Friday, September 12, 2014

Tesla plant might be a risky bet | Last Word



When it was reported that the Tesla Motor Corp. would build a promised $5 billion lithium-ion battery “gigafactory” in Reno rather than San Antonio, our disappointment was salved by the rationale that Reno is close to the nation’s only lithium mine.

How can anybody compete with that?

But it turns out there may have been another factor that leads to another question.

Friday, September 5, 2014

New mayor tackles how city grows | Last Word



In her campaign to replace Mayor Julian Castro, Ivy Taylor made two promises to the voters – the voters being her fellow council members.

One was that she would not run to hold onto the office in next May’s election.

The other was that she would not be a caretaker.

There is speculation that she may not keep the first promise, but she’s leaving no doubt about the second.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Should city allow ride sharing? | Aug. 29, 2014



Uber and Lyft are two ride-sharing companies operating in town that let customers use a smartphone app to get rides. Cab drivers don’t like the competition, and the city's transportation code does not allow for such a free-wheeling set-up. City officials must decide whether to change the code or shut them down. We ask two City Council members what should happen.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Proper way to remove drunk official | Last Word



You can’t blame Gov. Rick Perry and his supporters for attacking as political the indictment brought against him for trying to pressure Austin District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg to resign after her drunk-driving conviction.

When politicians are indicted, they almost always decry the indictments as political.

That is not to say that the indictment of Perry is justified.

We won’t be able to reach an informed opinion on that until we learn what evidence caused the grand jury to vote to indict.

Even when the evidence comes out, opinions will be mixed, just as there were mixed opinions as to whether Lehmberg should have resigned in the wake of her arrest and her egregious drunken behavior toward the arresting officers.

But one thing is clear: The Texas constitution gives no role to the governor in removing her or any other local officer.

The reason is historical.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s indictment | Aug. 22, 2014



Last week's indictment of Texas Gov. Rick Perry is being called a political persecution by his Republican allies and flimsy by even some Democrats and liberal media. We delve into the controversy with two top Austin reporters who have been covering the story. And Evan Smith, Editor-in-Chief of the Texas Tribune, talks about the national political theater the indictment has provoked.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Legal follies make great stories | Last Word



Two San Antonio lawyers made news last week in ways that took me down memory lane and reminded me of what a wonderful city this is for people in my line of work. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

City eyes professional football team | Aug. 15, 2014



San Antonio may once again be a bargaining chip for another professional football team. The Oakland Raiders say they want to move here but many believe they just want a new stadium in their current city. Even so, it looks like local leaders are mounting a full-court press to try to make it happen. We hear from two Express-News reporters who lead the pack in reporting this story.

Friday, August 15, 2014

City Council establishes another first | Last Word



When Ivy Taylor was chosen by her City Council colleagues to serve as mayor last month, Henry Cisneros called it an “historic move.”

He noted that it made San Antonio the largest American city to choose an African-American mayor.

Cisneros is no strangers to “firsts.”

When he was elected mayor in 1981, it was the first time the position had been held by … an Aggie.

This week San Antonio City Council established another first.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Congressmen on immigration surge | Aug. 8, 2014



Two Texas Democratic congressmen have stood out in the debate over what to do about the surge of unaccompanied children arriving at the U.S. border.

Rep. Joaquin Castro challenged a decision to send up to a thousand National Guardsman to the border. Rep. Henry Cuellar coauthored a bill that would have made it significantly harder for arriving children to stay any length of time.

Friday, August 8, 2014

What could an NFL team do for us? | Last Word



The recent flurry over the mere possibility that the Oakland Raiders might be interested in moving to San Antonio brought to mind a conversation I had 25 years ago with Mayor Henry Cisneros.

We were sitting in the back room of a Mexican restaurant and he was making the pitch that San Antonio really, really needed an NFL team. 

I’d be lying if I said I still had my notes, but one part of the conversation lodged in my memory.