Public Notice: Happy Holidays?
Ride a bike, make some calls, adopt a pet
It's pretty quiet around Austin this time of year. And with a long, uniquely complicated election season just ended, and a full month hiatus before the first meeting of the much-anticipated new City Council – that seems even truer this year. No doubt there's a lot of lobbying and scheming going on behind the scenes, as various interests plot their courses through the uncharted waters ahead, but in terms of public events and public involvement – not so much. I'm not sure, but last time I looked, the highlight of our event calendar (see "Civics 101") was the news that garbage pickup is going to "slide" one day on Christmas and New Year's days.
So for this last "Public Notice" column of the year (next week is our annual Top 10s special issue), I'll leave you with a few bits of generally good news, plus a reprise of our annual "Holiday Wish Lists."
• Congrats to Austin B-Cycle on its one-year anniversary of operating in Austin (Dec. 21). Its red rental bikes have become a common sight on Downtown streets, and as they continue to widen their geographical footprint, they're helping to develop cycling as an integral part of the city's transportation system.
• Be sure and get the most use possible out of your cell phone while driving this week; as of Jan. 1, that shit's illegal: Use of electronic hand-held devices while operating a vehicle, including bicycles, in the city of Austin will be a class C misdemeanor, with fines up to $500.
• Capital Metro will operate on a Sunday schedule on Christmas (see below). But on New Year's Eve, they'll offer free bus and rail service after 6pm, and MetroRail and MetroRapid service will be extended, with the last Downtown departures leaving at 2:30am, in addition to five Night Owl routes running until 3am. New Year's Day will operate on a Sunday schedule.
The StoryCorps MobileBooth – an Airstream trailer outfitted with a recording studio – is coming to the Bullock State History Museum during the month of January. KUT took reservations for recording times, starting at 10am on Dec. 22; word has it they were full up within three minutes. Additional appointments will be available on Wednesday, Jan. 7, again starting at 10am, at 800/850-4406 or www.storycorps.org.
"Home for the Holidays" This adoption special at the Austin Animal Center (7201 Levander Loop) continues through Jan. 4: just $25 for all dogs and cats (free for animals over the age of 7), including spay or neuter surgery, a microchip, and vaccinations. They're open daily through the holidays, except Christmas Day. More info at www.austinanimalcenter.org.
Send gossip, innuendo, bus passes, and other useful grist to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Each year, The Austin Chronicle invites local nonprofits to submit lists of the resources and materials they need to serve our community. For the full list of just what these groups are hoping will turn up under their Kwanzaa candles – ranging from used building materials to Hill Country real estate – see austinchronicle.com/wishlists.