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Celebrate Valentine’s Day at the Sweetheart Family Formal

By Sarah Hollis, Parks & Recreation Special Events Intern

Sweetheart PosterWhen I was growing up, I loved to dance with my dad. He even performed with me in a dance recital. I cherish the memories of a father-daughter dance when I was five years old, and more recently when I’ve danced with him at formal events.

There’s just something special about getting dressed up and dancing with your dad.

Fortunately, the Sweetheart Family Formal isn’t just for dads and daughters — moms and sons can have a fantastic time together, too. Grandparents are also welcome to escort their grandchildren.

Join us for a fun-filled night at the inaugural Sweetheart Family Formal on Sunday from 5-7:30 p.m. at the Lincoln Recreation Center. Admission is free, and we’ll have punch, snacks, contests, prizes and lots of dancing.

Contests will include Best Dressed Father/Daughter and Father/Son Pair, Best Dressed Mother/Son and Mother/Daughter Pair, and Best Dressed Family. We’ll also crown a Junior Sweetheart King and Queen. Contest judging begins at 6:15 p.m.

Click here to preregister for the contests.

What better way to spend Valentine’s Day than with those you love the most — your family. For more information, visit cstx.gov/events or call 979-764-3486.

 

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Community programs help all ages expand horizons

By Dana Albrecht, Southwood Community Center Recreation Supervisor

6261317927_b8b671c4cf_bEvery day offers us a fresh opportunity to discover and learn.

That’s the appeal of a new series of Community Programs for all ages offered this spring by College Station Parks & Recreation Department. We’ve created a full range of creative and educational activities for the young — and the young at heart.

Preschool adventures

The building blocks of learning begin by experiencing the world first hand. Our Preschool Science Adventure Series introduces young children ages 3-5 (with parents) to the marvels of the world of science.

Each week, we’ll explore a new topic through hands-on learning through a fun-filled activity adventure. Subjects will include the five senses, states of matter, fantasy of flight, kitchen chemistry, biology of animals, and dinosaurs and fossils. We’ll also bust a few myths and play pirates.

After-school science

Our After-School Science Series of Fun for ages 9-13 offers inquiring young minds the chance to explore basic scientific principles and how they apply to everyday life. Science comes alive with fun themed presentations, hands-on experiments, and other activities.

Each session features a new concept and a theme-based adventure that involves aspects of biology, animal science, tasty kitchen chemistry, botany basics, and much more. You can sign up for the entire series, or pick and choose your specific areas of interest.

We even have learning adventures that focus on the 3D concepts of building, engineering, robotics, and design. Our Bricks 4 Kids Series uses classic Legos to deliver high quality hands-on conceptual thinking adventures. We’ve specially designed each topic for appropriate age groups.

Adults and seniors

Community Programs also offers creative outlets for adults and seniors to explore and develop their hidden skills. Classes include drawing, painting, essential oils, ballroom dancing, stained glass art, computer skills, and genealogy.

A complete list of Community Programs is available on pages 9-14 of our spring guide:

Register today!

Register online at rectrac.cstx.gov or visit the Parks & Recreation Office at Stephen C. Beachy Central Park (1000 Krenek Tap Road) weekdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Community programs are an ideal opportunity for everyone to learn, create, discover and enhance their lives. Explore the possibilities!

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Don’t let drunk driving spoil Super Bowl Sunday

By Chuck Fleeger, Assistant Police Chief

Super Bowl Sunday is one of the best days of the year for sports fans, but it’s also one of the most dangerous days of the year on our roads. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, about 31 percent of traffic fatalities on a typical day involve a drunk driver. On Super Bowl Sunday, that awful number spikes to 43 percent.

We want to see that tragic figure reduced.

The College Station Police Department will deploy extra officers to patrol in the peak hours before, during and after Sunday’s game to proactively identify and apprehend drivers who are a danger. We hope everyone enjoys the game and the fun festivities that surround it, but please remember to drink in moderation and designate a driver.

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Podcast: Weathering the consequences of the oil crash

By Jay Socol, Public Communications Director

Oil prices are the lowest in a decade, which means the City of College Station is saving money on budgeted fuel costs. However, the downturn negatively impacts local sales taxes, hotel occupancy and more.

So, how does City Manager Kelly Templin continue to grow the city’s infrastructure and economy amid this volatility? Find out in the latest edition of our podcast.

Podcast Archive

Click below to listen. If Soundcloud doesn’t play in your browser, click here to listen to the audio file from your system.

 

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Is College Station’s drinking water contaminated?

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By Jennifer Nations, Water Resource Coordinator

After the recent national headlines about lead contamination in Flint, Mich., and the news stories about poor water quality monitoring practices, you certainly can’t blame people for suspecting our tap water may be unsafe — or even dangerous.

