Axios San Antonio
April 10, 2023
Hello Monday, our old friend.
Today's weather: High near 76° with a chance of rain.
💵 Situational awareness: The city will host another workshop from 4-6pm today to help homeowners looking to lower their property tax bills. The free event is at the Cody Library on the Northwest Side.
Today's newsletter is 985 words — a 3.5-minute read.
1 big thing: 💻 Bringing everyone online
Thousands of families without high-speed internet access in San Antonio are one step closer to getting connected.
Driving the news: The City Council on Thursday approved a deal with AT&T to expand broadband access to 20,200 households.
Why it matters: Around 130,000 households across Bexar County lack adequate internet access, per a 2021 digital inclusion study from SA Digital Connects. People affected struggle to work from home, hold a telemedicine appointment or even stream television shows.
Details: The expansion will cost about $22.2 million, per city documents. AT&T will cover $13.3 million, with the city chipping in $8.9 million.
- It could take about three years to get the internet to homes.
The big picture: Private internet providers don't cover certain areas because it isn't as profitable, Marcie Trevino Ripper, policy and data consultant for SA Digital Connects, says.
- "Servicing an area that has maybe a smaller population — the return on investment might not be there for the business," Trevino Ripper tells Axios. "So we need to then subsidize to provide access to those households."
Zoom in: SA Digital Connects launched in 2020 when the pandemic deepened understanding that not everyone could work or attend school from home. The nonprofit has since worked with the city and Bexar County, advocating the use of federal COVID-19 relief funds for broadband access.
What they're saying: Better digital connectivity means more access to jobs, education and health services, Trevino Ripper says. "At the end of the day, we end up with a healthier community," she tells Axios.
What's next: Bexar County officials are negotiating a contract with Spectrum to expand internet in unincorporated parts of the county. The Commissioners Court could take a vote in the coming month, a county spokesperson tells Axios.
2. Spurs break records in Austin
Whether local Spurs fans like it or not, the team has been a hit in Austin.
Driving the news: The Spurs' "home" games in Austin against the Portland Trail Blazers and Minnesota Timberwolves had a sellout crowd of 16,023 on Thursday and 16,148 on Saturday, breaking an overall Moody Center record, according to Spurs Sports and Entertainment spokesperson Liberty Swift.
- The typical seating capacity is 10,000 for Longhorns basketball games, but Swift says the upper arena was opened for the Spurs, with standing room options available.
Context: Three special home games played in Austin and Mexico City announced last August were met with hesitancy from local fans who feared a future relocation of the Spurs up Interstate 35.
- On Wednesday, coach Gregg Popovich revealed road trip "home" games will become an annual event.
State of play: Local fans, Austin transplants and celebrities including WNBA legend Sue Bird showed up to support the Spurs in Austin.
- University of Texas at Austin students Raymond Gorvie, Jacob Turner, Will Bandy, John Reynoldson and Roger Gonzalez, who are part of the Longhorn Hellraisers spirit group, were standout fans on Thursday with "SPURS" painted on their bodies.
What they're saying: Gorvie, who lives in Austin and is from Fort Worth, tells Axios he likes seeing the team on campus, but he's not entertaining relocation suspicions.
- "I'll always want the Spurs in San Antonio," he says.
3. Inside the Loop
🏥 The U.S. Supreme Court will likely need to decide soon whether abortion pills can remain legal in the United States, after federal judges in Texas and Washington issued contradictory opinions on the matter. (Axios)
- Read our two-minute explainer on how abortion pills work.
🛹 Plans for a public park by the Hays Street Bridge on the East Side are moving forward. It will include a skate park, playground and event space. (SA Current)
🚛 Interactive artwork on display at Artpace invites people to sit in a sauna built from a box truck. It's modeled after the tractor-trailer found abandoned last June in San Antonio in which 53 migrants died, trapped in last summer's extreme heat.
- "The work can be interpreted either as a solemn site to meditate on the brutality of our immigration system or, less charitably, as a high-toned and on-the-nose joke," Michael Agresta writes. (Texas Monthly)
4. Two, one, oh 🤩: Peruvian perfection
👋 Madalyn here to tell you about my latest food obsession: Leche de Tigre.
My friends and I spent an impromptu girls night out at the recently opened Peruvian restaurant. I knew I liked Peruvian food before our visit, but the Southtown spot still blew me away.
Tastes like: Everything is made to order — it's that fresh.
- We started with a few cocktails and ceviche plates like the Nikkei and Amazonico.
- My original plan to "just snack," considering I had already eaten dinner, turned into ordering five more items. After tasting the ceviche, I had an insatiable appetite. I've been craving the chaufa aeropuerto ever since.
Pro tip: Since food is served family style, go with friends who are happy to share off each other's plates. It made the experience even more enjoyable.
- Also, ask the servers for recommendations. They were extremely helpful and fun to chat with.
- Make sure your Shazam app is ready: Leche de Tigre's playlist will have you bopping along with each bite.
💭 Madalyn's thought bubble: It's nice to have more diversity in Latin American cuisine in San Antonio.
New jobs to check out
5. Passing on QR codes
Axios San Antonio readers have spoken, and y'all really are anti-QR code menus.
Context: Last week we asked readers to weigh in on whether they like pandemic-era QR code menus as opposed to traditional, physical ones.
The general consensus? Nay.
- Usability and the interference of technology during a nice dinner were top complaints.
What you said:
- "It's a major drag to have to take your phone out again to sift through menu items on a tiny screen. It diminishes the whole experience of dining out." - Linda L.
- "It was a good idea for the pandemic, but bring back the menus, I wanna see what your food looks like." - Joe M.
Yes, but: Diane D. said she opts for QR code menus in support of a greener planet.
Thanks to our editor Bob Gee and copy editors Judith Isacoff and Keely Bastow.
🎊 Madalyn is still combing the Easter confetti out of her hair.
🌱 Megan is happy to report her basil plant is looking much better, although she's now worried the rosemary plant won't last.