Carrie Powell http://kut.org en The Serious Reason School Finals Week is Best for Playing With Puppies http://kut.org/post/serious-reason-school-finals-week-best-playing-puppies <p>Librarians are keeping late hours. Coffee shops are serving up triple-shot drinks to zombie-like customers. They’re all signs of one thing: college finals week.</p><p>The end of the semester creates an immense amount of stress on campus, which students handle with varying degrees of success. This year, area universities are providing a wider variety of services and resources to help students cope with the stress and anxiety.</p><p>In addition to the regular services offered by UT-Austin’s <a href="http://www.cmhc.utexas.edu/index.html">Counseling and Mental Health Center</a>, including stress management tips for students and an online resource called&nbsp;<a href="http://www.cmhc.utexas.edu/stressrecess/Guided_Program/index.html">Stress Recess</a>, the university is hosting some more unorthodox events: UT Libraries partnered with the Austin Dog Alliance to <a href="http://lib.utexas.edu/calendar/therapy-dog-study-break-0">bring therapy dogs</a>&nbsp;to the Perry-Castañeda Library, Monday, Dec. 9, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.</p><p> Mon, 09 Dec 2013 16:25:00 +0000 Carrie Powell 9314 at http://kut.org The Serious Reason School Finals Week is Best for Playing With Puppies MAP: With 10-1 Map In the Books, Austin Concludes Redistricting (Update) http://kut.org/post/map-10-1-map-books-austin-concludes-redistricting-update <p><strong>Update: </strong>Austin’s Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission voted unanimously last night to certify the district maps for future city council elections.</p><p>The group split the city into ten districts. Starting next November, voters in each district will elect a single city council member. Previously, all council members were elected at-large.</p><p>Check out this interactive version of the district map:</p><p><iframe frameborder="0" height="440" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="https://maps.google.com/maps?q=http:%2F%2Faustinredistricting.org%2FFinal%2Fab9Plan1120.kmz&amp;hl=en&amp;sll=30.2961,-97.732971&amp;sspn=0.608281,1.014862&amp;t=h&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;ll=30.295832,-97.733002&amp;spn=0.521726,0.797882&amp;z=10&amp;output=embed" width="580"></iframe><br /><em><small><a href="https://maps.google.com/maps?q=http:%2F%2Faustinredistricting.org%2FFinal%2Fab9Plan1120.kmz&amp;hl=en&amp;sll=30.2961,-97.732971&amp;sspn=0.608281,1.014862&amp;t=h&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;ll=30.295832,-97.733002&amp;spn=0.521726,0.797882&amp;z=10&amp;source=embed" style="color:#0000FF;text-align:left">View Larger Map</a></small></em></p><p> Tue, 26 Nov 2013 13:49:59 +0000 Carrie Powell & Laura Rice 9263 at http://kut.org Austin's Getting a Chief Innovation Officer. (So What the Heck Does That Mean?) http://kut.org/post/austins-getting-chief-innovation-officer-so-what-heck-does-mean <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The City of Austin will soon name a leader for its newly created Innovation Office.</span></p><p>So what exactly will this person do – and does Austin need one?</p><p>Innovation – like sustainability, transparency, and social responsibility – are buzzwords the public sector is appropriating from the&nbsp;business world. Austin established its own <a href="http://www.austintexas.gov/sustainability">Office of Sustainability</a> in 2010.</p><p> Mon, 18 Nov 2013 22:29:32 +0000 Carrie Powell 9210 at http://kut.org Austin's Getting a Chief Innovation Officer. (So What the Heck Does That Mean?) Maps: Austin Health Disparities at Birth http://kut.org/post/maps-austin-health-disparities-birth <p>A new study shows how Travis County’s low-income areas are home to inadequate prenatal care and troublesome birth outcomes – including a racial disparity in neonatal intensive care unit admissions.</p><p>The study, released at the <a href="http://www.dellchildrens.net/about_us/news/2013/11/12/new_childrens_optimal_health_maps_mark_hotspots_for_troublesome_birth_outcomes_in_travis_county_2">Birth Outcomes Summit</a> at Dell Children’s Hospital, uses data from the U.S. Census Bureau and Texas Department of State Health Services.</p> Thu, 14 Nov 2013 20:01:00 +0000 Carrie Powell 9181 at http://kut.org Maps: Austin Health Disparities at Birth What Austin’s Doing – and Isn’t Doing – for F1 After Last Year http://kut.org/post/what-austin-s-doing-and-isn-t-doing-f1-after-last-year <p>This time last year, many local businesses were staffed up and overstocked.</p><p>In the weeks and months prior to its first&nbsp;Formula 1 Grand Prix, Austin&nbsp;prepared&nbsp;to host thousands of fans from around the globe.