The Mignon Memo

This Week in Texas: Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Posted November 14, 2018 in The Mignon Memo

109 appears to be the magic number…

In the race for the next Speaker of the Texas House. Monday, Rep. Dennis Bonnen (R-Angleton) announced he has enough pledges to become the next Speaker. This came shortly after four other Speaker candidates withdrew from the race. Members will vote on the first day of session, January 8, 2019.  To read more…

Paxton named RAGA Chair.

Attorney General Ken Paxton has been named Chair of the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA). RAGA’s mission is to elect Republicans to the Office of the State Attorney General across the country. To read more…

Bill filing has begun!

Pre-filing for the 2019 Legislative session is underway. As of this morning at 8am, over 500 bills have been filed ranging from full-day pre-K to pollinator health. To read more…

Only in Austin…

Chef Tyson Cole (Uchi) and pit master Aaron Franklin (Franklin Barbecue) have joined forces to create Loro, an Asian smokehouse. Wondering how Loro’s brisket stacks up against Franklin’s? You’ll have to head over to Loro after 5pm. Otherwise, try the smoked prime bavette, you won’t regret it. To read more…

This Week in Texas: Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Posted October 31, 2018 in The Mignon Memo

Early voting continues.

Early voting continues through Friday, November 2nd. http://www.vote411.org is a great resource to find information on everything you will see on the ballot from congressional races to local propositions. Join the over 3 million Texans who have already voted early! To read more…

Who’s in and out of the Speaker’s race.

There have been some changes to the lineup of filed candidates for Speaker of the Texas House. Sunday, Rep. John Zerwas (R-Richmond) withdrew from the race. Tuesday, Rep. Dennis Bonnen (R-Angleton) officially filed to run. House members will vote on the next Speaker on the first day of session, January 8, 2019. To read more…

Moe’s Tavern in Austin.

This Halloween, Nickel City bar is celebrating by dressing up as Moe’s Tavern—made famous by The Simpsons. There is a Moe’s themed menu featuring Krusty burgers, Flaming Moes, and the Mmmm…Donuts shot. Trick or treat! To read more…

Only in Austin…

Austin is home to the YETI Flagship store, your one stop shop for coolers, drinkware, chairs and more. Not only is it a place to shop, it’s an experience complete with a live music stage, film screenings, and in-store events. On our last visit, we met this furry guy. To read more…

This Week in Texas: Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Posted October 17, 2018 in The Mignon Memo

Early voting starts Monday.

Early voting starts Monday, October 22nd and ends Friday, November 2nd. You can vote at any early voting location in your county. http://www.vote411.org is a great resource to find information on everything you will see on the ballot from congressional races to local propositions.  To read more…

UT System Board of Regents Chair resigns.

Sara Martinez Tucker, the Chair of the University of Texas System’s Board, has announced that she will resign effective January 15, 2019. Her term is to expire in 2021. No reason was given for her early resignation.  To read more…

Paid sick leave ordinance gets its day in court.

Today the 3rd Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments in the lawsuit over Austin’s paid sick leave ordinance. The ordinance was to take effect on October 1, 2018, but has been temporarily blocked by the courts. To read more…

Only in Austin…

It’s a book lovers favorite time of year, the Texas Book Festival held in and around the Capitol. Since its founding in 1995 by then First Lady of Texas Laura Bush and Mary Margaret Farabee, the festival has hosted hundreds of authors from around the world and donated nearly $3 million to Texas public libraries. Come discover your new favorite book the weekend of October 27-28. To read more…

This Week in Texas: Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Posted October 10, 2018 in The Mignon Memo

Texas Awarded $2 million in STOP grants.

The Texas Education Agency has been awarded $2 million to address school violence. The first Students, Teachers, and Officers Preventing (STOP) School Violence Act grant will go toward providing mental health training for school staff and administrators. The second STOP grant will go toward establishing a statewide training program for school threat assessment teams. The $2 million Texas award is out of a total of $70 million in awards recently announced by the U.S. Department of Justice. To read more…

Record number of registered voters.

