Tuesday, September 30, 2008

John Peter Montalvo

The former LISD Board president lost a plea to have two other board members disqualified from future trustee proceedings. Let's go to his reaction.
No one answered the phone at Montalvo's residence Monday evening.
Ok, let's go to his attorney.
His attorney, Maria Elena Morales, did not return phone calls seeking
Well, what about one of the trustees in question.
Montes did not return a phone call Monday seeking comment.


Me thinks that they were all watching the Ravens/Steelers game which, by the way, went into overtime. A nailbiter; it was awesome.

United HS Class of '88 Reunion

Go to www.United88.myevent.com for details.

Monday, September 29, 2008

36 days to go

Laredoans are all of a sudden republican and proud of it.

Henry Cuellar votes NO on bailout

This is part of his press release which will be in rotation with news outlets in the days to follow.
Today I voted against H.R. 3997 because I believe that to ensure we have a
healthy economy, the country needs a broad-based economic recovery
We need to take action to restore confidence in the U.S.
economy, but not on the
backs of the taxpayers.

I've received
many calls and emails from constituents across my district
with the
overwhelming majority opposing this bailout.
Wow. I didn't know people were into this.

240 miles away

  • Friday Night Lights returns in two days, but only for Direct TV customers. A friend who lives in Austin will make a couple of cameo appearances.

  • The Austin City Limits Festival happened over the weekend. Me? I was in a bar closer to home. (see below)

  • I used to be a fan of Pete Sampras until he started hatin' on Tina Fey.

  • And a young mayor in Granjeno, TX is tickled pink that Sarah Palin is on the republican ticket this year. Dear gawd.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Mucho Stinko

How the mighty have fallen. 3 weeks ago, conventional wisdom suggested that winners of the USC/Ohio State & Florida/Georgia match ups would meet for the BCS finale. That was then. Fast forward to this fine Sunday morning and we find USC & Florida going down to unranked, unheralded foes. Ohio State & Georgia were both blown out of the water by ranked opposition.

New suitors for the big prize are now Oklahoma (sucks), Alabama, Missouri and some school in Austin. Colt McCoy (so far) has better stats and win record than either Tim Tebow or Mark "Dirty" Sanchez. Who knew.

Let's check back around Halloween and see if this is a trend or a temporary blip on the 'ol radar. The new AP Top 20 is a follows..

1. Oklahoma 4-0, 2. Alabama (21), 3. LSU 4-0, 4. Missouri (1) 4-0, 5. Texas 4-0 6. Penn State 5-0, 7. Texas Tech 4-0, 8. Brigham Young 4-0, 9. USC 2-1, 10. South Florida 5-0 11. Georgia 4-1, 12. Florida 3-1, 13. Auburn 4-1, 14. Ohio State 4-1, 15. Utah 5-0 16. Kansas 3-1, 17. Boise State 3-0, 18. Wisconsin 3-1, 19. Vanderbilt 4-0, 20. Virginia Tech 4-1

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Sabado giant

I had the opportunity to visit one of Laredo's many watering holes tonight, mainly out of curiosity. By the way, 12-ounce beer cans go for two bucks.
Anyway, I don't want to give out the name of the establishment in order to protect the innocent. All I'll say is the name of the place rhymes with pilver bollar Cantina Pub. It's a cozy little downtown bar with an ambience all its own. Inside, one whiff gives you a hint of incense and patas. Very earthy.
If you're trying to lay low for a while, this is the place to go. To life, gentlemen.

Friday, September 26, 2008

First Debate

McCain and Obama went at it tonight at the Univ. of Miss. I didn't hear anything new from both sides. One thing that struck me was McCain's posture. He wants to be seen as a uniter yet he couldn't even look to his left to make eye contact with Obama.

Good evening

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Rio Grande will rise

It is expected that the river will rise anywhere from 16 to 18 feet tomorrow. Parks and Rec. staff spent Tuesday removing playground equipment, grills, benches, and fencing from the riverside park to prevent any damage.

People are encouraged to stay away. New rule: unless you're a blogger, in which case you'll be needed to cover this event.

I accept.

