Thursday, December 31, 2009

The year in Entertainment

With just a few hours left in the year, I thought it would be good to reminisce about the silly, senseless, and sad stories that made up our pop culture in 2009.

We saw a lot of vampires this year (Twilight's "New Moon," TV's "True Blood" and "The Vampire Diaries"). We saw some aliens ("District 9" and TV's "V"). We also had our share of Sci-Fi stuff ("Star Trek," "Avatar," and TV's "FlashForward").

But you don't need to make up zany characters when you have real people invading our media like Jon&Kate, the Octomom, the White House party-crashers, and the Balloon boy and his moronic parents.

Then you have all those scandalous affairs made public: Senator John Ensign and Governor Mark Sanford (among other politicians); David Letterman; and Tiger Woods, who "hit a tree and a bunch of girls fell out" (SNL).

On the music front you had Chris Brown beating up Rihanna; Kanye West taking away Taylor Swift's moment in the spotlight; and U2 having the first-ever full concert appear LIVE on YouTube!

But in my opinion, the most shocking and sad story in entertainment had to be the death of Michael Jackson. Whatever you thought of him, there will never be another like him.
So long 2009!

Jesus Olivares And Eduardo D. Rodriguez



2009 saw many people passing away at a young age, and in Laredo, it was no exception. This month we learned about 32-year-old actress Brittany Murphy, and 28-year-old Avenged Sevenfold drummer James Sullivan. Both were reported to have died of natural causes.

It's very unusual to hear that of people that were so young.

Laredo's most notorious death this year was that of a toddler who was murdered in her home. The case is still under investigation. Some faces in the obit. pages were familiar, and even well-known throughout the community.

The other day I noticed Mr. Olivares' announcement in the paper, and a LaSanbe reader reminded me about it. Then I didn't see his picture the next day. All I remembered was that he was a former coach. Today there was word of Mr. Rodriguez passing and for some reason I thought it was the same person. I was dismayed to find out that they were practically the same age and died so young. It might be me but I'm seeing more young people in the local obituaries nowadays. May they rest in peace.

Somebody's Got To Work



Thankfully I'm off till Monday. Still, some folks have to work through the holidays. LaSanbe just hopes that there aren't any water line breaks that'll cause some people to be called in in the middle of the night.

Post A Comment

Pro8news wants to know what story was the most significant in 2009. Go over to their blog and post a comment. I might post under the pseudonym, Tony Clifton.

Preparations for tonight continue. And remember, champagne is good for your heart.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Campaign Headquarters Opening



At yesterday's meet-up we talked about the same familiar faces staying in office for too long, or in some cases, playing musical chairs, so to speak, with political positions.

Right now we have some former, and current officials running for county positions. We know their names by heart. And they're a little wiser about how the system works so they throw their hats in the ring. Their intentions seem a bit more suspicious than well-meaning, being that they've been at this before.

Luckily, 2010 will gives us a sample of fresh faces going head-to-head with veteran politicos. This evening I got a chance to drop in on Jaime Canales' campaign headquarters opening. He's running for county commissioner, in hopes of unseating Sergio Martinez. I didn't stay long enough to sample the food at the gathering, but I did manage to speak with the candidate. Check it out.

Patricia Barrera's Civil Suit


The civil suit brought against Barrera (county tax assessor) by ten former employees has been settled, and not a moment too soon.
has become so costly that the county agreed to accept the recommendation of the insurance company

The county settled on behalf of Barrera because it was getting expensive. Hey Barrera, you're welcome! That's a sincere gesture from a county taxpayer.
She remains steadfast when it comes to proclaiming her innocence.
"Allegations are just that - allegations," Barrera said. "You still need proof."

I guess she's right. I mean, the word of ten former employees just doesn't carry the weight it should, not in a civil case. Ten employees a smoking gun does not make. But it's over and $950,000 is going out to somebody.
to take the matter to trial, Travelers Insurance would not be responsible for paying any lawsuit judgements

Webb County decided to cut its losses. Nice. Again, your welcome, Ms. Barrera.
"It's taxpayer money," Valdez said. He said that he considered fighting it. but "you roll the dice, and you don't know what's going to happen.

Ah, our esteemed county judge. So nice of him to give us Forrest Gump-like philosophy.

Story via the LMT ( Zach Lindsey)

It Gets Nasty

And of course, bringing the nasty is a Bruni specialty. He wants his old job back as county judge.
We need a judge who won't give himself a raise while everybody else is eating beans out of a can!

Eating beans out of a can is not a bad thing. In fact, I recommend it. Why, I just had some beans (out of a can) yesterday. How dare a rich man decry my bean-eating habits to further his agenda.

Tendederos

I am a big fan of line drying my clothes. I like to think of it as keeping a family tradition alive.

IBC Supervisor

A former bank employee is alleged to have stolen a ton of money.
Vargas is accused of pocketing more than $190,000
I guess a supervisor's salary doesn't go as far as it used to.

And staying on the topic of banks, one organization is suggesting we move away from large ones to community banks. See the video.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Person Of The Year 2009


It's that time of year when we chose the person who had a big impact in the community in 2009. So without further adieu, La Sanbe picks Bill Green, publisher for the Laredo Morning Times, as this year's Person of the Year.

