Kvue weather

Grace Thornton, KVUE Weekend Weather, Austin, Texas.

2023.03.19 14:03 LOSTLONELYMOON Grace Thornton, KVUE Weekend Weather, Austin, Texas.

Grace Thornton, KVUE Weekend Weather, Austin, Texas. submitted by LOSTLONELYMOON to WeatherGirls [link] [comments]

2023.02.06 19:48 hotnewschanel LIVE: City of Austin provides update on power outages, winter weather recovery KVUE

LIVE: City of Austin provides update on power outages, winter weather recovery KVUE submitted by hotnewschanel to CurvyNewsWomen [link] [comments]

2023.02.02 01:03 Anti-Marketing-III cursed dogs

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2023.02.01 14:24 brock917 How the fuck do you find live local radio that discusses current weather updates, power outages and road closures

Jesus Christ we're here again with the weather power outages.
I have gone to the NOAA national weather service radio station on 3 different apps and 2 websites - it will say "this station does not play over the internet".
Where is live radio - that we can all access - that gives up to do info on what's happening?
Getting a lot of downvotes, whether it be due to the aggressiveness of this post, or responding to links with local radio stations' weather updates on their commercials every 10 minutes.. which is simply not the fix in an emergency like this.
To be fair - what if this was the beginning of how it happened a few years ago and we were set to be without power for days? Again people died in this last time. We will power through this the best we all can, but how are these resources not readily available, especially after the last time?
Our Austin community is amazing and the people providing information is great. Most of these are to tune into local radio and to wait every 10 minutes for a radio commercial discussing the live updates.
This is a city-wide emergency. We have experienced this before. This is no joke. Hoping through this post we can come together to get hot links to multiple resources, radio, weather, emergency road closures.
How this resource doesn't exist in the Austin subreddit sidebar, or anywhere for that matter, is alarming and disappointing and frustrating. Again thank you all. We will get through this.
**Update #2:
KVUE's power went out, their broadcast is down unfortunately. So far Twitter is the best place for up-to-date info

atxwx #icestorm

Follow Avery Tomasco on FB https://www.facebook.com/AveryTomasco
**Update #3:
I've got a senile old dog and a broken rib. I will have to move from here and it will be painful and not easy. In this situation some people will have to relocate or grab resources for the day.
Everyone in this post throwing insults seems so confident the power will get turned back on today. And optimistically, hopefully it will. But what if it doesn't? And people in vulnerable situations don't have the resources they need through the night.
It would be beneficial to have live information on:
Up to date road closures
Up to date store closures
If any residents are getting their power turned back on and what neighborhoods
Are more people losing their power? Or are we restoring power at this point?
How backed up is the fire department, ems, police?
What caused so many power outages in a 10 minute span around 6:50 a.m. today? This is just a start.
I'm done today. Hopefully we can all come back to this after the insults and grab the useful information. This scenario will happen again, and I hope that none of us are in a vulnerable situation when it does.
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2022.12.15 18:50 lonestarniner Mariel Ruiz WFAA DFW

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2022.09.26 01:58 VGAddict Texas leads the country in weather-related power outages.

Be sure to remember this when you vote for Railroad Commissioner in November!
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2022.09.25 01:06 reddig33 So which allergy forecast is correct?

KVUE and KXAN pretty much have the opposite allergen readings today. This seems to happen often. Which one should I trust?
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2022.08.23 10:17 MahModBot DFW Weather: Heavy rains cause flooding and road closures across North Texas - KVUE

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2022.06.25 15:14 s810 Old Austin Tales: The Secret War for Channel 54 - 1984-1995

