BG Note | News - What We're Reading (February 27, 2018)


[Austin Metro]

School board approves Confederate school renaming process (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY

The Austin Independent School District Board of Trustees voted 7-2 last night to approve an action initiated by district staff last fall to rename five school facilities named after Confederate military personnel.
Deliberation on whether to change the names for the John T. Allan facility, Zachary Taylor Fulmore Middle School, Sidney Lanier High School, John H. Reagan High School and Eastside Memorial High School (Albert Sidney Johnston Campus) has been a roller coaster of controversy. It began last fall during a national wave of Confederate statues and monuments being demolished, simmered over winter break to the point of being postponed indefinitely on consensus during a Jan. 8 board work session, and then returned with a vengeance after sole African-American trustee Edmund Gordon publicly called the board “spineless” for its ambivalence during a Martin Luther King Jr. Day speech...

Dumpster contract headed to Council, hung up on lobbying ordinance rewrite (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY

As City Council continues to debate the policies associated with the anti-lobbying ordinance, Austin solid waste contracts are beginning to expire with very little recourse for renewals. The latest casualty is city-owned facilities’ dumpster collection services.
On Feb. 14, Austin Resource Recovery asked the Zero Waste Advisory Commission for a $1,511,385 increase on its existing dumpster collection services contract as well as an extension of services for another 19 months with Phoenix-based Republic Services. After a prolonged silence, commissioners moved unanimously to recommend the extension of this contract to Council...

Tiff’s Treats expands to new state, acquires competing chain (Austin American-Statesman) LINK TO STORY

Tiff’s Treats is once again in expansion mode.
The Austin-based chain, known for delivering warm cookies and ice-cold milk for occasions big and small, said Monday that it would open two stores in Nashville, Tenn.
The move includes the acquisition of Jake’s Bakes, a Nashville company with a similar business model. Its founder, Jake Veyhl, knows Tiff’s Treats well, having attended the University of Texas...


Facing criticism, Trump turns to Abbott to tout Texas school marshals (Austin American-Statesman) LINK TO STORY

Gov. Greg Abbott tried to bail out President Donald Trump Monday at a meeting of governors at the White House with his support of arming teachers by citing Texas’ school marshal program. But it was Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s comment — “do a little less tweeting” — that went viral.
Trump’s session with about 40 of the nation’s governors was televised live and dominated by the response to the killings of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. “We continue to mourn the loss of so many precious young lives,” Trump said. “These are incredible people. I visited a lot of them. But we’ll turn our grief into action. We have to have action.”...

Texas business bankruptcies skyrocketed in 2017 (Houston Chronicle) LINK TO STORY

Bankruptcy filings by Texas companies jumped more than 42 percent in 2017, nearly reaching the highs of the Great Recession eight years ago, according to new data obtained by The Texas Lawbook. Some corporate restructuring experts predict another wave of bankruptcies filed by Texas businesses burdened with historic levels of debt is almost certain later this year.
While the Texas economy remained strong and oil and gas prices stabilized last year, the number of businesses – large and small – filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2017 skyrocketed to record levels in the Southern District of Texas, which is dominated by Houston...


Employers can’t discriminate based on sexual orientation, court says, dealing loss to Trump administration (The Washington Post) LINK TO STORY

Discriminating against someone on the basis of sexual orientation is prohibited under federal civil rights law, a federal appeals court ruled Monday as it sided with a gay skydiving instructor who was fired from his job after discussing his sexuality with a client.
The decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit offers expanded protections for LGBT people and marks a significant loss for President Trump’s Justice Department, which had filed a brief arguing Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 did not cover sexual orientation discrimination. But the state of the law is still murky, as federal circuits in other parts of the country have issued mixed opinions. The ruling from the 2nd Circuit, based in Manhattan, could be appealed to the Supreme Court...

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