City Council Candidate Gonzalo Camacho Questions from NNA

Every election, the Northfield Neighborhood Association sends a short  list of questions to candidates running for District 4 and 9 and / or the Mayor.  These questions are germane to the interests of residents in the Northfield Neighborhood.

This year each of the candidates for District 4 has been given an opportunity to respond to questions for the current election.  Gonzalo Camacho is the first candidate to respond, but the other two candidates will likely send their responses soon.

NNA:  What would you do to improve the diversity of housing stock in Central Austin, creating more opportunities for affordable housing without sacrificing the quality of life for existing residents?

CAMACHO:  Perhaps the priority should be about preventing the increase of housing and living costs as well as gentrification instead of diversification of “housing stock.”

According to the City, District 4 has a median household income of about $39,200 which, for a full time job, is about $19/hour without benefits like health insurance and vacation. District 4 might be affordable since it has one of the lowest median family income but it is also prime for redevelopment and economic gentrification as we have seen in North Loop.

To maintain the cost of housing and living affordable we should pay close attention to property taxes and regulations that increase property taxes, fees and cost of doing business. Whether it is an increase in the city’s budget or a new bond, these impact the cost of living in Austin affecting housing affordability and to lower income families the most.

Affordability of housing is also related to the cost of transportation. Generally, for a median family income 25% of their income is for housing and 24% for transportation, both cost of housing and transportation go hand in hand.

In terms of transportation we need to encourage a diverse, efficient, safer, and multi modal transportation system including: walking, bicycling, peer-to-peer (Uber & Lyft), public transit, private cars, etc.

In terms of quality of life, although “quality of life” is subjective, it is critical to preserve and expand green spaces, linear parks, pocket parks, neighborhood parks, or even regional parks. There are many other aspects that are included in quality of life such as: health, safety, and family economics. I would like to add to quality of life having kinder and friendlier communities in District 4.

NNA:  What is your view of the changing demographics of Central Austin?

CAMACHO:  City government should prioritize the preservation of the quality of life of residents and economic vitality of families including local businesses. District 4 is unique in its demographics because it has a large Hispanic population and a diverse ethnic community. As an immigrant I love diversity of cultures and love to celebrate those differences. It is great to come from outside and be welcome into a neighborhood while being able to plan for future retirement or growing a family.

However, as a small business owner (traffic and transportation engineering) and home owner, the increase of property taxes is pricing me out from retiring in my North Loop house. In other words, costs of living in District 4 are increasing making it difficult for home owners to afford property taxes. I believe affordability is impacting many District 4 residents in particular: families, fixed income, retirees, and low income families.

NNA:  What could be done to improve mobility in Austin?

CAMACHO:  Transportation is a big expense for families, about 24% of the median income family is spent in transportation; therefore, transportation or mobility is critical to quality of life and affordability.

The City of Austin should revisit the fundamentals of transportation. Maintenance and operation of roadways efficiently and in a safe manner is a building block for a good transportation system. It includes maintenance and operation of: roadway pavement, traffic signals, sidewalks, ADA access, bicycle infrastructure, etc. These are the foundation for the future of transportation/mobility.

The City of Austin should be proactive about solving concerns such as hot spots (crash prone areas) and proving the basic infrastructure that all modes of transportation require for people to access the city in a safe, efficient and affordable manner.

Capital Metro should provide free transit service to Austin residents in particular to AISD students and retirees.

With the advent of technology and other innovative approaches to mobility, government agencies should to be open to having healthy conversations and partnerships with the private sector.

4.  What do you think are the 3 most important quality-of-life issues that need to be addressed?



  • Health & Safety – Are our neighborhoods safe in terms of health of people, healthy environment, and personal safety?
  • Cost of living – Are our neighborhoods allowing us to maintain a standard of living without having to compromise our standard of living and quality of life now and in the future?  Can we retire living in our current homes or will we be forced to sell our family homes for retirement?
  • Accessibility – Are our neighborhoods provided with the infrastructure and transportation system that allow us to access the area and region in a safe, efficient and affordable manner?
NNA: What are your top priorities for Austin’s budget?
CAMACHO:  The City’s budget must be ACCOUNTABLE, line item by line item. It has to have ESTABLISHED PRIORITIES that are quantifiable and measurable. The City’s budget must be EFFICIENT focused on preserving the quality of life of families and neighborhoods.

