Naked City

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Naked City
Illustration By Doug Potter

Quote of the Week: "There's a reason why the Bible called them eunuchs and why they were guarding the harem. Let me put it that way." -- The inimitable Rep. Robert Talton, R-Pasadena, speaking in favor of his HB 679, promoting the castration of imprisoned sex offenders.

Borders Group Inc. announced Wednesday that it's bailing out of the controversial Sixth + Lamar retail project -- a victory of sorts for local indie-biz icons BookPeople and Waterloo Records and their allies in the community. See Borders Backs Out.

Legislation to enable a Travis County health care district easily sailed out of a Senate committee Wednesday at the behest of Sens. Gonzalo Barrientos and Jeff Wentworth. Committee members heard testimony Wednesday on the House companion bill. More on this next week.

Barton Springs Pool reopened Saturday, exactly 90 days after the Statesman kicked off the Great Toxic Scare of 2003. Free swimming for the next month. All told, the Toxic Scare has cost the city nearly $200,000. We'll let you know when the Statesman ponies up its share. See Barton Springs Reopens.

As of Tuesday night, 7,050 citizens have voted early in the May 3 election. In addition to the usual high-turnout early-voting sites -- like Northcross and Barton Creek malls -- turnout has been fairly heavy at the six ACC campuses; the college's make-or-break tax package is on the ballot.

The League of Women Voters will host three City Council candidate forums this week: Place 5 on Sunday, April 27; Places 2 and 6 on Monday, April 28; and mayor, Wednesday, April 30. All forums run 6:30-8:30pm at LCRA headquarters, 3700 Lake Austin Blvd. News 8 Austin (Time Warner Cable Channel 8) will air the forums live.

Sen. Eddie Lucio, D-Brownsville, failed in his effort to give Texas capital-murder juries the option of life without parole. Twelve GOP senators -- one more vote than needed to keep a bill off the floor -- were firm in their opposition to Lucio's bill. Lucio had understood that South Austin Sen. Jeff Wentworth would support the bill, but Wentworth crawfished, saying he was deferring to the people "in the trenches" -- county prosecutors.

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