BUSINESS: The Candy Jar opens with a blast at the Hill Country Galleria. Saturday morning, the new Candy Jar, owned by Austin celebrities Christine and Louis Messina, staged a party with free snow cones and chocolate samples. This was my first trip deep into the California-style, landscaped shopping center and the experience, walking from one end to the other, was quite pleasant. The Jar is located near the welcoming central square across from Amy’s Ice Cream and the Iron Cactus. A candy fairy welcomed us at the door while kids swarmed the sweet selections like, well, you know the saying. The most compelling stop for me was near the back where Kevin Wenzel was passing out transcendant handmade treats from Wiseman House Chocolates in Hico, up near Stephenville. (Time for a road trip north, with an extra stop in Glen Rose.)

CITY: When city planning and civil engineering work hand in glove. Readers are accustomed to Out & About rants about the rampant ugliness of our Central Texas roadways. I fail, however, to adequately praise those streets that work beautifully for those in cars and some on bikes. Now, set aside, if you can, reasonable concerns about development over our aquifers and highways that encourage vast sprawl. When they are free of congestion — which is most of the time — some of our southern and western thoroughfares make for glorious driving. I’m thinking of the southern stretches of MoPac, Bee Caves Road west of 360 and 360 itself for most of its north-south run. The pavement is wide, the grade is forgiving, the stoplights are few and the hills are green-and-tan. I’m thankful for that. (I also don’t drive these roads during the 10 workday rush hours that attract the most public attention.)

POLITICS: Panels OKs Austin City Concil District maps. Reported by Sarah Coppola in the Statesman: "An Austin commission voted unanimously Saturday to OK a preliminary map of 10 City Council districts after significantly revising a draft that several groups had panned. The commission will hold four public hearings next month to gather feedback about the new map before revising it again. It hopes to finish a final map in December. "Everything worked well today," Commissioner Ryan Rafols said as Saturday’s seven-hour-long mapping session wrapped up. "I’m happy and proud of what we’ve done." The 14-member commission is carrying out a plan that Austin voters approved last fall to change the City Council from seven members who each represent the whole city to 10 district representatives and a citywide mayor. Future City Council candidates will have to live in and campaign in the districts that the commission draws." http://shar.es/KJ6pY(Look carefully at the map. Not perfect, but it makes a lot of sense.)

LAW: Teacher and civil rights leader passes away. Reported by Kate Alexander in the Statesman: "Willie Mae Kirk, a civil rights leader and teacher who fought against segregation in Austin, died Saturday at age 92. A teacher for 32 years, Kirk championed equal opportunities for her students in East Austin and helped lead protests against segregation at Austin businesses, schools and Barton Springs Pool. Kirk played an important role in Austin politics over the past five decades, beginning with efforts to repeal the poll tax and to register African-Americans to vote. Even late in life, she continued to speak out about how minorities were treated in Austin, particularly in the wake of police shootings. The youngest of her four children, Ron Kirk, was elected Dallas mayor, ran for U.S. Senate and was later appointed the U.S. Trade Representative by President Barack Obama. http://shar.es/KJ6e8(Only met Mrs. Kirk a few times. One of the greats.)

MUSIC: The Statesman team picks their favorites for ACL. Reported by Michael Corcoran in the Statesman: "The planning is the easy part. It’s like reading a putt. You pore over the schedule and plan your path, but then you never know when a roly-poly might poke its head out and deflect you, or when the winds might whip up and change your direction. (The roly-poly is a friend who drags you by the hand, quite literally, because you’ve just gotta see this amazing act. The wind is too much fun the night before.) So don’t hold us to these picks. But sitting at home and in the office and listening to music, this is where we’re heading. This is the festival our critics are having in their heads." http://shar.es/KJ6TY(I’m looking forward to all six days — as long as the weather cools off.)

SPORTS: Which Longhorns team is on fire — again? Reported by Steve Habel in the Statesman: "The Texas volleyball roster is so deep in talent that many of the Longhorns’ backups could start on just about any other college team. The fifth-ranked Horns showed off some of that depth in an easy 25-17, 25-21, 25-19 win over Oklahoma in a Big 12 Conference match Saturday before a crowd of 4,062 at Gregory Gym. The victory allowed Texas to extend its home league win streak to 41 matches, a run that spans nearly four seasons and began with a sweep of Texas A&M on Nov. 1, 2008. Oklahoma was the last Big 12 foe to topple Texas in Austin (on Oct. 29, 2008) but it had little chance this time. The Horns (8-2, 2-0) got 19 of their 45 kills from underclassmen, including 15 from two freshmen, middle blocker Chiaka Ogbogu (nine) and outside hitter Pilar Victoria (six). http://shar.es/KJhqI(So glad to jump on board with this team last year. I’m a sucker for spirited winners.)