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          Houston Mayor Lee Brown and Harris County Judge Robert
     Eckels met with Rockets Owner Leslie Alexander yesterday,
     "then said separately the sports authority should heat up
     negotiations on a new arena," according to John Williams of
     the HOUSTON CHRONICLE. Both Brown and Eckels said the Harris
     County-Houston Sports Authority "should begin negotiating a
     deal with the Rockets."  Brown said he will spend the "next
     few days" speaking with people in the community to determine
     if winning an August referendum is feasible.  Brown: "My
     sense is that the people of Houston love the Rockets just as
     I love the Rockets, and they want the Rockets to be
     competitive with a new arena."  Sports Authority Co-Chair
     Billy Burge said that an August vote would be a "tight
     squeeze" and that the next date would be in November, which
     "would be a bad time if the Houston Independent School
     District conducts a bond issue."  Burge said the "next best
     time might be in January" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 4/7).

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