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Houston Matters

Houston PR

Houston Matters is a radio program airing weekdays at 9 am on Houston Public Media News 88.7 FM in Houston. During each hour, we’ll investigate the issues and ideas, people and places that make Houston…well…Houston! We’ll talk about current events, politics, education, health care, the environment, business, transportation, arts and culture, literature, sports and leisure. But we also hope that what we do each day on Houston Matters serves as the beginning of a conversation — one we hope you’ll continue here, at home, at work, with family, with friends and neighbors. We hope to introduce Houstonians to one another, to celebrate our diversity, and to engage one another through stories and conversations that demonstrate depth and context. Just the sort of thing you count on from public media.

Location:

Houston, TX

Genres:

News

Networks:

Houston PR

Description:

Houston Matters is a radio program airing weekdays at 9 am on Houston Public Media News 88.7 FM in Houston. During each hour, we’ll investigate the issues and ideas, people and places that make Houston…well…Houston! We’ll talk about current events, politics, education, health care, the environment, business, transportation, arts and culture, literature, sports and leisure. But we also hope that what we do each day on Houston Matters serves as the beginning of a conversation — one we hope you’ll continue here, at home, at work, with family, with friends and neighbors. We hope to introduce Houstonians to one another, to celebrate our diversity, and to engage one another through stories and conversations that demonstrate depth and context. Just the sort of thing you count on from public media.

Language:

English

Contact:

713-440-8870


Episodes

Lessons from the lunar lander (March 1, 2024)

3/1/2024
On Friday's show: As the Houston-built Odysseus lunar lander goes dark, we reflect on what went right during the mission, what went wrong, and what it means for future space missions with Eric Berger of Ars Technica. Also this hour: From a big day for renewable energy in Texas, to Houston now being home to the oldest person in America, we break down The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of the week. Then, with the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo underway, we learn about the history of Black rodeos and Black cowboys in Texas. And we talk about the phenomenon of translating popular movies into musicals as Beetlejuice the Musical comes to The Hobby Center March 5-10.

Duration:00:49:00

Harris County Jail continues to fail inspections (Feb. 29, 2024)

2/29/2024
On Thursday's show: Harris County Jail has failed a safety inspection for the fifth time. The Texas Commission on Jail Standards has deemed the facility noncompliant with the state's safety standards. News 88.7 reporter Lucio Vasquez explains why. Also this hour: Over the years, Texas and other states have passed laws requiring kids to get more physical education at school. We learn why those laws really didn't work. Then, we hear from British actor Eric Kofi Abrefa of the Starz series BMF in an excerpt from this week's edition of I See U with Eddie Robinson. And what started as a Juneteenth mural in Galveston has expanded to other American cities. We meet Reginald Adams, the artist behind it all.

Duration:00:48:59

Lessons from another school takeover (Feb. 28, 2024)

2/28/2024
On Wednesday's show: We discuss the latest developments in politics in our weekly roundup. Also this hour: With HISD in the early stages of a state takeover, we learn about a Texas school district preparing to transition out of it. The superintendent of Marlin ISD near Waco shares lessons from that district's seven years under state control. And we preview the Moody Center’s Spring Fling concert at Rice this weekend. It features a country singer and an R&B duo and is being billed as an "alternative to the crush and expense of the Houston Rodeo."

Duration:00:48:38

Spring Branch ISD's financial woes (Feb. 27, 2024)

2/27/2024
On Tuesday's show: We learn about a conference on crime and public safety in Houston tomorrow. Also this hour: Duncan Klussmann, the former superintendent of Spring Branch ISD, explains the problems he has with how that school district is handling its current financial issues, which is a subject he outlined in a recent opinion piece in the Houston Chronicle. Then, we revisit the case of Texas death row inmate Ivan Cantu, who is scheduled to be executed this week. A true crime podcast investigation into his story, new evidence, witnesses recanting, and former jurors coming forward with concerns about his conviction have led some high-profile activists to take up his cause. And we visit the Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern, where a new installation called Haha Real fuses animation and video game graphics with traditional art and an immersive soundscape by a Houston-born musician. And the whole thing is inspired by the classic children’s story The Velveteen Rabbit.

