• Travis Co. commissioners this week declared a drought disaster and signed a letter to Gov. Rick Perry requesting financial relief. Commissioners also gave the okay to study the drought's hammering impact on local farms.
• Texas Relays weekend came and went, this year with a little more panic than usual over the sizable African-American audience the event attracts – though there were few arrests Downtown this weekend. See "Highland Mall Hysteria Over Texas Relays" and "Off the Record."
• With a scant agenda last week and no meeting this week, City Council action is taking place off the dais. Today, Thursday, April 9, is the deadline for council and mayoral candidates to file their 30-day-out campaign finance reports.
• Another deadline today: April 9 is the last day to register to vote in the May 9 City Council election, with early voting starting April 27 and ending May 5. See what all the excitement's about at austinchronicle.com/elections.
• Is it possible that you are dead? The Travis Co. voter registrar's office has sent out thousands of letters to residents notifying them that they are a "possible deceased voter" and giving them 30 days to prove they're alive.
• Time Warner Cable faces massive backlash from lawmakers and customers after announcing metered billing for Internet usage in Austin. Local residents will be part of a trial, along with San Antonio; Rochester, N.Y.; and Greensboro, N.C., of tiered service plans. Critics say it will throttle Internet-dependent businesses.
• Two out of three ain't bad: State reps turned their attention to two of the session's biggest issues with the state budget and voter ID in committee. The third, school accountability, is delayed in drafting.
• Austin actor Lou Perryman, best known for his work in Eagle Pennell's proto-indie flicks The Whole Shootin' Match and Last Night at the Alamo, was murdered in his home last week. A suspect is in custody.
• Apparently Hays County is more progressive than Austin: Citing community complaints, Hays Co. commissioners Tuesday canceled a road design contract with KBR, the military contractor and former Haliburton subsidiary maligned for dangerously shoddy, overpriced work in Iraq. To the chagrin of local activists, KBR is still performing engineering work for the city of Austin.
Quote of the Week
"They can't take our dollars for granted the whole year, then treat our people with such disrespect that one weekend. ... We're going to encourage folks to make our dollars talk."
– Austin NAACP President Nelson Linder on Highland Mall's closure during Texas Relays weekend