Austin Community College’s 17-acre Sustainable Student Farm, located at ACC’s Elgin campus, is home to a herd of sheep, an orchard, a greenhouse, and a small plot dedicated to vegetable production.
It is also where you can often find Savannah Rugg, Department Chair of the Agricultural Sciences Department, who leads a small team that runs the farm.
Although trending in a positive direction, the farm has certainly faced challenges from this year’s weather. First was the winter storm. While the orchard remained intact, heavy snow and freezing temperatures brought by the storm resulted in a significant loss of plants in the farm’s greenhouse that were used for propagation.
“It did push the season back,” Rugg said, referring to the plot of vegetables on the farm. The late start after shifting planting from February to April means now-maturing plants are faced with current, intense temperatures, and thus less flower production.
“If we had more hands it probably would have been a relatively productive season because we have gotten a lot of rain,” Rugg said. “We haven’t had to irrigate too much like a couple summers ago when we were hardly getting any.”
The recent rain, however, has also had an affect on the farm. “With all the rain we are getting and the high heat days, the weeds are probably the biggest challenge for us right now.”
COVID-19 has changed the way we work, eat, play, and overall live. Reporter, Marissa Greene captures some images that you may have found to be familiar during these times.
As more people utilize face masks to protect themselves from COVID-19, the more we might see them in places other than the trash. Social media has started to urge that people dispose of their used face masks properly by cutting the ear rings before disposal.
A park in Pflugerville, TX has wrapped caution tape around swings, jungle gym, and more to prevent children spreading the virus from these commonly touched items.
Although we may feel that wearing gloves while grocery shopping, using the ATM, and touching other public-accessible items may be another preventative, the CDC on the other hand suggests that gloves are primarily necessary when cleaning or caring for someone who is sick.
When washing hands is not an accessible option, using hand sanitizer can be a temporary alternative when needing to disinfect hands in the moment.
Face masks and covering have evolved since March with improved ear loop functionality, patterns of fabric, and has even become an addition to ways people represent themselves.
Hand washing is necessary to keep yourself and others safe. The World Health Organization and the Center of Disease Control recommend washing your hands in warm water for at least 20 seconds.
Since March, Austin Community College students, professors and other staff have transformed the classroom and social community to an entirely virtual platform. Many students graduating Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 will be earning their degrees and certificates via their computer screens.
Have you ever seen a poster around an Austin Community College campus that catches your eye, but you walk right past it? No matter which campus you attend, each of the communication boards provide helpful resources, information about student organizations, and other ways to engage yourself within the community. For many, Hispanics and Mexican-American students at ACC, a single poster provided them a life-changing experience.
Right now, there are 130 thriving students that are participating in the ASCENDER program. According to Megan Diaz, the outreach specialist for the program, Ascender is, “A program for all 1st year ACC students, and it’s a transfer-mentor program which means that all students are paired with a mentor to give them guidance and support during their first year of college.”
The mentors involved in the program are community members from all walks of life. With a wide range of degree fields, these mentors are able to guide their students on the career path of their choice. Ascender comes from a student-made acronym of “Ascend”, meaning; Achieving, Student, Confidence, Encouraging New Dreams.
Alejandra Polcik, the supervisor of Hispanic outreach projects, said Ascender, “Encapsulates the concept of the program, where the focus is on the success of the students, especially disadvantaged students. The goal is to transfer them to a 4 year [University], and eventually return to Ascender as a mentor.”
Ascender not only provides assistance to Hispanic or first generation college student but anyone who finds themselves struggling academically. The program combines accelerated instruction in english, math, academic counseling, and writing assistance.
“All people are welcome to join Ascender as it is a very inclusive program, based on the principle of family, teamwork, and helping to care for each other. Ascender is very active at ACC, and also the Austin city community by taking part in events or creating their own special events.” says Diaz
In October 2019, Ascender participated in walking in the Viva La Vida parade in Downtown Austin. The Mexic-Arte Museum sponsored and created the 36th Annual Viva La Vida Parade & Festival this year. Otherwise known as the Día de los Muertos Parade, the event highlights the current Hispanic cultures in Austin, while using the day of the dead as a medium to celebrate Austin Hispanic heritage.
The event started first with a parade showing different aspects of Hispanic culture, like pre-Columbian to Austin-weird, then followed with a festival full of dancing, music, traditional food, and crafting marigold flower crowns.
If you or someone you know would like to get involved in Ascender, visit their website to see upcoming events and how you can get enrolled into the program.
Hello Washington DC! The E-board members from ACC’s Student Government Association recently took a trip to Washington DC to attend the American Student Government Association conference. The conference was located in their hotel which included daily workshops on how to better their leadership, make connections, and more! After all the training they then got to explore many historical sites. Come along and see some photos of Washington DC!
The heat has already started to peak, but to Anika Lockhart it doesn’t matter. Even as the sweat rolls down her face, she keeps riding, pushing herself, and her horse, onward. Lockhart has been riding horses since she was a child but she didn’t get back into it until 2013. “I’ve always loved horse since I can remember,” Lockhart said.
After picking up her old hobby, she began training for shows. Lockhart rides dressage, a type of horseback riding in which the rider makes the horse perform choreographed movements. Horse and rider have to be in tune with one another to be successful, but Lockhart believes that she and her horse, Bentley, have developed a special relationship. “You have to work in harmony with the horse,” Lockhart said. “You have to work with them and build up a relationship where they want to work and they actually enjoy it.”
Lockhart’s love for horses has not been dulled since childhood, and she plans to keep riding for as long as she can. “It’s a very relaxing but also challenging activity,” Lockhart said. “I love everything about it.”
