Stories by Sean Saldaña

Wednesday, April 14, 2021 by Sean Saldaña

Park rangers continue reworking operations ahead of summer season

In a memo sent to City Council last week, Parks and Recreation Director Kimberly McNeeley provided an update about PARD’s upcoming summer operations, detailing “Covid-19 modified protocols, winter storm recovery challenges and general operational details for the season.” The update…

Friday, April 9, 2021 by Sean Saldaña

Landmark commission postpones demolition in West Line Historic District

The Historic Landmark Commission heard a proposal last month to demolish an old building and construct a new one on a property located in the West Line Historic District, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in…

Thursday, April 8, 2021 by Sean Saldaña

Landmark Commission votes against front-yard pool proposal

At last month’s meeting on March 22, the Historic Landmark Commission discussed a certificate of appropriateness application to modify the landscape, construct a terrace and build a swimming pool at the historic Jackson-Novy-Kelly-Hoey House at 2406 Harris Blvd. First recommended…

Monday, April 5, 2021 by Sean Saldaña

Landmark commission approves changes to historic Mary Street home

Last week, the Historic Landmark Commission gave the go-ahead for some repairs and upgrades to a home at 508 E. Mary St., a property in the Mary Street Historic District. Originally established in 1928, “the 500 block of E. Mary…

Monday, March 29, 2021 by Sean Saldaña

Landmark Commission postpones decision to deliberate on historic designation

At last week’s meeting of the Historic Landmark Commission, commissioners reviewed a rehabilitation case at 1601 Brackenridge St. The home, which was built in 1915, was first inhabited by William and Lettie Webster Davis, two teachers at the Texas School…

Friday, March 26, 2021 by Sean Saldaña

Proposition C explained

Last month, City Council approved the language for seven ballot propositions Austin residents will cast votes for or against on May 1. Among them was Proposition C, an initiative that would transfer oversight power of the Office of Police Oversight from…

Thursday, March 25, 2021 by Sean Saldaña

Rep. Talarico proposes bill for educational equity officers; AISD is a case study

Earlier this month, Rep. James Talarico, who represents Texas’ 52nd District, filed a bill aimed at tackling equity issues within the state’s education systems. Specifically, the bill would require school districts to hire a diversity, equity and inclusion officer. According to…

Tuesday, March 16, 2021 by Sean Saldaña

ADRN distributes 25,000 articles of clothing donated by Uniqlo

Last month, Texas endured a historic winter storm that left millions of people across the state without access to power. At one point during the week of Feb. 15, as many as 40 percent of Austin residents were without power. But as…

Friday, March 12, 2021 by Sean Saldaña

Trail Foundation safety and mobility study seeks improvements

Stretching 10 miles, the Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail is one of Austin’s most beloved features, receiving more than 4.5 million visits a year. Behind the trail’s natural beauty and serenity, however, are countless hours of planning and execution. The Trail…

Wednesday, March 10, 2021 by Sean Saldaña

Review commission works through reforms of police procedures

Last summer, amid widespread calls for police reform, Austin City Council adopted Resolution 95, which is aimed at reworking many of the Austin Police Department’s most controversial policies. The resolution ordered APD to implement restrictions on chokeholds, purchases of military…

Thursday, March 4, 2021 by Sean Saldaña

PARD begins to reimagine public safety

Last summer, in the wake of protests against the police killings of Mike Ramos and George Floyd, Austin City Council announced its Reimagining Public Safety initiative. A timeline was released with the goal of reforming “public safety over the years, including conducting…

Tuesday, March 2, 2021 by Sean Saldaña

Parks board endorses push for more benches in city parks

On Feb. 23, Janee Briesemeister, who chairs the Commission on Seniors, sought the Parks and Recreation Board’s endorsement for a recommendation passed by the senior commission back in January. The recommendation advocates for “the placement of benches on trails and other…

Monday, March 1, 2021 by Sean Saldaña

PARD director estimates $1 million in weather-related damages

At last week’s Parks and Recreation Board meeting, Parks and Recreation Department Director Kimberly McNeeley presented the most recent director’s report for the department, highlighting PARD’s response to the historic winter storms and the power outages in the region. According to McNeeley,…

Thursday, February 25, 2021 by Sean Saldaña

Austin Parks Foundation gives an update on Zilker train restoration

The Austin Parks Foundation has laid out its plans to restore the beloved train formerly known as the Zilker Zephyr, which ceased operations last year. In January 2020, after more than two decades in operation, the owners of the Zephyr…

Wednesday, February 17, 2021 by Sean Saldaña

PARD gives update on cemetery improvement plans

Last September, around 15 gravestones were vandalized with blue paint at Evergreen Cemetery in East Austin, the city’s first municipal graveyard for Black residents when it was founded in 1926. Commenting on the event, Mayor Steve Adler tweeted that the…

Wednesday, February 10, 2021 by Sean Saldaña

Parks department needs 600 lifeguards by May

In anticipation of the upcoming swim season, Parks and Recreation Department Director Kimberly McNeeley submitted a memorandum to City Council on Jan. 22 that contained an update on maintenance and staffing in the city’s aquatics department. The memo states that the…

Monday, February 8, 2021 by Sean Saldaña

Demolition proposal receives pushback from Tarrytown residents, commission delays decision

A demolition request for a 1938 home received a surprising amount of pushback from community members at the Jan. 25 meeting of the Historic Landmark Commission. The home at 2803 Bonnie Road was first constructed for Frank D. and Ollie…

Tuesday, February 2, 2021 by Sean Saldaña

Former Threadgill home on its way to historic designation

Commissioners at the Jan. 25 meeting of the Historic Landmark Commission voted to advance the historic designation process for 4310 Rosedale Ave., the former home of Kenneth and Mildred Threadgill. Kenneth Threadgill, an Austin-based country musician who collaborated with national…

Tuesday, January 26, 2021 by Sean Saldaña

Environmental Commission unanimously votes to advance Goodnight Ranch zoning change

A proposal to amend zoning requirements for a South Austin residential development was discussed and subsequently approved by the Environmental Commission at its Jan. 20 meeting. Goodnight Ranch is a master planned unit development that covers 695 acres encompassing the area…

Monday, January 25, 2021 by Sean Saldaña

Environmental Commission discusses its role in political advocacy

The Jan. 20 meeting of the Environmental Commission addressed a resolution that would support the city’s 87th State Legislative Agenda, a City Council resolution that passed in September of last year. According to the city, the agenda – which has no…

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