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Posts Tagged ‘San Antonio’

Gary Elkins thumbs his nose at local payday lending ordinances

Such a fine example he sets. As a member of the Texas House of Representatives, Houston Republican Gary Elkins helps make laws. As a businessman, he is an owner of a chain of payday lending stores accused of breaking them. Elkins opposed payday lending regulations during the 2011 and 2013 legislative sessions, arguing members should […]

Making open data better

Some positive news. Houston leaders in the last year or so have cheered the promise of “civic hacking,” pushing to make the mountains of data the city collects accessible to tech enthusiasts capable of building programs to help citizens better understand and interact with their government. Two “hackathons” and a few dozen “app” ideas later, […]

UberASSIST and UberACCESS

As I’m sure you recall, access for the disabled was a major point of debate in the vehicles for hire saga. There was a lawsuit filed by a coalition of Texas disability advocates against Uber and Lyft over their lack of compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. I have wondered more than once how […]

San Antonio will take its time on Uber and Lyft

As was the case in Houston, San Antonio City Council is in no rush to take action on updating their vehicles for hire ordinances to deal with Uber and Lyft. After an emotional and colorful Citizens to be Heard session, the City Council Public Safety Committee unanimously agreed to hold-off on sending a staff-recommended ordinance […]

San Antonio has begun curbside recycling of plastic bags

As of August 1, to be exact. “We are starting with a new recycling processor that can accept the bags so that allows us to add it to the list of items we can accept,” [Solid Waste Management Department Public Relations Manager Tiffany] Edwards said, adding that the move gives San Antonians another option to […]

LVdP will not be a candidate for Mayor of San Antonio in 2015

I never really thought there was anything to this, but in case you needed an official denial, here you go. Democrat Leticia Van de Putte wants to put rumors to rest: she has absolutely no intention of running for mayor of San Antonio come next year. Van de Putte, a long-time state senator from San […]

Oakland Raiders to San Antonio?

There’s more than one Oakland-based sports team that’s been scoping out San Antonio as a possible place to relocate. Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis and two top lieutenants met recently with several San Antonio officials to discuss the potential of moving his NFL team from the Bay Area to the Alamo City, local leaders involved […]

Checking in on Uber and Lyft in San Antonio

San Antonio City Council will soon be taking up with vehicles for hire issue, and so far things have gone about as smoothly as you’d expect. A proposal from City staff to integrate rideshare companies into the existing Vehicle for Hire Ordinance, and therefore legalizing rideshare operations in San Antonio, was met with unanimous opposition […]

Ivy Taylor named interim SA Mayor

Congratulations, Madam Mayor. The City Council appointed Councilwoman Ivy Taylor to become San Antonio’s next mayor. She did not win a majority of the council vote, as her colleagues split 5-3 over her and Councilman Ray Lopez. Lopez then withdrew from consideration, saying that it was important for the city to move forward. Mayor Julián […]

San Antonio’s “Little India”

I love stories like this. On a recent Saturday morning, about two dozen men in team jerseys gathered on grounds in the far North Side with their kits of helmets, bats and protective gear, pumped to play cricket. The scoreboard went up. Stumps were placed 66 feet apart, defining the wicket. Morning drizzle gave way […]

Four for interim Mayor

Four of out five San Antonio City Council members that had said they would like to file a letter of interest for the post of interim Mayor actually filed those letters of interest. Submitting letters of interest by Wednesday’s 5 p.m. deadline were District 2 Councilwoman Ivy Taylor, District 5 Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales, District 6 […]

More MLB-to-San-Antonio rumors

Believe them at your peril. Could the Oakland A’s find a home in San Antonio? At least one Oakland elected official thinks so, but Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff says San Antonio sports fans shouldn’t hold their breath. “There’s nothing happening over here,” Wolff said. “Our name’s been thrown out, but we went through that […]

The interim and non-interim Mayoral hopefuls of San Antonio

Robert Rivard previews the sausage-making process in San Antonio. It takes six votes to win, a majority that will be harder to achieve if some of the announced candidates exercise their right to abstain. If all five abstain from voting for someone else, it will be impossible to gain the necessary majority. Such a stalemate […]

Going where the payday lenders are

The most frequent defense I hear of payday lenders it that there’s a demand for the kind of short-term low-dollar loans that they provide that aren’t provided by other financial institutions, and even if they were those institutions don’t exist in the neighborhoods that generate the demand for these loans. That doesn’t come close to […]

Castro confirmed for HUD

Congratulations, Secretary Castro! The U.S. Senate on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved the nomination of San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro as secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The nomination was approved 71-26 on a roll call vote. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, voted for the nomination; Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, voted against it. Republicans […]

In defense of Ivy Taylor

Ivy Taylor is a San Antonio City Council member. She’s currently considered a frontrunner to succeed outgoing Mayor Julian Castro once he leaves to become Housing Secretary. Her elevation to Mayor would be historic, as she would be the first African-American Mayor of San Antonio, but it has also generated some controversy because in 2013 […]

On e-cigarettes

From the Rivard Report: After a 2011 ordinance banned indoor smoking in public places around San Antonio, some smokers were left trying to find options to leave tobacco behind. In the ensuing three years, electronic cigarettes and vaporizers have seen exponential growth around the country, with several retail outlets popping up in and around San […]

