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HARLINGEN, TEXAS What’s s e Online Tour downtown’s lively Jackson Street district

OH, BROTHERS! Microsoft distributes siblings’ video game

SOUND MINDS AND BODIES Schools promote musical education

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2010 EDITION | VOLUME ME 6 ®

HARLINGEN, TEXAS CO NTE NT S F E AT U R E S 8 CASTING LIGHT Centennial gives city time to reflect and move confidently forward.

HARLINGEN BUSINESS 22 Family Affair Multi-generational companies grow, prosper along with Harlingen

24 Biz Briefs 26 Chamber Report

12 LIVING THE GOOD LIFE Harlingen is recognized as one of Texas’ top retirement communities.

28 HOLED UP Volume and variety of courses make Harlingen a golfer’s paradise.

D E PA R TM E NT S 6 Almanac: a colorful sampling of Harlingen’s culture

16 Local Flavor 17 Portfolio: people, places and

33 OH, BROTHERS! Texas State Technical College sets Huerta brothers on the path to reach gamers.

events that define Harlingen

29 Health & Wellness 36 Community Profile: facts and stats

35 SOUND MINDS AND BODIES Harlingen schools hit the right notes with music education, performances.

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ON THE COVER Interior historic home, c. 1931 Photo by Jeff Adkins

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MANAGING EDITOR KIM MADLOM COPY EDITOR JOYCE CARUTHERS ASSOCIATE EDITORS LISA BATTLES, JESSY YANCEY STAFF WRITERS CAROL COWAN, KEVIN LITWIN CONTRIBUTING WRITERS EILEEN MATTEI, JOE MORRIS DATA MANAGER CHANDRA BRADSHAW REGIONAL SALES MANAGER CHARLES FITZGIBBON INTEGRATED MEDIA MANAGER DAVID MOSKOVITZ SALES SUPPORT MANAGER CINDY HALL SENIOR PHOTOGRAPHER BRIAN McCORD STAFF PHOTOGRAPHERS JEFF ADKINS, TODD BENNETT, ANTONY BOSHIER, IAN CURCIO, J. KYLE KEENER PHOTOGRAPHY PROJECT MANAGER ANNE WHITLOW CREATIVE DIRECTOR KEITH HARRIS ASSOCIATE PRODUCTION DIRECTOR CHRISTINA CARDEN PRODUCTION PROJECT MANAGERS MELISSA BRACEWELL, KATIE MIDDENDORF, JILL WYATT SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNERS LAURA GALLAGHER, KRIS SEXTON, CANDICE SWEET, VIKKI WILLIAMS LEAD DESIGNER JANINE MARYLAND GRAPHIC DESIGN ERICA HINES, JESSICA MANNER, MARCUS SNYDER WEB IMPLEMENTATION DIRECTOR ANDY HARTLEY WEB DESIGN DIRECTOR FRANCO SCARAMUZZA WEB CONTENT MANAGER JOHN HOOD WEB PROJECT MANAGER YAMEL RUIZ WEB DESIGN LEAD LEIGH GUARIN

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SR. V.P./CLIENT DEVELOPMENT JEFF HEEFNER SR. V.P./SALES CARLA H. THURMAN

Considering a move to this community? We can help. Use our Relocation Tools to discover tips, including how to make your move green, advice about moving pets and help with booking movers.

SR. V.P./OPERATIONS CASEY E. HESTER V.P./SALES HERB HARPER V.P./SALES TODD POTTER V.P./VISUAL CONTENT MARK FORESTER V.P./EDITORIAL DIRECTOR TEREE CARUTHERS V.P./CUSTOM PUBLISHING KIM NEWSOM MANAGING EDITOR/BUSINESS BILL McMEEKIN MANAGING EDITOR/TRAVEL SUSAN CHAPPELL PRODUCTION DIRECTOR NATASHA LORENS PHOTOGRAPHY DIRECTOR JEFFREY S. OTTO CONTROLLER CHRIS DUDLEY ACCOUNTING MORIAH DOMBY, DIANA GUZMAN, MARIA McFARLAND, LISA OWENS RECRUITING/TRAINING DIRECTOR SUZY SIMPSON DISTRIBUTION DIRECTOR GARY SMITH INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY DIRECTOR YANCEY TURTURICE IT SERVICE TECHNICIAN RYAN SWEENEY HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGER PEGGY BLAKE SALES SUPPORT RACHAEL GOLDSBERRY SALES/MARKETING COORDINATOR RACHEL MATHEIS EXECUTIVE SECRETARY/SALES SUPPORT KRISTY DUNCAN OFFICE MANAGER SHELLY GRISSOM

VIDEOS In our Interactive section, watch quick videos by our editors and photographers featuring people, places and events.

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Images Harlingen is published annually by Journal Communications Inc. and is distributed through the Harlingen Area Chamber of Commerce and its member businesses. For advertising information or to direct questions or comments about the magazine, contact Journal Communications Inc. at (615) 771-0080 or by e-mail at info@jnlcom.com. FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT: Harlingen Area Chamber of Commerce 311 E. Tyler Street • Harlingen, TX 78550 Phone: (956) 423-5440 • Fax: (956) 425-3870 www.harlingen.com

FACTS & STATS Go online to learn even more about: • Schools • Health care • Utilities • Parks • Taxes

LOCAL FLAVOR From the simple to the sublime, the delicious offerings here are guaranteed to satisfy every appetite.

VISIT IMAGES HARLINGEN ONLINE AT IMAGESHARLINGEN.COM ©Copyright 2009 Journal Communications Inc., 725 Cool Springs Blvd., Suite 400, Franklin, TN 37067, (615) 771-0080. All rights reserved. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced in whole or in part without written consent. Member

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ABOUT THIS MAGAZINE Images gives readers a taste of what makes Harlingen tick – from business and education to retiring, health care, the arts and our history. “Find the good – and praise it.”

– Alex Haley (1921-1992), Journal Communications co-founder

Member Harlingen Area Chamber of Commerce

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More Than 1 Million Take Flight The busiest airport in the Rio Grande Valley now serves 1 million passengers each year. Valley International Airport in Harlingen claims Southwest Airlines and Continental Express as its main airline carriers‚ while Sun Country Airlines offers winter-season service from November to April. Gateways that Southwest and Continental fly to daily are Austin, Dallas‚ Houston and San Antonio. The airport has the longest runway in the Valley and offers free wireless Internet service inside the terminal. In addition to restaurants and coffee shops, there is also a KidsPort Play Area for youngsters.

