Friday, July 31, 2009

El George Strait sings "El Rey"

As posted with this You Tube video: "That's right, first copy of the song.. and its GRAIT"

Cuellar And Health Care Reform

I wrote an e-mail to Henry Cuellar's press secretary yesterday asking for comment in regards to some statements he made on a local radio show yesterday afternoon.

He mentioned that he was part of the Blue Dog coalition and that he didn't want to pass a (health reform) bill that would add to the deficit. He even uttered a popular right wing talking point: I don't want the government making medical decisions for anybody; to come between the patient and his doctor. (paraphrasing)

I don't recall him being this critical during the Bush years and all the war spending that occurred. Perhaps me asking about contributions made to his campaign from the insurance and health care industry didn't help, because all I got was this press release:

Washington, D.C. Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX) today voted in support of H.R. 3326, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2010, a bill which makes critical investments in America’s troops through 2010 by funding military pay raises, overseas operations, new military equipment and first-class medical care.

“This vote upholds our end of the bargain with our brave servicemen and women who put their lives on the line and also with their families who make sacrifices along the way,” said Congressman Cuellar. “We have to meet their needs and match their commitment with the right resources and the utmost respect. This legislation will strengthen America’s military forces and support our troops who are selflessly serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

The Defense Appropriations Act includes $128 billion to support U.S. military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, including preparations to begin a military withdrawal from Iraq.

Recognizing the financial challenges facing military families today, the bill provides a 3.4 percent military pay increase and provides $472 million for family support programs. The bill also provides stop-loss compensation payments worth $500 for each month that a service member involuntarily serves beyond their initial active-duty orders.

“There’s a hardship placed on military families and those active-duty troops who’ve served multiple tours overseas and now we’re delivering the compensation they deserve,” said Congressman Cuellar. “They repeatedly give and give; it’s time for us to give something back.”

Today, H.R. 3326 passed the House by a vote of 400-30, and provides considerable investments in defense health care services for troops at home and overseas. Over $31 billion will go towards combat injury care, wounded warrior programs, military family health programs, and mental health services.

The bill also includes significant equipment investments in missile defense and future combat systems, plus funding for tactical combat vehicles, satellite communications, naval ships and military helicopters.

In addition, H.R. 3326 provides $160 million for a counter-narcotics digital communications system in Mexico to sustain the fight against drug traffickers along the border. This will replace a lower-level encryption system that has been compromised by the cartels. The counter narcotics office at the Department of Defense has successfully designed secure communications networks to fight drug trafficking in Columbia. This communications system in Mexico will enhance counter-narcotics efforts between Mexico’s law enforcement and the U.S.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Recycling Center

I sometimes forget to leave the blue bags (recyclables) out on the curb; when I need to get rid of my stuff I pass by the center and drop 'em off.

Usually it's open, but when it's not, people just drop their crap on the curb. You see a bunch of tires at the entrance.

This place is on McPherson and Clark.

William Wisner Opines

A local librarian writes for the Christian Science Monitor.
it is actually impossible to find any place quiet enough to simply read and
study undisturbed

Michael Vick A Steeler?

The Steelers aren't that hard up to bring in Vick. It couldn't happen, could it?

I Love Joan Rivers

She takes a jab at assclown Jay Leno.
America can get bored more easily and go to sleep earlier

Hate Jay Leno; he's so unfunny.

Caught Spying A Door Sign

Dick Tracy Walks Amongst Us

The vandalism (paint dumped in pool) that occured at the Civic Center Pool has apparently upset D.A. Isidro Alaniz. He actually used the word "terrible" twice, in the same breath. And now I hear that he wants to try these juveniles as adults.

A bit overzealous if you ask me.

This pool incident, fortunately or unfortunately, takes attention away from the alleged bookie activity that took place at the Webb County Tax Assessor's Office. LaSanbe wonders if those county employees will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

New Randy Rhoads Documentary Coming Soon

Randy Rhoads Documentary Trailer

Link Now Up At KGNS

Laredo Broncos might have to contend with a new team in town when stadium built.

No Money For New Officers

Zach Lindsey reports today that Laredo will not get funding for new cops through the Community Oriented Policing Services program. Mayor Salinas chimes in:
Everybody knows that we need more boots on the ground

Ala!; calmala General Patton. What we need is for officers to respond to calls more efficiently.
P.D. Spokesperson Joe Baeza laments at the lack of funding:
If the feel is that the border is such a volatile entryway for drugs, not only
coming into, but also armament leaving the United Sates going into Mexico, then
why isn't there more funding for border communities?

Whoa. Baeza is trying to channel Rick Flores' mindset - that he's the only one protecting the border. Let's leave drug busting to Customs, and Border Patrol units. Besides, how can cops protect the border when they're busy busting drivers for not having liability insurance?

Drop the ego guys.

Luis Uranga Talks Superhero And Golf

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Deadbeat Dad

As a pop-culture addict I was guilty of occasionally watching 'Jon & Kate Plus 8' BEFORE the scandal. Only now after the fall, we're getting a glimpse of the real Jon Gosselin.

This 32-year old, not-quite-divorced father of eight [who is balding and has hair transplants, along with a growing gut], seems to have forgotten that just last month he said in an official released statement that his eight kids are his "number one priority".

Jerky Jon, who used to complain about the hassles of being on a reality show, now seems to bask in the spotlight. He's getting photographed drinking, smoking (which I guess he wasn't allowed to do while married), and with a variety of younger women. He's already even taken a vacation to France with one of these ladies!

We had seen on the show what a hardass Kate could be, especially to Jon, but HEY! He knew what he was getting married to. And having eight kids is undoubtedly ultra stressful on a young marriage, but they both agreed to that.

Now he's seemingly trying to live out the life he missed out on. He's just coming across as an immature oaf, and his children will be the ones to deal with the damage done.

Kudos to you Jon for turning out to be just another cliche. ...That's enough of that.

Baseball Team WTF?!

Pro8news reported tonight that the City of Laredo will build a new baseball park, but with it might come a new team, possibly leaving the Laredo Broncos out.

It was my understanding that the new park was for the Broncos. What the eff is going on?!
(I would link to the story but doesn't have the story up)

KGNS has a poll concerning the story:

Should the new baseball field approved by taxpayers include the Broncos?

