Friday, June 30, 2023

Independence Day Personal Watercraft Ban on Lake Austin

The Austin Police Department (APD) Lake Patrol Unit will be enforcing the City Ordinance that prohibits the use and operation of personal watercraft, wet bikes, motorized surfboards, and similar devices (designed to be operated by a person sitting, standing, or kneeling on the vessel), on Lake Austin. This ban will go into effect beginning at sunset on Monday, July 3, 2023, and ending on Wednesday, July 5, 2023, at sunrise, as outlined in Ordinance 8-5-81. Non-motorized devices such as kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards can still be used along with watercraft designed for the conventional manner of sitting or standing in the vessel.

The annual ban on personal watercraft is necessary to ensure the safety of many people using the lake and parks over the Independence Day Holiday. This ban only applies to Lake Austin.

Police will patrol Lake Austin this weekend and urge people using waterways to follow the Texas Water Safety Act and City of Austin boating laws and ordinances. Police urge all boaters to practice safe boating and to call 9-1-1 for all reckless operation of boats or emergencies.

The Austin Parks and Recreation Department and the Austin Police Department want the public to enjoy the parks and lakes but urge people to make this a safe holiday.

City Ordinance:  8-5-81 WATERCRAFT AND OTHER MOTORIZED CRAFT ON LAKE AUSTIN.
 
     (A)     A person may not use or possess a jet ski, wet bike, motorized surfboard, or similar device on Lake Austin:
          (1)     from sunset on the Friday before Memorial Day until sunrise on the Tuesday after Memorial Day;
          (2)     from sunset on the Friday before Labor Day until sunrise on the Tuesday after Labor Day; or
          (3)     from sunset on July 3 until sunrise on July 5.
 
     (B)     A person operating a motorboat on Lake Austin shall stay on the right side of the lake, except when assisting a downed water skier.
 
     (C)     A person may not operate a watercraft on Lake Austin at a speed that is greater than reasonable and prudent under the existing circumstances.
 
Source:  1992 Code Section 14-2-1; Ord. 031009-11; Ord. 031211-11.


Extreme Heat Ahead Of July 4 Holiday; Use Precautions

 

Health officials also remind public of water safety amid dozens of drowning and water rescue incidents since April 1.    

Central Texas is experiencing a heat wave as many will be looking to celebrate the July 4 weekend outdoors. The City of Austin is encouraging everyone who plans on being outside to look for warning signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. 

The combination of high temperatures and humidity in the summertime makes us vulnerable to heat-related illness if we aren’t careful to stay hydrated, take breaks and stay in the shade. When these practices aren’t followed, you may put yourself at life-threatening risk. 

“Texans are tough, but the heat can be dangerous to us all. The weather we’re seeing now poses a risk to anyone who is staying outdoors for an extended time, so take breaks every 20 to 30 minutes to cool off,” said Austin-Travis County Health Authority Dr. Desmar Walkes. “Let’s make sure to look out for ourselves and others to ensure a fun and safe summer. Stay hydrated with water drinking 8 to 16 ounces an hour when outdoors in extreme heat, replenish electrolytes, and avoid alcohol, caffeine and sugary drinks.” 

It’s important for everyone to drink plenty of water whether you’re spending time indoors or outdoors. Signs and symptoms of dehydration include dry lips and headaches. Another sign to look out for is if you stop sweating while still outdoors in the sun – your body hasn’t suddenly cooled off; it lacks the water it needs to produce sweat that keeps you cool. 

“This heat is especially dangerous for members of our community who are at higher risk, which includes pregnant people, people with heart or lung conditions, young children, older adults, those who spend a majority of their days outdoors for work or recreation and those who are unhoused,” said APH Director Adrienne Sturrup. “We will continue to work with social service providers to share information that will help keep people safe in this heat.” 

Be aware of the following signs of heat-related illness in yourself and others. 

Heat stroke: 

  • Hot, red, dry or damp skin 
  • Fast, strong pulse 
  • Confusion 
  • Fainting or unconscious 

If someone is experiencing signs of heat stroke, MOVE THEM, COOL THEM, and CALL 9-1-1! Do NOT give them anything to drink. Heat stroke is a time-sensitive medical emergency, and a delay in care could mean the difference between life and death. 

Heat exhaustion: 

  • Heavy sweating 
  • Cold, pale and clammy skin 
  • Fast, weak pulse 
  • Nausea or vomiting 
  • Muscle cramps 
  • Tiredness or weakness 
  • Dizziness 
  • Headache 

If someone is experiencing signs of heat exhaustion move them to a cool place, loosen clothes, apply cool, wet clothes on their body or have them take a cool bath and sip water. Seek medical attention if the person vomits multiple times, or the symptoms worsen or last longer than one hour. 

Visit ReadyCentralTexas.org for heat safety tips and how to spot/treat heat-related illnesses and to sign up for alerts from Warn Central Texas.  Being prepared and knowing how to respond to heat-related illnesses can save lives.   

