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

Stories by Veronica Apodaca

Austin Water safeguarding its facilities from wildfire risk

As Austin continues to grow, the city is expanding toward wildlands. This creates an increased risk of fire in areas where human development intersects with natural areas, known as the wildland-urban interface. Austin Water discussed its efforts to mitigate wildfires…

Austin Water addresses effect of drought on agriculture

Texas’ current drought is affecting both Austin residents as well as the crops grown outside of the city. At Wednesday’s Water and Wastewater Commission meeting, representatives from Austin Water explained the far-reaching effects of the drought and efforts made to…

Austin Water set to address staff shortage

Austin Water discussed efforts to address its staff shortage at Wednesday’s Water and Wastewater Commission meeting. The discussion about recruiting and retaining employees was part of the department’s presentation on its 2022-23 budget, which was unanimously approved by the commission.…

Animal shelter workers demand better conditions in wake of vote of no confidence

The Animal Advisory Commission discussed improvements needed at the Austin Animal Center at its July 11 meeting. The discussion came after the commission’s vote of no confidence in AAC Director Don Bland on June 13. The meeting began with comments…

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…

AFD on the front lines of effort to combat overdose crisis

The Austin Fire Department spoke about its use of naloxone to combat drug overdoses in its quarterly report at the Public Safety Commission’s July 5 meeting. The department’s report coincides with City Council’s declaration of opioid overdose deaths as a…

Public Safety Commission dives into data transparency at APD

The Austin Police Department gave a presentation on its efforts to improve data transparency at the Public Safety Commission meeting on Tuesday. The presentation, given by APD Research and Planning Division Manager Jason Matson, focused on how the public can…

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Public Safety Commission debates police department software

The merits of Lexipol software as a tool for the Austin Police Department was the focus of the Public Safety Commission’s Tuesday meeting. The crux of the debate between the commissioners and APD representatives was whether the software was worth the…

Parks board agrees to honor lifetime resident with plaque

The Parks and Recreation Board heard strong opinions about the renaming of Pan American Neighborhood Park at its June 27 meeting. The board had previously received an application from family members to rename the park in honor of longtime resident…

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…

Austin sees success with youth rowing program

The Austin Rowing Club reported on the success of the STEM to Stern program at the Parks and Recreation Board’s Monday meeting. STEM to Stern, which was brought to the city by the Rowing Club and the Boys & Girls…

Parks board continues debating alcohol sales in parks

The Austin Parks and Recreation Board debated Monday whether to approve a recommendation for City Council to create guidelines for the sale of alcohol in city parks in addition to those already found in city code. The draft recommendation notes…

Austin moves to prepare for climate disasters

City Council passed a resolution at its June 16 meeting to create a disaster preparedness guide and toolkit for the city. The guide, which will be part of the city’s climate response efforts, will instruct residents on how to create local resilience…

Austin endorses tax exemption for menstrual products

City Council members approved a resolution Thursday endorsing the removal of sales tax for menstrual products and diapers. As the resolution states, “Menstrual products and diapers are necessary to daily life for millions of Texans, and these taxes create an…

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