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Road Safety Initiative to Address Increased Traffic Fatalities

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San Antonio Police officers are now receiving additional training on Vision Zero and crash reporting during their daily roll call in an effort to combat San Antonio’s alarming increase in traffic fatalities. Additionally, officers are sharing educational material with roadway users, especially those who are making unsafe choices.

On average, 162 people are killed on San Antonio roadways annually while some 40,000 are killed in traffic crashes across the United States. In the first six months of this year, 85 people were killed on San Antonio roads. This is a 44 percent increase in roadway fatalities when compared to the same period of time last year. In 2016 there were 98 fatalities during the same time period.

“As police officers, we see the tragedies caused by poor driving decisions that are made on a daily basis,” said Chief William McManus, SAPD. “Last year alone, we saw 144 people lose their lives on San Antonio roadways. Being able to stop these incidents before they happen is a priority we take seriously. Partnering with Vision Zero on this campaign will educate our officers about best practices for reporting on crashes and provide the community compelling information that can lead to a safer San Antonio.”

During their daily roll call, SAPD officers will view a video narrated by Chief McManus. The video provides statistics and encourages officers to be thorough in providing greater detail in their crash reports.

“The more detail we have in those crash reports, especially the contributing factors, is vital,” said Art Reinhardt, who oversees the Vision Zero initiative for the City of San Antonio. “We can take this information and identify patterns, which can help us make changes to the roads to improve safety and reduce injuries and fatalities.”

Officers will also be handing out pamphlets, prepared by Vision Zero, to people they see demonstrating unsafe behavior. An electronic version of the pamphlet can be accessed at www.visionzerosa.com.

“We all make mistakes, but there are steps each and every one of us can take to make our streets safer,” said District 5 Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales. “Through SAPD’s partnership, this campaign will allow us direct access to having conversations with people who are exercising poor judgment on the road. We can educate and encourage them to make safer decisions—because we want people to know that their decisions really do make a difference.”

The ultimate goal is to make San Antonio streets safer for people walking, biking, and driving. In 2015, San Antonio adopted Vision Zero, a plan designed to eliminate traffic fatalities and enhance transportation safety amidst community growth. The new sub-initiative, launched today, combines education, encouragement and enforcement, three of five pillars that San Antonio focuses on to achieve Vision Zero. The other pillars are engineering and evaluation.

Key points Vision Zero SA is sharing through this campaign:

  • Distracted driving is deadly – distracted driving accounts for almost 45% of crashes in San Antonio
  • Speed kills – increased speed heightens the odds of serious injuries and fatalities
  • A list of the most common crash types and how to avoid them
  • Tips for sharing the road
  • The importance of heightened awareness at intersections
  • Safety pointers for people walking, biking and driving

Stay up-to-date on Vision Zero San Antonio:

  • here
  • VisionZeroSA.com
  • #VisionZeroSA
  • Twitter: @SanAntonioTCI
  • Facebook: San Antonio TCI
  • YouTube: San Antonio TCI/li>
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Remembering the 19 Soldiers of the 24th Infantry Regiment

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Nineteen black soldiers were hung on Dec. 11, 1917 in San Antonio. In spite of their military service, racial tensions took over their fate. However these men won’t be forgotten by the Bexar County Buffalo Soldiers Association.

The local organization recently voted to pay homage to the 19 soldiers of the 24th infantry regiment by placing a commemorative plaque or monument in the Buffalo Soldier Peace Park at 1602 Wyoming Street – not too far where the soldiers faced death.

Famed actor, author, and former Army Reserve Ambassador James McEachin and Civil Rights leader Pastor Kyev Tatum teamed up to get approval from the Bexas County Buffalo Soldiers Association to collaborate on erecting a monument in recognition of the century old court-martial of 113 black soldiers and 19 hanged in the Alamo City – the largest in military history.

According to the Texas Historical Commission, the condemned men were not told their fate until two days before their execution, nor was time permitted to appeal for clemency. Instead, the execution was hastily carried out before dawn at a secluded edge of Camp Travis along Salado Creek. Their request to be shot had been denied. The gallows upon which they were hanged were gone by the time the news broke to the public. To read the full story of what happened, go here.

