Sunday, August 31, 2008

Ready for football?

The Civic Center hosted a tailgating extravaganza today. The area was fenced off for some reason. Don't ask me why - the event was free.

I saw some people wearing Steelers merch, one guy with an old McNabb jersey, and some Texans followers. But of course, this is Cowboy Country. And apparently, all Dallas fans drive big pick-ups. That means something.

Don't you just love the way the colors liven up the place?

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Martin vs. Nixon 2008

I watched the skies all day hoping that the rain would come another day. It wasn't so much so Laredo's oldest football rivalry could go on without a hitch, but because I knew if it rained, I wouldn't get a refund for my tickets.

Nevertheless, the night held on better than the sod on the field. I think Cigarroa played here in the rain the night before; that explains the condition of the field.

The 100% humidity distracted me from the mosquitoes sucking away at my neck. But the capper was some middle-aged man yelling DE-FENSE! every five minutes. I'm thinking to myself, dude nobody's going to join in, give it up.

Anyway, the Tigers won, 19 - 13. That's good, I guess. But my favorite part was when the Martin Band played Rush's Countdown. I had to confirm with the head band director. Apparently, the song is part of their 2008 halftime show, along with songs by Stereolab, and Kraftwerk. Interesting.

Oh yeah, they also played La Negra. Some things never change. I'll keep a close ear, and camera, on them.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A quarter more

The Laredo City Council approved a hike in toll fees for pedestrians crossing the bridge.
There are so many ways that you could save money but the word save does not
exist in your vocabulary.
For once I'd like to read a story where City Council raises taxes, and at the same time, elects to give up its cell phone allowance.
Or they hike up garbage fees, and they forgo their mileage.
How I would love to hear that on their next out-of-town conference, councilmen shared a hotel room, instead of getting one room to themselves (and their spouses).

Monday, August 25, 2008

Look for it

See if you can spot it.

It's Monday

And you know what that means - City Council meets.
City Council is also seeking to fund construction of a baseball park on the
property near LEC, which would be funded by the 0.25 percent sales tax already
I reckon they think that more people will attend Broncos baseball games if the stadium is closer to the North side of town.
The team is in the process of building a fan base since they made their debut a mere couple of years ago. A new stadium would definitely draw some attention. That and drink specials.

I'm just concerned that this venture might turn out to be another money pit like the Laredo Entertainment Center.
"I expect for there to be a shortfall, but I want to make sure that it is
eliminated or kept to a minimum," Villarreal said. "If we can get voter approval
for (maintenance and operation), that would help out."
Ok, I'm sold.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

It's good to be mayor

Following JJ Binx's lead, I want to talk about our own leader who takes advantage of his position.

Mayor Raul Salinas attended yesterday's event at the Civic Center, along with one hundred other locals.
As you can see, it was raining early on. So what does he do? He parks his car up near the entrance so he doesn't have to walk much.

Que padre ser rey!


Northern Crossing

This is border entry into Canada (British Columbia). Traffic, processing & security are much like the Rio Grande crossing. Biggest difference was that there were no vendors lining up the entry way and no Canadian kids selling chiclets.

Count de Money

A recent discussion on millionaire presidential candidates and peasant masses brought to mind this 'reenactment' of the French Revolution. Hump, death, hump, death, hump.. it's good to be the king.

Saturday night football

The Steelers beat the Vikings last night by a score of 12 - 10.
It wasn't pretty, winning with nothing but field goals, but it's preseason after all.

Getting together to watch football with my in-laws, who are huge Cowboys fans, is always hyped up. But in the past, my wife and I would be critical of the 'boys when they would go for three, instead of punching it into the end zone.

The Cowboys have been better of late, nevermind that they get ousted early in the playoffs. But the excitement is brewing with only two weeks to go before the season starts. And the Steeler/Cowboy game Dec. 7 will definitely be cause for a carne asada. Football's here!!!

Judith Gutierrez is off to Denver

Here's me mingling at Laredo's first ever Democratic Party Assembly yesterday.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Quinceanera ride

A friend tipped me off to one ladie's 15th birthday party request: a horse-drawn carriage.

The people who rent this buggy out are still trying to get the required permits for the horse. Meanwhile, they just hitch it up to their SUV and take it from there.

Supposedly the birthday girl was transported by carriage from the church ceremony in the Santo Nino neighborhood to a reception hall near the Chacon area (my turf). It wasn't just a prop for pictures at the party; it actually traveled the busy streets of South Laredo. I wanted to get an action shot but a prior engagement got in the way.

