City of Austin, Texas
City of Austin, Texas
Change the name of Austin's Robert E. Lee Road
UPDATED Austin has no connection with the confederate general Robert E. Lee, and yet we have a prominent road near Zilker Park named for him. It is way past time that a progressive city such as Austin abandoned such a memorial to a confederate traitor, and used that space to commemorate a more local hero who was on the right side of history. We propose changing the name of Robert E. Lee Road. One possibility would be change it to Fritz Teneger Road. Teneger was the leader of a group of hill country Unionists who all refused to take an oath of loyalty to the Confederacy, and were then chased down and killed by confederate troops in battle. He would make a fitting figure to commemorate here. But the final name should be the result of community input. In light of the horrific events in Charlottesville, VA, now is the time. Please join us in urging the Austin city council to make this change.
Charge Ashlei Mason with animal cruelty
When Ashlei Mason's son discovered a flying animal trapped in her home her first advice to him was to "run around like a retard to scare it". As if that's not offensive and inappropriate enough coming from an educator, once she realized that the animal was in fact a baby bat and was trapped in her bathroom she then took an hour to put together what in her mind was the best course of action to get this animal out of her home. This was not a spur of the moment act of fear, she says herself that she took the time to come up with this disposition. What was her brilliant plan? To gather the helpless terrified animal in a plastic cup, cover it in lighter fluid, and burn it alive. This is a woman who makes her living education our children. This is unacceptable behavior for anyone, but especially someone that we trust to instill morals and ethics into our children. this is not only a sickening display of character but this is abuse, which is a felony in Texas and she should be prosecuted acondingly. Mason also acts as a livestock judge, which this display of ingnorance toward animals proves that she is absolutely unfit. Please sign to show that the public does not support these actions and demands justice.
Allow Businesses to Provide Water Coolers in Austin Parks
EDIT: SOUNDS LIKE WE MAY HAVE VICTORY, EVERYONE! See the story below. THANKS FOR SIGNING!http://www.statesman.com/news/news/austin-parks-officials-say-theyll-work-with-runnin/nTSqF/ Recently the City of Austin, TX informed Rogue Running/Rogue Equipment, RunTex, and other businesses that they could no longer place water in coolers for public consumption without an expensive permit. Rather than bowing to common sense and allowing the coolers to stay in place (they have been there for years), the city is trying to extract fees from the same businesses who are providing this water free of charge and freshly stocked and chilled. Water fountains along the lake are notorious for being out of service, and these coolers quench the thirsts of pedestrians and athletes alike throughout the year. They are vital and an institutional part of the lake. This petition seeks to rectify that, and will be delivered to Mayor Lee Leffingwell who is urged to keep his bureaucrats at bay and give his blessing to the continued presence of these incredibly beneficial water coolers. ---Parks and Recreation has vaguely stated that the coolers could pose a health hazard, and indeed there have been extremely rare instances of vandalism or tampering, but the benefits of these far outweigh any risks. They are publicly located, and in constant view of people. The logic here does not hold up. If the city is worried about liability, then perhaps a disclaimer sign on a stick is necessary. Meanwhile: E-mail your council members! Direct contact is vastly more effective than any online petition. Light them up, even with a short message, and perhaps Sara Hensley of PARD will fold when pressured by elected officials.http://austintexas.gov/mail/all-council-members
Keep Our Green Gates Open
Your help is needed to preserve Austin's farmland! Green Gate Farms, an award-winning certified organic, community-based farm in east Austin has been threatened by development. In mid-March of 2015, Arizona-based manufactured home developer, Roberts Resorts, bought 250 acres of land, which encompasses Green Gate Farm’s five acres and its low-income neighborhoods, including Hidden Valley and High Meadows. When Roberts unveiled his site plan at a community party in April, our farm was not on his map. Ten years of feeding our neighbors ended without warning. This stunning surprise was followed by the requirement that we leave the farm and our home of 10 years, ending 113 years of continuous occupation of the Bergstrom farmhouse. More restrictions followed. Fortunately, the City of Austin's Food Policy Manager Edwin Marty has stepped in. His involvement makes us hopeful for the first time in months. But, your help is needed to save Austin’s agricultural resources. There are no policies in Austin to protect farmland. Not one. All Austin farmers are at the mercy of developers. Please sign this petition and send us a letter of support that we can give to elected officials. They need to know policies are needed to protect Austin's farms from development. In your letter of support, please be specific about how our farm has served you. For instance: -Do you shop at our farm stand (we are one of the few farms to accept WIC/SNAP vouchers)? -Are you a CSA member? -Have you traded food for work? -Have you volunteered here, improved your gardening/farming skills? -Have you attended a community fundraiser here? -Do your children attend our camps? -Have we donated food to your organization? -Have you brought visitors to our farm? -Even if you have not been here, do you appreciate Austin having family farms? Please take a few minutes to voice your opinion. Your story may be the one that keeps the farm open. Thank you for your support!More information can be found at: Green Gate Farms
