Emery Reifsnyder http://kut.org en The Best Sources For Central Texas Wildfire Info http://kut.org/post/best-sources-central-texas-wildfire-info <p>Wildfire season is in full swing. And due to <a href="http://stateimpact.npr.org/texas/drought/">Texas’ ongoing drought</a>, the state remains at exceptional risk for wildfires.</p><p>Wildfires spring up quickly and spread unexpectedly – making real-time information important. Twitter is an important resource for wildfire updates. And Facebook is an information clearinghouse for area residents in times of disaster.</p><p> Thu, 01 Aug 2013 16:30:01 +0000 Emery Reifsnyder & Wells Dunbar 8431 at http://kut.org The Best Sources For Central Texas Wildfire Info Alamo Drafthouse, Threadgill's & 27 More Texas Businesses Sued Over ADA Compliance http://kut.org/post/alamo-drafthouse-threadgills-27-more-texas-businesses-sued-over-ada-compliance <p><a href="http://adaptoftexas.org/" style="line-height: 1.5;">ADAPT of Texas</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> and the </span><a href="http://www.texascivilrightsproject.org/" style="line-height: 1.5;">Texas Civil Rights Project</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> held a press conference today announcing the filing of 29 lawsuits against establishments across Texas, including Austin mainstays like the Alamo&nbsp;</span>Drafthouse<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> and&nbsp;</span>Threadgill's. The complaint ? No<span style="line-height: 1.5;">t complying with the Americans with Disabilities&nbsp;Act (ADA).</span></p><p>The ADA, signed into law by Pres. George H.W. Bush in 1990, promises protection against discrimination based on disability. According to ADAPT, the defendant establishments are in violation of the act due to their inaccessible locations.</p><p> Fri, 26 Jul 2013 00:16:24 +0000 Emery Reifsnyder 8416 at http://kut.org Alamo Drafthouse, Threadgill's & 27 More Texas Businesses Sued Over ADA Compliance Committee Weighs Impeaching UT Regent: How We Got Here and What's Next http://kut.org/post/committee-weighs-impeaching-ut-regent-how-we-got-here-and-whats-next <p></p><p><strong>Update</strong>: The Texas House Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations met Monday to discuss an investigation that could lead to impeachment proceedings against a University of Texas System Regent.</p><p>The committee is tasked with deciding which articles for impeachment it could possibly bring against Wallace Hall. But at a committee hearing, lawmakers found there&#39;s little historic precedent to guide the process. According to Jeff Archer with the Texas Legislative Counsel, there have been few attempts to impeach a public official in Texas and there&rsquo;s no definition or standard for what&rsquo;s considered an impeachable offense.&nbsp;</p><p> Mon, 15 Jul 2013 21:51:59 +0000 Emery Reifsnyder & Wells Dunbar 8347 at http://kut.org Committee Weighs Impeaching UT Regent: How We Got Here and What's Next Flyboarding: Austin's Newest & Most Ridiculously Awesome Summer Sport http://kut.org/post/flyboarding-austins-newest-most-ridiculously-awesome-summer-sport <p></p><p>With plenty of nearby water, Austin’s always been a great place for lake sports. This year there’s a unique new one to add to your summer to-do list: Flyboarding. &nbsp;</p><p>The new sport uses the discharge from personal watercraft like Jet Skis to pump 1,000 gallons of water per minute through the bottom of a Flyboard strapped to users’ feet. The Flyboard – which looks like a wakeboard with two giant, 55-foot fire hoses attached to it – can turn almost anyone into a superhero capable of flying over 30 feet above the lake surface, according to <a href="http://aquafly.com/">Aquafly</a> owner Bobby Vance.