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Age Before Beauty? With Treaty Oak, You Get Both.
Local distiller is making world-class aged spirits
Food Story  December 27, 2013, by Wes Marshall
"...My first try is usually that beacon of musical diversity, KUTX. When I tuned in, there was good old Michael Martin Murphey reminiscing about himself and folks like Buckwheat Stevenson, Steve Fromholz, Three Faces West, Jerry Jeff Walker, and all the other members of what Fromholz called "the Great Progressive Country Scare of the Seventies." Murph recalled the great clubs and talked about the sea change that occurred in 1972 when the Texas Legislature finally decided the populace would be able to enjoy a mixed drink without having to join a private club..."

UPDATED: Abortion Regulations Trial Continues in Federal Court
Second day of testimony continues this afternoon
DAILY News  October 22, 2013, by Jordan Smith
"...Even before HB 2 finally passed, during a special-called session of the Legislature this summer, Hagstrom Miller was working on finding new doctors that would be willing to work at her clinics, or to serve as backup doctors. She's been unsuccessful, she said, forcing her to fly doctors in to treat patients in search of care..."

Wendy Davis: In For Governor Race
UPDATE: Fort Worth Dem to challenge GOP stranglehold next November
DAILY News  October 3, 2013, by Richard Whittaker
"...The Tarrant County Democrat is only in her second term in the Texas legislature, but has already had a meteoric rise to prominence. A nine year veteran of the Fort Worth City Council, she was elected to the State Senate in 2008, defeating local GOP institution Kim Brimer in a dramatic upset..."

Smitherman: It's Always The Quiet Ones
AG candidate flies to the far religious right
DAILY News  September 3, 2013, by Richard Whittaker
"...Rep. Dan Branch, R-Dallas, has got much of the Texas Legislature at his back, while Sen..."

His Cup Runneth Over
Tipsy Texan David Alan is having the time of his life
Food Story  July 5, 2013, by Virginia B. Wood
"...David Alan is having the busiest year of his life. Between appearances at Food & Wine festivals in Austin and Aspen, organizing Texas Tiki Week with other members of the Central Texas chapter of the United States Bartenders' Guild, preparations for this month's Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans, brand representation, the monitoring of crucial distilling bills as they worked their way through the Texas Legislature, and important consulting jobs, Alan is also promoting his first book, Tipsy Texan: Spirits and Cocktails from the Lone Star State, at book signings and cocktail parties..."

SCOTUS Punts on Fisher vs. UT, Lifts Part of Voting Rights Act
Two major rulings from the Supreme Court
News Story  June 28, 2013, by Richard Whittaker
"...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..."

Point Austin: In Defense of Women's Rights
The GOP does battle for a government of men, not laws
News Column  June 21, 2013, by Michael King
"...The state has absolutely no business or right to interfere in those difficult decisions, and the party of "limited government" is supremely hypocritical on this subject. Given a chance to expand health care for women and Texans generally, the governor and Republican-dominated Texas Legislature decided to pass the buck to the federal government and let millions of Texans do without..."

House of Representatives is finally hearing bills on the floor
News Story  March 22, 2013, by Richard Whittaker

Fighting for Justicia
Workers Defense Project celebrates 10 years on the front lines of Texas labor
News Story  September 21, 2012, by Nora Ankrum

No Country For Old Horses?
Senate considers horse slaughter
DAILY News  July 16, 2012, by Jordan Smith
"...It is now up to the ag committee to decide whether to recommend the next Legislature, convening in January 2013, take action on the issue or leave in place the decades-old ban...."

The Great $100 Lottery Scam
Texas Lottery pursues bearers of 'previously paid' but forgotten scratch-off tickets
News Story  June 8, 2012, by Jordan Smith
" the amount of unclaimed prize money that goes back to the state," he says. "The Legislature does not care and does not grade us" on that..."

Point Austin: First, Do No Harm
The health of Texas women is sacrificed to the war on Planned Parenthood
News Column  May 4, 2012, by Michael King
"...Some Texans, of course, will be waiting with rather more urgency: the many thousands of women who rely on Planned Parenthood clinics for effectively their only health care. Their lives have once again been put in jeopardy by Perry and the Legislature's obsession with an entirely political war on PP, for generations one of the most respected (and efficient) providers of health care for women..."

Culture Flash
A dozen NEA grants, an Austinite for State Artist, and Austin High takes state
Arts Column  May 27, 2011, by Robert Faires
"...• Congratulations to Melissa Miller on being named the Texas State Two-Dimensional Artist for 2011. The associate professor in the University of Texas Department of Art and Art History is one of eight artists receiving cultural appointments from the Texas Legislature for this year and the next..."

