School's Out

Dallas outshines Houston when one magazine rates education

Rene Zamore, executive director of the Greater Houston Restaurant Association, says a lot of establishments do seem to be enjoying sales increases.

"If it is [because of] the oil business as a direct result of their upswing in profits, then that's a positive, considering most people are kind of a little on the disgruntled side of the oil industry and how much they're profiting," she says. "So if they can bleed it back into our industry, great."

Hear that, America? Maybe the next time you're grousing about gas prices, you might stop to think that at least one city's getting some good out of them.

Call Me

Forget Catherine Zeta-Jones. Forget the "Can you hear me now?" guy. Phone-company endorsement has a brand-new face: State Representative Sylvester Turner.

Turner can be heard on the radio extolling the wonders of communications giant AT&T. "Whenever I'm getting rolled by the Republicans in Austin, I always use AT&T to hear about it!" he doesn't say.

Actually, Turner says he's doing ads to inform constituents that they may eligible for a $7-a-month rebate on their phone bill. The rebate does not apply only to AT&T, but AT&T is the company that asked Turner to do the spots (for free).

"And if there's a competitor [to AT&T] that wants to provide the same information, then I'll say the same thing," he says.

A recent change by the legislature now makes the rebate available to people at 150 percent of the poverty level, as opposed to the previous 125 percent. About 200,000 more Texans are eligible for it.

"We're trying to reach a very specific population," says Tracy King, an AT&T regional VP. "We know that they tune in to Sylvester Turner's voice."

Other politicos doing the ads include Senator Leticia Van de Putte of San Antonio, Representative Veronica Gonzalez of McAllen and Brownsville, and Dawnna Dukes of Austin.

Martha Wong, who represents Bellaire, West U and Montrose, apparently wasn't needed.

It's So Hard to Choose

For what fans can only hope is the last time ever, the Houston Texans' ineptness resulted in the team's getting the first choice in the NFL draft. Their last game of the 2005 season, against the equally inept San Francisco 49ers, was dubbed the "Bush Bowl" because it was assumed the loser would use the resulting first pick to take USC running back Reggie Bush. Then UT's Vince Young -- from Madison High -- went all heroic in the Rose Bowl, and Houstonians demanded the team draft him. Instead the Texans took relatively little-known defensive tackle Mario Williams from North Carolina State.

Click here to see how the three compare.

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