Friday, December 31, 2010

The Year In Review By KLDO

Happy New Year!

Thanks to all who have helped, or contributed to, LaSanbe:

Mister X, JJ Binx, Piper Maru, Not1stRodeo, _Johhny Unico, Anonymous, Betty, DG, Sex Panther, NotMyFlop, Rick 78, Que Fregados, deLaredo, LareDOS, Tex[t]-Mex, Jobsanger, Viva Laredo, Laredo Buzz, Laredo Sports Wire, Tim Gutierrez, Dale Bola, Chanfles!, Bordertown Blues, Et tu Rosse, Bernman, Dan...

And I'd like to thank the LMT, KGNS, KLDO and El Manana for making all kinds of information available to this blogger.

Thanks, all.

Keyrose

UPDATE:  LaredoTejas.blogspot.com too!!!  Sorry I forgot you bro.  Happy New Year!  

Webb County Woes

Losing millions



State ends county's weatherization program

By Nick Georgiou
Laredo Morning Times
Published: Friday, December 31, 2010 4:41 AM CST
Webb County stands to lose a $2.4 million contract after a recent state report revealed pervasive, systematic abuse, fraud and misuse of weatherization funds and services by county employees.

Not a good way for the county to end the year.  Nick Georgiou went on to detail some findings by investigators:


  •  CAA’s monthly reporting figures on the number of weatherized homes contained information that was not factual: CAA reported that it had weatherized 91 units, or households, as of September 2010. In fact, only 18 percent of the units were actually complete.
  •  A lack of internal controls to prevent conflict of interest/nepotism: TDHCA officials interviewed one subcontractor, Marion Services LCC, that told them that he weatherized his father’s own home. The subcontractor told them that he did not see the assignment as a conflict of interest.
  •  A lack of appropriate hiring standards: The hiring of a CAA program manager showed that the best qualified candidate was not hired. The hired employee’s performance was substandard and led to the approval of weatherization activities for non-eligible county employees.
  •  Failure to prioritize weatherization applicants: CAA staff was supposed to assist applicants in the order of the date they applied. But a review of client files showed that at least five county employees were bumped up the list, receiving assistance ahead of low-income applicants.
  •  Severe lack of internal controls: CAA employees assessed their own homes, approved work releases for their own homes, approved purchase orders, concealed their own client file at their home, concealed applications in their office and altered applications to qualify applicants for services, leading to ineligible applicants receiving services.
Not very flattering.  Surely this story will continue into the upcoming year as somebody will be held to account for the lack of oversight. 
Meg Guerra quoted a former county employee in this month's issue of LareDOS:
One was a trailer at 301 International at the Town North Trailer Park.  It had no windows, and there was a huge hole in the floor.  The blower reading we got for that house was the same as if you were outdoors.  It should never have been weatherized, and yet we were ordered to proceed and to spend thousands of dollars that could have been spent making the home of an elderly person more energy efficient," he said, adding, "The house went over the $6,500 TDHCA limit, but Mr. Martinez said he would leverage LIHEAP funds of $4,000 to finish the job.  The contractor was Laredo Accurate Inspections, Charlie San Miguel."
(Emphasis mine)
Is this contractor the same person who just won a seat on city council?  I've been following this story casually but the more details that come out, the more I'm enthralled.  What I want to find out is how Mr. Javier Martinez came to the position of Director of the CAA.  Surely the commissioners court had something to do with it but nobody's coming forward with any information on just how this all transpired.

2010 Person Of The Year


Here we are on the last day of the year and in typical Keyrose fashion I leave things till the last minute.  It's time once again to choose LaSanbe's "Person of the Year."

The final decision for this year's pick was made a couple of weeks ago.  I was throwing ideas around for a while but ultimately I think the choice was obvious.  Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Gene Belmares.

2010 brought us a lot of competitive races in an election year that had the public yearning for change.  One of the more intriguing contests was the one Belmares threw his hat into -- the mayor's race.  Here he was a two-term councilman going up against four other people.  Well, to be frank, he was really going up against only two of those vying the the office of mayor:  a fumbling incumbent and another sitting councilman who took his fight to court to get his seat back. 

Belmares had relative name recognition and was not one to shy away from a photo op when the media came calling.  Still he had to spend big in his campaign to make sure his name was on the minds of the voting public.  But giant billboards and snazzy commercials couldn't take away from the manner in which he played his cards before and during the race.

He was one of the persons who decided the fate of the El Portal project in downtown Laredo.  Plans for the revitalization of the area were set high but little has yet to materialize.  Belmares tried to justify the project to me but I was skeptical to say the least, as was the public.

Then there was the whole fiasco with traffic flow around San Agustin Plaza.  Belmares was an employee of the La Posada Hotel right across the street from the plaza.  Naturally people assumed he was using his influence as an elected official to control the flow of traffic in the area.  Even if he had nothing to do with it, the suspicion was set in place.

Later he had to rebuff questions dealing with the Laredo Broncos' contract termination, his role in the clean-up effort at Los Martinez Dr., spending at the North Central Park, his unfamiliarity with the south side and the nagging issue of his educational background.
That last point is a touchy subject.  In our meeting he brought it up with a sense of disdain.  He wanted me to know that he indeed had some type of formal education but appeared disturbed that the question had to be addressed at all.  On his Facebook status he confronted the issue by comparing himself to Bill Gates, a person who accomplished great things without the use of a college degree.  Belmares has done well for himself but propping himself up next to Bill Gates is presumptuous and misguided.  His deeds fall more in line with that of every Tom, Dick, and Chencho to come out of the local woodwork.

The billboards might look epic, his words well-articulated and the t.v. spots superbly produced but its all a show to compensate for his political shortcomings.  In the eight years in office he didn't leave a mark mighty enough to make the city notice.  His is all blather, the same as that of the buffoon who beat him. 

Gene Belmares had to fight off more criticism than any other mayoral candidate, in my opinion.  But the persona that took a beating was of his own making.  He tried to portray himself as lofty but wanted to resemble someone more humble.  People didn't know what they were getting; And Belmares had trouble defining himself.  He was the altruistic mud sweeper with camera crew in tow.  He's the kid from the barrio with a name of Greek origin.  A conservative on the border.  A contemporary of Bill Gates without the wherewithal to beat a local yokel.

Gene, you gave us one thing but we saw another.  And for that you are LaSanbe's 2010 Person of the Year.  

Past winners here, here and here.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Not Really A Favor

We're going to let you go because your dialysis has gotten expensive and there's no way the state is going to pay for a kidney transplant; so you're free to go.  Take it easy now.  Buh-bye!

Top Ten in 2010

The end of another year is upon us, and some of us may be asking ourselves, "Where did it go?" And with the end of the year come all those obligatory Top 10 lists of assorted varieties.

Here are the Top Ten money-making movies of this year! At least we know where some of our money went.

The kids have assumed control!

10. The Karate Kid - $176,591,618
9. How to Train Your Dragon - $217,581,231
8. Shrek Forever After - $238,395,990
7. Despicable Me - $250,966,220
6. Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows (Pt.1) - $277,267,000
5. Inception - $292,525,041
4. Twilight Saga: Eclipse - $300,531,751
3. Iron Man 2 - $312,128,345
2. Alice in Wonderland - $334,191,110
(drum roll please)
1. Toy Story 3 - $415,004,880
Happy New Year!

It's All About Negocio

Bill Nericcio spent some time in downtown Laredo last night to talk about the images in his book that have been transformed into a traveling art exhibit.  Enjoy.

Child Returns

Missing girl back home with parents


By César G. Rodriguez
LAREDO MORNING TIMES
Published: Thursday, December 30, 2010 2:57 AM CST
The 12-year-old girl who went missing Monday afternoon is now safe with her family, said Investigator Joe E. Baeza, Laredo Police Department spokesman, on Wednesday afternoon.

According to police, family members found Shakira Anahi Centeno unharmed at Walmart, 4401 U.S. 83, in south Laredo on Wednesday morning.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Plants Secured


Things, even plants, have a way of disappearing, so it's understandable to see some foliage being guarded with chain link fencing.  Or it could be that whoever constructed this sidewalk feature just didn't want to throw anything away. 

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Special Report!!!!



Art show at the Laredo Center for the Arts tomorrow at 6 p.m.  Come out and meet Bill Nericcio of Tex[t]-Mex Galleryblog.

ReUse Everything

Just like Bordertown Blues shows us people recycling plastic bottles, I bring you an example of someone reusing a milk box to receive their mail.

DWI

Police officers have been focusing on nabbing drunk drivers since people have taken to enjoying end-of-the-year festivities.  Those who drive while intoxicated are easier to spot since there's less traffic out there. 

If you're going to drink (more than the usual), be sure to have someone drive you home.



In a related story, Feldman's has made a killing this holiday season.  Happy New Year, y'all!!!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Barbecue


Most Laredo backyards have some combination of these three features:  a cement floor, patio with roofing, and barbecue grill.

The better your credit score and your taste for grilled red meat, the higher the chance you'll have all three of these features.

Being that everybody and their mother is a Cowboys fan down here, some tribute to the pokes will surely make a cameo.

San Antonio River Gets Makeover


Via the Express-News:

The first phase of the Mission Reach project on the San Antonio River is now complete and open to the public. The newly completed section runs from Brackenridge Park all the way south to Mission Concepcion Park.


Closer to home some Laredoans take pride in the creek that runs through several old neighborhoods.  The city has done its part by installing a walkway, furniture and playground amenities; and at times some color can pop up, making the area a sight for sore eyes.  The potential is there as long as we're willing to invest some time into it.


Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Dude

Jan. 12.  PBS Documentary.  Jeff Bridges.  Remember!!!


Watch the full episode. See more American Masters.

