Andrew Weber

Freelance reporter

Andrew Weber is a freelance reporter and associate editor for KUT News. A graduate of St. Edward's University with a degree in English, Andrew has previously interned with The Texas Tribune, The Austin American-Statesman and KOOP Radio.

Pages

2014 Elections
1:18 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

Austin-Grown Voting App Looks to Test Here and Expand Nationally

The Voting App aims to "empower" voters by providing information on local, county, state and national candidates.
Andrew Weber/KUT

Joe Santori was never a particularly political guy. He designed videogames.

The most he worried about fair representation or mapping data was whether or not the Green Lantern Corps was properly represented or if a map would clutter users’ screens in “DC Universe Online,” a massively multiplayer online role-playing game he worked on in 2011.

But in 2012, Santori got a gig working on the Texas Secretary of State’s Vote Texas app. It was, he says, remarkably similar: data for multiple parties had to be readily available on a screen, like in MMORPGs, and that data had to be specific to where that user was.

Santori decided that kind of data would be useful to Austin voters, and he set out on his own project: The Voting App.

Today, Santori’s firm ThinkVoting debuted The Voting App, a resource to view mock ballots, the League of Women Voters’ voting guide and candidate information across all of Austin’s 10 new geographic districts.

Read more
Ebola
2:02 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

UT-Austin Student Being Monitored for Ebola Symptoms, Has Low Risk of Infection (Update)

Credit Todd Wiseman/Phil Moyer via Texas Tribune

Officials from the University of Texas at Austin and Travis County say a female UT-Austin student was on board the Frontier Airlines flight from Cleveland to Dallas which carried the Dallas area Ebola-affected nurse Amber Vinson.

The Travis County Health and Human Services Department is monitoring for symptoms of Ebola.  The student was not in close contact with Vinson and she is not showing symptoms of the virus. Officials urge there’s a “low risk” she contracted the virus because she was out of the three-foot radius around Vinson referred to as the "zone of concern" by officials.

The student will not attend classes at UT-Austin until after Nov. 3, according to UT Campus Safety and Security.

Read more
2014 Elections
12:56 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

Meet the Candidates Running for Mayor of Austin

Austin voters will choose a new mayor on November 4, 2014.

KUT's Nathan Bernier sat invited the candidates running for the highest office in the City of Austin to our studios to speak with us about their visions for Austin.

Seven of the eight candidates talked about how they'll deal with issues such as affordability, traffic and transportation,  public education in an expanding city,  and why they want to be Mayor of Austin.

Still can't decide which candidate's getting your vote on Election Day? Below we've got the full audio and archived video of KUT's Ballot Boxing mayoral forum courtesy of KXAN.

Google Fiber
4:12 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

Google Announces December Fiber Signups for South Austin

A map of the area in South and Southeast Austin that will be eligible for Google Fiber service.
Google Fiber

After months of anticipation, Google announced today that it will open up signups for its gigabit-speed Google Fiber Internet service in December, starting with neighborhoods in South and Southeast Austin.

“We can only launch one seventh of the city at the time,” Mark Strama, head of Google Fiber’s Austin operations, said of the slow rollout. “The network will include 3000 miles of new fiber optic cables. It’s like going to Canada and back.”

According to Strama, new users that live in South and Southeast Austin can signup for Google Fiber by the end of the year. The company says the process is taking longer because the fiber network had to be planned and designed from scratch.

Read more
2014 Elections
10:45 am
Fri October 10, 2014

Map: Where Do Austin's City Council Candidates Live?

Austin's switch to geographic representation is, quite literally, all about where you live.

All of the 78 candidates vying for a spot in City Hall will represent their own enclave in the 10-1 district format, which doesn't offer the most clean-cut of district boundaries.

Read more
Texas Standard
4:47 pm
Tue October 7, 2014

Op-Ed: Austin Mom Kari Anne Roy on Child Protective Services & 'Unstructured Play'

Kari Anne Roy was visited by police and child protective services after a neighbor complained she had let her 6 year old son play outside across the street from her house.
Credit Courtesy of Kari Anne Roy

Austin parent Kari Anne Roy has attracted national attention and started a conversation about parental supervision.

In a blog post, Roy wrote that a well-intentioned neighbor escorted her 6-year-old son to her front porch and advised her that it was dangerous for him to be playing alone outside. Roy says her son was playing near a park bench 150 yards from her house, which, she says, is clearly visible from her porch. 

After the incident, she was visited by an Austin Police officer and later she and her children were interviewed by an investigator with Child Protective Services. She says she felt humiliated and angry, and that because of the incident — and the subsequent questioning from CPS — her three children felt as if they had done something wrong and "don't feel safe outside."

You can listen to Kari Anne Roy's commentary below. 

ACL 2014
12:42 pm
Fri October 3, 2014

How to Have a Carefree, Car-Free ACL Weekend

With Austin City Limits comes traffic, but there are plenty of options to avoid the
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

ACL is here. That means – whether you’re a native Austinite or an out-of-towner – there will be traffic.

