City Council shifts bond money to fund drainage, streets; several members want further cuts to trail system
San Antonio City Council members agreed Wednesday to tweak the city’s upcoming $1.2 billion bond program to send more money to basic infrastructure needs, though nearly half the council members still don’t think it’s enough.
San Antonio City Council approves $100 H-E-B gift cards as incentive to get COVID-19 vaccine
City council voted Thursday morning 9-1 to approve $1 million of federal grant dollars to spend on up to 10,000 gift cards that will be given to people who complete their vaccination series at Metro Health vaccination sites.
San Antonio's Castro brothers tout Biden's infrastructure bill as Democratic bus tour rolls into town
Congressman Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, and former Obama housing secretary Julián Castro joined local officials in touting the Biden administration's infrastructure plan Thursday morning in...sacurrent.com
San Antonio Emergency Preparedness Committee member gives sneak peak of winter storm response findings
The city of San Antonio is hoping the final findings of the February winter storm’s response efforts are polished before being released, which is why the date of release is now June 24 instead of June 15.
San Antonio council members push for creation of vaccine registry
SAN ANTONIO – Three San Antonio council members have called for a special city council meeting to discuss the creation of a COVID-19 vaccine registry. Council members Ana Sandoval, Rebecca Viagran and John Courage filed the request on Thursday. The council members argue that the city must provide a better way for vulnerable populations to sign up to get a shot. For weeks, council members have struggled to create a plan that improves the signup process. The San Antonio Metropolitan Health District has encouraged healthy, younger people to allow vulnerable populations in groups 1A, 1B and 1C to get vaccinated first despite all adults being eligible starting on March 29.
Future of a San Antonio vaccine waitlist unclear
SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio City Council members want a better way to sign up for vaccinations, but it’s not clear what form that might end up taking. The Community Health and Equity Committee discussed the need for easier vaccine registrations during a Tuesday afternoon briefing from the county’s largest vaccine providers, including the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District, WellMed, University Health, and UT Health-San Antonio. Some council members, led by District 9 Councilman John Courage, have expressed support for a central registry or waitlist system. Some of the vaccine providers at Tuesday’s meeting spoke against the idea of a registry. “I don’t think any of us are opposed to a single registry, but it will come with problems,” said Dr. Robert Leverence, the chief medical officer for UT Health San Antonio, which began offering vaccine appointments to the public last week.
Pedestrian deaths from motor vehicles on the rise in San Antonio, leaders say
SAN ANTONIO – As a result of an increase in pedestrian deaths from motor vehicles, city leaders have geared their focus to a specific area of San Antonio. District 7 Councilwoman Ana Sandoval said the city was not designed to keep pedestrians in mind. Sandoval classifies Culebra Road as one of the deadliest roadways in San Antonio for pedestrians. “Number one, I would say we need smart roadway design. But on top of that, I think we as the designers also need to understand that pedestrian experience,” Sandoval said.
San Antonio councilwoman hopes new national advocacy role means more funding for transportation
SAN ANTONIO – A change in administrations in Washington often means a change in policy priorities and a San Antonio councilwoman hopes a new appointment will help the city take advantage of that when it comes to transportation. Ana Sandoval, who represents District 7 on the council, has been appointed to the Transportation and Infrastructure Services committee of the National League of Cities. The Washington, D.C.-based organization helps municipalities lobby for new laws and federal funding. “There will be some new bills coming forward, legislation that will fund the transportation infrastructure throughout the country,” Sandoval said. She believes more federal funding is needed to help in those efforts.
San Antonio council members exploring ways to put the brakes on street racing
SAN ANTONIO – Michael Cooreman, a member of several local car clubs, says he’s concerned illegal street racing meetups in the city may give these clubs a bad name. District 6 Councilwoman Melissa Cabello Havrda, the Public Safety Committee chairperson, said she met with San Antonio Police Chief William McManus in August to address the matter. Cabello Havrda said city staff members are exploring ways to do better. Meanwhile, communities are encouraged to report illegal racing to local police. RELATED: SAPD: Street racing meet up on NE Side turns into fireworks disaster with 2 people losing limbs, fingers
Councilwoman Ana Sandoval named to national transportation committee
courtesy photoDistrict 7 Councilwoman Ana Sandoval will be able to advocate for San Antonio's transportation and infrastructure, as well as that of other communities, on a larger scale with her recent appointment to the National League of Cities (NLC) for 2021. The news of Sandoval's role with the national group was announced Friday. Throughout her one-year term with NLC's Transportation and Infrastructure Commitee she will help guide for the organization's federal advocacy agenda and policy, according to the announcement.mysanantonio.com
Two COVID-19 vaccination sites coming to San Antonio’s South Side, West Side
SAN ANTONIO – Two more COVID-19 vaccination sites are coming to the city of San Antonio. San Antonio Councilwomen Rebecca Viagran, Dr. Adriana Rocha Garcia and Ana Sandoval announced two more COVID-19 vaccination sites Saturday morning in a press briefing. The South Side vaccine site will be located at WellMed Elvira Cisneros Senior Community Center and will officially launch Monday, Jan. 11. City councilwomen said the vaccine site on the South Side will distribute 1,000 doses of Moderna each day. RELATED: City of San Antonio to convert Alamodome into mass, no-cost COVID-19 vaccination site
Councilwoman Sandoval wants aquifer protection amendment considered for city charter
SAN ANTONIO – It lies under San Antonians' feet, and now District 7 Councilwoman Ana Sandoval wants the Edwards Aquifer put into the city charter. Putting aquifer protection into the city charter, though, which outlines the duties and powers of different city departments, would ensure there’s something to replace the program in the future, Sandoval said. The $100 million replacement funding plan would rely mostly on borrowing money over the course of 10 years. “Just because it’s in the charter doesn’t necessarily mean that future city councils or this city council would fund it,” Perry said. Though city council could place a proposed charter amendment onto the ballot, based on the Charter Review Commission’s recommendations, voters would be the ones to ultimately approve or reject it.
