Milestone: Facility is the first of its kind built by VIA, for VIA in the agency’s history
U.S. Congressman Henry Cuellar (District 28) and San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg joined VIA Metropolitan Transit Chair Fernando Reyes, VIA Board members, and President/CEO Jeffrey C. Arndt for the official dedication of the new VIAtrans Operations Center and Maintenance Facility (VTOC) Thursday. The 11-acre property located at 4902 Fredericksburg Road was designed to house VIAtrans operations and fleet maintenance.
Upon opening last month, VTOC became the first facility of its kind built by VIA, for VIA, in the history of the agency, and the first maintenance and operations center for public transit to open in San Antonio in more than 75 years.
The building is a former retail store and later, a popular nightclub before VIA bought and repurposed it to service VIA’s paratransit fleet and operations with vehicle fueling, detailing, and washing stations, underground oil tanks and water capture technology, loading docks, vehicle maintenance bays, and office and exercise space for employees. VIAtrans paratransit service is used by customers who cannot utilize the fixed-route bus system, due to a disability or impairment.
The move to consolidate at this location means more available space in VIA’s main bus yard at San Pedro and North Flores where approximately 700 vehicles were previously housed and serviced daily. VIA’s original operations and maintenance facility was built in 1947 for the San Antonio Transit Company and stands at San Pedro Avenue and West Myrtle Street as the only such site for 75 years.
“These facilities will be the backbone of a growing system that is designed with more frequent, reliable bus and van service, expanded VIAlink service zones, and an Advanced Rapid System network of corridors that’s already underway,” VIA President and CEO Jeffrey C. Arndt said.
The capital project is part of VIA’s plan to Keep San Antonio Moving with investments designed to improve VIA programs and services and was dedicated “in recognition of VIA Metropolitan Transit’s contributions to the continued growth and prosperity of the San Antonio and Bexar County region through its commitment to mobility for residents of all abilities.”
The project received $6 million from the Federal Transit Administration’s Grant for Buses and Bus Facilities Program.
“I’m proud to support this project and proud that my office was able to help secure federal funds to make this milestone possible for VIA and the communities it serves,” Congressman Cuellar said.
“For too long, VIA was operating out of a single facility built just after the end of World War II, to support a definition of mobility designed to meet the needs of a city that simply does not exist anymore,” he said. “Our city, our community, and what it means to have meaningful public transportation today has completely transformed.” . . . We need public transportation to stay competitive, to grow jobs, to attract talent, to capture the momentum of this unprecedented growth. None of it works, without affordable, reliable public transportation.”
The mayor congratulated VIA for “taking steps to get us there – to go faster and farther, together.”
Applicants Sought for Community Action Advisory Board
The City of San Antonio is accepting applications from individuals interested in serving on the Community Action Advisory Board (CAAB). The CAAB advises the City’s Department of Human Services (DHS) and San Antonio City Council on needs, concerns, and goals of low-income persons; recommends policies; and advises on the allocation of federal Community Services Block Grant funds. The CAAB also oversees key responsibilities regarding the Head Start Policy Council of the City’s Head Start Program for its benefit and effective governance. DHS also administers the Community Action Program for the city and Bexar County.
“This is an opportunity for residents to get involved & make a difference in the lives of low-income children & families in our community,” stated Minerva Hernandez, Family Support Coordinator with the Department of Human Services.
Applications will be accepted for representative(s) of low-income individuals and families in the following areas:
- Area I – City Council Districts 1 & 2 and Adjacent Bexar County area
- Area II – City Council District 5
- Area III – City Council Districts 3 & 4 and Adjacent Bexar County area
- Area IV – City Council Districts 6 & 7 and Adjacent Bexar County area
- Area V – City Council Districts 8, 9 &10 and Adjacent Bexar County area
Applicants interested volunteering on the CAAB, must be 18 years of age or older and a resident of a selected service area and committed to serving low-income individuals and families living in poverty.
The Board is comprised of 15 members: five elected public officials (four City Council Members and one County Commissioner), five representatives of the community’s low-income residents, and five representatives from private groups and organizations.
Interested residents can apply with the Office of the City Clerk on the City’s website. If you have any questions or need assistance with your application, please contact Nancy Cano, Boards & Commissions Coordinator, at (210) 207-7257 or via email at Nancy.email@example.com.
The deadline to submit applications is Tuesday, Dec.6, 2022, by 4 p.m. with the Office of the City Clerk.
In the event more than one candidate applies for Low-Income Representative from the same area CAAB Elections for Low Income Representative(s) will be held on Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the following polling locations:
- Area I – West End Park Senior Center – 1226 N.W. 18th St., 78207
- Area II – Normoyle Senior Center – 700 Culberson, 78225
- Area III – Willie Cortez Senior Center – 5512 S.W. Military Drive, 78242
- Area IV – Doris Griffin Senior One-Stop Center – 6157 N.W. Loop 410, Suite 120, 78238
- Area V – Northeast Senior Center – 4135 Thousand Oaks, 78217
Each election site will have paper ballots available with the name of the candidates for each area. For information about the Community Action Advisory Board Contact Liaison: Minerva Hernandez LMSW at 210-207-5917 or email: Minerva.firstname.lastname@example.org.
SeaWorld Christmas Celebration
Texas’ Biggest Christmas Celebration Offers the Largest Light Display in the State and an Exciting New Christmas Nativity Musical Extravaganza
Beginning November 10, SeaWorld San Antonio is trimming the tree and hanging the lights for the return of SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration, the biggest Christmas event in Texas. For 42 days the marine life park will transform into a holiday wonderland featuring millions of sparkling lights, decorations, holiday festivities, and scrumptious holiday treats and eats. Along with returning favorites, the park will premiere the brand-new O Wondrous Night, an exciting, multi-faceted live action musical!
NEW O Wondrous Night Stage Show –The greatest story never told – the story of the Nativity as seen through the eyes of the animals who experienced it – makes its debut this year at SeaWorld San Antonio. This magical experience features amazing puppetry, more than 30 inspirational carols, and dance set against the backdrop of the very first Christmas. This glorious live stage show celebration will charm, entertain, and delight people from all walks of life as they experience the true glory of the season. Singing, special effects, and holiday spirit combine to make O Wondrous Night yet another reason to make SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration, the largest in all of Texas, an annual part of family holiday traditions for years to come.
NEW Christmas Party Zone, Snowman Jam – SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration may be a winter wonderland, but things will heat up at the holiday party zone! Amongst the many holiday areas to visit, guests can catch a special Christmas vibe at Snowman Jam. A DJ spinning the sounds and Festive Flurries fill the air with snowflakes at this club-like section of the park, all centered around the new Frozen Fusion Bar that will serve up specialty cocktails like the Mistletoe Margarita!
Returning Favorites– Guests can renew holiday traditions and encounter 12 uniquely themed holiday areas. Guests will experience the joy of the season while enjoying returning favorites like millions of festive twinkling lights and displays around the entire park, meeting Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, watching the Sesame Street Christmas Parade, or strolling through Christmas Market and visiting Santa himself. Park-goers can also savor the season with chef-created holiday treats served up in cozy holiday settings with visits from Santa, Rudolph, and a cast of memorable holiday characters. Returning holiday festivities include:
- Twelve Yuletide-Themed Areas – A country Christmas can be discovered at Christmas Market, with a unique Christmas tree made entirely of cowboy boots. Park goers can also stroll through Christmas Cove, a 1950s-inspired wonderland, as well as enjoy a whimsical Snowman Village where they can pose with life-sized snowmen. Additionally, guests can make their way through nine more holiday themed areas featuring millions of lights adorning every corner, putting guests in the ultimate holiday mood.
- Holiday Shows and Festive Animal Presentations – World class entertainment awaits those craving the holiday spirit. Enjoy a bit of Fiesta flare with the Merry Mariachis, hear the story of the first Christmas told through song in Peace on Earth, and be inspired by the festive beluga whale and pacific whitesided dolphin presentation, Ocean Discovery: A Splash of Christmas set to the music of The Nutcracker.
- Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and Friends – Guests can immerse themselves in the story of Rudolphwhen strolling past life-size story book vignettes featuring the classic tale and can meet beloved characters including Rudolph, Clarice, Yukon Cornelius, and Bumble.
- The Sesame Street Christmas Parade features fantastic, festively decorated floats with show-stopping performances that celebrate the magic of the holiday season! The whole family will experience an energetic Christmas celebration with Sesame Street friends, including Elmo, Big Bird, Cookie Monster, Abby Cadabby, Bert, Ernie, and more. Families are sure to sing, dance, and be merry with their favorite furry friends!
- Coca-Cola presents Fireside S’mores and a Holiday Scavenger Hunt – Families and friends alike can create memories as they cozy up around a toasty fire and experience the tradition of roasting marshmallows for delicious holiday smores. Afterwards, guests have the chance to become Insta-famous and featured on billboards around San Antonio by participating in a jolly photo scavenger hunt. Upon completion guests will receive a Coca-Cola theme festive holiday prize.
- Festive Food and Beverages – Plenty of holiday inspired treats and eats will satisfy cravings with seasonal candies and baked goods, festive funnel cakes, piping hot chocolate and coffee, and winter cocktails including and the NEW Santa-Gria and the Grinch Cocktail with melon liqueur, and rum! Those wanting a traditional holiday meal can join Mrs. Claus in her kitchen for Dinner with Santa as she serves up a Christmas feast and welcomes the big guy to read stories to the kids! Families can also delight in holiday food and fun as they Dine with Rudolph and Friends. (Reservations required for Dinner with Santa and Dine with Rudolph.)
No visit to SeaWorld is complete without spending time with some incredible marine animals. Guests have the opportunity to view, engage with, and learn about everything from orcas, dolphins, belugas, sharks, and puffins; to tropical fish, sea turtles, birds, and more.
Neighborhood Leadership Academy
Applications Now Open for City of San Antonio’s Neighborhood Leadership Academy
The City of San Antonio is now accepting applications for the eighth cohort of the Neighborhood Leadership Academy. The Neighborhood Leadership Academy equips residents with the skills, knowledge and resources to better advocate for their neighborhoods. There is no fee to apply or participate.
“The Neighborhood Leadership Academy brings together neighbors from all parts of San Antonio to learn more about how their local government works. This valuable program also helps our neighbors learn how they can make their voices heard for issues that are important to their own communities,” said Alanna Reed, City of San Antonio Director of Communications and Engagement.
Participants in the program will hear from guest speakers and City staff about pressing local issues and how they can get involved and share feedback. They will also participate in group discussions, networking opportunities and a specially curated behind the scenes tour of City facilities and services. Past participants have included neighborhood association leaders and residents who are interested in leading their own association or community group.
Applications are open to anyone who lives within San Antonio city limits. There is no cost to participate in this program. Program sessions will take place once a month from January 2023 through June 2023. The deadline to apply is November 10, 2022.
For more information or to apply, visit www.saspeakup.com/2022NLA101.
Applicants Sought for Community Action Advisory Board
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