Exile Matthew Sedacca from Texas for Taco Negligence
We, the people of San Antonio and affiliated communities of South Texas, demand that the City of Austin throw Matthew Sedacca out of an unmarked van well outside the boundaries of the state, or make equally suitable amends such as detailed below. The subject of tacos, especially in reference to their origin and quality, has long been a sensitive issue and constant source of inter-regional strife within Texas. Without fail, sophomoric claims of taco-superiority have been issued from Austin-based brunch-chair-experts on a nearly annual basis, threatening the harmony between the city of Austin and the cities with populations of Native Texans greater than 10%. Sedacca's churlishly negligent treatise is the latest of these affronts and stands as the most outrageous and insultingly uninformed in recent memory, and boy, did he step into some shit. It's wild inaccuracies, which dangerously approach libel, have already stirred the ire of many South Texas communities and further discord may loom on the horizon. It is laughable to posit that a city whose people are often unaware that Texas was not populated by Anglo-Saxons since the dawn of time, and just as often view Mexican-Americans as undesirables to be given a wide berth when encountered and/or quietly swept out of sight before the neighbors see, has any claim to authority over the subject of anything taco-related. More absurd is the notion that "breakfast taco culture" was either codified or normalized by a generation of birkenstock-clad tech-jockeys and university incubatees majoring in Phish and Social Safety Net Surfing, and not by the laborers who spent the last century waking up at 5 am, breaking their fast on huevos con papas outside a truck, to build the aforementioned demographic's luxury condos. Sedacca's worst sin by far, however, is presuming to blunder into a long-running, deep-seated, and hot blooded Texas turf-war armed with the equivalent knowledge of a 30-minute Andrew Zimmern special. The documented (if half-hearted) research on the most basic of taco knowledge hints he's about as out of his depth as someone needing to conduct field research on the colors of bluebonnets, and only insures his grasp of the subject as far as the authority of a third-grade book report. Among sources cited with the rigor of freshman composition, we are told to accept that our standard of culture has been superseded by establishments with such tradition-steeped names as Tacodeli, and that the most trusted expert on Mexican Cuisine is a man named Robert Walsh, who sounds like someone who would just as assuredly inform us that barbeque was invented in Austin as well, and that Santa Anna was defeated off Congress and 17th. The worst offense of all may be complete dearth of effort expended to establish a believable fantasy narrative of your "authenticity", and the insinuation that "you didn't even have to study" only fans the flames of rage that will temper our resolve. While unity and fellowship between the many communities of our state is ever the destination, we the people of San Antonio and affiliated communities of South Texas cannot bear endlessly the injuries that are heaped upon our backs by the year. In order to prevent an escalation in taco-related hostilities and assure a fostering of a friendship between our communities, unimpeded by shadows of airborne chanclas, we petition for one of the following recommended actions be taken: immediate deportation of the offender to a neighboring state where more liberal interpretations of "tacos" are tolerated, with no future eligibility to re-apply for Texas residency, OR surrender of the offender into custody of the City of San Antonio for mandatory re-education and re-habilitation, OR prohibition of publishing or disseminating information directly pertaining to topics of Texas heritage and social realities by the offender until (a) the completion of a minimum of ten years' residency in the state and (b) the completion of 30 hours of state-approved courses including, but not limited to, Texas History and Heritage, Special Topics in Cultural Pluralism, Applied Taqueria Studies, and a seminar in Tex-Mex Disambiguation. OR establishment of an observed "San Antonio Day" sponsored annually by the City of Austin, to include Spurs-themed parades, statements of praise and admiration for our bicycle community, and the public singing of songs that beg forgiveness for all taco-related transgressions and blasphemies.