Abortion rights and the issues surrounding them are some of the most controversial issues of our time and are dominating the subreddit right now. I don't have anything to add to the debate that hasn't already been said and you probably wouldn't want to hear it from me anyway. But I can offer you one interesting historic fact relevant to the issue locally that I don't know I've shared with y'all before. The day the Roe vs. Wade decision was decided was January 22, 1973, which happened to be the same day LBJ died. This meant that the following day, the local papers barely covered the Roe vs. Wade decision. I found only one backpage AP article which dealt with the subject. I support the protests, but y'all be careful out there today and tomorrow in this heat, before the rain finally comes at last.
I don't know about y'all but I am in need of a distraction from the politics of the day. Do y'all mind if I tell a tale of UHF television from the 1980s? There is a large cast of characters for today's tale: A would-be North Austin megachurch, a popular local news anchor, then-Governor Bill Clements and the Republican Party of Texas, a few national and state-level media tycoons, local real estate mavens, and a few others. All of them were at one time fighting over the TV channel we know today as 54-1 on your digital dial, also known as Austin's home of TheCW. Ronald Reagan's FCC was the referee in the middle of it all. But I don't want to get ahead of myself. Let's start at the beginning and talk about Austin's first independent, relatively high-powered TV station, then we'll get to the second one.
Unless you were one of the few who had cable TV in 1980, there were only four broadcast television stations in town. You had KTBC the CBS affiliate (VHF Channel 7), KTTV (now KXAN) the NBC affiliate (Originally UHF Channel 42 then later Channel 36), KVUE the ABC affiliate (Channel 24), and KLRN/KLRU which was Public Broadcasting (on Channel 18). The latter two had only been on the air a few years by that point, but had their respective network programming pretty well established.
There was a niche market open for independent stations in this area at that time, and so in 1982 two station owners from other parts of the state got together and decided to form Austin Television Corporation, D.B.A. KBVO Channel 42. This old Statesman article from February 14, 1983 explains what the investors were up to here:
David Carradlne may again be Kwai Chang Caine karate-chopping his way through "Kung Fu" as Abbott and Costello battle for laughs and Austin television viewers this fall. Former network series and "golden oldies" are being reviewed by Austin's first independent television station, KBVO-TV, which hopes to start broadcasting Sept 1. The station is not affiliated with a major network.
WHAT EXACTLY will be on the new station, however, won't be announced until August after local market studies, said Steven Beard, station manager for Austin Television, which owns the UHF station. Channel 42's programming will consist of popular network series that have left the air, local area sports, musicals and television specials, Beard said. "Movies are going to be some of the classics and best in television," he said, adding that the station already has contracts for more than 1,000 movie titles.
"Probably (we'll have) some of the old Tarzan classics, and Abbott and Costello. They won't be our prime efforts, though." He said the station will probably use a syndicated national news program, such as the Independent News Service or Ted Turner's CNN-2, and have short local news "briefs" throughout the day but no local evening news program or staff.
BEARD SAID there are high start-up costs because of having to buy programming to run the entire day. He put the cost of setting up the station at somewhere around $6 million for the first year. About $2.5 million, he said, will go for operating expenses. The station was to be on the air by January but was late getting started, Beard said, primarily because of trouble finding a location for its studios.
"We wasted like five months looking for something." Height restrictions and Interference from microwave equipment limited the choices, he said. Beard said he is negotiating for a site north of U.S. 183 for a 13,000- to 15,000-square-foot studio. The station will be leasing space on a transmitting tower located just outside of West Lake Hills, Beard said, and will broadcast southwest to Seguin, northwest to Llano, north to Temple and southeast to La Grange.
TWO PARTNERS own 90 percent of Austin Television: Darrold Carinan Jr. of Wichita Falls, who owns interests in station KAMR-TV (NBC) in Amarillo, and former state Sen. Michael McKinnon of Corpus Christ!, who owns interests in stations in Beaumont, Corpus Christi and San Diego.
There were some hiccups but the new station was built at 10900 Metric Blvd. in North Austin throughout most of 1983. December 4th, 1983 was the day they went on the air for the first time. If you were a kid in Austin in the 1980s (like I was) you know KBVO had a quite a respectable lineup of after-school cartoons such as Duck Tales, Rescue Rangers, and The Original Transformers. That's about all I remember of their early programming, although there is a surprising amount of clips on youtube of some KBVO commercial blocks and network idents if you type "KBVO" into the search. Many memorable local commercials from the 1980s are preserved there. You can see that local advertisers were more than happy to pay to have another outlet to air commercials on, although I'm not sure if the original station investors were seeing much of a return on their investment.
At any rate, as a TV channel, KBVO was moderately successful ratings-wise with some local demographics during certain hours of daytime programming, but with the exception of kids cartoons, they knew couldn't compete with major networks, especially in prime-time. So they really didn't try for the most part. "Lucky" might not be the right word for it, but just a few years later after KBVO got started, another national network would be coming to town looking for new affiliates. Spoilers: it was the nascent Fox network.
Later on in the 90s, KBVO switched network affiliations with KTBC and changed their call letters to KEYE, a CBS affiliate, and the station still stands on Metric Blvd. today under different ownership. KBVO has a huge place in Austin's broadcast history but that isn't even the main focus of the tale I wanted to share with y'all today. The relatively early success of KBVO in the pre-Fox years was being watched by those who followed the industry. Would-be investors all over the state began to think about a second independent TV station here in Austin. Natural geographic limitations to UHF propagation in this area meant the channel number would have to be higher on the UHF dial. The locally-unused channel 54 fit the bill. Who could have predicted that the first party to stake claim to the frequency range for channel 54 would be a local church‽
Allow me to quote from The Austin American-Statesman from the February 3, 1984 issue:
Another TV channel approved for Austin
Acting on a 9-month-old application by the Allandale Baptist Church for construction of a new Austin television station, the Federal Communications Commission agreed Thursday to assign the city a sixth TV channel UHF Channel 54. The FCC action was not an approval of the church application, but a preliminary step that allows other parties to file an application in competition with the church. Approval would not come until next year at the earliest.
Austin now has four commercial television channels and one public television channel. "We think we've got a pretty good application," said David Ferguson, administrator of the church at 2615 Allandale Road. "But there was a whole lot of competition for Channel 42, so you never can tell" Ferguson said the church has had other applications for a low-power TV station pending with the FCC for almost three years.
He said the church is not seeking to mount a home-grown version of televised evangelism around the personality of its pastor, the Rev. Harold O'Chester. "There's enough evangelism on the air now," Ferguson said. "We want to look at providing some real family-oriented programming with good moral content with some limited access" for Allandale Baptist worship services.
Ferguson said such older, network series as "Father Knows Best" and "Leave It to Beaver" are being considered as potential programming candidates, along with Walt Disney movies. "Shows with a stable family structure and good moral content increasingly are missing in television," he said. "We're concerned about that because Austin now has the highest per-capita divorce rate in the Southwest"
So let me stop there for a second and talk about the Allandale Baptist Church. If you go westward down Koenig Lane until it ends and turns into Allandale Road at Burnet Rd., then continue on a ways, before the road becomes Northland, you will come to a three way intersection. There is today a church at that address (2700 Allandale Rd.) called the Church of the Glad Tidings, clearly not the Allendale Baptist Church promised in the 1984 newspaper article. So what happened to the Allendale Baptist Church? Now there is an Austin story, but one that is too long to cover today. This old Texas Monthly article from 1996 can give us the basics:
In the case of Great Hills, expansion seemed as inevitable as a child’s outgrowing his overalls. Harold O’Chester arrived in Austin in 1969 after serving a number of churches in Mississippi, all of which grew rapidly under his leadership. As the congregations increased in size, the churches built new sanctuaries, and he found a succession of pulpits elsewhere. “I was told by an old-timey preacher that when you build a building, you should move on,” he says. He stirred up controversy in Mississippi by speaking out against the Ku Klux Klan and has never hesitated to say his piece on controversial issues. When he first came to Austin, he was something of a hard-liner and a firebrand, inserting himself into local political frays and even refusing to perform weddings for worshipers who were divorced. Yet O’Chester, who was raised Catholic and converted to Baptist while in the Navy, has mellowed since those days and is now far from a stereotypical fundamentalist thunderer. “I think I’m a good communicator, but I’m not a great preacher,” he insists. True enough, he’s not flamboyant, though when the spirit moves him, he can kick up a leg or pump a fist for emphasis.
O’Chester’s style and commitment to growth suited the congregation of Great Hills, which was then located in the quiet West Austin neighborhood of Allandale. From the time he took over the church, its membership increased so fast—by more than 15 percent a year—that the church building was bursting at the seams. After Great Hills bought up nearly two dozen houses as part of its expansion plans, area residents filed suit. “They didn’t want a megachurch in their neighborhood,” says O’Chester. Church members began scouting for another location, and soon they settled on a newly cleared hilltop parcel on the fast-growing northwest outskirts of Austin. They raised $1.6 million in contributions to pay for the land, hired an architect from Dallas to design a new sanctuary and educational complex, and put their old property in Allandale up for sale, along with another twelve acres owned by the church. By 1984, when they began construction on the new land, they had found buyers for the old church and property and lined up a loan guarantee for $6 million from First Federal Savings and Loan, an Austin institution considered one of the most solid in the state.
