Thursday, October 30, 2008

Paris for President

LaSanbe's official endorsement for 2008 - ORALE!

There's no conflict, really!

Maria Elena Morales and Webb County Attorney-elect Anna Laura Cavazos-Ramirez work together to collect delinquent taxes for the county. But now the county is debating whether a conflict of interest will exist when Ramirez takes office in January.
Here's Morales' take:
As the county attorney, she represents the county of Webb, and as a tax
collector, she represents the county of Webb

Morales doesn't see this as double dipping, but then, money has a way of clouding your thinking. I believe she's more concerned about losing the cut of cash the contract brings. And who can blame her? It's money! Lots of it! It's not her fault Ramirez won the office of county attorney.

Ramirez should quit her job as tax collector, and leave it to Morales to finish out the contract.
Would that happen?
If the court decides to terminate the contract, Cavazos-Ramirez said she
would take on the delinquent tax collections as county attorney

Ufas!!! Excuse me while I help Ms. Morales from under the bus.
I guess adversity does expose character.

Reader concerns

From Christie in Austin: don't eat chocolate coins. They may contain melamine.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

6 days to go

Louis Bruni knows how to take it to the streets. This party machine is parked along Zapata Highway. It's a good size; it fits everyone that's going to vote for him.

These huge rolling ads don't work. Maria Elena Morales had a big billboard on wheels that promoted her candidacy for D.A. earlier this year. She lost.

And I remember one other person who had a big ride with his face on it. He lost.

Sometimes less is more.


Henry Cuellar had another photo op yesterday. He presented the City of Laredo with a check from the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development. I like the way the reporter worded the event:
U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar symbolically presented a giant check for the amount to
Mayor Raul Salinas

Translation - he didn't really have anything to do with it, but is taking credit for it.
Could that be right or is it just me?

LISD is in need of legal representation from outside the city limits. What about the cost? Board member Guerra:
money should not be in mind when the board's image is at stake

First, the board's image has been tarnished beyond repair.
Second, spending more money only adds to your image problem.

And the city needs help naming its new mascot - a baby water tank.
...wears a standard school uniform that students of all ages and grade
levels can relate to
I saw an older gentleman watering the sidewalk last night. We need a mascot for him too.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Ads in el barrio

I'd get me some juicy couture if it was within my pay grade.

This billboard is situated right next to I-35 for northbound motorists coming in from Mexico. Or for white collar types who work downtown.

Vote flipping

I've never voted on a machine. Here's why:

Led What?

2 washed up 70s rock legends and the son of an angry, dead drunk have decided to put on a Led Zeppelin reunion tour without Roberto Planta (no spellos, this is Lasanbe) .

I'll put that on the 'ol to-do list right behind waxing the garage floor.

Red state red meat

Fr. Daniel Ramirez calls out republicans on their hypocrisy
The Right to Life includes those who are alive, living in poverty without health
care, those innocent men, women and children who are killed in an unjust war,
tortured or demean human life by Republican policy

As a result, some have questioned Ramirez' motives. Apparently, they can't understand how a religious man would support Barack Obama. They miss the whole point of Fr. Ramirez' argument that ALL life is sacred, and so, republicans fall shorter when it comes to practicing what was taught in Sunday school. But you only have to look at the picture below to get a sense of what's important to republicans: gay marriage, abortion, and wealth.

Sure, democrats (not all) support abortion rights, and civil unions for gay people so that runs counter to what the Church teaches. But republicans can't claim the high road when they make every attempt to hold on to their capitalistic way of life. They rail against nationalized healthcare, food stamps, social security, and taxes. And to that I offer Matthew 19:21:
Sell you possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in
And Luke 14:13
But when you give a banquet, invite the poor

Oh and republicans love their military, wars, and capital punishment even though one of the Commandments that almost everyone is familiar with says "thou shalt not kill."
All in all, the Bible will clash with the U.S. Constitution. Both democrats and republicans will have to compromise their beliefs in order to serve their country. It's just that republicans are bigger hypocrites than most.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Bad pairing

Local republicans bought some ad space in the Laredo Times Saturday to contrast John McCain from Barack Obama.

