Axios Houston

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✌️ Welcome to this gloomy Friday.

🌧️ Today's weather: A 50% chance of rain with a high of 83.

☔️ Sounds like: "Only Happy When It Rains" by Garbage.

🗳️ Situational awareness: Tomorrow is election day for several Harris County contests, including the race to occupy Mayor John Whitmire's former seat in the Texas Senate.

Today's newsletter is 918 words — a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: Houstonian trying to break into the Olympics

Photo: Melissa Phillip/Houston Chronicle via Getty Images

Houstonian Jeffrey Louis is vying for a spot on the USA Olympic break-dancing team as the sport makes its Olympic debut this summer in Paris.

Why it matters: Breaking — an urban dance style with roots in hip-hop culture that originated in the U.S. and was commercialized by 1980s pop culture — faced an uphill battle to get on the Olympic stage.

  • Louis tells Axios that Houston's diversity inspires his dance, saying he draws from various cultures

What he's saying: "I pull from my friends. I've got Colombian friends, Mexican friends, and they're teaching me. I've learned all the dances, whether it's bachata, cumbia, salsa, merengue, everything. I pull from all of those things, and I add it to my dance," Louis says.

  • "Houston is just a melting pot of different cultures, styles, and I use that to build myself up."

State of play: The 29-year-old, known as B-Boy Jeffro, is one of two finalists aiming to claim the last men's spot on the U.S. team.

  • Louis will compete against Miguel "Gravity" Angel Rosario this spring in the two-part Olympic Qualifier Series.

The intrigue: Alief born-and-raised, Louis found his passion for breaking at Westside High School and the University of Houston, and he's ranked as one of the best break dancers in the world, according to the World DanceSport Federation, dancing's international governing body.

Flashback: In 2020, the International Olympic Committee accepted a proposal to have breaking make its debut at the 2024 Games in Paris, in an effort to attract a younger audience.

What's next: The first qualifying event will take place in Shanghai from May 16 to 19, with the final stage of the Olympic Qualifier Series scheduled for June 20 to 23 in Budapest.

Share with an Olympics enthusiast

2. Texas C-section rate remains steady

Data: CDC; Chart: Axios Visuals

The rate of cesarean births in Texas is more than the national average, according to new data.

By the numbers: In Texas, the 2023 C-section rate was 34.5%, according to provisional CDC data.

  • C-sections accounted for about 134,000 of the 388,000 births in Texas last year.
  • That rate has fluctuated less than 1% each year over the last eight years.

Zoom out: The national C-section delivery rate increased in 2023 to 32.4%, up from 32.1% in 2022, according to the CDC data.

  • That's the highest rate since 2013 and the fourth annual increase after the rate generally declined from 2009-2019, says the CDC.
  • The rates are well above the 10%-15% rate the World Health Organization considers "ideal."

Yes, but: An increase in C-sections doesn't necessarily mean the rate of unnecessary procedures has risen.

3. Bayou Buzz

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

ğŸŽ Houston ISD announced it will cut roughly 170 district staff members dedicated to providing services to students experiencing homelessness and hunger. (Houston Landing)

🚨 Heavy storms led to flooding, evacuations, school closures and several high-water rescues across the Houston area as multiple storms dumped several inches of rain. (Houston Public Media)

🗑️ Houston City Council took the first steps to potentially implement a garbage fee for residents. (Chron)

🍯 Hundreds of honeybees built hives on the Battleship Texas as it was docked in Galveston for repairs. Workers safely removed the bees to a rehabilitation facility. (KHOU)

4. 🫙 Charted: Your life in storage

Home organization product sales, by category
Source: Freedonia Group; Chart: Deena Zaidi/Axios Visuals

It's spring, and thus, time to clean.

The big picture: Now more than ever, people are focused on curating their home environment, Lauren Greenwood, founder of home organization brand YouCopia, tells Axios.

  • "It's a place that's within your control, in a world that sometimes feels out of control," she says.

Yes, but: If you find yourself stressed or struggling to get started, Greenwood recommends taking a vacation day to tackle those nagging projects.

  • Happiness researcher Gretchen Rubin calls it a "loose-ends day." You'll feel much better after you purge your closet or recycle those empty Amazon boxes.

💭 Jay's thought bubble: I've recently come to believe in the power of decluttering your personal spaces as a method of clearing your mind.

  • I too often let my floordrobe get out of control, leading to other things piling up around the apartment — which eventually dominates my mental bandwidth.
  • But since my partner and I dedicated time to tackling clutter, our lives have been more organized and predictable.

📫 Sound off: What are your tips and tricks for tackling cluttered spaces?

  • Reply to this email and let us know.

5. Camera roll: Drag Brunch at Bar Boheme

The queens flaunted their big Texas hair. Photo: Shafaq Patel/Axios

👋 Shafaq here! I had a friend who's a big "RuPaul's Drag Race" fan visit recently, so we went to Bar Boheme for Drag Brunch.

The vibe: The wine bar in Montrose hosts two weekly drag shows: bingo on Saturdays and brunch on Sundays. The atmosphere is lively, with people celebrating birthdays, anniversaries and bachelorette parties, and the queens make sure to spotlight them.

  • The local drag queens, along with a visiting queen from Dallas, performed energetic lip-synced pop songs as they collected tips. Plus, it's always fun to see a live "dip" or "death drop," which never fails to leave the audience jaw-dropped.

Dig in: I expected the cover charge to be more for the show, but the brunch buffet was actually good. It offered typical American brunch options like eggs, fruit and potatoes, as well as brisket and churros.

If you go: The $39 cover charge includes the brunch buffet.

The bottom line: If you enjoy drag, check out the local scene and reserve a spot before it gets unbearably hot outside.

  • Though I'm sure the queens will still put on a fun show even in the summer heat.

Thanks to Chloe Gonzales for editing and Khalid Adad and Bryan McBournie for copy editing this newsletter.

🧽 Shafaq is still in the midst of spring cleaning.

⚠️ Jay is listening to Mayor John Whitmire's comments on Vision Zero ahead of today's statewide summit in Houston.