More on the City Council redistricting lawsuit dismissal

Here's the Chron story about the dismissal of the lawsuit, brought by Vidal Martinez and Carroll Robinson.

The lawsuit argued the city was violating its own charter by refusing to redistrict and add two council districts when its population passed the 2.1 million threshhold in late 2006.

U.S. District Judge Sim Lake rejected that contention, finding the plaintiffs had failed to show the city's charter compelled redistricting. Martinez promised an appeal.

"This is just the first step in a long marathon," he said, noting that the outcome of the case could depend on a U.S. Supreme Court case dealing with voting rights that originated in Austin. "Nobody should take any happiness out of this very preliminary ruling by the court. In the end, justice has not been done with a 30-year agreement and contract the city made with the Houston Latino community."

City Attorney Arturo Michel said the ruling upholds the city's contention that it could not follow federal law regarding redistricting without the accuracy provided by the upcoming decennial population count by the U.S. Census Bureau. Federal law requires precinct-level data for redistricting, which would not be available until after the 2010 count. Using data from the 2000 count, the city argued, would lead to inaccurate district boundaries.

"That will allow you to identify where voters are and come up with the representation system that is the fairest," Michel said. "What's more important is that you have a complete and accurate Census count so that you know where people are, and then you can divide your districts in a way that will be fairest to everyone."

I'm not sure at this point how you can get a resolution from the courts that would be done any sooner than the post-2010 Census redistricting, but we'll see how that goes. A copy of the opinion can be found here (PDF). It's pretty complex, but I think Miya summarizes it succinctly enough as "the plaintiffs basically didn't prove how they were damaged by the city waiting for the census". And so wait we will, pending a reversal on appeal. Houston Politics has more.

05/28/09 | permalink | comments [0]

City Council redistricting lawsuit dismissed

Marc Campos mentions this in passing:

This past Friday, a federal judge threw out Lopez v. City of Houston. That is the lawsuit filed by Vidal Martinez to force the City of H-Town to draw two more district council seats immediately. I guess it is not going to happen until 2011.

I've searched Google, and I've searched the Southern District Court webpage, and other than this May 8 tweet from Liz Lara Carreno, I can't find anything more on this beyond what Marc has written. The lawsuit, you may recall, was filed in February to force the city to abide by the 1979 ruling that required two new district Council seats to be created when the population hit 2.1 million. The city's argument was that they wanted to wait till after the 2010 Census, while the plaintiffs argued that sufficient data existed today to do the job in time for this November's election. A copy of the suit is here, in RTF format. If anyone can point me to an opinion or an order or something so I can have some idea of the reason for the dismissal, I'd appreciate it. Thanks very much.

05/26/09 | permalink | comments [1]

City takes aim at more SOBs

Eight months ago, the city of Houston succeeded in closing down a strip club, its first such victory after finally getting a favorable verdict in the lawsuit to overturn the 1997 ordinance that more strictly regulated sexually-oriented businesses. They're now hunting more game.

Lawyers for the city filed a lawsuit Friday to close a Galleria-area topless club for not having a sexually oriented business license, the beginning of a City Hall crackdown on dozens of unlicensed clubs across Houston.

The lawsuit followed the arrest Thursday evening of nine employees of All Stars Men's Club, 2688 Winrock, including six dancers charged with solicitation of prostitution.

The suit asks 113th District Judge Patricia Hancock to issue a permanent injunction, arguing the club would not qualify for a required license because it is located 800 feet from a church and is closer than 1,500 feet to an area more than 75 percent residential.

"This is part of a bigger effort by the White administration to use the powers that are available to the city to protect and improve the quality of life in the city's neighborhoods," said private attorney Patrick Zummo, who was hired by the city to help enforce its sexually oriented business ordinance.

"We are working on another lawsuit that would include many of those businesses that are operating illegally, and which will probably be filed in the next couple of weeks."

Better visit 'em while you still can, fellas. I'll bet the city has spent the intervening time getting its ducks lined up, so barring a surprise these are the last day for the All Star Club, and whoever is in the city's sights after it.

"We know from both Houston's experience, and the experience in cities across the country, that sexual oriented-businesses are associated with higher rates of crime in the area around them and with lower property values," Zummo said. "That's why the federal courts allow reasonable regulation of these businesses."

Again with the claims about increased crime, though I note that this time Zummo didn't say "violent crime". Seems to me that an investigation, by a professional news-reporting enterprise, as to the veracity of such claims would be a good idea. Maybe some day.

05/24/09 | permalink | comments [0]

Graduation rates

According to one study, a little more than half of HISD's high school freshmen ultimately graduate.

