Weekend brunch for 27 June 2021

News and views from around the web

Image credit: Sean Loyless/flickr (CC BY 2.0)

[WB1] Living in the City of Houston continues to get more expensive, as Council passed a massive water fee hike this week. The multi-year rate hike follows many years of neglect and kicking the can down the road by the Democratic politicians who have led Houston for decades.

[WB2] The people who spend money in the City of Houston aren’t always such good stewards of their bulging accounts, however, as illustrated this week by the revelation that the City paid $1.7 million for counterfeit N95 masks.

[WB3] The people who spend money in the City of Houston (or at least Mayor Sylvester Turner) are really determined to pinch pennies when it comes to the Houston Fire Department, however. Because priorities, or personal pique, or something.

[WB4] The City of Houston Solid Waste Management department actually blames citizens who use their services for the organization’s inability to deliver services, which is remarkably bad form.

[WB5] Two of the disgraced HPD officers who led the deadly Harding Street Massacre (Gerald Goines and Felipe Gallegos) received additional charges this week.

[WB6] HPD Chief Troy Finner has apologized to the family of Jose Campos Torres, conceding that HPD murdered the man in 1977. With that stellar track record, HPD will be apologizing to the families of Dennis Tuttle and Rhogena Nicholas in… 2063 (or so).

[WB7] Harris County Commissioner Tom Ramsey blasted the efforts by Harris County Democrats to persuade the Federal Highway Administration to shut down the I-45 expansion project that has been in the works for years.

[WB8] Some Harris County Republicans are also up in arms over what could be a major change to how Harris County government does business – with very little fanfare or public input. County Judge Lina Hidalgo and Commissioner Rodney Ellis have had this move in mind for quite some time, as noted in February by The Texan. Of course, Harris County Republicans don’t have an effective communications or persuasion apparatus outside of email (note that the Harris County GOP website has nothing posted on the matter as of 27 June), so they will almost certainly be rolled, as has become customary under the reign of Commissioner Rodney Ellis, aka King of the County of Harris (the county judge is just the nominal figurehead of the kingdom).

[WB9] KRIV-26 reports on the latest egregious behavior by Democratic judges in Harris County when it comes to bonds for violent offenders. One would think the Harris County GOP would be mounting a robust campaign to take back some of these judgeships, but… there aren’t many obvious signs of that just yet.

[WB10] Rodney and Lina’s Kingdom will be accepting $1 million more in private funds for elections (yes, you read that correctly) before the legislature’s ban on such private funding of elections goes into effect in September. The state’s hopelessly biased political media, which frequently criticizes “money in politics” when it benefits causes/interests/policies they don’t like (almost always right-of-center ones), have had very little to say about this maneuver.

[WB11] This press release stenography from the Chronicle celebrates a new bus circulator that METRO is offering in Gulfton. Of course, a more critical observer might note that METRO’s “reimagining” of its bus routes several years didn’t help a good number of Houston’s poorer residents and neighborhoods, forcing the organization (belatedly) to consider supplemental action such as this. Here’s hoping it helps people who need more reliable, affordable transit.

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