Off the Kuff Rotating Header Image

Posts Tagged ‘Galveston’

Please don’t complain about the lack of an evacuation

There are good reasons why there was not an evacuation order for the greater Houston area in advance of Harvey. Ultimately, mayors and county judges are charged with making such decisions. Leaders in Houston and Harris County told residents to stay put ahead of the storm and have since defended those decisions — even as […]

The rural/suburban tradeoff

Martin Longman returns to a point he has been making about the way the vote shifted in the 2016 election. Let’s try to be clear about what we mean. Hillary Clinton won a lot of votes in the suburbs from people who had voted for John McCain and Mitt Romney. She lost even more votes […]

Abbott versus the cities

The continuing story. If Gov. Greg Abbott has disdain for how local Texas officials govern their cities, it didn’t show in a Wednesday sit-down with three mayors who were among 18 who jointly requested a meeting to discuss legislation that aims to limit or override several municipal powers. “Whether we changed anybody’s mind or not, […]

Mayors to Abbott: Don’t mess with our cities

Good luck getting through. Less than 24 hours after Gov. Greg Abbott blasted local government restrictions like tree ordinances as a threat to the “Texas brand,” city government leaders statewide are seeking a meeting with the Republican leader. “We would like the opportunity to meet with you to discuss the role cities play in attracting […]

There is trouble with the trees

More to the point, there is trouble with the idea that municipal tree ordinances are somehow a bad thing, but that’s where we are, and it’s got some folks worried. More than 40,000 trees were lost to [Hurricane] Ike, according to the nonprofit Galveston Island Tree Conservancy. A replanting campaign that began in 2010 has […]

Busy hurricane season predicted

Welcome to summer, y’all. The nation’s climate agency on Thursday predicted an above-normal 2017 hurricane season with 11 to 17 named storms, five to nine of them hurricanes. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted a 45 percent chance of the hurricane season that begins June 1 being above normal, a 35 percent chance of […]

Galveston wants a bag ban

Good luck. Reacting to a groundswell of concern about the effect of plastic bags on the environment, Galveston is on the forefront of a statewide controversy over cities’ ability to ban plastic bags that are killing turtles, birds and fouling beaches. A proposed ordinance with unanimous City Council support and strong community backing faces fierce […]

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 […]

Statewide review: 2016 was like 2008, but not in a good way

There’s no point in beating around the bush, so I’ll just come out and say it: Despite the excitement about increases in voter registration and heavy early voting turnout. statewide Democratic candidates outside of Hillary Clinton generally did not do any better than their counterparts in 2008. Republican statewide candidates, on the other hand, were […]

Two Ike Dike updates

Ike Dike could be hidden by dunes: The “Ike Dike” that is being proposed to protect the Galveston-Houston area from a potentially catastrophic hurricane storm surge could take the form of undulating sand dunes hiding a steel or concrete core. The proposal to craft a storm barrier that would blend in with the environment and […]

Early voting starts today

From the inbox: Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart announced today that 46 locations will be open Monday, October 24 to Friday, November 4 where voters in the third largest County in the nation may cast ballots during the early voting period for the November 8, 2016 Election.  The total is approximately 25 percent more than […]

Chron overview of HD23

We go to Galveston for one of the few interesting Legislative races in the area. A former Democratic state legislator is trying to recapture the Texas House District 23 seat from the first Republican to hold the office since Reconstruction. In one of the few competitive legislative contests, Democrat Lloyd Criss, who represented Galveston County […]

What it will take to win the District Court of Appeals benches

I’ve mentioned a couple of times that one place on the local ballot where Democrats could potentially gain some real ground is with the district Courts of Appeals. There are no competitive Congressional or State Senate races, the one competitive State House race in HD144 would be Democratic-favored in any Presidential year, and the countywide […]

GetMe waits in the wings

No matter what happens with the rideshare repeal referendum in Austin, there will be at least one vehicle for hire company in the capital city. Early voting is underway in Austin on Proposition 1, where residents will decide which regulations the city should adopt for vehicle-for-hire companies like Uber and Lyft. Both companies have pledged […]

Get Me goes to Galveston

Swooping in to fill the gap left by Uber’s departure. Galveston is close to getting app-based transportation back. Get Me, a Dallas-based company that started serving Houston in October, has submitted an application with Galveston to provide ride services on the island, city spokeswoman Kala McCain said Monday. Galveston has not had any competition to […]

Not everyone likes the latest hurricane surge protection plan

Yet another obstacle. A new proposal to protect the Houston area from hurricanes is reigniting controversy, and potentially diminishing the odds that a consensus will emerge anytime soon on the best plan to safeguard the nation’s fifth-largest metropolitan area. Since Hurricane Ike in 2008, Texas scientists have pushed several different plans to shield the region, […]

Storm protection is expensive

But then so would be getting hit by a truly bad storm. Building a storm surge protection system along the Texas Gulf Coast could cost between $7.9 billion and $11 billion, and likely would not be completed for about two decades, according to a new study. The report by the Gulf Coast Community Protection and […]

