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September 30, 2003

The Relationship between Cancer and "Weeds"

What does the September 3, 2003 Chronicle front page headline, “Nation’s war on cancer stalling” have to do with the City and State headline “Yard owner refuses to cut a deal”?

The very real fact is that ignorant and repressive homeowners associations are partially responsible for our failure to win the war on cancer. The sterile, manicured monocultures that they demand are usually saturated with cancer causing herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides.

These “green death” zones called manicured lawns are usually devoid of birds, butterflies, fireflies, toads and other beautiful creatures that are the first to die when native plants are destroyed and replaced by turf in order to make homeowners associations happy.

Native landscaping does not require continuous saturations of poison to be wild and beautiful as nature intended. It is those homeowners who landscape their yards with native plants who are helping to win the war against cancer by maintaining a healthy ecosystem.

As long as we continue to destroy the quality of the air we breath, the water we drink, and the life support systems of the planet upon which we are all dependent for survival, we will never win the war on cancer.

George H. Russell

Russell serves on the Boards of Natural Area Preservation Association and Texas Committee on Natural Resources. In addition he is the Forest Practices Chair, Lone Star Sierra Club.

July 27, 2003

Huntsville's Killer Golf Course

A Raven would drop dead if it tried to live on the Raven’s Nest Golf Course. It wouldn’t be because of shock over a doubled or tripled water and sewer bill to pay for the course nor would it be from the polluted Trinity River sewerage our citizens are forced to drink, because our golf course is watered with thousands of gallons of pure well water from the same aquifer from which comes the bottled Ozarka that we pay a dollar a drink for.

What would kill the Raven is the toxic chemical soup that is squirted on the course at tax-payer expense. I obtained a list of the dangerous chemicals in current use on the course under the Texas Open Records Act and then went to Google and typed in the name of the chemical plus the word “dangers”. Following are a few quotes from various web sites that pertain only to the fungicides that are used on the course: (I was too disgusted to continue researching the 10 varieties of herbicides.)

CHOLROTHALINIL: “killed Navy Lt. George Prior…as shown on 20/20”

AZOXYSTROBIN: “dangerous to fish and aquatic life”

IPRODIONE: “probable carcinogen that targets reproductive system, liver and kidneys”

THIOPHANATE-METHYL: “known to cause birth defects”

PROPAMOCARB: “the contamination of breast milk is of particular concern”

PROPICONAZOLE: “can cause a variety of unpleasant symptoms…has been classified as a possible human carcinogen”

METALAXYL: “cellular enlargement of the liver”

ETRIDIAZOLE: “effects include reduced penis size”

FLUTOLANIL: “produces toxic and corrosive fumes”

Of course the majority of Huntsville’s macho, he-man golfers will only be concerned with the effects of Etridiazole. Since most of them are not actively lactating they could care less about being exposed to Propamocarb, and since they have already been born they certainly are not worried about Thiophanate-methyl. Very few Huntsvillians were ever in the Navy so have no fear of Cholrothalinil. The beer guzzling boys already have enlarged livers so don’t care about Metalaxyl.

I warn all concerned citizens to not step foot on this toxic, potentially “killer course” until all pesticides, fungicides, herbicides and other dangerous cancer, and other potentially fatal disease causing chemicals are banned from use.

George H. Russell

May 31, 2003

Golfing With Nature Saves Money

When the Huntsville Municipal Golf Course idea was first proposed I paid a personal visit to Bob Hart to advise him that if I were to support the golf course, it would have to meet the criteria established by the National Audubon Society and receive their seal of approval.

I informed him that designing a course that utilizes as much of the natural contour features and native vegetation as possible is not only friendly to birds and other wildlife but is far less expensive to build and maintain. Wildlife friendly courses need far less water and far fewer dangerous herbicides and other dangerous chemicals.

Hart “acted” enthusiastic about this cost-effective concept that would not have required spending $400,000 on a water well and would have probably saved at least $3,000,000 in design and construction costs. Had the native vegetation not been almost totally destroyed, it would not have been necessary to replace the dirt that ran off during the rainy season, thus saving at least another $300,000.

Hart assured me that the course would meet the highest ecological and cost effective standards and he further assured me that if it was not officially designated as an Audubon approved course it would be just as nature friendly and thus just as cost effective.

Had I known at the time that Hart was lying just to get me off his back I would have raised a red flag and warned the public that an economic as well as ecological disaster was at hand and perhaps we could have forced Hart and Green into a more appropriate way to spend the taxpayer’s money.

