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APRIL 2012






FREE of Convention, Once a Month

CC magazine

JEFF CRAFT Publisher


CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Samantha Koepp, Dale Rankin, Georgia Griffin, Ronnie Narmour, Aletha Eyerman-Craft, Liza Chapkovsky

PHOTOGRAPHY Miles Merwin, Jan Rankin, Dale Rankin, Ronnie Narmour, Georgia Griffin, Max Strycharske

CONTACT CC @ 361.443.2137 505 S Water St Suite 545 Corpus Christi, Tx 78401

ADVERTISING 361.443.2137 361.949.7700

In This Issue Hey readers, welcome to the A issue! A as in April, A as in Aletha because I did a ton of writing this month. CC Magazine was feeling funky and cutting edge while brainstorming a few months ago. We decided that this year we were going to focus on really hot, really pressing and really local ideas. Our publisher wanted to know about progress being made in Corpus and the surrounding areas, new collectives working together to make things happen, new commerce, new jobs. He wanted to promote art and culture and support the local whatever… it didn’t matter as long as it was local. And hot. It doesn’t get any hotter than AUTISM! Such a sexy topic. I bet you can’t wait to dive into this issue! If you picked up this magazine, you have experience with autism, whether you know it or not. I’d bet money on it. Maybe your child has been diagnosed as having a spectrum disorder. Or a friend’s child. Perhaps you have a nephew or niece (although autism is almost five times more common in boys), a cousin, a sibling, the neighbor’s kid. The point is, autism is all around us and we need to talk about it. April is Autism Awareness Month, so let’s talk now. In this issue we feature a series of articles on the subject to inform you just want autism is, to connect those of you dealing with the disorder with resources in Corpus Christi and to share positive stories of people doing great things, in spite of autism. I got to interview Hollywood actor Ed Asner, who has a son and grandson with autism, Penelope Trunk, a successful businesswoman and blogger who was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome, a form of autism, and Matt Savage, a 19-year-old jazz pianist who was diagnosed as a child. Talk about success, he has NINE cds. Take that autism! In this issue we welcome a new contributing writer covering the Buc Days festivities coming up this month. Good news for the environment comes in our feature article on builders using solar energy. The Canvas art column introduces us to the super cool and talented Gerald Lopez, a local artist and teacher. Oh, and thank you Steve, the Orange Guy! (ad on Page 26] He came over and cleaned our rug with his magical orange solution. It worked so well I made him give me a bottle. Thanks Steve!

Aletha Eyerman-Craft

© Copyright 2012 all rights reserved. CC Publishing, LLC reserves the right to edit, rewrite & refuse editorial materials and assumes no responsibility for accuracy, errors, omissions, or consequence arising from it. CC magazine shall be held harmless indemnified against any third party claims. CC Publishing, LLC accepts no claims made by agents, contributors or photographers. Opinions expressed by contributing writers or columnists are not necessarily those of CC Publishing, LLC or its affiliates. Advertisers appearing in CC magazine present only the viewpoint of the advertisers. CC magazine is printed in the USA. We assume no responsibility for advertising claims made in this publication. All correspondence to this publication becomes the property of CC magazine. Publication may not be reproduced in whole or in part without express permission of the publisher and author(s).


Superpowered Kids Aletha Eyerman-Craft takes ut through some of the struggles and success stories of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, an epidemic now affecting one child in 88. Aletha shares her story and interviews people who have overcome this disease and turned their disability into super-ability.


The Canvas Gerald Lopez is a quiet man who enjoys a challenge. If you frequent the First Friday ArtWALK and attend openings at K Space Contemporary you have likely seen Gerald discretely photographing or watching people, or deep in conversation with fellow artists. Even then odds are that, in some manner of speaking, Gerald is working. As we talk about his work and teaching, the recurring thread is the positive aspect of challenging oneself.




Solar and Wind Power Mr. Smarty Pants navigates through the new options available to Coastal Bend residents, and just how much money we can save with a few solar panels on the roof.

10 Inside the Center 11 Art Scene 14 STARS Events Page 15 Live Music tonight 18 Dining Guide 21 Night Life & Club guide 21 Personal Services guide 23 The Lenz

Buc Days


ARR You Ready? Full Schedules, hours, and maps of the buc Days 2012 Festival. And new CC Magazine contributor Liza Chapkovsky gives us some of the history of how Buc Days came about in the ďŹ rst plance. Did you know its been going on since 1938? Just imagine what the rides were like back then!

Living and succeeding with Autism By Aletha Eyerman-Craft

Welcome to my world!

happen to me but my husband survives and tries to marry a bimbo, Hannah gets the kids.)

I am the mother of two children, sons. Augustin “Augie” is a precocious three-year-old ladies’ man who thinks he’s Johnny Depp. Gorgeous. He loves airplanes and cars and trucks and hummus. He’s what you would call a typical, normal child.

In addition to our therapists, we found a doctor who focuses on neuroimmunology. After two years of searching, on December 9th, 2011, we met with Dr. Bruce Russell to see if he could help our son. “Doc Russell” is miraculously in Port Aransas and his approach uses antivirals, antifungals and other medications in the treatment of autism. The day after our meeting, Declan started antivirals due to a ridiculously high HHV6 load. Six weeks later, he started antifungals. Another six weeks and we started a SSRI. Since December 10th of last year, we have seen more improvement in Declan than we have in his entire life. And like with Dr. Fader, I just want to hug Dr. Russell every time I see him.

Then there’s Declan. Not-so-normal, definitely-not-typical, Declan. Blond hair, blue-grey eyes, heartbreakingly beautiful. There isn’t a height he won’t climb or, sadly, a conversation he can hold. You see, he is brilliant. This is not the biased perspective of an adoring mother - it is fact. A savant, genius. His ability to learn is astonishing. I can say with all honesty that he is the smartest, most clever person I have ever met. He’s six and just now learning to talk.

I like to call Declan’s posse of helpers his “ninjas.” together to kick autism in the [censored].

I first noticed something was wrong when he was 15 months old. Until then, he seemed to be hitting every milestone, walking at seven months and 18 days. He was jovial and filled with laughter. His first ear infection was in December of 2006 and the antibiotics he was given left him with blistered skin. I believe this was the beginning of his change. He no longer laughed at the things he used to and he just didn’t seem to notice me anymore. I expressed to my husband and family that I felt something was “off” but my concerns were brushed off. “He’s just a late talker,” or “he’s a spirited child” were common phrases used to try and calm my worries. But wouldn’t I know if something was up? I wanted so badly to believe that he would “catch up” that I waited, watching and hoping. And then I waited some more. Finally, when no one could deny that something was just not right, he was diagnosed around age three with autism. Sort of. The specialist actually told us to come back if he wasn’t talking by age 12.

His ninjas are working

Two weeks ago, my Declan, a little boy who used to not be able to say his own name came up to me and said “Hey, Mama!” All on his own, all unprompted. He has come so far. And I finally have a bit of hope. (If you want to know the details of Declan’s therapies, just ask! alethacraft@

Autism, ASD, PDD, and other four-letter words Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder. We usually just call it autism or “the spectrum” and it covers a wide range of specific diagnoses like classic autism, Asperger’s and PDD-NOS (Pervasive Development Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified). Kids on the spectrum can have different issues with language and communication, may experience developmental delays, find themselves stuck in repetitive or restrictive patterns of thoughts and behavior. They look “normal.” With no physical or outward signs of something being amiss, they may appear poorly behaved or just plain weird to an outsider with no knowledge of autism and how it affects those who have it.

Yeah, you heard that right. Apparently diagnosing my seemingly healthy child was not a priority and he just didn’t fit the autism label as the specialist defined it. At the time, I can see how a diagnosis of PDD-NOS was more appropriate. We have been treating it like autism ever since my pediatrician, one of the world’s coolest, most laid back men said, “Let’s help Declan.” And in case you are wondering, this wonderful, kind and just freaking awesome man is Dr. William Fader at the Kid’s Clinic. His staff is awesome, too. The worst part about Dr. Fader is that he does not see adult patients. But with enough begging and pleading, he may cave!

So what’s the difference between the labels on the spectrum? Autism is marked by developmental delays in or severe regression of language development, the inability to understand emotions or pick up on subtle social cues, and repetitive, possible obsessive routines of behavior.

