2013 Picnic a Great One!

Approximately 200 Old Enfield Neighbors and guests met at the home of the Delisi family to enjoy the Annual Picnic. We are thankful to our sponsors for their generous support.

2013 OEHA Picnic

Picnic chairs Marianne Dorman and Kat Smith really outdid themselves and a good time was had by all.

Food was provided by two food trucks, and once again Capital Beverage supplied beer and wine. And of course, the Dessert Contest was highly competitive.

We would like to thank:

  • Doris Cirelli, who organized the contest,
  • Sheila Fleming, who assisted her on the day of the picnic; and,
  • Glenda Flanagan, who invited some food stars to be our judges.

The Dessert Contest judges:

  • Roy Leamon – Texas Monthly
  • Johnny Guffy – Jeffrey’s
  • Caroline Mitchell – Whole Foods


The Dessert Contest Winners:

  • First Place – Jennifer Glass – Chocolate Seduction
  • Second Place – Susan Mack – Lemon Pavlova
  • Third Place – Doris Cirelli – Cheese Cake
  • Honorable Mention – Marianne Dorman – Almond Cake

Contest Winner

Thank you to Annie’s Cafe and Bar for donating extra delicious desserts to make sure we had enough.

And thank you to all the Dessert Contest participants who all brought delicious morsels and shared them!

We would also like to thank the following people who assisted in invaluable ways:

The Delisi Family who opened their beautiful home to us.
The OEHA Board who planned and worked, especially our President, Marlene Romanczak, who traveled all the way from China to help out!
Neighbors, including Tommy and Danny Matson and Reed Sallans who helped set up in the early afternoon, and those good Samaritans who helped clean up when it was over.
Babysitters: Former Murray Lane neighbor Shannon McCann organized a group of girls who included her daughter Jill and Mark and June Chandler’s daughter Katie to help with games for the young children.
Photographer: Mark Matson
Ice Procurer and Carrier: Robyn Leamon
Host gift: Jeffrey’s Restaurant

We will have a big job next year to have an event as fun as this!

Shoal Creek, Texas

Ted Eubanks, a long-time advocate of Pease Park has developed a website showcasing Pease Park, including its history, wildlife, and future plans for the park. It’s a great site and he has posted photos from the dedication of the new plaques placed at the stone entrance to the park.

Parks have a way of surviving. Pease Park is a case in point. Governor E.M. Pease gave Austin the original twenty-four acres in 1875, the first public park donated in Texas. Donation is not necessarily protection. The property of what is now the Caswell Tennis Courts (built in 1948) nearly became the site for an apartment hotel. Plans for Pease Park have included a small golf course and an elementary school. Fortunately the original deed of gift barred such uses. Parks have a way of surviving.

Pease Park has survived, but has it thrived? No. Until recently Pease Park suffered both neglect and abuse. The City of Austin has traditionally underfunded its parks, and this short fall has become egregious as parks have aged and public use has expanded. Until a few years ago Pease looked more like a bombing range than a park. Overuse by disc golfers impacted both vegetation and public use, with golfers displacing all but their kind. Trails were eroded and compacted, and many of the trees in the park were dead, dying, or damaged.

Read the rest of the story here: The park is back.

Austin Historical Survey WIKI

The Austin Historical Survey Wiki is a new interactive tool for the City of Austin. The Wiki allows you to find and contribute information about historic buildings, sites, and landscapes of the past and present that tell the history of Austin. A historical survey is a way to research, identify, and share information. The Wiki is a living survey database where information from previous historical surveys can be accessed and new information can be contributed by Wiki users. The Austin Historical Survey Wiki is a resource for planning Austin’s future and sharing its history.

Austin City Council Minutes Archive

Austin has grown and changed so much. It’s fascinating to look back and see how the city developed and grew. For example, a quick glance at the minutes of the meeting of the Austin City Council from December of 1896 shows “aldermen” with names like Zilker and Miller, and Mayor Hancock.

Did you ever think what the City Council did in response to the Whitman Tower shooting? You can read about it here.

Or what business they conducted at the last meeting of the millenium? Check it out.

The city has an online archive of council meeting minutes going back to 1869. You can find it here.

City of Austin Program Allows you to Opt Out of Junk Mail and Phone Books

The City of Austin Resource Recovery Center has a number of programs to help promote wise use of resources. For example, their Re-Blend paint program, which takes unused paint, remixes it and offers it free back to citizens.

Registering via the site allows the city to act as your agent in preventing delivery of certain kinds of junk mail and phone books. More than 1,000 companies have agreed to partipate in the program and honor residents’ request to opt out of receiving these items.

Read more about these programs here: https://austin.catalogchoice.org/

Walter Benson, Jr.

