Headlines / Quote of the Week

Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-In kicked off the inaugural weekend for its new Downtown rooftop drive-in theatre over the Labor Day weekend. Blue Starlite, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, already has two theatres in the Austin area. (Photo by Jana Birchum)

RISE Funds 2.0: Austin is offering a second round of Relief in a State of Emergency (RISE) funds for people impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. $9 million in funds will be distributed directly to residents in the form of $2,000 per household. Households can apply online (fund.uptogether.org/rise2) or by calling 512/714-6950; the last day to apply is Sept. 21. More here.

Welcome Back Students: The Austin Independent School District kicked off the fall semester on Tue., Sept. 8. The district has launched new webpages to support "Community Learning Spaces" and caregivers as students begin learning remotely. A CLS is a place outside school where guardians can take students to receive in-person supervision. A list of CLS are available at www.austinisd.org/caregivers.

Speaking of AISD: AISD for All, a community coalition working to promote equity and social justice in AISD, is hosting a series of AISD Board of Trustees candidate forums beginning today (Sept. 10). The events will be available to stream at www.fb.com/aisdforall, where the complete forum schedule is also available.

Money Talks: The Travis County Commissioners Court will hear public input on the 2021 property tax rate on Tue., Sept. 15. The proposed rate of 37.4359 cents per $100 of taxable property value – a .51-cent increase from last year's rate – means median annual property taxes would go up by 3.62%, or $46.52. Commission­ers are expected to approve the new rate on Tue., Sept. 22.

Shape Austin's Future: City Council district boundaries are redrawn every 10 years, and the window of opportunity for getting involved is quickly closing: Applications for the 14-member Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission are due before Sept. 30. Get all the details at www.redistrictatx.org.

Pandemic-Proofing the Election: U.S. District Judge Jason Pulliam dismissed a lawsuit Monday seeking temporary changes to in-person voting procedures in Texas. The suit sought a mask mandate at polling locations, more polling locations, and expanded curbside voting – changes that Pulliam said ultimately lie with the state.

Look, but Don't Swim: All Travis County parks except Cypress Creek Park, Sandy Creek Park, and athletic fields have reopened. Hamilton Pool Preserve reopened earlier this week, though reservations are required for all visitors and swimming is not allowed.

That Sinking Feeling: During a pro-President Trump boat parade on Lake Travis Saturday, five vessels sank after the boats' wakes created large waves, according to the Travis County Sherriff's Office. See "They Were the Storm: A Tragedy on Lake Travis".

Quote of the Week

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"I'm not asking for value judgments, just black and white information about abortion."

– Cynthia Soliz, co-chair of Austin ISD Student Health Advisory Committee, during a Sept. 8 hearing on the State Board of Education’s proposed revisions to sex education. While the revisions include “abstinence-plus” recommendations, they don’t address sexual orientation, gender identity, or abortion.

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