In a year that saw many media outlets struggle, it was obvious that the LMT was feeling the pinch as well. The actual size of their daily paper shrank, and its heft was not present as before. The Times felt thinner. And then in a move that angered many, us included, the Times decided to charge for online access. Local stories that appeared in the Main News section were no longer available for free for people to view online and comment on.

Before that, some stories would get up to 50 public comments, if not more; Now, it's more like a handful at best.

Management defended their pay-to-view tactic by saying that their quality work could not go unrewarded. The public, however, wasn't buying it, literally. We took them to task for their paltry coverage of the Border Olympics earlier this year. And more recently, a former CEO of the Laredo Medical Center was accused of extorting money from physicians but the story didn't appear in the LMT until two months after news broke about the incident. Still, I doubt their stance has changed any. You're going to pay for their online stories, and you'll like it!

It's a publication that is working against the odds. Its resources are limited and its readers so quick to dump it when asked to make a sacrifice. And I can't blame them. It's a natural reaction to a newspaper whose only response to adversity is to charge for online access.

Times are tough but LMT brass is not about to let things go out for free, no matter how foolish they appear. 2009 could be the year that things changed for the Times. In the coming days, we could see a revived paper with a fresh format that leaves the masses begging for more. Or it could signal the beginning of the end; theirs a fate that's passed the point of no return. And maybe it could just be that they trudge along with the same old routine but with added pictures for our viewing pleasure.

Bill Green: LaSanbe's 2009 Person of the Year.

2008 winner here. And 2007 person here.

Lunch Meet-Up Today


I'll try to capture some video of the event. If some attendees are up to it, great; if not it'll be just me. Happy Holidays.

UPDATE (14:45): The second LaSanbe meet-up is in the books and it was a success. For a while, I thought nobody was going to show up, but I'm thankful for everybody who made it out to Candela's. We had slightly more people than last time and some new faces appeared.

Thank you all and we'll do it again soon. (On the t.v. screen is J.C. Martin, former mayor of Laredo, in a story that Bill Moyers produced for CBS News back in 1979)

At The Movies In Laredo

I thought our radio stations say alot about our community, but apparently, so do our movies.
the theater is still playing "Armored," an action film about armored truck guards

The movie might speak to our taste in films, or it might just mean that theater management is not at all creative.
A heist flick could have a certain appeal in a high-traffic smuggling corridor along the Mexican border

It could also have a certain appeal because there's crap out there, as far as movies are concerned.

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Buzz On Paper

LaredoBuzz has expanded from the online world into the print arena. My better half actually found a copy at city hall while making a water bill payment.

We wish Joe continued success.

UISD Expansion

United ISD just keeps on growing. To the south, they are looking to build a new elementary school.
It would alleviate overcrowding at Perez, Prada and Arndt Elementary schools.

And near Mines Road, a possible purchase of 110 acres is on their agenda.
UISD would use about half the acreage for a new high school.

I'm glad I'm not a UISD taxpayer, but if I ever need a job, I can look to them.

Story via the LMT.

Identification



The name of this daycare struck me as odd. Usually a child care center in town will have a name like, Best Lil' Schoolhouse, or Tiny Tots.

The Lighthouse is peculiar since we're nowhere near the coast.
Could it be that they are now an extension of some non-profit organization, or do they simply like the name Lighthouse for its symbolism?

Channels In Danger

The people at FOX and Time Warner Cable are currently in contract negotiations. FOX wants more money and Time Warner won't budge. If no agreement is reached by the end of the week, Laredo could lose some of its channels like FX, and Fox Sports Southwest.

Bummer. I'm not a big watcher of FOX programming but there is one show that's coming back January 25 on FX that I was looking forward to, Damages. A slew of characters were going to make their debut, including Martin Short. Yeah, that Martin Short.

If the channel disappears, perhaps I'll still be able to watch the show online. Time will tell.

Homicides In Laredo

We had slightly more this year than last.
Yet police investigator Joe Baeza says the increase, a mix of domestic violence and robbery, is not linked to the border.

That's good, I guess.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Laredo Tires



Don't think of them as tires thrown around our city; they're more like freckles on Laredo's sun-tanned cheek.

Cowboys


Just in case you doubted the power of the Dallas Cowboys in Laredo, let me bring you exhibit D-4, City Councilman Gene Belmares soliciting an autograph from former Cowboy great, Bill Bates.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

DIY Signs



Now that LaSanbe is moving into its 3.0 edition, I'm going to have to get a nice banner made up to display at street corners or events like the Menudo Bowl, or even the Jalapeno Festival.

Hello New Year!

Champagne has been found to be good for the heart.
In short, its polyphenols have the ability to improve blood pressure and reduce heart disease risks.

Looks like every day in 2010 will be cause for celebration.

Was It A Makeover?





Either the "Tano" team is flush with campaign cash or somebody told him to re-do his huge signs. The first one that came out was serious Tano - the one that looked like an ad for a hypnotist's one-night showing.

Then came mildly grinning Tano - just enough of a grin, appropriate if he was going to be placed on the nickel. Whatever the case, these things are all over the place; much like a Cowboys jersey in Laredo: even in church.

Hopefully, after it's all said and done, these signs can be put to some good use, like making shelters out of them for stray dogs. Until then, enjoy the scenery.

