Weekend brunch for 27 September 2021

News and views from around the web

HPD Officer William Jeffrie, RIP

[WB1] A Houston Chronicle profile notes that Asian Americans are the fastest growing demographic in Houston suburbs. Several quotes in the story are revealing:

[Fort Bend County Judge KP] George believes newcomers have been attracted by strong schools, public safety, job opportunities and the local response to COVID-19.

The last one is self-serving nonsense, of course, but the first couple of items are areas in which Houston (and increasingly Harris County under Dem leadership) is no longer competitive with areas outside the city. See also this quote:

[One resident] moved to a nearby subdivision seven years ago for its good schools and proximity to shops, restaurants and mosques where she can familiarize her children with Pakistani culture.

Presumably, she also feels safe.

The issues of schools and safety may well continue to drive people of all backgrounds out of the city and county (at least those who can afford the move).

[WB2] One Houston police officer (William Jeffrey) was fatally shot and another (Michael Vance) injured while serving an arrest warrant earlier this week. The (alleged) shooter? Another criminal out on bond, courtesy of Democrat judge Greg Glass.

[WB3] The (alleged) killer of the kid who was on his way home with his dad after watching an Astros game is now out on bond.

[WB4] Low-skill illegal immigrants (who haven’t been tested for COVID) from the latest border crisis are making their way to Houston, according to local media reports. Presumably, they will all abide by County Judge Lina Hidalgo’s ongoing red alert. Everything will surely be fine.

[WB5] Dr. Hasan Gokal, the doctor fired by Harris County after basically being accused of stealing vaccine doses (twice) by Harris County DA Kim Ogg, is now suing Harris County Public Health over the fiasco.

[WB6] The Harris County Deputies’ Organization is also suing Harris County.

[WB7] Local transportation managers effectively squandered $64 million in federal funding last year, according to a Chronicle story.

[WB8] Centerpoint is planning to charge us all a lot more, apparently because they can AND they are not good at managing risk and natural gas pricing. It’s a good gig if you can get it.

[WB9] This week, the city’s (now fired) housing director Tom McCasland went off script and off agenda at a committee meeting basically to accuse Mayor Turner of interfering with a bidding process to enrich patrons (though he emphasized after effectively accusing the mayor of corruption that he was doing no such thing). The decision in question wasn’t on the committee or city council agenda for discussion, and both the committee chair and mayor’s office seemed puzzled by the outburst.

On its face, the episode (effectively resignation by accusation of corruption) looks bad enough. Grapevine murmuring suggests that some of McCasland’s own dealings and management style might deserve more scrutiny than they’ve received from recaps posing as metro columns and TV news coverage. The mayor has asked the city attorney (whom he appoints) to conduct a full review of the matter. Who knows, maybe some intrepid local journalist will even decide to interview the chair of the council committee where the outburst took place at some point! Stay tuned.

[WB10] The GOP members of Harris County Commissioners Court won a better rate for taxpayers than the Democratic majority wanted. The new rate is expected to raise revenue slightly thanks to appraisal creep. Last year, GOP commissioners broke quorum to protect taxpayers from the hefty tax increase favored by the Democratic majority (see WB1).

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


  1. Good Morning. You note: “Dr. Hasan Gokal, the doctor fired by Harris County after basically being accused of stealing vaccine doses (twice) by Harris County DA Kim Ogg, is now suing Harris County over the fiasco.”
    Actually, he is suing Public Health and the County for alleged employment discrimination. They would be the appropriate parties to respond to questions about their actions. The DA is not a party in the suit and he had been terminated prior to the charge being filed.. He was charged with theft by a public servant. After a magistrate judge and a misdemeanor judge disagreed with each other on whether there was probable cause, the matter was presented to a grand jury to determine whether a charge was appropriate. The grand jury decided a charge was not warranted and we greatly respect that decision. The grand jury has spoken. Thank you for hearing me out.

  2. Thanks for the comment! We’ve appended “Public Health” to Harris County for clarity on who is being sued.

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