San Antonio Parks Summer Events

Created Thursday, 26 July 2007 08:51

San Antonio Parks Department Sponsors Summer Events

 San Antonio residents looking for something new and interesting to do, may not be aware that the city’s Parks and Recreation Department plays host to many different events and functions throughout the year.  The department does much more than just maintains the swimming pools, gyms, sports parks and recreation centers.  It is also in charge of the Botanical Garden and Conservatory, where many of these great cultural and social events are staged.  With summer in full swing, it’s worth having a look at their line-up for the rest of July and early August!

 

Ø July 25-26: BRAVO!  The Parks and Recreation Department put on a song and dance show featuring their own dance troupes at the Arneson River Theater, La Villita.  The admission charge of $5 goes to support the participants.

Ø July 28: VIVA VOLUNTARIOS!—If you care about keeping San Antonio beautiful, and want to do your part along with some other helpful folks, you are more than welcome to participate and volunteer some time planting native plants, removing non-native ones, picking up garbage, and helping keep San Antonio green and alive!  This event will take place at the Medina Natural Area from 8 AM-12 PM, and there is one of these on the last Saturday of each month until December.

Ø Aug. 4: OUR PART OF TOWN TALENT SHOW AUDITION—If you think you have a special talent that just waiting to be discovered by the world, then this is the place for you!  Categories are based on age, and all are welcome to try to win the $1000 prize.  This is the date for District 7, and winners will move on to the next round, held in late August, and then to the finals in Oct.  District 7 auditions will be held in the Cuellar Community Center, 5626 San Fernando, from 10 AM-12 PM.

Ø Aug, 4-5: DOG DAYS OF SUMMER—Bring your pooch to the Botanical Garden from 8 AM-5 PM to have him microchipped ($25), or enter him in a contest!  All proceeds benefit the Humane Society, Botanical Garden, and Animal Defense League.  If you don’t have a dog, you can get the process underway of adopting one here too!

The Parks and Recreation Department does so much more than just keep the parks and fitness areas working properly; they also offer San Antonio a diverse series of events and activities for the whole family.  You can help out by attending an event, or by volunteering some of your time and will help to make sure that San Antonio is active, clean, and enjoyable for years to come.

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San Antonio Cowboys

Created Wednesday, 25 July 2007 23:26

The San Antonio Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys have moved south for the summer, and are holding their pre-season camp in the Alamodome this year.  America’s Team, though boasting enough talent to make a deep playoff run, is in a state of flux.  Gone is the Big Tuna, Bill Parcells, and in is new head coach Wade Phillips.  Phillips was last seen as the defensive coordinator for San Diego, but has been the head man before.  To many, Phillips was a curious choice.  Certainly known as a top-notch defensive mind, Phillips’ time as head coach has not been particularly successful.  His record as head coach is just over .500 (48-42), and he is 0-3 in the playoffs.  Parcells was 34-30 in his time in Dallas, but did boast two Super Bowl rings before arriving.

Aside from the new man in charge, Dallas boasts plenty of talent: Terrell Owens is coming off a sub-par year and should become his explosive old self, and young QB, Tony Romo had a great season after winning the starting job midway through the season.  The Cowboys defense should be one of the best in the league with Phillips at the helm.

Last year, the team was 9-7 and a mishandled hold on a chip shot field goal away from advancing out of the wild-card round of the playoffs.  Many writers and pundits are picking them to win their division this year.

 

Practice Underway

Wednesday marked the first of many practices the Cowboys will hold in San Antonio. After spending the last few pre-season camps in California, the Cowboys have decided to stay in their home state, and may even be putting down some roots in San Antonio.  With the city offering the use of the Alamodome for free, and the team accepting a deal to come back for the next 5 years (with an additional option to extend by another 5) it looks like the Cowboys are certainly playing to the home state fans.

After Wednesday’s first practice, fans were invited to the Dallas Cowboys 2007 Kick-Off Spectacular, a free pep rally which featured Grammy-winning artists, Los Lonely Boys, and appearances by players, coaches, and cheerleaders.

