W.A.N.G. Newsletter FEB - 2021 !
PO Box 5722, Austin, TX 78763-5722
in this Issue.....
- WANG Monthly Meeting - Feb 8th
- President's Message - by Holly Reed
- WANG Honors Black History Month
- Save MUNY Update - Mary Arnold
- W.A.N.G. Monthly Meeting Minutes for January 2021
- WANG Board Contacts
- Advertise with WANG
- City of Austin Council Contacts
- Texas A&M AgriLife Extension - Bee Houses
- What's Happening around Austin
WANG Newsletter Note:
We email our E-Newsletters out monthly
and send our Printed Newsletters twice annually to entire Neighborhood
Remember to click on photos to enlarge image or get link....
Neighborhood Board Meeting
Monday, Feb. 8th, 6:30pm
This is an online event.
ON-LINE WITH ZOOM
Register in advance for this meeting:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
WHEN: Meetings are typically held on the Second Monday of each month
To place an item on the Agenda, send email to President@WestAustinNG.com
by Holly Reed, President
"Onward Through the Fog"
This old slogan, coined by the owner of Austin’s Oat Willie’s, seems to fit the beginning of 2021. We are moving forward but the future is still unclear as to if and when our lives will return to “normal”. We hope this will be a year of healing, recovery and progress for everyone in our neighborhood and beyond.
Our greatest challenge in the WANG area and throughout our City, continues to be the safety of citizens during the pandemic. We are fortunate to have a few locations in our neighborhood that are offering COVID-19 testing and vaccines (when available, for those who are eligible to receive them first.) Tarrytown Pharmacy, at 2727 Exposition Blvd. and CVS Minute Clinic at 2610 Lake Austin Blvd. both offer testing. Tarrytown Pharmacy will be distributing vaccines when they become available. We encourage neighbors to check the status of vaccine availability on the Austin Public Health webpage
2021 is already bringing unprecedented growth to Austin, which will indeed impact our neighborhoods. This is a good time to look to the Central West Austin Combined Neighborhood Plan and its Future Land Use Map for direction and guidance. The Neighborhood Plan was created over a three year period, with input from more than 800 neighbors and organizations, to guide growth development and future land use.
“The Central West Austin Neighborhood Plan shall preserve the existing character and integrity of single-family neighborhoods to reflect the historical nature and residential character of the neighborhood. The plan will address the needs of a diverse pedestrian, bicycle and kid friendly community by providing walkable streets, safe parks and attractive open spaces, and will promote a sustainable neighborhood with compatibly scaled and located neighborhood-serving commercial and civic areas, so as to maintain the neighborhood’s quality of life, avoid increasing traffic, preserve the mature tree canopy, protect creeks and the lakes, and prevent flooding.” –Vision Statement, Central West Austin Combined Neighborhood Plan
Our Neighborhood Plan reminds us that we are all stakeholders in preserving the beautiful place in which we live. This is no easy task. The places we treasure and enjoy in our neighborhood and throughout Austin are here because of hard fought battles by citizens and grass roots organizations over many years. Barton Springs, the Barton Creek Greenbelt, the Town Lake Trail, Lions Municipal Golf Course, and many other iconic parks would not exist today without the hard work of concerned neighbors. And their work is still not done! If you are new to Austin, or would like to know more about how these amazing places are still here, please watch this inspiring documentary film: Origins of a Green Identity.
“When somebody comes and sees Austin and says how beautiful and wonderful it is, I always say we had to work hard to get it this way, and we have to work hard to keep it this way!” – Mary Arnold, Chair, Save Historic Muny District and Board Member, West Austin Neighborhood Group
As stewards of the neighborhood, WANG works to support our Neighborhood Plan as our City continues to grow. Please JOIN WANG or renew your membership and learn more about how you can participate. Let’s move forward together in 2021.
Celebrating Black History Month
Don Baylor (June 28, 1949 – August 7, 2017) was an American professional baseball player and manager. Please join WANG as we honor his remarkable life, and struggle for civil rights at an early age in West Austin.
Born in Austin, Texas, Don Baylor grew up in Clarksville. After being one of three African Americans to integrate O’Henry Junior High School. Baylor starred in baseball and football at Austin High, where he was the first African American to play athletics at that school.[2) He was a friend and classmate of two-time Masters champion Ben Crenshaw. [2)
“In many ways, Don Baylor was surrounded by love in segregated Austin, Texas, in the early 1960s. But it takes more than love to make things right. And what was right for Baylor was joining two other students to integrate O. Henry Junior High as a seventh-grader.