Unfortunately, some businesses have taken advantage of the headlines by spreading misinformation in a misguided attempt to sell water products and services.

Don’t believe them. College Station’s drinking water is safe.

Keeping our drinking water safe isn’t just our job, it’s our top priority. After all, we live and raise our families here, too.

No Violations — Ever

College Station has never had a violation of drinking water standards. We’ve achieved this solid track record of responsibility through the dedicated efforts of our certified operators and a rigorous attention to detail.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality conducts routine inspections of our water system to ensure compliance with state regulations for public health and safety. We maintain the state’s highest rating as a Superior Public Water System.

Just this year, the City of College Station’s Water Services and Public Works departments underwent a rigorous process to maintain our accredited status from the American Public Works Association. A large part of the reaccreditation process examined our policies and procedures for drinking water treatment, disinfection, and water quality monitoring.

Did you know that more in-depth information is available about your water quality than just about any other product?

Our annual Drinking Water Quality Report lists contaminants detected in our water along with amounts, sources, and whether they exceed the maximum levels allowed by the Environmental Protection Agency under the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Allow me to explain what is — and isn’t — in our tap water, and what we’re doing to protect you from harmful contaminants.

Our drinking water in Bryan-College Station comes from deep wells in the Carrizo-Wilcox and Sparta aquifers. Because these are protected groundwater sources, all we need to add is chlorine to disinfect our water to federal standards.

Lead and Copper

Since some water systems allegedly haven’t conducted proper monitoring, lead and copper rightly receive the most media coverage. In our latest round of lead and copper testing in August, no sample exceeded the maximum level for lead (0.0016 milligrams per liter) or copper (0.14 milligrams per liter).

In fact, the detected concentrations of lead and copper in our water were 10 times below the federally mandated action levels.

E. coli

We also test for microbiological contaminants such as coliform bacteria on a near-daily basis, including total coliform bacteria and disinfectant level. Total coliform bacteria are not disease-causing bacteria, but they are naturally present in the environment and are often found in association with other microbes that are capable of causing disease.

The absence of these bacteria from drinking water, along with a steady chlorine residual, is a good indication that the water is microbiologically safe for human consumption. Of 1,226 samples tested in 2014, four tested positive for total coliform bacteria, but all repeat samples were negative.

No fecal coliform bacteria were detected, and College Station continued its record of 100 percent compliance with the EPA’s Total Coliform Rule.

Some of the confusion on this point could be caused by how we’re mandated to display our test results in the water quality report. In the screen shot below, in the E. coli Maximum Contaminant Level column, it says “1 positive sample.” But that’s the maximum level allowed by the EPA, not our actual test result, which is shown the next column under Total Number of Positive E. coli Samples:

Coliform Bacteria

Knowledge is power

We invite you to become an informed consumer by reading our annual Drinking Water Quality Report. Reports from the last six years are posted on the website, and the results for 2015 will be available in July.

Now when someone tries to convince you College Station’s tap water is contaminated, you’ll be able to separate fact from fiction.

If you have any questions or concerns about our drinking water, email me at jnations@cstx.gov.

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Photo Copyright: luchschen/123RF Stock Photo

Proud history moves Lincoln Center “forever forward”

1945 A&M Consolidated Tigers

By Kelli Nesbitt, Parks & Recreation Marketing Coordinator

People of all ages filter through the Lincoln Recreation Center for various activities and programs, but many don’t realize the building’s historical significance. With February being African American History Month, it’s a perfect time to take a look back at the proud history of Lincoln High School.

More than 2,000 people arrived in Brazos County as slaves. Formal education didn’t exist until the Public Schools Act of 1871. By 1923, 127 African-American students were enrolled in the A&M Consolidated School District. The district accommodated only elementary school students until it began busing pupils to Kemp High School in Bryan.

In the 1930s, the number of African-American students steadily grew along with tuition and transportation costs. After approval in the 1941 bond election, the school district purchased five acres of land for $500 to build a high school.

A&M Consolidated Negro School opened its doors for the 1941-42 academic year and consisted of a building with six classrooms, a principal’s office, and a homemaking cottage. The school continued to flourish and expanded to 10 teachers and 296 children. In 1945, the school purchased a small plot of land a block away for an athletic field.

In 1946, the name of the school was changed from A&M Consolidated Negro School to Lincoln High School and Willie A. Tarrow was named principal. Tennis courts, an industrial arts shop, a science building and a gymnasium were added in the next decade.

Lincoln High 2A Social Hub

Lincoln High School served as the social hub for College Station’s black community and developed a unique personality as it continued to grow. The school colors were purple and gold, and students chose the panther as their mascot. The school’s motto was, “Forward forever, backward never,” and its song was, “O’ Lincoln High.”