Downtown Laredo

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Laredo's Tax Assessor

It's been a year since Patricia Barrera's office was raided by the Attorney General's staff. And today we hear that one of her employees was booked and charged.
...allegations that Barrera and her employees were holding illegal raffles to raise money for her reelection campaign

Will wait for the other shoe to drop.

Blend in

'Country First' My Ass

John McCain wants to postpone Friday's debate, and suspend his campaign to deal with the financial crisis rocking Wall Street right now.
Because, of course, Congress can't wipe its butt without John McCain's help.

But what's funnier is how the right wing is reacting to this: talking about Bette Midler.

A Note from Mr. Paulson

Dear American:

I need to ask you to support an urgent secret business relationship with a transfer of funds of great magnitude.

I am Ministry of the Treasury of the Republic of America. My country has had crisis that has caused the need for large transfer of funds of 800 billion dollars US. If you would assist me in this transfer, it would be most profitable to you.

I am working with Mr. Phil Gram, lobbyist for UBS, who will be my replacement as Ministry of the Treasury in January. As a Senator, you may know him as the leader of the American banking deregulation movement in the 1990s. This transaction is 100% safe.

This is a matter of great urgency. We need a blank check. We need the funds as quickly as possible. We cannot directly transfer these funds in the names of our close friends because we are constantly under surveillance. My family lawyer advised me that I should look for a reliable and trustworthy person who will act as a next of kin so the funds can be transferred.

Please reply with all of your bank account, IRA and college fund account numbers and those of your children and grandchildren to wallstreetbailout@treasury.gov so that we may transfer your commission for this transaction. After I receive that information, I will respond with detailed information about safeguards that will be used to protect the funds.

Yours Faithfully Minister of Treasury Paulson

Editor's note: His name was Treasurer Paulson.. His name was Treasurer Paulson.. His name was Treasurer Paulson..

Saturday, September 20, 2008

El otro cachete

[Forgive me doctor for I have sinned. It's been a couple of years since I've been to the dentist's chair.]

I headed off early this morning to see my dentist in Nuevo Laredo. His office opens at 9:00 a.m. I didn't have an appointment but I thought they'll see me nonetheless.

Right off, his assistant asked me if I had an appointment. I didn't like where this was going. She convinced me to wait because someone might cancel or be late.
And that's exactly what happened, so I was the first one in. Yes, I'm the man!!!!!!! Mothra's got nothing on me!!!

(fast forward)

He removed a filling, started the root canal, sealed me up, and sent me packing with a prescription for an antibiotic and an anti-inflammatory medication (pictured). I was outta there at 10:30. The doctor did show up a little late so we didn't really get started till around 9:30 or so. Hey it's Saturday so he gets some slack. I have to make two more visits before the work is done.

The part I hate about going to Nuevo Laredo is the trip back. I spent an hour on the bridge. Grrrrr. I bought a 1-liter bottle of water, and a newspaper. Bladder don't fail me now.

Anyway, sensation is starting to come back to the left side of my face, and I could go for some nachos right about now.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Ya Pa Que

On two occasions, I've noticed that a police car is parked across the street from the site of the old Bruni Vergara home downtown.
I don't know if it's a coincidence or if the Laredo Police Dept. has been placed on rubble duty.

UPDATE (September 3, 2015):  At the site of the demolished home near bridge 2, a duty free shop was constructed by the infamous Khaledi brothers.  I don't recall if they were sanctioned by the city for tearing down the historic home in the middle of the night.  Anyway, I recently came across a September 1998 issue of LareDOS in a stack of magazines.  In scanning the 'Journal of the Borderlands' I noticed a photo of the home where Lamar Bruni Vergara grew up, the home that was reduced to rubble.

Meg Guerra, publisher of LareDOS, featured several properties from the downtown area that needed a little tending.  Of concern was the state of sidewalks, debris around homes, etc.

I love finding photos like this one.  It reminds me how Laredo used to look.  I applaud Meg Guerra and anyone else who archives Laredo's history.  The photographic reminders may not seem like much, but without them, we won't know how much we've changed.