Flash forward through the countless speech therapy evaluations and sessions, the natural supplements, chelation, weird clay baths, vitamin therapy, aromatherapy, ABA therapy, private tutors, nannies (oh, the stories of the nannies could make me a millionaire!), the schools that promised they were “the perfect fit,” the school that kept him in a wooden chair, the school that kicked him out for being disabled, the teacher who humiliated him, the two little ten-year-old [expletives deleted] at the store who pointed at him and said “look at the retard” and their grandmother who did nothing. Flash forward through the temperature of 104 degrees on Friday, November 19th, 2010 that for whatever reason allowed him to speak for 45 minutes until the fever broke. Flash forward to now.

Asperger Syndrome, or Asperger’s, is believed to be the highest functioning form of ASDs. “Aspies” tend to have an obsessive, almost manic interest in a particular subject, so much so that they may ignore other subjects altogether. They tend to have good communication skills but take things literally. Humor is not always picked up by someone with Asperger Syndrome. Normal intelligence levels and verbal skills are present, but social interaction can be very limited. Pervasive Developmental Disorder - Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) is used to describe individuals who do not fully meet the criteria for autism or Asperger Syndrome. According to Autism Speaks, “when someone has autistic characteristics but some of their symptoms are mild, or they have symptoms in one area (like social deficits), but none in another key area (like restricted, repetitive behaviors), they may be given the PDD-NOS label.”

We have a speech therapist, Cheryl, who comes to the house once a week. Therapy Connections of South Texas, owned by ABA Therapist Robin Blue, works with Declan on behaviors, two days a week. We take him to her therapy center and he works with several therapists who know what he is capable of and push him toward improvement. Declan has also had a private educator for the past three years, Hannah, who comes to our house the other three days a week to focus on academics. We can say, with all certainty, that she is the Declan Whisperer. (For legal reasons, please let me take this moment to formally put the following in writing: If something were to happen to my husband and me, Hannah Hodge-Yeaney gets my kids. If something were to

I believe our son, Declan was so difficult to diagnose because he just didn’t fit the traditional diagnosis markers. If you look at all the parenting magazines you will see articles on autism accompanied by checklists of possible characteristics. While I was pregnant, autism was a hot topic for all of these magazines. Note to past self: step away from the magazines! I would look at the “your child may be autistic if” lists and see that not only did the checklists 06


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vary from magazine to magazine but that I usually met seven out of the ten markers! They were not accurate lists and did little more than cause panic in new parents (which is why I hesitate to publish one). Our Declan did not have numerous tantrums each day which is typical in autistic kids, nor did he experience a significant and sudden regression of language. He just never really talked at all. He did not answer or come running at the sound of his name, but the sound of a candy wrapper opening from a few rooms away would send him our way faster than anything. We knew his hearing was excellent but he was unresponsive to our attempts of interaction.

problem then we might actually begin to fix the malfunction, for lack of a better word, instead of merely treating the symptoms. However, when your child has been diagnosed with autism, the cause becomes irrelevant as you are working so hard to just keep your head above water in your daily life. You just want to help your kid.

Go ahead, mess with my family! When you have a child with autism, you have a family with autism. The cost of autism is overwhelming, financially and emotionally. The financial drain that families experience just to provide for their child’s basic needs is astronomical. A press release from 2006, issued by Harvard School of Public Health reports that $35 billion per year is spent on caring for persons with autism. “Direct costs include direct medical costs, such as physician and outpatient services, prescription medication, and behavioral therapies (estimated to cost, on average, more than $29,000 per person per year) and direct non-medical costs, such as special education, camps, and child care (estimated to annually cost more than $38,000 for those with lower levels of disability and more than $43,000 for those with higher levels).” There are further estimates that annual “indirect costs for autistic individuals and their parents range from more than $39,000 to nearly $130,000.” Indirect costs are things like differences in a parent’s income and loss of wages and productivity caused by caring for a child with autism. Keep in mind, this report and figures are from 2006! A current national report claims that autism costs society $126 billion dollars annually. Medical debt is one of the leading causes of bankruptcy among the Americans. A national study of medical debt and bankruptcy in 2007, published in the American Journal of Medicine sites that “62.1% of

Kicking and screaming and rocking OH MY! Let’s not forget hand flapping, climbing, writing on the walls, obsessive compulsive behaviors and, only if you’re super lucky, poo smearing! Kids on the spectrum exhibit a wide range of strange behaviors. That brat acting up in the grocery store? You know the one; he’s sitting in the shopping cart screeching at the top of his lungs. Or, maybe he’s running away from his parents, not bothering to turn around as they chase after him shouting his name. He may be autistic. When a child on the spectrum focuses on something, they really focus. This focus is obsessive but what they are doing is something called “stimming.” Stimming is a method of self-soothing where they block out everything else around them when things become too much, overstimulated. For many kids on the spectrum, sights and sounds that may be in the background for us are actually fighting for their attention. The garbage truck we hear outside may sound like it is right in the room with them. The white noise of the television is not so subtle to them. By flapping their hands or rocking back and forth, they concentrate on something that they can control to try and drown out all the other stimuli fighting for their attention.

In Utah and New Jersey, as many as 1 in 12 children will be diagnosed with Autism

Temper tantrums are common and can happen many times a day. When a schedule is interrupted by things we have to do (it’s called life), as schedules most often do, a kid with autism may have a total meltdown. Their routine and expectations were not met as a result and because they have a difficult time communicating their feelings, or verbalizing anything at all, they go into tantrum mode. This is why people with autism benefit from a rigid schedule in many circumstances.

all bankruptcies in 2007 were medical; 92% of these medical debtors had medical debts over $5000, or 10% of pretax family income. The rest met criteria for medical bankruptcy because they had lost significant income due to illness or mortgaged a home to pay medical bills. Most medical debtors were well educated, owned homes, and had middle-class occupations.” Imagine how the cost of autism increases the risk of a family filing bankruptcy. It is exponential.

I remember a time when my husband and I took our son to the grocery and he would sit in the cart and screech. He wasn’t being bad, just loud. Very loud, piercing. Heads would turn our direction, dirty looks sending daggers our way. It is not that Declan wanted or needed any attention; he was just overstimulated by the crowds of shoppers, the merchandise displays and the bright lights. We think he first screeched out of frustration and continued because the sound, however high-pitched and grating it was, somehow soothed him by allowing him to focus on something within his control. Thankfully, it passed after a few weeks.

Finances are not the only drain on the family affected by autism. Divorce rates are higher, reportedly as much as 80% more! And what about siblings? When parents are focusing on the health and healing of their child with autism, what happens to the “normal” kids? I hear parents say they wouldn’t change their child for all the money in the world. Part of that is true. The beautiful and unique qualities of our children, we embrace fully. But when it comes to autism, a parent who claims they wouldn’t change it is lying. I am trying to change my child. I am spending money faster than I can make it to provide him with anything and everything he needs. He is clever and full of life but autism has locked him inside of himself. It prevents him from having friends (although he does not understand the concept of friendship) and from social activities because he doesn’t understand how to interact communally. At six, he is academically at a second grade level, at minimum. But when it comes to socializing, he is clueless.

Luck of the draw? Autism affects 1 in every 88 children (although some studies are showing 1 in 80!) Let’s look at the numbers. Just recently, autism statistics claimed that one in 1000 kids were affected. Then it was one in 240, then one in 110 and now, one in 88. One in 88 children?! What if it wasn’t autism? What if we were talking about childhood cancer? If one in 88 children were stricken with cancer, wouldn’t that sound the alarms? Why are we so far behind in the research and therapies for this disorder? So much money is being poured into discovering the cause or potential cures and we still don’t have answers. Did you know that autism is almost five times more likely to occur in boys than girls? When discussing numbers and breaking it down by gender, the rate of autism spectrum disorders in boys is one in 54, girls rate one in 252. According to an article in Time Magazine, “A Genetic Clue to Why Autism Affects Boys More” there is a newly discovered autism risk gene that is more common in boys. The CACNA1G “sits on chromosome 17, amid other genes that have been previously linked to autism, is responsible for regulating the flow of calcium into and out of cells. Nerve cells in the brain rely on calcium to become activated, and research suggests that imbalances in the mineral can result in the overstimulation of neural connections and create developmental problems, such as autism and even epilepsy, which is also a common feature of autism.” Why this gene? Why boys? Just a theory, one of many out there.

