Weekend brunch for 31 January 2021

News and views from around the web

Protestors at the site of the Harding Street Massacre / Image credit: WeThePeopleOrganize.com

[WB1] Last Monday, Harris County DA Kim Ogg announced that six more current or former HPD officers had been indicted for their parts in HPD’s 2019 Harding Street Massacre of Dennis Tuttle and Regina Nicholas, with one (Felipe Gallegos, a current narcotics officer) being indicted for murder. Rusty Hardin, who will represent Gallegos, says Ogg has it all wrong, and that Gallegos is actually a hero. Meanwhile, the families of the victims have sued the City of Houston and HPD. The criminal proceedings will undoubtedly be difficult to prove, but we continue to think the City of Houston is going to owe the families a good chunk of change after the civil proceedings conclude. HPD Chief Art Acevedo continues to stand by his department (and its lack of transparency on this matter).

[WB2] A Harris County deputy was shot this week; the person accused of shooting him was out of jail on multiple felony bonds. And a person accused of raping and beating a sixteen-year-old last week was out on bond in three other cases. These are just the latest examples of the Harris County criminal justice reform program that has been foisted upon residents by Rodney Ellis, Lina Hidalgo, Adrian Garcia, and a slate of Democrat (or in some cases avowed socialist) judges. Be sure to follow Andy Kahan of Crime Stoppers of Houston for the ongoing count of all the violent crime resulting from these unwise policies.

[WB3] A Houston Chronicle editorial writer penned yet another (embarrassing) love letter to Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo this weekend. This has become an ongoing series for the left-leaning Texas political media (and admirers), who envision BIG THINGS for their latest crush. We’ve noted before that nobody does uncritical glowing profiles quite like the Houston Chronicle, but this one ranks way up there among the “greatest” examples, even more notable in that it completely ignores Harris County’s crime pandemic related to its bond reform efforts (noted directly above). It seems that our thin-skinned mayor (and staffers) did not like the Hidalgo hagiography one bit, which provided some additional entertainment. It’s also worth noting the mayor had a busy week himself!

[WB4] The Houston Chronicle misreported this week that the Biden administration is betting “on cutting fossil fuels while protecting jobs.” That’s a bizarre assertion from the newspaper of record in the energy capital of the world, though not that surprising given its track record. For whatever reason, the newspaper also continues to allow its Austin-based business columnist to blast Houston’s key industry (oil and gas) without disclosing in print that his wife is a renewable energy executive and evangelist. Not wanting to be left out (apparently), the Chron’s former business columnist appeared in Texas Monthly, wondering if Biden “could really be worse for the oil patch than Trump.” (Our answer, but not his: Yes, of course!). It’s really bizarre how much Big Texas Media seem to hate the state’s key industry.

[WB5] The same editorial page that fawns over Lina Hidalgo had to make space for a “lifelong Republican” who wants people to know he’s leaving his party because he hates Trump and values one issue (immigration) over all the others he supposedly valued over his whole life. Okay then.

[WB6] The City of Houston has indefinitely suspended Houston firefighter union chief Marty Lancton, escalating the city’s ongoing battle with the Houston Fire Department over a host of issues. The move is likely to result in further litigation between the city and its firefighters.

[WB7] The City of Houston and the General Land Office have reached agreement on control of Houston Harvey funds after months of feuding. The state will oversee the city’s largest recovery program (dealing with single-family homes) and the city’s housing department will administer other programs. As Bob Rehak notes, the GLO has helped rebuild 2,961 homes while Houston’s has helped rebuild just 119.

[WB8] Chaotic street takeovers continue in Houston. HPD Chief Art Acevedo seems to think someone really ought to do something about this ongoing problem (PSST, chief – that’s you!), even as organizers all but mock HPD’s inability to stop them.

[WB9] Harris County will spend $54 million to upgrade its aging voting machines. The new machines will generate a backup paper trail, which is a significant improvement.

[WB10] The new Harris County attorney has dropped his predecessor’s approach to prostitution and street trafficking on Bissonnet. Strangely, neither Mayor Turner nor Chief Acevedo (both of whom supported the approach when it was announced) had much of substance to say about the change.

[WB11]  This example of the Chron Fawning Profile genre pales in comparison to the Hidalgo hagiography of WB3, but it does illustrate just how deeply this need to curry favor with “favorites” seems to run at the newspaper. In fairness, though, who really wants to dwell on the fact that the Texans hired an aged coach who’s never been a head coach or coordinator at any level to oversee the field component of their dumpster fire of an organization. At least the Cougars and Rockets (post-Harden) are doing their part to keep Houston hoops interesting.

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