Texas Standard for December 6, 2021

Twas the month before an election year and all thru the House and Senate and beyond, concerns rising among Democrats in Texas. Patrick Svitek of the Texas Tribune reports on a push for change at the top of the Texas Democratic Party. And: A growing list of unanswered questions one month after the deadly tragedy at Houston’s Astroworld festival. We’ll hear about findings by the Houston Chronicle. Also: Representative Donna Howard on where we stand with reproductive rights in Texas in the wake of last week’s oral arguments in a major abortion case. Those stories and much more today on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardDecember 6, 2021 9:30 am,

Here are the stories on Texas Standard for Monday, December 6, 2021.

Texas Dem Chair Race

The race to chair the Texas Democratic Party is heating up early, the Texas Tribune’s Patrick Svitek writes. He’ll join us to discuss the slate of potential challengers to incumbent chair Gilberto Hinojosa, who has held the job since 2012.

Astroworld Investigation

An investigation by the Houston Chronicle into the Astroworld festival disaster – where 10 fans sustained fatal injuries during headliner Travis Scott’s performance – reveals a systematic breakdown in planning, communication and safety. Chronicle reporter Zach Despart joins with an overview.

Christmas Tree Sales

Christmas Tree sales are booming in Texas just weeks before the big holiday. Houston Public Media’s Cory McGinnis explains why there’s more Christmas tree demand this year compared to last.

UT Athletes Fund

UT donors have created a $10 million fund to fund sponsorship opportunities for student-athletes, as recently permitted under NCAA rules. The fund is part of a new push among boosters to attract top talent to campus. Asher Price with Axios Austin has the scoop.

Renewables and Offshore Wind

It was a banner year for renewables, according to a new report from the International Energy Agency. That’s good news for renewables, and the push to limit greenhouse gas emissions. But will it be enough to make a dent in emissions? For more we turn to Matt Smith, lead oil analyst for the americas at KPLER.

The Sounds of Texas: Manuel Vaz Guedes

“Sancta Nox: Christmas Matins from Bavaria” topped Billboard’s Classical Albums chart with traditional Gregorian chants. We’ll hear from one of the singers in the project, Manuel Vaz Guedes.

Grand Prairie Superfund

For more than three years, the EPA’s list of the nation’s most hazardous Superfund zones has included an uncontrolled toxic waste site in the city of Grand Prairie, 20 minutes west of Dallas. It’s located in a predominantly Latino and low-income neighborhood, and many residents are unaware of the extent of contamination. As KERA’s Alejandra Martinez reports, the EPA is leading the cleanup effort, but the health threat remains unknown.

Abortion Laws on Texas

Last Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard a challenge to Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban. Legal experts say that the court appears sympathetic to upholding the law. The high court heard arguments over Texas’ own abortion ban last month. State Rep. Donna Howard is the chairwoman of the Texas Women’s Health Caucus and voiced strong opposition to Texas’ ban during the legislative session. She joins today with reactions.

All this and Texas News Roundup, plus Social Media Editor Wells Dunbar with the talk of Texas.

If you found the reporting above valuable, please consider making a donation to support it here. Your gift helps pay for everything you find on texasstandard.org and KUT.org. Thanks for donating today.