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BP Spill and Small Businesses: Thursday’s Show (May 5, 2016)

It’s been six years since the Deepwater Horizon explosion and subsequent spill, which devastated several state coastlines along the Gulf of Mexico. Last month, a federal judge approved a more than $20 billion settlement between BP and plaintiffs, including the federal government, Texas, four other Gulf Coast states and hundreds of local municipalities. That settlement includes […]

It’s been six years since the Deepwater Horizon explosion and subsequent spill, which devastated several state coastlines along the Gulf of Mexico. Last month, a federal judge approved a more than $20 billion settlement between BP and plaintiffs, including the federal government, Texas, four other Gulf Coast states and hundreds of local municipalities. That settlement includes dedicating more than $8 billion toward gulf restoration projects (a billion of it has already been paid out) among other payments.

But what about the little guys — the small business owners, fishermen and shrimpers whose livelihoods were damaged by the spill? Attorney Charles Herd practices maritime law and represents hundreds of these folks, whose fate is still pending. He says the Deepwater Horizon disaster and case against BP is probably the most complex litigation ever seen in U.S. history. And as he tells us on this edition of Houston Matters, while the broad brushes of that massive settlement are known, the true end to this case is nowhere in sight.

Also this hour…

Galveston Beach Preservation and Development

When the Friends of Galveston Beaches proposed using $9.5 million to preserve a beach, an old community argument erupted again over new development versus open spaces. We learn more from Galveston County Daily News reporter John Wayne Ferguson.

Inside the Classroom

As historic flooding this spring devastated Greater Houston homes and neighborhoods, it also closed some schools for as much as a week. Those campuses have started to return to normal operation, but the floodwaters brought some unexpected challenges, as we learn in a conversation between a principal and a student in News 88.7 FM education reporter Laura Isensee’s ongoing series, Inside the Classroom.

Inside the Houston 311 Call Center

When Mayor Sylvester Turner took office in January, one of his top priorities was pothole repairs. He launched an initiative to focus on it. As many Houstonians know, 311 is the number Mayor Turner and other city officials say to call to report a pothole. But the helpline is about more than that, as Maggie Martin learns while visiting 311’s hub.

Murals on Houston Buildings

Artist Suzanne Sellers never let the size and scope of her imagination limit her – or her art. She brings her ideas to life through large-scale murals, which can be seen on various buildings around town. Sellers describes what makes her work unique.

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

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