Austin http://kut.org en Listen to Our Weekly News Podcast! http://kut.org/post/listen-our-weekly-news-podcast <p></p><p><strong style="line-height: 1.5;">KUT Weekend </strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">brings you our favorite stories from the </span>KUT<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> newsroom. Updated Fridays!</span></p><ul><li><a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/kut-weekend/id724557617"><strong style="line-height: 1.5;">Subscribe in iTunes</strong></a></li><li><strong><a href="http://kutpodcasts.org/category/weekly-podcast/feed">Subscribe&nbsp;via RSS</a></strong></li><li><strong><a href="https://soundcloud.com/kut-weekend">Subscribe via Soundcloud</a></strong></li><li><a href="http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/kut-news/kut-weekend"><strong>Subscribe in Stitcher</strong></a></li></ul><p><iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/165353960&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false"></iframe> Fri, 29 Aug 2014 19:35:25 +0000 Nathan Bernier 8495 at http://kut.org Listen to Our Weekly News Podcast! Ballot Boxing: The Austin City Council District Forums http://kut.org/post/ballot-boxing-austin-city-council-district-forums <p style="font-family: Verdana, Geneva, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: 23.399999618530273px; margin-bottom: 1.8em; color: rgb(119, 119, 119);">Join KUT, the <a href="http://www.austinmonitor.com/">Austin Monitor</a>, <a href="http://univisionaustin.univision.com/">Univision 62</a>, <a href="http://kxan.com/">KXAN</a> and the <a href="http://www.austinchronicle.com/">Austin Chronicle</a> for our series of in-district Austin City Council candidate forums. All forums begin at 7 P.<span style="font-size: 13px;">M. Fri, 29 Aug 2014 19:11:25 +0000 Matt Largey 11119 at http://kut.org Ballot Boxing: The Austin City Council District Forums Why 10-1 Isn't Austin's First Go-Around with Geographic Representation http://kut.org/post/why-10-1-isnt-austins-first-go-around-geographic-representation <p>Let's go back in time. It's 1839. Austin’s a brand new baby, the capitol is a one-story building at the corner of 8<sup>th</sup> Street and Colorado, the <a href="http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/eea12">Austin City Gazette</a> costs $5 for a yearly subscription, and <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirabeau_B._Lamar">Lamar</a> is the President of the Republic of Texas, not an overly-congested thoroughfare.</p><p>While all that may sound antiquated, there was something else in Austin that only recently has been considered a fresh, previously unheard of idea: geographic representation.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/165321278&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, 29 Aug 2014 15:35:45 +0000 Joy Diaz 11113 at http://kut.org Why 10-1 Isn't Austin's First Go-Around with Geographic Representation City Council Bans Hand-Held Devices While Driving http://kut.org/post/city-council-bans-hand-held-devices-while-driving <p>Holding a phone while rolling on Austin streets is about to become against the law, but not just for Austinites driving cars and trucks.</p><p>The Austin City Council unanimously voted yesterday to <a href="http://austin.siretechnologies.com/sirepub/cache/2/mgmccx3llc5j3tzj3rj4riw2/84157108292014070105495.PDF">ban hand-held use of a mobile device</a>, such as a cell phone, in Austin starting in January. It’s an expansion of the ordinance that already bans texting while driving. Texas law already bans mobile phone use in school zones.</p> Fri, 29 Aug 2014 12:32:42 +0000 Trey Shaar 11112 at http://kut.org City Council Bans Hand-Held Devices While Driving Eanes ISD Approves Sports and Community Complex (Update) http://kut.org/post/eanes-isd-approves-sports-and-community-complex-update <p><strong>Update:&nbsp;</strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The Eanes School Board last night approved an agreement with a private contractor to build a 60-70,000 square foot facility next to Westlake High School.&nbsp;</span></p><p>The proposed complex includes five to six basketball courts, nearly a dozen volleyball courts and an indoor turf field. There are also plans to build an aquatic facility and it will used for other sports and activities, like band, karate, yoga or gymnastics. There will also be space for video conferencing and camps. The company, Westlake Athletic Center (WAC), will build the complex and pay for constructions. Ten years after it's built, WAC will also pay Eanes ISD $60,000 per year as &nbsp;rent the school, with escalation costs of 2.5 percent.</p><p> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 18:54:12 +0000 Lynn Romero 10274 at http://kut.org Eanes ISD Approves Sports and Community Complex (Update) Candidates Talk Transportation at Mayoral Forum http://kut.org/post/candidates-talk-transportation-mayoral-forum <p><em>This story from our city hall reporting partners, the <a href="http://www.austinmonitor.com/stories/2014/08/candidates-talk-transportation-at-mayoral-forum/">Austin Monitor</a>.<br />You can hear the entire mayoral debate on KUT 90.5 FM tonight at 8 p.m.