The Dunes are building in South Padre!

This week, Shoreline Director Brandon Hill presented in front of Property Owners Who Care, the Shoreline Taskforce and the City Council. The Presentation was on the achievements of the city, how the community has built an island that promotes tourism, fishing, water sports and healthy shore environments. The maps show that the City’s dunes have achieved hundreds of feet of growth in the last eight to ten years. The Shoreline Department also laid out some exciting plans for the future.

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Safe Crossing: TxDOT installing wildlife underpasses to protect ocelots

By DINA ARÉVALO
Port Isabel-South Padre Press
editor@portisabelsouthpadre.com

Drivers traveling Highway 100 may have noticed the various lanes closures and heavy equipment that line the road between Laguna Vista and Los Fresnos. The equipment is part of a project by TxDOT to install several wildlife crossings beneath the rural highway. Crossings are also being installed on FM 106 north of Laguna Vista.

“The latest developments are two projects that will add twelve wildlife crossings with a total cost of nearly $8 million,” said TxDOT Public Information Officer Octavio Saenz via email. The state’s highway department is installing four crossings along Highway 100 and another eight on FM 106, which leads to the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge (LANWR).

The refuge owns some 97,000 acres of land around the Laguna Madre, stretching from the Arroyo Colorado south to the Port of Brownsville, including the expansive restored wetlands area known as the Bahia Grande.

Want the whole story? Pick up a copy of the Port Isabel-South Padre Press, or subscribe to our E-Edition by clicking here.

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City of SPI 2016 Beach Renourishment Project

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More Holiday Celebrations in South Padre!

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El Paseo Christmas Concert

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Shop the Island Event Until Dec. 21st!

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Have Your Pet’s Picture Taken with Santa, DEC. 3RD!

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Holiday Celebrations on South Padre, DEC. 2ND and 3RD!

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Boat Parade May Happen Afterall, Dec. 18th

The Port Isabel Chamber of Commerce’s 28 year old Christmas Lighted Boat Parade remains cancelled for 2016.
Please refer to the flyer below for more information about a similar event scheduled December 18th   by local resident Elma Ruiz and friends.
Port Isabel Chamber of Commerce | 421 Queen Isabella Blvd, Port Isabel, TX 78578
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9th Annual Port Isabel Tree Lighting 11-30-2016 at 6PM.

unnamed-1Mayor “JJ” Zamora & the Port Isabel City Commision Invite you to attend City of Port Isabel’s 9th Annual Community Tree Lighting Wednesday November 30@ 6PM at Beulah Lee Park. 213 N. Yturria St. Next to the Public Library Special Appearances by Mr. & Mrs. Santa Claus, Music Performances, Crafts for Children, Christmas Caroling, Food Booths and Goody Bags!

For more information, please call (956)943-1822. Free to the public!

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Garriga and Derry Elementary Choirs Perform at P.I. Event Center for Christmas, Dec. 2nd!

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Port Isabel makes top beautiful towns in Texas list 

Posted: Saturday, November 12, 2016 8:59 pm

PORT ISABEL — For a town that often is forgotten because South Padre Island is right next door — one website didn’t forget to list it as a beautiful Texas town.

The Culture Trip website recently listed the small bay town on its top 10 list of the most beautiful and charming towns in Texas.

The website’s article lists the Texas town’s landscapes, unique economy, geography and culture as the key points for its decision to place the city among the top 10 little towns.

Former Port Isabel police chief and lifetime resident Wally Gonzalez agreed.

“For one, it’s a fishing community, and most everybody knows each other and is friendly with each other,” Gonzalez said.

He said it’s a beautiful area, you can walk anywhere you want and people are friendly.

The online article boasts about the town’s Texas International Fishing Tournament and the significant popular attraction of the Port Isabel Lighthouse that was built in 1852.

“I was born and raised here, and I love it,” Gonzalez said. “You don’t have the hustle and bustle of the big cities.”

