• Hopefully this headline's within the decibel limit: Shady Grove's variance allowing off-site parking was approved by the Board of Adjustment on Monday. The Grove needed the extra spots to change its zoning from restaurant to a cocktail lounge, which in turn offers higher decibel levels, allowing live outdoor music to continue.
• Travis County's long-running personnel headache involving two warring managers continues: Alicia Perez, executive manager of administrative operations, and human resources director Linda Moore will each get an extended suspension, this time without pay until Sept. 1. (They have been on paid suspension since July 29.) Commissioners will work with the women's attorneys to try to fashion what an outside mediator could not – a peace agreement, or perhaps a just-go-away package.
• Rich Oppel, your money's no good here. Cox Newspapers has taken the Austin American-Statesman off the market after failing to fetch the right price for the daily. Former Editor Oppel was among the prospective suitors looking to buy the shop. See "Media Watch: 'Statesman' Off the Market."
• The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is declaring Austin City Limits a historic rock & roll site. When ACL moves the show from the UT campus to new digs on West Second in 2010, there will be a hall of fame plaque gracing the new site, too.
• Gerard Cosloy, Austin-based co-owner of seminal indie label Matador Records, lost his Bouldin Creek home in a fire on Aug. 11. The house, built in 1911, and Cosloy's legendary record collection were completely destroyed.
• How many Democratic gubernatorial candidates will Travis County produce? Former District Attorney Ronnie Earle says his statewide run won't be for attorney general, while undeclared but inevitable candidate Kinky Friedman has announced a fundraising gig with Willie Nelson. Meanwhile, Sen. Kirk Watson continues to hold his cards close to his chest.
• The U.S. Senate confirmed the appointment of Justice Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court on Aug. 6, with Texas Sens. John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison voting no. Yet the nomination of former state Rep. Juan Garcia as assistant secretary of the U.S. Navy remains blocked by arguments over where to send Guantánamo detainees. No one is proposing death panels.
• The stink around Turd Blossom gets worse: The U.S. House Judiciary Committee has released e-mails and meeting transcripts revealing that Karl Rove was pressing then-White House Counsel Harriet Miers in 2005 to sack U.S. attorneys for refusing to engage in partisan witch hunts.
Quote of the Week
"We did not go into a box of Cracker Jacks and pick the first thing that came out."
– AISD board member Cheryl Bradley, accusing the Texas Education Agency of "micromanaging" the hiring of a new Pearce Middle School principal