bloggin' all things brownsville

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Still, A Fence Was Built


God Bless The USA, Mr. Shrimp


The Railroad


Bustinza


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Join Us Sunday for a New, Unique Event!


Thursday, August 23, 2012

City Embraces Children's Homeless Shelter Project

 
 
Today, we toured our City's future homeless shelter for children. It will be the first of its kind in the Rio Grande Valley. Our list of community partners is growing. Thank you Brownsville Parks, Grants Brownsville, Diana Clough of BISD's Youth Connection Project, Kenneth Parks of the Brownsville Food Bank, Charlie Cabler, Pete Gonzalez, Chris Patterson, Shannon Guerrero, and my daughter, Cecily. The City purchased the Mother of Perpetual Help property on Madison in May. Everyone has embraced this project. We'll be working on a community garden on the property from about 8 a.m.-noon Saturday. Volunteers welcome.
 
We don't have an opening date, yet, our our City Team is working diligently to renovate it and acquire grant/federal funding needed for a reputable organization to run the facility.
 
Nuns ran the Mother of Perpetual Help as a nursing home. When we toured the facility, it was as if the building was designed to continue to serve our community. It was quite moving to walk the halls where some of the rooms still had the names of the elderly who resided and even passed away there. Those rooms will soon have the names of our city's children in dire need. I believe divine intervention will give them hope.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

UT System Tasks President Garcia, Transition Team with Identifying New Campus

The UT System Board of Regents met today on the following item:

2. U. T. Brownsville: Discussion and appropriate action regarding authorization to  purchase  acreage in or near Brownsville, Cameron County, Texas, for a purchase price not to exceed fair market value as established by independent appraisals for use as the future campus of U. T. Brownsville

RECOMMENDATION
The Chancellor concurs in the recommendation of President García and Executive Vice  Chancellor Reyes that the U. T. System Board of Regents authorize the Chancellor, in  consultation with Regent Stillwell as Board liaison on U. T. Brownsville/Texas Southmost College matters, President García, and the U. T. System transition team for UTB to identify and  recommend to the Board one or more sites to be acquired through gift and/or purchase at a price not to exceed fair market value for the future campus of U. T. Brownsville.


The Board unanimously gave UT-Brownsville President Garcia and the transition team approval to identify a new and/or second campus.

"This is a very exciting endeavor we are undertaking," said Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa.

Garcia and the Team will begin work on an academic master plan in the fall.

"It is my pleasure to accept this challenge," Garcia said. "... to imagine, envision a 21st Century campus."

Chancellor Cigarroa added that the expertise of a master planner will be sought and that this was a "rare opportunity" for a new campus.

The agenda item took about five minutes to discuss.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Brownsville CVB Brings Home Three TACVB Awards

Brownsville CVB Brings Home Three TACVB Awards

Three years ago, with much opposition, the city commission voted to revamp the CVB board to have members from the tourism/marketing industry, to provide quarterly reports, and to require an extensive contract, etc. It's great to see that the CVB and its board are making great strides! CONGRATS, Mr. Bean Ayala!

UT System Live Webcast of Wednesday's Meeting, Future of UT Brownsville

The UT System meets Wednesday to discuss and possibly take action on the future location of UT Brownsville. I've called the UT System Board office, and I've been told this will take place under MEETING OF THE BOARD at 12:20 p.m. Wednesday. The meetings may be watched live.

CLICK HERE.

As stated on the UT System Agenda:

2. U. T. Brownsville: Discussion and appropriate action regarding authorization to purchase acreage in or near Brownsville, Cameron County, Texas, for a purchase price not to exceed fair market value as established by independent appraisals for use as the future campus of U. T. Brownsville

RECOMMENDATION

The Chancellor concurs in the recommendation of President García and Executive Vice Chancellor Reyes that the U. T. System Board of Regents authorize the Chancellor, in consultation with Regent Stillwell as Board liaison on U. T. Brownsville/Texas Southmost College matters, President García, and the U. T. System transition team for UTB to identify and recommend to the Board one or more sites to be acquired through gift and/or purchase at a price not to exceed fair market value for the future campus of U. T. Brownsville.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Gil Peñalosa, Internationally Renowned Liveable Community Design Guru, Comes To Brownsville

