James Carneiro

Permit program to relieve neighborhood congestion

Some residents in neighborhoods near campus may experience relieved parking as a result of a recently approved permit program.

City councilmembers unanimously approved the establishment of a Residential Parking Permit Program in their Jan. 7 meeting. The need for the program arose from residents who expressed concern that students were parking their cars in neighborhoods and walking to campus. Under the new city council ordinance, residents can enact a permit program in their neighborhoods by gathering a “significant number” of signatures on a petition.

Smoking e-cigarettes to be allowed in vape shops after ordinance amendment

City councilmembers voted unanimously Tuesday to exempt “vape” shops from the citywide public smoking ban, which was passed early last month.

City Manager Jim Nuse defined a vape shop as a store selling electronic cigarettes where people can pick out flavors of tobacco and “vape” in the establishment if desired. Vape shop owners voiced concern that the ordinance would force them out of business. Under the recently approved ordinance, smoking is prohibited in any public place or park, in enclosed areas owned by the city and enclosed workplaces.  

Much of the council’s discussion revolved around whether it was appropriate to amend the ordinance after much debate and work had been put into the recently approved one.

Council proposes downtown, residential parking plan

Crowded downtown parking issues may be alleviated under a proposed parking management district that would allow residents in neighborhoods to receive permits and require paid parking in certain areas.

City councilmembers received a presentation from city staff on the proposed parking management district during their meeting Wednesday night. All parking-related decisions would go through the district’s committee, which would be overseen by residents living in the downtown area. Any profits garnered from the district would be reinvested in the downtown.

Texas State, Taiwanese university sign initial exchange agreement

Representatives from the National Penghu University of Science and Technology in Taiwan signed an initial student exchange agreement with Texas State officials Monday.

The agreement, signed by Ying-Wei Wang, president of Penghu University, among others, will begin laying the foundation for Bobcats to spend the summer at Penghu while Taiwanese students study at Texas State.

According to Rosario Davis, a learning specialist with the Intensive English program., said the agreement states the two colleges will cooperate together. She said the Penghu students will most likely attend Texas State between July 1 and Sep. 26, 2014, primarily during the university’s summer break.

Texas Tribune CEO speaks at Old Main

Texas Tribune Editor-In-Chief and CEO Evan Smith gave a presentation about non-partisan journalism and digital convergence in Old Main Monday as part of Mass Comm Week.

Smith is one of several professionals who travel to Texas State each year to speak with students as part of the week-long event hosted by the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Smith said Mass Comm Week is like “spring break for nerds.” He spoke to students about the future of journalism in the digital world and answered questions from the crowd.

Councilmembers amend, pass smoking ordinance

San Marcos city councilmembers unanimously approved a ban prohibiting residents from smoking in public places, businesses and city-owned areas Tuesday.

Councilmembers debated aspects of the ordinance during the Sept. 17 meeting. In an effort to reduce secondhand smoke, the ordinance bans smoking in any public place or park, in enclosed areas owned by the city and enclosed workplaces. Owners of establishments will be in violation of the ordinance if they fail to keep customers from smoking.

New fiscal year budget could fund water study, pay raises

Hays County officials are focusing funds on special projects with their 2014 fiscal year budget,  including a collective bargaining agreement and a search for alternative sources of groundwater.

According to the Hays County website, the county commissioners proposed a total budget for fiscal year 2014 of $150,428,178. Laureen Chernow, Hays County communications specialist, said the 2014 fiscal year budget was down about 14 percent from last year’s budget. The budget will be finalized Sept. 17, Chernow said. Proposed differences include increasing funding for construction, searching for alternative sources of groundwater and allowing for law enforcement pay raises.

Residents voice opinion on proposed citywide public smoking ban

The San Marcos City Council held a public hearing for a proposed anti-smoking ordinance at a meeting Tuesday night.

The ordinance’s intent is to reduce second-hand smoke in public and has been renamed the “Smoking in Public Places Act.”

The ordinance will ban smoking in any public place or park, in enclosed areas owned by the city, enclosed workplaces, and will make it a violation if an owner of an establishment fails to keep customers from smoking. It will also require the placement of anti-smoking signage, removal of ashtrays from buildings, and will ensure those who report smoking violations will be protected from retaliation. Students in San Marcos Public schools will receive comprehensive tobacco education as well under the ordinance.

Senate bill to shorten university's name

Texas State will officially drop “-San Marcos” from its name Sept. 1.

According to an April 10 University Star article, the university’s name is being officially changed because state senators voted unanimously to pass Senate Bill 974, authored by Donna Campbell (R-25) and Judith Zaffirini  (D-21). 

According to the bill, the name change was proposed to clear up confusion between the Texas State University Round Rock Campus and the main campus in San Marcos.

City Council considers stricter smoking laws

San Marcos city councilmembers are re-examining a 1995 ordinance that allows smoking in designated public areas after a citizen survey revealed a majority of those polled support stricter regulations.

The possible ordinance could ban smoking in restaurants, bars and other private establishments in San Marcos. The specific details have not yet been determined. Assistant City Manager Collette Jamison gave city councilmembers a presentation during their Aug. 20 meeting concerning public opinion and information on smoking in public. The current ordinance allows smoking in designated areas in bars and restaurants as well as at private functions and bowling league matches. Smoking is explicitly banned around children’s play areas.


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