Doubt at City Hall Driving Alamo Master Plan Opposition

The citizens of San Antonio have trust issues with City Hall. This distrust is unfortunate because it seems to be driving the opposition against the Alamo Master Plan. It is an unfortunate atmosphere because the plan features a phenomenal design and is an epic opportunity for San Antonio. It is a shame that a world-class team is being handcuffed because community pessimism is at all-time high. The proposed Alamo Master Plan is a working masterpiece. If we support this superior team with what it was assembled to accomplish, the reverence paid to the Alamo is on par with the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and Holocaust Museum. This is because the Master Plan achieves the highest order for the Alamo. Efforts to reclaim the original site represent the maximum appreciation of the meaning and significance of the Alamo. Anything contrary is inconsequential. The buildings around the Alamo are meaningless when compared to the reverence of the site.

The edifices should never have been built on the grounds in the first place and should be demolished. If there is a criticism to be made about reclamation, it is that the plan does not go far enough in also demolishing the Hyatt garage from the sacred battlefield. Street closure concerns are also trivial compared to the importance of the Alamo. Vehicular traffic on and around the site is a distraction, disgraceful and dishonorable. The streets around the Alamo should have never opened. The preservation of the Alamo is of utmost importance, and what remains should not have to endure erosion from nearby traffic vibrations. The city needs to get right with the community. The question “How can we trust that the city will listen to us and do what the community wants?” was posed to me recently by a member of the Alamo Freedom Fighters while I was facilitating an Alamo plan community meeting. I searched deep but could not answer. But it spoke volumes. No one can deny that perhaps the Alamo means most to those who know the history surrounding the events of 1836.

Their passion and turnout are undeniable and remarkable. Their voices deserve to be heard, and their primary message was clear: Be honest about your plans and don’t move the Cenotaph. As a member of the Alamo Citizen’s Advisory Committee and a descendant of one of San Antonio’s seven founding families who were around at the Alamo and the Republic of Texas, I understand that opposition to the Alamo plan is both misplaced and misunderstood. The plan restores what’s been stolen from the Alamo and honors its founding, its fight, its legacy and its heroes. This inherent understanding and appreciation is known by those whose blood runs deepest in Texas. Not even Phil Collins, with his vast Alamo collection, can touch this essence. Later that same evening, after facilitating the community meeting, I was asked again by La Prensa Texas whether the community can trust the city. This time I gave an emphatic “Yes.” I believe this City Council understands the gravity of the situation. After the Hays Street Bridge, Amazon, the national political party conventions, SA300 Tricentennial and Centro, the city cannot afford to miss on the Alamo. The current direction of the Alamo Master Plan should be embraced, and the team behind its design properly supported with the community’s reinforcement rather than its misdirected frustration. Support them, and they will get these details right, and give San Antonio and the world an Alamo to marvel and revere for the ages.

UTSA Professor Discusses the Resilience of San Antonio’s Cultural Heritage

Facebook Twitter Google+ Gmail Print Friendly Like 0 By R Eguia . Last month, scholars, community members and students gathered at the Southwest School of Art Coates Chapel to hear a conversation by the San Antonio Conservation Society Endowed Professor at UTSA, William Dupont, called A Resilient Heritage: Designing San Antonio’s Future to Preserve Our Past. The talk introduced Cultural Sustainability as the continuity of cultural systems of human existence. People have heritage identities and values that bind them to places and communities are essential for full sustainability. “Design with respect for Heritage,” was a key theme as Dupont...

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Computer and Internet Addiction is a Real Thing

Facebook Twitter Google+ Gmail Print Friendly Like 0 Are you dependent on technology to bring you satisfaction in life? Dependency can be playing video games to escape reality, posting to social media to get attention or validation, compulsive online spending when anxious or bored, or visiting dating sites with the hopes of meeting the love of your life. Are there noticeable negative patterns surrounding your computer or internet activities? Are they causing problems in your relationships or affecting your work performance? Most of the time, these addictions are just distractions to real issues that people are not yet ready to face. They may feel anxious, impulsive or unfulfilled in life. These activities produce a “high”, filling a void and bringing pleasure that lasts momentarily. Overtime, these addictions have negative consequences that outweigh the positive feelings experienced. They can also have long-term negative effects on many areas of our lives. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) research has shown that certain people are more susceptible to computer or internet addiction. These individuals include; those who have had prior addictions to other behaviors or substances; a history of depression or anxiety; attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; or Low self-esteem. Recovering computer addicts reported feelings of euphoria when using the computer and feelings of depression, unfulfillment and irritability when not using it. They also described feeling withdrawn or neglected by family and...

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S.A Performance Art Collective HoK

Facebook Twitter Google+ Gmail Print Friendly Like 0 On March 9, the local performance art collective, HoK (House of Kenzo) presented Permutations, a 20 minute production exploring systems, fluidity, work and cycles, at the Lawndale Art Center in Houston. The trio, Ledef (sound production), Brexxitt (choreography) and Grapefruit (concept design) embodied possibilities through splash choreography and projection mapping. Local carpenter company, Precision Woodworking Texas, assisted the group with an installation that included an indoor water trough, a 10 part pulley system and a network of clear bags filled with water tied onto natural rope. The performance was inspired by...

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Mariachi Girl Stars Lucero Garcia at the Magik Theatre

Facebook Twitter Google+ Gmail Print Friendly Like 1 Many women have made their mark in the performance arts. In San Antonio, girls go to places like the Magik theatre to begin their journey. Like 14-year-old San Antonio actress, Lucero Garcia. She began acting at the age of 7 during The Magik Theatre’s summer camps and classes. She plays the role of Carmencita in the new show called Mariachi girl at the Magik Theatre. “I fell in love with musical theatre. All I could think about was being on stage singing and dancing and performing for people and making them...

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Guadalupe Cultural Arts

Facebook Twitter Google+ Gmail Print Friendly Like 0 By Melinda Gonzalez There is a renewed energy in the air and the culmination of efforts to re-establish the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center (GCAC) as the beacon of Chicano Art is paying off. Founded in 1980 and located in the heart of San Antonio’s historic Westside, the nonprofit organization serves over 100,000 people each year on a local, national and international scale through artistic, educational, and community programming. Jorge Piña who is a native San Antonian is back and fulfills a key leadership position for the GCAC after resigning from the...

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About The Author

Leonard Rodriguez

Leonard B. Rodriguez is the President and CEO of the Westside Development Corporation. He is a former White House Advisor to the President of the United States and the 2017 St. Benitia Humanitarian Award Recipient.

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