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ZNEWS Archives for 1997

Thanks Marcelina
I open this newsletter humbled by the task Marcelina Kampa has undertaken the past two years as editor of our neighborhood newsletter. Thank you Marcelina for all the time, work, and heart you have given us these past two years.

The reason that I am humbled by this newsletter task is that it enters an area where I feel a total incompetence that grips my throat with fear at the thought of ever doing it again. Give me a stopped up commode or a famine, things I can more comfortably handle. Please, make no mistake I am begging, someone out there call me at 445-7033 to volunteer to be our neighborhood newsletter editor. THANKS

Neighborhood Meeting
Guest speaker at our next meeting will be Richard Kroger of the Transportation Engineering Division, City of Austin.
Mr. Kroger has graciously consented to meet with us to discuss transportation issues effecting our neighborhood, in particular the widening of Barton Springs Road.

Update Airplane Traffic
At our last meeting we met with a representative from the City’s Aviation Department. We found out that the increase in air traffic and associated noise is going to be the norm for us at least two more years. The closing down of Bergstrom by the Air Force provided the opportunity for the FFA to open an approach to Mueller over our neighborhood. This approach alleviates the heavy traffic over other parts of the City while construction is going on at the new City Airport at the Bergstrom location. According to the Aviation Department representative the air traffic over our neighborhood will cease upon the opening of the new City Airport.

Several neighbors met in arbitration with representatives of the beer joints and nightclubs that used to be restaurants on Barton Springs Road and reached agreements that hopefully will alleviate some of the abuses of noise and patron parking in our neighborhood. The two major offenders have agreed to make changes effective this summer and the neighbors have agreed to postpone their criminal complaint trials pending the outcome of their efforts.

AUSTIN, TX 78704
Your Zilker Neighborhood Real Estate Professionals Call for current market information

Daryl Slusher
The officers of the Zilker Neighborhood Association have been invited to meet with Councilmember Slusher to discuss issues concerning our neighborhood and City. We are looking forward to our meeting and will be able discuss our neighborhood concerns and report back to you at our general meeting. We must applaud Councilmember Slusher’s initiative in meeting with us.

Congratulations to Jeff JacK for being elected President of the Austin Neighborhood Council , a citywide organization c~ neighborhood associations concerned with issues that affect our entire City.

We are a volunteer association of neighbors tiying to preserve and promote our neighborhood and its well-being. We need money to operate, primarily for printing this newsletter. Dues are entirely voluntary and truly appreciated so please mail them in to Paulette.
Dues are $5.00 per year
Your Name: __________________________________________
Address: ________________________________
Phone: _____________________
Send to Paulette Gravois, Treasurer, Zilker Neighborhood Association 1402 Kinney Ave. Austin, 78704

Board Members
Charles Whitford, President 445-7033
Paulette Gravois, Treasurer 441-3430
John Cunningham, Secretary 443-6658
Kaye Trybus , Vice President 4474437
Sandra Bishop, Vice President 451-6602
Jeff Jack Vice President 447-5877

For all your printing needs, rush jobs welcome. Instant Printing Rubber Stamps Business Cards' Stationery forms
1050-F S. Lamar. Austin, TX 78104.
512-444-2590. FAX 512-444-6337
OPEN Monday - Friday, 8:30 to 5:30
Saturday, 9:00 to 12:00


Zilker Neighborhood Association
ZNA Officers:
Charles Whitford, President 445-7033
Paulette Gravois, Treasurer 441-3430
John Cunningham, Secretary 443-6658
Kay Trybus, Vice President 447-4437
Sandra Bishop, Vice President 451-6602
JeffJack, Vice President 447-5877
James Rounds, Vice President 445-5532
Kay Keesee, Z-News Editor 447-0881
Laura Latimer, Z-News Publisher 326-3291


! I want to be a member of the Zilker Neighborhood Association! I
Please clip this form and send with your check payable to Zilker Neighborhood Association for $5.00 per household to:
Paulette Gravois
1402 Kinney Austin TX 78704

Message from the President by Charles Whitford
It's been almost a year since I became President of the Zilker Neighborhood Association. The year has been dominated by three primary issues: the Lamar bridge, which we were able to help preserve (along with many others); the Barton Springs Road raceway, which has been put on hold and a much more people - and business -friendly option proposed; and finally, the noise problem from surrounding commercial businesses and restaurant! bars - a continuing aggravation.
A number of other issues have been brought up over the year that took a back seat to the big three but which are no less important. For example, the disagreeable zoning request change that our La Casa Street neighbors have worked for months to stop.
Lack of attention to these other issues is due primarily to lack of time of the Association's officers who have other demands on their time.. .jobs, family, and peace of mind. To be an effective neighborhood association and to help preserve and defend the "Austin" we enjoy (might I say revere), we need volunteers to coordinate neighborhood business, to attend various city-wide meetings regarding roadways, traffic, environment, education, and many quality of life issues.
The recent City Council elections have given us the most pro-people and quality-of-life Council we have had in years and we need you to help us guide them in what is best for the future of our "Austin."
Please call Kaye Trybus, our new volunteer coordinator at 447-4437. THANKS!!

Thursday,June 26th, 7pm Kinney Avenue Baptist Church Trash_pickup
Barton Springs Road
Barton Springs Road_2

MELISSA ARNDT City of Austin Solid Waste Services Ms. Arndt will fill us in on Trash Pick-up, Recycling, how and when to get rid of stuff that's too big for the trash cart and answer questions, of course.

Clare, a well-known champion for the preservation of Austin neighborhoods, will update us on the developments of the Barton Springs Road project. She will bring slides and drawings of revised plans. Don't miss her presentation on Barton Springs Road - what the city does to it affects everyone in the Zilker neighborhood.
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED Clare Berry asks for volunteers who are interested in working with the city to limit tree trimming around utility lines. She also would like to hear from folks who are interested in seeing what can be done about getting the City to bury utility lines along major streets. CALL CLARE, 416-2479, if you'd like to help.

Barton Springs Road
The raceway through our neighborhood and into Zilker Park was put off (aided by wise and insightful Councilmembers) and a new plan emerged. This involved neighbors, business owners, a number of interest groups, city staff, and truly far-sighted professionals brought in from afar. To view and discuss the new plan (turn-arounds, landscaping, landscaped medians, bicycle paths, sidewalks, and possible public art) come and join us at our next meeting.

Noise Ordinance
We are in the process of drafting a proposed noise ordinance to replace the current one that gives no protection to neighborhoods. You may remember from several newsletters ago that the last paragraph of the existing amplified noise ordinance exempts permanent businesses." Proposing a redraft of the noise ordinance was endorsed by the Austin Neighborhoods Council (ANC).

Councilmember Gus Garcia (our Lamar Bridge hero) told Kaye Trybus and Charles Whitford that he would call for a public hearing once the ANC endorsed a redraft. So, let's do it, Any suggestions?
Any volunteers?

La Casa Street Zoning Hearing
There will be a hearing on Tuesday, June 24th at 6:00 p.m., before the Planning Commission, 307 West 2nd, City Council Chambers, regarding the re-zoning application of La Casa Imports to change their zoning to COMMERCIAL. This is our chance to let the Commission know this application must be DENIED. This commercial enterprise being operated in a residential neighborhood is illegal, a very serious traffic hazard and a threat to the integrity of the neighborhood.

November 18, 7 PM
Robert E Lee Road Repair

History of Barton Springs Baptist Church and Cemetery
You don't have to be a dues-paying member of the ZNA to attend the meetings. Consider this your invitatiopn to our lively and informative sessions. Please Come!

by ZNA President Charles Whitford
MTV Please Leave
We have MTV behind us now.We've had the experience of them owning our park for weeks and overcharging pur wide-eyed kids for junk food while using them for extras on their telc- vision program. We can say, "Goodbye, and please don't come again." Admittedly they put a lot of money and effort into minimizing their offensive presence. However, it proves that while you can try not to offend the neighborhoods by all means available, an oversized, pumped and noisy spectacle like the MTV park give-a-way is totally inappropriate for our City parks and particularly Zilker. One of the biggest problems (besides the combat-like Friday night helicopter attack) was the all-night construction noise for days before and days after the main event. City code restricts construction within several hundred feet of a residence after 10:00 p.m. and before 7:00 a.m. The construction of their sets and the destruction of our park were slightly further away, so we were blessed with hammering, sawing, trucks, traffic, radios and shouting workers. Goodbye MTV, don't come back now, ya hear?