The Road Against Hate
The Hurtado murders measure the distance Austin and Texas must travel
News Story  May 6, 2011, by Jordan Smith
"...In some abstract moral universe of simple good and evil, that may be true – yet the Legislature routinely enacts legislation enhancing punishments for certain crimes, often depending on the victim (police officers, children, etc.). On the other hand, much crime is quite often randomly targeted, or motivated by something other than a focused hatred or bias..."

Point Austin: Introducing the Constitution
Texas Civil Rights Project remains a 20-year work still in progress
News Column  October 1, 2010, by Michael King
"...I began working directly with Jordan in 2000 and have remained in awe of her indefatigable abilities and her determination to get the story right – whether the particular subject is the obscure workings of the Austin Police Department, racially tainted drug enforcement in southeast Texas, the curious financial and political maneuverings of anti-abortion crusaders at the Legislature, or the devastating, lingering outcomes of "Satanic ritual abuse" prosecution in Travis County...."

Point Austin: Learning From Experience
The things they won't tell you in Texas schools
News Column  September 24, 2010, by Michael King
"...It's often difficult to know whether the SBOE theatricals constitute farce or tragedy, but at the Forensic Science Commission, there's no doubt it's the latter. In a minimal attempt by the Legislature to inject some accurate, current science into Texas prosecutorial forensics – which bear no relation to the high-dollar magic acts featured on CSI – the commission is currently mired in a prolonged struggle over the Willingham debate, a review of the "fire science" (or lack of it) at the heart of a conviction for a 1991 fire that eventually resulted in the 2004 execution of Cameron Todd Willingham for the arson-murders of his three daughters...."

Naked City
News briefs from Austin, the region, and beyond
News Story  May 21, 2010
"...In 2007, the Texas Legislature passed the Texas Computer TakeBack Law, requiring computer manufacturers to provide convenient recycling options for old computers. But according to a report by Texas Campaign for the Environ­ment, the organization that pushed the legislation, most computer makers did not significantly increase their recycling of electronic waste in 2009, and among states with similar programs, Texas ranked last in per capita collections..."

Point Austin: Yes, They Did
You've got health care – even in Texas
News Column  March 26, 2010, by Michael King
"...Rick Perry and Abbott will do what they can to obstruct implementation, even while Texas remains the national poster child for the health care crisis. During the last Legislature, Perry personally blocked an expansion of the Children's Health Insurance Program, although it had been endorsed by the Republican state Senate..."

Lege Races: Austin and Elsewhere
These candidates are all over the map on issues
News Story  February 19, 2010, by Richard Whittaker

Fed School Funding
Teachers' unions say Race to the Top places too much emphasis on testing
News Story  January 22, 2010, by Richard Whittaker
"...While legislatures and school districts in other states rush to comply with the application terms of the federal Race to the Top grant, Gov. Rick Perry is continuing his ongoing feud with the Obama administration by refusing to submit the state's application – despite months of preparation by the Texas Education Agency..."

Film News
It's raining cash for film in Texas ... but not a drop leftover for Waco
Screens Column  June 5, 2009, by Joe O'Connell
"...The Texas Legislature has given a total $62 million to fund the state's new-and-improved film-incentives program for the next two fiscal years with a level of flexibility we outlined here recently (see "Film News," May 8). It wasn't easy, insiders say, with the $40 million increase over the previous (and first) incentives fund at one point tied to FEMA reimbursements related to Hurricane Katrina (they now are drawn from the general revenue fund)..."

Perry Rejects Stimulus Funds for Unemployment
Governor announces rejection of cash in Houston
DAILY News  March 12, 2009, by Lee Nichols
"...Texans, through their taxes, will still be responsible for every dollar that the federal government wants to send back to this state. … It's now incumbent on the Legislature to address this issue directly and stand up for the workers, families, and businesses who are being buffeted by this recession...."

The Man in the White Hat
Larry Joe Doherty rides into the battle for CD 10
News Story  October 3, 2008, by Lee Nichols
"...Bush's presidency, Texas' congressional delegation leaned Democrat by a 17-15 count. He tackled this perceived inconsistency with a powerful act of chutzpah: He strong-armed the new Republican majority in the Texas Legislature into executing an unprecedented mid-decade redistricting..."

Naked City
News briefs from Austin, the region, and elsewhere
News Story  April 25, 2008
"...• Bill Dingus, the Democratic candidate challenging House Speaker Tom Craddick for his seat in the Texas Legislature, has resigned his seat on the Midland City Council as part of his fight to stay on the November ballot. On April 15, U.S..."

