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Posts Tagged ‘Houston’

More on the SB4 ruling

Circling back to one of the big court decisions from last week, Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern talks to ACLU attorney Lee Gelernt about what was blocked by federal Judge Orlando Garcia in the “sanctuary cities” lawsuit. Mark Joseph Stern: SB 4’s overarching goal is to compel all Texas law enforcement officers to enforce federal immigration […]

The case for calling a Harvey special session

Rep. Gene Wu disagrees with Greg Abbott’s decision. The historic level of damage and suffering caused by Harvey requires that we tap into our state’s Rainy Day Fund. Gov. Greg Abbott’s decision to not call a special session of the Texas Legislature to access emergency funding will worsen the long-term economic effects of one of […]

Now is an excellent time to give blood

You want a simple but vital thing to do to help with Harvey recovery? Schedule a blood donation. The Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center is appealing for donations after a four-day stoppage in the wake of Tropical Storm Harvey that has left its supply at critical levels. The local bank resumed collections Thursday at 10 […]

The mosquitopocalypse is coming

It just keeps getting better and better. Harvey’s rain may have left Houston behind, but there’s another storm headed our way. It’s a cloud of mosquitoes, which breed in standing water and soon will be hatching by the millions. “It’s going to be horrible in two or three weeks,” said Cory Barcomb, operations manager for […]

Many schools were damaged by Harvey

This will add so much more disruption to the Harvey recovery efforts. More than 10,000 Houston Independent School District students are expected to start classes in temporary quarters as officials work to repair hundreds of campuses damaged by Hurricane Harvey, Superintendent Richard Carranza said Saturday. Carranza said the district still plans to start school on […]

“We must find a way to co-exist with the bayou ecosystem”

Offcite points to a way forward. We must find a way to co-exist with the bayou ecosystem, not get in its way. As Albert Pope, a professor at Rice Architecture, has pointed out in a series of proposals, most of Houston’s housing stock will be rebuilt over the next fifty years. It would make the most […]

Look for the lawyers

They’ll be helping a lot of people who are going to need Harvey-related legal advice. While rescue workers, including recreational boaters, pull frightened Houstonians out of flooded homes, lawyers are preparing the establishment of a network to give advice to people with legal issues stemming from the storm that’s dumped dozens of inches of water […]

HISD will begin classes on September 11

Another week off for students. As Houston ISD continues to sort out which of its schools were damaged in Tropical Storm Harvey, school officials are postponing the start of the school year until Sept. 11, two weeks after school was supposed to start. In an email to campus leaders, Houston ISD said school administrators in […]

Enforcement of SB4 halted

Excellent! U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia granted a preliminary injunction of Senate Bill 4, one of Gov. Greg Abbott’s key legislative priorities that seeks to outlaw “sanctuary” entities, the common term for governments that don’t enforce federal immigration laws. The bill was scheduled to go into effect Sept. 1, but opponents of the legislation, including […]

Remember the Katy Prairie

From the four things we could have done differently to maybe mitigate some of the worst effects of Harvey: Preserve and restore as much prairie land as possible Much of northwest Houston used to be covered in prairie land, where tall grasses could absorb huge amounts of floodwater. But most of it has been paved […]

A smattering of Harvey news

If you are among the lucky ones whose house or apartment remained dry and you want to help those in need, here’s a handy guide to where and how to volunteer. If you want to go to the George R. Brown to help at that shelter, they have a real need for people to work […]

The Rangers and the Astros

Oh, come on. The historic flooding in Houston caused by Tropical Storm Harvey will displace the Astros for at least three games and most likely the entire six-game homestand they had scheduled for this week. For at least their three-game series against the Texas Rangers that begins Tuesday, the Astros will play as the home […]

Please don’t complain about the lack of an evacuation

There are good reasons why there was not an evacuation order for the greater Houston area in advance of Harvey. Ultimately, mayors and county judges are charged with making such decisions. Leaders in Houston and Harris County told residents to stay put ahead of the storm and have since defended those decisions — even as […]

More ways to help

I posted a couple of links with ways to help with Harvey relief below, but there are some more good suggestions in this Chron story as well. The American Red Cross is encouraging people to donate money on its website or to text 90999 to donate $10. The organization is also asking for volunteers. Red Cross is also […]

HISD cancels classes for a week

Another effect of Harvey. Houston Independent School District schools and offices will be closed all week, from Monday, Aug. 28 through Friday, Sept. 1, due to widespread damage from Tropical Storm Harvey. HISD officials have been closely monitoring the forecast and have determined that the storms and heavy rains that affected parts of the city […]

Harvey, category 4

Holy moly. As of 7:45 PM Friday, Hurricane Harvey has been officially upgraded by the National Hurricane Center to a category four storm with 130 mph maximum sustained winds. Port Aransas just gusted to 105 mph as the eyewall approaches. Should Harvey make landfall at its current intensity, it will be the strongest storm (by […]

Yes, cities need lobbyists

Every few years, this argument heats up. In the run-up to this year’s Texas legislative session, Mayor Sylvester Turner decided to switch Capitol lobbying firms. In was Hillco Partners, considered by many the most powerful player in Austin lobbying. Out was a firm led by a political adviser to House Speaker Joe Straus. What didn’t […]