Food For A Year

If I won $5,000 from H*E*B, I'd buy grapes, fresh fish, and almonds all year long. For now I'll make do with canned tuna, and pears (4/$1).

In The Act



I caught some gang members tagging a store's side wall in broad daylight Thursday. They apparently belong to some group called the Wawis. This practice has become so commonplace that motorists just drove by and let them go on about their business.

A sad commentary for this neighborhood, and town.

(Their dress suggests that they are Cowboys fans)

Security

Laredo ISD Superintendent Marcus Nelson wants to fill vacancies in the district's security force.
Citing graffiti, a high-level of gang involvement and school fights, Nelson has directed administration to beef up its security force.

He blogs too.
"We must do a better job to make sure our students feel safe and secure when they are on our campuses," he wrote in his Dec. 4 LISD blog post.

Nice. Story via LMT (Nick Georgiou)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Metro-less Friday
















El Metro would like to wish everybody a Feliz Navidad. Unfortunately they won't be able to give you a ride today; they're taking the day off.

Today we're the largest city without bus service.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Leaves Aren't Going To Rake Themselves



It's been an awesome start to Winter. Today it got up to 82 degrees. I got some much-needed outdoor exercise by raking leaves. Rickets, be gone. My compost pile is rockin' like a muddafudda.

The clock winds down on the year.

Parents On Photography

Come learn about photography Sunday January 3 at 11:00 a.m. This two-part series is free to the public and will take place at the North Central Park on International Blvd. For more information, contact P.O.P at popcognition@yahoo.com.

La Tamalada Lives On

Christina Rosales recounts her experience of making tamales.
The crowded kitchen, the Spanglish conversations, and the Carpenters' Christmas carols playing

Props to the video she produced. In it, I saw my son's former teacher as one of the interviewees.

Busted

They wouldn't throw a 65-year-old man with glasses in jail, would they?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Happy Festivus!


Make someone smile today! :)

Brown Impressions

This car club used to hold their meetings across the street from my mother's house.
Brown Impressions Lowrider Car Club was founded by President Jesus "Chuy" Martinez in 1979 and was the first Lowrider Club in Texas.

Today I heard my studious niece singing a line from "Walk Like A Man." I didn't inquire as to why she was singing it. Anyway, it was one of the car club's musical staples. Somehow it all comes 'round full circle.

Busy, Busy, Busy



It's three days before Christmas and I've practically done all my Christmas shopping. In the past I've been out there Christmas Eve still debating about what to buy.

Happy Festivus, everyone!

Not A Smart Guy

The LMT's Denise Blaz is reporting that Rolando Rubio has again been charged with assaulting a woman.
now facing additional charges of aggravated assault causing bodily injury, a second-degree felony, and unlawful restraint, a third-degree felony. He has also been charged with violating a protective order

This comes after Rubio was accused of holding the same woman captive for three days two weeks ago. He's apparently got some anger issues, and he's well-to-do too.
officers responded to a disturbance call at Rubio's residence in the 1800 block of Country Club Drive

This proves that domestic violence knows no socioeconomic bounds, and that local authorities have struggled with this problem all year. Over 1,000 cases of domestic abuse were reported in 2009.

Non-participating Polamalu

Sniff. Piper's NFL year in review. (This is all I remember right now.)

The Steelers season went awry, and my favorite player has been sidelined with knee injuries. Sigh.

Since I can't see Troy on the field, I have to replay one of his commercials to remember what he looks like.

On a positive note my hair has never looked better. Look out for Head & Shoulders shampoo stocking stuffers from Piper.



Hope to see you in Miami Troy! Come hither.

11 Reasons

They're already counting their 13th championship. Now, those B(l)A(h)MA folks offer up 11 reasons why Texas will lose. I'm just surprised the game is still scheduled for Jan. 7. Why even show up if they've printed up their stickers and written up their list?

Let's Skate!



The start of Winter has been awesome in the Gateway City. People are still out using flip flops.

Term Limits

Politicians have to know, or be reminded, when its time to call it quits.
the 92-year-old Democrat from West Virginia whose attendance is never guaranteed due to his ill health

A lot of career politicians need to think about retirement, and that means working as a lobbyist.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Space

This is just too freakin' cool.



Found it at www.DogCanyon.org

Her Name Is Stephanie Simon

Stephanie wrote a story about Laredo not having a bookstore soon, and in it she included this little gem.
It's a poor city filled with immigrants who don't speak English, let alone read it.

Join me in sending Stephanie a collective "fuck you" for this insensitive, and ignorant remark.
You can write her at: Stephanie.Simon@wsj.com

WSJ story sent to LaSanbe by one of our readers.

Blue Texas In 2010

There's talk about Bill White taking the governorship in 2010. There's nothing that would make me happier, only because the Texas Teabaggers would have a fit.

Another Hollywood death


Actress Brittany Murphy died Sunday at the age of 32! She first came to fame in the movie Clueless. (If you see that movie now, she's hardly recognizable.)

Aside from Clueless some of her other movies which I liked include: Girl, Interrupted, Riding in Cars with Boys, and Don't Say a Word. But she also appeared in Sin City, Little Black Book, Just Married, and 8 Mile.

