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PROGRAM NOTE - The podcast will be inactive for about two weeks as the podcast host takes care of some family business and R&R. Next episode will be published on Tuesday, August 24. Austin health and government authorities have declared the spread of monkeypox locally to be an official health emergency. The CHIPS And Science Act, signed into law by President Joe Biden yesterday, could be huge for Austin's burgeoning microchip manufacturing sector. As local school districts resume classes, AISD is still struggling to fill teaching positions - all while a new poll finds that the overwhelming majority of public school teachers in Texas are on the verge of leaving the profession. The LCRA is resisting calls to reform its water management policies to adjust for increasing demand and dwindling supply - they say existing plans, set to be updated in 2025, are sufficient for now. A recent hike in minimum wages for City of Austin employees is likely to cause future budgetary challenges. A new tower planned for the Domain will be the tallest yet in Austin's "second downtown". Alex Jones, thus far found liable for about $50 million in the Sandy Hook defamation case, could be protected from paying most of that judgement due to a 2003 lawsuit reform law. Monday marked the 30th anniversary of the 1992 Save Our Springs election, via which enduring local ordinances to protect Barton Springs were enacted.
The body found at Mount Bonnell on Saturday while a fallen pedestrian was being rescued has been identified as 21 year old Prabin Gharti. A dog left behind in a car after its owner was arrested by Round Rock police on Sunday died of heat exhaustion before animal control could arrive to take custody of it. Barton Springs Pool has been declared safe for swimming, following the identification of toxic algae downstream in Barton Creek. Despite slowing economic numbers nationally, the Austin economy seems to be roaring along. However, the Texas Workforce Commission predicts that Austin's rate of job growth will soon be surpassed by neighboring suburban cities. Austin has been ranked #8 on a new list of the best ice cream cities in the U.S. - and #1 in Texas. St. David's Medical Center has been named the 8th best hospital in Texas, and the 37th best in the country. Austin Monthly has profiled Austin author Gabino Iglesias, whose new novel "The Devil Takes You Home" is gaining attention from Hollywood.
Wildfires near Austin continue burning: the Big Sky fire near Fredericksburg has burned nearly 1,500 acres and is 60% contained, the Smoke Rider fire near Dripping Springs burns on as well, now having consumed 1,200 acres and several homes with 70% containment, and a third wildfire has forced evacuations near Wimberley. Austin Fire is pleading with local smokers to keep their lit butts inside their cars. Following the lead of several other Texas cities including Austin, San Marcos city officials announce that their police department will not investigate violations of new abortion bans in Texas. The Alex Jones jury has delivered a verdict, awarding the parents of Sandy Hook shooting victim Jesse Lewis's parents $4.1 million - they had sought $150 million. Two more trials to go for Jones. As of Thursday, Austin has set its third-longest streak for consecutive triple-digit days at 20. Forecast models are predicting a chance of rain this weekend, and Colorado State is predicting potential hurricane relief for Central Texas. We'll believe it when we see it. City officials are considering September as a good starting point for the first pilot run of Austin's guaranteed income program, the first to be tried in Texas. The city is also calling for input on how it should manage Austin's homelessness situation. Local animal shelters, facing overcrowding, are struggling to adhere to Austin's standards as a no-kill city. Austin has been ranked #1 on a new list of cities measured by lowest carbon footprint. Meanwhile Brewing will host a book fair titled "Lagers and Literature" on August 28 to benefit the Inside Books Project, featuring pop-ups by the Austin Public Library, the Harry Ransom Center, Typewriter Rodeo and more. Cameron "Dicker The Kicker" has left the building - leaving a gaping hole in Texas Football's special teams plans. Live music for the weekend: the Hot Summer Nights free local music series continues through Saturday at venues all over the Red River Cultural District and beyond. Friday catch a long-awaited rescheduled show with David Gray at ACL Live, COIN at Stubb's, and Black Pistol Fire at Emo's. Saturday sees Leon Bridges at the Moody Center and Franz Ferdinand at Stubb's. Sunday, Christian Lee Hutson plays the Parish.
Wildfires in the Austin area remain a threat: the Hermosa fire near Wimberley is 35% contained, and the much larger Big Sky fire near Dripping Springs has reached 60% containment. Meanwhile data from the Texas A&M Forest Service shows that 90% of wildfires are caused by human activity, not natural causes. LoneStar, the operator of ABIA's South Terminal, has sued the city over its move to reclaim the facility via eminent domain. Redevelopment plans for a stretch of the East 6th Street bar district are a go, despite lingering concerns about historical preservation. A group of Texas cities, including Austin, have sued Disney, Netflix and Hulu, claiming millions in overdue franchise fees tied to the use of public communication lines for their streaming services. A modest production boost by OPEC sustains a continued, now-51-day-long drop in gas prices - the statewide average is now $4.33 per gallon, Austin's average is $3.68, and the cheapest gas in Central Austin this morning is $3.45. New studies show that for renters, the Austin/Round Rock metro is the most expensive rental market in Texas, requiring a full-time worker to make at least $27.90 per hour to afford a two-bedroom home. 41% of Austinites are renters. Acclaimed BBQ joint la Barbecue has been burglarized for a fifth recent time, losing 20 briskets with thousands of dollars in market value. Austin will host the Red Bull BC One championship breakdancing qualifier this weekend.
Several significant wildfires are burning near Austin now, including the Blue Bluff fire near Walter E. Long Park is 85% contained, while the much larger Smoke Rider fire, east of Dripping Springs on the Hays/Blanco County line, is only 30% contained - see the InciWeb map for real-time tracking of wildfires and their progress. All are amidst another pass of potentially record-setting heat today and tomorrow. And while our friends on the Texas coast might not fully agree, Central Texas looks forward to hurricane season for potential drought relief. Parents of Sandy Hook victims testified yesterday in the ongoing defamation damages trial of Alex Jones, saying that conspiracy theories spread by Jones has made their lives "a living hell". Following the closure of Tesoros on South Congress, neighboring Lucy In Disguise is set to close after 38 years. ACC will almost double its spending on compensation for its employees, including a minimum wage hike to $20 per hour.
Following the lead of cities including Austin and Denton, officials in San Antonio and Dallas are considering local ordinances that would decriminalize abortion. A similar measure in El Paso recently failed on the tie-breaking vote of its mayor. As drought persists, levels in Lake Travis have dropped near 50%, leading to concerns about boating safety. Meanwhile, swimming has been declared off-limits at Wimberley's Blue Hole due to high bacteria levels and low visibility. Jurors in the Alex Jones defamation trial have been told that members of the families of Sandy Hook shooting victims are suffering from PTSD, and have been placed under secure isolation after "encounters" with presumed Jones supporters in Austin. Austin ISD police Lt. Wayne Sneed has been selected as the district's first Black chief of police. A rash of burglaries has struck a series of pet grooming salons in Austin. H-E-B has issued a recall for half-gallons of its Creamy Creations light mint chocolate chip ice cream, as it contains wheat, but does not bear an allergy label. Austin ranks #4 on a new list of the most insect-infested U.S. cities. The Mohawk live music venue and Breakaway Records are collaborating on a new high-fidelity vinyl bar on Austin's Music Lane in SoCo. Westlake Chaparral and new Clemson Tiger QB Cade Klubnik has won his second Offensive Football Player of the Year award in this year's USA Today High School Sports Awards Show.
The end of July marks the hottest July in Austin history - following the hottest June, and the hottest May - marking the first time that's happened three months in a row in our recorded history. This summer (which isn't over yet) now ranks 7th-ever in days over 100 degrees. A severe lack of rainfall has led to impending use restrictions in the Texas Hill Country. Longtime and legendary KUT/KUTX radio host John Aielli has died at 76. Amidst a contentious trial to determine damages that Alex Jones will be required to pay the families of Sandy Hook victims he's been found guilty of defaming, Jones has placed the company behind his Infowars network into bankruptcy. A full third of Austin's currently-listed homes for sale have seen price reductions, indicating a cooling and stabilizing of the bonkers local real estate market. Meanwhile the Austin area is rated #1 in the country in demand for new apartment construction - and forced locations began Sunday for residents of the Congress Mobile Home and RV Park, which was sold late last year; the new owners want the old tenants out. Texas achieved the nation's largest job gains in June, and statewide unemployment fell by a full percentage point between May and June, to 4.1%, which remains slightly higher than the national average. As the new school year approaches, health experts are advising Texas colleges to prepare for the possibility of monkeypox outbreaks. The Austin City Council has earmarked $350,000 for a continued, deeper research dive into the Austin Police Department's culture and practices. A pilot who had taken off from Austin on a solo flight to El Paso lost his engine and was forced to land on Interstate 20 near Pecos last week. Round Rock has been rated the 37th-richest city in America. The Teens Who Care nonprofit, launched in 2020 by a pair of Westwood High students, has funded school supplies for over 11,000 lower-income Austin area students. Amidst recent sudden closures, Eater.com has published a new list and map of 22 Essential Craft Breweries in Austin. Austin FC continues a stellar sophomore season with a shutout win over Sporting KC, and striker Sebastian Driussi is in the MLS MVP conversation.
