Era Sundar

Intern

Intern at KUT News

Photo by Era Sundar/KUT News

Every year Austin adds a new material to its recycling stream. This year it’s aluminum. Tin foil and baking pans can now go in the blue single stream recycling containers for pickup.

The materials collected from recycling bins are sorted, packaged and sold so they can be processed into new materials. The new stream of aluminum waste will be sent out of the country, as are plastics and paper, currently. But the city is trying to develop more local sources for processing recycled waste. Bob Gedert is with Austin Resource Recovery.

flickr.com/vubui

As part of our coverage leading up to the elections, KUT News is taking a closer look at each of the seven bond propositions Austin voters will see on their ballots in November. Prop 17 shores up the city’s Health and Human Services efforts.

The $11 million outlined in Prop 17 would pay for several facilities-related projects, including renovations at Austin’s women’s and children’s shelters.

The Austin Resource Center for the Homeless offers showers, laundry facilities, counseling and shelter to Austin’s homeless population – men, women, and children. But overnight accommodations are only available to men. That’s where Prop 17 comes in.

“The bond proposition put forth will allow for construction or the expansion of an existing shelter over on the East Side,” says Jennifer Denton. She’s with Front Steps, which runs the ARCH via a contract with the city. “That will provide a space not only for more women and children, but for the single women on the street that at the moment have nowhere to go.”

flickr.com/manueb

This fall, Austin voters will be asked to decide on 18 propositions, including seven bond propositions totaling $385 million. KUT News is examining all seven of the spending propositions; today we take a look at Prop 14, which pump $78 million dollars into Austin’s public park and recreational facilities.

Some of the parks that would see improvements are the Emma Long Metropolitan Park, the Shoal Creek Greenbelt and Zilker Metropolitan Park. Facilities like the Barton Springs Bathhouse would be renovated and the Dove Springs Recreation Center would be expanded.

“We have nothing for our seniors out there,” says Dove Springs community leader Ofelia Zapata. She says the recreation center needs the money that Prop 14 would provide.

“Every neighborhood has a senior center, a multipurpose center, except southeast Austin,” Zapata says. “The time is now to deliver a multipurpose center to meet the needs of the families in our neighborhood.”

Erik Reyna for KUT News

Texas has one of the strongest economies in the nation. But in recent months the Lone Star State seems to have been outshined by the Golden State. The U.S. Labor Department reports that California has added 365,100 new jobs to its economy while Texas added 222,500.

This horse race captured the attention of The Atlantic. In a post to its website called “Why California Is Suddenly Adding Jobs Faster Than Texas,” author Jordan Weissman posits several reasons for the change:. One is growing government jobs in California versus declining government work in Texas. Another is the theory that California’s economy is primarily based on housing – which is making a slow but somewhat steady recovery.

Photo courtesy flickr.com/usnationalarchives

Once a hippie holiday, now a fully mainstream observance (especially in Austin), Earth Day 2012 is coming this Sunday.  Get your credit card and your Djembe drum ready, because here in town, there are plenty of ways to celebrate Mother Earth, and give a little something back.

SHOPPING

Over 110 Austin businesses will donate five percent of their profits to environmental causes, such as Friends of Barton Springs Pool and the Hill Country Conservancy.  That makes Sunday a great time to do grocery shopping (Whole Foods and Wheatsville Food Co-Op are participating), go to the cleaners (at Eco Clean Garment and Laundry), or take your pet to the vet (at Austin Vet Care), to name a few participants. 

Blue heeler Cisco, dead after being shot by an officer with the Austin Police Department.
Photo courtesy facebook.com/JusticeForCisco

The Austin Police Department released more details on the controversial shooing of a pet dog named Cisco that has taken the web by storm.

At a press conference this afternoon, APD released dashboard video of Officer Thomas Griffin shooting the dog on Saturday. It has not yet been determined whether any disciplinary action will be taken against Griffin.  Officials say he is distraught over the shooting.

APD spokesman David Daniels says Officer Griffin responded to a call describing a conflict between a male and female who were intoxicated.  However, the address given by the 911 caller was incorrect. While searching for the couple, Griffin came upon a man and told him to put his hands up. Officials say the dog charged at that moment. Griffin, whose gun was un-holstered, fired one shot, killing the animal.

Photo by Daniel Reese for KUT News

The City of Austin may soon install additional parking meters in the West Campus area.

University Area Partners, a West Campus coalition of businesses, property owners and neighbors, has requested that meters be installed to relieve traffic congestion in the area. Property owners say students and UT employees who park there causing a parking shortage. 

Brian Donovan, who chairs the association’s parking committee, says the meters will allow access for more drivers.