Long before there was a Highland ACC or even a Highland Mall


by Sebastian Wren

Just over 100 years ago, as we all know, most of the area around this part of town was nothing more than fields and orchards. What most people have probably forgotten (or never knew), is that much of the land north and east of our neighborhood — 350 acres – was once owned by the Regular Missionary Baptist Association, a Reconstruction-era African American organization which was first moderated by the famous Reverend Jacob Fontaine.

Years after the Civil War, there were many young black children who were living without parents or reliable care-givers, but there was no orphanage for African American children in Texas. The Regular Missionary Baptist Association dedicated themselves to addressing this problem by building an orphanage for black children in Texas on the edge of their farmland. This was far outside the Austin city limits, and there was a frontier attitude about construction and development at the time. The first building for the orphanage was a clapboard wooden structure built in 1906 next to the Tannehill Branch Creek, but it didn’t last very long — within a few years, it burned down (under “mysterious circumstances,” as buildings owned by African Americans were wont to do at the time).

In 1910, the Association decided to rebuild, but this time they commissioned well-respected architect John Andrewartha to replace the devastated wooden structure with a much larger and more substantial limestone building. In 1911, the St. John’s Industrial Institute and Home for Negro Orphans re-opened and began serving 300 to 500 children.

Old Orphanage where Highland Mall is Now

The creation of the orphanage was overseen by Dr. Lee Lewis Campbell (Campbell Elementary School on East MLK is named in his honor), featuring a 3-story limestone building (for the girls) and a smaller wooden structure (for the boys). Campbell also designed an educational system to take children who lived at the orphanage through high school. The St. John’s Orphanage quickly earned a reputation as one of the best educational institutions for African Americans in the South. Booker T. Washington described the orphanage as a paragon example of educational opportunities for the first generations of free African American children in the south.

The orphanage also became a very important social hub for African Americans across Texas. Every year, African Americans would make a pilgrimage to the St. John’s community for a social, religious, and educational conference. As many as 25,000 people would journey to the orphanage – traveling by any means available – to spend a few weeks encamped on the farmland around the orphanage.


Some of these pilgrims walked for miles and miles to attend the “encampment” every year. At its peak, the annual pilgrimage to the St. John’s orphanage more doubled the size of Austin (which was just over 20,000 at the time). The “encampments” were social events, but they were also educational opportunities. In addition to parades and contests, people also attended sermons on temperance and informal classes on farming, job-training, sanitation, and self-improvement.


While the orphanage was a successful social and educational center, it was also the focus of frequent, unwanted attention from southern racists. For example, in 1923, children from the orphanage were invited to sing a concert for congressmen at the Texas State Capitol, but the concert was interrupted when members of the Klu Klux Klan entered the Capitol in full ceremonial robes. They claimed they were interrupting the choir of children to make a “donation” to the orphanage, but their intention was clearly to intimidate the children and assert their dominance.

Despite challenges, the orphanage thrived throughout Dr. Campbell’s life, but after his death in 1927, the orphanage began to fall on hard times. With the Great Depression of the 1930s, funding was nearly impossible to acquire, services were cut, and the very building itself began to decay. It was finally, quietly abandoned in 1942. The once impressive limestone building languished vacant, abused by vandals, occupied occasionally by vagrants. Somehow a rumor circulated that the old building was haunted.

In 1951, the City of Austin annexed the farmland around the abandoned orphanage, but people continued to farm the land through most of the 1950s. In 1956, the land was sold to a developer for $600,000. The developer announced plans to build a subdivision of ranch-style houses, and two weeks after the sale of the land was finalized, the old orphanage burned to the ground. The circumstances of the fire were reported as “suspicious.” Again.

Some houses were built on the farmland to the west, but most of the developer’s plans for a subdivision of ranch-style houses apparently fell through. Much of the area around the former site of the orphanage remained untouched and undeveloped until 1969 when ground was broken for Highland Mall and several strip-center shopping districts around the mall.  By the time the mall opened in 1971, the remote farmland outside of Austin had been transformed into a sea of asphalt and concrete.


The creek that ran near the orphanage still runs — in a channel under the parking lot. When I-35 was constructed, the forgotten cemetery for the orphaned children of St. John’s was discovered on a hill. The small coffins were removed (rather unceremoniously by some accounts) to make room for the construction of a Denny’s next to the new highway.

