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Candidates agree Palmview needs to grow

20140411 Palmview-ProudBoth Palmview slates are focusing on bringing more businesses to town, improving public safety and putting more focus on infrastructure.

And, yet, their visions for the future of the city vary widely.

Candidates for Palmview Leadership are Joe Chapa for mayor, Mario Garza in Place 1, Alejandro Cantu in Place 2 and Albino Villarreal in Place 4. All of whom have never run for an elected office before.

Palmview Proud candidates are Jerry Perez for mayor, Arlando Nacianceno in Place 1, Jose “Hoss” Hernandez in Place 2 and Ricky Villarreal in Place 4. Perez resigned his seat of 18 years as the Place 1 alderman to run for mayor, and this is Villarreal’s first bid for re-election to keep his seat.

Read more: Candidates agree Palmview needs to grow

   

Peñitas library holds Easter event

20140415 PENITAS library-egg-hunt AF  7332PEÑITAS—Peñitas Public Library staff were overwhelmed by the huge turn out for the group’s Easter event held Tuesday. An estimated 140 children enjoyed an array of activities related to the holiday’s furry mascot, the Easter Bunny.

Library Director Yenni Espinoza said she was happy to see so many smiling faces in their recently renovated facility.

“To see all the kids coming in and for some of them it was their first time coming to the library since we reopened,” Espinoza said. “They were surprised; they ask what happened because the library is much bigger.”

Read more: Peñitas library holds Easter event

   

Community unites in Relay for Life

20140411 MISSION Relay-for-Life 1686 featureSome ran, wearing headphones to help pass the time, huffing and puffing around Tom Landry Stadium in Mission on Saturday morning.

Others walked casually around the track in pairs or groups, laughing or chatting.

All of them had been touched by cancer and wanted to do something about it. During the 16th American Cancer Society Relay For Life, groups from around the Upper Valley joined to raise money for the agency. At least one person from each group had a member walking on the track at all times.

“Relay is a unique opportunity for our community to come together to celebrate people who have battled cancer, remember those we’ve lost, and fight back against the disease,” Carlos Contreras, American Cancer Society specialist, stated in a news release. “Many of the participants are cancer survivors, which serves as a reminder that the Upper Valley is not immune to this disease and that by participating in relay, we are joining with the American Cancer Society’s efforts to create a world with less cancer and more birthdays."

Read more: Community unites in Relay for Life

   

Mission CISD looks at raising taxes

MCISDlogoThe tax rate at Mission CISD might be raised anywhere from 5.5 and 13 cents to help make ends meet as the district faces a $3.2 million shortfall this current fiscal year.

Committee members discussed the shortfall and possible tax increase during a recent finance committee meeting when budget personnel estimated an even bigger shortfall next year if the tax rate is not increased.

In 2011, voters approved a tax ratification election that did not change the overall tax rate, but bumped up the district’s maintenance and operations tax rate from $1.04 to $1.17 and lowered the district’s debt service rate by 13 cents. Before and after the tax ratification election, the overall tax rate remained the same at $1.30.

Read more: Mission CISD looks at raising taxes

   

Future of Palmview at stake in upcoming election

20140411 Palmview-Leadership-CandidatesPALMVIEW–It’s four against four in the fight for the future of their city as the May election looms and two informal political parties take shape.

Palmview Leadership is a group of businessman who believe they can get the city’s finances under control while improving the city. None have run for office before.

“The city should be running like business,” said Joe Chapa, the slate’s mayoral candidate. “It takes businessmen to run a business. The other four individuals running for office are not businessman. We are businessmen. You cannot earn $10 and spend $20.”

Meanwhile, Palmview Proud includes two men who’ve already served on the city’s board of aldermen as well as two others who grew up in the area and have helped out in previous elections. They plan to focus on the Boys and Girls Club, infrastructure, public safety and economic development.

Read more: Future of Palmview at stake in upcoming election

   

Forgotten Friends works to save dogs

20140328 Nonprofit-dog-photos  7122 featureEight black puppies piled onto each other for naptime Friday morning in cage in a back room at Smith Ranch Kennels in Los Fresnos.

Their mother was a stray who’d had several litters before, but Christine Compton, president of Mission-based Forgotten Friends Texas Rescue RGV, rescued these lucky pups two weeks earlier. There were originally nine, but one foster family decided to keep its pup.

The agency works with Smith Ranch Kennels to send dozens of dogs from around the Valley to shelters in states around the country through the ASPCA.

“The only reason we could do this was because we had grant money. But this time there is no money. We’re still going to apply,” Compton said, adding that several fundraising ideas have fallen through because there aren’t enough people to help them. “I’m just so tired of begging people for money. I want somebody else to do it.”

Read more: Forgotten Friends works to save dogs

   

2 challenge Salinas for Mission mayor title

20140404 Mayor-Candidates-for-webAfter 16 years at the helm of the City of Mission, Mayor Norberto “Beto” Salinas has said he’s not ready to quit just yet.

But two Mission residents both say it’s time for change and unity in the city. Dr. John Robert Guerra and businessman Jaime Gutierrez are opposing Salinas in his bid for re-election.

“I truly believe we have to renew,” Gutierrez said. “Whatever doesn’t renew, it stays in the same place. It’s time to open scenarios for new generations. This generation is not here to divide. We’re not here to break down what has been done; it’s to take it to another level.”

“We want to be able to treat everybody fairly and equally,” Guerra said of his own bid for the seat. “I’d like to have a city government that is of the people, by the people, for the people. His (Salinas’s) poster says ‘one mission,’ instead of ‘our mission.’”

Read more: 2 challenge Salinas for Mission mayor title

   

Mission hires San Juan city manager for deputy position

City-of-Mission-logoSan Juan Deputy City Manager J.J. Rodriguez will take over as Mission’s deputy city manager April 9.

“One of the things that stood out for Mr. Rodriguez is his experience—the fact that he worked at an organization that is very similar to us as far as population, size, growth,” said Mission City Manager Martin Garza.

Rodriguez served as city manager of Edinburg before moving to San Juan in 2010. Overall, Garza said, Rodriguez spent 22 years with Edinburg, and that tells him Rodriguez will be committed to the organization. He began as an intern in the Edinburg planning department and worked his way up to deputy city planner before he was named to the post of city manager.

Read more: Mission hires San Juan city manager for deputy position

   

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