Her death is still under investigation. Some reports say she was diabetic, others that she had been sick with the flu and had been vomiting a lot, and others reported that she had been taking prescription meds. I always thought she was drastically thin (after Clueless) and that maybe she was anorexic or bulimic, which could cause cardiac arrest. We will have to wait and see.

Check out other celebrities who died in 2009. Rest in peace.
Photo courtesy of TVguide.com

Grinch Of The Year

LMT's Joe Rutland ponders who can be this year's Grinch.
Is there anyone from the Laredo City Council or the Webb County Commissioners Court worthy?

I'm sure his pick will not match La Sanbe's pick.

Dale 100%



Today is the start of my two-week holiday vacation. I have to make the most of it. But most importantly, I have to stay away from the weight one gains from eating tamales and bunuelos.

Burglary

What is the animal shelter doing with iPods and over a thousand dollars on hand?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Laredo in the Gossip Columns

Laredo is now getting mention across various gossip trades thanks to Lil' Wayne. Check out the writeup on the Perez Hilton website.

Tippy Toes



The East Coast had a ton of snow dumped on itself this weekend. That, in turn, caused a couple of NFL games to be pushed back so stadium employees could ready the stands and fields for play.

Case in point: The Niners were supposed to play Philadelphia at noon. But no, it was pushed to 3:00. The Steelers game was scheduled to be televised on Fox at 3:00 but they decided to air the Philly game. Sonofabastages!

But of course, everybody wanted to see Philly play the Niners. It was like the game of the week. But I'm not bitter. Luckily, FOX was able to give me the last couple of minutes of the Pittsburgh/Green Bay game. And it was a nail biter. Rookie WR Wallace made an unbelievable catch in the final seconds of the game to win it for the Steelers. Oh, and Ben threw for 503 yards.

Yyyaaayyyyiiiiaaaaaahhhhhh!!!

The Steelers might not make the playoffs, but I'll have these moments to comfort me in the coming days. Oh, and Dallas won last night even though they have a kicker who sucks.

That made up for the blackout.

Norton Draws First Blood

Local businessman Les Norton calls out the mayor and city council for not doing enough for downtown retailers.
Norton mentioned that some of the city councilmen have a very closed or narrow mentality

He never mentions anyone by name apart from the mayor. But he does cite one elected official's comment when he brought up the issue of McAllen being proactive with regards to tourism.
if we liked McAllen so much we should move over there

Downtown Laredo definitely has a lot of things going against it, but I can't defend Norton when he criticizes the city and its inability to get with the times, and he himself peddles worn-out fashions in homely showrooms with aged storefronts.

And It's Free



The only time I set foot in the Laredo Entertainment Center to see hockey is when my nephew plays with the junior league.

Not Just For Paisanos

Laredo: it's where suspected murderers cross into Mexico to evade the law.
Presley was about to enter Mexico through Laredo

But please, come visit anyway.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

It's Just Not Right

I was listening to the radio yesterday and was dumbfounded with the music rotation some station director had thought of. First there was this song by Rita Coolidge.



It was followed by Kiss' "I Was Made For Lovin' You." Both classic songs but they don't quite go together. It just goes to show you how things run down here.

Pipas

Zach Lindsey (LMT) reports how city crews were out yesterday repairing a water line break near
the downtown area. He writes that the pipes are at least 50 years old.
The downtown is the oldest area in town. But in the eastern division, which contains the Heights and everything from Chacon Creek to Bartlett and Saunders to Market, the pipes are the same age

Oh great, we're fucked. The guys that have to repair those breaks must put in some heavy overtime hours.

Avatar makes its debut




Avatar hit theaters Friday (since midnight), hoping to grab some of your holiday dollars. I'm really curious to see it, because the previews do look impressive.

Apparently special new cameras were made just for this film in order to capture the visual effects the way they were meant to be seen.

I hope it lives up to the hype. See you after the popcorn line.
Photo courtesy of avatarmovie.com.

Tiger Wood Products Emerge


Get yours here.

Una Tienda De Libros

Let's not be so dramatic with the pictures, shall we?

Friday, December 18, 2009

Patricia Barrera Wants Summary Judgement

Webb County held its weekly meeting yesterday morning because of some scheduling conflicts earlier in the week. One subject they touched on was that pesky little lawsuit filed against Tax Assessor/Collector Patricia Barrera. Lawyers working on the case suggested settling.
recommended approval of the $950,000 settlement, which was reached in mediation and would be paid by the county's insurance company.

The county attorney reminded the court that if they don't settle, future court costs will be the responsibility of Webb County. Patricia Barrera was clear.
"I am not for settling," she told the court. "There are five individuals who should not be paid a red cent."

I see she hasn't lost her charm. Unfortunately it's that gruff charm that's gotten her in trouble. It's unbelievable how she can act so shameless while taxpayers are practically going to bail her out.

Story, and quotes, from today's LMT.

Snicker, Snicker

Pro8news reported this evening that Lil' Wayne was being detained at the Falfurrias Border Patrol checkpoint because a drug-sniffing dog helped them find marijuana on the tour bus.

Nobody has been officially arrested but it looks like their indefinite detention will put a crimp on their 8:30 concert start time tonight at the L.E.C.
A reporter mentioned that more than 7,000 tickets had been sold for the show.

UPDATE: the concert has been postponed.