Texas is already blessed with 11 Audubon Golf Courses and many more are in the process of qualifying. Among the Audubon courses are the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort in San Antonio; the Tierra Verde Golf Club in Arlington; the Barton Creek Resort in Austin; the Kingwood Country Club in Kingwood; and the Lakeway Golf Club in Austin.

As a charter member of Huntsville Audubon, I offered to help Hart and the City to save money, wildlife and enhance the image of our community. For example, had Hart followed my advice Huntsville’s course might have been selected as the nation’s best new public course, as was the Audubon approved Resort Course at La Cantera in San Antonio in 1995.

It is too late to turn back the clock and get a refund on the millions of dollars wasted by Hart and Green’s obsessions and irresponsibility, but it is not too late to save millions of dollars over the life of the course by working with Huntsville Audubon, City horticulturist David Zellar and other community experts in the fields of botany, horticulture and ecology, to convert portions of the course from costly alien turf, that requires massive amounts of labor, water, and pesticides to maintain, to expanses of native vegetation that is maintained by Mother Nature at little cost.

George H. Russell

May 28, 2003

Nero Fiddles While Rome Burns: The Sequel

Like the Emperor Nero fiddling while Rome was burning, WIA and the ACB seem to take delight in watching the incremental destruction of the natural beauty Waterwood. With each falling ancient oak or pine they grow more and more complacent and supportive of the killing of the ecosystems that they are tasked to protect by enforcing Waterwood’s very explicit deed restrictions.

They show neither alarm nor concern as lot after lot is denuded of Dogwoods, American Hollies, Yaupon Hollies, Cherries, Hawthorns, Fringe Trees and other rare and valuable species.

On the other hand WIA and the ACB throw childish fits if a tarp covering a woodpile is not of a color to their liking or a $100,000 motor home is temporarily parked beside a $650,000 home. They go into apoplexy if a beautiful speed boat is parked in a driveway or if a contractor who is working on a bulkhead needs to leave a stack of lumber in a yard during inclement weather.

Destroying 100 year-old pines and 200 year-old oaks is fine and dandy with the “good ole boys”, but pity the poor person who happens to be building a beautiful rock garden and one of the rocks does not suit the eagle eye of an ACB member.

May 28, 2003

WIA and ACB Aiding Violation of Protective Covenants

The Waterwood Improvement Association in league with the Architectural Control Board appear to be aiding and abetting the destruction of protected native vegetation throughout Waterwood. Even virtual clear-cutting has been allowed, turning parts of Waterwood into the kind of areas found in sub-standard unrestricted developments that become “instant slums”. (

For five years, George Russell has offered his expertise in the field of forest ecology to WIA and the ACB in order to assist them in advising lot owners about the aesthetic, ecological, and financial benefits of preserving rare and valuable native species on their lots.

For five years, WIA and the ACB have either ignored Russell’s advice or acted in a rude or hateful way toward him and native biodiversity as well.

At the May 19, 2003, WIA Board Meeting Russell pleaded with the Board to begin to at least pay attention to Waterwood’s Protective Covenants that are very specific about the protection of trees and other native vegetation.

The next day, a lot owner destroyed every ancient pine tree on his lot in direct defiance and in direct violation of the Protective Covenants. He had already destroyed all of the American Hollies, Dogwoods, Yaupon Hollies, Hawthorns and other beautiful flowering trees and shrubs, all of which are supposed to be protected by WIA and the ACB.

Several conflicting stories have emerged from this desecration and no one on either Board is willing to either take responsibility or do anything to protect the declining aesthetic values of Waterwood that will eventually translate into declining property values.

Russell has made five attempts to alert the citizens or Waterwood about the disgraceful actions and inactions of WIA and the ACB by placing posters at the front of his Parkway property that intersects with FM 980. Each time, trespassers and vandals have stolen his signs including a NO TRESPASSING sign.

On Sunday, May 25th and on the following Memorial Day, the beautiful native vegetation on two lots on Bay Hill was destroyed. The contractor said that he did not have a permit, nor did he believe that the lot owners had permits.

