Austin

Business
1:49 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Austin 20th Best Convention City in the Country

Austin went up four spots in a nationwide survey of the best convention cities.
flickr.com/u-suke

Austin is now in the top 20 of the country’s most popular convention destinations. That’s according to event management company Cvent. It its 2013 rankings of the top U.S. cities for meeting and events, Austin ranks 20th out of the 50 top ranked U.S. cities.

Austin’s current position is four spots up from the company's 2012 rankings. And in its current location, Austin ranks right under major convention cities like Houston (19th) and Boston (18th).

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real estate
1:11 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Austin Sold the Most Homes in its History Last Month

3,135 single-family homes were sold last month. That's 35 percent more than July 2012.
flickr.com/digallagher

The white-hot Austin real estate market just broke another record.

The Austin Board of Realtors says home sales were up 35 percent last month in the Austin area compared to last July. Some 3,135 homes were sold last month – the most homes sales ever recorded in Austin. And homes are selling faster – spending an average of 41 days on the market. A year ago, homes spent an average of 64 days on the market. 

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Austin
11:11 am
Mon August 19, 2013

The Top 10 Austin Top 10 Lists

Critics' views on Austin are an ever-changing phenomenon.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon, KUT News

Perception means different things to different people. The perception of Austin as a place that embraces the weird and wild is something the city – and its listicle writers – have embraced throughout the years.

Yet if you don’t pay close attention, these perceptions can change just as quickly as the declining reservoir in Lake Travis. Now in its fourth edition, KUT News presents The Top 10 Austin Top 10 Lists, a compilations of the accolades and slights – some rigorously methodical, some seemingly made up – that Austin’s received in the last few months.

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Transportation
1:42 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Austin One Step Closer to Creating Pedestrian Advisory Council

A pedestrian advisory council would inform the city on what works for walkability – and what doesn’t.
flickr.com/boedker

The City of Austin is looking to create a pedestrian advisory council.

The pedestrian group would look at safety and walkability issues, making recommendations to city staff and the City Council. The proposal comes as city policy prioritizes denser, more walkable development – and also at a time when pedestrian deaths are on people’s minds: There were 78 traffic deaths (including pedestrians) in Austin last year.

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Environment
3:38 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

How You Can Help Draw the Blueprint for Austin's Urban Forest

A healthy tree at Brentwood Park. With city help, several ailing trees there were returned to health.
Natalie Krebs for KUT News

The City of Austin is drafting its first comprehensive Urban Forest Plan.

The city hopes to work with Austinites to pinpoint areas of problem tree conditions and to look at possible solutions to transform the drought-stricken city into a truly green one.

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Austin
2:53 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

Slideshow: 10 Breathtaking Visions for the Seaholm Intake Structures

BOKA Powell + Design Workshop’s “Lakehouse” includes an event deck on Lady Bird Lake.
BOKA Powell + Design Workshop/City of Austin

Update: The city has named three finalists in its design contest reimagining the Seaholm Intake Structures. The three finalists are:

  • “Link,” Gumbully
  • “The Lakehouse,” BOKA Powell + Design Workshop
  • “Intake,” Gensler

Take a look at the three winning entries in the slideshow above, which are expected to inform the redevelopment of the structures. The Parks and Recreation Department says it will issue a proposal for public-private partnerships for the intake structures in the near future.  

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Food
12:20 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

Austin: One of the Nation's Best Pizza Places?

The order window at Home Slice on South Congress - one of Austin's most popular pizza joints.
flickr.com/atmtx

Austin’s seen its share of boom-and-bust food cycles: Think the explosion of cupcake places, or proliferation of upscale burger joints. One of the newest beneficiaries of Austin’s irrational culinary exuberance is the pizza place. The last few years has seen a marked increase in the number of posh pie purveyors: Umami Mia, backspace and Winflo, to name a few.

Austin’s pizza scene garners some shine in controversial rankings from TripAdvisor – controversial, as Austin’s sixth place ranking puts it just two spots behind behind pizza mecca New York City. 

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Demographics
2:42 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

City Demographer Sees Racial, Political Shifts in Austin

The Central Texas region has seen dramatic population shifts in recent years.
Credit austintexas.gov

In 2008, the City of Austin's demographer Ryan Robinson compiled a list of the Top 10 trends in Austin’s dynamic demographic makeup. Five years later, he says each of those trends has continued to play out.

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Environment
2:54 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

Five Months Later, Lawsuit Against Austin's Bag Ban Still Pending

Although the bag ban has been in place for five months, there is still controversy surrounding the ordinance.
flickr.com/velkr0

Five months ago, Austin cashiers stopped asking, “Paper or plastic?”  And since then, Austin retailers and customers have adjusted to the city ordinance banning single-use paper and plastic bags.

However, the Texas Retailers Association argues banning plastic bags does more harm than good.

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Austin
12:01 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

What You Should Know About Austin's Newest Neighbors: The Congolese

Unnamed Congolese celebrate inside a refugee camp in this photo from 2009. Several Congolese refugees will start settling in Austin and Texas by the end of the year.
flickr.com/babasteve

Austin's already welcomed the Burmese, the Iraqis and the Bhutanese. But starting at end of this year, Austin will begin to welcome its newest round of refugees – the Congolese.

Over the next few years, the U.S. expects to resettle approximately 50,000 refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the U.S. 10 percent of those refugees may end up in Texas, according to Erica Schmidt, the Austin-area director for Refugee Services of Texas.

