Think of the government shutdown as you would a hurricane. Stock up on canned food, sit tight and wait it out. Evacuate if you must, but you're going to have to travel pretty far to get out of this mess. The government has been getting a lot of (much deserved) grief over the shutdown, and I was o ... More >>
Memorial Hermann treats patients without insurance, tells them not to worry about the cost and then sues them for thousands of dollars.
Every Sunday morning at 8:30 a.m., volunteers for Noah's Kitchen gather at Jenni's Noodle House in the Heights and begin prepping for their day ahead. Since 2010, the charity's mission has been to feed Houston's homeless one meal at a time. In their first year, Noah's Kitchen volunteers fed 5,000 p ... More >>
Lt. Reginald Barclay was a character on Star Trek: The Next Generation. By trade, he was an engineer, but he was well known on the show for being a massive hypochondriac. On one episode, Dr. Beverly Crusher advised Reg not to look through the Star Fleet medical database anymore because it was causin ... More >>
Birth control pills, for the low, low price of nothing.For hating on your babymaker so hard, the government sure is spending a lot of time down there. Just ask Planned Parenthood: there's a lot of womb-shaming here in Texas. But finally, finally, a governmental body may start meddling on beha ... More >>
A lawsuit alleges that 12,000 kids trapped in foster care with little chance of getting out are being exposed to abuse and neglect, shuttled around the state and denied health services.
Photo by blue_sharpieThis guy's got questionsHouston City Council members Wednesday approved a $70,000 settlement with a former Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care veterinarian who filed a whistleblower suit against the city in 2009.Gil Costas was fired in February 2009 for what a BARC spokesper ... More >>
Photo by abcrumleyThe Bureau of Animal Regulation and Control will be removed from the Health and Human Services Department, according to Frank Michel, the Mayor's communications director."We will be working to remove BARC from the Health Department over the next couple of weeks," Michel told Hai ... More >>
Photo by wsilverCity Council did not vote on BARC interim chief Gerry Fusco's contract because it was not completed in time for the meeting, according to the mayor's agenda director."The documents weren't in," Marty Stein told Hair Balls. "....In this case, what happened was, because this is ... More >>
Photo by bf_photos The Harris County District Attorney's Office has charged a BARC volunteer for filing a false police report regarding animal abuse he said he heard while at the city's animal control facility. Shelby Kibodeaux was charged July 1 with the class B misdemeanor, which ca ... More >>
BARC Bureau Chief Ray Sim was fired today, spokeswoman Kathy Barton confirmed. She would not give specific reasons, saying only "I think it was just an issue of timing...[it was] not the right time for this guy." Sim began his job in May, after the Department of Health and Human Services conducted a ... More >>
Photo by mary_thompsonWhen it comes to the Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care, Stephen Williams is a man who does not like to dwell on the past. As the director of Houston's Department of Health and Human Services, he said in an interview Monday that while he was aware of years of criticism of BAR ... More >>
The Bureau of Animal Regulation and Control vaccinated only eight percent of animals on entry between July 2008 and January 2009, according to a BARC supplement asking for additional funding from the city. "Best industry standard is to vaccinate all animals entering a shelter, to minimize ... More >>
Photo by Daniel KramerWe're pretty sure the dude who coined that phrase about a hard task being akin to "nailing jelly to a wall" wasn't referring to getting news out of BARC, but he could've been.For one thing, Health and Human Services did not tell the media when BARC hired its new chief, Ray Sim. ... More >>
As Hair Balls has previously noted, the City of Houston apparently doesn't want its citizens knowing what's going on at the Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care. For the past few months, advocates concerned for the health and safety of the more than 20,000 animals BARC processes each year have submi ... More >>
Veterinarian David Rundell resigned today from the Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care, spokeswoman Kathy Barton confirmed. Nicole Sica at the Houston Examiner was the first on the story. Rundell was suspended with pay three weeks ago for allegedly treating a sick dog with Valium he brou ... More >>
There's an ugly mess of chemicals in the groundwater on the south side of Pearland. The contamination is severe enough that the abandoned tank farm has become the latest addition to the state's Superfund Registry.This is no surprise to nearby residents, some of whom are being given bottled water bec ... More >>
On Tuesday, Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care veterinarian Gil Costas was fired for what Health and Human Services Department spokeswoman Kathy Barton said was not having proper state certification.Barton said Costas did not have "site-specific" Texas Department of Public Safety controlled-substa ... More >>
The city's animal shelter just can't get its act together
The wonders of Photoshop are bountiful -- they let Sooner football fans taunt UT; they allow people to make bold, trenchant analysis of the current socio-political world by showing George Bush in his "Mission Accomplished" flightsuit in unlikely settings; they probably have something to do with lolc ... More >>
Who says Texas isn't battling cigs?
Here’s yet another list that Texas finds itself at the bottom of: the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids’ report of how states have been spending (or not spending) the money they’ve been receiving from the landmark 1998 multi-billion dollar settlement with Big Tobacco. Texas comes in at 46, s ... More >>
Apparently, there’s some unhappy financial stuff going down lately – you might be aware of it if you read the paper or listen to radio news. (Some of us at Hair Balls prefer early-’70s Oui magazines and Cheap Trick.) To help prevent Houston from getting sucked into this new economic abyss, May ... More >>
Surviving our War on Terror calls for more than an ability to dodge bullets and IEDs
The treatment is called post-exposure prophylaxis. So why do so few medical groups in Houston know about it?
In Somerville, chances are far better than normal that you will die of cancer or give birth to a deformed baby
Will "self-enforcement" be enough for Houston's expanded smoking ban to work?
Vendors says they were never paid for a Bowl party
A closer look at a spiffy downtown park reveals it's crawling with rats
A bad reaction to a drug trial sparks an investigation into Houston's Fabre Clinic and its founder
How much more can you cut?
From leftist camps and corporate security to semi-panic and port patrols, Houstonians tackle terrorism threats. Sort of.
Drug addicts can get hard cash to be sterilized or go on birth control. Is it ridding the world of unwanted babies -- or just ducking the underlying problems of abusers?
Dr. Shelley's new operating room reveals the worst and best of a City Council under term limits
Former drug czar Lee Brown has trouble negotiating a question about why there's no needle-exchange program for addicts in Houston
A state program was supposed to give moms a safe place to drop off unwanted newborns. Then why are so many babies still ending up in the trash?
Rachelle Anderson just took super Girl Scout honors. And it wasn't hustling cookies that got her there.
Rising asthma rates have experts scratching their heads - and children struggling to breathe
Milby's cleanup cost Houston $10 million. Now HCC says the site is still contaminated.
Hundreds of thousands of Texas children, including 250,000 newborn babies, are routinely vaccinated against hepatits B each year. Why? Good question.
In the battle to privatize welfare services in Texas, corporate bidders have enlisted some inside help
To snare a federal grant, the city of Houston overstated the extent of lead poisoning among children in poor neighborhoods. But now that it's got the money, the city can't figure out how to help those who need it most
Texas A&M's attempt to push an animal research center on a black neighborhood has raised a sour smell in College Station
How slow turnings of tiny bureaucratic gears grind up real Texans