Despite dozens of commencement ceremonies planned for the next two weeks, only 58.5 percent of Houston-area students who should be graduating will be earning diplomas this spring, community advocates said today.

Robert Sanborn, president and CEO of Children at Risk, announced on the steps of Houston City Hall this morning that his group commissioned the Texas Education Agency to conduct a study of six-year graduation rates. They learned that that 53 percent of the students who begin as ninth-graders in the Houston Independent School District had not graduated from any Texas high school in six years.

"We feel there is a real crisis, a crisis of graduation," Sanborn said, pointing out the link between poverty and education levels. "We really don't think the TEA and the school districts are being honest with the public."

Sanborn said HISD estimates it graduates as many as 77 percent of its students within four years. That number is based on faulty data that doesn't count as dropouts students who claim they're going to be home schooled, attend private school or move out of state or country.

Sanborn said the first step in fixing high schools is admitting the severity of the problem. He called for the state Legislature, the TEA and individual school districts to become more transparent and use the graduation rate calculation formula Children at Risk used in this study.

Karen Garza, HISD's chief academic officer, said the district certainly sees dropouts as an important problem that they are working to address. She questioned whether the Children at Risk numbers fail to consider how mobile the population of this urban school district is by excluding students who may start here but graduated in Oklahoma or Mexico or anywhere outside of Texas.

"We acknowledge this is a major issue. We've got to get better at keeping kids in school," Garza said. "We want solutions. We offer more and more options, things like flexible hours and on-line courses."

But, Garza said, HISD uses the formula prescribed by the TEA and she doesn't see the Children at Risk calculation as being any more reliable.

I don't know which way of calculating the "true" graduation rate is superior. I'm not sure it matters that much - whichever method you choose, you can at least tell if it's getting better or worse over time. The NCAA manages to keep track of graduation rates at its member institutions, so this can't be rocket science. Pick a method and stick with it - let's not lose the forest for the trees.

Council Member and Mayoral candidate Peter Brown comments on the Children at Risk study. I'm still a bit amazed at how education has become an issue in this race, and I'm still not sure what role the Mayor should be playing in Houston's public education; it's not clear to me how much of a role the Mayor could play without legislative action, anyway. That said, I'm always glad to see public education be the topic of conversation, at least among people who care about its success. Maybe just by keeping the spotlight on it, we can have a positive effect.

05/24/09 | permalink | comments [1]

Outside agitation

I've got to agree with Stace here: Why should anyone in Houston care what some outfit that's based in Spring thinks about anything related to Houston politics or policies? Last I checked, the citizens of Spring don't vote in Houston elections or pay Houston property taxes. Some of them may pay sales taxes in Houston, which would put them on roughly the same footing as the undocumented immigrants this particular outfit is so worked up about. Beyond that, I'll give these guys the same advice I give other non-residents who want to tell us how to run things: Move here and run for Mayor yourself. Until then, who cares what you think?

05/20/09 | permalink | comments [1]

Mayor White's final budget

Here you go.

Faced with a dour economic climate, Mayor Bill White unveiled a $4 billion budget proposal on Tuesday that keeps the property tax rate the same and holds spending at what it was the current fiscal year.

The plan, which includes funds for one new library and the replacement of five, the expansion of recycling programs and more money for the widely criticized Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care, limits operating expenses to an increase of one-half of 1 percent. That's largely due to a nearly 25 percent decline in how much the city will keep in reserve this year.


Under his budget plan, the city will hold almost $171 million in reserves, about $50 million less than the current fiscal year. If too much of the reserves were spent, the city could jeopardize its AA bond rating and end up paying higher costs for new roads or other infrastructure projects.

City Controller Annise Parker highlighted several possible pitfalls. The budget assumes the administration will find an additional $10 million in savings during the year and that Lyondell Chemical Co., which has filed for bankruptcy protection, will pay $16 million in property taxes.

The city also has not replenished the $20 million "rainy day" fund it used to cover expenses from Hurricane Ike, and has not accounted in the budget for money it may owe the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, she said.

Further, the revenue estimates from her office are nearly $38 million less than those from the city finance department.

"There are a lot of 'what ifs' in this budget and ... really no margin for error."

Then it's a good thing this is happening at the same time as the 2009 Mayoral campaign. This is going to be someone else's responsibility soon enough, after all. I'd like to hear what all of the candidates have to say about this budget, and I'd like to hear what Mayor White thinks about what they have to say. Let's get it all out there, I can't think of a better time to have a nice, robust debate on this. Miya has more.

05/14/09 | permalink | comments [0]

We need more early voting locations

Greg made an observation about the District H result that I'd like to explore a bit.

Yolanda's early numbers were a little surprising as it would have meant a runoff between her and Ed if those numbers held. But even more surprising than that was Welsh leading the E-day returns with 36% to Ed's 29%.

I was at Maverick Welsh's return-watching party on Saturday night, and I can tell you that this wasn't unexpected at all by his crew. They knew that the early voting locations were in parts of the district that were less favorable to Welsh, and they planned to make up the difference on Election Day itself. Which is exactly what happened, as turnout in the Heights was heavier than in other areas. I was a little surprised at how much ground he made up, but the final result wasn't that surprising.

While I don't think there was much that could be done about it for an election of this kind, I do think in general that there is a real need for more early voting places. In particular, I think there's a need for more EV locations inside employment centers, because I think having more of them near where people work would make voting a lot easier. Moody Park is closer to where I live than any other EV location, but I never used it before this election because it's not convenient to my daily commute; I work southwest of where I live, and Moody Park is northeast from my house. I generally vote at the Multipurpose Center on West Gray because it's between where I live and where I work, or at the Fiesta on Kirby because it's walking distance from where I work.

Unfortunately, as the trend towards more early voting continues, those locations become less convenient because the lines are so long. Here's the early voting by location for this past November. The Multipurpose Center had by far the most votes cast of any EV location. When you realize that it serves basically the entire Montrose/Upper Kirby/Greenway area, and likely a good chunk of the Galleria area, that's no surprise. Where else are all those people going to go?

The two State Rep districts that have only one EV location and which had the largest number of early votes cast were HDs 134 and 136. The former encompasses the Greenway Plaza area, and the latter includes the Galleria area. Yet neither of those highly dense business districts has an early voting location of their own. Looking at the EV map from November, all of that area is served by the West Gray MSC, which I believe is why it is so ridiculously crowded all the time. I say this has to change.

What makes sense to me would be a new location in the Greenway area, and a new location in the Galleria area, one in HD134 and one in HD136. I don't know what the requirements and restrictions are on EV locations, but if I could just wave a magic wand I might pick something like the Houston Intown Chamber of Commerce building at 3015 Richmond, and something in the vicinity of San Felipe and Post Oak. Again, I don't know what the details are, but geographically speaking that's what I have in mind. Bonus points for locations that will be served by the eventual light rail expansion, as these would be.

None of this would have changed the calculus of the District H special election early voting, of course. You'd have needed an EV location in the Heights for that, and that really doesn't make sense given that HD148 already has two EV sites, which happened to be the two District H sites as well. But a lot of people, all throughout early voting, expressed surprise to me that the West Gray MSC wasn't open for this. They didn't think about it not being in H, they thought about it as being the one place they've ever gone to vote early. It's time for there to be more places like that.

UPDATE: Marc Campos suggests that the reason Heights turnout was so much bigger on Election Day was because voters there didn't want to cross I-45, which he calls "the Mexican-Dixon line". I'm sure that has something to do with it, but again, I think people go where it's convenient to their daily routine, which neither Ripley House nor Moody Park are for me, or likely for anyone who lives west of I-45 and works south of where they live. During the afternoon, traffic on I-45 North becomes appreciably worse north of downtown. Who wants to deal with that if they don't have to?

UPDATE: Greg adds on.

UPDATE: To clarify something here, I do not claim that the early voting locations had any effect on the total turnout in this election. Rather, I believe, as does Marc Campos, that the fact that Maverick Welsh did better on Election Day had to do with where the early voting locations were. I also believe, as I wrote in this post, that there should be more early voting locations, including some in high-density employment centers, since I believe that people vote early where it is convenient for them.

05/13/09 | permalink | comments [9]

Help choose the next HISD Superintendent

The HISD Board of Trustees will hold a series of eight public meetings to get feedback about what people want in their next Superintendent.

Heidrick & Struggles, the executive search firm hired by the schol board, will lead the community meetings and plans to use the input in its hunt for superintendent candidates.

Meetings also will be held with various business, faith-based, parent, educational and employee groups.

Trustees have set a goal of hiring a superintendent in July but have said the timeline is flexible.

The meeting schedule is as follows:

  • Today: 6:30 p.m., HISD South Region Office, 4040 W. Fuqua
  • Tuesday: 6:30 p.m., Bellaire High School, 5100 Maple
  • Wednesday: 6:30 p.m., Wheatley High School, 4801 Providence
  • Thursday: 6:30 p.m., Washington High School, 119 E. 39th
  • May 4: 6:30 p.m., Revere Middle School, 10502 Briar Forest
  • May 5: 6:30 p.m., Reagan High School, 413 E. 13th
  • May 7: 6:30 p.m., Deady Middle School, 2500 Broadway
  • May 9: 2 p.m., Ryan Middle School, 2610 Elgin

Please participate if you can.

