Watch out, planning process – big State Government is coming for you. Jerry Brown has proposed legislation that would make developments with certain percentages of below market rate housing approved “by right” – as in, no months of public meetings, no hours long planning commission hearing, no years long process. Projects would still have to respect zoning and density restrictions, but certain permits and reviews could no longer be required.People who dislike the local bureaucracy might jump at that prospect, but it does indicate that as long as certain requirements are fulfilled, the thing (no matter how ugly or disruptive or one-size-fits-all or poorly engineered you may think it is) can and will be built – yes, in your backyard.The measure is aimed addressing the outrageous cost of housing in California by ramping up production statewide. But then there’s that persistent question that needs to be contended with: Is production alone the answer to our housing problems? Experimental Geography blogger Eric Fischer took an in depth look at why housing is so damn expensive and concludes, more or less, that going back to the “good old days” is highly unlikely but building some 5,700 units a year would stabilize prices.He also notes that income inequality makes the problem much more serious and is not something that will simply be magicked away by supply and demand: “It is a serious problem that the 5th percentile income is 10% of the median income while the 5th percentile rent is still 45% of the median rent, and it is a problem that housing construction alone can’t solve.” If you want to wade knee-deep into data, read the full piece. 0% Tags: Affordable Housing • development • Developments in Development • housing Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% Speaking of the planning process – consideration of a development on 2000-2070 Bryant Street, has been delayed again. The project has faced enormous opposition from neighbors who were frustrated first by the developer’s eviction of tenants and artists and next by the developer’s approaches to fulfilling the city’s affordable housing requirements. The newest proposal, a land dedication, would require city involvement and funding for those plans to be realized. Instead of the showdown expected at the Planning Commission this past Thursday, however, consideration of the proposal was pushed out to June. Meanwhile, baby boomers rejoice! It turns out millennials are ruining everything. That age group, despite having no hope whatsoever of saving to buy a home in the Bay Area or making enough money to rent here, are somehow also at fault for keeping up the cost of housing, in part because the tiny portion of them that is wealthy is likely to hold on to their ‘starter home’ and keep it off the market – at least that’s according to Redfin.And yet this is not the most expensive homes in the Bay Area have ever been – at least not once you adjust for inflation. The median home price in the Bay Area, when adjusted for inflation, did not beat out the 2007 median.Still, teachers, like many others, still can’t afford to live here, and by the looks of things will never afford to live here, unless maybe they live in their cars…It’s amazing we we haven’t started bussing our students out of town á la tech shuttles because all the teachers have moved away.In another category of people getting unfairly screwed over, HIV/AIDS survivors may soon be afforded rent control protections. Say what? That’s right, under a certain legislative loophole, when they receive stipends from aid programs, HIV positive individuals can have their rent raised to market rate at any time. Supervisor Scott Wiener introduced legislation this week (and is hoping to fast-track it) to close that loophole.But because apartment seekers apparently aren’t being gouged enough yet, a startup has launched in the bay area that pits you against other rental applicants to auction off an available rental to the highest bidder and then (eventually) charge the landlord a portion of the extra money he or she makes out of the deal – every month as long as the tenant lives there.Finally, in business news: Goodbye, brewpub, hello, cajun cuisine. Citizen Fox has called it quits not only at its Mission Street location by 19th Street (formerly Hapa Ramen), but has also decided to pull out of the 18th and Mission corner location that has been under construction since roughly the beginning of time. No word on what’s going in to the corner space, but Eater reports the 19th and Mission space is slated to become a cajun/southern type joint in fall.
“If anyone ever wonders, what will Hillary do to me if I ever fuck with David Campos, pick up the phone and call Joshua Arce,” she said.The high points of the evening, in the half-filled Brava Theater, were every time M.C. Vivian Forevermore took the mic – a drag queen in a giant wig and sparkling makeup who wore flat-heeled boots to bring her “down to David’s level.” The band was a group of talented San Francisco State University students known as Jaqueline y su Cuarteto. The rest of the evening was largely forgettable, but since I was taking notes, I don’t have the privilege of forgetting and now you don’t either. For one thing, apparently some of the greatest local political minds can’t decide whether they hate Mark Farrell or Scott Wiener more. They also can’t come up with any better fodder than to imply that both are greedy monsters who vilify the homeless, along with now-retired Chronicle columnist C.W. Nevius who likes to “slap babies and kick homeless people,” as Ronen suggested.We already knew that Campos doesn’t understand the meaning of the word “brief.” But neither does any other politician ever, and both of the supervisors who made that joke persisted in occupying the microphone well beyond their allotted measure of audience interest. Low points included Supervisor Mark Farrell’s idea of a roast, which was a meandering tale of encountering Campos and his husband at a Napa bathhouse:“I’m thinking, I’m away from San Francisco for sure, and there are two guys going out of the massage house in their robes. I said, that’s really intimate…It’s David Campos in his robe with Phil [his husband]. Nothing says Mission anti-displacement like a good rubdown from Bob up in Napa Valley.”I’m honestly not sure which part of this story was supposed to embarrass Campos – if Farrell thinks two guys coming out of a bathhouse in robes is intimate I shudder to think how