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The Galveston County Daily News : Blogs

April 17, 2014


Wednesday 04/16/2014
Wildflowers are blooming across Galveston Island

Like drops off a paintbrush, the wildflowers catch the sun in meadows, parks and even downtown.

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Monday 04/14/2014
Oily birds still being spotted in the area

Oil is still sticking to the plumes of herons, dirtying the vests of pelicans and will likely remain bothersome to our local bird colonies for a long time.

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Strong cold front brings gale and wind advisories

A strong late season cold front will roar into Galveston County today, bringing strong, gusty winds, a winter-like chill and a threat of showers and thunderstorms.

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Thursday 04/10/2014
Rainfall remains elusive while drought increases in Central Texas

Rainfall has been elusive so far this month over Southeast Texas. Galveston has recorded but 0.04 of an inch through the first 10 days of the month — 10 percent of normal. League City has fared a little better with 0.46 of an inch for the month. But even that is less than half of what would be expected through April 10.

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Wednesday 04/09/2014
Mafrige attack video: Yarbrough doesn’t want to 'work hard'

UPDATE: After a mayoral forum at the San Luis Hotel today, I asked Mafrige about the video.

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Tuesday 04/08/2014
Things are rockin' at High Island's rookery

The rookery, part of the Audubon bird sanctuaries on High Island, is a hot spot for birders. Pink and white wings flurry back and forth. The air is filled with a cacophony of animalistic sounds. Every year, egrets, herons, ibis, cormorants and roseate spoonbill flock to the trees on top a small island within a lake in order to attract a mate, build a nest and raise chicks.

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Monday 04/07/2014
Don Julio's bids adios to League City

An observant reader sent me a photo of an unsavory note that was taped to the former door of Tex-Mex purveyor Don Julio's Mexican Restaurant & Cantina, 1804 W. FM 646 in League City.

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Saturday 04/05/2014
Forecast models are looking bullish on rain

With summer rapidly approaching, April tends to be a pivotal month in southeast Texas.

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Wednesday 04/02/2014
Fog poses challenges for photographer

Fog can make for some of the most atmospheric images. It can give the photographer a blank canvas to paint upon by picking and choosing what objects ought to be depicted. They can and will stand on their own in the expanse of whites and grays. The right approach is a bit of a gamble, but in general, landscapes with static objects are a safer bet in fog-photography than flying birds.

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Predictions call for warmer-than-normal April

March brought the fifth consecutive month with below normal temperatures and below normal precipitation to the area.

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Tuesday 04/01/2014
Photo Gallery: Astros vs. Yankees

The Houston Astros got their 2014 off to good start, defeating the New York Yankees 6-2 on Opening Day.

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Monday 03/31/2014
Light play on Galveston Bay calls to mind Frost

When the water of Galveston Bay reflects the sun in a deep gold, I am reminded of Robert Frost's poem:

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Friday 03/28/2014
Severe weather, an ideal weekend and a look ahead

Severe weather is breaking out along a squall line in north-central Texas this afternoon. The good news is an upper-level cap (a layer of warm air aloft) may keep the severe weather north of Galveston County. This is particularly true along the coast, where cool, foggy conditions may keep temperatures below the threshold needed to “break the cap”.  Still, I will be watching the radar closely this evening.

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Diverse habitats help avoid 'bulk risk'

Many species of wading birds, such as egret, ibis and spoonbill, know to never over-fish. They know it instinctively and will leave a lagoon after feeding in it for a certain period of time.

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Thursday 03/27/2014
Photo Gallery: Galveston Bay Oil Spill

On Saturday afternoon March 22 the 585-foot bulk carrier Summer Wind reported a collision with a barge towed by the motor vessel Miss Susan near the Texas City Dike. As a result of the collision 168,000 gallons of heavy fuel oil leaked into Galveston Bay. Cleanup efforts are on-going.

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Wednesday 03/26/2014
Oil spill a secondary infection of same disease

 Observing the bay from the East Beach shoreline — the rocks covered with the sticky black oil, the tidal pools barricaded with floating fences — it is hard to keep faith. Our most favorite playground is contaminated, for birds, fishermen and anyone else. One feels much like a visitor to a carnival on an early morning when the sparkly lights are off and sun exposes the rust on machinery and the shabbiness of it all.

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Tuesday 03/25/2014
Baybrook Mall plans 555,000-square-foot expansion

At a time when most regional malls are struggling to stay relevant, Baybrook Mall is planning to add 555,000 square feet to the 1.2-million-square-foot shopping center.

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Monday 03/24/2014
A view from the top of the food chain

With the oil spill in Galveston Bay, I contemplate the scenery we watch on a sunny spring evening, focused on the swaying reeds of the wetlands, the call of the many shorebirds, the silent flapping wings of an egret landing.

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Approaching system may complicate oil spill clean-up efforts

An upper-level system expected to track east from Southern California to Texas, combined with a surface trough that may develop along the coast and/or a dry line advancing eastward across the region may complicate efforts to clean up an oil spill in Galveston Bay.

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Thursday 03/20/2014
Deconstructing the sunset only enhances sense of wonder

As an artist, I’m wary of deconstructing the end-product of any form of creation. Beauty for beauty’s sake, a sunrise or a sunset is there for us to marvel at, reflect on, rejoice in and simply enjoy.

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Video: Galveston council, mayoral forums

On March 19, the Galveston County Daily News presented election forums featuring the candidates for Galveston City Council and Galveston Mayor.

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Wednesday 03/19/2014
Spring is creeping in, but winter may be reluctant to go

Spring was definitely in the air yesterday, with sunny skies and mild temperatures in the afternoon after a cool start to the day. The long-term forecasts seem to indicate that we have finally turned the corner for good on winter. Still, there may be a few bumps in the road, before we can finally say goodbye to chilly weather.

