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Safety and Security in Lost Creek

Concerned about home security? Not happy with traffic on Lost Creek Blvd?  At the LCCO (Lost Creek Civic Organization) meeting this Thursday, February 1, APD Officer Wojo (Stephen Woytkewicz) is expected to come armed with data about criminal activity in LC, options for home security systems and other security-enhancing methods, alarm permit requirements, and APD resources.  Following close on his trail will be Anna Martin and Mario Porras, engineers with the City of Austin Transportation Department, who will talk about safety improvement and traffic calming options on the main road through Lost Creek.  (This will be an informational presentation, not a proposal.)  Join us this Thursday, February 1 at 7 p.m. in the Lost Creek Limited District Bldg., 1305 Quaker Ridge.  

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Susan Engelking founded Tiny Transit® Strategies, a grassroots movement that advocates protected networks for Neighborhood Electric Vehicles (NEVs*) and other low speed modes as a low-cost urban mobility solution. LEAN Lanes can relieve traffic congestion, improve public health and safety, reduce financial stress, lower air emissions, help cities grow their economies, and improve mobility for everyone. For the nation, the new mode is a step toward economic resilience, reduced carbon emissions, and energy independence.

Susan’s background is economic development. She has the distinction of having served as project manager or senior editor for each of the three long range economic development plans for Austin, Texas spanning 20 years. As a City Council aide and then as a director in the Economic Development Division of the Austin Chamber of Commerce, Susan was one of the leaders involved in envisioning and positioning Austin as having a key role in the global information economy.

Susan is founder and president of Engelking Communications LLC, a marketing and public relations firm that since 1998 has consulted with dozens of clients in an array of industries. She serves as strategist, ghost writer, editor, and trusted advisor for her clients.

She is a founding shareholder in EE-ABF Holding LLC, Texas Pyrolysis Group, and Earth Energy Renewables, all in the waste recycling space and based in Bryan, Texas.

Susan served three terms as president of the Austin Children’s Museum, raised over $3 million for its expansion, and was instrumental in its evolution to become the Thinkery. Susan was Treasurer for Nan McRaven’s winning campaigns for trustee for Austin Community College. Nan McRaven became president of the board of trustees for several years.

Susan has been named Austin Communicator of the Year by Women Communicators of Austin, and she has served as a board member and advisor for numerous organizations, including Travis Audubon, Boy Scouts, and SafePlace. She has a Master’s degree from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin and B.S. in education, also from UT Austin, magna cum laude, with concentrations in English and history.

Susan has two children in middle school, Joely and Jack. Her prime directive for Tiny Transit® Strategies is safe, low cost, low stress, low emission, climate-conscious mobility for their generation. She doesn’t want to see another child killed on Austin roads.

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Skyglow Project

Light Pollution, also known as Skyglow, may not appear to be the most urgent problem facing the planet, but it may be the most indicative of humanity's growing separation from nature. Light pollution impacts health of humans and animals, especially nocturnal wildlife, and disrupts ecosystems. It also leads to waste of large percentages of energy and the disruption of astronomical research, among a long list of impacts. Light pollution runs counter to necessity for a green, sustainable future.

Upcoming events in Austin:

JANUARY 12, 2018 @ 7PM - AUSTIN, TEXAS
Austin Astronomical Society - The University of Texas at Austin – Engineering Teaching Center - 204 E Dean Keeton St, Austin, TX 78712


JANUARY 13, 2018 @ 7PM - AUSTIN, TEXAS
River Hills Neighborhood Association 

RIVER HILLS NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION PRESENTS
SATURDAY, JANUARY 13 FROM 7:00 PM TO 9:00 PM
UNDER THE STARS
8804 TAYLOR ROAD
AUSTIN, TX 78733

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Meeting Announcement

Date: January 4, 2018

Time: 7 pm 

Where: Lost Creek Limited District Building, 1305 Quaker Ridge, Austin, TX 78746

Topics:   Tiny Transit, Susan Engelking, Tiny Transit Strategies, engelkingsusan@gmail.com, 512.413.7750 and a discussion of Lost Creek's Wildfire Adapted Community Plan

To join the LCCO web site, click here.

