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Posts Tagged ‘Harris County’

July finance reports for Harris County candidates

All of the July finance reports for Harris County candidates are in. You know what that means. County Judge Ed Emmett Ahmad Hassan Candidate Raised Spent Loan On Hand ================================================== Emmett 312,885 177,017 0 532,257 Hassan 0 0 0 0 Judge Emmett is the big dog, and he has the finance report to show it. […]

Chron agrees that the Astrodome Park plan is silly

So there you have it. There is something uniquely Houston about tearing down an historic structure to build a memorial commemorating the history of that very structure. But that is exactly what the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and the Texans have suggested in their recent proposal for the future of the Astrodome. Harris County […]

Bikes on buses update

Keeps going up. More METRO bus rides are bringing along their bicycles to complete their trip and get from point A to point B. In June, the number of bikes on buses hit a record 21,941, a 32 percent increase over June a year ago. For the first nine months of this fiscal year (Oct. […]

Emmett doesn’t like Astrodome Park

And he’s not afraid to say so. Hoping to jump-start another discussion about redeveloping the Astrodome, Harris County Judge Ed Emmett on Thursday called the Houston Texans and the Rodeo’s proposal to demolish the iconic stadium and replace it with a park-like green space “a silly plan” and pleaded with members of the Hotel & […]

How to solve the traffic problems of The Woodlands

All that growth has its downsides. The Houston-Galveston Area Council, along with local entities including The Woodlands, Montgomery County, the City of Oak Ridge North and the Texas Department of Transportation, are working on a South Montgomery Mobility Study that they hope will ultimately ease the woes of commuters. Officials say they realize there are […]

Could Astrodome Park actually work?

Lisa Gray asks a good question about the proposal to turn the Astrodome into green space. Could that really be a park like Discovery Green? It’s easy to imagine that green space being useful, say, for a Super Bowl party, tailgating during home games, or as an extension of the Rodeo. But outside of those […]

The Rodeo and the Texans would like to demolish the Dome now, please

Yeah, I don’t know how well this will go over. County leaders said Thursday they are open to considering a $66 million plan devised by the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and the NFL’s Houston Texans to demolish the iconic Astrodome and turn the nearly 9-acre site into a massive outdoor space reminiscent of downtown’s […]

White return flight

Some interesting demographic trends going on. Between 2000 and 2010, [Harris] county, like much of the U.S., saw a sharp decline of its white population, losing about 12 percent of Anglos or about 83,000 people. The drop mirrors demographic shifts across the nation as white birthrates have slowed. But in the past three years, Harris […]

One point of perspective on the repeal petitions

Here’s the Chron story about the HERO-haters turning in their repeal petitions. Opponents of Houston’s new non-discrimination ordinance Thursday turned in well more than the minimum number of signatures needed to trigger a November vote on whether to repeal the measure. Staff in the City Secretary’s office will have 30 days to verify that the […]

Construction of joint processing center and forensics facility approved to begin

Good. Several major building projects – including a state-of-the-art facility for the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences and a voter-approved jail inmate processing center – officially are in the pipeline after Commissioners Court on Tuesday approved a $305 million capital improvement program. [...] At the top of the list is the $100 million city-county […]

Medicaid expansion: Still a great deal, especially for cities

So many uninsured people could get covered if Medicaid expansion were universal instead of just here and there. Expanding Medicaid under the new health care law would do a lot to slash the number of uninsured people, at least in some of the nation’s largest cities, according to a new report. A review of 14 […]

Of course some people will split their votes

It’s just a matter of how many of them do so, and if the races in question are close enough for it to matter. Democrats are hoping the Republicans will eventually make some of the mistakes Democrats themselves made back when they were on top and the GOP was trying to break down the doors […]

Perry appoints Pratt replacement

As expected. Gov. Rick Perry on Friday appointed Houston family lawyer Alicia Franklin as presiding judge of Harris County’s 311th state District Court, a position left vacant in March after the resignation of disgraced freshman jurist Denise Pratt. Franklin won a May 27 Republican primary runoff against Pratt, who appeared on the ballot despite her […]

Competition is good, except when it isn’t

I honestly don’t get this. As the Houston City Council prepares to vote Wednesday on whether to make its longtime back-tax collector share the lucrative work with a rival, city officials are getting ample pushback from the man responsible for collecting the taxes. Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector Mike Sullivan is not the only one opposed […]

County to challenge vacant lot appraisals

It’s a start. Harris County is challenging the local appraisal district’s valuation of vacant commercial land after a study it commissioned concluded the agency had undervalued those properties by more than 80 percent this year. The finding was based on a random sampling of two dozen vacant commercial properties across the county with a collectively […]

Who stands with Jared?

