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Port Athur Should Be Ashamed of Itself

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The election is over, the numbers have been crunched, and the story those numbers tell isn’t something very many communities like Port Arthur would be especially proud of.  In a community called home by 54,135 people, 29,172 of them registered voters, only 3,306 ballots were cast in the recent mayoral runoff election.  What this means is that roughly 11% of the registered voters in Port Arthur care enough about their community to vote in an election to decide who the leader of their city will be for the next several years.

Considering the number of people who cry, whine, bitch and bellyache about everything wrong in Port Arthur, especially in social media, one would think there would be a larger voter turnout for elections.  Not so in Port Arthur, Texas.  About the only thing that befuddles a logically thinking mind more than how so few people are willing to express interest in their community as there are in Port Arthur is the whimsical pipe-dream of redeveloping the downtown area into what people remember it as being roughly a half-dozen decades ago.

Although the City of Port Arthur proudly proclaims itself an “ethnically diversified community”, the truth is it is also an extremely divided community.  Only two primary ethnic groups are represented in government.  Perhaps the other ethnic groups know better than to thrust themselves into the mayhem caused by such an ethnically divided community.  However, the primary problem in Port Arthur government is that each of the two primary ethnic groups represented in government would each like to take control over government and eradicate the other from it and the community altogether purely for their own personal benefit, profit and gain. Their intent really hasn’t much to do with administering and managing the city at all.  It’s enough to make the average person sick to their stomach to hear those on each side of that ethnic fence speak!

Port Arthur has seen it’s day, and watched it disappear.  Drive around the city and what you will see most are dilapidated, rundown, mostly abandoned buildings dotting the landscape.  Junk cars and other trash litters many properties.  Other than the rare refinery jobs, most employment in Port Arthur is limited to jobs paying at, or very close to, the minimum wage.  There isn’t hardly anything to keep our youth in Port Arthur because the community has nothing to offer them.  Take into consideration that it’s been estimated that 76% of all Port Arthur residents exist purely on public assistance.

I seriously doubt there will ever be a day in my lifetime when the people of Port Arthur come together to address not only the will of the people, but meet the needs of the community.  If you do believe this will happen, can I interest you in the purchase of one-square-foot of genuine Texas Gulf Coast marsh muck?  And, if you prepay your order, I’ll even throw in the roots!

In the meantime, though, the people of Port Arthur should be more ashamed of themselves for having allowed their community to become what it is today; and, that isn’t anything to brag about.

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10 Comments

  1. Instead of pouring all the city money into downtown, the city should be putting money into the one thing that they have that could actually draw people from other areas to the area to visit. It is a little gem called Pleasure Island. Before Hurricane Rita hit, we had a golf course, restaurant, Parrot Heads (which used to be packed every weekend with bikers from all over, and live entertainment). We also used to have several festivals on the island. Why would you move Shrimp feast from the island to downtown???? The name itself tells you that it should be on the island. Since the city took control of the island they have done zero to bring anything to this part of the city that is actually nice to look at and be on. Not to long ago, we had a major Red Fish tournament on the island. You heard nothing about it on TV or radio, and because of that, very few people came out to see the weigh in. This was not a local tournament, It brought anglers from several different states, and there probably was not more than 50 people there to see it. I have been living on the Island for about 12 years, and had a sailboat for over 20. I have personally seen the constant downturn on the island for years. 20 years ago, the island would be packed every weekend. What a waste!!!!

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    • JCBP says:

      There is an old saying that “you can never go home again“. That’s because the home you left will never be the same as you remember it to be. The same holds true with Port Arthur. It can never be what it used to be as is being recalled in the memories of people. Perhaps those who perpetuate the ideal of bringing back the past should also read the following editorial:

      An Interesting Perspective

      Why don’t you people realize that you’re as much as fault for allowing things like this to fall into states of disrepair as are the government officials who prevented the community from properly maintaining itself in the first place? Look at the figures in the editorial you are responding to. What in those figures makes you think there are enough people interested in trying to get this town back on its own feet? There aren’t, and all the nice memories in the world aren’t going to help a single bit without the complete support of the community.

      The fact is that I don’t care what Port Arthur was at any given point in history. What I do care about is that something had better start to effect change around this community, or Texas may just end up with yet another ghost of what used to be a productive community. This means active participation in our election process to replace those having demonstrated more interest in their own personal and political special interests than in meeting the needs of the city and satisfying the will of the people. And I can tell you from experience, 11% voter participation just ain’t going to do it!

      It’s a very well recognized fact Port Arthur has a variety of assets which aren’t being exploited for the benefit of the community. Pleasure Island is one of them. However, it takes money to restructure even Pleasure Island into something productive; and, Port Arthur doesn’t have the money to do much of anything with. WE need a government able to exercise fiscal and financial responsibility, and even then it will take years to catch up with everything ignored previously. Do you really think Port Arthur has that much time? I know people who think not, and I almost have to agree with them. And based upon what I’m seeing in some of the responses (both directly into the Jefferson County Beer Party and in social media), trying to find a way to make people start looking forward in lieu of backward in time is, too, yet another pipe-dream.

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  2. Honey Beaux says:

    I’m from Pt Neches but have moved across the state.I go back to visit and SMH as I come into Port Arthur…LOOKS A WAR ZONE I SHIT YOU NOT. All I can say is thank GOD my 96 yr old Aunt is out of there 3 yrs after Katrina.Nothing to see here so I turned my truck around and said God bless these people.. #portarthursdead

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    • JCBP says:

      You know, nothing angers me more than the “holier-than-thou” crowd who thinks themselves some-kind-of-something-special by demeaning communities other than those from which they hail. Let me ask you if you’re proud of yourself from being such a coward that you fled Port Neches in lieu of trying to make mid Jefferson County a better, more productive place to be?

