BG Note | News - What We're Reading (March 16, 2018)

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[Austin Metro]

Austin’s music preservation efforts draw praise. But is it enough? (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY

The attention placed on Austin’s music community in recent years by local leaders – most especially the affordability issues and stagnant income levels of working musicians – went under the magnifying glass Tuesday at South by Southwest. Attendees of the “Austin Y’all! Sustaining a Thriving Music City” panel got to hear about the steps elected officials, nonprofit organizations and the business community have taken to preserve the local scene, and also where those efforts are falling short.

Brendon Anthony, director of the Texas Music Office, said the attention paid to Austin’s growing music crisis points to the importance local leaders place on the creative class. It’s a mindset Anthony said he’s trying to replicate in other communities throughout Texas...


After package bombings, calls for unity in East Austin town hall (Austin American-Statesman) LINK TO STORY

When Da’mon Stith’s daughter called him in the middle of the day and told him she’d found a package in front of their door, in their neighborhood off Cameron Road in Northeast Austin, his heart stopped.

“In that moment, I experienced a great fear,” Stith said. “I was too far away to deal with it physically myself. I had to help her be calm and to inform her that it’s OK, that the people that are trained to handle that stuff will handle it. And they did.”

Three deadly package bombs had exploded in East Austin in 10 days. Police confirmed that Stith’s box was safe. But he was one of hundreds who called authorities to report a suspicious package in the days after the explosions, and one of many who turned out to a community meeting Thursday to voice anxiety and call for the community to use the bombings as a lesson to come together...


Planning Commission moves Rosewood Courts case to Council (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY

Voting against a request to postpone the case, the Planning Commission unanimously approved staff’s recommendation to grant a portion of east side public housing project Rosewood Courts historic zoning at its Mar. 13 meeting.
Controversy has centered around whether all of the 1939 public housing buildings should be zoned historic or if only some of them should be. The Historic Landmark Commission itself has flip-flopped on the issue, recommending full preservation in December but changing its mind to the preservation of only eight buildings in February.
Rosewood is the first African-American housing project in the country. In addition, Juneteenth, the holiday celebrating emancipation from slavery, was regularly held on-site when it was known as Emancipation Park.

[STATE]

San Antonio’s radio powerhouse iHeartMedia files for bankruptcy (San Antonio Express-News) LINK TO STORY

San Antonio-based iHeartMedia Inc. has filed for bankruptcy, following two years of litigation, speculation and financial gamesmanship as the nation’s largest owner of radio stations tried to keep its crushing debt under control and creditors at bay. The bankruptcy likely will rank among the largest in recent corporate history. The company listed $12.3 billion in total assets and $20.3 billion in debt in its Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition filed late Wednesday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Houston. More than 35 other iHeart-affiliated companies also filed for bankruptcy, though the company has moved to have the cases jointly administered...

[NATION]

Trump Admits To Making Up Trade Deficit In Talks With Canadian Prime Minister (KUT) LINK TO STORY

In audio of a closed-door fundraiser obtained by the Washington Post and NBC News, President Trump boasts to donors that he "had no idea" whether he was correct when he insisted to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that the U.S. has a trade deficit with Canada.
It doesn't. In fact, according to the U.S. Trade Representative in 2016, the U.S. had a $12.5 billion goods and services trade surplus with Canada. Trump sometimes ignores trade in services, which pumps up trade deficit numbers, but that isn't an accurate way to look at the U.S. trade relationship with other countries...

Trump decides to remove national security adviser, and others may follow (San Antonio Express-News) LINK TO STORY

President Trump has decided to remove H.R. McMaster as his national security adviser and is actively discussing potential replacements, according to five people with knowledge of the plans, preparing to deliver yet another jolt to the senior ranks of his administration.
Trump is now comfortable with ousting McMaster, with whom he never personally gelled, but is willing to take time executing the move because he wants to ensure both that the three-star Army general is not humiliated and that there is a strong successor lined up, these people said...

More Democrats likely to disavow Pelosi after Pennsylvania stunner (Politico) LINK TO STORY

Conor Lamb weathered $10 million in attack ads cartoonishly calling the Democratic candidate in Pennsylvania’s special election a member of Nancy Pelosi’s liberal “flock.” Now other Democratic hopefuls are looking to adopt Lamb’s strategy — he repeatedly and bluntly disavowed the Democratic leader — in their own competitive races. It raises the prospect of a slate of Democratic hopefuls running against the party’s House leader as they try to neutralize one of the GOP’s go-to attacks — a pillar of Republicans’ plan to keep the House majority in November...

The Bingham Group, LLC is an Austin-based full service lobbying firm representing and advising clients on municipal, legislative, and regulatory matters throughout Texas.

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