Axios San Antonio

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Look who's here, ✨ Friday ✨

Today's weather: Stay aware — chance of severe storms through this evening. High near 82.

🚀 Sounds like: "Starships" by Nicki Minaj.

🚧 Situational awareness: Starting Monday, the southbound lanes of Santa Rosa, from Dolorosa to Cesar Chavez, will be closed for utility and road work, joining the existing closure of northbound lanes.

  • All lanes of Santa Rosa are scheduled to reopen by summer.
  • Also starting Monday, South Alamo Street will convert to one-way traffic for about a year due to construction.

Today's newsletter is 848 words — a 3-minute read.

1 big thing: Demand to declassify Latino files

Latino civil rights advocates Dolores Huerta, Héctor P. García and Rodolfo "Corky" Gonzales. Photos: Cathy Murphy/Getty Images and Denver Post via Getty Images

Two U.S. House members want the FBI and CIA to declassify all documents related to the surveillance and harassment of Latino civil rights leaders from the 1950s to the 1970s.

Why it matters: It's widely known that the FBI's COINTELPRO and CIA's Operation Chaos sought to disrupt the civil rights activities of Black Americans, but how those programs affected Latino activists is largely unknown, Axios Latino's Russell Contreras writes.

Zoom in: U.S. Reps. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) and Jimmy Gomez (D-Calif.) this week sent a letter to CIA Director William Burns and FBI Director Christopher Wray asking them to release all documents connected to the surveillance of the Latino civil rights movement.

  • It's unknown if the FBI or CIA "tried to sabotage or disrupt" the Latino civil rights movement, as the FBI did with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s efforts, so newly released documents should clear the record, they said.

At a hearing Tuesday of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Castro asked Burns and Wray about looking into releasing the documents.

  • They promised to look into it and work with Castro.

Background: The FBI's COINTELPRO, short for Counterintelligence Program, was created in the 1950s allegedly to disrupt communist activities, but routinely monitored the activities of King and Malcolm X, planting informants while trying to disrupt planned demonstrations and fights against racism.

Between the lines: Historians in recent years have uncovered quite a bit about FBI surveillance of Latino leaders through open records requests, Brian Behnken, an Iowa State University history professor, tells Axios.

The intrigue: Castro's mother and former temporary San Antonio city councilmember Rosie Castro, was monitored by the FBI for her activities in the Chicano Movement, files show.

  • An FBI informant noted that Rosie Castro "was observed buying two small posters of Angela Davis for 50 cents each, which were mentioned by Rosie Castro as having been printed in Cuba," the San Antonio Express-News reports.

Keep reading

2. Testing from Texas

SpaceX's Starship shortly after lifting off from the company's Starbase in Boca Chica, Texas, yesterday. Photo: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

Yesterday, SpaceX's massive Starship went to space and reentered Earth's atmosphere for the first time during its third and most ambitious test flight so far.

Why it matters: The test was a major leap for the vehicle, which is essential for NASA's Artemis program. The flight featured technologies critical for future manned missions to the moon or beyond, Axios' Jacob Knutson writes.

What they did: The spacecraft, the largest ever built, launched from the company's Starbase in Boca Chica, Texas, around 8:25am.

  • After liftoff, it successfully separated from its huge booster, which then went on a controlled descent flight back to Earth before crashing in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Meanwhile, the spacecraft carried on to perform several tests while in orbit. It opened its payload door and transferred tons of liquid oxygen between two tanks to simulate an in-orbit refueling of the ship.
  • After the tests, Starship started a controlled reentry and reentered Earth's atmosphere before SpaceX lost contact with the ship. It was expected to perform a soft landing in the Indian Ocean.
  • SpaceX said the ship did not survive reentry.

Zoom in: The failed landing will likely trigger a mishap investigation from the Federal Aviation Administration.

  • Such probes are routine after tests don't go according to plan.
  • Still, it was a major improvement from previous tests.
  • The company likely gathered data throughout, which may help improve the vehicle's design.

3. Inside the Loop

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

UT Health San Antonio president William L. Henrich has died. He was 77. (SA Report)

Topo Chico's new line of nonalcoholic cocktail mixers are now available in liquor and grocery stores throughout the city. (SA Current)

A person of interest in the death of a 17-year-old who was found in a ditch near Austin Highway earlier this week has been identified and is cooperating with police. (SAPD)

Pornhub ceased operations in Texas yesterday over objections to a state law mandating age verification. (Axios)

4. The Friday news quiz

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

Class is in session. It's time for our weekly news quiz.

You know the drill. Answer the following questions right for a shoutout in a future newsletter and some Axios swag.

  • Cold streaks in San Antonio are shorter by how many days?
  • Which hotel is the new Anaqua Garden Bar located in?
  • True or false: More local kids are going to private schools.
  • Which famous singer did beloved educator Dorothy Collins teach?
  • Where is Piroshky Piroshky popping up?

And to our past winners, we'll be sending out your items soon!

5. 📷 1 photo to go: Sixth banner beckons

The race for seis continues. Photo: Madalyn Mendoza/Axios

Add this Spurs mural to San Antonio's growing canvas of Wembanyama-inspired art.

Catch up fast: The mural seen heading into Southtown features retired Spurs legend Tim Duncan standing with rookie sensation Victor Wembanyama.

  • The team's five championship banners hang above them with a sixth empty banner that says "NEXT CHAPTER," symbolizing what's to come with Wemby on the team.

Behind the scenes: Local artist Bryan Mancera, or @_freshwalls_ on Instagram, tells Axios he completed the mural in January.

What they're saying: "As for the next chapter with Wemby leading the team, I hope to see even more innovative and inclusive art projects that reflect the diversity and spirit of our city," Mancera tells Axios. "Let's keep creating something special."

Find it: 316 Forrest Avenue

Thanks to our editor Chloe Gonzales and copy editors Steven Patrick and Anjelica Tan.

🥳 Madalyn is blessed to be part of a team named "Hottest in News" this week.

👕 Megan is thinking about approaching her closet for some much-needed spring cleaning this weekend, but she is daunted by the task.