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Dawson Neighborhood

Dawson Neighborhood’s Community Website


sitebannerNeighbors, this is YOUR website! News, features and  announcements are submitted by you. DNO provides a representative picture and voice for the neighborhood in return. We’ve been bringing all our neighbors together, censorship-free since we launched on January 16, 2014!

This website provides all kinds of local civic information and occasional Dawson-specific news. Our more frequent posts on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks have a wider scope – anything that might be of interest to our neighbors. Follow ’em all! Explore the menu bar at the top. Make a post in the Forum to discuss anything (it’s also a mailing list), and the Chat Room is for live group conversations. Click for more info about us: (more…)

DawsonAustin on Nextdoor Seized by Neighborhood Ass’n

Please help us! Tell us about your own experience in the comments, and indicate if you would like to be contacted later about it. Go back to the news site or forum which brought you to us and comment there as well. If you know, or are a member of the press, please contact us – we are interested in being interviewed. Forward this page to friends. Post this page in your Nextdoor forum and other neighborhood sites and mailing lists. Thank you so much!


In January 2014, folks in Dawson Neighborhood of Austin, TX launched a new forum on as an alternative to the vindictively censored, and all-but-dead Yahoo Group run by the original Neighborhood Association. We also launched this neighborhood website and registered with the City as a NA. We were a runaway success, and in just 18 months we had more active members than the old forum ever had in it’s 17 years of existence. The Nextdoor Corporation knew we were a refugee group and promised to protect us, in writing. Then suddenly, they booted our Leads (admins) off, and handed the community directly over to the old NA!

Imagine having your Facebook Group seized and handed to a rival. All of your writings, photos, friends, likes, and follows detached from you and credited to that other. And your rival picking up your conversations where you left off, but engaged in their own agenda now.

Nextdoor used the pretense that I had mishandled my moderation duties. The person in charge of censorship on the old Yahoo forum had joined Nextdoor and was making it his mission to hassle and test me at every opportunity. He was helping to create a hostile atmosphere. He was also breaking Nextdoor’s conduct guidelines. I cautioned him, in private, that folks were complaining about his conduct. He inquired directly to Nextdoor. They exchanged emails, conducted several phone calls, and then Nextdoor handed sole management of our forum TO HIM.

They literally took the community from the folks most invested in seeing it thrive, and handed it to the character most interested in seeing it fail!

Would Facebook reward a well-documented troll by handing him control of a rival’s account when he complains about being politely cautioned? That’s messed up!

Once in control, the NA deleted our “impudent” discussions, and had people who they simply do not like banned under various pretenses. Free speech has ceased now, since our neighbors fear retaliation for speaking out. Except for the un-neighborly A-list clique who moved in from the old forum. Our forum is all-but-dead now.

This seems to be Nextoor’s emerging policy nationwide. Many neighborhoods with hostile NA and HOAs started their own alt-communities on Nextdoor, and now report the the same thing happened to them once they had gained momentum! Nextdoor staff, including individuals in management we’ve had direct contact with, appear to have some shocking boundary issues. They adopt grudges, take sides, and none of the rules or evidence matter to them in passing judgement.

One of their favorite games revolves around the “always assume your neighbor’s best intentions” guideline. In the forums, people make critical assumptions all the time. If Nextdoor likes you, then they forgive you on the grounds that you’re just acting out of sincere concern with the knowledge that you have. They’ll defend you against other neighbors, who are considered guilty of assuming you had poor intentions. If Nextdoor does NOT like you, then they just accuse YOU of having the poor intentions. They’ll maintain that position to absurd levels. Folks have described this as being like arguing with teenagers. If you’re a Lead who they don’t like, then you dare not ask them for help even with a serious troublemaker. They’ll scold YOU then, for failing to be a good moderator and embracing that troll’s “best intentions”.

Another issue is that Nextdoor absolutely despises anything resembling campaigning or social justice outreach. They’ll try to shoehorn anything they can into this category so they can suppress your posts on these grounds. It doesn’t matter if your neighborhood wants to have these conversations, which are obviously quite appropriate there. Post a link to a petition? You could get banned. Defend a rape victim? You could get banned. Speak out about your local crime problem? You could get banned, you trouble-making negative person, you! And the scolding language they’ll email to you will carry the uncontested assumption that you should have known better than to do these *terrible* things!

Nextdoor has a separate, private forum just for the Leads. In June 2014, I contributed to a discussion there about Nextdoor’s privacy and security theatre. Without warning, they suspended my account. For good measure, they suspended all of the other Leads for our community. Hours later, their National Director of Neighborhoods Gordon Strause, shot me a chillingly cheerful email saying I would be permanently banned unless I could demonstrate how to install a fake account on Nextdoor.


I refused. Seriously, I’m not on Nextdoor’s staff! We debated this for a couple of days, with Gordon continuing to treat me as a fly caught in his web. He finally re-enabled my account only because he learned that I was in the middle of organizing a neighborhood picnic, and people were starting to miss me. However, he disabled our management tools, so that we were Leads in appearance only. He also forbade me to make decisions or appoint additional leads without his approval.

