bloggin' all things brownsville

Friday, October 31, 2008

City Attorney's Employment on Monday's City Commission Agenda


City Commission agenda item of interest for Monday's meeting:

EXECUTIVE SESSION: 5:30 P.M.

A) Discussion pursuant to Section 551.074, of the Texas Government Code,
regarding the appointment, employment, evaluation, reassignment, duties,
discipline, resignation or dismissal of the City Attorney of the City of
Brownsville. (Commissioners C. Atkinson/L. T. Garza – 15 min.)

ACTION ON ITEMS DISCUSSED IN EXECUTIVE SESSION:

A) Consideration and ACTION, if any, regarding the appointment, employment,
evaluation, reassignment, duties, discipline, resignation or dismissal of the City
Attorney for the City of Brownsville, Texas, and related actions, if any.
(Commissioners C. Atkinson/L.T. Garza)

For the full agenda, click here.

*REVISED TO REFLECT MONDAY MEETING, NOT TUESDAY.

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Brownsville's Homeless


I received a very moving e-mail in response to a Brownsville Herald article that appeared in today's paper. The article is about a homeless man who sought shelter in a dumpter and got his legs crushed by a garbage truck.

I wanted to share the e-mail with you. Its sender, Joshua Caldwell, is a Brownsville native who is now attending St. Mary's School of Law in San Antonio.

Melissa

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All,

Sometimes it's best to put the undeveloped and idealistic minds of children and teenagers to work, in order find what's most important to our common humanity.

In 2007, the Center for Civic Engagement hosted a KidsVoting forum with the City of Brownsville mayoral candidates. Among the topics discussed were: education, public safety, and surprisingly, the homeless population. The responses to the third issue varied.

Our current mayor suggested at the forum that perhaps turning the old Valley Regional Medical Center into a homeless shelter was a solution. Another turned to the numerous nonprofits, funded by the city, that provide services to the homeless. Another candidate, bluntly said what I think many believe: the homeless "want" to be on the streets. But of all the responses, our current mayor had the most practical, and I hope he didn't forget it, or mind a suggested change of location.

The current homeless shelter -- mentioned in today's Herald -- is located by the airport. Business travelers have a tough enough time catching rides to make their flights, so how will our street homeless -- who barely have shoes to stand in -- make it to the Ozanam Center in the eastern stretches of our city? (or the old VRMC out on Ted Hunt Boulevard?)

Brownsville's downtown-area must have more short-term and long-term shelters to prevent horrific and troublesome accidents like the one reported today from repeating. Can you imagine how desperate, isolated, and vulnerable one must feel to make a decision to sleep in a dumpster full of trash and used clothes to stay warm, only to wake up the next morning to his leg bones being crushed by a heavy steel trash compactor, and his cries for help go unheard?

Rather than show a little compassion, our Brownsville Police Department showed little remorse. "Dumpsters are not shelters," the BPD spokesman was quoted in the daily. "It's obvious that they are not a safe place to get in to, much less sleep in. There are shelters in the city, but Jimenez chose not to use them." Where is our social-justice community to cry foul for this local-government viewpoint?

We know sleeping in dumpsters are not safe, but why aren't we asking "why" he didn't make it to a shelter? Are we making an assumption that he "wanted" to sleep there?

Joshua Caldwell

Monday, October 27, 2008

Galveston’s Moody Gardens Animals Find Refuge at Gladys Porter Zoo


Hurricane Ike left more than just people displaced from their homes. More than 100 animals from Galveston’s Moody Gardens have been moved to South Texas’ Gladys Porter Zoo due to the severity of the damage sustained by the organization’s Rainforest exhibit.

About 80 percent of the Rainforest Pyramid’s animal collection, mainly freshwater fish, and two percent of the plants, did not survive the Hurricane Ike's storm surge. Flooding caused saltwater to rise through the building’s basement and into the exhibit threatening the freshwater fish. About 10,000 animals that reside in the Moody Gardens Aquarium Pyramid survived the storm.

