Headlines / Quote of the Week
Free PPE Distribution: Austin Public Health, CommUnityCare, and Central Health will distribute free personal protective equipment (PPE) in COVID-19 hotspots over the next several weeks. A list of PPE giveaway events is available at www.austintexas.gov/ppe, with additional distribution locations and dates to be announced.
Back to School: The Austin Independent School District starts virtual classes on Tue., Sept. 8. See "AISD Readies for School, Sports, Elections, and Red Ink" for more.
Anti-Abortion Group Sues: Last week Texas Values, a religious-right lobby group, sued the city over Austin's abortion support services funding. It's the third lawsuit filed against the city over such funding, following lawsuits by anti-choice former Council Member Don Zimmerman and anti-abortion group Texas Right to Life.
Toot Toot TBD: The Austin Parks Foundation is holding a contest to name the new miniature train coming to Zilker Park next summer. Now through Sept. 21, submit name ideas at www.austinparks.org/zilker-train. APF will operate the new train, which replaces the longtime Zilker Zephyr that closed last January. The foundation aims to raise over $525,000 to fund the project, so far raising $55,000, according to an APF press release.
Travis County GOP Unmasked: The Travis County Fire Marshal's Office is investigating a complaint that the Travis County Republican Party's Ronald Reagan Gala violated state and local coronavirus restrictions. Photos posted on social media of the outdoor fundraising event, held Aug. 21 at Bee Cave's Star Hill Ranch, show maskless attendees, including U.S. Senator John Cornyn and U.S. Rep. Chip Roy.
Parking Protocols: Austin is the first city to offer a parking payment option directly within Google Maps. The feature will become widely available in the coming weeks, according to the Austin Transportation Department. ... In other news, ATD announced a new "pay-by-plate" system that eliminates windshield stickers by requiring users paying at parking kiosks to enter their license plate number instead.
Hook 'Em, KS: Kendra Scott, founder and CEO of the eponymous jewelry brand, was appointed a professor of practice in UT-Austin's College of Fine Arts. Scott will co-teach a course called Women in Entrepreneurship alongside Jan Ryan, the executive director of the college's Center for Creative Entrepreneurship.
ACC Sees Green: Two Austin Community College campuses – Round Rock and Elgin – now use 100% renewable energy, making ACC the first community college district in Texas to operate solely on wind and solar power.
Quote of the Week
"We could be three weeks away from a bad state again if we relax too much."
– Austin Interim Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott