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Election day is November 8, 2022, but early voting starts Monday, October 24 and runs through November 4.

Texans will be voting for governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, agricultural commissioner, and land commissioner, among other slots.

In the race for Governor between incumbent Greg Abbott and challenger Beto O'Rourke, Abbott has so far led in polls, but an October poll by Beacon Research shows the gap narrowing to 2 percent.

O'Rourke has received endorsements from Texas newspapers like the Houston Chronicle, as well as Willie Nelson, Kacey Musgraves, and Harry Styles. Abbott received an endorsement from Texas newspaper Dallas Morning News.

In the Lieutenant Governor race, candidate Mike Collier, running as a Democrat against incumbent Dan Patrick, has earned a number of high-profile endorsements from Republicans including State Rep. Lyle Larson and former Texas Lt. Gov. Bill Ratliff. Collier is a former Republican who ran against Patrick in 2018.

In the Attorney General race, Democratic challenger Rochelle Garza is running against incumbent Ken Paxton.

Paxton was most recently in the news for fleeing his home to avoid a subpoena in a lawsuit from nonprofits that want to help Texans pay for abortions out of state. KVUE in Austin has a list of all of Paxton's various legal woes over the years including charges of bribery, intimidation, extramarital affairs, and his involvement in the January 6 insurrection.

Information on early voting can be found at votetexas.gov.

Registered voters can go to any polling location in the county. A list of 50 early voting locations is available on the county website. Registered voters should bring one acceptable form of photo identification to the polls such as Texas Driver License, Texas Election ID card, Military ID card, U.S. Citizenship Certificate, or U.S. Passport.

Registered voters without a photo ID can sign a Reasonable Impediment Declaration and present a supporting form of ID such as a voter registration certificate, a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, or a birth certificate.

Photo courtesy of H-E-B

H-E-B rings up new debit card with cash back perks for customers

Here Everything's Debit

As if Texans couldn’t already get nearly everything at H-E-B, they can now get even more with H-E-B, at other stores. The ubiquitous grocery store announced big news on September 12: It’s slipping its own debit card into users’ wallets, offering cash back on qualifying H-E-B purchases.

The H-E-B debit card, ready for applicants now, opens up a few avenues to grocery shoppers, most notably 5 percent on “thousands of products from H-E-B.” Specifically, the cash back applies to H-E-B brand items from pantry items to prepared foods, kitchenware, and more. Shoppers don’t have to do anything to claim the extra funds — they just appear right back in the account.

Further, it is one more card to carry, but it may replace or duplicate one other. H-E-B debit will be accepted anywhere Mastercard is accepted, and essentially functions just like any debit card from a bank: it offers “an optional, high-yield savings account,” direct deposits, and free H-E-B ATM withdrawals.

“At H-E-B, we’re always looking to provide Texans more ways to save,” said H-E-B Group vice president of marketing Ashwin Nathan in a press release. “With the H-E-B debit card, customers can have a more rewarding shopping experience that allows them to keep more money in their pockets while enjoying valuable benefits and perks.”

Maintaining the card is almost as simple as keeping it on hand, with no fees and multiple options to add funds, including cash at H-E-B and directly from other debit cards. While there is no full overdraft program (which allows the grocer to claim no overdraft fees), there is a $20 “purchase cushion” on qualifying purchases that gives the shopper 30 days to make up the negative balance. Users can more carefully track their spending through the H-E-B Debit mobile app.

So far, there is no sign that users can use the account without the physical card, so once it comes in the mail, shoppers should remember to bring it along.

More information on H-E-B Debit accounts, including a list of qualified brands for cash-back purchases, is available at hebdebit.com.

Photo by Getty Images

Long-awaited Houston noise ordinance aimed at noisiest bars and clubs finally goes into effect

bring tha noise...ordinance

Officials from the City of Houston held a press conference to discuss the new noise ordinance that went into effect Tuesday, September 7.

As CultureMap previously reported, the ordinance was passed in May and is a welcome relief for residents of the Washington Corridor who have been urging officials for years that something needed to be done about the noisy bars in the neighborhood.

