Texas Among the Worst for Gender Equality


Let's talk about gender (in)equality, shall we?

In 2013, the U.S. failed to make the top 10 -- or even the top 20 -- of the World Economic Forum's list of the most gender-equal countries. And we're guessing that little issue is, at least in part, because of the big ol' state of Texas.

A recent study from WalletHub ranked Texas 47 out of all 50 states for gender equity because, according to the data, Texas is near the bottom when it comes to how states treat women.

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Cougars Embarrass UH on Supposed Glorious Night for New Stadium

John Royal
TDECU Stadium, not long before everything started to go bad, so bad
Stop me if this sounds familiar. The heavily favored Houston Cougars open up the season at home against a team from Central Texas. But instead of winning the game by double digits, the Cougars are upset by double digits. Just replace Texas State with UTSA and make the final score 27-7. But there's one major difference because this time, the Cougars were opening up their brand-spanking-new pleasure palace, TDECU Stadium, before a record on-campus crowd of 40,795. It was a bad loss, a horrible start to a new season, and one that feels all too familiar under the Tony Levine regime.

Let's take a look at the good, the bad and the ugly from Friday night's debacle.

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Meyerland Hipster Church Courts Impossible Demographic

Photo by Susan Du
Kathy McDougall, Angie Boudreaux, Jenni Fairbanks, Earl Fairbanks and Jackie Brown gather for a fellowship dinner at the Fairbankses' house.

Angie Boudreaux grew up in her grandmother's conservative Southern Baptist church an odd child who loved going every week just to hear the preacher preach. Eventually, she became a Sunday school teacher and made her living helping young girls read the Bible.

It would have been a straightforward story, except a super-awkward thing happened to Boudreaux at the end of high school. After much internal wrangling over whether hanging out with lesbians all the time was just something that jock girls did, Boudreaux had to admit she had fallen in love with her best friend, another woman.

She cried, she prayed and others prayed with her, but she stayed gay. Some years later, when church leadership found out, they told her she couldn't be trusted with teaching children.

Jackie Brown is not gay. But after college, when she tried to reconnect with Christianity, a church leader called her an adulteress for living with her then-boyfriend (now husband). It didn't help that she was then barred from singing in the church choir because she also sang at a bar on weeknights.

"The church didn't pay me," Brown said. "The bar did."

The Rev. Jenni Fairbanks was quick to interject that her church hired Brown precisely because of her professional experience. "She logged her hours," Fairbanks said with a shrug.

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Two of Houston's Freeways Top Texas's 100 Most Congested Roadways

Sorry Austin, but Houston has knocked you out of the top spot. Well, at least when it comes to the top spot on the list of Texas' 100 most congested roadways, anyway. We haven't quite caught up to you on being a hipster hot-spot yet, but we suppose there's always next year.

According to an analysis conducted for the Texas Department of Transportation by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, Houston's very own I-610 West Loop has officially surpassed Austin's IH 35 -- last year's winner of the prestigious traffic award -- as the most congested roadway in Texas. Awesome.

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Happy Labor Day! Houston Has More Workplace Fatalities Than Other Texas Cities

Categories: Spaced City

Jens Schott Knudsen
Friday marked the end of the national Labor Rights Week, which takes place every year during the last week of August leading up to Labor Day. But Houston as a city isn't in the best position when it comes to worker safety.

Labor Rights Week -- organized by the U.S. Department of Labor in conjunction with various embassies, consulates, worker rights groups, community and faith-based organizations, and local unions -- aims to "increase awareness and inform workers and employers about their rights and responsibilities under U.S. labor laws."

Houston itself has the worst record in Texas, and Texas the worst in the country, when it comes to workplace fatalities or catastrophes. According to a recent Dallas Morning News investigation, Texans are significantly more likely to die on the job than workers in other states. "More workers die here than in any other state," according to the report. "On average, a Texas worker is 12 percent more likely to be killed on the job than someone doing the same job elsewhere...That translates to about 580 excess workplace deaths over a decade."

So far this year, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Houston has seen more than 3 times the amount worker fatalities than Dallas, the second most fatal city for workers in Texas.