Tiny Transit

Tiny Transit™ is about creating a dedicated, protected network reserved for vehicles that are relatively small and lightweight, with a maximum speed of 25 mph. Low speed and lightweight make Tiny Transit™ safe, affordable and efficient. The infrastructure is affordable, too since it allows increased capacity on our existing roads. Tiny Transit™ lets people “flow” without stopping at intersections, and without the risk of death and serious injury that exists on our roads today. Tiny Transit™ is new—and proven: virtually every aspect of Tiny Transit™ has been demonstrated to work somewhere in the U.S. or the world. Google’s self-driving car and the GEM are naturals for Tiny Transit™. It is a flexible and adaptive solution that provides a choice within the overall transportation network.

For more information view a video.

Susan Engelking
Susan Engelking’s background is economic development. She has the distinction of having served as project manager or senior editor for each of the three long-range economic development plans for Austin from 1984 through 2000. She managed the public relations campaign that boosted Austin’s national reputation and rankings. She is president of Engelking Communications LLC, a marketing communications firm, since 1998. At present, Susan is conducting research for Dr. Cristal Glangchai’s forthcoming book on entrepreneurial learning as a way to unlock girls’ interest in STEAM. She holds a master’s degree from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin, and a degree in Education (English and history). Susan served three terms as president of the Austin Children’s Museum, now The Thinkery, and had a leadership role in its growth. She was named Austin Communicator of the Year by Austin Women.
 Wildfire Adapted Community
A wildfire adapted community is defined by the United States Forest Service as "a knowledgeable and engaged community in which the awareness and actions of residents regarding infrastructure, buildings, landscaping, and the surrounding ecosystem lessens the need for extensive protection actions and enables the community to safely accept wildfire as a part of the surrounding landscape." The National Wildfire Coordinating Group definition, which was developed approved by the Wildland Urban Interface Mitigation Committee, is "A human community consisting of informed and prepared citizens collaboratively planning and taking action to safely co­exist with wildland fire."
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LCCO General Meeting December 7, 2017

Meeting Announcement

Date: December 7, 2017

Time: 7 pm 

Where: Lost Creek Limited District Building, 1305 Quaker Ridge, Austin, TX 78746

Topics:   Wildfires and Home Owner's Insurance, Rob Galbraith, Property Underwriting, Property & Casualty Insurance Group, USAA, and CodeNEXT and Our Position on Its Future

To join the LCCO web site, click here.

Wildfires and Home Owner Insurance
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The risk of wildfires damaging homes is becoming a consideration for insurance companies. Some are refusing to write policies in high risk areas. Others are increasing their rates. And, a few a reducing their rates if the community takes actions to reduce risk.

  • Austin is ranked third by National Underwriter Property and Casualty with almost 36,000 homes at high risk and a property reconstruction value of $9B.
  • All of Lost Creek is considered to be in the WUI (Wildland Urban Interface). Moreover,  Lost Creek has 318 homes directly in the WUI, adjacent to the wildland, or 25% of it's 1,250 homes. The face of the WUI is 6.5 miles long.
  • According to Headwaters Economics: "Wildfires are getting larger and causing more damage. The six worst fire seasons since 1960 have occurred since 2000. Bigger wildfires are generally the result of two factors. First, biomass fuels have risen, due to historic management practices—overgrazing that reduced grass cover and encouraged seedling growth; logging of the large pines that led to a less fire-tolerant understory; and aggressive fire suppression that eliminated the natural, low-intensity fires which reduced biomass levels. The other factor is changing climatic conditions—higher temperatures, widespread drought, earlier snowmelt and spring growth, and expanded insect and disease infestations.
  • Bankrate reports that: Wildfires spark home insurance preconditions, Insurers want homes to be more fire-smart, Insurers have support from fire authorities, and with the right action, discounts possible.
  • The Los Angeles Times has reported: As fire danger grows, some homeowners are seeing coverage dropped
  • Reuters reports: Wildfires push Californians to high-risk insurance market
  • The New York Times reported: This year has seen an explosion of wildfires that have set records for death and destruction from California to Kansas. As the smoke continues to clear from the deadly flames that swept across parts of California’s wine country, history and the reality on the ground suggest the threat will grow only worse, not only for California, the most fire-prone state, but throughout the West.
CodeNEXT and Our Position on Its Future
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CodeNEXT is entering its final stages of development, review and approval. There are three dates you need to know now:

  • CodeNEXT Draft 3 - February 12, 2018
  • Austin City Council First Reading - April
  • Austin City Council Vote - April

CodeNEXT will affect Lost Creek as well as the future of the city of Austin.

As residents of Lost Creek we should be concerned and take a position relative to its direct impacts on Lost'Creek's future. As citizens of Austin we should be concerned about how its going to shape Austin's future. Is it the type of city we want to live in?

