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Election day is November 8, 2022, but early voting starts Monday, October 24 and runs through November 4.

Texans will be voting for governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, agricultural commissioner, and land commissioner, among other slots.

In the race for Governor between incumbent Greg Abbott and challenger Beto O'Rourke, Abbott has so far led in polls, but an October poll by Beacon Research shows the gap narrowing to 2 percent.

O'Rourke has received endorsements from top Texas newspapers Houston Chronicle and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, as well as Willie Nelson, Kacey Musgraves, and Harry Styles. Abbott received an endorsement from bottom Texas newspaper Dallas Morning News.

In the Lieutenant Governor race, candidate Mike Collier, running as a Democrat against incumbent Dan Patrick, has earned a number of high-profile endorsements from Republicans including State Rep. Lyle Larson and former Texas Lt. Gov. Bill Ratliff. Collier is a former Republican who ran against Patrick in 2018.

In the Attorney General race, Democratic challenger Rochelle Garza is running against incumbent Ken Paxton.

Paxton was most recently in the news for fleeing his home to avoid a subpoena in a lawsuit from nonprofits that want to help Texans pay for abortions out of state. KVUE in Austin has a list of all of Paxton's various legal woes over the years including charges of bribery, intimidation, extramarital affairs, and his involvement in the January 6 insurrection.

Information on early voting can be found at votetexas.gov.

Registered voters can go to any polling location in the county. A list of 50 early voting locations is available on the county website. Registered voters should bring one acceptable form of photo identification to the polls such as Texas Driver License, Texas Election ID card, Military ID card, U.S. Citizenship Certificate, or U.S. Passport.

Registered voters without a photo ID can sign a Reasonable Impediment Declaration and present a supporting form of ID such as a voter registration certificate, a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, or a birth certificate.

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Texans invited to sign book of condolences for Queen Elizabeth II

Royal Condolences

After the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, Texans joined those around the world in mourning the death of the longest-serving monarch in United Kingdom’s history.

Now, those wishing to express their condolences in written form are invited to sign a book of condolences coming to Austin on Thursday, September 15.

According to a release on September 13, the British Consulate General in Houston will be making the official book of condolences available for the public in Austin and the surrounding area to sign.

Central Texans will find the book in the Office of the Texas Secretary of State in the Texas State Capitol building (Room 1E.8).

Consul General Richard Hyde will be accompanying the book, which will be available from 11 am to 3 pm.

For those in Houston, the book remains available in the lobby of 1301 Fannin St. from 10 am to 1 pm Tuesday through Friday.

In Dallas, the book will open on Friday from 11 am to 3 pm in the lobby of Dallas City Hall.

For those unable to make any of these locations in person, a virtual condolence book is open at royal.uk.

Photo courtesy of H-E-B

H-E-B rings up new debit card with cash back perks for customers

Here Everything's Debit

As if Texans couldn’t already get nearly everything at H-E-B, they can now get even more with H-E-B, at other stores. The ubiquitous grocery store announced big news on September 12: It’s slipping its own debit card into users’ wallets, offering cash back on qualifying H-E-B purchases.

The H-E-B debit card, ready for applicants now, opens up a few avenues to grocery shoppers, most notably 5 percent on “thousands of products from H-E-B.” Specifically, the cash back applies to H-E-B brand items from pantry items to prepared foods, kitchenware, and more. Shoppers don’t have to do anything to claim the extra funds — they just appear right back in the account.

Further, it is one more card to carry, but it may replace or duplicate one other. H-E-B debit will be accepted anywhere Mastercard is accepted, and essentially functions just like any debit card from a bank: it offers “an optional, high-yield savings account,” direct deposits, and free H-E-B ATM withdrawals.

“At H-E-B, we’re always looking to provide Texans more ways to save,” said H-E-B Group vice president of marketing Ashwin Nathan in a press release. “With the H-E-B debit card, customers can have a more rewarding shopping experience that allows them to keep more money in their pockets while enjoying valuable benefits and perks.”

Maintaining the card is almost as simple as keeping it on hand, with no fees and multiple options to add funds, including cash at H-E-B and directly from other debit cards. While there is no full overdraft program (which allows the grocer to claim no overdraft fees), there is a $20 “purchase cushion” on qualifying purchases that gives the shopper 30 days to make up the negative balance. Users can more carefully track their spending through the H-E-B Debit mobile app.

So far, there is no sign that users can use the account without the physical card, so once it comes in the mail, shoppers should remember to bring it along.