A more complete version of this story is available on www.myBrownsvilleHerald.com

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October Housing Report for South Padre Island

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Thanksgiving Food Drive underway

A food drive to collect items for Thanksgiving Day meals to present to needy families in the Laguna Madre Area is now underway by Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church.

Donations of perishable food products, including turkeys, can be delivered to the church office at 705 South Longoria Street, Port Isabel. Non-perishable items may be donated during the weekend masses. Deadline to donate is Nov. 21.

Want the whole story? Pick up a copy of the Port Isabel-South Padre Press, or subscribe to our E-Edition by clicking here.

 

By MARTHA McCLAIN
Special to the PRESS

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Recycle Land 2016 in South Padre Island, Nov. 19th

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Nevada Town Attracts Billionaires With Luxurious Lifestyle – And Zero Taxes

imagesNestled on the banks of Lake Tahoe is Incline Village — a gorgeous town that’s attracting a lot more than skiers and snowboarders.

Thanks to Nevada’s lack of state personal, business or corporate income tax, Incline Village’s lakefront homeowners now include billionaires such as Oracle’s Larry Ellison, PeopleSoft’s David Duffield and Zazove’s Gene Pretti.

Other affluent tech and financial executives — many of whom hail from California — are establishing residency in Incline Village before a liquidation event. This way, they can avoid tax liability while enjoying outdoor activities year-round.

“There are lots of great reasons to move to Nevada and Incline Village in particular,” says Trinkie Watson, CIPS, CLHMS, a real estate broker who specializes in the Lake Tahoe region. “It’s a thriving community full of year-round residents, many of whom work from home thanks to technology.”

When it comes to lifestyle, Watson notes the “seasonal weather that includes snow in winter/spring for skiing and snowboarding, summer with lake and water activities, hiking, biking, golf and tennis, and a beautiful fall with changing colors. And for frequent travelers, the Reno-Tahoe International Airport is less than an hour away.”

But clearly, the financial advantages have been the catalyst for the increased interest in “Income Village,” as some call it. Because Nevada has unique laws protecting corporations, Incline Village has gained a reputation as a tax haven — one in which investors can register shell corporations and claim residency to avoid tax liability.

“As long as income isn’t derived from [other states like] California, they will not have any personal state income tax to pay,” says Watson. She also points to the ability of many people to “sell high” in the Golden State and get more value for a new home purchase in Nevada (which, ironically, is known as the Silver State).

Also contributing to this newfound interest in areas like Incline Village is the growth occurring a short drive away in the Reno-Sparks region. That area has been transitioning from a gambling economy to a manufacturing economy thanks to about 100 new companies. New additions coming soon include Tesla’s battery factory in Sparks and Switch — the company that developed the Supernap, which is the world’s largest data center ecosystem — is constructing a huge campus nearby.

Both the old and new residents of Incline Village see this situation as a “win-win” — the town gets cache from its new billionaire neighbors and enjoys growth, while these new residents enjoy the ability to avoid paying big tax bills.

Courtesy of “Luxury Insights.”

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South Padre Veteran’s Day Celebration, Nov. 11th!

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Rio History: The Casino Hotel of South Padre Island

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By STEVE HATHCOCK
Special to the PRESS

Mr. Hathcock, you wrote about the Civic Center on Padre Island last week…..can you tell me anything about an old hotel that was a casino?
Thank you for your stories
Ellen Smith

Hi Ellen, One of the first buildings constructed at Tarpon Beach in 1908, (Today’s Isla Blanca Park) the Casino Hotel (AKA the Gulf side Hotel) was only open for a short period before disaster struck.

A hurricane coming ashore during the early summer of 1909, forced visitors to evacuate and seek shelter at the Quarantine Station which was located in the bay near the southern tip of Padre Island. Many fishing boats were capsized or cast ashore and one of the ferry boats was missing. Dozens of fishing shanties were demolished by the action of the waves.

No lives were lost and all who wished to leave were brought to the boat docks in Port Isabel.

