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Reporter’s Notebook: Of departures and festivals

Monday, March 11, 2019 by Austin Monitor

Cofer resigns… Rick Cofer, the vice chair of the Parks and Recreation Board, resigned several hours after City Council approved his reappointment to the board. His resignation came just hours after a concerned constituent emailed Council Member Kathie Tovo, who had nominated him to the position, and pointed to his past treatment of women. Cofer, a former Travis County prosecutor and longtime Democratic activist, was a candidate to be chair of the county Democratic Party in 2017, but dropped out of the race shortly before the Austin American-Statesman reported that Cofer had twice as a prosecutor been reprimanded by supervisors for inappropriate conduct; once for slapping a defense attorney on the buttocks with a folder in open court, and another time for telling a female colleague to use sex appeal to win over male jurors. Cofer admitted that his behavior had been unprofessional. Tovo provided a statement: “As Vice Chair of the Parks and Recreation Board, Rick Cofer has been a strong leader and has championed important initiatives, including recycling in parks and aquatics funding. On Thursday afternoon, he decided to resign. I respect his decision, and I appreciate all of his service to the City of Austin.” Cofer told the Austin Monitor: “I appreciate the opportunity that the City Council gave me to serve on the Parks Board these last four years. I’m looking forward to spending more time at the Butler Trail and all the other awesome parks in Austin.”

Goodnight, sweet Hooters… This week is your last chance to say goodbye to Austin’s only Hooters, located at South First Street and Riverside Drive. A ceremonial demolition will take place this Wednesday, March 13. The demolition will clear space for the first development under the new South Central Waterfront Initiative, RiverSouth. Once complete, the RiverSouth project will be a 15-story office building featuring “a green roof, ground-level dining and retail … environmentally friendly features, improvements to the streetscape and active transportation infrastructure in the area, and funding towards affordable housing in Austin,” according to a press release.

Spring festivities…


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Enjoying time spent with powerful women at #SXSW!

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This week’s Reporter’s Notebook comes from the notebooks of Jack Craver and Elizabeth Pagano.

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