Mose Buchele http://kut.org en A New Proposal For a Coal-Free Austin Could End the City's LCRA Partnership http://kut.org/post/new-proposal-coal-free-austin-could-end-citys-lcra-partnership <p>Today, <a href="http://www.austintexas.gov/content/austin-generation-resource-planning-task-force">the group</a> tasked with figuring out how to wean Austin off carbon dioxide-emitting coal power is scheduled to vote on <a href="http://www.austintexas.gov/edims/document.cfm?id=212795">its recommendations</a>, and some members of that group think they &nbsp;have found a new approach to the biggest road block between Austin and a coal-free future: the <a href="http://kut.org/term/fayette-power-plant">Fayette Coal Plant</a>.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Austin Energy owns the plant along with the <a href="http://www.lcra.org/Pages/default.aspx">Lower Colorado River Authority</a>, and gets about 20 percent of its electricity from it. While selling off the plant or retiring it completely has been <a href="http://stateimpact.npr.org/texas/2011/11/17/if-austin-goes-coal-free-could-the-rest-of-texas-follow/">a long held dream </a>of city officials and environmentalists, city staff has warned that it could be prohibitively expensive and legally tricky.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Previous plans to sell off that stake,&nbsp;or shut down the plant have also been opposed by the&nbsp;LCRA.<iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/157984891&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe></span></p><p> Wed, 09 Jul 2014 16:04:27 +0000 Mose Buchele 10761 at http://kut.org A New Proposal For a Coal-Free Austin Could End the City's LCRA Partnership Is the Oil Boom Helping Prices at the Pump? http://kut.org/post/oil-boom-helping-prices-pump <p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(68, 68, 68);"><a href="http://stateimpact.npr.org/texas/2014/07/07/is-the-oil-boom-helping-at-the-pump/#more-37733">From StateImpact Texas</a>:</p><p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(68, 68, 68);"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif; font-size: 13.63636302947998px; line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>Texas is getting more oil out of the ground than is has&nbsp;<a href="http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=16931" style="color: rgb(23, 78, 130); -webkit-transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out; font-weight: bold;">since the great boom of the 1970s</a>. The oil fields of North Dakota are, for the first time ever, producing over one million barrels a day. Across the country, the boom has lead to predictions that the US will&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-07-04/u-s-seen-as-biggest-oil-producer-after-overtaking-saudi.html" style="color: rgb(23, 78, 130); -webkit-transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out; font-weight: bold;">overtake even Saudi Arabia</a>&nbsp;in oil production by the end of the year. &nbsp;But is all that drilling helping US consumers at the pump?</p><p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(68, 68, 68);">A quick look at the numbers before the long weekend would indicate not. Prices were about&nbsp;<a href="http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=16951" style="color: rgb(23, 78, 130); -webkit-transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out; font-weight: bold;">20 cents per gallon higher</a>&nbsp;than this time last year, according to the US Energy Information Administration.</p><p> Mon, 07 Jul 2014 16:53:38 +0000 Mose Buchele 10741 at http://kut.org Is the Oil Boom Helping Prices at the Pump? Ranchers Approve Added Charge for Cattle Sales in Texas http://kut.org/post/ranchers-approve-added-charge-cattle-sales-texas <p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(68, 68, 68);"><a href="http://stateimpact.npr.org/texas/2014/07/02/ranchers-approve-added-charge-for-cattle-sales-in-texas/">From StateImpact Texas:&nbsp;</a></p> Thu, 03 Jul 2014 14:44:55 +0000 Mose Buchele 10725 at http://kut.org Ranchers Approve Added Charge for Cattle Sales in Texas How to Become a Medieval Knight, in 7 Easy Steps http://kut.org/post/how-become-medieval-knight-7-easy-steps <p>It’s time for another edition of <a href="http://kut.org/term/summer-school">KUT’s Summer School</a>.