Wednesday, November 20, 2013

SciGirls Super STEAM Fair

Join KLRN’s SciGirls this Saturday, November 23 from 10 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. at the Robert. L.B. Tobin Studio at KLRN for our SciGirls STEAM Fair Meet Up. It’s all about Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM)! UTSA’s Center for Archeological Research Legacy Program, the Edwards Aquifer Authority, Interactive Technology Experience Center, ThePlayhouse, UTSA’s Prefreshman Engineering Program, Palo Alto College’s PAC Robotics and Screaming Chickens Robotics Explorer Post will be on-site providing activities and resources for attendees so they can learn about various local organizations that are all about STEAM. We’ll also conduct a panel discussion with a few of our invited groups so our SciGirls can ask questions. RSVP is required to attend the event. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Jennifer at or 210.208.8404.

If you’re unfamiliar with SciGirls, we’re a program for girls between the ages of 8-13 years old. SciGirls is comprised of STEAM-loving girls, who meet on a monthly basis to share ideas, do fun experiments, and get together for special activities with other girls who share similar interests. SciGirls is free to join, and is available to girls within our KLRN viewing area.

If your child is not a SciGirl but would like to attend, contact Jennifer for a permission form. We hope to see you Saturday at our STEAM Fair!

Monday, November 11, 2013


When you see a smoky-dark wall snaking over parched hills, the line is clear. On one side is Mexico. On the other is the U.S.

But when you start looking at people, things aren’t so clear. They’re scary, painful and even mean.

For Arizona rancher Duncan Blair, the tall border wall stops at the edge of his property and becomes a barbed-wire fence with holes snipped long ago, which U.S. officials ignore. He feels like he’s stuck in the middle of a funnel between “gringo tokers” and the “Mexican cartel,” and things have gotten nasty in recent years. He carries a gun when riding certain pastures.

“It got mean because it got complicated,” he said. “There’s just a sense that nobody cares.”

Carlos Garcia, a leader with the Puente Movement, lives daily with uncertainty. Born in Mexico and brought to the U.S. at 5, he has received his documentation. But his family, like so many working and living for decades in a land of opportunities, is mixed. Many remain undocumented. With Arizona’s recent crackdowns, Garcia’s afraid to drive his grandpa to the store, or even have his family over for dinner.

“They’re able to charge me,” he said.

With Arizona’s illegal immigration population quadrupling to 460,000 in a decade a half, the state has tried a number of measures. It was Senate Bill 1070, calling for local officers to ask for documentation from suspected illegal immigrants during routine stops, that dialed up the heat and rocketed the issue to the national stage. This is a focus of "The State of Arizona," a film KLRN is screening this Thursday.

Jorge Martinez, who owns a home and an ice-cream truck, drives more than 100 miles a day and sees a lot of people detained along the route. He faces an upcoming deportation proceeding himself, which could split his family of 16 years. He has no idea what to do in Mexico. His family is scared and confused.

“We are thinking, what to do if he is going to Mexico,” said his business partner and mother of his son. “Yesterday I asked my son, what you think about they send your dad to Mexico. And he said, 'I don’t know but I don’t want to go to Mexico.'”

As officials raid a restaurant they suspect employs illegal immigrants, two construction workers stand at the curb and lament losing bids to companies hiring illegals. Yet, things aren’t always so clear, one says.

“It’s a hairball,” he said. “Because I know people here that their parents are illegal, but they’ve been raised here their whole life. What are they supposed to do? Are you going to send their parents back to Mexico and leave them here? It is a big mess.”

Join KLRN for a Community Cinema screening and panel discussion of this film on Thursday, November 14 at 7P.

-Written by Patrick Driscoll, KLRN Staff Member

Tuesday, October 15, 2013




Growing up in a border city and being the first generation college graduate in my family really allowed me to identify with The Graduates Los Graduados. Although the focus is on the Latino community, educational barriers will always exist regardless of race. Whether it would be gangs, bullying, or even poverty, obstacles will always be present. The solution as stated in the film is engaging students and properly mentoring students down the correct path. 

