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

Stories by Willow Higgins

Environmental Commission recommends wastewater service to future warehouse

The Environmental Commission voted last Wednesday to recommend a wastewater service extension request for a proposed 82,000-square-foot warehouse west of Oak Hill. Some commissioners were hesitant to approve the service extension, which will include constructing over 800 feet of force…

Large housing development in the works on Barton Springs and Lamar

Developers are looking to rezone a property currently home to the Bicycle Sport Shop on Barton Springs Road and South Lamar Boulevard. If successfully rezoned as a planned unit development, the lot would be redeveloped as a nine-story building with…

Sustainability office spearheading regional food plan

Austin’s Office of Sustainability is working on the city’s first-ever food plan – a coordinating structure that is designed to help bridge disparities in local food access in a sustainable way. While Austin’s food system includes state-of-the-art restaurants and groceries…

Parks board postpones vote on alcohol sales in Republic Square Park

The Parks and Recreation Department asked the parks board this week for its support of a conditional use permit that would allow for the sale of alcohol in Republic Square Park. Since the park is public property, it needs to have…

Waterways beginning to recover from Samsung acid waste spill

The tributary of Harris Branch Creek in Northeast Austin is beginning to recover from an acid waste spill that killed off the creek’s aquatic life. Samsung’s semiconductor facility discharged as much as 763,000 gallons of the acidic waste into its…

Utility commission ponders letting new developments shoulder rate increase

Austin’s Electric Utility Commission is thinking over some suggestions to offer to City Council about Austin Energy’s rate review, which as currently proposed would increase the utility’s base rate by 7.6 percent to make up for a $48 million deficit.…

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Austin Animal Center faces questions about monthly update

Alongside shelters nationwide, the Austin Animal Center has been struggling with staffing shortages and soaring populations of shelter animals – a situation that was evident in the shelter’s monthly update to the Animal Advisory Commission. In April, a total of 1,067…

Dove Springs soon to have a comprehensive public health center

After years of work, the Dove Springs neighborhood will finally be getting a full-service public health facility. The project, which is funded by a 2018 bond measure, will be a central hub for the surrounding community, offering a number of resources in…

Resource Management Commission at stalemate over toxic materials resolution

Resource Management commissioners recently butted heads over a proposed resolution directing Austin Energy staff to facilitate a working group tasked with brainstorming how to dissuade builders from using toxic materials. The resolution ultimately did not pass, ending in a 4-4 tie…

After initial push, city’s effort to eliminate Confederate names loses momentum

In the midst of the July 2020 protests sparked by the police killing of George Floyd, the city of Austin passed a resolution committing to remove or rename all city-owned assets, such as streets and buildings, that have names commemorating the…

How the Watershed Protection Department removes obstructions from Austin creeks

Austin, a city known for the rivers, creeks and springs that run through it, is also prone to flooding. The city’s Watershed Protection Department shoulders the responsibility of managing Austin’s waterways and reducing the impact of flooding, erosion and pollution…

City joins effort to end hair-based discrimination

The city of Austin and its Office of Civil Rights are initiating a discussion about how to prevent race-based hair discrimination, which is most commonly experienced by women of color. The CROWN Act, which stands for Creating a Respectful and…

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