Although the city is not receiving any rent for the use of the dome, officials believe that a small profit will be made from concessions and parking, but the main benefit should be the entertainment value, and the chance for the hordes of San Antonio’s Cowboys fans to get a chance to see the team in (limited) action.

Practice is free to the public, although parking is not.  The team will hold practices through August 8, with times varying.

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Showdown In San Antonio In 2008

Created Saturday, 21 July 2007 22:11

Don’t Miss The Final Four Showdown In San Antonio In 2008
The National Collegiate Athletic Association or NCAA is an association which comprises of over a thousand individuals and institutions that organize sports programs of colleges in U.S.A. It has its headquarters in Indianapolis and its president is Myles Brand. There are many sports which come under the NCAA such as football, baseball, soccer and basketball. The NCAA has three divisions in its setup, Divisions I, II and III. Schools under Divisions I and II can give their students sports scholarships.
The NCAA also holds championships in most of its sports, like football, hockey, gymnastics and basketball. The Basketball Men’s Division I basketball championship is held every year around spring and is one of the most awaited events for most sports fans. It usually takes place in March so has even been called March Madness by some. The games take place over a period of three weeks in different places across the country. The semifinals which take place at the end of the three weeks have four teams from each region. These four teams are referred to as the Final Four. These teams are the championships in their individual regions and come together in the last weekend of the tournament to play the semifinals. These Final Four games have become one of the major sporting events in the country.

The basketball tournament was played for the first time in 1939 after it was thought of by Phog Allen, the basketball coach of the University of Kansas. There were only eight teams that played in the first few years of the tournament. Since 2001, there are sixty-five teams that compete.

There has been a bit of controversy surrounding the origin of the term “Final Four”. The NCAA has stated that the term was coined by Ed Chay, a sportswriter, in 1975 in an article he had written. The NCAA started using that term from 1978 onwards and even has a trademark on it.

The NCAA basketball tournament gained more popularity after it started being telecast nationally in 1954. Since then it has also been shown on NBC, CBs and ESPN thus expanding its popularity all over the country.

The tournament has a number of rules, including one which prohibits teams from playing in their home courts. Some teams have been lucky at times to play games in cities close to their home towns. The Final Four usually play in the third weekend of the tournament. On Saturday they play the semifinals and Monday is the day of the Championship game.

The Final Four in 2008 is slated to be held in San Antonio. The first time San Antonio had hosted the Final Four was in 1998 at the Alamodome. It had the honor again in 2004. It has been awarded the same honor for the third time for 2008. Tickets for this event are already being sold and there is a huge demand for them. You can buy tickets for the championship game only or for all the games. Either way you need to be prepared for an exciting showdown in San Antonio in 2008.

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Texas Hill Wine Country

Created Wednesday, 18 July 2007 22:42

Texas is big, diverse, and home to an extraordinary amount of various businesses, foods, and production of all types of goods and services, but most people don’t think of Texas as being a major wine-producing part of the world. Well, pretty soon people just may have to start mentioning Texas in the same breath as France, California, Spain, and Italy. In fact, if the recent San Francisco International Wine Competition is any indication, South Texas wines may become the toast of the industry.

At the most recent competition, numerous vineyards from as near as the Hill Country to as far as East Texas, Lubbock and Galveston won medals in the competition while drawing rave reviews. But it really shouldn’t come as any surprise that Texas is finally getting on the map in this industry. With the climate that the state enjoys, mixed with the fertile ground and the passion of Texans for quality food and drink, the spread of vineyards to the state was inevitable. In fact, the Texas Hill Country’s roughly 15,000 square miles of growing area is the second largest wine-producing region in the country. This region is now producing a number of Bordeaux blends, merlots, cabernets, sangioveses, syrahs, tempranillos, and viogniers.