I personally believe sports are what kept me out of trouble growing up. There were always negative influences such as gangs in my neighborhood but it never really interested me. Almost all the neighborhood kids growing up would play street football, basketball, and even sand lot baseball year around. I played sports throughout middle school and high school and believe that it helped shape me as a person. Channeling energy towards something positive really helped. It doesn’t have to be sports, it could be dancing, art, acting or helping other people.

I had a mentor in high school who helped to guide me in the right direction. Mr. Ramirez, my career counselor, asked me one day what I was planning to do after high school. I had never really given it much thought. I could relate to the characters in The Graduates because I really had no idea of how to apply for college, much less pay for it. I couldn’t ask my parents because they had no clue since they had never gone to college. Much like Gustavo and Eduardo’s parents, my parents were always at work trying to provide for me. Mr. Ramirez was a huge influence in my life. He helped me apply for schools, apply for financial aid, and he even took me on several college tours. 

As mentioned in the film, education is fundamental in securing America’s future. I could not agree more with this statement. The key is engaging students to do something that interests them and giving them that sense of “belonging.” The Graduates hit the nail on the head regarding Latinos and the current issues in our educational system.



Friday, May 3, 2013

KLRN Staff Review SERVICE | When Women Come Marching Home

One program through the eyes of KLRN Staff Member, Rachel R.

The documentary film Service: When Women Come Marching Come Home describes the life of the modern, female, U.S. veteran. We are introduced to the individual women who have undergone challenge, injury and trauma in the line of duty. As they recount their personal experiences it becomes clear that many of these women have been poorly repaid for their contributions.

Although the U.S. continues to debate when and how females should serve in the military, these women have their own opinion on the matter. Whether interacting with civilian women and children, or forming enduring and supportive friendships, it is clear that in many ways they feel they have an edge over their male counterparts.
Yet, despite any advantages, they continue to struggle in their transition to civilian life. This was, for me, one of the most revealing aspects of the film: the strain placed on these individual daughters, wives and mothers as they attempt to reintegrate themselves into their families and previous lifestyles.

Another eye-opener was the shocking way that rape cases were handled by the military. The lack of support, and in fact ostracism, described by a number of the women interviewed is a call for action and perhaps legislation.

It is clear however, that not all legislation made in support of these veterans has had an impact. For example: the laws protecting a disabled veteran's right to bring their service dog into stores, restaurants and other businesses is largely unknown and therefore frequently ineffective.

One of this documentary’s strengths is that it indicates a number of such flaws in the current support system. It offers viewers a very subjective overview of critical weak points. In my mind the next step would be to more concretely and objectively define how that system needs to be reworked.

Service: When Women Comes Marching Home begins an important discussion by questioning how we support our veterans and repay their sacrifices. It presents a conversational and direct picture of these individual women and their personal experiences.

The program airs Monday, May 6 at 10pm on KLRN.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Reception Issues?

Last week, KLRN experienced problems at our transmitter and within hours, our engineers were assessing the situation and fixing the problems. WHEW!  There were a few hours where we were not broadcasting to our viewers who watch our channels over-the-air. At our studios, our signal strength was restored and all was fine in the world---with the exception of the many viewer e-mails notifying us that even after a normal "re-scan" our signal did not appear.

If you are one of those people who still are having problems, please try the following instructions. This is called a "double re-scan" which helps to clear out any memory of channel reception, and can possibly be the answer to your reception issues after work is performed on our equipment.

Try it and let us know if you are still having issues
Your feedback helps us to serve you better.

Many thanks and we appreciate your patience.


Many consumers already know about the need to run the “scan” function on their digital converter  
boxes or digital TV sets periodically following the June 12 digital TV transition. Scanning searches for and “remembers” the available digital broadcast channels.