Take Time To Remember Every once in a while we have to slow down and remember the earth provides us with so much “Sabor del Campo”, or flavor of the fields. Harlingen celebrates the flavor of the fields with Sabor del Campo Fest in the second week of October. Harlingen’s agriculture and proximity to the Mexican border have shaped the foods and beverages enjoyed today – from a hearty breakfast of eggs, chorizo (Mexican sausage), potatoes and corn tortillas to an evening treat known as pan dulce, or sweet bread. Sabor del Campo Fest celebrates the earth’s gifts and the cultural and culinary influence experienced daily. Highlights include a Fajita Rita Cook-Off, Taste of Harlingen, wine tastings and more.

Art Meets History It only takes hearing one of Harlingen’s early nicknames – Six Shooter Junction – to know the city is steeped in rich history, and few places tell its colorful story better than the Harlingen Arts & Heritage Museum. Located on Boxwood Street, near Texas State Technical College, the museum’s five buildings take guests back to 1904, when the city was established by Lon C. Hill. In 1989, Hill’s two-story Victorian home was relocated to the museum property and soon became a popular tourist attraction. Also on display is the city’s first hospital, as well as a restoration of the Paso Real, which served as a hotel, general store, post office and stagecoach waiting area. While the historic buildings give visitors a deeper understanding of the city’s past, a dynamic collection of exhibits by local artists paints the picture of Harlingen today.

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HARLINGEN


Almanac

Fast Facts Q A 905-piece tile artwork entitled The History of Mexico and Mankind will be installed this spring at Centennial Park in Downtown Harlingen as part of the City’s 100 year celebration.

A Texas Original On Feb. 23, 1945, Easy Company had been fighting four days and incurred 40 percent casualties. As they raised the flag on Iwo Jima’s Mount Suribachi, photographer Joe Rosenthal shot the most reproduced photograph in history. Within hours many of these men would be dead. The flag-raising photo caused an immediate sensation. Just two days after it was first seen in the United States, senators rose on the floor of the U.S. Senate calling for a national monument modeled after the picture. Before the bronze monument could be cast, a full-size model had to be made. In 1981, this original full-sized creation by Felix de Weldon was donated to the Marine Military Academy in Harlingen.

Q Harlingen CISD’s Early College High School blends high school and college by giving 100 incoming freshman students each year the opportunity to graduate with a high school diploma and an Associates of Arts degree.

Harlingen At A Glance POPULATION Harlingen: 74,900 Cameron County: 387,717

character in the area’s development. His barns and corrals were used as Texas Ranger headquarters, and he was instrumental in bringing the railroad to the Valley.

LOCATION Harlingen is at the crossroads of Expressways 77 and 83 and is two hours from Corpus Christi, four hours south of San Antonio and three hours north of Monterrey, Mexico.

FOR MORE INFORMATION Harlingen Area Chamber of Commerce 311 E. Tyler Avenue Harlingen, TX 78550 Phone: (956) 423-5440 Fax: (956) 425-3870 www.harlingen.com

BEGINNINGS Lon C. Hill began buying land in Harlingen in 1902 and was a key

77 Intracoastal Waterway

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Harlingen

Rio Hondo

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McAllen

La Feria Reynosa 40

What’s Online e Take a virtual tour of Harlingen, courtesy of our award-winning photographers, at imagesharlingen.com.

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UNITED STATES MEXICO

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Nuevo Progreso

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND

Harlingen

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San Benito

CA M ERO N 509 77 Free Trade International Bridge

Brownsville Matamoros 101

Q Valley veterans no longer have to travel up to five hours for health care. Harlingen is home to the 35,000-square-foot South Texas VA Health Care Center serving 400 patients daily. The new 120,000-square-foot VA Ambulatory Surgery and Specialty Outpatient Center is set to open in 2011.

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Los Fresnos 2

Q In the 1970s, Harlingen’s City Lake was reduced in size to combat evaporation. The Cultural Arts Center and Harlingen Public Library were built on the reclaimed lake bed.

Q Harlingen has more than 30 murals that grace buildings throughout the city, with the tradition dating back to 1928.

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Looking Back, Seeing

Ahead CENTENNIAL GIVES CITY TIME TO PAUSE, REFLECT AND MOVE CONFIDENTLY FORWARD

STORY BY JOE MORRIS PHOTOGRAPHY BY JEFF ADKINS

W What’s O Online Experience the history of Harlingen in our quick online video at imagesharlingen.com.

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s Harlingen welcomes its 100th birthday, the city plans to strut its stuff throughout 2010 to celebrate. Beginning in January, various community events will lead up to the actual centennial celebration in April 2010, and then continue throughout the summer and fall. Proposed events include the opening of a time capsule from 1960, a street dance, a soccer tournament, the Miss Centennial contest, a parade and maybe even a repeat of the 1960’s beard-growing contest. Any way you slice it, the year’s going to be a lot of fun, says Eileen Mattei, a local writer and author of a coffeetable book that was released in November 2009 celebrating Harlingen and its history. “The city has had some devastating floods

and recovered from them, and hurricanes and other weather events have affected it,” Mattei says. “But it’s the recovery that’s always remarkable. This city always finds a way to bounce back, and also to grow and develop. Harlingen grows and strives, and this celebration offers the chance to look at a tremendous number of things we have to be proud of.” Another chronicler of local events is Norman Rozeff, who many credit with being Harlingen’s unofficial historian. He’s been on the ground here since 1975, when he relocated from Hawaii to work at a new sugar cane mill in Santa Rosa. “The city has always billed itself as a hub of transportation, because you do have the major highways and two railroads that come through here,” Rozeff says. “The railroad spur

Clockwise from top left: From the days of Harlingen’s first hospital, now part of the museum complex, to contemporary structures such as the public library and the beautiful arches of the BBVA Compass Bank, Harlingen’s architecture reflects its growth thoughout the years.

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“This city always finds a way to bounce back, and also to grow and develop.”

took off from here and opened up the whole Valley for development, and Harlingen was at the beginning of all that being established.” As the city’s success as a shipping hub grew, so did its business community. Everything from an ice plant that supplied rail cars full of produce to other major manufacturing concerns popped up, and by the outbreak of World War II the federal government had taken notice. “In 1941, just as the war broke out, the army established an airfield here,” Rozeff says. “They trained gunners for the B-17 and B-24 bombers. All the gunners – rear, front, turret and belly – trained here. Over four years they had about 40,000 gunners come through what was then the Harlingen Army Airfield and the Harlingen Army Gunnery School, or HAGS.” Following the war, the facility became the city’s municipal airport, but during the Korean War, the U.S. Air Force opened up a school for navigators and commissioned cadet officers. That ran through the early 1960s, Rozeff says and further cemented the area’s ties with the military. Over time, the facilities also have promoted the city’s goal of being a center for education and commerce. “Both of those bases stimulated the local economy and helped to make Harlingen a big retail center,” he says. “And since then the barracks the Air Force used has become the Marine Military Academy, the only boys school in the country based on Marine discipline. We also have Texas State Technical College out there, and they’ve grown by leaps and bounds. Both are real feathers in the city’s cap.” Rozeff sees the city’s continued evolution as a medical hub as just one more success in a long line of positive reinventions, and one that he thinks will carry it far into the future. “We have full medical centers and systems here, and they have become the city’s largest employer,” he says. “Harlingen has always tried to adapt and hasn’t had the problems some other Valley cities have had with growth. It’s been very steady here, and very solid.”

