Word on the Street: Soup

In my new job, I have the opportunity to engage with people from all walks of life and from all corners of the globe as they visit “my downtown.” Today is my first on the job and I am in training all day; I am also in uniform, which means folks know what my role is.

On my lunch break, I was asked by a man in a wheelchair if I would go down the block to the Walgreen’s to see if they have “those soups you pour hot water over” and find out how much they were and if there was tax on them.

Now, I was on a break returning from grabbing a sandwich and hastening two blocks to the office to get out of view because I’m still in training. But I’ve been in training all morning stressing how visible we are in our uniforms, how we are here working for everyone we see. So what could I do? I hurried down to Walgreen’s, found out that the cups of noodles are $1.29 and $0.69 each; store workers didn’t know if they are taxable.

I returned to the man and he was thrilled that they had one for $0.69 and I imagine he was on his way down there as I made my way back to the office.

First of many interesting encounters to come, I’m sure.

OpenSATX: Data For The People, By The People

San Antonio’s Code for America Brigade, dubbed OpenSATX, got off to a robust start on Saturday at CodeAcross, held at Rackspace headquarters. About 50 participants, comprising city staff, Rackers, Geekdom members, students, and other engaged citizens gathered to spend the day discussing how the city can better open its data to new and innovative applications to serve residents and businesses in San Antonio.
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One Square Mile: Southtown’s Diversity, Culture Featured on PBS

“There are 268,000 square miles in Texas. Each one tells a different story.” So begins One Square Mile: Texas, a documentary series billed as “a microcosm of Texan life and culture,” that recently began airing on Texas Public Television stations.
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Where I Live: Southtown

We arrived in San Antonio on the first Monday in 2011, relocating here from Silicon Valley so my partner Brian could help build the next generation of Cloud technologies at Rackspace. On Thursday, exhausted from unpacking and settling into our rented house on Barrera Street, we wandered down the block to have a drink at La Frite. Little did we know we were stumbling into the weekly “Lavaca and Friends” Happy Hour. Two hours later, we’d met about twenty of our new neighbors and had dinner with two other couples; thus began our infatuation with Southtown. In October, after 18 years as renters, we became first-time homebuyers, purchasing a home on Vance Street.
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The BSA’s LGBT Ban By The Numbers

For those wondering what’s behind the BSA’s continuing ban on LGBT folks, here are some numbers for you. The organizations that sponsor the most troops and/or have the greatest enrollment of Scouts exert greater influence over national policy.

According to the “2011 Boy Scouts of America Local Council Index,” as of December 31, 2011, 55% of Boy Scouts were registered to a troop chartered by one of the top six faith-based institutional* sponsors of Scouting:
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An Open Letter to BSA National Leadership

Ladies and Gentlemen:

As an Eagle Scout, the BSA’s continuing ban on the membership of gay and lesbian Scouts and Scouters saddens me beyond measure. The BSA’s position on this matter is a clear violation of its own Declaration of Religious Principles, in which it states that “it is absolutely nonsectarian in its attitude toward … religious training.”
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Profile: Ronit Bryant

I recently ran into Mayor Ronit Bryant at Le Boulanger and spent a little while chatting over coffee. Mayor Bryant moved to Old Mountain View in 1987, having convinced her husband Cliff that downtown Mountain View was the place to be. The couple had spent time living in Sunnyvale and elsewhere in Mountain View, but really wanted to be downtown, to be able to walk to get a cup of coffee, or to the library, or to a favorite restaurant for a meal. This meant moving into a home that was smaller than the one they left, but the trade-off was worth it for them.
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Eat Like a Samurai Downtown

Two Japanese cultural concepts come together at downtown’s new Bushido Izakaya, which opened about seven months ago. In Japan, an izakaya is a small neighborhood place to sit, eat and drink. In the States, it has come to be mean casual Japanese small plate pubs. Bushido, of course, is the “way of the warrior,” a code of conduct observed by the samurai.
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Profile: Margaret Abe-Koga

I met City Councilmember Margaret Abe-Koga—who served as Mayor last year—at Savvy Cellar on a recent Sunday afternoon to chat about her public service to the citizens of Mountain View. Margaret moved to Old Mountain View from Rex Manor in 2003. “My parents were having health issues and we needed room to move them in with us.” Margaret and her husband ended up purchasing a home with a “granny flat” for her parents. Their two daughters attend Stevenson PACT; one in the first grade and one in the fourth.
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All Aboard for a Wine Adventure

Our downtown train station is about to become a popular destination for fans of wine. Savvy Cellar Wine Bar and Wine Shop is expanding to downtown Mountain View from its original location in Redwood City.

Sommelier Jennifer Ayre and her husband, Brent Harrison, Savvy’s owners, are local residents who have been involved with Mountain View Schools and local youth soccer for a number of years. They are excited to be bringing their very successful business model home to Old Mountain View.
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