The ReBuild Houston footnote to the November ballot

The following paragraph is buried deep in the full story about what will and will not be on the November ballot in Houston. Voters also will not face a reconsideration of the 2010 vote that established ReBuild Houston, the program that funds streets and drainage repairs without debt by drawing on a monthly fee. Courts […]

HISD cancels classes on Monday

Hello, Harvey. All HISD campuses and administrative offices will be closed on Monday, Aug. 28 and all campus and district activities canceled due to the threat of inclement weather. Classes are scheduled to resume on Tuesday, Aug. 29. However, the district will continue to monitor developing weather conditions and will determine whether classes can safely […]

Federal court bars enforcement if city’s ban on homeless encampments

Score one for the law’s opponents. A federal court on Tuesday temporarily blocked Houston from enforcing its fledgling ban on public encampments, dealing a blow to city efforts to manage escalating tensions between homeless people and the neighborhoods their camps abut. The city’s three-month-old law – passed under intense pressure from residents and council members […]

No charter amendments on the fall ballot

Just bonds, school board and HCC races, and the mostly boring constitutional amendments. Oh, and Heights Alcohol 2.0, if you live there. Houston voters will face $1.5 billion in city bonds and nine community college or school board races this November, but will not be asked whether to give firefighters a pay raise or change […]

Houston part of bid for 2026 FIFA World Cup

Nice. Houston and NRG Stadium are on an official list for cities and venues that may be considered to host a FIFA World Cup match if the event comes to North America in 2026. The United Bid Committee of the United States, Mexico and Canada began its outreach for cities to declare interest to serve […]

Confederate monuments in the Capitol

Get rid of them, too. A state lawmaker wants all Confederate symbols removed from the Texas Capitol grounds, including a plaque that is 40 steps away from his office that rejects the idea that the South seceded from the Union over slavery. Rep. Eric Johnson, D-Dallas, sent a letter to the State Preservation Board Wednesday […]

Houston signs memorandum of understanding with Texas Central

This makes a lot of sense. At City Hall, Houston and Texas Central Partners announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding, which commits both sides to share environmental surveys, utility analysis and engineering related to the project and surrounding area and work together to develop new transit and other travel options to and from […]

HISD gets some improvements, needs some more

Mostly good news. State school ratings released Tuesday showed academic gains across Houston ISD this year, but enthusiasm over the results was tempered by 10 struggling campuses again falling short of state standards, leaving the district under threat of state intervention and even takeover next year without more progress. District administrators heralded the results, released […]

Bond issue set for November

Should be pretty straightforward, though I suppose you never know. November’s ballot will feature $495 million in public improvement bonds after City Council agreed Wednesday to send the package to Houston voters. The general bonds, which would not require a tax hike, would fund improvements to libraries and parks, as well as items like new […]

Mayor Turner requests study of Confederate statues

From the inbox. Mayor Sylvester Turner has asked top staff members to study whether statues related to the Confederacy should be removed from city property. The mayor commented about the statues Tuesday at a City Council meeting after members of the public urged the city to remove the statues from its public spaces because, they […]

HISD board fills Manuel Rodriguez’s seat

The HISD Board of Trustees is back to full strength. The Houston ISD Board of Education voted to appoint José Leal to fill the seat left vacant after the death of longtime District III Trustee Manuel Rodríguez Jr last month. Board members chose Leal unanimously during a special meeting Monday afternoon. Leal has more than […]

HISD and the TEA

Still catching up on things. Texas education officials are warning that Houston ISD could be placed under the jurisdiction of state-appointed managers as early as next year if 13 district schools don’t show improvement. The warning was issued during a meeting [last] Monday between Texas Education Agency officials and Houston’s legislative delegation. TEA officials told […]

Houston city employees file their own lawsuit (again) on spousal benefits

A shame it’s had to come to this, but this is where we are. On Thursday, three married couples from Houston filed a lawsuit in federal court aimed at forcing the city to preserve health coverage and other benefits for same-sex spouses of city employees. That’s because, despite the Supreme Court’s 2015 decision in Obergefell […]

July 2017 campaign finance reports – HCC

Welcome to the last and least interesting of these campaign finance report posts. This one is about the HCC Trustees, and there’s not much to see. Take a look at what there is – you can find all available reports here – and we’ll discuss it below. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz Robert Glaser Adriana Tamez Dave Wilson […]

July 2017 campaign finance reports – HISD

We still don’t know what’s happening with city of Houston elections this fall, but there’s plenty of action with HISD Trustee races. You can see all of the candidates who have filed so far and their July finance reports here. I’ve got links to individual reports and summaries of them, so join me below for […]

OutSmart talks to Kim Ogg

Another good read about our new DA, one that goes into her personal background in some depth. John Wright: Your father, Jack Ogg, was a longtime Texas state legislator, and your late mother was well-known for her charity work. What it was like coming out to your parents? Kim Ogg: It was traumatic. My parents […]

Paxton’s preemptive “sanctuary cities” lawsuit dismissed

Good. U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks on Wednesday dismissed the state of Texas’ lawsuit against Travis County and other defendants over the state’s new immigration enforcement law. Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a pre-emptive lawsuit shortly after the bill was signed in May seeking a ruling that the controversial measure is constitutional. Among the defendants […]