Laredo Municipal Band

Via the LMT

City-wide band announces formation

By
Special to the Times
Published: Saturday, December 25, 2010 4:09 AM CST
If that old French horn or clarinet you played back in high school or college is now more of an ornament than an instrument, it’s time to get tooting again by joining the new Laredo Municipal Band.

Housed at Texas A&M International University, the band aims to bring together music enthusiasts of all levels and ages to perform in a city-wide band, David García, TAMIU band director, said.

“We welcome anyone, from 9- to 90-years-old,” García said.

“We will play interesting and unique music, including paso dobles and marches, solos, unpublished band works as well as challenging standard band literature.”

Band participation is free and practice will be held at TAMIU, starting Feb. 7, from 7 to 9 p.m. on the first Monday of every month.

Band members must supply their own instruments and must be willing to practice at home as well as at rehearsals, García said.

“This system is very common for how community bands work across the nation and around the world,” he explained.

García said the idea for forming the Laredo Municipal Band arose from requests made by members of the community.

“We are excited to provide an opportunity to form an ensemble for the musicians in our community,” he said, “and we look forward to gathering monthly to do what we do best: make beautiful music.”

The first Laredo Municipal Band concert will be held Monday, May 16, at TAMIU’s Center for the Fine and Performing Arts.

For more information or to join the band, contact García at 326-2640, e-mail david.garcia@tamiu.edu or visit the Center for the Fine and Performing Arts, room 116.

Friday, December 24, 2010

I Did All I Could


I swept as much as I could.  It doesn't help when a water line breaks and the city leaves a mess after the fix.

It could be worse.  I could be stuck in an airport somewhere, waiting for the weather to let up a little.  Thankfully the climate in Laredo is never an issue, aside from the unrelenting summer heat which gives way to sweat as soon as you head out the door.

And my whole family is within arms reach.  I don't have to worry about any holiday travel, unless it's to get away from them. 

Merry Christmas, all.

There's An Idea!


Que Fregados shows us what can be done with used tires.

I think this is the first time I ever see a Christmas tree made of tires. 

Not A Good Crossing


El Manana reports that Bridge 2 had the longest wait to cross into Laredo yesterday of all other border crossings.  It took drivers a little more than two hours to cross.

Hugges And Kisses

Thank you, John McCain, for everything.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Bridge Ceremony

Why does the mayor work himself into a lather even after getting re-elected?

It looks like Nuevo Laredo officials held a bridge anniversary event and they invited Mayor Raul Salinas.  At the 1:01 mark you can see that he is adamantly opposed to SB 1070 and he wants everybody to clap for him to know it.  Dude, simmer down!

...vamos a seguir luchando!!!...prometo que aqui en Laredo y en Tejas voy a seguir luchando para que no sea una realidad la ley SB 1070 porque no tiene lugar!!!...

Oh The Hassle


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

No To "Rediscova Tha Flava"

The water tank along I-35 had its slogan changed.  Instead of reading "Gateway To Mexico," it will now have the names of two boxing champions who happen to hail from Laredo.

Perhaps one day the words LaSanbe will have a place high atop a metal object for everyone to see.

Mele Kalikimaka

Not Meeting The Grade

School struggle


Dovalina teachers face replacement

By Nick Georgiou
Laredo Morning Times
Published: Wednesday, December 22, 2010 3:09 AM CST
Under a reconstitution plan, teachers at the struggling Dovalina Elementary will be transferred to a different campus for the 2011-12 school year if students do not progress academically.

The higher ups point to one area of concern:

The problem:  Too much Spanish, administration said.  Students are not learning English fast enough to perform well on the English version of the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills, the state's standardized test that's administered each spring.

Patio Floor


I decided to work on a little project in my backyard during the holiday break.  My original idea was to lay down a plain cement floor but it's going to come out rather pricey if I go that route.  It turns out I need two yards of cement for the 12' x 17' space.  And one yard costs $70.  On top of that, because I'm ordering such a small amount, an extra fee of $80 is added on.

Time to improvise.  Instead of cement I'll be going with a gravel patio design.  I'll add some 16"x16" pavers here and there.

Merry Christmas, backyard. 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Streaming Again

He Only Blogs When He's Upset

Garage Majal


Taxes are decent in central and southern Laredo.  Residents are left with more money to build ginormous houses that don't fit in with the neighboring abodes.

The Past

Looks like Haley Barbour isn't the only one recounting a different version of the past.  Texas new curriculum softens the facts a bit, it seems.
“The decision to accent in the curriculum standards positive aspects of slavery and of slaveholding leaders of the secessionist Confederacy like the treasonous Jefferson Davis will likely have a negative impact on all children who are taught this distorted and biased approach to one of the more brutal forms of oppression devised by mankind,” Texas A&M sociology professor Joe Feagin wrote.

Monday, December 20, 2010

New Light

Tuesday morning I'll get footage of the new traffic light that's being put into operation at the intersection of Clark Blvd. and Newport.  Coincidentally that's also the spot where a woman ran into my nephew's truck today.  The light has been a while in coming.