      I allowed this response only to demonstrate why this area is falling into the marsh muck. People who make these remarks are, in my opinion, two-faced chicken-shit cowards who’d rather run and hide than stay and try doing something for their community. And in a very special way, I’m pleased this person ran because we already have way too many just like her willing to rattle off at the gums their superiority than do something productive for their community. Good-bye, and good riddance!

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  3. Rachael Paul says:

    Totally on point, honest and eye opening JCBP! I agree with everything you wrote and talk about. I wish more people were willing to recognize and speak openly about the Truth of what is going on ( or not going on) in Port Arthur. And I’d like to ask Mr. Gipson, what have you done for this community? And i mean this community as a whole, not just a select few or a certain ethnic group?
    Everyone is entitled to thier opinions and they won’t always be to your liking Mr. Gipson. And until people like you are willing to open up and at least listen to those other opinions, Port Arthur will remain doomed.

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    • JCBP says:

      Thank you for your kind words. I genuinely hate having had to be so blunt on this topic, but something had to be said to awaken these people from their state of dreamland and denial. There is more discussion needed on this topic, but the response so far (especially in social media) has been one of hostility. Funny how a few, though, couldn’t think of anything else to dispute so they jumped on me for the typographical errors I made while preparing the editrial.

      Look forward to more from me and my Efferson County Beer Party blog in the future.

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  4. I think the problem with most Port Authorians is they lack initiative. Most would rather sit back until something ‘big’ happens which at that point they hop on the caravan as if they were there from day one doing the footwork, etc. If a majority of the population led by example instead of sitting back criticizing the faults of others, Port Arthur would be a better place than it ever was! Instead of down talking what could be an awesome and very lucrative city, invest in it. Start leadership & team building activities. Teach our youth (and adults) the importance of respect and customer service instead of how to hold grudges from now on… Teach them how to be productive in society; how to be an asset not a liability. Show them the importance of taking the lead versus riding on the shoulders of others. Teach them how to be self sufficient instead of running rapid through monies earned; start a savings account and learn how to add to savings and know the protocol in gaining interest on a savings account. It’s more than just pointing the finger…it’s more like teamwork and setting examples for others to follow. Release the ‘crab mentality’ and prosper to no end!

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    • JCBP says:

      The problem I’ve had for quite some time with our youth is they are coming away from their educational experience unable to read, write, perform even the simplest of mathematical functions and unable to communicate effectively in a business culture. There seems, too, to be too much reliance on our education system to teach our young people those things they should be learning at home. It’s as if the parents haven’t the time to spend with their children to instruct them accordingly.

      So how do you overcome this? Is it any more possible to change the parents who have already demonstrated their unwillingness to even so much as participate in local elections, much less unify toward making the community a better place to be? And how do you make students apply themselves appropriately in the classroom if they simply don’t want to learn?

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  5. In the time it took you to write your piece, you could have written a proposal to help develope downtown Port Arthur. You obviously can write. Why not utilze those skills to help bolster your community rather than wasting time complaining about the obvious? On the other hand, if you are not interested in genuinely trying to help the people of Port Arthur, which it clearly seems you’re not, please keep your opinions to yourself. We don’t need more commenters to tell us the play by play of how Port Arthur is falling apart. Sorry my friend, that quota has long been filled. What Port Arthur needs are people who are willing to fill the shortage of determined citizens, necessary to help the city to reach its fullest potential.

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    • JCBP says:

      Let’s not cut any cheese here. This is MY blog. I own it and administrate it. This blog, the Jefferson County Beer Party, was created and developed as a means through which I could express my opinions relating to different matters. No one is forced to visit this blog any more than they are forced to read its content. I even go so far as to allow those who do decide to read the content to express themselves regardless whether they agree with what I say, or not.

      The point being made here is that YOU made a conscious decision to click the link that brought YOU here. No one forced YOU to do so. Furthermore, no one forced YOU to read the content, agree with it or disagree with it. That was YOUR choice. Yet YOU have the unmitigated gall to state in YOUR remarks (that I allow YOU to make unfettered) that I have to “keep your opinions to yourself“. Junior, I have a problem with that!

      You know what, I think people like you are as much a part of the problem here in Port Arthur as are those you so loosely refer to as filling that “shortage of determined citizens“. I sometimes wonder if people like you haven’t your heads buried so deeply into the sand, or stuck up a certain part of the human anatomy, that you simply cannot realize not everyone shares your dreams of trying to make Port Arthur into what it was no less than a half-dozen decades ago? You’re living on a dream, or a memory, of the past that simply cannot be revived. And the really unfortunate part in all this is that you’re either unable, or unwilling, to accept that others feel differently than you do.

      I’m going to ask you to do something, but please don’t misconstrue it as a demand. Get out onto the streets of Port Arthur; and, talk to people. Any and all people, and don’t restrict your conversations to those within a specific ethnic group, religion or economic ability. Ask them to their face what they think of the downtown redevelopment scheme. And pay close attention to their responses, if you even get any. Maybe this will help you to understand that the number of people who think redeveloping downtown is feasible is restricted only to a very select few.

      And one more thing. Drop this perpetuation for telling others to “keep your opinions to yourself“. it’s very unbecoming of you.

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