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Posts Tagged ‘Houston’

State Supreme Court declines to hear lawsuit over city’s same-sex partner benefits

I had totally forgotten this was still a thing that was happening. The Texas Supreme Court has declined to hear a case challenging Houston’s extension of health and life-insurance benefits to same-sex spouses of married employees, calling an apparent end to three years of legal battles over the policy change. Houston began offering employment benefits […]

Amazon PrimeNow restaurant delivery debuts in Houston

More good news for people who like having other people bring them their food. Announced via release, Amazon PrimeNow will offer one-hour delivery for Prime members from dozens of restaurants across the city. Which means that you’ll not actually have to visit the restaurants to enjoy food from The Hay Merchant, El Tiempo Cantina, Hugs […]


Some really good work by the Trib here. The Texas Tribune spent almost a year attempting to collect information on police shootings from departments in the state’s 36 largest cities, which have a population of 100,000 or more, and was able to confirm 656 fatal and nonfatal shooting incidents involving 738 individuals that occurred between […]

Harris County to fix some Houston roads

Some good news from the inbox: As part of an agreement approved by Houston City Council today, Harris County Precinct 1 will pay for additional street improvements worth millions of dollars within the Houston city limits by year’s end. This is a continuation of an arrangement Mayor Sylvester Turner and outgoing Commissioner Gene Locke negotiated […]

What do we want of a Fire Department study?

Whatever it is, this wasn’t it. A much-anticipated analysis of fire department operations essentially was dead on arrival Friday after it failed to identify cost savings and called for a multitude of investments, including three new fire stations. Mayor Sylvester Turner promised to conduct another review of the $500 million department to supplement the $297,000 […]

Precinct analysis: HISD Trustee district VII in a Presidential year

As you know, we have a special election for HISD Trustee in district VII on the ballot this November. There’s one Democratic candidate in that race and three Republicans. These races are normally held in odd-numbered years, in which turnout is considerably lower than in Presidential years. Overall turnout in Harris County in 2013 was […]

HPD wants control of crime scene forensics for officer-involved shootings

No. Houston’s acting Police Chief Martha Montalvo, with the support of the powerful Houston Police Officers Union, has made a behind-closed-doors bid to take back control over the troubled Crime Scene Unit from the city’s independent forensic science lab. The Crime Scene Unit is small but critical – its technicians gather and photograph evidence from […]

Field set for HISD special election

Four candidates have filed, so no one else got in since my last post. Four candidates have applied to run in a special election to be a trustee for the Houston Independent School District. The filing deadline was Aug. 25. The District VII seat is open because Trustee Harvin Moore is resigning a year before […]

Next B-Cycle expansion announced

From the inbox: Houston’s bike share system, Houston B-cycle, will more than triple in size over the next two years, adding 71 stations with 568 bikes. The expansion will be paid for with federal grant dollars. “The expansion of the B-cycle system will bring bike sharing into new neighborhoods and to new users,” said Mayor […]

No injunction against HISD school name changes

The changes can remain, at least for now. A civil court judge has declined to stop the Houston school district from changing the names of eight campuses that were named after Confederate loyalists. Judge John Wooldridge this week denied a request by several taxpayers suing the district to temporarily halt the renaming of the schools […]

Superintendent Carranza on bathroom access

This is what I like to see and hear. The new HISD superintendent, Richard Carranza, did not discuss specifics but certainly signaled an open-minded approach to the issue of which restrooms students should be allowed to use. “I think, you know, kids are human beings, and I think that a human being should be treated […]

Driverless Ubers

Ready or not, here they come. The option to hail a ride in a self-driving car, which was science fiction just a few years ago, will soon be available to Uber users in Pittsburgh, the first time the technology has been offered to the general public. Within weeks, the company announced Thursday, customers will be […]

Three more candidates announce campaigns for open HISD Trustee seat

From the inbox, candidate number 1: Victoria Bryant, an entrepreneur and businesswoman, announced her candidacy today, August 15, for Houston ISD Trustee in District VII. The position is up for election this November with the resignation of Harvin Moore, one of the board’s longest-serving members. District VII includes River Oaks, Memorial, and Briargrove, and is […]

Metro celebrates ridership increase one year after new bus network rollout

Leah Binkovitz reports. From September 2015 (the first full month after the switch was implemented) to July 2016 (the most recent complete month), METRO saw its ridership on local bus and light-rail add an additional 4.5 million boardings — a 6.8 percent increase. The numbers are more modest when looking at local bus ridership alone, […]

Pension reform update

Things are happening. Longtime firefighters pension fund chairman Todd Clark has retired from the department and resigned his post, a move City Hall observers interpret as perhaps the clearest sign yet that Mayor Sylvester Turner’s push for pension reform may succeed. The municipal pension also is in upheaval, having bought out former director Rhonda Smith’s […]

Strange HISD referendum to be on the ballot

This will be weird. Because of the state’s byzantine financing system, HISD will have to either send almost $162 million in local taxpayers’ money to the state or stand by to see some of the district’s most valuable properties assigned to other school districts by the Texas Education Agency. (Local businesses aren’t too wild about […]

Anne Sung will run for HISD

From Facebook: I am running for HISD School Board-Position 7 in November 2016 and I invite you to join me in my campaign. As a proud graduate of TH Rogers and Bellaire High School, I know how important a high quality education is to every Houstonian. I am a former educator and Teacher of the […]

Have we reached a tipping point on flood mitigation?

