Southwest Austin - Dripping Springs Edition | April 2022

SOUTHWEST AUSTIN DRIPPING SPRINGS EDITION

VOLUME 15, ISSUE 1  APRIL 21MAY 18, 2022

ONLINE AT

EVICTIONS STACKING UP After federal and local orders halted many evictions during the pandemic, new lings surged in recent months. SOURCES: CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION, CITY OF AUSTIN, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY EVICTION LAB, TRAVIS COUNTY COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER More than 50%of local eviction lings since the start of the pandemic have been in early 2022.

1,200

March 2022 Travis County opens rental assistance program, which is closed a week later due to high demand

March 2020 Texas Supreme Court orders halt evictions; Austin enacts emergency eviction measures

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800

December 2021 Travis County eviction moratorium ends, temporary 30-day pause enacted on eviction hearings

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Crews add a sidewalk on Slaughter Lane east of South First Street. (Darcy Sprague/Community Impact Newspaper) Two SouthAustin roads to see $120.6M in corridor upgrades

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2022

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After a pandemic pause, local evictions on the rise as rental market strains remain

BY GLORIE MARTINEZ

Every weekday, Austin resident Chelsea Acres commutes to Southeast Austin by bike— a seven-mile trip that takes her east on William Cannon Drive. “There technically are bike lanes, but I wouldn’t really call them bike lanes,” Acres said of her com- mute. “I wouldn’t even call them bike gutters.” William Cannon is one of two multimillion-dollar transportation projects, along Slaughter Lane, that the city of Austin broke ground on in 2021 for a cost of $46.6 million and $74 million, respectively. The proj- ects are part of the Austin Corridor Mobility Program, which received $482 million from the 2016 mobility bond for road, bike and pedestrian improvements. CONTINUED ON 26

BY BEN THOMPSON

nearly halting renter removals. In March, the last Travis County eviction protections ended as the number of lings in the majority-renter city was jumping to pre-pandemic levels. The county saw about 800 eviction cases led each month prior to the pandemic, many of which were tied to increasing local housing costs, accord- ing to representatives of the health and human services department. While the local and federal CONTINUED ON 24

After evictions in Travis County dropped to historic lows due to increased governmental pro- tections during COVID-19, a gradual return to nor- malcy has also brought a renewed spike in cases as the Austin area remains in what some are calling a housing crisis. For much of the past two years, Travis County, Austin, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shifted their response to evictions,

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

Curious what is selling in your neighborhood? Scan me *All prices shown are list price

ACTIVE

ACTIVE

ACTIVE

PENDING

realtyaustin.com/p/3110129

realtyaustin.com/p/4189819

realtyaustin.com/p/7500367

realtyaustin.com/p/2638214

$675,000

$849,900

$2,750,000

$950,000

4 bds

3 ba

2,749 sq ft

4 bds

3 ba

2,805 sq ft

5 bds

5.5 ba 4,479 sq ft

4 bds

3 ba

2,888 sq ft

341 Hazy Hills Loop, Dripping Springs, TX 78620 Sasha Vasquez | 512-417-4436

11017 River Plantation Dr, Austin, TX 78747 Cristina Valdés | 512-843-3572

6300 Bernia Dr, Austin, TX 78739 Michael Del Castillo | 512-944-5999

17108 Whitetail Run, Austin, TX 78737 Stephanie Collins | 512-740-1046

PENDING

PENDING

PENDING

PENDING

realtyaustin.com/p/3472067

realtyaustin.com/p/3022857

realtyaustin.com/p/1650291

realtyaustin.com/p/4857337

$1,100,000

$1,200,000

$1,300,000

$1,649,500

4 bds

3.5 ba 2,855 sq ft

4 bds

3.5 ba 2,012 sq ft

4 bds

3.5 ba 3,343 sq ft

5 bds

4 ba

4,364 sq ft

11212 Bastogne Loop, Austin, TX 78739 Kopp Team | 512-657-3305

4506 S 2nd St #1, Austin, TX 78745 Christina Balderas | 512-797-4968

709 July Johnson Dr, Austin, TX 78737 Gigi Jacks Mcclaskey | 512-968-0482

7008 Cusseta Cv, Austin, TX 78739 Lisa McGuire | 512-413-2395

PENDING

SOLD OVER ASKING

SOLD OVER ASKING

SOLD

realtyaustin.com/p/2990316

realtyaustin.com/p/2750685

realtyaustin.com/p/7397634

realtyaustin.com/p/4420608

$1,900,000

$875,000

$900,000

$950,000

4 bds

3.5 ba 3,905 sq ft

4 bds

3.5 ba 3,047 sq ft

5 bds

3 ba

3,178 sq ft

4 bds

2.5 ba 3,107 sq ft

703 Cottonwood Creek Dr, Dripping Springs, TX 78620 Melissa Roberts | 512-769-0877

128 Rainmaker Cv, Austin, TX 78737 Heidi Binder | 512-900-0145

162 Burros Tail Cv, Austin, TX 78737 Manny Arce | 512-296-3274

5305 Mandevilla Dr, Austin, TX 78739 Jennifer Henry | 512-217-1887

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SOUTHWEST AUSTIN - DRIPPING SPRINGS EDITION • APRIL 2022

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THIS ISSUE

ABOUT US

Owners John and Jennifer Garrett launched the rst edition of Community Impact Newspaper in 2005 with three full-time employees covering Round Rock and Pugerville, Texas. We have expanded our operations to include hundreds of employees, our own printing operation and over 30 hyperlocal editions across three states. Our circulation is over 2 million residential mailboxes, and it grows each month with new residents and developments.

