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The Environmental Community Celebrates Print E-mail
Written by Karen Kreps   
Friday, 21 November 2008 07:51

kreps-karenThere's one annual holiday party that my husband I never miss: It's a bash put on by the Save Our Springs Alliance. All the tree huggers and salamander savers in Austin turn out for it. I see many of the folks I know from Barton Springs Pool, but others as well, friends and supporters of the work SOS does in the never-ending battle to keep the aquifer (a sole source of drinking water for more than fifty thousand people) from being overdeveloped, polluted and drained dry. This year, the party is scheduled for Thursday, December 4, at 6-11pm in historic Mercury Hall, 615 Cardinal Lane, near South First and Ben White. Tickets may be bought in advance from www.SOSAlliance.org or at the door. There's a cash bar and delicious appetizers. Smoked salmon has been one of the trademark treats. A couple of bands play and the crowd dances and dances and dances.

It's a friendly crowd, a good mix of singles and couples. Find me and I'll introduce you to everyone I know.

Everyone and anyone is there, local politicos to musicians who were playing at Antone's the night before. The Good Life is a sponsor of the Save Our Springs Alliance, and citizens and small businesses alike contribute to the fantastic silent auction. You'll find three copies of my book among the goodies on which to bid.

This year, we have a lot to celebrate:

This year, SOS continued to fight for our Hill Country water and wildlife, winning important victories against City efforts to build a massive water plant in the middle of the Bull Creek Nature Preserve and forcing a full, updated environmental impact statement of the planned Oak Hill-killing "Y" toll road. This not-for-profit organization supported City bond funding for buying more watershed protection lands, which led to the City buying a critical three-thousand-acre parcel over the heart of the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer recharge zone.

Then, last month Travis County District Judge Margaret Cooper threw out the attorney fee award of three hundred thousand dollars against SOS Alliance as "void and of no force and effect." The 2004 victory for developer Bill Gunn was finally slapped down.

The very next week TxDOT and the Federal Highway Administration abandoned their plans for a sixteen-lane toll road over the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone in northern Bexar County.

Now it's time to celebrate.

My only complaint about the holiday bash is how loud it gets in the old wooden structure. By the time the second band comes on, the amplification becomes unbearably loud. It drives me outdoors to the beautiful, torch-lit walkways and fountains in front of Mercury Hall. You'll be able to find me out there. Say "hello." We'll talk.

The Good Life columnist and author of Intimacies: Secrets of Love, Sex & Romance TrueIntimacies.com.

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