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Texas parks advocates gathered at McKinney Falls State Park in Southeast Austin on Monday (Oct. 7) for a press conference to urge Texans to vote for Prop 5, a constitutional amendment on the November ballot, which would guarantee sales taxes on sporting goods go to fund state and local parks. In the foreground: (l-r) state Rep. John Cyrier, R-Lock­hart, and Luke Metzger of Environment Texas (Photo by Jana Birchum)

Learning the Code: No regular City Council meeting this week, but Council is reviewing the latest draft of the land use code, released last week. For more, see "Austin's Land Use Debate Returns to the Spotlight."

Parking Rates Rise: Starting Monday, Oct. 14, the Austin Transportation Department will raise parking rates to $2 an hour, in accordance with the city's 2019-20 budget. The hike is partly an effort to increase parking turnover.

Congratulations In Order: UT engineering professor John B. Goodenough was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry on Wed­nes­day, along with State University of New York professor M. Stanley Whittingham, and Akira Yoshino of Asahi Kasei Corporation and Meijo University for helping develop lithium-ion portable, rechargeable batteries. At 97, Good­enough is the oldest person ever to win the honor.

Bickerstaff R.I.P. UT-Austin law professor Steve Bickerstaff, an authority on redistricting who also served as state Senate parliamentarian in the Seventies, died Oct. 4. His book, Lines in the Sand: Congressional Redistricting and the Downfall of Tom DeLay, recounted in detail the baroque history of DeLay's autocratic imposition of GOP-dominated congressional maps for a decade. "The danger to democracy is very real," Bickerstaff wrote.

Purple Pick Up: Phase two of the city's Violet Bag trash collection program has been implemented in East Austin at Pleasant Valley Road and Cesar Chavez Street. Set to run through October, the pilot program has handed out 2,000 violet trash bags to people experiencing homelessness in an effort to encourage trash collection that's then picked up by Austin Resource Recov­ery. The program began in July with four sites.

Cash Me Outside: The official federal filing date for third-quarter campaign fundraising is Tuesday, Oct. 15, but a couple of GOP incumbents are rattling their cash boxes this week. Sen. John Cornyn announced $3.2 million raised, and TX-10 incumbent Michael McCaul announced $400,000.

D.C. Standoff: Momentum toward presidential impeachment built this week, as Trump's White House announced it would stonewall congressional inquiries as "illegitimate," House leadership added to its laundry list of obstruction, and polls reflected growing public sentiment for impeachment and removal.

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