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Cut up your jalepeños and get down to Waterloo park this Sunday.

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It's not too late, even as you read this, to mix up a mess of your best homemade hot sauce and enter the 10th annual Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Contest. When Robb Walsh first approached us with the idea, we expected a couple of dozen hot sauces; hundreds were submitted. We didn't expect anyone but the saucemakers to show up, but the place was packed. This year we expect around 10,000 attendees with more booths than ever selling food and/or offering hot sauces. This doesn't even take into account the hundreds entered in the competition, whose sauces are offered up for tasting. All we need to really make this work is you.

The judges are an amazing array of the best chefs in Texas, so here's your chance to wow them. Hot sauce afficionados (and this is a growing community) -- now is the time to show your stuff.

I can't wait for Sunday. The hot sauce competition is one of my favorite events of the year. A lot of the Chronicle's extended family shows up, joining a large cross-section of Austin. Come, enjoy, have fun, enter. We'll see you there Sunday.

I'm not sure how to go about this one. Our writers are pretty much guaranteed editorial freedom. If a reviewer hates a record or a movie that I love -- or vice versa -- I might note my opinion in a later "Page Two," but not the disagreement. We're not The Village Voice, where the favorite intramural sport seems to be sniping at other staff writers in print (here it's volleyball). However, a piece running in this issue starkly calls into question how to address just such a conflict. A bunch of Chronicle food writers were motored from restaurant to restaurant over three evenings to sample margaritas. Their opinions are aired in this issue (see "The Austin Chronicle Margarita Crawl"). I stand behind these writers; I love our current food staff, headed up by Virginia B. Wood. These judges rated Manuel's margaritas as below average. They made similar comments about other margaritas, as well as praising many.

There is a problem. Manuel's is one of the staff's drinking holes of choice. Intra- and inter-departmentally, visits to Manuel's happy hour are not uncommon. For some, it is more an avocation than a casual hobby. Some of this is because sometimes we have trade credit with Manuel's. But even when it is pay-your-own-way, the staff loves to travel downtown to visit. They have much affection for the restaurant's various margaritas, the very one our critics disdain in this issue. Finally, it is for you to judge, but if we had opinion forms for staff dissension (and we don't and won't), I'm sure they would exercise it this time.

This is the last issue of our 19th year of publication. At least kids eventually leave home. Next issue is the first issue of our 20th year. Enjoy. end story

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 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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