Another storm swept ashore August 26 and again a large group of tourists sought shelter in the quarantine station. At Tarpon Beach every building except the light house and the quarantine station were either heavily damaged or destroyed. Most of the destruction was caused by the high waves and a general inundation of the Island. The wind itself, which barely reached tropical storm status, caused little damage.  Repairs took several months but by 1910 Tarpon Beach and the Casino Hotel were once again open to the public.

Over the next 15 years several violent Gulf storms damaged or destroyed much of Tarpon Beach including the Casino Hotel. During this period the only Island hotel consistently open was the Tarpon Beach Hotel, located bayside and built in 1908 by Jesus Vega of Brownsville.

In 1926, James A. Dickinson rebuilt the Casino complete with a water toboggan slide and two fast speedboats to transport passengers to and from the Island. A bus met every boat upon its arrival to take all passengers to the hotel. There was even a lifeguard stationed on the beach when people were in the water.

Business was brisk over the next few years and though the great depression cast a pall on most of the country, the Casino continued its operation.

But we who live on the Island know we are always just one hurricane away from utter destruction as illustrated by the following article published in the July 6, 1933 edition of the Brownsville Herald: “PORT ISABEL, 3:45 p.m. the afternoon the wind at Port Isabel was increasing slightly, and has changed a little toward the east. Otherwise the situation remained unchanged from this morning. Three people from the Padre Island casino were at the coast guard station on Padre Island, and the telephone line to the station has gone out.”

Several more hurricanes struck the Island during the summer-Fall of 1933 doing much damage to structures at Tarpon Beach. Though heavily damaged the Casino was repaired and back in business in time to host a gathering of the Port Isabel Rotary Club. In addition to a meal, the group of 25 Rotarians enjoyed watching a coast guard drill put on by the members of the station on Padre Island.”

In March of 1942, a pair of Memphis tourists visiting Brazos Island decided they’d like to have lunch at the Casino Hotel. Donning swim suits, the pair entered the water and swam the Brownsville ship channel. After a quick meal the two repeated their epic swim arriving at Brazos half an hour later.

In a January 14th, 1945 article Frank Dobie wrote: “A Gulf storm took the top story off the Padre Island Hotel. Winds have swept the sand out from under it. No deserted bunk-house ever looked more dilapidated; yet it has more ancient signs about “cover charges,” “cashier,” “family meals with all the trimmings,” “European plan,” “American plan,” “laundry,” etc. than the Waldorf-Astoria. You can sit in one of the two old rope-bottomed chairs on the wide front gallery and look over the Gulf, listen to the surf break, watch for a fishing sail and feel your consciousness absorbed into the eternity of the universe.”

The noiseless tooth of time continued her meal though and the old Casino faded into obscurity. Sometime in the early 1950s it was demolished and today there is no visible evidence of its existence on Padre Island.

Want the whole story? Pick up a copy of the Port Isabel-South Padre Press, or subscribe to our E-Edition by clicking here.

 

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7 Smells Homebuyers Hate

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Mortgage Rates by Decade Compared to Today 

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Provided by Whiteboard CRM and Greg Jones, Island Mortgage.

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Manicures and Martinis, Nov.3rd

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South Texas Balloon Festival Presented by RE/MAX®, Nov. 3rd-6th!!

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November 3-6, 2016
RGV Livestock Show Grounds
Mercedes, Texas
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Alta Receives Recognition for Her Service

Alta serves as Chairman of the South Padre Island Chamber of Commerce Governmental Affairs. They host “Coffee and Conversation” with interesting speakers and information about our local community. The Chamber recognized her service with a plaque and a chamber cap. unnamed-1

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Halloween Party at South Padre Birding Center, Oct. 31st!

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Haunted Cart Barn at SPI Golf Community, Oct 29th!

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Day of the Dead Celebration in Port Isabel, Oct. 29th

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VERY IMPORTANT – Venue Tax – Learn the FACTS! Vote Smart!

IN SOUTH PADRE, VOTE “YES”. ANYWHERE ELSE, VOTE “NO”!!

This tax will happen. You are only voting to say whether you want South Padre to have it or Cameron County. We want South Padre to get it. Please read article below. This proposition is confusing so be sure you understand before voting. 