</p><p>With the sport attracting <a href="http://kut.org/post/10k-tables-and-gold-champagne-how-rich-f1-fans-party-austin">a coterie of high rollers</a>, business expectations were high. The Austin Better Business Bureau even urged local businesses to <a href="http://kut.org/post/10k-tables-and-gold-champagne-how-rich-f1-fans-party-austin">consider accepting foreign currency</a>.</p><p>For some, the event brought an increase in business. But for many vendors and retailers, the <a href="http://kut.org/post/austin-race-thrills-traffic-economic-impact-f1-questioned">crowds never seemed to show up</a>.</p><p> Thu, 14 Nov 2013 18:24:56 +0000 Carrie Powell 9164 at http://kut.org What Austin’s Doing – and Isn’t Doing – for F1 After Last Year Survey Asks Colony Park Residents What They Need from the Neighborhood http://kut.org/post/survey-asks-colony-park-residents-what-they-need-neighborhood <p>The southeast Austin neighborhood of <a href="https://www.google.com/maps/preview#!q=Colony+Park%2C+Austin%2C+TX&amp;data=!1m4!1m3!1d8334!2d-97.6336248!3d30.2970002!4m15!2m14!1m13!1s0x8644b7dd848089d3%3A0x68bd315c06662dd5!3m8!1m3!1d13779!2d-97.636034!3d30.298055!3m2!1i1024!2i768!4f13.1!4m2!3d30.298014!4d-97.634469">Colony Park</a> is being re-imagined as a model civic space. And the city’s asking the neighborhood for input on the changes.</p><p>A door-to-door survey of Colony Park residents starts today. Through the middle of the month, volunteers hope to complete 450 surveys. That’s about 10 percent of the number of households in the five Colony Park census tracts.</p><p><a href="http://kut.org/post/colony-park-can-austin-transform-community-without-displacing-it">As KUT News previously reported</a>, a new master plan&nbsp;for the Colony Park neighborhood will use a $3 million grant from the U.S. Department of&nbsp;<a href="http://hud.gov/">Housing and Urban Development</a> to remake the area. The city’s in the process of planning the use of 200-plus acres of vacant, Austin-owned land near Overton Elementary School.</p><p> Wed, 06 Nov 2013 22:14:41 +0000 Carrie Powell 9112 at http://kut.org Survey Asks Colony Park Residents What They Need from the Neighborhood Perry Preaches Texas Prosperity in Israel http://kut.org/post/perry-preaches-texas-prosperity-israel <p>Texas Governor Rick Perry is nearing the end of a 10-day <a href="http://governor.state.tx.us/news/press-release/19003/">international economic opportunity tour</a>&nbsp;with stops in London and Israel.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Perry took the opportunity to highlight the opening of a &nbsp;</span><a href="http://www.tamu.edu/" style="line-height: 1.5;">Texas A &amp; M University</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> in Israel and looked to highlight Texas' financial successes, as well as recent resource and energy conservation solutions.</span> Wed, 23 Oct 2013 21:39:16 +0000 Carrie Powell 9005 at http://kut.org Perry Preaches Texas Prosperity in Israel Colony Park: Can Austin Transform a Community Without Displacing it? http://kut.org/post/colony-park-can-austin-transform-community-without-displacing-it <p class="p1"><a href="http://www.austintexas.gov/department/about-colony-park"><span style="line-height: 1.5;">A new </span>master plan</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> for the Colony Park neighborhood will use a $3 million grant from the U.S. Department of <a href="http://HUD.gov">Housing and Urban Development</a> in an effort to revitalize the area. The project resembles the planning of Mueller in scope and ambition, but some residents are concerned the project might eventually displace them.</span></p><p class="p1"><span style="line-height: 1.5;">At a Saturday community engagement meeting, residents in the Colony Park area said they were concerned the city might move on to implementation of the plan without their approval.</span></p><p> Mon, 21 Oct 2013 21:58:34 +0000 Carrie Powell 8985 at http://kut.org Colony Park: Can Austin Transform a Community Without Displacing it? For Rain Barrel Users, Is There Such a Thing as Too Much Water? http://kut.org/post/rain-barrel-users-there-such-thing-too-much-water <p>Austin&#39;s recent rains have caused <a href="http://kut.org/post/austin-dries-after-storm-flooding-more-rain-way-update">a fair amount of trouble</a>. But some folks made out like bandits during the recent deluge.</p><p>Many urban rain collectors watched recent downpours overwhelm their <a href="http://rainwaterharvesting.tamu.edu/">rain barrels and cisterns</a>. It raises a question: Can too much rain be a bad thing, even for rainwater harvesters?<br /><br />Most rain harvesters say: Nope.<br /><br />Karen Collins, who collects rain at her home in Austin and on farmland north of Liberty Hill, is optimistic about the surge in rain. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s wonderful,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;My tanks are completely full. I am in great shape. There are times in the summer when I don&rsquo;t have any rainwater.&rdquo;</p><p> Thu, 17 Oct 2013 15:23:48 +0000 Carrie Powell 8932 at http://kut.org For Rain Barrel Users, Is There Such a Thing as Too Much Water? Longhorn Football Loses Legendary Player James Street http://kut.org/post/longhorn-football-loses-legendary-player-james-street <p>Former University of Texas quarterback James Street died Monday morning in his Austin home after suffering a heart attack. He was 65 years old.</p><p>Street played for Coach Darrell K. Royal from 1966 to 1969. He won all 20 games he started as quarterback &ndash; a feat no other Longhorn quarterback has repeated.</p><p> Mon, 30 Sep 2013 22:09:01 +0000 Carrie Powell 8827 at http://kut.org Longhorn Football Loses Legendary Player James Street Report: Texas Executions Conducted Under Broken System http://kut.org/post/report-texas-executions-conducted-under-broken-system <p>The Texas criminal justice system is not doing everything it can to ensure the death penalty is applied fairly.</p><p>That's according to a report released today by the American Bar Association’s Texas Capital Punishment Assessment Team, which claims Texas fails to meet national standards in all phases of implementing capital punishment. Wed, 18 Sep 2013 22:45:00 +0000 Carrie Powell 8727 at http://kut.org Report: Texas Executions Conducted Under Broken System After Ole Miss Loss, Mack Brown Pleads to UT Fans, Eyes Big 12 Play http://kut.org/post/after-ole-miss-loss-mack-brown-pleads-ut-fans-eyes-big-12-play <p>Following the weekend’s 44-23 loss to Ole Miss, Longhorn Football coach Mack Brown is realistic about the list of challenges facing the Longhorns and the <a href="post/mack-brown-longhorns-could-win-it-all-year">dismal performance</a> of his team so far this season.</p><p>“I’m more disappointed than anybody at the way we have started,” Brown said in a press conference on Monday. “It has kind of been the perfect storm. We’ve had injuries, we’ve had setbacks.”</p><p> Mon, 16 Sep 2013 20:08:05 +0000 Carrie Powell 8708 at http://kut.org After Ole Miss Loss, Mack Brown Pleads to UT Fans, Eyes Big 12 Play Cornyn Skeptical of U.S. Leadership’s Decisions on Syria http://kut.org/post/cornyn-skeptical-us-leadership-s-decisions-syria <p>U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, joins other members of Congress in hesitantly approving <a href="post/obama-american-ideals-national-security-stake-syrian-crisis">President Barack Obama’s decision</a> to diplomatically disarm Syria rather than initiate a military intervention.</p><p>“Well I do believe that this proposal is better than executing a poorly thought out and foolishly telegraphed plan that is doomed to fail," Sen.&nbsp;Cornyn&nbsp;said of President Obama’s address. "I think it is worth seeing this thing to a conclusion.”</p><p> Wed, 11 Sep 2013 21:04:12 +0000 Carrie Powell 8654 at http://kut.org Cornyn Skeptical of U.S. Leadership’s Decisions on Syria 2014 Austin City Budget Holds Line on Tax Rate (Update) http://kut.org/post/2014-austin-city-budget-holds-line-tax-rate-update <p><strong>Update</strong>: For the first time since 2007, the Austin City Council has voted to lower the city’s property tax rate. The council finalized the fiscal year 2014 budget this afternoon.</p><p>Granted, the tax rate hasn’t fallen by much: two-hundredths of a penny (from 50.29 to 50.27 cents) for every $100 dollars of valuation. For the owner of a $200,000 home, that amounts to a savings of 40 cents a year. Mayor Lee Leffingwell had pressed for a bigger cut.</p><p> Tue, 10 Sep 2013 19:23:15 +0000 Carrie Powell, Joy Diaz & Wells Dunbar 8629 at http://kut.org 2014 Austin City Budget Holds Line on Tax Rate (Update) Maps: Austin, Now You Can See If Your Neighbors Are Registered to Vote http://kut.org/post/maps-austin-now-you-can-see-if-your-neighbors-are-registered-vote <p>September is Travis County’s Voter Registration Awareness Month – and the county Tax Assessor and Voter Registrar are kicking things off with a new online tool to help volunteers find new voters.</p><p>Citizen registrars can now use the county’s website to <a href="http://www.traviscountytax.org/goVotersJurisdictionInfo.do">view lists and maps of addresses</a> with unregistered and suspended voters, broken down by Travis County precincts. While the maps do not verify that eligible, but unregistered, voters reside at those locations, the new resource still helps deputy registrars and other organizations identify areas that may be neglected by the voting process.</p><p> Wed, 04 Sep 2013 19:51:21 +0000 Carrie Powell 8600 at http://kut.org Maps: Austin, Now You Can See If Your Neighbors Are Registered to Vote