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Texans Trade for QB Ryan Mallett, Case Keenum Era Over

Waiver wire time in the NFL is like fishing through the discounted $4.99 DVD bin in your local Walmart.

One by one, you pick up, glance at and summarily toss aside classic time wasters like A Fish Called Wanda, Can't Buy Me Love, or any of the '90s superhero movies involving a protagonist other than Batman or Superman. Nothing in that bin is ever really good enough (even for only $4.99); you're just settling for it because it's there and fills a latent void.

The quarterback position in the NFL is a little different at waiver wire time, though. You can't just slide anything into that slot. Finding a quarterback by any means requires a little bit of thought and a little more discretion than filling other positions.

In Walmart DVD sales parlance, sometimes the $4.99 bin isn't good enough. Sometimes you need to pay a little more (say, $8.99) for the final copy of Deliverance in the store.

Enter, Ryan Mallett!

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Houston Man Gets 20 Years in Synthetic-Drug Case

Categories: Courts

We wonder what Scootdog makes of all this.
The supposed mastermind behind a Houston-based synthetic drug distributorship linked to the deaths of two teens in Minnesota and North Dakota has been sentenced to more than 20 years in prison.

Charles Carlton, sentenced in a North Dakota federal court August 28, was the 15th defendant sentenced in the multi-state "Operation Stolen Youth" investigation by the DEA, FDA, IRS, and Homeland Security. Carlton's business partner, John Polinski, was sentenced to 11 years in July.

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Sgt. Harris's Other Unsolved Murder Case

Categories: Crime

HPD won't stand for failure to investigate homicides. Oh, wait....
When disgraced ex-HPD detective Ryan Chandler began arbitration hearings last week to try to get his job back, he got an earful from his former colleague: veteran homicide detective Brian Harris, who testified that Chandler was wrong to blame his shoddy work on an unmanageable caseload.

Chandler was fired in April after an internal HPD investigation revealed that he had failed to properly investigate more than 20 cases. According to the Chron, Harris said Chandler had no excuse -- homicide investigators' caseloads were "very manageable." Harris said Chandler didn't follow leads, and bemoaned one case with a good suspect who was never arrested. That left us wondering why, then, Harris hasn't made an arrest in the 18 months he's supposedly investigated the murder of beer distributor Ash Rowell.

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85-Year-Old Woman, a.k.a. "No Soul," Pleads Guilty to Ordering Hit on Prosecutors

Dorothy Clark Canfield might look like your grandmother, but in lockup she had an ominous nickname: "No Soul."

Canfield, 85, apparently picked up the moniker after being jailed in Montgomery County in 2012 on charges that she swindled undocumented immigrants out of $100,000 after posing as an immigration attorney. It was while she was in jail for that felony theft charge that she hatched a darker plan, according to authorities.

Two of Canfield's former cellmates testified Thursday in a Montgomery County court that Canfield asked them to help her "knock off" Montgomery County Assistant District Attorney Rob Freyer, who was handling her theft case, according to a report in the Chron.

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Is It Really Bye-Bye to IndyCar Racing in Houston?

Categories: Sports

Is IndyCar through with Houston?
There were two IndyCar races in Houston this past June. The races were run on a course laid out around the NRG Park parking lot with NRG Stadium and the Astrodome looming large in the background. The track was bumpy and dangerous. The first day saw racing in the rain, the second day saw racing during the extreme heat of a Houston summer afternoon.

This was the second year of the IndyCar series' return to Houston. And according to reports, it appears that IndyCar will not be returning to Houston for a third straight year. Because, apparently, running a car race on a stadium parking lot in the middle of the day in the summer in Houston isn't popular with the crowds.

If so, the IndyCar series in Houston was probably doomed the moment that IndyCar decided to end its season at the end of August. With the series running at overseas sites to start the season, there was just no place in the schedule to hold an event in Houston that made sense if the comfort of the drivers and spectators was to be taken into account. (IndyCar is going to New Orleans for a race in early April next season, which would seem good for Houston, but with NRG Stadium hosting the NCAA Men's Basketball Regional at the end of March, there probably wouldn't be enough time for track set-up).

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