Southwest Austin - Dripping Springs Edition | April 2020


VOLUME 13, ISSUE 1  APRIL 29MAY 26, 2020


SUPPORT LOCAL JOURNALISM Please join your friends and neighbors in support of Community Impact’s legacy of local, reliable reporting by making a contribution. Any amount matters. Together, we can continue to ensure our citizens stay informed and keep our local businesses thriving. Become a #CommunityPatron COMMUNITYIMPACT.COMPATRON

Page 22: health care Expecting mothers adjust to hospital precautions Page 24: business Brewery prots decline under health restrictions Page 25: nonprofit Animal shelters see increase in adoptions Page 26: employment Unemployment claims spike in Central Texas Page 27: child care Foster systemdemands rise as child abuse threat increases

Southwest Austin residents wearing medical masks wait in line to enter the HEB on the corner of Brodie Lane and William Cannon Drive on April 16. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper) All content in this print publication, both editorial and advertisements, was up-to-date as of the press deadline. Due to the fast-changing nature of this event, editorial and advertising information may have changed. Please visit and advertiser websites for more information. COVID19 pandemic alters local way of life CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE

Physicians provide clinical services as member of themedical staff at one of Baylor Scott &White Health’s subsidiary, community or affiliatedmedical centers and do not provide clinical services as employees or agents of thosemedical centers or Baylor Scott &White Health. ©2020 Baylor Scott &White Health.



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DINING 6 Local food pickup and delivery options in Southwest Austin and Dripping Springs TRANSPORTATIONUPDATES 11 Recent news about the La Crosse Avenue bridge and I35 construction

FROMDEEDA: Over the last few weeks, our community has been inundated with news about the coronavirus. Journalists have played an important role in providing vital updates, and if you’ve followed, you’ve seen our team hard at work keeping up with coverage. We’re grateful for our platform, but like many of you the news weighs heavy on me, so I treasure my daily walks. On a stroll through our neighborhood, I spotted a painted rock that read “kindness is contagious.” It’s amazing the impact one good deed can have on our disposition. Inside (see Page 21), you can learn about other heartwarming gestures sprinkled along our streets to remind us that while much is out of our control as we navigate perhaps the most contagious virus in our lifetime, we still have a choice. We can choose kindness.

PUBLISHERS AND FOUNDERS John and Jennifer Garrett PUBLISHERAUSTINMETRO Travis Baker GENERAL MANAGER Deeda Lovett, EDITORIAL EXECUTIVE EDITOR Joe Lanane MANAGING EDITOR Joe Warner ASSOCIATEMANAGING EDITOR Amy Denney EDITOR Nicholas Cicale REPORTER Olivia Aldridge COPY CHIEF Andy Comer COPY EDITORS Ben Dickerson, Kasey Salisbury STAFFWRITERS Amy Rae Dadamo, Christopher Neely, Iain Oldman ADVERTISING SALES DIRECTOR Tess Coverman ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Alyssa Cevallos DESIGN CREATIVE DIRECTOR Derek Sullivan ART PRODUCTIONMANAGER Haley Grace STAFF GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Jay Jones, Monica Romo, Rachal Russell BUSINESS GROUP PUBLISHER Traci Rodriguez CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER Claire Love ABOUT US John and Jennifer Garrett began Community Impact Newspaper in 2005 in Pugerville, Texas. The company’s mission is to build communities of informed citizens and thriving businesses through the collaboration of a passionate team. CONTACT US 16225 Impact Way, Ste. 1 Pugerville, TX 78660 • 5129896808 PRESS RELEASES SUBSCRIPTIONS © 2020 Community Impact Newspaper Co. All Rights Reserved. No reproduction of any portion of this issue is allowed without written permission from the publisher.


FROMNICK: This month’s issue, as always, focuses on the most important topics impacting our Southwest Austin and Dripping Springs communities. The pandemic has changed the way we approach business, education, health care and everyday life, and these articles are a snapshot of our unprecedented times. For daily information on the ongoing pandemic as well as other local transportation, business, education and government news, please visit Nicholas Cicale, EDITOR



Districts respond to the coronavirus pandemic CITY& COUNTY Facemasks have become required to reopen society



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Restaurants in Southwest Austin

Due to shelter-in-place requirements regarding the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Community Impact Newspaper has created a noncomprehensive database of dining establishments and their operational status. These listings were up to date as of April 22, and are updated regularly on FOOD&DRINKDELIVERYOPTIONS