&nbsp;</p><p> Fri, 05 Jul 2013 18:20:04 +0000 Emery Reifsnyder 8237 at http://kut.org Flyboarding: Austin's Newest & Most Ridiculously Awesome Summer Sport Going Downtown for the Fourth? Here's What You Need to Know http://kut.org/post/going-downtown-fourth-heres-what-you-need-know <p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.15;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;"><iframe frameborder="0" height="350" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msa=0&amp;msid=204633851779982247469.0004e088974ef08a373cf&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;ll=30.262917,-97.755298&amp;spn=0.021045,0.021415&amp;t=m&amp;output=embed" width="425"></iframe></p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.15;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;">&nbsp;</p><p><a href="http://us5.campaign-archive1.com/?u=1861810ce1dca1a4c1673747c&amp;id=d041732666&amp;e=7536a6c70c">Preparations are underway</a> for the Auditorium Shores concert and fireworks show Thursday.</p><p>The festivities start at 8:30 p.m., with a performance by the Austin Symphony. Fireworks are set to start at 9:30 p.m., and the event is expected to end at 10 p.m.</p><p>Above, you'll find a map of street closures for the event — streets marked red will be completely closed. Those in blue will be partially shut down. Wed, 03 Jul 2013 17:40:19 +0000 Emery Reifsnyder 8265 at http://kut.org Why This Could Be a Great Summer Season for Fireworks in Austin http://kut.org/post/why-could-be-great-summer-season-fireworks-austin <p class="p1">With a little help from mother nature and the Texas Legislature, fireworks retailers might see a sales boom in the Austin area this Fourth of July.</p><p></p><p class="p1">Last month, Gov. Perry signed <a href="http://www.legis.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=83R&amp;Bill=HB1813">HB 1813</a>, which allows Texans to transport and possess fireworks in cities, eliminating previous fines that ranged from $50 to $2,000.</p><p> Wed, 03 Jul 2013 15:15:00 +0000 Emery Reifsnyder & Andrew Weber 8219 at http://kut.org Why This Could Be a Great Summer Season for Fireworks in Austin Street Closure Map: 2013 ROT Rally and Juneteenth Parade http://kut.org/post/street-closure-map-2013-rot-rally-and-juneteenth-parade <p></p><p>The <a href="http://www.rotrally.com/">Republic of Texas (ROT) Motorcycle Rally</a> comes to Austin for the 18th time this weekend. It kicks off Thursday morning at the <a href="http://www.co.travis.tx.us/exposition_center/">Travis County Expo Center</a> and runs until noon on Sunday.</p><p>Several roads close early Friday evening for the event, including Congress Avenue between East 11th Street and Cesar Chavez Street. The ROT Rally Parade will also close roads from the Travis County Expo Center to downtown, beginning around 8 p.m. Friday.</p><p> Fri, 14 Jun 2013 19:02:44 +0000 Emery Reifsnyder & Gefei Liu 8072 at http://kut.org Street Closure Map: 2013 ROT Rally and Juneteenth Parade Austin Leads All Texas Cities in Spending on State Lobbyists http://kut.org/post/austin-leads-all-texas-cities-spending-state-lobbyists <p>The City of Austin ranked first among all Texas municipalities for investing in lobby groups during the 2013 Legislative Session, according to a report by&nbsp;<a href="http://www.tpj.org/">Texans for Public Justice</a>.</p><p>As a liberal city in a conservative state, Austin often finds itself in conflict with state government – or the target <a href="http://kutnews.org/post/how-many-austin-bashing-bills-made-it-out-lege-update">of “Austin-bashing” bills</a>. And that can mean lobbying the officials at the Lege.</p><p> Fri, 14 Jun 2013 15:05:00 +0000 Emery Reifsnyder & Roy Varney 8096 at http://kut.org Austin Leads All Texas Cities in Spending on State Lobbyists Aquarium Coming to Austin in November http://kut.org/post/aquarium-coming-austin-november <p class="p1">A 22,000-square-foot aquarium will come to North Austin near U.S. 183 and Anderson Mill Road, in what was once a Lack's Furniture store. It is expected to open later this year, in November.</p><p> Thu, 06 Jun 2013 21:56:09 +0000 Emery Reifsnyder, Nathan Bernier & Nathan Bernier 8025 at http://kut.org Aquarium Coming to Austin in November Council Looks to Continue 'Greening' East Austin Alleys http://kut.org/post/council-looks-continue-greening-east-austin-alleys <p class="p1">The University of Texas and the city are looking to change the way we use alleys in Austin, by possibly adding affordable housing in some Austin alleyways.