Streaming Live Debut

Radio Free Laredo

I used to have the idea of owning my own radio station.  Congress just made it easier.
While a repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy garnered most of the headlines over the weekend, Congress also passed another landmark piece of legislation that promises to open up the radio spectrum to thousands of local independent radio stations.
I'm not saying that I'm going to go out and get a station up and running but the possibility is there.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Farmers Market

Stopped by Jarvis Plaza yesterday morning to check things out.

Gambling The Night Away

It's come down to this.
State Representative Richard Peña Raymond, Democrat of Laredo, has filed legislation that would put the issue to voters, similar to the way municipalities decide where liquor is sold.
If you're using alcohol as your argument, chances are it's not a good idea.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Dubious Outrage

Shepard Smith tries to call out lawmakers who voted against a bill that would help first responders in New York City.  He's getting a lot of credit throughout the blogosphere for doing so but there's just one little piece of information that he neglects to pass on to people:  the republicans filibustered the bill.



This next clip is a little different.


The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Worst Responders
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook

Prostitution Never Sleeps



It just takes three bad apples to give San Bernardo a bad name.

Paisanos Invade Laredo 2010


This is traffic heading south on Santa Maria into the downtown area (Bridge 1).  It is at a standstill.  This is the Washington and Santa Maria intersection.

 
The bumper-to-bumper traffic goes all the way back near Christen Middle School.


This is the Garden and Santa Maria Ave. intersection.  The cars just seem to go on forever.


The overpass on Jefferson St.  and the access road is backed up as well.


I-35 South and Santa Ursula on the left.  

141 Inmates Parole Themselves

Washington Post reports that prison escape in Nuevo Laredo was inside job. This is only a theory at this point. LaSanbe will offer up own theory that perhaps the warden was on 9th step of 12-step program.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Avenged

Mike Portnoy's stint with Avenged Sevenfold has come to an end after one record and tour. You get what you get. This is a look at what we got in 2010.

The Best Of 2010 Laredo Edition

Let's recount the stories that made it a memorable year in Laredo.

December - Corruption at the Community Action Agency.
November - Alexander Band makes an appearance at state.
October - Ground is broken for the new Max A. Mandel Golf Course and the South Laredo Library...

Users

It seems like the last month of the year has reinvigorated the ne'erdowells among us.  We've been hearing a whole hell of a lot of stories of people using fake IDs to pawn stuff, juveniles confronting officers to protect their stash, and traffickers going for broke.

All these stories make me a bit antsy as I prep for the holiday break.  Let's relax with some new music, shall we?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I Know Nothing About Marketing

Que Fregados recently posted some information on the new Feldmans Market Center store located across from Toy R Us. From the write-up I got the impression that the retailer was going to specialize in nothing but gourmet items. Not so, I learned. They need to get Laredoans in their store with something else besides fine condiments.

Boom! They make a splash with a full-page ad in the LMT advertising nothing but alcohol.
I know it's the holidays but c'mon!!!

More In Mascot Tomfoolery

A reader tipped me off to some goings on at a new Stripes convenience store.  The grand opening had balloons, cake and a favorite subject with Laredo blogs:  mascots!!!  Check it out.




Photos found at the South Texas Food Bank's Facebook page.  Go check 'em out if you have a chance.

Coach Don Davis

Former coach discloses state of LISD athletics
By Kenny Ryan
Laredo Morning Times
Published: Wednesday, December 15, 2010 2:23 AM CST
Thursday’s resignation of Don Davis from the position of Martin High School head football coach was in many ways the culmination of an eight-year relationship turned sour between Davis and Laredo Independent School District athletics director Rene Ramirez.

WTF

Does this question really have to be asked?
If homosexuality is OK, why is incest wrong?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Paisanos Beware


Cuidado con tramites y permisos falsos de importacion de vehiculos!

Golden Globe Nominations

There is always that holiday letdown after all is said and done. Then you're faced with the task of putting away all those decorations after el Dia de los Reyes. But today I was reminded about a light at the end of that tunnel: Awards season! The nominations for this year's Golden Globe Awards was announced early this morning.

Some of TV's notable nods went to "Modern Family," "Glee," "Mad Men," "30 Rock," "The Good Wife" (a KeyRose personal fave), and "Dexter."

The Best Film drama category includes "Inception," "The Social Network," "Black Swan," "The Fighter," and "The King's Speech." "The Kids are Alright" and "Alice in Wonderland" are among those nominated for Best Film-Comedy. (Gotta go see most of those flicks.)

Robert de Niro will be presented with the special
Cecil B. DeMille Award. The show will take place January 16, 2011 on NBC.

CAA-Gate

Frank Sciaraffa on the firing of CAA director Javier Martinez:
“I think that it was obvious that we needed to move in a different direction,” he said.

