Monthly Archives: January 2013

Public affairs viewing on tap

You’re going to think I’m one boring dude when I reveal this item to you. One of my week’s highlights includes catching up on public affairs with public television’s smart analysts and commentators. It occurs on Friday evening, usually after a hectic week. The PBS NewsHour airs for an hour on KACV-TV beginning at 6 […]

‘Routine’ space travel doesn’t exist

There is a scene in Ron Howard’s acclaimed film “Apollo 13” in which the wife of the moon mission’s commander takes her young family to the Space Center in Houston thinking she would be watching a nationally televised broadcast from the spacecraft as it hurtled toward the moon. NASA’s press officer informed Marilyn Lovell that […]

‘Tempest in a textbook’

Look for “Independent Lens” on Google and you’ll find a website with the following item previewing an upcoming PBS program: “There is an ongoing culture war raging in Texas, and it is a tempest in a textbook. The state‚Äôs Board of Education has been engaged in a pitched, years-long battle over what belongs in public […]

Columbia tragedy: a decade later

It’s hard at times when international stories strike so very close to home. Ten years ago, one of those stories ripped the hearts out of Amarillo residents. We awoke on a gorgeous Saturday morning, Feb. 1, 2003. Perhaps we turned on the TV and learned the stunning news. The space shuttle Columbia had disintegrated while […]

War drones on

The Persian Gulf War of 1990-91 introduced Americans to the concept of watching combat as it unfolded, but folks such as Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Colin Powell were quick to remind us we weren’t watching a “video game.” Real people were dying in real time. But let’s take that notion another step into the […]

‘Untouchables’ remain untouched

Imagine for a moment that you’ve just bilked someone out of, say, $50,000. That someone files charges against you. The authorities investigate, arrest you, and send the case to court, where a jury finds you guilty of a felony. What happens next? Jail time? Maybe prison? You’d have to pay the money back, yes? Well, […]

How do you define poverty?

Measuring poverty can be an “inexact science,” says an expert on the subject. He then could have gone on to say, “But most of us know it when we see it … or live it.” Don Baylor, director of Opportunity Texas, didn’t go there. But he did travel along some tricky terrain in a 30-minute […]