Politics
4:44 pm
Fri March 6, 2015

DPS: Glitter Bombs Weapon of Choice for Gay Rights Advocates

Frankie Leon

From the Texas Tribune: In an email forwarded to legislative staffers on Thursday, a Department of Public Safety captain warned of "glitter bombs" being sent to state lawmakers and attached a document titled "Glitter Bombing: Weapon of Choice for Gay Rights, Pro Choice Advocates." 

According to the DPS email, passed along to Senate chiefs of staff by Patsy Spaw, the secretary of the Senate, state Rep. Debbie Riddle's district office in Spring recently received such a parcel — a spring-loaded tube filled with glitter. 

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KUT Weekend
2:49 pm
Fri March 6, 2015

Listen to Our Weekly News Podcast!

KUT Weekend brings you our favorite stories from the KUT newsroom. Updated Fridays!

Gender Divide
11:19 am
Fri March 6, 2015

Video: Single-Sex Classroom May Focus Students, But Does It Help Them Learn?

Julio Villaneda (left) and Dorothy Wiese (right) both teach math at single-sex public schools in Austin.
Filipa Rodrigues/KUT News

Do boys and girls learn differently?

Some single-sex supporters say yes, but not everyone agrees — not even those who work at the two new single-sex middle schools on Austin’s east side. 

But teachers at these schools do say there are positives to splitting the sexes.  

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Austin
8:25 am
Fri March 6, 2015

Zucker Report Released Despite Staff Apprehension

From the Austin Monitor:

After months of speculation, the City of Austin posted the draft Zucker Report on its website Thursday night.

Last year, Zucker Systems performed an analysis of the Planning and Development Review Department, and while they did find “many exemplary features” within the department, a quick glance makes it clear why the city was less than eager to release the findings without some revision. The report is available, in its entirety, here.

It contains 464 recommendations and “opportunities for improvement.” Of those, 121 are considered high priority. The report recommends the city immediately fund $3.5 million in improvements for the department.

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Code Switch
7:23 am
Fri March 6, 2015

Photographer Helped Expose Brutality Of Selma's 'Bloody Sunday'

Spider Martin's most well-known photograph, Two Minute Warning, shows marchers facing a line of state troopers in Selma moments before police beat the protestors on March 7, 1965. The day became known as Bloody Sunday.
Spider Martin/Courtesy Tracy Martin

Originally published on Fri March 6, 2015 9:40 am

Note to our readers: This report contains some strong racial language.

This month Selma, Ala., will mark the 50th anniversary of "Bloody Sunday." That's the day police beat demonstrators attempting to march to Montgomery in support of voting rights. Some of the most iconic images of that day were captured by a white photographer — the late Spider Martin.

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Two Guys on Your Head
5:07 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Do We Need Less Sleep As We Age?

If you're interested in the health of your brain, it's likely that you've read a study or two about the cognitive benefits of sleep.

Yet a new study published in Perspectives on Psychological Science suggests that we may not reap the wonderfully cleansing and rejuvenating rewards of sleep in old age.

In this edition of Two Guys on Your Head, Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke talk about why needing a lot of sleep in old age might not be such a good sign.

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Texas
3:54 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Report: Texas Population to Double by 2050

Justyna Furmanczyk

From the Texas Tribune: Texas' population is expected to double by 2050 to 54.4 million people, according to projections released Thursday by the state demographer.

That increase will largely be due to more people moving to the state, rather than just by Texans having more children, according to the report by State Demographer Lloyd Potter and his staff. Migration patterns are expected to "substantially alter the future age structure of Texas," the report found.

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Texas Standard
11:35 am
Thu March 5, 2015

Eighty-Five Year Old Advocates for Marijuana Reform

Eighty-five-year-old Ann Lee (left), founder of Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition, with Senator Ted Cruz (center).

Ann Lee, founder of Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition (RAMP), says it was her son's health that prompted her activism.

 

A new bill in the Texas House of Representatives would strike all references to marijuana from state statutes. Representative David Simpson (R-Longview) filed House Bill 2165 on Monday. The bill would effectively end the state-wide prohibition of the drug.

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Texas
11:18 am
Thu March 5, 2015

Tortillas: The Hot Food Trend 500 Years in the Making

Tortilla makers made $12 billion in 2012.

The editors of Food & Wine magazine named homemade tortillas as an upcoming trend. Producer Brenda Salinas puts them on blast.

When Chef Jorge Rojo learned that Food And Wine Magazine had named homemade tortillas a trend to watch in 2015, he scoffed.

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Austin
9:31 am
Thu March 5, 2015

This Dam Holds in Lady Bird Lake. So When Will It Get ‘Essential’ Repairs?

The city of Austin is struggling to find a long-term solution for the repairs needed to fix Longhorn Dam.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

The poor condition of the dam that holds in the waters of Austin’s beloved Lady Bird Lake continues to vex city officials.  Emails obtained in a public information request reveal challenges the city faced in performing maintenance on Longhorn Dam, which crosses the Colorado River beneath Pleasant Valley Road. Documents tell of water lost through the dam’s gates that could potentially stay in upstream reservoirs, and show city departments struggling to assign responsibility for the structure and plan a long-term solution.

Austin Energy, the city-owned electric utility, and the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) have long known about the need for work on the dam. Austin Energy is the city department that operates the structure. The LCRA operates dams upstream from Austin and coordinates with Austin Energy when they release water downstream.

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Weather & Closings
6:11 am
Thu March 5, 2015

Winter Weather Advisory In Effect Through 9 AM Thursday; Schools Cancel Classes (Updated)

Winter storm warning in pink; winter weather advisory in purple.

