Austin http://kut.org en 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. Don't Get it Twisted: Making Balloon Animals Takes Lots of Practice http://kut.org/post/dont-get-it-twisted-making-balloon-animals-takes-lots-practice <p>It’s time for another edition of KUT’s Summer School!&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">Every Friday this summer, we head out to learn new skills from people in Austin who are experts in their field. Today’s subject?&nbsp;Balloon Twisting. &nbsp;</span></p><p>KUT’s Kate McGee teaches us how to learns the squeaky, yet delicate art of creating shapes out of balloons.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/160292443&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, 25 Jul 2014 21:32:01 +0000 Kate McGee 10875 at http://kut.org Don't Get it Twisted: Making Balloon Animals Takes Lots of Practice 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://podcast.kut.org/category/news/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/160279342&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, 25 Jul 2014 19:17:48 +0000 Nathan Bernier 8495 at http://kut.org Listen to Our Weekly News Podcast! Why Kids' Summer Activities Could End Up Saving Parents Money http://kut.org/post/why-kids-summer-activities-could-end-saving-parents-money <p>For busy parents, the dog days of summer are less about beating the heat, and more about finding a way to keep the kids preoccupied.</p><p>Activities can range from summer camps to soccer leagues or stints at daycare, but they all have one thing in common: they cost money. But, while there's no such thing as a free summertime preoccupation, the money parents spend on their kids' activities could return later in the form of a welcome tax deduction.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/160085307&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, 24 Jul 2014 14:20:21 +0000 Joy Diaz 10856 at http://kut.org Why Kids' Summer Activities Could End Up Saving Parents Money How Much Do Bad Roads & Texas Traffic Cost Drivers Every Year? http://kut.org/post/how-much-do-bad-roads-texas-traffic-cost-drivers-every-year <p>Believe it or not, the state of Texas needs to spend money every year just to maintain current and <a href="post/austin-traffic-slow-and-growing">ever-growing levels of traffic</a>.</p><p>The <a href="http://www.txdot.gov/">Texas Department of Transportation</a> needs at least $4 to 5 billion in additional funds to maintain roads and keep traffic from getting worse. In November, Texans will take to the polls to decide the fate of the agency's request via a <a href="http://movetexasforward.com/about-the-initiative/ballot-proposition/">constitutional amendment</a> for the roadway funding.</p><p>While the sticker shock of that may not sit well with some, <a href="http://www.tripnet.org/docs/TX_Statewide_Transportation_by_the_Numbers_TRIP_Release_072314.pdf">a new study</a> says shaky infrastructure has an annual statewide cost of over $25 billion and Austin drivers an average of $1,700 a year.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/160081440&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, 24 Jul 2014 12:19:27 +0000 Ben Philpott 10855 at http://kut.org How Much Do Bad Roads & Texas Traffic Cost Drivers Every Year? Police Officer Deaths Are on the Rise Across the Country http://kut.org/post/police-officer-deaths-are-rise-across-country <p>The number of law officer deaths across the nation has risen dramatically so far this year, <a href="http://www.nleomf.org/assets/pdfs/reports/2014-Mid-Year-Fatalities-Report.pdf">according to a report</a> from the <a href="http://www.nleomf.com/">National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund</a>.</p><p>During the first half of this year, 67 law enforcement officers in the U.S. were killed while on duty – a 31 percent increase over the same period last year.<iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/159932109&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> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 12:34:42 +0000 Veronica Zaragovia 10841 at http://kut.org Police Officer Deaths Are on the Rise Across the Country Running for Austin City Council? The Time to File is Here http://kut.org/post/running-austin-city-council-time-file-here <p>Austin City Council hopefuls are trickling into City Hall to file for a place on the ballot.