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No Historical Racing: Friday’s Show (March 4, 2016)

Back in September (Sept. 11, 2015), we discussed the concept of “historical racing.” It’s a practice at Texas racetracks where old horse races are replayed on a screen with no identifying traits that would allow you to recognize the race, the horse or the outcome. It allows players to bet on a simulation of a […]

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Back in September (Sept. 11, 2015), we discussed the concept of "historical racing." It's a practice at Texas racetracks where old horse races are replayed on a screen with no identifying traits that would allow you to recognize the race, the horse or the outcome. It allows players to bet on a simulation of a real race from the past. Last year, state lawmakers threatened to defund the Texas Racing Commission if it continued to allow historical racing. So last month, the commission voted to end the practice, a move racetracks say will cripple them financially.

On this edition of Houston Matters, Edel Howlin talks with Ross Ramsey, executive editor at the Texas Tribune, about the racing commission’s decision and its repercussions.

MORE: Horse Racing is Back in Texas After a Brief Shutdown — But for How Long? (Houston Matters, Sept. 11, 2015)

Apartments for Homeless Vets

Also this hour: You may recall some city initiatives aimed at addressing Houston’s homelessness. In 2014, a goal was announced to end chronic homelessness for non-veterans by this year. And at the end of last year, the city declared homelessness among its veteran population “effectively over.” (Except, no, not exactly). That announcement — and the requisite pomp and circumstance that came with it — may have overshadowed the overall efforts to address chronic homelessness, which Paige Phelps explores as she visits a Midtown housing project.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Then: A lot can happen in a week. Some of it good, some of it bad, some of it downright ugly. When faced with intriguing developments in the week’s news, we turn to a rotating panel of “non-experts” to parse The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of it all. Today, we ask political and legal bloggers Charles Kuffner, Mary Flood, and Tamara Tabo about a couple of this week’s primary election results, and the saga surrounding the closing of Houston’s 59 Diner chain. (This afternoon, we’ll also post an additional discussion among the panelists about the U.S. Supreme Court hearing oral arguments in a Texas case involving requirements for clinics that provide abortions).

Texas Dance Halls

Plus: From the time of the great German migration to Central Texas, there have been dance halls. These were places for club activities like shooting or singing or gymnastics, and — of course — as time went by, two-stepping. But with the auction of all the belongings — and even the building — of the oldest dance hall in Texas (the Tin Hall in Cypress) — we were once again reminded these special spots are disappearing. Paige Phelps explores the nostalgia, mystique, and music of the Texas dance hall.

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 weekdays at 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. 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...

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