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The thirst for vengeance came as fast as the temperature plunged. Homes turned frigid and dark. Moms and dads scoured closets for dusty blankets, scarfs, hats and gloves. And public figures pointed their toasty fingers through social media.

Did you vote in the 2020 elections? Good, because a lot of Texans couldn’t. We have all sorts of barriers to keep certain people from voting – laws, land mines, barbed wire and snide comments from voting precinct workers. How tough is it to cast a ballot in the Lone Star State? A new study f…

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What’s going on with Texas (ERCOT) electricity? And more importantly, why didn’t I have lights for so long?

Question: If you start to build a dam and only get halfway through, how much water will it stop?

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There was a time a few years back when I used to wince if anyone asked about the train on the Oak Forest Homeowners Association Facebook page. "No, don’t do it," I (telepathically) told them. "It’s a hornet’s nest."

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Get ready to welcome yet another new Texan. This move follows a long list of those who have GTT (Gone To Texas, Pilgrim). In recent times we have seen Elon Musk pull up stakes and come here. There have been Apple, Charles Schwab and Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Now we have the National Restau…

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The topic is almost taboo in some circles around Houston, yet it seems to come up often in conversations about neighborhoods, real estate development and how residential interests intersect with those of industry.

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THE FRONT HALL – One, two, four, eight. I am counting my face masks. Why? Because they are taking over my home. On the table by my front door are 11 masks. I put one there to be worn when the Prime delivery person, coughing and sneezing, drops off three Super-Delux 18-Layer PowerMasks. Other…

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The pine trees that tower above the Sinclair Elementary School campus provide oxygen, shade and scenery for the surrounding community. They help provide protection from flooding, too, because the mature trees’ root systems help soak up water after heavy rains.

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MY CHECKBOOK – I am trying to help the economy of Pennsylvania, and you, as a patriotic Texan whose word is your bond, should, too. I am sending a donation to our beloved state lite guv, Dan Patrick, the Official State Demagogue, in yet another case of our leaders making Texas the laughingst…

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In July of 2012, I was given the opportunity to do something people like me crave. For the previous 15 years, I had worked for a group of wonderful media company owners, and I wanted a chance to take a vision and build it in something I could call my own.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Houston has one of the highest overall crime rates of any U.S. city. Houston’s overall crime rate is 92 percent higher than the overall crime rate in Texas. Property crime is much higher in Houston than it is nationwide.

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The story had been written for a whole week, and it was the clear choice to dominate the front page of last week’s newspaper.

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THE MOVING VAN – Yet another big truck has come to disgorge furniture into a house in my neighborhood, but one immigrant probably won’t be moving here to Golden Years Glen: Elon Musk, the fourth richest person in the world, currently worth $150 billion, but it’s still early in the week. Musk has been living […]

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The refrain from every person – every creature – with a smart phone and social feed was simple: “So long 2020.” Come to think of it, that’s rather tame language for how most of us sent the past year packing. In the four corners of your home (assuming you followed government advice), you rang in […]

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Last week we took a look back at 2020 and found nothing to look forward to. Actually, there were so many Bum Steers (to steal a title from Texas Monthly before they steal our selections) that we couldn’t list them all. Today we’ll deal mostly with sports, but there are a few goodies we must […]

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We’re proud of the work we do here at The Leader, and the stories we’ve told in 2020 were no exception. The COVID-19 pandemic has made it a difficult year on just about everybody, including our small staff, but we’d like to think we rose to the challenge and kept the community informed while uplifting […]

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“Annus horribilis.” A horrible year. That’s the term Queen Elizabeth II used to describe 1992 — the year that the marriages of her two sons, Charles and Andrew, broke down and Windsor Castle caught fire. And the tea was cool. We had our own annus horribilis and then some. The plague, the lines for food, […]

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A month ago, we reported about the repaving of the trail at T.C. Jester Park, which had become deteriorated with cracks in the asphalt and sink holes. It had therefore become a safety hazard. I found out last week what had prompted the Houston Parks Board to undertake the project, which was simple in the […]

