Headlines

Sonia Sotomayor
Sonia Sotomayor

• Puerto Ricans on Tuesday celebrated President Barack Obama's nomination of one of their own – Sonia Sotomayor – to the Supreme Court; if confirmed, Sotomayor would become the first Hispanic justice on the court.

• Could the festive Trail of Lights be canceled, be scaled back, or start charging for admission? With all city departments cutting costs, the expense of the yuletide tradition is under scrutiny. Parks and Recreation Board members this week sounded more interested in charging admission than dousing the lights altogether. See "Beleaguered PARD Considers Dousing Trail of Lights."

• The Austin chapter of the NAACP held a meeting Tuesday at the Ebenezer Baptist Church to address Fire Chief Rhoda Mae Kerr's diversity-promoting hiring proposals and the police shooting of Nathaniel Sanders II. For more on the Sanders shooting, see "Nathaniel and Li'l Nate."

• City Council is off this week and next, returning June 11 to pick up the 2009 Bicycle Plan Update, which council was ready to adopt last week but couldn't due to a posting error, and a proposal plotting the future of the Solid Waste Services Department, where there's some controversy brewing; see "City Hall Hustle."

• What's chubbing? Texas House Democrats talked out the session to kill a voter ID bill that they call a Republican voter suppression tool. Meanwhile, the Senate scurried to save bills by tacking them onto other laws as amendments.

Headlines
Photo by John Anderson

• Austin ISD has released preliminary TAKS scores that show marked improvements across the district, but Pearce Middle School could still face closure. See "TAKS Scores."

• Gut punch: California's Supreme Court Tuesday sparked angry protests with its ruling upholding the state's Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage; at the same time, the court decided that the 18,000 same-sex marriages that took place before the ban would remain valid.

Shudde Fath, Austin's grande dame of environmental activism, was honored May 20 at Liveable City's  annual Vision Awards party. The nonprofit also recognized the work of Foundation Communities' Community Tax Centers, Red Salmon Arts/Resistencia Bookstore, PeopleTrust, and Theatre Action Project.
Shudde Fath, Austin's grande dame of environmental activism, was honored May 20 at Liveable City's annual Vision Awards party. The nonprofit also recognized the work of Foundation Communities' Community Tax Centers, Red Salmon Arts/Resistencia Bookstore, PeopleTrust, and Theatre Action Project. (Photo by Jana Birchum)

• Contests don't come any hairier than the 2009 World Beard and Moustache Championships in Alaska. Austin Facial Hair Club members Allen Demling, Bryan Nelson, Brent Nutting, and Cory Plump made the northern trek; former City Council candidate Demling tells us he placed fourth in the Full Beard Natural With Styled Moustache division, and Plump placed fourth in the Garibaldi beard division.

• Think your property taxes are too high? Monday, June 1, is the last day for property owners to appeal the value of their home with their county's appraisal district.

• Ultraconservative Rep. Leo Berman, R-Tyler, told the Houston Chronicle that he will formally announce a primary challenge against Gov. Rick Perry in the week of July 4.


Quote of the Week

Bob Deuell
Bob Deuell

"If we're to remain a viable party, we need to start looking at medical facts and dealing with reality and not dealing with black helicopters and other myths that are out there by the right-wing extremists."

– State senator and physician Bob Deuell, R-Greenville, after a derailed attempt to revive his bill for a needle-exchange program

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