he would handle a stroll through the Castro. And the jab about a champion of the oppressed enjoying something expensive would have had a bit more zing if Farrell wasn’t the absolute worst candidate to try to shame another supervisor about buying expensive luxuries. He made an awkward effort to pretend he had objected to the Napa trip on the basis of cost, but Jane Kim later skewered him when she pointed out that Farrell’s ethics violation fine was recently reduced from $101,000 to a paltry $25,000.Supervisor Malia Cohen was perhaps a little too enthusiastic about her opportunity to roast her political sometimes-ally, sometimes-foe. “I was like, hell yes, are you fucking kidding me, I’ve been talking shit about this motherfucker for six years and now I can do it publicly, yes, sign me up!” What she brought to the stage in sass she undid with meandering cracks about Campos’ fluctuating weight, dress sense, and attachment to his bulldog Winston.Nobody could quite decide whether Campos’ Stanford and Harvard degrees were inspiring or elitist. Kim made a slightly too-real sounding confession of being jealous of his achievements (including marrying a highly educated Korean man). Then comedian and Examiner columnist Nato Green had this to offer:“If his story was any more inspirational, it would be a Disney movie [in which he is] played by singing and dancing bulldog.”In the end, the takeaway is that Campos’ colleagues and supporters are, unsurprisingly, sad to see him go. “He battled it out every single day, every single Tuesday when he was in that chair, and this city is better for it,” Cohen concluded.Campos himself, however, might enjoy a break from the constant stream of criticism:“District 9 is a special place,” he said, “with 70,000 people who are not afraid to tell you when you’re full of shit.”This article has been corrected – it is C.W. Nevius, not Mark Farrell, who Hillary Ronen suggested enjoys kicking homeless people. 0% Tags: David Campos Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% Select San Francisco politicos bade a fond farewell to Supervisor David Campos Thursday night, sporting bow-tie stickers and telling vaguely critical jokes at his expense, and crude jokes at the expense of his political adversaries. What we learned: Hillary Ronen is the only funny progressive. In fact the most pointed barbs came from Campos’ chief of staff and now successor. Others made gay jokes ranging from polite to cringeworthy (Tom Ammiano made a joke about a gay police officer blowing his horse that fell so flat he had to pull out a noisemaker with a laugh function he had brought along). Ronen, however, went straight for the political jugular.“David is the most popular unsuccessful politician of all time. He lost public advocate, he lost the assembly race, he lost the Mission moratorium… Even his tenant protection laws were struck down by federal judges,” she said. “He’s really good at losing. He has a bright future in the Democratic Party.”But since the event was clearly aimed at the political other than the man himself, she added another quick jab at her own competition in the race for supervisor:
Rudy Balderama, her lawyer, has been working with various city departments to find her a place to stay, but with Hernandez preparing to pack her bags, nothing is set in stone. Balderama said the city may have found an providing an SRO room, but otherwise, her family with limited means must take her in.“She’s got a couch she can surf on but that’s not a home and it’s not a replacement for what she’s suffered,” said Balderama. Though Balderama acknowledges Hernandez has subtenants, he and another tenant lawyer familiar with the case argue that the eviction doesn’t add up because the entire building was subject to an Ellis Act eviction in 2015 and it is unclear why she was allowed to stay. “You can’t have it both ways, either you terminated her tenancy or you didn’t, and if you didn’t you have to reinstate her tenancy formally and say you’re re-entering the market,” said tenant lawyer Raquel Fox, who has represented other tenants in the building, all of whom have now moved. An attorney for the landlord did not respond to a request for comment. Balderama also said that Hernandez’s subtenants have made a deal with the landlord that allows them to stay a few more months. A lawyer representing a subtenant did not return a call for comment by press time.All around Hernandez’s unit, the building is being renovated. Her unit, Balderama and Hernandez’ daughter Wendy Maisonet say, suffers from mold and vermin. City inspectors have in the past inspected the building but indicated that they found no mold.Hernandez has been in and out of the hospital. A letter from her doctor provided by Balderama indicates her health is being impacted directly by the eviction proceedings, and she was recently hospitalized for pneumonia. Regardless, the eviction is set to be enforced by the sheriff’s department Wednesday morning. Hernandez’ daughter, who lives in San Leandro, said she could take her mother in for a short period of time. But Maisonet lives in the Bay Area only part of the year and spends the rest of her time in Puerto Rico. Hernandez, her daughter said, does not like spending time in her native Puerto Rico and can be stubborn about what she will not tolerate. Maisonet has offered to help her with rent or with getting settled, but says her mother has strong preferences. “She has been in that home over 52 years, and it’s hard for her to get out of there. She has a lot of things, a lot of memories,” she said. “She came from Puerto Rico and it’s the only place she has been all her life…she doesn’t even want to come over, she wants to live in San Francisco.”This story has been updated to reflect Balderama’s indication that the unit is in poor enough condition to threaten Hernandez’ health. A 77-year-old chronically ill woman living at 3309 Cesar Chavez Street is being evicted from the apartment she has lived in since 1969. While the tenant oscillates between the hospital and her apartment, lawyers argue over technicalities in a case that could leave her living on her daughter’s couch.The tenant, Ana Hernandez, suffers from a multiple respiratory conditions and osteoporosis and is a breast cancer survivor, and her daughter says she is developing dementia. Nonetheless, Hernandez’ lawyer says her unit is in such poor condition that her health indicates she needs to find a new place to live anyway. The eviction is set for the morning of Wednesday, May 24.Hernandez is being evicted for having multiple subtenants, which is not allowed in her lease. Hernandez is also illiterate and a monolingual Spanish speaker who immigrated with her then-fiance from Puerto Rico to San Francisco 52 years ago. 0% Tags: Cesar Chavez Street • evictions • housing Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%