 

Naturally, summer is the best time of the year to explore this region, and the wineries sponsor the Harvest Wine Trail each year, where guests can come visit the vineyards and bodegas along the Trail, and sample what’s fermenting after the latest harvest. For $25, guests gain entry to each of the 22 wineries participating in the event. This year’s tour takes place on two weekends: August 17-19, and 24-26. Guests participating in the tours will be able to tour the wineries, enjoy different wines in the tasting rooms, and relax on the patios, overlooking the gorgeous Texas Wine Country.

Each participating winery has its own special activities planned for guests. The following are some of the participating wineries, and a taste of what presentations they will offer their guests.

o Dry Comal Creek Vineyards: Texas’ summers can be sweltering, so the owner invites guests to relax with a glass of wine under the “Big Ass Fan” and take a tour of the vines weighted down with ripe grapes.
o Becker Vineyards: “Stomp Me, Crush Me, Make Me Wine” is the winery’s annual grape crushing event, where guests are encouraged to participate and help out in this stage of production. The vineyards also present a panel discussion of all things wine.
o Driftwood Vinyards: Tastings, contests, and a chance to meet the owner for an autograph session will take place at Driftwood, and guests can enjoy a glass of wine on the beautiful patio.
o Fall Creek Vineyards: If you’ve never seen the “I Love Lucy” episode where Lucy and friends crush grapes, then this is your chance to see it, and participate in Fall Creek’s own version. The vineyard also offers a four-course lunch and extensive tour.
o Texas Hills Vineyard: This bodega offers their own grape stomp accompanied by Italian music, with a wine and cheese tasting to follow.
o Woodrose Winery: Offering a gourmet food menu to go along with the season’s wines, Woodrose invites guests to enjoy cheeses, spinach dip, Stonewall Peach Salsa, and other goodies on the patio or in the tasting room.

Although all the wineries offer tours and tastings throughout the year, the late summer harvest is the perfect occasion to come and see why Texas’ wines are becoming so popular and gaining the world’s attention.

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Lady Bird Johnson

Created Sunday, 15 July 2007 09:39

Lady Bird Johnson: 12.22.12 – 07.11.07

Lady Bird Johnson, wife of President Lyndon Johnson, died last week of natural causes after years of health issues. The former First Lady, born Claudia Alta Taylor, was known throughout Texas and the United States as being a major architect for numerous beautification and conservation programs.  Lady Bird was also one of the most decorated First Ladies in the history of the United States, having been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977, and the Congressional Gold Medal in 1984.

 

Lady Bird grew up in Marshall, Texas, was born to a successful businessman, and a mother who died when Lady Bird was just five.  The future First Lady graduated from the University of Texas with two degrees – one in Arts and the other in Journalism – in a time when few women were expected to even attend college, let alone work.

Lady Bird met her future husband while both were working in Washington.  They went on exactly one date before the future president proposed marriage.  The couple was then wed in San Antonio at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church.

Lady Bird was known to be an extremely reluctant public speaker, even going so far as to purposefully lower her grades in high school so as not to be named valedictorian and have to give a speech.  By marrying a man with a budding career in politics, though, she was eventually able to overcome her fear, and join her husband on the campaign trail, giving speeches of her own.

As First Lady, Mrs. Johnson pushed many beautification projects through, and was responsible for publicizing the Highway Beautification Act to limit billboards and plant vegetation along America’s highways.  She used her position to raise money for beautification programs in Washington, and at the age of 70 (in 1982), Lady Bird founded the National Wildflower Research Center outside Austin, which was later renamed in her honor.  Lady Bird was a true environmentalist, and a pioneer for the cause of conservation.

The later years of her life were troubled by sickness and health problems, yet she persevered.  Although she suffered a stroke in 1993 which eventually left her legally blind, the former First Lady still made occasional public appearances, even as recent as an announcement for renovation of her late husband’s library in October, 2006.  The last couple of years saw her in and out of hospitals, and though bound to a wheelchair, also made an appearance at the White House in 2005.

Lady Bird loved driving through Texas and seeing the wildflowers in bloom, which was one of the driving forces behind so many of her projects . . . wanting to make all the nation’s highways, as beautiful as those in her beloved Texas.