On his way to Church at The Holy Trinity Wilderness Cathedral, Russell paused in front of the home of some neighbors who were standing in their front yard to invite them to Church services. They began to scream and yell and threaten him by saying that their taxes have gone up because the Russell family pays no taxes in San Jacinto County, which is totally untrue. They told him to get off of the street in front of their house, screamed that he had not cut down his rare wildflowers, and one of the people at that point shoved a box of poison to within an inch of Russell’s face and then began to spread the poison on his yard to that it would wash down toward the Russell nature preserve. It was noted that these people had trespassed onto the nature preserve, destroying the protected native vegetation and replacing it with St. Augustine grass. The next day Russell placed a string and tape along the property boundary to alert the trespassers and enviro-vandals as to where their property stopped. It was observed that they had even placed rocks and then herbicides on a portion of the nature preserve.

Russell has offered a $100.00 reward for information leading to the ARREST of the sign thieves and is requesting that those citizens of Waterwood who care about its natural beauty demand that WIA and the ACB “repent and reform or resign”. Russell further suggests that all local realtors be required to inform prospective lot owners of the strict Protective Covenants that do not allow the destruction of native vegetation. In that way, people who hate trees and natural beauty can go elsewhere to purchase and destroy property or remain in the cities from which they have emerged.

May 28, 2003

Airboats Harass People and Wildlife

At around 1 a.m. on Sunday, May 25, 2003, a resident of Waterwood was rudely awakened from his sleep due to five powerful searchlights shining directly into his bedroom window. The intense light was accompanied by the loud noise of a generator as well as that of an airboat motor.

After shining the light into his window continuously for several minutes the airboat proceeded across the cove to the shores of the Eagle Sanctuary where it began to shine its glaring spotlights into the trees as well as the water as it slowly turned in 360 degree circles.

The awakened resident, George Russell, who also happened to be the Chairman of the Eagle Sanctuary Stewardship Committee, called the local game warden and asked that the offenders be caught and ticketed or arrested for disturbing the peace as well as disturbing federally protected birds that were being disturbed by the intense light and noise during nesting season.

Russell drove his jeep to Princess Point and awaited the arrival of both the game warden and the airboat. When the boat passed just a few feet offshore while continuing to spotlight wildlife, Russell was able to observe the registration number, which he gave to the game warden, who arrived just a few minutes later. He further informed the game warden about the birds that were attempting to flee in front of the airboat’s path.

The next Tuesday the game warden informed Russell that he had tracked down the airboat around 3 a. m. but since the boat’s registration papers were in order and it had the proper equipment there was nothing he could do.

The warden made it clear that it is not against the law or other statute to invade the privacy of people’s homes with bright spotlights and loud noise.

It is furthermore not against the law to spotlight wildlife and roosting birds from just a few feet offshore, even at the shoreline of dedicated wildlife sanctuaries and officially designated Aesthetic Management Zones.

Airboats may also invade the nearby Alligator Sanctuary or any other sensitive area or ecologically fragile area at will in the middle of the night and destroy the native vegetation that protects the shoreline so long as the hunters do not have a protected species in their possession and their airboat is licensed.

For five years Russell has attempted to convince Texas Parks and Wildlife and The Trinity River Authority to outlaw airboats on Lake Livingston. To date there is still no interest in protecting our wildlife from harassment from airboats.

Russell was not able to determine if the operator and passenger on this airboat was drunk but the last airboat invasion of the waters of The Holy Trinity Wilderness Cathedral was accompanied by passengers and a driver who had obviously consumed and were continuing to consume large quantities of alcohol. Therefore it is assumed that TPWD and TRA also have no authority over drunk airboat drivers as well.

It is obvious that only an act of the Texas Legislature will stop the poaching, harassing or wildlife and citizens, noise, and other negatives associated with airboats.

May 18, 2003

Waterwood Animal Haters Persecute Wildlife

Waterwood is blessed with many residents who love our native birds, alligators, deer, frogs, and other species of wildlife that have made Waterwood their home for tens of thousands of years. For the most part, these are the residents who came to Waterwood because of the stringent deed restrictions that were designed to protect wildlife habitat.

Tragically, Waterwood has been cursed by certain residents who despise raccoons, hate all reptiles, can't stand possums, curse the deer, and abhor armadillos. These are the people who shoot wildlife in their yards and even shoot toward other residents property.

These are the folks who have fled the cities and declare their love of the country and then proceed to destroy nature and create sterile urban landscapes where once flourished an abundance of natural beauty.

The nature lovers acknowledge that it is humans who have invaded the homes of the resident wild creatures and who attempt to live in harmony with nature. They are the ones who have left intact thickets of native vegetation to serve as homes and refuges for wildlife.

