Convention

Four dead after severe storms batter Houston, East Texas

Deadly and destructive storms sweep across downtown Houston, killing four and leaving hundreds of thousands without power. We’ll have an update on the latest as damage assessment and recovery efforts are underway.
A new controversy surrounding Houston Superintendent Mike Miles is getting the attention of state lawmakers and the Texas Education Agency – this one involving an apparent transfer of Texas education dollars to charter schools in Colorado.
Plus: the week in politics with Matthew Watkins of The Texas Tribune.

Texas Standard: June 20, 2022

A green light for COVID-19 vaccines for kids under 5. A Texas doctor on the importance at this stage of the pandemic fight, we’ll have the latest. Other stories we’re tracking: hispanics and COVID-19 vaccinations. What a new study tells us about vaccine hesitancy and health information. In other news, Texas republicans at their convention in Houston approve a platform including the false claim that President Biden’s election was illegitimate. We’ll have more from that event. Also reflections on Juneteenth and the progress and perils in the pursuit of racial justice. The comments of UT scholar Peniel Joseph and much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: June 17, 2022

Is there a big push for Governor Abbott at the Texas GOP Convention? Not exactly… Sergio Martínez-Beltrán of the Texas Newsroom with the latest. Other stories we’re tracking, more warnings of record demand for electricity in coming days as Texas tries to beat the heat. While wind and solar getting credit for helping us avoid major blackouts, why these ongoing warnings? And is Texas moving quickly enough to meet constantly growing demand? Also, a new massive SpaceX rocket test cleared for liftoff in South Texas? The FAA imposes new restrictions. And reflections on Juneteenth: do Black Texans consider themselves really free? Those stories and much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: June 15, 2021

A new warning from ERCOT urging Texans to conserve electricity. How prepared is the power grid for a long hot summer? After last winter’s deadly power outages, politicians promised changes to beef up the grid. But this weeks warning sends an ominous message about readiness as temps climb into the triple digits. We’ll have the latest. Plus, Houston’s plan to battle climate change with the help of solar panels. We’ll hear how that effort is going. And farmers say it’s not just sour grapes, but a serious concern over herbicides. Plus what’s being billed as the first scholarly book on the history of Juneteenth. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: August 28, 2020

On the day after Hurricane Laura’s assault on the northern gulf cost of Texas, what’s the view from local hospitals already dealing with a pandemic? We’ll have more on the aftermath of Hurricane Laura. Also, it’s a wrap for the Republicans as they close their 4 day convention. We’ll explore whether the message moved the needle in what many consider to be a more politically competitive Texas. And concerns about a looming eviction crisis, we’ll have details. Also border smuggling and the demand for bologna, the week that was in Texas politics and much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: July 9, 2020

Calling it a clear and present danger to Texas’ biggest city, the mayor of Houston cancels the upcoming Texas Republican Convention, we’ll have details. Also, as metro areas sound alarms over the rise of Coronavirus cases, few counties have been as hard hit as one in a remote part of northeast Texas: the view from Titus county. Also in a state that likes to toot its horn as number one, new numbers from the census are nothing to brag about. Why Texas ranks near the bottom in an important census year metric, and what that could add up to. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: June 21, 2018

The president didn’t like the optics, he said, so he signed an executive order. Smoke and mirrors? We’ll take a much closer look at the presidential directive to end family separations and explore what its does and likely does not do. Also the impact of family separation on kids, and how this major story in the U.S. is playing in papers south of the border. And Texas democrats gather for their convention, we’ll have a preview. Plus a look over our shoulder at what the Texas GOP just did. A major change of position on the question of marijuana. Those stories and so much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: June 18, 2018

The Homeland Security chief tweets that the U.S. does not have a policy of separating families at the border: is that fact or fiction? Over the weekend, outrage grows over the so-called zero-tolerance policy on illegal immigration, a drama playing out across south Texas. We’ll talk with the Houston Chronicle’s immigration reporter to hear what she’s learned about how families are separated and what is and isn’t done to get them back together. Also an unusual death penalty appeal: not a plea to spare a life, but for a different method of killing, we’ll explore. Plus: does your teenager know what he or she needs to when it comes to Texas law? Those stories and so much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: May 7, 2018

