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

Stories by Charles Boisseau

WWII vets fly to D.C. and get rousing send off

At sunrise on Tuesday, 25 World War II veterans sat in front of the ticket counter at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. Nine gentlemen sat in wheelchairs, many others grasped canes and it seemed most listened with the help of hearing aids.…

City wants to raise permit fees, hire staff to relieve bottleneck

Developers, business owners and home builders would all pay sharply higher fees under a proposal City Council will consider on Thursday to lessen a backlog of building permits awaiting approval from overburdened city staff.   Along with the fee increases,…

Protecting caves still an issue in Balcones Canyonlands Preserve

Can an environmentally sensitive cave coexist with the controversial plans to build State Highway 45 Southwest, which would cut a swath through southwestern Travis County to Hays County?   That is emerging as a key issue City of Austin and…

Election roundup: Doggett likely back to D.C., Dewhurst-Cruz in runoff

U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett claimed victory over two challengers Tuesday night to become the Democratic nominee for U.S. House District 35.   In other closely watched races: Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst led a crowded race to replace Kay Bailey Hutchison…

Council debates merits of creating committee on economic incentives

In a lively discussion, City Council members on Thursday batted around a proposal to create a City Council Committee on Economic Incentives that would hold public meetings and investigate developing uniform contract terms for incentives provided businesses bringing jobs to…

Officials drop plan to seek private operator for Zilker Garden

Reeling from an outpouring of negative comments, Parks and Recreation Department officials quickly backed off a draft plan to solicit proposals from private firms to operate Zilker Botanical Garden.   Parks managers pulled the agenda item just prior to the…

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Balcones Canyonlands Preserve poised to reach acreage target

After 16 years, Austin and Travis County are on the verge of reaching an environmental milestone for Balcones Canyonlands Preserve – one of the nation’s largest urban preserves.   In 1996, the city and the county agreed to create the…

Membership change means fewer variances at Board of Adjustment

Led by new members, the Board of Adjustment has denied nearly twice as many variance requests in the past six months than it did in the first seven months of 2009.   The board denied just 14 variance requests, approved…

When in doubt, Board of Adjustment postpones

Members of the Board of Adjustment have two primary choices when a property owner comes before them asking for approval for a variance from city zoning codes to add on to their homes, build a garage or a car port,…

Economic recession slows trends impacting Austin

In mid-2007, City of Austin Demographer Ryan Robinson prepared a “Top 10 Big Demographic Trends in Austin” – a list of trends that he said were shaping Austin and would undoubtedly have a big impact on public policy for the…

MBE/WBE Committee continues debate over ‘good faith’ efforts

Members of the city’s minority- and women-owned business advisory committee continue to debate proposed language to spell out “good faith efforts” that general contractors must make to include minority businesses in work for the City of Austin.   Members of…

Executives wage intense PR effort over city’s recycling contract

Recycling and waste-hauling company executives have engaged in intense public relations efforts – including exchanging charges of violations of a city contract and the city’s anti-lobbying laws – in advance of next week’s City Council vote on renegotiating the city’s…

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