“During this extraordinary time of need, we are just glad that our zoo can offer a helping hand,” said Colette Adams, General Curator.

The animals currently residing at the Gladys Porter Zoo from Moody Gardens include two-toed sloths, sugar gliders, Egyptian fruit bats, short-tailed bats, Prevosts squirrels, white and brown pelicans, coscoroba swans, ne-ne geese, caiman lizards, a Meller’s chameleon, prehensile tailed skinks, Solomon Island ground skinks, a New Caledonian crested gecko, Madagascar giant day geckos, tokay geckos, dwarf caiman, and a Chinese alligator.

Animals from Moody Garden’s Rainforest Pyramid have been sent to zoos and aquariums around the nation, awaiting the completed restoration of the exhibit. Some of the animals currently residing at the Gladys Porter Zoo may be introduced into the habitats on public display within the next few months. Two caiman lizards, along with a host of pelicans, are the first of the Moody Garden animals to make their Rio Grande Valley debut; the lizards are being housed and displayed in the Herpetarium’s Aquatic Wing and the pelicans can be seen along the resaca in the South American section of the zoo.

All of the animals from Moody Gardens have been added to the zoo’s “Adopt an Animal” campaign. If you are interested in adopting a Moody Gardens animal or donating to their upkeep, please visit our Web site at http://www.gpz.org/ or call (956) 546-7187for more information. For additional details on the Moody Gardens clean up and reconstruction effort, visit http://www.moodygardens.com/ or call (800) 582-4673.

SOURCE: Gladys Porter Zoo

Saturday, October 25, 2008

UTB-TSC Men's Soccer Team Wins Conference Championship


The UTB-TSC men's soccer team wrapped up its second straight Red River Athletic Conference championship with a 2-0 victory Friday over Southwestern Assemblies of God University in Waxahachie.

The Scorpions remained unbeaten in RRAC play with a 6-0 record and are now 11-4 overall.

"It wasn't real pretty, but a win is a win," Scorpion head coach Dan Balaguero said. "I'm thrilled for the players and everybody involved with the program. The second year to win a title is always harder than the first year."

UTB-TSC has two road games remaining on its regular season schedule. The Scorpions play at College of Santa Fe (N.M.) October 31 in a non-conference game and the University of the Southwest (N.M.) November 1 in the RRAC finale.

Friday's victory was also important because the Scorpions also clinched the #1 seed in the RRAC Tournament in Fort Worth November 6-8. UTB/TSC now has a bye from the quarterfinal round and will play its first tournament game in the semifinals Friday, November 7.

Source: UTB-TSC Office of Intercollegiate Athletics

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Gone A-stray? Mayor's E-mail Pet Plea Sparks Debate


I've been witness to an interesting exchange of e-mails today. I'm part of a mass e-mail list that Mayor Pat Ahumada uses to distribute info on pet adoptions, strays, etc. He doesn't e-mail often, but an e-mail he sent today sparked a couple responses. Below is the exchange.

~Melissa

First e-mail sent by Mayor Ahumada:

You can help by distributing the attached educational flyer within your network. We need help to reduce the numbers of pets being put down at the animal shelter, pets roaming streets, pets unvaccinated and the over population of pets, we must change the mind set and culture in our city by promoting responsible pet care. This email is not intended to offend anyone or be part of a spam mail out. This email is intended to educate citizens to help us address Brownsville's problems with domestic animals. Your help is welcome and appreciated, but if you prefer to be removed from my email list, please notify me and I will do so at once. Thanks,Pat

First response to the Mayor from Brownsville resident Joe Zavaletta Jr.:

Mayor Ahumada, I trust this finds you well. I appreciate the information and I don't disagree that stray animals are a problem.

However, most respectfully, Brownsville's citizens, taxpayers, and business owners, have much more pressing issues that require a united deliberate effort by our leaders to solve. Among them are:

1. POVERTY: more and more of our citizens and families are living below the poverty line each year, especially our children. For example, 76% of single-mom households with minor children live below the poverty line.

