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Mueller Tower, District 7 Candidates, Olympic Archive and more

Michael Barnes
mbarnes@statesman.com

Nothing shattering from me today. Why not sample one of these fine pieces?

HISTORY: Exploring a towering piece of history. Taken from Ben Wear’s spirited story in the Statesman: “The old Robert Mueller Municipal Airport tower, squat and defiantly homely in its Jetsons-era, blue-on-blue design, has sat among weeds in East Austin for years now behind a tall, wrought-iron fence, hosting trespassing barn owls rather than air traffic controllers. The company developing the 700-acre former airfield around it, obligated in its agreement with the city of Austin to preserve the tower, has cleaned up the interior, restored the flared outside to its original design, strung Christmas lights on it each December and created an “owl condominium” in a former bathroom on the seventh floor. Officials with the company, Catellus, have also fielded a steady stream of offers to make something of the tower — a bar or restaurant or Austin’s most exclusive condominium — and gently rebuffed them all.” http://shar.es/1146sI

POLITICS: Meet the 8 candidates running for District 7. Taken from the Statesman’s superb coverage of City Council races: “Eight people are vying to represent District 7 in North Austin, one of 11 City Council seats under a new governing system. Dubbed the “pork chop,” District 7 runs from 45th Street north to Howard Lane, then swerves across Interstate 35. This district of mostly white residents was carved out around Hispanic neighborhoods to the east, to comply with voting rights laws that require sizable numbers of minorities in some districts. Established, family-friendly neighborhoods on the southern end, such as Crestview and Allandale, are facing development pressures as nearby Burnet Road and Lamar Boulevard boom with new retail and apartment projects. Close by but a world apart is the Domain, a dense mix of high-end stores, eateries and apartments that some liken to a second downtown. Neighborhoods to the north are less politically active and say the city largely ignores them.” http://shar.es/1146S9

SCHOOL: The University of Texas settles lawsuit over archive. Taken from Ralph K.M. Haurwitz’s knotty story in the Statesman: “In an unusual conclusion to an unusual dispute, the University of Texas has agreed to pay $405,000 to a foundation that sued the school over its handling of a massive archive concerning the Olympics — and to give a leader of the foundation, who sued separately, a VIP parking pass good on campus for the next five years. The 350-box collection is perhaps without equal in the world, with 400,000 pages of documents on myriad subjects, including the use of performance-enhancing drugs, the negotiation of television rights and the slaying of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Games. It contains medals, torches and statuettes, as well as minutes from all meetings of the International Olympic Committee since its inception in 1894.” http://shar.es/114hCH