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Naked City
Headlines and happenings from Austin and beyond
News Story  November 18, 2005
"...Baxter, a Republican who left office Nov. 1, will become the top lobbyist for the Texas Cable and Telecommunications Association, a natural springboard for the free-market lawmaker who previously served on the House Committee on Regulated Industries..."

Why Has Austin's Solar Program Stalled?
Activists think the city has put sun power in the shade
News Story  September 30, 2005, by Daniel Mottola
"..."We want to make sure we're paying what the value of solar is," Duncan said. "If the market is not able to produce solar at this value of solar, we need to consider if we want to meet the goal."..."

Naked City
Headlines and happenings from Austin and beyond
News Story  September 2, 2005
"...ATU was in talks with StarTran, Cap Metro's largest contractor, over changes in pay, benefits, and drug testing they deemed unacceptable. The impasse stems from disagreement over a proposed two-tier salary scale that pays new hires less than current employees; StarTran president Kent McCulloch characterizes the measure as "protect[ing] our current employees' wage rates while bringing our overall wage rate more in line with the market." ATU's president Jay Wyatt sees it differently; he has maintained that the dual-wage system, instituted and vanquished once before, did nothing but create resentment on the part of workers, and was designed to weaken the union..."

Tough Austin tenorman Alex Coke
Music Story  July 22, 2005, by Jay Trachtenberg
"...This isn't exactly the typical venue – not the internationally renowned Bimhuis in Amsterdam, not fabled CBGB's in NYC, not even Austin's very own jazz basement, the Elephant Room, all locales that saxophonist Alex Coke has played recently. It's the entrance foyer of Central Market, just outside the produce section..."

Wake-Up Call
Looking back on the onetime heart of local hip-hop, Catfish Station, and the visuals that defined it
Music Story  July 22, 2005, by Robert Gabriel
"...Today in Austin the voices of African-American leadership, as expressed by the Reverend Frank Garrett on KAZI's The Wake-Up Call, have been calling for a forum centered around the credo of "for us, by us." While guarded deliberations make perfect sense in order to protect the interests of blacks as defined by blacks, self-imposed isolationism tends to restrict market potential. Helping draw large crowds to Catfish Station in 1995 was marketing aimed beyond the African-American community by way of the former local skate shop Blondie's..."

Passing the Baton
City looks to future in wake of Texas Relays Controversy
News Story  May 27, 2005, by Jordan Smith
"...With a little tweaking and cooperation, Creech said, he thinks the Relays could become a nationally known festival, akin to the annual Essence Music Festival in New Orleans. And the Relays could become a way to "market Austin to African-Americans nationwide," he said..."

Our readers talk back.
Columns  May 13, 2005
"...Austin is not weird, and the evidence should be making the ubiquitous bumper stickers an embarrassment. How is an 11pm noise ordinance, ignoring free markets and imposing a smoking ban on every single bar owner, current developments that pave over South Park Meadows, the surrounding area of the Backyard, and putting New York style shops in SoCo weird? The only thing weird about this town is its vanity..."

Naked City
Headlines and happenings from Austin and beyond
News Story  December 24, 2004, by Mike Clark-Madison
"...Among the "conservative" and "family values" Perry supporters are Cathie Adams of the Texas Eagle Forum; Jim Cardle of Texas Club for Growth; Becky Farrar of Concerned Women for America PAC; James and Elizabeth Graham of the Texas Right to Life PAC; Tim Lambert of the Texas Home School Coalition; Norm and Jeanne Mason of the Texas Christian Coalition; Dr. Joe Pojman of the Texas Alliance for Life; Kelly Shackelford of the Free Market Foundation; and Susan Weddington, former chair of the Republican Party of Texas..."

Our readers talk back.
Columns  November 19, 2004
"...In this political climate we have collectively built – one where citizens vote on who has the best "morals" (but where evaluating the morality of an unjust war as well as letting people stew in hunger, disease, and poverty in ours, the wealthiest country in the world, is not acceptable); where liberals step over each other to uphold a dying party – and corrupt candidates – that has left them far behind; where we just "show up" on Election Day expecting the miracle of the voting booth to save us just as, to some, the miracle of the free market has the power to save our economy – we could not have expected anything different...."