</p><p>Every Friday this summer, we head out to learn new skills from folks in Austin who are experts in their field. We’ve already learned about glass blowing, wood turning and beekeeping. Today’s subject? Medieval Studies.&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/156333549&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p> Fri, 27 Jun 2014 21:12:55 +0000 Mose Buchele 10697 at http://kut.org How to Become a Medieval Knight, in 7 Easy Steps As Renewables Grow in Texas, Battles Over Fees and Subsidies Emerge http://kut.org/post/renewables-grow-texas-battles-over-fees-and-subsidies-emerge <p><a href="http://stateimpact.npr.org/texas/2014/06/25/as-renewables-grow-in-texas-battles-over-fees-and-subsidies-emerge/" style="font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px;"><strong>From StateImpact Texas</strong>:&nbsp;</a></p><p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(68, 68, 68);">In the coming years, the federal government wants Texas to reduce its carbon emissions by about 40 percent. With a goal like that, you might expect to see more programs aimed at promoting renewable energy in Texas. But&nbsp;something like the opposite appears to be happening.</p><p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(68, 68, 68);">Donna Nelson, chair of Texas’&nbsp;<a href="http://stateimpact.npr.org/texas/topic/public-utility-commission-of-texas/" style="color: rgb(23, 78, 130); -webkit-transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out; font-weight: bold;">Public Utility Commission</a>, asked last month if wind power generators, not Texas utility customers, should pay for upgrades to transmission lines.&nbsp;The Commission regulates the state’s electric grid, among other things.</p><p> Wed, 25 Jun 2014 18:50:52 +0000 Mose Buchele 10674 at http://kut.org As Renewables Grow in Texas, Battles Over Fees and Subsidies Emerge Austin's New Boardwalk Leads to This Cramped Bridge With 'Poor Safety' http://kut.org/post/austins-new-boardwalk-leads-cramped-bridge-poor-safety <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">It's a safe bet that the new boardwalk opening along Austin's Lady Bird Lake will attract throngs of people. It’s a sleek, modern, structure. At about 14 feet wide and around a mile long, it provides plenty of space for joggers, cyclists, and people who want to take in a view of the city. </span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">But if those people walk east, intent on realizing the boardwalk's promise of closing the loop of trails around the lake, they will find themselves at the Pleasant Valley Bridge over the Longhorn Dam</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">– a&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">river crossing that is</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;neither sleek nor modern. </span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">For years city officials have considered it potentially unsafe, and worry it could become more so with added foot traffic from the boardwalk.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">So far efforts to improve the crossing have failed.&nbsp;</span></p><p> Fri, 06 Jun 2014 19:06:28 +0000 Mose Buchele 10554 at http://kut.org Austin's New Boardwalk Leads to This Cramped Bridge With 'Poor Safety' PHOTOS: Here's a Sneak Peek of the Lady Bird Lake Boardwalk http://kut.org/post/photos-heres-sneak-peek-lady-bird-lake-boardwalk <p>The Lady Bird Lake Boardwalk is set to open to the public on June 7.</p><p>The 1.3 mile boardwalk will complete a ten-mile loop of trail around the lake. H<span style="line-height: 1.5;">oward Lazarus with Austin’s Public Works Department says the boardwalk will play a key role in expanding biking and pedestrian options throughout the region.</span></p> Fri, 23 May 2014 21:59:33 +0000 Mose Buchele 10486 at http://kut.org PHOTOS: Here's a Sneak Peek of the Lady Bird Lake Boardwalk Texas Family's Nuisance Complaint Seen As Win Against Fracking http://kut.org/post/texas-familys-nuisance-complaint-seen-win-against-fracking A Dallas jury recently awarded nearly $3 million to a family who said they were poisoned by a natural gas drilling operation near their North Texas ranch. The verdict, reached on April 22, is being called a landmark by opponents of the drilling technique, called hydraulic fracturing or "fracking."