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Garage Door
posted by ros taylor on October 6th, 2018 3:34 AM
I contacted">sliding door repair miami for door lock installation and repair. They did great job.
Murphy Bed Recommendations
posted by Kimberly Hooton on March 30th, 2016 7:41 PM
Hi Kara,Mike Linnane is a master carpenter and has built houses from scratch. He does amazing work. I don't know if he does small jobs, but his number is 512-789-0738.Good luck!Kim
Electrician Needed
posted by David Burks on June 12th, 2015 5:54 AM
Most electricians are booked up now but here are a couple you could try:Duhon Electric, LLC.TECL 26523PO Box 90422Austin TX 78709-0422Main (512) 591-8658Cell (512) 844-5552eFax (512) 597-3686info@duhonelectric.comduhonelectric.comDuhon was booked up till July so they recommended: Mike Short w/AC Electric 512-444-9700This guy was great and also busy but came highly recommended: Frank Hamilton (512) 293-3707 gritskringle@yahoo.comGood luck, David
lawyer rec
posted by Jim Raup on May 21st, 2014 5:17 AM
Mike Wren at McGinnis, Lochridge512 495-6000
Reputable, honest washer repair
posted by dhs on January 29th, 2014 8:00 AM
I've had good experiences with Mike Cote at True Blue, here: also is one of the few people who works on Samsung refrigerators.Doug
posted by Jeffrey Dwyer on September 18th, 2013 11:55 PM
Hello Mike Carroll,The vast majority of AE solar customers are unaffected by the solar credit issue. Most solar systems don't produce enough of the home's required energy to ever result in a credit on the bill. Your system would have to produce probably 75% or more of the electricity you require annually before you would have a net annual surplus in dollars.There is certainly a disincentive to building or remodeling to net zero energy. The incentives effectively are gone once you reach net zero dollars on the electric bill. However, it may be prudent to put in a big array because the marginal cost of an extra 2kW of panels may cost very little more than a smaller system. This was the case for me. I was quoted a 6.3kW system and an 8.2 kW system. The 8.2 kW system was only $150 more than the 6.3 kW system, net of rebates and tax credits. I went with the 8.2kW because of the negligible additional expense and the fact that I wasn't sure 6.3 kW would get me to net zero energy, which was my goal. I would have been better off saving $6000 - $7000 in remodeling costs by building a less efficient structure and using up all the credit, although the home would not be net zero.This is precisely the problem with the current rebate/confiscation policy. There is incentive to put in a very large array and then save money by not building as efficient a building envelope as possible, because you are going to give away your surplus.So, don't be discouraged by the "screwing" some of us are getting. Solar can still be a good deal, especially by taking full advantage of the incentives while cutting corners on building efficiency. This is, of course, completely absurd, but nevertheless true.
posted by Lori B on September 18th, 2013 9:05 PM
Mike Carroll and danx you are absolutely correct. In the event that you produce more that you use in the last few months of the year, AE will not be compensating you for what you have produced and provided to the system.I understand AE's dilemma, by applying the credit to the entire bill, there are interdepartmental concerns - is the electric dept of the city (AE) subsidizing the trash department? ARe these credits considered liabilities on the balance sheet?As a family of five that works hard to be net zero, we would like for our credit to continue to accumulate. At the time that we decide to move or discontinue service, we should be able to contribute to a general fund to help those in need, take the credit with us if we stay in the AE jurisdiction, or apply the credit to the AE account of our choice. The point is we should have options. None of this is accounting wizardry.I had heard that AE is reluctant to issue checks to homeowners because of accounting issues - if they issue us check for energy produced say annually, will they need to file necessary tax forms just like they have to do with the big players in the ERCOT energy market? Would we have to consider this income? Any mention of an annual zero out without compensation for energy produced should not be an option for AE. No other provider of electricity to AE would consider this a viable option.
Monarch Butterflies
posted by Janelle Dozier on August 15th, 2013 8:44 AM
I attended Mike Quinn's presentation on monarch butterflies yesterday. He is an entomologist and expressed interest in doing a workshop for us on monarchs in the future. Here are some highlights of his talk. (I am not a scientist, so I'm just reporting what I understood Mike to be saying. Please let me know if there are glaring errors! Thanks to Lynn Hill for catching an earlier error!) 1. Austin is on the Eastern edge of the Fall migration of monarchs from Canada to Mexico. Typically, they fly a bit farther to the West. Another group of monarchs flies farther to the East over the Gulf Coast. In the Spring, Austin is in the main path of travel for monarchs. We will likely see them in April and May. So, we will typically see more monarchs in the Spring than in the Fall. 2. In the Fall, the Monarchs are coming back to Mexico to over-winter. It is a kind of hibernation. For the most part, they are just passing through Austin in early October, and are not laying eggs. In the Spring, the Monarchs are definitely laying eggs in Austin. So, the Spring crop of caterpillars needs milkweed growing and in bloom. 3. Monarchs don't really beat their wings in flight all the way from Canada to Mexico. In their travels, they mostly drift on the prevailing winds. 4. Monarchs don't fly at night. So, they don't fly over the Gulf of Mexico. It's too far for them to make it in daylight. They follow land down to Mexico and back. 5. Monarch caterpillars live on milkweeds, native and tropical. Without milkweeds, the caterpillars will starve, meaning no more monarchs. In the butterfly stage, Monarchs feed from many nectar sources, from native wildflowers to zinnias. It's the caterpillars that are so milkweed dependent. 