river

DPS whistleblower says troops at border have ‘inhumane’ policies toward migrants

A new report says Texas troopers were told to push back migrants and deny water amid soaring temperatures.

How a redistricting case from Alabama could have ripple effects on Texas’ Galveston County and beyond.

A Sriracha shortage is putting the squeeze on people who love the red sauce, and some Texas restaurants are getting inventive.

How the writers’ and actors’ strikes in Hollywood could play out close to home.

And a reconsideration of the baseball team that won it all in 2017 but was accused of stealing signs: A talk with the author of “Astros and Asterisks.”

Pom Pom Squad – River part 1

This week’s episode features the confession that inspired Pom Pom Squad’s latest tune “River”.

In this episode, you’ll hear our confessor talk about how his father’s death led to his divorce. You’ll also hear Walker and Zac discuss this confession in-depth and share how they relate to our confessor. And you’ll hear “River” by Pom Pom Squad.

Be on the lookout for part 2 of our episode next week when Walker chats with Pom Pom Squad directly.

Low Water

The last several weeks brought a bit of much-needed rain to most of Texas. But it hasn’t been enough to offset months of drought. That was the inspiration for this Typewriter Rodeo poem.

Texas Standard: July 13, 2022

At the hearings on the January 6th insurrection, the spotlight turns to the some potentially key figures from Texas. We’ll have the latest. Other stories we’re tracking: an 85 billion dollar ten year transportation plan for Texas. What it includes and what it leaves out as the state tries to deal with a growing population. And with that growing population, a boom in new home construction. But why so many delays in finishing projects? Plus water levels low on many Texas rivers and questions about whether businesses catering to river recreation will sink or swim. And the Mexican activists fielding calls from Texans seeking abortions. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

El Rio Bravo

By W.F. Strong

Ten years ago I was touring the great Catedral de Sevilla, in Spain, when I got into an unexpectedly informative conversation about Texas with an 80-year-old guide of that majestic church. When he discovered that I was from South Texas, he asked me, in perfect British English, “Did you know that your river there in Texas is named after our river, the Guadalquivir?”

I said I didn’t understand how that could be so. How do you get Rio Grande from Guadalqivir? He said, “Guadalquivir is a Spanish distortion of the Arabic, meaning “the brave river” or “the great river.”  So, when the original cowboys of Andalucia from southern Spain settled in northern Mexico, they thought the river looked like the Guadalquivir, so they called it the “Rio Bravo.”

Well, that was one more origin story to add to many others that claim to tell how the Rio Grande River, or the Rio Bravo – as it is known on the Mexican side – got its name. I can’t speak for or against the veracity of the guide’s story, but as a story, it’s interesting, which is the first rule of stories.

Some say Álvarez de Pineda first named the Rio Grande, El Rio de Las Palmas, in 1519.  But others say he was really at the mouth of the Pánuco River near Tampico – much farther south in Mexico – not the Rio Grande. But we have to consider the Pineda Stone as evidence, which was found deep in the sand near the mouth of the Rio Grande in 1974, with his name etched on, along with the number of men and ships he had with him. Many believe it is fake, but just as many feel it’s real.

We do know that explorer Juan de Oñate called the river El Rio Grande in writing in 1598. Strangely, Cabeza de Vaca crossed it 70 years earlier on his wild trek across Texas and Mexico, but never mentioned the river at all.

The river has also been called Rio Grande del Norte and Rio Bravo del Norte. Today, we know for sure that it is called the Rio Grande on the Texas side, and the Rio Bravo on the Mexican side. At one time it was certainly brave and grand, with steamboats piloted by Texas legends like Richard King and his business partner Mifflin Kenedy, who traveled 130 miles inland all the way to Rio Grande City, and in a rare case, all the way to Laredo.

Though the river, once half-a-mile wide at some points, certainly earned its name, now we might call it El Arroyo Valiente, or Courageous Creek, because, along its 2,000-mile journey from Colorado to the Gulf, it’s often no bigger than a creek. So, many cities and towns along its bank pull water from it that is a mere trickle of its former self.

