• City Council meets today, Thursday, Sept. 23, with a lengthy, if not terribly contentious, agenda: Regulations for food trucks and trailers are on tap, along with a discussion of social-service contracts and form-based code zoning along Airport Boulevard. Next week, Sept. 30, council leaves City Hall to hold its meeting in the Boyd Vance Theatre at the Carver Museum and Cultural Center in East Austin.
• Austin missed out on the first round of a Promise Neighborhood planning grant, intended to tackle child poverty and academic underachievement. The U.S. Department of Education this week named 21 winners that will split $10 million, but neither of Austin's two applicants – Austin Achievement Zone and East Austin Children's Promise – made the list. (See "Promises, Promises," Aug. 6.)
• Construction work on a Waller Creek foot bridge will prompt its temporary closure, starting Sept. 27. The widening job requires rerouting a chunk of the Lady Bird Lake trail near Red River and Rainey and closing the bridge from 9am to 4pm weekdays through October. Things get more complicated after that, so check out www.cityofaustin.org/wallercreek for specifics.
• Full Throttle Productions LP, the firm behind the planned Formula 1 race track in southeast Travis County, has released its site master plan, which includes a seminar building, driving club, and kart track. But due to county road planners' concerns about traffic tangles outside the race site, promoters have hired traffic management firm Kimley-Horn and Associates Inc. and Graham Lake-Grange of Global Strategic Outcomes to steer things straight.
• Austin Community College broke another enrollment record this semester, reporting 44,100 credit students this fall, a nearly 10% increase over 2009 figures. Similarly, ACC hit a milestone with Hispanic enrollment, which now exceeds 25% of credit students; if it continues at this pace, ACC officials say, the college would become eligible for additional federal funding.
• Are you a registered voter? If not, better move fast: Registration for the Nov. 2 election closes Oct. 4. Visit www.traviscountytax.org for more information.
• After refusing to commit to a debate with former Houston mayor and gubernatorial candidate Bill White, Gov. Rick Perry did end up sharing the stage with his Democratic challenger – sort of. On Sept. 20, the two attended a forum in Houston sponsored by Arab-American Voters, a Houston-based nonprofit. Perry made his exit after his prepared remarks, while White stayed for a Q&A.
• The first wave of health care reforms takes effect today, Sept. 23. Among the changes: Children will be able to join or remain on their parents' insurance policy until age 26, lifetime coverage limits will be phased out, and children with pre-existing conditions can no longer be denied health coverage.
Quote of the Week
"Can we not go more than one meeting without the State Board of Education embarrassing Texas and dragging schools into culture wars again?"
– Dan Quinn, Texas Freedom Network spokesman, on the conservative bloc's anti-Muslim sentiment