04/27/09 | permalink | comments [0]

HISD: Not must-see TV

Earlier this month, HISD agreed to broadcast its monthly meetings on its cable access station. While the promise of making their meetings more transparent to the public was appealing, it would seem there's still a few bugs in the system.

The capsule review of Houston ISD's first televised board meeting last Thursday is two thumbs down. It was neither good TV nor good public policy.

Viewers were put through the sort of excruciating self-promotion and hyperbole that has given HISD a reputation for shameless "spin."

Spin is actually a kind word for what was old-fashioned, heavy handed propaganda by trustees.

It gets harsher from there. I still think this is a good and necessary idea, but clearly there's room for improvement in the execution. Thanks to Hair Balls for the tip.

04/23/09 | permalink | comments [0]

Hey, remember when we were gonna reform county ethics?

How's that been going?

Efforts to clean up Harris County government appear to be on indefinite hold as any serious debate about ethics reform has been derailed for months by infighting and political gamesmanship.

Commissioners Court has yet to act on a slate of suggestions prepared by an ethics reform task force that County Judge Ed Emmett appointed as scandals involving his colleagues clouded his Republican primary campaign.

The most significant reforms would require legislative approval, but only one bill has been filed as the biennial session's end quickly approaches.

That legislation, which aims to block county officials from profiting from their connections after they enter the private sector, was drafted at the behest of Commissioner Sylvia Garcia and does not have the backing of the full court.

When asked why the reform package has gone nowhere, locally or in Austin, court members are quick to assign blame to someone else.

Commissioners Steve Radack and Jerry Eversole said it is up to Emmett to bring the package up for a vote since he is the one who appointed the task force. He does not need court's permission to push his own bills in Austin as long as he does not claim he is speaking for the entire court, Radack added.

"If Emmett doesn't have the courage to place the proposals on the agenda, he shouldn't blame me because I would vote for anything constructive and beneficial to Harris County," Eversole said in a statement.

You may recall that back in September, Commissioner Eversole said he'd back whatever ethics reform bill came before the court because he expected to be busted by the FBI before the new laws would affect him. That's the last time we've heard anything about ethics reform. As it happens, a couple of days after that Hurricane Ike paid us a visit, and the focus of the County Judge race shifted away from ethics, for obvious reasons. But it never went away, and with the legislative session creeping to a close, it's getting to be now or never.

Ethics reform became a major theme of Emmett's campaign last year after Eversole came under fire for questionable campaign spending and former District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal resigned following the release of e-mails that included racist jokes, sexually explicit images, campaign materials and affectionate messages to his executive assistant.

Emmett promised on the campaign trail to push for legislation authorizing Harris County to establish a board to investigate ethics complaints, to require lobbyists to register and to close the revolving door. He acknowledged, however, he has done little lobbying on the measure since Commissioner El Franco Lee twice referred the package to the County Attorney's Office for comparisons between current law and the recommendations.

County Attorney Vince Ryan submitted his final report in February. The court took no action, and the package has not reappeared on the agenda.


Failing to adopt the reforms he touted could provide ammunition to a Republican primary challenger in 2010, when Emmett faces running again for his first full four-year term.

Or, you know, for a Democratic challenger in November. Ethics reform was a big part of David Mincberg's campaign last year. Emmett eventually co-opted some of Mincberg's ideas when he formed that task force last May, but since then there's been nada.

Garcia said she agrees with every element of Emmett's package and would like to add campaign contribution limits and strengthen other financial reporting requirements.

She said she was the under the impression the court supported her revolving-door bill when she took it to [State Sen. Mario] Gallegos, a Houston Democrat.

She said she did not find out that Radack opposed the bill until Thursday night, minutes before she was supposed to testify about the measure before a Senate committee.

Radack said he would support the bill if it was amended to block city officials from remaining in office while running for a county post. Garcia remained Houston's city controller while she ran for her current seat in 2002.

And there was Adrian Garcia, now Harris County Sheriff, last year. Council Member Sue Lovell is known to be looking at a run for County Clerk next year. You don't suppose there might be a partisan motive in Radack's objection, do you? Nah, surely not.