"Every Thursday through Sunday, it gets really loud here," resident Blake Chambers said.

Establishments that use amplified sound detectable outdoors, and are within 300 feet of a residence, will need to purchase a commercial establishment sound permit that will go to the business, as opposed to an individual.

There will also be time and decibel limits on amplified sound, no such sound at all from 2 am to 8 am, and an increase in the maximum fine from $1,000 to $2,000. Repeat violators could have their permits revoked, and it's up to the Houston Police Department to enforce these new rules.

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Continue reading, with accompanying video, on our news partner ABC13.

Photo courtesy of British Consulate

Houston-based British Consulate teams embarks on 2,500-mile Texas road trip to host cultural pop-ups

a great texas road trup

Heads up, Texans: The British are coming.

Houston-based head of the British Consulate, Her Majesty’s Consul General Richard Hyde, and his senior-most staff will embark on a 2,500-mile road trip across Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and New Mexico. The trek will feature tree plantings and what the consulate dubs “consulate pop-ups” in each city.

Aside from meeting civic and business leaders, the pop-ups highlight the close economic links that the UK has with the state of Texas, not to mention some British food and drink.

By the numbers, the 2,500-mile trek is roughly three times the length of the United Kingdom. But then, as we know, everything’s bigger in Texas.
Tree planting and pop-up consulate events in Nacogdoches, Texas; Kilgore, Texas; Shreveport, Louisiana; Texarkana, Arkansas; Amarillo, Texas; Lubbock, Texas; and Waco, Texas.

This comes in the year of Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, and as such, the UK team honors Queen Elizabeth’s 70h year on the throne by participating in the Queen’s Green Canopy, a global sustainability initiative to plant trees.

The trip also marks 180 years after the UK Government first appointed a representative to Texas, according to a press release.

“The aim of this tour is to focus on cities outside the ‘Texas Triangle,’ Hyde noted in a precisely worded British statement. “This will enable us to engage with a wide range of politically influential and economically important communities and groups. Whilst honouring Her Majesty’s 70th year on the throne and enhancing the environment with tree plantings, we also hope to demonstrate that the UK is a modern and dynamic partner of Texas, a leading centre of culture, music and sport and a world class centre of innovation and science.”

Photo courtesy of Downtown Aquarium

Downtown Aquarium open to customers after partial facade collapse

aquarium open

A woman is recovering at a local hospital after a part of the Downtown Aquarium facade collapsed on her.

Houston Fire Department said its crews were called to the aquarium restaurant around 7:55 pm Friday, September 2, where officials said a portion of the outdoor facade next to the aquarium ticket booth fell.

It "wasn't a lot," the fire department initially told ABC13 about the partial collapse, adding that the woman's injuries are not life-threatening. Landry's Inc., the owner of the downtown landmark, is expected to send industrial engineers to pinpoint a cause, per HFD.

Steve Scheinthal, executive vice president and general counsel of Landry's, issued a statement following the incident:

We are not exactly sure what happened at the Downtown Aquarium this evening, but are committed to fully investigating. We immediately reached out to the family of the impacted individual and are doing what we can to support them. We have cleaned the area and our development team is committed to understanding what happened. The Downtown Aquarium will reopen tomorrow.

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Continue reading this story on our news partner ABC13.

Houston readies for historic return to moon with new NASA launch date

go for launch

Houstonians who are eagerly anticipating America’s historic return to the moon now have a new date. Artemis I will now launch on Saturday, September 3, with a two-hour window beginning at 1:17 pm, NASA announced late Tuesday, August 30.

Viewers can tune into the livestream of the rocket and spacecraft at the launch pad on the NASA Kennedy YouTube channel. Additionally, live coverage of events can be found on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website.

This comes after the initial August 29 launch was scrubbed. At that time, teams were not able to chill down the four RS-25 engines to necessary temperatures. Teams also caught and quickly managed a hydrogen leak on one of the rocket’s components.

NASA reports that teams are currently addressing and testing both issues in advance of the Saturday launch. Another important component for flight windows — weather — is currently favorable. Meteorologists with the U.S. Space Force Space Launch Delta 45 forecast favorable weather conditions for Saturday. Though some rain showers are expected, they are predicted to be sporadic during the launch window, per NASA.

