Donate your old car or truck to benefit our work

Friendship Alliance is now a CarPartner over at CarEasy.org.

Your donation of your old car or truck is fast and easy, supports our work, and gets you your tax deduction paperwork directly from CarEasy.

Start here:

This is the same car donation service that many central Texas charities are using, and a few years ago one of us donated a car to Save Our Springs Alliance as a trial run. Tried it out. Worked great.

If you don’t have an old car or truck to donate, we still want your donations.

Silent Auction items for our December 14 holiday party (Saturday)

Many thanks to all who have donated their goods or services for our silent auction. We love our good neighbors! Please support us by posting the link to this page on your social media thingies. We appreciate all signal boosts!

FA Silent Auction starts at 6:30pm, December 14,
at the Radiance Dome, 108 Royal Way, Austin, TX 78737

This community potluck welcomes you even if you are not bringing food to share; please see this link for more info

Donated services and items so far:

  • books by local authors
  • Yeti drinkware (just added! so cool! so hot!)
  • one-hour consultation with a public speaking coach
  • one-hour consultation with a registered dietician
  • one-hour consultation with a tree genius
  • one-hour “how to be a successful farmer’s market vendor” workshop with farmers market manager
  • massage therapy gift certificate(s)
  • ATX Sound Balancing gift certificate (tuning fork therapy)
  • Depression glass pitcher
  • artisan crafted wood bowl
  • Stieff pewter bowl
  • one art bird
  • Massachusetts Bay handcrafted porcelain
  • vintage Yamaha FG-180 red label acoustic guitar with guitar case and new strings
  • cold-tolerant Changsha tangerine tree
  • adapted-to-our-area olive tree (15 gallon pot)
  • Norwegian modern leather and wood recliner
  • one-hour native plant ID walk-and-talk (great for newcomers and nature lovers)
  • one-hour fruit tree pruning and/or planting class featuring fruit trees that work in our area
  • one-hour Vietnamese spring roll workshop in your home (dinner for 4 people)
  • pet-sitting service for a two-day weekend
  • Y3K-compliant board games
  • framed large portrait of Thomas Jefferson
  • one-hour beekeeping workshop with the opportunity to view living beehive
  • one-hour worm composting workshop

Please check back as this list continues to grow.

Potluck for friends and allies, party, silent auction, 6:30p on Dec 14, 2019

Friends and Allies Potluck + Holiday Party + Silent Auction
Saturday, December 14, 2019, 6:30pm-10pm
at the Radiance Dome
108 Royal Way, Austin TX 78737

Here at Friendship Alliance, we have a lot to be thankful for and we want to celebrate the end of another busy year with you. Please join us/ Invite your friends, your neighbors, we’d like to see all of you there!

Event Details

  • This is a family-friendly, kid-friendly Community Potluck. To ensure we have enough food and drink for everyone, please bring food and/or beverages to share. Can’t bring anything? Please come anyway!
  • Please: no alcoholic beverages.
  • Consider bringing your own cup/plate as part of our zero waste goal.
  • Parking is limited. We encourage carpooling.
  • Please bring one non-perishable food item for our annual holiday party food drive – all donations go to Hays County Food Bank, in the news here.
  • $10 suggested donation at the door. No one turned away for lack of funds. Can’t make it? Consider a year-end gift via our secure donation page on Network for Good.
  • Please RSVP as soon as possible. RSVPs are accepted by clicking the RSVP link below to our Eventbrite page and clicking that big green button there that says “Register” … or by emailing [email protected]iance.org.
Click on the RSVP to let us know you are coming –>        RSVP

Silent Auction items so far…

    • vintage Yamaha FG-180 red label acoustic guitar with guitar case
    • Norwegian modern leather and wood recliner (excellent condition)
    • professional photography portraiture package
    • massage therapy session, with RMT with 40 years experience
    • consultation with a registered dietician
    • consultation with Texas Certified Landscape Professional and organic gardening expert
    • native plant ID walk-and-talk
    • cold-tolerant Changsha tangerine tree
    • “Austin” pomegranate tree (related to “Wonderful” pomegranate, but adapted to our area)
    • Western Soapberry tree  (Texas native)
    • fruit tree pruning/planting class, with advice on fruit trees that work in our area, including the true name of a peach tree that can freeze solid in full blossom and still bear peaches the same year
    • one-hour beekeeping workshop, with the opportunity to view living beehive
    • worm composting (vermiculture) workshop
    • gluten-free, fresh spring roll tutorial in your home: dinner for 4 people
    • pet-sitting services for a two-day weekend
    • house-sitting services for a two-day weekend

    … and this list is growing. We’ll try to update it as often as possible. Please keep checking back.

    Please let us know if you have some thing or service you would like to offer as an auction item. All auction proceeds will go to funding FA’s operating expenses and programs. Friendship Alliance is a 100%-volunteer organization. FA board members and volunteers donate their time, talent and energy uncompensated, for the good of our community.

FA signs Save Barton Creek Association’s letter to TxDOT re: Oak Hill Parkway

DRAFT
6/27/19

To:
Mr. James Bass, TxDOT Executive Director
Mr. Tucker Furguson, Austin District Engineer

cc:
Al Alonzi, Hazem Isawi, and Glenn Harris, FHWA

Mr. Bass and Mr. Furguson,

We, the undersigned community organizations encourage you to revisit TxDOT’s current plan for the highway expansion at US 290 and SH 71, known as the “Oak Hill Parkway,” in order to meet the goals stated below.

