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Oil Impact on Nonprofits, and Houston Voter Apathy: Monday’s Show (January 25, 2016)

As oil prices continue to fall, there’s been some hand-wringing in Greater Houston over the potential impact to the region’s nonprofits. Some philanthropic organizations rely heavily on support from some of Houston’s major oil and gas companies, and as belt tightening continues in some portions of the energy sector, there’s concern that it could lead […]

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As oil prices continue to fall, there’s been some hand-wringing in Greater Houston over the potential impact to the region’s nonprofits. Some philanthropic organizations rely heavily on support from some of Houston’s major oil and gas companies, and as belt tightening continues in some portions of the energy sector, there’s concern that it could lead to funding challenges for nonprofits here. Is that worry well-placed or unnecessary? On the one hand, it’s logical: when some energy companies suffer, so too will regional companies they typically support. On the other hand: the Houston philanthropic community, just last summer, was rated as the healthiest in the nation.

On this edition of Houston Matters, we consider the potential implications of ongoing low oil prices on Greater Houston’s nonprofits.

Also this hour: This morning NPR’s Morning Edition examined voter anxiety in this election year, and what’s fueling it. We explore what potentially sets voter attitudes in Greater Houston apart from other communities — voter apathy. While voter turnout is typically lower in off-year elections, even with controversial issues and a mayoral campaign, last fall’s election turnout was, to some, surprisingly low. Are Houstonians just less likely to vote than other Americans? We ask Rice University political scientist and pollster Bob Stein.

Then: While we don’ t have to worry about back problems caused by shoveling two feet of snow, like so many in the Northeastern U.S. today, we Houstonians can still suffer from back pain for all sorts of reasons. Even Houston’s kids can experience back pain. We talk with orthopedic spine surgeon Dr. Shah Dodwad from the UT Health Science Center at Houston and Memorial Hermann about common causes for back pain here, at all ages, and how best to treat an achy back. We welcome your questions as well.

Plus: The Houston Rockets’ winning weekend puts them a couple of games over .500. Is there potential for the Rockets to climb in the NBA standings in the season’s 2nd half? We discuss it with Jeff Balke from Houston Press and Houstonia Magazine. We also talk a bit about the NFL playoffs, and a pair of former Texans coaches preparing for the Super Bowl, and the latest Houston Astros off-season developments.

Houston Matters offers a free daily, downloadable podcast here, on iTunes, Stitcher and various other podcasting apps.

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Craig Cohen

Craig Cohen

Executive Producer/Host, Houston Matters

Craig Cohen is the executive producer and host of Houston Matters, which airs weekday mornings at 9:00 on Houston Public Media, News 88.7 FM. Craig is a 20+ year veteran of broadcast journalism. He's spent the bulk of his career in public media, in roles ranging from programmer and manager,...

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