Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Our region just keeps getting bigger

A few weeks ago, the US Census Bureau released a trove of data from the 2020 Census. This data will largely be used for congressional gerrymandering redistricting, but it's also an all-important first look at the 2020 Census at the county and local level.

The Houston-Galveston Area Council has processed this data for the thirteen-county region encompassing the Houston metropolitan area (a summary presentation is here). I've gleaned through some of the data to provide some top-level information. The bottom line: we're growing. Especially in the suburbs. We're also becoming more diverse.

As of 2020, the 13-county region contained 7.3 million people, which is about the same population as the nations of Paraguay or Laos. This is an addition of over 1.2 million people over the last decade, which represents an almost a 20% growth rate. Here's the breakdown by county:

County 2020 Census 2010 Census Growth and Rate
Harris   4,731,145   4,092,459 638,686  15.6%
Fort Bend     822,779     585,375 237,404  40.6%
Montgomery     620,443     455,746 164,697  36.1%
Brazoria     372,031     313,166   58,865  18.8%
Galveston     350,682     291,309   59,373  20.4%
Liberty      91,628      75,643   15,985  21.1%
Walker      76,400      67,861    8,539  12.6%
Waller      56,794      43,205   13,589  31.5%
Chambers      46,571      35,096   11,475  32.7%
Wharton      41,570      41,280      290   0.7%
Matagorda      36,255      36,702     -447  -1.2%
Austin      30,167      28,417    1,750   6.2%
Colorado      20,557      20,874     -317  -1.5%
13 County Total   7,297,022   6,087,133    1,209,889  19.9%

Harris County, where Houston is located, saw the most growth in absolute terms, adding almost 639 thousand people over the 2010s. Fort Bend County saw the largest growth in percentage terms at 40.6%, closely followed by Montgomery County with 36.1% growth. Brazoria and Galveston Counties experienced growth that was a bit more modest but still substantial, gaining almost 60 thousand residents apiece. On the other end of the spectrum, rural Matagorda and Colorado Counties lost population, while Wharton County stagnated.

This map shows the general pattern of population change in the region over the last decade. Red and orange squares gained the most residents, while blue squares experienced less growth or even population loss:

                                                                                                                                               Houston-Galveston Area Council

It should come as no surprise that the region's growth is occurring largely in the suburbs; although it's hard to see highways on the above map, fully half of the region's growth occurred in the area between Beltway 8 and the Grand Parkway. Only 4% of the growth occurred inside Loop 610.  

H-GAC also breaks the data down by cities and places. Here is a table of cities or places with a population of at least 25,000 in 2020:

Municipality or CDP   2020 Census   2010 Census   Growth and Rate   County 

 1. Houston             2,304,580     2,099,451     205,129  9.8%   Harris 
 2. Pasadena              151,950       149,043       2,907  2.0%   Harris 
 3. Pearland              125,828        91,252      34,576 37.9%   Brazoria 
 4. The Woodlands Twnshp  114,436        93,847      20,589 21.9%   Montgomery 
 5. League City           114,392        83,560      30,832 36.9%   Galveston 
 6. Sugar Land            111,026        78,817      32,209 40.9%   Fort Bend 
 7. Conroe                 89,956        56,207      33,749 60.0%   Montgomery 
 8. Atascocita CDP         88,174        65,844      22,330 33.9%   Harris 
 9. Baytown                83,701        71,802      11,899 16.6%   Harris 
10. Missouri City          74,259        67,358       6,901 10.2%   Fort Bend 
11. Spring CDP             62,559        54,298       8,261 15.2%   Harris
12. Galveston              53,695        47,743       5,952 12.5%   Galveston 
13. Texas City             51,898        45,099       6,799 15.1%   Galveston 
14. Huntsville             45,941        38,548       7,393 19.2%   Walker 
15. Channelview CDP        45,688        38,289       7,399 19.3%   Harris 
16. Friendswood            41,213        35,805       5,408 15.1%   Galveston 
17. Rosenberg              38,282        30,618       7,664 25.0%   Fort Bend 
18. Mission Bend CDP       36,914        36,501         413  1.1%   Harris/Fort Bend 
19. La Porte               35,124        33,800       1,324  3.9%   Harris 
20. Deer Park              34,495        32,010       2,485  7.8%   Harris 
21. Lake Jackson           28,177        26,849       1,328  4.9%   Brazoria 
22. Alvin                  27,098        24,236       2,862 11.8%   Brazoria

A "CDP", or "Census-Designated Place, is an unincorporated community (while The Woodlands is a semi-incorporated "Township"). Houston is still the nation's fourth-largest municipality; it did gain on Chicago over the past ten years but there's still a ways to go before Space City overtakes the Windy City. 

