Edited By Mike Clark-Madison, Fri., April 4, 2003
According to newly appointed Travis Co. Attorney David Escamilla, his office has negotiated a settlement with Rainbow Materials, which may help jump-start the company's cleanup of a massive concrete wasteland on a Colorado River hillside at their concrete batch plant in Del Valle. According to Escamilla, Rainbow has agreed to plead no contest to charges of illegally dumping concrete at the Del Valle plant, to pay $25,000 in fines to the county, and to agree to any remediation the Texas Commission on Environment Quality deems necessary. Rainbow also agreed to pull its controversial request for a TCEQ permit to build another batch plant in Spicewood. Escamilla said the deal will be officially entered next month; TCEQ spokesman Andy Saenz said that remediation negotiations between the agency and Rainbow are ongoing. -- J.S.
The Real Estate Council of Austin has kicked in $120,000 to help the cash-strapped Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce pay an Atlanta firm to figure out Austin. The firm will conduct an economic analysis of the River City, and include a strategy for fattening Austin's economic base. In announcing its "Opportunity Austin" initiative last week, chamber and RECA officials said they're taking action because other communities consider Austin a prime target for recruiting major employers to relocate to their cities. The study should be finished in August. -- Amy Smith
If just reading Jim Hightower's commentaries in the Chronicle isn't enough, you can also listen to them on a new, full-length CD, The People Are Revolting! (In the Very Best Sense of the Word), available now from Alternative Tentacles, a label better known for thrash rockers than middle-aged former state agriculture commissioners. -- Lee Nichols