Protect our wildlife and environment ban the release of Sky Lanterns
We are requesting that The City of South Padre Island, Texas, The City of Austin,Texas and the State of Texas policymakers consider banning sky lanterns due to the hazard associated with this product. Manufacturers and event promoters often claim that lanterns are a safe product. In reality, this is not the case. Sky lanterns have caused injury to wildlife and livestock. They have caused wildfires and structure fires. They create unnecessary risk for fire fighters and other emergency responders. We are not alone in recognizing the risk posed by the use of these products. Sky Lanterns have been banned across multiple countries including Austria, Australia, Brazil, New Zealand, Spain and Germany to name a few In America 29 states including California, Hawaii, Oregon, Illinois Minnesota, South Carolina and Ohio. In Ohio, launching a sky lantern is a misdemeanor, punishable by a $1,000 fine and In many instances; lanterns have been banned only after tragic and costly fires. We believe that the reasons below are evidence enough for regulating this product in Texas. Sky lanterns leave waste behind. Litter is more than just an eyesore- it can pose real threat as well. Sky lanterns have killed and injured livestock. Here in Texas, this a real threat with our vast ranches of livestock our multiple endangered species especially our coast line an area known to be a Sea Turtle Nesting ground. These Sky lanterns pose a great threat to these sea turtles as they can be confused as their food source Sky Lantern litter is also hazardous to motorists, an eyesore to tourists, and problematic for small business owners. Please don’t wait for Texas businesses, families and wildlife to pay the price for a few minutes of fun. Please regulate this product now! Sky Lanterns leave behind garbage, causes fires which become a hazard for communities and wildlife: o Waste in Public Areas: Recently, a Michigan family was involved in an injury accident when the driver of the vehicle swerved to avoid hitting a sky lantern that had landed in the road. The driver was rounding a curve, and saw the large pink lantern at dusk. She believed that it was a piece of furniture that was sitting in the road. o Waste in Natural Habitat: Lanterns pose a risk to wildlife and natural habitat due to the waste they leave behind. Wildlife and livestock can become entrapped in a spent lantern, or can inadvertently consume pieces of the lantern. These lanterns even have the potential to damage state and federally protected property. o Biodegradable Lanterns: It is important to recognize that “biodegradable” does not mean “safe” or “environmentally friendly.” Simply stated, it means that given the right conditions, over a period of time, a biodegradable lantern will eventually disintegrate into micro particles. Time, heat, oxygen, and moisture must be present and balanced to create optimal conditions for any substance to biodegrade. If any of these elements are lacking or imbalanced, the time required for a product to biodegrade may extend indefinitely. Even lanterns that have been gathered and disposed of through conventional means impact the environment as they become landfill waste Fire Safety Concerns: o Lanterns do not always burn out before landing: Manufacturers and event promoters state that lanterns are safe because they burn out before landing. In reality, there are several factors including wind and temperature that can affect the performance of a sky lantern. The use of sky lanterns has resulted in many documented fires and injuries. o Wildfire risk: The consequences of wildfires are significant. In addition to causing the loss of thousands of acres of natural habitat, wildfires can drive families from their homes and cause significant economic hardship for business owners. In South Padre Island where tourism can be a significant source of revenue for many, wildfire damage has the potential to cause economic damage that could take years to fully recover from. o Lanterns have been responsible for costly structure fires: At a large scale sky lantern release event hosted by the company Lantern Fest in Gaston, North Carolina, lanterns ignited a fire on a nearby cell phone tower. In addition to the risk posed to the emergency responders that extinguished