Saturday, February 15, 2020

The Money Is Not Quite There Yet


Federal funds, which have not yet been secured, are being tagged for major work along Chacon Creek.  Henry Cuellar and city officials held a press conference, on February 3, to announce the millions of dollars that are expected to fund the creek's restoration.  Press conferences like these bolster everyone's image.  We're supposed to think that elected officials are constantly hard at work for the community.  Let's just hope everything falls into place.

$14 million will go towards flood risk management, which includes buying out about 73 property owners that have their homes too close to the creek, where flooding is prevalent.

The people whose homes are bought out will be allowed to relocate wherever they want and receive relocation assistance to help pay for their new home by taking into account how much their property is worth along the creek.  The process is expect to be all voluntary, but imminent domain can be used by the federal government for anybody that is reluctant to sell. 

(Jorge Vela, LMT)

Translation: nobody is going to get Canseco House, or downtown office building, kind of money for their property, not like political insiders are used to getting.  Residents along the Chacon Creek will be lucky if they're offered $150,000 for their homes.

I hope city officials, and the councilman representing this area, especially, are transparent in their dealing with the people that will be relocated.

Monday, February 3, 2020

A New Agreement


Mayor Pete Saenz went to Washington last week for the signing of the USMCA trade pact.  It's a revamp of NAFTA, apparently.  (photo appeared in the Laredo Times yesterday)


This clipping I found at the public library when I was scanning the microfilm inventory.

Sunday, February 2, 2020

County Dreams Big


Millions of dollars have already been spent on the design plans for the LIFE grounds upgrades.  Commissioners now want to put it up to the public in November to vote on moving forward with the development.  At stake in the bond election: a project that may cost between $40 and $80 million.

That will add to the county's debt and we don't know if they have the revenue to cover the daily upkeep of the proposed facilities.

Other projects that have been in the works for a while: rehab center, veterans museum, golf course hotel.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Grassroots He Ain't


Photo via Twitter

The primary is on March 3, 2020 and Henry Cuellar is in a mad rush with TV ads, mailers to constituents, social media posts, etc.  It's like nothing he's done before.  We have his challenger, Jessica Cisneros, to thank for that.

In the photo above, the Cuellar team throws around the word grassroots.  Rich, considering the corporate insiders that donate to his re-election.  There is nothing grassroots about Cuellar.

There have never been any town hall meetings to speak of.  He's never visited with voters in Laredo's older neighborhoods.  He's never made time for anything, except photo ops and a lot of personal boasting.  It's time for a change.


Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Chicken Buildings Gone


The building where Kentucky Fried Chicken used to operate out of is gone.  It was located on the corner of Bartlet and Laredo.


The KFC restaurant that was on Santa Ursula and Washington had a different design.


(image via Google Maps)

I remember the Santa Ursula location more fondly, because it was closer to my stomping grounds.  The building was demolished several years ago.  Now it's just flat surface area.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Different Worlds For Henry


Last week, a high-ranking Irani official was killed by an airstrike ordered by Donald Trump.  The death of Gen. Qassem Soleimani was followed by concern of the retaliation that would be directed at U.S. forces abroad.  Criticism of Trump arose from acting hastily and from not consulting Congress about the attack.  Henry Cuellar, currently in the middle of being primary'd, said this about the killing of Soleimani:

There is no doubt the record of Major General Gassim Suleimani proves he was an egregious and dangerous military leader.  Suleimani is responsible for the death of thousands of innocent civilians and threatened our national security.  The death of Suleimani could diffuse the power of the Quds Force and is a necessary step in combating the threat of Iran.  The administration should work with Congress to ensure we continue to protect our national security and international interests.

Cuellar went straight to the boogeyman description and rationale, instead of raising any concern about the inevitable pushback by Iran.  Republicans were doing the same in the days following the killing of Soleimani.


Today Cuellar was in San Antonio to speak of the millions of dollars that were dedicated for projects around military bases.  (Photo/story via the San Antonio Current.)

Cuellar was joined by Major General (Ret) Juan Ayala.

In San Antonio, Cuellar took on a different tone regarding the strike against Qassem Soleimani:

If there was an immediate danger, I can understand, but I hope the president will disclose that.  You can't just say that's the case and change the subject.  I'm hoping the president can be more cooperative.  My thing is the United States cannot be a lone cowboy and patrol the world.  

A different tone and a different posture from the congressman.  It's interesting how Cuellar appears deflated at his press conference in San Antonio.  In Laredo, when he has a press conference, there is a lectern -- sometimes emblazoned with a congressional seal -- and there are numerous local officials by his side, all fawning at the congressman's grand exploits.  In San Antonio today, he had to do with a retired military official and no props.

Cuellar is incredible at showboating when he's in town.  And local officials are all too eager to oblige him with his theatrics.  It seems that no one ever questions Cuellar's beliefs or his tactics.  Because of that, he can get away with a middling statement in regards to an act of war in our name.



UPDATE: I posted a tweet about Cuellar's press conference yesterday and Colin Strother took exception.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Why Mariachis


The screen shot above was taken from the ads section of the 1983 edition of La Pitahaya.  That's the name of the Martin High School yearbook, the subject for a future blog post.  In the lower right hand corner you see the ad for El Atomico restaurant.  One of their menu choices is mariachis, what we now commonly refer to as breakfast tacos.

One of my Twitter pals recently asked if the word mariachis was particular to Laredo.  It's a question that's long been presented, to which I say: if it's even a question, then it must be so.  But what of its origin?

Another social media friendly suggested that the word mariachi was first used at El Taquito Millonario, a small restaurant that's no longer in existence.


El Taquito Millonario used to be located at the corner of Santa Ursula and Sanchez.  Another location was farther east, near Cedar Ave.


For now we can trace the word mariachis back to the early 1980s.  And it lived well into the 2000s, as you can see from the last photo.  The 'lunch stand' on Market and Hendricks advertised breakfast mariachis.  (There might be a colon missing after BREAKFAST.)  I used this photo for a 2008 blog post.

  
The Laredo Taco Company has set the standard in local food offerings.  They set up shop at a well-known convenience store, preparing breakfast and lunch meals for people on the go.  Lines for their breakfast tacos were predictable, and their prices were hard to beat.  Now it seems that other establishments have followed suit: Raul's BBQ, Sunrise store (Market and Meadow), Tacos Ay Carbon, etc.

But as tacos filled with bacon and eggs, or chorizo con huevo, have remained a constant, the word mariachi has not.  The term has faded in the last ten years.  Perhaps that's owed to the Laredo TACO Company.  At any rate,  this Gen Xer recalls the days when mariachis was common in local parlance.

Mariachis.  It was once a Laredo thing.