Infinite Monkey Theorem Urban Winery
"...At the end of a group tour of the Austin Animal Center late last year, a few of us held back in the lobby and continued conversations we'd been having all the way through. The City Council aides and then-Interim Assistant City Manager Sara Hensley – who's since returned to her original job heading the Parks and Recreation Department – quickly scuttled off to a bus taking them back to City Hall from the shelter in Southeast Austin, but shelter staffers, a couple of members of the Council-appointed Animal Advisory Commission, and a few volunteers stayed to chat..."
"...Fissures within City Council over the future of the Town Lake Animal Center could become serious rifts with two rival items on the agenda for this Thursday's upcoming meeting...."
"...We journalists will do just about anything for cake, but there's a hell of a lot more to celebrate than that at today's festivities marking the first anniversary of the opening of the Austin Animal Center at 7201 Levander Loop...."
"...As we reported two weeks ago ("$1 Million: The Next Price Tag on No-Kill," July 27), the new Austin Animal Center is understaffed, underfunded, and underwater as a result of what Chief Animal Services Officer Abigail Smith calls "an incredible kitten season, just off the hook." We also reported that in an attempt to give shelter staff a fighting chance at maintaining its rather miraculous 90% live-outcome rate, Smith recently put in a request to City Council to add $1 million to her budget for fiscal year 2013...."
"...It was just as bloody as expected. A capacity crowd at Thursday's council meeting saw the council make a step towards the closure and demolition of the Town Lake Animal Center and the construction of a new site at the proposed Health and Human Services Campus on Airport...."
"...The Animal Advisory Commission held a special-called meeting Monday night, March 5, to discuss a proposal that would allow Austin Pets Alive! to move its entire operation from its current home at the corner of Manchaca and Lamar into the city's old Town Lake Animal Center. In November, the group signed a license agreement with the city to run an overflow adoption center using about a third of the site, where 30 to 60 of the dogs from the new city shelter on Levander Loop could be sent by Chief Animal Services Officer Abigail Smith in times of overcrowding – and now APA! was coming back to ask for the remainder of the TLAC facilities...."
"...The Town Lake Animal Center will stay where it is – and it will move to the Eastside...."
"...Before the policy was instituted, the city's live outcome rate – that is, the rate of animals who leave the shelter to foster or permanent homes, or third-party organizations like APA, hovered around 60%. When Patricia Fraga, a media liaison at the Austin Animal Center, began working at the shelter in 2009, animals were routinely euthanized for space...."
"...Accepting the new position and leaving Austin wasn't an easy decision, Hammond told the Chronicle in an exit interview at the Austin Animal Center. With the Levander Loop campus currently undergoing $5.9 million in renovations to expand kennel space, add pet adoption rooms, and improve drainage, "I feel like I'm leaving a perfect life." But her parents in Chicago and her in-laws in Michigan need support..."
"...In the short term, the Austin Animal Center (7201 Levander Loop) and Austin Pets Alive! (1156 W. Cesar Chavez) are offering a "name your own adoption fee" special from July 28 through July 31..."
"...If you’re not dog-tired yet, pug people – you know who you are – will want to get to Sunday’s Valenpugs Gala at Mercury Hall. This year they’re showing the love with a romantic history themed setting, Italian dinner, and pug-themed silent auction benefiting Pug Rescue of Austin. But back to that dog in a cage on the cover this week: Now is a good time to remind everyone that the Austin Animal Center is forever overcrowded and sure could use your volunteer time and donations...."
"...If a pet owner's animal isn't fixed and finds its way to the Austin Animal Center, that owner will spend a pretty penny getting it back. It's $100 for the first impound fee, $5 a day for room and board, and a $50 fine to avoid a spay/neuter..."
"...Some critics, most prominently the activist group FixAustin, relentlessly pound the "pound" – their pejorative term for the Town Lake Animal Center – as a shameful, outmoded "slaughterhouse" that kills, they say, roughly half of the animals taken into the facility. The most-cited numbers in general circulation are 10,000 to 12,000 euthanasias a year – although these gross and variable estimates make no attempt to distinguish between the necessary killing of ill or dangerous animals and the killing of those that (for whatever reason) have not been adopted in a reasonable time..."
"...The brand-new Austin Animal Center on Levander Loop has everything a modern city could ask for in a shelter: dog "condos" complete with indoor showers and outdoor Astroturf, state-of-the-art veterinary facilities, and numerous play areas and display rooms where animals can charm their way into the homes of prospective owners...."
"..."I am 100 percent convinced that moving the animal shelter will have no impact on adoptions," counters Town Lake Animal Center Director Dorinda Pulliam...."