Page Two
Forget the middle ground: Why don't the progressives take over the Democratic Party and make a real fight of this thing?
Columns  November 12, 2004, by John Sayles
"...Segregation was presented as a moral position until we got it out of the legal codes. Now it's just a by-product of the alleged free-market system...."

Our readers talk back.
Columns  July 30, 2004
"...I supported light rail in 2000, and I urge everyone who seriously wants public transportation to expand beyond its current market of those who can't drive or have expensive parking to join with me in opposing Capital Metro's All Systems Go Plan in 2004...."

The Haven
Exploring the grounds and sounds at the International Festival-Institute at Round Top
Music Story  June 4, 2004, by Graham Reynolds
"...This was the launch of his comeback, and the simple resetting of venue changed everything. Not only did it change the audience and market, it changed the way the music was received and heard as well as the way it was judged...."

Our readers talk back.
Columns  March 19, 2004
"...Far more interesting are the aspects of the investigation Shack fails to mention. Most importantly, business groups and GOP PACs spent millions in corporate or "soft" money for political activities like fundraising, polling, telemarketing, "voter education," and similar functions..."

The Best-Case Scenario
After years of work, Envision Central Texas goes majorly public.
News Story  October 24, 2003, by Mike Clark-Madison
"...The survey itself asks respondents to do more than just choose between A, B, C, and D -- although it does do that, and that result will doubtless be closely watched and widely reported. Early handicapping says A and D have no chance, even though several local real estate and business leaders, both on and off the ECT board, have argued that A is the only scenario that reflects the market forces they feel produced the status quo and can't be changed, and thus is the only option worth considering..."

Hard Luck in Heritage Heights
Renters in Eastside housing project feel misled, misused by the city.
News Story  August 29, 2003, by Jessica Chapman
"...Affordable housing, either rental or ownership, remains a challenge in Central East Austin. The market value of the Heritage Heights homes, and even more so of the land they sit on, has ballooned; according to Travis Central Appraisal District records, the Heritage Heights land value alone has nearly doubled..."

High Plains Chamber
The Harrington String Quartet, which makes its third appearance with the Austin Chamber Music Center's annual summer festival in July, is based in Amarillo, and though that may not seem like a likely spot for a chamber music ensemble, the members of the Harrington Quartet feel quite at home on the range.
Arts Story  July 11, 2003, by Jerry Young
"...The Harrington ensemble deserves a great deal of credit for giving folks on the High Plains a chance to hear Brahms, Beethoven, and Bartok chamber music live, but Amarillo alone is too small of a market for the ensemble to stay home. It has performed in New York, Chicago, and Milwaukee, and as far away as England, France, and Canada..."

Naked City
Austin Stories
News Story  February 28, 2003, by Mike Clark-Madison
"...had big plans for Austin when the new-urban apartment developers hit town three years ago. But the Atlanta-based firm made its final exit from Austin this week with the sale of the only project it managed to get off the ground before the market went south..."

Downtown's New Year
News Story  January 17, 2003, by Amy Smith
"...COMMERCIAL PLANNEDA. Sixth + Lamar (Austin MarketPlace) North Block..."

The Secret Ingredients
Meet the best chefs you've never heard of.
Food Story  October 4, 2002, by Claudia Alarcón
"...But the city's growth -- and the arrival of many new residents of different backgrounds and nationalities -- transformed its culinary culture, infusing greater ethnic diversity and many new trends. Suddenly, celebrity chefs were eager to test their restaurant concepts on what they believed would be a ripe and ready Austin market..."

Migrating North
As the Texas and national film industry feels the burn of runaway production, many agree with one directive: Blame Canada.
Screens Story  October 4, 2002, by Marc Savlov
"...Additionally, the so-called Industry Alliance -- consisting of labor organizations such as the Director's Guild of America, the International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees, the American Federation of Theatrical Stage Employees, the Screen Actors Guild, the Producers Guild of America, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the American Film Marketing Association, and Film US (which comprises some 200 national, state, and local film commissions -- but not the Texas Film Commission) -- is lobbying federal and state legislatures for a two-tiered, wage-based system of tax credits for film and television/cable production in the U.S. via House Resolution 3131, sponsored by U.S..."