As space fans are aware, Artemis I is the first flight test of NASA’s Orion spacecraft, Space Launch System rocket (dubbed SLS), and the ground systems at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

“The first in a series of increasingly complex missions, Artemis I will be an uncrewed flight test that will provide a foundation to extend human presence to the Moon and beyond,” NASA notes in a news release. “The mission will demonstrate the performance of the SLS rocket and test Orion’s capabilities over the course of about six weeks as it travels about 40,000 miles beyond the Moon and back to Earth.”

Given the gravity of the launch, NASA planned considerable fanfare for the broadcast, including celebrity appearances by Jack Black, Chris Evans, and Keke Palmer, as well as a special performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner” by Josh Groban and Herbie Hancock. A planned musical performance featured “America the Beautiful” by The Philadelphia Orchestra and cellist Yo-Yo Ma, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin.

Representatives from Johnson Space Center had not received an update on the Saturday broadcast program when contacted on Wednesday, August 31.

Houston and lunar missions have been inextricably tied since NASA’s first launches. In 1962, President John F. Kennedy boldly declared that America would go to the moon before the end of the decade in front of a packed Rice University football stadium.

On July 20, 1969 – a commitment to the late President Kennedy’s directive — Apollo 11 marked its arrival to the lunar surface with a statement heard around the globe from Commander Neil Armstrong, who would take mankind’s first steps on the surface: “Houston, Tranquility base here. The Eagle has landed.”

And the Bayou City has (somewhat tiredly) been the source of a ubiquitous sentence — that is actually a paraphrasing — uttered by Apollo 13 Commander Jim Lovell: “Houston, we’ve had a problem here.” The adjusted “Houston, we have a problem” declaration was later immortalized by Tom Hanks (as Lovell) in the blockbuster Apollo 13.

What will be the next iconic phrase sent back to Houston when NASA’s manned mission readies to land on Earth’s sole satellite? The countdown is on.

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Iconic Austin blues club brings the show to fans with new indie livestreaming platform

Live on Live

If legendary Austin blues club Antone’s is your vibe, but the drive down I-35 isn't, know we get it. Saving San Antonians the trip, Antone’s Nightclub launched a new service for livestreaming its shows in November.

Kicking off with New Orleans-based funk and jam band Dumpstaphunk, for their special “Phunksgiving” show last month with Michael Hale Trio, the full lineup is delineated on the Antone’s website. Specifics were still loose before the launch, allowing the famous blues club to call the shots. The partner agency that created the streaming service, 3rd + Lamar, created the system to give Antone’s as much freedom as possible.

"Partnering with Antone's to build their livestreaming platform and produce each of their shows is an incredible opportunity for 3rd + Lamar," said the agency’s co-founder Nick Schenck in a press release. "The amazing talent that performs at Antone's – and their fans worldwide – deserve best-in-class live production quality, and we're thrilled to play a part in this operation."

Not that Antone’s needed to stand out more in the music industry (the nearly 50-year-old venue has always been one of the best places to see both local and national talent), but this achievement places it among relatively few venues across the country, especially those that operate their system independently.

The intimate Antone's shows are filmed by four Blackmagic 4K cinema cameras on tracks overhead, which ensure that the whole space is easily visible without having camera operators amid the audience.

“We did over 430 individually ticketed shows in 2019 and we felt like we were bursting at the seams,” said Antone’s owner Will Bridges. “Then when livestreams became more prominent during the pandemic we realized, this is our opportunity to take Antone’s outside of our four walls. … [W]e see people in the comment threads all the time saying ‘If I could only be teleported to Antone’s!’ Well now they can.”

The release emphasizes that the system means Antone’s “fully retain[s] ownership of their content, which can then be utilized at their discretion.” It also calls the service “an add-on option for all artists performing at Antone’s,” positioning the service as not just an audience luxury but a performer’s low-cost marketing tool. Suddenly, artists playing at Antone’s are afforded a choice without needing to be invited to record or pay an independent video team, while reaching even more viewers with no extra time spent advertising.

“Our ultimate goal is to make these amazing musical experiences accessible to everyone. Life is busy, but we want to give everyone the opportunity to participate no matter where they are or what they have going on,” said Bridges. “We want to make livestreams from Antone’s totally commonplace. When we announce our upcoming shows, fans have two options: watch it at the club our watch it at home.”

Livestreams are at antonesnightclub.com, and links also appear with each applicable event across the site. Prices are listed on the website, and livestreams start 10-20 minutes before each show.

Alt-rock legends Red Hot Chili Peppers heading to Houston for 2023 North American tour

one hot minute

One of alternative rock's most pioneering and enduring acts is headed to Houston to close out a highly anticipated North American tour next year. Red Hot Chili Peppers will play Minute Maid Park on Thursday, May 25, 2023 as part of a North American trek that kicks off in Vancouver, British Columbia on March 29.

Houston lands the honor of the closeout city for the North American tour (the band will also play a slew of dates in Europe). Effortlessly hip, celeb-fave modern rock band The Strokes will support the Chili Peppers, along with the talented bassist-vocalist Thundercat.

Tickets go on sale this week at 10 am Friday, December 9 online.

Houston fans who can't get enough can also catch the Chili Peppers when they hit The Alamodome in San Antonio on Wednesday, May 17 — the only other Texas date.

Aside from The Strokes and Thundercat, supporting acts along the way include Iggy Pop, The Roots, The Mars Volta, St. Vincent, City and Colour, and King Princess.

Touring in support of their two No. 1 studio albums released in 2022, Unlimited Love and Return of the Dream Canteen, the Chili Peppers have been played sold-out shows in London, Paris, Los Angeles, and more with major names such as Notable artists such as A$AP Rocky, Anderson.Paak, Beck, and HAIM.

The first rock band in 17 years to score two No. 1 albums in one year, the band has been red hot on the Billboard charts and at the MTV Video Music Awards, where they received the Global Icon Award and brought the house down with a performance of the No. 1 single “Black Summer,'' which also won the award for Best Rock Video.

Fronted by the impossibly chiseled and ageless (he's 60!) Anthony Kiedis, the Chili Peppers formed in 1983. Unabashedly proud of their LA roots, the band burst onto the scene with early singles such as "Higher Ground" and "Give It Away," both showcases of bassist Flea's slappin', funk-fueled basslines.

Throughout the peak of alternative music in the '90s, the band saw tragedy, personnel changes at guitar, and reinventions — Kiedes' rap-singing, Flea's bass grooves, and singalong choruses all constants over the decades.

While many '90s alt-rock acts fizzled, the Chili Peppers stayed relevant; the band boasts two anthemic singles with more than 1 billion streams — "Californication" and "Under the Bridge" — and more than 25 million followers on Spotify.

Expect this show to be packed with Gen Xers and new fans for what promises to be one hot minute.

Red Hot Chili Peppers 2023 tour dates:

  • Wednesday, March 29 – Vancouver – BC Place
  • Saturday, April 1 – Las Vegas – Allegiant Stadium
  • Thursday, April 6 – Fargo, North Dakota – FargoDome
  • Saturday, April 8 – Minneapolis – US Bank Stadium
  • Friday, April 14 – Syracuse, New York – JMA Wireless Dome
  • Friday, May 12 – San Diego – Snap Dragon Stadium
  • Sunday, May 14 – Phoenix – State Farm Stadium
  • Wednesday, May 17 – San Antonio – Alamodome
  • Friday, May 19 – Gulf Shores, Alabama – Hangout Music Festival
  • Thursday, May 25 – Houston – Minute Maid Park






