City Council returns to public meetings next week, with a Tuesday work session (Jan. 30) followed Thursday, Feb. 1, by the first regular meeting of 2018. The opening agenda is a doozy: 122 Items, including the appointment of new City Manager Spencer Cronk and the re-re-re-return of the Champion Tract 3. See "Council: As the Year Turns," Jan. 26.
Bye, Bye Butler? The contemplated professional soccer venue for would-be Ohio transplant the Columbus Crew looks increasingly unlikely for the MLS team's target of Butler Shores. Council Member Ann Kitchen says she's drafting a resolution that would block the use of public parkland for the project. Club owners issued a statement Wednesday saying they "hope council will allow us the opportunity to demonstrate potential parkland improvements and community … benefits … which could lead to the possibility of a public vote."
"Traffic Stop," a film about the June 2015 arrest of Breaion King, was nominated for an Oscar in the category of documentary (short subject). See "One Step Forward, Two Steps Back," Jan. 26, for related news to that arrest.
Frozen Ink: There will be no CodeNEXT election in May. IndyAustin organizer Linda Curtis told The Austin Bulldog last week that the effort to obtain enough signatures to force a referendum on the rewrite's language has stalled, leaving the possibility open for a revival come November. Curtis cited the increased November turnout, and the $800,000 the city would need to put up to hold a special May election, but also noted her group's trouble gathering signatures, particularly at Barton Springs on New Year's Day, when it was too cold to hold a pen.
Drunk Tank News: Travis County Commissioners approved a contract this week that will have Tegrity Contractors build the $770,000 Austin Sobering Center at 1213 Sabine St., site of the old county medical examiner's office. County officials hope to open the sobriety center in August.
Hart Shutters CRP: Interim City Manager Elaine Hart officially shut down the Citizen Review Panel on Tuesday, citing a lack of access to officers' confidential G-files as a result of the broken meet-and-confer agreement.
Steven Kling, a Democrat running to replace state Sen. Donna Campbell in District 25, is celebrating big fundraising figures this week. The Dripping Springs resident has raised nearly $75,000 so far; he says that's twice as much as any Democratic challenger to Campbell has raised in any of her three contested elections.
Would Prime Be Free? Austin is one of 20 cities to make the shortlist for Amazon's second headquarters, which is both exciting and awful.