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Michael Barnes

Family Wisdom for Nicole Johnson, Last of the Statesman Presses, Meaning of the Austin Music Census and more

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Nicole Johnson's family. She's at Prairie View A&M now.

Nicole Johnson’s family. She’s at Prairie View A&M now.

SCHOOL: Pearls of wisdom from Nicole Johnson’s family and friends. Taken from my story in the Statesman: “Cousin Sue Sion passes along the thought: “The human mind is like an umbrella — it functions best when open!” Great-aunt Allee James Mitchell is no less allegorical: “If you pour your purse into your head, no one can ever take it away from you.” Great-great-grandmother Carolyn Stevenson James, who earned her teacher’s certificate from what is now Prairie View A&M University in 1917, left behind this simple guide: “Love and respect people from all walks of life.”

MUSIC: Census sparks talks of strengthening Austin’s music industry. Taken from Marty Toohey story in the Statesman: “Austin has plenty of parking garages that stand empty in the evening. And it has plenty of music acts looking for a place to play. As she thought about the difficulties facing Austin’s music scene, Michele Haussmann wondered whether those garages could moonlight as venues. “Could it work? I don’t know,” said Haussmann, a development consultant whose clients include the music industry. “But it’s important that we come up with new ideas. If Apple comes here because Austin is cool, and then our music industry disappears, it will be more difficult to attract the next Apple.”

MEDIA: Ink in the blood: Statesman presses wind down. Writer Nancy Flores collaborated with our multi-media team to produce immersive reports and the following video about the phasing out of our presses. “For 144 years, printing operations have been at the heart of the Austin American-Statesman. The company recently outsourced the printing of the daily newspaper, ending the jobs of 103 employees and signaling the eventual stoppage of its presses.”