Weekly CDC COVID risk levels are released: Blanco County is upgraded to High risk, joining Milam, Fayette, Caldwell and Lampasas Counties, while the rest of the area remains at Medium risk, including Travis and Williamson. COVID-related hospitalizations have continued to slowly rise to 188, up from 170 one week ago. Meanwhile, monkeypox cases have continued to climb, and Austin Public Health confirms that West Nile virus has been detected in Travis County mosquitoes. Austin has officially seen its hottest July record, and we're now in drought conditions that are the worst in over a decade. Former Austin auto dealership magnate Erik Charles Maund, in jail in Nashville awaiting trial for arranging the murders of a mistress and her estranged boyfriend, is accused of attempting to arrange the murder of one of his accomplices - from behind bars. As part of yesterday's marathon session, the Austin City Council has approved a $350 million bond for affordable housing efforts on the November ballot. The Travis County Commissioners Court has approved a resolution imploring LCRA to take more impactful measures towards conservation of water in the Highland Lakes system. Austin's police and transportation departments are working on strategies to reduce the rising number of severe car accidents in the city. Speaking of APD, the Austin Chronicle has published an article on the department's use of long range acoustic devices or LRAD's as a crowd control measure - if improperly used, they can cause permanent hearing loss and brain injuries, and in theory interfere with heart function. The race for Austin Mayor just got a little testier, as candidate Celia Israel has characterized parts of her opponent and former Mayor Kirk Watson's housing plan as "racist". The two-screen Doc's drive-in movie theater near Buda is for sale - the land and the business are included for just under $4 million.
Amidst ongoing drought conditions, wildfires have been popping up all over the area, and Jacob's Well in Wimberley has stopped flowing, for only the fourth time in recorded history. Day two of the Alex Jones Sandy Hook trial ended with lawyers for the opposing sides squaring off over video evidence from Jones' InfoWars show, resulting in the jury being dismissed early. Austin's residential real estate market shows signs of a cooldown, including dropping prices and rising inventory - however, no relief is yet in sight for renters, as prices continue to rise amidst tight inventory. Speaking of tough times for renters - the Austin Animal Center credits a wave of evictions for overcrowding at its shelter, as renters are forced to give up their pets. On the Austin City Council's extensive agenda today: considering a return of the Austin Police Department's use of license plate readers, and codifying the exact parameters that make an establishment a "live music venue". The nonprofit Urban Alchemy has been contracted to run the ARCH homeless shelter in downtown Austin - their experience in the area is under some doubt. The parent company of Spectrum has found itself owing $7 billion - billion, with a "b" - in punitive damages stemming from a case in which one of its technicians murdered an elderly customer in Irving. Float Fest made its return last weekend with a stellar lineup of artists - and a litany of problems. Texas is ranked #1 in the United States for production of renewable energy. Bummed about the end of Choco Tacos? We know a place in Austin where you can still get one. Weekend live music: Friday shows include Cat Power at Emo's, A.R. Rahman at the Bass Concert Hall, A Giant Dog at the Mohawk. Both Friday and Saturday, catch The Shins at ACL Live. Saturday features Third Eye Blind at Germania Insurance Amphitheater, a Madam Radar album release at the 04 Center. And Sunday catch a terrific band I discovered by accident last weekend, Die Spitz are wrapping their monthlong Sunday residency at Hotel Vegas.
With the official judgement by the U.S. Supreme Court officially overturning Roe v Wade, the 30-day countdown to a full abortion ban in Texas begins: that ban will become effective on Thursday, August 25. Alarming drops in lake levels are accompanying the ongoing drought, with Lake Travis now down to 54% of its capacity. Alex Jones calls the first day of his trial to determine damages he owes families of the Sandy Hook shooting victims a "kangaroo court" - he's no-showed day 2 today. Jones and InfoWars are being sued for $150 million by just one of those families. City officials are considering an accreditation program for bars on 6th Street, in an effort to improve safety. The Austin City Council will hold its first regular meeting in over a month tomorrow, with an agenda pileup of at least 200 items they are tasked to discuss and vote on. CASA of Central Texas, an organization that provides legal support to children in foster care in the southern portion of the greater Austin area, is in need of hundreds of volunteers. Austin ranks #1 in a ranking of Texas cities by median salary growth over the last two years. UT students living in the new luxury housing complex The Standard have spoken out about unsafe and unsanitary conditions in the building. Long a target of criticism, the Austin Aquarium is under renewed scrutiny for alleged animal mistreatment. Two longtime local dining faves return: sushi mongers Kome have reopened their dining room after 30 months of takeout-only service, and Indian establishment G'Raj Mahal, known for its quirky original location on Rainey Street, is set to reopen in East Austin. Meanwhile, 4th Tap Brewery is closing after filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Both KUT and veteran Austin TV reporter Fred Cantu are out with updates on the current COVID scenario in Austin, which officially remains at Medium risk according to CDC guidelines. Local COVID hospitalizations have continued to edge upwards - last night's count was 192, over double the count of 93 one month ago. Even with gas prices dropping, they're still very high considering the price of crude oil. The first day of school has been announced for all area districts, including August 15 for Austin ISD. Austin Community College has partnered with Dell Medical School to launch a new mental health program for ACC students. Cody Cowan is leaving the job of executive director of the Red River Cultural District, a position he has held for most of the lifetime of the non-profit that oversees the live music venues in that area of downtown - a replacement is being sought now. The Swan Songs Serenade concert to benefit the end-of-life care nonprofit Swan Songs will happen on October 23 at the Four Seasons Hotel. And we keep thinking the heat wave may be past us, but we're expecting 103 today, and 102 over the upcoming weekend.
As monkeypox concerns continue to mount, Texas finds itself short on vaccine doses compared to demand. The unionizing trend amongst Austin businesses continues as employees of Tiff's Treats are organizing and asking for higher wages. A Texas Tribune article points to low wages, overwork, substandard benefits, pandemic concerns and political polarity as reasons for the shortage of teachers in Texas. Austin schools are also facing a shortage of crossing guards as the school year approaches. Jury selection begins today for the first of three trials to determine damages owed by Alex Jones to the families of Sandy Hook shooting victims, whom he has been found guilty of defaming. A North Texas mental health facility has stopped accepting Travis County jail inmates for the treatment they need in order to stand trial. Austin FC fell just short of another comeback against the New York Red Bulls last night, losing the match 4-3, and has also (as expected) terminated the contract of Cecilio Dominguez.
Our historic scorcher continues through this weekend, though a possible pattern change could spell at least moderate relief. Meanwhile, the Texas electric grid hit a new all-time demand record on Wednesday, crossing the 80,000 megawatt threshold for the first time ever - that's more demand than the states of California and New York on the same day, combined. The Austin City Council voted yesterday to limit the enforcement of state abortion laws by city agencies. The GRACE Act was passed unanimously. Fayette and Lampasas counties have been upgraded to High COVID risk, while Blanco and Mason drop from High To Medium, and Gillespie drops from High to Low risk. Travis and Williamson Counties remain at Medium and Hays remains at High risk. Local COVID-related hospitalizations have plateaued over the last week or so, with the count at 154 as of last night. Both the Austin Police Department and school districts across the Austin area are facing critical staffing shortages. Willie Nelson's operation at Luck has announced a fall show - "Lucktoberfest" - featuring Tanya Tucker, Los Lobos and more. Longstanding West Campus haunt Cain & Abel's is in the way of a new high-rise student housing project, but its actual demise could still be "years" away. Did we mention that gas prices are dropping? They're falling faster in Texas than in any other state. The "Banksyland" exhibit, showcasing the art of enigmatic urban artist Banksy, is running now at a secret Austin location - you have to buy a ticket to find out where to go. On the heels of a new American non-stop to Vail, Colorado comes a new Southwest direct to Montrose, gateway to Crested Butte and Telluride.
While 47 U.S. congressional Republicans voted with the unanimous Democrats to codify same-sex marriage into federal law on Tuesday, the only one from Texas was Tony Gonzales of San Antonio - the rest, including the several who represent gerrymandered slices of Austin, voted against. Kaitlin Armstrong had her first court appearance yesterday, during which she entered a plea of not guilty. She's charged with first-degree murder. Samsung is considering a massive additional investment in the Austin area including 11 new chipmaking plants - a $200 billion spend that could create as many as 10,000 new jobs. Gas prices have continued to drop, now down to a local average of $4.02 per gallon - that's 20 cents below this time last week. The cheapest gas in central Austin as of this morning is $3.82. A new study finds Austin squeaking into the top ten most educated cities in America - the only one in Texas to do so. Austin history: Huston-Tillotson University has been registered on the National Register of Historic places, and the 1929 Hancock-area home where both Tom Miller and Emma Long once lived is likely to officially become a historical landmark via the Austin Historic Landmark Commission. Dale Watson's iconic coin-covered Telecaster-style guitar was stolen from a Houston restaurant's parking lot last weekend. Weekend live music highlights: Friday shows include Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder at the Haute Spot and Blackillac at Jester King Brewery. Saturday and Sunday the Float Fest is on at Gonzales Texas with Deadmaus, Vampire Weekend and Chance the Rapper headlining Saturday, and Marshmello, Cage The Elephant, Lord Huron, Tove Lo and CHVRCHES playing Sunday. And the Ripplefest heavy metal and stoner rock festival runs through the weekend at the Far Out Lounge and Stage. And, while blazing temperatures continue through the early part of next week, some relief may be on the way - highs in the upper 90's, by the current forecast, will begin by next Thursday and extend into early August.
