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Home    Education    Legislative    Publications    Calendar    Sunbelt Builders Show    Resources Jan. 28, 2010

Engineers watch Texas homes for more moving soil
The Associated Press via ABC News    Share   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Residents of 25 homes evacuated after a landslide split a retaining wall and threatened to topple hilltop homes will not be allowed to return for at least 10 days as engineers watch for further soil movement, the developer said. The residents, who live within one block of the slide, were evacuated after a man called 911 and told officials his backyard was sliding downhill. Enormous chasms, some 15-feet deep, quickly emerged, splitting a towering retaining wall below and exposing the foundations of three hilltop homes. More

Sliding neighborhood residents balk at arbitration
The Associated Press via El Paso Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Several homeowners in a San Antonio neighborhood where a landslide threatened to topple and crush houses complained to a legislative committee that mandatory arbitration clauses harm them. Charles Cervantes told the House Committee on Civil and Jurisprudence in Austin he's stuck because his home near the landslide is worthless. He urged lawmakers to make changes protecting new home buyers who are often forced to sign contracts agreeing to binding arbitration. More

Perry calls for constitutional curbs on taxing and spending
The San Antonio Express News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Rick Perry never mentioned U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison's name during a San Antonio campaign swing but he often hinted she's guilty by association with the Washington political establishment. During a brief media event at Mission Restaurant Supply downtown, the governor called for passage of two state constitutional amendments that he said would help Texas maintain fiscal discipline. He also called on Congress to pass a balanced-budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution. More

Kay Bailey Hutchison accepts campaign cash from toll-road builder
The Dallas Morning News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Kay Bailey Hutchison has railed against the Trans-Texas Corridor, but she counts one of the state’s premiere toll-road builders among her major financial contributors. Bartell Zachry, whose San Antonio-based construction company partnered with the Spanish company Cintra to develop the multi-billion transportation project, gave Hutchison $25,000, according to a campaign finance report filed with the state. More

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Perry changes enterprise fund contracts
The Associated Press via The Austin American-Statesman    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Gov. Rick Perry's office revealed that it changed 11 Texas Enterprise Fund contracts with companies receiving taxpayer-funded grants for creating jobs, making the deals more favorable for the firms. Two other contracts were ended, including a $20 million agreement with mortgage giant Countywide Financial, which sank into financial turmoil and laid off thousands of workers nationally. Bank of America, which now owns Countrywide, will return $8.45 million after creating only 3,800 of 7,500 promised jobs, Perry's office said. More

Medina defends use of campaign money for clothing
The Austin American-Statesman    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
GOP gubernatorial candidate Debra Medina said that she used campaign dollars on clothing "because I'm a poor small-business provider not usually wardrobed like people would expect a gubernatorial candidate to be wardrobed." Her comments came during a meeting with the Austin American-Statesman editorial board. A report filed with the Texas Ethics Commission shows that Medina spent nearly $2,500 on clothing between July and December 2009. More

Twenty who gave plenty
The Texas Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
If you've been paying attention to Texas politics, you know that candidates collected millions in campaign cash during the last six months of 2009, and that the men and women at the top of the ballot — the ones running for governor — are at the highest point on the political food chain. Houston homebuilder Bob Perry tops the list of the biggest donors to Texas candidates in the last half of 2009. McAllen developer Alonzo Cantu and Dallas businessman Ross Perot Sr. also gave large sums. More

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Nothing beats Texas primaries for entertainment value
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The entertainment is only beginning in the Texas political primaries, and not only because the Democratic ballot includes Kinky Friedman and maybe Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. Friedman is actually beginning to seem like the more credible Democrat in the agriculture commissioner race, running against an East Texas rancher who bounced a check in 2001 and who also conceded this week that he has been driving without a license for nearly two years. More

Coast Guard reveals details, but no cause to oil spill
Houston Chronicle    Share    Share
on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A clearer picture has emerged of the collision that triggered the biggest Texas oil spill in 15 years, as cleanup efforts continued apace and officials planned to reopen the waterway in Port Arthur. While Coast Guard officials have not released details of a possible cause for the wreck, a chain reaction began when the Eagle Otome, an 800-foot tanker loaded with Mexican crude oil, veered inexplicably off course and into the path of an oncoming barge, slamming into a cargo carrier moored at the port of Port Arthur. More

Hundreds of millions spent on Texas transportation projects that have little to do with traffic
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Star-Telegram reviewed 515 state projects awarded funds under the federal transportation enhancement program during the past 18 years and found projects large and small that had little to do with mobility. One reason is that state legislators often require the Texas Department of Transportation to spend its enhancement dollars on pet projects by attaching last-minute "riders" to the department’s appropriation. More

Texas leads nation in wind power
MarketWatch    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
New wind-turbine generation capacity grew by a record 10,000 megawatts in 2009, picking up the pace from 8,400 megawatts added in 2008, the American Wind Energy Association said Tuesday. Put another way, the 10,000 megawatts of new wind generation added in 2009 will provide enough power for 2.4 million U.S. homes. Texas continues to lead America in installed wind power, with 9,410 megawatts, followed by 3,670 megawatts for Iowa and 2,794 megawatts for California, according to the AWEA. More

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