Weasel Zippers

Several leadership positions in Austin have yet to be decided following the November election.

Neither Kirk Watson nor Celia Israel received more than 50 percent in the Austin mayoral election, forcing a runoff. The same is true for the District 3, 5, and 9 Austin City Council seats.

Early voting for the runoff election will run from Thursday, December 1, through Friday, December 9. Election Day is Tuesday, December 13.

Here is everything you need to know about voting in the election, from polling locations to what you may see on your ballot.

When and where to vote
Registered and eligible Austinites may vote at any early voting location. You can find early voting locations in your area on the Vote Texas website. All voters have to do is plug in their information in order to find polling locations.

During early voting, polling place hours vary at each location. On Election Day, December 13, voters will also able to cast ballots at any polling location in Austin; polls are open from 7 am. to 7 pm. As long as you are in line by 7 pm, you will be able to vote.

What's on the ballot

Austin Mayor
Former Austin mayor and state senator Kirk Watson and State Rep. Celia Israel face each other again in December's runoff. Watson previously served as mayor of Austin from 1997 until 2001 and spent 13 years in the Texas Senate, to which he was elected from 2007 to 2020. On his site, Watson says his main priorities include the city’s rising cost of living, homelessness, systemic racism and transportation.

Celia Israel has represented the Austin area since 2014 as a member of the Texas House of Representatives. Her main issues including addressing the city’s affordability, mobility and public safety challenges, as well as prioritizing reproductive rights and sexual health.

Austin City Council – District 3
José Velásquez and Daniela Silva face each other again receiving 36 percent and 34 percent of the vote, respectively, for District 3, which covers Central-East and East Austin.

Velásquez was raised in East Austin and says he "will always fight to ensure that every voice is heard as we work together towards an affordable, accountable and equitable Austin for ALL." Silva moved to Austin after she completed her graduate studies and is passionate about environmental justice, affordable and sustainable housing, public education, restorative justice and equity-oriented transit development.

Austin City Council – District 5
Stephanie Bazan and Ryan Alter face each other again after receiving 29 percent and 25 percent of the vote, respectively, for District 5, which covers primarily South Austin and part of Central Austin.

Bazan is a native Austinite who says she wants to "amplify the voices of South Austinites and address affordability, so families can remain in this vibrant city, and ALL our neighbors can thrive." Alter was also raised in Austin and his primary issues include housing, homelessness, transportation and the environment.

Austin City Council – District 9
Zohaib Qadri and Linda Guerrero face each other again after receiving 30 percent and 22 percent of the vote, respectively, for District 9, which covers Central Austin.

Qadri says he has worked in advocacy roles and on political campaigns in Austin and across the country; is primary issues include "abundant homes for an affordable Austin," "tackling the climate crisis" and "creating healthy, safe communities." Guerrero is a lifelong resident of District 9 who says she will "continue to bring people together to find practical solutions to our city’s most pressing issues affecting all of us."


For the full story, including detailed information on each candidate, and a video, head to KVUE.com.

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CultureMap Emails are Awesome

The "world's rudest" diner is coming to Austin, plus more top stories

Hot Headlines

Editor’s note: It’s that time again — time to check in with our top stories. Here are five articles that captured our collective attention over the past seven days.

1. A diner with the "world's rudest service" is coming to Austin...like, whenever. Karen’s Diner provides the worst service for the best experience, at least according to cheeky clientele who appreciate the campy comedy of a long-suffering server.

2. Award-winning New York pub brings Irish hospitality to Austin's Sixth Street. The Dead Rabbit pub is bringing Ireland to Texas, opening a new location in downtown Austin.

3. Where to see the once-in-recorded-history green comet approaching Austin. The comet will be closest to Earth (thus, likely the most visible) on February 1, and its most recent appearance was 50,000 years ago.

4. 6 Austin restaurants score coveted James Beard Award nominations. Austin restaurants and bars earned both national and regional recognition, with three national nominations and three nominations for Best Chef: Texas.

