NorthStar Neighborhood Newsletter

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Newsletter for the NorthStar Neighborhood. North Austin.

Transcript of NorthStar Neighborhood Newsletter

  • A quarterly publication Fall 2007

    NorthStar NewsNews for the NorthStar neighborhood Tomanet/Blalock/Limerick/Thornwild Pass

    Whats wrong with our trees?

    As you may have noticed, the fruitless mulberry trees in our neighborhood have looked, well, not that great this sum-mer. Time has also taken its toll on the other mainstay tree of our neighborhood, the Arizona Ash. Both of these trees make up a large majority of tree species in the area. If all the Arizona Ash and Mulberry trees in our neighborhood died at the same time (which they will as they were all planted at roughly the same time), we would lose about 50 percent of the trees in the area. These species are not the best trees for this area either; so visit some of the websites listed to the right for some better species.

    How do we keep our neighborhood from looking barren?Planting trees now, before the existing trees die off is the best option. Besides just looking nice, trees: lower your utility bills by providing

    protection from sun and wind help our air quality improve your property value

    How to Plant a Containerized TreeIf a tree is planted correctly, it will grow twice as fast and live at least twice as long as one that is incorrectly planted.

    Ideally, dig a hole deep enough so that when the tree is placed in it, it will be even with the ground level. You dont want the tree sinking below ground level or making a hill. Digging the hole wider than the root ball is ne. In transplanting, be sure to keep soil around the roots. Always handle your tree by the ball, not by the trunk or branches. Dont let the root ball dry out. Help prevent root girdling by vertically cutting any roots that show tendencies to circle the root ball.

    After placing the tree, pack soil rmly but not tightly around the root ball. Wa-ter the soil and place a protective 3-foot circle of mulch about 3

    inches deep around the tree. The city of Austin helps citizens with tree-related problems and issues. You can reach them at: or through the Citys main number: 311. You can always let young trees get started under ex-isting trees, so get out there and get planting today!

    Hi, Neighbor!This is the rst edition of what I hope will be a quarter-ly newsletter. Several neigh-bors mentioned wanting a neighborhood association and newsletter, as a way to keep in touch with neighbors and discuss neighborhood issues. Some newsletter topics that have been suggested include police meetings, area events, gardening topics, recycling information, and programs offered by the City for homeowners, plus whatever topics you all re-quest. If youd like to receive this newsletter by email, just send me a request at and I will send you a PDF ver-sion of each issue. Likewise, if you dont want receive the newsletter at all, let me know that too, and I will take you off the distribution list. The newsletter is free and serves as a bridge of communication between the neighborhood association and residents. For the differences between a neighborhood as-sociation and a homeowners association, see page 3

    Joan, your friendly editor

    Contact these groups for info about what trees to plant

    p. 2tree planting

    p. 2

    p. 3rebates

    p. 4contact


    Helpful Phone Numbers Emergency 9-1-1

    Police Headquarters Main

    Switchboard 974-5000

    Homicide tip line 477-3588

    Robbery tip line 974-5092

    Sex Crimes tip line 974-5095

    Auto Theft tip line 974-5096

    Abandoned Vehicle tip line 974-8119

    Crime Stoppers 472-8477

    Community Liaison Of ce 974-4700

    Graf ti Removal 854-4125

    Victims Services, Main Of ce


    Animal Cruelty 3-1-1

    Office of the Community Liaison

    The police department has di-vided the City into nine Area Commands. Liaisons work in each of these nine areas as requested by the of cers or residents. Outreach efforts include:

    Safety Fairs where safety and health information is presented in a festive atmosphere,

    Town Hall Meetings called to address speci c issues when the needs arises,

    Individual projects with of cers and neighborhood associations to address long or short-term problems,

    Visits to area businesses to provide information about how to contact the of cers assigned to the area,

    Presentations to youth groups regarding job readiness, how to ap-proach job interviews and complete applications,

    Finding meaningful ways to connect the of cers and the residents and establish communication links and partnerships, and

    Coordinating special events and celebrations for the of cers and those we serve in Austin. These are only a few of the speci c ways that liaisons work. For more information, contact the Of ce of Community Liaison at 974-4700.

    The district representative for our neighborhood is Of cer Joe Maciel, 974-4289. He will be working with us to set up a neighborhood watch.