The despoilers of nature and haters of wildlife, on the other hand, tend to be those who kill the native plants and replace them with lawns that look like putting greens in violation of the WIA deed restrictions. These toxic monoculture lawns spell death to birds and other wild creatures due to being saturated with dangerous herbicides, fungicides, pesticides and other chemical agents.

This issue is not black and white as there are citizens with artificial and sterile yards who have created them out of habit or ignorance but love wildlife. They must be forgiven and educated because "they know not what they do". On the other hand there are some who have left their landscapes natural, apparently to attract birds and other wildlife for their children to shoot at for target practice.

Just last week, as the Russell family was enjoying a meal on their parent's deck, the loud report of a gunshot coming from La Jolla jolted them from their tranquility. Waterwood Security was called to investigate.

It was reported the next day that a large rattlesnake had crawled up on someone's cement porch so they shot it. When I reported to Joe Moore, WIA Executive Director, that certain species of rattlesnakes are protected by Federal Law, the large rattlesnake suddenly became a small snake with a triangular head and no rattles. Yesterday the snake was described by a third party as a snake having a white mouth and thus must have been a Cottonmouth. The people who claim to have been invaded by the snake also have huge dogs that normally run wild and little if any snake habitat remains on their property so it remains a mystery as to why any intelligent snake would venture onto a cement porch with huge dogs around and why any intelligent person would endanger themselves and others by shooting a high powered weapon on a cement porch in a populated area.

May 18, 2003

WIA Destroys Dogwoods and Other Flowering Shrubs

The Spring of 2002 brought a glorious display of natural beauty along Waterwood Parkway. Thousands of Flowering Dogwoods, Yaupon Hollies, Hawthorns, Cherries, and Fringetrees and other flowering plants graced the Parkway on the outskirts of Waterwood.

During the Winter months, when the leaves had fallen from all of the Dogwoods and other deciduous trees, WIA sent crews up and down the Parkway to destroy these wonderful trees and shrubs as well as the evergreen American Hollies and Yaupon Hollies.

Resident George Russell, upon witnessing the carnage, demanded that the senseless and costly killing of the beauty of the Parkway be halted. Tragically, the extent of the damage was already so great for such a long distance that the Spring of 2003 was barren except for the trunks of the young pines that had been spared. Pine trunks have never been known to bloom in the Spring or in any other season and thus where once the desecrated section of the Parkway was an awe inspiring strip of flowers and beauty, only the plain brown bark of the pines remained.

Russell has repeatedly asked the WIA Executive Director to leave his office from time to time to see what is happening to the fading beauty of Waterwood. To date there is no evidence that the Director has heeded this request.

May 18, 2003

Treehaters Invade Waterwood

One of the things that makes Waterwood unique are its stringent deed restrictions that were established to protect the native forest ecosystem from destruction. Unfortunately the Waterwood Improvement Association has been very lax at enforcing the restrictions and thus thousands of beautiful Yaupon Hollies, American Hollies, Dogwoods, Hawthorns, Fringetrees, Palmettos, Grapevines, Cherries and many other species of wonderful native trees and shrubs have been chainsawed and bulldozed into oblivion.

Worse yet, Waterwood appears to have been invaded in recent years by tree haters who have destroyed hundreds of “protected” trees, some of which were growing when America declared independence from England. Last year, a beautiful wooded lot on St. Andrew’s was practically clearcut. Truckloads of huge sawlogs were hauled to the mills as if the lot was actually scheduled to become a Walmart parking lot.

Recently a homeowner purchased an adjacent lot and then, without WIA permission, destroyed eight massive century old pine trees. These desecrations have made others who hate our native forest plants and trees obsessed with killing. A beautiful lot on Doral that was graced by a huge dogwood tree as well as numerous other flowering trees and shrubs was denuded. The destruction of the Dogwood was described as “underbrushing” as if the Dogwood was actually a ragweed or a bullnettle! The lot owners are now insisting that they be allowed to kill all of the ancient pines on the property.

A few lots down the street, all of the graceful pines are marked for timber harvest, which would further desecrate the fading beauty of Doral. So far WIA has failed to enforce the deed restrictions. Until WIA stops calling flowering Dogwoods ugly “brush”, the rape of Waterwood will continue unabated until it becomes just another sub-standard development with lowered property values and the barren ugliness typical of areas inhabited by ignorant and insensitive people. WIA Architectural Control Board member, Carol Winters has expressed her concern for the future of Waterwood and its natural beauty and hopes to convince the WIA Board to halt the desecration.

