BG Reads | News - What We're Reading (August 6, 2018)
Susana Almanza will again face brother for City Council spot (Austin American-Statesman)
Susana Almanza, director of the advocacy group PODER, will run against her brother, City Council Member Sabino “Pio” Renteria, for East Austin’s District 3 seat again.
Almanza, who had remained coy about a possible run, appointed a treasurer and filed for a place on the ballot at City Hall on Friday. Her candidacy sets up a rematch between the siblings, who topped 10 other candidates to square off in a contentious 2014 runoff for the seat.
Renteria defeated his sister with 60 percent of the vote. Since then, their divergence on city issues has only grown wider.
“People kept calling me, emailing, coming to see me and saying they really want someone to represent District 3,” Almanza said Friday. “It’s the fact that I really want to protect neighborhoods.”
Generally, the siblings’ disagreements have been over how to best protect East Austin residents from gentrification and displacement. Renteria typically allies with those who believe more housing stock is needed to lower housing prices; Almanza thinks more development and more density will only exacerbate the problems...
East Austin affordable housing resident advocates for better living conditions (Austin Monitor)
Candace Hunter applied to live at the Reserve at Springdale as soon as she could. When the nearly 300-unit property was completed last year, it brought much-needed affordable housing to East Austin.
Within the year, the complex – which houses Austinites earning 60 percent or less of median family income ($51,600 annually for a family of four) – completely filled up.
But since it opened, Hunter says, things have changed for the worse.
“People were vetted. There’s an extensive process,” she says, “but not everybody understood what was the expectation of residents.”...
Woman critically injured after scooter wreck in South Austin (Austin American-Statesman)
A woman was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries after an incident along South Congress Avenue that involved a scooter, according to Austin-Travis County EMS medics.
EMS officials at 8 p.m. reported that the woman, who is described as in her 50s, was taken to the Dell Seton Medical Center. The incident occurred at 1138 South Congress Ave., authorities said.
The woman hit her head after running into a curb while riding a scooter, Austin police said...
Austin's New Pro Soccer Team (No, Not That One) Is Called Bold FC (KUT)
Before the Columbus Crew set its sights on Austin, there was another professional soccer venture in the offing, with Circuit of the Americas as the site to host a United Soccer League team. The team debuted its colors and announced its name, Austin Bold FC, Friday morning.
General Manager Roberto Pinto da Silva Jr hosted the announcement at COTA this morning that also debuted the team, which will be coached by former Brazilian Premier League coach Marcelo Serrano...
Gov. Greg Abbott releases his 2016 income tax return (Austin American-Statesman)
Gov. Greg Abbott paid $8,668 in federal tax on income of $116,000 in 2016, according to a copy of his return released by the governor’s office Friday. The governor and his wife, Cecilia, contributed $14,000 to charity. The Abbotts have released their returns for the last six years and his office said he he will release his 2017 return before the end of the year.
The Abbotts paid about $29,000 in federal income tax in 2011, $18,000 in 2012 and $14,000 in 2013. Relying on big deductions for property taxes and mortgage interest, the Abbotts paid only $104 in federal income tax in 2014, and no federal income tax in 2015. Abbott has also received millions of dollars in nontaxable income as part of a structured settlement resulting from a 1989 personal injury lawsuit following the accident that crushed his spine and left him a paraplegic. He is not required to report those payments to the Internal Revenue Service. A spokesman for Abbott’s Democratic rival, former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez, said she will release her taxes soon...
With O'Rourke gaining momentum, Cruz's November alarm hits new volume (Texas Tribune)
As Ted Cruz took questions at a Republican women’s event here Saturday evening, Bastrop retiree Ronnie Ann Burt wanted to know: Should she really trust the growing barrage of chatter online that the senator’s re-election bid is in peril?
Cruz’s response: Believe it.
“It’s clear we have a real and contested race where the margin is far too close for comfort,” said Cruz, who’s facing a vigorous, massively funded challenge from U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-El Paso.
Cruz’s stop in this small Central Texas town was part of a return to the campaign trail Saturday in which the incumbent cranked up his long-building warnings that Democratic enthusiasm in the era of President Donald Trump should not be discounted, even in a state as red as Texas...
With school about to start in Texas, vaccination debate pits parents' rights against community risk (Dallas Morning News)
After Amy Nemeczky's youngest son was born, she had him vaccinated just as she had her older kids. The babbling baby named Nate was in and out of the doctor's office that first year with upper respiratory and ear infections. Nemeczky was worried about Nate receiving more vaccines while he was ill, but she followed the doctor's advice that he get them. It's a decision she now regrets. "He was never the same," she said of her son, who was later diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum. The Frisco mother of three stopped getting most vaccinations for him and, later, her two older daughters. More and more parents like Nemeczky are forgoing vaccines. Many do so because of concerns about a supposed link to autism, even though years of research have debunked that notion — a conclusion supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Institutes of Health, among others...
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announces re-elect campaign at Fancy Farm picnic (AP News)
Saying it was never too soon to start, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell formally announced his 2020 re-election bid in his home state Saturday and tapped the young leader of the state's House Republicans as his campaign chairman. The 76-year-old McConnell has said for months that he intends to run for re-election in 2020. But he left little room for doubt while speaking at a GOP breakfast in far western Kentucky, the precursor to the Fancy Farm picnic that serves as the traditional starting point for the state's fall campaign season...
In Canada’s grocery carts, a Boycott U.S.A. movement starts rolling (Wall Street Journal)
Ticked-off Canadians, irked by U.S. metals tariffs and President Trump’s harsh words for their prime minister, are boycotting American products and buying Canadian. “Usually we don’t pay that much attention to it,” said Garland Coulson, an entrepreneur from Spruce Grove, Alberta. “You tend to buy the products that taste good or you buy the products that are low in price where taste isn’t an issue.” But the 58-year-old, who called the tariffs from Canada’s close trading partner a “slap in the face,” said he has in recent weeks put more Canadian products into his shopping cart...