Two more places that Uber won’t operate

Goodbye, Galveston. Just days after the City Council passed an ordinance designed to regulate transportation networks, Uber has shut down its service in Galveston. Monday evening, people in Galveston who tried to use the phone app to order a ride received a message that Uber is no longer available in Galveston “Due to new regulations […]

Another floodgate proposed

Third time’s the charm, right? Academic leaders have long beseeched government officials to learn from the damage caused by Hurricane Ike in 2008 and harden the upper Texas coast against future threats. Finally, on Monday, Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush announced an agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to study the feasibility […]

More on voting centers

I’ll be interested to see how this goes in Galveston. Just in time for the November election, Galveston County has launched the first mobile app of its kind in the state, called “Galveston Votes.” It uses GPS to direct people with lightning speed to the closest voting center. Fort Bend County in November will make […]

Houston’s transit deserts

From the Kinder Institute’s Urban Edge blog: A new study suggests that despite METRO’s launch of several highly-touted and publicized improvements, the agency is still struggling to address the needs of some communities that depend heavily on transit. With operations beginning on METRO’s two new light rail lines and the reimagined bus system set to […]

How would you get from Houston to Galveston without a car?

It’s both easier and harder than you might think. Raj Mankad tells the story. I reached the sea without getting in a car. Over the course of my journey, which began at Rice University and ended at Stewart Beach, I took one light rail train, four buses, and walked about three miles. Every three or […]

A better year for seaweed

Good news for Galveston beachgoers. In a lucky break for Galveston beachgoers and the Gulf Coast’s tourism industry, the masses of seaweed that plagued the area last summer seem to be turning toward the Caribbean and Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. The mats of Sargassum, now carefully tracked by a NASA app unveiled Thursday, drift in from […]

Improving infections disease response

This is an Ebola-inspired bill, but not an Ebola bill. So say the stakeholders, anyway. Months after three people in Texas were diagnosed with Ebola, several key state lawmakers on Wednesday proposed ways to prepare the state for the next disease-related emergency. The proposal, Senate Bill 538, would allow the governor to declare a state […]

Connecting the high-speed rail line to Fort Worth

This is encouraging. State transportation officials this week are unveiling early plans for a high-speed train line from Dallas to Fort Worth. Like Dallas Area Rapid Transit’s plans to expand transit service in downtown, the project is an attempt to take advantage of plans for a high-speed rail line from Dallas to Houston. The Texas […]

2014 Day Three EV totals

But first, a little angst. I feel a bit uncomfortable after Day Two of Early Voting in Person. Here are a couple of concerning tweets from yesterday: Scott Braddock ‏@scottbraddock 2h2 hours ago Those Harris County early vote totals are not good for Democrats. *If* Texas is a battleground, #Houston is ground zero #TxLege And: […]

UTMB continues to do well post-Ike

Good to see. The morning after Hurricane Ike crashed into Galveston Island six years ago, David Callender surveyed the sea of mud coating the 84-acre University of Texas Medical Branch campus. The UTMB president saw oak tree limbs blocking the doors to John Sealy Hospital, which would be knocked out of service for the rest […]

Interview with Susan Criss

My second legislative candidate interview is with one of my favorite people in politics, Susan Criss, who is running to succeed Rep. Craig Eiland in HD23. Criss is a longtime District Court judge in Galveston County, who survived the 2010 election by being good enough to not have drawn an opponent. She’s spent a lifetime […]

Ebola treatment progress

Some good news. A study out [recently] shows that an experimental treatment for Marburg virus – a close cousin to Ebola – can be given after symptoms of the terrible disease have started to appear. […] One experimental drug – given to two Americans and several Liberians who showed signs of the disease – appears […]

Working on Ebola in Galveston

Given what’s been going on lately I thought this would be of interest. As the worst recorded Ebola outbreak in history sweeps across West Africa, hope for a cure is centering on scientists thousands of miles away at the Galveston National Laboratory, where researchers are working on three of the most promising potential cures. The […]

The Galveston oil spill

This is just awful. While the oil spill resulting from Saturday’s collision between a ship and barge was small by global standards – less than a third of what it would take to fill an Olympic-size swimming pool – the local impact is proving far more than a nuisance. The heavy marine fuel oil is […]

Residency is hard

Fascinating story about residency and elections in Galveston. Two of the three candidates for Galveston mayor are challenging the residency of front-runner Jim Yarbrough, the former county judge who was expected to coast to victory in the May municipal election. An attorney for three-term Councilwoman Elizabeth Beeton and businessman Don Mafrige late Wednesday sent a […]

Early voting, one (six day) week in

We have one week completed for early voting, though it was only a six day week thanks to the Presidents Day holiday. Here are the daily totals from the County Clerk. Republicans continue to be the majority of early voters in Harris County, by almost a 3-1 margin. I thought it might be interesting to […]

KIPP departs Galveston

I have two things to say about this. The popular KIPP charter school chain is pulling out of Galveston, where it operates two campuses with about 900 students combined under a contract with the school district. Because of statewide school funding cuts, Galveston ISD superintendent Larry Nichols said, the district has dipped into savings over […]