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In the News: News from April 2018

CAPCOG aggregates data for Sustainable Food Center study

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

When the Sustainable Food Center needed information to assist with drafting its “Planning for Central Texas Food Hub: Feasibility Study and Business Plan,” it turned to CAPCOG’s Planning and Economic Development Division. CAPCOG aggregated data from around the region based on three qualities — prime soil content, publicly owned parcels, and underutilized parcels — and presented that data to the center as a visual and interactive GIS planning tool, so the center could better evaluate the information.

“This is a core capability of our work,” said Chris Schreck, CAPCOG Planning and Economic Development director. “At the root of this project and many others, CAPCOG brings together local, district, state and national datasets so individuals, groups, cities and counties can identify the best use policies or make more informed decisions.”

The center’s study ultimately will determine the viability of a food hub for local food aggregation, minimal processing, storage, and distribution to existing and expanded intermediated markets serving the Greater Austin area. And, while CAPCOG’s involvement provided only research datasets, CAPCOG also can analyze data for planning purposes.

> Read about the Planning and Economic Division.
> Find CAPCOG's public GIS data.

Seniors stay valuable members in our communities

Thursday, April 19, 2018

CAPCOG and communities around the region will recognize May as Older Americans Month, a time when everyone should acknowledge the contributions of older adults and encourage them to stay engaged in our communities and lives.

“This year’s theme ‘Engage at Every Age,’ emphasizes the importance of being active and involved at any age,” said Patty Bordie, CAPCOG’s Area Agency on Aging of the Capital Area (AAACAP) director. “Older adults’ continued socialization drastically improves their health and wellness; however, their involvement is beyond beneficial to us, as they provide wisdom and prospective as community planning partners, volunteers, leaders and mentors.”

CAPCOG’s Executive Committee is scheduled to proclaim May as Older Americans Month at its April meeting. In the CAPCOG region, there are more than 314,000 adults who are 60 or older. During April and May, AAACAP will further highlight older adults throughout the region at outreach and community events. “Older adults want to continue to live lives with purpose, and we want to recognize their skills and ensure they know how and where opportunities exist to contribute to our communities’ health and wellness,” Bordie said.

> Learn more about AAACAP.

Caregivers conference to teach approaches for tough family challenges

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

The Area Agency on Aging of the Capital Area (AAACAP), a CAPCOG division, and the Austin Senior Resource Alliance will host some of Austin’s foremost senior caregiving experts for A Caregivers Hope, an annual conference to teach how to better care for loved-ones and yourself through family planning and caregiving. The conference will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 5, at 1921 Lohmans Crossing, Suite 100, Austin.

“For many of the caregivers, this is a chance for them to understand they are not alone; there are other caregivers going through the same issues, and they just need to reach out to get help,” said Cyndi Cummings, founder of the Austin Senior Resource Alliance. The alliance provides resources to families as they go through transitional life changes; hosting the conference is one way of helping those who care for older adults.

Founder of Kitchen Table Discussions, Garrick Colwell, will deliver the conference’s keynote discussion about aspects of care planning including early planning for end of life, its importance to families, and how it can provide caregivers with hope. “We are really talking about living life to the fullest until that last breath,” Colwell said. “Having these conversations lets people focus on being with their loved ones at the end instead of what to do for them after the end.”

Other conference speakers will include Patty Bordie, AAACAP director; Margaret Bryant, a Medicaid consultant; Lorna Allen, of New York Life Insurance Company; Michael Gill, owner of Texas Senior Living Locators; Bill Witt, of the Senior Resource Center; Dr. Char Hu, a Texas Council on Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders council member; and Alice Latino, co-founder of Heavenly Care Home Health.

> Caregivers register for the conference.
> Learn about AAACAP.

They can request free respite care by calling 512-423-6782.

CAPCOG recommends projects for homeland security grants

Thursday, April 12, 2018

The Office of the Governor (OOG) is expected to award the 2018 State Homeland Security Program Grant funds in August 2018; CAPCOG’s Executive Committee approved a prioritized list of recommendations for regional projects to the OOG in March after more than 34 projects and equipment purchases were reviewed by its Homeland Security Task Force.

“Representatives from across the ten-county region ranked these projects according to their alignment with the regional homeland security strategic plan and their ability to sustain or expand current homeland security capabilities,” said Eric Carter, CAPCOG Homeland Security director. “All of the projects support regional response to critical threats and potential disasters; whether it’s training exercises or special hazmat equipment for hazardous materials response teams, every project is geared towards making us all safer.”

Capital Area requests for grant funds totaled over $6.8 million. In recent years, the Capital Area has received between $1.3 and $1.4 million for these projects. CAPCOG anticipates about the same level of funding.

> View the prioritized list.
> Read more about the State Homeland Security Program Grant process.

CAPCOG honors communications heroes across region

Monday, April 09, 2018

Emergency telecommunicators can be the first person a victim speaks with during or even before a crime or life threatening emergency; they can provide assurance that help is coming, save a life, and start the road to recovery. It is because of this service that they are invaluable to their communities. CAPCOG, acting in its capacity as the Capital Area Emergency Communications District, along with many local jurisdictions will recognize 9-1-1 operators’ commitment to their communities during National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, April 9 through 15.

There are about 750 emergency telecommunicators working 24/7 to respond to individual and public crises throughout the ten-county region; in 2017, they answered more than 1.4 million calls. “Telecommunicators can be a caller’s calm in the storm as they provide lifesaving information and serve as a vital link between the caller and the emergency responders,” said Kelsey Dean, CAPCOG Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) Specialist. “You can hear the relief in a caller’s voice when the telecommunicator understands the incident and notifies them that help is on the way. Call takers are heroes, too.”

The CAPCOG Executive Committee adopted a resolution on March 14 recognizing National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week and has provided the telecommunicators with special gifts to honor their unending service.

> Read the resolution.
> Learn about the CAPCOG Emergency Communications Division.

CAPCOG to host EDA Disaster Recovery Workshop

Thursday, April 05, 2018

CAPCOG will host an Economic Development Administration (EDA) Disaster Recovery Workshop from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., April 20, 2018 to feature programs from federal and state agencies that could be beneficial to communities during a long-time recovery effort. This workshop is for local jurisdictions within the Texas Hurricane Harvey Disaster Declaration — CAPCOG counties include Bastrop, Caldwell, Fayette, and Lee.

Programs discussed will be for infrastructure, housing, assistance to businesses, school facilities recovery, and philanthropy as well as others to be announced. The format will provide for brief overviews of programs by each agency followed by a roundtable session for project discussions with the agencies’ representatives. The workshop will be held in the Lantana Room at CAPCOG offices, 6800 Burleson Road, Building 310, Suite 155, Austin, Texas.  

> Read the workshop agenda.
> Read the State and Federal Agency Resource Guide.
> For more information, contact Betty Voights. 
> Learn about the Planning and Economic Development Division.
> Learn about the Homeland Security Division.

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