Austin's hottest summer ever plows on: high temperatures threaten daily records every day for the rest of this week, while July could become the first month in Austin with no measurable rainfall since 2015. Meanwhile, the struggling Texas power grid has created a dangerous feedback loop: as power generators are allowed to violate emissions standards to stay online longer, ever more greenhouse gases are released - exacerbating climate change. Fundraising data for Mayoral and Austin City Council members and candidates has been released. Meanwhile, the Austin City Council is set to meet on Thursday to discuss local measures related to abortion access. Crime stats: citywide crime is trending downward, with the exception of aggravated assault, which is up 17 percent. Austin is set to sever ties with the nonprofit that has run the ARCH homeless center downtown for years. Project Connect has broken ground on the new McKalla Station, which will provide rail service to Q2 Stadium. The first non-stop flight between Austin and Vail, Colorado will be in place by Christmas. Texas State University is offering a class on "the cult of celebrity", focusing on Harry Styles.
Several Uvalde developments over the weekend: The special House committee assigned to investigating the Robb Elementary shooting released its findings on Sunday, finding widespread "systemic failures" and "egregiously poor decision making" in the police response, while the New York Times has acquired a document indicating intent by local law enforcement in Uvalde to steer the "narrative" on the shooting response more favorably. Uvalde city leaders have placed acting police chief Lt. Mariano Pargas on administrative leave as they launch an internal review. The father of one of the slain children was ejected from a private briefing and surveillance video review on Sunday in Uvalde because he "wasn't on the list". The gunman is said to have given many clues of impending trouble over the past few years, including developing the nickname "school shooter". And calls have begun for criminal penalties over the mismanagement of the response. Amidst persistent record-threatening heat, several Texas power plants are running non-stop and deferring maintenance in order to keep up with electricity demand. Monkeypox worries continue as a case is confirmed at UT. An Austin couple has donated $2 million to Beto O'Rourke's gubernatorial campaign, his largest single donation yet, reported as part of a February-June fundraising haul totaling almost $25 million, topping fundraising during the same period by Governor Greg Abbott. A record $5 billion budget for Austin's '22-'23 fiscal year is proposed, including a 16% reduction in property tax rates, raises for city employees and increased city fees. The Austin City Council will meet this week to discuss abortion access in Austin, including the "Guarding the Right to Abortion Care for Everyone" or GRACE Act. Austin FC is "cruising" atop the MLS West at the mid-point of the season as a Saturday night draw at FC Dallas gives Austin its first official trophy as a club: the "Copa Tejas" state championship. Taylor's Fred Kerley leads a U.S. sweep of the men's 100-meter dash at the world track and field championships in Oregon on Saturday, posting a time of 9.86 seconds. The ACL Festival has released its day-to-day lineup and released single-day tickets for sale as of Friday - all of those single-day passes remain available this morning. And another brutally hot week looms: expect heat advisories all week and highs reaching a peak of 107 on Wednesday, as a new pass of Saharan dust continues to degrade air quality through tomorrow.
It's official: we've just completed the hottest week in Austin's recorded history. Austin Public Health finds itself not only battling the spread of monkeypox, but also the spread of misinformation about the disease. Meanwhile, Hays, Caldwell, Gillespie and Mason Counties have been upgraded to High COVID-19 risk level. CNBC's annual "Top States For Business" poll finds Texas to be the fifth-best state in the U.S. for business - but the second-worst state to live in. Only Arizona is worse for "life, health and inclusion". More from that expansive Austin Monitor poll says Austinites find local news valuable, but disagree on how good our local media is, with conservatives particularly critical. The full spread of data from the poll has also been released for your perusal. Taylor residents remain resolved to honor the legacy of Dr. James Dickey, the Black community leader whose historic home was destroyed by an arsonist last weekend. The Hot Summer Nights free live music series has announced its lineup of bands and participating venues, with shows scheduled between August 4 and 6.
Adding insult to injury, the current historic heat wave has also resulted in the worst air quality in Central Texas in a decade. Meanwhile, ERCOT's chief is concerned about the ability of Texas' older power generators to keep up with the ongoing record demand for power this summer. Austin Public Health declares that monkeypox has achieved community spread in Austin. Meanwhile, COVID-19 risk remains at Medium level for Travis County, and hospitalizations continue tracking upward - as of yesterday at 159, up from 68 one month ago. Friends of an elderly cyclist who died in a hit-and-run crash in March are offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case. The director of Austin's Office of Civil Rights remains on paid leave following an investigation that appears to confirm employee allegations of a hostile work environment. Trash collection schedules have been moved earlier to allow workers to avoid the worst of the afternoon heat - we're now asked to have containers on the curb by 5:30am. A new poll commissioned by the Austin Monitor shows deep division in Austin over police spending and public safety, and that Austinites are dissatisfied with local government - and keen to vote in November. Lawyers for Alex Jones want to bar any mention of white supremacism or extremism from the cupcoming trial to determine how much he owes the families of Sandy Hook shooting victims whom he defamed. Meanwhile, his ex-wife Kelly Jones claims to have "insider info" which she's volunteering to the House Select Committee on the January 6 insurrection. A stretch of West Sixth Street, roughly the block east of Clark's Oyster Bar, is being eyeballed for a vertical mixed-use makeover. Our Thursday weekend live music outlook: Friday shows include Brandi Carlile and Lucius at Waterloo Park, Purity Ring at ACL Live, Billy Currington at Round Rock Amp, and the Roky Erickson Birthday and Ice Cream Social at Hotel Vegas. Saturday catch the Rebirth Brass Band at the Far Out Lounge, Atmosphere at Stubb's, Coheed and Cambria at Waterloo Amphitheater, and Kenny Wayne Shepherd at ACL Live. And extreme heat continues, with a high of 105 coming today - but with a welcome chance of rain, most likely between 3pm and 10pm today.
The release of hallway surveillance video from last month's shooting incident at Robb Elementary is being criticized by community leaders in Uvalde, while families and residents criticize those same leaders for a lack of transparency. Our historically horrible heat wave continues, with temps expected to remain over 100 each afternoon as far forward as the forecast goes - but there is a decent chance of rain coming Thursday. Meanwhile, amidst recent ERCOT calls for Texans to conserve energy, we learn that large companies, which use a lot more power than private customers, are not required to scale back usage during tight conditions. A suspect has been arrested in connection with the suspicious fire that destroyed the historic home of a Black community leader in Taylor. A dog has died after swimming at the "Barking Springs" area near Barton Springs Pool - investigators are looking into possible toxic algae contamination. Austin FC has reclaimed the top spot in the MLS Western Conference with a thrilling win over the Houston Dynamo. Longtime South Congress Italian bistro Enoteca Vespaio has closed, and will be replaced with the Oaxacan concept Chapulín Cantina - neighboring Vespaio Ristorante remains open. Eater.com's 38 Essential Restaurants In Austin list has undergone its quarterly update, adding Usta Kababagy, Birdie's, and Canje. A new ranking of the top resorts in Texas includes Austin's Commodore Perry Estate and Omni Barton Creek Resort at #2 and #3, respectively. Bruce Springsteen has announced his first Austin show in over a decade, at the Moody Center on February 16, 2023. Legendary Austin guitarist Eric Johnson has released two new albums.
Blistering heat continues - but, no official calls for conservation from ERCOT as of this morning. However, we should expect those calls to become common throughout the summer. A mental patient who escaped from an institution in North Texas two weeks ago has been apprehended in Austin, where he killed his father years ago, but was acquitted on an insanity defense. A new local poll finds that lack of affordability is the top issue facing Austin according to respondents, distantly followed by crime and homelessness. Austin's rental rates continue to increase at a pace beyond national averages. Recent STAAR test results indicate a gradual recovery from the widespread academic progress slowdown attributed to the pandemic, but there's still ground to make up in most subject areas for Texas students. The City has decided to limit the number of rental scooters available along Congress Avenue from the Capitol to Lady Bird Lake, and for one block in either direction of Congress along that stretch between Colorado and Brazos. The Austin Board of Realtors expects at least a slight drop in Austin home prices to come soon, following a drop in sales volume and an increase in inventory. ABIA is now offering walk-up enrollment for TSA PreCheck - but, it will still take three to five days for applications to be approved. Reba McEntire will bring her U.S. tour to the Moody Center on October 28, and Lyle Lovett and his Large Band will tape for Austin City Limits in August.