  • Yes, the Broncos deserve a new place to play for their fans.
  • No, we need a fresh start with a new team that can win.
  • It's too hot in Laredo for baseball; I’d rather see a water park.
A water park? WTF?!!!

Fun In The Sun

KGNS is inviting the public to "have fun in the sun" during their blood drive. Because it's always tons of fun having a good hemorrhage in this triple digit weather.

Bien Caliente!

Bordertown Blues makes an observation about the weather.
it is not getting hotter every year, but instead, we are getting older

Just recently a friend was telling me of how we used to walk to and from school, then walk back for band practice which lasted until 9 p.m. We tolerated the heat 'cause that's all we knew.

Now all we do is plop down on the couch to watch an incoherent Paula Abdul.

Carlos Guerra Visits

And things are not as before.
In downtown Laredo, there were people on the streets, but hardly in the numbers
I remember

It's pretty safe to say that my son will never know 8-track tapes, Count Natas, and shopping on a regular basis in downtown Laredo, much less visiting Nuevo Laredo.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Corner Pocket On Springfield

Cuellar Likes Free Trade

This would be an interesting question to ask of him, if I could just get with him.
the thousands of American companies who do business with Latin America are more often than not small to medium businesses

So you mean to tell me the guy who came to fix my home A.C. does business with Latin America? Really?!

Ban Cell Phone Use While Driving

I'm in total agreement with Jobsanger on this.
a person can become so engaged in a conversation on the phone that they take
their mind off their driving

Here in Laredo it is now prohibited to use a cell phone in school zones during designated times.
The City of Laredo obviously cares about the sscchhhhildren but what about us adults?

This half-assed ordinance still has me watching my back after school. And all because the city won't grow a pair.

Laredo Speaks - LISD Edition

Hehehe. Someone likey.
Hay que pretty esta aqui. esta bien cozy

Radio En Espanol

El Manana reports that La Ley 100.5 FM has been nominated for Station of the Year. Good for them.

It's unfortunate that Border Media Partners' (parent company) assets are going to be liquidated.

Webb County To Discuss Races

LMT Reporter Zach Lindsey reports that supporters of a race track want to move forward even if an actual track is not built.
the race park company has expressed interest in running simulcast television
services of races at the Lake Casa Blanca Golf Course

What with gambling being illegal in Texas, I don't see this thing going anywhere. Also on the Commissioners' Court Agenda is the establishment of a secondary water source beneath school land.
The county is looking at having private investors build seven to 10 wells on the

Water is on everyone's mind. Severe drought conditions have plagued much of Texas. Hopefully we can lay off talk about a water park being built in town, at least for a while.

And the debate that just keeps on giving: Treasurer Delia Perales and Commmissioner Martinez are going at it with this employee direct deposit proposal. Piper Maru is watching the Commissioners' Court meeting on t.v. and she reports that Martinez is opposing this measure on the grounds that employees may not have computer or telephone access to receive their check stubs.

Employees would have to print out their check stubs if they wanted to get a detailed statement. Also, if an employee is receiving unemployment benefits, he/she would have to access the funds via phone or internet.

Martinez might be looking out for people with lesser means, but at this point he's just being difficult.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Esta Manchado!

So a colleague and I got together tonight and decided to cruise down San Bernardo Ave. for old time's sake. We get to the Lafayette intersection where we get a red light. Suddenly this girl who was sitting at the bus stop bench decides to get in front of us to give my car a lap dance.

Viewer discretion is advised.

I am not proud of this, both as a blogger and a lifelong Laredoan. I can't remember the last time I cruised down La Sanbe but I don't recall something like this ever happening. Personally speaking, I was mortified. Here I was, a nearly middle-aged man, minding his own business and some girl takes it upon herself to give my suspension a work-out.

With the whole cruising community looking on, no less!!!

If my hood or my shocks need repairs, somebody's going to pay.

Pic of the aforementioned event

Cuellar Gets An Earful

This would never happen in Laredo.
Repeatedly interrupted as he tried to explain his view, Cuellar asked the crowd to listen to his presentation

Cuellar is not the only politician getting booed in these difficult times. Still we tend to kiss his ass down here in Laredo.

If he held a town hall meeting here, I'm sure he'd defend himself nicely. You see, I'm doing it again!!

Another Guero Not Named Beck

It feels good to be back in my cozy little nest.

While away, a new blogger decided to join the blogging fold. This is good news, but I fear that I will have to work harder to maintain the title of "Laredo's Most Imposing Blog."
Basic necessities in Mexico include beer and tortillas

LaSanbe: bringing people together since 2007.

Slow news day

Happy Sunday. A slow news day can mean only one thing - pet videos.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Juveniles arrested in Civic Centor Pool vandalism

The title to this blog entry might lead you to the LMT page, but just in case it doesn't, here it is:

Four juveniles accused in pool vandalism
Published: Friday, July 24, 2009 4:00 PM CDT

Detectives for the Laredo Police Department found oil-based paint on the clothes of four juveniles who are believed to be responsible for vandalism of the Laredo Civic Center pool.

"We got our people," said police spokesman Investigator Joe Baeza.
The four juveniles are being charged with criminal mischief regarding the paint, burglary of a building, because they allegedly broke into the storage area at the swimming pool to steal the paint, and organized criminal activity, because of alleged involvement in a youth gang.
The juveniles stood before a detention hearing at 11 a.m. Friday, where Assistant County Attorney Ruben Arce served as prosecutor.

The names of those involved have not been released because of their age, but two of them were 16, one is 15 and one is 14, according to Arce. Since the incident, which occurred late Tuesday or early Wednesday, Arce said that one of the 16-year-olds turned 17.

Missing fun time during a youthful summer cuz of some really kewl folks is just heaven, isn't it? Good times.

Talk Amongst Yourselves

Keyrose is currently partaking in some "me" time. Be back later.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Accountant referral

The 'ol WWW is a great source of information to access the best and brightest from a wide variety of fields. On occassion, LaSanbe will point our (but not dictate) services that may be of interest (albeit not a necessity) to our loyal readership. As such, we came accross this gem for accounting services. Located in the New York area, Chinga TuMadre may be open to long distance consultations. Give it a shot.

