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THE FRONT DOOR – It’s got to be here somewhere. By the mailbox, under the door mat with the house key that doesn’t work. Maybe on the curb. I am looking for my dinner, and so are a lot of other people. Food delivery, be it groceries or ready-to-eat dinners, have been around for years, but th…

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When Amy Peck ran for Houston City Council in District A, one of her campaign promises was to push for a sunset review of city government. She wanted each department and city-sponsored program to undergo a thorough audit to ensure they were making the most of their resources and operating as…

THE DINING ROOM TABLE – Papers and more papers. Receipts, scrawled reminders and crumpled Post-it Notes. This debris is because, like 165,624,000 (in 2019) other Americans, I am wrestling with my federal income taxes. Actually, my wife, the daughter of a CPA, is doing most of the work, undet…

In case you haven’t heard, we have a crisis on our hands. And if every single person in this country doesn’t starting worrying about it, well… just know you should.

Recently, my husband made the observation that our youngest child had spent a 10th of her life in a pandemic. Not being much of a math person, I had not thought of it that way, but it resonated. We’ve been at this thing a long time.

The cover of the Nov. 4, 2012, New York Times Magazine sported a headline: “Off the rails -- For a true picture of the U.S. economy, ride the train from New York to Washington and take a good, hard look out the window.” We have to ponder this. The magazine’s reporter took a train trip from N…

THE GROCERY STORE – The last of the yogurt. No loaves of bread. Even in these weeks after the Big Freeze of 2021, bottles of water are MIA. We’ve seen TV shots of Texans lined up to shop, only to find, like Mother Hubbard, the cupboard is bare. How long will it take to get back to normal so …

The state of Texas maintains a pension system for its employees (including state elected officials) known as the Texas Employment Retirement System (“ERS”). It is a large plan with nearly 400,000 members and manages nearly $30 billion in assets. It is a traditional defined-benefit plan.

THE LAUNDRY ROOM – Sheets, sheets and more sheets. This place looks like a Klan gathering. When a heavy freeze was predicted for Texas, we put sheets over all our outdoor plants to protect them from the cold. Afterwards, we took off the sheets and, sure enough, all the plants were as dead as…

THE LINE – Have you ever stood in a line to get shot? Not shot, as in a bullet, but by a needle? I am standing here awaiting my COVID-19 vaccination, along with a lot of others. Despite all the stories we have heard and the TV pictures we have seen of long lines of desperate people trying to…

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 […]