Never Miss a StorySign up for Texas Monthly’s State of Texas newsletter to get stories like this delivered to your inbox daily. My father came to live with my husband, John, and me when he was 86, after he took a tumble on our stairs and broke his hip on Thanksgiving Day 2013, just before 26 of our friends were set to arrive for dinner. The fall was probably fortuitous, because his memory was already slipping, and leaving him alone in his apartment was becoming increasingly challenging. John, who often knows me better than I know myself, noted that we were facing down one of life’s toughest choices: either I could constantly race back and forth between our home in Houston and Dad’s place in San Antonio or he could move in with us. “I like living with my wife” was the side John came down on.We could have hired a full-time caregiver in San Antonio, which probably wouldn’t have done much to alleviate a life on I-10 for me, or we could have moved him into an assisted-living facility. But my father had made it very clear in his lucid years that doing so was something he feared more than death itself. While recovering from a car accident some years ago, he had called my mother at 5 a.m. to beg her to break him out of a rehab hospital.And so, in the way that many women’s choices tend to come down to the needs of others, the decision wasn’t ultimately mine. I knew what my husband wanted, and I knew what my father didn’t want, and somehow in that calculus our living room seemed like the best place for someone who surely did not have long to live, hip fractures being notorious killers of the aged. Most of our friends were puzzled by this decision. I tried to look on the bright side. When I was growing up in San Antonio, everyone seemed to know my father, and everyone who knew him seemed to love him. He was tall and lean, with a killer smile and an old-world manner, the king of please and thank-you. Well into his eighties, he still had most of his hair and a snappy goatee, which made nurses do double takes when they spied his birth date on his medical chart. He came from a family that made men’s clothing and married into one that sold it, so he was always a snazzy dresser. Although my father was a warm man, he was not a demonstrative one with his children; he graced my brothers and me with unconditional love, but he was also reserved and had a shyness that was close to impenetrable, a border wall protecting a beautiful country no one was allowed to visit. Here, then, was an opportunity. I could make sure the time Dad had left was spent in safety and comfort, while we connected on a deeper level. Enter your email address Hope you enjoyed your free ride. To get back in the saddle, subscribe! Subscribe now, or to get 10 days of free access, sign up with your email. Cancel anytime. Sign UpI agree to the terms and conditions. Last Name Why am I seeing this? Mom got on the internet and tirelessly searched for the ideal dog breed for a couple in their late sixties, one that also complemented their personality types and who could meet the pet rules of the condo association, which decreed a strict weight limit of thirty pounds. As part of her research, Mom even took an online quiz. Its sensible questions included, Do you live in an apartment? What is your activity level? What’s your tolerance for pet hair? Barking? “I’ll be happy with whatever you choose” was my father’s response to her Herculean labors.I recently tried to reverse engineer my mother’s ultimate choice from all the What Kind of Dog Is Best for You? tests. I kept coming up with dachshunds (too nippy) and beagles (no one is that bark tolerant) and something called a Finnish Spitz, which looks like a mini chow chow with a pointy nose. None of these dogs would have worked because, in truth, my parents were a little snobby. I suspect they wanted a nice-looking, smart, somewhat eccentric dog whose sociability ebbed and flowed depending on the circumstances—kind of like them. Which is probably why they ended up with the dog that consistently took second place in my tests: a Welsh corgi, described on the American Kennel Club’s website as “affectionate, smart, alert”; “among the most agreeable of all small housedogs”; and a “lively little herder who is . . . companionable without being needy.” I’m not sure that my mother ever realized that she had found what might be, for Dad, the perfect second wife. As it turned out, my parents ended up with a male puppy. Female corgis have a reputation for bossiness, explained Mom, who had developed a highly sophisticated early warning system for competition. They named the dog Wesley, after, I imagined, some long-lost aristocratic relative we never actually had. He was an adorable pup with reddish-orange and white markings, no tail, and relatively long legs that gave him a jaunty step. Within just a few months, Wesley affixed himself to my father with a fierce, undying loyalty all too familiar to my mom. As for the rest of us, Wesley could barely be bothered. As time passed, I began to wonder whether the Queen of England had so many corgis because she kept trying to find one who would give her the time of day.The author (back row, second from left) with her mom (front row, second from left), dad (holding Wesley), and family, in June 2007.In defeat, my mother began saying that when she died, she wanted to come back as Wesley. I could see why. Wesley had customized doggy steps leading up to my parents’ bed. His personalized leather collar was from Ralph Lauren. He traveled widely, and Dad couldn’t stand to check him like a suitcase, so he always rode in a dog carrier that fit beneath the seat. In New York, he networked with the dogs of Wall Street traders; in Santa Fe, he hobnobbed with Canyon Road gallerists. At home, Wesley always sat patiently at my father’s feet, waiting for Dad to lower his plate to the floor and give him the last two or three bites of every meal.Wherever Dad went, Wesley went too. They took long walks in the neighborhood and sunned themselves in the small park beside my parents’ high-rise. “You know,” Dad said to me one