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State approves Boca Chica State Park land swap with SpaceX

A Texas electricity company acknowledges its role in the largest wildfire in state history, a Panhandle blaze still only partially contained. We’ll hear more from the Texas A&M Forest Service.
Despite objections from Brownsville and Rio Grande Valley residents, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department voted to move forward with a plan to swap land within Boca Chica State Park to Elon Musk’s SpaceX.
Tech expert Omar Gallaga has an update on the Facebook/Meta outages shutting down services for many on Super Tuesday.
And: Actor Thomas Haden Church on his latest film, “Accidental Texan,” a title that also describes his journey to the state.

Remembering renowned ventriloquist Ignacio ‘Nacho’ Estrada

Ready? Or not? As primaries fast approach, an effort to prepare young Texas voters to cast their very first ballots.

A federal complaint filed over Texans being wrongfully kicked off Medicaid rolls.

The latest on a challenge to Texas’ new law prohibiting social media companies from censoring political speech online.

A new TV series on Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X inspired by the groundbreaking work of a Texas professor. We’ll talk with him.

Also, the Standard’s Kristen Cabrera on the death of a beloved entertainer: San Antonio-based ventriloquist Ignacio “Nacho” Estrada.

Texas Standard: July 28, 2022

18 billion in pandemic aid for Texas schools, a huge amount of money. So why has less than a third been spent? We’ll explore. Also with back to school just around the corner, many districts struggling to find and retain teachers. Will promises of a four day workweek do the trick? We’ll hear what educators and parents make of that approach. And five years after Hurricane Harvey, what researchers are finding out about a less obvious impact: the exposure to chemicals. Plus thousands of miles of new roads in Texas displacing hundreds of homes and businesses, but repeated findings of no environmental impact. A red flag? Those stories and much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: December 9, 2021

Survey says: Governor Abbott with a double digit lead against his best-known democratic challenger in the governor’s race. We’ll take a look behind the numbers with the Houston Chronicle’s Jeremy Wallace. Also, allegations of sexual abuse and assault against federal judges and what investigative reporter and author Lise Olson discovered about a code of silence that has protected them. Plus a huge body of water in the desert…though it’s no mirage, you don’t want to swim in it, either. Those stories and much more today on the Texas Standard:

Twitter

Social media can be an escape — a place to share wins and cat photos. It can also be a place where bullying runs rampant, misinformation is spread, and anxieties are stoked. That was the inspiration for this Typewriter Rodeo poem.

Texas Standard: January 13, 2021

The Texas legislature has gaveled into session with a new house speaker and big news on the budget front. We’ll hear more on what’s happening at the Texas capitol. Plus from the nations capitol, a conversation with a U.S. congressman from the Rio Grande Valley on the realities ahead on the presidential impeachment front. And with the muting of the president on social media…a new conversation about the future of big tech and free speech. Also, the completion of an historic sculpture in Galveston more than a hundred years in the making. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: April 30, 2020

60 state lawmakers, Democrats and Republicans, call on the Governor to explain a lack of transparency concerning apparent hotspots statewide. The letter to Governor Abbott cites Coronavirus outbreaks at long term care facilities for the elderly and the lack of information on what’s being done to protect residents and staffers. We’ll talk to the representative who drafted the letter. Also, a federal class action lawsuit that claims thousands are being denied relief checks because they’re married to immigrants without social security numbers. And Dr. Fred Campbell of UT Health San Antonio takes on more listener questions about COVID-19 and much more today on the Texas Standard:

Picturing Texas

Over the past decade I’ve seen more breathtakingly beautiful photographs of Texas than I saw in all the decades before, combined. This is thanks to social media where many photographers share their exquisite work online daily. I’ve made it a point to befriend these great visual artists so I can enjoy Texas in all its resplendent glory from mountain to sea, from high plains to the tropics. I will share with you the names of some of my favorites so that you can see Texas through their gifted eyes. Now this is just MY list, work I’ve come to know somewhat at random. Many of your favorites I will no doubt miss, but perhaps you can add mine to your list of favorites, and you can add yours to mine at the end of this commentary.

In no particular order, here we go.

Wyman Meinzer is the official State Photographer of Texas. He was given this honorary title by the 1997 Texas Legislature at the request of Governor George W. Bush. They wanted to recognize his extraordinary body of work that captures the varied landscapes of Texas and the people who work the land. I love his titles: Between Heaven and Texas, Windmill Tales, and Horses to Ride, Cattle to Cut – among the more than 20 books he has published.

They say he has “traveled to every corner of this great state… in search of the first and last rays of sunlight in its magnificent sweep across the Texas landscape.” Find him at www.wymanmeinzer.com

Jeff Lynch left his heart in West Texas. His photographs of the soft cotton clouds floating above the Davis Mountains on a summer’s day, or his pics of the shadows of those clouds roaming across the vast vistas of West Texas, will make you fall in love with that region just as he has.

