Monday, March 30, 2009
Sunday, March 29, 2009
"36. Consider adoption of Ordinance 2009-19, on emergency, amending sections of the Animal Control Ordinance by deleting the requirement for microchipping of household pets, deleting the prohibition against the sale or adoption of animals in parking lots and allowing the keeping of hens in residential areas, declaring an emergency, and providing an effective date. "
This is on the agenda for Tuesday 31 March 2009.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Posted on March 24, 2009 at 6:12 pm • Print • Share
San Marcos presently has its veterans commission situated under the parks department. City Council candidate Lisa Marie Coppoletta said the commission should be overseen by the human services advisory board. Photo by Andy Sevilla.
By ANDY SEVILLA
San Marcos City Council candidate Lisa Marie Coppoletta, still without a specific opponent for the Place 5 seat in her sights, announced positions last week to address benefits for veterans, the handicapped and the elderly.
Coppoletta said she would try to establish a forgivable $5,000 loan for down payment assistance to returning war veterans, provided they purchase homes in the city. Coppoletta said her proposal is modeled on a similar program in which the city provides the same assistance for Texas State faculty.
Coppoletta also said she would move to increase the city property tax exemption for the disabled and citizens 65 years of age and older. Under Coppoletta’s plan, each group would double its property tax exemption to $50,000 of the home’s value from the present exemption of $25,000.
Coppoletta said city government should benefit veterans with programs aiding in job skills and academic endeavors, adding that San Marcos ought to “provide our veterans with good paying jobs.” She said “green collar jobs” would be chief in her vision of living-wage employment. By attracting environmentally oriented professions, Coppoletta said city residents would benefit from higher earnings while leaving behind a less invasive “carbon footprint.”
The candidate’s push on veterans’ issues comes two weeks after Jude Prather, a failed 2007 city council candidate and Iraq war veteran, announced his candidacy for an unspecified seat in the 2009 city council race.
Coppoletta said her proposals and Prather’s candidacy are unrelated, though, she said, “I hope not to run against each other because we share so much in regards to our nation’s veterans.”
Place 5 incumbent Councilmember Pam Couch has stated she will remain quiet on her intentions of seeking re-election until August. Prather did not specify which seat he would seek.
Place 6 Councilmember John Thomaides, whose term expires in November, has not announced if he will seek re-election.
Coppoletta said the city has misplaced its veterans commission, which it implemented after Prather’s advocacy. The candidate said the veterans commission should work under the umbrella of the city’s human services advisory board, rather than under the Parks and Recreation Department. Coppoletta said the advisory board is “better qualified” to address the concerns and needs of returning veterans.
Said Daniel Scales, Coppoletta’s husband and campaign manager, “(Coppoletta) is resolved that the same courtesy be extended to our retuning men and women who have served bravely and unconditionally for our country.”
The human services advisory board’s purpose is “to develop and enhance human services in San Marcos, [and] make recommendations to city council for funding to human services agencies,” according to the city’s website.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
“FDR’s Federal Emergency Relief Administration paid gardeners to grow and distribute produce to needy people. Individual gardening programs also blossomed in cities around the country. In New York City, a gardening campaign orchestrated by the welfare department and assisted by the Works Progress Administration turned over 5,000 vacant lots into flourishing gardens. These gardens generated $5 worth of vegetables for every dollar invested, resulting in $2.8 million worth of food by 1934. Ornamental gardens, culinary gardens, and medicinal gardens sprang up around the country as part of various civic projects. The Herb Garden in the Brooklyn Botanical Garden was created by WPA laborers, as were the exquisite Boerner Botanical Gardens near Milwaukee.”http://www.revivevictorygarden.org
“During World War I and World War II, the United States government asked its citizens to plant gardens in order to support the war effort. Millions of people planted gardens. In 1943, Americans planted over 20 million Victory Gardens, and the harvest accounted for nearly a third of all the vegetables consumed in the country that year. Emphasis was placed on making gardening a family or community effort -- not a drudgery, but a pastime, and a national duty.”
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Coppoletta announces treasurer
Coppoletta announces treasurer
Posted on March 11, 2009 at 2:24 pm • Print • Share
San Marcos city council candidate Lisa Marie Coppoletta, who lost a bid for the council in November 2008, has upgraded her new campaign by naming a treasurer.
