Texas Matters

Fridays at 3:30 p.m., Saturdays at 6:30 a.m., and Sundays at 9:30 p.m.

Texas is a big state with a growing, diverse population and as the population grows, the issues and challenges facing its residents multiply.  Texas Matters is a statewide news program that spends half an hour each week looking at the issues and culture of Texas.

Texas Matters is hosted by David Martin Davies, who talks directly with policymakers and newsmakers in a lively discussion designed to shed light on issues often overlooked by other media.

David Martin Davies:

Davies is the host of "The Source" and a veteran journalist with over 20 years’ experience covering Texas, the border and Mexico. He is a regular contributor to NPR and American Public Media's "Marketplace." Davies also has written for "The San Antonio Light", "The San Antonio Express-News," "The Texas Observer" and others, and hosted KLRN public television’s interview program "Conversations."

Texas Matters is made possible by the UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures.

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Texas Matters
2:26 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Remembering Ranchera Great 'La Perla Tapatia'

I would like to celebrate the life of Janet Cortez, a ranchera singer whose stage name was La Perla Tapatia. Cortez was member of beloved singing group Las Tesoros de San Antonio. She died Sunday at 83.

I was fortunate enough to see her perform several times in her trademark bolero hat and black and white cape, but what amazed me was her determination to perform despite a life time of health issues -- including throat cancer.

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Texas Matters
2:20 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Naomi Shihab Nye Reflects On Ferguson And Gaza

Two major stories have dominated the news this summer: the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and the clash between Israel and the Palestinians in Gaza.

While both stories have settled into an uneasy peace, San Antonio-based poet Naomi Shihab Nye has a unique perspective having grown up in both places. She offers this commentary.

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Texas Matters
2:09 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Continuing Reaction To The Texas School Finance Ruling

If the Texas Supreme Court upholds the ruling, it will be up to the Legislature to pass school finance reform.
Credit Ryan Poppe / TPR News

Texas Matters: Groups and politicians from across the state are all having their say in yesterday's ruling in the Texas school finance case. We hear from a MALDEF attorney, a conservative policy analyst and two legislators on the Senate Committee on Education.

Big issue, big decision

School districts throughout the state are applauding a court ruling that may eventually lead to an overhaul of the way Texas pays for schools.

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Texas Matters
10:53 am
Fri August 15, 2014

Texas Dance Hall Memories: Icons Of Music & Culture Are Fading Away

The front entrance of Club 21, a classic Texas dance hall that was destroyed in a fire October 2010.
Credit David Martin Davies

Dance halls in danger

Patrick Sparks is the president of Texas Dance Hall Preservation - you can find them online at TexasDanceHall.org. They have information about where the dance halls are and what events are coming up at them.

"It's a kind of magic; people who have never been to a real Texas dance hall go to one, it's a real experience for them. So there's a huge feeling in the state and elsewhere for the halls and how important they are."

Texas dance halls: A radio documentary

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Texas Matters
2:29 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

New Texas Abortion Law Faces Second Challenge In Court

Starting September 1, abortion clinics in Texas will have to meet a new tougher standard. They will have to be ambulatory surgical centers. It’s another measure of House Bill 2, the abortion law passed a year ago in a special legislative session.

This week abortion providers in Texas went to federal court looking to prove that the new standard is unnecessary and puts a substantial burden on women in Texas looking to legally terminate a pregnancy.

Texas Matters
2:28 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

Exploring The Dangers Of The Immigrant's Journey Through South Texas

This certainly has been the summer of the border crisis. There have been news reports telling stories of children flooding across the Rio Grande and armed militia groups mounting operations to secure the border. Throughout there have been allegations that we have an open border.

But the people who try to cross into the United States have a different view.

The Texas Observer, along with the Guardian newspaper, are jointly publishing a four-part series looking at the deadly southern border. Melissa del Bosque is a reporter for the Texas Observer.

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Texas Matters
2:23 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

Border Residents Concerned With Militarization, Refute Notion Of "Open Border"

A U.S. Border Patrol watch tower overlooking the entrance of the Anzaldua's County Park near Mission, Texas.
David Martin Davies TPR News

During the hearing on border security a number of people testified about their experiences on the border and their stories varied widely enough to make one wonder if they were all talking about the same Texas Mexico border.

Michael Seifert was one of the many witnesses and he gave testimony about his concerns of the growing militarization of the border. Seifert is a community activist and a longtime resident of the Rio Grande Valley.

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Texas Matters
4:46 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

Texas Music Legend Joe Ely's Pioneering Digital Album

B484 was recorded in 1983, but never released until now.

It was still a mostly analog world in 1983. But it was a year of great strides in bringing the digital age into the home. The birth of the World Wide Web was still six years away, but 1983 saw the arrival of America Online, Microsoft Word and a little plumber named Mario at the quarter arcade. But it was also the year Steve Jobs gave us the Apple IIe. Texas rocker Joe Ely got one and had the crazy notion to try and use it to make music. The resulting album was pioneering and revolutionary, but it sat in Ely’s archive until today.

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Texas Matters
3:03 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

Congress Still Has No Solution To Border Humanitarian Crisis

For border detention centers such as this one, a solution for the humanitarian border crisis can't come quickly enough.
David Martin Davies TPR News

Texas Matters: As Congress comes up on summer break there is still no solid solution in place for what to do with the unaccompanied minors coming into Texas. There are several plans up for proposal but even Texas Democrats disagree with each other. Also on this show: According to one report, the number of abortions in Texas has dropped since last year's passage of a new abortion law.

Congress running out of time for border/immigration solution

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Texas Matters
2:46 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Politicians Step Forward With Plans For Border, Minors: Cornyn, Cuellar, Cruz File Bills

A U.S. Border Patrol watch tower overlooking the entrance of the Anzaldua's County Park near Mission, Texas.
David Martin Davies TPR News

Texas Matters: Republican lieutenant governor candidate Dan Patrick supports speeding up the immigration hearing process for unaccompanied minors housed in Texas; but Democrat Leticia Van De Putte says it is a death sentence. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, is also putting forward a plan. Also on this show: Texas Nationalist Movement calls for day of action, how payday lending stays unregulated, blues great Johnny Winter dies.

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