SEASONAL SPECIALS BUY 2 JUVEDERM VOLUMA FILLERS Get aVolbella Filler Free $450 VALUE BUYA VI PURIFYACNE PEEL Get a VI Complete CareAcne Free $90 VALUE Off ring Telemedicine During COVID-19 Select in-office services are being offered. Call for details. BUYANY SKINBETTER PRODUCT Get a Travel Size Free $65 VALUE BUYA SKINCEUTICALS SERUM AND HA INTENSIFIER Get a Triple LipidTravel Size Free $65 VALUE EXPIRES 9/30/18 512-580-8345 | WSC.TO/CI to Schedule a Consultation South Austin’s Trusted Medical Dermatology Clinic Stay Safe During COVID-19 512-853-9584 D T 6 Cane Rosso 4715 S. Lamar Blvd., Ste. 103, Sunset Valley 512-904-0534 C H 7 Carve American Grille 7415 Southwest Parkway, Austin 512-792-4450 C 8 Casa Garcia’s 1901 W. William Cannon Drive, Austin 512-441-9504 H C T 9 CraigO’s Pizza & Pastaria A 11215 S. I-35, Austin 512-282-7499 B 4970 W. Hwy. 290, Ste. 460, Austin 512-891-7200 H T 10 Crema Bakery & Café 9001 Brodie Lane, Ste. B3, Austin 512-282-1300 C T 11 Cruzteca 5207 Brodie Lane, Ste. 125, Sunset Valley 512-291-7726 C T 12 Cuba512 6800 West Gate Blvd., Ste. 112, Austin 512-382-1022 H C 13 Cypress Grill 4404 W. William Cannon Drive, Ste. L, Austin 512-358-7447 H C A 14 Doc’s Backyard 5207 Brodie Lane, Ste.100, Sunset Valley 512-892-5200 H C A 15 Do-Rite BBQ (soon to be Metcalf Barbecue at Graceland)








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H Home delivery C Curbside pickup D Drive-thru T Takeout A Alcohol available

1 Austin Java 5404 Menchaca Road, Austin 512-580-2606 C T 2 Austin Pizza Garden 6266 W. Hwy. 290, Austin 512-891-9980

4 Bougie’s Donuts & Coffee 5400 Brodie Lane, Ste. 930, Sunset Valley 512-382-1617 H C 5 Cafe Malta 3421 W. William Cannon Drive, Austin T A 3 Backspin Sports Bar 5000 W. Slaughter Lane, Ste. 206, Austin 512-282-9206 T


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8600 W. Hwy. 290, Austin 512-792-9778 H C 16 El Chilito 4501 Menchaca Road, Austin 512-369-3518 H T A 17 Flores Mexican Restaurant 4625 W. William Cannon Drive, Austin 512-892-4845 C T 18 The Funkadelic 4715 S. Lamar Blvd., Ste. 101 A, Sunset Valley 512-975-3264 H T 19 Full English 2000 Southern Oaks Drive, Austin 512-240-2748 H T 20 The Git Out Bar and Kitchen 4930 S. Congress Ave., Ste. C-304, Austin 512-355-7470 H T A 21 The Green Mesquite Barbeque & More 9900 S. I-35, Austin 512-282-7100 H T 22 Hyde Park Bar & Grill 4521 West Gate Blvd., Austin

512-899-2700 H C 23 Jaipur Palace 9900 S. I-35, Ste. P900, Austin 512-599-4025 H T A 24 The Little Darlin’ 6507 S. Circle Road, Austin 512-814-0999 T A 25 MadamMam’s Thai Cuisine 9911 Brodie Lane, Austin 512-366-5859 H T 26 Mariana’s Kitchen Restaurant 5510 I-35, Ste. 400, Austin 512-382-2105 H T A 27 Maudie’s Hacienda 9911 Brodie Lane, Ste. 900, Austin 512-280-8700 C T A 28 Rusty Cannon Pub 730 W. Stassney Lane, Ste. 120, Austin 512-494-5271 H T 29 Satellite...Eat Drink Orbit 5900 W. Slaughter Lane, Ste. 400, Austin 512-288-9984 H C T A 30 Seoul Restaurant & D.K. Sushi 6400 S. First St., Ste. C, Austin