Another excessive heat warning today, as the moment that those of us who shivered through the multi-day statewide power outage in February of 2021 had feared: that experience appears primed for a possible, and potentially much more dangerous repeat as ERCOT urges Texas energy consumers to cut back today - a situation that's likely to become familiar over the rest of the summer. Sunday, the hottest July day ever recorded and the third-hottest day overall historically for Austin, saw two major local power outages due to system issues suffered by Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative. Governor Greg Abbott pledges to "look into" whether Austin is violating a new state law that penalizes cities for reducing law enforcement budgets - the Austin Police Department's budget is the highest it has ever been, at $443 million annually. Investigators are looking into a weekend fire that destroyed the historic home of a Taylor civil rights pioneer, which was being renovated into a museum. Murder suspect Kaitlin Armstrong faces a new charge: using another person's passport to leave the country. Austin's monkeypox case count climbs: we now have six confirmed local cases, and three others presumed to be monkeypox. Alamo Drafthouse faces a potential union conflict after the firing of an employee which is being construed by its union members as retaliation. Austin FC comes off a shutout win at Atlanta United to return home for a Tuesday night match at Q2 vs the Houston Dynamo. Again, an excessive heat advisory is in place today as we expect afternoon highs to climb into the upper 100's, perhaps 107, with similar weather (and potentially, similar power grid strain) likely for Tuesday and Wednesday. Highs back down into the 100-102 degree range as of Thursday.
Almost the entire state of Texas is now in a state of drought, with about 16% now in exceptional drought, including the the Hill Country and watershed areas critical to replenishing the Colorado River. Confirmed monkeypox cases in Texas have climbed to 20. Meanwhile three local counties - Blanco, Lampasas and Milam - have risen to High risk status for COVID-19 spread according to the CDC. Local hospitalizations continue rising steadily, now up to 142 from 118 one week ago. Gas prices continue dropping - the statewide average price is now down 16 cents over the last week, hitting $4.33 per gallon, which is still way higher than this time last year when it was $2.81. GasBuddy reports the cheapest gas in central Austin this morning is $4.19. Airport news: ABIA set a third-straight all-time monthly record for passenger volume in May, topping 2 million in a single month for the first time. Meanwhile, the Austin airport is to receive $15 million for expansion, via President Joe Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Texas Football is ranked #4 in predicted outcomes among the Big 12 in its media preseason poll, behind Oklahoma State, Oklahoma and Baylor, who place at the top of the preseason poll for the first time. Free outdoor entertainment: tonight marks the return of Zilker Theatre Productions free presentation of Newsies at Beverly Sheffield Hillside Theatre at Zilker Park. Shows run Thursday thru Sunday evenings at 8:15 through August 13. And, the Austin Symphony's Hartman Foundation Concerts in the Park continue on Sundays at the Long Center through August 28, those shows start at 8pm.
Demand on the Texas power grid has already surpassed the projected summer peak, about a month earlier than expected, with another all-time high of 77,460 megawatts set on Tuesday. Restrictions including a GPS tracker and passport surrender are being discussed as part of bond terms for murder suspect Kaitlin Armstrong. The real story here though, is that her release, after six weeks on an international flight from a murder charge, is being discussed at all. A new Texas State University study shows that three separate opportunities to stop the Robb Elementary shooter last month were missed by law enforcement officers. A lawsuit has been filed in Travis County against the owners of a short-term rental in Comfort in which cameras had been installed in its bedrooms, and against Austin-based Vrbo, via which the plaintiffs rented the space. A new UT/Texas Politics Project poll finds most Texans opposing abortion bans, and historic highs for respondents who believe our state is on the wrong track. Austin FC has announced the addition of Ecuadorian winger Washington Corozo, on a six-month loan deal from Peruvian Liga 1 club Sporting Cristal. Texas Longhorns RB Bijan Robinson has been named the preseason media Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year. Meanwhile, as Texas prepares to depart the Big 12, the conference is considering six Pac-12 schools for possible inclusion: Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, Utah, Oregon, and Washington. Longtime stand-up comedy staple the Cap City Comedy Club is set to hold its first show in its new location in northwest Austin tonight. Weekend live music options: Friday shows include Cory Morrow at the Haute Spot and The Belle Sounds at 3TEN ACL Live, Saturday catch the Austin Chamber Music Festival at the Austin Chamber Music Center, Alvin Crow's 50th anniversary show at the Broken Spoke and Fiddlehead at the Mohawk. Friday also sees the first of three free evening outdoor movies at Waterloo Park with a screening of Sing 2, starting at 7:30.
Murder suspect Kaitlin Armstrong is back in Austin. State Sen. Roland Gutierrez and Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin say that families of the Uvalde shooting victims are suffering delays in getting compensation benefits from the state, and that the compensation payments have been insufficient. Austin gas prices, while still flirting with record highs, have taken a dive of over 15 cents per gallon over the last week. Meanwhile, Austin's traffic levels have built back to pre-pandemic levels of gridlock. Citing extreme drought conditions, LCRA has decided to deny Highland Lakes water to agricultural customers in the lower Colorado River basin. A scandal is developing over a golden retriever that was reported missing from the Lucki Dog boarding facility in Spicewood, but later found buried on the facility's property. Austin Public Health has requested testing supplies and vaccines from the federal government to help tackle the potential spread of monkeypox in Central Texas. The current labor agreement between the City and the Austin Police Association will expire in three months - representatives of both are continuing to negotiate a new contract. Longtime KXAN news anchor Robert Hadlock, the longest-serving current anchor in Austin, is set to retire in mid-July. The original Z'Tejas location on West 6th is set to close by the end of the year. Austin has been ranked among the least-affordable cities in the country for minimum wage earners.
As shootings mar Independence Day celebrations across the nation, we had local trouble as well: Austin Fire Department crews were dispatched to as many as 90 fires between 8pm and midnight Sunday. Trouble on the water as well as three water incidents resulted in a drowning, a missing swimmer and one hospitalization for drowning. An attendant at a fireworks stand in northeast Austin shot at two men who were attempting to rob the business late last night, wounding one of them. And in more positive news, the owner of 12 Fox Beer Company in Dripping Springs decided to cancel his annual fireworks show yesterday, due to dry conditions. The Texas Supreme Court ruled late Friday that an abortion ban dating back to 1925 can now be enforced, undermining last Tuesday's temporary blocking of the law. More public pools have opened as of the weekend, including Martin Pool and Dottie Jordan Pool, with more opening next Sunday the 10th, including Ramsey Pool and Mabel Davis Pool. Tesla's Gigafactory east of Austin is set to undergo an additional 500,000 square foot expansion. Eight local business leaders have mad the national round of Ernst & Young's annual Entrepreneur Of The Year competition. Austin FC managed a comeback from a two goal deficit to beat the Colorado Rapids yesterday 3-2 - Landon Cotham at Moontower Soccer says "grit and a winning mentality are necessary traits of good teams in this league".
Kaitlin Armstrong, suspected of the murder of pro cyclist Anna Moriah Wilson, has been caught after six weeks on the run in Costa Rica. Travel advisory: holiday weekend backlog has begun to stack up at Austin Bergstrom International Airport, with long lines, delays and cancellations. Members of the Texas State Board of Education are recommending that social studies curriculum for 2nd graders refer to slavery as "involuntary relocation". That suspected case of monkeypox in Travis County has been confirmed, as contact tracing efforts continue. The Austin Fire Department is warning that conditions are too dry for any truly safe use of fireworks, though they are allowed in the usual locations. Also, personal watercraft will be banned for the 4th of July weekend on Lake Austin. The University of Texas has been ranked number 2, only behind Rice, in a new ranking of the best college investments. After a brief shutdown for renovations, venerable cajun restaurant Cypress Grill in South Austin is set to re-open in August to celebrate their 20th anniversary. Concertgoers at Emo's in East Austin have become frequent targets of car booters in nearby parking lots. Hi Sign Brewing is primed to open their new taproom next weekend, on July 9. The forecast for the holiday weekend has gotten hotter - we now expect 100-degree highs at a minimum beginning Friday and lasting at least through mid-July.