Film News
The Top 10 things that had people talking in Austin film and TV this year
Screens Column  January 4, 2008, by Joe O'Connell
"...It's admittedly not as much as offered by New Mexico and Louisiana, but the Texas Legislature did approve a $20 million film/video incentives program that is expected to bear fruit this year. The film industry united to form the Texas Motion Picture Alliance and to get the job done..."

Day Trips
The year 2007 came in as a lamb and went out as a tired, old goat
Columns  January 4, 2008, by Gerald E. McLeod
"...For day-trippers, good news came from the 80th Texas Legislature. Texas state and local parks finally received a boost in funding..."

Naked City
News Story  November 23, 2007
"...The proposal would increase fees by $318 a semester next year and by $303 the year after, bringing the average cost of a semester at UT to $4,686. If the plan is approved, the cost of a UT education will have almost doubled since 2003, when the Texas Legislature agreed to let universities set their own tuition..."

On the Lege
Texas and Sudan: In or Out?
News Column  February 16, 2007, by Amy Smith
"...• Nothing spells a legislative year like a nice Austin-centric fight at the Legislature. This year, it's the Travis Co..."

Naked City
News Story  December 1, 2006
"...House of Representatives and played a prominent role in the Watergate hearings. For more on the statue initiative, go to • The AISD board of trustees approved 11 priorities for the upcoming session of the Texas Legislature..."

Court Reporter
At the Supreme Court Wednesday, it was all about Texas and the future
News Story  March 3, 2006, by Michael King
"...Along with the Post and The New York Times, Thursday morning's national press take on the hearing was that the (mostly Democratic) plaintiffs are in trouble, because the justices' most aggressive questioning was aimed at lead plaintiff attorney Paul Smith and Nina Perales of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund. By contrast, Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz got off relatively lightly, although the most quoted line of the day was Justice Anthony Kennedy's assertion to Cruz that the Legislature's reconfiguring of Rep..."

Our readers talk back.
Columns  January 13, 2006
"...6]. The Texas Supreme Court has ordered the Texas Legislature to come up with a public education funding plan by June 2006...."

The Common Law
Are Texas Drunk Driving Laws Tough Enough?
Columns  December 30, 2005, by Luke Ellis
"...In recent years, the Texas Legislature has stiffened the laws that regulate and punish drunk drivers. For example, in 1999, the blood-alcohol concentration used to establish whether a driver is per se drunk was reduced to 0.08..."

Our readers talk back.
Columns  August 19, 2005
"...They asked for money to participate in a band event for which the schools can fund. Instead of providing for the full education of our children, our Texas Legislature is responsible for our children learning how to beg..."

Our readers talk back.
Columns  July 22, 2005
"...Austin Mayor Will Wynn has announced that Austin will be the Clean Energy Capital of the World and the Fitness Capital of the World. The Texas Legislature has passed the Safe Routes to School Act..."

Our readers talk back.
Columns  June 17, 2005
"...The 79th Texas Legislature session has ended, and the senators and representatives have gone back home. Future Texans will look back at this session with shame and horror..."

Naked City
Avid rider Ellis wants drivers to give a wider berth
News Story  May 20, 2005, by Daniel Mottola
"..."This is the most important bill ever before the Texas Legislature for Texans who ride bikes," said Robin Stallings, executive director of the Texas Bicycle Coalition. "If followed, SB 859 has the potential to save 20 lives per year in the state of Texas..."

Place Your Bets
The gambling action heats up at the Capitol
News Column  March 4, 2005, by Amy Smith
"...It is impossible to frame the Florida referendum as a partisan issue, because of the mix of strange bedfellows in each of the opposing camps. The same sort of unusual alignments are shaping up in the Texas Legislature, where liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans have formed alignments on both sides of the issue..."

Naked City
Headlines and happenings from Austin and beyond
News Story  January 21, 2005, by Lee Nichols
"...• The Texas Legislature solved the school finance problem! Well, sort of. Okay, they just agreed to solve it..."

Naked City
Alliance for a Clean Texas says lawmakers can create one
News Story  January 21, 2005, by Daniel Mottola
"...Citing a state auditor's report that found that polluters, on average, are allowed to keep 81% of the money they earn by breaking environmental laws, ACT demanded that the 79th Legislature increase Texas Commission on Environmental Quality's enforcement budget, "leveling the playing field for law-abiding businesses," by requiring TCEQ to recover any "economic benefit" derived by polluters who break the law. ACT hopes to make the agency aggressive beyond new internal recommendations finalized this month, aimed at making the enforcement process more meaningful..."

