Studies show that children and teens with at least one positive role model in their life, have better well-being and outlook on life. At The Settlement Home, there are many ways to connect and volunteer. Some of our volunteers work with a whole cottage; some offer activities for the whole campus. Others provide one-on-one mentorship to some of our kiddos. Meet Ron and Doreen, who are mentors to one of our kids. We caught up with them recently to learn a little more about them. Read their interview.
Titled "Rundberg Reblend: Groups remake North Austin neighborhood one bridge at a time", it ran in the June 2nd, 2016 edition of the Austin Chronicle.
Read it online.
"A serial predator suspected of attacking eight women in North Austin also has been connected to several other cases in Southeast and East Austin, according to Austin police," reported the Statesman.
"With the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act approaching, it’s important for our City and our Council to come together to fight back against our increasing economic segregation.
Yesterday at the Planning & Neighborhoods Committee meeting, I proposed a package of about ten policy priorities to kick off a comprehensive Fair Housing Initiative alongside Council Member Renteria," announced Austin City Council Member Greg Casar in his latest newsletter.
"The package includes:
"We will continue the discussion at the Housing & Community Development Committee on June 6th and the Council Meeting on June 9th," added the elected official representing District 4, and stating that he "hoped, through these meetings, that we can focus on big, proactive policy solutions that can help get us off the list of most economically-segregated areas in the country."
Addressing transportation safety concerns
"Two children were killed by cars this month when trying to cross the street in North Austin (including a hit and run case). These horrible incidents have reemphasized the urgency for our City to invest in Austin’s transportation infrastructure to improve mobility and safety in our community," also estimated Council Member Casar, reminding that "District 4 is home to some of the most dangerous intersections in Austin", that "we have made some important improvements during last year’s budget cycle, in which City Council allocated funding to the five of Austin’s most dangerous intersections—several of those were in District 4 or nearby our District", and announcing that "we’ll be looking to continue investing in those areas in the upcoming City Budget, and our office will support putting a bond on the ballot in November to improve our City’s pedestrian infrastructure."
"We’ll also be meeting with neighbors and community members to address the safety concerns in this and other areas across District 4," added Council Member Casar, inviting to "help improve our City’s transportation infrastructure" and "help finding the driver who hit and killed Ethan Hernandez Maldonado."
Read the full newsletter online.
"The City of Austin now has a "budget simulator" designed to collect resident input on 11 categories of city services. Users can select what percentage of the total city budget they would like to go toward services such as trash collection and local parks," informs Council Member Don Zimmerman in his latest newsletter.
"Give it a click at https://austintx.budgetsimulator.com," invites the elected official.
June 2nd update: "The owner of the burial service hired for the funeral of a 3-year-old boy who died in a hit-and-run last month is offering a $5,000 reward for information on the driver who struck and killed the child," reports the Austin American Statesman.
The Austin Police Department "is seeking the public’s assistance in locating the driver of the Chevrolet Silverado" that "turned onto Cameron Rd. striking four-year-old Ethan Hernandez," who "was legally walking in the crosswalk with family members and had the right of way when he was hit by the truck. The driver of the Chevrolet fled the scene."
Read the full news release and see the two pictures of the suspect vehicle.
"The Austin school district has taken preliminary steps to terminate the Burnet middle school principal charged with online solicitation of a minor," reported the Statesman.
Jury declines to charge Austin cop who shot unarmed teen in North Austin three months ago, and rally held to protest no bill
"A Travis County grand jury on Tuesday declined to indict former Austin police officer Geoffrey Freeman, who fatally shot an unarmed 17-year-old, David Joseph, in a Northeast Austin neighborhood in February", and "the Austin Justice Coalition held a rally outside the Travis County district attorney’s office Wednesday evening to protest a grand jury’s decision," reported the Austin American Statesman in articles published Tuesday and yesterday.
The Austin Police Department reported another fatal shooting in North Austin, just a week after a deadly taco truck fight at 8600 North Lamar, and two men were shot as they drove south on Research Boulevard near Payton Gin Road:
"On Saturday May 14, 2016, at approximately 4:19 a.m., North East Area Command officers were dispatched to a shooting in the 800 block of Fairfield Dr. Upon arrival, officers were directed to a Hispanic male lying on the ground with apparent trauma to his body. Officers began life-saving measures but were unsuccessful at reviving him. The male was pronounced deceased at 4:31 a.m.," says the latest press release.
As for the previous murder, "detectives are asking anyone with any information regarding this incident or his whereabouts to call the Homicide Tip Line at 512-477-3588 or Crime Stoppers at 512-472-TIPS or text "Tip 103" + your message to CRIMES."
From the Citizen Led Austin Safety Partnership, "a non-partisan group dedicated to encouraging and sustaining a community-wide network of Neighborhood Watch and Patrol leaders":
"It appears that Community Policing by District Representatives is on the chopping block at APD,", announces CLASP, citing talks about "converting approximately 48 sworn officer positions to civilian jobs": the District Representatives’ positions would be filled by civilians," and concerned about the transfer of DRs "to patrol or other positions within the Department": "we would loose the most important and knowledgeable individuals who provide specialized services to our neighborhoods and our schools, who are liaisons to our communities, and serve our residents with the level of response which requires a sworn peace officer."
"Even if some of the duties can be handled by civilians, the sworn officers are our connection we need in difficult situations," adds CLASP.
What you can do
"The City Council hired Matrix Consulting Group to conduct a Community Policing Study to determine what APD’s community policing plan will be and what measures are required to implement a comprehensive, effective program to serve the people of Austin," then explains CLASP, asking to "please take the survey to give your thoughts and opinions – it’s on the APD website: www.austintexas.gov/department/police"
Deadline is this Friday May 13.
"The survey results will be produced in early June."
"If you believe that keeping the sworn officers as District Representatives that we now have is vital to our city, contact the Mayor, City Manager, all of the City Council Members, and APD. (...) Tell them how DRs are important to your neighborhood and what the effect will be if these officers are taken away. Yes, patrol officers are absolutely needed, but taking our DRs cannot be the only option.
This is the contact information for your use:
"In late March, representatives of CLASP met with Chief Art Acevedo to talk about neighborhood and public safety matters, express our concerns about the DR changes, and to make recommendations we feel would be helpful as Austin increases its Community Policing Program.
Our discussions included APD’s efforts to improve efficiency and effectiveness in the face of budget issues and population growth, our belief that the education and direct services provided and the good will generated by District Reps is as valuable and important as what patrol and other units provide, the benefits of improving and expanding Neighborhood Watch training, coordinating the DRs and community engagement, and establishing an Advisory Board on Community Policing composed of experienced community members, APD staff, and other stakeholders.
We look forward to a continuing dialogue as the process continues."
Read the full blog post on CLASPATX.com.