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Posts from ‘November, 2013’

Saturday video break: City of New Orleans

Because Arlo Guthrie did in fact do more than one song: I’ve even heard that one played on the radio a time or two. Like the Thursday video, this was recorded at Farm Aid, though in a different year. Hope you’re having a good weekend, Arlo Guthrie, wherever you are.

Thanksgiving weekend voter ID update

Some statistics to throw some cold water on the claims that there were “no problems” with the voter ID law. Delays at the polls this month due to glitches with voters’ identifications could signal a bigger problem to come next year, when many more turn out for state and county elections. Thousands of voters had […]

Sriracha update

For the rooster sauce lovers in my audience, which I figure is most of you. A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge Tuesday ordered a Sriracha hot sauce plant in Irwindale be partially shut down in response to odor complaints from nearby residents. Judge Robert H. O’Brien ruled in favor of the city and ordered […]

Friday random ten: Leftovers

In the spirit of the weekend, ten songs about food. 1. Hotdogs and Hamburgers – John Mellencamp 2. Watermelon Time – Marcia Ball 3. Col. Josh’s Homestyle Barbecue – Asylum Street Spankers 4. Ode To The Lima Bean – Flying Fish Sailors 5. Corn Dogs – The Bobs 6. Tastes Like Chicken – Austin Lounge […]

City settles longstanding litigation with strip clubs

From the Mayor’s press release: Recognizing Houston is a hub for human trafficking, the City and 16 area topless clubs have entered into a novel settlement agreement aimed at addressing this heinous crime, ending litigation dating back to 1997 when City Council imposed new regulations on sexually-oriented businesses. “In the 16 years since City Council […]

Recycle that cooking oil

A public service announcement from the city. The holidays are upon us and that means cooking turkeys, hams and other foods that either require cooking oils to prepare or that generate a surplus of grease when cooked. Used cooking oils and greases, when disposed down the kitchen drain, cool, harden and clog the pipes. Diluting […]

Thanksgiving video break: Alice’s Restaurant

Needs no introduction, does it? That was at Farm Aid 2005. Still sounds great, too. Happy Thanksgiving, y’all.

Same sex couples win the right to register for benefits in the Texas National Guard

Happy Thanksgiving, y’all. The Texas National Guard said late Tuesday it will immediately let same-sex couples register for benefits, ending a highly publicized standoff with the Pentagon. Five Texas Guard facilities, including one in Houston, that had been off limits for same-sex couples seeking benefits will begin to enroll same-sex dependent spouses in benefits programs. […]

He’s baaaack

I was at HCDP headquarters on Monday night, participating in a panel discussion hosted by the Texas Democratic Women of Harris County along with my friends Perry and Neil. On the back wall of the main room is a big listing of all offices that will be on the ballot this year and the signatures […]

More on the Mayor’s payday lending ordinance

From the Chron story on Mayor Parker’s proposed payday lending ordinance, which is described as having been toughened up from an earlier proposal: Consumer groups had called [City Attorney David] Feldman’s compromise proposal too weak; he said he preferred tougher restrictions but said those were unlikely to pass the Legislature, would invite a lawsuit, and […]

Bradford calls for review of HPD oversight

He’s right that something needs to be done to ensure that people feel confident in the system. Houston City Councilman and former Police Chief C.O. “Brad” Bradford said citizens have lost faith in the city’s oversight of the use of force by police officers, and it’s time for a discussion on how to restore confidence […]

Texas blog roundup for the week of November 25

The Texas Progressive Alliance is thankful for many things, this week and every week, as we bring you this week’s roundup.

More on LVdP for Lite Guv

Mostly from Monday’s Lone Star Project news roundup email. AP: Texas Democrats offering stark contrast. Texas voters won’t have a hard time telling the difference between the Republican and Democratic candidates next year. With the addition of San Antonio Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, attorney Sam Houston and party activist Steve Brown last week, the […]

Fjetland files for Senate

Texas Democrats will have a contested primary for the right to run against Sen. John Cornyn next year. Michael Fjetland, a previous GOP House candidate, has filed as a Democrat to run for the Senate seat held by Texas Sen. John Cornyn. Fjetland, 63, of Houston, said he is not satisfied with the work the […]

More on the jail’s new non-discrimination policy

Here’s the Chron story on the new non-discrimination policy that was implemented at the Harris County Jail. Crafted in the last 16 months with input from local and national LGBT community leaders and groups, it strictly prohibits “discrimination or harassment of any kind based on sexual orientation or gender identity,” and provides for the special […]

Son Of Ortiz/Farenthold?

Maybe. A grudge match could be brewing in South Texas. On Tuesday, the Democrats’ top congressional strategist hinted that he’s been trying to recruit someone to challenge two-term Rep. Blake Farenthold, a tea party Republican from Corpus Christi. Turns out, that person is Solomon Ortiz Jr., a former state representative and son of the longtime […]

Where the early vote was

As you know, I thought that the high turnout we were seeing in Early Voting for this past election was not so much an indicator of high turnout but of a shift in voting behavior similar to what we had seen in even-year elections. That prediction was incorrect – final turnout was higher than I […]

Sam Houston files for AG

It’s official. Democrat Sam Houston filed for attorney general Thursday, promising to return the office to it’s basic functions of “serving all Texans” rather than “partisan lawsuits and constant disputes with the federal government.” The Houston Democrat said specifically he wants to increase efficiency of the office’s current responsibilities such as child support enforcement, representing […]

Grownups

Ha ha ha ha ha! U.S. Sen. John Cornyn preached the gospel of a big-tent GOP at a Friday rally for his re-election, saying Republicans must prove to voters they can govern like “responsible adults.” Cornyn has been bedeviled by some tea party activists who say he suffers in comparison to U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, […]

How about those gators?

