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80 Years And Counting

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Alamo City Ques at 80: Our Story

Written By: Jeremy Neal & Scott L. Earle, Sr.

November 1, 2020, will mark 80 years of service to the Alamo City by Psi Alpha Chapter.  In 1940, eight professional men from varied careers ranging from four educators, a dentist, a civil servant, a physician, and a businessman who had become members of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated during their college years, decided that the time was right to form a Graduate Chapter here in the City of San Antonio. They were as young as 24 years of age to 49 years of age.  They all had attended Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) due to segregation in the United States at that time in history.  Some were raised in the city, some from the state of Texas, one from Georgia, and one from Virginia. After compiling all of the necessary information and paperwork and complying with the National Body’s Guidelines, the Local Chapter was chartered by the Supreme Council of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated on November 1, 1940, and given the name Psi Alpha. The Charter members were: Brothers Dr. W. V. Hurd DDS, S. D. Kane, Dr. M. L. Preacher, Joseph Paul Chretien, Ernest M. Foxx, Valmo Charles Bellinger, Dr. Richard Kidd, and G. P. Inge, Jr. Brother S.D. Kane was our first Basileus (president). 

These men were influential in the community and were known more for just bringing Omega Psi Phi to the Alamo City.  All eight men did a great deal in the City but three had a substantial impact. Brother Dr. Hurd, a WWI veteran, was much respected in his field and at the time as the only individual to serve as President of the Gulf State Dental Association of Texas twice, once in the 1940s and again in the late 1950s. He served as the past president of the Lone Star State Medical, Dental, and Pharmaceutical Association, and a former board member of the National Dentist Association. He also, chaired and was a member of various boards at the National Dentist Association. 

Brother G.P. Inge, Jr., a WWI veteran, was a believer in the philosophy of progressive education and served as principal of Phillis Wheatley High School from 1941 to 1963. During the 22 years as the leader of one of the largest segregated schools in the state, he graduated record numbers of students, and their sports teams dominated the states segregated schools in the Prairie View Interscholastic League, and they all knew they could compete with predominantly Anglo institutions. Brother Inge Jr. instituted the “No Pass No Play” rule for athletes during his tenure at the school before it was passed at the state level. 

Brother Valmo Charles Bellinger was a prominent businessman and political party boss who also was the editor of the San Antonio Register.  Founded by Valmo, the paper began printing in 1931, running without interruption for 47 years. Though its initial goal was preserving the political influence of Bellinger’s father, the paper later focused on local, state, and national news of specific concern to San Antonio’s African-American community. Valmo hired his future wife Josephine who assisted him in making the newspaper a success. Valmo donated an archive of the San Antonio Register to the University of Texas at San Antonio’s John Peace Library in 1979. The archive consisted of 22,000 issues and offered an almost complete run of issues from 1945 to 1978. If you ever have a chance to look over these archives, the Psi Alpha History coupled with the Black History of South Texas is remarkable. There are virtually no complete collections of black newspapers in the southwest and only two or three in the entire United States. Many of the articles written were published in Jet and Ebony magazines along with major newspapers reprinting the stories originating in the Register.

Currently, Psi Alpha Chapter has a total of 170 members. Psi Alpha Chapter’s Basileus, Brother Jimmie E. McMillion, has held this role for the past three years. “The Psi Alpha Chapter has been a pillar in the San Antonio community for 80 years. The Omega Men of Psi Alpha in San Antonio have been leaders in various occupations such as business, engineering, education, law, and medicine for many years,” McMillon stated. Our Psi Alpha Chapter historical note to mention is that in the late 1960s, Bro. Warren Eusan, WWII Army Air Corp and Tuskegee Airman Veteran, Theta Chapter ’39, was the driving force that brought the IHQ 47th Conclave to San Antonio which was the key focal point to break down discrimination in the San Antonio Area, becoming the first southern city to fully integrate. In the past years, the Psi Alpha Chapter has brought back a lot of IHQ recognition:

Brother Greg Thompson (Chairman of the Alamo City Black Chamber of Commerce): International Omega Man of the Year in the early 2000s

Brother Brandon Logan (Former President of the Rotary Club of San Antonio): IHQ Citizen of the Year in 2015

Brother Lionel Lyde: IHQ Colonel Charles Young Award Winner in 2017

Ms. Breanna Toney (Represented by Psi Alpha): Winner of the IHQ International Essay Contest in 2016

The Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated has 10 International Mandated Programs: Achievement Week, Scholarship, Social Action, Talent Hunt Program, Memorial Service, Reclamation and Retention, College Endowment Fund, Health Initiatives, Voter Registration Education & Mobilization, and NAACP. In the Omega Year, which runs from November-October; several of these programs have been key highlights in Psi Alpha Chapter for the 2019-2020 year.

