Ken Herman

Metro columnist

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

Latest from Ken Herman

Herman: Who’s that man on the Confederate seal in the Capitol rotunda?
 Today, we have a topical “What Is That?” that’s really more of a timely “Who Is That?” It comes from a longtime Austinite who finds this newspaper a dependable daily source of information, entertainment, personal enrichment and health insurance: Me. Here’s the deal. Recently, while hanging out...

Posted: 4 days ago

Today, we have a topical “What Is That?” that’s really more of a timely “Who Is That?” It comes from a longtime Austinite who finds this newspaper a dependable daily source of information, entertainment, personal enrichment and health insurance: Me. Here’s the deal. Recently, while hanging out...
Herman: Twitter silence from Texas Tweeter Laureate
 The commander-in-tweet has shut down and shut up the official Tweeter Laureate of Texas. Sad. Thanks for nothing, Trump, you grump. After eight years and just under 26,000 of the more entertaining tweets on the planet, Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett’s Twitter feed ceased and desisted a couple of weeks ago. Specifically, the...

Posted: 5 days ago

The commander-in-tweet has shut down and shut up the official Tweeter Laureate of Texas. Sad. Thanks for nothing, Trump, you grump. After eight years and just under 26,000 of the more entertaining tweets on the planet, Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett’s Twitter feed ceased and desisted a couple of weeks ago. Specifically, the...
Herman: Smithsonian staff helps Harvey victims save family treasures
 The big problems caused by Hurricane Harvey are still plain to see along Texas 35 in storm-ravaged, still-recovering Rockport. The crumpled buildings, boarded windows, tarp-topped houses and workers clearing debris and replacing utility poles are hard to miss. Table after table at the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s State Disaster...

Posted: 6 days ago

The big problems caused by Hurricane Harvey are still plain to see along Texas 35 in storm-ravaged, still-recovering Rockport. The crumpled buildings, boarded windows, tarp-topped houses and workers clearing debris and replacing utility poles are hard to miss. Table after table at the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s State Disaster...
Herman: Superman rappelling. What’s wrong with this picture?
 I’m proud of this newspaper. Despite unprecedented challenges, the American-Statesman continues to do fine work in covering day-to-day doings and in time-consuming investigations about an impressive variety of topics. OK, that ought to inoculate me with the bosses as I launch into some workplace introspection intended to be constructive...

Posted: 8 days ago

I’m proud of this newspaper. Despite unprecedented challenges, the American-Statesman continues to do fine work in covering day-to-day doings and in time-consuming investigations about an impressive variety of topics. OK, that ought to inoculate me with the bosses as I launch into some workplace introspection intended to be constructive...
Herman: The escalators of Wyoming
 Generally, we are a people who look forward to summer. Specifically though, many of us are happy to see the summer of 2017 fade into the distance. It was a season of deep discontent, lowlighted by debilitating disasters that will cause problems for many for many, many months, and possibly years, to come. It’s for that reason that I&rsquo...

Posted: 11 days ago

Generally, we are a people who look forward to summer. Specifically though, many of us are happy to see the summer of 2017 fade into the distance. It was a season of deep discontent, lowlighted by debilitating disasters that will cause problems for many for many, many months, and possibly years, to come. It’s for that reason that I&rsquo...
Herman: Something screwed on was screwed up on the MoPac project
 It is with excitement and the promise of better commutes to come that I note Saturday’s scheduled opening of the second and final section of the northbound toll lane on MoPac Boulevard. The southbound lanes also should open during your lifetime, depending on how your most recent annual physical went. As a regular user of MoPac...

Posted: 13 days ago

It is with excitement and the promise of better commutes to come that I note Saturday’s scheduled opening of the second and final section of the northbound toll lane on MoPac Boulevard. The southbound lanes also should open during your lifetime, depending on how your most recent annual physical went. As a regular user of MoPac...
Herman: Finally, city rules concerning final resting places
 It’s time for my annual or so update on the city of Austin’s ongoing effort to decide what kind of decorations are proper on graves in the five city-owned cemeteries. We’ve got news! I first wrote about this in 2013 when the city, under fire from some people, pulled the plug on proposed strict enforcement of rules...

Posted: 15 days ago

It’s time for my annual or so update on the city of Austin’s ongoing effort to decide what kind of decorations are proper on graves in the five city-owned cemeteries. We’ve got news! I first wrote about this in 2013 when the city, under fire from some people, pulled the plug on proposed strict enforcement of rules...
Herman: More on the Burnet Road mystery tree marker
 A couple of weeks back, in a tale of whimsy and mystery, I told you about the wonderful big tree at 4412 Burnet Road. More specifically, I told you about the marker at the base that tells us it was planted by Joe Swan Lusby in 1927. And I told you how Kristine Kovach had contacted me to find out who he was. She’s interested because...

Posted: 18 days ago

A couple of weeks back, in a tale of whimsy and mystery, I told you about the wonderful big tree at 4412 Burnet Road. More specifically, I told you about the marker at the base that tells us it was planted by Joe Swan Lusby in 1927. And I told you how Kristine Kovach had contacted me to find out who he was. She’s interested because...
Herman: Charity that drives older Austinites needs your help
 I’m about to pitch a volunteer opportunity for you, but first let’s talk about some of the questions we’ll face in the bold, new technology world to come. Lots of those questions will be about self-driving vehicles. Will there be manual override for those who like to drive? Will driver’s licenses exist? (And, if not...

Posted: 19 days ago

I’m about to pitch a volunteer opportunity for you, but first let’s talk about some of the questions we’ll face in the bold, new technology world to come. Lots of those questions will be about self-driving vehicles. Will there be manual override for those who like to drive? Will driver’s licenses exist? (And, if not...
Herman: The Dawnna Dukes saga drags on
 The reputations of two elected officials entered a Travis County courtroom Tuesday. One, it seems, eventually is destined to walk out tarnished, at best, and disgraced, at worst. The question is which one. The odd and oddly lingering saga of the state of Texas vs. state Rep. Dawnna Dukes inched forward Tuesday when Dukes, the indicted Austin...

Posted: 21 days ago

The reputations of two elected officials entered a Travis County courtroom Tuesday. One, it seems, eventually is destined to walk out tarnished, at best, and disgraced, at worst. The question is which one. The odd and oddly lingering saga of the state of Texas vs. state Rep. Dawnna Dukes inched forward Tuesday when Dukes, the indicted Austin...
Herman: Free speech, our president and our favorite Sunday pastime
 As long as we’re having this important free-speech conversation, and hoping this conversation leads to the important race-relations conversation, let’s make sure it’s properly framed: It most definitely is about freedom of speech, but maybe not in the way some people think. President Donald Trump, having successfully solved...

Posted: 22 days ago

As long as we’re having this important free-speech conversation, and hoping this conversation leads to the important race-relations conversation, let’s make sure it’s properly framed: It most definitely is about freedom of speech, but maybe not in the way some people think. President Donald Trump, having successfully solved...