</em></p><p>Though Austin residents can only vote for one Council member&nbsp;to represent their geographic district this Election Day, everyone in the city gets a say in who becomes the next mayor. Five of those in the running showed up for the Civic Summit Mayoral Candidate Forum, Wednesday, presented by KLRU, Austin’s PBS station and the Urban Land Institute.</p><p>Moderator Jennifer Stayton, host of KUT’s Morning Edition, grilled candidates Todd Phelps, Mike Martinez, Randall Stephens, Sheryl Cole and Steve Adler about how they would govern the city, focusing specifically on what each candidate would do to alleviate Austin’s traffic congestion.</p><p> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 15:05:38 +0000 Kara Nuzback, Austin Monitor 11107 at http://kut.org Candidates Talk Transportation at Mayoral Forum Austin's Experimental 'Micro-Housing' Project for Chronically Homeless Breaks Ground http://kut.org/post/austins-experimental-micro-housing-project-chronically-homeless-breaks-ground <p>Yesterday, a decade-long dream took root for <a href="http://mlf.org/about-mlf/staff/">Alan Graham</a> of <a href="http://mlf.org/about-mlf/staff/">Mobile Loaves and Fishes</a>. Graham and the organization celebrated the groundbreaking of Community First, a self-sustaining, employment-focused village for chronically homeless Austinites on the mend near Decker Lane.</p><p>The experiment aims to end homelessness by cheaply renting out up to 240 colorful cottages, offering tenants homegrown produce, employment services and a roof over their head in northeast Austin.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/165152238&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> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 12:58:21 +0000 Joy Diaz 11105 at http://kut.org Austin's Experimental 'Micro-Housing' Project for Chronically Homeless Breaks Ground City Council Will Consider Turning 'Barking Springs' Into an Off-Leash Park (Update) http://kut.org/post/city-council-will-consider-turning-barking-springs-leash-park-update <p><strong>Update:</strong> Council approved a study to turn the Barton Springs Pool spillway into a city park.</p><p>Original Post (Aug. 27, 2014): The&nbsp;<a href="http://austintexas.gov/department/city-council/council-meetings">Austin City Council </a>will consider whether or not to turn the "free side" of Barton Springs Pool – some call it "Barking Springs" – into a city park.</p><p>A proposal from Council Member Chris Riley on tomorrow's agenda&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">calls for studying the idea of turning the spillway that bridges the springs and Lady Bird Lake into an off-leash dog park, as well as allowing swimming there. </span><a href="http://austin.siretechnologies.com/sirepub/cache/2/hherecioz3jdswfjxv4j3zfx/84086208272014032743350.PDF" style="line-height: 1.5;">Riley's resolution </a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">would direct City Manager </span><a href="https://austintexas.gov/biography/city-manager" style="line-height: 1.5;">Marc&nbsp;Ott</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> to ask the Parks and Recreation Board and the Animal Advisory Commission what city code would need to be changed to make the park a possibility.</span></p><p>Earlier this month, the <a href="http://www.austintexas.gov/department/police">Austin Police Department </a>banned drinking at the spillway after a rise in crime in the Barton Springs and Zilker Park areas. Wed, 27 Aug 2014 19:43:09 +0000 Andrew Weber 11101 at http://kut.org City Council Will Consider Turning 'Barking Springs' Into an Off-Leash Park (Update) The Secret of Comedy Success? Learning to Fail. http://kut.org/post/secret-comedy-success-learning-fail <p>On Thursday night, KUT's Mose Buchele found himself in front of a microphone, on stage at the <a href="http://www.thevelveetaroom.com/">Velveeta Room</a>, a comedy club on Sixth Street in Austin.</p><p>"How did I get here?" he wondered.&nbsp;</p><p>This summer, KUT reporters have been going to class, so to speak, to learn new skills or crafts from experts around Austin. So when Mose decided he would try his hand at stand up comedy, he called <a href="http://www.briangaar.com/">Brian Gaar</a> for some advice.&nbsp;</p><p>Take a listen to what happened:</p> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 21:24:04 +0000 Mose Buchele 11079 at http://kut.org The Secret of Comedy Success? Learning to Fail. Can Ballot Placement Influence an Election Outcome? http://kut.org/post/can-ballot-placement-influence-election-outcome <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">For the 78 people running for Austin City Council and Mayor this fall, where their name is on the ballot can make a real difference on Election Day. And that was <a href="http://www.austintexas.gov/edims/document.cfm?id=215089">determined by a random drawing</a> on Wednesday.