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Stories by Jack Craver

Friday, July 21, 2017 by Jack Craver

For whom is Austin a great ‘bang for your buck’?

Austin and its city government are not perfect, but they both deserve some respect. That seems to be the gist of the 2016 Year in Review recently released by the city manager. “I often feel like the unforgiving pace of…

Monday, July 17, 2017 by Jack Craver

City continues to work on Zilker special event parking

The city transportation department is adamant: Nothing has been determined yet about parking for special events held in Zilker Park. Hence, the meeting at the Austin Energy headquarters on Barton Spring Road Thursday evening was an opportunity for Austinites to…

Friday, July 14, 2017 by Jack Craver

African-Americans spend more time in Travis County jail for same offenses as whites

Travis County has a long way to go before its criminal justice system matches its progressive reputation, according to a report released Thursday by a local advocacy group. African-Americans booked into the county jail spend more time behind bars than…

Wednesday, July 12, 2017 by Jack Craver

Can an expanded convention center solve the ‘downtown puzzle’?

After months of research, city staff has come up with a few ways that City Council can find money to begin solving the so-called “downtown puzzle,” the expression used by Mayor Steve Adler to describe a host of potential downtown…

Thursday, July 6, 2017 by Jack Craver

Abbott takes aim at Austin’s tree protections

Austin leaders who watched with dismay as GOP lawmakers spent much of the recently concluded legislative session undermining city policies on immigration, ride-sharing and short-term rentals could at least take comfort in the fact that the state did not completely…

Wednesday, July 5, 2017 by Jack Craver

Council approves workforce training audit

It took a while for City Council to wrap its collective head around the concept, but after an hour and a half of discussion it overwhelmingly approved a study that will try to assess the effectiveness of some area workforce…

Friday, June 30, 2017 by Jack Craver

CodeNEXT likely to ditch transect zones

One of the key concepts underpinning the proposed revamp of the city’s land development code will likely not be included in the next draft of the proposal, city staff informed City Council members Wednesday. The team responsible for drafting the…

Friday, June 23, 2017 by Jack Craver

Council approves composting contract despite Texas Disposal Systems objections

City Council approved a contract Thursday to dramatically expand the city’s curbside organics collection and composting program. The new contract builds upon the pilot program that has been in place for nearly four years. Under that program, Organics By Gosh,…

Thursday, June 22, 2017 by Jack Craver

CodeNEXT proposes new program to bolster affordable housing

CodeNEXT, the proposed overhaul of the city’s Land Development Code, dramatically expands an existing city program that offers developers incentives to build housing reserved for low- and middle-income buyers and renters. In a presentation to City Council members on Wednesday,…

Tuesday, June 20, 2017 by Jack Craver

Evolve Austin wants to make the case for density

A coalition of businesses and nonprofits hopes to mobilize people to support a new Land Development Code that will make Austin more compact and connected. On Monday, Evolve Austin announced its plans for a yearlong grassroots campaign fueled by volunteer…

Friday, June 16, 2017 by Jack Craver

Council narrowly approves controversial Central Health board nominee

By a one-vote margin, City Council approved the appointment of a new member to the Central Health Board of Managers after complaints about the nominee’s potential conflicts of interest. Council voted 6-5 to assign Julie Oliver, a division controller for…

Wednesday, June 14, 2017 by Jack Craver

What businesses are coming to your neighborhood under CodeNEXT?

Mayor Steve Adler continues to assure the public that City Council still has ample time to “calibrate” CodeNEXT. The reassurance is in response to myriad concerns about how the proposed overhaul of the city’s Land Development Code will impact neighborhoods.…

Tuesday, June 13, 2017 by Jack Craver

Special event parking near Zilker might not be that bad

City officials involved in crafting a new special event parking permit program are urging people to relax. A proposal to limit parking in neighborhoods near Zilker Park during major events, notably Austin City Limits Festival, ABC Kite Festival and the…

Friday, June 9, 2017 by Jack Craver

Council rejects gun rights advocate for commission

City Council took the rare move Thursday of rejecting a nomination to a citizen commission over the nominee’s controversial statements. Only two of the nine members of Council present voted to support appointing Michael Cargill, the founder of Central Texas…

Thursday, June 8, 2017 by Jack Craver

Public Safety Commission has a HOT debate

As the city of Austin scrounges for money to hire more police officers, firefighters and paramedics, it shouldn’t look to the tourism industry for help. That was the message delivered to the Public Safety Commission Monday by Bill Worsham, a…

Thursday, June 8, 2017 by Jack Craver

Council digests CodeNEXT compatibility standards

City Council members don’t know quite what to make of the new design and compatibility standards offered in the current draft of CodeNEXT, the proposed overhaul of the city’s Land Development Code. During a Council work session Wednesday, a number…

Tuesday, June 6, 2017 by Jack Craver

Public safety agencies envision big staff increases

In presentations to the Public Safety Commission Monday, leaders of the Police Department, Fire Department and Emergency Management Services called for significantly boosting staff in the coming years, both to make up for existing shortages and to keep up with…

Monday, June 5, 2017 by Jack Craver

Central Health board chair lays out case against nominee

The chair of the Central Health Board of Managers is ramping up the pressure on City Council to reject an applicant to the board due to the applicant’s position with a major hospital. In a lengthy letter sent Friday to…

Thursday, June 1, 2017 by Jack Craver

Central Health nominee stirs up policy questions

The chair of the Central Health Board of Managers strongly suggested that City Council may be causing problems for the board by appointing a new member with ties to a major hospital. In an interview with the Austin Monitor Tuesday,…

Thursday, June 1, 2017 by Jack Craver

More questions than answers for Council on CodeNEXT

City Council members are still having a hard time understanding exactly what CodeNEXT, the proposed overhaul of the city’s land development code, will mean for the city. That was made clear at a public hearing Wednesday, during which a number…

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