"...Starring: Whoopi Goldberg, Maggie Smith, Harvey Keitel, Mary Wickes, Kathy Nijimy and Bill Nunn. A high concept comedy so pleasurable it's sinful, Sister Act calls for some rejoicing this summer movie season..."
"...Coming as it does on the heels of Navy SEAL Team 6’s stunning capture of the Osama bin Laden compound, Act of Valor, which builds a narrative around real SEALs in action, comes at a time of heightened interest and celebration. Using real SEAL team members in the lead roles must have sounded like a good idea in the film’s planning stages, but there is a reason Hollywood invented screen tests..."
"...Not even trickling. Oh, maybe some of the kids hired on to play the inner-city high-schoolers held out hope as they clunked their way through their characters' troubled lives to find self-esteem and personal rewards through singing double entendre-ed soul classics in harmony..."
"...Last Summer, the US Supreme Court defanged the Voting Rights Act by striking down Section 4, the clauses defining which states must seek Federal preclearance for election laws. Now a new bipartisan Section 4 has been filed, and it would once again place Texas under Department of Justice scrutiny...."
"...However, in this canny documentary, Churchill’s truism gets a makeover. The Act of Killing allows the victors a forum to elaborate on their story, and, by their own hands, these aged conquerors unwittingly rewrite aspects of the history that has propped them up for so many decades...."
"...It cannot be argued that Shakespeare's Richard III hasn't been historically one of those plays for (and about) the boys' club. The Bard's tale of a man who lusts for ultimate power and ruthlessly sets out to attain it is dominated by men, and what few roles it has for women are blatantly stereotypical and inactive..."
"...Last week, with a vote of 318 to 109, the House accepted the Senate’s amendments to HR 933. The Senate’s continuing resolution bill, formally known as the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013, provides short-term funding to the federal government to the end of the fiscal year...."
"...The Republican Party dragged the Affordable Care Act to the US Supreme Court, sure that the conservative-leaning would throw it out. And now they are slackjawed as the highest court in the land supported Obamacare in a five-four decision...."
"...Only then shall we verily find the truth within. Consider the challenge accepted as we learn how to act in 10 easy steps..."
"...Throw in a couple of love interests (Rogers and Parsons), a bigger, meaner -- but more stupid -- bully (Johnson), a couple of car chases, as well as the absolutely unnecessary, thoroughly irritating presence of timeworn teenager Pauly Shore, and it all adds up to the predictable formula that has been shuffled around in the various teen pictures for the past 10 years or so. Class Act is not without some redeeming qualities, which include a great soundtrack featuring recent hip-hop/rap hits, and a pro-education/anti-drug/safe sex undercurrent for its targeted audience that is effective without being too heavy-handed..."
"...Sen. Joe Biden, D-Delaware, that his Reducing Americans' Vulnerability to Ecstasy Act -- better known as the RAVE Act -- would not be applied indiscriminately, it appears the anti-drug measure's first practical application since becoming federal law less than two months ago has been just that..."
"...Mayor Pro Tem Jackie Goodman believed her resolution against the USA PATRIOT Act would pass with little resistance or hesitation from her six City Council colleagues. After all, the resolution represents the kind of progressive-minded, grassroots-driven position that City Hall claims to support -- just as the council declared its opposition to war in Iraq last winter..."
"...Citing the memory and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., Vice President Joe Biden has urged Congress to pass a bipartisan measure that would rebuild the Voting Rights Act, and once again require Texas to get federal approval for any changes to voting maps and laws...."
"...It's back. The Patriot Act – a grotesque, ever-mutating, hydra-headed monstrosity from the Bush-Cheney Little Shop of Horrors – has risen again, this time with an added twist of Orwellian intrusiveness from the Obamacans...."
"...As the Texas Legislature roiled and boiled with the abortion debate, lawmakers and civil rights activists occasionally looked up to absorb the impact of two major rulings from the U.S. Supreme Court..."
"...By signing into law the newest version of the USA PATRIOT Act on March 9, President George W. Bush has offered fans of Texas' death penalty system another chance to expedite the capital punishment legal process and to usher inmate gurneys to the state's death chamber..."
"...Along with an enclave of industry friends who now make Austin their home, Goldstein has taken a huge pay cut and brought his wares to the Austin Independent School District, exposing the seams behind "Hollywood's seamless reality" to Austin high school students through his brainchild, Austin's Creative Television Workshop (ACT). The program, a hands-on television production course, received a small stipend last spring from the City of Austin's Cultural Contracts Office, an entity which contracts artists to provide services that benefit the city by promoting cultural tourism and creative community service, all funded through Austin's hotel/motel tax...."
"...The Texas Open Meetings Act was designed to blow the doors open on backroom dealing in smoke-filled rooms. Yet four cities, including Pflugerville, are challenging sections of the law..."
"...Texas continues to lag behind the national average on ACT scores, although students have made recent, significant gains – from 20.3 last year up to 20.5 this year. The national composite average on the ACT this year was 21.1..."
"...The Act of Killing, which premiered in Austin at South by Southwest last March and hit theatres here in August, chronicles the stories of two former death-squad leaders in Indonesia, including Anwar Congo and Adi Zulkadry's reenactments of the mass executions. Documentarian Joshua Oppenheimer said: "The method was not an elaborate lure to get them to open up..."
"...Dear Editor, Re: "Does the Open Meetings Act Go Too Far?" [News, Jan. 8]: Let me preface this rant by thanking Richard Whittaker for shedding light on this, until now, (mostly) overlooked-but-quite-important story..."
"...In response, DPS extended Homeland Security Act and so-called "law enforcement" exemptions to the state's Public Information Act in order to withhold the tapes. Releasing the tapes, DPS argued, would give away confidential security info like the placement of and angles captured by the cameras, which would supposedly be a boon for evildoers and a bust for the rest of us...."
"...Harold Dutton and some private citizens, the Mexican American Legislative Caucus, and the Texas Latino Redistricting Task Force. Plaintiffs allege that the various maps for the House, Senate, and Congress violate the Voting Rights Act by diminishing the ability of minorities to elect representatives of their choosing despite the fact that minorities – especially Hispanics – overwhelmingly drove Texas' population growth over the past decade..."
"...Here's the score: Star player who helped lead the high school team to a state championship last year is on track for a repeat. Now, this isn't a sports story (or even an episode of Friday Night Lights), but it has all the intensity and even more of the drama – because it's the University Interscholastic League State One-Act Play contest..."
"...More from Austin ISD on cancelled events: ACT College Testing To Be Postponed..."
"...Dear Editor, I want to thank Michael Ventura for sounding an alarm about the PATRIOT Act ["Letters @ 3am," Jan. 23]..."
"...I joined almost 200 Austinites to attend the city council meeting last night, to discuss the resolution against the PATRIOT Act. Like many others, it was my first City Council meeting..."
"...As the 18-month-and-counting saga of the Triangle enters Act III -- no pun intended -- the players are working from a completely new script by different authors, and they hope this time they'll bring the drama to its climax without getting jeered off the stage. Speaking of Act III, the movie theatre by that name -- a flashpoint of community opposition to the proposed Triangle Square shopping complex -- got killed off at the end of Act II, along with most of that "suburban strip mall" of Central Austin nightmares..."
"...What's actually on the table is a $1 billion bond, step one in implementing the recently revised facility master plan, and its recommendations as prioritized by the administration and the Facilities and Bond Planning Advisory Committee – selected on a "worst-er first-er" basis, as Superintendent Paul Cruz put it during the June 19 board meeting. If approved by the board at its June 26 meeting, then passed by voters on Nov..."
"...It's not institutions of public education. But adjunct lecturers at Austin Community College face a pay cut as the college administration dodges giving them coverage under the Affordable Care Act...."
"...Claiming their connotative and denotative meanings for oneself is sheer arrogance. In every sense, they are words that have to be earned by one's conduct, character, and practices over very long periods of time..."
"...ACT UP founder Larry Kramer delivered this speech in New York on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the multichaptered, affiliated, spun-off phenomenon of an activist "organization." "God we were so creative while we were dying " "It is very wearying to witness our carrying-on so passively year after year, particularly now that all of us, all of us have been given the gift of life. I know that young gays don't think this way, but many of us died to give you this gift of staying alive. You are alive because of us..."
"...Now, we can trace our own state's potential for environmental irresponsibility all the way from asthmatic school children in the Sherman, Texas, area to the rapidly thawing north. But we also have the potential to lay down some new tracks at the state level to enact change at the federal level, which Reps..."
"... The Bush administration runs the country like a dictatorship. I live in this country because it is supposed to be a democracy where the people have a voice and where they know that if they vote and speak out, representatives will listen and act on behalf of the people..."
"...Reps. Lloyd Doggett, Martin Frost, Sheila Jackson-Lee, and Ciro Rodriguez for co-sponsoring the Early Treatment for HIV Act..."
"...Our freedoms are admired all over the world. If we restrict them, as we did when we passed the PATRIOT Act, we are not only hurting ourselves but tarnishing our image abroad as the leader in the fight for freedom. That's why I favor the repeal of the PATRIOT Act and oppose any more laws that whittle away at our basic civil liberties...."