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Leon Springs Texas

Created Thursday, 12 July 2007 22:11

Leon Springs, Texas

Since its days as a stagecoach stop, Leon Springs has been a place for travelers to rest, have a great meal, and some entertainment, but these days, people are coming here and staying for good!  The town may have grown a bit since the old days, but it still possesses the rugged frontier charm and laid back lifestyle that drew people here in the first place.

Like much of Texas Hill Country, Leon Springs possesses quite a colorful history.  The town was founded by a variety of characters, such as John W. Smith, the last messenger sent out from the Alamo; John Meusebach, a German baron who helped make a lasting peace with the local Indians; and Max Aue, a retired Texas Ranger, who helped develop the town as a stagecoach stop, bringing the first commerce to the town.  Many of the buildings that these men and their families built are still in use today, giving the town a timeless, historical feel.

For nature enthusiasts, Leon Springs provides miles of parks, reserves, and protected land, ensuring that although the town may grow, the beauty and majesty of Texas Hill Country will be preserved.  Residents of Leon Springs can enjoy the peace and serenity of Friedrich Wilderness Park and its five miles of hiking trails, and thousands of species of animals that call the area home.

Leon Springs is famous in Texas for being home to the original Rudy’s Country Store and Barbeque.  These days, Rudy’s is known throughout the southwest, but the store started in 1929.  Rudy’s features an array of smoked meats and a special sause that they ship around the world.  The town is also home to the Leon Springs Dancehall, another of the Hill Country’s famous landmarks.  The dancehall is a great place to come with friends and family for a favorite Texas meal of barbeque and beer, and to listen to local country bands perform live.

Located in Leon Springs is Camp Stanley, a logistics facility used for ammunition storage and testing, and Camp Bullis, utilized for firing ranges, maneuver areas for army, air force, and marine combat units, and for field training of the various security and medical units from Lackland AFB, Ft Sam Houston and Brook Army Medical Center. The total area includes over 26,000 acres. In addition to providing the all important military training facilities, much attention is dedicated to wildlife reservations.

Leon Springs offers residents peaceful, laid-back country living in a historical small town, located just ten miles outside of San Antonio.  Residents are able to relax, surrounded by the Texas Hill Country beauty, but also have all the amenities of the city just a short drive away.  Residents are pleased to call Leon Springs home, and one visit will show you why!

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Cibolo Canyons The PGA Village

Created Wednesday, 11 July 2007 18:19

Cibolo Canyons: A Troubled Project Finally Gets Underway

UPDATE: Marriott Resort/PGA Village to open in January 22, 2010

The Marriott Resort: www.tpcsanantonio.com/ resort plans to fill 500-600 jobs and is staging a job fair that continues from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday on site. (December 11 – 12, 2009; 8-5)

Visit KSAT12 website for more information

 

San Antonio and the Texas Hill Country is a top destination for a variety of sporting activities, and a huge project is underway to assure that the area remains that way in the future. This enormous development project underway in Cibolo Canyons includes two PGA quality golf courses, a planned housing community, and a giant JW Marriott resort, spa, and convention center. Although construction on the project has recently gotten underway, not everyone is thrilled with the plans.

The road has been a long and difficult one for developers, and the project has been eight years in getting off the ground. But as long as it took to begin building, the plan, agreed upon with the city, is to have construction finished in eighteen months.

Construction of the golf course and resort began recently, but some environmentally-minded members of the community are less than thrilled with the project, since plans call for part of the two golf courses to be built over the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone, and would use water from the aquifer – San Antonio’s major source of clean water, and one of the largest aquifers in the world. Environmental groups also complain that the pesticides being used will pollute the water supply, and that San Antonio is selling out its natural resources for a playground for the wealthy.

Marriott’s spokespeople counter that they are following environmental guidelines to the letter, and that this project will be the most environmentally sound construction project undertaken in the state of Texas. Marriott also states that, upon completion, the project will provide a habitat for native wildlife through its grounds, though it is difficult to see how building a 1000 room hotel and dual golf courses could protect wildlife.

