09/02/10 9:58am

HOUSTON’S NATURAL GAS PARKS Isn’t it about time this city got back to basics? A company called Southern Star Exploration will soon be setting up drilling rigs outside 3 city parks and a city service center in northeast Houston. Yesterday city council approved a 3-year oil and gas lease to let the company explore possible reserves under Herman Brown Park, Maxey Park, Brock Park, and a public works facility on McCarty Rd. What’s in it for the city? $200,000 for the lease, plus a promised 25 percent of any royalties. Mayor Parker says she doesn’t want drilling rigs set up on city property, but she’ll “look for more opportunities” for horizontal or slant drilling to get at what lies beneath. [abc13] Photo of Herman Brown Park: Gulf Coast Bird Observatory

03/02/10 2:09pm

DARKNESS DESCENDS OVER THE EAST FREEWAY Hey, who turned out all the street lights along I-10 between the East Loop and Uvalde? Copper thieves! [Public Works spokesperson Alvin] Wright said a similar theft took place inside the loop, but this was the first time it had happened on such a large scale further east. In response, public works is considering replacing the copper wires with aluminum, and installing lock boxes to keep the copper conductors safe. Officials said they don’t know how long it will take to complete the repairs, which could eventually cost taxpayers thousands of dollars.” [KHOU.com]