a hip library to check out

Lane Library returns to roots as social spot
Hamilton center adds laptops, café atmosphere

— Business Courier of Cincinnati

What has a drive-thru window, self-checkout kiosks and free wireless Internet?

If you’re thinking Starbucks, try again. How about a neighborhood library? Butler County’s historic Hamilton branch of the Lane Public Library is shedding its stodgy image of yesteryear with a $1.2 million renovation to remake it into a place where people want to hang out.

Bookshelves will move to the sidelines to make way for lounge areas where people can interact, read and relax. Electrical outlets will be added so there are enough places for laptop users to power up and recharge. And the octagonal room under a grand cupola, which now houses the circulation desk, will return to its original purpose as a seating space.

“Lane Public Library has always prided itself on being up-to-date with technology,” said Patti Sumner, project manager and interior designer with Steed Hammond Paul Inc., the same architecture firm that renovated the 25,000-square-foot building a little more than a decade ago. The main focus of the latest Hamilton branch project, she said, has been improving the library’s flow to make it relevant for the way people use libraries in this digital age.


Texas campaign spending for Hispanics exceeds $2 Million

Hispanic Spending in Texas to Surpass $2 Million
— Advertising Age

Primary Showdown Benefits Telemundo, Univision as Clinton, Obama Camps Pour Money Into Lone Star State

The Hispanic market in Texas is seeing an unprecedented boom in campaign spending as presidential hopefuls Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton vie for supremacy in the Lone Star state.

Together, the candidates spent nearly $2 million advertising to Spanish-speaking Hispanics in California, and broadcasters are saying spending ahead of the March 4 Texas primary could top that.


Houston is stable

Boom and bust may be a relic of city’s past
Experts consider oil-driven ups and downs unlikely to be repeated

— Houston Chronicle2


“There is a whole lot more stability than there was in the 1980s,” said Hankamer, whose commercial real estate brokerage specializes in hotel properties. “There is lot more discipline by lenders and builders and equity investors. People are real careful not to build something that is not fully needed.”

The hotel industry learned a lesson, he said, as did the city’s entire business culture. To rely on oil was to play Russian roulette with three loaded chambers. Houston not only had to change its way of doing business, it had to change what business it did.

And so was born the Houston Economic Development Council, established to broaden the economic base.

How well it succeeded, as well as the Greater Houston Partnership which absorbed it along with the Chamber of Commerce, is a matter for historians to debate.

There is no doubt that some active efforts, such as the expansion of the port facilities and the Texas Medical Center, had an effect. But so did the ongoing waves of immigration, much of it unanticipated.

A consistently affordable cost of living also has helped Houston keep growing despite oil’s ups and downs.


2 = article may expire in a few weeks

changes at TSU

TSU’s president calls for entrance standard
All applicants now accepted but a large majority fail to graduate

— Houston Chronicle2

Texas Southern University’s new president wants to end the school’s long-standing practice of accepting all applicants, no matter their academic background, saying the policy contributes to its alarmingly low graduation rate.

President John Rudley said the change is necessary to remake the state’s largest historically black university, which has been on the ropes recently because of management missteps, sliding enrollment and bad press.


2 = article may expire in a few weeks