The mother of all life hacks at the San Antonio Report is what we call Live Like a Local, and it’s a handy compilation of maps and insider info on what makes San Antonio unique and authentic.

But as the team of reporters worked to keep you informed of the latest news this year — on everything from public policy to cultural events — they also researched and pulled together some useful explainer stories meant to help you navigate life in the city.

So whether your New Year’s resolution is about getting smarter, getting things done or knowing your city better, here’s a list of the top how-to guides we published in 2022.

How to listen to a symphony orchestra

In this piece, senior arts and culture reporter Nicholas Frank talks to a music director and conductor about what goes into a symphony performance and how you can get the most out of it.

How to protest your property tax appraisal

Understanding the ins and outs of how the Bexar County Appraisal District comes up with the taxable value of your property can help you in getting your tax burden reduced, wrote senior contributing reporter Shari Biediger. 

How to read your CPS Energy bill

Got a rising utility bill? Science and utilities reporter Lindsey Carnett went line-by-line through a CPS Energy bill to help you figure out what might be the cause and what terms like “fuel adjustment” mean. 

How to help the families of shooting victims in Uvalde

While the immediate rush to help has passed in the months following the massacre at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, this article points readers to blood donation centers that frequently seek to replenish supplies in case of unforeseen emergencies.

Local Gov 101

Published in 2021, our guide to how the city and county are run spells out the who and what of local government to help make you a more-informed voter and citizen. Local Gov 101 is also helpful background to our ongoing and election coverage. This year, we also published a version of the guide in Spanish, Gobierno Local 101.

In July, we also published two helpful reports through our partnership with the Austin-based Texas Tribune:

How to know the difference between a local power outage and rolling blackouts

Find out what you need to know to tell a local power outage apart from rolling blackouts. 

How to get birth control and emergency contraception in Texas

This Q&A covers issues surrounding insurance and access and provides a list of resources. 

Need more advice? Sign up for the Daily Reach newsletter for future installments and contact any San Antonio Report editor or reporter to let us know what you’d like to see in 2023.

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Shari Biediger

Shari Biediger is the development beat reporter for the San Antonio Report.