Paisanos Are Coming

Local authorities are out in full force to see that paisanos cross into Mexico as efficiently as possible. Police officers are already stationed near Bridge II and a whole four port-a-potties have been set up to accommodate travelers who have to go. Things are moving smoothly right now, but I expect the traffic to get fierce pretty soon.

13 Championships

Alabama has officially won 12 college FB titles. This site has already started printing '13 Championship' stickers. Perhaps they should call off the game on Jan. 7 now that these stickers have been printed.

PS. Nick Saban is an asshole.

Happy Holidays



I saw this ad in the Accion magazine I was handed the other night.
It's nice to see local dive bars advertise their services.
Viva Club Gastronomico! (formerly Las Palmas)

Not Good

I don't like the picture included with the story of the accidental death of an 18-year-old. Perhaps the grinning Joe Baeza snapshot could be used elsewhere.

Ills Of The City

Former LMT reporter Julian Aguilar keeps the buzz going about our little bookstore closing and the troubles border communities face.
often afflicted with a reputation of being a black hole of talent where escape is necessary in order to prosper.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

For County Judge




Hehe. Heh. Hehehe. Hehe.

(Keyrose is tired and he's turning in)

UPDATE: a reader posted a comment on this thread pointing out that on a previous post I had (Clown) Bolitas, and (T)ano on this one. He/she connected both, attempting to make some sophomoric anatomical joke. I think it's childish and wrong, especially since he/she beat me to the punch.

I am, however, posting both pics together so you can get the full effect.

What?



So this gentleman comes up to me yesterday and gives me a magazine. I accept it, but I can't help to think that I've seen him(pictured with blue tie and soccer ball) somewhere before. My curiosity lingers. It finally dawned on me: it's that guy that used to work at that place and had that thing happen with those people over something or other.

Apparently he's producing a local sports magazine called Accion - La Revista. I tried checking out the website noted on the front page, masaccion.net, but it doesn't exist. Oh well.

Lone Wolf Ponder

Chuck Norris takes a break from playing Uncle Rico to suggest that the Virgin Mary would have had an abortion if the time and place was right.
I wonder:  What would have happended if Mother Mary had been covered by Obamacare?
A tongue-lashing from the Vatican, or a bolt of lightning would be in order right about now.

The Tougher The Economy...




...the tougher the job.  This poor Cici's Pizza employee couldn't catch a break, even when it was cold and rainy out.

I guess the manager figured that the storefront wasn't doing enough to lure customers in; they had to resort to putting a young man out in the cold, all for a chance at a buck and walking pneumonia.

Congratulations Cici's manager.  You're our asshole of the week.

Intervention

The City of Laredo, in an uncharacteristic move, stood up for taxpayers by meting out some tough love to its freeloading cousins to the south, El Cenizo.  No longer will the people of El Cenizo gets free rides from Laredo EMS, even if they're suffering from a major coronary.
residents have been getting the help they need by dropping off patients at the Speedy Stop on 83, outside of El Cenizo city limits, so Laredo emergency responders pick them up for treatment.
Laredo City Manager, Carlos Villarreal, states that priority has to be set for the tax-paying citizens of the Gateway City.  That's nice.

In an unrelated story, residents whose house was on fire were dismayed when EMS dispatchers didn't answer the 911 hotline.  No comment was available from Mr. Villarreal to see where this lands on the priority meter.

Was It Worth It, Bear?

One local school librarian and a certain bear mascot have been treating kids to free books and other fun activities.  Harmless, some would say, but not so.  You see, in a capitalist society, bookstores have to make ends meet with what little resources they have at their disposal, without worrying about adorable bears muscling in on their turf.  Our quaint little bookstore, B. Dalton's, had the misfortune of being placed in the mall far away from center court or the food court, where all the action is.  Their struggles were so obvious, as they could barely afford furniture for patrons to sit on.

The square footage allotted to them may have been fine for a Condom Nation, or some sort of peanut brittle retailer, but not for Laredo's only source of newly-printed books like, Identity Fraud For Dummies.  But it's too late; the damage has been done.  Free book purveyors have put a dent in our corporate bookstore's bank ledger.  Laredo's only bookseller was done in by a meddling vest-wearing bear.

For now, this mascot can revel in the fact that he's taken down a struggling bookstore, but he's always hatching up new plans for anyone who decides to take him on.  So newcomers beware; there's a bear out there, and his name is "Read-a-Bear."  And his game is: taking suckas out.


You've been warned.  Have a nice day.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Farolitos De Esperanza


PMDG Marketing Communications executives, A.B. Barrera and Paco Barrientos, were on hand at the Bethany House Shelter to unveil Farolitos de Esperanza, a project to help raise awareness and resources for the needy in the community.

The RPM Motorcycle Club presented a check for $300 to the organization.  The public was also encouraged to donate to this worthy cause, which you can do as well by calling PMDG at (956)753-5900.

Laredo Homeless Coalition President, Jose Ceballos, estimated Laredo's homeless population at approximately 1,300.  He was kind enough to show me around the facility and share some information about what goes on behind the scenes in the shelter and dining hall.  Mr. Ceballos stated that the elderly who live in the vicinity take advantage of the free meals offered at the center, in addition to those who are homeless.

