Off the Kuff Rotating Header Image

Posts Tagged ‘Houston’

Lawsuit filed over Senate map

From Texas Redistricting: [Monday] morning, two Texas voters filed a suit in federal court challenging the state senate map drawn by the Texas Legislature on the grounds that it violated the equal protection guarantees of the Fourteenth Amendment by using total population rather eligible voters to draw districts. The plaintiffs in the case are backed […]

Your daily Uber/Lyft update

From the Tuesday Council committee hearing at which the draft ordinance was reviewed. Despite having a newly-released draft ordinance in hand, City Council members spent a Tuesday committee hearing asking many of the same questions about regulating ride-sharing services as they did months ago. Echoing concerns raised by taxi and limousine companies, council members grilled […]

Draft ordinance on vehicles for hire is out

Mayor Parker puts another item on City Council’s to do list. A proposed Houston ordinance could legalize hundreds of for-hire drivers providing rides through smartphone applications, but would require those drivers meet the same permitting and safety requirements as taxicab and limousine drivers already regulated by the city. Under the proposal by the city’s Department […]

First wage theft complaints filed in Houston

I hope these workers get the justice they seek. For three years Erik Lopez and his three brothers say they each often worked 80-hour weeks, building highway ramps and trash landfills for city projects. Yet they say their employer refused to pay them overtime. Nor did the company provide tax forms, such as a W-2, […]

Will the Ashby Highrise ever be built?

The Chron reviews the bidding so far prior to Monday’s Ashby hearing. Key to the jury’s finding was that the project should be considered a nuisance. The residents’ attorneys will ask the judge to grant a permanent injunction for the Ashby high-rise, stopping the project from being built. The developers’ side will ask the judge […]

No restraining order against Uber and Lyft

The ridesharing services in Houston and San Antonio can continue to operate, at least for now. A federal judge Monday declined to issue a temporary restraining order sought by Houston and San Antonio cab companies hoping to block ride-sharing services that permit riders to use smart phone applications to catch rides. Houston-based U.S. District Judge […]

Mayor Parker releases draft of non-discrimination ordinance

From the inbox: Mayor Annise Parker today released a draft of her proposed Equal Rights Ordinance. The document is the result of more than two months of collaborative discussions with various stakeholders. “As I stated in my State of the City Address earlier this month, the Houston I know does not discriminate, treats everyone equally […]

East Enders want the underpass

We’re talking about the long-debated Harrisburg rail line extension, for which three residents of the East End took to the Chron op-ed pages to make their case for their preferred solution. East End residents worked for years with Metro to work out a solution for the light rail to cross the “east belt” heavy-rail trunk […]

City asks court to let Ashby Highrise be built

Interesting. The city on Friday asked a judge to let the Ashby high-rise project go forward after seven years of wrangling and a recent jury verdict in favor of nearby residents who oppose the 21-story tower planned for 1717 Bissonnet. City Attorney David Feldman said halting construction of a project that satisfied the regulations in […]

HCC has not begun any 2012 bond construction yet

I hadn’t realized it was taking this long. A divided Houston Community College board has failed to approve construction contracts for its November 2012 voter-approved bond program, potentially costing the college system tens of millions of dollars in fines. The clock to break ground on building projects is ticking to meet federal spending deadlines that, […]

Council approves hoarding ordinance

I think they’re on the right track. The Houston City Council unanimously approved an anti-hoarding ordinance Wednesday without a clear idea of how it will be enforced. The ordinance, which does not apply to single-family homes, clarifies when police can seek a warrant to enter a home and prioritizes mental health treatment before turning to […]

Uber goes rogue

That sound you hear is me shaking my head. At least one ride-sharing company has decided to openly defy city law that bans its unlicensed drivers from charging for rides. While a few free-ride promotions remain ongoing, Uber spokeswoman Nairi Hourdajian confirmed Tuesday that the service, which connects interested riders with willing drivers via smartphone […]

HISD unveils new mascots

Here they are. The cafeteria at Hamilton Middle School showcases a painting of a Native American in a feathered headdress. Students wear collared shirts with a similar symbol. They were, until Tuesday, the Hamilton Indians. Now, with a new school district policy banning mascots deemed culturally offensive, the Houston Heights campus has adopted the Huskies […]

City issues One Bin RFPs

From the inbox: Mayor Annise Parker today announced the issuance of a Request for Proposals and creation of an advisory committee for the One Bin for All waste management and diversion project. The City of Houston invites submittals from short-listed firms that participated in an earlier Request for Qualifications process. “One Bin for All will […]

SA City Council to begin the plastic bag debate

I look forward to seeing what direction they go. City staffers Wednesday plan to recommend to the City Council’s Governance Committee that San Antonio move forward with a ban on single-use plastic and paper bags. The recommendation comes after vetting by the Solid Waste Management Department, which researched policies in other cities across the state […]

The downtown lifestyle

Demand for residences in downtown Houston is up. For Krishnan Iyer, moving downtown meant a lot of things: Not having to use his car in auto-dependent Houston, being able to walk to work, to restaurants, to the movies. The 34-year-old consultant left The Woodlands two years ago for a one-bedroom apartment in the Post Rice […]

Wilson whines to Commissioners Court

Dave Wilson would like to not be sued any more, so he went to Commissioners Court to air his grievances over the lawsuit that stemmed from his controversial election last year. After Wilson won the election, and County Attorney Vince Ryan sued Wilson, trying to keep him from office. To prove it before trial, Ryan […]

