BG Note | News - What We're Reading (March 20, 2018)
South Lamar neighbors to get office traffic instead of residential traffic (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY
Nearly two years ago, the Planning Commission voted 10-1 to recommend a zoning change that would allow a 70-unit apartment building to be built on a vacant lot at 2413 Thornton Road.
As is often the case in zoning battles, nearby neighbors objected to a development that they feared would bring additional traffic to an already overburdened road.
While commissioners sympathized with the neighbors’ concerns, they pointed out that the current zoning for the property would actually allow the developer, PSW Real Estate, to build a large commercial project that would generate far more vehicle trips. Plus, the proposed residential project would include seven two-bedroom units affordable to those at 60 percent of the median family income, a rare offer from a private developer...
City leaders discuss legacy of segregation from 1928 plan (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY
At a press conference at City Hall on Monday, city leaders and activists recognized the 90th anniversary of Austin’s first zoning code, which enshrined legal segregation by race and ethnicity.
The 1928 Master Plan was most notable for establishing the former East Avenue, which has since been replaced by Interstate 35, as a dividing line between “white Austin” and “black Austin.” The city pressured African-Americans who lived west of that boundary to move east by refusing to hook up their homes to utility lines and prohibiting them from accessing public services in the area, including parks and schools...
Package believed to be bound for Austin explodes at FedEx facility in Schertz (Austin American-Statesman) LINK TO STORY
A package destined for Austin exploded at a FedEx ground facility in Schertz, northeast of San Antonio, according to federal authorities.
A federal official said that based on preliminary reports, the package was addressed from Austin to a recipient in Austin.
“We are investigating it as being possibly related to our open investigation,” FBI spokeswoman Michelle Lee said. “We can’t know for sure until we have an opportunity to look at the evidence itself.”
According to media reports, the package detonated around 12:25 a.m. as it traveled on a conveyor belt in the Schertz facility.
Sources told Fox San Antonio that the package blasted out metal shrapnel and nails when it exploded...
Dallas-based Lantern Capital is buying The Weinstein Co. (Dallas Morning News) LINK TO STORY
Dallas-based Lantern Capital Partners has agreed to purchase The Weinstein Co. as part of the movie studio's bankruptcy filing late Monday. Lantern Capital co-founders Andy Mitchell and Milos Brajovic are making their first investment in the movie business by agreeing to continue to operate The Weinstein Co. as a going concern. The movie company has estimated assets of $225 million, including a 277-film library and the television show Project Runway. The agreement is pending the approval of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware. The Weinstein Co. board selected Lantern in part due to Lantern's commitment to maintain the assets and employees versus selling off the company's assets...
Most of downtown now in federal historic district (San Antonio Express-News) LINK TO STORY
Downtown San Antonio and the River Walk now can add another title: Federal Historic District. The new designation brings with it protections and incentives to ensure a future for venerable buildings and gathering spaces throughout downtown, and it may prompt more restoration projects, preservation experts said. The National Park Service added the district to the National Register of Historic Places last month, nearly 18 months after the Texas Historical Commission approved an application prepared by the city’s Office of Historic Preservation. The timing couldn’t be better: The city is celebrating its 300th birthday this year...
Developers benefit from city initiative that provides not-so-affordable housing (San Antonio Express-News) LINK TO STORY
National developer NRP Group plans to build a $57 million apartment complex on the booming Broadway corridor, but it won’t pay one cent in property taxes through a new city initiative to promote affordable housing. Some housing advocates question whether San Antonio’s working class can stomach the complex’s rents of around $1,124 a month — $166 above the local average — and whether taxpayers are getting their money’s worth. “Taxpayers should not be footing the bill for market-rate units,” said Rod Radle, the former executive director of affordable housing nonprofit San Antonio Alternative Housing Corp...
Arizona Governor Helped Make State 'Wild West' For Driverless Cars (NPR) LINK TO STORY
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey began a push three years ago to attract makers of self-driving cars to the state and actively wooed Uber away from California as a venue for testing those vehicles.
Shortly after his election in 2015, the governor signed an executive order supporting the testing and operation of self-driving vehicles that he said was about "innovation, economic growth, and most importantly, public safety."...
Everything you need to know about the Cambridge Analytica-Facebook debacle (Seattle Times) LINK TO STORY
Late on Friday, Facebook made an unexpected announcement: The data firm Cambridge Analytica, hyped as integral to President Donald Trump's election, was suspended from the social network for using data collected improperly from Facebook users. It is a complicated issue that many people might have missed, given the timing of the announcement. With that in mind, here is an overview of the groups involved, what happened - and what it means...
Trump shakes up team of lawyers as legal threats mount (Chicago Tribune) LINK TO STORY
President Trump shook up his legal team Monday by hiring a combative former prosecutor who has publicly argued that Trump is the target of an elaborate FBI conspiracy — marking another confrontational move by the president against the rapidly mounting legal threats facing him and his administration. Joe diGenova, a TV pundit and former U.S. attorney who was a longtime antagonist of Bill and Hillary Clinton, is the latest addition to the sprawling array of lawyers assembled to represent Trump on two main fronts...
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