"...From the early days of his career, building a following at Ted Hook's Backstage, a piano bar and restaurant in the Broadway theatre district, to his debut at the Algonquin Hotel's Oak Room, where he was the first cabaret artist to perform after 40 years, to the present, achieving international renown through his appearances at London's Pizza on the Park, at the Hong Kong Arts Festival, the Perth Festival in Australia, the Spoleto Festival, and across the United States, including on and off-Broadway, Ross has been praised for his sensitivity to the luxurious melodies and clever lyrics of the popular standards, for bringing to them the warmth and wit and cosmopolitan style of an age of Deco nightclubs, frosty martinis, and white tie and tails. In the reviews of Ross' performances, one keeps coming across words like "sophisticated," "dashing," "debonair," "poised." In The New York Times, Stephen Holden called him "the suavest of all male cabaret performers." He is, in more than one sense of the phrase, a class act...."
"...illustration by Doug Potter Who would have thought, during the afterglow of the May 1997 elections when the Green ticket swept the City Council races, or during the long trudge of annexation hearings last fall while the environmentalists stood beside their council and the newly annexed cursed their oppressors, that the Green Council would soon have an opportunity to facilitate the very urban sprawl it had vowed to squelch? Last week's emergency meeting of council was, in fact, an unavoidable part of the unprecedented annexation of 13,000 acres which was completed in December 1997. But inevitability doesn't take the sting out of watching the Green Council give the go-ahead on hundreds of new homes to be built over the Edwards Aquifer - homes that not only should be built to conform with the strict Save Our Springs water quality ordinance, but which the council could have forced to be built to that standard..."
"...And you have the chance to join her. Local activist nonprofit Jolt Texas calls on individuals across the state to help make the installation, which carries the message of “They Tried to Bury Us..."
"...Last May, Brandi Carlile’s Cover Stories benefited the War Child charity with Dolly Parton, Adele, Pearl Jam, and more interpreting songs from the singer‘s sophomore album The Story. Given February’s sixth studio disc By the Way, I Forgive You, the 2017 project now feels less like a capstone to her steady rise than a shift into her second act...."
"...In a ruling that may force the state to change its voter registration laws, U.S. Judge Orlando Garcia found Texas in violation of the National Voter Registration Act (also known as “motor voter”) for using a different voter registration process to those applying for or renewing their driver’s licenses on the state website vs..."
"...During this Saturday's Black Fret Ball at the Paramount Theatre, they'll bestow another $200,000 on nominated artists as voted by their body of donors. What exactly does this money help musicians accomplish? Let's ask last year's $17,000 grant winners...."
"...I’d imagine I’m not the only one. Step up, apologize and clean up your act, like, now...."
"...The main coordinator of this power grab is ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council. For example, in 2014, when Fight for 15 and other activist groups began winning city campaigns for minimum wage hikes, ALEC responded by holding a corporate forum on how state officials can stop such local actions..."
"...New developments in the saga of Texas Civil Rights Project founder Jim Harrington and Omar Rosales, the local attorney recently ordered to pay nearly $176,000 in penalties for filing frivolous lawsuits charging businesses with violating the Americans With Disabilities Act ("Talk About Your Ultimate Backfire," Dec. 16): On Tuesday, Harrington announced the creation of the Texas ADA Defense Project, which will "combat exploitive threats and litigation" of the federal labor law..."
"...Yes, Rick Perry, the former Texas governor who specialized in putting the "goober" in gubernatorial, is being brought back from well-earned obscurity in rural Texas to join the menagerie of characters in "The Donald Show." For us lovers of low political comedy, Perry is literally an early Christmas gift from on high – not from heaven (not that high), but from the dizzying heights of Trump Tower. That's where the orange-haired impresario-in-chief has been holding tryouts for his Washington cast, and Perry is a slapstick-perfect choice for Trump's bizarre cabinet...."
"...The Affordable Care Act faces an uncertain future under Donald Trump, but Austin nonprofit Foundation Communities assures us Obamacare won't disappear in 2017. Contracts remain in place with insurance companies to guarantee at least one more year of the ACA's current structure..."
"...As unlikely as it may sound, Don Fried's play Postville draws from an actual place and events: Back in 1987, a group of Lubavitch Hasidim from New York did indeed transform a closed meatpacking plant in the real Postville into a kosher slaughterhouse, and it did lead to a community of East Coast Hasidic Jews springing up the midst of this very white, very Christian town in the Midwest, as well as to an influx of immigrants, mostly Latino and Eastern European, to work in the facility. While his script has invented characters and telescopes the timeline of two decades into a single year, Fried rightly recognized fertile ground for drama in that historical situation and labored to till as much of it as possible..."
"...Johnson, a 16-year veteran with APD, was boarding horses near APD headquarters when he and fellow officers saw McQuilliams firing in their direction. Johnson shot one round back and hit McQuilliams more than 300 feet away; the attacker died on impact..."
"...By a 5-4 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act – which determines state coverage -- is unconstitutional..."