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Move over, James Buchanan. Make way for Donald Trump. This is because Buchanan, our 15h president, (1857–1861) is generally ranked by presidential scholars (there are a lot of them) as our worst president ever. Where will Donald Trump rank? Let’s see the current rankings which have stayed pretty steady over the years. Abraham Lincoln, Franklin […]

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When historians write about 2020 – and will they ever – you can bet the words won’t be kind. Lost lives, lost jobs, lost civility, lost decorum. We have cursed the past 12 months, the common refrain draped in disdain. Each year, my wife diligently organizes an impromptu photo search for the cover of our […]

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THE FRONT DOOR – Someone is ringing my doorbell. A man is standing there in a trench coat with the collar turned up, dark glasses (it’s 10 p.m.) and what looks like a clip-on beard. “Apples rot in the Iowa sun.” Huh? “Justin says he’s sorry.” Lordy, it’s Grassy Knoll, the neighborhood conspirator, again. Before […]

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One of the most effective tools implemented by the federal government in the fight against this enemy called COVID was the Paycheck Protection Program. If you haven’t followed the specifics, this program allowed small businesses to apply for a “forgivable” loan that would offset payroll and other operating costs, and it was a raging success. […]

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To the Residents of Golden Years Glen: Welcome senior citizens! This is your occasional newsletter keeping you up to speed on what’s going on in our neighborhood. The letter is coming late because our editor, Eddie “Scoop” Mudflap, is still recovering from his annual Labor Day fireworks show, which we all love. Eddie vows in […]

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For many of us, Thanksgiving was not as enjoyable this year as it usually is. We were encouraged not to travel and not to gather with our friends and families on account of COVID-19, which is spreading as rapidly as ever across our city, our state and our nation. Some of us had to catch […]

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Let’s face it, 2020 has been a stinker of a year. We’ve been mired in a pandemic since March, with COVID-19 having claimed the lives of far too many people and infected so many others that even looking at the case numbers can make one sick. Even for those who have been able to steer […]

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“I am not a member of any organized political party — I am a Democrat.” Will Rogers’s famous quote should be the slogan of the Texas Dems, for rarely have we seen victory snatched from defeat more clearly than in the Lone Star State’s recent Democratic Party debacle. They had the money, they had Big […]

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THE DEN – Move the hands of the clock one quarter of an hour and the clock chimes a tad. Move it to the half hour and the clock chimes two tads, and so on through a tedious 12 hours on the clock. My problem can be blamed on Benjamin Franklin and World War I. […]

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If you work in the news media, you get all sorts of “pitches” for story ideas. Usually, these come in the form of emails from public relation mooches who have no shame. “Hey Jonathan, hope your week is off to a great start!” It was until you emailed. “Good morning, Jonathan. I hope today finds […]

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Did you vote this go-round? We already know the outcome because it was rigged. Donald Trump said so. Remember the Electoral College: 3,877,868 Texans voted for Hillary and not one vote mattered. But there are several interesting down-ballot elections that might have changed the future — ask Henry Shoemaker – so let’s take a fresh […]

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Back in September, before the election, Wendell Champion spoke proudly about the traction he was gaining in the area. The Republican challenger to U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, a Democrat who first was elected to Congress in 1994, had seen his face on several campaign signs decorating front yards throughout the Garden Oaks and Oak […]

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THE FRONT DOOR – Why I am I standing here like an idiot while I could be watching re-runs of “My Mother the Car?” It’s because my icemaker doesn’t work. It bombed and the repairman, or repairwoman, is coming to fix it. Sometime. Have you noticed that when a repair truck comes to your house […]

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Many of you will turn to this page today hoping I add some sort of perspective to the culmination of two years of political campaigning and what it means for the future of our country. Too bad. So sorry for the tricky headline. Literally, you can go to any other news medium in this hemisphere […]

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THE POST OFFICE – Along with other paranoid/cynics, I am personally delivering my ballot to the post office. But will it be counted? Maybe the deep state takes all the Trump ballots and shreds them. But then we have QAnon, the pro-Trumpsters who may be shredding all the Biden votes. Either way, dropping off my […]

