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Music Reviews
12:05 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Traditional Songs, Jazzed Up By Monsieur Doumani

Grippy Grappa, by Monsieur Doumani

Monsieur Doumani is not a single person, but three young men from Cyprus, the island nation in the Mediterranean Sea. Formed in 2011, and coming from different musical backgrounds, they were united by their love for the traditional music of their island home. Antonis Antoniou plays the tzouras, an instrument comparable to the bouzouki, Angelos Ionas is the guitarist, and Demetris Yiasemides plays the wind instruments.

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Movie Reviews
11:39 am
Fri January 10, 2014

Courage Under Fire In "Lone Survivor"

L to R: Taylor Kitsch, Mark Wahlberg, Ben Foster, and Emile Hirsch
Universal Pictures

I’m guessing that anyone that goes to see a movie named “Lone Survivor” will assume from the title of the film that only one man comes out alive, right? And that when the producer of the film, Mark Wahlberg, is also the star, that he’ll be the said survivor, yes? Wahlberg plays Houston-born Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell, who with three fellow SEALs was ambushed by Taliban forces during a special operation on a remote Afghani mountain in 2005.

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Arts & Culture
11:04 am
Fri January 10, 2014

Grammy Award-Winner Luciana Souza Coming To The Carver

Luciana Souza
Bob Wolfenson

That a Grammy-winning singer is coming to the Carver Cultural Center is a big deal, but that she's been nominated seven times makes it far bigger still. She's Brazilian jazz singer Luciana Souza, who will perform Saturday, January 19, at the Carver’s Jo Long Theater, and to call her music smooth is an understatement.

I spoke withe Ms. Souza recently about her upcoming performance.

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East Side Revitalization
10:48 am
Fri January 10, 2014

President Obama Elaborates On East Side Promise Zone Initiative

City of San Antonio

  President Barack Obama has selected five areas in the country to be "promise zones" designed to revitalize economically and educationally distressed areas. The East Side of San Antonio has been selected as one.

During a news conference, the president named the East Side specifically, pointing out that 40 percent of adults do not have a high school diploma and crime is 50 percent higher in that part of town.

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Bracken Bat Cave
9:40 am
Fri January 10, 2014

Bracken Bat Cave Gets Reprieve After Developer Opts Out Of Surrounding Property

The land around Bracken Bat Cave and the proposed subdivision, which will now not be developed.
Bat Conservation International

A tentative buyer has declined to purchase the property -- known as Crescent Hills -- adjacent to the Bracken Bat Cave and now a coalition of potential buyers is hoping to acquire the land to preserve it.

The coalition is a loosely-knit group of people and organizations who want to see the land surrounding the bat cave permanently preserved instead of being open for development of houses and commercial activity.

One of the interested parties is San Antonio District 8 Councilman Ron Nirenberg.

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Bexar County Jail
9:25 am
Fri January 10, 2014

Bexar County Jail Cracks Down On Security After Discovery Of Smuggled Cell Phones

Secondary jail entrance where staff, contractors, and volunteers must now go through security checkpoint for admission to jail
Eileen Pace TPR News

There are only two entrances open to the Bexar County Jail after officials discovered several incidents of security violations involving cell phone use in secure areas of the jail. 

Sheriff Susan Pamerleau announced Thursday that one contractor had been arrested after jail officials learned he had brought cell phones into the jail.

"The individual was granted access to the jail to perform his job, but he abused that access by bringing in a cell phone and providing it to an inmate," Pamerleau said.

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Classical Music
4:03 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

New Year, New Discoveries From South America

As is so often the case, discoveries are made by the back way. I was browsing today the upcoming 2014 programming of the Orquesta Filarmonica de Buenos Aires, conducted by my old acquaintance Enrique Arturo Diemecke. I saw many familiar composers, but a sprinkling of unknown, mostly Latin American composers as well. Esteban Benzecry, an Argentine musician, was among them. It was a new name to me, and new music--they're playing his Violin Concerto in Buenos Aires.

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Arts & Culture
3:23 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Get In Touch With Your "Artsy" Side At Southwest School Of Art

Vincent Valdez
Southwest School of Art

How have your New Year’s resolutions held up? Here is a place where some of you might actually be able to keep them. If one of your resolutions was to re-connect with the artsy you, or to try and tap into that "right brain" of yours, there’s the Southwest School of Art.

"It’s never too late to be creative," said Southwest’s Drawing and Painting Department Chair Vincent Valdez.

Valdez is encouraging San Antonians to come down and maybe find the rest of who they are.

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New Braunfels
12:32 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

New Braunfels May Implement Tubing Fee For Non-Residents

Tubers on the Comal River in New Braunfels.
Flickr user Jeff Gunn cc

Floating the Comal River could cost non-New Braunfels residents a $5 fee if its city council votes in favor of a new proposal.

When tubing the Comal River you can either rent a tube from an outfitter and use their entry point, or use your own tube and enter from one of the city’s parks.

"We spend pretty close to $1 million per year in all of the river maintenance, clean-up, and police and fire," said New Braunfels Mayor Gale Pospisil. "So we were looking at a way to try to bring in some revenue to help us to keep the river and keep the services provided for our visitors."

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KPAC Blog
12:11 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Camerata San Antonio's Dvorak Concert Features Exciting Guests

Ken Freudigman
Camerata SA

The city’s Dvořák Festival begins tomorrow and Camerata San Antonio is getting ready for their performance on Sunday, January 19.   

"We are truly excited to be partnering with the San Antonio Symphony in their yearly festival," said cellist and co-founder Ken Freudigman.

Camerata is a four-piece chamber ensemble that grows just a bit during these festivals.  

"This year Camerata will be partnering with the soloist pianist Michel Dalberto in the magnificent 'Piano Quintet in A Major,'" Freudigman said.

But Dalberto isn’t Camerata’s only guest.

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