We include him in everything we do and make sure that our three-year-old gets special time with us so he doesn’t feel sidelined. I tried asking Augie, the little guy, how he felt about his older brother being different from other kids and he responded that being different is “cool and what makes us all special.” (I credit his lovely teachers at First Presbyterian Preschool for that comment!) When I tried to discuss his feelings about Declan not being able to talk with him he said, in a very excited voice: “He my best friend. Declan still growing big like me. He get big and talk. I promise. He be better real soon.” Don’t you just want to gobble him up? Bottom line, autism sucks. I make no apologies for my feelings on the matter. My entire family lives with it everyday and like many families out there, we are just trying to work through it as best we can. If your children are “normal,” count your blessings. If your child is autistic, know that he or she is not “less than” other kids. Your child rocks (and kicks and screams and flaps) and has superpowers of the autistic variety. Just keep on keeping on and you never know just how far your child can go with your support! I hear life gets way easier once all kids turn 30 - and move out.

Vaccines, environment, viruses, diet, genetics…they all have been linked as a potential cause of autism at one time or another. Pinpointing the cause (or causes) is vital because if we know how autism starts, then perhaps we can prevent more cases, maybe we can stop it. If we get to the root of the 07

Overcoming Autism Using Your Superpowers For Good

By Aletha Eyerman-Craft

Ed Asner

Matt Savage

You may remember him as Lou Grant from “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” (1970-1977) or from his character’s spin off show, “Lou Grant” (1977-1982). He’s been in a zillion films and other television shows but if you have kids, you would recognize his voice anywhere as Carl Fredricksen, the lonely widower who, with the help of helium filled balloons attached to his house, goes on an amazing adventure in Disney Pixar’s animated tale “Up” (2009). Yeah, you know him as a big shot actor but I know him as “grandpa.” He doesn’t know this yet but my conversation with him only confirmed how cool he is and how much I need him to be my grandpa. (He said he’d like to read my manuscript on parenting a child with autism. Only family says stuff like that!) Grandpas make everything better and I could really use one while going through all this autism nonsense. Ed, you have my number!

If you are a fan of Jazz, you may have heard of Matt Savage. He plays a little instrument called the piano and boy, does he play it well! His fingers effortlessly glide across the keys, notes dancing in the air. I’ll admit it; I do not like Jazz, especially instrumental. When I think of Jazz, I think of Bill Cosby as Heathcliff Huxtable, trying to woo his wife with that weird duck dance he does. And I shudder at the memory of my dad mimicking the whole scene. But when I heard, “Welcome Home,” Matt’s newest CD, I couldn’t help but wonder how he does it. I actually wanted to listen, wanted to search for him on YouTube. But I know the back story; I know that when Matt was a child his doctor gave a pessimistic view claiming that he would never live a normal life. At three years of age, Matt was diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder - Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS), a high-functioning/mild form of autism. Vaguely, he recalls between the ages of three and six that he “was definitely autistic.” Apparently there were various therapies tried but it wasn’t until he was six and a half that Auditory Integration Therapy (AIT) for sound desensitization entered the mix. And things started to change.

Ed’s youngest son, Charlie, was diagnosed with autism around age seven or eight (he’s now 25). Fortunately, Charlie is what you would call “high-functioning” as he has full language skills and is performing quite well in the world considering his diagnosis. Ed was completely candid during our conversation about Charlie, so much so that he didn’t seem to mind my own passionate f-bomb filled rant! (See, I am destined to be his granddaughter!).

Matt claims that AIT helped with all of his issues and sounds that seemed loud and intrusive were no longer so. He could not only handle outside noise, he could make noise! Matt started playing music with a toy xylophone. The same day, his mother showed him a real piano. Something just stuck and that first day he went through a couple of music books.

So, Charlie. Charlie was the product of a brief relationship. I mention this because Charlie’s mother was the custodial parent in the early years before Ed and Cindy, his partner at the time, intervened when they noticed young Charlie seemed to be a bit behind other children. In order to have custody of Charlie, Ed and Cindy and Charlie all met with a psychologist (normal during custody issues to establish stability and the best interest of the child involved). It was during those evaluations and testing at UCLA that Charlie was diagnosed on the autism spectrum. Ed remembers that Charlie had a lack of empathy and struggled socially. Cindy and Ed worked with Charlie at home, academically, as well as sending him to elementary school where he had a shadow or “para” supporting him. In middle school, Charlie attended a school in Pasadena connected to Caltech. There, he functioned well.

Now, he writes music about specific experiences and places he’s been, inspired by transitions. He hopes to record more albums and reach more people with his music. Oh and he is at Berklee College of Music getting ready to graduate this May - on his 20th birthday! Matt is smart, funny, charming. His manners? Impeccable. His mother should be proud. I feel like my conversation is not finished with Matt – I’d love to get him to Corpus for our Jazz Festival!

As a father of an older child, a father who has gone through it all before (and is still going through it), I was interested in knowing what Ed has learned from it all. How has he seen his little boy evolve into the man he is today?

A funny thing… I was not sure what to expect when I interviewed Matt. All I know is my son is autistic and I was going to talk to someone who is just like the young man my son may be like in 13 years. I had great hopes but expected the conversation to be awkward, filled with strange silences on his end after I cracked one of the many jokes I rely on. I try to keep my interviews light and easy so that my subject is more willing to talk, to share themselves with me. My joie de vivre helps me connect with people. But understanding that individuals with autism spectrum disorders don’t necessarily appreciate humor, especially my kind of humor, I was nervous. The last thing you want is to offend the person you are talking to. So, I asked Matt about picking up on subtleties and he was kind enough to share what he has learned: “oftentimes autistics don’t have a perception of what’s important. Ten years ago I would not have understood sarcasm, now I can hear the tones in voices that change for sarcasm.”

When Charlie was little (as he still does now), he would “dominate conversations and could ‘lecture’ on the Black Hole he read about for hours.” The key word here is “lecture.” A non-autistic individual relies on subtle, social queues to know when to allow someone else to jump into the conversation. To the autistic individual, subtlety and social nuances are either difficult or impossible to pick up on. So, Charlie, like many other individuals on the spectrum would tend to “lecture” rather than share a conversation or contribute in a give and take, an exchange. Ed recalls a time when Charlie was not invited to participate in a card game in science class. Someone from the card game later told Charlie that it was difficult to include him because he always dominates such interactions. “Autism is alienating, doesn’t breed friendships or new acquaintances,” Ed offers. He is all too correct, unfortunately.

I enjoyed my conversation with Matt. I enjoyed his laughter, the excitement about his music and mentoring, how he talked about hanging out with his friends. He may be this Jazz musician with numerous CDs to his credit, this prodigy, but he was also just a regular guy. If my son turns out just like him, I’d be one happy mama!

“Just knowing Charlie, if the world were run by autistics, it would be a direct place, an honest place. The childish demands we would suffer are better than the current deceit.” Charlie is currently in his second year at the University of Southern Connecticut, studying for a degree in Environmental Science. Not too shabby, Charlie!

