Naked City

News briefs from Austin, the region, and nowhere else

Sarah Weddington was among the speakers who celebrated the life of Liz Carpenter at a March 26 memorial at the LBJ Library. Behind her onscreen is a photo of Carpenter flanked by longtime friends Molly Ivins (l) and Weddington.
Sarah Weddington was among the speakers who celebrated the life of Liz Carpenter at a March 26 memorial at the LBJ Library. Behind her onscreen is a photo of Carpenter flanked by longtime friends Molly Ivins (l) and Weddington. (Photo by Jana Birchum)

Yes We Cactus

So much for University of Texas President Bill Powers' oft-repeated claim that students want to close the Cactus Cafe. On March 30 Student Government passed AR 41, a resolution calling for the cafe to remain open in its current location with its current staff and for the establishment of an endowment fund, as well as student-internship and artist-in-residence programs. The graduate assembly and the presidents of the 18 student councils have already taken official positions opposing the closure. The final decision on the fate of the cafe, which will be made by Texas Union board executives and not by students, is expected to be announced by April 30. – Richard Whittaker

Better To Know

Planned Parenthood is joining with MTV and the Kaiser Family Foundation for the national Get Yourself Tested campaign to encourage young adults to get tested for sexually transmitted diseases – in particular chlamydia, gonorrhea, and HIV. Planned Parenthood reports that one in two young people will have an STD by age 25 and that most of those affected won't even know it. Austin's Planned Parenthood scored among the Top 40 of 840 clinics nationwide last year for the highest rates of STDs, and the organization's Down­town Austin clinic reports that 13% of female clients screened last year – or one in seven – tested positive for chlamydia, an infection that untreated can cause life-threatening pelvic infections and adversely affect fertility. In an effort to get folks tested and treated, Planned Parenthood will conduct walk-in testing throughout the month of April: Monday-Friday, 9am-5:30pm; Saturday, 9am-noon. Medicaid is accepted, and many clients under 21 will qualify for sliding scale fees. Call 800/230-PLAN for testing details, or visit www.ppaustin.org. – Jordan Smith

Bike Boulevard Bound for Boards

The city's Public Works Department has announced that it will present its final recommendation for the Downtown Bicycle Boulevard project on Tuesday, April 6, on the city of Austin website, www.cityofaustin.org. The city has also commissioned Angelou Economics to perform an economic impact analysis of whatever plan gets selected, to be completed by April 20. Beginning April 13, the project should start wending its way through the city's boards and commissions process and is due for a City Council briefing on May 13. For a full schedule of the dates on which the plan goes before the various boards and commissions, see www.cityofaustin.org/publicworks/bicycle-public-input.htm. – Lee Nichols

Comprehensive Plan Coming to You

With an eye toward Austin's comprehensive plan, the city plans to gather input from hundreds of Austinites during an upcoming Speak Week event April 20-29. According to a city press release, "The aim of Speak Week is to interact with Austinites where they already congregate – parks, shopping districts, governmental buildings, festivals, and the like – and ask for their comments on the future direction of Austin." Participants – who will examine growth trends and a "draft 'vision statement' for Austin's future" – will help set priorities as the city plans for anticipated growth. The city also needs to recruit volunteers to work short shifts at Speak Week stations around town and will provide training; to help, contact larry.schooler@ci.austin.tx.us. – Katherine Gregor

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