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FROMDEEDA: At the heart of every story we write at Community Impact Newspaper , you will nd common themes regarding growth and aordability. This month’s edition is no dierent. In one of our front-page stories, City Hall Reporter Ben Thompson looks into the pressure piling on Austin renters who are struggling to cover rising rent prices as eviction moratoriums and other protections lift roughly two years into a pandemic. Continuing inside (see Page 24), he also checks in with the landlord community to see how they are navigating tenant relationships with their own bottom lines. In this fragile housing environment and unprecedented growth, questions of aordability will inevitably follow, and we will continue to seek answers to help you better understand the future implications. Deeda Lovett, GENERALMANAGER dlovett@communityimpact.com

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SOUTHWEST AUSTIN  DRIPPING SPRINGS EDITION • APRIL 2022

IMPACTS

Businesses that have recently opened or are coming soon, relocating or expanding

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SOUTHWEST AUSTIN NOWOPEN

3 Veteran-owned food trailer Smokin Banh Mi opened a new location at Mean- while Brewing Co. on April 5. The menu features international fusion twists on the Vietnamese baguette sandwich, in- cluding smoked brisket banh mi, Peruvian chicken banh mi and beef bulgogi banh mi at 3901 Promontory Point Drive, Austin. 737-336-6961. www.smokinbanhmi.com 4 Local family entertainment center Epic Fun reopened April 9 under new

Texas location at 5915 La Crosse Ave., Bldg. 2, Ste. 140, in Austin’s Circle C neighborhood March 30. The clinic will provide children’s primary and urgent care services in one location. Brave Care will also host workshops for expectant parents, lactation classes for women and other caregiver-centered training. The clinic will be open from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. seven days a week. 512-967-6778. www.bravecare.com/locations/austin/ circle-c

ownership of Anna and Mark Ulbrich. The business closed in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Epic Fun features arcades, a bar and a restaurant, and it hosts parties and events at 101 W. Hwy. 71, Ste. D, Austin. 512-957-9099. www.epicfun.com 5 Newman & Co. Medical Spa opened a location in late March at 3801 S. Congress Ave., Ste. 102, Austin. The New Braunfels- based salon offers aesthetic treatments,

1 New South Austin floral shop Flor Keeps opened Feb. 13 at 130 Ralph Ablanedo Drive, Bldg. 7, Austin. The shop specializes in preserved natural roses that do not require water and last over one year. www.florkeeps.com 2 Brave Care Pediatric opened its first

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COMPILED BY GLORIE MARTINEZ

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Epic Fun

Pluckers

COURTESY EPIC FUN

COURTESY PLUCKERS

COMING SOON 10 Wing restaurant Pluckers will open a new location in Southpark Meadows, 9300 S. I-35, Unit 46, Austin, in the sec- ond half of 2023. In addition to wings, the new restaurant will feature Pluckers’ sta- ples including fried pickles, burgers and bacon-wrapped hot dogs. Owners Mark Greenberg, Dave Paul and Sean Green- berg opened the first Pluckers restaurant in Austin in 1995. The chain has since expanded to 31 locations across Texas and Louisiana. www.pluckers.com 11 Tacodeli will open its seventh Austin-area location at 5701 W. Slaughter Lane, Ste. B-150, Austin, on April 28. The Circle C restaurant will be the brand’s first location in Southwest Austin. It will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and will serve cocktails, draft beer, and canned alcoholic beverages. www.tacodeli.com 12 Korean-Mexican fusion chain Chi’Lantro will open at 9911 Brodie Lane, Austin, in mid-May. The restaurant will offer bowls made with Korean barbe- cue ingredients as well as kimchi fries. Chi’Lantro began as a food truck in 2010 and has since expanded to eight Aus- tin-area locations. www.chilantrobbq.com 13 Central Health broke ground on the new Del Valle Health & Wellness Center in March. The facility is expected to open in summer 2023. It will serve over 20,000 residents in southeast Travis County and will offer primary and dental care as well as mental health services and a retail pharmacy at 3700 Gilbert Road, Austin. www.participate.centralhealth. net/del-valle-health-wellness-center

