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Posts from ‘May, 2014’

Saturday video break: Brain Damage

An iconic song from an iconic album: Two iconic songs, really, since “Brain Damage” leads inexorably to “Eclipse”; I’d say 90% of the time the former is played on the radio, the latter comes along as well. By the way, the notes on the video says this is an “Early 1972 mix”, so if it […]

Sriracha dispute settled

The City of Irwindale’s long national nightmare is finally over. Sriracha’s spicy relationship with the City Council cooled off a bit Wednesday after officials unanimously dismissed a lawsuit and public nuisance declaration against manufacturer Huy Fong Foods. The standoff between the city and Sriracha creator David Tran began in October when the city filed a […]

Game room enforcement back on in Harris County

Better choose your eight liner provider carefully. After clearing a few legal hurdles, Harris County’s new game room regulations – on which the city of Houston is piggybacking – are set to take effect Friday. Late Tuesday after a hearing, a federal judge denied a request from a game room owner and operator for a […]

Somebody doesn’t like something about the Astros

I’m still not sure what we’re supposed to conclude from this long but mostly unsourced screed about how the Astros are running their team. The Astros have become one of baseball’s most progressive franchises as they try to rebuild and avoid a fourth consecutive 100-loss season. But general manager Jeff Luhnow’s radical approach to on-field […]

Friday random ten: B sides

Continuing the Name Of The Artist Game with the letter B: 1. Telephone Song – B.B. King 2. Dance This Mess Around – The B-52′s 3. Venus – Bananarama 4. Walk Like An Egyptian – The Bangles 5. Alternative Girlfriend – Barenaked Ladies 6. Daniel – Bat For Lashes 7. Human Thing – The Be […]

Post HERO, watch for the petition drives

Here’s the full Chron story about the passage of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance. I’m going to skip ahead in the story and focus on what the haters are saying and planning to do. Opponent Dave Welch, of the Houston Area Pastors Council, said his group will begin gathering signatures against the ordinance to trigger […]

Where are all the ladies?

Christy Hoppe of the DMN notices something missing on the Republican side of the 2014 ballot. The Texas Republican Party has a girl problem. A glance down the list of GOP nominees set after Tuesday’s runoffs makes it look as if U.S. Rep. Kay Granger of Fort Worth has signed up for shop class. She […]

We’ve got some budget challenges coming

Some chickens are coming home to roost. Beginning next summer with fiscal year 2016, Houston will face a projected $142 million gap between expected revenues and expenses in its general fund, which is fed chiefly by property and sales taxes and funds most basic city services. That exceeds the $137 million budget gap Houston had […]

Eat ‘em all up

It sure would be nice to think that we could solve our invasive species problems by eating them all, but we probably can’t. It seems like a simple proposition: American lakes, rivers and offshore waters are filling up with destructive fish and crustaceans originally from other parts of the world, many of them potential sources […]

HERO passes

Finally. After nearly nine hours of chanting and tears from seas of opponents and supporters in color-coded T-shirts, Houston City Council passed an ordinance on Wednesday extending equal rights protections to gay and transgender residents. Despite weeks of discussion and dissent over the measure, the final vote was 11-6, a count that matched guesses made […]

Some postmortem thoughts

The Trib leads with the obvious. As the results of Republican primary runoffs began to roll in Tuesday evening, Texas Democrats realized they were getting exactly what they wanted — and exactly what they feared. The victories of Dan Patrick over incumbent David Dewhurst for lieutenant governor and Ken Paxton over Dan Branch for attorney […]

Redefining residential streets

Streets are about more than just cars. Where the rubber will meet the road on this, as it were, is on busy residential streets like Dunlavy in Montrose, where new city planning codes will have an effect. Dunlavy is, at least in theory, a four-lane street between Allen Parkway and U.S. 59. Some drivers question […]

Texas blog roundup for the week of May 26

The Texas Progressive Alliance hopes everyone had a wonderful Memorial Day as it brings you this holiday week roundup.

Today really is the day for the NDO vote

And as we finally head for a vote, the hysteria and fearmongering have reached a fever pitch. In just five words, Mayor Annise Parker handed her increasingly vocal opponents exactly what they wanted in the battle against her proposed equal rights ordinance: “The debate is about me.” That comment, part of a longer utterance at […]

Primary runoff results

So long, Dave. Riding a wave of conservative sentiment that Texas Republicans were not being led with a hard enough edge, state Sen. Dan Patrick crushed Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in Tuesday’s Republican primary runoff election for lieutenant governor, ending the career of a dominant figure in state politics for the last dozen years. The […]

Pratt campaign sign mystery apparently solved

Nice detective work. Last week, when campaign signs for disgraced former family court judge Denise Pratt popped up at some early voting locations in Houston, several sources said they had seen local Republican political consultant Burt Levine putting them up. Levine’s name did not make the story, however, as he did not return the calls […]

Give Metro your feedback on the new bus routes

A public service announcement from Metro: METRO is excited to share the Draft Reimagined Network Plan with everyone, so if you would like a speaker to present the plan to your organization or community group, or have a question about the plan, please email Reimagining@RideMETRO.org. We will also be conducting a series of public meetings […]

Recall effort against Mayor Parker?

