The Austin Chronicle


May 23, 2014, News

› After plenty of heavy lifting last week – rideshare wrangling, Onion Creek buyout plan, SH 45 opposition – this week's City Council agenda (May 22) looks a bit lighter, although Spansion and Flextronics will be asking for Enterprise Zone status to earn state sales tax incentives.

› After a donnybrook at last Thursday's Council meeting, the Austin Firefighters Association vowed to fight a consent decree over cadet hiring issued by the U.S. Department of Justice and approved by Council – the AFA says city management wants to bust the union.

› More charges were filed against Rashad Owens in the deadly hit-and-run crash during SXSW – a grand jury added four counts of felony murder to one count of capital murder and 24 counts of aggravated assault.

› The Texas Historical Commission State Board of Review voted May 17 to recommend Rosewood Courts, opened in 1939 as the first public housing project for African-Americans, to the National Register of Historic Places.

Cap Metro riders: Don't forget, in two weeks, all buses will move off Congress, and start traveling on Guadalupe (southbound) and Lavaca (northbound) instead. Detours begin June 3 for the X Games, and become permanent on June 8.

› The east lawn of Austin's beloved Auditorium Shores may soon carry a less familiar name of Vic Mathias, a longtime Chamber of Com­merce CEO who died last year. That's if Mayor Lee Leffingwell can secure four votes at today's Council meeting to bypass a 90-day public vetting period required for renaming parks. In addition to asking Council to slow down, folks may be also be asking, who's Vic Mathias?

Austin Water Utility officials this week presented several alternative water-supply options and costs to a city task force; options include lowering Lake Austin at times for rainfall capture, drawing groundwater from eastern counties, storing water in aquifers, and improving water flow from Longhorn Dam.

› It's primary run-off election day Tuesday, May 27. Races include the GOP nominations for lieutenant governor, railroad commissioner, and agriculture commissioner, and Dem­o­cratic picks for ag commish and U.S. Senate.

› The bitter Republican Lt. Gov. run-off between incumbent David Dewhurst and challenger Sen. Dan Patrick took a shocking turn when Dew­hurst supporter Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson released medical files showing Patrick was in a mental health institution in the Eighties. Dew­hurst has now distanced himself from Patterson.

› Attorney General Greg Abbott has rejected gubernatorial opponent Sen. Wendy Davis' request for six debates across Texas, saying he'll agree to two and no more. As of now, those debates are set for Sept. 19 in the Rio Grande Valley, and Oct. 3 in Dallas.

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