512-326-5807 T 31 Shore Raw Bar & Grill 8665 W. Hwy. 71, Ste. 100, Austin 512-618-6400 H C T A 32 SLAB BBQ & Beer 7101 W. Hwy. 71, Ste. E1, Austin 512-243-8000 C H 33 Spokesman 440 E. Saint Elmo Road, Ste. A-2, Austin 512-586-9657 H A 34 St. Elmo Brewing Co. 440 E. St. Elmo Road, Austin 737-300-1965 T A 35 Texican Cafe 11940 Manchaca Road, Austin 512-282-9094 C A 36 ThunderCloud Subs A 1807 Slaughter Lane, Ste. 500, Austin 512-282-2255 B 3601 William Cannon Drive, Ste. 300, Austin 512-891-6782 H T 37 Torchy’s Tacos A 4301 W. William Cannon Drive, Ste.

G-400, Austin 512-514-0767 B 5900 W. Slaughter Lane, Ste. 550, Austin 512-420-4111 H T 38 Tucci’s SouthSide Subs A 801 E. William Cannon Drive, Austin 512-440-1850 B 7101 W. Hwy. 71, Austin 512-228-7414 H C T 39 Vincent’s Sports Pub 8916 Brodie Lane, Austin 512-291-2845 H C 40 Waterloo Ice House A 9600 Escarpment Blvd., Austin 512-301-1007 B 9600 S. I-35, Austin 512-202-7900 H C T 41 Wholy Bagel 4404 W. William Cannon Drive, Austin 512-899-0200 T

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Restaurants in Driftwood & Dripping Springs

Community Impact Newspaper has created a noncomprehensive database of dining establishments in the area and their operational statuses. These listings were up-to-date as of press time April 22 and are updated regularly on FOOD&DRINKDELIVERYOPTIONS

Mazama Coee Co. 301 Mercer St., Dripping Springs 512-200-6472 C T Pieous 166 Hargraves Drive, Bldg. H, Dripping Springs T Rolling in Thyme and Dough 333 W. Hwy. 290, Dripping Springs 512-894-0001 H C T The Salt Lick BBQ 18300 FM 1826, Driftwood 512-858-4959 H T A Spoon + Fork Thai Kitchen 166 Hargraves Drive, Ste. B200, Austin 512-599-5428 H T Suds Monkey Brewing 1032-B Canyon Bend Drive, Dripping Springs 512-222-3893 H T A The Switch BBQ 166 Hargraves Drive, Ste. G-100, Austin 512-212-7211 C T ThunderCloud Subs 598 E. Hwy. 290, Ste. 230, Dripping Springs 512-858-4400 H T Torchy’s Tacos 166 Hargraves Drive, Ste, J-100, Austin 737-717-6951 C T Treaty Oak Distilling 16604 Fitzhugh Road, Dripping Springs 512-599-0335 H A Twisted X Brewing Co. 23455 W. RR 150, Dripping Springs 512-829-5323 H D A Vista Brewing 13551 FM 150, Driftwood 512-766-1842 T

H Home delivery C Curbside pickup D Drive-through T Takeout A Alcohol available

Hat Creek Burger Co. 166 Hargraves Drive, Ste. F-100, Austin 512-432-0161 H C D Homespun Kitchen and Bar 131 E. Mercer St., Dripping Springs 512-829-4064 H C T Jester King Brewery 13187 Fitzhugh Road, Austin 512-661-8736 C T A Last Stand Brewing Co. 12345 Pauls Valley Road, Bldg. J, Austin 512-701-8871 C A


Acopon Brewing Co. 211 W. Mercer St., Dripping Springs C A Austin Java 3799 E. Hwy. 290, Dripping Springs 512-829-5314 C T Backspin Sports Bar 165 Hargraves Drive, Ste. P100, Austin 512-518-3033 T Creek Road Café 301 W. Hwy. 290, Dripping Springs 512-858-9459 H C T Crepe Crazy 660B W. Hwy. 290, Dripping Springs 512-524-3198 H C T

The League Kitchen & Tavern 166 Hargraves Drive, Ste. B300, Dripping Springs 512-595-7477 H T

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I35 UPDATES 01 Stassney Lane and William Cannon Drive bridge improve- ments to wrap this summer The Texas Department of Transportation is on track to complete I-35 work near the new Stassney Lane and William Cannon Drive bridges this sum- mer. Crews in April continued work on the southbound I-35 exit ramp for William Cannon Drive. The work is part of a project on I-35 from north of Stassney to south of William Cannon. The William Cannon bridge was rebuilt by late 2018. Timeline: July 2016-mid-2020 Cost: $79 million Funding source: state Proposi- tion 1 funds 02 Work continues near Oltorf Street bridge TxDOT crews worked to level



Construction had been ongoing at La Crosse Avenue in Southwest Austin since early 2018.