No wonder Will Rogers once said that the Rio Grande is the only river he “ever saw that needed irrigation.”

And down toward the mouth, the river is incredibly crooked, like an enormous water moccasin sunning itself in lazy loops and curls. Gen. Zachary Taylor said his soldiers believed it was so crooked there seemed to be only one shore. I can attest to this myself. I once rode my motorcycle along the northern trails that follow the curves of the riverside, but my eyes told me otherwise. It’s terribly disorienting. Riverboat pilots said it was 100 horse miles from Brownsville to Rio Grande City, but 175 river miles.

The river is to Texas and northern Mexico what the Nile is to Egypt. It is quite simply life itself, and always has been. And there are still quiet, isolated spots along the river. Ones where I found myself looking north across the water, even though I was not on the Mexican side where enormous canyon walls rise toward the heavens 2,000 feet overhead. Where exotic parrots fly in screeching flocks through the wild palm orchards – places you can sit and channel the words author John Graves wrote about a different Texas river: “If you are lucky and reverent, and hush for a moment the doubts in your head, sometimes God will whisper in your ear.”

Texas Standard: July 22, 2017

Known for taking a stand on abortion rights and a gubernatorial race that won her national attention, Wendy Davis gets back in the game. In an announcement early Monday, former state Senator Wendy Davis made it official, announcing a challenge to a republican congressman, we’ll have details. Also, where the Texas GOP might be the most vulnerable? The answer might surprise you. Plus a prominent Texas university opens its doors to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Those stories and so much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: April 16, 2019

The images captured the world: Notre Dame on fire. Yellow smoke billowing, the spire falling. We’ll have the view from Texas. Also, could a voting error land you in jail? The Texas Senate just passed a bill to increase the penalties of so-called voter fraud. We’ll explore. And more states are allowing certain teachers and staff to carry guns in schools, but there’s no federal standard to govern the trend. Plus, off the coast of Texas: old oil rigs actually contributing to the environment, and what’s causing ship wreckage that’s been around for more than a century to disappear now. All those stories and so much more today on the Texas Standard:

Tubing Down A River

The temperatures are hot in Texas — time to jump into a cold body of water. That was the inspiration for this Typewriter Rodeo poem.

Texas Standard: May 31, 2017

Lawmakers have left the building. But what did they accomplish in the 85th Legislative session when it comes to criminal justice? We’ll take a look. Also, a soldier commits a crime on a battlefield, maybe even murder, but should we re-think how we hold someone in a combat situation accountable? At least one Texas lawmaker thinks so. And business is booming. Texas seeing the strongest manufacturing numbers in years. We’ll look at why. Plus some Spanish words our commentator says ought to be included in the vocabulary of every Texan. And a visit to a Texas spring with spiritual significance, and why it’s receded. Those stories and more on today’s Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: May 26, 2017

Tasers are supposed to be a less-lethal tool for police. But sometimes they still result in deaths, we’ll explore. Also the double-s word is getting thrown around again: special session. We’ll check in on the Texas Legislature as lawmakers set to wrap up. And Texas sheep and goat ranchers are losing animals to predators. How an old-world solution could help. Plus a job interview in Houston like you’ve never heard of before. Those stories and a whole lot more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: March 31, 2017

He said he would blow up NAFTA. But maybe not so much? Border leaders react to a surprise softening of the US position: details today. Plus two countries, one community, and a wall. In south Texas, protestors stake out positions on a bridge. Also changing the rules of engagement: for us forces fighting the war on terror, will it make a difference? A former white house security chief weighs in on a shift in when to pull the trigger. And after the fail on repeal and replace, states find a new health care opening under Obamacare. Will Texas be text to give it a go? Plus the week in Texas politics and a whole lot more, its Texas Standard time:

Texas Floods

The recent storms plaguing Texas have caused the rivers to rise in more than one county. People across the state are losing their homes to flooding rivers and torrential rains. This harsh weather is what led Typewriter Rodeo’s David Fruchter to write this week’s poem.