For more information on Matt’s music, visit: 08

Penelope Trunk

What do you get when you take a wildly successful business woman, diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome, and give her a blog? A fantastic read! If you know anything about Asperger Syndrome then you understand the social deficits that come with it sometimes prevent the person from filtering their opinions and “outside voice” as we call it in my house. I’ve been reading Ms. Trunk’s blog for several years ( com). She is the founder of Brazen Careerist, a career management website, as well as two other startups. She shares career advice in 200 newspapers. The best part about Ms. Trunk? Her no apologies attitude. She’s blunt, forward and refreshing. Her posts have been known to offer “been there, done that” advice. My personal favorites are the posts that attract a huge amount of criticism (and rage). I like what she has to say about navigating the world in terms of your career but I feel a connection, like so many readers do, to the intimate glimpses into her daily life. She shares tender moments and the subtleties that happen in day to day existence. This series of articles on autism was my chance to reach out to Ms. Trunk, something I’ve wanted to do for quite some time now. I had the opportunity to ask her a few questions about her experience with autism (in addition to her own spectrum diagnosis, she has a young son diagnosed as well) and advice she has for others. Q. You were much older than the typical time of diagnosis (three to six years of age). How and when did you receive your diagnosis? A. I was in a psychologist’s office treating sensory integration issues. I was filling out paperwork on my son and was like, “hey, I must have this, too.” I was 36. Q. So you were trying to find out what was going on with your son and you ended up finding out about yourself. A. This is a genetic disease. You need to look to yourself to help your kid. Q. As someone with Asperger’s, can you explain the difference between Asperger’s and autism. A. IQ. IQ is the main difference. Asperger’s is a part of autism. Both have social deficits but the difference is IQ. Asperger’s is marked by a high IQ. Q. Do you look as your Asperger diagnosis as being something “wrong with you?” A. Yes. Everyone has something wrong with them. Everyone should be lucky to open the DSM and find out what’s wrong and help themselves. There is a difference between men with autism and women with autism and that is that

Resources Some larger organizations where you can find more information on autism and related spectrum disorders: PMH0002494/

women will ask for help. When we do not acknowledge Asperger’s and autism as a deficit, we undermine the person’s ability to ask for help. (On the subject of accurate diagnosis, as so many children are just merely placed on the spectrum rather than diagnosed, specifically) It is a disservice to misdiagnose a child. I spent $1500 to find a professional who is confident in diagnosing. When a doctor diagnoses children all the time, they are more accurate. You need to make sure that a professional is diagnosing you or your child so that the help needed is received. Q. Why do you think there has been a surge (overwhelmingly so) in autism diagnoses? A. Environmental things and treatments available. And before the internet, there was a high need for people who could memorize. (Many people on the spectrum have amazing, almost eidetic memories.) People were regarded for their abilities of memorization. Now, with the internet we don’t need to memorize. We now reward social skills and this shift has uncovered social deficits. Q. There are many theories floating around about the cause of autism. What are your thoughts? A. It may be genetic, environmental. The whole vaccination controversy, I don’t care. It doesn’t matter what caused it, it is how we help it. Q. You are exceptionally open and candid about your personal life, sometimes to much criticism. Your Asperger Syndrome prevents you from filtering what you post/share (i.e. the legendary miscarriage, marital problems, violence). How do you feel when you receive backlash? A. Always surprised. I have no sense of what will be huge. If I knew what tweet or blog post would go big, I’d do it every day. What I have found is that people are forgiving if you are honest. Q. You are insanely successful. You’ve got your blog, had successful startups, appearances on big news shows and your career advice is in over 200 publications. Do you believe that Asperger’s has played a positive role in your accomplishments? A. Not often are you able to leverage your intellect when you are the smarted person you know. My IQ becomes a deficit. That part is fun. I’m 45 with school age kids. I’m at the time when women feel they are not valued for their sacrifices, abandoning careers to raise a family, take care of the home and support their partners. I’d don’t feel I’ve ever not been valued for my intellect. Q. How has Asperger’s affected you as a parent? Especially to a son with similar issues. A. I am definitely a better parent to my son who doesn’t have Asperger’s. My other son and I are too similar, we trigger each other. I can’t effectively help him in social situations but my youngest son helps his brother and me. Q. If you could pinpoint one, what has been your biggest, most personally rewarding accomplishment? A. Not killing myself! The odds are high. I don’t think people understand how hard it is to get up every day. I watch “Modern Family” and see just how hard it is for people to support their families. The pressure is crazy! Professionally, my greatest achievement is being able to support my family doing what I do.

Autism is a complex disorder. This article provides only a brief overview of the disorder and the effects autism has on families. For more information, ask your medical professional or check out some of the great resources online. Locally, you can contact the following organizations (not a complete list). Coastal Bend Autism Advocacy. CBAA is a Non-Profit 501 C3 organization supporting families, educators, employers, law enforcement and others who may come in contact with an autistic or Asperger’s child or adult. Corpus Christi Asperger/ASD Support Team. For families of Asperger or ASD children. A meet up where adults can learn from each other and kids can become friends with other ASD kids without the fear of being judged or teased. Super Powered Kids. A new resource center opening up to help parents and families navigate through the world of referrals and to find local services. Send an email my way and I will point you in the right direction.

Arrr you ready for some great family fun?

by Samantha Koepp Buc Days, April 13-May5 Buc Days has been an annually anticipated event since 1938, giving families an opportunity to enjoy the festival, carnival and rodeo as well as participate in the coronation and parades. The four weeks of events have become a part of the local culture as well as a source of giving back to the community. Since 1996, proceeds from Buc Days benefit the Buccaneer Commission Scholarship fund; providing scholarships annually to local youth. Of the many scholarships to be awarded this year, one in particular is the Rodeo Scholarship to Sul Ross State University that will grant one local youth a $4,000 , four year scholarship to be on the Sul Ross Rodeo Team. A Full Buc Days Schedule is on page 17 of this issue.

Disney on Ice presents Dare to Dream, April 27-29 Experience adventure and inspiration while watching the Disney princesses achieve their dreams during Disney on Ice presents Dare to Dream at American Bank Center Arena. Disney brings magic to the ice with their newest Disney on Ice show that incorporates classic Disney favorite Cinderella with modern day Disney favorites Tangled and The Princess and the Frog . This show offers families a chance to enter the of Disney with Cinderella, Neuro CorpusChristi Ad PrintReadyFeb9.pdf 1 world 2/9/12 9:53 AM Princess Tiana and Rapuzel as their guides. Along with the gracefulness of the princesses on the ice, Rapunzel and Flynn fly by Rapunzel’s 2,000 feet









Not only will parents and children be mesmerized by the action and glamour of the show but they will also witness the dedication of Cinderella never giving up on her dreams, the determination of Princess Tiana to achieve her dreams and the relentlessness of Rapunzel to gain her independence. The excitement of the show will keep the whole family entertained and the lessons learned will keep them talking on the ride home.

Performance Schedule for Disney On Ice presents Dare to Dream: April 26-27 @ 7:00pm April 28@ 1:30pm & 5:30pm April 29 @ 1:30pm Tickets are available at all Ticketmaster outlets, online at or charge by phone at 361-881-8499. American Bank Center is Corpus Christi’s premier event center providing unprecedented guest experiences. For more information, visit us online at



of hair as they escape the tower!



Art Scene

Art Center of Corpus Christi

A Few Items Of Note For April

Corpus Christi Downtown Revitalization Alliance & ArtWALK Friday, April 20th, 2012, 6p - 9:30p 1st Annual Art Hop and Drop Fundraiser

100 Shoreline Blvd Corpus Christi, TX 78401 Tel: 361.884.6406 Fax: 361.884.8836 Hours: 10a – 4p Everyday except Monday

Rockport Center for the Arts


Corpus Christi Downtown Revitalization Alliance and ArtWALK invites one and all to support the arts with a fun filled night of Art, Music, Dance, Food and Wine! Guests will be bussed from Laz Parking to the Art Museum of South Texas to enjoy classical music and ballet performers, then they will be whisked away to the Art Center of Corpus Christi to listen to jazz music and enjoy a swing dancing demonstration along with free wine and appetizers, then when the time is right, they will visit K Space Contemporary Art Gallery for dessert, contemporary dancers and contemporary music. They will then be returned to their vehicles at Laz Parking to enjoy an after party at Havana.

309 North Water Street, Suite D

Cost: $100/person or $175/couple

Corpus Christi, TX 78401

Sponsors: Downtown Management District, Art Museum of South Texas, Art Center of Corpus Christi, K Space Contemporary Art Gallery, and many more.

K Space Contemporary 415 D Starr Street Corpus Christi, TX 78401 361.887.6834 Hours: Wed-Sat 11a – 5p

and style of Old Master portraiture, using historical imagery and the myths surrounding Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show, Scott “examines human gullibility, our susceptibility to natural beauty, and our willingness to be seduced by it.” This exhibition of paintings is enhanced by artifacts used by Scott in his work. Michael Scott, Red Tulip Shooting Game, oil on panel, 17½” X 13”. Check the museum’s website event calendar for other events throughout the month.

Admission is always FREE

902 Navigation Circle

Being HUMAN Expression in Identity of Self A visual commentary relating to art of introspective works. Juror: Amado Peña Jr, internationally known Native American artist.