“Today was a decision that needed to be made.
It sends a clear message that we’re not going to tolerate any abuse.”
Sciaraffa also said that as the investigation unfolds, other county employees will be held accountable.
“Not all of it should be on (the director),” he said.
Courtesy of the LMT

Weeper Of The House

I'm sorry but John Boehner crying at the drop of a hat is not normal.  Either this man has some unresolved issues to work out or he's a master manipulator.

UPDATE:  Link of how tax cuts will add to deficit.

The Ribbon Cutter



On the heels of his re-election victory Mayor Raul Salinas speaks:
"Los que pensaban que lo que hice en cuatro años era todo están equivocados, apenas estoy comenzando a trabajar y falta mucho más por hacer", afirmó.
Translation:  Those who thought that my work was done are mistaken; I am just getting started and there is plenty more to be done. 

Yeah, I mean, he did that thing.  And, uh, that other stuff.  Uh........uh.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Movement

File this under 'what's your point?'

The Jerk Store Called

Desean Jackson falling into the endzone yesterday is not as flagrant as Terrel Owens posing at mid-field after a score, but Cowboy fan is probably none too happy he did it anyway.

Don Tomas Sanchez, Is That You?

Odie Arambula dishes as he always does in his Monday column.  One of today's topics:  digging on the grounds of San Agustin Cathedral to verify the possible resting place of Tomas Sanchez, the founder of Laredo. 
He's important to history as the founder of the Villa de San Agustin de Laredo.  If that's the case, why not erect a meaningful memorial right on the spot instead of having the site continue to be the night-and-day gathering site for bums to do what everyone knows they do?
Raarrrrrrrrrrrrr!

Wait, Wait, Wait


Officer, before you take them away, can they get back in the trunk so I can get a shot?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Watering The Lawn


Ah, the joys of water streaming freely down my curb.  Remember all, bend at the knees.

The Results

The mayor will keep his seat after voters overwhelmingly chose him over his opponent in the runoff election yesterday.  Everyone was really respectful in giving praise to their respective opponent.  Except........

Michael Landeck:

"I do not feel that this was an expression of the peoples' will."

UPDATE:






Friday, December 10, 2010

In Memoriam

Elizabeth Edwards passed away earlier this week on December 7th after a six year battle with breast cancer. She was 61. She had many achievements in her life (lawyer, mother, author, health care activist), but she also had more than anyone's fair share of heartache and distress.

Her first-born son Wade died in a car accident at the age of 16. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004, right when her husband was running as the Democratic nominee for Vice-President. Later she had to endure the humiliation of her husband's very public affair, in which he fathered a child. This led to her officially separating from him after almost 33 years of marriage. And her cancer returned and eventually took her life.

She really seemed like a person that deserved better, but like she said in one of her last statements: "The days of our lives, for all of us, are numbered...."

Elizabeth Edwards leaves behind her three other children: Cate, 28, Emma Claire, 12, and Jack, 10. She will be laid to rest Saturday in Raleigh, North Carolina next to her son Wade. Rest in peace Elizabeth.

Weird



I can totally understand Obama seeking out the advice of Clinton but what's up with letting him speak before the press corps in the briefing room? Emasculating comes to mind.

This whole decision for this tax cut deal and the rationale for it still sounds disingenuous.

We Came, We Ate, We Conquered


I love the Stripes billboards in central and south Laredo.  They really cater to our European sensitivities.

If you look closely you'll notice the phrase "Con Ganas" is trademarked.  When did this happen?  I dare not say it again for fear that I may owe somebody a royalty.

Contact

By César G. Rodriguez

LAREDO MORNING TIMES
Published: Friday, December 10, 2010 3:07 AM CST
Police wants to be all ears when it comes to the community, whether to hear praise or a complaint.

Yeah, I don't think people will be swarming the department with praise anytime soon.  But if you feel inclined to do so, the city has a place for you to go to.

The Laredo Police Department opened an off-site branch of its internal affairs division Thursday morning.

Internal affairs is the division that deals with citizens’ complaints against police officers.
The new office is on the second floor of the El Metro Transit Center, 1301 Farragut St.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

It's All About Taxes This Year


Of the four runoff races to be decided this Saturday, three have had some type of delinquent tax issue brought up.  The latest is an ad charging that Charlie San Miguel owes back taxes.  It appeared in today's LMT.

I don't recall something like this happening in the past between candidates.

If you recall, this tactic appeared in the municipal court judge's race.  And a candidate for District 3 (city council) had to explain his tax delinquency status.

It's sad that this is a sign of things to come for future political races.

Luke Wilson In Laredo


Actor visits city to scout filming sites

By Mary Nell Sanchez
Laredo Morning Times
Published: Thursday, December 9, 2010 5:07 AM CST
It doesn’t happen very often, but on Wednesday, a little piece of Hollywood was seen out and about in Laredo.
Film star Luke Wilson was in town looking for backdrops to shoot a movie he’s producing and starring in.

Whoa, whoa, whoa!  Luke Wilson is considering Laredo for an upcoming movie shoot?!  This cannot stand, man!  This will take away Eddie Macon's thunder.