Once again, the gains of suburban communities are evident. In 2010, Pasadena was the only city in the region (other than Houston) to contain over one hundred thousand residents. In the ten years since, it’s been joined by Pearland, The Woodlands, League City and Sugar Land. All four of these communities are located just outside of Harris County. 

The large growth rates in Conroe and Sugar Land can be at least partially attributed to annexation, before the legislature essentially disallowed it. Sugar Land annexed New Territory over the last decade, while Conroe annexed communities in Lake Conroe and down towards The Woodlands. 

Galveston’s population, which fell below 50,000 in 2010 due to the effects of Hurricane Ike, has made something of a recovery. Atascocita and Spring are the region's largest unincorporated communities (again: suburban communities between the Beltway and the Grand Parkway).

Finally, the region is growing more diverse: 

                                                                                                                       Houston-Galveston Area Council

As was the case in 2010, no one ethnic group constitutes a majority population within the region, although between 2010 and 2020 the Hispanic population surpassed the White population as the region's largest ethnic group. The region's Asian population grew by almost two percentage points, while the region's Black population percentage remained about the same.  The percentage of residents considering themselves of Other ethnicity (including mixed races) doubled. 

Put another way, between 2010 and 2020 the region added almost 580 thousand Hispanic residents, almost 218 thousand Black residents, about 207.5 thousand Asian residents, almost 160 thousand residents of Mixed or Other ethnicities, and almost 60 thousand White residents. 

No single ethnicity accounts for more than 37.3 percent of the population today, down from 39.9% ten years ago. Fort Bend County is one of the most ethnically-diverse counties in the United States: it is 29.6% White, 24% Hispanic, 22% Asian, and 20% Black.

For more information about these 2020 Census numbers (including additional data and interactive maps) check out H-GAC's 2020 Census Redistricting Data Tool. A hat tip to H-GAC's Pramod Sambidi and his Socioeconomic Modeling group for processing this data so quickly.

(Obligatory "in the interests of full disclosure, I am an H-GAC employee" disclaimer here.)

Saturday, August 14, 2021

Amsterdam's reprieve from overtourism

 Frida Ghitis reflects upon an Amsterdam transformed by the pandemic:

There's an unfamiliar seriousness in the air. The city that routinely drew millions of visitors, some looking for high art, many simply wanting to smoke pot, has grown a bit quieter. The people, it appears to me, have become friendlier. The city seems more grounded -- and lovelier than ever.

My last pre-pandemic visit was in 2019. Amsterdamers were exasperated, then, drowning in a flood of tourists. That year, an unbelievable 21 million people visited what is a relatively small city of less than 900,000 people.

Some tourists have returned, but the raucous crowds that made it impossible to hold your path for more than a few seconds on a sliver of sidewalk are nowhere in sight. The sidewalk cafes are still full when it's not raining. They have more tables outside. The city is still lively. But you hear almost only Dutch, another noticeable change.

The narrow, cobble-stoned streets are still buzzing with bicycles, but the riders are almost all Dutch. Gone are the swarms of tourists in yellow or red-painted rental bikes, pedaling uneasily and stopping suddenly, disruptively, for snapshot of one of the distinctive 17th century Dutch houses lining the old canals.

One of the (few) positives of the COVID-19 pandemic is that "overtouristed" destinations such as Venice, Dubrovnik, Barcelona and Amsterdam were given a respite from the hordes of visitors and the negative effects they bring: the crowds, the garbage, the kitschy souvenir shops, the vacation rentals pushing out longtime residents. This pause in tourist activity has given these cities time to consider what they want their tourist economy to look like going forward:
While much of the travel industry has spent the last year focused on how to recover from the pandemic as quickly as possible, some of the world’s most tourism-dependent economies are reveling in the emptiness and pushing back on attempts to return to the status quo.

In response, many destinations are using the respite to advance tourism management rather than tourism marketing plans, with an emphasis on more local input and control.

The challenges are steep. And the efforts, in many cases, precede Covid-19. 

But the global travel shutdown over the past year provided a silver lining of sorts for the overtourism problems that were hitting crisis levels in popular hot spots just before the pandemic was declared in March.