Scholarship: The Psi Alpha Scholarship Foundation awarded a total of $32,300 in scholarships and grants. A total of 20 seniors in the San Antonio Area were awarded scholarships totaling $30,000.

Talent Hunt Program: Psi Alpha Chapter awarded $1500 in scholarships as Ms. Zora Dickson, a junior and Bexar County Home School Student with a 4.0 GPA, walked away with winning honors.

Reclamation and Retention: Psi Alpha Chapter was awarded the Mighty 9th District Reclamation Large Graduate Chapter of the Year.

Fatherhood Initiative: Psi Alpha Chapter was announced as the winner of the best Fatherhood Initiative in the Mighty 9th District. For this mention, President Dr. David Marion awarded the chapter a $5000 award.

These programs were led by our Vice President, Brother George Mayers, who will transition into the role of President on November 5th as Brother McMillion’s award-winning 3-year term is up.

Psi Alpha Chapter will celebrate their 80th year serving the city on Sunday, November 1st. The day will begin with Brothers visiting the gravesites of the Charter Members who are laid to the rest in the city from 12 PM – 3 PM. The effort will be split into teams of 3 to maintain social distancing. From 5 PM – 7 PM, a Virtual Celebration over Zoom will be held where Brothers will be able to have a meal and socialize as we go through the program. During the program, Brothers from the 40s to the present will discuss the Charter members’ influence on them and any experiences they may have had with the Charter line.

Psi Alpha Chapter recently celebrated our beloved Godfather, Brother Earl Campbell, on October 25th with a drive-by celebration where over 45 vehicles lined up beeping our horns and watching him smile and wave to us as he celebrated 95 years of life. Brother Campbell, a 1944 initiate of the Epsilon Sigma Chapter at Tillotson College which is now Huston-Tillotson University, also celebrated 76 years of serving Omega on October 17, 2020. He was recently interviewed by the Psi Alpha Fatherhood Initiative Committee, where he provided a toolbox of knowledge in speaking on the importance of fatherhood. A point in the interview was when Brother Campbell was asked, “Out of the 4 F’s Faith, Family, Fellowship, and Friendship, which was most important and why? Brother Campbell replied, “Faith is the most important. All of us must have faith in God. He is our creator, having that faith means that fellowship, friendship, and loyalty will follow. In life, whatever we encounter, our faith is the most important thing that we have. Love your neighbor as yourself! (Mark 12:31) If you live by that creed alone…you will certainly live a great life and our lives will be so much better.”

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Community

A Call for Conservation

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City of San Antonio opens cooling centers as ERCOT calls for conservation through the week

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) has called on the state to conserve power through Friday, June 18, 2021. 

“With ERCOT calling for conservation and higher temperatures approaching, I want to encourage our residents to utilize these cooling centers if they need to seek safety from the heat. If you need assistance, please call 311,” said City Manager Erik Walsh.

To conserve energy at home, CPS Energy recommends that customers:

  • Set thermostats 2 to 3 degrees higher from 2 – 7 p.m.; set programmable thermostats to higher temperatures when no one is home. The optimum energy-saving temperature is 78 degrees.
  • Avoid using large appliances (i.e. ovens, washing machines, etc.), especially during peak demand hours.
  • Use fans to feel 4 to 6 degrees cooler. Remember: fans cool people by moving air across the skin. They don’t cool rooms and should be turned off in empty rooms.
  • Set pool pumps to run early morning or overnight; shutoff from 4 – 6 p.m.
  • Turn off and unplug non-essential lights and appliances.
  • Close shades and blinds on windows exposed to direct sunlight.
  • Charge electric vehicles after 9 p.m.