Four men are facing federal charges in connection to the mounting count of 53 migrants who died of heat exhaustion after being abandoned in a tractor trailer near San Antonio this week - including the driver of the truck, who tried to pass himself off as a migrant himself when confronted by police. The first Texas city on record saying it will not enforce new abortion restrictions in Texas isn't Austin - it's Denton. Following the closure of Jacob's Well this week comes the closing of Hamilton Pool, also due to high bacteria levels in the water. Meanwhile, after months of pleading for new lifeguards, some of them have not been getting paid on time by Austin's Parks and Recreation Department. Austin's Music Commission is requesting that the City Council expedite the deployment of the Live Music Fund to an earlier date than the one currently planned, next July. Stream Realty Partners, the company heavily invested in revitalizing East 6th Street has unveiled plans for new live music venues in several spaces it controls, including the former Buffalo Billiards and Dirty Dog spaces. SXSW is planning an offshoot event in Sydney, Australia, in October of 2023 (it's spring down there at that time). Travis and Williamson counties both made U.S. News' new rundown of the 500 healthiest counties in the country - Collin County ranked highest in Texas at #50, and Williamson significantly outranked Travis, at #121 and #295, respectively. Thursday live music roundup for the weekend: Friday shows include album releases with Sir Woman album release at The Parish and Big Bill at Hotel Vegas, a TC Superstar tour kickoff show at Cheer Up Charlie's, Bigg Robb at Antone's as part of their 47th Anniversary run, and a Nancy Griffith tribute show at the Cactus Cafe. Saturday catch Antone's anniversary fun with Jimmie Vaughan, a heavy 2nd Anniversary party at Hold Out Brewing with Holy Death Trio and Eagle Claw, and Los Pendejos del Norte featuring Ed Miller of Sun Radio and Rich Brotherton of the Robert Earl Keen band at New World Deli. Sunday Fleet Foxes are at Waterloo Park's Moody Amphitheater, and the Antone's anniversary features Miss Lavelle's Birthday Bash. And Monday the 4th, Willie Nelson's 4th of July Picnic rolls into Q2 Stadium for the first time with Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit, Tyler Childers, Allison Russell, Steve Earle & the Dukes, and tons more. Austin weather: a tropical disturbance in the northwestern Gulf Of Mexico is expected to dump rain on the Texas coast, and there's hope some of that will come our way, but officially our rain chances for this week are dropping and our hopes for significantly cooler temps are fading too. Highs Thursday and Friday of 96, rain chance now down to 20% for Friday. We're back to upper 90's by Saturday, and then back to what looks like a long string of triple digit days starting Tuesday.
COVID numbers are on the rise once again - including hospitalizations, as Travis County remains at Medium risk level. Meanwhile, monkeypox has achieved a limited degree of community spread in Austin. A Harris County judge has issued a temporary restraining order that suspends a 1925 law banning abortions - thus, Texas clinics can resume performing the procedure under recently-imposed limits. The death toll among an abandoned truckload of immigrants found near San Antonio this week has reached 51 - authorities have arrested three men suspected of operating the illegal immigration ring. A man who killed his father in Austin in 2013 but was acquitted on an insanity defense, has escaped from a mental health facility in north Texas. His mother says she's "terrified" and considers him to be dangerous. H-E-B and the Butt family have donated $10 million towards the rebuilding of Robb Elementary School in Uvalde. The popular Jacob's Well swimming hole in Wimberley has been declared off-limits due to high bacteria levels. The ACL Festival has made additions to their 2022 lineup, including Death Cab For Cutie, Culture Club, Austin's Adrian Quesada, and more. The Statesman has released a collection of charts that show just how bad our hot, dry summer has been so far - though we have seen worse at this point in the year. We're hoping for more rain in the next few days, but be advised that it could impact outdoor plans for the holiday weekend.
In the wake of the overturning of Roe v Wade, several companies with presences in Austin have announced that they'll cover travel costs for employees seeking abortion care. Travis County DA Jose Garza has announced that his office will not prosecute abortion-related cases, and Austin City Council Member Chito Vela is spearheading a resolution discouraging Austin police from investigating allegations concerning abortion. The decision has also prompted an increase of interest in vasectomies and tubal ligation procedures. A city-commissioned consumer advocate team is warning that proposed utility price hikes from Austin Energy will present significant challenges to lower-income Austinites. The downtown building housing Vince Young Steakhouse, dating back to 1912, is facing demolition. The Harry Ransom Center at UT is creating a new endowment named for actor Robert De Niro, who is set to host a 65th anniversary gala for the Ransom Center in September. Six Austin companies have made a new ranking of the "Best Companies To Work For". Hoffbrau Steaks, one of Austin's oldest restaurants, has closed down again - this time because it's just too hot. The last two Blues On The Green shows for the year will feature Shinyribs on July 19 and Black Joe Lewis on July 20. Good and bad news with the weather: we've officially set a new record for 100-degree days in June - but wasn't that rain nice yesterday? There's a chance we'll see more this week, and slightly cooler temps - we may not hit 100 again until after the July 4 holiday.
In the wake of Friday's decision from the U.S. Supreme Court announcing the overturning of Roe v Wade, thousands of Austinites spent their weekend protesting and demonstrating for reproductive rights. A push to force all ten Austin City Council Members to stand for re-election this year has been ended by the Texas Supreme Court. The Austin Fire Department has deployed firefighters and equipment to join in battling the Dempsey Fire in Palo Pinto County, just west of Fort Worth. Austin Public Health has reversed course on closing its last COVID-19 vaccination center due to demand from parents of younger kids - APS is also awaiting results from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to confirm what would be the first case of monkeypox in Travis County. John Nagle II, an Austin-based entrepreneur who founded several interactive gaming companies, died June 22 in a helicopter accident. Several board members of Mexic-Arte Museum, dedicated since 1983 to the presentation and promotion of traditional and contemporary Mexican and Latino art and culture, have resigned citing concerns about the museum's management and leadership. Austin FC clawed back from a 2-0 deficit vs FC Dallas on Saturday, eventually ending the match in a 2-2 draw. And could it be? A tropical low and an unusual June cold front are primed to drop temperatures into the 90's for much of this week, bringing also a chance of desperately-needed rain.
LINKS TO BOOK YOUR SPOT TO OUR LAS VEGAS AND SAN FRANCISCO SHOWS HERE Today is Raul Gonzalez's 45th birthday, and our chief editor, Kiyan Sobhani, verbalizes how great the Real Madrid legend was. Did you enjoy this podcast? Get a ton of exclusive content over on Patreon.com/ManagingMadrid. Managing Madrid is a hub for all Madridistas with updated news, op-eds, tactical analyses, artwork, and of course, podcasts. It also serves as a means for Real Madrid fans to connect and discuss the team. We would like your support so that we can continue to produce podcasts for you. The site is run by a small team that works tirelessly around the clock to make it into what it is today. Your contributions will allow us to continue to have a real and full-time presence in keeping this website, and it's podcasts, going. Hosts this week: Kiyan Sobhani (@KiyanSo) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Travis County returns to Medium COVID risk status - at this point Blanco, Caldwell, Hays and Williamson Counties are also at Medium. Longhorn Nation is abuzz with the news that Louisiana heritage QB Arch Manning has chosen to attend UT. Austin ISD's 2022-23 budget has been approved: the $1.8 billion budget cuts almost 600 jobs, gives pay raises for some remaining staffers, and raises taxes on district homeowners. An expected "Robin Hood" bill of $846 million takes up almost half of AISD's funds for the upcoming school year. As reported earlier, fireworks will be legal and allowed this 4th of July holiday, but local sellers have reached an agreement with the Travis County Fire Marshal to suspend the sale of certain types of fireworks, including stick rockets and missiles. Speaking of holiday hazards - Texas has been named the 5th-worst offending state in the U.S. for drunk driving, and by far the most populous: the top four are Montana, South Dakota, Wyoming and North Dakota. Major backups resulted yesterday and may continue into Friday at ABIA due to required COVID cleanup protocols on the air control tower - what prompted the deep-clean remains unanswered. Austin gun store owner Michael Cargill has resigned his position of acting chairman of the Log Cabin Republicans of Texas, an LGTBQ GOP group, following rebuke over his comments that the recent Texas Republican Convention was attended by "crazy people". Wanna buy a Lake Austin house owned by Counting Crows pianist Charlie Gillingham? $4.25 million, and it's yours. Austin is closing in on a June record for days over 100 degrees - we've had 17 so far, and 20 is the all-time record for the month, set in 2008. A cooldown into the 90's along with decent rain chances next week could stand in the way of a new June record.