“The opportunity right now is that it’s like we’ve had an escape valve,” said Jonathon Day, an associate professor in Purdue’s School of Hospitality and Tourism Management. “We were above or right at capacity in some of our destinations. … Now, we’ve got a moment to say, is the system working?”

If the movements are successful, experts say, they will reshape the tourism experience by focusing on attracting higher-quality tourism that is more interested in and sensitive to local culture and sustainability while bolstering local businesses and enhancing the visitor experience.
Undesirable tourist activity has been a long-running issue for Amsterdam; I blogged about a planned crackdown on marijuana- and prostitution-related tourism over a decade ago. Ghitis notes that the residents of the city are focused on combatting many of the same tourist-related negatives today:
This was a good destination for my first international trip in nearly 18 months. Pre-pandemic Amsterdam might have been a shock to the system. I'm not the only one who likes it like this. The residents of the city have been complaining for years that their quality of life was declining because of overtourism. Authorities are trying to see what they can salvage from one of the few good outcomes of the crisis. They want to restrict arrivals, keep tourists away from cannabis "coffee shops," and prevent them from overrunning the Wallen, the centuries' old neighborhood that is also home to Amsterdam's famed red light district.

Eventually, the pandemic will end and tourists will return. This new, more serious Amsterdam will become another one of the memories of this strange time. For now, walking along the iconic canals, recognizing the quiet, and seeing how much has changed, how even the people seem a little different, is part of what traveling is all about, a heightened sense of awareness, the unmistakable feeling of being alive, and the knowledge that the world is calling out with more places to visit. I can hardly wait! (And I have already made reservations.)

I'd like to make a (responsibly-planned) return trip to Amsterdam sometime in the future as well. But for now, I'm glad that residents are getting a chance to enjoy some relative peace in their own city.

Thoughts on the Tokyo Olympics

They were delayed a year, they were played in the sweltering heat, there were no fans in the stands, they were the most expensive on record, and its organizing body is still hopelessly corrupt. The 2021 2020 Summer Olympics, which ended a week ago, probably shouldn't have happened at all. But happen they did, and I have a handful of thoughts: 

We're (Just Barely) Number One: The United States "won" the 2020 Olympics, by earning the most gold medals (39) as well as the most medials overall (113). The United States has won the most number of gold medals in six out of the last seven Olympic Games, and the most medals overall for the seventh summer Games in a row. 

However, Team USA only barely edged out China for the most golds; the Chinese team, which had been leading in the gold count until the final weekend of the games, came in second with 38 golds (and 88 medals overall). Rounding out the top five in the gold medal count were host nation Japan, Great Britain, and the Russian Olympic Committee (which I'll say more about in a moment).

Fun fact: the Chronicle claims that, if Houston were its own country, it would have finished 20th in the medal count.

Welcome to the Club: Athletes from Bermuda, the Philippines and Qatar won their countries' first-ever gold medals, while Burkina Faso, San Marino and Turkmenistan won their first medals ever. San Marino is, in fact, the first European microstate ever to win a medal at the summer Games (Liechtenstein has won medals at the Winter Olympics). 

Given its small size, San Marino also ended the Olympics with the most medals per-capita: one for every 11 thousand inhabitants (the United States, by comparison, won one medal per 2.9 million people). 

On the other end of the medals-per-capita list is India. Even though Indian athletes had their most successful appearance in the Olympics ever, the seven medals they won represented a ratio of one medal per 197 million people.

Cheaters do win, if you're Russia: After Russia's blatant state-sponsored doping scandal, the International Olympic Committee and the World Anti-Doping Agency decided to "ban" Russia from the Olympics. Russian athletes could still compete, however, as long as they called themselves the "Russian Olympic Committee," competed under a special flag, and played something other than the Russian national anthem at medal ceremonies:

At the medal ceremony here, the Russian national anthem was replaced by “Piano Concerto No. 1” by Tchaikovsky, the Russian composer. The flag raised was not the Russian flag, but one featuring waves of an Olympic torch … but using the Russian colors of blue, red and white.

No Russian flags are allowed at any venue (or the Opening or Closing Ceremony), but they can be hung about the Olympic Village. So there’s that. Not that it matters. The Russians designed their uniforms to mimic the beloved Trikolor.

“If the flag is not allowed, we ourselves will be the flag,” Rugby captain Alena Tiron told the Russian state news agency RIA Novostu.

In Russia, the Olympics gold medal you.

“We know which country we stand for,” Tiron said.

Everyone does. A country that is adept at embedding spies in the highest level of governments around the globe doesn’t even have to try to be sneaky over here.

