Monday, March 12, 2018

Spring Time For Charlie

How do you say 'moment of Zen' in Spanish?

(courtesy photo, sort of)

Friday, March 9, 2018


I did not vote in Tuesday's primary election.  I was very clear about it on social media.

My absence from the polls was inevitable.  It was only this month that I followed through with my self-imposed ban from voting.  It comes from years of disillusionment with Laredo's political figures.  It comes from shared stories of acts of pettiness on the part of council persons and commissioners.  It comes from the defensive tone that pols take when they're challenged.  And it comes from countless reports of undeserving city and county leaders who do things that are less than honorable.

When you look at the photo above, you notice that there has been a turnover of elected officials.  We can thank term limits for that, perhaps.  Nelly Vielma, George Altgelt and Pete Saenz are seen meeting with federals staffers in Washington, D.C.  The three have settled in nicely to their first term as city representatives.  In the background, to the right, you see Charlie San Miguel and a lady who is strategically positioned behind him.  Through a trusted source, I found out that the lady is his wife.

You have a family member sitting in on official city business inside the White House.  You have a spouse who is taking advantage of fancy lodging in our nation's capital, courtesy of the Laredo taxpayer.  I find this utterly unacceptable.

What's worse is that Vielma, Altgelt and Saenz tacitly approve of San Miguel's actions while away from Laredo.  We have politicians not looking out for our best interests and others looking the other way.

It's a futile battle when the electorate has to go up against the so-called political machines, the uninformed citizenry that blindly casts votes and the vote harvesters who wrangle people's support in return for some type of gain.  Add to all of that the willingness of those who seem honest to go along with the worst of Laredo and Webb Co.

Ni los buenos sirven.

If the well-meaning officials are there to prop up the bad ones, then what effect can my measly vote actually have.


Friday, February 9, 2018

What's Going To Happen?

It's almost ten months since FBI agents went all up local government's ass.  It happened on a clear day in April of last year - the 26th, to be exact.  I recall tweeting up a storm that day, and looking out for media updates in the days following.

The only story I posted on this blog was a local lawyer's take on what transpired and what we should expect.  

It would be nice to know who is going to go to jail.  But for now, all I can do is look at the personnel changes that have taken effect in local government and wonder if they have something to do with the ongoing FBI investigation.

In October, Commissioner Jaime Canales announced his campaign for re-election.  Canales' office was one of many that was raided last spring.  Then last month he suspended his campaign, citing health issues and the future of his career.  The timing of his move is all too peculiar.  Is the hammer about to fall?  And what about his brother, Roel Canales, and his short stint as County Court at Law Associate Judge?  Connection?

Among the supposed 'target subjects' of the FBI, Jesus Olivares is no longer the city manager.  The City of Laredo also has a new city attorney.

Who is talking to the FBI?  And who is mounting their legal defense?  The waiting game continues.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Mens Suits Laredo

Sulak's announced last week on their Facebook page that they're closing up shop.  I wasn't a regular patron of this downtown institution.  I did buy a suit there a couple of years ago as a Father's Day present to myself.

Yet another nail in the coffin for downtown.  So long, Sulak's.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

This Is Where We Are

City staff hosted a special guest at its property on Chihuahua and Seymour this week.  The purpose of the event was to promote urban gardening.

Veggies were there for the picking.  A fence will eventually block access to the garden.

I spy LMT photographer Cuate Santos getting a group shot.

The garden setup is well done.  Some plants are more mature than others.

The old house that sits on the property is in a state of disrepair.

Props to the workers who help maintain this project.

Saturday, January 27, 2018


It was last May that LCC carried out its "reorganization plan."  Administrators' contracts were not renewed and the college was done having the Health Services Department around anymore.  [Full disclosure: I was part of the Health Services Dept.]

Almost a year after, I've come to terms with the decision made by those at the helm at LCC.  However, I can't understand how the college is still charging students a fee for something that doesn't exist there.

Apparently LCC is charging $5 per student, per semester, for Health Service(s).  I don't know how college brass can justify this fee.  There must be something that I don't know.

Campus police officers were tasked with responding to medical emergencies when Health Services staff wasn't on campus.  But if somebody in their custody was hurt or had a medical issue to address, they would call us to assist.  I have no idea how campus PD is faring now without the resources that were there once.  

I'm sure LCC heads can give us a clever answer as to why they're taking money from students for a phantom line item on their printouts.  And I'm sure they can explain why they still have a fee for Health Service for a department specifically called Health Services, the one that is not there today.

Only they know.

Ricardo Solis described Health Services as a luxury.  I hope he enjoyed his time at La Posada, courtesy of the college district taxpayers.  The president's house on campus wasn't up to his standard, supposedly, and thus needed particular accommodations.  

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

The Hat Though

This flier was delivered to my doorstep a couple of weeks ago.  I set it aside for a while.  Then I noticed the peculiar grammar, which prompted a new game for me: fun with arrows.

Good luck, Judge Veliz.