in Houston, Texas
Is speed limit of 85 mph on SH 130 a money-safety tradeoff?
Tuesday, Sep 11, 2012, 03:07PM CST
By Steve Miller
race

You can drive 85 on a section of State Highway 130 in South Texas, thanks to an agreement between the private builder and the state.

In exchange for the speed limit, SH 130 Concession Co., a consortium of builders that agreed in 2007 to build the toll road, agreed to pay the state $100 million. The speed limit was allowed by legislation passed in 2011 carried by state Rep. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham.

An analysis of the action at the time by the state House Research Organization pointed out that opponents of the proposed higher speed limit say the action “would go too far by authorizing the nation’s highest posted speed of 85 mph. While the rate of collisions may not increase at higher average speeds, the average severity of crashes certainly does.

“With a posted speed of 85 mph, many motorists would travel 90 mph or even 95 mph. Standard tires are rated for long-term travel only at 80 mph or less. Special tires, such as those on racing cars and law enforcement vehicles, are required for safe travel at those speeds for longer distances. Most people also are not accustomed to driving at such high speeds, which complicates any estimation of the safety risks involved in such a high posted speed limit.”

It also pointed out a perceived pay-to-play element in the eyes of some:

“The authority added by the committee substitute to allow an 85 mph speed limit could be a boon for a private toll road in central Texas, SH 130 — the only highway in Texas currently engineered to support a speed of 85 mph.

“SH 130 segments 5 and 6 near Lockhart are privately operated tollways developed by Cintra [of which SH 130 Consortium is a subsidiary].  A provision in the concessions agreement between TxDOT and Cintra to develop portions of SH 130 states that if TxDOT authorizes an 85 mph speed limit within a certain timeframe, the agency will be entitled to an additional payment or a greater share of toll revenue. Currently, the maximum speed on SH 130 can be set no higher than 70 mph.”

A good column that addresses both points of concern is here.

The analysis said the Texas Transportation Commission would only authorize an 85 mph speed limit after “extensive consideration.” The commission gave the proposal that extensive consideration on Aug. 30 and put its stamp of approval on the higher speed.

Madrid-based Cintra has built highways and toll roads in six countries, according to its Web site, including the LBJ Expressway in Dallas and the concession deal for the Chicago Skyway.

The original Texas deal was approved by the former executive director of the Texas Department of Transportation, Michael Behrens, who championed public-private partnerships during his tenure from 2001 to 2007.

Behrens was as of earlier this year the director of national transportation programs at the Michael Baker Corporation.

A few years before his hire, the corporation received three lucrative contracts for work in Texas, including a study related to the now-defunct Trans-Texas Corridor.

After Behrens’ hire, the corporation received another state contract. The deal required the commission to bypass a state law aimed at preventing agencies from doing business with firms that employ former state department heads. The law requires a cooling-off period of four years after a department head leaves the state. Getting around the rule is straightforward: An agency can take an open-session vote on the contract and send notice to the Legislative Budget Board.

***
Contact Steve Miller at 832-303-9420 or stevemiller@texaswatchdog.org.

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Photo of soapbox derby by flickr user mlaargh, used via a Creative Commons license.

The $71 million spent planning nonexistent Houston Metro rail line could have been used to pave route in dollar bills
Monday, Sep 10, 2012, 03:39PM CST
By Mike Cronin
berg

Metro officials have spent $71 million on one light rail line during the last decade, but you wouldn’t know it walking down the street where it’s planned.

No construction has begun on the University Line because officials from the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, Houston say no money exists to build it, KTRK reports. The $71 million has been spent on environmental studies, land appraisals and analyzing possible routes.

Here’s an additional fun fact from reporter Ted Oberg: Metro spent so much money that the agency could have just as easily laid one-dollar bills down the entire route from Hillcroft through Downtown, with money to spare.

Now, KTRK reports, the light rail line might not be built until 2025 at the soonest.

