• City Council is winding down its meetings for the year, with today's (Thursday) session the third-to-final meeting of 2009. On the agenda: consideration of more prep work for building Water Treatment Plant No. 4 and several policy items from council, including a campaign-promise-fulfilling item from Lee Leffingwell. See "City Hall Hustle."

• Lights out: Due to budget cuts and a lack of sponsors, the city of Austin is scaling back this year's Trail of Lights and renaming it the Zilker Tree Holiday Festival. The decision was made to keep the project smaller and in-house, rather than using an outside firm or charging admission.

• Local hip-hop station Hot 93.3 fired all its on-air talent, effective Nov. 18, and will be dumping its current programming. The station, owned by Emmis Communications, will launch a new and so far unannounced format on Nov. 20.


• Don't touch that dial: In other radio news, following a firestorm of controversy, KLBJ-AM announced that The Todd & Don Show will return to the air after its cancellation in July. Canned after co-host Don Pryor's repeated use of the word "wetback" on air, the return of the two was jointly announced by station management and some prominent Hispanic citizens, claiming the duo possesses "a transformed perspective on community history, expectations, and cultural sensitivity."

• Former Mayor Roy Butler, who served from 1971 to 1975, died Friday following injuries from a fall. He was Austin's first elected mayor. Coincidentally, Butler's immediate predecessor, Travis LaRue, passed away Saturday. Larue was named mayor by the council in 1969.


• The recent death of Austin attorney Mina Brees, 59, has been ruled a suicide by the coroner of Grand County, Colo. Before her death in August, the former president of the Austin Bar Associa­tion and mother of New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees had been briefly implicated in a curious scheme to sell the names of restaurants back to their owners (see "Waiter, There's a Lawyer in My Soup," Aug. 7).

• Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison has announced that she will resign her Senate seat – sometime in 2010. Hutchison told the Texas Federation of Republican Women Convention in Galveston that she is staying in D.C. through primary season to fight health care reform but will resign whether she beats Gov. Rick Perry or not.

• Goodbye, Harry. After 53 years as a photojournalist, Harry Cabluck has been laid off from the Associated Press capital bureau. In his career, Cabluck, who is practically an institution at the Texas Capitol, took many iconic images of Texas politics. But he's perhaps most famously revered for being the only photographer to get a shot of Pittsburgh Steeler Franco Harris' "Immaculate Reception" play in the 1972 AFC divisional playoffs.

Photo by John Anderson

Quote of the Week

"We're like the music capital of the universe or something, I read. We're the live music capital of the country, something amazing like that. World, there it is."

– AISD Superintendent Meria Carstarphen at her State of the District address, Nov. 16. Well, she's only been here four months.

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