Calpine's back, but the protester's not gone

Standard & Poor’s issued a ‘B’ rating to power plant operator Calpine after it emerged from bankruptcy last week, a sign that the company is getting back to business. But that doesn’t mean Robert Strouse is.

Staying put: Calpine shareholder Robert Strouse in front of power company’s Houston offices. (Steve Ueckert / Chronicle)

Strouse is the retired commerical painter from Ohio who took a Greyhound bus to Houston a few weeks ago to protest in front of Calpine’s downtown Houston office.
Strouse bought 5,000 shares of Calpine more than a year before the company went bankrupt and said an investor relations official with the company told him the company wouldn’t “be like Delta” and cancel the stock of existing shareholders. That’s exactly what happened, however, and Strouse is saying he was lied to — which the company denies.
Strouse was still out in front of the Calpine offices Monday and said he plans on sticking around until he gets his money back. Calpine says it will give shareholders like him warrants — the right to buy new Calpine stock but at a price that will likely be higher than market value it begins trading again on the NYSE this week.
Strouse says that’s not good enough. He’s applying for a state identification card and may register as a voter here, he said. And his room at the Downtown YMCA pretty comfortable, too, so…