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(Felix Mizioznikov/Shutterstock)

It could be the biggest Austin economic development project in a generation. One observer calls it a "get-out-of-jail-free" ticket to overcome the devastating economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. But Tesla, the high-flying builder of electric vehicles, has asked local officials to react quickly and fully to its requests. If not, Tesla could flee to a rival location in Tulsa, Okla.

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Let's take a break from pandemic and economic disaster to consider lighter fare that may lift your spirits and your eyes to the skies above. Set your cell phone reminder: The Air Force's fabled Thunderbirds are scheduled to fly over Austin beginning at 2:40 p.m. on Wednesday. The flyover will last 25 minutes.

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The view from 360 Nueces Street. (David Powell)

Welcome to Austonia, a new, locally owned news company reporting on news, business, and politics in Austin. Like what you see? Sign up for our daily newsletter to get our latest stories in your inbox.

Elevator wars. Cramped life on a balcony. Darkened bars and restaurants. No deliveries to your condo. Generational differences over latex gloves, disposable wipes and social distancing. Ready to kill for a beer on a restaurant patio. Yes, those who live in Austin downtown's high-rises are stressed in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

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The Statesman layoffs were a part of layoffs across Gannett, the nation's largest newspaper chain, which also owns 260 other newspapers in 46 states. (Michael Barera)

(Editor's Note: Oppel is editorial advisor to Austonia.com. From 1995-2008, he was editor and vice president of the Austin American-Statesman.)

Veteran sportswriter Suzanne Halliburton and culture critic Joe Gross were among seven staffers laid off on Friday by the Austin American-Statesman. The layoffs come at a time when most Statesman employees are on unpaid furloughs one week each month.

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