Monthly Archives: October 2011

Early vote totals after one full week

Here’s your early vote tabulation through Sunday, Day Seven, with five days to go. Here also are the 2009 spreadsheet, the 2007 daily EV report, and the Erik Vidor spreadsheet. Here’s the cumulative summary for the first full week: Type … Continue reading

Posted in Election 2011 | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

On cities and counties

I’m really getting tired of all this BS. Smarting from a $353,000 bill for the Reliant complex under the city of Houston’s new drainage fee, Harris County Commissioners Court on Tuesday discussed seeking legislation to let it keep city sales … Continue reading

Posted in Local politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

How about we use these precincts for now?

And here’s an update on the county redistricting lawsuit. A federal court has asked Harris County and the plaintiffs suing it over its redistricting plan for county commissioner precincts to prepare briefs on whether it would be legal to conduct … Continue reading

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Moving on from the Willingham case

It’s time to move to the next phase and make something good happen. A state investigation into the science used to convict and execute Cameron Todd Willingham came to a quiet close Friday, but its results might echo across the … Continue reading

Posted in Crime and Punishment | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Put that wine bottle down and slowly back away

Don’t buy wine over the Internet, kids. The State of Texas says so. State officials have teamed up with FedEx, UPS and other shippers to ferret out wines being sent to Texas by websites that don’t have proper permits. That … Continue reading

Posted in Bidness | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Weekend link dump for October 30

Boo! Happy penultimate day before Dia de los Muertos, Charlie Brown! When frozen armadillos are outlawed, only outlaws will have frozen armadillos. The secret of success for symphony orchestras is to figure out who their audience really is. Good for … Continue reading

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It’s official: WVU to Big XII

The Big East takes another body blow. The Big 12 welcomed West Virginia from the Big East and bid goodbye to Missouri before the Tigers even had a chance to finalize their move to the Southeastern Conference. Now that the … Continue reading

Posted in Other sports | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Two finance report updates

Since I’ve made a big deal out of who hasn’t filed their 30 Day campaign finance reports, I am compelled to note that as of October 27, Scott Boates in At Large #1 has now filed his. Eight day reports … Continue reading

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San Antonio moves forward with streetcar plan

San Antonio City Council has voted to approve funding for a five-year transit expansion plan that includes a streetcar line. The vote all but guarantees construction of the city’s first urban rail project since San Antonio ended its electric streetcar … Continue reading

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Jazzing it up

A little plug for my alma mater. KRTU knows how to throw a public party. The Trinity University radio station kicked off a yearlong celebration of the arts in general and jazz in particular Sunday afternoon and evening at the … Continue reading

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Saturday video break: Smells Like Teen Spirit

Song #94 on the Popdose Top 100 Covers list is one I’d have thought would be higher up, and it’s also the first song in my collection, Nirvana’s iconic “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, covered here by Tori Amos: I trust … Continue reading

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Early vote totals, Days Four and Five

Here’s your EV totals for Thursday and Friday, plus the 2009 spreadsheet, the 2007 daily EV report, and the Erik Vidor spreadsheet. And here’s the cumulative summary for the first five days: Type 2005 2007 2009 2011 ===================================== In Person … Continue reading

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Assessing the wildfire damage

This will be grim work. A multiagency environmental response task force will soon issue a report assessing the environmental and ecological damage of the wildfires. “It’s almost complete,” said Roxanne Hernandez, administrator for the county’s Lost Pines Habitat Conservation Plan … Continue reading

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Shunning A&M

It’s not just the UT-A&M football game that’s on the endangered list. The SEC-bound Aggies have said they’d love to keep playing UT as a non-conference foe, but Longhorns athletic director DeLoss Dodds has said the school’s football schedule is … Continue reading

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There’s an app for reporting handicapped parking space violators

In Austin, anyway. Ever see someone parked illegally and wanted to do something about it? Your chance might be coming. A new smartphone app could allow people in Austin to report illegal parking in spots reserved for people with disabilities. … Continue reading

Posted in Planes, Trains, and Automobiles | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Friday random ten: Trick or treat

Repeating a theme from 2009 (but not any songs), here’s a list to get you into the Halloween spirit: 1. It Must Be Halloween – Trout Fishing In America 2. Brilliant Disguise – Bruce Springsteen 3. Zombie Jamboree – Lager … Continue reading

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Redistricting updates

The redoubtable Michael Li takes to BOR to bring an update on the preclearance lawsuit in DC, in which the Justice Department has strongly contested the state’s House and Congressional maps. In papers filed [Tuesday] evening in Washington, the Department … Continue reading