</p><p>The application period, opened yesterday, goes through August 18. While currently just <a href="http://austintexas.gov/cityclerk/elections/ballotapplications2014.html">a handful of people have filed</a>, the election is generating excitement that's hard to come by in local politics</p><p>Jannette&nbsp;Goodall&nbsp;<a href="http://www.austintexas.gov/department/city-clerk">is Austin's City Clerk</a>. But if you didn't know that, you'd think she's a wedding planner –&nbsp;for months,&nbsp;Goodall&nbsp;and her staff have been prepping for this moment.&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">"You're kind of planning for the big ball, you know? It's kind of fun," she says.</span><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/159780683&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> Tue, 22 Jul 2014 15:13:00 +0000 Joy Diaz 10830 at http://kut.org Running for Austin City Council? The Time to File is Here UIL Moves Basketball Championships to the Alamodome Because of SXSW Crowds http://kut.org/post/uil-moves-basketball-championships-alamodome-because-sxsw-crowds <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Believe it or not, s</span>ome young people in Austin during the second week of South by Southwest aren’t necessarily in town for free beer, live music and free (and <a href="http://kut.org/post/doritos-playtex-fader-fort-sxsw-question-what-brand-are-you-update">occasionally questionable</a>) promotional materials. Some brave the traffic and throngs of people in the hopes of winning a championship.</p><p>The <a href="http://uiltexas.org">University Interscholastic League</a> – the state’s host and organizer of high school academic and athletic competitions – has held its UIL Basketball State Tournaments in Austin for more than 90 years. But, because of waning attendance and the high cost of Austin hotels during South by, UIL has <a href="http://www.uiltexas.org/press-releases/detail/uil-state-basketball-tournaments-moving-to-san-antonio-alamodome">decided to move the championship </a>from the <a href="http://www.uterwincenter.com/">Frank Erwin Center </a>down I-35 to San Antonio’s <a href="http://www.alamodome.com/">Alamodome</a> starting next year.&nbsp;</p><p> Wed, 16 Jul 2014 20:32:45 +0000 Ryan Kailath 10801 at http://kut.org UIL Moves Basketball Championships to the Alamodome Because of SXSW Crowds Chronicle 'Best of Austin' at 25: What's Changed, What's the Same & How It's Different Than Yelp http://kut.org/post/chronicle-best-austin-25-whats-changed-whats-same-how-its-different-yelp <p>If there’s one thing you hear consistently from Austinites, original and transplanted, it’s how much the city has changed over the years.</p><p>One interesting gauge of that might be the Austin Chronicle’s<a href="http://www.austinchronicle.com/best-of-austin/" target="_blank"> “Best Of Austin” poll</a>,&nbsp;which is now in its 25<sup>th</sup> year.</p><p>Chronicle Special Issues Editor Kate X Messer has been around for almost 20 of those years. She sat down with KUT to talk about what she's seen over that time.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/158138481&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><strong> Mon, 14 Jul 2014 21:14:56 +0000 Laura Rice 10770 at http://kut.org Chronicle 'Best of Austin' at 25: What's Changed, What's the Same & How It's Different Than Yelp Listen: Why Obama's Austin Fist Bumper Made a Call for Gay Rights http://kut.org/post/listen-why-obamas-austin-fist-bumper-made-call-gay-rights <p>By now, you've <a href="https://twitter.com/dougmillsnyt/status/487313545743179777/photo/1">probably seen the photo</a> from President Barack Obama's <a href="http://kut.org/post/president-obama-back-austin-today">recent Austin visit</a>: the president smiling and extending a fist bump to a cashier at Franklin Barbecue.</p><p>If you've followed the story further, then you may be familiar with what prompted the exchange: the cashier, comedian and performer <a href="http://www.thedanielwebb.com/">Daniel Webb</a>, exclaimed "Equal rights for gay people!" when the president approached the counter. When Obama asked Webb if he was gay, he answered, "Only when I have sex."</p><p><a href="http://www.austinchronicle.com/daily/gay-place/2014-07-11/fist-bumps-for-equal-rights/">Originally reported</a> by The Austin Chronicle, <a href="http://www.dailydot.com/politics/obama-fist-bump-franklin-barbecue-gay-rights/">the story</a> has <a href="http://gawker.com/obama-fist-bumps-texas-bbq-cashier-in-response-to-gay-s-1604591349">been written up</a> everywhere <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/14/obama-gay-sex-joke_n_5584378.html">online</a>.