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

Stories 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…

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…

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.…

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…

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,…

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…

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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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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