The ad points out each candidate's stance on issues like abortion, and gay marriage, with hopes that you'll vote for McCain.

But then you look at the picture of Bush immediately above and you're reminded of the crap we've had to endure for the last eight years. I don't think it was a ploy to sabotage the locals' intent since the Times endorsed McCain about a week ago. It's just that it seems counterproductive to set up the page as it appears, especially when republicans have distanced themselves from Bush this election cycle.


This is a cool idea.

Wall or no wall

Mayor Raul Salinas on the proposed border wall:
Walls don't work - people go under, over and around them

Immigration arrests have been on the decline. Still, that doesn't stop the Border Patrol from being proactive.
Border Patrol officials added hundreds of agents, are planning to clear thick
stands of non-native cane that provides hiding places

Sunday, October 26, 2008

No dive bar

Some people from high school decided to meet up at a north Laredo watering hole this weekend, and they were nice enough to give me a ring.

This place is located near the intersection of Del Mar and Springfield. It's a nice joint and I've got the beer receipt to prove it. ($4 for a long neck; $5 cover for guys)

One of the pictures here looks a bit cloudy. That's because the band started playing and they fired up the smoke machine. You don't get that sort of ambience at a bar on San Bernardo. And you also don't get guys dressed up as pirates dancing behind you. The guy had the wig working full-time; fine dreads = chick magnet. Some other people were there in costume. And why not, it's only t-minus fives days till Halloween.

Anyway, it's not my kinda place. It got so crowded that Mr. pirate guy was limited in his dance moves. And the music was so loud that I couldn't hear the person next to me.
But I had a good time nonetheless 'cause I spent some time with friends of old. If you're out there, reading this, call me. I'll pick the place next time.

Cigarroa throwbacks and newbies

Loitering about town, like I usually do, I came across some former Cigarroa HS football players. They were at Friday night's Cigarroa v. Nixon game. Cigarroa won 28-6. I left in a hurry, without asking them about the purpose of their organization.

I took the picture of the drummers because I know their drum instructor, Bobby Castro, a former Martin HS drummer himself. The Cigarroa band recently got a 1 rating (that's good) at a competition in Alice, TX.

Props to the south side.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Casual Friday

My friend Christie, from Austin, forwarded some pictures for my consideration.

Political violence

Kurgan and I have been going back and forth about violence directed at campaign supporters. (See post below: with 14 days left) The latest victim is a McCain supporter who was assaulted in Pittsburgh. She reported that her assailant carved a "B" on her face. But now, doubts about her story are starting to mount.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Winds of change

Via Kos, photo of the day.

My inner Monk

I've obssessed over my hair to some degree for the last 22 years, but I can safely say that I've never had douchebag hair. At least I don't think so.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Roll eyes here

If anybody asks me why I started blogging, I'll say it's because of signs like this.

First of all, can the word bling be any more outdated? To be truthful, I don't follow Entertainment Tonight or so I really don't know what the current lingo is.

Let's move on.

Bugs Bunny?!!! He's mostly known throughout Gen-X circles. This portrayal offends me; it's going to ruin what fond memories I have of the wascally wabbit. From now till I die, I'll think of Bugs as a pimp. South Laredo, how you ruined me.

Radio matters

The only two rock/pop radio stations in Laredo have worn out Kid Rock's All Summer Long and I'm sick of it.

Laredo green space

I'm glad somebody is paying attention to the environmental needs of the city. And in the Chacon no less.
I think one of the problems resulting from such rapid expansion was the
insufficient attention to the creation of green spaces so people could enjoy the
natural ecology of the area

There's so much chatter about the growth you see to the north, and south, part of town but none of it includes green spaces. I applaud John Galo, former city councilman who obtained a grant from the EPA for the project, and Michael Landeck for seeing this through. Take a gander.

