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Community Newsletter

February 2020

UPDATE:  The revised agenda and resolutions for the February 9, 2020 Annual Meeting are on our website.  Click here to view them
Thanks to everyone who has submitted stories, photos, and recipes for the newsletter and website.  We are still looking for submissions for both the website and this newsletter!  Please keep sending fishing pictures, gardening tips, recipes, stories, yard sales, and more! Check out the website at
Harbor Oaks Property Owner Association Annual Meeting will take place Sunday February 9th, 2020 at 2pm.  The meeting will be held at the Aransas County Women's Club.

Click here to view the annual meeting notice on the website


February 14-15

LaMardi Gras is a celebration with a local flair to benefit the Lamar Volunteer Fire Department. This annual event occurs the at Lamar Volunteer Fire Department located at 302 Bois D'arc, Rockport, TX 78382. The celebration starts Friday evening at 5-11pm and Saturday 10am to 11pm. Activities include a parade, live music, cold beer, themed food, auctions, casinos, and more.

Click here for more info


Bay Education Center
Now Open Thur-Sat 12-4pm

The Bay Education Center is open!!! The Science on the Sphere is up and ready for you to visit. The permanent exhibits are still under construction, but a temporary art installation is coming soon. Come and see it for yourself! Call (361) 749-3161 for more information.

Click here for more info


Aransas Bird and Nature Club
February 19th at 11:30am

We are kicking off the Whooping Crane Festival. Program: Community-led Conservation for Whooping Cranes presented by Dr. Liz Smith, North America Program Director, International Crane Foundation. Aquarium at Rockport Harbor Education Center

Click here for more info


Movies Inc.
Now open in Aransas Pass!

The new WW2 Aviation themed movie theater is now open just down the road in Aransas Pass.  The brand new theatre features first-run movies, a state of the art sound system, stadium seating, and a state of the art projection system.

Click here for more info


Save the Date for the 41st Annual Fulton Oysterfest
March 5-8

Each year the Fulton Volunteer Fire Department and the Town of Fulton sponsor Oysterfest, a salute to the tasty bi-valve found in our local waters. Oysterfest features carnival rides, games, food, and oyster eating contest, live music, unique vendor booths and most of all - FUN!

Click here for more info
NEW Fishing Report from Capt. Robert Hamilton

Captain Robert Hamilton has been fishing Texas coastal waters for 40 years, and has been a Coast Guard licensed guide in Rockport, TX since 1987. He primarily fishes in the Rockport area in Aransas, Carlos, Redfish, Copano, Corpus Christi, Nueces, Mesquite, and San Antonio Bay’s.  Guess what?  He's also a long-time Harbor Oaks Resident! 

In this report Robert talks about winter fishing in Rockport!
Click here to read the most recent post>>>

Aransas County Partnership EDC holds inaugural annual meeting

The inaugural annual meeting of the Aransas County Partnership Economic Development Corporation was held Friday, Jan. 31 at the Old Fulton Seafood Cafe meeting room.

The purpose of the meeting was for members to convene for the first time to elect directors, followed by the board of directors electing their officers.

Chairman John Jackson opened the meeting addressing fundraising efforts. He announced total pledges are approaching $400,000 for investors’ three-year commitments to the program.

The 33 investors at the time of the meeting were introduced. Jackson talked about the need for Advisory Directors going forward and named Bob Combs (retired executive with experience from the Fredericksburg EDC) and Clayton Reaser (owner of Rockport Terminals and a member of the San Antonio EDC) to those positions.

Nominating Committee Chairman Betty Hattman stated all candidates were considered based on their willingness and ability to serve, their knowledge and commitment, and their impact on the community.

On behalf of the nominating committee, she presented the committee’s recommendation for directors to serve on the board. They are Karen Mella, Re/Max Security Real Estate; Phil Salemi, Ace Hardware; James Creekmore, Johnson & Creekmore, PLLC; and Jim Riedel, Paradise Key Dockside Bar & Grill.

The membership unanimously approved the slate.

Jackson then introduced the Ex-officio members present, including Aransas County Judge C.H. “Burt” Mills (Aransas County), Mayor Pat Rios (City of Rockport), Mayor Jimmy Kendrick (Town of Fulton), Superintendent Joey Patek (Aransas County Independent School District), and Chairman Malcolm Dieckow (Aransas County Navigation District).

Michael Treyger and Priscilla Duran of the Office of the Governor, Economic Development Division. Treyger presented services from the governor’s office available to the EDC. When asked what direction he would give to a newly formed EDC, he explained the need to decide what you want, who you want, how you want to go after it and who is going to do it.

In the board meeting that followed, the board elected two members at large. They are Rebecca Bagby, Key Allegro Real Estate; and Jackson, The Rockport Group at Morgan Stanley.

Hattman then submitted the following as officers of the organization: Creekmore, treasurer; Bagby, secretary; J. Mark Wagnon (attorney), vice chairman; and Jatin Bhakta (Hampton, Fairfield, LaQuinta Hotels), chairman. All carried unanimously.

Bhakta, the newly elected chairman, spoke about moving forward and set the next meeting for Monday, March 2.

