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Archive for May 15th, 2017

In MLB, the ‘Stros are tied for dead last in hitting triples with a total of two. Name the other dead last team in the hitting triples department?

Commentary said this back in March:

“End of an error” is the banner headline in today’s hard copy Chron sports section and I love it. Excellent! That’s why I subscribe.

Then this from this past December:

Commentary has been a Chron subscriber like for decades. Is subscribing a civic duty?

Should we be supporting our local newspaper?

Yesterday, at H-Town City Hall, tons of newsies were in attendance to cover the confirmations of the new Police and Fire Chiefs. After the Chiefs were confirmed, most of the newsies hit the road, prompting this tweet that included two photos from the Chron’s Rebecca Elliott, the City Hall beat reporter. The photos were one with a bank of TV cameras and one without the cameras. Her tweet:

Media in chambers as #houcouncil prepares to pass laws. Right: Media to witness police, fire chief confirmations 3 hours prior.

Then the Chron’s Mike Morris, also a City Hall beat reporter, retweeted Rebecca with this:

There is no better case for newspapers. Don’t subscribe because of Trump (OK, that too). Subscribe because we’re the only ones watching.

And from the same take:

You don’t always agree with their editorial takes. We certainly need a newspaper like the Chron. They keep us informed.

What would we do without it? Just saying.

Well if you are not yet a Chron subscriber, yesterday’s front page story should convince you. Chron reporters uncovered a mess over at the City of H-Town housing department that the city didn’t even know existed. Great jobs by City Hall beat reporters Mike Morris and Rebecca Elliott for figuring out what the city hadn’t. Here is the headline from the online story:

Lost Money: City’s affordable housing efforts slowed by sloppy records, loose spending

By Rebecca Elliott and Mike Morris

Here is how the story starts:

Houston has collected $130 million in local taxes over the last decade to help provide affordable housing for low-income families, but has little to show for it.

For many projects, city housing officials cannot say how many families were helped or whether their homes still qualify as affordable for low-income residents.

Records are so chaotic that it took dozens of public information requests over 10 months for the Chronicle to connect spending to outcomes. The results have been underwhelming.

For example, although the city used its affordable housing fund to subsidize the construction, purchase or rental of more than 2,000 homes over the last decade, fewer than a quarter of them remain tied to city rules for housing subsidies.

Houston for years has lacked a coherent housing strategy and, in fact, does not even define affordability.

As a result, almost half of the $96 million spent since fiscal 2007 has gone toward administrative costs, federal fines or keeping projects moving after the city lost state and federal grants. For the last few years, the money even has been used to pay rent for the housing department’s offices.

The city’s efforts to track its finances have been similarly poor.

It was the Houston Chronicle’s repeated questions about financial discrepancies that led the city to discover $46 million was available for new projects, tens of millions more than officials thought.

$46 million? As a respected journalist told me yesterday, it was a “system failure.”

I agree.

My point is, if it wasn’t for the top-notch reporting by Morris and Elliott, it would be business as usual over at the housing department. That’s incredible.

Folks, that’s why we need to support our local newspaper. Who else is going to do this job?

That is why I subscribe. We need them.

Good job, Mike Morris and Rebecca Elliott! Y’all are the only ones watching!

Here is the must read piece: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/LostMoney/.

I saw this tweet yesterday:

Houstorian @Houstorian

Today in 1977, Shelley Duvall is the first Houstonian to host Saturday Night Live. @NBCSNL

So I tweeted this:

Marc Campos‏@MarcCommentary 5m5 minutes ago

Marc Campos Retweeted Houstorian

Who was the second?https://twitter.com/Houstorian/status/863815281663242245 …

My friend Keir replied to me with Patrick Swayze – maybe.

I had to look it up. Swayze did host in October of 1990, followed by Dennis Quaid (also from H-Town) in December of 1990. However, Gary Busey hosted in March of 1979 and he was born in Goose Creek, now Baytown, so does that count? Just saying.

What is up with Ken Hoffman leaving the Chron?

I liked this tweet from last night after the game:

Brian McTaggart‏Verified account@brianmctaggart 11h11 hours ago

Astros by the record:

Overall: 26-12

Series: 10-2

4 or more runs: 21-3

vs. RH starter: 20-7

Night: 19-9

Scoring first: 15-5

Sundays: 5-1

B’More also has two triples of course.

Watching the Derek Jeter ceremony followed by the ‘Stros bats exploding was cool for sure last night. Of course, it got a little dicey at the end. We took three out of four from the Yankees. We are on ROOT and ESPN tonight from Miami.

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