BG Note | News - What We're Reading (April 2, 2018)


[Austin Metro]

Artist Access Program development remains paused (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY

Recently the city paused a program for artist venue space in response to complaints about how it would balance the residential groups’ cultural identities and the programming that would take place in the individual cultural centers.
Since 2011, the city has sponsored an artist-in-residence program. Originally the Latino Arts Residency Program, the initiative was eventually expanded to the Dougherty Arts Center. The most recent incarnation allows artists to utilize the aforementioned cultural centers as well as the Asian American Resource Center and the George Washington Carver Museum, Cultural and Genealogy Center...

Eastside demo moves quietly forward (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY

East Austin is losing another home to demolition. The demolition moved forward without a fight at the Historic Landmark Commission, where Historic Preservation Officer Steve Sadowsky noted he had put the item on the agenda because “I didn’t want to let this one go by without, at least, a discussion.”
The home, which was built in 1911, is located at 1900 Haskell St. Sadowsky said that architecturally, it met the qualifications for individual landmarking. However, in order to move forward with historic zoning, a home must qualify under two of the five criteria, and this one came up short in terms of historical associations, archaeology, landscape features and community value...

CAMPO offers the region a TIP (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY

The Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization is taking a draft proposal for more than $400 million worth of transportation projects out for public feedback.

CAMPO assembled this latest iteration of the four-year Transportation Improvement Program, or TIP, from a list of projects submitted by governments and agencies across its six-county jurisdiction. Just over half of the recommended projects would happen inside Travis County, a figure that’s roughly proportionate to the county’s share of CAMPO’s residential population, though undoubtedly less than its share of traffic and activity...


Texas officials: Delivery apps becoming gateway for underage drinking (Austin American-Statesman) LINK TO STORY

The convenience of ordering a cold six-pack for home delivery with just a few swipes on a smartphone might be proving particularly satisfying for one demographic group – underage drinkers.
In a handful of sting operations conducted by Texas regulators, people younger than the legal drinking age of 21 were able to obtain alcohol using app-based delivery services at more than twice the rate generally found in similar sting operations conducted in bars and liquor stores.
The findings, combined with a proliferation of such delivery apps and anecdotal reports of violations from alcohol industry representatives, are spurring calls for new legislation or permitting requirements for “digital-based companies” to head off what some view as a burgeoning public safety issue...

Cruz relying on brand to fend off lesser-known O’Rourke (San Antonio Express-News) LINK TO STORY

It was vintage Ted Cruz. With bipartisan majorities in Congress poised to avert a government shutdown and pass a massive $1.3 trillion spending bill, the Texas Republican issued a dissent worthy of his insurgent 2016 presidential campaign, when he ran against the “Washington cabal.”
Now, the same bill President Donald Trump reluctantly would sign was, to Cruz, a “disastrous” hodgepodge of wasteful spending “drafted by the Swamp in the dark of night.” While some Republicans may fret about Trump’s shaky approval ratings or their party’s brand among disappointed conservatives, Cruz seems to occupy his own space in the political firmament. Launching his 2018 re-election campaign in Houston on Monday, he can fall back on his own tried-and-true persona: an unreconstructed conservative born of the party’s grass-roots base...

S.A. congressman in vulnerable seat increases his focus on cybersecurity and artificial intelligence (San Antonio Express-News) LINK TO STORY

U.S. Rep. Will Hurd lectured chief information officers arrayed in front of him at a recent hearing about their failure to install software that sniffs out intruders on their agencies’ networks. He brought tech innovators to another hearing to examine the threats of devices and appliances connected to the internet that are capable of snooping on people in their kitchens.
Now Hurd, of San Antonio, one of the GOP incumbents hoping to keep their seats in a potentially difficult year for their party, is moving aggressively into his most futuristic and, some say, frightening tech journey: artificial intelligence...

Border Patrol reveals where border wall funding will be spent (San Antonio Express-News) LINK TO STORY

The $1.6 billion Congress allocated this month for border wall construction will be spent on about 100 miles of new and replacement fencing, including 33 miles in the Rio Grande Valley, a top Homeland Security official said Friday. Construction is expected to begin this year, Customs and Border Protection Acting Deputy Director Ronald Vitiello said during Friday’s news conference.
The Valley is the busiest stretch of border in the country for illegal immigration, and the Trump administration for the last year has said it wants to fill gaps in the existing 20 miles of fence built years ago atop flood-control levees in Hidalgo County. Friday’s announcement largely confirmed previous reports that most new wall construction will be in South Texas. Vitiello, who called the Valley “the priority area,” said much of the remaining funding this year will be spent on replacing existing border fencing...

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