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Posts Tagged ‘Houston’

Lamenting the lost rail opportunity

What could have been. Harris County Judge Ed Emmett’s speech Tuesday may have included jabs at state lawmakers, but it was a hit with transit advocates for a single line. “We cannot go back in time and undo some poor decisions, but we can learn from those decisions,” Emmett said in his prepared remarks, alluding […]

Santos, Lira, and Stallworth win runoffs

Congratulations to all, and on to 2018. Two current educators, Elizabeth Santos and Sergio Lira, won seats on the Houston ISD school board, according to preliminary results from Saturday’s runoff election. Voters also chose Pretta VanDible Stallworth, a business consultant and adjunct professor, to fill the final seat on the Houston Community College board, based […]

Cricket in Houston

If cricket ever becomes a big deal in the US, the Houston region will play a key role in that. Houston has had adult [cricket] leagues since the 1970s. Most players, then and now, are from Commonwealth countries – nations once ruled by the British Empire where cricket remains incredibly popular – including India, Pakistan, […]

Runoff Day for HISD and HCC is tomorrow

From the inbox: Saturday, December 9, is Election Day for voters in Houston Community College District IX and HISD Trustee Districts I and III. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Voters must vote at their designated Election Day polling location which can be found by using the “Find Your Poll” lookup […]

Harvey’s lingering health effects

It’s going to be a long time before we can really say we have put Hurricane Harvey behind us. Three months after Hurricane Harvey, local health officials now are beginning to see the storm after the storm. In Harris County and the other hardest-hit regions of Texas, 17 percent of those who had houses damaged […]

Thunderstorms are going to get worse

Just FYI. Summer thunderstorms in North America will likely be larger, wetter and more frequent in a warmer world, dumping 80 percent more rain in some areas and worsening flooding, a new study says. Future storms will also be wilder, soaking entire cities and huge portions of states, according to a federally-funded study released Monday […]

SCOTUS declines to hear Houston’s appeal of same-sex marriage lawsuit

Disappointing, but nowhere close to the end of the line. Denying the city of Houston’s request, the U.S. Supreme Court will not review a June decision by the Texas Supreme Court, which ruled that the landmark decision legalizing same-sex marriage does not fully address the right to marriage benefits. The high court on Monday announced […]

Cleaning up Buffalo Bayou

This is a big job, and it’s going to take a long time. Three months after flood torrents from Hurricane Harvey submerged Buffalo Bayou Park under almost 39 feet of water, scars left by the storm are still evident. Mounds of sand still sit waist-high in some parts of the 160-acre park, branches and stripped […]

Golf courses against flooding

The Washington Post looks at how Clear Lake made it through Harvey. Like many parts of Houston, Clear Lake City has a history of flooding. The area got an unexpected break when Hurricane Harvey dumped record rainfall, thanks to its decision years ago to sacrifice one of its golf courses to flood control. After 12 years of planning, crews […]

Endorsement watch: HISD and HCC runoffs

In two of the three runoffs on the ballot, the Chron endorsed candidates who did not make the cut. As early voting begins for the runoffs, they make their new choices and reiterate the one they got right. Houston Community College System, trustee, District IX: Pretta VanDible Stallworth Experience as a teacher in higher education […]

The 100-year-storm isn’t what it used to be

They’re bigger. More than three months after Hurricane Harvey battered southeast Texas with unprecedented and costly flooding, an analysis of rainfall trends across Texas suggests the standards used to develop floodplain regulations, map flood zones and design flood control projects routinely underestimate the severity of the Houston area’s downpours. That analysis by the National Oceanic […]

Early voting for HISD and HCC runoffs begins today

From the inbox: Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart announced today that nine Early Voting locations will open starting Nov. 29 where eligible voters may cast a ballot during the early voting period for theDecember 9, 2017 Joint Runoff Election. The Early Voting Period for the Runoff Election runs from Nov. 29 to Dec. 2 and resumes Dec. 4 to Dec. 5. “To […]

Houston’s health care costs

Because dealing with pensions wasn’t enough. Taxpayers also face a $2.1 billion liability for retiree health care costs in the coming decades, and Houston – like many state and local governments – has not set aside a penny to pay for those promises. This burden is the city’s “next major long-term fiscal challenge,” according to […]

Downtown of the Future

It’s very futuristic. City planners’ ambitious 20-year vision for downtown Houston includes more of everything that has transformed the central business district into a more vibrant destination. More apartments, restaurants and shops. More walkable parks and attractions. More innovative startups and Fortune 500 businesses. But with new technological advances and cultural shifts, Central Houston Inc. […]

Harris County to consider floodplain regulations change

Seems like a good idea to me. Nearly three months after Hurricane Harvey, Harris County is proposing using 500-year floodplains instead of 100-year floodplains for new development, the first significant overhaul of county elevation requirements in nearly two decades. The regulations, which still must be approved by Commissioners Court, would force developers to build new […]

Abandon hope, all ye who drive here

Just stay away. Far, far away. Houston’s worst chokepoint is about to be a construction zone for the next five or six years, in the hopes that drivers eventually reap the rewards. Federal, state and local lawmakers gathered Monday on the HOV ramp overlooking the Loop 610 interchange with Interstate 69 near Uptown, to kick […]

Add Boykins to the “mulling a run for Governor” list

The line forms to the left. As Democrats look for a serious candidate to challenge Gov. Greg Abbott in 2018, another big-city official is surfacing as a potential contender: Dwight Boykins, a member of the Houston City Council. “I have had an opportunity to travel across our great state and meet a lot of hardworking […]

Early voting set for HISD and HCC runoffs

Here’s the schedule and locations. Note that while the early vote period covers a week, from Wednesday, November 29 through Tuesday, December 5, there are only six days to vote, as there is no voting on Sunday the 3rd. Runoff Day itself is Saturday, December 9, which may be a bit complicated in my neck […]

Texas v the feds, disaster recovery funding edition

This would be quite entertaining to watch, if the stakes weren’t so high. Texas Republicans on Friday panned the White House’s latest disaster aid request, with Gov. Greg Abbott calling it “completely inadequate” for the state’s needs in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. President Donald Trump’s administration was quick to respond, calling on the state […]

Hockey for Houston (again)?

