Friday, April 9, 2021

Fwd: Bartholomew Pool Reopening

Bartholomew Pool Reopening
Bartholomew Pool, 1800 E 51st St., will reopen on Sunday, April 11 on its modified schedule.

Ongoing repairs as a result of the winter storm continue. The facility will have porta potties on site as the restrooms are still without running water at this time.

Springwoods Pool, 13320 Lyndhurst St., will return to its modified hours of operation on Sunday, April 11.
Bartholomew Pool Modified Hours of Operation

Monday, Thursday and Friday
  • 12:15 pm – 2:00 pm Lap Swim
  • 2:00 pm – 8:00 pm Recreational Swim

  • 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm Recreational Swim 
Bartholomew Pool Closed Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday
Springwoods Pool Modified Hours of Operation

Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday
  • 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm Recreational Swim

  • 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm Recreational Swim
Springwoods Pool Closed Sunday, Monday, Thursday

Modified hours have been established based on available resources. No reservation is required; however, pool capacities will be limited.

Patrons are asked to limit their time to two hours. Once the pool is at capacity, new swimmers will be allowed on a one-in/one-out basis.

For additional information, call 512-974-9330 or visit

Thursday, April 8, 2021

To Elevate: New Exhibit at Oakwood Cemetery Chapel, runs April-June 2021


To Elevate: New Exhibit: at Oakwood Cemetery Chapel
April - June 2021

Undated image courtesy Downs-Jones Library, Huston-Tillotson University

Oakwood Chapel presents To Elevate, a digital story map exhibit featured online at from April through June, 2021

To Elevate demonstrates the legacy of Huston-Tillotson University, an HBCU (Historically Black College/University) in Austin, Texas. The exhibit tells the story of those that planted the seeds of Huston-Tillotson's beginnings, those that carefully tended and spent their life's energy on managing, improving, and building upon HT, as well as those that continue to pass the torch onward in the elevation of its mission.

The story map features video, photography, digital maps, and other multimedia content to honor and document these leaders, faculty, and alumni. These historical figures have raised each other up through commitment to their community, its people, and its future. "To Elevate" celebrates education, which gives people the power to create their own lives and legacies, often against what societies and norms of a time would allow or comprehend.

The legacy of higher education in Austin dates to 1876, when the first college was chartered: Tillotson Collegiate and Normal Institute. In 1877, the origins of Samuel Huston College were founded. Both institutions would go through their shares of trials and triumphs, before merging in 1952 to become one. Through active lives, Huston-Tillotson leaders, faculty, and alumni have led schools, churches, newspapers, government agencies, and a diverse variety of businesses locally and across the nation.

This exhibit is a collaboration with the Downs-Jones Library and Archives at Huston-Tillotson University. An early version of this exhibit debuted at the 2020 African American Genealogy Conference in Austin, Texas, "Growing Your Roots" produced by the Austin History Center.

For more information and to view the exhibit, visit

About Huston-Tillotson University 
Huston-Tillotson University, the oldest institution of learning in Austin, Texas, has roots dating back to 1875. HT is an independent, church-related, historically black, four-year liberal arts institution located on a 23-acre tree-lined campus near downtown in East Austin. Huston-Tillotson University's mission is to nurture a legacy of leadership and excellence in education, connecting knowledge, power, passion, and values. The University offers associate and master's degrees in addition to Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees in more than 19 areas of study. 

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Austin Public Libraries Reopening to the Public May 10


Austin Public Libraries Reopening to the Public May 10

Austin Public Library's (APL) timeline for reopening to the public for limited capacity in-person Express Services will begin on Monday, May 10 at 12 libraries.  

