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Houston Matters

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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

Sandra Day O’Connor’s legacy (Dec. 4, 2023)

12/4/2023
On Monday's show: The passing of former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor marks a defining milestone in our nation’s history. We discuss her legacy and lasting impact on Texas through the rulings she was involved in. Also this hour: Listeners share their pet peeves about life in Houston. And we get an update on Houston sports.

Duration:00:49:05

The Houston commute (Dec. 1, 2023)

12/1/2023
On Friday's show: Houston’s communities of color are hit hardest by worsening air quality, a new report from the Environmental Integrity Project says. Also this hour: What a new report about traffic across Texas tells us about Houstonians’ daily commute. It’s not all bad news. Then: Why Mayor Sylvester Turner is upset about comments made this week by a candidate vying to replace him, and changes have begun to the quad at Rice in response to a university task force’s findings about the school’s founder. We discuss those intrigues in the news as we break down The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of the week. And we reflect on lessons learned from the collapse of Enron.

Duration:00:49:39

Severe weather in Houston (Nov. 30, 2023)

11/30/2023
On Thursday's show: With potential severe weather expected in the area, we talk about what Houstonians should be prepared for and how to stay safe. And we recap the Atlantic hurricane season as it comes to an end. Also this hour: HISD is seeking to earn the "district of innovation" designation, which would allow it to sidestep certain regulations from the state. Most Texas school districts already have that status. So, why is HISD doing it now -- and does it really lead to more innovation in the classroom? Also: We learn why a Houston-area oyster company and a local restaurant are working to restore an oyster reef that they can't harvest. And Galveston's annual Dickens on the Strand holiday event celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. We look back on the festival's history and meet one of the descendants of its namesake.

Duration:00:49:32

Abortion law at the Texas Supreme Court (Nov. 29, 2023)

11/29/2023
On Wednesday's show: The Texas Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday about whether the state’s abortion law harms women who face complications during pregnancy. We take a closer look at the legal questions at play in this latest salvo in the battle over reproductive rights in the state. Also this hour: We discuss the latest developments in politics in our weekly roundup. Then, in an unfortunate coincidence, two friends happened to be diagnosed with breast cancer at the exact same time. Their conversations and revelations through that difficult period are the basis of a book called Two By Two, that seeks to pay it forward to others facing similar battles. And we remember longtime Houston civic leader, activist, and educator Larry Payne, who passed away on Sunday after a battle with cancer.

Duration:00:49:03

Oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico (Nov. 28, 2023)

11/28/2023
On Tuesday's show: An oil spill off the Louisiana coast could be the worst in the nation since Deepwater Horizon in 2010. We learn about the size of the spill, which stems from a pipeline operated by a Houston company, and how it might affect the Texas coast. Also this hour: We discuss why HISD is losing teachers and why there are teacher shortages across the country. Then, we talk with improver extraordinaire Ben Schwartz, who’s also known for being the movie voice of Sonic the Hedgehog and for roles in Parks and Rec and other shows. He's performing a live improv show tonight in Houston. And the famed British acapella group The King's Singers return to Houston for a Dec. 12 concert.

Duration:00:49:18

Poll explores the mayoral runoff (Nov. 27, 2023)

11/27/2023
On Monday's show: As early voting begins today, we take a closer look at what a new poll says about the Dec. 9 mayoral runoff. Also this hour: How much do days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday still mean for retailers this time of year? Then, columnist Dwight Silverman talks about what technology will be hot gifts this holiday season and discusses the latest in consumer technology. And Jeff Balke updates us on Houston sports.

Duration:00:48:13

The week in politics (Nov. 22, 2023)

11/22/2023
On Wednesday's show: As early voting approaches, candidates in the Houston mayoral runoff election picked up a slew of endorsements of this week. Between that upcoming runoff and yet another special session in the Texas Legislature, there’s plenty to talk about in the world of politics. We dive into the latest in local, state, and national news in our weekly political roundup. Also this hour: This month’s installment of The Bigger Picture looks at the new documentary The Lady Bird Diaries, featuring recordings from the audio diaries of former First Lady Lady Bird Johnson. We consider her legacy and how the role of women in politics evolved through the 20th century. And as Houstonians prepare to head out for the Thanksgiving holiday, we go over the rules of the road with DPS State Trooper Richard Standifer.

