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Reporter’s Notebook: Weekend update edition

Monday, February 29, 2016 by Elizabeth Pagano

Don’t miss the omnibus… On Friday, Mayor Steve Adler unveiled what he is calling “the Austin Music & Creative Ecosystem Omnibus Resolution.” In short, the resolution directs the city manager to take a look at some options for aiding the city’s creative sector and to come back in three months with priorities and an action plan. But, in long, it covers a lot, as something dubbed an “omnibus” should. The announcement, of course, comes on the heels of a rather depressing report from Austin Music People that showed the city has lost more than 1,200 local music industry jobs, among other things, over the past four years. Adler’s proposal includes many of the items that were suggested following the completion of the Austin Music Census last summer, like the creation of an entertainment license and the prioritizing of creative industries in the CodeNEXT process, as well as ideas for venue preservation and for making creative spaces affordable. More information about Friday’s proposal can be found on the mayor’s website. (Be sure to check out the appendices, which lay out the long list of ideas that are, as of this week, on the table.)

Taco war?… There is no way that you, dear readers, actually missed the mayor’s weekend declaration of war, but we would not be doing our jobs if we didn’t still mention the Breakfast Taco War of 2016. It all came to a head over an article about why people hate Austin that, for once, didn’t actually originate in Austin but in the San Antonio Express-News instead. Speaking to a crowd at UT on Saturday, Adler rallied the troops, and the Austin American-Statesman has the video here. San Antonio Mayor Ivy Taylor returned fire in kind, with a proposal to meet halfway to settle the thing like reasonable people Texans, as detailed in the local paper. We look forward to the results, though the Austin Monitor would like to point out that, obviously, in terms of actual weaponry, the taco cannon probably gives us the advantage.

They told us to “whisper it out”… Over the weekend, plans to build suspended cable cars for transportation re-emerged out of the smoldering embers left following the #MoPacalypse. A long, kind of vague, very positive Facebook post made the rounds and declared that “like Jazz music this concept would be an entirely American creation of using modern technology to merge Ad Hoc Scheduling and Personal space into Mass Transportation. Like Texas we could create our own model of life rather than adopt a European model.” So there’s that.

News of the normal… In what might be termed “nonsurprise news,” City Council Member Don Zimmerman called for a halt to Austin’s Lone Star Rail membership Friday. Just over a month ago, Council authorized the payment of up to $49,500 in membership dues. That was only a short time before Union Pacific opted out of its Lone Star agreement, making the future of the project pretty darn uncertain. Never a fan of the city’s participation in rail plans, Zimmerman has crafted a resolution – posted on the City Council Message Board – asking the city to halt its payments.

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