    Make your voice heard!Have an issue on your mind? Want to request something for the neighborhood, like a park? Here is how to contact the City Council:

    Mayor Will WynnOf ce: City Hall301 W. 2nd St. 2nd FloorAustin, Texas 78701Phone: (512) 974-2250Fax: (512) 974-2337

    Place 1 - Council Member Lee Lef ngwellOf ce: City Hall301 W. 2nd St. 2nd FloorAustin, Texas 78701Phone: (512) 974-2260Fax: (512) 974-3212

    Place 2 - Council Member Mike MartinezOf ce: City Hall301 W. 2nd St. 2nd FloorAustin, Texas 78701Phone: (512) 974-2264Fax: (512) 974-1887Austin, Texas 78701

    Place 3 - Council Member Jennifer KimOf ce: City Hall301 W. 2nd St. 2nd FloorAustin, Texas 78701Phone: (512) 974-2255Fax: (512) 974-1888Austin, Texas 78701

    Place 4 - Mayor Pro Tem Betty DunkerleyOf ce: City Hall301 W. 2nd St. 2nd FloorAustin, Texas 78701Phone: (512) 974-2258Fax: (512) 974-1886Austin, Texas 78701

    Place 5 - Council Member Brewster McCrackenOf ce: City Hall301 W. 2nd St. 2nd FloorAustin, Texas 78701Phone: (512) 974-2256Fax: (512) 974-1884

    Place 6 - Council Member Sheryl ColeOf ce: City Hall301 W. 2nd St. 2nd FloorAustin, Texas 78701Phone: (512) 974-2266Fax: (512) 974-1890

    Contact your Council MemberTo send an email to all the Council Members and the Mayor at one time go to this



    See the next page to learn where to plant your tree...t Thanks to Kinkos for reduced priced copying on our newsletter t

    Email nstareditor@sbcglobal to receive this newsletter via email

  • Call Before You Dig Call Before You Dig is a free service that locates your underground utilities. Use this service any time you plan to excavate at your home or business.

    Marking Underground Utilities Is A Safety Issue Call toll-free (800) DIG-TESS (344-8377). Electric ca-ble, gas lines, water lines and wastewater lines could all be present under your property. Hitting these lines could result in injury, property damage or pollution of the environment.

    Power Saver Program FREE Home Improvements

    Austin Energy offers free home-energy improvements to custom-ers with low to moderate incomes. Improvements reduce energy costs and enhance comfort and may provide: Attic insulation Minor duct repair and sealing Caulking around plumbing

    penetrations Weather stripping around doors Solar screens

    General Quali cations You must be an Austin Energy

    electric customer You must occupy the home you

    want weatherized If you rent, you must have lived in

    the home for at least three months The residence must be a single-

    family home, mobile home, or duplex

    Contact Austin Energy for more details on additional quali cations and income guidelines.

    Renter Quali cations You must have lived in the rental

    home for at least three months Household income must meet the

    listed eligibility guidelines The residence must be a single-fam-

    ily home, mobile home, or duplex The owner must agree to the

    improvements and sign an Austin Energy Rental Release Form

    The renter must be prepared to provide a copy of the lease/rental agreement

    Questions? Call (512) 974-7827 or look under Residential Energy Ef- ciency at

    Refrigerator RecyclingAustin Energy offers a cash incen-tive for your old 14- to 27-cubic foot refrigerator/freezer. They will even pick it up for free and dispose of it in an environmentally sound way. (Note: The unit must be in working condition.) Turn in your old refrig-erator/freezer to receive $50.

    Save water, win a Car The City of Austin wants to raise par-ticipation in the Water Conservation Programs so that the per-capita use rate of water in Austin will go down. This saves taxpayers millions of dollars by avoiding or delaying the need for expanding water treatment capacity.

    Want to know more? Call toll-free (800) 452-8685 or visit,

    Trash to TreasureAustin Freecycle

    Ever cleaned out that garage and wondered what to do with that old archery set you never use? Or how about starting that yard project and realizing you need a truckload of rocks, but youre already over budget? Fortunately, Austin Freecycle might be able to help with both problems. Austin Freecycle is a website community reducing waste by connecting people who are throwing away unwanted items with others who are seeking the same items. No item is too big or too small; and all items must be 100% free.

    As their website explains: Freecycling lies somewhere between the garage sale and the dump, and is much cooler than either. Its an innova-tive concep