BG Reads | News - What We're Reading (August 17, 2018)



Drunk scootering becoming an issue in Downtown Austin (CBS Austin)

According to Austin Police riding a scooter while drunk can lead to a DWI.
Laura Dierenfield with the Austin Transportation Department said that issue hasn’t come up yet. She spoke at the Urban Transportation Commission meeting Tuesday night along with Jason JonMichael.
They talked about enforcement and other safety concerns like scooters riding in illegal areas.
JonMichael said these aren’t new issues, they’ve just become more “elevated” with the influx of thousands of dockless bikes and scooters.
“Essentially we’ve added a bunch of novice users to a mobility solution,” Jason JonMichael said.
JonMichael said they could work more with APD and they plan to do that in a planned meeting Thursday morning.
He said enforcement can help, but education can be one of the best tools...
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City budget boosts spending for homelessness services (Austin Monitor)

The new city manager and City Council agree: The city needs more money to address the homelessness situation.
The proposed Fiscal Year 2018-19 budget submitted by City Manager Spencer Cronk includes $3.1 million in new spending on homelessness-related services. That’s on top of the roughly $25 million of spending on such services that will continue from last year.
Part of that proposed increase comes from the Watershed Protection Department, which has proposed hiring a contractor for an estimated $1 million over four years to clean up litter in creeks or drainage facilities that homeless people are leaving behind, including trash, propane tanks, needles and human waste.
About $500,000 will fund an administrator to oversee city homelessness programs, two staff to manage contracts with social service providers, and two employees who will conduct outreach at the library...
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Appeals Court Blocks Bid To Revive UT-Austin Professors' Lawsuit Over Campus Carry (KUT)

A federal appeals court is upholding a decision to dismiss a challenge to a 2015 Texas law allowing licensed handgun owners to carry concealed weapons in most places on public college campuses. Three UT-Austin professors brought the lawsuit, arguing it violated their constitutional rights — mainly that it has a chilling effect on free speech by introducing guns into a classroom setting.
A federal judge in Austin dismissed the lawsuit last year, finding that the professors could not offer any concrete evidence of harm they would suffer under the law. Today, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed that decision...
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San Antonio Passes Paid Sick Leave Ordinance, Joining Austin In Fight Against Top Texas Republicans (KUT)

The San Antonio City Council passed a new paid sick leave ordinance Thursday — but the local rule may well die either in the courts or on the floor of the state Legislature before it goes into effect next year.
The council voted 9–2 to allow San Antonio workers to accrue up to 64 hours of paid sick leave each year, sparking a wave of applause so loud the mayor had to quiet the room. In doing so, San Antonio became the second major Texas city to pass such an ordinance. Austin passed its own ordinance in February and drew quick, sharp rebukes from prominent state conservatives...
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Mayor Nirenberg and other officials express concern about soaring home prices (San Antonio Express-News)

San Antonio’s housing market grew even hotter amid July’s sweltering temperatures, demonstrating the strength of the local economy but posing a threat to aspiring middle-class homeowners. Local population and job growth continued to drive up sales last month: 3,275 homes were sold in the San Antonio-New Braunfels metro area, an increase of 11 percent over July 2017, according to data from the San Antonio Board of Realtors. Yet home prices also soared, a trend that is of increasing concern to Mayor Ron Nirenberg and other local officials. The median price of a home rose 5 percent, to $229,800, a rate of increase typical for the local market since it emerged from the housing crisis in 2012...
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City attorney who helped keep Dallas from going broke announces resignation, hints at mayoral run (Dallas Morning News) 

City Attorney Larry Casto, who helped save Dallas from billions of dollars in liabilities -- and a potential bankruptcy -- announced his resignation Wednesday after less than two years in the job. Casto said in a letter he will "focus on the next chapter of my career" -- and strongly hinted that he intends to run for mayor next year. The news shocked council members who hired Casto to be Dallas' city attorney in September 2016. One said he was "physically ill" at the news. Casto, who previously served as the city's longtime chief lobbyist, wrote that his career with the city taught him "Dallas is capable of greatness and that it is also capable of weathering any storm and coming out stronger on the other side."...
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Familiar names and fresh faces scramble to fill Dwaine Caraway's seat on Dallas City Council (Dallas Morning News)

Dwaine Caraway's seat on the Dallas City Council is barely cold, and already there's a crowded field of contenders who want to fill it for the remainder of the term. Former Dallas City Council member Carolyn King Arnold had already planned to run against Caraway -- again -- to represent their Oak Cliff district. But when Caraway pleaded guilty to federal corruption charges last week, "things kind of sped up a bit," said the former school teacher who served one term before Caraway reclaimed the District 4 seat in May 2017. Arnold was one of a handful of contenders to show up Wednesday morning to Dallas City Hall, when the filing period began for candidates who want to finish the disgraced former mayor pro tem's term. Another face in the crowd was 48-year-old Kebran Alexander, a Skyline High School and University of North Texas graduate, IT salesman and the Dallas NAACP's health-care chair...
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Trump’s lawyers prepare to fight subpoena all the way to the Supreme Court (Washington Post)

Rudolph W. Giuliani, President Trump’s lead lawyer for the ongoing Russia probe, said Wednesday that he is still awaiting a response from special counsel Robert S. Mueller III to the Trump team’s latest terms for a presidential interview, which were made last week in a letter that argued against Trump’s having to answer questions about his possible obstruction of justice. In the meantime, Trump’s lawyers are preparing to oppose a potential subpoena from Mueller for a Trump sit-down by drafting a rebuttal that could set off a dramatic fight in federal courts. “We would move to quash the subpoena,” Giuliani said in an interview. “And we’re pretty much finished with our memorandum opposing a subpoena.”...
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The Hill Interview: Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey explains what got Alex Jones suspended (The Hill)

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey isn’t sure if the timeout given to Alex Jones will convince the right-wing conspiracy theorist to “reconsider” his social media behavior. But Dorsey, in an interview with The Hill the morning after his company handed down a seven-day suspension to Jones, says its enforcement actions are intended to promote better behavior from its users. “We're always trying to cultivate more of a learning mindset and help guide people back towards healthier behaviors and healthier public conversation,” the 41-year-old co-founder of Twitter said...
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