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Posts under ‘Elsewhere in Houston’

Smoke-free Houston, ten years later

From the inbox: It’s been 50 years since the release of the Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health and the harmful consequences from the use of tobacco. 2016 marks the 10th year of the adoption of Ordinance No. 2006-1054 prohibiting indoor smoking in Houston public areas and places of employment. Individuals could no longer […]

No Astrodome laser light show for the Super Bowl

Alas. Organizers have nixed a proposal to use high-tech lasers to project dazzling images of Houston’s culture and history onto and through the roof of the Astrodome during Super Bowl LI. Harris County Judge Ed Emmett said the NFL turned down the proposal — the brainchild of two recent Rice University graduates — over security […]

Does it matter why infrastructure was improved?

I say no, but maybe that’s just me. In the days leading up to the nation’s biggest sporting event, thousands of visitors will use Broadway to travel from the airport to downtown hotels and other spots. Work on gravel paths, trees and lighting is expected to be done by the end of the year, one […]

Climate change will not be kind to Houston

It could be even worse, if that’s any consolation, but it will be bad as things are going now. Houston’s brutally hot summers, persistent humidity, floods and hurricanes never have been much of a selling point. It’s been something to endure. In 50 years, scientists predict Houston’s climate will look a lot like what it […]

Time once again to talk about the Super Bowl and its economic impact

We’re less than 100 days out from Super Bowl LI here in Houston. I don’t know how much people who are not directly involved in the planning and execution of it are thinking about that. The economic benefits of hosting a Super Bowl and other major events have long been a matter of debate, however. […]

The Reliant Stadium area is ready for its closeup

For the Super Bowl, of course. Gotta look pretty, you know. Currently, the area surrounding NRG Park, which includes NRG Stadium and the Astrodome, is “functional” but hardly an impression-maker for a throng of out-of-town guests, said Ed Wulfe, chairman of the Stadium Park Redevelopment Authority. “The Super Bowl was the motivating factor the area […]

Renaming Dowling Street

The process has to change before the name can be changed. For years, Third Ward residents have had to roll with the changes in their community, often having to live with decisions made in the corridors of power at City Hall. That’s how East Broadway, the main road running through one of Houston’s historical African-American […]

The Houston Furniture Bank

Get to know them, they do great work. [Oli] Mohammed, a native of Bangladesh who has devoted his life to helping the poor, came to Houston after several years of working with refugees in Kenya. “I’m from Bangladesh, and poverty and people in need are not foreign to me,” Mohammed said. “But when I saw […]

Have we reached a tipping point on flood mitigation?

That’s a question that is alluded to but not directly addressed in this story. “This is how the land is supposed to act,” said Mary Anne Piacentini, executive director of the Katy Prairie Conservancy, a nonprofit land trust. “It’s supposed to absorb water and filter out pollutants. It’s not supposed to send it roaring into […]

The Food Bank’s new home

I wish them all the best at their new address. The giant “End Hunger” message emblazoned in green on the Houston Food Bank building just north of downtown will soon go away as the charitable organization plans to start cooking hot meals for hungry kids at a larger kitchen under construction inside its east Houston […]

Did Steve Radack really say that?

Apparently so. Precinct 3 Commissioner Steve Radack recently said some people want to get flooded so they can cash in, and he’s not backing down from his comments. Radack says this was one minute of a 90-minute community meeting in Cypress last Thursday night. However, to the audience of flood victims, it didn’t go over […]

Still asking for Zika help

From the inbox: Following reports of the first local mosquito-borne Zika infections in the U.S., Mayor Sylvester Turner is once again calling on the state of Texas and federal government to provide financial assistance to help fight it. “There are already 14 confirmed cases of Zika virus being transmitted locally in Florida,” said Mayor Turner. […]

An update on the effort to make the Heights less dry

In which we learn there is indeed some opposition to this effort. A petition favored by grocery giant H-E-B to partially lift a 104-year-old ban on beer and wine sales in a dry part of the Heights could be headed for a vote this fall. The Houston Heights Beverage Coalition, which was formed to push […]

Astroworld II?

Mayor Turner would like to see it happen. In a recent informal lunch with members of the media as he approached six months in office, Mayor Sylvester Turner ticked off the important things his administration has accomplished — unanimous passage of a balanced budget, pothole repairs — and issues he plans to tackle — the […]

Hempstead landfill application resubmitted

Here we go again. A Georgia-based company on Wednesday announced it had initiated a new application to build a controversial landfill in Waller County, bringing renewed attention to a project that a citizens group and several county commissioners have actively opposed. Earlier this year, Commissioner John Amsler had described the landfill as “dead” though at […]

East End former KBR site sold again

I’d forgotten all about this. When a sprawling tract of land lining Buffalo Bayou east of downtown hit the market three years ago, some of Houston’s most prominent observers of urban development put forth ideas about what could be done with the 136-acre site boasting both water and skyscraper views. Visions for the property included […]

Appeals court reverses Ashby damages award

It’s kind of amazing to me that the Ashby Highrise saga is still a newsmaker. In a major ruling that could stymie future legal challenges against developers, a state appellate court has reversed a key portion of the 2014 judgment awarding damages to residents opposed to the controversial Ashby high-rise. Neighbors of the residential tower […]

More options for glass recycling

From the inbox: Through a new partnership with Strategic Materials Inc., North America’s largest glass recycler, the City of Houston is able to offer residents a more convenient way to recycle glass. “Since the removal of glass from the City’s single stream recycling program earlier this year, we have been working to find ways for […]

Hempstead landfill fight still not over

As with all things, it ain’t over till it’s over. Green Group Holdings recently purchased the 723-acre parcel where the company had planned to build the landfill before the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality turned down the project. The move means the Georgia-based Green Group hasn’t given up on the project, known as the Pintail […]

Astrodome parking plan coming

Better get ready. Harris County officials on Friday unveiled a $105 million plan to raise the floor of the Astrodome and build two new levels of parking beneath it, the strongest signal yet that the county plans to maintain and find another use for the one-time architectural marvel. The proposal, which the county has been […]

On recycling glass

Not sure about this. Considered only in terms of the city’s short-term budget and Waste Management’s profits, perhaps the decision to stop recycling glass makes sense. But it wasn’t popular at the symposium, which was hosted by UH’s Center for Sustainability and Resilience and the Houston Advanced Research Center. There, speakers suggested that decision ignores […]

Hey, look, it’s another Astrodome proposal

Meet A-Dome Park. A Houston architect is touting a new idea for the Astrodome’s overhaul, urging the county to avoid an indoor park concept and instead strip the structure down to its bones. The concept, dubbed “A-Dome Park,” is being advanced by James Richards and Ben Olschner, architects who previously worked at Herzog & de […]

How much would you pay to fix Houston’s sewer system?

Whatever your answer to that question is, the real answer is that

Woodland Heights neighborhood traffic management plan

Of primary interest to the folks in my neighborhood only, though I will note that as Mayor Turner has made it easier for neighborhoods to request traffic-calming measures like speed cushions, this could be in your future as well. Tonight at 7 PM there will be a public meeting in the cafeteria at Hogg Middle […]

Mayor Turner asks for Zika help

From the inbox. With members of the local legislative delegation at his side and an illegal tire dump as the backdrop, Mayor Sylvester Turner called on the state of Texas to declare the Zika virus a public health emergency and dedicate funds toward local efforts to fight it. “Local governments are in a position to […]

A brief summary of the effort to make the Heights less dry

The Heights Life provides a fact sheet: The petition is backed by HEB, who hired a law firm to handle the drive. Some of the canvassers, who are paid and may or may not be your neighbors or Heights residents, may not know about HEB, only the firm that hired them. Either way, it’s all […]

We could be #3!

In a decade or so! If current trends hold. Chicago, the only city among the nation’s 20 largest to see population loss in 2015, could be overtaken in a decade by Houston as the third-most-populous city if the trend continues, experts said. The city of Chicago lost about 2,890 residents between 2014 and 2015, bringing […]

Reimagining Lower Westheimer

This ought to be interesting. Lower Westheimer is one of Houston’s most well-known streets, but on some fronts its reputation isn’t a positive one. Narrow and bumpy, the street is both a hub of retail and recreation activity and also a harrowing bike or automobile trip from time to time. Everyone has a story or […]

Typhoon Texas

Someplace new for the summer. Not far from Katy Mills Mall, rainbow-colored slides tower seven stories high over a new water park that has taken shape on 25 acres. A short hill with a waterfall running through it greets visitors. Inside, they’ll find nine water rides, a 25,000-square-foot wave pool, a lazy river and a […]

Memorial residents file lawsuit over flooding

This ought to be interesting. A group of residents sued the city of Houston and one of its local redevelopment authorities Wednesday, alleging that they approved commercial development in the Memorial City area without requiring adequate storm water mitigation, resulting in increased flooding in residential neighborhoods. Claiming federal and state constitutional violations, the west Houston […]

More on the effort to make the Heights less dry

From the Chron: With the intention of building a new store in the Heights, H-E-B said Wednesday that it has been working with a political consulting firm in Austin to help change a law precluding beer and wine sales in a dry part of the historic Houston neighborhood. The grocer said it has contracted with […]

Making the Heights a little less dry

From Swamplot: A GROUP CALLED the Houston Heights Beverage Coalition PAC is hoping to bring about a vote on allowing beer and wine sales in the technically dry section of the Houston Heights. The group published a notice on May 5th announcing an application to the city to start collecting the petition signaturesrequired to get the measure on a local option ballot. […] The […]

Will the Ashby highrise ever get built?

Who knows? Penelope Loughhead’s house in the leafy neighborhood near Rice University abuts the land where, nearly a decade ago, a proposed high-rise sparked a land-use battle that resonated citywide and throughout the local development community. This week marks two years since a judge ruled the proposed Ashby tower could go forward after a monthlong […]

A way to use the Astrodome while we figure out what to do with it

How does a Super Bowl light show grab you? The future of the Astrodome still might be in the dark, but that doesn’t mean the iconic building can’t return to the spotlight for at least a few minutes. A pair of 25-year-old Rice University graduates came up with an idea to display a light show […]