As another round of protests are happening, this time in California, in the wake of a police officer killing another black man in this country, something special happened at the McAllen Police Department headquarters last week.

There’s a video working its way through social media sites that I have watched repeatedly because it makes me swell with pride. (

There’s a wonderful story about a Texas lawmaker huddling with reporters on the House floor during a debate in which one of his colleagues was making an impassioned — and nonsensical — point about some proposed legislation.

Several candidates in the March 1 primary sent word to me last week of their dissatisfaction with some online polls that we placed on our website,

My intent was to involve my 14-year-old daughter in a community project and, hopefully, inspire her and get her into the habit of giving back to the community. I had no idea that I would be the one who walked away inspired.

There’s an online publication called the Texas Tribune that is arguably the most high-profile journalistic entity in the state today because of what it potentially represents — a future business model for journalism.

During a truly historic week in the United States, a confluence of events related to Pope Francis’ visit overshadowed a decision that was quietly announced in Washington, D.C., that had a lot of meaning for McAllen.

I watched with interest last week the actions of two different women from two different parts of the country, both of whom say are motivated by their Christian faith.

Almost immediately last weekend, when The New York Times broke the news that Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton had been indicted on securities charges, a stream of public statements were issued by critics and supporters of the Republican, either denouncing or defending him.

Before moving to McAllen in 2013, I lived for 10 months in Louisiana — a state whose inhabitants continue to wrestle with what happened to them 10 years ago this month: the devastating strike by Hurricane Katrina.

In my relatively short history of being active on social media, what I witnessed last week was at once the most disturbing, most fascinating and, ultimately, most uplifting online experience that I have had.

A week ago, The Monitor editorial board was effusive in its praise of Gov. Greg Abbott for what we viewed as an early diplomatic victory when he flew to the Rio Grande Valley to participate in an announcement for a private grant to the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley’s medical school.

U.S. Rep. Joaquín Castro – who came to McAllen last week as part of our Newsmaker Breakfast Series – declared what many other political observers have already said about this year’s election: For Democratic gubernatorial nominee Wendy Davis to win in November, she must win strong in the Rio …

For a moment, it seemed as if the two men were courting one another. With the eyes of hundreds of people on them, McAllen Mayor Jim Darling and Reynosa Mayor Jose “Pepe” Elias Leal sat looking uncomfortably side by side on a sofa, neither of them seemingly sure about what to do next.

One paradox of modern municipal governance is that a growing nuance of sophisticated thinking regarding public policy is being pitted against communicating that nuance to an attention-deficit public that increasingly views public policy in black and white terms.

Years ago, a savvy lawmaker told me that the political reality of Texas pointed to a two-party system in which the Republican Party would become the last bastion of a white power structure and the Democratic Party would emerge as the place for minority political power.

If you haven’t read The Washington Post story about Hidalgo County residents growing obese even as they go hungry, published on the front page of today’s Monitor, I strongly recommend you make the time to read what is a powerful portrait of one family and its implications for an entire region.

Fifty years ago in April, the world read the eloquence of Martin Luther King, Jr. explaining the concept of “just” versus “unjust” laws in what came to be known as a “Letter from Birmingham Jail.”

Last week, I took my 11-year-old daughter to see the movie Lee Daniels’ The Butler, a poignant tale, based on a true story, about a black man who grew up in the Jim Crow South to become a White House butler serving every president from Eisenhower to Reagan.

This is the season of high emotion for parents of college-bound kids. It’s a joyous moment in which we are filled with pride. And it’s a moment of tremendous sadness as we bid farewell to the greatest objects of our love and veneration: our children.

Getting settled into a new town can be a time-consuming affair, but nearly three months into my tenure as editor of The Monitor has me feeling very much at home in McAllen.

The latest Washington parlor game involves a dissection of whose name was most sullied in the new book, This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral-Plus, Plenty of Valet Parking!-in America’s Gilded Capital.




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