Posts tagged “podcasts

Podcast: Bridget Russell, College Station’s Pool Shark

By Jay Socol, Public Communications Director

May is Water Safety Month, which obviously highlights the importance of knowing how to swim and how to watch family and friends when at the lake or at the pool.

In this podcast, College Station Pools Supervisor Bridget Russell talks about the challenges she and her staff face, how they’re not to be considered babysitters, and how you can stay safe this summer.

Total run time: 26:01

  • 00:00 — Show open
  • 01:52 — About Adamson Lagoon
  • 02:53 — About Bridget
  • 04:26 — A pool supervisor does…everything.
  • 05:53 — How tough is it to get teens to be lifeguards?
  • 07:30 — Why is Water Safety Month so important?
  • 08:49 — Bridget does lakes and pools WAY different than the rest of us.
  • 09:48 — How people enjoy water has changed: “Flat water” is out.
  • 11:05 — About CS’s two OTHER pools (Hallaran, Thomas)
  • 13:20 — Habits of parents are different now
  • 14:54 — We are NOT babysitters!
  • 16:33 — Teaching adults to swim, too.
  • 18:22 — CS Baby Boomers still love the water
  • 19:40 — Resources for keeping your family safe in and around the water
  • 20:50 — Weird things at the pool (Spoiler alert: POOP)
  • 22:52 — Final thoughts + upcoming events and essential tips.

 

 


About the Blogger

Jay Socol (@jaysocol) is in his ninth year as College Station’s public communications director. A 1991 graduate of Texas A&M. Jay has also been communications director for the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, public information officer for the City of Bryan, and news director at several Bryan-College Station area radio stations. A native of Breckenridge, he also serves as president of the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers.


 

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Podcast: Chef Wade Barkman dishes on The Republic and Primrose Path

By Jay Socol, Public Communications Director

After 10 years of owning and operating The Republic Steakhouse in College Station, executive chef Wade Barkman is finally building his own restaurants – an updated Republic, plus a brand-new concept that shares a common slab – from the ground up.

In this podcast, Wade talks about life leading up to this point, and what people can expect with these new properties.

Total run time: 32:03

  • 00:00 – Show open.
  • 01:00 – PART ONE: Wade starts from the beginning, including how he found Texas A&M, moved on to culinary school, then California, Vegas (thank you, Aggie Network) and finally back to CS in 2006.
  • 08:20 – Wade finds his restaurant location — home to three or four previous ones. (Can you name them?)
  • 11:42 – The highs and lows of Chimney Hill: Why did Wade stay?
  • 14:30 – How he found a concept — The Republic — that the town needed, even if he wasn’t a steakhouse guy.
  • 17:48 – Why dozens of restaurants have come and gone in 10 years, but The Republic has survived. “I would not wish this business on anyone.”
  • 19:47 – PART TWO: The Republic is being recreated + Primrose Path, a “gastro-pub wine bar.”
  • 21:13 – The differences between the old Republic and the new one.
  • 24:14 – What is Primrose Path going to be?
  • 26:58 – Will you miss the old building, or take anything with you to the new place?
  • 28:07 – How was your development experience with the city of College Station?
  • 30:11 – Sometime in fall 2018: Republic will open, with Primrose Path doing so about a month later.
  • 30:49 – What’s your guilty pleasure in terms of food?
  • 31:49 – Show close.

 

Transcript:

 

 


About the Blogger

Jay Socol (@jaysocol) is in his ninth year as College Station’s public communications director. A 1991 graduate of Texas A&M. Jay has also been communications director for the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, public information officer for the City of Bryan, and news director at several Bryan-College Station area radio stations. A native of Breckenridge, he also serves as president of the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers.


 

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Is This A Thing? What’s coming to CS and what’s not (Episode 6)

By Jay Socol, Public Communications Director

It’s been a long time since Economic Development Director Natalie Ruiz and I talked rumors versus reality in terms of restaurants, retail, and more. This episode of “Is This a Thing?” covers a lot of ground, including flip-flop scenarios about In-N-Out Burger.

Using examples of Academy and Gander Mountain, Nat also gives great insight into why vacant properties stay empty so long.

