City of Austin

Health
12:01 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

Closing the Health Gap in East Austin

Community organizations are working to close the gap in public health disparities between ethnic groups in two Austin neighborhoods. They're trying to get sidewalks on streets to create more walkable neighborhoods.
Healthy People, Healthy Places Austin

This month marks the one-year anniversary of a project between the City of Austin and the UT's School of Public Health to reduce the gap in public health between ethnic groups in Austin.

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Austin
6:00 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Austin Study Highlights LGBT Housing Discrimination

Michael McCrory says his former landlord wanted him to apply for disability benefits for being transgender.
Laura Rice, KUT News

The City of Austin and the Austin Tenant’s Council are hosting a community forum Saturday focused on housing discrimination against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people.

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Politics
10:05 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Austin Leads All Texas Cities in Spending on State Lobbyists

The Texas Capitol extension. Austin spends the most of any Texas city on lobbying the statehouse, according to a new report.
flickr.com/dawilson

The City of Austin ranked first among all Texas municipalities for investing in lobby groups during the 2013 Legislative Session, according to a report by Texans for Public Justice.

As a liberal city in a conservative state, Austin often finds itself in conflict with state government – or the target of “Austin-bashing” bills. And that can mean lobbying the officials at the Lege.

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Austin
3:39 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

After Barton Springs Drowning, Austin Pools Open as Scheduled

Barton Springs is one of Austin's popular swimming destinations.
flickr.com/wallyg

Austin’s summer swimming season is underway, despite a recent drowning.

The first drowning at Barton Springs pool in 23 years happened last Wednesday, when lifeguards failed to resuscitate a 21-year-old at the popular swimming pool. Thirteen lifeguards were on duty when Andrew Guerra, who had been racing with friends, went under. 

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Austin
8:39 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Austin Receives $2.5M Grant to Fix Problems at Older Homes

Approximately 153,000 homes in Austin and Travis County were built before 1978 – when lead-based paint was still common.
flickr.com/editor

The City of Austin has received a federal grant to address health problems posed by some older homes. The city already has a program to inspect for toxic lead-based paint

The $2.5 million grant will also allow the city to take care of pest and mold problems in older homes and to install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. The grant will provide for services to 138 homes.

 

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Austin
8:37 am
Mon May 27, 2013

Memorial Day: What's Closed

flickr.com/branditressler

Most City of Austin offices are closed for Memorial Day – that includes libraries, museums and senior centers. But city pools will be open – along with city tennis centers and golf courses.

Other recreational activities – including the Zilker Botanical Garden and the Austin Nature and Science Center are also open.

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Austin
10:20 am
Fri May 24, 2013

Report: City Employee Accused of Taking Bribes to Speed Permitting

A City of Austin employee is suspected of taking bribes to expedite permit requests.

The Austin American-Statesman reports a city employee, Edward D. Vigil, is suspected of taking $200 payments from parties seeking to have their construction permits approved, in the midst of a months-long backlog at the city. The backlog was finally cleared in April of this year.

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Austin
2:16 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Map Says Many Austinites Bike to Work, But Do They Feel Safe?

This City of Austin Map breaks down the percentage of Austinites commuting to work by area. Click the image for an enlarged view.
City of Austin

It’s no secret that Austin is a biking city. And while cities around the country are gearing up for National Bike to Work Day, riding to work is nothing new for Austinites: according to Census data, people here commute by bike four times more often than the national average. 

To prove it, the city released a map breaking down bike commuting by neighborhood. But while more people are pedaling to work, cyclists don't always feel safe on Austin roads.

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Austin
11:40 am
Tue April 30, 2013

What Will it Take for Austin to Become a Bicycling Capital?

Several bike projects hope to create a safe and friendly biking culture.
City of Austin

Story as it aired on KUT News 90.5 FM

Austin is steadily pedaling its way to becoming one of the bike-friendliest cities in the country.

With more than two percent overall of Austinites biking to work – and in some parts more than eight percent – the city has surpassed commuter goals set in its bike master plan. (The plan’s linked here.)

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Austin
6:57 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Austin Offers 'Emergency Cards' - for When the Language Barrier Could Mean Life or Death

Vice Chair on the Commission of Immigrant Affairs Ángela-Jo Touza-Medina introduces the new emergency cards.
Bobby Blanchard for KUT News

The City of Austin’s Commission on Immigrant Affairs unveiled emergency cards Friday designed to help first responders assist people who don’t speak English.

The business card-sized rectangles allow those people to hand over basic personal and medical information to emergency responders. This includes information such as name, allergies and other vital information needed in emergency situations.

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Austin
5:08 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Mayor Ponders Privatizing Airport to Shoulder Cost of Urban Rail

Not many public airports have successfully gone private, but Austin may give it a try to pay for other projects.
courtesy flickr.com/dawilson/

Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell says he’s considering a plan to lease out the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport to help pay for future urban rail projects.

The list of airports that have successfully gone private is a short one.

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Transportation
8:00 am
Thu April 25, 2013

Number of Vehicle/Pedestrian Crashes Rise While Rate Falls

The city says it's been documented that, over time, as the total number of bicyclists increases, the crash rate goes down.
Emily Donahue, KUT News

The City of Austin says the number of vehicle crashes involving bikes and pedestrians has gone up over recent years.

