• The city last week announced six finalists for the new position of chief sustainability officer. See "Are You Sustainable?," for details on today's meet and greet.
• The Night of the Bat, a free street party atop the Congress Avenue Bridge – the world's largest urban colony of winged rodents – is taking off this Sunday. A 2pm screening of the 1966 Batman film, with Adam West in attendance, kicks things off, with music, a fun run, the Batmobile, and more to follow. The party comes as Austin recognizes the Mexican free-tailed bat as the official city animal.
• Early voting in the June 12 run-off elections began on June 1 with a whimper, as the Travis County Elections Division reported a barely measurable 0.07% turnout. Early voting in the two races on the ballot (David Reiter squares off against Vic Villarreal for ACC board of trustees, Place 5, and Tamala Barksdale and Julie Cowan challenge each other for the at-large seat on the Austin ISD board) continues through June 8. See Chronicle endorsements.
• No mo' money, mo' problems: State leaders have asked Texas agencies to build an alternative budget for the 2012-13 biennium with an additional 10% cut in general revenue spending. See "Poverty Knocks at Texas' Door."
• On June 1 Gov. Rick Perry announced he would not submit Texas' second-round application for urgently needed Race to the Top education funds. This comes less than a month after he cut $120 million out of the current Texas Education Agency budget.
• There's been a delay in the case against Maj. Nidal Hasan regarding the Nov. 5, 2009, murders of 13 people at Fort Hood. On June 1, military judge Col. James Pohl granted Nidal's attorneys until Oct. 4 to gather and review evidence.
• Chronicle staff writer Jordan Smith has won more praise for her feature on the notorious Fran's Day Care child abuse case, "Believing the Children," March 27, 2009; last week the story was named a finalist for a Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism, awarded by the University of Maryland's Journalism Center on Children & Families, and this week it's a finalist for an investigative reporting award by the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies. Winners will be announced later this year.
Quote of the Week
"When the time comes to ... look for a solution to a broken budget and school funding system, the response [from the state] is a glib request to 'tighten our belts.' We're past the last notch on our public education belt."
– Linda Bridges, president of Texas office of American Federation of Teachers