What happened next was a disaster that only Jeremiah could have foreseen. “First Federal was part of a billion-dollar corporation, as secure as the Rock of Gibraltar,” says O’Chester. “But when the downturn came to Austin, it was unbelievably fast. In the fall of 1985, the ground fell out of the real estate market, and during a single week, it seemed as if almost every bank went under.” The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation recalled the notes on the Allandale church property and the twelve acres of land just as the buyers were also going under. “We weren’t worried until we learned that First Federal was going under too,” O’Chester says. No longer able to sell the old church and the parcel of land and suddenly forced to pay back the money still owed on those properties, the church’s financial health severely worsened. “We lost six million dollars almost overnight, and we just couldn’t pay it. We saw the handwriting on the wall. The construction company threatened to sue, and the renegotiation of the construction contracts cost us another million dollars.”
That’s where the bondholders came to the rescue. During the bust, money for church loans from banks and savings and loans had dried up completely, and the only place to turn was bond compa-nies that specialize in loans to nonprofit groups—in Great Hills’s case, A. B. Culbertson and Company of Fort Worth. Culbertson marketed the Great Hills bonds primarily to individuals who tended to be churchgoers. A number were retirees who were living on fixed incomes and looking for a good cause to invest in as well as a rate of interest (above 10 percent) that was higher than that offered by most savings accounts. In retrospect, the bond issue appears to have been risky, more appropriate for speculators than elderly investors looking for rock-solid ventures. But as Bill Jackson of A. B. Culbertson observes, “The loan looked good on the day it was made. They never had experienced loan-payment problems before—they had a successful history of previous bond issues, and the ratio of collateral and debt service were in line with past loans.” The first bond offering, in 1986, was for $7.5 million, most of which went to repay the church’s debt. The next year, a second offering raised $8.85 million to retire the 1986 bonds and pay for the church’s plans.
Great Hills built the educational complex first and waited six years to build their dream supersanctuary, worshiping in the meantime in the atrium between two smaller buildings. “We had a foundation and a steel frame that sat out there bare as a skeleton for all of Austin to see,” says O’Chester. At one point Great Hills fell behind on its bond payments of $87,000 per month and construction on the sanctuary was halted, but O’Chester insisted that a thirty-foot-tall cross and additional lights be hoisted on top to make it a symbol of future victory that would be visible to the rest of the city. He and other church officials managed to convince nervous bondholders that only by continuing to build could they grow and increase their income sufficiently to repay their debt.
In 1993 work was completed on the new supersanctuary, complete with a sweeping Hill Country backdrop painted by a Tony award—winning set designer. O’Chester’s idol, W. A. Criswell of First Baptist Church of Dallas, was present at the opening gala. But over the next two years, Great Hills fell further and further behind in its bond payments, and negotiations with increasingly impatient bondholders began to falter. “They wanted to just keep growing and building, and we thought they should cut back and honor their debt,” says bondholders committee chair Bill Holman.
So, extremely long story short, the church elders at Allandale Baptist Church had big ambitions for the congregation. Then they got wound up in the Savings and Loan Crisis of the 1980s. After several battles with the Allandale Neighborhood Association over expansion, the whole church picked up and moved north near the recently-built Arboretum, becoming what is now known as Great Hills Baptist Church plus or minus a little debt along the way. They have a very large campus of buildings now, and good for them. But back in 1983 they were still on Allandale Road with money to spend on dreams, and so they decided to file papers with the FCC to build a TV station to show Leave it to Beaver and Father Knows Best. Somehow the church elders thought that would surely lower the divorce rate in Austin.
At any rate, the filing with the FCC certainly didn't go unnoticed by those previously mentioned industry-watching interested third parties, who were licking their chops at the thought of that sweet local commercial revenue. The Fox Network was a few years away and Paramount had been flirting with the idea of forming a broadcast network since the late 70s. No one at that time knew what the future could bring. There was potential to become the next big thing in small market of Austin media with the right investors with the right business plan.
And so the moment the church, doing business as Capitol City Community Interests Inc., filed the FCC papers, a rapid succession of applicants filed shortly afterward. The wikipedia entry for KNVA today calls it "a stampede", and links to an article from October of 1984 listing all nine of the final applicants. The article points out how there was something weird going on with the applicants. Quoting for you:
Women, Minorities Vie for Station's License
The Federal Communications Commission will be examining a slate of applicants dominated by women and minorities when it awards a license to build and operate a new television station in Austin. The FCC, with a mandate from Congress to broaden ownership of television and radio stations, in recent years has looked favorably upon applications with strong representation from minorities and women.
OF THE NINE applications for Austin's new Channel 54, eight would establish exclusive management of the station by minorities or women. But as strong as the emphasis is on minorities and women in the proposed management of the station, in most cases minority ownership has not caught up with minority management.
"Financing still remains the single greatest obstacle to minority ownership," said Zora Kramer, the FCC's assistant director of public affairs for minority enterprise. "If, in fact, the limited partnership does work to promote minority ownership, we will abide by that policy (arrangement)." "It's called the application game by everyone involved but the commission," said Thomas Root, a Washington communications lawyer representing one of the applicants. "It's a screwy game."
THE GAME, ROOT added, is played "with two categories of players rich white boys and minorities." The FCC is aware of how many of these applications are being put to gether and accepts it because of what it sees as a good end result. The minorities and women, most with modest financial resources, praise the system as an extension of affirmative action, providing an opportunity they wouldn't otherwise have. And they insist they are not being used by the Anglo male investors. Some communications lawyers, however, are sharply critical of the licensing procedure. They describe it as a policy that discriminates against white male applicants. They also say that the minorities and women are "fronting" for the investors. David Tillotson, another prominent Washington communications lawyer, said it is "nonsense" to think that investors are going to put up at least $3 million to start up a television station and not have a say in how it is going to be run by the minorities or women.
A MEDIA BROKER from Dallas, who negotiates the sale of radio and television stations said there is really no way to tell how profitable Channel 54, an independent station, will be. But the broker, Dan Hayslett, said, "Any television station in a growth market will be valuable. Austin is such a viable and desirable market."
The selection process has its supporters, however. "You see a homogeneous Industry. What do you do?" asked Christopher Fager, vice president of Low Power Technology Inc., which is providing financial backing for two Hispanic women seeking the Austin channel. "Minorities have been tremendously disadvantaged in owning anything, and the FCC has set up incentives."
THE FCCS KRAMER said minorities own less than 2 percent of the nation's broadcast facilities. A common element among the applicants for Channel 54 is that they don't have an ownership interest in any other broadcasting company. This also is consistent with the FCC wish to put. these licenses into as many hands as possible, thus discouraging the concentration of ownership in the broadcasting industry.
The applicants and proposed owners include:
  • ATV Associates Inc: Carren Silva Daigle, Penn Valley, Calif., president and director of operations; Frances Pico, Visalia, Calif., secretary; Diana Garza Louis, Austin.
  • Balcones Broadcasting Limited: Ron Oliveira, chairman of the board and president; Edna Isabella Ramon, vice president, secretary and treasurer; and Edila Paz Goldberg. Billy B. Goldberg is a limited partner with an 80 percent ownership interest.
  • Capitol Area Broadcasting: Jo Cardenas Stoltz, Mary G. Diaz, general partners.
  • Capital City Community Interests: Eddie Aurispa, president. The company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Allandale Baptist Church.
  • Channel 54 Limited: Noemi Correa, Berl Handcox, Ruby Handcox, general partners. Limited partners with a 70 percent ownership interest include Tobin Armstrong, Samuel E. Barship, H.C. Carter, Thomas A. Forbes, C. Patrick Oles, Jr. and The BSJ Partnership (Bruce E. Barshop, Jamie L. Earshop and Steven L. Barsbop).
  • DB Broadcasting: Deborah Baggs, president with all voting stock; non-voting shareholders include Glenn L. Bell of Goddard, Kan., Robert M. Martinez of Wichita, Kan., and Joseph A. Young, Derby Kan.
  • Isabel Chavez, general manager for an application in her name. (related to previous?)
  • Lake Country Telecasters Inc.: Evangellsta Martinez, president; Cynthia Sau-fong Soo, secretary and treasurer. Non-voting shareholder with a 90 percent ownership interest in all capital assets is Low Power Technology Inc, which lists as officers Jeffrey D. Nightbyrd, Jeremy Lansman, Lorenzo Milam and Christopher Fager.
  • Television 54 Corporation: Margaret Evelyn George, president Non-voting shareholder Is International Broadcasting Consultants Inc., which lists Robert H. Ruark as controlling shareholder.
In five of these cases, the Investors recruited minorities and women to become part of the application. "Everybody knows what It takes to get a license," said Craig Ruark, who along with his father Robert and brother Bruce own International Broadcast Consultants Inc, an Austin-based company that prepares applications for television and radio licenses. "There's nothing insincere about It unless you're talking about tokenism."
RAMON AGREES. "THE fact that I'm female helps. The fact that I'm Hispanic helps," said Ramon, an assistant attorney general and one of three Hispanics listed as general partners in the application of Balcones Broadcasting Limited. "I feel fortunate that I possess the qualifications that may help the application. I don't feel used any more than Geraldlne Ferraro."
"The policy was put Into effect for all the right reasons, and some people have made it into a game, and I think that's a shame." said Barbara Barron, an Austin lawyer familiar with the FCC application process. Barron represents Stoltz and Diaz, two Hispanic women, who plan to get their own financing without the backing of outside Investors.