including injectable fillers, such as Botox. 512-828-7622. www.newmancmpy.com 6 Noble Sandwich Co. opened April 1 inside Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, 3600 Presidential Blvd., Aus- tin. The artisan sandwich shop cures its own meat and offers house-made bread and condiments. Noble Sandwich Co. was previously located on Burnet Road before closing in 2019. The restaurant is located on ABIA’s lower level near Austin City Market. www.austintexas.gov/shopsavorgroove 7 Thurman’s , a new old-fashioned burger restaurant from the owner of Salt Lick BBQ, opened its first location inside ABIA, , 3600 Presidential Blvd., Austin, on March 14. The restaurant is located near Gate 21 in the airport’s west food hall. Thurman’s menu will feature gourmet burgers with pork, beef and brisket options. www.austintexas.gov/shopsavorgroove 8 Japanese restaurant Sushi A-Go-Go opened inside ABIA, 3600 Presidential Blvd., Austin, on April 1. The count- er-serve establishment serves sushi, rice bowls and appetizers. Sushi-A-Go-Go originally opened as a trailer on Barton Springs Road in 2009 before closing in 2011. The restaurant is located on ABIA’s lower level near Austin City Market. www.austintexas.gov/shopsavorgroove 9 Self-driving truck developer Torc Robotics opened its Engineering and Development Center at 3711 S. MoPac, Austin, on March 31. Torc has been developing self-driving vehicle technol- ogy since 2005. The Austin office is the company’s first location in Texas and third nationwide. www.torc.ai

Parlay House is located in South Austin o Menchaca Road.

COURTESY DEEDA LOVETT/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

FEATURED IMPACT NOWOPEN Parlay House opened April 9. The bar is the anchor tenant of Stinson Yard, an upcoming development in the Menchaca bar district owned by native Austinites J.D. Dunn and Paul Hur. Parlay House will feature VIP cabanas and food from Wahoo’s Tacos and Rayburn’s BBQ. The bar will be open until 2 a.m. daily. ANNIVERSARIES 14 Organic nursery The Natural Garden- er celebrated 40 years in Austin on April 12. The 8-acre establishment features a retail center for plants and gardening supplies as well as butterfly and herb gardens. The center also offers gardening classes at 8648 Old Bee Caves Road, Aus- tin. 512-288-6113. www.tngaustin.com 15 ASTIG Training Center for Fitness and Martial Arts marked five years at 12300 Wirth Drive, Unit D, Manchaca, on March 27. The gym offers karate, kickbox- ing, mixed martial arts and self-defense classes. Both personal and group training is available. The center is the only official Central Texas affiliate of the international Training for Warriors fitness program. 512-567-7995. www.astigfitma.com

10402 Menchaca Road, Ste. A, Austin

RIDDLE RD.

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NEWOWNERSHIP 16 Austin-based Endeavor Physical Therapy was acquired by H2 Health on March 1. Endeavor will keep its name and brand, and it will continue to provide one- on-one outpatient physical therapy and hand therapy. The company has a dozen facilities across Central Texas, including a location at 3100 W. Slaughter Lane, Ste. 101, Austin. www.endeavorrehab.com 17 Longtime owner of My Gym Chil- dren’s Fitness Center Celestina Cuchia transferred ownership of the business to Heather and Bryan Gragg in January after 16 years. My Gym provides classes, play time, parties, camps, holiday parties, Par- ents’ Night Off and events for ages 0-9. The gym will remain open at its original location at 5307 W. Hwy. 290, Austin. 512- 444-6496. www.mygym.com/austin

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SOUTHWEST AUSTIN - DRIPPING SPRINGS EDITION • APRIL 2022

AustinWater.org iRRiGATiON COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM 8

IMPACTS

Businesses that have recently opened or are coming soon

COMPILED BY GLORIE MARTINEZ

FITZHUGH RD.

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Wunderpilz Kombucha

Over Yonder Nature School

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COURTESY ZACK ZAMORA

COURTESY OVER YONDER NATURE SCHOOL

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COMING SOON 4 Over Yonder Nature School will open in Dripping Springs in August. The boutique nature school will serve children from 6 weeks old to preschool age. The 5-acre campus will feature a 17,000- square-foot outdoor play area, nature trails, farm animals, gardens and more at 5000 Bell Springs Road, Dripping Springs. www.overyondernatureschool.com 5 Sipping Springs Beer and Wine Garden will open at 5307 Bell Springs Road, Dripping Springs, in the last quarter of 2022. The 2-acre development will include a 24,000-square-foot wine bar, two food truck pads and an outdoor stage. Sipping Springs is owned by the Wentworth family of Wimberley and Dripping Springs. Instagram: Sipping Springs Beer and Wine Garden

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DRIPPING SPRINGS NOWOPEN

days by appointment only at 13341 Hwy. 290, Unit 1-107, Dripping Springs. 512- 607-6880. www.austintopdentist.com 3 Wunderpilz Kombucha , a small- batch kombucha brand that has been in Austin for 12 years, opened a taproom at County Line Business park in Cedar Val- ley in April. The venue offers six kombu- cha flavors on tap along with cold-brew coffee and food options including vegan brisket sandwiches and vegan “rib” plates. Dessert items will also be on sale. Gluten-free options are available. The taproom is currently open Saturdays from noon-7 p.m. at 12010 Hwy. 290, Ste. 180, Austin. 512-786-5137. www.oralefoods.com

