New Texas plan for federal Hurricane Harvey aid yields same old result: Funds diverted away from Gulf Coast
Despite an admonition from federal authorities, Land Commissioner George P. Bush’s plan still steers aid disproportionately to whiter, inland counties at less risk of natural disasters.chron.com
Meadows Center granted $1.7 million for Clean Coast Texas Collaborative
The Texas General Land Office’s Coastal Management Program recently granted the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University $1.7 million to continue implementation of the Clean Coast Texas Collaborative through 2024.[San Marcos, TX] [Hays County news] News San Marcos News, San Marcos Record [Texas State]sanmarcosrecord.com
The GLO discriminated against minorities in Houston and Harris County when denying federal flood relief, HUD says – Houston Public Media
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development found the GLO to be in violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a law enacted to enforce the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.houstonpublicmedia.org
Feds say Texas discriminated against communities of color when it denied Houston flood aid
Land Commissioner George P. Bush is in the middle of a fierce runoff in the Republican primary for Texas attorney general against incumbent Ken Paxton. During the race, several of Bush’s opponents have criticized his office’s work in distributing Hurricane Harvey relief funds.
GLO removes dozens of broken boats in Port Isabel
PORT ISABEL — More than two dozen derelict boats were recently removed from the Laguna Madre area. The Texas General Land Office’s Oil Spill Prevention and Response team wrapped up its first Port Isabel Vessel Turn-In Program, which was held January 26-29. During this four-day event, the GLO, Port Isabel and several partner agencies collected 26 vessels. Removing abandoned vessels from coastal waters comes at a considerable expense—around $200-300 per foot. The GLO and its partners encourage communities to participate in VTIP to avoid these costs and to keep their boats from becoming environmental or safety hazards.myrgv.com
Adopt-A-Beach to host SPI Winter Beach Cleanup
SOUTH PADRE ISLAND — Residents and visitors of this coastal city have the chance to do a good deed while enjoying the area’s scenic views. The Texas General Land Office’s Adopt-A-Beach program will have a Winter Beach Cleanup on South Padre Island on Friday, Feb. 4. Macias explained that as part of the Adopt-A-Beach program, beaches around the Texas Coast host cleanups that make a big impact for the environment. “Everybody gathers together to clean the beach.”To register online for South Padre Island’s beach cleanup, visit https://tinyurl.com/2p8an5h6. For more information, contact the Cameron County Parks Department at (956) 761-5494 or the Texas GLO Adopt-A-Beach program at 1 (877) 892-6278.myrgv.com
How a Texas songbird and its endangered status became the center of a fight over the Hill Country
Scientists say a study that estimated far more golden-cheeked warblers in Texas than previously thought has been attacked and taken out of context as the state and federal government battle over the bird’s endangered status.
San Benito residence marks a first for Texas GLO program
SAN BENITO — The first house refurbished under the Texas General Land Office’s Homeowner Assistance and Reimbursement programs was handed over to the owners here Monday at 733 Freddy Fender Lane. “This is our first homeowner assistance and reimbursement program home and it is a two-part program,” said Brittany Eck, communications director for Disaster Recovery at Texas GLO. “During Hurricane Harvey we administered the Homeowners Assistance Program and the Homeowner Reimbursement Program separately. Eck said the application process for homeowners to apply at the Texas GLO website at https://recovery.texas.gov has been streamlined and is easier to navigate. Dahlia Rodriguez said it means the couple can stay right in the same home in which her husband grew up.myrgv.com
Mayor Turner pulls support from controversial $15 million Houston affordable housing project – Houston Public Media
The move comes in direct response to allegations from the mayor's former housing director, who called the selection process for federal Harvey relief funds a "charade" to steer millions to a favored developer.houstonpublicmedia.org
Houston Mayor Turner to discuss perceived disparities in post-Harvey rebuilding program
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner is scheduled to hold a news conference Monday to discuss what he says were disparities in how some neighborhoods are being treated by the post-Harvey home rebuilding program through the Texas General Land Office.
Houston mayor, other local leaders to speak at inquiry about denial of Hurricane Harvey funds
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner will speak at an inquiry about the Texas General Land Office’s (GLO) “initial denial and inequitable allocation of congressional appropriated mitigation dollars from Hurricane Harvey to the City of Houston.”
Houston-area leaders to call on the General Land Office to ensure city, county receive Harvey funds
Houston area representatives gathered Thursday to call upon the Texas General Land Office to ensure the worst-hit areas by Hurricane Harvey in the city and Harris County will receive the funds allocated by Congress.
Harris County Democratic, GOP Leaders Condemn GLO Decision To Offer Zero Harvey Relief Funds – Houston Public Media
The often politically polarized commissioners court voted unanimously to denounce the decision by the General Land Office to deny Harris County any of the $1.3 billion in mitigation funds.houstonpublicmedia.org
State takes over Houston's Harvey home repair program
The state took over the program this week and Torres and other residents who have applied for assistance say they’re worried that could lead to yet more delays. A third of the funding — nearly $428 million — went to a program for home repair and reconstruction. Harvey dumped up to 50 inches (1.3 meters) of rain on the Houston area following landfall on Aug. 25, 2017. In the Houston area, Harvey flooded more than 150,000 homes, with more than 16,000 residents identified as potentially needing repair help. In its own program, the land office has fixed more than 2,000 homes and has approved nearly 2,900 reimbursements statewide.