Cooling centers:  

  • City of Austin facilities (including rec centers & libraries) are available as cooling centers during normal business operations – many facilities are open until 8 p.m.  
  • These cooling centers serve as a way to get out of the heat, allowing people and their service animals to cool off during the hottest times of the day.  
  • Visit austintexas.gov/alerts  for the most up-to-date cooling center information in 13 languages.   

 Heat safety tips:  

  • Stay hydrated. Remember to drink water regularly, even if you’re not thirsty.  
  •  Wear loose-fitting clothing.  
  • Apply and re-apply sunscreen according to product labels. 
  • Take shade breaks, especially if you work outside.  
  • Practice water safety while cooling off in pools and open water.   
  • Look before you lock:  
    • Heat stroke is the leading cause of non-collision vehicle-related deaths in children.  
    • Always check the back seats of your vehicle for children, pets and adults before leaving and locking your parked vehicle.    
  • Keep your pets inside whenever possible.  
  • Pack a collapsible water bowl for water breaks for dogs, cats or other pets. 

Historically, the Fourth of July weekend brings an increase in visitors to area lakes, pools and rivers. With an increase in the amount of people participating in activities in or around water, the risk of drowning increases as well. 

“We absolutely want people to enjoy their holiday weekend, and spending time in or around pools or lakes is a great way to celebrate with friends and family,” said ATCEMS Captain Christa Stedman. “What we do not want, is for anyone’s celebration to turn into tragedy. Even the most experienced swimmers can become drowning victims, so it’s important for everyone to take water safety seriously.” 

Austin-Travis County EMS (ATCEMS) has responded to 17 drowning incidents since April 1st of this year, including multiple that involved children and had tragic, preventable outcomes. Additionally, ATCEMS has responded to 27 water rescues in the same time period on area lakes and rivers, resulting in multiple fatalities. 

If you’re planning to beat the heat in or around water, learn to recognize signs of drowning. 

  • Head low in the water, mouth at water level 
  • Head tilted back with mouth open 
  • Eyes glassy and empty, unable to focus 
  • No response when you ask if they’re ‘OK’ 
  • Eyes closed 
  • Not using legs – Vertical in the water 
  • Hyperventilating or gasping 
  • Trying to swim in a particular direction but not making progress 
  • Trying to roll over on the back 
  • Appear to be climbing an invisible ladder 

Remember, drowning is silent and can happen in seconds. Never, ever leave children unattended in or near the water! Keep these safety tips in mind around water: 

  • Watch children and weak swimmers when they are in or around water, without distractions. 
  • Assign a “Water Guardian” to watch children who are in, near, or around water. 

Swimming Pools  

  • Teach children how to swim. 
  • Keep children within arms reach of an adult 
  • Older children should swim with a buddy 
  • Install fences around home pools 
  • Empty kids' pools after each use. 
  • Those who are weak swimmers, or don’t know how to swim should use personal floatation devices (PFDs) 

Lakes or Open Water 

  • Constant supervision of children and inexperienced swimmers. 
  • If a child is missing, check the water first. Seconds count in preventing death or disability. 
  • Immediately get out of the water when you see lightning or hear thunder. 
  • Stay sober!  Refrain from consuming alcoholic beverages.  Inebriation can significantly impair your ability to swim or assist others in danger. 
  • Know your location and, if on a boat, be able to give a description of the boat you are on in case of an emergency. 
  • Download the what3words location app on your phone, so you can give rescuers your exact location if an emergency arises. 
  • Know how many people are in your group and perform periodic headcounts to ensure all guests are accounted for. 
  • If someone is missing, know where the person was last seen and what he/she was wearing. 
  • Protect your feet from jagged rocks, broken glass or other sharp objects by wearing water shoes. 
  • Do not jump or dive into the water if you are uncertain of the depth. It can be difficult to determine how deep the water is and jumping into shallow water can cause serious injury or death. 
  • Refrain from swimming after flooding or heavy rains. Unlike swimming pools, natural waters are not chlorinated or disinfected. The risk of bacterial infection increases after heavy rains due to hazardous matter washing into the lakes and streams. 

Boater Safety 

  • Stay away from outboard motors to avoid propeller injuries 
  • Like cars, boats also emit carbon monoxide (or CO) 
  • The CO emitted from boating traffic can pose a serious threat to boaters and swimmers.  
  • Boaters should refrain from idling the motor for extended periods of time. 
  • Swimmers should stay away from exhaust vent areas and avoid swimming near or under the swim platform or back deck. 
  • The law requires all boats to have at least one PFD per person onboard the boat

Pan Am Hillside Concert Series Returns in July!