</span></p> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 22:29:45 +0000 Joy Diaz 11057 at http://kut.org Can Ballot Placement Influence an Election Outcome? Lack of Connections & Savvy Block Some Would-Be Candidates in Council Races http://kut.org/post/lack-connections-savvy-block-some-would-be-candidates-council-races <p>Now that the ballot is set for Austin City Council elections, we've got a clear picture of what the races will look like heading into November. Seventy-eight candidates will be featured on the ballot. Though that may seem like a crowded field overall, some districts have as many as 12 candidates, while other districts could only have a few candidates.</p><p>That kind of disparity has some asking whether the new, for-the-people-by-the-people ethos of the 10-1 system can help political neophytes overcome the hurdles and trappings of political campaigns.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/163983679&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> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 16:44:05 +0000 Joy Diaz 11053 at http://kut.org Lack of Connections & Savvy Block Some Would-Be Candidates in Council Races Here's Who's Running for Austin Mayor and City Council http://kut.org/post/heres-whos-running-austin-mayor-and-city-council <p class="p1"><span class="s1"><a href="http://kut.org/post/watching-returns-austinites-geographic-representation">Nearly two years</a></span> after Austinites passed the 10-1 plan – which allows voters to elect city council members from their respective geographic district while the mayor is still elected by all voters – the plan has arrived at its penultimate step: The ballot is set.&nbsp;</p><p class="p1">In total, 78&nbsp;candidates submitted their names for voter approval ahead of the city and county elections in November. The ballot features some familiar faces, with current council members Chris Riley and Kathie&nbsp;Tovo pitted against each other in District 9 as well as a Sheryl Cole vs.&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">Mike Martinez&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">match up in the at-large race for mayor.&nbsp;</span></p><p class="p1">Below you can find a full list of the candidates on the ballot listed by filing date: Tue, 19 Aug 2014 15:19:42 +0000 Andrew Weber 11043 at http://kut.org Here's Who's Running for Austin Mayor and City Council PHOTOS: UT Students Gather in Support of Ferguson Demonstrations http://kut.org/post/photos-ut-students-gather-support-ferguson-demonstrations <p>Last night, <a href="http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-ferguson-overnight-unrest-20140818-story.html">31 protestors were arrested </a>in Ferguson, Missouri in the latest batch of demonstrations – some have turned violent – in the weeks following the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was unarmed, by Ferguson Police officer Darren Wilson.</p><p>The event, and the controversy surrounding it, has inspired protests across the nation.</p> Tue, 19 Aug 2014 14:35:28 +0000 Andrew Weber 11042 at http://kut.org PHOTOS: UT Students Gather in Support of Ferguson Demonstrations Could the Hyperlocal Focus of 10-1 Reverse the Push to Make Austin a 'World Class' City? http://kut.org/post/could-hyperlocal-focus-10-1-reverse-push-make-austin-world-class-city <p>Today is the last day candidates can file to run in the next Austin City Council election. Those elected in November will represent one of Austin’s 10 new geographic districts.&nbsp; Some campaigns are already underway, and candidates are hearing about needs that are exclusive to their district.</p><p>A lot of those district-exclusive needs don't involve more international flights or starting another international festival in Austin.</p><p>So if the candidates, once they're elected, focus on solving the small-scale problems their constituents bring to their attention during the campaign season, Austin may experience radical changes over the next decade or so.<iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/163259412&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> Mon, 18 Aug 2014 15:14:18 +0000 Joy Diaz 11017 at http://kut.org Could the Hyperlocal Focus of 10-1 Reverse the Push to Make Austin a 'World Class' City? First Burn Ban of Summer Now in Effect for Travis County http://kut.org/post/first-burn-ban-summer-now-effect-travis-county <p>Travis County is under a burn ban for the first time this summer.</p><p>Fire Marshal Hershel Lee says the area has been getting drier over the past few months and yesterday’s rain just wasn’t enough to make a significant different in the soil moisture.</p><p>“There’s very little moisture in the top eight inches of soil for plants to grow so the plants have lost their fuel moisture and are more susceptible to fire starting easily," Lee said. "With all of these factors taken into consideration, long-term forecast of 10 to 12 days of 100 degree weather, we felt it was time to implement a burn ban.” Tue, 12 Aug 2014 17:52:12 +0000 Laura Rice 11001 at http://kut.org First Burn Ban of Summer Now in Effect for Travis County Austin Could Create a Municipal ID Program http://kut.org/post/austin-could-create-municipal-id-program <p>Today, the Austin City Council could decide whether or not to move forward on municipal identification cards –&nbsp;cards which would allow undocumented immigrants to identify themselves without the fear of deportation.