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 >>
Last year, after Connie married her partner of nine years in California, she took her wife's surname, legally changing her diver's license and Social Security card to Connie Wilson. Legally speaking, she is Connie Wilson. When work required that Wilson and her partner move from California to Houst ... More >>
It seems the Texas education system is still nursing a hangover from the State Board of Education's raucous culture-warrior party days. Hell, it's possible they're still drunk. A while back in 2009 members of the SBOE tried to cut the actual science from the state's science standards (namely, Darwin ... More >>
Jenn and Lizzie Wigle are wandering the halls of a bridal expo, searching more for ideas than products or services. Eventually they visit three of the events, looking at dresses, invitations, cake decorators and all the other trappings of the $40-billion-a-year American wedding industry. Most of t ... More >>
Montgomery County residents on public assistance can have their male dogs non-surgically neutered for free December 22, thanks to a partnership among Montgomery County Spay Neuter Project, Texas Litter Control, Ark Charities, and Precinct 4 Commissioner Ed Rinehart. That's right -- thanks to a drug ... More >>
Yesterday, the Senate, in a rare show of bi-partisanship, passed ENDA (Employment Non-Discrimination Act) 64-32. The bill would ban anti-gay discrimination in the workplace. This highlights that a civil rights struggle we have all been watching slowly but surely come to an end. Of course, not ever ... More >>
In this week's Time Magazine they asserts that Texas is the future of the country and that future is going to be complicated. The cover is a map of Texas broken down into individual states and pretty clever. Hey, anytime someone puts Texas on the cover of a magazine, we probably won't argue. We did ... More >>
Though it isn't marked by a specific holiday, today is the anniversary of the day that the Social Security Act was enacted, 78 years ago in 1935. That means babies born on the day the bill was signed into law are currently reaping the rewards of the system they paid into for years. For many, this is ... More >>
Some Houstonians who don't want their beloved CW affiliate bought by the right-wing Koch brothers are planning a protest outside the station's Westpark Drive building today, and we can't really figure out why. Ronald Gonzalez, who plans to speak at the demonstration, tells Hair Balls that the Kochs ... More >>
Behind the scenes of the death match between Big Ag and undercover animal-rights activists.
We don't know who first came up with the phrase "you can't get good help nowadays," but whoever did likely realized the importance of having a staffer interview someone before hiring. It's a valuable personnel lesson ingrained in Yevette Lauren Walton and Lakisha Lashell Rogers, but for all their p ... More >>
Apparently because there are just too many a-holes in the world, the IRS has issued a warning about charity scams that have popped up in the wake of the Boston and West, Texas tragedies. "It's sad but true," the IRS tells us. "Following major disasters and tragedies, scam artists impersonate charit ... More >>
And why do Mexicans still bother with the United States?
And why are Mexican Indians so poor?
The first black police chief in Jasper, Texas -- the East Texas hamlet best known for the dragging death of James Byrd, Jr. -- didn't last long. In fact, according to the federal lawsuit he just filed against city officials, and the city itself, he was forced out of his job by a not-very-sophisticat ... More >>
If Mitt Romney won't tell you which need to be closed, we will.
Leaked document reveals the secrets of the GOP's coded language.
The Texas Attorney General's Office is warning folks about yet another identity theft wave that's been separating people from their money: the so-called utility bill payment scam. The AG's Office writes that "using in-person solicitations, social media, fliers, phone calls and text messages, scamme ... More >>
We were kind of amazed to read that the NAACP's Dallas chapter wants to shut down the Texas lottery, mostly because we didn't realize all the other racial injustices on the To Do list had already been checked off. "People oftentimes make decisions not in their best interests," Chapter President Ju ... More >>
Though his actions were sleazy in the extreme and hurt a lot of people, including some he was ostensibly close to, you've just got to hand it to Joshua Matthew Pierce. In a Waco federal court yesterday, Pierce, of Houston, pleaded guilty to defrauding a Waco bank, his own son-in-law and another ma ... More >>
The setup: Denise Fennell, as the teaching nun "Sister," starred in Easter Catechism last year in an extended run, and she returns again with fresh material in a one-person show, Late Nite Catechism, to chide us for our sins, offering the joy of laughter and the forgiveness of holy humor. The ex ... More >>
Rick Perry has a new TV ad up in Iowa titled "Politically Incorrect." "Washington is the capital of political correctness, where doublespeak reigns and the truth is frowned upon," he says in it. "You can't say that Congressmen becoming lobbyists is a form of legal corruption. Or that we give aid mo ... More >>
Photo by Ed T.Ruggles owner and chef Bruce Molzan lost 60 percent of his staff Saturday night.Update: Bruce Molzan says that he has "three auditors" and a new manager going through files and payroll records as of today, admitting that Ruggles does owe the waitstaff back wages. "It's about $14 ... More >>
Photo by Ed T.Ruggles owner and chef Bruce Molzan lost 60 percent of his staff Saturday night.Saturday night at Ruggles was busy. There were nearly 200 customers packing the restaurant at Westheimer and Montrose, with a skeleton crew of only five waiters out of a normal ten-man crew. And at 7 ... More >>
