Texas Standard for December 1, 2021

Four new laws aimed at improving the lives of almost a million-and-a-half Texas residents who served in the military – we’ll have details. Other stories we’re following: Young authors and librarians weigh in on the governor’s attempts to purge what he calls “pornography” from public schools. And: Big news for a small city: what the decision to locate a new multibillion-dollar semiconductor facility means for the town of Taylor in Central Texas. Also: What’s in the name “Brackenridge”? Plus: A Politifact check of a claim that U.S. households are on track to spend $19 billion more on energy by 2030. All that and more today on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardDecember 1, 2021 9:20 am,

Here are the stories on Texas Standard for Thursday, December 2, 2021.

New veterans bills signed

President Joe Biden has signed four bipartisan bills aimed at improving the lives of those who’ve served. The legislation covers nearly a million and a half people who call Texas home – the largest concentration of veterans after California. To help us break down the new laws we’re joined by Leo Shane, reporter for the Military Times.

Texas school library censorship

Across the country, conservative politicians and some parents are calling for criminal investigations into school libraries. Gov. Greg Abbott has called for an investigation into what he called “pornography” in library catalogs, honing in on books about the experiences of LGBTQ people. Texas Public Radio’s Dominic Anthony Walsh talked about this with young adult authors and school librarians. This story discusses sex and gender.

Local redistricting

This fall, local Texas politicians from both parties have advanced gerrymandered districts to solidify their power. These city, county and school board politicians largely avoided the controversy state lawmakers created when they drew state and Congressional lines which critics say dilutes the political power of people of color. But what about local district maps? Bret Jaspers of KERA reports

Samsung plant coming to Taylor

As reported last week, the small town of Taylor, Texas, about 45 minutes northeast of Austin, is set to become the home of a new $17 billion Samsung microchip plant. Local leaders say the factory will provide a much needed economic jolt. But the town – like many others surrounding Austin’s hot housing market – are struggling to remain affordable. Will big tech make it harder for longtime Taylor residents to be able to live there? Taylor Mayor Brandt Rydell joins us to talk about it.

Shafter’s water security

What happens when your town’s water is cut off? That’s a problem the desert ghost town of Shafter may have to someday figure out. The 30 or so people living in the former mining town currently get water for free from a local well owned by a private company. But after a fire caused the community to temporarily lose running water, some locals are wondering if it’s time to find another water source – one they can have more control over. Marfa Public Radio’s Mitch Borden has the story.

Fly-fishing programs for vets

Groups are teaching wounded troops and veterans to fly fish. There’s not much research on the therapeutic benefits, but some in the military community say the experience has helped them heal. From Bozeman, Montana, Andrew Schwartz reports for The American Homefront Project.

W.F. Strong: George Washington Brackenridge

Many Texans know the Brackenridge name – but, depending on where you’re from, you might have a different landmark in mind. In Austin, there is the area’s first public hospital. In Edna, there’s the 1,000 acre-plus Brackenridge Recreation Complex. But as commentator W.F. Strong notes, the Brackenridge who lent his name to a park in San Antonio – a one George Washington Brackenridge – may have given more to Texas financially than anyone else.

PolitiFact on Roger Williams’ claim

Fact-check: Will U.S. households spend $19 billion more on energy costs by 2030? The team at PolitiFact Texas, based at the Austin American-Statesman, is looking into the claim from Rep. Roger Williams. We’ll get a ruling from PolitiFact Texas’ Nusaiba Mizan.

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

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