Laredo's Democratic Party

Webb County's Democratic Party will have its Campaign Headquarters' Grand Opening tonight from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at 1819 San Agustin.

Refreshments will be served.

Election Day Mess

There are 32 days left till early voting begins. That could mean only one thing: Oscar Villarreal, Webb County Elections Administrator, will soon grace our TV screens to reassure us about how his staff will be up to the task of making sure every vote counts.

Now, local voters will be a bit skeptical of the voting process because of what happened earlier this year. We had Republicans voting in a Democratic primary, a Stetson-wearing urban cowboy (who has gone MIA apparently) making allegations that voting machines were not on the up-and-up, and a sheriff's race that had vote counts change twice.

Sure 2008 highlighted some of the things that can go wrong with an election but Webb County isn't unique when it comes to election errors.
In Palm Beach County, Fla, more than 3,500 ballots went missing

You see, it's not a Laredo thing - it only looks that way.

With an increase in voter registration nationwide, and a major election weeks away, it behooves those charged with overseeing our polling sites to make sure all their bases are covered. Or does it?
The company, formerly called Diebold, said it has no fix for the problem now,
but election officials can catch the errors

Nevermind, we're effed.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

One candle

La Sanbe is breaking out the birthday cake, for it is officially one year old today.

For the upcoming year, I hope things in Laredo get more stupid and ridiculous. I hope more Laredoans from around the country come on board. And I hope to find out the identity of the person who keeps logging in as _ch...

Thanks for checking in.

Rookie receiver

What happened with the Eagle receiver that flicked the ball backwards just before getting into the end zone? Did it count? Was is a fumble?

I just checked out parts of the game, and then saw that highlight afterwards.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Bernal's CLUB

Not to be confused with Bernal's Place.

Let's see.
Iron screen door - check.
Window unit (AC) - check.
Shoddy construction - check.

It's a Laredo watering hole, alright.

Meet Quiroz at Bernal's CLUB this Thanksgiving for La Sanbe's first ever meet-and-greet. A thank you, if you will, to my loyal readers. I don't know if the Dallas game will be aired so don't hold it against me or anything.

Panic! Wall Street meltdown! Time to make out.

I'll let first 20 seconds of clip explain headline..

Laredo ISD Board

What is going on with the Board that the FBI needs to get involved?
LISD Board President John Montalvo levied accusations toward several colleagues
in a letter to the FBI on Monday

Perhaps it has something to do with September 11.
I suspect that these board members sabotoaged the September 11, 2008 meeting to
assure a four vote majority on some of the items posted in the agenda.

Trustee Mina Montes will not stand for it; she's writing her own letter.
She said she is going to write the FBI her own letter, accusing Montalvo of
harassing her by stalking.

We're at the mercy of morons.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Shine On Richard Wright

Richard Wright, founding member and keyboardist for classic band Pink Floyd left earth today. LaSanbe is into classic rock and, around here, there is no work more appreciated than Dark Side of The Moon. Wright wrote "The Great Gig in the Sky" and "Us and Them" (arguably one of the greatest rock compositions ever). Wright also worked on epic compositions such as "Echoes" and "Shine on You Crazy Diamond." Gone but not forgotten. Shine on Mr. Wright.

San Agustin Plaza - Laredo, TX

The plaza right across from the La Posada Hotel was full with locals feeling patriotic, for Mexico that is.

One thing's for sure: these people aren't Dallas Cowboys fans.

In between musical and dance performances, a Mexican Independence movie was featured on the jumbo screen. I would've stayed till midnight to hear the ceremonial grito, but it's a school night and these pictures weren't going to upload themselves.

See if you can spot newly-elected sheriff Martin Cuellar on the balcony.

Get your grito on

Laura M. tells us how to celebrate El 16 de Septiembre.

Party's over

There used to be a time when it was easy to score alcohol.
"At some point they change (clothes). I've seen it and even called
parents out to the scene and the parent's first comment is, 'That's not the way
she left the house.'"
The clothing is not an issue; it's the curfew violation, the drinking, hanging out with adults, etc.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Finally the rain

It started coming down around 5:30 p.m.