I-35, MoPac, Congress Avenue, Barton Springs, South Lamar and any other stretch of paved road remotely near the downtown area will likely begin to resemble a parking lot by the time things kick-off this weekend. While there's plenty of parking, we can pretty much guarantee that none of it will be free.

So, with that in mind, here’s a guide to help you get from point A to point B without getting behind the wheel.

Read more
Austin
6:26 pm
Thu October 2, 2014

Austin Moves Closer to Legalizing Ridesharing Services, Uber & Lyft

Services like Uber Black are technically legal under the law. Drivers must have a chauffer's license and charge a minimum amount of $55.
Wikimedia Commons user Bull-Doser

The Austin City Council voted Thursday evening to move forward with plans to allow temporarily ridesharing services to operate legally in the city. But with many details still to be worked out, ordinance sponsor Chris Riley moved to vote to approve only on second reading.

"Given the concerns we've heard from both of the companies in the room and the uncertainty as to whether this will work at all, then I'm inclined to suggest that we just pass this on second reading and give this further consideration, because I don't think we want to give something final approval on an emergency basis only to find that it just doesn't work," Riley said just before the vote.

Among the issues discussed Thursday afternoon: insurance, access for people with disabilities, equity for taxicab operators, limits on the number of consecutive hours drivers could be on the roads, limits on surge pricing at times of emergency, driver background checks -- what about taxes?

The measure passed on second reading, with only Council Member Laura Morrison voting no. The Council will revisit the matter at their next meeting on October 16.

Read more
ACL 2014
2:41 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Map: Austin City Limits Parking & Street Closures

It’s that time of year. The weather’s (kind of) cooling down and the vacation rental beds are about to warm up with music-loving out of towners.

Austin City Limits is upon us and while some may forego the fest, it’s safe to say many Austinites will join the revelry both at Zilker Park and downtown for the after-shows.

With that in mind, here’s a map of the street closures over the festival weekend and some of the parking spots in the downtown area suggested by the festival organizers and the City of Austin.

Read more
Technology
4:47 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

Google Fiber Apologizes For Construction Inconvenience, But What Can Austin Expect?

Mayor Lee Leffingwell at the Google Fiber announcement on April 9, 2013.
Nathan Bernier/KUT

  Google offered an update earlier this week on its the impending high-speed, gigabit internet services coming to Austin.

But the announcement also came with an apology.  Google plans to buildout of 3,000 miles of fiber, and warned of impending inconveniences as contractors tinker with utility poles dig tunnels to bury the fiber.

Read more
Business
4:49 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Study: Texas' Income Inequality Could Affect State Revenues

Standard & Poor's says income inequality will tie Texas' hands in future budgeting issues, calling it a "systematic" problem.
Gabriel Cristover Perez/KUT

A new study from Standard & Poor’s suggests that income inequality is leading to lower state tax revenues in Texas. The study also finds inequality weakens overall economic growth, with a stronger effect in states like Texas that depend on sales tax revenues.

Still, the state has seen expanded growth in average tax revenue, the study said – 5.48 percent revenue growth from 2000 to 2009 compared to the 4.07 percent in sales tax-dependent states and 5.25 percent growth in income tax-dependent states.

The credit-rating agency says the growing gap slows potential growth and lowers the growth of the state's overall tax base, which is “stronger and only statistically significant” in sales tax-reliant states. The inequality could prove problematic in future budgeting, as S&P says Texas can’t correct the problem by simply raising taxes.

Texas currently has the sixth highest level of income inequality, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, and the state’s lowest earners have seen their incomes drop 10 percent in the last decade. 

Read more
Perry Indictment
7:46 am
Mon September 1, 2014

Perry Calls Lehmberg-Bashing Tweet ‘Unauthorized’

Perry outside the Travis County Justice Complex on the day of his booking.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

Last night at around 7 p.m. Gov. Rick Perry tweeted an image from the blog the Patriot Post, which included a meme calling Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg “the most drunk democrat in Texas.”

The meme, which you can view below, reads “I don’t always drive drunk at 3x the legal blood alcohol limit…but when I do, I indict Gov. Perry for calling me out about it.” Perry since walked back the retweet but, it seems, not quickly enough. The tweet was picked up by screen-grabbers nationwide, garnering coverage from Mashable and the Huffington Post among others.

Shortly after, Perry deleted the tweet, saying he didn’t condone its message.

Read more
Austin
2:43 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

City Council Will Consider Turning 'Barking Springs' Into an Off-Leash Park (Update)

Austin City Council will consider taking a look at turning the spillway outside Barton Springs Pool into a city park.
flickr.com/dingatx

Update: Council approved a study to turn the Barton Springs Pool spillway into a city park.

Original Post (Aug. 27, 2014): The Austin City Council will consider whether or not to turn the "free side" of Barton Springs Pool – some call it "Barking Springs" – into a city park.