More information on H-E-B Debit accounts, including a list of qualified brands for cash-back purchases, is available at hebdebit.com.

Photo by Shelley Neuman

Texas Tribune co-founder presents a trail guide to 2022 festival

Everything is Political

Believe it or not, politics can be fun, even if it’s all you talk about for days. The Texas Tribune is proving that once again with incumbent CEO Evan Smith’s last Texas Tribune Festival. From September 22-24, this long-standing annual event will bring together more than 350 influential speakers for more than 100 panels, from politicians in office to journalists and cultural wave-makers.

“It's become a major part of the Tribune's brand,” says Smith. “An important person I respect said to me in 2019, looking around the festival that year — the last year we did it in person — that we used to be a news organization with a festival, and we're becoming a festival with a news organization. And I thought, I'm actually okay with that.”

Smith announced his impending departure from the Tribune in January 2022, in a simultaneously wistful and tongue-in-cheek farewell address that acknowledged his “sentimentality and nostalgia.” He will be finished with his tenure by December, but will continue through 2023 as a senior advisor to his yet-unnamed replacement.

“I will be sentimental about it being my last. Of course, I'm also nostalgic, and I'll be nostalgic about the early days of the festival,” says Smith. “But one of the great things about leaving the Tribune now is that everybody here is in the best possible position to carry the important work that we've been doing forward to the next 13 years. And so I'll be watching like everybody else, with a lot of pride.”

This year, the festival broadened its scope from 2021 and earlier to include even more interests tangential to politics, aiming for the same bullseye as the Tribune always does: the average reader. The festival is always as jargon-free as possible, this year including topics like Rolling Stone co-founder Jann Wenner’s memoir and 50 years of cultural change, retired top tennis player Andy Roddick’s opinions on the duties of nonprofits, and singer-songwriter Lyle Lovett’s experience as a Texas legend.

To help attendees start building their itineraries (or give keen readers at home some things to research), Smith selected the following must-attend events for CultureMap readers to keep on their radar.

Thursday, September 22
Thursday is a shorter day with “a couple of sessions to get peoples’ appetites going,” according to Smith. Of the 10 events, he chose two not to miss:

A Conversation with Katy Tur
9:30 am - 10:30 am

The MSNBC anchor will discuss journalism with Smith himself, with special attention to her recent second book that stretches all the way back through her childhood, Rough Draft: A Memoir. This chat will be in-person, kicking off the festival.

One-on-One with Anthony Fauci
10:30 am - 11:30 am

This prerecorded conversation is only available virtually. Smith interviews Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical advisor to the U.S. president, about the “layered” public health emergencies of COVID-19 and monkeypox as it emerges.

Friday, September 23
This mid-size day has 43 scheduled sessions. Smith chose one from each time slot:

One-on-One with Glenn Youngkin
8:45 am - 9:45 am

The Virginia governor is, in Smith’s words, “one of the big Republican success stories of the last couple of years,” and will be interviewed by senior correspondent David Drucker of the Washington Examiner. Some speculate that Youngkin will run for president in 2024.

The Forward Presents: One-on-One with Deborah Lipstadt
10:15 am - 11:15 am

U.S. special envoy to monitor and combat antisemitism Deborah Lipstadt is talking about the issue nationally and worldwide, interviewed by Forward editor-in-chief Jodi Ruth Warren. A recent report found that 2021 was a record year for antisemitism in Austin.

One-on-One with Walter Isaacson
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Pulitzer Prize finalist and Tulane University professor Walter Isaacson discusses Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs, and his current work with Elon Musk. He is interviewed by Pushkin Productions CEO Jacob Weisberg, former editor-in-chief of the Slate Group.

One-on-One with Hillary Clinton
1:30 pm - 2:30 pm

Former U.S. Secretary of State and 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is interviewed by New York Times podcast host Kara Swisher about progressive values in the United States. Swisher runs the Vox Media Code Conference, and is no stranger to the stage.

One-on-One with Ben McKenzie
3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Austin-born actor and writer Ben McKenzie is one Austinite speaking out on a large scale about “the case against crypto” as the city grows more and more entangled with it. He is interviewed by Bloomberg Digital executive editor for news Joe Weisenthal.

Saturday, September 24
The longest day of the festival, Saturday hosts 68 sessions. Smith chose one for each time slot:

After Roe
8:45 am - 9:45 am

This panel addressing one of the hottest topics in recent politics is run by Ana Marie Cox of The Cut, and features Planned Parenthood CEO Alexis McGill Johnson, Texas state representative Donna Howard, and former state senator Wendy Davis, famous for her abortion filibuster.

One-on-One with Annette Gordon-Reed
9:00 am - 10:00 am

Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and Harvard professor Annette Gordon Reed discusses the legacy of slavery and the morals of studying history. She is interviewed by Errin Haines, editor-at-large for The 19th, founded by former Tribune editor-in-chief Emily Ramshaw.

One-on-One with Ted Cruz
10:30 am - 11:30 am

U.S. Senator and Texan Ted Cruz is slated to talk on Saturday, although he hasn’t yet been matched with a conversation partner. He’ll talk about tension with the Biden administration, the “soul” of the Republican party, and a possible reprisal of his 2016 presidential campaign.

One-on-One with Chris Bosh
12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

NBA Hall of Famer Chris Bosh is interviewed by ESPN commentator Kirk Goldsberry on sports, being retired, and voting. Bosh has spoken out about social justice, and always ties it to a message of using one’s voice to create change.

Below the Line
2:15 pm - 3:15 pm

Former U.S. Secretary of Housing and urban development Julián Castro joins former mayor of Stockton, California, Michael Tubbs and ProPublica-Texas Tribune investigative reporter Vianna Davila to discuss Texans living disproportionately below the poverty line.

One-on-One with Gavin Newsom
3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

California Governor Gavin Newsom takes a leadership role, telling MSNBC anchor Alex Wagner about what the rest of the United States can learn from his state. The Democratic governor leans toward messaging about innovation and creating precedent-setting big change.

Tickets for the Texas Tribune Festival ($269 general admission) from September 22 to 24, both virtually and in venues across Austin, are available at texastribune.org.

Photo by Adam Graser

Legendary Texas battleship casts off for much-needed repair

Anchors Aweigh!

The most iconic water-borne symbol of World War I and World War II in Texas moved on August 31 from its home at the San Jacinto Battleground Site for much-needed restoration.

Battleship Texas left its current home to Galveston’s Gulf Copper & Manufacturing Corporation facilities for repairs to its hull. Fans and history buffs assembled as early as 5:30 am to watch the ship disconnect, swing, and attach to its tug craft.

Anticipating national curiosity, the Battleship Texas Foundation had set up livestreaming via the official Facebook page or YouTube channel. Those interested can review hourly status and updates here.

For years, the legendary dreadnought, which was built in 1910, has been carefully addressed. Tackling the massive amount of water leaking into the ship, companies BTF, Resolve, and Valkor worked for six months to drastically reduce the leak rate from 2,000 gallons per minute to under 20 gallons per minute, making the ship significantly safer to tow.

Notably, the Battleship Texas Foundation hand-picked the Gulf Copper shipyard in Galveston specifically due to the company’s recent acquisition of a floating drydock that is capable of lifting the juggernaut battleship out of the water, according to foundation press materials.

Currently, the oldest battleship in existence that witnessed both WWI and WWII is owned by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. In 2019, the state legislature appropriated $35 million to fund the ship’s hull repair.

A symbol of America's military might, Battleship Texas was commissioned in 1914 and at the time, was (somewhat fittingly, given the name) considered the most powerful weapon in the world. The warship is credited with introducing and innovating gunnery, aviation, and radar.

In 1948, Battleship Texas was decommissioned and made a permanent museum, appropriately on April 21, Texas Independence Day.

Photo by Miguel Angel

Texas Medal of Arts Awards returns with star-studded affair in 2023

Championing the Arts

One of the Lone Star State's premier patrons of the arts, the Texas Cultural Trust (TXCT), announced the return of the biannual Texas Medal of the Arts (TMAA) awards, coming in 2023. The nonprofit's signature event will take place at venues across Austin on Tuesday and Wednesday, February 21 and 22, 2023.

Celebrating the creative contributions of Texans across multiple disciplines, the 2023 event will reflect and look ahead to the role the arts play in our lives and communities. Texas Culture Trust 2019 TMAA honoree Brandon Maxwell will chair the event, along with TXCT immediate past board of directors chair Linda LaMantia, and TXCT board of directors executive committee member Judy Robison.

Maxwell is the awards’ youngest recipient and the first to receive recognition for fashion design. His eponymous, ready-to-wear collection and custom creations have graced the likes of Michelle Obama, Meghan Markle, Oprah, Lady Gaga, and 2017 TMAA honoree Lynn Wyatt of Houston. LaMantia joined the Texas Cultural Trust board in 2009, a longtime supporter of the arts and education. El Paso-resident Robison is likewise a lifetime supporter, as well as a former chair and board member of the trust since 2008.

