The Big Conversation
Could Sriracha be coming to the Alamo City?
The San Antonio Express-News' Kolten Parker talked to Dallas state Rep. Jason Villalba, who has been on an extended quest to get the makers of the popular hot sauce to move operations from California to Texas. He will lead a delegation of state officials on May 12 to tour the factory where Sriracha is made.
Acknowledging the need for a factory to be close to where the chilies are harvested for the sauce, Villalba told Parker that because of “its proximity to the Rio Grande Valley and the economic infrastructure to support this type of factory, San Antonio is high on the list,” Villalba said.
Others pointed out that the makers of Sriracha appear more inclined toward expansion in Texas instead of an outright move from California. Villalba, though, isn't giving up, spurred by efforts in Irwindale, Calif., to clamp down on production because of the fumes emanating from the sauce factory. According to Villalba, “I am deeply troubled that one of the fastest-growing and universally beloved condiments in the world — made right here in the USA — could face such blatant obstructionism by a local city government. This would never happen in Texas.”
If Sriracha does set up shop in San Antonio, it would come to a city that already has secured a place in chili history through its Chili Queens, famous for serving the food in the city plazas for about 70 years in the late 19th century and early 20th century.
The Day Ahead
• GOP gubernatorial nominee Greg Abbott is in Dallas at 1 p.m. to promote the second phase of his education policy proposals.
Today in the Trib
Ongoing Drought Pushes Beef Prices to Record Levels: "As Texas enters its fourth year of record-setting drought, ranchers, along with economic and agriculture experts, are concerned about increasing food prices."
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$3 Million Award in Drilling Suit Sparks Legal Worries: "A $3 million jury award to a North Texas family who claimed that nearby oil drilling operations caused severe health ailments has spurred fears of more lawsuits."
Candidates Talk Urban-Rural Divide in Runoff: "The race to replace U.S Rep. Steve Stockman in CD-36 is a battle of geographical allegiance between supporters of the two Republican candidates headed to the May 27 runoff."
Dewhurst Senate campaign to FEC: GOP pollster doesn't deserve full payment, San Antonio Express-News
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Michele Bachmann endorses Ralph Hall in primary runoff, The Dallas Morning News
Deputies-turned-criminals sentenced in Hidalgo County, San Antonio Express-News
UT regents advised not to tape-record closed-door board meetings, Austin American-Statesman
State may fire embattled sex offender agency director, Houston Chronicle
Quote to Note
“The uninformed opinions of a Washington, D.C., desk jockey who's never stepped foot in Texas couldn't be less relevant to what's actually happening on the ground.”
— Wendy Davis campaign manager Karin Johanson, pushing back against a less-than-rosy assessment of the candidate's chances given by Democratic Governors Association Chairman Peter Shumlin
News From Home
• Registration for the Sept. 19-21 Texas Tribune Festival begins Thursday, May 1. As an added incentive, we offer for a short time an early-bird rate of $150, which works out to a 50 percent discount off the walk-up rate. In addition, students and educators can attend for just $50.
Trib Events for the Calendar
• The Texas Tribune Festival On the Road presents a one-day symposium on STEM Education at UT-Dallas, 5/5
• A Conversation With Rep. Dan Branch, Candidate for Attorney General at the Austin Club, 5/8
• A Conversation With U.S. Rep. Mike Conaway at Midland College in Midland, 5/13
• A Conversation With Steve Patterson, UT Men's Athletic Director at the Austin Club, 5/15
• A Conversation With Sen. Glenn Hegar, Candidate for State Comptroller at the Austin Club, 5/29
• Save the date for the 2014 Texas Tribune Festival: 9/19-9/21