Monday, August 13, 2012

Commentary on Speed Limit Increase

I read Thomas Brown's post, 85 MPH is plenty safe, on his blog Thomas Brown's Texas Government Blog. I had heard about this policy before and the people that mentioned it seemed to be in favor of it because they would travel on highway 130. From what they tell me, there are sections on the highway where it is very tempting to just fly by but many officers are just waiting issue the speeding ticket along the highway. This is my comment on his post:

"Texas is such a huge state and it takes a long time to travel. I usually travel from Austin down to the valley and it takes about 6 hours when following the speed limit. Even then the section of between Robstown and Kingsville on highway 77 is set up with speed traps. Once you reach Kingsville the speed limit drops to 35 miles per hour in a couple miles. I think Texas should try to increase the speed limits in rural highways were there is not a lot of traffic. When I travel I usually see people traveling at higher speeds than the speed limit. I hope Texas improves its highways and considers increasing speed limits in rural highways."

Friday, August 10, 2012

Space Exploration in Texas

Texas is well know for having NASA's Johnson Space Center but California seems to be leading in the space industry. Texas does have many opportunities for aerospace engineers interested in the atmospheric flight side of the career. Hopefully Texas will soon jump into the space industry since many private companies are gaining interests in opening sites in Texas.

Texas is a nice big state with a lot of land to offer for space exploration. Currently there are a couple of space companies interested in investing their sites in Texas. XCOR Aerospace from California found a nice location near Midland to establish a facility. SpaceX, also from California, is trying to negotiate a launchpad near Brownsville. Blue Origin from Washington is also trying to establish a launchpad in West Texas.

These private businesses may bring a lot of job opportunities in Texas. Texas needs to take advantage of the interest of these businesses in order to build up a space industry. Elon Musk, chief executive of SpaceX, is considering Texas for a launchpad but there's a competition between Florida and Puerto Rico for the launchpad. These businesses would like to be as close to the equator as possible in order to make spaceflight quicker and cheaper.

According to the article, Private Space Industry Eyes State's Open Spaces, Gov. Perry has not tried to lure these companies with any incentives. It's time that these companies come to Texas and establish a good industry. These companies have been considering establishing facilities in Texas for over 20 year, they now have the appropriate technology to collaborate with NASA and being in Texas would establish a strong network with mission control. SpaceX has built the the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets in order to utilize their Dragon capsules, which has one for crew and another for cargo. They have already collaborated with NASA by sending a Dragon cargo capsule to the International Space Station. If these businesses would like to come to Texas, the governor needs to negotiate with them in order to bring more jobs to Texas.

Luthra, Shefali. "Private Space Industry Eyes State's Open Spaces." Article. The Texas Tribune. Published August 10, 2012. Accessed August 10, 2012.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Commentary on Plastic Bags

I read Shashank Desai's post, Say "No" to the ban of plastic bags, on his blog Texas Politics. I had no idea that Austin was considering a plastic bag ban. I decided to comment on his post because I went through the experience of a plastic bag ban back when I was living in Brownsville. Here is my comment on his post:
"I can see why the people of Austin are concerned about this plastic bag ban. I went through the same situation about a year ago in Brownsville, TX. The city was able to manage the transition fairly well. Although it took some time to adjust to the change.

Once the plastic bag ban began, Wal-Mart and Target continued to offer plastic bags but would charge for the plastic bags. This forced many of their clients to switch to reusable bags and some retailers began purchasing paper bags.

It has been over a year since the initiation of the plastic bag ban in Brownsville. Yes, many would forget their reusable bags. Yes, it was frustrating having to pay for plastic bags. Overall the experience was good and according to the article "Brownsville, Texas Celebrates One Year Anniversary Of Successful Plastic Bag Ban" from the city itself looks a lot cleaner.

Overall if Austin is able to handle the plastic bag ban like Brownsville did there will be minimal problems and it should be a smooth transition. Even though it seems like an inconvenience, the plastic bag ban helped the community in Brownsville and I believe it would help the community in Austin even better."

Unknown Author. "Brownsville, Texas Celebrates One Year Anniversary Of Successful Plastic Bag Ban." Article. PRWEB. Published January 16, 2012. Accessed August 2, 2012.