From the "Well, duh!" files came the juicy tabloid-ready tale of a certain energy-speculation firm (and their crafty accountants) with ties to Commandant Dubya. Corruption? Letting stocks fall where they may? Giving plenty of bail-out warning to their rich buds? Well, duh! What's more scandalous? That or our fearless president's ensuing "Corporate Reform" feel-good tour? Odd footnote: The Kennedy assassination got one vote.
What makes TxDOT the Best State Department in Austin? Seems like the answer might be either (1) they provide secure employment to a large number of citizens, or (2) they provide asphalt surfaces for the use of hundreds of thousands of Central Texans. Whatever the reason, Austin loves TxDOT.
Why do we like Will Wynn? Maybe it's because he's got the fresh-scrubbed All-American thing in spades -- can't you just see him walking down Congress Avenue arm-in-arm with his wife, kids scampering nearby, enjoying a fine Saturday afternoon? Maybe it's because he knows how to tell a joke -- remember his spoof send-off of Mayor Kirk? Maybe it's because he speaks his mind -- even when it ain't so popular. Or maybe it's simply because he reminds us of the kind of Austinite we'd like to be.
124 W. Eighth #113
Our local man in the dome, Senator Gonzalo Barrientos (D), served in the Texas House beginning in 1975 until 1985. That year he won his first seat in the Texas Senate, where he has served ever since. Last year, Barrientos won the first-ever Combined Law Enforcement Association of Texas Lifetime Achievement Award. This year, he won the Texas Public Employees Association Lifetime Achievement Award. And we don't mind adding our little prize to the pile, as our District 14 dude takes props from our readers as well.
P.O. Box 12068
We are all about the blue bins. Recycle and reuse: That's where it's at! We love to feel good about our consumption. But what makes us feel better is finding that perfectly useable, albeit a tad smelly, sofa in dark chocolate brown to match the rest of our tattered aesthetic, lying on the side of the road the night before Bulky Item Pick-Up Day.
City of Austin Solid Waste Services
"Waste not, want not," our mother always told us. As kids we shrugged it off, but nowadays we understand that the wastefulness of our culture's auto-obsession and sprawling homes and impermeable driveways are a sure path to self-destruction. Kudos to all who consider light rail (or any public transportation for that matter) and the Save Our Springs movement worth the fight. May these efforts not be in vain.
Everybody knows Leslie, right? He's Austin's top-notch boho homo hobo, a queen among men. We've heard rumors of his westwardly migration (West Lake Hills?!?), but hey, he and his homemade sleep/cart are still downtown institutions.
While some know Amy Babich as a math professor, bicycle dealer, or politician, most Austinites know her from her Chronic letters to the editor. The vision expressed in each letter is practically (morally?) equivalent to what Austin aspires to be, or at least to the reputation our city has: Bicycles, so pure and kind, rule over cars, so trashy and rude. Amy can mathematically prove this: While our excessive use of cars creates huge problems, increased use of bicycles would solve those problems, therefore we should all use bicycles instead of cars – q.e.d. She speaks for all of us. We hope that Amy Babich perseveres in leading more of us to emulate her inspirational lifestyle.
PO Box 49084
While it's certainly the largest employer in our fair town, size alone doesn't matter so much to Austin. The richness of the community of over-educated colleagues and the diversity factor are enough to make for a favorite employer. But we think it's more than that. Like our state government, UT has a certain ubiquitous charm. They are everywhere. Who hasn't applied, at least once, for a job at UT? North Office Building A 101 E. 27th www.utexas.edu/employment
The U.S. Dept. of Justice reports that, statistically, a woman is raped every two minutes in America (which doesn't even account for the men and boys who also fall victim). SafePlace's mission is education, prevention, intervention, and advocacy regarding issues surrounding sexual assault and domestic violence. Tied is last year's winner, the Texas Freedom Network, an ever-growing organization of faithful Americans (their scope is now national) that strives to temper religious extremism in politics and education. Promoting a grassroots base for religious centrists, they protect personal and religious liberties, countering the Religious Right in such issues as textbook censorship and school vouchers.
Standing ready to risk their lives for ours is a force of emergency workers dedicated to being there, no matter how dire the call. Not only that, but, as one worker pointed out, if you squint and sort of make your eyes go out of focus when you look at "EMS" on the emergency workers' shirts, it sure looks like the word "Elvis."
Alex Jones of Infowars.com fame matched with Lonny Stern of KOOP radio's Outspoken and every-gay-cause-you-can-think-of fame? Talk about your strange bedfellows. One fella stands up for what he believes in at the risk of being ridiculed for his whacked-of-center views, and the other stands up for what he believes in at the risk of being ridiculed for fighting for everyone's right to love whomever. Hey, maybe there is room in that boudoir for both of these true believers.
While some know Amy Babich as a math professor, bicycle dealer, or politician, most Austinites know her from her Chronic letters to the editor. The vision expressed in each letter is practically (morally?) equivalent to what Austin aspires to be, or at least to the reputation our city has: Bicycles, so pure and kind, rule over cars, so trashy and rude. Amy can mathematically prove this: While our excessive use of cars creates huge problems, increased use of bicycles would solve those problems, therefore we should all use bicycles instead of cars ? q.e.d. She speaks for all of us. We hope that Amy Babich perseveres in leading more of us to emulate her inspirational lifestyle.
PO Box 49084
This film industry gadfly has earned his share of detractors (there was a sizable "anyone but Harry" voting contingent) for his oddly reflexive writing style and his network of shadowy informers who keep the film gossip and movie spoilers rolling in. Enough of our readers, however, love him for it, and are proud to call Harry Knowles one of Austin’s own.
Harry J. Knowles
If the readers of The Austin Chronicle were casting directors, hometown sweetie Sandy Bullock would be in the pink for quite some time. Of course that comes with a price, for those same reader/casting directors would most likely cast themselves as our sassy gal-next-door's romantic lead. Honestly, we can't think of a more sexy Austinite, either. Although, Andy Langer did get one vote.
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