Construction continues on two Austin school district buildings that are set to open this academic school year. The two sites – a performing arts center in the Mueller development and Jaime D. Padron Elementary School near Rundberg Lane and U.S. Highway 183 – will meet the needs of Austin’s expanding population.
Florence Kamaitha was shocked to learn many African girls were missing school because they could not afford sanitary pads.
“It’s a very poor community and they use cloths to contain their flow and at the age at 9, 10 some of them are even having sex with the boys in the villages to get money to buy the towels,” Kamaitha says. “Towels in my country are really really expensive.”
Kamaitha started by getting her friends to donate sanitary pads – or towels – but says that, in the long-term, that model isn’t as sustainable or effective as starting a company to create cheaper options for girls.
Kamaitha has started an online fundraising campaign in her time at UT to get her company – called “Pad Heaven” – off the ground. It converts banana stems into fiber used to create the sanitary towels.
"In Kenya, we have 1.4 million tons of bananas every year. When the farmers harvest, it’s actually agricultural waste. So I am actually recycling that to make something great for the girls. And it’s very affordable – it will cost about 50 percent cheaper than what we have in the market."
‘Are there any black people there?’
That’s a question I am too often confronted with by my African American peers when speaking about the growing number of professional opportunities that exist in Austin, Texas. Contrarily, I have no problem finding smiling faces of non-African Americans to cheer me on while I am spreading the business gospel of ‘Austin Awesomeness’ around the country.
Natalie Cofield with The Greater Austin Black Chamber of Commerce says a lack of social opportunities for African-Americans is a big factor in Austin’s shrinking black population.
Andrew Takano has made several time-lapse videos of Austin. Here’s his latest.
Check out some of his previous videos, as seen on KUT.org:
Nearly 300 people sat cross-legged in the Texas Capitol extension’s open-air rotunda, tracing wooden sticks around crystal, brass and iron bowls.
They were there to celebrate the Dalai Lama’s birthday and – with the utmost tranquility – become the largest group to ever play Tibetan singing bowls, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.
Read more: http://kutne.ws/1roj484
Source: SoundCloud / KUT News
While thousands of undocumented migrants successfully make it across the border, many do not. This has led to an overwhelming amount of deceased, many whom are children, that local authorities are unable to properly identify or even bury. The Texas Standard’s David Brown speaks forensic anthropologist Dr. Lori Baker, who has been working along in South Texas in an attempt to locate and identify the scores of remains along the border.
To see how far efficiency can go, StateImpact Texas visited one of the newest – and smallest – power plants in Austin. Forget smokestacks and huge transmission lines: this “power plant” is actually a modest three-bedroom house in the Allandale neighborhood, right off Burnet Road.
It’s classified as a “Net Zero” home, meaning it produces as much energy as it uses. Or in this case, it actually produces more energy than it needs.
If you’ve followed the story further, then you may be familiar with what prompted the exchange: the cashier, comedian and performer Daniel Webb, exclaimed “Equal rights for gay people!” when the president approached the counter. When Obama asked Webb if he was gay, he answered, “Only when I have sex.”
Source: SoundCloud / KUT News
A “splash mob” assembled in Downtown Austin this weekend.
Sunday, July 13, crowds gathered on Sixth Street and began blasting each other with water guns, balloons and more. Bryan Winter captured the insanity for KUT News.
See more photos on the KUT Flickr page.
With school out of session, lots of kids are filling their time with summer camps. But they’re not just playing with water balloons and eating s’mores. At the Austin Film Festival summer camp, some kids are learning how to make claymation movies.
KUT showed up on day four of the five-day camp … so we asked some kids if we could borrow their notes.
It’s been more than a year since Google Fiber announced it was coming to Austin with Internet speeds that promised to blow our minds. But so far, every step of the process has been slow.
KUT’s Joy Diaz reports on why it takes so long to get the Internet to the point where it can reach the fastest speeds possible.
In 1963 “one 7-Eleven store in Austin, Texas, located close to the University of Texas, stayed so busy after a football game, it couldn’t close. The store just remained open.”