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Slipping Out of Darkness

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Now that we’ve thawed out a bit and temperatures have been warmer and closer to average, maybe we can return to some normalcy. However, around this time last week countless individuals and families had taken in the exquisite views of measurable snow in San Antonio, a rare scene for locals since 1985 and a very first for others. There were plenty of snowball fights, constructed snowmen and snowwomen that stood out in front of yards along with a great deal of makeshift snow-surfing festivities that took place; all were a nice little mental and physical break from the harsh realities of our “new norms” in the age of Covid-19. Unfortunately, little did San Antonians and Texans know that this excitement was just a little “calm before the storm,” and like the remnants of Covid-19, we’ll be paying the price for the pleasure.

Things quickly took a turn for the worse by the evening of February 14, 2021. With record breaking temperatures in the forecast and potential snowfall, many rushed out to local grocery stores in an effort to shop for essential food and water in the event roads and stores would be closed. Shoppers arrived at stores having to wait in long lines only to discover semi-bare shelves and slim pickings of items to purchase because many heeded protocols and prepared home-cooked meals and celebrated their first socially distanced Valentine’s Day at home with loved ones. Adding insult to injury, thousands of San Antonians began experiencing the bitterness of frigid nights and temperatures that led to incredible snowfall amounts. Then what started as rolling electricity blackouts (typical in summer months in Texas) to protect and conserve the entire Texas power grid abruptly became a little more permanent for millions of residents across the city and the state. And as if sitting in the dark for hours and then days was not enough, it immediately became clear that loss of electricity would cause a hurdling domino effect of catastrophic events. CPS Energy, San Antonio’s municipal electric utility company shutting off of electricity started to trouble the city’s water supply because pumps that assist with water pressure and flow were disabled causing businesses and residents to experience low water pressure, and in far too many cases residents experienced having no water at all.

The historic 2021 winter storm nicknamed “SnowVid” really made its presence known. Major roads and highways closed, school districts canceled classes for the week, Covid-19 vaccinations were brought to a halt, basic essentials like food and water were scarce, and people were basically trapped in their homes ingesting a great amount of uncertainty. And now that power and water have been restored, pocketbooks and bank accounts will take another hit as business owners and citizens repair busted pipes, service vehicles, replenish food pantries, and most likely bear the burden of higher utility bills, etc. in an already bleak future.

According to reports ERCOT (The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Inc.) which operates Texas’s electrical grid and supplies power to more than 25 million Texas customers and represents 90% of the state’s electric load) says Texas was 4 minutes and 37 seconds from total blackout that could have lasted months. Undoubtedly, this storm will never be forgotten; the good, the bad and the ugly.  Kudos to all the essential workers who endured the storm to in an effort to keep us all safe, functional and informed.

Several resources are currently available to assist with recovery

The City of San Antonio, Bexar County and San Antonio Food Bank opened a total of 13 bottled water distribution sites that will remain open for two weeks. Residents will be able to pick up one case of bottled water per day per household. The sites will remain open through March 6.

Bottled Water Distribution Sites

  1. Wheatley Heights Sports Complex – 200 Noblewood Dr.
  2. Brooks – Challenger Dr. @ Research Place
  3. Texas A&M University – San Antonio – Main Campus – One University Way
  4. Port San Antonio – 907 Billy Mitchell Blvd
  5. SeaWorld San Antonio/Aquatica – 10500 Sea World Drive
  6. Six Flags Fiesta Texas – 17000 IH 10 West
  7. Food Bank – 5200 Enrique M. Barrera Pkwy  
  8. Our Lady of the Lake University — 411 SW 24th St
  9. Community Bible Church – 2477 N Loop 1604 E
  10. Heroes Stadium – 4799 Thousand Oaks Dr.
  11. Rolling Oaks Mall — 6909 N Loop 1604 E
  12. Bullis County Park – 27583 Old Blanco Rd
  13. Julius Matthey Middle School – 20350 Red Forest Ln

The locations were selected to be within the closest proximity to areas that are still facing water outages. 

The City will also provide bottled water delivery to homebound seniors, San Antonio Housing Authority properties without water, nursing homes, boarding homes, some dialysis facilities and residents with medical needs. These locations have been identified and coordinated with partner agencies. Delivery availability is limited but can be requested by calling 311.  

The sites will abide by COVID-19 safety protocols, including wearing masks and practicing physical distancing. 

For more information or to receive the latest weather information from the city of San Antonio and Bexar County.

  1. Download the Ready South Texas app, available in the iTunes and Google Play stores
  2. Text COSAGOV to 55000 to receive SMS text message updates
  3. Follow @COSAGOV on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
  4. Bookmark www.sanantonio.gov
  5. Follow other partner agencies on social media:
    1. SAPD: https://twitter.com/SATXPolice
    2. SAFD: https://twitter.com/SATXFire
    3. Bexar County:  https://www.facebook.com/BexarCountyTX
    4. TxDOT San Antonio: https://twitter.com/TxDOTSanAntonio
    5. CPS Energy: https://twitter.com/cpsenergy
    6. SAWS: https://twitter.com/MySAWS
    7. VIA Metropolitan Transit: https://twitter.com/VIA_Transit
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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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