Texas Standard For November 23, 2020

Cars line up for miles outside food banks in our big cities. During this Thanksgiving week, the state of food insecurity in Texas. As many Texans prepare for a big Thanksgiving dinner, others struggle with the choice of whether to leave the lights on or put food on the table. We’ll explore. And: Health officials worry that holiday gatherings could become super spreader events. We’ll hear about the push for safety precautions to combat COVID-19 as case numbers rise statewide. Also: As national media focuses on the Latino vote, the case that the Tejano vote could be a better indicator. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardNovember 23, 2020 9:30 am

Here’s what’s coming up on Texas Standard for Monday, November 23, 2020. Listen on your Texas public radio station, or ask your smart speaker to play Texas Standard. We’ll have full posts for each story, including audio, a little later today.

Texas Food Banks and COVID19

As COVID-19 cases rise in Texas and the pandemic enters its deadly winter phase, long lines are continuing at food banks across Texas. Celia Cole, chief executive officer of Feeding Texas, the non-profit organization that partners with food banks across the state, talks to the Standard. 

Rescinding STAAR

Nearly 70 Republican and Democratic members of the Texas House are calling on the state’s education agency to postpone the annual accountability exam known as STAAR, for at least a year. Distance learning has taken such a toll on student progress experts now call it the “COVID slide.” State Rep. Diego Bernal (D-San Antonio), the vice-chair of the House Public Education Committee, talks to the Standard.

Startup Exploitation

News about the race for a COVID vaccine has been dominating the headlines, but coming up with any new medical breakthrough is a competitive business. Florian Martin with Houston Public Media, reports how taking a new product to market can be tricky.

Holiday Travel Fuel Demand

The holidays are normally a big season for travel and consequently for fuel demand. But with COVID-19 cases rising nationwide, holiday plans have been thrown for a loop for many Americans. Still others are pressing on with their plans against the guidance from health authorities Matt Smith, director of commodity research at ClipperData, talks to the Standard about how this year’s holiday travel impacts energy markets.

Thanksgiving Safety Precautions

Thanksgiving is looking to be a lot different for many Americans around the country. The federal Centers For Disease Control advises to keep gatherings limited to immediate family. But for some there will be a calculated risk to this holiday, including choosing to ignore CDC guidelines. Are there still ways to be safe this holiday if you choose this risk? Dr. Jill Weatherhead, an assistant professor of infectious disease at Baylor College of Medicine, talks to the Standard.

Tejano Vote

After this year’s election, many news organizations focused on the voting patterns and politics of the Hispanic and Latino communities in Texas. But there’s one term that hasn’t really popped up as part of the conversation: tejano. Politico reporter Jack Herrera writes that this term – more than economy, religion or immigration – are a key to understanding South Texas 2020 voting patterns.

Cross-Border Families, COVIDand Thanksgiving

As the holidays approach, grim new coronavirus records are being set across Texas. The seven- day average number of new cases has risen to more than 2,000 and hospitalizations are up by more than 900 cases compared to a week ago. We talked elsewhere in the show about concerns that Thanksgiving gatherings could become superspreader events, but those concerns are especially acute in El Paso, epicenter of the surge in Texas. As KTEP’s Angela Kocherga reports, the virus is taking a toll on both sides of the border.

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.