Detouring through the neighborhood
I wish I had the answers to all the questions asked at the last meeting about the Robert E. Lee re-construction and the traffrc detours through our neighborhood, but I did not. So, Mr. Nguyen, senior engineer with the City, has agreed to attend our November meeting to answer questions and get our input into the detour routing decisions.

Whether you are for or against any or all of the annexation areas proposed by the City Council, come to the meeting to discuss them. It is likely that we will pass ? resolution to be sent to the Mayor and Council Members regarding our position.

Election of Officers and ZNA's future
Be thinking about who you want to lead the Zilker Neighborhood Association and the direction you want it to go in the future. Neighborhood Associations have often been hugged but not loved by our City leaders. It seems that historically they have often courted and seduced us, but didn't respect us the next morning (that being the morning after the election). It looks like we are finally getting the acknowledgement we deserve for our citizenship and earned for paying our taxes. So, now that we are getting noticed, it is up to us to insure respect. Election of officers and the opportunity to volunteer for a Zilker Neighborhood Steering Committee will be part of our January meeting. Be thinking of the things you would like to see happen in our neighborhood and the people who you want to help make it happen.

1. Cover your honda. If an unknown dog approaches you, put your hands in your pockets or wrap your hand under your shirt. Some dogs may "go for" a dangling appendage.
2. Don't make eye contact. Direct eye contact may indicate to the dog that you're challenging him. Keep your eyes on the dog to know where he is, but don't look him in the eyes.
3. Walk slowly. If the dog believes you are on his turf, he will do anything he can to get you out. Walk slowly - do not run - away from the dog's territory. Walk closer to the other side of the street to show him that you are not interested in his domain.
4. Stand still. If the dog is very aggressive (barking or growling directly at you, baring his teeth, etc.), don't move. Stand very still with your hands out of sight. Let the dog lose interest in you. Then, walk slowly around the dog, giving him plenty of space.
5. If all else fails, yell for help. If you feel your life is in danger, let someone know. Hopefully the owner will come and take the dog away. Let the owner know you were frightened by the dog's behavior, and what the dog did to frighten you.


Southside Printing Service
1050 S Lamar

Tom Amiss

It's A Crime
I used to tease my friends nearer to IH-35 (read Travis Heights) about their burglaries and vandalism, probably due to their proximity to IH-35. Now our neighborhood is getting its share of daytime house break-ins. Numerous reports of windshields broken in cars that are parked on the streets and at the end of August a sick person has been exposing himself to girls in our neighborhood (described as being a heavy Hispanic male driving an older brown and gray piclrup with a loud muffler). Please keep a lookout for this sick person and anyone in our neighborhood who seems out of place. Note the description of door-to-door salespersons, anyone passing out flyers and advertising, pushing vending carts, or using any ruse to fit in and get on people's property. Report any suspicious activity to the police (call 911) and record descriptions and license plate numbers if you feel suspicious. At night, report unusual noises.
Most important of all we need a volunteer to coordinate a neighborhood crime watch.

Parks Dept. Puts 10,000 People into Our Streets
MTV has gotten approval from Parks and Recreation Dept. (PARD) to hold a three day event in Zilker Park October 17, 18, & 19. The went will be in the area of the soccer fields and will include loud music, loudspeakers and yet to be announced activities. The 10,000 people will presumably park at Palmer Auditorium and be shuttled to the park. The neighborhood is supposed to be blocked off from parking on the streets with barricades. We are hoping the barricades will be staffed, otherwise according to Bouldin Neighborhood experience with Auditorium Shores crowds, the barricades are useless. The event is apparently in Zillcer Park because PARD has already exceeded its agreed limit on the number of annual events at Auditorium Shores, and the Chamber of Commerce just could not lose this opportunity to promote Austin (as if Austin needed any more promotion and growth). The event will be compa~able in size to AquaPest. Call Amy Little with the Austin Sports Foundation (a Chamber of Commerce supported group) at 322-5654 and the Parks Dept at 499-6700 to voice your concerns. The question is are we going to allow our parks to become carnivals and amusement parks? Welcome to Austin,
"The Loud Music Capital of The World."