UPDATE Thursday 4:00 a.m.: The National Weather Service has downgraded the winter storm warning to a winter weather advisory in effect until 9:00 a.m. The winter storm warning that had been in effect for the area has been canceled. The National Weather Service says the area has received less precipitation than expected and the impacts on travel will not be as significant as originally thought, though there could still be some icy patches on bridges, overpasses, and elevated roadways. A wind advisory is also in effect for Central Texas until 9:00 a.m. Thursday.

Austin Resource Recovery will not make curbside collections of trash, recycling, and yard trimmings on Thursday.  Service will slide to one day later for Thursday and Friday customers this week.

The cities of Georgetown and Kyle will open their city offices at 10:00 a.m. Thursday.

Huston-Tillotson University will open at 1:30 p.m., with classes starting at 2:30 p.m. Concordia University will open at noon today. All operations at St. Edward's University  operations are now scheduled to begin at 12:30 Thursday.

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Austin
5:09 pm
Wed March 4, 2015

Despite Decline in Homeless Numbers, Many Still Seek Refuge Under Austin's Bridges

Austin's homeless population numbers are decreasing, according to an annual count.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

The homeless population in Austin is getting smaller.

At least that's what the Ending Community Homelessness Coalition (ECHO) found in its annual count of people who are homeless last month. But the population is still in the hundreds.

One of the reasons the non-profit is citing for the decline is a small but steady increase in affordable housing in Austin.

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The Two-Way
3:43 pm
Wed March 4, 2015

Ferguson Documents: Justice Investigation Backs Former Officer Wilson

People rally in Union Square before marching through the street in protest to the Ferguson grand jury decision to not indict officer Darren Wilson in the Michael Brown case.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 4, 2015 3:34 pm

When a grand jury decided not charge former Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, Ferguson, Mo., ended up in flames.

Protesters decried the injustice and faced off violently with police officers and the National Guardsmen who were brought in to ensure peace.

Robert McCulloch, the prosecuting attorney in the case, also decided to release reams of documents with the evidence presented to the grand jury.

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In Perspective
3:31 pm
Wed March 4, 2015

Race In America: What Do We Need To Talk About?

parents.kernhigh.org

This episode of In Perspective recognizes Black History Month by bringing together several scholars for a discussion of race in contemporary America. As we look back on 2014, we celebrate the achievements of African-Americans, but we also find racial inequality and abuses of power and privilege that continue to endanger and oppress non-white Americans.

We must also ask ourselves: Where are we, as a nation, in our ongoing debates regarding race? Among other inquiries, host Rebecca McInroy asks these In Perspective discussants which conversations about race are most productive to pursue.

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Texas Standard
2:31 pm
Wed March 4, 2015

The San Antonio Spurs and the Trouble With Analytics

Turns out, the definition of 'analytics' varies – and so do the stories of how much the Spurs rely on them.
Flickr User Katie Haugland

From Texas Standard: 

The Spurs recently won an award for using analytics – but do they use them?

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Affordable Care Act
1:40 pm
Wed March 4, 2015

Central Texans' Obamacare Coverage Hinges on Supreme Court Decision

Filipa Rodrigues/KUT News

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments today over part of the Affordable Care Act. It’s a case that could have an impact on hundreds of thousands of Texans who bought insurance on the federal marketplace.

It comes on the heels of the Obama Administration’s announcement last month that some people who bought insurance through the online marketplace were given incorrect information about tax subsidies they qualified for, meaning some customers will get another chance to enroll for health insurance.

Still, some Central Texans are still trying to cut through the confusion, even as the health law’s future hangs in the balance.

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In Black America Podcast
1:34 pm
Wed March 4, 2015

Beyond-This-Place: The Visual History of African American Fraternities and Sororities

Jarrad Henderson

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Jarrad Henderson, producer of ‘Beyond-This-Place: The Visual History of African American Fraternities and Sororities.’

African American Fraternities and Sororities have played an important role in the development of African American identity for over one hundred years. Beyond-This-Place is an independent documentary project that examines the rich culture of African American Greek Letter Organizations.

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Wayback Wednesday
1:15 pm
Wed March 4, 2015

Looking Back: When The Drag Wasn't Such a Drag

This photo, taken some time in the early 1950s, shows Guadalupe looking south. To the right is the Varsity Theater.
PICA 26827, Austin History Center, Austin Public Library

Today's Wayback Wednesday takes a look back at Guadalupe Street, before it was awash in the glow of stop lights and rush hour brake lights.

Texas Standard
12:48 pm
Wed March 4, 2015

Why Mack Brown Loves Twitter And His Answers To Your Questions

Mack Brown, former head coach of the Texas Longhorns football team, visits with Texas Standard.
Mengwen Cao KUT News

From Texas Standard:

When Mack Brown stepped down as head coach of the Texas Longhorns football team, he was the second winningest in school history with a national title under his belt. We all know that Mack Brown, but there’s another one — the off-the-field tactician who recruits for nonprofits.

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Transportation
8:32 am
Wed March 4, 2015

How Do You Solve a Problem Like The Drag?

At a recent open house on how to improve the Guadalupe corridor, known as 'The Drag,' attendees annotated large maps with their ideas and concerns.
Terrence Henry/KUT News

It’s one of the biggest bottlenecks in town, a place where cars, buses, bikes and pedestrians all squeeze into just four travel lanes, and where the University of Texas begins to merge with downtown – a street aptly named "The Drag."

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