Brownsville, TX, August 16, 2012—Gil Peñalosa, executive director of the Canadian non‐profit 8‐80 Cities, and an internationally renowned city advisor and active public spaces advocate will be speaking to the Brownsville community August 28th and 30th. Part of the Building a Vibrant Brownsville lecture series, Mr. Peñalosa will be sharing his expertise and talking about building cities that allow for mobility of people of all ages and economic backgrounds, in order to create vibrant, healthy, and economically sustainable communities.

“Creating cities that encourage citizen mobility has a profound impact on economic development. The advantages work two‐fold: entrepreneurs, retail and restaurateurs can always benefit from more foot traffic and the connectivity of city centers, while employers want a more active work force that engages in healthier lifestyle choices that lead to greater productivity. The groundwork needs to be established at the community level if we want to ensure sustainability,” said Irv Downing, Vice President for Economic Development and Community Services at UTB.

As the former Parks and Recreation Commissioner for the City of Bogotá, Colombia, Mr. Peñalosa successfully led the development of over 200 parks and the city’s popular ciclovías— a weekly Sunday event where streets are closed for exclusive use of pedestrians and cyclists. Popular with not just Colombians, over a million users each week, ciclovías are now found all over the world, including parts of Europe, South America, New Zealand and North America. In addition to his work with 8‐80 Cities, Mr. Peñalosa also works as Senior Consultant for the Danish firm Gehl Architects, and serves on the Board of Directors of City Parks Alliance, USA, and as Senior Advisor to America Walks, StreetFilms in NYC, ParticipACTION Canada and Casas GEO in Mexico. As director of 8‐80 Cities, Mr. Peñalosa helps cities understand and design the infrastructure, open spaces and programming needed to better integrate driving, cycling and walking for people ages 8‐80, and in a manner that fosters community interaction.

“Brownsville is a city where the majority of the population is either very young or older. We cannot continue building under the assumption that everybody has access to a car or is very fit and can easily move around. If we do, then we are ignoring a very large segment of our population, and they deserve better,” said Commissioner Rose Gowen, M.D.

The Building a Vibrant Brownsville lecture series features guest speakers with experience in creating vibrant and liveable communities, and then implements their ideas in Brownsville. The first speaker of the series, Jason Roberts of the Better Block organization, led to the monthly transformation of Market Square into a walkable, bikeable, vibrant public space. Mr. Roberts, familiar with Mr. Peñalosa’s work, incorporated the philosophy of creating spaces for 8 to 80 year olds into his Better Block project.

“Gil Penalosa is a personal hero of mine, and his initiatives to help revitalize Bogota are a model for much of the work that we now carry out through Better Block projects around the country,” said Mr. Roberts. As part of the takeaway from Mr. Peñalosa’s visit, plans are currently underway for Brownsville’s version of a ciclovía—a CicloBía to be held in October.

Mr. Peñalosa, the third speaker of the series, will give a special presentation for the Spanish‐speaking community on August 28th at the Camille Playhouse at 5:30 p.m. His keynote address (English) is scheduled for August 30th at the Science Engineering and Technology Building on the UTB and TSC campus at 7:00 p.m. Sponsored by Valley Baptist Medical Center in Brownsville, SpawGlass, BCIC, the City of Brownsville, Valley Regional Medical Center, UTB and TSC, both lectures are free and open to the general public.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

UTB and TSC Growth Concept Drawing

This slide demonstrates a growth concept for UTB and TSC with the longest double-sided arrow (Elizabeth Street) serving as its "spine." Experts from across the nation visited our Community to provide objective expertise. All have said that we are a "diamond in the rough" unique to anything they've ever seen.

UTB and TSC

This slide clearly demonstrates that BOTH UTB and TSC are a significant "anchor" for our community. Their mutual vitality is essential. For one or the other to leave, would be devastating blow to our community -- both educationally and economically.