BG Note | News - What We're Reading (May 8, 2018)

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[Austin Metro]

Spin, Zagster ask city to penalize early-bird scooter companies (Austin American-Statesman) LINK TO STORY

Spin and Zagster, along with several other bike or scooter rental companies, spent a frustrating April watching Bird and LimeBike get a jump on the dockless mobility market in Austin.
Now they’re calling on the city to let them return the favor.
Officials with the two companies sent a letter to city officials Monday asking them to “disallow companies who ignored the Council process from participating in the (dockless) pilot when it launches.

That is unlikely to happen. The Austin City Council, when it approved a new ordinance April 27 for dockless bike and scooter rental operations, added a provision to allow companies that had been out of compliance with city law — meaning Bird and LimeBike — to restore “good standing” if they ceased operations until granted an operating permit...


Push is on to convince N. Austin that MLS stadium is a good idea (Austin Business Journal) LINK TO STORY

Austin's soccer saga is poised to ramp up this month as public meetings try to get a feel for whether residents want a Major League Soccer stadium near The Domain neighborhood in North Austin.
Precourt Sports Ventures, led by chairman and CEO Anthony Precourt and President Dave Greeley, is considering moving the Columbus Crew SC team from the Ohio capital to the Texas capital next year.
PSV has zeroed in on McKalla Place, a 24-acre city-owned tract near Burnet Road and West Braker Lane. A temporary facility for the 2019 season is on the back burner while PSV tries to find the team's permanent home.
Richard Suttle, a notable land-use attorney representing PSV, said he hopes they can come to an agreement on a stadium deal with the city this summer.
"We're hoping to get an indication that this is going to work by the July break," Suttle said, referencing when Austin City Council typically takes a multi-week recess...

    Incentive proposals target middle class, creatives in push to address affordability (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY

    After more than a year of community input and research, the city is taking the next steps to dramatically overhaul its policies for economic incentives to grow businesses in Austin.
    The proposed changes, which will be presented at today’s City Council work session, would see the Economic Development Department move away from a focus of pursuing only large corporate campuses such as Apple and Samsung in favor of smaller programs intended to help small businesses grow and help area workers get training to step into “middle-skill” jobs that come with a stable middle-income salary.
    That shift is intended to address the city’s growing affordability gap and improve the economic livelihood of longtime residents and local musicians and creatives, all of whom are increasingly being priced out of the city as high-paying jobs in technology and other growth industries accelerate the rise of housing costs...

    Interim Austin Police Chief Brian Manley addresses community concerns, questions at town hall Monday (Community Impact) LINK TO STORY 

    More than 100 people attended the first town hall discussion of interim Police Chief Brian Manley’s promotion to permanent chief of the Austin Police Department.
    On April 30, City Manager Spencer Cronk named Manley a lone finalist for the position and announced a weekslong public input process that would allow Austin residents to voice their concerns and questions about policing, public safety and Interim Chief Manley’s fitness for the job.
    “This is home to me,” Manley said at the event, “so this is a very important decision.”...

    [STATE]

    The nation's first self-driving car service for the public coming to Frisco in July (Dallas Morning News) LINK TO STORY

    The nation's first self-driving car service for the public begins here in July. It's the latest step toward improving mobility in one of the fastest-growing areas of one of the fastest-growing cities in the nation where traffic congestion is an ongoing challenge.
    The service is made possible through a unique public-private partnership among California-based Drive.ai, the city of Frisco, the Denton County Transportation Authority and the private developments for Hall Park, The Star and Frisco Station. They are all part of the newly formed Frisco Transportation Management Association...

    Houston ISD to lose three more top administrators(Houston Chronicle) LINK TO STORY

    Three more high-level administrators are poised to leave Houston ISD in the coming weeks, following the superintendent and chief of staff out the door amid unprecedented uncertainty about the district’s future. HISD Deputy Superintendent Samuel Sarabia, Chief Student Support Officer Mark Smith and Officer of Advanced Academics Adam Stephens are all expected to soon leave HISD, with board trustees scheduled to vote on their “resignation agreements” Thursday, according to a school board meeting agenda. Sarabia said in an interview Monday that he is retiring. Smith and Stephens could not be immediately reached to discuss reasons for their departures...

    [NATION]

    Sessions Says 'Zero Tolerance' For Illegal Border Crossers, Vows To Divide Families (KUT) LINK TO STORY

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Monday that the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security will partner to prosecute anyone illegally crossing the southwest border and separate children from parents.
    In two speeches before law enforcement officials in Arizona and California, Sessions expanded on the "zero tolerance" policy against illegal immigration he first announced last month.
    "If you cross this border unlawfully, then we will prosecute you. It's that simple," said Sessions. "If you smuggle illegal aliens across our border, then we will prosecute you. If you are smuggling a child, then we will prosecute you and that child will be separated from you as required by law. If you don't like that, then don't smuggle children over our border."...

    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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