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First Black Female Brigade Commander to Lead Midshipmen

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The Commandant of Midshipmen announced the spring semester midshipman leadership positions, Friday, Nov. 6, which includes the selection of the Naval Academy’s first African American female brigade commander, Midshipman 1st Class Sydney Barber, of Lake Forest, Ill.

The brigade commander is the highest leadership position within the brigade, and is the only “six striper”– a reference to the collar insignia worn on the midshipman uniform, the rank  of midshipman captain. The semester-long position is currently held by Midshipman 1st Class Ryan Chapman and is selected through an application and interview process by senior leadership from the Commandant’s staff. 

The first female brigade commander was then Midshipman 1st Class Juliane Gallina from the class of 1992, who served in the position during the fall of 1991. Barber will be the sixteenth woman selected for brigade commander in the 44 years women have been attending the  Naval Academy. 

Barber, a graduate of Lake Forest High School in Illinois, is a mechanical engineering major and aspires to commission as a Marine Corps ground officer. As a walk-on sprinter and hurdler of the Navy Women’s Varsity Track and Field team, she has lettered all three years of competing and is a USNA record holder for the outdoor 4x400m relay. She is the co-president of the Navy Fellowship of Christian Athletes Club, secretary for the National Society of Black  Engineers, and a member of the USNA Gospel Choir and Midshipman Black Studies Club. Barber served as the 13th company’s executive officer this past Plebe Summer and currently serves as the brigade’s 1st regiment executive officer. 

“Earning the title of brigade commander speaks volumes, but the title itself is not nearly as significant as the opportunity it brings to lead a team in doing something I believe will be truly  special,” said Barber. “I am humbled to play a small role in this momentous season of American history.” 

The brigade striper selection board receives records of the top ranked first class (senior) midshipmen across the brigade for consideration for the most senior midshipman leadership positions each semester. The board’s composition is made up of the deputy commandant of midshipmen, the six battalion officers, the brigade master chief and the current brigade commander. 

Records are reviewed in detail and 30 midshipmen are selected for board interviews. Each member of the board utilizes an objective assessment tool to assess each midshipman and then rank them in order. Individual board member scores are combined and a resultant  consolidated ranking is generated; Barber was the top-ranked midshipman out of this semester’s  board process. 

“She is a catalyst for action, a visionary, a listener, a doer, and a person driven by compassion, by faith, by a fierce sense of passion and heart full of love,” said Chapman. “Sydney is the perfect person to lead the brigade.” 

Barber completed a 7-week internship with the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory two summers ago, where she was instrumental in doing  breakthrough research on bio-electrochemical uses for carbon nanotubes. Her research in developing legislative strategies to address education disparities in minority communities earned her selection as a 2020 Truman Scholar national finalist.  

“Sydney stands out amongst her peers, for not only her exemplary record, but for her clear vision of how she intends to make the world a better place and her accompanying bias for action. We were incredibly proud to have Sydney represent the Naval Academy in her Truman Scholarship interview this year,” said Lt. Cmdr. Darby Yeager, a member of the U.S. Naval Academy’s Truman Scholarship selection committee. 

Barber also initiated a STEM outreach program that leverages mentoring, literature, and service lessons to serve middle school-aged girls of color, and led a team to organize the  inaugural USNA Black Female Network Breakfast to bridge the generational gap between current black midshipmen and alumni. She most recently mobilized a team of more than 180 midshipmen, faculty, and alumni to develop the Midshipman Diversity Team to promote greater diversity, inclusivity, and equity within the Brigade. 

She was recently invited to speak at the regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Visitors, the academy’s congressional oversight committee. Barber discussed how she has negotiated her time as a midshipman in the COVID-19 environment, her activities as a midshipmen striper, leadership in Bancroft Hall, balancing activities over the summer and her experience at Leatherneck, the Marine Corps’ summer training in Quantico, Va. 

Barber was also featured in a Naval Academy Founder’s Day video recently produced by the Naval Academy Alumni Association and Foundation, and discussed how the legacy of midshipmen who came before her is one of her motivations. [Barber can be found in video at minute marks 2:50-3:24 and 4:39-4:56.] 

The announcement of next semester’s leadership team was made to the Brigade of Midshipmen during the noon meal “anchor announcement,” which is currently being held  virtually due to the COVD-19 environment. Other brigade-level striper position billets announced Friday include Midshipman 1st Class Ashley Boddiford, of Oviedo, Florida., as the  brigade executive officer; Midshipman 1st Class Tristan Anderson, of Ventura, California, as the  brigade operations officer; Midshipman 1st Class Evelyn Berecz, of Downingtown, Pennsylvania., as the brigade training officer; Midshipman 2nd Class Taylor Forrester, of York,  Pennsylvania., as the brigade sergeant major; and Midshipman 2nd Class Quin Ramos, of Lafayette, Colorado, as the brigade training sergeant. 

“We are the architects of our future, and every day we earn the right to carry the torch that was once lit by the heroes, pioneers, and giants who came before us,” said Barber. “I owe everything to every person who paved the way for me, so I now pour my heart and soul into blazing the trail for the generations to come.” 

Word of Friday’s announcement spread quickly this past weekend after a social media post by the first Black female to graduate from USNA, Janie Mines. Mines shared a photo of Barber and commented, “This brought me to tears. This young woman, Midshipman Sydney Barber, will be the first Black Female Brigade Commander at the U.S. Naval Academy. 40 years later. Thank you, Sydney! Love you!” Mines graduated from the academy in 1980 with the first class of women, who were inducted in 1976. 

For more information about the Naval Academy, please visit: www.usna.edu or our Facebook page. 

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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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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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