"The Metro board has not scrapped plans for the University Line,” Metro officials told KTRK-TV in a statement. “While work has slowed down Metro has not pulled this project out of its rail expansion program. The transit agency is being fiscally responsible, and as we have stated in the past, Metro will proceed with rail expansion as funds become available.”

Some residents told the TV station they feel betrayed by Metro, and former Councilwoman Sue Lovell showed the creaky, pothole-riven roads that haven’t been repaired in anticipation of a light-rail line. Metro has also fallen short on promises made at the time of a 2003 bond referendum, when agency leaders sold voters on expanded bus service and a light-rail expansion plan with 21.5 miles of track to be complete by the end of 2012. Neither promise has been kept.

“Leadership at Metro has stated over and over that we will not build more than we can afford,” Metro spokesman Jerome Gray told Texas Watchdog last month. “That remains true.”

***
Contact Mike Cronin at mike@texaswatchdog.org or 713-228-2850.

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Is Texas a red state? More like a red tape state. Texas regulates more professions than you think.
Monday, Sep 10, 2012, 02:05PM CST
By Curt Olson
redcap

Texas has earned a reputation nationwide as a state with a low regulatory climate where any business can flourish, but don’t tell that to Tod Pendergrass and Dana McMichael of Austin.

They have waged a fight for seven years against the Texas Supreme Court for its regulation of the industry of about 3,500 people in Texas who serve court papers. Texas is one of nine states that require state regulation, and the only one that did so by state Supreme Court edict, according to the National Association of Professional Process Servers.

“There is no call from the public that we need protection from process servers,” McMichael says.

Pendergrass and McMichael believe state legislators can undo the court’s action and have raised the issue via a new website, Texas Red Tape Challenge, where citizens can comment “on how to make Texas laws and regulations less burdensome.” The site created by the House Government Efficiency and Reform Committee in July has a forum for public discussion of state occupational licensing issues. Committee chairman Rep. Bill Callegari, R-Katy, said he expects the elimination of some licenses and is seeking public input before the panel meets in November.

Opposed to any targeting of his industry is Carl Weeks, former chairman of the process server licensing board. He said the system is more efficient than that of local constables, who also have charge of serving court papers.

“Citizens should not bear the cost of subsidizing litigation cost. Private process fees are 100 percent paid by the litigants, when process is served in the office of a constable it cost taxpayers enormous dollars and only serves to grow and expand government. … Citizens of Texas are subsidizing the cost of private litigation when constable offices deliver civil process,” Weeks said.

Weeks said the Process Server Review Board provides an essential check on the profession.

“It goes to the deprivation of freedom and personal property interests,” he said. “You can’t get any more foundational than that.”

After about a dozen rejections by Texas lawmakers to regulate the industry, Texas Supreme Court justices created the Process Server Review Board in July 2005. It makes recommendations to justices and can recommend discipline of process servers.

The high court’s move established a cottage industry that requires process servers to take classes and pass an exam to receive a state certificate. The state collects $75 a year from each person who serves court papers. The Office of Court Administration pours the money into the state’s general fund, so far nearly $650,000. The classes are run by four trade groups and one small business.

Pendergrass and McMichael don’t like paying $225 for a three-year certificate, but that’s not the real rub. Both men argue the high court superseded the Legislature to regulate their profession.

“The Legislature never created the Process Server Review Board by statute,” said Pendergrass, who has 24 years of experience as a judicial process server.

“That is a blatant breach of power,” said McMichael, also a more than 20-year veteran of the industry. “If the Legislature can regulate it, the Supreme Court can’t.”

Weeks said the move was appropriate because justices have charge over the operation of the courts.

The licensing of people who deliver court papers adds to the number of people who have to get a state approval to ply their trade.

Consider a study in May from the Arlington,Va.-based Institute for Justice. It gave Texas a mixed grade, with Texas in the top third — 17th — for most burdensome licensing laws, and 32nd most extensively and onerously licensed state.

