Welcome to the blogosphere, Lisa Falkenberg. I think you'll find the medium gives you a lot of freedom as a writer - if nothing else, each entry needn't be the same length. Experiment a little, engage some of us old guys of the neighborhood, and above all have fun. Now when is Rick Casey gonna get one, too?
Brutal day at 801 Texas yesterday, with more today. I confess, I don't understand how getting rid of the people who create the content helps make the product more viable going forward, but what do I know? I'm sure they have some Cunning Master Plan to make it all make sense.
Banjo and Hair Balls have the gory details. I'd like to express my sympathies and best wishes to everyone who got the axe. There's a lot of talent on that list, and it won't be easily replaced. May you all find something better.
I have to say also, as a fan of the Rice Owls, that I'm truly pissed off that the Chron has let MK Bower go. He did an outstanding job on the Rice beat, and Owl fans are showing him the love for it. With the departure of Mike Murphy and Terrance Harris, who covered UH and TSU, as well, the Chron has made it clear that if it ain't the Big XII, they won't be paying attention. Thanks a hell of a lot.
I'm glad to see that the KUHT political program The Connection: Red, White, and Blue is on its way back to the airwaves after an unplanned hiatus followed by a bit of a kerfuffle. It fills a very useful niche in the local media landscape - as the story notes, it was the only place to see Adrian Garcia and Tommy Thomas go head-to-head last year - and is the sort of thing that public television should be doing. (And just so we're clear, I think KUHT has been doing some excellent work, most notably with its "Houston Have Your Say" series.) It's also the show where I made my local teevee debut, so there's some sentimental value there as well. I look forward to its return, hopefully in time for some shows focusing on the big municipal elections we'll be having this fall.
Just a couple of announcements that may be of interest to readers. The first is a press release from Women Professionals in Government:
Women Professionals in Government Offers Scholarship Opportunity
Women Professionals in Government proudly announces a $1,500 scholarship award to be given to an outstanding woman who is currently pursuing studies toward a career in public service. The award is open to those pursuing future careers or furthering their education to enhance her existing public administration position. The primary objective of the WPG Scholarship is to assist exceptional women who are dedicated to becoming public servants.
Full-time or part-time graduate and undergraduate students are eligible. In addition, the winner of the scholarship will receive a complimentary one-year membership to WPG, affording excellent networking opportunities with established professionals in government and professionals from government affiliated companies and organizations.
Candidates must be female residents of the Greater Houston area and students in good standing at an accredited university. Graduate applicants must have completed at least 12 graduate hours, and undergraduate applicants must have completed at least 30 undergraduate hours. Determination of the award will depend on the applicant's professional and scholastic achievements, demonstrated community service, reasons for pursuing a public service career, challenges to future professional and scholastic achievement, and scholarship need.
If you're a parent in Houston and are trying to figure out what to do with your kids this summer, you might want to check out The Summer Book, which is put out every year by Sarah Gish.
[The Summer Book] includes information on over 200 organizations offering camps and classes for children in the summertime. The camps are divided by "arts", "educational", "religious", "special needs" and "sports". It also includes information on which camps are free or offer scholarships, which are full day or for teens, as well as a week-by-week chart by date and a chart detailing amenities of each camp. To help parents "map out" each child's summer, there is a camp calendar for organizing weekly schedules.
Terry Hayes, an employee of the Houston Chronicle who wrote an award-winning blog that detailed her fight against terminal cancer, has died at the age of 42.
Hayes spent five years as one of the newspaper's essential support staffers, handling unseen but critical behind-the-scenes tasks, deflecting and distributing calls and complaints, and encouraging -- on occasion, demanding -- that co-workers live up to her fierce sense of duty and hard work.
"Terry was the voice of the sports department, the first point of contact for readers who called to complain or compliment, and the liaison between the department and the teams we covered," said Carlton Thompson, the Chronicle's sports editor.
"Terry's loss will be felt not only by those of us who had the pleasure to work with her, but also by the many who knew her only as the caring voice on the other end of the line."
In April 2006, she was diagnosed with terminal colon cancer and was told she had about two years to live. Ten months later, she began "blogging the adventure" as CancerDiva, a name that she said reflected the "mix of darkness and light" that accompanied her battle for survival.
For the next several months, CancerDiva offered readers her thoughts on topics ranging from European travel to the painful tedium of chemotherapy to thoughts about death to the adventures of her beloved cat, Sasha. She was cited as the state's best newspaper blogger in 2008 by the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors Association.
