BG Note | News - What We're Reading (March 29, 2018)


[Austin Metro]

Petition to put CodeNext on the ballot to be filed Thursday (Austin American-Statesman) LINK TO STORY

On Thursday, several anti-CodeNext advocates will file a petition with more than 32,000 signatures in an effort to put CodeNext on the ballot.
Advocates closely connected to the Austin Neighborhoods Council along with local NAACP President Nelson Linder announced that they now have the means to force a CodeNext referendum election. They will file their petitions at 10 a.m. Thursday, according to a press release...

Alamo’s new HQ will include affordable housing, won’t just be a ‘development project’ (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY

After confusion about whether property the Alamo Drafthouse bought from the Austin Independent School District would include affordable housing, the project’s architect confirmed Wednesday it’s in the plans.
Richard Weiss said Alamo will use the historic school in Hyde Park for its headquarters and build a new building on the back part of the lot. Alamo bought the Baker Center, which AISD had been using for administrative purposes, for $10 million in November...

Newly hired Austin ISD executive to oversee his current employer (Austin American-Statesman) LINK TO STORY

The Austin school district’s hire for a newly created executive position creates serious potential conflicts of interest, critics of the decision say.
In his new role, Matias Segura, the district’s new operations officer, will oversee the work of his current employer, AECOM, one of two firms that will manage $1.1 billion in construction work funded with a voter-approved bond. The firm already has received at least $7 million from the district for its work...

Arts Commission seeks $25M bond increase to fund ‘adaptive’ creative space (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY

The Arts Commission has asked City Council to add $25 million to this fall’s infrastructure bond package. The money would be used to provide more rehearsal and performance space for arts groups that are quickly running out of usable space as the city’s property values continue to rise.
At its meeting on Monday, the commission voted to support the recommendation of the city’s Bond Election Advisory Task Force to allocate $67.5 million from the $851 million package toward improvements and expansions at five cultural centers...


State's failure to regulate therapists, counselors, 'putting vulnerable Texans at risk,' damning report says (Dallas Morning News) LINK TO STORY

The state is not properly regulating family therapists, professional counselors and social workers, adding to shortages in these fields, leading to huge complaint backlogs and putting vulnerable Texans in harm's way. In a damning report released Wednesday, the Sunset Advisory Commission said the state must consolidate and overhaul the licensing boards for these health professions or risk continued "severe operational dysfunction."
"The state has failed to effectively regulate three of these professions," the review stated. "The dysfunction created by such a model places the livelihoods of licensees in jeopardy and puts the public at risk."...

Former top administrator at UT under investigation probing potential plagiarism (Houston Chronicle) LINK TO STORY

A New York university is investigating allegations of plagiarism targeted at Gregory Vincent -- the campus' new president and a former longtime top administrator at the University of Texas at Austin. Vincent, who oversaw UT-Austin's diversity and community engagement efforts, was tapped by Hobart and William Smith Colleges in April to become that institution's president.
He took the helm over the summer after more than a decade at UT-Austin and denied the charges through a university spokesman. Allegations first emerged in an email sent anonymously to several news organizations, the Chronicle of Higher Education reported. Vincent earned his doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania...


Trump ousts Shulkin from Veterans Affairs, taps his doctor (Austin American-Statesman) LINK TO STORY

President Donald Trump fired Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin on Wednesday and nominated White House doctor Ronny Jackson to replace him in the wake of a bruising ethics scandal and a mounting rebellion within the agency.
A Navy rear admiral, Jackson is a surprise choice to succeed Shulkin, a former Obama administration official and the first non-veteran ever to head the VA. Trump had been considering replacements for Shulkin for weeks, but had not been known to be considering Jackson for the role...

FTC Confirms It's Investigating Facebook For Possible Privacy Violations (KUT) LINK TO STORY

The Federal Trade Commission confirmed Monday that it is investigating the possible misuse of the personal information of as many as 50 million Facebook users. The probe comes after the social network admitted it suspended a firm that worked on behalf of the Trump campaign to use personal information gathered on Facebook to target potential Trump supporters...

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