[WB1] The area newspaper of record noted Houston’s COVID positivity rate dropped to 5% this week – an announced goal of the Turner administration – but no matter, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo is not budging on her backwards gage red alert thingie.
Of course, if activity around town this weekend is any indicator, Houstonians have largely tuned out local leaders who have squandered their credibility. Here are a few additional COVID-related observations/links from the past week:
- Many bars (that didn’t bribe TABC to become a “restaurant” *wink* or otherwise remained closed) outside of Harris County reopened this week.
- Fort Bend County’s Dear Leader “allowed” his county’s bars, brewpubs, and wineries to reopen.
- In line with the Texas Lock Step Political Media narrative that All Things Lina Hidalgo Are Wondrous, a Chronicle columnist asserts she’s “right” to keep Harris County bars shut (citing not one credible metric in support of Harris County’s Red Alert/Uncontrolled Spread gage in her roughly 900 words).
- A local TV reporter who has been highly critical of bars being open nevertheless seems to have had herself a very nice birthday dinner with friends (because the virus apparently only spreads at 51% bars and not at restaurants where you have drinks/dinner with friends).
- AIER notes that the Lockdowns Forever crowd tends to “speak with privilege, and contempt for the poor and working class”.
- The Economist notes that the pandemic is plunging millions back into extreme poverty.
[WB2] HFD arson investigator Lemuel Bruce was shot and killed by a suspected arsonist that he and colleagues had been surveilling. The suspected arsonist was also killed. The team had arrested another suspected serial arsonist the week before.
[WB3] Postal authorities are removing mailboxes in Houston as a result of criminal activity (sorry, not voter suppression). Said criminal activity also has included holdups of postal service mail carriers on their routes to obtain their master mail keys.
[WB4] Unsurprisingly, Third Ward residents want more HPD patrols after a wave of crimes in their neighborhood. Defund the Police activists will be so disappointed.
[WB5] The Washington Post takes a closer look at Houston’s Cuney Homes, and broader segregation issues across the city.
[WB6] Some journos seem ready to anoint Harris County interim elections administrator Chris Hollins to whatever future political office he wants (though it’s an open question why he would want to subject himself to any such thing) as Harris County manages a surge in early voting (with an expanded budget of tens of millions of dollars), as predicted by one observer of the Texas political media here. So far, things seem to be going well, but we’ll see how actual counting goes in November (though Stanart and Trautman set such a low bar that it’s likely to be an improvement whatever happens).
[WB7] The Houston Chronicle observes that our oil and gas industry “is not out of the woods yet” (leaving us to wonder why anyone at the area newspaper of record in the energy capital of the world thought it was). Many challenges loom for Houston’s most important industry (historically), which may well delay the city’s listing on some “world class” rankings.
[WB8] The city WILL become the home of the largest academic psychiatric hospital in the country.
[WB9] The Harris County GOP remains a dumpster fire (in case anyone was wondering).
[WB10] The Astros came up just short in their highly improbable, desperately shorthanded effort to win the ALCS after falling behind three games to none, losing Game 7. It was a remarkable playoff run, and perhaps the last for a core group of players who have made sports history here. Thanks guys!
Note: We’ll probably be discontinuing these Weekend Brunch postings until after the election, which is likely to dominate the news in the next few weeks.