Petty Drama, Electric Trucks and Hungry Bears



A cartoon shows a blond-haired man sleeping in a hospital bed, connected via wires to an electric truck outside the window.
Drue Wagner / Texas Observer

The unreliable Texas grid could not stop one man’s pursuit of reliable family planning. When his urology clinic suddenly lost power, Dr. Christopher Yang thought he would have to cancel a patient’s impending vasectomy. But a staffer reminded the doctor about his brand-new electric truck parked outside. WGLT reported that Yang ran an extension cord out to the vehicle, which had plenty of battery juice to power a cautery device for the 15-minute procedure. 

El Paso

A cartoon of a UPS truck speeding away with dozens of SAT test papers spilling out the back.
Drue Wagner / Texas Observer

UPS has thrown the higher education plans of dozens of El Paso High School students into disarray. The young people had just taken the SATs and handed their answer sheets to school officials, who handed them to UPS. En route to the College Board, the papers flew out of an unsecured truck. UPS and the school district salvaged most of the exams, NPR reported, but 55 unfortunate students’ work was lost to the wind.


San Antonio

A debate over energy efficiency and equity in the nation’s seventh-biggest city was derailed by the siren call of petty drama. In September, City Councilman Mario Bravo publicly berated council colleague and ex-girlfriend Ana Sandoval for disagreeing with his suggestion to use public utility revenue to weatherize low-income homes, saying her lack of support showed why he broke up with her. Bravo brought his parents and current girlfriend to defend his character. Unmoved, the council voted to censure him, according to the San Antonio Report.


In this cartoon, two rangers, one male with a mustache and the other blond and female, aim paintball rifles at a brown bear as it snacks on tacos while perched atop a blue dumpster.
Drue Wagner / Texas Observer

An opportunistic black bear has been helping itself to leftovers in dumpsters outside a barbecue joint and a taqueria, leaving steaming scat behind. Neither noise from business owners nor rubber bullets from a sheriff’s deputy have deterred the ursine gourmand, so state officials have resorted to shooting the poor creature with paintballs, reported the Big Bend Sentinel. Black bears, extirpated from the area decades ago, returned to Big Bend country in the 1980s.

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