04/19/09 | permalink | comments [2]

Casey on City Council redistricting

04/17/09 | permalink | comments [0]

Vasquez responds to Coleman and Hernandez

04/15/09 | permalink | comments [0]

From the "Silver Linings" department

04/15/09 | permalink | comments [0]

HISD to broadcast some meetings

04/04/09 | permalink | comments [0]

Making reregistration easier

03/27/09 | permalink | comments [1]

Them's good eatin'

03/14/09 | permalink | comments [1]

"Houston first"

03/11/09 | permalink | comments [2]

More on the deputy drivers

03/07/09 | permalink | comments [0]


03/05/09 | permalink | comments [0]

Search openly

02/27/09 | permalink | comments [0]

More SJL rumors

02/24/09 | permalink | comments [1]

Interview with Vidal Martinez and John Castillo

02/24/09 | permalink | comments [1]

The Census and City Council redistricting

02/19/09 | permalink | comments [1]

A tale of two Orlandos

02/17/09 | permalink | comments [8]

More on the city council redistricting lawsuit

02/13/09 | permalink | comments [0]

District Clerk update

02/13/09 | permalink | comments [0]

Lawsuit filed to force city to redistrict

02/12/09 | permalink | comments [1]

SJL rumors

02/10/09 | permalink | comments [1]

Saavedra to step down

02/04/09 | permalink | comments [0]

Round and round we go with City Council redistricting

01/31/09 | permalink | comments [0]

CIP meeting for District H

01/27/09 | permalink | comments [0]

Here we go again with City Council redistricting

01/25/09 | permalink | comments [0]

As The Court Turns

01/19/09 | permalink | comments [0]

Judge sides with Garcia on fired employees

01/17/09 | permalink | comments [2]

The state of the city 2009

01/16/09 | permalink | comments [0]

We'll have the Treasurer to kick around awhile longer

01/13/09 | permalink | comments [3]

Garcia talks recruitment again

01/07/09 | permalink | comments [1]

Saavedra backs off magnet transportation plan

01/06/09 | permalink | comments [0]

Sheriff Garcia asks for more recruits

01/05/09 | permalink | comments [2]

Meet the new bosses

01/01/09 | permalink | comments [2]

RIP, Penthouse Club

01/01/09 | permalink | comments [3]

Voter registration separation

12/29/08 | permalink | comments [1]

One for a million

12/29/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Make your check payable to

12/27/08 | permalink | comments [3]

Vasquez officially selected to replace Bettencourt

12/23/08 | permalink | comments [3]

More on Leo Vasquez

12/20/08 | permalink | comments [0]

On the agenda for Commissioners Court

12/19/08 | permalink | comments [1]

Bettencourt deadline looms

12/18/08 | permalink | comments [1]

More on magnet schools

12/15/08 | permalink | comments [1]

More Bettencourt

12/10/08 | permalink | comments [1]

Magnet school transportation

12/09/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Commissioners Court starts considering replacements for Bettencourt

12/09/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Still more on Bettencourt

12/06/08 | permalink | comments [3]

City projects lower revenues

12/05/08 | permalink | comments [0]

The Mayor's Austin agenda

12/01/08 | permalink | comments [0]

More racist emails surface

11/26/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Lloyd Kelley update

11/08/08 | permalink | comments [1]

You won't need to register that bike

10/29/08 | permalink | comments [0]

The ethics plan finally gets introduced

10/22/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Ibarra brothers sue Lloyd Kelley

10/16/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Et tu, Mike?

10/16/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Plaintiff against Sheriff's office no-billed

10/13/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Voter registration may not reach 2004 levels in Harris County

10/04/08 | permalink | comments [4]

City wins billboard lawsuit

10/01/08 | permalink | comments [2]

Mayor White: Not so fast on that plant permit

09/30/08 | permalink | comments [0]

HISD versus Saavedra

09/30/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Public defender plan to be reviewed

09/23/08 | permalink | comments [0]

One less SOB

09/10/08 | permalink | comments [0]

The County Board of Ethics, for what it's worth

09/08/08 | permalink | comments [2]

Online disclosure

09/06/08 | permalink | comments [3]

Eversole looking over his shoulder

09/06/08 | permalink | comments [3]

City Council spending

08/26/08 | permalink | comments [1]

The city of Houston versus the strip clubs

08/24/08 | permalink | comments [3]

Appraisal lawsuits

08/14/08 | permalink | comments [4]

How many eligible voters are there?

07/31/08 | permalink | comments [1]

Registering voters

07/29/08 | permalink | comments [1]

Charitable political contributions

07/28/08 | permalink | comments [3]

Where's your report, Chuck?

07/23/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Hotze loses again

07/14/08 | permalink | comments [1]

Mayor White challenges the EPA

07/12/08 | permalink | comments [0]

How much overtime is too much?

07/09/08 | permalink | comments [2]

Them that has the gold gets the patrols

07/07/08 | permalink | comments [1]

Deputies arrest plaintiff in suit against Sheriff's office

07/04/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Sheriff apologizes for racist emails

06/30/08 | permalink

Turn that thing up!