NEW LA CROSSE AVENUE BRIDGE NOWOPEN FOR TRAFFIC The Texas Department of Transportation opened the new La Crosse Avenue bridge over MoPac as well as new MoPac main lanes April 16. The bridge will be open to one lane of trac in each direction as construction on the bridge’s pedestrian sidewalks is completed. The new MoPac main lanes will allow travelers to drive north or south through the intersection without stopping at a trac signal. The construction at La Crosse is part of the second phase of the MoPac Intersec- tions Project, a $53.5 million eort to cre- ate MoPac through lanes at the La Crosse and Slaughter Lane intersections. The new diverging diamond bridge and intersection







Timeline: February 2017-mid-2020 Cost: $42.6 million Funding source: Texas Clear Lanes Congestion Relief Fund

for Slaughter north of La Crosse opened in November 2018. All planned work on the project is scheduled for early 2021 completion. Timeline: January 2018-early 2021 Cost: $53.5 million Funding source: TxDOT

I-35 main lanes and to complete nal paving of the highway near the new Oltorf Street bridge in April, according to a news release by the department. Overall, the ongoing project constructed a new Oltorf bridge over the highway as well as new elevated ramps onto I-35.


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News from Austin & Dripping Springs ISDs


Weekend food service returns

AISDdeploysWi-Fi, tech to aid online learning AUSTIN ISD Austin ISD began online distance learning April 6 and on April 10 announced it will use a eet of school buses to provide Wi-Fi to areas across the district with limited internet access. AISD Chief Technology Ocer Kevin Schwartz said each bus has a Wi-Fi range of 150-300 feet, and the district could bring six to 10 buses to one community. The district has also distributed Chrome- books to students over the past month. District distributes remote learning devices DRIPPING SPRINGS ISD The district is continuing to work with students and families to enable adapted learn- ing practices. According to a DSISD representative, over 600 Chromebooks were provided in late March to families with students who needed devices to complete virtual learning assignments.

Dripping Springs ISD Agenda review: third Monday at 6 p.m.; voting meetings: fourth Monday at 6 p.m. 510 W. Mercer St., Dripping Springs Austin ISD Board information sessions: second Monday at 6 p.m.; voting meetings: fourth Monday at 7 p.m. 4000 S. I-35, Austin Meetings may be held virtually and not in person. MEETINGSWE COVER AUSTIN ISD On April 7, AISD announced a “pass or incomplete” grading policy for the spring semester. AISD Superintendent Paul Cruz said the district will not calculate grade point averages based on spring semester performance. UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS On April 7, UT President Gregory Fenves announced he will leave the school June 30 to become the president at Emory University in Atlanta. RECENT HIGHLIGHTS

AUSTIN ISD At a board work session April 13, the district announced it would again be reimbursed for weekend meal distribution in the district. Austin ISD had been serving meals seven days a week until April 3 due to funding and regulation changes by the Texas Department of Agriculture, which stopped reimbursing the district for weekend meals. According to the district, additional changes since have allowed weekend service to resume. AISD is preparing and provid- ing free meals to district students at 15 school sites, while school buses are bringing meals that can be picked up to more than 50 additional locations across the district. A map of locations can be found here. Meals are available to all children under the age of 19, as well as students over the age of

Sta at Pleasant Hill Elementary School in South Austin serve meals to the community April 16. 19 who are using special edu- cation resources in the district. Parents can also pick up meals for students, provided they have documentation that shows a child lives in or attends school in the district. SOUTH AUSTIN SCHOOL DISTRIBUTION SITES • Akins High • Crockett High • Dawson Elementary • Houston Elementary • Linder Elementary • Perez Elementary • Pleasant Hill Elementary

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Moving forward together.

