Public Notice: Changes...
Can’t live with ’em, can’t live without ’em
Regular readers may notice a few physical changes in this week's issue: We've moved to a new printer – the seventh in our history – so out with the old (DFW, the Dallas Morning News press plant, phased out commercial operations as of last week), and in with the new (we're now printing at the Houston Chronicle).
As you might imagine, that creates some issues to work out. If you're holding this paper in your hands, that means the largest part of the process was a success. If it looks okay, and the pages are in the right order, even better. (If you're reading this online, we're still in a Schrödinger's cat situation where you won't really know until you get physical proof.) If we've gotten past that, there are two changes you've probably already noticed. One is the page size, which is now shorter and squarer – very slightly horizontal, in fact, whereas the previous size was slightly vertical. The other is the absence of staples.
People get very exercised about staples, and I get it. The last time we had to go with an unstapled issue, the letters kept coming in for weeks. But rest assured, staples will be back. We made it a condition of our contract, in fact, that Houston had to purchase and install a stapler, which they've never had before (so, those of you who travel to Houston, if you start to see more things around the city that are stapled instead of loose-leaf, that's thanks to us). But that won't be for a while yet because alas, our stapler remains en route from Sweden (because that's where the finest staplers are made, and Swedish ståplermøngers are not to be rushed in their craft). So it may be a few weeks yet, but rest assured, staples will be back, and you'll get them as soon as we do.
On the plus side, the new configuration will make it a little easier to do larger issues and devote a bit more space to feature stories and larger art. You can see some of that in this first issue – a few more words and photos, a few more complete listings – and expect more tweaks in coming weeks as we get used to the new geometry.
Continuing the theme, Austin's transit corridors are certainly changing. I've written in recent weeks about both the city's Austin Strategic Mobility Plan, and Capital Metro's Project Connect; the concurrent planning efforts for Austin's roads and transit each have public meetings this week. Today, Thu., April 4, at 1pm, the City Council's Mobility Committee meets to discuss the ASMP, and its implications for city planning. And on Monday, Cap Metro hosts an open house on planning efforts for the Orange Line High Capacity Transit Corridor, which includes the critical Lamar/Guadalupe corridor that runs through the heart of UT, the Capitol, and Downtown. They're looking for comments on "the project's purpose and need, the project study area, alternatives being considered, public participation and outreach methods, relevant transportation and community impacts and benefits being considered, potential environmental impacts, and the projected capital and operating costs." Staff from the Austin Transportation Dept. and other agencies will be there as well, to answer all your mobility questions: Monday, April 8, 3-7pm, Austin Central Library, 710 W. Cesar Chavez.
Concordia University's annual Nature Fest – next Mon.-Sat., April 8-13 – provides a great public opportunity to tour the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve that's adjacent to the campus in Northwest Austin off RM 620. Concordia puts on 30+ events over the six days: guided hikes on the preserve trails, gardening activities, and lectures, plus demonstrations by Sky Kings Falconry (Tue., April 9, 12:30pm), and Austin Reptile Service (Thu., April 11, 12:30pm); see a full schedule at www.concordia.edu/naturefest.
Paws & Pours is a monthlong benefit for the Austin Humane Society: a $40 booklet gets you discounts and freebies at local restaurants and bars through the month of April. The first 140 people to pick up their booklets at the AHS or an AHS event will also get a limited edition P&P wine glass. It kicks off today, Thu., April 4, with a 5-7pm happy hour at Cru Wine Bar at the Domain. www.austinhumanesociety.org/paws-and-pours.