Texas State Parks temporarily close to the public

Texas State Parks temporarily close to the public

Press Release: Texas Parks and Wildlife Department – For Immediate Release: April 7, 2020 At the direction of Gov. Greg Abbott, Texas State Parks will be closed to the public effective at the close of business Tuesday, April 7 in order to maintain the safest environment for visitors, volunteers and staff. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) will continue to stay current with the latest public health recommendations and will announce when a definite reopening date has been determined.…

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Inside the story of how HEB planned for the pandemic

Inside the story of how HEB planned for the pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has transformed the country in just a handful of weeks. As Americans focus on the essentials—feeding our families and ensuring we have the necessary supplies to keep our households clean and safe—grocery stores and pharmacies have demonstrated just how crucial they are to a functioning society. We’ve seen chains struggle with the challenges the current crisis presents. Some stores are instituting policies limiting the numbers of shoppers allowed in at a time, creating long waits to enter.…

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TCEQ loosens enforcement amid COVID-19

TCEQ loosens enforcement amid COVID-19

While environmental regulations are not being set aside, the chairman of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality said Monday that enforcing those rules may be eased for violations “that were unavoidable due to the (coronavirus) pandemic.” The agency has “not relaxed any limits on air emissions or discharges to water,” Chairman Jon Niermann wrote in an open letter addressed to the public, environmental advocates and industry. Read more from Asher Price with The Austin American-Statesman here.

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Texas food banks asking for help to support surge of people in need

Texas food banks asking for help to support surge of people in need

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, food banks across the country are tasked with serving those in need from every socioeconomic level. Many people are using food bank services for the first time. Food banks in Texas are doing their part, but they face many challenges. Derrick Chubbs, president and CEO of the Central Texas Food Bank, says the pandemic has been a major test for his organization. “Nothing has stretched our ability to serve Central Texans as much as COVID-19,” he…

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The pandemic is turning the natural world upside down

The pandemic is turning the natural world upside down

From inside her living room in London, Paula Koelemeijer can feel the world around her growing quieter. Koelemeijer, a seismologist, has a miniature seismometer sitting on a concrete slab at the base of her first-floor fireplace. The apparatus, though smaller than a box of tissues, can sense all kinds of movement, from the rattle of trains on the tracks near Koelemeijer’s home to the waves of earthquakes rolling in from afar. Since the United Kingdom announced stricter social-distancing rules last…

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The Trailist guide to getting outside during the pandemic

The Trailist guide to getting outside during the pandemic

For obvious reasons, this can’t be a normal Trailist column. I’m sitting here in my apartment, listening to the rain pour down for the third straight day, trying to think of ways to recommend getting outdoors during these tough and ever-changing times. Here’s the paradox: We all have to go outside, for our own physical and mental health. We can’t get our exercise at the gym anymore. And regardless of how nice your home workout set-up might be, I believe you need…

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National parks — your Rx for good health

National parks — your Rx for good health

During the current COVID-19 pandemic, visitation to national parks is surging. As more parks close to protect visitors and staff, we can expect another influx when they reopen. In times of crisis and times of calm, national parks are America’s go-to places. Visitation to national parks in 2019 exceeded 300 million visitors for the fifth consecutive year. Numbers of visitors increased by 2.9 percent last year, making it the third highest to date, with nearly 328 million visitors. Read more from Susan Sherman, Executive…

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Essential Austin nonprofit finding new ways to nourish community amid COVID-19

Essential Austin nonprofit finding new ways to nourish community amid COVID-19

Tune into the Urban Roots Instagram feed and you’ll find a new series of videos featuring executive director Max Elliott teaching viewers how to plant peppers; showcasing his ready crop of kale and the helpful, aphid-eating ladybug larvae that live on the leaves; or interviewing (at a safe distance) local restaurant business leaders. His tone is even and hopeful, a brief lifeline to those of us battling isolation as the COVID-19 outbreak wears on. In 2008, Elliott founded Urban Roots as…

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2020 Hill Country Night Sky Song Contest announced

2020 Hill Country Night Sky Song Contest announced

  • April 6, 2020
  • News

Press Release: Blanco County Friends of the Night Sky – For Immediate Release: April 6, 2020 The Blanco County Friends of the Night Sky (BCFNS) has announced the 2020 Hill Country Night Sky Songwriting Contest.  This year’s contest, open to songwriters of any genre or residence, focuses on the theme “Preserving the Night Sky.”  Deadline for song submission is September 25, 2020. “Last year’s contest was such a success we decided to do it again!” said Larry Seiler, BCFNS treasurer and owner…

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As Texans are exposed to dangerous pesticides, lawmakers aren’t doing anything

As Texans are exposed to dangerous pesticides, lawmakers aren’t doing anything

In the interim between legislative sessions, Texas lawmakers on the House Agriculture Committee will have an opportunity to examine an important but under-the-radar problem that’s making people sick in farming communities across the state. Then again, their attention might drift. Pesticide drift occurs when crop dusters—pilots or tractor drivers hired by farmers to spray pesticides on fields to kill weeds and bugs—miss the mark and inadvertently deliver a cloud of poison to people, plants, and animals. Since 2013, the Texas…

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