Highland Mall thrived through the 1970s and 1980s as one of Austin’s premier shopping destinations, but fell into decline some 30 years later. By the dawn of the 21st Century, stores were closing, and the mall was dying. Austin Community College and Red Leaf Properties purchased the mall, and began working with neighbors and City leaders to redesign and repurpose the mall into a community college, offices, and a vibrant mixed-use community.

As we work with the city and ACC to imagine a new future for Airport Boulevard and Highland Mall, I hope we can also be respectful of the past. A creek that once flowed should flow again. Fields where children played should become park space again. While Austin needs more density and mixed-use development, I think we should also set aside a small parcel of land next to Tannehill Branch Creek for a public green space — I propose we call it Orphan Park.



A Little Piece of Neighborhood History Queitly Disappeared

by Sebastian Wren

I guess I’ve been a little out of touch lately.  I didn’t even notice that Home Lumber Co. on Burnet Road was going out of business.  Truth be told, I never actually bought anything there, but I did stop in from time to time to talk to Frank Bowmar, the owner.

Well, I say “talk.”  Really I just listened.  I love Austin history, and Frank had a lot to say on the subject.  So I loved to listen to him.  When he was very young, Frank’s father HomeLumber1moved their lumber yard “way out in the country.”  The way Frank told it, everybody said his father was crazy putting his lumber yard out in the sticks.  He would point at Koenig Lane and say, “That was just a dirt road.  There was no pavement out here.”

That was 1938, and indeed, there was little to nothing going on in Austin north of 45th Street.  North Loop was the city limit back then, and there were very few houses or businesses that far north.  In fact in this aerial photograph taken in the late 1930s, Koenig Lane didn’t even exist.  But that didn’t last long.  After the War, a building boom put houses and shopping centers all around Home Lumber Co.

One time I mentioned that my house was not far away, and was built in 1946.  Frank said that after the War, his father supplied the lumber for all of the houses in the area.  In an attempt to be complimentary, I said that my house was clearly built out of very good lumber to have lasted so long, and Frank scoffed and looked at me like I was an idiot.  “No, it wasn’t — You must not know what good lumber is.  We couldn’t get good lumber after the War.  We were throwing up houses with whatever junk we could get our hands on.  Some of these houses are made of part oak, part pine, and whatever else we could find.”

I guess Frank must have finally retired.  I drove by there today, and the lot has been cleared — they’ve torn everything down to make room for something new.  And I suppose it makes sense.  An old lumber-yard in the middle of town isn’t going to be viable these days.  Home Lumber can’t compete in a Home Depot world.  But I’m going to miss visiting the store and thinking about the view that Frank has had out his front window every day.

From his store-front window, he watched them pave the streets out there. He watched them build the Allendale Village shopping center across the street.  He and his family played a part in building all of the houses in Northfield and Brentwood and Crestview and Allendale and on and on and on.  There was something about Frank at the Home Lumber Co. that made me think of all that has changed in one man’s life-time.  That little time-capsule on Burnet Road is gone for ever now.  I know it had to happen sooner or later, but it still makes me a little sad.


Stealth Dorms, Occupancy Limits, and Diverse Housing

by Sebastian Wren

A recent story on the Texas Standard succinctly summarized the problem of so-called “Stealth Dorms” that have plagued Central Austin.  Essentially, as stated in this article, the”problem” of Stealth Dorms depends on your point-of-view.  To the young person who wants to live in a group-housing situation and possibly pay a little less for rent every month, Stealth Dorms are awesome.  To the person who lives near-by the Stealth Dorm and is suffering with the side-effects of poorly managed group-home living, Stealth Dorms are a disaster.  That’s what makes it so hard to solve this problem — you see, not everybody thinks that Stealth Dorms are a problem.  Some people like them.

Stealth Dorms Defined

Before talking about the problems and solutions, it’s important to define what we are talking about when we say, “Stealth Dorms.”  A Stealth Dorm is designed and built for group-housing, but they are built on Single-Family-Zoned lots.  The builders claim they are “Single Family Homes” so they can build under lighter (and cheaper) building-code regulations.  But that claim is quite simply a cynical lie.  Walking around a Stealth Dorm, it is very clear that no single-family will ever live there.  They are laid out in a way that only makes sense if a bunch of unrelated adults are all living under the same roof.

