Disabled Texans Celebrate The 25th Anniversary Of The Americans With Disabilities Act By Filing A Lawsuit

The Americans with Disabilities Act has been the law of the land since 1990. It was signed by President Bush — the first one — and carried a number of provisions ensuring that disabled Americans would have access to equal opportunities.  One guarantee in the law was public accommodations, which required businesses open to the public to be made accessible to disabled customers. But that provision led to a spate of lawsuits in Texas this week, with 32 businesses — including 14 in Austin with a very specific clientele — on the receiving end of the anti-discrimination suits. As the Austin American-Statesman explains: 

The Austin businesses named in the suit include Rainey Street bars Icenhauer’s and Blackheart, and Whisler’s in East Austin; restaurants Curra’s Grill and Dan’s Hamburgers; tattoo parlor All Saints Tattoo; for-profit plasma donation center BPL Plasma; transportation services Austin Overtures Corporation and U.S. Coachways; and men’s clothing store Collective Status.

Also included are three owners of food truck court property on Rainey and Sixth streets that the lawsuits say are inaccessible to those with mobility disabilities: Fremont Holdings, MOQUI and La Corsha Hospitality Partners. Also named is LAZ Parking, which runs a parking lot north of Rainey Street.

Could San Antonio Host The College Football Playoff National Championship?

The first College Football Playoff National Championship was a success, if the packed crowd at Dallas’ AT&T Stadium (and the subsequent $85 parking near the event) is any indication. Next year’s game, to be held at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, and the 2017 game in Tampa, should be equally prosperous—both are at stadiums and in cities that know exactly how to throw a big event, having been regulars on the Super Bowl rotation for years. 

After that, though, the field for potential host cities for the NCAA’s title game broadens a bit. The 2018 list of potential sites includes Atlanta, Miami, San Francisco, and Houston—the latter three of which will have had Super Bowl hosting experience, and all of which will have stadiums primed for a major game. And in 2019 and 2020, the list of cities that have bids in also includes San Antonio

Listen To Willie Nelson and Robin Wright Host A Podcast About Texas Kitchens

Willie Nelson’s resume is robust: musician, actor, author, activist, entrepreneur, card-trick expert, and more. And now he can add podcast host to the list.  Nelson guest hosted Davia Nelson (no relation) and Nikki Silva’s Hidden Kitchens Texas, a spin-off of the NPR series Hidden Kitchens, which explores the culture and community birthed from canteens. The crooner paired up with another famous Texan who’s seen some kitchens worth nothing in the Lone Star State—Claire Underwood/Princess Buttercup herself, Robin Wright. 

Here are a few takeaways from the 28-minute collection of stories. 

Austin Sparkling Water Start-Up Rambler Wants To Help You Break Your Topo Chico Addiction

As addictions go, sparkling water is pretty benign — it’s as healthy as regular water, with the only real risk being the possibility of burping on a date or something. And that’s good news, because in the non-alcoholic beverage world, sparkling water is as hot as it gets. It’s like methadone or nicotine gum for recovering soda addicts looking to score some of the same satisfaction without drinking a zillion calories a day. 

Here in Texas, “sparkling water” is basically another name for Topo Chico. The 120-year-old company out of Monterrey, Mexico, bottles its gold in the name of an old Aztec legend. It’s the choice of bar-goers looking for a soft drink, bartenders looking for a mixer, or anyone who wants some fizz without any calories or artificial whatevers. But its supremacy is about to get a new challenger in the form of Austin-based Rambler, a sparkling water brand launched by a group of businessmen who plan to make “filtered with Texas limestone” the new buzz phrase in the sparkling water game. 

Kung Fu Saloon Discriminated Against Black and Asian Customers, According to the DOJ

The bar chain Kung Fu Saloon has been under intense scrutiny for the past few years now—for racist business practices, for violent employees, and for the number of DWI arrests that involve people leaving their locations. And at least one of them has resulted in a settlement involving the U.S. Justice Department. As the Dallas Morning News reports

The Market Says Stubb's Barbecue Sauce Is Worth $100,000,000

There are some barbecue places in Texas where asking for sauce is basically equivalent to walking in and saying, “I don’t even know what barbecue is.” Try that at Kreuz Market, in Lockhart, for instance, and you can season your ribs with extra scorn. (Tip for sauce lovers: bring a bottle of sauce, get your meal to go, and enjoy it at the square in Lockhart instead.) But the fact that Texas barbecue isn’t defined by its sauce didn’t stop Stubb’s—the sixth-largest barbecue sauce brand in the country—from fetching a cool $100 million for its sale to the spice-and-seasoning giant McCormick’s last week

Could Austin's Live Music Community Survive Without a Red River Club District?

There’s plenty of talk lately about the future of live music in Austin. The Austin Music Census polled thousands of stakeholders—musicians, club owners, sound technicians, and more—about the current state of Austin music and the prospects they see for the future. The answers that the census compiled paint a bleak picture of a city whose music community is struggling to keep up with the major development that its music culture in part fueled, but the benefits of which they don’t really see. Club owners and performers alike talked about the challenges in getting fans to pay a cover for local music. Meantime, the wages that people in the music industry in Austin earn are hardly enough to keep up with the rent, which could have a large segment of Austin’s creative community looking toward San Antonio.

As We're Invaded By Mattress Stores, a UT MBA Plots to Move the Business Online

The rise of Amazon, Netflix, and file-sharing has doomed many of the record, book, and movie rental and video game stores we all once loved, not to mention big-box electronics stores and entire shopping malls. What will fill those holes in the brick-and-mortar retail landscape?

Two Texas Cities Top Forbes's List of the "Most Overvalued Housing Markets in the U.S."

Hey, Houston and Austin: More bad news, y’all. Not only are both cities in the path of a serious tropical storm, but all of you recent home buyers, those of you whose homes are currently at risk of flooding, may have also paid too much for your properties in the first place. 

That’s the takeaway from a new list from Forbes that looks at the most overvalued (and undervalued, but we don’t need to worry about that right now) housing markets in the United States. The very first spot on the list? Austin, where the average home price in April 2015 was $341,054. And coming in at #2 we have Houston, where the average clocked in at over $500,000 in May. (Those are averages, mind you, not median prices, which means that they’re skewed by scatterings of exhorbitantly priced homes.) 


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