06/30/08 | permalink | comments [1]

More from the Sheriff

06/25/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Council passes the budget

06/19/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Another strip club lawsuit

06/14/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Council's budget wishes

06/13/08 | permalink | comments [1]

Council gets its turn with the city budget

06/11/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Another defendant in lawsuit against Sheriff's office

06/04/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Sheriff's surveillance unit disbanded

06/03/08 | permalink | comments [1]

Ibarras sue again

05/30/08 | permalink | comments [2]

We should all have such critics

05/29/08 | permalink | comments [2]

Commercial valuation baloney

05/28/08 | permalink | comments [2]

Another front in the air quality battle

05/22/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Commissioners Court gets upset over lease deals report

05/21/08 | permalink | comments [1]

Build green and save some green

05/20/08 | permalink | comments [1]

Probe of Sheriff's office urged

05/19/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Way to be on top of it, Ed

05/16/08 | permalink | comments [5]

Big Sheriff is watching you

05/14/08 | permalink | comments [2]

The city budget for 2009

05/14/08 | permalink | comments [1]

The DA's information office

05/07/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Shocked? No, not really

05/03/08 | permalink | comments [0]

More on the HCDE and Wolfe

05/02/08 | permalink | comments [0]

HCDE trustees demand Wolfe's resignation

05/01/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Kelley to get $1.4 million

04/30/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Build green

04/30/08 | permalink | comments [0]

HGLBT's Jenifer Pool achieves a milestone

04/28/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Recycle or lose it

04/26/08 | permalink | comments [1]

Ibarras must settle for their settlement

04/23/08 | permalink | comments [0]

More on the Ibarras' request to withdraw settlement agreement

04/20/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Ibarra brothers want to go back to court

04/18/08 | permalink | comments [1]

Council approves billboard deal

04/18/08 | permalink | comments [0]

New billboard ordinance delayed

04/10/08 | permalink | comments [0]

KTRK wins injunction in Sheriff's email deletion case

04/09/08 | permalink | comments [1]

Updated billboard reduction plan set for Council

04/08/08 | permalink | comments [0]

City wins another round in revenue caps lawsuit

04/04/08 | permalink | comments [0]

County disputes Kelly's fee demand

04/03/08 | permalink | comments [2]

Pasty time

03/29/08 | permalink | comments [1]

Judge fines Rosenthal for contempt

03/29/08 | permalink | comments [1]

Council OKs contract with HOPE

03/27/08 | permalink | comments [1]

HOPE ratifies its contract with the city

03/21/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Let's review those deals

03/20/08 | permalink | comments [1]

What's another hundred grand?

03/20/08 | permalink | comments [3]

Kelly to county: Payment time

03/19/08 | permalink | comments [5]

Another SOB setback

03/18/08 | permalink | comments [1]

The new DA speaks

03/15/08 | permalink | comments [0]

More on the new interim DA

03/13/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Rosenthal's replacement coming

03/12/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Deleting them doesn't make them disappear

03/08/08 | permalink | comments [0]

HOPE and Houston come to an agreement

03/05/08 | permalink | comments [1]

More on the Sheriff lawsuit settlement

03/04/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Settlement in lawsuit against Sheriff's office

03/03/08 | permalink | comments [0]

More Michael Wolfe

03/01/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Rosenthal testifies in Sheriff's lawsuit

02/27/08 | permalink | comments [0]

From the "Nice Work If You Can Get It" department

02/25/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Plaintiffs score early points in civil suit against Sheriff's office

02/22/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Lawsuit against Sheriff's office begins

02/21/08 | permalink | comments [0]


02/20/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Rosenthal's deal with the AG

02/19/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Lawsuit filed over city's clean air ordinance

02/17/08 | permalink | comments [0]

More on Rosenthal's resignation

02/16/08 | permalink | comments [1]

Rosenthal resigns

02/15/08 | permalink | comments [5]

More on the recusal motion for Judge Hoyt

02/14/08 | permalink | comments [1]

Suit against Sheriff delayed

02/13/08 | permalink | comments [1]

The Sheriff's emails

02/02/08 | permalink | comments [2]

Rosenthal's recess

02/02/08 | permalink | comments [2]

Judge calls a halt to the Rosenthal hearings

02/01/08 | permalink | comments [2]

Don't delete those emails!

