Celebrating And Conserving the San Antonio River
The Witte Museum Unveils Riverside Habitat Marker
The Witte Museum is going out to help show the community the importance of preserving water as a community resource vital to the environment, people’s livelihoods and local history. Officials from the Witte gathered with museum supporters and local leaders April 16 to unveil a marker that formally recognizes the new Bexar County Riverside Habitat, located on the Witte campus.
The habitat will reinforce the San Antonio River’s significance as both the lifeblood of the city and its historic heart, according to a news release.
The habitat and Trail 23 serve as a bookend to the river improvements project’s 13-mile linear park. After the unveiling, hundreds of people attended the Witte’s annual Texas Trailblazers Luncheon, in partnership with Texas Monthly, at the Mays Family Center on campus.
The Witte Museum commended Bexar County Commissioners Court and the San Antonio River Authority for their efforts to celebrate, conserve, and enhance the San Antonio River, while also ensuring the community’s future water needs are met. The museum has been increasing its space toward exploration and further discussions about water as a natural resource and as a vital life source.
Dr. Andrew Sansom, executive director at the Meadows Center for Water and the environment, was the keynote speaker at the luncheon. He spoke about the importance of water in San Antonio’s history, and the need for all Texas to understand the importance of water conservation.
Sansom said one of the most crucial things that Texas state government and local governments statewide can do to help boost water conservation is to slow the breakup of ancestral family-owned properties. He explained the value of water rights in Texas has skyrocketed, and that the more people who remain on their long-established properties, the state is better able to track the ownership and allocation of water rights.
Witte CEO/President Marise McDermott also told luncheon attendees of the Witte’s plans to develop a Center for the Future of Water. The facility, McDermott said, will tell the story of water from various perspectives: scientific, cultural, historical and political. The center will be built within the first half of the 2020s.
DoSeum Opens Force Course
The DoSeum has (re)opened one of the more popular stops in the former San Antonio Children’s Museum. Previously called Powerball Hall, the exhibit has been renamed Force Course, and it has been expanded and improved so that adults and children can play together.
In this interactive space, children learn about force—how it pushes, pulls, and moves the balls around the exhibit. It is open to children ages 0-10 and has traditionally been more appealing to younger children who explore the phenomena of force through a series of experiments. The original Powerball Hall debuted in 2009 at the Children’s Museum when it was located on East Houston Street.
Following renovations at The DoSeum, Force Course boasts additions such as two ball cannons, a ball run using simple machines, a second entrance, and a music and light target that is activated by launched balls. Children also learn about simple machines: inclined planes, wheels and axles, pulleys, wedges, and levers, according to a news release. These elements are taught at the magnet wall, where children may build a ball run with a variety of simple machines. Youngsters experience first-hand what each item can do to the balls, and begin to associate this function with the simple machine.
Incumbents Win in May Election
Area voters on May 4 chose to retain their representatives with the Alamo Heights Independent School District (AHISD) and San Antonio City Council, but one San Antonio race is going to a runoff.
David Hornberger was re-elected to the AHISD Place 1 board seat, receiving 73% of the vote. The Alamo Heights resident fended off a challenge from Terrell Heights resident Arlene Serrano, a local teacher. Hornberger, an executive with a financial advisory firm, said he wanted to help maintain progress with the school district, which is implementing projects from the voter-approved 2017 bond.
Attorney Brian Hamilton from Olmos Park ran unopposed for the Place 2 board position. John Tippit did not file for another term in Place 2.
In San Antonio, Clayton Perry won re-election to the District 10 City Council seat with 64% of the vote, beating out four challengers. A “back to basics” approach to road, drainage and sidewalk improvements and to maintaining city services has long been a priority for Perry, a retired U.S. Air Force engineer. Perry also supports reducing property taxpayers’ burden wherever possible and protecting local military bases from encroaching development.
District 1 Councilman Roberto Treviño won re-election with 59%, topping a nine-candidate field. He has focused on infrastructure improvements, affordable housing, and helping to provide a better grasp of the management of residential and commercial development in the center of town. The Council District 2 race, along with races in Districts 4 and 6 and the mayoral election, will be decided in a June 8 runoff.
Former Councilman Keith Toney and Jada Andrews-Sullivan, business owner and military veteran, advanced to the runoff after receiving the most votes Election Day, but each fell short of the 50% plurality vote. Andrews-Sullivan campaigned for improved infrastructure and public safety, broader government transparency and access, economic development, and to ensure community members have a more significant say in matters such as redevelopment. Toney has emphasized his experience in working with city government. The District 2 runoff winner succeeds Art Hall, the appointed District 2 member who declined to file for a full term in office.
Alamo Heights Mayor Bobby Rosenthal and Councilmen Lawson Jessee and Wes Sharples all were re-elected without opposition. Terrell Hills Council members William Ochse and Marilyn Eldridge were re-elected without opposition.
UIW Plans to Buy AT&T Building
The board of trustees with the University of the Incarnate Word is due to meet in June to consider the purchase of the AT&T building at Broadway and East Hildebrand Avenue. According to a press release in early May, the telecom company accepted Incarnate Word’s bid that involves acquiring the 10-acre property, which includes an eight-story building with 350,000 square feet of office space, and a 500-space parking garage.
BY EDMOND ORTIZ