Archive for September, 2005

Austin Week in Review – 9/30/2005

Teen victim of shooting in East Austin dies Bush visits emergency officials in Austin City closes convention center to Katrina evacuees
Austin City Limits Festival kicks into
high gear
Heat breaks temperature records Man dies after being shot with Taser gun
Capital Metro sued over labor negotiations Fire knocks out power to 10,000 customers Woman found guilty in scalding death of boy
DeLay indicted,
steps down
Lighting technician found dead after ACL Temperatures cool down
Ex-con pleads guilty to stealing identities of job seekers August traffic rises at ABIA Deal ends police ‘Mala Sangre’ whistle-blower lawsuits
City settles with South Congress Cafe on outdoor deck Austin 9th hottest for entrepreneurs Shoal Creek curb islands get death sentence

Dough alert

Nope; sorry; nothing to do with money: it’s about yeast rolls, genuine, authentic, hand-formed Kaiser rolls, now often available at Sweetish Hill. They’re baked on Mondays and Wednesdays, and they are the real thing, just encrusted with fresh poppy seeds. You may know them as Vienna rolls or just hard rolls. But, repeat: these are the real thing. No; the bakery doesn’t do k

Fall? Is that you?

It’s been a while. We weren’t sure you were coming back. Hope you stick around for a while.

Being a native Texan, I’m used to the heat. In fact, I generally like it. I moved to NYC for two years in my early twenties and ended up moving back here mainly because not being able to more than one block away left me with a subtle but perisistent feeling of claustrophobia and the lack of sunlight and cold temperatures really had an effect on my mood.

Especially after this past weekend though, 72 degrees and overcast never felt so good.

Crazy Jackie in Austin

An artist visiting Austin after helping in New Orleans offers an enthralling tale about an encounter with a police officer with a Palestinian wife.


About 2:30 this morning, lights in the house began flickering and fans nearly stopped. After that, it never came that close again to a power outage, but the fans intermittently turned much more slowly and the lights dimmed. Fans set on “high” were turning more slowly than they do when set on “low.” The local daily reports this morning that yesterday was a record day for electricity demand. One definition of “brownout” is “the reduction of voltage (and thus of power) when demand for electricity exceeds generating capacity.” Houston is reported to have experienced rolling blackouts.

Man Dies After Being Hit With Pepper Spray and Taser

A man caught fighting with a woman on the street has died after being subdued with pepper spray and a Taser blast by Austin police. From the description at News 8 Austin, it seems like he may have been under the influence of something:

“There was at least six officers at the scene. The struggle ensued, he was described as almost having superhuman powers. One officer was bitten through his glove by the suspect. Another officer received a shoulder injury during the struggle. So there was enough officers there, based on what I was briefed on, the less than lethal use was in accordance with policy and they certainly needed every officer on the scene,” an APD officer said.

This is the second death I’ve seen following the use of Taser stun guns in a week. It was also discovered this week that Taser International offered stock options to officers who promoted the stun guns to their cities. Taser has denied wrongdoing in a press release.

My previous Austin Metroblogging post on Taser can be found here.

Update: The medical examiner reports three wounds that appear to be Taser-related: “Drake and Eiben, who were placed on restricted duty after the death as is standard procedure, were placed back on full duty by Police Chief Stan Knee on Wednesday.”

Update: KXAN employees take part in an APD taser demonstration.

Update: Local Austin activists call for moratorium on APD Taser use: “Although Austin Police Chief Stan Knee has been widely quoted saying that Monday’s death was, ‘the first time someone has died in custody after being Tased,’ activists point to the case of Abel Ortega Perez who ‘was tased several times and later died’. ”

Taser has limited its use of the word “non-lethal” in marketing materials to appease Arizona officials.

Update: Statesman editorial calls for re-examination of department’s policies on use of force and calls for the release of video footage of the incident as soon as possible. Of the 14 people who have died after APD encounters since 1998, all but one were minorities.

Update: KXAN reports a funeral is being held for Michael Clark: “Tuesday, members of the Austin NAACP will discuss what they call ‘the failure’ of the District Attorney’s Office to pursue indictments against Austin police.”

Update: The Austin Chronicle features three takes on the Taser incident. Jordan Smith gives a good recap of what’s happened in the case so far and Michael King says “it seems that the Tasers may have been too readily relied upon as an instant mechanical solution to a situation that might better have been resolved with some patience and ingenuity, or at least some attempt to determine whether the suspect might not be a good candidate for electroshock.” Most hilarious is the article questioning television news reporters who seemed overly eager to submit themselves to APD shock treatment (“Thanks to KXAN’s in-depth report last week, viewers now know that when reporter Jenny Hoff is blasted with a Taser she makes a noise vaguely resembling Meg Ryan’s fake orgasm in the movie When Harry Met Sally.”).