Text and Image Source:  The Rockport Pilot

ACND hears about Little Bay study, project

Aransas County Navigation District (ACND) commissioners, at their regular meeting Monday, Feb. 3, heard a report from Aransas County Project Manager John Strothman about FEMA Mitigation Projects involving ACND properties.

Strothman said Phase 1 of the Little Bay project has been approved - engineering for a circulation and shoreline erosion (in certain areas) study. The $1.2 million project includes a $395,000 ACND match, for which Strothman is tying to find funding.

He noted it has taken about 18 months to get to this point.

Mott MacDonald Engineering’s Aaron Horine said, “What we’ll probably find is Leggett and Blevins channels aren’t enough to handle the outflow (in a storm).”

“For this money you’re going to tell us we don’t have enough circulation?” asked Commissioner Tommy Moore.

Strothman asked, if circulation issues in Little Bay are solved, “Wouldn’t it handle (any water quality) issues?”

He noted FEMA hazard mitigation funding is designed to fund projects that will provide added protections during future storms.

“This isn’t like FEMA public assistance funding that only pays (to bring something back its pre-storm level),” said Strothman.

ACND Chairman Malcolm Dieckow reminded commissioners this is only Phase 1, and if it does not meet FEMA requirements, there won’t be a Phase 2.

“I believe the $1.2 million for this phase is way to much, but this is key to (getting the big money for construction),” said Harbor Master Keith Barrett.

Dieckow concurred, saying the ACND could have done its own study, but when it was all said and done, it would only have the study, and no way to obtain the additional construction dollars.

ACND Attorney Jerry Benadum said he applauds the effort to obtain the money, but said there is a legal issue with the Long Term Recovery Team (LTRT) not working with the ACND during this process – the entity, which has the land.

“I don’t want to stop progress, but don’t want this to (come back and haunt us),” said Benadum.

It was determined that at the appropriate time a Memorandum of Understanding between the two entities can be approved.

Strothman noted the ACND was not initially part of the Hazardous Mitigation Plan, and Dieckow said that issue is water under the bridge.

“When we (get into the plan) it (project) will be turned over to the ACND,” said Dieckow. “Personally, I’m glad we’re included in this. I recognize all the hard work y’all (LTRT) have done.”

Strothman again noted if there is better circulation in Little Bay (the end product of this project), it has to help water quality.

Dieckow said he is totally against more water being drained into Little Bay.

“That water needs to go to Aransas Bay,” he said.

Dieckow added he will never see the results of more drainage directed into Little Bay, but if more is drained into that relatively closed system, there will be signs that read, “Don’t get in the water,” or it’s going to be a mud flat.

“We need to figure out how to get water (draining) to Aransas Bay,” he said.

There was no action taken since it was a discussion item on the agenda.

Text and Image Source:  The Rockport Pilot
Valentine's Day Steak Recipe from Texas Chef Steve McHugh

Dry-Rubbed Hanger Steak with Chili Pequin Au Poivre & Carrot Arugula Salad

Chef Steve McHugh has been making subtle nods to historical San Antonio ingredients and traditions. Chili Pequins are one of those ingredients. He wants to create the classic au Poivre sauce but replace black peppercorns with chili pequins. Why Hanger Steak? At his restaurant, Cured, Chef McHugh buys whole cows and is proud to use every last bit of each cow. He wanted to select an unconventional cut for a Valentine’s Day special meal. 


Chili Pequin Au Poivre Sauce
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. chopped shallots
2 oz. bourbon
4 Tbsp. pickled chili pequin
2 cups veal stock or broth
1 Tbsp. stoneground mustard
1 tsp. ground black pepper
3 cups heavy cream
1/2 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. sugar

Carrot & Arugula Salad
1 lb. baby carrots, peeled and cut in half lengthwise
1/2 lb. arugula
3 Tbsp. olive oil
3 individual grapefruits
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste

Hanger Steak
3 lbs. Hanger Steak
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste


    1. Add the olive oil to a 3-quart pot over medium-high heat and let heat for 1 minute. Add the
      shallots and sauté for 1 minute. Deglaze the pan with the bourbon; add the chili pequins, and sauté for 1
      minute (be careful not to breath in the fumes from the peppers). Add the veal stock and reduce until
      one-third remains. Add the mustard, black pepper, and heavy cream and reduce by another third. Finish
      with the salt and sugar.
    2. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer. Blanch the carrots until tender,
      about 1.5 minutes. Strain carrots and allow them to cool. Segment the grapefruit over a bowl to catch
      the juices. Keep the segments and juice separate (You should have about 4 Tbsp. of juice when
      complete). Mix the olive oil with the grapefruit juice to create your vinaigrette. Mix the arugula, carrots
      and grapefruit segments and dress with vinaigrette.
    3. Season the hanger steak with salt and pepper. Grill the steak to the desired temperature (I prefer
      medium-rare). Allow the steak to rest for 4 minutes before slicing. Slice the steak against the grain and
      enjoy with the salad and sauce.

Image and Source Credit: - Contributed By Chef Steve McHugh
Click here to view the recipe online

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