The State of Texas: June 11, 2014
Photos of the Day
Not content with having derby competitions, flugtug competitions, and space jumping, Red Bull apparently has a cliff diving competition. This past weekend they held it in Possum Kingdom Lake. It all looks pretty spectacular. Just don’t try it at home, kids!
Texas By The Numbers
RadioSmacked — Amount RadioShack lost in the past thirteen weeks: $98.3 million. Last year: $23.3 million. Net sales decline: 13.2 percent. Shares drop: 10 percent. Portion of store’s product to be replaced and that the company hopes “will drive differentiation and newness”: 30 — 40 percent.
Spurs Purr — Portion of Spurs’s shots made in the half of their Finals win against the Miami Heat: 75.8. That accuracy figure as a rank among all Finals games ever played: one. Date of previous record, held by Orlando: 2009. Number of shots made in their first 21 attempts: 19. Number of three-pointers made during that period: all. Number of lay-ups Tim Duncan missed during that period: one.
Open Here, Closed There — The state saw the closing of yet another clinic this week. This time, however, it appears to have nothing to do with politics, and everything to do with old age. The only abortion provider in Corpus Christi is set to shut his door and retire, reports the Caller-Times. That decision, as the San Antonio Express-News notes, now leaves “women in the Coastal Bend area without ready access to abortions” not to mention a “at least a two-hour drive each way” to San Antonio, the closest provider. For pro-choicers though, there was one small battle won. Two Dallas doctors, each running separate clinics, had their admitting privileges reinstated after suing University General Hospital for revoking those privileges (the clinics’s work was “disruptive,” according to the hospital), following the passage of the 2013 law. The settlement puts a tiny wrinkle in the state’s official argument since the “doctors accused University General of violating a state law that forbids hospitals from discriminating against doctors for their willingness or refusal to perform abortions,” according to the Dallas Morning News. “The state recently used that protection to defend the new abortion law, arguing that reliable doctors could get admitting privileges without fear of being rejected for performing abortions.” For pro-choicers, however, it may just be the tiniest of victories. “In September, all clinics will be required to meet ambulatory surgical center requirements. Only six Texas clinics currently meet those requirements.”
Failure to Communicate — The League of United Latin American Citizens is once again suing the state for falling to provide education and support for English language learning students. “In its lawsuit, LULAC alleges that the state’s lack of support and supervision has led to ‘grossly deficient’ language instruction programs, especially in middle and high schools where English language learning students ‘continue to perform abysmally,'” reports the Texas Tribune. LULAC says that the lack of teacher training and, consequently, lack of classroom education have made it difficult for ESL students to learn English, a stepping-down stone to poor performance. It’s no small thing, either, since “roughly 17 percent of the state’s 5 million public school students qualify as English language learners.” LULAC also contends that most of these failing student aren’t new to the system, but rather have been in Texas schools for the past five years. The state, meanwhile, stands by the arguments it made two years ago when the lawsuit was brought up before in a that case made it all the way to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. The appeals court reversed a lower court’s ruling for LULAC, saying “further analysis was needed.” So who knows? Maybe LULAC studied up and is ready to retake the test.
AmeriCAN — Our most prominent and patriotic national legislator, Senator Ted Cruz, is now 100 110-percent American. The Alberta-born senator “has given up his Canadian dual citizenship,” according to the Dallas Morning News. “The renunciation became official on May 14, roughly 9 months after he learned he wasn’t only an American. Cruz received notification by mail on Tuesday at his home in Houston.” This had obviously been a huge hiccup for Cruz and his eventual run for the White House. Even worse, “detractors” were apparently “taunting him as ‘Canadian Ted.'” Not no more, they ain’t! If, for some looney reason, you’ve never actually seen an official Certificat de Répudiation de la Citoyenneté Canadienne, well, this here’s your chance. A tip of the hat goes to the Morning News’ web/copy editors, one of whom is the most likley genius behind the story’s headline, “No, Canada!”
Too Big A Tent — It would seem the Republican National Convention site selection committee is much like the rest of the state in that they hate the idea of commuting. “If the RNC site selection committee wants to host the convention in June, North Texas could host the event at AT&T Stadium, an iconic venue, but one that could mean some drive time for delegates,” reports the Dallas Business Journal. “During the North Texas Super Bowl in 2011, a number of media outlets claimed the Dallas-Fort Worth sprawl wasn’t a ride they were happy to take.” The other option is Dallas’s American Airlines Center. Unfortunately, the venue is only available in July and not in June, when the RNC is ideally hoping to host its grand old party. The committee will visit DFW this Wednesday, the final leg in its convention tour.