Join the Oswaldo A.B. Cantu Pan American Recreation Center and Neighborhood Park along with the ESB Mexican American Cultural Center for the Pan Am Hillside Summer Concert Series 2023 at 2100 East 3rd St. on the following Tuesdays, July 11, 18 and 25 starting at 6 p.m. In its 65th year, Austin's longest running free concert series is a much-loved eastside tradition.

Grab your lawn chairs and coolers, and get your familia together for performances by DJ Robert Ligues, Nova Band, Conjunto Los Pinkys w/special guest Susan Torres, DJ Wiz, JR Gomez and the Conjunto Bandits, George Mercado, Kaitlyn Perez, DJ Old Skool, The Tiarras and Ruben Ramos. There will also be color guard performances, free children's activities and refreshments for sale. The lineup of musical performances can change so please follow @ESBMACC on social media for updates! 

The Hillside Summer Concert Series at Pan Am Park is an opportunity to showcase the music and culture of Austin’s Mexican, Mexican-American, Chicano, and Latino/a/e/x communities. Austin residents, especially those who live or work in the Holly and Cesar Chavez neighborhoods, gather at this annual concert series with their families, friends, and neighbors. All ages are welcome. See you on the Hillside in East Austin!

For details please visit the Pan Am Hillside Summer Concert Series Event Page.

Independence Day Holiday Closures 2023

 

City of Austin offices and facilities will be closed

Tuesday, July 4 in observance of Independence Day

Parks and Recreation Facilities Schedules
City of Austin Recreation Centers, Senior Centers as well as Museums and Cultural Centers will be closed on Tuesday, July 4. City parks, playgrounds, tennis centers, and golf courses will be open for their regularly scheduled hours on Independence Day. View City pool hours online at AustinTexas.gov/Pools. Find all Austin Parks and Recreation facility closure information at AustinTexas.gov/ParkClosures.

Austin Public Library Schedule
Austin Public Library branches, Austin Central Library, and the Austin History Center will be closed on Tuesday, July 4. Library resources that are available remotely can be accessed at the Austin Public Library website library.austintexas.gov.

Recycling, Compost and Trash Collection Schedules
Austin Resource Recovery administrative offices will be closed on Tuesday, July 4. Curbside services will not be affected by the holiday and the Recycle & Reuse Drop-off Center will be open by appointment only (austintexas.gov/dropoff). Download the Austin Recycles App or visit austintexas.gov/myschedule to view your collection schedule.

Austin Energy Schedule
Both Austin Energy Utility Customer Service Centers (walk-in branches) and the Utility Contact Center (call center) will be closed Tuesday, July 4. Utility bill payments can be made at COAutilities.com. Other ways to pay can be found here.

Austin Public Health Schedule
Environmental Health Services at the Rutherford Lane Campus, Office of Vital Records, all WIC and Shots for Tots clinics, and Neighbor Centers will be closed Tuesday, July 4.

Austin Animal Center Schedule
The Austin Animal Center will be closed Tuesday, July 4 and will return to normal hours of operation on Wednesday.

Downtown Austin Community Court
The Downtown Austin Community Court's Violet KeepSafe Storage program (VKS), Homeless Services, Court Services, and Community Services will be closed on Tuesday, July 4. The following day, all services will reopen at their regular time: VKS at 7 a.m., Community Services at 7:30 a.m., and Homeless Services & Court Services at 8 a.m.

Holiday Celebrations and Safety Precautions
The City of Austin is encouraging Austinites and visitors to know how they are going to get home before they leave the house for the holiday celebrations, so they can get home safe. Visit austintexas.gov/gethomesafe to see a list of options.

Please keep pets indoors during the City's fireworks display and remember that fireworks are ILLEGAL for individuals to possess within the city limits of Austin, so leave them to the professionals! To make a complaint about fireworks usage, please call 3-1-1; DO NOT call 9-1-1. And please ensure your pets have a current ID and microchip; more animals end up in area shelters on July 4th than any other day of the year. You can also help protect them by keeping them indoors during the City’s fireworks display on Lady Bird Lake (scheduled to begin around 10 p.m.).

For questions about City services or information call 3-1-1. You can also submit service requests from the Austin 3-1-1 mobile app.

AUS launches survey for travelers to help inform expansion design

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) is embarking on a new era of transformation through the Journey With AUS airport expansion and development program. Journey With AUS projects will deliver improvements to not only address today's record-breaking number of travelers, but also prepare for future passenger growth in the decades to come.

 
AUS is committed to delivering an improved passenger experience for all AUS travelers by prioritizing people-driven design. To achieve this, AUS invites travelers to take a survey that launched today that will help the multi-disciplinary teams working on the midfield concourse project. Survey responses will be used to create passenger profiles that capture the typical AUS traveler. These passenger profiles will help inform design standards, which will be used to design and eventually build the midfield concourse.
 
The midfield concourse is one of several Journey With AUS projects that will support the rapidly growing airline activity and passenger volume growth. It is currently in the pre-design and envisioning stage of its’ project lifecycle. The midfield concourse will be constructed in the middle of the current airfield, connect to the Barbara Jordan Terminal by an underground tunnel, and be expandable for future growth. Timelines for design, construction and opening of the new concourse facility are still in development, as are project costs.
 
