Weekend brunch for 2 May 2021

News and views from around the web

Image credit: Greek Easter Eggs - Ranya/Pixabay

[WB1] On Thursday, Mayor Sylvester Turner announced various police reforms, including bans on no-knock warrants for nonviolent offenses, measures aimed at greater transparency, and a new policy on releasing body camera footage (the follow-through on that one will be worth watching).

[WB2] City Council also approved a $1.25 million contract this week for the city to continue to litigate HPD’s Harding Street Massacre.

[WB3] Ted Oberg and Sarah Rafique ran a report on surging crime in Houston, visiting “the most crime-ridden block” in the city. In a followup, HPD Chief Troy Finner blamed a shortage of cops for the lack of proactive policing, conceding that the district commander of that crime-ridden area has just 12-16 officers available to patrol the 45-mile district (population approximately 155,000) at any given time.

[WB4] Houston police found nearly 100 people in a southwest Houston home that was apparently a human smuggling operation. Police reported that several of the people tested positive for COVID-19.

[WB5] Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez has been nominated to head (or more likely, to declaw) ICE by President Joe Biden. Who will the Democrats on Commissioners Court approve to take his place?

[WB6] Ed Emmett, like most of Harris County, thinks it’s well past time for Lina Hidalgo to lower the RED ALERT STAY HOME FOREVER backwards gage thingie of hers. He is exactly right that Harris County, particularly Harris County courts, needs to get back to work!

[WB7] Bob Rehak provides the sort of thoughtful analysis of flood control (in this instance, looking at Halls Bayou) that is largely missing from the area’s print outlets. Meanwhile, Harris County is still scrambling to try to figure out how to plug a $1.4 billion flood project funding shortfall.

[WB8] Bill King posted some relatively good COVID news this week. Chron activist-journo Zach Despart had this telling response on twitter.

[WB9] Speaking of which, Despart found some Progressive members of the Greater Houston Partnership who want the organization to condemn various voting bills being debated by the Texas Legislature – because of course he and the newspaper did.

[WB10] Chron.com, the clickbaity “entertainment” companion to the subscription news site, profiles a young lady who takes notes on City Council meetings and posts them online. Chron.com, of course, could deploy some of its clickbait content generators to perform that sort of useful public task, but apparently it’s work that is best left to volunteers. Emily Hynds’s notes on Council are available here.

[WB11] The Chronicle finally picked up the news that Dave Wilson’s legal case against Houston Community College has been taken by the US Supreme Court. Bloomberg Law originally reported the news.

[WB12] Houston Public Media apparently agrees with Lina Hidalgo’s highly partisan framing of the legislature’s debate on medical procedures and transgender children. In contrast, note the politically neutral, descriptive characterization from The Texan (and consider subscribing to the relatively new news organization).

[WB13] Professor Doctor Peter Hotez, who effectively argued for using the military to enforce enhanced lockdowns last year (see WB3), writes for Nature that governments must “move to dismantle anti-vaccine groups in the United States.” While I share his frustration over so much vaccine misinformation, this preference for authoritarian (unconstitutional) solutions is more than a little concerning. The better move would be for the doctor and others more effectively to educate the public.

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