Thursday, December 18, 2014

News that shaped our city in 2014 | Dec. 12, 2014



It's been another good news year for San Antonio. Of course, when journalists say a good, they don't necessarily mean a year of “good news.” Join Rick Casey and two local newsmen for a look back at events that shaped San Antonio in 2014 and what we can expect in 2015.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Right way to investigate police killings | Last Word



When it comes to investigating killings by police officers – like the ones in Ferguson and Staten Island that have provoked nationwide protests – Seattle does it right.

And it makes little difference.

As we have repeatedly experienced in Texas, killings at the hands of police are, with rare exceptions, investigated by the police forces themselves.

The results are turned over to the district attorney who presents them in secret to a grand jury.

And the grand jury almost never indicts an officer.

Grand juries were designed by the English as a check on the power of sheriffs and prosecutors.

But with their subservient place in the law enforcement establishment and their secrecy, they are not a good device for fomenting confidence in that very law enforcement establishment.

Here’s how Seattle does it better.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Republicans pushing for Obamacare | Dec. 5, 2014



More than 10 Republican governors have agreed to expand Medicaid under President Obama's Affordable Care Act, and the list is growing. Meanwhile, some Republican-friendly groups in Texas are pushing the Legislature to do the same. Will Texas work some kind of a deal with the Obama Administration?

Friday, December 5, 2014

Is state of Texas mentally competent? | Last Word



Hours before Scott Panetti was scheduled to be executed Wednesday, a federal appeals court in New Orleans halted the proceedings to take up the issue of whether he is mentally competent enough to be killed.

The evidence is, however, that it is the state of Texas that should be subjected to a mental competency test.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Should government pay $15 an hour? | Nov. 21, 2014



Both polls and recent elections show American voters support a higher minimum wage. But does that support include paying their own employees better? San Antonio community organizations COPS and Metro Alliance want local governments to pay a minimum "living wage" of nearly $15 to city, county and school district workers. They are getting considerable support from politicians. But is it a good idea?

Friday, November 21, 2014

Agency chooses politics over evidence | Last Word



In these days of political discord, it’s gratifying to smell the rare scent of unanimity.

According to the Express-News this week the mayors of all seven cities in neighboring Guadalupe County and the county commissioners from Guadalupe, Wilson and Gonzales counties all agree on one thing.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Upgrading historic Alamo Plaza | Nov. 14, 2014



Through the years more plans probably have been developed for improving the Alamo site than there were heroes who died there. But coming up with funds has typically faced odds as long as those faced by Travis and company. Now City Councilman Diego Bernal, who co-chairs the latest committee to come up with plans, says $22 million may be available. Hear what he says can be done.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Religious freedoms vs. religious rights | Last Word



State Sen. Donna Campbell, whose district includes a good portion of San Antonio, this week filed legislation aimed at passing an amendment to the state constitution protecting the religious rights of Texans.

The language is almost identical to legislation she filed two years ago.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Local and state impacts from election | Nov. 7, 2014



In our special after-election program, we’re joined by two political strategists, Christian Archer and Kelton Morgan, to analyze the local results of this week’s election. Then Evan Smith and Ross Ramsey with the Texas Tribune join us for a look at the statewide impact.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Wendy Davis’ infamous wheelchair ad | Last Word



Political campaigns are often not compatible with calm, rational discussion, so I decided to wait to take up the wheelchair topic.

Yes, I’m talking about Wendy Davis’ infamous wheelchair ad.

The ad caused a firestorm, and not exclusively from Abbott supporters.