Agricultural trends in Leander and other articles

Published by Community Impact Newspaper on Aug. 22.

Frank Stiles is a fourth-generation Leander resident and veterinarian at the South San Gabriel Animal Clinic. When he first began his practice in 1986, around half of his patients were horses, cows, goats and sheep, he said. Now, he estimates around 98 percent of his job is serving small animals.

“Most of the farmland [and] most of the cows are gone now,” Stiles said.

In addition to beef cattle and other livestock, he said the Leander area used to see a lot of cotton production with three cotton gins in the area. The gins closed by the 1960s, he said.

“There’s maybe a future for [agriculture in Leander] for small plots for farmers markets, but I believe that’s all,” Stiles said. “It’s changed it in some ways for the better and some ways for the worse.”

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The story behind the story

Bee Keeper Abby.JPG

I wore this beekeeper shirt/mask (but did no beekeeping) to take photos!

Other highlights

Recently, I’ve also written about:

We’re wrapping up our public education edition now, so stay tuned for more school news!

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Northline rendering

$15M in city funding allocated for Northline project in Leander

Published by Community Impact Newspaper on July 17.

A project planned for Leander could bring an urban town center with walkable shopping, dining and housing to the city over the next decade.

After months of workshop meetings and discussion about the project, Leander City Council approved up to $15 million in funding in June for the creation of infrastructure in the development, which is called Northline.

The proposed mixed-use project is in Leander’s transit-oriented development, or TOD, district. The TOD district was created to encourage pedestrian-friendly growth and includes projects such as Austin Community College’s San Gabriel campus, St. David’s Emergency Center and Capital Metro’s Leander Station.

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Leander ISD expands two-way dual-language program to new schools as demand rises

Published by Community Impact Newspaper on May 24.

In the 2018-19 academic year, Leander ISD will be adding two more elementary schools to its two-way dual-language program.

Knowles and Bagdad elementaries will join Whitestone and Reed elementaries in offering the program. LISD began offering dual-language services in 2009 for students who qualified for bilingual education services, said Tina Dozier, LISD English Language Learners director.

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Cedar Park finalizing land buys for Bell redevelopment

Published by Community Impact Newspaper on April 19.

The owners of La Adelita Meat Market said they now pay their monthly rent checks to the city of Cedar Park.

Samantha Rodríguez and her husband, Santiago Palomino, opened La Adelita Meat Market six years ago at 306 Bell Blvd. in Cedar Park. The land where their business is located was one of several properties sold to the city as part of the Bell Boulevard redevelopment project.

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Firefly Aerospace

Firefly Aerospace in Cedar Park aiming to launch rockets

Published by Community Impact Newspaper on April 21.

A Cedar Park-based business said it plans to launch rockets into space.

Firefly Aerospace is in the process of developing small satellite launch vehicles. Previously called Firefly Space Systems, the company’s assets, intellectual property and patents were purchased by Dr. Max Polyakov in 2017 and rebranded as Firefly Aerospace.

 

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Travis County purchases 223 acres in Volente for nature preserve

Published by Community Impact Newspaper on March 22.

Travis County is in the process of purchasing approximately 17 percent of the land within the village of Volente for the Balcones Canyonlands Conservation Plan.

Greg Hammonds is a partner for Grason Volente Investments, the landowner of the property, and he said he has a fully executed agreement with the county for land. The 223-acre property previously made up most of a roughly 300-acre planned development district, or PDD, set up in 2006 with the plan to incorporate around a home per acre, according to Hammonds and Volente Mayor Ken Beck.

“Getting the development approvals from the village of Volente dragged on for years,” Hammonds said. “By the time we reached an agreement with the village, the market had turned. As the market has returned, we chose to sell the property rather than develop it.”

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Leander ISD becomes district of innovation for calendar flexibility

Published by Community Impact Newspaper on March 22.

Leander ISD is now a district of innovation.

Following a three-month process, the district’s board of trustees voted in favor of the designation Feb. 15. The district of innovation, or DOI, system allows school districts to use exemptions from certain aspects of Texas Education Code.

Proponents of becoming a DOI say it offers LISD local control over the academic calendar, providing the ability to adjust when the school year can begin and end to better benefit students’ and families’ schedules.

Those in opposition say that approving the DOI for calendar flexibility could open the door to other exemptions allowed by the program, including exemptions from mandates regarding class-size rations and teacher appraisal requirements.

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