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Latest from Elizabeth Findell

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Party boat company returns to Lake Austin dock after legal cease-fire
 At least one Lake Austin party boat company will be able to pick up passengers off of Lake Austin Boulevard this summer, after a reprieve in the legal tussle over the use of a public dock there. Austin Party Cruises sued the city of Austin and Parks and Recreation Department Director Kimberly McNeeley in January after the parks department...

Posted: 17 hours ago

At least one Lake Austin party boat company will be able to pick up passengers off of Lake Austin Boulevard this summer, after a reprieve in the legal tussle over the use of a public dock there. Austin Party Cruises sued the city of Austin and Parks and Recreation Department Director Kimberly McNeeley in January after the parks department...
Party boat company returns to Lake Austin dock after legal cease-fire
 At least one Lake Austin party boat company will be able to pick up passengers off of Lake Austin Boulevard this summer, after a reprieve in the legal tussle over the use of a public dock there. Austin Party Cruises sued the city of Austin and Parks and Recreation Department Director Kimberly McNeeley in January after the parks department...

Posted: a day ago

At least one Lake Austin party boat company will be able to pick up passengers off of Lake Austin Boulevard this summer, after a reprieve in the legal tussle over the use of a public dock there. Austin Party Cruises sued the city of Austin and Parks and Recreation Department Director Kimberly McNeeley in January after the parks department...
Companies seek permits in bid to soon peddle rental scooters, bikes
 Keep an eye out. The rentable electric scooters that briefly zipped through downtown are on their way back. And they’re bringing dockless rental bicycles with them. Dockless mobility companies were able to begin applying this week for permits to operate in Austin, following a meeting last Friday that drew interest from about 20 companies...

Posted: 3 days ago

Keep an eye out. The rentable electric scooters that briefly zipped through downtown are on their way back. And they’re bringing dockless rental bicycles with them. Dockless mobility companies were able to begin applying this week for permits to operate in Austin, following a meeting last Friday that drew interest from about 20 companies...
Balance between taxes, city services topic at public budget discussion
 Are city of Austin taxes too high (meaning services should be cut), too low (meaning services should be improved) or about right (meaning services should be kept as they are now)? The bars on a graph jumped back and forth Tuesday night as about 50 people inside Austin’s Central Library — and participants watching remotely &mdash...

Posted: 4 days ago

Are city of Austin taxes too high (meaning services should be cut), too low (meaning services should be improved) or about right (meaning services should be kept as they are now)? The bars on a graph jumped back and forth Tuesday night as about 50 people inside Austin’s Central Library — and participants watching remotely &mdash...
Charter amendments could bring significant shifts in Austin governance
 After months of weighing what needs to change in Austin’s governing structure, a Charter Review Commission has answers. The commission will recommend eight major changes to the city charter that City Council members could add to the general election ballot in November. The proposals range from creating a new public finance system for...

Posted: 5 days ago

After months of weighing what needs to change in Austin’s governing structure, a Charter Review Commission has answers. The commission will recommend eight major changes to the city charter that City Council members could add to the general election ballot in November. The proposals range from creating a new public finance system for...
New festival, event process outlined, but talk on specifics will go on
 Austin approved new rules for handling festivals and events in the city after six years of discussion Thursday, but watch for the talk to continue. The special events ordinance aims to streamline planning and permitting of Austin happenings big and small, from charity park barbecues and political protests to South by Southwest and Austin...

Posted: 9 days ago

Austin approved new rules for handling festivals and events in the city after six years of discussion Thursday, but watch for the talk to continue. The special events ordinance aims to streamline planning and permitting of Austin happenings big and small, from charity park barbecues and political protests to South by Southwest and Austin...
Foreshadowing CodeNext debate, council splits over planning commission
 Possibly setting the stage for a battle over the contentious CodeNext zoning project, Austin City Council members sparred heatedly Thursday about requirements for serving on the city’s Planning Commission. Opponents of CodeNext, the city’s land development rewrite, have raised objections to the makeup of the land-use commission...

