Julie Catalano                                                                           Writer














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Scene in SA, June 2009


One Way Ticket

A “Texan” since she was eight, Benita Veliz barely remembers life in Mexico. To those who sympathize with a child brought to a country she came to love, who worked hard for her success, and wants to stay, it’s enough. To others, she broke the law and there are no excuses.

Cover illustration by Leo Garza






onthetownezine.com, May/June 2009, p. 78-79

The Joffrey Workshop - Buddy and Susan Trevino

Some teachers are born. Some are made. And some meet and marry each other and teach happily ever after. Fortunately for thousands of ballet students, Buddy and Susan Treviño have carried on a lifelong pas de deux that started 34 years ago when they met while dancing with Austin Ballet Theatre. Since then, as master teachers they have guided countless dancers of all ages through countless steps, whether their students viewed dance as a hobby or set their sights on a professional career. Read full article here






Scene in SA, May 2009

Cheap Thrills From SA To Z
If you’re going to follow the president’s advice to stimulate the economy, you might as well stimulate ours. To make it easier, we’re presenting your staycation education in alphabetical order. It might remind you that Dorothy was right. 





Scene in SA, April 2009

Job Fare

San Antonio’s job market is outperforming many others in Texas, but are we trading quality for quantity?




DeSoto, May 2009


In the mythology of Texas, Houston looms large. With a reputation for urban sprawl and oil wheeling and dealing, it’s easy to overlook the biggest city in Texas as place to hang out and have fun – a high-energy, vibrant destination that has something for everyone. Whether you’re an arts lover, foodie, shopaholic, theatre buff, or simply fantasize about sending the kids into space, this could be the year to ask, “Why not Houston?”




Destination Insider: Tennessee

Stage set for Music City Center in Nashville; Knoxville's TouchKnow&Go Kiosks Area a First for Tennessee; Gaylord Opryland Resort Serves Up Group Menus Mixing Low Cost, Quality; Memphis Already Has 200,000 Convention Room Nights Booked

A project that has been talked about for a decade will take a big step forward with a vote this month by the Nashville Metro Council to "turn loose some bigger dollar amounts" for a new $595 million, 1.2-million-sf convention center, said Bruce Spyridon, president of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau. Read full article here



Successful Meetings March 2009

Texas Two-Step (Houston)

Houston, Tex.--Let's face it. The words "walkable" and "Houston" do not roll trippingly off the tongue. Some might even call walkable the ultimate oxymoron for a city where people are practically welded to their cars as they navigate the seemingly endless sprawl. But lately, the fourth-largest city in the country is determined to prove that even though pedestrian-friendly is no mean feet, er, feat, Houston is definitely up to the challenge. "We're not there yet," says Greater Houston CVB spokesperson Lindsey Brown, "but we will be." Read full article here


Scene in SA, February 2009

Fiesta Steeped In History

The history of Fiesta is a sprawling and colorful one, with groups like the Spring Carnival Association and the Fiesta San Jacinto Association springing up and disappearing, along with festive balls and mock coronations. continued




DeSoto, January 2009 www.desotomag.com 

Ancient Places, Ancient Peoples

Los Alamos, New Mex.--Walking in the footsteps of the past can be a humbling and powerful experience. Visit a time capsule that contains the ghosts, artifacts and memories of days long gone at Bandelier National Monument in Los Alamos, New Mexico. continued





Successful Meetings, January 2009

Destination Texas Beaches: Beach Break

A swirl of wind and rain whipped up over the warm waters of the Caribbean  last September and took aim at Texas’ beach communities. Although the news coverage of Hurricane Ike—a Category 2 storm that made landfall in the early morning hours of Sep 13—sometimes implied that the popular seaside resort town of Galveston, 45 miles south of Houston, had been virtually wiped out, “we are definitely open for business and still booking,” says Meg Winchester, director of sales for the Galveston Island Convention & Visitors Bureau. Read full article here



SA CityPages, December 2008, sacitypages.com, p. 13

Dr. William Chiego: Best of Both Worlds

How do you take one of San Antonio’s most distinctive cultural institutions into the 21st century? Very carefully.

When Dr. William Chiego came to the McNay Art Museum 17 years ago as its new director, he realized he would be helping to map out its next quarter-century of history. In fact, it was one of the main reasons he accepted.  Read article here, p. 13.