2. DROPOUTS: too many students are dropping out of school. Statistics range from 25% to 40%. The impact that continued illiteracy will have on future economic development is staggering.

3. OBESITY and DIABETES. Statistics show that we are triple the national average. This does not include the new generation of Type2 diabetic kids. How many hospitals/beds will we need to take care of all these future patients?

These issues are a matter of justice for all of us. If these issues are not addressed soon (in other words we continue with 'business as usual'), demographic forecasts indicate that in 20 years the majority of Brownsville's population will be poor, uneducated, and unhealthy.

A population with these characteristics will negatively impact the quality of life, taxes, and ability to maintain infrastructure and services. And that is certainly not a Brownsville I want to imagine.

Best,
Joe Zavaletta, Jr.
Taxpayer, Activist, Voter, and Concerned Citizen


Second response to the Mayor from an Anonymous e-mail address:

Why don't you worry about all the stray humans that stand at the intersections and solicit all the cars for money. Why don't you send Animal Control to the Woods Subdivision and get the strays that roam the streets all day and night.Why don't you get the Police to ticket speeders in The Woods on Stagecoach where they drive 50-60 mph. Why don't you get the traffic signals synchronized all through town.

There are way too many things that need our attention.


First response from the Mayor to the Anonymous e-mailer:

I certainly feel sorry for you, because if you do not know that I dedicate my full time to the city and all of the issues and concerns you have mentioned at no cost to the city, then you are a very shallow person. I gladly do my job as mayor at an enormous sacrifice to my family and myself, and then some, but that will never be enough for you. The problem of pet overpopulation is a problem that I cannot address alone and it will take the community as a whole to address this serious problem and the unnecessary killing of pets to make room for more at the animal shelter, which is why I do my part to raise awareness and money to bring solutions to the problem. What do you do, besides complain that I do not do enough?

Response from the Mayor forwarding his exchange to the group on his e-mail exchange with the Anonymous e-mailer:

This is in response to one who prefers to criticize than to be part of the solution. I hope and pray that there is enough of us who care to be part of the solution and not the problem, as the person who is complaining. Read the response and his complaint to know the overwhelming challenge we face as a city to address this and other problems that have been ignored for so long. Some would prefer I be a part time mayor who did nothing, than someone who is working on Brownsville's issues and needs, including the over population of pets. God Bless,Pat

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Point of Order

Revised to further clarify my opinion instead of that of the committee majority. For a better understanding of what transpired, watch the video once posted at CafeBrownsville.com.


There was a great discussion at today’s Charter Review Committee meeting that warrants mentioning here.

Under Article V, the Charter Review Committee discussed (among other sections, including Recall) the following:

Section 11. Duties of mayor. The mayor of the City shall be the presiding officer of the commission, except that in his absence a mayor pro-tempore may be chosen. He shall be entitled to vote and make motions and seconds as a member of the commission; sign all bonds; be the official head of the city, and exercise all powers and perform all duties imposed upon him by this Charter and by the Ordinances of the city. [Ord. No. 93-1270, Prop. 6, dated 11-16-1993]

Section 12. Meeting of the commission.All meetings of the City Commission shall be noticed and conducted as provided by applicable Texas law. Roberts Rules of Order may be the procedural guideline for the conduct and protocol of all city commission meetings if adopted by the commission unless if (sic) conflicts with city ordinances or the laws of Texas. [Ord. no. 2005-1440, Prop. #7, dated 08-10-2005 & Res. No. 2005-044, Prop. #7, dated 11-16-2005]


The City Commission majority did vote months ago to adopt Robert's Rules of Order as a “procedural guideline” as denoted in Article V, Section 12.

However, the Committee majority felt that ordinances do not supersede the City Charter. And, an obvious conflict exists between Sections 11 and 12.

Therefore, the Committee majority recommended that Section 12 be amended to reflect that Robert's Rules of Order may be adopted by the commission unless it conflicts with city ordinances, the law of Texas and the CITY CHARTER. This was also done not only to clarify the Mayor’s right to vote at meetings as denoted in Article V, Section 12, but to hold elected officials accountable for their decisions and/or votes, including the Mayor.