Yesterday marked the deadline to register to vote in Texas for the November 6th general election. According to the Secretary of State, a record number of voters have registered to vote. As of Monday, the number of registered voters was at 15,698,626.  To read more…

Increased readiness level for Texas State Operations Center.

Governor Abbott has ordered the Texas State Operations Center to elevate its readiness level in preparation for severe storm systems moving across Texas this week. State and partner agencies included in this response are: Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Department of Transportation, Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, Texas A&M Forest Service, Texas Military Department, Texas Department of State Health Services, American Red Cross, State Mass Care. To read more…

Only in Austin…

The 2nd and final weekend of the Austin City Limits Music Festival is this weekend. Missed out on last weekend? You still have another chance to catch the one and only Paul McCartney in ATX! To read more…

This Week in Texas: Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Posted October 3, 2018 in The Mignon Memo

Red River Shootout.

No. 19 Texas Longhorns and No. 7 Oklahoma Sooners meet again in Dallas this weekend for the Red River Shootout. This matchup is a big one for those in the Big 12. More interested in food, than football? Click to read about the best and worst new foods this year at the State Fair. To read more…

Nobel Prize for Houston scientist.

The Nobel Prize for Medicine has been awarded to Dr. James Allison, MD Anderson Cancer Center’s chairman of immunology. He shares this award with Japan’s Tasuku Honjo for their research in cancer immunotherapy. This is the first Nobel Prize awarded for cancer therapy. To read more…

October 9th deadline approaching.

If you want to vote in the November 6th election in Texas, October 9th is your last day to register. Here is a handy link to check your voter registration status and below is a link to everything else you need to know. To read more…

Only in Austin…

From now until February, Fortlandia is yours to explore at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Ten forts designed by local architects and students of the University of Texas School of Architecture make up the exhibit. What a fun way to relive some childhood memories! To read more…

This Week in Texas: Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Posted September 28, 2018 in The Mignon Memo

TRS holding, for now.

Friday, the Teacher Retirement System of Texas voted not to raise the monthly health care premiums of its retired teachers. TRS was considering raising them by $50/month to close a budget shortfall. Without an increase of premiums, TRS-Care will need $238 million from the Legislature to keep the program operational through 2021. To read more…

The El Paso Wall.

A four-mile long, 18-foot tall “wall” (really a fence) in the Chihuahuita area of El Paso along the Texas-Mexico border is in the works. Instead of the current chain-link fence, the new fence will be made of steel bollards with an anti-climbing plate at the top.  The $22 million project is expected to be completed by April 2019. To read more…

Doohickies for sale.

If you’re looking for one of those doohickie things for your next DIY project, look no further than the ACE Hardware in Cypress, Texas. In the 23 years that this location has been open, doohickies have been one of the most sought-after items. To read more…

Only in Austin…

The one and only scheduled debate between Governor Greg Abbott and his Democratic challenger Lupe Valdez takes place 6pm, Friday at the LBJ Presidential Library. Moderators include: KXAN (Austin) reporter Robert Hadlock, NBC 5 (DFW) political reporter Julie Fine, Telemundo 39 anchor Norma Garcia, Andy Cerota of KPRC 2 (Houston), and DSAT 12 (San Antonio) reporter Steve Spriester. Click the link to find which local channel will broadcast live in your area. To read more…

This Week in Texas: Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Posted September 19, 2018 in The Mignon Memo

A new State Senator.

Former game warden Pete Flores (R-Pleasanton) defeated former Congressman Pete Gallego (D-Alpine) with 52.9% of the vote in the special election runoff for Senate District 19. Flores will finish out former Senator Carlos Uresti’s term ending January 2021. This is the first time a Republican has represented SD 19 in almost 150 years. To read more…

Southwest’s very Texan flying policy.

Effective this week, you may travel with the following approved and trained service animals on Southwest Airlines—dogs, cats, and miniature horses. Full sized horses still can’t fly. To read more…

Ted v. Beto—watch live.

