CHARITY: This his how networking unfolds at a charity event. The table, cluttered with food and drink, sat in the middle of the room, not far from the stage. Several hundred folks gathered for the Heal in Comfort benefit to provide special apparel for those recovering from breast cancer procedures. Countryman Clint Black headlined at the Oasis amusement village, which seemed overwhelmed with visitors, despite the its mostly board-up shopping arcade perched high above Lake Travis. The real action took place between the tables inside. My table host, raconteur Thomas Graham, introduced me to his wife, Tanya Graham, and to other notables nearby. As time passed, we welcomed Lisa Copeland (Fiat of Austin and various causes) and Ashley Kamrath (upcoming Reveille Call) as well as Mary Ann and AndrewHeller (philanthropists). Meantime, Graham and I learned a lot about each other. We both praised Heal in Comfort’s indefatigable captain, Sherry Matthews. Time well spent.
BUSINESS: Revisiting the restless mind of Chip Thomson. Taken from my story in the Statesman: "Last we checked in with Austin inventor and golf coach Chip Thomson, he looked like an alien. Energetic Thomson, who credits his diversified career successes to his attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, had invented a futuristic visor called 3rdiView. It allows athletes — and others — to view their performances through a live video feed. Thomson is in the process of selling the intellectual property of 3rdiView to a division of BAE Systems, the British defense, security and aerospace company. Additionally, he says that NASCAR officials have expressed interest in 3rdiView for use by pit crew chiefs, so they can see what’s happening in the car, while the driver is talking to them." http://shar.es/11uEer
HISTORY: Another snippet from the more than 100 Austin history stories on this page. "In the 1960s, Central Texas faced an unexpected housing crisis. A new cotton-picking machine had replaced Williamson County farmworkers, who were subsequently evicted. "All of a sudden, we had people in Williamson County in the cotton fields who did not have a home," says lawyer Gilbert Prud’homme, longtime volunteer for Caritas of Austin and friend of the charitable group’s founder, the late Monsignor Richard McCabe. "Caritas had to accommodate this thing. We didn’t have what was later called Section 8 housing. So Father McCabe organized various housing arrangements." The quick move was typical of McCabe, the hard-charging Catholic priest who started Caritas, a signature charity for the needy, on May 29, 1964. Always interfaith despite its Catholic origins, Caritas has provided food, housing, medical care, refugee services and employment help from several locations on or near East Seventh Street for 50 years." mystatesman.com/s/life/austin-history
POLITICS: District 1 candidates aim to tackle traffic, taxes, jobs. Taken from the Statesman’s superb coverage of the City Council races: "Nine candidates are jostling to represent East and Northeast Austin in the first City Council election in which voters will cast ballots within geographic districts. District 1, roughly bounded to the west by Interstate 35, then stretching north to Parmer Lane and as far south as East Seventh Street, bundles neighborhoods that say city leaders have brushed them aside for years. Bus stops in Northeast Austin are few and far between, there are no medical services or grocery stores in Colony Park, and residents in the Agave neighborhood wish they didn’t have to walk down a busy thoroughfare to get to a new hike-and-bike trail. The city’s backing of transitional housing projects in the area and the landfill off U.S. 290 indicate their neighborhoods have been an afterthought, residents say. But not always. Just this summer, to the relief of its Windsor Park neighbors, Bartholomew Pool reopened with a bevy of amenities, though construction took longer than expected." http://shar.es/11uIli
HEALTH: Near-death experiences raise questions. Taken from Mary Ann Roser’s beautifully written story in the Statesman: "Pat Johnson’s kayaking trip on a rain-swollen Blanco River took him on a life-changing journey, with a stop at death’s door. Four years later, he’s still working out what he saw behind that door. Johnson, now 56, easily recalls the accident that nearly killed him on a brilliant September day when he and childhood friend Robert Humphreys paddled down the roiling river. Johnson’s kayak tipped over, and a fierce current pulled him into a large, submerged pipe. Johnson fought against the water and clawed at the corrugated metal, inching his way toward daylight. Once there, he grabbed Humphreys’ hand reaching for him in the water but got sucked back into the pipe. As he wondered how much longer he could hold his breath, he thought of his grown children and wife, Jody. Then he passed out and had what is called a near-death experience — a phenomenon that provokes intense interest and debate." http://shar.es/11uKyh