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Liquor Laws and Parking: Tuesday’s show (March 3, 2015)

Walmart is suing Texas for the right to sell hard liquor. Soon after the lawsuit was filed in federal court, a coalition of businesses formed to push laws to allow publicly traded corporations to own and operate liquor stores. A couple of state legislators have also filed bills that would repeal parts of the alcohol […]

Walmart is suing Texas for the right to sell hard liquor. Soon after the lawsuit was filed in federal court, a coalition of businesses formed to push laws to allow publicly traded corporations to own and operate liquor stores. A couple of state legislators have also filed bills that would repeal parts of the alcohol code that exclude publicly traded corporations and limit the number of liquor stores a company can own. It’s not the first time lawmakers have sought to change liquor laws in the state. During the 2013 legislative session, lawmakers proposed legislation that would allow liquor sales on Sundays.

On this edition of Houston Matters, we discuss the state’s history with liquor laws, what those rules and regulations are today, and legal challenges that could potentially block efforts to change the state’s liquor laws.

Also: Rice University’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research recently welcomed transportation planner and parking management guru Patrick Siegman to speak about new solutions to a classic problem facing any growing community: maintaining adequate parking. We talk with Siegman and Bill Fulton, Director of the Kinder Institute, about why the solution, from their perspective, is not building more parking lots, but better managing the parking we already have.

Then: When the Houston Parks and Recreation Department was created nearly a century ago, it oversaw two facilities; Sam Houston Park and Hermann Park. Today, the department’s system includes over 350 developed parks and more than 37,000 acres of green space. Joe Turner has served as the Director of the Parks and Recreation Department since 2004. He joins us to discuss the latest projects and programs, as well as what’s in the pipeline for the city’s parks and green space.

And: when we think of the brutal warfare of World War I, we tend to think of the 9 million soldiers and 7 million civilians dead, of infantry men waging war with guns and grenades, hiding in muddy trenches above ground, of chemical weapons being used for the first time in warfare. But there were also cavernous stations where soldiers lived their lives between battles. And they left carvings — hundreds if not thousands of inscriptions, from names to detailed portraits and artwork. Many of these relics have been left untouched, making these stations feel like cathedrals dedicated to lost souls. Dr. Jeff Gusky, who by day is an ER doctor with Altus Emergency Rooms here in Houston, is also a fine art photographer. He captures this “Hidden World of World War I” in a collection of photographs. He tells Houston Matters’ Paige Phelps what it was like to visit these stations, how he found them, and what the experience meant to him.

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