These so-called "neutral athletes" - over 330 of them, in all - finished with 20 gold medals (and 71 overall). What a joke. 

The head of the United States Anti-Doping Agency, Travis Tygart, had some choice words to say about this charade:

"Unfortunately, we’ve seen this horror film already – where the Russian state-sponsored doping programme walks free and Russia wins while the IOC and WADA leaders attempt to pull the wool over the world’s eyes by claiming Russia is ‘banned.’," said Tygart.

"All can now see this ‘ban’ once again for the farce that it is.

"It is barely a ‘rebrand’ and will do nothing to stop the corruption in Russia and likely will embolden others willing to win by any means.

"It’s a doomed system that allows, as it has here, one nation to make a mockery of the Games by their thirst for medals over values."

Russia is also "banned" from the 2022 Winter Olympics, but Russian athletes will be there, too. Vladimir Putin has to be laughing his ass off.

I would have punched that horse, too: the modern pentathlon is one of the weirdest sports of the Olympics. Okay, so maybe not as weird as artistic swimming or race walking, but a competition consisting of five very disparate disciplines - fencing, swimming, show jumping, pistol shooting, and cross-country running - is, well, pretty wacky. According to Wikipedia, this sport is "patterned on events representing the skills needed by cavalry behind enemy lines." Okay, but it's still somewhat ridiculous, especially since cavalry isn't really a thing in warfare anymore.

Anyway, there was controversy during the women's modern pentathlon when a frustrated German coach appeared to strike an uncooperative horse during the show jumping portion of the competition:

The International Modern Pentathlon Union (UIPM), the sport's governing body, announced Saturday it was giving a black card to Kim Raisner, dismissing her from the remainder of the Games, after reviewing video footage from a Friday event.

The footage "showed Ms Raisner appearing to strike the horse Saint Boy, ridden by Annika Schleu (GER), with her fist," the group said in a statement. That violated UIPM competition rules, they said.

The light punch came after Schleu, who was heading into the show jumping round with a commanding lead, was trying to get Saint Boy to respond to her commands. But the horse was obstinate.

Schleu, who was visibly in tears because she couldn't get her horse to cooperate, scored zero points in the show jumping segment and fell to 31st place by competition's end. 

This brings up another weird aspect of the modern pentathlon: unlike other equestrian events at the Olympics, the horses do not "belong" to the riders. Rather, horses are randomly assigned to competitors twenty minutes before the show jumping competition, giving athletes a very short time to "bond" with the animals. This would appear to create an element of luck that is completely outside the competitor's control: if somebody ends up with a wayward horse that refuses to jump, then their dreams of winning a medal are sunk through no fault of their own. This apparently happened to several competitors - not just Schleu - during the women's modern pentathlon.

The agency that oversees this weird-ass sport is reviewing the event and considering changes for 2024. Perhaps they should consider doing away with horses entirely, and replace show jumping with a skill relevant to a 21st century soldier, like rock climbing or mountain biking.

(Full disclosure: I'm not the world's biggest fan of horses. They've always creeped me out, for some reason.)

NBC's coverage still sucked: I've written about this so many times since 1996 that I really don't have anything new to say about it. So I'll hand off to The Guardian, which describes the coverage of the Tokyo Olympics as "televisual vomit:"

Viewers have been able to see everything at any given moment (provided you have the Peacock streaming service) while understanding fundamentally nothing about what’s going on. NBC has never met a night of swimming finals that didn’t need to be spliced up with bizarre human interest segments on Caeleb Dressel’s first ride through the Florida wetlands on an airboat, or a routine on the double bars that couldn’t be improved by a quick jump to an ad break and some random highlights of Denmark and Indonesia in the badminton. We all want to know who the athletes are, of course, if only at a superficial level; and since the whole Olympics is so overwhelming, with so much going on at once, some measure of discombobulation from the host broadcaster is always understandable. But when we switch on the Olympics, I think it’s fair to say that most of us want to witness elite athletes perform spectacular feats with their bodies, not hear a series of driving stories about how they handle their daily commute.