Cooling Centers

The City of San Antonio has opened the following locations as cooling centers. The City of San Antonio has opened the following locations as cooling centers. Service animals (as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act) are allowed in City Cooling Centers. As required by law, residents should always provide pets with protection from the sun, a shelter that includes three walls, a raised floor and roof as well as food and fresh water daily. 

Residents in need of transportation assistance can contact 311 for assistance. Those with medical needs and in need of assistance should also call 311 for arrangements.

Locations and hours of operation are below:

NAMEADDRESSMTWTRFRSASU
Bazan Library 2200 W Commerce StClosed12pm-8pm10am-6pm10am-6pm10am-6pm10am-6pm1pm-6pm
Brook Hollow Library 530 Heimer RdClosed12pm-8pm10am-6pm10am-6pm10am-6pm10am-6pm 
Carver Library3350 E Commerce StClosed12pm-8pm10am-6pm10am-6pm10am-6pm10am-6pm 
Cody Library 11441 Vance Jackson RdClosed12pm-8pm10am-6pm10am-6pm10am-6pm10am-6pm 
Collins Garden Library200 N Park BlvdClosed12pm-8pm10am-6pm10am-6pm10am-6pm10am-6pm1pm-6pm
Cortez Library 2803 Hunter BlvdClosed12pm-8pm10am-6pm10am-6pm10am-6pm10am-6pm1pm-6pm
Encino Library2515 E Evans RdClosed12pm-8pm10am-6pm10am-6pm10am-6pm10am-6pm 
Great Northwest Library9050 Wellwood StClosed12pm-8pm10am-6pm10am-6pm10am-6pm10am-6pm 
Guerra Library7978 Military Drive WestClosed12pm-8pm10am-6pm10am-6pm10am-6pm10am-6pm1pm-6pm
Igo Library 13330 Kyle Seale PkwyClosed12pm-8pm10am-6pm10am-6pm10am-6pm10am-6pm 
Johnston Library 6307 Sun Valley DrClosed12pm-8pm10am-6pm10am-6pm10am-6pm10am-6pm 
Landa Library233 Bushnell AveClosed12pm-8pm10am-6pm10am-6pm10am-6pm10am-6pm 
Las Palmas Library515 Castroville RdClosed12pm-8pm10am-6pm10am-6pm10am-6pm10am-6pm1pm-6pm
Maverick Library8700 Mystic ParkClosed12pm-8pm10am-6pm10am-6pm10am-6pm10am-6pm 
Mission Library3134 Roosevelt AveClosed12pm-8pm10am-6pm10am-6pm10am-6pm10am-6pm1pm-6pm
Pan American Library1122 W. Pyron AveClosed12pm-8pm10am-6pm10am-6pm10am-6pm10am-6pm1pm-6pm
Parman Library at Stone Oak20735 Wilderness OakClosed12pm-8pm10am-6pm10am-6pm10am-6pm10am-6pm 
San Pedro Library1315 San Pedro AveClosed12pm-8pm10am-6pm10am-6pm10am-6pm10am-6pm 
Schaefer Library6322 US HWY 87 EClosed12pm-8pm10am-6pm10am-6pm10am-6pm10am-6pm 
Semmes Library15060 Judson RdClosed12pm-8pm10am-6pm10am-6pm10am-6pm10am-6pm 
Thousand Oaks Library4618 Thousand Oaks DrClosed12pm-8pm10am-6pm10am-6pm10am-6pm10am-6pm 
Tobin Library at Oakwell4134 Harry WurzbachClosed12pm-8pm10am-6pm10am-6pm10am-6pm10am-6pm 
Westfall Library6111 Rosedale CtClosed12pm-8pm10am-6pm10am-6pm10am-6pm10am-6pm1pm-6pm
James Bode Community Center901 Rigsby Ave3pm-9pm3pm-9pm3pm-9pm3pm-9pm3pm-7pm1pm-5pm 
Commanders House Adult and Senior Center622 S Flores8am-5pm8am-5pm8am-5pm8am-5pm8am-5pmClosed 
Copernicus Community Center 5003 Lord Rd7:30 am-7:00 pm7:30 am-7:00 pm7:30 am-7:00 pm7:30 am-7:00 pm7:30 am-7:00 pm10am-4pm 
Dawson Community Center 2500 E CommerceClosed2pm-9pm2pm-9pm2pm-9pm2pm-7pm9am-5pm 