Privatizing Plaza San Agustin

I wonder if the city expected this kind of pushback when they set up barriers at the San Agustin Plaza.  In today's LMT, attorney Israel Reyna:
Reyna said this is another attempt to clear the plaza of these so-called "undesirables."
He might take this thing to court.
Reyna said he wants to see the plaza maintained as "a public place" to ensure that "it does not become a private piece of property."
LMT story by Zach Lindsey.

Person Of The Year

Time chose Ben Bernanke as their Person of the Year.  La Sanbe has its own short list of local candidates for this year's naming.  I will make the announcement at our luncheon on December 29.

This Cold Weather





I hate our current conditions.  It's 47 degrees, rainy, with a 70 percent chance of me being grumpy all day.

The weekend should bring better weather, making the People's Choice Pozole Cook-Off contest all the better.  Judging begins at 3:00 p.m. Saturday at the Student Activity Complex along Highway 359.

Radio Habits

I can see why some men would listen to light rock on FM radio: it's relaxing; it helps clear your mind of all the hectic activity going on during the day; and some music you just grew up on. I'll tune in to KHOY 88.1 on occasion just because other stations are playing crap, but I will not listen to any Celine Dion.
"It may be a case where men didn't want to admit they were
listening to a light A.C., " said Greg Ashlock, president and market manager for
Los Angeles Clear Channel, using industry shorthand for adult contemporary, or
soft rock.

I think VH1 got it right when they voted Christopher Cross's Sailing as the number 1 soft rock hit of all time. I guess what I'm trying to say is that soft rock is alright as long as it's sung by men. There, I said it.

Laredo's Apathy?

The valley has a new border crossing, and all of a sudden, they've grown a set of balls. Supposedly they're better for Mexican tourists now.
Laredo can no longer offer speedy crossings to Texas

Waiting in line at one of our three international bridges is no walk in the park, but the access to I-35 and points north, i.e. San Antonio, puts us at an advantage, I think. And besides, it's not like we've been slacking off. We're getting a new golf course, baseball park, possible trade agreements with Guatemala and Panama, and Lil' Wayne at the LEC. It's not as if we don't have any good ideas.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Deformed Clown

Here we see Clown Bolitas entertaining Head Start kids at the Casa Blanca Convention Center. In one game, a teacher gets a little too physical with a student, and Bolitas says, "tenga cuidado, aqui estan los de S.C.A.N." He continues with his Spanish immersion routine by calling out a staff member with, "se le suvio la presion a la comadre." Gotta love Laredo.

Bacon Explosion

Tried this dish at a friend's Christmas party over the weekend. Instructions for this very simple grilling masterpiece can be found here. Pure bacon/sausage goodness & no carbs. Game on homies.

C.C. A Natural Selection

Innovative Leisure Partners is looking into building a water park in Corpus Christi near the Harbor Bridge.
"You've got 6 million tourists a year to the area, and you're within striking
distance to three of the largest cities in the country,"

6 million -- that's a lot of tanning lotion. I wonder if Taco Palenque has a number of how many tourists we get.

Music Trooper

Sometimes you have to take the gigs that are available, even if its playing for gangs.
Ayala was released after being questioned Saturday

Monday, December 14, 2009

Blue And Silver Santa



Even when collecting donations for the holidays atop the HEB store, Mayor Salinas finds a way to show his team spirit.

Bigotry

This Feliz Navidad parody is funny and harmless. Just ask any republican and they'll tell you.

Crazy Joe Barton From Texas

The stuff that comes out of your car's exhaust is harmless to your health. Really.

The LMT Speaks

It's been two months since charges were filed against former Laredo Medical Center CEO Abe Martinez by two physicians, and the Laredo Times has finally found the time to bring up the issue. The lawsuit alleges that Martinez was extorting money from Dr. Ntaki and Dr. Berlioz.
Abe Martinez:
"Late last year, I became aware of allegations that are now contained in a
recent lawsuit filed by two physicians who were on the medical staff of the
hospital where I previously served as CEO,"......"The allegations in this
lawsuit are not true."

Martinez is currently CEO of a hospital in Austin.
"I intend to vigorously defend myself against the egregious and false
accusations contained in the lawsuit,"

Recap: When Dr. Ntaki and Dr. Berlioz refused to pay Martinez, their contracts were cancelled. An investigation was conducted by Laredo Medical Center administrators. Late last year, Abe Martinez was reassigned and ultimately landed the job of CEO in Austin.

Parties involved are due in court early next month.

Training?

Bordertown Blues writes about a local gym and its cross-training message. In watching some of their workout videos, it looks more like a recipe for injury; those swinging pull-ups look treacherous.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Just a thought..

"The thing that impresses me most about America is the way parents obey their children."

- Edward VIII

Futbol



I'm not going to say that Cowboy fans are panicking right now but they are concerned. December hasn't been a good month for the pokes in recent years and their remaining schedule doesn't help.

Game time: 3:00 p.m. We'll be sitting on the edge of our seats.

Vandalism

Danny Valdez is a victim of........

Saturday, December 12, 2009

FBI Shop

For those who have forgotten, Raul Salinas used to be in the FBI.

Colt & Tebow Go Gay

Special To The Times

Via the LMT:
He will be next to the B. Dalton's at Mall del Norte from 10 a.m. to noon.