The study shows 60 years ago only one in 20 U.S. workers needed government approval to pursue their occupation. Today, it is about one in three. “Yet research to date provides little evidence that licensing protects public health and safety or improves products and services. Instead, it increases consumer costs and reduces opportunities for workers,” the Institute for Justice study states.

The study does not identity process servers, guardians and court reporters, all whom must have a certificate to work. A certificate would be the equivalent of a license issued by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation. The department will spend about $48 million in 2012-13, and since 1999 the number of licenses it oversees has grown more than five-fold from 116,000 to 655,987, according to the department’s strategic plan.

“There’s been an explosion of occupational licensing,” said Matt Miller, executive director of the Institute for Justice’s Texas chapter. “Rules are typically passed with flimsy evidence.”

Pendergrass and McMichael said they will continue their quest to end the certification of their profession. They want the Sunset Advisory Commission, which has the power to recommend reforms or dismantling of state agencies, to examine the board. Pendergrass believes the board wouldn’t measure up under intense Sunset Commission scrutiny.

***
Contact Curt Olson at curt@texaswatchdog.org or 512-557-3800. Follow him on Twitter @olson_curt.

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Photo of red tape by flickr user free press pics, used via a Creative Commons license.

Texas AG Greg Abbott racks up $2.58 million in taxpayer costs from suing feds since Obama took office
Monday, Sep 10, 2012, 12:56PM CST
By Mark Lisheron
gavel

In an astonishing coincidence few could have foreseen, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has filed eight times as many lawsuits against the federal government under President Barack Obama than his predecessor, George W. Bush.

Abbott has sued the United States 24 times at a cost to Texas taxpayers of $2.58 million over Obama’s time in office, according to an Associated Press story today.

By examining records obtained through the federal Freedom of Information Act, Associated Press determined assistant attorneys general and staff rolled up more than 14,000 hours working on the Supreme Court Challenge to Obamacare, the state Legislature’s recent redistricting and a string of wins over Environmental Protection Agency regulations.

Abbott, a Republican who first took office in 2002, sued the federal government a total of three times between 2004 and 2007, years when Bush served as president. He has become a leader among Republican attorneys general in recognizing a change in presidential administrations.

In his five-year strategic plan for the Attorney General’s office, Abbott’s first three principles for the philosophy of state government are:

  • First and foremost, Texas matters most. This is the overarching, guiding principle by which we will make decisions. Our state, and its future, is more important than party, politics, or individual recognition.
  • Government should be limited in size and mission, but it must be highly effective in performing the tasks it undertakes.
  • Decisions affecting individual Texans, in most instances, are best made by those individuals, their families, and the local government closest to their communities.

Abbott told Associated Press his hard line with the federal government constituted "a fight against the unprecedented ideology coming from the Obama administration."

Critics including Rep. Jessica Farrar, D-Houston, Texas House Democratic Caucus leader, said all the suing was expensive at a time of budget austerity for the Legislature.

How expensive? For this we consulted the Attorney General’s 2012 budget and employed the vaunted Texas Watchdog calculator.

Although its budget figures do not include 2009, Obama’s first year in office, the $2.58 million spent on federal lawsuits represents .9 percent of the $274 million budgeted for all litigation, legal services and counseling between 2010 and 2012, according to the budget.

The budget for litigation, legal services and counseling has increased by 22.1 percent, from $81.6 million in 2010 to $99.6 million budgeted for 2012. Total federal lawsuit expenses represent 14.3 percent of the $18 million increase over the last three budget years.

***
Contact Mark Lisheron at 512-299-2318 or mark@texaswatchdog.org or on Twitter at @marktxwatchdog.

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Photo of gavel by flickr user bloomsberries, used via a Creative Commons license.

