Stories by Elizabeth Pagano

Tuesday, March 1, 2011 by Elizabeth Pagano

AISD trustees declare budget emergency

In the conclusion of what President Mark Williams termed an “unbelievably difficult night and evening,” Austin Independent School District Board Trustees voted 7-2, with Trustees Annette LoVoi and Tamala Barksdale voting against, to declare financial exigency. The declaration will allow…

Thursday, February 24, 2011 by Elizabeth Pagano

Rainey Street residents express frustrations at open house

It was an opinionated crowd that showed up at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center Wednesday evening for a city-hosted open house to address the fallout from the rapid development of the Rainey Street neighborhood. The neighborhood was…

Wednesday, February 23, 2011 by Elizabeth Pagano

Southwest Key offers plan to lease Eastside Memorial campus

In the midst of crisis, Southwest Key sees an opportunity. Yesterday, the non-profit delivered a formal proposal requesting the lease of Eastside Memorial High to East Austin Prep Academy at the rate of $1 per year for the next 99…

Friday, February 18, 2011 by Elizabeth Pagano

City will look for ways to help AISD through its budget crisis

As expected, the Austin City Council voted unanimously in favor of a resolution that will involve them with the school budget crisis, although just how they will be able to help AISD remains unclear.   “What happens to the schools…

Thursday, February 17, 2011 by Elizabeth Pagano

Council takes on a wide swath of items at work session

City Council continues to work on its new work sessions, openly struggling with how to conduct the meetings that are held in a hot, cramped room on Wednesday afternoons. Last week, Mayor Lee Leffingwell ran through the agenda, inviting comments…

Tuesday, February 15, 2011 by Elizabeth Pagano

After two-decade absence, MUDs may be on upswing

With a recent surge in applications for Municipal Utility Districts, known to friend and foe alike as MUDs, the city is considering changing its policy on how it deals with them. Austin Water Utility’s Bart Jennings briefed Council last week…

Thursday, February 10, 2011 by Elizabeth Pagano

Council looks to approve new sound ordinance before South by Southwest

City Council took steps towards approving a new sound ordinance at yesterday’s work session. Approval of the ordinance — expected today — will allow South by Southwest to serve as a sort of testing ground before larger changes are made.…

Wednesday, February 9, 2011 by Elizabeth Pagano

Joint panel looks at problems with valet and free parking in Downtown

The joint subcommittee of the Urban Transportation and Downtown commissions met Monday afternoon in an attempt to come to some conclusions following a flood of angry survey responses. Most of the subcommittee’s discussion centered on two hot button issues in…

Monday, February 7, 2011 by Elizabeth Pagano

Technology Incubator reports economic development, new jobs for Austin

For the City of Austin, the Austin Technology Incubator is like money in the bank   ATI Director Issac Barchas spoke with In Fact Daily about his agency’s recent report to the Austin City Council and the future of the…

Tuesday, February 1, 2011 by Elizabeth Pagano

Council approves new regional gang tracking software for APD

City Council unanimously authorized a contract for new gang tracking software for the Austin Police Department by a vote of 7-0 on Thursday. The new software will allow the city of Austin, Travis County, and the Austin Independent School District…

Monday, January 31, 2011 by Elizabeth Pagano

City seeking federal funds to create jobs in Plaza Saltillo area

Council has approved a resolution authorizing an application for up to $2 million in Brownfield Economic Development Initiative (BEDI) Grant funds and up to $8 million in Section 108 Loan Assistance Program funds, both aimed at funding inner city revitalization.  …

Thursday, January 27, 2011 by Elizabeth Pagano

Parks board votes for changes to open space requirements

The Parks and Recreation Board took steps to increase the amount of open space required by the city this week. The board voted 7-0 on Tuesday to recommend changes to Chapter 25 of the city code, the chapter concerning requirements…

Thursday, January 20, 2011 by Elizabeth Pagano

School superintendent faces budget crunch and tough questions

Austin Independent School District Superintendent Meria Carstarphen met with Austin’s League of Women Voters last night, answering questions about the recently released work of the Facilities Master Plan Task Force and the dire numbers released from the state last night.…

Wednesday, January 19, 2011 by Elizabeth Pagano

Group releases report critical of AISD school closure plan

As the fight around the proposed closing of nine area schools heats up, the Friends of Barton Hills Elementary have gathered their resources to release a formal response refuting the findings of Austin Independent School District’s Facility Master Plan Task…

Wednesday, January 19, 2011 by Elizabeth Pagano

Morrison kicks off Council re-election campaign

Even though they do not see eye to eye on every issue, Council members Laura Morrison and Sheryl Cole are good friends. So, last night, it was no great surprise to hear Cole praising Morrison as Morrison announced her bid…

Friday, January 14, 2011 by Elizabeth Pagano

Hundreds gather to challenge AISD’s proposed school closure plan

A large, loud crowd was on hand at Burger Center last night to share their opinions on the Austin Independent School District’s recently-released Facilities Master Plan. Last week, the report announced the proposed closing of nine schools.   The current…

Wednesday, January 12, 2011 by Elizabeth Pagano

Shade launches re-election campaign

A varied group of Austinites showed up to help launch Council Member Randi Shade’s campaign for re-election last night. Political insiders, neighbors, and people who had always wanted to see the inside of Mercury Hall were among those who braved…

Monday, January 10, 2011 by Elizabeth Pagano

NAACP’s Linder says Austin’s black community still faces challenges

Nelson Linder is a name familiar to those involved with city politics. Most recently, he presented a report to City Council on the current economic crisis facing Austin’s black community as vice chair of Austin’s African American Resource Advisory Commission.…

Friday, December 17, 2010 by Elizabeth Pagano

Despite rescue groups’ concerns, Council OKs ban on pet stores

Council unanimously passed a motion Thursday to ban retail pet sales in the City of Austin. Animal activists say the ban is part of a larger effort to make Austin a no-kill city. However, some opponents worried that the vague…

Tuesday, December 14, 2010 by Elizabeth Pagano

ZAP will wait for the new year to vote on Slaughter Lane rezone

Last week, the Zoning & Platting Commission considered what seemed like every possible option at their disposal during their discussion of the proposed rezoning of the old Albertson’s site at 1807 West Slaughter Lane. In the end, however, all suggestions…

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