Nextdoor is NOT your home for an online community!

Please do not use WE CANNOT RECOMMEND IT. Nextdoor is a nightmare! Democracy and free speech are completely absent from their DNA. Your community is not free to be itself and develop naturally. They feel that you and your discourse belong to them. They will micro-manage you and choose who your representatives are. They are a data harvesting company, and their customers are the local Police and Federal government. YOU ARE THE PRODUCT.

If you’ve joined Nextdoor, visit it one last time to cancel your account. Important: thoroughly delete or alter information you have put in your public profile. It will remain on public display even after you quit! Click this link to do that, if you’re logged in there right now. Read this help page for complete details. But, as the help page says, this only “deactivates” your account. If you want to be permanently deleted, you’ll need to contact them directly (presumably before deactivating). Note that we have seen profiles still remain visible and names remain listed in the directory if nextdoor staff have “ghosted” or suspended or deleted you. People can still private message you, but you won’t get the messages. Staff will refuse your request to remove your personal information! In either case, all of your posts will remain, unless a moderator deletes them.

In the aftermath of this, my account remains disabled. Gordon will not reinstate me, and he’s arranged to have all emails I send to Nextdoor rerouted to him no matter who they’re addressed to. This guy has over 100k neighborhoods to worry about, and yet he’s made ME one of his personal pet projects! Neighbors who are still members send forum posts on to us, though they risk being banned for doing so. All Nextdoor posts & email contain web tracking code, so they know who reads what, when, and from where. They can easly track who has forwarded which posts, and to whom. They are keen to do this, because it is against the rules, and thus gives them an opportunity to punish you.


The other folks who had been Leads have been punished too, along with several neighbors who defended me when my Lead role was taken away by Gordon. Their accounts are set to a read-only mode. They can only read “general” posts, they cannot create posts, events, or write comments. They cannot “Thank” “Flag” or “Welcome” (though they still get emails from Nextdoor urging them to participate, and also nagging them to enter postcard invitation addresses). They cannot view the directory of members, and civic & safety alerts from the City of Austin and APD are blocked. It’s like being a ghost.


Their neighbor-to-neighbor private messages do not get delivered.  Other members don’t realize we’ve been banned because our messages AND public profiles are still there on the website! Posts made by members before they were restricted or banned are still active and ongoing, but we are helpless to participate. We can’t remove our public profiles. Nextdoor’s policy is to reject requests from banned and unsubscribed ex-members.

UPDATE: If you see your neighborhood listed below, click the name and you should see a local discussion about this message. Nextdoor is trying to shut these down, citing standing rules against criticizing them on their own forums. Don’t let Nextdoor intimidate you. Free speech is our right! Armadillo Park,Buckingham Estates, Carrel-Hillside-Oaks, Cherry Village, East Congress,Garrison Park, Salem Meadow, Southbridge Villas, Southern Oaks,Southwood, Stinson Oaks, Sweetbriar, WestTowne Court, West Congress

Click here for an older, more detailed editorial which includes the major emails that went back and forth.

Nextdoor is NOT listed by the Better Business Bureau, and they are being sued by the team who originally founded Nextdoor, owned the internet domain and wrote the software it runs on. The investment group they partnered with suddenly pulled out, stole their idea, and launched with a management team of their choosing.

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SANC & Durwood Senior Center March 2018

Nursing Services

Please click here to download the nursing schedule (Eng & Esp)

Click here for previous month’s schedules.

Hello all, here is the latest nursing services calendar, please share with the community. Fresh Foods for Families event is Tuesday, March 20th at 9:00 am, free produce for the community. Please call if you have any questions.

Thank you, Judy Alvarado, RN [click to email]

South Austin Neighborhood Center
2508 Durwood Street [click for map]
Austin, Texas 78704

Social Services

SANC also offers a Food Bank/Emergency Food Pantry, Social Services, Workforce Solutions satellite office, Pregnancy Testing, Blood Sugar Testing, Free Computer Classes and more! Call SANC at 512-972-6840 for services schedule.

Monday-Thursday 8:00 am – 6 pm
Friday 8:00 am – 12 noon,
Closed for lunch 12:30 to 1:30 pm

Durwood Senior Center

Please click here to download the monthly calendar.

Click here for previous month’s schedules.

The Durwood Senior Center program includes the “SO60+ Social Group”. It is in the South Austin Neighborhood Center behind Gillis Park, 2508 Durwood Street. [click for map]

Download the calendar to see Regular Events, Special Events and Closures This Month!


  • Anyone 60 and over can take part in the activities and free lunch. Reservations are not necessary, but the first day you attend, we have you fill out a form to register with us. The Manager will ensure that everyone gets a meal!


  • 512-972-6891

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Major Development In Dawson’s SOCO

Yellow: 116 Dunlap. Red: 3842 Congress. Blue: 3822 Congress. Green: 3820 Congress & 103 Krebs. Light Blue: 3801 Wadford. Click the image for larger size:

A local businessman has informed us that billionaire Rick DuPont recently purchased the NAPA Parts property at 3820 South Congress Avenue, as well as the Renaissance Recordings studio behind it at 103 Krebs Lane. The same source tells us that talks are going very well to acquire Murphy’s Garage, 3801 Wadford and that Jeep Masters, 3822 South Congress Avenue are all-but certain to sell too. They’ve been actively looking for a new location.