Walter Benson, Jr. has been a resident of Old Enfield since the 50s. We recently learned he has decided to relocate. Like so many long-time residents, he has an interesting history, including a great golfing career.

We thought you’d like to read a bit about him:

The native austinite graduated from Austin High School and after World War II, completed two degrees at The University of Texas, a Bachelors in Business Administration in 1946 and a Bachelors in Electrical Engineering in 1948.

In between high school and graduation from the University, Benson worked in Austin and then served in the United States Army Air Core. He was as an Aviation Cadet from November 1941 to December 1942 then became a training officer in 1943 and moved on to Squadron Communications Officer in the Eighth Air Force in 1943 and achieved the rank of Captain in the United States Army in May of 1944.

Read the complete article on Golf Austin.

Setting Out Your Containers

Hey Austinites – the city needs your help: Residents frequently set their trash and recycling carts too close together, causing operational issues for Austin Resource Recovery collection crews. Carts should be placed five feet apart and away from mailboxes, cars and other objects. Please help us spread the word to your neighbors, friends and family.

Why five feet apart?   The trucks that collect trash and recycling are equipped with automatic arms that pick up the carts. If carts are set too close together or too close to other objects, the drivers have to get out of their trucks to move the carts so the automatic arm can pick up the cart without bumping into or knocking over anything.

The crews can collect materials more safely and efficiently when your recycling cart, trash cart and yard trimmings are placed 5 feet apart from each other and from other objects like parked cars, mailboxes, etc.

What if I don’t have room to set my carts 5 feet apart? We understand that some areas won’t allow for this; simply set the carts as far apart as possible.

Other Important Collection Guidelines:

  • Always place the handle of the cart toward your house.
  • Your trash cart, recycling cart and yard trimmings must be placed at the curb by 6:30 a.m. on your collection day.
  • Do not put recycling or yard trimmings in plastic bags. Plastic bags cannot be recycled in Single Stream Recycling and cannot be composted with yard trimmings.
  • Help prevent litter by bagging your trash and allowing room for the cart lid to close.
  • Extra bags of trash that do not fit in your trash cart with the lid closed must be placed next to the trash cart and tagged with an Extra Trash Sticker, which can be purchased at most local grocery stores ($4 + tax).
  • Extra bags without a sticker will be charged a per-bag fee of $8 + tax.
  • Do not put carts in the path of the mail truck or on top of a water meter.

For more information, visit austinrecycles.com.

Permanent Financial Endowment Established for Pease Park

The Pease Park Conservancy has been hard at work now for four years trying to bring this special place in our neighborhood back from the brink. It has achieved a lot in that time, including 462 new shade trees, an automated irrigation system, a repaired Tudor cottage and restored retaining walls, entrance arches and picnic tables.  But, it recently reached perhaps its most significant and long-lasting milestone with the establishment of a permanent financial endowment for the park with the Austin Community Foundation.

Austin philanthropist Bill Dickson made the endowment a reality with a generous $50,000 donation payable over the next five years.  No funds can be withdrawn from the endowment until it reaches $100,000 and then five percent of the funds on hand will be available to the Conservancy for park maintenance and improvements that the Austin Parks and Recreation Department cannot afford. This special valentine to Austin was kicked off in a press conference at Pease on February 14, 2012, featuring special heart-shaped cupcakes from “Hey Cupcake,” balloons and attended by large crowd of neighbors, friends and well wishers. Jill Nokes, past president of the Austin Parks Foundation, made the announcement of the endowment and City Councilpersons Chris Riley and Laura Morrison symbolically accepted the gift on behalf of the City. Ms. Nokes emphasized that the “sustainability” of park improvements is the key to the long-term health of Pease Park.  As the endowment grows, it will act as a “safety net” under the park to insulate it from City budget problems and economic downturns.  This will help Pease avoid the typical pattern of renewal, slow decline and subsequent renewal seen in so many public spaces over time.  In this regard the endowment follows the example of the Central Park Conservancy in New York City in trying to ensure that all of its hard won progress in beautification, amenities and improvements last.

You too can be a part of the endowment  Plant the seeds of your legacy in Pease Park by including the endowment in your annual giving and including it in your estate planning.  Governor and Mrs. Pease had remarkable foresight and vision to create a great park in the center of Austin in 1875. You can exhibit similar foresight today and ensure that Pease’s beauty is enjoyed by future generations of Austinites.  Just send your check payable to “Pease Park Endowment” to the Austin Community Foundation, 4315 Guadalupe Street, Austin, Texas 78751.  If you have questions, you can contact the Austin Community Foundation at 472-4483 or the Pease Park Conservancy at 925-5306. You can also donate to the Pease Park Endowment online at www.austincf.org Donations for the ongoing operations of the Conservancy can be mailed to Pease Park Conservancy, P.O. Box 50065, Austin, Texas 78763 or made online at www.peasepark.org