QUESTION: Is there any news about who the potential investor that could replace Kroger’s in the proposed move of Hinsley Park might be or when we might learn if there is still the potential for the move?
ANSWER: I’ve got a whole lot of nothin’ for you.
For review, we voters gave the City Council permission in 2015 to remove the park designation for Hinsley Park to make way for a proposed retail development at the 38-acre park (if and when the development is ready to move forward). The developers would construct a replacement park. The project hasn’t moved forward, though.
Back in May, our Jimmy Isaac reported that city officials said developer Craig Carney had indicated he had a replacement for Kroger as an anchor tenant and expected to provide an update to that end within a few weeks.
Parks and Recreation Director Scott Caron and City Councilwoman Kristen Ishihara both said they haven’t heard from the developers since then.
I also reached out to the developers this week and didn’t hear back.
I’m sure that means everything is fine.
Q: What kind of scam is being pulled where your caller ID shows you’re calling yourself? It’s your name, your number. It looks like you’re calling yourself. I received four calls like that here lately.
A: It’s called spoofing. Basically, technology has made it possible for the bad guys to fake caller ID information so it looks like they’re calling from somewhere they’re not, or with a phone number they’re not actually using. Like your phone number.
I found a 2015 article on the issue from the Federal Trade Commission that said it’s a way for scammers to get around call-blocking and elude law enforcement.
“They hope you’ll be curious enough to pick up. Don’t fall for it,” the article says. “The real callers could be calling from anywhere in the world. We’ve written about these kinds of tricks before — like when scammers pretended to be the IRS and faked caller ID so people thought it really was the IRS calling.
Bottom line? These calls from your own number are illegal. Don’t pick up — or press buttons to be taken off the call list or to talk to a live person. That just leads to more calls. It’s best to ignore them, and move on with your day. Maybe watch a really good sci-fi movie.”
Q: I was reading something the other day and it said an administrative law judge had recommended something. What does an administrative judge do that other judges do or do not?
A: This will vary, depending on the jurisdiction and agency involved. (I suspect you specifically saw a story about an administrative law judge who recommended that a police officer in New York City be fired in connection with a man’s death five years ago.)
Generally speaking, though, administrative judges aren’t presiding over trials, but consider an organization’s internal issues, or civil matters and issues with how various courts operate.
For instance, here’s a description of what administrative law judges do from the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings in New York City:
“An Administrative Law Judge (‘ALJ’) adjudicates cases involving different subject matter areas, including civil service law, zoning and land use, licensing, conflicts of interest, city contracts, human rights law and vehicle seizures.”
In Texas, trial courts are divided into 11 administrative judicial regions with presiding judges who have a different job description than the one I mentioned above in New York City. In our area, Gregg County’s own Alfonso Charles, 124th District Court judge, is the presiding judge over the 10th Administrative Judicial Region. here’s a description of his job from the state’s courts website:
“The office of the Tenth Administrative Judicial Region (10th AJR) is located in Longview, Texas. The 10th AJR was created by the legislature in 2017 and currently covers 32 counties.... The duties of the presiding judge include promulgating and implementing regional rules of administration, advising local judges on judicial management, recommending changes to the Supreme Court for the improvement of judicial administration, and acting for local administrative judges in their absence. The presiding judges also have the authority to assign visiting judges to hold court when necessary to dispose of accumulated business in the region.”
Those are just a couple of examples. Administrative law judges are used by a variety of government agencies in varying capacities.