I noted yesterday that soon-to-be-former Harris County GOP Chair Jared Woodfill is busy trying to gather petition signatures to repeal the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance. Here’s the beginning of his pitch: I want to thank all of you who stood against Mayor Parker’s Sexual Predator Protection Act. The battle to repeal this ordinance has begun. […]

Astrodome preservationists make their case for historic landmark status

Ted Powell and Cynthia Neely, the driving forces behind the push to designate the Astrodome as a national and state landmark, write an op-ed outlining their reasoning. As the Texans and the Rodeo view a third-party investor as not boosting, but rather siphoning off their revenue streams, we believe they have and will continue to […]

City strikes two deals with CenterPoint

One on street lights, and one on bike trails. Both are great news. All 165,000 of Houston’s streetlights will be converted to more efficient LEDs over the next five years, halving electricity use and cutting air pollution in what Mayor Annise Parker said will be one of the nation’s largest such initiatives. Also on Friday, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Early voting begins today for primary runoffs

From the inbox: Harris County voters can prepare to vote in the May 27 Democratic and Republican Primary Runoff Elections by visiting www.HarrisVotes.com to view the contests which will appear on their ballot. Early Voting for the Primary Runoff Elections begins on Monday, May 19 and continues until Friday, May 23. During this period, 39 […]

Holmes Road

It kind of blows my mind that something like this could be the case in 2014 in Houston. Holmes Road in south Houston, for a stretch, feels less like a city street and more like a weathered country road in Central Texas, even though NRG Stadium and the Texas Medical Center shimmer in the distance. […]

They don’t make historic landmarks like they used to

If it can still be demolished, it’s fair to ask what was the point. The impending designation of the Astrodome as a so-called “state antiquities landmark” has offered new hope to those who want to save the iconic stadium, but the special title would not outright protect the former Eighth Wonder of the World from […]

Harris County tries to get smarter about drunk driving

That seems to be the thrust of this story. Convicted drunken drivers soon could face tougher scrutiny through a series of reforms designed to reduce the rate of drunken driving fatalities in Harris County, among the highest in the nation. Repeat offenders, and those arrested for egregious blood-alcohol levels while behind the wheel, will be […]

Another story on the huge inequities of our property tax system

The Houston Press returns to an old favorite. “I’ve been sued every year by [JW Marriott],” says Michael Amezquita, the fiery chief appraiser of the Bexar County Appraisal District, which is currently ­facing $10.3 billion in appraisal-reduction litigation compared to the annual $4 billion to $5 billion average. In the 2011 tax year, BCAD’s ten […]

More on the Pratt resignation deal

I’m still shaking my head about this. The Harris County district attorney still could investigate and charge former family court Judge Denise Pratt, despite striking a deal with the freshman jurist to resign to avoid prosecution on charges of tampering with government records. Asked to elaborate on the terms of the agreement that led to […]

Pratt’s resignation deal

Now here‘s an interesting twist to the story. Former family court Judge Denise Pratt’s resignation in late March was part of a deal to avoid indictment, Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson said Wednesday, asserting that the document tampering case would have been difficult to prosecute and that the agreement was the best and quickest […]

Let’s talk about the Dome

Time for a come to Judge Emmett meeting about everyone’s favorite historic yet threatened local landmark. Emmett said he wants to use the meeting next Wednesday to clear up any confusion surrounding last week’s unanimous vote by the state’s Antiquities Advisory Board to forward an application for landmark designation to the full commission, acknowledging that […]

A deeper dive into the Pratt files

The Chron takes a closer look at some of the people affected by the tenure of now-former Judge Denise Pratt. Kevin Bates’ sojourn through Pratt’s court began in 2012, via a visitation dispute with his ex-wife over their 16-year-old daughter. A court order in the couple’s divorce said the private pilot was supposed to pick […]