Rockport, Texas 78382 Tel: 361.729.5519 Always Free Admission

The Unsung Heroine Women’s Roles & Struggles in Society Exploring gender issues in social culture. Juror: Melida Buentello-Olivo, independent curator, educator, film art director and graphic designer.

Treehouse Art Collective LLC

361.882.4822 Hours: Tue-Sat

11a – 8p


Noon to 6p

Free Admission First Friday, April 6th, 2012, 5:30p to 9p Featured Artists: Grace Huang & Vicki Allen Grace Huang does spectacular wire crochet jewelry incorporating natural polished stone elements. Vicki Allen reveals her love for color in rich watercolors.

Debbie Stevens Reception: Saturday, April 14th, 5-7p “It is my sincere desire that, when looking at my work, the viewer experiences the wonderment of the birds in their natural habitat.” Debbie Stevens was a featured artist in Southwest Art Magazine’s “21 over 31” competition. She is a Signature member of the Oil Painters of America, Signature member of the Society of Animal Artists and a member of the International Guild of Realism.

Free Admission First Friday ArtWALK April 6th, 2012, 5:30-9pm (ArtWALK) Main Gallery Fictive Portraits: Samplings from a Timeless Village – Intaglio prints and monotypes by Dennis Olsen Works on display through April 27th, 2012 Art Star TAMUCC Advanced Photography Class – Jennifer Arnold, Instructor Corner Spot Miller High School – Student Artwork Hot Spot Cristina Jones Swig in a Wig Save the date – April 14th! $50 per person for the hottest pARTy in town! Tickets are available online at

Art Museum of South Texas 1902 N. Shoreline Blvd Corpus Christi, TX 78401 Tel: 361.825.3500 Free Admission every First Friday in honor of ArtWALK! Golden Legacy: 65 Years of Golden Books March 6th through May 27th, 2012 This exhibition presents original illustrated art from the beloved picture-book series, the Little Golden Books. Sixty original illustrations by a broad array of American and European artists, chosen from the vast Random House archives. Organized by the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature in Abilene, TX, local support comes from the Scripps Howard Foundation. Tibor Gergely, The Great Big Fire Engine Book, 1950; Gouache and watercolor, 22” X 30¼”. Michael Scott: Buffalo Bulb’s Wild West Show March 9th through June 3rd, 2012 Artist Michael Scott playfully links the Dutch tulip mania with America’s Wild West Show, through the technique


Ted Armulowicz Reception: Saturday, April 14th, 5-7p Ted Armulowicz has won multiple awards for his unique and stunning works of wood; whether abstract vessels, functional furniture or hand-made guitars. A frequent exhibitor at the Rockport Art Festival, Armulowicz will take over the Garden Gallery this April.

Festival of the Arts The Merriman-Bobys House 1521 North Chaparral Street Corpus Christi, Texas 78401 By Appointment Only Always Free Admission

First Friday, ArtWALK April 6th, 2012, 6p to 9p



Exposing Local Artists…

By Georgia Griffin

Gerald Lopez Gerald Lopez is a quiet man who enjoys a challenge. If you frequent the First Friday ArtWALK and attend openings at K Space Contemporary you have likely seen Gerald discretely photographing or watching people, or deep in conversation with fellow artists. Even then odds are that, in some manner of speaking, Gerald is working. As we talk about his work and teaching, the recurring thread is the positive aspect of challenging oneself.

“Mostly I do drawings where I take my own photographs of different things, like when there are different events at K Space or wherever and I’ll take photos of people, then I sort of collage them into my drawing. I make up a theme for my drawing, and if people from the photos fit what I want, then they get collaged in. I found by doing the paintings on the old photos it helped me think out some thoughts for my drawings, so that’s how that started – just to keep me working when I wasn’t working on drawings.”

“I went to school for painting but, after I got out of school, I stopped painting for many years.” An instructor at Del Mar College since 2004, and at TAMU-CC since 2008, Gerald Lopez not only helps students grasp the technical aspects of Drawing (Levels I & II) and Design (I), but also to explore Art Appreciation and the concepts of Art & Society. This involves challenging them to embrace skills they may not even believe that they have.

The old photos Gerald speaks of have become a very popular side-line of his. By virtue of their size and price, they make for an easy way to start a small collection of his work. “I’ve always been into collage work, and I kind of stumbled upon the photos looking up things on the internet… and I was curious about them. I found out that they were actually cards; they’re called ‘Cabinet Cards’. I decided to get some, and then when I had them, I was very apprehensive about painting on them. I know that most of them are over a hundred years old, and I kind of didn’t want to erase that history. You know, these were somebody’s family. Then I thought to myself, well, these photos have been kind of forgotten, and maybe I could bring some new life to them… they’re painted on directly with acrylic paint, and it’s always an original.

“It is challenging because I mostly teach non-art majors, so they’re usually not there because they want a career in the arts or because they want to be artists; they’re usually there because they want to take an elective and that’s it. You can’t get ‘em all, but it is satisfying when you can get them to do things that they thought they couldn’t do. It’s always good to hear somebody say that at the end of the semester. “I actually didn’t think that I would ever teach. When I got out of school, I’ve always been very quiet and shy, and I didn’t think teaching would be for me. When I first started, I was very shy, and the students knew I was very shy. In a way its helped me, because it’s helped open me up – it’s helped me bring things up that I couldn’t before, or discuss things that I couldn’t before. Teaching in a way has really helped me, and now that I’ve done it for a while – about 8 years now – I really enjoy it. When I get out of [class] then I start to practice what I preach – it helps to remind me – ok, you’re telling the students to do this – YOU need to do this too. Be as disciplined as that – so they both go together. If I didn’t teach and I was just an artist, I don’t know if I would be as prolific with my work as I am. Teaching actually helps keep me ‘there’ – if I had another job, then maybe I wouldn’t be as focused.

“I did drawing, and a lot of mixed media assemblage sculpture… because I don’t have a lot of room to make that sort of thing, I haven’t done it a lot, but its always been an interest of mine and I thought through those little lamps I could sort of get back into it a little bit without having to use a lot of room.” Working in a wide range of media, both 2 and 3 dimensional, Gerald frequently takes something (a doll, a photograph, a lamp) and transforms it – breathing new life into objects and photographs. He and I have both been invited to participate in a themed show at K Space called Appliance Art. “I’m borrowing a studio to do the appliance (piece). I live on the south side and I have a little space, it’s not big enough to do much, so that’s why I’m working here now. With artists or most artists, space is always an issue. Getting the work out is what we want to do.

“When I first got out of school I worked the refineries, which didn’t leave me any time for (art) work. The money was good, but the job was not good for what I wanted to do, so that was a lesson that I learned. It’s what got me into teaching, too, ‘cause I was sitting in a trailer in Louisiana, and I was wondering why I was sitting in a trailer in Louisiana. So, I called up Del Mar, asked them if they had any classes (that needed instructors); I left that job, came down, started teaching and I’ve done it ever since.

“Painting; that’s a challenge. With the little photo paintings, and the piece I’m painting for the appliance show, I’m trying to go back to it. I think it’s something that I need to get back to. Something that maybe I haven’t been confident with. Maybe it will open up some new possibilities. I would like to 12

good submissions.”

