We Have an Issue: A New Council Gets Down to Work

Austin City Council assembles, congrats to Chroniclers, and a new/old Rollo Banks Lunar New Year cover to relish

cover by Zeke Barbaro / Getty Images (with handwriting from the Austin Chronicle Staff)

On the heels of two weeks of Texas Legislature preview coverage, the News department switches its focus to a legislative body a teensy bit closer to home, to Austin City Council. In his cover story, staff writer Austin Sanders takes a closer look at the issues the new Council is sure to face, including housing, transportation, police oversight, and city staff morale. Oh, and in case you're wondering about the cover: No, Council members didn't supply their John Hancocks; thanks to Chron staffers Kat, Melanie, Lina, Brenner, Nick, Carrie, Rachel, MCM, Cassidy, and Lauren for their penmanship, and to Managing Editor James Renovitch for the fun idea.

Awards and Promotions

Congrats to News contributor and "Death Watch" columnist Brant Bingamon, who is one of two journalists being recognized by the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty at the advocacy org's upcoming conference; investigative reporter Keri Blakinger (the Marshall Project) will also receive a TCADP Media Award.

And a high-five to Cassie Arredondo, formerly the Chronicle's event coordinator and now our newly named marketing & engagement manager, taking over for Nick Corey, who left the paper earlier this month. Fun fact: Cassie is also listed in our staff box under Circulation, as she distributes a couple bundles of newspapers every week in Lockhart on her way home. Way to expand our reach, Cassie!

Rollo Banks Reissue

In 1986 – the Year of the Tiger – the Chronicle published its first Rollo Banks Lunar New Year cover, launching an annual tradition that saw the artist cycle through all 12 signs of the Chinese zodiac. Born Michael Malone, Banks apprenticed with Sailor Jerry Collins in the Seventies and eventually became an internationally acclaimed tattoo artist. In 2021, the Chronicle began re-releasing Banks' zodiac-inspired designs in our online store (austinchronicle.com/store), and that's where you'll find his Year of the Rabbit design as well. For more on the artist, revisit S. Emerson Moffat's remembrance "A Pirate With Ink in His Veins" (Arts, Feb. 12, 2021).


Ride the Wave (Courtesy of the Vortex)

Surf's Up at the Vortex Bob Abelman reviews Ride the Wave, a new play by Mattie Barber-Bockelman.

The Kids Are Not All Right Filmmaker Roxanne Benjamin discusses her new horror, There's Something Wrong With the Children.

Good Food Gets Noms Seven Central Texas food and drink purveyors are among this year's Good Food Awards nominees: Beerburg Brewing, Vista Brewing, Texas Iberico, the Salumeria, Madhu Chocolate, Greater Goods Roasting, and ¡El Meteoro!

When Tzatziki Is a Mouthful Wayne Alan Brenner samples local startup of Greek/Mexican cuisine, Ziki.

Tour Diary On Being an Angel's Paige Applin recounts what it was like opening for seminal Nineties band the Lemonheads last month.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

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