BG Note | News - What We're Reading (November 2, 2017)
Central Health taps Baltimore-based firm for Brackenridge Hospital redevelopment (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY
Central Health has selected a firm to redevelop Brackenridge Hospital.
The Central Health Board of Managers announced it’s chosen Baltimore-based Wexford Science and Technology to revamp the hospital, which closed its doors for good in May after more than a century of service in Austin.
Brackenridge long served as a safety-net hospital for low-income patients, and Mike Geeslin, president and CEO of Central Health, thinks whatever goes up in its place should benefit the public.
Costs rising, timeline slipping for new MetroRail station (Austin American-Statesman) LINK TO STORY
The new downtown MetroRail station will take two years longer to complete than Capital Metro said just a few months ago, and cost about 80 percent more than the original $22 million estimate.
That $39.4 million cost to move and expand the “temporary” station, which has sat at Fourth and Neches streets since the commuter rail line opened in March 2010, now includes several city underground utility projects that drove up the cost considerably. Austin will pay $3 million of that cost.
Why Austin's Transportation Plans Need To Be Unequal (BISNOW) LINK TO STORY
Austin needs to toss parking requirements, end transportation impact studies and quantify the benefit of road projects if it intends to maintain its quality of life, according to a prominent national transportation planner.
Planner Jeff Tumlin was the keynote speaker this week at the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce’s regional planning conference. In a looser and more direct conversation with millennials Monday night at a downtown bar, Tumlin emphasized the tension in Austin’s competing goals of equality — everyone gets the same thing — and equity — everyone has the same opportunity.
House GOP caucus gets recommendation to consider picking speaker candidate as bloc (Texas Tribune) LINK TO STORY
A working group of the Texas House Republican Caucus has recommended that it consider changing its bylaws to give GOP members an opportunity to coalesce behind a candidate for speaker before the official vote on the floor.
In a report distributed to members late Tuesday, the group suggested the caucus hold a meeting where such a change would be “considered, debated and voted on.” In response to the recommendation, which was unanimous, House GOP Caucus Chairman Tan Parker called a meeting for Dec. 1 in Austin.
Trump Nominating Ryan Patrick, Son Of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, To Be U.S. Attorney (KUT) LINK TO STORY
President Donald Trump is nominating former state District Judge Ryan Patrick, son of Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, to be the next U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Texas, the White House announced Wednesday.
If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Patrick will become the top federal prosecutor in one of the busiest districts in the country. The Southern District, which includes Houston, Galveston and Corpus Christi, represents 43 counties, 8.3 million people and 44,000 square miles of the Lone Star State.
Gov. Abbott says more Harvey aid is on its way, but he’s not sure when (Austin American-Statesman) LINK TO STORY
Gov. Greg Abbott said Wednesday that Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney assured him on a visit to Washington this week that the Trump administration would submit a supplemental budget with additional Harvey recovery money for Texas by mid-November, but that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told him the Senate calendar might impede swift action.
“McConnell was very sympathetic and understanding, but the primary focus of Leader McConnell was on timing and process,” Abbott said.