02/01/08 | permalink | comments [1]

Last word on Louie Welch

01/28/08 | permalink | comments [1]

More on former Mayor Welch

01/28/08 | permalink | comments [1]

RIP, Louie Welch

01/27/08 | permalink | comments [2]

The state of the city 2008

01/26/08 | permalink | comments [1]

Countywide smoking ban proposed

01/25/08 | permalink | comments [5]

And the Sheriff's office gets in the email deletion act

01/18/08 | permalink | comments [5]

Feds widening local investigation

01/18/08 | permalink | comments [0]

County sues builders over "bandit" signs

01/14/08 | permalink | comments [3]

DA investigating incident involving Borris Miles

01/12/08 | permalink | comments [6]

The sheriff's new home

01/12/08 | permalink | comments [2]

Beware the builders

01/09/08 | permalink | comments [3]

Houston City Council Committee Assignments

01/08/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Online campaign filings for county officials

01/07/08 | permalink | comments [2]

One year after for Orlando

01/07/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Barbs and bouquets, but mostly barbs

01/06/08 | permalink | comments [3]

Is it about to get worse for Chuck?

01/05/08 | permalink | comments [2]

Inauguration Recap

01/02/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Two for terminating term limits

12/31/07 | permalink | comments [2]

Sports Authority chair ousted

12/30/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Rosenthal's apology in the news

12/29/07 | permalink | comments [6]

Chuck's curious statement

12/28/07 | permalink | comments [5]

Billboard battle delayed again

12/28/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Why, Chuck, you sly devil

12/27/07 | permalink | comments [0]

V.O.T.E.R. meeting next week

12/20/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Billboard ordinance gets put off till next year

12/19/07 | permalink | comments [0]

An HCDE smackdown

12/12/07 | permalink | comments [2]

Developing new rules

12/10/07 | permalink | comments [0]

More on HOPE and the HEC

12/06/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Questioning the commissioners' campaign spending

12/03/07 | permalink | comments [1]

HOPE versus the city over 9-1-1 ads

11/27/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Time to terminate term limits

11/23/07 | permalink | comments [3]

Cleanup can be done

11/20/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Will the Mayor sail smoothly in his last term?

11/18/07 | permalink | comments [2]

Fort Bend GOP update

11/14/07 | permalink | comments [0]

FBGOP in limbo

11/10/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Fort Bend GOP leadership quits

11/08/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Mayor to polluters: Clean up or else

11/06/07 | permalink | comments [0]

HOPE rally

11/02/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Blog My Wage

10/31/07 | permalink | comments [1]

HOPE-ing for higher wages

10/30/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Emmett: No lawsuit yet

10/27/07 | permalink | comments [1]

Council approves Woodlands deal

10/25/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Council to vote on Woodlands deal today

10/24/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Token tax cut passes

10/24/07 | permalink | comments [4]

Judge narrows sign ordinance injunction

10/20/07 | permalink | comments [0]


10/15/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Park fees ordinance passes Council

10/11/07 | permalink | comments [2]

City asks for narrowing of billboard injunction

10/11/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Form-based planning

10/04/07 | permalink | comments [0]

City gets slapped in billboard battle

09/27/07 | permalink | comments [2]

An HISD threefer

09/20/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Airport concessions contract extended

09/20/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Billboard battle

09/19/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Food fight upcoming

09/18/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Miya steps on toes

09/18/07 | permalink | comments [1]

What's so bad about a food fight?

09/14/07 | permalink | comments [4]

HOPE in Houston

09/14/07 | permalink | comments [2]

Chang named District Clerk

09/12/07 | permalink | comments [0]

District Clerk appointee to be named today

09/11/07 | permalink | comments [1]

How will the Woodlands govern itself?

09/11/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Smoke-free Sugar Land

09/07/07 | permalink | comments [0]

It's Time For HISD's "Reach Out To Dropouts" Effort

09/05/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Anti-smoking ban lawsuit dismissed

08/27/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Bacarisse to step down?

08/27/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Burge departs Sports Authority

08/22/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Can This Name Change Be Stopped?

08/22/07 | permalink | comments [6]

Strike three for the SOBs

08/21/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Paying for green space

08/15/07 | permalink | comments [0]

You there! Put that cigarette out!

08/14/07 | permalink | comments [5]

Arguing over the 1997 Houston map

08/10/07 | permalink | comments [0]

The next (last?) SOB appeal gets underway

08/07/07 | permalink | comments [2]

Council vote on Center may come today

08/07/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Lawsuit filed over smoking ban

08/06/07 | permalink | comments [6]

Harris County bond vote coming

08/04/07 | permalink | comments [0]

HISD asks for bond money

08/03/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Hotze lawsuit against city over revenue caps tossed

08/01/07 | permalink | comments [3]

Who's your PAC?

07/23/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Nick Lampson In The House

07/22/07 | permalink | comments [0]

GHCVB still suffering leadership woes

07/21/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Council passes wind power proposal

07/19/07 | permalink | comments [1]

City Council legal spending

07/18/07 | permalink | comments [2]

More on the now-online city campaign finance reports

07/17/07 | permalink | comments [0]

City campaign finance reports now available online

07/16/07 | permalink | comments [1]

Wind power for the city

07/14/07 | permalink | comments [0]

County bonds and staffing issues

07/10/07 | permalink | comments [2]

On the SOB battle

07/09/07 | permalink | comments [1]

Real preservation laws coming soon?

