Weekend brunch for 17 March 2019

News and views from around the web

Image credit: leyla_arsan - flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

[WB1] There is still no final report on the the Houston Police Department’s fatal botched raid at 7815 Harding St., but police chief Art Acevedo found time to play on twitter this week.

[WB2] A local activist group discovered that a convicted, registered child sex offender has been a participant in the Houston Public Library’s “Drag Queen Storytime” (which the Turner administration has defended as a library prerogative). It is not clear why the Houston Public Library does not vet participants in its programs more carefully. Or apparently at all.

[WB3] Houston water bills are likely to ramp up considerably over the next 15 years under terms of a deal the Turner administration has reportedly reached with the EPA to address longstanding problems with the city’s sewer system. While these problems have accumulated over the years, the issue does raise questions about the priorities of past administrations, why Houston seems to be falling apart in so many areas, and where all the money (that was obviously not devoted to basic public services) has gone.

[WB4] Despite a strong bid (backed by your tax dollars), the City of Houston lost out to Milwaukee in its bid to attract the 2020 Democratic National Convention. Mayor Sylvester Turner’s ongoing battle with Houston firefighters over pay parity might have played a role in the decision, but it’s more likely that elites within the Democratic National Committee viewed an investment in formerly blue Wisconsin as a much smarter political bet.

[WB5] KTRK-13’s Ted Oberg looked into recent public comments by the Turner administration on its Proposition B negotiations, and found them wanting on detail. Interestingly, the Turner administration refused an interview request from Oberg. The local newspaper thinks this might just be a campaign issue.

[WB6] Meanwhile, mayoral candidate Bill King urges greater scrutiny of some $400 million in contracts signed off on by the Turner administration without Council approval.

[WB7] The City of Houston and the Texas General Land Office agreed to simplify a bureaucratic procedure that should speed up reimbursement for homeowners trying to take advantage of a Hurricane Harvey assistance program. Harvey hit Houston in August 2017.

[WB8] Houston’s efforts to address human trafficking have drawn interest from officials from around the country.

[WB9] HISD announced plans to commission research and boost advertising in an effort to stem declining enrollment. It’s not really a mystery why parents would try to move their kids from HISD to better schools, but fixing the underlying problems will be more complicated than simply boosting the advertising budget.

[WB10] A Harris County lobbyist actually admitted that tax dollars fund him to lobby against taxpayer interests.

[WB11] The Cliché Density of this tweet from a city councilmember has to be among the highest ever recorded.

[WB12] The Rice women’s basketball team culminated their undefeated regular season in Conference USA play by winning the conference tournament and a trip to the NCAA Tournament. The Houston Cougars men’s team will face Cincinnati in the finals of their conference tournament Sunday afternoon, although the Cougars will earn a bid to the men’s NCAA Tournament regardless of the outcome.

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About Kevin Whited 4306 Articles
Kevin Whited is co-founder and publisher of blogHOUSTON. Follow him on twitter: @PubliusTX