Scene in SA, December 2008

Mavericks: Keith Zars

Keith Zars is at home on the water, and with good reason. His father Leif is owner of Gary Pools, and Keith dove into the family business when he started his own company, Keith Zars Pools, in 1985. When he isn’t building pools and spas for residences and businesses, however, you can probably find him on one of his five boats – either at home in San Antonio or at one of the many sailing clubs he visits to indulge his real passion: regattas. continued



Scene in SA, November 2008

Insecure About Securities 

Financial meltdown. Economic turmoil. Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. However you describe the recent twists and turns of the stock market, no one can deny it remains a story that will not likely have a tidy ending. continued





Meeting News, October 6, 2008

Destination Insider: San Antonio

River Walk to Tack On Miles

What do you do when you already have the number one visitor attraction in the state? If you're Texas, you make it bigger and better. The $350 million River Improvements Project, which will extend the famed River Walk to a 13-mile route, was "a long time in coming," said Steven Schauer, San Antonio River Authority spokesman. "This has been a vision for more than 10 years." Read article here



Scene in SA, October 2008

Mavericks: Richard Turner

Richard Turner is like a kid in a candy store. Make that a left-handed guitarist and Beatles aficionado in a store with left-handed guitars and Fab Four memorabilia. To make it even sweeter--it's his store.  Bouncing around in a blue t-shirt that says “Beat drums, not people,” camouflage shorts, and white sneakers, the slender, boyish Turner is living his latest dream with the opening of Redbone Guitar Boutique, a custom and vintage store that also carries amps, mikes, and other gear. 



SA CityPages, September 2008

Anya Grokhovski-Michaelson: Building Bridges

Anya Grokhovski-Michaelson is cooking up a storm in her kitchen, detailing her remodeling wish list, chatting about her favorite dishes, and most of all, talking about her beloved "baby"-- Musical Bridges Around the World concert series, an innovative program started by an ardent group of local music lovers that begins its eleventh season this month with this Russian dynamo as its founder and artistic director. Read article here




Successful Meetings, August 2008

Destination San Antonio

Beautiful and spirited, San Antonio is a city that knows how to eat, drink, and Fiesta. Home to the two most popular attractions in Texas--the storybook River Walk and the venerable Alamo--the state's top tourist destination welcomes 25 million visitors a year to a unique setting steeped in rich history and cultural diversity. Under the iconic Tower of the Americas, a charming, walkable downtown offers elegant hotels, fine dining, shopping, museums, galleries, parks, and plazas, while nearby resorts, spas, and world-class golf courses beckon.  Read article here     



SA CityPages, August 2008, sacitypages.com


Rockbox Theater: That's Entertainment

Fredericksburg, Tex.--It may be the best-kept secret in the Hill Country, but not for long. Enthusiastic word of mouth about the year-old Rockbox Theater musical comedy revue in Fredericksburg is spreading faster than butter on a hot strudel.

In the best old-Hollywood tradition of "Let's turn this furniture store into a theater!" partners Russ Hearn, Mike Kinchen, and Ray Rodgers did just that. The modest storefront off Main Street belies the $1 million, 10,000-square-foot, 392-seat theater within.

But that's nothing compared to the gold onstage. Read article here


Kirk Feldmann: The Wizard of ACE

The next time you attend a show at the Majestic Theater or the Charline McCombs Empire Theater, pay attention to the man behind the curtain. As principal and executive director of Arts Center Enterprises, Inc., Kirk Feldmann may not be pulling levers or setting off puffs of smoke onstage, but as a 27-year veteran of the venue management industry, he has had to pull off some pretty amazing feats - like helping to bring cherished historic theaters back to glorious life and making sure they stay that way. Read article here 


Dance Magazine, June 2008

Current Dance Magazine Cover

Joffrey in Texas

In 1978, Robert Joffrey selected San Antonio as the home of what was then the only workshop that bore his name. He couldn't have possibly predicted that three decades and thousands of dancers later it would still be going strong. The Joffrey Workshop Texas celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, June 21-July 12, at St. Mary's University...  read full article in June 2008 issue.




SA CityPages, June 2008, sacitypages.com

Ben Brewer: Putting Downtown on the Map

At a time when hordes of San Antonio homeowners and businesses can hardly move out to Loop 1604 fast enough, the term “downtown revitalization” seems almost an oxymoron.

