Friday, March 27, 2015

A good pick for the U.S. Supreme Court | Last Word

I generally avoid offering assistance to U.S. presidents.

Thousands of reporters, pundits and politicians in Washington perform that patriotic function.

But there is one area in which President Obama may need help.

The issue concerns the possibility that an opening may occur on the U.S. Supreme Court before he leaves office. 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

How war against cancer is going | March 20, 2015

In our lifetime, one in two men, one in three women and one in 300 children will get some form of cancer.

Filmmaker Ken Burns has joined the war on cancer with a new project airing March 30 on KLRN, called "Cancer, the Emperor of all Maladies." Join Rick Casey as he welcomes the director of the Cancer Therapy & Research Center, Dr. Ian Thompson, to hear how the war against cancer is going.

Friday, March 20, 2015

The time a congressman punched man | Last Word

This week the Texas Senate’s State Affairs Committee approved a bill it says is designed to take politics out of the prosecution of politicians charged with corruption.

More likely, it is designed to take prosecutions out of political corruption.

The solution, says Sen. Joan Huffman, a former Houston judge who authored the bill, is to have the alleged miscreants tried in their hometowns.

I have a funny story to tell you about that, but first a bit of background.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Keeping students out of the courts | March 13, 2015

Texas prosecutes more than 100,000 students a year for truancy, twice as many as the 49 other states combined, according to a recent study. But an effort under way in San Antonio aims to divert students before they are brought into court, avoiding both hefty fines and criminal records.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Man's execution could haunt Perry | Last Word

In his quest to become president, former Gov. Rick Perry must vanquish the phantom of the cabinet department he wanted to kill – but couldn’t remember.

That was his legendary “oops!” moment.

A story in this week’s Washington Post raises the very real possibility he may have to deal with another ghost – the ghost of Cameron Todd Willingham.

Willingham is the Corsicana man who was executed in 2004 for killing his three children by setting his house on fire while they slept.

Perry’s record as governor is tightly intertwined with the Willingham saga.

A month before Willingham’s execution, Perry was sent a report by an Austin-based scientist and arson expert.

The expert, Dr. Gerald Hurst, had reviewed the evidence and the testimony presented at trial by arson investigators.

He concluded that despite the confidant testimony of two arson investigators – one local and one from the state fire marshal’s office – there was no evidence that the tragic fire was caused by arson.

City still eyes Internet fast lane | March 6, 2015

On the 200th Texas Week program, after teasing us with the possibilities, Google turned down San Antonio as a super-fast Internet city. Former Councilwoman Leticia Ozuna says there's a path to San Antonio joining Austin and other cities in the fast lane, but the political challenges are fearsome.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Pay council members a decent salary | Last Word

So it looks like we San Antonians are going to decide whether we will give our mayor and City Council members a raise - from the weekly insult of $20 they now get.

The council members for the nation’s seventh largest city would make almost as much as the mayor’s secretaries.

The mayor would make almost as much as an account executive at the city’s Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Feb. 20, 2015 | Implications from latest runoffs

San Antonio has a new state senator and a new state representative, and there’s still one more special election needed to complete our local legislative team. Meanwhile, 12 people have signed up to run for mayor of San Antonio, virtually assuring there will be another runoff election in our future. Political consultants Christian Archer and Kelton Morgan join us.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Texas shifting on vaccinations | Last Word

Liberals have long said the state prayer of Texas should be, “Thank God for Mississippi.”

The reason: In many categories of liberals’ concern, Mississippi is what stood in the way of Texas ranking last.

But when it comes to the currently hot issue of childhood vaccinations, Mississippi is at the head of the class.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Efforts mounted to keep Uber here | Feb. 13, 2015

Popular ride-sharing company Uber says it will cease operations here March 1 unless the city changes a new ordinance.

Mayor Ivy Taylor and some other council members have, in effect, suggested they not let the door hit them on the backside. But efforts – led by business leaders, two new council members and County Judge Nelson Wolff – are being mounted to halt enforcement of the new regulations.