Anyway, for those of you in the market for a carriage, contact "Designs With Love" on 3001 So. Buena Vista, Laredo, TX. You can have this puppy for two hours at a cost of $500.

Lazy Saturday Cartoon

It is old, but...

Democratic Party Assembly

Laredo Democrats convened at the Civic Center this morning to get pumped up about the upcoming General Election. Sergio Mora, Democratic Party Chair, stressed that the community shouldn't take it for granted that Webb County always sways Democrat. Instead, he said we should get out the vote to make it known that Laredo and Webb County do count.

Friday, August 22, 2008

DJ Kickback

Kept man

Some guys have all the luck.
McCain himself isn't actually rich. He just lives off the inherited wealth
of his much younger, former mistress and now-second wife

All of McCain's downsides don't matter because a lot of people have granted him immunity due to his POW credentials. Oh yeah, and he's white too.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Shakler's Revenge

Cleanup in the Chacon

Take a good look at this. This is what presidents of Homeowner's Associations use as material to make residents comply with rules and regulations.

"First it's satellite dishes, then old cars parked in the driveway, and next thing you know you have trash all over the street!"

I can't tell if these people are getting a head start on Spring Cleaning 2009, or it's a really bad episode of "Mission Organization." But now I know why Laredoans aren't more fit: it's because of the obstacles in their paths.

Come on Laredo, have some pride for crissakes!

A touch of sewage

This is the kind of thing that gives the city a bad name.
About 200,000 gallons of wastewater poured onto Mines Road on Tuesday and Wednesday after a manhole collapsed several miles away, city officials said.

I'm walking around puddles from now on.
According to a news release, area residents might want to use only water that has been distilled or boiled for at least one minute to use for drinking, cooking and bathing.

Two sewage problems in one year; I think we're doing pretty good. Don't you?


Henry Cejudo, son of undocumented immigrants, wins gold for the U.S.A.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Laredo National Bank

Good eats

La Raza has arrived in Southampton.
La Hacienda has two menus, one a printed, rather dull English listing of
hard tacos and burritos

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


At risk for diabetes

Via South Texas Chisme today.
A Brownsville doctor chimes in about the lack of medical compliance among south Texans.
In Brownsville, where more than 92 percent of the population is Hispanic,
Hussain says this lack of preventive care exacerbates what would be minor
medical conditions, creating tragic consequences.

Diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease are very common in our culture. Our eating habits and sedentary lifestyle play a big role in the development of chronic illnesses. For example, look at the plate sale picture below, and the empty track picture below that. Eating carne asada and foregoing the laps do not a healthy lifestyle make.
And I understand that it's tough to give up fajitas, tortillas de harina, barbacoa, beer, etc. but people don't even put up a fight when it comes to their health. They just shrug it off, thinking that illness is a part of life.
Ruiz, 52, said that he sees a specialist for back problems, but isn't
concerned about heart disease, cancer, or diabetes. Death, he says, is a part of
Of course death is a part of life, but nobody develops diabetes and suddenly drops dead. That would be too easy. No, diabetes starts to take over your entire body, and over time you start to notice changes in your skin, your eyesight, and eventually your kidney, or heart function.
Sure death, and illness are a part of life, but if more people would take care of themselves, I probably wouldn't have to wait an hour in a doctor's office lobby before being seen. I'm just sayin'.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Martin H.S. Class of '88

I attended my 20-year high school reunion this Saturday. Not everyone that I wanted to see showed up, but my better half and I (both Class of '88) had a good time.

It was fun to see people you lost touch with right after graduation. However changed we all looked, we all seemed to pick up where we left off and catch up on the last two decades.

Plans for the 25th Reunion were hinted at with the hopes of more cooperation from the larger group that the Class of '88 was (about 400 members).

One of our former teachers, class sponsor Mary Lara, joined in our celebration and delivered a short speech thanking us for the memories (Ms. Lara pictured above with 5 of the 10 senior class officers: Myrna, Terry, Sarah, Annie, Elsa).

By the way, I'm the one wearing the tie.

Baby Rock

Here's something for rockin' Laredo parents and their tots.
"(It's) something new for Laredo," she said, reassuring the brands she carries are the same ones worn by Maddox Jolie-Pitt. "But I think there are moms out there that want their children to look hip."

Ms. Gonzalez is thinking outside the local Z-93 Tejano box. I wish her luck.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Upcoming elections

Local school district trustee seats are up for grabs this November.
To file for a place on the ballot, applications must be submitted by Aug. 26 at 5 p.m. at the respective school district.

