Sandcastle Days

This weekend South Padre Island is holding its annual sandcastle building competition. This year is the 30th anniversary of the event. Clayton’s Beach Bar is the site of the competition and we dropped by on Friday afternoon to check the progress of the castles. I believe tomorrow is judging day, so amble on down and check out the beautiful creations on display. The weather has co-operated with a break in the rain for the duration of the event. Here is a preview of the sculptures – still in progress. We missed one that was not very far along.


Road adoption

LogoACVFDThe Fire Department auxiliary committee has adopted a section of FM 2925 – from SeaWay Village westward for 2 miles. This morning at 0730, 11 volunteers turned out and did a sterling job until rain halted the work at around 0945. This was just as well – the heat, humidity, age and fatigue were taking toll. A huge thank you to the auxiliary, department members and others who came to perform a welcome community service.

Fire Department auxiliary members picking up trash along FM 2925

A polite request to drivers and passengers along FM 2925: we live here and don’t like looking at (or picking up) your trash discarded on the side of the road. Please show some consideration and DO NOT LITTER.

Laguna Atascosa NWR

Some time back, the Laguna Atascosa NWR closed the Bayside Wildlife Drive to vehicular traffic. This followed a number of ocelot-vehicle collisions along the Drive which resulted in ocelot deaths. This closure affected a 34% decline in visitors to the Refuge (the work on FM 106 didn’t help either!). Understandably, the Fish and Wildlife Service is concerned. They are seeking input on what to do with respect to re-opening the Drive. The concern is the need to protect the endangered ocelots while still allowing adequate visitor access.

Press Release for EA_Bayside Wildlife Drive1

You can make your opinion count – the deadline for public comment is Friday, October 6, 2017. If you are interested, a copy of the draft document is available at the Refuge headquarters and at

The world’s best banana bread


The Fire Department is having a bake sale in November. Many fine bakers in the community have offered to bake a variety of goods. My wife is organizing the event and has been using me as a guinea pig for her practice creations. So far, every effort has been a success with her signature banana bread a stunner and my current favourite. So much so that I’m including the recipe she uses for you all to give it a try.

  • 12 cup butter, salted or unsalted – whatever you like
  • 1 cup sugar, regular granulated cane sugar is good
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 3 ripe bananas, finely mashed – use 4 if you want a moister and more delicious (for some) loaf
  • handful pecans (or walnuts for non-Texans) coarsely chopped
  • 1 12 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 12 teaspoon salt
  • 12 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Remove odd pots, pans and baking sheets stored in oven.
  2. Preheat oven to 350º.
  3. Cream together butter and sugar.
  4. Add eggs and mashed bananas.
  5. Combine well.
  6. Sift together flour, soda and salt. Add to creamed mixture. Add vanilla.
  7. Mix just until combined. Do not over mix.
  8. Pour into greased and floured loaf pan.
  9. Bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes.
  10. Let cool and tip out of pan.
  11. Cut thick slices and slather with room temperature salted butter.


Enjoy, remember bananas are a health-food.


Tire recycling


This coming week Cameron, Hidalgo and Willacy counties are participating in a tire recycling program in conjunction with the Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council. Here’s how it will work for us in Cameron County Precinct 3: On Saturday June 24, you may take 4 tires to the collection site at the Cameron County vehicle maintenance yard located at FM 510 (San Jose Ranch Rd.) and Line M Rd. in San Benito. You may only take 4 tires per person and you have to show your driver’s license to prove you are a resident.

Here is a map showing the collection sites; if you have more than 4 tires, you can try another family member or collection site – we aren’t sure how strict the county will be on checking.


Please take advantage of this program – used tires are a fire hazard and when the rain comes, they provide the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes.

For more information go to the LRGVDC web page: