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Posts Tagged ‘Houston’

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 […]

Houston Press ceases print operations

End of an era. Voice Media Group announced today that the Houston Press ceased print publication with its November 2 edition, capping a 28-year run as one of the nation’s leading alternative weekly newspapers and concluding a wild ride as an irascible and irreverent part of Houston’s cultural fabric. Although the Press successfully steered its […]

Friday random ten: All hail the Astros

I break the pattern once again in honor of the Astros’ World Series win. 1. Born To Win – Hurray For The Riff Raff 2. Playing To Win – Shalamar 3. The Winner Takes It All – ABBA 4. You Win Again – Mary-Chapin Carpenter 5. We Are The Champions – Queen 6. Sittin’ On […]

Is this development really necessary?

Boy, the optics of this sure are lousy. The Houston City Council has indefinitely postponed a proposal to build hundreds of homes in a west Houston floodplain amid questions about whether city leaders’ actions would match their rhetoric about mitigating the risk of flooding after Hurricane Harvey. Mayor Sylvester Turner supported the move to refer […]

A big ask for hurricane recovery

Good luck with that. I mean that mostly sincerely. Texas needs an additional $61 billion in federal disaster recovery money for infrastructure alone after Hurricane Harvey’s devastation, according to a report from the Governor’s Commission to Rebuild Texas that was delivered to members of Congress Tuesday. Compiled at Gov. Greg Abbott’s request, the report was […]

2017 EV daily report: Day 10, and the first sign of an uptick

Here are the numbers through Wednesday. I know I said yesterday that I don’t usually report the latest results in Week 2 because they come in late, but like everyone else I was up late watching Game 7, so here you go. Here are the daily totals from previous years: 2015 2013 2011 2009 2007 […]

Astros win the World Series

I think you can find some stories about this particular news item on your own. On behalf of every sleep-deprived Houstonian, congratulations to the Astros! A great achievement, and a huge burden relieved. Now go get ready for a parade.

2017 EV daily report: Day 8, and one more look at a way to guess turnout

Here are the numbers through Monday. Now that we are in the second week of early voting, when the hours each day are 7 to 7, these reports arrive in my inbox later in the evening. Here are the daily totals from previous years: 2015 2013 2011 2009 2007 And here’s a select comparison: Year […]

Texans take a knee

Good for them. On Sunday afternoon, before the Houston Texans faced off against the Seattle Seahawks in Washington, all but approximately 10 Texans took a knee during the national anthem. This was a direct response to Texans owner Bob McNair after an ESPN report on Friday revealed that, during a meeting with other NFL owners, […]