day, “when Wesley dies, I’d like to donate a water fountain in his name.” In the car, Wesley sometimes rode shotgun, but more often he wheedled his way onto Dad’s lap, his head out the window, tongue flapping, a doggy driving hazard my father stubbornly ignored. So constant was their companionship that Wesley had his own water bowls at most of the neighborhood restaurants, where the waitstaff greeted him warmly and he pretended to care.I don’t know whether I was too busy with my own life to notice that Wesley, like my parents, was aging, but my mother did. She had begun to worry about Dad’s reaction to Wesley’s inevitable death—his legs were stiff and his face had gone white. He was twelve, old for a corgi. She quietly began surfing the web in search of a suitable replacement. She located a corgi owner outside Dallas with a five-year-old show dog that would soon be retiring from the ring. Mom put in a reservation to meet the dog, thinking that maybe, just maybe, it could be her dog too, but that was not to be. The author holding a photo of her parents, Marie and Arnold (“Pic”) Swartz, taken on New Year’s Eve, 1999.Maybe my feelings about Wesley are colored by the end—Mom’s, not his. She was 78 and fragile on the blazing summer day in August 2009 when she took him out for his morning walk. Dad was on a rare trip to California with my son, Sam. John and I, in San Antonio to keep Mom company, got a phone call that my mother had been taken away in an ambulance, a victim of a stroke or a fall or both—we never knew—and Wesley was still wandering the apartment grounds, alone. To the dog’s credit, he had sat waiting in the parking lot, barking until someone noticed Mom on the ground, and he stayed put until the ambulance arrived.My mother was revived at the hospital but devoid of brain function. We waited until my father arrived to disconnect the respirator, and I sat there while her breaths slowed and then stopped, numb to all but the pain of my father, who could not bear to sit in the room.“We were a team,” he said to me in the elevator on the way out, bewildered and terrified, simply unable to comprehend what had happened. Being the oldest child and only daughter, I comprehended exactly what had happened: I was now my father’s guardian, whether I wanted to be or not. A month later, I found myself riding with Dad and Wesley to meet the corgi Mom had reserved before she died. My father sped and tailgated on the five-hour drive from San Antonio to Dallas like he was fleeing the cops. He was fleeing, of course, looking for anything that might ease the shock of my mother’s passing. At the suggestion of the boarding kennel owner, a kindly woman named Dee, we left Wesley in the car while we went to meet the potential new family member, who, like all of the dogs in her litter, had been somewhat inexplicably named after a hat. There was an indoor training area with something like a practice ring, and when we entered, Trilby proceeded to speed around the perimeter, bounding in one direction and then another, like a gazelle with very short legs. I’ve often returned to that moment, because it was and still is one of the best expressions of pure joy I’ve ever seen, and it was contagious even in our sorrow. I knew then that Trilby, canine antidote, would take care of all of us. She was such a pretty dog. She had a silky black, white, and brown coat, and large—even for a corgi—pointed ears that rotated with every sound, like furry radar detectors. When she finally slowed to a walk, she threw her rear end around like a fan dancer in a 1930s nightclub. She had bright eyes that telegraphed a deep interest in and affection for everyone they lit on. “She won’t mind going with you,” Dee said when we expressed worry about taking her away from her home. “She’s a show dog who’s used to lots of people.” We loaded her up in the back next to Wesley, who greeted her with typical indifference. Trilby seemed completely baffled by his reaction.As it happened, they did not have time to build much of a relationship. Wesley was diagnosed with a disease common to corgis called degenerative myelopathy, not unlike Lou Gehrig’s disease in humans. Within just a few months of my mother’s death, he was unable to walk. Without telling anyone, Dad took him to the vet and put him down. He called me after, sobbing. Wesley was cremated, his remains boxed up and placed on a shelf in the room that once served as Mom’s home office.I wasn’t sure how Dad would survive this one-two punch, and I sometimes wished Trilby could tell me about those long lonely days and nights in the apartment, a period that, for my father, probably passed in a dreamlike fog that I could do little to alleviate on short visits.But my father was resilient. He had his dog group, which met early each morning for walks around a soccer field—somehow, Mom had never made those—and now he could show up with a cheerful, sprightly dog instead of an older, diffident one. It was sort of like replacing Prince Philip with Kate Middleton. Within about six months of Mom’s death, Dad entered what I had been told (warned?) was a fairly routine stage for older widowers, especially the kind who had hardly ever cooked dinner for themselves or done their own laundry. Dad started dating. These women were almost exclusively dog owners, which meant he went on a lot of canine double dates. I knew my father had found a serious (human) companion when he started dating Patricia, an old friend and a widow with shimmering silver hair who had recently moved into the building. Patricia had a gift for outspokenness that my buttoned-up father adored, and she was also passionately attached to her miniature poodle, Casey. Early in the relationship, her daughter took me aside to caution me that her mother “loves her dog. I mean, really loves her dog.” This will work, I thought. There were drawbacks. At dinners out, Patricia would ask, “Are you finished?” before we were finished and then whip out a plastic container she’d fill with the “last” bites to take home to Casey. As Dad and Patricia grew closer, Trilby also became the beneficiary of this largesse, and both she and Casey started looking like candidates for The Biggest Loser. “Old people and dogs,” the vet said to me once, shaking her head as she charted Trilby’s expansion. Another problem emerged: the management at the condo shifted from dog friendly to not so much. The freely dispensed poop bags posted near the service entrance disappeared, and Dad