Duration:00:48:15

History of the rodeo trail rides (Feb. 26, 2024)

2/26/2024
On Monday's show: We get an update on the Houston Avenue street project saga. Also this hour: With the annual Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo getting under way, we talk about the history of the trail rides that lead up to each year’s event with the head of the committee who organizes them and with photographer Ray Viator, who has a new book documenting them called All Trails Lead to Houston: Riding to the Rodeo. Then, columnist Dwight Silverman discusses some recent developments in consumer technology. And we get an update on Houston sports.

Duration:00:48:58

Houston returns to the moon (Feb. 23, 2024)

2/23/2024
On Friday's show: An unmanned spacecraft built by a Houston company has landed on the moon, making it the first commercial landing on the lunar surface and the first American spacecraft to make a soft landing there since the Apollo program ended in the 1970s. We learn about the landing and what the Odysseus lander will do during its mission. Also this hour: Saturday is Hockey Day in Houston. An event at Saint Arnold Brewery is designed to promote hockey at all levels in the Houston area. We reflect on some of Houston's hockey history with a former player from the Houston Aeros, we discuss where and how hockey is being played in Greater Houston, and we get the latest on more serious talks about bringing an NHL team here. Then, we meet some of the local artists creating installations for the Houston location of Meow Wolf. And, from the Houston-filmed movie Reality Bites turning 30 years old, to John Oliver making Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas a unique offer, we discuss The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of the week.

Duration:00:49:05

Spring Branch ISD cutting all librarians (Feb. 22, 2024)

2/22/2024
On Thursday's show: Spring Branch ISD will no longer employee librarians, beginning with the 2024-2025 school year, a district spokesperson confirmed to Houston Landing. We learn about the budget constraints behind this move and how the district plans to keep libraries running at its campuses. Also this hour: The new film The Taste of Things explores love between a chef and his personal cook. We discuss the movie and meet one of Houston's own restaurateur couples on this month’s installment of The Bigger Picture. Then, we hear an excerpt of a conversation with author and anti-racism activist Ibram X. Kendi from this week's edition of I See U with Eddie Robinson. And we talk with filmmaker and Houston native Alex Stapleton, who’s directed an episode of God Save Texas, a series of three documentaries that just premiered at Sundance and that's based on a book of the same name by Lawrence Wright. Stapleton’s contribution is called “The Price of Oil,” and it explores how the oil industry has been a defining economic force in Houston, and specifically on Black people, including multiple generations of Stapleton’s family.

Duration:00:49:10

The week in politics (Feb. 21, 2024)

2/21/2024
On Wednesday's show: New polling is out as early voting has begun in primary elections. We discuss that and all the latest developments in politics in our weekly roundup. Also this hour: Actor Alan Cumming is bringing his Not Acting His Age tour to The Hobby Center on March 6 and 7. Ahead of that, the Scottish-born, Tony Award-winning star of stage and screen talks with Houston Public Media's Ernie Manouse. And we learn how traditional school book fairs have evolved with the ever-changing landscape of literacy.

Duration:00:49:00

A perceived ‘war on police’ (Feb. 20, 2024)

2/20/2024
On Tuesday's show: Early voting begins today in the March primary election and continues through March 1. We preview what's on the ballot. Also this hour: We discover what sociologist Michael Sierra-Arévalo learned from spending more than a thousand hours riding with police officers around the country, which he details in his book, The Danger Imperative. He explains how the perception of a "war on cops" has affected law enforcement -- and the public's encounters with police. Then, the issue of racism is deeply complex, and, historically, it’s not been as simple as white discrimination against people of color. Sometimes a member of a group that’s often discriminated against can discriminate themselves. That’s a subject Fordham University law professor and race relations expert Tanya Hernández explores in her book Racial Innocence. We hear an excerpt of her recent hourlong conversation on I See U with Eddie Robinson. And the film Reality Bites premiered in movie theaters 30 years ago this week. The movie is remembered today by some as the quintessential Gen X movie. Whether it is or not, film critic Joe Leydon reminds us it may be the quintessential Houston movie.

