We send our grateful thanks to everybody who is contributing to the fight to save our neighborhood. Concerned neighbors have responded generously since we filed our lawsuit. Thanks to everybody's efforts, we are in the game and fighting the good fight.
But we need more even more help to see this all the way through. We need ongoing funds every month that the lawsuit continues.
Please consider signing up for a monthly donation plan. Maybe you don't have the deep pockets to write a $500 check today, but donating $100 per month for five months gets us to the same place.
If you can't do $100 then how about $50 or $25—or whatever you can afford. Your recurring monthly donation will help us achieve our goals. Best of all, we've setup online donation plans to make it all automatic and easy. More info here: http://www.rg4n.org/fundraising/donate
The problem at Northcross is indicative of runaway bad development policy. The KXAN story follows up on that concern.
Critics complained the City Council deals with issues piecemeal: Where to put the animal shelter, where to put a water treatment plant, what to do about affordable housing and about iconic businesses that get displaced by high-profile development projects.
They said Austin needs a council that looks at all those issues with a comprehensive understanding of what its citizens really want.
"Either one of you thinking about a run for City Council?" asked KXAN Austin News' Jim Swift.
"Yeah, I'm thinking about it," [RG4N Communications Chair Jason] Meeker said. "I have to give it a lot of deep, hard thought."
Over 3,000 people came together Feb 10, 2007 to protest the plan to build a Wal-Mart Supercenter on the Northcross Mall property in Austin, TX. Enough people gathered to completely encircle the mall—about a square mile area. (Music by Mark Pont, "Together We Can Change the World.") [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLeMDcTT4j8]
Lee Nichols reports in the current Austin Chronicle about last week's community meeting. We posted a quick report immediately after the meeting. Lee provides a lot more information.
Lee was impressed that RG4N filled the room on a weekday evening:
[RG4N has] a pretty big constituency. That was evident July 18, when 200 people turned out at a community meeting at the First Unitarian UniverÂsalÂist Church called by RG4N to discuss its lawsuit against Lincoln Property Co. (and really, it's been evident ever since the group gathered enough supporters to completely encircle the Northcross Mall block back in February). Anyone who's ever tried any community organizing knows that 200 people on a WedÂnesÂday night is pretty impressive.
The article summarizes the various presentations, including details on the lawsuit.
This entry by guest blogger Jette Kernion. Jette is a film journalist (and a fan of the Harry Potter series). She blogs about the Austin film scene at Slackerwood.
I write about movies a lot, so I watch plenty of trailers online. With the fifth Harry Potter movie out in theaters and the last book in the series about to be available, I thought I should refresh my memory by watching some of the Harry Potter trailers. I ran across a trailer on YouTube for "Harry Potter and the Dark Lord Waldemart," a title I hadn't heard of—had I missed something? And the Dark Lord ... why is his hood concealing a big yellow smiley face?
It turns out that Wal-Mart Watch has created a fun spoof of the Harry Potter movie trailers to promote their new site, WaldeMartWatch.com. Harry, Ron, and Hermione are fighting a new nemesis, the evil Lord WaldeMart, who plans to replace Hogwarts with a gigantic—well, I don't have to tell you which big-box store, do I? The teens have to fight to save all of the small independently owned shops in nearby Hogsmeade. Evil Waldemart discriminates against giants, enslaves house elves, and yet still manages to have support from the Ministry of Magic, the wizard world's government entity. Does any of this sound familiar?
A comedy group called The Late Night Players does a good job in twisting some of the well-known scenes and quotes from the latest Harry Potter film in amusing ways, although their Hermione is a bit scary. The video is meant to encourage you not to buy your copy of the latest Harry Potter book, or any related merchandise, at Wal-Mart. Here in Austin, independent store BookPeople has actually sold out of all of its copies of the book for the midnight release party, but the store's website says they should have more books available Saturday afternoon.
Hundreds of people showed up at the community meeting tonight to hear about the status of the RG4N lawsuit. It's clear that the community is not giving up and is committed to a vision for responsible development.
Attorney Doug Young reviewed the RG4N lawsuit against the City and Lincoln Property Company. He highlighted four of the lawsuit claims, including: failure to honor a plat note attached to the property, failure to properly consider traffic and safety issues, improper procedure for approval, and violations of the City's tree ordinance.
Doug noted that the Allandale Neighborhood Association has filed their own lawsuit, and their claim is similar to one in the RG4N lawsuit. So, the suits probably will be combined.
Doug explained that RG4N only needs to prevail on a single count to get the site plan voided. When that happens the developer will have to file a new site plan—but this time they will have to comply with Big Box and other development ordinances.
Past President Paige Hill gave an update on what is going on at the Northcross property. She walked us through the several phases of development for the project. Phase one is underway, but that mainly involves reconstruction so mall tenants can be moved. The demolition for the Wal-Mart and parking garage isn't even scheduled to begin until November. The construction we're seeing now on the north side is for a Walgreen's pharmacy.