Some Austin restaurants, bars will keep masking requirements, capacity limits when statewide orders lift next week
Two days shy of the one-year anniversary of Texas' first confirmed case of COVID-19, Gov. Greg Abbott announced Tuesday that he will rescind statewide pandemic restrictions, including business capacity limits and mask mandates, next week. Although businesses—especially those tied to the hospitality industry—have suffered financially over the last year, many Austin establishments are rejecting Abbott's order.
Red River music venue Mohawk tweeted shortly after Abbott's announcement, racking up hundreds of likes and retweets.
Thanks bro but we ain't gonna do it till it's safe
— Mohawk Austin (@mohawkaustin) March 2, 2021
North Austin brewery 4th Tap Brewing Coop "will continue to operate at a limited capacity for the time being with social distancing measures in place," according to a recent tweet. "And as part of our dress code, we will require that you continue to wear a mask while not seated. Our staff will continue wearing masks as well."
In light of today's announcement ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/9uiErF3Wm7
— 4th Tap Brewing Coop (@4thtap) March 2, 2021
East Austin's Yellow Jacket Social Club posted on Instagram, saying it will continue to enforce masking for all patrons and staff. The bar also quoted Abbott, who said "businesses don't need the state to tell them how to operate" as part of his announcement.
Better Half Coffee & Cocktails, near Clarksville, also took to social media to reiterate its masking mandate. "CANT BELIEVE I AM POSTING THIS A YEAR IN GIVE US A BREAK," the business wrote, adding in response to a comment about capacity limits that its indoor dining space will remain closed.
Better Half's sibling business and Rainey Street food truck Bummer Burrito had a similar response: "FYI WE ARE STILL IN A BIG OL PANDI K THX."
Southern Heights Brewing Co. chimed in, too.
Austin Beerworks said in a tweet that the governor's announcement will not impact its taproom policies—including outdoor-only service and required masking for all customers when not at their tables—which have been in place since late July.
Although Texas has eased restrictions on masks and indoor seating, our taproom policies will not change until further notice. The safety of our staff and customers is still our top priority.
For more information on those policies, please visit: https://t.co/L3kO36D8sg
— Austin Beerworks (@AustinBeerworks) March 2, 2021
Epoch Coffee, which has four locations around Austin, will continue to require people be masked when ordering and picking up their coffee.
Local businesses weren't the only ones to take issue with Abbott's announcement. Although new COVID cases and related hospitalizations continue to trend downwards locally, Austin-Travis County Interim Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott said lifting the mask mandate too soon could lead to another surge. "My hope is that the mask mandate will continue at least through the end of April to allow us to ride this curve down," he told Austin City Council members and Travis County commissioners Tuesday morning.
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Someday, electric vehicles could go distances fit for road trips across Texas.
Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin, who have previously made strides in the lithium-ion battery industry, have developed a new electrode for such batteries that could draw greater power and allow faster charging.
So far, the research has looked at just a single type of battery electrode and is in its early stages. But it offers exciting potential as some buyers consider driving range an important factor when making the switch to an EV or picking one.
Tesla’s Model Y being produced out of Giga Texas, for example, offers an estimated 330-mile range, which is lower than what many have become accustomed to in gas-powered vehicles.
So UT professor Guihua Yu, along with other researchers, had their findings on battery electrodes published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
“The unprecedented growth of electric vehicles during the past decade has played an indispensable role in paving the way for a carbon-neutral future,” the researchers write.
That’s why it’s key to address a hitch with next-generation batteries, where restacking material can cause “significant bottlenecks” in charge transport, Yu says. Consequently, it can be difficult to achieve high energy and fast charging.
To tackle the sluggish reactions of electrodes, the team used thin two-dimensional materials as the building blocks and stacked them to create thickness. Then, they used a magnetic field to manipulate their orientations and put the materials in vertical alignment. In doing so, researchers essentially made a fast lane for ions to travel through the electrode.
They compared their results to a commercial electrode and a horizontally arranged one for experimental control purposes. In that comparison, they recharged the vertical thick electrode to 50% energy level in 30 minutes. The horizontal electrode took 2 hours and 30 minutes.
Zhengyu Ju, a graduate student in Yu’s research group who is leading this project, said the team’s electrode shows superior electrochemical performance.
In part, that’s “thanks to the unique architecture we designed,” Ju said. It ultimately allowed for high mechanical strength, high electrical conductivity and facilitated lithium-ion transport.
Going forward, the team aims to generalize their methodology of vertically organized electrode layers to apply it to different types of electrodes using other materials. They imagine if this technique becomes more widely adopted in industry, it may create future fast-charging, high-energy batteries to power EVs.
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Camp Fimfo Waco, a brand new camping resort, is kicking off football and fall camping season in style! With top-notch amenities, premium accommodations, and 10 weekends of fall fun, there’s no better place to have a fall camping getaway, especially if you’re a Baylor football fan!
Fall promises to be a one-of-a-kind camping experience. From Sept. 16 to Nov. 24, weekends will be packed with fall-themed activities, including special Halloween weekends in October. Campers can enjoy activities like fall crafts, campground trick-or-treating, costume contests, site decorating, outdoor movie nights, and more!
Packages and Ways to Stay
Camp Fimfo Waco
Located just 5 miles from McLane Stadium, Camp Fimfo Waco is the perfect place to stay during home game weekends. Skip the stuffy hotel room and embrace the great outdoors before cheering on the Baylor Bears! Campers can purchase a Baylor Tailgating Package that includes a pre-game meal from Executive Chef Sean Kelley and transportation to and from the game! Chef Kelley will also be cooking up delicious, elevated tailgating meals near the stadium so make sure to check out The Plaid Plate food truck before the game.
Stay in style and comfort, no matter your camping preference! At Camp Fimfo Waco, there are multiple ways to stay. Red Carpet RV sites come with a concrete pad and patio, full hook-ups, cable hook-up, a charcoal grill, fire ring and fire pit. Back-in or pull-thru options are available, as well as coveted spots tucked along the Bosque River!
Don’t have an RV? Not a problem, Camp Fimfo Waco has cabins too! Book a Riverview Firewheel Cabin if you’re looking for an air-conditioned oasis for the whole family. Complete with a kitchen and private bathroom, this cabin can fit up to 10 people. Elevate your stay by adding on a golf cart or snag a private cabana by the pool for guaranteed shade. With wifi available throughout the park, you can stay connected during your stay!
Amenities and Activities
Camp Fimfo Waco
Camp Fimfo Waco features lots of amenities to fill your days with fun, whether you’re a kid or kid at heart. After challenging your friends to a game of pickleball, basketball, or mini golf, go for a dip in the resort-style, heated pool - open daily through October! Stay on the weekends through October to enjoy the interactive splash playground. With plenty of ways to burn off energy, like the jumping pillow or playground, you can be sure to end the day with a peaceful night around the campfire!
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