SPORTS: When only 8 percent of fifth-graders in Texas are considered physically fit, you need this. Tuesday night, we headed to the Four Seasons Hotel for the annual Children in Nature gala for Westcave Preserve. The Hill Country sink hole has gone from being scorned as a semi-dump to being praised as a rescued jewel and prime spot for introducing the out of doors to young people. The upbeat gala brings attention to the Children in Nature Network, which hopes to get kids off the couch, out of the house and into the natural world. Every year, the network’s winners, presented verbally and in videos, are wondrous. This time, they included the Sustainable Food Center, City of Austin’s Watershed Protection Department, American YouthWorks and Austin Families in Nature. (Emcee Evan Smith reminded us how many such Austin programs are then adopted nationwide.)

MUSIC: Ageless singer devotes crystalline voice to cabaret. My story in today’s Statesman: "Ponder this: Barbara Cook has not effectively originated a role on Broadway since 1972. Yet, thanks to concert, cabaret and revival appearances — plus all manner of treasured recordings — the singer’s standing soars higher and higher. Most miraculous: At age 85, her voice still carries much of the clarity and feeling that one hears on recordings of her Broadway debut in "Flahooley" in 1951. "I’m very lucky. Very lucky," Cooks says by phone. "It’s not something that I’ve done myself. I had a wonderful teacher who gave me good technique. Now, if I run across a musical phrase that’s painful, that hurts, I don’t do it. And I’m in reasonably good health. The rest is just sheer luck of the gene pool."" http://shar.es/iRxLL(I waited 5o years for this interview.)

CITY: We’ll never run out of Texas History. As readers know, your social correspondant also writes about Austin’s people, places, culture and history. That means a lot of time at the Austin History Center, Briscoe Center for American History, Texas State Library and Archives Commission, LBJ Presidential Library, Texas Historical Commission and other key repositories. Tuesday, I met with Laura Hubburd over sandwiches at the Bullock Texas State History Museum cafe, which was not overrun this afternoon with kids. We sketched out research on La Salle, Juneteenth, Tonkawas, freedman’s towns and the 1960s. (One unresolved historical quest: Was Stephen F. Austin gay? At least one archivist thinks so.)

FOOD: Here we go with Trader Joe. Reported by Addie Broyles in the Statestman; "The wait is over, Trader Joe’s fans. It’s been more than two years since the popular California-based grocer announced plans to expand to Texas, which was enough to spark chatter among Austinites (many of them former Californians) about when a store would open here. We’ve watched the quirky grocery store with a cult-like following open nine other Texas locations in and around Houston, Fort Worth, Dallas and San Antonio, but after all these months, the first Austin-area store will finally open on Friday. … I’ve shopped at Trader Joe’s in California before, and last month, I took a road trip to the San Antonio location to get a preview of the shopping experience and make this list of 10 things you need to know about Austin’s newest grocer." http://shar.es/iRZtZ(Addie makes excellent observations.)

BUSINESS: We’re nearly tied with Morocco. Reported by Dan Zehr in the Statesman: "The Austin-area economy grew at one of the fastest rates in the country last year and, barring an unlikely economic meltdown, should soar past the $100 billion mark for the first time during 2013. Fueled in part by higher exports and the area’s ongoing job creation and population growth, the local gross domestic product rose to $98.7 billion in 2012, according to preliminary data released Tuesday by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. That total, which was not adjusted for inflation, gave Austin the 32nd-largest metro-area economy in the country last year, the bureau said. If Austin sustains its growth trajectory of the past three years, the local economy would surpass the $100 billion mark this year — and do so with a few billion dollars to spare." http://shar.es/iRlxH(Austin beat out some 130 countries in GDP.)