Regardless of the environmental impact the project will or will not have, the financial implications are easier to predict, and are projected to have a dramatic economic impact on the area. The golf course and resort project is estimated to produce over 2,000 permanent jobs, 5,000 construction jobs, and over $1 billion in tax revenues over the next quarter century.

The JW Marriott hotel will be one of the largest in the San Antonio area, and will feature 138,000 square feet of meeting space, along with the most modern technology available. The hotel will also offer one main restaurant, and three others spread around the property. The hotel and resort will be just a 20 minute drive from the airport, and hopes are that having such an inclusive and comprehensive location available will draw more businesses and raise interest in the city, long known for being one of the top tourist destinations in Texas.

The resort will also feature a relaxing 26,000 square foot spa with 30 treatment rooms, complete fitness center, a series of pools with cascading water, and a restaurant. The design of the spa will attempt to balance the modernity of the building with the natural beauty of the surrounding area.

In the building and designing of the two golf courses, TPC San Antonio PGA Village has enlisted the design skills of Pete Dye and Greg Norman. The two courses, when completed, will feature 36 championship quality holes, set among the beautiful Hill Country environment. The courses will be set away from the residential areas, insuring a peaceful and serene setting for play. The course is scheduled to be finished in 2010, and soon after opening, hopes are that the course will join the other TCP courses across the nation in hosting PGA Tour events and tournaments. San Antonio and the Texas Hill Country possess a wonderful year-round climate, and some of the most stunning landscape in the United States, hopes are that the newest addition to the area, will help make San Antonio a top golfing destination.

Also being built is a 1,800 lot planned Cibolo Canyons home community, featuring upscale houses ranging from $200,000 to around $1 million. The San Antonio Home community, located just minutes away from San Antonio, will be a family-oriented place that will include a private water park, swimming pools, a lazy river, soccer field, hiking and biking trails, and a large community garden. The community will measure a total of 2,593 acres, and will be located just north of San Antonio. In addition to the building of the actual community, construction is also underway for a Cibolo Canyon Parkway to serve the completed area.

The community will have its own NEISD elementary and Lady Bird Johnson High School, and the surrounding green spaces and rugged terrain will be reflected in the styles of the houses, and the entire development’s design made to blend with the beauty of the surrounding Hill Country.

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Superior Quality of Life in Wilson County Texas

Created Saturday, 07 July 2007 18:26

Superior Quality of Life in Wilson County Texas

Floresville Texas is the county seat of Wilson County and named after rancher Don Francisco Flores de Abrego who established his ranch north of town in 1832. A land rich in history which got its start from ranching and to this day is one of the best rural places to live and a great place to call home.

From the gentle rolling hills to the huge oaks with a mild year round climate. The common sandy soils are well suited for a variety of farming and ranching operation including the production of peanuts. Wilson County produces over 30 million pounds of peanuts per year. One of the most popular festivals is the Peanut Festival held each year during the second week of October in Floresville. In the springtime you may enjoy fields of wildflowers, the Texas Bluebonnets to the Indian Paint Brush to the Siberian Wallflowers.

 

Located just south of the hustle and bustle of big city life in San Antonio. The county’s small-town size and laid back attitudes may fool you, but don’t let it… this rural county meets modern day with all the expected conveniences. There is plenty of the rural atmosphere to go around, plus less congestion and cleaner air. You may just enjoy sitting on your front porch where you can enjoy a gorgeous view of the Texas sunrise or just take in the serenity of the wild nature around.

New construction luxury homes with plenty of big old oak trees on large tree lots or acreage are available in rural northern Wilson County beginning at just over $230,000. Other real estate choices are existing acreage homes, horse ranches, country estates, cattle ranches or recreation ranches all include a breath of fresh air. Each town has its own personality. Floresville, Stockdale, La Vernia, Sutherland Springs and the rest of Wilson County are full of wonderful people with solid values.

If you like the outdoors, you are in luck. Just west of Floresville, the San Antonio River meanders through the countryside passing native thickets of mesquite, prickly pear cactus, huisache, cat claw and black brush. Conversely, fields cleared of brush have been transformed into lush planted pastures of grass on which cattle graze or farm crops grow.

