It may be July 4th, but here are five stories that have North Texas talking: Texas politicians in Washington tough on immigration while some leaders back at home shake their heads, Kaboom Town came with new restrictions in 2013, charting the migration pattern of Austin hipsters and more.
As we celebrate our nation’s independence, the debate surrounding a path to citizenship swirls on. Some Republicans see the immigration bill that passed the Senate last week as a chance for the GOP to gain support from Latino voters. But most Texas Republican lawmakers in Washington disagree. Senior Senator John Cornyn has spoken out against the bill and junior senator Ted Cruz, the son of a Cuban immigrant, is perhaps even more opposed. "I think we need to treat legal immigrants fairly, and I think granting a path to citizenship is not fair to legal immigrants," Cruz says.
As part of NPR’s Texas 2020 series, David Welna looks at the reasons behind the opposition. He also explains why some prominent Texas Republicans say those who stand against reform are “behind the curve.” In another piece, KERA’s Shelley Kofler traces the deep roots of Texas Hispanics who were in-state before white Anglos. She explains why having once been part of Mexico has lessened the tensions between whites and Latinos. But that's not always the case.
- Trumpeting Music And Responsibility: There’s nothing like listening to a John Phillip Sousa tune on a gleaming brass horn; it’s about as patriotic as you can get. Local jazz legend Freddie Jones understands the magic of the trumpet in a way most of us can’t, which is why he created the Trumpets4Kids program. His non-profit has a simple mission; hand out horns to kids who are motivated to play. But the shiny instruments he distributes come with a contract and obligations. KERA takes an up-close look at the program… and an up-close listen to some Freddie Jones tuneage.
- Newly Controlled Chaos: Addison’s nationally popular fireworks show and Independence Day extravaganza Kaboom Town attracts thousands of people every year on July 3rd. But according to the Dallas Morning News, organizers contained the glitter and sparkle this year with some new regulations. For the first time ever, security decided to fence off Addison circle, search people’s bags and coolers and limit entrance to the park. Some people were happy with the crowd control, but others left standing outside last night felt differently. “They closed the gates right on our faces,” said attendee Andrea Collins. Just to give you some perspective, 23,000 people were admitted to Kaboom Town last night compared to 50,000 in 2012.
- Half A Century of Neighborhood Patriotism: The Lakewood Fourth of July Parade is a community favorite for many North Texans. Anyone can march or float in it; there’s no entry fee. The parade is kid-centric, so commercial floats aren’t allowed either. Spectators are likely to see babies in wagons, teen rock bands and people hurling ice pops into the crowd. This Independence Day, the Lakewood parade turns 50 and organizers expect the milestone to draw more people than ever. Last year, people in Lakewood were still cleaning up from a major hailstorm on parade day. But the 2013 event is all about the half century mark.
- Plotting Hipsters (Not Plots By Hipsters): If a hot-dog, slice of watermelon, Old Navy flag t-shirt and some 9 p.m. sparklers is a little, well, mainstream for you, Yelp can help you migrate toward some hipster comrades. If you’re willing to drive to Austin, that is. Yelp’s Wordmap combed through 65,000 business reviews in Austin, and geo-tagged certain word’s, hipster being one of them. But you can also search for high concentrations of tourist, bacon and Pabst Blue Ribbon. DFW hasn’t been wordmapped yet, but consider this an official plea to Yelp. Personally, I’d love to see where the noodles, margaritas and yuppies hang out in North Texas. [KUT]