We Have an Issue: In Pets We Trust

Introducing our third Pet Issue, plus Chronicle endorsements for the March primary

I admit: Putting a sloth on our cover was never on my bucket list, but now that we've done it, I'm over the moon. The sloth – her name's Sophia – heralds this year's Pet Issue, breaking an all-dog cover streak. The original idea for the cover was to put Chrondog Hank, our three-legged office mascot, in a Washingtonian tricorn hat and powdered wig in honor of Presidents Day. While Hank would have certainly brought great dignity to the part, I think Sophia was the right way to go.

Sophia, turns out, has a pet of her own, an iguana. Look for their story, and more stories about what we've learned from the animals we share space with. And if you're reading this on Thursday, celebrate the issue with us at a party at Still Austin Distillery.

Also in this week's issue are our March primary candidate endorsements in advance of early voting, which begins Tuesday, Feb. 18. Our Editorial Board – made up of our News editors, staff writers, Publisher Nick Barbaro, and myself – decides which candidates to back; we base those decisions on our reporting and, in some cases, Editorial Board interviews with the candidates. This year, we conducted 11 of these interviews with more than 30 candidates. That's all to say, a good chunk of work and healthy debate goes into these endorsements, and we hope our readers find them useful. You can also find a streamlined version online at austinchronicle.com/elections.

Online This Week

Strip to End Neurofibromatosis: Check out David Brendan Hall's photo gallery from last weekend's Cupid's Undie Run.

Wine for Wellness: Natural wine is one of the quickest-growing sectors of the beverage industry. Emily Beyda previews LoLo, a new East Austin natural wine bar and bottle shop.

LGBTQIA+ (Plus Laughs): Sofia Tafich speaks with the creative minds behind the award-winning queer comedy series These Thems.

Jonathan Terrell Tease: In advance of the roots wrangler's third LP, Westward, give an early listen to his new single, a weeping waltz called "Cowboy Band."

Senate Hopefuls Address Climate Change: Texas Impact, the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club, and Environment Texas will hold a climate change forum for the U.S. Senate candidates on Monday, Feb. 17, from noon to 1:30pm at University Presbyterian Church of Austin (2203 San Antonio St.). Watch it via livestream at austinchronicle.com/av.

We Have an Issue: In Pets We Trust

This Week on The Austin Chronicle Show on KOOP 91.7FM

News Editor Mike Clark-Madison and staff writer Michael King go deep on the March primary election.

Tune in Fridays, 3pm, to KOOP Community Radio. Past episodes at austinchronicle.com/av.

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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