Tag Archives: texas

Austin, Texas, approves plan to become zero waste by 2040

On December 15, 2011, the city council in Austin, Texas, voted unanimously to approve the Zero Waste by 2040 plan. And now the program is starting to take effect.

Starting with the comprehensive master plan (pdf), the executive summary:

Zero Waste is a design principle that goes beyond recycling to focus first on reducing wastes and reusing products and then recycling and composting the rest. Zero Waste works to redesign the system to mimic natural systems, recognizing that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure and everything is a resource for something or someone else. Currently, Austin is estimated to lose over $40 million annually by sending materials that could be recycled or reused to area landfills.

Austin’s Zero Waste system will strive to recover that estimated loss and eliminate waste, or get darn close. This Plan defines success as reducing by 20% the per capita solid waste disposed to landfills by 2012, diverting 75% of waste from landfills and incinerators by 2020, and 90% by 2040.

Then, bringing the children into it with a program called Generation Zero.  Offering educational programs at each grade level:

  • Kindergarten – 2nd grade – classroom composting
  • 3rd – 5th – learning about recycling
  • Middle School – learn about landfills and visit a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF)
  • High School – history of trash in America

And, my favorite, offering discounts on the utility bill for reducing your trash. If you throw away more you pay more, allowing greener families to save up to $20/month:

  • 24 gallon bin – $13.35
  • 32 gallon bin – $14.60
  • 64 gallon bin – $19.75
  • 96 gallon bin – $33.50

This is exciting to watch Austin transform itself, starting from a very low recycling rate of 38% and moving all the way to zero waste.

 

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Apple Campus II – 3,600 jobs and the big push into Austin, Texas

Pushing ahead with plans to invest $304 million in Austin, Texas, Apple has secured a deal for three large patches of land adjacent to its existing campus, which — when developed — will expand its presence in the area and result in the creation of more than 3,600 jobs.

The State of Texas offered Apple an investment of $21 million over ten years via its Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF), followed by an $8.6 million grant investment from the City of Austin.

As part of its City deal, Apple would need to invest $56.5 million in new facilities and equipment by the end of 2015, with an additional $226 million investment coming by the end of 2021.

 

Source: The Next Web - Apple closes deal to expand Austin campus, moves ahead with $304 million Texas investment

 

 

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Surfline adds 34 new/upgraded cameras to its lineup – from Ireland to CA, NC

Surfline has added/upgraded 34 cams in the last five months with many more to come.

Make sure you check back because there’s a good chance there will be a new or upgraded cam near you.

 

NEW HD CAMS
Beacons, CA (Feb 2012)
Oceanside Pier SS, CA (April 2012)
Salt Creek, CA (Jan 2012)
Ponce Inlet, FL (April 2012)

 

UPGRADED HD CAMS
Mission Beach, CA (May 2012)
Cardiff, CA (Jan 2012)
Grandview, CA (Feb 2012)
The Wedge, CA (June 2012)
Goldenwest, CA (March 2012)
Casino Pier, NJ (April 2012)
North End, VA (March 2012)
Rodanthe, NC (May 2012)

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U.S. global warming affects Texas, Midwest, and Northeast – the most

The United States recently went through the hottest 12 months ever, since record-keeping began in 1895.

National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration said that for the period from May 2011 to April 2012, the nationally averaged temperature was 55.7 degrees, 2.8 degrees higher than the 20th century average. The national average temperature for April was 55 degrees, 3.6 degrees above average.

To be sure, the higher temperatures haven’t hit every region equally. The Pacific Northwest actually saw cooler-than-average temperatures over the past year, according to NOAA data. Much of California was also cooler than normal; Southern California had an average year.

But record averages for the year scorched central Texas — which saw a horrific drought last year — the upper Midwest, and much of the Northeast.

The last time the globe had a month that averaged below its 20th century normal was February 1985. April makes it 326 months in a row. Nearly half the population of the world has never seen a month that was cooler than normal, according to United Nations data.

via L.A. Times

Housing recovery hits some areas – top growth in U.S. cities

Metros with the Most Construction Permits in 2011

  1. Houston, TX – 31,271
  2. Dallas, TX – 18,686
  3. Washington, DC – 16,501
  4. New York, NY – 13,973
  5. Austin, TX – 10,239
  6. Los Angeles, CA – 9,895
  7. Phoenix, AZ – 9,081
  8. Seattle, WA – 8,664
  9. Atlanta, GA – 8,634
  10. San Antonio, TX – 7,127

More permits were issued in the Houston metro area than in any other metro, by far. Four of the top ten metros were in Texas. But this list is dominated by large metro areas, and we’d expect bigger areas to have more construction activity. Looking instead at the number of permits issued per 1,000 existing housing units…here are the top metro areas by construction activity:

Most Construction Activity (per 1,000 existing units)

  1. El Paso, TX – 15.36
  2. Austin, TX – 14.49
  3. Raleigh, NC – 13.66
  4. Houston, TX – 13.55
  5. Charleston, SC – 12.80
  6. Dallas, TX – 11.26
  7. Little Rock, AR – 10.53
  8. Baton Rouge, LA – 9.51
  9. Washington, DC – 9.44
  10. Columbia, SC – 8.74

via – The Top U.S. Cities for New Home Construction - which includes cities with least construction activity

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Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill For – finally moving forward

Robert Rodriguez‘s long-awaited sequel to Sin City, his 2005 adaptation of the Frank Miller comics, is finally moving forward.

Dimension Films announced that Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, has secured financing from AR Films, the company founded by Alexander Rodnyansky, and will be released domestically by Dimension. It will begin casting next week with a plan to shoot this summer at Rodriguez’s Troublemaker Studios in Austin.

“The first question I am always asked is, ‘When will you make another Sin City?’ ” said Rodriquez. “I have wanted to reteam with Frank Miller and return to the world he created since the day we wrapped the original but have felt a duty to the fans to wait until we had something truly exceptional that would meet and exceed what have become epic expectations. A Dame to Kill For will certainly be worth the wait.”

As in the original Sin City, Rodriguez will co-direct with Miller, who will share screenplay credit with William Monahan.

via THR

 

// Photo – WeI-chieh Chiu

A portrait series of the modern American Cowboy/girl

Some excerpts from the series by Jay B. Sauceda:

BILL PRYOR – Bill runs a ranch in between Alpine and Marfa. He’s a friendly guy with what may be the raspiest voice I have ever heard.

BROOKSIE – Brooksie spent 27 years working the coal mines of Utah until settling down on an 80 acre spread close to Clear Creek Canyon.

MICHAEL STEVENS – Michael is a horseman and guitar maker living in Alpine, Texas. He’s a hard guy to miss since he towers over most of us regular sized folk.

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SpaceX test fires the new SuperDraco propulsion engine

SpaceX successfully test fires SuperDraco, a powerful new engine that will play a critical role in efforts to change the future of human spaceflight.

These engines will power a revolutionary launch escape system that will make Dragon the safest spacecraft in history and enable it to land propulsively on Earth or another planet with pinpoint accuracy.

In a series of tests conducted at SpaceX’s Rocket Development Facility in McGregor, Texas, the SuperDraco sustained full duration, full thrust firing as well as a series of deep throttling demonstrations.

 

Learn more about SpaceX: