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Lone Justice
To Protect Resources, Judge Bunton Defies Politicians
News Story  September 13, 1996, by Robert Bryce
"..."Let Texans take care of Texas" is the rallying cry being pushed by state leaders. Yet if all states operated on that principle, blacks and whites would still be attending different schools and eating in segregated restaurants. Federal courts are often the only venues that are free to make decisions based on law, not politics..."

Page Two
Columns  August 23, 1996, by Louis Black
"...As with any good return-from-the-dead scenario, the almost unexpectedly revived SOS is again wreaking havoc and mayhem. When the citizen-passed initiative was reaffirmed by the courts, supporters were vindicated and re-energized but some of them are so excited they are ready to go too far (see this week's "Council Watch")..."

Day Trips
Columns  August 9, 1996, by Gerald E. McLeod
"...When the CCC began work on the pool in 1935, Balmorhea had one old hotel, so a cluster of 18 cottages was added to the campground. Made of white adobe with red Spanish roof tile, Solomon Courts still provides basic comfort with central heat and air and 10 units have kitchenettes for $40 per couple..."

Call in the Rangers
A Memo to the Governor:
News Story  July 26, 1996, by Robert Bryce
"...Uncertainty was abundant. Prices bounced up and down as various lawsuits wended their way through federal courts...."

The Artistic Afterlife
Stevie Ray Vaughan
Music Story  October 6, 1995
"...It's kind of grisly to put a dollar figure on someone's life, but the courts do it every day with the help of personal injury lawyers and taxing authorities. The courts judge the worth of an individual by the loss of income to his or her dependents plus a certain amount for pain and suffering..."

County's Parsimonious Budget Plans Ockham's Razor
The New County Order
News Story  September 8, 1995
"...The total General fund bill for these new expenditures is $2.44 million, split almost evenly between juvenile justice, adult justice, and everyone else. The largest single "Expando-Pax" belong to the juvenile court and the civil district courts, which between them get 33 new employees...."

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
Kenneth Branagh, resuscitator of Shakespeare onscreen, tackles the Frankenstein tale and brings that oft-abused corpse to life again with a jolt, though not the way you might expect. The film...
Film Review  November 11, 1994, by Robert Faires
"...Both take these modern myths that have grown iconic and generally dry and cold, and fire hot blood back into them. They are personal, intensely so: Dracula, a warrior who courts hell after his beloved dies; Frankenstein, a doctor who seeks life's source after his mother dies..."

Above the Rim
'Tis the season for b-ball films. With the recent Blue Chips, the forthcoming Hoop Dreams, and this debut from Jeff Pollack, Hollywood seems to have caught NCAA fever, and while...
Film Review  April 1, 1994, by Marc Savlov
"...With the recent Blue Chips, the forthcoming Hoop Dreams, and this debut from Jeff Pollack, Hollywood seems to have caught NCAA fever, and while Above the Rim manages to capture the frenzied pace of the game, it never manages to rise above the weak, formulaic script by Pollack and co-writer Barry Michael Cooper. High school athlete Kyle Watson (Martin) is the best point guard on the courts, and he knows it..."

Point Austin: The Gavel Descends
The 86th Texas Legislature: Hoping for the Best ...
News Column  January 3, 2019, by Michael King
"...All we talked to express hope for progress on public school financing. Historically, the Legis­lat­ure hasn't acted upon its constitutional responsibility to "make suitable provision" for "an efficient system of public free schools" unless ordered to do so by the courts, and then grudgingly..."

The Best Albums of 2018 by Genre
Hip-hop, metal, pop, and more picks from our critics
Music Story  December 27, 2018, by Doug Freeman, Christina Garcia, Dan Gentile, Raoul Hernandez, Alejandra Ramirez, Kahron Spearman, Jeremy Steinberger and Libby Webster
"...10) Parquet Courts, Wide Awake! (Rough Trade)..."

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of the Upcoming Legislative Session
Lawmakers set to tackle immigration, education, legalization, transportation, and more
News Story  December 13, 2018, by the News Staff
"...Members from both parties have already filed repeal bills, only differing in how to raise the replacement funds. Similarly, lawmakers on both ends want an end to certain cash bail practices, to limit crowding in the jails and the courts, and to de-emphasize plea deals as the best means of getting free..."