City Will Be Just Fine

The LMT's Zach Lindsey reports today that the City of Laredo will add $800,000 to its 2010 budget. City Manager Carlos Villarreal points to fees that helped keep the budget in good standing.
...include a contract that reduced the city's electricity bill by 20 percent, and the increases in solid waste collection and stormwater fees as well as a proposed increase in fees for amusement redemption machine permits

So they raised (gambling) taxes. But that's not what they'll have you believe.
This will be the sixth consecutive year that the City of Laredo maintains the same tax rate

Lindsey notes that property values will increase by 2.67 percent from 2009. The appraisal district does the dirty work and the city takes credit for not raising taxes. That's rich.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

San Antonio Student Artists

Students to visit Laredo.
The mayor of Laredo, Raul Salinas, has noticed the effort by the Lanier students and invited them to visit his city at the end of July. The students will get to stay in La Posada free of charge for a weekend and also have talks on the project with Salinas.

They're staying at La Posada? Where Gene Belmares and Hector Garcia work? And they're staying for free?!

Tacos And More Tacos

I looked directly into the eclipse and now I'm seeing pink fingerprints and animals making food all over the place.

Don't Fade Away: Run For Commish Instead

Laredo Watch is reporting that former sheriff Juan Garza is running for county commissioner. That's funny 'cause I haven't seen his "Garza 2010" billboard, or bumper sticker out there.

And something tells me that he isn't on Facebook, or MySpace to detail his plan for office. It would be refreshing to get to know the candidates through this medium early on instead of just perusing their simple decals on car windshields.

The dialogue between constituent and politician is non-existent, especially when the politico gets the job.

Reviving Downtown

Pro8News ran a story last night featuring the McAllen, TX downtown area and its revitalization efforts.
It's out with the old and in with the new for city officials who say modernizing
and Americanizing downtown McAllen is key

Our downtown has ceased to be relevant. It needs an attraction far better than La Cabana and El 66. And if you need more proof, just take a gander at a comment made by a KGNS blog reader.

It makes perfect sense, even if you don't know what it means.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Last School Standing

I regret not keeping up with the demolition of all the LISD elementary schools, especially that of my alma mater, Tomas Sanchez. So I hastily snapped some shots of the last of the old structures.

My son got to attend part of Ochoa Elem. (pictured) while Daiches was being constructed. And now that all the schools have been finished, this one should be ready for the bulldozer pretty soon.

If anyone out there has any pictures of Tomas Sanchez Elem. that they would like to share, please do. I'd be mucho appreciado.


We've made progress with podcasting, thanks to JJ Binx. Take a listen.

AC/DC in Austin November 6th.

La Sanbe reports from the ATX.
93.7 KLBJ is announcing the upcoming AC/DC concert, AND they also have a drawing for tix to the show. See here.

Tickets go on sale August 1st. Pongansen alalva.

While you're at it get your action figures, tambien.

Tool and Wine

Note: Piper Maru has been reinstated by KeyRose after riding out her temporary ban from LaSanbe.

The band TOOL is on tour this summer, and I'll be one of the lucky ones catching the show in S.A. this Friday---a small birthday gift to myself!
For reasons unknown I missed their last concert series. I last saw TOOL in 2002 when they christened the LEC (back when I had fresh hope for the LEC's musical future, but I digress).
Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan has been busy with many other projects, one of which is winemaking. I wonder what cheese, if any, goes well with Arizona wine.

See Maynard and his wine project here.

Gathering Places

English pubs are closing at an alarming rate.
Thank goodness we don't have that problem in the Gateway City.

R. Stephen Sears

He is coming to us via West Virginia University, apparently, after some scandal.
has accepted a job at Texas A&M International University in Laredo


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tandem Toilets

LaSanbe - come poop with us.

(Keyrose cannot determine if this a political statement)

Is it a crime to raise fat kids?

Don't have an answer to that question. This may be a touchy subject to some folks and that sensitivity is duly noted. At the same time, there is controversy brewing in South Carolina where a parent was arrested and charged with criminal neglect after his 14-year old topped out at 500 libras. That's one quarter ton for our non-Spanish speaking audience.

On the one hand, there may be cause to question parental guidance (or lack thereof) in this matter. On the other, this may start going down a slippery slope of endless judgement calls in regards to parental choices.

What do you think?

New Cuellar Presser

Washington, DC – Today, Congressmen Rubén Hinojosa, Henry Cuellar and Solomon P. Ortiz met with officials from the U.S. Department of State to discuss the Castelano v. Clinton settlement agreement, which addresses the unique nature of passport applications involving births to midwives along the Southern Texas border and revises the standards in which the State Department will review these passport applications.

“I’m pleased to see the State Department revise their passport standards and provide their employees with training on midwives along the border,” said Congressman Cuellar. “For too long, we’ve lacked a uniform standard to review these applications. Today’s meeting shows how committed the State Department is towards improving this process for our South Texas communities.”

Roethlisberger Accused Of Sexual Assault

One thing I like about the Steelers is that antics, both on and off the field, are few and far between. This charge against Ben Roethlisberger will definitely affect his play come September.

Personally, I think it's all bogus, but we'll have to wait and see.

Conserve Water, Already!

The city pleads with the public.
the water plant, which has a capacity of treating 65 million gallons of water a
day, is treating approximately 60 million gallons a day

Hey, those sidewalks aren't going to water themselves. But seriously Laredo, stop watering in the middle of the day. And that goes for you too, Parks and Leisure Dept.

Bloggers Have Arrived

This conference call with the president gives me an idea, but I still have to work out some podcast bugs.

The LaSanbe Lowdown

The Laredo Times is reporting that the City of Laredo is contemplating cuts to balance the 2010 budget. Significant savings could be seen if officials curtail expenditures.

Webb County is working on a celebration to commemorate the history of the century-old courthouse.

TxDOT is finishing up the removal of rubble along Guadalupe St. Work on the RR track overpass should start sometime next summer.

And if you're a little hard up for cash, the federal government can help. All you need to do is give them information on a top-level cartel member and you could get a hefty reward. Good luck.
Check out this story on the Houston Chronicle.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Mickey And Minney

If famous characters are used without permission, and nobody raises a stink, is it really copyright infringement?