<p><a href="http://stateimpact.npr.org/texas/2014/05/02/what-a-multi-million-dollar-lawsuit-could-mean-for-fighting-fracking-in-court/">Bob and Lisa Parr</a> have been telling their story for a while. They even appeared in the anti-fracking documentary <em>Gasland II</em>. Fri, 02 May 2014 09:42:07 +0000 Mose Buchele 10347 at http://kut.org A Killer of Bats Inches Towards Texas http://kut.org/post/killer-bats-inches-towards-texas <p></p><p>Before <a href="http://frick.eeb.ucsc.edu/">Winifred Frick</a> enters a bat cave in Wisconsin, she and her colleagues strip to their underwear and wipe themselves down with Lysol. When they leave, they bag everything up and wash it with Lysol as well.</p><p>“Spores can definitely get on peoples’ boots or pants or whatever, so it’s been really important that cavers, as well as researchers, do decontamination,” Frick, a bat researcher and adjunct professor at UC Santa Cruz,&nbsp;says.</p> Thu, 27 Mar 2014 16:10:49 +0000 Mose Buchele 10046 at http://kut.org A Killer of Bats Inches Towards Texas All The Free Swag At SXSW Probably Isn't Accomplishing Much http://kut.org/post/all-free-swag-sxsw-probably-isnt-accomplishing-much <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Three free pairs of sunglasses, one&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">T</span>winkie<span style="line-height: 1.5;">, one cupcake, lots of Cracker Jacks, a drink ticket, a sticker of a banana, and one invitation to a BBQ and concert, courtesy of the government of Canada. &nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">All that was to be had just by walking five blocks of </span>Sixth<span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;Street during South by Southwest 2014.</span></p> Fri, 14 Mar 2014 23:56:16 +0000 Mose Buchele 9973 at http://kut.org All The Free Swag At SXSW Probably Isn't Accomplishing Much Why You Should Pay Attention to the Race for Railroad Commission http://kut.org/post/why-you-should-pay-attention-race-railroad-commission <p><em style="line-height: 1.5;">From <a href="http://stateimpact.npr.org/texas/">StateImpact Texas</a>: &nbsp;&nbsp;</em></p><p><span style="color: rgb(68, 68, 68); font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px;">In an often-quoted scene from the 2007 movie "</span><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; color: rgb(68, 68, 68); margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;"><a href="http://www.paramount.com/movies/there-will-be-blood" style="color: rgb(23, 78, 130); -webkit-transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out; font-weight: bold;">There Will Be Blood</a>,"</span><span style="color: rgb(68, 68, 68); font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px;">&nbsp;sociopathic oilman Daniel Plainview meets his rival for the last time. If oil fields are like milkshakes, he says, it pays to have a straw that reaches all the way across the room “and starts to drink&nbsp;</span><em style="font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; color: rgb(68, 68, 68); margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">your</em><span style="color: rgb(68, 68, 68); font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px;">&nbsp;milkshake.”</span></p><p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(68, 68, 68);">“I. Drink. Your. Milkshake,” Plainview screams maniacally, “I DRINK IT UP!!!!”</p><p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(68, 68, 68);">This year, Texans will have the chance to vote for &nbsp;a seat on the<a href="https://stateimpact.npr.org/texas/tag/railroad-commission-of-texas/" style="color: rgb(23, 78, 130); -webkit-transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out; font-weight: bold;">&nbsp;Railroad Commission of Texas</a>. But the commission has a lot more to do with milkshakes than railroads. It&nbsp;regulates oil and gas in Texas.