"She was hesitant at first about blogging, but she wanted so much to share her experience with others," said Scott Clark, Chron.com's editor. "She not only became a good writer but one who touched the lives of hundreds of people who followed her posts - and her struggle."
UPDATE: The Bloggess eulogizes her friend.
I've seen this linked several places, and finally got around to reading Phillip Longman's article on freight rail and the very strong case for investing in it as part of an economic stimulus package. It's got something for everyone, including the promise of relieving highway congestion by getting big trucks off the interstates. Read it and see what you think.
Houston Tomorrow Distinguished Speaker Series Doubleheader
Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008
Neal Peirce, Syndicated columnist
Topic: What does the Obama election mean for federal policy in metropolitan regions?
Neal Peirce is a pulse-taker of change in how America governs itself. His column has repeatedly broken fresh ground in identifying vital new trends state and local governments and the dynamics of federal/state/local relations. Time magazine called Peirce "the only national chronicler of grass-roots America." His weekly column, syndicated through The Washington Post Writers Group since 1978, appears in over 50 newspapers.
Thursday, December 4th, 2008
Mark Winne, Author and food activist
Topic: Closing the Gap - Food security and policy in a fast-changing world.
Mark Winne is the author of "Closing the Food Gap -- Resetting the Table in the Land of Plenty." From 1979 to 2003, he was the Executive Director of the Hartford Food System, a private non-profit agency that works on food and hunger issues in the Hartford, Connecticut area. During his tenure with HFS, Mark organized community self-help food projects that assisted the city's lower income and elderly residents. Mark's work with the Food System included the development of commercial food businesses, Connecticut's Farmers' Market Nutrition Program, farmers' markets, a 25-acre community supported agriculture farm, a food bank, food and nutrition education programs, and a neighborhood supermarket.
Details for both events:
United Way Community Resource Center
50 Waugh Dr., Houston, TX
lecture 7:00 - 8:30
Receptions and lectures are free.
Donations are appreciated.
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
You go, girl. Read and enjoy.
Check out the new look at the West U Examiner, which debuted this past week. It's much slicker, with user comments in stories, and apparently will have more frequent updates - see, for example, this story about the ongoing Kirby trees saga. Their opinion page is now the home for the print stylings of KTRK reporter/blogger Miya Shay, who'll be filling in for Chris Bell while he runs for State Senate. Here's Miya's take on CD07 challenger Michael Skelly. Nice to see that her voice for blogging carries over to the more traditional format.
(By the way, if you haven't seen the video Miya got of President Bush's speech at the Pete Olson fundraiser, I don't know how you've managed to miss it. Go check it out, it's for stuff like this that the word "flabbergasted" was coined.)
It occurs to me that I haven't pimped my participation in Netroots Nation yet. I will be there, trying to attend as many concurrently-scheduled events as I can (where's Hermione's time-travel charm when you really need it?), and sitting on a panel along with some of my Texas blogging colleagues - that's Friday, 3 PM, Ballroom F, be there or be square. Oh, and I'll be at this party tomorrow night. I don't really know what else to expect, other than the certainty of getting lost inside the labyrinthine Austin Convention Center, but I'm looking forward to it, and I'll do my best to tell you about the stuff I see and hear. And for those of you who can't be in Austin physically for this event, you can be there virtually. So, one way or the other, I hope to see you there.
And for those of you who can't wait till tomorrow to get the festivities started, here's an appetizer from the Texas Politics Today radio show and its hosts, Deece Eckstein and David Kobierowski:
This week on TEXAS POLITICS TODAY, Markos Moulitsas Zúniga is our guest for a lively discussion of Internet activism and the 2008 elections. TEXAS POLITICS TODAY airs from 2:30 to 3:00 p.m. CDT every Wednesday on KOOP, Austin's community radio station. KOOP is located at 91.7 on the FM dial and also streams live over the Internet at www.koop.org.
KOOP, "the little station that could," is Austin's only community-owned radio station. It shares the FM 91.7 radio frequency with KVRX, the University of Texas student radio. It also streams live over the Web at www.koop.org. KOOP is on the air on weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and on weekends from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Holiday weekend link dump
Weekend link dump
Still more me on your TV
Ree-C has her say
Thoughts on "Houston Have Your Say"
At the TV studio
More me on your TV
Big media me
Texas Monthly and me
Let's debate that
A perfectly cromulent neighborhood
RIP, Fort Bend Now
Ya no puede caminar
But what will I read in the checkout lines?
Great show! You're fired!
Cragg Hines is retiring
New gig for Mary Beth Harrell
How many more signs of the Apocalypse do we need?
Great moments in publishing
Freeway blogging, Houston-style
What he said