Posted in Legal matters | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Perry opposes Confederate license plates

Credit where it’s due. Gov. Rick Perry does not support a Confederate flag specialty license plate under consideration by the state Department of Motor Vehicles board, he said in Florida this morning. In an interview with Bay News 9 following … Continue reading

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San Antonio B-Cycle expands

Seven months after beginning, San Antonio’s bike sharing program has completed an expansion. B-cycle, San Antonio‚Äôs bike share program, now boasts 20 docking stations and 200 bikes. […] Yearly memberships for $30 are still available by visiting sanantonio.bcycle.com and using … Continue reading

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The can ban battle is getting ridiculous

Meanwhile, back in New Braunfels… The two sides in the Nov. 8 container ban election are talking trash. Or, to be more precise, they are quibbling about amounts of trash. Along the way, the normally tranquil political landscape in the … Continue reading

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Kroger gets its 380

Despite neighborhood opposition, City Council has approved a 380 agreement for the proposed Kroger on Studemont at I-10. District H Councilman Ed Gonzalez, who represents the area around the proposed store and who championed the 380 agreement, insisted the deal … Continue reading

Posted in Elsewhere in Houston | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Class size issues are everywhere

We know that waiver requests to exceed the 22 student class size limit are way up. But that mandated limit is only for grades K through 4. What about higher grade levels? Patricia Kilday Hart reports that those classrooms are … Continue reading

Posted in School days | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

McAllen ISD goes digital

Here’s a look at the future, coming to a school near you. A Rio Grande Valley school district plans to equip every one of its 25,000 students with Apple iPads, rolling ahead with a digitally enhanced curriculum effort that’s among … Continue reading

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Grand jury requests special prosecutor

It’s getting mighty interesting over there. A Houston grand jury that may be investigating the Harris County District Attorney’s Office and the Houston Police Department’s troubled breath alcohol testing vans has asked for a special prosecutor and an extension of … Continue reading

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Texas blog roundup for the week of October 24

The Texas Progressive Alliance celebrates the start of the early voting period for the 2011 elections as it brings you this week’s roundup.

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Early vote totals, Days Two and Three

Here are your Early Voting totals for Day Two and Day Three. As a reminder, here’s my spreadsheet from 2009; the Erik Vidor spreadsheet that has running totals from 2009, 2007, and 2005; and a new addition to my data … Continue reading

Posted in Election 2011 | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Where are the 30 day reports?

On October 11, the vast majority of 30 Day campaign finance reports were posted on the city’s website. Since then, only two new reports (not counting corrected reports) have been posted, with quite a few candidates not filing them at … Continue reading

Posted in Election 2011 | Tagged , , | 10 Comments

The Rick Perry bailout

I don’t think I’d ever heard about this before. Over his eight years as Texas’ [Agriculture Commissioner], [Rick] Perry oversaw a loan guarantee program with so many defaults that the state had to stop guaranteeing bank loans to startups in … Continue reading

Posted in Show Business for Ugly People | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

More classrooms with more kids

We all knew this was coming, but the numbers are more than I expected. Thousands of Texas public schoolchildren are in more crowded classes this year as districts claim financial hardship following state budget cuts. The number of elementary school … Continue reading

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WVU to Big XII?

The Big XII appears to have a replacement in mind for when Missouri makes its move to the SEC. The Big 12 has approved bringing in West Virginia to replace Missouri when the Tigers complete their move to the Southeastern … Continue reading

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Early voting totals, Day One

Here’s the Day One early voting totals for Harris County, which you can compare to the 2009 totals here. My buddy Erik Vidor also put together a spreadsheet with 2005 and 2007 totals that you can see here. There’s a … Continue reading

Posted in Election 2011 | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Third quarter Congressional fundraising

The Trib has the highlights from some of the contested Congressional primaries that are shaping up. Texas congressional incumbents raised more than $4.7 million during the third quarter of the year, but some of them face challengers who also displayed … Continue reading

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Margins tax lawsuit goes to Supreme Court

Oral arguments for the lawsuit that claims the business margins tax is an unconstitutional income tax are being heard by the State Supreme Court this week. In a lawsuit filed in July, Allcat Claims Service LP , a Boerne insurance … Continue reading

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Time to evaluate Grier

It’s performance review time for HISD Superintendent Terry Grier. The elected nine-member school board uses an evaluation form that consists of data measurements in categories such as the increase in student college readiness; recruiting and retaining the best teachers and … Continue reading

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