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Texas Water
1:24 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

Environmentalists Push For Perry's Signature On Water Conservation Bills

rickperry.org

Members of Environment Texas gathered in front of the Governor’s Mansion to urge Gov. Rick Perry to sign into law two bills that address residential water conservation efforts.

"The first, Senate Bill 198, would prohibit homeowner's associations from preventing their members from installing drought-resistant landscaping or xeriscapes. We heard a number of cases of HOAs preventing people from changing their own property to be more drought tolerant," said Environment Texas Executive Director Luke Metzger.

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Environment
12:30 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

Tesoro Penalized For EPA Violations At Fuel Refineries

EPA

San Antonio-based Tesoro Corporation has agreed to a settlement to resolve claims that it failed to comply with regulations under the Clean Air Act.

While the $1.1 million penalty seems low, the Environmental Protection Agency called the settlement the largest penalty for these types of violations in the history of the fuels program. 

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Classical Spotlight
11:48 am
Fri May 31, 2013

San Antonio Symphony Concludes Season With Mahler

John Clare TPR Arts

The San Antonio Symphony rounds out the 2012-13 season with the epic Third Symphony by Gustav Mahler. Joining them are the women of the San Antonio Mastersingers, the Children's Chorus of San Antonio, and mezzo-soprano Dana Beth Miller.

Music Director Sebastian Lang-Lessing discusses the work in the video below, in which he reminds us this symphony is perhaps the longest in the standard repertoire. There is also a last minute substitution, Vance Woolf will play the posthorn solo, as principal trumpeter John Carroll is ill.

Classical Spotlight
11:35 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Fourth Piano Festival Features From The Top At Texas State

Pianist Christopher O'Riley, host of From The Top
LSU

The fourth season of the Texas State International Piano Festival includes guests as far away as South Korea, China, along with locally-renowned pianists such as Anton Nel. The week-long festival starts June 1 with performances, lectures, masterclasses and lessons, and runs through Sunday, June 9.

"You'll be tired, and inspired!" advises co-founder and pianist Jason Kwak for audience members and students who plan to attend every event. He is very excited about the finale - a live taping of NPR's From The Top with Christopher O'Riley on June 9.

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Fronteras Desk
11:25 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Retiring In Costa Rica: Dream Vs. Reality

John and Blanca Dungan with their pet parrot. At first, they were very happy in Costa Rica.
Photo courtesy of John Dungan

  

Fronteras: Schools in Indian Country are starting to feel the effects of sequestration. A little-known proposal in immigration reform is helping Filipino veterans. How one professor is predicting the fate of immigration reform. Finally, in a two-part series, the Fronteras Desk travels to Costa Rica to check out what it takes to retire in the tropics.

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2014 State Election
11:17 am
Fri May 31, 2013

State Sen. Dan Patrick Weighing Run For Lt. Governor

State of Texas

Taking a long view of the 2014 elections, Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, is predicting a "dust-up" for several key state positions including the lieutenant governor’s office.

"That’s where I believe I could be the most effective, if I were to run. And it’s not David Dewhurst, it’s not anti-Dewhurst, if I run it would be about my vision, my conservative vision for Texas, and that's what it's about, it has nothing to do with David Dewhurst," Patrick said.

Patrick said the lieutenant governor’s office isn't the only job where voters should expect a changing of the guard.

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City Government
10:16 am
Fri May 31, 2013

City Council Facing 2014 Budget Challenges

City of San Antonio

The city’s financial forecast for the rest of fiscal year 2013 looks good according to San Antonio City Manager Sheryl Sculley. She told the city council the city is $5 million ahead of budget.

But the concern lies in the next fiscal year, where she and her staff predict a $35 to $50 million shortfall.

Sculley said 75 percent of the budget goes toward core services like police, fire, public works and parks and city council usually doesn't reduce funding for those services.

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Arts & Culture
9:39 am
Fri May 31, 2013

The Playhouse Re-Opening Saturday After Flood Damage Clean Up

Fans blow hot air to evaporate the water-logged carpet.
Eileen Pace TPR

At 8 a.m. Saturday Asia Ciaravino raced down to The Playhouse theater to find a disaster falling from the ceiling.

"The plaster actually came loose a bit... [a] six-foot slab of it smashed onto the audience floor," she said.

Ciaravino, The Playhouse CEO and president, said one staff member was working at the time and heard the collapse after heavy rains collected on the roof, pouring onto the ceiling area and dropping everything to the carpeted theater floor of the Russell Hill Rogers Theater.

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Special Session
9:04 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Senate Duo Says They Have Answer To Solve Transportation Funding Crisis

Eileen Pace TPR

Sen. Robert Nichols, R-Jacksonville, said his plan uses a portion of the Rainy Day Fund without actually taking money out of the Rainy Day Fund.

"What it does is once you pass a certain threshold and as the fund approaches filling, which it got pretty close, then it would splinter part of that off for constitutionally dedicating some of that revenue stream to transportation," Nichols said.

Nichols says this will allow the Rainy Day Fund to continue to grow, but not as quickly. Sen. Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, helped solidify the financing portion of the plan.

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Growing Cities
2:59 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

San Marcos Rate Of Population Growth Leads Nation -- Why It's Booming

U.S. Census Bureau

Eight of the 15 fastest-growing large cities in the United States are in Texas, but among those eight, it may come as a surprise that San Marcos is leading the charge, with a 4.9 percent rate of growth.

San Marcos had the highest rate of growth between July 2011 and July 2012 among all "large cities" in the U.S. (defined as cities and towns with at least 50,000 people). They made the list by the skin of their teeth, barely cracking the mark with a Census Bureau population estimate of 50,001.

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