Valley Partnership announced its 2015-16 Advocates class with this year’s 25 candidates selected from a record 49 applicants.“This is the largest number of applications we’ve received since the program’s inception – 12 more than last year. We’re thrilled with the response for just the third year of the program,” said Cheryl Lombard, President and CEO of Valley Partnership. “It’s an excellent class with diverse disciplines, industry experience and leadership potential.”The 2015-16 class includes:Tina Bark-Roy, Johnson-CarlierBrandon Campbell, Alexander Building CompanyCharlie Crews, Small GiantsMackenzie Fitz-Gerald, APSPeter Foster, Warner Angle, Hallam Jackson & Formanek PLCMarisa Galindo, Walton Development and Management (USA), Inc.Shane Gutknecht, Southwest Traffic EngineeringTroy Hansen, Anderson-BaronKatie Kelley, CBREEdward Leon, City of Phoenix Planning and Development DepartmentJustin Lines, Pivotal Tax SolutionsCullen Mahoney, Trammell Crow CompanyBrent Mallonee, Cushman & WakefieldLaura Markham, Bergin, Frakes, Smalley & Oberholtzer, PLLCSarah Mertins, Town of Queen CreekCameron Miller, Evergreen DevcoJohn Paul Mulhern, Colliers InternationalMichael Munson, Harvard InvestmentsQuinn Riekena, Integra Realty ResourcesSamantha Root, Indigo Paint & ContractingJessica Sarkissian, Bowman ConsultingMichelle Schwartz, RSP ArchitectsHayley Smith, FirstBankMonet Vakili, Ernst & YoungTyler Wilson, HilgartWilsonThe Advocates program is created exclusively for a select number of Valley Partnership members under the age of 35. Only current members of Valley Partnership can apply and participate. The program’s goal is to provide young business, real estate and development professionals the opportunity to interact with a variety of industry’s senior executives from local and national companies in a small setting. The experience allows the Advocates to learn about the development process, network with industry leaders, tour development projects and create business relationships among the class.The 2015-16 program is nine months with a “graduation” in June 2016. It is a series of once-a-month events, lasting two to three hours. Events are usually at a development site or the office of the presenting developer and frequently include breakfast, lunch or happy hour.An advisory group comprised of Valley Partnership board members and Advocates alumni reviewed the applications and made the selections.
Norway’s Electromagnetic Geoservices (EMGS) reported vessel utilization for the first quarter 2016 at 55% compared with 76% for the first quarter 2015.In the first quarter of 2016, the vessels were allocated 29% to contract and 26% to multi-client projects.EMGS had two vessels in operation in the first quarter 2016.The BOA Thalassa started contract work in India in January 2016. The project was completed a month later. Following the contract work in India, the vessel began a multi-client project west of India in March, and the completion of the project is planned for April. The vessel’s utilization for the first quarter was 73%.EMGS’s second vessel, the Atlantic Guardian was idle in January and off hire on a planned yard stay from January 31 until March 05.In addition, the vessel started a multi-client project in the Hammerfest Basin on March 10. The project is expected to be completed in the first part of May. The vessel’s utilization for the first quarter was 38%.The EM Leader has been laid up since May 15, 2015.EMGS stated that it expects to record zero multi-client revenues in the first quarter 2016.
The state Environment Department is reviewing plans to investigate soil and groundwater pollution at dairies in southeastern New Mexico. The department’s groundwater quality bureau required Cheyenne II and Wild West Farms Dairies to submit plans for addressing pollution associated with their operations.The plans could be approved within the next few weeks. Wastewater from the Dexter-area dairies is discharged to lined lagoons and is used for irrigation. Monitoring wells show nitrate, chloride and dissolved solids in the area’s groundwater has exceeded state standards.advertisementadvertisement The dairies’ abatement plans are aimed at defining the extent of soil and groundwater pollution. Once that work is complete, the department will require the dairies to submit plans for cleaning up the pollution. The public will have a chance to comment on the clean-up plans. PD—From AP newswire
Is LNG a threat to UTRGV Mission?In the RGV, we have made great strides in increased educational potential as UTB and UTPA are merged with a new medical school making UTRGV the second largest Hispanic Serving Institute (HSI) in the nation. This is excellent news with the South Texas Diabetes and Obesity Institute being established in Harlingen. Our community leads the nation in problems with diabetes with links to depression according to Dr. Francisco Fernandez, founding dean of the UTRGV Medical School at the UTPA More Health Conference in late April.The Brownsville location of UTRGV recently announced the addition of a marine biology degree. For years, there has been collaboration between UTB and UTPA to afford their students an opportunity to study the coastal waters at the UTPA Coastal Studies Lab on SPI. However, now with the merging of UTB and UTPA, more research of our unique environment of coastal waters and estuaries can be accomplished in this new marine biology program.But, I wonder if UTRGV will be able to complete its mission of providing educational and health care opportunities for a healthier population in a new hospital district supported by its Cameron County residents?There is the proposed building of four or more Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Plants on the Brownsville Ship Channel. The Brownsville Herald has reported that Annova LNG (Annova) and the Cameron County Commissioners Court are in negotiations on whether to grant Annova’s request “for a 100-percent property tax abatement from the county as an economic development incentive” lasting 10 years for Annova’s construction of a liquefaction and LNG export terminal on the Channel. This is only one of the private gas companies which plan to build export terminals along the Channel, and the others are on record as having also requested such tax abatements for themselves. So, here we have privately owned far away companies requesting the poorest communities in the nation to subsidize for the next decade a polluting