City staff and officials celebrate the proclamation by chanting 'Go Spurs Go'.
City staff and officials celebrate Aug. 30, 2018, as Manu Ginobili Day. Credit: Scott Ball / San Antonio Report

The Denominator is a weekly brief of significant numbers underlying our latest news stories.

Calling It a Career

16 is the number of seasons Manu Ginobili played with the San Antonio Spurs before announcing his retirement last week. On Thursday, Mayor Ron Nirenberg pronounced Aug. 30, 2018, as Manu Ginobili Day.

During a City Council meeting last week, Nirenberg praised Ginobili for his willingness to be a team player rather than put his personal career first.

Ginobili, who is from Argentina, wrote a column about his retirement decision for Argentine newspaper La Nacion on Tuesday. He said he will be sticking around San Antonio, noting that his children have already started school, and he anticipates supporting the Spurs franchise where possible.

Plaza Plans Move Forward

26 members of the Alamo Citizen Advisory Committee voted unanimously to approve the bulk of the proposed redevelopment plan for Alamo Plaza. The committee’s recommendation will next head to a six-member Alamo Management Committee, which is slated to consider the plan on Tuesday.

All committee members voted for street closures, a new Fiesta parade route, a master lease agreement, and to move the Alamo Cenotaph. Ninety-two percent voted in favor of managed access for a formal entry point to the plaza, and 96 percent approved of an analysis of nearby historic buildings to become a world-class museum.

The Management Committee has begun the process of hiring consultants for the building analysis and museum design, and work will begin soon on the renovation and preservation of the Alamo church. As early as next week, the Management Committee could vote on the plan, after which it will make its own recommendation to the two-member executive committee that includes Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush.

Bacterial Blooms

57 percent of the 33 streams and rivers in the San Antonio River basin are officially considered impaired because of bacteria, according to the San Antonio River Authority’s most recent Clean Rivers Report.

Bacteria such as E. coli serve as indicators for fecal contamination in outdoor waterways and can lead to skin infections and gastrointestinal illness, especially if a swimmer accidentally swallows contaminated water.

Storm water runoff is often the culprit of rising rates of bacteria in water systems. Runoff from a rainstorm earlier this year caused levels of E. coli to spike in San Pedro Creek by more than 200 percent to 460 instances per 100 milliliters.

A Bedrock of Affordable Housing

$38,100 is 60 percent of San Antonio’s area median income and the cap for residents living at the Calcasieu Apartments, an affordable housing complex in a historic building downtown. The complex has 64 one-bedroom and efficiency units. After purchasing the Calcasieu in 2014, the Alamo Community Group (ACG), a nonprofit affordable housing organization, recently invested $1.85 million in building renovations.

Demand for affordable housing continues to grow in San Antonio. ACG has an upcoming project in the pipeline, and is currently planning a 94-unit residential complex near the Pearl. Dubbed the Museum Reach Lofts, the complex will be the first affordable rental apartments for the general workforce to be developed in midtown.

The Calcasieu and the Robert E. Lee Apartments are the only two high-rise affordable housing developments located in the city’s center. The Calcasieu is one of 10 affordable housing developments in San Antonio in ACG’s portfolio.

Mild Job Growth

1 percent is how much jobs grew in San Antonio in July, according to a report released last week by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. The report characterized that growth as “weak,” even as the unemployment rate declined.

San Antonio’s unemployment rate fell to 3.2 percent in July from 3.8 percent in December 2017. Overall, the San Antonio business-cycle index expanded at a 2.5 percent annualized rate in July, up from June’s 1.7 percent, though job growth remained mild and wages increased.

The Dallas Fed also reported that the share of homes sold that the median-income household could afford fell from 62 percent to 55.8 percent, a greater decline than the 4.5 percentage-point drop in the national average to 57.1 percent.

Emily Royall is the Rivard Report's former data director.