Coppoletta has tabbed Texas State sophomore Griffin Spell as her treasurer, enabling her campaign to immediately begin fundraising. Coppoletta ran her 2008 campaign without a treasurer because she spent less than $500.
Spell is a sophomore majoring in political science who managed Dan McCarthy’s San Marcos mayoral campaign in 2008. Spell is the head of the elections team at Hays Liberty, as well as a member of the College Republicans and Texas Republican Liberty Caucus.
“I’m looking forward to working with Lisa in the months to come,” Spell said. “I’ve got a lot of ideas, things we can do and try, outreach to voters and really getting involved with people. With a campaign like this, it’s really about reaching out to the public.”
McCarthy said Spell “did a lot of good work and really knows what he’s doing.”
McCarthy endorsed Coppoletta 2008 campaign, which fell short in its bid against incumbent Chris Jones.
Coppoletta has announced a 2009 run against council incumbent Pam Couch for Place 5. Former council candidate Jude Prather also has announced his city council candidacy for 2009, but hasn’t specified if he will run for Place 5 or Place 6. Councilmember John Thomaides, who holds Place 6, has not announced a bid for re-election.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Posted on March 9, 2009 at 3:24 pm • Print • Share
San Marcos Councilmember Pam Couch (center) is mum about a possible bid for re-election against Lisa Marie Coppoletta, who already has announced a run for her seat. Couch is flanked by Mayor Susan Narvaiz (left) and Councilmember John Thomaides (right), whose seat also is up for election this November. Photo by Andy Sevilla.
By ANDY SEVILLA
Inundated with interest-sparking legislation recently, the San Marcos City Council could be in for a flavor of intrigue that’s less legislative and more political in nature.
Place 5 Councilmember Pam Couch’s term expires in November. Lisa Marie Coppoletta, who fell short in a bid against Councilmember Chris Jones in November 2008, announced her candidacy for Couch’s seat in January. Faced with possible unofficial campaigning far ahead of the election, Couch has decided to remain mum on her future plans.
“I don’t want to feel pressured to have to announce (candidacy) so early,” Couch said. “I don’t think it’s proper. In August everybody will know.”
Couch said Coppoletta’s candidacy announcement will neither influence nor dictate her actions. Couch said, as of now, she is unsure of whether she will seek re-election, adding that she has “to weigh out (her) options.”
Said Couch, “Everyone will know in August whether or not I’ll be running again.”
For now, Couch said she is focusing on her family, her business, and on her current policy making seat. As a councilmember, she said her priorities lie in creating local jobs and improving education. She said education in local schools is a top priority, as is education for San Marcos residents and elected officials.
“Our citizens need to know what’s going on at our city council meetings,” Couch said. “We are facing very important decisions and we need to hear from them, and help educate them. And we (councilmembers) need the education, too, to make good decisions.”
Couch said that before each council meeting, she seeks for “the full picture” of every item on the agenda. She said she arrives each meeting with approximately 90 percent certainty of how she will vote, but added that she remains open to concerns and suggestions from colleagues and San Marcos residents.
“I’ll be thinking about being honest and having integrity with my vote,” Couch said. “I have to vote with what I feel is best for the community.”
Days before each council meeting, Couch said she and a council colleague, whose name she would not reveal, meet with city staff and the city manager to get all the necessary material and to ask questions in efforts to “see the big picture.” Couch said she is provided the necessary resources to “vote intelligently” through homework, citizen input, seeing how the issue coincides with the council goals,and prayer.
“I take very serious what I’m here to do,” Couch said. “God opened the door for me to serve and do my job. It’s an incredible journey. And I’m very humbled that I’m getting to do this journey.”
Place 6 Councilmember John Thomaides’ term expires this year, as well. Thomaides has not announced if he will run, nor has anyone else announced a run for that seat. Former council candidate Jude Prather announced his candidacy Monday, but without specifying which seat he will pursue.
Couch was first elected to office in 2006, running unopposed after former councilmembers John Diaz and Bill Taylor withdrew their candidacies just one day after the filing deadline.
Couch is a local business owner of 15 years, owning both Two P’s Boutique and Calli’s Boutique.
Her husband, Bucky Couch, heads U.S. operations for StepStone, a European software company. Couch has three kids, Calli Swindle, Cody Couch, and Adam Couch, and has two grandchildren with “one on the way.”
Monday, March 9, 2009
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Mayor Susan Lea Clifford Narvaiz and Dr. Katherine Albrecht during the "Coffee with Mayor" on March 03, 2009.
