The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.
It might be hard to believe in a car-centric state like Texas, but on average about 50 percent of Texans live within walking distance of a public park. Now a new initiative wants to up that figure to 100 percent.
Adrian Benepe is senior vice president and director of city park development for The Trust for Public Land, one of the groups behind this new, nationwide park campaign.
“That’s a campaign aimed at mayors and the idea is that everybody in every city across America should have a 10-minute walk,” he says.
Over 134 mayors across the country have signed onto the “10-minute walk” campaign, including 10 in Texas. Benepe says one of the first mayors in the state to sign onto the initiative was Houston’s Sylvester Turner.
Other Texas cities that have signed up include Austin, College Station, Grand Prairie, Killeen, Lewisville, Plano and Fort Worth. Benepe says increasing and improving parks is one of the few bipartisan issues out there.
“Ya know, when it comes to parks, we’re not red or blue – we’re all green,” he says.
Starting in 2018, the Trust for Public Land, along with the National Recreation and Park Association and Urban Land Institute, will begin working with select cities to achieve the 10-minute walk goal.
A federal judge has ruled that Gov. Greg Abbott violated a group’s first amendment rights when he decided a mock nativity scene should be removed from the Texas Capitol in 2015.
That year, the Freedom From Religion Foundation advocated for the separation of church and state, with a scene featuring the Bill of Rights in a manger.
At the time, Abbott called the scene a “juvenile parody.”
Abbott also tweeted late Sunday night that the judge’s decision will be appealed.
The first heritage trail in Texas named for an artist will honor legendary El Paso illustrator, novelist, and war correspondent Tom Lea.
El Paso State Sen. Jose Rodriguez spoke at the announcement of the trail at the end of last week. Rodriguez authored the bill to create the trail.
“It is important because it places us on the map as a city that values culture, that values our heritage,” he said.
The trail will connect 11 cities in the state where Lea lived and worked, including Odessa, College Station, and Galveston.