The Past, Present, and Future of Waller and Shoal Creeks
Finally doing right by Austin's waterways
News Story  November 29, 2018, by Mike Clark-Madison
"...The property was donated to the city for public use by former governor E.M. Pease in 1875; from south to north, the plan envisions it as distinct "rooms" or "landscape character zones" with names like Kingsbury Commons, Polecat Hollow (where the volleyball courts are), and the Big Field (home to Eeyore's Birthday Party since 1974)..."

“Texas Seven” Escapee Set for Execution
Inmate challenges original conviction, post-escape "law of parties" verdict
News Story  November 29, 2018, by Sarah Marloff
"...A subsequent petition at the CCA argues Garcia's death sentence in the Hawkins case was a result of "misleading evidence" presented by the state, ineffective counsel, and a "racially prejudiced judge" who tainted the case, in addition to its challenge to the law of parties. Via email, Baich stressed that there remain "significant legal issues before the courts that have not been presented until now because of procedural technicalities and bad lawyering."..."

Election Ticker: Run, Run, Run-off Away
It's a whole new election, y'all! Don't be alarmed.
News Story  November 21, 2018, by Mike Clark-Madison and Nina Hernandez
"...In a Friday letter to the Office of the City Clerk, Tynan demanded the office declare Harper-Madison ineligible and replace her on the ballot with the next-highest vote-getter (that would be Vincent Harding). A city spokesperson told the Chronicle on Tuesday that it's not in the office's purview to do so, and Tynan's client would have to turn to the courts to seek relief..."

Point Austin: Giving Thanks
In the spirit of the season, a few celebrations
News Column  November 21, 2018, by Michael King
"...The state House is now farther away from the super-majority the GOP had previously enjoyed, with a group of young Democrats (and women reps) that should provide momentum for much-needed change. Meanwhile, the appeals courts – where right-wing legislative fancies are routinely rubber-stamped, and progressive city policies go to die – have largely flipped blue, meaning corporate interests can't reflexively expect victories on appeal...."

A Plan for Pease Park’s Future
New master plan includes phase one redesign and upgrade of park's southernmost 13 acres
News Story  November 15, 2018, by Michael King
"...2, the Pease Park Conservancy released the design plans for "Kingsbury Commons," as the formal entryway for Pease Park and the initial phase of the redesign and upgrade of the southernmost 13 acres of the park. The master plan includes expanded playscapes and exercise areas, an upgrade and expansion of the "Tudor Cottage" for public events, improvement for volleyball and basketball courts, and improvements to the plantings and natural landscape..."

Death Watch: Robert Ramos
Mexican national set for execution Wednesday night
DAILY News  November 14, 2018, by Sarah Marloff
"...Welch, who is accused of representing Ramos with conflicting interests (he withdrew to take a position with the Office of the Federal Defender), failed to do any additional investigating into Ramos’ case and presented the courts with arguments already denied in direct appeal. The filing suggests that if Ramos’ appeals went through the system today — in light of the Trevino v..."

Election Coverage: Judicial Races: Dem Sweep Appealing
Court of Appeals seats go big-time to the left
News Story  November 8, 2018, by Chase Hoffberger
"...Judicial races in Travis County all went as planned – mostly uncontested, and all to Dems – and Republicans rolled as expected at both the state Supreme Court and Court of Criminal Appeals, but there's movement afoot in the 14 appellate courts, where 31 of 32 contested races went to Dems, and 17 GOP incumbents lost. That includes a clean sweep of the 3rd Court, which oversees cases in Travis County..."

Election Ticker: Last Chance for Controversy
E-Day is tomorrow! Here's the latest news before it's too late.
DAILY News  November 5, 2018, by News Staff
"...Those complaints request “in-depth investigations into Dallas County's computerized central counting station tabulation procedures.” Pressley claims her own review of the Dallas County records found uncounted votes (“computerized vote tabulation discrepancies”). Pressley made similar claims about her own District 4 race in 2014 (where she lost handily to Greg Casar), but thus far Texas courts have rejected those claims as “frivolous” and imposed sanctions upon Pressley and her lawyers..."

The Threat Is Real
Still wonder how Kavanaugh will rule on abortion? Look no further than his record in Texas
News Story  October 25, 2018, by Mary Tuma
"..."We think there is a very real threat to abortion rights and we are deeply concerned," says Rikelman. "We'll continue to fight in the courts to make sure these rights are reaffirmed." Several key cases could reach the Supreme Court in the next year or two, including a Mississippi law that bans abortion at 15 weeks; a Louisiana law forcing abortion doctors to secure admitting privileges at a local hospital (also a provision of HB 2); and an Indiana law that bars abortion if the fetus might be disabled..."

ACL Music Fest 2018: Sunday, Second Weekend
PHOTO GALLERY  October 15, 2018
"...Parquet Courts..."

ACL Music Fest 2018: Sunday, First Weekend
PHOTO GALLERY  October 8, 2018
"...Parquet Courts..."

ACL Late Night Shows
Local and national acts hit the clubs
Music Story  October 4, 2018, by Jeremy Steinberger
"...Parquet Courts, Sass, Mohawk..."

Parquet Courts
Music Story  October 4, 2018, by Dan Gentile
"...On Wide Awake!, Parquet Courts uses punk mood swings and Gang of Four-style vocal barking to camouflage some of the prettiest songwriting of their career. Born in Denton in 2009, they traded North Texas for NYC long ago, but still sing with underdog hunger and freshman humor (see "Freebird II")..."

TX-31: MJ Hegar vs. John Carter
"Quality of representation"
News Story  October 4, 2018, by Michael King
"...MJ Hegar's TX-31 is the least gerrymandered of the six Austin districts in a literal sense: As the courts say, it is "compact and contiguous," in that it comprises all of Williamson (including about 27,000 Austin voters) and nearly all of adjoining Bell County. But Hegar notes that the lines do reflect Republican "gerrymandering demographics," because of both active military members (Fort Hood) and more veterans than 97% of congressional districts..."

Death Watch: Segundo Awaits 5th Circuit
Death row inmate scheduled for execution Oct. 10
News Story  October 4, 2018, by Sarah Marloff
"...In May, Segundo's lawyers filed a request for relief in federal court (still pending), arguing that Segundo's right to adequate and professional representation was "undermined at every stage of litigation." Among other violations, Segundo's trial attorneys referred to him as "Speedy Gonzalez," a "tard," and a "dumb bastard," and ignored requests from their experts for information to support Segundo's intellectual disability. The filing also asserts Segundo's trial counsel and the courts relied on unscientific "Briseno factors" (guidelines based in part on the fictional Lennie from John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men) to assess Segundo, a method rejected by the U.S..."

Consolidate the Prosecutors
District attorney, county attorney propose path for prosecutorial revamp
News Story  September 27, 2018, by Chase Hoffberger
"...The two believe a consolidation could improve the "efficiency, economics, and equity" of Travis County's justice system, cutting through the bureaucratic muck that occurs when one individual has active cases in both courts (potentially for the same incident); it's something already done by 49 counties throughout Texas, including Bexar, Tarrant, and Dallas...."

Paid Sick Leave on Pause
Successful effort by right-wing group, attorney general, stunts city ordinance
News Story  August 23, 2018, by Mary Tuma
"...However, TAB called on Austin to be extra deferential, saying the city should "respect the Court's ruling and stand down on all efforts to implement the ordinance, including outreach to businesses and public forums until the appeal process concludes." Work Strong Aus­tin, the coalition leading the charge in support of the rule, called the court's decision a result of a "cold and desperate attempt by special interest groups with ties to the Koch Brothers" to meddle in the community. "We are confident the courts will ultimately uphold the law and allow our hardworking neighbors the right to earn paid sick time to take care of themselves and their loved ones," they wrote...."

Fetal Burial Trial Ends with Unanswered Questions
Judge Ezra voices concern over women's access to health care under SB 8
DAILY News  July 20, 2018, by Mary Tuma
"...Ezra provided no strong indication of when he’ll rule. Similar laws in Louisiana, Arkansas, and Indiana have all been blocked by the courts...."

Crisis Pregnancy Centers: Money for Nothing
Despite unprecedented taxpayer investment, state-funded CPCs deliver few services
News Story  July 19, 2018, by Mary Tuma
"...Supreme Court ruled that a California law requiring centers to inform patients that abortions are not provided at the locations, and to disclose if they do not possess a state medical license, is a violation of the First Amendment. A blow to those fighting for more transparency at the deceptive centers, the ruling sent the case back down to lower courts for further consideration...."

