Weekend brunch for 19 September 2021

News and views from around the web

Remember way back when Yellow Cab ruled Houston politics? No longer. Image credit: Ed Uthman/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

[WB1] Amidst growing concern over a surge in violent crime in the Houston area that has remarkably coincided with Democratic control of Harris County government and criminal courts, the Democrats who lead the former apparently decided that eliminating Harris County’s constable system (a “recommendation” made by the firm the Democrats cherry picked to deliver such recommendations to them) was a political non-starter in the current environment.

[WB2] The Harris County Sheriff’s Deputies organization is filing a class action lawsuit against Harris County political leadership, claiming inadequate resources are being provided to respond to crime and maintain a humane jail.

[WB3] KPRC-2 came to my neighborhood a weekend ago to cover a murder that did not have to happen (a 21 year old mother of two shot dead at 5:30 am in the morning), courtesy of a dangerous after-hours club (of the sort that has proliferated in the Houston area in recent years), a slumlord who will readily rent to such lowlifes, and the sketchy clientele who are attracted to such establishments. The slumlord has finally put a padlock on the establishment. HPD handed over its Chapter 125 filing weeks ago, but no legal action ever took place. Our area has other priorities.

[WB4] The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has ordered Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg to turn over evidence that her prosecutors have been withholding in the Harding Street affair. Sadly, John Nicholas, the brother of Regina Nicholas (who was gunned down in the Harding Street Massacre), passed away this weekend. He had been a driving force in trying to hold HPD to account for the Harding Street Massacre.

[WB5] This week, the City of Houston rolled back some of the last anti-competitive regulations that remained in place for taxis. Remember when Yellow Cab was so politically influential that they could buy council action to put competitors out of business? That company was responsible for a lot of cronyism and stench over the years. Good riddance to it all.

[WB6] Why in the world did so many people lose power during the seemingly “minor” Hurricane Nicholas?

[WB7] Reduce Flooding reports that residents of Kingwood (particularly those in Elm Grove) have settled a lawsuit against Perry Homes and partners for the flooding that affected their homes nearly two years ago.

[WB8] The Woodlands will be voting in November whether to become a standalone city.

[WB9] The reporter who wrote this article for the Chronicle on 9 September should really talk to the reporter who wrote this article for the Chronicle on 17 September. Oh wait – they are one and the same! Well, perhaps she should consult KPRC-2.

Or perhaps (stay with us here) the reporter should have been a lot more skeptical from the start about the mother’s claims, which were not backed up by an autopsy (one had not been performed) but were accompanied by Go Fund Me requests (helpfully linked by the reporter!).

The story fit a “narrative” though, and apparently the reporter, her editor(s), and her newspaper thought that was the important thing at the time.

This line is rather remarkable in the second Chronicle story, given the role the newspaper itself played in reporting the announcement as fact:

But the announcement may have been premature — medical examiners had not yet performed an autopsy on the preschooler.

May. Have. Been. Premature.

Quality newspapering of the sort we have come to expect from the regional newspaper of record.

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