› Not an intimidating City Council agenda today (Thursday), although a couple of charter revision proposals (concerning campaign finance reform and council assuming direct management of its own staff) come to the floor, as do some new pedicab regulations that may raise a fuss. The brace of afternoon public hearings concern annexations of several Southeast Travis County MUDs – always a potential mudfield. And work sessions on Austin Energy rates continue, including a bravely special-called Saturday meeting up the suburban road in Lakeway (see "Then There's This.")
› Council campaigns for the May 12 election are in full swing, with endorsement forums and related debates taking place almost every day – our own Amy Smith co-hosts a mayoral debate Sunday at Scholz Garten – and the candidates answering questions and questionnaires all over town. For an overview of the races, see "It's Your City Council!," and for more forum dates and times, see "Civics 101."
› Two unrelated officer-involved shootings ended in tragedy last week – first with the police shooting death of Ahmede Jabbar Bradley, shot and killed after a struggle with a police officer April 5 in East Austin (see "'I Need Rehab Not Discipline'"), followed by the fatal shooting of APD Officer Jaime De Luna-Padron later that same night inside a North Austin Walmart (see "Officer's Death Hits Home.")
› Next week features a couple of ceremonial dedications to local luminaries: On Thursday, April 19, UT-Austin will dedicate a plaza to legendary news anchor Walter Cronkite, and on Friday, April 20, the city and Capital Statues Inc. will dedicate a Downtown sculpture of the Man of All Music: Willie Nelson.
› Numbers released this week by the Centers for Disease Control show that Texas has been edged out of the Top 3 for highest teen birth rate. Arkansas has taken third, pushing Texas to fourth, with 52.2 live births per 1,000 teenage girs. Mississippi and New Mexico still lead the nation.
› Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff was in Austin on April 10 to announce a grant covering 80% of the cost of Capital Metro's MetroRapid commuter system. The transit agency will receive $38 million for the new articulated bus system, due to open in 2014, plus an extra $3 million to replace older regular vehicles.
› Rick Santorum finally bowed out of the seemingly impossible race against Mitt Romney on April 10, suspending his campaign for the GOP presidential nomination. However, neither Ron Paul nor Newt Gingrich seem inclined to drop out, and both claim to be the real conservative option.
› The Republican Party of Texas may change its May 29 presidential primary rules: Chairman Steve Munisteri has joined calls to switch from a proportional allocation of delegates to winner-takes-all.