Special districts can levy ‘maintenance tax’ after debts are paid, more in Q/A with state oversight agency
Monday, Sep 10, 2012, 10:23AM CST
By Steve Miller
monopoly

The oversight of special districts in Texas is often unclear even to the officials who must navigate the landscape. Most of the time, the fallback agency for information regarding utility districts is the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. It has the power to approve applications for certain districts related to water, usually presented by developers, and it provides administrative guidance once the districts are established.

We sent an agency spokeswoman some questions. The answers came back in good shape. Check it out.
 
Question: Who has jurisdiction over districts like development districts, tax increment finance zones and public improvement districts?
Answer: The municipality or county which creates the development district, tax increment finance zones and public improvement districts has jurisdiction over the district or finance zone. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has no jurisdiction over development districts, tax increment finance zones, and public improvement districts.

Q: What is the procedure for dissolving a municipal utility district (MUD) or any other district under the auspices of the TCEQ?
A: The procedures/criteria for the dissolution of districts can be found in 30 Texas Administrative Code, Sections 293.131 – 293.136, which are derived from the Texas Water Code Chapter 49, Sections 49.321 – 49.327. The TCEQ’s authority to dissolve a district is limited to districts that have been inactive for at least five years and that have no bonded indebtedness.

Q: Is there any administrative authority and/or oversight of MUDs provided by TCEQ?
A: Although the (Texas Water Code) grants the TCEQ a continuing right of supervision, the extent of this supervision is limited, and does not include the regulation of a district’s daily operations. Issues related to the daily operation and the management of a district are under the authority of the district’s elected board of directors. However, TCEQ staff does assist district board members and/or their consultants to understand the complex and varied laws and regulations under which a district must operate.

Q: Can a utility district operate and tax without any outstanding debt to manage? Can a utility district continue to tax if management of the infrastructure it built is handled by a city or other municipality?
A: Yes, a district can issue a maintenance tax for the operation of the district even if the district has no outstanding debt.  Yes, a district may continue to collect a tax if the management of infrastructure is handled by another entity.  Decisions regarding a district’s operation and taxes are under the authority of the district’s elected board of directors.

Q: What is to prevent a district with no more administrative or management tasks left from refinancing bonds or issuing bonds for something other than it was created for?
A: General Law districts must follow Chapters 49 through 66 of the TWC. These statutes describe the powers and duties of each type of district and establish requirements that these districts must follow.  Additionally, most districts must obtain TCEQ approval before issuing bonds.

Q: How many utility districts have been dissolved since 1980? How long does it usually take for the process to be completed?
A: Based from TCEQ’s water utility database, there have been 681 districts dissolved since 1980. If a dissolution application filed with the TCEQ is complete, staff can process the application within 180 days.

Q: The Corinth MUD #1 taxed residents in 2010 even after its debt had been retired and the city managed the water and sewer system. Is that done in accordance with code? Is that being done anywhere else?
A: Decisions regarding taxation of district residents are under the authority of the district's elected board of directors. The TCEQ is not aware of this occurring anywhere else.

***
Contact Steve Miller at 832-303-9420 or stevemiller@texaswatchdog.org.

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Photo 'Tax Time' by flickr user Images_of_Money, used via a Creative Commons license.

Aransas County judge at center YouTube beating video gets warning from Texas judicial conduct panel embroiled in transparency dispute with legislators
Friday, Sep 07, 2012, 04:21PM CST
By Curt Olson
video

The Aransas County judge at the center of a viral video on YouTube that showed him beating his then-teenage daughter received a “public warning” from a state agency arguably just as embattled as the judge.

The State Commission on Judicial Conduct delivered the warning to Aransas County Court-at-Law Judge Williams Adams, whose court hears family law cases, although it is likely he will return to the bench, the Corpus Christi Caller-Times reports. Adams was suspended with pay about 10 months ago after Adams’ 23-year-old daughter Hillary posted a video of her father beating and cursing at her when she was 16.

During the investigation, Aransas County dropped Adams’ pay 1.6 percent for fiscal year 2013 to $144,000 because his caseload was less than other county judges-at-law making similar pay, the Caller-Times reported.

