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Residents of Major U.S. Cities Flock To Austin -- Because It's Cheaper

by: Joe Deshotel

Sun Apr 13, 2014 at 02:30 PM CDT

Austin is the nation's fastest growing city since 2010. That's not breaking news to those have have lived here at least that long. But, where is everyone coming from and why? The short answer is easy: from other major U.S. cities and...California, and because it's relatively cheaper.

Folks coming from New York or Chicago may appreciate not shoveling snow, but the weather isn't the only reason people are giving up their sprawling metropolis.

Despite the outcry of decreasing affordability by current residents, Austin is still cheaper to live than most established big cities like New York, Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago or Washington D.C.

The housing shortage, let alone the affordable housing shortage, is still pretty apparent in Austin. From talks with local real estate agents I'm told almost every sale ends in a bidding war, and long time renters lament their rent going up at the end of every lease. For many residents it certainly doesn't feel like one of America's most affordable major cities.

More below the jump...

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Civil Rights Summit In Austin Reflects on LBJ's Legacy & Continued Struggles

by: Joe Deshotel

Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 00:00 PM CDT

This Summer marks the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon Johnson's signing the 1964 Civil Rights Act. And, to honor those that fought and the progress they made, a 3 day summit was held this week at his Presidential Library on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin.

Johnson's legacy has been haunted by the specter of the Vietnam War, and that has in many ways overshadowed his top accomplishments like the Civil Rights Act, fair housing, Medicare, Medicaid, and the Voting Rights Act.

Johnson also had the courage to use the Presidency as a bully pulpit to pass Civil Rights legislation during an election year. It would be his only election to the Presidency as he decided not to run for reelection due to the division and death toll of Vietnam.

Every living former U.S. President, Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush was in attendance at the Civil Rights Summit. Thursday's keynote reflection on Civil Rights was delivered by President Obama, who acknowledged that he is President today because of the Civil Rights movement.

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Senator Leticia Van de Putte Ends Statewide Bus Tour With Rally at UT

by: Joe Deshotel

Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 01:00 PM CDT

On Monday Senator Leticia Van de Putte ended her statewide bus tour at the campus of UT Austin in front of an enthusiastic crowd of students and other supporters. She was welcomed to the podium by State Representative Celia Israel who she had sworn into office herself only a month before.

She appeared with her family flanking her on both sides, whom she said had been with her throughout her tour. It was something of a homecoming for Van de Putte, even though she represents San Antonio, she is also a Longhorn.

She brought with her the stories from every corner of Texas. When she mentioned a different region you could hear sporadic cheers of young voices who who have found, at least their educational home, in Austin.

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Senator Leticia Van de Putte Speaks With Bloggers On "Core Issues" and Power of Social Media

by: Joe Deshotel

Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 05:01 PM CDT

On a conference call with Texas bloggers Senator Leticia Van de Putte gave a summation of her statewide bus tour that concludes today at the West Mall on UT's campus.

She launched her campaign in November with the line, "Mama ain't happy," and today she confirmed that that sentiment is widespread across our state -- including in the business community.

Her focus she said, was on "core priorities" of education, water, transportation and affordable healthcare.

See why LVP believes her message will resonate with Red State voters below the jump...

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SXSW 2015: Austin Startup Says Drones Will Be Jetpacks You Were Always Promised

by: Joe Deshotel

Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 03:00 PM CDT

Move over rideshare! Get the hail out of the way taxicabs! Remember those jetpacks we were all promised? If an Austin startup has its way, by this time next year drones could be the newest form of alternative transportation in nation's fastest growing city.

A new startup called SkyWaze is the brainchild of entrepreneur Zachary Morris, who co-founded the company while working on another tech project at Austin's Capital Factory.

The concept, still in Beta testing, is simple, and essentially the opposite of what Amazon proposed last year. Instead of delivering packages to your door, SkyWaze plans to deliver you anywhere within a 10 mile radius of downtown Austin. Set your destination with your smartphone app and soon your air chariot will arrive. Morris says he got the idea when friends who were visiting town for SXSW could not hail a cab and were too far out for pedicabs.

Find out which Shark Tank host is financially backing SkyWaze below the jump...