Dripping Springs extends its disaster declaration intoMay

seeing the gloves,” Mayor Todd Purcell said at the meeting. “I think we should applaud our folks every chance we get who are working under extreme circumstances. I think we’re doing what we can to [atten the] curve that everyone is talking about.” Purcell said a concern is a lack of testing and treatment sites locally and that most residents have been traveling to medical facilities in South Austin and Kyle with related inquiries. According to the city’s latest emer- gency management report, the city received 55 gallons of hand sanitizer produced and donated by Deep Eddy Vodka on April 8. Deep Eddy had pre- viously donated sanitizer to the city to use during its weekly farmers market. City sta also removed basketball and volleyball nets from city parks. Central Health—started oering drive-up testing on a rotating basis at sites across eastern Travis County from Monday through Friday. April 18, the nonprot announced it is opening six additional locations on a rotating basis at Manor, Colony Park, Austin’s Colony and Hornsby Bend, Del Valle, Pugerville and Dove Springs. The drive-up site at CommUnity- Care’s Hancock Center clinic, located at 1000 E. 41st St., Ste. 925, Austin, will remain open six days a week, according to CommUnityCare. Health care professionals at the drive-up sites will initially screen patients for coronavirus symptoms, such as high fever, coughing and respiratory issues. If patients meet a certain criteria, they are administered a test on-site. According to CommUnityCare, no appointment, insurance or payment is required for drive-up testing, but daily testing kit availability is limited.


DRIPPING SPRINGS The corona- virus outbreak in Hays and Travis counties, which began March 13, has resulted in four conrmed cases in Dripping Springs, according to Hays County ocials. Dripping Springs City Council ocially extended its ongoing disaster declaration through at least May 8 at its April 14 council meeting. “I am very proud of our local citi- zens. I knowwe had a rough go getting started, but I’m seeing the social distancing; I’m seeing the masks; I’m

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CommUnityCare Health Centers launched drive-up testing sites.

CommUnityCare oering free drive-up coronavirus testing


TRAVIS COUNTY Nonprot health care provider CommUni- tyCare Health Centers on April 15 announced it is opening drive-up coronavirus testing sites. Beginning April 16 at Southeast Metropolitan Park in Del Valle, Com- mUnityCare—which is funded by Travis County’s health care district,

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DRIPPING SPRINGS CITY COUNCIL Meets May 12 at 6:30 p.m. and May 19 at 6 p.m. 511 Mercer St., Dripping Springs SUNSET VALLEY CITY COUNCIL May 5 and 19 at 6 p.m. 3205 Jones Road, Sunset Valley

AUSTIN CITY COUNCIL Meets May 7 and 21 at 10 a.m. 301 W. Second St., Austin city-council TRAVIS COUNTY COMMISSIONERS COURT Meets Tuesdays at 9 a.m. 700 Lavaca St., Austin commissionerscourt



News from Travis County and the cities of Austin, Dripping Springs & Sunset Valley

CITY HIGHLIGHTS AUSTIN The city has leased three hotels to serve as isolation centers for homeless individuals and other coronavirus patients who cannot safely isolate on their own. The locations are the Crowne Plaza hotel and Motel 6 in North Austin and the La Quinta Inn in South Austin. All three hotels are located on frontage roads along I-35. The total package for the hotel leases will cost $3.7 million. The price includes the cost of meals the city will provide patients and sta staying and working at the hotel. According to city documents, the city will provide breakfast, lunch, dinner, a snack and a night shift meal for employees each day. SUNSETVALLEY Due to the nancial impact of the coronavirus on local sales tax revenue, City Council directed sta April 7 to make more than $400,000 in cuts to the current scal year’s budget, including stang cuts and cuts to city events and organized activities. Without cuts to the budget, the city estimates a $1.37 million shortfall for the 2019-20 scal year. Council will be meeting throughout the summer to make additional cuts as well as develop the budget for next year.

Ocials: Facemasks necessary to reopen society TRAVIS COUNTY Wearing cloth face coverings over the nose and BY CHRISTOPHER NEELY

It took 24 days for Travis County to record its rst 500 cases. However, cases grew by an additional 500 over the next 10 days. COVID19 CASE INCREASES • March 13 – First case • April 6 – 500th case • April 16 – 1,000th case

mouth when performing most activities away from home has evolved from a recommendation into a legal obligation under new coronavirus mitigation orders issued by Austin-Travis County ocials April 13. Now mandatory, face masks combined with social distancing measures will become part of the new normal as ocials weigh options in reopening society from a near complete shutdown due to the coronavirus, top local health ocials said during an April 14 news conference. Dr. Mark Escott, Austin-Travis County interim health authority, acknowledged it will take time for residents throughout the Austin area to become comfortable wearing face coverings. But he also stated that the act is a crucial step in beginning to restore normalcy in Austin and across the globe while the world

