Houston Matters

Some of the Lone Star State’s Little-Known Election Laws

Posted on · On election day in 2014, Mallika Das, a U.S. citizen born in India but who did not speak English well, brought her son along to interpret her Williamson County, Texas ballot so she could vote. Texas law allows for this. Except her son lived across the county line in neighboring Travis county. And a little-known […]

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Election Guide for Procrastinators: Monday’s Show (November 7, 2016)

Posted on · So you didn’t get a chance to vote early, and you’ve been actively avoiding presidential politics in recent days. But you’d still like a primer on some local races and ballot initiatives before voting. No worries – we’ve got your back – as on this edition of Houston Matters, we offer a last-minute Houston election […]

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Annise Parker, and the Good the Bad and the Ugly: Friday’s Show (November 4, 2016)

Posted on · It’s been about a year since Annise Parker finished her time as Houston’s mayor. After her fellowship at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, she joined the faculty at Rice University. Even before her time in elective office, Mayor Parker was heavily engaged in LGBT activism here in Houston, and she’s returning to those roots, […]

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“Peak Beer,” Deli, Teeth, and Labyrinths: Thursday’s Show (November 3, 2016)

Posted on · This morning, the Houston Business Journal reported one of Houston’s fastest-growing breweries — Karbach Brewing Company — is being acquired by Anheuser-Busch InBev, Budweiser’s parent company. Perhaps this was inevitable. Some in the local brewing industry have been worried we’d reached “peak beer” in Houston, with 17 breweries operating in the region. Even after Karbach’s acquisition, […]

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LGBT Friendliness, James Douglas, and The Full Menu: Wednesday’s Show (November 2, 2016)

Posted on · The Human Rights Campaign, a civil rights organization promoting LGBTQ equality, recently unveiled a sort of equality scorecard, which found Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin and San Antonio all fare better than Houston when it comes to being LGBTQ friendly. And it’s not just because the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance was voted down last year. On […]

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African-American Culture, Gardening, and Faust: Tuesday’s Show (November 1, 2016)

Posted on · In a couple of weeks, Houston will host a workshop called Preserving Communities of Color. The discussions will focus on case studies and available resources to preserve places that embody the African-American experience in America. The event comes a little over a month since the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture […]

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Hurricane Isaiah and Near Death Experiences: Monday’s Show (October 31, 2016)

Posted on · We’re talking about some pretty dark stuff on today’s show. (Happy Halloween). First up, with just under a month left in another relatively quiet Atlantic hurricane season for Greater Houston, it’s natural for complacency to set it. But that’s just what worries the folks at Rice University’s Severe Storm Prediction, Education, and Evacuation from Disasters, or […]

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METRO Redesign Update: Friday’s Show (October 28, 2016)

Posted on · It’s been about 14 months since METRO redesigned its bus routes in Houston. When the redesign was launched, METRO touted it as a means to provide “simpler, faster, more frequent service.” A little over a year in, did it work? Has ridership increased? What still needs to be improved? On this edition of Houston Matters, we […]

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HBCUs, Environmental Justice, and Future Humans: Thursday’s Show (October 27, 2016)

Posted on · Historically black colleges and universities – or HBCUs – have fallen on some hard times lately: financial problems, low graduation rates — some have been denied accreditation. These and other challenges recently led Dr. John Rudley, the former president of Texas Southern University, to call being an HBCU President “one of the most stressful jobs in America.” […]

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Bill King on Pension Deal and Bluefin Tuna: Wednesday’s Show (October 26, 2016)

Posted on · The Houston City Council this morning (Oct. 26, 2016) passed a resolution of support for Mayor Sylvester Turner’s proposal to reform the city’s pension system and address an unfunded liability in the billions, paying it off over 30 years. This, after the firefighters’ pension board Monday agreed to the plan which will, among other measures, lower the assumed […]

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HISD Recapture and Sunnyside: Tuesday’s Show (October 25, 2016)

Posted on · Texas state lawmaker Jimmy Don Aycock recently bemoaned how “property value increases have triggered the ‘Robin Hood’ feature” of a school funding system which, in essence, requires HISD to send money to other districts. Aycock notes the same thing has happened to Austin, Spring Branch and other districts — and the Dallas school district may face […]

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Repeat DWIs and Fracking Wastewater: Monday’s Show (October 24, 2016)

Posted on · We’ve previously discussed on our program how pervasive drunk driving is in Harris County and ways in which law enforcement and courts are trying to crack down. But what do we do about repeat DWI offenders?Those who, after initial interactions with law enforcement and the court system and despite whatever punishments are handed down, drink […]

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Remembering Bob Allen and the State of TV News: Friday’s Show (October 21, 2016)

Posted on · Longtime TV sports anchor Bob Allen passed away Wednesday, after a long battle with cancer. Allen worked for nearly four decades in TV sports, most of it as sports director at KTRK Channel 13, before finishing his career at KHOU Channel 11. On this edition of Houston Matters, we talk with former colleagues about Allen […]

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Texas Election Survey and Grace Hopper Conference: Thursday’s Show (October 20, 2016)

Posted on · Six weeks ago the Washington Post unveiled a poll on the U.S. presidential race, which found Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton neck and neck in Texas. It was, frankly, hard to believe. No other major poll had shown such a result. So, we brought the paper’s polling manager on to explain the methodology used. Then, we […]

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Mitigating Traffic, The Full Menu, and Hari Kondabolu: Wednesday’s Show (October 19, 2016)

Posted on · There may be no more viscerally frustrating experience about living in Houston then dealing with traffic. It’s the most common theme we hear when we engage in our quarterly Houstonian Pet Peeves discussions. And that’s understandable. We’ve seen huge population increases in Greater Houston in recent years, and our infrastructure hasn’t always kept up — even though we […]