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Posts Tagged ‘Houston’

Wilson denied by Supreme Court

Some good news that came in late Friday. Anti-gay activist Dave Wilson’s attempt to amend City Charter and bar men “who perceive or express themselves as women” from entering women’s restrooms will likely not appear on the November ballot after the Texas Supreme Court on Friday denied his request for emergency action. Instead, Wilson’s legal […]

Feds approve a preferred corridor for the high speed rail line

One more step in the process. The Federal Railroad Administration announced this month that the general route preferred by the project developer of a high-speed rail line between Dallas and Houston is indeed the best choice. Known as the “utility corridor,” it runs somewhat along high-voltage electrical transmission lines and capitalizes on relatively straight, existing […]

Three views of traffic in Texas

It’s getting worse. Houston-area leaders love to trumpet the region’s affordable cost of living and low taxes, but the costs of sitting in traffic are taking a record share of workers’ incomes, according to a comprehensive annual study. The average peak-period commuter in Houston pays $1,490 annually in lost time and wasted fuel because freeways […]

A brewpub comes back to Houston

In my ‘hood, no less. A new brewpub will open in the Heights with an accomplished veteran of the Texas craft-beer scene at the helm. Delicious Concepts Restaurant Group, which owns Lola, Shepherd Park Draught House, Witchcraft Tavern and seven Pinks Pizza locations, announced Monday it has closed its Tex-Mex spot El Cantina Superior near […]

Ballot order drawn

Here is the official ballot order for City of Houston candidates this November, via Chron reporter Mike Morris on Twitter. You’re all familiar with my rant about ballot order by now – we have electronic voting machines, they should simply randomize the ballot order for each voter – so I’ll just skip it and move […]

HERO ballot language set

Here we go. City Council on Wednesday approved the language that will appear on the November ballot for voters to decide the fate of Houston’s equal rights ordinance, one week after the Texas Supreme Court ruled that the original wording was incorrect. Earlier this month, City Council signed off on a ballot item that would […]

Interview with Matt Murphy

We conclude our tour of the At Large #4 candidates who seek to follow term-limited Council Member C. O. Bradford with Matt Murphy. A Navy veteran and former professional golfer, Murphy is now a certified fire protection engineering designer. He and his wife, in partnership with Texas Children’s Hospital, started the Shawn’s Anomaly awareness campaign, […]

Tweaking the Houston rideshare ordinance

From KUHF: A task force looking into improvements to the city of Houston’s ordinance regulating vehicles for hire, including Uber and other ride-share companies, made recommendations to a city council committee Tuesday. A key proposal is to adjust the requirement that 3 percent of a transportation company’s fleet provide wheelchair access. Toby Cole, who chaired […]

Interview with Laurie Robinson

Next up in my series of interviews with candidates seeking to succeed the term-limited Council Member C. O. Bradford in At Large #4 is Laurie Robinson. Robinson is the only repeat candidate in this group, having run for At Large #5 in 2011. An MBA with an extensive background in compliance, audit, government affairs, and […]

First anti-HERO radio ad airs

Here it comes. In the ad, a young woman talks about the perceived threat to public safety the ordinance presents. Critics have long asserted that the broad non-discrimination law, which includes protections for gay and transgender residents, would allow male sexual predators dressed in drag to enter women’s restrooms. A heated legal battle between opponents […]

91.7 FM will be sold again

The radio station formerly known as KTRU will have another new home soon. Houston Public Media, which operates the University of Houston’s broadcasting properties, says it will sell the frequency and transmitter for KUHA (91.7 FM) while retaining the station’s classical music format via online streaming and an HD Radio subchannel of KUHF (88.7 FM). […]

Interview with Amanda Edwards

We continue in At Large #4, where multiple candidates compete to succeed the term-limited Council Member C. O. Bradford. Today’s interview is with Amanda Edwards, a native Houstonian and Eisenhower High graduate now practicing law with Bracewell & Giuliani. Edwards worked in community development corporations as a Community Building and Social Change Fellow and in […]

Your official slate of candidates

Yesterday was the filing deadline. Here’s the official list of candidates, modulo any challenges or subsequently invalidated applications. The highlights: – There are thirteen candidates for Mayor. The City Secretary might consider starting the ballot order draw now, this may take awhile. – Dwight Boykins in D, Dave Martin in E, and Larry Green in […]

Idiots protest at school

Jeez. The kindergarten and pre-K students experienced an early civics lesson Monday morning when they entered Houston Independent School District’s new Arabic Immersion Magnet School for the first day of class. At least a dozen protestors, some wearing red, white and blue, stood along the fenced perimeter of the campus, just north of the Heights […]

Interview with Jonathan Hansen

We move on to At Large #4, the other open At Large seat on the ballot this year, currently held by Council Member C. O. Bradford. I have four candidate interviews for this race, and we begin with Jonathan Hansen. Hansen grew up in the newspaper industry, as his family owned three small rural newspapers, […]

Chron Mayoral profile: Chris Bell

It’s “the first in a series of profiles on the top candidates running for mayor in Houston”. Friends and colleagues said it’s [Chris] Bell’s belief in good government and that streak of political ambition, even in the face of sometimes daunting odds, that have fueled his 10 runs for various local, state and Congressional offices. […]

So can we call the Metro bus system reimagining a success yet?

