Weekend brunch for 13 January 2019

News and views from around the web

Image Credit: Jon Seidman, Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

[WB1] The newly elected Harris County officials took office this week. Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo presided over a marathon session of commissioners court (which a Chron reporter who needs better editing nastily noted was the first she had ever attended; apparently he regards this as some sort of scoop). More concerning is the fact that she’s running with Adrian Garcia’s payback to his SEIU friends (a minimum wage for county employees of $15/hour). Also, Equity (code for patronage?) appears to be her new cause.

[WB2] Some important work did get done in the first week for the new county officials: The new misdemeanor judges dropped their appeal in a lawsuit over bail policy and practices.

[WB3] Bill King notes that Sylvester Turner’s administration continues to use less asphalt (many tons less!) to repair fewer potholes and continues to reconstruct fewer lane miles of road. It’s all in the latest CAFR. Priorities and elections matter.

[WB4] Ted Oberg reports on the proliferation of illegal tire dumping across the Houston area, predominantly in poorer neighborhoods. Maybe this neglect will draw (momentary) attention as elections approach.

[WB5] Sylvester Turner’s administration is also having a lot of trouble sticking to its recycling schedule. KPRC-2 explains why.

[WB6] Cory Crow provides a timely update on the Houston Area Leadership Vacuum. He also notes that it’s time to cut down on the over-use of “iconic” and “beloved.”

[WB7] For some reason, the Chronicle ran a poorly edited op-ed suggesting we should look to Bob Lanier for guidance on addressing Houston’s current traffic issues. Maybe the newspaper can organize a séance?

[WB8] METRO (via KTRK-13): Avoid Houston Marathon traffic by taking METRO; Also METRO: Expect delays and service suspensions related to the marathon. Never change, METRO. Never change.

[WB9] Mark Bennett helps out the Chronicle editorial page editor with some basic facts.

[WB10] It’s interesting how one of the key architect’s of the City of Houston’s bad pension deal always seems focused on how to get taxpayers to fund unsustainable pension promises, rather than considering their sustainability (and the political circumstances that constantly produce these bad deals that obligate future taxpayers).

[WB11] Jim Bigham asks when Houston First is going to get some needed scrutiny.

[WB12] Why is State Rep. Gene Wu holding State Sen. Carol Alvarado’s arm that way? Weird.

[WB13] It’s really amazing that no subscription-based publication has called out Charles Kuffer’s serial copyright abuse after all these years (one linked example of many).

[WB14] Finally, the Houston Cougars’ rocking new Fertitta Center made quite an impression on a Memphis beat writer this week. Whose ball?

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