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Stories by Austin Monitor

Monday, May 22, 2017 by Austin Monitor

Reporter’s Notebook: Art and other concerns

Austin artists aren’t good enough?… As part of its consent agenda on Thursday, City Council approved three contracts with firms and artists to provide artwork to the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport and an Austin Energy cooling plant. Council approved the electric…

Friday, May 19, 2017 by Austin Monitor

Austin City Council votes to challenge Texas over new ‘sanctuary cities’ law

By Lisa Dreher and Elizabeth Pagano Though it has already been sued by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, Austin City Council can now pursue its own case against Texas’ “sanctuary cities” law. On Thursday, Council voted to allow the city…

Monday, May 15, 2017 by Austin Monitor

Reporter’s Notebook: Not our jam

Bit of turbulence during that pilot program… An attempt by the city’s Parks and Recreation Department to make “data driven decisions” went slightly off the rails at Tuesday’s City Council work session, where Council members learned that a “parks pass”…

Monday, May 8, 2017 by Austin Monitor

Reporter’s Notebook: Return of the hat

Return of the Commission Commission?… Once upon a time, there was a Boards and Commissions Transition Task Force that put together a long report on how the city might best manage its boards and commissions in light of the switch…

Monday, May 8, 2017 by Austin Monitor

Austin Monitor Radio: Evolve Austin’s Andy Cantu

Evolve Austin executive director Andy Cantu joins Austin Monitor publisher Mike Kanin to chat about CodeNEXT as part of our radio series that examines the differing points of view that surround the rewrite of the City of Austin’s Land Development…

Monday, May 1, 2017 by Austin Monitor

Reporter’s Notebook: CodeISSUES

CodeNUDE… CodeNEXT might not represent as radical a change as some may hope (or fear). For instance, the draft of the new code that City Council is now examining made absolutely no changes to how the city will define “adult-specified…

Monday, April 24, 2017 by Austin Monitor

Reporter’s Notebook: It’s the little things

Honorifics Olympics… Mayor Steve Adler appears to be having a tough time deciding how to refer to Council Member Alison Alter on the dais. The mayor tends to address his Council colleagues as “Mr.” or “Ms.” during meetings, but on…

Monday, April 17, 2017 by Austin Monitor

Reporter’s Notebook: But what came next will surprise you

I, Stuart Harry Hersh… A few months ago, long-time housing advocate and former city staffer Stuart Harry Hersh bought a house. While undoubtedly a big moment for Hersh personally, it’s also been a transition at City Hall where for years,…

Monday, April 10, 2017 by Austin Monitor

Reporter’s Notebook: Honoring Mary Gay Maxwell

Remembering Mary Gay… A year after her death, the Environmental Commission remembered its former chair, and longtime Austin conservationist, Mary Gay Maxwell. The commission unanimously passed a resolution to rename the Slaughter Creek Management Unit on Wednesday night. The land’s…

Monday, March 27, 2017 by Austin Monitor

Reporter’s Notebook: Which came first?

Rock ‘n’ roll is here to stay… Don’t expect the early evening musical performances at City Council meetings to go away anytime soon. Asked recently about a city staff recommendation to remove the quickie concerts from the agenda of Council’s…

Monday, March 20, 2017 by Austin Monitor

Reporter’s Notebook: Gondolas! Open Letters!

High time… Perhaps in accordance with the leisurely speed at which its subject is known for, a long-awaited report on aerial gondolas is taking its sweet time in being made public. The high-flying transit alternative captured headlines last September when…

Monday, March 6, 2017 by Austin Monitor

Reporter’s Notebook: Of departures (people, codes and forts)

ZAP! Pow! Bang!… People paying attention to the membership of the Zoning and Platting Commission (if you are out there, you are probably reading this) may have noticed change has come/is on the horizon. As we reported, now-former Chair Thomas…

Monday, February 27, 2017 by Austin Monitor

Reporter’s Notebook: More on Agenda 21

Alternative facts? In our media? It’s more likely than you think… Over the weekend, Zoning and Platting Commissioner Jim Duncan seized the rhetorical zeitgeist in a letter to City Council members, wherein he warned them that the commission had not, as…

Tuesday, February 21, 2017 by Austin Monitor

Reporter’s Notebook: Dead, alive and in-between

Dead zoning… There was a lot of debate on Thursday over whether Capitol View Corridors should be extended to the east of the city. And there was even more debate over whether those east-projecting radii should project over the Brackenridge…

Monday, February 13, 2017 by Austin Monitor

Reporter’s Notebook: ICE, ghosts and trees

ICE in Austin… Over the weekend, protests dominated the local news as Austinites grappled with how to react to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids that began on Thursday. Meanwhile, public officials and agencies worked to come up with their…

Monday, February 6, 2017 by Austin Monitor

Reporter’s Notebook: Just more fake news

Alt-facts… The national press has caught wind of Travis County’s skirmish with Gov. Greg Abbott over immigration policy, for better and worse. Reputable outlets such as CBS News and the Washington Post have deigned to talk to County Judge Sarah…

Monday, January 30, 2017 by Austin Monitor

Reporter’s Notebook: Pardon

Vote kills Entrada annexation for now… City Council voted 10-1 on Thursday to indefinitely postpone annexation of the Entrada property, approximately 246 acres in northeastern Travis County south of Wells Branch Parkway, with Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo opposed. Mayor Steve…

Monday, January 23, 2017 by Austin Monitor

Reporter’s Notebook: Campaign promises

Leaders join the crowd… Saturday’s Women’s March on Austin saw massive crowds, including several City Council members, pack the streets of downtown. Spotted on the sidewalk of Congress Avenue was Council Member Pio Renteria, who gamely posed for at least…

Monday, January 9, 2017 by Austin Monitor

Reporter’s Notebook: Regarding Twitter

Vela to Dukes: Time to go… Embattled state Rep. Dawnna Dukes (Austin) has reneged on her promise to step down from her seat, leaving in limbo those who were hoping to replace her and actively campaigning to do so. One of…

Friday, December 30, 2016 by Austin Monitor

2016: An Austin Monitor review

As residents of the actual world, and not just City Hall World, we at the Austin Monitor are well-aware that most year-in-review lists will be filled with relief that the seemingly cursed 2016 will soon be over. Our relief comes…

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