"We are committed to delivering an exceptional experience for every traveler, whether they are departing, arriving, or connecting through AUS,” said Ghizlane Badawi, Chief Experience and Performance Officer. “Our goal is to prioritize passenger safety, while creating experiences that foster comfort, excitement, and confidence throughout their journey."
 
In-person surveys will be conducted throughout the Barbara Jordan Terminal on Wednesday, June 28 and Thursday, June 29, 2023, throughout most daytime travel hours. Passengers not traveling through AUS on these days, but who have passed through AUS in 2023 are also encouraged to take the online survey. The online survey will be open from June 28 - July 7, 2023 and requires less than 10 minutes to complete. The survey can be accessed through this link.
 
Comprehensive and honest passenger feedback will help shape the present and future of AUS. The survey will collect valuable information from passengers, seeking insights into the airport's existing strengths, specific areas that can be improved, and aspirations for its future development.
 
For more information about the Journey With AUS program, please visit, AustinTexas.gov/AUSjourney.


Positive West Nile Virus Mosquito Pool Reported in Travis County

As part of routine monitoring for mosquito-borne diseases, including the West Nile virus, Austin Public Health (APH) has identified a positive mosquito pool for West Nile Virus in the 78721 zip code.  

Although no human cases of West Nile virus have been identified at this time, the positive mosquito pool indicates the virus is in our community. In 2022, there were six positive mosquito pools in Travis County, 410 positive pools across the state of Texas and 46 confirmed West Nile virus cases in people.  

“As more people are spending time outdoors, especially with the upcoming holiday, it’s crucial that we get the word out on how to protect yourself from mosquitoes and the viruses they may carry,” said Marcel Elizondo, Environmental Health Services Division Chief. “Let’s follow the four Ds and use the prevention tools at our disposal to keep ourselves, our families and communities safe.”    

West Nile virus is the most common mosquito-borne disease in the United States. It is typically spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, West Nile virus is not spread through coughing, sneezing or touching other people or live animals.      

Approximately 20 percent of people infected with West Nile virus develop symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea or rash. Of those infected, few develop further serious illnesses, usually affecting the central nervous system. People over 60 years of age are at greater risk of developing serious disease, as are those with medical conditions such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension or kidney disease. Organ transplant recipients are also at risk for more severe forms of disease.    

Know the dangers and fight the bite with the “four Ds”:     

  • Drain standing water: Mosquitoes breed in standing water and need as little as one teaspoon. Emptying water that accumulates in toys, tires, trash cans, buckets, clogged rain gutters and plant pots will deny mosquitoes a place to lay their eggs and reproduce.   

  • Dusk to dawn: Although different species of mosquitoes are active at different times of day, the Culex mosquito that spreads West Nile virus is most active between dusk and dawn.   

  • Dress: Wear pants and long sleeves when you are outside. Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing; mosquito-repellent clothing is also available.   

  • DEET: Apply insect repellant: Use an EPA-registered repellent such as those containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol or 2-undecanone. Apply on both exposed skin and clothing.    

Mosquitoes are present in Central Texas year-round, but the population is largest and most active from May through November. During this period, the APH Environmental Vector Control Unit monitors the mosquito population.    

For more information on West Nile virus, visit www.AustinTexas.gov/WestNile. For additional information about APH Environmental Vector Control and mosquito monitoring programs, visit https://austintexas.gov/department/environmental-vector-control

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Lone Star Limericks Online Submissions Accepted July 1–22

The City of Austin’s O. Henry Museum announces an open call to writers to submit original limericks that pertain to Austin or Texas for Lone Star Limericks online writing competition. The competition is free and open to the public. Writers of all ages are welcome. Submissions can be in video, image, or text form. Submit original limericks July 1 through July 22 via the online form at woobox.com/8om3et. The competition will go live at 12 midnight on July 1, 2023. Until that time, a countdown will appear on that webpage.

Want to rhyme but don’t have much time? Try a limerick! This five-line poem with a rollicking rhythm and an AABBA rhyme scheme may be short, but poets from Edward Lear to the young William Sidney Porter have packed plenty of wit, whimsy, and wordplay into a small package. Although some sources trace limericks back to medieval monasteries or the verse insults swapped by squabbling Irish poets in the 18th century, they took on their current name and form in the second half of the 19th century. Sometimes bawdy but snippy, witty, and–usually–a lot of fun.
 
Now it’s your turn! Pay tribute to this great city and state's people, places, sights, and sounds by immortalizing (or gently mocking) them in verse! Your limerick can reference anything about Texas or Austin–your favorite (or least favorite) Texas person, city or state park, wildflower, animal, road trip experience, barbeque joint, I-35 exit, debilitating allergen–the sky’s the limit! Just keep it short and snappy, and family-friendly!