If no news is good news, then Metro is swimming in good news, because I haven’t seen much coverage of its new bus system rollout since the opening days. Perhaps all that concern (expressed by one person) about disaster and mass firings was a tad bit overblown. I don’t want to jinx anything, but if […]

“Sanctuary cities” legislation will be back

Better be ready for it. With debate over the nation’s immigration policies once again approaching full boil, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on Wednesday pledged that the Senate next session would pass legislation to address so-called sanctuary cities. Patrick lamented that the Legislature this year didn’t pass a measure to bar local rules that prohibit police […]

Just how old are our city voters?

In my previous installment, we talked about how many people vote across city elections. In this post, we’re going to look at another aspect of our city races that is often remarked on but seldom specified: The ages of the people who vote. As before, all the data comes from the voter files I got […]

Supreme Court requires HERO ballot language change

Whatever. The Texas Supreme Court has again overruled Mayor Annise Parker’s administration in connection with the legal fight over her signature nondiscrimination ordinance, ruling Wednesday that the mayor and City Council erred in choosing the language that will appear on the November ballot when the ordinance faces possible repeal. The justices, writing in “yet another […]

Interview with Doug Peterson

We now finish up with At Large #3, where CM Michael Kubosh is in his first term. As I said on Monday, I unfortunately do not have an interview with CM Kubosh. I reached out to him and we talked about it, but were not able to come to an accommodation. Here’s the interview I […]

Who are the city voters?

Everybody knows that city of Houston elections are fairly low-turnout affairs. The general perception – and it’s one that I’ve echoed as well – is that the elections are dominated by the same voters, year after year. What I haven’t seen are the numbers to back up those assertions. With all that’s on the line […]

The contours of the HERO fight

We’ll see how this goes. When City Council sent Houston’s embattled equal rights ordinance to the November ballot two weeks ago, the vote raised the curtain on dueling campaigns that had been bracing in the wings for a political showdown more than a year in the making. Council’s 12-5 vote to affirm the ordinance and […]

System Reimagining, Day One

So far, so good. Bruno Davi waited Monday morning for a Metro bus in his usual spot on Heights Boulevard, but his trip wasn’t the same. It’s a situation thousands of Metropolitan Transit Authority riders faced as the agency’s new bus network, which officially launched Sunday, got its first workday test. Though months of planning […]

Interview with John C.B. LaRue

We move on to At Large #3, where CM Michael Kubosh is in his first term. I have two interviews to bring you for this race, and unfortunately neither of them is with CM Kubosh. I reached out to him and we talked about it, but were not able to come to an accommodation. Here’s […]

SA Council approves new rules to allow Lyft to return

Close vote, but it counts. The ride-hailing firm Lyft will soon re-start operations in San Antonio in the wake of a controversial City Council decision Thursday that will allow the company to offer rides here during a nine-month pilot program. The council spent more than three hours listening to public comment and debating among themselves […]

The system has been reimagined

Now we get to see how it all goes. Seven members of the Houston Metropolitan Transit Authority board were among the first passengers to try the revamped bus network launched early Sunday morning after taking a 30-minute bus ride around the city. Metro CEO Tom Lambert joined along on their quick spin across town, allowing […]

Endorsement watch: The score so far

We’ve had a slew of endorsements for municipal races this past week. I’ve been keeping track of them as best I can on my 2015 Election page. This isn’t always easy to do, because some groups are not very good at posting their endorsements anywhere. I gather, for example, that the HPFFA has made endorsements, […]

Turner’s police plan

Time to look at a major policy proposal, from Mayoral candidate Sylvester Turner. Mayoral candidate Sylvester Turner unveiled a plan Thursday to expand the Houston Police Department by 540 officers by 2020, an effort he said is needed to help police better engage the communities they serve and to improve trust between some neighborhoods and […]

System reimagining set to debut

Here we go. Houston’s bus system, long considered sluggish and inconvenient, is poised for a transformation that’s drawing national attention for its boldness – and skepticism from some riders. The Metropolitan Transit Authority will roll out its new bus network Sunday after more than two years of discussions, public forums, re-routing and re-re-routing to fix […]

Houston Unites

The pro-HERO campaign has been launched. Supporters of Houston’s nondiscrimination ordinance launched a formal campaign Wednesday urging voters to defend the measure this November. ACLU of Texas Executive Director Terri Burke urged Houstonians to “send a message that this is a city that doesn’t discriminate.” Businessman Bobby Singh, invoking the threat of losing sporting events […]

New rail line numbers notch up in July

Good to see, but as before let’s maintain some perspective in these early days. Though still below initial estimates, use of two new light rail lines in Houston is increasing, based on July figures released Monday. After a rocky start, use of the Green Line along Harrisburg increased 25.9 percent from June to July, according […]

Interview with Chris Oliver

We wrap up our tour of the At Large #1 field with a visit with Chris Oliver, who currently serves as Trustee in HCC District IX. A businessman and graduate of TSU, Oliver has worked as a Congressional aide and as an Equal Employment Opportunity specialist with the US Department of Labor. During his service […]

Change to term limits will be on the ballot

Whatever. Houston voters will decide whether elected city officials should serve two four-year terms rather than three two-year terms starting in 2016, potentially lengthening the terms of some current council members. The City Council voted 12-5 Wednesday to place the item on the November ballot. Councilmen Richard Nguyen, Mike Laster, Steve Costello, Michael Kubosh and […]