Above: The historic downtown area is experiencing a renaissance. Far right: The Marine Military Academy is important to Harlingen’s history and future. Below: Leather doctor’s kit on display in Harlingen’s original hospital on the grounds of the Heritage Museum

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HARLINGEN


Retiring to the

Good Life HARLINGEN IS A TOP RETIREMENT COMMUNITY

STORY BY EILEEN MATTEI PHOTOGRAPHY BY JEFF ADKINS

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arlingen is not your grandmother’s retirement community. It’s much better and a perfect match for the next generation of active, independent retirees. The city qualified as a Texas Certified Retirement Community in 2008 after completing a stringent review of its numerous assets: medical, recreational, cultural, continuing education, security and employment. The year-round pleasant weather is a bonus. Harlingen has long been a retirement destination for those seeking a subtropical home from which to start new adventures and new lives. Now, drawn by the city’s affordability, amenities and friendliness, Baby Boomer retirees are moving to Harlingen and embarking Retired couple Danny and Susan Hoehne window shop along Jackson Street. Harlingen is one of the best places in Texas for birding.

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on active lifestyles in neighborhoods and over-55 communities. When Harlingen became the first South Texas town to achieve Texas Certified Retirement Community status, that recognition validated what recent retirees had discovered for themselves. Danny and Susan Hoehne retired from jobs in Washington, D.C., and bought a home in Harlingen one month after their first visit in 2005. “I love telling folks about the great things I’ve found in the Rio Grande Valley and Harlingen. First of all is good birding,” says Danny, who spots wild parrots in his yard. “There are great people here. With the low cost of living, you get a lot of bang for your buck.” Welcomed to the community, Danny has become chairman of Harlingen’s Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival, one of the nation’s top birding events. Meanwhile, Susan took a job at the nature center.

The Hoehnes’ enthusiasm about affordable, active retirement in Harlingen is backed by statistics. Besides the fact that Texas has no state income tax, the quarterly Cost of Living index puts Harlingen at 83 percent, considerably below the national average. But Harlingen’s resources seal the deal. It is the region’s acknowledged medical hub with two hospitals, one of which has a five-star stroke center. The city’s new VA Health Care Center is adding a 120,000-squarefoot ambulatory surgery and specialty outpatient center. Southwest Airlines flies from Harlingen’s Valley International Airport, making travel easy. Two University of Texas campuses are less than an hour away, and Texas State Technical College is located in Harlingen. The non-profit Center for Creative Retirement arranges stimulating lectures and trips. Leisure activities abound, including golfing, fishing and boating. Retirees can attend

concerts and performances, join clubs, volunteer for the sea turtle patrol or tutor students. Roger Youngblood has a tough time listing only five good reasons to retire to Harlingen. He starts with the topnotch local medical facilities, Southwest Airlines’s 15 daily flights, nearby South Padre Island, the shops in Nuevo Progreso, Mexico, and the affordable options of homes at Cottonwood 21, the established, gated retirement community with golf course that he manages. Harlingen is an affordable option in the perfect location for retirees, not just to visit but to live. The average price for a new, landscaped, three-bedroom home is $135,000. The city’s 15 RV parks provide a springboard for Winter Texans who often decide they want to live the good life in Harlingen year-round. They, too, have discovered that retirement in Harlingen is just the start of the best of their lives.

Below: Golf keeps retirees busy. Right (clockwise from top): Green spaces like Hugh Ramsey Nature Park contribute to the excellent quality of life in Harlingen. Artist Shirley Sondock paints a landscape while participating in a watercolor class at D’Arte Centre. The Hoehnes browse a display at the D’Arte Centre.

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What’s Online e See Hugh Ramsey Nature Park in our quick online video at imagesharlingen.com.

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Local Flavor

Viva, Las Vegas Café THE NAME HAS SPICY ORIGINS AND SO DO THE RECIPES

unusual name? Actually, the “Ourbuilding we are in was a go-go

PHOTOS BY JEFF ADKINS

club in the early 1960s that went by the name of Las Vegas Lounge, so when we began occupying part of the same building in 1964, we just went along with the name – except for the ‘Lounge’

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part,” says Las Vegas Café owner Julio Charles. Las Vegas Lounge has long since closed, but Las Vegas Café is still going strong more than 45 years later. Las Vegas Café is a dining staple on West Harrison Avenue in Harlingen that serves breakfasts, lunches and

dinners Monday through Saturday. The popular café began its operation with only three tables and eight stools, and now it has a seating capacity for 140 people. Charles says the key to the eatery’s continued success is its consistency, with good food, good service and reasonable prices. “You can’t help but be successful with that kind of a combination,” he says. “That has always been our goal and strategy.” The specialties of the house include beef and cheese enchiladas that are prepared from a secret recipe. “Nobody makes enchiladas like Las Vegas Café, with a special recipe that is really our trademark,” Charles says. “Plus we have several other quality Mexican dishes such as steak rancheros, fajitas, chicken fried steak and chicken tenders.” Diners would agree. Comments from the popular Urban Spoon website praise the enchiladas and attest to the local popularity of the café. “If you have to ask for a menu, you must be new in town,” reads one of the posts. Charles says his wife, Eloina, actually started the business in ’64 and he ultimately joined the always-busy restaurant seven years later. “Today, our two daughters, Lori and Julie, primarily run the cafe during the day, and my son-in-law, Duke, is the night manager,” Charles says. “We love being in Harlingen, and I guess that our customers love us, too. They keep coming back, time and time again.” – Kevin Litwin

The Tampiqueña plate

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Portfolio

Mural, Mural, On the Wall OUTDOOR ART SETS A WELCOMING CULTURAL TONE THROUGHOUT HARLINGEN