But in some cases where stations moved their digital frequencies on June 12, simple scanning may not be enough. There is a procedure – sometimes called “double re-scanning” – that can clear your box’s memory of saved channels. These earlier scans may have saved channel information that is now incorrect.

There are five simple steps to a double re-scan for a converter box or digital TV, which are as follows:

  1. Disconnect the antenna from the box or digital TV
  2. Re-scan the box or digital TV without the antenna connected. As with any scan follow the on-screen instructions or owner’s manual for your device
  3. Unplug the box or digital TV from the electrical outlet for at least one minute
  4. Reconnect the antenna to the box or digital TV and plug the unit into the electrical outlet.
  5. Rescan the box or digital TV one more time.

Friday, November 2, 2012

ARTS: Our version

I love the arts, I just do. I love anything that makes the world more gorgeous than it already is. I see beauty in the thing that are simple, elegant, and not even considered “artsy”. I see my kids lining up leaves on the table as art. I see art in the way knick knacks are arranged on a shelf or in the way certain people sign their name. Art is everywhere.
When we (at KLRN) were first having the discussions earlier in the year about launching our own local arts show, I had to contain myself. I was so excited about the concept, but I had to harbor the excitement and put in place the work it would take to launch the show. The name: ARTS.  The look, the feel, the vibe, the details---there was so much to do, and only a small crew to do it. It is funny too because what is considered good art to one person, may be considered junk to another. Art is very personal and I wasn’t sure how we were going to bring it all together and AGREE on it. But we did.

Our graphic designer came up with a logo that just fit. When she put it into motion on-screen, it fit BETTER. When our editor put the first spot together, even when it was a rough draft, we could tell that the feel of the program was going to be fun and hip and almost eccentric. I realized that our version of the arts was exactly what I was hoping for---less paint on canvas, art history and classical music and more eclectic collectibles, jazz music, and art exploration. It all came together just beautifully.

From the very first moment I met Asia Ciaravino, our host, I knew she was the perfect fit for our program. Funny, knowledgeable, and just easy to like---I liked that. She sees the world as an opportunity, she appreciates quirky things, and she shines on camera. Like I said, she is just perfect.

ASIA ON ARTS: “I love art because it sparks creative thought and emotion. I also love the study of human nature. In art we create an open forum for expression; each art form allows the consumer a different touch point. Theatre is my art. Being an actor has taught me many things about people; most importantly that everyone has different or competing objectives. When you listen, you are able to decipher what people really want and understand how to give it to them. As we grow and understand people, we become better actors. As we listen more and talk less, we become better people. I believe art is a transformative force with the power to change people profoundly. “

We are in the process of completing our fifth show. It is all still new, we are still finding our groove, and we are working on how to make this good concept GREAT.

The hard work was not mine. The hard work came from the graphics, the editor and our crew who had/have to be on location to film anytime, anywhere. I say they “have” to do the work, but it is more accurate to say that they “get” to work on this project. This is a fun one—and they agree that while we all consider this work, we are really lucky that this new program belongs to us.

ARTS for all. I hope you have a chance to see the show and embrace art near and far…

And the next time you see something strategically or not-strategically placed, you stop and appreciate that it’s existence is actually…art.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

...I didn't feel sorry for him; I cheered for him...

Viewer Review
LEMON | an episode in Season 3 VOCES

My original intention was to watch the program Lemon with a professional eye. My goal was to pay more attention to the quality of the program from an aesthetic point of view. However that changed in the first few minutes of watching. I found myself almost immediately engrossed in Lemon Andersen's story. I could see him working the streets of Brooklyn as a teenager and falling into the familiar story of forgotten youth. This guy wears his emotions on his sleeve - and that immediately presented him in a sympathetic light. He wasn't a typical street thug; or at least what so many of us assume is a typical street thug. He showed his passion and hopefulness in his writing and rhyming. It didn't take long see his story, wonder how I would or could survive what he'd been through, and see how he overcame odds that would put anyone into a jail cell or a coffin. I found myself simultaneously watching the program and searching Lemon Andersen on Google. It was a profound story that made me happy for him and empathetic to those who don't get the chances he got because they don't have the talent he does.

