Beirut Series
5:36 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Beirut Part 5: A New, Uneasy Normal

Morning on the Corniche.
Jack Morgan TPR Arts

I spent five days in Beirut in late March and I wonder if I’ll ever feel the same about the Middle East. I went to Beirut after researching its past, its government, its city-by-the-sea status, but going there I realized there’s a lot for which I was unprepared.

I wasn’t prepared for the armed checkpoints, which seemed scary at first, but I came to realize were Berutis trying to protect their neighborhoods from the worst. They’ve seen the worst many, many times.

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Natural Gas
4:44 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Ban On Hydraulic Fracking In Denton Would Be A First In Texas
Flickr user Daniel Foster cc

The North Texas city of Denton sits atop one of the largest natural gas reserves and could become the first Texas city to ban hydraulic fracturing.

Opponents worry the process of extracting oil and gas is hazardous to residents' health and call it a violation of property rights.

Denton has had a temporary ban on fracking since 2012 but will consider permanently banning it in the next two months. Denton City council has the next 60 days to vote on the issue.

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Transportation Funding
2:55 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Transportation Expert Says Texas Will Need $28 Billion To Maintain Roads

Northbound traffic on Hwy. 281 at Nakoma.
Chris Eudaily TPR News

Following a study on the issue of transportation funding, a researcher from Texas A&M left lawmakers stunned when he detailed how the state will need even more money for roads over the next two years.   

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Arts & Culture
2:51 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Chupachanga 2: The Artful West Side Party

Music at the Chupachanga.
Samantha Lopez

Chupachanga is a West Side block party. And here's why it’s more than just a block party: Art will be a byproduct of the party.

“This event is actually centered around large-scale print-making," said Samantha Lopez, the program coordinator a San Anto Cultural Arts.

“The way it works is that the artist carves into the woodblocks,” she said.

Those woodblocks get some ink and a big roller and voila! Three 3 ft. by 4 ft. prints are the result.

"Two of those prints will be sold," Lopez explained. "And then the last print goes to the artist."  

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The Source - May 8, 2014
2:40 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

The Source: David Greene On Being Behind The Microphone

Credit NPR


NPR "Morning Edition" Host David Greene joins us in the Texas Public Radio studio. Greene has co-hosted the show since 2012.

Before becoming a host he was NPR's Moscow correspondent, which he is currently writing a book on.

He was White House correspondent for eight years, first for the Baltimore Sun and then for NPR, and he covered the failed Hillary Clinton run for Democratic Presidential Candidate in 2008. 


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City Government
12:01 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

How A Bag Ban Would Create A Burden For People Without Vehicles, Low Income

As city leaders discuss the possibility of a plastic bag ban, people who rely on public transportation believe a ban would be discriminatory.
Ryan Loyd TPR News

San Antonio city leaders are in the middle of discussions on a possible ban on single-use plastic bags. The topic comes as cities across the country are taking drastic steps to reduce the use of plastic bags to cut down on litter.

Most people would agree they're bad for the environment, but opponents say a proposed bag ban could unfairly target the poor because reusable bags cost money, and they're a burden to carry around for those without a vehicle.

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The Source - May 8, 2014
11:03 am
Thu May 8, 2014

The Source: Where Should Burden For New Water Supply Be?
Flickr User: Brandon Watts cc

More than 3 million people move to Texas every year and the need for new building to accommodate housing and jobs for some of those people requires more water and more infrastructure for water. 

How we pay for some of that expansion has come under fire as the San Antonio Water System (SAWS) has recommended doubling the amount of so-called impact fees on developers from $1,297 to $2,796. Impact fees are a one-time fee that pays for water and sewer infrastructure.

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Financial Accountability
10:06 am
Thu May 8, 2014

In Second Report From SBOE Vice Chair, Charter Financial Disparities Go Beyond Pay

Ratliff is hoping his series of reports about charter school financial accountability will make its way to the Legislature in the 2015 session.
Credit Ryan Poppe / TPR News

Using data from the Texas Education Agency’s website, State Board of Education Vice Chairman Thomas Ratliff showed how the overall spending at a majority of charter schools is over the recommended amount set by the state.   

Ratliff said the general conversation about charter schools focuses on school choice, but, he said, the financial management and accountability isn’t something that’s often addressed. Following his study on superintendent pay at charter schools, it was suggested that he examine overall spending.

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Arts & Culture
6:23 am
Thu May 8, 2014

Beirut Part 4: A "Rich, Painful, Complicated" History

Corniche, looking west.
Jack Morgan TPR Arts

I was in Beirut, Lebanon, for an arts and culture symposium recently. Hungry for stories, I hit the streets looking. What I found was a city full of interesting people. Everyone with whom I spoke had either lived though a war or they had fled for their safety.

“As the war started in Lebanon in 1976 we left to Canada," said Hanibal Srouji, a slender, soft-spoken 57-year-old Beirut artist.

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9:46 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Group Could Steer Discussion On Ride-Sharing In San Antonio

Supporters and opponents of ride-sharing filled City Hall chambers to hear the city staff recommendations on updating the vehicle-for-hire ordinance.
Credit Ryan Loyd / Texas Public Radio

Over the next 60 days, city leaders, representatives from the cab industry and ride-share officials will form a work group to draft possible revisions to San Antonio's vehicle-for-hire ordinance.

Wednesday, the city council's Public Safety Committee backed the recommendation presented by the Assistant Police Director Steve Baum, who suggested revising the vehicle-for-hire ordinance's Chapter 33.

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