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rushes with greatness are found at several locations throughout Harlingen, thanks to the city’s affection for art. Most notably, several colorful, larger-than-life-size murals adorn local buildings. Many of the paintings feature images of tropical birds, Aztec legends and other interesting vignettes of everyday life in South Texas and rural Mexico. One of the most attractive murals was painted in 2005 by artist John Aretakis and is mounted at 202 N. Commerce. The Historic Route 77 mural, shown above, evokes the heyday of motor hotels and family roadtrips. Several local icons are depicted in this brightly-colored work. Aretakis also painted a mural in 2003 that pays tribute to Bill Haley, HARLINGEN

of Rock Around the Clock fame. The popular rocker spent his final years in Harlingen. The two-story mural is on a building at A and Monroe Streets. Harlingen’s mural tradition actually dates as far back as 1928, when artist Luis Lopez Sanchez incorporated yellow and green snakes – Aztec symbols of wisdom and knowledge – into the façade of Bowie Elementary. In the mid-century, artist Normah Knight created three murals that now are displayed inside buildings downtown. In 1945, the Holsum Baking Company commissioned Knight to create a 65-foot-long Story of Bread mural for their Harlingen plant. Visitors can view it, and other artwork, at Gallery 218 on the corner of Jackson and Commerce. Another Knight mural,

The Development of the Bottling Industry, was commissioned by the RC Cola Bottling Plant in 1954. It now hangs at Cossey Creations on East Jackson. Knight’s most spectacular mural, Development of the Rio Grande Valley, is displayed at Capital One Bank on East Van Buren. Her fascinating portrayal of the region’s agricultural and industrial riches stretches 38 feet across the bank lobby. Other murals are prominently displayed on walls at Grimsell Seed Company, The Antique Emporium, Rialto Reception Hall, and Rio Grande Grill. Unveiling the Murals and Artistry of Harlingen, a free brochure available at the Harlingen Area Chamber of Commerce‚ provides a map and guide to these and other works of art. I M AG E S H A R L I N G E N . C O M

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Pride in Their Appearance F

or the past 20 years, many citizens have pitched in to make Harlingen a more beautiful community. Since 1990, Harlingen Proud has been a volunteer organization composed of concerned citizens who want to keep the community looking good. The organization consists of an 18-member board of directors that is appointed by the Harlingen City Commission. A big part of the organization’s efforts focuses on beautification, while the other goal of their cause is to have as many residents as possible participating in recycling efforts. In the area of beautification, the city recently introduced a new Lemoyne Garden Park as well as a new Centennial Park. A new “Welcome to Harlingen” sign that greets travelers coming from the airport was built in 2008 from monetary and “in kind” donations solicited by members of Leadership Harlingen Class XXII as

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their class project. City officials are proud to point out that no matter which way someone turns from the airport, the entrance into the community is improved. In recent years, Harlingen Proud has also tackled issues such as graffiti abatement, litter prevention, illegal dumping and citizen education with regard to the environment. Volunteers are the foundation of Harlingen Proud, and each year more than 2,000 citizens join together to clean and beautify the community during events including a fall cemetery cleanup and a “Don’t Mess With Texas Trash Bash” community cleanup. One of the most successful beautification initiatives in recent years has been the establishment of a recycling center. The city’s center takes in more than 800 tons of debris each year, which keeps all of that tonnage out of the waste stream.

HARLINGEN


Portfolio

ackson Street has long been considered the heart of Harlingen, and as the city celebrates its centennial, the heartbeat of Harlingen’s “Main Street” remains strong. Dotted with specialty stores, cafes and galleries, the street features a diversity of businesses in some of the City’s most historic buildings. Service businesses, professional offices, and residences complete the mix, says Cheryl LaBerge, downtown manager for the City of Harlingen. Locals and visitors enjoy strolling and running errands in Harlingen’s only pedestrian environment. A new green space called Centennial Park has been created on Jackson by the railroad tracks. Additional landscaping improvements along Jackson are underway. “Jackson Street and much of downtown Harlingen were damaged in July 2008, when Hurricane Dolly hit the city,” LaBerge says. “But since then, new street signs have been installed, a sidewalk project has been completed, new palm trees planted, and improvements made to downtown parking lots. It’s been pretty busy around here lately.” LaBerge adds that an incentive grant program helps with renovating and improving buildings throughout the district. ““As of July 2009 – a year after the hurricane – 23 grants have been approved for property owners to improve their buildings,” she says. “Harlingen is affiliated with the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Texas Main Street Program, so we also can offer free design services too.” LaBerge says that even with the national economic downturn, more than 200 businesses and organizations operate downtown. “There is also a beautiful new event center on Jackson at Third, and ReMax Lone Star just moved into the district,” she says. “Jackson Street continues to be an important, thriving commercial center.” HARLINGEN

PHOTOS BY JEFF ADKINS

Action Jackson J

What’s Online e Enjoy the sights of Jackson Street in our quick online video at imagesharlingen.com.

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HARLINGEN


Portfolio

verything is shipshape these days at the Port of Harlingen. The port remains a distribution asset to the strength of the overall economy of the Rio Grande Valley. Shipments from Harlingen are mostly to and from destinations throughout the United States. More than 95 percent of commercial fertilizer barged or railed into the Port of Harlingen is shipped out by truck or rail to South Texas and Northern Mexico. Sugar shipped out of the Rio Grande Valley – 100 percent of it – moves out of the Harlingen port. Approximately one-third of all the fuel that is imported for the Valley comes through the port as well. The Harlingen port provides efficient and economical transportation to points that are as near as Corpus Christi and as far away as the Great Lakes. The port is also a recruitment tool for industry. Over 150 acres of on- and off-channel sites are available for industrial firms requiring economical transportation and attractive land lease rates. The port is located on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, which stretches from the Mexican border at Brownsville, Texas, along the entire coast of the Gulf of Mexico to St. Marks, Fla. In addition, the closest international bridge for truck traffic to Mexico is the Free Trade Bridge at Los Indios, which is approximately 12 miles from the Port of Harlingen. Union Pacific Railway serves the port. Numerous terminal docks and other facilities ease shipments into and out of the port. The Harlingen channel is maintained to a width of 125 feet and a depth of 12 feet (16 feet in the turning basin) and is supplied by the Arroyo Colorado, a fresh water river. – Stories by Kevin Litwin

JEFF ADKINS

Port Keeps Economy Shipshape E

Conveyor belts stand ready to load and unload barges at the Port of Harlingen.