Duration:00:47:16

Ranking American presidents (Feb. 19, 2024)

2/19/2024
On Monday's show: Today is Presidents' Day. Who were the best presidents in our nation's history? Who were the worst? We talk with University of Houston professor Brandon Rottinghaus about the Presidential Greatness Project and its latest survey and ranking of those who've held our nation's highest office. Also this hour: We learn how a group of Black soldiers known as "the Blue Helmets" made history in World War II and moved forward the cause of African Americans in the military. An exhibit about them is on display now at the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum through June 30. Then, veterinarian Dr. Lori Teller answers pet care questions. And we get an update on Houston sports from Jeff Balke.

Duration:00:48:57

What’s changed since the 2021 freeze (Feb. 16, 2024)

2/16/2024
On Friday's show: We learn about some recent developments in education, including some concerns about the way the written portion of some STAAR tests will be graded in the future and news about declining student enrollment at HISD since the pandemic. Also this hour: Three years after a deadly winter storm knocked out power across Texas, what has changed -- and what hasn't? Then, we break down The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of the week, including Drake, 50 Cent, and several others musicians all being registered to vote at the same house in Katy. And writer and former Houstonian Suzette Mullen discusses her new memoir, The Only Way Through Is Out, which explores her decision to come out later in life. She’s holding a book signing at Brazos Bookstore on Feb. 22.

Duration:00:49:00

Candidate Interview: Sean Teare (Feb. 15, 2024)

2/15/2024
On Thursday's show: Ahead of next month's primary election, we talk with Sean Teare, who's running for Harris County District Attorney against incumbent Kim Ogg, who visited us herself for a candidate interview recently. Also this hour: We discuss what happens when the public’s right to know bumps up against an individual’s right to privacy. Law professor Amy Gajda examines that subject in her book, Seek and Hide: The Tangled History of the Right To Privacy. Then, we learn how a groundbreaking study by two Black psychologists, often referred to as The Doll Test, helped form the backbone of the legal case that ended school segregation. Author Tim Spofford tells the story in his book, What the Children Told Us. We hear an excerpt of his hour-long conversation on this week's edition of I See U with Eddie Robinson. And a mother and daughter we met a decade ago while attending college together tell us us what’s happened in the years since.

Duration:00:49:15

The week in politics (Feb. 14, 2024)

2/14/2024
On Wednesday's show: We discuss the latest developments in politics in our weekly roundup. Also this hour: In celebration of Valentine's Day, some Houstonians share their love stories. And listeners share some of their favorite love songs.

Duration:00:48:10

Overreacting to extreme weather (Feb. 13, 2024)

2/13/2024
On Tuesday's show: We sit down for a candidate interview with former Houston City Council Member Amanda Edwards. She’s challenging Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee in the Democratic primary for Texas’ 18th Congressional District. Also this hour: We Houstonians have been through a lot in the past decade. Floods, drought, extreme heat, freezes – has it all conditioned us to overreact? Then, we talk about the challenges of trying to live in Houston without a car. And Celeste Schurman reports on how social media star Keith Lee affected local restaurants he’s visited and talked up.

