BG Note | News - What We're Reading (January 11, 2018)


[Austin Metro]

How big of a bond will Austin voters support? (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY

This November, Austin voters going to the polls to vote for mayor, governor and a variety of other city, state and federal positions will likely be asked to approve a bond package worth hundreds of millions of dollars that will go toward infrastructure, drainage improvements, facilities maintenance, new parks and low-income housing.
It remains far from clear how large the package will be and how the money will be distributed among the handful of priorities identified in the 2016 resolution passed by City Council that set up the Bond Election Advisory Task Force, the citizen board tasked with crafting a bond proposal...

IBM Broadmoor campus redevelopment could make it an Amazon HQ2 front-runner in Austin, developer says (Community Impact) LINK TO STORY

The IBM Corp. Broadmoor campus could be a front-runner among properties proposed in Austin’s bid for Amazon’s HQ2, said William Redd, executive vice president and senior managing director of Austin and Metro DC regions for Brandywine Realty Trust.
“We’re still waiting to hear back [from Amazon]. There’s not a lot of places that could accommodate it. The Domain area is one of them,” Redd said following a presentation to the Gracywoods Neighborhood Association on Tuesday...

Hyperloop shoots through UTC meeting (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY

The Urban Transportation Commission went down the tubes Tuesday evening.
At its first meeting of 2018, the commission took in a presentation from engineering firm AECOM on efforts to prepare for a future hyperloop system in Texas.
“This is not something that’s coming in the next decade, or the next decade. This is something that’s coming in this decade,” AECOM’s Steven Duong said of the futuristic system of tubes through which magnets and vacuums would fling people and goods at speeds topping 700 miles per hour...

Austin activist Shudde Fath to turn 102 (Austin American-Statesman) LINK TO STORY

She’s advocated for consumers, fought for environmental issues and spearheaded civil rights causes. Now one of Austin’s esteemed activists Shudde Fath turns 102 on Thursday.

Fath’s been described as the “grande dame of the environmental movement,” and for a long time her living room was known as a hotbed for political activity, as many of Austin’s movers and shakers often met there over the years to shape the city’s future...


Six GOP candidates vying for Joe Straus’ open seat in primary (Texas Tribune) LINK TO STORY

Six Republican candidates contending for the state House seat being vacated by Speaker Joe Straus staked out their policy differences Wednesday as they took on issues that included property tax reform, school finance and transportation. The candidates seeking to win the nomination in the GOP primary March 6 are Steve Allison, an attorney and former Alamo Heights School Board president; Matt Beebe, owner of an IT and computer security business and a two-time opponent of Straus; Carlton Soules, a former District 10 city councilman; Adrian Spears, an attorney who has represented various local cities; Charlotte Williamson, a St. Mary’s Law School graduate who recently worked for her family’s oil and gas LLC; and Marc Whyte, a business lawyer who runs his own firm...

State Supreme Court case could bring an end to plastic bag bans in Texas  (Texas Tribune) LINK TO STORY

A Thursday Texas Supreme Court hearing on plastic bags could have implications that spread across the state faster than such bags blowing in the wind. The court will hear oral arguments in the case, Laredo Merchants Association v. The City of Laredo, in which the merchants’ association is arguing a ban on single-use bags by the city is illegal because an existing state law regulating solid waste disposal pre-empts it. If the merchants’ challenge is successful, Texas cities, including Austin, Fort Stockton and Port Aransas could find their similar local bans on bags struck down, and the case would create deeper questions about the role of local regulation in the state...

A Tiny Texas Town Takes a Chance on Medical Marijuana  (The Atlantic) LINK TO STORY

Last September, a farm near Schulenburg, Texas, a quiet, conservative town of fewer than 3,000 people, became a medical-marijuana dispensary. Knox Medical, based in Florida, owns the farm and is one of the three newly licensed cannabis outfits in Texas to start selling cannabidiol, or CBD, a substance derived from low-THC marijuana. When deliveries start going out to patients this month, Schulenburg, home to distinctively painted churches and the Texas Polka Music Museum, will become one of the first legal outposts for medical marijuana in Texas. It’s not an identity residents of the area are rushing to embrace. Town officials are quick to point out that the site of the greenhouses and the future dispensary is technically outside of city limits...


McCaul, Republicans, double down on wall for 'Dreamer' fix  (Houston Chronicle) LINK TO STORY

As immigration activists fanned out across the U.S. Capitol, Texas U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul and other top Republicans unveiled legislation Wednesday that they held out as the starting point for negotiations to protect "Dreamers," immigrants brought into the country illegally as children. But the $30 billion GOP plan, coming a day after President Donald Trump called for a "bill of love," hewed closely to Republican priorities that Democrats have rejected, including construction of border wall...

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