A bid was also made for 3842 South Congress Avenue, previously a used car lot across from El Borego De Oro, but the owners declined. However, local residents at 116 Dunlap, behind this property, say they received notice to vacate in mid-January. The tenants offered an unconfirmed rumor that the property owners, William and Yen Ng, plan to demolish and rebuild there; possibly for a restaurant or coffee venue. The Ngs also own 3842 Congress and three other properties on the same block. They once personally ran the El Borrego De Oro site as an Asian restaurant, and lived at 117 Dunlap. It is also possible they have reconsidered selling to DuPont, and are evicting in preparation of that.

Considering the stately SOCO Lofts just across the street, the assumption is that a similar condominium building will be erected. This will be welcome to some, and really top off the SW tip of Dawson neighborhood with easily-accessible homes, restaurants and entertainment all within steps of each other. We’re also proud to have a P. Terry’s Hamburger Stand just around the corner.


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Krug Development Files Appeal For Hotel

Guesthouse Hotel Austin (draft)

KRUG Development has filed an appeal with the Travis County Board of Development to request reversal of the staff’s determination that a religious assembly exists at 2530 South Congress Avenue. KRUG is the firm representing The Guesthouse Hotel Austin, LLC. This boutique hotel has been proposed for 2510 South Congress Avenue, in place of the former Taste of China Express. Existence of a church next door has triggered zoning obstacles which limit the design and placement of the Hotel’s driveway, swimming pool and pub.

Neighbors on streets surrounding the two properties may already have received a letter from the City regarding this appeal. Qualifying neighbors may mail in their recommendation to be considered at the hearing. The hearing will be held at City Hall, 1st floor, 301 West 2nd Street at 5:30 PM on March 13, 2017.

Street view, the church in Austin.

Like myself, you may have driven or walked past “the church in Austin” (their spelling) many times without realizing it was owned by a religious movement. The unassuming beige walls at 2530 South Congress Avenue are said to hold a quiet sanctuary and housing for the church’s missionaries and their families. There are no religious symbols to be seen from the street. The only signs are plastic “No Trespassing” sheets, which appeared in the summer of 2016. The chapel building is hardly changed from it’s original construction as a small office. The facility is, ironically, a former motel. An examination of the church’s website shows weekly meetings at 2530 South Congress and other locations, but I was unable to determine the identity of their clergy. However, in some religions, the Members are also the Ministers.

Tim Seay, the church in Austin.

Tim Seay (pronounced “see”) sits on the church’s governing board. Seay made the following statements to the Zoning Commission in July of 2016: “The issue here is protection of residential property rights and church property rights, That’s what we are deciding. We’re a very active church — pretty atypically. We’re there most of the day, every day, and into the evenings”.

Read: KRUG Development speaks in favor of the waivers. The church in Austin speaks against the waivers.

Our understanding of the situation is that the church board fears a loss of quality in their environment. They are opposed to potential sources of noise and traffic, despite their location in a rapidly developing strip of South Congress Avenue. Property along that street, probably closer to downtown, were determined in 2015 to be the most expensive in Texas! In pursuit of their peace, the church board have rejected KRUG Development’s requests for zoning code waivers. This negatively impacts the freedom of design for the Hotel, but does not eliminate it entirely. On June 12, 2016 attending members of the Dawson Neighborhood Ass’n voted to recommend all three setback waivers requested by the Guesthouse. On June 28th, the Austin Planning Commission approved 2 of the waivers, KRUG having dropped the request to feature alcohol within 300′ of a religious assembly.

It seems to me that had the church board allowed KRUG to build the Hotel wall right along the property line, it could work out well for both of them. This would allow the the driveway, pool and pub to be built on the other side. This would also have blocked out noise the church no doubt suffers from HEB Grocery’s loading dock and other businesses in that direction. Without the waivers, KRUG must build the driveway facing the church, and the Hotel’s traffic and pool noise may project onto the church property.

Another part of the picture may be this: the development of the Hotel property will reduce the amount of open green space the church enjoys, though they do not own all of it. Interestingly, a look at the two properties on Google Maps shows that the back end of the proposed Hotel property experiences an extraordinary amount of traffic – coming from the church property! It looks like it has been used by the church for strolling and parking. There are clear tire tracks and foot paths crossing the property line. We are aware of homeless camping in the area, though. The construction of the hotel may affect local property values. While the church is likely free of property taxes, it may still affect maintenance costs in many ways. We don’t know exactly what it could mean if the property serves as an investment holding for the board.

We hope the church and KRUG Development are able to work out their differences. It may be that the church benefits in this by the elimination of homeless trespassers, and furthermore they may even choose to sell the property and build something better elsewhere! Either way, they are our neighbors, and they contribute to the wonderful and diverse nature of Dawson Neighborhood.

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