From the very beginning, I felt the grittiness of Brooklyn. I felt the depressiveness of the projects and of the people who live there who almost seem to resign themselves to the fact that this is their lives and the goal isn't to get out, but rather to get through the night without harm. I also found the footage taken in the theatres and on the streets did the opposite. They showed a hopeful New York where creativity is king. I saw people believing in one person to the point that they found ways of helping him realize his dreams and telling his story. What I found most impressiveness is that this hopefullness was displayed in a very real light - there wasn't any fluff. I could feel the anxiousness that those telling the story felt when there was doubt that this story would be told - and that once it was told - would be welcomed by New Yorkers.

This was an engaging program and what I liked the most about it is that it was about a mostly unknown individual. While sympathetic, I didn't feel sorry for him; I cheered for him. More stories like this need to be told. I look forward to seeing where this program will go.

Joseph Marks
KLRN Viewer


p.s If you are interested in writing a viewer "review" of a program on KLRN, please send an e-mail to

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Hispanic Heritage Month | Riding From The Heart

It’s said that during the Mexican Revolution, women soldareas rode in circles, kicking up dust to lure federales into traps. These adelitas, or women of the revolution, are the inspiration for Escaramuza, an event added to traditional Mexican charreadas 20 years ago.

Charreadas, which are similar to rodeos, evolved from competitions between vaqueros and their haciendas in old Mexico. Escaramuza, which means skirmish, is the only women’s event in today’s charreadas. Eight women wearing flowing dresses, wide-brim hats and riding sidesaddle on horses weave precision, strength and beauty into a fast-paced dance that is both sport and art. They train for years to perfect a four-minute routine that dazzles crowds in dusty arenas. One wrong move, in a split second, can mean a loss.

“This work is not easy,” says an instructor for Las Azaleas, a team of first-generation Mexican American hosewomen in California. “To have good results, there’s no other thing than work. Nothing else.”

“Riding From The Heart” follows Las Azaleas on a two-year odyssey to represent the United States at the National Charro Championships in Guadalajara, Mexico. Like their instructor said, the path wasn’t easy for this close-knit team of friends and family. They paid with sweat, fears and even some tears to reach elated peaks. In the end, something happens that they didn't expect.

The film is part of VOCES 2012, a four-part series celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month.

Have a look:

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Keeping the lights on...

Being CFO is not easy. You are the person who always has to say "no". You have to hound people for budgets, pricing, and financials. You have to monitor spending even though you have a team that has to monitor their own spending--because ultimately, the responsibility is yours. Many times, the CFO is the unsung hero, the one who stays behind a closed door balancing a budget, filling out paperwork and ensuring that all is right to keep the lights on.

I think this is why it is so exciting that our CFO was recognized by the San Antonio Business Journal as one of the top CFOs in San Antonio for 2012. Patrick Lopez does his job well, very well, making sure that we can continue to do what we do every day in our community and on-air. Congrats Pat! We are all proud of you--and we are very lucky that you belong to us.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Fiesta - Now that's Speaking My Language!

Cascarones, medals, special hats, food goodies and more!  The signs, smells and sounds of Fiesta are here.  I’m not a San Antonio native, but when I moved here twelve years ago, my San Antonio friends quickly introduced me to some of the festivities like Oyster Bake and NIOSA, and without hesitation taught me all about the Fiesta traditions. One of the traditions that totally surprised me about the consecutive eleven-day party was the fact that people actually save their vacation just for this time of the year.  My first thought twelve years ago, “Now that’s speaking my language!”