“This unique opportunity to recognize and remember the black soldiers lost because that resisted tyranny, rejected injustices and revolted against mistreatment at the hands of law enforcement in Houston, Texas over 100 years ago is a dream come true,” says Pastor K.P. Tatum, president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in Fort Worth and Pastor of the New Mount Rose Missionary Baptist Church, also in Fort Worth.

Pastor Tatum and McEachin, a Korean War Veteran and Purple Heart and Silver Star recipient, are also working together to produce an event at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of African-American History and Culture in Washington DC for next July 2019 in honor of the Buffalo Soldiers of America with special recognition given to the brave soldiers of the United States Army 24th Infantry Regiment.

“The US Senate and President George H.W. Bush declared July 28, 1992 as Buffalo Soldiers Day in America and it is only fitting that we honor them with a day at the new Smithsonian Institution National Museum of African-American History and Culture in 2019,” Pastor Tatum said.

The two events are designed to continue the journey towards justice for the black soldiers that will lead to a presidential pardon.

“We believe these soldiers were protecting the fundamental fairness of freedom for all of us very similar to the brave Americans who fought at the Alamo in San Antonio. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was right, ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’ You can not call the soldiers at the Alamo hereos without calling the men of the 24th Infantry Regiment heroes. They both stood up and resisted brutality, one foreign and the other domestic. Injustice is injustice. We are excited about the possibilities of honoring our faithful forefathers both in San Antonio and in Washington DC,” says Pastor Tatum.

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Free Luncheon and Parade to Honor Veterans

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To honor area veterans, District 1 City Councilman Roberto Treviño has organized the fourth annual free Veterans Day luncheon at the historic VFW Post 76 at 10 Tenth St downtown on Saturday, Nov. 10 from 1 to 3 pm.

All veterans and their families are invited to attend after the parade for an afternoon of leisure. VFW Post 76, considered “The Oldest Post in Texas” will host the luncheon.

Residents are encouraged to show their support for veterans by attending the Veterans Day Parade which will take place along Houston Street from N. Alamo and end at Milam Park. The parade will begin at noon and end approximately at 1:30 pm. Prior to the parade, there’s a drill team competition at 8 am next to the Alamo, and a wreath ceremony at 10 am in front of the Alamo. The parade is presented by the U.S. Military Veterans Parade Association.

Visit https://www.usmvpa.com/ for more information.

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Urban Camp Festival (Fall 2018)

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Imagine the gathering of all of your friends at the livest house party of all time… and then add tents, a raging river waiting for you all to tame it, laser tag, different tastes from all over the country, games that might have your children look at you differently, and lastly an open bar that’ll help you forget your antics of the evening.  Once your vision is realized, you will now be walking amongst Urban Camp Weekend, the best camping event in the world, hosted at Mount Breeze of New Braunfels, TX!

Urban Camp Weekend is the largest camping trip in the country, hosted by Urban Camp Weekend and Urban Events Global!  This camp enthralls a large community of eager travelers from all across the country to indulge in a highly entertaining activities, ranging from yoga, to river rafting, during the scheduled weekend.  Intertwined during the duration of the event are mixers for professionals eager to network while still having their fun.  This event was established by Kevin Knight, who had the vision to develop unique and non-traditional experience that allows participants to relax and make lasting connections all while in a territory never explored!

I never knew that drinks, tents, and laser tag could fit together so well.

Upon arriving, we received a warm greeting from campers all across the campsite.  All were participating in games, with laughs bellowing across the site, and immediately incorporated us into the fun!  The atmosphere of the site put people at ease, allowing them to commune with people they had never prior to that day.  The DJ curated songs from all decades, playing them in a way that younger and mature audiences could equally enjoy.  I never knew that drinks, tents, and laser tag could fit together so well.  Overall, the experience was beautifully organized, and the participants had an awesome time.  We cannot wait until next year.

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