Public Notice: April Is the Coolest Month

Hurray for Earth Day, City Council committees

Public Notice: April Is the Coolest Month

Now that City Council has solved its staffing crisis – hiring 13 new staffers for an estimated $400,000 at no cost to anyone whatsoever (see last week's "Where Does Money Come From?") – much of the Council action shifts to the newly empowered City Council committees, all of which have now met at least once, and are starting to get down to substantive work.

The Economic Opportunity Committee meets Monday, April 13, from 2-5pm in the Boards & Commissions Room at City Hall, with the Decker Lake Golf proposal on the agenda. Vice-chair Ora Houston appeared to be the plan's lone champion at its last go-round; it'll be interesting to see how the discussion shakes out. Like all committee meetings, it'll be streamed live at, and also archived for later viewing.

The Mobility Committee is having a busy month, with three special-called meetings in addition to its regular schedule. They're taking on taxi franchise negotiations, the ongoing tension between cabs and TNCs, the new Traffic Congestion Action Plan, and a response to the controversial CAMPO 2040 plan that includes massive new MoPac flyovers at Lady Bird Lake.

The first tangible bit of that traffic plan, APD's Don't Block the Box initiative, began Mon­day, targeting four intersections on Cesar Cha­vez Downtown; between 6-9am, APD issued nine red light citations, seven block­ing inter­sec­tion citations, two jaywalking tickets, and one for talking on a phone while driving.

With that as a backdrop, Mayor Steve Adler is giving his first State of the City address this Monday, April 13 at 6:30pm at the new AISD Performing Arts Center, 1500 Barbara Jordan Blvd. in the Mueller development. It's free, with free parking in the PAC garage; reserve a seat at:

Favorite Press Releases of the Week

Mon., April 6, 4:07pm: "Texas Democrats Condone Tea Party Republican Attacks on Minority Communities and Texas' Students."

Mon., April 6, 4:15pm: "CORRECTED RELEASE: Texas Democrats Condemn Tea Party Repub­lican Attacks on Minority Communities and Texas' Students."

April Is Earth Month

And here's just a sampling of what's going on to celebrate:

The Austin Public Library's new series, Talk Green to Me, features 30+ programs throughout April focused on green living and sustainability. Learn more at

One offering is Rebate Austin! – a two-day "one-stop shop" to learn about residential rebates and freebies offered by the city of Austin and Texas Gas Service: from free fire alarms and Xeriscaping classes, to rebates on rain barrels, water heaters, and solar panels, to the Electric Vehicle Program! April 10-11; 3-6pm Friday, and 2-5pm Saturday, at Hampton Branch at Oak Hill, 5125 Convict Hill Rd.

Down with junk science! Climate Change Now Initiative and Citizens' Climate Lobby present a screening of Merchants of Doubt, followed by a presentation and discussion of the "climate change counter" movement, Friday, April 10 at 7:50pm at the Arbor Theater, 9828 Great Hills Trail.

The 2015 Don't Mess With Texas Trash-Off event on Southwest Parkway is Saturday, April 11, sponsored by the Barton Creek Habitat Preserve, through which the Parkway runs. Saturday, April 11, 9am-noon at 9624 Southwest Parkway, Barton Creek Habitat Preserve side gate.

The sixth annual East Austin Urban Farm Tour is Sunday, April 12 from 1-5pm. Boggy Creek Farm, HausBar Farms, Rain Lily Farm, and Springdale Farm. This event always sells out, but at press time, there are still tickets available at

The 5th Annual Family Water Festival and River Ramble connects Austinites with their water source on the shores of Lady Bird Lake on Sunday, April 12. The Colorado River Alliance hosts a free Family Water Festival from 11am-4pm at Fiesta Gardens, after the Expedition School's annual canoe and paddle race – the Colorado River Ramble – at 9am. The Festival will have over 30 water awareness-based learning activities for kids, 80 volunteers, a rock climbing tower, green vendors, bands, and food trucks. and

Parks Build Community is a corporate initiative that will give a $20,000 grant to one of three Austin park projects – the Battle Bend Park Basketball Court Renovation, a House Among the Trees at Zilker Park, or new nature-play features at Dove Springs Park. Vote throughout April at

Upcoming: Austin Earth Day Festival returns to the Historic Browning Hangar at Mueller, Saturday, April 18, noon-6pm.

AISD's Green Tech Academy at Small Middle School – a school with meditation gardens, a goat pen and a chicken coop – will be the first school in Texas to be recognized by the National Wildlife Federation's Eco-Schools USA Program as a Green Flag School – for increasing environmental awareness and reducing waste and costs.

Send gossip, dirt, innuendo, rumors, and other useful grist to nbarbaro at

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Council committees, City Council 2015, Block the Box, State of the City

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