El Wiz Cholo

What possessed the producers of this play to incorporate such a streetwise script into the production?
The person playing the Wiz spoke in Al Pacino's Scarface accent and even spoke the line, "Say hello to my little friend."
The Good Witch of the North brought out her best chola accent and even made an "N" with her fingers when she introduced herself.
The Good Witch put the Laredo stamp on this thing by saying, "Sana, sana, colita de rana."
It's official. We're a bunch of dumbasses.

Recycled Theme

Bordertown Blues brings us a scene (via LMT) from yesterday's lowrider car show.

But I've seen this picture before.

Time to put the zoot suits to rest.

Gambling Saga At Webb County

Will we ever see an end to this case?
The proceeds funded office parties, and Barrera's re-election campaigns,
and those who demurred were told, "there's the door," according to the

Sunday, July 19, 2009

No-Conflict Gene Belmares

Fact: Councilman Gene Belmares works for La Posada Hotel.

Fact: A lot of people that do business with the city end up at La Posada.

Fact: Other hoteliers are not happy with this.

Fact: No conflict of interest exists for Gene Belmares.

And we know that last one is true because both Belmares' attorney and the city attorney said so.

(Keyrose can now sleep soundly)

Hair Explotions


La Sanbe will never see Pac-Man the same way again.

What He Said

Dennis Nixon, the person who runs the largest Hispanic-owned bank in the U.S. (Keyrose scratches his head), comments on Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor.

From Cone's Mouth To Gawd's Ears

We have a pitch named after our town.
Cone tossed a sidearm slider, resurrecting a pitch that he called the "Laredo."

Unless, of course, he's referring to Laredo, Missouri.

Friday, July 17, 2009


My wife and I were off today so we went out to run some errands. In between stops, we decided to get a bite to eat. Taco Palenque has everything 50% off Monday through Friday from 3-6 p.m. so we timed it so we would be at T.P. at exactly three.

When we got there the place was jam-packed. (see drive-thru line picture) We decided to go elsewhere; we ended up at the Glass Kitchen on Corpus Christi St.

As you can see from the carport picture, we were the only ones there. The car got a break from the unrelenting sun.

We keep hearing about an economic crisis sweeping the country but you wouldn't know it by going to Taco Palenque. Provecho.

Henry Cuellar Vents On Fence Issue

About extending the border fence:
Those lawmakers, led by Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, said in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., that the funds would be better used to support "our understaffed, crowded and overburdened ports of entry."

Actress Mischa Barton goes batty

From Reuters..

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Actress Mischa Barton, whose career cooled following her exit from the hit television show "The O.C.," has been hospitalized in Los Angeles for psychiatric observation, a news report said on Thursday. Barton, 23, was admitted to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center on Wednesday, after police placed her under an involuntary psychiatric hold, the TV gossip show "Access Hollywood" said.

"Access Hollywood" quoted an unidentified source as saying Barton was placed under Section 5150 of the California Welfare and Institutions Code by police and transported to Cedars-Sinai. Pop star Britney Spears was also placed on a 5150 hold twice in 2008 during her highly public meltdown.

So, what does this mean? It can only mean one thing. It's 5150 time!

Get On The Bus

Bordertown Blues talks of opportunities lost and points us to a story in El Manana about employees at UISD - they shouldn't apply if they have a criminal record.

Zach Lindsey On Overdrive

In today's issue of the LMT, reporter Zach Lindsey has three stories in Section A and his music picks (pictured) in the Que Pasa section.

In the front page section Lindsey writes about our very own Rep. Henry Cuellar criticizing Sen. Jim Demint and the Dept. of Homeland Security for wanting to increase the length of the border fence.

The other story notes that the water treatment plant on Jefferson will get $48 million for upgrades.

And on page 3 he writes a shorter story about the local historical preservation ordinance needing a re-write to protect structures outside the Historic District.

Now this either means that Zach is the only reporter on the LMT staff or he just loves to write. Either way, I applaud his effort and his music picks.

Now excuse me while I go listen to his choice of songs.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Newspapers are going,

I agree with one of La Sanbe's readers, newspapers are making their way of the cassette tape, actually CD's nowadays, since the birth of MP3 media. Remember the days of Napster? The music lover was heard... "we want free music!" And, of course, the "man" said, "No!" Napster paved a freeway and other similar sites were born. The music moguls couldn't figure out how to maintain, let alone increase, revenue for almost a decade. Geesh! Out of touch, period. Then along came Steve Jobs and iTunes to save the day. Ninety-nine cent tunes? Not a hoakey idea. Although, it didn't completely eliminate file sharing or streaming. Yep, people can still get music, AND movies AND TV shows for free, although illegally of course. Where there's a will, there's a way. By the way, I don't condone it. I hear the FBI doesn't kid :)

Another media sector going down a slippery untamed path are newspapers.. hmmm, what to do with the competition, the internet and free information. Plus, omigosh, those pesky bloggers. For the naysayers of blogs and bloggers, if you didn't already know, credentialed reporters and media journalists are reporting by blog, too, to keep up with t
rends. Marketing companies create blogs to push their product(s). Bloggers comment on politics. Do you remember that bloggers were heavy hitters on the presidential campaign trail? They even had their own tents for gsakes! Like KeyRose mentioned in a post, blogs who share news will link the original source so the writer and/or publisher gets credit. We don't take a person's article and make it our own. That's different. In the midst of all the news swapping, newspapers are grasping to create new ways to get their share of the empanada. But, you know what?

*chuckle* I absolutey loved this commentary by Erick Schonfeld at "TechCrunch". I HAD to include it here :D .. including the image.. it hits home. When the truth hurts, well, denial happens. [Thanks JJ for the grief process comment]

Just look at what happened to the Rocky Mountain News. The paper had real, bona fide, reporters. Four pulitzer prize winners! The paper had been around since 1859. And unfortunately, they didn't make it.

