Dec. 12, 2008

Volume 28, Number 15

ON THE COVER:
features

Closing Early

news

Translating the War

From Hebron to Camp Mabry: A Palestinian's path to U.S. citizenship

BY KATIE HAYES

Wish List

Here's your chance to give back to the areas of our community that need it the most

BY KATE X MESSER AND MEGHAN RUTH SPEAKERMAN

Headlines

Naked City

News briefs from Austin, the region, and elsewhere

City Hall Hustle: First One In

McCracken cracks open his war chest in officially declaring his candidacy for mayor

BY WELLS DUNBAR

Res Publica

Matters of the public, Dec. 11-17

2009 Lege: Local Delegates Lay Out Agendas

Austin's Lege delegates ready to go back to work

BY RICHARD WHITTAKER

Texas Dems Sue Over Vote-Counting Method

Recount gives incumbent Linda Harper-Brown the victory, but Democrats aren't ready to throw in the towel

BY RICHARD WHITTAKER

Comptroller Touts Her Open-Book Policy

Susan Combs holds up her agency as a model of state transparency

BY RICHARD WHITTAKER

Cap Metro Farms Out Four Bus Routes

In a cost-cutting move, Capital Metro switches four of its bus routes to cheaper contractors

BY LEE NICHOLS

VA Brain Research Lab Could Close

Research facility set up to study combat-related traumatic brain injury may close in wake of whistle-blower complaint

BY LAUREL CHESKY

Whitmire: Substance Abuse Program Is Doing Fine

Women's allegations against a state-run drug program for felony offenders gets short shrift by a Senate committee

BY PATRICIA J. RULAND

Public Safety Likely to Avoid Big Budget Cuts

Local public-safety agencies will be asked to trim, rather than hack, their respective budgets

BY JORDAN SMITH

Holiday Gift Guide

Shopping ideas from the Chronicle News staff

Reefer Madness: Bush Pardons Hip-Hop Artist

John Forté was dealt harsh sentence under draconian drug law

BY JORDAN SMITH

The Hightower Report

Sign of the Times; and Bush Okays Environmental Grotesquerie

BY JIM HIGHTOWER

food

Cookin' Good for the Holidays With the Cola Sisters

The Colas on Christmas, cyanide, and serial killers

BY R.U. STEINBERG

Donate for the Holidays

Lean times call for hefty donations to nonprofits curbing hunger, teaching sustainability, and making the world just a little bit better

BY VIRGINIA B. WOOD

Food-o-File

Newbies near the Long Center, tamales for the holidays, reading for beer snobs, and more

BY VIRGINIA B. WOOD

Event Menu

Your local foodie events for Dec. 13-17
music

LSD C&W

Experimentalist Eugene Chadbourne's got a thing about Austin

BY DOUG FREEMAN

Off the Record

Grupo Fantasma gets a Grammy nod, a tribute to the Cactus Cafe's Griff Luneburg, and tripping daisies with Woozyhelmet

BY AUSTIN POWELL

Box Sets

Roy Orbison

The Soul of Rock and Roll

Hank Williams

The Unreleased Recordings

Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison

various

Boots, Buckles & Spurs: 50 Songs Celebrate 50 Years of Cowboy Tradition

Hunter S. Thompson

The Gonzo Tapes: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

The Pogues

Just Look Them Straight in the Eye and Say ... Poguemahone!!

Nina Simone

To Be Free: The Nina Simone Story

The Complete Motown Singles Vol. 11A: 1971

The Complete Motown Singles Vol. 11A: 1971

Genesis

1970-1975

David Gilmour

Live in Gdansk

Love Train: The Sound of Philadelphia

Love Train: The Sound of Philadelphia

Mile Davis

Kind of Blue 50th Anniversary Collector's Edition

The Jesus & Mary Chain

The Power of Negative Thinking: B-sides and Rarities

Cheap Trick

Budokan!
screens

Fractured Family Tales

AFS Documentary Tour presents In a Dream

BY ANNE S. LEWIS

Peep Your Yuletide Games

Digging for Change

Cash-strapped but ever hopeful, aGLIFF looks to next year

BY CLAY SMITH

Film News

Wildfire Films launches in Austin, and Austin filmmakers land Independent Spirit noms in L.A.

BY JOE O'CONNELL

Screens Reviews

Europa

Before 1995 came along and caught him in a deeply formalized act of pretension, Lars von Trier was already something of an ass

TV Eye

Independent Lens rolls out more standout docs

BY BELINDA ACOSTA

Film Reviews

Accident

A radio deejay returns home to India from a foreign trip to discover that his activist wife has died in an accident. But was it really an accident?

Cadillac Records

The story of the birth of Chicago blues is well-told through this ensemble portrait of Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Chuck Berry, Etta James, Little Walter, and their label, Chess Records.

Dark Streets

A collection of blues originals by the likes of Aaron Neville, B.B. King, and Etta James lightens this otherwise dreary exercise in modern film noir.

The Day the Earth Stood Still

This dull, unnecessary remake of the 1951 science-fiction classic features Keanu Reeves and Jennifer Connelly in a wooden cautionary tale.

Delgo

In this animated fantasy, a band of teens joins together to defend its land from alien winged creatures.

A Girl Cut in Two

French master Claude Chabrol's latest film is the tale of the downfall of a cheery, open-faced weathergirl in Lyons who falls in love with two different men.

Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi

In this new Bollywood romance, polar opposites find themselves drawn together by fate.

Slumdog Millionaire

Danny Boyle's crowd-pleasing Slumdog Millionaire may be drenched in the saffron and violet palettes of its Mumbai setting, but it plays like a classic Hollywood rags-to-riches love story.
arts & culture

Early to Rise

Daniel Johnson loves early music's purity of sound and intimacy, and he's not alone

BY ROBERT FAIRES

Esther's Follies

Esther's alumnus Derek Reid returns from L.A. to show us how funny Obama can be

BY BARRY PINEO

Arthouse

A half-million-dollar challenge grant boosts Arthouse's capital campaign

BY ROBERT FAIRES

The Vortex

The Eastside theatre bids farewell to a treasure: managing director Edna Parra

BY ROBERT FAIRES

Conspirare

Austin's top vocal ensemble earns two Grammy noms for its Threshold of Night CD

BY ROBERT FAIRES

Arts Reviews

I'll Be Seeing You: A 1940's Christmas Musical

TexARTS' original holiday revue is thrilling when it's not hampered by tentativeness

Gorilla Man

Like its confused hero, this rock musical doesn't seem to know what it really is

Pushing Boundaries

Eight new dances that spoke engagingly to the place individuals have in groups
columns

Page Two: Madness in General

A film review and recommendation for this blur of a year

BY LOUIS BLACK

After a Fashion

Stephen wears what he eats

BY STEPHEN MACMILLAN MOSER

Gay Place

Who will lead the next Join the Impact action?

BY KATE GETTY AND KATE X MESSER

Day Trips

Factory outlet stores offer great savings on everything from dominoes to ice chests

BY GERALD E. MCLEOD

Playing Through

The Bad News Cowboys search for an identity

BY JOE O'CONNELL

Mr. Smarty Pants Knows

Dubai's crane population, European eating habits, and more

BY MR. SMARTY PANTS

The Common Law

Modify child-support payments?

BY LUKE ELLIS

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