The State of Texas: March 7, 2014
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It’s the stuff that restores your faith in humanity. Or, at the very least, TV newscasters. Seven years ago, Dallas personality Gloria Campos did one of her regular “child reports,” featuring a young boy who needed a home. After adoption challenges that many foster children face, the young boy was featured again two years later. He returned a third time recently. This time, to thank Campos for helping him find a family. It’s humanity, and TV news, at its finest. (At least until the weatherman shows up):
Brazilian butt lifts really backed it up in 2013. “[T]here was a 58 percent increase in butt augmentation surgeries in 2013 over the year before, a larger spike than any other type of plastic surgery,” according to a story by the San Antonio Express News. And not to be outdone, the Express-News used that interesting factoid to not only write a juicy lead sentence but base an entire report around the fact that the Alamo City was hip before hips were hip: “… Alamo Heights plastic surgeon Michael Decherd said the procedures, specifically the popular Brazilian butt lift, is nothing new to San Antonio.”
Unprovided — And people says laws aren’t effective. Two more abortion clinics, in Beaumont and McAllen, were forced to close Thursday due to the state’s new restrictions. “Abortion providers attributed the loss of one-third of the state’s clinics to House Bill 2’s requirement that abortion doctors obtain admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic, and they warn that many more clinics could close if phase two of the law takes effect on Sept. 1,” according to the Austin American-Statesman. Nineteen clinics have shuttered since the law went into effect this past summer and there is now not a single safe place for a woman in need in all of the Rio Grande Valley. Or, as CBS News starkly puts it in a headline: “400-mile stretch of Texas now without an abortion clinic.” You know a situation is dire when people are driving to Arkansas, of all places, for assistance.
Election Off-Season — The most conventional takeaway from the primaries is that Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis did poorly in border areas compaerd to previous state and national efforts. As a result, Greg Abbott’s campaign team smells blood and has now set a pretty lofty goal of beating not just Davis, but George W. Bush’s numbers from the 1998 gubernatorial election, which brought him nearly half of the Hispanic vote. Although Abbott didn’t do as well among Hispanics as Davis, he “announced a goal this November to break the record for Hispanic support by a Texas Republican gubernatorial candidate, widely considered to have been set by George W. Bush in 1998.” That year, Bush “captured as much as 49 percent of the Hispanic vote.” As the Texas Tribune reports, however, perhaps both parties main goal should just be “capturing” voters in general. “Turnout in both parties in the marquee race for governor fell from 2010 to 2014, though the drop-off was more pronounced in the Democratic contest.” Dems saw a nearly twenty percent drop in primary voters, 546,000 down from about 681,000 in 2010. For Republicans, meanwhile, “turnout this year was down about 10 percent from 2010.” Or we could skip all this horse racing and basically do what Ted Cruz suggested: eliminate direct voting all together.
Frito-Laid Off — Bad news for Oak Cliff residents who likes Cheetos, Doritos, Fritos, and steady work-os.”An Oak Cliff plant for Frito-Lay will cease manufacturing operations by August and be operated as a warehouse. In addition an Oak Cliff warehouse will close,” according to the Dallas Morning News. “The company said the moves would affect ‘approximately 0.3 percent of our U.S. workforce.’” It did not give the size of the U.S. workforce.” The Plano-based snack maker, which has three national facilities, all in Texas, has been making munchies at the plant since 1984. “It was not immediately clear how many workers will lose their jobs at the plant.” Regardless, here’s hoping their severance package is slightly better than the company’s unreliable “variety” pack.
It Has Begun — The low rumble of an aproaching herd; the sickly-sweet smell of artistic, youthful, technophilic ambition; and the sudden appearance of strange, pretty people with a NYC walk can only mean one thing: South By Southwest is here. Those unable to attend all five billion events scheduled (or if you’re an Austinite who’s barricade yourself within the walls of your home), don’t worry! Texas Monthly has just what you need to vicariously experience the lives of cool people. Keep on eye on the website itself for updates, but there’s also the Instagram feed, the Twitter account, not to mention trend-man Dan Solomon’s Twitter, which’ll be so chock full of SXSW deets, you’ll feel as if you yourself were denied access to the special, secret show popping up just around the corner.