James Shannon's archive

Boeing Boeing photo by Aaron Srader

There is an old show business adage about the aging actor on his deathbed who was visited in the hospital by a friend who sympathized, “It must be difficult what you’re going through.”

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An item on the meeting agenda for the board of directors of the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA) raised more than a few eyebrows in Austin this week and was seen as cause for potential concern for coastal residents.

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Some 3,000 teachers converged on the state capitol on March 11 from all across Texas to lobby their legislators to restore school funding and talk about issues like high-stakes testing, private-school vouchers, and teacher pensions. The Texas American Federation of Teachers sponsored the rally as AFT members from Brownsville to the Panhandle, from deep East Texas to far West Texas, spent the better part of the day visiting their area lawmakers one by one to make the case for public education.

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Gov. Rick Perry

It was the usual crowd for Gov. Rick Perry’s annual State of the State address at the capitol – a joint session of the Texas Legislature with House members joined by Senators on chairs set up in the aisle of the House chamber, various state officials, staffers and reporters alongside tourists and various delegations in town for the day, all gathered to hear what the longest-serving governor in Texas history had to say now.

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James Richard “Rick” Perry has been governor of this state for more than 12 years, and there is mounting evidence that he has overstayed his welcome. Never the most popular figure in state politics, he only ascended to the governor’s mansion when George W. Bush was elected president in 2000. Since then he has managed to hang on largely due to political circumstance. He won reelection in 2006 with only 39 percent of the vote in a divided field. When he ran again in 2010 after first signaling he wouldn’t be a candidate, it caught Sen.

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