6. The numbers of monarch butterflies are falling drastically for several reasons. a) Storms in their wintering area in Mexico caused 80% mortality in 2001-2. Another storm in 2003-4 killed 70% of the monarchs. (Janelle's note: Storms are natural. We can't really do anything (quickly) about the weather.) b) Threatened habitat loss due to illegal logging in their Mexican winter refuge. c) Genetically-engineered farm crops in the U.S. The main monarch flyway from Canada to Mexico is over Midwestern agricultural land. Ninety percent of all soybeans and nearly all corn is genetically engineered with Bt genes and resistant to Round-Up herbicide. The Bt gene causes all caterpillars to die if they eat any part of the plant, including corn pollen that blows onto other plants. This is not as bad a problem for monarchs as the fact that farmers spray so much Round-Up on their crops, that the fields are completely without weeds.....meaning no milkweed. Ever since farmers began plowing fields in the U.S., milkweed in crop fields has been the main source of food for monarch caterpillars. (Yes, it is Monsanto who developed Round-Up Ready seed and inserted the Bt gene into corn and soybeans.) An interesting sidelight: In natural North American prairies, milkweed is a rare plant. Milkweed likes disturbed soil, such as farm fields. So, it is likely that before large scale crop agriculture in the U.S. the monarchs had lower numbers than they did after widespread plowing. Mike's point seems to be that although the Mexican government's efforts to save the monarch butterflies from illegal logging operations is challenged by the huge area the government needs to patrol (over 150,000 acres of mountains) and the elusiveness of the loggers, the biggest force pushing the monarchs toward extinction is the loss of milkweed. 7. It is a good idea for gardeners to plant milkweed to help the monarch butterflies. Tropical milkweed (Mexican milkweed) grows easily in garden environments. It is native to tropical Mexico. According to Mike, it does not tend to become an invasive weed here in Austin....our conditions are too tough for it. The several types of Texas native milkweeds are very fussy about germination and are difficult to grow in gardens. Antelope horn is one example of a native Texas milkweed. The six-foot tall roadside milkweed that I grew up with in Missouri is native to the Midwest and won't grow here. Native Texas milkweeds are antelope horn, green milkweed and zizotes milkweed. 8. If you want to grow milkweed, either grow it from seeds or buy plants from an organic source. Here's an ironic story: Milkweed is always attacked by aphids. Plant nurseries control for aphids in milkweed by treating the plants with a systemic pesticide that kills the aphids. Unfortunately, the systemic pesticide also kills the monarch caterpillars feeding on the milkweed. So, you can buy milkweed from a Big Box store and end up killing all the monarch caterpillars that eat it. The pesticide lasts as long as six weeks. Native American Seed Company sells a Monarch Migration milkweed packet that includes seeds of native milkweeds and information on how to successfully germinate them. A cheaper alternative is to buy tropical milkweed seed in a garden store. 9. Tropical milkweed won't live through a winter with hard freezes, but it may reseed itself or you can plant new seeds. 10. An IMAX movie on the discovery of the monarch overwintering spot in Mexico is running at the Bob Bullock Museum. 11. Mike also recommended "Four Wings and a Prayer" by Sue Halpern about monarch migration. (Janelle's note: Barbara Kingsolver's novel "Flight Behavior" is also interesting.) So...I guess we need to go out and buy milkweed seeds!
Help if you saw my sad HEB experience
posted by Samuel Cox on July 31st, 2013 5:42 PM
I am writing because of a recent event that happened to me at the new HEB Mueller.I was shopping for a dozen eggs last Saturday, July 27 at 9pm when a woman on an electric cart came quickly around a corner and drove directly into my cane and feet sending me flying onto the floor bruising both forearms and ribs. This woman and her two teen daughters stood and talked to me after the event. My right arm bled, and I lay there for a few minutes until employees helped me to my feet. I was really shook up. I now wish I had called 911 and police.What I have learned is that I should have called 911 and Police. I was told that there would be an incident report. I have been back to the store 4 times requesting an incident report and they will not give me anything. They say."It's all on-line." I asked them to print it out and give me a copy and they continue to give me the phone number of a man named Mike L. I call him and I get a message that his mailbox is full so I am unable to leave a message.I am not happy.Sam Cox3801 Berkman DrAustin, TX 78723 #450512-280-1767 home512-914-3985 mobile
Electrician Recommendations
posted by cespurgeon on May 15th, 2013 4:22 PM
I was pleased with the work done by Molitor Electric:'s the review I put on Yelp. -Charles---------Sent email with pictures to request an estimate on installing a pendant light fixture over a kitchen sink and whole-house surge protector.Had to wait several days for a reply, since they are busy. Got an estimate from Dan and it came in at the same level as another estimate received (from an even busier electrician who couldn't get around to the work for a couple of weeks.)Set up a time and Dan's assistant Mike and a helper showed up on the appointed morning and were able to install the light without having to open up the ceiling, saving a drywall repair job. They were neat and professional, used a drop cloth and cleaned up the site afterward.During the surge protector install Mike found a loose nut on a breaker and geckos inside the breaker box. He cleaned it up and sealed a hole in the box to keep out the wildlife.The new light looks and works great. I really appreciate the attention to detail, and kudos to Mike for finding and fixing the issues in the main breaker box.Excellent experience and highly recommended.
Cell service in the house
posted by jzimm on March 18th, 2013 11:32 AM
We have always assumed any problems had to do with location in the house. Rooms where the outside covering is stucco are more problematic than rooms in Hardiplank, rooms upstairs better than downstairs, making my upstairs study the best room to make calls from. The assumption is that the stucco covering is placed over metal screening, producing a partial Faraday cage and thus knocking the signal down. Now, I know that Mary's (one-story) house has lots o' stucco, and so does Kathy & Mike's. What about the rest of you? (No cures, just gathering maximum data.)