1 The Fitz RV Resort opened March 21. The luxury RV resort offers gated access, Wi-Fi, coffee service and year-round so- cial activities at 6990 W. Fitzhugh Road, Dripping Springs. 512-689-4906. www.fitzrv.com 2 Austin Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry opened April 1. Owner Madeline Chung offers preventive care, cosmetic dentistry, dental implants, emergency care and oral surgery. The business is open from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday and Satur-

Freebirds World Burrito

COURTESY FREEBIRDS WORLD BURRITO

6 Freebirds World Burrito will open a new location in Belterra on April 27. The restaurant will be the burrito chain’s ninth location in the Austin area, located at 12680 Hwy. 290, Ste. 230, Austin. www.freebirds.com

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SOUTHWEST AUSTIN - DRIPPING SPRINGS EDITION • APRIL 2022

TWOSTAGES KIDS’ ACTIVITIES OVER70LOCALARTISTS LET’S GO!

FREE

9AM UNTIL 4PM

LIVE MUSIC INCLUDES :

TOMAR ANDTHE FC S BEAT ROOT REVIVAL SHELLEYKING MR.WILL ANDTHE EXCAVATORS

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

TODO LIST

April & May events

COMPILED BY GLORIE MARTINEZ

APRIL 30

BROWSE LOCAL ART TONEY BURGER ACTIVITY CENTER

MAY 07

RACE TO BRUNCH CALITERRA

MAY 14

CHOWDOWNON CRAWFISH FIESTA GARDENS

Sunset Valley ArtFest is celebrating its 14th anniversary this year. The family-friendly event will host over 85 art vendors who specialize in a variety of art forms, including oil painting, jewelry and woodwork. Food vendors and live music for children and adults will also be featured. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. Toney Burger Activity Center, 3200 Jones Road, Austin. www.sunsetvalley.org (Courtesy Sunset Valley ArtFest)

Master-planned Dripping Springs community Caliterra will host a festival and 5K race along scenic trails near Onion Creek. At the nish line, runners will be treated to a cocktail brunch provided by local business Treaty Oak Distillery. The festival will feature local cuisine, an artisan and boutique market, and live music. 8 a.m.-noon. $35. 26025 RR 12, Dripping Springs. 512-751-7309. www.caliterraliving.com (Courtesy Caliterra)

Keep Austin Weird Twist ‘N Snap Crawsh Boil will put on its inaugural event with over 10,000 pounds of crawsh, food trucks, live music and games at Fiesta Gardens. Noon-8 p.m. $15 (general admission with access to crawsh for purchase on-site), $40 (general admission plus tickets for 3 pounds of crawsh, a beer and a dedicated line). 2101 Jesse E. Segovia St., Austin. www.keepaustinweird.live/ crawshboil (Courtesy Keep Austin Weird)

APRIL 29 THROUGHMAY 22

MAY 01 ENJOY AMAY DAY FESTIVAL Austin Witches Market will host a Beltaine Faire at The Far Out Lounge and Stage in South Austin. Beltaine is a Gaelic May Day festival marking the halfway point between the spring equinox and summer solstice. The event will feature over 30 local artists and herbalists, a Beltaine altar, and food and drinks. All ages and well- behaved pets are welcome. 6 p.m. $10 suggested donation. 8504 S. Congress Ave., Austin. 512-351-9909. www.thefaroutaustin.com/events.html 04 MAY THE FOURTH BEWITH YOU Participants can test their Star Wars knowledge at a special Geeks Who Drink trivia event at the bar inside Alamo Drafthouse’s Slaughter Lane theater. The quiz will be seven rounds with eight questions each. Teams can be up to six people. Solo players will be assigned to a team. Winners will receive free pints of beer and other prizes. 8 p.m. Free. 5701 W. Slaughter Lane, Austin. 512-861-7060. www.geekswhodrink.com/venues 04 HONOR ANAUSTIN ICON Hi How Are You Day will celebrate the legacy of artist and Austin icon Daniel Johnston with a concert at ACL Live at the Moody Theater. The fth annual event aims to remove the stigma around mental health one conversation at a time. Conrmed performers include Grouplove, The Polyphonic Spree and Kate Davis with more to be announced. 7:30 p.m. $39+. 310 W. Willie Nelson Blvd., Austin. www.hihowareyou.org 05 CELEBRATE CINCODEMAYO The Hive coee shop in South Austin will host a special Cinco de Mayo

