Your city council, ladies and gentlemen.

January 16th, 2015

I just finished updating the “Contact information for the Austin City Council” page with the latest information. Please let me know if you find any errors or omissions.

The pages on the city website appear to have eliminated actual email addresses (relying instead on contact forms): if you happen to have a real address for your council member, you might share it. Fax numbers are also not present, but that may be an artifact: it looks like they’ve reorganized the phone system to make things a little more logical.

It hasn’t been that long since the council was sworn in, and I’m sure it will take some time for the council members to get their individual pages set up the way they’d like. I’ll try to keep an eye out for changes, but, again, I’d appreciate help from my readers on that.

I still need to get the Travis County Commissioner’s Court page updated, but with a little bit of luck I’ll be able to do that on my lunch hour.

Edited to add: The Commissioner’s Court page is now updated.

Random notes: January 16, 2015.

January 16th, 2015

I’ve written previously about Al Martinez and the “get the boy his peaches” story.

Recently, some questions were raised about the story over at Romenesko’s site. I didn’t post about this at the time because it didn’t seem link worthy: more “can anybody help me track down the original story” than “it never happened”.

Well, the amazing Larry Harnisch took up the gauntlet and managed to – more or less – track down the original story. Part of the problem seems to be that Al Martinez was working from memory, and apparently combined two stories into one: the dying boy and the peaches did take place, but not at Christmas. But there was another dying boy who craved watermelons at Christmas.

I can say from personal experience that after writing thousands of posts about Los Angeles crime that it’s impossible to remember them all and that the details can erode — which is why newspapers have clip files and why reporters ought to refer to them before writing anything.

Quel fromage!

A Brooklyn man who claimed the police manufactured gun-possession charges against him had his case dismissed on Thursday, amid two investigations into the practices of a group of police officers in the 67th Precinct in East Flatbush.

I just want to say…

January 15th, 2015

this is my favorite John Moltz post ever.

(Well, okay. My favorite John Moltz post as John Moltz at “Very Nice Web Site”. I’m not quite sure it displaces the one at Crazy Apple Rumors where he actually used a question of mine in the “Crazy Apple Help Desk”.)

TMQ Watch: January 13, 2015.

January 15th, 2015

We lost the better part of the day yesterday to jury duty, so we’re late getting this up. We apologize for the convenience.

After the jump, this week’s TMQ

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Random notes: January 15, 2015.

January 15th, 2015

Obit watch: Phil Africa, “a high-ranking member of the Philadelphia-based black-liberation group Move”. You may remember MOVE from the 1985 Philadelphia police stand-off and bombing. Phil Africa was not involved in that, as he was already serving time for killing a police officer in the 1978 shootout.

It was unclear why the man was wearing body armor.

I’m just going to take a wild guess here and suggest he was wearing body armor because HE DIDN’T WANT TO GET SHOT!

(Oh, and for the record: both the gun and body armor were stolen from a sheriff’s deputy.)

Neat story:

Archaeologists conducting surveys in Nevada’s Great Basin National Park came upon a gun frozen in time: a .44-40 Winchester rifle manufactured in 1882. It was propped up against a juniper tree.

Some more detail here and here. (Interestingly, at the time I’m writing this, that story is the most-read one on the WP website.)

Norts spews.

January 13th, 2015

Well. Well well well. Well. Yes, I am happy about Ohio State winning; as my regular readers know, I have ties to the Ohio area.

Since I don’t have cable, I mostly followed the game on FARK until I dozed off after halftime (yesterday was a rough day at work). From what I can tell, it might be a good idea for Ohio State to spend some time in the off season working on HOLDING ON TO THE DAMN BALL!

I don’t have a lot to say about the John Fox “firing” right now, except that I think it will be interesting to see how things play out after the Superb Owl. I may have more to say once this week’s TMQ goes up.

Obit watch: Roy Tarpley, former center for the Dallas Mavericks. As my regular readers know, I’m not a basketball fan, but the Tarpley story is sad and worth noting:

He was suspended by the NBA after five games in the 1989-90 season after being arrested for driving while intoxicated and resisting arrest. In 1991, he drew another suspension after a second DWI arrest and, a few months later, had a third violation and was banned from the league for violating the NBA’s drug-use policies.
He returned to the Mavericks briefly in 1994 but then was permanently barred in December 1995 for violating terms of his aftercare program.

Obit watch: January 12, 2015.

January 12th, 2015

Robert Stone, noted novelist (“Dog Soldiers”, “A Flag For Sunrise”).

Anita Ekberg.

Enough said.

Obit watch: January 9, 2015.

January 9th, 2015

Jethro Pugh, former player for the Dallas Cowboys.

No. 75 became a fixture in the Cowboys’ defensive line, playing for 14 seasons, from 1965-78. Only three players had a longer run with the Cowboys than Pugh. The defensive tackle finished with 95.5 sacks for his career and led the team in that statistic for five consecutive seasons (’68-72) before it became an official category.

And yes, he did play in the Ice Bowl.

I missed this one, so I’ll direct you over to Lawrence for Lee Israel.

Quote of the day.

January 7th, 2015

Technically, tweet of the day, but who’s counting?

TMQ Watch: January 6, 2015.

January 7th, 2015

Sex! Gambling! After the jump, this week’s TMQ

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The Shipping News.

January 7th, 2015

Monday night’s announcement that the new musical “The Last Ship” will close on Jan. 24 after a meager four-month run, despite unusual efforts by Sting, its composer, to increase ticket sales, raises that question more than most other foundering musicals in recent years.

Hmmmm. Hmmmm. Hmmmm. Why, indeed, did “The Last Ship” fail (and cost the show’s producers their entire $15 million investment), even though Sting himself joined the cast?

Mr. Seller said that he had no theories for why more female theatergoers (who make up about 70 percent of Broadway audiences) and Sting fans did not embrace “The Last Ship,” about the troubled lives of shipbuilders and young people in a struggling British town.

Could this be…a clue?

Obit watch: January 5, 2015.

January 5th, 2015

Bess Myerson, Miss America 1945, television personality, and political figure, passed away on December 14th, though her death was not widely reported until today.