Decision day on the horizon for the controversial arms deal with Iran. Could there be collateral damage? We’ll explore. Also, the party’s over for the NRA in Dallas. What was said, and left unsaid in the wake of the national convention. Plus: e-scooters scattered about the streets of a growing number of cities. There are benefits to be sure, but cities wrestle with whether they outweigh the costs. And hundreds arrested, no one yet convicted We’ll have an update on the Waco biker trials. Also big changes for hundreds of thousands of insured Texans who may be on the hook for 100 percent of ER charges. Those stories and so much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: May 3, 2018

Who will be the next speaker of the Texas house of representatives? The answer could have a big impact on you. We’ll look at how the race is shaping up. Who’s the next Joe Straus? That is: who’s likely to take over as the third leg in the triumvirate of Texas politics, and what will that mean for the rest of us? We’ll explore. Also, guess who’s coming to Dallas: the National Rifle association in the spotlight. And the Texas school that gave out too many scholarships- UT tyler struggles with a perfect storm. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: March 20, 2017

The flood most of Texas forgot. A city almost wiped off the map where are they now? We’ll return to Deweyville and check in. Also we’ve been warned there’d be less money and cutbacks in the state budget. But what if a lack of money really wasn’t the problem? The executive editor of the Texas tribune says its not…he’ll explain. Also the Texas governor leading a push for a new Constitutional Convention. But listeners wonder if it’s for real and what it would mean. We’ll look for answers. And what did they say was the hardest part? The waiting game becomes the latest big oil play. Those stories and lots more today on the Texas Standard

Texas Standard: December 7, 2016

Not since 1787 has the US had a constitutional convention. Now, what was once considered the unthinkable looks possible. The story today on the Texas Standard

The problems of prognostication. Politics: you’re not alone. We’ll look at forecasting through an unlikely lens.

Also a new Texas rule to require burial of fetal remains–for those seeking an abortion, what this means as a practical matter.

They’re calling it the flooding capitol of the nation. It’s also set to become the third largest city in the US. As development continues, can a flood czar help? Or is it too late?

Texas Standard: September 29, 2016

The Saudi’s cry uncle. And the markets predicting a big boost in oil prices. A green light for drilling in Texas again? We’ll explore. Plus teenagers turning hitmen? How border cartels are recruiting school kids. Also With Texans transfixed on the drama of election season, some say a quiet movement is picking up steam which could have a much more profound impact that the vote in November is there a constitutional convention in our future? And its 4 in the morning and you’ve gotta have barbecue. In all of Texas, there’s only one joint that serving up 24/7. We’ll smoke it out. All that and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: July 26, 2016

Have you noticed the many Texas democrats grabbing the spotlight in Philadelphia? We’ll have the latest news on the red state blues. Also, as the democratic convention moves toward making the ticket official, whither one Julian Castro? We’ll explore his political future, which may turn out to resemble that of a certain Texas Republican. And remember the lawsuit over newborns in Texas getting denied birth certificates because of their parents ID? With little fanfare that case has been settled…we’ll hear why, and it means. Plus college life across the US forever changed by one day in Texas. All that and much more on todays Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: July 12, 2016

The nation mourns for Dallas. President Obama in North Texas today to remember 5 police officers. And bending the President’s ear. A US Representative from Dallas tells us what she has to say to the President… and what she wants her colleagues in Washington to know. And a convention in Cleveland. Events begin to ramp up for the Grand Old Party’s party… but not everyone is celebrating. Plus tens of thousands of precious Texas artifacts have been removed from the Alamo… where they’re going and why. And bats just might be useful allies in the fight against Zika… but don’t count on them to eradicate it. We’ll explain… Those stories and lots more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: June 14, 2016

It has been described as an unspeakable act, but how we’re speaking about it may say a lot about who we are as a people. We’ll explore. Also would you give up your rights for an insurance discount? So reads the headline in the Dallas Morning news…we’ll hear about a provocative proposal for a state with the third highest home insurance rates in the nation. Plus, 3 things to watch for as Texas democrats convene this week in San Antonio. And Hamlet for Hispanic Boys? A new book puts a Shakespearean Classic in a distinctly Texan setting. Those stories and so much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: June 10, 2016