"I BELIEVE I can do It on my own," said Stoltz, an Austin real estate broker. She will have a 90 percent ownership Interest In the enterprise. Diaz, a stockholder and general manager in the Austin Spanish-speaking radio station KMXX until 1982, will own 10 percent Two other applicants, Isabel Chavez and ATV Associates Inc., said they also will provide their own financing without investors. Chavez, owner of a Harlingen dress shop, said she has the collateral to finance the station. And the three Hispanic women listed as shareholders in ATV Associates would build and operate the station, according to Root, their lawyer.
In addition to the proposed Involvement of minorities and women, the FCC weighs several other factors in evaluating the applications. "Merit points" are also awarded if an applicant lives in the community that the station is serving and Is involved in civic activities. It's also helps if the individuals who would own the station are committed to having a hand in .the day to day operation.
ONE IMPORTANT consideration by the FCC is technical what is the television coverage area and the number of people the applicant is proposing to serve. This depends on the strength of the signal and the height and location of the antenna tower. "If all other criteria Is equal, the minority Is likely to win the license," said the FCCs Kramer. But first, she said, the commission will carefully screen each applicant. "We are going to ask questions (on) whether minorities are going to be used as fronts for non-minorities, if women are going to be used as fronts for their husbands."
THE ONLY APPLICANT that does not propose to have minority controlling interest of Channel 54 is Capital City Community Interests Inc., a subsidiary of Allandale Baptist Church. However, in the face of heavy minority involvement by all the other applicants, the church amended its original application to give minorities a higher profile. It dropped church administrator David Ferguson from president of the corporation to vice president and elevated Aurispa, a Hispanic to the position of president Allandale Baptist also added Aurispa and Ida Hunt, a black, to its board of trustees. Ferguson said the emphasis on minorities by the other applicants was "probably not the basis" for the amendments by the church Mary Diaz Jo Stoltz application.
Ramon and Olivelra, popular news anchorman for Austin's ABC affiliate, KVUE-TV. acknowledge that they were approached about the Idea of owning and operating the new television station by Billy Goldberg, former Texas Democratic Party chairman and Houston real estate developer. IF THEIR COMPANY, Balcones Broadcasting Limited, is awarded the license, Oliveira will be station manager; Ramon will be program director; and Goldberg's daughter in law, Edila Paz Goldberg, a Colombian native, will be in charge of sales. Goldberg said he would be the principal financial backer.
"It's always been one of my dreams," said Oliveira, adding that he has the blessings of his present employer if Balcones Broadcasting gets the license for the new station. "I don't have 2 or 3 or 4 million dollars in the bank. Mr. Goldberg approached me. . . and asked if I wanted to be part of the application." ' Goldberg said the application "makes good sense" because of the priorities the FCC considers and "from the standpoint of having a substantial tie-in with a substantial portion of the Austin citizenry that are not very well represented in ownership and managerial positions in the radio-TV field."
"MR. GOLDBERG has given us an opportunity we wouldn't otherwise have," said Ramon, who earned a degree in radio, television and film from the University of Texas. "We can help him, and he can help us." Martinez, a computer programmer for Data General, said that the application idea for Lake Country Telecasters Inc. came from Jeff Nightbyrd, a friend from college days at UT who is now president of Low Power Technology Inc., a company that owns low frequency television stations throughout the United States and recently moved its headquarters to Austin. "We couldn't have done it without his initiative," said Martinez, who is listed as a 50-50 partner with Sau-fong Soo, a self-employed consultant for nonprofit social services programs in Houston and Austin.
If the Republicans were seeking equal time with the application backed by former Democratic party chief Billy Goldberg, they got it in Channel 54 Limited, which lists as investors several men who were either part of the administration of Gov. Bill Clements or have ties to the Republican Party. The general partners who would own and run the station, however, are three minority individuals. Correa, a Hispanic, is director of organization for the Republican Party In Texas. Handcox, the first black elected to the Austin City Council, is currently employed as community relations coordinator for Motorola. His wife, Ruby, Is assistant principal at Johnston High School.
"ITS A VERY sincere thing, a serious financial commitment" said Handcox, who served two terms on the City Council from 1971 to 1975. "I don't know how all of us could be used for something that can be a very worthwhile en-deavor.for us, the community and the races. As far as I'm concerned we can take great pride if we can pull it off." Among the company's investors who served on Clements' staff are Armstrong and Oles. Another investor, Austin laywer Thomas Forbes, is married to Frances Lockridge, who also served In the Clements' administration. Armstrong, a wealthy rancher. Is the husband of Ann Armstrong, who served in the administration of President Richard Nixon. Another investor in Channel 54 Limited Is Samuel E. Barshop, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of La Qulnta Motor Inns Inc., and a big Clements supporter.
A pre-hearing conference involving lawyers for all the applicants has been scheduled for Dec 3 with an FCC administrative law judge. It could take from six months to two years, or even longer, for the FCC to award the new channel.
Well there is a lot to unpack in this article. The "Game" that "everyone knows" mentioned in the article, meaning minority and female owned stations were likely to get fast approval by the FCC, who had a directive from Congress to fast track such applicants, it's horrible to think that it still exists today in newer and more complicated forms, and not involving just the FCC or Congress. There is that issue and then there is the thinly veiled "tokenism" on the part of the owners, as the article puts it, which some of the owners assure us isn't actually "tokenism". But setting aside the racial dynamics of the 80s for the time being, there was one lady applicant who appeared to be filing on behalf of her boss as station manager but it isn't mentioned who that was. If she was only a paid employee and she was filing on behalf of the some of those long lists of investors it looks kind of bad in my book.
Ron Oliveria was popular on Channel 24's news team in the 1980s. To have him leave his anchor position to concentrate on this potential station was a big deal back then.
So you had these nine apparently qualified applicants. How did the FCC choose which one would be best? And which one won the battle? The wikipedia article gives it away:
The original decision was affirmed on October 30, 1987, when the FCC approved a settlement agreement between the seven applicants and granted Balcones's amended application for UHF channel 54. Balcones' grant was subsequently challenged by Frontier Southwest Broadcasting Inc., only to be upheld on April 15, 1988 on grounds that denying the application in its favor would otherwise nullify Frontier's existing construction permit for a low-power station on UHF channel 55.[9][10] On October 12, 1990, Balcones filed to sell the license to 54 Broadcasting Inc. (owned by Ron Oliveira and Billy Goldberg, along with Billy's wife, Rosalie Goldberg, and son Mark Goldberg of private equity firm Goldberg-Hirsch Ventures and a special assistant to the Texas State Comptroller at the time, and Mark Cohen and Mitchel Levy of LS Communications) for assumption of liabilities and payments to the Balcones partners to cover permit acquisition costs. The transfer received FCC approval 17 months later on March 26, 1992.[11][12] Partly as a result of the sagging Texas economy caused by the oil bust of the late 1980s, the Goldberg-Oliveira consortium could not economically start up the station until it obtained financial backing from Houston-based investment firm 21st Century Corp. Aiding in helping 54 Broadcasting get the station on the air was LIN TV Corporation—then-owner of NBC affiliate KXAN-TV (channel 36)—with which the consortium entered into a local marketing agreement (LMA) in the spring of 1994, in which KXAN would provide technical, programming and advertising resources.[8][13]
Channel 54—as KNVA (meaning "Nueva," in reference to the originally planned Spanish-language format)—began test broadcasts on August 24, 1994, in order to meet an FCC-required deadline to commence broadcasts by the end of that month to maintain the license. The station formally signed on the air one week later on August 31 (one week before Oliveira left his role as KVUE weeknight co-anchor to focus on managing KNVA). It was originally formatted as a 24-hour weather forecast service—with content selected by the on-duty meteorologist—that featured loops of Doppler radar and satellite imagery, current conditions from KXAN's live weather observation network (along with maps detailing actual and apparent temperatures, and wind speeds within the viewing area), area lake levels, pollen counts, and local and regional forecasts as well as live and pre-recorded forecast segments presented by KXAN-TV's meteorologists. The format—which included breakaways for brief commercial breaks and customary station identifications—could also allow KNVA to provide supplementary live coverage from the KXAN weather staff in severe weather situations that did not warrant extended coverage on Channel 36.
Ron Oliveria and his group of investors won the battle, beating out a withered field of applicants after The Allandale Baptist Church dropped out. There was a costly court battle which boiled down to frequencies interfering with other frequencies which delayed the opening of the station for about 5 years, and some funding troubles which were resolved by adding some Houston investors. Over a decade after the church filed the first papers, the station first went on the air in the last week of August in 1994.
It wasn't long before another national network came calling on Austin for affiliates and KNVA joined as the local UPN affiliate in 1995 for a time thereafter. The wikipedia article gives more details but this post is running long so I think I'll leave it there. By the mid-90s the TV channel situation was solidified for this area anyway and the story of UPN /The WB/the CW isn't related to Austin. There ended up being a very low power religious-oriented TV station in Austin before the digital transition in the aughts, but I don't think it is/was related to Alandale Baptist Church. Maybe I'm wrong there.
I should mention most all of the newspaper clipping from today's post were found before me by a person named "sammiebrie" on newspapers.com. I don't know who that is but have a hat tip of thanks for making my post easier today. I don't have any historic old photos of TV channels for Bonus Pics but I found some youtube clips of KBVO commercial blocks I'll share.
Bonus Video #1 - KBVO Commercial Breaks - April 1986
Bonus Video #2 - KBVO Commercial Breaks - October 16 & 23, 1987
Bonus Video #3 - Commercial Breaks/KBVO Fox Kids Club segment - May 1990
Bonus Video #4 - "This is the year on Fox 42" promo - 1989/1990 season
Bonus Video #5 - KBVO Commercial Breaks - February 1993
Bonus Video #6 - KBVO Commercial Breaks - September 1994
(h/t youtube users Channel37 and Broadcast Blast)
submitted by s810 to Austin [link] [comments]