11 a.m.-10 p.m. (Sun.). Free. www.pecanstreetfestival.org 14 RISEWITH THEMOON Flow Yoga Westgate, one of the largest yoga studios in the country, will mark this month’s full moon and lunar eclipse with an evening of live music, poetry, meditation and sound healing. The event will be held in-person and online from 6 p.m.-7:30 p.m. $40 suggested donation. 4477 S. Lamar Blvd., Ste. 420, Austin. 512-614-1151. www.owyogatx.com 14 THROUGH 15 SAVOR NATURALWINE Jester King Brewery will host Wild World Texas: A Natural Wine & Farmhouse Beer Festival in May. Guests can enjoy unlimited tastings of over 200 natural wines, ciders, beers and fermented foods. Producers, importers and retailers will also hold workshops on fermentation-related topics for guests to attend. Two-day come-and-go admission starts at 1 p.m. $95. 13187 Fitzhugh Road, Austin. 512-661-8736. www.wildworldfestival.com 20 TALKWRITINGWITHA LITERARY STAR Selma Blair—an activist and Hollywood actress— will hold a discussion on her new memoir “Mean Baby,” in partnership with the Texas Book Festival. The event will include an audience Q&A. Doors open at 6 p.m., and the discussion will begin at 7 p.m. $40. 901 Trinity St., Austin. www.texasbookfestival.org 21 DANCE TOA TEJANA POP SENSATION Austin’s rst all-star Selena tribute band Bidi Bidi Banda will perform at Meanwhile Brewing Co. with DJ KickIt. 8:30-11 p.m. $10. 3901 Promontory Point Drive, Austin. www.meanwhilebeer.com

event featuring live music, a taco bar and margarita specials. 4 p.m.-10 p.m. Free. 10542 Menchaca Road, Austin. 512-215-2942. www.hiveaustin.com 07 GET CRAFTY FORMOTHER’S DAY Austin Craft Lounge will host a Mother’s Day Market at Hand Made at Nutty Brown Co-Op in South Austin. The event will feature local vendors selling pottery, succulents, jewelry and more. Ice cream and baked goods will also be available for guests to enjoy. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. 12919 Nutty Brown Road, Austin. 512- 270-0435. www.austincraftlounge.com 07 TAKE A CRASH COURSE IN PARENTHOOD The Austin Babypalooza Baby and Maternity Expo oers everything new parents need to prepare for pregnancy and baby care under one roof. Guests can attend workshops on topics such as breastfeeding and swaddling, and brand representatives will hold demonstrations of the latest baby gear. Playing games enters guests to win prizes, including strollers, car seats, high chairs and breast pumps. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Free. Palmer Events Center, 900 Barton Springs Road, Austin. 512-404-4500. www.babypalooza.com 07 THROUGH08 ENJOY ANOPENAIR FESTIVAL The Pecan Street Festival is among the longest-running arts, crafts and music festivals in the country. Over 300 local and national artists will gather to oer handmade creations, such as clay and metal work pieces. The event will also feature over 30 food vendors and performances from Austin’s top musical acts across three stages. The festival is held twice a year in Austin’s Sixth Street Historic District. 11 a.m.-8 p.m. (Sat.),

ENJOY AN EMMYWINNING

MUSICAL Zach Theatre’s production of the Emmy-winning musical “Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch” will run from late April through May. Based on a beloved children’s book by Eileen Spinelli about a man who leads a lonely life until everything changes one Valentine’s Day, the show features a contemporary score and can be enjoyed by all age levels. Times vary. $15 (youth), $21 (adults). 202 S. Lamar Blvd., Austin. 512-476-0541. www.zachtheatre.org 30 WISH EEYORE AHAPPY BIRTHDAY Eeyore’s Birthday Party is a daylong fundraising festival operated by the Friends of the Forest Foundation to benet local nonprots. Festival goers can listen to live music and shop at local vendors. All proceeds will be donated. The Austin event has been celebrated since 1963. Bicycling is encouraged due to lack of parking at Pease District Park. 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Free. 1100 Kingsbury St., Austin. 512-766-4424. www.eeyores.org 30 THROUGHMAY 29 BARK FOR BEERS Nonprot Divine Canines partners with local breweries to hold the annual fundraising event Barks for Beers, which supports more than 140 active dog- handler teams throughout Central Texas. Divine Canines provides free therapy dog services to populations including older adults and hospitalized patients. The purchase of a Divine Canines pint glass and passport guarantees one beer at each of the participating breweries for $30 total. www.divinecanines.org

Find more or submit Southwest Austin and Dripping Springs events at communityimpact.com/event-calendar. Event organizers can submit local events online to be considered for the print edition. Submitting details for consideration does not guarantee publication.

11

SOUTHWEST AUSTIN  DRIPPING SPRINGS EDITION • APRIL 2022

SIDEWALKS ARE FOR EVERYONE

DO YOUR PART TO KEEP THE RIGHT OF WAY CLEAR. Unusable sidewalks can lead to unsafe scenarios. Help keep Austin safe and mobile by removing obstacles from the right of way, such as: • Overgrown vegetation • Downed limbs

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Middle School: 15506-C TX-71, Bee Cave, TX 78738 Elementary Campus: 4402 Hudson Bend Rd., Austin, TX 78734

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12

COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

TRANSPORTATIONUPDATES CapMetro plans new fare card, reduced fees for some riders

ONGOING PROJECTS

AMP UP FOR NEWFARES The new Capital Metro Amp app and payment structure will change the way riders pay for transit. Riders who qualify for the Amp smart card can ride at a lower rate and pay as they go instead of upfront for passes.