These projects are good material for the Visitors Bureau ; they won't be relegated to using pictures of Mexican restaurants and pottery on their brochures.

Early voting in Laredo

There has been excellent voter turnout across Texas, but in Laredo, not so much.
Meanwhile, Monday's totals show 1,878 voters cast ballots during the first
day of early voting. Villarreal said the figure is less than half of first-day
early-voting totals during the March 4 primary.

I'm sure Hillary Clinton brought out a lot of voters for the primary, but this new number has more to do with the sheriff's race debacle that resulted in two recounts. And let us not forget that plain apathy reigns supreme in the Gateway City.

Here are some numbers.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Voting season

I don't know what to make of these Zaffirini campaign signs. The two hearts are spray-painted on. If it's part of a joke, I wish somebody would clue me in to the punchline.

It's only recently that I've noticed huge signs like these popping up around town. Both Zaffirini and Noriega have also been running TV ads. Bruni nothing.

But Bruni has been busy frying other fish, i.e. electronic voting machines.
Bruni, a candidate for Texas Senate District 21, is seeking an injunction that would prevent the use of the machines during early voting and on Election Day.

So that makes two public officials who don't like these machines: Sheriff Rick Flores and Bruni.
In his election appeal this summer, Flores argued that the integrity of the machines could not be trusted. We all know how that turned out. And now Bruni is doing the same.
I really don't see him coming out on top in the state senate race barring some miracle.
So message to any candidate out there: if you have a beef with electronic voting machines, you're pretty much toast. I'm just saying.

With 14 days left

The car of an Obama supporter was vandalized in Hays County.

That's pathetic; I feel for the owner of this car.

I actually don't have an Obama sticker on my car, but that's mostly due to procrastination. I've seen several cars in Laredo with Obama bumper stickers but have yet to hear any stories of malfeasance.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Watering hole - Sanbe edition

Our journey takes us to another of Laredo's many notorious dive bars. This one is actually located on San Bernardo Ave., near La Quinta Hotel. One feature of this fine establishment is that it has an open door policy. And by that, I mean both doors are open at all times, hence the oscillating fans. One cold brewsky (pictured) sets you back $2. I was the only patron present so I didn't really get a good feel of the place. Live music starts at 9 p.m., but regretfully, I don't have that kind of time. Cheers!

LMT endorsement

The Laredo Times endorses John McCain.
U.S. Sen. McCain is a straight shooter, but he does not shoot from the hip.
The American people can trust John McCain to lead and pull this country
from the depths of difficult time Americans face at home and abroad. He's
demonstrated that he means it when he tells us his mission is country first.
We need someone in the White House that the American people can believe
and trust to do what is right for the American main stream.
Senator McCain also advocates free trade - a major source of Laredo's
growth since the 1994 implementation of the North American Free Trade

This is what happens when you let your kids shadow you at work.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Channel 5 thread

The 'boys and Rams are tied at seven. Romo is no-show.

On channel 6, the Steelers are battling the Bengals.

On channel 4, we have soccer. Puebla v. the Pumas for those who care.

He's a Man. He's 40.

Coming soon to a town near you..

Good morning out there

Saturday, October 18, 2008

UT game thread

Up by seven points on a Saturday night

Off to the dentist

Recently, Mayor Raul Salinas talked about attracting tourists to Nuevo Laredo by highlighting medical and dental tourism. That could work. Lord knows that's the only reason I visit our neighbors to the south.

I would like to take this opportunity to advise any would-be tourists not to take your car across unless you don't mind spending one hour on the bridge crossing back. In the heat. With the smell of CO2. It can test anyone's patience.

Last couple of times, I've taken the more scenic route out towards the Columbia Bridge thinking I'll be spared the sweaty wait in line provided by the inner city bridges. But today I went through three car inspections. The first one took place five miles before the bridge, along the highway, courtesy of the Mexican military. The second took place about a mile before the toll booth, again by military personnel. And lastly, my car was inspected by our very own efficient, speedy, courteous, intelligent, spunky customs officers.

