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Houston Matters

Lessons from the lunar lander (March 1, 2024)

Posted on · On Friday's show: As the Houston-built Odysseus lunar lander goes dark, we reflect on what went right, what went wrong, and what it means for future space missions. Then, we break down The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of the week. And we talk about the phenomenon of translating popular movies into musicals.

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Harris County Jail continues to fail inspections (Feb. 29, 2024)

Posted on · On Thursday's show: We learn why the Harris County Jail has failed a safety inspection for the fifth time. And we find out why laws passed requiring kids to get more physical education at school haven't worked.

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How Spring Branch ISD is handling its financial woes (Feb. 27, 2024)

Posted on · On Tuesday's show: Duncan Klussmann, the former superintendent of Spring Branch ISD, explains the problems he has with how that school district is handling its current financial issues. Then, we revisit the case of Texas death row inmate Ivan Cantu, who is scheduled to be executed this week. And we visit a new art installation at the Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern inspired by the classic children’s story The Velveteen Rabbit.

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History of the trail rides (Feb. 26, 2024)

Posted on · On Monday's show: We get an update on the Houston Avenue street project saga. And, with the rodeo getting under way, we talk about the history of the trail rides that lead up to each year’s event.

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Houston returns to the moon (Feb. 23, 2024)

Posted on · On Friday's show: An unmanned spacecraft built by a Houston company has landed on the moon, making it the first commercial landing on the lunar surface and the first American spacecraft to make a soft landing there since the Apollo program ended. We learn about the landing, what the Odysseus lander will do during its mission, and what this development means for future space missions.

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Spring Branch ISD cutting all librarians (Feb. 22, 2024)

Posted on · On Thursday's show: Spring Branch ISD will no longer employee librarians beginning next school year. We learn about the budget constraints behind the move and how the district plans to keep libraries running at its campuses. Then, author and anti-racism activist Ibram X. Kendi talks about why his books are often banned in school libraries and about his latest work.

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A perceived ‘war on police’ (Feb. 20, 2024)

Posted on · On Tuesday's show: Early voting begins for the March primary election, and we preview what's on the ballot. Then, we discover what a sociologist learned from spending more than a thousand hours riding with police officers around the country. And we reflect on the film "Reality Bites" 30 years after its premiere and discuss what it had to say about Gen X -- and about Houston, the city where it was filmed.

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Ranking American presidents (Feb. 19, 2024)

Posted on · On Monday's show: Today is Presidents' Day. Who were the best presidents in our nation's history? Who were the worst? We learn about the latest ranking of presidents by the Presidential Greatness Project. Then, we learn how a group of Black soldiers known as "the Blue Helmets" made history in World War II and moved forward the cause of African Americans in the military. And we get an update on Houston sports.

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What’s changed since the 2021 freeze (Feb. 16, 2024)

Posted on · On Friday's show: We learn about some recent developments in education, including some concerns about the way the written portion of some STAAR tests will be graded and news about declining student enrollment at HISD. Then, three years after a deadly winter storm knocked out power across Texas, what has changed -- and what hasn't? And we break down The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of the week.

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Candidate Interview: Sean Teare (Feb. 15, 2024)

Posted on · On Thursday's show: Sean Teare, who’s running for Harris County District Attorney, joins us for a candidate interview. Then, we discuss what happens when the public's right to know bumps up against an individual's right to privacy. And we learn how a simple test involving Black children and a pair of dolls helped end school segregation.

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Overreacting to extreme weather (Feb. 13, 2024)

Posted on · On Tuesday's show: Has everything Houstonians have been through in the past decade conditioned us to overreact to potential severe weather events? Plus, Congressional candidate Amanda Edwards sits down for a candidate interview. And we talk about the challenges of trying to live in Houston without a car.

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Candidate Interview: Kim Ogg (Feb. 12, 2024)

Posted on · On Monday's show: Ahead of next month’s primary election, we talk with Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg, who’s facing a re-election primary challenge. Then, as the PBS series Gospel airs this week, we talk about some influential Houston artists who've contributed to the genre. And Meg Tapp of The Garden Club of Houston answers listener questions.

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