It was this act, even more than a lengthy career that included the 1979 American League Most Valuable Player Award, more than a long career of coaching and managerial stints with the Rockies (1993-98) and Cubs (2000-02) that bring the focus to Baylor, 67, as MLB.com celebrates Black History Month.
The Baylors lived in the Clarksville section, an-African American community populated by the low-wage employees at the State Capitol, or those who worked as domestics for the families of the elite. But by fifth grade, the nearby schools were for white students.
So Baylor and any other students in the neighborhood had to take a bus -- 5 cents, plus a 2-cent transfer each way. It meant he had to wake up early, and at the end of the day at a school called Blackshear, it meant he needed to sprint downhill. Or else he would miss that bus, run and end up not getting home until about 6 p.m.
At least he had people looking out for him along the way.
"My aunt was a teacher at the school," Baylor said by phone. "I can remember my grandfather, my dad's dad, never drove but was on the other side of 6th and Congress. He worked at the same place for 50 years, and when we made the transfer, I would see him all the time.
"We were guarded -- everybody took care of everybody's kids. There were not many phones in the neighborhood, but my grandmother had one. She would pick up a rock and throw it on top of our tin-roof house. My grandmother was a pitcher way back then."
Still, the idea of walking a mile and a half to O. Henry Junior High -- even if he was stepping into a different world -- made more sense than bus transfers. And it was time.
According to the Austin History Center, in 1958, 14-year-old Sandra Kay Hall became the first African-American to attend a white school, Allan Junior High, but it wasn't universal. In 1961-62, Baylor's parents -- mother, Lillian, who worked as a cafeteria supervisor at a white high school, and father, George, a baggage handler for Missouri Pacific Railroad -- let him choose his junior high. Baylor and two friends, Lenore Higgins and Lewis Chambers, decided they would attend O. Henry, which served an affluent community.
"I don't even know if at that age I was even thinking about the kind of abuse you were going to take as a seventh-grader," Baylor said. "That was, I guess, a bold move at the time."
Knowing the atmosphere he was entering, Baylor said he started a paper route so that he could afford a nice pair of jeans. But denim is not armor.
The three friends were often not allowed to attend classes together, which furthered the isolation. And the fact he was in a different world struck Baylor upside the head, literally.
"I had one teacher ask me where the 38th parallel was," Baylor said. "I was scared to death to even answer. He whacked me over the top of the head with a book and said, 'Well, you'll know where it is tomorrow.'"
"The students were going to drop the 'N' word on you because that's all they knew, you know? It was really more the teachers than the students."
An often-told part of the Jackie Robinson story was Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey urging him to have "the courage to not fight back." What isn't as emphasized is that was a three-year agreement. Once released from those shackles, Robinson unleashed a rage that he carried onto the field -- and became an outspoken critic of ill treatment.
While at O. Henry, Baylor felt a conflict familiar to many who dealt with hostility while breaking racial barriers. On one hand, he knew striking back could hurt his chance and the chances of others. But there was also the need to "hold your head high and don't let anybody trample over you." And unlike Robinson when he was breaking in with the Dodgers with the pressure of a nation on his shoulders, he wasn't bound by an agreement not to retaliate. So for once, Baylor drew on courage and fought back.
"One guy said the 'N' word to me," Baylor said. "I ran through the gymnasium and tackled him on the auditorium stage. A bunch of kids ended up breaking it up, but that was the last time that guy called me that. And they all knew I was not going to take anything like that."
But that didn't win over the adults. Baylor wanted to play football, but he recalled they gave a uniform to his friend Chambers, then told him they didn't have a uniform for him. But a white student with whom he became lifetime friends, Dean Campbell, son of a local television personality, offered encouragement. Finally, he received a uniform.
"I ended up starting for them, all the time," Baylor said. "They probably hadn't dealt with African-Americans, or blacks or whatever we were called back then. Maybe they'd have them prune their yards. But if you won a football game or a baseball game, that changed a lot of their minds."
By the time he reached Stephen F. Austin High School, integration was growing. And a new challenge landed his way.
