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Going out to eat? Need something to do tonight? A place to stay? Publish or learn of a Public Service? or simply just want to take advantage of the giveaways? You're on the right website!! McAllen is growing, becoming more metropolitan and we want you to keep up.  We want tourists to visit McAllen for vacation and for  McAllen citizens to enjoy their staycation as much as possible.

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Senator Eddie Lucio Interviews with McAllen Cable Network

District 27 State Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr. interviews with MCN's Ray Pedraza and City of McAllen Director of Government Affairs Teclo Garcia.

The interview includes a discussion of how he feels adding a second causeway to South Padre Island would benefit the region. Senator Lucio also highlights progress on Interstate 69, talks about international trade and looks ahead to next legislative session.

View this video clip, produced by the McAllen Cable Network.



IDEA Boasts Sixth Year of 100 Percent College Acceptance

Several Accepted to Prestigious and Highly-Selective Universities

RIO GRANDE VALLEY (May 3) – IDEA Public Schools announced on Monday that their 2012 graduates received 764 college acceptances to 128 schools in 28 states and 3 countries. On average, each IDEA Senior received nearly 4 college acceptances. Moreover, IDEA Seniors have received a cumulative $8.9 million in scholarships awards.

This is the sixth year in a row that 100 percent of IDEA Public Schools seniors have been accepted to the colleges of their choice. IDEA’s mission of “College For All” is instilled in students from the first day of class.

Acceptances range from local and state schools like the University of Texas-Pan American and the University of Texas at Austin to prestigious and highly-selective schools like University of Pennsylvania and Boston University.

Graciela Rodriguez, accepted to University of Pennsylvania, Boston University and Brown, all with significant scholarship awards, will be a first generation college attendee. “When I received my acceptance letters, I couldn’t believe it,” said Rodriguez. “I’ve been working really hard for four years and to see in writing that my hard work has paid off was an incredible moment for me and my family. I’m so grateful to have such amazing options that it’s a dream come true. ”

Part of the IDEA Public Schools model is to coach students and families through the college application process. Additionally, all high school students are taken on “College Field Lessons” across the country to learn about schools in different areas.

“I didn’t know what size school would be the right fit for me,” said Mitzi Perez, Senior from IDEA Quest. “IDEA took us on college field lessons across the country so we could see all schools-big and small. I visited Baylor University, Iowa University and the University of Texas at Austin and now I know where I belong.”

To culminate senior year, IDEA will host its annual College Signing Day on May 29. At this event, seniors will be recognized for their multiple college acceptances and reveal their final college selection to all of the graduating classes, their teachers, administration, family and friends.

“This event is the highlight of my year,” said JoAnn Gama, Chief of Schools. “This is why we started IDEA…to see 100% of students go to college and what better way to celebrate it than with all of the people that worked to make it happen. This is bigger than graduation at IDEA, this is celebrating their bright future.”

To learn more about IDEA Public Schools or to apply for admission, visit

About IDEA Public Schools

IDEA Public Schools is a growing network of tuition-free K-12 public charter schools serving over 9,500 students in the Rio Grande Valley and Central Texas. IDEA is committed to "College For All Children" and has sent 100% of its graduates to four-year colleges and universities. For the second year in a row, IDEA Public Schools has been rated an "Exemplary" district by the Texas Education Agency.


Apple, Inc. executive John Couch to visit McAllen on March 20, says Miriam Martínez



John Couch, Vice President of Education for Apple, Inc., the giant American multinational corporation that has developed and manufactured cutting-edge personal computers, computer software, and consumer electronics, will be in McAllen on Tuesday, March 20 to bring the company’s vision of using technology to revolutionize learning in the classroom. 

 “John Couch is credited by Apple, Inc. as being responsible for driving their sales and marketing strategy in the education market,” said Miriam Martínez, a Democratic candidate for state representative in Hidalgo County. “With the McAllen school district taking a national lead in transforming education with high-technology – including the groundbreaking use of iPods and iPads for all of their students and teachers – John Couch will be able to bring a global perspective on the tremendous advances in education that are taking place here in the Valley.”

News of Couch’s pending visit was first publicly announced by Martínez during the launch on Friday, February 24, of her bilingual radio show, Open Seat, which airs every Friday from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. on 90.9 FM Mas Music.

Abel Álvarez of McAllen, who played the direct role in encouraging Couch to visit deep South Texas, was her featured guest on Open SeatÁlvarez, minister of the Church of Christ, 508 W. Harvey Drive in McAllen, also serves as a member of the Board of Trustees for Abilene Christian University, which has a long-standing relationship with Apple.

Open Seat covers key issues impacting South Texas and will include business, community, and political leaders from the Valley on her broadcast. 

More details of Couch’s schedule will soon be announced by Apple and McAllen school district officials, Martínez added.

The timing of the Couch visit to McAllen comes as the local school district puts into action their strategy to provide iPods and iPads, high-tech learning tools from Apple, for every student and teacher.

“John Couch’s upcoming appearance fits perfectly into the timetable and goals of the McAllen school district to provide our students with the best tools available to learn and succeed now and in the future,” added Martínez. “As part of his visit to our region, the leadership of other school districts throughout South Texas who want to learn more about this renaissance in education will be able to hear directly from this extraordinary American.”

If elected to the Texas Legislature, Martínez pledged “to work closely with the state leadership and the Valley state legislative delegation to secure state and federal funds, and to develop state policies, that would help South Texas school districts pay for the costs of providing iPads and other digital textbooks and high-technology resources for their students and faculty.”

According to Apple’s official biography:

Couch has over thirty years experience as a computer scientist, executive and advocate for technology in education. During his current tenure at Apple, Couch has led an Education division that has steadily grown units, revenue and market share every year since his return, eclipsing all sales milestones that have stood for nearly a decade.

Directly prior to his current position at Apple, Couch was the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of DoubleTwist Inc, a leading provider of genomic information and bioinformatics analysis technologies which made headlines as the first company to provide a comprehensive annotation of the human genome. The year before joining DoubleTwist, he wasExecutive in Residence for Mayfield Fund, where he provided strategic planning, management and technology advice to high technology companies.

• Couch began his professional career in 1972 as a software engineer at Hewlett-Packard, and held various software management positions at Hewlett-Packard.

• In 1978 he joined Apple as Director of New Products reporting to Steve Jobs. He was Apple’s first Vice President of Software and Vice President/General Manager for the Lisa division, Apple’s first GUI Computer.

• In 1985, he turned his focus to education at the Santa Fe Christian School where he initiated a program that turned this debt-laden private school into one of the first examples of how the creative use of technology can revolutionize learning in the classroom. Under his leadership as Chairman of the Board of Santa Fe Christian School, the school’s annual losses were annulled as the student body grew from 150 to 1,000 while the school’s modest facilities were expanded to a new 17- acre site, offering a range of world-class resources, including a fiber optic network of Macintosh computers.

• At Santa Fe Christian he created the Santa Fe Educational Foundation (which partnered with several hi-tech companies such as Resolution Technologies, Tudor Publishing, Josten’s Learning Corporation, Key

Technologies and Moody films to develop education multimedia applications), obtained more than a dozen major grants to support the development of the school’s computer laboratories, teacher training

Political Ad paid for by Miriam Martínez for State Representative • Alejandro Martínez, Treasurer


McAllen Rewarded $32K for Energy Efficiency

Receives Incentive from AEP Texas CitySmart® Program

MCALLEN, TX. – (Feb. 10, 2012) – The city of McAllen will celebrate its fourth year of participation in the AEP Texas CitySmart Program, which helps municipalities save energy and money, at a check presentation on Feb. 27. The City Council and staff will accept a check for the $32,480 in incentives it earned through its participation in the CitySmart Program in 2011. Since joining the program in 2009, the city has completed 35 energy efficiency improvement projects in its facilities. The city’s efforts will save more than $111,000 in energy costs annually.

“We are making good on our efforts toward a “greener” McAllen.  With the assistance of programs like CitySmart, our staff continues to integrate and make recommendations toward greater energy efficient systems and components within our inventory of buildings,” said McAllen Mayor Richard F. Cortez.

  The CitySmart Program provides no-cost facility improvement recommendations and financial incentives based on the total amount of energy the new equipment will save. In 2011, the city installed energy efficient air conditioning and lighting systems in 19 buildings, including several fire stations and the airport. The new equipment will save nearly 902,000 kilowatt-hours of energy annually, which is equivalent to the carbon dioxide emissions of approximately 70,000 gallons of gasoline, according to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency calculations.

“Participation in programs such as these allow us to save money in operational costs and also reduces the overall need of electrical providers to add costly production capacity.  These benefit everyone’s bottom line,” added Mayor Cortez.

In addition to financial incentives, the program provided no-cost technical assistance to ensure the city selected the appropriate high efficiency equipment. As part of its participation in the program, McAllen staff will continue to evaluate additional efficiency opportunities.

“We identified a real need for an energy efficiency program that specifically targets school districts,” said AEP EE/DM Coordinator Monica Craig. “This program is an organized effort to bring needed resources and energy efficiency to Texas.”


VAMOS 16th Annual Golf Cup Tournament

McAllen- Valley Alliance of Mentors for Opportunities and Scholarships (VAMOS) invites the community to be a part of their 16th Annual Golf Cup Tournament presented by Doctors Hospital at Renaissance.  The annual golf tournament will be held on Saturday March 3, 2012 at the Palm View Golf Course in McAllen.  The event is VAMOS's major scholarship fundraiser as well as one of the most anticipated tournaments in South Texas.   Proceeds are used to provide four year renewable scholarships to graduating high school seniors from Hidalgo, Cameron, and Starr Counties.
Team sponsorship opportunities and other sponsorships are available.  Various prizes will be awarded at the event, along with the opportunity to win a brand new vehicle at each of the par 3's.   In addition, VAMOS will hold its Annual Prize Drawing at the conclusion of the tournament.  The winner of the grand prize drawing will have a chance to choose one of three Grand Prize Vehicles:  a 2012 Mercedes GLK Class, 2012 BMW 5 Series Sedan, or 2012 Lexus IS250 Convertible.   Other drawing prizes include a His or Hers Rolex Watch, the latest version of IPad, and a 3D Flat Screen TV.
For Sponsorship or ticket information please contact Maritza Rodriguez at 956-631-1273 or visit our website at
VAMOS is thankful to all the dedicated volunteers and sponsors that play a significant role in making this event a success.

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