Duration:00:48:48

Candidate Interview: Kim Ogg (Feb. 12, 2024)

2/12/2024
On Monday's show: Ahead of next month’s primary election, we talk with Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg. She’s facing a re-election primary challenge from a former prosecutor in her office, Sean Teare, who we’ll to with soon, as well. Also this hour: As the PBS series Gospel airs this week, we talk about some influential Houston artists who've contributed to the genre. Gospel airs Monday and Tuesday at 8 p.m. on Houston Public Media, TV 8. Then, Meg Tapp of The Garden Club of Houston answers listener questions. And we reflect on the memorable moments from the Super Bowl and get an update on Houston sports from Jeff Balke.

Duration:00:48:15

Mayor Whitmire’s first 30 days (Feb. 9, 2024)

2/9/2024
On Friday's show: It's been just over 30 days since John Whitmire was inaugurated as Mayor of the City of Houston, and there have already been a significant series of leadership changes across city departments. Yilun Cheng of the Houston Chronicle discusses those changes and whether the new mayor has started to deliver on his campaign pledge of focusing on public safety, infrastructure, and city services. Also this hour: As we've entered another election cycle, another political action committee is trying to “turn Texas blue.” It’s been 34 years now since a Democrat won a statewide race in Texas. And yet, every election year somebody comes along with the goal of shifting Texas from Republican to Democratic rule. So, is anything different in 2024 or are Texas Democrats just setting themselves up for another disappointment? Then, we consider The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of the week. And what do “The Three Little Pigs” and Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” have in common? Catastrophic Theatre’s latest production, It Is Magic, has the answer.

Duration:00:48:50

The week in politics (Feb. 7, 2024)

2/7/2024
On Wednesday's show: A federal appeals court says former Pres. Donald Trump is not immune from federal prosecution. That decision comes ahead of oral arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court over whether Colorado can keep him off the ballot. We discuss that and other developments in local, state, and national politics in our weekly roundup. Also this hour: Ahead of Valentine’s Day, Houston food writers offers suggestions on where to go for date night in this month's edition of The Full Menu. And fans of anime might not know that a lot of the English-language dubs of their favorite films and shows are done in Texas, including here in Houston. We learn more about Studio Kane, an emerging local animation studio involved with producing their own series inspired by eastern-style animation.

Duration:00:48:07

Fort Bend County Judge KP George (Feb. 6, 2024)

2/6/2024
On Tuesday's show: KP George, County Judge for Fort Bend County, joins us in studio to discuss his top priorities for the county this year. Also this hour: A conversation with retired astronaut Leland Melvin, tied to the new National Geographic documentary The Space Race. Then, we preview an upcoming conference at Rice University that looks to tackle questions on the ethics of genetic research. And we revisit some suggestions for how to curb traffic accidents in the region.

Duration:00:48:34

Houston’s role in the World Cup (Feb. 5, 2024)

2/5/2024
On Monday's show: The game schedule for the 2026 FIFA World Cup has been announced. We learn all the details about how many games Houston will host and at what stage. Also this hour: Funding to help move Fifth Ward and Kashmere Gardens residents living near a contaminated railyard is being reconsidered after being delayed for almost a month. Houston City Council is expected to vote Wednesday on $2 million that would go toward that effort. City Council Member Tarsha Jackson joins us to discuss the matter. Then, we offer you a chance to share your pet peeves about life in Greater Houston. And we preview the Super Bowl and discuss other developments in Houston sports.

Duration:00:49:15

Lawsuit over warrantless raid (Feb. 2, 2024)

2/2/2024
On Friday's show: Three officers are being sued for conducting a no-knock, warrantless entry of a Houston man's home in the middle of the night and holding him and his wife at gunpoint. The lawsuit alleges three Harris County Precinct 2 constables violated a Houston man’s Fourth Amendment rights. Also this hour: From Food Not Bombs Houston suing the city, to Taylor Swift political conspiracy theories, our panel of non-experts weighs in on The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of the week. Then, classical crossover trio Time for Three talks with our Joshua Zinn ahead of a Houston performance on Feb. 9. And we learn why some Houstonians have been driven to seek medical care outside the country.

Duration:00:48:50