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Michael Barnes

LCRA Graphic Artist Art Anderson, Crypto-Jews in Texas, How Pressley, Casar Pay for Election Challenge

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Art Anderson's 1942 map of LCRA service area.

Art Anderson’s 1942 map of LCRA service area.

HISTORY + ARTS: Graphic artist Art Anderson helped shape the images of Central Texas. Taken from my story in the Statesman: “Art Anderson didn’t dream up office towers or lay out neighborhoods. He didn’t build highways or landscape greenbelts. He didn’t create defining landmarks, such as the Capitol or the University of Texas Tower. Yet subtly — and over the course of several decades — the Austin graphic artist shaped how Central Texans see their hills and lakes, highways and byways, small businesses and powerful agencies. An adventurous man who raced motorcycles, boxed in the Golden Gloves, and served as a Seabee during World War II, Anderson was a protegee of President Lyndon Baines Johnson, who taught him civics at San Jacinto High School in Houston. Trained informally as a civil engineer by his father, Anderson worked for the Lower Colorado River Authority from 1939 to 1978. There, he served as design engineer, draftsman, mapmaker, artist, photographer, publications producer, surveyor and parks director.”

HISTORY + FAITH: Rabbis, academics say more Latinos are discovering their Crypto-Jewish roots. Taken from Samantha Bagden‘s story in the Statesman. “Fifteen years ago, John Garcia converted to Judaism. Or rather, returned. For 49 years, Garcia lived publicly as a Catholic, all the while knowing he had Jewish ancestry. His ancestors had settled down outside of Monterrey, Mexico, where they were forced to repress their religion and convert.  “It was a well-kept family secret that we had Jewish roots,” Garcia said. Even though his mother and sister were devout Catholics, Garcia’s father told him when he was a teenager that they were Sephardic Jews — Jews hailing from Spain. Garcia’s brother traced their family genealogy on their father’s side and confirmed that they descended from Jews belonging to a congregation that was dismantled around 1596.”

LAW + POLITICS: Reports show how Pressley, Casar are paying for election challenge. Taken from Lilly Rockwell‘s story in the Statesman: “Former City Council candidate Laura Pressley has amassed over $72,000 over the last six months — roughly double that of her opponent — to pay legal bills for a lawsuit she filed accusing the county’s elections supervisor of mishandling the election. Pressley is engaged in a legal battle to contest the results of the December runoff in North Austin’s District 4, which Council Member Greg Casar won by 1,291 votes. Under city code, she and Casar are allowed to continue fundraising, with no financial limits, to pay legal bills. Wednesday marked the first time Casar and Pressley have had to reveal, through campaign finance reports submitted to the city, who is helping them pay for their legal teams.”