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Sebelius Visits, Oil & Gas in 2014, Payday Loans, & Houston Holiday Events: Houston Matters for Fri., Dec. 20, 2013

Posted on · Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is in Houston today. Perhaps no other Obama administration official, save for President Obama himself, has been on the firing line more amid the troubled roll-out of the final phase of the Affordable Care Act. On today’s Houston Matters, we’ll have details on the Secretary’s visit, and on […]

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Hunger in Houston, New Diseases, Celestial Windows and Old Town Spring: Houston Matters, for Thursday, December 19, 2013

Posted on · While many of us will celebrate the holidays with elaborate spreads for family and friends, some Houstonians are going hungry this holiday season. City officials say many of those who are in need of food include poor, working families with young children. On this edition of Houston Matters, we’ll discuss efforts to serve Houstonians now, […]

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Houston Jails & Prisons, Super Neighborhoods, & Houston Greeters: Houston Matters for Wed., Dec. 18, 2013

Posted on · One way to judge the quality of a society is to look at how it treats its prisoners. If we were to do that here in Houston, what would we see? It’s a question that perhaps is best answered in two stages – first, by examining how inmates are processed through jail (and what will […]

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Gun Violence in Houston, Alzheimer’s Research & The Hermann Park Train: Houston Matters for Tues., Dec. 17, 2013

Posted on · Saturday marked the one year anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. Twenty children and six adults were killed. A year later, on this edition of Houston Matters, we consider gun violence here in Houston. Does Houston have more or fewer incidents of gun violence than other major U.S. cities? Is it getting […]

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Drones, Running, and the Weekend in Sports: Houston Matters for Monday, Dec. 16, 2013

Posted on · Maybe we should blame sci-fi movies. Or Isaac Asimov. Or our own government’s military use of unmanned aerial vehicles for bombing raids. For whatever reason, the word “drone” brings with it an almost militaristic, secretive connotation. Yet so-called “drones” can be useful tools, in various ways: farmers use drones to deal with feral hogs…Amazon.com’s CEO is talking […]

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Rice Pres. David Leebron, Good Bad & Ugly of Houston News, & Playing Crumpet the Elf Again and Again: Houston Matters for Fri., Dec. 13, 2013

Posted on · In the collective history of Rice University, it has had just seven Presidents. The current President, David Leebron, assumed that role in 2004, and in the years since, Rice has seen significant increases in undergraduate enrollment, the launch of the Kinder Institute for Urban Research, new residential colleges, new buildings on campus, and visits from important figures ranging […]

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Banning Native American Mascots, Charity Scams & City Council Runoffs: Houston Matters for Thurs., Dec. 12, 2013

Posted on · HISD today may take its first steps towards a policy prohibiting the use of certain Native American mascots and symbols some deem offensive or culturally insensitive. While some consider such representations offensive, others characterize them as symbols of respect. Still others see such labels as political correctness run amok. We’ll discuss. Also: ‘Tis the season of giving. […]

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Addressing Drunk Driving, Houstonians Respond to Typhoon Haiyan, & Houston’s Comedy Scene: Houston Matters for Wed., Dec. 11, 2013

Posted on · Cities like Chicago and New York don’t have the same numbers of drunk driving incidents and arrests as we have here in Houston. Of course, those cities, though much larger, have more extensive mass transit. Chicago has the “L” – a popular elevated train system. And New York City has its own subway system. But could there be more to […]

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The Grand Parkway, METRO’s Red Line & Year-End Taxes: Houston Matters for Tues., Dec. 10, 2013

Posted on · It’s elaborate, long-anticipated and years in the making. It’s the Grand Parkway: the loop outside the loop outside the loop which, once completed will be more than 180 miles long, and cross seven different counties in its path around Houston. Proponents say the Grand Parkway will cut down commute time for many drivers traveling in from […]

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Accessibility in Houston, Pet Care, and the Texans After Kubiak: Houston Matters for Monday, December 9, 2013

Posted on · When we think about “getting around” Houston, we tend to think of it from our own perspective. If you’re young you don’t think about it from the standpoint of someone who’s older. If you own a car, you tend not to think much about those who don’t. The same goes for disabilities. If you’re not […]

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Houston and Mandela, Houston’s Performing Arts, and Facial Hair Clubs: Houston Matters for Friday, Dec. 6, 2013

Posted on · Tributes continue to pour in around the world in remembrance of Nelson Mandela, who died Thursday at the age of 95. Houstonians are, of course, among those Mandela touched in his life. On this edition of Houston Matters, we’ll share what some have to say about the man, and what he said about how he […]

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The Impact of “High Stakes” Testing, How Houstonians Use Social Media, and a Field Trip to Buffalo Bayou Park: Houston Matters for Thursday, December 5th, 2013

Posted on · The investigation continues into the possibility of teachers cheating on state exams at two HISD elementary schools. KUHF education reporter Laura Isensee has been following this developing story, and will have an update for us on this edition of Houston Matters. We’ll discuss concerns she’s heard from parents about the cheating, and the investigation itself. We’ll […]

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Immigration Challenges, a Nobel Laureate’s Crusade to Ban Land Mines, and LARPers in Mandell Park: Houston Matters for Wed., Dec. 4, 2013

Posted on · Four activists seeking immigration reform finally ended a 22 day fast Tuesday at the National Mall in Washington. They were then replaced by eight others, who have vowed to continue the fast. They, like many others, are seeking to convince Congress to act – to pass legislation that would include a pathway to citizenship for […]

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Technology in Classrooms, Texas Gunslingers, & Passing Time in Traffic: Houston Matters for Tues., Dec. 3, 2013

Posted on · Many Houston schools embrace the use of technology in the classroom. Earlier this year, for example, Spring Branch Independent School District announced it was earmarking nearly $40 million for technology in its schools. Officials said tablets and iPads would be some of the devices more widely available in classrooms and libraries. But while many Houston […]

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Small Businesses, World AIDS Day and Did the Patriots Cheat? Houston Matters for Mon., Dec. 2, 2013

Posted on · Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, this was a big weekend for holiday shoppers. It was also a big weekend for small businesses in Houston. That’s because Small Business Saturday encourages customers to shop local. So today, we’re taking a look at how small businesses are faring in Houston. Are they thriving or dying out? How […]