Duration:00:49:05

Avoiding arguments at the holidays (Nov. 21, 2023)

11/21/2023
On Tuesday's show: The weather in Greater Houston heading into Thanksgiving is going to be cooler. We look at the forecast with Houston Chronicle meteorologist Justin Ballard. Also this hour: As we prepare for Thanksgiving this week and the holidays ahead, we get some advice on avoiding arguments with family members at holiday get-togethers from psychologist Dr. Michael Winters. Then, every year Houston Ballet performs The Nutcracker and The Alley Theatre performs A Christmas Carol. So, how do they keep those productions fresh and interesting for audiences while also staying true to the beloved source materials audiences hold dear? And actor Graham McTavish talks about his work in shows like Outlander, The Witcher, The Hobbit, and House of the Dragon. He was recently in Houston to promote a new book.

Duration:00:49:17

Fourth special session (Nov. 20, 2023)

11/20/2023
On Monday's show: We get an update on the fourth special session of the Texas Legislature focused on major issues such as school vouchers, safety funding, and immigration. Also this hour: We learn about the research and activism that led to the recent news that the U.S. Army was setting aside the convictions of more than a hundred Black soldiers for their part in the 1917 Houston Riots. Then, veterinarian Dr. Lori Teller answers your pet care questions. And we get an update on Houston sports from Jeff Balke.

Duration:00:49:07

Starbucks employee walkout (Nov. 17, 2023)

11/17/2023
On Friday's show: We hear from a Starbucks barista who was among those who walked out of work on Thursday at the coffee chain’s unionized locations in Greater Houston and across the country. We learn what they’re hoping to change at their workplaces. Also this hour: We hear more of Eddie Robinson’s conversation with outgoing Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner reflecting on his life and his time as mayor, which will air on this week’s edition of I See U. Then, from Texas A&M shelling out tens of millions to its now ex-football coach to Taylor Swift’s influence extending to a business course at the University of Houston, we ask this week’s non-expert panel to weigh in on The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of it all. And Troy Schulze takes us to the Buffalo Bayou Cistern, where last weekend Musiqa performed the world premiere of a new work designed to take advantage of the Cistern’s unique reverberation.

Duration:00:49:33

Mayor Sylvester Turner reflects on his time in office (Nov. 16, 2023)

11/16/2023
On Thursday's show: We learn about plans to send 360 inmates from the Harris County Jail to facilities in Mississippi in order to address issues of overcrowding. Also this hour: As Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner completes his time in office, we listen to an excerpt from an hour-long interview with him reflecting on his life and his time as mayor that will air on this week's edition of I See U with Eddie Robinson. Then, the holiday season brings family and friends together, but that can also create the potential for emergencies. We discuss some examples and learn how to be prepared for and prevent them. And, ahead of a sold out event on Friday celebrating the 25th anniversary of the film Rushmore, which was shot here in Houston, we hear from its director, native Houstonian Wes Anderson and hear some of the untold stories from the making of the film, as outlined in a recent article from the Houston Chronicle's Andrew Dansby.

Duration:00:49:15

The week in politics (Nov. 15, 2023)

11/15/2023
On Wednesday's show: In our weekly political roundup, we talk about the latest special session and vouchers bill, the impending Congressional budget deadline, Hildago v. Ogg, the latest candidate to leave the presidential race, and more. Also this hour: Texas Parks & Wildlife has released an album to raise awareness of state parks. It features Texas musicians covering classic songs by Texas writers. Among the participating groups: Houston’s own The Suffers. Lead singer Kam Franklin tells us about the project and shares some music. And you expect to see tailgating at NRG Stadium before a Texans game. But how about at the Nutcracker Market? The two events might have different crowds and there are different conversations taking place at them, but they have more in common than you'd think.

Duration:00:49:18

Where districts put new schools (Nov. 14, 2023)

11/14/2023
On Tuesday's show: We discuss how districts identify where to place new schools in light of controversy over one such decision in Tomball ISD. Also this hour: We get an update on plans to renovate and eventually reopen the River Oaks Theatre. Then, we listen back to our 2022 conversation with Rice University history professor Douglas Brinkley, author of Silent Spring Revolution, which recounts how one book sparked the great environmental awakening of the 1960s and 70s. And a study published this summer finds just 13 percent of the video games ever released in the United States are still available for sale. We talk with a gaming enthusiast about retro gaming in the Bayou City and about the need to preserve old video games.