Posted: 10 days ago

Possibly setting the stage for a battle over the contentious CodeNext zoning project, Austin City Council members sparred heatedly Thursday about requirements for serving on the city’s Planning Commission. Opponents of CodeNext, the city’s land development rewrite, have raised objections to the makeup of the land-use commission...
Municipal Court’s move to MetCenter passes despite ‘tortilla canyon’ flap
 Developers of the MetCenter in southeastern Austin received approval Thursday for a $31 million lease agreement to house the city’s municipal court, despite city leaders’ concerns about a map used in marketing efforts for the development that labeled East Austin as “Tortilla Canyon.” The 10-year lease will allow the...

Posted: 10 days ago

Developers of the MetCenter in southeastern Austin received approval Thursday for a $31 million lease agreement to house the city’s municipal court, despite city leaders’ concerns about a map used in marketing efforts for the development that labeled East Austin as “Tortilla Canyon.” The 10-year lease will allow the...
Austin nonprofits sue HUD, Carson after changes to fair housing rules
 Local nonprofits sued the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and HUD Secretary Ben Carson on Tuesday, trying to force the agency to continue recently launched enforcement of some fair housing rules. The requirement that local entities use federal housing money to “affirmatively further” fair housing policies has...

Posted: 12 days ago

Local nonprofits sued the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and HUD Secretary Ben Carson on Tuesday, trying to force the agency to continue recently launched enforcement of some fair housing rules. The requirement that local entities use federal housing money to “affirmatively further” fair housing policies has...
Delia Garza encourages City Council to take on predatory home flippers
 Sometimes they’re letters. Sometimes they’re cards or postcards. Sometimes they’re designed to look personal, with lettering like handwriting. Other times they’re designed to look official or threatening. The one constant in the mailings Roy Woody has grown accustomed to receiving every couple of weeks is their push...

Posted: 13 days ago

Sometimes they’re letters. Sometimes they’re cards or postcards. Sometimes they’re designed to look personal, with lettering like handwriting. Other times they’re designed to look official or threatening. The one constant in the mailings Roy Woody has grown accustomed to receiving every couple of weeks is their push...
Austinites mark Cinco de Mayo with conjunto fest
 Cowboy hats and strollers filled Fiesta Gardens in East Austin on a sunny Saturday afternoon. Artists painted the Mexican flag on cheeks. Stands sold tacos, hamburgers, piñatas and quinceañera dresses. Most importantly, couples spun to accordion music in the pavilion in front of an all-day lineup of conjunto bands. Johnny Degollado...

Posted: 15 days ago

Cowboy hats and strollers filled Fiesta Gardens in East Austin on a sunny Saturday afternoon. Artists painted the Mexican flag on cheeks. Stands sold tacos, hamburgers, piñatas and quinceañera dresses. Most importantly, couples spun to accordion music in the pavilion in front of an all-day lineup of conjunto bands. Johnny Degollado...
Misconduct declines at new Central Library compared with former site
 Before the new Central Library even opened, the online taunts began. “Everyone in Austin can now look forward to a new place for Austin’s homeless population to sleep during the day,” one commenter wrote to the American-Statesman in 2013 when the City Council approved building a new downtown library. Another made a crack...

Posted: 16 days ago

Before the new Central Library even opened, the online taunts began. “Everyone in Austin can now look forward to a new place for Austin’s homeless population to sleep during the day,” one commenter wrote to the American-Statesman in 2013 when the City Council approved building a new downtown library. Another made a crack...
Longer live music hours on Red River will remain in place
 Longer live music hours on Red River Street will stay for good, after a yearlong test that drew widespread praise and support. Austin City Council members agreed unanimously Thursday to permanently allow venues in the Red River Cultural District, between Sixth and 12th streets, to play amplified music until midnight on Thursdays and 1 a.m...

