BG Note | News - What We're Reading (May 23, 2018)

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[Austin Metro]

Sheryl Cole defeats Chito Vela in HD 46 runoff (Austin American-Statesman) LINK TO STORY

With all precincts reporting, Sheryl Cole has narrowly clinched the Democratic nomination in Texas House District 46 against Jose “Chito” Vela.
Cole, a former Austin City Council member, won 4,967 votes, or 50.9 percent, and Vela, an immigration attorney, garnered 4,794 votes, or 49.1 percent.
The overall voter turnout in the district was on par with the county’s level of turnout, but some precincts had as many as 22 percent of voters hit the polls. Those located in the Cherrywood and Mueller areas had the highest turnouts in the district and they both favored Vela.
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Adler tries to find consensus on CodeNEXT (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY

As City Council prepares to begin deliberations on CodeNEXT next month, Mayor Steve Adler acknowledged Tuesday that no other issue that he has confronted during his three and a half years in office has divided the community as much as the proposed overhaul of the city’s Land Development Code.
The tentative schedule unveiled by Planning and Zoning Department staff on Tuesday is for Council to conduct two days of deliberations, on June 5 and June 12, and potentially take a vote on the first reading of CodeNEXT on June 13 or June 21. As is the case with all zoning matters, Council must approve it on three separate readings.
But Adler said he hopes that the first few meetings on the subject can focus on identifying areas of agreement, rather than “winning close votes.”
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Central Texas congressional matchups take shape (Austin American-Statesman) LINK TO STORY

Joseph Kopser and Chip Roy will square off to replace U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, R-San Antonio. Michael Cloud upsets Bech Bruun for Republican nod to replace U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Corpus Christi. Democrat Mary Jennings “MJ” Hegar to face U.S. Rep. John Carter, R-Round Rock, in November. Mike Siegel defeated Tawana Walter-Cadien in his bid for the Democratic nomination 69.9 percent to 30.1 percent. Siegel will face Republican U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Austin, in a district that stretches from Central Austin to near Houston. Democrat Julie Oliver will face Republican U.S. Rep. Roger Williams of Austin in November. She defeated Chris Perri 52.2 percent to 47.8 percent.
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Proposed local historic district in Clarksville divides neighbors, awaits final decision from Austin City Council (Community Impact) LINK TO STORY

Neighbors appear at odds with each other as Austin City Council considers implementing tighter development restrictions in a section of Clarksville through the creation of a local historic district.
The Smoot Terrace Park section of the Clarksville neighborhood in Central Austin covers 17.5 acres between Sixth and Ninth streets. According to staff from the city’s historic preservation office, some houses date back to the late 19th century and some of the area contributes to the West Line Historic District, added to the National Register of Historic Places in the early 2000s.
However, unlike local historic districts, national register designation is honorary and does not place tighter restrictions on existing structures, new development or demolitions, said Cara Bertron from the city’s historic preservation office.
As Austin City Council considers the creation of the local historic district, the proposal has polarized property owners in the area.
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[STATE]

Hardline conservatives lose big in Texas House runoffs (Texas Tribune) LINK TO STORY

If most Texas House Republican primary runoffs split the party into two warring factions, voters on Tuesday clearly chose a side.
Establishment Republicans backed by groups like the Associated Republicans of Texas fell on one side; on the other were Tea Party-aligned candidates funded generously by conservative groups like Empower Texans and the anti-abortion group Texas Right to Life.
And the voters on Tuesday firmly backed the center-right candidates — to the tune of well over 10 percent in most cases.
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After DWI arrest, René Oliveira is one of two Texas House incumbents voted out (Texas Tribune) LINK TO STORY

The Texas House’s fifth most senior member appears to be on his way out. State Rep. René Oliveira, a Brownsville Democrat first elected in 1981, trailed challenger Alex Dominguez by 14 points late Tuesday, local voting returns showed.

In March, Oliveira, 63, finished first in the Democratic primary and was less than 2 points from avoiding a runoff. But since then, his campaign has been dogged by problems, most significantly his arrest last month for allegedly driving while intoxicated, which quickly became a central issue in the runoff election.

Dominguez, 47, came in second in the three-candidate primary in House District 37, which includes Brownsville and a large swath of Cameron County. At the time, he finished 12 points behind Oliveira.

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Texas economy growing fast, and poised for more, says Dallas Fed chief (Houston Chronicle) LINK TO STORY

Texas’ rapidly increasing population will give the state an economic edge in coming years as the United States wrestles with sluggish growth in both the labor force and productivity, two trends that could weigh on the nation’s economic future, said Robert Kaplan, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. Kaplan, in an interview with Houston Chronicle editors and reporters, said the number of people living in Texas has grown from 22.5 million about a decade ago to more than 28 million and could rise above 40 million over the next quarter century, enabling it to outperform the nation as a whole, in coming years, said Kaplan. Population is one of two key drivers of economic growth, not only providing workers needed by businesses, but also customers who buy houses, cars and other goods and services.
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Chief Art Acevedo battles NRA in heated exchanges after Santa Fe massacre (Houston Chronicle) LINK TO STORY

What started with a pained Facebook post by Chief Art Acevedo after yet another school shooting Friday has escalated into a full-on war of words with the nation’s gun lobby. ... Acevedo’s frustrated cry — followed by a Facebook post where he said he’d hit “rock bottom” and told people they could unfriend him if they thought guns weren’t a problem — was met with swift reaction from the National Rifle Association and some prominent conservatives. “@ArtAcevedo plays the part of a police chief … he says he wants to go after criminals, but for him apparently the easiest way to do that is to make new criminals that are easy to catch — make criminals out of law-abiding gun owners,” NRATV tweeted late Monday.
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[NATION]

Mexico's presidential candidates pull together to send Trump a message (Dallas Morning News) LINK TO STORY

In a rare moment of unity, Mexico's four presidential candidates have demanded protection for Mexican citizens whose lives have been turned upside down by President Donald Trump's relentless crackdown on immigrants. "We will look for a relationship with the United States based on mutual respect, not subordination," said frontrunner Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, head of MORENA, the National Regeneration Movement. "We won't be subordinate to Trump or to any other foreign government." The candidates stood up to Trump in a heated, at times awkward if not comical second presidential debate that ended near midnight Sunday in the northern border city of Tijuana. It was tagged "Mexico's place in the world," but the vast majority of the 90-minute debate was largely limited to U.S.- Mexico issues. In between the name-calling, Trump was the punching bag for large parts of the evening.
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