2022.03.22 00:17 FullSass KVUE Extreme Weather YouTube Livestream

KVUE Extreme Weather YouTube Livestream submitted by FullSass to Austin [link] [comments]

2022.03.06 07:00 BevoBot [3/6/2022] Sunday's Off Topic Free Talk Thread

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  1. 3/6 10:00 AM University of Texas Softball vs Miami (OH)
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  3. 3/6 3:00 PM University of Texas Baseball vs UCLA
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  5. Best dad ever
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  3. Desmond Howard ladies and gentlemen.
  4. What's your team's worst uniform ever?
  5. Who has the best branding in CFB?
  6. What’s your team’s best uniform ever?
  1. [Tournament thread] ⚾ Shriners Children's College Classic
  2. [3/5/2022] Saturday's Off Topic Free Talk Thread
  3. [Post Game Thread] 🏀 #6 Kansas defeats #21 Texas, 70-63 (OT)
  4. [GAME THREAD] 🏀 #21 Texas (21-9) @ #6 Kansas (24-6) - 3:00 pm
  5. Shooting From the Corner: Baylor & Kansas (0-2)
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2022.03.05 07:00 BevoBot [3/5/2022] Saturday's Off Topic Free Talk Thread

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  1. [3/4/2022] Friday's Off Topic Free Talk Thread
  2. [Tournament thread] ⚾ Shriners Children's College Classic
  3. Michael Huff matches coach Vic's $10,000 for 10,000 fans pledge for this Saturday's WBB game
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2022.02.02 20:53 TexasCowboy1964 School Closures announced

