Monthly Archives: August 2013

Water flows . . .

(Community Matters) In Politico’s Playbook

Love hearing that 20- & 30- somethings might be organizing around the rest of us

THE MONEY, HONEY — “20-somethings jump into super PACs,” by Andrea Drusch: “In the past month, … four super PACs were formed by people younger than 35 … Often, the idea is to push back against political parties they say are drifting off course. … It’s a sentiment young super PACs from both parties share: National candidates either don’t align with their views, or they don’t prioritize the issues that matter to them. … For Brandon Anderson’s group in Rock Island County, Ill., those issues are achieving comprehensive immigration reform and reducing government intrusion in people’s lives; two things he says are important to the 20- and 30-somethings … He hopes maybe his super PAC, Millennials for America, will help drum up some younger candidates to advocate for those issues, or at least lend a voice to the issues of an age group he thinks has been shut out of the political system.

“Ragheb Baio, 29, says he started Republican Youth for a Conservative Tomorrow PAC because he was tired of seeing the GOP put up presidential candidates that come off as closed-minded and unrelatable … He and his two partners, also under the age of 30, plan to begin an advertising campaign in the coming months that will encourage Republicans to choose a 2016 presidential candidate with more progressive views on social issues … like New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. For other groups, like College Democrats of Ohio, forming a super PAC is about being in control of their money. [Sarah] Ponn says that Pass the Torch PAC, formed by three young founders of a fitness company, will employ the same methods they used to start their now $1.8 million business to promote their super PAC.”

REACHING MILLENINIALS (born 1982 to 2003 (roughly ages 10 to 30) — RON FOURNIER, back from book leave, on, “The Outsiders: How Can Millennials Change Washington If They Hate It?”: “The largest and most diverse generation in U.S. history is goal-orientated, respects authority and follows rules. Millennials are less ideological than their Baby Boom parents … and far more tolerant. In addition to famously supporting gay rights, polls show they are less prone to cast negative moral judgments on interracial marriages, single women raising children, unmarried couples living together and mothers of young children working outside the home. While their parents and grandparents preferred to work alone, young Americans are team-oriented and seek collaboration. Wired to the world, they are more likely than past generations to see the globe’s problems as their own.

“Millennials are eager to serve the greater community through technologies, paradoxically, that empower the individual. Millennials witnessed, embraced, and in some cases instigated massive disruptions of the music, television, movie, media, and retail industries. The most supervised and entitled generation in human history, they have no patience for inefficiency, stodgy institutions or the status quo.”

NPR Chief Moving On

gary knell(Community Matters) I’m bummed to see Gary Knell leave NPR. He’s always generously offered solicited advice and has built a deep and talented bench of chief lieutenants who I’ve gotten to know: Kinsey Wilson (EVP & Chief Content Officer), Margaret Low Smith (SVP News), Joyce Macdonald (Chief of Staff/VP Station Relations), Chris Howie (Major Donors Officer). He’s made real inroads and improvements at NPR; we’ll be fine. Thank you, Gary.

Heteros Only

(Community Matters) Got to be kidding me – a condo association in Florida writing deed restrictions to keep out gays & lesbians. 

Microsoft Word - Document2

Skinny Fat

(Community Matters) The Atlantic “The Tyranny of Buffness”

My boyfriend expected me to be lean and muscular. But I couldn’t live up to that standard, and neither can a lot of guys–and we shouldn’t have to.

skinny fat

Hat Tip: Towleroad

San Antonio Councilmember Chan

chan(Community Matters) and a former aide recorded her raging against gays, lesbians and transgendered – calling us disgusting. She and her, then, chief of staff openly discussed framing their objections in a way that would disguise their personal animus but that would play well to her political base. The San Antonio Express News published an editorial and a column about it. They’ve included a link to the recordings.

SW Key & East Austin College Prep

(Community Matters) I had lunch this week with an old friend who I haven’t seen in ages, Elizabeth Gonzales. Elizabeth is a board member of SW Key and East Austin College Prep. She’s absolutely convinced both do outstanding work (while acknowledging the growing pains at the school). I’ve mentioned before in previous postings that when I toured SW Key facilities in Dallas and Houston in the early 90s, I was impressed with their work. I even helped them secure a sizable bank line of credit. Elizabeth also assures me Juan doesn’t have any equity interests in vendors or contractors doing business with SW Key or the school.

A couple of months ago, I had lunch with Leo Ramirez who’s gone to work for Juan Sanchez. I have incredible respect for Leo and his integrity. And, today Leo told me his dad might be doing some work for the school. For those who don’t know, Mr. Ramirez is legendary. He was a math teacher in McAllen who nurtured, cajoled and mentored many Valley students to go on to Ivy League colleges.

Where am I at with SW Key & East Austin College Prep? I’d like to believe the boards have thoroughly vetted the concerns about lack of financial transparency. I’m impressed that Elizabeth, Leo and his dad are involved. I remain sympathetic to the concerns expressed by parents and past & current employees to me directly or through this blog. I am encouraged but not yet endorsing nor willing to support funding.

Earlier posts accessed through here1 & here2

Militarization of Local Security?

cop florida(Community Matters) Article on police overreach in Pensacola . We’re investigating the same here in Austin. The stories out of Marfa are increasingly epic – rogue sheriff, sheriff’s deputy and border guards. A federal judge intervening in NYC. NSA overreach. I’m not sure what exactly is going on. I know most of these men & women risk their lives daily and have society’s best interests at heart.

Our 23 yo nephew from Pensacola sent me the article asking what I thought might be going on? Perhaps systematically, we’re pushing just too far toward militarization of local & domestic security. The weakening of checks & balances leads to overreach.

Simple Is The New Chic

Jorge Mario Bergoglio(Community Matters) In Sojourners’s “Simple is the New Chic,” by John Carr, who spent more than two decades as the U.S. bishops’ top peace and justice officer.

Pastor Prophet, Pope by Stephen F. Schneck. Pope Francis—refreshingly candid and seemingly repelled by the perks of the papacy—offers new hope for the Catholic Church and beyond.

Seaholm Intake – Design Competition


(Community Matters) Austin has selected three finalists in the design competition for the Seaholm Intake building.

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article in ABJ

Kansas and Al Qaeda

permaculture farming(Community Matters) I find the parallels Thomas Friedman draws between monoculture farms in the Middle West and monoculture societies in the Middle East fascinating. Thoughts jump to permaculture farming and what we’re learning, thus what are these lessons applied to civilizations. Kansas and Al Qaeda.

Perseid Meteor Shower

(Community Matters) Perseid Meteor Shower  – “best on the nights of Aug 11-12 & Aug 12-13. From northerly latitudes, you often see 50 or more meteors/hr, and from southerly latitudes in the Southern Hemisphere, perhaps about one-third that many meteors.” EarthSky: Everything you need to know: Perseid meteor shower

Perseid meteor shower 2

Forbes: Austin Tops Future Job Growth List

forbest best worst cities(Community Matters) Are we investing to preserve our quality of life and affordability in the face of unstoppable growth? 

Forbes: Austin earned No. 1 status thanks to an annual job growth of 4 percent, a median income just under $60,000, and an unemployment rate of 5.5 percent, while also wooing companies like Facebook, Apple, AT&T and, of course, Google Fiber.

People are flocking to Austin to take advantage of companies hiring and the city’s cool reputation. The metro boasts a net migration rate that is the third fastest in the country over the past five years. Population growth is triple the national average and that helps fuel demand for services in the area. Austin ranks No. 14 on our list of the Best Places for Business and Careers and only thing preventing a higher showing are business and living costs that exceed the national average.