There is no zika epidemic in Texas, but Houston’s mayor says the time has come to declare a public health state of emergency. Also Texas democrats try to build on a new anti-Trump momentum…but guess who’s coming to the Lone star state just in Time for the democratic convention? And, an state law says schools should be in the business of registering students to vote. So why isn’t that happening in many cases? Plus, the state plans to sink a massive ship of the coast … more than just one, more like hundreds…for the good of the sea. Those stories and lots more today on the Texas Standard:

The Mysterious Texan and the Ranchers’ Convention

The story goes that there was a convention of landowners – mega farmers and big ranchers – up in Denver. There were four men sittin’ around in the bar there in the fancy resort, enjoying happy hour. Three of them were swappin’ stories about their farms and ranches and generally braggin’ about their land holdings. A fourth man, a Texan, was off to the side a bit. You knew he was from Texas because of the Lone Star hatband on his Stetson. He was not much involved in the conversation, just readin’ the paper and half-listenin’ to the others.

One of the talkers said, “I have about 8,122 acres of land along the Western Slopes of the Rockies here in Colorado. Have over 1,000 horses, I bet, if I could ever manage to count ‘em all. Probably the highest ranch in the Western U.S. – we call it El Cielo Ranch because it’s so close to Heaven.”

Next man said, “Sounds real nice. I have kind of the opposite. I own El Diablo Farms in Southern California’s Imperial Valley. Always hotter then the Devil down there. But we have over 9,500 irrigated acres. It is a desert, but just add water and watch the miracles happen. We grow produce faster than you can harvest it. Like a license to print money!” he said, laughing loudly.

Third guy said, “I don’t have nearly that much land. I have about 6,000 acres in the fertile Willamette Valley. Have the largest dairy operation in Oregon. Over 3,000 registered Holstein cows. Scottish Dairies it’s called. Supply milk to half of Portland. Only problem is the Willamette River runs right down the middle of my farms and makes navigating my own property difficult. It’s a beautiful problem to have, though.”

The Texan was still sittin’ quietly and then one of ‘em says, “Hey, Tex, how about you? How much land do you have?”

He said, “Well, down in Texas it’s considered unseemly to ask a man how much land he owns or how many head of cattle he runs. We talk about land in terms of sections, not acres, but, since you gentlemen revealed your cards, I guess I can oblige your curiosity. I suppose, all told,” he said, looking up at the ceiling, as though mentally counting, “I have 200 acres.”

The three men burst out laughing. The Californian said, “200 acres! What the hell you doin’ here at this gathering of big ranchers and farmers? What do you call your little ranchito, Tex?”

And the guys laughed some more.

“Well,” drawled the Texan, “I don’t have a name for it myself, but people all round Texas like to call it – Downtown Dallas.”

Things got mighty quiet. You could hear minds bein’ blown. You could hear jaws droppin’ – hittin’ the metaphorical floor.

The Texan drank the last bit of his Shiner Bock, got up and said, “Any you boys want to sell your land, let me know. I’ll dip into my petty cash account and buy you out.”

With that he tipped his Stetson politely and said, “Y’all have a nice evenin’, now.”

W.F. Strong is a Fulbright Scholar and professor of Culture and Communication at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. At Public Radio 88 FM in Harlingen, Texas, he’s the resident expert on Texas literature, Texas legends, Blue Bell ice cream, Whataburger (with cheese) and mesquite smoked brisket.

Texas Standard: May 12, 2016

It was a deadly explosion that rocked a sense of security…3 years later, another jolt shaking the town of west Texas. We’ll explore. Texas is home to one of the largest squads of mosquito fighters in the country, but are they big enough to tackle the new threat of Zika… Also, a tempest in a taco bowl? Why a week after cinco de mayo, one incendiary tweet among many constitutes to reverberate. And learning to grow legally…how cannabis farmers are navigating the narrows of Texas law to get licenses. Those stories and lots more today on the Texas Standard: