Headlines / Quote of the Week
You're Done. You're Done. Austin voters overwhelmingly rejected Save Austin Now's police staffing plan, Proposition A, at the polls this week, with nearly 69% of voters voting against the measure. Meanwhile, the city parkland swap, Proposition B, passed by securing about 74% of the vote.
Beth Israel Temple The Austin Fire Department Arson Unit is working to identify and locate a suspect in connection to a fire outside the Congregation Beth Israel in Central Austin last weekend. Damages to the building are estimated at $25,000. The fire follows a string of antisemitic incidents around Austin, including offensive graffiti at Anderson High School and a neo-Nazi group hanging an antisemitic banner over MoPac. Read more here.
What the Dog Doin'? Austin City Council meets today (Thursday, Nov. 4) to consider a 67-item agenda. One resolution to watch relates to the city's agreement with Austin Pets Alive!, directing City Manager Spencer Cronk to negotiate terms for the operation of APA!'s Town Lake Animal Center. Read more here.
Summer Surge Coming Down On Tue., Nov. 2, Austin Public Health reported the lowest seven-day moving averages for hospitalizations, patients in the ICU, and ventilator use because of COVID-19 since the beginning of this summer's record-breaking surge in mid-July. Currently, Austin and Travis County remain in Stage 3 of the local COVID-19 Risk-Based Guidelines.
Vax for Kids This week the United States began administering the COVID-19 vaccine to children between the ages of 5 and 11, following the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's and U.S. Centers for Disease Control's approval of the Pfizer vaccine for that age group. Local Walgreens and CVS pharmacies are among those booking appointments; find a location at vaccinefinder.org.
Highest Court in the Land The U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments in two cases challenging Texas' six-week abortion ban, Senate Bill 8. Read more here.
Coaled Feet After failing to reach an agreement with the Lower Colorado River Authority, Austin Energy announced it will not close its portion of the Fayette coal power plant that it co-owns with LCRA. Closing the utility's portion of the plant by 2022 was a key step in achieving local climate goals, including the city's goal to reach net-zero emissions by 2040.
The FAA's the Limit More than five years after the deadly Lockhart hot air balloon crash in 2016, the Federal Aviation Administration proposed a rule requiring commercial hot air balloon pilots to hold medical certificates when operating for hire. The rule implements 2018 legislation authored in response to the crash by Austin's Rep. Lloyd Doggett.
Quote of the Week
“It cannot be overstated: Prop A was not just voted down. It went down in flames.”
– Chas Moore, executive director of Austin Justice Coalition