"I had to make friends with some of the black students from across town, and they were killing me: 'He thinks he's better than us because he went to O. Henry Junior High School,'" Baylor recalled. "So I was caught in the middle.
"I remember asking one of the guys, 'Do you know who Jackie Robinson was?' And he kind of looked at me like, 'No, who?'"
But Baylor said the athletes came together quickly, especially when they found they were lauded when they played, despite often being shunned in school.
"On Fridays, the cheerleaders would always walk the athletes to class," Baylor said. "I know a couple times the girls got called in by their teachers and told, 'You can't do that to the black guys at all.'"
And after a rough go with a coach his first year of high school, Frank Seale took over the baseball program, emphasized fundamentals and let all players know they were accepted. Baylor would make sure Seale was around for World Series appearances or when he was honored as the MVP Award winner.
"He is a lifelong friend, like Dean Campbell," Baylor said. "Our families are close and everything."
When Baylor graduated high school in 1967, the Orioles drafted him in the second round. Yes, it was for athletic achievement, but the day he signed his $7,500 bonus was a sign that Baylor had earned respect. The signing occurred at the State Capitol.
"My grandfather got to see it," Baylor said. "And Congress Avenue, which leads right up to the State Capitol, was named after me for a day when I won the MVP. That was pretty amazing, too."”
1. Harding, Thomas (January 20, 2016). "Don Baylor overcame obstacles off the field". Major League Baseball. Retrieved August 7, 2017.
2. Bohls, Kirk (August 7, 2017). "Former MLB star, Austin native Don Baylor dies at 68". Austin American-Statesman. Retrieved August 7, 2017.
Please support our local businesses
during this challenging time
WANG JANUARY 2021 MEETING MINUTES
Monday, January 12,2021
On-Line Virtual Meeting
These are the minutes of the meeting of the West Austin Neighborhood Group Board of Directors held Monday, January 12, 2021 at 6:30 p.m., by Zoom videoconference.
I. Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 6:32 p.m. by President Holly Reed. Board members in attendance were Holly Reed, Heidi Gibbons, Bob Hamilton, Mary Arnold, Joe Bennett, Brady Pedneau, George Edwards, Joyce Basciano, Craig Lil, Mike Cannatti, Sarah Cain, August Harris, and Blake Tollett. Not present: Cathy Kyle.
II. Approval of Minutes: November 2020 minutes were approved unanimously, with amendments. Approval of December 2020 minutes postponed.
III. Neighbor Communications
Neighbors in attendance: Chad Solomon, Jim Mapes, Stephanie Jarnigan, Sara Madera, Thomas Borders, Peter Pfeiffer, Ned Heiser, Justin Metcalf, Scotty Sayers, Joe Lostracco, Susan Moore, and Charles Cook.
- A. Johnson Creek Greenbelt Cleanup: Chad Solomon is organizing a group of volunteers to pick up trash along the trail that leads down to Mopac Bridge. Asked WANG for assistance with supplies (gloves, trash bags) and City trash pickup. Mary Arnold advised contacting PARD. Happy Harris advised contacting Rodney Ahart at https://keepaustinbeautiful.org/staff/ executive director. Joyce Basciano suggested contacting PARD for trash pickup. Craig Lill will donate trash bags.
- B. Forest Trail Gutter Repair / Street Overlay: Jim Mapes told the Board about concerns for on going seeping water issues causing standing water and damage to curbs and gutters along Forest Trail. The street will soon be repaved. Has called 311 and transportation engineers. Was told City does not have funds to repair curbs and gutters. Happy pointed out that springs under street are the issue and could recur even if curbs and gutters are repaired. Mary Arnold suggested contacting Watershed Protection and Environmental Commission noted that everyone pays for water drainage on utility bill. Need to identify project number and addresses on Forest Trail experiencing problems.
- C. Heritage Tree Protection Loophole: Holly Reed gave an update. CM Alter’s office working with neighbors to identify properties where protected trees were removed. A tour is being scheduled with Keith Mars, City Arborist Office.
