environment
5:03 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

What Does Fossil Fuel Divestment Mean For Texas?

Divestment has become a popular topic on college campuses and some boardrooms.But it will likely have trouble taking hold in oil rich parts of the state.
Credit PHOTO BY MIRA OBERMAN/AFP/GETTY IMAGE

This week in New York, the UN Climate Summit is underway.

The Rockefeller Foundation made news with the announcement that it will divest close to a billion dollars from fossil fuels. Here in Austin, University of Texas President Bill Powers gave his State of the University address Monday. But in contrast to the news from New York, Powers thanked "heavens" for the oil wealth provided to UT by its land holdings, and celebrated the fracking revolution as "good news" for the University.

The disconnect between the two messages leads one to wonder about the role of the divestment campaign in oil-rich parts of the country. Could divestment in other parts of the country grow to the point where it disrupts Texas' fossil fuel economy? By contrast, could divestment ever catch on here?

Read more
UT Austin
5:01 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

UT Austin Continues to Increase Four Year Graduation Rate

More of last year's UT Austin freshmen returned to campus, earned better grades and more credits than any other class on record. The university says it's because of an increase effort to focus on freshmen.
Photo by KUT News.

More of last year’s UT Austin freshmen returned to campus, earned better grades and passed more classes than any other class on record. And the university says it’s because of a focus on freshmen. UT is giving struggling students extra services and identifying at-risk students at orientation. It's part of UT Austin President Bill Powers' goal to get four-year graduation rates up to 70 percent within five years.

Read more
Sports
2:36 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Riding Across Texas for "Bikes & Books"

NPR's John Burnett and KUT's Hawk Mendenhall begin their 720 mile bike ride from Brownsville to Oklahoma.
Nobelity Project

A pair of public radio heavyweights are off on a 720 mile bicycle ride across Texas, from Brownsville to the Red River, to raise money for bikes and textbooks for high schoolers in Africa.

NPR's John Burnett and KUT's Hawk Mendenhall set off from Boca Chica beach in Brownsville this morning. They'll end their trip in Sewards Bluff, Oklahoma on October 3rd. 

Read more
Ballot Boxing
11:11 am
Tue September 23, 2014

Listen: The Ballot Boxing District 5 Forum

Austin City Council candidates from District Five answer questions in a forum at the Austin Community College South Austin campus.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon, KUT News

The Ballot Boxing series continued last night with the Austin City Council candidate forum for District 5 in South Austin. Seven candidates gathered at Austin Community College's South Austin campus with moderators Michael Kanin of the Austin Monitor and Mary Tuma of the Austin Chronicle.

You can view a photo gallery above and listen to the full audio of the forum below.

Read more
Arts Eclectic
10:30 am
Tue September 23, 2014

Kneel Before 'The Metal Queen'

Loaded Gun Theory's new original work The Metal Queen: Kneel Before Her Dark Majesty was inspired, in an indirect way, by a play staged last year by a different Austin theater company.  After seeing and loving Capital T Theatre's production of the violent dark comedy The Lieutenant of Inishmore, which featured a mostly-male cast, the creative minds of Loaded Gun Theory wondered "why women couldn't also have a lot of fun wielding guns...and making bad decisions," in the words of co-writer Julie Winston-Thomas.

That thought was the genesis for The Metal Queen, in which women wield guns and make increasingly poor decisions. The dark comedy centers around middle aged mothers Gretchen and Diane; after Gretchen's husband commits suicide, she decides to avoid despair by focusing her energies on a plan to get Diane out of debt by robbing every house in their neighborhood.

Read more
The Two-Way
10:26 am
Tue September 23, 2014

Obama: Coalition Against ISIS Shows 'This Is Not America's Fight Alone'

President Obama speaks Tuesday about the participation of five Arab nations in airstrikes against militants in Syria.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Tue September 23, 2014 3:33 pm

Update at 12:40 p.m. ET

President Obama said a multinational coalition that carried out airstrikes in Syria shows that the fight against Islamic extremists is "not America's fight alone."