07/06/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Day labor center will live to see another year

07/03/07 | permalink | comments [3]

Houston City Hall Water Crisis Averted

07/03/07 | permalink | comments [2]

"I don't feel tardy"

06/28/07 | permalink | comments [2]

The Mayor and the veterans

06/27/07 | permalink | comments [0]

For that kind of revenue stream, I'd be a Pepper

06/27/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Day Labor centers

06/23/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Pension deal reached

06/21/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Hilary Green

06/20/07 | permalink | comments [0]

More on the county bonds proposal

06/20/07 | permalink | comments [1]

County bonds coming

06/19/07 | permalink | comments [2]

"Where's Orlando?" update

06/19/07 | permalink | comments [1]

Pension still pending

06/11/07 | permalink | comments [0]

No safe harbor for SOBs in Harris County

06/05/07 | permalink | comments [1]

No safe harbor for SOBs in Harris County

06/05/07 | permalink | comments [1]

The new trash fees

05/31/07 | permalink | comments [0]

New trash days coming for some

05/29/07 | permalink | comments [1]

Strip clubs get an stay of execution

05/27/07 | permalink | comments [0]

The taxes of sin

05/22/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Budget yes, pension plan not yet

05/17/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Response to Mayor's response

05/16/07 | permalink | comments [1]

Mayor disputes pension story

05/15/07 | permalink | comments [0]

More city pension woes

05/14/07 | permalink | comments [1]

Here come the bikini bars

05/12/07 | permalink | comments [0]

City to SOBs: Move it or lose it

05/11/07 | permalink | comments [0]

The cost of the anti-SOB battle

05/08/07 | permalink | comments [5]

Michael Berry interview

05/05/07 | permalink | comments [0]

"Pro Tem Four" to be tried together

05/03/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Open letter to Mayor White about Houston Media Source

04/30/07 | permalink | comments [1]

Michael Berry, radio mogul

04/28/07 | permalink | comments [1]

Strip club crackdown coming

04/16/07 | permalink | comments [6]

Community meeting for TSU

04/16/07 | permalink | comments [1]

Pearland kids get anti-smoking measure on the ballot

04/10/07 | permalink | comments [1]

The Chron talks trash

04/09/07 | permalink | comments [1]

Read the reports

04/04/07 | permalink | comments [0]

There's no such thing as free trash

04/03/07 | permalink | comments [4]

Looks like Orlando will escape the legislative axe

03/21/07 | permalink | comments [3]

Possibly the last thing I'll say about Ed Emmett for awhile

03/07/07 | permalink | comments [3]

The Ed Era begins

03/06/07 | permalink | comments [4]

For whom the door revolves

03/05/07 | permalink | comments [1]

Are you ready for Ed?

03/03/07 | permalink | comments [4]

No Council redistricting till 2010

03/02/07 | permalink | comments [1]

Say "Bye-bye, Bob" on Tuesday

03/02/07 | permalink | comments [1]

Bill filed to prevent future annexation of The Woodlands

03/02/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Council approves WiFi contract

03/02/07 | permalink | comments [0]

More on Woodfill and Eckels

02/27/07 | permalink | comments [1]

Woodfill wants to pick Eckels' successor

02/27/07 | permalink | comments [3]

Pay or play

02/22/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Will Eckels' departure be a twofer?

02/22/07 | permalink | comments [1]

Eckels: It was all about me

02/20/07 | permalink | comments [5]

City Council redistricting: Back on the agenda?

02/19/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Eckels: "Who cares what you think?"

02/17/07 | permalink | comments [2]

Eckels says "So long, suckers"

02/15/07 | permalink | comments [3]

Eckels to tell us what he wants to be when he grows up today

02/15/07 | permalink | comments [3]

Eckels to give State of the County address

02/14/07 | permalink | comments [1]

City wins strip club lawsuit

02/06/07 | permalink | comments [1]

Eckels contemplates resignation

02/01/07 | permalink | comments [3]

You can sort of still smoke 'em in Bellaire

01/30/07 | permalink | comments [1]

The state of the city speech

01/23/07 | permalink | comments [1]

The state of the city 2007

01/22/07 | permalink | comments [1]

You can still smoke 'em in Bellaire

01/18/07 | permalink | comments [0]


01/15/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Radack v. Sanchez

01/11/07 | permalink | comments [4]

Is this the end for the Harris County Treasurer's office?

01/07/07 | permalink | comments [1]