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Featured: CBS News correspondent Mireya Villarreal, a 2001 graduate of the University of Texas-Pan American and a Valley native, will be sharing her inspiring story with more than 800 GEAR-UP students at 9 a.m. on Wednesday and Thursday, March 1 and 2, 2017, in the Library Media Theater on the Edinburg campus of the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Her appearance is part of FESTIBA 2017, which is UTRGV’s annual Festival of International Books & Arts, an educational, entertaining week-long gathering that promotes literacy and appreciation of reading for all ages. FESTIBA lasts from Monday, February 27, 2017 to Sunday, March 5, 2017 on both the Edinburg and Brownsville campuses of UTRGV. The Edinburg Economic Development Corporation is a sponsor of FESTIBA 2017.

Photograph Courtesy of CBS NEWS

Possible agreements with nine business prospects, a pending lease renewal involving the District Office of State Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, a real estate purchase under consideration, and a presentation from the Capable Kids Foundation highlight the agenda for noon on Tuesday, February 28, 2017 for the Board of Directors of the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation. The session, which is open to the public, will be held in the City Council Chamber of Edinburg City Hall, located at 415 West University Drive. The meeting also will be broadcast live on the Edinburg Cable Network, as well as made available in an archived version on the city’s website at:http://www.cityofedinburg.com/ecnlivestreaming.php. The Edinburg EDC Board of Director meeting will take place during the same week as FESTIBA 2017, which is the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley’s annual Festival of  International Books & Arts, an educational, entertaining event that promotes literacy and appreciation of reading for all ages. FESTIBA begins on Monday, February 27, and  continues through Sunday, March 5, 2017 on both the Edinburg and Brownsville campuses. The Edinburg EDC is a sponsor of FESTIBA 2017. The Edinburg EDC Board of Directors is comprised of Mayor Richard García as President, Harvey Rodríguez, Jr. as Vice President, Elías Longoria, Jr. as Secretary/Treasurer, and Richard Rupert and Dr. Peter Dabrowski as Members. Agustín García, Jr. is Executive Director for the Edinburg EDC, which is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council. Agustín García, Jr. and Mayor Richard García are not related.

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Edinburg EDC Board of Directors set to review nine business prospects atnoon during Tuesday, February 28, 2017 meeting at Edinburg City Hall

By DAVID A. DIAZ
legislativemedia@aol.com

Possible agreements with nine business prospects, a pending lease renewal involving the District Office of State Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, a real estate purchase under consideration, and a presentation from the Capable Kids Foundation highlight the agenda for noon on Tuesday, February 28, 2017 for the Board of Directors of the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation.

The session, which is open to the public, will be held in the City Council Chamber of Edinburg City Hall, located at 415 West University Drive. The meeting also will be broadcast live on the Edinburg Cable Network, as well as made available in an archived version on the city’s website at:

http://www.cityofedinburg.com/ecnlivestreaming.php.

The Edinburg EDC Board of Directors is comprised of Mayor Richard García as President, Harvey Rodríguez, Jr. as Vice President, Elías Longoria, Jr. as Secretary/Treasurer, and Richard Rupert and Dr. Peter Dabrowski as Members.

Agustín García, Jr. is Executive Director for the Edinburg EDC, which is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council.

Agustín García, Jr. and Mayor Richard García are not related.

In open session, the Edinburg EDC Board of Directors are scheduled to discuss and consider authorizing the executive director to renew the lease agreement with Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, who through the Texas House of Representatives, maintains his House District 40 office in the city’s downtown.

Canales’ House District 40 office is located at 101 North 10th Avenue, Suite B, in an office complex owned by the Edinburg EDC, immediately west of the Hidalgo County Courthouse. The state lawmaker, who began his third two-year term on Tuesday, January 10, 2017, opened his current District Office in early February 2014.

House District 40 includes portions or all of Edinburg, Elsa, Faysville, La Blanca, Linn, Lópezville, McAllen, Pharr, San Carlos and Weslaco.

Also set to be presented in public will be a presentation by Capable Kids Foundation.

