Inside Austin - May 21st, 2019

Inside Austin (May 21st, 2019)

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Wednesday expect thunderstorms with a high/low of 91/75. Thursday expect additional thunderstorms with a high/low of 90/74.

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Thanks for your continued support. Now, on to the latest in ATX:

1. The Texas Legislature’s 86th regular session is entering its final week — often called “Hell Week” — bringing on a scramble to get any remaining bills to Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk by May 27. Currently, only 5% of the 7,324 bills have made it to the finish line, meaning many bills will die this week. During the 85th session, 18% of the bills made it to Gov. Abbott. Bills that are currently still on the table include school finance, property tax reform, school safety and response to Hurricane Harvey. — TRIBUNE

2. Actor Justin Theroux celebrated National Rescue Dog Day by posting pictures of him with Spot, a dog currently up for adoption at Austin Pets Alive, in hopes of finding him a forever home. Austin Pets Alive is also the current workplace of former “Who’s The Boss?” Star Danny Pintauro, who said he’s always wanted to work with animals. Pintauro worked his way up from kennel tech to now being a vet tech and a care attendant. Within the last week, the Austin Animal Center reported it was out of space after accepting 200 dogs within three days.  — FOX 7

3. By the Numbers: Austin-based investor Robert F. Smith surprised Morehouse College’s 2019 graduating class when he pledged to pay their student debt, equating nearly $40 million. With 396 graduates, that makes each student’s debt roughly $100,000. Tuition at Morehouse is approximately $33,000 per semester, after financial aid. 

Smith has a net worth of $5 billion and is the richest black man in the country, according to Forbes. Smith founded Vista Equity Partners, which has $46 billion in assets. Last year, he donated $1.5 million to Morehouse for scholarships and a new park. On the personal side, Smith is a music lover and owns one of Elton John’s old pianos and named his two sons, Hendrix and Legend, after Jimi Hendrix and John Legend. — NEW YORK TIMES

4. Circle Brewing Co. has teamed up with Equality Texas to create a new label for their summer seasonal, Fanny Pack Kolsch. Starting June 1, Circle Brewing Co. is donating $1 to Equality Texas for every case of Fanny Pack Kolsch sold. Equality Texas is the largest statewide organization that is solely dedicated to supporting LGBTQ Texans. Circle Brewing Co. is having a label release party Saturday, June 1, which will feature music, food trucks and LGBTQ vendors. — KVUE

Central Market’s Big Tastes of Texas is a Reminder of Local Goodies

Sunday afternoon, I headed to the Central Market on North Lamar to check out their Big Tastes of Texas celebration happening through May 28. When I moved to Austin, my then-coworkers told me I HAD to go to Central Market, especially during hatch chile season (June-October). 

My office at the time was close to Central Market and I would often treat myself with a trip through their extensive fresh produce section or the aisle with the premade meals. When I pulled up to Central Market Sunday, I was quickly reminded why it’s a place Austinites love: there’s a nice outdoor area where people can eat, drink, and listen to live music. 

There was a barbecue tent set up outside as part of the Tastes celebration, and all throughout the store there were signs pointing to local finds. Plenty of local vendors were also setup to offer tastings of cheese, greens, and salsa. There wasn’t a section of the store that didn’t feature local goods. 

It was a quick and cool reminder of all the things Texas has to offer — from the well-known beef, pickles and barbecue fixins to an array of vegan options, wine, coffee and desserts. If you’ve made a pledge to shop local this year, Central Market makes it easy. Not to mention the extensive salsa aisle — that is worth the entire trip. 

5. If you haven’t gotten your “Hamilton” tickets yet, enter yourself into the lottery for a chance to win $10 seats between now and June 16. — KXAN

6. San Francisco-based Ike’s Love — known for its hot-sauce drenched sandwiches — opened its first Texas location right here in Austin and is giving away free sandwiches to the first 50 visitors on Thursday starting at 10:30 am. — AUSTIN EATER

7. Jon Lovett’s podcast “Lovett or Leave It” recorded live from Austin, featuring a discussion with Texas Tribune CEO Evan Smith and a barbecue taste test. — CROOKED

8. The Paramount Theatre is kicking off its Summer Classic Film Series this week, with films such as “Moonstruck”, “The Wizard of Oz” and “When Harry Met Sally”, among many others. — AUSTIN THEATRE

9. Start your career as a legal interpreter with the Legal Interpreter Certificate Program 5-Day Boot Camp at UT, July 15-19, with a free informational session May 30. — UT

10. Each week, expect an update on Austinite Cam Ayala’s progress on season 15 of “The Bachelorette”. After last week’s season premier, Cam quickly became the fan favorite — this week was a different story. He didn’t get invited on a group date nor a 1:1, so he decided to “be bold” and show up on the second group date, uninvited. This ultimately resulted in all of the other contestants cussing him out, calling him a “stalker boyfriend” and throwing chicken nuggets in his face. Cam said he’s not on the show to make friends, but Bachelor Nation knows how that strategy ends. He got the very last rose of the night. 

Inside Austin was written and curated by Holly A. Phillips. Holly has a passion for storytelling and uses her craft to promote brands around the world. She is a Blogging Instructor at the University of Texas at Austin and is always looking for a new adventure. Keep up with her on her blog or on Twitter at @orangejulius7.

Editing team: Kim Lyons (Pittsburgh-based journalist and managing editor at Inside) and David Stegon (senior editor at Inside, whose reporting experience includes cryptocurrency and technology).

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