July 2008

Found 21 blog entries for July 2008.

Although the nation is quite concerned about the possibility of a recession and despite the fact that many are struggling to keep or to find a job, the city of Austin appears to be doing white well.  In fact, according to a story published by Daily Texas Online, the overall availability of jobs in the Austin-Round Rock area has actually increased by 16,800 since last May. 

While the increase in employment opportunities is down when compared to the growth seen from May 2006 to May 2006 – which saw a 38,700 job increase – it is still encouraging to see that growth has taken place over the past year as well. 

In all, Travis County has seen an increase in employment opportunities each month.  According to the Texas Labor Market Review, the county has

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Those who have visited or lived in Austin are fully aware that the city has always been full of creative vision.  One shining example of this vision is the Mueller development that is taking place in East Austin.

Unlike some cities, Austin viewed the moving of its airport as an opportunity for expanding the city.  Rather than leaving the 711 acre plot of land sitting empty after the Robert Mueller Municipal Airport was moved in 1999, the city decided to transform the land to an urban village.

Once the Mueller development is complete, the city will have an entirely new district for those looking to live in the Austin area.  As part of its creative vision, the development will implement a number of forward-thinking design elements.  For example, every

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The city of Austin is serious about going green.  In fact, the city is so serious that it has actually launched a new website aimed at help Austin residents learn how they can reduce their personal carbon footprint.

Deemed the Austin Climate Protection Plan, the website provides users with useful information about community events and initiatives taking place that will help them learn how to lower their carbon emissions.

The site offers a variety of tips and information for residents that are interested in going green.  This includes information regarding installing solar panels, planting trees, reducing greenhouse gases, and weatherizing the home.  It also provides information on current legislation and other steps the city is taking toward being

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Austin residents are always looking for ways to make their city safer.  To that end, a group of organizers from Safe Kids Austin recently staged a demonstration at Garrison Pool located in South Austin.  The purpose of this demonstration was simple:  to remind parents and children to be safe while swimming in one of Austin’s many area pools.

 

According to researchers, drowning is the second most common cause of accidental death in children ages 1 to 14.  With so many taking time out of their days to cool off in the pool, organizers of the event don’t want to see a tragedy occur.

"What we see unfortunately is older children who may not have strong swimming skills and even after hours are getting into areas around water - unsupervised - and that

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If you love to ride your bike, either as a means of commuting to and from work or because of the simpler pleasure of biking, you will be thrilled to learn about the biking improvements the city of Austin is looking to make.  In fact, the City of Austin’s Street Smarts Task Force, which was launched by Lance Armstrong and Mayor Will Wynn back in March of 2007, has put together a report that includes 100 recommendations for improving the ride of bikers.

 

Among the recommendations, the report calls for putting in new street markings as well as bike route signs.  It also identifies a need to offer cyclist safety education courses and to implement a requirement for motorists to maintain a distance of at least three feet from cyclists. 

 

Making

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According to a recent story in the Austin Daily Herald, Austin Public Schools can pat themselves on the back for a job well done.  The MCA-II testing results for both grades 3-8 and 10-11 have come out, and the results look promising.

The Herald reports that the students performed about the same as last year, falling at around the average mark for the state.  Some grades even showed improvement over last year.  In math, for example, the fourth grade students performed better than they did while in third grade.

“We’re looking at the majority of our grades increasing,” said John Alberts, director of educational services.

10th grade students also showed improvement.  In fact, they scored quite well on the GRAD portion of reading, which is important

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Austin police officials are going the extra mile in order to make certain the streets stay safe.  In fact, officials are gearing up to launch the Compstat program, which will help them look at daily crime statistics while also determining methods of implementing more aggressive law enforcement tactics in areas that receive a higher rate of crime.  By looking for the crime “hot spots,” the city plans to more efficiently and effectively assign  offers to patrol.

"I think it will have a tremendously positive impact in terms of efficiency and responsiveness of the organization," Police Chief Art Acevedo said in the Statesman. "It will also be a tool for organizational accountability. If we are going to provide commanders with data, we expect them to be

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As if Austin didn’t already have enough to offer to its citizens, the Austin Park and Recreation Department is now offering a summer archery program.  This is the first year the program is being offered and it already has 36 people signed up.

The classes, which are being held in Packer Arena, are meeting twice per week.  Interestingly, participants range from young kids all the way to adults.  In addition, approximately 90% of the participants are taking an archery class for the first time thanks to the new program.

“The thing about archery is, you could be 80-years old and 600 pounds or 10-years old and 80 pounds and still be just as good at it,” instructor Steve Scott told the Austin Daily Herald.  “You could be in a wheelchair.  Anyone can shoot

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Chaparral Ice Rink Goes Green – Saving the Environment and Money at the Same Time

In an effort to become more energy efficient, Keye TV reports that the Chaparral Ice Rink has recently undergone some major renovations. 

One of the changes made at the ice rink was a new Zamboni.  According to the president of the rink, Charles Collins, the Zamboni is capable of saving 100 gallons of water each time the rink is resurfaced.  Considering this happens ten times a day, every day of the year, that is an impressive amount of water being saved.

The walls have also been insulated, which helps to maintain the 56 degree temperature that remains constant within the rink.  Not only that, by implementing green building techniques, the rink has doubled in size

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Austin prides itself in being at the forefront when it comes to cultural experiences.  But, as any Austin resident knows, this sometimes means venturing into the land of strangeness.  Of course, the unusual little events that are hosted by and within the city are all part of the charm of this amazing city.  The annual Veggie Dog Eating Contest is just one more example of how Austin offers more than what can be found in most other cities.

The event is already in its second year running and is held at the Scholz Garden located on San Jacinto.  Here, those interested in competing in the contest can enter as either solo competitors or they can enter the doubles category in teams of two.  Those that are not interested in competing can come and enjoy the

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