IV. Land Matters
- A. Maudie’s/Twin Liquors Rezoning/ NPA—Public hearing at City Council scheduled for 1/27/2021. Sara Madera is opposed to changing the Neighborhood Plan FLUM (future land use map) for this property from Neighborhood Commercial to Commercial, citing the close proximity of the businesses to the Deep Eddy neighborhood. Blake explained the difference between the city zoning and the FLUM designation, and that CS and CS-1-NP have the same development entitlements regarding height, setbacks, etc. The Board also reviewed list of permitted uses under these commercial zoning districts. WANG supports the applicant’s zoning change request, and wants to see these neighborhood serving local businesses remain. WANG is opposed to the FLUM amendment. WANG will send a letter to Mayor and Council.
- B. 2410 Pruett Street Variance Request: Applicant seeking variance for an 8’ fence, was not able to attend meeting. Board of Adjustment hearing has not been scheduled.
- C. Brack Tract Zoning: Board discussed upcoming City zoning of the Brack Tracts.
- D. Resolution RE: Zoning Amendments & Variances During Pandemic: Dawson NA asked for support with their Resolution asking Council to postpone zoning amendments & variances until in-person meetings can resume. Public input is very difficult given call-in only testimony during virtual meetings. Blake Tollett mentioned timely commission hearings, code and statutory requirements must be considered. Happy Harris opposed to Resolution as written and suggested WANG re-word the Resolution before sending to City Council.
- A. Joe Bennett reported a few renewals. Will be sending out reminder emails.
- B. Newsletter / E-Newsletter / Website: Haidar Khazen has offered to continue in an advisory position until a new Communications Chair can be found. Haidar will help train a new Newsletter Chair. Joe Bennett worked with GoDaddy to get WANG email up and running again. Pres. Reed seeking bids on upgrading website.
VII. ANC Report
- A. Joyce Basciano reported on ANC retreat.
- B. Next ANC Meeting will be January 27, 7:00 PM The two new City Council Members and four new AISD Trustee Board Members invited to attend to introduce themselves. Heidi Gibbons from WANG will attend.
VIII. Treasurer’s Report: George Edwards
A. Checking $ 9700.41
July 4th $ 507.84
Oak Wilt $ 1,210.92
TOTAL $ 9740.91
IX. Items from Board Members
- A. Save Historic Muny District: Mary Arnold reported that the District has a website. www.savehistoircmunydistrict.org Information for businesses interested in providing a food and beverage concession at Muny is listed. The next SHMD Board meeting will be Thursday, January 21, 2:00 PM.
- B. Muny Conservancy Holly Reed showed draft of WANG letter of support for Muny Conservancy’s Urban Forest Grant Application, requested by Richard Craig, Muny Conservancy Board Member. Scotty Sayers, Co-Chair of Muny Conservancy explained the grant would help fund needed removal of invasives, stumps, tree preservation (150 yr old oaks) at Lions Municipal Golf Course.
X. New Business
A. Next meeting will be Monday, 2/8/2021 at 6:30 pm.
XI. Adjournment: President Reed adjourned the meeting at 8:25 pm.
WANG Board of Directors & Committee Members
Organized 1973......"To preserve our neighborhood and protect it from deterioration"
Board of Directors
- President: Holly Reed President@westaustinng.com
- Secretary: Cathy Kyle Secretary@westaustinng.com
- Assistant Secretary: Blake Tollett AsstSecretary@westaustinng.com
- Treasurer: George Edwards Treasurer@westaustinng.com
- Past President: Cathy Kyle PastPresident@westaustinng.com
All Current Members (click on name to send email)
- Holly Reed ............................member since 2015 (President)
- Cathy Kyle ............................member since 2010 (Secretary)
- Blake Tollett .........................member since 1994 (Asst Secretary)
- George Edwards ..................member since 2004 (Treasurer)
- Mary Arnold .........................member since 2006 (Muny Tract)
- August "Happy" Harris.........member since 2005 (Transportation)
- Michael Cannatti .................member since 1999 (CWANPCT)
- Joseph M Bennett ...............member since 2001 (Membership)
- Haidar Khazen .....................member since 2004 (Web Master)
- Craig Lill ...............................member since 2017
- Joyce Basciano ...................member since 1999
- Brady Pedneau ................... member since 2019 (ANC Liason)
- Bob Hamilton........................new member
- Sarah Hawthorne Cain.........new member
- Heidi Gibbons.......................new member
Honorary Committee Members
IT IS EVEN MORE IMPORTANT NOW... MORE THAN EVER.....
Click HERE for rates and more information or email us at....