"...The good news is that the Town Lake Animal Center's current "save" rate – the percentage of animals leaving the facility alive rather than euthanized – is somewhere north of 70%. (That's a rough estimate, not only because it's a month-to-month moving target, but also because the precise numbers often depend on who's counting and how.) And over the last two years, the annual euthanasia rate has declined from about 50% to 32%, a considerable accomplishment, but even better when measured against the 61% rate of a decade ago..."
"...In March, 98% of shelter animals went to foster families, permanent homes, or third-party organizations like Austin Pets Alive!, instead of being euthanized. And Austin Animal Center's Betty Dunkerley Campus broke ground on an infrastructure improvement project in January..."
"...Note: Most of the businesses featured in our photo shoot made a special exception for our four-legged friends and do not normally allow dogs on their premises; Crux Climbing Center does welcome well-behaved dogs...."
"...Winograd – director of the California-based animal rights advocacy group No Kill Advocacy Center and owner of consulting firm No Kill Solutions – was the keynote speaker at the City Hall forum sponsored by animal activist groups FixAustin.org, Austin Siamese Rescue, and the Central Texas Animal Alliance. He spoke at the Road to No Kill Austin forum, addressing primarily the issue of Austin animal shelter deaths – currently about 13,000 annually..."
"...Maybe it's abated, as this Thursday (March 11), City Council is primed to land a one-two punch that should make animal advocates happy: approving $12 million for a new animal center on Levander Loop in East Austin and adopting a 34-point plan to usher Austin into the no-kill future...."
"...At each facility, it's abundantly clear there's something for everyone to do, whether directly adopting a pet or helping with a myriad of related chores. Opportunities abound for citizens to volunteer with the Town Lake Animal Center and its partner agencies – in addition to the many rescue groups with which the TLAC places animals. Austin Humane Society124 W..."
"...What do no-kill-animal-shelter advocates, Eastside activists, and a West Austin neighborhood association have in common? For a constellation of reasons, including worries about affordable housing, Eastside self-determination, and not-in-my-back-yard neighborhood fears not to mention what might be best for the animals they all oppose moving the ailing Town Lake Animal Center to East Austin. While calling to mind that old adage about politics and strange bedfellows, the unlikely alliance magnifies simmering unease about Austin's animal shelter and control program...."
"..."Reno v. Austin" is partly an adversarial call to arms and partly an infomercial for the No Kill Advocacy Center and its founder, Nathan Winograd, who as a paid consultant promotes his "No Kill Equation" nationwide as the only way to reduce the number of shelter deaths..."
"...Given the 139 items on City Council's agenda last Thursday, you'd be forgiven for overlooking a few. But one not to be missed was Item 96, which called on council to adopt the Animal Advisory Commission's criteria for selecting a nonprofit partner to operate the adoption center at the site of the current – soon to be former – animal shelter..."
"...Howard Blatt is finally in a position to do everything he can to kill or limit free spay/neuter programs in Austin. Good people were asleep at the wheel and this atrocity occurred. For the last four to five years, I have done everything within my power to help to lower the kill rate at Town Lake Animal Center..."
"...In other words, SAPA! will get $50 a head for every animal it takes out of ACS, not to exceed 4,000 animals over the year. Add that $200,000 to the $120,000 APA! is getting from its Town Lake Animal Center contract, and the $100,000 the group got for winning the ASPCA adoption challenge in November, and fiscal year 2012 is turning out to be a nice one both for Jefferson and her team and for the animals they rescue...."
"...• Jefferson may have simultaneously the most and the least support among stakeholders. Some credit her work as the director of APA with saving thousands of animals from the Town Lake Animal Center's euthanasia list last year; others claim her criticisms of other groups have harmed solidarity in Austin's animal-rights community. Julie Seal..."
"...The 31 pages of legal petition and exhibits trace a most circuitous – possibly illegal, even criminal – city decision-making process. Deliciously, says plaintiff's attorney Bill Aleshire, City Manager Toby Futrell, and Town Lake Animal Center Director Dorinda Pulliam stand to be the star witnesses for his clients against City Council as discovery proceeds..."
"...Dear Editor, The goal of the no-kill resolution is to make sure no healthy adoptable animal is killed at Town Lake Animal Center. A goal I fully support, but I have a concern for the methods they plan to use..."
"...Listen up animal lovers: this is your weekend. That's right the Austin Pet Expo is coming to town Saturday from 10am to 6p at the Travis County Expo Center...."
"...The majority of the participating games are appropriate for the younger set, but Beat the Thief from UT's Center for Identity is designed specifically to teach 8- to 10-year-olds about Internet safety. Another learning experience in the guise of fun comes in the form of CodeSpells, wherein kids glean the basics of coding by formulating spells to see how they fare against baddies in a fantasy world...."
