BG Note | News - What We're Reading (November 9, 2017)

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[Austin Metro]

Council welcomes idea of Major League Soccer (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY

[Today] Council will vote on a resolution asking city staff to research properties in the city that might work as a site for a future stadium.
The measure, authored by Mayor Pro Tem Kathy Tovo, directs staff to focus on private properties or parkland in the urban core, generally defined by city planners as the area bound by U.S. Highway 183 to the east and north, MoPac Expressway to the west and State Highway 71 to the south...

Five years later, Imagine Austin gets progress report but no update (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY

Despite a long road ahead, the progress report on Imagine Austin presented at the Nov. 7 joint land use commission meeting indicated that the city was on track in its implementation of the comprehensive plan. Still, some commissioners expressed frustration that staff had forgone an update to the plan in spite of new reports and public outcry.
Out of 237 actions set out in Imagine Austin, six have been completed so far, including the 2013 adoption of a robust Watershed Protection Ordinance and the 2014 adoption of the Urban Trails Master Plan. However, city staff has been pressured to adapt as it works down the tall order of remaining tasks. In particular, it has faced adversity from macro-level forces outside of its control. For example, Austin has maintained its rapid pace of growth in the past five years, but its share of regional growth has dropped significantly to 30 percent, which will impact policy ranging from transit to zoning...

Amazon’s In-Home Delivery Service Launches in Austin (AustinInno) LINK TO STORY

Amazon’s service that lets delivery drivers open your door and leave packages inside your house is now live in Austin.
Amazon Key, a service announced last month that allows Amazon Prime members to get in-home deliveries through a smart door lock and camera system, is now officially available to Austin residents.
The service, which was met with some consumer hesitation when it was announced, may sound like a recipe for disaster. A random delivery person with access to inside your home isn’t exactly the definition of security. But Amazon assures the service is safe...

[STATE]

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton draws first Democratic challenger for 2018 (Texas Tribune) LINK TO STORY

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is getting his first Democratic opponent for re-election.
Attorney Justin Nelson is entering the race to be the state's top lawyer with just over a month until the candidate filing deadline for the 2018 primaries. 
"Justice is for all. Nobody is above the law," Nelson said in a news release. "Texans can do better than our indicted Attorney General who is charged with criminal fraud."

How a chaotic night in the Texas House paved the way for Speaker Straus (Texas Tribune) LINK TO STORY 

Texas House Speaker Joe Straus sounded as if a weight had finally been lifted off his shoulders. Standing last month in the middle of a room crammed full of reporters, the San Antonio Republican explained his surprise announcement that he wasn’t running for re-election.
“There comes a time when someone ought to come to the conclusion that it’s enough in one place. Five terms is a long time,” Straus said. “[It’s] the first time in decades that a speaker is able to leave this office on his own terms.”...

Texas education officials reject another Mexican-American studies textbook (Texas Tribune) LINK TO STORY

For the second time in the last year, the State Board of Education rejected a proposed Mexican-American studies textbook, leaving teachers without any state-approved materials for Mexican-American studies courses.
The board voted almost unanimously Wednesday to reject author Tony Diaz's textbook, "The Mexican-American Studies Toolkit," a year after rejecting a different book that Mexican-American studies experts called racist. Though most did not vote for the book — only one member voted in support — Democrats on the board argued the process was not fair to Diaz, saying he was given a short period of time and little guidance to create a high-quality book...

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