Photo by John Anderson

Early voting for the Nov. 2 election starts Monday, Oct. 18, and runs through Friday, Oct. 29. See the Chronicle's endorsements and ballot info, and other election coverage beginning here.

• On Election Day, Bastrop voters will decide whether to join Austin Community College's taxing district, thanks to a state district court's dismissal Wednesday of a lawsuit brought by a group of Bastrop taxpayers, who claimed ACC and Bastrop ISD had violated conflict-of-interest laws in getting the measure on the ballot.

City Council returns to regular business today (Thursday) to consider a proposed revamp of the city's retirement and pension system, cast votes on the Downtown redevelopment of the Austin Energy Control Center, and more; also, some on-again, off-again Domain issues are back on the agenda, with many of the original questions apparently still unanswered. See "Running the Numbers."

• After a more than 20-year presence in Austin, the incredible shrinking Sematech research consortium is pulling up stakes for good and moving to Albany, N.Y., which raises questions about whether the high tech group has met the terms of its incentives agreement with the state of Texas.

• In other business moves, Chronicle neighbor South by Southwest is moving to newly acquired Downtown digs near Fifth and Lamar, and the Chronicle is taking control of the existing SXSW building, according to the Austin American-Statesman. Independent sources say the weekly's editorial staff will likely occupy the new-to-us SXSW offices on 40th Street, though management termed such rumors "ridiculous" and "totally unfounded."

• Good news and bad news for the Texas economy. Sales tax receipts rose by 6.8% in Sep­tem­ber, with $1.57 billion collected, compared to $1.47 in September 2009. However, even before adjusting for inflation, that's below 2007-2008 revenues, so state agencies are still bracing for possible cuts as the state faces a $21 billion deficit.

• Continuing his love/hate relationship with federal money, Gov. Rick Perry is asking President Barack Obama to overturn the Federal Emer­gen­cy Management Agency's decision against declaring a disaster in the Central Texas counties hit by Tropical Storm Hermine.


Quote of the Week

"I would like to see the world united by love, not a religious love, but just ... no more war."

– Chilean miner Mario Sepúlveda, emerging from 69 days trapped underground

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