Weekend brunch for 7 July 2019

News and views from around the web

Councilmember Mike Knox and firefighters from Piney Point join the annual Tanglewilde Independence Day Parade (Image credit: Michelle Smith)

[WB1] Hurricane Harvey recovery will again consume a solid chunk of Houston’s capital improvement spending under the plan proposed by Mayor Sylvester Turner, the Houston Chronicle reports. Council will vote on the $3.2 billion plan on 10 July.

[WB2] District F councilmember Steve Le, a physician who practices in Cleveland and seems to have closer ties to Kingwood than District F, announced that he will not be running for re-election. Le had come under deserved fire for the work habits and seemingly fraudulent recording of working time of former chief of staff Daniel Albert, the highest paid staffer on City Council at one point. From this District F resident: Good Riddance.

My neighborhood was happy, however, to welcome at-large Councilmember Mike Knox to its parade this year (see picture above), in appreciation for the help we’ve received from his office.

[WB3] Former fiscal conservative Ed Emmett was given the opportunity to knock down a straw man in a poorly edited (or ghostwritten) article for the Chronicle this week. Emmett contends that Texas politicians haven’t “fixed” property taxes. But who ever really believed they had? Certainly not grassroots conservatives, who gradually lost faith in Emmett and so many other establishment politicians on fiscal issues.

Obviously, Emmett doesn’t like various revenue limitations on government, and that’s fine – but what other checks do taxpayers have on politicians who constantly want to spend more money? Emmett’s disregard of that part of the equation (along with the bizarre Dome obsession) probably lost him enough conservative votes last time to make a difference.

[WB4] Connor Harris writes for Urban Reform that a proposal to extend METRO light rail to Hobby Airport would be a terrible investment.

[WB5] The Houston Press, which apparently hasn’t fully shuttered, decided to play cheerleader for METRO a while back and got this bit wrong:

It’s no surprise considering METROrail ridership is extremely high and interest in more dedicated rail and bus routes is growing.…

Actually, it’s quite a surprise in that it’s not true! Other than the low-hanging fruit of the Main Street line, where density has provided decent ridership for a line that effectively replaced multiple bus routes and trolleys that had been busy before, METRO’s rail ridership has been dismal. Neal Meyer provided a summary review of those ridership figures on Monday.

[WB6] Another violent criminal out on bond (for a shooting no less) was arrested on July 4 for shooting and killing a man the previous weekend in a road-rage incident. What will bond be this time?

[WB7] One of the men charged in the shooting death of 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes last December, Eric Black Jr., is now out on bond, after lawyers got the figure reduced from $500,000 to $150,000.

[WB8] The Houston Chronicle published a seemingly infatuated fan-journalist and self-admitted stalker/peeper of the Beto O’Rourke for some reason this week. The lede:

ON A WINDY WINTER SUNDAY, I watched Beto O’Rourke through his window.

Creepy. Said fan-journalist is certain (or at least hopeful) that Beto (oh Beto!) “will rise again.”

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About Kevin Whited 4186 Articles
Kevin Whited is co-founder and publisher of blogHOUSTON. Follow him on twitter: @PubliusTX