These are the world’s best stargazing spots

These are the world’s best stargazing spots

FOR MANY CITY people, a clear night sky is a mythical beast. We’ve heard the legends inspired by the constellations and we know sailors used the stars to guide their way home, but urban light pollution means we can’t quite see the heavens ourselves. Enter the International Dark-Sky Association. The U.S. nonprofit, founded in 1988, recognizes parks, reserves, and places across the world that offer the best views of the galaxy we call home. Most are open to campers or…

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Texas voters approve state income tax ban, most other constitutional amendments

Texas voters approve state income tax ban, most other constitutional amendments

Amendments to the state constitution that would make it harder to enact a state income tax, would stabilize funding for state parks and would allow retired law enforcement animals to be adopted by their handlers received widespread support from voters Tuesday. Supporters of one of the most contentious issues on the ballot — Proposition 4 — proclaimed victory within hours of the polls closing, with about three-fourths of voters supporting the proposal in early voting returns. The proposition authored by…

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Saving Part of the Former Boy Scout Ranch

Saving Part of the Former Boy Scout Ranch

An old saying tells us to invest in land because they aren’t making any more. That saying could be updated to say: Invest in undisturbed natural land because each day there is less of it! Unfortunately, the updated version is very true, which is why we need to take advantage of opportunities to protect such undisturbed natural land when they become available. Such an opportunity now exists in the former Boy Scout Ranch, El Rancho Cima. For more than sixty…

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ULI releases report for “Activating the San Marcos Riverfront”

ULI releases report for “Activating the San Marcos Riverfront”

The Urban Land Institute released a Technical Assistance Panel (TAP) report regarding land use along the San Marcos River in August. The City of San Marcos, the Greater San Marcos Partnership and Texas State University partnered with the Austin District Council of Urban Land Institute in Fall 2018 to examine land use along the San Marcos River. According to the report, “the Technical Assistance Panel offers recommendations for ways to unlock economic potential by making the river more connected to…

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Opinion: Vote ‘No’ on pipelines in Texas in coming elections

Opinion: Vote ‘No’ on pipelines in Texas in coming elections

Another pipeline battle is raging in our backyards. With a major election cycle churning, Texans have the chance to vote out fossil fuel protectors and imagine a new environmental future. The Permian Highway Pipeline, or PHP, has captured fewer headlines than other contentious projects, such as the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines. However, those concerned about water quality in Texas and those demanding a decisive shift away from reliance on oil and gas must keep their sights on the…

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There’s an election in Texas coming up. Here are the Constitutional Propositions you’ll vote on.

There’s an election in Texas coming up. Here are the Constitutional Propositions you’ll vote on.

Voters in Texas will decide on 10 constitutional amendments this Election Day, Nov. 5. The propositions range from prohibiting an income tax from ever being collected in the state to allowing law enforcement animals to stay with their handlers when they retire. Sometimes the language on a ballot can be confusing. Here’s an explanation of what voters are being asked to decide, with an assist from the League of Women Voters. Proposition 1: Municipal Judges What you’ll see on the…

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Hays County plans to transform El Rancho Cima into public park along Blanco River

Hays County plans to transform El Rancho Cima into public park along Blanco River

HAYS COUNTY, Texas — It’s something many Wimberley residents have been aching for: a public park with waterfront access. Hays County has the ability to secure 533 acres of El Rancho Cima El Rancho Cima is a nearly 2,400 acre property County might use land for public park Now, that dream could finally come to fruition. Hays County has the ability to secure 533 acres of El Rancho Cima, with land on both sides of the Blanco River. This purchase would give the public…

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Prop. 5 aims to give parks all across the state a boost

Prop. 5 aims to give parks all across the state a boost

State parks and historic sites that are suffering from neglect, deferred maintenance and overuse — including a natural area near San Antonio that regularly draws a long line of cars — would benefit if Proposition 5 on the Nov. 5 ballot wins voter approval. “We’re reached a point of crisis here with collapsing infrastructure, parks being closed, being loved to death,” said David Yeates, CEO of the Texas Wildlife Association, representing about 9,000 wildlife stewards, property owners and hunters. Yeates…

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Parks essential for health and wealth

Parks essential for health and wealth

In 1992, when we decided to relocate the corporate headquarters of AT&T to Texas, we did so for a number of reasons: the Texas business climate and the growth of economic opportunity; the work ethic of the Texas workforce; and the quality of life in Texas. State and local parks were an important part of our consideration. State and local parks are essential to providing outdoor experiences to an increasingly urban state. They help preserve our Texas heritage, culture and…

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City reaches milestone for cave site restoration

City reaches milestone for cave site restoration

City staff members have completed a draft land management plan to protect the city’s natural resources at the William H. Russell Karst Preserve, the 191-acre Southwest Austin site previously known as the Blowing Sink Research Management Area. The natural features of the land, which was formerly used as a livestock ranch, have been subject to decades of abuse, posing a threat to the Edwards Aquifer as well as several vulnerable wildlife species. Serving as a formal agreement among Austin Water, the Parks…

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