Around And About The Avenues – May 2014

Sad News To Report: Longtime Hyde Park resident Thelma Fox passed away on March 4, 2014.  She was 96 years old.  Her neighbors on Avenue H will remember her personal warmth, generous spirit, and great sense of humor.  She was a member of the Church of Christ in Hyde Park, where for many years her husband served as an elder.  Predeceased by her son Kenneth and her husband Vance, she is survived by her children Carolyn and Gerald Fox, granddaughter Heather, and daughter-in-law Sandra Kay Fox.

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The Second Annual Ney Day: On Saturday May 3, noon to 5 p.m., The Elisabet Ney Museum will be celebrating the art and legacy of Elisabet Ney, with music, art, performances, and other activities. There will be live music from SeVana Marimba Band, Rosie Flores, Jennifer Cook, Yes Ma’am Brass Band, and Fiddlisa and Friends. Activities will include clay and limestone sculpting demos, food trucks, jugglers, hula hoopers, technology activities, clay crafting, and bookmaking. A highlight will be a spray-paint art performance. Attendees will also find booths from Austin Bookmakers Guild, The South Austin Museum of Popular Culture, The Museum of Natural and Artificial Ephemerata, Amy’s Ice Cream, Girlstart, Girls’ Rock Camp, UT Press, and the Asian American Resource Center. The event is presented with assistance from Texas Folklife and support from Texas Commission on the Arts. The Ney is at 304 E. 44th Street.

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The Nightmare Continues: Newly armed with a resolution of support from the neighborhood association, Liz Lock and Eric Hughes, owners of the Adams House B&B, reported for their meeting with the Board of Adjustment on April 14, hoping to get relief from the hardship caused by the enforcement of a mid-construction stoppage of their renovation project. What they encountered instead was a postponement of the meeting because of yet another error made by the city, this time in regard to neighbor notification. As of press time, there was no clear path to a revised date for a hearing.

This nightmare began after a neighbor filed a complaint in January. In a subsequent internal review, city staff discovered it had made an error in the issued permit. It then ordered a halt to the construction of what was to be expanded living space for the owners. Months have passed, and the owners are beyond frustrated. See the minutes of the April HPNA meeting on p. 13 for more details.

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Spotlight on a Neighbor: The April issue of Austin Woman Magazine features a cover story on Hyde Park resident Niyanta Spelman: “Global Conservationist: Keeping the Planet Green through the Rainforest Partnership.” This feature article details how her lifelong special connection with nature eventually led her to establish the Rainforest Partnership. With more than 300 volunteers, this partnership focuses exclusively on tropical rainforests, which are so ecologically important, but over the last 100 years have gone from 14% to 6% of the earth’s land mass. This partnership is trying to reverse that trend, taking pride in doing so in a way that respects the cultures of indigenous peoples and works with them to build sources of income that ensure economic sustainability.

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Preventing Home Fires: A handy and useful guide to fire safety is available at http://www.homesecuritysystems.com/fire-safety-handbook. This online text includes a comprehensive look at fire risks, effective fireproofing methods, and ways to prepare oneself and others before a fire starts.