Photo by: Griffin Spell
This was e-mailed to me today from the March 03, 2009 meeting with our Mayor here in San Marcos and Dr. Katherine Albrecht.
Photo by: Lisa Wilson
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Friday, March 6, 2009
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Council sends pet rules back to the drawing boardBy Anita Miller
The San Marcos City Council got an earful of the public's opinion of mandatory microchipping of dogs and cats this week, before and after deciding to have the ordinance reworked to make the procedure voluntary.
Inside a packed council chambers — with many more gathered outside — Mayor Susan Narvaiz and council members were also chided by residents for both how they handled the issue and spending so much time on it.
"I believe we believe in options for our citizens, not mandating," Narvaiz said in recommending the Animal Control Services Board change language in the broad Animal Control ordinance passed late last year.
The April 1 proposed effective date will also be delayed, though by how much hasn't been decided.
"I'm against mandatory tagging and for voluntary," said resident Dottie Barnes. "I don't want to put a foreign object in my living animal."
Barnes mentioned the alleged risk of cancer associated with microchipping; and Dr. Katherine Albrecht, flown in from New Hampshire to speak, said the procedure "may not be as safe as indicated by microchipping companies" and that studies show a "clear link" between cancer an microchipping.
Texas State student Dan McCarthy, who was one of two challengers for Narvaiz' seat last fall, said protest to the mandatory microchipping had "300 people outside" council chambers who were "very up in arms about it."
"Thank you for your reconsideration" of the mandatory element, McCarthy said.
"The San Marcos community is mobilized on this issue,” said Lisa Marie Coppoletta, who challenged Jones in the 2008 elections. "We are asking for one small change, extract that mandatory element."
Council members John Thomaides and Chris Jones had called for the re-examination of making the procedure mandatory.
Thomaides said besides allowing options to microchipping, he thought the issue of enforcement was important. "I think it's pretty clear enforcement would be only if a non-chipped animal came in contact with the animal services department. So there really wasn't a way to enforce the ordinance."
"The fact this thing (chip) can be tracked — how 'Big Brother' of you," Barnes said. I urge you to reconsider what you're forcing on the citizens of San Marcos."
Another resident opposed to mandatory chipping quoted President John Adams' belief in the "sanctity" of property.
Still another called on council members to "please stop wasting time on problems you think you can solve like chipping of pets and dogs in the back of pickup trucks and the possession of spray paint" and instead focus on bringing in new jobs and bettering education and health care.
March 5, 2009CBNNews.com - The city of San Marcos, Texas is taking a second look at its mandatory pet micro-chipping law.
Protestors shot video at a candlelight vigil held this week to oppose the new policy. They say it violates pet owner's rights and also poses a health risk.
Several studies show chip implants can cause malignant tumors in lab rats and mice.
"People are becoming very concerned that the government is becoming more and more intrusive in their lives," protestor Katherine Albrecht said. "And when you start talking about the micro-chipping of animals we're talking about a pretty invasive procedure.
"And I think for a lot of people there's a real worry that if we allow the government to say we must microchip our animals then it's just a matter of time before that government says we must microchip our children and even ourselves," she added.
Animal control officers in San Marcos say dog collars often come off and they are trying to avoid euthanizing unidentified pets.
Several large cities in Texas and California have already passed mandatory pet chipping laws.
Melissa Millecam, the public press contact for City of San Marcos, said today there was NO formal action to stop animal chipping, only discussion.
The City Council will hold another meeting to address the issue again March 31, 2009. The changes to city ordinance are expected to overturn mandated pet chipping to voluntary or delay implementation of microchipping until April 1, 2009. The City Council is sending this issue back to the Animal Services Advisory Board to discuss the issue again and report back.
City Hall plans to notify the public when they will hold the next public hearings on animal chipping. Melissa also stated the public/citizen voices were heard loud and clear. She mentioned that a lot of people spoke at the meeting and voiced their opinions contributing to an ongoing dialogue with the Mayor, council members and staff.
More From Dr. Albrecht on the issue here:
By ANDY SEVILLA
Months of local opposition to mandatory microchip registration for pet dogs and cats resulted Tuesday night in the San Marcos City Council taking the first step towards rescinding the requirement.
The council directed city staff to prepare changes to the ordinance allowing for voluntary microchipping and eliminating the mandate.
As the council meeting began inside City Hall, about 300 protesters from all over Texas assembled outside in a less orderly fashion, holding signs and chanting in unison with phrases such as, “Say no to microchips” and, “My pet, my choice.”
The city council passed a new animal control ordinance in December providing the microchip requirement on the recommendation of the city’s animal shelter advisory board, which argued that microchipping would make it easier to return lost pets to their owners and reducing destruction of pets in the animal shelter.
However, San Marcos residents have complained for the last two months about the requirement. The issue has taken on momentum statewide and nationally, as well.
“I feel this is a blessing,” said San Marcos city council candidate Lisa Marie Coppoletta, who has been instrumental in mobilizing local opposition to the mandate. “I think it’s a great example of San Marcos citizens involved in something near and dear to their heart. Our critters are part of our family.”
Among those in the crowd was Dr. Katherine Albrecht, a syndicated national radio host from New Hampshire who presented the council with her research on microchips.
“I’ve been very impressed by the response of Mayor (Susan) Narvaiz,” Albrecht said outside City Hall Tuesday night. “She and I met this afternoon and she told me she was personally in favor of doing away with the mandate and making microchipping voluntary.”
Albrecht said microchipping has moved from being only a privacy issue to one in which health is a major factor. She said companies promoting microchips often neglect to share with consumers full details of the risks associated with implants.
“This is part of a national issue many people are concerned with,” Coppoletta said.
Councilmember Chris Jones said it must be understood why the city approached a new animal control ordinance. He said that ultimately the legislation was for the “better treatment” and protection of animals. Jones said the intent is for the San Marcos Animal Shelter to become a “no-kill shelter.”
Said Jones, “The overall goal of killing less animals is something I was interested in.”
The Animal Shelter Advisory Board will take up the matter again in efforts to recommend voluntary microchipping. The board also would consider other changes to the ordinance.
For example, rescue groups would be exempt from the ban on selling or giving away animals on public or private property. The board also will look into loosening the total number of chickens residents can have on their properties.
The advisory board will conduct public hearings before coming back to the council with recommendations. Narvaiz urged staff to produce a “good” end result this go-around, after seeing the effects unpopular legislation can deliver.
“We have an incredible animal services team,” Councilman John Thomaides said. “I don’t think we realize the work that they do.”
Protestors, who at the time were engaged in a candlelight vigil outside of City Hall, were cheerful on hearing that the council opted for voluntary microchipping.
“I think it’s a blessing here in San Marcos that the policy makers are listening to the voices of the citizens,” Coppoletta said. “I hope we’ll continue to be mobilized with other issues in our community. There are a lot of concerns that we have.”
“People are really beginning to stand up for their civil liberties,” Albrecht said. ” … Community action, getting citizens involved and taking government back into their own hands can be very effective.”
Narvaiz said citizen involvement is always “appreciate[d]” and “welcome[d],” adding that concerns raised during an ordinance’s first reading provide the council with more information on community views before final decisions are rendered on second readings.
Council members hope to address the proposed adjustments to the new ordinance at their meeting on March 31, which happens to fall one day before the legislation takes effect on April 1.
3/4/2009 11:08 AM
By: Russell Wilde
A San Marcos ordinance that would have required all animal owners to have a microchip implanted in their pets was set to go into effect next month.
That was until a group of concerned citizens got involved. For weeks, council members have heard from people opposed to the plan, with many saying microchipping causes cancer.
After more than an hour of discussion the proposed mandatory microchipping was rejected.
The city's Animal Services manager, Bert Stratemann, said the rice-size implant would help reduce the number of animals put down at the city's shelter.
"It is ultimately the best way to get your pet back to you," he said.
Lisa Marie Coppoletta has been leading the fight against San Marcos' plan to mandate microchips in pets.
Many pet owners say having microchips on a pet should be a personal decision.
City council members listened to the concerns from people opposed to the plan for reasons that ranged from religious objections to fears that the policy could lead to microchips in humans.
"We're just appreciative that our policy makers are listening and they're listening to the voices of the citizens in our community," Coppoletta said.
The city council sent the animal ordinance back to the Animal Services Board. They'll revise the ordinance and present it to the city council again in the spring. The next go-around will not include mandatory microchipping in pets.
"We're going to be involved in how the documentation flushes out at the policy level," Coppoletta said.
"We're going to be going back to our advisory board with the recommendations from council to revisit the mandatory microchipping," Stratemann said.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
|Wed., March 04, 2009|
Full show ( Listen as streaming MP3 | Listen as streaming RealAudio )
Hour 1 ( Download the MP3 )Texas trip review // Feedback from trip // Thanks to volunteers // Public Servants // Don't convert the unconvertible, just find one another //
Katherine discusses her trip to Texas. Katherine discusses some of the feedback from the trip to Texas. Katherine thanks the volunteers who made the protest a success. Katherine discusses the protest event with callers. Callers weigh in.
Hour 2 ( Download the MP3 )Guest: Judith McGeary, Executive Director of Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance, an attorney and small farmer // NAIS update // Guest: Kyle // NH's 10th Amendment sovereignty progress // Analyzing protest coverage //
Katherine interviews Judith McGeary, the Executive Director of Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance. Katherine and Judith discuss progress on NAIS issues in Texas and the country. Katherine interviews Kyle. Katherine and Kyle discuss NH's 10th Amendment sovereignty progress (HCR 6). Katherine analyzes television coverage of the protest. Emailers weigh in.
Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance
Some Against Microchipping Animals In San Marcos - AWESOME VIDEO FOOTAGE HERE
CBS 42 Reporter: Ryan Loyd
Last Update: 3/03 11:14 pm
Print Story | Email Story
Some against microchipping animals in San Marcos
Should pet owners be forced to put microchips in their dogs and cats?
"No chips, no chips!" That's what hundreds of people chanted outside of the San Marcos City Hall Tuesday night. They are against microchipping animals based on research that they say shows negative health risks associated with the technology.
"We're out here to protect our rights," shouted one protestor.
Last December, the San Marcos City Council passed an ordinance which had been in the works since 2005 that would make microchipping mandatory for all animals in San Marcos. The ordinance was set to go into effect April 1, 2009.
However, council members are hearing from those who want to make the ordinance voluntary.
"[We want] to simply make one change in that ordinance saying instead of mandatory microchipping, voluntary microchipping," said Dr. Katherine Albrecht, a researcher who has been proactive against microchipping in cities across the country.
She says she has no problem if the owner of an animal chooses to microchip. But she is opposed to a blanket mandate.
"If, after looking at those risks, you decide you don't want to take the risk you shouldn't have the government telling you, you have to," said Dr. Albrecht.
According to Bert Stratemann, Animal Services Manager, the city is trying to return lost animals to their owners. He says the city is also promoting spay and neuter programs to control the pet population. Officials with the city of San Marcos say out of the 6,000 animals brought to the shelter last year, 4,000 were euthanized.
"Ultimately, that's what we were after. We're trying to reduce the euthanasia here at the shelter by getting more animals returned to their owners," said Stratemann.
Activists say they want to stop microchipping to prevent society from a Big Brother approach.
"People are very concerned about those chips appearing in driver’s licenses, in dogs, and ultimately even in us," Albrecht said.
For now, the San Marcos City Council will be looking into the microchipping issue further to decide what's best. They heard from people on both sides of the issue at a regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday night at City Hall.
"We may have won the battle," said one protestor. "But we haven't won the war," he said.
City Council sent the issue back to the Animal Shelter Board, Mayor Susan Narvaiz says she wants the wording changed to ‘Voluntary Microchipping.’
That means the April 1 start date to Mandatory Microchipping is no longer effective.
It could be June before the council hears the issue again.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009made good on a promise to overturn the mandatory pet chipping city ordinance in San Marcos. After several meetings with CETI, an anti-animal chipping group based in Central Texas, Nervais was joined in support of her decision to overturn by two other councilmembers during last nights City Council meeting.
Lisa Cappoletta of CETI, after organizing a potent coalition of anti-RFID groups in the area, turned up at the meeting to Collect on Delivery of Mayor Nervais' promise. Approximately 100 protestors equipped with colorful signs, sang songs, chanted and cheered in favor of the decision. San Marcos struggle with the chipping mandate recruited efforts of National consumer privacy expert, Katherine Albrecht from Boston, MA.
"All we are sayyying, are give [pet] tags a chaaance..." - Daniel Cioper, protest minstrel of Castro's Beard, Austin To Lisa Cappoletta, Judith McGeary, Ms. Albrecht and the workers against the animal RFID experiments on the taxpayer's dime, we here at BeatTheChip solute you.Posted by Beat The Chip at 2:37 AM