I’m sure this will ruffle a few feathers. Upon today’s discussion, it is my opinion that the Mayor is being disenfranchised.

Still, our recommendations are just that, recommendations. The City Commission may reject or revise them, and then, they go to the voters.

Monday, October 20, 2008

BISD Parents: Check Your Child's Grades Daily ONLINE


Brownsville Independent School District teachers are now posting grades almost daily online, and they are accessible to parents. Teachers also have their e-mails posted so you may contact them, and notes are often attached to respective grades.

If you don't have time to visit your child's school, here's a great way to stay actively involved.

Sign up now.

CLICK HERE.

Vague Meeting Agendas May Be in Violation of TOMA

A reader brought this Dallas Morning News article to my attention today. The article covers a Texas Attorney General Opinion released this month on how vague meeting agenda items do not adequately inform the public. Examples of such agenda items are: "Superintendent's Report," "Mayor's Report, "Chairman's Report" and "Council and Other Reporters," etc.

Here's the AG Opinion, click here. (thanks to everyone who e-mailed it)

Melissa

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Texas Attorney General Abbott says government meeting agendas need to be specific

10:26 PM CDT on Sunday, October 19, 2008
By JON NIELSEN / The Dallas Morning News
jnielsen@dallasnews.com

Many of the comments are seemingly harmless – a mention of the school football game or congratulations to a colleague.

But when they come during a government meeting and aren't listed on the agenda, they could be violating the Texas Open Meetings Act, according to an opinion this month from Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott.

The opinion states that posting vague items on a government body's agenda such as "superintendent's report," "mayor's update" or "council and other reports" without detailing the topics to be discussed in those reports doesn't adequately inform the public.

Dave LaBrec, a governmental law attorney for the Dallas firm Strasburger and Price, said the opinion is a win for open government advocates.

"It doesn't matter if you are taking action [on an item]," Mr. LaBrec said. "The criteria is, the public's got a right to know."

Mr. LaBrec said generic agenda items are "not an anomaly."

"There are a lot of public entities around the state that do the same thing and, hopefully, this opinion will cause that approach to change," he said.

At a recent Duncanville City Council meeting, for example, an agenda item simply read "Receive Councilmember Reports." Council member Grady Smithey Jr. used his time to recognize 45 years of marriage to his wife, Judy.

The attorney general's opinion is the first item up for discussion during Duncanville's work session on Tuesday.

Other Texas governmental bodies, including Rockwall, Plano ISD, Irving and McKinney, also list agenda items that offer no hint to their content.

Pete Eckert, the city attorney in Rockwall, said his city will fine-tune its future agendas.

"It doesn't require much adjustment, but we will make what adjustments are now required," said Mr. Eckert, who is also the attorney for several smaller area communities.

Some cities do, however, get it right.

The Arlington City Council's agenda for this week, for example, lists discussion of informal staff reports. The agenda then lists the topics of those reports, including financial policies, residential property uses and coupons for reduced animal services fees.

"We try to do the agenda, not only for the public to know, but it's kind of like a script for the council members to follow," Arlington city attorney Jay Doegey said. "If it's too cryptic, they want to know what it is."

The attorney general's decision comes after an inquiry concerning the Corpus Christi City Council, which included agenda items such as "city manager's report" without any details on their content.

"The general and generic nature of the notice does not sufficiently notify a reader, as a member of the interested public, of the subjects of the update and reports to be discussed," Mr. Abbott said in the opinion.

Agendas must include the subjects of items for discussion, even if the governmental body doesn't take action on them, the opinion states. If someone asks about a topic not on the agenda, officials can respond only by reciting existing policy or stating "specific factual information," according to the law. They can also decide to put it on a future agenda for discussion.

Katherine Garner, executive director of the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas, said that anyone can file a lawsuit in the appropriate county or district court against a governmental body for violating the open meetings act.

Mr. Eckert said the law's intention is to keep citizens informed about how their tax dollars work.

