Welcome to a special Monday supplement to the usual Weekend Brunch news review (as we wanted to devote the prior WB edition to just one topic).
[ME1] Congratulations to the Houston Astros, the best-run sports franchise in town (and among the best-run period), for concluding their regular season on Sunday with a team-record number of wins, home field throughout the MLB playoffs, numerous players in postseason award contention, and several nifty records (like the only team to lead the majors in most pitching strikeouts AND least hitting strikeouts).
Here’s hoping they bring that World Series hardware back to H-Town!
[ME2] Urban Reform posts former counilmember Louis Macey’s testimony against the looming Harris County property tax increase, and links to a new site by HRBC opposing the gambit by the three Democrats who control Harris County government.
[ME3] A KHOU/Houston Public Media poll shows Mayor Sylvester Turner in dangerous territory for an incumbent, although closest challengers Tony Buzbee and Bill King trail him by a fair amount. As noted by Matt Lanza, flooding remains the #1 issue on voters’ minds (per this poll). Recall that the less rigorous annual sociological survey compiled by Steven Klineburg gave the impression earlier this year that flooding had greatly diminished as a political issue in Houston (which is just not borne out by actual rigorous, analytically sound political polling).
[ME4] Speaking of flooding, Bob Rehak continues to make a strong case that ongoing development by Perry Homes (and our area’s lax regulatory/development culture on flood control) is effectively flooding entire areas of Kingwood that never flooded before (here, here, and here).
And mayoral candidate Bill King notes an example of needed flood projects in Spring Branch being jeopardized by the usual Houston Way political shenanigans.
[ME5] Houston’s poverty rate increased in 2018, and income growth stagnated in the area, according to new Census Bureau data.
[ME6] The Houston Chronicle published an interesting deep dive into Houston’s historic but evolving Independence Heights neighborhood. The story notes the threat posed by the proposed I-45 expansion, which could take any number of properties through eminent domain and further change the character of the neighborhood. Interestingly, the newspaper does not usually seem as interested in deep dives into the impact that various METRO proposals (such as the METRO Next Gessner BRT project, to cite one example) might have on area property owners.
[ME7] Last week, the group Responsible Houston announced its opposition to the METRO Next bond referendum, citing various issues with the proposal (additional coverage: Houston Chronicle, KPRC-2 News).
Wayne Dolcefino also released a video opposing METRO Next.
Earlier blogHOUSTON commentary: First Words on the 2019 METRO Next referendum, METRO Next: Why the building of rail lines and transit guide ways to connect activity centers theory is bunk, METRO/Uptown Post Oak BRT boondoggle suffers yet another setback.
[ME8 ] In case you missed it: Houston’s 311 system (and employees) should be better than this!
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