</p><p>The<a href="https://austin.siretechnologies.com/sirepub/cache/2/isiivqpbywy3dpew4yko40wy/81958608072014085954787.PDF">&nbsp;item on the council's agenda</a>&nbsp;(PDF) would permit the city manager to conduct a study of the ID program to be delivered to council later this year.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/162101022&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> Thu, 07 Aug 2014 14:20:55 +0000 Ben Philpott 10970 at http://kut.org Austin Could Create a Municipal ID Program No One Dies Alone: Austin Program Ensures Patients Don’t Face Death By Themselves http://kut.org/post/no-one-dies-alone-austin-program-ensures-patients-don-t-face-death-themselves <p>When a loved one is near death, friends and family often rush to their side – saying their goodbyes and remembering a loved one before they pass.</p><p>Yet sometimes that’s not possible. Family members may be unable to travel, or some may have completely severed ties with their loved ones.</p><p>But a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.seton.net/about_seton/news/2013/04/10/special_volunteers_ensure_that_no_one_dies_alone">program at Seton and&nbsp;Brackenridge</a>&nbsp;medical centers ensures that patients don't face death alone – even if they were alone in life.<iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/161804925&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><img alt="Description: --break-&gt;" border="0" height="3" src="file://localhost/Users/wd285/Library/Caches/TemporaryItems/msoclip/0/clip_image002.png" width="3" /></p><p> Tue, 05 Aug 2014 15:05:11 +0000 Joy Diaz 10949 at http://kut.org No One Dies Alone: Austin Program Ensures Patients Don’t Face Death By Themselves Beards Versus Drag Queens: Just a Typical Afternoon in Austin http://kut.org/post/beards-versus-drag-queens-just-typical-afternoon-austin <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Water, the outdoors, music: all things </span>Austinites<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> enjoy, especially when the weather is nice. And all three can go well with some type of beverage in hand.</span></p><p>That was the case during this weekend’s <a href="http://funfunfunfest.com/aqua_olympics" target="_self">Aqua Olympics</a>. The fourth annual family/tattoo/dog-friendly event, presented by <a href="http://funfunfunfest.com/" target="_self">Fun Fun Fun Fest</a>, took over Fiesta Gardens on Saturday afternoon. Events included classic outdoor games like a potato sack race, balloon toss and a ‘6-legged’ race. And, in typical Fun Fun Fun Fest fashion, there were activities like a paddleboard joust on Lady Bird Lake, a taco cannon, a belching contest, and a ‘lagoon launch’ where some of Austin’s best BMX bikers shot down a ramp, flew and flipped through the air, landing in the lake. For many, it could be considered a typical Austin afternoon.<br /> Mon, 04 Aug 2014 17:36:10 +0000 Tyler Pratt 10943 at http://kut.org Beards Versus Drag Queens: Just a Typical Afternoon in Austin Despite a Rate Cut, Travis County Could Still See a Property Tax Increase Next Year http://kut.org/post/despite-rate-cut-travis-county-could-still-see-property-tax-increase-next-year <p></p><p>Travis County residents could see a property taxes increase in the<a href="http://www.co.travis.tx.us/planning_budget/FY15/fy15-prelim-budget.pdf"> $901 million proposed budget</a> for 2015. The increase, however, isn’t because of rising property values, but because of the demand for countywide services.</p><p>The budget calls to build out integral services for the ever-expanding county, but may lower the tax rate. County officials will debate and hear public comment on the budget before the final Sept. 23 vote.<iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/160793069&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> Tue, 29 Jul 2014 12:41:00 +0000 Nathan Bernier 10893 at http://kut.org Despite a Rate Cut, Travis County Could Still See a Property Tax Increase Next Year Under 10% of Austin Landlords Accept Vouchers. This Rule Could Change That. http://kut.org/post/under-10-austin-landlords-accept-vouchers-rule-could-change <p>The rental market in Austin is hot. The Austin Board of Realtors says&nbsp;<a href="https://www.abor.com/news_media/press_releases/2014/p9_14.cfm">more units are being leased&nbsp;</a>than last year and the prices are higher.</p><p>But the City of Austin says it can be hard for people who use housing vouchers to find a place to live. Now, some city commissions are considering adding&nbsp;<a href="http://www.austintexas.gov/edims/document.cfm?id=213609">“source of income” discrimination [PDF]</a> to a list of banned landlord behavior.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">A study found fewer than 10 percent of rental units in Austin currently accept vouchers –&nbsp;a move that critics say contributes to a concentration of poverty in the northern and eastern parts of the city.</span></p><p> Mon, 28 Jul 2014 20:36:43 +0000 Laura Rice 10884 at http://kut.org Under 10% of Austin Landlords Accept Vouchers. This Rule Could Change That.