Michael Barnes

Social columnist

Michael Barnes writes about Austin's people, places, culture and history. He also writes the Out and About social column and blog.

Latest from Michael Barnes

UT graduate Dr. O. Alton Barron aims to heal Austin musicians
 Austin is home to pioneering nonprofits, such as HAAM and SIMS, that serve the health needs of the music community. Add another: The Musician Treatment Foundation, which aims to heal vulnerable shoulders, elbows and hands, and kicks off with an Elvis Costello benefit concert Oct. 22 at the Paramount Theatre. We chatted about the project,...

Posted: 2 days ago

Austin is home to pioneering nonprofits, such as HAAM and SIMS, that serve the health needs of the music community. Add another: The Musician Treatment Foundation, which aims to heal vulnerable shoulders, elbows and hands, and kicks off with an Elvis Costello benefit concert Oct. 22 at the Paramount Theatre. We chatted about the project,...
Alec Baldwin coming to Austin to talk Trump
 Actor, producer and comedian 
            Alec Baldwin, whose career got a rocket boost by impersonating President 
            Donald Trump on “Saturday Night Live,” will 
            NOT be in character when he appears at the Long Center for the Performing Arts on Nov. 15. Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump for the...

Posted: 2 days ago

Actor, producer and comedian  Alec Baldwin, whose career got a rocket boost by impersonating President  Donald Trump on “Saturday Night Live,” will NOT be in character when he appears at the Long Center for the Performing Arts on Nov. 15. Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump for the...
For Halloween, Austin is the spawn of murder and mayhem
 Stories of murder and mayhem on the streets of Austin are scary enough for Halloween, but only at a safe distance. Recent
            violence is off limits for this sort of entertainment. Zesty author 
            Richard Zelade tallied up the local score for the city’s first 100 years or so in his slim volume, “Austin Murder...

Posted: 3 days ago

Stories of murder and mayhem on the streets of Austin are scary enough for Halloween, but only at a safe distance. Recent violence is off limits for this sort of entertainment. Zesty author Richard Zelade tallied up the local score for the city’s first 100 years or so in his slim volume, “Austin Murder...
Former Austin broadcaster, lawmaker remembered for his talents, charm
 Marvin “Dan” Love, an Austin broadcasting pioneer and former city lawmaker, died Friday. He was 88. Love became a newscaster for KTBC-TV (also known as Fox 7 Austin) and later ran KHFI-TV (now known as KXAN) as its general manager from 1965 to 1974. He was elected to the Austin City Council in 1971 and re-elected in 1973, serving...

Posted: 3 days ago

Marvin “Dan” Love, an Austin broadcasting pioneer and former city lawmaker, died Friday. He was 88. Love became a newscaster for KTBC-TV (also known as Fox 7 Austin) and later ran KHFI-TV (now known as KXAN) as its general manager from 1965 to 1974. He was elected to the Austin City Council in 1971 and re-elected in 1973, serving...
Taking social flight with Travis Audubon, Waller Creek Conservancy, American Gateways
 It was like drifting from one waking dream to another. Heading to the Waller Creek Conservancy benefit. Contributed by © David Brendan Hall / 
               http://www.davidhallphotog.com I first encountered that certain fantastical aspect to the 
            Waller Creek Conservancy, which plans a series of high-design parks along...

Posted: 4 days ago

It was like drifting from one waking dream to another. Heading to the Waller Creek Conservancy benefit. Contributed by © David Brendan Hall / http://www.davidhallphotog.com I first encountered that certain fantastical aspect to the Waller Creek Conservancy, which plans a series of high-design parks along...
Catching a bit of culture on the University of Texas jumbotron
 The jumbotron at Darrell K. Royal Texas Memorial Stadium. Contributed by Wikipedia The 2017 
            Longhorns football team seems to be the real deal. Its three losses were close and two of those were against highly ranked teams. The
            next home game is Oct. 21 against 
            Oklahoma State University. At times at...

Posted: 4 days ago

The jumbotron at Darrell K. Royal Texas Memorial Stadium. Contributed by Wikipedia The 2017 Longhorns football team seems to be the real deal. Its three losses were close and two of those were against highly ranked teams. The next home game is Oct. 21 against  Oklahoma State University. At times at...
AUSTIN ANSWERED: Why is the Travis/Williamson county line so crooked?
 A very observant reader asked our Austin Answered project: “If you examine a map of the Travis-Williamson county line, it’s so crooked it looks almost like a river. How did the line come to be?” Although the Travis-Williamson county line is crooked, it does not follow a waterway. Its shape, however, is related to watersheds...

Posted: 6 days ago

A very observant reader asked our Austin Answered project: “If you examine a map of the Travis-Williamson county line, it’s so crooked it looks almost like a river. How did the line come to be?” Although the Travis-Williamson county line is crooked, it does not follow a waterway. Its shape, however, is related to watersheds...
Best Texas books to read soon
 We pause during Austin festival season to read up on nature in a Texas national park, the career of a Texas script doctor,
            the third part of an Old West trilogy by a Texan, a urban Chicano tale from another Texan and breezy book on Texas ingenuity.  “Nature Watch Big Bend.” Lynne Weber and Jim Weber. Texas A&...

Posted: 7 days ago

We pause during Austin festival season to read up on nature in a Texas national park, the career of a Texas script doctor, the third part of an Old West trilogy by a Texan, a urban Chicano tale from another Texan and breezy book on Texas ingenuity. “Nature Watch Big Bend.” Lynne Weber and Jim Weber. Texas A&...
Classical guitarist Matthew Hinsley named Texas Citizen of the Year
 Earlier this month in Galveston,
             Matthew Hinsley, executive director of the 
            
               Austin Classical 
               Guitar,
             accepted the 
            Texas Citizen of the Year Award from the 
            National Association of Social Workers. Later that week at the AISD Performing...

Posted: 8 days ago

Earlier this month in Galveston, Matthew Hinsley, executive director of the Austin Classical  Guitar, accepted the Texas Citizen of the Year Award from the  National Association of Social Workers. Later that week at the AISD Performing...
History built on history at Montopolis Friendship Community Center
 On Oct. 14, a good many Montopolis eyes will be on the United Methodist Women. That is because this charitable mission of the United Methodist Church will celebrate 60 years of good works at the Montopolis Friendship Community Center with an open house from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. They are quite some group, as this reporter discovered while visiting...

Posted: 9 days ago

On Oct. 14, a good many Montopolis eyes will be on the United Methodist Women. That is because this charitable mission of the United Methodist Church will celebrate 60 years of good works at the Montopolis Friendship Community Center with an open house from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. They are quite some group, as this reporter discovered while visiting...