Texas Standard

In the 21st century, what happens in Texas drives the American narrative.  Texas Standard is setting a new bar for broadcast news coverage, offering up-to-the-moment coverage of politics, lifestyle and culture, the environment, technology and innovation, and business and the economy – from a Texas perspective – and uncovering stories as they happen and spotting the trends that will shape tomorrow’s headlines. Hosted by award-winning journalist David Brown, Texas Standard features interviews with researchers, innovators, business leaders, political thinkers and experts – across Texas and around the globe – that reflect a diversity of opinions. A one-hour daily news magazine, Texas Standard is produced in the state capital in collaboration with KUT Austin, KERA North Texas, Houston Public Media and Texas Public Radio San Antonio, as well as news organizations across Texas, Mexico and the United States. Visit TexasStandard.org to read our newest stories and hear our latest show.   

Weather Puts 'American Sniper' Trial on Ice

Weather Is 'Not Political,' Says Texas Climatologist

Jun 2, 2015
chiotsrun/flickr

From Texas Standard:

It seems that every major weather event is followed by a conversation about climate change, and the Memorial Day floods in Texas are no different. These historic storms have left more than 20 dead in Texas and Oklahoma, and Governor Abbott has declared around 70 counties as disaster zones.

Of course the climate change conversation is called out as insensitive by some, like Texas Senator Ted Cruz who thinks it’s wrong to “politicize a natural disaster." For others, it’s a tragic necessity.

The Next Fight in the Waco Shootout Will Be in Court

May 21, 2015

From Texas Standard

As the dust settles on the Twin Peaks parking lot after Sunday's deadly biker shootout, the showdown in the courtroom is just beginning.

Authorities in Waco no doubt have a challenge ahead of them — sifting through the physical evidence and countless statements regarding the encounter that left 9 dead. But the district attorney’s office is now tasked with how to prosecute the roughly 170 arrested and charged with engaging in organized crime.

jasoncwallace/flickr

From Texas Standard:

It's been exactly one month and a day since a ghastly event down in Corpus Christi.

On that day, workers at the Texas State Aquarium applied a white powder to the tanks of two huge exhibits: the Islands of Steel and the flower garden. They were trying to treat an infestation of a potentially deadly flatworm that attaches itself to fish.

Ilana Panich-Linsman/KUT
Ilana Panich-Linsman/KUT

From Texas Standard:

In this era of political cynicism, you could argue that few people of either party inspire the sort of fascination that Fort Worth Democrat Wendy Davis once did.

It was a spectacular moment on the floor of the Texas Senate in 2013. It seemed to come out of nowhere too – a woman in tennis shoes, holding her ground in outrage over limits to reproductive freedom. Seemingly overnight, Davis became the de facto face of Democratic Texas, the loyal opposition on the rise. But after a run for the state’s top office – and a crushing loss to Governor Greg Abbott – Davis seemed to disappear from the political stage.

How Economically Healthy is Your Texas County?

May 12, 2015
Screenshot via Google Maps

From Texas Standard:

There are some 254 counties in Texas, and inevitably if you were to try to map the state's economic health, you'd probably find some clear winners and losers. But a new survey shows that the answers might not be what you'd expect to find.

A new survey by the Austin Business Journal mapped out data from the Texas Relative Economic Community Health Index, or TRECH, to determine the most and least fiscally sound counties in the state.

johanl/flickr

From Texas Standard:

Last year, music streaming services like Pandora and Spotify generated more revenue than CD sales. Musicians say they aren’t happy with how much they’re getting in return, especially now that streaming companies like Amazon, Google, and even NPR, have formed a lobbying group to try to lower the amount they pay to musicians. 

skynoir/flickr

American Airlines recently unveiled its 787-8 Dreamliner. It carries 226 passengers, 198 of them in coach — and industry insiders have said if you’re not in first class, the airplane is uncomfortable for long trips. But the silver lining could be that when you get to the airport, you might almost mistake it for a shopping mall.