From July 23 through July 31, the public will be able to view a gallery of all submissions and vote for their favorite limericks online. Submissions will be divided into two categories: (1) youth ages 12 and under and (2) general public ages 13 & up. Winners in each category will receive a Texas-themed prize package. Categories include first, second, and third places as well as two honorable mentions. On August 1, winners will will receive a Texas-themed prize package.


Positive West Nile Virus Mosquito Pool Reported in Travis County

 

Austin Public Health has identified the first positive mosquito pool for West Nile Virus this year. The combination of recent rain and heat warrants mosquito safety precautions.    

As part of routine monitoring for mosquito-borne diseases, including the West Nile virus, Austin Public Health (APH) has identified a positive mosquito pool for West Nile Virus in the 78721 zip code.  

Although no human cases of West Nile virus have been identified at this time, the positive mosquito pool indicates the virus is in our community. In 2022, there were six positive mosquito pools in Travis County, 410 positive pools across the state of Texas and 46 confirmed West Nile virus cases in people.  

“As more people are spending time outdoors, especially with the upcoming holiday, it’s crucial that we get the word out on how to protect yourself from mosquitoes and the viruses they may carry,” said Marcel Elizondo, Environmental Health Services Division Chief. “Let’s follow the four Ds and use the prevention tools at our disposal to keep ourselves, our families and communities safe.”    

West Nile virus is the most common mosquito-borne disease in the United States. It is typically spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, West Nile virus is not spread through coughing, sneezing or touching other people or live animals.      

Approximately 20 percent of people infected with West Nile virus develop symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea or rash. Of those infected, few develop further serious illnesses, usually affecting the central nervous system. People over 60 years of age are at greater risk of developing serious disease, as are those with medical conditions such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension or kidney disease. Organ transplant recipients are also at risk for more severe forms of disease.    

Know the dangers and fight the bite with the “four Ds”:     

  • Drain standing water: Mosquitoes breed in standing water and need as little as one teaspoon. Emptying water that accumulates in toys, tires, trash cans, buckets, clogged rain gutters and plant pots will deny mosquitoes a place to lay their eggs and reproduce.   

  • Dusk to dawn: Although different species of mosquitoes are active at different times of day, the Culex mosquito that spreads West Nile virus is most active between dusk and dawn.   

  • Dress: Wear pants and long sleeves when you are outside. Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing; mosquito-repellent clothing is also available.   

  • DEET: Apply insect repellant: Use an EPA-registered repellent such as those containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol or 2-undecanone. Apply on both exposed skin and clothing.    

Mosquitoes are present in Central Texas year-round, but the population is largest and most active from May through November. During this period, the APH Environmental Vector Control Unit monitors the mosquito population.    

For more information on West Nile virus, visit www.AustinTexas.gov/WestNile. For additional information about APH Environmental Vector Control and mosquito monitoring programs, visit https://austintexas.gov/department/environmental-vector-control

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Record dangerous heat conditions

 

 City of Austin encourages Austinites to stay safe and conserve energy  

Austin registered its highest heat index on record at 118 degrees last week and more triple-digit temperatures are expected this week. Today, City of Austin leadership shared tips on how to stay safe and cool this summer and discussed current efforts to care for Austin’s vulnerable populations.  

“Austin always expects hot conditions during the summer months, but not to the degree that we’re experiencing this year,” City of Austin Mayor Kirk Watson said. “The City is working to ensure we’re available to the public and helping those in need during these excessively high temperatures, but we’re also asking our residents to help by checking on your neighbors, friends, family and pets.”   

Multiple City departments are working to keep Austinites safe through a variety of roles. 

Austin Energy constantly maintains and monitors its electric system to ensure performance during extreme summer conditions. The utility also works closely with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) to keep its customers informed about grid conditions or calls for energy conservation. While ERCOT has issued a Weather Watch through this Friday, June 30, due to the forecast and higher energy demand, they expect normal grid conditions. As a reminder, local outages not related to grid conditions can still occur. In addition to weather-related incidents, power outages can occur due to animals, construction incidents or car crashes interfering with power lines. 

This past weekend the Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM) Disaster Relief Team collaborated with Austin Public Health’s (APH) Homeless Services Division to deliver 720 bottles of chilled water to eight homeless encampments throughout the city and will look to continue partnering and seeking additional ways to provide outreach to the homeless community. 

Since April 1, 2023, Austin-Travis County EMS (ATCEMS) has responded to 224 heat-related incidents, with a dramatic increase in call volume over the past few weeks.  Of the 224 incidents, 151 occurred in June and 76 were in the past seven days.  

Austin Public Health (APH) encourages Austinites to check in on one another, including neighbors without shelter from the heat. In extreme heat, anyone can be at risk, but some are more vulnerable to the effects, including pregnant women, people with heart or lung conditions, young children, older adults, athletes, outdoor workers and those who are unhoused. Extreme heat can lead to dehydration, heat cramps, heat stroke, heat exhaustion and even death.  