Friday, October 17, 2008

DA's Office Completes Sunshine Haven Investigation

UPDATE IN RED

The Cameron County District Attorney's Office completed its investigation of former Sunshine Haven Executive Director Jose De La Garza, and criminal charges were filed against him.

De La Garza was sentenced to five years deferred adjudication probation for taking $83,503.28, and he was ordered to pay all restitution to the victim.

"It is the District Attorney’s understanding that the restitution has been paid in full to Sunshine Haven," according to a prepared statement.

He and his attorney, Conrad Bodden, appeared in the 404th Judicial District Court today and waived indictment, according to the District Attorney's Office. De La Garza plead to a complaint and information charging him with the second-degree felony crime of misapplication of fiduciary property.

According to the DA's Office, "there was no plea bargain in this case."

“It’s an unfortunate situation because of the type of organization Sunshine Haven is,” said Chief First Assistant District Attorney Charles E. Mattingly Jr. “He (De La Garza) took immediate steps to take responsibility for his actions including his plea to the felony offense. We hope that he takes the necessary steps to rehabilitate himself so that no further legal action is required.”

Thursday, October 16, 2008

BISD Board Approves $20,000 Salary Increase for Superintendent

The BISD Board of Trustees unanimously approved a $20,000 salary increase for Superintendent Hector Gonzales at its Sept. 23 meeting.

However, BISD Trustee Pat Lehmann had previously made a motion to approve the $20,000 salary increase with one-year contract extension for meeting his performance benchmarks. The motion was seconded by Board President Dr. Enrique Escobedo Jr., but the remaining trustees voted against it.

A subsequent motion was made by Trustee Herman Otis Powers Jr. for a $20,000 salary increase for FY 2008-09 but without the contract extension. It passed unanimously.

In October 2007, the board had also increased Gonzales' salary from $185,000 to $205,000. According to The Brownsville Herald, the raise was comparable to that given to other superintendents, which averaged a 4.6 percent statewide increase.

In 2007, the Texas Association of School Boards reported in a survey that the average superintendent salary for districts with more than 50,000 students was $263,240. BISD enrollment is more than 50,000 students.

Gonzales has been BISD superintendent since November 2006.

Former Superintendent Michael Zolkoski was hired at $195,000 a year with his salary at $208,000 when he left BISD.

To watch the Sept. 23 meeting, click here.

About the Super:

Hector Gonzales was named Superintendent of the Brownsville Independent School District, the Rio Grande Valley’s largest district, on November 1, 2006. A Valley native, Gonzales has spent 28 years as a superintendent, administrator, and teacher at schools and districts across South Texas. For over 12 years, he has held top administrative positions in Brownsville. Prior to his latest assignment, Gonzales served BISD as Assistant Superintendent of Operations. His tenure with Brownsville includes a previous role as Interim Superintendent in 2000-2001. Hector Gonzales was also Superintendent of Santa Maria ISD from 1995-1998. Administrative and teaching positions in Harlingen ISD, United ISD, and Laredo ISD are also included in his history of work.

Gonzales began his career in education as an instructor at Texas State Technical Institute and Laredo Junior College. He is a 1973 graduate of Texas A & I University in Kingsville, holds a master’s degree in education from Corpus Christi State University, and obtained his superintendent’s certification from the University of Texas-Pan American.

UTB-TSC Center for Civic Engagement Joins Compassion Kitchen Project



The Compassion Kitchen is a microenterprise project of the UTB-TSC Center for Civic Engagement, in collaboration with the Buena Vida Neighborhood Leadership Council, and the Brownsville Housing Authority. The Compassion Kitchen seeks to provide pathways to justice and financial freedom to the residents of the Buena Vida Housing Project in downtown Brownsville, Texas.

For more information, go to www.compassionkitchen.com.

