Health and safety drove design of this doctor’s gorgeous Houston home

Dr. Maria Cabanillas spends her days thinking about her cancer patients, the cause of their thyroid cancer and treatment.

So when the Houston oncologic endocrinologist and her partner, Kris Griffith, 45, a health care administrator in the Texas Medical Center, decided to build a new home for themselves, they put into practice the same principals they focus on in their jobs.

A health-first approach in home construction and design sounds easy — after all, no one really is an advocate for using toxic materials. But taking a deep dive into the world of lumber, masonry, upholstery and tile can be complicated.

As a thyroid cancer specialist, Cabanillas, 48, knows that there’s research focusing on the link between thyroid cancer and increased exposure to fire retardants, which are common in many commercial and residential products. They’re used to make textiles and other materials safer, and they help electronics and building materials meet fire-safety standards.

But at some level, for some people, they may cause health problems, according to research.


In an arduous search for an interior designer who could help them find goods made with fewer harsh glues and fire retardants and more natural materials, Cabanillas and Griffith

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Houston real estate agents caught on tape steering buyers away from homes with less commission

“I’m not even going to show it to them, to be honest with you,” the real estate agent said. “I can’t help you to sell something that’s wiping out my profession.”

In recording after recording, Houston real estate agents are heard saying they will not show certain homes to their clients — even though the houses meet all the buyers’ desires.

Real estate agents are required by law to act in the best interests of their clients, but interactions recorded by California-based discount brokerage REX show that many actually steer clients away from homes that offer less lucrative commissions.

The recordings have come to light as high-profile lawsuits, including one brought by the U.S. Department of Justice, question the way real estate agents are compensated.

If those cases, or cases that follow, succeed in lowering real estate commissions to levels more in line, for instance, with the flat 1.18 percent commission seen in the United Kingdom in 2018 it could save homeowners upward of $70 billion a year — while costing agents the same amount.

Jack Ryan, REX’s chief executive, credits the recorded conversations with sparking the DOJ suit

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Health and safety drove design of this doctor’s gorgeous Houston home

Health and safety drove design of this doctor’s gorgeous Houston home




By Diane Cowen, Staff writer



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Popular Houston restaurant that has served royalty, celebs and a president damaged in overnight fire

Popular Houston restaurant that has served royalty, celebs and a president damaged in overnight fire


Firefighters responded to a fire that damaged a longtime Chinese restaurant in southwest Houston overnight.

Raw: Popular Fung’s Kitchen restaurant badly damaged in overnight fire in southwest Houston

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The fire was reported late Sunday night at Fung’s Kitchen along the Southwest Freeway.

Mo Davis, HFD District Chief 68, said police officers were the first to spot the smoke coming from the back of the restaurant.

Firefighters said gusty winds helped fan the flames, causing extensive damage to the backside of the business, which has been at the location for more than 30 years.

The cause of the fire was not immediately determined — the restaurant was closed at the time, and no injuries were reported.

The dining room at the restaurant, known for its beautiful décor, was temporarily closed last year due to COVID, but full service had since resumed.

Through the years, Fung’s Kitchen has welcomed celebrities from around the world, including royalty and President George H.W. Bush. It’s known for its dim sum,

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