get into large paintings, but again with the space issues, it’s not very ideal to do so because I don’t think I can do small paintings. “But I am going back toward painting; I’ve been kind of forced to in a way, which is good. I might be doing a mural for the city of Kingsville. It would be a huge mural, and they want it painted in a traditional style. Realism. For me, that’s challenging too. I don’t consider myself to be a real ‘realist’ painter. Actually, with this appliance show, I’m painting a figure on an appliance, and that’s sort of practice for the mural. As I’m painting the figure right now I’m learning, or re-learning, a lot of things about painting. “When we did the (Dia de los Muertos) mural, and as I’ve been working upstairs, I’ve been talking to Jimmy Peña, picking his brain –” GG: That’s a good brain to pick! “Yeah, it is, it certainly is. I’ve been trying to. I’m still learning. I never think that just because I teach or I have a certain degree, that I’m done. I’m always learning; the more information I can get about things the better I can be. I talk to Jimmy, Ricardo Ruiz, Day Wheeler, and they all have lots of experience so it’s been very helpful. “Most of the shows I’ve been in they’ve wanted my existing work, a certain drawing that I already have – but these theme shows, like the appliance show, for example, I’m making something specifically for it. It challenges you to do something. Not many people might make artwork on appliances, for example but hopefully it will be a challenge to some people to do it and maybe they can discover some things about their art that they hadn’t discovered before. That’s why I really enjoy shows like that, that challenge you to do something. “The Appliance Art show is an invitation only show, and whatever (the artists invited to participate) come up with related to the theme will be shown. We (K Space, where Gerald has been a board member since 2006) are also preparing for a different show, called Watered Down… it’s an interesting topic. “Since I’m in the jury I won’t be participating in work for the show, but on the other hand, it’s interesting to see what other people do without my actually being involved in the show itself. I’ve juried high school art competitions and student work, but as far as jurying shows like Watered Down, I haven’t done a lot of that – I’m excited about that aspect of it. It’s certainly different. “I teach, so I’m sort of judging things daily, student works, drawings and designs. In a way I’m used to judging things but it’s different in this case, and for me, I’ll be looking for some really fun stuff. I guess I can’t explain it too much, but I’ll know it when I see it, but with that, it won’t just be my decision, it will be a group decision, so that’ll be interesting too.” Four other local artists will be in the jury panel with Gerald. “We’re all pretty diverse people but we usually work well together. In a way, we will be (reflected) in the show... it will be our hands that pick the show, it will be our “eye”, based on our minds and what we enjoy, and hopefully we will get some 13

If you’re a local artist and want to enter for a chance to participate in Watered Down, check out the Info for Artists on the K Space website at The deadline for submissions is May 12, 2012. The show itself will be on exhibit July 6th through August 24th – Exhibition Opening will be held during ArtWALK on July 6th 5:30p to 9p. As I often do, when our conversation came to a close I asked Gerald for his take on the local art scene. “Well, it has definitely changed a lot. One example of that is the ArtWALK. When we first started the ArtWALK, only like 20 people, maybe 50 would come. Then it started to snowball the more it got out there. The last opening we had almost 500 people for the show. So, I think more people know about it, and I think many people are interested in the arts, are curious about it. This could be a good city for it, and I think the downtown area can be a good place for it. “I hope that all these things are starting to revitalize. I see it heading in a positive direction. I hope the momentum keeps up, but you know it’s up to all of us in the arts to help it along, because it won’t stay like that by itself. We have to keep promoting it. I always tell my students about the shows that are here. It’s interesting to see an old student several years later still coming around. That’s always good to see, that people are interested.” In addition to the pieces shown in this article and at, you can see Gerald’s work in person at K Space’s Appliance Art, May 4th through June 22nd – Exhibition Opening will be held during ArtWALK on May 4th, 5:30p to 9p. Do your part to support the arts, folks – get out there to the shows, challenge yourself, and start building your own collection of local artwork… let’s keep the momentum going.


2012, Saturday, April 21, 2012 – 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Heritage Park, Corpus Christi, TX

Disney on Ice Dare to Dream April 26-29

Get tangled up in the newest thrilling show to hit the ice, Disney On Ice presents Dare to Dream. Experience Disney’s hilarious hair-raising escapade, Tangled; as Rapunzel, her unlikely companion, Flynn, and Maximus, embark on an uproarious journey that takes adventure to new lengths!

Downtown F armers Market at T he Tango Tea Room

E V E R Y We d n esday fr om 5-7pm

Featuring va rious local farmers with fr esh pr oduc e, locally made goat cheese s fr om Lorber au Farms, handmade so aps and such fr om EcoSag e Company, local ar tists, live music and gr eat food! Bring your friends, your coolers and come ha ng with us!

Buc Days April 13 - May 5 Get your pirate on! Rodeo, carnival, live music, two parades. Full schedule on page 17 of this issue

1st Annual Island Showcase Set for April Come sample the Island lifestyle The Island lifestyle will be on display during the 1st Annual Island Showcase on Saturday and Sunday April 28-29. The event is a celebration of the Island lifestyle and will feature tours of homes, both by land and water, and will also be a showcase for companies who work on Island homes, decks, and landscaping. More than thirty Island homes will be open to the public and tours by boat can be arranged. The event will run from 1-5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday April, 28 and 29. There will be a showcase for Island home improvement companies at the Seashore Learning Center gym on Encantada.

Help Reef Restoration Saturday, April 28; and Saturday, May 19 –Volunteers are needed for oyster reef restoration events that the Department of Life Sciences at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies will host on Saturday, April, 28; and Saturday, May 19; from 8:30-11:30 a.m. at Goose Island State Park. Participants should wear closed-toe shoes (old tennis shoes are perfect), clothes that can get wet/dirty and, if they have them, bring gardening gloves. For more information, go to For questions or to RSVP, contact Jennifer Pollack at 361.825.2041; or email

The idea is to showcase the Island lifestyle in every form. The event is the first annual and all Islander are encouraged to participate by contacting Mary Lou White at 960-9460 or by e-mail at Just head to the Island and follow the signs. It’s a chance to get an inside look at the Island and the beautiful homes along the canals.

Aurora Aarts Theatre

Vagina Monologues April 19-21 @ The House of Rock All proceeds benefit the Women’s Shelter of South Texas. We urge you to go, someone you know is probably performing!

Spring Awakening

explore the journey from adolescence to adulthood with poignancy and passion you will never forget. FRIDAY, APRIL 13 - SATURDAY, MAY 12


The Coa


Live Music Tonight

The Coastal Bend's Most Complete Live Music Calendar

Compiled by Ronnie Narmour Sunday, April 1st Mike Guerra & John Lopez @ The Seawall Open Jam w/ Ricke Burnet @ Tarpon Ice House Monday, April 2nd Open Jam w/ Antone Perez @ Doctor Rockits Tuesday, April 3rd Tech Nine/ Machine Gun Kelly @ Brewster Street Lionize/ Bertha/ Switchblade Jesus @ House of Rock Wednesday, April 4th Open Jam w/ Wolf Jaw @ Flats Lounge The Shakedown @ House of Rock Thursday, April 5th Cody Johnson Band/ John Slaughter @ Brewster Street Reely Rotnz/ Cupids Victim/ The Most @ Executive Surf Club Bastard Suns/ Bad Chords @ House of Rock Friday, April 6th Hilda Lamas Band @ The Seawall Carol Elliott ( 5:30-7:30) @ Tarpon Ice House Bo Porter @ Back Porch Spazmatics @ Brewster Street Scarecrow People @ Executive Surf Club Bar Nutz @ House of Rock Saturday, April 7th Profile @ The Seawall Cruise Control @ Back Porch Avalanche/ Shinedown/ Adelita’s Way/ New Medicine @ Concrete Street Pirate’s Funky Country Music Festival @ The Gaff Gary P. Nunn @ Brewster Street Latin Talk @ Executive Surf Club Have Love, Will Travel @ House of Rock

Lyrical Bynge @ Executive Surf Club GWAR/ Kylesa/ Ghoul/ Legacy Disorder @ House of Rock

Fri-Sat 11:00AM-Midnight Live music Friday, Saturday, Sunday Burgers, Seafood, Salads, Sandwiches Dog Friendly ● Full Bar

Wednesday, April 18th Open Jam w/ Wolf Jaw @ Flats Lounge James Durbin @ Brewster Street Mustard Plug/ Soviet Spies/ Avenue Rockers @ House of Rock

520 S Shoreline Corpus Christi, TX 78401 361-726-3533

check us out on check us out on

Thursday, April 19th SandFest @ Port Aransas Cory Morrow/ Thieving Birds @ Brewster Street Forty Pound Dog @ Executive Surf Club Vagina Monologues @ House of Rock Friday, April 20th Trysum @ The Seawall Uncle Lucius @ Back Porch SandFest @ Port Aransas The Klocks @ Brewster Street The Bar Nutz @ Executive Surf Club Vagina Monologues @ House of Rock Saturday, April 21st EMT @ The Seawall SandFest @ Port Aransas Swamp Romp w/ Ponty Bone @ Tarpon Ice House Larry Joe Taylor @ Back Porch Opeth/ Mastodon @ Concrete Street Metal Shop @ Brewster Street Flashback @ Executive Surf Club

