Page Two

Page Two
Ten years ago this week, the Chronicle was putting to bed its last bi-weekly issue and gearing up for the move to weekly publication, which began with the Seventh Anniversary issue, September 2, 1988. That August 26 issue was 48 pages - about average for that summer. Our office was at 28th & Nueces, across the street from Dirty's burgers, and catty-corner from one of the largest of the UT sororities (Zeta Tau Alpha?). The Chronicle has changed a lot since then (who hasn't?), but it's remarkable how many of the seeds of current changes you can see all the way back then. For example, here are the major new things we have coming up in the next month or so:

  • The 17th Anniversary issue is in two weeks. We don't make as big a deal out of the paper's anniversaries as we used to - they're kind of like birthdays that way, I suppose - but with the beginning of fall and the end of the vacation season, the anniversary issue remains a good time to introduce new features or changes into the paper. This issue will introduce a rather extensive redesign of the Calendar section, the Classifieds, and the Web site. In all three cases, we'll be trying to make the information we present a little easier to access and adding a few new areas of coverage, particularly in the listings, where we're introducing a new Community section to provide a bit more exposure and coverage for the local and touring events, kids' activities, civic forums, and recreational endeavors that are growing along with the rest of the city. (We invite your submissions for listings in this area; mail, fax, or e-mail them to the Chronicle, c/o Community Editor.) Since our very first issues, however, the mission of the back of the book has remained the same: presenting comprehensive info on as much of this town's cultural activity as possible, along with an honest, informed commentary.
  • The Eighth Annual Hot Sauce Festival didn't exist 10 years ago (that's why we've chosen to call it the "eighth annual"), but it continues a Chronicle tradition of putting on big public parties that dates back to our very first year (and, of course, to the Austin Music Awards). The Hot Sauce Festival is Sunday, August 30 in Waterloo Park, free to all comers. You can enter a salsa in the contest on the day of the event; look for details in the ad on page 8, or check our Web site.
  • The South Austin Guide issue, coming in mid-October, is actually a resurrection of a pre-weekly tradition and an update of a neighborhood guide that we did in 1986. Back in the mid-Eighties, we did a whole series of such comprehensive guides, but frankly, it was too hard to keep them up once we went to publication every week. We've renewed the series over the last year, though, largely through the efforts of Features Editor Kate Messer and the miracles of modern technology. This issue will complete our ring of central-city guides (joining the UT area, Downtown, and the Eastside); look for additions to the Guide library in the near future.

It's rather a shock, actually, to look at the staff box of that last bi-weekly issue and see how many people are still here in some capacity 10 years later. Marjorie Baumgarten was TV Editor and Office Manager; Robert Bryce was Dance Editor; Robert Faires, Theatre Editor; Susan Moffat, Food Editor; Jay Trachtenberg and Margaret Moser were both Contributing Music Editors; Richard (not yet R.U. or Mr. Smartypants) Steinberg was Listings Editor; Ed Ward (who has since moved to Germany, but, fortunately for us, still corresponds and visits regularly, and will have a Books feature soon) was Editor for Books and Records; and among our featured writers were Roseana Auten, Steve Davis, Hugh Forrest, and Lee Nichols, whose names you may still find in these pages. Also still here: Nick Barbaro, Publisher; Louis Black, Editor; Jerald Corder, Carolyn Phillips, Deborah Valencia, Ad Account Executives; Roland Swenson, Director of Special Projects; Tim Grisham and Gerald McLeod (pre-"Day Trips") in Production. These are all people (myself included) whose sanity should be questioned.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

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