Travis County began requiring individuals to wear face coverings in public April 13.

requirement.” Ocials are discussing a slow and measured approach to reopen society, but community embrace of face masks and social distancing is crucial to that strategy, Austin Mayor Steve Adler said. Adler said in a statement that he was impressed by the “resiliency and spirit” of the community and urged everyone to “take care of each other.”

works toward developing a cure or vaccine for the highly contagious upper-respiratory virus. “Over time, [wearing face masks] is going to become part of our culture, at least in the short and medium terms,” Escott said. “Com- bined with social distancing, it gives us a greater chance to start opening the world back up a little bit. ... The requirement for facial cover- ings is likely to be a longstanding


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Local restaurants and breweries are oering groceries, including... TREATY OAK DISTILLING 16604 Fitzhugh Road, Dripping Springs 5125990335 JESTER KING BREWERY 13187 Fitzhugh Road, Austin 5126618736 AUSTIN JAVA 3799 E. Hwy. 290, Dripping Springs 5128295314 WATERLOO ICE HOUSE 9600 Escarpment Blvd., Austin 5123011007 9600 I35, Austin 5122927900

S elling groceries and produc- ing hand sanitizer was not what Daniel Barnes had in mind when he founded Treaty Oak Distilling 14 years ago, he said—but with the emergence of COVID-19 in Central Texas communities, Barnes has had to adapt. “We’re a very large, 28-acre ranch that’s built really for people coming out on the weekends and spending time,” Barnes said. “With all that’s going on, that’s not an option.” As local policies became more stringent and residents encountered shortages of key items at regular grocery stores, Barnes said he began to consider other ways he could serve the community and prop up his busi- ness. What followed was the Treaty Oak Market, which sells grocery items including fresh produce and other BY OLIVIA ALDRIDGE

essential, in-demand products for curbside pickup and delivery. Addi- tionally, Treaty Oak Market partnered with a local program called “School’s Out, Food’s In” to provide free grocer- ies to 95 local families in need. Treaty Oak is not the only business that is making the shift to grocery sales. Jester King Brewery opened a drive-thru country store oering grocery staples in addition to the pizza, beer and wine that is perenni- ally available at Jester King. Likewise, the Dripping Springs location of Austin Java has pioneered a call-in grocery operation sourced from the business’s primary food provider. General Manager Jerey Zuniga had to lay o much of his sta in late March and said he hopes the service’s success will persist so that Austin Java is able to rehire the sta he had to let go.

Treaty Oak Distilling started a market in March. (Nicholas Cicale / Community Impact Newspaper)

Dripping Springs resident Anya Jack- Whaley is delivering produce from two area farmers markets. (Courtesy Anya Jack-Whaley) AUSTIN FARMERS MARKET DELIVERY 5123506412 www.austinfarmers

ROCKET BANNERS 1701 W. Ben White Blvd., Austin 5124777446

Through the rst week of April, the Rocket Banners teammade roughly 750 posters for businesses. (Courtesy Rocket Banners)

Getting the signs out

Farmers market delivers

T o let would-be customers in Austin and beyond have promi- nently posted the same 2-by-3-foot, white, vinyl-like banner outside their establishment. “Open for take out,” the signs say in red font with blue shadow across four lines. All of them have been given out for free and come from the same South Austin sign shop, Rocket Banners. Through the rst week of April, Owner David Zuefeldt said he and his small team had made roughly 750 of the posters. After the cancellation of South By Southwest Conference know of changes in services, hundreds of local restaurants BY CHRISTOPHER NEELY

A ustin Farmers Market Dripping Springs and Southwest and Central Austin residents, launched April 15 with founder Anya Jack-Whaley delivering the rst bags of produce herself. Jack-Whaley, a Dripping Springs resident who has run the Barton Creek Farmers Market for 14 years, had been mulling the idea of a delivery service Delivery, a service oering fresh market produce to for some time, she said. Noting lagging attendance at the market, Jack-Whaley was already considering ways to revive public interest when COVID-19 hit, making delivery the standard method for many area BY OLIVIA ALDRIDGE

& Festivals, the shop was left with a stockpile of unused sign materials. Rocket Banners, unsolicited, has been dropping the signs o to any and all restaurants throughout the city that need them. Zuefeldt has operated in Austin for more than 20 years, while Rocket Banners has been run out of its current location since 2004. Rocket Banners creates signage for a range of industries and is considered a supplier for essential businesses. One of its designers, Evan Farias, said the “Open For Take Out” signs, which started as a way to help restaurants, have brought them new business, from larger chains such as Jason’s Deli and Thundercloud Subs.

