Lloyd Doggett listens as a student at Del Valle High School asks a question during a recent visit with the U.S. congressman. Doggett was at Del Valle to present an award for excellence in Humanities instruction to teacher Victoria Longoria. (Photo by Jana Birchum)

No regular City Council meeting this week – that schedule resumes Thursday, Dec. 7, with plenty to do – but Council meets today (Nov. 30) for a procedural work session, and will be re-interviewing city manager semifinalists this weekend, planning to announce finalists Dec. 11-12. "Council: Meet Your City Manager Semifinalists," Dec. 1.

City negotiators and the Austin-Travis County EMS Association return to the table this week ... sort of. While the two sides will meet today (Nov. 30), they won't be bargaining a new contract. Rather, they'll consider extending certain provisions of the previous contract as a way to preserve benefits while the two sides renegotiate. More on that next week.

Death Row inmate Juan Castillo will not be executed this year. On Tuesday, the Court of Criminal Appeals stayed his Dec. 14 execution and remanded his case back to a San Antonio trial court, where a judge has been asked to resolve whether the state used false testimony to convict him of capital murder in 2005. Castillo received three stays in 2017. This one closes the book on executions this year. Despite Castillo's stay, Texas still managed to kill seven people.

World AIDS Day is Friday, Dec. 1, and Aus­tin Public Health will be providing free, walk-in HIV and STI tests at the Walgreens at 1144 Airport from 5-9pm, and at Midtown Live Sports Cafe from 4-7pm. No appointment needed. More AIDS Day info in this week's "Gay Place."

Integral Care, Travis County's mental health authority, and the Dell Medical School have opened a new clinic to serve low-income residents living with bipolar disorder. The collaborative clinic, funded through the Mulva Clinic for the Neurosciences, opens this week at the Health Transformation Building at UT's Dell Medical School.

Richard Hyde, executive director of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, has released a letter concerning the City of Dripping Springs' permit application to release treated effluent into Onion Creek, saying the application "meets the requirements of applicable law." The permit still faces a contested case hearing, and this week the Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District joined Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer district, the City of Austin, and the environmental group Protect Our Water in opposing the permit.

Downtown Municipal Court is closed for emergency repairs, as of Wednesday night, but will reopen on Friday, Dec. 1, with a new schedule. They'll be open 7am-7pm Mon.-Wed., and Friday, and 7am-10pm on Thursday. That shortens operational hours every day except Thursday. Staff analysis concluded that most people visit the court between 5-7pm, with less than 5% stopping by between 7-10pm.

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