71

CIRCLE DR.

​BY SUMAIYA MALIK

per ride. The cap for a day pass will be set to $2, meaning a rider will not be charged more than $2 per day, Carter said. “If once [a rider] spent $33 on transit fares, [the rider] would not spend any more that month for addi- tional transit rides,” said Brian Carter, Capital Metro’s chief experience and engagement officer. Those who received a 50% discount in the current system for reduced fares will continue to receive benefits with the new Amp smart card, Carter said. Riders who qualify for both will receive the lower fare. A rider is eligible if the household income is less than 200% of the federal poverty level.

Capital Metro announced plans March 21 for a new smart fare card and payment system that will provide fare capping and support an equitable fare structure for transit riders with lower income levels. The new plan will be rolled out in the next few months, allowing customers to use a new Amp account to pay for fares through the Capital Metro app or new Amp smart card. By enrolling in the new plan, riders can access an “equifare” or reduced cost and pay as they go instead of paying up front for transit passes under the existing system. The standard fare is $1.25 per ride, and proposed equifare rate will be $1

per ride $1.25

STANDARD BUS FARE

N

290

Thomas Springs Road Travis County is designing a project to add 6-foot bike lanes along Thomas Springs Road from Hwy. 71 to Circle Drive and widen vehicle lanes from 10 feet to 12 feet. The project is being done alongside Circle upgrades that are complete. Timeline: 2019-ongoing Cost: $6.7 million Funding source: 2017 Travis County bond

$1 per ride

REDUCEDCOST, PAY-AS-YOU-GO

$2 daily

MAXIMUM DAILYCAP

$33 monthly

MAXIMUM MONTHLYCAP

SOURCE: CAPITAL METRO/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

WALSH TARLTON LN.

MOPAC

360

TxDOT to start road, bridge projects inHays, Travis counties

BARTON SKYWAY

N

​BY SUMAIYA MALIK

Work begins this fall on FM 1626 between South First Street and Sombrero Drive in Travis County and will continue into spring 2023. The nearly $2.3 million project will add a center turn lane and a 5-foot shoulder. TxDOT is also replacing a bridge on CR 190 over Onion Creek in Hays County for $1.6 million. Construction will begin this summer and finish in summer 2023.

ALL INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE WAS UPDATED AS OF APRIL 11. NEWS OR QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE OR OTHER LOCAL TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS? EMAIL US AT SWANEWS@COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM. MoPac at Barton Skyway The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority is planning a project on southbound MoPac at Barton Skyway to add auxiliary and merge lanes, add an acceleration lane for the Barton Skyway entrance ramp and maintain three dedicated through-traffic lanes at Loop 360. Timeline: January 2023-early 2024 Cost: $10 million Funding source: Mobility Authority

290

190

Due to an increase in traffic, the Texas Depart- ment of Transportation is planning to start work in 2022 on $21.3 million in projects in South Austin, Dripping Springs and the surrounding area. On RM 150 between Oak Springs Drive and Onion Creek in Hays County, crews will construct a 6-foot shoulder as well as a center turning lane on Darden Hill Road.

12

OAK SPRINGS DR.

3

DARDEN HILL RD.

1826

2

SOMBRERO DR.

150

ONION CREEK

1

35

1626

N

Springs Drive and Onion Creek 3 CR 190 bridge over Onion Creek in Hays County

1 FM 1626 between South First Street and Sombrero Drive 2 RM 150 between Oak

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SOUTHWEST AUSTIN - DRIPPING SPRINGS EDITION • APRIL 2022

NEWS BRIEFS

Abridged stories from online

Council member, parks department push to address city lifeguard shortage

AustinWater names interim director; city plans external audit of boil-water notice

With Austin’s lifeguard stang lagging ahead of swim season, City Council signed o on a plan to boost hiring eorts at the Parks and Recreation Department and allow all 33 city pools to open as usual this summer. Council’s approval of a resolution from District 8 Council Member Paige Ellis, who represents much of the city’s southwest side, includes incentives to bring on the hundreds of seasonal employees ahead of sum- mer. As of mid-March, the department had fewer than 140 of the 750 guards needed to fully sta city pools. “I know our residents are ready to jump back into their local pools with their families and friends,” Ellis

MAKING A SPLASH The Austin Parks and Recreation Department said it needs hundreds of lifeguards ahead of the 2022 season.

