Starvoice • 01.27.12

By Jack Fertig

CELEBRITY BIRTHDAY

Greg Louganis turns 52 on Sunday. The diver won gold medals at the 1984 and 1988 Olympics. Now he coaches up-and-coming divers. Louganis also competes in dog agility contests and wrote a second book, For the Life of Your Dog. His first book, Breaking the Surface, recounted his coming out and his HIV diagnosis and was a New York Times bestseller.

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THIS WEEK

Neptune coming home to Pisces this Feb. 3 brings 14 years of heightened mysticism, romanticism, sensitivity, passions and decadence. The last time around (1848-1862) was the height of the Romantic era and the beginning of the spiritualist movements.

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AQUARIUS  Jan 20-Feb 18
Flirtatious impulses prove a bit too extravagant. Remember, one perfect rose is more elegant than a dozen. Don’t dwell on the past. Think about the future and how to get there.

PISCES  Feb 19-Mar 19
With your co-ruler Neptune coming to stay the next 14 years, you will feel more in tune, a mixed blessing. Focus and shield your sensitivity. To care for others effectively, care for yourself first.

ARIES  Mar 20-Apr 19
Weird insights make you wonder how much you know yourself. Pushing yourself harder makes things tough on those around you. Ask why you do that and whether it’s really necessary.

TAURUS  Apr 20-May 20
Who are your friends really? The answers are surprising. Focus on the good. As much as some people may deserve your wrath, be careful not to say anything you’ll regret later.

GEMINI  May 21-Jun 20
There is a middle ground between needless controversies and sweeping important issues under the rug. Blowhard, diplomat or sycophant? The role you choose will brand you for a long time.

CANCER  Jun 21-Jul 22
What friends say about your sex life is none of their business, but it may be true. Being sensitive, open and patient with others helps to improve your reputation, in ways you don’t expect.

LEO  Jul 23-Aug 22
Work on your relationship karma. Find new, creative ways to do that. Being nice to your friends is too easy. Reach out to new people. If you have someone special do something special.

VIRGO  Aug 23-Sep 22
Personal relationships get more complex. Your efforts at charm and rationalization to clear the air are beside the point. Welcome the magic and mystery. It can do you a lot of good.

LIBRA  Sep 23-Oct 22
When self-improvement becomes competition, look at what inner demons are feeding that. Meditation and self-examination bring out your deep, inner beauty.

SCORPIO  Oct 23-Nov 21
Arguments at home are about stresses outside. Home should be where you can discuss your agitation and get better insights. Stay calm and focused and it could be.

SAGITTARIUS  Nov 22-Dec 20
Humility, charity and a bit of self-deprecating humor are key. A critical review of recent career moves can suggest new directions, but don’t change quite yet.

CAPRICORN  Dec 21-Jan 19
Worries about your career are not entirely unfounded. Watch out for new opportunities. They will cost you, but may be worth the price. Look ahead and think carefully.

Jack Fertig can be reached at 415-864-8302 or Starjack.com

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition January 27, 2012

—  Kevin Thomas

Did the Rainbow Lounge raid prompt TABC to stop arresting people for public intoxication?

In fiscal year 2009, Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission agents made 761 arrests for public intoxication — a figure that includes a few high-profile ones you may have heard about at the Rainbow Lounge in Fort Worth.

In fiscal year 2010, which began one month after the Rainbow Lounge raid, TABC has made just 81 arrests for public intoxication, The Austin American-Statesman reported over the weekend.

Based on these numbers, one might deduce that the highly controversial raid — which resulted in three agents being fired — also prompted TABC to abruptly change its enforcement practices. But according to the agency, this is only partly true.

TABC officials say the changes really began in fiscal year 2007, two years before the raid. Consider that in fiscal year 2006, TABC agents made a whopping 3,100 public intoxication arrests.

But in response to a long series of controversies — the Rainbow Lounge raid being just one of the latest — TABC began shifting its focus from petty criminal enforcement back to its mandate of regulating the businesses that sell alcohol.

Carolyn Beck, a spokeswoman for TABC who also now serves as its liaison to the LGBT community, told Instant Tea on Monday that’s it’s “impossible to calculate” how much of a factor the Rainbow Lounge raid has been.

“If you look at the decreasing numbers of criminal citations issued by our agents, and the increasing number of hours spent on investigations, it’s clear that we have been moving in this direction since FY 2007,” Beck said. “But you can also see a significant jump forward this fiscal year which started 9/1/09. It’s impossible to calculate how much of that push was in response to the Rainbow Lounge, but certainly incidents like the Rainbow Lounge and the shooting in Austin resulted in our agency direction changing at a faster pace.”

—  John Wright