AM Update: 8/21/12
9:07 am
Tue August 21, 2012

AM Update: The Impact of Events on Parks, Smart Meter Opt-Out?, Clemens to Play Ball

What's the Impact of All Those Events at Zilker & Auditorium Shores?

The Austin City Council is scheduled to discuss today a resolution that would direct the City Manager to study the impact of events at Zilker Park and Auditorium Shores.

Last week, council members approved expanding the Austin City Limits Music Festival to two weekends next year. The festival organizer, C3 Presents, promised to pay not only fees for the use of Zilker but also an unspecified sum of money to upgrade Auditorium Shores.

C3 Presents also organizes the Austin Food and Wine Festival at Auditorium Shores. Attendees at this year’s event complained the festival was “dusty” after grass was worn down to dirt from a previous event at the park.

Council members also heard feedback from neighbors concerned about an abundance of events at area parks and from stakeholders like the SFC Farmers’ Market which say they are negatively affected by events at the parks. The farmers' market is at Republic Square Park, where festival shuttle buses operate over the concert.

Should Customers be Able to Opt-Out of Smart Meter Program?

Some Texans are upset about smart electric meters. The Texas Public Utility Commission (PUC) will hear today from opponents and supporters.

Smart meters allow for remote meter reading and can alert a utility of outages. But some consumers say they’re now seeing higher bills and have privacy concerns with the meters.

All Austin Energy customers have smart meters. Austin Energy says it has received very few complaints. But the utility says it’s watching to see if the PUC will recommend utilities let customers opt-out of the smart meter program.

Clemens Back to the Ball Park

Former Astros Pitcher and Texas Ex Roger Clemens is set to play minor league baseball in Sugar Land.

The Sugar Land Skeeters' twitter page touts, "The Rocket lands at Constellation Field!" Clemens and the Skeeters are scheduled to take on the Bridgeport Bluefish on Saturday. But, according to the team's website, tickets to the game are no longer available online.

Clemens was accused of lying to Congress for denying he used performance-enhancing drugs. In June, a jury acquitted him on all charges.

Clemens last played baseball with the New York Yankees in 2007.