Read more
Sports
8:42 am
Tue September 23, 2014

With Dark Humor, Anger And Empathy, Women Respond To The NFL

A Ravens fan trades in her Ray Rice jersey Friday after he was cut from the team over allegations of domestic abuse.
Patrick Semansky AP

Originally published on Tue September 23, 2014 9:21 am

As the National Football League scrambles to defend its actions in amid a series of domestic abuse allegations against players, some of its harshest critics have been women. Female fans are a key part of the league's business strategy — the NFL says that women make up 45 percent of its fan base — but they haven't reacted to the scandal with one voice.

Read more
ISIS
4:10 am
Tue September 23, 2014

U.S., Allies Hit Islamic State Targets In Syria, Pentagon Says

An Islamic State militant, left, stands next to Raqqah residents Sept. 16 as they hold pieces of wreckage from a Syrian war plane after it crashed in the northeast Syrian town.
Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon September 22, 2014 9:55 pm

The United States and its allies expanded their assault against the Islamic State on Monday, striking targets inside Syria for the first time, the Pentagon said.

In a statement, Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said the U.S. had used "a mix of fighter, bomber and Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles."

Kirby said that because these strikes are ongoing, he could not go into details about where in Syria the allies were attacking. But a Pentagon official tells NPR's Tom Bowman that the strikes occurred near Raqqah, an Islamic State stronghold.

Read more
2014 Elections
6:37 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

Livestream: Ballot Boxing District 5 City Council Candidate Forum

KUT, the Austin MonitorUnivision 62KXAN and the Austin Chronicle continue our series of in-district Austin City Council candidate forums tonight at the ACC's South Austin Campus. 

Texas Standard at Tribune Fest
3:47 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

Leticia Van de Putte on Her Top Texas Priorities

State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor, sat down with Texas Standard this weekend.
Ilana Panich-Linsman/KUT

CNN has called her "the woman who could turn Texas purple."

That's a bold claim in a state that hasn't elected a Democrat to statewide office in two decades. But supporters are hoping that Senator Leticia Van de Putte – the Democrat running for Lieutenant Governor –can bring some blue back to red Texas.

Van de Putte sat down with Texas Standard's Emily Donahue to discuss her top priorities for the state.

Read more
Space X
3:22 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

Texas SpaceX Facility Might Land First Human on Mars

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk at the groundbreaking of the company's launch site near Boca Chica Beach in South Texas on Sept. 22, 2014.
Bob Daemmrich/Texas Tribune

BROWNSVILLE — Calling South Texas the new frontier of space, Gov. Rick Perry, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and other Texas officials broke ground Monday morning at the site of a future private commercial orbital launch facility expected to boost Brownsville’s economy and start launching rockets in 2016.

Read more
Texas Standard at Tribune Fest
3:13 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

State Sen. José Rodríguez: 'Education is the Highest Priority'

Texas Standard Host David Brown, left, with Senator José Rodriguez (D-El Paso)
Ilana Panich-Linsman/KUT

Even after a weekend full of panels and discussion of Texas politics and policy at The Texas Tribune Festival, many political wonks are looking to the main event: January's new legilative session. 

State Senator José Rodríguez, D-El Paso, sat down with Texas Standard host David Brown during the festival to discuss the upcoming legislative agenda, the state's budget surplus, the upcoming election for governor and more.

Read more
In Black America Podcast
10:21 am
Mon September 22, 2014

In Black America Podcast: 'The Hippest Trip In America' with Nelson George

The late Don Cornelius was the creator of "Soul Train" and hosted the show for 35 years, from 1971 to 2006.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Nelson George, acclaimed filmmaker, TV producer, journalist, and author of ‘The Hippest Trip in America: Soul Train and the Evolution of Culture and Style.’

When it debuted on October 2, 1971, seven years after the Civil Rights Act, Soul Train boldly went where no variety show had gone before, showcasing the cultural preferences of young African-Americans and the sounds that defined their lives: R&B, funk, jazz, disco, and gospel music.

Read more
Austin
10:15 am
Mon September 22, 2014

Photos: Austin Demonstrators Gather in Support of National Climate March

Lola Villamizar, 4, rests before marching for climate change action.
Ilana Panich-Linsman/KUT

Hundreds of activists marched down Congress Avenue yesterday for the Shield the People Climate Change March.