started getting a reputation for ignoring the new, stricter doggy rules. Management began sending emails complaining that he was using the main entrance with Trilby—where the guys at reception gave her treats, much to Dad’s delight—instead of the back door. Also, Trilby wasn’t pooping in designated areas. And: dogs were not allowed poolside, but there you could find Dad and Trilby on sunny mornings. He would scan the paper while she nosed illegally off leash for snacks, like a pig searching for truffles. Denial is common among grown children with aging parents. It was Patricia who first noticed Dad’s memory was beginning to fail. He would forget to make dinner reservations and get lost on familiar roads. He developed balance issues but refused to use a cane, as his doctor suggested, when he took Trilby out late at night. I noticed that bookmarks in the books he once devoured never moved. “There’s something wrong with me,” Dad confessed to me one night, beginning to weep. I hugged him and said it was just stress, which was what I chose to believe. But when his doctor asked if he was remembering to feed the dog at night and I wasn’t sure of the answer, I knew there was trouble ahead. Dad was 85.Then, at the end of the summer of 2013, Dad fell and broke his elbow, an injury almost exclusive to drunken young men and the elderly, the orthopedist said. Dad stayed with us for about a month to recover from the surgery, when certain plans for the future were discussed but never actually made. He went home for a month, then came back to celebrate Thanksgiving, and fell and broke his hip while trying to be helpful with holiday cleaning. Neither Dad nor I wanted to admit that his days of living alone in San Antonio were over, but they were. Unlike the two of us, Trilby never looked back. It took her about two days to establish dominance over our placid, poleaxed golden retrievers. Even though I refused to feed her from the table, I began to suspect that living with me had been her plan all along. In truth, I fell for that dog the day Dad and I had driven up to get her, my one and only instance of love at first sight. She had been a cheerful buffer on so many sad days and an easy subject of conversation when my father was struck with bouts of shyness or depression. Her delight at my visits to San Antonio had made it easier to go back to the apartment where my mother was so palpably present and so profoundly absent at the same time. (It took a year or so for me to clean out her closet, with no encouragement from Dad.) To escape, I’d take Trilby for long walks, and when we’d get back, she’d vault out of the elevator, take off at a sprint, flip over and slide on her back, and then wait for a rub on her big fat belly. Sometimes I wondered if my mother’s spirit hadn’t made a quick turnaround, as if she were using Trilby to remind me to enjoy the family I still had.My mother’s departure had been wrenchingly abrupt; Dad’s, on the other hand, seemed glacial. He recovered dramatically from his hip surgery but not from his memory loss. His diagnosis was vascular dementia, which meant that a series of strokes was gradually shutting down blood flow to various parts of his brain. I told myself that at least it wasn’t Alzheimer’s; he didn’t ever mistake the laundry room for the bathroom, as my gracious mother-in-law once had. I hired a fleet of caregivers, paid for mostly by Dad’s fortuitous long-term care insurance policy. I took Dad to specialists who prescribed expensive medication that was supposed to slow the process of deterioration, and it might or might not have done so. I bought all kinds of walkers—there are many cool options now that boomers are aging—and made Dad take evening walks with Trilby around the block to keep up his strength. I bought him socks designed to help with circulation, sweatshirts and sweatpants from his beloved alma mater, the University of Virginia, and books. So many books. Histories and mysteries, books about vintage cars and World War II, collections of Sunday comics he’d read as a kid, a bound issue of the New York Times dated June 28, 1927, his birthday—anything that might keep him reading, even though it was clear he could no longer hold a paragraph in his mind. I cooked him dinner every night and on weekdays often took him out to lunch, where he still charmed the waitresses. On Sundays, we went to the deli, where he never lost his love of pastrami, at least once it was in front of him. (“What do I order here?” he’d ask, helplessly gazing at Kenny & Ziggy’s extensive menu.) While my rational mind knew otherwise, my unconscious remained convinced I could cure what ailed my father with nothing more than will and determination. Keeping up with Trilby was a part of that. I brought Dad with me when I took her to the vet so that he could comfort her when she needed shots, when she threw her back out, and when she broke a tooth chewing the ice that fell out of the ice maker to the floor like manna from heaven. As the years passed, I managed to get her back to her sleek, svelte self, despite the fact that Dad kept feeding her from the table even when he promised not to. It was the one time I wondered whether he truly didn’t remember or was just using his memory loss as an excuse.It was hard, all of it, but not impossibly so. No matter how much of himself he lost, my father never forgot to say thank you. Whatever he didn’t know in his decline, he did know that I put much of my life on hold to care for him. Trilby in the author’s living room, which she converted into a room for her dad.His end was predictable, you could say. He was reaching toward Trilby to give her a pat on the head and slid off the couch and cracked his pelvis. He was ninety by then and didn’t have the strength or inclination to put himself back together again, and within a month or so he was gone. “I love you” were the last words he said to me, just after I’d kissed him good-night.On the way to the funeral, I got a call from a woman who had worked for Dad for many years. “Mimi,” Lucy said, in lightly accented English, “your daddy made me promise I would do something for him.” “What was that?” I asked. It turned out that Dad had pulled Lucy aside some years ago and told her he wanted Wesley to be buried with him. Ever dutiful, she had rescued the box of Wesley’s ashes when we were cleaning out and preparing to sell the San Antonio apartment. She had transferred his remains to an attractive urn, and now Wesley was in