Daily Archives: 04/01/2013

End of Spring Break

dio gabel allens 040113(Community Matters) We’re gonna miss these rascals, who are back to DC in the morning, then their school on Wednesday. We’ve been able to bookend Dio & Gabel Cramer’s visit to Austin. Dinner with Margo, Gregory & Benjamin tonight at the Snack Bar (wow that was good).


Our Garden

526864_10200192772515394_756307364_n(Community Matters) It’s not hard to see why our garden is so beautiful and plentiful – a note from our gardener:

Hi Eugene and Steven,

The summer garden is almost completely planted. I’ll drop by tomorrow to check on the seedlings if it’s okay with you and not raining too hard.

The only thing left to plant are the tomatillo and honeydew melons, as Natural Gardener was out when I was there. I won’t bother with an invoice for the time and planting of those as it should be negligible. I’m also not charging for time watering or other routine maintenance…it’s just too enjoyable for me.

Complimentary Planting

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Austin Internet

speedtest(Community Matters) I was testing our internet speed – we have AT&T Uverse in the main house and Time Warner in the guest & pool houses.

AT&T: download: wireless: 6.16 Mbps (5.87 ethernet)  // upload: 0.96 Mbps (0.95)

Time Warner: download:  wireless 9.77 Mbps (9.77 ethernet)  // upload: 0.62 Mbps (1.92)  (Ethernet)

both really substandard

update: as a result of this posting, a friend wrote and told me I could upgrade the AT&T Uverse internet speed and have now done so to 24 Mbps – confirmed now at  25.05 Mbps download – still only 0.96 Mbps upload

Kaufman County DA

kaufman(Community Matters) Am I reading between the lines that White Supremacists are suspected in not only this murder but others? Previous posting: Kaufman County DA and Wife Killed. 

Featherlite Development

featherlite(Community Matters) Complete treat joining Will Meredith and Terry Mitchell in presenting to Liz Mueller’s & Barbara Brown Wilson’s Community and Regional Planning/Sustainable Design class at UT this morning.

Their graduate students are spending the semester studying, evaluating and documenting the 30+ acre Featherlite tract redevelopment by the Meredith Family as a community gift through their MFI Foundation.

Density Bonus Program

hotel zaza(Community Matters) Kudos to Council members Bill Spelman, Laura Morrison, Kathie Tovo and Sheryl Cole for increasing the predictability (which will lower developer costs) and affirming public good in exchange for city granted entitlements. ABJ: Density Bonus Program to be the new standard for Austin zoning

It is sometimes hard for council members and our Mayor to weigh the larger City/Citizen interests against the special interests of the developer community. Developers and those who make lots of their money servicing real estate developers spend a great deal of money, time and affection building personal relationships with council members and their staffs. The city’s premiere entitlement attorneys (those who developers hire to get plans through city staff and city council) spend most of their time friending staff and elected officials, giving gifts, throwing baby and wedding showers, buying drinks, buying lunch, laughing at jokes, and raising money & friends for political campaigns. And, because we underfund elected officials’ resources, they are forced to rely on lobbyists for important information and experience. It’s sometimes hard to separate constituency interests from special interests –  kudos to council members Bill SpelmanLaura MorrisonKathie Tovo and Sheryl Cole for being able to do so in this situation.

On Ridgewood

tomlinson sandi bob 033013(Community Matters) Sandi & Bob Tomlinson hosted friends Saturday night and Dan Bullock (accompanied by Annette Carlozzi for one song) performed. Have to admit – I had no idea Dan was so good. He is. What a spectacular evening – great friends, Meg Schwartz (Spoon & Co) food and engaging conversations all over the room.


TEDxYouthWhiteSmall4(Community Matters) Attended the inaugural TEDxYouth@Austin at Westlake High School on Saturday – great fun and well done.

It was youth led, adult mentored. Special kudos to Louis La Fair who’s the co-licensee of the event with Nancy Giordano. Presenters and entertainers included Joseph Asfouri (a 6th grade pianist), Chris Kocek, Shree Bose, Ashley May, Premiere & Final Cut A Cappella, Garrett Weber-Gale, Joaquin Zhoqtanejo, Michael McDaniel, LimitLess Dance, Brandi Burton, Peter Stone, Ruby Jane, Jia Jiang and Lizzie Valesquez.  More about each here.