In executive session, where under state law the EEDC Board of Directors and its staff meet are allowed to meet behind closed doors in a conference room located behind the Council Chamber, officials will take up the following items:

• Deliberate the offers of financial or other incentives to business prospects;
• Deliberate authorizing the Executive Director to enter into a Developmental Agreement with Durga Properties, Ltd.;
• Deliberate authorizing the Executive Director to enter into a Developmental Agreement with Arguindegui Investments, Ltd.;
• Deliberate authorizing the Executive Director to enter into a Developmental Agreement with McAllen Hospitals, L.P.;
• Deliberate authorizing the Executive Director to enter into a Developmental Agreement with First Hartford Realty;
• Deliberate authorizing the Executive Director to enter into a Developmental Agreement with Project Duo;
• Deliberate the approval of a Resolution and Real Estate Agreement for the possible real estate purchase of real property known as the Northeast 1.79 of the North 20’ of Lot 12, Kelly Pharr Tract, Hidalgo County, Texas;
• Deliberate authorizing the Executive Director to enter into a Developmental Agreement with Cantu Construction;
• Deliberate possible action regarding Lease Agreement with Nu-Co Tool, Inc.;
• Deliberate authorizing the Executive Director to amend the Remodification Agreement with Santana Textiles, L.L.C.;
• Deliberate possible action regarding Mon-Mark Landing, L.L.C.; and
• Consultation with Attorney.

Any decision on executive session items, if approved, must be voted upon by the Edinburg EDC Board of Directors in public, when they return from the closed door portion of the meeting.

A Real Estate Development Agreement is an agreement between an individual and a construction company, city or builder to develop a parcel of land for the individual’s personal or commercial use, according to U.S.legal.com

A Development Agreement is a contract between two parties establishing an agreement over development of a product or service. These agreements are used in the development of many types of products such as prescription drugs, computer software and websites, according to eHow.com

FESTIBA, FESTIVAL OF INTERNATIONAL BOOKS & ARTS, OPENS IN EDINBURG ON MONDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2017

The Edinburg EDC Board of Director meeting will take place during the same week as FESTIBA 2017, which is the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley’s annual Festival of  International Books & Arts, an educational, entertaining event that promotes literacy and appreciation of reading for all ages. FESTIBA begins on Monday, February 27, and  continues through Sunday, March 5, 2017 on both the Edinburg and Brownsville campuses. 

The Edinburg EDC is a sponsor of FESTIBA 2017.

Among the major highlights for FESTIBA 2017 in Edinburg are:

CBS News correspondent Mireya Villarreal, a 2001 graduate of UT-Pan American and Valley native now based in Los Angeles, sharing her inspiring story with more than 800 GEAR-UP students at 9 a.m. on Wednesday and Thursday, March 1 and 2, in the Library Media Theater on the Edinburg campus. Villarreal is a veteran investigative reporter who covered consumer issues and exposed government corruption across Texas before she joined CBS News. She won Emmy awards for uncovering excessive spending by DFW International Airport executives, reporting on a system that allowed Texas school districts to resign after wrongdoing, and exposing a real estate scam that targeted San Antonio homebuyers, which eventually sparked legal investigations into two local companies. She also is the recipient of two Texas Associated Press awards for stories on immigration and child safety;

• Peter Rasmussen, Digital Content Editor for the Monitor, will lead a discussion about the importance of finding fact-based information/news from legitimate news organizations and websites in a sea of false online information and during a divisive time in American politics. His presentation, titled In an era of fake news, newspapers are too important to ignore, will take place on Wednesday, March 1, 2017, from 1:4o p.m to 2:45 p.m. in the Liberal Arts Building, Room 179, on the Edinburg campus. Fake news websites (also referred to as hoax news) are generally defined as media that deliberately publishes hoaxes, propaganda, and disinformation purporting to be real news – often using social media to drive web traffic and amplify their effect;

