• Election day for the Democratic and Republican primaries is March 2, but you still have until Friday, Feb. 26, to vote early at select locations. See "'Chronicle' Endorsements" for early voting sites.
• The City Council is back in business today (Thursday) with a full deck, including consideration of a $6 million contract for prep work on the controversial Water Treatment Plant No. 4 site, a cab fare increase, and a vote on the East Riverside Corridor Master Plan, among many other items. See "City Hall Hustle."
• Roger Duncan, who brought Austin Energy into the 21st century and helped put the utility on the map as a national model for green policies, will retire Friday, leaving the city after more than two decades of service, including the last two years as AE's general manager. See "AE 2020 Plan."
• Here we go again. Members of the LGBT community and friends will hold a March Against Hate event Saturday (see "Res Publica" for details), to call attention to a recent hate crime that occurred Downtown against two members of the Shady Ladies softball team. See www.shadyladies.org for more info.
• The Texas Education Agency has touted its new college and career readiness standards, released Feb. 23, as exceeding the national minimums. Now maybe if it can just do something about having the nation's lowest high school graduation rates.
• Snow joke: State, county, and city offices, as well as many schools, closed up shop Feb. 23 after less than an inch of snow fell on Travis County.
• Here, here – Austin is ranked the fifth drunkest city in America, so says the latest issue of Men's Health magazine.
• Services for IRS employee Vernon Hunter, a victim of Joseph Stack's aircraft attack on the Echelon building last week, will be held Friday at Hyde Park Baptist Church. Stack also died in the Feb. 18 crash that sparked a national debate on the definition of terrorism. Hunter's widow, meanwhile, has filed a suit against Stack's widow.
Quote of the Week
"[T]his is a place with a highly inflated sense of self-importance ...."
– Joseph Stack's assessment of Austin, in a manifesto written before he rammed his aircraft into a building housing the IRS