the fire, the fire caused an estimated $500,000 in damage. o Damage to local businesses: In the UK, a sky lantern was responsible for igniting the largest industrial fires in the West Midlands area. In a plant security video, a single, lit sky lantern can be seen touching down on the property of a plastics plant. The subsequent fire caused significant damage and eventually led to a ban of fire lanterns in the area. o Risk to our Emergency Service Personnel: Should a fire occur, local emergency service departments will be responsible for responding to, and managing the situation. In doing so, emergency responders will be asked to put their own personal safety at risk. We feel that the potential risk emergency responders will assume in responding to a fire outweigh the benefits of any lantern release. For many of us, it is with regret that we request that this product be regulated. We recognize that sky lanterns have the potential for bringing entertainment, joy, or hope. We too appreciate the incredible beauty of a sky lantern disappearing over the horizon. We have loved ones we wish to commemorate. However, when we fully evaluate the risks associated with sky lanterns, and the potential for damage, we find that the costs outweigh the benefits. We hope that you share our concerns, and will consider regulating, or banning these products in Texas Let’s remove this dangerous product from our landscape! Want to know more? Check out these resources and articles: Sky Lantern Damages in the News: 800 Acre Fire at Myrtle Beach Likely Caused by Sky Lantern: http://www.southcarolinaradionetwork.com/2011/07/20/myrtle-beach-fire-caused-by-fireworks/ Cow Dies in Pain After Ingesting Fallen Sky Lantern: http://www.newmarketjournal.co.uk/news/latest-news/farmer-calls-for-ban-on-lanterns-after-cow-dies-in-agony-1-5184373 Festival Leaves Litter:http://globalnews.ca/news/1137402/vancouver-lantern-festival-lights-up-the-night-leaves-litter-in-the-day/ Gaston, NC Lantern Fest Fire: http://www.gastongazette.com/article/20150602/News/306029947 Kentwood Fire at Locally Owned Business: http://fox17online.com/2014/09/10/chinese-lantern-may-have-sparked-business-fire/ Michigan Family Recovers after Crash Caused by Sky Lantern: http://www.mlive.com/news/jackson/index.ssf/2012/08/family_recovers_from_crash_lik.html West Midlands Fire: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2352224/On-edge-Armageddon-Staggering-pictures-firefighters-battle-contain-6million-blaze-sparked-Chinese-lantern.html Emergency Service Personnel, Elected Officials and Policy Makers on Sky Lanterns: Charlevoix, MI Bans Sky Lanterns: http://www.petoskeynews.com/charlevoix/news/city-ordinance-bans-sky-lantern-use/article_9a628cbd-d2ce-5900-8b53-f4bd78d86568.html Fire Marshals Want to Ban Sky Lanterns: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/11/04/sky-lanterns-ban/3433273/ Ludington Fire Chief: http://www.shorelinemedia.net/ludington_daily_news/news/local/article_c5a8530e-4650-11e3-90b2-0019bb2963f4.html Sky Lanterns Illegal in Ohio: http://fox8.com/2015/07/02/police-remind-residents-before-holiday-weekend-that-sky-lanterns-are-illegal-in-ohio/ Fort Myers Florida bans Sky Lanterns https://fortmyersbeach.news/sky-lanterns-beautiful-but-dangerous-and-now-illegal/
Let the flags at Hyde Park Market stay!
The flags at Hyde Park Market (a.ka."The Flag Store") have been ordered to be taken down because the city is classifying them as a sign, which Hyde Park Market does not have a permit for. These flags have occupied the space for around five years without complaint, until recently. In order to avoid a $2,000/day fine, the owner of the store has taken down the flags. The is a landmark in Hyde Park, and Austin as a whole. Would Austin be the same if "I Love You So Much" was taken down? It's a part of Austin, Hyde Park, and the culture to "Keep Austin Weird." The application for a sign permit (http://www.austintexas.gov/sites/default/files/files/Planning/Applications_Forms/sign-permit-app.pdf) does not specifically classify a flag as a sign, and the language is vague as to a sign falling under the need for a permit. The flags should stay up until this situation can be resolved through the proper channels, not by levying a fine and causing an Austin landmark to be stripped of its character. Let the flags stay!
