This is kind of scary. I got a call yesterday from a fella who claimed to be a sheriff deputy saying I had failed to show up for jury duty at the federal courthouse. In the back of my mind, I wondered why a sheriff deputy would be involved with the feds. The deputy said I was mailed the jury summons in January to show up in February at the federal courthouse. He even named the judge’s court.

He said my name was called on that day and I didn’t answer. He said he was letting me know that I would soon be arrested for not showing up. I told the fella that I didn’t receive a summons, that I always respond to a jury summons, and that I was now of an age that allowed me to avoid jury duty.

He knew my address and the month and year I was born, my age, and stated the age allowed to avoid jury duty. I started to ask what was going to happen next and he hung up on me.

I then looked up the number of the local federal courthouse. I called the number and explained the phone call I had just received. I was told that the feds don’t deal with the sheriff’s office. They deal with the U.S. Marshals. They said I was probably being scammed.

I looked up the age that allows you to avoid federal jury duty, and the fella was incorrect.

This jury scam is kind of scary, don’t you think?


Commentary gets it. For the last seven years, the City of H-Town and Houston firefighters have been at odds over a salary contract. It has been acrimonious to say the least. The previous administration couldn’t get a deal done. Mayor John Whitmire and the firefighters have come to an agreement, and guess what, it is going to be costly.  See this from ABC Channel 13 news:

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — A deal to give firefighters backpay and raises sparked a spirited debate from the people who will have to give it the green light.

For more than an hour on Wednesday, city council members went back and forth with Mayor John Whitmire.

“You may be their best friend, but we may not have the money for them,” Houston City Council Member Tiffany Thomas said.

The passionate debate was over a deal with Houston firefighters. Firefighters have been at odds with the city over pay for nearly a decade.

It’s a fight that’s been at the voting booth, council chamber, and courtroom. Whitmire campaigned to bring it to an end.

Last week, he announced he reached a deal regarding firefighters backpay and new raises that was discussed for the first time at council on Wednesday.

“Is the total cost going to be a billion dollars? A billion plus?” Houston City Council Member Edward Pollard asked.

“It will probably be pushing that,” Houston City Attorney Arturo Michel answered.

Whitmire said it could’ve cost even more. He noted that backpay, not including raises, could’ve been more than a billion dollars if it played out in court.

The deal he struck gives firefighters $650 million in backpay and 34% raises over the next five years.

It’s not a done deal. The council, attorney general, and judge must sign off.

Whitmire was asked if fees, including a new one for trash, could cover the cost if approved.

“We’re going to look at everything,” Whitmire said.

Houstonians could be hit with new fees and not have a say. City leaders want to use a bond to cover the backpay. The $650 million bond would only require council approval and not voters.

Eyewitness News asked Whitmire why he wouldn’t put it on the ballot.

“It gets us where we need quicker and certain,” Whitmire explained. “I’m not going to play games with people’s lives. I’m not going to play politics with people’s lives.”

City leaders hope to have the deal finalized by July.

This isn’t a free lunch gig. We are having to pay for what should have been handled years ago. Oh, well.


Opening Day at The Yard is one week from today.

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