10/19/18 12:30pm

MONDAY’S TRUMP-CRUZ RALLY UPGRADING FROM HOUSTON RODEO TO B-BALL VENUE Citing “huge and unprecedented” audience registration numbers, the president’s campaign announced that his Monday rally to drum up support for Ted Cruz will no longer be held at NRG Arena (capacity: 8,000), but instead at the Toyota Center (capacity: 18,043). Trump said in August he planned to pick “the biggest stadium in Texas we can find” for the festivities, at which Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick will also appear. But his schedulers seem strangely to have ruled out the state’s fifth biggest one, NRG Stadium (seats 71,500), which — as Houstonia’s Morgan Kinney noted — sits right across the parking lot from the Arena and remains unbooked on Monday. [Politico] Photo of the Toyota Center: Russell Hancock via Swamplot Flickr Pool

10/06/16 5:30pm

H-E-B Heights Proposed Dry Zone Site

The marker above (showing a now-officially-proposed H-E-B on N. Shepherd Dr.) is a little out of place, if it’s aiming for the former Fiesta site on N. Shepherd between W. 23rd and W. 24th streets as H-E-B says — but you get the idea, and the Houston Heights Beverage Coalition held a press conference on the site this morning to drive the point home. The red line on the map also only roughly shows the boundary of the nominal dry zone that the H-E-B-backed PAC is hoping to get loosened up a bit via that upcoming local election on take-home beer and wine sales. But you can find out for sure whether or not you’re close enough to be eligible to vote in the Houston-Heights-only election by checking your ballot at at HarrisVotes.com — and also check whether or not you’re registered, which you’ve only got until Tuesday to do. (If printing out a form is too much of a hassle, maybe try your nearest taco truck.)

Map of proposed H-E-B in Heights Dry Zone: Houston Heights Beverage Coalition

Campaign Fiesta
06/21/16 3:00pm

Proposed Dedicated Bus Lanes on Post Oak Blvd., Uptown, Houston

The Uptown PAC angling to stop both a planned Dinerstein highrise (which they say would increase area traffic) and the Post Oak Blvd. dedicated bus lane project (designed to reduce area traffic) has been ramping up for a legal fight lately: On Monday the organization asked the city to stop approving permits for any new highrise developments in the area, and to stop work on the bus lanes, both pending the completion of a new traffic study. Paul Takahashi writes that the group is also taking legal fund donations and looking at filing lawsuits over the matters.

What is the PAC worried about, exactly? Back in 2014, when the group formed to fight the bus lane project and a nixed AmREIT tower previously planned next to the Cosmopolitan condos (where many of its members reside), spokesman for the group said it was worried that ambulances wouldn’t be able to quickly move through increased gridlock stemming from additional development. The talking points have expanded significantly since then; now ABC 13 reporter turned hired investigator-slash-media-attention-consultant Wayne Dolcefino is on the case (the self-consciously horse-centric video below was released late last month), and recent talking points even include calls for the bus lane money to be used to fix flooding issues in not-in-Uptown Meyerland and Greenspoint instead:


Stop Requests on Post Oak
04/06/16 3:45pm

Go ahead and play around with the map above (created by activist Kris Banks), showing the precinct-by-precinct outcome across Harris County for last month’s Republican presidential primaries. Shades of red show the spots won by Cruz (most of them, though a lighter shade indicates less solid support). Precincts won by Rubio show up in shades of blue (mostly clustered on the west side of the Inner Loop), while Trump support is marked in gold (mostly northeast and south of Downtown, as well as strung out along the Westpark Tollway); a few Carson precincts show up in green.

January Advisors’s Jeff Reichmann recently took a look at Banks’s election maps, which include results from both parties’s primaries and a starkly geographically-split down-ballot race for the Democratic district attorney nomination. You can click on each precinct to get its number and a breakdown of the results. Here’s how things looked for the Democrats, with the Sanders precincts in green spangling a field of Clinton blue:


Drawing It Out
10/18/13 3:30pm

Haven’t decided yet what you think should happen to the Astrodome? The preservation-minded folks at Our Astrodome hope that seeing this 26-ft. bedazzled semi just might do the trick. Starting Monday and running up to the elections on November 5, when voters will decide whether to approve — or not, and, as most suspect, doom the Dome to a more thorough demolition than what’s already happening — that $217 bond measure that would fund a renovation of the stadium into convention space, the tricked-out Dome Mobile will be rolling around town to spread the word about Proposition 2 and the world’s first domed stadium.


02/14/13 3:00pm

Look at the baby! Wednesday night Reginald Adams led a team of volunteers in painting this archetypal smooch in place of the ever-changing mural on the side of the former Democratic campaign headquarters at the corner of West Alabama and Travis in Midtown.

Photo: Candace Garcia

10/23/09 10:20am

PLANNING, GROWTH, AND THE MAYOR’S RACE Christof Spieler looks for a mayoral candidate’s winning coalition: Pro-Planning and Anti-Growth people don’t want their neighborhood to [change], and they want [the] government to protect it. These are NIMBYs; in local terms, they’re the “Stop Ashby Highrise” crowd. Pro-Planning and Pro-Growth people think the city will grow and change, but want that growth to guided. Locally, this is Blueprint Houston. Pro-Growth but Anti-Planning people think the city should grow, but that private developers should be left on their own to figure out [how] that growth will happen. That’s Houstonians for Responsible Growth. Anti-Planning and Anti-Growth seems like an oxymoron in a city like Houston. But there are people in this group — they see their city is changing and they don’t like that change, but they think that change is being driven by government. Call them the tea partiers. Here’s what makes that split important: none of these four segments are big enough to govern the city alone. Pro-Growth/Anti-Planning ruled the city for decades — but Pro-Planning/Anti-Growth neighborhoods are pushing back. And, as the Ashby Highrise shows, they’re nearly at a stalemate.” [Intermodality]

09/11/09 12:40pm

A reader from the Heights sends in photos documenting only the latest scene in Houston’s long and theatrical history of commingled real estate and political ambition. If you like, say, the pricing on the homes Karen Derr’s former company sells — like this one at 946 Arlington St. — you’ll certainly want to see Derr join city council!

But what’s with that part in red letters? Maybe just to let voters know she’s a little less favorably disposed toward freeform demolition than, say, former candidate/broker Michael Berry was. Writes our reader and snapshooter:

I am guessing that Karen Derr’s office rec’d so many calls as to the future of this house- one the few remaining 19th century homes in the Heights, that she had the “Remodel” sign made and stuck atop her broker sign. . . . Karen used to be on the board of the Houston Heights Association and she is locally active and running for office, so she does not want to piss off too much of her long time neighbors.