News

Wed
25
Sep

Country Americana music, opera to be on the same stage


PERFORMING Sunday to kick off the week-long Fredericksburg Opera and Music Festival was Ray Salinas of Fredericksburg. The "Opera Brunch," held at the St. Mary's Holy Family Center, also featured September Bigelow-van der Stoel. —Standard-Radio Post/Yvonne Hartmann

Opera Fest to feature Wednesday, Friday, Saturday stagings at Nimitz

By Ken Esten Cooke—  A mixture of two distinctly different genres of music will take place this week at The Fredericksburg Opera and Music Festival.

The week-long festival kicked off Sunday with an “Opera Brunch” at the St. Mary’s Holy
Family Center.

Jonathan Moody and his country band of Boerne and opera singer Ray Salinas of Fredericksburg will present an opera-country classic at 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 29, at the Nimitz Hotel Ballroom.

“We believe this to be a first pairing of these two musical genre in Texas, and attendees will experience great food and music in a comfortable setting,” said Arden Dorn, Hill Country Opera Festival president.

The inclusive price for the evening is $35.

Wed
25
Sep

Viva Texicana fiesta, concert set Saturday


STEPHANIE URBINA JONES will host and perform during the grand finale of the first annual "Viva Texicana" Hill Country Fiesta this Saturday, Sept. 28, at Pioneer Museum. —Standard-Radio Post/Yvonne Hartmann

By Matt Ward— The first annual “Viva Texicana” Hill Country Fiesta, celebrating Hispanic heritage in the Texas Hill Country, will be held Saturday, Sept. 28, from 4-9 p.m. at Pioneer Museum, located at 325 West Main Street.

The event will be an evening of family-friendly fun hosted by Stephanie Urbina Jones, a third generation Hispanic-American country singer-songwriter and featured artist on the TV show “Troubadour Texas.”

Festivities will kick off at 4 p.m. with an hour-long performance by Mariachi Nuevo Estilo ADM, recent “America’s Got Talent” performers whose style mixes traditional Mexican music with some of today’s top hits.

A special “Fiesta Fun Zone” with free children’s activities will take place from 4-6 p.m. featuring educational and cultural arts, crafts and games, including piñatas, mariachi musical chairs, a tortilla toss, fiesta rubber ducks, storytelling in English and Spanish and more.

Wed
25
Sep

Smith: Obamacare 'simply not ready for prime time'


DISTRICT 21 Congressman Lamar Smith stopped in Fredericksburg on Monday. —Standard-Radio Post/Ken Esten Cooke

Congressman visits Monday to tell why he voted no

By Ken Esten Cooke— As the U.S. House and Senate tussle over the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the budget, District 21 Congressman Lamar Smith said Monday that “Obamacare is simply not ready for prime time.”

Smith and other House Republicans voted last week on a Continuing Resolution that would keep government funded beyond the Sept. 30 deadline, until about mid-December. But the resolution also contained a repeal of the ACA, Smith told members of the Fredericksburg Rotary Club on Monday.

“The percentage of people who like it is now down in the thirties,” he said.

Wed
25
Sep

Former FHS student to receive $75,000 settlement

By Matt Ward— A former Fredericksburg High School student who brought a lawsuit against the Fredericksburg Independent School District (FISD) will receive $75,000 to settle her claims against the district, FISD superintendent Marc Williamson and former FHS principal Lynn Blackwell, according to the San Antonio Express-News.

The lawsuit developed after an improper relationship was documented between then-student Stephanie Crounse and Fredericksburg High School (FHS) physics teacher and coach, Michael G. Stevens.

Williamson confirmed no tax dollars were to be contributed in the final settlement.

Most school districts carry commercial general liability insurance that contains provi-sions for an “occurrence,” which may include a number of coverage terms in which a defendant claims harm.

Wed
25
Sep

Neighbors to join up for National Night Out

By Lisa Treiber-Walter— In a show of strength against criminals, Gillespie County residents are being invited to join firefighters and law officers at their rural fire departments for “National Night Out — America’s Night Out Against Crime” open houses this coming Tuesday, Oct. 1.

“Let’s send a message to criminals that our community is united in the fight against crime,” urged Gillespie County Sheriff Buddy Mills.

On Tuesday evening, residents are encouraged to turn on their front porch lights in a show of solidarity against crime, throw block parties to get to know their neighbors better and learn how to watch out for each other better and to participate in special activities planned around the county.

Wed
25
Sep

'Roundup' will feature latest in green living

By Matt Ward— Electric vehicles, wind power and other energy efficient projects will be on display in Fredericksburg as part of the 13th Annual Renewable Energy Roundup and Green Living Fair (The Roundup), which is one of four destinations in Texas celebrating National Plug In Day, Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 28-29.

Members of the Austin/San Antonio Tesla Google Group will provide NEMA 14-50 charging systems and an eVgo charging station for recharging in Fredericksburg with free parking for electric vehicle owners.

Members of the Tesla Google Group will have their vehicles on display, including the Tesla Motor Series S Sedan.

For 13 years, the Renewable Energy Roundup and Green Living Fair has been a weekend destination for Texans who want to embark on a fall road trip to the Texas Hill Country. The Roundup is the largest all sustainability fair in the South.

Thu
19
Sep

Daily Update for Tuesday, Sept. 24

News

Wed
18
Sep

Divided council approves upcoming budget, tax rate

By Matt Ward —

Split over whether or not to balance utility funds, a divided Fredericksburg City Council approved their 2013-2014 budget Monday night by a 3-2 vote.

Councilmen Tim Dooley and Gary Neffendorf opposed the budget as the city’s electric, solid waste and drainage funds are projected to operate at a deficit in the coming year.

While there was division on budget issues, the council unanimously approved the effective tax rate of $0.2600 per $100 valuation, a rate which is $0.0047 lower than the current rate of $0.2647.

Balancing budgets

Worried about low reserve balances in the city’s utility funds, Neffendorf moved to balance the budgets (deficits in parenthesis) on the electric ($70,200), water and sewer ($123,200), solid waste ($56,100) and drainage ($73,100) funds.

Mayor Jeryl Hoover asked why other funds, such as the golf fund, did not also need to have a balanced budget.

Wed
18
Sep

Customers to see different rate hikes as new utility prices OK'd

By Matt Ward —

City utility customers will see an increase within the next few months as the Fredericksburg City Council approved rate hikes for water, sewer and electric customers during their regular council meeting Monday.

Final approval for the utility rates was needed as the council finished and okayed their 2013-2014 budget.

(A separate story in this issue details discussion of the upcoming city budget and tax rate.)

Increases vary by customer

With the approved increases in rates in addition to changes in the way rates are structured, all utility customers will be affected in some way with no two customers impacted the same way, according to city staff.

Wed
18
Sep

Superintendent to retire after fall semester

By Ken Esten Cooke —

Dr. Marc Williamson, who has led the Fredericksburg Independent School District as superintendent since 1998, announced he will retire at mid-term.

Williamson let FISD board members and his staff know last week in a short email. The 39-year education employee, with 22 of those in Fredericksburg, said the district will be attractive to a lot of candidates.

“The district is in a good position to be attractive to a lot of good candidates,” Williamson said. “We’ve got good test scores, economically, we have good finances, and there is good leadership on the campuses and from the teaching staff.”

Williamson said his retirement has been in the works for some time.

“It’s a good time to make a change,” he said. “I know they will get somebody great. If I wasn’t looking at retiring, I’d want to stay here. There are great people, I work with a great board and this is a great community.”

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