Total run time: 44:09

  • 00:00 – Show open.
  • 02:20 – University Drive: Kinds of businesses interested in University Town Center, its challenges; announcements by fall, then construction.
  • 05:45 – Chimney Hill: The Republic Steakhouse and Primrose Path; drive-thru Starbucks looks like a thing; what else has potential; the REAL story about In-N-Out Burger.
  • 10:36 – Burger Mojo update.
  • 11:50 – Century Square: Review of all the recent openings + what else is coming soon. How sustainable are all these businesses?
  • 15:43 – Northgate: Seeing more restaurants and retail interests. Food truck park. Small grocery has to be on the horizon.
  • 18:15 – Texas Avenue: Ace Hardware, Red Lion.
  • 19:15 – Pappadeaux status.
  • 22:05 – Honest talk about Harvey Road.
  • 26:15 – Why “available” buildings aren’t always…available. Example: The old Academy building.
  • 30:15 – Status of the Gander Mountain building.
  • 32:35 – Jones Crossing: Status of H-E-B and more.
  • 33:37 – Chef Tai’s Urban Table (I botch the name).
  • 34:15 – CapRock and Tower Point: Rx Pizza, Casa do Brasil, Ground Shuttle Transit, The Yard, Bottleneck Wine Bar, offices and more.
  • 36:05 – Gringo’s now has a building permit. Walk-On’s moving forward. TaD’s Louisiana Cooking.
  • 37:05 – Stella (from the owners of Harvey Washbanger’s).
  • 38:13 – New car dealerships.
  • 38:40 – Dunkin’ Donuts — anything?
  • 41:00 – Big boxes hit pause on new developments in 2017. Now, “the Amazon Effect” has forced brick-and-mortar brands to be creative with new online partnerships.
  • 43:51 – Show close.

 

Transcript:

 

 


About the Blogger

Jay Socol (@jaysocol) is in his ninth year as College Station’s public communications director. A 1991 graduate of Texas A&M. Jay has also been communications director for the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, public information officer for the City of Bryan, and news director at several Bryan-College Station area radio stations. A native of Breckenridge, he also serves as president of the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers.


 

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Our most popular blogs and podcasts of 2017

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

When blogging became all the rage several years ago, it was common to see corporations and even state and federal government agencies jumping aboard.

But you didn’t see many local governments taking part – and you still don’t.

The reason the City of College Station decided to start blogging in 2010 was simple. It was an effective way to better tell our story. More than seven years later, the city blog continues to be a powerful cornerstone of our public outreach strategy.

In our first year of blogging, we averaged just over 800 views per month. In 2017, we averaged about 8,000 views per month, a tenfold increase. Since we launched the blog in August 2010, we’ve published nearly 870 posts, resulting in more than 400,000 views and tens of thousands of shares through social media.

Our 120 new blog posts this year have attracted more than 98,000 views – about 26,000 more than the old record set in 2016. Our most-viewed blog of 2017 was a four-year-old post about how to report power outages. That post received 4,700 new views in 2017, giving it about 16,000 views since it originally appeared in 2013. The most popular original post was about whether the color orange is banned in College Station, which has attracted more than 3,300 views.

While blogging is rare for municipalities, you see even fewer cities delivering regular podcasts featuring local government leaders. Public Communications produced 10 podcasts in 2017 that received a total of about 5,000 plays.

The “Is This a Thing?” series featuring Economic Development Director Natalie Ruiz has proven to be especially popular with our podcast audience. The series explores the rumors and realities about new restaurants, stores, and other development coming to town. An episode in June was played a whopping 2,875 times, making it our most listened-to podcast ever.

Here are our most popular blogs and podcasts of the year:

Top Blogs of 2017

1.     4,687 views    Your account number is key when reporting an outage
2.     3,326 views    Is the color orange really banned in College Station?
3.     2,567 views    10 ways to protect your pipes and irrigation in freezing weather
4.     1,894 views    Is This A Thing? What you don’t know about Jones Crossing
5.     1,792 views    TxDOT’s Harvey Mitchell-University Drive Interchange Project
6.     1,529 views    CSFD saves two dogs in apartment fire
7.     1,444 views    Live Blog: 2017 city election results
8.     1,310 views    Prepare for possible impacts of Hurricane Harvey
9.     1,186 views    Major changes underway at popular Lick Creek Park
10.    1,137 views    Is this a thing? What’s coming to CS 

