BG Reads | News - What We're Reading (July 13, 2018)



Austin selected as site of Army’s new Futures Command center (Austin American-Statesman) LINK TO STORY

The U.S. Army has selected Austin as the site for its Futures Command center, according to published reports. The Bloomberg news service was first to report the development Thursday. Austin had been one of five finalists, along with Boston, Minneapolis, Philadelphia and Raleigh, N.C. The Army declined to comment when contacted Thursday by the Statesman.
The Pentagon is expected to make a formal announcement at 9 a.m. Friday. The Futures Command center will focus on modernizing the U.S. Army and developing new military technologies. It is expected to employ up to 500 people. The University of Texas System Board of Regents has posted plans for a telephone meeting Friday afternoon to discuss leasing space in the system’s downtown headquarters building “to the United States government,” possibly the Army.
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After Brochure's 'Direct Slap' To Minorities, Austinites Ask Domain Northside To Be Mindful (KUT) LINK TO STORY

Residents and even city leaders are calling for some internal changes to the Domain Northside after a brochure describing its “quintessential" shopper caused an uproar.
Jeff Newberg and Kirk Rudy, managing principals of the Endeavor Real Estate Group, which owns Domain Northside, and Ward Kampf, president of Northwood Retail LLC, which handles leasing, issued an apology after the backlash, saying it was a "mistake" and the brochure didn't "reflect the companies' values."
The groups said they would enroll their employees in a "mandatory diversity and inclusion training."
But some say the statement and promise of training don’t go far enough.
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See also: BG Podcast: Community Engagement in Austin with BG Advisor Kristian Caballero) |  Bingham Group CEO A.J. Bingham and BG Advisor Kristian Caballero discuss community engagement through the lens of recent and past PR crises around development in the Austin metro.

Winnebago tract could blossom with Urban Roots agreement (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY

The city is exploring a possible deal that would see the 9-acre East Austin parcel widely known as the Winnebago tract used as a site for urban farming, job training and possible collaboration with Austin’s arts community.
Council approved a resolution on June 14 that directs the city manager to explore the feasibility of a long-term agreement to allow the Urban Roots nonprofit to farm and build a training facility on the property, which sits east of Interstate 35 and just south of Ben White Boulevard.
The resolution is the latest turn for the property that in recent years has been considered for a wide range of uses including a recycling facility, dog park and a live/work development for local artists.
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Homelessness or infrastructure? New city budgeting targets goal topics (Austin American-Statesman) LINK TO STORY

Don’t ask how much money the Austin City Council can give your department. This year, ask instead how your department can contribute to the council’s goals.
As Austin reaches the budgeting season for fiscal 2019, which begins Oct. 1, city departments have put in requests for $46 million in additions beyond the finance department’s draft budget. A year ago, that would have meant individual department presentations to council members, with department leaders giving overviews of their roles and asking for extra staff and equipment.
Now, it means requests for budget additions are tied to 10 concerns council members have said they most want to address:
• Housing
• Homelessness
• Skills and capability of the community’s workforce
• Accessibility to quality health care services
• Climate change and resilience
• Accessibility to quality parks and recreation
• Accessibility and equity in transportation choices
• Fair administration of justice
• Condition of city infrastructure and effective adoption of technology
• Vibrancy and sustainability of creative industries
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Lupe Valdez to get new campaign manager (Houston Chronicle) LINK TO STORY

Democratic gubernatorial challenger Lupe Valdez has a new campaign manager in her longshot bid to unseat Republican incumbent Greg Abbott in November.
The replacement of well-known strategist Bill Romjue with Tyler Tucker, who worked on the successful election of Democrat Ralph Northam as Virginia governor a year ago and worked for the Hillary Clinton campaign before that, joins a Valdez campaign that has struggled for months. 
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Texas Businesses Brace As China Tariff Rhetoric Ratchets Up (KUT) LINK TO STORY

When it comes to tariffs, the Texas economy has a lot at stake.
“Texas clearly is the No. 1 exporting state in America, so we really have ostensibly the most to lose,” said Jeff Moseley, president and CEO of the Texas Association of Business.
Moseley said he's worried about the potential effects of tit-for-tat tariffs from China.
This week, the Trump administration threatened a new round of 10 percent tariffs on $200 billion in goods – ranging from fish to forks, crowbars to tires.
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Justice Department plans appeal of AT&T-Time Warner merger approval (New York Times) LINK TO STORY

The Justice Department filed a motion to appeal the approval of AT&T’s merger with Time Warner on Thursday, extending the government’s legal challenge of a blockbuster deal that has reshaped the media industry.
A federal judge signed off on the deal a month ago, saying the government, in its suit to block the $85.4 billion agreement, did not sufficiently prove that it would harm competition and consumers. Since then, the companies have moved forward with the agreement, creating a media and telecommunications giant. An AT&T executive is already in charge of the Time Warner properties like HBO and the news network CNN. 
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