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Stories by Jessi Devenyns

Tuesday, August 14, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Citizen Review Panel audit brings up questions of document security

After 17 years of evaluation of the Austin Police Department by the Citizen Review Panel, not much happened. That is the conclusion that the Office of the City Auditor presented at the Aug. 6 meeting of the Public Safety Commission:…

Monday, August 13, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Final hearing scheduled for fraudulent vacation time case

After retiring in June of last year, Curtis Graves, a former superintendent of system operations at Austin Energy, found out that he was under investigation for his use of vacation and sick time by both Austin Energy’s internal Human Resources…

Friday, August 10, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

One of Austin’s oldest homes needs help

At 9019 Parkfield Drive sits one of the oldest structures in the city of Austin. However, as it currently stands, it is easy to pass it by as a teardown.In partnership with Sam Williams, the 30-year tenant of this property,…

Thursday, August 9, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Despite need for housing, ZAP does not approve Southwest Austin subdivision

After the Environmental Commission failed to recommend the environmental suitability of a densely planned Southwest Austin subdivision due to traffic concerns, the preliminary plan for this development proceeded to the Zoning and Platting Commission.Much like the hearing in June, the…

Wednesday, August 8, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

SAFE wants to help make Austin safer by reducing violence early

Relationship violence is a significant driver of violence in any city. However, it can be difficult for the police to do anything more than respond to incident calls; they cannot be caseworkers for those who are involved in violent relationships.In…

Monday, August 6, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Austin Water lays the path forward for the next 100 years of water conservation

There’s no denying it: The climate as we know it is changing, but access to water sources is not.Three years ago the second iteration of the Water Forward Task Force convened in an effort to draft a 100-year water supply…

Friday, August 3, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Environmental Commission votes against tram, arguing for safety

Everyone knows the saying, “If everyone jumped off a cliff, would you do it too?” Well, spoiler alert, the answer should be no.Although that was not exactly the question that the Environmental Commission asked at its Aug. 1 meeting, it…

Friday, August 3, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Commissioners dive into St. Edward’s records

There are many reasons that a building can be historic. One of them is if a structure is a part of a historic district where an architect has produced a significant body of work that embodies a period style and…

Thursday, August 2, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Commissioners request authentic reconstruction for Lamar Bridge

Sometimes, accidents happen.In an emergency addition to the Historic Landmark Commission agenda on July 23, commissioners heard the case of the Lamar Boulevard Bridge over Shoal Creek.Last month a vehicular collision damaged the bridge, which lies between 12th Street and…

Wednesday, August 1, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Seaholm Waterfront study produces a plan that PARD recommends

Seven years ago, the Seaholm Intake building along the shores of Lady Bird Lake was turned over to the Austin Parks and Recreation Department, and it has since stood waiting for change.Now, after months of study, community input, and a partnership…

Thursday, July 26, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Rowing center contract bounced back to committee

After reviewing the reworked terms of the Austin Rowing Club’s new contract extension, the Parks and Recreation Board suggested that they go back to the drawing board.City Council voted unanimously in June to give the Austin Rowing Club the go-ahead…

Wednesday, July 25, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Critical water quality zone crossing approved for the second time

Sometimes for development projects, it’s the second time that’s the charm.Over a decade ago, developers of a 42-acre tract of land at 1322 W. Dittmar Road received a variance to construct a private drive across a critical water quality zone…

Tuesday, July 24, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Despite water bill debacle, Austin’s utility customer service rating remains unharmed

The wounds that last fall’s water bill catastrophe left behind had the potential to open up once again as Austin Energy reviewed its customer service ratings and presented the findings at the July 16 meeting of the Electric Utility Commission.“Didn’t we…

Thursday, July 19, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Where are Austin Energy’s generation metrics?

For three years, the Electric Utility Commission has not received an annual performance report from Austin Energy. Concerned about the lack of the familiar financial and operational reporting format, Commissioner Michael Osborne has repeatedly discussed its merits and requested its…

Wednesday, July 18, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Commissioners: Water bills should be overseen by Austin Water

Following the water bill fiasco from last fall, Austin Energy and Austin Water teamed up on a working group to uncover the puzzling reasons behind the unusual spikes.Although the group started off with one question, Commissioner Mickey Maia reported back…

Friday, July 13, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

The cats are alive and well at the Austin Animal Center

After a significant dip in live outcomes for cats in April, the Animal Advisory Commission began to seriously consider how it could reverse that trend to allow more animals to survive their stay as a guest at the Austin Animal…

Wednesday, July 11, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Three Congress storefronts will soon be dismantled

For over a decade, three properties at 907, 909 and 911 Congress Ave. have stood vacant as they awaited a plan to restore their original facades. In September of 2006, two of the properties were approved for dismantling, but now…

Monday, July 9, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

APD continues to push toward community-focused policing

Since the Austin Police Department made its switch to a more community-oriented focus last year, it has continued to plow forward in its efforts to reorient its policies and position APD more as a force for the people.In a presentation to…

Monday, July 9, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Environmental Commission fails to approve variance based on traffic concerns

In a subdivision, how much density is too dense? Although not typically a question the Environmental Commission considers, it is one that became the crux of the discussion around a variance request at its June 20 meeting due to the…

Thursday, July 5, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

West Campus home pushes for relocation to pay property taxes

As time passes, things change, and like all things in Austin, neighborhoods are feeling the effects of the city’s evolution. Once an area with stately homes, West Campus has become the de facto residence for students who share their neighborhood…

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