Suffice it to say, I was not a happy camper at the end of the trek.
My advice: walk across, and take a cab.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Look closely now

Apathy alive and well

Several candidates running for a spot on the Laredo ISD board didn't make it to the Public Access forums yesterday.
For south Laredo:
Incumbent Jesus Justo Guerra had a medical emergency, and candidate Hilda Candy
Villarreal chose not to attend

And for District 2, which includes El Chacon's Daiches Elementary:
Bruni said he was unaware of the debate, and De La Fuente said he was out of

These absences makes it easier for me to decide which way my vote will go.

But seriously, being "unaware" of the forum is a lame excuse. Bruni, and De La Fuente campaign signs are highly visible in my neighborhood. They obviously spent money on those things. Could all this just be a tax write-off ploy from the no-shows?

They probably just figure that nobody reads the newspaper, or watches Channel 3. But I would think that they would try to put a little more effort into this since a presidential election might actually bring out the natives to cast a vote.

La Sanbe will be on the lookout to see if any of these candidates hold a town hall meeting in the next couple of weeks. But I'm not holding my breath.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Power-Up Social!

Laredo's chapter of the Hispanic Women's Network met tonight at Danny's Restaurant to highlight the importance of voting this November.

Pictured left to right are: Roxanne I. Vedia, Jessica D. Garcia, Yolanda R. Molina, Sandra L. Cortez, Celita Garcia-Bowen, and Susana Carreon.

This organization advocates for the advancement of Hispanic women; addresses issues unique to Hispanas. Visit for more information.

Tonight's special guest was honorary member Mayor Raul Salinas.

Colonia Guadalupe

Ok, how many orange stickers does it take to take this car away?

Pura tragason

Right now, Pro8News is reporting that people are camping out at the new Chick-Fil-A restaurant which opens in the morning on Loop 20. Crazy, you say. Well it turns out that they'll get free grub for a year if they hold up till the morning.

By the way, there's a 70% chance of rain tonight. Where's Gary Sinise when you need him.

See picture here.

Last debate thread

Will Ayers matter at this point?

Feeling the pinch

Hospitals too are struggling during this rough economic patch.
rethinking their priorities and looking for ways to cut expenses
Employees at Laredo Medical Center are being told to be mindful of their work schedule, especially their overtime hours.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Walter Herbeck

Mr. Herbeck talks to me about this Saturday's get-out-the-vote event.

The Webb County Democratic Party is also inviting the public to TAMIU's Student Auditorium tomorrow to watch the last debate between John McCain and Barack Obama. Time for that: 7:30 - 10:30

Voting machines

Jobsanger talks about his mistrust of electronic voting machines.
If the machine had been tampered with....there is no way for the voters to know

Here I thought I was the only one.

Monday, October 13, 2008

One of us

I recently took this pic outside the Webb County Courthouse. The parking space belongs to one of the commissioners; I won't say who.

I'm glad the owner of this truck supports Obama but it's the sticker on the opposite end that bothers me.

John McCain supporters have been criticized of late for spewing some hateful comments. Violent suggestions, directed at his democratic opponent, have been heard in several states. When McCain tried to settle things down at his rallies, defending Obama as a decent human being, he was met with boos from the crowd.

Now this sticker might not pack the same punch as hearing someone in a crowd yell, "kill him!" But it offers a solution with the same kind of mob mentality. Set aside the fact that the sticker is dissing a religion few of us know anything about. What this message is conveying is more insidious than a harmless play on words. It is condoning the same violence which we are so quick to disavow when pointed at us.

The local community which is Spanish dominant will get the gist of the intended foul-mouthed joke. They'll laugh it off, seeing it as a way to cope with a tragic event. What's disappointing is that this is coming from an educated leader of Laredo. Here we have somebody who should be setting the example, but instead is using harsh words and lowering us to the most primal of emotions. Is it any wonder why we've seen this kind of behavior in the news so much lately?

