Stories by Mark Richardson

Friday, July 11, 2014 by Mark Richardson

Old Austin meets new system in District 5

The area running south from Lady Bird Lake between Barton Creek and the Union Pacific Railroad line is truly “old Austin.” Not to be confused with “old money Austin,” but with comfy neighborhoods like Zilker, Barton Hills and Westgate with…

Thursday, July 10, 2014 by Mark Richardson

Crowded field looks to represent small, diverse District 4

District 4 under the new City Council system is – figuratively and literally – at a crossroads. Interstate 35 and US 183, two of the city’s busiest highways, bisect the area. In addition, the district reflects the divide between Austin’s…

Wednesday, July 9, 2014 by Mark Richardson

Nine candidates vie to represent growing, changing District 3

The new City Council District 3 brings together three distinct neighborhoods – Central East Austin, Riverside and Far South Austin. The massive growth and changing demographics of the city have significantly changed the neighborhoods and residents of District 3, bringing…

Monday, July 7, 2014 by Mark Richardson

Diversity doesn’t mean African-Americans will get opportunity in District 1

When members of the Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission began carving the city into 10 new Council Districts last year, one of their biggest challenges they faced was to carve out an African-American “district of opportunity.” After much consideration and debate,…

Wednesday, July 2, 2014 by Mark Richardson

City hopes Eco-Industrial park will bring jobs

The City of Austin is planning to spend up to $10 million to create an eco-industrial park south of the city’s airport. Officials hope the park will lure dozens of businesses that specialize in manufacturing goods from recycled, reused or…

Tuesday, July 1, 2014 by Mark Richardson

Despite ruling, city expects no immediate change to drainage fee

A judge’s ruling rendering a portion of the city’s Drainage Fee invalid could put millions of dollars worth of critical flood control and watershed protection programs at risk. State District Judge Amy Clark Meachum ruled Friday that the flat $9.20…

Tuesday, June 10, 2014 by Mark Richardson

National Instruments nixes expansion; Mayor calls incentive rules onerous

National Instruments, the Austin-based high-tech firm with a global reach, has opted out of an estimated $7.4 million economic development deal with Austin, Travis County and the State of Texas. The deal, struck in mid-2013, would have brought as many…

Friday, June 6, 2014 by Mark Richardson

Capping I-35 could provide substantial economic benefit for city

A study commissioned by city staff shows that one plan floated recently to cut traffic congestion – taking a portion of Interstate 35 underground through central Austin – could bring the city millions of dollars in new property tax revenues,…

Monday, June 2, 2014 by Mark Richardson

Cole enters mayoral race emphasizing solving problems together

Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole launched her campaign Saturday to become Austin’s first African-American woman Mayor before a crowd of enthusiastic supporters in the front yard of a North University home.   In announcing her candidacy, Cole joins fellow City…

Wednesday, May 14, 2014 by Mark Richardson

Grandfathering approved for 1600-unit development on Hamilton Pool Road

A hearing before the Travis County Commissioners Court for initial approval of a master development plan for the 1600-unit Masonwood subdivision on Hamilton Pool Road drew stiff opposition Tuesday from nearby residents, who objected to the plan’s proposed density and…

Tuesday, May 13, 2014 by Mark Richardson

Western Travis still Wild West of groundwater with no district in sight

A decades-old plan to put an unprotected area of western Travis County into a groundwater conservation district, or GCD, appears to have been killed with the stroke of a pen recently by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.   The…

Friday, May 9, 2014 by Mark Richardson

Attorneys protest Travis County Jail’s cooperation with ICE

Pressure is growing for the Travis County Jail to halt its participation in a federal program to put immigration holds on certain inmates for possible deportation, as a group of more than 100 attorneys and law professors are calling the…

Wednesday, May 7, 2014 by Mark Richardson

Extra cost stops commissioners from changing employee paydays

What started out a few weeks ago as a routine request to change the frequency of paychecks to Travis County employees turned into a major disagreement among Commissioners Tuesday over the cost of making such a change. In the end,…

Friday, May 2, 2014 by Mark Richardson

Community group seeks organized assistance for flood victims

A community organization called the Travis Austin Recovery Group (TARG), formed in the aftermath of the historic 2013 Halloween floods, is noting the six-month anniversary of the event with the release of a Draft Recovery Plan for the people and…

Friday, May 2, 2014 by Mark Richardson

Study prefers Urban Rail, Lady Bird Lake bridge for Central Corridor project

The Project Connect: Central Corridor study team says Austin should use Urban Rail as the preferred local mode of transportation for the central portion of its proposed $1.4 billion transit project. The Central Corridor project’s 9.5 mile alignment will run…

Thursday, May 1, 2014 by Mark Richardson

City set to participate in early fire detection system

The severe drought gripping Central Texas brings a high degree of risk for wildfires, and that is a major concern for local fire officials, who do not want a repeat of the massive blazes that devastated areas like Bastrop and…

Wednesday, April 30, 2014 by Mark Richardson

Lawsuit says sheriff’s office, phone vendor violating inmates’ rights

A federal lawsuit filed Tuesday accuses several local law enforcement agencies with violating defendants’ constitutional rights by listening in on conversations between inmates at the Travis County jail and their lawyers and using that information to gain a conviction.  …

Wednesday, April 23, 2014 by Mark Richardson

Neighbors upset over subdivision of lots in eastern Travis County

A landowner’s request to divide a two-acre lot in the Estates of Wilbarger Creek into two one-acre lots has riled up some neighbors, who say they moved out to the picturesque preserve in east Travis County to enjoy the wide…

Monday, April 21, 2014 by Mark Richardson

Critics say taxpayers, not drivers will have to pay for SH45 SW

The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority says a preliminary Traffic and Revenue Forecast for the planned State Highway 45 Southwest it released recently will stand as the final report, showing that the road project is financially feasible. But critics of…

Tuesday, April 15, 2014 by Mark Richardson

Halloween flood report points to shortcomings of emergency response

An after-action report on the City of Austin and Travis County’s response to the Halloween flood released last week said that there were myriad serious problems with the response to the emergency. Chief among them was a lack of ability…

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