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The Mayor’s Budget, Reid Ryan, and Pet Care: Monday’s Show (May 18, 2015)

Last week, Houston Mayor Annise Parker unveiled a $5.1 billion budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year, which begins on July 1. The 2016 fiscal year budget proposal is the last of Mayor Parker’s administration. On this edition of Houston Matters, we talk about where the majority of funds are going, how this could shape […]


Last week, Houston Mayor Annise Parker unveiled a $5.1 billion budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year, which begins on July 1. The 2016 fiscal year budget proposal is the last of Mayor Parker’s administration.

On this edition of Houston Matters, we talk about where the majority of funds are going, how this could shape a mayoral race whose candidates have mentioned city finances as a top priority, and where the city budget goes from here. We welcome your questions for Houston Chronicle City Hall reporter Mike Morris.

Also this hour: At 25-13, the Houston Astros sit atop Major League Baseball’s American League after sweeping a four-game series with the Blue Jays. It’s still hard for some fans to fathom, after several seasons of disappointing play. It’s also gone unnoticed for some Houston area sports fans, who understandably remain fixated on the Rockets’ great NBA playoff run (they came back from a 3-1 deficit in their second round series to defeat the L.A. Clippers). We ask Reid Ryan, President of the Astros, if it helps or hurts that the Rockets’ post-season success may be overshadowing the Astros’ red hot start.

Last week, we spoke with News 88.7 energy and environment reporter Dave Fehling about why it is some areas of Houston seem to experience spikes in ozone levels when other areas don’t. He noted there isn’t scientific consensus on the reason. But University of Houston researchers believe there’s a connection between ozone levels in Houston and climate change. Robert Talbot is a Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry at UH. He and his colleagues published a paper last week in the journal Atmosphere, which took 23 years of ground-level ozone data from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and compared it to meteorological data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. They found climate change – in the form of a stronger sea breeze resulting from warmer soil temperatures — contributed to a drop over time in high-ozone days in the Houston area.

We talk with Talbot about his report and clarify that we’re still experiencing a high number of high ozone days in Greater Houston, but that – at least according to the UH research – what improvements we have seen over the last 20-plus years may ironically have as much or more to do with climate change brought on by higher carbon emissions than any intentional efforts locally to reduce those emissions.

Plus: We welcome your pet care questions — and not just dogs and cats this time. Today, we welcome questions for both Dr. Lori Teller (who normally handles your canine and feline queries) and Dr. Melissa Creswell, who will take on any questions you have about any other kinds of pets — from gerbils and hamsters to birds, turtles, mice and snakes, or whatever other animal companion you care for. Teller and Creswell are both veterinarians from Meyerland Animal Clinic in Houston.

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