Austin Water is moving forward under new lead- ership as investigations into the February citywide boil-water notice continue. On March 29, Austin Water released ndings from its internal investi- gation conrming earlier reports that members of the three-person night shift at Ullrich Water Treatment Plant did not properly respond to system failures or alert supervisors about water-quality concerns. On March 30, City Council’s Audit and Finance Committee directed sta to move forward on an agree- ment with The University of Texas for an in-depth,

external audit of

Ready to work as of early spring

Total seasonal hires

the utility’s operations, stang and recent string of boil-water notices. Former

700 600 500 300 400 100 200 800 900

Robert Goode

0

Director Greg Meszaros, who tendered his resigna- tion in February, stepped away from Austin Water on April 9. Former Assistant City Manager Robert Goode took over as an interim replacement April 11. City Manager Spencer Cronk said he will soon launch

2017

2018 2019

2020 2021

2022*

*Goal for total hires

SOURCE: AUSTIN PARKS AND RECREATION DEPARTMENTCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

said. “However, we are facing a critical lifeguard shortage, and we won’t be able to open all of our pools or keep our residents safe if we can’t train enough life- guards in the next couple of months.”

Southwest Austin pools such as Dittmar and Dick Nichols were closed over the past two years due to stang issues. Barton Springs Pool is operating on a limited schedule due to lifeguard constraints.

a national search for a permanent director.

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14

COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

COMPILED BY BEN THOMPSON

Austin looks to take on community conict, gun violencewith public health angle

INCREASE IN VIOLENCE

Austin’s murder rate per 100,000 residents went from 3.39% in 2019 to 8.01% in 2021. Austin’s Oce of Violence Prevention is rolling out programs aimed at tackling violence on the neighborhood level to handle the increase in murder rates in recent years.

Austin and its Oce of Violence Prevention is rolling out several programs this year aimed at tack- ling violence at the neighborhood level, including incidents such as the March 20 shooting on East Sixth Street. The OVP was established last June based on the work of a previous city task force on gun violence and recommendations frommembers of the Reimagining Public Safety Task Force advising a shift away from existing public safety approaches. More than $1.24 million has been dedicated to supporting youth, promoting gun safety and shar- ing other community-oriented violence reduction strategies during the OVP’s rst year in operation. In addition to new gun storage and stress mitigation campaigns launched earlier in March, the oce also aims to spend around $1.13 million on localized violence intervention and grant opportunities through 2022. Solicitations for those projects are coming soon from the city, and the OVP is also working to secure hundreds of thou- sands more dollars in grant funding for rearm and neighborhood safety programs. During a March 22 brieng to City Council, OVP Manager Michelle Myles said those initiatives share goals of investment and collaboration with resi- dents in areas at heightened risk of violence. The

Annual homicides*

10%

81

8%

33

39

20

23

6%

4%

2%

0

*2000-09 homicide totals from Texas Department of Public Safety, 2010-21 homicide totals from Austin Police Department

SOURCES: AUSTIN POLICE DEPARTMENT, TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETYCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

strategies fall in line with the oce’s public health thrust by oering prevention and education where it is needed most, Myles said. “There is a national trend of violence increasing, even in light of police presence. It is a reality of

what’s happening. And some of the strategies that I mentioned before, like Address Your Stress, the de-escalation [and] the conict mediation, are designed to be used so that we can have that skill set within the community,” Myles said.

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SOUTHWEST AUSTIN  DRIPPING SPRINGS EDITION • APRIL 2022

NURTURE INSPIRE ENGAGE

ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR THE 22-23 SCHOOL YEAR. enroll@austinwaldorf.org www.austinwaldorf.org (512) 288-5942 The Austin Waldorf School serves students from 3 ½ years old through 12th grade. The campus is nestled on 33 acres in the beautiful Hill Country of Southwest Austin. Enlightening the journey toward a more humane, just and sustainable future.

16

COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

EDUCATION BRIEFS

News from Austin Community College, Austin ISD & Dripping Springs ISD

HIGHLIGHTS DRIPPING SPRINGS ISD The board approved appointing two new middle school principals in March. Angela Frankhouser, formerly of Lake Travis ISD, was named Dripping Springs Middle School principal and has 25 years of public education experience. Kelly Miller, former Dripping Springs High School assistant principal, was named principal of Sycamore Springs Middle School and has worked in public education for 20 years. Prior to joining DSISD in 2016, she spent 14 years in a variety of roles, including classroom teacher, coach and assistant principal in Austin ISD. TEXAS EDUCATION AGENCY School districts in Texas will now be eligible for an adjustment in their operational minutes for the 2021-22 school year due to lingering eects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The new change was announced March 29. Eligible districts will have access to funding they may not have received due to declining in-person attendance rates. It will only apply to the rst four reporting periods of the current school year. Austin ISD Next meetings: April 28 at 5:30 p.m. MEETINGSWE COVER NUMBER TOKNOW participated in the district’s Day of Service on April 1 at the Central Texas Food Bank 40,000 The pounds of food sorted by Austin ISD sta and teachers who

AISDmarks grand openings of two newcampuses

BY GLORIE MARTINEZ

AUSTIN ISD The district celebrated the grand openings of new campuses at Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders and Eastside Early College High School in March. Ann Richards SYWL is a college-prep school that serves female students in grades 6-12 with the majority of its stu- dent population coming from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, according to a district press release. The school was formerly housed in a school building built in 1958. Notable features of the new campus include a media center, makerspaces and new athletic elds. Eastside ECHS relocated from its facility at the former Johnston campus to the site of the original L.C. Anderson High School, which served East Austin’s African American community for 82 years before it was closed by a federal court in 1971 as part of desegregation, according to the dis- trict. Improvements include updated technology and exible learning spaces, and an outdoor courtyard. Both campuses received funding from the 2017 Austin ISD bond. The new Ann Richards SYWL campus opened to students in January 2021, and the Eastside ECHS campus opened to students in fall 2021.

The Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders opened its new campus to students in January 2021. (Courtesy Austin ISD)

New Eastside Early College High School campus

Renovated Ann Richards campus

THOMPSON ST.

PANTHER TR.

360

N. PLEASANT VALLEY RD.

N

N

NewMendez charter partner approved

ACCmaintains tuition rates for ninth year

R E P O R T C A R D

Under the new 1882 Partnership with Third Future Schools, Austin ISD has these goals for improving Mendez Middle School: raising the current F grade to a D by the end of the 2022- 23 school year, and to a B in the next two years; increasing the number of economically disadvantaged students who meet grade- level academic requirements to 60% by 2025; and reducing the number of disciplinary actions against students on a yearly basis.

BY GLORIE MARTINEZ

BY DARCY SPRAGUE

AUSTIN ISD Trustees voted March 24 to approve a new 1882 Partnership that will allow char- ter-network Third Future Schools to run Mendez Middle School. A 1882 Partnership provides incentives for school districts to partner with charter and higher education schools, nonprots or government entities to improve academic performance. This comes after the district announced it would stop oering sixth grade at Mendez in the 2022-23 school year.

AUSTIN COMMUNITY COLLEGE The regional college district announced April 5 that it will not raise tuition for next school year. The 2022-23 academic year represents the ninth year in which the community college has main- tained its rates, according to the press release. “The board of trustees wants to continue to encourage our citizens to attend college and get the skills they need to succeed,” ACC board Chair Nan McRaven said in the release.

4000 S. I-35, Austin www.austinisd.org Dripping Springs ISD

Next meetings: April 25 at 6 p.m. 510 W. Mercer St., Dripping Springs www.dsisdtx.us Meetings are being held virtually and in person.

SOURCE: AUSTIN ISDCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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SOUTHWEST AUSTIN  DRIPPING SPRINGS EDITION • APRIL 2022

CITY& COUNTY

News from Austin, Dripping Springs & Travis County

East Austin jet fuel storagemoves forward AUSTIN An eort to pause progress on a jet fuel facility at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport failed April 7, clearing the way for the development of a site o US 183 to proceed. an eort to step back and re-evaluate the project was led in recent months by Fuentes, community activists and environmental groups, and East Austin residents including airport neighbors. BY BEN THOMPSON

JET FUEL RESET VOTED DOWN City Council denied a plan to consider other locations for a new 10.5-acre jet fuel storage facility April 7 amid pushback from residents. Current facility Proposed new facility

The April vote came after council heard dozens of comments from those generally opposed to the plan and took up an extended discussion on the merits of Fuentes’ proposal. Concerns from the community centered on a lack of notication or opportunity for engagement about the proposal during its development as well as potential health and safety risks associated with a new fuel tank farm. That topic also echoed the community-led eort of the 1990s to shutter a toxic tank farm at Airport Boulevard and Springdale Road that contaminated the surrounding area and aected the health of area residents. “We don’t want to see the harm come again to this particular community, because you start o with one tank, two tanks, three tanks, four tanks. That’s what’s proposed, and as the airport grows, so will the tank farm,” said Suzana Almanza, executive director of People Organized in Defense of Earth and Her Resources. Speaking to community complaints that the project furthers environmental racism on the east side, neighborhood representative Daniel Llanes

Airport ocials say the planned facility, which became a contentious issue in the community in recent months, is necessary to keep pace with travel demand. Aviation CEO Jacqueline Yaft said the airport keeps just one to three days of fuel on hand, well below an industry standard of ve to seven days. If storage capacity is not expanded as planned, Yaft said, airlines could face logistical struggles and 80-plus ights could be forced to bring extra fuel into town every day. With a 5-5 vote, City Council shot down a measure from District 2 Council Member Vanessa Fuentes that would have halted the airport’s plans for an expanded fuel storage complex and started a new search for alternative sites. The resolution from Fuentes would have also required additional environmental reviews and community engage- ment for the project, which ocials have said is an essential piece of long-term expansion plans to support the airport’s—and region’s—rapid growth. While plans to bring several new fuel tanks to the airport’s western edge were nalized years ago,

71

183

PRESIDENTIAL BLVD.

973

AUSTINBERGSTROM INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

N

said the city’s plans represent “two steps forward, one step back.” Resident Rocio Villalobos said the project’s environmental reviews did not properly consider how it might aect neighboring homes and businesses, many of which are located just several hundred feet from the proposed tanks. ”How can an environmental impact assessment that’s measuring impact in areas like culture and environmental justice be determined without any public participation?” she said.

18

COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

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