</p><p> Mon, 14 Jul 2014 20:04:18 +0000 Wells Dunbar & Ben Philpott 10783 at http://kut.org Listen: Why Obama's Austin Fist Bumper Made a Call for Gay Rights How Long Will It Take to Finish the Onion Creek Buyout Demolitions? http://kut.org/post/how-long-will-it-take-finish-onion-creek-buyout-demolitions <p>Last Halloween at least 580 homes in Austin were damaged by floods in the Onion Creek area, causing nearly $30 million in <a href="http://kut.org/post/halloween-flooding-caused-more-30-million-damage-insured-properties">property damage</a>. So far, <a href="http://www.austintexas.gov/sites/default/files/files/Watershed/flood/onion_creek_buyouts_map.pdf">the city has purchased </a>116 properties that were either damaged by flood waters or are in danger of future flooding.&nbsp;</p><p>By the end of the year, demolition contractors plan on knocking down 105 homes in the area. But what happens to all the&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">leftover </span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">debris from those homes, and how long will the project take to complete?&nbsp;</span></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/158640823&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, 14 Jul 2014 13:43:59 +0000 Joy Diaz 10780 at http://kut.org How Long Will It Take to Finish the Onion Creek Buyout Demolitions? Google Fiber's Slow Start to High-Speed Internet in Austin http://kut.org/post/google-fibers-slow-start-high-speed-internet-austin <p>“We hope to have services to our first customers by the middle of 2014.”</p><p>As recently as May 17, this message was posted on the&nbsp;<a href="https://fiber.google.com/cities/austin/support/">Google Fiber website for Austin</a>, according to the <a href="https://archive.org/web/">Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine</a>.</p><p>Well, July 2 marked the middle of 2014, and&nbsp;beside the&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/googlefiber/status/476054649636528130">announcement of a new employee</a>, Austinites hungry for the tech giant’s ultra-fast Internet service – first promised in April 2013 – have received nary an update. Except for a vague update to the website, that is: “We hope to have services to our first customers 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/158283464&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, 11 Jul 2014 18:41:08 +0000 Ryan Kailath & Joy Diaz 10744 at http://kut.org Google Fiber's Slow Start to High-Speed Internet in Austin Austin Says 'Thanks Obama!' for All the Traffic http://kut.org/post/austin-says-thanks-obama-all-traffic <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Normally </span><a href="http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/thanks-obama" style="line-height: 1.5;">the "Thanks Obama" meme</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> is reserved for things beyond the president's control: </span><a href="http://knowyourmeme.com/photos/489998-thanks-obama" style="line-height: 1.5;">paper cuts</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> and </span><a href="http://knowyourmeme.com/photos/489946-thanks-obama" style="line-height: 1.5;">infomercial disasters</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, to name a few.</span></p><p>But <a href="http://kut.org/post/president-obama-back-austin-today">Pres. Obama's visit to Austin</a> today –&nbsp;and its effect on morning traffic ­–&nbsp;has more than a few Twitter users directing their gridlocked ire at the president. To the surprise of no one stuck in traffic, <a href="https://twitter.com/TrendsAustin/status/487243021809774593">#ThanksObama is trending</a> in Austin this morning.</p><p>Here's a roundup of what's out there:</p><p> Thu, 10 Jul 2014 15:29:25 +0000 Wells Dunbar 10768 at http://kut.org Austin Says 'Thanks Obama!' for All the Traffic UT President Bill Powers Will Stay One More Year http://kut.org/post/ut-president-bill-powers-will-stay-one-more-year <p class="p1">University of Texas at Austin President Bill Powers has announced his resignation, effective about a year from now on June 2, 2015.