See his work at Jeff Lynch Photography on Facebook and Instagram.

Carol M. Highsmith is what I call a photographic philanthropist. She has donated her entire body of U.S. photographs (including hundreds of Texas photos) to an online collection viewable anytime for free at the Library of Congress website. You can search her Texas Lyda Hill collection with simple words like “longhorns,” “cowboys,” or “Big Tex.” Her photographs are downloadable and royalty free. She is a visual documentarian. Her Texas work celebrates landscapes, cityscapes, small-town life, and the diverse cultures of the Lone Star State. Here is her web Library of Congress address:   https://www.loc.gov/collections/carol-m-highsmith/about-this-collection/

My favorite coastal photographer is John Martell. He says, “Texas is a photographer’s paradise.” Every day, it seems, from his base of operations in Rockport, he posts an awe-inspiring photo of a sunrise or sunset over Aransas bay. He says, “Texas is a rich treasure trove for nature lovers. As a photographer I want to capture the essence of these jewels. That always seems to be about the light, which translates into sunrises and sunsets.”

Find him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/JohnMartellPhotography/

Tim McKenna is to me the consummate photographer of Big Bend. In fact, he was commissioned to provide all the photos for the 2018 Big Bend National Park calendar. He can make a cactus flower in the desert look as delicate as a Tyler rose. He puts you in the moment of being bathed in the pink hues of an Emory Peak sunrise or enjoying the soft grey light of the desert after a rain – so real, you’d swear you can smell the musky tones of the damp creosote bushes around you. His work assures you that the desert is a place of infinite life. When he was a young man he hunted with a rifle. Now, he hunts with a camera. You can find him here: https://www.facebook.com/tim.mckenna.31

Larry White loves trains and old cars and trucks and hill country wildflowers. His photographs of a freight train rumbling through ancient East Texas forests or old trucks sitting in forgotten fields will stir your heart in new ways. His photograph of white horses grazing silently at sunrise in a field of bluebonnets is one of his best. No one is better at photographing wildflowers than Larry White. I think he was born with a camera in his hand.

You can find his work at https://www.facebook.com/larrywhitephotography/

Also, www.larrywhitephoto.com

If the stately nature of the King of Beasts, or the grace and beauty of tigers peaks your interest, then David Pine’s work will inspire you. His aim is to depict the essence of an animal in a still shot. “Still photography,” he says, “is the art of capturing a fleeting moment that can express the gamut of emotions not otherwise seen. You want to capture the soul of a creature through its eyes.” Many of his photos come from zoos and rescue zoos in Texas.

https://www.facebook.com/DavidPinePhotography

George McLemore is an incredibly artistic photographer of life in Texas (Texana), but most importantly to me – he has been the visual chronicler of my social circles for several decades now. For most of his life, he has preserved on film and online, the social gatherings and special events for all who have been in his orbit, and he has done it mostly for free. Thirty  years ago we found his covert clicking unnecessary. But now, for many of us, we realize that we would have no record of that time if it weren’t for him. And we are grateful for the treasures he shares with us often from his labyrinth of negatives and digital files. To all the McLemores of the world, I raise my Shiner Bock to them – those visionary souls who recognized the Kodak moments of our lives that we seemed blind to. www.mclemorephotography.com

Texas Standard: January 17, 2019

A proposal to put off the state of the union: a break with tradition, or perhaps a return to one? We’ll take a look at the history with historian Jeremi Suri. Also, what’s being done to keep guns out of the hands of those convicted of domestic violence? We’ll take a look. And the green new deal: some see it as radical, why the Houston Chronicle claims it’s a natural for Texas. Plus, how much do you like eggs? If you’re Instagram, more than 40 million times, at last count. What a viral sensation tells us about the state of social media. All of that and a whole lot more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: June 6, 2017

Are Facebook and Twitter innocent channels for communication, or participants who profit from terrorist propaganda and planning? We’ll explore. Plus, after last weekend’s attacks in London, the UK turns up the heat on social media platforms. We’ll look at the implications with a leading Texas scholar. Plus, how much of the legislature can you miss and still call your self a Texas legislator? What appears to be a test of that question, and the Texas Democrat at the center of the storm. It seems to be a no-brainer: a museum of Texas Music History. Yet plans for such a place fell flat at the capitol. Why? We’ll find out. Those stories and so much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: September 1, 2016

Immigration is the topic front and center in the Trump campaign right now. How are Hispanic Texans reacting? We’ll hear one perspective. Plus technology can really ruin your day sometimes, but it can not only make our lives easier but save our lives. We’ll talk Tech. Also The mantra of Texas BBQ has always been low and slow. But what happens when you cheat that method and still get great taste? And did it seem rainier than usual this August? That’s an understatement, we’ll take a look at one of the impacts. And how a late 90s heart-throb is moving into new roles, and embracing life as a new Texan. That and a whole lot more, today on the Texas Standard: