State of the City – Week of 02/07/2023

Luna Infante, Staff Writer

Last week, Texas faced a cold front, leaving the city with closures and power outages. The City of San Antonio and Bexar County did not open warming centers; officials said that the weather conditions did not meet the criteria. According to KSAT,  Spokesperson for the City of San Antonio Laura Mayes stated, “The policy is that we’re looking at 32 degrees or lower for a sustained period of time, or if there’s a combination of precipitation and temperatures below 32 that make it dangerously inclement.” Warming shelters began to open in December but were not popular among the general public. Due to this, the city has focused on working with outreach programs and temporary shelters that offer overnight services. At the start of the cold front on Monday, Jan. 5, the city’s outreach crews began to provide help to the community by passing out cold weather gear, jackets, gloves, hats and blankets to people in need while also encouraging many to utilize temporary shelters.

Chef Edward Villarreal’s highly anticipated cannabis cafe is now officially open in San Antonio. On Friday, Feb. 3, Mxicanna Cafe, located near Southtown, held its grand opening. The new cafe offers traditional Mexican food during the day and hemp-infused dishes at night. With the exception of medical marijuana, cannabis remains illegal in Texas. Hemp, however, contains less than 0.3% THC, making it legal under state law. 

On Friday, Feb. 3, SAPD Chief William McManus’ department-issued car was broken into. His ballistic vest was taken, officials say. SAPD responded to his home after receiving a call about a vehicle break-in. It was reported that a person in Chief McManus’ neighborhood was driving when they noticed someone in a red hoodie inside the police car. When the witness’ car headlights illuminated the suspect, the latter allegedly got out and jumped into another vehicle. The suspect has not yet been found.

On Saturday, Feb. 4, the Animal Defense League of Texas and Animal Care Services hosted a free pet vaccination and microchipping event. They recently began holding these events twice a month, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., offering these services for free to San Antonio residents who provide proof of residency. According to the organization, these events will be hosted in neighborhoods that have been “historically … underserved for veterinary services.” The Animal Defense League will offer free vaccines, microchips and prevention for select districts. Their next event is scheduled for Feb. 18.