BG Note | News - What We're Reading (August 29, 2017)


Trump to visit Corpus Christi, Austin to see Harvey recovery (Texas Tribune) LINK TO STORY

President Donald Trump is coming to Texas on Tuesday to see the recovery efforts underway in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

Trump is scheduled to first visit Corpus Christi, the city along the Central Texas coast near where Harvey made landfall Friday as a Category 4 storm. The president will get an update there on relief efforts with state leaders and relief groups. 

Trump will then head to Austin, where he will tour the Emergency Operations Center and receive a briefing with state leaders, according to the White House.

Julián Castro, ex-housing chief and San Antonio mayor, to teach at UT (Austin American-Statesman) LINK TO STORY

Julián Castro — former federal housing secretary, former San Antonio mayor and, by the looks of things, a man who is sizing up the possibility of a run for the White House in 2020 — will join the faculty at the University of Texas’ LBJ School of Public Affairs in September. Castro initially will lead a seminar series examining the complexities of policy development through the lens of housing. Workshops on the future of Texas, as well as podcasts and traditional classes with an interdisciplinary favor, could soon be in the mix.

Limits of land use code exposed in unique zoning case (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY

An application for commercial zoning at the corner of a North Austin neighborhood elicited a tiresome recommendation from the Zoning and Platting Commission at its Aug. 15 meeting. Commissioners had to go item by item through a list of zoning district uses, almost as if they were crafting a new zone, before signing off on the request.
“Sitting up here and debating the different uses in (a) zoning district is why we need CodeNEXT so badly,” Vice Chair Jim Duncan said at the meeting. “That shouldn’t be our job.”

Travis County bond may add to regional transportation, drainage projects (Community Impact) LINK TO STORY

Travis County voters will head to the polls in November to weigh the need for improvement projects in a nearly $185 million bond package.
That total does not include $94.9 million in appropriations for locally funded county projects that do not require voter approval. The combined allocation of $279.8 million would fund specific projects to help the county’s transportation, park and roadway safety issues as well as project management costs, which account for roughly 10 percent of the total.

U.S. Supreme Court temporarily blocks ruling against Texas congressional map (Texas Tribune) LINK TO STORY

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday put on hold a lower court ruling that invalidated two of Texas' 36 congressional districts. In an order signed by Justice Samuel Alito, the high court indicated it wanted to hear from the minority groups suing the state before the state's appeal of that ruling moves forward. The high court ordered the state's legal foes to file a response by Sept. 5 to the state's efforts to keep congressional district boundaries intact for the 2018 elections.

Cap Metro tab for train control system $14 million beyond estimate (Austin American-Statesman) LINK TO STORY

Capital Metro will pay $65.7 million to install “positive train control” on its 32-mile MetroRail line from downtown Austin to Leander, about $14 million more than the transit agency had estimated the federally required safety system would cost. The Capital Metro board Monday voted unanimously to award a contract to Colorado-based Modern Railway Systems to design and install the network of sensors and controls on its track, 10 MetroRail passenger cars, six freight locomotives and a locomotive belonging to an excursion train that uses part of the line. The company’s bid, Capital Metro’s Melvin Clark told the board, was within 1 percent of the only other competitor for the work.