Wednesday, April 25th Open Jam w/ Wolf Jaw @ Flats Lounge HOBO @ House of Rock

Tuesday, April 10th Open Mic w/ Rev. Matt Martinez @ House of Rock

Thursday, April 26th Bart Crow Band/ Pear Ratz @ Brewster Street John Evans Band @ Executive Surf Club Local Licks/ Kurt Grien/ D&S/ Jimmy Wilden/ Mariana Zel @ House of Rock

Saturday, April 14th Hilda Lamas Band @ The Seawall Jimmy LaFave @ Third Coast Theater Randy McAllister @ Back Porch 2nd Saturday Sing-Along Piano Show @ Brewster Street


Tuesday, April 17th Open Mic w/ Rev. Matt Martinez @ House of Rock

Monday, April 9th Open Jam w/ Antone Perez @ Doctor Rockits

Friday, April 13th The Cuveralls @ The Seawall Tropical Punch @ Sunset Sounds- Roberts Point Park Another Level @ Brewster Street Cruise Control @ Executive Surf Club Upon A Burning Body/ I The Breather/ Betraying the Martyns @ House of Rock

11:00AM till 10:00PM

Monday, April 16th Open Jam w/ Antone Perez @ Doctor Rockits

Sunday, April 22nd Mike Guerra & John Lopez @ The Seawall SandFest @ Port Aransas Open Jam w/ Ricke Burnet @ Tarpon Ice House Ballabajoomba Poetry Slam @ House of Rock

Thursday, April 12th Flatbroke @ Executive Surf Club Chelsea Grin/ Attila/ For the Fallen Dreams/ Vanna/ Volumes @ House of Rock

Hours Sun, Tues-Thurs...

Sunday, April 15th Mike Guerra & John Lopez @ The Seawall Open Jam w/ Ricke Burnet @ Tarpon Ice House Passafire/ Bad Chords @ House of Rock

Sunday, April 8th Mike Guerra & John Lopez @ The Seawall Open Jam w/ Ricke Burnet @ Tarpon Ice House Ballabajoomba Poetry Slam @ House of Rock

Wednesday, April 11th Open Jam w/ Wolf Jaw @ Flats Lounge John Cortez Band @ House of Rock

Sponsored by


Friday, April 27th Five Card Draw @ Brewster Street Another Level @ Executive Surf Club Oso Bay @ House of Rock Saturday, April 28th EMT @ The Seawall Ben Tapia @ Executive Surf Club Ink Slingers Ball @ House of Rock Sunday, April 29th Mike Guerra & John Lopez @ The Seawall Open Jam w/ Ricke Burnet @ Tarpon Ice House Joe Ely/ Michael O’Connor @ House of Rock Monday, April 30th Open Jam w/ Antone Perez @ Doctor Rockits

If your venue or show isn’t listed, let us know! we’ll get your dates in the next issue. Send your dates to Ronnie Narmour at 15

by Liza Chapkovsky

Nelda Martinez walking the plank

AHOY Corpus Christi! On April 26th through May 6th Corpus Christi’s annual Buc Days festival will be celebrating its 75th year. The festival is scheduled to be held at its original location on Shoreline Blvd. and Park Ave. This year, there’s an expected turnout of over 260,000 people. So be there or be square.

Dunking of the Mayor April 26th, 2012 at 6:00 PM

For those bilge rats unfamiliar with what Buc Days is all about: read up. In 1938, an entrepreneurial bunch of Corpus natives formed the Buccaneer Commission. The Buccaneer Commission aimed to bring more cultural events to the city, so they started the first Buc Days festival. They based Buc Days on Corpus Christi’s rich history of pirates and sea-faring culture, as a way to connect modern Corpus Christi’s residents with their cities’ past. To this day, The Buccaneer Commission continues to bring you Buc Days with the same enthusiasm for Corpus Christi as its original founders did long ago.

Come see the Mayor walk the plank! In the tradition of Buc Days-the pirate queens sail into the Yacht Basin and capture the mayor, who surrenders for the fun of it. The pirate proclamation is read and the mayor is made to walk the traditional plank. From that moment on, Buccaneer Days is in full swing in an atmosphere of gaiety that speaks of ships, pirates and buried treasure! Come join the fun!

This year Buc Days will be hosting a professional rodeo, a bay front carnival, a BBQ challenge and the famous Illuminated Night Parade! At the Illuminated Night Parade you’ll be able to see the newly coronated Miss Buc Days and Buc Days King 2012. These lucky two will be the winners of a scholarship to Texas A&M Corpus Christi! So come out and support your city! Daily admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children. Please visit for more info.

Junior Parade Route


Illuminated Night Parade Route

The 2012 Buc Days schedule of events: April 13-14: Buc Days Coors Light Cook-Off Kick-Off presented by HEB – Corpus Christi Bayfront April 19-22: Buc Days Miller Lite PRCA Rodeo – American Bank Center Arena April 19-21 Buc Days Coors Light BBQ Tail Gate BBQ presented by HEB- American Bank Center Arena April 26-May 6: Buc Days Festival & Stripes Carnival – Corpus Christi Bayfront April 28: Buc Days IBC Bank Junior Parade May 3: Las Donas De La Corte – American Bank Center Selena Auditorium May 5: Buc Days Toyota Illuminated Night Parade For more information on Buc Days visit


FESTIVAL HOURS Thursday, April 26th (Dollar Night $1 Gate Admission) 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm Friday, April 27th 5:00 pm - Midnight Saturday, April 28th (Buc Days IBC Bank Junior Parade 11 am) Shoreline Route Noon - Midnight Sunday, April 29th Noon - 10:00 pm Monday, April 30th 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm Tuesday, May 1st 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm Wednesday, May 2nd 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm Thursday, May 3rd (Dollar Night $1 Gate Admission) 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm Friday, May 4th 5:00 pm - Midnight Saturday, May 5th (Buc Days TOYOTA Illuminated Night Parade) Noon - Midnight Sunday, May 6th Noon - 10:00 pm

Dining Guide Tango Tea Room Taste The Difference! The Gourmet Pizza Our famous Padre Pizza dough is handmade daily. Our sauces are created from the freshest tomatoes and seasoned with our own Chef’s blend of natural herbs and spices. Our lasagna made from scratch daily is the most tasty and delicious you will ever try, and our salad selections are prepared to order using the freshest produce available. 14993 SPID On the Island 949-0787

949-7737 � 15370 SPID- On the Island Located on Padre Island, Island Italian has been serving the community since 1987. A family friendly restaurant, Island Italian also serves beer and wine and is available for private parties of up to 53 people. Flat screen TV and DVD / VHS for meetings. Delivery on Padre Island after 5pm. Daily Lunch and Dinner Specials. Hours of Operation: Monday - Thursday 11am to 9:30pm Saturday 10am to 10pm Sunday 5pm to 9:30pm

The Tango Tea Room brings a taste of Austin to Downtown Corpus. Tango serves a variety of Mediterranean and world cuisine, including some of the best vegetarian and vegan fare you can find in Corpus. We also specialize in vegan and gluten-free desserts, cupcakes and muffins. Come on down and get your hippie on! 505 S. Water Street in downtown Corpus Christi. 361-883-9123


10-7 Monday through Thursday 10-9 Friday & Saturday 12-6 Sunday Farmers Market every Wednesday 5pm

Voted Best Full Service Restaurant 2011 Taste of the Island

Intracoastal Waterfront Dining • NEW menu selections Lunch specials starting at $5.99 • Spectacular sunsets • Scenic view of boats, barges and wildlife • Live music Friday & Saturday nights by local artists • Large “sea-level” patio for parties and events

Located on Padre Island Under the JFK Bridge 13309 S. Padre Island Dr.