There are so many Fiesta events (roughly 100) that I’m not sure how one would attend all of them without taking vacation. This year for the first time in a while, I am actually “working” during Fiesta…if I can even call it work.  I already love what I do here at KLRN, and this year I get to play a part in the Fiesta parade productions.  And, well, I think that’s pretty cool.  So I hope you join us for the three parades, whether it’s in person, on-air or online, and as with everything that we do here at KLRN, I hope we make you proud to call us YOUR public television station. 

In the spirit of Fiesta, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter so you don't miss out on conversations with your community. We'll be talking about everything—favorite floats, dresses (and shoes!), the bands and all that Fiesta entails.   

Friday, April 6, 2012

Going Beyond Adventures on “America Revealed”

Does the name Yul Kwon ring any bells?  Yes, you guessed it…he’s the winner of Survivor: Cook Islands 2006.  But more importantly, he’s now the host of the new PBS four-part series America Revealed.  And this isn’t your typical hosting gig.  Yul jumps out of aeroplanes in Kansas, climbs to the top of wind turbines in the Columbia River Gorge and takes part in a giant tomato fight in Nevada.  Talk about checking off things on the bucket list!

AMERICA REVEALED goes beyond outdoor adventures.  The program takes viewers on a journey high above the American landscape to reveal the country as never seen before travelling through time, space and systems to reveal a nation of interdependent and intricately interwoven networks that feed and power the nation, produce millions of goods, transport people great distances and still come together to make America work.
Meet a pastor in DC who has led his ministry to go green. Discover the people responsible for managing the traffic in America’s skies.  Go inside the New York Mercantile Exchange.  And where else can you find programming that digs deep into your food trash and explains how less than 2% of the population can feed the other 98%? PBS and AMERICA REVEALED do just that, and it just all sounds fascinating! 

Beginning April 11th, Tuesdays at 10p

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Being Elmo's Mom

As a mom, I was never really into parenting books. I barely picked up parenting magazines…I preferred to make my way trying to find solutions for situations that actually plagued me as opposed to looking for situations that may not even exist in my life. That said, I do depend heavily on stories from other mothers on how they raise their kids, what they did well, what they didn’t do well, lessons learned, etc…and those stories are the ones that I store in my mind and I reflect on them when I need to.

Several weeks ago, I had the chance to watch “Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey.” I was captivated. Not only was the story of this big guy who plays the voice of a small, furry character interesting, but in everything he did as a child, I was looking at his parents. As a child, Kevin Clash was always interested in puppetry. Building his own sets, creating characters, acting them out, watching the programs, and in his mind he was dreaming about how he could do that job one day. He had the passion, he had the creativity, he had the drive, and clearly he has the heart…but one key element that he had that made it all possible…he had the parents.

Sometimes I hear parents creating a path for their children, steering them in a direction that they want them to go in. Sure their children may be interested in something by default (a dentists' child will surely know a lot about teeth)…but do they LOVE it? Do they have a passion for it?

In “Being Elmo,” I watched all of the video clips of Clash as a kid putting on community puppet shows and I saw many photos of him and his characters. I heard him speak about all of the shows that he put on and how he had to search for the right fabric and sewing technique for his puppets. As a 10-year-old, I can’t say that he would have been able to do all of that if he hadn’t had such supportive parents. His parents were the ones allowing him to set up a show in the middle of the living room (surely disrupting normal “living”), his parents were the ones helping him pick out and purchase the fabric that he needed, and his parents were the ones who were holding the video camera or taking photos of his sets and his characters. Clash felt supported, justified, celebrated and he felt like he COULD do it…that is why he did.

I am a sucker for a good documentary. I am. This program is fantastic and I know that different people will get different things out of it. Whether it is seeing how the puppets work, what the Sesame Street scene looks like behind the cameras, or learning about how one puppeteer is living the dream…I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Now, I’m off to hang out with my kids, and I’m going to see what THEY want to do today…as opposed to what I want them to do today.