May 18, 2003

Poisoning of Waterwood Continues

Owls, woodpeckers, and other beautiful birds are being exposed to highly toxic and dangerous chemicals along Waterwood’s roadways. Herbicides are being irresponsibly spread along the streets in defiance of common sense. The herbicides only make the street sides ugly and do almost nothing to permanently inhibit the growth of vegetation that might have a negative impact on the pavement. Only filling the cracks in the asphalt with a hot tar mix will save the streets. The herbicides, on the other hand, endanger the applicators, seep into our acquifers, poison the environment, create ugliness where there had been beauty, and waste money.

Worse yet, Waterwood Improvement Association (WIA) has allowed the continued use of the extremely dangerous and toxic chemical agent, DIAZINON, which according to the EPA “is highly toxic to birds, mammals, honey bees, and other beneficial insects. It is also highly toxic to freshwater fish…(and) one of the leading causes of acute insecticide poisoning for humans and wildlife.”

WIA is exposing itself to serious liability in the event one of the unprotected applicators becomes sick or dies from exposure to dangerous chemicals. Poisoning of federally protected birds could result in huge fines assessed against WIA.

Resident, George Russell, has been asking WIA for over a year to discontinue use of these dangerous and unnecessary chemicals without success.

April 28, 2003

Defunct Walker County Historical Commission

For all practical purposes The Walker County Historical Commission appears to be defunct, and has been for several years now.

In the past, the Commission fought tooth and nail to protect and preserve our heritage in Walker County. Today the Commission is like a former raging bull that has been castrated in order to make it passive and grow fat for the slaughter.

"The Texas Legislature set up the system of County Historical Commissions (CHC) to assist local Commissioners Courts and the Texas Historical Commission in the preservation of each county's historic and cultural resources. The duties and responsibilities of a CHC are set forth in detail in Texas' Local Government Code, Chapter 318. The statute is fairly broad, leaving latitude for the CHC to organize and undertake activities appropriate to the county's size and resources. The statute does have some specific requirements that apply across the board to all CHCs, and these should be heeded."

According to the Texas Historical Commission, Walker County is tasked with the responsibility for doing everything possible to protect and preserve our historic assets.

Each County Commission is tasked with establishing an "Endangered Properties Committee", that is responsible for "keeping a watchful eye out for our properties in the county that are threatened," for virtually any reason including "inappropriate development".

Following are examples of the abrogation of duties and responsibilities of The Walker County Historical Commission that are required by The Texas Legislature, that have resulted in great and irreparable harm to Huntsville and Walker County's heritage:

(1) The unwarranted destruction of The Manor House at Elkins Lake: The Commission did absolutely nothing to attempt to save the Manor House or to expose the lies and bigotry that resulted in the tragic demolition of a structure of national significance.

(2) The destruction of the nationally significant Thomason Plantation Homesite and grounds: The plantation home and its unique grounds with alignments of 150 year old red-cedar trees and the National Champion Yaupon Holly were purchased by the Federal Government for a U.S. Post Office site. If the Commission had acted, the home and site would have been protected by Federal Law and the Post Office would have had to be built in such a manner as to protect and preserve this fabulous asset. Instead the home was removed by a descendent of the builder in order to save it from demolition and the wonderful cedars, champion yaupon holly and other historic plantings were bulldozed into oblivion.

(3) The costly destruction of one of Huntsville's famous "Seven Hills": The Commission stood idly by as the Huntsville Independent School District wasted hundreds of thousands of tax dollars raping one of the seven beautiful hilltops that had given Huntsville the name, "Athens of Texas".

(4) The disgustingly costly "insider trading" by the oligarchy that may result in the abandonment of the Wynne House and its restoration as a "Cultural Center": The Commission has stood idly by as a much lower bid from a local architect was thrown out and an unjustifiably high bid was "given" to some outsider at a ridiculously high price. The Commission has not publicly criticized the almost psychotic cost figures that will probably kill a project that should cost no more than $250,000 to complete, instead of the million plus estimate.

(5) The vindictive destruction of historic trees on the Sam Houston Homestead: When asked to intercede, the County Chairman cynically responded, "What good would it do? The City will do whatever it wants regardless of what the Historical Commission asks". That kind of negative attitude toward preservation is tantamount to telling the world, that for all practical purposes, the Walker County Historical Commission no longer cares what destructive activities take place.