• U.S. Poet Laurete Juan Felipe Herrera, presenting a keynote address and poetry reading on Literature and Social Justice, from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 2, in the Performing Arts Center on the Edinburg campus. According to his official biography, Herrera is the son of migrant farmworkers, he was educated at UCLA and Stanford University, and earned his MFA from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. His numerous poetry collections include 187 Reasons Mexicanos Can’t Cross the Border;Undocuments 1971-2007, Half of the World in Light; New and Selected Poems (2008), and Border-Crosser with a Lamborghini Dream (1999). In addition to publishing more than a dozen collections of poetry, Herrera has written short stories, young adult novels, and children’s literature. In 2015, he was name U.S. poet laureate. The Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress — commonly referred to as the United States Poet Laureate — serves as the nation’s official poet, according to Wikipedia. During his or her term, the Poet Laureate seeks to raise the national consciousness to a greater appreciation of the reading and writing of poetry. His presentation will be live-streamed on the Brownsville campus at the Plains Capital Bank El Gran Salón;

• The Middle School and High School Mariachi Competition will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, March 3, in the Performing Arts Complex, with more than 600 students from all over Texas competing. Winners will have the opportunity to sing with famous Mexican performer Aída Cuevas, known as La Reina de la Canción Ranchera, at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 4, also in the Performing Arts Complex. Tickets are available for the concert at http://patron.utrgv.edu/ . According to AllMusic.com, Cuevas has influenced such artists as Linda Rondstadt and Mariachi Mujer 2000, an all-female group from Los Angeles for whom she serves as “official” godmother. A regular guest on the Hispanic variety show Siempre en Domingo, Cuevas is a master of the mariachi art song, setting her country-tinged ranchers to uplifting mariachi accompaniment. Cuevas has release 37 albums over an artistic career spanning almost 40 years, according toMariachiMusic.com. Discovered at the age of 11, Cuevas quickly exchanged singing contests and radio gigs for European stages and the title La Voz de México (The Voice of Mexico). As one of the singularly important figures of traditional Mexican and Latin American music in the world, this Latin Grammy Award winner has sold more than eight million copies of her hits worldwide; and

• Macarena Hernández, an academic and journalist, has been a writer for the San Antonio Express-News and The Dallas Morning News, and covered Latino issues such as immigration and education. She will be the keynote speaker for Librarians and Educators Day, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday, March 3, in the UTRGV Ballroom in Edinburg. The event will host more than 200 educators and librarians. Hernández currently is the Fred Harman Distinguished Professor of Journalism at Baylor University. According to Wikepedia, qhile in college, Hernandez interned at The New York Times, and following graduation, became the Rio Grande Valley Bureau Chief for the San Antonio Express-News. Hernández joined the staff of The Dallas Morning News in August 2005. Soon after, she penned a column discussing the frequency with which illegal immigrants are the victims of crime in the United States, citing a Georgia case in which six Mexicans were murdered. When Fox’s Bill O’Reilly expressed outrage that the Mexican flag was flown as a show of sorrow, Hernández accused O’Reilly of preaching hate. In retaliation, O’Reilly called for a boycott of the Dallas Morning News.[2]

Reading Rock Stars

An annual favorite, The Texas Book Festival will bring books to life for young readers at FESTIBA 2017 through Reading Rock Stars, a literacy program in which authors from across the country are invited to present their works to students in economically disadvantaged public schools.

At the end of the book presentations, each child receives an autographed copy of the book, and a set of books is given to the school library. Schools for 2017 include Morningside Elementary (Brownsville); Emiliano Zapata Elementary (Mission); J.W. Caceres Elementary (Donna); Lyndon B. Johnson Elementary (Edinburg); and Carl Waitz Elementary (Alton).

Classroom visits will take place on Thursday March 2, at Morningside Elementary in Brownsville, and at Carl Waitz Elementary in Alton; and on Friday, March 3, at Emiliano Zapata Elementary in Mission, J.W. Caceres Elementary in Donna, and Lyndon B. Johnson Elementary in Edinburg. For a schedule, email Letty.Fernandez@utrgv.edu

FESTIBA at Jardín del Arte Community Festival

A fun community event will take place from 6-10 p.m. Friday, March 3, on the grounds of Edinburg City Hall. The afternoon and evening features a list of family friendly events including author presentations, book signings, musical performances, children’s activity tents, book displays, book distributions, local and international artists, and a variety of art and food vendors.

For a complete list of events for FESTIBA 2017, visit http://www.utrgv.edu/festiba/

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Marci Caltabiano and Letty Fernández contributed to this article. For more information on the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation and the City of Edinburg, please log on to http://edinburgedc.com or to http://www.facebook.com/edinburgedc

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