Community News: Austin provides ‘Smart Start’ to small business owners


TRAVIS COUNTY

AUSTIN

Smart Start provides development answers

The city of Austin has launched Smart Start, an online question-and-answer forum that provides small business owners with information about zoning, permitting, and construction regulations before they lease or purchase a property.

Users who visit austintexas.gov/smartstart can post questions directly to staff for response, or browse through the Q&A’s posted by other users.

“Small businesses are part of Austin’s vibrancy, and the Development Services Department is putting together the tools and resources to support small businesses,” said Rodney Gonzales, director of the Development Services Department. “Smart Start is a dynamic technological resource to provide valuable information to small businesses.”

The Q&A platform was developed by Bazaarvoice. The project was made possible through a $50,000 grant awarded by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

For information visit Smart Start or call 512-978-4000.

— American-Statesman staff

NORTHEAST AUSTIN

Asian American Resource Center presents three exhibits

The Asian American Resource Center, 8401 Cameron Road, Austin, will bring three groundbreaking exhibits, “Vivid Strokes: Contemporary Paintings from Vietnam,” “Vietnam to Austin: Restoring Community” and “Vietnamese American Art: Selected Works,” on Oct. 21 to be displayed until Dec. 30.

The free opening reception will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 21 with guest speaker Nancy Bui, president of the Vietnamese American Heritage Foundation, speaking at 7 p.m.

Refreshments will be provided, courtesy of 4 Elements by Em Gourmet, a local Vietnamese restaurant opened by Diana Nguyen. Works from both “Vivid Strokes” and “Vietnamese American Art” are available for sale.

For information visit austintexas.gov/aarc.

— American-Statesman staff

PFLUGERVILLE

Pflugerville police chief announces retirement

The city of Pflugerville Police Chief Chuck Hooker announced his retirement from the force Friday, with his final day of service set for Jan. 6.

Hooker joined the Pflugerville Police Department in 1983 as a patrol officer and served in numerous roles over the years, including detective, sergeant, lieutenant and assistant chief. He has served as chief of police since 2004 and has overseen the city’s emergency management system as emergency management coordinator since 2005. He is the longest-tenured employee in city history.

The city will honor Hooker at the Jan. 10 City Council meeting.

— American-Statesman staff

WILLIAMSON COUNTY

ROUND ROCK

Round Rock library group looks to grow

Friends of the Round Rock Public Library will have a membership drive this week, as part of National Friends of Libraries Week.

All new and renewing members who join this week will become eligible to win one of two $50 gift certificates in a drawing. Visit the library at 216 E. Main St. to register and leave a form with a Friends member or staff person. All forms will have the name of the Friends member or a staff person’s name placed in the drawing.

Friends of the Round Rock Public Library raises and donates an average of $15,000 a year to the library. These funds have purchased a children’s service desk, media and teen shelving, eBooks, and a monthly Book Page magazine subscription, and have funded small business workshops, movie licenses and many programs for children and adults.

Visit www.roundrocktexas.gov/departments/library for information.

— Round Rock Leader

HAYS COUNTY

DRIPPING SPRINGS

Library to host food preservation workshop

Hays County Master Gardener Marilyn McCray will lead a talk on preserving foods from this year’s harvest at 6:15 p.m. Thursday at the Dripping Springs Community Library, 501 Sportsplex Drive.

McCray has been a cook, is involved in the organic food movement and is a contributor to Edible Austin and Austin Woman Magazine. She is the coauthor of “Canning, Pickling, and Freezing with Irma Harding: Recipes to Preserve Food, Family and the American Way.”

To reserve a seat email suzanne@dscl.org.

— American-Statesman staff

BASTROP COUNTY

BASTROP

Forum for commission candidates on Thursday

The Bastrop Chamber of Commerce will host a candidate forum at 6 p.m. Thursday for the two races for Bastrop Commissioners Court on the November ballot.

The forum will be held at the Jerry Fay Wilhelm Center for Performing Arts, 1401 Cedar St.

The Precinct 1 race features Republican Mel Hamner and Democrat Dock Jackson, while the Precinct 3 contest features Republican Colton Stabeno and Democrat Mark Meuth. Candidates will have the opportunity to make opening and closing statements and field questions.

If only one candidate in a race attends the event, there will not be a forum for that race, though the candidate may speak informally with members of the audience and distribute campaign materials, according to event organizers.

For information, call 512-303-0558 or visit bastropvotes.com.

— American-Statesman staff


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

JUST IN: Austin police officer fired 4 months after federal indictment
JUST IN: Austin police officer fired 4 months after federal indictment

An Austin police officer was fired today, four months after a federal grand jury indicted him on a charge of making a false statement to a U.S. agency in the midst of his wife’s Social Security fraud case. Officer Roosevelt Granderson II was fired, not because of the charges, but because he did not attend two separate Internal Affairs...
Police: Georgetown woman lied about income to get free healthcare
Police: Georgetown woman lied about income to get free healthcare

A Georgetown woman was accused of falsely claiming she had no income when she applied for health benefits, an arrest affidavit said. Zona Nelson, 65, was charged with theft by deception, a third-degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Officials with the Williamson County and Cities Health District told the sheriff’s office they...
MURDER TRIAL: Defendant called 911 after injuring boyfriend
MURDER TRIAL: Defendant called 911 after injuring boyfriend

Attorneys representing both sides in a Travis County murder trial agree Stephen Sylvester died in July 2015 at the hands of his boyfriend after they fought, following a night of drinking in downtown Austin, in the apartment they shared. But prosecutors are calling Sylvester’s boyfriend, Bryan Canchola, a jealous murderer who flipped out because...
Travis DA clears officers in 3 shootings, without grand jury review
Travis DA clears officers in 3 shootings, without grand jury review

Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore said Tuesday that she will not pursue possible charges against officers in three police shootings as part of an overhaul in how she handles such cases. Her decision to use “prosecutorial discretion” and end such investigations marks the first time in years that an Austin police officer&rsquo...
Driver accused of pointing gun at 12-year-old girl in Round Rock
Driver accused of pointing gun at 12-year-old girl in Round Rock

A man is accused of pointing a handgun at a 12-year-old girl riding in another vehicle Saturday on Interstate 35 in Round Rock. Ricky Robinson, 54, of the Waco-area community of China Spring, was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Police were alerted at 12:55 p.m. Saturday...
More Stories