Lucy’s car on his way to the service. “I put him right in the crook of your Dad’s arm,” said my friend the rabbi, who was a favorite of Dad’s and continues to dine out on the story. Trilby stayed with us.That was a year ago. She is now fourteen and failing herself. Sometimes I think she was hanging on to see Dad out the door, because her troubles started almost immediately after he died.Trilby suffers from symptoms of the same creeping, fatal paralysis that Wesley was diagnosed with. Her face is gray now instead of snowy white, and it occurred to me a month or so ago that I couldn’t recall the last time I’d heard her shrill, piercing bark. She’s lost the use of one hind leg, and the other is weak, but in the morning she still races around our other dogs for breakfast. She still drags herself to the front door when she knows I’m getting ready to leave, begging to go with me. We’ve been to the doggy physical therapist, who showed me exercises to slow the progression of her disease. I’ve even bought Trilby a doggy wheelchair, a specially designed sling for her back legs, and two kinds of grainy sprays that are supposed to help her with paw traction on our slick wood floors. When John and I watch TV at night, I wrap her in a blanket and pull her up on my lap and rub her belly while she looks at me thoughtfully through cloudy eyes. I roll her back over and stroke her ears until she falls asleep, snoring slightly. I have the number of a good doggy hospice, but I’m not quite ready to let her go.This article originally appeared in the April 2019 issue of Texas Monthly with the headline “Life, in Dog Years.” Subscribe today. If you fill out the first name, last name, or agree to terms fields, you will NOT be added to the newsletter list. Leave them blank to get signed up. You’ve read your last free article Already a subscriber? Login or link your subscription. This Week in Texas(Weekly)The best stories from Texas Monthly Editor’s Desk(Monthly)A message from the editors at Texas Monthly Subscribe The State of Texas(Daily)A daily digest of Texas news, plus the latest from Texas Monthly Sign up for free access First Name Martha Stewart would have been impressed with how quickly I converted the living room into a spare bedroom, thanks to Pottery Barn and the medical supply store. Of course, Dad did not come alone. My father had been smitten with dogs ever since he got his first cocker spaniel, Jeff, as a boy. “I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t love dogs,” he used to tell me, and he wasn’t kidding around. A passion for canines was a human decency barometer for Dad, and because he was at heart a shy man, he also sometimes used our pets as bodyguards and interpreters. If Dad said a dog was tired or hungry or even angry, he might mean that he was tired or hungry or a tad pissed off, which was as mad as he ever got. The most famous example of this was when, having had too good a time at my brother Ed’s wedding, Dad said he and Mom had to leave to walk the dog.So when Dad moved in with John and me and our two golden retrievers, we also had to make way for his nine-year-old Welsh corgi, Trilby. Corgis, originally bred for rounding up cattle, are famous for their herding abilities, but in modern times have also been known to steer humans to their proper places, especially when they don’t know where to turn.Last year, my middle-aged cousins hosted a family reunion because we were all tired of meeting at funerals. One of the scheduled events was an examination of and intervention for the Swartz descendants and their pets, the idea being that it was time to admit that, while all of us had turned out okay, dysfunctional pet rearing had been pretty consistent throughout the generations. My cousin Josh kicked off the discussion with a slideshow featuring his many rescued street dogs—snarling dogs, dogs with oozing lesions. We then shared memories of Inky, my grandmother’s poodle, whose soiled-tennis-shoe aroma most of us could still conjure. There was also her taupe-colored cat, Taupie, who expanded over time to resemble a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade float. It turned out that obesity-inducing snacks from the dinner table were routine within the family. So was sharing pillows with drooling canines. Supposedly, before he succumbed to cancer, the last words of my uncle, who had married into the family, were “Get this damn dog off my bed.” The author’s dad with her two golden retrievers.My father, it turned out, had inherited this genetic predisposition for unusual pet parenting. Before I was born, my parents had a black cat that liked to perch atop the toilet tank and wait for unsuspecting male guests to get started, and then take a swipe. Then there was a basset hound named Janet who suffered from persistent mange and whose skin had to be scrubbed daily with a stinky solution on a toothbrush. We also had a Great Dane, Chapa, who once left a Stephen King–like scene in a hallway after wagging his scabby tail against a wall and sending blood spewing everywhere. A Lhasa apso, Pushkin, a “gift” from my father’s boss, ended up with shameful dreads due to a lack of grooming. And there was Kelly, the Airedale terrier rescue who permanently traumatized my nephew with her don’t-come-any-closer-kid growl. We even had several generations of semiferal cats, as well as a higher-born Siamese that eventually found a new home at a fancy restaurant nearby. (We had reunions on holidays, when we dined at the restaurant.) At some point my mother tired of being not just the children’s disciplinarian but the pet despot too, and the dog and cat population declined, mostly after all three kids had left home. But just like empty nesters who begin to crave grandchildren, my mother and father started longing for a dog after they sold our house and moved to a high-rise condo. Mom had the idea that raising a puppy was something she and my father could do together in their golden years. She’d been married to my dad for nearly five decades, so she was well acquainted with Dad’s tendency to assign her the role of bad cop. She didn’t want a pet who would slowly destroy the apartment if someone (like her) didn’t train it. Nor did she want a big dog that might knock her down while leaping for a treat, presumably held in my father’s hand. She also—whether she would say so or not—wanted a dog that would love her at least as much as it loved Dad. This remains one of my clear-eyed mother’s craziest fantasies.