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by Melanie Barden, CBS Austin

"Thousands of property crimes are reported in Austin every year, ranging from home burglaries to car theft. According to APD's latest report, in 2016, more than 33,000 cases were filed with the Austin Police Department, only 13 percent of those were solved.


"It never really stops or goes away," says Sgt. Noel Guerin.


Guerin works with APD's Property Crimes Task Force, he says surveillance footage helps significantly when solving these crimes.


"When you have a video of something that's happened it's an unbiased witness that shows you exactly how it happened," says Guerin.


The Property Crimes Task Force is able to use these images to tell police what to look out for, Guerin claims one case was solved by identifying a dent on a car.


Police say another value of having home surveillance footage is posting the footage on social media, in hopes someone recognizes the criminal."

Watch Video

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Austin Resource Recovery: Lost Creek

Copy of the Austin Resource Recovery presentation at the LCCO meeting on November 2, 2017 regarding the transition from private to city garage and recycling. This was part of the annexation agreement. Residents should make the change by 11/17 for the change to be activated on December 15.

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LCCO Meeting Announcement

Meeting Announcement

Date: November 2, 2017

Time: 7 pm 

Where: Lost Creek Limited District Building, 1305 Quaker Ridge, Austin, TX 78746

Topics:   Future of Transportation, John Harbarger, Austin Future and Austin Resource Recovery - Memi Cárdenas, Public Information Specialist Senior; Amy Slagle, Action Division Manager, Liter Abatement; Ron Romero, Division Manager, Collection Services

To join the LCCO web site, click here.

Austin Resource Recovery Residential Services

Austin Resource Recovery provides services designed to transform waste into resources and keep our community clean.

Citywide Services

  •  The Recycle & Reuse Drop-Off Center (household hazardous waste disposal, electronics recycling and free items for pickup)
  • Street sweeping
  • Dead animal collection

Residential Curbside Services

Austin Resource Recovery provides curbside collection services for single-family homes and multifamily properties with four units or fewer. Multifamily units with five or more units must use a private hauler.

  • Trash is collected weekly.
  • Yard trimmings are collected weekly on the same day as trash.
  • Recycling is collected every other week.
  • Clothing and housewares are collected every other week on the same day as recycling.
  • Large brush is collected twice per year.
  • Bulk items are collected twice per year.

My Schedule 
Use My Schedule to get a personalized collection calendar for all residential curbside services. You can add your schedule to Google, iCal or Outlook, or you can print it. You can also sign up for text, email or phone call reminders and alerts.

Holiday Slide Days
Your collection day slides to one day later if it falls on New Year's Day, Thanksgiving Day or Christmas Day (or if it falls after these days in the same week). Use My Schedule to see your holiday slide schedules.

Rates

Use Rate Calculator

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by Adam Hammons, Tuesday, September 26th 2017, CBS Austin (KEYE)

"A West Austin neighborhood is fighting to slow down traffic on their own street, and they’re working on their own to get the city’s attention.

There is just one street to get in and out of the Lost Creek neighborhood. Lost Creek Boulevard spans from Loop 360 to Barton Creek Blvd. Homeowners say that street has become dangerous.

“Now we have turned into something akin to a highway,” homeowner Sandy Kerr said.

Kerr lives off Lost Creek, and says speed has become a major problem over the years. Years ago, a teenager rolled over and crashed on the edge of her yard. One teen was killed.
That crash is why she planted a palm tree in the spot where the car went into the yard.

“When you see someone die in your front yard, it makes you creative,” Kerr said. “I just didn’t want to have that happen again.”

Recently, phone apps have brought even more cars on the street. That’s because at times the road can be used as a cut-through to get around traffic on Bee Cave or Loop 360.
That traffic doesn’t include just cars.

“These are vehicles that have no business in a neighborhood,” Kerr said.
Commercial trucks also rumble through the neighborhood. Kerr said they shake her house and she’s seen several 18 wheelers she believes have no business with homeowners in the area.

“I think it’s a big issue, I think it’s a big safety issue for the neighborhood,” Paul Schumann with the Lost Creek Civic Organization said.
Schumann has been working with the City of Austin on ways to slow down traffic. The Transportation Department said it’s been talking with homeowners and is working on a speed mitigation solution.

Schumann also wants to point out how big of a problem is trucks going through the neighborhood. That’s why he’s asked all homeowners to help out.
“I sort of enlisted the neighborhood,” Schumann said.

He’s asked everyone to report if they see a commercial truck on Lost Creek Boulevard. If any look like they have no business in the area, then homeowners can go online, fill out a couple questions and even submit a picture.