The mall bookstore can't even house author Roberto Trevino in its own space.

Significance Of December 12

The church in the Chacon neighborhood had a celebration this morning. Check it out.

LaSanbe Winter Luncheon

Our next meet-up will be December 29. Lunch. Be there. (Location to be determined)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Sciaraffa's Winter Wonderland

Commissioner Frank Sciaraffa is hosting another Christmas party for the kids of Webb County this coming Tuesday. Santa Claus will be there, but more importantly, Clown Bolitas will make his usual appearance. For those of you who don't know him, he's an overweight clown who shows up at parties and jokes about food stamps, W.I.C., and obese people. He's a regular Krusty the Klown for the low income demographic.

Anyway, this party is mostly a letdown for parents because they ultimately find out that the kids get some cheap ass present from Sciaraffa. It's the thought that really counts. Not really.

Hundreds Gather to Protest Global Warming

It's On Like The Break Of Dawn


Residents braved the cold weather to protest the city's partial blockade of San Agustin Plaza.
They contend that the plaza is a public site and their tax money pays for its maintenance.
Will the city listen to their complaints?

Happy Birthday Today!!!



Sesame Street turned 40 this year, so I use them to wish a Happy Birthday to those born today.

Some celebrants today include Rita Moreno, John Kerry, Anand Vishwanathan, Jermaine Jackson, Nikki Sixx, and Teri Garr.

Oh, and Mr. Most Imposing Blogger himself...KeyRose. Happy Birthday to U!!! Have a nice day. Sincerely, Piper

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I Just Had To Post This

Connected?

Carlos Landin's opinion appears in today's issue of the LMT. He takes exception with the fact that some local political candidates are utilizing networking outlets such as Twitter, and Facebook.
Come to the barrio, fellas, and speak to us - in person - as regular folk

I couldn't agree with him more, but he's too quick to dismiss all the new media that's out there.
need to show us what they have and how much they know by means of town halls and
in personal meetings, making a face-to-face connection. Then they talk
Twitter, etc., they're talking over our heads

Some people don't have computers, and some people use their cell phones only for personal calls, but just because you're out of the online loop, don't assume you're the only one who votes.

Don't Go There

It's interesting how men get labeled sex addicts after they've been caught cheating. Nancy Grace does not want to give the term any validity, and on some level, I agree with her, even though I'm not a big fan of hers.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

El Es Mas Macho

Here we have a city councilman wearing a La Posada shirt during a press conference (absolutely no conflict of interest whatsoever) and he's not afraid to show us some heavage (male cleavage)



This is actually a very popular look down here. I seem to recall a certain LISD trustee who wore his shirts the same way, but his name escapes me at the moment (Justo Guerra). Go on men; show them who's mas macho.

Paisanos Coming Through Laredo

Mayor Salinas weighs in:
We want their experience to be positive, restful, and beneficial

Eatery On Market



This restaurant might be a hole in the wall but it has its own website.

Shirley Field Construction

The LMT (Nick Georgiou) reports that Laredo ISD board members will vote next week on awarding a construction contract to an outside company.
Barcom Commercial Inc., a Corpus Christi-based firm that beat Leyendecker
Construction in the bidding process

How could this be? Leyendecker not getting a construction contract?
Edmundo Lopez added that the company also has a history of completing work above
expectations and ahead of schedule

Meow. We'll have to wait to see who gets the $10 million (contract) Christmas present.

Elections Coming Up

Zach Lindsey (LMT) spoke with Dem. Party Chairman Sergio Mora:
The gravity of the election is such that Mora believes smear tactics and other
dirty political moves will harm the community and discourage legitimate
discussion

Criminal Medicals


Laredo Buzz is reporting that male nurses are wrecking havoc in Laredo. Case in point: Luis Rolando Garcia has recently pled guilty to sexually abusing a child. Laredo Buzz continues:
The defendant, who has been employed locally by the fire department and by a nursing home, entered his plea before the Honorable Judge Oscar Hale, Jr. in the 406th District Court.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Contradictory



Laredo's citizenry is a church-going bunch, which is why this sign gave me pause. Matthew 19:21 suggests that we sell all our possessions so that we may have our treasure in heaven.

But the Bible also says that you should be put to death for working on the Sabbath, so I don't know what the hell to believe.

Twice as Hot

In all the brouhaha over Tiger Wood (no s) and his salacious affairs, a factoid sorta lost in the maelstrom is that (Martin) Tiger's very hot wife Elin has a twin sister. LaSanbe pauses to take an eye test.

Movie: Brothers

The movie Brothers opened last Friday, December 4th. It stars Tobey Maguire, Natalie Portman, and Jake Gyllenhaal. I've wanted to see it since catching the first preview, but I have not yet gone.

I knew there was a classic U2 song ("Bad") included in the soundtrack. But I just read that the band wrote a new song just for the film, which is directed by fellow Irish lad Jim Sheridan. (Listen here.) Now...I HAVE to see it.

Wawi Notes

County Commissioner Rosaura Tijerina has been pushing her campaign pamphlet that includes a list of "accomplishments." Let's go over some of them.

