Sunday, September 17, 2017

Two Buildings Torn Down

Apartment complex on the corner of Loring Ave. and Guadalupe, fenced off for demolition on July 16 of this year.

On the Guadalupe side of the complex were the sites of businesses.  The corner location was a salon right before it was shut down.  Photo from July 23.

Demolition is almost complete: August 2, 2017.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Agriculture Garden At Canseco Property

I took these photos on August 27, 2017.

The city is moving forward with the installation of community gardens at the decrepit dilapidated historic Canseco home site on the corner of Chihuahua and Seymour/Loring Ave.  The City of Laredo bought the property in July of last year.  District 3 Councilman Alex Perez mentioned turning the house into a museum or coffee house, as well as putting in a garden for the public to enjoy.

It's my understanding that, with any construction project, the landscaping is the last thing to go in.  My councilman is apparently working backwards here.

Laredo knows a thing or two about growing local.  There are definitely some natives that have their own plots of edibles.  And the downtown farmers market is undoubtedly encouraging that type of endeavor.  But my skepticism with the Canseco COMMUNITY AGRICULTURAL GARDEN plan is that it will be a passing thing.  I hope I'm wrong, but I don't see private citizens tending their plots, on city property, on a regular basis.

This project is going to take a lot of TLC.  It's going to need the right conditions, a lot of attention, and dedicated gardeners with a little know-how in regards to growing food.  I sincerely hope I'm wrong in that this will be a phase that Laredoans will eventually give up.

Alex Perez has one more year to go before he terms out.  This Canseco debacle project may be his swan song, of sorts; his final accomplishment from which to hang his hat from.

This writer will surely keep tabs on this District 3 saga.  Stay tuned.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Heavy Equipment In Laredo

Was out cruising the streets of Laredo and I came across this scene: a crane standing idle near the corner of Convent and Matamoros on September 6.

Not sure exactly what it was doing there, but I did see a man lowering something by hand from the Hamilton Hotel.  Could it be that the antenna is coming down?

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Laredo Loves Its Confederate Icons

While the rest of the country is taking action to remove Confederate statues from public squares, Laredo carries on with its complacency of its own troubled history during the Civil War.

Julia Wallace (LMT) noted in Sunday's paper the reaction from local leaders to Santos Benavides, a colonel in the Confederate Army.

TAMIU Professor Jerry Thompson:

The Benavides family, like most families in Texas, had no inclination toward abolition.  Yet there was no evidence they ever aspired to own slaves.

Thompson wrote "Tejano Tiger," a book about Benavides, warts and all, apparently.  More on the colonel:

And Benavides had been a slave-catcher in instances before the war.  He once gathered 10 armed men to cross into Nuevo Laredo with him to capture a runaway slave and bring him back across the river, where he was put in jail. 

Others in town, however, aren't so quick to throw shade on the infamous Santos Benavides.  UISD Superintendent Roberto Santos, speaking on the school in his district, 'said he would not consider changing the name of Col. Santos Benavides Elementary School.  If the UISD school was named after an outsider, that would be a different situation.'

State Sen. Judith Zaffirini was quoted as saying, he is not known as a Confederate figure.  He is seen as a local leader and a local hero.

Rep. Henry Cuellar weighed in with a sallow statement, coinciding with his own pallid countenance.  I'll leave it at that.

But the cake-taker has to be our own Mayor Pete Saenz, a man who has exhibited having no backbone since taking office.  The mayor:

Given our composite, we're primarily Hispanics.  Some people may not necessarily care.  Why create an issue when we're OK with it?

The mayor didn't seem to mind the displaying of Civil War relics when discussing the Confederate flag two years ago.  His cowardly attitude endures to this day.  He's the perfect man for our sleepy hamlet.  Not a good thing.

Look around when you have a chance and you'll see the Confederate flag on display throughout Laredo.  Our leaders should care about the image we're putting forward for visitors.  It matters.

 The Confederate flag comes in many forms.

If you happen to watch a city council meeting, look for the flag.  It's not hard to miss.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Old Building On Bartlett

Former pawn shop on the corner of Bartlett Ave. and Lyon looks vacant.  It's seen better days.

A si-dal view from Lyon St.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Sucker For Nostalgia

For old times sake, I took a turn into Lake Casa Blanca on Sunday.  It was late in the afternoon.  I was a little exhausted from tending to menial things at my place and at my mother's vacant house.  Some heavy lifting was involved but nothing that broke my back.

I stopped for something to drink because my mouth was so dry.  My body was telling me I was behind on fluids.  All I had strength for was sitting behind the wheel of my pickup.

As I drove east on Saunders, I played in my mind the many times we got on the old lake road, the one just west of the county golf course.  That was the only way we knew of how to get to the lake.  The curving road had a low wooden fence between us and the greens.  That fence ended at some point, giving way to a nondescript park sign.

There was no entry fee in the days of my youth.

The grounds surrounding the lake look the same, with the exception of some add-ons and replacements.  I can't help but think that on a day like this the lake would've been packed with outdoor types and cruisers out to pass the time.  Times change, however, and the tired park has lost its allure.  The area near the shuttered swimming pool was deserted.  If it wasn't for the noise coming from Loop 20, you could sit alone in silence.


And old bench sits broken near the pool house.

1981 is a long time ago.  Only the vestiges and vague memories remain.  What was once a favorite spot for many Laredoans to partake in leisure activities is now a shell of its former self.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

One Big Mess: Old Hospital

A blaze was put out by the fire department at the old Mercy Hospital on June 26, 2017.  No major damage was reported.  I don't know how you can tell; the whole facility is in a state of major disrepair.

KGNS reporter Yocelin Gallardo quoted the owner of the building, Andrew Carranco, as saying, "the building has tight security and (he) does not know how this happened."

The report goes on to say that the building has no electricity.

The abandoned hospital does have chain link fencing around the entire perimeter.  But from the photo above, you can see that a big gap is there for anyone to trespass onto the property.  Not exactly what you would call a deterrent for ne'er-do-wells.  Tight security this is not.  (view is from Hendricks Ave. looking west.)

If the building doesn't have any electricity, how can it have any type of monitoring system?

Everything about this location stinks.  I can only imagine what the people who live nearby have to put up with.