Duration:00:47:22

New search warrants in case tied to former Hidalgo aides (Nov. 13, 2023)

11/13/2023
On Monday's show: We learn the latest about new search warrants being issued in a case involving former aides of Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo related to a canceled COVID-19 contract. Also this hour: In a ceremony today at the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum in Houston, the U.S. Army will recognize the overturned convictions of more than a hundred Black soldiers for their part in the 1917 Houston Riots. We remember what led to those events. Plus: We learn about a theater program for teens and young adults to express their feelings around the issue of gun violence at Mildred's Umbrella Theater Company. Then, Meg Tapp of The Garden Club of Houston answers your questions. And we get the latest on on Houston sports from Jeff Balke.

Duration:00:48:27

Veteran-owned businesses (Nov. 10, 2023)

11/10/2023
On Friday's show: With a tentative deal being reached to end a 118-day strike by actors against Hollywood studios, what does it mean for actors and performers in Greater Houston? Also this hour: Ahead of Veterans Day, we learn about some Houston-area businesses owned by veterans. Then, we break down The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of the week. And we get updates on repairs to the Battleship Texas and its search for a new permanent home.

Duration:00:49:18

How chemical plant incidents affect residents (Nov. 9, 2023)

11/9/2023
On Thursday's show: We learn the latest about a massive fire at a petroleum processing plant northeast of Houston that broke out Wednesday after an apparent forklift accident caused an explosion at the facility in San Jacinto County. The fire has now been contained. And we discuss how events like these affect air quality for the people who live nearby and how to protect yourself. Also this hour: We hear highlights from a discussion Eddie Robinson of I See U recently had about the documentary series A Town Called Victoria, which explores how the Texas town reckons with its past when arson strikes a local mosque. The series airs Monday and Tuesday nights on Houston Public Media, TV 8. Then, we revisit our 2016 conversation with Houston writer Leah Lax, who wrote a memoir about her three decades as a Hasidic Jew in an arranged marriage she entered into when she was only 19. And we visit Bellaire’s Theatre Southwest, which has operated now for 67 seasons as a nonprofit volunteer organization. That's no small feat in a metro area loaded with professional theater.

Duration:00:50:14

Takeaways from Election Day (Nov. 8, 2023)

11/8/2023
On Wednesday's show: We bring you results and analysis from Election Day in Greater Houston and then discuss the week in politics in our weekly roundup. Also this hour: Joshua Zinn talks with Grammy winning- and Oscar-nominated jazz trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard, who will perform in Houston Nov. 10 with Da Camera. And we learn about plans to expand The Orange Show and about a printmaking event there.

Duration:00:48:52

Third special session nears its end (Nov. 7, 2023)

11/7/2023
On Tuesday's show: While today is Election Day in Greater Houston and across the state, it's also the last day of the third special session of the Texas Legislature. We discuss what was accomplished (and mostly what wasn't) with David Goodman, the Houston bureau chief for The New York Times. Also this hour: Former Houstonians Kelly and Zach Weinersmith talk about what stands in the way for humans to someday set up long-term colonies on the moon or Mars (turns out it's further off than it might seem). That's the subject of their new book, A City on Mars. And we learn how a multi-discipline performance aims to capture a portrait of Houston.

Duration:00:48:00

Procrastinator’s guide to voting (Nov. 6, 2023)

11/6/2023
On Monday's show: Tomorrow is Election Day. For those who haven't voted, we provide a last-minute procrastinator's guide to voting. Also this hour: Listeners share their pet peeves about life in Greater Houston as we do on the first Monday of each month. And we get an update on sports from Jeff Balke.

Duration:00:49:13

School vouchers stalling (Nov. 3, 2023)

11/3/2023
On Friday's show: Gov. Greg Abbott traveled to Israel yesterday to show support amid the war on Hamas. The trip comes after a quick turn of events during when the governor said he believed the legislature could pass a school vouchers bill before the end of the special session. But, merely hours later, the bill had been almost completely stalled by the House. We learn why. Also this hour: We talk with the filmmakers behind the documentary Three Chaplains, which tells the story of Muslim chaplains in the U.S. military. The film can be seen Nov. 7 at 11 p.m. on Houston Public Media, TV 8. Then, we break down The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of the week. And composition students at Rice University write pieces in response to artist Laure Prouvost's solo exhibition at the Moody Center for the Arts.

Duration:00:48:27