Robert E Lee Construction
You probably have noticed over the past year that the intersection of Robert E Lee and Barton Springs Rd. has been steadily falling into the creek. Betty Brown of the Barton Hills Neighborhood Association and I have pressed the issue of rrpair with the City Council and Public Works. As a result, the City will begin construction this month. Unfortunately, during the several months of work, traffic will be re-routed through our eighborhood. The inconvenience will be necessary to have a safe intersection for continued heavy traffic in the future.

City Charter Amendment Limiting City Financing of Growth Outside the City
Exporting our tax dollars and city tinancial guarantees outside the city limits has resulted in using our city tax base to support suburban growth at the expense of letting our city services decline while increasing taxes. Effectively we are giving away our tax base. For instance our city tax base has contributed support to the Cirde C development of t60 million in City of Austin payments and loan supports. In exchange for this support, Circle C went to the Texas legislature and got an exemption from annexation by the City of Austin as well as excluded from environmental and planning controls. In short, they are using us for a toilet and we are paying for it. We will have a guest speaker, Mike Blizzard, at our neighborhood meeting to discuss the city charter amendment and to request your support and signatures on the petition.

Monday, September 22, 7 pm
Kinney Avenue Baptist Church
Mike Blizzard speaking in support of a City Charter amendment limiting the city's ability to finance, expand or guarantee utilities outside of the city limits.
City of Austin Police Department representative to discuss crime and crime prevention in our neighborhood.
Updates on: Barton Springs Road construction, Robert E. Lee Road construction, MTV in Zilker Park.

Armadillo Sport has moved into 1806 Barton Springs Road. We wish them success and prosperity. (Roller blades are so quiet!) Jeff Jack has been appointed to the AISD Board Budget Committee.Jeff is extremely knowledgeable about this issue, We are grateful for his time and effort.

Diez y Sies "Pot Luck" celebration - Tuesday, September 16, 6 p.m. good food, good music, good company!
Zilket Zamboree - Saturday, October 25, noon-4 pm. Come support Zilker's Fall Fund Raiser. Enjoy booths sponsored by individual classes, special events and silent auction. Lots of fun for everyone
Principal's Office
- 3rd Friday of each month, 8 am. Ramona Trevino, Principal of Zillcer, meets with parents and interested community members for informal discussion ofwhat's happening at Zillcer.
volunteers, Mentors, Tutors always needed. If you have a special skill or donation, call the

From President Charles Whiford Lamar Blvd. Bridge
As most of you know by now City Council voted to proceed with the pedestrian and bicycle portion of construction and happily did not approve the expansion of traffic lanes. The bridge is saved this time and hopefully the use of existing alternative routes and future improvements to public transportation will solve the traffic congestion that the $20 million expansion and ruin of the Lamar Bridge would not have solved. Two alternatives are being studied for the pedestrian/bicycle bridge. One is to extend the existing sidewalk out, making them be about 10 feet wide with an outside rail and an inside rail to separate it from traffic (known as the cantilevered alternative). The second alternative is for an entirely separate bridge which is currently proposed to be located about 1 hundred feet from the west side of the existing bridge. Come to the meeting March 20 and let us know your thoughts and feelings.
Thank you Council Members Gus Garcia, for courage to change your mind for reason, Beverly Griffith, for your pedestrian/bicycle proposal, and both Daryl Slusher and Jackie Goodman, for your long standing support of citizen issues.


Barton Springs Rd. Construction
The concrete raceway through our neighborhood has been delayed while public works is studying alternative design options we gave them, most recommended by Glare Barry. The meeting was proposed by Council Member Goodman to City Manager]esus Garza after Dick Kallerman of the Barton Hills neighborhood spoke in a Council meeting several weeks ago. Attending the meeting with public works was Dick, Glare, Betty Brown, president of Barton Hills, Peter Rieck, head of Public Works, Richard Kroger, Engineer in charge of the design, myself, and other public works staff.
In an earlier strategy meeting prior to meeting with public works our group met, along with Barton Springs Merchants Assc. Members Mike Young and Marsha Williams, and all agreed that safety and installation of landscaping was essential, along with eliminating a large tall concrete retaining wall at the Umlauf Gardens Barton Springs Rd. frontage (a future graffiti billboard into Zilker Park). We will meet with public works at the end of March to view alternltives. We know that Richard Kroger has met with members of the Barton Springs Merchants Assc. since our meeting with public works and we hope in the interim he will meet with the Zilker Neighborhood Assc. officers to get our input as well.

