It doesn’t matter if you’re shopping, having lunch with a business associate or driving down your street staring at all the "For Sale" signs suddenly appearing. No matter who you are, my guess is you’re concerned about Houston’s economy. And how could you not be? Our city’s most vital industry (arguably) is in a tailspin. Schlumberger has cut 11,000 employees, Baker Hughes has eliminated 10,500 positions, Halliburton another 9,000 and BP has announced layoffs but hasn’t said exactly how many. And that doesn’t even count all the smaller companies that lay off 100 here and 100 there. According to the Wall Street Journal, there have been more than 90,000 layoffs in the energy sector since crude oil prices began their fall last year, and the outlook isn’t great for the rest of this year. If … [Read more...] about Should we be uncertain about local economy?
A nice fellow visited our office a few days ago and asked if he could place a help-wanted advertisement in our newspaper. There are people who still do that, you know. "Let’s start with the position," I suggested. "What’s the title?" "It’s kind of a hybrid job," he said. "We’re a small company – just a few employees." "Why don’t you tell me about the job, and we’ll figure out what to call it later." Of course, I had no idea he was going to talk for the next hour. For starters, he said he needed someone to manage his finances. "I’m considering adding some new employees," he said. "The problem is that our revenue probably won’t grow much. I need a person who can take our current revenue and still pay all our bills. We’re break-even right now, but I’m sure it can be done." Sounded like he … [Read more...] about Know anybody who can do everything?
Who would have ever thunk it. Right here, on the outskirts of the Heights – known for its eats, arts and bungalows – terrorists from ISIS are opening a training center under the auspices of education. Sounds like a bad joke from a bad writer, huh? Not if you read the comments from a rather controversial story we published a few weeks ago. In case you haven’t heard, HISD has announced the opening of an Arabic Language Immersion Magnet School, designed to teach children the fifth most-spoken language in the world. Just for fun, nibble on a few of these comments from our readers: “We are witnessing the continued assault against American Nationalism in our country amid a raging fire and smoke background,” wrote one person, quite poetically, I might add. “How dare they try to come over and … [Read more...] about If you learn Spanish, you might join the cartel
The tenuous tones surrounding a plan to build subsidized housing in North Houston need to stop. Unfortunately, most of those tones are coming from people who should know better. For almost a month, The Leader has reported (and I’ve offered commentary) on a proposal for the Houston Housing Authority to buy Metro’s Pinemont Park & Ride and build workforce housing for families that need some form of government help. Here are the facts, for those who aren’t up on the details: Metro needs to sell its surplus land after closing the Pinemont Park & Ride. The Houston Housing Authority needs land to build 300 new apartments/garden-style homes. Residents in Forest West, Pinemont Park and Forest Pines desperately need retail development. What they don’t need is another apartment complex … [Read more...] about Stop using arrogance to solve a tenuous concern
It’s not often I steer away from local topics, but for this week, maybe you’ll indulge my decision to write about something larger than our ZIP codes. Faith, family and friends are most important to me. I also love, tremendously, what I do for a living. Beyond those things, it’s fair to say I have one ridiculous hobby. As a teenager, my grandfather introduced me to the game of golf – something I always thought was reserved for poor souls in search of boredom. Before I grabbed a club in Papa’s back yard for the first time, the only thing I knew about golf was that monotone announcers were more effective than tranquilizers after a Sunday meatloaf lunch. For more than two decades, I have followed and played the game with avid idiocy. It’s the competition I love most – with friends and … [Read more...] about McElvy: Young families sure can learn from the Spieths