Bigots, Homophobes, and HERO

Last week, Houston City Council passed the controversial Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO). The ordinance makes it “unlawful for any place of public accommodation or any employee or agent thereof to discriminate against any person on the basis of any protected characteristic,” such as sexual orientation or gender identification.

As is usually the case, debate […]

Alcohol and “Food Deserts”

A City of Houston ordinance bans the sale of alcohol within 300 feet of churches and most private schools, or within 1,000 feet of public schools. Apparently, city leaders believe that the sale of alcohol is a threat to the well-being of children and church goers. However, it would seem that that threat does not […]

Houston, We Have a (Zoning) Problem

The following article was published in the Spring 2009 issue of The Objective Standard.

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Houston, Texas, my hometown, is one of only two American cities with a population greater than one hundred thousand that has not imposed zoning laws on its citizens. (The other city is Pasadena, Texas, a suburb […]

City Can’t Eliminate Gangs by Behaving Like One

The following article was published in the Houston Chronicle on July 21, 1994.

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Consider the following scenario: You arrive home to find that your house has been burglarized. The police investigate the scene and proceed to write you a citation for inadequate burglary deterrence.

You are told that […]

Progressivism Comes to Houston

This article was published in the February 1990 issue of The Freeman.

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During the Progressive Era of the early 20th century the nation’s first zoning ordinances began to appear. Public control of private property was a popular cause at the time, and land-use restrictions were frequently used to achieve this […]

Metro Unveils New Transit Plan

This was originally posted on Live Oaks on September 27, 2010. Comments have not been migrated.

In the face of increased public scrutiny and declining tax revenues, over the weekend Metro unveiled a new transit plan that it claims will slash expenses by 83.4% and simultaneously create nearly 175,000 jobs. The new plan will scrap […]

“Selling” the Public on Light Rail

This was originally posted on Live Oaks on September 7, 2010. Comments have not been migrated.

The Chronicle tells us that new Metro chairman George Greanias faces the challenge of selling a “sometimes skeptical public” on the alleged merits of light rail. The article makes it appear that Greanias is more concerned with the troubled […]

The Pot Calling the Kettle Black

This was originally posted on Live Oaks on August 17, 2010. Comments have not been migrated.

Ramona Davis, executive director of the Greater Houston Preservation Alliance, tells us that opponents of the proposed preservation ordinance are using a “a barrage of misinformation, disinformation and scare tactics” in Sunday’s Chronicle:

It is not clear whether the […]

A Tale of Two Walmarts

This was originally posted on Live Oaks on August 4, 2010. Comments have not been migrated.

Two Houston neighborhoods are unhappy with Walmart because of the retailer’s plans to build stores nearby. One is in The Heights, and it has some residents fearing that small businesses won’t be able to compete. As one told the […]

Private Parks in Houston, Kinda, Sorta, Not Really

This was originally posted on Live Oaks on July 21, 2010. Comments have not been migrated.

In 1976, some concerned Houstonians formed a group call the Houston Parks Board (HPB). According to the group’s web site:

They wanted to contribute to the city’s parks system through a private organization that would respect their needs and […]