Stories by Chad Swiatecki

Tuesday, May 9, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

Parks officials eye hotel tax dollars for underfunded capital projects

With changes expected in how Austin allocates its fast-growing pool of tax money generated from local hotel and motel stays, the city’s Parks and Recreation Department has put forward the first version of its wish list for expensive infrastructure projects.…

Friday, May 5, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

Music venues may face new rules as city adjusts ‘agent of change’ proposal

Austin officials have made significant changes to a pair of proposed policies affecting the city’s live music economy, and will spend much of May presenting them to local boards and community groups ahead of an expected early June vote by City…

Thursday, May 4, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

All ears on Red River as noise curfew pilot program kicks off

Today marks the official start of a six-month program that will bring later hours for live music to one of the city’s most well-regarded cultural centers. Known in city channels as the Red River pilot program, the change in city…

Wednesday, May 3, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

Music Commission gives support to East Austin arts hub

The Music Commission gave its approval Monday to a request for support from Mosaic Sound Collective, an East Austin project that has been proposed as a future hub of music and jobs for Austin musicians. Mosaic organizers are currently preparing…

Tuesday, May 2, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

Austin City Limits touts $277M economic benefit

An oversized $6.3 million check to benefit Austin parks might’ve been the physically largest number discussed during a Monday confab with city officials and promoters of the Austin City Limits Festival, but it was a different number that was the…

Monday, May 1, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

State music museum appears headed to Austin

The Texas House of Representatives appears to be the last legislative hurdle for a bill that would lead to the creation of a museum in downtown Austin dedicated to Texas music. The museum would be a multi-floor anchor of sorts…

Thursday, April 27, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

Adler: Challenge to state’s sanctuary cities law ‘almost a certainty’

The state’s proposed sanctuary cities legislation faces an almost certain and likely quick challenge in court, Mayor Steve Adler said Wednesday after returning from his trip to Washington, D.C., to discuss the issue with federal law enforcement officials. The Texas…

Tuesday, April 25, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

Innovation Office touts permitting, recycling progress with tight budget looming

The city’s Innovation Office continues to appeal both to Austin’s tech community and departments throughout local government as it moves forward with work to improve service for the city’s much-maligned permitting process for residents and business people. A July rollout…

Friday, April 21, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

Study: Red River music venues face ‘11th hour’ endangerment

A key piece of Austin’s live music scene is at a crisis point and at risk of disappearing in the coming years if dramatic action isn’t taken soon. Those are the findings included in a nearly complete report by the…

Thursday, April 20, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

Traffic, affordability plague Austin in latest Zandan Poll

Traffic and transit woes continue to be the bane of most Austinites’ existence, but the latest edition of a long-running community survey suggests those frustrations are easing, at least a little bit. The newest Zandan Poll – started 30 years…

Tuesday, April 18, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

Convention center advocates taking pro-expansion message to community

A new coalition of Austin business, political and civic leaders is putting its support behind the proposed expansion of the Austin Convention Center and will be taking the message to local groups in the coming months. Known as A New Vision for…

Monday, April 17, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

Music omnibus advances as venues await agent of change, licensing moves

The city is touring its early progress in enacting pieces of the Music & Creative Ecosystem Omnibus, a slate of actions designed to protect Austin creatives and venues from further eroding under development pressure. Presentations to the city’s Arts and…

Friday, April 14, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

Ethics commission sets final hearing for former music department staffer

Austin’s Ethics Review Commission will hold a final hearing next month to determine whether a former music office employee attempted to inappropriately pay herself out of city coffers. The complaint against Ashley Buchanan, who worked as an employee in the…

Friday, April 14, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

City approves Merck incentives, waits for decision on IT hub

Austin will provide up to $856,000 in economic incentives to pharmaceutical giant Merck Sharp & Dohme if the company chooses Austin as the site for a proposed information technology hub. By a 7-3-1 vote, City Council approved a Chapter 380…

Tuesday, April 11, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

New UT arena slated for downtown, but questions linger

A big piece of downtown Austin’s future fell into place on Friday with the announcement that the arena that will replace the Frank Erwin Center will be located close to the current arena on the University of Texas’ eastern border…

Tuesday, April 11, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

Parking price jump almost certain as study heads to city officials

Increased pricing for street-front parking is almost a certainty in downtown Austin’s near future. That tactic was one of more than a dozen recommended by a consulting firm tasked with solving the parking crunch that plagues many areas of Austin’s…

Monday, April 10, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

Pharma giant’s proposed incentives draw questions in first review

City Council members have tended away from using incentives packages in recent years, averaging one approval per year to lure large employers to the area. Based on questioning and feedback from an initial discussion last week, it appears that 2017’s…

Friday, April 7, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

Downtown drug crisis pushes Adler, Council to pledge increased support

Austin’s police and public health departments will have extra budget and other resources available soon to help them focus on ending an increase in the use of the synthetic drug K2 downtown. At a press conference Thursday, Mayor Steve Adler…

Thursday, April 6, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

Creative community supporters pushing live/work CodeNEXT additions

Austin creatives are stepping up their push to amend future drafts of CodeNEXT so that the city’s future building and development road map makes specific allowances for music and artistic spaces. Dave Sullivan, a member of the CodeNEXT advisory group…

Friday, March 31, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

Looking for history: Austin’s public squares

From Lyndon B. Johnson announcing his first Senate campaign in Wooldridge Square to Booker T. Washington speaking there in 1911, some of Austin’s most historic moments and stories are set to be preserved in the city’s three original public square…

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