Stories by Cate Malek

Monday, September 26, 2016 by Cate Malek

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 its…

Friday, September 23, 2016 by Cate Malek

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 rezoning…

Friday, September 16, 2016 by Cate Malek

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 meant…

Tuesday, September 13, 2016 by Cate Malek

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 ZACH…

Friday, September 2, 2016 by Cate Malek

Council OKs worker protections with expedited permit review

City Council acted to increase protections for construction workers and speed up the building permit process for some at last night’s meeting.Council members strongly supported a proposal that would allow developers to pay an extra fee in order to pass…

Thursday, September 1, 2016 by Cate Malek

Who’s building Austin? As city grows, construction workers are getting left behind

At the end of the workday in downtown Austin, streams of construction workers start pouring out of the city. They spend their days building the condos and office buildings that will make up the new Austin, but they go home…

Monday, August 29, 2016 by Cate Malek

City begins work on new urban trails

Two new urban trails are set to begin construction next March, providing more options for Austinites who prefer to go carless.Teams should complete work on the Upper Boggy Creek Trail, serving neighborhoods on the east side, in November 2017. And…

Monday, August 22, 2016 by Cate Malek

Task force to investigate HOT tax spending

City Council will spend the coming weeks looking into whether Austin’s Hotel Occupancy Tax (or HOT tax) should continue to be used only for tourism, or if there are better uses for the rapidly growing tax revenue.At their meeting on…

Monday, August 22, 2016 by Cate Malek

Reporter’s Notebook: Zimmerman and more Zimmerman

The dull bits cut out… After the frenetic fun of the It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World-style campaign season of 2014, it’s forgivable to survey 2016 and presume that electoral politics in Austin have gone into extended hibernation. Luckily,…

Friday, August 19, 2016 by Cate Malek

East Austin neighborhood fights church over redevelopment plan

It was meant to be a practical plan for a local church to get out of debt. But when St. James Missionary Baptist Church requested that part of its property be rezoned in order to build new condominiums, it tapped…

Wednesday, August 17, 2016 by Cate Malek

City responds to call for more street and sidewalk maintenance

Austinites who have complained about the state of the city’s streets may soon see an improvement, if a proposed tax increase is approved as part of next year’s budget.In a survey conducted by the city last year, members of the…

Monday, August 15, 2016 by Cate Malek

City Council sounds alarm over locker rooms for female firefighters

A multiyear project to provide locker rooms for Austin’s female firefighters has stuttered past its deadline, causing frustration among both firefighters and City Council.At a budget work session on Aug. 10, Fire Chief Rhoda Mae Kerr promised to redouble her…

Monday, August 15, 2016 by Cate Malek

Reporter’s Notebook: Reach for the czars

It’s a dog-eat-chicken world… In comments to City Council during citizens communication Thursday, the city’s top anti-dog demagogue, Robert “Crocodile” Corbin, described the Austin Animal Center’s “no kill” policy as “destructive to humans, animals, the environment and our finances.” He…

Friday, August 12, 2016 by Cate Malek

City Manager Marc Ott steps down

After almost nine years as the most powerful person in local government, City Manager Marc Ott resigned his post today. Ott has accepted a position as executive director of the International City/County Management Association in Washington, D.C., beginning Oct. 30. In…

Thursday, August 11, 2016 by Cate Malek

Environmental Commission recommends funds for river watchers

The health of Austin’s rivers is carefully monitored on a regular basis by a team of experts. But some of those experts are much younger than many people may realize.Austin Youth River Watch has been training at-risk high school students…

Tuesday, August 9, 2016 by Cate Malek

Austinites to receive incentive for storing rainwater

Property owners who have gone above and beyond in their efforts to store rainwater will start to receive a discount on their drainage fees next year.The Watershed Protection Department has proposed the change in an attempt to create an equitable…

Monday, August 8, 2016 by Cate Malek

City arborists need reinforcements

It’s easy to imagine that Austin’s trees are a natural feature of the city, but the abundant greenery lining the streets is actually protected and maintained by a tiny army of arborists. And, with new buildings being built every day,…

Tuesday, August 2, 2016 by Cate Malek

Coalition fights to add worker protections to expedited building permit process

The people who are building Austin can no longer afford to live in it, labor advocates say.Although they’re working on the big construction projects that are pushing Austin’s growth, construction workers in Austin have few protections, and many are living…

Tuesday, August 2, 2016 by Cate Malek

Austin police short-staffed and underprotected, advocates say

In the aftermath of two shootings in Austin last weekend, City Council should increase police numbers as well as invest in better body armor, advocates say.Those shootings, along with a fierce national debate over the role police should be playing in…

Monday, August 1, 2016 by Cate Malek

Parks and Rec Board questions repairs that could add to downtown gridlock

A routine park repair has triggered pent-up frustration over Austin’s infamously congested downtown traffic.At its meeting on July 26, members of the Parks and Recreation Board recommended a repair project that will force the closure of one lane of Cesar…

Back to Top