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					                                                                                                          21 The Hightower Report 22 A New Leaf at PARD

› City Council
  returns from
  summer break

                                                           JOHN ANDERSON
  with an agen-
  da bursting at
  the seams.
  For a break-
  down, see “City Hall Hustle,” p.14.
› Barton Springs Pool has sprung a leak!
  Actually, about a dozen leaks, in the bypass cul-
  vert that directs Barton Creek water around the
  pool. Repairs will cost the city at least a couple
  million and can’t begin until drought-reduced
  spring flow rises sufficiently to protect the endan-
  gered salamanders living above the pool in Eliza
› Austin enviros mobilize: Environmentalists
  showed up at the Electric Utility Commission
  meeting Monday and encouraged Austin Energy
  to consider a zero-coal option among its energy
  generation plans through 2020; meanwhile,
                                                                           JOHN ANDERSON

  expect an update at City Council today (Thursday)
  on the results of the Eco-Change Exchange, an
  attempt to distill the disparate visions of more
  than 40 different enviro groups into one short list
  of eco-priorities for the city.
› Austin ISD continues to work on ways to “repur-                                          City Manager Marc Ott (l) lays out the proposed 2010 budget Wednesday, as Mayor Lee Leffingwell listens to a plan that would spare public
  pose” Pearce Middle School, after state                                                  safety and library hours from cuts and increase a number of fees – although mandatory employee furloughs appear to be off the table for
  Education Commissioner Robert Scott ordered                                              now. For details, see p.18.
  its closure over low standardized test scores. It
  remains uncertain whether district officials can
  devise a plan acceptable to Scott in time for the

                                                                                     Stepping on Your Punchline                                                                                                                                           QUOTE
  fall term, which begins Aug. 24.
› Austin Police
  are investigat-
  ing the shoot-                                                                     When free speech becomes hate speech                                                                                                                                  of the
  ing deaths of
  two UT gradu-                                                                      BY MICHAEL KING
  ates in West
  Campus. The                                                                           From the Department of Unintended Irony: On             cally correct” synonyms for “illegal immigrants” or
  victims, Stacy                                                                     Monday, July 20, KLBJ-AM was nominated (along              “illegal aliens” or “undocumented workers” – asked
  Barnett (l) and John Goosey, were found
  Tuesday in their apartment at 904 W. 21st.                                         with four other stations nationwide) by the National       his listeners, “Whatever happened to the good old

                                                                                                                                                                                                               VICTOR OVALLE, AUSTIN PARKS & RECREATION
                                                                                     Association of Broadcasters for its Marconi Radio          term ‘wetback’?” Pryor then proceeded, over inter-
› South Texas Democratic state Rep. Ismael                                           Award for News/Talk Station of the Year.                   mittent and unconvincing protests by co-host
  “Kino” Flores has tapped go-to criminal lawyer
  Roy Minton of Austin to fight multiple counts of                                      As it happens, that was the same day that the sta-      Jeffries, to repeat the word “wetback” again and
  tampering with government records and failing to                                   tion’s owner, Emmis Austin Radio, announced it               again, occasionally declaring, “Okay, I’m done; I’ve
  report hundreds of thousands of dollars in                                         was canceling the weekday morning Todd &                            made my point” – and then interjecting with
  income over several years, as required by law.                                     Don Show, following a week of protests by                              enthusiasm, “Wetback!” In all, Pryor
› Emmis Radio                                                                        the Austin Hispanic community of the                                     repeated the term more than 30 times,
  Austin canceled
  the weekday morn-
                                                                                     show’s July 14 episode and an initial
                                                                                     two-week suspension of co-hosts Todd          point                       calling it a simple and “efficient” term
                                                                                                                                                               and an instance of “good old America-
  ing KLBJ-AM Todd
  & Don Show in the                                                                  Jeffries and Don Pryor. At a Monday                                       na.” Near the end of the show, he half-
  wake of widespread                                                                 afternoon press conference held at                                        heartedly insisted: “I should apologize;
  community protest                                                                  Plaza Saltillo, Emmis vice president                                     I don’t really mean it. I don’t want peo-
  over co-host Don                                                                   and market manager Scott Gillmore                                      ple calling people ‘wetback’; I’m using
  Pryor’s use of the                                                                                                                                                                                                     “[T]hese preliminary options
  ethnic slur “wet-                                                                  announced that after hearing from listeners                         humor cloaked in racism.” Yet the very last                     have significant implications
  back” in the July                     Scott                                        and consulting with community leaders, “We                   moment of the recorded show is of Pryor calling                        for costs, pool operations,
                                                           MICHAEL KING

  14 show. Pryor                      Gilmore                                        determined that the cancellation of the show was           out, “Wetback!”                                                          and risk to the endangered
  later apologized                                                                   the right thing to do for our employees, our station,         As anybody who’s spent any time in Texas cer-                         salamander population. [They]
  and claimed he
                                                                                     our company … and for the community.” (Jeffries            tainly knows, although the slang term refers most                        could take 6-8 months to
  was joking, but
  Emmis VP Scott Gillmore first suspended the two                                    will return to his job of news director, and Pryor will    directly to Mexican or Central American immigrants                       complete and would close
  broadcasters, then canceled the show and reas-                                     be reassigned off-air.) Call it a basic lesson in broad-   who have entered the U.S. illegally – i.e., crossed the                  Barton Springs for swimming.  ”
  signed the hosts. See “Point Austin,” right.                                       casting: How not to win friends and influence peo-         Rio Grande River – it has long been employed, here                                      – Memo from Victoria Li,
› The Texas Medical Association has broken                                           ple? Don’t go out of your way to insult and alienate       and elsewhere, as a generic, bitterly racist insult for                                Watershed Protection and
  with the American Medical Association by say-                                      more than a third of your potential audience.              anyone with brown skin. Indeed, the closest equiva-                                Development Review director,
  ing it opposes President Obama’s health-care                                          The cancellation was the climax of a week of con-       lent in English is the reflexively racist term for                                       and Sara Hensley, PARD
  reform proposals.
                                                                                     troversy over the July 14 show, during which co-host       African-Americans: “nigger.”                                                       director, on needed repairs at
                                                                                     Pryor – ostensibly as part of a discussion of “politi-                                         CO N TI N U ED O N P. 15                                         the Springs

12 T H E A U S T I N C H R O N I C L E JULY 24, 2009 a u s t i n c h r o n i c l e . c o m

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