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Reporter’s Notebook: Can’t lose

Monday, July 11, 2016 by Austin Monitor

Clear eyes, full hearts and… a sled… Mayor Steve Adler is hip with youth culture and he’s not afraid to show it. Last week, Hizzoner unleashed a small tweetstorm that focused on local music culture and also featured GIFs borrowed from every millennial’s favorite television series, Friday Night Lights. “Not only is music related to who we are in Austin…,” the mayor said in one tweet that featured actor and occasional political spokesperson Taylor Kitsch. He completed the thought in the following tweet, “But also the issues facing music are tied to base issues in this community.” Subsequent tweets focused on aspirational reassurances that implementation of the Omnibus Resolution, a city report focused on sustaining Austin’s live music culture, will be super duper. Then Adler turned to sleds. “The report gave us a sled to ride on,” the mayor tweeted. In case that metaphor confused any readers who thought they were simply in for a series of short-form social media messages from the mayor of America’s 11th-largest city about local arts policy featuring animated images from a TV show about high school football, Adler elaborated, “What I’m saying to people is push the sled, don’t start pulling.” He also exhorted readers to withhold scrutiny of the conveyance. “Don’t stop the sled to check if it’s perfect. I can tell you it’s not.” He concluded by inviting his followers to read his full interview with the Austin Monitor and provided a link to said conversation, which was actually with our friends and colleagues at the Austin Chronicle.

We don’t get it… Those readers who may (understandably) avoid Facebook may have missed a fairly baffling entry in Capital Metro’s advertising canon. In what we can only assume is an offshoot of its “Humans of Capmetro” campaign, the transportation authority posted a brief interview with a lifeguard over the weekend as part of its new “Austin Collective” project. Accompanying her picture, the text read, “It can be really serious at Barton Springs. Two years ago, this guy was on drugs and he was swimming and then at some point he blacked out and died. But usually we prevent all of those things from happening. People think that we overreact sometimes. But, you know, your kids are drowning and you didn’t teach them how to swim. They don’t understand how close it can be from a kid going active and splashing around to how quickly they can go underwater and swallow water. I love my job because there needs to be someone that makes sure these kids see tomorrow.” ‪#‎theaustincollective‬ ‪#‎billsallans‬ ‪#‎deepeddy‬ ‪#‎bartonsprings‬ ‪#‎lifesaving‬ ‪#‎seriousbusiness‬ ‪#‎capmetro‬ ‪#‎eastaustin‬.” At last count, this post was liked by 345 people and loved by 22, and it made six people angry. Most comments on the post expressed confusion.

District 2 becomes a three-way race… Add a new name to the list of candidates running for City Council. Late last week, Wesley Faulkner filed paperwork to appoint a campaign treasurer in his run for Council Member Delia Garza’s District 2 seat. Faulkner, a professional social media manager, is the third entrant in the race following Garza and boxer Casey Ramos. On Friday, Faulkner told the Austin Monitor that District 2 leadership needs “better transparency and major changes in terms of focusing on the issues here.” He added, “It doesn’t feel like we’re equal members with the rest of the city when it comes to property taxes, roads and funding of projects.” Also on Friday, the Monitor spoke to the lone challenger (so far) in Council Member Greg Casar’s quest for re-election. Louis Herrin III confirmed that he is running again for the District 4 seat he sought in 2014. “Austin needs to go in a new direction. We need to get away from the same old, same old,” Herrin said. “My campaign is, ‘Let’s get the city back to the way it’s supposed be.’” The filing deadline for candidates to make the November ballot is Aug. 22.

This week’s Reporter’s Notebook comes from the notebooks of Caleb Pritchard and Elizabeth Pagano

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