Bernie’s Burger Bus Parking in La Centerra; Bringing the Clothing Boutique Home


Photo of Discovery Green: Marc Longoria via Swamplot Flickr Pool


15 Comment

  • Who would have thought Emmett was such an oblivious ditz. Berlin is essentially a cold, continental European city. Of course a tropical paradise would be an attraction! On the other hand, Houston is a hot, humid semi-tropical place. Ocean beach? Check, just a few miles south. Water park? A couple local, some more within a two hour drive. Quite hot and humid place? Yeah, just step outside 6 months of the year – or, if your need is more extreme, report to the butterfly pavilion in the Museum District. The Houston equivalent of the Berlin facility would be indoor skiing, and ice fishing. Give it up, Ed. Start making some sense.

  • Can someone tell me why the Astrodome fits under Ed Emmett’s remit?

    Is he taking vacation time and his own money to vacation in Germany or did he use public funds for that?

    What part of his job description does ‘fact finding missions for re purposing tear-down ready stadium’ fit under?

  • “What to do with the space under the Pierce Elevated Freeway? Drawings from the Houston Municipal Arts Commission’s 1968 “Beautification Study: Freeways.”

    I love the illustrations from the Past and Future of I45 Chronicle article. It’s so interesting to see what homeless people looked like in 1968.

  • Al, that is a great idea….the dome should be an indoor ski arena… If Dubai can do it…

  • It doesn’t structural engineer to understand that repurposing an empty hanger and an empty stadium are two completely different things. They didn’t have huge concourses made of steel and concrete that had to be carefully demolished and a large pot in the ground that needed to be filled. All of this adds a major expense to any potential re-use of the Dome.

  • Anyone catch the news (Channel 26?) last night reporting from the German tropical paradise? As the Houston folks were speaking, a German gentleman walked by draped in a towel, dropped the towel, and bent over to change with bare ass in full view.

  • Speaking of property taxes… I’ve been struggling to find a way to avoid paying property taxes legally. It’s easy to avoid income taxes by funneling income through a company and to avoid sales taxes on big ticket items by ordering across state lines, and even avoiding Auto sales taxes by registering your car in Montana, but property taxes are as persistent as a bad rash.
    So, after some investigation there is a 100% property tax exemption which is available to Veterans with 100% disability, which also includes PTSD and other “unemployable” conditions. In theory one could enter into a contract which would put a willing Veteran on the deed with a valid power of attorney, valid will, quit claim deed, etc in order to keep the real home owner safe in case something happens to the veteran. In return the veteran could be paid a monthly or yearly stipend for his services. So, one with let’s say a 60k a year tax bill can pay the veteran $1000 month and everyone’s a winner.

  • *reporting commonsense to IRS* How are you any different than a welfare queen?

  • @roadchick, LOL, all these things are perfectly legal, that’s the entire point. Don’t like it, change the tax code, I’m for one in full support of flat tax across the board with no deductions.

  • Proving once again that Judge Emmett is a complete moron.
    And a big YES to desalinization.

  • yeah, of course you would be commonsense, wouldn’t even have to guess. while everyone certainly has the ability to do those things, there’s also good reasons why everyone doesn’t. it takes good money to be able to deal with those kind of inconveniences and people with that kind of money will always have options available to them no matter the tax code at hand. there’s absolutely no reason to think that a flat tax is some golden bullet to ending corruption and overcoming human nature.
    for now, we just need to focus on raising capital gains taxes and go from there.

  • Common, I think a market for representation will quickly develop for these Veterans leading to negotiations where you would be paying say 40k of that 60 to them. It won’t be worth it. I can also see you being labeled as “predatory” and followed to your car by Eyewitless news as you fumble for your keys and then speed off shooting the bird.

  • @ commonsense: So…you want to put a 100% disabled veteran with PTSD or some other conditions that effectively preclude their ability to maintain employment on the deed to your house? On the very face of it, does that sound the least bit reasonable to you!?

    Completely leave aside the fact that what you are proposing is not the least bit legal. It is NOT a legitimate loophole because the disabled vet must both own the premises and utilize any part of them covered by the tax exemption as part of his living area in order for the property to be completely covered by the exemption. If that condition is not met then you could get away with your plan for a period of time, maybe even a long period of time; analogously, most people aren’t aware that home offices or rooms that are being rented should be declared as separate from their homestead exemption, but there is also effectively no enforcement. When stuff like this is discovered, its usually treated as a mistake but it does get back-assessed for five years along with penalties. What you are proposing, though, is clearly not an error. It is obviously intentional. It is fraud. The additional tax penalties on fraud are steep. But yeah…let’s leave that aside for a quick moment.

    How well do you trust this disabled vet? You know, the sort of person that would willfully engage themselves as an accessory to commit fraud. Do you suppose that they would limit themselves to one kind of fraud, or do you suppose that they might use their leverage once they’re on your deed by threatening to go and expose you? Perhaps they will claim that they were not competent to sign some of the agreements that they had entered into with you or that you had misled them. Even if they aren’t successful, I’ll bet that they could make a lot of trouble. They have the time in their day to do it if they want to, all the while disrupting your life and career; they have very little to lose and perhaps a fair bit to gain and you would merely have a lot to lose. Why would you ever want to invite that as a possibility? That sounds incredibly stupid.

    To be clear, I don’t have any problem with taking the opportunities that are afforded you by law. Its just that…this isn’t one of those. What you are proposing is illegal.

  • To Ed Emmett I say “strike that, reverse it.” If people want a tropical paradise, it’s not hard to get to from Houston. On the other hand, Texas doesn’t have any winter sports, and the nearest skiable mountain is an eleven hour drive. So if cold, wet Berlin found success in turning an old hangar into a tropical paradise, perhaps Houston could turn the Astrodome into an indoor ski area and ice rink.
    This has the added benefit of being able to reuse the concourses (as a ski-lodge) and the bowl structure (add sloped structure and that’s where people ski.). The only big downside is that the dimensions might require some finnagelling in order to get one enough ski runs so it’s not one-turn-and-you’re-done.

  • @TheNiche, I’ll admit that the Veteran thing is still a concept and a work in progress, unlike other tax avoidance procedures I mentioned which have been used forever.
    I don’t think there’s any real danger of the Veteran taking possession of the home if the documents are done correctly, perhaps structure it where he’s buying the house through non-transferable Contract for Deed which can be forced into default by real owner for any reason, or simply have the real owner put a lien on the house for the value much more than it’s worth thereby taking away any reason to take possession of it.
    As far as I was able to find out, if you own more than one home you can claim Homestead on ANY ONE of the homes even if you don’t physically live there but claim it as your LEGAL RESIDENCE. So, if the technicalities are met, there’s no Criminal fraud. Complex financial structures are done every day for sole purposes of tax avoidance.
    If I had a nickel for every time someone throws the word Fraud in a Civil lawsuit. It’s absolutely meaningless other than allowing longer time to file.