The decision by the state panel will probably be one of just a few dozen decisions to discipline a judge the commission delivers this year. It has been engaged in a power struggle with the Sunset Advisory Commission over the veil of secrecy that obscures judicial conduct records.

Sunset review occurs for every state agency, and the sunset commission can make recommendations for improvement or suggest shutting down an agency. The State Commission on Judicial Conduct received 1,119 complaints on judges in 2011, issuing just 42 disciplinary decisions, according to the Sunset review.

The Austin American-Statesman revealed earlier this year the judicial disciplinary panel had blocked the sunset commission from access to its deliberations, arguing they are protected under attorney-client privilege.This compelled state Rep. Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, chairman of the Sunset Commission, to write a letter to Attorney General Greg Abbott challenging the secrecy and asking for an opinion.

It’s hard to imagine that Abbott would go against a prior ruling on this issue from his predecessor, former AG John Cornyn, now U.S. senator. In an April Sunset Commission hearing, state Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, displayed that 2000 ruling by Cornyn stating there must be full access and cooperation with the Sunset Commission, the Statesman reported.

***
Contact Curt Olson at curt@texaswatchdog.org or 512-557-3800. Follow him on Twitter @olson_curt.

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Screenshot is of the controversial beating video.

Cameron County DA wants to keep lid on surveillance video in shooting death of 8th grader by Brownsville cops
Friday, Sep 07, 2012, 12:10PM CST
By Steve Miller
police

The Brownsville Herald is continuing to press authorities about the January shooting death of a 15-year-old student by Brownsville police, now asking Cameron County authorities for a copy of a security video tape at the scene of the shooting.

The two officers involved in the shooting of 8th grader Jaime Gonzalez Jr., Everardo Longoria and Raul E. Cazares, were no-billed by a grand jury in August.

The Herald asked for the video shortly after the shooting, but the dispute over the public nature of the material has bounced around for months.

The paper has received some of the material it asked for, including a key police report that shows a police sergeant gave a shoot-to-kill order.

The lawyer representing the Herald in the open records pursuits, John Bussian, poses this question in the most recent story:  “How would the public ever have any confidence that this investigation and no bill by the grand jury wasn’t a whitewash if the public couldn’t see the video? The public information act clearly allows public access in this case where no one was ever charged with a crime. If no one was charged, this is the only way the public is ever going to be satisfied with the decision made by the grand jury. … All this does is create suspicion in the mind of the public.”

***
Contact Steve Miller at 832-303-9420 or stevemiller@texaswatchdog.org.

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Photo of police tape by flickr user freefotouk4, used via a Creative Commons license.

Will it matter if El Paso voters reject downtown stadium in May? Council to hear stadium bills next week
Thursday, Sep 06, 2012, 01:30PM CST
By Curt Olson
baseball

It remains unclear if El Paso voters will get their say on the construction of a minor league baseball stadium, and if they do get that opportunity, if it will have any significance.

El Paso City Council will discuss ordinances next week that advance the acquisition of a Triple A minor league baseball team, the construction of a stadium for that team, and relocating city operations to make way for the stadium, the El Paso Times reports. In the same meeting, council members will discuss a certified petition calling for a public vote on the stadium plan.

The issue is one of timing. If the referendum were held during the the May election and voters rejected the downtown stadium, would that deter anything that appears to be on a fast track between now and then? An initial petition calling for a referendum in November did not have enough qualifying signatures, a detail revealed even though the City Council refused to discuss the matter in the open.

City Council members offer mixed responses to the new petition, from predicting it will have little impact to asserting that some council members have been having second thoughts, according to KFOX in El Paso.

After City Council voted in the spring for a stadium for what looks like will be the Tuscon Padres of the Pacific Coast League, many citizens demanded the opportunity to vote to either confirm or reject Council’s vote. The $50 million stadium to be built where city hall stands forces city leaders to examine other options for city operations, which include the El Paso Times building and a second building.