I ran across one campaign sign in South Laredo which left me a bit unsettled. It states, "elect 'Candy' for the kids."
If there's a candidate whose nickname is Candy, do I really want her to sit on the LISD school board.
And the slogan has a weird vibe to it. It has a sort of predatory feel to it.
You be the judge.

Nixon H.S. Class Reunion

The Nixon Class of '88 got together last night at the Atrium in north Laredo. I was lucky enough to gain access to their soiree and see how the other side parties.

I didn't know how they'd react to my presence, being that I'm a graduate from rival Martin H.S. but everybody was really gracious and welcoming.

I gotta hand it to the planning committee (Green balloon picture [L to R]: Jerry Rodriguez, Cindy Cipriano-Macias, Andy Ibarra, Vicki Lugo-Blanco, and Joe Mireles) they picked a really nice place to hold the event. They must've charged a pretty penny for admission, or they must know somebody's uncle. Either way, nice job Mustangs.

Rick's plate sale

A lot of people picked up their plates in drive-thru mode. The line of cars spilled out onto McPherson Rd.

I picked up my two plates, hoping to see Rick Flores working the grill, or stirring the beans, or something. Naranjas. It's a shame though; his cowboy hat would've been perfect for a day like this.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Lazy Saturday

The Edwards Aftermath

Hilary Clinton backers claim that if that slithery, well groomed liar John Edwards had come clean earlier, we would not have Obama as head of the Democratic ticket..

"I believe we would have won Iowa, and Clinton today would therefore have been the nominee," former Clinton Communications Director Howard Wolfson told "Our voters and Edwards' voters were the same people," Wolfson said the Clinton polls showed. "They were older, pro-union. Not all, but maybe two-thirds of them would have been for us and we would have barely beaten Obama."

We leave you with this classic bit of 2 ladies fighting over the has-been.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Favre update - part trois

He completed a practice. Rumor has it he also undid his chin strap at the end of the day. He may have also adjusted a cleat. But, like previous report(s), that remains unconfirmed.

Korean Conflict Veterans of Laredo, TX

Veterans of the Korean Conflict gathered yesterday at Jarvis Plaza to commemorate the 55th anniversary of the armistice.

Mr. Ernesto Sanchez shares some words with La Sanbe.

Converse conjunto - Laredo, TX

I was impressed with these young musicians.

Here they were, wearing their Mossimo threads while keeping the spirit of Juana la Cubana alive.

The next generation has done us proud.
Our culture will endure.

Rick Flores needs your help

If you're in the area tomorrow, stop by 6114 McPherson to help Rick Flores make ends meet.

Cheap labor

A multimillionaire entrepreneur comes to the aid of immigrants.
A hardcore free-market believer, Hildreth said immigration policy should be driven by economics and not politics.

Companies are always outsourcing jobs to "stay competetive." But what about those that can't move their operations overseas? Farmers, Wal-Mart, and every hotel in Las Vegas need cheap labor. Why should they be at a disadvantage when Levi's is able to relocate to Mexico?
"We always need more laborers to stay the strongest country in the world," said Hildreth, a former economist with the International Monetary Fund who now directs a private investment firm, mostly focused on Latin America.

I love it when businessmen are honest with us.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Get your traffic here

Letter to the editor

In today's Laredo Morning Times op/ed page:

Laredo animal shelter leaves much to be desired

My wife and I recently went to the Laredo animal shelter to adopt a pet, and let me tell you that is the most disgusting, filthy, disease-ridden, tick-infested place I have ever seen.

The animals are not properly separated - one little dog was attacked twice by three other dogs while we were there - and the place should be shut down.
It is not a protective society and we should all be ashamed of the way it is run.

Most of the animals will never be adopted or they will be returned because of health or other issues such as the cost of nursing them back to good health and maybe recycled, but they won't be able to fit into a family atmosphere.

I should have followed my first instinct and gone to the Valley or San Antonio where shelters are properly run and animals cared for rather than a holding pen for death.

Donal Sullivan

Gustavo Guevara

The City of Laredo wants a new trial.
"It's unfortunate because this is now going to continue on for probably another
nine months," said Doanh "Zone" T. Nguyen, the lead attorney for Hilda Negrete,
the former city secretary employee who filed the original sexual harassment

The city is actually looking past this, and hoping that an Appeals Court rules in their favor.
That's great.
I'd love to hear Guevara's response, repeated in a San Antonio Appeals Court, concerning Negrete's face superimposed onto a picture of a scantily clad woman. They'll love this.
Guevara said during his deposition testimony the image was a "work of

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Nixon Band Parents

Ah, the things parents go through for their kids.

