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Texas Matters: Banning Birds From Parks, Oscar Casares & Lydia Mendoza

David Martin Davies
Texas Public Radio

Banning Birds From Parks

After questions were raised about the city of San Antonio's practice of spraying a bird repellent in public, parks officials said they would post signs warning the public of exposure to the chemical mist. The city has conducted the spraying to combat egrets and other birds.

The spraying has gone on for more than a year. It’s not clear if it’s having an impact on the egrets but some people who have visited the park say the chemical fog is having an impact on them.

Texas Public Radio's David Martin Davies has the story.

Where We Come From - A Novel

Oscar Casares is known for his short story collection, "Brownsville," a publication that has become a new classic about life in a border city. 

The stories were peopled by such astutely and realistically drawn denizens, it was easy to feel like you knew them.  

Now with his latest novel, "Where We Come From," Casares — again — expertly depicts life in Brownsville.  But it's a very different Brownsville with characters who are new to the city, who have just arrived from Central America and who come face-to-face with the people who live on the fringes of Brownsville. 

Here again, Casares with precision and compassion brings us the realities of a space where the innocent fall prey to human traffickers and immigration officials alike.  In the middle of the nightmarish scenarios are an unassuming, middle-aged woman and her godson who become the center of a tension-filled, life-and-death situation and help us see that the issues on the border can and should be treated humanely because they recognize that no matter what elements us, or "where we come from" we are really all the same.  

Texas Public Radio contributor Yvette Benavides spoke to Oscar Casares about his novel, "Where We Come From."

Lydia Mendoza Remembered

This weekend the texas historic commission will dedicate a marker for Lydia Mendoza.

Mendoza was Texas guitarist and singer of Tejano, conjunto and traditional Mexican-American music, Mendoza died in 2008.

In 2006 Texas Public Radio contributor Yvette Benavides visited with the music icon and filed this audio postcard.

David Martin Davies can be reached at dmdavies@tpr.org and on Twitter at @DavidMartinDavi