announced their 2023 Tour, in support of their two No. 1 studio albums that were released in 2022, Unlimited Love and Return of the Dream Canteen. Following a recent Grammy nomination for Best Rock Song for “Black Summer,” the band will embark on a 23-date global trek that kicks off on Wednesday, March 29 at BC Place in Vancouver, BC with stadium shows and festival stops across North America and Europe in Las Vegas, San Diego, Houston, Lisbon, Madrid, Vienna and more before wrapping up on Saturday, July 23 in Glasgow, UK at Hampden Park. The Strokes, Iggy Pop, The Roots, The Mars Volta, St. Vincent, City and Colour, Thundercat, and King Princess will join the band on select dates.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers 2023 Tour rolls into the Alamodome in San Antonio, TX, on Wednesday, May 17, 2023, and Minute Maid Park in Houston, TX, on Thursday, May 25, 2023, both with the Strokes and Thundercat.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers 2023 Tour comes close on the heels of the band’s largest 40-date stadium tour to date, which included massive sold-out shows in London, Paris, Los Angeles, and more. Notable artists such as A$AP Rocky, Anderson .Paak, Beck, HAIM and more joined the band on the road through 2022. After completing the wildly successful tour across North America and Europe this year, Red Hot Chili Peppers continue into January 2023 with eight dates across New Zealand and Australia, featuring Post Malone.

Tickets go on sale starting on Friday, December 9 at 10 a.m. at redhotchilipeppers.com.

As a result of the two album releases this year going No. 1, Red Hot Chili Peppers notably stand out as the first rock band in 17 years to achieve the feat. Moreover, Return of the Dream Canteen bowed at #1 on the Billboard Top Album Sales Chart —just like its predecessor Unlimited Love did back in April. Both albums were produced by longtime collaborator and creative confidant, Rick Rubin. Plus, it reached #1 in numerous countries around the globe.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers recently took home the prestigious Global Icon Award, and delivered a show stopping performance at the MTV VMAs. Their No. 1 single “Black Summer'' also won the award for Best Rock Video. This year, the band also garnered an MTV Europe Music Award nomination for Best Rock and scored three American Music Awards nominations for "Favorite Rock Artist," "Favorite Rock Album" for Unlimited Love and "Favorite Rock Single" for "Black Summer."

RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS 2023 NORTH AMERICA TOUR DATES:

Wed Mar 29 – Vancouver, BC – BC Place *~

Sat Apr 01 – Las Vegas, NV – Allegiant Stadium #~

Thu Apr 06 – Fargo, ND – FARGODOME ^~

Sat Apr 08 – Minneapolis, MN – US Bank Stadium ^~

Fri Apr 14 – Syracuse, NY– JMA Wireless Dome ^~

Fri May 12 – San Diego, CA – Snap Dragon Stadium >+

Sun May 14 – Phoenix, AZ – State Farm Stadium ^+

Wed May 17 – San Antonio, TX – Alamodome ^+

Fri May 19 – Gulf Shores, AL – Hangout Music Festival =

Thu May 25 – Houston, TX – Minute Maid Park ^+

Fan-favorite, wood-fired Houston pizzeria quietly opens in the Heights

enough (pizza) to love

A popular Houston pizzeria has opened its second location in the Heights. The Gypsy Poet has begun a quiet soft opening in the former Fegen’s space at 1050 Studewood St.

Since its 2019 debut in Midtown, the Gypsy Poet has earned a devoted following for its wood-fired pizzas. The restaurant’s personal-sized, 13-inch pizzas exist somewhere on the spectrum between traditional Neapolitan and classic New York — too crispy for the Italians but not quite foldable like an East Coast slice. Options include a classic Margherita and the signature Fancy Backpacker, which is topped with prosciutto, truffle oil, and arugula.

Part of the restaurant’s appeal stems from its friendly service and easy going atmosphere. It regularly hosts informal musical performances and other artistic happenings.

Taken together, Gypsy Poet has earned legions on fans. Yelp users ranked it as Texas’s second best restaurant in 2021. More recently, Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy awarded it a high 7.8 rating during a pizza review.

The restaurant opens at a time of transition for pizzerias in the Heights. Dallas-based Neapolitan restaurant Cane Rosso closed last year, and suburban favorite Crust Pizza Co. opened this summer in the former Mellow Mushroom space at N. Shepherd and 20th.

The Heights location of Gypsy Poet will be open Tuesday-Thursday from 5-9 pm; Friday from 12-2 pm and 5-10 pm; Saturday 2-10 pm; and Sunday 2-9 pm.