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Dawson Neighborhood


Dawson News Round-Up – Mid-June

Attacks at Dawson Elementary

Image: Ouch!

Harley Nussman’s dog Georgia has been attacked on multiple occasions by a female brown-and-white Boxer-mix at the informal dog park beside Dawson Elementary School. Georgia sustained a pretty nasty puncture wound, and Harley is afraid to use the dog park again. Neighbors are asked to keep a protective eye on their fur-babies when using this exercise area, and to politely let the unidentified owner of the offending dog know of our concerns.

“Secret” Creek Trail Closed

Image: Secret Trail

For 62 years, Charles Swenson has permitted neighbors to cut through his property along Bouldin Creek from El Paso (at the bridge) to Wilson Street. This trail is handy for schoolchildren and nature lovers looking for a brief adventure. Mr. Swenson has truly been a generous person for allowing access through his land for all this time!

Unfortunately, there is an advanced problem with erosion there, which is largely held back by the roots of a single tree situated on the corner. Sadly, someone has begun cutting branches from this tree. Mr. Swenson estimates 60% of it has been hacked away over several occasions. He is concerned about the erosion damage which will result if this tree is lost, so he has barricaded the trail entrance. His property line is on the other side of the water, so he owns this segment of Bouldin Creek.

Mr. Swenson is willing to re-open the trail if the vandalism stops. He would like to have concrete steps or a ramp built, and will allow the City or members of the community to volunteer their time and materials to do this. A group of neighbors are circling ’round to work on the trail project, and it will be discussed August 8th at the next neighborhood meeting. Send your ideas and contact info to, and we’ll pass it along to the rest of the group.

Good-bye 2701 Stacy Lane

Image: 2701 Stacy Ln

The light green 1-story cinder-block bungalo on the corner of Cumberland and Stacy has been completely demolished.  Sadly, the demolition included a mature mesquite tree at least 25″ in diameter and an assortment of trees planted by the Austin Community Tree program and/or Tree Folks. Neighbor David Haun has been unable to find a permit for cutting the larger trees and worries that this was done illegally. The house was built in 1953 and last purchased Feb 23, 2016. We will let the neighborhood know when we hear what is planned for the property.

St. Ed’s Holding STEM Day Camp for HS Students

Image: Go For Launch!

Does your kid love actual rocket science? “SEU is partnering with Higher Orbits to offer a really neat day camp from 11 – 13 July.  The camp is designed for high school students as well as college freshmen and sophomores.  Teams will compete to design an experiment to be conducted in space.  The winning project will have a chance to be built, flown to space, and conducted on the International Space Station!  Retired NASA Astronaut, Mike Foreman, will be in attendance throughout as a mentor to the student teams. You can find out more information at”

Register your kid by Friday, July 1st for $250 here.

Restaurant Inspections

Image: Local Restaurant

No restaurants in Dawson failed inspection in March, April or May! See which ones passed and failed here.

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APD Bust Huge Illegal Party

Spotcrime Website

A group of young renters in Dawson Neighborhood have been holding epic parties featuring live, amplified music and crowds in the hundreds for the last four years. On Thursday, St. Patrick’s Day, they held what was to be their 4th annual SXSW party. Their facebook page showed almost 220 promising to attend, with over 120 interested. Neighbors determined that they had no permits for amplified music, crowds larger than 49 attendees, or waivers to have such a party within 100 feet of homes in their residential neighborhood. (more…)

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Dawson Elementary Closing Early March 11

President Barack Obama’s trip to Austin TX on the first day of SXSW is going to cause some traffic snarls! As happened last time he visited, expect closures on IH-35 and Ben White (290). He’s making appearances at several locations including the The Long Convention Center (watch the live video stream) and a fundraiser for Democratic National Committee, so some interior streets will be closed for public safety. This may include South Congress Ave and South 1st Street.

President Obama will be in town between 1 PM and 8 PM.

Many City of Austin employees have been invited to work from home that day, and will be sent home at lunchtime regardless.

In anticipation of the disruptions, AISD have announced the early closures of 17 Austin schools on Friday, March 11. [Full list here] Each will close at 12:30 PM, so please be prepared to pick up your children early, or arrange for someone to watch them if necessary. Classes and transportation at other schools will go on as usual. However, if you pick up your children early at campuses remaining open, their absence will be excused.

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Dawson National Night Out 2015 Picnic

Give Neighborhood Crime and Drugs A Going Away Party!


Turn your porch light on, lock the door, and come on down to meet your neighbors at Gillis Park this Tuesday, October 6th 2015 from 7:00 PM to 10!

This is a spur-of-the-moment group picnic in observance of National Night Out. Volunteers are invited to sign up to form a committee to plan and carry out a major Official NNO block party October 4th 2016!

This committee also seeks to form neighborhood watches, with the Austin Police Department providing a 1-hour workshop on being observant and staying safe!

APD and other local dignitaries have been invited to attend, but due to short notice, we’ll have to keep our fingers crossed. Also, this year’s City of Austin National Night Out Kick-Off Event will take place at Mueller Airport Lake on Saturday, October 3, 2015 from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. For more information about National Night Out visit

National Night Out is a production of the National Association of Town Watch. They also sponsor a wonderful program called Project 365. It’s an initiative for neighborhood groups to identify and improve or resolve crime problems in our community within a year’s time-frame. Neighbors of Dawson would like to launch NATW’s programs here to address our own local trouble spots.

The address is 2508 Durwood Street. Look for the “Dawson Neighborhood” signs. Please bring your own food and chairs and plan for few plates of extra food to share. The park is alcohol-free and glassware is not allowed. There is a burn ban in effect, so bring only propane grills. A good idea would be to precook your burgers and weiners and heat them up again on site. We’ll share our camping stove.

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