BG Note | News - What We're Reading (February 20, 2018)


[Austin Metro]

Land use commissions skeptical about CodeNEXT 3.0 promises (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY

The third draft of CodeNEXT made its long-awaited debut last Monday, presented to the public at an open house that evening in the flattering light of the golden hour – but by the next night, at the joint land use commission meeting, the congeniality of first impressions had given way to sober deliberation.
Consultants and staff did their best to clarify perceived imperfections in the latest draft of the new Land Development Code, but it appears unlikely that the commissions will be recommending CodeNEXT to City Council exactly as-is...

Entrepreneur has a new plan for Champion tract (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY

Lake Austin Collective, the neighborhood group that has fought, threatened and sued over the fate of the Champion tract on RM 2222, may have finally found a hero in entrepreneur Jonathan Coon, the founder of 1-800 Contacts.
Coon has taken an option on the tract and promised far less development, far less traffic and considerably greater environmental protection than offered under the plan City Council approved on Feb. 15.
Coon is the owner of a nearby area of land known as the Camelback tract, a 145-acre tract on Lake Austin. The Austin Business Journal reported last summer that the property had been appraised for tax purposes at $33.7 million...

Homelessness action report calls for doubling spending (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY

If Austin wants to get serious about ending homelessness, it needs to spend about twice as much on the variety of programs that currently serve the more than 2,000 people living on the streets.
That’s according to an action plan endorsed by the Membership Council of the Ending Community Homelessness Coalition, which is chaired by Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo.
“We’ve got to scale up a lot of things,” said ECHO Executive Director Ann Howard in a presentation to City Council members last Tuesday...

Six candidates compete for three places on Cedar Park City Council (Austin American-Statesman) LINK TO STORY

Three Cedar Park City Council seats and the mayor’s positions are all up for grabs in the May election.
Corbin Van Arsdale, the incumbent on the Place 2 council seat, is running unopposed as mayor. Cedar Park’s current mayor, Matt Powell, is not seeking re-election.
The two candidates running for Arsdale’s seat on the council are Mel Kirkland, a project consultant, and Michael Thompson, a software engineer.
Two candidates are running for the Place 4 seat occupied by Cobby Caputo, who is not seeking re-election. They are Patrick Walz, an engineer, and Michael Guevara, an attorney.
Council Member Kristyne Bollier is also not seeking re-election in Place 6. The two candidates running for her position are Shellie Hayes-McMahon, an events planner, and Dorian Chavez, a sales executive...


UT/TT Poll: Clear Sailing For Abbott, Patrick, Uncertain Waters For Bush, Miller (KUT) LINK TO STORY

Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick are far ahead of their Republican primary opponents in the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll, but the Democrats running for those two high offices face more difficult paths to their party’s nomination.
Two other statewide Republican incumbents — Land Commissioner George P. Bush and Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller — have the support of a majority of likely primary voters, but with a caveat. When those voters had the option of saying they weren’t ready to make a choice, 44 percent listed no preference in the land race and 60 percent said the same in the agriculture race...

Bexar commissioner wants driverless lanes on I-35 (San Antonio Express-News) LINK TO STORY 

Bexar County Commissioner Kevin Wolff believes that a meeting he had last month in Washington with federal transportation officials could lead to construction of lanes for driverless automated vehicles on the Austin-San Antonio section of Interstate 35.
“This is the first proposal of its kind in the nation that I’m aware of,” Wolff said. “And when the feds heard about it, they told me, ‘This is just the kind of proposal we want to fund.’” If it happens, it’ll take a while. The 95-mile stretch of eight-lane highway — perennially named one of the nation’s most congested traffic corridors — is already scheduled for an $8 billion expansion to add four “managed lanes” sometime around 2025, according to the regional Alamo Metropolitan Planning Organization, or MPO, which Wolff chairs...

Dallas Mayor Pro Tem urges NRA to find a new home for their convention (Dallas Morning News) LINK TO STORY

A leader in Dallas politics does not want the National Rifle Association to meet in his city. Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway is urging the NRA to find a new home for its annual convention. He says the meeting is not appropriate in Dallas in the wake of last week's school shooting in Florida. Caraway also points to the past tragedies in Dallas, including the 2016 ambush that killed five Dallas officers, and the assassination of President John F. Kennedy...


Trump endorses Romney in Utah Senate race (The Hill) LINK TO STORY

President Trump endorsed Mitt Romney in the Senate race to replace retiring Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) on Monday night, despite reportedly urging Hatch to run for reelection to block Romney out...

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