Five stories that have North Texas talking: Our air is bad, but it could be worse; how Toyota’s move to North Texas could help Gov. Perry; Beethoven, baby!; and more.
- Dallas-Fort Worth has some of the worst air in the country. North Texas ranks No. 8 on a list of most polluted cities based on ozone. That’s according to the American Lung Association’s State of the Air survey. Houston was ranked No. 6 on the ozone list. The worst air, based on ozone? Los Angeles. The worst air based on year-round particle pollution and short-term particle pollution? Fresno, California. Take a closer look at the North Texas results. The report says: “The State of the Air 2014 shows that the nation’s air quality worsened in 2010-2012, but remains overall much cleaner than just a decade ago. More than 147.6 million people—47 percent of the nation—live where pollution levels are too often dangerous to breathe, an increase from last year’s report.”
- Toyota announced this week it’s moving its national headquarters to Plano – and that could help Gov. Rick Perry, analysts say. “That the world’s largest automaker is leaving the nation’s leading blue state for its No. 1 red one is a victory Perry can crow about as he gears up for an expected second White House run,” The Associated Press reports. “’It’s a walk-off home run for Perry,’ said Republican political strategist Mark McKinnon, a top adviser in the presidential campaigns of John McCain and George W. Bush. ‘His jobs and economy narrative is now complete and real.’” Perry was in New York last week, trying to lure companies to Texas.
- Underwater robots have found something strange in old shipwrecks off the coast of Galveston. KHOU-TV in Houston reports it’s basically a solidified eruption from an underwater volcano of asphalt. “[It’s] a strangely-shaped structure that’s basically a spectacular tar ball. Inside a command center at Texas A&M Galveston, a team of archaeologists, marine biologists, and other experts have been coordinating the exploration of three sunken ships lying beneath more than a mile of seawater roughly 175 miles off the Texas coast. Artifacts discovered on the sites include anchors, dishes, cannon, and even a clock apparently lost in some sort of disaster at sea about two centuries ago.”
- The Thanks-Giving Foundation on Thursday is hosting its 33rd Annual National Day of Prayer Luncheon. The event at the Hilton Anatole Hotel features Douglas M. Johnston, president and founder of the International Center for Religion and Diplomacy, who will discuss “Empathy as an Extension of Prayer.”
- And it’s Beethoven, baby! The Dallas Symphony Orchestra celebrates Ludwig van Beethoven’s music starting Thursday with three weeks of performances. On Wednesday, KERA’s Krys Boyd discsused why Beethoven remains irresistible to classical music fans with DSO music director Jaap van Zweden and concertmaster Alexander Kerr. Plus, Beethoven was deaf. “It’s hard to believe, still today, that you write music which will stay there for ages and ages, and is considered to be maybe the most beautiful music ever written, and he did not hear it himself,” van Zweden said. “It’s an amazing thing.” Listen to the roundup from KERA’s Stephen Becker. Or hear the entire show.