Denver Heights Community Center 300 Porter StClosedClosedClosedClosedClosedClosed 
Dorie Miller Community Center2802 Martin Luther King DrClosedClosedClosedClosedClosedClosed 
Fairchild Recreation Center1214 E Crockett St3:30pm-8:00pm3:30 pm-8:30 pm9am-12pm & 3:30pm-8:00pm3:30 pm-8:30 pm9am-12pm & 3:30pm-8pm9am-3pm 
Father Roman Community Center 11030 Ruidosa StClosedClosedClosedClosedClosedClosed 
Garza Community Center5627 Mira Vista7:30 am-7:00 pm7:30 am-7:00 pm7:30 am-7:00 pm7:30 am-7:00 pm7:30 am-7:00 pm10am-4pm 
Gill Community Center 7902 Westshire8am-5pm8am-5pm8am-5pm8am-5pm8am-5pmClosed 
Granados Adult and Senior Center500 Freiling DrClosedClosedClosedClosedClosedClosed 
Hamilton Community Center 10700 Nacogdoches Rd7:30 am-5:30 pm7:30 am-9pm7:30 am-5:30 pm7:30 am-9pm7:30 am-5:30 pm9am-5pm 
Harlandale Community Center 301 Sussex Ave2pm-9pm2pm-9pm2pm-9pm2pm-9pm2pm-7pm9am-5pm 
Lincoln Community Center 2915 E Commerce St3pm-9pm3pm-9pm3pm-9pm3pm-9pm3pm-7pm11am-3pm 
Lions Field Adult & Senior Citizens Center2809 Broadway St8am-5pm8am-5pm8am-5pm8am-5pm8am-5pmClosed 
Melendrez Community Center 5909 W Commerce St2pm-9pm2pm-9pm2pm-9pm2pm-9pm2pm-7pm9am-5pm 
Miller’s Pond Community Center 6075 Old Pearsall Rd2pm-9pm2pm-9pm2pm-9pm2pm-9pm2pm-7pm9am-5pm 
Normoyle Community Center & Senior Center700 Culberson Ave2pm-9pm2pm-9pm2pm-9pm2pm-9pm2pm-7pm9am-5pm 
Palm Heights Community Center1201 W Malone Ave7:30 am-7 pm7:30 am-7:00 pm7:30 am-7:00 pm7:30 am-7:00 pm7:30 am-7 pm10am-4pm 
San Juan Community Center 2307 S Calaveras2pm-9pm2pm-9pm2pm-9pm2pm-9pm2pm-7pm9am-5pm 
South San Community Center 2031 Quintana Rd7:30 am-5:30 pm7:30 am-9pm7:30 am-5:30 pm7:30 am-9pm7:30 am-5:30 pm1pm-5pm 
Southside Lions Community Center3100 Hiawatha Dr7:30 am-7:00 pm7:30 am-7:00 pm7:30 am-7:00 pm7:30 am-7:00 pm7:30 am-7:00 pm10am-4pm 
Tobin Community Center 1900 W MartinClosedClosedClosedClosedClosedClosed 
Ward Community Center 435 E Sunshine2pm-9pm2pm-9pm2pm-9pm2pm-9pm2pm-7pm9am-5pm 
Woodard Community Center 1011 Locke St2pm-9pm2pm-9pm2pm-9pm2pm-9pm2pm-7pm9am-5pm 
Alicia Trevino Lopez Senior Center8353 Culebra Rd7am-4pm7am-4pm7am-4pm7am-4pm7am-4pmClosed 
Claude Black Community Center (District 2)2805 E Commerce St7am-4pm7am-4pm7am-4pm7am-4pm7am-4pmClosed1pm-6pm
District 2 Senior Center 1751 S WW White Rd7am-4pm7am-4pm7am-4pm7am-4pm7am-4pmClosed 
District 5 Senior Center2701 S Presa St7am-4pm7am-4pm7am-4pm7am-4pm7am-4pmClosed 
Doris Griffin Senior Center6154 NW Loop 4107am-4pm7am-4pm7am-4pm7am-4pm7am-4pmClosed 
Frank Garrett Multi-Service Center1226 NW 18th St7am-4pm7am-4pm7am-4pm7am-4pm7am-4pmClosed1pm-6pm
Northeast Senior Center4135 Thousand Oaks7am-4pm7am-4pm7am-4pm7am-4pm7am-4pmClosed 
West End Park Comprehensive Senior Center1226 NW 18th St7am-4pm7am-4pm7am-4pm7am-4pm7am-4pmClosed 
Bob Ross Senior Center2219 Babcock Rd,7am-4pm7am-4pm7am-4pm7am-4pm7am-4pmClosed1pm-6pm
Southside Lions Senior Center3303 Pecan Valley Dr7am-4pm7am-4pm7am-4pm7am-4pm7am-4pmClosed1pm-6pm

