Friday, July 27, 2012

Blog Stage 5

The Austin City Limits music festival has been an Austin tradition for over 10 years. A cultural icon and a testament to Austin's label as the "Live music capital of the world," ACL has attracted music fans from all over the world. Recently there has been talk of extending the festival to two weekends instead of one. (Source) Being a music fan and past attendee of ACL festivals, I support this change because I see nothing but benefit for Austin as a result.

The biggest effect would be economical growth as a result of the festival. The company that puts the festival on, C3 Presents, donates millions each year to the Austin Parks Foundation and the city, a number which could potentially be doubled to help beautify our city if the festival is extended. Tourism would skyrocket as more people flood in from all over the nation, ultimately allowing for a more enjoyable concert experience as it would not be nearly as packed. Local stores and bars would be jam packed with people looking to end their day with a relaxing atmosphere after ACL, which helps spread awareness about the culture of Austin, hopefully increasing tourism to the city and generating more money.

Having two separate concerts would also allow music buffs to experience the full lineup of ACL. I know from experience that having to choose between headliners was always a tough decision, so having two ACLs allows for full enjoyment of the concerts. This not only generates revenue for the city, but also increases the satisfaction for music fans. Extending the festival would also allow people to work around schedule conflicts. I know that last year, ACL was held on the same weekend as the OU-Texas football game, which made a lot of people choose between the two.(Source) This led to vast amounts of potential revenue to be lost, a loss that would not have occurred if ACL was over two weekends.

All in all, there is no harm to be had from ACL extending to two weekends except for the availability of Zilker Park. It would benefit the economy of the city, promote awareness about the city and its culture, allow for music buffs to enjoy the festival more, and help to beautify our city with the donations put out by C3 Presents. I believe that it is a necessary change that will help our city grow and prosper well into future generations.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Blog Stage 4

                I've always identified myself as a liberal, but have never really gotten into government and politics. Because of my ideology I enjoy the musings of the liberal blog Texas Liberal, and as such selected this article to investigate.

                The article concerns Houston’s Police Department and their ticketing of people who honked their horn in support of striking janitors. The author of this blog, Neil Aquino, intends to address all Texans, especially those who share a liberal mindset. He is one of eight political bloggers for the Houston Chronicle, so he carries an aura of credibility solely from his job. However, this being an informal blog, no article is of the standards of academia. Aquino argues that honking a horn in support is a form of free speech, and the ticketing of these supporters is unconstitutional and a misuse of police power. He cites that Mayor Parker’s shining achievement in recent months is the criminalization of sharing food with the homeless in Houston. He ends with a rallying cry, “The work of freedom is up to each of us,” meaning that it is up to us, the citizenry, to voice our discontent and regain our freedoms. In an edit, he states Mayor Parker has voiced her strong support for the striking janitors.

                I agree wholeheartedly with Mr. Aquino. This act is a gross misuse of police power, and should be condemned. The honking supporters have done nothing dangerous or detrimental to society, and the police are giving out tickets for this. It’s almost as if Houston is trying to oppress any dissent within the population, what seems like a scary start to a dystopian novel. I enjoy his last words about how the work of freedom is up to each of us, as it encourages the people to become more politically active and have a say for how they want to be governed. In a democratic republic, it is important for the people to be able to voice their opinions, or the government becomes an autocracy. I believe the edit was a good move on the Mayor's part because she realized that her police force was indeed acting out of line, and she stepped in to revitalize her public image.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Blog Stage 3

                “Stay in school – every day, if possible.” If not for the intellectual benefit do it for the state’s, this editorial by the Austin American Statesman argues. Just three days of absences cost schools $34 million in state funding, a huge number. A major city-wide newspaper, the Austin American Statesman is an exemplary example of what a city newspaper should be, giving it credibility in the news field. However, editorials are voiced opinions, so they should not be read as news. This editorial backs up opinion with fact, forming a strong argument that is quite credible.

The author, which is the editorial board of the Austin American Statesman, argues that young Texans should stay in school more. Students who missed school not only cut back on the school’s funding, but also are more likely to have to repeat a grade. The E3 report, localized around central Texas, is launching a new campaign called “Get Schooled” in an attempt to increase attendance rates. The main argument in this editorial is that parents should be keener in regards to their children, keeping a watchful eye and making sure they’re in school. The editorial board is clearly targeting parents of children, but the message is also indirectly targeted at the students themselves.

I agree with the author for the most part, but as a former student I can sympathize with the skippers. Albeit no to the extent where students miss a month of school, but because school days are so long there is much downtime during classes, especially at the end of the semester. I’ve had teachers who have held “free days,” where we could do whatever we wanted in class, because we had finished all the curriculum and had extra class days. By restructuring curriculum or the classroom environment, we can make teaching more efficient and thus encourage students to come to school. 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Blog Stage 2

This article investigates Manor's mayor, Jeff Turner, who played a role in a development project that wasn't seen through. Apparently Turner received over $200,000 from Zaretsky, the businessman who proposed the idea for development. Because the project was never started, the private investors drew up lawsuits against Zaretsky and Turner, citing that they were defrauded out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. This led to Turner stepping down from his Mayoral position, only to run unopposed last year and taking the role again.

I felt this article was worthwhile because it shows the corruption that comes with politics. A mayor conned multiple investors and tried to play it off, but all evidence points against him. It also shows the lack of political knowledge and fervor among the citizenry. The same mayor who stepped down as a result of the scandal, in a matter similar to Nixon during the Watergate affair, was reelected because he ran unopposed.