Monthly Archives: September 2013

Ballet Austin in Israel

(Community Matters) Beyond thrilled to join Ballet Austin in Israel for performances of The Light, Stephen Mill’s piece honoring remembrance of the Holocaust. Cookie Ruiz, Stephen, Steve Adler, Kirk Rudy & Tommie Meredith have long dreamed of bringing the performance and curriculum to Israel.

Traveling with Diane Land, Steve Adler, Suzanne & Marc Winkelman (Steve & Marc planned our trip), Lynn & Tommie Meredith, Nancy Scanlan, Reed Adler & Steven. There’s also a group of additional BA supporters & Austin Jewish Federation members here concurrently.

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Tonight Steven, Diane, Steve & I had dinner with @ Merav’s & Dori’s w/ Oret & Amir (& their 5 spectacular children) – all friends from previous visits.

We’re spending our first three nights in Akko (highly recommend the Efendi Hotel), touring Western Galilee & the Golan Heights. Last night was the opening performance. As spectacular and moving as it was in Austin in 2005, just didn’t prepare me for seeing it with such vintage and in such a relevant setting. The dancers were exquisite. Reviews are over the top. We’ll miss the Tel Aviv performance but will see the company perform again in Jerusalem next week.

The Castle

(Community Matters) I like how our friend frames it.  Marfa is the Magic Kingdom. If you live next door, you’ll “own” the castle. Well, this is gonna be fun.

chinati castle


Quick trip to Marfa this week – up Tuesday, back today. Real estate business, a little radio business and lots of super visits with friends there and w/ Joe in Fredericksburg on the way home.

Pope Francis on Gays, Women, Nuns, Humility . . .

pope francis interfaith(Community Matters) There’s just so much good reported in this Huff Post piece about what Pope Francis has to say about the church’s attitude about gays, women, nuns, humility . . .  And, it’s meaningful that Austin Bishop Vasquez appears to agree. 

On the way home from Marfa today, I was wondering if I could reclaim my Catholic heritage and retain my Episcopal enrollment. Should be able to do so – they are basically the same religions. 

Pope Francis: Gays, Abortion Too Much Of Catholic Church’s Obsession

Pope Francis faulted the Roman Catholic church for focusing too much on gays, abortion and contraception, saying the church has become “obsessed” with those issues to the detriment of its larger mission to be “home for all,” according to an extensive new interview published Thursday.

The church can share its views on homosexuality, abortion and other issues, but should not “interfere spiritually” with the lives of gays and lesbians, the pope added in the interview, which was published in La Civilta Cattolica, a Rome-based Jesuit journal.

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(Community Matters) Excellent trip to Des Moines w/ Mayor Castro & Congressman Castro. Enjoyed meeting and chatting w/ Senator Harkin and met lots of his Iowa staff, organizers and supporters at his major donor dinner. Last night we hosted new friends in my hotel room for a boxing match watching party. This morning, we met with Hispanic political leadership and spent the afternoon at the Steak Fry, where Mayor Castro shared the stage with the Senator and Vice President Biden.

I’m blown away by the Castro brothers’ popularity in Iowa. Joaquin arrived at the fair grounds with the Senator & Mayor in the VP’s motorcade and since he wasn’t speaking, joined the crowd – they literally rushed him, jockeying for pictures. Everywhere we’ve gone, Joaquin and Julian have been stopped, approached, grabbed for pics – and it isn’t only Hispanics and young voters. I’m appreciative they are both traveling the country, campaigning for the best Democratic candidates.

Des Moines-strategy


Bummed I didn’t get someone else to take this picture so I could be in it. Seems like it’ll be prophetic – first Castro strategy meeting in Iowa.

Senator Harkin’s Steak Fry

(Community Matters) Steven and I are in Dallas w/ two of our very dearest friends, Charles Santos & Rick Bond – confused about date of Jessica Lang’s performance, which is in fact not until tonight, so we’ll miss. I’m meeting Julian & Joaquin Castro at DFW, then off to Des Moines for Senator Harkin’s annual steak fry. The Mayor and the Congressman are regularly campaigning around the country for D friends; they both excite young and Hispanic voters.

Putin’s NYT Op-Ed

putin(Community Matters) Vladimir Putin . . .  believe his claims that Russia is for peace and is only enforcing the rule of law? I’m  slightly less trusting of the whole weapons turnover proposition because of the sleaziness of his op-ed. This man has proven himself a thug and a thief.

NYT: A Plea for Caution From Russia. What Putin Has to Say to Americans About Syria


Published: September 11, 2013

MOSCOW — RECENT events surrounding Syria have prompted me to speak directly to the American people and their political leaders. It is important to do so at a time of insufficient communication between our societies.

Relations between us have passed through different stages. We stood against each other during the cold war. But we were also allies once, and defeated the Nazis together. The universal international organization — the United Nations — was then established to prevent such devastation from ever happening again.

The United Nations’ founders understood that decisions affecting war and peace should happen only by consensus, and with America’s consent the veto by Security Council permanent members was enshrined in the United Nations Charter. The profound wisdom of this has underpinned the stability of international relations for decades.

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Mark Tereck & Laura Huffman, The Nature Conservancy

(Community Matters) Enjoyed hearing Mark Tereck, CEO Nature Conservancy, and Laura Huffman, CEO Texas Affiliate, at Tommie & Lynn Meredith’s this evening. Also enjoyed chatting with Mark after. We share a common friend in DC-icon, Frank Loy. Frank & Tommie are members of TNC’s international board of directors. Frank’s also the founder of the Environmental Defense Fund.

Mark was discussing his recent book, Nature’s Fortune: How Business and Society Thrive by Investing in Nature, and signing copies. Love that TNC hired a former Goldman Sachs managing partner to find private public partnership solutions to environmental challenges.


Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

(Community Matters) Macklemore & Ryan Lewis will be in Austin (Cedar Park Center) Thanksgiving weekend (Friday 29th). 

Burning Man 2013

(Community Matters) One of my former MBA students, Andy Chen, took these pics at Burning Man. Love ’em. Thought should share.

Andy: We spent a few days in the Nevada Desert in a temporary city of 68,000 people. Here are a few pics (the ones that are safe for work) of the people, art, dancing, celebration, and community that we experienced.

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Contemporary To Get $9mm For Sculpture Garden

(Community Matters) Transformation of 12-acre Laguna Gloria lakeside site into a destination sculpture park – huge, huge, huge. Way pleased to hear of the Marcus Foundation’s $9mm grant to make this happen at The Contemporary. For the 15+ years I lived on Mt Bonnell and the three years I served on the AMOA board (several months as co-CEO), bet I walked these trails several hundred times – can’t wait to do so again.  story

contemporary sculpture

Austin Pride Parade

(Community Matters) Much fun, especially spending it with my husband, Michael Mitchell, Robert Torian, Beth Broderick & Dennis Bailey

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Renaissance of Startups in Austin

773690_10151247238024142_1824026858_o(Community Matters) My friend Ross Buhrdorf on a renaissance of startups in Austin. And, how Austinites reserve time in their schedules to play music and create art; how their ability to think creatively translates to their jobs. In the AAS