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Let there be lights!

Written by | Published December 4, 2013

More than 100,000 lights gleam from grounds of the Pedernales Electric Coop Headquarters in Johnson City. Photo: Lori Moffatt

With another cold snap in the future, it's beginning to look a lot like winter—and Christmas—in the Lone Star State. Traditionally, the day after Thanksgiving brings out the twinkling holiday lights, and this year was no exception. As they've done in years past, almost a dozen communities in the Hill Country—Bandera, Blanco, Boerne, Burnet, Dripping Springs, Fredericksburg, Johnson City, Kerrville, Marble Falls, and Wimberley—have decked the halls (and courthouses and town squares) with thousands of lights as part of the Hill Country Regional Christmas Lighting Trail.

Famous Water Company, the bottlers of Crazy Water in Mineral Wells, have opened the Crazy Water Bath House to offer visitors a similar soaking experience to the one that attracted hordes to "take the waters" back in Mineral Wells' heyday as a health resort.

Texas Braces for wintry weather

Written by | Published November 22, 2013

With the onset of the Texas Panhandle's first wave of winter weather, TxDOT is ready to respond with snowplows, de-icing materials and more. Local communities have been preparing, as well.

Fifty years ago on this date, the President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy checked into Suite 850 of the Hotel Texas in Fort Worth. It would be the last night of the president's life; he was assassinated the following day, November 22, 1963, in Dallas.

A group of historians and others who study the historic French presence in the upper Mississippi Valley will gather in Austin this weekend to discuss a French explorer who’s New World journey encountered rough travels in a territory that came to be Texas.

A planetary power lunch at Space Center Houston

Written by | Published November 15, 2013

For space buffs, astronauts are intensely fascinating. Only a select few dreamers make NASA’s cut to join the ranks of space travelers. Their mastery of science, aviation, and physical fitness sets them apart. Their explorations are heralded in classrooms, books, and movies.

 

Events mark 50 years since JFK assassination

Written by | Published November 14, 2013

This tabletop model at the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza shows the positions of the president's car as three shots were fired from the building, then known as the Texas School Book Depository.

Trash be gone!

Written by | Published November 7, 2013

Here's a fun idea to combine recreation and altruism in Austin this weekend: Sign up for the first annual Let's Get Trashed event, hosted by Kung Fu Saloon, a martial-arts themed bar and video arcade at 5th and Rio Grande. 

It may seem like the 1963 assassination of President Kennedy has been dissected in every manner imaginable. But the assassination's pending 50th anniversary on November 22 continues to reveal new perspectives of the event. Case in point: Wednesday's opening of the Ruth Paine House Museum, the suburban Irving home where Lee Harvey Oswald stayed the night before he shot Kennedy.

A Tower of Power

Written by | Published November 1, 2013

Yes, according to the calendar, it has been “officially” fall since September 22, but it sure hasn’t felt like it yet. But somehow, cooler temperatures have arrived just in time to set our clocks back this weekend, meaning that—among other advantages—there’s one extra hour of enjoy evening happy hours! Here’s a suggestion for those of you in the Bastrop area: Make tracks to the Bastrop Brewhouse, whose multi-level deck overlooks the Colorado River. (Weather reports indicate a low temperature of 52 on Saturday night; that’s a practically perfect condition for al fresco dining.)

The heart of downtown Fort Worth is debuting its  makeover with the grand opening celebration of the new Sundance Square Plaza.

Wildfires, parched pastures, evaporating lakes—we all have our own experience of the drought that’s been plaguing Texas in recent years. A photo exhibit on display this week at the State Capitol shares new perspectives from citizens across the state.

Dry lake bed at Lake Meredith. Photo © Kent Satterwhite. Dry lake bed at Lake Meredith. Photo © Kent Satterwhite.

The Texas Department of Agriculture, Texas Water Development Board, and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department are showcasing the photographs as part of their “What does your Texas drought look like?” campaign.

The exhibit opened Monday and continues through Friday in the Capitol’s 2nd Floor Extension, Central Gallery.

Despite recent rainfall in much of the state, 62 percent of Texas remains in drought and another 24 percent is “abnormally dry,” according to the federal government’s U.S. Drought Monitor.

The exhibit includes some of the hundreds of images that people across Texas shared via Flickr, Instagram, and Twitter as part of the agencies’ photo project. You can see some of the photos on the project’s Flickr page.

“The project has created a historical record of the drought, and represents both water supply deficits and the ways Texans deal with drought through conservation efforts,” according to a news release.

If we get the rainfall predicted this week, let’s hope the exhibit stays up for another couple of weeks. It couldn’t hurt.

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