News roundup, 07/07/2010 edition

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HERE’S A QUICK ROUNDUP of news tidbits that caught my eye after the too-short vacation.

  • Councilmember Jarvis Johnson told police he didn’t pull over immediately a few nights ago when he was arrested because he was doing something more important, prosecutors contend. Johnson’s attorney denied that he said any such thing, according to the Chronicle report.
  • Hans’ Bier Haus keeps its alcohol license despite the best efforts of neighboring condo residents (who knowingly moved in beside the bar). The rotting meat apparently will stay as well. Adults acting like five-year-olds are entertaining!
  • Cory Crow rightly assesses the huge humor potential in Wal-Mart’s preliminary efforts to build a store in The Heights.
  • One guy who wants to tell Houstonians how to live got together with some other folks who want to tell Houstonians how to live. It was once easy to giggle at such “smart-growth” busybodies in pro-development, get-it-done, business-friendly Houston, but sometimes coordinated busybodies manage to move their agenda during the giggling. Anybody heard from Houstonians for Responsible Growth lately? Bill King? Anybody?
  • Houston’s Bicyclist Bob Stein, expert in everything, offers his expertise to San Antonio’s KENS-5. We can’t help but wonder if he was able get through that long quote without a breath!
  • When your newspaper lays off so many veteran reporters and editors, the remaining staffers (interns?) sometimes produce truly dreadful writing (even as one of the least useful senior journalists at the Chronicle prattles on about good writing).
  • Unca Darrell dissects Chron editorialist/columnist Lisa Gray’s discovery of the Ixtoc spill. We gave it a brief treatment here.
  • The Chronicle‘s resident Chron Eye for the Death Row Killer Guy lead author blazes new territory with this dreck. Is there any conceivable constituency that would read this and then pay the newspaper money for a subscription? Seriously, does this sort of story appeal to anyone who might buy the newspaper? Does it appeal to anyone besides the editor’s activist wife, even? You’d think as circulation continues to plummet that somebody at 801 Texas Avenue might give questions like that some thought, and redeploy resources (like the Chron Eye writer, the Urban Affairs/METRO PR mouthpiece, and the entire editorial board) to useful beats. Instead, the geniuses think banning links to this blog is somehow the answer!
  • Harris County Commissioner Steve Radack continues to defend his $2 million soap-box-derby-hill boondoggle.
  • We’ve sometimes given Tim Heller grief for getting a little hyper in the past, but there’s no better source for weather info in Houston right now. He blogs, he tweets, he writes well, and unlike some faith-based global-warming enthusiasts who talk weather/climate, he has that nice little AMS seal backing his commentary. Be sure to check Heller as weather approaches — he’s everywhere!
  • The University of Houston has a new baseball coach, and it looks like a smart hire. Years ago, when the baseball Coogs were good and I had season tickets, Whitting was an assistant. The program has steadily declined from regularly ranked to mediocre since his departure. Here’s hoping he can get it turned around, just like he helped TCU turn it around.

What did we miss?

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Kevin Whited is co-founder and publisher of blogHOUSTON. Follow him on twitter: @PubliusTX