That’s a question that is alluded to but not directly addressed in this story. “This is how the land is supposed to act,” said Mary Anne Piacentini, executive director of the Katy Prairie Conservancy, a nonprofit land trust. “It’s supposed to absorb water and filter out pollutants. It’s not supposed to send it roaring into […]

Turner endorses Ike Dike

Interesting. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner has endorsed the “Ike Dike” storm surge protection proposal, raising the possibility that Houston could be one of the last cities in the Galveston Bay area to endorse the $6 billion project. If the Houston City Council passes a resolution endorsing the Ike Dike concept, the Bayou City would become […]

The Food Bank’s new home

I wish them all the best at their new address. The giant “End Hunger” message emblazoned in green on the Houston Food Bank building just north of downtown will soon go away as the charitable organization plans to start cooking hot meals for hungry kids at a larger kitchen under construction inside its east Houston […]

Heights alcohol rule change petitions verified

The item will be on the ballot, pending Council approval. City Secretary Anna Russell confirmed that the Houston Heights Beverage Coalition gathered 1,759 valid signatures for its petition submitted last month, 248 more than required by law. The Houston City Council is now slated Wednesday to formally call the election for Nov. 8, as required […]

Where are the chiefs?

People are beginning to wonder. Six months after Houston’s top cop retired and 10 months after Houston’s fire chief resigned to take another job, both departments remain without permanent chiefs, prompting concerns that public safety could suffer during the transition to permanent leadership. The delays are already among the longest in decades at a time […]

Harvin Moore to resign as HISD Trustee

Best wishes. Harvin Moore, one of the Houston school board’s longest-serving members, said Thursday that he is resigning his seat. Moore, who has served on the board since late 2003, has asked the board to call an election for November, a year before his term is set to expire. Moore said he expects voter turnout […]

Harrisburg overpass nearing completion

Hallelujah. Six months ago, Harrisburg Boulevard looked almost exactly as it has for more than five years, dotted by construction equipment. East of downtown Houston, the thoroughfare was more exposed dirt than street, and showed little sign of the rail overpass transit officials promised eastside residents. With no span in sight, residents – not to […]

Still asking for Zika help

From the inbox: Following reports of the first local mosquito-borne Zika infections in the U.S., Mayor Sylvester Turner is once again calling on the state of Texas and federal government to provide financial assistance to help fight it. “There are already 14 confirmed cases of Zika virus being transmitted locally in Florida,” said Mayor Turner. […]

NCAA lays down a marker on anti-LGBT legislation

Hope the Lege is paying attention, because they can’t say they haven’t been warned. The NBA and NCAA may have just dealt a preemptive, one-two knockout punch to anti-LGBT bills in the upcoming Texas Legislature, which convenes in January. First, the NBA announced plans to move the 2017 All-Star Game out of Charlotte over North […]

Metro rider satisfaction

Not too bad. The recently released study by advocacy organization TransitCenter, which details attitudes about public transit nationwide, generally offers good news for METRO Houston. The Urban Edge requested Houston-specific data from the TransitCenter’s national survey of transit passengers. Roughly 76 percent of Houston respondents were somewhat or very satisfied with the frequency of METRO’s service, including bus and […]

An update on the effort to make the Heights less dry

In which we learn there is indeed some opposition to this effort. A petition favored by grocery giant H-E-B to partially lift a 104-year-old ban on beer and wine sales in a dry part of the Heights could be headed for a vote this fall. The Houston Heights Beverage Coalition, which was formed to push […]

Steve Brown: Why we need the US90A rail line

(Note: From time to time I solicit guest posts on various topics, from people who have a particular interest or expertise in a particular topic. Today’s post is by Steve Brown, on the newly revived US90A commuter rail line.) In May 2015, Metro began operating two light rail lines serving the East End and Southeast […]

We have a superintendent

Welcome to Houston. The San Francisco public schools superintendent won over a divided Houston school board with what members described as his devotion to equity for all students, passion for the arts and willingness to collaborate. The trustees, often split along ideological and racial lines, voted unanimously Wednesday to select Richard Carranza, an educator who […]

July finance reports for State Rep candidates

Hey, it’s July, and you know what that means: Campaign finance reports! There aren’t many State Rep races of interest this November, but there are four that I wanted to look at. HD134 Rep. Sarah Davis Ben Rose Name Raised Spent Loans On Hand ================================================ Davis 92,972 252,457 0 53,839 Rose 83,047 31,278 0 54,691 […]

Looking again for a new justice complex

Got to do something about this sooner or later. Mayor Sylvester Turner has formed a committee to study how to acquire a new police headquarters and courts complex for Houston. Former mayor Annise Parker spent more than two years studying how to replace the city’s aging “justice complex” but ultimately abandoned it without having found […]

Roadside drug tests

Maybe this isn’t such a good idea. A Houston police officer pulled Barry Demings over as he headed to work in Beaumont and plucked a spot of white powder off the floorboard of Demings’ year-old Ford Explorer. Demings had just detailed the SUV – and wondered later if a speck of soap upended his life. […]

KUHA sale completed

Say goodbye to classical music on your terrestrial radio. Houston Public Media’s classical musical station transitions to an all-digital format starting at 9 a.m. Friday, July 15. It’s a result of Christian radio station KSBJ agreeing to purchase the KUHA 91.7 FM signal from the University of Houston — which holds the license — in February […]