Guard and on Aug. 28, Gov. Greg Abbott mobilized all 12,000 of them to help with rescue, security and cleanup efforts in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Activating the state’s full National Guard was one in a laundry list of decisions Abbott has made in preparation of and response to Harvey. For the most part, his decisions have served the people of Texas well. It’s been more than two weeks since the hurricane ravaged Texas’ southern coast and he’s already helped secure a massive federal relief package — some $15 billion of aid to those affected. More aid is expected to come in more comprehensive legislation in the coming months. Abbott has also offered

nearly daily briefings, has been praised for his accessibility to local officials and has overseen an effective communication strategy regarding his office’s response to Harvey. The governor this month announced that John Sharp, the chancellor of Texas A&M University, will lead the Governor’s Commission to Rebuild Texas. Abbott’s choice was shrewd. Sharp, a Democrat with a bounty of experience in managing state bureaucracy, will play a critical role in ensuring that federal and state monies are wisely spent. The governor’s performance hasn’t been flawless. Abbott has been noncommittal about using the state’s Rainy Day Fund to help with Harvey efforts. With only an estimated $10 billion in its coiffeurs, it could only help supplement other efforts, but still should be considered. And the split between Abbott and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner over whether city residents should evacuate or hunker down caused an uncomfortable rift

early on. But being governor during a disaster is often tricky. City and county officials tend to have jurisdiction over emergency events and they are none too pleased to see them usurped by Austin. It’s a fine line to tread. But all in all, Abbott has also proven adept at crisis management. Now back to those National Guardsmen, who answered Abbott’s call and still don’t get the praise they are due. Like so many of the people who rushed to serve in Harvey’s wake, our National Guardsmen and women left jobs and families all across the state, eager to serve wherever they were needed. They conducted day and night wide-area search-andrescue missions along the Texas coast from Corpus Christi to Houston, created supply lines and kept generators running as power outages plagued the region. They will continue to play in effort in the cleanup and rebuilding of Houston and other coastal towns deserved continued support and thanks.


Thursday September 14, 2017

The Egalitarian


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