Fri., Oct. 4, 2013
› City Council meets today (Thursday) with an agenda that includes vexed questions like extending rental registration regs to more neighborhoods. See "Council: Still Biking After Midnight."
› APD Chief Art Acevedo on Sept. 27 fired Officer Justin Boehm for his use of deadly force during a routine traffic stop this spring. Boehm fired at 55-year-old James Barton after Barton got out of his car after being stopped. In a disciplinary memo, Acevedo said Boehm's lack of good judgment had earned him termination.
› City Council last week ratified the first meet-and-confer contract with EMS since voters approved the agency's bid for civil service last fall. The new contract offers EMS greater flexibility in hiring and ensures modest wage increases totaling 5.5% over the next four years.
› Also last week, the city auditor released a report finding that while EMS provides quality patient care, it has not established any long-term plan on how to meet increasing demands in service – important in part because employees report that they are experiencing worsening job fatigue.
› It's not quite the last word, but the Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission has issued a draft map of 10 districts for next year's 10-1 City Council, and will be accepting public comment over the next several weeks. You can see the Official Preliminary Map (09/28/13), along with other ICRC documents, at www.austinredistricting.org/maps/interactive-preliminary-map.
› The new Asian American Resource Center opened Saturday at 8401 Cameron Road. Built with a bond program approved by Austin voters in 2006 and to be operated under the Parks and Recreation Department, the building features social programs and cultural material from dozens of Asian countries.
› AISD will join the city of Austin's study of whether it's hiring enough minority businesses. On Sept. 30, trustees approved the scope of work for the disparity study by National Economic Research Associates, Inc., worth $500,000.
› As expected, death row inmate Arturo Diaz was executed Sept. 26. The state's next execution is set for Oct. 9, pending appeals. See "Death Watch."
› The much-threatened federal shutdown began Tuesday at midnight, just as the Affordable Care Act (aka "Obamacare") online Health Insurance Marketplaces opened for initial enrollment. If the Republicans are still making you sick to your stomach in January, at least you'll have health coverage.
› Will she or won't she? Democratic supporters are gathering today (Thursday) in Haltom City – an in-city Fort Worth suburb – for the much-buzzed announcement of state Sen. Wendy Davis on her political future, most likely to include a 2014 run for governor against incumbent Attorney General Greg Abbott (or maybe Tom Pauken?).
› Willie Mae Kirk, teacher, longtime civil rights activist, and mother of former Dallas mayor and U.S. Senate candidate Ron Kirk, passed away last week at the age of 92.