Houston Matters

Houston Matters

Houston Matters is a radio program airing weekdays at 9 am on Houston Public Media News 88.7 FM in Houston. During each hour, we’ll investigate the issues and ideas, people and places that make Houston…well…Houston! We’ll talk about current events, politics, education, health care, the environment, business, transportation, arts and culture, literature, sports and leisure. But we also hope that what we do each day on Houston Matters serves as the beginning of a conversation — one we hope you’ll continue here, at home, at work, with family, with friends and neighbors. We hope to introduce Houstonians to one another, to celebrate our diversity, and to engage one another through stories and conversations that demonstrate depth and context. Just the sort of thing you count on from public media.

Episodes

July 30, 2021 49 min

On Friday's show: A state appellate court has ruled that a trial court was wrong to block Proposition B, a charter amendment that would have provided pay parity between firefighters and police officers in Houston. In a 2-1 decision, the panel of 14th Court of Appeals judges found the lower court was wrong in ruling Proposition B unconstitutional. We discuss the latest development in this long-running saga.

Also this hour: How...

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On Thursday's Houston Matters: We get an update on the fatal chemical leak at a LyondellBasell chemical plant in La Porte.

Also this hour: A new study shows Houstonians and Texans are struggling more during the pandemic than the rest of the nation. Why?

Then: Olympic track and field legend Jackie Joyner-Kersee reflects on her career – and on a particularly memorable race in Houston. She's Eddie Robinson's guest on I S...

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On Wednesday's Houston Matters: Two people are confirmed dead and 30 were hospitalized in what La Porte officials called a "mass casualty" incident at a LyondellBasell chemical plant Tuesday night in unincorporated Harris County. We get the latest from News 88.7's Katie Watkins.

Also this hour: The CDC is now recommending vaccinated people wear masks in certain situations. We discuss what this change of course mea...

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On Monday's Houston Matters: Local hospitals are taking in more COVID-19 patients per day in what health leaders see as a “fourth wave” of the virus.

Also this hour: News 88.7's Elizabeth Trovall tells us about a Houston student who may be forced to self-deport after spending most of his life in the United States – even though his father is here lawfully.

Then, we begin a weeklong series exploring summer Olympic sports pl...

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On Friday's Houston Matters: Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo is raising the county’s COVID threat level from yellow to orange in response to the recent rise of the Delta variant, driving up the positivity rate and increasing hospitalizations. Among the hospitals seeing more COVID patients is Memorial Hermann. We get a first-hand account from the hospital system's chief physician, Dr. James McCarthy.

Also this hour: We cl...

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On Thursday's Houston Matters: We recap what took place Wednesday when a hazardous chemical leak in a tanker truck triggered an evacuation notice at the Dow Chemical Co. Bayport plant in La Porte.

MORE: What Are The Chemicals Involved In The La Porte Dow Plant Leak?

Also this hour: So, turns out, it’s over. The world has ended. We’re done. It happened sometime before February 2020 when we spoke with Timothy Morton of Rice Un...

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On Wednesday’s show: Officials at the Texas Medical Center held a discussion Tuesday on COVID-19 trends, breakthrough cases, the impact of the Delta variant, and other pandemic-related concerns. We find out what was discussed.

Then: Harris County Commissioners have voted unanimously to spend $2.5 million to address the county’s criminal court backlog.

Also this hour: We discuss the latest news in our weekly political roundup.

Plu...

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On Tuesday's Houston Matters: A new report from Rice University's Kinder Institute for Urban Research shows that growth in Houston and Harris County has slowed--we'll look at why.

Also this hour: Houston City Council Member Dave Martin, who represents District E, joins us to field your questions.

Then, we learn about the history of Black rodeo in Texas from Demetrius Pearson of the University of Houston and author of...

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On Monday's Houston Matters: Dr. Esmaeil Porsa of Harris Health System discusses the fight against COVID-19 and the case numbers at Ben Taub and LBJ Hospitals.

