Ken Herman

Metro columnist

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

Latest from Ken Herman

Herman: Me, jury duty and the lawyer’s monkey
 I love jury duty. I’d do it every week if they’d let me (and they shouldn’t). It’s Americans at their best, most of them sincerely striving to do the right thing in the name of truth, justice and the American way. So it was with patriotic glee that I recently was number 18 of 27 people who showed up as potential jurors...

Posted: 2 days ago

I love jury duty. I’d do it every week if they’d let me (and they shouldn’t). It’s Americans at their best, most of them sincerely striving to do the right thing in the name of truth, justice and the American way. So it was with patriotic glee that I recently was number 18 of 27 people who showed up as potential jurors...
Herman: New rules would restrict grave decorations at city cemeteries
 The Austin Parks and Recreation Department on Thursday released long-awaited proposed new rules for the five city-owned cemeteries. Four years is long, right? Even in the cemetery biz. And Tonja Walls-Davis, the city cemetery manager, expects the proposed rules, including tight restrictions on grave decorations, will draw the same kind of...

Posted: 3 days ago

The Austin Parks and Recreation Department on Thursday released long-awaited proposed new rules for the five city-owned cemeteries. Four years is long, right? Even in the cemetery biz. And Tonja Walls-Davis, the city cemetery manager, expects the proposed rules, including tight restrictions on grave decorations, will draw the same kind of...
Herman: Caution, free speech might offend you
 It seems that some of our elected officials du jour (see Trump, Donald J., and Abbott, Gregory W.) sometimes have a problem with the whole free speech thing. So it’s comforting that one of our local appointed officials doesn’t. U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks, himself sometimes accused of courtroom free speechifying in ways that...

Posted: 3 days ago

It seems that some of our elected officials du jour (see Trump, Donald J., and Abbott, Gregory W.) sometimes have a problem with the whole free speech thing. So it’s comforting that one of our local appointed officials doesn’t. U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks, himself sometimes accused of courtroom free speechifying in ways that...
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: 9 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: 9 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: 10 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: 12 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: 16 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: 17 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: 20 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: 23 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...