After a series of storms in March 2012, John Bonta is sorting through the wreckage on his Highlands ranch, 20 miles west of Houston. He's just gotten home from work when his wife, Pam, asks him to help her pick up a portion of the fence that had fallen during the night. He doesn't wait for her, thin ... More >>
After nearly four years of public outcry, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has finally agreed clean up abandoned industrial waste left behind by CES Environmental Services in southeast Houston. For years neighbors had complained about CES' Griggs Road facility, where the company cleaned ta ... More >>
The Statue of Liberty, Mount Rushmore, the Hagia Sophia and now the San Jacinto Monument. Webcam manufacturer EarthCam's latest monument live cam hit the internet yesterday, right here in Texas, at the San Jacinto Monument. The camera is 540 feet in the air.
Earlier this month the Bay Area Coastal Protection Alliance met to discuss a plan that would keep us (and our energy industry) from going underwater in the event of a catastrophic storm surge. Unfortunately, according to storm watchers, the Gulf Coast is likely to get hit by a major storm every 15 y ... More >>
The Apple Scruffs Performing as "The Down Under Band" for the day, The Apple Scruffs took an inspiring break from their usual gig as a Beatles cover band to cover music from Australian musicians, in homage to this year's spotlight country. This quartet was so good, it inspired thoughts about what th ... More >>
As we've unfortunately learned many times before, a bunch of oil dumped into bodies of water doesn't tend to work out well for the birds and other animals that live in the area. We learned it with Exxon Valdez and it hit much closer to home with the British Petroleum oil spill in 2010. Now the chic ... More >>
The Galveston oil spill was bad enough when it was leaving oiled birds and all kinds of environmental and economic damage in its wake. Now it's even hitting the Texas seafood. The Texas Department of State Health Services issued an advisory on eating shellfish and other seafood from Galveston Bay o ... More >>
Although commerce is pretty much back to normal with limited use of the Houston Ship Channel for fishing and recreation, the U.S. Coast Guard reports that the oil slick that was cramping Galveston Bay's style isn't gone yet. It's currently traveling south along the Texas coast. Right now, environm ... More >>
The Houston Ship Channel is looking a tad busier in the fourth day since a collision spilled close to 170,000 gallons of oil into Galveston Bay. This morning the ship channel opened to barge traffic, but full use is still a no-go. According to Lt. Sam Danus of the U.S. Coast Guard, inbound and outb ... More >>
Quicker than you can spell environmental disaster, another major oil spill is affecting the Gulf Coast. This time, caused by the collision between a tanker and a barge that's shut down the Houston Ship Channel, according to reports. Crews from state and government agencies are working on cleanup af ... More >>
Florida Georgia Line Reliant Stadium March 19, 2014 Florida Georgia Line are easy to mistake for "bro country": they rhyme "Bocephus" with "Jesus" and would sooner walk as drive around in anything other than a candy-painted Silverado. But "bro-country" implies some sort of douchiness at its core, a ... More >>
Lou Reed, the tragically hip, eternally cool songwriter and musician whose friendships, collaborations and rivalries with the likes of John Cale, David Bowie and Iggy Pop helped define, expand and elevate rock music from the mid-'60s to the present, has died. Reed's death was confirmed to The New Yo ... More >>
The morning of September 11, 2001, I was asleep upstairs at my house in the Heights. It seems like 100 years ago considering all the changes that have happened to the world and for me personally since then. As was typical, my alarm went off. It was the radio tuned to 610 AM KILT. Lance Zierlein and ... More >>
Barry Smitherman hasn't done a lot of time on the Railroad Commission, but he's already set his sights on becoming the next state attorney general, and he's calling for a conservative crusade to get him there. Smitherman has come a long way from the days when he was a prosecutor at the Harris Count ... More >>
There's no other way to say this except to say it: Houston has a lot of music venues, a lot of music venues, but most of the high-profile shows around here get routed into a handful of places. This happens for any number of reasons, most of them financial: Very few promoters in town can afford to pu ... More >>
Lactation not related to giving birth.
Six historical paintings at Houston's federal courthouse have raised some hackles with two federal judges, who believe the paintings dredge up offensive imagery of slavery. The paintings, depicting the Houston Ship Channel in the late 1870s, were completed between 1938 and 1941, and were displayed ... More >>
We don't do rustic covered bridges here in Texas; we don't do massive Golden Gate spans either. But that doesn't mean the state isn't home to some beautiful pieces of bridge art. You can look for abandoned bridges here. Here, though, are a dozen of Texas' best. 12. Suspension Bridge, Waco T ... More >>
Buxton takes its bump to the roots-rock big leagues in stride.
Hat tip to Mr. Kimberly over at Neon Poisoning for tipping us off to the excellent photo stream of Louis Vest, OneEighteen on Flickr, who occasionally uploads amazing videos of the humdrum business on the Houston Ship Channel, including the one above.
