Texas Standard for October 21, 2021

As the fight over Texas redistricting moves from the Legislature to the courts, lawmakers and hopefuls are readjusting their political plans. And: A San Antonio nonprofit is drawing some unwelcome attention for its recent move into housing migrants. Also: As more bitcoin mining moves into Texas, what’s being done to make sure the energy gobbling industry doesn’t over tap the state’s power grid? Plus: The longest-running indigenous radio program in Texas celebrates all native culture. And there are some newcomers in the top 5 in the latest Texas Monthly list of the best BBQ. Why they stood out. That and more.

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By Texas StandardOctober 21, 2021 9:47 am,

Here are the stories on Texas Standard for Thursday, October 21, 2021.

PUC Meeting Preview

Electricity regulators in Texas are expected to discuss new rules today to require power generators and transmission operators be able to operate in extreme weather. The move comes in response to power outages that killed more than 200 people last winter. From Texas Public Radio, Dominic Anthony Walsh reports.

Endeavors Nonprofit Immigrant Detention Ties

This year has seen a jump in the number of illegal crossings and apprehensions at the southern border. As more immigrants arrive at the border, housing becomes a challenge for federal agencies. That’s led to a rise in temporary detention centers in Texas, and San Antonio nonprofit Endeavors has quickly become a major player in the immigrant detention industry. Now questions are arising over their detention center conditions and Endeavor’s political connections. Joining us today is Brendan Gibbons, who covered this story for the San Antonio Report.

Houston Household Bills Survey

Many households across Texas are still struggling to pay their bills during the pandemic. A survey by NPR, Harvard and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that out of the four largest cities in the U.S., Houston is feeling the financial crunch the worst. Houston Public Media’s Sara Willa Ernst tells us why these woes have sustained with little relief.

Bitcon Grid & Environmental Impact

This week, the price of bitcoin reached an all-time high. We’ve talked before on the Standard about the large number of bitcoin miners flocking to Texas, chasing low taxes and affordable energy costs. But what impact will all that mining – which involves lots and lots of electricity – have on the state’s fragile power grid? Our tech expert Omar Gallaga recently wrote about this for the Austin American Statesman and joins us today.

Texas Monthly Top 50 BBQ List

Whether smoking a brisket overnight or waiting in line at a renowned eatery, barbecue devotees know a thing or two about patience. It’s fitting, then, that they also have to wait four years between releases of the most important piece of barbecue journalism out there: the 50 best barbecue joints, as ranked by Texas Monthly. The latest list just came out this week, and here to talk about it is Daniel Vaughn, barbecue editor for Texas Monthly.

The Sounds of Texas

Filmmaker Brett Wagner was inspired to set his latest movie in the Big Bend region of Texas after his family and another had a reunion out there. “The Big Bend” actually dramatizes those experiences. It’s having its world premiere at the Austin Film Festival.

Indigenous Radio

From 6 to 8 p.m. every Sunday, you can catch Texas’ longest running American Indian radio program. “Beyond Bows and Arrows” features music, talk, and community news, and has been on the air since 1983. Journalist Pauly Denetclaw says the Dallas show is part of a long-running tradition of “by Natives for Natives” radio programming. Her new piece in the Texas Observer covers Indigenous radio in Texas and beyond. We’ll hear from her today.

New Campaigns with New Political Maps

New redistricting maps have shaken up things here in Texas. Some lawmakers discovered overnight that they were drawn out of their current districts. And in two newly created districts, representation is yet to be determined. For a closer look at what’s happening we turn to the Texas Tribune’s primary political correspondent Patrick Svitek.

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

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