COOLING CENTERS 

City of Austin facilities (including Rec Centers & Libraries) are available as cooling centers during normal business operations – many facilities are open until 8 pm.  This weekend, eight Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) facilities were available as cooling centers along with several libraries. These cooling centers serve as a reprieve from the heat, allowing people and their service animals to cool off during the hottest time of the day. Visit austintexas.gov/alerts  for the most up-to-date cooling centers information in 13 languages.  

HEAT SAFETY TIPS 

  • Stay hydrated. Remember to drink water regularly, even if you’re not thirsty. 
  • Protect yourself: 
  • Wear loose-fitting clothing, 
  • Apply and re-apply sunscreen according to product labels, 
  • Take shade breaks, especially if you work outside. 
  • Practice water safety while cooling off in pools and open water.  
  • Look Before You Lock: 
  • Heat stroke is the leading cause of non-collision vehicle-related deaths in children. 
  • Always check the back seats of your vehicle for children, pets, and adults before leaving and locking your parked vehicle.  
  • Keep your pets safe too:  
  • keep your four-legged family members inside whenever possible. 
  • pack a collapsible water bowl for hydration breaks. 
  • Visit ReadyCentralTexas.org for heat safety tips and how to spot/treat heat-related illnesses.   

CONSERVATION TIPS 

It’s important for us all to participate in energy conservation efforts when ERCOT asks. It really can make a difference. Also, you can save money and energy anytime with these tips to conserve energy while staying cool: 

  • Raise your thermostat by a few degrees. 
  • Turn on fans only in the room you are in to make it feel cooler. 
  • Close shades and curtains to keep out direct sunlight. 
  • Avoid turning on large appliances – such as the oven & clothes dryer – during the hottest time of the day.  
  • You can even unplug appliances, chargers and electronics when you are not using them – They can use energy even when turned off. 

Adding Affordable Housing Units - Austin Housing Finance Corporation Celebrates Multi-Family Acquisition

The City of Austin Housing Department announces a multi-family portfolio acquisition, consisting of seven existing multifamily apartment complexes and a small office building, by the Austin Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC).  The acquisition was made in partnership with the Austin Housing Conservancy Fund, which is managed by the non-profit, Affordable Central Texas (ACT). Totaling 234 units, these are AHFC’s first acquisitions in Council Districts 7 and 9, and many of the properties are within a quarter mile of the planned Project Connect system. Average rental rates at the property will be targeted to households earning less than 80% Median Family Income (MFI) with many units affordable for those earning as low as 50% MFI.  

“This portfolio of properties demonstrates our commitment to preserving existing affordable – subsidized and naturally occurring – multi-family housing,” explains Rosie Truelove, Director for the Housing Department. “We are pleased to partner with AHFC and ACT as we continue to address the ongoing issues of affordable housing.” 

As authorized in December 2022, AHFC partnered with ACT, a non-profit dedicated to preserving existing multi-family workforce housing, to purchase the $34.9 million portfolio of which AHFC contributed $14.9 million in 2018 General Obligation Bond dollars.  The Austin Housing Conservancy Fund is referenced as the “Strike Fund” in the Austin Strategic Housing Blueprint and was formed to meet moderate income housing needs in greater Austin. 

“ACT is a great partner with experience in transitioning multi-family complexes for long-term affordable housing,” explains James May Housing and Community Development Officer for the Housing Department. “The City works with partners to more effectively address these challenges and reach our community’s affordability goals.”  

All the properties will receive renovations and repairs to ensure a safe and healthy living environment with over $2 million planned to be spent over the next two years.  In alignment with goals set in the Austin Strategic Housing Blueprint, this acquisition hits several goals for the City including: preservation of existing affordable housing, geographic dispersion of affordable housing, and deeper affordability with 50% MFI units. Median Family Income (MFI) is the amount of money earned by a family in a metropolitan statistical area that divides the income distribution of all families in that area into two equal parts - half having incomes above that amount and half below. 

Above all, fulfilling efforts of the Austin Strategic Housing Blueprint ensures the expanding availability of affordable housing while also maintaining the livability standards and benefit for people who perform all types of jobs and whose contributions are essential to making Austin a vibrant, culturally diverse, and livable city. 

“We are excited to continue to partner with AHFC to expand and preserve low and moderate-income rental housing in Austin,” said Monica Medina, President of Affordable Central Texas. “Acquiring smaller properties close to transit, schools, and local amenities near central Austin is vital to meeting the housing needs of essential Austinites.” 

Austin Housing Finance Corporation Portfolio Acquisitions 

map with AHFC acquisitions between project connect lines

 

Central Park Apartments – 6008 and 6010 North Lamar Blvd. 

  • 109 units 

Siesta Place – 609 E. 45th Street 

  • 12 units 

Villa Del Rey – 4000 Avenue A 

  • 33 units  

Midway - 4100 Avenue A 

  • 14 units 

Fiesta 1 & 2 - 4200 and 4208 Avenue A 

  • 46 units 

Del Mar – 4415 Avenue B 

  • 10 units 

Tom Thumb – 4209 Speedway 

  • 12 units 

Resources for affordable housing and displacement prevention available online at www.austintexas.gov/housing.  

 

### 

 

About the City of Austin Housing Department 
The City of Austin Housing Department provides equitable and comprehensive housing, community development, and displacement prevention to enhance the quality of life of all Austinites. To access affordable housing and community resources, visit www.austintexas.gov/housing

About the Austin Housing Finance Corporation 
The Austin Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC) was created as a public, non-profit corporation and instrumentality of the City of Austin. The mission of the AHFC is to generate and implement strategic housing solutions for the benefit of low- and moderate-income residents of the City of Austin.   

About Affordable Central Texas
Affordable Central Texas (ACT) is a 501 (c)(3) and is the sponsor and investment manager of the Austin Housing Conservancy Fund. ACT was formed in 2016 by a group of highly experienced Austin real estate, finance, and affordable housing professionals to ensure Austin's workforce can afford to live in greater Austin by building a scalable open end, social impact fund to preserve well located multi-family apartment properties for long-term affordability as well as provide programs to build community and improve resident outcomes.  To-date, the Fund has invested in almost $400 million of apartment communities totaling 1,940 units serving 3,500 residents in 13 properties with a long-term goal of preserving 10,000 units in Central Texas. 

H-E-B Austin Symphony July 4th Concert & Fireworks Celebration, 2023

Join the City of Austin and the Austin Symphony Orchestra this July 4 for the annual H-E-B Austin Symphony July 4th Concert & Fireworks. This event, planned, produced, and performed entirely by the Austin Symphony with the help of its generous sponsors, is complete with a fireworks display over the city skyline backed by symphonic patriotic classics.  

  
The festivities will begin at 5 p.m. for the VIP Table and VIP Lawn areas with some pre-main event entertainment on the new pavilion. Then the free event begins at 8 p.m. with a welcome and special guest, and the concert begins at 8:30 p.m. followed by “mile-high” fireworks. Returning this summer are a variety of vendors from food and drinks to crafts and memorabilia. The event is free and open to the public. Visit my.austinsymphony.org/julyfour for more information.  
 
Date/Time: Tuesday, July 4, 2023 at 8 p.m. (VIP event begins at 5 p.m.) 
Location: Auditorium Shores and the Long Center |  www.AustinSymphony.org 

Getting There 

For the best experience, park north of Lady Bird Lake in the downtown area to avoid the congestion in and around South Lamar Boulevard, Barton Springs Road and Riverside Drive (all areas south of the park). 

The Bouldin Creek Neighborhood will have neighborhood parking restrictions in place for safety. Parking in prohibited areas (on green spaces and parkland, along rights of way and medians or blocking private drives and lots) or in “Not Permitted” areas may subject you to fines, ticketing and/or towing at your own expense. 
 
Transportation 

  • Hike-and-Bike Trail to get to the park (bring a light and remember, motorized vehicles are not permitted on the trail) 
  • Bike to the event — The park is open and you can ride your bike directly to the concert site 
  • CapMetro — Use the CapMetro trip planner to take mass transit  CapMetro will be providing FREE rides after 5 pm: https://www.capmetro.org/special-events/july4
  • Shared Mobility / Dockless Devices – The southwest corner of Riverside Drive and South First Street will be available for drop-off 

Parking Options 

ADA Parking will be by permit at the Palmer Event Center Garage and One Texas Center on a first-come, first-served basis. Entrance is from the south via Barton Springs Road. 

Road Closures 

Road closures and/or lane reductions associated with this event start at 10 a.m. and may precede actual event start times. There is no on-street parking allowed in the neighborhoods south of Auditorium Shores. All streets will be reopened by midnight. Click here for a Google Map with road closures and parking options.  

10 a.m. 

  • Riverside Drive from Lee Barton Drive to South First Street 

8 p.m. (Be aware certain roads may close earlier for safety reasons due to heavy pedestrian traffic.) 

  • South First Street from Cesar Chavez Street to Barton Springs Road 
  • Congress Avenue Bridge southbound closed to thru traffic 
  • Riverside Drive from South First Street to South Congress Avenue 
  • Barton Springs Road from Lamar to South Congress Avenue 

Lake Closures 

For safety reasons, Lady Bird Lake between the railroad trestle bridge and the South First Street bridge will be closed from 8 p.m. to midnight. 

Be Prepared and Leave No Trace 

Please follow Leave No Trace principles. Plan ahead and prepare. Dispose of waste properly. Be considerate of other visitors. 