Quality Service with a Personal Touch We are sharing our benefits of membership with anyone who lives, works, worships or attends school within a 10-mile radius of any of our branch offices. 2910 E. Grimes ~ Harlingen 4321 W. Expressway 83 (Lewis Lane Exit) ~ Harlingen 345 N. Williams Rd. ~ San Benito Harlingen Area Teachers’ Credit Union (956) 423-5792 ~ www.hatcu.coop

HARLINGEN

I M AG E S H A R L I N G E N . C O M

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Business

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HARLINGEN


Family Affair MULTI-GENERATIONAL COMPANIES GROW, PROSPER ALONG WITH HARLINGEN

STORY BY EILEEN MATTEI AND JOE MORRIS | PHOTOGRAPHY BY JEFF ADKINS

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arlingen, celebrating its centennial year, is the home of five family-owned business that have been operating for at least three generations. In fact, Grimsell Seed was founded in 1909, before Harlingen’s incorporation. Keeping a family business healthy for that long takes commitment and enthusiasm. At Valley Barber & Beauty Supply, a quick recruiting trip across the border in 1913 led to a family business that’s spanned four generations. “My grandfather, Fedrico Lopez, was recruited when a man here needed a barber,” says Joe Lopez, who handles outside sales for the company. Joe’s niece and nephew, Terri and James, represent the fourth generation. Fedrico married and opened his own shop in 1922. “He was closest to the train, so the vendors would hit his shop first,” Joe says. “He’d buy a lot of supplies and sell them to other barbers and beauty salons over the month before the next delivery. That’s how it all got started.” Another longtime family business, Roberts Jewelry, also opened its doors in 1922. R.B. Roberts set up shop as a clock and watch repair business. Cindy Nelson and her husband Brett, the third generation of the family and a graduate gemologist, now operate the business. “We feel that staying in the downtown area has helped us to thrive,” Nelson says. “We are seeing the children and grandchildren of our older clientele. Downtown is really changing and evolving, and we hope to endure right along with the change.”

Most of the signs of the times around here are thanks to Godwin & Son Signs, yet another 1922 venture that’s still going strong today. The business got its start in St. Louis and didn’t get to Harlingen until 1947, so it’s still the new kid on the block. “Our grandfather began the company, and then our dad came to work here and now myself, my sister and our husbands are here,” says Mary Godwin, one of the company’s owners. “We serve local businesses throughout the Valley and also do installations and service for national companies.” The company also does a lot of work in custom signage and continues to expand its offerings from Harlingen’s central location. In 1934, J. R. Fitzgerald combined his engineering talents and his experience picking fruit and vegetables to build vegetable packing machinery in his Harlingen garage. His company, Tri-Pak, designs and builds customized produce and fruit packing equipment. J. R ran the company for 40 years, followed by his son Alan, who, after 25 years, turned the business over to his sons, David, James and Robert and their brother-in-law, Dan Groves. Now the fourth generation is in college and interested in engineering. The firm has always regarded Harlingen as the place to be, David Fitzgerald says. “It’s home – that’s what it really boils down to. I’ve lived here my entire life, and so have my parents. We have a good workforce and are well established here. This is where we want to be.”

Above: Bill Godwin and his two daughters Mary Ann Godwin, left, and Linda Godwin Pullin, right, operate Godwin & Son Signs. Below: Robert’s Jewelry and Valley Barber and Beauty Supply are also family owned businesses.

HARLINGEN

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Business

Biz Briefs BUSINESSES – BOTH LARGE AND SMALL – THAT HELP DEFINE HARLINGEN’S ECONOMIC CLIMATE

Scorecard BUSINESS AT A GLANCE

$792,210 Retail sales ($1,000)

$13,359 Retail sales per capita

$103,499 Accommodations and food service sales ($1,000)

4,795 Total number of firms Source: U.S. Census QuickFacts

MEGAMORPHOSIS ARCHITECTURE & INTERIOR DESIGN LLC Biz: architecture and interior design firm Buzz: Specializing in a diverse range of design – from single-family homes to medical offices – the firm has completed more than 700 projects since its inception 15 years ago. Company president Meg Jorn founded Megamorphosis in 1994. Since then, the firm has grown to include seven employees. www.megamorphosisdesign.net 24

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ACOSTA-MUNIZ RIO GRANDE PHARMACY Biz: retail pharmacy Buzz: Locally owned and operated, AcostaMuniz (formerly Rio Grande Pharmacy) has been a Harlingen staple for more than 70 years. In fact, the pharmacy will be a featured business in a coffee table book celebrating the city’s centennial. 1117 S. Commerce St., Harlingen, TX 78550 (956) 423-1753 HARLINGEN


PHOTO COURTESY OF TOYOTA MOTOR NORTH AMERICA

PHOTO COURTESY OF CARLETON BAILIE

UNITED LAUNCH ALLIANCE Biz: launch vehicle manufacturer Buzz: A joint venture between the Boeing Company and Lockheed Martin, ULA manufactures guided missiles and space vehicles that transport testing and observation equipment into space – most notably the Delta and Atlas lines of rockets. ULA operates an assembly plant in Harlingen. www.ulalaunch.com

HARLINGEN

BULLRIDER WESTERN WEAR Biz: western apparel and accessories Buzz: Established in 1979, Bullrider stocks an impressive inventory of cowboy boots, hats and clothing by name brands such as Lucchese, Justin Boots and Cruel Girl and is a must-shop for locals and tourists. www.bullriderharlingen.com

ELLIFF MOTORS Biz: auto and trailer sales Buzz: Family owned Elliff Motors has been the region’s largest used car dealership for more than 65 years. The company’s success might be attributed to its hands-on approach. A company promise is that an Elliff family member will personally attend to each customer and make sure he is satisfied. www.elliffmotors.com

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Business | Chamber Report

Chamber staff, seated from left, Kathy Wolf, Melissa Boykin, Maggie Ortiz, T.J. Soule; standing, Crisanne Zamponi and Cori Peña

The Future Looks Bright HARLINGEN CHAMBER IS NOT SITTING STILL AS CITY MARKS ITS 100TH YEAR

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s the city of Harlingen celebrates its 100th anniversary, the Harlingen Area Chamber of Commerce is marking a few milestones of its own. The Chamber, which was incorporated in 1921, has long been tied to Harlingen’s success. The forerunner of the Chamber was operating as early as 1910 when H.D. Seago began his work as the unpaid secretary of what was sometimes referred to as the Harlingen Commercial Club and sometimes the Chamber of Commerce. “We do go way back, and we are as strong as ever because our focus continues to be on our members, our partnerships and our community,” says Crisanne Zamponi, executive director. “We have been working alongside the city on the Harlingen 100 Plan for the past couple of years in preparation for our year-long centennial celebration.” Small-business development remains a core focus of the Harlingen Chamber and this past summer the Chamber, in partnership with the Development Corporation of Harlingen, Harlingen CISD, Tech Prep of the Rio Grande Valley and other partners, embarked on an exciting new project. As part of the Academic Leadership Alliance (ALA) Summer Educator Internship program, eight HCISD high school teachers and counselors were “hired” for two weeks by Harlingen Chamber member employers. “A trained and skilled workforce is a critical need of local employers, so when we asked our member businesses to participate in this program, the response was overwhelmingly positive,” said Zamponi. “The employers immediately realized the benefits of hosting an educator and allowing him or her to gain ‘hands on’ experience and a working knowledge of the many aspects of their business.” 26