The Commission is also tasked with forming a "Public Policy Committee" that is required to "monitor actions of Federal agencies, local governments and developers to ensure that plans for future projects (roads, new construction, housing, etc.) will not endanger a historic property or area."

It is obvious that The Walker County Historical Commission has become a historical "society" of "tea sippers" who sit around reminiscing about "old times" and planning the erection of aluminum plaques, while the bulldozers and chain saws destroy what they have been tasked by our State Legislature with protecting.

George H. Russell

April 8, 2003

Zero Tolerance for Dishonesty

Dr. Kenneth Lee Russell and George H. Russell both addressed Huntsville City Council on March 25, 2003.

Dr. Russell rode into Council Chambers on his handicap scooter to blast the Mayor, Councilmembers, and City Officials on their blatant disregard for handicapped people.

Afterwards, George delivered the following message to Council:

25 March 2003

To: Huntsville City Council

Subject: Zero Tolerance for Dishonesty

Several Public Servants have provided Council, the Media and citizens with false and misleading information about the sidewalk project at the corner of Ave. M and 20th Street which resulted in the destruction of 7 valuable historic trees, the waste of a large sum of taxpayer money, and the construction of an extremely dangerous non ADA compliant section of sidewalk, to wit:

1. One official told me that he knew nothing about the project and then claimed a few minutes later that he was the person responsible for the order to kill the trees. He was not the City Manager and so the order would have been illegal.

2. One official told me that the Urban Forester officially stated that the trees had zero value. The Urban Forester later told me that he had placed the lowest value he could on the trees and that the figure was around $8,000. Had he been aware of the historic significance, his value would have been higher.

3. One Councilperson told me that later the Forester told Council in the session whereby Council “voted” illegally to kill the remaining trees, that the trees would only live another two or three years. If the Forester did indeed say that he knew that he was not telling the truth as we had discussed the longevity of sweetgums and he had inspected an ancient hollow sweetgum that I had built an ADA sidewalk around and how it was hollow in 1950. The gums in question were sound and could easily live another 100 years.

4. One official said that he had presented an alternative design that would have saved the trees at less cost but was ordered to provide a different design that would kill the trees.

5. One official made a deal with my attorney to stop the cutting of the last three trees if I would put up $3,000.00. I immediately put up the money and about 3 minutes later the official gave an order to the crew on the ground to destroy the trees as quickly as possible.

6. One official insists that he telephoned the ADA and that he was given the ‘green light’ over the phone to build the sidewalk as is, which definitely is VERY DANGEROUS. The U.S. Justice Department specialist said that, that is hard, if not impossible to believe.

7. The Mayor in open Council told Staff to work with me to design a sidewalk that would save the trees. Staff ignored the Mayor’s orders and then in a sneak attack convinced Council to vote (illegally) to kill the trees.

8. Staff told Council that it would be impossible to build an ADA section of sidewalk that would save the trees. My staff and I measured the elevations in question and developed a design that would meet ADA and save the trees and cost only around $2,000, thus saving thousands of dollars of taxpayer’s money as well as the trees.

9. One official allegedly told Council at the illegal vote that if the section of damaged sidewalk was removed that ADA would require the destruction of the periodic sidewalks on the entire block which would be a total and blatant fabrication.

10. One official told me today that the City does not have an ADA grievance procedure although I filed a formal complaint and told him of the Federal requirement some time ago. He failed to comply and then treated me rudely when I told him that the City was in violation.

This is just the tip of the iceberg of how City Officials bend the truth, distort the truth, tell untruths, fabricate and twist data to suit their egos and personal grudges and vendettas against our heritage, our quality of life, and against the taxpayers who pay their salaries.

I hereby propose that the City adopt a policy whereby any Public Servant caught lying to Council, The Media, or Citizens be immediately scheduled for a hearing in order to investigate the allegation of dishonesty.

Should it be proven that the Public Servant did indeed intentionally misinform, lie, or otherwise provide false information, then that Public Servant would be immediately terminated.


George H. Russell

P.S. I propose a grace period of 30 days during which time City Officials can

REPENT and REFORM or RESIGN without prejudice.

Exactly one week after Russell demanded that Public Servants REPENT and REFORM or RESIGN, City Manager Bob Hart tendered his resignation.