It could happen. It’s early, the initial talks have only been exploratory and Mike D’Antoni doesn’t have to worry about slipping on the hardwood any time soon. But I can tell you this: [Tilman] Fertitta and Co. are interested if the NHL can make its end of the bargain work. And if Houston finally gets […]

Buffalo Bayou Brewing to build new facility

We remain in a craft beer renaissance. Buffalo Bayou Brewing Co., which launched nearly six years ago with a beer called 1836 honoring the date of Houston’s founding, is preparing to break ground on a $14 million brewery and restaurant that would be one of the largest and most visible of its kind in the […]

RIP, Steve Mostyn

A terrible tragedy. Steve Mostyn, a top Democratic donor and prominent Houston trial lawyer, has died. He was 46. According to a statement released by his wife, Amber, Mostyn died Wednesday after “a sudden onset and battle with a mental health issue.” She did not disclose the cause of death. “Steve was a beloved husband […]

More Harveys

Thanks, climate change. The extreme rains that inundated the Houston area during Hurricane Harvey were made more likely by climate change, a new study suggests, adding that such extreme flooding events will only become more frequent as the globe continues to warm. “I guess what I was hoping to achieve was a little bit of […]

Concerns about the Census

We need to pay attention to this. Latino leaders are warning of a developing crisis in the 2020 census and demanding that the Census Bureau act aggressively to calm fears in immigrant populations about data misuse. Citing focus groups and initial interviews in Texas and across the country, the bureau’s Mikelyn Meyers recently reported “an […]

Dome bash planned

Mark your calendars. Next year, Astrodome lovers will be able to once again take a gander at the stadium’s iconic roof before it embarks on its next adventure. During a mixer/meeting for friends and supporters of the Astrodome Conservancy, organizers revealed that a party to honor the Astrodome’s history is tentatively set for April 9, […]

Harvey-related good news and bad news

Good news. An additional $90 million was approved Thursday to help expedite debris removal from Hurricane Harvey along Texas’ devastated Gulf Coast regions, including Houston. Gov. Greg Abbott and House and Senate leaders announced that the additional “emergency funding” from the state’s General Revenue Account would go to counties to help pay for the removal […]

My thoughts following the 2017 election

1. Turnout in Houston was considerably higher than anyone predicted. Adding in Fort Bend to Harris yields 101,178 voters. Harris County had 149,730. The Houston share of Harris County was 66.43%, which is lower than I expected as well. 2. Early voting in odd years is not the same as early voting in even years. […]

2017 results: HISD and HCC

There were still precincts to be counted as I was writing this so there are a couple of races where I’ll have to equivocate, but here’s what happened in the local races that had actual candidates in them. Let’s start with the easier one, the HCC races: – Trustees Carolyn Evans-Shabazz (73%) and Robert Glaser […]

2017 results: City bonds

Pension obligation bonds pass easily. Houston voters passed a $1 billion pension bond referendum by a wide margin late Tuesday, securing Mayor Sylvester Turner’s landmark reform package and, the mayor hopes, marking the beginning of the end of a 16-year fiscal crisis. The ballot item’s passage now means the city can follow through on its […]

Election Day 2017

It’s time to vote if you haven’t already. Not many people have, as we know. Harris County turnout is expected to remain feeble through Election Day, with no marquee race to draw voters to the polls and thousands still displaced by Hurricane Harvey. Fewer than 59,000 of the county’s more than 2.2 million registered voters […]

Late money in the HISD races

Here it comes. A political action committee mostly funded by the nation’s largest teachers’ union has received $225,000 to spend on supporting four candidates for the Houston ISD school board election and a city ballot measure, campaign finance reports show. Houston United for Strong Public Schools plans to spend in support of three incumbent candidates […]

Freedmen’s Town may get UNESCO designation

That’s cool. For all the years the historic bricks of Freedmen’s Town in Fourth Ward were questioned, devalued and disturbed, a new international spotlight is bringing a renewed appreciation for the strenuous efforts to validate, treasure and preserve them. UNESCO – the Paris-based cultural arm of the United Nations – is considering Freedmen’s Town for […]

Improving how animals are rescued

One of the lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina was the need to rescue pets along with their owners, and to do everything possible to keep them together afterwards. This Texas Monthly story describes how that went with Harvey. There are a few best practices that became understood in the wake of Katrina: holding animals in […]

2017 EV daily report: Final numbers and our attempt at projecting turnout

Here are the final numbers. Believe it or not, people did vote on Friday despite the fact that the entire metro area appeared to be at the Astros parade. Here are the daily totals from previous years: 2015 2013 2011 2009 2007 And here’s a select comparison: Year Early Mail Total Mailed ======================================= 2017 46,224 […]