News Story  July 19, 2018
"...Edward Markey, D-Mass., and Rep. Joe Kennedy, D-Mass., introduced congressional legislation that would prohibit the use of "gay-" and "trans panic" defenses in federal courts..."

About That CodeNEXT Petition ...
Monday ruling brings confusion, clarity
News Story  July 19, 2018, by Sarah Marloff
"...And in true CodeNEXT fashion, the answers remain unclear. Naranjo's ruling was accompanied by a two-page letter, which offered "some of the Court's reasoning" for the ruling, including the detail that Texas courts are prohibited from rendering "advisory opinions," which happens when an order addresses "only a hypothetical injury." Essentially, facts must be "sufficiently developed" in order for a judge to rule...."

City Council: The Race Is On
Previewing November’s elections for Districts 1, 3, 8, and 9
News Story  June 21, 2018, by the News Staff
"...Renteria kicked off his re-election campaign in March, to oversee the completion of several income-restricted housing projects currently in the works, including the multifamily development at Chalmers Courts, which could take three years to finish. The Austin native has been an advocate of affordable housing for years, and today that has led him toward supporting the ongoing effort to rewrite the land use code..."

Groups File Expansive Suit to Challenge Dozens of Abortion Restrictions
Lawsuit filed Thursday in Austin federal court
DAILY News  June 14, 2018, by Mary Tuma
"...The suit, she says, only challenges regulations that are “unreasonable, medically unnecessary, and impose undue burdens” on people trying to access abortion care. “We want the courts to return Texas to a regime of reasonable and medically appropriate abortion regulations,” said Toti..."

A New Era for the Travis County Democratic Party
After years of infighting and a tumultuous election in March, the TCDP must now proceed as one
News Story  June 14, 2018, by Nina Hernandez
"...Harding told Reed that the oversights wouldn't push Cobb's name off the ballot, and the situation eventually settled itself: The courts allowed Cobb's candidacy, and he was later defeated by Margaret Moore. (Reed withdrew on election day.)..."

Vinyl Bin: Vinylmnky
Vinyl subscription service courts exclusivity junkies
Music Story  June 7, 2018, by Clara Wang

CodeNEXT Petition Authors Sue City Council
Anti-rewrite group seeks judicial guidance on public vote
DAILY News  June 1, 2018, by Sarah Marloff
"...The six-page suit is rather straightforward, arguing that the issue at hand is a “matter of law” and discovery is not required, as “no facts are in dispute.” It cites the city’s power of self-government, which grants residents “full legislative power to legislate directly by initiative and referendum except for the subjects of appropriating money or levying taxes.” Because of this, the suit alleges, “Texas Courts generally do not allow city councils to interfere in the initiative lawmaking process, which is the people’s exercise of direct democracy where their elected officials have failed to act.”..."

The Never-Ending Election Contest
Pressley v. Casar still pending before Supreme Court
News Story  May 31, 2018, by Michael King
"...Pressley continues to contend that the 2014 election was illegally administered – both by the use of electronic voting machines that do not conform to her interpretation of state law, and because of unsubstantiated irregularities and alleged "crimes" by election officials – but the courts have thus far not only rejected her arguments, but issued cumulative financial sanctions for frivolous pleadings made in "bad faith."..."

Zilker Park: Paved Paradise, or Vice Versa
When is a parking lot not a parking lot? When it’s next to the beloved park.
News Story  May 31, 2018, by Chase Hoffberger
"...On Wednesday, June 6, the Environmental Com­mis­sion plans to take up the Stratford Drive Redevel­op­ment Project, a joint endeavor of the Austin Parks Foundation, C3 Presents, and the city's Parks and Rec­reation Department that's drawing an anticipated line of opposition. The initiative concerns the largely undefined patch of grass and stone along Stratford Drive, northwest of Zilker Park, between the volleyball courts and MoPac overpass, which these days is typically used for overflow parking and event staging during big events like the Trail of Lights or ACL...."

I Heart K-Pop
Korean DJ nights choreograph a local niche
Music Story  May 24, 2018, by Dan Gentile
"...Since 2013, I Heart K-Pop principals JackieSue Gauna and Keith Marcks have DJ'd monthly events at all-ages venues under the guise of DemographicsEnt. Their new residency at H Mart courts the next generation of K-pop lovers..."

