Minerva Hernandez-Garcia

Officials move forward with box initiative despite financial loss

Chartwells officials have seen a loss in profits since selling reusable take-out containers in lieu of offering Styrofoam containers at Jones Dining Hall as part of a move to be more environmentally friendly.

Jones’ Eco To-Go Box was introduced last spring. If a student chooses not to purchase one of the reusable take-out boxes, they must use a Styrofoam tray that does not close if they want to take food from the dining hall to-go. Abel Valencia, Chartwells marketing manager, said officials purchase the containers at $4.62 plus tax, which totals more than the one-time $5 fee students pay for the box. Additionally, Valencia said a lack of advertisement led to low sales for the boxes. He said 1,440 of the eco-friendly containers have been sold since their introduction.

Alleged unpaid wages spark worker protest

Six construction workers have teamed with a union to seek an alleged $15,000 in unpaid wages for their work on the Millennium on Post apartments.
About 20 protesters gathered at the apartment complex Aug. 16 to protest contractor Galaxy Builders Ltd. Some workers protested in hopes of receiving nearly two months worth of pay.

Jesus Contreras, a worker on the project, left after one month and said he received only $300 for hundreds of work hours. Subcontractors told Contreras he would be paid in cash at the end of each day. At the closing of the workday, he and other workers were told their checks had not come in, and would be paid at a later date.

San Marcos elementary school receives ‘unacceptable’ rating

The Texas Education Agency’s accountablity ratings based on state-wide standardized tests deemed DeZavala Elementary School, part of the San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District, academically unacceptable Aug. 8.

DeZavala did not meet the standards based on the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness test, which include student achievement, progress and closing performance gaps. DeZavala is the only school in the SMCISD that requires improvement. It was one of 6.5 percent of schools in the state that did not meet the test’s standards, according to the report.

San Marcos enters agreement with San Antonio water system

The City of San Marcos will soon be able to save money on a variety of services as a result of entering into a water supply agreement with a San Antonio company last month.

Members of the San Marcos City Council approved two water resolutions during their May 7 meeting. The first resolution allows the city’s participation in a cooperative purchasing arrangement with the San Antonio Water System. The second resolution awarded a contract to Wachs Water Services for the purchase of a water valve assessment, improvement and asset information program for the Water/Wastewater Utility, which will cost $123,517.50.

Comprehensive Master Plan includes new multi-family housing projects

New apartment complexes are constantly being built around San Marcos, and Texas State’s growth and demand for student housing are able to fill hundreds of additional bedrooms each year.

There are currently eight multi-family housing projects under construction and 13 under consideration for future development, according to a May status report released by the city. The projects include expansions to existing apartments and the construction of new housing complexes. Most apartments in San Marcos that opened last fall or will open this fall have pre-leased more than half of their units, according to their leasing representatives.

Matthew Lewis, director of planning and development services, said the occupancy rate of existing apartments in San Marcos is high.

City council considers hiring firefighters, police officer

City councilmembers are considering amending the 2012-2013 fiscal year budget to authorize the addition of four new firefighters and one new police officer to San Marcos’ police and fire departments.

Councilman Jude Prather, Place 2, said the amendment originated from staffing issues at the San Marcos Fire Department, and the city’s police team needs an additional officer in response to the growing community. Prather said some firefighters are having to work overtime, and another police officer would make the city safer. The city’s budget would be amended to authorize $226,650 of funds for the additions.

H.E.A.T. hosts underwear run

Students stood together in front of Harris Dining Hall Friday, took off their clothes and proceeded to run through campus.

Hit the Floor Running was the name of a “littlewear benefit run” hosted by the Human Environmental Animal Team. Participants made the trek across campus from the dining hall to Sewell Park in outfits that left little to the imagination. The runners paid a $15 entrance fee that will go toward installing a tile floor in the Khwawa Secondary School in Malawi, Africa. The shed clothing was donated at the starting line to benefit two orphanages, one in Haiti and the other in San Marcos. According to the Texas State H.E.A.T. Facebook page, one of the organization’s focuses is humanitarian work, much like Friday’s run.

New victory star in storage, awaiting placement

An array of miscellaneous items lay in a warehouse on Ranch Road 12 waiting to be used. Outdated computers sit clustered together on a shelf. Chairs stacked one on top of the other tower over supplies for Bobcat Build, and brooms, wheelbarrows and shovels await tasks to complete. In the middle of the inventory of unused objects, a star rests unassumingly.

Sitting disassembled in the warehouse, the star is stored with other university items that are currently unneeded or without homes. The star is propped against a metal shelf, broken down into two pieces. When put together, the pieces will form a star that spans almost 18 feet tip-to-tip.

Chemistry department aids in archaeological research

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry has teamed up with the Gault Archaeological Project to dig up the truth behind an ancient civilization.

The Gault Site, located in Bell County, is home to evidence of the Clovis people, believed to be the first inhabitants of the Americas. Michael Collins, anthropology research associate professor, said archeologists have found new evidence of inhabitants predating the Clovis people at the Gault site, but the discovery has its critics. The chemistry department is working to prove the authenticity of soil deposits that could substantiate the claims there was a civilization older than the Clovis people.

Graffiti removal costs university time, resources

Vandals have repeatedly left their mark on the Texas State campus in graffiti, which is both illegal and costing the university manpower and money to clean up, officials said.

In recent months the word “look” is being tagged around campus, and the University Police Department is looking to find the individual or individuals responsible. UPD Captain Daniel Benitez said the first case of graffiti was reported in October 2012, and the end of January 2013 had the most recent.

Benitez said UPD takes a photo of the tags and documents them before having workers from the Facilities Department remove the graffiti, which is done as quickly as possible.

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