Not so, says Ben Brewer, president of the Downtown Alliance/San Antonio, who is determined to put the central business district front and center when it comes to considering viable places to live, work and play. A look at the long-term calendar is indeed promising: a new performing arts complex at the Municipal Auditorium, a new municipal office building, new fire and police headquarters, a new transportation hub and a street trolley system, to name a few. Read article here


Buddy and Susan Treviño: Celebrating Joffrey Workshop's 30th Anniversary

Talking to dance teachers Buddy and Susan Treviño is like getting a crash course in the history of dance in San Antonio. Scores of names, faces, places, and memories tumble out - countless students, classes, rehearsals and performances. But none are more memorable than those connected with the Joffrey Workshop TX, this year celebrating its 30th anniversary in San Antonio under their co-direction. Read article here


Scene in SA, June 2008

Scence In SA

Photo by Louis Catalano, 1968

HemisFair '68: Back to the Future

You know you've reached a certain age when one of your fondest childhood memories is now a museum exhibit. 

"HemisFair '68: San Antonio's Introduction to the Word" opened on April 6 at UTSA's Institute of Texan Cultures, 40 years to the day that the fair itself was opened by Lady Bird Johnson. Thousands of San Antonians turned out to take a trip down memory lane and celebrate a watershed moment in the city's history.

Erstwhile fairgoers couldn't talk enough about the glory days--a welcome diversion for the city in an otherwise tumultuous year of war, protests, race riots, and the assassinations of Sen. Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. (the latter taking place just two days before the opening). continued


SA City Pages, April 2008, sacitypages.com 

Felix Padron, Renaissance Man

Felix Padron wants to take a walk. “I need to get out of the office,” he says, upon greeting me at the Office of Cultural Affairs at the Alameda Theatre. As we head for a favorite café on a spectacularly beautiful morning, Padron talks about the state of the arts in San Antonio.  “Most people don’t really know what we do,” says Padron, who is eager to talk at length if it will help to bring everyone up to speed. Read article here



Vista Magazine, January/February 2008

Once Upon an Island 

Amelia Island, Fla.--Tucked away in northeastern Florida near the border with Georgia, and only thirteen miles long and three miles across at its widest point, Amelia Island might just be the next best thing to having your own private hideaway. Read article here




Scene in SA, December 2007

Scence In SA

Haute Tamales

At this time of year you can't swing a piñata stick without hitting a dozen tamales, or someone eating them. San Antonians gobble them up by the truckload year-round, warming up for the frenzy that begins at Thanksgiving and finally winds down around New Year's. Until you start craving them again somewhere around Super Bowl-time, that is. No matter what you're celebrating, there's bound to be some empty cornhusks piling up on a plate somewhere. But let's get right to it: We've eaten a million of them, but what do we really know about the little shuckers? continued


Vista Magazine, December 2007

The Festive Foods of Nochebuena

Holiday Traditions, Latin Style



Vista Magazine, November 2007

Turkey - Con El Sabor Latino



Scene in SA, October 2007

sa cover Predicting Mother Nature

There's an old saying: If you don't like the weather in San Antonio, wait five minutes.

There's a new saying: If you don't like the weather patterns in San Antonio, you may have to wait a little longer--maybe 100 years or so.

Despite the seemingly wild swing of the pendulum in recent years, with temperatures and precipitation all over the (weather) map, long-term weather patterns just don't switch that easily--or quickly--according to experts. continued


Successful Meetings, October 2007, p. 65

Destination: Austin

Austin, Tex.--Jam-packed with history, museums, parks, nearby resorts, spas, and gold courses, and home to the high-tech industry and one of the hottest film and music festivals in the country, Austin consistently makes the Ten Best lists in everything from top job market to most educated to most vegan-friendly. A walkable, vibrant downtown welcomes visitors to kick back and relax in between wheeling and dealing. Read article here



Vista Magazine, October 2007



Vista Magazine, September 2007

Hot Hot Hot, Red Chile Peppers  (with original photography)

Albuquerque, NM--Every year at this time, New Mexico's official state fruit and vegetable becomes its unofficial state scent as the intoxicating aroma of roasting chile peppers fills the early autumn air. 

From late summer to the end of October, New Mexico goes a little pepper crazy. And why not? It's the state's number one crop, according to Danise Coon, program coordinator at the Chile Pepper Institute at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces. Peppers are also the heart and soul of the state's distinctive local cuisine, where the phrase du jour is "red or green?" continued



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