Headed to courtFollowing in the footsteps of Shell and and ChevronPhillips, ExxonMobil has been sued by environmental groups who say its refinery routinely violates clean-air regulations and doesn't really do anything about it. The Sierra Club and Environment Texas announced their lawsuit to ... More >>
The Velvet Underground has certainly had an interesting second act. After Andy Warhol's favorite NYC "party" band soundtracked countless narcotic jags and laid the foundation for everything from punk rock to shoegaze, its members went on to very different lives: Lou Reed to street-life classi ... More >>
Photos by Taylor TurnerNot exactly Gilligan's Island.The not-so-everyday presence of yachts on Buffalo Bayou has been bringing sight-seers to Allen's Landing this week. But the docking is no holiday for the boaters, who've been stranded at the downtown birthplace of the city of Houston since Sund ... More >>
Gene Green: Which way will he go?Health and safety advocates will be watching U.S. Congressman Gene Green closely tomorrow, when his colleagues on the House Energy & Commerce committee are expected to introduce a bill intended to reduce the use of toxic chemicals in consumer products, such as ... More >>
Workers are claiming "disfigurement"On May 17, after a fire erupted at a local LyondellBasell refinery, the national headlines read "No Injuries at Houston Refinery."The source? 'Twas the friendly P.R. folks at Lyondell, of course.Given this fact, perhaps it will come to no surprise to learn that ... More >>
If there's one company out there that won't put up with illegal oil dumping, it's Exxon. These guys are hawks about pollution, and they will sue whoever the hell they need to in order to bring evildoers to justice.So they're suing the United States, which blithely went ignored all sorts of Enviro ... More >>
What are you looking at here? A window pane shattered by a rock or bullet? Some kind of art project?No. You are looking at.......
Thanks to lax enforcement by TCEQ, plants along the Houston Ship Channel launch tons of toxic gases into our air, and face little penalty even when they exceed pollution limits over and over again.
Four years ago, Houston Mayor Bill White and his environmental policy director Elena Marks didn't think that the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality was doing a very good job enforcing pollution violations and keeping the area's oil refineries and chemical plants in check. The city had ... More >>
PLEASE TAKE NOTE: The Houston Ship Channel will not be the scene of a terrorist attack tonight, one that will involve FBI agents, huge law-enforcement motocades, sirens, lights, all the good stuff.If you see such things, don't start running for the hills. It's a drill, baby."Late this evening int ... More >>
Stay the hell away from Houston's waterways. Don't swim in them and for heaven's sake don't eat the fish.That was essentially the message this morning at a news conference held alongside the Houston Ship Channel, hosted by Environment Texas, an environmental advocacy group, which complied data fr ... More >>
Back in November, Hair Balls indulged itself in some utterly sub-Swiftian satire on the possibility of Ike-wracked Galveston reconstructing itself as a haven for pirates. We suggested that Galveston apply for a Federal License to Plunder, citing advantages such as ease of access to all the booty ... More >>
A Houston company has been exploiting Vietnamese workers by promising big bucks, bringing them over here to work near the Ship Channel and then gouging them for rent and transportation costs while putting them up in dilapidated housing, a lawsuit claims.Thus it has been in America since...well, sinc ... More >>
We've seen the devastation first-hand, read the gloom and doom reports. Bolivar has been erased. UTMB's cutbacks threaten terminal meltdown for the Galveston economy. The schools are in peril. The beaches are ravaged.What is to be done?Predictably, there is a call for casino gambling on the island. ... More >>
Complain if you like of the pollution emanating from industries that line the Houston Ship Channel, but this week a petrochemical manufacturing plant in Port Arthur stakes its claim as one of the state's top-dog environmental scofflaws. BASF FINA Petrochemical Limited Partnerships has gotten whacke ... More >>
Raised less than two miles from the Houston Ship Channel, 49-year-old cancer specialist Dr. Peggy Connor for years had fantasized about chucking city life, and the industrial pollution that goes with it. “I wanted to move to a clean, safe place,” she says. In September 2006, Connor selected Bu ... More >>
Journeys of a Lifetime: 500 of the World’s Greatest Trips, by National Geographic, is a husky 400-page to-do list that includes 400-color photographs and sells for $40. The first word that comes to mind when opening the spine of this baby is stately. All Geographic books are that. For the wande ... More >>
Monica Fuentes Sure, it looks fine now. But just wait till it grows a head... It's not going to make any sense, so let me just say it: I jumped in the Houston Ship Channel. Yes, the same Houston Ship Channel that we all know runs from the East End though arguably the most industrialized 15 mile ... More >>
Courtesy of Wayne Gilbert Kinky visited Houston this weekend. We can still smell the cigar. If you happened to see a mustached, cigar-toting dude in a big, black cowboy hat this weekend, chances are good that you espied one Kinky Friedman. The gubernatorial hopeful was in town for a fundraiser, as ... More >>
Rodney Crowell comes back to town with yet another great album under his belt
PCBs may prompt a first-ever warning against bay speckled trout fishing
Turning Basin observation deck
Lunch with Rory Miggins
Alex MacLean's aerial photography puts our development-happy city in its proper perspective
Oysterman Joe Nelson says pollution is slowly killing Galveston Bay. But is anyone listening?
For more than 70 years, Milby High School has educated working class kids from the East End. In the early 1960s, I was one of them. I recently went back to Milby to see not what had changed, but what, if anything, remained.
To a world worried about waste, Houston may offer an answer -- or at least a place for the garbage to go