Search ends for 2 still missing after Texas port explosion
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas The search for two crew members of a dredging boat who went missing following an explosion last week in the Port of Corpus Christi in Texas has been ended, the U.S. Coast Guard announced. Our Coast Guard crews worked intently alongside state and local partners to locate the two crew members who remained missing, but unfortunately, we were unable to locate them, said Capt. Edward Gaynor, commander, Coast Guard Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi. The decision to suspend a search is never easy and a lot of factors are considered before suspending a search. Port of Corpus Christi officials said it was a propane pipeline.
Hurricane Harvey: The long road to recovery still hasnt ended for many in Houston
HOUSTON Its been nearly three years since Harvey hammered the Houston area and yet, there are still those who havent fully recovered. The City of Houston and the State of Texas have been locked in a battle over how to manage the rebuilding effort. In March, the Texas General Land Office came to an agreement with Harris County to take over the rebuilding efforts. The City of Houston had a different opinion when approached by the state. Both are now working with and seeing progress through the GLO, as the temporary restraining order does not impact their rebuilding efforts.
Houston files lawsuit against Texas General Land Office from taking control of Harvey diaster funds
HOUSTON Mayor Sylvester Turner and the city of Houston seek a temporary restraining order to prevent the Texas General Land Office from taking control of Hurricane Harvey disaster relief funds. Nearly two years ago, the federal government provided those funds to assist Houston homeowners, whose homes were damaged by Hurricane Harvey. According to city officials, Houston has allocated $446 million or 35% of the total funds to homeowners. The single-family program has served 234 homeowners, with another 246 families submitted to or approved by GLO and currently being served, according to Houston officials. Houston officials also contend that the citys programs are better and more appropriate for the citizens than the GLOs plans, which proposed amendments that violate the terms of its sub-recipient agreement.
State plans to take Hurricane Harvey funds from the city of Houston
HOUSTON – The Texas General Land Office is planning to eliminate the city of Houston's control of funding for Hurricane Harvey housing relief. In a letter sent to Mayor Sylvester Turner Wednesday, the GLO stated it was overhauling "all responsibility for administering disaster assistance to city residents." The GLO argues the city has done little with the recovering funds. The state has four years to allocate the funds to Houston residents, so there still is time. Turner said the city is taking all necessary legal steps to preserve the city’s right to administer the funds.
Galveston closes public beaches in response to coronavirus outbreak
The city of Galveston announced on Sunday that it was closing all public beaches in the city and restricting traffic on the beach west of the end of the Seawall. As of Sunday, the Galveston County Health District had confirmed 60 cases of COVID-19 within the county. In a press release, the city said they had attempted to avoid closing public beaches as they wanted to provide residents a form of exercise while maintaining safe social distancing. “As a result, the city of Galveston must restrict access to the public beach. As a public beach, it must be closed to all.”The orders will be enforced by the Galveston Police Department, the City Marshal’s Office and the Galveston Beach Patrol.
Harsh words erupt in Twitter spat between Turner, Abbott over Hurricane Harvey money
HOUSTON - It's a war of words stretching from Houston to Austin, with homeowners still trying to recover from Hurricane Harvey stuck in the middle. The state of Texas has taken over spending federal money for flood mitigation. During that same time the General Land Office has rebuilt almost 1,000. According to the Texas General Land Office, the city of Houston has submitted 107 housing applications, with 57 of those being approved. But Abbott said the city is to blame, not the state's General Land Office.
Mayor Turner responds to criticism over federal flood funds
The state of Texas has taken over spending federal money for flood mitigation. This is a money grab by the state to spend it in places outside Houston and Harris County. "The state announced last week it would not directly send the money to Houston and Harris County.Then, this week, Turner tweeted about the move, saying "The State of Texas has taken over spending federal money for flood mitigation. Greg Abbott responded from his personal account, saying Mayor Turner demanded that Houston get its own allocation of more than $1 billion. They said it was not timed for an election, in which the mayor faces multiple opponents.Mayor Turner said he doesn't buy it.abc13.com
Fight over $4 billion in federal flood funds gets personal
The state of Texas has taken over spending federal money for flood mitigation. This is a money grab by the state to spend it in places outside Houston and Harris County. Sylvester Turner (@SylvesterTurner) October 8, 2019Mayor you DEMANDED that Houston get its own allocation of over $1 billion in Fed. https://t.co/QdUJUaPeWJ Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) October 8, 2019HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The fight over $4 billion in federal flood mitigation funds is getting personal between Texas Gov. Abbott's office says the city has only submitted 107 Harvey housing applications and to date, has only reported four rehabbed homes and one home construction.abc13.com
The end of an era: State officially closed Rollover Pass on the Bolivar Peninsula
Fences and "No Trespassing" signs mark what is likely the final days of one of Texas most iconic fishing spots. The state officially closed Rollover Pass on the Bolivar Peninsula at the end of September. It's important that we protect this pass, Vega said. Rollover Pass has been enjoyed by the people of Texas and other states for 64 years.The GLO Office has been working on closing the pass since the legislature authorized the move in 2009. The contract awarded by the GLO calls for the work to fill in Rollover Pass to be complete by April 2020.