Monday, October 31, 2016 by Austin Monitor

Reporter’s Notebook: That’s not a dog. THIS is a dog.

Waterfall of Chihuahuas… If Robert “Crocodile” Corbin’s multiple accounts of abuse by dogs and “arrogant dog owners” are to be taken at face value, it’s no wonder he regularly pleads with city leaders to scrap Austin’s “no-kill” policy. Before urging members of the City Council Open Space, Environment and Sustainability Committee to evict Austin Pets Alive! from the Lamar Beach at Town Lake Metropolitan Park on Wednesday, Corbin recounted multiple canine aggressions he has experienced in recent weeks in public parks. “Two days ago in Zilker Park I got attacked by – I don’t know how many – chihuahuas! They just poured out of this car like a waterfall, and they were coming at me from all directions,” he said. “I actually filed a police report – I think one of them bit me. And I was bleeding.” Corbin added that the “same thing had happened” about a month before with the same group of chihuahuas, but that he had escaped that encounter without a bite. Two weeks ago, said Corbin, a German shepherd “slammed into” him on the Hill of Life greenbelt, prompting a confrontation between Corbin and the dog’s owner, who Corbin claimed “wanted to fight” him. Six weeks ago, Corbin was sitting on Gus Fruh trail after swimming when a “big dog comes in and slams me in the head from behind.” Again, a ferocious argument ensued between Corbin and the dog owner, he said. He summarized the issue: “Every single park I go to, I have off-leash dog problems.” The chair of the committee, Council Member Leslie Pool, thanked Corbin for his remarks.

Changing of the guard… The big news out of the Austin Neighborhoods Council meeting last week was the announcement that the group has a new president, Zilker neighborhood resident David King. King will replace outgoing President Mary Ingle. ANC members wrapped up their Oct. 26 meeting by voting in the only run-off spot in their annual election. The two candidates for representative of Sector 6 in East Austin were Daniel Llanes, a longtime member of ANC who helped organize the East Austin Council of Neighborhoods, and Lottie Dailey, who has served on the civil service and community development commissions with the city. Llanes won the election with a vote of 27 to 7. Ingle encouraged Llanes to include Dailey in his work as sector representative. “I hope to see Dailey at meetings – I never have!” Llanes responded.

The “Orator” has spoken… Over the weekend, Council Member Ora Houston took to Twitter to reiterate her opposition to the mobility bond. While her social media campaign pales in comparison to Mayor Steve Adler’s tireless advocacy on the other side (see below), it has been fairly consistent, and the curious can read her reasoning on her blog.

Adler and PolitiFact respond to claims by anti-bond camp… At a forum hosted by the South Austin Neighborhood Alliance last week, Mayor Steve Adler vigorously pushed back on what he described as common misperceptions of Proposition 1, the $720 million transportation bond that he is hoping city voters approve next week. He pointed to a question posed to him by the forum moderator, SANA President Ken Jacob, who had noted that many in the area felt that the bond package neglects South Austin and that “drivers feel traffic lanes are actually being reduced in favor of traffic calming, bicycle and bus lanes.” The commonly held belief, said Adler, that the city would be directing bond funds to eliminate traffic lanes “is simply not true.” He noted an exception: East Riverside Drive will be losing some space for lanes in order to accommodate parking, which Adler said was aimed at reducing congestion. On Friday, PolitiFact weighed in on the issue, rating “mostly false” a claim made by Sensible Transportation Solutions for Austin, a political action committee opposed to the bond, that the bond would replace 27 miles of traffic lanes with bus or bike lanes. However, PolitiFact noted that there were lane reductions slated for a number of corridors, including portions of Guadalupe Street, North and South Lamar Boulevard and East Riverside Drive. The majority of those losses would be due to raised medians or turning bays, while 14.6 miles of road on those corridors would see lanes make way for bus-only lanes, and there are no plans for traffic lanes to be replaced by bike lanes.

This week’s Reporter’s Notebook comes from the notebooks of Jack Craver, Cate Malek, Joseph Caterine and Elizabeth Pagano.

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Key Players & Topics In This Article

Austin City Council Open Space Environment and Sustainability Committee: A City Council committee that reviews environmental matters, including climate change and protection, water, trees, and parks.

Austin Neighborhoods Council: The ANC is an organization of representatives of neighborhood associations from around the City of Austin. It's members largely favor neighborhood direction of development policy.

November 2016 elections

Parks and Recreation Board: The city’s Parks and Recreation Board members deal with the acquisition, development, improvement, and maintenance of Austin’s parks and playgrounds.

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