Chronicle Endorsements
Recommendations for the run-off
News Story  May 10, 2018, by The Chronicle Editorial Board
"...459th District Court: Aurora Martinez Jones Martinez Jones, her run-off opponent Maya Guerra Gamble, and also-ran Greg Hitt each brought progressive values and a wealth of professional experience to this race. We endorsed Martinez Jones in February because of her experience as an associate judge in the county courts and continue to believe that she's best suited to manage the new civil court. U.S..."

Governor: An Embarrassment of ... Well, Embarrassments
Valdez, White run-off in a battle of long shots
News Story  May 10, 2018, by Mary Tuma
"...Jolt said her explanation still left "many questions." Valdez responded with a lengthy and apologetic statement, and an attempt to actually provide answers. "While I was Sheriff of Dallas County, I complied with detainers or else we could have risked funding for a range of resources, including drug courts, juvenile justice programs, and body cameras," she wrote..."

Council: A Special Event
Alison Alter, agreeing to disagree
News Story  May 10, 2018, by Nina Hernandez
"...But it's hard to disagree with Texas Local Government Code 211.015, which painstakingly lays out the rules for zoning referendums in home-rule municipalities. City voters can repeal zoning regulations through a charter amendment (not applicable here) or on the "initial adoption." Alter agrees with Lewis, who believes Council has an obligation to put the question on the ballot and let the courts decide whether it's illegal in the eyes of state law..."

Sheryl Cole and Chito Vela: The Prize Fight
All eyes on the Democratic primary run-off in House District 46
News Story  May 3, 2018, by Mary Tuma
"...He supports a modest gas tax raise dedicated to urban transportation needs, and bumping up the minimum wage. And with his eight years of experience defending immigrants in the courts, Vela considers himself a "point person" for defending Republican attacks on immigration. Cole: "I Didn't Get Here Being Weak"..."

Levitation 2018
PHOTO GALLERY  April 30, 2018
"...Parquet Courts at Stubb’s..."

Recommended Shows for Levitation Weekend
The sounds may be scattered all over Austin, but here are a few must-see performances
Music Story  April 26, 2018, by Greg Beets, Kevin Curtin, Clara Wang, Rachel Rascoe, Libby Webster, Michael Toland, Christina Garcia and Alejandra Ramirez
"...Parquet CourtsThu. 26, Stubb’s, 8pm This vital NYC quartet takes a right turn with "Wide Awake!," title track to their forthcoming Danger Mouse-produced sixth LP..."

At Court With Precourt
Legal volleys in the fight for the Columbus Crew
News Story  April 26, 2018, by Austin Sanders
"...The most notable part of the motion, however, is the defense's argument that PSV does not actually own the Crew, but are rather merely a manager (as "operator/investor") of one of the 23 teams that play in MLS – meaning any legal action must be lobbed at the actual league, and not PSV. (In accordance with that, PSV CEO Anthony Precourt has updated his Twitter bio to read "Investor/Operator" of the Crew, rather than "Owner/Chairman.") Should the courts accept this line of reasoning, the millions of dollars in taxpayer-subsidized benefits given to the Crew over the years would become irrelevant, because they were not benefits received by MLS, who may be the true owners of the Crew...."

Council: Crime and Coronation
Lengthy City Council meeting reinforces police staffing, congratulates APD
News Story  March 29, 2018, by Michael King
"...• Courting Rosewood: After years of debate, an upgrade and preservation plan for Rosewood Courts public housing was approved – described as a "compromise" between strict preservation and extensive renovation to modern living standards – with many residents on hand to applaud...."

Death Watch: The Suitcase Killer
State's fourth execution set for March 27
News Story  March 22, 2018, by Sarah Marloff
"...Following the CCA's ruling, Rodriguez's attorney Seth Kretzer filed a flurry of new appeals in state and federal courts, arguing that his client did not receive a fair trial. The argument hinges on an unrelated 2015 lawsuit filed against Sridhar Natarajan, the Lubbock medical examiner who reported to have performed Baldwin's autopsy – which accuses the M.E..."

Council: From Soup to Nuts ...
News Story  March 22, 2018, by Michael King
"...Alongside that case is the Rosewood Courts matter (Item 89), where the continuing debate on the historic public housing is over how much to upgrade, how much to maintain historicity. The residents have been waiting long and patiently for modernizing to current living standards...."

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