Full Show

Flood Response, Urbanization and Summer Reading: Tuesday’s Show (June 2, 2015)

It’s been a week since a dramatic and major storm over Houston dumped nearly a foot of rain in a matter of hours, leading to widespread flooding, several deaths, damage in the millions and at least temporary disruption in one form or another for most of Greater Houston. Now that we have a little bit […]

It’s been a week since a dramatic and major storm over Houston dumped nearly a foot of rain in a matter of hours, leading to widespread flooding, several deaths, damage in the millions and at least temporary disruption in one form or another for most of Greater Houston.

Now that we have a little bit of distance, we take the opportunity to reflect on how public officials and the media responded. On this edition of Houston Matters, we talk it over with Rice University Professor Phil Bedient, Francisco Sanchez from Harris County’s Office of Emergency Management, and Houston media blogger Mike McGuff.

Also this hour: Recently the Texas Transportation Commission decided to move ahead with plans to extend the Highway 249 toll road out to Grimes County. Some residents are unhappy, and argue the “Aggie Highway” will ruin their quality of life. This is a common theme for people who choose to live in rural or more remote areas on the edges of Greater Houston. Urban and suburban growth eventually encroaches, bringing change that’s not always embraced. Acres Homes, on the northwest side of Houston, has been dealing with this for years. Many residents there choose to maintain small gardens. They own chickens or other farm animals, and as such seek to maintain a more rural life in the shadow of a growing and bustling metropolis. We examine both Acres Homes and Grimes County as examples of communities trying to hang onto a rural identity in an increasingly urban metropolitan area. Then we talk with Michael Fortunato from the Center for Rural Studies, and Stacey Osborne from the Central East Texas Alliance, about efforts to address the effects of this growing urbanization on rural communities.

And: Once again this summer, Houston Matters will dedicate time each week to books about Greater Houston, set in Greater Houston or written or edited by Houstonians.  Our summer reading series starts today with Jeffrey Littlejohn, an associate professor of history and director of the graduate program at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville. He’s the co-editor of The Enemy Within Never Did Without – a book recalling the experience of German and Japanese POWs at Camp Huntsville during World War II.

Share