***
Contact Curt Olson at curt@texaswatchdog.org or 512-557-3800. Follow him on Twitter @olson_curt.

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Photo of baseball by flickr user theseanster93, used via a Creative Commons license.

Under new commissioner Michael Williams, Texas Education Agency refuses to answer simple questions from the public
Thursday, Sep 06, 2012, 12:00PM CST
By Steve Miller
be quiet

The Dallas Morning News notices the same thing we do: Dealing with the Texas Education Agency is much less pleasant than it used to be, especially when it comes to getting public records.

“With all the turnover at the state education agency, including a new commissioner, the communications staff is under a new directive that keeps information from the public and the news media,” the Morning News reports. “Spokespeople now aren’t allowed to provide updates to the public about TEA investigations or complaints sent to the agency.”

Considering that Michael Williams, the new education commissioner, said when he was running for U.S. Congress, “We need to bring greater transparency to spending to curtail waste, reform the flawed earmark process, and control the growth of government,” it’s funny how quickly the tune has changed. The office has become the classic example of the muddled bureaucracy that he claims to disdain.

Earlier this year we sent a request for TEA records regarding teachers sanctioned for cheating on the state academic test. After numerous emails and conversations with people who had no idea what open records were – we finally realized the TEA was having clerks call us to try and understand what we wanted – we got a few things and a cost estimate for $2,380. We contested the charges in late April – read our trail of tears here – and await some resolution. Seems like a long time, right? We’ve been told that there has been some obfuscation on the part of the TEA in responding to our argument.


There has been quite a tightening at the state level, controlling information and keeping the officials who make the decisions away from the media – consider the item we wrote in 2010, same problem, different office, the Secretary of State.

***
Contact Steve Miller at 832-303-9420 or stevemiller@texaswatchdog.org.

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Photo by flickr user j.lee43, used via a Creative Commons license.

City of McAllen can’t give away free space at convention center, operating at a loss
Thursday, Sep 06, 2012, 09:58AM CST
By Curt Olson
discount

McAllen can’t even give away its city convention center space, illustrated by the recent revelation of a $1.6 million operating loss.

Three groups rejected McAllen as a venue in the past 18 months, with convention center officials giving away the meeting space, the McAllen Monitor reports. The ensuing operating shortfall compelled McAllen Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Steve Ahlenius to recommend his group taking over the convention center. Ahlenius believes the biggest drawback for McAllen is not having an attached or nearby hotel for conventions.

McAllen’s hotel occupancy tax has absorbed the red ink flowing from the convention center. But long-term, Mayor Richard Cortez said the solution requires officials to “put our heads together.”

He may want to consider some evidence.

Convention attendance at Chicago’s McCormick Place dropped 9.6 percent from 2010 to 2011, despite an increase in number of trade shows, the Chicago Tribune reported.

If Chicago’s McCormick Place has experienced this, what do McAllen officials expect in a city of 130,000 people in the Rio Grande Valley with 11 daily flights into the local airport?

Researchers at the D.C.-based Brookings Institution warned in 2005 of just such a decline, asserting that convention centers evolve into large expenses and empty promises. The study found:

  • Public capital spending on convention centers had doubled in a decade’s time to $2.4 billion annually, and convention center space had grown by 50 percent since 1990.
  • The overall convention marketplace declined to a point where recovery or turnaround is unlikely to yield much increased business. This decline began prior to the disruptions of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, and is exacerbated by advances in communications technology.

“This analysis should give local leaders pause as they consider calls for ever more public investment into the convention business, while weighing simultaneously where else scarce public funds could be spent to boost the urban economy,” the Brookings Institution concluded.

***
Contact Curt Olson at curt@texaswatchdog.org or 512-557-3800. Follow him on Twitter @olson_curt.

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Photo of sign by flickr user bondidwhat, used via a Creative Commons license.

