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Stories by Audrey McGlinchy

Wednesday, August 16, 2017 by Audrey McGlinchy

Regulation Vacation: City collects taxes from unlawful Airbnbs

Becca Dobberfuhl has a name for her Bouldin Creek home.“It’s all this rusty, rusty, rusty color,” she said. “And the house is a modern house and it has a box-like look to it so we call it the ‘Rusty Box.’”Users…

Tuesday, August 15, 2017 by Audrey McGlinchy

A Council member wants to officially rename Robert E. Lee Road. What would it take to do it?

Following a deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville over the weekend, Austin City Council Member Greg Casar is calling for the renaming of Robert E. Lee Road in South Austin and Jeff Davis Avenue in North Austin.Over the weekend, someone…

Monday, August 7, 2017 by Audrey McGlinchy

Mayor Adler wants a task force on gentrification. We’ve had plenty of those.

For five weeks in 2001, Karen Paup spent her afternoons with other Austin residents talking about the city’s changing east side. The group included a pastor, a developer and a now-professor at New York University.“We shared anecdotes, we looked at…

Thursday, August 3, 2017 by Audrey McGlinchy

Budget proposal would raise Austin property taxes, increase permitting capacity

Austin homeowners could see higher property tax bills next year.Under the city’s proposed $3.9 billion budget, most residents with a median-value home ($305,510) would pay an additional $118 in property taxes compared to last year. Utility fees would rise, too…

Wednesday, July 26, 2017 by Audrey McGlinchy

Texas lawmakers may alter property tax collection. But how does it even work?

During a recent committee hearing on a property tax bill, a state lawmaker made an unusual comment: He praised Travis County.“Travis County has the best record on reducing tax rate,” said state Sen. Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston), the author of Senate…

Thursday, July 20, 2017 by Audrey McGlinchy

B-cycle is expanding. So why are all the new stations near downtown?

B-cycle, Austin’s bike-share system, recently added three new stations as part of an 18-station build up over the next 18 months. All of these new stations will be close to or in downtown, adding to the company’s existing 51 docks.An…

Thursday, June 22, 2017 by Audrey McGlinchy

As city debates how to keep the peace, an expert explains how to keep things quiet

City Council members have delayed a vote on the so-called “agent of change” proposal, which would establish rules aimed at easing tensions between neighbors and music venues over amplified sound. An early version of the rules asked both new businesses…

Friday, June 16, 2017 by Audrey McGlinchy

Council nixes daytime juvenile curfew, extends late-night curfew through summer

City Council Thursday decided to nix the city’s 27-year-old daytime juvenile curfew, extending instead the city’s nighttime curfew for young people until Oct. 1. At that time, members expect to have a report back on alternatives to a criminal curfew…

Thursday, June 1, 2017 by Audrey McGlinchy

Here’s what we learned about requests from ICE to pick up Travis County inmates

Drunken driving. Property theft. Possession of a controlled substance.These are some of the crimes for which the Travis County Sheriff’s Office did not honor requests from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to detain suspected undocumented immigrants past their sentences or…

Friday, May 26, 2017 by Audrey McGlinchy

Is ‘missing middle’ housing still missing from CodeNEXT?

Jake Wegmann, an assistant professor of housing and real estate at the University of Texas, stood on the sidewalk in Mueller, a large mixed-use development on the site of Austin’s old airport. He pointed across the street to a string…

Thursday, May 25, 2017 by Audrey McGlinchy

What is ‘missing middle’ housing?

Annette Naish used to work for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, traveling across the U.S. responding to natural disasters.“I found out that in this country there are some of the most wonderful people in the history of the Western world,”…

Monday, May 8, 2017 by Audrey McGlinchy

Austin’s inaugural artist-in-residence takes up her post

Rehab El Sadek marries silly and sober. Take her outfit: a colorfully patterned turtleneck atop a stern dark skirt. Her straight, black hair in low pigtails. Glasses.And while her paintings and prints dot the walls throughout the home she rents…

Friday, May 5, 2017 by Audrey McGlinchy

How does Texas’ ‘sanctuary cities’ bill stack up against Arizona’s ‘show me your papers’ law?

City Council Member Greg Casar sat on the floor, his back blocking one of the two main entrances to a state building on the Capitol grounds. He’d taken a seat as part of a sit-in Monday to protest Senate Bill…

Wednesday, April 26, 2017 by Audrey McGlinchy

Sanctuary cities debate revolves around ICE detainers. But what are they?

Members of the Texas House of Representatives today will consider Senate Bill 4, popularly coined the “sanctuary cities” bill. The practices of the Travis County Sheriff’s Office have been heralded as a reason to pass this bill – one that…

Monday, April 24, 2017 by Audrey McGlinchy

Activists weigh in on police contract as city begins negotiations

As the city of Austin moves forward with the renegotiation of its public safety contracts, local activists are asking for several changes to the city’s contract with the local police union. The contract, which is negotiated every couple of years,…

Thursday, April 20, 2017 by Audrey McGlinchy

Sleep researchers cheer on Council members as they consider ways to avoid late nights

Early on June 24, 2016, City Council Member Delia Garza checked her watch.“We’re making a decision about $720 million at 1:35 in the morning after lengthy discussions,” Garza told her colleagues. “After in my opinion, no real agreement on this.”Despite…

Tuesday, April 18, 2017 by Audrey McGlinchy

CodeNEXT, as explained to a 6-year-old

Two people – one grown, the other growing – sit in a University of Texas office. The younger one, a girl of just 6 years old, wears a gray T-shirt, pink leggings and cowboy boots, which dangle from the edge of…

Thursday, April 13, 2017 by Audrey McGlinchy

Travis County DA announces not all police shootings will go before grand jury

The Travis County District Attorney’s Office will no longer bring all police shooting cases before a grand jury. Flanked by representatives of the local NAACP, police union and the Austin Police Department, District Attorney Margaret Moore announced the changes –…

Tuesday, April 4, 2017 by Audrey McGlinchy

135,000 new housing units over the next decade: feasible or overly ambitious?

Socar Chatmon-Thomas points at an apartment building under construction along the south shore of Lady Bird Lake, near East Riverside Drive.“So this whole thing used to just be nothing,” said Chatmon-Thomas, who has worked in Austin real estate since 1994.…

Tuesday, March 28, 2017 by Audrey McGlinchy

Construction of new Central Library overdue, again

City Council members learned last week that the completion of the new downtown public library has been hit with delays, again.“I do think that it is getting very close, but I don’t have a specific date that I can give…

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