BG Note | News - What We're Reading (December 5, 2017)


[Austin Metro]

Group plans to replace Expo Center with arena, stadium (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY

A small local group with a big vision and political backing has unveiled plans for a wide-ranging project called the East Austin District, highlighted by a large arena and a multi-purpose stadium.
Austin Sports & Entertainment, co-founded by former University of Texas swim star Sean Foley and New England sports entrepreneur Andrew Nestor, partnered with Rodeo Austin, intend to work with the city and county to replace the Travis County Expo Center with a 15,000-seat arena adjacent to a 40,000-seat open-air facility...

Leaders say Austin’s Amazon hopes hang on transit, permitting issues (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY

While Amazon executives take the next few months or more to pick the location for a massive new second headquarters, Austin real estate and business leaders hope the national audition process has caused local leaders to think about much-needed improvements throughout the city.
That was one of the recurring discussion points at a panel organized by TeXchange technology advocacy group dedicated to the city’s strategy and the likelihood of landing the sought-after “HQ2” project. More than 200 cities in North America submitted proposals and the campus is expected to be more than 8 million square feet with 50,000 employees earning more than $100,000 each...

Research hopes to fill in the gaps for bicycle and pedestrian data (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY

City and state officials are really good at counting cars to see how terrible traffic is and how it got that way, but that sort of data-collection infrastructure doesn’t exist for bike and pedestrian data. New research hopes to change that.

The project has a simple goal, but you wouldn’t glean that from its name: “Evaluation of Bicycle and Pedestrian Monitoring Equipment to Establish Collection Database Methodologies for Estimating Non-Motorized Transportation.”...

Software maker SAS moving Central Texas operations to new East Austin campus (Austin American-Statesman) LINK TO STORY

After more than 25 years at the same location, software firm SAS is moving its 94-acre campus in far Northwest Austin to a new building under way in East Austin, where a rapidly developing office market is emerging just east of downtown. 

Rick Whiteley and Richard Whiteley of Cushman & Wakefield’s Austin office are representing SAS in its move to 1801 E. 6th St., where Riverside Resources is building a five-story building that is due to be completed in the first half of 2019. SAS plans to use the roughly 30,000 square foot space on the top floor as a southwest region customer support hub...


Texas heads back to federal appeals court in long-winding voter ID fight (The Texas Tribune) LINK TO STORY

State officials and the minority rights groups suing Texas over its strict voter identification restrictions are headed back to court.
A three-judge panel of the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments on Tuesday over the state's recent revisions to its 2011 voter identification law and whether those changes cure legal issues with the original law. The recent changes — which softened previous voter ID requirements considered among the toughest in the nation — were passed in response to court rulings that the 2011 law discriminated against Hispanic and black voters...

TxDOT records 65th “save” in wrong-way driving program (San Antonio Express-News) LINK TO STORY

Beneath the Northwest Side’s tangled interchange of Interstate 10 and Loop 410, surrounded by more than a dozen frontage roads, ramps and flyovers, is an obscure patch of state land housing the regional traffic control center, TransGuide. Inside that “smart highway” project of the San Antonio district of the Texas Department of Transportation, analysts sit in a high-ceilinged control center full of giant, quad-view TV screens, monitoring some 190 roadside cameras, creating electronic displays that alert motorists to construction delays and missing kids, and generating the traffic data used by TV and radio shows...


Cornyn blasts congressional Democrats' government shutdown threats (The Texas Tribune) LINK TO STORY

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, on Monday blasted Democrats for threatening to shut down the federal government under the guise of helping undocumented immigrants whose protected status in this country is slipping away.
Some Democrats have threatened to shut down the government if lawmakers don’t include legislation that protects young undocumented immigrants, known as "Dreamers," in budget bills that need to be passed this month.
During a floor speech, Cornyn said those lawmakers are turning their backs on the very people they purport to be helping... 

U.S. Supreme Court declines to consider Houston fight over same-sex marriage benefits (The Texas Tribune) LINK TO STORY 

Denying the city of Houston’s request, the U.S. Supreme Court will not review a June decision by the Texas Supreme Court, which ruled that the landmark decision legalizing same-sex marriage does not fully address the right to marriage benefits.
The high court on Monday announced it would not take up the case — which centers on Houston’s policy to provide spouses of gay and lesbian employees the same government-subsidized marriage benefits it provides to opposite-sex spouses — just months after the city of Houston filed its appeal, arguing the state court’s June decision “disregarded” precedent...

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