Three balanced budgets with no tax increase
This is a popular one with many local elected talking heads. Webb Co. did slash the budgets of many departments. No mention is made of a salary decrease for commissioners.
Secondary water source
Really? Where? I must've missed that memo.
Renewable energy projects
She doesn't specify on that one. She just mentions renewable energy projects. (see secondary water source)
5th international bridge
Oh yes, the invisible 5th international bridge. It's the same one that Sarah Palin can see from her back yard.
Improvements to the Webb County Golf Course
Haha. They fired the old guy at the golf course and the new guys pruned some trees.
Lobbied to get Loop 20/Cuatro Vientos completed
Lobbied--maybe. Successful--No. It took our state representatives going to Austin at the last minute to beg for this project.
Brought back dignity and mutaul respect to the commissioners court
Yeah, whatever. When Sergio Martinez threw a five-dollar bill at Delia Perales, Ms. Tijerina can be heard laughing; Not one of her finer moments, but neither is this pamphlet she's hawking.

You gotta hand it to politicians. They'll take credit for anything.

Don't Need No Stinkin' Drones

Who needs predator drones when we have top notch security in the Gateway City? In the last six months, 152 truck drivers have lost their license locally for smuggling undocumented immigrants.

That number tells me that Border Patrol keeps busy. But it shouldn't be surprising; they're everywhere. When I go buy food at any south central Laredo restaurant, they'll be there. When I run a 10K race on Thanksgiving, they'll be there. And when I go play Donkey Kong at the Greyhound Station downtown, yep, they're there.

They are so much a part of us that we even include them in the George Washington's Birthday Parade. Their mascot makes regular appearances at schools, and public events. My fear now is that both their adorable mascots (male and female) will be replaced by some clunky-looking menacing drone figure, and we can't have that. Stand with me as I send those expensive flying contraptions a symbolic hissssssssss.

Let's give cuteness a round of applause and decry the drones who will only serve to make some fatcat contractor happy. My Border Patrol. I think I'll keep them.

Some Have Parking Privileges

In today's LMT op/ed page, Jesus Flores gives us his take on the new rules concerning public parking at San Agustin Plaza.
I went to see for myself just what they had come up with and found that San
Agustin Plaza basically had been privatized.
Parking has been done away with on two sides of the plaza so as to accomodate the flow of traffic in the area. But he goes on to cite some violations that city officials are responsible for.
Even the huge flashing sign is placed illegally close to a fire hydrant!

Ay, no es bueno. And one councilman's name gets dropped.
there was an art show at San Agustin Plaza and Councilman Tito Garcia's white
Hummer was parked in front of San Agustin Church right beside a "No Parking"
sign.

But how could that be? You mean to tell me that city officials park where they're not supposed to? Heavens no!

Sundance 2010

Laredo meets the film festival in the short film category.
Sam trains Juan for his first day at his new job, fixing pay phones in the
border town of Laredo, Texas

Monday, December 7, 2009

Page Of Capitalizations

Here's a greeting from County Judge Danny Valdez. It can be found on his website. Enjoy all the capitalized words.

Hi, I’m Webb County Judge Danny Valdez and I’d Like to Welcome you to my

Campaign website JudgeDannyValdez.com

Since taking office in 2007 I have brought about Many positive changes and an optimistic view of the things we can accomplish working side by side with our County Commissioners, the City of Laredo, the Cities of Rio Bravo and El Cenizo, the residents of the Quad City area, our Congressman, Senator and State Representatives.

During my tenure I have worked diligently in bringing about my campaign promises:

Some of which are: Improving city-county Relationships, Implementing a countywide civil service commission, Bringing water and sewer services to our colonia residents, finalizing the Judge Solomon Casseb, Jr. Youth Village facility, lobbying for State and Federal funds for major transportation projects such as the Cuatro Vientos connection and Delivering a balanced county Budge every year with no increase in your county taxes.

These are just a few highlights..But my friends there is still more work to do.

So therefore, I sincerely ask that this upcoming March 9th , 2010 you support me once again with your vote of confidence so that I can continue to work for you on issues that are of importance to us all.

City Business

City Council is talking about giving the city's web page a makeover. It can't come soon enough.

Horns over Jerry World


Got this pic from a friend attending the game. Looks like Uncle Jerry's television screen is too low to play football and too small to capture the entire Longhorn band.

"The Greatest Christmas Decoration Ever"

From "Shorter and Sweeter" blogspot. The blogger received the image and info via e-mail.

"Good news is that I truly out did myself this year with my Christmas decorations. The bad news is that I had to take him down after 2 days. I had more people come screaming up to my house than ever.Great stories. But two things made me take it down.

First, the cops advised me that it would cause traffic accidents as they almost wrecked when they drove by.

Second, a 55 year old lady grabbed the 75 pound ladder almost killed herself putting it against my house and didn't realize it was fake until she climbed to the top (she was not happy). By the way, she was one of many people who attempted to do that. My yard couldn't take it either. I have more than a few tire tracks where people literally drove up my yard."

Random Shot



I dug this out from my treasure chest of pics. It has no real relevance. It's just a moment I caught when I took my son to the circus showing at the L.E.C.

It's A Different Life Down Here

This town is relatively safe, but that doesn't mean that shit doesn't happen.
youths as young as 13 in cars full of marijuana still wet from the
riverbank

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Bitterness


Here's hoping the Colt is not next on this poster.