Our readers talk back.
Columns  August 23, 2002
"...City staff/council members say the current astronomical costs of housing in the central city neighborhoods is "market driven" and not city hall's fault...."

Our readers talk back.
Columns  May 31, 2002
"...Wasser believes smoke-free drinking establishments would be so popular, I invite him to invest his money into opening a smoke-free bar. That would seem to be the free-market solution -- not legislating personal preferences but allowing customers to choose what they prefer..."

Page Two
Endorsements are a pain, but we think they are also a service to our readers.
Columns  May 3, 2002, by Louis Black
"...Two points: 1) Millions of people lost trillions of dollars misjudging the American economy over the past three to five years. If the council had actually been that much smarter than everyone else they should have gotten out of politics and directly into the market..."

Is Anybody Laughing?
In the midst of economic hard times and a wave of terrorist attacks, the comedy business wonders what's funny.
Arts Story  October 19, 2001, by Robert Faires
"...That makes comedy a niche market, especially on the local level. So when it comes to the funny business, success is about knowing how to target your audience..."

Vision of a New Republic
Plans for the Revitalization of Republic Square
News Story  July 13, 2001, by Chale Nafus
"...Community organizations could hold events in the square, including regular markets for fresh produce, books, stamps, and birds. Music would always be welcome, if not on the scale of concerts at Auditorium Shores or in Waterloo Park..."

Charity Begins at Home
The gospel music and charitable concern of the Imperial Golden Crown Harmonizers
Music Story  June 22, 2001, by Jim Caligiuri
"...The folks of Central Texas can't get enough music, and they love the food. Places like Central Market, Jovita's, Threadgill's, and the Broken Spoke combine the two to great effect..."

The environment, the alleged marijuana, the traffic, Ventura's highway, and more.
Columns  June 8, 2001
"...For those homeowners shell-shocked by their latest tax appraisals and the bureaucrats pinching pennies to keep the city coffers in the black, help may be on the way if our city leaders make the right decisions regarding the fate of one of our most valuable public assets -- the former Robert Mueller Airport site. If the city retains ownership of the Mueller site, and reaches a long-term lease agreement with a qualified master developer (at as close to market rate as possible), the Mueller site will produce a continuous revenue stream for the city and its citizens far into the foreseeable future...."

A fresh melange of reader responses to our recent issues.
Columns  May 25, 2001
"...Tony Millionaire's Maakies, Kaz's Underworld and Doug Allen's Steven come immediately to mind. It's pretty embarrassing that the Statesman has had you guys "one-upped" on the comics dept by cornering the market on Chris Ware's strip..."

Naked City
The city of Austin is ready to publish its request for proposals for a master developer for Mueller, and a dozen or two potential builders are already lining up to answer the call.
News Story  February 23, 2001, by Mike Clark-Madison
"...° "Ability to provide specified master developer tasks." These include pulling permits, marketing the New Mueller, doing demolition, building the backbone infrastructure, and developing the parcels themselves, or making them available to third-party developers...."

Slacker, the Map
It's been over a decade since Slacker premiered at the Dobie Theater. Since then, the lifestyle it celebrated is largely gone, along with the locations it helped make famous. In this "Slacker map," we look at what's disappeared and what's endured.
Screens Story  January 26, 2001, by Marc Savlov
"...Foodland, 1120 S. Lamar (now City Market)..."

Public Notice
Gather 'round the Yule log and the figgy pudding, get out a paper and pen, and jot down some of these items form our Annual Holiday Wish List 2000. Local organizations need you!
Columns  December 22, 2000, by Kate X Messer
"...The things these groups request are needs. It reminds us of that scene where the market's crashed and the town comes to withdraw their money from Bailey's Building & Loan..."