Homeowner's Insurance
posted by Grace on March 8th, 2013 9:46 AM
Drew - thanks for the link. It was Mike Carroll. I'm going to send him a PM and see if he can give me a quote.
URL link for theft is super easy
posted by Sally Jean Brinker on February 9th, 2013 10:21 AM
Thanks for this link. So APD and our neighborhood know, I went on line to report. Very fast & easy. We've been here for 2.5 yrs. first incident AND my daughter's car was full of enticing items in clear view. The car right in front of her w nothing in clear view was left alone. Also, we used Secure Auto Glass (Mike Reesing 512.996.8600) at our dealers Recm. Ordered glass that day and installed at our house the next day. Also cleaned up broken glass. $200. Very good service.
Pruning Roses Now is the Time
posted by dhs on February 8th, 2013 11:39 AM
For those who are interested, Mike Shoup from the Antique Rose emporium is giving a talk at the Natural Gardener tomorrow a.m. . Info here:,com_jcalpro/Itemid,113/extid,54/extmode,view/Doug
Row Home Owners - Home Insurance question
posted by Grace on December 13th, 2012 3:30 PM
Mike, are you an insurance agent?
Homeowner's insurance rates going up?
posted by Kevin McGillicuddy on November 13th, 2012 8:13 PM
I sent an email to my agent, Watkins Insurance, who I've been with for close to 30 years. Following is their reply: " Yes, industry-wide many carriers have increased their rates. The percentage of increase varies from carrier to carrier, client to client, and location to location. With that said there may be a multitude of factors affecting your neighbors rates. The good news about us is we have contracts with many different carriers so when we see substantial increases on people's policies we always shop the account with our other carriers to see if they are getting the best rate. If they are not we will reach out to the clients and offer to rewrite the policies. I am more than happy to review your neighbors information and see if we can find cheaper prices while not skimping on the coverage. Feel free to send them my direct contact information and I will happily see what we can do. I attached some quote request forms that you can have your neighbors complete and return to me so I can work on their quotes. It is best if they include a copy of the current declarations pages so we can create a comparison of the two policies and be sure we are not providing more coverage than they have now or less than they need. Every company has a different type of policy and different “add-on” options so the more information we have the better we can do in explaining all the differences. In lieu of the completed forms they can call me direct and I will get all the information I need to provide prices, either way works for me. End of quote - I haven't printed out or tried to attach the forms my agent attached, as I think the easiest way to check your alternatives would be to talk to an independent agent, such as Mike Carrol, who replied above, or if you'd like to talk to my agent, he is Ruben Valderas at Watkins Insurance, Ph 452-0999. My home doesn't come up for renewal until next Spring. Here's hoping rates will moderate by then, although I have to say that when I moved to Mueller my rates declined by probably 40% even though I had about 50% more square footage than in my prior home. That probably had to do with the more fire-resistent construction materials, and oh yeah, the fact that I no longer have that $250 deductible for hail losses and instead my deductible is based on a percentage of the value of the house. Next hail storm will be on me. :-( "
Homeowner's insurance rates going up?
posted by Mike Carroll on November 13th, 2012 11:34 AM
Henning & Shelley, Unfortunately homeowner's insurance premiums will continue to increase in our current environment. Though, hopefully not by 40% this does sound high. As an Independent Insurance Agent I talk to clients about this all the time. There are several factors that carriers use to determine premium. One of those is loss history, and it doesn't have to be YOUR loss history. If you look at our state the last few years we've had a ton of big weather related events. From huge hail storms, to tornados, to the fires across the state, and hurricanes, insurance companies have been taking it on the chin in Texas the last few years. Compound that by the low interest rate environment we've had...think low investment returns...and it's been hard for property carriers to make money on TX homeowner's policies. So even though you might not have had any losses, you're still being affected by those events. Historically speaking though our premiums in TX have been very low for a long time. We're starting to see that pendulum swing back the other way now. If you're carrier hasn't risen rates, they've probably raised the minimum deductibles. One thing I would not do though is cut coverage for the sake of reducing the premium. Because when a loss happens you want to be covered. Mike
Fantastic Hardwood Flooring Installation!
posted by Jeanne Rush on November 12th, 2012 8:39 AM
I contracted with Mike's Hardwood Floor Services, a locally owned Austin company, based on a recommendation on citiCite. They came out last week and did a beautiful job installing engineered hardwood flooring in two of my rooms. The floors look great. What I especially appreciated was the way the team did everything possible to keep the dust down during the work. The stained concrete flooring had to be sanded down to ensure that the glued wood would hold. They covered everything in the closets with plastic, covered the doorways with plastic, and covered the front hallway with paper to avoid dragging in dirt. The new flooring looks so pretty that I hated to put the furniture back in! I can highly recommend this company.
Mike's Hardwood Floors Rocks!
posted by Betsy on October 6th, 2012 11:10 AM
Great to know... we want to do the same thing at some point. Thanks for posting!
Mike's Hardwood Floors Rocks!
posted by Lorene Wallace on October 6th, 2012 9:17 AM
We live in an Antone on Threadgill and recently hired Mike's Hardwood Floors, locally-owned family business, to remove the carpeting on our stairs and landings and install hardwood. We've worked with them previously on the renovation of our old house in Rosedale in 1999. Wow! What beautiful craftsmanship, attention to detail (they had to match the stain of engineered wood floors throughout the rest of the house) and all on schedule at a very competitive price. If you've been thinking of installing wood, give Mike and Karen a shout at (512) 219-0110. If you'd like to see their work, send me a pm.
Info from the Contractors
posted by Kelly Rohm on August 1st, 2012 7:35 PM
If Steven or Mike have answered a question that you think others would like to know about, post it here.