The event was one of hundreds of rallies held across the country in support of climate change ahead of a United Nations summit this week that will discuss the impact of rising global temperatures.

You can view a photo gallery of the march above.

KUT Weekend
1:16 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

Listen to Our Weekly News Podcast!

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

Texas Standard
12:43 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

The Company Insuring the Uninsurable in the Sharing Economy

flickr.com/dhilowitz

When someone shares their car, their home or anything else, they’re entering into what’s called "the sharing economy." Doing so involves a certain amount of risk. What if someone wrecks your car or trashes your guesthouse? Most insurance companies won’t cover instances like that.

That’s where actuary Ashley Hunter saw her opportunity. The president of HM Risk Group sat down with Texas Standard’s David Brown to talk all the things her company insures. "We are a boutique insurance and reinsurance brokerage located here in Austin," she says, "and we provide insurance to high-risk businesses – the sharing economy being one of them."

That can include anything from drivers looking for a few extra bucks  – to women carrying surrogate pregnancies. 

Read more
Life & Arts
12:12 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

Slideshow: The Posters, Vinyl and Toys at The First-Ever MondoCon

Mondo's vinyl for “Music for 2001: A Space Odyssey.” Artwork and package design by Jay Shaw. Featured on the “2001: A Lost Score” panel at MondoCon.
Mondo

If you’ve heard of Austin-based Alamo Drafthouse offshoot Mondo – you probably know them for their film posters. They’re artistic alternatives to the stuff pushed out by the film industry.

But Mondo has become much more than that as of late – also producing throwbacks with a focus on design including VHS tapes and vinyl records. Now, they’ve starting making toy collectibles.

They’re showing off all of this and inviting people to learn more about what they do in the first ever MondoCon. It’s this weekend in Austin.

Mondo CEO Justin Ishmael sat down with KUT's Laura Rice to talk about it.

On What's Special About Mondo's Posters:

"I think, first, the place where they're coming from is completely different from what's coming out of Hollywood. A lot of times, ours are not promoting a film that's actively trying to make money so I think there's a lot of liberties that we can take with them that studios can't... Some of our posters rely on having seen the movie to evoke an emotion."

Read more
Energy & Environment
11:53 am
Fri September 19, 2014

It Will Take an Insane Amount of Rain Before the Highland Lakes Recover

Lake Travis is heading towards its lowest levels in history if we have a dry fall
Courtesy of the Lower Colorado River Authority

From StateImpact Texas:

Central Texas is having a pretty decent year, rain-wise. We’re sitting just below normal. And it’s been a good week, too: early Thursday, one part of Austin got over seven inches of rain.

So much rain fell over downtown Austin that the statue of Stevie Ray Vaughan along Lady Bird Lake looked like he was walking on water. It brought back memories of the Halloween floods last fall — back then Stevie was standing in water waist-deep. But these big rain events all have something in common: They really haven’t fallen where we need them most.

Read more
Affordable Housing
11:07 am
Fri September 19, 2014

Can Housing Advocates Help Give Austin a New Lease on Affordability?

Neighbors in Clarksville lease 19 properties to low-income residents in order to expand affordability, and diversity, in the neighborhood.
KUT News

In 2006, the last time Section 8 housing opened up, 7,000 low-income Austinites signed up. Since then, Austin’s growth has been exponential and many expect the waitlist for housing to follow suit with Austin’s growth.

Housing advocates expect the signup to draw at least 20,000 applicants, but a long-time Austin housing advocate and recent MacArthur Genius Grant winner is working to increase Austin’s affordable housing stock without Section 8 by expanding low-income housing in existing neighborhoods.

Read more
Two Guys on Your Head
8:35 am
Fri September 19, 2014

How Your Brain Can Help You Put Off Procastination

Credit www.domtesta.com

Procrastination is the all-too-familiar foe of productivity, but why do some wait until the last minute to even get a project started?

In this episode of "Two Guys on Your Head" Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke explore the psychology behind procrastination, and how we can overcome factors that might be keeping us from getting started.

Read more

Pages