› Looks like a heavy load today (June 12) at City Council, where resolutions on property taxes will compete for dais time with various master plans, lawsuit appropriations, density vs. parking, and in a repeat appearance, grandfathered development rights. See "Council: Everything That Fits."
› Only one more regularly scheduled Council meeting (June 26) before the annual July break, although Tuesday (June 17) features a joint "discussion" meeting with the Cap Metro board with one item on the agenda: Project Connect's urban rail proposal, with decision meetings to follow (June 23 and 26).
› National Instruments, Dropbox, and US Farathane announced that they are each, for various reasons, dropping their participation in the city's economic incentives deals. Each had promised expansions or job guarantees in return for city support; reportedly nine of 21 incentives partners since 2003 have since withdrawn from the deals.
› Wanted: strong swimmers. The city of Austin was forced to keep 11 of its 35 pools closed this week because of a shortage of lifeguards. The Parks and Recreation Department held an emergency job fair on Tuesday to fill the nearly 300 positions, plus increased pay.
› Travis County Commissioners on Tuesday decided against challenging the 2014 commercial property tax roll, opting instead to study the issue. See "Then There's This."
› Signaling a political shift to the center, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis has replaced campaign manager Karin Johanson, a D.C.-based grassroots progressive, with state Rep. Chris Turner of Fort Worth, who's worked on campaigns for former Waco Congressman Chet Edwards, a moderate Democrat.
› Undocumented foreigners arrested for nonviolent offenses "are subject to shocking mistreatment and abusive conditions," the ACLU alleges in a report issued this week. After a five-year study of the nation's privately run Criminal Alien Requirement prisons – five of which are in Texas – the group concluded that there is a critical lack of oversight.
› An embarrassing climb down for right-wing think-tank the Texas Public Policy Foundation: The Tea Party's favored number crunchers spent the last year claiming the state's biennial budget had risen 26%, but has now back pedaled that to 9% – unfortunately, after right-wing candidates like Sen. Dan Patrick used the stat to win primaries.
› In a national political upset, U.S. House majority leader Eric Cantor lost his Virginia primary race to Tea Party challenger David Brat, an economics professor outspent by Cantor nearly 40 to 1. Brat charged that Cantor wasn't conservative enough, especially on immigration – and Cantor's loss is being seen as an end to any possibility of immigration reform in this Congress.