Monday, November 13, 2017

Some Voters Spoke Loud And Clear

Last week the voters of Webb County said NO! to a bond proposal that would fund a new jail and training center.

Monday, November 6, 2017

The Mad Dash To Finish

The Laredo Times featured a story on the Canseco house on October 8, 2017.  I'm just now getting around to jotting down some excerpts from the writeup for future reference.  Story is entitled FINISHING WHAT WAS STARTED: City takes on restoration of 1925 French chateau.

Here are some passages from the article:

Over 2015 and 2016, Perez allocated a total of $782,595 of his district priority funds to pay for the home's renovation.  More than $100,000 has already been spent to address its most urgent needs: the leaky roof, the asbestos and the lead-based paint, Eads said.

But this is just the tip of the iceberg.  This is a three-story building, totaling about 3,500-4,000 square feet, Eads said.  There is no heating, ventilation or air conditioning, basic electricity or plumbing.  There's no plumbing for sewer systems, as an example.  They had outhouses, Eads said.

In order to keep costs down, the city will have to act as the general contractor for the building, and bid out by individual trade: HVAC, electrical, plumbing, painting, etc.

We're going to have to beg, borrow, steal - do what we can, and come together as a community, as a whole, and kind of pitch in, Eads said.

The plan is not to restore the home to its original state, but to renovate and preserve it.  The city cannot afford to replicate windows to be historically accurate, for instance.  Plus that would turn the Canseco house into more of a museum.  They want people to actually use the facility without fear of approaching it, Eads said.

Perez's primary objective in purchasing the home was saving the structure.  Its eventual purpose was secondary to him, according to Eads.

The main focus of the project has been the restoration of this near 100 year old diamond in the rough.  Its use or intended use has always taken a back seat, Perez said in a text message to LMT.

Berman Rivera, who is leading the city's new horticulture division under Parks and Leisure Services Department, is tackling the Canseco house's community garden.

This will not be structured like a community garden where people tend to their own personal plots, Rivera said.  They are working on establishing it like a community-supported agriculture farm, where people pay for seasonal memberships, he said.  It's yet to be fully ironed out.

Eads noted that Perez has a mad dash to finish - 18 months before his final term in City Council comes to an end.  The project will not stay incomplete by the time he leaves, Eads said.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Quitting Business Sale

I got this letter in the mail.  Not sure why since I'm not a customer, but it's noteworthy since Border Sporting Goods has been around for a while.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Too Much Of It

(Image via KGNS Facebook feed.)

The Rio Grande filled up nicely with the rain we've had over the last several days.  The Chacon Creek has also risen, but not enough to overwhelm the overpasses in south Laredo.  Traffic has not been interrupted on S. Meadow.

Reports to the La Sanbe news headquarters stated that the 3 Points Interchange was closed Tuesday night because of flooding in the area.

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?