Affordable ReFi Recommendation?
posted by vaden on July 19th, 2012 4:52 PM
Hi Mike, Thank you for your responses both here and through private message. I will certainly look into your recommendations. I always appreciate your thoughtful and helpful comments regarding our community and, in this case, my home insurance questions in particular. Thanks again neighbor! Jon
Frm Austin Kessler - The Splinters playing Carousel Lounge 5/9
posted by danx111 on May 7th, 2012 9:09 PM
The Splinters, a rock band that I am part of, along with Mike Labinski, Ken Riley, Harry Carpenter, Hans Alehag, and Jeff Howard, will be playing at the Carousel Lounge this coming Wednesday, May 9, from 7 to 9 p.m. Check out for details. I ...f you missed hearing us at my birthday bash a few weeks ago, here's your big chance. If you heard us and liked it, here's another opportunity before Hans leaves for Sweden for several months. If you like Jethro Tull, Pink Floyd, The Band, the Beatles, Supertramp, The Who, and the Rolling Stones you'll LOVE The Splinters!! Hope to see you there
Blowers - What can we do?
posted by gford on April 23rd, 2012 1:19 PM
I apologize for hijacking the thread for a bit... no need to explain why again. I admit I should have been more reserved in my first 2 posts yesterday morning.Misselaine and a few others are obviously concerned about blowers so let's focus on getting that back on track. I assume it's broken down into different categories:a. environmental concern - can we help educate people who purchase new blowers to purchase electric or not purchase them at all? Also, can we ask our lawn maintenance people not to use them (this goes for personal and commercial landscaping companies).b. noise concern - is there enough support to request that people not use blowers (gas/electric) during certain times of the day?c. education - Misselaine already posted links to help educate people. Education would need to be split into 1) are blowers bad for the environment, and 2) if someone is going to use a blower how can they be more efficient?I personally don't have a problem with any of the above, as long as everyone still has the opportunity to make their own educated decision.Y'all can take it from here.But Mike... this doesn't save you from The FSSITW...
Coyote encounter
posted by Rahm McDaniel on April 18th, 2012 8:56 AM
Mike, My dogs and I are out there a lot, and I've seen Coyotes on occasion around dawn and dusk.I've found that in general they stay towards the middle of the field, but cross over to the golf course where the field drains in that direction. There's a lot of interesting small animal life in the field - skunks, rabbits, voles and of course, rats and mice. naturally we've got some predators out there to manage them- coyotes and feral cats on the ground, and owls, hawks and kestrels from above.
From our APD District Rep.
posted by Kevin McGillicuddy on March 22nd, 2012 2:14 PM
I try to keep this epitaph in mind in these situations:This is the grave of Mike O'DayWho died maintaining his right of way.His right was clear, his will was strong.But he's just as dead as if he'd been wrong.
Mildew/mold in air ducts?
posted by dancer texas on March 20th, 2012 11:26 AM
Mike, which builder was yours? It's long over due for me to do thisl, yet I don't recall which pipe to put that solution down in. I don't believe I was ever told during the walk thru. I really hate the option of calling in a AC guy just to show me. Expensive option.
Tax Accountant recommendation
posted by kromel on March 17th, 2012 6:50 AM
I use Schulze & Associates, Inc. Jack's home office is close to Mueller and he gives discounts to Mueller Residents., there are two offices in Austin.North Location 1308 Ridgemont DrAustin, TX 78723P: 512.371.1040F: 512.371.0072jack@ledgersheet.netCentral Location 1507 Betty Jo Dr.Austin, TX 78704 P: 512.276.2743F:">
Chevy Volt
posted by kerry on February 17th, 2012 12:49 PM
I picked up my Volt yesterday and love it! I really enjoyed working with Mike Mason at Bacon Auto Country in Jacksonville, TX. The deal I got was worth the drive out to East Texas. Like Ashley said earlier, there are some really good deals ($2500-$4000 below MSRP) at Chevy dealerships in "truck country", especially the ones that have multiple Volts on their lot.
Crime warning
posted by Rahm McDaniel on December 12th, 2011 12:13 PM
They got us working in shifts!Sorry couldn't resist. Sorry that happened, Mike.
Crime warning
posted by M1EK on December 10th, 2011 9:39 PM
My wife and 7 year old son were enjoying the park over there on Friday afternoon, and somebody smashed the passenger side window and ran/drove off with my son's backpack (full of nothing but exciting schoolwork and school supplies). If anybody sees a backpack or lunchbox abandoned anywhere, please check for a name - it'd be nice to have some of this stuff back, and please be aware while at the park. Please email or call us if you happen to find anything - my wife's at home during the day (Jeanne) - 469-0794 is our number. - Mike Dahmus (
Vote for Austin Bartender of the year
posted by Betsy on November 11th, 2011 8:55 AM
Done! Thanks for posting this Mike.