  • You will be outdoors, so wear sensible shoes, clothes, and hats for sun protection 
  • Pack water for hydration, bug spray, and blankets 
  • Pack a flashlight if you are traveling the Hike & Bike Trail 
  • Personal umbrellas may be used 
  • Folding chairs with attached canopies are allowed 
  • Food and beverage vendors will be on site 
  • Clean up after yourself 
  • Have a plan and tell people who know you where you will be 
  • Have your phone fully charged 
  • Be aware of your surroundings 

Park Rules and City Ordinances: 

  • No glass or Styrofoam 
  • No alcohol allowed on site 
  • Swimming in Lady Bird Lake is prohibited 
  • Smoking and vaping are prohibited in City of Austin parks - Class C Misdemeanor 
  • Vending at the park site without a permit - $200 minimum fine, Class C Misdemeanor 

Prohibited Items: 

  • Drones are prohibited at the event per FAA regulations 
  • No personal fireworks on site, including sparklers 
  • E-Z Up style or pop-up canopies/tents are not permitted 
  • Barbeque grills and cooking is prohibited at the event site 
  • Please leave pets at home, as the fireworks during the performance are highly upsetting to our 4-legged friends. If you lose your pet, check with the Austin Animal Center

Austin Police Department 

The Austin Police Department wants to remind the public that officers will be on patrol and enforcing a DWI Enforcement Initiative and an Extended No Refusal Period that will coincide with the upcoming Independence Day holiday season. The DWI Enforcement will begin on June 23 and continue each night thru July 9. Additionally, the Extended No Refusal period will be in effect from June 29 thru July 9. This initiative is an effort to enforce DWI laws while keeping the public safe by encouraging drivers to make responsible decisions. Have a plan to get home safely. Don’t drink and drive.  

Austin Fire Department 

The Austin Fire Department reminds you there is always a burn ban within the city limits, and that it is illegal to possess, use, or sell fireworks within the City of Austin. Call 3-1-1, not 9-1-1, to report illegal fireworks. 

Austin-Travis County EMS 

Austin-Travis County EMS will provide multiple on-site medical resources at the celebration. It is going to be very warm outside, so prepare yourself for spending extended time in the heat by pre-hydrating before you go outside. Make sure you and your group know the signs of heat-related illness and how to help. 

Signs of Heat Exhaustion are: 

  • Profuse sweating 
  • Dizziness or Weakness 
  • Pale and clammy skin 
  • Fast, weak pulse 
  • Nausea or vomiting 

If you or someone you are with is experiencing symptoms of heat exhaustion: 

  • Move them to a cooler location 
  • Lie down and loosen clothing 
  • Apply cool, wet cloths or compresses to as much of the body as possible 
  • Sip water 
  • If you have vomited and it continues, seek medical attention immediately 

Heat stroke is a time-sensitive medical emergency and may lead to permanent brain damage or death if left untreated.  

Signs of Heat Stroke are: 

  • Hot, red, dry, or moist skin 
  • Confusion, lethargy, or unconsciousness 
  • Rapid and strong pulse 
  • High body temperature (above 103 degrees F, or skin hot to the touch) 

If you or someone you are with is experiencing symptoms of heat stroke, move them, cool them, and call 9-1-1 immediately.  

  • Move the person to a cooler environment 
  • Reduce the person's body temperature with cool cloths or even a cold bath 
  • Do NOT give the person fluids by mouth 

Download the what3words app on your phone, this will help first responders locate you quickly if an emergency arises. 

Additional Considerations 

Traffic may be impacted by other Austin celebrations including activities taking place at the Q2 Stadium with doors opening at 1 p.m., musical performances starting at 2 p.m., and a separate fireworks show.  

About the Austin Symphony Orchestra 
Founded in 1911, the Austin Symphony Orchestra (ASO) is Austin’s oldest performing arts group. The ASO offers a complete season of musical and educational programming. Masterworks concerts include a series of eight concert pairs running monthly September through May in the state-of-the-art Joe R. & Teresa Lozano Long Center for the Performing Arts. Our season also features the Sarah & Ernest Butler Pops Series and programming for the entire family. Popular James C. Armstrong Youth Educations Programs also occur annually and include Tuneful Tales, Young People’s Concerts, High School Concert Tour and a variety of other school programs

About the Austin Center for Events

The Austin Center for Events (ACE) is a collaborative assembly of City of Austin departments and agencies designed to streamline special event permitting on public and private property. ACE is anchored by teams from Austin Public Health, Transportation and Public Works, Parks, Music, Police, Fire, EMS, Austin Resource Recovery, Development Services, and partner agencies, and works closely with event organizers to guide them through the special event permitting process. 

City of Austin Activates Cold Weather Shelters on Saturday, Feb. 17  

  Finding the status of shelters by calling 512-972-5055   AUSTIN, Texas -  The City of Austin is opening overnight cold weather shelters on...