City Council meets Dec. 10 and Dec. 17, in the final two meetings of 2015. Today (Dec. 10) is "zoning day" (three dozen cases) but also on the agenda are the new short-term rental (STR) regs, in an evening public hearing that might take a while. Next week: ride-for-hire companies, among other things. See "Headaches for the Holidays," Dec. 11.
Mayor Steve Adler won't preside over today's meeting – he's attending a mayoral conference at Harvard – but he returned from the U.N. Conference on Climate Change in Paris announcing that the "Compact of Mayors" commitments "would realize over 50 percent of the global potential for reducing urban greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. ... Austin should be very proud of what it is doing and of what it is a part."
Kerbey Lane Cafe found itself in the eye of a social media storm this weekend after a manager at the UT campus-area location refused to remove a customer who was making anti-Muslim comments toward two other customers. For more on the story, see "Breakfast With Bigots," Dec. 6.
"Gun Free Zones are killing us," claims the press release announcing an "Open Carry Walk and Crisis Performance Event" by the University of Texas this Saturday. Local gun obsessives plan to stage a mock mass shooting, complete with cardboard guns and fake blood. See "Mock Shooting Now Just Near UT Campus," Dec. 9, and visit Daily News (austinchronicle.com/daily/news) for updates throughout the weekend.
A Mass Farting is one event in response – meet on the UT West Mall at 2pm Saturday with a whoopie cushion or phone app (or maybe a dildo).
St. Edward's was on lockdown Wed., Dec. 9, after a student was assaulted by a man who fled to a wooded area on the campus with a stolen gun. Later in the afternoon, the lockdown was lifted, and APD moved its search off campus. For more, see "Real Guns, Cardboard Guns in Texas Schools," Dec. 9.
Austin Energy reports that the third-party audit of its billing practices in the wake of pricey water bills throughout the city was completed by Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP last week. A spokesman estimated that a report should be made available before December's end.
Organizers of the Euphoria Music and Camping Festival's lawsuit filed against Travis County has been dismissed by District Judge Tim Sulak. The lawsuit, filed in response to the Commissioners Court's recent amendments to the Texas Mass Gathering Act, argued that the Commissioners should not have the right to accept or deny applications for outdoor music festivals.
Travis County Commissioners voted Tuesday to reduce phone call rates for inmates at TCCC from $4.65 per 20-minute call to $1.65. The new rate is expected to go into effect next month.