Well hello again, Houston. We’re back.

Image credit: Pixabay

Judging by the amount of media coverage in the three weeks we’ve been on hiatus, apparently the only significant news we missed was the corpse flower.

In all seriousness, why do Houston news organizations do some of the things they do?

Here are some quick thoughts to catch up on the news while we were away:

  • The “new” METRO decided to kill that stinky Houston Way real-estate deal that Michael Reed reported on a while back. While a blogHOUSTON editorial urged METRO to kill it a month ago, neither the editorial board at America’s Worst Big-City Daily nor Houston’s Sexiest Blogger* had anything timely to say about it that we could find. Hey, if it’s not in the New York Times or easily blockquoted at copyright-abusing lengths, we don’t expect much original work from either of those sources. Kudos to Michael Reed for his watchdog journalism!
  • The Chronicle‘s Bradley Olson quaintly describes Council’s latest efforts to rework jitney rules in order “to encourage the growth of jitney services in downtown and other major thoroughfares….” Of course, Yellow Cab has long opposed true jitney service in Houston, and as we’ve noted previously, what Yellow Cab wants, Yellow Cab usually buys from our local pols. BH favs Matt Bramanti and Alison Cook provided succinct perspectives that mysteriously eluded the Chron‘s experienced City Hall beat reporter; we’re happy to link to them.
  • Wal-Mart is coming to The Heights (not really The Heights proper, but hey, who wants to dissuade these folks from entertaining us). Here’s hoping all the nice Heights residents put out gawd-awful ugly signs like the anti-Ashby high-rise folks.
  • HPD’s new chief tries to live up down to the reputations of the last few buffoons who held the job by ordering that officers will not show up for court subpoenas before 1:00 pm. It’s hard to know what to say. Perhaps our commenters can help out.
  • America’s worst big-city daily basically rewrote** a Texas Watchdog story that appeared a week earlier and posted it as “news.” With no attribution, and no development of the story. As friend Cory Crow has said, the area newspaper of record isn’t even trying any more. Pathetic.
  • The FTA gave METRO a green light on one of the last remaining technical roadblocks for the Westpark/Richmond/University line, but one little problem stands in the way of METRO actually starting land acquisition: They’re broke. Bill King elaborates on other problems that will be familiar to readers of this blog.
  • The whimsical linkblog that Dwight Silverman used to maintain on the Chron.com editorial page has disappeared without explanation. *poof* Silverman’s probably too busy these days playing on Twitter and apologizing for Apple’s latest shortcomings. That’s okay, though. We like linking to good local stuff, and (frankly) are better at it (at least when we’re not on hiatus).

Finally, a quick thanks to those of you who shot me a note or email or text message over the last few weeks. Your kindness was comforting and much appreciated.

* Hat tip to Slampo.

** CLARIFICATION (08/11/2010): We are not accusing the Chronicle of LITERALLY rewriting a Texas Watchdog story. Obviously, the Chronicle wrote a very similar story using similar data. A week later. With no further development of the story or reference to the organization that actually did wind up breaking the story. The following email excerpt from the Chronicle today prompted this clarification, lest any other LITERAL readers be misled by our commentary:

The Chronicle’s latest story about the E-rate scandal in HISD was based off a public document…. Our story was all original reporting.

We are happy to provide this clarification for any readers who may have read our tongue-in-cheek characterization 100% literally, and apologize for any misunderstanding.


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Kevin Whited
About Kevin Whited 4244 Articles
Kevin Whited is co-founder and publisher of blogHOUSTON. Follow him on twitter: @PubliusTX