The haters huff and puff with their last breath. Opponents of Mayor Annise Parker’s proposed Houston equal rights ordinance have vowed to take the issue to voters in a referendum, but now they’re seriously discussing a sort of nuclear option at the polling place: a recall election to remove her and some council members from […]

More on the Metro bus system reimagining

Christopher Andrews has a practical look at Metro’s reimagined bus network. Nearly two weeks ago METRO released the System Reimagining proposal, arguably the biggest service adjustment in METRO’s existence. METRO is currently welcoming feedback on the system. I hope most feedback will be positive, as the reimagined system should provide an opportunity for ridership for […]

On the bayou and erosion

A portion of the work being done on Buffalo Bayou, known as the Memorial Park Demonstration Project, is drawing opposition for being too big a change to the natural state of the bayou. Borne of a 2010 workshop hosted by the Bayou Preservation Association, the project calls for reshaping the banks of the bayou that […]

Runoff Day is finally here

It’s the day on which the toxic idiocy of the GOP runoffs for Lt. Governor and Attorney General finally come to an end and we get a brief respite before the general election gets into full swing. But first, you have to vote if you didn’t vote early, and that means you have to find […]

It’s hurricane season prediction time

And this year’s forecast is for a fairly quiet summer. On Thursday, forecasters with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released their seasonal outlook for 2014, predicting eight to 13 named storms would form. This means, most likely, the Atlantic season total will fall below the normal 12 tropical storms and hurricanes during a given […]

Look out for zebra mussels

Take proper care of your boat, y’all. Fishing and boating enthusiasts take note: you’re probably going to need a little extra time as you head out on the lake this year. Rules to prevent the spread of the invasive zebra mussel will be going into effect statewide. “All boats operating on public fresh water anywhere […]

Weekend link dump for May 25

“All of which is to say: There are many different ways to measure the same data. When I was putting together this list, I had Pedro Martinez and Warren Spahn coupled in my mind. One is the ultimate example of a brilliant shooting star career. One is the ultimate example of the sun rising every […]

Early runoff turnout higher than expected

Not high, you understand, but higher than expected. More than 73,000 Harris County residents cast ballots in person or by mail in the five days of early voting before next week’s primary runoffs. While the total of 73,259 was low compared with the number of eligible voters, political experts said the actual tally of ballots […]

California AG office does better on pay equity than Texas AG office

That’s gotta sting. Female lawyers in the California state prosecutor’s office don’t fall as far behind their male counterparts in pay as do female lawyers in the Texas attorney general’s office, according to a Texas Tribune analysis. Since March, the question of equal pay has been a key issue in the Texas gubernatorial contest between […]

Walk carefully

Texas cities are not so safe for pedestrians. Yeah, I’m as shocked as you are. Houston pedestrians better cross with care. The city is the seventh most dangerous in the nation for people on foot, according to a new report from the National Complete Streets Coalition at Smart Growth America, a nonprofit that advocates for […]

Saturday video break: Born To Add

I’ve already done the videos for Bruce Springsteen’s classic “Born To Run”. Now here’s a classic of a different kind: Clearly, some people at the Children’s Television Workshop really get The Boss.

Castro gets the nod

As anticipated. Before a packed crowd in the White House’s state dining room, President Obama on Friday nominated San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro to become the newest — and youngest — member of his cabinet, as the secretary of Housing and Urban Development. “I am nominating another all-star who’s done a fantastic job in San […]

Metro opts for the overpass

At this point I can hardly blame them. Houston transit officials proceeded Thursday with a controversial overpass plan for an East End light rail line, but angry city officials and residents vowed to continue fighting for an underpass. Metropolitan Transit Authority board members rejected a request by residents and the city and state officials who […]

What campaign signs?

Denise Pratt says she knows nothing about all those campaign signs advocating her re-election that she says she isn’t running for. Campaign signs urging voters to “Re-elect Denise Pratt” have popped up outside at least three early voting locations this week, more than two months after the family court judge announced her immediate resignation and […]

Friday random ten – A my name is Aaron

Remember how I did that list last week of artists whose names began with the letter I, and I mused that it might be a good idea to go through the alphabet like that? Yeah, so that’s a thing now. 1. Don’t Take Away My Heaven – Aaron Neville 2. Winner Takes It All – […]

Some grassroots action on the unfairness of commercial property valuation

From the inbox: Parents, homeowners, teachers, and community members from Houston gathered at the park in front of Nathaniel Q Henderson Elementary School to kick off local efforts in a statewide campaign called Real Values for Texas to fix the state’s broken property tax system. “Our broken property tax system works against kids, homeowners, and […]

Hackathon II: Son Of Hackathon

From the inbox: Houston Mayor Annise Parker today announced the City of Houston will host its second annual “Open Innovation Hackathon” on May 31-June 1 at the Houston Technology Center. This year’s Hackathon is also part of the National Civic Day of Hacking series of civic innovation events being hosted across the globe during the […]