Council will leave pipeline deal changes to SAWS

The San Antonio Water System, not the City Council, will retain sole control over who will develop a massive water pipeline to eventually supply up to 20 percent of the city’s water. The issue came up in a Wednesday meeting of the San Antonio City Council’s governance committee seven weeks after District 8 Councilman Nirenberg filed a formal request for council members to vote on a plan to shift control of the project to a new investor. Nirenberg, Mayor Ivy…

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Texas A&M University Press’ The Texas Landscape Project: Nature and People to feature maps of longtime HCA collaborator Jonathon Ogren

Texas A&M University Press’ The Texas Landscape Project: Nature and People to feature maps of longtime HCA collaborator Jonathon Ogren

  • March 29, 2016
  • News

The Texas Landscape Project explores conservation and ecology in Texas by presenting a highly visual and deeply researched view of the widespread changes that have affected the state as its population and economy have boomed and as Texans have worked ever harder to safeguard its bountiful but limited natural resources. Covering the entire state, from Pineywoods bottomlands and Panhandle playas to Hill Country springs and Big Bend canyons, the project examines a host of familiar and not so familiar environmental issues.…

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Mayor faces ethics complaint over pipeline, political contributions

A member of the Sierra Club’s Alamo Group has filed an ethics complaint against Mayor Ivy Taylor, alleging she inappropriately accepted campaign contributions from the owners of Pape-Dawson Engineers, who were involved in contract negotiations for the controversial Vista Ridge water pipeline. Gay Wright, a member of the group’s executive committee, filed the complaint Thursday alleging that Taylor violated the city’s ethics code by accepting contributions from political contributors who stand to gain financially from the Vista Ridge contract. The…

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Spain’s Abengoa SA Obtains Backing From Creditors To Evade Bankruptcy

Spanish energy company Abengoa SA (NASDAQ:ABGB) has obtained the support of about 75% of its lenders to reorganize its large debt and ask for additional time from the judiciary for negotiations targeted at preventing bankruptcy as per a document. The organization having a EUR9.4 billion ($10.5 billion) debt amount is in pre-solvency talks and would be Spain’s biggest ever bankruptcy if it doesn’t reach a compromise with lenders as well as bondholders. Abengoa has a deadline of March 28 to…

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Garney Construction Taking Over Vista Ridge Water Pipeline

Garney Construction Taking Over Vista Ridge Water Pipeline

  • March 25, 2016
  • News

Missouri-based Garney Construction is now the owner of the Vista Ridge water pipeline project after attorneys representing the construction firm, former owner Abengoa Vista Ridge, and other partners came to an agreement on Tuesday afternoon. Garney was already a construction partner but will now be in charge of operations, maintenance, and financing of the project. The announcement comes just days before the March 28 deadline for the subsidiary of Abengoa Sociedad Anónima, the Spanish renewable energy and engineering conglomerate that filed for protection from its…

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Austin homebuyers are moving farther from city center amid rising home prices

Austin homebuyers are moving farther from city center amid rising home prices

  • March 25, 2016
  • News

In recent years, urbanization has become a dominant narrative in American cities like Austin. Since the 1990s, Austin has touted the “smart growth” concept, which should have more people rushing to live centrally rather than in suburbs. And downtown Austin is indeed a more popular place to live than ever. However, contrary to the popular narratives, Redfin Corp. finds that Austin homebuyers are actually moving farther from the urban core, rather than closer to it. That’s bad news for traffic,…

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Abengoa is out, and Vista Ridge is stronger than ever

One of the two great ironies of the Vista Ridge saga is how Abengoa was supposed to bolster the controversial water project but instead became an albatross that threatened to doom the pipeline before it ever could be built. As a behemoth in clean energy technologies, building large-scale projects around the world, Spain-based Abengoa should have symbolized certainty and expertise. The name was supposed to mean something. Vista Ridge is a big project by any measure — $3.4 billion, 50,000…

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Lone Star rail dodges ‘kill shot’ but put under microscope

Lone Star rail dodges ‘kill shot’ but put under microscope

  • March 22, 2016
  • News

The rail district that has spent a decade and more than $26 million looking into a Georgetown to San Antonio commuter line, floundering after Union Pacific shut off the possibility of using its freight tracks, for now has survived one move to cut off critical funding. But a three-hour discussion and vote by area transportation leaders Monday evening made it clear that patience is running thin with the little train that can’t seem to get traction. The Capital Area Metropolitan…

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TWDB announces the 2015 Texas Rain Catcher Award recipients

TWDB announces the 2015 Texas Rain Catcher Award recipients

  • March 21, 2016
  • News

The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) announced today the recipients of its annual Texas Rain Catcher Award, a rainwater harvesting competition and recognition program. The award recipients have displayed excellence in rainwater harvesting in Texas in five categories: agriculture, commercial, community, educational, and residential. The 2015 Rain Catcher Award winners are: Bob Durham and the Natural Resources Conservation Service for designing a rainwater harvesting system that captures water from the roofs of two large livestock barns and then stores it…

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“Dark Skies” comes to the Frio Canyon

“Dark Skies” comes to the Frio Canyon

  • March 20, 2016
  • News

Barbara Baggett of Stars Over Utopia, a Keep Utopia Beautiful project,will present an educational program at the Utopia Senior Center on April 1 at 11:00 am. for a potluck lunch. The program is a collaboration of the Hill Country Alliance and International Dark Skies Association. The issue: The ability to see the stars and Milky Way in the Texas Hill Country is part of our Hill Country Heritage. It helps us escape from the fast pace of our lives, and…

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