Fed Up

The collective gasp

Brad Johnson takes the helm while Romo heals.
Romo has a broken finger on his throwing hand and could be out for up to four

Hopes of a Superbowl appearance are slowly slipping away.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Drug problem

This is not something any parent wants to hear.
We are currently experiencing an epidemic, and our addicts are becoming younger and younger.... And there are a couple of factors that contribute to this problem. The first is that there is an abundance of heroin in Laredo.

Sunday afternoon thread

UT and the Houston Texans racked up a win. Can the 'boys make it a hat trick?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Park near Chacon Creek

Bids will be accepted early next year for a new park along the Chacon Creek.
The two-floor structure will have eight basketball courts, an indoor walking
path, community gardens on the roof, special needs recreation equipment, a
computer room and a juice bar.

Completion is hoped for by the end of 2009. Excuse me while I laugh. Don't get me wrong, I love the idea that the city is pushing forward with these quality of life projects. It's just that parks take so long to get completed in this town.

I like the sound of the roof gardens; that's green building right there. But I don't know about the juice bar. More carbs equals obesity equals diabetes. Naranjas!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Together Again

In case you missed it, Chris Simms was temporarily cut (then re-signed) to the Tennessee Titans. This was temporary shuffle to make room for another player. It now appears that Jeff Fisher is even talking about keeping Simms on the roster long term. Simms recently spoke with the Austin American Statesman and had good things to say about his alma mater, his time there & Colt McCoy. Who knew Colt's 2 predecessors would wind up in the same place.

Since 1988-2008 y mas

Difficult times

Regular unleaded gasoline is going for $2.76 a gallon right now.

Also, I got a call today from the bank that collects my mortgage payment.  I was invited to visit the office to see about refinancing before the end of the year.  In the six years that I've had a mortgage, I've never gotten a call from the bank.  I guess they don't want me to lose my house, but more importantly, they don't want to lose my business.

Do it for the children

A warehouse owner cannot have his property re-zoned to operate a roofing business.
I know we have to protect the business owner but I'd rather protect the children
before anyone else, said Councilman Hector "Tito" Garcia. You see kids
walking by (the warehouse). I don't think it should be in the
Tito - protector of children, and admirer of nicknames
I love the next line.
You knew what you were buying when you bought it.
I'm reminded of the line from Airplane!: they knew what they were getting into; I say, let 'em crash.
Mr. Jesus "Chuy" Flores is now stuck with a warehouse and no use for it. What I'm curious of is how an interview like this goes on between reporter and businessman. Does the person insist that the Times include his nickname, or does the reporter inquire if any nickname exists?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Debate night

It's go time in Nashville.

Hell no, he won't go!

City Council got together last night to harumph! in support of their fellow colleague Jose Valdez Jr. His case is before the 4th Court of Appeals.

He ran for City Council again this year and was elected, but the 11th District
Court issued a ruling that he could only serve for the time left on his original
second term

For those unfamiliar with this story, Valdez quit the Council during his second term to run for mayor, lost, then decided to go after his old seat again. His rationale was: yes I was elected to two terms, but I didn't SERVE TWO TERMS!

So technically he's on his third term right now and doesn't want to leave. And now he's got five councilmen backing him up. Question is: will they help a brother out when the legal fees are due?

I understand that a helping of pride, righteousness, and pretension has a hand in making somebody run for office but this guy has his levels turned up all the way to infinity.

Monday, October 6, 2008

El Portal

Price fall

A gas station near my house always seems to have the cheapest gasoline in town. I can easily tell when the price has dropped because cars begin to file up and overtake the small convenience store parking area.

All the pumps last night had a hand-written message taped to them - No unleaded, no premium, only supreme. Of course the public welcomes the price relief but it's not clear how many actually know what's at play here.
Oil is down 39 percent, which means you will see the price at the pump
continue to slide. But take no solace from that; there will be less money
with which to buy gasoline.