and environmentally damaging industry which they seek to bring to our RGV.And if we are to subsidize multiple private LNG companies to degrade the area of the Bahia Grande Restoration Project, are we also to support a Hospital District? The Hidalgo County Hospital District has already been voted down by its population. So, will Cameron County have to finance a hospital district on its own?Hopefully not, but if so, there is merit for the education and health of our population and this expense for community improvement with a medical school and hospital district that has already been placed on the table as a commitment. But, to add tax abatements for private LNG companies to export gas at our communities’ expense is a very real threat to the UTRGV Mission.Why should we, the taxpayers of Cameron County, be asked to subsidize these LNG companies’ profits via tax abatements? Would not a True Corporate Citizen, seeking to set up polluting companies in our backyards in the Brownsville Ship Channel, be concerned about the health of the local populace as well?We, the people of Cameron County, should not be asked to subsidize these LNG companies’ profits via tax abatements while the very health and educational opportunities offered by UTRGV are in jeopardy, due to the pending hospital district tax votes.Which tax do we want to pay?At least with the UTRGV hospital district tax, we are creating health and educational opportunities to better the RGV communities. With LNG companies’ tax abatements we get more corporate profits for the faraway owners’ industrial business bottom line, while destroying our refuges as well as local businesses related to fishing, birding, ecotourism, and vacation beach destinations. Mind you, all of these are green businesses which will continue to inject upwards of $1 billion a year into the local economies of the RGV, all the while paying their taxes, not asking for tax abatementsDiane TeterLaguna Vista BalloonsMany graduation ceremonies will take place within the next several weeks. Graduations represent a special time for many students and their families. It is a time that should be celebrated.So often balloons are used to celebrate graduations, as well as birthdays, anniversaries, etc. Balloons add a lot of color to any occasion and are great when decorating; however, they must be used responsibly which includes deflating them after use and disposing of them properly. However, when balloons are released into our environment, it is NEVER a good idea. The damage they can do is limitless. I realize that these colorful balloons are beautiful to watch as they float upward, but what actually happens to these balloons does not include a happy ending for our wildlife, marine life, and environment. These balloons travel a certain distance…climb to a certain altitude…POP…and, then travel back to earth as litter. Yes…LITTER!!!In 2011, Healthy Communities of Brownsville published a booklet titled, Up, Up, and Away…NOT! (This booklet was also just reprinted in 2015.) This booklet, written in English and Spanish, tells of the dangers of balloon releases. The following organizations helped sponsor this project: The Brownsville Herald, Children’s Museum of Brownsville, Sea Turtle, Inc., Surfrider Foundation-South Texas Chapter, Texas Master Naturalists, Paragraphs, and the Alice Kleberg Reynolds Foundation. This 24 page booklet can be downloaded at two locations: www.healthybrownsville.org under the” Publication” tab (in PDF format) or at www.nie.brownsville.com on the NIE Home Page under “More Resources.” I encourage you to share this information with family and friends.Please take the time before the many upcoming celebrations to research the dangers of balloon releases and research alternative ways to celebrate your special occasion. By choosing to not release balloons you ultimately have chosen to help our wildlife, marine life, and our environment.Sharon PutegnatBoard Member of Healthy Communities of BrownsvilleChairperson of the HCB Environmental Trendbender GroupBrownsvilleWant the whole story? Pick up a copy of the Port Isabel-South Padre Press, or subscribe to our E-Edition by clicking here. Special to the PRESSThank you Ed.For the past several years Port Isabel has had the good fortune to be managed by one of, if not THE best, city managers, that being Edward Meza. This town has never looked cleaner and more inviting to our visitors than it does today.Serving on several committees with you where things actually moved forward to the benefit of the residents of Port Isabel was indeed my pleasure and motivated not only myself but other committee members to actively participate in the growth of Port Isabel.Your achievements as City Manager of Port Isabel have been numerous and you left some really big shoes to fill. You have shown grace under fire and conducted yourself with dignity in the face of hostile rudeness by some of your employers.It was evident when dealing with the city employees that you were a respected leader among those employed by the City.Sitting in these meetings and listening to the noise of the “new” commission I was reminded of the old Jack Nickolas movie “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”. Fly high my friend and best wishes for a bright future.Sincerely,Glenda StaffordPort Isabel Share RelatedLeading the Way: Jared Hockema, City Manager of Port IsabelInterview by Gaige Davila [email protected] The South Padre Parade virtually interviewed Jared Hockema, City Manager of Port Isabel, to learn about his administrative role in the coastal community several thousand call home. Want to see a local leader featured in the Parade? Email [email protected] with your suggestions. What is…September 1, 2020In “News”City seeks new code enforcement officerBy DINA ARÉVALO Port Isabel-South Padre Press [email protected] The Port Isabel City Commission approved a search for a new code enforcement officer by a vote of 3-2 Tuesday evening. The decision came after a lengthy discussion between commissioners, the city manager, and the fire marshal. At a recent meeting, the Commission…July 1, 2016In “News”Letters to the Editor for March 1, 2018Special to the PRESS Dear Editor: What is continually wrong with Laguna Vista? Who is always pushing the gamesmanship among the city and the neighboring cities? Laguna Vista is like a little brother who is always trying to keep up with his big brother in all that he does and…March 2, 2018In “News”