Here’s hoping you all had a great holiday season, and best wishes for a GREAT 2022! We’ll catch up with a few links/observations below (and try to get back to more normal posting).
[WB1] Holly Hansen reports that the death total of people killed by suspects out on multiple felony bonds in recent years surged over 150 in 2021, according to Andy Kahan of Crime Stoppers Houston. Kahan continues to trigger anti-incarceration progressives by placing the blame on “felony bond reform,” as they contend no “systemic” reform has been enacted (Rodney Ellis is much too politically savvy to vote on such a thing, though he supports the sorts of judges who are increasingly blamed for the current situation).
[WB2] The City of Houston finished with just under 500 homicides in 2021, according to KHOU-11 news. The homicide count represents nearly a 20% increase from 2020 and over a 70% increase from 2019.
[WB3] Bill King notes that the City of Houston’s population has declined for two straight years.
[WB4] Houston Public Works recently sponsored a video contest, “Imagine a Day Without Water” (seriously!). Unfortunately, Houstonians didn’t have to use their imagination, since Houston’s water system failed twice within 12 months to deliver water safely and reliably. Houston officials never adequately explained why backup systems did not deliver water reliably during the February 2021 freeze event.
[WB5] Houston recently updated its building codes to require new homes to be “solar ready”, which probably isn’t going to help with housing affordability (or recent population trends).
[WB6] The Houston Chronicle’s odd fixation on tax exemptions claimed by churches includes this activist-journalist’s prescription for sticking it to clergy homes. How in the world does anyone think this is objective “reporting”?
[WB7] The chief of the newspaper’s editorial board seems VERY UPSET with Rhonda Skillern-Jones’s bad behavior on the HISD board. Said editorialist neglects to mention that she and her editorial board endorsed one Rhonda Skillern-Jones in her 2019 HCC trustee race.
[WB8] Chronicle reporter Zach Despart included this chart in a recent COVID alarmism piece:
A low-information person might conclude that Gov. Abbott is an evil killer!
Here’s one problem with that conclusion: As Will Franklin notes, Gov. Abbott ended forced masking MUCH earlier than August 2021. But if you move Despart’s line back to May, it doesn’t “tell” the same story at all, does it? (COMPLETELY leaving aside that various virus “waves” have tended to exhibit similar behavior across the US, regardless of mask or other mandates).
Conclusion: Zach Despart and his colleagues are either dishonest (partisans?) or not very good at their craft. Neither possibility is flattering.
[WB9] Following a request from Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, a group of county analysts have outlined possibilities for Harris County to use federal COVID funds to support abortions under the recently enacted Texas Heartbeat Act.
[WB10] Chris Daniel argues that the Harris County District clerk’s office is incompetent and broken.
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