Updated: Gay Marriage Would Be Big for Texas Economy, Study Finds

Categories: Texas

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Photo by Jose Antonio Navas

Update: Christy Mallory, senior counsel at the Williams Institute, told us in an email that in 2009 the institute examined the actual economic impact of gay marriage on Massachusetts - $111 million over the first four years following legalization.

That's smaller than the number the institute estimates in its Texas study, but Mallory said Texas has more same-sex couples. Here's the concentration of gay couples in the United States broken down by county, plus some other interesting numbers about gay couples.

Original post: Gay marriage probably won't be legalized in Texas until the Supreme Court makes the state do so. We do have a governor who compared homosexuality to alcoholism, after all.

But according to a study by the Williams Institute, if gay marriage were legal here in the Lone Star State, it'd be quite the financial boom.

The institute, a think tank housed in the University of California-Los Angeles School of Law, released a study Wednesday estimating the economic boost gay marriage legalization in Texas could provide. According to the study, Texas gay marriages would add an estimated $181.6 million in spending to state and local economies over three years, a boost of $14.8 million in sales tax revenue.


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Man Gets 11 Years in Online Drug Ring Deaths Case

Categories: Courts

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Somewhere, a guy called "Scootdog" is laughing his ass off.
A Houston man has been sentenced to 11 years in federal prison for his role in a synthetic drug ring that prosecutors say led to the deaths of two men in North Dakota and Minnesota in 2012.

John Robert Polinski, 26, was sentenced for his role as a "computer specialist" for an online drug importer and distributor called Motion Resources, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Fargo. Motion's owner, Charles William Carlton, 29, of Katy, pleaded guilty in March for his role, and will be sentenced August 28.

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Houston to Ban Smoking at Parks, Pools, Golf Courses

Categories: Spaced City

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That includes parks, golf courses and pools there, smokey.
Following a trend that is occurring in numerous cities across the country, the city will extend its ban of smoking already enforced in most public indoor spaces, outdoor stadiums and within 25 feet of buildings to larger outdoor areas as well beginning September 2. The downtown library facilities will actually be the first to enforce the outdoor ban starting today.

There are 36 other cities in Texas and numerous others throughout the country who have implemented similar bans. In the report from the Houston Chronicle pointed out that Houston's ban on smoking has lagged well behind that of other major cities. Houston banned smoking in indoor establishments including bars and restaurants in 2007.

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Some of Our Favorite Tweets from the #ImSoHouston Hashtag

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#ImSoHouston blew up on Wednesday.
It's rare when a hashtag gets so much attention it rockets to the top of the trending list in Houston. But that's what happened on Wednesday when #ImSoHouston cropped up and began a flood of responses from people describing why they too are SO Houston.

This spawned some memorable and hilarious responses from Houstonians. We have not only some very interesting folks here, but also some seriously self deprecating ones as well. Here is a selection of some of our favorites from Twitter. There were others posted on Facebook as well, but we'll stick with the hashtag.

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Houston Texans Sign Tyson Clabo, So It's Probably Safe To Make Wild 53 Man Roster Picks

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Shaping up for training camp.
Completely and utterly sucking the previous season has its privileges in the National Football League.

As a fan of the Houston Texans (if you are one), you may already know this, and if you didn't know this, you will find out repeatedly throughout the preseason and the early part of the regular season.

Sure, we all know about the privileges on draft night. First overall pick, Clowney, first pick in every round, "A second is really like a first! A third is really like a second!", blah blah blah... Well, there is also another key privilege that manifests itself frequently throughout the "roster construction" phase this summer, and that's being at the front of the one for any waiver cuts throughout the league.

Yes, the Texans essentially get dibs on other teams' garbage as they put it on the curb. It's like they're the most privileged homeless person ever!

As a result, the depth chart is probably going to look like a sea of revolving doors until Bill O'Brien determines he has the group he's ready to hit the over on 7/5 wins with.