The Kitchen and all workers are licensed by the Brownsville Public Health Department.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Brownsville Researchers Find Diabetes Link to Tuberculosis


New evidence discovered by researchers at The University of Texas School of Public Health Brownsville Regional Campus (at UTB-TSC) shows that patients with Type 2 diabetes may be at increased risk of contracting tuberculosis because of a compromised immune system, resulting in life-threatening lung infections that are more difficult to treat.

Blanca I. Restrepo, Ph.D., assistant professor of epidemiology; and Susan P. Fisher-Hoch, M.D., professor of epidemiology; and Joseph B. McCormick, M.D., regional dean, previously reported that Type 2 diabetes was the leading risk factor for tuberculosis (TB) in the United States/Mexico border area. Several other studies in Asia and elsewhere have confirmed this observation.

The UT School of Public Health team has now led three new studies that revealed key findings:

-Type 2 diabetes, especially Type 2 diabetes involving chronic high blood sugar, is associated with altered immune response to TB, and this was particularly marked in patients with chronically high blood sugar.
-Patients with diabetes and TB take longer to respond to anti-TB treatment.
-Patients with active tuberculosis and Type 2 diabetes are more likely to have multi-drug resistant TB.
-The World Health Organization estimates that 180 million people in the world have diabetes, and that number is expected to double by 2030.

For the full article, click here.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

BISD Fails to Meet AYP Standards


All Brownsville Independent School District high schools, and the district overall, failed to meet Adequate Yearly Progress Standards in 2008, the Texas Education Agency reported today.

According to the TEA:

The federal evaluations are based on:
● graduation rates for high schools and districts;
● attendance rates for elementary schools; and
● participation and passing rates on state tests for grades 3-8 and 10.

This year to earn a label called “Meets AYP,” the schools and districts had to test at least 95 percent of their students and at least 60 percent of the students had to pass the reading/English language arts state exam and at least 50 percent had to pass the mathematics exam. High schools or districts had to achieve a graduation rate of 70 percent or better for the Class of 2007. Elementary and middle schools were required to achieve at least a 90 percent attendance rate. Schools and districts can also meet AYP by demonstrating significant performance improvement.

The tests used to determine the federal evaluations are the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS), which 90 percent of the students in these grades take, and three new variations of TAKS that are used for students with disabilities.

It’s tough to extend kudos to our district for receiving the BROAD Prize for Urban Education with news like this. Let’s hope the money’s used toward adequately preparing our high school students for college.

For the AYP results, click here.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Official Release: BMFA Selects Horn as Executive Director


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Art Museum selects Barry Horn
Barry Horn accepts role of top executive at the Brownsville Museum of Fine Art, effective January 1, 2009


October 12, 2008
(Brownsville, Texas) – After conducting an extensive national search, the Board of Directors of the Brownsville Museum of Fine Art (BMFA) is pleased to announce that it has named Barry Horn to be the museum’s next Executive Director. Mr. Horn is a dynamic community leader with a highly impressive track record as a senior administrator and award‐winning development officer.

As Executive Director of the BMFA, Mr. Horn will be responsible for overseeing a broad scope of work. Mr. Horn’s duties will include leading the Board of Directors and staff to expand the BMFA’s cultural and educational role in the region; implementing effective marketing plans to expand the museum’s audience base; developing affiliations with appropriate regional institutions; monitoring the museum’s budgets and reporting requirements; and communicating regularly with the community about the growth and advancement of the BMFA.

During his career, Mr. Horn has served in both the private and public sectors. For fifteen years, Mr. Horn worked in the Houston television industry, where he became a household name. In 1995, Mr. Horn returned to his native Rio Grande Valley, where he began his work in the non‐profit sector. From 1996 until 2000, Mr. Horn further demonstrated his leadership and creative talents while serving as Executive Director of the Valley Symphony Orchestra and Chorale. During that time, Mr. Horn successfully quadrupled the Orchestra’s operating budget and doubled its annual attendance rates.

In 2000, Mr. Horn joined the administration at the University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College (UTB/TSC), where he has been responsible for developing a wide range of programs, such as the UTB/TSC Arts and Entertainment Season, the Annual Fund, Distinguished Lecture Series, Steinway Series, Symphony in the Park, and others.

