News Briefs: First 10-1 election is history, & Volunteers send books to Texas inmates

KLRU News Briefs

On Saturday during PBS NewsHour, we have a rundown of Austin’s new 10-1 City Council. Most of the council races, plus the race for Austin Mayor, were forced to runoffs. Tuesday night was election night. The final makeup of the council will be:

Mayor: Steve Adler
District 1Ora Houston
District 2Delia Garza
District 3: Sabino “Pio” Renteria
District 4Greg Casar
District 5Ann Kitchen
District 6Don Zimmerman
District 7Leslie Pool
District 8: Ellen Troxclair
District 9: Kathie Tovo
District 10Sherri Gallo

Our Sunday story is about the Inside Books Project. Volunteers for Inside Books read letters from Texas inmates, in which the prisoners request certain books to be sent to them. Volunteers send the books back, along with a handwritten letter. There are more than 140,000 people incarcerated in Texas. You can watch that story in the video below.

KLRU News Briefs air locally during PBS NewsHour Weekend, Saturday and Sunday evenings at 6:30pm. 

 

Arts In Context Shorts: Light Night

This week Arts In Context Shorts explores the beauty of Waller Creek. On November 13, 2014, a small stretch of Waller Creek in downtown Austin, Texas was lit up with modern light installations created by five local architects and landscape designers.  These light pieces were designed to showcase the space’s potential, since soon a series of parks and connected trails will be developed in the location. Organized by the Waller Creek Conservancy and featuring live local music, the event drew strolling crowds to the walkways and various creekside businesses.

Science Night December 24

Every Wednesday on KLRU is Science Night. Don’t miss this week’s programming beginning at 7 pm!

Nature  The Himalayas
The Himalayan mountain system is the planet’s highest and home to the world’s highest peaks. Nature explores the diversity of wildlife and habitats of this mountain chain starring the mysterious snow leopard.

NOVA Building the Great Cathedrals at 8 pm


Carved from 100 million pounds of stone, soaring effortlessly atop a spiderweb of masonry, Gothic cathedrals are marvels of human achievement and artistry. But how did medieval builders reach such spectacular heights? Consuming the labor of entire towns, sometimes taking 100 years to build, these architectural marvels were crafted from just hand tools and stone. Many now teeter on the brink of catastrophic collapse. To save them, an international team of engineers, architects, art historians and computer scientists searches the naves, bays, and bell towers for clues to how the dream of these heavenly temples on earth came true. NOVA’s teams perform hands-on experiments to investigate and reveal the architectural secrets that the cathedral builders used to erect their soaring, glass-filled walls. This program reveals the hidden formulas, drawn from the pages of the Bible itself, that drove medieval builders ever upward.

 

NOVA  Great Cathedral Mystery at 9 pm

The Duomo in Florence is a towering masterpiece of Renaissance ingenuity and an enduring source of mystery. A team of U.S. master bricklayers help build a unique experimental “mini-Duomo” using period tools and techniques. Will it stay intact during the final precarious stages of closing over the top of the dome?

Q Night at the Movies December 20

KLRU Q - Night at the Movies

This Saturday KLRU-Q brings the movies to your home as well as a few other programs you’ll love. Here’s what the evening looks like on Q Night at the Movies:

The night begins with Arts In Context at 7 pm. Mother Falcon is a indie rock band with chamber music sensibilities, on the cusp of stardom. Created by Nick Gregg in his senior year of high school, Mother Falcon began as three cellists tired of the same daily routine. Building upon hours of practice and discipline, the group quickly grew to become a dedicated community of musicians, united by their desire to do something more with music. As many of the members face life beyond school, the group must decide the direction they take if they want to take their music and careers to the next level.

On Story follows at 7:30 pm. Frank Darabont, writer and director of such classics as The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile and The Mist, discusses adapting works by Stephen King and keeping his characters at the core of the story.