2627 W. 45th Street Should Not Become a Driveway for The Grove
2627 W. 45th Street, also known as Lot 43 in Shoal Creek Village, Section 2, is zoned SF-2, and a one-story single-family home is currently on the property. The home is situated on a neighborhood street. In April 2015, ARG Bull Creek Ltd. purchased this property. Just a few months prior, ARG was the winning bidder on the 75-acre tract adjacent to homes on W. 45th Street. When ARG released their first master plan for their proposed "The Grove at Shoal Creek" planned use development on April 2, 2015, 2627 W. 45th Street was not included in the master plan. However, that had changed by the time ARG released their second master plan on July 9, 2015. The July 9 plan showed that 2627 W. 45th Street would be used as a vehicular driveway. The Bull Creek Road Coalition, or BCRC, is comprised of representatives from the seven neighborhood associations that surround the 75-acre tract. On July 29, 2015, BCRC released its Alternative Vision for the site, which limited use of 2627 W. 45th Street to pedestrian and bicycle access. Then, in October 2015 ARG released a Traffic Input Analysis that states "No access directly to 45th is planned." Many took this along with other assurances that 2627 W. 45th would not be used for vehicle access and thought this was one issue that had been resolved. We were wrong. On March 25, 2016, the City of Austin issued a memo stating "After interdepartmental discussion, the proposed development shall dedicate Jackson Avenue as a public roadway to the City of Austin. As agreed by the applicant, Lot 43, Shoal Village Section 2, shall be dedicated as public right-of-way to the City of Austin for the extension of Jackson Avenue to 45th Street." You may be asking yourself, "Why is the developer dedicating this lot to the City of Austin when all other streets in the proposed development are private streets?" Shoal Village Section 2 is affected by deed restrictions or restrictive covenants that limit use of these lots for "residential use." Presumably, the City believes that it can skirt the deed restrictions for "public policy"--in this case, a roadway to support a large development that cannot rely solely on Bull Creek Road. Instead of modifying the development to work within the confines of the land, the City of Austin and ARG have decided to instead modify the neighborhood to make the development fit. If you are a resident of Austin, please sign this petition if you agree that 2627 W. 45th Street should not be used as an access point to The Grove. It is already very sad that this original structure built in the 1950's is likely to be demolished (it has Queen Anne style touches and is arguably one of the cutest houses on the block), but we cannot let the developer encroach on property owners near the proposed development even further by allowing ARG and the City of Austin to insert a roadway in the middle of a neighborhood street that will carry 3,000 cars a day (source: Milestone presentation, March 30, 2016). Related articles: "The House on 45th Street" (Austin Chronicle, April 1, 2016, http://www.austinchronicle.com/news/2016-04-01/the-house-on-45th-street/ "Tensions Rise as Grove Development Gets Support from City Planners" (Austin American-Statesman, April 1, 2016, http://www.mystatesman.com/news/news/local/tensions-rise-as-grove-development-gets-support-fr/nqxjp/?icmp=statesman_internallink_referralbox_free-to-premium-referral
Make Austin's Flyovers Safer!
Dear Austin Mayor Adler, City of Austin Council Members, Interim City Manager Hart, Austin District Engineer McCoy, and the City of Austin Public Works Department; In February 2007, a male motorcyclist died when he lost control of his vehicle and fell off the southbound Mopac flyover to southbound Hwy 183. In June 2012, a 50-year-old male motorcyclist died when he had an accident that caused him to fall off the flyover at US 290 East and Interstate 35. In June 2014, motorcyclist Rae Ripptoe-Blair died when she fell off the North Mopac flyover to southbound Hwy 183. In July 2014, a male motorcyclist died falling off the flyover from northbound Interstate 35 to westbound Ben White. In February 2017, 38-year-old motorcyclist Alicia Romo died when she fell off the flyover from westbound US 290 to southbound Interstate 35. Most recently, 28-year-old motorcyclist Megan Brennan died Tuesday, April 25th of this year, when she fell from the flyover from northbound Mopac to southbound Hwy 183. In many of these accidents, there was no indication of why the motorcyclist lost control of their bike and news reports often cite a lack of evidence that the cyclist was speeding or driving under the influence. In all of these deaths, the common denominator was being on a motorcycle on one of Austin’s many flyover highway interchanges. It should be noted that some of these interchanges have seen more than one such motorcyclist fatality due to falling off a flyover. Considering that, 1) this is a recurring cause of death for motorcyclists in Austin, with at least six motorcyclists dying in the last decade as a result of falling off flyovers; 2) that wind speeds increase on the average of a mile per hour for every ten feet above ground level and these flyovers are equal to or in excess of 100 feet off the ground, which means that wind speeds and gusts are at least ten mph stronger at the tops of these flyovers than on the ground; and 3) there are no precautionary measures in place to keep motorcyclists, people ejected from cars, or others outside of an enclosed vehicular cabin from falling off the flyovers; We call for a safety review of our flyovers, and seek proposals for rectifying this dangerous and deadly situation. Whether that means placing fences above the minimal concrete barriers along these flyovers, extending the height of the concrete barriers, situating safety nets outside the barriers, and/or some other safety measures, it is clear that our highway interchanges are not safe for motorists outside of a cabin and need safety features installed. This will not stand! Please act before we lose another beautiful Austinite. Thank you.
