"...By all accounts, the Save Our Springs Alliance considered Larry Speck one of its most prized recruits when the outspoken architect agreed to join its board of directors not long ago. Now, SOS leaders are in the midst of a dilemma they never anticipated: Speck is the prime architect of the Hill Country Galleria -- a proposed $350 million development in the Barton Springs watershed which SOS vigorously opposes...."
"...The council place three hopeful took a pummeling from the Kim campaign via an open letter from a series of historic city notables over comments she made at the Real Estate Council of Austin Candidate Forum about Barton Springs. Noting that the near-universally-supported efforts to block development there resulted in the state legislature castrating city rights over developers, Shade said it was sad that there was not a "better compromise that made everybody a winner." But in the letter Save Our Springs Alliance executive director Bill Bunch, former SOSA chair Robin Rather, former mayor Gus Garcia, former Austin state rep Ann Kitchen, and former council member Brigid Shea said this showed a "fundamental lack of understanding" of the issues at stake (not to say how much the lege loves beating up on Austin)..."
"...1985: Town Lake Park Alliance organizes against plan to build convention center at Auditorium Shores; voters reject center 67% to 32%...."
"...Nov.: The Save Our Springs Coalition, an alliance of environmental groups led by Brigid Shea of Clean Water Action, begins a petition drive to put the SOS ordinance on the ballot.1992Jan.: The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals rules that Outer Loop (Texas 45) and the southern extension of MoPac are not federal projects and do not require federal environmental impact studies, as requested by Austin environmental groups...."
"..."It's too many homes over the aquifer," argues Colin Clark of the Save Our Springs Alliance, which has expressed only limited support for the conservation approach. Clark, who participated in the 2004-2006 Southwest Travis County Growth Dialog Process that spawned the new ordinance, asks the multimillion-dollar question: Does conservation development provide "greenwashing" for large subdivision developments that don't belong over the aquifer at all?Carrots and Sticks..."
"...While talk of pollution, chemicals, and contaminants took a back seat last weekend to splashing and celebrating for the first time in three months, city officials and local environmental organizations -- most notably the Save Our Springs Alliance -- caution against losing sight of the pool's generally deteriorating water quality. The alliance enthusiastically took a lead role in spreading the word about the pool's reopening, but SOS continues to emphasize the evidence that the pool is increasingly polluted -- silt on the bottom of the springs, algae, and contaminants threatening to the Barton Springs salamander and other aquatic species...."
"...1996: SOS Legal Defense Fund changes its name to Save Our Springs Alliance...."
"...Critics are also wary of plans for the south parking lot, which will expand the current 80 gravel spaces to 125 paved spaces – doubling its area and increasing impervious cover in a move that Bill Bunch of the Save Our Springs Alliance has called a dangerous precedent for development...."
"... There are local solutions to existing transportation problems, as Gene Lowenthal of the Hamilton Pool Road Scenic Corridor Coalition pointed out to CAMPO. The Fix 290 Coalition (which includes Save Our Springs Alliance) has a solution for improvements to 290 and 71 in Oak Hill that has broad community support: a parkway design..."
"...The Center for Biological Diversity and the Save Our Springs Alliance notified the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Jan..."
"...It won't be without a lot of opposition. The Save Our Springs Alliance considers this a ploy by developer Bill Walters to get zoning approval for the Wildflower Commons planned unit development inside the ecologically fragile recharge zone..."
"...28]. With or without the city, Save Our Springs Alliance will challenge the permit request in formal evidentiary hearings before the state Texas Commission on Environmental Quality regulators and, if necessary, in the courts..."
"...The survey is part of an eight-page informational brochure in this Austin Chronicle. The Shape Our Future Survey Coalition has also arranged locations around Austin where you can pick up the survey. For more information about the coalition and our opinions about the Envision Central Texas Regional Vision Survey and to take the survey, see www.shapeourfuturesurvey.org. To volunteer or find out more, contact Brian Donovan at 481-8400 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The Shape Our Future Coalition is: Clean Water Action, Friendship Alliance, Hays Community Action Network, Liveable City, Save Barton Creek Association, Save Our Springs Alliance, Sierra Club, Solar Austin, Texas Campaign for the Environment, Texas Community Project, TexPIRG, Trans Texas Alliance, and the Travis County Green Party...."
"...Sure, someone might drown at Barton Springs or one of the other city-operated pools. Then again, they might not. Don Gardner, an arborist hired by the Save Our Springs Alliance, believes only a handful of the trees at Barton Springs need to be removed..."
"...The Save Our Springs Alliance applauded the Statesman's work. "[We're] encouraged that the Statesman has investigated and brought attention to the failure of city, state, and federal regulators to protect Barton Springs," SOS spokesman Colin Clark said..."
"... I don't understand why Cravey's political game involves messing with Austin's crown jewel. Let’s follow the lead of the Save Our Springs Alliance and put our attention on protecting the water in the aquifer from pollution and keeping the pool open to the public seven days a week, without closing it for so-called grounds improvement...."
