Lise Olsen

Lise Olsen is a Houston-based senior writer and editor, working mom, and yogini. Reach her at [email protected] or by phone or Signal at 281-454-1933.

Medical professionals wait by empty beds during a tour of the new Harris County Non-Congregate Medical Shelter at NRG Park Saturday, April 11, 2020, in Houston. The new temporary setup will have 250 beds initially with a capacity of 2000 beds, if needed, to help relieve pressure on the hospital system from COVID-19 patients. Activation is not intended at this time. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Health Care

Houston Is Ground Zero for a Potentially Lifesaving COVID-19 Treatment

A plasma treatment trial is now rolling out nationwide, but a lack of tests remains a roadblock.

Houston attorney Troy Chandler is a big guy—6-foot-2 and 250 pounds—but on March 12 he felt as though he’d been hit by a truck. The first time he went to the emergency room at Houston Methodist Hospital, doctors “looked at … Read More

An apartment complex in Houston.

A Day in the Harris County Eviction Court

Harris County evictions increased dramatically from 2015 to 2016, and then remained higher from 2017 to 2019. No one knows why.

Each Wednesday, the wooden benches in the Harris County courtroom of Justice of the Peace Jeremy L. Brown fill with particularly tense people—most are landlords or lawyers bearing folders of unpaid bills. Meanwhile, defendants shift nervously in their seats, quietly … Read More

The line to vote at 9:25 p.m. at Texas Southern University.
Texas Politics

Democratic Voters Surge in Texas Primary, Waiting in Punishingly Long Lines as Officials Struggle to Keep Up

Grueling wait times stretched hours past closing time at polling locations across Texas. One voter in Houston waited nearly seven hours to cast his ballot.

One of the biggest and most disturbing storylines to emerge on Super Tuesday wasn’t about any top-of-the-ticket race, but rather the shockingly long wait times as some Texas polling locations struggled to keep up with increased turnout.  According to the … Read More

An "I voted" sticker.
Texas Politics

What You Need to Know About Voting on Super Tuesday

A record number of Texans are registered to vote. But will they? And why should you?

Ahead of the March primaries, the number of registered voters in Texas hit a record 16 million—a million more than 2018 and almost 2 million more than the 2016 presidential race. This week, we’ll find out if they will actually … Read More

Jeremy Slack, photographed on the Cesar E. Chavez Border Highway in El Paso, recently led a research team that interviewed more than 1,100 people to learn what happens to deportees in Mexico.

Researcher Jeremy Slack on the Horrors that Await Immigrants Deported from the U.S.

Slack led a massive research effort to learn what happens to those whom immigration authorities deport and dump all along the Mexican border.

As an 18-year-old freshman at the University of Arizona, Jeremy Slack began crossing the border into Mexico not to down shots of tequila, but to interview the displaced. Tall, blond, and at first speaking only high school Spanish, the Virginia … Read More


The 30 Best Texas Books of The Decade, from Amarillo to Utopia

As you scramble for a holiday gift or ponder what you’d like to peruse by the fire, we’ve got 10 years of Texas books to suggest.

The twists and turns of these 30 Texas novels, nonfiction narratives, and other works published between January 2010 and December 2019 reveal undercurrents that run deep through our Lone Star State—a whole decade’s worth. All of these authors have significant … Read More


Two New Books Explore the Limits of the #MeToo Movement in Texas and Beyond

Two years after women started speaking out and revealing powerful predators, are too many Texas secrets still locked away in a “whisper network”?

In 2017, women nationwide began sharing painful and personal stories of harassment and abuse in what became known as the #MeToo movement—starting a national conversation about sexual misconduct and revealing dozens of powerful men as predators. All the buzz prompted … Read More