Update: A Statesman editorial covers current concerns over police Taser use.

Update: Taser earnings drop 96 percent over safety concerns (This article from BusinessWeek goes into the financial problems: “The sales outlook has become so bleak that in the fourth quarter of 2004 Taser stopped issuing earnings forecasts.”).

Update: Coroner’s report says Taser did not cause death.

ACL Photos as promised

As promised, I finally got the photos uploaded. I got some pretty good ones of Bob Mould. I had the closest vantage point for his set.

Oh yeah, one other thing I forgot to mention in the original post, I hope the owners of the two separate blobs of gum that found their way onto my shoes during yesterday’s trudging get some sort of horribly painful and disfiguring jaw ailment. It is too much to ask that you not throw that shit on the ground? Damn.

Thursday Rally at the Capitol With a Special Guest

The reality TV show that never aired where diverse couples competed for a house in Circle C has an unexpected happy ending. A gay couple with an adopted child won the house and their neighbor that was portrayed as a redneck that hates gays has learned that gay couples aren’t anything to be afraid of, and in the meantime he learned to accept and welcome his own gay son back into his life.

This Thursday he will speak at the No Nonsense In November rally at the State Capitol.

Here’s the details:
Show your opposition to proposed Constitutional Amendment #2 with other fair-minded Texans this Thursday, September 29th. Don’t let a small minority of voters decide how you, your friends, and your families will live the rest of your lives!

* Date: Thursday, Sept. 29th
* Time: 5:30pm
* Place: Texas Capitol – South Steps (facing 11th street)
* Event: Brief program, then silently circle the capitol and “stand watch” or vigil for 10 minutes together.
* AFTER-EVENT: If you have volunteered in any way or have friends who would like to volunteer and need to get involved, please join us after the vigil for a party at Mother Egan’s (715 W 6th St, Austin) IMMEDIATELY following the vigil. The campaign will pay for appetizers; Glen Maxey will join us for a campaign update. Finally, we are really excited to have a special showing of the video, “Families Matter ” put together by Austin Alliance for Social Justice volunteers.

Snippets: ACL Festival Edition

The Heat

Media Reviews

Blog Recaps


Photo Galleries

Have a recap or gallery I missed? Post it in the comments, and I’ll add it.

ACL 2005 – Dear God, The Heat

I’ll have photos up tonight. I think I got some decent shots at Bob Mould and Rilo Kiley. Until then, check out Ray’s flickr page. He’s got some good stuff. I only attended the last day, which was the hottest, my luck. As reported earlier, yesterday was, in fact, the hottest day of the year. The two locations of record, Camp Mabry and Bergstrom Airport, recorded 107 and 108 respectively. I’m sure there will be more calls to move this festival into October. The organizers shrugged it off last year claiming that the heat was a fluke. Well, guess again, we topped it this year. Global warming or not, I can remember going to UT football games in late September in the late 80’s/early 90’s and having to wear a jacket.

From what I can gather from those who attended all three days, Kaiser Chiefs, Bloc Party, and The Frames were some of the notable performances of the weekend. We only caught the first few songs of Coldplay, but it sounds like they made a good showing. I checked out Rilo Kiley and Bob Mould close-up and watched Wilco and Tortoise from the comfort of my umbrella-shaded chair on the H-E-B Buddy beach. Our kids spent a fair amount of time in Austin Kiddie Limits with Joe McDermott and Biscuit Brothers. We watched some of the festival re-cap on News8Austin when we returned home last night and were surprised to find a crowd shot that included our two kids and a friend.

I’d heard a lot of good things about Rilo Kiley and was suitably impressed. The lead singer is quite the instrumentalist, switching between guitar, keyboards, bass, harmonica and percussion throughout the set. The band apparently spent Saturday tubing down the river in New Braunfels. Their Austin City Limits taping will air on October 8th on your local PBS affiliate if you’d like to check them out for yourself.

Bob Mould’s performance was good. It didn’t quite have the energy of some of the other shows. There were a few miscues as well. He started off the set with a few Sugar tracks, followed by three or four from the new album, including Paralyze, which is one of my favorites, but was played a little too fast. He broke out several H

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