The State of Texas: June 1, 2015
Tweet of the Day
Below is possibly the worst food news to come out of Texas since Blue Bell announced that its products were bacteria-flavored. For those who can muster it, KHOU has more details.
Due to a national egg shortage, Whataburger can only serve breakfast while supplies last from 5AM-9AM during the week, 5-11AM on weekends.
— Whataburger® (@Whataburger) May 31, 2015
Cattle Drive Monday
Everyone likes a classic Texas scene, and folks got exactly that yesterday when a herd of more than five hundred cattle had to be moved away from floodwaters, through the town of Dayton. Publications like the Los Angeles Times and even the Daily Mail took note with some pretty interesting video and photography. Read more about the drive in the Houston Chronicle:
All Over but the Signing – Well, that was an exciting 140 days. Alas, all things must pass, and the eighty-fourth legislative session, too, is winding down. After a backlog of legislation finally pushing through once the Senate and House were able to stop bickering, Governor Greg Abbott’s pen will certainly be working overtime. To no one’s surprise, he’ll be signing the campus carry and open carry bills, but a little more shocking is the passage of a bill allowing for the use of cannabis oil to treat severe epilepsy, which Abbott will likely sign today. For those wanting an overview of the past four and a half months, the Dallas Morning News has your quick-read covered with a look at what the Lege did and didn’t do for many major issues, ranging from border security to gambling. In addition, the paper also has an assessment of Abbott’s performance, which it summed up as … “meh.” But there’s always the next Lege, unless Dan Patrick’s Citizen Advisory Board stages some sort of coup.
When It Rains… – The state death toll due to flooding hit 27 yesterday, with the Brazos River being the ferryman of bad news over the weekend. But like the river, life moves forward. The San Antonio Express-News has a look at the residents of Wimberley, who continue to pick up the pieces after last week’s historic flooding. In fact, “some vitality has returned to Wimberley. The quirky shops around its main square had neon ‘Open’ signs in their windows, and tourists walked along the streets with shopping bags.” Still, it’s really unbelievable just how bad Texas was hit. President Barack Obama “signed a disaster declaration for Texas late Friday,” according to reports, making “federal funding available to affected individuals in Harris, Hays and Van Zandt counties. Funding is also available to governments and some nonprofits on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work in Cooke, Grimes, Harris, Hayes, Navarro and Van Zandt counties.” And for an idea of just how much rain has come down, CNN notes that enough rain has fallen in May to “cover the entire state with 8 inches of water.”
Pulling on the Throttle – The bikers arrested after the Waco shootout aren’t going down without a fight. One of those arrested “has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit, alleging his arrest and detention are unlawful,” reported the Waco Tribune on Friday. In addition, a state biker organization, the Texas Confederation of Clubs and Independents, “has issued a call to action to those who feel injustice has occurred after the deadly shooting May 17 at Twin Peaks resulted in 175 behind bars, nine dead and 18 injured,” reports the Tribune. “The organization is asking people to call, email or fax a letter to the White House, Gov. Greg Abbott, the Supreme Court, Waco Mayor Malcolm Duncan Jr., senators, city officials, the sheriff’s department, judges, and others, demanding the immediate release of bikers they say are being held unlawfully.” There’s also a planned “silent” protest on June 6. One member of the biker organization “said he expects 300 to 400 people to attend.”
Bad Press – Anthony Mazur, a sixteen-year-old photography enthusiast at Lewisville ISD, has been getting attention from all over the country and the Internet because of the school’s position on his newfound career. As the Dallas Morning News explains, Mazur was approached by both students and parents who wanted to buy his photos, so the enterprising Mazur set up a little business. Unfortunately, “school officials called foul on his budding business, forcing him to shut down the website where he posted his photos and sold copies for $5 apiece.” The fight has turned into something of a mini “cause célèbre” for First Amendment advocates, since “under federal copyright laws, musical compositions, paintings, photographs and other original works are owned by their creators unless they transfer the rights to someone else.” In other words, the school doesn’t seem to have much of a right in telling Mazur what to do. Naturally, “a spokeswoman for the Lewisville school district declined to address this issue or answer any other questions about the case.”