LINKS TO BOOK YOUR SPOT TO OUR LAS VEGAS AND SAN FRANCISCO SHOWS HERE On this episode of the Daily Drop -- a 5-10 minute segment of the Managing Madrid Podcast designed to give you some content on days where we don't have podcasts planned -- Kiyan Sobhani reads an excerpt from his upcoming book. Managing Madrid is a hub for all Madridistas with updated news, op-eds, tactical analyses, artwork, and of course, podcasts. It also serves as a means for Real Madrid fans to connect and discuss the team. We would like your support so that we can continue to produce podcasts for you. The site is run by a small team that works tirelessly around the clock to make it into what it is today. Your contributions will allow us to continue to have a real and full-time presence in keeping this website, and it's podcasts, going. Hosts this week: Kiyan Sobhani (@KiyanSo) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Uvalde updates: The Robb Elementary School building, where last month's mass shooting occurred, is set to be demolished. School district police chief Pete Arredondo has been placed on leave from those duties by Uvalde CISD administrators. Texas State Senator Roland Gutierrez has filed suit against the Texas Department of Public Safety, demanding that they hand over all records and information related to the shooting. And Texas Senate hearings on the crime at the Capitol that have been ongoing all this week have included very little discussion of guns. Speaking of guns - earlier this week, a man tried to enter the 7-11 store at Ben White and South 1st with an AR-15 rifle after the clerk declined to give him free gas. He's charged with first-degree felony aggravated robbery. And, another man was arrested Sunday after firing rounds at people near Zilker Park and threatening a mass shooting at a weekly Sunday drum circle there. Median home prices inside the Austin city limits have hit another all-time new high: $667,000 on average as of May, a 21% year-to-year jump - we're now considered the second-most overpriced market in the U.S. Historic Ski Shores Cafe on Lake Austin has re-opened after a remodel by new owners McGuire Moorman Lambert, while the equally historic original Threadgill's site on North Lamar will see a 100-unit apartment building go up behind the restaurant structure, which will be preserved as part of the project after a request to tear it down was denied by the city. Live music this weekend: Friday shows including 5 Seconds of Summer and Pale Waves at Waterloo Park, CJ Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band at Antone's, and the fabulous Copa Kings at the Highball. Saturday catch Country Willie Edwards at Sagebrush, Shinyribs at the Haute Spot, the all-day Texas metal showcase Lonestar Unleashed with Austin's High Desert Queen, Rickshaw Billie's Burger Patrol and Skatenigs, Dallas' Wo-Fat and Temptress, Houston's Warlung and tons more, bring your earplugs. Meanwhile the Hot Summer Nights free concert series in the Red River Cultural District is set to return August 4-6.
The director of the Texas Department of Public Safety characterized the police response to the Uvalde school shooting as an "abject failure" yesterday during a hearing held by a Texas Senate committee. The Texas power grid has held up well so far this blazing hot summer - but all that extra capacity is costing Texas (and eventually, Texans) hundreds of millions of dollars in extra charges. Elon Musk has plans to expand his industrial footprint east of Austin as SpaceX is set to build in Bastrop County. In spite of area-wide burn bans, the selling and use of fireworks in the Austin area will actually be legal this 4th of July. Ever wonder exactly why we're not supposed to swim in Lady Bird Lake? KXAN has an explainer. A new free park and shuttle service for Zilker Park will launch on Saturday. "Name Image Likeness" or NIL endorsement deals among athletes at UT generated $2 million in its first year, led by football but also including softball and swimming. The San Antonio Spurs have announced a multi-year jersey patch partnership with Self Financial, a credit building financial technology company based in Austin, starting during the 2022 NBA Summer League. Concert announcements: Kid Cudi will play the Moody Center in August, and ZZ Top will play the Germania Insurance Amphitheater in September.
LINKS TO BOOK YOUR SPOT TO OUR LAS VEGAS AND SAN FRANCISCO SHOWS HERE: On this episode of the Managing Madrid Podcast, Kiyan Sobhani answers questions on the importance of left-footed players, why Real Madrid didn't make a move for Sadio Mane, whether or not Real Madrid should sign Jude Bellingham next season, and more. Did you enjoy this podcast? Join the Patreon army for a ton of exclusive content. Managing Madrid is a hub for all Madridistas with updated news, op-eds, tactical analyses, artwork, and of course, podcasts. It also serves as a means for Real Madrid fans to connect and discuss the team. We would like your support so that we can continue to produce podcasts for you. The site is run by a small team that works tirelessly around the clock to make it into what it is today. Your contributions will allow us to continue to have a real and full-time presence in keeping this website, and it's podcasts, going. Hosts this week: Kiyan Sobhani (@KiyanSo) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Uvalde developments continue: The Texas Tribune has published a minute-by-minute account of the mass shooting event, based upon all currently-available information - including new information that shows police on the site with sufficient firepower and shielding to have engaged the shooter much earlier than they did. Parents of the Uvalde school district are calling for the firing of district school police chief Pete Arredondo, and Democrats in the Texas Senate have renewed calls to Governor Greg Abbott to convene a special session of the Texas Legislature to consider gun safety. Record heat continues On Monday, as the "heat dome" affecting the area shifts eastward. One day prior to today's official first day of summer - the Texas power grid set a new all-time record for power demand, for the second time in just over a week. Monday's peak of 76,600 megawatts tops the prior, eight-day-old record by over 1,500 megawatts. Meanwhile, development in new energy sources is being outpaced by growth in demand. Austin-area U.S. Representative Lloyd Doggett has unveiled a new federal research project dedicated to the impact of climate change on water supplies. Doggett predicts that rising heat will see "Texas become much more like the Sonoran Desert". Meanwhile, concern mounts about toxic algae contamination and zebra mussels in Austin's waterways. The Austin housing market shows signs of cooling, as inventory grows and the rate of sales slows - prices, however, have not yet begun to drop. With all of that in mind, Austonia breaks down the question: Is Austin still cool? In the wake of an ignominious loss to Texas A&M, marking Texas Baseball's departure from this year's College World Series, head coach David Pierce has dismissed longtime assistant and pitching coach Sean Allen. The athletic director at OU says that following the Sooners' departure from the Big 12 alongside UT, that the schools will continue to play football against each other each season, outside of the partial-conference rotation that will mark that large conference's members schedules.
New polling shows that, in the wake of the Uvalde school shooting, the Texas gubernatorial race has tightened between Gov. Greg Abbott and Democratic challenger Beto O'Rourke. Kaitlin Armstrong, on the run now for over a month in connection with the shooting death of pro cyclist Anna Moria Wilson, may be going by her sister Christine Armstrong's name in New York - she also may have fled to Canada. Austin Police are searching for 11 year old Eimi Estrada, who has been missing since Monday and was last seen in the North Plaza/Rundberg area of North Austin. A 17-year-old with an extensive criminal record was shot by a man he was trying to rob in a Domain parking lot on Tuesday. Austin is rated highly among "equity-rich" metros - meaning that relatively few Austin homeowners owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth. Texas and Oklahoma, said to be departing the Big 12 for the SEC by 2025, have reportedly moved that goal up a year to 2024. Singer Zac Collier, a Texas A&M alum, has been cut from a National Anthem performance at the College World Series after being seen flashing the anti-UT "horns down" hand sign at the Women's College World Series, in which Texas Softball was a competitor. Weekend live music: Friday shows include Pride At Swan Dive with Sabrina Ellis and more, Tameca Jones in what she bills as her "last public performance" at Antone's, Viben and the Submersibles at the Mohawk, Broncho at Empire Control Room, and Casey Donahew at the Haute Spot. Saturday sees The Crystal Method at The Venue ATX, Ty Segall at the Mohawk, Slaid Cleaves at The 04 Center, and Crystal Gayle at the Haute Spot. Sunday, the Stay Black And Live music festival day features Ivy Rootz, Charmin Greene, Mama Duke, WC Clark and tons more at the George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center. Austin weather: we snapped a streak of consecutive triple-digit days that lasted over a week on Wednesday, but we're back at it today with a high of 101 expected, and similar and likely longer streaks of 100+ heat are likely coming throughout the summer.
Local developments on guns: Travis County Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution asking Governor Greg Abbott to call a special legislative session aimed at preventing future mass shootings yesterday, while Texas Democratic House members hosted town halls on gun violence prevention in both Round Rock and San Marcos. And, the Austin City Council is set to vote on Thursday on raising the minimum age for the purchase of semiautomatic firearms from 18 to 21 locally. The Austin City Council has unanimously approved a proposal from a Dallas real estate developer to execute significant changes in the East 6th Street bar district, including raising the maximum building height along the street. An updated design for the Project Connect transit plan calls for removing vehicle traffic from Guadalupe Street along the western edge of University of Texas campus, making the area open only to people who are walking, biking, riding a bus or using the street's planned light rail system. Trouble continues for the Austin Animal Center as it has significantly exceeded its housing capacity for dogs - an urgent plea for fosters and adopters has been issued. Texas Baseball's opening College World Series game against Notre Dame has been set for Friday night at 6pm - catch it on ESPN. NFL ex's in local business: former Longhorn Kenny Vaccaro is launching a new boutique fashion outlet called Konnect from his South Congress social performance club The Kollective, and former NFL QB Tim Tebow has been named chief mission officer for Austin-based snack bar company NuSkool Snacks. Travis County has been named the second-wealthiest county in Texas by SmartAsset, ranking only behind oil-rich Midland County.
