Weekend brunch for 14 April 2019

News and views from around the web

Image credit: Brando - flickr (CC BY 2.0)

[WB1] On the Houston Chronicle’s Behind the Walls podcast this week, reporters Keri Blakinger and St. John Barned-Smith visit with Mike Doyle, an attorney for the family of one of the people killed by HPD in the 7815 Harding St. Massacre. Several new facts emerge, such as: The Texas Rangers are apparently involved in the investigation; it’s unclear that HPD secured the area to conduct a proper crime scene investigation after the raid; and it’s proving very difficult for the families to get needed information/action (BH note: Or the public, for that matter!). This podcast is well worth listening to and following.

In related news, KPRC-2 reported that several search warrants looking into the phone activity of possibly dirty HPD officers Gerald Goines and Steven Bryant were unsealed on Wednesday. HPD Chief Art Acevedo told the station that he expects HPD’s investigation into the raid to be completed by mid-to-late April.

[WB2] At the start of the week, talk radio host Michael Berry visited with Councilmember Dwight Boykins about the Turner administration’s Proposition B difficulties (and a potential mayoral run by Boykins). Mid-week, KRIV-26’s Greg Groogan reported that the administration’s related “hiring freeze” was more hype than substance. By the end of the week, the administration and firefighters had made some apparent progress on a phase-in of the pay raises, although the city still issued municipal employee layoff notices at the close of business Friday.

[WB3] What’s happening with the Ed Emmett Memorial Astrodome parking structure? Not all that much, according to Houstonia.

[WB4] The Chronicle ran an important story by Mike Morris last week that takes a closer look at two flood-control projects (along Warwana Road and along the Southwest Freeway) that have generated controversy. Affected citizens have criticized the lack of transparency and heavy-handed approach of the various governmental entities involved, while government officials note the need to tackle drainage fixes that have been neglected over time.

[WB5] A former staffer to US Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (and other Democrats) pleaded guilty this week to federal offenses related to “doxxing” five Republican senators during the Kavanaugh hearings.

[WB6] Harris County’s extra speedy appointment of a replacement judge for the newly elected Democrat who accidentally quit has drawn criticism for partisanship and lack of transparency, according to the Chronicle. Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo had previously promised her administration will be highly transparent.

[WB7] Don Hooper writes that former Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson’s personal dismissal of Tony Buzbee’s DWI case raises many questions about Buzbee’s judgment and anti-corruption bona fides.

[WB8] The Federalist published some interesting research this week showing that several publications have won Pulitzers while their editors and publishers sat on the Pulitzer Prize board. Although the research did not reference the Houston Chronicle, it’s worth noting that the newspaper’s lone Pulitzer came in 2015, when Chronicle Viewpoints editor Jim Newkirk chaired the jury. Newkirk was also part of the jury the year before, when the same Chronicle columnist was nominated as a finalist.

[WB9] Don’t miss Neal Meyer’s comments on the proposed Chevron/Anadarko deal, and what it might mean for Houston’s most important industry.

[WB10] It’s NBA playoff time. Go Rockets!

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