Join me, friends, in stopping this.  We cannot let John Schneider's 1983 movie be pushed away into irrelevancy.

Medicaid

Via the Austin Chronicle:

In 2009, the Legislature requested that the Texas Health and Human Services Commission and the Texas Department of Insurance issue a report on the benefits and perils of quitting Medicaid. That report, "Impact on Texas If Medicaid Is Elim­in­ated," was released on Dec. 3. If hardcore conservatives were hoping it would provide ammunition for their campaign against the Health Care and Educa­tion Reconciliation Act of 2010 (aka federal health care reform), they quickly found it was shooting blanks.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Melancholy Thread

Is it me or did pop music have more soul to it some time back?

Party Time

Mascots and one commissioner treated Head Start kids to a good time at the Civic Center today.

Courtesy pics.

Machine Gun Blues

In time for Christmas, new Social Distortion. Viva El Mike Ness.

Laredo's Son

He likes to talk a good fiscally conservative game but.......
Paul is not, by number of earmarks or dollar value, the biggest hooligan in Texas. That dubious distinction is held by Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, who has made requests for 94 earmarks valued at $783.9 million.
Check out the list of the stuff he's put in a request for for 2011.
Once the GOP takes control of the house in January, it'll be interesting to see what kind of concessions, if any, Cuellar will have to make.

Rewards


Justice of the Peace Hector Liendo and LISD officials, along with parent volunteers, rewarded L.J. Christen students who have perfect attendance records with food and fun activities.  The event took place at Veterans Field.  The facility was available since the Laredo Broncos were kicked out by the city. 

Those who have habitually skipped classes were invited to clean up after the guests of honor.

Irked by their smugness, the truants beat up the good students.  All the litter was disposed of properly but there was blood all over the place.  The judge and district officials are re-thinking their strategy for the next outing. 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Four Days Left

Today was the last day of early voting for the four municipal runoff races.  Election day is December 11.  Until now there have been some jabs thrown around by some candidates and their supporters -- all political but nothing serious.  That is, until today.

While having my crumpets and scanning the pages of The Nation this morning, I saw a new commercial from the Rosie Cuellar-Castillo camp.  She's running against Madeline Lopez-Escoto for the municipal court judge seat.  Anyhow, the spot paints Madeline as a name-changing, lying tax cheat.  Pretty heavy stuff.  The prestigious Cuellar name doesn't guarantee you a win so much nowadays, I guess.  Apparently one has to resort to dirty tactics going into the runoffs.  

Does this awful commercial have an effect on your decision?  I'll find out come Saturday.

New Music Tuesday

Redman and Robin Trower have new albums that came out today.  Good for them.  I'd rather have this:

Menso, Not Mensa

Pro8news had a story yesterday of a bar patron who got a bit rowdy.  Take a look.



Today Denise Blaz (LMT) gives us the specifics of where this happened:
A man who was asked by a security guard to leave the premises of Cheers Cocktail Lounge was arrested after allegedly disregarding the warning and then ending up in a scuffle with him.
What is up with customers acting up at Cheers?  Not too long ago, law enforcement had to show up at the establishment for another late night event.  I've never been to Cheers but it makes me wonder if it's a magnet for shitheads hotheads. 

The Deficit Can Wait

President Obama has shown us that the Bush years weren't all that bad:  W's temporary tax cuts will live on for another two years, in exchange for unemployment benefits being reauthorized, that is if things go according to the GOP's plans and the administration's assistance.

Jobsanger chimes in on Obama's caving in to the republicans' tax-cuts-for-the-rich demands:
I hope the president doesn't think the voters will remember him as the one who gave them a small tax cut when the next election rolls around.   They won't.   The Republicans will get credit for that, and the president will just be remembered as the weak sister who gave in to the Republicans.
Obama has made it a point of alienating his progressive fans and now he's gone a step forward by putting his party in the awkward position of doing his dirty work for him.  Senator Bernie Sanders has vowed to filibuster any deal from going forward.  Whether house democrats put up a fight as well is still undetermined, even though reservations have been expressed.

What I intend to keep an eye out for is how our well-travelled leader, Henry Cuellar, goes forward with this.  He has voiced his preference for keeping all the Bush tax cuts in place.  He could vote with his party, thinking that Obama's deal will go nowhere.  Or he could side with the GOP and explain to his constituency that benefits across the board make more sense, not that anybody would be paying attention locally.  I'm putting my money on the latter.

We'll probably get a clearer picture of Cuellar's true stripes once the new (house) republican majority takes control.  Henry's bread and butter is bringing home the bacon.  He's going to have to stay in the majority's good graces if he expects to get anywhere.  We might see the darling of the Club for Growth make an encore appearance. 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Weird

I had a dream where I was at a bingo held at the Casa Blanca Convention Center.  Suddenly Mayor Raul Salinas makes an appearance and puts up his hard-earned money as a cash prize for the bingo players.  A chorus of groans was heard as the mayor announced his $50 donation. 