It’s important to note that not all rental houses are Stealth Dorms.  Sometimes 3 or 4 people will rent a house together, but that doesn’t automatically make that house a “Stealth Dorm.”  The house in that situation was built for family-style living.  A family may have once lived there, and a family may one day live there again.   Therefore it is not a Stealth Dorm.

With a true Stealth Dorm, everybody knows that a family will never live there, and that for the next 50 years, that property will be a de facto “multi-family” rental property.  Moreover, it will probably be a rental property in decline.  The Stealth Dorms built in our neighborhood 10 years ago are now falling into disrepair and neglect.  When they were new, they were actually pretty expensive rental properties, but now some of them are in sad shape, and they’re renting for less and less.

The Stealth Dorm Conundrum

And here-in lies the conflict with Stealth Dorms.  Some of the older ones are now a viable, “affordable” option for people who who want to live in a Central-Austin neighborhood, but who can’t keep up with sky-rocketing rental prices.  Typically Stealth Dorms are very poorly built and scarcely maintained, so within a few years, they start to fall apart.  From Day 1, Stealth Dorms tend to attract people who make noise at odd hours.  They create trash, parking, and even sewage problems for near-by neighbors.  And over time, they fall into disrepair and become a bit of an eye-sore.

But for the person on a limited income who really wants to live in Central Austin, that “eye-sore” is their “affordable housing.”  While most rental prices in Austin are climbing, Stealth-Dorm rental prices are actually falling.  In one Stealth Dorm near the railroad tracks, prices per room have reportedly dropped from $600 ten years ago to $450 today.

The Stealth Dorm Solution

In 2014, the City Council imposed a temporary reduction in the number of unrelated adults who may live together on a Single-Family property.  Prior to that reduction, up to 6 unrelated adults could reside together on a Single-Family-Zoned lot, but the City Council temporarily lowered that number to 4.  That reduction in Occupancy Limits, however, is only temporary (and it is about to expire), and that reduction in Occupancy Limits only applies to new-construction — older Stealth Dorms are exempt from this reduction in Occupancy Limits.

The reduction in Occupancy Limits was extremely effective.  New construction of houses is currently on the rise in the Northfield Neighborhood, but not one of the new houses built in the past 2 years has been a “Stealth Dorm.”  Prior to the reduction in Occupancy Limits, the best way for a developer to maximize profit was to build a Stealth Dorm.  Now, they are building true Single-Family homes on Single-Family-Zoned lots.

The reduction in Occupancy Limits was absolutely necessary, and we must not allow the temporary reduction to expire.  Both City Council representatives for our neighborhood (Kathie Tovo and Greg Casar) are on record saying they support the reduced Occupancy Limits, and that they will do all they can to preserve the character of neighborhoods like Northfield.  At every opportunity, we need to remind all of our city leaders that the Occupancy Limits should not be raised on their watch.

However, the reduction in Occupancy Limits is only the first step.  The supporters of Stealth Dorms do make a valid point — Group-Home-style living arrangements are typically a more affordable housing option for people with limited incomes. Stealth Dorms in Northfield alone provide housing for approximately 300 people.  The people who live in our Stealth Dorms are typically young adults who are just finishing college or just getting started in their careers, and can’t afford to rent a $1000+ per month apartment in Central Austin.  Group-Home-style living arrangements are acceptable and even desirable for some people, and that housing option shouldn’t be outlawed completely.

There is a real need for Group-Home-style housing in Central Austin.  Co-ops and Boarding Houses should be allowed and encouraged in our neighborhood in certain areas. But developers should be forced to follow the regulations for Group-Home-style construction.  Those regulations exist for very good reasons, and cynical, greedy developers should not be allowed to circumvent those regulations by claiming they are building single-family homes when they obviously are not.  Those building regulations cover things like fire-safety, sewage and garbage management, parking and emergency vehicle access.  Those are important things that developers of Group-Home-style housing should be required to include in their plans for construction and maintenance.

We should also be working with City leaders to identify more land in Central Austin that could be developed under Co-Op or Boarding House regulations.  There are definitely places in Northfield where it would be appropriate to have a well-run Co-Op, and we should work proactively to encourage development of that housing to promote affordability and diversity of housing stock.