Friday, March 30, 2012

You Won't Be Disappointed. “Masterpiece Classic: Great Expectations” SUNDAYS at 8p

Are you on the edge of your seat waiting for the next season of Downton Abbey? I am right there with you!  But while waiting for Season 3, PBS doesn’t disappoint.  Get ready for a wild ride of love, obsession and forgiveness as PBS introduces a brand new GREAT EXPECTATIONS on MASTERPIECE.

I was absolutely drawn into the program preview. The beautiful, mysterious Gillian Anderson plays the starring role as the manipulative Miss Havisham. Great Expectations is a Charles Dickens’ tale of rags to riches to self-knowledge.  This most familiar story — an orphan boy meets an escaped convict, a crazed rich woman, a bewitching girl, and grows up to have great expectations of wealth from a mysterious patron — appropriately airs during the bicentennial of Dickens’ birth, and this marks the fifteenth MASTERPIECE adaptation of the great novelist's works.
Tune in on Sundays at 8p or set your DVR because I guarantee you don’t want to miss this.  Time and time again, MASTERPIECE continues to set the bar.


Watch Great Expectations Preview on PBS. See more from Masterpiece.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Beginning March 25th — “Finding Your Roots” SUNDAYS at 7p

As I watched a preview of this program, FINDING YOUR ROOTS, I couldn’t help but think back to my past Christmas holiday.  The best present that I received was from my eighty year old grandfather.  With no help, he created a family photo album — a flip book of old black and white photos — for each of his grandchildren.  And on the back of each photo, he attached a label with a description, names of the people in the photo and their ages.  I sat with him that day and went through each photo, and although the description was on the back, he added so many other charming details to the story that I just would have never known if we hadn’t spent that time together.  I learned that my great, great grandfather moved from Germany to Africa, married a woman in South Africa, and although she died during childbirth, a family was created — one that I have never met and one (after researching online) that owns a coffee plantation in which you can tour.  So it’s no secret where my passport will take me next.

Whether it’s anecdotes about ancestors from generations past, or stories of recent relatives, each of us has a rich, unique genealogical heritage to share.  In all this research you find yourself, and it makes you cognizant of what kind of legacy you want to leave with this world.

If this fascinates you in the least, you will no doubt enjoy FINDING YOUR ROOTS, one of the newest PBS series airing Sundays at 7p.  The program examines the histories and family genealogies of a number of well-known personalities.  Renowned cultural critic and Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr. journeys deep into the ancestry of a group of remarkable individuals and provides new understanding of personal identity and American history. 


Monday, March 19, 2012

Raising the Curtain on another Great Performance, Tuesday, March 20

Growing up I wasn’t really ever introduced to musicals, operas and theater. And now that I’ve had the opportunity to experience a handful, I’m a total fan of live performances and excitedly jump at any chance to attend. It would be a dream of mine to watch live the Phantom of the Opera — the danger, the tragedy, the romance, the mystery and most of all, the magical element!

Like many, I try to be financially careful, and it’s nice to know that I can turn on the TV to my local PBS station and find arts programming.

This past year like never before, PBS reaffirmed its passion in delivering the arts, and it continues to impress with Great Performances: Phantom of the Opera, Tuesday, March 20 at 8p. In celebration of its blockbuster 25th anniversary year, Andrew Lloyd Webber presents The Phantom of the Opera in a fully-staged, lavish production, set in the sumptuous Victorian splendor of London's Royal Albert Hall.

If you are a fan of the Phantom of the Opera, I encourage you to check this out:

And for those who enjoy a bit of research, here are some interesting facts about the play: The Phantom of the Opera first opened in 1986. It has been produced in 145 cities in 27 countries and played to more than 130 million people. The show has won more than 50 major theatre awards, including seven Tonys and three Olivier Awards in the West End. In 2006, it became Broadway's longest running show ever, and it is currently showing in London, New York, Budapest, Las Vegas, and Kyoto.