House of Torment
"...Consider: In the last year, PARD has given up control of the city's Balcones Canyonlands nature-preserve lands -- they've been folded in with the Water and Wastewater Utility program that manages the city's conservation lands over the aquifer. PARD is also giving up its own police department -- the new city budget sets in motion the process of folding the park police into the Austin Police Dept...."
"...officers stopped Old West Austin neighborhood resident Asher Garber for walking his dogs Abby and Lopez without a leash in West Austin Park, and arrested him for not providing identification. Garber and several other dog owners were standing near the park bleachers, watching their dogs wrestle with and chase each other, when suddenly Sarah Uribe noticed a PARD police car pull up close to the entrance..."
"...The Parks & Recreation Department loses about $800,000 a year on the popular event, despite revenues generated by sponsorships, parking, and concessions. With the department now being asked to cut another $1.4 million (4%) from its 2009-2010 budget – after two previous rounds of to-the-bone cuts in 2008-2009 – PARD faces some very tough decisions...."
"...In addition to Soeur, who left the city's payroll in March 2001, Murray has identified eight current or former male employees as playing a part in the activities described in her complaint -- including former City Manager Jesus Garza, former city HR Director Juan Garza (now general manager of Austin Energy), PARD Director Jesus Olivares, and PARD Operations Manager Warren Struss. As part of PARD, the Forestry Division maintains trees in city parks and rights-of-way...."
"...28]. PARD's inability to come up with a fair renewal contract with its longtime contract care provider has put the city directly back into the cemetery business..."
"...Dear Editor, I was enjoying the article about Sara Hensley and the Parks & Recreation Department ["Sara Hensley Turns Over a New Leaf," News, July 24] until I reached the “Rich Uncle Poor Relation” section. You mention that PARD has been giving away the farm for decades and use the Austin Rowing Club as an example..."
"...Among Austin's signature charms is its easy integration of greenspace, water, and nature into the urban fabric, captured by PARD's motto: "A city within a park." That presumably means high standards and high expectations – yet the city's funding and management of its parks system has long struggled to keep pace. We use city parks heavily yet lag in their upkeep..."
"...What a mad, mad, mad, and maddening year it's been for the Austin Parks and Recreation Department and the people it peeved in 2012. Name a constituency, and PARD has riled it in some way...."
"...Audience members hurled numerous complaints at PARD staff during the meeting, attended by about 25 instructors and trainers subject to the program. Chief among their concerns was the list of 21 parks where commercial use is to be allowed..."
"...New PARD Director Sara Hensley tempered the plan by allowing 60 to 90 days for public meetings and input, as well as consideration by a joint subcommittee of the Environmental and Parks boards and the Urban Forestry Board. Possibly by June, PARD will make a final determination as to which of the diseased, damaged, or "overmature" trees (mostly pecans, cottonwoods, and American elm) are so likely to topple that, in the interest of public safety, they must be removed and replaced with younger trees...."
"...in 1990. In 2013, PARD terminated that contract and reclaimed direct management..."
"...Bureaucratic prose notwithstanding, the memo was the public culmination of a lengthy review of all PARD's Aquatics Division programs, which – as described to the Chronicle by Hensley and Aquatics Director Cheryl Bolin – began with public outreach last year, moved to internal reviews in the fall, delivered an exhaustive "Aquatics Assessment" earlier this year, and then moved through administrative meetings en route to Council (slowed, to a degree, by the rookie Council's need to learn everything simultaneously). "We were meeting with all the relevant department heads and city managers," said Hensley, "and trying to determine not only how to tell people that 25 of 36 pools were leaking, but to provide a strategy for responding to that situation."..."
"...With the economy tanked, those TIF assumptions now need to be revisited. On the other hand, if requested federal stimulus money is granted to help fund the tunnel project, it might become possible to restructure the TIF agreement to cover bike/ped improvements. PARD Boathouse..."
"...Got your Rec pass? That may be the new question posed to Austin Parks and Recreation Department visitors in coming weeks. PARD is currently implementing a "pass" system that will ask users of rec centers, senior centers, cultural facilities, and the like to swipe their new, free pass upon entering the facilities..."
"...15, through noon Jan. 18, AFD responded to 887 calls Austin Parks & Recreation Department: PARD coordinated with local service agencies and provided a location for overflow capacity..."
"...etc.? Nah, you knew that already. Austin PARD Administration: 499-6700..."
"...Leaks notwithstanding, the city now appears to be giving the pools a reprieve from closure: "The Department is still considering operational options for Metz and Mabel Davis Pool," Cheryl Bolin, PARD division manager of Aquatics & Athletics, wrote in response to the Chronicle's questions. "Additional leak detection work is being completed at this time..."
"...The Austin Parks and Recreation Department is chronically short on funds to improve the parks and facilities that the city already owns, and it struggles to acquire more parkland and amenities to serve a fast-growing population. To help address this persistent problem, PARD now is asking council for help; racing toward a June council vote (to beat the summer recess) is an amendment to the city's Parkland Dedication Ordinance..."
"...The 15 or so minutes Evans and Ozuna spare to talk with a reporter is a well-deserved break -- it's 3pm, and they've been at this since early morning, moving all across downtown to maintain the countless flowerbeds, potted plants, and trees they helped install. There's still the whole of Congress Avenue to finish, and another stop at the beds around the Parks & Recreation Department (PARD) building before knocking off for the day...."