361.949.6744 Open Daily 11AM

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Libations Amusements 18 holes of miniature golf Open 11 am - 2 am Kitchen Closes @ 1 am 2034 State Highway 361 361 749- Taco (8226)


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Dining Guide

Snoopy’s and Scoopy’s Live Music ● Art Shows

Coffee Waves Port A 1007 State Hwy 361 Port Aransas 361-749-0825 Open 6am-Midnight

Buy One Gelato Get One Free! Only in Port A


Snoopy’s Pier was literally a product of the Redfish Wars, a battle over commercial fishing rights in Texas. Ernie Buttler realized the Redfish Wars signaled the beginning of the end of the commercial fishing industry in Texas. So Ernie decided to give up trying to catch fish and shrimp and start cooking them instead. In August 1980 Ernie and his wife, Corliss, purchased a small bait stand and burger joint with a fishing pier on the Intracoastal Waterway. Over time, the place was transformed with a lot of hard work and patience into a family-friendly seafood restaurant. Special attention is given to providing local harvested quality seafood at affordable prices. Scoopy’s was opened by Ernie’s wife and features home made soups, salads and sandwiches using only Texas products. Scoopy’s is proud of their shrimp salad, known by locals as the best in town. They also have great house made desserts and ice cream by the scoop. 13313 S.P.I.D. · Corpus Christi (361) 949-8815 ·

C Bar

C Bar offers organic gourmet coffees, artisan level espresso, fresh-baked pastries, assorted panini sandwiches, frozen fruit smoothies and gelato. In addition to CoffeeWaves’ popular menu, C Bar has a full premium bar featuring microbrewery beer, an extensive wine list and super premium liquor. Taking advantage of this unique combination, C Bar serves fresh fruit gelato daiquiris and piña coladas and coffee Bailey’s with gelato. C Bar’s signature drink? Martini Floats! 361-749-0704 165 Social Circle in Cinnamon Shore 5009 Hwy 361in Port Aransas

Town & Country Cafe has great breakfast and lunch specials every day, offering great food at a fair price. Town & Country Cafe is a great location for business meetings and client luncheons and there is no charge for the use of the meeting room.

4228 South Alameda Corpus Christi, TX 78412

(361) 992-0360 Locally Owned and Operated

call for tickets 361.561.HOOK

d o o f a e S t a e r G and Burgers Wednesdays Prime Rib with Twice Baked Potato

Libations Amusements 18 Holes of Miniature Golf

Open 11 am - 2 am Kitchen Closes @ 1 am

One Bite & You’re Hooked

2034 State Highway 361

361 749- Taco (8226)

801 Tarpon, Port Aransas, TX 78373 Open 2pm to 2am Every Day! 361-749-1990 NFL Sunday Ticket, Big 10 Network on 6 Big Screens Happy Hour Monday - Friday 3-7pm Live Music, Never a Cover Book your holiday party, birthday or special event now! In Ace Hardware Strip Center

Personal Services

NEW LOCATION 15033 S.P.I.D Suite On The Island Call for reservations 949-0794 Roni, Owner/Stylist


Our goal at The Island’s Edge Hair Salon is to educate our clients. The focus will be on enhancing, balancing & maintaining a realistic hair lifestyle. Owner / Stylist Roni has 19 years experience as a stylist in elite salons and earned 2nd place in a prestigious national color competition.

Live Music

1023 Hwy 361, Ste A pORT aRANSAS tx 361-749-joes

It’s not the oldest bar in Port Aransas but it IS the coldest. Always entertaining, The Flats is where the “locals” hang out. Pool, darts, juke box and live music on the weekends. It’s never too slow and it’s never too busy; get to know the bartenders by name, and you’ll never wait for a drink! Say hi to owners John and Lynda, and meet some new friends!

Night Life Night Life


Club GUide

Spring Break 2012 @ The Beach




EAT WELL LIVE HAPPY Huge Vegetarian, Vegan & Gluten-Free Friendly Menu Fresh Non-veg stuff too. Bohemian atmosphere Free WiFi Chess Tournaments Every Friday Open Mic 2nd Saturday Bizarre Bazaar 3rd Saturday

Downtown Farmers market Every Wednesday 5pm

Tango Tea Room 505 South Water Street 361-883-9123



Spring Break 2012 @ The Beach


Ask Mr. Smarty Pants

monthly savings alone the homeowner will break even in about five years. With a minimum guaranteed life of the system at 25 years that means the homeowner will get twenty years of monthly savings after the initial outlay is covered. That does not include any income generated by selling unused power back to the grid. On a home of 2000 square feet the initial cost will be about $15,000 and the same tax credits and rebates apply bringing the initial cost down to about $5,000. That initial investment will be recouped in about six years through savings on the monthly bill.

He Knows Everything There Is To Know About Corpus Christi

But if the home reaches the point where it sells at least 100 kilowatt hours of power each month back to the grid that income goes to reducing the payback period for the initial cost outlay, reducing the six-year payback.

Dear Mr. Smarty Pants, With all the sunny and windy days we have in Corpus Christi why don’t we have more homes with solar and wind power? It seems like this would be a good way to cut electricity costs. I have looked around and can’t find anyone here in town that can install a solar system in my house.

“The 100 kilowatt hours per month sold back to the grid is really the break point,” said Gianluca Ferraria, a certified installer and inspector with SPI Go Global.“The money paid to the homeowner for the energy sold to the grid is tax free. The Internal Rate of Return on a solar system varies with the amount of power used in the home. But on average the IRR is 12%-18%. That’s better than Wall Street right now.”

Can you help? Jim Calvey

Another thing that is counter-intuitive for solar powered homes is that the higher the cost charged for each kilowatt hour by your provider the better the deal for the homeowner, provided the home is generating more power than it uses. The reason: if the solar system is generating more power each month than the home is using the cost paid to the homeowner for the excess power which is sold back also rises.

Well Jim, you’ve come to the right place. Mr. Smarty Pants once worked for a lobby group in Austin which worked in the alternative energy industry and he is happy to say that there is indeed a relatively new group in town who can install a solar system in your home. It is called SPI Go Green and while they have been installing solar systems in homes in the Rio Grande Valley they have just recently begun operations here in Corpus Christi. They have done two homes on The Island and have another five lined up in town now.

Batteries Installing batteries with the system will increase costs by about 50%. Homes can be equipped with batteries that can store enough power to run a home for about three days. However, if the power to the home goes out so do the batteries. The batteries are there only to store power through cloudy days.

We will get to wind turbines later but first let’s talk about solar. The most common questions asked about solar power for homes; how much does it cost and how long does it take to recoup the initial investment? Can I go completely off the power grid and be energy self sufficient.

But with 320 days each year which have enough sun to produce solar power most of the homes installing the solar systems in Corpus Christi now forgo the batteries and simply sell the excess power back to the grid.

Let’s take those in order.

Solar by the numbers

“While you are at work your home is selling power to the grid that will cut your energy bill,” Ferrario said. “Even on a cloudy day there is enough sun to produce power.”

The cost to install a solar energy system varies by the size of the home. If the size of the solar system is scaled to the size of the home then the larger the home the quicker the initial investment will be paid back. This may seem counter-intuitive but it is a simple economy of scale equation.

Can I get completely off the power grid? Can a Coastal Bend home be energy self sufficient? The short answer to the question is yes, with some changes to make it energy efficient. For an existing home Ferrario’s company has partnered with local company Bodine-Scott and they will do an energy inspection on the home for about $300. Once the inspection is done AEP will provide a rebate for the changes needed to make the home energy efficient. Once the changes are done the house is ready for a solar system to be installed.

On the high end a home SPI Go Green did in the Rio Grande Valley with 8000 square feet has had monthly electric bills as low as $22 per month and the highest has been $300. A system recently installed in a home in Flour Bluff cost about $45,000. But with tax credits of $15,000, and an AEP rebate of $1.75 for each watt the new system generates, the initial cost is cut by two-thirds immediately bringing the initial cost to the homeowner of $15,000. At that rate through

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Date: Saturday April 7, 2012 Place: Heritage Park Corpus Christi, TX Time: 12:00 Noon* to 3:00 p.m. *check -in begins at 11 :00 a.m .

There will be an Egg Hunt after the walk. Vendors will be available throughout the walk to discuss services and products. Water and fruit will be provided to all walkers. Receive a free Walk T-shirt for each $50.00 in donations collected for your walk. There is no registration fee. All proceeds benefit Coastal Bend Autism Advocacy, Inc. A 501(c)3 Non-Profit Organization


505 South Water Street Near Downtown Retail Space Available Newly Renovated Inviting Courtyard Home of the Downtown Farmer’s Market Every Wednesday 5pm Call 361/992-1754 for lease information


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855-NEC-RD4U | NEC Retail is a division of Nueces Electric Cooperative. You do not have to buy NEC Retail’s products to continue to receive quality distribution services from Nueces Electric Cooperative.

CC Magazine - April 2012  

CC Magazine - April 2012

CC Magazine - April 2012  

CC Magazine - April 2012