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Gov. Abbott mistakes incarceration smell for "freedom" Governor Greg Abbott made a speech in Bell County recently declaring that, as one drove north out of Austin, one could notice a different...
Update:2 years 6 months
Grits for Breakfast
Unanswered questions about law-of-parties beyond death penalty In our podcast the other day, Texas Defender Service Executive Director Amanda Marzullo estimated that 10 percent of death-row defendants...
Update:2 years 6 months
Grits for Breakfast
Priorities The headline from the Victoria Advocate declaring that the Texas Legislature prioritized mental health treatment over incarceration is...
Update:2 years 6 months
Grits for Breakfast
Legislative Session The 85th Legislative Session was different in many ways. Two things changed the narrative this session. First, Empower Texans successfully...
Update:2 years 6 months
Big Jolly Politics
Court trends advise tempered enthusiasm for HB 34 eyewitness ID reforms Does this sound like a suggestive photo array to put before a witness?A witness described being robbed at gunpoint by a “[b]lack male,...
Update:2 years 6 months
Grits for Breakfast
MAY 22, 2917 / Theodore Dalrymple on secularization and transcendence THE SECULARIZATION of Europe is hardly any secret. Religion's long, melancholy, withdrawing roar, as Matthew Arnold put it, is a roar no...
Update:2 years 7 months
Unca Darrell
MAY 10 / James B. Comey . . . . . . needed firing. Everything he did during the 2016 election was wrong. He was wrong . . . . . . back in July to release information...
Update:2 years 7 months
Unca Darrell
Droppin' F bombs, Beto O'Rourke style It's not often that a politician decides to start cursing repeatedly during speeches and interviews. But that hasn't stopped...
Update:2 years 8 months
Rick Perry vs The World
APRIL 5, 2017 / Weeding out the audience at the Alley is . . . . . . a feature, not a bug. Houston's Alley Theatre is running "An Act of God," a loosely dramatized collection of irreverent one-liners...
Update:2 years 8 months
Unca Darrell
Statewide primary rumors It's that stage of the election cycle where politicians are trying to figure out if they should run for something else or stay put. ...
Update:2 years 9 months
Rick Perry vs The World
Is Ted Cruz vulnerable? Is Ted Cruz vulnerable? Not really. Sure, he's not liked, Texans think Ted puts Ted first, his approval rating is upside down, etc...
Update:2 years 9 months
Rick Perry vs The World
MARCH 16, 2017 / Jim Webb on what it means to be a redneck, and . . . . . . why redneck culture matters. In 2004 Jim Webb wrote Born Fighting: How the Scots-Irish Shaped America. Though the 2016 presidential...
Update:2 years 9 months
Unca Darrell
MARCH 3, 2017 -- Goodbye, and thanks, to Thomas Sowell THOMAS SOWELL, senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and one of America's most important public intellectuals, retired from...
Update:2 years 10 months
Unca Darrell
March 2, 2017 / The poem our teachers got wrong TWO ROADS diverged in a wood, and I -- I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference. Generations of commencement...
Update:2 years 10 months
Unca Darrell
FEBRUARY 27 / Eric Hoffer on . . . . . . baby boomers and alienated intellectuals. "SCRATCH AN INTELLECTUAL, and you find a would-be aristocrat who loathes the sight, the...
Update:2 years 10 months
Unca Darrell
2017 Project: January “Progress” There are two different ways to interpret my 2017 project: that it's a way more complicated New Years Resolution, or that it is essentially...
Update:2 years 11 months