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Not only were the interns able to observe the businesses in action, they also had an opportunity to learn the business from the ground up. Then at the end of two weeks, they were required to develop a lesson plan based on their observations and introduce it to their students in the fall. “Everyone wins with this program,” said Zamponi, “because the ultimate result is improved economic prosperity and an enhanced quality of life for our community.” The Chamber also promotes regional health care, including working to get the South Texas VA Health Care Center at Harlingen up and running, as well as the new VA Ambulatory Surgery and Specialty Outpatient Center. The Chamber supports state and federal legislative efforts and plans for such notable transportation-related projects as the extension of I-37 to the Valley. “We have a lot going on,” Zamponi said. “We’re excited about the future, and we salute all the volunteer Chamber leaders of the past 100 years for their determination, dedication, foresight and for the wise decisions they made which resulted in the Port of Harlingen, the Free Trade Bridge at Los Indios, Texas State Technical College, Valley International Airport, the Regional Academic Health Center, the VA Texas Valley Coastal Bend Health Care System, and the prospect of an interstate highway coming soon.” A quote found in a Harlingen Chamber of Commerce Annual Report from over 60 years ago still fits today: At least we can say with assurance that so long as there is a difference between what our city is and what it may become, there is a job for the chamber of commerce. Chamber Annual Report, 1945. “That being said, we’re ready to start working on the next 100 years,” said Zamponi. – Joe Morris HARLINGEN


Sports & Recreation

Holed Up VOLUME AND VARIETY OF COURSES MAKE HARLINGEN A GOLFER’S PARADISE

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olfers of every size, shape and age think the Rio Grande Valley is a player’s paradise, and small wonder. With public and private courses offering a variety of venues and ranges of difficulty, it’s always a pleasure to get out on the links. The Harlingen area also hosts several tournaments throughout the year, with the most notable being the Life Begins at 40, or LBA, tournament. The event began 53 years ago and is open to players ages 40 and up. It began at the Tony Butler Municipal Golf Course and moved to the Harlingen Country Club when that

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course opened in the late 1960s. The tournament is so popular that it literally takes years to make it onto the roster. “You have to be 40 to get your name in the fishbowl, and it takes eight to 10 years to get pulled out,” says Joyce Benson, a broker/owner with Coldwell Banker Impact Properties and a former professional golfer who has lived in Harlingen since the late 1970s. “Once you’re in, you’re eligible to play every year, though. It’s one of the really nice senior golf tournaments, and we get a lot of good players.” The February event holds 250

players and usually brings about 500 people to town, Benson says. “It has nine flights, so you get a lot of different types of handicaps and a great variety,” she says. “And there are costume parties and things like that every single night, so there’s a lot of fun the whole time.” Tournaments aside, every day is a good golfing day in Harlingen. The opportunity to keep her hand in after retiring from the tour circuit was one of the draws that brought Benson to town in the first place. “I’m still a member of the LPGA teaching and touring divisions, so I’m still considered a pro,” she says. “And here you have so many different topographies. Some courses are more flat but have a lot of water hazards and trees, while others are more rolling and hilly. There’s quite a variety.” Indeed, golf is so much a part of the local landscape that the area draws in not only tourists, but also new residents who like the idea of living near so many different courses. “I absolutely market the area that way as a real estate professional. A lot of people come down to get involved in the outdoor life,” Benson says. “Some are golfers, but others are birders or just people who are planning to settle in and get out more, whether it’s those activities or just walking and hiking. Having all the golf courses is just one more nice thing that I can promote about the area.” – Joe Morris HARLINGEN


Health & Wellness

Quality Care, Close To Home HOSPITALS WORK TO PROVIDE OUTSTANDING SERVICES, PROGRAMS TO COMMUNITY

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arlingen’s residents are a robust bunch, thanks to quality medical here at home. Stepping up to meet the region’s needs are Harlingen Medical Center and Valley Baptist Medical Center-Harlingen. Harlingen Medical Center has seen tremendous growth during its first seven years of operation, says Todd Mann, Chief Executive Officer. “We have achieved this by providing outstanding quality care and dedication to service.” Mann says. “Patient satisfaction is our top priority. Our concept of ‘Patient Focused Care,’ puts the patient first.

HARLINGEN

The design, management, staffing and operation of HMC are focused towards the needs and overall comfort of the patient and their families.” The acute-care hospital offers a 24-hour emergency center, and specializes in cardiovascular care, women’s services, orthopedics, pediatrics and outreach programs. “We are one-third physician owned, so they have a very formalized role in setting the direction of the hospital,” he says. “But we get community input as well. That’s why we are expanding our existing services and constantly

evaluating new ones. He points to the hospital’s recognition on the Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals list, two years in a row, for its cardiac care as an example of how HMC focuses on specific services as a point of excellence. Mann says the community benefits when its medical providers take such an approach. “You don’t need to leave the Valley to have quality health care,” he says. “Any type of need can be met within this community.” Valley Baptist Medical CenterHarlingen has been serving South Texas with faith-based care since 1925, and has pioneered many types of heart and other procedures in the Valley. Life-saving care provided by Valley Baptist employees and physicians made its Harlingen and Brownsville facilities the only hospitals in the Valley to receive “Triple Recognition” awards for care of coronary artery disease, heart failure, and stroke patients from the American Heart Association for 2009. Valley Baptist was re-designated a Lead Level III Trauma Center for South Texas in 2009. Valley Baptist was also the first hospital in the Valley to offer robotic surgery with credentialed staff on site. The more precise surgery offered with Valley Baptist’s da Vinci® robotic surgical system means smaller incisions for patients, less pain, less time in the hospital, and faster recoveries in many cases. Speciallytrained doctors use the robot for prostate cancer surgery in men, gynecological surgeries in women, and general surgeries. A leader in women and children’s health care, Valley Baptist has the only Newborn Intensive Care Unit in Harlingen and the only ADA-recognized diabetes education programs in Cameron County. – Joe Morris I M AG E S H A R L I N G E N . C O M

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Cardiovascular Disease: No. 1 Killer in the US Do You Have Heart Disease?

