CHARITY: Few causes turn on a more tender theme than that of the Care Communities. I’m moved almost every time I attend this group’s gala because the teams of caregivers for the longterm sick and terminally ill are so genuine. Spent most of the early evening tracking down David C. Smith, whose charitable works crisscross the entire community. Along with Dr. Cynthia Brinson and Linda Richards, Smith was honored by the group at the Sheraton Austin at the Capitol on Friday. My guide, as always, was the slow-burn, eternal flame for the Care Communities, Roger Temme. Yet it was hard not to applaud everyone present this evening. (Caretakers like these deserve our limitless gratitude.)

BUSINESS: Housing, health, school, jobs, the Austin Area Urban League puts a lot of stock in these basics. During a short video tease about the life of Whitney M. Young Jr., director of the National Urban League from 1961 to 1971, I began to take in the bigger picture. Young was effective because he spoke the pragmatic language of business. His name is attached to awards from the Austin Area Urban League, given out at the Equality Day dinner on Friday at the AT&T Center. Winners were Jackson Walker LLP in the corporate category and astounding pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Timothy George in the individual class. So much more to admire this evening with the likes of honorary chairman Charles Akins, guild chairwoman LaVonne Mason, local director W. "Teddy" McDaniel III, board chairman Gregory Vincent, and the charismatic Rev. Gaylon Clark, who promised to help me land an interview with the Rev. G.V. Clark — not related. (Was placed at the ideal table with perfect companions such as Chiquita W. Eugene.)

FOOD: "I’m totally about neuroplasticity." Health coach Catherine Vo speaks with a compelling mix of medical curiosity and American verbal ingenuity. The Austin web designer writes the persuasive blog, Savory Wellness, and sat down with me for a lunch of avocado quinoa salad, chips and bean dip at Snack Bar. "I totally believe in Western medicine. All the quinoa in the world is not going to cure that brain tumor. Take the sucker out. Need antibiotics? Get antibiotics. But I also emphasize preventative medicine." Vo’s decidedly non-New Age rhetoric grew out of her own adventures with food intolerance, which she rightly emphasizes its different from allergies. Just about everything she says is worth quoting. (Expect a profile of Vo soon in the Statesman.)

TRAVEL: Let me tell you, spend some time on those South Texas roads to see the mess for yourself. Reported in the Texas Tribune by Aman Batheja. "COTULLA — At a convention center in this city 70 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border, Dimmit County Judge Francisco Ponce said this week what many of the 200 people in the room were thinking. Texas Department of Transportation officials explained why the agency needed to move forward with plans to convert some well-used paved roads around South Texas to gravel. For Ponce, the explanation exposed a long-standing problem in the agency’s perspective. ‘TxDOT’s priorities are not in the rural counties," he told the agency’s leadership, drawing cheers. "I don’t know how they can sit here and say it’s safer to gravel a road than it is to fix a road.’" http://www.texastribune.org(Was down in the oil patch tracing the Nueces River.)

LAW: Salute the Austin serviceman who lived life the way he saw it. Paid obituary in the Statesman: "Brigadier General Virgil A. Richard (U.S. Army, Retired) Sept 4, 1937-Sept 11, 2013 Virgil Almos Richard was born in Anthony, KS, near the farm in rural Wakita, OK on which his family lived and which his great grandfather homesteaded in the Cherokee Strip Land Rush of September 16, 1893. … (He) is also survived by many cousins, nieces, and nephews throughout the country. Last but never least; his devoted partner of 16 years, David W. Potter of Austin, also survives him." http://shar.es/iA82h (Always wanted to interview the general.)