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


[Austin Metro]

Pool wants Council to see all proposals for possible soccer stadium site (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY

City Council Member Leslie Pool is planning to open a request for proposal process for the city-owned property at McKalla Place, a move that could have significant impact on a push by owners of a Major League Soccer franchise to build a stadium on the 24-acre site in North Austin.
Pool, whose District 7 includes the property, said she has a co-sponsor for the resolution she wants to be included on the agenda for Council’s June 28 meeting. That is a pivotal date because Precourt Sports Ventures, owners of the Columbus Crew SC soccer team, have said they need to have an agreement or letter of understanding with the city on a stadium deal prior to Council’s July recess so they can begin the many other negotiations and agreements needed to move the team to Austin in 2019.
Pool told the Austin Monitor her decision was spurred by several factors, including the recent discovery that as of mid-2016 city staff members, including former city manager Marc Ott, were conducting feasibility studies to possibly use McKalla Place as a site for development heavy with affordable housing. An RFP related to that effort was even created but never released, as Ott’s departure from the city in late 2016 caused the project to lose momentum.
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Report: Not everyone benefits equally from Austin’s strong economy (Austin American-Statesman) LINK TO STORY

Housing affordability is among the key socio-economic indicators analyzed in a report released Thursday by the Community Advancement Network. The report showed that although Austin’s rate of unemployment, crime and health-care access has improved in the past five years, there are significant racial disparities related to income, poverty and homelessness.
The report also revealed disparities by income group regarding school readiness. About 35 percent of low-income kindergartners were school ready in 2017 compared with 60 percent of kindergartners who were not low-income.
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New Austin school district police chief does not want to arm teachers (Austin American-Statesman) LINK TO STORY

Austin school district’s new police chief plans to protect students without arming teachers, he said Thursday. Austin school district Police Chief Ashley Gonzalez discussed school safety in his first public appearance at the district’s downtown headquarters Thursday. Gonzalez replaced former Chief Eric Mendez, who left nearly a year ago for a job at the Cypress-Fairbanks school district in northwestern Harris County.
The new chief, who spent 30 years in law enforcement in Connecticut, joins the district’s 78-officer police department as Texas lawmakers and educators search for a better way to protect students after a school shooting left 10 dead at Santa Fe High School outside of Galveston on May 18.
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The Line Hotel, plus restaurant and coffee shop, are now open in downtown Austin (Community Impact Austin) LINK TO STORY

The Line ATX, a new hotel owned and operated by the Sydell Group with other locations in Washington D.C. and Los Angeles, opened at 111 E. Cesar Chavez St., Austin, on June 4.
Its restaurant, Arlo Grey, helmed by Top Chef winner Kristen Kish, and coffee shop, Los Angeles-based Alfred, also opened on Monday.
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Abbott, Patrick spurn AG's request for opinions on removing Confederate plaque from Texas Capitol (Dallas Morning News) LINK TO STORY

The state's top two elected leaders have kept silent on a Confederate plaque hanging in the Texas Capitol, choosing not to weigh in on questions over who can remove the 60-year-old marker. Last month, Attorney General Ken Paxton was asked to determine who has the legal power to remove the Children of the Confederacy plaque, which hangs in the Capitol rotunda and claims the Civil War "was not a rebellion, nor was its underlying cause to sustain slavery."
Before he issues his opinion — due in October less than two weeks before election day — Paxton had asked Abbott, Patrick and several other people to submit briefs "if they have a special interest or expertise in the subject matter." Abbott, Patrick and representatives from the Texas Preservation Board chose not to submit briefs. Neither the governor's office nor Patrick's team answered repeated requests for comment on why they did not weigh in on the plaque's removal.
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Proposed Alamo plan would overhaul heart of downtown but is stirring controversy (San Antonio Express-News) LINK TO STORY

A new $450 million re-imagination of the Alamo seeks to triple the size of its historic plaza at the heart of downtown and turn what now is a cramped, touristy experience into what one design consultant called a shaded, parklike “place of reverence and learning.”
The new proposal, put forth Thursday by the city, the General Land Office and the nonprofit Alamo Endowment, envisions closing parts of three streets to traffic, demolishing up to four buildings and moving the 1930s Cenotaph. It will be shown June 18-21 during three days of public hearings and could be approved as an interpretive plan by the City Council this fall.
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Trump to depart G-7 summit early (Politico) LINK TO STORY

President Donald Trump will leave the G-7 summit before its conclusion, the White House announced on Thursday night, following a day of back-and-forth with fellow world leaders that foreshadowed confrontations during the meeting of the world's largest advanced economies. Trump will be depart the summit in Quebec at 10:30 a.m. Saturday and head directly to Singapore, the site of his June 12 meeting with the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.
The G-7 summit is scheduled to wrap up later on Saturday. Before the announcement, President Emmanuel Macron of France and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada both promised to confront Trump over his recent decision to impose tariffs on U.S. allies. Trump, in response, laid into the two leaders on Thursday evening over those plans.
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