LMT is sooo not close to quality of the Rocky. I'm comparing LMT to only one newspaper, but there are many others lost, casualties of technology. I would lik
e to see some numbers from LMT. Wouldn't you? What would be so wrong as to provide the public with the initiative that is going to bring LMT back from the brink of extinction. The media cartel that owns the LMT, the Hearst Corporation, has been around since 1889, and they "know" the print racket. Did LMT receive financial advice from up high? I'm curious. By the way, FYI, Hearst also owns the Houston Chronicle, yep, that's right; and the San Antonio-Express News. Surprising, isn't it?

On the subject of online press, one strategy currently being tested by
some big news sources, specifically, the Associated Press, the Washington Post and others is to challenge the giant Google for it's news aggregator. You know, when you click on NEWS on the Google site it brings up titles from newspapers all over the world... yes, LMT -the world. [The previous link will take you to an op ed piece from the NY Times]. Their solution, ..the material available by the AP and WP will NOT come up on a Google search with the expectation people will buy their stories (including newspapers). I don't see that lasting very long. I searched the web for op ed's about this, and it's not popular. Unless, your paper is going out of business.

There was one hopeful piece by Leena Rao also at "TechCrunch", from which I'm also sharing this image and who's origin is cited, the Inland Press Association, in the article. See how that works? Fancy that, eh? ¡Viva La Revolución!

Small Newspapers May Be Able To Prolong Death Longer Than Large Counterparts

Ultimately, we can hash it out with DF day in, day out and let the resentments get grenadiered. But, can we find some solutions to delay the inevitable? So far, advertising and classifieds have been mentioned. From looking at Craigslist Laredo, classifieds are still an open market :) Oh, I almost forgot! Most importantly, quality investigative reporting! Con tanta politica, where's the play by play. La Sanbe readers, I looove your feedback. Let's hear it all. No se chiveen.

John Kennedy Jr.

Not for nothing, but this guy was a handsome son-of-a-bitch.

Emmy nominations were announced today. I'm pulling for the show Damages in the Best Drama category.

And lastly, I need to catch up on a ton of new music.

IBC Honored

International Bancshares Corp. was ranked as the No. 1 Hispanic-owned financial institution in the nation.

Perhaps now they can think about getting a better mascot - you know, one that doesn't remind me of El Chapulin Colorado.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009



Here we go again.

La Sanbe had moved on. Anxiously awaiting the eventual clusterf*** that is the new Laredo Morning Times policy to charge for online content eventually be overturned (oh, you know it will happen), we were content to let sleeping dogs lie. And, we were more interested to see what happens as Laredoans flocked to Pro 8 News or blogs for information.

But, to paraphrase Michael Corleone in Godfather III: Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.

Yesterday, for instance, LMT editor, Diana Fuentes, continued to beat the positive spin drum on her blog, "From the Editor's Desk." In her blog's lifespan thus far, Ms. Fuentes has devoted more than half her posts to defending the Times and berating critics. Real professional for the editor, right?

In her latest blog post, she again takes issues with the blogs (that's us). She writes:
I've been spending time the last few days responding to comments about things I never said, but which were disseminated across the World Wide Web as gospel. Some bloggers tend to exaggerate and use the bits that fit their argument, which can make for really interesting entries, if inaccurate ones.
Uh, OK. Heaven forbid you could be, like, you know, editing, or something, instead of trying to paint all blogs as evil, inaccurate sirens ready to seduce unsuspecting passersby.

Does she know who we are?

Seriously. Talk about defensive. So the Times ran a bad story on giant worms a few years ago, it happens, right? We know the LMT is not like Yellow Journalism or anything. It is just not that good of a paper, period. If you want to argue about "using bits that fit their argument" we got a slew of complaints against the LMT editor. Cached, no less.

Listen, let us not mince words Ms. Fuentes (because I know you will read this). Your reporters' turnover rate should be indicative of just how professional a ship you run there. It is common knowledge that reporters come and go to the Times because they are looking to gain a year or more of experience before they go to work for a real newspapers in San Antonio, Austin, or elsewhere.

Tricia Cortez? Excellent. But she moved on.

Jason Buch? Good reporter. He paid attention to blogs and did not dismiss them. But he's gone too, right?

And, what about all those stories labeled "Special to the Times" or those that have guest writers? Do you need a larger staff or do you not have confidence in the folks behind the desks? Or is it something else?

Bottom line is that the Times is a little behind the times. (No pun intended there.) But it is to be expected for a small town newspaper. We all know that. But, we also did not lob accusations of malfeasance. Just a poorly run ship. And if your obstinate and intransigent views do not allow you to receive any criticism without replying to us hacks, then you really have a long road to travel.

But this is La Sanbe. We are not professional journalists (hell, we all went to Martin High, no less). This blog is free. It is a hobby. And it is a way to check the Gateway City's powerbrokers and the titans of industry like yourself.

Maybe if you would consider that next time you fail to criticize a certain Laredo politician or you include an editorial that is supportive of a friend(s) of Mr. Green's, then you could understand where La Sanbe comes from.

Until then, we are not quitting our day jobs.

Three Banditos

Former Laredoan William Nericcio finds a little taste of home in London.

Cigarroa H.S. Summer Drum Camp 2009

Cigarroa drum line members are dusting off their drums this week with the help of some former high school percussionists. The drum camp takes place till Friday from 1 - 6 p.m.

According to Cigarroa Drum Instructor, Bobby Castro, the percussion section will have eleven incoming freshmen. His ideal marching line for this coming year would consist of five snares, five bases, and four tenors, but it will probably be scaled down to accommodate the needs of the entire band on the football field.

The pit section (sidelines) will have upwards of fifteen students. Impressive, I must say.
From what I saw of last year's marching performance, I expect nothing short of another entertaining, solid showing from south Laredo's drum line.

Assisting Mr. Castro with the camp are: Ray Fuentes (snares and basses); Joshua Flores (tenors); Jose Manuel Garza Jr. and Mario Ruiz (mallets/keyboards).

If It Pleases The Court

A picture of Ms. Tijerina and Ms. Barrera proves that Laredo is indeed the happiest city in the nation.

And the Laredo Times' Nick Georgiou reports today that United I.S.D. will consider a 2-cent tax hike in a hearing to be held August 19.
That will go over well with voters.