Looks like Leander ISD and Round rock ISD have announced
There are many more listed
submitted by TexasCowboy1964 to CedarPark [link] [comments]

2022.02.02 20:09 dontpanicitsorganik Austin school closures for Thursday's storm...UT should be on this site if there are any updates

submitted by dontpanicitsorganik to UTAustin [link] [comments]

2022.01.14 05:04 kanyeguisada PSA/HEADS UP: Austin may hit a record hot temp Friday during the day but a cold front is coming Friday night with near-freezing temps and HIGH WINDS!

https://www.kxan.com/weatheforecast/todays-forecast/ (Says wind gusts Saturday may be over 45 mph)
https://www.kvue.com/article/weatheforecast/big-warming-trend-second-half-of-the-workweek-central-texas-forecast/269-7799fd28-8239-4d6a-a11e-395d29717ceb (Will probably get into the 30s Friday and Saturday night, 30-40 mph gusts up to 45 mph Saturday)
If you have any lightweight stuff (patio chairs/furniture) that may get blown about by wind you may want to bring it inside/into the garage tomorrow even though it will be nice and warm during the day. Collapse and fold down any patio umbrellas you may have. Seems like we're going to not just get cold but get some crazy wind.
Also, mods we need a "weather" tag for threads, "PSA" seemed the best to pick here.
submitted by kanyeguisada to Austin [link] [comments]

2021.11.18 20:26 kanyeguisada REMINDER: Near-total lunar eclipse is late tonight, peak time is at 3:02AM and it will be the longest in about 600 years!

Starts at 12:02AM, peak is at 3:02AM, and ends at 6:03AM
submitted by kanyeguisada to texas [link] [comments]

2021.11.18 19:51 kanyeguisada REMINDER: Near-total lunar eclipse is late tonight, peak time is 3:02AM and it will be the longest in about 600 years!

Starts at 12:02AM, peak is at 3:02AM, and ends at 6:03AM
submitted by kanyeguisada to Austin [link] [comments]

2021.10.27 06:49 Paragonomics Texas to vote on 8 Constitutional amendments...and my take on each.

"Here's our guide to what you should expect to see on the ballot:
OP's Take: While I am all for anyone who wants to fund charities, what I am against is animal abuse and that's plainly what rodeos are. Giving them another selling point is only going to prolong the death of this already outdated "sport". You can enjoy the sport and support it, but you can't really argue that it's not animal abuse.

OP's Take: Munies or municipal bonds are already a thing, as stated. Such bonds are also immune from federal taxation, fun fact. But what is important to keep in mind when conservatives promote private funding for things like 'public transportation infrastructure' AKA roads, is that these bonds do have to be paid back by counties and cities. Which means they have to be paid back by taxpayers. These bonds also have to pay back more in coupons than inflation for the person who purchases the bond to see an actual return and decide it is worth buying.
This means taxpayers are paying a rate higher than inflation to buy their own roads. Roads would usually be paid for over a similar period of time at an amount agreed upon at time of service/contract. Essentially putting the loss from inflation on the back of the road-builder and not on the state as the value of the money they are due in installments over time has less purchasing power than each previous payment.
I don't like this. Also, in a similar vein. Remember how toll roads were supposed to be paid for and then go away? We were sold that capitalist dream, right. Surprise! That's not true either.
Or how we learned our lesson and made reforms to our privatized system to protect against weather-related outages? Oh... That's right.. They intentionally put in a loophole..
"Propositions 3 and 6 arose due to the pandemic.
OP's Take: I, as a young liberal agnostic atheist, support this. I understand the reason for wanting to keep people out of tightly-packed churches singing at the top of their lungs. HOWEVER! The free exercise clause of the First Amendment clearly prohibits this. This is the same clause that effectively allows any free speech. We must be free to exercise. We must be free to express ourselves.
OP's Take: I think this one is mostly a pander to all the Karen's throwing fits about not being able to see their loved ones in care. I respect that it would be an upsetting scenario to any family, but I only know one group of people who would vote based on such a thing...
"Changes to judicial eligibility requirements and judicial oversight make up the other two propositions.
OP's Take: On it's face, this seems like an okay idea. I don't hate it. I think it's more of an effort to keep out-of-state and/or young judges from taking the bench more than it is an effort to increase the quality of decisions, but hopefully, it will have the more superficial effect. I'll allow it (;
This is unacceptable. This should be flashing red lights for every person in the state. If I am understanding correctly, this gives a state-appointed commission the right to interfere selectively with the private campaigns of those running for judge. So, if the state commission didn't like what a liberal judge candidate was saying, that candidate could be officially reprimanded by the state before their election happened...See my concern?
"The ballot also includes two property-tax-related amendments.
OP's Take: Good, I guess, but I expect this only applies to a niche group of people...The people who are most desperate don't own homes to begin with. I'm fairly certain one must own the land/home to homestead.
OP's Take: This is some weak-ass shit for a party that talks an awful lot about taking care of veterans and their families. I expect this will be a primary talking point held up as an example of just that. A tax break for people that likely don't have much money considering most soldiers come from poor backgrounds.. Nothing heals a broken heart of an orphaned child like a meager tax break if their remaining parent is smart enough to take advantage of it. Give me a fucking break.
submitted by Paragonomics to texas [link] [comments]

2021.05.19 01:52 ohgirlyoucraycray Confirmed tornado touched ground just north of Sculenberg, headed northeast towards La Grange

If you're in La Grange take cover
Confirmed at 6:48pm. Kvue says a storm tracker has eyes on the tornado (6:55pm) https://www.kvue.com/article/weathestorms-possible-monday-stormiest-weather-expected-tuesday-and-wednesday/269-927f6fc6-dc93-48be-af00-b7216143894a
submitted by ohgirlyoucraycray to Austin [link] [comments]

2021.03.01 18:21 thebolts Looking for local political news, TV, podcasts, websites, etc...

After last week's weather crisis I'm having a hard time looking for reliable political news related to the state and followup of recent committee hearings. I'll list the news platforms I'm following now but would appreciate any other recommendations. Thank you

KUT / Astin's NPR station

Texas Standard - daily
The Brief / Texas Tribune - weekdays
Texas Matters - Fridays & Sundays
Y'all-ilitcs - weekly
submitted by thebolts to TexasPolitics [link] [comments]

2021.02.21 16:36 solar-cabin Texas freeze shows a chilling truth – how the rich use climate change to divide us

"Texas has long represented a wild west individualism that elevates personal freedom – this week, the freedom to freeze – above all else.
The state’s prevailing social Darwinism was expressed most succinctly by the mayor of Colorado City, who accused his constituents – trapped in near sub-zero temperatures and complaining about lack of heat, electricity and drinkable water – of being the “lazy” products of a “socialist government”, adding “I’m sick and tired of people looking for a damn handout!” and predicting “only the strong will survive and the weak will perish”.
Texas has the third-highest number of billionaires in America, most of them oil tycoons. Last week, the laissez-faire state energy market delivered a bonanza to oil and gas producers that managed to keep production going during the freeze. It was “like hitting the jackpot”, boasted the president of Comstock Resources on an earnings call. Jerry Jones, billionaire owner of the Dallas Cowboys, holds a majority of Comstock’s shares.
But most other Texans were marooned. Some did perish.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which manages the flow of electric power, exempted affluent downtowns from outages, leaving thriving parts of Austin, Dallas and Houston brightly lit while pushing less affluent precincts into the dark and cold.
Like the poor across America and much of the world, poor Texans are getting hammered by climate change. Many inhabit substandard homes, lacking proper insulation. The very poor occupy trailers or tents, or camp out in their cars. Lower-income communities are located close to refineries and other industrial sites that release added pollutants when they shut or restart.
In Texas, for-profit energy companies have no incentive to prepare for extreme weather or maintain spare capacity. Even if they’re able to handle surges in demand, prices go through the roof and poorer households are hit hard. If they can’t pay, they’re cut off.
Rich Texans take spikes in energy prices in their stride. If the electric grid goes down, private generators kick in. In a pinch – as last week – they check into hotels or leave town. On Wednesday night, as millions of his constituents remained without power and heat, Senator Ted Cruz flew to Cancún, Mexico for a family vacation. Their Houston home was “FREEZING” – as his wife put it.
Climate change, Covid-19 and jobs are together splitting Americans by class more profoundly than Americans are split by politics. The white working class is taking as much of a beating as most Black and Latino people.
Yet the white working class has been seduced by conservative Republicans and Trump cultists, of which Texas has an abundance, into believing that what’s good for Black and Latino people is bad for them, and that whites are, or should be, on the winning side of the social Darwinian contest.
White grievance helps keep Republicans in power, protecting their rich patrons from a majority that might otherwise join to demand what they need – such as heat, electricity, water and reliable sources of power.
Lower-income Texans, white as well as Black and Latino, are taking it on the chin in many other ways. Texas is one of the few states that hasn’t expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, leaving the share of Texans without health insurance twice the national average, the largest uninsured population of any state. Texas has double the national average of children in poverty and a higher rate of unemployment than the nation’s average.
And although Texans have suffered multiple natural disasters stemming from climate change, Texas Republicans are dead set against a Green New Deal that would help reduce the horrific impacts.
Last Wednesday, Texas’s governor, Greg Abbott, went on Fox News to proclaim, absurdly, that what happened to his state “shows how the Green New Deal would be a deadly deal for the United States”. Abbott blamed the power failure on the fact that “wind and solar got shut down”.
Rubbish. The loss of power from frozen coal-fired and natural gas plants was six times larger than the dent caused by frozen wind turbines. Texans froze because deregulation and a profit-driven free market created an electric grid utterly unprepared for climate change.
In Texas, oil tycoons are the only winners from climate change. Everyone else is losing badly. Adapting to extreme weather is necessary but it’s no substitute for cutting emissions, which Texas is loath to do. Not even the Lone Star state should protect the freedom to freeze."
submitted by solar-cabin to Green_News [link] [comments]