&nbsp;</p><p class="p1">Today, the Austin City Council approved an $18,000 grant to fund the Green Alley Demonstration Project, which could also add other amenities to spruce up alleys in the East Austin Guadalupe neighborhood.</p><p> Thu, 06 Jun 2013 18:27:04 +0000 Emery Reifsnyder 8019 at http://kut.org Council Looks to Continue 'Greening' East Austin Alleys Country Troubadour Kevin Fowler Wants You to 'Take Care of Texas' http://kut.org/post/country-troubadour-kevin-fowler-wants-you-take-care-texas <p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-4c43ef58-109a-72c3-3dd0-e7a0320f5d11" style="line-height:2;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;"><span style="font-size:19px;font-family:'Times New Roman';color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:normal;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;">Today the <a href="http://www.tceq.state.tx.us/">Texas Commission on Environmental Quality</a> and <a href="http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/">Texas Parks and Wildlife </a>announced a new statewide public service campaign: “Take Care of Texas.”</span></p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:2;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;"><span style="font-size: 19px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; background-color: transparent; vertical-align: baseline; ">The campaign featuring a jingle written and performed by Texas country music star Kevin Fowler.&nbsp;</span><span style="background-color: transparent; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: 19px; line-height: 2; ">The tune stresses the importance of water and energy conservation, especially during this period of extended drought.</span></p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 2; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"> Tue, 04 Jun 2013 20:15:00 +0000 Emery Reifsnyder 7987 at http://kut.org Country Troubadour Kevin Fowler Wants You to 'Take Care of Texas' The Last Slice: Campus Gatti's Pizza Closing After 40 Years http://kut.org/post/last-slice-campus-gattis-pizza-closing-after-40-years <p>After four decades in business, local pizza purveyor Gatti&rsquo;s Pizza is closing its campus location on Martin Luther King Boulevard this Monday, May 28.</p><p>The location is currently Austin&rsquo;s oldest continuously running pizza place. The restaurant is closing its doors after it lost its lease with the landlord of the property.</p><p>The restaurant is somewhat of a fixture in the campus area, it&rsquo;s buffet having filled untold numbers of undergraduate bellies since its founding in 1972. When KUT News visited this afternoon, the line was stretching out the door. (It doesn&rsquo;t hurt that from now until closing, all buffet customers pay the &ldquo;kid&rsquo;s price&rdquo; of $5.49.)</p><p> Tue, 22 May 2012 18:41:21 +0000 Emery Reifsnyder 4299 at http://kut.org The Last Slice: Campus Gatti's Pizza Closing After 40 Years Who's Headlining? ACL Lotto Has Fans Scratching Tickets (and Their Heads) http://kut.org/post/whos-headlining-acl-lotto-has-fans-scratching-tickets-and-their-heads <p>The 2012 lineup for the Austin City Limits Music Festival will be announced tomorrow. But, thanks to festival promoters and some silver-fingered Austinites, we&rsquo;ve gotten a few previews of the lineup.</p><p>Over the weekend, festival fans started buying <a href="http://www.aclfestival.com/acl-news/2012-lineup-lotto/">lotto-style scratch tickets</a> for a chance to win passes and more. The tickets also revealed the names of attending bands.