As we work on “Code NEXT,” and as we encourage our City Leaders to maintain the current occupancy limits for Single-Family-zoned homes, let us also acknowledge that Boarding-House and Co-Op style housing is desirable for some, and appropriate areas of our neighborhood should be designated for future development of that kind of more-affordable housing.


Supporters of the Northfield Neighborhood Association

House Pizza


Growing up Bilingual

by Sebastian Wren

Most people aren’t aware of this, but there is school right here in the neighborhood that specializes in teaching children to speak Spanish. The Olas Spanish Immersion School holds classes every day in the Ridgetop Baptist Church at the corner of Eilers and 51st Street. Each class meets once per week for 2 hours, and classes are scheduled throughout the day on weekdays, and in the morning on Saturdays. Regular classes for children up to 12 years of age help them to learn Spanish through games and and other fun, developmentally-appropriate activities.

Everybody knows how important it is to learn a second language, but not everybody knows that it is far, far better to learn a second language when you are young. To develop an “ear” for a language, you really need to grow up around native speakers, and you need to practice speaking that language before adolescence. Also not everybody knows that the most useful second language is definitely Spanish. English – Spanish bilingualism is very valuable in the job market these days, and it is becoming increasingly valuable as more and more people in Texas grow up speaking Spanish in their homes. Most of the next generation of Texans will grow up speaking Spanish.

The Olas Spanish Immersion School is a great opportunity for children to practice speaking Spanish with native-speaking adults and peer groups on a regular basis. Some parents start by enrolling their children in one class per week, but most parents discover that their children learn the language faster when they can practice a few times a week. The Olas School encourages parents to enroll in 2 or more classes per week so the child can develop fluency and confidence more rapidly.

The class sizes are small (no more than 6 children per adult) so children have a lot of individualized instruction and attention. Parents can make arrangements to attend a free trial class to see these experienced early childhood teachers at work by visiting their website.

Making the Best of a Bad Situation

by Sebastian Wren

Many hundreds of trees were lost during the wind-storm that swept through the Austin area on Memorial Day Weekend.  With winds reaching 70 miles per hour, some trees snapped like twigs, and others were uprooted. Many of these fallen trees were very old heritage trees — pecans and oaks — some of which were as old as our neighborhood.

No matter how you look at it, the loss of these trees is a tragedy.  A few weeks ago, our community was expressing outrage over the loss of one large pecan tree on 55th Street that a developer chopped down to make construction more convenient.  All of us were angry and saddened over the loss of such a majestic tree.

Nature gave us a little perspective a few weeks later, however, when the massive Memorial Day Weekend wind storm felled many, many more trees equally majestic. Sadly, in our haste to restore order and clean up the mess made by the storms, many of these grand trees are currently being chopped up and turned into mulch.

One of our neighbors wants to encourage us not to be so hasty.

For some time, our neighbor Daniel Baugh has been frustrated that, when large heritage trees in the city are removed, they almost always end up as mulch or land-fill.  Some of these trees are over 100 years old, and they can have trunks that are 90 inches around.  It is a shame to lose them at all, but if they must be lost, he thought that the lumber from these slow-growth trees could be salvaged and used in wood-working projects.

So he purchased a portable wood-mill.  The mill is essentially a giant band-saw on rails mounted on a trailer.  The whole rig can be hauled around to different locations, so when a large tree in Austin is lost, Daniel can be there to cut the tree trunk into boards.

Needless to say, Daniel has been quite busy lately in our neighborhood.  Within a few blocks, huge oak and pecan trees with massive trunks were uprooted.  Rather than carving them into little pieces and mulching them into land-fill, Daniel has been working with his neighbors to save the beautiful wood from these trees.

Daniel Baugh holding a slab of pecan that could one day be a fine piece of beautiful furniture.
Daniel Baugh holding a slab of pecan that could one day be a fine piece of beautiful furniture.

So if you have lost large trees — or if you lose large trees in the future — you might want to consider turning that tree into some beautiful hard-wood lumber.  The loss of the trees is a tragedy, and it will take a lifetime to replace them.  However, the high-quality wood from the lost trees could become heirloom furniture that will also last a lifetime.  It’s a small silver lining that may provide a small consolation.

So when the bough breaks, think of Daniel Baugh. You can contact him through his website at Urban Sawyers Treecycling.