residents to get grocery and produce. “It made it really simple to just go for it,” Jack-Whaley said. She contacted vendors from the Barton Creek Farmers Market to invite them to participate, and also vendors from the Dripping Springs Farmers Market. Through the Austin Farmers Market delivery website, customers can select the individual vendor they want to purchase from and contact them to place an order. Vendors include High Country Bison, Goataliscious Cheese and Svantes Grass-fed Beef, to name a few. Delivery is available to addresses throughout Central Austin, Southwest Austin and Dripping Springs.



BUSINESS INNOVATIONS Yoga, kung fu go virtual

DESERT DOOR TEXAS SOTOL 211 Darden Hill Road, Driftwood 5128296129

T homas Leverett and Claudia Castro-Leverett, the husband- and-wife duo behind longtime South Austin tness institution Del Sol Yoga & Kung Fu, had to shift gears fast because of the coronavirus. Leverett and Castro-Leverett have taken their classes to video, prere- cording sessions taught by them- selves and other Del Sol instructors that can be accessed for 24 hours to give participants exibility. Del Sol BY NICHOLAS CICALE

is oering online classes both as part of memberships and a la carte at $10 per class. Class types include Vinyasa, Yin and Ashtanga yoga as well as kung fu and tai chi. Leverett said Del Sol’s online classes closely mirror its in-person oerings, with both yoga and kung fu classes emphasizing energy over posture. “All of a sudden, we see people registering who we haven’t seen in 3 years or 4 years,” Leverett said. “It’s been kind of a sweet deal.”

The majority of Desert Door’s sanitizer has been donated to over 30 dierent departments in Texas. (Courtesy Desert Door Texas Sotol)

Helping rst responders A fter several early March can- cellations and precautions taken by Austin ocials, He said his sta found a recipe approved by the World Health Organization. In the rst week, the team made more than 1,200 gallons of hand sanitizer. While the plan initially was to oer sanitizer to BY NICHOLAS CICALE

Desert Door Texas Sotol owner Ryan Campbell said he felt it was inevitable that the tasting room at the distillery would have to close to guests through a stay-at-home order. He still wanted to nd a way for his business help the community during the coronavirus pandemic. “We started thinking, ‘What if we were to make hand sanitizer?’” Campbell said.

individuals who could not nd it at the store, Campbell said they quickly realized the huge need for rst responders. The bulk has been donated to over 30 rst responder departments across Central Texas. Those include the Austin Police Department and the Hays County Sheri’s Oce.

DEL SOL YOGA& KUNG FU 11190 Circle Drive, Ste. 103, Austin 5128650583

Thomas Leverett and Claudia Castro-Leverett have moved classes at Del Sol Yoga & Kung Fu online as social distancing requirements persist. (Courtesy Thomas Leverett)

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NONPROFIT INNOVATION Marbridge Foundation Southwest Austin nonprot continues work caring for adults with disabilities

MARBRIDGE FOUNDATION 2310 Bliss Spillar Road, Manchaca 5122821144

C aring for 265 adults with Marbridge Foundation their perma- nent home, the sta at the Southwest Austin nonprot residential com- munity knew that closing during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic was never an option. The Marbridge Foundation oper- ates a campus of three residential care facilities. As a 24-hour care pro- vider, the foundation is one of only three in the country that oers its level of care to individuals with dis- abilities, according to Vice President of Development Becca McPherson. Each facility oers dierent levels of support to adults ages 19-90, from semi-independent living to assisted living and full-time nursing care. “It is crucial we stay open,” intellectual and developmen- tal disabilities who call the BY NICHOLAS CICALE

McPherson said. “We have residents who have been with us from 30-60 years, and we serve quite a bit of residents who have outlived their family resources. Our nursing home residents can’t be cared for in many other facilities.” To help protect residents and sta from the coronavirus, the Marbridge campus is currently only open to the residents and the essential sta who directly care for them each day, and the campus had safety protocols in place since early March. As a result, the community has not seen a positive case among its residents, who are considered a vulnerable and at-risk demographic. For sta who continue to be on the front lines, they get their tem- peratures taken each day and wear medical masks at all times. “Our sta at the nursing home

The South Austin nonprot cares for 265 resident adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. (Courtesy Marbridge Foundation)

doesn’t normally wear a face mask all day long. It’s not just something you do,” said Duncan Murray, the admin- istrator for The Villa, Marbridge’s nursing facility. “While most people in Austin are doing that for the 20 minutes they’re out running errands and are frustrated with it, our sta is wearing those things for eight to nine hours a day.”

