SCHOOL: Matt Curtis had recently watched "The Wire." One sequence from the HBO series (2002-2008) about urban dysfunction was set in Baltimore’s schools. "That’s what our schools would look like," Curtis said. "If not for groups like Communities in Schools." Indeed, the nonprofit’s numbers are impressive: 99 percent of the students that they engage stay in school, 96 percent graduate and 86 percent meet their behavioral goals. Curtis was among several hundred guests — including Ausitn Police Chief Art Acevedo and new University of Texas ambassador Vince Young — mingling around high tables at ACL Live, where the charity staged its Food for Thought fundraiser. Prior to the main event, folks nibbled on culinary samples on the venue’s deck, thus the implied double meaning.
BUSINESS: The light was the point. After one ascends the stairs at the thoroughly renovated Radisson Austin, natural light floods in from north, south and west. The banquet and meeting rooms now echo the radical transformation of the eatery on the first floor, now Shawn Cirkiel’s Chavez. The occasion was Taste of Downtown, a chance for the hotel to show off its digs and to give hospitality industry folks an occasion to nosh on bites from chefs Cirkiel, David Garrido and Iliana de la Vega. Chat revolved around fitness routines, new restaurants, local history and with sommelier Paul Ozbirn, the delightful task of coordinating all the beverages at Cirkiel’s collection of dining spots.
SXSW: City report suggests new safety measures during fest. Taken from a revealing Lilly Rockwell and Deborah Sengupta Stith story in the Statesman. "Next year’s South by Southwest festival could look very different, with fewer pop-up events, less crowded venues and lines, more police patrolling downtown and a downtown shuttle to ease parking and traffic problems. But that’s only if the City Council fully embraces the recommendations of a long-overdue report on improving safety at the weeklong festival. The SXSW evaluation — originally due in mid-June and released Thursday by city officials — was ordered by the City Council in the wake of a tumultuous March festival that included a fatal crash on Red River Street and an incident in which police say an artist tried to incite a riot. There were also complaints about massive crowds downtown, gridlocked traffic and overbooked parties with never-ending lines." http://shar.es/11lAC2
POLITICS: Eight running for Austin City Council District 4. Taken from the Statesman’s edifying series on 10-1 election: "Eight candidates are running this fall for District 4 in North Austin. It has the fewest square miles of the 10 districts that each will be represented by a City Council member under a newly transformed city government. Cut north-to-south by Interstate 35 and Lamar Boulevard, this district is a melting pot, with large numbers of refugees and immigrants of all races and ethnicities. Hispanics form the majority: 65 percent." http://shar.es/11lAO7