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/136381665&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p> Tue, 25 Feb 2014 14:43:32 +0000 Mose Buchele 9840 at http://kut.org Why You Should Pay Attention to the Race for Railroad Commission How Climate Change Could Lead to More Massive Fish Kills in Texas http://kut.org/post/how-climate-change-could-lead-more-massive-fish-kills-texas <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">From the Asian Carp to the</span><a data-mce-="" href="http://stateimpact.npr.org/texas/2013/11/08/the-battle-against-zebra-mussels-grows-in-northeast-texas/" style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;Zebra Mussel</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, Texas has its fair share of invasive species. Some of them get a lot of attention (I'm looking at you,&nbsp;</span><a data-mce-="" href="http://today.agrilife.org/2012/02/13/new-pub-feral-hogs-native-plants/" style="line-height: 1.5;">voracious feral hog</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">). Others tend to sneak under the radar even when they damage ecosystems.</span></p><p>Take&nbsp;<a data-mce-="" href="http://www.fish.state.pa.us/ais/ais-action-golden-alga.pdf">Golden Algae</a>. Originally from Europe,&nbsp;the microscopic plant was discovered on the Pecos River in 1985 when an algae bloom killed hundreds of thousands of fish. Since then, it has colonized other Texas river basins and killed <a data-mce-="" href="http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/landwater/water/environconcerns/hab/ga/blooms.phtml">millions more fish</a>.&nbsp;Unlike deadly <a data-mce-="" href="http://stateimpact.npr.org/texas/2012/08/15/why-dead-fish-are-washing-up-on-the-beaches-of-galveston/">algae blooms in the Gulf of Mexico</a> that kill fish by taking all the oxygen, golden algae is, itself, toxic. Under the right circumstances, it produces a poison that kills fish and bivalves in the affected waters.</p><p> Mon, 20 Jan 2014 19:36:12 +0000 Mose Buchele 9593 at http://kut.org How Climate Change Could Lead to More Massive Fish Kills in Texas North Texas Earthquake Swarm More Centralized Than Previously Thought http://kut.org/post/north-texas-earthquake-swarm-more-centralized-previously-thought <p>Another minor earthquake shook the North Texas community of&nbsp;Azle&nbsp;on Monday. It’s one of dozens to hit the region over the last few months that have residents on edge and complaining of property damage.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Many see a link between the quakes and increased oil and gas activity. But challenges confront&nbsp;scientists researching the quakes for the U.S. Geological Survey and Southern Methodist University. For one, they’ve needed to more accurately pinpoint the epicenters of the&nbsp;Azle&nbsp;quakes.</span><iframe frameborder="0" height="400" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="https://www.google.com/maps/ms?msid=207065095868133312320.0004efe777aa3b48020e2&amp;msa=0&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;t=f&amp;ecpose=32.96220889,-97.54415722,2233.44,-58.155,43.294,0.003&amp;ll=32.971025,-97.561079&amp;spn=0.014401,0.02399&amp;z=15&amp;output=embed" width="560"></iframe><br /><small>View <a href="https://www.google.com/maps/ms?msid=207065095868133312320.0004efe777aa3b48020e2&amp;msa=0&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;t=f&amp;ecpose=32.96220889,-97.54415722,2233.44,-58.155,43.294,0.003&amp;ll=32.971025,-97.561079&amp;spn=0.014401,0.02399&amp;z=15&amp;source=embed" style="color:#0000FF;text-align:left">Earthquakes Near Azle, Texas</a> in a larger map</small></p><p><em>Map created by Andrew Weber for KUT News and StateImpact Texas. Orange circles represent earthquakes, wavy blue lines represent active wastewater disposal wells.</em></p><p> Tue, 14 Jan 2014 18:46:21 +0000 Mose Buchele 9544 at http://kut.org Amid a Surge of Texas Earthquakes, Oil and Gas Regulators to Hire a Seismologist http://kut.org/post/amid-surge-texas-earthquakes-oil-and-gas-regulators-hire-seismologist <p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(68, 68, 68);">In today’s meeting of the Railroad Commission of Texas, the state Agency that regulates the Texas&nbsp;oil and&nbsp;gas industry, Commissioner David Porter announced the search for a staff seismologist in response to the rash of&nbsp;small&nbsp;earthquakes that have sprung up throughout the state along with the boom in oil and gas production.