“The rare, albino white bluebonnets are an anomaly created by Mother Nature and are the result of a mutation in one of the genes responsible for producing the blue pigment. If pollinated from nearby blues, they will most likely produce blue blooms next year. To produce white flowers, an egg with the white mutant gene has to be fertilized by pollen with the same mutant gene. Guess you can tell that I am pretty excited about finding these in my yard this year and I have been researching to learn about them!”
Got a picture that perfectly captures how happy you are to live in the Lone Star State? This Texas Independence Day, send all photographic evidence of just how truly Texan you are to firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet us @statesman.
If you don’t have the perfect picture in mind, we’re unopposed to taking one just for the occasion. Bust out your boots, grab a Shiner, pull up a patch of bluebonnets, and remind everyone who doesn’t know just why Texans are so proud to be just that.
Love is in the air, and on the water, in Austin, Texas.
Wendy Martinez emailed the American-Statesman a photo of a rare moment she captured while hiking near Lady Bird Lake Saturday afternoon. The picture shows two swans huddled together, with their necks forming a heart.
“We were so lucky to have run into the swans that day. You never know where they are going to be!” Martinez said of the encounter. “Most mornings they can be found in front of the row club by Austin High. I also pointed out to my daughter that for years one of the swans was alone and in just the last year he/she found a partner. It is lovely to see them daily swimming around the lake!”
David Thompson, an education professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio, along with UTSA doctoral fellow and former human resources director Catherine Robert joins the American-Statesman at noon Monday for a Facebook Live discussion on the growing problem of improper teacher-student relationships.
A Statesman investigation, the first of its kind, found that less than half of Texas teachers who lost their teaching licenses after allegations of having improper relationships with students were ever criminally charged, let alone saw jail time. In those cases where charges never occurred, very little information is readily available to the public, including which school the alleged incident happened or the age of the victim. In some cases, school district officials will go so far as to hide the information from the public and law enforcement agencies, prosecutors and state officials have said.
Cracking down on the number of improper teacher-student relationships and penalizing school officials who try to hide such wrongdoings have been the priority for lawmakers this legislative session. Cases of improper teacher-student relationships have climbed 80 percent in the last eight years, according to the Texas Education Agency. During his state of the state address last week, Gov. Greg Abbott said, “Teachers who assault children should lose their license and they should go to jail.”
We hope you get out there and catch them all, but as some users have reported, that might prove difficult in Austin. Several people have pointed out that Austin has essentially become a Pokémon Go desert. While some took to Twitter to tweet their frustrations, the official Pokémon Go Austin Reddit thread (yes, there’s one of those now) posted a call for users to report the “lack of content” in the city on the app’s support page.
The American-Statesman recently took a look at Capital Metro’s decreasing ridership and found that the question, “Why are fewer people riding the bus?” doesn’t come with a simple answer. While the American-Statesman’s Ben Wear says factors like the “suburbanization of poverty argument,” low gas prices and alternatives like ride-share services and Car2go, have contributed to the shift, readers had different (and all sorts) of reasons why the bus isn’t their go-to.
Nau’s Enfield Drug, with its mint green paint job and big windows, has been at its current corner since 1951. As the American-Statesman’s Ken Herman put it in a recent piece about a neighborhood battle the store has become involved in:
“A place like Nau’s makes you feel better about plunking down your cash or picking up your prescription. It’s a reminder of a less-corporate past, which is what helps make it a neighborhood treasure.”
Were you a customer who frequented the store’s still-active soda fountain many years ago? Or a younger local who finds something satisfying about foregoing brightly lit alternatives like CVS and Walgreens and filling a prescription at Nau’s?
How did you get to work this morning? Did you observe “National Bike to Work Day” and ride your bike through what was recently ranked the third most bikeable downtown in the U.S.? If so, we want to see all those bike pics you didn’t have a use for before! Send us a picture of your bike, yourself on your bike or something similar from your morning commute at email@example.com, or tweet us @statesman.
We want to see what weather looks like wherever you’re at in Austin. Send us your pictures of cloudy skies, flooded streets and just generally wet and drab conditions at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @statesman.
If you were surprised to wake up to a storming, hailing, thundering sky this morning you weren’t alone. Austin didn’t drop even the slightest hint to its weather plans, which included coin-size hail and as much as a third of an inch of rain in some parts. However, in characteristic Texas style, many are reporting cloudy skies already giving way to sunshine, and rainbows, rainbows, rainbows.