Mark Sanchez

The Trojans won 35-3.
Sanchez finished 17-for-28 for 172 yards with one interception...

(tim tebow)

In NFL news, Kurt Warner, who is like 50 years old, finished with 361 passing yards. Of course, he was playing against Miami so I don't really know if that's something.

Put Me In Jail

A little Sunny and the Sunliners action to chill out on a Sunday..

Saturday, September 13, 2008

No signs of Ike

Our local meteorologist, "Heatwave" Berler, said we were going to get generous amounts of rain this weekend. My weekend is shot, I thought.

But as you can see, it turned out to be a beautiful Saturday. The billboard is not the result of strong winds; that's just normal neglect.

Now go watch some football.

Death Magnetic Arrives

Sort of like waiting on the Olympics, every 4 years or so comes the arrival of a new Metallica album. The band's output has been an up and down (mostly down) cycle since the early 90s. Hard to believe it has been greater than 15 years since the last memorable guitar solo or any sort of inspired metal effort (you know, the quick start/stops, double bass kicks, guitar solos, epic arrangements etc). Well, for fans of that sort of thing, this album appears (on first listen) to be a return to form. Can check out the entire album by streaming it directly from the band's website. Track listing:

1. “This Was Just Your Life” 7:08
2. “The End of the Line” 7:52
3. “Broken, Beat & Scarred” 6:25
4. “The Day That Never Comes“ 7:56
5. “All Nightmare Long” 7:57
6. “Cyanide” 6:39
7. “The Unforgiven III” 7:46
8. “The Judas Kiss” 8:00
9. “Suicide & Redemption” 9:57
10. “My Apocalypse“ 5:01

Drunk Olympics

How better to get over a breakup than downing some Red Bulls (with Vodka) then heading over to compete in a high jump competition? Ivan Ukhov did just that with some fairly spectacular results.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Laredo ISD Meeting

Yesterday, I got home from work hoping to see a contentious LISD Board meeting on public access TV. For sure, I thought, Mina Montes and Jose Valdez were going to go at it with regards to older taxpayers' debt collection, and I'll have my VCR ready to capture the highlights. To my dismay, a meeting that took place on Sept. 2 was aired instead. So no meeting?
It was almost standing room only at Thursday's meeting of the LISD Board of Trustees.

What happened was that there weren't enough trustees present to have a quorum. Public access didn't run the meeting live because there wasn't a meeting to show.
"I hope it's not a ploy," said Board President John Peter Montalvo of the other trustees' absence. "But I think it's a ploy."

Yeah, you think? And these are supposed to be the leaders, the grown-ups, entrusted with our tax dollars and our kids' education?
"Welcome to Politics 101," Valdez said.

Who ordered the a**hole?

The Webb County Republican Women met last night to talk about conservative issues. Louis Bruni saw it as an opportunity to get his message out.
After saying his challenger was worse than former Cuban Prime Minister Fidel Castro was, Bruni was interrupted by the meeting's organizers, who said the meeting was not meant for campaign speeches.
Awkward. So how does Mr. Congeniality respond?
"Whoever doesn't like what Im saying, they can get the hell out of here," he said.
Always the gentleman.

You're 56 today

Happy Birthday Neil Peart!

Vince Young Not Crazy Says Vince Young

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Funny haha

From Rolling Stone's list of funny YouTube videos, this is my favorite.

You've probably seen a story like this where you live. It's funny and embarrassing at the same time.

Take 2

Interesting take on Vince Young and Matt Leinart in this article. The 2 QBs were stars in one of the greatest college football games ever. Both were 'can't miss prospects' set to take their talents to the next level in the NFL. Now, as article puts it, Leinart can't get on the field in Phoenix and Titans fans want Young off the field.

Laredo, TX

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Hump Day Happenings

Tomorrow's LISD meeting should be a good one. Trustees will look at the legalities of taxing the elderly.
"I don't believe we should be putting poor families on the streets," Valdez
said, adding he recently found out LISD was selling homesteads on auction for
defaulting on taxes.

I'll set up my VCR.

LareDOS has filed a lawsuit against Mayor Salinas for having its issues removed from stands.
The lawsuit says the cost of the newspapers was about $400 and asks for
compensation for the papers, attorney fees, damages from the city and Salinas
for violations of the First Amendment and punitive damages against
This is going to be a thorn in the mayor's side come election time.

And Cigarroa's QB is out with a torn left ACL. (He tore his right ACL last year)
"Being a senior, I want to continue playing," Cruz said. "First I have to
see what the doctor in San Antonio says, but if he gives me the option of
playing and waiting until the end of the season to have surgery, I'm going to

I can see how he would be disappointed about sitting out his last year of football, but at some point he, or his family, has to realize that this is his body trying to tell him something. He could play the rest of the season wearing a brace, or he could wind up on crutches with both ACLs torn. I'm no doctor but I have seen many on TV; I would think that he would put more stress on the "good" knee.
If placed in this position, what would you do? WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

Word is...

The "Hope Knocking at Your Door: Graduation in Sight" campaign has been postponed in anticipation of Hurricane Ike's arrival.

Also, UISD football games will be played tomorrow instead of Friday night.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

More in signs

A rose by any other name...

I'm glad Ms. Cruz didn't overdo it with the rose under her first name. She just gives us a hint of her femininity. Still, some might find it inappropriate to include decorations like these on campaign signs, and those people would be me.

Thank goodness her name doesn't include an "I" because I would venture to guess that she would dot it with a small heart. (Sigh here)

Autmus Fest

KGNS just reported on TAMIU's music festival that takes place next month. Bands that will play October 11 are: Night Ranger, Little Joe y La Familia, Kinky, and NothingMore. More bands might be added.

Do You Know? Sunday Yoko Romo

New country album from the very hot Jessica "don't call me Alba" Simpson. It features song "You're my Sunday" dedicated to the QB leading LaSanbe's team. Here are the lyrics for your reading pleasure.

Don't you love waking up
and don't have to rush 'cause you ain't got much to do
Lay in bed with the TV on all day long
if you wanted to
You spend so much time
worried bout whats coming up next
Can't even find a little room a little space
Even catch a breath

When life is like a hurricane
Flying off the rails like a fast train
Everything around me is so insane
You come and take it all away
You're my Sunday

You show up right on time
Just when I need to take it slow
It's a mystery how easily you found the key
That always brings me home
You have a way of taking
The noise and drowning it out
I don't know what I would do
If I woke up and you were not around

When life is like a hurricane
Flying off the rails like a fast train
Everything around me is so insane
You come and take it all away
You're my Sunday

Guns and ammo

Still waiting for more details on the firearms that were stolen from a SWAT member's car. Last night, KGNS reported that approximately $20,000 worth of equipment went missing. Police officials were not available for an on-camera statement.


Monday, September 8, 2008

Paper plates

I always come across cars with temporary license plates. I've even seen some with dates on the plates that have already passed. And I wonder how one can tell if the plates are legit.

You can tell when a car has just left the lot. It's got a shine all around. It's with the used cars that it gets tricky.
Se utilizan para evadir el pago de contribuciones tanto estatales como del condado

Translation: people use 'em to avoid paying registration fees.
If the plates are temporary, and all four wheels don't match, it might be a scam.
If the plates are temporary, and the car has old bumper stickers, it might be a scam.


La Sanbe starts up again with the story of Tim Tebow.

...little to do with strategy and a lot to do with the increased maturation of
the Heisman Trophy winner who runs his offense.

Tim's Gators beat Miami.

In the polls, Texas is at number 8.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Al Guevara

The NFL on CBS

What is going on?!!!
The local CBS channel always shows the Houston Texans games. But not today. Channel 6 decided to go with the Jets v. Dolphins. What's up with that? They're playing on a baseball field for petessake.
I called up Time Warner but to no avail. Sunday not starting off well. GGGrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

The pattern continues

I came across some new campaign signs along the Bob Bullock Loop.
Henry Cuellar didn't splurge for his signs. I guess he thinks he's got this one in the bag. But it's better than nothing; we don't want people to think that he's entitled to anything.

My eyes quickly turned to "Pancho" Gonzalez's sign. Make note: he wants us to refer to him as PANCHO!!! So when you go to the polls, look for Pancho.

