It’s your Thursday night edition of news and views:
- Parker loses fight to appoint union leader to port authority (Bradley Olson, Houston Chronicle)
The sense of entitlement from all parties was off-putting, but Mayor Parker’s clumsy, failed effort to reward a political constituency also drew some pointed criticism:
Mayor Pro Tem Anne Clutterbuck, who along with Councilman James Rodriguez led the way for Longoria’s reappointment, appeared to chide Parker for setting up a situation where one candidate would be publicly spurned.
“It is my sincere hope that … our nominations and appointments process will not proceed like this in the future and that we will return to the habit that has been in place the previous years that I’ve served on council, where we do not put our outstanding citizens who volunteer themselves for service to a losing side of the vote,” she said.
- Mayor appoints transgender attorney to judge post (Brian Rogers, Houston Chronicle)
A graduate of Texas A&M, Frye was an Eagle Scout and an Aggie cadet known as Phillip Frye.
She later graduated from law school and has practiced criminal defense law in Houston since 1986. She now heads a six-lawyer firm.
Brian Rogers wasn’t the first out of the gate with this story, but his *ahem* seamless gender transition from one graf to another merits praise. As for the substance of the story, let’s hope the person is a good judge, and that this isn’t merely another instance of mayor Parker rewarding a political constituency.
- Red Light Camera Fallout: HPD Will Take Cops From Neighborhood Patrol For Traffic Duty (Hair Balls)
Instead of snide comments about the motivations of voters and threats to cut neighborhood patrols, perhaps Mayor Parker’s police chief could show some creativity in dealing with his budget (like Mayor Parker’s fire chief, see below).
- Reorganization part of HFD’s $13 million cost-cutting plan (James Pinkerton and Brad Olson, Houston Chronicle)
That’s some leadership from the HFD chief. Hidden away in the story is that fact that Mayor Parker and her Council raised ambulance fees from $415 to $1000, though!
- City spends $360,000 on sculpture despite budget problems (Gabe Gutierrez, KHOU-11 News)
An outrageous fee increase for ambulance transport and big cuts at HPD and HFD, but the arts special interests keep their trinkets? Talk about misplaced priorities.
- Police: Classmate Confesses To Killing Teen, Burning Body (KPRC-2 News)
Apparently, he also skipped the big Bullying Summit that few attended.
- Winning the Gold in Transparency (Write on METRO)
The NEW METRO has just earned the Gold award in the Texas Comptroller Leadership Circle program, launched by the Comptroller of Public Accounts.
The program, started a year ago, spotlights local government agencies that are open and accountable to the public.
Since METRO has a long history of NOT being either of those things, we should thank METRO’s expensive blogger for highlighting a useless state program that ought to be eliminated when the Texas legislature convenes and starts trying to deal with budget shortfalls.
- Budget woes force UH to weigh businesslike model (Jeannie Kever, Houston Chronicle)
“Businesslike” and academia are terms that don’t go together, unless you’re a reporter trying to keep sources happy (because happy sources toss exclusives your way for not reporting news in a timely manner, after all).
- Houston cops write fewer tickets as city officials crack down on overtime, court no-shows (Jennifer Peebles, Texas Watchdog)
- Why You Have To Appear In Traffic Court, But Officers Don't (Amy Davis, KPRC-2 News)
- Travelers at IAH OK with New Scanners (Bill Stamps, KUHF-88.7 News)
This traveler isn’t. Neither is the one linked directly below.
- Changing Airport Security on our Own (The Loop Scoop)
- Give up Medicaid? Not easily (Lisa Falkenberg, Houston Chronicle)
The teen perspective returns to the Chronicle after a hiatus. Did any teens miss her?