• City Council cools its jets this week, returning next week full of vim and vigor to consider a controversial renegotiated contract with Greenstar to continue handling the city's recycling duties.
• Get yer ya yas out! The SXSW Music Festival opens today (Wednesday) and promises to keep the town jumpin' until the wee hours Sunday. Then it's back in the saddle for more of the Star of Texas Fair and Rodeo, which runs through March 27, and oh, yeah, NCAA March Madness bracket mania tipped off as we went to press.
• Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said thanks but no thanks to the city's offer to up his salary if he withdraws his bid for the Dallas Police Department's top job. See "Naked City."
• A lawyer for Austin Police Department Officer Leonardo Quintana is seeking a gag order in the lawsuit filed by the parents of Nathaniel Sanders II, the 18-year-old who was shot and killed by Quintana last May. See "Naked City."
• The Nature Conservancy of Texas and the city of Austin have announced the acquisition of 13 acres of environmentally sensitive property in Southwest Austin – land the city says was slated for commercial development. The $5.5 million land conservation purchase will be made with funds raised through an open-space bond measure that voters approved in 2006.
• Commuter rail may be on track to start rolling Monday, but the city's urban rail plan appears derailed for now. Mayor Lee Leffingwell said last week that the city wasn't prepared to put a city rail measure on the November ballot, what with so many questions still left hanging. Read all about it in "Point Austin," right.
• If you care about your fair city, then for gosh sakes, fill out the 2010 census form, which should have by now arrived in your mailbox. City officials last week held a Census Summit to spread the word about the census count's impact on funding vital city services; the deadline for filling out the 10-question form is April 1. Otherwise, expect a visit from a census employee.
Quote of the Week
"I reject the notion by the left of a constitutional separation of church and state. I have $1,000 for the charity of your choice if you can find it in the Constitution."
– State Board of Education member David Bradley, after the board rejected a curriculum proposal requiring students to learn that the Constitution bars government from promoting one religion over another