EVERYONE SHOULD BE AN
EDUCATED VOTER!

The Venue Tax Proposition on the November 8th
Ballot for the City of SPI

When Visitors come to South Padre Island and rent a hotel room or condo to use our services and enjoy our city, they pay a 14 ½% Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT).

On South Padre Island, this tax money is used to pay for marketing the Island to tourists, supporting special events, and operating the convention center. It also helps improve our community by paying for beach maintenance and nourishment.

State Law allows a municipality or a county to assess a 2% VENUE TAX as part of the Hotel Occupancy Tax. For South Padre Island this would equate to about $2 Million dollars a year in new revenue paid by tourists. This new money can be used to improve infrastructure or develop amenities to make our destination more desirable for tourists and residents.

In the November 8th Election, the City of South Padre and Cameron County both have propositions on their ballots to assess a Venue Tax as part of the Hotel Occupancy Tax.

This November’s election is a one-time opportunity for South Padre Island to assess a Venue Tax. If the City of South Padre Island does not pass this Venue Tax, Cameron County will. Due to the State cap on HOT of 17%, we will never have this opportunity again.

The economy of South Padre Island is responsible for 70-75% of the HOT income generated in the whole county. Who should direct how this money is used? The City or the County?

The South Padre Island Venue Tax Proposition contains a menu of items giving the city lots of possibilities for using this new revenue in the future:

Parking Facility
Quiet Water Sports Venue
Padre Blvd Improvements
Convention Center Annex
Amphitheatre

BOTTOM LINE:
SPI’s City Council has not approved any one project as the priority for using this money.
YOU, as the voter, WILL ultimately
HAVE A VOICE IN DECIDING HOW THE MONEY IS SPENT–
but only if South Padre Island passes the SPI Venue Tax.
You can vote on the SPI Venue tax proposition
only on the first floor of SPI’s City Hall.
The County’s Venue Tax propositions are part of the ballot for the national election.

If you are not voting on the first floor of the SPI City Hall,
you are not voting for the SPI Venue Tax.

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Early Voting Schedule for SPI City Hall

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
SPI Venue Tax
(Voting location is on first floor)
October 24 through November 4

If you are not on the first floor voting at the SPI City Hall, you are not voting on the SPI Venue Tax.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

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Monarch Day at the South Padre Birding Center, Oct 22nd

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South Padre Island Monthly Housing Reports for Sept. 2016

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Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, Oct. 18-19

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Alta & Gayle listening to Ty Carter at REMAX Top 500 Retreat at LaCantera Resort!

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South Padre Island 2016 Beach Renourishment

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Pictures of Sandcastle Days 2016!!

Scroll down…..

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Color Clash: City mulls Form Based Code changes 

 

Color samples icon. Flat color design. Vector illustration.

Color samples icon. Flat color design. Vector illustration.

Discussion regarding South Padre Island’s designated color palette for buildings dominated the SPI City Council meeting on Sept. 21.

After lengthy discussion, Council approved a motion to have the City’s Development Standards Review Task Force re-examine the Island’s designated color palette in the Form Based Code. SPI Development Director Dr. Sungman Kim provided a slide presentation showing the existing color palette adopted by the City in August of 2014. Balancing the rights of building owners to choose what color they want to paint their buildings, while promoting the use of colors that give the island a tropical look represented the two sides of the debate.

“We actually widened the choices,” stated Dr. Kim referring to the 2014 amendment. He cited the fact that the City was getting many requests for variances related to building colors back then as a reason why it was addressed.

Want the whole story? Pick up a copy of the Port Isabel-South Padre Press, or subscribe to our E-Edition by clicking here.

Color Clash: City mulls Form Based Code changes
by Editor
Color samples icon. Flat color design. Vector illustration.

By KEVIN RICH
Special to the PRESS

 

 

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Rare Bird Sighted!

Very exciting news. A rare bird is here at the Birding Center! Variegated Flycatcher. Will be first time recorded in Texas once verified. Birders are here and more on the way! Check out the South Padre Birding Center website at http://southpadreislandbirding.com.