&nbsp;Each of the following bands were featured on the tickets, confirming their appearances at ACL this October (barring any cancelations, of course):</p><ul><li>Quiet Company, Punch Brothers, Steve Earle, Bon Iver, Alabama Shakes, Freelance Whales, Kimbra, Barrington Levy, Jack White, Black Keys, Andrew Bird, Esperanza Spalding, A-Trak, Zola Jesus (via&nbsp;<a href="http://diffuser.fm/austin-city-limits-2012-lineup/">diffuser</a>.fm) Mon, 21 May 2012 21:16:23 +0000 Daniel Martens & Emery Reifsnyder 4290 at http://kut.org Who's Headlining? ACL Lotto Has Fans Scratching Tickets (and Their Heads) Poetry in Motion: Group Announces Cap Metro Poetry Contest http://kut.org/post/poetry-motion-group-announces-cap-metro-poetry-contest <p>On Saturday, the <a href="http://austinpoetrysociety.org/">Austin Poetry Society</a> is kicking off its Poetry with Wheels contest. Open to anyone 18 or older, the winner&rsquo;s poem will be posted on the placards lining the inside of Capital Metro buses.</p><p>&quot;The Poetry with Wheels contest is not just for professional poets,&quot; the society writes on its website. &quot;All members of the Austin community are encouraged to enter.&quot;</p> Fri, 18 May 2012 21:04:18 +0000 Emery Reifsnyder & Daniel Martens 4277 at http://kut.org Poetry in Motion: Group Announces Cap Metro Poetry Contest Art Online: Browse 17,000 Works on the New Blanton Database http://kut.org/post/art-online-browse-17000-works-new-blanton-database <p>Here&rsquo;s a way to make your Friday workday more enjoyable: the Blanton Museum of Art has unveiled <a href="http://collection.blantonmuseum.org/">a new online database</a> of the museum&rsquo;s vast collection, containing records for over 17,000 works in the museum&#39;s collection. Almost all of the museum&rsquo;s pieces have images on the database, and many feature historical information about the piece and the artist. &nbsp;</p><p>It&rsquo;s a dramatic upgrade from the previous Blanton database featured on the site, which only included images for some 150 pieces of art.&nbsp;<br /><br /> New aspects of the database include an easy to use<a href="http://collection.blantonmuseum.org/QS_5?sid=1103&amp;x=167820"> search feature</a>, which allows users to search for works by keyword, artist name or nationality, period, or specific exhibition. It also features a <a href="http://collection.blantonmuseum.org/POR1?sid=1103&amp;x=167841">portfolio of past exhibitions</a> held by the museum, and more.&nbsp;<br /> Fri, 18 May 2012 19:31:49 +0000 Emery Reifsnyder 4274 at http://kut.org Art Online: Browse 17,000 Works on the New Blanton Database At International Science Fair, Austin Whiz Kids Shine http://kut.org/post/international-science-fair-austin-whiz-kids-shine <p>Today is the final day of the <a href="http://www.societyforscience.org/isef/">Intel International Science and Engineering Fair</a>, the world&rsquo;s largest pre-college science and engineering competition, with more than $3 million in awards and prizes.</p><p>Austin was well-represented at the Pittsburg-held ISEF, with several teens from area high schools vying for honors.&nbsp;KUT News talked to Michael Mann, an 18 year-old senior at Austin&rsquo;s Westwood High School &ndash; and ISEF 2012 winner.</p><p>Mann&rsquo;s project investigates the effects of the fungus Piriformospora indica on the water content and biomass of plant roots &ndash; or more simply, whether the fungus will cause a plant to grow more roots, enabling it to take in more nutrients and grow bigger and faster.</p><p> Fri, 18 May 2012 16:44:10 +0000 Emery Reifsnyder 4272 at http://kut.org At International Science Fair, Austin Whiz Kids Shine What’s the Value of Finishing High School? For Austin, It’s in the Millions http://kut.org/post/what-s-value-finishing-high-school-austin-it-s-millions <p>A high school diploma is touted as the bare minimum students need to achieve. And now a new study pegs the financial value of high school graduation to the Austin region&rsquo;s economy.</p><p>The <a href="http://www.all4ed.org/">Alliance for Excellent Education</a>, a Washington DC-based non-profit &nbsp;focused on improving national graduation rates, has released a study detailing the effects on Austin&rsquo;s regional economy if the amount of high school dropouts was cut in half &ndash; with benefits reaching into the millions.</p><p>It&rsquo;s estimated that in the Austin-Round Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), some 6,100 students dropped out of the class of 2010. Home to 45 schools, the Alliance says the region is one of the lowest performing in the nation, with 28 percent of high school students failing to graduate on time and with a regular diploma.