The Mayoral succession process starts in San Antonio

With the confirmation as Housing Secretary seemingly in the bag for San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, the process of naming an interim Mayor has begun. Not too surprisingly, there’s some conflict about this, though the issue at the root of the conflict may not be what you expected. City Council is set to approve Thursday […]

Here comes the Uber and Lyft vote

Barring anything unexpected, today is the day that Houston City Council settles – for now, anyway – the Uber/Lyft issue. Houston is not the only place where transportation network companies are seeking to do business in Texas, of course. The Trib takes a look at the state of play around Texas. “As the current city […]

Yes, Greg Abbott opposes the HERO

He just doesn’t want to be forced to admit it. When the Houston City Council passed its nondiscrimination ordinance including gay and transgender protections, top Democratic statewide candidates such as Sen. Wendy Davis were quick to celebrate. “All people should be treated equally in every way,” Davis said. Her gubernatorial campaign pointed out that when […]

Walk carefully

Texas cities are not so safe for pedestrians. Yeah, I’m as shocked as you are. Houston pedestrians better cross with care. The city is the seventh most dangerous in the nation for people on foot, according to a new report from the National Complete Streets Coalition at Smart Growth America, a nonprofit that advocates for […]

Castro gets the nod

As anticipated. Before a packed crowd in the White House’s state dining room, President Obama on Friday nominated San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro to become the newest — and youngest — member of his cabinet, as the secretary of Housing and Urban Development. “I am nominating another all-star who’s done a fantastic job in San […]

The case against Castro for HUD

While we wait for further word on San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro’s reported appointment to be Secretary of HUD – he is keeping quiet about it for now – it’s worth considering some of the political implications behind it. Brian Beutler does the honors. Castro is currently the Mayor of San Antonio, an office with […]

Castro to DC?

The hot rumor going around is that San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro is being vetted for a Cabinet position in the Obama administration. For the second time in two years, President Barack Obama has offered Julián Castro a chance to serve in his Cabinet, and the mayor has signaled his willingness to begin a swift […]

The Sriracha delegation arrives in California

Can you feel the excitement? The self-styled “sriracha delegation” of Texas lawmakers heads to Irwindale, Calif., on Monday to woo the maker of a popular hot sauce to the Lone Star State. And the makeup of the delegation makes clear that bringing sriracha back to Texas is a spicy topic for both parties. State Rep. […]

San Antonio City Council has its first hearing on Uber and Lyft

Sounds pretty familiar. Chief William McManus said Wednesday that the Police Department might impound vehicles belonging to Lyft and Uber drivers if they continue to violate the city’s regulations for vehicles for hire, such as taxis and limos. The city has cited 10 drivers for Lyft and Uber for providing a taxi or chauffeurlike service, […]

Jay Aiyer: Consider a local option for pre-k

Note: From time to time, I solicit guest posts from various individuals on different topics. While I like to think I know a little something about a lot of things, I’m fortunate to be acquainted with a number of people who know a whole lot about certain topics, and who are willing to share some […]

Sriracha for San Antonio?

State Rep. Jason Villalba will finally make his pilgrimage to California to visit Huy Fong Foods and try to convince them to pick up stakes and move to Texas. State and city officials are hoping to woo the CEO of Huy Fong Foods Inc. into moving or expanding production of Sriracha, the company’s increasingly popular […]

Uber’s “safe rides fee”

From Wonkblog on Friday: Uber is rolling out a $1 surcharge today on all rides offered through its less expensive car-for-hire service UberX. This isn’t the company’s black town car operation, but the down-market version that enables anyone with a spare back seat to give rides to strangers (with smart phones) for money. The surcharge has […]

No restraining order against Uber and Lyft

The ridesharing services in Houston and San Antonio can continue to operate, at least for now. A federal judge Monday declined to issue a temporary restraining order sought by Houston and San Antonio cab companies hoping to block ride-sharing services that permit riders to use smart phone applications to catch rides. Houston-based U.S. District Judge […]

Uber goes rogue

That sound you hear is me shaking my head. At least one ride-sharing company has decided to openly defy city law that bans its unlicensed drivers from charging for rides. While a few free-ride promotions remain ongoing, Uber spokeswoman Nairi Hourdajian confirmed Tuesday that the service, which connects interested riders with willing drivers via smartphone […]

SA City Council to begin the plastic bag debate

I look forward to seeing what direction they go. City staffers Wednesday plan to recommend to the City Council’s Governance Committee that San Antonio move forward with a ban on single-use plastic and paper bags. The recommendation comes after vetting by the Solid Waste Management Department, which researched policies in other cities across the state […]

The rideshare battles continue

From Houston: The issue came up at yesterday’s council meeting and Mayor Annise Parker said that undercover Houston police sting operations have resulted in 26 citations for Uber and Lyft drivers. They were likely, misdemeanor violations for operating an illegal taxi. The mayor’s remark was in reply to testimony from Duane Kamins, a partner, along […]

A bumpy ride for Lyft in San Antonio

Ride sharing service Lyft has made its move into San Antonio, where much like it did in Houston it is offering free rides while regulatory issues are negotiated. Unlike Houston, the official reception they got was distinctly unfriendly. Less than a week after the ride-sharing service Lyft launched in San Antonio, the city’s police chief […]