Please make March 3rd The Always Keep Fighting~Jared Padalecki Appreciation Day
Hi, my name is Patti and I'm a survivor and a fighter. I am one of a thousand, or more whom the wonderful actor, Jared Padalecki has helped cope with my mental health issues, as well as other afflictions, when he started his #AlwaysKeepFighting Campaign on March 3rd, 2014. The campaign proceeds go towards several organizations, like for instance; TWLOHA, (To Write Love On Her Arms), The Wounded Warrior Project, and The PACK Fund, and the teen mental health organization, Attitudes in Reverse (AIR), to name a few. It's a campaign to help those struggling with depression, anxiety, self harm & suicidal thoughts, as well other delibating, physical affects. To help you get a better understanding of AKF, here's the link that was the beginning of the first campaign. http://cwdetroit.cbslocal.com/2015/03/04/supernatural-star-jared-padalecki-always-keep-fighting-shirt-for-depression-awareness/ After the overwhelming sucess of the first campaign, Jared decided to start a second Campaign. This time he was joined by his co-star of 11 years and best friend, Jensen Ackles, whom is also a native of Texas. Jensen was born in Dallas, and now both Jared & Jensen have moved back to their respective home state, with their wives and children, in between filming their T.V. show Supernatural, which is filmed in Vancouver, Canada. The second Campaign was again another great sucess. Since the start Jared has lauched 4 Campaigns, he's newest one you can find on www.represent.com/jared The money and awareness raised is truly unbelievable. He has been the pilar of strength and courage to us all, whom felt were alone in our battles. For some of us, it takes every ouce of strength to just get out of bed, but we do, we keep fighting. The AKF Campaign helped start a legion of Groups on Facebook, Twitter and other Social media sites. This campaign has reached people from all over the world! Strangers became best friends, people became united as a family, helping each other, supporting each other. I can say from experience, that many of us would not be here, if it wasn't for Jared and the amazing, encouraging Always Keep Fighting Campaign. So, I thought besides buying merchandise to go towards Jared's campaign, what can we, us fans do, to give a heartfelt thank you and appreciation, with something greater then we can do on our own. Jared is NOT doing this for fame or recognition, he himself suffers from depression, so he knows first hand the struggles some of us face on a daily basis, i believe that's was also a factor in starting AKF. Jared interacts with his fan's via his Facebook and Twitter accounts, he truly is a man of his word. This is a link of an article about his newest campaign https://www.looktothestars.org/news/14513-jared-padalecki-launches-holiday-fundraising-campaign So, in my ending Mayor Taylor & Mayor Adler, I ask you both, along with ALL of us who has signed this Petition, to PLEASE help make this happen for us & for Jared, it would mean SO much to us to say thank you to Jared and how much we appreciate him for being there when we needed him the most and for starting Always Keep Figniting. As the Mayor's of Jared's hometown & the town he is living in now, I hope you can & will help make this happen. I don't know what or how we can do this, that is why I'm asking for your help. Thank you all for reading. I hope to hear from you soon. Best regards, Patti Tibbits firstname.lastname@example.org Along with Jared's #SPNFamily.