Posted: 24 days ago

Longer live music hours on Red River Street will stay for good, after a yearlong test that drew widespread praise and support. Austin City Council members agreed unanimously Thursday to permanently allow venues in the Red River Cultural District, between Sixth and 12th streets, to play amplified music until midnight on Thursdays and 1 a.m...
In gentrifying East Austin, are dogs replacing children?
 Olga Hernandez sat on the porch of her East Eighth Street house on a warm April afternoon, offering a few minutes to the latest reporter to come through asking about gentrification in her quickly changing neighborhood. Between pointing out rental units, she called hello to a young man and woman walking dogs down the sidewalk. Hernandez, 67...

Posted: 29 days ago

Olga Hernandez sat on the porch of her East Eighth Street house on a warm April afternoon, offering a few minutes to the latest reporter to come through asking about gentrification in her quickly changing neighborhood. Between pointing out rental units, she called hello to a young man and woman walking dogs down the sidewalk. Hernandez, 67...
Races grow more crowded ahead of November Austin city elections
 Ask Travis Duncan why he’s running for mayor of Austin, and he’ll tell you a tale. Of a city where electricity and food are free and “a network of cooperative projects” pays the bills. Of the city he believes this could be. You probably haven’t heard of Duncan, a drummer and former Tesla worker, and that would...

10:44 PM Monday, Apr. 16, 2018

Ask Travis Duncan why he’s running for mayor of Austin, and he’ll tell you a tale. Of a city where electricity and food are free and “a network of cooperative projects” pays the bills. Of the city he believes this could be. You probably haven’t heard of Duncan, a drummer and former Tesla worker, and that would...
Does Austin need a new, independent board to police city ethics?
 Austin could change the way it handles city ethics violations, beginning with the creation of a new independent board, if a panel drafting potential changes to the city charter has its way. The panel in the coming weeks is expected to recommend that the 11 City Council-appointed members of the Ethics Review Commission be replaced with a five-member...

9:55 PM Friday, Apr. 13, 2018

Austin could change the way it handles city ethics violations, beginning with the creation of a new independent board, if a panel drafting potential changes to the city charter has its way. The panel in the coming weeks is expected to recommend that the 11 City Council-appointed members of the Ethics Review Commission be replaced with a five-member...
Does Austin need a new, independent board to police city ethics?
 Austin could change the way it handles city ethics violations, beginning with the creation of a new independent board, if a panel drafting potential changes to the city charter has its way. The panel in the coming weeks is expected to recommend that the 11 City Council-appointed members of the Ethics Review Commission be replaced with a five-member...

9:50 PM Friday, Apr. 13, 2018

Austin could change the way it handles city ethics violations, beginning with the creation of a new independent board, if a panel drafting potential changes to the city charter has its way. The panel in the coming weeks is expected to recommend that the 11 City Council-appointed members of the Ethics Review Commission be replaced with a five-member...
Austin Energy customer service fail: The tale of a $12,000 water bill
 For nearly a year, the monthly bills for water on Paul Saustrup’s vacant agricultural lot in Southeast Austin were predictable: $7 here, $6 there. Then came one that made him look twice: $12,111.68. “I just got a literally shocking water bill,” he told a customer service representative in a Nov. 22 call to Austin Energy...

10:52 PM Friday, Apr. 06, 2018

For nearly a year, the monthly bills for water on Paul Saustrup’s vacant agricultural lot in Southeast Austin were predictable: $7 here, $6 there. Then came one that made him look twice: $12,111.68. “I just got a literally shocking water bill,” he told a customer service representative in a Nov. 22 call to Austin Energy...
Austin Energy customer service fail: The tale of a $12,000 water bill
 For nearly a year, the monthly bills for water on Paul Saustrup’s vacant agricultural lot in Southeast Austin were predictable: $7 here, $6 there. Then came one that made him look twice: $12,111.68. “I just got a literally shocking water bill,” he told a customer service representative in a Nov. 22 call to Austin Energy...

10:26 PM Friday, Apr. 06, 2018

For nearly a year, the monthly bills for water on Paul Saustrup’s vacant agricultural lot in Southeast Austin were predictable: $7 here, $6 there. Then came one that made him look twice: $12,111.68. “I just got a literally shocking water bill,” he told a customer service representative in a Nov. 22 call to Austin Energy...
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