Stratus Quo?
Stratus Properties tries to shake the ghost of Jim Bob Moffett as it is acquired by Tom Hicks.
News Story  December 1, 2000, by Amy Smith
"...The Stratus Way Although the company is traded on the Nasdaq exchange, and its financials and major stockholders can be easily accessed on the Internet, Stratus remains a stranger on the defensive in its hometown. In fact, the joke among environmentalists and even some developers is that Stratus' bravado far outweighs its own market value, ranked somewhere in the neighborhood of $64 million..."

Readers' last gasps on light rail.
Columns  November 3, 2000
"...The advertisement by the Log Cabin Republicans last week said that Jill Warren, Republican Candidate for State Representative, District 48, is "on record opposing discrimination against gays and lesbians." To the contrary, I have seen Ms. Warren's answers to a questionnaire from the right-wing Free Market Foundation..."

The Hottest Race in Texas
The David Fisher-Todd Staples Senate Contest in East Texas Will Decide the Fate of the State Senate -- and the U.S. House
News Story  October 27, 2000, by Michael King
"...The provision (recently upheld in state courts) potentially allows East Texas to sell its abundant water to outside buyers (e.g., the city of Houston), with the restriction that such transfer obligations would be "junior" in times of drought (and the water would thereby remain as necessary in East Texas). Recently, the Senate Natural Resources Committee, chaired by Lake Jackson Republican Buster Brown, has argued that the junior rights provision should be eliminated -- theoretically allowing a "free market" in water..."

Natural State
San Antonio-based Presidian wants to enter into public private partnerships with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
News Story  August 4, 2000, by Dan Oko
"...So now comes a proposal that could eventually allow private companies to use the parks' natural resources to create destination resorts, kicking a portion of the profits from such money-making ventures into TPWD coffers. Fitzsimons calls this marriage of convenience and nature an example of "free-market environmentalism." But for environmentalists and parks advocates, this scheme reflects one of the more shameful legacies of the Bush administration..."

Broken News
Times Warner's struggling news channel lashes out at defectors
News Story  July 14, 2000, by Erica C. Barnett
"...And if you have seen Hansson, you certainly won't remember her as a glamorous, perfectly coiffed onscreen "personality"; her major job duties, in fact, involved lugging a 40-pound camera through the streets of Austin, then setting it up, then filming herself for a segment she would later edit back at News 8's studios. In TV news lingo, Hansson was a "one-man band" -- a common occupation in smaller markets, but almost unheard-of in major markets outside Time Warner's handful of cable news stations across the country...."

A tawdry Kelsonian cababble.
Columns  June 9, 2000
"...We who try to make a living here (as opposed to making a killing on real estate) need to know our downtown leaders. Chairman Knight says that small shops "lacking department store anchors aren't considered sustainable models." Apparently he hasn't been to Sixth and Lamar, South Congress, or Central Market within the last 10 years..."

Down to Two
Runoff candidates offer views on city's future.
News Story  June 2, 2000, by Kevin Fullerton
"...... What is that going to mean in terms of growth and development, and not just in terms of easing traffic congestion? Certainly, we need to improve service to those areas, but when we start going out to other areas that are undeveloped, that's when we need to really take a close look at how that's going to affect our ability to control growth.Downtown Development AC: Should the public be satisfied with how the city has guided downtown development projects, which include Computer Sciences Corporation, Intel, and Austin MarketPlace? And if the city is going to continue luring major employers downtown and out of the water protection zone, should the public play a stronger role in determining what gets built?..."

Dancing About Architecture
Austin Music Commission chair Bob Livingston steps down, no one steps up; Man's Ruin returns to Austin; Michael Corcoran's suspension is puzzling.
Music Column  March 31, 2000, by Ken Lieck
"..."I put my life on hold for a couple years," says Livingston, who's trying to reclaim some of his time for himself and his family. His resignation might come as a surprise to many, particularly those often heard wondering, "What the hell does the Music Commission do, anyway?" To quote an e-mail I received from Casey Monahan at the Texas Music Office, the AMC "is an advisory board appointed by the City Council to study the needs of Austin's music community and recommend policies and programs that will enhance music industry development." Among the comission recommendations that have been accepted by the City Council are the Music Industry Loan Guarantee Program, the LINKS Program providing musical instruments to children, and creation of the city's Music Marketing Office..."