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SXSW Forever 27: The Community Responds & The City Reviews

by: Joe Deshotel

Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 02:18 PM CDT

The Events that took place during SXSW 2014 entered the festival into a dark but elite club known as "Forever 27." A group whose members saw untimely death come in their 27th year. For SXSW though, it is an opportunity to reflect on the events that transpired leaving at least 3 dead and how the iconic festival can continue to grow with the city without future incident.

Like the festival itself the news of the tragedy was international as well was the outpouring of community support for the victims and their families. Blood, money and fellowship were among the many ways Austin and the patrons of SXSW have shown their respects to the victims and their friends and families. City officials are also looking at public safety policies regarding large scale events of which Austin has many, and local music promoters and fans are organizing efforts that will keep the momentum of recovery going.

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Texas Home To 4 Of 10 Most Income Segregated Metros in the U.S.

by: Nick Hudson

Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 02:11 PM CDT

This map shows how U.S. metros stack up on income segregation. Dark blue reflects high levels of income segregation; light blue significant levels; green moderate levels, and yellow low levels.

Four out of the ten of the most economically segregated large metro areas in the country are in Texas, according to a study conducted by Richard Florida and covered in The Atlantic Cities.

San Antonio-New Braunfels was the No. 1 most segregated metro area in the country. The Houston Area was the No. 4 most economically segregated. The Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metro took the No. 8 spot. And the Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos metro was No. 10.

Economic segregation is a measure of the tendency of affluent people to live in neighborhoods where almost everyone else is affluent, and poor people to live in neighborhoods where almost everyone else is poor. The measure of income segregation reveals concentrated pockets of advantage and disadvantage. This is significant, according to Florida, because concentrated disadvantage has been shown to limit socioeconomic mobility.

Read More Below The Fold!

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Austin You're Drunk, Go Home! (If You Can Catch A Ride)

by: Joe Deshotel

Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 04:30 PM CDT

Austin you're drunk, go home! Wait, what's that? You can't catch a cab because it's 2:00 a.m. and it's the middle of SXSW, Uber jacked up its prices, and pedicabs won't take you all the way to the only part of Austin you can afford to live in? Well that, my friends, is a big drinking problem.

It may come as no surprise to locals but Austin's downtown zip code 78701 boasts the highest sales of alcohol in the state of Texas -- over $1.5 Billion worth in the last decade.

That fact, coupled with local transportation infrastructure's failure to keep up with demand, has officials worried about public safety and how that might affect the long term image of our fun-loving city. You need to look no further than what has been roundly reported as a DWI incident in which a man killed 3 SXSW attendees and injured dozens more, for some evidence supporting that as a valid concern.

Much more below the jump including how SXSWers responded to Jimmy Kimmel's question, "Are You Drunk..."

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InfoWars & Come And Take It Texas Holds Open Carry Rally Down 6th During SXSW

by: Joe Deshotel

Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 05:06 PM CDT

InfoWars and Come and Take It Texas staged an open carry rally on Wednesday down crowded 6th Street during the SXSW festival. The group held a small staging at 12th and San Jacinto before marching to the Capitol for a photo op and heading down to 6th Street. They plan to rally again on Saturday.

The group leader for Come and Take It Texas (CATI) told members and the media that their mission was to, "Actively educate fellow Texans [at the local level] about their rights to openly carry firearms in public in a responsible manner." But In a video prelude by InfoWars entitled "Armed Texans To Take On SXSW" the host encouraged listeners not to be "brainwashed by the Matrix immersed trendies out there at SXSW." Another video ad made by InfoWars clearly placed SXSW as a target of their demonstration.  

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State Rep. Celia Israel Sworn In Today By Sen. Leticia Van de Putte

by: Joe Deshotel

Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 04:37 PM CST

State Representative Celia Israel was officially sworn into office Saturday morning on the floor of the Texas House. Senator Leticia Van de Putte gave her the honor as she was surrounded by a chamber full of family, friends, and supporters. Van de Putte, now a candidate for Lt. Governor, was once elected a member of the Texas House herself in 1992.

Van de Putte praised Celia for being an outstanding public servant long before being elected to office. She cited Israel's work with Alliance for Public Transportation and the Capital Area Food Bank among others.

As Celia waited for the bible to be placed on the podium Van de Putte her told her of the tradition in the House -- to inscribe your favorite verse and leave it in the desk. The book does not belong to the member it, "it stays with the desk" she said, and recounted being sworn in on Sam Houston's bible.

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