Around and About the Avenues – November 2014

Please Vote: This publication urges all eligible voters in the neighborhood to vote on or before Tuesday November 4. Apart from races at the federal level, crucial state, county, and city positions are up for election, including bond propositions on such matters as transportation and Austin Community College. The ballot will be challengingly long. This election of course will also inaugurate a new governance structure in Austin, with all the questions and uncertainties that will bring. This election is too important to leave it up to others to decide.

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Fire Station Festival: We have every confidence that the festival on October 19 was a great success, but the event happened too late for a report in this issue. Coverage, including photos, announcements of winners and honorees, and expressions of thanks to volunteers and sponsors, will appear in the December issue.

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Mark Your Calendars: The annual Hyde Park Holidays Party will take place Sunday, December 14, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Elisabet Ney Museum. Drinks and refreshments will be served. Leave a wish on the Wish Tree! If you would like to volunteer to help with the party, please contact Tammy Young.

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Pecan Press News: The editor warmly welcomes Deaton Bednar to this publication’s Advisory Board. She joins Grant Thomas, Lisa Harris, and Kevin Heyburn.   That’s an impressive crew, to say the least. On another note, readers might be wondering where the minutes of the October HPNA general meeting are. They were not submitted for publication. And lastly, several very reasonably-minded neighbors mentioned that they found a passage in a recent article to be offensive. Others must have, too. The editor apologies for this oversight. Although he didn’t originally read the passage as offensive, it is his duty to make sure that the publication remains free of passages that might be taken as offensive. Passionate advocacy is fine, but the language and tone must remain civil and respectful. The editor promises to be more vigilant.

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Opportunity To Support Austin’s Architectural and Cultural Past: Inherit Austin, a membership group within Preservation Austin, will host its fifth annual “Somewhere in Time” fundraising dinner at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 5 at Formosa, the onetime home and studio of sculptor Elisabet Ney (304 East 44th Street). Guests can enjoy drinks and dinner under the stars and tour the historic property purchased in 1892 by Ney, which became a gathering place for influential Texans drawn to “Miss Ney” and stimulating discussions of politics, art and philosophy. Following Ney’s death in 1907, her friends preserved the studio and its contents as the Elisabet Ney Museum. Since 1941, Formosa has been a property of the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department. Tickets are $100 per guest.

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Host International Students: Simply International is a local business that helps international students at UT and other local colleges find housing, furniture, transportation, and cell phones. Many students from Europe, Asia, and the Middle East want to live with families near the UT campus. Hosting a student for one semester or two pays cultural dividends in addition to the $700 per month compensation. Common questions can be answered at  under “Become a Host.” Those interested in informally exploring the possibilities with a knowledgeable neighbor can contact Travis Vilmont.