Houston Matters Houston Matters is a radio program airing weekdays at 9 am on Houston Public Media News 88.7 FM in Houston. During each hour, we'll investigate the issues and ideas, people and places that make Houston...well...Houston! We'll talk about current events, politics, education, health care, the environment, business, transportation, arts and culture, literature, sports and leisure.
Houston Matters

Houston Matters

From Houston Public Media News 88.7

Houston Matters is a radio program airing weekdays at 9 am on Houston Public Media News 88.7 FM in Houston. During each hour, we'll investigate the issues and ideas, people and places that make Houston...well...Houston! We'll talk about current events, politics, education, health care, the environment, business, transportation, arts and culture, literature, sports and leisure.

Most Recent Episodes

How Rising COVID Numbers Are Affecting One Local Hospital System (July 23, 2021)

On Friday's Houston Matters: Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo is raising the county's COVID threat level from yellow to orange in response to the recent rise of the Delta variant, driving up the positivity rate and increasing hospitalizations. Among the hospitals seeing more COVID patients is Memorial Hermann. We get a first-hand account from the hospital system's chief physician, Dr. James McCarthy. Also this hour: We clear up some misconceptions about the life and legacy of pirate and privateer Jean Lafitte, who worked along the Gulf Coast in the early 1800s, by talking with Ashley Oliphant, co-author of Jean Laffite Revealed: Unraveling One of America's Longest-Running Mysteries. Then, from a chemical spill at Splashtown, to a suggestively-shaped rocket ship, we break down The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of the week's news. And we visit Armand Bayou Nature Center in the Clear Lake area.

How Rising COVID Numbers Are Affecting One Local Hospital System (July 23, 2021)

Hazardous Chemical Leak In La Porte Enters Second Day (July 22, 2021)

On Thursday's Houston Matters: We recap what took place Wednesday when a hazardous chemical leak in a tanker truck triggered an evacuation notice at the Dow Chemical Co. Bayport plant in La Porte. MORE: What Are The Chemicals Involved In The La Porte Dow Plant Leak? Also this hour: So, turns out, it's over. The world has ended. We're done. It happened sometime before February 2020 when we spoke with Timothy Morton of Rice University about his three-part BBC series, The End of the World Has Already Happened. We revisit our conversation with Morton about what that tongue-in-cheek title is really getting at when it comes to climate change. Then, with the release of Space Jam: A New Legacy, we discuss how product endorsements and marketing deals have affected what's on the silver screen in our monthly film segment, The Bigger Picture. And we revisit an in-studio performance by Austin-based singer-songwriter Bob Schneider for the series Skyline Sessions.

Recent COVID Trends, & Addressing The Court Backlog (July 21, 2021)

On Wednesday's show: Officials at the Texas Medical Center held a discussion Tuesday on COVID-19 trends, breakthrough cases, the impact of the Delta variant, and other pandemic-related concerns. We find out what was discussed. Then: Harris County Commissioners have voted unanimously to spend $2.5 million to address the county's criminal court backlog. Also this hour: We discuss the latest news in our weekly political roundup. Plus: From the high-speed rail line from Dallas to Houston, to the latest on the I-45 expansion project, we get an update on some recent transportation stories. And Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II shares his perspective on civil rights in the United States through a moral and faith-based lens. Barber is the president and senior lecturer of Repairers of the Breach and co-chair of the Poor People's Campaign: A National Call For Moral Revival. He's speaking at a live-streamed event with the Rothko Chapel Thursday at 6 p.m.

Growth In Houston Slowing Down (July 20, 2021)

On Tuesday's Houston Matters: A new report from Rice University's Kinder Institute for Urban Research shows that growth in Houston and Harris County has slowed--we'll look at why. Also this hour: Houston City Council Member Dave Martin, who represents District E, joins us to field your questions. Then, we learn about the history of Black rodeo in Texas from Demetrius Pearson of the University of Houston and author of Black Rodeo in the Texas Gulf Coast Region: Charcoal in the Ashes. And the son of astronaut Bruce McCandless II joins us to tell his father's story.

District Attorney Kim Ogg (July 19, 2021)

On Monday's Houston Matters: Dr. Esmaeil Porsa of Harris Health System discusses the fight against COVID-19 and the case numbers at Ben Taub and LBJ Hospitals. Also this hour: Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg discusses how the court backlog is affecting criminal justice in the county. Then, veterinarian Dr. Lori Teller answers your pet care questions. And we get an update on Houston sports.