In 2012, there were a total of 78 fatal crashes in Austin – a 42 percent increase from 2011. A third of those 78 crashes killed pedestrians. Three were fatal crashes involving bikes.

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Austin
8:41 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Meet 8 People Who May Decide the Fates of Some City Employees

Many city employees, such as those pictured at a rally in 2011, have more labor rights under the civil service program passed in November.
KUT News

The City of Austin is hosting a community meeting tonight to introduce the top eight applicants to serve on the Municipal Civil Service Commission.

The commission, approved in November by voters as Proposition 10, will propose personnel rules for most City of Austin employees. They will also make final decisions in the cases of city employees who are appealing disciplinary action such as being suspended or demoted.

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Austin
7:51 am
Tue April 16, 2013

2,000 Job Openings Available at City of Austin Career Expo

The City of Austin is hosting a Career Expo Tuesday at the Palmer Events Center.
flickr.com/kandyjaxx

The City of Austin is hosting its third annual Career Expo today at the Palmer Center.

The event will feature over one hundred employers and local agencies including  Austin Fire Department, Austin Independent School District, Dell, Time Warner Cable, Grande Communications and Whole Foods.

Last year more than 3,500 people attended the Career Expo that offers almost 2,000 job openings. 

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Austin
12:22 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

After Kansas City, ISPs Watch Google's Austin Plans Closely

Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell at yesterday's Google Fiber announcment.
Nathan Bernier, KUT News

Story as it aired on KUT News 90.5 FM

Austin has been tapped by Google to be the second city in the U.S. to get Google Fiber, the search giant’s super fast gigabit internet service. Kansas City was the first city to dive in with Google. And it’s learned some lessons.

Some of Central Texas’ largest Internet providers also serve Kansas City, Missouri. Think Time Warner and AT&T, among others. Kansas City Assistant City Manager Rick Usher says as soon as word spread that Google was getting some deals –  waived fees, right-of-way access and more – his phone wouldn’t stop ringing.

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Austin City Council
11:17 am
Fri March 29, 2013

What’s Next After Austin Repealed its Project Duration Ordinance?

Construction cranes in downtown Austin. While the City Council voted to repeal the Project Duration Ordianance, the city will work quickly on a replacement.
flickr.com/joeyparsons

The Austin City Council voted 5-2 last night to repeal the city’s Project Duration Ordinance, rules limiting how long a development can remain “grandfathered” under land-use rules in place at the time of the project’s conception.

In contrast to last week’s hearing, which featured hours of citizen testimony, public input was closed this time. The council discussion lasted just 15 minutes. Council members Laura Morrison and Kathie Tovo voted no.

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Transportation
5:46 am
Thu March 28, 2013

Austin Traffic Calming Seeks to Soothe Neighborhood Traffic – And Aggrieve Speeding Drivers

A combination of new street islands and speed bumps are meant to deter drivers from speeding. This project is off of Woodward Street, across from the St. Edwards University campus.
Joy Diaz, KUT News

Story as it aired on KUT News 90.5 FM

More than a dozen streets in Austin are about to be invaded with bulldozers whose mission is to re-shape them. Once the streets are re-worked, the hope is they will in turn help slow down the drivers who use them. On the first week of April, the city will unveil which so-called “traffic calming” projects it will fund.

Twice a year, Austin’s Transportation Renee Orr reviews dozens of applications from Austinites who believe their streets would be safer if there were a way to make drivers slow down.

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Austin
10:19 am
Wed March 20, 2013

One Week Left to Apply for Austin's New Municipal Civil Service Commission

City workers rally at City Hall in 2011. Most city employees have greater labor protections under Prop 10 passed in November.
KUT News

There is one week left to apply for the five-member Municipal Civil Service Commission. It's part of Proposition 10 that Austin voters approved in November. It establishes a municipal service system for most city employees.

According to the City of Austin, the Municipal Civil Service Commission will help to establish certain personnel rules. The commission will then make final decisions on appeals of disciplinary actions by most City of Austin employees. The commission is expected to hear cases from city employees or are fired, demoted or denied a promotion.

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Austin City Council
5:37 am
Tue March 19, 2013

How the City Council Decides Which Event Fees to Waive

The Mighty Texas Dog Walk is one event that might get a fee waiver this Thursday.
facebook.com/Ilikeservicedogs

Story as it aired on KUT News 90.5 FM

When planning to book a public venue in Austin, keep in mind the city is going to charge a bunch of fees, some are for permits, maintenance and cleanup. Organizers of large and well-attended gatherings have no problem paying those fees. But non-profits sponsoring smaller events sometimes ask the city to waive them.

This week, the city council will vote on five such waivers. With so many of these smaller events taking place, what happens when fees are waived?

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Austin
7:45 am
Mon February 11, 2013

Businesses, Customers Get Ready for Austin's Bag Ordinance

So-called single-use plastic bags will no longer be available at most Austin stores beginning March 1.
courtesy flickr.com/adav

Story as it aired on KUT 90.5 FM

Austin’s Bag Ordinance goes into effect soon. Starting March 1, the majority of Austin businesses will stop providing single-use paper and plastic bags. That’s because the City of Austin has a goal of zero waste by the year 2040. This measure is among the first steps toward that goal. Businesses and customers alike are already making some adjustments.

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