Austin
8:57 am
Wed February 29, 2012

AM Update: Moontowers Temporarily Vanish, Ron Paul's Michigan Finish, Texas' New Railroad Commish

Moontowers Temporarily Taken Down

An Austin moontower on the corner of West 22nd and Nueces streets has been temporarily dismantled due to a nearby construction project, and another on the corner of Trinity and Cesar Chavez is slated to move over to Third and Red River.

Austin is the only city in the world that still operates under a moonlight tower lighting system, made up of those ethereal structures that provide large areas of illumination and – as every "Dazed and Confused" fan knows – the occasional party.  According to the Austin American-Statesman, Austin Energy plans to refurbish the towers that have been removed, and because of their designation in the National Register of Historic Places, any repairs have to be historically accurate. You can read more from KUT News about the towers.

Ron Paul Finishes Third in Michigan

Texas U.S. Representative Ron Paul has finished third in the Michigan primary, receiving 11 percent of the votes there.  And in Arizona, he earned 8 percent of the vote: half of the votes won by Newt Gingrich, who placed third.

But despite these low voter percentages, Paul remains optimistic.  That's because, CBS News reports, Paul is more concerned with delegates.

Paul has consistently said he is trying to amass as many delegates as he can.

"They keep asking about winning particular states in this campaign, but guess what? We're still winning a lot of delegates!" he said to massive cheers.

"Every once in a while they include my name in the polling," Paul said, telling the cheering crowd that a "recent poll that showed we do the best against Obama!"

GOP candidates will head to Washington State March 3 to continue the primary battle.

New Railroad Commissioner

Barry Smitherman was elected yesterday Chairman of the Texas Railroad Commission, the agency that oversees oil and gas drilling in the state. He replaces Elizabeth Ames Jones, who recently resigned because of her bid for the Texas Senate. In a statement on the Commission's website, Smitherman said:

As Chairman, I will continue to ensure that we meet the unscientific, politically-motivated decisions coming out of Washington, D.C. with science-backed, factually correct responses. Oil and gas production, and mining operations power our state’s economy. We must not let the political appointees in Washington kill our economic engine and kill our jobs.

Smitherman was elected Commissioner or the TRC in 2011. Prior to this he was Chairman of the Texas Public Utility Commission.