</p><p> Tue, 15 May 2012 18:23:27 +0000 Emery Reifsnyder 4244 at http://kut.org What’s the Value of Finishing High School? For Austin, It’s in the Millions More Than a Movie: Crowd-Funded ‘Black Sun’ Seeks to Revitalize Interest in Science http://kut.org/post/more-movie-crowd-funded-black-sun-seeks-revitalize-interest-science <p>Merriam-Webster defines <a href="http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/eclipse">&ldquo;eclipse&rdquo;</a> both as &ldquo;the total or partial obscuring of one celestial body by another,&rdquo; and &ldquo;a falling into obscurity or decline.&rdquo;</p><p>Dr. Jarita Holbrook hopes her new documentary about the former will prevent the latter from claiming young America&rsquo;s interest in science. &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Dr. Holbrook is an astrophysicist, anthropologist and filmmaker. Her current project, &ldquo;Black Sun,&rdquo; is about two astrophysicists, Dr. Alphonse Sterling and Dr. Hakeem Oluseyi, and their journey around the world chasing solar eclipses.&nbsp;However, the film is about more than just two globetrotting scientists, it&rsquo;s also about the revitalization of American youth&rsquo;s interest in the STEM field &ndash;science, technology, engineering, and mathematics &ndash; and specifically, in minority communities.</p><p> Mon, 14 May 2012 21:28:43 +0000 Daniel Martens & Emery Reifsnyder 4235 at http://kut.org More Than a Movie: Crowd-Funded ‘Black Sun’ Seeks to Revitalize Interest in Science Council Members Pitch New Austin Energy Rate Plan http://kut.org/post/council-members-pitch-new-austin-energy-rate-plan <p>Is the<a href="http://kutnews.org/post/austin-energy-rate-debate-isn%E2%80%99t-going-anywhere-anytime-soon"> long-deliberated</a> redesign of Austin Energy electric rates coming to a close?</p><p>Three members of the Austin City Council&nbsp;&ndash; Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole, Chris Riley and Bill Spelman &ndash; seemingly hope so. The three held a press conference this morning to propose a new rate structure for the city utility, which they would like to take effect this fall.</p><p>&ldquo;I wish we could wait another year or two before proposing higher electric rates, but we can&rsquo;t,&rdquo; said Spelman. While he admitted no one wants an increase in rates, the five-tier rate structure the group proposed &ndash; with rates increasing in amount as customers use more electricity &ndash; could allow for rates to be lowered in the future. For residential customers, the average rate increase will be reduced from 20 percent in the originally proposed plan to eight percent. A monthly fixed charge, originally proposed at $22, has been lowered to $10.<br /> Mon, 14 May 2012 17:17:16 +0000 Daniel Martens & Emery Reifsnyder 4231 at http://kut.org Council Members Pitch New Austin Energy Rate Plan Gus Garcia on Education: 'Much More Work Needs to be Done' http://kut.org/post/gus-garcia-education-much-more-work-needs-be-done <p>Political trailblazer Gus Garcia &ndash; the first Hispanic elected to the Austin ISD Board of Directors, and the city&#39;s first Hispanic mayor &ndash; was honored today.</p><p>Garcia has been a major force in Austin politics for decades. In 1972, he became the first Hispanic to be elected to the school board, coming into office with a list of &ldquo;17 Demands for Quality Education.&rdquo; Programs at today&rsquo;s event, sponsored by the U.S. Hispanic Contractors Association, commemorated the 40<sup>th</sup> anniversary of his historic election.</p><p>Garcia&rsquo;s colleague and keynote speaker, Ernest Perales, remarked on the difficulties the AISD board found itself in during the turmoil of the 1970s. Peralez called Gus Garcia &ldquo;a hero&rdquo; and praised his tenure on the board.</p><p> Wed, 09 May 2012 20:29:41 +0000 Daniel Martens & Emery Reifsnyder 4199 at http://kut.org Gus Garcia on Education: 'Much More Work Needs to be Done'