Jan. 13, 2006

Volume 25, Number 20

ON THE COVER:
news

West Side Showdown

The new political year begins with a four-way speed race for House District 48

BY AMY SMITH

Snoring Out Loud

The local daily's cautious toe in the water doesn't work in the wild 'n' wooly blogosphere

BY KEVIN BRASS

To Bond, or Not to Bond?

Bonds dominate the immediate City Council horizon

BY WELLS DUNBAR

AISD Gets the Ball Rolling on High School Redesign

Gates Foundation grant pushes attempt to completely rethink high school

BY RACHEL PROCTOR MAY

Remembering Hazel Obey

Local civil rights leader, whose civic career spanned more than three decades, died Dec. 30

BY JORDAN SMITH

From Hard Time to New Beginning

New nonprofit Pro Con puts ex-offenders to work

BY DANIEL MOTTOLA

Special Election for Texas House of Representatives, District 48

The 'Chronicle' endorsement for the state House District 48, special election: Donna Howard

Naked City

Headlines and happenings from Austin and beyond

Point Austin: Pointed Questions for 2006

When the Lege comes back to school, will they have done their homework?

BY MICHAEL KING

The Hightower Report

The NAM's mess; and a quiet victory over hucksterism

BY JIM HIGHTOWER

food

Strong and Solid

Big Oak Bar-B-Que might be new, but it's quickly establishing its roots

BY VIRGINIA B. WOOD

Food-o-File

Looking back at many of the stories we covered in 2005, it seems that they came down to fire and water, one way or another

BY VIRGINIA B. WOOD

Food Reviews

Cafe Mangù

The menu incorporates elements of Dominican, Cuban, and Puerto Rican cuisines, with an abundance of authentic choices

Cosmic Cafe

I was expecting (how can I put this diplomatically? I can't) completely uninspired 'old hippie'-style vegetarian food. Instead, I found a wonderful restaurant.
music

Ain't Nobody Real but Me

Chamillionaire's flow: Houston and beyond

BY ROBERT GABRIEL

Good Night and Good Luck

Why is 'podcast' 'Oxford American Dictionary's word of the year?

BY DAN OKO

TCB

A week of free shows, a fire, and impending SXSW. Who says January in Austin is dead?

BY CHRISTOPHER GRAY

Phases & Stages

the Strokes

First Impressions of Earth

various artists, Dr. John

Our New Orelans 2005, I Believe to My Soul, Sippiana Herricane, Higher Ground:Hurricane Relief Benefit Concert, A Celebration of New Orleans Music, Hurricane Relief: Come Together Now

Fiona Apple

Extraordinary Machine

Madonna

Confessions on a Dance Floor

Kate Bush

Aerial

Miles Davis

The Cellar Door Sessions 1970
screens

From Austin to Neptune

Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas on the rise of his career-making cult favorite

BY BELINDA ACOSTA

'World' Cinema

Three-month series AFS@Dobie launches with latest Jia Zhangke film

BY JOSH ROSENBLATT

Texas Documentary Tour

'Touch the Sound: A Sound Journey With Evelyn Glennie'

BY ANNE S. LEWIS

Film News

Big 'Lights,' small screen; the Pod squad; and congrats and condolences

BY JOE O'CONNELL

TV Eye

AMN 'SFS' is dead. Long live 'SFS TV.'

BY BELINDA ACOSTA

Film Reviews

Glory Road

Even though Glory Road presents a fictionalized account of what many count as the most significant NCAA basketball game ever played, the film remains a predictable sports rouser.

Grandma's Boy

What's funnier than having to move back in with your parents? Why, moving in with your grandparents, of course.

Hoodwinked

Animated retelling of the Little Red Riding Hood story has sass but little imagination.

Hostel

In this horror film, three backpackers check in to the wrong hostel where, unbeknownst to them, very bad things happen from dusk till dawn.

Last Holiday

After being diagnosed with an incurable brain disease, a woman (who is played delightfully by Queen Latifah) discovers her moxie.

Loggerheads

Despite an overreliance on metaphor and symbolism, Loggerheads is an affecting little film about characters who struggle with issues connected with adoption, homophobia, and loss.

Tristan & Isolde

This new version of the timeless love story is a dopey, mopey, all-around bore.

The World

Using a sleek visual style and bits of animation, this elegant Chinese film explores the effects of modernism, globalism, and international commerce upon its culture and society.
arts & culture

First Night Austin

Austinites turned out by the thousands to enjoy the first First Night Austin on New Year's Eve, as one 'Chronicle' writer saw for himself

BY ROBERT FAIRES

Victory Rose

By any other name

BY ROBERT FAIRES

Austin Theatre

NY (hearts) U

BY ROBERT FAIRES

Arts Reviews

When Pigs Fly

If there's a surprise to the Arts on Real production of Howard Crabtree's extravagant and campy revue, 'When Pigs Fly,' it's that it's so, well, modest

Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk

Shostakovich's 'Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk' burns with violent passions and dark deeds, and Austin Lyric Opera brings this torrid tale to blazing life

'Liz Ward: Aqueous'

In the exhibition 'Aqueous,' artist Liz Ward provides rippling watercolors and silverpoint drawings ideal for a wintertime dip
columns

Postmarks

Our readers talk back.

After a Fashion

Stephen puts a human face on football ...

BY STEPHEN MACMILLAN MOSER

To Your Health

How to keep irritable bowel syndrome under control

BY JAMES HEFFLEY, PH.D.

The Common Law

Austin smoking ordinance – is the smoker or the bar owner at fault?

BY LUKE ELLIS

Day Trips

Juniper Hills Farm between Dripping Springs and Blanco takes advantage of the rich culinary culture of the Hill Country to combine a cooking school with overnight cabins for a unique weekend getaway

BY GERALD E. MCLEOD

Mr. Smarty Pants Knows

Confucius say "takitos," and J.K. Rowling gets 'Fresh'

BY MR. SMARTY PANTS

Luv Doc Recommends: Star of Texas Tattoo Art Revival

Austin Crowne Plaza, Thursday, January 12, 2006

BY THE LUV DOC

Feedback

Letters to the editor, published daily
sports

Soccer Watch

Superteams running away with championships while Galacticos fall apart

BY NICK BARBARO

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