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Austin
8:09 am
Mon July 29, 2013

APD Detective Shoots, Kills Man

Police have blocked off roads in the area so crime scene investigators can gather evidence.
Trey Shaar, KUT News

Update: Over the weekend, Austin Police identified the man killed as 32-year-old Larry Eugene Jackson Jr. The Austin Police officer who shot him was Detective Charles Kleinert. Kleinert has been an officer for almost 20 years.

APD is looking for a witness who might have seen what happened between Jackson and Kleinert.

Original Story (July 26, 7:58 p.m.): A man is dead after he was shot by an Austin police detective Friday afternoon near the intersection of 34th Street and Shoal Creek Boulevard. Police describe the man only as African American. Police had not yet established his identity. No officer was injured in the incident.

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Transportation
4:04 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

Photos: First Look at Capital Metro's New MetroRapid Buses

MetroRapid holds up to 101 people and can make traffic lights stay green longer if running behind schedule.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Austin’s new MetroRapid buses don’t just hold more passengers – they hold traffic lights. 

"As the [buses] approach intersections – and if they are behind schedule – the traffic signal will remain green for up to seven seconds to give these buses additional time to cross the intersection," Capital Metro’s Joe Iannello said today. The group held a press conference to show off the new vehicles.

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Austin
3:14 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

Austin: The Fourth Hardest Working City in the U.S.?

Austin's been named the fourth hardest working of 50 U.S. cities.
flickr.com/dellphotos

Ever feel like you’re working harder than everybody else? It might be because you are. According to recent rankings from real estate site Movoto, Austin is the fourth hardest-working U.S. city.

Basing results off six separate categories, including hours worked per week and lack of sleep, Motovo lists Seattle as the hardest working city in the states, followed by three Texas cities: Arlington, Fort Worth, and Austin.

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Austin
12:17 pm
Mon July 22, 2013

Texting at Alamo Drafthouse? Mayor Leffingwell Vows To Destroy You

The latest proclamation from the Mayor’s Office? A warning from Lee Leffingwell to Alamo Drafthouse scofflaws.
vimeo.com/alamodrafthouse

Talking or texting at any movie theater is frowned upon, but at the Alamo Drafthouse it’s an actionable offense.

For years, the Austin-based theater chain has kept audiences tight-lipped with its pre-show “Don’t Talk/Don’t Text” PSAs and ejection policies – often resulting in viral success.

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Sports
10:58 am
Mon July 22, 2013

Meet the Austin Athlete Competing in the World Dwarf Games

Sam Bremen's strongest sport is soccer, but he’ll be competing in several other sports at the World Dwarf Games.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon, KUT News

This August, the World Dwarf Games celebrates its 20th anniversary. Every four years, athletes from around the world compete for international recognition at the games.

Sam Bremen is representing Austin.

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Austin
7:19 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Toronto: Austin's Sister in the Music Scene?

Mirror images? Austin and Toronto may become the sister cities of the music industry.
Hequals2henry/48 Hour Film Project, Inc/Tyler Pratt

In what is being called the first-of-its-kind alliance worldwide, Austin and Toronto, Canada have established what they are calling the Music City Alliance.

While Toronto is roughly four times the size of Austin, the city has been publicly looking at Austin’s model of success to promote Toronto’s music scene. Officials from both cities met during this year’s South By Southwest to begin talks about forming a partnership to promote economic growth.

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FOOD
4:43 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Five of Austin's Best Breakfast Tacos

Tacodeli is currently testing this wild boar and egg taco. There are more than 450 places in Austin - restaurants, trailers and convenience stores - where you can get breakfast tacos.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

What's Austin's most important export: its music, its technology ... or its breakfast tacos? 

The way author and Latino marketing consultant Mando Rayo sees it, the Austin breakfast taco is on par with the city itself in terms of significance. He should know – he’s eaten over 500 different breakfast tacos.

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Austin
7:45 am
Fri July 19, 2013

24 Things Buzzfeed Didn't Mention that Austinites ALSO Love

The State Capitol in Austin, Texas.
Callie Hernandez for KUT News

Buzzfeed recently rounded up a list of "34 Things Austinites Love." While no list, no matter how long, will include all the things every Austin-dweller enjoys…  Buzzfeed's list left off more than a few local favorites.

1)   All Animal Shelters

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Austin
3:56 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Austin, Get Ready for This Giant, Mechanical Newborn Baby Head

A rendering of the Psychokinetic Child. Under construction in Austin, the head is headed to Nevada for Burning Man.
kineticchild.com

Sure, art can be “heady” in the metaphorical sense. But few projects both metaphorically and literally embody that adjective like the Psychokinetic Child: a 20 foot tall, three-dimensional baby head.

Currently under construction, the exterior of the head will feature a fully mechanized mouth and eyes. But it's on the inside where things  get interesting: the curious may walk inside the baby’s head to contemplate five shrines to objects familiar to modern life – homes, clothes, cars, chairs and phones.

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Austin
2:03 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

Great, Liberal & Expensive: What Google Autocomplete Says About Austin

Google's autocomplete function, based off of popular searches, reveal common stereotypes about places - Austin included.
Google

Sometimes, what people are searching for on Google is as revealing as the results themselves. 

If you’ve used Google, you’re familiar with its autocomplete function – suggestions the search engine makes when you begin entering a search term. According to Google, the autocomplete suggestions reflect the search activity of its users – the terms and questions they are Googling – plus the content of web pages themselves. And what people are searching for often times says a lot about the subject.

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