NBC’s programming choices have been consistently bizarre, even more so when you consider that whole chunks of the schedule in Tokyo – for swimming above all, but also in the athletics – were specifically rejigged to cater to the American TV audience, and at several points it’s been unclear to all but the most obsessive Olympics watchers whether what’s on TV at night in the US is live or a replay. On Sunday morning, the women’s triple-jump world record had just been broken, a thrilling men’s high jump had ended in shared gold and the starting gun for the men’s 100m – the biggest race at the Olympics – had just been fired. NBC was showing a replay of the equestrian eventing final. The point, of course, is to funnel viewers to watch the repeat in primetime. Which may have worked at Tokyo 1964 when you could avoid the result for 12 hours. But which viewer with even a passing interest in sport for Tokyo 2020 won’t already have seen the result on the internet or used a VPN to watch it on the BBC or CBC?

Time, The Los Angeles Times and TechDirt are similarly critical of the coverage, while Vulture suggests that the oftentimes-confusing array of coverage - NBC presented coverage of the Games across its broadcast network, multiple cable channels, and its Peacock streaming platform - was simply a case of viewers getting what they've always wanted:

Some of the complaining about figuring out “how” to watch the Olympics on the NBC platforms is a classic case of “be careful what you wish for.” After all, for years the rap on NBC’s coverage was that the network offered almost nothing but prepackaged, and often pretaped, extended highlights shows. Audiences would have to wait until prime time to see events which finished up hours earlier; sports fans who wanted deep coverage of less high-profile events were often out of luck. The fact that NBC now pretty much lets anyone with a cable login watch every event live, in real time, is a massive improvement over the status quo of a decade or two ago. And it’s certainly a lot better than it was back in the 20th century, when NBC — and previous Olympics hosts CBS and ABC — treated the Olympics as a prime-time soap opera, serving up only the story lines it felt would appeal to a broad audience (thank you, Roone Arledge). NBC still does this with its main coverage, of course, but audiences now have more choice than ever before.

The Tokyo Games ended up having the lowest viewership of any Olympics NBC has broadcast since they first picked up the Games in 1988. NBC, of course, had a litany of excuses ready to explain away their poor ratings - Coronavirus, the time difference, difficulties encountered by the athletes they overhyped the most (Simone Biles, Naomi Osaka) - and tried to put a positive spin on its viewership:

NBC says its coverage of the Games boosted everything from podcasts to broadcast programs such as the Today show and NBC Nightly News. 

But the days when the Olympics were appointment television for most TV viewers seem to be ending. The pressing question for NBC — which has spent billions for rights to air the Games until at least 2032 — is how to handle a media world where the hours of coverage are increasing while audience numbers are heading in the opposite direction.

I dunno, maybe try to make your coverage (and the ability of viewers to navigate it) suck less? Maybe present the Olympics as an actual sporting event, rather than a primetime reality TV show? Maybe fire Mark Lazarus, who is apparently the guy most responsible for this claptrap? I'm not holding my breath.

All Jazeera reviews the highs and lows of the just-completed Games, while the Daily Beast explores some of Tokyo's weirder moments and ESPN waxes sentimental on what the games are all about. And if the Tokyo Games left you yearning for more, don't fret: the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing are only six months away!

The great secret of Denver International Airport

I discovered it after a short trip to visit my brother last weekend, and it has nothing to do with spooky murals, underground bunkers, the New World Order, or any of the other myriad conspiracy theories associated with the airport.

Instead, it has to do with the quickest way to get through the airport's notoriously-long security lines.

If you're familiar with Denver International Airport, you'll know that in the terminal itself there are two TSA security checkpoints: north and south. The south checkpoint is usually the busier of the two, since it's on the side of the terminal facing the RTD's commuter rail station, but during peak periods both are inundated by passengers and wait times can be lengthy.

However, there is also a third, lesser-known security checkpoint at the bridge linking the terminal to Concourse A. It's located on the north side of the terminal in the level above the north and south checkpoints, and it's not well-signed. This is perhaps purposeful, because the checkpoint is comparatively small and probably can't handle a large group of passengers.

But this is also why it's so easy to get through: relatively few people know about it, so there's very little wait. This comes in handy if you're late for your flight or (like me) you just don't like standing in long TSA lines. 

After you pass through the checkpoint and walk across the bridge, you can either take one of two passageways to Concourse A, or take the elevator down to the inter-terminal train to get to Concourses B and C.

You're welcome!

Cool fact: Corinne's father was the airport's original architect.

Friday, August 06, 2021

A new Olympic powerhouse?

Ecuador has won three medals (two golds and a silver) at the Tokyo Olympics. 

This exceeds the number of medals the country has won in all previous Olympics combined.

Tuesday, August 03, 2021

The great Topo Chico shortage of 2021

Forget toilet paper, lumber, microchips and everything else that has been or is in short supply due to the pandemic. This is the real crisis:

Texans, a distressing drink shortage is plaguing our great state, well, the nation actually. Topo Chico, a beverage many here in the Lone Star State hold near and dear to our hearts is being swept off shelves faster than the company can restock it. Stated bluntly, we’re experiencing a nationwide Topo Chico shortage , and, we might add, in the middle of a scorching summer.

A spokesperson for Topo Chico told KPRC 2 that the company’s experiencing a temporary shortage due to “extremely strong consumer demand and a shortage of raw materials,” adding that the company’s stock of Topo Chico “is temporarily tight across the country.”

“We’re working hard and implementing contingency plans to keep the products people love on shelves during this temporary shortage,” the company told KPRC 2.

Some news stories have indicated that the shortage is due to a lack of glass, but I've noticed that the 16-ounce plastic bottles of the Mexican sparkling water have also been difficult to find. They haven't been on the shelves at H.E.B. in a few weeks, nor have the pallets of plastic bottles (which I regularly buy) been available at Costco lately. For whatever the reason, Topo Chico (in any form) is simply hard do come by right now.

In many ways, this is my worst fear: has Topo Chico finally become "so popular that demand overwhelms the amount of water that the plant in Monterrey is able to produce, and the drink becomes increasingly expensive and hard to find," as I wrote a few years ago?

Texas Monthly's Emily McCullar, on the other hand, suggests that "maybe we should take advantage of this forced break between Texans and our Topo" to try other, Texas-produced mineral waters: 

These days, there are approximately one trillion sparkling water brands that you can get from H-E-B, Target, Brookshire Brothers, Lowe’s, and everywhere else. Sure, when Topo Chico was coming up, the only other brand widely available was LaCroix, which has tiny gentle bubbles and goes flat in half an hour, so Topo was obviously king. But now we have Austin-based companies like Rambler, which has a refreshingly potent carbonation, and Waterloo, which is killing it in the “flavor essence” game (I personally ride hard for Black Cherry, which tastes like a not-sugary Hi-C). Big Swig is out here getting wild with prickly pear, pickle juice, and jalepeƱo flavors; and you can always count on Richard’s Rainwater to cool you off in a pinch. Don’t even get me started on H-E-B, which has not only its own line of flavored canned waters but also the glass-bottled 1877 Mineral Water, which is just as good as Topo Chico, if not better. 

This is simply wrong. H-E-B's 1877 product is okay, but it's not nearly as carbonated as Topo Chico, and I certainly don't think it tastes any better. As for flavored waters, I'm not a fan in general. While I will keep an eye out for Rambler, I simply haven't found a sparkling water that comes close to Topo Chico in terms of flavor and feel. If that makes me a mineral water snob, so be it.

Here's to hoping that the folks at Topo Chico (as well as their overlords at Coca-Cola) find a way to address the shortage soon. Football season is just a few weeks away; I shudder to think about having to tailgate without a cold Topo in hand.

The Marvin Zindler Papers

The archives of the legendary local TV personality have a new home at the University of Houston library:

University of Houston Libraries Special Collections is pleased to announce the acquisition of the Marvin Zindler Papers.

The collection preserves and celebrates the legacy of the distinguished KTRK-TV investigative reporter through photos, correspondence, news clippings, publicity and press release materials, personal notes, sketches, awards, complaint letters, story scripts, reporter notebooks, research files, AV materials, two eye-opening biographies, artifacts (including his baton), and ephemera.

The idea to collect the iconic reporter's archives and house them at the UH library was both his producer's and his family's:

“I have been treasuring many varied items in my possession and all the special memories associated with them, but ultimately decided to share Marvin Zindler‘s life-changing impact upon everyone he touched,” said Lori Reingold, Zindler’s long-time producer. “I want Houstonians to remember that Marvin was one of the people who shaped this city, and that he fought for what was right and what he believed in, gave voice to the voiceless, and was fearless in his pursuit of truth and justice.”

Zindler’s son Dan Zindler and partner Lori Freese were inspired by Reingold to bring the reporter’s archives to UH Special Collections. “Ms. Reingold produced Marvin’s stories and now she’s producing his archives and legacy to be properly preserved and shared,” said Dan Zindler. “It was an honor to be his son and an incredible honor to share his memory with everyone.”

I imagine that, one day in the future, a grad student in the Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management will use these archives to write a thesis about the prevalence of slime in Houston restaurant ice machines in the 1980s and 1990s.