Here are the stories on Texas Standard for Wednesday, June 21, 2023:
Tuesday’s meeting of the Texas Senate was significant on two fronts. For one, senators advanced another, larger property tax bill. Second, the Senate held a closed-door meeting to discuss rules for the impeachment trial of Attorney General Ken Paxton. Rice University political science professor Mark Jones and Dallas Morning News reporter Lauren McGaughy join us with more.
You might not know, but some of San Antonio’s most interesting attributes – like the River Walk, the Museum and Mission Reaches – started out because of flood control. The same is true for a new little pocket park on San Antonio’s west side. Texas Public Radio’s Jack Morgan has the backstory.
It’s been 50 years since the publication of Elmer Kelton’s now classic Texas novel, “The Time it Never Rained.” Kelton wrote 50 books and said this was his favorite. Many Texas literary critics, including our commentator WF Strong, consider “The Time it Never Rained” one of the top 10 best novels ever written by a Texan about Texas.
A teenage boy wearing white finds himself in the middle of a political protest and counter-protest he knows nothing about. One side is wearing blue, the other orange. It’s a fictionalized story about the real-life recent history of the Wendy Davis abortion filibuster in 2013. Journalist Dan Solomon tells it in his debut novel: a YA book called “The Fight for Midnight.” We’ll talk to Solomon today.
Texas is in the midst of an extreme heat wave that’s sent heat indexes up to around 120 in parts of the state. ERCOT, the grid’s operator, has said repeatedly that “grid conditions are expected to be normal” – but then Tuesday posted a notice for voluntary conservation. Doug Lewin, author of the Texas Energy and Power Newsletter on Substack, joins us with an update and recap of what Texas lawmakers did to ostensibly “fix” the grid this session.
Texas is officially a few months into “kitten season:” those sping and summer months when humane societies are inundated with baby cats needing care. Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill this month designed to limit the number of feral cats having litters by legally protecting people when they return sterilized cats to the wild. Texas Tribune reporter Emily Foxhall joins us with a look at the law.
All this, plus the Texas Newsroom’s state roundup and Wells Dunbar with the Talk of Texas.