San Antonio City Councilwomen to distribute free safety supplies to microbusinesses
SAN ANTONIO San Antonio City Councilwomen Adriana Rocha Garcia, Shirley Gonzales, Melissa Cabello Havrda and Ana Sandoval have partnered with some local businesses to distribute free safety supplies to micro-businesses and nonprofits in city council districts 4,5,6 and 7. The Councilwomen along with the West San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, Maestro Entrepreneur Center, Southside First, West Side Development Corporation and Port San Antonio will supply area micro-businesses and nonprofits with hand sanitizer, masks, and a touchless thermometer. The supply distribution will take place from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., on Aug. 11 at the West San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, 3006 Gen. Hudnell Drive. According to a statement by the city of San Antonio, small businesses and area nonprofits combine to be the largest employer in San Antonio, illustrating a clear need for support during the COVID-19 health crisis. The event is a continuation of several district events and the city-wide distribution at the Alamodome in May.
Resolution declaring racism a public health crisis to go before San Antonio City Council
SAN ANTONIO – The city council will vote on a resolution declaring racism a public health crisis in San Antonio and pledging the city’s commitment to advancing racial equity efforts. The city council’s Community Health and Equity Committee on Friday unanimously approved sending the resolution to the full city council with some changes. Andrews-Sullivan said the resolution is not about racism against just one community, but across the board. Viagran suggested including city boards and commissions in the resolution as well as a commitment to education about the issue. Whether you like it or not, it was part of what happened.”You can view the draft of the resolution the Community Health & Equity Committee considered here:This is a breaking news update.
Council members raise fists in solidarity with police reform advocates
San Antonio Almost all of the San Antonio City Council members raised fists in solidarity with police reform advocates at a meeting Thursday. And city council, I am calling on you to raise a fist or take a knee if you stand in solidarity with us today.Almost all of the council members could be seen raising their fists during the the moment of silence. If you truly cared and wanted to make a change, you would put together some things that would make a change now, impact now, Pharoah Clark told council members. The council members were considering a resolution outlining priorities for discussions with the San Antonio Police Officer Association for the next union contract. Some of the speakers criticized the council for the upcoming break, though council members and the mayor said that doesnt mean they are going anywhere.
Check in on them: Don’t forget about seniors during pandemic, San Antonio psychiatrist says
San Antonio – Mental health experts are asking the community to be more vigilant about looking after seniors during the coronavirus pandemic. Dr. Jason Schillerstrom, a geriatric psychiatrist at UT Health San Antonio who works with Adult Protective Services (APS), said feelings of isolation and loneliness have been magnified by the stay-home restrictions among seniors he visits. District 4 officials say they are also staying in touch with seniors who’ve made contact with them. Other districts say they are in touch with senior centers to check in on any needs. APS reports the number of all contacts to the Texas Abuse Hotline for April decreased when compared to the last two years.
Nirenberg, Wolff to Form Back-to-Business Transition Task Force
Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff will appoint a task force this week charged with determining the incremental steps toward reopening businesses and relaxing social distancing measures, Nirenberg said Tuesday. Details about the yet-unnamed task force, including who will be on it, are still being finalized. At least four City Council members said Tuesday during Councils weekly videoconference briefing that they would like to see at least one member on it. Were not doing this politically, were doing this to save lives.It was unclear Tuesday if the new task force will include elected officials. We are team San Antonio.Councilwomen Jada Andrews-Sullivan (D2) and Adriana Rocha Garcia (D4) also supported Council representation on the task force.therivardreport.com
Crisis Bureaucracy: How Local Government Works Amid a Pandemic
Typical committee meetings and policy discussions have halted, and the weekly working group meetings that have replaced them are not open to the public. That has contributed to some Council members feeling left out of the governing process. Council members should be involved in some of these conversations regarding health policy, Sandoval said. While their field offices may be closed, Council members said they are still taking calls for assistance with utility bills and fielding other requests. Once the coronavirus outbreak subsides, the working groups will continue to manage and evolve throughout the recovery phase, Hartman said.therivardreport.com
As San Antonio Extends Emergency Order, 1 Council Member and a Vape Shop Object
San Antonio City Council voted 10-1 Thursday to extend through April 30 an emergency order that keeps nonessential businesses closed and implements social distancing requirements for residents to stem the spread of the coronavirus. I think its important that we have a coordinated communications plan going forward for the public, said Sandoval, who has a masters degree in public health from Harvard Universitys School of Public Health. Sandoval also wants Council members to be involved in public health conversations or at least made aware of decisions being made. Public health amid the pandemic is being addressed by experts in the Metropolitan Health District, area hospital systems, and regional agencies. They also challenged the Citys authority under the states superseding order, calling the designation of essential business arbitrary notions.Click here to read the demand letter.therivardreport.com
Leading SA: D7 Councilwoman Ana Sandoval talks plans for Bandera Road, SA infrastructure
SAN ANTONIO – One of the most congested roads in the state of Texas is prompting a San Antonio City Councilwoman to call for action. District 7 City Councilwoman Ana Sandoval, elected to the San Antonio City Council in 2017 and the first naturalized citizen to serve on the council, says Bandera Road is causing quite a traffic cluster in the city. Councilwoman Sandoval also touched on carbon neutrality, saying it’s still a goal for the Alamo City. If so, we asked Councilwoman Sandoval, is the infrastructure already in place in San Antonio? Maintaining those streets, we also drive a lot on them,” Councilwoman Sandoval said.
