BG Note | News - What We're Reading (February 6, 2018)

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[Austin Metro]

Austin is full of anti-gentrification ideas, but most wouldn’t have a direct impact (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY

Since 2000, the city of Austin has had a lot of ideas about how to slow down gentrification. A task force recommended in 2002, for example, that the city educate residents about available property tax exemptions. In 2008, City Council members asked the city manager to find city-owned land suitable for affordable housing.
And there were 539 other recommendations.
As part of a new report, the Office of the City Auditor put together a list of City Council and task force recommendations created with the hopes of mitigating gentrification. The list, which dates back to 2000, includes 541 recommendations or resolutions...

Travis County files suit against pharmaceutical opioid manufacturers, distributors and marketers (Community Impact) LINK TO STORY

Travis County filed suit against manufacturers, distributors and marketers of pharmaceutical opioids for damages and penalties and for all other relief available by law, a Feb. 5 press release stated.
The National Institute on Drug Use defines opioids are a class of drugs that include the illegal drug heroin, synthetic opioids such as fentanyl and pain relievers available by prescription such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine and more...

Parkland Events Task Force recommendations need more work (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY

Almost exactly a year ago, the Parks and Recreation Department was tasked with implementing the final recommendations that were adopted by City Council from the 17-member Parkland Events Task Force.

Established in 2015, the task force was given the assignment to find a balance between the everyday use of the park system and special events by ensuring “that all City parks, but most particularly Auditorium Shores, Zilker Park, and Festival Beach, remain first and foremost assets for the citizens of Austin to enjoy and that the parks are preserved and enhanced for future generations of Austinites and visitors to experience and enjoy.”...


[STATE]

"Bathroom bill" fizzles as Republican primary issue (Texas Tribune) LINK TO STORY

The "bathroom bill," once touted as a surefire issue for the 2018 Republican primaries, is barely registering in them with less than a month until Election Day.
Last year, state lawmakers waded into an intense, emotional debate over whether the state should restrict which bathrooms transgender Texans could use, a priority of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick that ultimately factored into a special session called by Gov. Greg Abbott. Amid months of all-night hearings and boisterous protests — culminating in the bill's failure — Republicans on both sides of the issue were bracing for every candidate's position on the "bathroom bill" to be a sort of litmus test in the 2018 primaries...  

In San Antonio race, a Texas House firebrand guns for his old seat (Texas Tribune) LINK TO STORY

Former Democratic state Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer was known as a pugilist in office, and as he seeks to rejoin the Texas Legislature he has found his next fight.  
Martinez Fischer, 47, is running again for the northwest San Antonio seat he occupied for 16 years — a seat he left to run, unsuccessfully, for the state senate in 2016. But to win a spot back in the Legislature, he’ll have to unseat the woman who replaced him, Diana Arévalo, a Democrat who has proven willing to land a few jabs of her own...

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott endorses primary opponent of sitting state Rep. Lyle Larson (Texas Tribune) LINK TO STORY

Gov. Greg Abbott gave his support Monday to another Republican challenging an incumbent member of the Texas House, this time backing Chris Fails in his race against Rep. Lyle Larson, R-San Antonio.

In a video released by Abbott's campaign, the Republican governor praised Fails, the Hollywood Park mayor, as an ally in Abbott's push to reform the property tax system next legislative session...


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