Senator Ted Cruz and his Democratic opponent, U.S. Representative Beto O’Rourke, have agreed to three debates—September 21st in Dallas (domestic policy/moderated), September 30th in Houston (domestic policy/town hall style), and October 16th in San Antonio (1/2 foreign, ½ domestic policy/moderated). To read more…

 Only in Austin…Fall festival season is upon us, starting with the classic Austin Pecan Street Festival in the historic 6th Street district. The festival is named for 6th Street’s original name, Pecan Street, when the east-west streets of downtown were named for trees. It’s a great festival for the whole family—arts, music, food, and fun! To read more…

This Week in Texas: Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Posted September 12, 2018 in The Mignon Memo

Top ranking Texas institutions of higher ed.

The 2019 U.S News & World Report rankings have two Texas universities in the top 50—Rice University at #16 and the University of Texas-Austin at #49. While not in the top 50, Southern Methodist University (#59), Texas A&M University (#66), and University of Houston (#171) all moved up from last year. To read more…

40 DAYS….

Until early voting begins for the November 6th General Election. Already registered? GREAT! Not registered in Texas? Request a postage-paid voter registration form here: https://webservices.sos.state.tx.us/vrrequest/index.asp The deadline for registration is October 9th.  To read more…

Remember the Alamo.

As long as its heroically. A State Board of Education workgroup initially proposed removing the word “heroic” when describing defenders of the Alamo. The removal was part of the group’s work to streamline curriculum standards for social studies. After pushback from advocates, George P. Bush, and Governor Abbott, it appears “heroic” will stay on the books. A preliminary vote is Friday. To read more…

Remembering 9/11 in Austin: a memorial to honor fallen emergency services personnel.

This Week in Texas: Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Posted August 29, 2018 in The Mignon Memo

Gubernatorial debate on the books.

Governor Abbott and his Democratic challenger, Lupe Valdez, will debate in Austin on September 28th. Telemundo will also broadcast the debate with instantaneous Spanish translation. To read more…

New HHSC Commissioner.

Governor Abbott has appointed Courtney Phillips as the new Executive Commissioner of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. Phillips currently serves as the CEO of Nebraska’s Department of Health and Human Services. Phillips will take over from acting commissioner Cecile Young on October 19th. To read more… 

Big Tex Winners.

With the State Fair of Texas just around the corner, Texans are getting creative again with fair food. The 2018 Big Tex Choice Award winners are still as sweet and/or as fried as you can get! Most Creative- Cotton Candy Taco; Best Taste (Savory)- Fernie’s Hoppin’ John Cake with Jackpot Sauce; Best Taste (Sweet)- fried Arroz con Leche. To read more…

Only in Austin…

We are in the 2nd week of Austin Restaurant Week(s), benefiting the Central Texas Food Bank. From August 16-September 3rd, some of the best restaurants in Austin offer set menus with a portion of the specially-set price going directly to the Food Bank. Now is the time to try that restaurant you’ve always wanted to eat at and feel good about it at the same time. To read more…

This Week in Texas: Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Posted August 22, 2018 in The Mignon Memo

76 days.

Until the November 6th General Election. Take a look at the candidates on the ballot. Don’t forget to register by October 9th. Early voting will run October 22- November 2.  To read more…

Changes at TCEQ.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has appointed Toby Baker as its new executive director. Baker stepped down as a TCEQ Commissioner to accept the position. Governor Abbott has appointed Emily Lindley as the next commissioner. Lindley comes from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) where she served as chief of staff for Region Six. To read more…

Interim Chancellor appointed.

On September 1st, Ted Mitchell will take over as Chancellor for the Texas Tech University System. Mitchell is currently President of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Lubbock. To read more…

Only in Austin…

 You may have passed the “We Rock” billboard for Nature’s Treasures on I-35, but have you ever stopped to visit? What you’ll find is a 7,000 sq. ft. showroom filled with crystals, fossils, gemstones, and jewels. Outside is a rock yard where you can sift through mounds of bulk rough rock and boulders. It’s an amateur geologist’s dream! To read more…