• After a lengthy executive session on July 29, the City Council narrowly rejected a settlement with the family of police shooting victim Nathaniel Sanders II. A furious Judge Sam Sparks castigated council for scrapping the deal and set the civil trial date for November 2011. See "Point Austin," and "Sanders Settlement Collapses."
• Another turn in the city's Fleet Services scandal: A onetime leader of the office comes forward for the first time. See "Former Fleet Services Manager Says Scrap Tires Only a Symptom."
• The Austin Independent School District is one of the big winners in the latest state school accountability ratings, with more campuses than ever rated "exemplary" or "recognized." However, many critics are questioning whether the state's new predictive Texas Projection Measure is artificially inflating results. See "A Closer Look at AISD's Ratings."
• Still licking their wounds from last week's clatter (see above), council members return to the dais today (Thursday, Aug. 5) to consider an upgrade on audio/video recording devices in police vehicles, a recycling services contract, and an amended historic zoning ordinance. See "City Hall Hustle."
• Save Our Springs Alliance has filed a lawsuit over the city's construction of Water Treatment Plant No. 4. The plaintiffs, which include Environment Texas and a UT biology professor, argue that a component of the construction process violates the Endangered Species Act. See "Naked City."
• The UT-Austin admissions process for non-top-10% students went to court Tuesday, with lawyers for UT, which is being sued by two students enrolled at UT-San Antonio, defending the ethnic component of the policy before the 5th U.S. Court of Appeals.
• Opportunity knocks: Gov. Rick Perry's re-election campaign is holding a raffle, with prizes including a guided tour of the U.S. Capitol by right-wing revisionist David Barton, a calf-roping lesson from Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, and – the best prize of the bunch – lunch with Karl Rove.
• Gay rights activists Wednesday celebrated a federal court ruling overturning the voter-driven Proposition 8 initiative backed by the Mormon and Catholic churches.
Quote of the Week
"The premise that somehow if we go to trial we're going to gain more transparency is just simply not true."
– Council Member Sheryl Cole, before casting her vote for a $750,000 settlement with the family of police shooting victim Nathaniel Sanders II