Here we are on the verge of a historic election bringing an end to the miserable reign of one George W. Bush. It should be time to celebrate. But this cake will be hard to digest as its icing comes in the form of a horrible economic meltdown.
Deflation is not only a destroyer of wealth, it is also a creator of
unemployment, which we shall see a lot of in the coming months.
I'm what you would call thrifty when it comes to Christmas shopping, but this year might be something altogether different. Prices may drop so drastically that I'll be afforded some extra spending muscle, or anxiety might consume me so much that I'll just stay home to polish my pennies. Gawd help us.


This story doesn't include our senator's name. Interesting.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

More with George Beckelhymer

Talking property appraisals.

Staff bonuses

State senators are keeping their staffers happy with a little extra cash. But...
...violating the Texas Constitution's ban on using taxpayer money for bonuses

Well it's ok because everyone's doing it. (sarcasm)
Democrats Leticia Van dePutte, Carlos Uresti and Judith Zaffirini and Republican Jeff Wentworth - also followed the practice

Kimbo Down

We wake up on another fine Sunday morning to find another giant go down - hard. Backyard brawling legend Kimbo Slice went down in the span of a few seconds after putting his face directly in front of a nasty right hook. The guy that beat him wasn't even originally on the bill. Kimbo was to take on some guy named Ken Shamrock. Mr. Shamrock was then unable to fight after sustaining a cut over his left eye during a workout. Seth Petruzelli took over the slot. A few seconds later, a legend is born (for now).

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Meet-up with George Beckelhymer

Mr. Beckelhymer called on the public to come meet him and talk LISD issues. La Sanbe obliged.

Traveling Pant Suit

Hillary Clinton was in town yesterday urging people to support Cuellar, Noriega, and Obama because "hemos sufrido bastante con los republicanos."

Her words.

Minn. Senate Race

I've been a fan of Al Franken for some time. I hope he gets it.
Franken leading Coleman 43 to 34 percent

'cause he's good enough, smart enough...

Sunny Sabado

Just got back from visiting my friendly neighborhood dentist in Nuevo Laredo. Other than this vehicle next to me, traffic was brisk.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Palin vs Biden

Both candidates for VP hit the ground running; the pace seemed fast at first. They were cordial, made eye contact, and avoided any serious missteps. Although, Palin did focus too much on Alaska's energy industry. I think she did that to avoid answering other questions.

Anyway, at about an hour into it, the pace slowed. Palin seemed to get choked up with some of her responses. It started around the time she had to pronounce nuclear. She was saying Nu-ki-lar. I'm thinking oh gawd, it's Bush in a dress.

All in all I think it was a nice debate. They acknowledged each other during the debate, they smiled, and they chatted for a while after it was all over.
No clear winner in my opinion. Of course the GOP is going to claim victory for this. Whatever. You decide.

It's on

Patricia Barrera is being sued by former employees. They allege that they were wrongfully terminated.
"We've got 10 extraordinary and strong women that have stood up to a
political bully, and this case is going to be decided by a Webb County jury," he
said, "and that jury is going to find in our favor."
This is going to get rough.

Breaking News

Taquitos Ravi is opening soon at the corner of Market and Seymour.
That is all.

(Not) Ready for primetime

Our VP candidates face off tonight and the big question is: will Biden help Palin with her chair?

I'm predicting that this debate will get great ratings because a lot of people will tune in to see if Palin will freeze under the bright lights. Or better yet, will she have to 'get back to us' with some policy question?

Now to be fair, I think Katie Couric ambushed her when she asked Palin to name other Supreme Court cases besides Roe v. Wade. I would've gone blank for a second or two before naming Bush v. Gore. But the only reason I know about that one is because the judgement landed on my 30th birthday. That's the gift that just kept on giving. So special. And I probably would've named Brown v. Board of Education but only because I've seen a couple of Senate confirmation hearings.
Anyway, Carlos Mencia will perform at the Laredo Entertainment Center tonight. I've never been a fan of that idiot so it won't be hard to pick between asshole comedian and VP debate.