Little Hotel on the Prairie
Proposed hotel and golf course would be constructed on city-owned parkland.
News Story  March 24, 2000, by Mike Clark-Madison
"...To wit: Right now, eastern Travis County, far more than East Austin itself, is the very bottom end of the local real-estate market. Without some sort of stimulus project, Beard and other landowners in the area have no real reason to change that, and though growth in the area is inevitable as Austin bursts its buttons, the current market would put in vast fields of mobile homes and very little else..."

Bizarre Talents
The strange road to success of former Austin bookseller Lynn Bender.
Books Story  March 10, 2000, by Clay Smith
"...Once again, sales of foreign language books failed to pay the rent, although the owners insisted it didn't have to be that way. But they lived in Chicago, Bender points out, and had no intimate knowledge of the market in Austin..."

Media Clips
Microradio wins FCC approval, but advocates of the low-wattage stations say the rules for winning a license will prohibit most stations and silence the microradio community's radical voice.
News Column  February 18, 2000, by Lee Nichols
"...Whether you buy that last claim depends on whether you believe commercial broadcasters are motivated to serve listeners or just to make money. Consider this comment from Scott Gillmore, vice president and market manager for LBJ-S, owner of five stations in Austin including KLBJ and KGSR...."

The Participants
News Story  December 3, 1999, by Mike Clark-Madison
"...Charles Heimsath, Ben's cousin, is president of Capital Market Research, which produces feasibility studies and other number-crunching for real estate developers and public agencies on "everything from lakeside property to downtown condo conversions," he says. Charles is also economic development chair of the Downtown Austin Alliance..."

Complete Freedom
A profile of Bad Livers banjo player Danny Barnes
Music Story  November 5, 1999, by Raoul Hernandez
"..."That's what we've been able to access, so a good record for us is going to sell about 11,000. You'd have to check this math, but I think there's 75 major markets, and if you divide it into 11,000, that comes up 130..."

Drug Warriors
Hays County drug war is costing lives and money.
News Story  November 5, 1999, by Nate Blakeslee
"...Williams' landlord, a Pearl Harbor veteran who also enjoyed hunting, allowed the two friends to build a backstop on land behind Williams' trailer in Wimberley, where the two could safely shoot whenever they wanted to. Five years ago, Windle bought an AR-15 at a Wimberley flea market for $80..."

How Austin Fared
Despite Austin's reputation as the most expensive rental market in Texas, the state Department of Housing and Community Affairs has approved only one low-income housing tax credit project for Austin this year.
News Story  October 22, 1999, by Kevin Fullerton
"...A high-pressure ridge over Austin kept the rain away all summer, but politics at the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) may have caused this year's affordable housing drought. In July, the TDHCA board approved only one low-income housing tax credit development in Austin, despite the city's status as the most expensive rental market in the state..."

Still Fired Up
Food Story  August 26, 1999, by Rachel Feit
"...In the nine years since the Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival began, attendance has swelled, first overfilling the narrow halls of the Austin Farmer's Market on Burnet, then the oak-shaded lawn in front of Central Park, to arrive at its most recent home in Waterloo Park. It is now the largest hot sauce festival in the world..."

Separation Anxieties
New Section?
News Story  August 26, 1999, by Charles Nafus
"...The Rev. Bill Elliott of Our Lady of Guadalupe emotionally pleaded that the power of "the market" should not be allowed to destroy East Austin's history..."

Don't Cry for Rainey
Columns  July 22, 1999
"...them" international spin. Further, the main TV sponsor wasted its money trying to market to me..."

Naked City
Off the Desk:
News Story  May 27, 1999
"...The Austin Housing Finance Corporation, the city's most potent leveraging mechanism for federal housing funds, would form a joint-venture partnership with a private developer and approach Fannie Mae for low-interest financing to carve buildable lots out of a tract bounded by Loyola Lane, East 51st, Springdale Road, and Johnny Morris Road. The lots would then be sold to builders, some at market rate, others at reduced cost but with the understanding that lower-cost homes will be placed on the sites..."

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