To date no other official has resigned although there is no evidence that any of them have any intention of repenting or reforming.

George H. Russell

March 30, 2003

The Hypocrites

This afternoon I was heading toward the Cathedral when I passed the steep new drives across from the school on 190 E.

I decided to take some photos of how my car scraped bottom both coming and going.

As I was taking the photos at the edge of the highway, four people, two women and two men emerged from the church under construction. They were dressed in finery and their attitude was that of arrogant superiority.

They started hollering at me in a rude manner.

I couldn’t hear exactly what they were saying so walked up to them. I can’t remember their exact words but basically they were mad that I was there and that I was taking photos.

One man called me by name. I offered my card but it was rudely refused.

I asked them why they built a drive that destroyed the school children’s path and was even so steep that my car scraped going both in and out. They were offensive and acted like it was my problem and that another church down the street had the same type of drive.

By then I was getting angry at their total lack of concern for the plight of the little Black and Hispanic children who now have not even a path to walk on and asked them why they obviously did not care about the safety of little Black children.

They said that I did not know anything about Black children and I said that my first grandchild was half-Black and they said that wasn’t true which made me even more angry.

I gave them the Black Power fist, told them once again that they did not care about little Black children by their actions and turned around and left. All the while I was returning to my car they kept yelling at me to come back, I guess for some kind of confrontation that I was not about to get involved in.

Needless to say I was not happy with their hypocrisy considering the fact that they were acting like rich White bigots but were obviously of African American descent.

George H. Russell

February 16, 2003


The sound of chain saws on the grounds of Sam Houston’s original homestead in Huntsville, Texas alerted citizens to an atrocity that was taking place at taxpayer expense.

Investigation revealed that contractors working for The City of Huntsville were frantically killing important historic shade trees on public property. Natalie Stephens and George Russell who live on Texas hero Sam Houston’s original homestead could not believe their eyes as they saw men with chain saws destroying trees that were so precious to Huntsville’s citizens in years past that they were the focal point of press conferences and citizen led demonstrations.

Russell asked the contractor to please stop the massacre until such time as it could be determined who had made the terrible and probably illegal decision to kill the majestic trees. The contractor said that he was under orders to destroy all seven trees and that he would not stop.

Rushing to City Hall, Stephens and Russell asked for anyone in authority who would stop the killing. All city officials had taken an early lunch and were nowhere to be found. Russell then called the Huntsville Police Department and asked that an officer stop the destruction to public property.

Sam Houston State University and Huntsville Police officers were able to convince the logging contractor to stop. Immediately thereafter a City official arrived and attempted to recommence the carnage.

Russell, who has for decades been the protector of the Sam Houston homestead and who has invested huge sums of money to defend it from desecration, demanded that the official who identified himself as Randy Brown, Director of Public Works, call a halt to the chainsaw massacre. After a heated debate between Russell and Brown, refereed by University and City police officers, Brown finally agreed to stay the execution.

The next morning Brown called Russell at his office on the Sam Houston homestead and according to Russell, almost gleefully, said that he was going to order the destruction of the remaining three trees, beginning Monday morning, February 17, 2003. Sam Houston was President of The Republic of Texas and Mr. Brown therefore was ironically ordering the killing of the remaining Houston descendent trees on “President’s Day”.

Russell, who is Forest Practices Chair, Lone Star Sierra Club and an expert on urban forestry issues, using the Texas Agricultural Extension Service Evaluation of Texas Shade Trees formula, placed a value of the trees already destroyed at $9,564.00 and the surviving trees that City functionary and bureaucrat, Brown has condemned to death, at $15,313.00.

In a Valentine’s Day phone call to Huntsville Mayor, Bill Green, Russell demanded that Green take action to prevent the further desecration of Sam Houston’s legacy. In a subsequent e-mail to Green, Russell asked that City bureaucrats found responsible for the destruction of valuable public property be required to make restitution to the citizens of Huntsville.

Dr. Jim Carter, former City Council Member and Mayor Pro-tem who had been instrumental in the decision by Council to save these important historic trees, expressed shock, exasperation, and disgust, at what he called, “a mindless and continuing vendetta against our heritage and quality of life in Huntsville by our own so-called public servants”.

George H. Russell

Jan 2002, Feb 2002, Mar 2002, Dec 2001, Nov 2001, Oct 2001, Sept 2001

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This site last updated October 1, 2003