And for your movie Saturday evening (well, it’s not exactly a movie), KLRU-Q will be featuring Hamlet on Great Performances at 8 pm. Shakespeare’s tortured Danish prince receives a contemporary spin in this critically acclaimed production from the Royal Shakespeare Company. Starring David Tennant as Hamlet (familiar to fans as Dr. Who in the cult-favorite UK science fiction TV series) and Patrick Stewart as Claudius, this television adaptation features an edgy interpretation by innovative director Gregory Doran, utilizing location shooting at St. Joseph’s College, London, as the setting for a present-day Elsinore Castle. Winning a 2009 Olivier Award for his performance, Tennant is joined by Oliver Ford Davies as Polonius, Penny Downie as Gertrude and Mariah Gale as Ophelia.

KLRU Q is broadcast channel 18.3. It is also available to digital cable subscribers of Grande on 284 and Time Warner on 20.

Highlights December 21-27

KLRU Highlights

The second half of our Downton Abbey marathon continues Sunday at 7 pm with episodes 5-7. Just in case you miss them, the episodes are also airing next Saturday at 8 pm.

Watch two full hours of Antiques Roadshow starting Monday at 7 pm.

A Salute to Vienna Monday at 9 pm is a lavish music and dance gala concert taped live at the historic Konzerthaus in Vienna, Austria in April 2013.

On Sacred Journeys with Bruce Feiler Tuesday at 7 pm, Feiler travels to Israel with Jewish and Christian pilgrims.

Millions of pilgrims gather in the valleys outside the city of Mecca in today’s Saudi Arabia to take part in the annual five-day pilgrimage every Muslim hopes to complete at least once on Sacred Journeys with Bruce Feiler Tuesday at 8 pm.

Frontline Tuesday at 9 pm presents the epic story of the rise of Christianity by drawing upon new and sometimes controversial historical evidence.

Nature Wednesday at 7 pm explores the diversity of wildlife and habitats of the Himalayas starring the mysterious snow leopard.

Carved from 100 million pounds of stone, soaring effortlessly atop a spiderweb of masonry, Gothic cathedrals are marvels of human achievement and artistry on Nova Wednesday at 8 pm.

On Nova Wednesday at 9 pm, the Duomo in Florence is a towering masterpiece of Renaissance ingenuity and an enduring source of mystery.

Austin City Limits Wednesday at 10 pm  presents highlights from the 2014 Americana Music Festival, recorded in Nashville.

Watch Call the Midwife‘s holiday special this Christmas, Thursday at 7 pm.

Freddie (Ian McKellen) and Stuart (Derek Jacobi) host a holiday soiree in their small central London flat on Vicious‘ holiday special Thursday at 8 pm.

On Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Thursday at 9 pm, Soprano Deborah Voigt and acclaimed British actor John Rhys-Davies join the choir and orchestra at Temple Square for a Christmas concert of holiday favorites.

The weekly episodes of Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and Moyers and Company begins at 7 pm on Friday.

On American Masters: Bing Crosby Rediscovered Friday at 8 pm, explore the life and legend of this iconic entertainer through never-before-seen footage and interviews with his immediate family and Tony Bennett.

Downton Abbey Rediscovered Friday at 9 pm will combine clips, interview bites, and behind-the scenes footage.

Tom Waits performs in this classic episode of Austin City Limits from 1978, Friday night at 10.

It’s time to plant trees, so let’s get to it with some of our best picks on Central Texas Gardener at noon Saturday. Visit a young couple who built their garden with recycles and pass-along plants under native trees.

Alt rock icon Radiohead takes the Austin City Limits stage Saturday at 7 pm.

 

Texas Tribune Previews Legislature’s Public School Priorities

EARLY COLLEGE HIGH FOR AIR

This story comes from our partners at The Texas Tribune. As part of KLRU’s American Graduate initiative, we are seeking a clearer understanding of factors impacting our region’s dropout rate and convening organizations sharing common goals to increase graduation rates.  

For Public Schools, What to Watch in Next Session

by Morgan Smith, The Texas Tribune

When Texas lawmakers come back to Austin in January, there will be a new governor who touts public schools as a top priority, and plenty of money in the state bank account. But that doesn’t mean everything will go smoothly as the 84th Legislature navigates public education policy.