D7 Councilwoman Ana Sandoval shares her New Year’s resolution
SAN ANTONIO – As a new decade begins, City Hall reporter Garrett Brnger has been talking with members of the San Antonio City Council about their New Year's resolutions. District 7 Councilwoman Ana Sandoval said she wants to advocate for safer streets. To see more resolutions from other San Antonio City Council members, click here.
San Antonio Considers Opposing New Pipelines Over Edwards Aquifer
The issue of pipelines over the aquifer is not unique to San Antonio. Last month, the cities of Austin, San Marcos, and Kyle joined a lawsuit led by landowners fighting against a proposed natural gas pipeline over a different part of the Edwards Aquifer. Coyle said that staff members spoke with the Texas Oil and Gas Association, Texas Pipeline Association, the RRC, the South Texas Energy and Economic Roundtable, NuStar Energy, CPS Energy, the City of Austin, the Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance, and the Edwards Aquifer Authority. Some aquifer advocates say the aquifer needs continued investment to protect against pipelines and other development. I kind of thank God for the good ol boy network with Enterprise, Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance director Annalisa Peace said.therivardreport.com
Cricket Fans, Players Applaud Start of Fields Construction at O.P. Schnabel Park
Bridger and two City Council members got the message, and two cricket fields are in the early stages of construction near O.P. Officials are hoping to have the new cricket fields on San Antonios Northwest Side ready for play in April. San Antonio already is home to several dozen cricket teams, including 10 in the San Antonio Cricket Association. Sol Hooda, the associations president, said he approached the City about providing cricket fields six years ago and was turned down. Cricket of San Antonio currently plays many of its matches at Tom Slick Park near Loop 410 and Highway 151.therivardreport.com
Northwest Side community receives speed dial indicator to combat speeding
SAN ANTONIO - It's been a lengthy process, but a Northwest Side neighborhood hopes new speed dial indicators will help slow down speeders along a busy thoroughfare. A request for a traffic light was rejected by stakeholders because it would limit access to two other roads leading to the subdivision. The cost for a traffic light is roughly $8 million and would have required a bond project to fund it. Police have set up along the road in the past, Wall said, and it helps, but then the speeding returns. The speed dial indicators have been up for a couple of months, and people are cautiously optimistic they will work.
SAQ: Why doesn't my neighborhood have sidewalks?
SAN ANTONIO - In a recent SAQ, a woman living in a neighborhood off Bandera Road, between Callaghan and Broadview, asked why there are no sidewalks in the area and if the city had plans to add them. The neighborhood in question is the Woodlawn Hills and Ingram Hills area, which Sandoval estimates was built in the 1950s and '60s. "There is about almost 2,000 of sides of streets without sidewalks in San Antonio. Where we think we're going to get the biggest bang for our buck -- that's where we prioritize sidewalks," she said. "Where it's very close to a school or in front of a school, that's absolutely high priority.
Gonzaba Medical, San Antonio Organizations to Give Away 800 Box Fans to Senior Citizens
click to enlarge Shutterstock.comThere are more than 600 heat-related deaths in the United States each year, but vulnerable populations, particularly senior citizens and children, are at a higher risk.The Gonzaba Medical Group has teamed up with the City of San Antonio, United Healthcare and SAWS to host a free fan giveaway for senior citizens on Friday, July 26, at Woodlawn Lake Park.Event partners will distribute more than 800 free box fans to senior citizens who are at least 62 years old, from 9 to 11 a.m. The fans will be distributed first-come, first-serve.Attendees are invited to enjoy music, refreshments, and connect with community leaders such as District 7 Councilwoman Ana Sandoval, following the fan drive.Physicians will also be on-site to provide safety tips and remind locals to beat the heat by wearing lightweight and light-color clothing, staying indoors with air conditions and drinking water often.sacurrent.com