Love the colors of the sign - very patriotic. I'm bothered by that "N". At first glance, it reminded my of a brontosaurus. Is that my inner Freud showing? What do you see when you look at this sign? Do tell.

"Continuing to Progress for our children's success" sounds like a football cheer. Rah! Rah!

Saturday, September 6, 2008


My wife and I went to TAMIU's Planetarium today to see U2: A Digital Dome Experience.

I was surprised to see older people there. I didn't know retirees rocked out to U2.

Some scenes made me dizzy, and the music at first was so loud that it sounded distorted. Nevertheless, it was a good way to spend our Saturday afternoon.

Anyway, the show's graphics were sort of like Pantera's Planet Caravan video. Some scenes matched the music, some didn't.

The Pitbull

Sarah Palin is being described as a tough, no nonsense candidate that's ready to be Vice President. And that's fine. I have no problem with women being assertive, commanding, and on a higher pay grade than me. The problem I have is the mixed messages the GOP camp is sending. She compares herself to a pitbull and then cowers from the media.
If we think going on TV news shows are in our best interests, we'll do it, if we don't, we won't.

This tells me she's not prepared. If she's tough, why doesn't she stand up to the campaign and say, I will go on the TV talkshows and make my case. If she's qualified, why the media blackout?

It's hypocrisy, with a dash of denial, run rampant that's too easy to mock.

For the next two months, all she'll do is appear at private campaign fundraisers, and deliver scripted speeches.

As much as they try to distance themselves from "43" it's of no use, for they are doing the same things that we've seen the last eight years from Bush and Co.

Friday, September 5, 2008


La Feria

I just heard some rumbling outside. Living in the Chacon, I immediately thought it might be someone up to no good, but I was wrong. Expomex 2008 is underway. The noise I heard was of fireworks.

Viva Mexico!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Two months to go

I saw most of McCain's speech tonight. It looked like a State of the Union Address - half of the people were into it, and the rest were checking their watch.

The intro was kinda funny. "In a box is where he found his strength."
OK, we know, he's a former POW!

And I don't know how to feel about the hecklers. Part of me thought they were tacky, while the other part thought, how can they protect us from foreign enemies when they can't protect themselves from protesters. USA! USA! USA!

Bring on the debates.

Closing Time

First, smoking was banned in public places. And now, there's talk about selling alcohol only till 11 p.m. I'm no bar hopper but that seems kinda harsh.
Si hablamos de los restaurantes y bares que están a lo largo de toda la avenida
San Bernardo, éstos perderían más de la mitad de los ingresos y los empujaría a
la quiebra”, afirmó el ex edil.

Bars would definitely suffer financially if this ordinance took off.

It would be interesting to see if the corporate beer world would come to Laredo to fight City Hall on this one.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Jarvis Plaza

Rick Noriega in Laredo

The Casablanca Ballroom is hosting a dance for Rick Noriega this Friday. I'd go but my boots are getting resoled.

Martin Cuellar dropping hints

The new sheriff takes office in January. What changes he'll make remains to be seen.
reitero que quienes esten bien preparados se van a quedar...

The department will definitely see some new faces. Or will it?
Voy a integrar ex oficiales del Departamento de Seguridad Publica...

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

New stadium

Football is almost here!


In the year 2000

In the year 2000, Laredo politicians will no longer use nicknames on campaign signs, forcing citizens to actually learn their real names.

Monday, September 1, 2008

El Puente Blanco

The Zacate Creek is taking a break from the heavy rains of last week. The result - a lush landscape.


People from Monterrey are being flown to McAllen to shop. Laredo businessmen see this as a threat.
Hoteliers know that the Mercedes outlet mall has attracted many Mexican shoppers and ask when Laredo's three planned retail centers - Town Center, Piazza Mall and outlet mall at mile marker 18 - will break ground. Most wonder if El Portal will ever happen.

Pledge of Allegiance

Governor Palin thought the Founding Fathers had something to do with the Pledge. She should self-deport immediately.
Bellamy's original Pledge read, "I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic
for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

Everybody! I pledge........