It started as a garage project in 1997. The idea was to release fixed-up yellow bicycles around town for anyone who needed free and convenient transportation. Twenty-two years later, Austin’s Yellow Bike Project has evolved into a story of success that has earned the non-profit organization its iconic place in the city’s celebrated culture. The Yellow Bike Project is a 501c(3) non-profit organization with a simple yet ambitious mission: to get people on bikes in Austin.
The Austin Trail of Lights is easily one of the most recognized holiday events in the Austin area. This makes 53 years of Zilker Park hosting Trail of Lights.
The Trail of Lights Foundation and Lyft will host the 4th Annual “Night Lights” Preview Party on Friday, Dec. 8. Ticket proceeds will support STARS at the Trail, a
Trail of Lights Foundation program that enables roughly 1600 children, families,
veterans and seniors to visit the trail who normally wouldn’t be able to.
“Night Lights” will take place at Zilker Park from 7-10 p.m. and will highlight live performances from Mother Falcon String Trio, Whiskey Shivers, and Austin’s favorite DJ, DJ Mel. This prestigious event will host tasty samples of food, beer and wine, exceptional holiday entertainment, a classic car show, a Maker’s Market curated by Edible Austin, and a chance to experience the Trail of Lights like never before. Joining in the festivities will be restaurants such as Mattie’s, Sway, Moonshine Patio Bar & Grill, La Pera, Chi’Lantro, Texas Honey Ham, H-E-B Café, Cabo Bob’s, Top Notch, and much more.
Starting Saturday, December 9th the Trail of Lights will open its doors to the public and will run through Saturday, Dec. 23rd. Each night at the trail will feature local performers and storytelling spreading cheer among the masses.
I have been a fan of Snow Tha Product’s music for about five years now, but oddly enough, I have never seen her perform in concert. So naturally, when the opportunity arose to review this show after the Sound On Sound Fest cancellation, I jumped on it. Snow, originally from San Jose, California, ended up moving to Texas in 2010. It was then she started to make a name for herself by performing here in Austin at South By Southwest.
This performance was originally scheduled to take place at Sound On Sound Festival but was rescheduled to take place at Empire Control Room.
Within the first few minutes of her hitting the stage, I realized that this is no ordinary hip-hop show, this was a full-fledged party! You could quickly call this a family celebration, since it was the last stop on Snow’s tour that her mom would be present.
Snow is not your average hip-hop artist. She could be pitted against the best of the best, and would utterly school them with her chopper styled flow. She transitions between spitting bars, melodic singing, and jumps between English and Spanish without missing a beat. Snow also does not not hold back when it comes to expressing her political views.
Snow kept the crowd turned up as she played a bunch of songs from her Good Nights & Bad Mornings 2 mixtape. She performed “Play,” “Lord Be With You,” “Cookie Cutter B*****s”, “Business Is,” “Hopeless,” “Waste of Time,” and even took to crowd surfing for the hype party track “Gettin’ It.”
Snow and her fans have a robust Chicano pride in common. Between songs, she takes time to connect with them personally.
I couldn’t close out this review without giving a shout out to the venue staff at Empire Control Room. The staff are always on point and accommodating. For a Sunday night and a first-time experience with Snow Tha Product, I had an absolute blast – even with a 10:30 PM curfew![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_video link=”https://youtu.be/wfISNlnN0bI”][/vc_column][/vc_row]
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Written and photos by Taylor Kokas
Despite this year’s sudden cancellation of Sound On Sound Fest, many artists were able to be rescheduled at various venues around town to perform for the live music capitol audience. The festival continued on in spirit, early that Saturday afternoon. Fans lined up on both corners of The Mohawk, awaiting performances from their favorite punk bands: Drug Church, Turnstile, and headliner The Story So Far.
Thirty minutes after the doors opened, Drug Church warmed up the crowd playing songs like “Banco Popular,” “But does it work?”and their newest single “Weed Pin”. After finishing up their short, 30 minute set, the crowd continued to grow. As casual fans played it safe and settled along the railing of the upper levels of the venue, dedicated fans and avid moshers made their way down to the front of the stage. For a good 45 minutes, Turnstile performed songs like “Drop” and “Fazed Out” inciting the crowd to throw down in the pit. Crowd surfers made their way to the stage hoping to be handed the mic from lead vocalist Brendan Yates (who occasionally tossed the mic out while he dancing around on stage). After their set, fans dispersed to grab a drink, buy some merch, or re-situate themselves for the final act.
The Story So Far kicked off their set playing two of their most popular songs, “Things I can’t change” and “Nerve” while also performing their newest single “Out of it.” It was a wild set, as some fans surfed their way up to the front, attempting to get a hug from lead vocalist Parker Cannon. At one point during a break between songs, Cannon was handed a switchblade, causing some shock amongst the band. Parker put it away safely in front of the drum kit and continued on with the show. Throughout the remainder of the night, fans jammed out to a setlist of the band’s greatest hits from their past three albums while also squeezing in a couple covers from Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix. Fans left with a fun, memorable performance to reflect on as they exited the venue to go home and recover from their ringing eardrums.
Pulling in headliners as Jay-Z, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Killers, Chance The Rapper and Gorrillaz, made for a variety of dance parties across the stages. If those artists just weren’t an attendees jam, silent disco was offered. Adding in a new stage this year (Barton Springs) and the festival merchandise store, it’s evident to see the growth of the festival.
We were able to take some photos of bands we were able to catch, from the multi-talented musician Tash Sultana to Austin’s The Black Angels. There is more to be found on aclfestival.com.