 

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Register to Vote at Sandcastle Days this Saturday!

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John L Tompkins Park Ribbon Cutting Ceremony, Wed., Oct 5th

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Mark Your Calendars for the Chamber Gala, Nov. 19th

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Meows, Mutts and Margaritas, Sept. 30th

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LNG Update Forum, Sept. 29th

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Bayside cleanup slated for Sept. 24 

IMG_3896Local volunteers are banding together to tackle litter in the Lower Laguna Madre Bay, as part of the Keep Texas Waterways Clean program. Keep South Padre Island Beautiful (KSPIB) will conduct a cleanup with the help of 250volunteers on Saturday, Sept. 24.

“Keep South Padre Island Beautiful is committed to keeping the Lower Laguna Madre Bay clean so we can protect and restore it for us – and future generations. Participating in a bay cleanup is one way that community members can do their part for the waters we all love and have a fun time outdoors with friends and family,” said Susan Dalton, Chairwoman, KSPIB.

“Waterways connect us to each other, to nature, and to future generations. It is wonderful to see so many people on South Padre Island and across Texas taking responsibility for improving their community environment,” said Cathie Gail, KTB Executive Director. “We applaud the work of Keep South Padre Island Beautiful for their efforts on behalf of Texas waterways and the community.”

Want the whole story? Pick up a copy of the Port Isabel-South Padre Press, or subscribe to our E-Edition by clicking here

Bayside cleanup slated for Sept. 24
by Editor
Special to the PRESS

 

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Spawglass Bay Fishing Tournament, Sept. 30th

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2016 Shrimp Cook-Off, November 6th. Sign up now!

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Don’t Hesitate! Participate!
Dozens of contestants and thousands of attendees will be treated to world famous shrimp recipes and a variety of family entertainment at the World’s Championship Shrimp Cook-Off, scheduled to be held in Port Isabel November 6th, from 10 am to 6 pm.

The annual festival is a favorite among area residents and visitors and tests the skills of amateur and professional chefs from throughout the Rio Grande Valley. Contestants are judged on appearance, aroma, and taste of their specialty dishes. Samples are available to attendees at a modest fee.

 

Contact the Port Isabel Chamber now to sign up for a booth!

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BY THE NUMBER: THE 2016 FORBES LIST OF WORLD’S BILLIONAIRES

Over the past five years, the Forbes magazine list of The World’s Billionaires has revealed — and continues to reveal — many interesting things about the wealthiest individuals around the globe:

HOW MANY BILLIONAIRES ARE THERE?

In 2011, there were 1,210 billionaires (people with a net worth of $1 billion or more).
In 2015, that number rose to 1,826.
In 2016, the list actually shrank a bit to 1,810.
BIG NAMES

The top ten billionaires in 2016 (in order of wealth) are:

Bill Gates
Amancio Ortega
Warren Buffett
Carlos Slim Helu
Jeff Bezos
Mark Zuckerberg
Larry Ellison
Michael Bloomberg
Charles Koch
David Koch
INSIDE THE NUMBERS

A few interesting notes:

Five of the top seven billionaires from the 2011 list are still in the top seven: Gates (#2 in 2011), Ortega (#7), Buffett (#3), Helu (#1) and Ellison (#5).
We also see that the top three from 2011 (Helu, Gates, Buffett) are still in the top four.
Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg rose from #52 in 2011 all the way to #6 today.
WHERE THEY COME FROM

It should be no surprise that the tech sector continues to lead the way in creating billionaires. Also of note:

In 2011, about 1 in 3 billionaires (413, or 34%) were from the United States.
Today, 540 billionaires are from the U.S. — or 29.8% of the list.
Today, eight of the top 10 billionaires on the list are from the United States.
China has the second most at 251, and Germany is third with 120.
The Asia-Pacific region has 590 total — making it the region with the most billionaires.

