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February 7, 2013
Photo by Miles Merwin
The only Island in Texas that celebrates Mardi Gras on the Beach Next Publication Date: 2/14/2013
Around The Island
By Dale Rankin firstname.lastname@example.org By Dale Rankin
Finally a little rain. Tuesday night and Wednesday saw some much needed precipitation and a little break in the Chamber of Commerce Weather that has become our Island Winter. Maybe the rain will somehow wash away the thousands of Portuguese Man-of-War that have been washing up on some of our beaches of late. What they lack in size they make up for in numbers. If you’re heading down to the beach take along some flip-flops just in case.
Don’t forget the Lions Club Pancake Breakfast over at St. Andrews by the Sea Community Church this Saturday, February 9, starting at 7 a.m. and lasting until the last pancake is slathered in syrup. It’s an annual event that is well attended.
Beach cleanups There are also a couple of beach cleanups going on in the next few weeks. There is more information on them in this issue, but they are much needed and go help out if you can.
Both Island stations to lose personnel By Dale Rankin A plan currently making its way through city hall will cut the number of firefighters on The Island from the current ten to eight, meaning The Island can expect to be will be left without a serviceable firetruck for hours at a time and putting firefighters’ ability to rescue people from burning buildings on tenuous ground.
If you are a member of an Island club who would like to get involved, or an Island artist who wants to have a place to show your work give us a call. In the meantime the farmers market over at the Presbyterian Church happens the second and fourth Saturday of each month. The Moon Agricultural Reporting Department informs us this week to expect the previous bounty of kale, chard, radishes, beets, arugula, spinach and turnips, as well as French breakfast radishes and new bed of spinach. Watermelon radishes should be ready in a couple of weeks. The first tomatoes will be ready last two weeks of April, okra the first of April. Get there early on Saturday for eggs as we are informed that the girls just don’t lay as many eggs in chilly weather, but the load will pick up as spring appears.
Update on Island projects
Dredging, New Waterline, Water Exchange Bridge
plan for the area around Bob Hall Pier. The improvements include an expanded 150 slot RV park, a nature walk, a civic center, an outdoor amphitheater, and improvements to Briscoe King Pavilion. The park board has already committed about $3 million to the project and Phase I of the improvements will begin this year at Briscoe King.
Calling all Volunteers
By Cj Lowes Padre Balli Park As of this writing the dredging project in Packery Channel has removed 45,000 cubic yards of sand from the channel and placed in on Michael J. Ellis Beach at the end of the seawall. The project is nearing completion and is scheduled to be done by mid-March, in time to make way for the annual Spring Break invasion. Park Road 22/SPID Water Exchange Bridge. City staff this week announced a public hearing on the progress of the $8.1 million Water Exchange connecting the Island canal system to Lake Padre for mid-March. We will publish the exact date once it is set. The hearing is part of the ongoing permitting process for the bridge which is part of the development planned around the Schlitterbahn Waterpark and Resort. That hearing is expected to be the final one before design work moves into the final stages. New water line to The Island. Plans for the new fourteen-inch line are moving forward and will include a gas line and fiber optic cable. Currently North Padre and Port Aransas both rely on the single fourteen-inch line which runs parallel to the JFK Causeway. City staff told the Island Strategic Action Committee this week they expect the new line to be in place by spring of 2014. Projects continued on A7
Port Aransas Beach Cleanup Saturday, February 9 Time to Mardi Gras The Mardi Gras season is upon us with the North Padre parade and party this Saturday and the Port Aransas parade on Tuesday. So grab you beads and get out there. In the meantime, say hello if you see us Around The Island.
Improvements Planned at County Park
The Nueces County Coastal Parks Board has outlined an ambitious $11.9 million improvement
Firefighters continued on A4
The county is putting in some additional bollards on the beach just south of the jetty in Port Aransas. They will limit driving in the area between Horace Caldwell Pier and the channel. They are part of an ongoing project to improve amenities in that area. The Island Moon Market in the parking lot on the Michael J. Ellis Seawall is taking a hiatus for a while. We’re going to reorganize it and are looking to involve more Island service organizations to help them with fundraising.
Another big one goes down the ditch
If the plan is implemented the number of first responder firefighters on Island calls will be cut from twelve to nine. Currently three trucks respond to calls on The Island and city policy
New bollards in Port A
Island Moon Market
Year 16, Issue 460
City Plans to Remove Three Firefighters from Island Service Area
The plan calls for two new ambulances to be added to the force in the city, neither on The Island, and for them to be staffed by a reassigning of existing personal within the department. To facilitate that, one of the current four firefighters from Fire Station #16 on Mustang Island will be reassigned, another from the existing six at Fire Station #15 on Commodores (two of whom are assigned to the ambulance), and another from Station #13 in Flour Bluff which responds routinely to Island calls.
Flat as a pancake
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The Keep Port Aransas Beautiful Winter Adopt-a-Beach clean-up will be held on Saturday, February 9, on the beach at Avenue G in Port Aransas. Registration starts at 8:30 a.m. and the cleanup runs from 9 am to 12 noon. No Lunch Served this time but bring a friend and walk the beach A small token of appreciation to be given after handing in your trash tally cards. More Beach Cleanups on A11
Fresh air, sea breezes and a ton of gratitude awaits the person willing to … wait for it… watch for turtles coming ashore to nest at Padre Balli Park.
Because of new requirements from US Fish and Wildlife, the county park at Padre Balli (near Bob Hall Pier) needs volunteers to watch for turtles coming onto the beach to nest when the heavy equipment operators are maintaining the beach. Volunteers are needed Monday
Volunteers continued on A
A little Island history
How Aransas Pass Was Born and Missed Its Chance at a Deep Water Port
one to avoid being called a lottery in the eyes of the In the last issue we described postal department which how Harbor Island became would mean it could not be the first deepwater port in the advertised or sold by mail. As area. It wasn’t long before described by the Editor of the developers began plans to Aransas Pass Progress in his develop the town of Aransas book A Rugged American; the Pass into a junction point developers sold 6000 tickets for the transport of goods at $100 each to people who from ships to rail. Author lived primarily in the states Keith Guthrie, a local author, of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, described the process in his and Nebraska. Buyers could book Texas Forgotten Ports. put down $10 cash and pay out the remainder at $10 Twenty feet of water at per month without interest the bar and that is the way most of By spring of 1906 there was Entrance to Conn Brown the tickets were sold. Each twenty feet of water over Harbor in Aransas Pass ticket, called a certificate by the bar entering the bay at the promoters, represented Harbor Island and plans were a single lot, each ticket holder would get at underway to launch the city of Aransas Pass least one lot in the new town and would have on the mainland behind Harbor Island. Two a chance at a first, second, or third prize in San Antonio real estate developers, E.O. addition. Burton and A.H. Danforth bought 12,000 This is for the man who overbids acres of land that included the old townsite of Aransas Pass. The first thing they did after First prize was a three-story, 72-room buying the land was to buy a newspaper, hotel – the Bay View; second prize was 10 The Aransas Pass Progress, and by the time modern cottages which had been built by the they were ready to do sell lots in their new promoters especially for the “drawing”; third town the paper had been pumping out stories prize consisted of farming tracts ranging in extolling the virtues of life along the Laguna size from five to forty acres which surrounded for months. the townsite. The key to the scheme was that The land sale plan was a simple but tricky History continued on A3 By Dale Rankin