"...At the Aug. 28 City Council meeting, Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo formally proposed the idea of establishing a "magistration center" to be run by the Austin Police Department – a facility that would eliminate the need to transport people arrested for minor infractions to the Travis County Jail for booking and processing (aka "magistration" by a municipal judge)..."
"...This year's panel (administered by AFS head of film and creative media Holly Herrick), included Dennis Lim (programmer for the Film Society of Lincoln Center and noted David Lynch scholar), Grace Lee (a Peabody Award-wining documentarian), and Daniel Patrick Carbone (one of the directors of SXSW title collective:unconscious and the upcoming Phantom Cowboys). You can read all about them here..."
"...Hanners has rented out 275 tables, the most in the ARC's 34-year history, with dealers jetting in from Japan, Ireland, Australia, Sweden, and Korea to contribute to the labyrinth of LPs, CDs, and vintage music ephemera. Like them, Hanners, a former Discount Records employee who occasionally issues the Not Fade Away zine, will pluck and truck vinyl to the Palmer Events Center...."
"...Tap into your true Texan for some traditional Western rodeo entertainment. Rodeo Austin is back this Saturday, March 10, and runs until March 24 at the Travis County Expo Center...."
"...Yet he does want to adjust the details, preferring additional affordable housing funds be shifted to capital projects like Austin Studios, the Violet Crown trail, and Barton Springs Pool. Other council members had their own suggestions (e.g., the Dougherty Arts Center could use some work, reminded Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole), and Mike Martinez (echoed by Laura Morrison and Kathie Tovo) wondered if it didn't make sense to propose a small tax increase if $400 million would allow more flexibility on these various needs. The Shopping List..."
"...In 2006, they performed close to 17,000 surgeries, and their goal for this year is to do more than 18,000. Meanwhile, the Town Lake Animal Center euthanized more than 11,500 animals last year alone..."
"...But how does a doggo, even a heckin’ good doggo, warrant such honors? By tirelessly stumping for local theatre and school fundraisers – like when he assayed his own form of Downward Dog for our current cover-story subject Adriene Mishler’s Fusebox Festival yoga gig at the Long Center. By accompanying his human and spreading woofish goodwill at arts centers and writers retreats across the nation..."
"...Turns out that SXSW Music’s big band reveal this morning and Rodeo Austin’s talent announcement preceding it are perfectly complementary: The former boasts volume, while the latter unveils headliners. Among the country legends gracing the Travis County Expo Center March 11-25 are Charley Pride, Dwight Yoakam, and “The Gambler,” Kenny Rogers...."
"...But the Austin improv scene is fortunate to have a dedicated chronicler of its fleeting work. Photographer Steve Rogers has been training his lens on local troupes and shows since 2010 – both for publicity images and performance records – and has captured more than 500 shows on film, at all four of the city's improv centers and all of its major annual events..."
"...By a miracle of real and metaphorical green lights the whole way to the Travis Country Expo Center, we arrived inside the at-capacity pig races barn some 13 minutes early. Smooth sailing from here, I thought..."
"...The Austin Humane Society is sponsoring its very first free cat adoption on Saturday, July 31, from noon to 7pm at the shelter in North Austin. The event is necessary, they say, because the city is bursting at the seams with homeless cats: Town Lake Animal Center has seen its population increase 40% over last year, with 1,000 kitties coming to the shelter in just a three-month period..."
"...In the meantime, as head of the SBA, Plowman will widen his focus to broader issues, such as biodiesel's impact on global food supplies and climate change. And in bringing the SBA to his hometown, he'll be once more establishing Austin as a center of innovation for the biodiesel industry. Setting Industry Standards..."
"... The Town Lake Animal Center wants $22.3 million to replace the current 50-year-old facility, on-site bond committee buzz is that whole job could be done cheaper and more efficiently elsewhere than prime land Downtown...."
"...Money has been found for the Austin Music Network. Money has been found for the Mexican-American Cultural Center and the Terrazas branch library expansion..."
"...It's an amenity, an obstacle, and a dangerous threat. It's the Convention Center's front yard, Memorial Stadium's side yard, and maybe your backyard...."
"...Aitkens is a co-director of UT's Campus Environmental Center, run by the student government. Active in the local chapter of the Sierra Student Coalition, she was selected by the Sierra Club in late October to attend COP15 as one of 16 student leaders from around the nation..."
"...The vibe "Catchy, jazzy, subconsciously demanding, avant, progressive, artsy fartsy, nonrated." Low Red Center..."