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Fully-Local • Non-Partisan • Public-Service Journalism
 

Stories by Cate Malek

Ethics Commission says voters have given Zimmerman a greater sanction than it ever could

Austin’s Ethics Commission dismissed a complaint against City Council Member Don Zimmerman on Nov. 9, saying there was no sanction it could give him greater than being voted out of office. Commissioners voted 5-3 in favor of the complainant. But,…

Citizens sound off on wastewater plan in Dripping Springs

Over 200 people packed the event center in Dripping Springs on Nov. 10 for what they said was their first real chance to get their questions answered about a proposal that would allow the city to discharge treated effluent into…

Council votes to spay/neuter stray animals on first impoundment

A proposal that requires that stray dogs and cats be spayed or neutered so they can’t reproduce moved forward this week, despite questions over whether the measure actually addresses the problems it’s meant to solve. City Council voted 8-1 to…

Proposal stirs debate over whether internet would bring Pokemon or porn to parks

Members of the Parks and Recreation Board recently painted two very different images of a proposal to investigate the idea of bringing free Wi-Fi access to Auditorium Shores. In an 8-1 vote at their Oct. 25 meeting, board members passed a…

Hotel strives to preserve Austin’s heritage, but not all of its heritage trees

The developers of the Carpenter Hotel are trying to strike a delicate balance between protecting the environment, preserving Austin’s heritage and creating a viable business. That was the argument they made before the Environmental Commission on Oct. 19, when they…

Council votes down attempt to revisit McMansion exemption

An amendment that some hoped would lead to more clarity in the McMansion Ordinance only seemed to lead to greater confusion at a City Council meeting on Oct. 6. The McMansion Ordinance was passed in order to prevent developers from…

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New section of Guadalupe named activity corridor, despite neighborhood concerns

City Council designated a new section of Guadalupe Street as an activity corridor despite some neighborhood concerns, making its higher concentration of businesses, people and services official. The change came as part of a package of amendments to the Imagine…

Parks and Rec Board hopes to make golf courses self-sustaining

Worried that Austin’s municipal golf courses are sucking money away from the city’s already underfunded parks, the Parks and Recreation Board is investigating how to make the courses pay for themselves. The city’s municipal golf courses have been operating at…

Environmental Commission fears Austin Oaks PUD will threaten too many trees

After months of contentious negotiations, the Austin Oaks planned unit development is nearing its hearing before City Council. But the Environmental Commission hopes to hash out a better tree plan before deciding whether to sign off on the project. At…

Council moves forward with rezoning for Cactus Rose site, but vows to protect residents

The decision whether to rezone the Cactus Rose Mobile Home Park in East Austin has put City Council in a tight position that it did its best to wiggle out of at its meeting Thursday. Council voted to pass the…

Animal Commission votes down spay and neuter proposal

Despite public appeals, the Animal Commission has decided not to move forward on a proposed ordinance that would require that all dogs brought to Austin animal shelter be spayed or neutered the first time they are impounded. The ordinance was…

Stagehands at ZACH Theatre ask city to step into wage fight

Although they’re used to being behind the scenes, the stagehands from ZACH Theatre are going public with their requests for more equitable pay. On Sept. 1, representatives of the stagehands asked City Council to put stipulations on cultural organizations like…

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