Top Podcasts of 2017

1.    2,875 plays Is this a thing? What’s coming to CS, and what’s not 
2.    336 plays ‘Hotel folklore’: How Embassy Suites built across from Texas A&M
3.    296 plays The future of Bush/Wellborn and why your opinion matters
4.    263 plays Is This A Thing? Dallis family announces Burger Mojo 
5.    246 plays Lance Jackson bids farewell to Lincoln Recreation Center
6.    189 plays Bryan-College Station: That’s My Hometown
7.    179 plays Heart of local aquatics moves on after 30 years
8.    174 plays Is This A Thing? What you don’t know about Jones Crossing 
9.    157 plays Who says College Station has 109,857 residents? Jessica Bullock.
10.   99 plays Couch on the roof, goat in the driveway: The World of Julie Caler

Happy New Year!

 


About the Blogger

Colin Killian (@ColinKillian) has been with the City of College Station since 2010. He previously served 23 years as associate media relations director for the Texas A&M Athletics Department. Killian has also been a reporter and editor for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times and Lewisville News. A native of Hobbs, N.M., he graduated from Texas Tech with a bachelor’s degree in journalism/political science.


 

 

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Podcast: Is This A Thing? What you don’t know about Jones Crossing

By Jay Socol, Public Communications Director

Welcome to the very first on-the-road edition of “Is This A Thing?” Economic Development Director Natalie Ruiz and I packed up our recording gear and drove to Austin to talk with Beau Armstrong, chairman and CEO of Stratus Properties, Inc., which is developing the 76-acre tract in College Station at Harvey Mitchell Parkway and Wellborn Road to be known as Jones Crossing.

Armstrong talks about the HEB-anchored development and the kinds of businesses that will (and won’t) appear alongside it. He addresses the significance of the location, the family that’s owned it since the 1800s, and what Stratus’s development experience has been like in College Station.

Total run time: 22:00

  • 00:00 — Show open with Nat and Jay.
  • 03:13 — The history of Beau, Stratus and some development highlights.
  • 06:18 — How did College Station get on your radar? (Spoiler: Lots of HEB love here).
  • 09:10 — Why this location is exceptional.
  • 10:06 — The overall vision for Jones Crossing.
  • 11:17 — What you’ll find here, and what you won’t.
  • 12:55 — Can you reveal business names yet?
  • 14:13 — Working the deal with the Jones family, project timeline.
  • 17:34 — About developing in College Station: Good, bad and ugly? Will you do more?
  • 21:00 — Final thoughts from Armstrong and show close.

More information: jonescrossingtx.com

 

Transcript:

 


About the Blogger

Jay Socol (@jaysocol) is in his eighth year as College Station’s public communications director. A 1991 graduate of Texas A&M. Jay has also been communications director for the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, public information officer for the City of Bryan, and news director at several Bryan-College Station area radio stations. A native of Breckenridge, he also serves as president of the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers.


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Podcast: Is This A Thing? Dallis family’s Burger Mojo

By Jay Socol, Public Communications Director

Talk about a down-and-dirty episode…

Economic Development Director Natalie Ruiz and I met after hours in our neighborhood – using a portable recorder – to talk about a new restaurant concept coming to College Station.

It’s called Burger Mojo and is the latest restaurant venture for the Dallis family, which is best known for Cafe Eccell and La Bodega.

“We are very excited to be able to develop this class A location at the main crossroads of our community,” Costa Dallis said. “To be neighbors with both the brand new Embassy Suites Hotel, as well as such a strong local brand as Aggieland Outfitters, is an opportunity we count ourselves fortunate to have.”

Natalie explains what the Dallis family has in mind, where it will go, and how that business will fit into its surroundings.

Total run time: 4:20

 

Podcast Archive

 


About the Blogger

Jay Socol (@jaysocol) is in his ninth year as College Station’s public communications director. A 1991 graduate of Texas A&M. Jay has also been communications director for the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, public information officer for the City of Bryan, and news director at several Bryan-College Station area radio stations. A native of Breckenridge, he serves as president of the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers.


 

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