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commentary

An H-E-B employee lets shoppers into the store as others leave.
David Martin Davies | Texas Public Radio

We are all facing unprecedented challenges under the looming threat of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even a trip to the grocery store has become challenging.  There's a run on essentials which sometimes leaves our neighbors without the things they need. 

In her commentary, Texas Public Radio contributor Yvette Benavides describes her own recent trip to the supermarket. 


Bird Island in Elmendorf Lake was recently cleared of its nesting vegetation for cattle egrets.
David Martin Davies | Texas Public Radio

For about 18 months, after the May 2008 four-alarm fire in the main building at Our Lady of the Lake University displaced my colleagues and me, my temporary office was in the Ayres dormitory.  My windows looked out on the parking lot and Elmendorf Lake itself, the most visible part of which was Bird Island — a massive rookery home to hundreds of egrets and other waterfowl.


Commentary: Climate Change On The Texas Ballot

Nov 4, 2019
David Martin Davies / Texas Public Radio

On Tuesday, Nov. 5, Texans are voting on 10 proposed changes to the Texas Constitution. Although climate change doesn't appear to be anywhere on the ballot, Texas Public Radio commentator Yvette Benavides says it's there. 


Commentary: Day Of The Dead And Dead Migrants

Nov 1, 2019

In the United States, the majority of migrant deaths occur in Texas.

In 2017, of all the 294 deaths recorded by the U.S. Border Patrol, 104 happened in the Rio Grande Valley. In recent years, many of those who died were unceremoniously and summarily buried in unmarked graves in places like the Sacred Heart Burial Park in Falfurrias, Texas. If Dia de Los Muertos celebrates the lives of the dead, who will remember these migrants?


Last month, millions tuned in to watch the Democratic presidential debates in Miami. Three of the candidates broke into Spanish during the debates at different times. The country reacted.

When the smoke cleared, it was former HUD Secretary and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro who had the most to answer for — for a perceived lack of fluency in his attempt. Texas Public Radio commentator Yvette Benavides sees his code-switching, not as deficient, but as part of a far more complex and authentic story. 

This week, we’ve continued to see the disturbing images coming from the detention centers on the southern border. The families keep making the journey from their home countries to the US/Mexico border, risking family separation—and more. 

The immigration debate has prompted a surge in the use of words we didn’t used to hear quite so much. Words like “caravan” or “asylum.” Words matter. Words are loaded with meaning—associations that could denigrate and fail to communicate.  In her commentary, Texas Public Radio contributor Yvette Benavides gives us a lesson in semantics. Benavides is a professor of English and creative writing at Our Lady of the Lake University.

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Commentary: A Toxic 2018

Dec 8, 2018
David Martin Davies

 

The end of the year means a look at the word of the year from a variety of dictionaries. 

The top word, presumably, is a metonym for our collective experience of the year’s events.