Also this hour: Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg discusses how the court backlog is affecting criminal justice in the county.

Then, veterinarian Dr. Lori Teller answers your pet care questions.

And we get an update on Houston sports.

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On Friday's Houston Matters: The new and highly-contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus may have sparked a recent COVID-19 outbreak earlier this month. Though infection rates are lower than they were last December, cases of this more contagious variant are on the rise. Harris County has even reported a few cases of breakthrough infections – people who caught COVID even after being fully vaccinated. We learn more from Dr....

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On Thursday's Houston Matters: Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez testifies today in his confirmation hearing as Pres. Joe Biden's pick to lead Immigration and Customs Enforcement. We preview what he's likely to be asked about his stance on key immigration issues and his track record in law enforcement in Greater Houston.

Also this hour: ERCOT has created a roadmap to making the state's electricity grid more reliab...

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On Wednesday's Houston Matters: One day after more than 50 Texas House Democrats broke quorum by fleeing the state in an effort to block voter restrictions being considered in the legislature, the remaining members of the House voted to send for them -- and have them arrested if necessary. We get an update as the walkout continues.

Also this hour: We discuss the Democratic walkout at the Texas Legislature and all the latest n...

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On Tuesday's Houston Matters: Democrats in the Texas Legislature are leaving the state in a second attempt to block controversial GOP legislation critics have slammed as voter suppression. We learn the latest on this developing story.

Also this hour: Rep. Lizzie Fletcher answers listener questions about issues facing her district and other matters before Congress.

Then, the Future of Children Summit on July 21 addresses the r...

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On Monday's Houston Matters: We learn what happened over the weekend during the special session of the Texas Legislature as bills addressing voting and bail reform moved forward.

Plus: We discuss what we do and do not know about an FBI investigation into the Harris County Precinct 1 Constable’s Office in connection with allegations from current and former female deputies being pressed into participating in undercover “bachelo...

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On Friday's Houston Matters: C’mon, admit it. We’ve all been feeling it. And a new survey reinforces that while many of us are reporting stress and anxiety due to any number of things Houstonians have been through over the last year or two, most of us are not actually doing anything about it. We discuss why that’s, well, problematic, and whether we can connect dots between the findings of this survey and observed trends, like...

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On Thursday's Houston Matters: The Texas Legislature’s special session gets underway today in Austin. Gov. Greg Abbott has tasked lawmakers with 11 agenda items. But he – and Texans – may find some more critical than others.

Also this hour: Two area fundraising nonprofits are partnering to coordinate response and recovery from future disasters.

Then, it’s been a hot year around the country, and we’re just really getting into ...

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On Wednesday's Houston Matters: The more contagious Delta variant was behind an outbreak of COVID-19 at a Houston-area church camp. Clear Creek Community Church canceled in-person services this week after more than 125 people – children and adults – tested positive for COVID-19 after a five day camp. That reminds us that summer camps bring some health challenges in any year.

Also this hour: We discuss the latest news from Was...

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On Tuesday's Houston Matters: A conversation with Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, who's been tapped by the Biden administration to lead Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Also this hour: After the disastrous building collapse in Florida, University of Houston structural engineer Joe Colaco discusses how buildings are inspected for their structural soundness.

And we learn about a project at the University of Houston t...

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On Friday's Houston Matters: As the Fourth of July approaches, we talk to a local fireworks retailer about sales after the pandemic and a supply shortage. And Harris County Fire Marshal Laurie Christensen gives an overview of fireworks safety.

Also this hour: The Battleship Texas closed a year and a half ago for major repairs, but they’re lowering the gangway again this Fourth of July weekend.

Then, this Independence Day Week...

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On Thursday's Houston Matters: We talk with an immigration reporter about recent stories related to the border, including visits this week there by Vice Pres. Kamala Harris, former President Donald Trump, and Gov. Greg Abbott, and Galveston County’s disaster declaration over the “ongoing border crisis.”

That news comes as a new poll from the University of Texas and The Texas Tribune finds Texans are largely split over whether...

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