Laguna Little League President Is Ready to “Play Ball!”

Corpus Christi, Flour Bluff, Sports

It’s that time again!  The Laguna Little League season is upon us.  The league’s president, Tony Keith, is “on the ball” rallying the volunteers, preparing the fields, and calling all who want to play the great game of baseball.  In this letter, he hopes “to bat a thousand” with community members who want to help in some way.  Tony always “goes to bat” for the children who love playing this sport, and he won’t “throw you a curve ball” in his efforts to make much-needed repairs at the fields located at the end of Waldron Road.  So, “touch base” with Tony if you have a child who wants to take part in this great game or if you want to help as a volunteer or make a donation of your time or money to the league.  “Play ball!”

A Message from Laguna Little League President

Dear Sir or Madam,

Thanks in advance for your time. Included in this letter is a brief history on Laguna Little League, and sponsorship options in our quest to obtain scoreboards for our fields.

Laguna Little League was established in 1959, and is part of the largest youth sports program in the world.  Little League serves more than 2.5 million boys and girls in the United States and 83 other countries. Locally Laguna Little League serves the Flour Bluff, Naval Station Corpus Christi and Padre Island areas. Unfortunately, there is no funding that comes from Little League International. Unlike other leagues, our fields are on leased, Navy/Government land. Nueces County and the City of Corpus Christi use this as a basis for not being able to provide financial support to our league. There is no funding for improvements, utilities, lighting, equipment or maintenance. Everything you see at the fields is completed by volunteers and sponsors.

Laguna Little League has been a mainstay for both the community and our youth. It is a non-profit organization, staffed and administered by volunteers. At Laguna we teach the merits and benefits of teamwork, competition, and sport to kids each year. The kids range in age from 4 to 17 and live throughout our community. While we do have a slight operating budget funded through fundraisers and registration fees; it is simply not enough to create an environment that we feel benefits our players as much as it could.

Our Complex consists of 5 fields, 1 tee ball, 1 minor, 1 major, 1 senior and 1 softball field. Unfortunately, the last 2 seasons have been played with most of the teams not having a functioning scoreboard during their game.  Little league scoreboards have a big impact on the game, the teams playing, and the fans watching.

While we understand times are tough economically for everyone, we truly feel that the intangible benefits our youth receive through participating in Little League cannot be tracked with a price tag. The life skills they achieve by participating are invaluable to them as they enter and move through their childhood into adulthood.

As I mentioned, I am seeking support to keep our program alive and active. I have attached a proposal for a scoreboard which we feel will enhance our players’ and our fans’ experience. There are a couple of support options.

  • Sole Sponsorship $ 6,000.00 – Your logo will be placed on both logo sections of the scoreboard.
  • Partnering Sponsor – $3,000.00 – Your Logo will be placed on one of the logo sections of the scoreboard

 We understand that such donation decisions need to be a two-way street, so we are always ready, willing, and able to help our generous donors receive the recognition they deserve. In return for the sponsorship, the scoreboards will have a place for your logo which will be displayed throughout the year for a minimum of 5 Years. We will also add your logo with a hyperlink to our website to encourage our players and families to support our supporters; this too will be maintained on our website for a minimum of 5 years.

I also want this letter to serve as an open invitation to attend our games and events. Our schedules can be found on our website at www.lagunabaseball.org.

I want to thank you in advance for your time, and I also want to say, on behalf of our players, we hope to see you at some of our games and thank you for being a member of our supportive community.

Sincerely,

Tony Keith, President Laguna Little League

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Retired from education after serving 30 years (twenty-eight as an English teacher and two years as a new-teacher mentor), Shirley enjoys her life with family and friends while serving her community, church, and school in Corpus Christi, Texas. She is the creator and managing editor of The Paper Trail, an online news/blog site that serves to offer new, in-depth, and insightful responses to the events of the day.  She also writes and edits for The Texas Shoreline News, a Corpus Christi print newspaper.

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Flour Bluff Trivia: Boxing in the Bluff

Flour Bluff, Front Page, Sports

     

     April 1, 1955, amateur boxing matches were held at the Flour Bluff High School gymnasium.  The program, started by the Flour Bluff Recreation Council, continued until 1962.  The contenders at the first event were as follows:  Connie La Roe, Calvin Self, Robert Wheeler, Antero Molina, Carl Donnell, Louie Buhider, Roger Barker, and Tommy Jarrett.  They competed against boxers from Corpus Christi’s Pan American Club and the Naval Air Station.  The Flour Bluff  Community Council, chaired by justice of the peace Johnny Roberts and composed of representatives from the Flour Bluff Lions Club, Flour Bluff ISD, the Better Citizens Organization, and churches in the Flour Bluff area, had the idea for starting a boxing team in 1954.  According to the Caller-Times article, the program was “designed to provide wholesome recreation for youth in the area.”

     According to Roberts, Lee Carr, deputy constable in Flour Bluff, and other men in the area had been helping some of the boys work out in the evenings.  Sponsoring boxing matches was evidently the next logical step.  The Navy allowed the group to borrow its portable boxing ring, and the school allowed them use of the gym for the matches.  J. Hanham Cook of the Optimists Club and Glen W. Littrell, assistant principal at Baker High in Corpus Christi, were able to get the organization approved by the Amateur Athletic Union.

     The Flour Bluff Community Council also built a $9000 arena that would seat 1500 people for $800 in November of 1955.  According to Clyde Nelson of the FBCC, most of the materials and labor were donated.  John Nicholson, lifetime Flour Bluff resident and local business owner said, “Back in the fifties, there was a boxing ring set up across from our store. They would all come on, I think, Saturday night. It was lit and drew quite a crowd. This is the location of the drive-through beverage building, now a construction company.”  By January 25, 1956, Flour Bluff had two Golden Gloves entrants: Onterio Molina and Jimmy Evans. They would be the first of many Flour Bluff youth to vie for Golden Gloves trophies.

     Community member Carroll Ross had this to say about the article written by Caller-Times sports writer Joe Scherrer regarding  the first night of fights:  “Didn’t you know that those eight Flour Bluff High School boys who put on a show that inspired some shouting that threatened at times to shake the steel ceiling on the handsome Flour Bluff gym were fighting for the first time in competition?”  In a lengthy letter by Ross to Scherrer, which he used in place of his column, she said, “The hurrahs came from parents and adult friends of the boxers, of course.  They also boomed out loud and unmistakably from brothers and sisters, and schoolmates. (The babies in arms did not root, but they were there, too!)”

Corpus Christi Caller-Times, January 24, 1960

Retired from education after serving 30 years (twenty-eight as an English teacher and two years as a new-teacher mentor), Shirley enjoys her life with family and friends while serving her community, church, and school in Corpus Christi, Texas. She is the creator and managing editor of The Paper Trail, an online news/blog site that serves to offer new, in-depth, and insightful responses to the events of the day.  She also writes and edits for The Texas Shoreline News, a Corpus Christi print newspaper.

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The BMX Life of James “J-­MAC” McNeill

Corpus Christi, Front Page, Human Interest, Personal History, Sports

Photo by Cyndi Asch

     James “J-­Mac” McNeill is a military veteran and an avid BMX rider. J-Mac, a 52-year-old Corpus Christi resident, races class and cruiser bikes at his local BMX track, STX BMX Raceway.  J-Mac, who joined the Coast Guard in 1988, served 23 years as a helicopter rescue hoist operator and Falcon jet drop master. He was also an aviation maintenance technician First Class. While he loved his life in the military, he continued to have a passion for riding bicycles.

     When asked about his BMX beginning, J‐Mac put it this way, “I rode BMX before racing existed.” The first race that he ever rode was in a park that had one obstacle – a mud pit! This was just the beginning of his BMX racing career. It wasn’t until the 1980s at the Orange County YMCA racetrack that he started racing real BMX.

     J­‐Mac said that he liked BMX when he first started riding because it was not a team sport. It was a sport that depended solely upon the rider. In BMX, the success of the rider depends upon how hard the individual pushes himself. In the more than 30 years of riding BMX, J­‐Mac has had many successes.  According to J-Mac, his biggest achievement thus far is reaching two goals in one season. He ended the 2016 season at number 2 in District and State on his cruiser bike. His current goal for this year is to make Expert on his 20­‐inch class bike. J­‐Mac is currently sponsored by The Valor Club, an organization dedicated to military veterans and active duty.

Photo by Cyndi Asch

     When asked what advice he would give to the younger generation racers and newcomers to the sport, J-Mac said, “Ride more.  Ride the track until you can’t ride anymore, and ride all over town when you can. If I could ride as much as I want to, I would be so much better. Ride like crazy!”

     This response clearly shows his passion for the sport. I know firsthand that this is truly how he feels because I am a rider at his local track.  J-Mac suggested one day at practice that everyone do ten laps without stopping. It was tough, but we learned that it was doable.  J-Mac is a great role model because he not only motivates other racers to set lofty goals and push harder to achieve them, he shows them how it’s done.

Photo by Cyndi Asch

Katy is a paralegal, wife, and mother of two boys, both of whom ride BMX. Even Katy has been known to race a moto or two! She is also a freelance photographer in her spare time – SevenTwelve Photography.

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“We Need to Start Listening to One Another” – But Are We Really Capable?

Front Page, Government and Politics, Opinion/Editorial, Sports

Colin Kaepernick red color car

     In the wake of a turbulent summer, neither Olympics nor vacation could shield us from an intense and evolving racial conflict that is again sweeping across the country.  Amidst the chaos, a new buzz has emerged around an old problem, something to the effect of “We need to start listening to one  another.” A simple statement indeed, but what a mouthful. Like every other outspoken American, I am a salesman. Right now, most of my days consist of selling history to seventh graders.  Therefore, when I hear people turning a skill such as listening into a political catch phrase, I perk up.  Unfortunately, the current use of the phrase contains about as much backbone as the chirp, chirp, chirping of “America needs change…”  Such slogans are political gems because they bypass brains and get feet in motion. After all, a talking a parrot could protest, but that doesn’t make him any more human than a skydiver with a parachute is a bird. Listening is no doubt a problem, but before we go waving our protest signs, let’s see if we can’t figure out why it is such a problem. From what I can tell, our failure to listen to one another stems from a combination of the following:

  1. Distractions: some brains move so fast that they literally struggle to slow down for long enough to listen to incoming ideas. (I know, I know, Reader, this is definitely your problem).
  2. Some people are selfish, and they don’t care what others have to say.
  3. Some listen only for what they want to hear and exclude everything else.
  4. Some only listen to those who maintain a certain status that is appealing.
  5. People do not see the world for what it is, but rather, they see it for what they are or for what they wish to be.

     The list could go on, but I stop with the above 5 because they are the sources of our topic today, and in fact, they are the sources that have polarized the latest actions by Colin Kaepernick, the backup quarterback in San Francisco who has been protesting the national anthem before games because he is, “not going to stand up and show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”

     We live in a world of perception. Most of us have heard or have even used this expression, but have we really taken the time to feel the gravity of its meaning? The scientific truth is that there are too many pieces of information flying at us at a given time for our brains to digest it all.  Like a complicated algorithm, our minds absorb as much as they can and then start searching for patterns.  They then use the patterns to fill in the blanks for the information that we failed to digest. Depending on our memories and personal biases, our vision of a given pattern may or may not be true to the world we think we see.

     In the case of NFL star, Colin Kaepernick, many are watching, listening, and firing off responses at will. From what I can tell, however, most responses are being made without having really listened to the entire scenario, which has led to a lack of consideration for certain facts surrounding Mr. Kaepernick’s current situation. What follows is a combination of direct quotes and general sentiments that seem to be circulating through both social and mainstream media.  Beneath each statement, I have attempted to fill in key circumstantial material that is lacking. Of course, I would be remiss not to admit up front that my own take certainly comes with the bias of my own view of the world I am seeing, so feel free to proceed with salt shaker in hand.

Take #1 – The Fellow Pro Athlete and Activist, Jim Brown

 “It’s great to see athletes bring protest back to professional sports, when for so long, money and brand reigned supreme.” – Jim Brown

     Fair enough, Mr. Brown. Nobody knows professional sports better than you do. However, there are a few facts that might be missing from your analysis. First of all, in 2014, Colin Kaepernick signed a 7-year, 126 million dollar contract. However, because of Kap’s flat ensuing performance, he was benched and is now the official backup quarterback to Blaine Gabbert, reducing the guaranteed amount of his massive contract to about 25 million dollars. To clarify, no matter what he does going forward with the Niners organization, Kap will likely walk away with neither a penny more nor a penny less than 25 million dollars. Given such circumstances, there are a few more questions that might be raised: How much is he really risking when he sits down during the national anthem? Would he be carrying on with these protests, risking the disjoining of his team and so forth, if he were the starter right now? And, after seemingly milking his brand as a poster-boy quarterback in the league for all it was worth, is becoming an athletic activist a way of stamping a new brand, a way of using his old celebrity to gain new celebrity?

Take #2 – The President of NAACP

“It’s not a stretch to compare Colin Kaepernick to Rosa Parks.” – Cornell Williams Brooks

See above: Rosa Parks never stood, sat, or otherwise with the thought that she would walk away with 25 million dollars.  She made her move out of necessity, plain and simple.

Take #3 – The MLK Argument

Some are simply posting the following quote alongside Kaepernick’s name:

“First, I must confess that over the last few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate… who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says “I agree with you in the goal you seek but I can’t agree with your methods of direct action…” – MLK

     Quoting MLK and expecting people to disagree is like quoting Hitler and expecting people to share his view, so I will tread lightly when I say that Colin Kaepernick protesting in favor of the sentiments being expressed by Black Lives Matter is in many ways incongruent to the Civil Rights Movement led by Martin Luther King, Jr.  One key factor, however, differentiates the BLM and MLK: violence.  King promoted peaceful protest and even taught protesters how to fall limp to the ground when being met with force by police officers.  Since 2014, BLM has accounted for 11 police officer killings and 9 officer injuries. Though most of the activists in BLM are preaching and practicing non-violence, the message of the movement is being muddied by murder, much to the injustice of those who would like their thoughts to be heard.

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Owen Beseda (Caller-Times)

Take #4 – The Conservative Constitutionalist

“Veterans fight for our freedom to challenge the status quo, and Kaepernick is exercising that right.” – US Military Veterans (written in a collective letter)

               Of all the arguments that support his actions, this may be the most sensible reasoning for Colin Kaepernick’s method of protest. However, an argument can be made that Mr. Kaepernick, too, is guilty of listening only for that which he wants to hear, only to that which gives him a reason to sit in protest of the United States of America. If he knew (and perhaps he does) that annual crime reports released by the FBI show that in excess of 90% of violent crimes committed against black people are committed by other blacks, and not police officers, would he be so quick to spread such a critical blanket over the entire country? In fact, Roland Fryer, an economics professor at Harvard University, and an African-American citizen himself, did a study of 1,000 different police involved shootings and found that there was ZERO evidence of racial bias in these shootings. Does Kap care to hear about any such statistic or study? Perhaps he has simply decided that it is okay to press a stereotypical stamp on law enforcement agencies across the entire country for actions that have unfolded in several isolated incidents. The hypocrisy, however, is that his protest serves to pigeonhole the entire country for its alleged pigeonholing of an entire race. Moreover, if he really believes what he is saying, then why stop with protests during the pre-game performance? Why not take off your football cleats, put on your work boots, and get down to the streets where the trenches are murky and the work is plentiful?

               Perhaps the entire country – people of color and the white majority – have missed the mark in analyzing racial injustice. Perhaps what we have perceived to be issues about race aren’t really about skin-color at all. After all, can we imagine that Colin Kaepernick’s life of extreme wealth is really so different than that of Tom Brady, a fellow NFL quarterback with a large bank account who just happens to have white skin? And by the same token, does the life of a poor person really change so much from race to race? Certainly the U.S. is neither cleansed nor exempt from bigotry, but is life in America really so very bad? It is true after all, that the odds of a man dying at the hands of another man today are far less than ever in human history. It is also true that humans all over the world are living better than they ever have before, and America, as it has been for so long, is still a top destination for people who are looking for the land of opportunity. When we sit back and watch the news, perhaps another story is being funneled into our heads, but the truth is as it has always been: there are good people and bad people in the world, and in a melting-pot country with more than 300 million citizens and a diverse socio-economic and ethnic background, America has its fair share of both. Is it possible to stop there with the description? Do we really need the Colin Kaepernicks of the country to tell us where we stand (or when we should kneel)? I suppose I have been listening with perhaps as much of a flawed ear as anyone else but can say with certainty that a protest by the wealthiest backup quarterback in the NFL isn’t going to provide me with my moment of Eureka!

Matthew Thornton is an Austin-based artist and a history teacher. Originally from Corpus Christi, his wide-sweeping artistic interests range from writing and film-making to photography and painting. His work and studies explore patterns within the endless nuance of life as he remains constantly in search of the so-called, “big picture”.

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STX BMX Holds 3rd Annual State Qualifier Race

Corpus Christi, Front Page, Sports

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     For those who follow The Paper Trail News, the article released last month about the vandalism at STX BMX Raceway was more than disconcerting since a State Qualifier Race was on the calendar. Those who participate in the sport of BMX understand how much it means for a track to be able to host a State Qualifier Race (SQR), a race that allows participants to earn points toward their rankings in the State of Texas for their age and group (i.e. Novice, Intermediate, Expert). During the race season, several tracks around the State host an SQR .

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     If riders want to earn a state plate, they must earn points by racing in a minimum four State Qualifier Races. Because tracks are only able to hold one SQR during a season, participants must travel to other tracks in Texas and participate in the SQR hosted by the other tracks. As a family that travels around the state to attend State Qualifier Races, it is amazing to see how the riders and their families build relationships as they re-unite at the various tracks. In most sports, befriending the competition does not always happen and is often discouraged. In the world of BMX, most of the folks are friendly and encourage all racers to do their best, even when racing against one another.

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     As the STX BMX racers encountered the usual racers at the other tracks, many of the parents left us wondering if they attend the SQR being hosted at STX BMX on July 3, 2016. It was very disappointing to hear, but we explained that the local BMX track was in the process of being repaired. From flooding rains to vandals leaving  strategically-placed water hoses turned on to flood every part of the track, we were unsure if the track would be ready for the SQR.

 

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     Although the track was not in the best shape, the track owners and many volunteers put in numerous hours in the weeks prior to the scheduled SQR to rebuild the track and make it race-ready for the SQR. With extreme heat on the rise, the hard work and dedication of so many people from the local track made it possible for STX BMX to host the State Qualifier on Sunday, July 3rd. Furthermore, we had a good turnout.
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     The STX BMX racing family would like to recognize a special San Antonio BMX group that was kind enough to donate a CCH bicycle frame, handlebars, seat clamps, and sprockets for a raffle the day of the SQR, as well as a $200.00 cash donation for the track. Jerry “Bonzai” Fields, his wife Adrienne Chang-Fields, and their race teams, 1st Generation BMXer and The Valor Club, have always been supportive of STX BMX Raceway, even though their home track is Lone Star BMX in San Antonio, Texas. STX BMX is very grateful for their generous donations to help support our local track. On behalf of STX BMX, this writer says, “Thank you so much!”

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Katy is a paralegal, wife, and mother of two boys, both of whom ride BMX. Even Katy has been known to race a moto or two! She is also a freelance photographer in her spare time – SevenTwelve Photography.

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Living la Vida Bluff Style!

Arts, Business, Education, Flour Bluff, Food and Drink, Front Page, Opinion/Editorial, Outdoors, Religion, Sports, Travel
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Sunset on Cayo del Oso in Flour Bluff

     I guess taking part in my 40th class reunion made me a bit nostalgic concerning my hometown, Flour Bluff.  It is a little community of about 20,000 fiercely independent people that sits on the Encinal Peninsula between Cayo del Oso and Laguna Madre.  On Aug. 5, 1961, the City of Corpus Christi, Texas, voted to annex Flour Bluff while Flour Bluff voted to incorporate as a separate city.  The Corpus Christi City Council passed an annexation ordinance, and city police began patrolling in Flour Bluff.  Suits filed by Flour Bluff residents to block annexation were appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled that it did not have jurisdiction in the matter.  Even though Flour Bluff officially became part of Corpus Christi, the people don’t really seem to know it.  That’s why most Flour Bluffians say they are “going to town,” when in actuality they are simply crossing one of the two Oso bridges into Corpus Christi proper.

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     Once known as the “Gateway to Padre Island,” Flour Bluff is home to the award-winning Flour Bluff Independent School District and Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, the two largest employers in the community.  These two entities have supported each other since World War II when the Navy commissioned the base in 1941.  Flour Bluff, like many Texas towns, was influenced by ranching and oil and gas.  Add to that tourism, highlighted by fishing, boating, birding, and water sports, the diverse nature of the community starts to take shape.

An aerial view of Naval Air Station (NAS) Corpus Christi, Texas, as it appeared on January 27, 1941, seventy-two years ago today. The air station was commissioned in March 1941.
An aerial view of Naval Air Station (NAS) Corpus Christi, Texas, as it appeared on January 27, 1941. The air station was commissioned in March 1941.
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The first school was opened in 1892 in the community of Brighton, later to become Flour Bluff.
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Kite surfing, boating, fishing, and great meals at Laguna Reef in Flour Bluff
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Flour Bluff is home to countless species of birds.

    It is possible to live and work in Flour Bluff and never leave except to visit a major hospital, which is just five minutes away.  Flour Bluff has its very own HEB Plus and Super Walmart along with a host of unique shops and businesses that meet the everyday needs of the people.  It has an active business association, three fire stations (federal, county, and city), a police substation, various banking institutions, eateries of all types, and even a brewery!  Add to this three quick-care clinics, local dentists, a vet clinic serving large animals and small pets, accommodations for out-of-town guests, a twenty-four hour gym, multiple auto mechanic shops, storage facilities, car washes, insurance companies, attorneys-at-law, and a host of other businesses that offer the citizens of Flour Bluff basic amenities of life. Of course, churches of all denominations and community organizations enrich the lives of the people, too. If a person wants something more, indoor and outdoor malls are within a ten-minute drive east while the Gulf of Mexico is ten minutes the other direction. Padre Island sports the longest stretch of undeveloped, drivable beach in America (60 miles).  Del Mar College, Texas A&M Corpus Christi, and the Craft Training Center provide educational opportunities beyond high school and are all under a 20-minute drive from Flour Bluff.

    

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     Living in Flour Bluff comes in all shapes and sizes.  The community offers many housing choices – including affordable housing, and multiple realtors in the area are available to assist newcomers in finding the perfect home.  Some residents in Flour Bluff enjoy the rancher’s life and own large pieces of property with room for horses and cows.  Others love living on the water.  Waterfront properties are available along Oso Bay, Laguna Madre, and parts in between where ponds and canals exist.  Many people prefer little or no yard maintenance and live in single or multi-level apartments or condominiums.  Flour Bluff welcomes its friends from the colder parts of the country in the many RV parks in the community.  Most residents, however, live in quiet neighborhoods filled with the whir of lawnmowers and the laughter of children.  Yes, there is indeed something for everyone!

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     Flour Bluff offers many outlets for family fun.  The community has a public and school pool, little league softball, baseball, and kickball fields, youth football organizations, activities at Flour Bluff Schools (i.e. basketball, football, volleyball, softball, academics, arts, music, NJROTC), a skateboard park, a disc golf park, multiple playgrounds, and other facilities for activities such as martial arts, soccer, tennis, rugby, and horseback riding.

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          Seasonal events give everyone something to anticipate.  Whether it’s the Navy hosting the Blue Angels, the Flour Bluff Homecoming Parade, the Flour Bluff Business Association Community Christmas, the Flour Bluff Fire Department Santa float, or the Flour Bluff 8th-Grade trip to HEB Camp in the Hill Country, those who know Flour Bluff, know it has a host of unique offerings for the community.  Maybe it’s a school that’s excels in everything.  Maybe it’s the year-round great weather conducive to outdoor activities like fishing, boating, swimming, and surfing.  Maybe it’s the tight-knit community that welcomes people from all over the world to be a part of what is happening here.  Maybe it’s the rich history or unique geographical location. Maybe it’s the class reunions, Friday-night football, or visiting with old friends in the grocery line. Whatever it is, Flour Bluff is a great place to live, visit, play, raise a family, and take part in a community that is like no other.

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Santa float

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     Spending the weekend with childhood friends (Flour Bluff Class of ’76), driving the Bluff in search of what is new or changed, writing this article, and gathering pictures for it takes me to the heart of a place I have called home for nearly 50 years.  Even those who have moved away still feel her tugging at their heartstrings. She definitely leaves an impression.  Flour Bluff, like every little “town”, has its problems, but that which is good outweighs them all.  I just wish more people could experience living la vida Bluff style!

 

Retired from education after serving 30 years (twenty-eight as an English teacher and two years as a new-teacher mentor), Shirley enjoys her life with family and friends while serving her community, church, and school in Corpus Christi, Texas. She is the creator and managing editor of The Paper Trail, an online news/blog site that serves to offer new, in-depth, and insightful responses to the events of the day.  She also writes and edits for The Texas Shoreline News, a Corpus Christi print newspaper.

Please follow and like us:

Vandals Strike the Local BMX Track

Corpus Christi, Front Page, Sports

     It’s no secret that Corpus Christi has seen a lot of rain over the last couple of months.  The STX BMX track has been closed lately to allow it to dry out. With sun and heat on the rise, it was time to put some work into the track to prepare for the local riders, as well as the few riders who come from out of town. What was supposed to be a typical maintenance day after the rain turned into a nightmare for our local track owners. Vandals broke into the park and caused severe damage to the track.

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     When you hear about vandalism, you never think that it would strike a family-centered recreation facility, especially one that you and your family enjoy.  Unfortunately, this became a reality for STX BMX on June 7, 2016. With the local track’s annual State Qualifier Race fast approaching on July 3, this is the last thing that the riders needed. This is the only track in the area for the riders to prepare for the race.  The vandals broke the lock, tore the gates open, broke the wooden fence along the track, dumped out a paint bucket, tore the fire ring apart, and turned all four water hoses on, leaving them on and positioned to flood the entire track. If that wasn’t bad enough, the trespassers rode bikes (probably dirt bikes) through the water and left deep ruts all over the track.

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     It is one thing for the rain to damage the track, but it is a completely different thing for someone to intentionally ruin what so many kids and their families love and enjoy. With about two and a half weeks before STX BMX is to host a major state race where people from all over the state will come to race and visit our city,  it is important for people to know that those of us who care about the sport and the local track aren’t calling it quits. The repairs have already begun, and we will continue working hard to rebuild and fix what was damaged.

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     Please share this article so others near and far know that senseless vandalism will not deter the volunteers who keep this track going. Even if you are not part of the track family, we hope you will consider helping us get the track in the best condition possible before the day of the big race.  It would be greatly appreciated.  Click here to contact the owners if you would like to assist with restoration of the track.

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Katy is a paralegal, wife, and mother of two boys, both of whom ride BMX. Even Katy has been known to race a moto or two! She is also a freelance photographer in her spare time – SevenTwelve Photography.

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Ready, Aim, Fire!

By Kids for Kids, Corpus Christi, Education, Flour Bluff, Front Page, Outdoors, Sports

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     On May 6, 2016, our Nueces County 4-H Trap and Skeet Club held their annual competition at Corpus Christi Pistol and Rifle Club, home to the Nueces County group. Over 270 youth competed in skeet, trap, whiz bang, and sporting clays, a record number of young gun enthusiasts for this event.  My brother, Lane Zamora, and his friend, Kaden Strey, participated in this year’s event and had a great time!

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     They are learning how to shoot skeet and trap, skills that make for more accurate shooting while hunting game.  They also learn more than that.  The 4-H Trap and Skeet Clubs primarily focus on gun safety for kids.  The participants take the Project ChildSafe Pledge, which reads:

     I Hereby Promise:
  • I will not handle guns without permission from a grown-up that I know.
  • I will never play with guns.
  • I will not go snooping or allow my friends to go snooping for guns in the house.
  • If I find a gun, even if it looks like a toy, I will not touch it; I will tell a grown-up I know right away.
  • I will obey the rules of safe gun handling.

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     The club also helps them be more disciplined and practice the self-control required for responsible firearms use, which helps them in their everyday lives, too.   They learn the safe and ethical use of firearms and understand that knowing how to handle a gun will prevent gun accidents.  For my brother, it is something that he and my dad enjoy doing together. What he learns about shooting a gun he also uses to shoot a bow.  Even I sometimes go along with them and take part in the hunt, something my mom won’t do even though she always goes to the 4-H shooting practices and competitions.  Our family knows the importance of being responsible gun owners.

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Taylor Zamora is a 7th-grade honors student at Flour Bluff Junior High.  She enjoys spending time with her family, riding her horse, playing sports, playing her clarinet, and hanging out with her friends.

Retired from education after serving 30 years (twenty-eight as an English teacher and two years as a new-teacher mentor), Shirley enjoys her life with family and friends while serving her community, church, and school in Corpus Christi, Texas. She is the creator and managing editor of The Paper Trail, an online news/blog site that serves to offer new, in-depth, and insightful responses to the events of the day.  She also writes and edits for The Texas Shoreline News, a Corpus Christi print newspaper.

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Celebrating Mom, BMX Style!

Corpus Christi, Front Page, Sports

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     First, Happy Mother’s Day to all of the moms out there! I hope that the day was spent doing whatever it is that you love to do.  It appears that many of us mothers of STX BMX riders enjoy what our children enjoy.  Again this year, STX BMX honored the mothers of the local riders by hosting a free (and fun) Mother’s Day race of all the moms willing to take a lap (race) on the track.

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     This year the Track Owners decided to add a little more fun to the traditional Moms Only Race.  They followed it with a Moms vs. the Kids contest. The following mothers took part in the event this year: Becky Click (mother of Colten Taylor, Kody Click, and Samantha Click) of Corpus Christi, Ashley Mormon (mother of Keegan Durbin) of Corpus Christi, Katy Beseda (mother of Owen Beseda and Riley Beseda) of Corpus Christi, Adrienne Chang-Fields (mother of Cheyenne Fields) of San Antonio, and Terry Mondragon (mother of Victor Mondragon) of Corpus Christi.

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     As the mothers passed the finish line,the children handed their mothers roses and congratulated them on a good race.  The results of the 2016 Moms Only Race are as follows:IMG_9666

1st Place – Katy Beseda; 2nd Place – Adrienne Chang-Fields; 3rd Place – Terry Mondragon;

4th Place – Ashley Mormon; and 5th Place – Becky Click

 

     This race is a lot of fun and really gives the moms an idea of what it is  like to be out on the track.  Many times parents will yell from the sidelines, “Pedal! Pedal! Pedal!”  What they don’t realize is that sometimes the child’s legs are tired and he/she just cannot “Pedal! Pedal! Pedal!” anymore. This race, as well as the Father’s Day Race, put the parents in the shoes of their children.  For the moment, the parent and children completely reverse roles.  While the parent races, each child is given the opportunity (and encouraged) to yell from the sidelines “Pedal! Pedal! Pedal!”  I am sure that the next time any parent who has participated in the Moms/Dads Only Race feels the urge to yell “Pedal! Pedal! Pedal!”, he/she will remember just how difficult it was just to complete one lap on their special day.  Congratulations to all moms who made the day special just by being a good sport!

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Katy is a paralegal, wife, and mother of two boys, both of whom ride BMX. Even Katy has been known to race a moto or two! She is also a freelance photographer in her spare time – SevenTwelve Photography.

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STX BMX Raceway: History in the Making

Front Page, Sports

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     The more people learn about STX BMX Raceway, the more we, as a track family, hear, “Is it the same track that was here years ago?”  The answer to this question is no. STX BMX is not the same track as before.  However, it is in the same area of town of the old track.  With BMX out of the scene of our city for quite some time, it was the Click family who helped to revive it so many years later.

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     The current Track Owners are Jeff and Becky Click.  They have four children: Tyler, Colten, Kody, and Sami, all of whom participate in the sport at one time or another.  The Click family put in countless hours of hard work and dedication to make the track and facility what it is today.

    In 2010, Colten and Kody began racing BMX in Camarillo, California, at Freedom Park BMX track.  There they raced five to six times per week.  Just as with anything else, the more they practiced and raced, the better they became.

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     It was in 2011 that the idea of opening a BMX track began.  In July of 2011, Jeff retired from the military service.   The Click family moved back to Texas in August of 2011.  With a vision in mind, the Clicks met with the Corpus Christi Parks and Recreation in September of 2011 to discuss the possibilities of leasing land for the proposed BMX track.

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     For a little over a year, October 2011 until December 2012, the Clicks attended various meetings with City Council and the neighborhood where the track would be located. In December of 2012, the mayor approved the lease of the property, allowing the revival of the sport of BMX in South Texas.

track (1)     As many may know, just because something is approved does not mean that the development and building of it happens overnight.  On March 20, 2013, the Clicks got the “green light” from Development Services to break ground on what is now STX BMX Raceway.

     In April of 2013, Lance Maguire Track and Jeff spent 4 days roughing in the track (building the berms and jumps without grooming the track).  In the months after dirt was brought in (May 2013-August 2013) Jeff, Becky, Tyler, Colten, and Kody spent every waking, free second they had shoveling, raking, packing, and sweeping the 1,100 feet by 24 feet of dirt.

     Two years after the process began, on August 5, 2013 STX BMX Raceway celebrated its Grand Opening along with itstrack first official race.  As the time went on, the number of riders increased and the races became more frequent.  The word spread, and more families became members of STX BMX Raceway.  In July of 2014, STX BMX Raceway held their first State Qualifier race (Note:  In order to qualify to race in the State Championship Race, a rider must compete in at least four State Qualifiers during the season.), which saw over 350 riders over two days.

878_mxw980_mxha_e0     The 2014 season and the first big race at STX BMX Raceway was such a success, that in July of 2015 STX BMX Raceway held 3 races (Race for Life, Gold Cup Regional Race, and 2nd State Qualifier Race) in one weekend, welcoming over 400 riders over the three day period.

    After a great 2015 race season, the track held their 1st Annual STX BMX Awards Banquet in February 2016.  (Awards were covered in last month’s publishing of The Paper Trail News.)  STX BMX Raceway has had a very strong start to the 2016 race season, with several new riders and BMX families joining the BMX life.  The Clicks continue to dedicate their time to the operation and upkeep of the track in order for the kids (and adults) to enjoy their time with the STX BMX Family (because that is what we are).

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Katy is a paralegal, wife, and mother of two boys, both of whom ride BMX. Even Katy has been known to race a moto or two! She is also a freelance photographer in her spare time – SevenTwelve Photography.

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