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Ken Herman

Metro columnist

Ken Herman is the American-Statesman's metro columnist.

Latest from Ken Herman

Herman: Daughters of Republic of Texas bow out at French Legation
 After six decades of managing a significant piece of Austin and Texas history, the Daughters of the Republic of Texas are bowing out of hands-on involvement at the French Legation. The DRT pretty much had no choice in the matter. You’ll recall I recently told you about House Bill 3810, approved this year by your Legislature and signed...

Posted: 9 hours ago

After six decades of managing a significant piece of Austin and Texas history, the Daughters of the Republic of Texas are bowing out of hands-on involvement at the French Legation. The DRT pretty much had no choice in the matter. You’ll recall I recently told you about House Bill 3810, approved this year by your Legislature and signed...
Herman: Gov. Greg Abbott neither vetoes nor signs hundreds of bills
 Statistics don’t lie, but sometimes we don’t know what they’re trying to say. With that in mind, this: Gov. Greg Abbott has let hundreds of bills become law without signing them. This year he did so on bills on a variety of topics, including guns, beer and NASCAR. Civics 101: The gubernatorial power to sign or veto a bill...

Posted: 2 days ago

Statistics don’t lie, but sometimes we don’t know what they’re trying to say. With that in mind, this: Gov. Greg Abbott has let hundreds of bills become law without signing them. This year he did so on bills on a variety of topics, including guns, beer and NASCAR. Civics 101: The gubernatorial power to sign or veto a bill...
Herman: What’s that airport thing? Art? Construction? Construction art?
 Today we’ll deal with a “What Is That?” submission by a “What Is That?” submitter who didn’t even know he was submitting. As you’ll recall “What Is That?” is the periodic feature in which I respond to folks mystified by something they see. It could be animal. It could be mineral. Often...

Posted: 2 days ago

Today we’ll deal with a “What Is That?” submission by a “What Is That?” submitter who didn’t even know he was submitting. As you’ll recall “What Is That?” is the periodic feature in which I respond to folks mystified by something they see. It could be animal. It could be mineral. Often...
Herman: Please help me not buy an outdoor grill
 First, from one dad to others, Happy Our Day. May the new socks be colorful and the new ties be rarely necessary. And enjoy the new outdoor grill. Outdoor grills, specifically the evil thereof, are today’s topic. Our subtopic is spouses who always lose tie votes on household decisions. You’d think I’d occasionally win one...

Posted: 5 days ago

First, from one dad to others, Happy Our Day. May the new socks be colorful and the new ties be rarely necessary. And enjoy the new outdoor grill. Outdoor grills, specifically the evil thereof, are today’s topic. Our subtopic is spouses who always lose tie votes on household decisions. You’d think I’d occasionally win one...
Herman: Austin to be official home of Texas’ gold hoard
 We (and by “we” I mean the Austin area) will be home of the new Texas Bullion Depository, an ambitious peculiarity that once fueled a round of secessionist talk. The exact location of the TBD is TBD, but state Comptroller Glenn Hegar announced Wednesday that Austin-based Lone Star Tangible Assets has been selected to build and...

Posted: 8 days ago

We (and by “we” I mean the Austin area) will be home of the new Texas Bullion Depository, an ambitious peculiarity that once fueled a round of secessionist talk. The exact location of the TBD is TBD, but state Comptroller Glenn Hegar announced Wednesday that Austin-based Lone Star Tangible Assets has been selected to build and...
Herman: How great is Trump? Cabinet members tell him. Again and again
 Welcome to chapter infinity of “This Isn’t Normal,” a daily experiment in reality TV/surreality governance. Today we’ll take a look at a Texas homeboy’s role in a recent episode. First, a review of what used to be normal, including when I covered the portion of White House Cabinet meetings when journalists were...

Posted: 9 days ago

Welcome to chapter infinity of “This Isn’t Normal,” a daily experiment in reality TV/surreality governance. Today we’ll take a look at a Texas homeboy’s role in a recent episode. First, a review of what used to be normal, including when I covered the portion of White House Cabinet meetings when journalists were...
Herman: Is the new texting ban the best Texas can do?
 Tucked into Gov. Greg Abbott’s Tuesday announcement about the upcoming special legislative session was the revelation that he’d signed into law the bill banning texting while driving. In general, I’m good with banning dumb and dangerous stuff. More from Abbott: “But I was not satisfied with this law as it was written...

Posted: 14 days ago

Tucked into Gov. Greg Abbott’s Tuesday announcement about the upcoming special legislative session was the revelation that he’d signed into law the bill banning texting while driving. In general, I’m good with banning dumb and dangerous stuff. More from Abbott: “But I was not satisfied with this law as it was written...
Herman: ‘Game warden’ the wildest job in Texas? Read their field notes
 The title promises so little, but the product delivers so much. This is the mundanely monickered, “Game Warden Field Notes,” a periodic publication in which the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department updates us on the activities of the men and women who enforce our hunting and fishing laws and regulations. “The following items...

Posted: 15 days ago

The title promises so little, but the product delivers so much. This is the mundanely monickered, “Game Warden Field Notes,” a periodic publication in which the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department updates us on the activities of the men and women who enforce our hunting and fishing laws and regulations. “The following items...
Herman: Gov. Greg Abbott sends lawmakers to summer school
 The Texas GOP Civil War — aka The War Between The State’s Leaders — flares anew beginning July 18 at Your State Capitol. The place is set by the Texas Constitution. The date for the 30-day special legislative session was set Tuesday by Gov. Greg Abbott, the man whom the Texas Constitution gives the sole power to convene...

Posted: 16 days ago

The Texas GOP Civil War — aka The War Between The State’s Leaders — flares anew beginning July 18 at Your State Capitol. The place is set by the Texas Constitution. The date for the 30-day special legislative session was set Tuesday by Gov. Greg Abbott, the man whom the Texas Constitution gives the sole power to convene...
Herman: A legislative fix for hard times at the French Legation
 Texas lawmakers have voted to move control of the French Legation in East Austin from one state agency to another. But, perhaps more significantly, the change could mean a reduced role — or full au revoir — for the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, the nonprofit that’s operated the historic home since 1956. At the core...

Posted: 19 days ago

Texas lawmakers have voted to move control of the French Legation in East Austin from one state agency to another. But, perhaps more significantly, the change could mean a reduced role — or full au revoir — for the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, the nonprofit that’s operated the historic home since 1956. At the core...
Herman: Tony Snow and Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson, the odd couple
 Wednesday night, while the people of Earth were dealing with the covfefe kerfuffle, I was at the Ian Anderson concert at Austin City Limits Live at the Moody Theater. Great show. The soon-to-be-70(!) Jethro Tull frontman remains enduringly entertaining, as much for his humorous between-songs chatter as for his musical genius. You heard it...

Posted: 21 days ago

Wednesday night, while the people of Earth were dealing with the covfefe kerfuffle, I was at the Ian Anderson concert at Austin City Limits Live at the Moody Theater. Great show. The soon-to-be-70(!) Jethro Tull frontman remains enduringly entertaining, as much for his humorous between-songs chatter as for his musical genius. You heard it...