Cutting through the heart of Wilson County is the Cibolo Creek. The Jackson Nature Park, on County Road 401 between Floresville and Stockdale, is a pedestrian only park. A looped walking trail offers opportunities in this 50 acre park for picnicking, bird-watching and nature study.

Bordering north Wilson County is the Calaveras Park Lake. The park is open 24 hours for park activities to include picnicking, primitive camping, hiking, nature study, birding, bank fishing and pier fishing. Lake activities include pleasure boating, fishing, water skiing, personal watercraft, sail boating, canoeing and kayaking.

Studies demonstrate that quality of life and property values increases with natural views and wildlife. Because Wilson County is somewhat more of a rural area you have the opportunity to observe more of nature and the abundant Texas wildlife that live and migrate in the area. Watch for white tailed deer, dove, quail, turkey and javalina.

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Independence Day Patriotism

Created Wednesday, 04 July 2007 16:17

Fourth of July or Independence Day is the celebration of declaring independence from Great Britain. In the United States it is a Federal Holiday.

The celebration is often associated with picnics, barbecues, parades, fireworks and other family gatherings. It should be considered one of the most important days to observe American Patriotism.

The above banner is from the Blue Star Mothers and represents two American Servicement that live at this home are away serving our country in war.

 

One of the ways we show our patriotism is to fly the American Flag, Old Glory, the Red, White and Blue… Just driving around the neighborhood makes me feel proud to see the American Flag flying at so many different homes in San Antonio Texas.

 

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Boerne Just 30 Minutes From Downtown

Created Tuesday, 03 July 2007 22:00

Surrounded by the beautiful Texas Hill County, just 30 minutes from downtown San Antonio

 

 Located in the beautiful Texas Hill Country, just 30 miles northwest of San Antonio, the wild west spirit of pioneer Texas is still alive in the town of Boerne. Settled by German immigrants in the mid-1800s, Boerne attracts visitors each year who wish to see what the old days were like, and even take part in the festivities! But residents live here because of the peaceful, neighborly, small-town atmosphere and natural beauty that allows its citizens the peace of mind and tranquility to enjoy their lives, rather than endure them in the fast pace of San Antonio.

 

Boerne was founded by German free thinking individuals, who truly embodied the openness and frontier spirit that made the west so unique, and make Boerne such a special place even today. Indeed, this wild west spirit was such, that the original Germans were atheists, who wouldn’t allow churches to be built in their town, and even painted signs stating that all preachers found in the town after sunset would be shot! Today, though, things are quite different, and there are plenty of churches, but the independent spirit upon which the city was founded is still quite alive.

Residents of the city feel that they have the best of both worlds: a peaceful life where they are free to wander down Hauptstrasse (Main Street) peaking in the art galleries, curio shops, and antique stores that exist among the Old World European architecture that gives the town its own distinct flavor.

Certainly, the natural beauty of the surrounding Hill Country landscape enchants residents and visitors alike, and for those who enjoy outdoor activities, Boerne provides an endless array of possibilities. Parks and protected areas such as the Honey Creek State National Area, Cave Without a Name, Cascade Caverns, and the Cibolo Nature Center, insure that miles and miles of hiking and biking trails are maintained, and for anglers, the numerous streams, rivers, and lakes provide opportunities to pull out a variety of species of fish. Hunters, too, enjoy the chance to go after deer, birds, and almost anything else with feathers, paws, or claws.

Boerne certainly has something for everyone–from 5 star dining, to shopping for antiques and oddities, top rated schools and from the sophistication of the café life to a rugged outdoor adventure–anyone wishing to escape from the manic city life of San Antonio will find what they are looking for in Boerne. The town is a place to come to rejuvenate the mind, body, and spirit, as well as to indulge your creative, slightly bohemian side. A truly interesting mix of the American West and European charm, Boerne has the power to turn visitors into residents. Be careful, one visit will have you wanting to find a Boerne property of your own here!

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