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

Stories by Willow Higgins

How sound permits regulate the Austin music scene

In the Live Music Capital of the World, sound and noise policy is critical both to those who enjoy the entertainment industry and those who live within earshot. On Wednesday, the city’s Environmental Commission was briefed on the different types…

Austin Energy's REACH program falls behind its carbon emissions goals

Austin Energy announced last week that it is significantly behind its goals for reducing carbon emissions this year, citing operational and market factors. While the utility hopes to make up some of the gap between now and the end of the…

Resilience hub initiative continues to evolve

Winter Storm Uri, the extreme weather event that left an unknown number of Austin residents dead last February, inspired the initiative to create resilience hubs across the city that would act as a public resource in times of crisis. The initial…

Montopolis school for Black students reopened its doors as neighborhood fights for preservation

Montopolis Negro School, a segregation-era grade school for Black children, reopened its doors on Saturday, welcoming Montopolis residents new and old, including some former students, back to an alma mater that hasn’t operated as a school in 60 years. The…

Multifamily project with ‘sensitive environmental features’ earns water service extension

At last Wednesday’s meeting of the Environmental Commission, the Watershed Protection Department requested a water service extension for a 280-unit, multifamily project on a parcel nearly 70 acres in size, at 8921 U.S. Highway 290 West. The property was originally…

front of City Hall

Ethics commission wants to make it easier to file complaints

At its monthly meeting Wednesday night, the Ethics Review Commission discussed a number of moving pieces it has in the works, including an easier-to-navigate complaint form for reporting suspected ethics violations, and a media piece explaining the commission’s function to the…

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Council puts Trail Foundation in charge of hike-and-bike trail

On Thursday, Austin City Council gave the Trail Foundation authority over the Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail at Town Lake Metropolitan Park. Specifically, Council authorized the Trail Foundation to “negotiate and execute” both the operations and the maintenance of…

New report underscores inequities for Latinos in Central Texas

Systemic and racial barriers have made it harder for the Latino community to excel in Central Texas, according to a new report from the Hispanic Impact Fund of the Austin Community Foundation. Building a Thriving Central Texas: Advancing Latino Futures takes…

Airport continues to enhance accessibility for all travelers

There’s a lot more to compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport than wheelchair access. Last Thursday, City Council’s Mobility Committee was briefed on how travel to and from Austin is – or sometimes isn’t…

Vision Zero initiative beginning to reduce some types of car crashes

A representative from Austin’s Transportation Department appeared before City Council’s Mobility Committee Tuesday to give an update on Vision Zero, the city’s goal to eliminate traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries. While traffic fatalities have been on the rise over the…

Housing and Planning Committee examines barriers to ADU construction

The city’s Housing and Planning Committee met Tuesday to discuss the regulations for accessory dwelling units, secondary housing units located somewhere on a residential lot. As Austin’s housing crisis persists and the median sale price of homes continues to rise, ADUs…

Climate Equity Plan proposes speeding up net-zero emissions goal to 2040

Austin’s much-anticipated Climate Equity Plan was presented to City Council on Tuesday morning after almost two years of hard work and delay. The city’s last climate action plan was adopted in June 2015, with the intention of updating it every…

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