Opinions like this usually don’t come in the middle of a national panic. They’re reserved for the post-mortem – the weeks, months, maybe years after tragedy or turmoil strike. I’m sorry, but this can’t wait. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve watched two leaders of our community graciously stand in front of podiums with cameras and microphones shoved in their faces. They’ve answered question after question, perfectly blending empathy with strength. They’ve been conscious of the local discourse while unwavering in their commitment to the greater good. No matter how you’ve voted in the past, and no matter how much you may agree or disagree with their positions on matters of policy, every honest soul in Houston and Harris County should be boastfully proud of County Judge Lina Hidalgo … [Read more...] about Raise a banner to beacons we’ve elected
Our company, the one that publishes The Leader and other newspapers in Texas and North Carolina, owns six small businesses and we employ about 90 people across our divisions. We aren’t big, but we’re probably a good sample of businesses across the country. This well-intentioned plan to send all Americans some cash is absolutely ludicrous. It’s like spending all your time wiping water off the floor when the sink is overflowing. The problem is the faucet keeps running, and that’s what needs to be fixed. Hundreds, thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of small businesses will be devastated in this pandemic. Ours may be one of them, though we have a plan to survive. And as government looks for ways to curb the economic catastrophe, they’re going to send everybody a couple months of rent? … [Read more...] about McElvy: Direct economic help at small businesses
The street in front of my childhood home sloped at an angle that felt like an Olympic ski jump. Of course, I was a child, and things always seem a bit bigger and taller and more dangerous when you have the perspective of a 6-year-old. I learned to ride a bike on that hill, and no matter how gradual the grade, I left plenty of knee skin on the hot, asphalt runway. Remember the feeling when you lost control of your bike riding down a steep slope? The handlebars shook. You took your feet off the pedals, grazing ground with the tips of your shoes, hope against hope that you’d find your balance. Eventually, your core and your will gave way to resignation. You bailed. When that happened, most of us scratched ourselves off the ground, wiped the pebbles from the pink, bloodied strawberry … [Read more...] about We’ll keep holding onto the handlebars
There’s a quote attributed to Sir Francis Bacon we’ve all heard a thousand times: “Knowledge is power.” And over the past 50 years, especially in the era of mass media, the phrase has been refurbished to include “information.” Leaders all over the world have proclaimed that information, indeed, is power. Coming from someone in the media business, whose chief role is to inform the public, I must admit we’re seeing a powerful exception to the rule. As much as it pains me to spend any more time on this subject, it’s naïve to think we can avoid a quick chat on the coronavirus – or COVID-19, for those who are, for some reason, impressed by the use of meaningless acronyms. At the time of this writing, here are some of the things we know about coronavirus: There is no toilet paper on … [Read more...] about Bad information more dangerous than a virus
While the rest of you talk about candidates and Coronavirus, I need to loop you in on a breakfast menu item that deserves the attention of every animal lover in this city. Here’s what happened, as it does about 30 times a day. I got an email from a public relations firm asking if our newspaper would please consider helping promote an upcoming event. Whether they’re non-profits, community organizations, or the local library, we’re often asked if we will publish information to help drive attendance at events. (And here I was thinking nobody reads newspapers anymore.) They say there’s nothing wrong with negative press, but can’t we at least spend a little more time with our word choice? Here’s the headline: “Puppies for Breakfast returns to Market Square Park on April 11.” Puppies … [Read more...] about Who’s approving these marketing slogans?