Daniel and his best little helper taking a break from harvesting fine lumber from fallen trees.
Daniel and his best little helper taking a break from harvesting fine lumber from fallen Northfield trees.
Rather than going to waste, this pecan wood has the potential to become a fireplace mantle, a coffee table, or a beautiful headboard.

The Northfield Neighborhood Blog is made possible thanks to the generous support of neighborhood businesses. Show your thanks by supporting them with your business.  Shop and dine locally whenever you can.

Rough Weekend in Northfield

by Sebastian Wren

Every Memorial Day, we think about the horrible flood of 1981 that claimed 13 lives and caused over 35 million dollars of damage.  The weather was not very predictable at the time, and the warning systems were not up to the task of alerting people to the sudden downpour that would cause so much chaos and tragedy.


Whole Foods in 1981
Back when Whole Foods only had one store at 10th and Lamar, it flooded several times — 1981 was the worst, though.

Hopefully we will never have another tragedy like the 1981 floods, but the 2015 Memorial Day Weekend has been pretty awful.

On Saturday we were hit with straight-line winds that gusted up to 75 miles per hour. The winds were so strong, people thought it must have been a tornado.  Trees were uprooted, branches flew through the air, shingles were ripped off of roofs.  Almost everybody experienced some damage to their trees, homes, and cars.

That was Saturday.  By Memorial Day Monday, just as people were starting to clean up from the wind damage, it started to rain,

….And rain,

……….And rain.

Parlor Pizza
Wind Damage: The Parlor in Hyde Park
Intramural Fields
Wind Damage: One of the light towers on the U.T. Intramural Fields came crashing down on 51st Street. Workers cleared the street the next day, but the overhead wires were still a mess when this picture was taken.
The wind picked up bleachers from the Intramural Fields and slammed them into homes across the street.  Photo by Kaitlin Ingram
The wind picked up bleachers from the Intramural Fields and slammed them into homes across the street. Photo by Kaitlin Ingram
Chesterfield Tree
The wind storm really only lasted a few minutes, but in that time, dozens of trees were knocked over all over the neighborhood. Some people were very lucky that the trees didn’t cause much damage when they fell.
Franklin Tree
Other people were not as lucky. Damage to property was extensive.
Franklin Tree
Trees everywhere in the neighborhood took out fences and damaged houses.
2015-05-24 08.14.04
That’s a VW under that very large tree.
Link Tree
Even when the trees didn’t break, a water-logged ground was not able to keep the trees from falling.
55th Street
The way the trees were twisted made a lot of people think that they must have been hit by a tornado, but the culprit was straight-line winds that were clocked over 70 miles per hour (comparable to a small hurricane).
Nelray Tree
Branches mixed with shingles and flying debris, creating a huge mess all over the neighborhood.
Nelray Sycamore
The huge sycamore on Nelray flew about 30 feet before hitting the ground.
Chesterfield Fence
Flying branches took out fences and damaged property. Along Chesterfield, much of this debris (including this fence) was picked up by the flood and carried downstream to cause even more damage.
Flooding on North Loop
On Monday, the epic (ahem.. sorry about that) downpour turned Waller Creek into a raging river.
Patio view
The view from the patio at Epoch Coffee was downright shocking.
Brush Piles
Much of the brush and debris that had been collected from Saturday’s wind-storm ended up washing downstream in Monday’s flood.
Chesterfield and Nelray
Chesterfield and Nelray were under water for hours.
Apartment Flooding
The apartments along Waller Creek were especially vulnerable. At one point, the dumpster from the apartment complex ended up washing into the creek.
As soon as the rain stopped, the water receded. Within minutes, the aftermath of the flooding was visible.
Cars parked along Chesterfield were caught in the flood.
Cars parked along Chesterfield were caught in the flood.  Photo by Jeremy May
Damaged Car
The branches and fences and debris from the wind-storm that had been piled up next to the street on Sunday ended up floating downstream on Monday. The water is very dangerous, but the debris carried by the water can be deadly.
Snapping turtle
When the flood waters receded some displaced wildlife was trying to find their way back home. Photo by Jeremy May
The clouds after the rain were quite impressive, too. Photo by Jeremy May
Just a few minutes after the rain stopped, the flood-waters receded, and everybody came out to see how bad the damage was. Nobody was hurt, but a lot of people lost a lot of property. Downstream, central Austin was hit hard. When all was said and done, we had to count ourselves lucky and be grateful that it wasn’t worse.