 

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Tails on the Beach, POSTPONED

 

DUE TO THE RED TIDE MOVING INTO THE AREA, FRIENDS OF ANIMAL RESCUE WILL BE POSTPONING THEIR EVENT TO NOV. 5, 2016. THE LOCATION AND EVENT SCHEDULE WILL REMAIN THE SAME.

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Island Metro Public Planning Meetings, Sept. 14th and 15th

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UTRGV and NextDecade Sign Partnership Agreement

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The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and NextDecade, LLC, developer of the proposed multi-billion dollar Rio Grande Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project at the Port of Brownsville, have entered into a strategic partnership to serve students and community.
The partnership was formed through a common belief that STEM learning and research programs provide pathway opportunities for students to enter the workforce in the energy, engineering and technology industries. The program also will serve to bolster local social and economic development and will be tailored to meet the needs of the community as well as of prospective employers.

“Energy forms the basis for economic growth and many of our interdependent infrastructures, including transportation, water, manufacturing, security, information systems and healthy communities,” said Dr. Alex Domijan, professor and dean of the UTRGV College of Engineering and Computer Science. “This partnership will bring wonderful opportunities to provide a path to a better life for people in our region and connect us with global opportunities, as well.”

Domijan said UTRGV is positioned to be the place of first choice nationally in education and research.

“We get things done, and our college will have professors and staff in all parts of the Valley working with the cities and counties. The College of Engineering and Computer Science strategy is all about compassion, community and technology, in that order, and moving forward, the partnerships we enter into are built on providing value to the people of the Valley, such as expanding job opportunities and producing innovations,” he said.

“This partnership with NextDecade will enable us to do just that, and more specifically will promote a close collaboration between academia, industry, citizens and government by providing energy, engineering and technology opportunities locally.”

The Rio Grande LNG project is currently the largest proposed private investment in the state of Texas. By working closely with educational and business organizations throughout the Valley, NextDecade hopes to maximize benefits to the Valley community.

“NextDecade is passionate about inspiring today’s youth,” said Kathleen Eisbrenner, chair and CEO of NextDecade. “We support STEM education programming and have placed special emphasis in the Rio Grande Valley region, where we have a vested interest to attract and retain local talent. Our hope is that this partnership will have a significant long-term beneficial impact for all UTRGV students and the community in which it operates.”

Eisbrenner has long been a mentor and advocate for young people, recently being named to the board of Junior Achievement of Southeast Texas, a volunteer-based organization that fosters work-readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy skills, through the use of experiential learning to inspire students to dream big and reach their potential.

The partnership comes just as UTRGV celebrates its one-year anniversary.

Have a great Labor Day weekend!
James Markham-Hill
Manager of Communications
Rio Grande LNG

Info@RioGrandeLNG.com
http://www.RioGrandeLNG.com
http://www.facebook.com/RioGrandeLN

 

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Ray Stewart acting workshops 

unnamedWorkshop 1
September 15, 22, 29, and October 6 and 13, 2016 (Thursdays)

South Padre Island Community Center
6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Workshop 2
September 26, and October 3, 10, 17, and 24, 2016 (Mondays)
Mr. Ray Stewart spent over 50 years as a professional actor, director and teacher on Broadway and in Los Angeles. Mr. Stewart will use exercises that are referred to as “games” – theatre games – to teach participants a few essential skills and techniques necessary to deliver an effective stage performance. There are no losers in these games, just an environment in which you can discover your own unique creativity and express it. Both beginners and more experienced performers are welcome. Actors spend their careers improving these basic techniques. (see complete press release at http://www.elpaseoarts.org)

The workshops are free and open to people 15 and older. Registration is limited to only sixteen people per session so be sure to sign up online at http://www.elpaseoarts.org as soon as possible. Sign up sheets are also available at the Art Gallery in PI and Paragraphs Book Store. Participants must commit to attending all five weeks of the session for which they register.

Copyright © 2015 {El Paseo Arts Foundation}. All rights reserved.
Contact {infor@elpaseoarts.org} for more information

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Sidewalk Sale to Benefit Louisiana Disaster Victims, Sept. 10th

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Spanish and English Classes

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