Uptown BRT update

From Swamplot: HERE ARE SOME of the purty watercolor renderings the Uptown District has been presenting of what Post Oak Blvd. will look like after the addition of 2 dedicated bus lanes down its middle. The proposed changes to the thoroughfare won’t take away any of the 6 existing car lanes or 13 existing left-turn-signal […]

Recycling cartons

More curbside recycling options. Houstonians accustomed to throwing out glossy cardboard cartons of milk, juice, soup and others foods and beverages now can send them to the curb in a green container for recycling. The Carton Council, a consortium of carton manufacturers, has helped the city’s existing paper recycling processors purchase equipment that will keep […]

Council considers hoarding ordinance

I hadn’t realized Houston didn’t already have an ordinance to deal with hoarding. Apparently, we are not at all unique in this regard. A proposed ordinance would begin to expand the city’s options for resolving hoarding situations even when the hoarder owns the property. The measure, which would not apply to single-family homes, would create […]

The Super Bowl is making us get stuff done

Nothing like a deadline to focus the mind. The 2017 Super Bowl not only will drive thousands of football fans to Houston, it will put a hard deadline on projects from office and hotel construction to a light-rail extension, a local developer said Wednesday. Ric Campo, CEO of Houston-based Camden Properties and chairman of the […]

HPD’s good, bad, and ugly

The good news is that the testing of backlogged rape kits has led to the identification of a serial rapist in Houston. Houston police on Tuesday for the first time identified a criminal suspect – a possible serial rapist – from testing of sexual assault kits that once gathered dust in the police property room. […]

Taxi companies file suit against Uber and Lyft

Color me skeptical. Taxi companies in Houston and San Antonio took their turf war with two online companies to federal court Tuesday, saying Uber and Lyft are operating illegally and skimming money from taxi firms that abide by the law. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. district court in Houston, asks a federal judge to declare […]

Counting votes on the non-discrimination ordinance

From the Houston GLBT Political Caucus Facebook page: Members have asked for the responses on our questionnaires to the questions below. The President of the Caucus, Maverick Welsh, has asked me to post the information. As the chair of the Screening Committee, I have reviewed the questionnaires from 2013 and below is the result: Mayor–We […]

First Sunday Streets seemed like a success

The weather was kinda lousy but there were plenty of people out on White Oak Street on Sunday. The city of Houston closed a 2.5 mile stretch of Quitman and White Oak to motor vehicles for four hours on Sunday, encouraging Houstonians to play in the street and explore their neighborhoods pushing strollers or riding […]

Enforcing non-discrimination

In her annual State of the City address, Mayor Parker put a long-awaited item on the table. Mayor Annise Parker on Thursday said she would create a human rights commission to review violations of anti-discrimination laws, saying just talking about equality in the nation’s most diverse city is not enough. “We don’t care where you […]

The new North Forest High School

I’m really rooting for them to succeed. It’s not going to be easy. While most schools measure progress by test scores and scholarship dollars, North Forest High School students point to the lack of bathroom fires as a sign that their campus is improving. They also boast that they now have access to soap, toilet […]

Astrodome: Deep Space Nine

This is now my favorite idea for What To Do With The Dome. Right now the folks in Houston are trying to figure out what to do with the Astrodome, which has been sitting vacant for several years. Many plans for the dome have fallen by the wayside, including this multi-use approach which I really like. I’m […]

The rideshare battles continue

From Houston: The issue came up at yesterday’s council meeting and Mayor Annise Parker said that undercover Houston police sting operations have resulted in 26 citations for Uber and Lyft drivers. They were likely, misdemeanor violations for operating an illegal taxi. The mayor’s remark was in reply to testimony from Duane Kamins, a partner, along […]

The Mayors opine for high speed rail

They pen an editorial in its favor. We are proud to be mayors of three of the largest and fastest-growing cities in America. Dallas, Fort Worth and Houston have weathered the recent economic downturn and are now the engines powering our state’s tremendous job growth. While we celebrate the individual successes of our respective cities, […]

Fearing the fire reform

This ought to be interesting. Rumblings of coming reforms in Houston Fire Department’s operations have union leaders and the department’s command staff wary, despite Mayor Annise Parker’s insistence that these concerns are unwarranted. HFD’s staffing shortage has driven up overtime costs, creating a budget crisis that has, on some days, seen ambulances and fire trucks […]

A bumpy ride for Lyft in San Antonio

Ride sharing service Lyft has made its move into San Antonio, where much like it did in Houston it is offering free rides while regulatory issues are negotiated. Unlike Houston, the official reception they got was distinctly unfriendly. Less than a week after the ride-sharing service Lyft launched in San Antonio, the city’s police chief […]

When are we getting those trains again?

The Metro board has some doubts about railcar manufacturer CAF’s ability to keep its promises. Houston transit officials, worried that the light rail system might run short of trains for months after two new lines open, are not satisfied with a new schedule for delivery of delayed rail cars. Metropolitan Transit Authority officials expressed deep […]

No more wobbly tables!

I love this story. A Houston businessman has an idea that could rid the world of having to use drink coasters and napkins to stabilize restaurant tables. Steve Christian, owner of Houston burger institution Christian’s Tailgate Bar and Grill, believes so strongly in his invention that he sold interest in two of his restaurants, spent […]