Text COSAGOV to 55000 to receive updates and information

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City Budget- Your Input Is Important

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City of San Antonio invites residents to participate in virtual FY 2022 budget telephone town hall meetings

The City of San Antonio will host two virtual telephone town hall meetings to inform the public about the Fiscal Year 2022 budget development process, answer public questions and gather input. The virtual meetings will include telephone town hall features, which allow residents to register in advance and receive a call when it’s time to join the event. City Manager Erik Walsh, Deputy City Manager Maria Villagomez and Budget Director Scott Huizenga will lead the public meeting. 

The meetings will be held Tuesday, June 22 and Wednesday, June 23 at 6 p.m. Residents can register here to participate at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FY2022telephonemtg. Registration closes three hours prior to each event. 

“Telephone town hall meetings are a convenient way to hear directly from our residents, from the comfort of their homes. Each of our residents leads a busy life, whether that’s tending to their families, commuting to and from work, balancing schoolwork, or other priorities. These telephone town hall events allow the public to participate wherever they are,” said City Manager Erik Walsh. “The annual budget process sets the framework for our work in the community and our strategic goals.”

The City also opened a brief budget survey, which will remain open through June 21, 2021. The survey gives residents the opportunity to weigh in on their service priorities, as well as share their thoughts on restoring programming from budget cuts made in FY 2020 and FY 2021. City residents can take the survey on www.saspeakup.com or by texting SASpeakUp to 55000 to take the survey on their mobile devices.

More information about the telephone town hall meetings and survey are available at www.saspeakup.com.

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Community

Complimentary One-day Ticket To Six Flags Fiesta Texas

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Six Flags Fiesta Texas is partnering with SA Metro Health to give away 20,000 one-day tickets – over $1.5 million in value – to people who get a COVID-19 vaccination at any Metro Health or partner vaccine clinic. 

Beginning Tuesday, May 25, individuals who get vaccinated at any of these clinics will receive a complimentary one-day ticket to Six Flags Fiesta Texas valid through Sept 6, 2021 to enjoy a fun day at the park.

“Six Flags Fiesta Texas is honored to partner with city leaders to encourage residents to get vaccinated, especially in underserved communities,” said Park President Jeffrey Siebert. “We appreciate Mayor Nirenberg’s leadership on this initiative and we look forward to partnering with the City of San Antonio Metro Health to assist with their vaccine campaign efforts.”

Metro Health will also share the theme park tickets with its partners – including UT Health San Antonio, University Health System, University of the Incarnate Word, WellMed, San Antonio Fire Department, Bexar County Health Collaborative and Curative – to give to those who receive their vaccine at designated vaccine clinics. 

“With so many people who enjoy visiting Six Flags Fiesta Texas each year, we hope people take advantage of this generous ticket giveaway and go get vaccinated. This could mean that 20,000 more residents get vaccinated to help us end the pandemic,” said Mayor Ron Nirenberg.  

As a reminder, people can get vaccinated either by walk-in or appointment at the Alamodome drive-thru clinic from noon to 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday.

For a list of locations of Metro Health vaccine clinics around the city, visit http://covid19.sanantonio.gov.  

For more information about Six Flags Fiesta Texas, including operating hours, visit https://www.sixflags.com/fiestatexas.

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