Joanne Foote

Left to right: Mike Brode, Jay Doran, Bo Overstreet (partially hidden), Phil Aboussie, Ariston Awitan III. (Joanne Foote)

The Men's Group of St. Mark's Episcopal Church usually meets around the middle of the month, and for the 40 or 50 who gather in the parish hall on Barton Hills Drive, a good time is had by all. Mike Brode might serve as head chef (leading the Hitchman team) and Ross Ramsey as bier meister.

The tradition has gone on for many years. And it will continue. But the April 13 meeting will be "virtual."


Group leader Bill Kibler sent word recently that the meeting "will be held on April 13, as scheduled. You'll have to buy your own beer and make an order up of your own food, but conviviality will be assured by Father Zac (Koons), who will organize a Zoom meeting."

And so it is across Austin and the nation. Faith-based, fraternal, neighborhood, social and so many other gatherings—not just business meetings—are "Zoomed," with hosts emailing invitations and attendees clicking on links to see video boxes of others popping up on their screens.

The Zoom meetings are an opportunity, said Ramsey, in a recent tweet, to see what kind of ceiling fans your friends have. And also what kind of beer they're drinking. Not in the business meetings, though, please.

(Poli Pix Co. LLC/Shutterstock)

As widespread protests against police violence continue in Austin and around the country, local activist groups are pushing for what they've wanted for years but didn't feel they could successfully demand: defunding the Austin Police Department. And people seem to be paying attention.

Keep Reading Show less

About 20% of classes at the University of Texas at Austin will be taught exclusively online this fall, The Texas Tribune reports, and in-person classes will be limited to 40% of classroom capacity.

Keep Reading Show less
(Charlie L. Harper III)

There are two suspected cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children—a rare but serious condition believed to be associated with COVID-19—in Travis County, Austin Public Health Chief Epidemiologist Janet Pichette said during a virtual press conference earlier today.

Keep Reading Show less