Schumann said he’s doing this partly because he doesn’t think the city is going fast enough.

“Trying to get their focus on it is always an issue,” Schumann said.

“We’re hoping that this will give them an incentive to show that we’re really interested in it and here’s what we’ve observed maybe we can convince them to do the study legitimately,” Schumann said.

Schumann would like a sign installed that says no truck traffic.

ATD says the speed mitigation program does not include ways to stop truck traffic. They’re just looking at installing speed bumps or other ways to slow traffic.
Kerr said she will help count truck traffic. She says it adds to a problem she knows all too well.

“If it happened just once it might be a freak accident, but if it has happened time after time after time, then something needs to be done,” Kerr said."

http://cbsaustin.com/news/local/west-austin-neighborhood-fighting-back-to-stop-cut-through-traffic

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Lost Creek Wildfire Simulation

Meeting Announcement

Date: October 5, 2017

Time: 7 pm 

Where: Lost Creek Limited District Building, 1305 Quaker Ridge, Austin, TX 78746

Topic:  Wildfire Simulation with a Simtable,  Logan Scherschel, WUI Specialist, Texas A&M Forest Service

To join the LCCO web site, click here.

New Tech to Help AFD Prepare for Future Wildfires
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by Jorge Rodas

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Despite the recent rain, most of west Austin is just a notch below being listed as a very high risk of wildfires.

“In a summer like this summer, the wildfire risk is still high,” said Keri Hines of Texas A&M Forest Service.

Hines’ agency has several Simtables, a high tech tool that allows them to map out wildfire simulations and develop strategies to fight them. With a large sand box and interactive projector overhead, the table simulates the area’s landscape using real-world data.

“The Simtable has really changed the game for training and for mitigation,” she said.

You can adjust wind direction and speed, then ignite a simulated fire. Simtable then projects an image of the fire spreading. Fire agencies use that simulation to create strategies for battling wildfires or look at previous wildfires to review how departments attacked the flames.
“The way that it can project wildfires and their progression just really drives home why we should be prepared,” said Hines.

The Austin City Council recently approved using grant money to purchase Simtable for the Austin Fire Department, but there is no clear timeline for exactly when the department will get it.

To view video, click here.

Simtable Wildfire Simulation Video from Texas A&M Forest Service
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Simtable’s unique training uses interactive agent-based fire modeling, bringing sand table exercises to life in your own high risk areas allowing mitigation and fuels planning in a truly interactive experience.

Texas A&M Video

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Through Truck Survey on Lost Creek Blvd.

As you may already know, we are working with Austin's Traffic Department to make recommendations for calming traffic on Lost Creek Blvd. They have made a presentation to the neighborhood and gathered some comments from people. We are waiting for them to come back to us with a recommendation.

In the meantime, I want to gather some anecdotal information of trucks using Lost Creek Blvd. as a low traffic short cut. Please join in reporting any truck you suspect is not making a delivery or service call in Lost Creek on the boulevard. We will not be able to stop through traffic, like they did at Rob Roy, but we may be able to get the city to make a study of the through traffic and prevent through commercial traffic.

Fill out the survey with as much information as you have or want to give. none of the questions require an answer.

Click here to report a through truck sighting.

Purpose: To estimate the number of trucks driving through Lost Creek

Time: September 2017

Report any truck you may believe is not making a delivery or service call in Lost Creek

Safely gather as much information as you can.

Take a picture if you can.

Complete survey and send picture to paschumann2009@gmail.com

Answer as many questions as you can

Survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BKW6C82

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Meeting Announcement September 7, 2017

Meeting Announcement

Date: September 7, 2017

Time: 7 pm 

Where: Lost Creek Limited District Building, 1305 Quaker Ridge, Austin, TX 78746

Topics:  Wildfire Mitigation and Suppression,  Bob Nicks, President, Austin Fire Fighters Association

Other topics to be discussed are: TxDOT Billboards, Dark Skies & Apple Lone Star Design Center, CodeNEXT, Lost Creek Blvd. and upcoming programs.

To join the LCCO web site, click here.

Austin Fire: Map of at-risk wildfire areas still not ready
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by Claire Ricke

AUSTIN (KXAN) — "The sight of rain is good news for firefighters who say the rain will help prevent grass and brush fires.