Vote for Austin Bartender of the year
posted by Mike on November 11th, 2011 7:55 AM
Our local neighborhood bartender, Houston Eaves (head bartender at Contigo) has been nominated for bartender of the year. I personally know he knows how to sling a beer, and I've also heard he know how to make a mean hot toddy and mixed drinks. If you have a minute, please go vote for him. Mike
Public Stakeholders Meeting on the Phase Out of Plastic Bags in Austin
posted by danx111 on October 22nd, 2011 10:31 AM
Plastic Bag Public Stakeholder Meeting and Workshop Attend a public stakeholder meeting to collect input on an ordinance to phase out plastic bags. This public meeting comes after two smaller stakeholder meetings with environmentalists, zero waste advocates, retailers and bag manufacturers. This meeting is open to all Austinites who are interested in having a hands-on role in shaping the policy to phase out the use of plastic checkout bags in the city. The Austin City Council passed a resolution on August 4, 2011 calling for a comprehensive phase-out of plastic bags within the city limits. The resolution was sponsored by Mayor Lee Leffingwell, Councilmember Mike Martinez and Councilmember Chris Riley. WHEN: Monday, October 24, 2011, 6:00-8:00pm WHERE: Austin Energy Building, Town Lake Center, Shudde Fath room 721 Barton Springs Road, Austin, TX 78704 RSVP: RSVP via
Austin Beerworks
posted by Mike on October 20th, 2011 8:22 AM
Thank you. Winning a medal at the Great American Beer Festival was a very big deal for us. I would like to take this time to thank our thirsty neighbors who have supported the brewery, as well as our friends at Contigo and Dive Bar who have our beer on tap at their establishments. MikeCo-founderAustin Beerworks
Grocery Store Announcement on Wednesday - traditional HEB
posted by langhugh on September 1st, 2011 10:56 AM
Further media coverage:Video:KVUE (highlights bike/ped access): Hi-Def Video from announcement:Print:Statesman (highlights broader community focus of market district design): Business Journal: Impact: Bradford's Blog (as Mike pointed out, Chris suggests green building features are nice but good urban design can be greener):
Grocery Store Announcement on Wednesday - traditional HEB
posted by langhugh on August 31st, 2011 12:53 PM
Mike,I was interviewed by YNN and KXAN and I focused heavily on bicycle and pedestrian access issues. Let's see if it makes it to air. Maybe more importantly, I said the same thing to HEB's SVP. We also have two years and probably 5-6 more meetings to talk it through.Dusty
Neil Sperry's Advice on Watering Landscapes (and reminders of Mueller's DO NOT PLANT list
posted by schnauzerhouse2 on August 26th, 2011 10:58 AM
This except is from Neil Sperry's latest email newsletter. He allows folks to disseminate his information. I have made a few Mueller-related observations in caps. You can find the Mueller "Do Not Plant" list in the Mueller Modification Guidelines. It will save you from some of the mistakes Neil mentions below. You can subscribe to Neil Sperry's free e-newsletter by googling him. Janelle Aftermath of the Drought by Neil Sperry I've begun each of my radio programs these past several weeks with the request, "If your question begins, 'Neil, my plants' leaves are all brown. Are they still alive?' there is probably a 99 percent chance that you've let them get too dry at least one time in the past two or three months." I've gone on to say, "There really isn't much reason for you to call, because that's probably all I'll be able to tell you anyway. Plus, it would make for three hours of repetitive radio." But, let's address some of those issues here and now: Native Trees Large native trees in wooded areas of the eastern half of Texas have been browning for the past several weeks. That's been their natural way of coping with the hot, dry conditions. I've been gardening in Texas, with six years' exception, since 1958, and I've seen several really bad summers. Admittedly, this is the worst, but most large, old trees went through those droughts of the 50s, 1980, late 90s and 2005-2006 and are still alive today. Most will make it through this one if we get some rains this fall. We can't water the native woodlands anyway, so we might as well worry about something else. (NOTE BY JANELLE: This refers to native trees in native settings. News reports have mature native tree die-offs in areas. Also, the "better species" Neil refers to can be found in the Mueller "Suggested Native Plant" list and in the "Native and Adapted Landscape Plants" guide by the city of Austin Grow Green program.) Shade Trees Mature shade trees, to a lesser extent, have been doing the same thing that woodland trees are doing in my notes above. They're just acknowledging that 2011 isn't going to amount to much. They're shedding tons of leaves, and they're dropping them early. Better species should be fine if we get fall and winter rains. In the meantime, water as you are able. (NOTE BY JANELLE: This refers to MATURE shade trees, meaning trees at least 10 years old. Some mature trees in Austin are dying.) Where you need to worry more is with the less durable, fast-growing shade trees that struggle with all manner of insects and diseases. These trees have been weakened by the drought, and they're going to be far more vulnerable to pest invasion. My bet is that we'll find that we've lost a greater percentage of silver maples, mimosas, cottonwoods, fruitless mulberries, willows, Arizona ashes and other short-lived species when trees leaf out next spring. (NOTE: Silver Maple, Arizona ashe, non-native mimosas, Bradford pears, Green ashes, Italian cypresses, River birches, paper mulberries, and sugar maples are on Mueller's "Do Not Plant' List. Evergreen Shrubs and Trees While deciduous plants are dropping leaves early, many of our evergreens are drying and dying in place. They don't have the mechanism for dropping leaves to get through the drought. I've seen hundreds of southern magnolias, Leyland cypresses, hollies, Indian hawthorns and even native eastern redcedar junipers turning brown. Sadly, those plants usually don't come back. Once browned, they're usually gone. Deciduous Shrubs Crape myrtles, althaeas, forsythias and other deciduous shrubs have lost many leaves. In fact, unirrigated plants may be completely bare already. That's probably not a good sign for any of them, and you certainly need to get water to them as soon as you can. Crape myrtles will be the most forgiving. They seem to bounce back better than most species, but they won't bloom as well next year if you don't water them soon. (NOTE: Crape myrtles are a shrub, not a tree, so they take more abuse and will often come back from stumps.) Very large median bed of purple wintercreeper euonymus has been allowed to dry beyond permanent wilting point. Bare area marks a prior year’s drought where the groundcover did not come back. (NOTE: Euonymus is on the Mueller "Do Not Plant" list.) Groundcovers Asian jasmine beds have died by the thousands. That's really sad, too, because they take several years to establish, not to mention the expense of preparing the soil and buying and planting new plants. Once their leaves turn olive drab, then become tan and folded, the plants are pretty well gone. That's sad, too, because it doesn't take much water to keep Asian jasmine alive. (NOTE: Asian jasmine is on the Mueller "Do Not Plant" list.) English ivy is the other big victim of the heat. If it sticks out into the sun at all, its leaves may be sunburned in large, light brown blotches. English ivy is a shade groundcover, but if trees lose their leaves early as we've already described, the ivy can be shoved into hot sun. Keep it moist and it should survive. You'll certainly have some tidy-up work to do when the weather begins to turn cool. (NOTE: English ivy is on the Mueller "Do Not Plant" list. It is very invasive.) Roses This summer has brutalized our roses. If you have browned buds and misshapen plants, do a bit of modest clean-up pruning to reshape the plants now. Try not, however, to remove more than 10 or 15 percent of their top growth this late in the season. You're just trying to help them look more presentable for the next several months. If they were vigorous going into the summer, they should be fine heading toward winter and spring 2012. (For more information on rose care, see Rosarian Mike Shoup’s “Rose Cuttings” this issue.) (NOTE: There are many antique rose varieties that are surviving the heat. Joe Denton can advise on roses.) Lawns I've always contended that we Texans water our lawns too much, but I'm singing a new tune this year. People have just walked away from their lawns, and that's really too bad. Lawns are of significant value when it comes time to sell a house, plus your lawn is the carpet of your outdoor living spaces. Without a lawn, you don't really have a landscape. (NOTE: Here in Mueller, you may want to consider non-turf alternatives, as long as they are water-permeable. See the Mueller Modification Guidelines.) If you have bermuda turf, resume watering as soon as you're able. If you have St. Augustine, you'll need to water and assess the magnitude of your losses. Hopefully, you'll have enough to repopulate the area. Otherwise, you may want to sow ryegrass for temporary cover this winter, and start planning now for replantings next spring. Zoysias are somewhat intermediate, but because of the cost of zoysia sod and the amount of time it takes to establish, hopefully you haven't lost any of your zoysia lawn. If you're in Northwest Texas, you probably have voids in your fescue lawn, and your normal September overseeding should take care of the issues. (NOTE: St. Augustine grass is absolutely VERBOTEN in Mueller!)
City of Austin Notice of Public Hearing on property tax increase
posted by danx11 on August 18th, 2011 1:13 PM
The City of Austin will hold two public hearings on a proposal to increase total tax revenues from properties on the tax roll in the preceding tax year by 4.0 percent (percentage by which proposed tax rate exceeds lower of rollback tax rate or effective tax rate calculated under Chapter 26, Tax Code). Your individual taxes may increase at a greater or lesser rate, or even decrease, depending on the change in the taxable value of your property in relation to the change in taxable value of all other property and the tax rate that is adopted. The first public hearing will be held on Thursday August 25, 2011 starting at 4:00 p.m. at City Council Chambers, 301 West 2nd Street, Austin, Texas 78701. The second public hearing will be held on Thursday September 1, 2011 starting at 4:00 p.m. at City Council Chambers, 301 West 2nd Street, Austin, Texas 78701. The members of the governing body voted on the proposal to consider the tax increase as follows: FOR: Mayor Lee Leffingwell, Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole, Council Member Mike Martinez, Council Member Laura Morrison, Council Member Kathie Tovo, Council Member Chris Riley, and Council Member Bill Spelman AGAINST: None PRESENT and not voting: None ABSENT: None The average taxable value of a residence homestead in the City of Austin last year was $259,988 (average taxable value of a residence homestead in the taxing unit for the preceding tax year, disregarding residence homestead exemptions available only to disabled persons or persons 65 years of age or older). Based on last year s tax rate of $0.4571 (preceding year s adopted tax rate) per $100 of taxable value, the amount of taxes imposed last year on the average home was $1,188.41 (tax on average taxable value of a residence homestead in the taxing unit for the preceding tax year, disregarding residence homestead exemptions available only to disabled persons or persons 65 years of age or older). The average taxable value of a residence homestead in the City of Austin this year is $256,989 (average taxable value of a residence homestead in the taxing unit for the current tax year, disregarding residence homestead exemptions available only to disabled persons or persons 65 years of age or older). If the governing body adopts the effective tax rate for this year of $0.4644 per $100 of taxable value, the amount of taxes imposed this year on the average home would be $1,193.46 (tax on average taxable value of a residence homestead in the taxing unit for the current tax year, disregarding residence homestead exemptions available only to disabled persons or persons 65 years of age or older). If the governing body adopts the proposed tax rate of $0.4832 per $100 of taxable value, the amount of taxes imposed this year on the average home would be $1,241.77 (tax on the average taxable value of a residence homestead in the taxing unit for the current tax year, disregarding residence homestead exemptions available only to disabled persons or persons 65 years of age or older). Members of the public are encouraged to attend the hearings and express their views. Contact: Budget Office, 512-974-2610
Texas Solar Power Company not accepting homes for new systems (FYI)
posted by Brandon Kraft on July 6th, 2011 3:35 PM
Just FYI - Rcv'd the following e-mail from Texas Solar that they're at capacity and not able to install any additional systems: Good day to all. It is our regret to inform you that we will not be able to provide a complete proposal to you for the Mueller Megawatt solar installation campaign. We have reached our capacity to install about 50 systems before September 15, 2011. If anything changes in the near future that will allow us to be of service to you, we have your names and contact information close at hand and we will be glad to give you a call and see if you have been taken care of by another contractor. We appreciate your time and interest in a solar PV system for your home. Mike Saavedra Project Manager Texas Solar Power Company office (512) 459 - 9494 Web:
Mueller July 4th Events
posted by MCCLOSKEY5 on June 20th, 2011 5:49 PM
City Fireworks Canceled? No Problem! Let's Celebrate the 4th of July MUELLER-STYLE! Parade, Pool Party, Pot Luck Dinner, LIVE Music, Fireworks Show FIRST -- the PARADE 9:30 --- Gather at Lake Park near the playground 10:00 --- Parade begins! Kids, Dogs, Other Pets???? --- Bikes, Scooters, Wagons, Strollers --- Dress up, decorate, and join the short parade route! We'll end up at the POOL. SECOND -- the Pool Party Around 11:00 am Join your neighbors for an old fashioned pool party! FROST Bank will provide special gifts for the kiddos, and other surprises await you and your family! THIRD --- Tom Miller Street Party, Pot Luck Dinner and Fireworks Show Around 7:00 pm the festivities begin, and fireworks show will begin at dark "Anchor House" is 2324 Tom Miller (Fivecoats) LOTS of fun stuff -- including --- Pot luck dinner Lemonade and glow necklaces for kiddos "Adult beverages" for the rest of us! A jumpy house and water slide for kids Our neighborhood FIRE TRUCK and fire folks! A place for kids to get wet Some safe fire crackers (poppers and sparklers) LIVE MUSIC from our very own Mike and Chris! Fireworks show on outdoor screen So plan on joining your neighbors to celebrate our nation's birthday and our terrific Mueller Community!