Border Security

The Feds talked smuggling at the Border Security Conference in El Paso.
FBI Director Robert Mueller, who also spoke at the border conference
Monday, said the FBI is working directly with Mexican officials as part of an
anti-kidnapping effort in Laredo and Nuevo Laredo.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Life Downs

Mike Garcia with the Phantom Regiment

Thief targets immigrants

Authorities say that a black or Hispanic man has been doing his own kind of profiling in north Austin.
Arevalo said the man might sit in apartment courtyards, watching for potential

All he wants is the cash. And who has large amounts of cash at home? Answer: immigrants with no bank accounts.
Arevalo said there might have been other robberies that have not been
rported because the victims might fear deportation.

Rick Flores is still sheriff

And he wears a cowboy hat indoors to prove it.
Rick Flores stopped by KGNS, in full casual Friday wear, to defend his actions.
He described those who vented at the Commissioner's Court as disgruntled employees.
During public comment there were several shots taken at Sheriff Flores
accusing him of abusing his power and firing or demoting employees for reasons
that lay beyond the scope of reason.
Rick should know a thing or two about being disgruntled. Rick lost his reelection bid and is currently working on his second appeal, in an effort to keep Martin Cuellar from coming between him and all his starched outfits.
I kid Rick Flores.
But seriously, how can he go before a tv audience and call his employees "disgruntled?" It's dismissive, arrogant, and part of the reason he lost the election.
Give it up Rick; we're not that into you.
We all know that you can't please all of the people, all of the time, but for pete's sake, show some diplomacy.
You'll have plenty of time to work on it come January.

Monday, August 11, 2008


My Sunday morning wakeup call

A man sustained a gunshot wound to the face.
"He doesn't recall how it happened," he said. "Family members claim they heard
the gunshot, but they don't know how it happened, either."

C'mon, take a guess.
This goes back to what Alex talked about recently.
Somebody knows something; they're just not talking.

Favre update - part deux

There are unconfirmed reports that Brett Favre just took a big dump somewhere in the New York Tri-State Region. Again, we would like to stress at this time that this is an unconfirmed report.

A political affair

We're close to knowing who Obama's VP choice will be. Bill Richardson's name was thrown around as a possible candidate because of his foreign affairs experience, and his Hispanic roots.

I wasn't too hyped about Richardson. He appeared confused at times. Martin Villaraigosa, I thought, had a better chance of holding higher office - that is, until I learned of his affair. His stock shot down from there.

Another person who could've been a contender is Henry Cisneros. But he too was bitten by the extramarital love bug. If only he hadn't......

Heck of a public servant, Henry, so big-hearted and capable; watching him
work a crowd in San Antonio back in the day, you'd have sworn you were looking
at the future.

Favre update

He fumbled a snap and had to run a penalty lap. Fascinating. War and Olympics have nothing on this.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Shopping in Laredo

Common complaints about Mexican shoppers are that they don't know how to drive, they leave trash all over the place, and they can be a bit obnoxious.
But where would Laredo be without them?
But the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank estimated that Mexican shoppers spend $2.3 billion a year in El Paso, Laredo, McAllen and Brownsville, according to a 2006 study, the most recent data available.

We'd probably have only one Wal-Mart, instead of three.

Troll Under Bridge

Summer 2008 continues.. This is the Fremont Troll under Aurora bridge in Seattle, WA.

Buenos dias, como amanecio?


My wife and I were wakened to the sound of gunfire this morning. This is the third time we've heard blasts coming from the same direction in the last sixty days. I always thought that it was the neighbors shooting into the sky, or playing around with Mexican fireworks (palomas). But a friend recently told me that Nuevo Laredo doesn't allow the sale, or use, of fireworks.

What was different today was that we heard about ten consecutive shots fired. There's no snooze button on that; you are up at that point.

So we peek outside but the streets are desolate. We spot a couple of neighbors outside of their houses, trying to find out what happened. Within five minutes of the shots, police sirens are coming in our direction.
I dare venture out of my house only when I see more people standing outside in their pajamas.
At this point, a cop has blocked the street with his patrol car, and taped off the area with the yellow plastic ribbon that you see in every movie crime scene.

I'm thinking, oh crap, somebody's dead.

A neighbor hails me after he/she gives the officer a statement. There I go, in pajamas, with awesome bedhead, and the sleep still in my eyes, to gossip at dawn.

