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Posts Tagged ‘Houston’

Get ready for the TV ads to begin

Keep that DVR remote handy, because you’re going to have to start fast-forwarding through Mayoral campaign ads on TV soon. After nearly topping the July fundraising that put this year’s mayor’s race on track to be the most expensive in recent city history, City Councilman Stephen Costello led the pack to the TV airwaves in […]

Council approves inmate processing center deal with Harris County

Very good news. An end is in sight for the inefficient process of shuttling prisoners in and out of redundant local lockups after the City Council on Wednesday approved an agreement with Harris County to build a long-discussed inmate processing center. Public officials have discussed the need for a new booking center since the 1990s, […]

Endorsement watch: In my neighborhood

The Chron endorses Karla Cisneros in District H, proving that while one can guess who they’ll endorse, one has no hope of guessing in what order they’ll print their endorsements. Karla Cisneros is the woman for the job. Cisneros, who will be 61 on Election Day, works as a teacher but resigned to run for […]

Endorsement watch: HERO ain’t everything

I predicted that the Chron would endorse CM Kubosh, so I can’t say that I’m surprised that they endorsed him. That said, their logic is always a sight to behold. At a City Hall filled with lawyers, urban planners and technocrats, Kubosh stands out as an elected official who tries to put the will of […]

Interview with Dr. Adriana Tamez

As I said last time, HCC Trustee races are a lot more important than you’d think from the amount of attention they get. Aside from the Dave Wilson problem, it’s an office with a six-year term, no resign-to-run requirement, and the power to raise your taxes. Are we paying attention now? Dr. Adriana Tamez is […]

JP Dale Gorczynski will not run for re-election

I’m not usually in the breaking news business around here, but today I have some: Judge Dale Gorcynski, who has served as Justice of the Peace in Precinct 1 since 1992, will not be running for re-election next year. I know this because he told me himself. He wanted to make sure that his decision […]

GOP versus Hall

Pass the popcorn. The Harris County Republican Party released a flyer Monday attacking Houston mayoral candidate Ben Hall for his Democratic ties and previous support for a nondiscrimination ordinance. Among top-tier mayoral candidates, Hall, a Democrat, is the most ardent critic of the city’s equal rights ordinance, known as HERO. The law is set to […]

Interview with Eva Loredo

Of all the downballot races in odd numbered years, HCC Trustee elections have the greatest disparity between their importance and the amount of attention paid to them. The farce of Dave Wilson getting elected in 2013 is the lesson we all need to learn about that. There are two contested HCC races this year, both […]

Chron Mayoral profile: Bill King

This is the fifth in a series of profiles on the top candidates running for mayor in Houston. A fiscal conservative concerned with shoring up the city’s finances, [Bill] King would be Houston’s first Republican mayor in more than 30 years. To get there, he aims to overcome low name identification by consolidating support among […]

Endorsement watch: Seeing the big picture

Looks like the Chron is going through the At Large races first, which means we’re up to At Large #2, and a repeat endorsement of David Robinson. You might as well pull out the popcorn when City Hall gets to debating the annual Capital Improvement Plan, the five-year budget that doles out billions for road […]

Interview with CM David Robinson

I know I said before that I was done with Council interviews, but you know what? It’s my blog, and my prerogative to change my mind. Honestly, I had always intended to schedule an interview with first term Council Member David Robinson, but could never figure out how to work it into the publication schedule […]

We’re (about to be) Number 3!

In population. By the year 2025. Suck it, Chicago! Hidden in the haze of the petrochemical plants and beyond the seemingly endless traffic jams, a Texas city has grown so large that it is poised to pass Chicago as the third biggest in the United States in the next decade. Houston has been one of […]

Endorsement watch: What needs to be said

The Chron’s endorsement of HERO is both the most obvious call they’ll make and a pleasant surprise in terms of how they did it. Let’s be frank: The organized opposition to Houston’s proposed equal rights ordinance is mendacious, deceitful and irresponsible in the extreme. Attorney Jared Woodfill and his opposition cohorts know that nothing in […]

Endorsement watch: Off to a good start, predictions-wise

First Chron endorsement of the season, and it’s one I called. When government is broken, who do you hire to fix it? For the Harris County Housing Authority, the answer was Tom McCasland. Plenty of candidates can tout their ideas for repairing Houston’s problems, but only McCasland has a record of working within government to […]

Business groups get into the HERO campaign

Welcome to the table, fellas. Three major local business and hospitality groups are warning voters that the city’s economy could take a hit if Houston’s embattled equal rights ordinance is repealed in November, boosting supporters’ attempts to cast the law as not only a moral issue but also a practical one. The Greater Houston Partnership, […]

The MetroLab Network

From the inbox. Rice University and the city of Houston will join forces with 20 other cities and 25 other universities from across the country to create MetroLab Network, a network of universities and city governments charged with collaborating on solutions to the challenges confronting urban infrastructure, city services and civic engagement. The partnership was […]

Interview with Juliet Stipeche

We wrap up our week of HISD candidate interviews with another incumbent. Juliet Stipeche is finishing up her first full term in District 8; she won a special election in 2010 to fill a vacancy left when then-Trustee Diana Davila (now her opponent this year) resigned. A civil litigation attorney and certified mediator, Stipeche is […]

No decision on interim Superintendent

The HISD Board of Trustees is still deciding how to proceed in the wake of Superintendent Terry Grier’s resignation. Trustee Anna Eastman said after [Tuesday’s board] meeting that she continues to have a lot of questions about how the job-order contracts have been administered. Among other things the audit showed that the district’s Construction and […]

Interview with Ann McCoy

I have one more interview to bring you in HISD District 4, which is being vacated by Paula Harris. Today’s candidate is Dr. Ann McCoy, making her first run for elected office. Dr. McCoy serves as Director of Data Services and Research for All Kids Alliance at the University of Houston. She has taught statistics […]

Interview with Jolanda Jones

We move on to District 4, which is being vacated by incumbent Paula Harris. I trust that Jolanda Jones is a familiar name to everyone reading this. Attorney, activist, former Alief Elsik and UH track star, Olympic trials qualifier, Survivor contestant, and two-term At Large City Council member, Jones is a well-known figure in Houston. […]

Packing heat at the zoo

Yeah, this won’t cause any controversy. Houston Zoo officials have been forced to remove long-standing “no guns” signage from the city-owned property after a prominent gun rights attorney filed a complaint, marking the first visible local example of a new state law that targets government entities illegally restricting concealed carry. Though the Houston Zoo is […]

Interview with Ramiro Fonseca

HISD Trustee District 3 is a rematch of one of the uglier elections from 2011. Ramiro Fonseca is back to challenge incumbent Manuel Rodriguez again. The College Success Coordinator for Project GRAD Houston, Fonseca has a long history of service. He’s has served as President of the Houston Hispanic Forum, the Clean Houston Commission (Keep […]

A broader overview of the Mayor’s race

The TL;dr version of this is basically “meh, not much happening”. With a bevy of candidates and midyear fundraising that collectively topped $7 million, Houston’s 2015 mayoral race has been poised to be a blockbuster. Yet, just five weeks before the start of early voting, the race has remained relatively stagnant. For the most part, […]

Chron Mayoral profile: Ben Hall

This is the fourth in a series of profiles on the top candidates running for mayor in Houston. His dedication to accomplish whatever he sets out to do – regardless of public reaction – has jumped out for friend and foe during [Ben] Hall’s second mayoral run, as he vies to break in with the […]

August ridership numbers for the new rail lines

Again, don’t get too excited just yet. Use of Houston’s two newest rail lines increased in August, though it took a strong late showing and free rides to finally meet the ridership expectations Metro officials outlined in May. According to ridership figures released Thursday, average boardings at the shared stations downtown where both Green and […]

Interview with Rhonda Skillern-Jones

We move over to HISD Trustee races, which I’ll be running this week. There are four Trustee seats that are up for election this cycle, and I have interviews with a total of five candidates in them. First up is Rhonda Skillern-Jones, who currently serves as Board President and who is running for her first […]

Time to guess the Chronicle’s endorsements

We are a bit more than a month out from the start of early voting, and as such we are getting close to the start of Chronicle endorsement season. I know from doing candidate interviews that the Chron has been holding screenings in recent days, so it shouldn’t be long now. So while we wait […]

HISD will begin process of renaming schools with Confederate ties

Good. [HISD] trustees plan to start the process with a vote to revise the district’s policy to state explicitly that names should be non-discriminatory. The revised policy also details how the board can initiate renaming schools. Board president Rhonda Skillern-Jones said this week that after the policy gains approval, she will propose renaming at least […]

What next for HISD?

The board ponders its options for Superintendent while they prepare to search for a successor to Dr. Terry Grier. The Houston Independent School District board is set to meet Tuesday morning to discuss the district’s next steps after Superintendent Terry Grier’s surprise announcement Thursday that he was stepping down effective March 1. Board president Rhonda […]

Mayoral debate #1

Who watched? In the first televised debate in the Houston mayor’s race, three of the candidates jockeying to replace Mayor Annise Parker took aim at former Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia and the agency’s allegedly low crime clearance rates. The pointed effort marked a swift and telling segue from the candidates’ summer circuit of mostly […]

Grier to step down as HISD Superintendent

This was sudden. Houston ISD Superintendent Terry Grier announced Thursday that he is stepping down effective on March 1. Grier became superintendent of Houston in 2009, leading the nation’s seventh largest school district to win the Broad Prize for Urban Education in 2013. “Time flies when you’re having fun. This is, like, year seven,” Grier […]

Uber wants to add more drivers here

An Uber surge is coming. Eighteen months after launching in Houston, Uber, the popular ride-sharing service known for its conflicts with regulators, plans to add 5,000 drivers in the area over the next year. Uber leaders, staff of the nonprofit Change Happens and local NAACP leaders on Thursday are expected to announce a partnership aimed […]

HISD bond concerns

It’s always something. A key Houston ISD school board member called Sunday for audits of the district’s 2012 bond program amid estimates of a $211 million shortfall and concerns about breaking promises to voters. Juliet Stipeche, chair of HISD’s audit committee, submitted her request for internal and external audits after a Davis High School teacher […]

Yet another report on pensions

Yippie. Some city leaders have spent years standing in the town square, hollering themselves hoarse that Houston’s financial footing is unstable, that huge pension costs threaten the city’s future ability to police the streets, pick up trash and maintain parks. In recent weeks, they’ve been joined by two others with bullhorns: The Greater Houston Partnership […]