Logo For Consideration

This logo I've had around for a while. It was worked up by a friend who no longer resides in Laredo.
I liked the design but had reservations about the text used. If I go with this, I'll change the font and delete the tag line at the bottom.
It'll simply read
What do you think?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

This (Blogger) Just In

I just got in after midnight after having some refreshments with a friend at one of Laredo's infamous watering holes. I don't want to say which one, El Gastronomico; and I realized that if I'm going to have any chance at becoming Laredo's "Most Imposing Blog" I can't be staying out until the wee hours of the night, on a school night no less.

I'm going to have to shape up and get on the ball, if not, Pro8news and their blog is going to run me out of town with their city-wide reach. Tim Gutierrez even read some blog comments on the newscast tonight. How can I compete with that?

I'm going to have to bring out the big guns now. Yep, that's right, LaSanbe will now feature videos of kitties. Kitties playing with balls of yarn, chasing a light on the wall, etc. It's well known that kitties having fun sell.

I didn't want to do this but my hand has been forced. And that's not just the alcohol talking neither.

Now please allow me at least 24 hours to give my liver a chance to recover. If I'm back tomorrow that means that I was spared a bout with jaundice. If I'm not, call one of the local hospitals to check how my serum electrolytes are doing.

Anyway, from this day on I pledge to never go hungry again. Oops, I mean, I pledge to live up to the title of "most imposing blog" ever!

Dude, It's So Hot

Not a lick of shade to be had in the Gateway City. And we wonder why people don't like to come here.


Newspapers and Magazines Go Bust

Here's another story related to the recent LMT 'discussion'. Looks like even Business Week is sucking wind financially. The 80-year old financial rag is falling deeper into debt, has seen its ad revenue drop by about a third this year and is having a tough time finding a buyer.

All this points to a meltdown for what was the newspaper and magazine industry. If a national 'business' rag with 900,000+ subscribers is having issues, we can only imagine what LMT's balance sheets and income statements (yes, we can read those here at LaSanbe) look like.

Interim Principal At A Loss

Dr. Severita Sanchez has arrived at Martin H.S. as an interim principal, and she's confounded by the language she's stumbled upon - some weird hybrid that's just short of tongue clicking.
In some cases, some of our kids don't speak English or Spanish. Its kind of a...
I don't want to say a dialect but Tex-Mex or "bocho."

Interesting. Ms., excuse me, Dr. Sanchez wants to come in and rewrite the Martin playbook, and the definition of dialect; Pretty lofty goals for an interim, if you ask me.
I need to make sure that Martin High School is out of stage five and continues
to be an acceptable campus

(Keyrose thought he knew the meaning of the word interim but now he's not sure.)
Apparently a school can be turned around in the interim.

Monday, July 13, 2009


I am racking my brain trying to figure out this podcast thing.

The Cowboy's Aggie Joker

Current Cowboy TE and former Aggie/Texas HS standout, Martellus Bennett posted this "Black Olympics" video. We'll leave it up to the beholder to determine if content is funny, racially insensitive or just plain stupid. While that debate ensues, we can all take solace and comfort in knowing that the circus continues over at Camp Jerry sans T.O.

Romo And Jessica Split

Perhaps it's for the best. What this will mean for the Cowboys' upcoming 8-8 season remains to be seen.

Famous Images

I think I will enroll my child at this establishment.

Car Washing FYI

Don't use the vacuums at the carwash on Arkansas. $1.25 gives you very limited time to vacuum.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Sir Roberto Planta

Robert Plant got his knighthood on yesterday. We here at LaSanbe are big classic rock fans and few figures loom as large as this guy. Goodonya mate!

Full story here.

Reception Last Night

If I got a free meal last night, but left without a centerpiece, is the night considered a loss?

Carcinogen In Midland Water

Seems they have a problem with a harmful chemical in the water.
wells gushed water the color of urine

Pro8News recently brought us a story of a local woman whose water looked yellow in her pool. (no yellow water jokes please)
Last night I started filling this above ground pool for my son and my niece and I noticed the water coming out yellow

Coincidence? Now I'm not sure if I should drink from the tap or not.

Councilman Narvaez did go out to look into the problem with the pool water, and he commented that the pool was out in the open overnight and dust might've clouded the water.
It could be. LaSanbe doesn't want to start a scare around here. I'm just looking at my water a whole lot differently.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Saturday Eats

Yes, I'll take a double CHEESEBUGER for one hundred dollars please!

(Mention that LaSanbe sent you and get free straws and ketchup)

Immigrants Actually Contribute To Society

All immigrants being perpetrators of crime is a myth. And Laredo is safe too.
Laredo has a history as low crime, although twin city Nuevo Laredo suffers from drug-related shootings

Friday, July 10, 2009

Back and Forth

I gotta hand it to Ms. Diana Fuentes, the editor for the LMT, she does not back down from a disagreement.

In her blog, Ms. Fuentes laid down the gauntlet with La Sanbe, arguing that Laredo's favorite blog, is a rip-off artist. She writes:
We believe we do offer exclusive content that's worth paying for, content you can't get anywhere else. In fact, LaSanBe has one of our stories posted at the top of its site -- without permission -- and they frequently touted our work before we started charging and they could no longer get something for nothing.
Okey dokey. We are thieves for linking to stories from the LMT!

Of course La Sanbe--and all blogs for that matter--are hurt by the notion that you can no longer link to a website without a subscription. But, as she argues, what is wrong with that if credit is given?

While no one knows what is going on in regards to blogs, let me highlight that the Democrats in the Texas legislature have reached out to blogs (thanks Jobsanger!) by offering them media credentials and acknowledging their presence. So, Ms. Fuentes, we are here to help, not hurt the media industry.

Yet at the same time, absent from Ms. Fuentes's response was any direct answer in regards to the three fundamental questions I posed for her:
1) Why is the Laredo Times the first and as for now--only--newspaper in Texas to charge for online content? (vague answer given about the state of the industry)

2) What is the public relations toll on the LMT for their new practice? (I read the online comments and a lot of people seem a little peeved.)

3) How can you claim you are not provincial and insular by charging for content? (This might a fundamental impasse.)
I know the answer to the last question is that if you want to read the news, you need to pay for it. I get it. However, until I see the Houston Chronicle, Dallas Morning News, etc. charge, I am not going to buy the notion that the LMT is progressive in its policies, charging for online access because it is ahead of the newspaper game.