Barton Springs RoadTrash
Shady Grove and Chuy's (both owned by Mike Young of Chuy's) have initiated a monthly trash sweep of Barton Springs Road with teams of their employees. Great idea and thanks. They've asked our association for volunteers. The sweep is the first Saturday of each month and volunteers are asked to meet at Shady Grove at 8:45.
Please help.


Barton Springs Road Noise
The noise from Pulpo Loco will be gone this summer as Serranos has closed it and opened in Round Rock. Good Luck. Chuy's Comida Deluxe, owners of Shady Grove along with their partner KGSR has proposed some major changes to their summer music program. The series has been shortened from 25 to 18 weeks. The music will begin no earlier than 8:00 and end no later than 10:00. The series will be oriented toward a singer/songwriter format with only one or two people on stage. We all are in hopes that this will work and without amplified bass and drums it stands a good chance.

Robert E. Lee / Barton Springs Rd Intersetion
Several weeks prior to the meeting with public works I had f;uted the Mayor and members of the Council regarding Robert E. Lee sliding into the creek It the Barton Springs Rd. intersection. Council Member Mitchell introduced tile fax at a Wednesday Council work session. Subsequently at the meeting with Public Works, Betty Brown gave a letter to Peter Rieck that she had hand-delivered to the Mayor and Council Members regarding the terrible condition of the intersection. Public Works stated at our meeting regarding Barton Springs Rd. that absolutely no money was available for Robert E. Lee and it was not proposed to be in the next bond election but they would look at it.

This week after many phone calls uld f:Jxes I received a copy of a letter tc, Betty Brown dated Feb. 26 from Public Works under the Mayor's signature stating tllnt Public Works is planning to bid the re-construction of the Robert E. Lee intersection along with tile bid for Barton Springs Rd. in January 1998.

Like the Neighborhood?
Want to keep it great! Make it even better?You can make a difference!
Safeguarding our neighborhood, maintaining and enhancing its quality and clllrm require involvement. Unfortunately the job becomes more challenging and complex with every passing year. When you attend the ZNA meeting you not only learn about the issues at hand, you also show your support for the volunteers who give their time and talent to act as our spokespersons and represent our best interests. Neighbors, an estimated 3,500 households compromise the Zilker neighborhood. You may be surprised to know that only 35-50 of us usually attend ZNA meetings. Please help swell our number. Mark your calendar, invite your neighbors - come to meet, learn and enjoy!

Whistling in the Dark
Kaye Trybus A discussion at the last neighborhood meeting regarding train whistles prompted me to call the Texas Railroad Commission. I learned that at each railroad crossing a train blows its whistle in a regular pattern: two long whistles, a short whistle and another long whistle. With ~wer thirty trains a day passing through, that can be a lot of noise - especially at night - for folks living near the tracks
. If you are being disturbed by the noise of the train whistles, contact: Gary Norman, Union Pacific Railroad, 1711 Quintana Road, San Antonio, TX 78211.
New federal guidelines concerning whistle bans at crossings are currently being drafted. If you want to give your comments regarding train whistles in the neighborhood, contact: Mark Tessler, 400 Est 7th St. S.W., Washington, D.C. 20590.
A possible solution to the train whistling would be to have the City of Austin "double gate" at the crossings at Mary St. and at Oltorf St. Trains are not required to blow whistles It such crossings. Unfortunately, double gating would take time, money and an effort by the City of Austin to lower noise in our neighborhoods. In the meantime, if those train whistles don't give you a feeling of nostalgia for bygone days, you may want to get ear plugs until changes are made.

Z News at Your Door!
Thank you, thank you to all our neighbors who deliver Z-News! We appreciate your time and effort. Our goal is to make sure every house, duplex, condo, apartment, and trailer is covered by our volunteer carriers. The really good news is that anyone in the neighborhood can join this elite force. Your assignment will take only about an hour, the exercise is good for you and you'll get to visit as you go (so it may take more than an hour, oh well!) We especially need volunteers for Arpdale, De Verne,