Panhandling Banned at Sidewalk Cafes


Longhorn Network Shows: Awful
You won't be watching

By Richard Connelly

The amazingly awesome Longhorn Network, which will provide all the UT anyone could ever hope for, announced five new shows recently.

And no one in their right mind will watch any of them.

Of course, the Longhorn Network is not designed to appeal to anyone in their right mind. It's designed for UT fanatics.

But even a UT fanatic would have a hard time tuning in to these programs:

1. Longhorn LegendsA roundtable discussion featuring coach Mack Brown and the three biggest stars of his Texas tenure: Ricky Williams, Vince Young and Colt McCoy.

To be sure, the idea of Mack Brown swapping bon mots with VY and Ricky Williams has some appeal. But we're guessing they shot a season's worth of shows in one day, and the only preparation Williams and Young did was read the quick paragraph provided to them pre-show highlighting the career of whichever Longhorn Legend was about to be discussed, of whom they had never heard. Colt McCoy, on the other hand, will no doubt have boned up for weeks just to refresh himself.

2. The Season: 2005 Texas LonghornsA look back at the magical season that began with lofty expectations and culminated in a Rose Bowl triumph over USC and the 4th national championship in UT history.

Somehow this doesn't add "...and the only national championship in decades upon decades." We can't wait for the episodes on the Louisiana-Lafayette and Rice games.

3. Texas's Greatest GamesA countdown of the ten best games in Longhorns football history, as selected by a blue ribbon panel of writers, former coaches & athletes.

A blue-ribbon panel? Why, that's the best kind!! They can find ten games not in black and white, we hope.

4. Texas's Greatest AthletesA countdown of the greatest athletes across all sports in UT history as selected by a blue ribbon panel of writers, former coaches & athletes.

Is it possible that UT actually put together two blue-ribbon committees? That's a lot of ribbon. We are positive the show will include information on which of these people earned a UT degree or not.

5. TraditionsA look at the history of some of the unique traditions of the University of Texas, including Bevo, Big Bertha, Smokey the Cannon, the World's Largest Texas Flag and the Hook 'Em Horns hand sign.

A season's worth of shows means, we can only assume, full episodes on, say, Smokey the Cannon. "Riveting" doesn't begin to describe it. And how can they possibly squeeze everything about the Hook 'Em Horns hand sign into a mere 30 minutes? You're going to be leaving too much on the cutting-room floor, Longhorn Network!!

We can't wait for season two, especially Bevo VIII: The Turbulent Sixties.


Panhandling Banned at Sidewalk Cafes

By Richard Connelly

With no discussion, the city council unanimously approved a ban on panhandling anywhere within eight feet of a sidewalk cafe.

The cafe ban was added to the current city ordinance that bars panhandling at ATMs, pay telephones, gas pumps and other places where people tend to get hit up. Violation of the ordinance is a misdemeanor.

There's no real rationale offered for the move beyond this, from the city attorney's office: "While this was not an issue when this ordinance was first enacted, recent development in the city has encouraged the establishment and use of sidewalk cafes and/or seating."

You put in sidewalk cafes, you're gonna get attention from broke dudes on the sidewalk.

The ordinance says the panhandling is barred whether or not the person being solicited asks the begger to stop.

Here's how they define such a request: It "means any imperative instruction, whether verbal or non-verbal, from a solicitee to a solicitor to desist the solicitation including but not limited to words or gestures such as 'stop,' 'back off,' 'stay back,' 'get away,' 'leave me alone' or 'withdraw.'"

"Withdraw"? How does that work?

"Hey, got any spare change for some food?"

"Withdraw, sir! Prithee, I say withdraw!"

At least now you can enjoy your overpriced food outside without having to endure such indignities.


There’s tons of stuff each day on the Houston Press blogs; you’re only getting a taste of it here in the print edition. Head to (or “/rocks” or “/eating” or “/artattack”).

Political Animals

We were all over the Rick Perry Prayerapalooza at Reliant Stadium; we also offered five tips on how to celebrate the competing event, A Day of Debauchery & Gluttony. Residents packed City Hall to vent once again about red-light cameras, as the mayor said there was little she could do about turning them off without incurring financial penalties for breaking a contract. We showed the stunning pictures The Texas Tribune printed of Rick Perry as a preternaturally clean-cut Aggie in casual wear and cadet gear, and solicited reader captions.


Football finally returned, and Texan fans got amped over some free-agent additions to the woeful secondary. We asked if Drayton McLane should really be considered Best Astros Owner Ever, we listed the five best local tweeters to follow for Texans news, and the Aggies far outranked the Longhorns in the preseason coaches poll.


Last week on Eating...Our Words, we tried orange wine and absinthe (not together). We brought the kids to Haven, had fried fish at Treebeard's in the tunnels, tried out tacos el pastor from Taqueria El Palomo and downed hangover fries from the new Hubcap Grill in the Heights. We chatted with Mike Marquez of Big Star Bar and Kiran Verma of Kiran's. We reported on David Buehrer and Ecky Prabanto's plans to open new coffee shop Blacksmith in the spot that once housed Mary's. And we wondered what in the world had happened to bologna, once such a popular treat.

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