The new conservative think tank at the University of Texas, up until now referred to as the "Liberty Institute", has been formally named The Civitas Institute. Its first director will be UT alum Justin Dyer, who describes himself as a "conservative, straight out of central casting, pro-life evangelical". Adding to the misery of our early heat wave this year is Saharan Dust - along with diminished air quality, however, we should get some great sunsets. Three Austin chefs - Edgar Rico of Nixta Taqueria, Iliana de la Vega of El Naranjo, and Mashama Bailey of The Diner Bar and Grey Market - have been named James Beard winners. Austin Bergstrom International Airport has broken its monthly passenger record for the second month in a row: April's all-time-high count of 1,865,046 surpasses March's total by over 40,000. The number of residents living in downtown Austin surged 79 percent between 2010 and 2020, when it hit 13,648. After a promising start, Capital Metro has announced that it will not bring its transit schedule fully back to pre-pandemic levels after all. The revival of the Austin Opry House off South Congress is approved by the Austin City Council, with caveats about the size of the project. The city's Animal Advisory Commission has passed a vote of no confidence in the director of the Austin Animal Center. Beloved local pizza purveyor Bufalina is set to reopen in the former Frank's Laundry space in East Austin. Austin has been ranked one of the best U.S. cities for hiking, at #30 out of 200. In Texas, we rank only behind El Paso at #18. Portland, Oregon tops the list. Post Malone and Slipknot have announced Austin shows at the Moody Center and Germania Insurance Amphitheater, respectively.
High temperature records were broken both Saturday and Sunday, and ERCOT reports that electricity demand in Texas hit an all-time new record high on Sunday afternoon at 74,889 megawatts, topping the prior record set in August of 2019. A bipartisan and potentially filibuster-proof group of U.S. Senators including Texas' John Cornyn have announced an agreement on gun violence, including funding for "red flag" laws and expanded background checks on younger guy buyers. Of this new progress, Matthew McConaughey says it "doesn't mean we have a solution, but it does support more responsible gun ownership". Meanwhile, thousands gathered to rally for gun reform at the Texas State Capitol on Saturday for the second March For Our Lives, which featured similar gatherings across the country. Seven of the 31 members of a white supremacist group who were stopped from interfering with an Idaho Pride event over the weekend are from Texas - only one of the 31 is from Idaho. Blues On The Green's first pair of free shows for this summer are Tuesday and Wednesday - organizers encourage attendees to park at Austin High School or Palmer Events Center and use the shuttles from those locations. Austin Public Library and BookPeople are teaming up for a summer reading series focusing on books that have been banned or challenged in Texas school districts. Austin has a second unionized Starbucks location: the West Campus outlet at 24th and Nueces. Austin's Colton House Hotel has been named one of the top 10 "Hottest New Hotels in the U.S." by TripAdvisor. After a weather delay for a forced third super-regional game against East Carolina, Texas Baseball wins and advances to the College World Series - historic rivals OU and Texas A&M are both in the running as well. Following Austin FC's 4-1 friendly loss to C.F. Pachuca, Landon Cotham at Moontower Soccer says "there's no shame in losing to the Liga MX runner-up, but Austin's performance made it difficult to feel much encouragement". Hot weather continues: 102 expected Monday, which could tie or surpass today's all time record. Heat abates from record levels at mid-week, but remains very high - we may stay below 100 for Tuesday and Wednesday, but triple-digit days resume Thursday.
For the first time since new three-level, CDC-managed measurement metrics were adopted for Travis County, our COVID risk assessment has been raised from Low to Medium level. Austin U.S. Representative Chip Roy presented what the Statesman calls a "dystopian" critique of attempts to apply restrictions to gun access during another hearing Thursday that featured survivors of the Uvalde shooting - one Democratic lawmaker pointed out that Roy's pretext for protecting gun rights involves owners turning them on American troops. Pete Arredondo, the Uvalde school police department head who has been at the center of discussions on the delay in police action against the mass shooter, has given his first full-ranging interview - the delay, he says, was in finding a key that would unlock the classroom's reinforced door. Over 2,000 Austin ISD staffers are leaving the district as the school year ends. Harmful algae has been detected in Lady Bird Lake, and the city's Watershed Protection department is expanding its Phoslock treatment plan in an attempt to curb its growth. Austin has been named the U.S. city with the fastest-rising residential rental rates - in fact, housing costs in Austin have risen so much that our city no longer appears to be a savings opportunity for people living in high-cost areas. A new Virgin Atlantic direct flight from London to Austin experienced baggage handling problems upon arrival at ABIA for the first time. While he was in town, passenger and Virgin founder Richard Branson took a tour of Austin's Capital Factory. This year's ROT Rally is based in Bastrop for the first time, but Austin drivers should expect an uptick in motorcycle traffic over the weekend. Laurie Anderson, the widow of rock icon Lou Reed, says plans to base an exhibit of Reed's work at UT's Harry Ransom Center were scrapped due to Texas laws that went into effect in 2015, allowing the carrying of guns on college campuses. Texas Softball loses a second game, and thus the WCWS, to Oklahoma. Texas Baseball begins a super-regional best-of-three series against East Carolina at Greenville this morning at 11. And, brace yourself for a wiltingly-hot weekend. Texas A&M University climate expert and State Climatologist Dr. John Nielsen-Gammon says he expects this summer to be the second-hottest summer on record for the state.
A federal investigation into the police response to the Uvalde mass shooting has been launched, but it does not carry the threat of criminal charges. Federal officials also warn of more gun violence in coming months, connected to the impending Supreme Court ruling on abortion and the November mid-term elections. As the Texas power grid continues (so far) to hold up under historic heat, an interesting stat emerges: almost half of the power consumed lately in the Lone Star State is coming from wind and solar sources. After being publicly shamed and having its scooters threatened with seizure by Travis County Tax Assessor-Collector Bruce Elfant, Bird has paid its outstanding tax bill of almost $150,000. Nearly a dozen high-value-breed dogs were stolen from a kennel in Cedar Creek by a team of masked thieves last Friday morning. "LivePD" - the reality TV series that was canceled after it recorded and then deleted footage of the police-involved death of Javier Ambler in 2019 - is returning to production under the new name "On Patrol: Live". A SmartAsset study shows that, at current average wages in Austin, it takes 57.4 hours of work per week to afford the average rent of Austin apartments - currently $1,346 per month. Texas Softball were trounced by OU in the opening game of the WCWS yesterday, 16-1. Game 2 starts at 6:30 Thursday night in the best-of-three series. Austin's Major League Rugby team, the Gilgronis, have been suspended from post-season play this year, reportedly due to salary cap violations. The title of "world's largest convenience store" - or, world's largest Buc-ee's - will soon be lost in New Braunfels, but is then set to return to Central Texas as the chain plans to replace its Luling location with a 75,000 square foot store. Live music for the weekend: Friday shows include the Camp Nowhere EDM festival at Germania Insurance Amphitheater, Dishwalla at the Haute Spot, KOOP Radio's 27th Birthday Party at Antone's with Kalu James and the Electric Joint, and an A. Sinclair record release at Hotel Vegas. Saturday, Jimmy Buffet plays the Moody Center, Amos Lee is at ACL Live at the Moody Center, Earthgang plays Emo's, Belle and Sebastian play Stubbs, and HeartByrne is at the Far Out Lounge. UMI plays the Scoot Inn on Sunday. And the June heat wave remains relentless, with high temperatures reaching 106 expected over the upcoming weekend.
Mega-hot early June Austin weather has yet another unfortunate byproduct: increased new COVID cases. Travis County officials have extended the current burn ban through at least July 13. Matthew McConaughey followed up his Monday Austin American-Statesman op-ed with an emotional national address from the White House Briefing Room yesterday, calling for what he believes are reasonable, bipartisan compromises in the gun access debate. Austin ISD is set to receive a $5.5 million federal reimbursement for COVID safety-related expenses incurred during the pandemic. Austin Water are in the process of installing "smart" metering devices - and you'll have to pay extra if you want to keep your old meter. The Austin City Council is set to vote on additional HALO cameras and metal detectors for the East 6th Street bar district. They're also considering bumping minimum pay for City employees to $22 per hour. San Marcos is considering incentives for a proposed $267 million film production facility known as "Project Dark Monday" - there are environmental concerns over the proposed location of the 820,000 square foot studio. Round Rock has been ranked the best city in America for renters by RentCafe, measured by cost of living, quality of rental housing, economic strength, and quality of life. Austin made #3 on the list, San Antonio is #18, and San Marcos is #41. Meanwhile Austin is named the 4th fastest-growing city in America for freelance workers, measured by Fiverr - Dallas is #8, and Houston is #10. Texas Football's Bijan Robinson has been named the best running back in all of NCAA football in a new preseason position ranking from 24-7 Sports. And the blistering early June heat wave continues: Wednesday's high will hit 102, Thursday expect 101 - then highs Friday through Monday will hit 105 at a minimum, with weekend temperatures potentially reaching 107 degrees.