The libraries opening next month for Express in-person services are Central, Carver, Hampton Branch at Oak Hill, Manchaca, Milwood, North Village, Old Quarry, Ruiz, Spicewood Springs, St. John, Windsor Park, and Yarborough. 
Digital services, along with curbside pickup, will continue. The following services will be added inside the libraries: Book and material browsing and checkout, Printing and copying, Public computers, Wi-Fi, New Library cards, Holds pickup and checkout, and Technology and reference help.
Starting Monday, June 28, in-person service will expand to all Austin Public Library branches (except those under renovation). APL has been running curbside collection since June 2020. 
APL provides crucial computer access to residents so they can take advantage of vaccination sign-ups and other social services offered by the City, State, and Federal governments. 
All APL libraries have implemented necessary precautions to keep customers and staff safe, such as the measures included below:  
  • Plexiglass is installed at all circulation desks  
  • All customers and staff are required to wear masks  
  • APL has installed bipolar ionization equipment in the HVAC Systems system wide at all APL locations. The equipment is designed to neutralize contaminates (allergens, mold, bacteria, viruses, and volatile organic compounds) to ensure that conditioned purified air is recycled through the HVAC Systems  
  • Furniture and computers are spaced a minimum of six feet apart  
Austin Public Library is a part of the City of Austin and includes the Central Library, 20 branches, Recycled Reads bookstore, and the Austin History Center. The Austin Public Library provides knowledge, technology, and inspiration.

La Mujer: A Celebration of Womxn

La Mujer: A Celebration of Womxn

The Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center is proud to announce the lineup for our annual celebration of womxn in the arts, La Mujer on Wednesday, April 21 through Saturday, April 24, broadcasting live on various social media platforms and online.

In its 10th year, this festival was originally inspired by Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, who is considered the first feminist of the Americas. This year, we are highlighting the accomplishments of mujeres, of womxn, who inspire us!

This multi-disciplinary digital festival will span several days and include:

  • a musical performance by 2020 Latin Grammy Nominee Gina Chavez with her full band
  • a film screening by Cine Las Americas
  • panel discussions hosted by Chingona Fest Texas and Latino Studies at UT
  • a virtual exhibit curated by The Projecto's Coka Trevino
  • PLUS a stellar lineup of other musicians, poets, painters, and visual artists

Join us to honor and elevate Latinx womxn! The event is free to watch live on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and directly at

For more information about La Mujer festival, visit

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Toxins Detected in Algae in Lake Austin


Toxins Detected in Algae in Lake Austin

The City of Austin has detected low levels of dihydroanatoxin in an algae sample taken in mid-March from Lake Austin near Mansfield Dam. Trace levels were also detected in two algae samples from Lady Bird Lake. Dihydroanatoxin is the same toxin that LCRA has detected in other Highland Lakes earlier this year and the same one found in 2019 and 2020 in Lady Bird Lake. Although levels of the toxin are low, they indicate an increased risk for dogs in the water bodies.

Cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae, are the source of the toxin. This type of algae can be found in waterways in Central Texas throughout the year. The algae are more prevalent in warmer, more stagnant water, and more likely to produce toxins under these conditions. Dogs appear particularly vulnerable to dihydroanatoxin in algae mats.

Given that the toxin has been detected during the cooler season and in at least four lakes, the Watershed Protection Department plans to reevaluate its monitoring program. At this time, we are recommending that dog owners not allow their dogs to ingest or touch algae in any area lakes, creeks or water bodies. If owners allow their dogs in the water, it is at their own risk. It may help to rinse dogs after contact with water bodies to help prevent them from licking algae off their fur.

Dog owners should take their pets to a veterinarian immediately if their dogs become sick after swimming in Lady Bird Lake. Please also report the illness to 3-1-1.

Symptoms of exposure may include:
  • Excessive drooling, vomiting and diarrhea
  • Foaming at the mouth
  • Jaundice and hepatomegaly
  • Blood in urine or dark urine
  • Stumbling
  • Loss of appetite
  • Photosensitization in recovering animals
  • Abdominal tenderness
  • Progression of muscle twitches
  • Respiratory paralysis

At this time, the risk to humans appears low and people may continue to boat and fish, following COVID-19 safety measures. However, people should avoid handling algae. Swimming has been banned in Lady Bird Lake since 1964.

