There’s some discord among the core group of botanists in my inner circle about the proper name of the plant that scorches my forearms each evening between the hours of 6-7 p.m. I’ve settled on the Texas Sabal Palm, a sharp-branched, pointy-leafed shrub that might as well be a box of Bics stuck to a stick. Do not be confused. We’re not talking about the matron saint of all evil yard brush – the vaunted Sago Palm, which landscapers planted across our neighborhoods a generation ago because the old K-Mart must have had a spring sale on the worst plants in the history of the seed. The Sago Palm will cut you if you look at it wrong. The kinder, gentler Texas Sabal Palm only slices your wrist if you rub it wrong. If you live in Texas and have these stealth Sabal Palms canvassing your … [Read more...] about Hank will stand among his own palms one day
I don’t brag on too many people in this space (except for my children and wife on occasion), but it’s hard to contain myself today. The Houston Heights Association has made a decision that might set the standard for local governance in the years to come. More than two years ago, I shared some interesting numbers with our readers about the sheer size of our city, and giving you an update will offer some credence to what HHA has done. The area that The Leader calls home -- largely the Heights, Oak Forest, Garden Oaks, Timbergrove and Norhill, to name just a few -- are represented by three voices in Houston’s mayor-council form of government. Most of our area falls within Houston City Council District C, and our representative on the council is Ellen Cohen. Brenda Stardig’s District … [Read more...] about HHA, Baldwin put residents first in new hire
I want to pitch a business idea to our community. For it to work, I need the seven of you who read this to share it with your neighbors. And they need to share it with about 50,000 other people. We can do it. To make sense of the idea, let me tell you of its genesis. This business that we own – a free, community newspaper that covers a very specific area – has one basic form of revenue. We produce news and information about a community, and people like you read our newspaper and website. To pay for the people, printing and delivery of this product, local businesses that want to reach our readers buy advertisements. It’s fairly basic: If we produce a good news product, and if people read us, advertisers will spend some of their marketing dollars with us because they want to reach … [Read more...] about Can we scale online shopping to local?
If you’ve read my weekly column with any regularity, you know how I feel about social media platforms like Facebook. Like the post office and a smart phone, these tech giants serve a purpose in our lives. And like licking too many envelopes or refusing to put down the phone, social media is as dangerous as any drug today. If you’ve followed the news of the past few weeks, maybe you know Facebook has found itself on the receiving end of an international barrage of fury. The short version is Facebook takes your personal data – things you like, clothes you buy, dishes you cook, politicians you hate – and they’ve sold that information for billions of dollars. Last year, the company made a profit of more than $16 billion. To put that in perspective, Facebook makes so much money they could … [Read more...] about Our Media Camp teaches students about real news
Garden Oaks, the vaunted neighborhood of stately homes, prodigious trees, desired schools and envied street addresses, needs to get its act together. For the past few years, a legal battle has brewed between neighbors. Last week, a board of homeowners, called the Garden Oaks Maintenance Organization, decided the battle should end. Now I get the feeling they may have surrendered to fight another war. Those of you who don’t live in Garden Oaks may not care one whit about this, but it would serve us all to understand the dynamics at play. These destructive issues lurch in all our associations. In 2012, Peter and Katherine Chang decided to add an extra garage to their home. Even though deed restrictions to the Garden Oaks neighborhood allowed for only a one- or two-car garage, the … [Read more...] about Garden Oaks has chance to fix itself now