DAY 11 – It was up and at ’em early this morning – but the 6.45am start was a little too early for one or two with team leader, Derek Traynor, being the first person ever to be late for breakfast duties.The rest of his group did a sterling job whilst Derek enjoyed a few extra minutes snoozing!The main focus of this morning’s training session was team defence in and around the ruck area; a part of the game that Derek wants to freshen up on before the tough challenges ahead.Then after a quick shower it was straight onto the bus for a visit to the Sydney Cricket Ground for the tour team photograph. International touring teams have had these photos taken for many years and we are very honoured to still be one of very few clubs to ever be allowed to tread the turf.This is always a stressful time for some of the staff, ensuring kits are ready and pressed, kids are scrubbed up well and everyone has the required attire and footwear.It seemed to go well with only a couple of hiccups… Jordan Olmez having to do the mad dash from the bus as he had forgotten his boots and both Kevin Brown and Danny Edwards getting confused between the compulsory black boots and their fluorescent green selections!A big thank you to friend of the club, Peter O’Sullivan of the Sydney Roosters who then led a guided tour of the SCG, the Allianz Stadium and the Roosters training facility before we headed over to the wet ‘n’ wild water park.The English like weather of 13 degrees didn’t deter this hardy group as the afternoon was spent splashing around in the pools and having fun on the slides.The staff enjoyed themselves far more than the kids; Rushie leading the way, with Paul Molyneux perfecting his dismount from a rubber ring with an unrehearsed backward somersault. The lads enjoyed themselves, especially Brad Pinder, Matty Lees and Levy Nzoungou who were impressing the locals with their dance moves in the sand.A special mention needs to go to Jordan Gibbons, who overcame his fear of heights to conquer a few of the slides, much to do with the help of Physio Jonny Skinner who held his hand throughout.This was our first ever visit but we will be definitely hoping to return in years to come.The tiring day led to an early night for most, with attention again turning to Sunday’s game against Parramatta, starting with 8am training in the morning.By Ian Talbot
The relationship between the 2018 Betfred Super League Leaders’ Shield winners and the company will continue for a further three years.This will enable Cash Converters to not only appear on the front of the home kit once more, but also enhance the valuable community work already undertaken between themselves and the club.Saints, who had a record seven players in the 2018 Dream Team, have been able to develop a dream partnership with Cash Converters that has been beneficial for the club, St.Helens and the wider community:Community Rugby LeagueCash Converters have donated funds to all of the town’s Rugby League clubs, which has allowed each team to invest for the benefit of the many juniors plying their trades at a local level.One such example was at Portico Vine ARLFC, where donated funds helped purchase a new boiler so that their players could continue to enjoy our sport and have decent facilities after a game.Community Give-BackCash Converters also entertained nominated guests from the St Helens community in their hospitality box on matchnights here at The Totally Wicked Stadium.These came from our local community and included people who had selflessly given up their time to volunteer, foster and help others in our area.And it’s fair to say those guests had a great time and a night to remember.Community Foundation SupportCash Converters have also been extremely charitable when it comes to Saints’ own Community Foundation, raising £3,000 at a recent conference which all of the company’s Franchisees donated towards.Community TicketsAdd to this the regular ticket giveaways on twitter @cash_converters and it is easy to see why the partnership is beneficial for all.“On behalf of the club and wider St Helens community I would like to thank all involved at Cash Converters for their fantastic support and incredible commitment for the next three years,” Saints General Manager, Dave Hutchinson, said. “Our relationship has been a dream and we look forward to the purposeful activation of their partnership in the same way as they have demonstrated during the 2018 season.”Michelle Byrne, UK Head of Sales & Marketing at Cash Converters UK, added: “On behalf of Cash Converters and its franchisees we are delighted to continue with our partnership with St Helens.“Our work in the community has been fantastic and it will be integral as we move forward with our three to five year CSR plans.“Working with St Helens for a further three years was an easy decision for us as a business. The stadium is a great environment to entertain families who find it difficult to either get together as a family or have constraints and we want to continue to support this initiative for many years to come.“We look forward to a successful three years with Saints.”
