Frank Erwin Center
"...So why is this deal on the table? Why are we faced with the exact same weak rationalizations for "doing a deal," e.g., the alternative is far worse, they will hurt us in the Legislature, this is "almost" protecting water quality, we need to move on to other issues, etc. Why would such a strong mayor and council assume such a weak position? Why would the most offensive corporation in Austin be handed city sewer service and other special privileges? Why are we so richly rewarding such bad behavior? Why was this deal hatched in secret? What is the hurry?..."
"...After a long absence from the planning table, East Austin neighborhood organizations are talking once again with city officials about doing infill housing projects. Staff from the city's Neighborhood Housing and Community Development Office (NHCD) met recently with representatives of a new community-based development corporation, El Cariño, to begin studying the developer's proposal to construct 50 homes for low-income families in East Austin...."
"...For the Ballpark at Arlington project, the city and the ASFDA condemned the land, yet the Rangers ball club, a private corporation, receive all future revenues to be generated from that same land. The Rangers now own development rights over the entire 270-acre complex, including an amphitheatre, office buildings, shops and restaurants..."
"...The strategy is not a new one. It was pioneered by the Blackland Community Development Corporation in East Austin, which was incorporated in 1983 to stem the tide of UT-Austin's eastward expansion..."
"...Yet since 2006, when Powers became president, the tension has been easing. Bo McCarver, board chair of the Blackland Community Development Corporation, formed after the UT annexations in an attempt to provide affordable housing in the East Campus area, told Austin Post earlier this year that East Austin residents and UT are "getting on pretty good now..."
"...There are three water supply corporations in this general area. All have to cross I-35 to put down wells in the Edwards Barton Springs Aquifer between Kyle and Buda since this area is black clay soil that seems to go down to China, and digging wells here is not an option..."
"..."This secretly concocted MAI treaty is all-out war by the transnational corporations on democracy itself," Dugger said at a Dec. 3 forum sponsored by his latest love, the Alliance for Democracy, and by Public Citizen, a Ralph Nader consumer-rights organization...."
"...The mysterious Austin Revitalization Authority (ARA) board, a nonprofit corporation founded to oversee the revitalization of East 11th and 12th Streets, was stacked with Mitchell appointees when it was formed in December of 1995. Before protest by the neighborhoods surrounding East 11th and 12th Streets, the board did not have any neighborhood representatives, and even since the addition of four area residents to the board, their inclusion in the process has been spotty at best..."
"...Rough times for OPIC It's been a tough 18 months for the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). They got hammered by Freeport-McMoRan after cancelling a $100 million political risk insurance policy they carried on the company's vast Grasberg gold copper and silver mine in Indonesia..."
"...and in Guatemala, where the Guatemalan Labor Ministry has questioned the company's labor practices. -- A.S. Blackland Treaty Fifteen years to the day after the University of Texas plundered east into Blackland to replace homes with parking lots, a baseball field, and a filling station, the council last week passed a resolution to cede 14 lots to the Blackland Neighborhood Development Corporation (BNDC)..."
"...What's being sold -- at the rate of three a day in Sun City Georgetown -- are not homes, or even pieces of a community. The Del Webb Corporation is in the image business...."
"...A spin around the Internet revealed that Lyon's program, launched in May 2005, and a spin-off Paris program, launched July 15, are provided by a private company, Cyclocity, a division of global corporation JCDecaux. "Cyclocity is a cost-effective, sustainable transport option that helps minimise the impact of traffic and congestion in towns and cities..."
"...The proposed package, which could include tax breaks, fee waivers, infrastructure improvements, and other development perks, would represent the largest city-subsidized deal ever crafted for a private corporation. The incentives could also generate public controversy over city officials' continued willingness to provide hand-outs to big companies -- much less an operation that will require up to four million gallons of water per day...."
"...Specifically, Nofziger took Watson to task for a 1992 vote approving a controversial air permit that a Taiwanese-owned corporation, Formosa Plastics Corp. -- at the time one of the world's biggest polluters -- needed to complete its $1.3 billion expansion plans along the Texas coastline..."
"...Meanwhile, the "Citizens Commission for Civil Planning" and other Vote-Against groups roused their troops with these sorts of gracious subtleties: "David, Throw Your Stone -- The Giant Can Be Stopped!... Vote against a giant corporation and a city machine taking over our city! WAKE UP! WAKE UP! WAKE UP!" Heady stuff for the Capital City during the Connally administration..."
"...What she didn't know was that the rent-to-own offer was not provided for in the actual lease she signed. She also didn't know -- and, she says, wasn't told -- that the Austin Housing Finance Corporation, the housing agency of the city of Austin, had abandoned the offer months before she moved in..."
"...• Yes, the Mueller Neighborhoods Coalition is still pushing the city to create a new citizen commission to oversee RMMA redevelopment ASAP, with a Mueller Development Corporation to follow...."
"...Dec. 3: The City Council directed city staff to begin negotiations with Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) based on a framework that included a commitment to relocate Liberty Lunch..."
"...Fireworks flew Monday when two key recommendations for the Downtown Austin Plan – on affordable housing and a density-bonus system to help pay for it – were presented at a town hall meeting. In providing comprehensive policy recommendations, representatives from ROMA Austin and subconsultant HR&A Advisors urged Austin to get more aggressive, expand its financing tool kit, and establish a new housing corporation in order to build both very low-income and more median-income work force housing..."
"...The bills passed by both House and Senate would ban soft money, i.e., the huge unlimited contributions which large corporations, the wealthy, and unions give to the parties. Anyone who thinks a congress person will remain totally objective when considering legislation pertaining to these special interests is living in a fantasy world...."