The State of Texas: October 5, 2015
Carly Fiorina’s fascinating Texas roots, and Franklin Barbecue bans professional line-sitters.
Replay of the Day
Ah, yes. Another week of Texas high school football, another example of poor sportsmanship and straight-up violence, this time marked by a brawl between Houston’s Westfield and Spring. “The brawl was sparked by consecutive personal fouls against Spring. Westfield was leading 36-25 with six minutes left, and the game was suspended after the fight,” Deadspin wrote. It also reported that “you can hear cheerleaders continuing to chant for the defense well into the violence.”
Riding Free(ish) — The authorities in Waco have ever-so-slightly loosened their grip on the bikers present at May’s Twin Peaks shooting. Not only have all 177 been released from jail, but most of the 135 who were ordered to have ankle monitors have been allowed to remove their trackers, according to the Waco Herald-Tribune. “None of the bikers who wore the monitors for varying periods of time committed any serious violations that caused them to be removed from the GPS program,” the paper noted. So, what does this mean for authorities who have yet to provide almost any information about what they think happened that day, let alone who they think is responsible? “That is what I see. We are starting the letting-go process, although they are not admitting they [authorities] did something wrong. Oh God, no. They would never do that. I don’t think we will ever get to that point where they admit these people did nothing wrong and should never have been arrested,” said a lawyer representing several members of the Bandidos gang.
Texas Campaignin’ — Texas’s presidential dreams may not hinge on Rick Perry anymore, but there are still a couple of people in the race with state ties, including rising GOP candidate Carly Fiorina. The Austin American-Statesman takes a fascinating look at the fifth-generation Texan’s background. Her father, Joseph Tyree Sneed, was an accomplished lawyer who taught at UT law, served as Nixon’s deputy attorney general, and counted Ken Starr among his students. Fiorina’s great uncle, who (we’ll have to be very brief here) shot the former manager of “the largest fenced ranch in the world” because the man’s son had “‘eloped’ to Canada with Sneed’s wife, Lena, after helping her escape from the Fort Worth sanitarium to which Beal had committed her for ‘moral insanity’ after she revealed to him her love for Albert G. Boyce Jr. … In September, nine months after killing Boyce Sr. … and between his mistrial and retrial for the shooting in Fort Worth, Sneed, disguised as a farm laborer in blue overalls, shot and killed Albert G. Boyce Jr. in front of a Methodist church in their hometown of Amarillo.” There’s also some details about the family’s political efforts in Austin, but when you’ve got a history like that, who cares about the politics.
Nine Lives — The animal rights advocates who wanted “Justice for Tiger” are finally getting a little of that. Maybe. It was back in April when a Brenham vet made national headlines after posting a Facebook photo of herself and what she claimed was a feral cat she’d shot through the head with an arrow. The cat, as it turns out, was not feral, and Tiger’s owners launched a social media firestorm. Facebook groups were started, a grand jury was convened (though it didn’t find enough evidence to charge her with animal cruelty). Now, six months later, “the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners has moved to revoke” the vet’s license, reports the Houston Chronicle. This past Wednesday, “the board filed a formal complaint about Kristen Lindsey before the State Office of Administrative Hearings and recommended revocation of her license, before filing the complaint, the board had presented a proposed agreement to Lindsey through her attorney. Lindsey declined to sign the agreement, however, prompting the board to request a hearing before an administrative law judge.” As the story notes, the hearing could happen four months from now with an additional sixty days for the judge to make a decision.
Outta Line — It was the news heard ’round Texas: Franklin’s Barbecue in Austin announced that it will no longer allow professional line-sitters. “It has gotten out of hand, and we owe it to the rest of our faithful customers to not allow the distraction,” Aaron and Stacy Franklin said in a statement. “As the amount of line holders has multiplied, the large orders have begun to bog down the line. We prefer to serve our customers in house, and not to have a second party representing our food and brand.” How out of hand did it get? People (like little kids) had fledging summer businesses built entirely around waiting in line for others. As the Houston Chronicle notes, this is just the local business owner’s latest attempt to keep people honest. “Franklin’s official ban comes after the barbecue joint announced in June a policy of one order per customer, an attempt to fend off professional order takers.” The restrictions aren’t too harsh, especially since “regular customers can still have a friend join them after waiting in line.”