</p> Tue, 07 Jan 2014 21:20:03 +0000 Mose Buchele 9498 at http://kut.org Amid a Surge of Texas Earthquakes, Oil and Gas Regulators to Hire a Seismologist Anger Greets State Officials in Quake-Prone Texas Town http://kut.org/post/anger-greets-state-officials-quake-prone-texas-town <p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(68, 68, 68);">“I’ve got a crack in my hallway,” chuckled Marion LeBert as he stood in the parking lot of Azle High School.</p><p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(68, 68, 68);">“Oh my!” commiserated Tracy Napier. “We have sink holes in our yard. And they’ve gotten bigger since these earthquakes.”</p><p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(68, 68, 68);">The two were among hundreds of townspeople hoping to get answers at a meeting hosted last&nbsp; night by the&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="http://stateimpact.npr.org/texas/tag/railroad-commission-of-texas/" style="color: rgb(23, 78, 130); -webkit-transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out; font-weight: bold;">Railroad Commission of Texas</a>, the state’s oil and gas industry regulators. The area, in Parker and Tarrant counties, didn’t experience earthquakes until recently. Now, it’s seen a swarm of over twenty minor ones in the last two months, troubling residents and causing damage to some homes. The earthquakes would be the topic of discussion.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/127711759&amp;color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe> Fri, 03 Jan 2014 17:47:08 +0000 Mose Buchele 9481 at http://kut.org Anger Greets State Officials in Quake-Prone Texas Town New Year Brings Good and Bad News For Texas Wind Power http://kut.org/post/new-year-brings-good-and-bad-news-texas-wind-power-0 <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">By New Year's Day, the network of transmission lines that comprise Texas' "Competitive Renewable Energy Zone" [</span>CREZ<span style="line-height: 1.5;">] will be fully operational, bringing electricity from wind turbines in West Texas and the Panhandle to points east. Many of the lines are already active (and have contributed to record-breaking percentages of Texas electricity coming from wind), but the Jan. 1 deadline is cause for celebration among those who have long prided Texas' role as a leader in wind power.</span></p> Tue, 31 Dec 2013 17:23:03 +0000 Mose Buchele 9466 at http://kut.org New Year Brings Good and Bad News For Texas Wind Power Austin Church's Solar Project Could Shine Soon http://kut.org/post/austin-churchs-solar-project-could-shine-soon <p><a href="http://stateimpact.npr.org/texas/?p=33425">From StateImpact Texas:</a></p><p style="font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: rgb(0, 0, 0); vertical-align: baseline; background-color: transparent;">The promise of harnessing the power of the sun and turning it into renewable energy has attracted countless businesses, governments and environmental groups. But it might be a church here in Austin that ends up bringing one of the next breakthroughs in solar technology.</p><p><span style="background-color: transparent; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 1.5;">To understand the scope of this project, it helps to know that Saint David’s is no little roadside chapel. The Episcopal Church in downtown Austin fills up a whole city block. It provides your typical church services and then some.</span></p><p style="font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: rgb(0, 0, 0); vertical-align: baseline; background-color: transparent;">“We have a coffee shop, we have a restaurant, we have a pre-school for children,” says Terry Nathan, the parish administrator.&nbsp;“The better part of our basement is dedicated to a homeless center."&nbsp;The Church keeps a staff of caterers for its side business hosting events, and has a bookstore and parking garage, which they make available for&nbsp;commercial&nbsp;use. All that takes a lot of electricity.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/126715960&amp;color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: rgb(0, 0, 0); vertical-align: baseline; background-color: transparent;">So about ten years ago, church members got the idea to put solar panels on the parking garage. But they didn’t take the plunge until last year. That’s when low interest rates, improved technology, and government rebates all came together.