Heart Disease affects more than

Leading the Way in Cardiovascular Care

1.5 million Americans, each year. From those affected, at least a half million will die.

Heart

disease is known as a silent killer and continues to affect younger men and women at an alarming rate. Most victims of heart disease never see it coming. They experience no symptoms, no chest pain and no numbness of the arm, until it is too late.

Harlingen

Medical Center features amazing technology that is revolutionizing the way heart disease is diagnosed.

Do you have heart disease? Aren’t Sure?

Harlingen

Medical Center is home to the HeartSaver CT Scan. This 64-slice CT scan can uncover heart disease in less than seven minutes, and years before any symptoms appear. It is pain free and 100% non-invasive. There are no injections, no dyes and no exercise involved. The exam itself is 100% comfortable and convenient.

Harlingen Medical Center offers the

HeartSaver CT Scan for only $50. Twenty minutes and $50 could save your life. To schedule your

HeartSaver CT Scan,

Having a HeartSaver CT Scan performed is quite simple and it can actually be done during the time allotted for a lunch hour. The procedure itself takes approximately 20 minutes. Once it is completed, the results will be calculated and given to the patient and will also be sent directly to the patient’s family physician.

call our Scheduling Department at

(956) 365-1839 Harlingen Medical Center is a recipient of the 2008 Thomson Reuters

Harlingen

100 Top Hospitals:

Medical Center’s ultimate goal is to prevent heart attacks by early detection through our HeartSaver CT Scan.

Cardiovascular Benchmarks Award.

5501 S. Expressway 77 | Harlingen, TX 78550 (956) 365-1000 www.harlingenmedicalcenter.com


Health & Wellness

Doctor Degrees MEDICAL EDUCATION IS GOOD MEDICINE FOR HARLINGEN

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hen the Regional Academic Health Center, a campus of the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio, opened in 2002, it provided medical students from the Rio Grande Valley the opportunity to do clinical training closer to their families – an important draw in an area known both for strong family bonds and for being medically under-served. The RAHC Medical Education Division opened a pipeline of home-grown physicians. For Dean Leonel Vela, M.D., MPH, attracting third- and fourth-year medical students and Internal Medicine medical residents to the Valley for training has meant that the border region has been able to increase the number of physicians practicing in the community. “A major determinant of where medical students stay to practice is where they complete their residency,” Dr. Vela says. “The number of our Internal Medicine residents who are staying in the Valley is around 60 percent. They’ve trained here, and they’ve stayed here to be community physicians.” Since its inception, the RAHC program has recorded a high level of satisfaction from the medical students and residents in large part because of the quality of training they receive. Approximately 300 local physicians serve as the RAHC’s volunteer faculty. The students experience an unusually high level of one-on-one, hands-on teaching as they work under the supervision of Valley physicians. Now, Dr. Vela says, the new physicians have become junior RAHC faculty members and serve as role models for the medical students. “It’s great to see them come full circle,” he says. “They can speak about their time here and how the RAHC prepared them.” He points to Dr. Nolan Perez, one of the first RAHC Internal Medicine Residency program graduates and a Port Isabel native. He left the area to complete a gastroenterology fellowship in Detroit, yet he returned to practice in Harlingen

JEFF ADKINS

and become a RAHC faculty member. Dr. James Castillo is another example. After completing his residency, Dr. Castillo joined the hospitalist staff at Valley Baptist Medical Center Harlingen, the RAHC’s primary teaching hospital. He is now the medical director of the hospitalist program, which continues to attract newly trained specialists from the RAHC’s residency program. Su Clinica Familiar, the public health facility where residents train adjacent to the RAHC, has also hired RAHC doctors. As a medical student, Stephen Stewart was among the first to rotate through RAHC clerkships – the extended hands-on training program under the supervision of physician/faculty members – before earning his M.D. After completing a three-year residency in emergency medicine in Michigan, Dr. Stewart returned to Harlingen, where he is currently an emergency room physician at Valley Baptist Medical Center and, of course, a RAHC faculty member. The future looks even brighter. Legislation passed in 2009 is positioning the RAHC to become a full-fledged 4-year medical school. – Eileen Mattei

Regional Academic Health Center

HARLINGEN

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Education

Oh, Brothers! HUERTAS APPLY TEXAS STATE TECHNICAL COLLEGE EDUCATION TO REACH GAMERS

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omputer games first captured the imaginations of two young brothers, Alberto and Mario Huerta, almost 15 years ago. Now their imaginations are capturing attention. In February 2009, the brothers, both studying Gaming and Simulation Programming at Texas State Technical College-Harlingen, received word that Micro Invasion, their new computer game, had been accepted for distribution by Microsoft. In high school, the Huertas had immersed themselves in computer games but understood there was more they could do. “We realized gaming interested us,” Mario says. “We decided we wanted to be on the other side of the screen, making games instead of only playing them.” Both enrolled in TSTC’s two-year Computer Science and Software Development program to earn Associate of Applied Science Degrees in Gaming and Simulation Programming. While working on a class project, Mario envisioned the concept for Micro Invasion. “We were going to post it on a website, but we decided to try the Microsoft process and get into the business,” Alberto says. Working at home and at the TSTC lab between classes and other projects, the brothers applied newly acquired skills to convert their game into programming language compatible with the Xbox platform used online by gamers. Micro Invasion challenges players to use a laser beam to zap robot-like bugs inside a brain. “The first thing that impressed me about Micro Invasion is that it is really polished,” TSTC instructor Tony Lozano says. “It’s a fun game that intrigues players of all skill levels. I also am really impressed with the Huertas’ entrepreneurship.” The Huertas submitted a test version of the game to the elite XNA Creators Club for review. The final review deemed it flawless and entertaining. Micro Invasion joined the select group of approximately 200 games approved by the club community. A letter from Microsoft followed with the company’s contract to distribute the game online to millions of players worldwide. Gamers download the Micro Invasion free 10-minute trial and then purchase it for $2.50 if they are intrigued. The Huertas earn a 70 percent royalty on each sale.

HARLINGEN

JEFF ADKINS

Texas State Technical College equips students with the skills necessary to pursue high-tech careers.

