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
3:09 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

DWI Dude Running For Texas Top Cop To Legalize Pot

Credit dwidude.com

The race for Texas attorney general already has it’s oddities: The Democrats are fielding a candidate named Sam Houston and the Republican candidate, state Sen. Ken Paxton, has pleaded guilty to securities fraud and more criminal charges could be coming.

Enter the Libertarian in the race, attorney Jamie Balagia, who is also known as the "DWI Dude," a moniker he acquired for his stalwart defense against DWI and drug charges. His website is dwidude.com

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Texas Matters
1:08 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

Is A Water Revolt Coming To Texas?

Texas has never had enough water to go around, and with this ongoing drought and population growth water has never been more precious.

As cities are looking to shore up their long-range water plans they are reaching farther into the rural parts of the state looking to buy up water. But the rural areas are reacting with suspicion and dread as they witness their aquifers being tapped.

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Texas Matters
12:54 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

Tea Party Takes On Border Security

Credit David Martin Davies / TPR News

Texas tea party leaders are calling on Gov. Rick Perry to call a special session of the Legislature to deal with security on the southern border. And declare that Texas is being invaded.

The group released what they call a guiding document for future political action that they say will address the threat to the nation’s economy, security and health caused by illegal immigration.  

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Texas Matters
12:40 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

Texas Voter Turnout: Looking Back At The 2010 Raid Of A Voter Registration Drive In Houston

Credit Chris Eudaily / TPR News

On a fall Monday in 2010, agents with the Texas attorney general’s office raided the offices of Houston Votes, a large-scale voter registration project.

Attorney General Greg Abbott said the raid was required to protect the integrity of the ballot box. Critics say it was a heavy handed effort to intimidate voter registration in an area where voter turnout is historically low.

Fred Lewis is the president of Texans Together, the nonprofit parent group of Houston Votes.

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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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