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Page Two
The election results, as presented in this issue, should give central Austin voters pause. More than ever, one of the great responsibilities of this council is long-range planning. This is what makes annexation necessary (annexation on an accelerated timetable is the result of both laws and the threat of the next legislative session). But it is not just annexation, center-city environmentalists' concerns aside; the voters have shown that they will go for roads and, they will go for roads overwhelmingly. The environmental community and the council must plan to accommodate growth rather than oppose it. Austin will never be what it was. SH130 will not reduce traffic on I35. By the time it is done, it may slow the rate of growth; the city is going to grow. Ongoing talk of a compact city to stunt sprawl was probably not meant to lead to the kind of high-rise residential and commercial development we will see downtown over the next two decades. Both downtown and all around the area, the complexion and population of this city is changing and will continue to change. Get used to it.

I am tired of Austin being treated as a ridiculous environmental community run by crazies. The kinds of issues Austin is dealing with now will seem prescient in the next half century. These are not fictions created by activists with too much time on their hands or anti-industry Luddites. The issues facing Austin are serious issues -- how we deal with a growing city and still respect the integrity of the environment, and how we deal with an ever-changing city and still maintain a unique and distinct quality of life.

Cities that are growing wildly without planning, will be facing these issues, only they will face them when the answers are long gone. These issues are caused by weather, the environment, water, suburban growth patterns, and the economy, not by hysterical activists.

Austin's progressive environmental community has long had a lot of power at the polls, because, I believe, it represents the beliefs of most Austin citizens. The makeup of the citizenry is changing and, ultimately, there will be a shift in power. This election points the way. The tens of thousands of annexed voters will probably hurry the change in the power equation when they demonstrate just how unhappy they are at the next elections.

Planning is the key here, long-term planning that considers the redevelopment of downtown and strategic development areas around the city. This city council is moving ahead at an impressive speed, moving as though there is an emergency, because there is one. It is the future and we are in it, facing new citizens, new developments, new issues, new voters, and it is accelerating every day.

Micael Priest, one of the genuine godfathers of The Austin Chronicle -- a story we will spare all of you now -- sent us this
e-mail recently:

Them damn hippies present:

Austin Poster Art of the 70s

featuring lotsa posters by:

Kerry Awn, Ken Featherston, Jim Franklin, Danny Garrett, Henry Gonzales, Guy Juke, Bill Narum, Micael Priest & Sam Yeates

November 20-December 21

Opening: Thursday, November 20, 6pm-10pm

Skagen-Brakhage, South First and Annie,

Downtown South Austin

Details to follow as we know 'em.

Kitchy koo, y'all

It looks as though Wednes- day, December 3 is the date for the Austin Film Society's tribute to the late Sam Fuller, featuring a brilliant Fuller double-bill of Shock Corridor (a very rare theatrical screening) and Forty Guns. Toasts by Richard Linklater, Harry Knowles (who was covered in both The New York Times Magazine and the Wall St. Journal last week), Marjorie Baumgarten, and myself. More details later but the opportunity to see the disturbed and disturbing Shock Corridor on the big screen is cause for rejoicing.


The Austin Chronicle will be closed for the Thanksgiving holidays November 27-28, and re-open Monday December 1.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

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