in Houston, Texas
Weekend Watchdog: Catch up this weekend on the best of Texas Watchdog’s reports filed this week
Friday, Dec 02, 2011, 11:05AM CST
By Trent Seibert

Looking for some weekend reading? 

We’re starting a Friday feature that looks back at some of Texas Watchdog’s best work from the past week. If you missed some of our daily or featured reports, here they are, so you can get in some relaxing reading this Saturday and Sunday.

We’re also going to include in future Weekend Watchdog reports some of the best citizen journalism from around the state. Keep your eyes open, and e-mail suggestions to or

Here’s your Weekend Watchdog:

Special taxing districts - like the Montrose Management District in Houston - proliferate

You may have seen Texas Watchdog reporter Steve Miller's story this week on a Houston taxing district that just won't go away -- and its deep connections to Mayor Annise Parker.

It's not the only one. Special taxing districts are all over the state, and they're a major growth industry in Texas.

Read the full story here

Univ. of Texas professor wants creationist group off charities list

University of Texas Prof. David Hillis wants the State Employee Charitable Campaign to drop the Institute for Creation Research from its donations list.

It seems Hillis was browsing the Charitable Campaign website when he happened upon the Dallas non-profit, which boasts on the site that "science strongly supports the Bible's authority and accuracy."

But what about all the other charities that support a particular world view that are on the list?

Read the full story here

Public pension liabilities at $28,000 per household in Dallas: Study

The average Dallas family carries an added liability and debt burden of more than $28,000 because the city and state aren't fully funding the city's pension plan for its employees and retirees. And Dallas is a relative bright spot.

Read the full story here

Prez hopefuls - Gov. Rick Perry included - offer little to choose from on transparency

Are the presidential hopefuls champions for open government? They say they are, but their actions tell a different story -- and that includes Rick Perry.

Read the full story here

Texas state senator floats proposal for more state senators

Texas needs more state senators, an Amarillo state senator says. If you took the senator's thinking further, to the federal level, the U.S. Senate would get a boost of between 120 and 445 members.

Read the full story here

Texas windstorm agency plans for raises totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars

Department chiefs at the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association have been told to budget for an average of 3 percent pay increases at the troubled agency, which was taken over by the state in February when it was deemed unfit to carry on with business.

Read the full story here

Taxpayers foot $970,000 bill for celebrity chef's smokehouse on the Trinity River

Despite Local businesses in Fort Worth are chafing over a deal the city handed celebrity chef Time Love, whose $970,000 restaurant was paid for by taxpayers.


Read the full story here

Contact Trent Seibert at or 832-316-4994 or on Twitter at @trentseibert or@texaswatchdog.

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Photo of ‘Sunday Reading' by flickr user fdrca'n'dave, used via a Creative Commons license.

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