Austin Beerworks
posted by Mike on June 19th, 2011 9:39 PM
Ezra (and all other beer drinker)- I dropped of a keg of Fire Eagle (IPA) at Contigo on Saturday. For our IPA we wanted a well balanced beer and not just a super hoppy beer that overwhelms your taste buds. Cheers,Mike
Austin Beerworks
posted by wilson on June 15th, 2011 7:53 AM
Mike, congratulations and good luck on your new venture! Know that I'll be vicariously living through you about opening up a craft brewery with friends! The branding and website is OUTSTANDING. Can't wait to taste the Fire Eagle!Wilson
Austin Beerworks
posted by Daniel Colimon on June 14th, 2011 7:04 AM
Congratulations Mike - here's to wishing you much success!
Austin Beerworks
posted by Mike on June 13th, 2011 11:20 AM
I would like to proudly announce that Austin Beerworks is up and brewing and rolling out kegs to Austin bars. Three partners and I have been planning and building out the brewery for the past year. For the past two months we have been brewing and stock piling our refrigerator. Its a bit bigger than yours. Its about 20 feet by 22 feet. Tonight we will be premiering a new beer (Black Thunder a Schwartzbier or black lager) at Black Star Co-op. They will also have Fire Eagle (IPA). I know its a Monday evening/night, so just pretend you are still in college and come on out. "What's in it for me", you ask? We'll be giving out free brewery pint glasses to the first 40 customers who order our beers. I hope you can make it! When you have a minute, check out our web page Cheers, Mike
Steering Committee minutes - 3 May 2011
posted by Betsy on May 3rd, 2011 10:02 PM
Reminder that the Mueller Neighborhood Association (MNA) steering committee (SC) is open to all MNA members. The next steering committee meeting is scheduled for June 7. MNA Steering committee Meeting Minutes – May 3, 2011 Grant opened the meeting shortly after 7:00 p.m. SC members present: Kathy Sokolic, Dennis Mick, Kat Malcom, Drew Harris, Don Dozier, Keith Romel, Grant Fisher, Betsy Hilton, Kerry Fisher SC members absent: Diane Gierisch, Mary Piette, Shellie Shores, Mike McGovern We are doing well - $4353.62 current balance. Front Porch Flyer printing this week (about $500). It will include a column by Grant that mentions the new business membership category. a. Large meeting - May 21st. Lee Thomson lined up to speak on Mueller Foundation. There’s an event (arthritis walk) at the hangar so we’re looking at another place. Several options discussed - watch for details. Discussed possibility of having prizes again. b. Front Porch Flyer - going to printer this week. Delivery expected this weekend. c. Business Memberships - Frost Bank is our first. Business memberships are $25/year. Business members will be listed in the FPF. d. Elections - Grant and Kerry will run the elections (nomination committee) since they are not eligible to run for re-election. Nominations can be sent to (This address should be active in the next couple of days.) Include the name, short bio/statement of interest and street you live on. Please consider serving the community... it takes a little time to attend meetings but it’s a great way to get more involved! Elections are June 18. Nominations should be received by June 11 to be included on the printed ballot. Additional nominations will be received from the floor at the meeting. You must be present at the meeting to vote, and must be a current member of MNA. e. TCAD - Deadline to file a protest on your 2011 appraisal is May 31. Look at your statement - you might be able to file the protest electronically. f. AISD Performing Arts Center (1200 seats) - proposed location is Barbara Jordan & Mueller. This wasn’t in the original development plan and creates some potential concerns. Approval from City Council is required for Catellus to sell the property to a governmental entity other than the City of Austin. AISD will present the proposal to the PIAC on Tuesday, May 10th. Discussion about traffic impacts and increased pressure on Lake Park (already heavily used). Since the HOA pays for Lake Park maintenance, concerns expressed about the impact on our future HOA fees. In addition, this takes a large piece of land off the tax rolls, and those taxes support the overall cost of the Mueller development. If the deal goes through, it was discussed that Mueller needs to have significant input on the design, traffic impacts, park impacts, etc. Anticipated use of the facility is 300 days/year. Also discussed bringing preliminary concerns to the Mueller Let’s Talk meeting tomorrow night, May 4th. Discussed MNA expressing concerns regarding adherence to the design guidelines, addressing traffic impacts on the neighborhood, addressing problems that may result from so many additional people using other Mueller infrastructure (parks, trails, etc.). Plans include: - Agenda item for May 21 meeting - General membership vote on whether MNA should express concerns regarding traffic and other impacts (parks, etc.) related to the proposed PAC at Mueller, and express our desire to be part of the planning process. (No position for or against the PAC). Steering Committee recommends approval (motion - Kathy S, 2nd Dennis M - passed unanimously). - Special mailout to provide information to residents - Discussion topic for June 18 meeting Large meeting May 21 - discussed above. - Plant Fest was very successful - Mueller Gardens walking tour will be May 14, 10:00 a.m. - noon. Sidewalk strolls on 3 streets. - Central Texas gardener filming in Mueller in mid-May - Urban wildlife workshop June 25 - Friends of the Prairie recently marked johnson grass so Valley Crest knows where to herbicide. This started last year and the system seems to be working well. - The Landscape Committee is discussing modifying the mowing schedule for the prairie so it’s not all mowed at the same time. Meeting adjourned 8:25 pm.