In July, Alberto and Mario Huerta received a Texas Certificate of Official Recognition and Congratulations from Governor Rick Perry. The award labels them Texas Successes for their achievement with Micro Invasion. While Xbox provides a distribution platform, Alberto and Mario realize the cyber marketplace is a challenge. The brothers are concentrating on enhancing their programming skills. Five years from now, they envision themselves creating games, preferably as independents, but maybe with a larger gaming group to overcome marketing issues. In the meantime, Alberto and Mario Huerta will be testing other inventors’ games and crafting the next new game. – Eileen Mattei

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LOCAL PEOPLE. SERVING YOU. EVERY DAY. You’re more than a customer. You’re a member. And that’s why we’re always looking out for you.

Now you can help control your energy use right at home. Visit

www.magicvalley.coop and click on:

0/"OXs-ERCEDES 48s  

visit our

advertisers AEP Texas www.aeptexas.com Central Air & Heating Service Inc. www.cahsinc.com Country Inn & Suites www.countryinns.com/harlingentx First Community Bank www.fcbweb.net Harlingen Area Teachers Credit Union www.hatcu.coop Harlingen Convention & Visitors Bureau www.visitharlingentexas.com Harlingen Economic Development Corporation www.harlingenedc.com Harlingen Medical Center www.harlingenmedicalcenter.com Harlingen Public Schools www.harlingen.isd.tenet.edu

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Magic Valley Electric Cooperative www.magicvalley.coop Marine Military Academy www.mma-tx.org McAllen International Airport www.mcallenairport.com South Texas Emergency Care www.stec-ems.org Texas State Technical College www.harlingen.tstc.edu United Health Group Company www.uhc.com University of Texas at Brownsville www.utb.edu Valley Baptist Health System www.valleybaptist.net Valley International Airport www.flythevalley.com

HARLINGEN


Arts & Culture

Strike up the Band(s) HARLINGEN SCHOOLS HIT THE RIGHT NOTES WITH MUSIC EDUCATION, PERFORMANCES

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n Friday nights during football season, everyone can count on the Harlingen bands taking the field at halftime and putting on a great show, but in Harlingen, there’s a whole lot more going on than marching. The Harlingen School Band programs are made up of marching bands, several concert bands and jazz ensembles, mariachi bands, chamber ensembles and more. Each of these entities, as well as combinations of the groups, has won awards at the local, regional and state levels, and routinely tours and competes nationwide. “The awards are too numerous to list, and

HARLINGEN

they just keep coming in as the students continue to work and improve”, says Ronnie Rios, director of bands at Harlingen High School. “We have grown to four big bands and three combos, and we’ve got Texas All-State Jazz musicians at our school,” says Rios, who’s been with the high school for 13 years. “I attribute all of the growth to the performance of the students because I believe success breeds success. The younger kids see the older ones performing really well, and they want to be a part of it. We’ve also been very fortunate to be able to play at some lofty performance venues

like New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Dallas, as well as playing all over South Texas and the Rio Grande Valley.” There are about 400 students and five teachers involved in the Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District’s String Orchestra Program, which continues to grow at a rapid pace, says Roger Harms, Director of Music Education. “They compete at the state level, they play in the community; it’s just been a great thing,” Harms says. “This community was ready for an orchestra, and the parents are really supportive. We’re providing wonderful opportunities for students.” In addition to the various groups at the high-school level, the district’s music program runs down through the middle and lower schools. They’re picking up awards, too. The Coakley Middle School band was named the No. 1 Class 2C middle school band in the state at the Texas Music Educators Association’s 2009 meeting, the second time they have been so honored. Other middle school music groups perform at top levels as well. On the vocal side, the Harlingen High School Varsity Women’s Choir has been selected as a state honor choir to perform at the TMEA’s 2010 convention. “We teach band, choir, orchestra, and elementary music,” Harms says. “We have 55 teachers throughout the district and about 30 percent of the district’s 18,000 students are involved. We have the right teachers, wonderful students, supportive parents and community members. We are very pleased and couldn’t be happier with our successes.” Next up? “We’re hoping to move toward building a school district auditorium, so we can have a quality venue for our students to perform,” Harms says. “We give many concerts in gymnasiums and cafeterias, and you can’t hear very well there. We want everyone to experience the fine quality of our programs.” – Joe Morris I M AG E S H A R L I N G E N . C O M

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Community Profile

HARLINGEN SNAPSHOT Harlingen is centrally located in the Rio Grande Valley at the southern tip of Texas, with more than 3 million people within a 50-mile radius in the Valley and Northern Mexico. Harlingen offers easy access to markets in Texas, Mexico and the world, low cost of living, year-round outdoor activities, excellent healthcare facilities and award-winning schools.

CLIMATE OVERVIEW

Texas State Technical College and in close proximity to several other universities in the region.

Harlingen is located at the southern tip of Texas in the lower Rio Grande Valley and enjoys a semi-tropical climate with warm weather year-round.

MEDICAL SERVICES OVERVIEW

52 F January Low Temperature

72 F January High Temperature

73 F July Low Temperature

95 F July High Temperature

EDUCATIONAL OVERVIEW Harlingen offers a variety of first-rate public and private education opportunities. In addition, the city is home to

Harlingen has a dynamic, world-class medical and health-care district. Valley Baptist Health System is the largest hospital in the region. Harlingen Medical Center, Su Clinica Familiar, numerous clinics and physician practices, as well as the Regional Academic Health Center,

the South Texas VA Health Care Center at Harlingen and the new VA Ambulatory Surgery and Specialty Outpatient Center, scheduled to open in January 2011 are essential parts of the health-care community.

REAL ESTATE

$101,566 Average Home Price

20.47% Home Turnover Percentage

MORE EO ONLINE imagesharlingen.com More facts, stats and community information, including relocation tools and links to resources.

THIS SECTION IS SPONSORED BY

Call us today for all of your residential and commercial needs Since 1972 36

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HARLINGEN


Ad Index 20 AEP TEXAS

2 MARINE MILITARY ACADEMY

36 CENTRAL AIR & HEATING SERVICE INC.

1 MCALLEN INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

27 CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU

31 SOUTH TEXAS EMERGENCY CARE

4 COUNTRY INN & SUITES 20 FIRST COMMUNITY BANK 21 HARLINGEN AREA TEACHER’S CREDIT UNION

32 TEXAS STATE TECHNICAL COLLEGE C2 UNITED HEALTH GROUP

C4 HARLINGEN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CENTER

19 UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT BROWNSVILLE

30 HARLINGEN MEDICAL CENTER

25 VALLEY BAPTIST HEALTH SYSTEM

18 HARLINGEN PUBLIC SCHOOLS 34 MAGIC VALLEY ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE

C3 VALLEY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT


Images Harlingen, TX: 2009  

Featuring colorful outdoor murals throughout the community, the D’Arte Centre and an active community theater program, Harlingen is an inter...

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