I excuse myself after a while thinking that Pro8News will be here any second, and catch me in my Sunday's best.
Anyway, word is that someone got grazed by a bullet near the face.
We'll see what becomes of this.
Have a good day y'all.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Sex Olympics

With any collection of humans, there will be a distribution of achievers, underachievers, winners, losers and those driven by the opposite sex (like Tommy Lee). Every 4 years brings together the largest and most accomplished group of athletes from every corner of the globe. With such an assembly comes.. ahem.. natural human behavior. In preparation, 100,000 condoms have been flown into Beijing so that the Olympic village is fully stocked for the 'festivities'.

Those (should I say fortunate ones?) who have lived through these assemblies describe a most exclusive of VIP clubs with 24/7 access to world-class cuisine, Internet & contact info to any of the world's most accomplished athletes. This article describes a day in the life of living in this environment. It sort of paints the picture of a real Sodom and Gomorrah going on over in Beijing about now.

Anything to declare?

A least a couple of people have been busted in Laredo for having large containers of gasoline at their houses.
Ciudad Acuna is cracking down on the practice.
...but carrying extra containers home with fuel is a violation of customs and export rules and in some cases is a safety violation.

El Santo Nino


The Laredo Morning Times reported today that Tycola "Ty" Moses was sworn in as Laredo Police Department's first African American officer.

A recent transplant to Laredo in 2004, Ms. Moses was pinned by her 11-year old son. Diversity is a good thing.

Friday, August 8, 2008

8-8 2008 drummers

We close this most unique (numerical anyway) date in history 8 - 8 - 08. China assembled 2008 drummers banging away in unison. Simple, big, powerful spectacle. Welcome to the Chinese Century.

Another casual Friday

So Clay Aiken had a baby, and John Edwards is the father? Did I get that right?

National Enquirer has been running the Edwards affair/lovechild story for a while. My question is: when is the story of W. back on the bottle going to make the nightly news?

Laredo trying to represent

Via the 11th Hour.

One Force

Workers who helped cleanup the Rio Grande Valley after Hurricane Dolly are being bilked out of their pay.
"I worked for 44 hours cleaning up hurricane damage in Harlingen and South Padre Island," Daniel Salazar said. "I worked long hours and paid for my own gas, and now I'm getting nothing."

I hope someone is held to account.
The Texas Department of Licensing and Registration, which must approve companies that commission temporary workers, has no record of One Force.


Thursday, August 7, 2008

Summer '08

Where have you gone?

Laredo Democrats -- Unite!

Who needs the Democratic Convention in Denver when Laredo will have its own meet-up. Local leaders want the public to come out to the Civic Center on August 23 at 10 a.m.
In order for Texas to go Democratic, we need a very strong showing in South Texas.

I hope we have a strong showing at this function. 10 a.m. on a Saturday? Most Laredoans will be hung over. But I kid.

Seriously, Webb County needs to stand behind Barack Obama. He got about 30% support from the locals in the primary.
But this is about our country, and this is about our party, and we are supporting Obama.

La Sanbe won't live-blog from the Civic Center, but it'll bring you coverage later in the day.
I'll be sure to wear something nice.
He said he is working diligently to get a local or state representative from Obama's campaign to attend, and added that U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar and State Sen. Judith Zaffirini will be on hand at the assembly to talk about their campaigns and the party.

New Metallica

New Metallica in stores September 12. Of note here is one of LaSanbe's favorite bassists (Geddy - we didn't say THE, just one of) Roberto Agustín Trujillo is said to be a heavy contributor to this work. Roberto has previously played in Suicidal Tendencies, Black Label Society and with Ozzy. Does this mean a Suicidal influence on Metallica? Mexi-tallica anyone?

Brett the Jet

It's over.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Training camp

Don't forget Hard Knocks tonight at 9.

National Guard in Afghanistan

Sgt. Jaime Gonzalez, of Austin, was killed in combat yesterday while traveling in a convoy.
Gonzalez deployed early this year with the 436th Chemical Co., based in Laredo, after training more than two months at Fort Bragg, N.C.

Dem. Party Chairman Sergio Mora

On Barack Obama
The alarm bells are ringing, and we have a real card in Barack Obama, who can offer real change.

On people who are hired for elections
The same people keep getting hired to work these elections, and if there is a way, I would like to get away from that.

And lastly, on the possibility of a new sheriff's election if Rick Flores' appeal were to go through
If another election were to be called, I would be detrimental to the voters of Webb County, he said. And it would cause an extra strain on the elections office, (which) is gearing up for the November General Election.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Jitney Jungle

UPDATE on 4/13/19: Gringo Barrio band played at remodeled Jitney Jungle on May 3, 2014.

Jitney Jungle photo via Google Maps.  Photo with partial Jitney Jungle in view is my own.