"...Slusher's measure won tempered support from the Save Our Springs Alliance. Nevertheless, Executive Director Bill Bunch couldn't resist taking a swipe..."
"...It's back to square one for the Save Our Springs Alliance and two federal agencies charged with protecting the endangered Barton Springs Salamander. SOS filed another lawsuit this week against the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S..."
"...Once again, Mr. Bunch and the Save Our Springs Alliance are parsing words and twisting facts..."
"...Environmental leaders, who appeared before the board after being contacted by Zilker residents, said staff can't arbitrarily decide to ditch SOS regs on Blue Bonnet Hills just because Zilker Terrace wasn't held to SOS standards. "That mistake in interpretation doesn't change the law," said SOS Alliance's Bill Bunch..."
"...This year, Barton Springs Pool has been closed a record number of days because a very rainy year caused flooding and washed unsafe levels of contaminants from upstream development into the springs and pool. While such pollution can be curtailed to a degree by on-site water-quality controls – such as special SOS Alliance ponds designed to filter out contaminants – the old developments have no such water-protection features..."
"...On April 27, federal judge Sam Sparks denied a preliminary injunction to halt the project. The injunction had been requested in a lawsuit filed in December by the Save Barton Creek Association, Save Our Springs Alliance, and the Hays County Water Planning Partnership against the LCRA (co-defendant with the U.S..."
"...How Imminent Is Imminent? The defenders of the pending proposal say Stratus has the city over a barrel. Most of the council and city staff believe they have little choice but to cut a deal -- or instead risk enabling a great deal more pavement and pollution over the aquifer, should the developer seek political alliances elsewhere..."
"...Unwelcome news, but not surprising following the Save Our Springs Alliance's recent blow in court. Here's SOS' press release: SOS Alliance Files for Reorganization in Face of Collection Efforts by Sweetwater Ranch Developers Following the Texas Supreme Court’s refusal to hear its petition for review in the case Save Our Springs Alliance v..."
"...Almost simultaneously, the Save Our Springs Alliance released a new animated cartoon, also about the AMD plans for Lantana, although not nearly so enthusiastic. "Once Upon a Time in Texas," featuring a red-haired, childlike purple amphibian named "Sal A..."
"...Last December, environmentalists and developers each claimed victory after reaching a settlement on separate lawsuits the two sides had filed against the federal government -- for diametrically opposed reasons: The Save Our Springs Alliance sought stiffer development regulations in the Barton Springs watershed, while the Texas Capital Area Builders Association wanted the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to loosen its regulatory grip...."
"...Bill Bunch, general counsel for the Save Our Springs Alliance, insists the algae problem at the pool can be solved, and that swimmers should not blame the endangered species. "The salamander doesn't have anything to do with it," says Bunch..."
"...A number of local arborists have said that some trees could be preserved safely with proper care and monitoring. A professional second-opinion assessment was published April 30 by arborist Don Gardner (see www.sosalliance.org) at the request of Save Our Springs Alliance..."
"...Last week's vote contrasted sharply with the scene last December when Mark Rose, LCRA's former general manager, got chummy with at least one faction of the environmental community -- the Save Barton Creek Association (SBCA) -- and they jointly announced a decision to conduct an EIS for the pipeline project before any construction began. At the time, SBCA members, a bit detached from more vehement opposition in the Save Our Springs Alliance (SOS), stood behind Rose with smiling faces."We will hold off building the line until we complete this environmental study," Rose said..."
"...Although much of the city's ETJ is in the sensitive recharge zone of the Edwards Aquifer, city officials nonetheless have brokered generous development deals with builders in this area. The Save Our Springs Alliance has a lawsuit pending against the city that stems from two of those agreements one with Cypress Realty Inc..."
"...The health and habitat of Austin's canary in the coal mine the Barton Springs salamander are in jeopardy because the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency isn't doing its job, the Save Our Springs Alliance charged Monday in a federal lawsuit filed in Washington...."
"...Echoing the sentiments over a lack of inclusiveness, Save Our Springs Alliance Executive Director Bill Bunch, in a separate interview, said the process so far is "not good at all" and that "meetings have been balkanized, with one, then another, but not held collectively to hear everyone's ideas." The plan, Bunch went on, seems to serve to empower city staff and its hired consultants -- "nothing new around Austin, which is good at giving the appearance of public participation." While SOS' board hasn't formally voted on recommendations, Bunch said the board members "favor actions that restore and enhance what we have, not add additional development and pavement in the park." SOS opposes building a new south bathhouse near the back gate, where a dirt parking lot and grassy field still retain the more casual look of "old Austin."..."
"...Environmentalists have accused the LCRA of pandering to business interests like Clark's. "In all the planning done for the pipeline," said Bill Bunch, executive director of the Save Our Springs Alliance, "the LCRA was envisioning selling a lot of water to the Rutherford Ranch area." McCann responded that anyone seeking connections is referred to Fish & Wildlife for approval, but he added that without a ready supply of surface water, a development like Cypress would have to rely on water directly from the Edwards Aquifer...."
"...There's plenty of irony on the green side of the aisle too. A little more than a year ago, the Save Our Springs Alliance was fighting the feds to get the salamander added to the Endangered Species List..."