While protecting resident health is a top concern for the community, Murray said what he feared for the most heading into the pandemic was a drop in morale among the residents at Marbridge. “We have to explain why they can’t see their parents, who used to come visit them three to four times a week,” he said.

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Highlights from Southwest Austin and Dripping Springs

BY NICHOLAS CICALE SIDEWALK CHALK ARTISTS BRIGHTENUP SOUTHWEST AUSTIN NEIGHBORHOODS Leaving the house to go for walks for the health benets or to walk a pet is permitted under the city of Austin and Travis Coun- ty’s ongoing stay-at-home orders. In some Southwest Austin and Dripping Springs neighborhoods, residents have been decorating sidewalks, lawns and window- sills so neighbors have something dierent to look at each day as they walk. JoAnna Foster, a resident of the Ledgestone community near Dripping Springs, posted to Nextdoor when the stay-at-home order became ocial, asking the community to create a chalk art gallery for neighbors to enjoy in the neighborhood. Since then, she said she has seen dozens of homes in the area participate, with children creating chalk art or writing positive messages. Residents in other neighbor- hoods, including Circle C Ranch, Tanglewood and Shady Hollow, have set stued animals in their windows as part of an informal “bear hunt” or have decorated their yards to give children some- thing to look for while walking the neighborhood. In April, residents also began painting stones with inspirational



When calls came in frommedical centers, fam- ily practices and urgent cares for medical masks for employees, many local residents began making their own to donate. Jennifer Reyes, the director of operations for a group of medical oces in Austin, formed the volunteer group Make-AMask Austin to help coordinate mask making and donations. Ever since coronavirus began to spread locally, seamstress Carol Acosta said business at her Drip- ping Springs shop Carol’s Operations had dried up as clients retreated into their homes. After being approached by fellow resident Keele Winter about making masks, Acosta began producing them while community members donated $5 per person to keep the operation going. Since Acosta began sewing the masks, donations of elastic, fabric and cash have rolled in from community members. At the same time, a number of other commu- nities were spearheading their own donations to Make-AMask, both in the Austin area and across the county, Reyes said. Reyes estimated Make-A- Mask had received at least 1,200 donated masks from sewers over its rst 10 days. A group of Circle C residents is making masks to give to any Circle C-area residents in need as well as workers in health care and other essential workers throughout Austin. Group organizer Aileen Chen invited neighbors to join the sewing eort through a neighborhood Facebook group. ZIPS Dry Cleaners on South Lamar Boulevard has also been producing masks for the Travis County Sheri’s Oce and started a GoFundMe campaign to help raise money to donate masks.

Emilia Shively draws a rainbow to inspire those walking by. (Courtesy Tina Shively)

Children decorate their driveway with chalk art. (Courtesy JoAnna Foster)

A student made a display of a stued Winnie The Pooh. (Courtesy Rita Painter)

messages or uplifting designs and placing them around the area for people strolling through their neighborhoods to enjoy.

Decorated rocks are meant to inspire those walking by. (Courtesy Tina Shively)



Young instrumentalists in Dripping Springs have found a way to share music together and with their communities while still maintaining social distance over the past few weeks. Every evening at 7 p.m., band students from Sycamore Springs Middle School and other Dripping Springs ISD schools have taken to their front porches to play concerts. This serves two purposes, as it connects stu- dents to others in their neighborhoods, but it also helps connect students in the area to other music students beyond Southwest Austin. “Any kid who has their instrument at home can participate in this and feel connected to other band students across the country,” said Sycamore Springs band director Tamarie Sayger, who oated the idea for the porch concerts to students after hearing about similar eorts at other schools across the

Make-a-Mask’s stock of hand-sewnmasks goes to medical workers. (Photos courtesy Jennifer Reyes)

Sycamore Springs Middle School student Brooklynn Allen performs a porch concert. (Courtesy Dripping Springs ISD)

United States. Sayger’s students join band students throughout the United States who take to their instruments at the same time each evening, using the hashtag #MusicConnectsUs to share their concerts on social media.

Medical professionals thankMake-AMask volunteers for needed supplies.



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