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

Stories by Ramon Ramirez

Waller Creek development could put Red River music district in jeopardy

The Red River District is a creative hub within Austin’s live music scene, but an imminent swell of development could change that. The Waller Creek Tunnel is scheduled for a late 2014 completion, and over the next decade the surface…

Initiatives would help music venues, downtown residents better coexist

Two new sound initiatives will go to Council next week. The Austin Music Commission approved language Tuesday for the creation of a new program and ordinance – the Music Venue Assistance Micro Loan Program and the Good Neighbor Policy –…

Street performers ask Music Commission to help redesign busking laws

Austin street musicians are pushing back at the Live Music Capital of the World’s strict busking laws. A new report from the Austin Music Commission’s Musicians Working Group surveyed about 200 local musicians, and 75 percent of respondents expressed a…

Proposed changes put completion of Riverside Plan in jeopardy

The East Riverside Corridor Regulating Plan could be facing major, last-minute changes that could take the years-in-the-making project back to the drawing board. Council Member Chris Riley is working up a punch list of adjustments for Thursday’s Council meeting that…

Featured Collection: Austin Energy 2022 rate case

Austin Energy ramps up outreach for proposed rate changes

Austin Energy has entered the public hearing phase of its base rate review process, following its proposal to raise service costs. The monthslong dialogue with stakeholders and city staff, slated for resolution by City Council in November, has surfaced predictable…

Eckhardt aims to become first woman to serve as Travis County Judge

Precinct 2 Travis County Commissioner Sarah Eckhardt says she is counting on hard work, experience and her political heritage in her upcoming run to become Travis County Judge in 2014. “I will run full tilt and full time to lead…

Leffingwell, civic groups urge voters to back AISD bond package

With early voting for the May 11 elections underway, Mayor Lee Leffingwell, backed by Austin Independent School District officials, members of the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, Education Austin, Greater Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and parents, Tuesday urged voters to…

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Watershed Protection Department plans higher fees, new staff in 2014

The Watershed Protection Department is proposing an 85-cent monthly increase per household on drainage fees, as well as 10 new full-time positions dedicated to the implementation of the Waller Creek Tunnel project for the FY 2014 budget. Members of he…

CAMPO group wants urban rail issue placed on November 2014 ballots

As part of a wider discussion about a pending interlocal rail agreement, Council members received an urban rail update during their Tuesday work session. There, Mayor Lee Leffingwell detailed imminent plans from CAMPO’s Transit Working Group, which he chairs. “Informally…

Austin Police Department Budget, 2012-2022

During the 2020-21 budget process, City Council cut $31.5 million from APD’s budget, citing the protests and “community outcry against the disproportionate impact of police violence on Black Americans, Latinx Americans and other non-white ethnic communities,” according to the approved…

Two Austin non-profits vie for same chunk of city budget

Two non-profits, Austin Playhouse and Skillpoint Alliance, ended up fighting each other last week for the same city funds. But city staff is working on a solution that may allow them to share.   Last week, Mayor Lee Leffingwell introduced…

Legislation could limit Austin's tree ordinances

Two bills pending before the Texas Legislature could have a dramatic effect on the future of Austin’s trees.  House Bill 1377, carried by Rep. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham, would recognize all Texas landowner’s trees as “real property,” thereby undercutting state municipalities’ existing…

Council members grant short-term cemetery services contract

A skeptical Council Member Kathie Tovo peppered Parks and Recreation Department staff with questions last week, prior to Council’s authorizing an emergency, 120-day, $250,000 contract with Interment Services, Inc. to manage Austin’s five city cemeteries.   At the heart of…

Downtown alley art project coming soon

Inspired by places like Paris, Rome, and Seattle, Austin is getting creative with its alleys this month. World-traveled artist and architect Dan Cheetham will curate “20 FT Wide,” a pilot project that will transform the alley on 9th Street between…

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