What does that mean?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

No Pay Freeze Around Here

Amid recession, entities give workers more money

By NICK GEORGIOU
LAREDO MORNING TIMES
Published: Sunday, December 5, 2010 7:51 AM CST
With an annual salary of about $223,000, Roberto “Bobby” Santos, superintendent of United Independent School District, Laredo’s largest employer, makes the most money of anyone employed by the five local taxing entities: UISD, LISD, the City of Laredo, Webb County and Laredo Community College.

It's nice to know that some people earn a six-figure salary but it doesn't inspire me one way or the other.  Carlos Villarreal may be the top money maker at the city but that's of little significance when all I want is for him to back up from the microphone when he speaks at city meetings.  

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Staredown


Their paths cross.  Things could get ugly.  Fortunately for us, they don't.

What I Saw Last Night

Check out this video of a parade held on San Bernardo Ave. last night.  Follow along with my little cheat sheet.



:43 Pinata snowmen
1:05 WBCA float
1:18 Sleeping baby on a wagon
1:40 Inflatable mascot waving
1:55 Santa #1
2:07 Golden Spurs
2:33 Daiches Elem. Cheerleaders
2:50 Martin H.S. ROTC
3:08 Dancing tiger mascot
3:27 Grinch mascot
3:40 Telemundo staff (hello Noraida)
4:00 Dog mascots
4:25 The mayor and Santa #2 on Z93 sled

It's Going To Be Different


Rep. Richard Raymond sees trouble ahead as the Texas Legislature prepares to convene next month to get down to new business.

Of concern is the majority and determination that republicans possess as they'll try to pass laws that resemble those of Arizona's SB 1070.  It's going to get serious pretty quick. 

El Manana chose to use a picture of a tipsy jovial Raymond waving what appears to be a mini Mexican flag.  The point of that is, I guess, to keep up your spirits before the shit hits the fan.

Same changes we could see coming down the pike are:  police could stop and check a person's citizenship; no state funds will be used to produce any PSAs in Spanish; voting ballots will not include any information in Spanish; and people will have to provide two picture IDs when voting.

Happy Holidays everybody!  

Keep Laredo Beautiful



Is this a case of dirty politics?

Hahahaha...haha....haha...ha!

Friday, December 3, 2010

For Fear Of

LISD staff is 'afraid,' trustee says



By Nick Georgiou
Laredo Morning Times
Published: Friday, December 3, 2010 3:05 AM CST
The role of school board members, instances of micromanaging and how to handle employee complaints dominated discussion at a recent Laredo Independent School District trustees’ training workshop on governance issues.

Recently-elected Dr. Cecilia Moreno commented:

“The fact that I’ve heard numerous times in different scenarios that they are not encouraged to contribute at meetings, that they are encouraged to sit and listen, period, should be something to look at,” she told Nelson.

Oh, did I forget to mention that it's Friday.  Yay!!!!!!!

 

Gates


For the most part, things are pretty unassuming in the barrio.  But every now and then someone or some thing will stand out.  Take for instance, this gaudy set of gates.  They have a nice rustic finish but without something to match their size they just seem out of place.  The sporty vehicle in the foreground doesn't help.  YippyKyYay!

Rank

Portfolio lists the brainiest cities in America.  Out of 200 cities, Laredo ranked 194th.  Take that Bakersfield!  We might fare better next time around now that Jay St. John has left Laredo.  I'm sure that hiked our IQ up some.  Still, we're going to have to brush up on our spelling.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Paisanos

They'll be here soon.
"Laredo welcomes paisanos," said Laredo Mayor Raul G. Salinas.  "We want their experience in Laredo to be positive, restful, and beneficial before they continue into Mexico.  We host the Paisano Rest Stop to help facilitate their crossing experience here because Laredo, Texas does appreciate the work these Mexican citizens are doing in the United States," Salinas concluded.

Love And Ammo

One local teen wants to lower the age at which a person can own a gun.  The person's justification for allowing such a measure is the fact that teenagers can sign up for military service.  Nice try, but quite frankly, I don't think teens should join the military at such a young age, much less own a gun.

I don't have anything against people owning guns; it's bullet ownership that scares me.  Another thing that sends a shiver up my spine is a jilted girlfriend that has a score to settle.  I know it may come as a surprise to all of you, but I've acted thoughtlessly with the ladies in the past.  Thankfully they weren't of age to own a gun.  And I seriously doubt they were gun enthusiasts to begin with. 

One such Laredoan wasn't so lucky.  He didn't follow the Keyrose credo:  don't hook up with girls that carry guns!!!  You may have heard this story several days ago where a female TAMIU officer got into an argument with her boyfriend.  Things escalated and she shot up a business that belonged to the boyfriend's family.  According to reports she delivered nine shots at the establishment.  Yes, nine times.  In her defense, she was drunk so she probably thought she was shooting at a giant menacing cat.

