San Antonio plans for light rail despite voter opposition
San Antonio plans for light rail despite voter opposition
Kenric Ward | August 17, 2016|   0
After repeated defeats at the polls, a controversial light rail system remains in San Antonio’s planning documents. "It’s about rent-seeking developers looking for their next handout," a critic charges.
‘Bonds equal taxes’ message opposed by schools
‘Bonds equal taxes’ message opposed by schools
Jon Cassidy | August 16, 2016|   0
Watchdog’s poster boy for out-of-control school district spending showed up at the Capitol Monday to argue against a proposal requiring more disclosure of the full costs of school bonds. Reformers say that Texas’ runaway local borrowing suggests that voters aren’t fully informed about bond costs, and that one answer would be including the full cost of a bond on the ballot, along with the size of the tax increase required to repay it with interest.
A divided post mortem on Houston Community College’s venture with Qatar
A divided post mortem on Houston Community College’s venture with Qatar
Nathaniel Crosser | August 16, 2016|   0
Houston, Texas, is big and hot. Doha, Qatar, is big and hot. The similarities seem to stop there. So why did Houstonian and Qatari education officials team up to create the first community college in Qatar, and how did it work out? Dave Wilson, a Houston Community College Board of Trustees member, told Watchdog it […]
City sinks $93,680 more into sidewalk toilet
City sinks $93,680 more into sidewalk toilet
Kenric Ward | August 15, 2016|   0
Installation work brings the total tab for San Antonio's sidewalk toilet to $191,380 – nearly double the announced price. The city says there should be no more trickle-down costs.
Wildhorse Ranch is back, and seeking favors
Wildhorse Ranch is back, and seeking favors
Mark Lisheron | August 12, 2016|   0
The Wildhorse Ranch development returned from the near-dead this week with its hand out to the Austin City Council and staff. The development, with its promise of $1.3 billion in housing and commercial space and 500 new jobs for northeast Austin, arrived courtesy of the Travis County Commissioners Court. The commissioners — well, three of […]
Zaffirinis get 444 prime acres nobody bequeathed them
Zaffirinis get 444 prime acres nobody bequeathed them
Jon Cassidy | August 11, 2016|   0
State Sen. Judith Zaffirini and her associates have agreed to pay roughly $38 million to settle a lawsuit in which they were accused of seizing control of a massive real estate inheritance for their own enrichment. The Laredo Democrat still has a chance to get richer. She and her crew will walk away owning 444 acres […]
Taxpayers subsidize Google Fiber in this city with bargain land leases
Taxpayers subsidize Google Fiber in this city with bargain land leases
Kenric Ward | August 11, 2016|   0
San Antonio taxpayers are subsidizing Google Fiber with a series of bargain land leases, and cleaning up after the company’s drilling mess.
Austin district schools lose students while charters expand
Amelia Hamilton | August 10, 2016|   0
Austin Independent School District is set to lose around 1,000 students this year while the city’s charter school sector is booming. KIPP Austin Public Schools has just opened a third location and IDEA Public Schools has six across Texas’ capital city. The biggest hit to traditional public school enrollment is at the elementary school level. Read more here.
Shrinking Texas school district goes for max tax, more debt
Shrinking Texas school district goes for max tax, more debt
Kenric Ward | August 10, 2016|   0
Despite declining enrollment and rising revenues, a San Antonio school district is seeking to float $450 million in additional debt and a maximum property tax increase.
Fed funding for Trinity River project not a done deal
Fed funding for Trinity River project not a done deal
Mark Lisheron | August 10, 2016|   0
It came as a surprise to Steve Ellis to hear that U.S. Rep. Kay Granger stood on the precipice of a $525 million federal score for her enduring favorite, the Trinity River Vision project. The surprise was in finding out in a story that included a single quote, second paragraph from the bottom, from Ellis, who is […]