New Civilian Conservation Corps Jobs Training Program in Flood-Hit Area of SE Austin

 New Conservation Program Providing Jobs Training in Flood-Hit Area of Onion Creek

On-site Media Interviews Available Between Noon - 2 p.m. Tomorrow

The Austin Civilian Conservation Corps (ACCC) will host a media availability showcasing a new conservation partnership with the American Youthworks Texas Conservation Corps to provide Austinites who have been economically impacted by COVID-19 with an opportunity to earn income and conserve an area impacted by the Halloween Floods of 2015.
The on-site media availability is scheduled for Wednesday, April 7, from noon to 2 p.m. Media can schedule a 20-minute interview timeslot by contacting Anna Sabana at or by phone at 512-299-1724.
Participants available for interviews include:

  • LaJuan Tucker, Culture & Arts Education Supervisor, Austin Parks and Recreation Department
  • Christopher Gomon, Austin Civilian Conservation Corps Program Coordinator 
  • Parc Smith, CEO of American Youthworks
  • Gustavo Martinez, American Youthworks Crew Leader
  • Erubiel Lozano, American Youthworks Crew Member 

Project participants will work in the former Onion Creek buyout area that is currently managed by the City's Parks and Recreation and Watershed Protection Departments. This segment along Onion Creek in the Dove Springs community has a history of devastating floods, which prompted a voluntary City buyout program that began in 1999. The Halloween Flood of 2015 brought torrential downpours and rapidly rising waters, resulting in the deaths of three Travis County residents and damage to 400 buildings across the City.

American Youthworks began training crews in January and will employ residents to maintain open spaces and work in preserves all across the city and within the Onion Creek Area. Participants will be given the opportunity to gain critical skills and experience that will allow them to advance into environmental careers.
Tasks are mostly related to urban forestry management such as tree pruning, brush clearing, and invasive species removal, and also include wildflower seeding, trash pick-up, fence building, trail repair and construction, native revegetation, and habitat restoration.
"The Austin Civilian Conservation Corps, like FDR's Civilian Conservation Corps, was designed to strengthen our community through jobs, training and good works in a challenging time," said Council Member Alison Alter, who authored the resolution creating the ACCC. "While over time the corps will work on projects across the city, I am proud that we are starting with the Onion Creek area which has been hit hard by the pandemic and is still recovering from the Halloween floods, and as a parks advocate I am thrilled that the ACCC will help improve our parklands for all to enjoy."
"I look forward to the City building on the momentum of the ACCC and the new federal support for a Civilian Climate Conservation Corps as a catalyst for positive and lasting change in our communities."
There are many different types of work available through the ACCC, many of which are related to climate resilience and preparedness, wildfire risk mitigation, parks and landscape maintenance and improvements, litter abatement, urban forest tree care, and green building. A total of $2.8 million has been invested into these projects aimed at making the City of Austin a better place to live.
"American YouthWorks is excited to partner with the City of Austin, in providing living wage jobs and skills training to those economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Austin Civilian Conservation Corps (ACCC) builds upon best practices of Conservation Corps' throughout the country, whose rich lineage of national service traces back to the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), established in 1933, which many consider to be the first national service program," said a spokesperson for YouthWorks.
"This unique partnership will help foster the next generation of professionals in conservation and parks and natural resource management to meet the demands of our changing environment and create more access to outdoor spaces in our community," the Youthworks spokesperson said.
"Austin Civilian Conservation Corps (ACCC) corrects a long legacy of segregation and exclusion that was present in the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC)," said LaJuan Tucker, Parks and Recreation, Culture and Education Supervisor. "It is our hope that the ACCC will expand more opportunities for community members to have access to natural resource and sustainability careers in Austin and beyond."
"The partnership between American Youthworks and the Austin Civilian Conservation Corps exemplifies what our community is capable of when we work together. Thanks to Council Member Alter's initiative to establish the Corps, residents who lost employment due to COVID-19 impacts are serving their community, gaining skills and receiving economic relief. The conservation project led by American Youthworks in District 2 showcases the influence people can have in their own neighborhood when empowered to do so," said Vanessa Fuentes, Councilwoman District 2.
As the ACCC continues to move forward the team will continue to develop new programs and maximize the reach of the ACCC. In addition, ACCC will seek funding and partnership opportunities that align with the recent announcement of the federal Civilian Climate Corps initiative. The Innovation Office is leading a user research initiative to better understand community members' needs, desires, and barriers related to COVID-driven economic hardships and career goals. This understanding will allow the ACCC to structure desirable work and training programs, and target outreach efforts to the most affected communities.
The ACCC is seeking partnerships with local community organizations and sustainable businesses who are interested in providing employment opportunities and training through the ACCC. "The ACCC is already creating jobs and positive progress in so many areas, and I'm excited to expand to more types of training and opportunities that give equitable access to great careers and increase the resilience, sustainability, and beauty of our city," said Daniel Culotta, ACCC Program Coordinator and Innovation Office Portfolio Manager. "We welcome any and all groups that are interested in the ACCC to reach out."
For more information on how to get involved with the ACCC, program applicants and potential community partners are encouraged to explore the ACCC website.