We'll see what happens.

Laredo Politics At Its Worst

El Manana ran a story today stating that Webb County Commissioner Sergio Martinez threatened a man for allowing to have his opponent's (Jaime Canales) campaign sign next to his.

The incident allegedly happened July 3rd according to John Folk, the homeowner who owns the wall with the competing signs.
Rick Flores, yes that Rick Flores, was with Martinez at the time and tried to calm him down after the commish raised a ruckus. Laredo Watch also picked up the story and details the threats made.

Martinez was on KLDO News attempting to clarify the matter by stating that Folk had not finished the work he had promised him.
But in scanning Martinez' campaign signs around town, I note that they all have the same theme - they are all finished in my opinion. He's just upset that his opponent's sign sits next to his.

Mr. Folk told El Manana that Martinez wanted the Canales sign removed by the 4th of July "if he cared about his family."

Man, the primary is a whole eight months away and dickweed politicos are already acting their shoe size. It's going to get fuckin' fierce pretty soon.

No Se Aceptan Tarjetas De Debit

I hate Fridays 'cause it takes me out of my posting routine. Weekends are usually when I'm around town taking care of things.

Today took me to El Mejor Pan so we could order some ojarascas for a party tomorrow. It's a small place but the bread is to die for, or so I have heard. As soon as you step through the door, the glass display cases are upon you - not a lot of wiggle room.

Anyway, I couldn't help but notice the decor of this place.
You've got a room with varied themes:
  • A computer-generated sign that has one word penciled in at the end
  • A grimy sign with a list of prices
  • An oscillating fan with a cord leading to the wall (watch your head)
  • And pictures of mustached men with hats

Hypocritical LMT

Screen Caps from the Laredo Morning Times front page and the Houston Chronicle.

Here is a bit of hypocrisy from the Laredo Morning Times.

LMT editor, Diana Fuentes, went to the mattresses to defend the Times' decision to charge for online content. She went on and on about the LMT being a business and yada, yada, yada. She even went Nostradamus on us, predicting that all newspapers will eventually charge for online content, so might as well start now (technically, not here yet).

Well, in today's LMT, right on the front page no less, is a story by Lise Olsen from the Houston Chronicle on Mexican women in the drug wars (see pic above). It is a good story, that is not the problem. The problem is that the Houston Chronicle is running it for free on their website!

Don't believe? Click here.

So the Houston folk--and by extension, us in Laredo--can read the Chronicle's news for free, but Laredoans can't in their own hometown newspaper, the Laredo Times? Even though it is the same story? Is there something wrong with that?

So, what now? Is the Laredo Times now acting like a blog accessing other newspapers and running their content (and giving them credit, of course) but charging for it? Is it unethical?

Hell, La Sanbe could have done that!

You decide.

****Update****: Ms. Fuentes responded to La Sanbe's commentary yesterday on her blog. If you want to take a gander, click here.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Maybe not news to ya'll in Laredo. Yes, there will be a new principal at La Martin starting Monday 8:30 am.

Kudos to Laredo Watch for posting the latest Laredo news. There IS more to the Martin High School story. Seems that there MIGHT (maybe) be large scale restructuring at Martin with most of it's staff getting replaced. Ouch!

This is a direct quote from the story on

John Peter Montalvo, LISD Board Member:
"Changes should've been made a long time ago. But evidently, were never done. So that's why we're in the problem we're in right now in the district.”
One of the biggest changes will affect the fate of Martin High School, which could potentially be labeled a stage 5 campus according to AYP standards.
According to the state, a stage 5 school requires major restructuring including replacing most of the staff, and turning the school into a charter school.
"Six months from now, we can probably evaluate it and see if his changes were right or wrong."
Though it's not official yet... .end quote.

People of Tigerlaaaaand. Get it together, pleeze.

In the midst of all the new happenings, LISD is quickly conjuring up a "contract" for the new superintendent. Don't people usually get those when hired and before they move in.

Yes, KeyRose, I love Laredo, too.. por siempre.

Why You So Fat?

Time Magazine asks, Why are Southerners so fat?

Perhaps having a southern cooking celebrity who uses sticks of butter like there's no tomorrow has something to do with it.

Just In: New York Times Considers $5 Monthly Web-Access Fee and considers charging Mobile users

Seems the New York Times is asking subscribers how much they would be willing to pay for online content. Could it be LMT is paving the way of a new future? Plus, NYT is considering charging for Mobile apps. Hopefully, AP and Reuters don't catch on.

For the news source conscious La Sanbe reader, I chose the site "Mobile Marketing Watch" to share the NYT story because I personally would rather not forward stories or give credit to FOX media. That's my personal preference and does not reflect the opinions of the owner of this blog or other contributers. Save the news!

Laredo Watch

Looks like we've got another new blog in the Gateway City. LaSanbe welcomes Laredo Watch. Check out their post on the upcoming local races for 2010.

Fuentes Cries Foul on Angry Laredoans!

Times Editor has addressed the masses! (That's us)

In her blog
(which has only 2 entries in its lifespan) Fuentes writes that the LMT HAS to charge for content, because they are, after all, just like the New York Times. Besides, she writes, it is only a $1.00 a week, less than the price of a cup of coffee.

La Sanbe posted a comment. Here it is in its entirety before the LMT deletes it as it is critical in tone:
So, the Laredo Morning Times is similar to the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, huh?

Wow. That is pretty deceptive of you.

You cannot even begin to compare the two entities. While you may have been drinking the Kool Aid and are convinced that charging for online content (for about the price of a cup of coffee you say), is a positive thing, let me offer a few points that will certainly not sway your mind.

First of all, the newspapers you mentioned carry columnists and opinion pieces. The Laredo Times does not. As far as I have read the LMT, I have not come across strong columnists who offer very critical opinions in the realm of sports (which the NYT does) and politics. The LMT may have had a good investigative reporter every now and then, but the opinion pieces of a Maureen Dowd (Pulitzer Prize winner) or the like have been absent.

Second, the LMT has dumbed down its content, providing pictures in lieu of newsworthy material. Hey, I wouldn't mind my photo in the paper every now and then, but if this is causing the rising cost of the print media, perhaps we can do without the extensive photo ops in the Que Pasa or the Time Out sections on Fridays/Tuesdays.