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Tuesday 03/18/2014
Pleasure Pier makes USA Today list

The island got some positive national press this month.

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Another look at Galveston's voting districts

The city has released color-coded map to remind voters about who, exactly, they will be voting for during this May’s election.

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Monday 03/17/2014
With alligators, it's all about texture and teeth

From the Everglades in Florida, through the bald cypress swamps of Louisiana and into our Texas wetlands, the Gulf Coast is home to the American alligator.

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Saturday 03/15/2014
Mid-March notes and the chance for thunderstorms

It will come as no surprise that the first half of March in Galveston County has been much cooler than normal, with average temperatures running near 6 degrees below normal at both Galveston and League City. At this rate, March, 2014 has a chance to go into the record books as one of the 10 coldest of record, locally. Based on the temperatures so far, and long-term forecasts, it seems unlikely, however, that this month end up anywhere near the top five coldest of record.

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Friday 03/14/2014
Despite the crowds, spots of serenity remain

Spring break brought the crowds back to the beaches but the people looking for serenity can always find it at the bayside during sunset.

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Wednesday 03/12/2014
Breezy conditions a sign of spring

A touch of spring was definitely in the air yesterday with sunshine and mild temperatures. Accompanying the generally pleasant conditions were increasingly brisk breezes this afternoon. The breezes are as much a sign of spring as the sunshine and milder temperatures.

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Friday 03/07/2014
The Fresh Market shakes up strategy

Specialty grocer The Fresh Market is finding competition in the Houston-area market to be a bit bruising.

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Will local Radio Shacks get short-circuited?

Should we put area Radio Shacks on the endangered species list?

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After weeks of gloom, some sun shines through

After what seemed an endless row of days without sun, its fiery blessings shone across the bay once more today. And after too many evenings of sunset deprivation, the colors were back as well.

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Thursday 03/06/2014
Bacteria panic starts right on schedule

Here we are again, right before a big beach event weekend and the news comes out that bacteria levels are elevated on some Galveston beaches.

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Chilly surf for spring break and an interesting weather map

Spring breakers will encounter unusually chilly water if they try wading or swimming. The cold water is a direct effect of a prolonged period of below normal temperatures that appeared in November and stubbornly persisted into March. Ironically, while southeast Texas shivered during January, it was turned out to be the fourth warmest January of record for the globe. I guess we just got the “luck of the draw.”

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Wednesday 03/05/2014
City announces May election ballot order

GALVESTON — The city held a drawing this morning to determine how names will appear on the local election ballot on May 10.

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How far would you go for free chicken?

I like camping. I really do. I like hiking all day, taking in beautiful scenery and setting up a tent in the evening.

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Tuesday 03/04/2014
Photo Gallery: Mardi Gras Galveston

The first weekend of Mardi Gras Galveston 2014 got off to a great start and featured 12 parades on the Seawall and The Strand. Check back as this gallery will be updated with the latest photos through Fat Tuesday.

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That's — almost — a Mardi Gras wrap

The final weekend of Mardi Gras included parades, balls and costumes.

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Monday 03/03/2014
Avocets leaving indicates a turn of the seasons

Early mornings may still have the bite of winter in the air, but spring has arrived; at least for the birds.

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More rain likely as wintry blast chills the area

The weather seems to be somewhat of a “good news, bad news” situation. The good news is that more rain is likely over the coming seven days, with another round of rain likely by early Tuesday. The bad news is that unseasonably cold weather has again settled into southeast Texas.

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Saturday 03/01/2014
San Luis party once again over the top

More than 1,600 guests, acrobats, art cars, roller skaters and some booty shaking to the music of KC and the Sunshine Band. 

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Friday 02/28/2014
George Mitchell's legacy 30 years later

When the late George Mitchell opened the Tremont House hotel 30 years ago, he wanted to do so in style. 

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Bring on the mummers

The desperation in Cathy Conlon-Townsend’s voice was unmistakable and out of character.

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San Luis to salute pop art

GALVESTON — It’s become the biggest of all the Mardi Gras Galveston balls and is the single hardest ticket to get. This year is no different as the San Luis Salute goes “Pop.”

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Thursday 02/27/2014
Tremont ball celebrates 3 decades

GALVESTON  — It’s the oldest of Mardi Gras Galveston’s balls, and, for those who attend, it offers the best view of the biggest parade of the pre-Lenten season carnival.

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Galveston band looks to keep crowds rocking

GALVESTON — When The Line-Up, a local three-piece band, hits the main Mardi Gras stage Saturday, it is likely to be the largest crowd they’ve ever seen. 

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Winter not quite finished yet

This latest cold spell has found a number of people wondering when spring will really appear.

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Costume contest brings out the best looks

GALVESTON — Mardi Gras on the island has always been a bit over the top. People dress in all sorts of wild get-ups either for the parades or just to attend the festivities.

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Wednesday 02/26/2014
Beeton will run for Mayor

UPDATE: District 3 Councilwoman Elizabeth Beeton confirms that she'll file paperwork tomorrow to join the mayor's race.

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Black Crowned Night Herons make good photo subjects

The Black Crowned Night Heron is probably the easiest heron to photograph because it sits perfectly still for hours. Its most distinguishing features are bright red eyes and two or three spiky plumes extending from the back of its head.

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Tuesday 02/25/2014
Aquarius provides 'Wicked' start to Mardi Gras

The Mystic Krewe of Aquarius once again kicked of the Mardi Gras season with their noon parade Saturday.

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