Update on the Homeless Encampment Assistance Link (HEAL) Initiative to Immediately Connect People to Housing

Update on the Homeless Encampment Assistance Link (HEAL) Initiative to Immediately Connect People to Housing

Today, at work session of the Austin City Council, the City of Austin's Homeless Strategy Officer will provide a progress update on the Homeless Encampment Assistance Link (HEAL) Initiative that was approved by Council in early February of this year.

Recognizing the growing challenges facing individuals experiencing homelessness, City Council approved the HEAL initiative to connect people living in unsheltered camping to housing or safe shelter, create a path to permanent housing, and over time alleviate the need for unsheltered camping.

Through HEAL, City Council created a more structured collaboration between City and County departments and community service providers all working together in this effort.

"What we have been doing is not working," said Council Member Ann Kitchen, District 5. "The real solution to ending homelessness in our community is still, and always has been, that people need homes, not camping outside in unsafe places. And that's what the HEAL Initiative does – it connects people to homes and services. It is past time that our community move quickly with real solutions, with the HEAL Initiative."

HEAL will begin by identifying four unsheltered camping locations across Austin that present health and safety risks to both those who reside there and to the broader community. HEAL will then connect those residents to the housing options that best match their needs, which can include rapid rehousing, permanent supportive housing, and housing-focused shelter.

As important, individuals will also be connected to case management support and health care services, such as medical, behavioral, and substance use disorder services.

"Austin can do better for our unhoused neighbors who need safe and stable places to live," said Council Member Kathie Tovo of District 9. "I will continue to urge the City Manager to implement HEAL as soon as possible so that individuals living in encampments, including in the Downtown district I represent, can be connected to safe housing options and supportive services rather than continuing to shelter outside."

"If we truly want to ensure the health and safety of all who live in Austin, then we must be redouble our efforts to provide our unhoused neighbors with safe homes and support services," said Council Member Leslie Pool, District 7. "The HEAL initiative is a critical step in making that a reality."

"Austin residents are desperate for positive changes for our homeless neighbors," said Council Member Mackenzie Kelly, District 6. "The HEAL initiative's thoughtful and inspiring work to improve lives is just in the preliminary stages today, but will add up to a big impact over time."

"Right now, there are people in Austin who are forced to live in dangerous and unsafe conditions, unsheltered from the elements and other threats. The solution is not to criminalize and marginalize our neighbors experiencing homelessness but to help those in need and provide them with the necessary resources" said Council Member Pio Renteria, District 3. "That's what the HEAL initiative will do. It will bring city and community resources to meet people where they are and better connect them with safe housing."

For more information, see this Fact Sheet and FAQ:

Fwd: Bartholomew Pool Reopening

Bartholomew Pool Reopening ...