Here are five things to watch when the legislative session gets underway:

Education Committee Shuffling: Whomever Lt. Gov.-elect Dan Patrick appoints to fill his spot leading the Senate Education Committee — Larry Taylor, Kelly Hancock and Donna Campbell are possible contenders — will wield considerable control over which education bills do and don’t get hearings. Patrick could also opt to combine the chamber’s higher and public education committees, another move that could affect how quickly and easily legislation makes it through the Senate. The House could also take the single education committee approach. With the departure of Higher Education Chairman Dan Branch, R-Dallas, that would leave current Public Education Chairman Jimmie Don Aycock, R-Killeen, who is expected to continue in that role, to preside over both.

Pre-K Fireworks: There’s widespread and bipartisan energy building behind a push to boost early education in the state. But there’s a catch — a divide exists between those who want to expand half-day programs to a full day and make them better, and others who want to first get a better handle on how the existing programs are working. Count education advocacy group Raise Your Hand Texas in the former camp, and Gov.-elect Greg Abbott in the latter. 

The School Choice Battleground: In the 2013 session, despite a loud drumbeat leading up to January from supporters including Patrick and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, legislation that would allow students to receive public money to attend private schools died with barely a whimper. Now, a skirmish over private school vouchers is brewing again, but it’s unclear whether 2015 will see a different outcome. Two areas that may instead become the school choice battleground: a proposal known as an “Achievement School District,” which would create a statewide entity to manage underperforming campuses, and efforts to loosen regulation of virtual education.

How Money Gets Doled Out: With a school finance lawsuit awaiting arguments at the Texas Supreme Court, the Legislature could easily punt on making any changes to the way the state distributes funding to school districts. But that might be too much of a delay for some lawmakers. State Sen. Kirk Watson, an Austin Democrat, has already filed a slate of bills that he told the Houston Chronicle he hoped would get the “conversation started” on school finance. And regardless of how Watson’s bills fare, lawmakers can still tinker around the edges of the school finance system as they make choices in how the budget allocates funding across school districts.

Revisiting the Big Ticket Items of 2013: Last time they were in Austin, lawmakers overhauled high school curriculum and scaled back standardized testing requirements. They also approved the first expansion of charter schools in the state since they were established in 1995. If the interim hearings over the last year on the rollout of those new laws are any indication, expect discussion about improving high school students’ access to guidance counselors, and clarifying the process the state uses to close low-performing charters schools.

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at http://www.texastribune.org/2014/12/18/five-things-watch-public-ed-lawmakers-return/.

Community Cinema: A Path Appears 1/6

Join KLRU and the Austin Public Library for a screening and discussion of A Path Appears on Tuesday, January 6th, at Windsor Park Branch Library (5833 Westminster Dr.). The free event is open to the public and takes place from 7 pm to 9 pm.

Jan 6: A Path Appears from the creators of Half the Sky
A Path Appears goes to the USA, Colombia, Haiti, and Kenya to reveal the incredible adversity faced every day by millions of women and girls, while also presenting glimpses of hope and change. From the team that brought you the groundbreaking Half the Sky:Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide. KLRU’s screening will focus on Part 1 of the series, which focuses on sex trafficking. Join New York Times reporter Nicholas Kristoff, Ashley Judd, Blake Lively and Malin Ackerman as they meet activists fighting sex trafficking in the U.S.

Nicholas Kristof talks about his book A Path Appears on KLRU’s Overheard with Evan Smith.

Community Cinema is a groundbreaking public education and civic engagement initiative featuring screenings of films from Independent Lens on location in 100 cities and online. Between September and June, Community Cinema brings together leading organizations, community members and public television stations to learn, discuss and get involved in today’s critical social issues.

You helped us surpass our goal and raise over $250,000!

ThankYou110514

We wanted to offer a heartfelt thanks to all our members and viewers who supported us during our Winter fundraising drive. We are so humbled that over 1,400 people helped us raise over $250,000 in less than a month. It’s your generosity that gives us the ability to continue to tell stories that educate, entertain, inspire and change lives each and every day.

We also want you to know that Your Favorites week was a success! You did your part and we raised over $50,000 in support of your favorite PBS programs that help you explore your world and make connections in your community.

Thank you for strengthening your investment in KLRU this holiday season!