Greg's Opinion
Ted Cruz's first senate term in a nutshell The National Review's Tim Alberta switched to Politico, and one of his opening pieces put Ted Cruz's first term in a nutshell It...
Update:2 years 11 months
Rick Perry vs The World
Andrea Parquet-Taylor named KTVT CBS 11 news director Former KHOU 11 assistant news director Andrea Parquet-Taylor named Vice President, News Director for KTVT CBS 11 Andrea...
Update:2 years 11 months
Mike McGuff
VIDEO: KPRC 2 10pm newscast (1-24-99) ...
Update:2 years 11 months
Mike McGuff
Democrats actually thought Wendy Davis was a serious candidate? Hat tip to Willisms: VIDEO- Wendy Davis being Wendy Davis: https://t.co/SHq3ACGVDJ #txlege— Will Franklin (@WILLisms) January 24,...
Update:2 years 11 months
Rick Perry vs The World
Luke Bryan to sing National Anthem as part of Super Bowl LI on FOX ​ Country music superstar LUKE BRYAN will sing the National Anthem as part of Super Bowl LI pregame festivities at NRG Stadium in Houston...
Update:2 years 11 months
Mike McGuff
Tweets
Karen Townsend | 7 years 7 months
"Patrick F. Kennedy is a career foreign service officer" - http://t.co/GOrCe0IS
Peter Corbett ✈ | 7 years 7 months
I'm at McCarran International Airport (LAS) w/ @almacy http://t.co/KvmId07i
KERA Public Media | 7 years 7 months
TONIGHT at 7pm on KERA TV: Presidential Debate: Learn more at PBS NewsHour. http://t.co/Z9kYdun8
PBS MediaShift | 7 years 7 months
Tech Snafus Make Bill O'Reilly/Jon Stewart 'Rumble' More of a Stumble http://t.co/4OfeBlrG (@kegill | @pbsmediashift) #rumble2012
Will Sullivan | 7 years 7 months
Great addition, been burned too much by bad subs. "Google Play Announces Free Trials For In-App Subscription Services" http://t.co/TOLgRVak
TxDOT | 7 years 7 months
I-35W/North Tarrant Express #constantcontact http://t.co/QDzrQumu
keyetv | 7 years 7 months
Serial shotgun robbers suspects arrested. http://t.co/ka8T4U9B
Karen Townsend | 7 years 7 months
Aren't State Dept career people suppose to be non-partisan? Not the political appointees, the career people. #Libya
San Antonio Current | 7 years 7 months
Go ahead, chalk it up http://t.co/YMWpC5wM #satx #chalkitup
Caller.com | 7 years 7 months
Scanner: Bathroom on fire in 600 block of Virginia, CC fire dept. on the way
Ballotpedia | 7 years 7 months
Does your state offer early voting? Do you qualify? Find out! #election2012 http://t.co/eodxBYVD
Dallas Morning News | 7 years 7 months
Why a Dallas-area cycling coach believed Lance Armstrong was drug-free (video) http://t.co/gURdYkj1
Caller.com | 7 years 7 months
Dozens of illegal waste dumpers sentenced in Jim Wells Co.; others on the run: http://t.co/NgerCdsQ
Karen Townsend | 7 years 7 months
Consistently impressed w/raullabrador when I listen to him in Congressional hearings. #Libya
Cory Crow | 7 years 7 months
Diigo: United raises fares by up to $10 per round trip - Business - http://t.co/kWY8gwPV http://t.co/bw25JP5R
News 4 WOAI | 7 years 7 months
If you see news in or around San Antonio 'SEND IT' to @NEWS4WOAI here: http://t.co/uMqbMXQv OR email us at: NEWSDESK@WOAITV.COM
swamplot | 7 years 7 months
Mining Houston Garbage for Recycling and Compost Gold http://t.co/HMMBArMX
swamplot | 7 years 7 months
Daily Demolition Report: Tulane Highway http://t.co/JXmkSx11
KFDA NewsChannel10 | 7 years 7 months
Obama and Romney: Where they stand on the issues http://t.co/y3VrPfkM
Williamson County | 7 years 7 months
Mental Health Awareness Week FREE Webinar:"Understanding Depression-How to Help You or a Loved One" Thurs,Oct 11@1pm-https://t.co/YUWi19WY
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