This Week in Texas: Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Posted September 11, 2019 in The Mignon Memo

18 Year Anniversary of the September 11 Attacks

It’s hard to fathom it has been 18 years since the horrendous attacks of September 11, 2001.  Today as the country pauses to remember, the 9/11 Memorial and Museum will commemorate the lives lost with a ceremony honoring those killed at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and aboard Flight 93, as well as in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.  The service will be streamed on various venues starting around 8:25 AM ET from the 9/11 Memorial plaza in lower Manhattan.  In the evening, the Tribute in Light installation will be lit from sunset to sunrise the morning of September 12th.  This moving display is not without controversy, however, as migrating birds are attracted to the towers of light and can become disoriented.  Scientists and volunteers will observe the birds closely and turn the lights off for 20-minute periods when necessary to break the spell of the lights and let the birds disperse.

We remember.

Analysis of November’s Proposed Constitutional Amendments

For those of you eager to study up on the 10 proposed amendments to the Texas Constitution that will be on the November 5th ballot, the Texas Legislative Council’s analysis is now available.  TLC is a nonpartisan legislative agency that serves as a source of impartial research and information, and their 47-page publication provides a thorough and unbiased examination of the amendments.  This year’s crop of proposals ranges from Prop. 5, which would require the Legislature to allocate the money raised from state sales taxes on sporting goods to the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department and the Texas Historical Commission to be used for improvement and management of state and local parks and historic sites and the acquisition of new sites, to Prop. 10, which would allow law enforcement animals to retire and their former handlers or other qualified caretakers to adopt them with no fee.  As a reminder, October 7th is the last day for Texans to register to vote in the November 5th election.

Only in Austin…

The Texas Capitol Visitors Center is located on the southeast Capitol Grounds in the beautifully restored 1856-57 General Land Office building.  It’s the oldest state office building in Texas and is a great place to begin your visit to the Capitol Complex.  Current exhibits include the LEGO Texas State Capitol (featured in the previous Mignon Memo) and The Texas Governor’s Mansion (runs through February 2020), while permanent exhibits include a model of the Capitol dome, Capitol blueprints and building materials, the 1888 Goddess of Liberty star and a view into the architecture that inspired famed writer O. Henry, who worked in the building as a draftsman for the Texas General Land Office from 1887-1891.  The building also houses an expansive gift shop and the Texas Travel Center, where Texas Department of Transportation staff members like “Travel Ambassador” Mary Jackson offer free maps and literature on destinations throughout the state.  Time for a road trip!