Press Release
From the Office of State Senator Leticia Van de Putte

For Immediate Release
November 20, 2007
Contact: Tiffany Champion, (210) 733-6604

E-News from the Office of Senator Van de Putte

Dear Friend,

As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, let us give thanks for the many blessings we are afforded. Below you will find helpful information on keeping you and your family safe this holiday season. Also included are several educational opportunities for our children.

Smoke Alarm Program in Honor of Senator Frank Madla Jr.
It has been almost one year, since the tragic fire that took the lives of Senator Frank Madla Jr., his granddaughter, Aleena, and his mother-in-law, Mary Cruz. As we remember the Madla family, the holiday season is upon us and we anticipate colder weather, this is the perfect time to ensure our homes are better equipped with smoke alarms.

This past legislative session, I sponsored House Bill 2118, authored by Rep. Joe Pickett (D-El Paso), in memory of Senator Madla. The bill requires 1 and 2 family dwellings that begin construction after January 1, 2008, or where there is a transfer of ownership to be equipped with smoke detectors. The bill also creates a new class of license for residential fire alarm technicians, with training focused on properly installing and servicing fire alarm systems.

According to the Fire Department, of the seven fire-related deaths this year, six occurred in homes without working smoke detectors. The cost of smoke detectors range from $16 to $50 per unit, a small price to pay for potentially saving a life. If you are in need of a smoke detector you can call the United Way Help Line at 2-1-1 to seek assistance. All homeowners of a single family dwelling in the City of San Antonio qualify to apply for a free smoke detector, with installation by the fire department.

Each week the United Way sends the applications to the San Antonio Fire Department to be coordinated by the applicable fire station. A member of the San Antonio Fire Department then contacts the applicant to install the smoke detector donated by Wayne Wright LLP. Applications are typically processed between 4 to 5 weeks. A special thanks to the United Way, the San Antonio Fire Department and Wayne Wright LLP., for making this program possible.

There is no better time than the present to do more to ensure the safety of our residents. Senator Madla's legacy lives on, as we seek to further protect Texas families in his name.

Aerospace Scholars Program
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Johnson Space Center is sponsoring the 9th Annual High School Aerospace Scholars Program. High School Aerospace Scholars (HAS) is an interactive online learning experience, which offers students the opportunity to interact with engineers and astronauts for six days at the Johnson Space Center. As a Texas Legislator, I will nominate students to be considered for the prestigious program.

Applicants must be US citizens, Texas residents, 16 years of age or older and currently a high school junior. Students should have an interest in pursuing a career in science, technology, engineering or math. Applicants also must have internet access, to participate in a series of online lessons, before attending the six day experience at the Johnson Space Center.

Twenty-four Texas teachers will also have the opportunity to serve as mentors in the program during the summer. Certified teachers serve as program counselors.

Applications can be found on-line. For more information, please log on to:

Interested students and/or teachers can also call (281) 483-4112.

The deadline to submit an application to my office is November 30, 2007.

Please forward to:

Office of Senator Leticia Van de Putte
Attn: David Yanez
700 N. St. Mary's St.
Suite 1725
San Antonio, Texas 78205

Excellence in Education Awards
H-E-B established the Excellence in Education Awards program, seven years ago, to honor outstanding Texas public school teachers, principals and school districts. With more than $3 million awarded in cash and grants, the program is now one of the largest recognition programs for educators in the state.

The nomination and application process for the program is now underway; and nominations will be accepted through December 19, 2007. Nominated educators and districts will then have until January 11, 2008, to submit their completed applications. Educators and districts may nominate themselves, as well. The winners will be announced at an awards celebration in Houston, in May 2008.

Educators are our unsung heroes; and they need champions to recognize their commitment to the children of Texas. Please make your nomination, or pass this information along to someone who may be interested.

For details, please visit or visit any H-E-B location.

Texas Round-Up
The Texas Round-Up is a statewide health and fitness initiative striving to educate and motivate Texans to become more health-conscious and active. In 2004, Governor Perry launched the Texas Round-Up and 10K race to motivate and encourage Texans to become more active and incorporate health choices into their daily lives. More than three years later, Texas Round-Up is an independent, not-for-profit organization working to improve the health of Texas through education and promotion of physical activity and healthy living.

Texas Round-Up is asking for young Texans to design the T-Shirt for the 5th Annual Texas Round-Up Family Mile. All school-age children in Texas are eligible to submit their design ideas for the family mile to be held on April 26, 2008, in Austin, Texas. The winning design will also be printed on all Family Mile T-Shirts for thousands of Texans to see. In addition to the races, Texas Round-Up race weekend includes a Health and Fitness Expo and post-race celebration festival and concert.

The winning artist, and his/her parents or guardians will be invited to attend the Texas Round-Up kick off event in February 2008, and the race weekend events on April 25-26, 2008. Participation in the Texas Round-Up race events are encouraged, but not required, to submit a design entry.

To learn more, visit


District Office
700 N. St. Mary's St. #1725
San Antonio, Texas 78205
(210) 733-6604
(210) 733-6605 - fax