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Open government aid

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott recently unveiled mandatory open-government training materials. The materials were developed in conjunction with a new state law that gives the Attorney General authority to establish the formal training necessary to ensure all elected and appointed government officials understand open-record and open-meeting laws. "We live in an era in which citizens demand openness from their government," Abbott commented. The new law goes into effect January 1, 2006. A free training video can be obtained by calling (800) 252-8011, and more resources can be found on the web at

West Side Resource Center

West Side residents now have a venue to get financial help, counseling, and various other services. The Center for Work and Family, 3300 Ruiz, provides education on establishing and maintaining healthy finances, helps families rebuild financial security, solves food-stamp problems, and even assists with opening bank accounts. "We've got referral systems. This is much more than a resource and referral center," said Irma DeLeon of Benetia Family Center. Hours are Monday through Friday 9 a.m.-3 p.m., 4 p.m.-6 p.m.
Francesca Camillo

Residents leery of annexation

Residents of the Kyle Seale/Loop 1604 sector of San Antonio's northwest side are skeptical of City plans to annex their homes without guarantees that emergency medical and fire department service will be improved by the move. The area, home to 3,000 residents, currently is served by the Helotes fire department. City Manager Sheryl Sculley ordered a realignment of plans to staff other fire stations in the area, and to concentrate on nearby Station 34 to provide assurance that the neighborhoods will get better public safety services once they are annexed. "I don't want to annex an area where I'll have a lot of angry citizens," said Art Hall, whose District 8 encompasses the Kyle Seale sector.
Michael Cary


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