"...But to do that would have been to support what progressives, and this paper, have been saying for 20 years -- that citizens are right to be concerned that Austin's increasing urbanization puts water quality at risk. (Indeed, the Save Our Springs Alliance has applauded the Statesman report, for this very reason.) To be even more specific, enviros have worried for a long time about the prospect of unknown toxic waste sites leaching into the waterways..."
"...Some people say, "Now we have to work with developers," so they spin off and form the Hill Country Conservancy. And then Save Our Springs Alliance is still fighting the uncompromised battle..."
"...It is available at Book People, Barnes & Noble, Whole Earth Provision Co., and the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce. It can also be ordered from the Save Our Springs Alliance, at 477-2320...."
"...Fish and Wildlife Service has abandoned its job of protecting the Barton Springs salamander's aquatic environment. So says the Save Our Springs Alliance in a June 6 letter of intention to sue, addressed to Interior Secretary Gale Norton, acting FWS director Matthew Hogan, and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality head Kathleen Hartnett White...."
"...A coalition of seven environmental groups from here to San Antonio has called on local, regional, and state leaders to overhaul existing measures in place to protect the Edwards Aquifer -- the sole source of drinking water for an estimated 1.5 million people in more than a dozen communities. At a press conference held at the state Capitol on Monday, representatives of the newly formed Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance laid out an extensive agenda including work on an Edwards Aquifer regional plan, a moratorium on high-density development and infrastructure expansion, local control over impervious cover limits, and acquiring and preserving about 70% of the land in the aquifer region..."
"...Fortune recalls Bull Creek’s past problems with high pathogen levels, and notes that APD has received several complaints about dog feces at the spillway, which is a more densely populated area than Bull Creek. Robert Corbin, a board member of the Save Our Springs Alliance and a dog owner, sent a letter to PARD earlier this year asking them to enforce the ban at the spillway...."
"...4-related item, spending $2.2 million on a land acquisition for the plant's Jollyville transmission main proved interesting. Spicewood Springs neighbor Sharon Blythe spoke in opposition, as did the Save Our Springs Alliance's Bill Bunch..."
"...Three-hundred fifty dollar donors include planning commissioner Danette Chimenti, the Save Our Springs Alliance's Colin Clark, FixAustin honcho Ryan Clinton, environmentalist Shudde Fath, City of Austin neighborhood liaison Carol Gibbs, Karrie League, Perry and Sheridan Lorenz, city music program manager Don Pitts, and Change Austin co-founder (and rumored Place 3 candidate) Brian Rodgers. Morrison also lent $500 to her campaign..."
"...We can concede that the Springs, so far, have not been saved by the Save Our Springs Ordinance (or Coalition, or Alliance, or Action, or Legal Defense Fund, or other present and past users of the SOS brand name, including Eurycea sosorum, the Barton Springs salamander). But 10 years may be too early to tell if the SOS movement -- a subset of simply "being green," but broader than today's SOS Alliance -- has failed to achieve its stated purpose..."
"...19 of this year, residents of Radiance and the other neighborhoods surrounding the Blacks' property showed up in front of Terry Black's Barbecue on Barton Springs Road to protest the proposed wedding venue ahead of a Dripping Springs City Council meeting to approve Black's site plan. They carried signs that read "No Mark Black Wedding Venue," "We <3 Good Neighbors," and "Commit Now! Fire Safety!" The protest was organized by the Friendship Alliance, a neighborhood group for residents of Radiance, Goldenwood, and Goldenwood West...."
"...The Lower Colorado River Authority board heard testimony from both sides Wednesday afternoon, and the issue is expected to grow more volatile by the day. The board is expected to act on the proposal May 19; meanwhile, the landowners group, calling itself the Hamilton Pool Road Alliance, has ramped up its offensive against the Save Our Springs Alliance, the lead opponent of the proposal..."
"...But with AMD's announcement last week that it's going to buy the land it had initially planned to lease from Stratus Properties, a big fight may be inevitable. The Save Our Springs Alliance, lead opponent in a coalition opposed to AMD's new development, began ramping up efforts immediately after last week's news (see "Cons and Pros")...."
"... The Save Our Springs Alliance wonders "Who's enforcing the Endangered Species Act in the Barton Springs watershed, and what are the rules?" SOS sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service after what SOS equates with the punting of its ESA enforcement responsibilities February by endorsing a newly created "optional" TCEQ program what SOS calls a "back room deal" and a "wink and nod to developers" in the Barton Creek Watershed..."
"...As the lead foil to a political culture that increasingly favors property rights over land conservation, Bunch has done plenty of kicking and screaming. Five years ago, he helped forge a once-ineffectual environmental community into a viable political force that passed one of the nation's strongest zoning laws, the voter-initiated Save Our Springs water-quality ordinance (S.O.S.). Bunch drafted that law to protect the aquifer, and as lead counsel for the S.O.S. Alliance has remained its guardian, taking all legal extremes to repeatedly salvage it from the slings and arrows of local and state officials...."