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With the scent of weed wafting over the crowd gathered at Lavaca and the street formerly known as Second, the bronze sculpture of Willie Nelson was unveiled April 20, with Nelson himself on hand to join in the celebration. The 8-foot sculpture was created by Clete Shields of Philadelphia and was donated to the city by Capital Area Statues.
With the scent of weed wafting over the crowd gathered at Lavaca and the street formerly known as Second, the bronze sculpture of Willie Nelson was unveiled April 20, with Nelson himself on hand to join in the celebration. The 8-foot sculpture was created by Clete Shields of Philadelphia and was donated to the city by Capital Area Statues. (Photo by John Anderson)

› It's a bulging agenda today at the last regular City Council meeting before the May 12 election, with two morning briefings, multiple zoning cases, and a considerable brace of scheduled public hearings. One on the foundering Green Water Treatment Plant redevelopment deal has been pulled until late May, but there's plenty more for disputation where that came from; see "The Council Meeting From Purgatory."

› The breathless pace of council's Austin Energy work sessions is now joined by the beginning of the city budget cycle – but all things City Council slow down considerably this week, with work sessions Monday and Wednesday followed by an election break until May 22 (next regular session: May 24). Nearly all of the endorsements are in, though there are still some campaign forums pending. Vote early (April 30-May 8), or vote May 12.

› Austin club owners the Yassine brothers can add state tax troubles to their federal woes. First they and several associates were charged with cocaine distribution and money laundering; now the comptroller's office has seized six of their Downtown bars and will sell off their assets to cover unpaid sales and drink taxes.

› Eighteen people were arrested last week during a protest at the office of UT-Austin President Bill Powers. The students are demanding the university join the Worker Rights Con­sort­ium, an independent group that monitors working conditions in clothing factories overseas; the university belongs to the industry-sponsored Fair Labor Association. "It's shocking that UT would rather arrest its own students," said student Billy Yates, "than ask companies like Nike to stop making Longhorn apparel under sweatshop conditions."

› On April 23, the Austin Independent School District joined more than 360 other districts opposing high-stakes testing; trustees passed a resolution asking the Legislature to create a less punitive and more inclusive evaluation model.

› Women across the country will rally this weekend in unity against the ongoing war on women's rights. Austin rally organizers are hoping that thousands will descend on the Texas Capitol this Saturday, April 28, at 4pm, to join the protest. Find out more at www.wowtex.org.

› Watch the mail for your new voter registration certificates. Travis County warns that around 14% of the 530,000 yellow cards it just sent will be returned as undeliverable; make sure your address is up to date at www.traviscountytax.org.

› A disciplinary appeal panel has ruled that the State Bar of Texas properly dismissed a complaint filed against Williamson County D.A. John Bradley for his conduct related to the Michael Morton wrongful conviction. The panel found no state ethical violations to investigate.

› At press time, the U.S. Supreme Court was set to hear arguments over the future of Arizona's tough 2010 immigration law. Meanwhile, a new Pew Research Center study shows that Mexican immigration has been on the decline since 2007.

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