They’re doing well, with a little help. The largest reptile in America was nearly extinct by the 1970s. But, efforts to protect the American alligator resulted in a conservation success story that led to its removal from the endangered species list in 1987. The Texas State Aquarium uses that story of conservation and action resulting […]

Weekend link dump for November 24

Better take your turkey out of the freezer soon. Organized youth football is seeing a sharp drop in participation. Concern about head injuries are a big part of that. This story about children being adopted from overseas and then abused and in some cases killed by parents that had no business adopting them just breaks […]

LVdP is in for Lite Gov

Awesome. Long rumored to be a contender, state Sen. Leticia Van De Putte has now made it official: She is running for lieutenant governor. “I want to be your lieutenant governor because Mama ain’t happy — because Texas, we can do better,” Van de Putte said Saturday in a fiery announcement speech in front of […]

Who’s supporting whom in District D

The Chron checks with the ten candidates that did not make the runoff in District D to see who is endorsing frontrunner Dwight Boykins and who is going with runnerup Georgia Provost. [Keith] Caldwell and [Demetria] Smith are supporting Boykins. “I will be endorsing Mr. Boykins at this time,” Smith said, adding that she will […]

We need a Conviction Integrity Unit in Harris County

From the DMN: Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins has gained a national reputation for spearheading prisoner exonerations. As he prepares to seek a third term, Watkins said Thursday he wants to expand on that role and add a few others. … Watkins, a Democrat who was first elected in 2006, gained attention for using […]

Runoff endorsement watch: For Kubosh

The Chron makes the last of its runoff endorsements by choosing Michael Kubosh in At Large #3. Looking at the candidates for the runoff, it feels a bit like the whole City Council At-large 3 race was a competition of name recognition. For the Saturday, Dec. 14, election, former mayoral candidate Roy Morales will be […]

Saturday video break: Seven score and ten years ago

In honor of the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address, here is Aaron Copland’s Lincoln Portrait, performed in 1991 by the Philadephia Orchestra, and narrated by Dr. J, Julius Erving: One of my favorite pieces of music. I had the good fortune to take part in a performance of this myself, with the Trinity University […]

The Mayor’s payday lending proposal

Mayor Parker sure isn’t wasting any time on her last-term agenda. Next up on the list: the payday lending ordinance we’ve been waiting for. With support from other major Texas cities and numerous advocacy groups, Mayor Annise Parker today unveiled proposed regulations for payday lending in Houston. The mayor’s plan establishes minimum business practices for […]

SBOE backs down on Algebra 2

So much for that. Only high school students who pursue an honors plan or a diploma specializing in math and science will have to take algebra II under recommendations that the Texas State Board of Education preliminarily approved Thursday. Despite an initial proposal that had included the advanced math course in all five new diploma […]

Crane sues McLane

This ought to be fun. Jim Crane’s Astros ownership group filed a state court lawsuit Thursday against former Astros owner Drayton McLane, Comcast and NBC Universal, accusing them of fraud and civil conspiracy and accusing McLane’s corporation that owned the Astros of breach of contract in conjunction with Crane’s 2011 purchase of a 46 percent […]

Friday random ten: For John

I was born after the assassination of JFK, so I have nothing to add to the nostalgia and remembrances of this week. But the least I can do is contribute a list of songs performed by various Johns in commemoration of today’s anniversary. 1. Again Tonight – John Mellencamp 2. Angel From Montgomery – John […]

Precinct analysis: Two quick takes

I had wondered if partisan affiliation might be a factor in the HISD 7 race between Republican incumbent Harvin Moore and Democratic challenger Anne Sung. Like Houston races, HISD Trustee races are officially non-partisan, but also like Houston races, people tend to know what team everyone plays for. What did the precinct data tell us? […]

Council passes wage theft ordinance

Well done. Houston City Council voted unanimously Wednesday to adopt an ordinance aimed at deterring companies from stealing workers’ wages and ensuring the city does not hire firms that do, though supporters acknowledged the measure’s limited reach. The seemingly easy vote masked months of lobbying and negotiations among Mayor Annise Parker’s administration, council members, workers […]

Federal lawsuit against HISD and Trustee Larry Marshall dismissed

Good, I guess. A federal judge on Tuesday dismissed a three-year-old bribery lawsuit against the Houston school district and trustee Larry Marshall, ending the prospect of a high-profile jury trial. U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison ruled in part that the construction contractor that sued lacked standing because the company did not prove it suffered financially. […]

Runoff endorsement watch: Boykins in D

As noted before, there are two runoffs in which neither of the candidates were endorsed by the Chron in Round One. One of those races is in District D, and the Chron’s choice for Round Two is Dwight Boykins. “I’m ready to hit the ground running,” says Dwight Boykins, a run-off candidate for Houston City […]