The Daily Hustle: 8/13/10

Press release rodeo!

The Daily Hustle: 8/13/10
Photo courtesy ReneS, [CC]

Welcome to the Press Release Rodeo, the Hustle's week-end cleaning out of his inbox recap of news at the city.

The excitement starts below the fold.

Check it: The city's spent some stimulus bucks on upgrading to energy-efficient lighting at City Hall:

City Hall parking garage reducing electricity use by 74%

You might not think your garage uses that much electricity – unless you have 750 parking spaces and the lights must stay on 24 hours a day. The City of Austin is reducing the wattage of the City Hall parking garage by 74 percent and will save more than $46,000 a year in electricity costs.

About 425 175-watt metal halide fixtures are being replaced with 53-watt Light Emitting Diode (LED) fixtures that will save 575,462 kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, the equivalent power used by 48 average-size homes in Austin year-round. The City Hall parking garage operates as a pay-to-park public garage and is open 24 hours a day.

LED parking luminaries reduce energy use by 30% to 75% over standard high intensity discharge fixtures such as metal halide lamps and last six to seven times longer or eight years versus 1.3 years. LEDs also provide improved light quality and the quality of the light degrades less than other lamps as they age.

The project is being paid for with part of a $7.5 million federal stimulus grant that was awarded to Austin Energy to increase the efficiency of City of Austin municipal facilities. About 60 City of Austin facilities will receive lighting upgrades over the next two years. Other improvements that will be made with the federal money include weatherization of older City of Austin facilities and repairs and optimization of energy equipment such as air conditioners.

Elsewhere, Mayor Lee Leffingwell is looking for local businesses to laud for their treatment of the disabled.

October 2010 marks the 31st anniversary of the Austin Mayor's Committee for People with Disabilities’ awards program to honor local businesses during National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

This year, Mayor Lee Leffingwell is urging all Austin employers to consider self-nominating for one of the “Employer of the Year” awards recognizing successful recruitment, hiring and retention of employees with disabilities. This annual awards program strives to promote the public's awareness of the talents and abilities of individuals with disabilities and their full employment in the Austin work force.

“Austin business leaders understand that a successful business must recruit from a diverse workforce, which includes qualified employees with disabilities,” Mayor Leffingwell said. “Successful companies also understand that investing in a job accommodation for experienced employees with changing job needs due to a disability is both a good business decision and the right thing to do.”

Winners in several categories are also nominated for awards consideration and statewide recognition by the Texas Governor's Committee on People with Disabilities. A distinguished panel of local judges will determine the winners in each category.

Individuals may submit nominations by completing the form on the Mayor’s Committee webpage at: For nominations assistance, contact Dolores Gonzalez at (512) 974-3256; (512) 974-2445 (TTY); or e-mail at [email protected].

Nominations must be postmarked or received by Oct. 1, 2010.

Council meets Wednesday and Thursday of next week, so the Hustle will have tons more then.

What the hell else is happening?

On the city calendar: Not much of a damn thing, board and commission-wise.

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