MNA SC minutes 5 April 2011
posted by schnauzerhouse2 on April 15th, 2011 11:40 AM
Steering Committee Meeting minutes 5 April 2011 Reminder that the Mueller Neighborhood Association (MNA) steering committee (SC) is open to all MNA members. The next steering committee meeting is scheduled for May 3rd. MNA Steering committee Meeting Minutes—April 5, 2011 I. Introductions-Kathy Sokolic opened the meeting shortly after 7:00 p.m. The following SC members were present: Kathy Sokolic, Dennis Mick, Kat Malcom, Drew Harris, Diane Gierisch, Don Dozier, Keith Romel, Shellie Shores, and Kerry Fisher. Mary Piette, Betsy Hilton and Mike McGovern were absent. II. Treasurer’s report: Kerry Fisher, treasurer announced a balance of $4553.62 in the MNA checking account. MNA membership is currently 186 members including three new members from the Greenway Lofts. Kerry announced that Frost Bank could not allow a waiver of the $5/month fee for viewing checks. Drew announced that collections from advertisers from the Front Porch Flyer totaled approximately $2500. Also, the Frost Bank was likely to become the MNA’s first business membership. III. Existing Business: Block Captains Kathy Sokolic recommended using Block captains to distribute information about the Pecan Street Project by email to residents on their block. Kat pointed out that listings of residents varied greatly among streets/block captains and that some block captains would find passing on information to residents as burdensome while others would not. Some block captains are already passing on information from multiple purposes from personal to neighborhood business. Kat Malcolm indicated that the responsibilities of block captains were already established and later submitted the following: “The Mueller Neighborhood Association (MNA) Block Captains facilitate networking and communication throughout the Mueller Community. Each Captain represents their street in local matters to the MNA Steering Committee. The goal is for the Captains to be a channel of communication that flows upward and downward on issues that concern the best interest/benefit of Mueller. Block Captains will also help facilitate neighborhood events for their street such as the annual Neighborhood Night Out in October and an Alley/Street party in June, as well as any impromptu events. This is a volunteer position that enhances the quality of Mueller life.” Members discussed the possibility of using MNA funds to formally recognize block captains, or perhaps to provide identification (such as a decoration) that could be placed in front of the block captain’s home; others suggested that block captains could be recognized at each monthly meeting. Finally Drew recommended using Convio or some other email contact manager to automate emailings. Kat pointed out the need to clarify the parameters of the relationship between the MNA and the Pecan Street Project. Diane Gierisch presented a motion that we further discuss the role of block captains at the next MNA Steering Committee meeting. The motion passed. Pecan Street Project: Kathy Sokolic announced that the Pecan street project would provide an extra $ .75 rebate for both south and west facing panels (up to 6kw); she also indicated that Pecan Street energy audits would be temporarily delayed. Front Porch Flyer (FPF): Drew indicated that all profits from FPF go directly to MNA; he suggested that perhaps some of this cash could be funneled back to the FPF, perhaps as awards for best photo or article submissions. Kathy Sokolic suggested having a photo issue of the FPF where the best photos of the previous year could be included; Shellie Shores suggested that a calendar using the prize-winning photos would be appropriate. Don suggested that Janelle would likely agree to write a short piece for the FPF on the outcome of the Plant Fest 2011 and volunteered that he would provide photos of the event. For MNA General Membership meeting, April 16: Members proposed a raffle for free coffee/food from the trailers could be used to encourage member attendance. Diane suggested an additional drawing for first-time MNA meeting attendees. Open comments: Kathy Sokolic suggested that new residents in the Garden Homes might receive special invitations to the next MNA meeting. Drew suggested that block captains or others might volunteer to sponsor/work with new residents in establishing the tradition of having block parties in newly built areas. Don Dozier volunteered to input email addresses of MNA members to create an email database.
Garage Floor Ideas?
posted by Mike on March 21st, 2011 4:58 PM used epoxy-coat, which is a 100% solids epoxy. It is a little more expensive than the homedepot stuff (I think 50% solids). The real cost is labor, either yours or someone else. The prep is the hardest part. My floors were very smooth, so it took quite a bit of work to rough it up. I think I used 2 gallons of muriatic acid. The concrete should have the texture of 120 grit sand paper. Anything smoother and you risk the epoxy not biting enough onto the concrete.Please let me know if you want to see my floors.Mike
Loud Music!
posted by Betsy on March 18th, 2011 4:19 PM
Mike - I'd also talk with Jennifer Harvey about the problems you are having.
Loud Music!
posted by Rahm McDaniel on March 18th, 2011 7:45 AM
Hi mike, have you tried talking to the neighbor?
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