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Law Calls BS on Allegedly Stolen Bull

Categories: Texas

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Photo by Linda Tanner

Back in the day, cattle thieving was one of the things you could be hanged for without much in the way of a trial. Things have changed, but cattle are still a serious business in the Lone Star State.

Pro tip: When you're going to steal someone's bull, you'd best make sure said bull doesn't belong to anyone you live real close to. Selling the animal at a livestock show with lots of witnesses with a good memory for four-legged creatures is also decidedly unwise.


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Five "Nights" The Astros Can Use To Sell TIckets In September

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Breaking Bad night?
When it comes to the standings, Major League Baseball (or any team sport, for that matter) is a zero sum game.

One team wins, one team loses, and in baseball, by the time August rolls around, from a business standpoint, you just hope that the teams that lose regularly are in cities where the fans attach fewer conditions to attendance than in other cities. St. Louis, Boston, Chicago....those seem like places where tickets still get sold even if the team is ten games under .500.

Unfortunately, many cities aren't nearly as unconditional with their love for their hometown team, so it sends marketing and promotions departments scrambling for solutions to create buzz, fill seats, and generate revenue.

Phoenix is one of those passive sports cities.

At 44-57 heading into Wednesday's games, the Diamondbacks are on a long road to nowhere, mired in a battle for third place in the NL West with the equally underwhelming San Diego Padres. So how does Arizona get fans out to the ball park for a Sunday game against the woeful Chicago Cubs?

Here's how:

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Rockets Sign 2nd Round Pick Nick Johnson (DUNK VIDEO)

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Nick Johnson's poster dunk...in the summer league.
If there were a Hall of Fame for highly valuable second round picks, it would likely be located in Houston, perhaps as an annex to the Toyota Center.

In the modern day edition of the NBA Draft, where the value of a draft choice has odd contractual ties to the round in which he is selected, no team has done better on draft night than the Houston Rockets.

(I was going to say no team has "taken better advantage of" of the second round than the Rockets, which may still be true, but it's hard to feel like they've gamed the system when Chandler Parsons just walked for nothing after the team turned down a fourth year at $964,000. Probably semantics.)

Chase Budinger, Carl Landry, Parsons, hopefully Isaiah Canaan.

And if Daryl Morey's words about Nick Johnson match the actual output, we may have another plaque in the second round HOF.

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New Home Buyers Being Priced Out of Houston's New Construction Market

Categories: Spaced City

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Photo by Sarah de la Rosa
Rent too damn high...and so are new construction prices.
For nearly two years, the Houston residential real estate market has been booming and shows almost no sign of letting up. As a result, home inventories have been at all time lows in many parts of the city and surrounding area. It is not uncommon for a desirable home to go on the market and have multiple bids over the asking price on the first day. With the extreme demand for real estate comes not only a rise in housing costs and low inventory, but an increase in the cost of the land driving up the cost of new construction.

Making matters worse for first-time homebuyers, construction companies are all but abandoning "starter" homes that run less than $150,000 according to a recent report, and instead opting to build "move up" housing that starts around $300,000.

Of course, this is for new construction and does not include the purchase of resale homes, but with resale home inventory dramatically low, builders are rushing to add new homes to the market, just not homes most first-timers can afford.

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Medical Board Beefs Up Burzynski Complaint

Categories: Texas

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Photo by Daniel Kramer
"Maybe in three years I get Nobel Prize, and you'll look like a shit," the good doctor told us in 2009.
The Texas Medical Board has enhanced its complaints against controversial Houston doctor (for loss of a better word) Stanislaw Burzynski, beefing up an eight-page complaint filed in December 2013 to a whopping 200, the Chron reports.

Filed July 9, the amended complaint came on the FDA's bewildering decision to lift a suspension on Burzynski's clinical trials involving an alleged cancer-fighting drug he calls antineoplastons. The FDA had partially suspended trials after the 2012 of a 6-year-old patient involved in one of the studies; the federal agency had also accused him of inaccurately reporting patient outcomes and failing to obtain some patients' informed consent.

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