Third, what about comparing the Laredo Times to Texas newspapers and not New York papers? None of the major papers in Texas--as far as I know--charge for online content as of today. The Austin paper, San Antonio paper, El Paso, Dallas, Houston, and Corpus papers do not charge for online content. Why the LMT and why now? Are you paying your reporters too much (I don't think so, those guys are underpaid, I believe) or is it all about filling Mr. Green's pockets with, errr, green? Comparing New York and Texas is not fair. New York also has a state income tax and Texas does not. Should Texas adopt a state income tax too just because NY has one?

Finally, what does charging for online content mean for interested passersby, tourists, and other news agencies/blogs that want to link to stories? Your practices only make the LMT and Laredo appear insular and provincial.

You asked for comments, here they are.
I know nothing will come of this, but some of the Times' readers are angry. And that is a good thing for Laredo's only newspaper.

Oooh, I could smell it hitting the fan already.

Cuellar with T. Boone Pickens

T Boone Pickens Calls Congressman Cuellar crusader for energy independence

Washington, D.C. - Congressman Henry Cuellar today joined legendary energy expert T. Boone Pickens to discuss and promote major natural gas legislation aimed at transforming the country's use of natural gas. The Congressman met with Pickens on the steps of the U.S. Capitol to promote the New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions Act, a bill which would rapidly expand natural gas production in Texas and nationwide.

"Together we discussed South Texas's role in the Natural Gas Act, and I explained to Pickens how our region of the state is the third-leading producer of natural gas," said Congressman Cuellar. "What a great opportunity to meet a former oil tycoon who now believes in the future of natural gas. It's cleaner than coal, we have plenty in South Texas and natural gas will help get us off foreign oil."

If it's one thing we have in south Texas, it's gas. (Thank you Taco Palenque.)
Oh, and natural gas is cleaner than coal. Yeah. I think anything is cleaner than coal. Stray dogs that leave their poop on my lawn are cleaner than coal. West Laredo prostitutes are cleaner than coal.

And who came up with that title, (New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions Act) Borat?
Here's a title for ya: Energy Leanings of America For Make Benefit Glorious Pockets of Energy Lobbyists Act.

I don't know. I thought solar and wind power were supposed to get us off foreign oil, not natural gas. Oh, the hell with it.

LISD Reshuffling

Dr. Ronald McLeod has several weeks to go as interim superintendent at Laredo ISD, but before he moves on, he's making some moves. Nick Georgiou reports in the Laredo Times:
the district's interim chief will be reorganizing some administrative staff in
an attempt to better implement curriculum

Hmm. That's funny. I thought he was just a bench warmer while the board picked a new super. But O.K. He wants to right the ship while he's here, but...:
told Laredo Independent School District trustees that it is not clear how the
implementaion of the curriculum occurs

Nice. Let's have him tinker with the district; I mean what could go wrong? And of course, LISD never met a closed-door session it didn't like.
They discussed the plan behind closed doors

And they moved on it. No they didn't
the board took no action on thet item

Aaahhhhh, LISD. You gave me a diploma and then we went our seperate ways. Still, after all these years, I can't quit you and your whimsical, ill-fated ways. You will always have a special place in my heart. And with that, I give you this:
Yet always when I look death in the face, when I clamber to the heights of sleep, or when I grow excited with wine, suddenly I meet your face

LISD, I love thee; even if you are a pain in the ass.

Code Switching Eatery

Yeah, let me have the chicken con broccoli please.


Time out the Times

The Times' Time Out section

It is time to have fun with the Times again.

Earlier this month, the LMT decided to charge for their online content. Among some of the reasons cited was to continue the great journalistic integrity of Laredo’s only newspaper.

Well, this topic has been handled before, but the Times does not really do a whole lot of reporting. There are no real columnists that provide opinion outside of Odie Arambula and they all too often incorporate AP wire stories/opinions/columns into the paper.

But what best highlights the dumbing down of the Times is the recent feature in the Sports Section called “Time Out.” It is basically a photo collage of people at sporting events. An entire page, no less.

For this they are now charging a dollar to access it online? Ratas!

It reminds me of high school and scanning the yearbook to see who was pictured.

Hey, no offense to the people posing, but shame on the Times for passing this off as newsworthy in the age of shrinking newspapers.

As far as the sports section, the editor, Dennis Silva, only provides an opinion piece on Sundays and as people have noted before, but he does not offer solid opinions like columnists in other newspapers that ARE NOT CHARGING for online content.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

My Favorite Things

I watch Matlock reruns. So?

I was disappointed that ABC cancelled Caveman some time back. At least I still have the Geico commercials to keep me satisfied.

But now I hear that one of my favorite skits is going big time. Yes folks, a MacGruber movie is in the works. I'm making a prediction: this one is going to be a hit with the masses. There, I said it.

We've Got Spirit Yes We Do

We may not have much but we've got pride coming out our pores.

City Desperate For Revenue

The City of Laredo must really be strapped for cash if it wants me to go downtown to shop. They want me, and you, to send some coin their way by parking at their parking lots, not the privately-owned lots. LMT's Zach Lindsey:
Three city-owned parking lots are part of the trial

Councilman Hector (I will not call him "Tito") Garcia tries to cheer us up:
Without a downtown, there's no Laredo

Whoa, Whoa, Whoa there Nostradamus! Ease up on the apocalyptic scenarios. Turning the downtown area into a ghost town isn't such a bad idea. We'd be spared all the electronics stores blaring Reggaton music out unto the streets, and Les Norton would have to think about actually offering some variety at all of his six stores. (I purposely misspelled Reggaeton just because I don't like it) Les Norton speaks:
All too often, our City Council is criticized for not doing this or that

Well, I'm criticizing them now for wanting me to brave the heat just so I can go buy a pair of Dockers before 6 p.m.
Downtown Laredo is probably the biggest outlet mall in the country.... Stores in
downtown Laredo offer brand-name products and cheaper merchandise

Selling brand name products doesn't make you an outlet mall. And I don't think outlet malls have bums milling around their entrances. No offense to bums, but I really don't think they're going to read this, so there.