What We Know About The Delta Variant In Greater Houston (July 16, 2021)

On Friday's Houston Matters: The new and highly-contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus may have sparked a recent COVID-19 outbreak earlier this month. Though infection rates are lower than they were last December, cases of this more contagious variant are on the rise. Harris County has even reported a few cases of breakthrough infections – people who caught COVID even after being fully vaccinated. We learn more from Dr. Peter Hotez of Baylor College of Medicine. Also this hour: With recent discussions about teaching Critical Race Theory in Texas public schools, Casey Fleming, a teacher who taught it at a conservative Houston school, shares her experience. Then, we break down The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of the week. And actor Michael Rosenbaum talks about his career ahead of appearances this weekend at Comicpalooza. NOTE/CORRECTION: Though we incorrectly identified the Kinkaid School as part of Spring Branch ISD in the show, they are actually an independent college preparatory school in the Spring Branch area.

Sheriff Ed Gonzalez Faces Confirmation Hearing To Lead ICE (July 15, 2021)

On Thursday's Houston Matters: Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez testifies today in his confirmation hearing as Pres. Joe Biden's pick to lead Immigration and Customs Enforcement. We preview what he's likely to be asked about his stance on key immigration issues and his track record in law enforcement in Greater Houston. Also this hour: ERCOT has created a roadmap to making the state's electricity grid more reliable and submitted it to the governor and the legislature. We learn what it entails. And we learn about a lawsuit filed against Chevron, alleging the energy company failed to deliver natural gas during February's freeze, which has been linked to nearly 200 deaths statewide. Then, a recent report says the number of craft breweries in Houston has grown 344 percent since 2013. We examine what's behind the trend and if it's sustainable. And, beginning June 29, One Fifth Houston, Chef Chris Shepherd's rotating concept restaurant in Montrose, will become One Fifth Red Sauce Italian. It will feature Italian-American fare, including a Midwestern childhood favorite of Shepherd's – toasted ravioli. T-ravs are also a favorite of Houston Matters host Craig Cohen, having grown up in St. Louis. He visits the restaurant to learn about Shepherd's version and discuss their preferred variations on the appetizer and consider why it's so popular in some parts of the Midwest but has never really caught on in Houston or the rest of the country.

Sheriff Ed Gonzalez Faces Confirmation Hearing To Lead ICE (July 15, 2021)

Texas House Walkout Enters Rolls On, Threatens Entire Special Session Agenda (July 14, 2021)

On Wednesday's Houston Matters: One day after more than 50 Texas House Democrats broke quorum by fleeing the state in an effort to block voter restrictions being considered in the legislature, the remaining members of the House voted to send for them — and have them arrested if necessary. We get an update as the walkout continues. Also this hour: We discuss the Democratic walkout at the Texas Legislature and all the latest news in our weekly political roundup. And local sleep expert Dr. Sudha Tallavajhula of UTHealth and Memorial Hermann answers listener questions.

Texas House Walkout Enters Rolls On, Threatens Entire Special Session Agenda (July 14, 2021)

Democrats Leaving The State To Block Controversial Legislation (July 13, 2021)

On Tuesday's Houston Matters: Democrats in the Texas Legislature are leaving the state in a second attempt to block controversial GOP legislation critics have slammed as voter suppression. We learn the latest on this developing story. Also this hour: Rep. Lizzie Fletcher answers listener questions about issues facing her district and other matters before Congress. Then, the Future of Children Summit on July 21 addresses the root causes of childhood poverty and the common misconceptions about it. And Spring Branch ISD assistant principal Megan Watson will soon live out her dream of coaching at the Olympics.

Democrats Leaving The State To Block Controversial Legislation (July 13, 2021)

FBI Investigating Constable's Office (July 12, 2021)

On Monday's Houston Matters: We learn what happened over the weekend during the special session of the Texas Legislature as bills addressing voting and bail reform moved forward. Plus: We discuss what we do and do not know about an FBI investigation into the Harris County Precinct 1 Constable's Office in connection with allegations from current and former female deputies being pressed into participating in undercover "bachelor party stings." An attorney representing the women who filed a lawsuit in May confirmed the FBI investigation on Thursday. Also this hour: Firefighters responded to a transformer fire at a CenterPoint substation in northwest Houston late last week. We hear more details from City Councilwoman Amy Peck, who represents the area. Then, we offer you another chance to vent about your pet peeves about life in Greater Houston. And we get an update on Houston sports from Cody Stoots, co-host of the sports podcast In the Group Chat.