CITY COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVES
Contact your City Council Representatives:
(click on name to send email)
- Mayor: Steve Adler 512-978-2100
- District 1: Natasha Harper Madison 512-978-2101
- District 2: Vanessa Fuentes 512-978-2102
- District 3: Sabino Renteria 512-978-2103
- District 4: Gregorio Casar 512-978-2104
- District 5: Ann Kitchen 512-978-2105
- District 6: Mackenzie Kelly 512-978-2106
- District 7: Leslie Pool 512-978-2107
- District 8: Paige Ellis 512-978-2108
- District 9: Kathie Tovo 512-978-2109
- District 10: Alison Alter 512-978-2110
Email All of the Council: Entire Council and Mayor
SAVE MUNY Update February, 2021
The Save Historic Muny District has issued a Request for Proposals for
VENDOR FOR FOOD AND BEVERAGE CONCESSION AT LIONS MUNICIPAL GOLF COURSE
Please visit the District’s website www.savehistoricmunydistrict.org for details and more information on the efforts to preserve Lions Municipal Golf Course.
The Muny Conservancy has dedicated a page to Dr. General Marshall, in honor of all his efforts on behalf of civil rights, and the preservation of black history at Lions Municipal Golf Course.
as we celebrate Black History Month.
Please mail application and check to: West Austin Neighborhood Group PO Box 5722 Austin, TX 78763-5722 Annual Memberships (Nov 1-Oct 31) $50-Friend Level; $100-PATRON Level; $150PatronPlus $30-FAMILY Level; $15-SENIOR Level; $250-BENEFACTOR Level
Bee houses have become popular ways of encouraging solitary bees in the home landscape. While they can be great ways to provide nurseries for the next year’s generation of bees, they need to be maintained in the proper manner for them to be safe. Cleaning bee houses yearly is important to avoid buildup of mold and pollen mites that can be detrimental to these pollinators.
Solitary bee houses can be made or purchased. You search online sources for DIY or purchasing a bee house. The key to having a safe bee house is being able to clean it once bees have emerged from the tubes. This can be done in a variety of ways, some of which are having removable wood blocks, using paper linings on drilled wood material, using removable cardboard tubes or natural hollow reeds.
If making your own bee house, avoid using treated lumber or fresh cut cedar. Depth and diameter of the holes you drill will be dependent upon what type of bees you want to attract. Typically, smaller diameter holes require a depth of 3-5 inches while holes with a diameter over ¼” should have a depth of 5-6 inches. You can find more information on how to create your own solitary bee house here:
Bee houses should be placed in a southeast facing location near flowering plants about 4-5 feet off the ground. They should be attached firmly to a surface, reducing movement to avoid disturbing developing larvae and to make it easier for adults to land. The back part of the house should be closed off to avoid parasites from entering and the front should have an overhang to protect the entrance from moisture. You may also want cover the entrance with stainless steel wire to keep birds from using the bee house as a buffet.
For more information or help with identification,
contact Wizzie Brown, Texas AgriLife Extension Service Program Specialist at 512.854.9600.
Check out my blog at www.urban-ipm.blogspot.com
This work is supported by Crops Protection and Pest Management Competitive Grants Program [grant no. 2017-70006-27188 /project accession no. 1013905] from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
The information given herein is for educational purposes only. Reference to commercial products or trade names is made with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service or the Texas A&M AgriLife Research is implied.
The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service provides equal access in its programs, activities, education and employment, without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, sexual orientation or gender identity.
Click on the link (City Stage photo) above or on event below for more info of everything happening around Austin !!!!
Join the West Austin Neighborhood Group
on the First Tuesday of every month
STAY INFORMED on local topics and issues that
effect you and the Neighborhood!
- · The City of Austin Land Development Code Rewrite
- · The Brackenridge Tract Development
- · Transportation – Austin Metro
- · Lion’s Municipal Golf Course
- · Redbud Trail Bridge Project
- · Mayfield Park & Preserve
- · The Austin State School
- · Deep Eddy Pool & Park
- · Neighborhood Parks
- · Walsh Landing
- · Camp Mabry
- · District 10
- · And more…
Texas Gas Service.............................1-800-700-2443
AT&T (new service)...........................1-800-464-7928
Time Warner Cable (Cust. Svc)...........512-485-5555
Austin/Travis Hazardous Waste.........512-974-4343