Discussions about integrating the A&M Consolidated School District began in 1956. After a series of meetings and seminars, officials adopted a “wait-and-see” approach. In the early 1960s, the school district received notice that the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was requesting immediate integration of the city’s schools.

An integration plan adopted by the school district was a stair step method through which the black elementary students would be fused with white elementary student’s one grade at a time. Each year, a new grade would leave Lincoln and become integrated, and attendance at Lincoln became voluntary.

Two of Lincoln’s teachers were reassigned to A&M Consolidated High School, and several white teachers were relocated to Lincoln. By 1965, grades one and two had been phased into the A&M Consolidated school system.

Devastating Fire

On Jan. 20, 1966, a fire destroyed one of three classroom buildings, displacing 100 students. The facilities were not rebuilt, and the cause of the fire was never determined. Some speculated that the fire may have been set to force integration more quickly. The local newspaper claimed several mysterious fires were set by an unknown arsonist during that time.

At the end of the 1965-66 school year, Lincoln’s doors were shut for good. The remaining students were integrated into other A&M Consolidated schools.

In 1967, an informal agreement between the City of College Station and school district allowed the property to be used temporarily as a city park. The buildings were used only for occasional gatherings of small church groups. In 1968, the school district agreed to lease the land and facilities to the city for 10 years. With that lease, the College Station Parks and Recreation offices moved into Lincoln and the facilities were used for continuing education classes and as a neighborhood recreation center.

City property adjacent to the school became a sports field. The homemaking cottage served as the Parks and Recreation Department Office and the industrial arts shop was converted into a shop for the department. The city bought the land in 1978 and entirely refurbished the facilities.

Lincoln Recreation CenterLincoln Recreation Center

On June 6, 1980, the Lincoln Recreation Center was officially dedicated and has since served as a tribute to the school that once stood on the site. The center is home for many community activities, including youth after-school and summer programs, a senior outreach program, immunization program, and as an emergency management site.

The memories and influence of Lincoln High School remain and its many trophies are proudly displayed. As the first and only African-American high school in College Station, the building displays an official Texas Historical Subject Marker for African-American Education.

In 1982, former students formed the Lincoln Former Students Association. In addition to organizing biennial reunions, the group provides scholarships for black students and is dedicated to preserving the heritage and memories of the school.

Today, the center continues the legacy of learning, community pride and freedom as it grows stronger each year. A $4.3 million expansion, approved by voters in the 2008 bond election, will soon be underway that will add a new gymnasium, additional office and meeting space, and other improvements and renovations. The project is scheduled for completion in 2017.

The Lincoln Recreation Center plays host to a variety events to celebrate African-American History Month throughout February. We hope to see you there!

RESEARCH YOUR FAMILY

Tuesdays: Feb. 2, 9, 16 & 23 | 10 a.m. | Free
You’re invited to learn how to research your family history to explore your roots and develop your family tree.

FEEL THE BEAT OF THE AFRICAN DRUM

Thursday, Feb. 4 | 6:30 p.m. | $5
Live drumming and teachings of West African Dance.

ART SHOWCASE

Thursday, Feb. 11 | 6:30-8:30 p.m. | Free
Epic arts platforming the beauty and sisterhood of African American women and the struggles of society. Digital graphics and traditional canvas artwork by John Gibson, 2011 Texas A&M University graduate.

WINE TASTING

Thursday, Feb. 11 | 7 p.m. | $7
Ages 21+ can enjoy select tasting of five distinctive wines from Perrine Winery: fruit-infused, sweet blend/infusion, dry white, smooth dry red and dessert. Tasting is $7 per person and includes a tutorial on how to read wine labels and how to pair wines with foods. Must present a valid state or government issued photo ID.

LINCOLN LEGACY DAY

Monday, Feb. 15 | 3-7 p.m. | Free
Celebrating and honoring the legacy of Lincoln High School days from 1941-1965. A personal reflection by the former students, lectures and children’s activities.

MOVIE NIGHT

Thursday, Feb. 18 | 6:30-8:30 p.m. | Free
Munch on popcorn and watch “42” on our 32-foot inflatable high definition screen. “42” is a powerful story of Jackie Robinson signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers to become the first African-American player to break the baseball color barrier.

DANCE OF THE DECADES FAMILY FUN NIGHT

Friday, Feb. 26 | 6:30-8:30 p.m. | Free
A night of music and dancing from the 60s, 70s, 80s & 90s. Fun night of games and free food. Dress to impress in your favorite era. Prizes will be awarded!

For more information about programs and events at the Lincoln Recreation Center, visit cstx.gov/lincolncenter or call 979-764-3779.

To learn more about College Station’s history, visit cstx.gov/heritage.

Reference: Lincoln School “Black Education in College Station” was started by Jean Clark Robinson and completed by Debbie Joystick.

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