Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who sponsored, donated, volunteered, attended, performed, danced or otherwise participated in the SOS Holiday Party last Friday! The house was packed, the 1200 tamales delicious, and the down home Austin sounds of the Bouldin Creek Bobkats and Bill Oliver's Otter Space Band kept kept the dance floor full of Barton Springs hippies, youngsters, and everyone in between. Thanks to all of the local Austin businesses, artists, artisans and others who donated goods and services for the silent auction. See our amazing sponsors and auction donors below. Please remember to shop locally owned for the holidays! Special thanks to Whole Earth Provision Co. for donating $10 gift cards to every party goer and to ABGB for the locally brewed beer!
Thank you to our Sponsors!
Kirk Mitchel Environmental Law Fund ~ The Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation ~ Barry George ~ Barkley Houses ~ Jenny Clark ~ Meredith Dreiss & David Brown ~ FX Networks ~Ray Goodrich ~David Hixon ~ Dick Kallerman ~ Sheridan Lorenz ~ Dan McNamara ~ Myfe Moore ~ Phil Prim ~ Tracey Whitley ~ Whole Earth Provision Co.
Roger Baker ~ Casino El Camino ~ Macy & Earl Holderness ~ Catherine Mann
Virginia Palmer Group ~ Gema Pivatto & Robert Corbin ~ Planet K ~ Brian Rodgers
Mark & Betsy Tschurr ~ Anna Beth Zimpelman & Nix O'Brien Bodden
Bridges on the Park Retail ~ Sandy Dunn & Paul Harford ~ El Interior ~ Barbara Hilliard Realtors
Giselle Koy ~ Susan Moffat & Nick Barbaro ~ Dr. Ed Peters & Sheila Breen Peters
Leslie Pool ~ Gail Rothe & Myron Hess ~ Mary Sanger ~ Brigid Shea ~ Jack Taylor & Peter Maxson
Wendy & David Todd ~ Trinity Edwards Springs Protection Association
Thank you to our Auction Donors!
Ace Tailors ~Alamo Drafthouse ~Arbor Vitae Tree Care ~ 5 Fitness Training ~ Art Star Pottery, Bob Swaffar ~ Armadillo Christmas Bazaar ~ Austin Community Steelband ~ Austin Optimist Club Barley + Pfeiffer Architects ~ John Bederman BigWeekend Calendars ~ Blue Gold Systems ~ Brilliant Imports ~ Gregory Bolton ~ Ave Bonar Jim Camp & W.W. Norton ~ Capital Cruises ~Conan's Pizza ~ Pat Conegliano Connie Colten Jewelry ~ Jennifer Conroy ~ Judy Conroy County Line BBQ ~ Deda Divine ~ Ross De La Garza ~ Carol Dillard ~ Dr. Singha's Natural Therapeutics ~ El Interior ~ Esther's Follies ~ Barry George ~ Good Flow Honey Co. Ellen Gibbs ~ Martha Grenon ~ Hill Country Arborist ~ Nico Hauwert ~ Jim Hightower ~ Integrated Chiropractic Wellness ~ Charlie Jackson ~ Scott Johnson Natasha La Gipana ~ Lick Honest Ice Creams ~ Kam Magor ~ Magnolia Café Maudie's Tex-Mex ~ Myo Massage Natural Bridge Caverns ~ P. Terry's ~ Virginia Palmer, PhD ~ Plain View Press ~ Planet K ~ Rebecca Polk ~ Raintree Productions Mary Ann Reynolds ~ Philip Russell ~ Russell Korman Jewelers ~ Michael Polacheck in memory of Patsy Jimenez ~ Russell Sports ~ Sandy Dunn, LMT ~ SASS Extraordinary Dressings ~ The Spring Center for Natural Medicine ~ Staber Sheet Metal ~ Sun Dragon Martial Arts Terra Toys ~ Tesoros Trading Co. ~ Texas Aloha Massage Therapy ~ Texas Rowing Center ~ The Barre Code ~ Jay & Tracy Thomas ~ David Todd ~ Tim Cross ~ Tree House Wellness ~ Kristen Ude, DC ~ Uchi ~ Vulcan Video ~ Dale Whistler ~ Tracey Whitley ~ Whole Earth Provision Co. ~ Zach Theatre ~ Zahavah ~ Zippy is Silly
While TxDOT is clearing the right of way for the SH 45 SW toll road, our lawsuit to stop the construction of 45SW and the Mopac South expansion without a comprehensive environmental study under the National Environmental Policy Act is moving toward trial early in 2017. Today the Statesman reports on the ongoing battle, highlighting our pending "notice of intent to sue" for unauthorized harm to endangered salamanders and songbirds that is now beginning to take place and which will continue if the project goes forward. . . . Meanwhile, SOS is joining with other environmental and neighborhood groups to prepare for the January release of Austin's draft "CodeNext" land development code rewrite. The rewrite is intended to implement the Imagine Austin Comprehensive Plan - which envisions a more healthy, sustainable, and affordable city. But early signs point to undue influence on the drafting process from development interests that would take the code in the opposite direction. Throughout next year we'll need our Austin supporters joining with us to assure that we get a code that protects our water, wildlife, parks, and open spaces comprehensively and as intended.
KML News: On October 26th the Plaintiffs in the Mopac/SH 45 SW toll loop lawsuit filed an appeal with the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals seeking immediate review of the trial court's denial of our request for a preliminary injunction. The Plaintiffs also requested a preliminary injunction from the appellate court in order to prevent TxDOT from clearing the SH 45 SW right of way beginning November 8th.
The court will likely rule on the preliminary injunction request within the next 10 days. Win or lose on this request for emergency relief, the case will continue towards a final decision in the months ahead. Read a copy of our emergency motion for injunction filed with the court here.
Late Friday, November 4th the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals issued an order denying our emergency motion for preliminary injunction to stop the clearing of the SH 45 SW right of way. We are of course extremely disappointed but not surprised. These motions are very difficult to win. But this battle is far from over. The three judges hearing our emergency motion made clear they were skeptical of TxDOT and CTRMA's legal arguments. Their order, pdf linked here (170 KB), tells us they have not yet ruled on the merits of our case.
In the oral argument, the judges also made clear they are particularly skeptical that TxDOT had prepared a required cumulative impacts analysis for the Mopac/SH 45 SW effort - an issue we have raised on appeal but did not raise in this narrower emergency motion. You can listen to the audio recording of the oral argument here.
Today U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel pdf issued an order (489 KB) denying a request from SOS Alliance, former Austin mayors Carole Keeton and Frank Cooksey, Save Barton Creek Assn, and others for a preliminary injunction to stop the clearing of the proposed SH 45 SW right-of-way. The court ruling means TxDOT and its toll road partner, CTRMA, are free to begin clearing the right of way, which crosses the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer recharge zone and includes at least 58 acres of mature oak/Ashe juniper woodland habitat for the endangered Golden-cheeked warbler. TxDOT and CTRMA have said they intend to initiate the land clearing on or about November 8th.
TxDOT and CTRMA, if they go forward as planned, still face potential liability under the Endangered Species Act for unauthorized harm to the endangered warbler and the endangered Barton Springs salamander and Austin blind salamander.