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San Antonio Leads Effort to Protect Military Bases in Texas

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San Antonio once again has showed its commitment to being Military City, USA, as Maj. Gen. Juan G. Ayala (USMC Retired), director of the city’s Office of Military and Veterans Affairs, stepped into his role as the president of Texas Mayors of Military Communities.

Ayala was designated by Mayor Ron Nirenberg to serve on the advocacy group on behalf of San Antonio, and later elected president by members of Texas Mayors of Military Communities (TMMC).

“This appointment is evidence of the great partnership and support the Office of Military and Veterans Affairs provides under the leadership of Maj. Gen. Ayala to not only San Antonio, but to Texas as well,” Mayor Nirenberg said. “As Military City, USA, we are proud to join forces with other Texas cities to protect our military bases.”

TMMC is a nonprofit consisting of 13 cities, including Abilene, Austin, Corpus Christi, Del Rio, El Paso, Fort Worth, Houston, Killeen, Kingsville, San Angelo, San Antonio, Texarkana and Wichita Falls. The group was formed to advocate at the State Capitol for policies and funding that benefit Texas bases. The 15 bases in Texas represent approximately $101 billion per year in annual economic impact for Texas, while employing several hundred thousand men and women in both military and civilian roles.

“As the largest employer in the region, the military is a priority for the city of San Antonio,” City Manager Sheryl Sculley said. “In addition to investing more than $90 million in infrastructure since 2009 to support our bases and developing regulations that ensure compatible land use, we see it as our responsibility to advocate for the military when they cannot do so themselves.”

One priority for TMMC has been grant money for the Defense Economic Assistance and Adjustment Grants (DEAAG) program. In each of the past three years, the San Antonio area has successfully applied for DEAAG grants totaling nearly $15 million. Funds are used to connect San Antonio’s installations to the San Antonio Water System, acquire private property in the Accident Protect Zones adjacent to Randolph Air Force Base and construct a high-tech building at Port San Antonio to house cybersecurity operations.

“Military missions are not only a part of the culture and history of Texas communities, but are also integral to state and local economies,” Ayala said. “We are committed to uniting military communities to preserve and promote the military installations in Texas. I’m honored to serve in this position and further our efforts to protect Texas military bases.”

The group has been successful in securing more than $50 million in state grant funding that has been leveraged by local governments throughout Texas to enhance the military value and missions of its bases.

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Community

The Hate U Give Movie Screening & Tips on How to Interact with Police

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Join the San Antonio Association of Black Journalists on Sunday, Oct. 21 at 5:30 pm at The Palladium for the screening of the movie “The Hate U Give” directed by George Tillman Jr.

The PG-13 movie is about a young black girl who witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Now, facing pressures from all sides of the community, Starr must find her voice and stand up for what’s right.

Prior to the movie, Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar, St. Mary’s Clinical Professor of Law Anne Burnham, and Officer Troy Ragland with the San Antonio Police Officers Association will share advice on how to interact with police.

The event is free for middle and high school students, but adults must pay $20 each, which includes a 32 oz drink and a medium-sized popcorn.

Guests must RSVP to Melissa at monroe674@gmail.com since seating is limited. Attendees should arrive between 4:45 pm and 5:15 pm to check in and get snacks. The discussion will promptly begin at 5:30 pm. The Palladium is located at The Rim shopping center at 17703 IH-10 West.

Ticket Prices



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Education

St. Philip’s Triples Space in Future Culinary Building

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One of the oldest and top-ranked culinary arts schools in the U.S. has outgrown its 1980’s era facility, both in space and functionality. On Oct. 4, St. Philip’s College celebrated the groundbreaking ceremony for a new Tourism, Hospitality and Culinary Arts Center of Excellence at its 1801 Martin Luther King Drive campus.

The new 61,200-square-foot, four-story facility will include five teaching kitchen labs and two full commercial kitchen labs around which the rest of the facility is organized. This will be triple in size than its current space. The labs in the new facility are located along a public corridor for easy access and visibility of the activity within by both students and visitors. Back-of-house corridors will connect the labs to food and dry goods storage, classrooms, and other support areas. The public spaces of the building are designed to feel like a hotel – spacious, easy to navigate, and with multiple small seating areas to promote social interaction.

Additionally, the project includes a classroom with mock hotel office and breakout rooms with retractable walls that can function similar to hotel conference rooms or as a hotel ballroom. An attached warming kitchen allows both Hospitality and Culinary students to host and practice large catering events. The building also includes a 100-seat tiered lecture hall that can double as a food demonstration kitchen, faculty offices and a loading dock for efficient delivery of goods in and out of the building.

Chef Johnny Hernandez, chair of the college’s culinary arts advisory team, said “this is a transformational day for our industry in San Antonio, because the new facility will rival any program in the country.”

Funded as part of a $450 million bond package approved by voters in May 2017 to both construct new Alamo College District facilities and renovate existing college buildings, the $30 million building also contains two restaurants which will be open to the public. The 1898 Café on the first floor will serve American cuisine. The crowning jewel of the building will be Artemisia’s Restaurant. This restaurant is the namesake of the school’s founder and is where the most advanced students will prove their skills by planning menus, preparing and serving four-course meals to the public.

Future capital improvement projects at the college include a $20 million Welding Auto Collision building (2019), renovations of the Clarence Norris Technical Building ($22 million – 2019) and the Artemisia Bowden Building ($10 million – 2019) in addition to a $16 million construction project for replacement of the college’s 70-year-old Fitness Center with a Wellness Building (2019).

The architect of record for the tourism building project is Page Southerland Page, Inc., and the contractor for the project is Skanska USA. Read more about that project at the Page Southerland Page, Inc. web page Creating Space to Learn: New Culinary Arts Facility to Open.

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