Together with leadership, the chairs convened a statewide group of experts to select the 2023 TMAA honorees across a wide variety of creative disciplines.

“The state of Texas is fortunate to have been the birthplace of a vast number of incredibly creative and talented artists in every medium,” says Robison. “It is my great pleasure to co-chair this amazing event to showcase the many accomplishments of Texas artists. After a three year delay, we are ready to present the best Texas Medal of the Arts show ever!”

Since 2001, the TMAA has celebrated 118 Texas leaders and luminaries for their creative talents, excellence, and generosity. The star-studded celebration spotlights the power of the arts to not only improve children’s education, stimulate the economy, and improve health and well-being, but also to keep us connected, engaged, and inspired. The two-day event also aims to preserve the unique and proud culture of Texas.

"The arts add vibrancy to our lives and give us the space to engage and connect with others,” says TXCT CEO Heidi Marquez Smith in a release. “This spectacular event provides an opportunity to highlight the creative genius that has been cultivated in Texas and reminds us why we need to continue to invest in the arts. The Texas Medal of Arts Awards is not only meaningful, but entertaining and inspiring!"

Each ceremony recognizes nominees from the following categories: architecture, arts education, arts patron (individual and corporate), dance, design, film, lifetime achievement, fashion design, literary arts, media/multimedia, music (performance and songwriter), television, theater arts, and visual arts. Past honorees include actors Jamie Foxx, Matthew McConaughey, Tommy Lee Jones, and Eva Longoria; musicians ZZ Top, Willie Nelson, Lyle Lovett, and Ray Benson; Texas-born businesses Neiman Marcus, H-E-B, Exxon Mobil, and Texas Monthly; director Robert Rodriguez; media personalities Dan Rather and Walter Cronkite; writer Lawrence Wright; and many more.

The 2023 event will take place in iconic Austin venues, including the Commodore Perry and The Long Center for the Performing Arts.

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Legendary Red Hot Chili Peppers heat up San Antonio with 2023 tour stop

one hot minute

One of alternative rock's most legendary acts is headed to San Antonio on their highly anticipated North American tour next year. Red Hot Chili Peppers will play the Alamodome on Wednesday, May 17, 2023.

Kicking off in Vancouver, British Columbia on March 29, RHCP will also stop in Houston's Minute Maid Park on Thursday, May 25 to close out the North American leg of the tour before heading to Europe. Effortlessly hip modern rock band The Strokes will support the Chili Peppers on both Texas stops, along with talented bassist-vocalist Thundercat.

Tickets go on sale at 10 am Friday, December 9 online. Other supporting acts along the way include Iggy Pop, The Roots, The Mars Volta, St. Vincent, City and Colour, and King Princess.

Touring in support of their two No. 1 studio albums released in 2022, Unlimited Love and Return of the Dream Canteen, the Chili Peppers have played sold-out shows in London, Paris, Los Angeles, and more with notable artists such as A$AP Rocky, Anderson.Paak, Beck, and HAIM.

The first rock band in 17 years to score two No. 1 albums in one year, the band has been red-hot on the Billboard charts and at the MTV Video Music Awards, where they received the Global Icon Award and brought the house down with a performance of the No. 1 single “Black Summer,'' which also won the award for Best Rock Video.

Fronted by the impossibly chiseled and ageless (he's 60!) Anthony Kiedis, the Chili Peppers formed in 1983. Unabashedly proud of their LA roots, the band burst onto the scene with early singles such as "Higher Ground" and "Give It Away," both showcases of bassist Flea's slappin', funk-fueled basslines.

Throughout the peak of alternative music in the '90s, the band saw tragedy, personnel changes at guitar, and reinventions — Kiedes' rap-singing, Flea's bass grooves, and singalong choruses all constants over the decades.

While many '90s alt-rock acts fizzled, the Chili Peppers stayed relevant; the band boasts two anthemic singles with more than 1 billion streams — "Californication" and "Under the Bridge" — and more than 25 million followers on Spotify.

Expect this show to be packed with Gen Xers and new fans for what promises to be one hot minute.

