BG Reads | News You Need to Know (September 30, 2019)

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[BG PODCAST]

NEW -> Episode 54: Austin Market Perspective with Zach Cannon of The Burt Group (LINK TO SHOW)


[AUSTIN METRO]

Manchaca Road can now be called Menchaca Road after judge tosses case (Austin Monitor)

Manchaca Road is no more. A judge has dismissed a lawsuit that sought to block the city of Austin from changing the name of the South Austin road to honor a Texas revolutionary.

The nearly yearlong battle stemmed from the city’s public input process before a planned name change. The lawsuit brought by the group Leave Manchaca Alone was thrown out Thursday by state District Judge Dustin Howell on the grounds that he didn’t have proper jurisdiction to rule on the case, the Austin American-Statesman first reported.

The city passed an ordinance in October last year to change the spelling to Menchaca Road to honor Tejano revolutionary José Antonio Menchaca, who fought in a decisive battle of the Texas Revolution… (LINK TO STORY)


Car2go shutting down in Austin, 4 other cities (Austin Business Journal)

Come November, there will be no more Car2go vehicles for rent in Austin.

Share Now — created earlier this year when German automakers BMW and Daimler merged their respective ReachNow and Car2go services — announced Sept. 27 that its last day serving the Texas capital will be Oct. 31.

Share Now is also shutting down in three other cities after Oct. 31 — Portland, Denver and Calgary, Canada — and in Chicago after Dec. 31.

Share Now said the decision to shut down in Austin and elsewhere "was not made lightly." But it seemed to indicate it wasn't getting enough buy-in as more and more consumers turn to ridesharing and so-called micromobility solutions such as e-scooters… (LINK TO STORY)


Code rewrite team says development can help city water problems (Austin Monitor)

The Land Development Code rewrite team has again struck a balance on city priorities. At Thursday’s update with City Council – the last before the draft document goes public Friday – the team outlined its strategy to leverage growth and housing goals in order to protect residents against floods and ensure better water quality.

As written, staff said the code will address water issues from several angles: It will encourage redevelopment over remodeling at sites with ongoing drainage issues; expand requirements for water quality controls; replace small-scale drainage improvements with high-impact regional efforts; and allow for denser housing types without increasing allowable impervious cover in any individual watershed.

“I am particularly pleased to see … that the code improves water quality and decreases flood risk in the city,” Mayor Steve Adler said. “I think that was something that was really important for the community to know would be part of this.”… (LINK TO STORY)


[TEXAS] 

Castro rules out Senate run even if he drops presidential bid (Austin American-Statesman)

Julián Castro said Saturday at the Texas Tribune Festival that he would not seek the Democratic nomination to challenge U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, in 2020 even if he were to drop out of the presidential race. “No, I’m not going go run for the Senate, that’s never what I intended to do,” Castro said in an interview with MSNBC’s Katy Tur in the penultimate event at the Paramount Theatre, preceding the closing keynote address by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

While Castro is guaranteed a spot on the next Democratic stage in Ohio in October, his chances of qualifying for the November debate are dicey. Castro is at 1.7% in the RealClearPolitics polling average. The raised threshold requires that a candidate earn 3% support in at least four early state or national polls that meet the Democratic National Committee’s methodological requirements — up from 2% for the September and October debates — or at least 5% in two early state polls. The early states are Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina… (LINK TO STORY)


Briscoe Cain says his "My AR is ready for you" tweet benefited him, Beto O'Rourke (Texas Tribune)

Republican state Rep. Briscoe Cain doubled down Saturday on a controversial tweet that many saw as a death threat against Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke.

"I don't regret it. I just checked Twitter again, and I still can't use it," Cain said at The Texas Tribune Festival in Austin, where he was speaking on a panel about millennials' involvement in politics.

"It was good for both of us," Cain added. "I trended [on Twitter]. I increased my name ID. It is what I believe. I don’t regret it at all."… (LINK TO STORY)


Ted Cruz took issue with Trump's call with Ukraine's president, but he expected it to be worse (Texas Tribune)

While U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz expressed unhappiness Saturday with some of Donald Trump's comments related to the president's call with Ukraine's leader, the Texas Republican emphatically pushed back against the Democratic movement to impeach the commander in chief.

Cruz said that he had read both the recently released whistleblower complaint and the readout of Trump's July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, both of which characterize Trump as soliciting the Ukrainian government's assistance in investigating unsubstantiated allegations against the business activities of former Vice President Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden.

"I expected it to be" worse than it was, Cruz said of the phone call summary. He made the remarks in a Texas Tribune Festival interview with MSNBC Host Chris Hayes… (LINK TO STORY)


[NATION]

Nancy Pelosi to President Donald Trump: "You've come into my wheelhouse now" (Texas Tribune)

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi painted herself as a once-reluctant but now fully engaged general amid her party's push for an impeachment inquiry, in an onstage interview at The Texas Tribune Festival on Saturday.

To make her point, she used sweeping, solemn language to underscore her view that what is happening at the U.S. Capitol is an existential moment in American history.

"If this activity, this pattern of behavior were to prevail ... then it's over for the republic," she said. "We will have the equivalent of a monarchy."

"Let us be prayerful. Let us be solemn. Let us try not to make it further divisive," she added. "But we cannot ignore our oath of office to defend the Constitution of the United States from all enemies foreign and domestic."… (LINK TO STORY)


Many Vaping Illnesses Linked To Black Market 'Dank Vapes' Or Other THC Products (NPR)

The mystery of the outbreak of vaping-related lung illnesses is still not solved.

But investigators in Illinois and Wisconsin have found some clues, they announced Friday in a press briefing.

Investigators in these two states conducted detailed interviews with 86 patients — mostly young men — and 66% said they had vaped THC products labeled as Dank Vapes. THC is the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis.

What are Dank Vapes and how could they be fueling the outbreak?

"Dank Vapes appears to be the most prominent in a class of largely counterfeit brands, with common packaging that is easily available online and that is used by distributors to market THC-containing cartridges," said a report from state investigators published Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention… (LINK TO STORY)


The Bingham Group, LLC is an Austin-based full service lobbying firm representing and advising clients on municipal, legislative, and regulatory matters throughout Texas.

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