Film News
Despite a forlorn fall, Austin racked up its second best film year ever in 2004, and, cross your fingers, 2005 is starting off strong
Screens Column  January 7, 2005, by Joe O'Connell
"...Is it any wonder that the 2005 mantra will be "incentives," as in what Louisiana and New Mexico have been offering of late to grab more big-budget flicks? Look for the Texas Legislature to make a resolution to consider a film incentive program that has been quietly formulated in recent months. "Everyone is poised and holding their breath," says Rick Ferguson, head of the Houston Film Commission, whose city came in second in 2004 with $10.5 million in film projects..."

Film News
While major productions play tax-incentive hopscotch across the South and Southwest, Austin tries to figure out how to reignite its winning streak
Screens Column  October 29, 2004, by Joe O'Connell
"...It remains to be seen if the Texas Legislature will follow our neighbors' leads when it comes to incentives, but the city of Austin has taken action under Jim Butler, its manager of creative industries development. "Our number one priority is to make the city quicker and less expensive for filmmakers," said Butler, who also promotes music and technology industries..."

Our readers talk back.
Columns  October 8, 2004
"...However, CAMPO can and really should forward such a recommendation to the Texas Legislature and governor's office. Indeed, half of the CAMPO board members are currently elected officials in the Texas House and Senate, not the least of which is Sen..."

Plead Ignorance
In the wake of the TRMPAC indictments, the big players are scurrying for cover
News Column  October 1, 2004, by Michael King
"...The TAB indeed bragged that it had "blown the doors open" on the 2002 legislative election – using "issue ads" that were transparently partisan. But the entire cabal of Republican campaign organizations that bankrolled the GOP takeover of the Texas Legislature also seemed determined to fold, staple, and mutilate longstanding Texas campaign finance law into tricornered party hats to be worn at victory celebrations...."

Nuke Waste: Get It While It's Hot!
Crony capitalism drops a dirty bomb on Texas
News Story  September 24, 2004, by Wells Dunbar
"...The 78th Texas Legislature saw a massive paradigm shaft ... er, shift, as the newly minority Dems had to pick their battles with the zealous Republican majority..."

Get in Line
In the new Texas arithmetic, nothing for nothing leaves nothing
News Column  July 23, 2004, by Michael King
"..."And so they should," responds Scott McCown, executive director of the Center for Public Policy Priorities, who more often stands four-square with Pierce on questions of school finance. But the CPPP's charge is broader than that of the Equity Center, and McCown's team of analysts have just issued a new report, "Truth and Consequences: The State Budget for 2004-2005 and Its Impact on Texans" ( that addresses the growing devastation wrought by the current Legislature's determination to balance the budget without "new taxes."..."

Naked City
Headlines and happenings from Austin and beyond
News Story  February 6, 2004, by Mike Clark-Madison
"...The Texas Association of Business lost yet another courthouse contest on Monday – this one before the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, which affirmed a federal district court ruling in litigation stemming from the group's controversial 2002 political ad campaign, widely credited with the GOP takeover of the Texas Legislature..."

No Growth at the Growth Fund
Despite charging millions of dollars in management fees, the Texas Growth Fund has returned zero to the state
News Story  January 30, 2004, by Lucius Lomax
"..."Just for the record, we've never had a member of the Legislature call us," said Stephen Soileau, a managing partner of the Texas Growth Fund – a $577 million pool of public money that is among the latest efforts of state government to get more bang for its buck. "What always happens is somebody calls and says, 'I'm a close friend of ...' That's what happens...."

The Other 'Alamo'
Brace yourselves, devotees of Alamo and Texas Revolution lore: The prevailing mythology is about to take a few more hits, this round courtesy of Joseph Tovares and his new documentary, 'Remember the Alamo'
Screens Story  January 16, 2004, by Anne S. Lewis
"...Joseph Tovares: I think we discovered some things that will be very tough for Mexican-Americans to deal with. The big one is slavery -- when [José Antonio] Navarro sneaked that through the Mexican Legislature and enabled plantation-style slavery to happen, that's not easy for the Chicano community to deal with..."

Naked City
News Story  November 14, 2003, by Mike Clark-Madison
"...The TWC is patterned after the National Council of Women's Organizations ( which unites about 200 women's organizations nationwide. Said steering committee member Valarie Bristol, "The erosion of rights in the national arena, along with some of the things that were said and done in the 2003 Texas Legislature, spurred us to act..."

Our readers talk back.
Columns  August 15, 2003
"...I watched in disbelief during this past [regular] session of the Texas Legislature as Joe Nixon conducted committee hearings on his "Tort Reform" legislation. I could not believe what I was seeing as I watched the way he dismissed out of hand anyone that had anything to say in opposition, while publicly embracing anyone in favor, especially anyone from the insurance industry..."

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