AM Update 7/3/12
8:00 am
Tue July 3, 2012

AM Update: ‘No Sit, No Lie,’ Finishing Touches at Governor's Mansion, Free Pet Adoptions

No Vote on ‘No Sit, No Lie’

Austin’s Public Safety Commission decided to push back until August a decision on expanding the city’s “No Sit, No Lie” ordinance to the 12th Street and Chicon Street area.

The ordinance bans anyone from sitting or sleeping on streets near businesses, banks, and ATMs. Right now, it’s in effect downtown.

The Blackshear and Prospect Hill Neighborhood Association has been trying to bring the ordinance east of Interstate 35 in hopes of combating drug and prostitution problems.

But the Public Safety Commission isn’t convinced “No Sit, No Lie” is the best option.

At yesterday's meeting, Austin Police Department Assistant Chief Patrick Ockletree told commissioners that offenders in East Austin behave differently than those downtown.

"You’re not seeing folks sitting around dealing in the open-air drug market, sitting on the sidewalk, just sitting around," said Ockletree. "They’re coming into the area, purchasing their drugs, and leaving the area.” 

At their meeting in August, the commission also plans to talk about implementing Enhanced Prosecution in the 12th Street and Chicon Street area. Enhanced Prosecution brings tougher penalties for some crimes and some repeat offenders.

Historic Paintings Return Home

Two historic Texas paintings have returned to the Governor’s Mansion as restoration of the building nears completion.

The mansion burned in June 2008 while under restoration. The paintings were not destroyed because they had been moved to the State Capitol in 2007 as part a deferred maintenance effort.

Robert Jenkins Onderdonk's "Fall of the Alamo,” and an 18th-century portrait entitled “Richard Barwell and His Son" by Sir Joshua Reynolds were returned to their previous home in June. 

“Fall of the Alamo,” completed in 1903, is considered to be the most authentic painting of that battle, and has been featured in many textbooks and history books, according to the Governor’s Office.

Animal Center Prepares for Explosion of Lost Pets this Fourth

The Austin Animal Center is bracing for a spike in the number of lost pets this Fourth of July holiday. The animal shelter always sees an increase over the holiday. Runaway pets frightened by the noise from fireworks make up the majority of the spike.

In an effort to blunt the impact of the holiday influx, the center is offering free adoptions, starting today and through July 5. Adoption includes spay or neuter surgery, a microchip and vaccinations—a $200 value.

The center urges pet owners to keep their pets properly contained on the Fourth of July . The safest way to ensure that an animal doesn’t run off is to bring the pet inside during the celebration.

If a pet is lost, owners should call 3-1-1 right away and check the Animal Center’s website for a picture of the lost animal.