2021.02.19 22:44 ShellYeah90 Our state is in crisis and instead of handling the situation, Texas citizens have been failed in so many ways. No one here was ready for this storm. Hurricanes, we can handle. But a statewide winter storm? We've never had one here.

I don't usually post personal or even opinionated things. I primarily use social media for the memes and my preferred form of communication while here is gifs. But, to put things simply (because there aren't words to fully express my feelings), I am pissed.
Our state is in crisis and instead of handling the situation, Texas citizens have been failed in so many ways. No one here was ready for this storm. Hurricanes, we can handle. They happen yearly. But a statewide winter storm? We've never had one here. The cold, the ice, the windy chill... we don't know how to function in it. Other areas who are used to this weather can poke fun, but maybe consider hunkering down in your home because there's too many people to evacuate the city, being stuck while your power goes out and there are 130mph winds outside, watching helplessly while water rises above your roofs and ruins everything you've worked so hard for all of your life, and wondering just how you're going to keep your family safe long enough to catch a boat out. Because we do that shit. And it gets worse every year, but we keep working together to keep each other safe and help each other out. We smile and are friendly with each other, but we don't make fun of people in helpless situations.
Texas citizens aren't equipped for winter storms. We don't have snow tires, snow plows, or salt trucks. Our clothes aren't very warm, they're not snow or wind resistant, we don't typically use gloves, scarves, or whatever other accessories are used in snow. And we wear the same shoes in winter that we wear for any other season. Our homes aren't insulated for cold. Our pipes aren't insulated for ice. Our winters don't generally fall below 60°F and we're not prepared for it to.
So, when climate change (yes, it's real) took it's toll and brought a real winter to our state, it became a crisis... a statewide disaster, even. And the leaders that we rely on, the ones that were voted into office and are paid for by our taxes, not only failed their state, but showed calloused disregard for their citizens.
On 8am Monday morning, my husband and I lost power. And, with our water being sourced from a well, we had no access to water, either. At the time, we still had cell service and were in contact with friends that had lost power at 2am. It was approximately 25°F outside. At the time, it was 68°F inside of our house.
Hearing that the Super Stop on the corner of North Main and Cedar Bayou Lynchburg was open, my husband and a neighbor walked down together. The roads were iced and it was too risky to drive. They arrived to find that the owner was charging cash only and not using his computer (no paper trail) so that he could charge double for everything. $7 for a 24 pack of bottled water. $14 for a 4lb bag of charcoal. It is baffling how someone can take advantage of a terrible situation. It sickens me. But we needed water. And our neighbor needed charcoal. So price gouging continues in a vicious cycle.
We don't have children, but we keep many different exotic animals that need certain climate conditions in order to survive. It took two hours for the inside of our house to drop 18 degrees, down to 50°F, reaching deadly levels for most of our pets.
Our bearded dragon (Merlin), no longer having his heat sources, slipped into brumation. He is 3 years old and has never had to brumate before. Our pixie frog (Prince Charming, also 3yrs), burrowed down and began to hibernate for the first time. It was too dark for us to check on the red-eyed crocodile skinks (Big and Red) or the Vietnamese centipede (Burton), but they had seemed to burrow, as well. We couldn't see the axlotls (Silly and Willy) but we believed they were okay. Our green bottle blue tarantula (Pennywise), curled up and died. We blocked the windows to try and keep the cold from coming in and covered up habitats to try and keep in warmth. The green cheek conure (Jigsaw) and parrotlet (Navi) seemed to be well, just stressed and confused. We gave them extra seeds to keep them warm. The rats (Hannibal, Dorian, and Bilbo) huddled to keep each other warm. We had already blocked off the outdoor aviary containing a pair of finches and a pair of parakeets for the colder weather and they were all nesting to keep warm. The day before, my husband had brought in a half-frozen, near-dead lizard (Draco) and he was alive but not well in his temporary rescue home. The dogs (Kuzco and Lulu) and I all bundled together as we waited (and prayed) for our power to come back on soon.
The power did not come back on. And the temperature continued to drop. Still cuddled together, we could only hope that the inside of our poorly insulated home would at least stay above freezing point. But it did not. After a horrible night of silent, shivering attempts to sleep, we found that our house was at 32°F exactly.
The birds are my husband's babies. They've bonded and he loves them dearly. And as I was tending to my dogs, I had to watch him come out of his office cradling Navi in his hands. He had tears in his eyes when he murmured "Navi didn't make it." And it took everything that I had to hold myself together for him.
I waited until he went back into his office, still holding Navi, to be with Jigsaw before I checked on Merlin. To my horror, my bearded dragon was no longer just brumating. He wasn't just limp and unresponsive. He was frozen stiff. He wasn't moving at all. He was gone.
In a desperate effort to save their lives I called for my husband to go to the car with me. We bundled them in blankets and rushed to the only place where we could find warmth. With the car's heater on full blast we both held our beloved pets and prayed for a miracle. In our rush of panic, we both made attempts at compressions. We petted our babies to get their blood flowing. We did everything that we could think of to save them.
I remember holding my breath when I thought I saw Merlin take his. I watched closely to make sure that I wasn't seeing things. And when I saw his spikes moving and his stomach shakily inhale and then slowly exhale, I shouted excitedly "he's breathing!" My husband, also excited, leaned over to see. And we smiled at each other when the breathing continued. I watched my dragon revive. And I will never be able to describe the extreme sense of relief that I felt when he finally opened his eyes and looked at me.
Our little Navi and my sweet husband were not as lucky. And my heart is still breaking for them.
With a new sense of fear and loss, we brought our creatures into our bedroom and shut all of the doors. We stuffed clothes under the gaps in the doors. We blocked the windows as best as we could. We cuddled and bundled and just hoped that we wouldn't lose anyone else. There in the dark, freezing silence, we also discovered that cell service was shoddy, at best. We had no communication and no connection with the outside world, which seemed to have frozen over in an apocalyptic nightmare, we waited and hoped that power would come back soon. It had been more that 24hours, after all. Surely the electric companies would have figured out how to actually roll the blackouts by then, right? They had promised rolling blackouts. They had said it would be 30-45 minutes. That would have been well enough for everyone. We could have survived that. My babies could have survived that. My home wouldn't have become a freezing death trap if the blackouts were rolling. But they didn't roll. I had friends that never lost power. I had friends that went without it longer than we did. And all we could do was hold our beloved pets and wait.
By some luck, my husband and his brother were able to text each other, even though our cell phones were basically useless, and he invited us to his home. They had a generator. They had running water. They had warmth. Hope was on the horizon. But roads were still icy and chances of making it safely were slim. With our pets so at risk, and some barely alive, we felt we had no other choice. We loaded up the car with Merlin, Prince Charming, Jigsaw, the dogs, and whatever food we could fit. We didn't even pack clothes for ourselves. We just wanted to fit as many of our animals as we could and some food since they said they were low.
My husband fed Silly and Willy, making sure they ate. We read they could survive freezing temperatures and hoped they would be okay until we returned, whenever that would be. I filled up every bowl of food in my rats' cage and every water bottle, guessing it would last 2-3 days and hoping they could keep each other warm. It was still too dark to see my burrowed skinks and centipede. We tried to place everyone, including Draco, in the warmest areas (although with the house below freezing, there was no place that could be considered warm). We gave the outdoor birds as much food and water as we could. Every window was covered and every door was shut. We did everything that we could think of to protect our pets.
Stressed, weary, and down-trodden, we began the drive across Houston. Many roads were closed. GPS was down. Texts and calls weren't guaranteed to make it through. And there were so many people that still sped along the roads as if there weren't ice caked over it. We watched vehicles slide. We watched people, not knowing how to react, slam on their brakes when they lost traction. We kept our distance from other drivers and drove slowly, carefully, to our destination. We just wanted to keep our family safe and alive. And, fortunately, we only hit ice twice and both times we made it safely back to traction. A trip that usually takes about an hour with traffic took us over two with no traffic. But we made it.
Our sister-in-law was waiting for us in their standalone office where she had prepared a heater and space for our creatures. They set it up because it was warmer than anywhere in the house. And they diverted energy from their generator just for our pets. Uncomfortable and in tiny, traveling enclosures, our babies were lined up on their desk. They were far from home and didn't have their UV lights, basking lights, giant habitats, or familiar surroundings. But they were alive. And they were warm.
Relieved that at least some of our babies were well, we focused on getting the dogs settled and unpacking the food. We had brought nearly everything from our fridge and freezer, which we had saved by simply opening the doors and letting the chill of our house keep it cool when the power went out. Now we were packing it in snow to keep it cold. I went inside to comfort my dogs. Kuzco, my 10mo shepsky, is very skittish and I was worried about how he was doing. He and Lulu, my 8wk aussierottie (whom I had only gotten a few days before), had been quarantined in the dining room with the table being used as a wall. Kuzco couldn't see anything but the occasional child coming up to say hello. He was happy for the company but scared of the dark. As I was trying to comfort him, my husband came inside and said "you need to come and hold your dragon again." And the sound of his voice and the look on his face had me nearly breaking my leg to get out of that barricade and to my Merlin.
Between the rush of packing in the dark and the stress of everything we'd been through, I'd forgotten a few important things: Kuzco's calming treats, thermometers, hygrometers, and my contacts (my glasses are several years old and I can't really see well with them). We had been so relieved at having a warm space for our babies and having finally arrived there safely, that we hadn't realized the office was not yet warm enough for them. At least, it wasn't warm enough for Merlin.
He had been licking at the air, so I knew that he was dry. In my concern, I mixed water in with his fresh soil so that he could have some humidity. Again, I had forgotten the necessary tools to measure his heat and humidity, so I was just guessing. And in these mistakes, the damp soil got cold faster than the office could get warm and he began to freeze again.
I found my dragon brumating once again. This time, he was only partially stiff, so I knew that he hadn't left me yet. I held him close to my chest and sat in front of the heater, once again trying to revive him. We also placed the soil in front of the heater to warm it up and dry it out a bit. Eventually, Merlin became alert again. But I was sick at having gone through so much, come so far, reaching what I thought was safety, and almost losing him again.
After making sure that he and his soil were okay, I again had to leave him to tend to my dogs. My husband was busy with Jigsaw and the unpacking. Prince Charming, fortunately, was doing just fine. I made sure both puppies ate, drank, and pottied outside. And, after a long, damn near impossible day, my husband and I were able to sleep. Or rather, we were able to attempt to sleep.
I will never be able to thank my in-laws enough for everything that they did for us. They have 4 children, 2 dogs, and 2 tortoises of their own. And they had their mom and her cat staying in their living room. It was already stressful for them to not have power when they had their own family to care for. But they took ours in, as well. And I will always be beyond grateful for that.
That night, in my nieces' bedroom, I held my dogs and wondered if I would have to endure the loss of anymore of my babies. And as I tried to find sleep, my Kuzco began to hyperventilate. He had just lost his brother, my Xander, a week before. And now he was in an unfamiliar place with unfamiliar people where he had to be isolated because the cat was not a fan of strange dogs (she literally went out of her way to attack him, even when he was barricaded). And my dumbass had forgotten his calming treats. All I could do was hold him tight and tell him it was okay. It took a while, but I finally got him to sleep. My husband set alarms and got up every two hours to check our other babies in the office and make sure that the generator was full and running properly. I don't think either of us really slept that night.
The next day, we checked with our neighbor and landlord to find that we still did not have power at our house. And my in-laws' house had lost water pressure the night before. Everyone in Houston had. So now, there were masses without power, without water, without cell service, and without the necessary means to survive the freezing temperatures that were now not only outside, but inside most homes.
On top of the obvious stress, my typical anxiety was kicking in. On a good day, I struggle to be social. And these were not good days. I was a guest in someone's home and I couldn't express how thankful I was because I felt so exhausted from all of the stress, grief, and constant fear. I felt terrible for feeling terrible. But I couldn't force myself to smile or be happy when I wasn't even sure who would survive or for how long. With the roads constantly melting and refreezing and more sleet/rain on the way, I wasn't even sure when we could get home or if we would have power when we needed to go home. I had left pets that I loved and the ones that I had brought with me were still not guaranteed to make it.