Why Can't My iPhone Speak Spanglish?

Apr 30, 2015
mirandagranche/flickr

A lot of Texans switch back and forth between English and Spanish effortlessly, without even thinking about it. But if you’re typing on an iPhone, switching between the language keyboards mid-sentence is a big hassle. With more and more multilingual users, why isn’t one of the top smartphones up to the task?

76771463@N02/flickr

From Texas Standard:

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro announced the latest cities to be designated "promise zones" this week. This is the second set of cities to take part in the federal program that seeks to reduce poverty and crime, increase economic and educational opportunities and attract private investment.

None of the eight announced this week are in Texas, but we thought this was a great opportunity to check in with one of the inaugural five.

jbparrott/flickr

Terlingua, a small town in Brewster County, West Texas, near the Rio Grande, used to be a mining town. Now it's mainly a tourist destination on the way to Big Bend — but pretty soon, Terlingua might attract a different kind of tourist.

veggies/wikimedia commons

From Texas Standard:

Television is supposed to draw people closer to the action and make them feel like they're there.

But it doesn't quite feel that way watching footage of the Baltimore riots. It's out there — distant — as we observe and decide for ourselves what went wrong from the comfort of our homes.

Ideum/flickr

From Texas Standard

As we look back on the last five years since the Deepwater Horizon disaster, some big questions linger: What will the next disaster be, and can we prepare for it?

Via Pixabay.

From Texas Standard:

The U.S. Drought Monitor puts out a map every week that updates drought conditions in Texas. This week’s map looked mostly white – which indicates no drought at all – with some peach, orange and red in the center – indicating moderate to exceptional drought.

Last year at this time, only small parts of the state were in the clear. Two years ago, 99 percent of the state was in some level of drought.

Lucio Eastman/Wikimedia Commons

From Texas Standard

The open carry of handguns has gotten a thumbs up from the Texas Legislature this session – not too much surprise there.

But one unexpected amendment would prevent police officers from stopping those who carry openly just to check for the proper licensing. 

62295661@N07/Flickr

From Texas Standard:

Clay Smith of Kirkus Reviews brings us two hard-hitting books to read during April showers – both of them tackling issues swirling about in popular media and the news.

In fiction, Smith recommends God Help the Child by Toni Morrison. In the book Morrison, the only living Nobel prize winner for literature, tackles race and childhood.

US Dept of Education/flickr

From Texas Standard:

In a letter presented Tuesday, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick’s Grassroots Advisory Board called two pre-kindergarten enhancement bills in the Texas Legislature “a threat to parental rights.”

The letter also called out the bills for being “godless” and “socialistic" — a take that's at striking odds with that of Gov. Greg Abbott, who made pre-K funding a priority during his campaign.

texasbackroads/Flickr

From Texas Standard:

Tough economic times can stimulate creative ways for cities to save or raise money. Sure, you could trim the workforce, or raise taxes to help fund urban renewal projects, but one Texas town is thinking a bit bigger: They want to take it to the silver screen.

SkyTruth/Flickr

From Texas Standard:

On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded. Two days later, it crashed into the ocean. By mid-May, an underwater camera showed the broken pipe constantly gushing black liquid into the Gulf of Mexico.

As the oil spread, so did the panic. Crews tried several different methods to keep it from spreading across the Gulf and into sensitive ecosystems. Engineers tried everything from a containment dome to a “top kill” – sealing the pipe with cement. Nothing worked.

Madfab/Pixabay

From Texas Standard:

Two years ago, the WestStar Food Company’s business with Cuba was good. Patrick Wallesen, the company’s president, says WestStar exported agricultural products through the port of Corpus Christi for more than a decade.

“We averaged about 5,000 metric tons a year of product. Primarily into beans, black beans, great northern beans,” Wallesen says.

Brenda Salinas

From Texas Standard:

As the demand for natural burials grows, industry experts say innovation is likely to come from Houston.

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