Bexar County Budget
9:34 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Bexar Budget Adds Courthouse Security, Other Law Enforcement

Visitors to the Cadena Reeves Justice Center and the Bexar County Courthouse will soon enter the building under the scrutiny of armed guards instead of security guards.
Credit Eileen Pace

Bexar County commissioners Tuesday approved a nearly $1.7 billion budget for the next fiscal year.

Officials say higher property values allowed the county to lower the tax rate while increasing services for family justice, neighborhoods, and public safety.

County commissioners took a long look at a law enforcement budget request and in the end, approved the largest program change, according to Sheriff Susan Pamerleau, in anyone’s memory.

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Arts & Culture
3:54 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

The Bad Plus Bringing Jazz To The Aztec

A three-man jazz troupe is heading to San Antonio. I caught up with Reid Anderson, bass player of The Bad Plus, in New York, where the group is just back from a European Tour.

Their music has an elemental, austere feel, while somehow at the same time feeling full of sound. I asked Reid how he described their music.

“The instrumentation is acoustic bass, drums and piano," he said. "At the core we’re jazz musicians and we’re improvisers, but we don’t consider that we have to make our music sound like jazz necessarily. We try to bring a strong energy to what we do."

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1:54 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Board Of Education Takes Up Issues With Climate Change In Social Studies Textbooks

Credit Flickr user Corey Seeman (cseeman) / cc

A national group of science educators is pointing to what they call inaccuracies and a political bias in the way that some publishers have presented the subject of climate change in Texas’ 2015 social studies textbooks.

The Texas State Board of Education hears public comment regarding that content today.

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Bexar County
1:39 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Judge Proposes Pilot Program To Speed Up Child Abuse & Neglect Cases

State District Judge Peter Sakai increased adoption of foster children in Bexar County by 1000 percent from 1995 to 2005. He is proposing a new pilot program to reduce the amount of time it takes a child abuse case to reach a resolution.
Credit Bexar County


A family court judge is asking Bexar County to help fund a pilot program that would streamline cases in the family courts.  Judge Peter Sakai hopes to add two court managers and other elements to the program that will help connect the dots with other parts of the legal system.

The child abuse and neglect court in Bexar County accounts for $3.5 million a year in fees for court-appointed attorneys.

"And our system is second only to the total felony courts," Sakai said. 

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The Source - September 16, 2014
1:36 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

The Source: Office Of Sustainability Under Scrutiny

Credit Ryan Loyd / TPR News

Last week the Office of Sustainability came under fire unexpectedly from District 9 city council member Joe Krier.

The suburban Krier has called for the elimination of the office.

The office is tasked with improving alternative transportation, like helping the city's popular B-cycle program expand, as well as energy conservation and sustainability projects. 

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The Source - September 16, 2014
12:22 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

The Source: The Employee Vs. The Contractor

Credit McClatchy Newspapers

Construction firms in Texas are dodging taxes, shifting them to employees and shorting the government out of $1.2 billion, according to a new investigative report called Contract to Cheat conducted by the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram and McClatchey newspapers.

More than 37% of Texas' 800,000 construction workers are being misclassified as independent contractors instead of employees, says an investigative report.

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Music Interviews
9:56 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Tobias Picker On His Family Opera, "Fantasic Mr. Fox"

Composer Tobias Picker

Composer Tobias Picker has written three symphonies, eight concertos, and scores of works for solo piano, chamber musicians, and voice. But in his role as Artistic Director of Opera San Antonio, his focus is on the stage. For the opening of its inaugural season, Picker has selected one of his own works, and one designed to open the doors for all ages to an art form that engages the senses in unparalleled fashion. "Fantastic Mr. Fox" was Picker's second opera, written in 1998 for the Los Angeles Opera.

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The Source - September 15, 2014
4:45 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

The Source: Sculley's Role Under New Mayor

Credit Ryan Loyd / TPR News

Big changes at city hall mean different priorities, different personalities and different roles.

While there was a comfortable collaboration between Mayors Phil Hardberger and Julian Castro, what does the dynamic look like now for City Manager Sheryl Sculley?

There have been changes in course on major projects like streetcar and Mayor Ivy Taylor went around the City's negotiating team to restart talks with public safety unions.

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Community Health
4:30 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

South Texas Women’s Health Care Group Splits With Planned Parenthood

Credit Planned Parenthood

For years, the Planned Parenthood Association of Hidalgo County have served the women of their region by providing physicals, pap smears, mammograms, screening for cancer, HIV and sexually transmitted infections and treatment for diabetes, but not abortions.    

But CEO Patricio Gonzales says the stigma of being associated with abortions led to their board's decision to change the group's name to Access Esperanza, Inc. and split fully with Planned Parenthood.

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Arts & Culture
3:18 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Through Children's Eyes: War Refugee Photo Exhibit

Bantu Eyez
Cristina Jimenez Sanchez

I recently told you about an exhibit called Bantu Eyez. Since then, I was able to speak to the woman who actually shot the exhibit's pictures, and the story deepened a bit.

First, if you didn’t know that San Antonio even had a Somali Bantu refugee population, you’re not alone.

"I didn’t know that and I’ve lived in San Antonio all my life," said photographer Cristina Jimenez Sanchez, who captured all the exhibit’s images, and here's why.

"I felt it was something for San Antonio to know, for Texas to know, because they’re now part of Texas history," she said. 

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