Texas

News, policy discussions, and major events happening in or related to Texas, told from an Austin perspective

Matthew Bernhardt/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard.

There have been plenty of causes for debate along the I-35 corridor between Austin and San Antonio, but this time around, the conversation revolves around soccer. After the owner of a major league soccer team in Ohio announced plans to move the team to Austin, San Antonio officials who have had their sights set on bringing an MLS team to their city were less than elated.

The owner of the Columbus Crew said recently he was considering moving the franchise to Texas’ capitol city. The news has prompted Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff to call for a formal investigation, claiming that the decision to choose Austin over San Antonio was not a “fair process” since the MLS had previously encouraged city and county officials to make preparations for an MLS team.

Texas Public Radio Reporter Joey Palacios says this particular feud dates as far back as 2013 when the MLS announced it was going to add four teams to the league. He says the City of San Antonio and Bexar County paid $9 million to build a soccer field on the northeast side of town on the advice of MLS officials in order to better their chances of winning the bid to bring one of the new teams to the city.

Flickr/GotCredit (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard.

A new proposal from Republican lawmakers would cut some tax rates and overhaul portions of the U.S. tax code. House Republicans rolled out the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in Washington on Thursday.

Among the most controversial aspects of the GOP tax plan is that it lowers the mortgage interest deduction for homeowners. Current homeowners wouldn’t be affected, but new borrowers would only be able to deduct the first $500,000 – that’s down from the current limit, which is $1 million.

John Diamond, director of Rice University’s Center for Public Finance says that the mortgage deduction change could lower Texas home values by 1-2 percent.

Barbara Brannon/Flickr Creative Commons

From Texas Standard.

The streets in front of the State Capitol building will be blocked off this weekend to make room for white tents and long tables piled high with books. Think of that new book smell – that’s the smell of the upcoming Texas Book Festival.

Some of the most celebrated authors in the world will be descending on Austin. The whole event is free, from browsing books to attending author signings.

Lois Kim, the festival’s executive director, says over 300 authors are coming to the event – including Tom Hanks, the Bush sisters, Dan Rather, and celebrity chef Mark Bittman. She says they’re also expecting literary stars like Walter Isaacson and Jennifer Egan.

Kellieallen/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard.

Our stereotypes of male athletes often go something like this; strong, dumb, macho. There’s even a phrase for the type of chauvinistic conversation that too often goes on behind the scenes on sports teams – locker room talk.

These stereotypes are not without some supporting evidence. Take, as just one example, the widespread and deplorable sexual assault scandal that continues to haunt the Baylor University football organization.

A program making its way through east Texas right now is aimed at redefining what it means to be a male athlete in an effort to stop that sort of behavior before it starts. An organization called Men Can Stop Rape is educating high school athletes on how to stop sexual assault on their teams and among their friends.

Michael Marks

From Texas Standard:

For the first time ever, the Houston Astros are World Series Champions. The New York Times wrote that people listened on radios, in gutted rooms without carpet, in motels where they'd been made refugees in their own city.

Pages