A proposal from Council Member Chris Riley on tomorrow's agenda 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. Riley's resolution would direct City Manager Marc Ott 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.

Earlier this month, the Austin Police Department banned drinking at the spillway after a rise in crime in the Barton Springs and Zilker Park areas.

Read more
2014 Elections
10:19 am
Tue August 19, 2014

Here's Who's Running for Austin Mayor and City Council

Construction crews renovate the inside of the Austin City Council Chambers earlier this year, to make room for a larger council.
Bryan Winter/KUT News

Nearly two years 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. 

In total, 78 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 Tovo pitted against each other in District 9 as well as a Sheryl Cole vs. Mike Martinez match up in the at-large race for mayor. 

Below you can find a full list of the candidates on the ballot listed by filing date:

Read more
Austin
9:35 am
Tue August 19, 2014

PHOTOS: UT Students Gather in Support of Ferguson Demonstrations

Over one hundred people turned our for a rally on the south steps of the UT Tower. Organized by University of Texas students Jarius Sowells and Jasmine Graham the rally was meant to show support for the people of Ferguson, Mo.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

Last night, 31 protestors were arrested 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.

The event, and the controversy surrounding it, has inspired protests across the nation.

Middle East
7:18 am
Mon July 21, 2014

A South Padre Man Dies in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Credit David Buimovitch AFP/Getty Images

This past weekend was the deadliest of the two-week-long combat operations in the Gaza Strip. Yesterday, 95 Palestinians were killed in fighting along with 13 soldiers fighting in the Israeli Defense Force, according to the Associated Press.

One of those soldiers killed in the conflict was 21-year-old South Padre, Texas native Sean Carmeli. Carmeli moved to Israel four years ago after finishing high school and was a member of the country's elite Golani Brigade along with California native Max Steinberg, who also died in fighting on the Gaza Strip. Both held American-Israeli citizenship.

Read more
Energy & Environment
6:13 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Water Service at Fort Hood, Killeen & Copperas Cove Still Not Back to Normal (Update)

Fort Hood is asking non-essential personnel to stay home today as a result of Stage 4 water restrictions.
KUT News

Update: Water service is still not fully restored at Fort Hood. The post is on limited supply because of a problem with its main water line.

Military personnel will report to the Central Texas Army post today a little later than usual and physical training is canceled.

Other parts of the post are starting to get back to work. Child care centers at Fort Hood and the Darnall Army Medical Center will be open today as usual.

Fort Hood is under Stage 4 water restrictions until the supply problem is resolved. And people there should boil water before drinking it or cooking with it – until the quality can be tested.

Original Story (July 14, 7:04 a.m.): Fort Hood is in an extreme, but temporary, water shortage. The Central Texas Army post's water supply has been interrupted as a result of a Stage 4 critical emergency conservation order from the Bell County Water Control and Improvement District.

Read more
Immigration
11:44 am
Tue July 8, 2014

After Immigration Meeting Rebuff, Perry Accepts Obama's Invite to Dallas Roundtable

President Obama asked Perry to a roundtable discussion with faith leaders and elected officials in Dallas on Wednesday.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT and Ben Philpott/KUT

Update: Gov. Perry will meet with President Obama, according to KUT's reporting partner the Texas Tribune. 

“Gov. Perry is pleased that President Obama has accepted his invitation to discuss the humanitarian and national security crises along our southern border, and he looks forward to meeting with the president tomorrow,” Perry spokesman Travis Considine told the Tribune in an email.

Original Post: President Barack Obama has offered to meet Gov. Rick Perry on Wednesday to discuss the ongoing influx and detainment of unaccompanied Central American child immigrants at the U.S.-Mexico border. 

Read more
Fourth of July
9:31 am
Fri July 4, 2014

Photos: ABIA Celebrates the Fourth of July with a Showcase of WWII Bombers

Celebrating Independence Day this year the B-17 Red Raiders will host rare vintage WWII aircraft plus a noted local WWII aviator.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

The Texas Raiders have descended upon Austin. No, it's not a football team. It's the codename for a group of  B-17 pilots who have brought four renovated World War II-era planes to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport this weekend to celebrate the Fourth of July.

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 Atlantic Aviation

Check out our gallery above for a view from KUT's flight on the "Flying Fortress."

Read more
SXSW 2014
10:46 am
Wed March 12, 2014

Why Austin's Restricting Uber Over SXSW

Apps like Uber connect transportation users and providers – but the City of Austin says they're essentially unlicensed taxi companies.
Wikimedia Commons user Bull-Doser

South By Southwest brings a lot of things to Austin: film premieres, start-ups, newsmakers, bands, traffic and tech savvy out-of-towners.

It's that last group that might take umbrage with the city's ride-sharing policy, which outlaws apps like UberLyftSideCar and since-shuttered Austin-based Hey Ride. 

The city contends these services have unregulated – and potentially unsafe – drivers.

Read more

Pages