Texas Standard For September 3, 2021

An early end to the special session at the Capitol, but the work is far from over. Next up: redrawing the political maps of Texas. As lawmakers gavel out a second special session, where do we stand and what comes next? A closer look with the editor of the Quorum Report. And: The search for a new permanent home for the Battleship Texas as a piece of history battles the ravages of time. Also: Ten years after the most destructive fire in Texas history, what happened and what’s happened since. Plus: The week in Texas politics with The Texas Tribune, and much more today on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardSeptember 3, 2021 9:47 am

The Lege Adjourns … But They’ll Be Back

Texas is front and center on the national stage again, after a Supreme Court decision allowing its ban on abortions to take effect. That law was passed during the Texas Legislature’s regular session. Last night, the Lege concluded its second special session, which also saw sweeping bills creating new voting restrictions, addressing critical race theory and more. And with another special session looming to redraw political maps, lawmakers are expected to return to Austin again soon. For more on what happened – and what may happen next – we’re joined by Scott Braddock, editor of the Quorum Report.

Critical Race Theory And One North Texas Principal

Critical race theory (CRT) is a legal, academic concept that examines the role of race and racism in society. But recently, opposition to CRT and discussion of racism generally has become a rallying cry on the right – from school board meetings to the floors of Congress. And now, it’s at the center of a controversy at Colleyville Heritage High School in North Texas. For more we’re speaking with Anna Caplan, reporter for The Dallas Morning News.

Hurricane Ida Evacuees

In Fort Worth, the Texas Motor Speedway has opened one of its campgrounds to house Hurricane Ida evacuees. KERA’s Bekah Morr has details.

Calling In To Council

When the pandemic started, public government meetings had to change. In Austin, city council meetings became distanced, meaning citizens addressed members over the phone. But this week, the Austin City Council returned to in-person-only testimony this week. So as the council returns to the old way of doing things, KUT’s Audrey McGlinchy started wondering: what do we lose when the city is forced to hang up the phone?

Battleship Texas Reopens

This weekend may be the last time for a long time that you can visit the U.S.S. Texas, a historic battleship docked in Houston’s Buffalo Bayou. In recent months the ship’s mostly been closed to visitors as engineers ready major repairs, but it’s opening for Labor Day weekend. As the only remaining American battleship to sail in both world wars, the Texas is a massive piece of U.S history. But it’s also leaky, almost impossible to move, and in need of a new home. The Texas Standard’s Michael Marks has more.

Bastrop Fire 10 Year Anniversary

10 years ago tomorrow, a tragic combination of heat, drought and wind created the most destructive wildfire in Texas history. It burned for six weeks on more than 43,000 acres, destroyed 1,700 structures and killed two people. Today we’re looking back at what’s known as the Bastrop County Complex fire with Randy Fritz, former Bastrop County judge and author of “Hail of Fire: A Man and His Family Face Natural Disaster.”

Central Texas And Wildfire Preparedness

The Bastrop County Complex fire spurred a response from Austin-area leaders to assess wildfire risk. In 2020, the Austin City Council adopted wildfire codes for businesses and homes known as Wildfire Urban Interface codes. Those codes, which took effect at the start of this year, are common in other wildfire-prone cities and states like California. The Texas Standard’s Jill Ament joins us for a Q&A on wildfire risk in the Texas Hill Country.

All that plus our Friday favorites The Texas Tribune, Typewriter Rodeo, Wells Dunbar with social media updates and lots more.