Fri., July 4, 2014
› June 26 marked the last formal City Council meeting until Aug. 7, and it was a doozy, with several major issues, and now a deep breath. Some members will go dark for a couple of weeks, although the campaigners – Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole, and Council Members Mike Martinez, Kathie Tovo, and Chris Riley – are likely to stay on your radar (and in your inbox) throughout July.
› City Auditor Kenneth Mory, 63, announced his retirement this week, effective Dec. 1, after a reportedly negative executive session review at City Council for his five years of service. Although Mory's work on preparing the 10-1 process was widely praised, questions had been raised about his management of the auditor's office and its staff.
› This year's Fourth of July celebration, Austin Symphony concert, and fireworks have a new, temporary venue because of ongoing renovations at Auditorium Shores; the Circuit of the Americas will host the event. Parking lots open at 3pm, gates at 4, with the concert scheduled for 8:30pm, and fireworks at 9:30.
› A $1 million federal economic development grant puts the city on track for creating an eco-industrial park in Southeast Austin. Local dignitaries gathered Tuesday to announce plans for the "Austin [re]Manufacturing Hub," which will provide jobs in the recycling, reuse, and repair industries, in "a place where recyclables can be transformed into new products locally."
› They aren't called "delicates" for nothing. When Austinite Kylie Jack attempted to get measured at local lingerie shop Petticoat Fair, where clients are matched one-on-one with a "fitting specialist" in a variety of changing rooms, she was turned away – according to a viral Facebook post that has sparked a firestorm – and "humiliated [when the specialist asked] for ID stating [she] was female and ... needed bottom surgery in order to get a fitting."
› Major upheaval on the AISD board: Both President Vince Torres and District 6 Trustee Lori Moya announced this week that they will not run for re-election. With District 1 Trustee Cheryl Bradley also retiring, that means three of the five seats on the November ballot will be vacant.
› Get ready for a summer road trip. Attorney General Greg Abbott raised eyebrows this week while commenting on his decision to keep information on hazardous chemical locations confidential. "You know where they are if you drive around," Abbott reportedly said, "You can ask every facility whether or not they have chemicals or not."
› A valiant World Cup run by the U.S. national soccer team ended Tuesday afternoon in Salvador, Brazil, in a 2-1 defeat by Belgium in overtime. This year marked the first time the U.S. team had entered the Round of 16 in successive tournaments, and generated an explosion of fan interest back home (see "World Cup Watch").