News

After a distressing week-end of decision making and looking at weather forecasts we have concluded this morning that we should err on the side of safety and cancel BSU tomorrow, April 23rd.  There is a 30-60% chance of rain and thunderstorms depending on which forecast you view and we feel we just cannot take the chance with almost 1,000 people, equipment, food order, tents,  etc. being affected.  We are saddened and disappointed to say the least.  We do have the BSU in September already scheduled and approved by the City and PARD.  Please MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR SEPTEMBER 17th with a rain date of September 24th for the fall BSU.  We hope to keep the schedule as is but adding more speakers and activities as well as more students. Please go to www.BartonSpringsUniversity.org for updates.

In a win for environmental groups and bird lovers, a federal judge affirmed a decision by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to reject a petition seeking removal of the golden-cheeked Golden Cheeked warblerarbler from the endangered species list. The uber-conservative Texas Public Policy Foundation, in coordination with Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush, filed the de-listing petition in 2016 based on a controversial study by A&M University that has been criticized by experts as grossly overestimating the warbler’s population.

Central Texas is the only place in the world where this small, shy songbird breeds and raises chicks. It migrates from Mexico each spring to the mature oak-juniper woodlands of Travis, Hays, and surrounding counties in the Texas Hill Country. Originally listed as endangered in 1990, the warbler is a key species in the Balcones Canyonlands Conservation Permit, which balances habitat protection with development in our fast-growing region.

The warbler is one of the ever-dwindling list of things that make the Central Texas area unique and extraordinary. Its protected habitat includes the Barton Creek Greenbelt, and what would Austin be without that? The rebuffing of this latest attempt to strip protections of a defenseless creature for the sake of profit is a victory worth celebrating.

 

 

We stopped the Leif Johnson Car Lot --for now. Last March, SOS was notified of plans by Leif Johnson Ford to build an 86,079 square foot car dealership in the heart of the Barton closemapSprings Zone, immediately adjacent to the Barton Creek Habitat Preserve that protects the Golden Cheeked Warbler, an endangered species. Leif Johnson attempted to claim vested rights to exempt itself from the requirements of the City's Barton Springs Zone Overlay, which restricts retail uses in the Barton Springs Zone to no more than 50,000 square feet. 

But, we fought back. After presenting our case to the City's legal department, the City agreed with us and refused to approve Leif Johnson's site plan. Leif Johnson sued the City in response, but we just got word that the City prevailed in district court. Leif Johnson will now be forced to either scale back its development or appeal the district court's decision. 

We'll keep you updated as the case continues, but hopefully the Golden Cheeked Warblers can rest a little easier knowing that a giant car dealership won't be threatening their home when they return to Austin. SOS thanks Alan Watts and Save Oak Hill for their continued vigilance in opposing the car dealership and the City's legal department (especially Asst. City Attorney Chad Shaw) for being receptive to our feedback and defending the City's ordinances.

For more information about the car dealership, please visit StoptheCarLot.org.

 

CHECK OUT THE PHOTOS HERE or HERE

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We are happy to announce that Barton Springs Pool will be open on New Year's Day for the Polar Bear Splash.  Many thanks to the pool staff for working diligently since poolstaffThursday after the flood to get the pool cleaned of debris so our community can enjoy the 2019 Polar Bear Splash ~ Austin style!
 
We are blessed to live in a place that honors this tradition and the soul of our city - Barton Springs.
 
Join us in thanking the following unsung heroes!
 
Pool Managers:  Matthew Miller, Danica Ruggles, Conor Hopkins, Kris Williams
 
Pool staff:
Edward Balaguer, Sophia Bastidas, TJ Bulgerin, Milton Hein, Shane Keckin, Joel Manzo, (see pic for Matthew Miller, Pool Manager,  Jim Pappas, Troy Clites & Carl Petry), Claire Prewitt, John Shumake, Alex Slivinske, Brave Stephens, Elleyna Thompson, Landon Tourne, Derk Wilkinson, Lindsey Worthington
 
And our PARD Officials:
Aaron Levine, CORO, Aquatic Supervisor; and Kimberly McNeeley, CPRP, Acting Director and Adam Thompson
 
We'll see you Tuesday at the front gate area!  We will have hot coffee, donuts and the commemorative Polar Bear tees for sale as long as they last.