Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Texas Wildfires Are Ongoing—Facts About Wildfires

There are major wildfires taking place in all over Texas, in other plains states, and in portions of Mexico.

(Above– The current Texas Wildfires as seen from the U. of Texas owned McDonald Observatory in the Davis Mountains of West Texas.)

(Blogger’s Note 9/7/11—This post is from April. Here is a link to the current wildfires in Texas. If you review this post, you’ll see that there are facts about wildfires in general that are useful to understanding what is taking place.)

Update 4/22/11–Texas Governor Rick Perry has asked people to pray for rain.

Update 4/21-11—Cooler and more humid weather is helping firefighters.

Update 4/20/11—This report from the morning of the 20th says that fires are burning in every part of Texas

Update 4/20/11—People in England are reading about the fires.  

Update 4/19/11—As of the evening of the 19th, the wildfires are moving towards the Dallas-Fort Worth area.   

Update 4/19/11–More and more fires in Texas.

Update 4/18/11—Here is an overview of the situation in Texas from the Abilene Reporter-News.     

Update–4/17/11—Despite his ceaseless criticisms of the federal government, Texas Governor Rick Perry has asked for federal help with the fires from President Barack Obama.

Update–4/17/11–New fires and gusty winds to spread those fires are the unfortunate conditions in parts of Texas.

Update–4/16/11–With the fires also taking place in Mexico, the U.S. has sent some airplanes to help our neighbors out.

Update–4/16/11—The fires have cost a 105 year old Texas man the homes he grew up in and lived in.

Update–4/15/11–Here is a report about the fires from late in the evening of the 15th. This report includes the sad news of the death of a firefighter. 

Update—4/15/11—While some fires are mostly contained, other are starting or rekindling.

Update —4/15/11 —The Texas Forest Service has ongoing reports of wildfires in Texas. 

Here are a number of facts about wildfires from National Geographic.

From National Geographic—

There are three conditions that need to be present in order for a wildfire to burn, which firefighters refer to as the fire triangle: fuel, oxygen, and a heat source. Fuel is any flammable material surrounding a fire, including trees, grasses, brush, even homes. The greater an area’s fuel load, the more intense the fire. Air supplies the oxygen a fire needs to burn. Heat sources help spark the wildfire and bring fuel to temperatures hot enough to ignite. Lightning, burning campfires or cigarettes, hot winds, and even the sun can all provide sufficient heat to spark a wildfire. Although four out of five wildfires are started by people, nature is usually more than happy to help fan the flames.”

Here is a fact sheet from the Centers For Disease Control that talks about the potential health effects of wildfires and how you can protect yourself from these risks.

Here is the FEMA web page on wildfires.

Quite aptly, April is Wildfire Awareness Month in our nation.

As of the afternoon of Wednesday, April 13, Big Bend Now reports that while some of the fires in Texas are contained to a degree, there are still a number of concerns.

The Mineral Wells (Tx) Index has a very good April 13 report on where the different fires are taking place in Texas.

Marfa Public Radio is keeping folks up to date.

Because conditions are so dry in much of Texas, there are, as of April 13, 194 Texas counties with burn bans in effect.

If you are the one who starts a fire in your community because you have broken burn ban rules, you will forever be seen by your neighbors as the town dumbass.

Texas is so large that it can be difficult to grasp where Texas news events are located. While I’ve lived in Texas for 13 years and have explored at least some of the state, these fires are hitting areas of Texas I’ve never visited.

The excellent Handbook of Texas Online is a great resource to learn all about the state. These are the folks who publish the Texas Almanac. The Almanac is another great was to find out about Texas. You should buy a copy.

I’ve long been of the view that many of problems of urban Texas—I live in Houston— have much in common with the problems of rural Texas. I’d be certain that the good folks in West Texas who have suffered from these fires will need the help of individual citizens, charitable groups, and of government to recover.

The Jeff Davis County Relief Fund in Fort Davis, Texas is taking donations to help people.

Here is the link to the FEMA Fire Management Assistance Grant Program which helps state, local, and tribal governments recover from wildfire damage.

My friend Harold Cook who very familiar with this part of Texas–and with of all of Texas for that matter–has written about the fires at his blog Letters From Texas. The great Texas political blog Juanita Jean has also posted on this important topic.

April 14, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Who Can Vote In The Texas Democratic Primary?—Any Registered Texan!!

(Update 2/15/2010—Just as in 2008, any registered voter can vote in either the 2010 Democratic primary or the 2010 Republican primary. You just have to have been registered one month before the March 2 primary election date. )

This morning I got a question from a Texas Liberal reader about who can vote in the Texas Democratic primary.

This is what the people want to know–Who can vote in the Democratic primary in Texas so that we can have a better Texas and a better America?

Here’s the question that was asked on the blog —

“My husband is registered as an independent but usually votes democratic. He wants to vote in the march 4 primary as a Democrat what must he do?”—Reita A. Troum

Ms. Troum–Not to worry. Any registered Texan can go to the polls and take the party ballot of their choice on Election Day or during early voting. You just have to been registered at least one month before the March 4 Primary Day.

The above picture is of downtown Mineral Wells, Texas.  This community is located in Parker County. Mineral Wells is just one place of the many in Texas where any registered voter can take either party ballot on Primary Day.

Here is the explanation from the office of the Texas Secretary of State

“If you are a registered voter in the state of Texas, you will simply choose your party and vote in that party’s primary.  To explain, we do not register by party in Texas.  One becomes “affiliated” with a party by voting in a party’s primary and the affiliation lasts for that primary year.  As an example, if a voter voted in the March 2006 primary or April 2006 runoff primary, the voter affiliated with that party for the rest of that year, but on December 31, 2006 the affiliation expired.  The affiliation means that the person may not vote in another party’s primary or participate in another party’s convention or sign an independent candidate’s petition for place on the ballot if the independent candidate’s position appears on the primary ballot.  Note that in the general election in November, a voter may vote for whomever he/she wishes, regardless of how or whether he/she voted in the primary or runoff primary election, since all candidates are on the same ballot.”

This blog supports Barack Obama for President. I feel that hope and imagination are at the core of politics. If we can’t imagine a better future, I don’t believe we can take the needed practical steps to achieve a better future. Policy experts can be hired. The inspiration and energy to enact new policies comes only at certain times and from certain leaders. I feel that Senator Obama in 2008 is the right person at the right time for a better America.

Here is the link for the Barack Obama campaign in Texas.

Here is a post on the caucus to be held by Democrats after the polls have closed.

Texas Liberal is leading the way in political history blogging in 2008.

February 18, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Politics, Texas, Texas Primary '08 | , , , , , , , | 23 Comments