“I can’t adequately express how excited I am that Barry Horn has accepted our offer to serve as the next executive director of the BMFA. The BMFA Search Committee received many excellent applications from all across the county, but Barry was our top choice. There is no doubt in my mind that Barry will propel the BMFA to a whole new level of excellence,” said Eddie Knebel, President of the BMFA Board of Directors.

Mr. Horn’s acceptance of the new Executive Director’s position comes right on the heels of the BMFA’s annual signature exhibition and gala. This year, the BMFA is proud to feature a blockbuster exhibition entitled “Dorothy Hood: A Pioneer Modernist." The late Dorothy Hood was a preeminent Abstract Expressionist painter whose work was embraced for much of the 20th century by Mexico and the United States. Dorothy Hood is regarded in the art world as a pioneer artist for her exceptional use of intense color and daring techniques.

Members of the media are cordially invited to attend an exclusive media event at the Brownsville Museum of Fine Art on Tuesday, October 14, at 10:00 AM. Incoming Executive Director, Barry Horn, will join BMFA curator Dr. Jennifer Cahn and several museum Directors for an open forum about Mr. Horn’s new position and the strategic direction of the BMFA. Media attendees will also be treated to a behind‐the‐scenes tour of the stunning Dorothy Hood exhibition organized by the Art Museum of South Texas in partnership with the BMFA. Refreshments will be provided.

# # #

Media Contact: George Farish
Media Contact Tel: (956) 346‐1100
www.brownsvillemfa.org

About the Brownsville Museum of Fine Art
The Brownsville Museum of Fine Art (BMFA) was founded in 1935 and is a dynamic visual art institution in the Gulf Coast region. The museum offers a diverse spectrum of special exhibitions, events and programs to augment its permanent collection of regional and North American artworks. The BMFA is located at 660 East Ringgold Street at East Sixth Street in the Mitte Cultural District of downtown Brownsville. Museum hours are 10 AM – 4 PM, Tuesdays; 10 AM – 8 PM, Wednesdays; 10 AM – 4 PM Thursday through Saturday. Free admission is offered on Wednesdays after 5:00 PM. For more information about upcoming events, please call (956) 542‐0941 or visit www.brownsvillemfa.org.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Stadium Deal, United League Baseball Draws Concern


Yes, the City Commission majority voted at its meeting Tuesday to build a $7.5 million stadium in Brownsville.

The Brownsville Herald reported that "the lease agreement covers 46 acres and is the culmination of lengthy talks between United Sports Equities, LLC of Florida. The stadium would be the home field for the Brownsville Charros, a member of United League Baseball."

Interestingly, a Sept. 22 online article provided the following update on the United League Baseball:

"United League Baseball: Any proposed dismantling of the ULB by the league's current ownership has been put on hold by a court injunction, but the future of the league is uncertain. Also uncertain is a proposed 2009 Brownsville (TX) expansion team that has been listed as the Brownsville Charros."

Perhaps the cloud of uncertainty has since been lifted, but I've yet to find another update.

Quien Sobby.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Horn to Take Top Post at Museum of Fine Art

Barry Horn, Assistant Vice President for Development at UTB-TSC, will leave the university to join the staff of the Brownsville Museum of Fine Art.

Horn has been selected to be the Executive Director for the BMFA.

Horn will leave his UTB-TSC post at the end of the year. He will begin his new position in January.

Noriega Visits Brownsville


State Rep. Rick Noriega visited with Community residents and public officials today over breakfast at the Holiday Inn in Brownsville.

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Rick Noriega is challenging Republican Sen. John Cornyn for his seat.

"I've always known here in Cameron County, you got my back," Noriega said. "Know that I've got your back, too."

For Noriega's campaign Web site, click here.

For Cornyn's campaign Web site, click here.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Rock the Vote Today at UTB-TSC


Rock the Vote takes place from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. today at the UTB-TSC gazebos. Register to vote at the event. Live music!

For more information, call (956) 882-5111.

To watch the event live, click here.