5. 2 Austin suburbs cash in among the richest places in Texas for 2023. Lakeway has been renamed the fifth richest place in Texas for 2023 in a recent study, while Bee Cave moved from No. 13 in 2022 to No. 9 this year.

Austin's flagship Kendra Scott store transforms into mini-Museum of Ice Cream for Valentine's Day

Sweet On You

Roses are red, violets are blue, and it's almost February, which means the season of love is upon us. Whether you're looking for the perfect Instagram backdrop or the perfect gift for your Galentine, Valentine — or just a treat for yourself — one particularly sweet collaboration has you covered.

Starting February 1, Austin's own Kendra Scott is partnering with the Museum of Ice Cream to "spread joy, inspire human connection, and reimagine the way we experience ice cream and jewelry just in time for Valentine’s Day," according to a release.

An extension of Scott's “Sweet on You” Valentine’s Day campaign, the partnership will feature an immersive, experiential retail component in the bustling Kendra Scott flagship location on South Congress, as well as a custom ice cream flavor, opportunities to give back, and more.

For an immersive retail experience, the event space at the flagship store will be transformed into a mini-Museum of Ice Cream appropriately dressed with bananas, baubles, and hearts galore. If you've never made it to the renowned museum housed at the Domain, this is your chance to get a literal taste of the experience, while shopping for trinkets and treasures at the same time.

Both companies prioritize giving back as key pillars of their brand, so it's only fitting that the duo will be surprising three schools in Austin, Chicago, and New York with February ice cream parties as part of their partnership. Children at participating schools will be able to enjoy the exclusive Kendra Scott x Museum of Ice Cream flavor while crafting their own Museum of Ice Cream cardboard truck. Each classroom will also receive an Amazon gift card to offset teaching supplies, and Kendra Scott will provide each student with a yellow rose to give alongside Valentine’s messages for their friends, family, teacher, or crush.

Taking place from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm, a public event on Febuary 1 will formally celebrate the launch of the partnership. Guests will be able to check out the collaborative, immersive shopping experience while shopping Kendra Scott’s new Valentine's Day Collection, enjoying free ice cream and treats from the Museum of Ice Cream and the Sips & Sweets Café.

RSVP to the public event here, and start shopping the Valentine's Day collection here.

Texas-based Cinemark theater chain hosts Oscars-themed movie marathon

Awards News

The Cinemark movie chain is giving movie buffs an opportunity to brush up on the Oscars.

Plano-based Cinemark Holdings, Inc. will host its annual Oscar Movie Week festival, this year running from Monday, March 6 through Sunday, March 12, in anticipation of the 95th Oscars ceremony, which airs on March 12 on ABC.

The theater chain will air all of this year’s Best Picture and Best Live Action and Animated Short Film nominees, at more than 120 participating Cinemark theaters nationwide.

According to a release, passes are now on sale now at Cinemark.com/movieweek.

A full Digital Festival Pass is $40 and includes showings for all Best Picture and Best Live Action and Animated Short Film nominees. There's a perk! If you purchase a festival pass, you get 50 percent off any size popcorn during Oscar Movie Week.

Individual showtime tickets will be available starting January 27 at standard pricing, with showtimes beginning March 6.

All Best Live Action and Animated Short Film nominees are bundled into one viewing for just $10 from March 10-12.

For other brushing up, take a look back at what CultureMap’s film critic, Alex Bentley, had to say about each of the nominees (listed in alphabetical order) when they were originally released.

Cinemark has been hosting other similar marathon events such its collaboration with ESPN to bring college football games to the big screen.

The event takes place at these theaters across the U.S., including the following locations in Texas:

  • Austin: Cinemark Southpark Meadows
  • Denton: Cinemark 14
  • Fort Worth: Ridgmar Mall
  • Grapevine: Cinemark Tinseltown
  • Houston: Cinemark Memorial City
  • Plano: Cinemark Legacy
  • Plano: Cinemark West Plano
  • San Antonio: Cinemark San Antonio 16
  • The Woodlands: Cinemark 17