Farzad Mashhood

Farzad Mashhood writes about Travis County government and neighborhoods for the Austin American-Statesman. He's worked for the Statesman since 2011, previously covering public safety and environmental issues for the metro desk. A UCLA graduate, Mashhood immigrated to Austin from the beaches of California.

Latest from Farzad Mashhood

Longtime Travis County Judge Sam Biscoe has quietly made his mark
 Over the past 16 years, Sam Biscoe has blessed the purchase of 7,600 acres of endangered species habitat, started plans to build a new Travis County civil courthouse and overseen the addition of 214 miles of roads. But when the retiring county judge — basically similar to a mayor for Travis County — thinks of his most important...

5:00 AM Monday, May. 26, 2014

Over the past 16 years, Sam Biscoe has blessed the purchase of 7,600 acres of endangered species habitat, started plans to build a new Travis County civil courthouse and overseen the addition of 214 miles of roads. But when the retiring county judge — basically similar to a mayor for Travis County — thinks of his most important...
As drought tightens grip, Lakeway puts squeeze on pool building
 Pools dot the backyards of many Lakeway homes, and just beyond them is Lake Travis, looking like an emptying bathtub, revealing pieces of Hill Country land that used to be underwater. Amid concerns about the protracted drought, the city of Lakeway announced this week it would suspend building permits for new pools. Later, the city clarified...

11:14 PM Thursday, May. 22, 2014

Pools dot the backyards of many Lakeway homes, and just beyond them is Lake Travis, looking like an emptying bathtub, revealing pieces of Hill Country land that used to be underwater. Amid concerns about the protracted drought, the city of Lakeway announced this week it would suspend building permits for new pools. Later, the city clarified...
Lakeway stops permitting swimming pools during drought

6:17 PM Wednesday, May. 21, 2014

The city of Lakeway is not issuing new permits for swimming pools until the city’s water supply, most visible in nearby Lake Travis, returns to a normal level. Amid a prolonged drought, Lakeway city officials said they’re looking for ways to cut back on non-essential water use. Not issuing permits for swimming pools will keep...
Whose name will go on Travis County’s new district attorney building?
 Travis County is looking for a namesake for a new building that will house the district attorney’s office. The suggestions so far: a couple of former district attorneys. A mix of attorneys, former elected officials and others told county commissioners on Tuesday they want to see the building named after the county’s former longtime...

8:35 PM Tuesday, May. 20, 2014

Travis County is looking for a namesake for a new building that will house the district attorney’s office. The suggestions so far: a couple of former district attorneys. A mix of attorneys, former elected officials and others told county commissioners on Tuesday they want to see the building named after the county’s former longtime...
Suburban Southwest Austin’s District 8 feels growth on its roads
 Traffic is an often-groaned-about problem in Austin, but few places generate as much angst as the Oak Hill “Y,” where westbound Texas 71 and U.S. 290 split. On a recent late-morning drive through Southwest Austin, Rick Perkins noted the best times to go through the intersection, where 58,000 cars pass though per day, are &ldquo...

12:42 AM Monday, May. 19, 2014

Traffic is an often-groaned-about problem in Austin, but few places generate as much angst as the Oak Hill “Y,” where westbound Texas 71 and U.S. 290 split. On a recent late-morning drive through Southwest Austin, Rick Perkins noted the best times to go through the intersection, where 58,000 cars pass though per day, are &ldquo...
Perry adviser Jay Kimbrough remains hospitalized after wreck

10:04 PM Sunday, May. 18, 2014

Jay Kimbrough — a close adviser to Gov. Rick Perry — remained in critical condition at a Bryan hospital Sunday. Kimbrough, 66, crashed his motorcycle on Texas 6 south of Navasota just before 6 p.m. Friday. He remained at St. Joseph Regional Health Center in Bryan on Sunday, officials said. In his 17 years working for the state...
Fire at Central Austin Ford dealership totals 2 vehicles

9:46 PM Sunday, May. 18, 2014

An accidental fire at a Ford dealership totaled two vehicles and damaged two others, Austin Fire officials said. The blaze, caused by a mechanical failure, was in the back lot of Leif Johnson Ford at 501 East Koenig Lane in Central Austin, Austin Fire officials said. The damage is estimated to cost $40,000.
Motorcyclist dies in crash on Old Bee Cave Road in Southwest Austin

8:55 PM Sunday, May. 18, 2014

A motorcyclist died in a crash in Southwest Austin on Sunday afternoon, officials said. Westbound Old Bee Cave Road near Aviara Drive and U.S. 290 is shut down, Austin Police officials said. Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services said on Twitter paramedics pronounced a man in his 50s dead and no other vehicles were involved in the...
Five displaced after early morning fire in Northeast Austin

2:35 PM Sunday, May. 18, 2014

An early morning fire mostly damaged the outside of a duplex early Sunday, Austin Fire officials said. Crews put out the fire within 10 minutes of arriving at 7107 Carver Ave. in Northeast Austin, near Interstate 35 and U.S. 183. Five adults residents are displaced as a result of the fire and the Red Cross is helping them find housing, officials...
Austin weather: Sunday’s high in mid-80s, some clouds

2:03 PM Sunday, May. 18, 2014

As Austin’s morning clouds clear off, forecasters expect a high Sunday in the mid-80s with 10 to 20 mph winds coming out of the south and southeast. “We’re still expecting some low clouds throughout the day,” National Weather Service meteorologist Steve Smart said. Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is reporting...
Survey: Austin-area poverty growing, wages lag pre-recession levels

10:27 PM Thursday, May. 15, 2014

The gap between the rich and poor in the Austin area is widening and incomes still have not rebounded to pre-recession levels, a recent report found. While Travis County’s population grew 12 percent from 2007 to 2012, the number of those living below the poverty level grew by more than three times that rate over the same time period...