</p><p class="p1">Last week, U.T. System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa called on Powers to resign or face being fired at&nbsp;tomorrow’s&nbsp;meeting of the Board of Regents. Powers responded with a letter asking that he stay on until after the next session of the Texas Legislature. Cigarroa has accepted Powers' letter of resignation; the Board of Regents still needs to sign off on it.&nbsp;</p><p class="p1">Below, you can listen to Powers' exclusive interview with Texas Standard's David Brown about what he wishes to accomplish in his remaining year and his future with the University of Texas.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/158018369%3Fsecret_token%3Ds-d1WG9&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, 09 Jul 2014 21:09:30 +0000 KUT Staff 10764 at http://kut.org UT President Bill Powers Will Stay One More Year Dais Gets Renovated Ahead of Changes at City Council http://kut.org/post/dais-gets-renovated-ahead-changes-city-council <p>Come November the Austin City Council is going to look a bit different. The council will expand from six at-large-elected &nbsp;members to 10 members elected by citizens within their district — plus the mayor, naturally. In anticipation of the change, the city is revamping the council's dais.&nbsp;</p> Wed, 09 Jul 2014 20:36:30 +0000 KUT Staff 10763 at http://kut.org Dais Gets Renovated Ahead of Changes at City Council 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 How Math and Memory Can Make or Break Your DJ Skills http://kut.org/post/how-math-and-memory-can-make-or-break-your-dj-skills <p>It’s time for another class in KUT’s Summer School series!</p><p>So far, our reporters have learned how to glass blow, make wooden bowls and become a knight!</p><p>KUT’s Veronica Zaragovia visited some of Austin’s most talented DJs -- <a href="https://twitter.com/dj_orion" target="_blank">Orión Garcia</a> of <a href="http://www.peligrosablog.com/" target="_blank">Peligrosa</a> and <a href="http://www.dubacademy.com/about1.html" target="_blank">Lorenzo Villareal</a> of <a href="http://www.dubacademy.com/" target="_blank">Dub Academy </a>-- to learn what it takes to get behind the turn tables.</p><p>And as she learns, it takes far more than loving music to be a DJ. For starters, DJs are really good at math and have a vast memory. Find out if Veronica stands a chance.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/157307081&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><br /> Fri, 04 Jul 2014 18:15:37 +0000 Veronica Zaragovia 10737 at http://kut.org How Math and Memory Can Make or Break Your DJ Skills Photos: ABIA Celebrates the Fourth of July with a Showcase of WWII Bombers http://kut.org/post/photos-abia-celebrates-fourth-july-showcase-wwii-bombers <p>The Texas Raiders have descended upon Austin. No, it's not a football team. It's the codename for a group of &nbsp;B-17 pilots who have brought four renovated World War II-era planes to&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">Austin-Bergstrom International Airport&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">this weekend to celebrate the Fourth of July. </span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The exhibition of rare planes including the P-51, a C-47 and a B-25. Tours and low-altitude flights over Austin are open to the public all weekend from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.at <a href="https://www.atlanticaviation.com/location/AUS">Atlantic Aviation</a>.&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Check out our gallery above for a view from KUT's flight on the "Flying Fortress."</span><br /> Fri, 04 Jul 2014 14:31:59 +0000 Andrew Weber & Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon 10731 at http://kut.org Photos: ABIA Celebrates the Fourth of July with a Showcase of WWII Bombers Here's Where You Can Celebrate the 4th of July in Central Texas http://kut.org/post/heres-where-you-can-celebrate-4th-july-central-texas <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The Fourth of July is upon us once again. </span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">It's a time for fireworks, parades, barbecues and, of course, plenty of red, white and blue. So, in honor of America's birthday,&nbsp;</span>KUT<span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;has compiled a list of Independence Day parades featuring the best fireworks, food and festivities near you in Central Texas.</span></p><p> Thu, 03 Jul 2014 17:38:46 +0000 Joseph Baucum 10707 at http://kut.org Here's Where You Can Celebrate the 4th of July in Central Texas