</p><p> Fri, 27 Dec 2013 12:30:00 +0000 Mose Buchele 9444 at http://kut.org Austin Church's Solar Project Could Shine Soon Once Neglected, Waller Creek Will Now Remake Downtown Austin (VIDEO) http://kut.org/post/once-neglected-waller-creek-will-now-remake-downtown-austin-video <p><a href="http://stateimpact.npr.org/texas/"><strong>From StateImpact Texas:</strong></a></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The more things change, the more they stay the same.</span></p><p><a href="http://www.austinparks.org/our-parks.html?parkid=371">Waterloo Park</a>, just east of the State Capitol, is a perfect example. There used to be houses there. But then in the 1970s, recalls former city council staffer and <a href="http://www.wallercreek.org/">Waller Creek Conservancy</a> executive director Stephanie Lee McDonald, “there was a lot of urban renewal efforts and the neighborhood was razed and the park was created.”</p><p>According to newspaper articles at the time, there were big redevelopment plans for the area, which sits along Waller Creek. There were even hopes that the space could become Austin’s very own version of the famed San Antonio River Walk. Of course, things didn’t really work out that way.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/125619319&amp;color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p> Thu, 19 Dec 2013 19:47:09 +0000 Mose Buchele 9407 at http://kut.org Once Neglected, Waller Creek Will Now Remake Downtown Austin (VIDEO) Near-Catastrophe During Flooding Highlights Issues at Dam in Austin http://kut.org/post/near-catastrophe-during-flooding-highlights-issues-dam-austin <p><a href="http://stateimpact.npr.org/texas/2013/12/10/near-catastrophe-during-flooding-highlights-issues-at-dam-in-austin/"><strong>From StateImpact Texas</strong></a>:</p><p>A lot of people who walk or drive past&nbsp;<a href="http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/fishboat/boat/paddlingtrails/inland/lady_bird_lake/" style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5;">Lady Bird Lake</a><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;in downtown Austin probably assume it’s a natural feature. They appreciate the trails and parks that line the lake's 416 acres, unaware of the series of floodgates on the Longhorn Dam that hold its waters in. But recent flooding along the waterway has called attention to longstanding mechanical problems at the dam, problems that the City of Austin is aware of, but hasn't found the money to address.</span></p><p>While its been called the "jewel in the crown" of Austin, Lady Bird Lake was created to serve a utilitarian purpose: to provide water for a now-decommissioned gas power plant in the Holly neighborhood of East Austin. Because of its connection to the power plant, the dam is operated under the supervision of&nbsp;<a href="https://stateimpact.npr.org/texas/tag/austin-energy/">Austin Energy</a>, the city's publicly-owned electric utility. Built in 1960, the floodgates on Longhorn Dam have stored and released water from the lake for over 50 years. Now that age is showing.</p><p style="font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: rgb(0, 0, 0); vertical-align: baseline; background-color: transparent;"><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/124176390&amp;color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p> Tue, 10 Dec 2013 19:24:17 +0000 Mose Buchele 9342 at http://kut.org Near-Catastrophe During Flooding Highlights Issues at Dam in Austin For $30, George W. Bush Will Give You the Bird - On a Christmas Ornament, That Is http://kut.org/post/30-george-w-bush-will-give-you-bird-christmas-ornament <p>He led the United States on 9/11, oversaw the bloody invasion and occupation of Iraq, reconfigured the global geopolitical landscape, and became one of the most polarizing presidents in recent history.</p><p>But these days, it seems like George W. Bush is mostly known for his painting.</p><p>Since his retirement, the former president <a href="http://kut.org/post/i-relied-upon-my-faith-george-w-bush-tells-leno">has made headlines for his new hobby</a> painting portraits and pictures of animals. Now, a small piece of his creative output can be yours.</p> Tue, 03 Dec 2013 17:32:48 +0000 Mose Buchele 9302 at http://kut.org For $30, George W. Bush Will Give You the Bird - On a Christmas Ornament, That Is