My in-laws were still so accommodating. But they wouldn't really let us help to clean or cook and that made us feel worse. In my anxiety, I kept thinking that I was in the way or that I was upsetting everyone. I still do. I don't like depending on anyone. It's an awful feeling. But in this case, it was necessary. I had no other choice, because I couldn't bear to lose another of my precious babies. I couldn't bear to see my husband's face or hear his voice crack as he told me we lost another one. Not if I could help it. I would do whatever I could to take care of them.
I took a moment of reprieve to watch Kuzco play in the snow. I hate the cold. But shivering out there, the feeling of needles pricking over my body and the cold burn of the wind as it cut through my 4 layers of pajamas and sweats, was worth it to watch my shepsky in his own winter wonderland. He ran around in their ice and snow covered backyard as if it were a mystical land and every icy slide and snowy mound were a magical discovery. And when he saw the snow flurries began to fall from the sky his furry face lit up with pure joy. I watched my happy not-so-little puppy excitedly jump up and try to catch the snowflakes in his mouth. His blue eyes were so bright and brilliant. And we both came alive in that moment. I wish we could have stayed there. But the snow turned to downpours of sleet and, unfortunately, we had to go back inside.
I had planned to keep my dogs in the office with me that day, but they were kind enough to put the pets on rotation, so my dogs were no longer confined. They were able to stretch their legs in the house and play with my nieces and nephews. They played fetch and they wrestled and they even played with balloons. The girls taught Kuzco how to keep the balloons from hitting the ground. It was fun to watch him jump up and boop the balloons with his nose whenever they called his name. Meanwhile, my pets in the office all seemed to be well. They were alert and lively. I still had no way of knowing their temperature or humidity level. But it looked like they would all pull through. Kuzco still had his moments where he would panic. It was a busy house with lots of people coming in and out (and even the generator scared him), but we gave him some extra love and calmed him down each time.
That night, the power flickered on for about an hour before going out again. Our landlord said that ours, too, had been on for a bit before going right back out. The rest of the week was still showing freezing temps, but maybe the powers that be were finally starting to figure out how to actually handle this crisis. Later, the water pressure increased. And, late that night, as we lied in bed and tried to sleep, the power came on. And it stayed on.
I didn't sleep. With wifi, I was able to pull up the security system to our house and see that we, too, had power. And I watched it through the night. There was movement in my rats' cage. I couldn't see how much food or water they had left, but they were still alive. I checked the temperature and watched it rise as the heater stayed on. Excited, I waited for my husband to wake up so I could tell him. I wanted to go home. I wanted all of us to go home. I had babies to check on and they all needed to get back into their controlled climates with a healthy supply of food and water. We all craved a feeling of normalcy.
My phone began to show notifications again... all of these emails and gaming things that reminded me the world was still out there, spinning like it should be, while my world had stopped and frozen still. For a while I was angry. How could things outside of my winter apocalypse still be happening normally? How could the rest of the world just keep on moving while I had just been struggling to keep my family alive? And then I saw memes and jokes on social media. And I got angrier. My family had been devastated. And I know I'm not the only one. I can't be the only one to have lost loved ones. I can't be the only one to have watched loved ones suffer. I can't be the only one to have stressed and worried about what's going to happen and what I'm going to do if/when it does. And yet there are people out there laughing at our situation. While families struggle to stay warm, to find food and water, to make it without the GPS, data, and communication that we're all accustomed to, to care for their elderly and disabled, to keep their children from crying and their pets from dying... there are actually people making jokes about it. Yet when our corner of the world gets record breaking winds and floods we step up and help each other. Companies do what they can to help the people. Employers cut their employees slack. And the rest of the world watches in awe. This is a record breaking storm for us, one that we were in no way equipped to deal with. And instead of empathy and aid, we're getting ridiculed? The only ones I see giving a shit are the people. The citizens that have been affected by this unprecedented crisis are all offering to do what they can while the government, power companies, and water companies make excuses. It's bullshit.
Our power was out from 8am on Monday morning to 10p on Wednesday night. For approximately 62 hours my home had no climate control. I have no way of knowing how cold it actually got inside. But below freezing is unacceptable. And to find out that there were some who went without even longer while some never lost it at all... who fucked up? Because someone surely did. And don't let them blame their failure to roll a blackout on a bad grid. They were just too lazy to figure out another solution.
We arrived home to piece back together what we could and try to reestablish our sense of selves. What had only been a few days felt like weeks of walking around in a living nightmare. The outside birds were still chirping. Draco actually survived and, due to our TLC, is better now than when we found him. Burton is hibernating (there's some sluggish movement, so I know he's alive) and I hope he wakes up soon. Silly and Willy are just fine. Hannibal, Dorian, and Bilbo are all okay, they just need some cuddles and de-stressing time. Big and Red froze to death. I found their stiff bodies near each other and in their ivy plant.
Due to fluctuating temperatures, we lost all of the food that we did not eat at our in-laws'. And most of the roach and cricket colonies that we use as feeders for our pets have been wiped out.
We have Merlin, Jigsaw, and Prince Charming back in their habitats. Charming and Merlin are grumpy, but they've eaten and they're well. Jigsaw is back to normal. Kuzco has finally calmed down and is happy to be home. And Lulu is completely clueless about the entire situation.
But this situation cannot die. It cannot go without resolution. Something needs to be done. For years, Texas has been told to fix the power grid. Texas insists on having its own so that they can avoid federal regulation. This is at the cost of being able to rely on the rest of the country and use its energy when we need it. All because Texas wants to be like the middle-aged husband holding out hope that he'll one day divorce his wife. Here's the thing Texas: your ugly ass wife is the only one who will tolerate you and you're too fucking helpless to take care of yourself. So stop buying those pretty, young things in the bar those drinks and then crying because they won't go home with you. Stop wasting your money on those hot rods. And own up to the fact that you need to work on yourself to be happy. Fix your fucking power grid and stop playing the blame game! Also, do something about the water situation. Take care of your damn kids. They shouldn't be struggling to survive, dammit.
Gas stations and grocery stores are empty wastelands of ruined food where people scour to find whatever they can to make due. Everyone's resources were destroyed from loss of power. And trucks haven't been able to get through the icy roads to resupply.
One winter storm should not send a civilized society into the stone age. It doesn't matter where you're at, your government should be prepared. Your elected officials are supposed to be taking care of this shit, not running their mouths. Meanwhile, there's an audacious mayor who grew such a big mouth he was forced to resign. The vote got Tim Boyd into office, folks. And here's what he has to say:
"The City and County, along with power providers or any other service owes you NOTHING! I’m sick and tired of people looking for a damn hand out! If you don’t have electricity you step up and come up with a game plan to keep your family warm and safe. If you have no water you deal with out and think outside of the box to survive and supply water to your family. If you were sitting at home in the cold because you have no power and are sitting there waiting for someone to come rescue you because your lazy is direct result of your raising! Only the strong will survive and the week will perish."
Yeah, he must have forgotten that those people he's bitching about are the ones that elected him into office and that they pay the taxes for his salary. And, in case anyone was doubting it, it is, IN FACT, the city and county's job to take care of its citizens. A government's basic functions are providing leadership, maintaining order, providing public services, providing national security, providing economic security, and providing economic assistance. And, as far as power providers and other services, I have contracts and I make payments. So YES, they owe me exactly what I pay for: the electricity, water, and cell service that they agreed to give me in the contracts that we both signed. So, Tim Boyd, as much as you try to backtrack and say you didn't mean it and you wish you could rephrase everything, we all know the truth is that you're just an idiot who doesn't give a fuck. I wonder how long you went without electricity. I wonder if you worried how long your family would survive. I wonder if you cried and had to bury any loved ones. This "week" will surely perish. It will be behind us, along with all of the other bad weeks that we've seen come and go. And so will you. Good riddance. You can spend your free time working on your grammar and spelling.
As far as Ted "Fled" Cruz goes, I hope he gets impeached. He sat by and watched while his state fell to shit, while his citizens suffered, and then he flew to fucking Cancun. Sure, he can say he was just dropping off his family, but we all know he only came back because he was getting flak for it. Do you know how many parents had to comfort their children in the freezing cold darkness of their quiet homes? Do you know how many scared families had no way out and no where to go? These are your citizens! And this is all after he actually made fun of California for their grid, knowing that ours needed to be fixed, knowing that we would suffer when disaster hit. He was elected to be our leader and he failed us so spectacularly. Where was the guidance for the power companies? Where was the communication? Where is the aid? People were unable to work and unable to provide for their families. And no one is offering to help them. Our resources have been diminished. What is the game plan?
And not only were there people taking advantage and price gouging during this dreadful time, but it continues to go blatantly unchecked. Plumbers are charging $800+ just to look at a problem with no guarantee of solving it. Gas station owners are marking everything up when they know people can't afford to not buy. And even the power companies are talking about charging more for the electricity that was used this past week, because it was in "high demand."
I will say that Xfinity gave us a credit on the days that our power was out, knowing that we were unable to use it. And my brother-in-law, who owns his own renovation company, is giving free consultations. He doesn't even give estimates until he's sure about the issue. And my aunts, who have always been such a blessing to us, were sweet enough to send us a door dash gift card so that we wouldn't have to worry about shopping right away.
And I cannot say enough how thankful I am to my brother and sister-in-law for providing us with a sanctuary for our babies. They were going through enough on their own and still, they invited us over and gave us warmth and safety. It was nice seeing them, my nieces, nephews, and near-mom-in-law, even under the circumstances. I'm sorry I couldn't be better company.
In the meantime, to all of you who went through it during this awful crisis, my heart is with you. What happened to the people of Texas during this weather is beyond unfair. It is intolerably savage. We deserve better. We deserve elected officials who care about us enough to step up and take care of us during a disaster, and not just when the media is on them. We deserve to get what we pay for and have our contracts honored. We deserve to have a power grid that can sustain us when we need it most. We deserve to have blackouts rolled instead of just having half the grid shutdown to fend for itself. We deserve to have a water supply that we can rely on. We deserve to have the cell service that we pay for. We should never be kept in the dark and in the cold.
This should have been a fun time for us. We see snow once every few years, if we're lucky. We should have been out there with our sweatshirts and sweatpants, sledding down the streets on whatever we could find, from trash can lids to screen doors. We should have been building icy snowmen and making snow angels. But instead, most of us were just trying to survive. We were running out of laundry and using every blanket that we had to keep our families warm. We were wondering if the food would make it and rigging ways to prepare it. We were scrambling to find water. We were worrying and trying to get in touch with friends and family with phones that were, at best, battery-draining flashlights. If we had generators, we were still struggling and conserving gas because there was none left at any of the stations. And if there was, the stations didn't have power to access it. And there are many more experiences that I'm sure I'm not covering because I was fortunate enough not to have to live through it all. But my heart aches. It aches for everyone that had to endure this tragedy that none of us should have had to endure.
My husband and I are still recovering. And this is far from over. But if anyone needs it, we'll help if we can. Just reach out. If anything, we can all be here for one another. Fuck Texas. It's not the state or the city that takes care of us, obviously. It's each other. We have always been able to awe and inspire with how we step up and take care of our fellow citizens. And that's just what we'll do.
For anyone interested in my sources or further reading, here you go:
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