The Austin Fire Department has been busy trying to get ahead of the threat by clearing out heavy brush. However, there’s one tool in their toolbox that isn’t ready yet. The department was tasked with making a fire map that tells you which parts of Austin are considered to have the highest risk of fire danger. The map was supposed to be finished in October, but it has yet to even be created.



AFD Stations

Austin Firefighters Association President Bob Nicks says AFD had a temporary worker dedicated to helping create this map, but that person left for a permanent job elsewhere. Nicks says as long as that position remains vacant, we won’t see a fire map.

“It’s great that the rain is coming today, but we are talking about a 10-year plan to mitigate risk and does anybody listening to this really think that sometime in Austin’s history we’re not going to have dry weather conditions ripe for wild land fires? Of course we will, that’s undisputed. We’ve gotta have a plan, we’ve got to have it staffed correctly to get that plan, we need to make sure that timeline is satisfied,” says Nicks.

Nicks says he spoke at the Public Safety Commission last week urging the department to make room in the budget for a person to create the map. The fire department says they are working on it themselves, but it’s not ready to share until they brief the city council on it.

CodeNEXT, the city’s Land Development Code, depends on this map. It determines how land can be used throughout the city, including what can be built, where it can be built, and how much can be built. The map will specifically look at the topography of the area, the fuels like grass and brush, flame heights, density, and where development could occur."

KXAN Article and Video

 Austin Wildfire Division
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The Wildfire division addresses the potential threat of wildfires through public education, fuel (vegetation) management and effective firefighting response.

The Wildfire division assists neighborhoods in becoming Fire Adapted Communities through public education by incorporating Firewise principles during community assessments and presentations conducted by our Firewise Program Coordinators.  

The Wildfire division mitigates risk through fuel (vegetation) management by following the National Cohesive Strategy in restoring and maintaining resilient landscapes. This is accomplished through reducing invasive plant species in a variety of methods including mechanical treatments and prescribed fire while preserving our delicate ecosystems.

All uniformed Firefighters for the Austin Fire Department receive S-130/190 Wildland Firefighter Training in accordance with National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) standards.

Web Site

Lost Creek: Wildfire Adapted Community
Develop a knowledgeable and engaged community in which the awareness and actions of residents regarding infrastructure, buildings, landscaping, and the surrounding ecosystem lessens the need for extensive protection actions and enables the community to safely accept wildfire as a part of the surrounding landscape.
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New Smart Phone App for LCCO
The Lost Creek Civic Organization (LCCO) has an app for smart phones. This app makes it easy for you to stay aware of the external issues affecting Lost Creek. The app provides listings of new entries in the LCCO web site (www.lostcreekcivicorganization.org) in six categories - News (blog), CodeNEXT, Marshall Tract, Education, Loop 360, Wildfire and Imagine Austin. It also provides news from the Austin Police and Fire Departments, as well as a calendar of events in Lost Creek. I ask that all Lost Creek non-profit, non-political organizations provide me with their meeting schedules for placement on the calendar. You can access this app on your smart phone through this web address or use of the QR Code shown below:  http://theapp.mobi/lcco9 I'm also trying a Chat feature that allows users online to chat with one another. Let me know if this is useful to you.
QR Code for Smart Phone App
LCCO Is Funded by Contributions
LCCO does not charge membership fees. It is an all volunteer organization with funding of operational expenses through donations. Please click button below to contribute any amount you wish.

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Speak Up Austin

You're invited to participate in a new Project

We have exciting news: The FY 2017-18 Public Engagement Report is now available online!

Thanks to Austin residents like you, this year we have received community feedback on City services and residents’ budget priorities through a multitude of venues. This feedback is documented in detail in the Public Engagement Report and includes:

  • Results from the 2016 Austin Community Survey,
  • Results from the Budget Priority Survey,
  • Summaries of 17 Boards and Commissions meetings,
  • Complete Austin Budget Simulator 2.0 data for both Citywide and District-Level results, and
  • Public comments from Austin Budget Simulator 2.0 participants.

 

To read the full report, please visit the Budget Engagement webpage atwww.austintexas.gov/budget  

 

There’s still time to provide feedback on next year’s budget. The City Council currently is considering the proposed budget, found at https://www.austintexas.gov/financeonline/finance/financial_docs.cfm?ws=1&pg=1. The public is invited to provide feedback at two upcoming City Council meetings at City Hall:

  • 4 p.m. Aug. 17
  • 4 p.m. Aug. 31

 

Thank you for taking the time to help us create a budget that works for you!

 

Join Us! Austin Budget Simulator 2.0 - Results Now Available in FY 2017-18 Public Engagement Report


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