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A few days from now, half the country is going to hate the other half. If Donald Trump is re-elected as president, you’re going to hear about how he’s a wannabe dictator who profits from sitting in the Oval Office, fans the flames of bigotry and lies about everything from COVID-19 to his tax returns […]

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“In Texas, the week begins on Friday nights.” — CBS newsman Bob Schieffer (TCU). Yes, it usually begins on Fridays, although this fall, thanks to the pandemic, our revered annual ritual of sweating, cheering, fight songs and the heartbreak of the almost, have been moved around so that games have been cancelled, pushed back and […]

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For most of my career, newspapers have been held to the highest of standards by readers. Our depth, perspective and unwavering pursuit of truth are unrivaled, and every editorial decision we make is cloaked in a devotion to ethical, honest reporting. That is why I will fervently stand up to the handful of readers who […]

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THE CAR TRUNK – Are you ready? I am, all locked and loaded: club, pepper spray, shield, Molotov cocktail, MAGA cap and T-shirt. “Stand up and stand by.” That’s what our leader, President Donald J. Trump, told the Proud Boys, and if you are any kind of true patriot and not one of those Chardonnay-sipping, […]

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Not even 48 hours had passed since Brendan Posterick stood helplessly outside his Heights apartment and watched his car – the first one he worked for and bought with his own money – burn to a bloody crisp. So he had every right to be angry and every reason to point fingers and cast blame. […]

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MY OFFICE – Among the many family photos I have on my wall — true, some are front and side shots with numbers across their chests — is this one, taken on Sept. 3, 1900. It’s of locomotive number 183, with a coal car and several cars behind. Lined up in front are the train’s […]

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Tell me if this sounds familiar: Your favorite college or professional football team has been back in action for the past few weeks and, for some reason, you aren’t incredibly excited. Something feels off. This isn’t just a football thing, either. The energy level around the Rockets’ playoff run amounted to little more than a […]

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LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 23). You are bright, curious and fond of music, mainly bagpipe bands. Your neighbors can’t stand your selections, particularly after midnight. This may be your lucky day: No one will use the word “existential” and expect you to understand its meaning. Think things through before you gulp a quart of Clorox to […]

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The next time you pick up your phone to check the status of your closest 500 friends, consider a quote I recently heard: “There are only two industries that call their customers ‘users’: illegal drugs and software.” In my 25-year career of writing, I have never felt the need, nor the desire, to publish a […]

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THE FRONT PORCH – Oh, say can you see, by the dawn’s early light? Actually, it’s more the twilight’s last gleaming. I’m a late sleeper, but I got you out here to look at my newest addition: a flag. A Texas flag. It is one of three my children gave me for my birthday. Now […]

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And my answer will be: Good point. Maybe I’m speaking to an empty room, and that’s fine. The issue still needs to be discussed, even if the comments and social media shares are scarce. Six years ago, The Leader began covering the proposed Houston-to-Dallas high speed rail project headed by a group called Texas Central […]

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By Zarah Parker Buying the generic brand at grocery stores has become a norm for most people. Personally, I find H-E-B’s brand pretty reliable as a trade-out for name-brand items. There’s still a few items I can’t get myself to switch for. For example, I still buy name-brand ice cream and cereal. Anything else doesn’t […]

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A barber shop is generally the best place to go for a beard trim, which is how I came to know Doug Dreher and the 11th Street staple where he spent most of the last two decades. I was spending a sunny Saturday afternoon in the Heights, and my better half wanted me to clean […]

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THE VOTING BOOTH – It’s the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, and Election Day has come. I finally get to vote, but I didn’t want to do it here. As you may have heard, this year there is a fierce pandemic sweeping the nation, so voting in person means standing in line […]

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IN THE BATHTUB – You may be wondering why I am here in my dry tub, with a mattress over me. That’s because some expert said that, when you are in the direct path of a hurricane, and you won’t evacuate because you are too stupid or are suicidal, the safest place to be is […]

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The first rule of Facebook these days is to get off Facebook, because it’s not going to make you feel better about much of anything. However, I often find it hard to take my own advice. Because sometimes you find something you didn’t know you needed to read. In my case, this was a post […]