Red Hot Chili Peppers 2023 tour dates:

  • Wednesday, March 29 – Vancouver – BC Place
  • Saturday, April 1 – Las Vegas – Allegiant Stadium
  • Thursday, April 6 – Fargo, North Dakota – FargoDome
  • Saturday, April 8 – Minneapolis – US Bank Stadium
  • Friday, April 14 – Syracuse, New York – JMA Wireless Dome
  • Friday, May 12 – San Diego – Snap Dragon Stadium
  • Sunday, May 14 – Phoenix – State Farm Stadium
  • Wednesday, May 17 – San Antonio – Alamodome
  • Friday, May 19 – Gulf Shores, Alabama – Hangout Music Festival
  • Thursday, May 25 – Houston – Minute Maid Park

Texas-based 3D printing company tapped by NASA to build on the moon

To infinity and beyond

An Austin-based builder of 3D-printed homes, ICON, is making one small step for man and one giant leap for mankind by signing a $57 million contract with NASA to build on the moon.

According to a release from ICON, the Texas company will soon venture into a new frontier of space dimensions. The contract, announced on November 29, was awarded to the company under NASA's Phase III Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. This program allows ICON to use the $57 million award to build their Olympus system, which adds to previous construction done by both NASA and the Department of Defense for exploration of the moon and beyond.

"ICON’s Olympus system is intended to be a multi-purpose construction system primarily using local lunar and Martian resources as building materials to further the efforts of NASA as well as commercial organizations to establish a sustained lunar presence," the release stated.

The project will work in conjunction with NASA's Artemis program, which launched its first rocket in 50 years on November 15. ICON will work with the program to:

  • Use lunar regolith samples brought back from Apollo missions, in addition to other regolith simulants, to see their mechanical behavior in lunar gravity.
  • Bring advanced hardware and software into space through a lunar gravity simulation flight.
  • Create results to inform future lunar construction approaches for the space community.
  • Establish critical infrastructure necessary for a sustainable lunar economy and habitation.

“The final deliverable of this contract will be humanity’s first construction on another world, and that is going to be a pretty special achievement," said Jason Ballard, ICON co-founder and CEO.

"It's a construction system we call Olympus system that will allow us to use the local materials of the moon to build all the elements of infrastructure necessary for a lunar outpost and ultimately a moon base ... launch and landing pads, roadways, habitats, you name it, all the things on the moon," said Ballard.

He added that they hope to start building on the moon by 2026, starting with a launch and landing pad.

In addition to the grant, ICON was awarded a subcontract in 2021 to support NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate to create the world's first and only simulated 3D-printed Mars surface habitat. Called Mars Dune Alpha, it is located at NASA's Johnson Space Center and is assisting in long-duration science missions.

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Read the full story and watch the video at KVUE.com.

6 things to know in San Antonio food right now: New beer garden quietly opens

New You Can Eat

Editor's note: We get it. It can be difficult to keep up with the fast pace of San Antonio's restaurant and bar scene. We have you covered with our regular roundup of essential food news.

Openings

The owners of Gold Feather have unofficially untapped a new venture, LadyBird Beer Garden. Although official channels are keeping details mum, a Facebook page run by landlords VLA Real Estate spilled the beans on the November 25 opening. In addition to serving craft beer, the concept at 447 W. Hildebrand Ave has a full kitchen, bar, and a small patio for enjoying the mild December weather.

Months after coyly announcing a second location, Elotitos Corn Bar sprouted a new Government Hill location on December 3. The snack shop is well known for its aguas frescas and elotes flights, offering the street food staple in various flavors. The new outpost is open Monday through Saturday, 3-9 pm.

Following the recent San Antonio expansion of Oregon-based Dutch Bros Coffee, another out-of-towner is gaining some local buzz. According to Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation records, Arkansas franchise 7 Brew Coffee is brewing its first Alamo City location at 4825 Walzem Rd. Barring delays, the project will be completed in May 2023.

Pop-up concept Rose Hip Coffee has found a permanent home at 116 W. Olmos Dr. in Olmos Park. The broadened Rose Hip Market combines caffeine with boutique retail, offering everything from kid's clothes to ready-to-eat sandwiches and salads. The playful equestrian wallpaper might make it a can't-miss selfie spot.

Other news and notes

A new cocktail conference will lift San Antonio's spirits in January. The Culinaria-hosted Third Coast Cocktail Summit will feature seminars, tastings, dinners, and tipsy soirées during its five-day run from January 10-14. All-access passes are now available for $250 for industry and $500 for general admission at the nonprofit's website.

In other booze news, Kinsman's Brandy Alexander Tour is back in full swing for the holiday season. Dorćol Distilling's annual celebration of the famous desert cocktail has drafted 14 spots to offer the renowned desert cocktail this year, including several newcomers like Allora, Bar Loretta, Double Standard, Ladino, and Sojourn Trading Co. A full list of participants can be found here.