Inside Austin - May 28th, 2019

Inside Austin (May 28th, 2019)

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Wednesday expect thunderstorms with a high/low of 91/73. Thursday expect more thunderstorms with a high/low of 88/72. 

Hi there, 

Thank you for continuing to read Inside Austin. I love being able to share news about such a creative, fun city. Right now, we have 1,262 subscribers. When we reach 3,000 subscribers, we'll add a third publishing day. If you enjoy this newsletter, would you forward this to anyone you think would subscribe? I want to build a community of people who love Austin as much as I do. 

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Thank you. Now, on to the news! 

1. Circuit of the Americas (COTA) has been denied a second chance at a $25 million reimbursement for the 2018 U.S. Grand Prix. COTA was required to submit an anti-human trafficking plan 30 days before the event and submitted it only 11 days before, denying them the reimbursement. Event organizers were hopeful when the House approved a measure that would allow them more time to resubmit the plan, but it never came up for final vote. The $25 million usually covers Formula One’s license fees. — STATESMAN

2. Memorial Day weekend marked the opening for all municipal pools, but smaller neighborhood pools are waiting to be fully staffed to open — Austin is in need of lifeguards. The city needs 750 lifeguards to staff more than 50 pools and they currently have 405, so they are staggering the opening dates for these smaller pools. If you’re looking for a summer job, being a lifeguard starts at $15/hour and includes sick leave.  — KUT

3. By the Numbers: The 86th Texas legislative session has come to a close after 140 days, running from January 8 to May 27. While there were 10,854 bills introduced this session, 2,789 bills made it to Governor Greg Abbott’s desk. During the 85th legislative session, 10,672 bills were introduced and 4,734 of them saw the finish line. Plus, there was a special session that year (2015), which covered an additional 1,247 bills; 668 made it to Abbott. — TRIBUNE

4. Canine Commons — a facility that will house a 50,000 square foot dog park — is making its way to Austin. The $16 million building will also feature a coffee shop, a dog walking track and an area for socializing, all included in the $49/month membership fee. Once built, Canine Commons would be the largest indoor dog park in the country, but the location and open date are still to-be-determined. According to their Instagram @thecaninecommons, more specific information is coming within the next few weeks. — KVUE

Getting my Patio Weird for Summer

I spent a good part of my Memorial Day weekend prepping my patio for summer! It’s been on my to-do list for a few weeks, and I likely picked the most popular weekend to do it, given the long line in the outdoor section at Lowe’s. 

I didn’t have an outdoor space at my apartment in Louisiana, so that was on the top of my list when I moved to Austin. Right away, I bought a cactus and colorful outdoor lights. My neighbors immediately complained and I was instructed to remove the lights because they looked too “Christmasy” #aptlife. 

For awhile, I was scared to put anything else on the patio, but now that I work from home, I wanted to make it an additional place I could work. So, I bought a chair with lots of pillows, a rug, lots of plants, and I built a little table for coffee or other important goodies. 

So far, no one has complained and if they do, I’m ready to respond with: Keep Austin Weird! A few of my neighbors have asked where I got the chair and I happily donated extra potting soil to a neighbor in-need of potted plants. 

Not having to tend to a lawn or appliances is a big reason I’ve never considered buying a house here, not to mention the property taxes that are likely out of my budget. 

The apartment patio still provides a little escape, but is easy to care for. I’m happy to report that even though I’m really sore from all of the digging, there’s a new barrel cactus, red azaleas and Mexican heather neatly potted in my outdoor office. Here’s to hoping they survive all of the coming rain, followed by a hot summer. 

Are you tending to a garden? Window planters or a full-on backyard? Let me know what you’re working with:

5. Austin pitmaster Aaron Franklin of Franklin’s Barbecue will be featured on the series premier of “The Chef Show”, which showcases Roy Choi and Jon Favreau’s favorite dining destinations. The premier is June 7 on Netflix. — EATER AUSTIN

6. Still Austin Whiskey Co. has released its first bourbon, noted for its flavors of brown butter and baking spices. — WHISKEY WASH

7. Austin beekeeper Erika Thompson worked with “Jeopardy!” producers and crew to create a video category related to bees, which aired Monday night. — KXAN

8. These seven local bars are known for games — including volleyball, skee-ball and ping pong — and playful atmospheres. — CULTURE  MAP

9. Austin’s favorite UT graduate, Matthew McConaughey was spotted in Los Angeles wearing an Austin FC t-shirt — maybe we’ll see him at the matches? — KUT

10. Cam's Quest for Love: Our weekly update on Austinite Cam Ayala on “The Bachelorette”: Cam goes on the first group group date where he tells the other contestants he hasn’t gotten as much time with Hannah as they have. While fellow suitor Thomas is telling Hannah an emotional story about a miscarriage, Cam interrupts him four times and insists he needs to talk to Hannah. He tells her he quit his job to be on the show — little does he know that’s standard for contestants. A tailgate party replaces the usual cocktail hour this week, and Cam tells the guys he’ll probably be going home because he’s going to tell Hannah something very serious. Mid-corn hole game, Cam tells Hannah he almost had his leg amputated, his grandmother died, and he had to give away his puppy. It comes to light that he may have been vying for a “pity rose” and Hannah sends him packing. Welcome back to Austin, Cam! 

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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