One newspaper writes that this whole event happened one day before her birthday.  Could it be that she learned that her boy toy hadn't made dinner plans for the following day?  Hmmm? I kinda dissappoint in the gifting department when birthdays and holidays come around, so that's why I hold the Keyrose policy (see above) so dear to my heart. 

This police officer went for broke:  she drove while drunk; she damaged private property; and she led police on a chase.  I don't want to use her case as rationale for denying anybody gun ownership.  But it certainly highlights the notion that some people should never handle guns.  If anything I'll be wise enough to steer clear of her.  And it would behoove all of you out there to take her wrath seriously. 

 

Taxes

The GOP buckles down.
Things just wouldn't be the same without having republicans pining for tax cuts. 
WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans threatened Wednesday to block virtually all legislation until expiring tax cuts are extended and a bill is passed to fund the federal government, vastly complicating Democratic attempts to leave their own stamp on the final days of the post-election Congress.

Our representative speaks:
"We all represent a district, and mine is a poor district," Cuellar said. "That is one factor, but my position is to extend all of them. I think we need to wait for the economy to get a little better."
Our fearless leader -- a little more Bush than Clinton right now.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

And The Best Showing At The LISD Science Fair?


McDonnell Elementary School.  Way to go!

Christmas Parade On LaSanbe This Friday


As Que Fregados shows us, the City of Laredo is prepping for the holiday season.  And to help everyone get into the spirit, a parade and tree-lighting ceremony will take place on this blog's namesake.

This year, the parade will start at the Burlington Coat Factory parking lot and head south down San Bernardo Avenue, culminating at the Laredo Civic Center, where the official City of Laredo Christmas tree will be lit. All San Bernardo Avenue merchants are encouraged to decorate and light their businesses, in a friendly competition for a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place trophies, and of course, bragging rights for the winning businesses.

You can read more on the "Luces En La Avenida" here.

If you know any merchants that do business on San Bernardo Ave., let them know about decorating their entrance; If not for the promise of a trophy, then to give San Bernardo some love.  Judging will take place tomorrow at 8 p.m.  Contact Cindy Liendo-Espinoza to sign up for the contest.

Santa gets drunk, falls, takes off pants & goes #1

Hump Day Media Round-Up


El Manana reports that city officials will be in talks today with the engineers who will be tasked with coming up with the design for the new $18 million baseball stadium.

Construction should start sometime in mid 2011. 

Asst. City Manager Jesus Olivares commented:
“Contratamos los servicios de HKS, una empresa de muy alto nivel que incluso construyó el nuevo estadio de los Vaqueros de Dallas, estamos tratando con profesionales en la materia”, indicó.
Translation:  The design company, HKS, is a top notch organization who designed the Dallas Cowboys' stadium.
No mention was made whether the design had any bearing on the Cowboys' bad luck this season.

Pro8news brings us word on Emilio Zamora and his girlfriend stalking activity.  You may remember this person from last week:  he impersonated a cop using a borrowed business card.  We might grant him LaSanbe's 2010 "Menso, Not Mensa" award. 

What is going on in this guy's head is beyond me.  I really hope that he doesn't have some strange idea that he's going to somehow earn frequent flier miles by being busted by the cops frequently.  Somebody needs to tell him that he doesn't get bond waived after the third arrest. 

The Laredo Times brings us this:
Special to the Times
Published: Wednesday, December 1, 2010 2:00 AM CST
Groundbreaking ceremonies are today for the new irrigation project at the Lake Casa Blanca Municipal Golf Course.
The $320,000 project is considered step one in major improvements at the facility. JMC Golf, a licensed irrigator out of Livingston, will install the system.
Actually, step one is masqeurading the actual digging of the sprinkler infrastructure as a ground-breaking event.  Those taking part in the ceremony will hopefully get the hint after the first 100 meters.

KLDO reports on cases of fraud being perpetrated on local business owners.  Queta Coqueta was shaken down for $600.00 after she handed over personal information to some anonymous person in the valley.  I'm not quite sure, but there might be a special place in hell for those who prey on party clowns.

Bordertown Blues documents the fact that we now officially have more mascots per capita than any other big city in the United States.  *Caw, Caw!*
LaredoTejas suggests that we host a mascot convention.





 

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hide Yo Kids, Hide Yo Wife.. Part II


I thought this was a 15 minute sorta thing (or thang). Turns out it has legs - 4 of them.

No Household Name Yet


People might frown upon my decision to alter my last name for this blog.  But as has happened many a time, my name has been tweaked by total strangers, not just me.  I won't even get into the pronunciation by telemarketers.

Anyway, my son was fortunate enough to be recognized for his scholastic achievement, but not fortunate enough to have his name properly spelled.
Because such travesties are beset upon our good name, I feel it is my right to spell and pronounce my name any way I want to.

So when I pronounce Quiroz 'Key-rose,' you'll know why.  I'm taking ownership of my name and there's nothing you can do about it.  As a matter of fact, from now on, Keyrose will be pronounced key-ruse.

That is all.