Christian Kellett has been called up for the first time – joining eight of his Academy teammates, including first team squad members Jack Welsby (pictured) and Josh Simm in the team that is coached by Saints assistant coach Ian Talbot and two-times Steve Prescott Man of Steel winner, Paul Sculthorpe MBE.The Yorkshire division take on the Australian Schoolboys at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle, Castleford on Wednesday, November 28 (KO 7.30pm) before Lancashire come head-to-head with the visitors at the Manchester Regional Arena on Saturday, December 1 (KO 1.30pm).England Academy will then take on the Australian Schoolboys at Leigh Sports Village on Saturday, December 8 (KO 2.00pm) and the Emerald Headingley Stadium on Friday, December 14 (KO 7.30pm).Lancashire ‘Origin’ Squad:Aiden Roden (Wigan Warriors) Ben Davies (Widnes Vikings) Christian Kellett (St Helens) Ethan Havard (Wigan Warriors) Jack Welsby (St Helens) Jake Wingfield (St Helens) James McDonnell (Wigan Warriors) Jarrod O’Connor (Widnes Vikings) Jayden Hatton (Widnes Vikings) Joe Sharratt (St Helens) Joe Shorrocks (Wigan Warriors) John Hutchings (St Helens) Josh Simm (St Helens) Matthew Foster (St Helens) Nathan Wilde (Wigan Warriors) Oliver Leyland (London Broncos) Reece Hamlett (Wigan Warriors) Sam Halsall (Wigan Warriors) Sam Royle (St Helens) Tom Nisbet (St Helens)
The shooting happened October 18 a little before 7:00 p.m. Police say they believe White was shot after a drug deal went bad in the parking lot of Jungle Rapids.Duncan is charged with 1st degree murder, conspiring to sell marijuana and possession of a firearm by a felon.Martinez and Hallman are charged with conspiring to sell marijuana.Related Article: Man joins congregation after feeling guilty for stealing from churchMcElreath is charged with felony obstruction of justice and possession of a firearm by a minor.The person who called 911 told the dispatcher that his friend got shot and that the attacker left in a white car. After telling the dispatcher White’s injuries were ‘not good’ and which direction the car was headed, the line disconnected.When 911 called back, another woman, Melissa Hubbard, answered and told them she was nearby and heard gun shots. She came over to see what was going on and recognized White, who was her co-worker’s son. She also told 911 the person who initially called also ran off.EMS took White to New Hanover Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Nearly six weeks after a teen was shot and killed in the parking lot of Jungle Rapids, Wilmington Police have charged four people in relation to the crime.Paris Duncan, 21, Steven Martinez, 21, Christopher Hallman, 16, and Colin McElreath, 17, are charged in the death of Christopher White, 19.- Advertisement –
WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington city planners have given the green light for more than 400 apartments and townhomes on South Military Cutoff Road.The planning commission approved zoning changes for a mobile home park on 294 Military Cutoff and land at Westwood Drive and 330 Military Cutoff.- Advertisement – The land will be used for the Arboretum Village Townhomes and Arboretum West Apartments.The approvals came with more than 30 conditions including more lanes in and out of the proposed sites.City council will need to approve the changes before the projects can move forward.
Scene of Everybody’s Supermarket fire, May 2, 2018. (Photo: Jenna Kurzyna) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Fire crews have determined the cause of a fire that burned down a grocery store in Wilmington.Wilmington Fire Department and New Hanover County Fire & Rescue personnel responded overnight to a reported structure fire by the Wilmington Police Department at “Everybody’s Supermarket” on Greenfield Street.- Advertisement – Heavy smoke and flames were reported visible from the attic when the first unit arrived on scene at 7:21 p.m.RELATED: Good Shepherd Center offers food for community impacted by fireAccording to a press release, crews immediately performed a primary search and it proved all clear. As the conditions began to rapidly deteriorate and the integrity of the building became questionable, crews were no longer allowed inside the structure.Related Article: US safety agency opens probes into Hyundai and Kia firesAt 12:20 a.m., the fire was reported to be under control. Crews remained on scene throughout the night and remain on scene, as several hot spots remain.Many still cannot believe what happened including Darrius Whitefire, whose business was destroyed by the fire.As of 1 p.m. Thursday, crews are still on scene, along with investigators from the Fire Marshal’s Office and the SBI.he 900-1100 blocks of Greenfield Street remain barricaded and traffic is not allowed. Also on scene were representatives from CFPUA and Duke Energy, as well as New Hanover County EMS units.Due to the enormous amount of fire, three aerials, that are capable of flowing 400-2,000 gallons of water a minute, out-performed the water main line and the water pressure was low. Another contributing factor was a near-by hydrant that became inoperable during the incident.CFPUA authorities had a representative on scene during the operation to assist and quickly helped locating another hydrant for use. They also began filling the elevated tanks full of water to assist in boosting the water pressure as much as possible.Several businesses were completely destroyed, along with two parked vehicles. There were no reported injuries.As of 4 p.m., the investigation has concluded and no foul play is suspected. The fire was deemed accidental and caused by an electrical failure.Official say it started above the ceiling of the storage warehouse, in the fascia board area, at the front of the building and didn’t start in the grocery store.