As a guest of local homelessness advocates SEARCH, I spent last Friday afternoon pretending to be homeless. Sort of...At any rate, it was a strange afternoon for me as my experience of homelessness is far more up close and personal than that of most people. The afternoon began at the SEARCH facili ... More >>
Omar Lopez: Bad unclePolice have charged Omar Ornelas Lopez, 27, with child endangerment after noticing his car was speeding and making wide turns through the Windsor Village neighborhood. It wasn't Lopez who was driving, though -- it was his 13-year-old nephew. Court documents available on ... More >>
Marc BrubakerOccupy Houston headquarters in Tranquility ParkThe Occupy Together movement, begun in solidarity with New York protesters' takeover of Wall Street and Zuccotti Park, is now no stranger to the media. (As to whether they report on it fairly or not, we'll leave that to individual di ... More >>
mysanantonio.comGig 'em!Once again, Texas is front and center on the national political stage, our spokesman an almost cartoon-like embodiment of every Lone Star stereotype: Fast-talkin', gun-lovin', bible-thumpin', boot-wearin', oil-worshipping, death penalty happy, larger-than-life right-wi ... More >>
New poll suggests the answer is "no."Yes, Public Policy Polling is a Democratic outfit, but nevertheless their new poll released today has some interesting tidbits. "In just three weeks Barack Obama has nearly doubled his lead over Rick Perry," said Dean Debnam, PPP president. "That would se ... More >>
We still don't know whether a deal will make it through Congress or whether instead the Tea Party will drive the nation off the economic cliff. If the U.S. defaults and all of a sudden can't write checks, things could get....interesting. Fortunately, there are back-up plams. 5. Social Security ch ... More >>
Never trust a masked man.If you're running a mortgage scam and using a shadow company you've called Phantom Marketing, you're: a) Extremely ballsy b) Extremely dumb c) Like the serial killer who writes "Stop me before I kill again" at the crime scene. Adrian Levale Cole and Albert Terrance W ... More >>
Photos by Christopher Patronella, Jr.Some three thousand people joined together in Houston on Sunday to take part in May Day rallies held all across the nation as the battle over immigration laws has taken center stage. Demonstrators blanketed the streets around Burnett Bayland Park as they flow ... More >>
Just give 'em John Doe's number, he won't mind.Attorney General Greg Abbott is warning any Texans whose Social Security numbers were inadvertently exposed by the state government to, ummm, not just hand out that info to anyone calling to try to "confirm" things. More than three million emplo ... More >>
It's easy for a three-time felon to get $20 million for his investment company, as long as no one asks any questions.
Robert Kimball, whose criticism of the privately run school where HISD sends its troubled students was so stinging (or effective) that the school is suing to shut him up, won a round in court today.Community Education Partners is suing Kimball because he's been making clear he believes CEP is a "dro ... More >>
What's it coming to these days when you can't even go in and buy an Aston-Martin without getting busted for fraud?Especially after you've done so much to ensure that Montrose is full of foreclosed-upon townhomes?These are the questions Craig Curtis, 36, is no doubt asking himself after his convictio ... More >>
If you've ever been harassed by a debt collector, deserved or not, Texas AG Greg Abbott has just stood up for you (As Joe Biden might put it, since Abbott's in a wheelchair).Abbott's office announced a settlement this morning against NCO Financial Systems, one of the world's biggest debt-collection ... More >>
You may have heard that Houston, a city driven by the energy industry, fares better than the rest of the country during tough economic times. Somebody really should mention that to local day laborers – it seems they could use something to cheer them up. A recent Agence France-Presse story out of ... More >>
No self-respecting scam artist is going to let a little thing like a hurricane keep him from his career. In fact, a hurricane can become a hurri-can for a dedicated con artist. Of course, it also helps if you don't get caught. Harris County DA Kenneth Magidson says two men have been arrested for i ... More >>
Trouble is brewing. A group of Galveston evacuees says they are planning a bit of civil disobedience in the fight to get into their island homes to assess and fix damage. "We are planning to caravan to Galveston and disobey the police when they tell us that we cannot have access to our homes," say ... More >>
A word to the wise: the next time you try selling the names and Social Security numbers of nearly 17,000 U.S. Marines, make sure the buyer is actually the spy he says he is, and not an undercover FBI agent. Randall Craig, a former military contractor, learned that lesson the hard way when he was ar ... More >>
So Tom Brokaw has some new book out about the 1960s called Boom! And a whacked out Dennis Hopper is doing retirement ads for Ameriprise Financial about how baby boomers can’t really retire because they’re the generation with dreams and dreams don’t retire (or whatever). And when the first ba ... More >>
If you didn’t think the French were douchey enough, they held a charity auction Tuesday of memorabilia from the TV show Dallas. The money goes to a charity that hires clowns to entertain sick kids! So that’s a bunch of real douches bidding on stuff worn by fake TV douches set in a real douche ... More >>