Through the many years this project has been considered, our community’s often-stated preference for an at-grade parkway has been consistently ignored. There are now multiple problems with the project and with TxDOT’s Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) (see attached letter, Appel 2019).

TxDOT Austin District staff has and continues to actively make changes to the project, despite the fact that the FEIS and Record of Decision were issued in December 2018. These changes include: alterations to number of lanes (upon the presumption that an un-tolled road will have less traffic on access lanes), flood risk modeling and subsequent design changes, and changes to the shared use path. These are all items that should be included within the EIS process. They illustrate that the FEIS did not fully consider these items and was incomplete. The community did not have the opportunity to comment on these very significant changes. We still have not seen the new flood model and any resulting design changes. Yet, TxDOT continues to insist that it expects to put out a final Request for Proposals (RFP) in July.

It is time to correct errors made in this process and reconsider the true purpose and need for the project, as well as the community’s concerns and preferences.

The community put forth a viable alternative vision, the Livable Oak Hill plan, which is an at-grade, true parkway. We now urge TxDOT to genuinely explore a design consistent with the context and the community’s vision, while working with the stakeholders to address our valid concerns regarding environmental degradation, community cohesion, flooding and safety, and construction-related delays. Every possible opportunity to avoid excavation and elevation, particularly on the main lanes, should be explored and implemented if possible. The project as currently planned poses significant risks to the Oak Hill community, the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer, Williamson Creek, and heritage trees.

This is an opportunity to present an improved, community-supported project that provides a similar level of congestion reduction, while being less costly and destructive. Notably, this would make more money available for other regional priorities. By avoiding construction of unnecessary elevated and excavated segments, the project would logically take less time to build, reducing constructed-related delays and impacts from reduced accessibility to area businesses. It would also reduce the likelihood of delays during construction by minimizing the risk of encountering voids and other karst features that characterize the geology of the project area. A smaller project footprint could also help TxDOT achieve the net reduction in total suspended solids that is integral to TxDOT’s compliance with the Endangered Species Act for this project.

A new plan could also align with the community’s vision – including those articulated in the Oak Hill Association of Neighborhoods (OHAN’s) Priorities document, the Oak Hill Combined Neighborhood Plan, adopted in 2008, and the Imagine Austin Comprehensive Plan of 2010, which endorse future mixed-use, transit and pedestrian friendly “Town Center” at the Y. The Oak Hill Neighborhood plan’s adoption was a result of a long community input process initiated by the City of Austin, and the plan’s approval was widely supported by community members and leaders throughout East and West Oak Hill and southwest Austin.

We strongly encourage TxDOT to act now to work with community groups before a final Request for Proposals is issued for the project.

We support a plan for the Oak Hill Parkway project area that:

1) Constructs a grade-level freeway. We understand that there may be a need for cross streets to be raised. One possible at-grade-level concept is the “Livable Oak Hill” plan.

2) Minimizes both excavated and elevated highway main lane sections.

3) “Right-sizes” the number of lanes, using projections based on actual traffic counts.

4) Avoids destruction of heritage trees

5) Protects Williamson Creek and the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer by minimizing encroachment on the creek, minimizing impervious cover, treating all stormwater run-off from the site, and complying with the City of Austin’s non-degradation standard set out in the Save Our Springs Ordinance.

6) Improves neighborhood connectivity and community amenities that support future development of a new town center.

7) Focuses on safety of drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists.

8) Immediately adds new safety improvements between Oak Hill and Dripping Springs, including: making speed limits uniformly lower between the Y and Dripping Springs, synchronizing traffic lights, adding safer left-turn lane configurations, and erecting center barriers to prevent deadly head-on collisions.

9) Is consistent with City of Austin plans and policies, including Vision Zero (to reduce traffic deaths); Austin Strategic Mobility Master Plan; the Oak Hill Neighborhood Plan; and the Imagine Austin Comprehensive Plan.

10) Respects property-owners’ rights, with fair compensation for all impacts.

11) Recognizes this as a severely flood prone area, and minimizes construction in the flood zone.

12) Is financially responsible.

Sincerely,

Angela Richter, Executive Director
Save Barton Creek Association

Steve Barnick, President
Friends of Barton Springs Pool

David Foster, State Director
Clean Water Action

Alan Watts
Save Oak Hill

Cindy Dietz, President
South Windmill Run Neighborhood Association

Tony Catania, President
Scenic Brook Neighborhood Association

Carlos Torres-Verdin, President
Friendship Alliance

___________

See also:

Dripping Springs Century News: Parts of Mark Black Wedding Venue Put on Hold

https://www.drippingspringsnews.com/news/parts-mark-black-wedding-venue-put-hold

On Jun. 3, the City of Dripping Springs put a stop work order on a portion of the Mark Black wedding venue, which is being built at 130 W. Concord Circle in Driftwood. The stop order was issued by a city inspector after he and a city engineer determined “the work being done did not match the approved site plan,” during a visit to the property.

Read more on the Dripping Century News web site

Crystal Creek and Sediment-Laden Discharge from Mark Black Wedding Venue (May 2019)

This PDF is a copy of the the PowerPoint created to document existing conditions in Crystal Creek. Unlike the PowerPoint file, none of the videos will “play” in this file:
CrystalCreekPollution_201905A.pdf

This PowerPoint file (174 MB) was created to document existing conditions in Crystal Creek. It has videos will “play” if you open the file in PowerPoint: CrystalCreekPollution_201905A.pptx