'Chronicle' Got Story Wrong

RECEIVED Mon., July 18, 2011

Dear Editor,
    I appreciate the effort of the Chronicle to bring to light the struggles some artists on the East Austin Studio Tour have been going through in these past several months. However, the article [“East Austin Studio De-Tour,” News, July 15] does not describe my situation correctly, as the author did not bother to verify facts with this artist.
    The article states that "Barry George had received four complaints about a space at 204 Attayac between March 2010 and 2011." I personally was unaware of these complaints until I received a certified letter describing code violations from Code Enforcement in early January 2011.
    For the record, from the moment I received the violation notice, I contacted Code Enforcement and have worked to try to resolve the issues the city raised with my studio. I have spent months of effort and hundreds of dollars out of pocket to build new fences, rearrange my creative materials, and demolish part of my studio.
    Through the support of Sylvia Benavidez in permitting I have been able to pull permits and work to satisfy the city. She has been the bright spot in this whole process. In fact, on the day this article went to print, she notified me that I had resolved all my code issue permits.
    However, along with the financial burden and stress I have experienced since early January and the loss of the studio for creating, and for that matter even the desire to create, I have lost the ability to be a part of EAST, of which I was a founding artist. The reason? Even though I own the house next door and the studio, I choose to live a few blocks away. Therefore I don't fit Code Enforcement's description of a "Home Occupation." Help me be part of EAST again.
Sincerely,
Barry George
   [Mike Kanin responds: Barry George and I were not able to connect for a conversation about his code issues; I'm glad to hear he's resolved his immediate problems, if not his status as an EAST artist, which is troubling. However, the documents on file with Code Compliance support the version of the story we reported.]
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