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Texas bats receive clean bill of health

Written by | Published June 10, 2014

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A recent survey of Texas caves turned up good news for the state’s bat population: According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, evidence of white-nose syndrome, a fungal disease currently devastating populations of bats across eastern North America, hasn’t appeared in this state.  

The Trail is Open in Austin!

Written by | Published June 6, 2014

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Hikers, bikers, dog-walkers, and sightseers! The City of Austin and The Trail Foundation announce the grand opening of the long-awaited Boardwalk extension of Austin’s hike-and-bike trail. 

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The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is adding 120 acres to the future Palo Pinto Mountains State Park, including lakefront acreage that will give park visitors access to Tucker Lake. 

The Full Flavor Palette

Written by | Published May 30, 2014

I’ll be headed to The Woodlands next weekend to help judge the final event of 10th annual Houston Wine & Food Week (June 2-8 )—the elaborate Chef’s Showcase—where dozens of chefs compete for a $5,000 cash prize, Waterford crystal, and bragging rights.  Not only does this event offer participants the opportunity to learn about wine-and-food pairings and get to know some of the state’s most influential chefs, but an associated auction has funneled more than  $675,00 to local charities.

If you’re going to go to the “extreme,” then Texas is the place to do it, and next weekend, two high-voltage sporting events are revving up competition here in the Lone Star State – ESPN’s X Games and Red Bull’s Cliff Diving World Series.

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A new grassroots festival is launching in Austin to showcase a relatively little-known style of Mexican folk music called huapango

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As the nation honors those who have died in military service on Memorial Day, dozens of events pop up this weekend to celebrate freedom and the unofficial start of the summer season.

2014 James Beard winners!

Written by | Published May 13, 2014

On May 5 at the Koch Theater in New York City, Food Network star Ted Allen presided over a black-tie-clad crowd of chefs, bartenders, food writers, and culinary superstars to announce the winners of the 2014 James Beard Awards for excellence in cuisine, culinary writing, and education in the United States. 

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The general public will have its first chance to check out the new Museum of the American Railroad in Frisco on Saturday, which is National Train Day. 

What's YOUR Story?

Written by | Published May 7, 2014

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I was struggling to surmount a Friday-afternoon energy slump a few weeks ago when I received a phone call that perked me up better than a cup of coffee ever could. “My name is Louise Rowe,” she told me, “and I think you might be interested in my story.” 

New Marriott hotel will be Austin's largest

Written by | Published April 28, 2014

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Austin’s largest hotel is quickly taking shape in downtown. Developers of the JW Marriott Austin say they’re moving up the previously announced opening date by a couple of weeks to February 20. 

Off the Wall

Written by | Published April 24, 2014

A few years ago, I had the good fortune to attend one of the inaugural “Where the Chefs Eat” culinary tours of Houston (www.houstonculinarytours.com) , which introduced participants to a bevy of eateries that aren’t on the radar of most visitors.  We ate cabrito accompanied by live mariachi at El Hidalguense, an unassuming restaurant on Long Point Road; compared barbecue at three sites known for their different styles; explored the foods of Thailand and India until we thought we might burst; then wrapped up with an exploration of the vast ethnic-food aisles at 99 Ranch Market—all accompanied by such nationally regarded chefs  as Monica Pope, Hugo Ortega, Randy Evans, and Chris Shepherd, who observed, “I think a lot of people are afraid to get out of their comfort zones. When they do, though, it becomes more than just going out to eat; it becomes an education into another culture.” bvYUagfuro0EDtGtvoaCEkl2b6ZVGwx0djukTVgTFc4

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