Monday's high of 103 tied the all time record set during the most recent major Austin heat wave of 2011 - we're likely to break the record of 100 for Tuesday, most recently hit that same year - and we're just warming up. Highs Friday through next Monday are expected to hit at least 105, and this pattern could persist for another couple of weeks. ERCOT expects statewide power demand to pass the all time record of 75,000 megawatts today, and has extended existing warnings of potential emergency conditions through next week - meanwhile electricity prices in Texas have risen 70% since this time last year. Monday also saw the beginning of Stage 1 water use restrictions for Austin Water customers. Matthew McConaughey, known for keeping his politics vague, has taken a stand on the issue of gun control in an op-ed for the Austin American-Statesman, calling for universal background checks for gun purchases, a minimum age of 21 and a waiting period for assault rifle ownership, and the enacting of Red Flag laws in Texas. U.S. Marshals say Kaitlin Armstrong, wanted on suspicion in the murder of pro cyclist Anna Moriah Wilson, was last seen being dropped off at Newark Liberty International Airport on May 18, four days after flying from Austin to New York LaGuardia. A $5,000 reward is offered for her arrest. Nicholas Gerli, CEO of real estate data analytics company Reventure Consulting, predicts that Austin's real estate bubble is about to pop - and we're the only Texas city on his watchlist. The Travis County Tax Office is threatening to seize and auction rental scooters owned by Bird, which owes over $147 thousand in property taxes from last year. Monday was opening day for Austin's public pools, but due to ongoing lifeguard shortages, less than half of them are open. Meanwhile Barton Springs Pool will resume operations on Wednesdays starting today, returning the pool to its full normal schedule. House Park BBQ, Austin's oldest pit BBQ restaurant, is preparing to reopen after almost two years closed due to a fire. Texas Softball has advanced to the Women's College World Series championship series for the first time in program history after beating Oklahoma State twice yesterday - they face Oklahoma starting tomorrow for the title at 7:30pm, find the first game on ESPN. Texas Baseball has played its last home game of the season, and is off to Greenville to face East Carolina for the first time ever in the super-regional round of the NCAA baseball tournament - start time still TBA.
On the cusp of a potentially record-breaking early-June heat wave, local health officials are warning residents to prepare and manage their exposure to high temperatures. The Austin American-Statesman has published a long and harrowing analysis of the potential climate disaster waiting ahead. As new Omicron subvariants are detected in Travis County and COVID positivity rates continue to climb, Austin Public Health is strongly encouraging Austinites to get up to date on booster shots. Round Rock's first-ever Pride Festival over the weekend was a resounding success. Austin is ill-prepared to coordinate with a statewide push by the Texas Department of Transportation to crack down on speeders, as APD continues suffering staffing shortages in its traffic enforcement units. Austin's oldest grocery store, Avenue B Grocery, has finally reopened after a long COVID shutdown - they'll be open Thursday thru Monday from 10am to 7pm. And, Provision Dining House has made its COVID comeback as well, reopening in The Triangle. This week's Austin Chronicle features a survey of design challenges facing the upcoming Project Connect transit effort and the impact they may have on surrounding neighborhoods, including Downtown, South Congress, Lady Bird Lake, the UT area, Riverside and Pleasant Valley, Crestview and North Lamar. The annual HousingWorks Austin report reveals major increases in housing costs and disparities in housing availability between different sections of the city. The Starbucks location at 45th and Lamar has become the first in Texas to unionize, making the Lone Star State the 27th with Starbucks Workers United unions. Texas Longhorns Baseball wins out over Air Force, Louisiana Tech and Dallas Baptist over the weekend at Disch Falk Field, in full domination of the Austin Regional - they now progress to the super-regional round and will take on the winner of today's matchup between East Carolina and Coastal Carolina later this week. And, Austin tops another national list, but this one's not very prestigious: Austinites leave their belongings behind in Uber cars more than riders in any other U.S. city.
Latest Uvalde developments: New details show that police on the scene did not know that 911 calls were being made by kids inside the classroom with the shooter. A mother who ran into the school to rescue her children has told her story to CBS News, after being warned to quiet down by Uvalde police - who have been enlisting biker gangs to help patrol the funerals of the shooting victims. Texas Senator Roland Gutierrez, whose district includes Uvalde, has expressed frustration at being left off of Lt. Governor Dan Patrick's committee of lawmakers addressing the shooting. An ABC News profile shows that Texas U.S. Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz are among the top recipients of pro-gun campaign contributions in that body, with Cruz receiving the most at $442,000 over his career - Cornyn has taken $340,000 from pro-gun individuals and political action committees. New details show that lawsuits filed by five APD officers regarding flawed crowd control devices and training related to the George Floyd protests have targeted the city, Mayor Steve Adler, Travis County DA Jose Garza, and a collection of social justice groups including Black Lives Matter and the Austin Justice Coalition. Meanwhile, five more protesters have filed lawsuits against the city over injuries they suffered during the protests. Local COVID positivity rates have risen into double-digit territory - now 19%, similar to numbers seen at the beginning for the Omicron wave in early January. Mixed results for advocates of LGBTQ-friendly bars on 4th Street: Austin's Landmark Commission has chosen not to recommend historic zoning for the area, but additional concessions to the existing businesses have come from the developer seeking to build a high rise on the block. The Downtown Austin Alliance has released its annual State Of Downtown report, showing that commercial building and leasing, business growth and residential sectors are all booming. The Austin City Council is set to consider new policies aimed at making the process of building accessory dwelling units or ADU's easier for Austin homeowners. Couch-surfers rejoice: the ATX Television Festival returns to downtown Austin this weekend. And, today's our last chance at some rain before several consecutive days of potentially record-breaking heat begin - likely also leading to all-time electricity demand highs for the beleaguered Texas power grid.
Latest Uvalde developments: Governor Greg Abbott has ordered the Texas House and Senate to convene special legislative committees to address school and gun safety in the wake of last week's school shooting in Uvalde, but stopping short of calling for a full special session of the Legislature. Texas State Senator Roland Gutierrez, whose jurisdiction includes Uvalde, has accused Governor Abbott of attempting to "bamboozle" grieving locals with empty promises of legislative action. Five people remained hospitalized with injuries suffered in the shooting as of Wednesday, including a 10 year old girl who remains in serious condition. The Girl Scouts have posthumously honored shooting victim Amerie Jo Garza with its Bronze Cross, which is granted to members who display life-threatening heroism. A Wednesday night mobile home fire in north Austin has claimed the life of a young child. The City of Austin has filed a challenge with the U.S. Census Bureau, contesting the count in the most recent census in 2020 - we are the largest U.S. city so far to do so. The Austin Police Department is pushing for the reinstatement of automated license plate readers, or ALPR's - a tool that was suspended alongside budgetary modifications following the George Floyd protests in 2020. Meanwhile, five APD officers facing indictments over their use of force during those protests are suing the city, saying the “less than lethal” rounds employed during the demonstrations were defective, and that they were insufficiently trained in their use. TXDOT has begun an extensive project to remove those pesky stoplights from part of Loop 360. The criminal justice org Mano Amiga reports it has reached the necessary number of petition signatures to force a local vote on marijuana decriminalization in San Marcos. Texas French Bread announces its return, at first with sales via local farmers markets. The future of the historic building on 29th Street, largely destroyed by fire, remains uncertain. Texas Longhorns Men's Golf has won a national championship - its first NCAA title since 2012. Weekend live music features a boatload of interesting road shows: Friday includes The Mavericks at ACL Live at the Moody Theater, The Warlocks at Hotel Vegas, The Suffers and Emily Wells at the Parish, Night Drive at the Far Out Lounge, and KUTX's Rock The Park show witih Joe McDermott and Sir Woman at Mueller Lake Park. Saturday shows: Whores at the Parish, Diane Coffee at the Mohawk, and Symphony X at Empire Control Room. On Sunday, Steely Dan plays ACL Live, Lawrence and Misterwives are at Stubb's, and Lunar Vacation is at the Parish. Meanwhile, Panic! At The Disco will kick off their upcoming world tour with a show at Austin's Moody Center on September 8. And after a couple of cooler days with decent rain chances, "Mama Nature gets rude" - a string of potentially record-setting triple-digit days is on the way next week.
Welcome to a new segment of the Managing Madrid Podcast called the Daily Drop, a near-daily segment that gives you 5-10 minutes of Real Madrid news / scattered thoughts to keep your pulse on the team. Today's topics: Eden Hazard's return, Mohamed Salah's recent quotes, Sergio Arribas, Karim Benzema's legacy, and a ton more. Did you enjoy this podcast? Join us on Patreon.com/ManagingMadrid for a ton of bonus content Book your tickets to these cities on the Managing Madrid Podcast world tour: Mumbai, May Managing Madrid is a hub for all Madridistas with updated news, op-eds, tactical analyses, artwork, and of course, podcasts. It also serves as a means for Real Madrid fans to connect and discuss the team. We would like your support so that we can continue to produce podcasts for you. The site is run by a small team that works tirelessly around the clock to make it into what it is today. Your contributions will allow us to continue to have a real and full-time presence in keeping this website, and it's podcasts, going. Hosts this week: Kiyan Sobhani (@KiyanSo) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices