Sunday, February 28, 2010

Talking Primary With Jackie Ramos

The primary is just about here and I got a chance to speak with district clerk candidate Jackie L. Ramos. She gives us her take on what she plans to do for the office, and talks campaign cash and strategy. Take a listen.





Go vote.


Different Kind Of Race Coming Up

A 5K race is taking place Sunday. Bordertown Blues posted the ad for the event. The route will take you through downtown, over the LCC bridge, into the campus, back into El Cuatro (?) neighborhood, then towards the old Riverdrive Mall, and back to the starting point via Santa Maria Ave. Check out a noisy video of the route. I helped out one of the coordinators with measurements.

Crime Fighting Gets A New Face

This new mascot might not be as scary to kids as McGruff. Lord knows I tell my kid to stay away from strange characters wearing trench coats in Laredo.

And another thing: if 90 percent of schoolkids are going to be kept home in Nuevo Laredo, perhaps we should stop using the word 'rumor.' Violence is happening, and sometimes against children, and it's no rumor.

Cynicism Choking Me To Death



I find it curious that JUDGE DANNY VALDEZ!!! and the rest of commissioners court "balanced" the budget by cutting ten percent from each department's budget, but they have the expenditures available to donate half a million bucks to UISD.
This must be a real morale booster for employees and department directors.

And isn't it funny that the only Webb County officials that come out in the picture are the ones that are running for re-election? This gives me more reason not to vote for these people.

Jesus of Suburbia


Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Big Day Cometh

I got a chance to speak to some candidates and campaign workers across the street from the Cigarroa Recreation Center in South Laredo on the last day of early voting. Everyone was pretty upbeat, except for one J.P. candidate who didn't want to give me a comment. Screw him.

Friday, February 26, 2010

16 Years Ago Today

Bill Hicks died.

Convenience Store Blogger

















The primary finish line is near and the heat rises.

UPDATE on 4/28/2016: photo is old.  File under gas station blogger.


Man Of The People

Danny Valdez has two things going for him: luck, and a respectable following that likes well-coiffed men. How else do you explain him becoming Webb County Judge? Well, now he has to defend his position and he gets a little help from a music man. Take a look.



What rhymes with Valdez? Otra vez; caldo de res; fin del mez.

This is a cute little tribute to Mr. Valdez; and it would be appropriate if this was Santo Poco. Come to think of it, with the low voter turnout, and the way some campaigns are run, this could very well be our very own Santo Poco.
Perhaps the commercial would've worked if Danny didn't come out at the end with a suit and tie, and some type of stuffing added for effect. Seriously, what's up with the Pumping Iron physique? He is mas macho, and he's got the padding to prove it.

He's portrayed as a man of the people and he comes out in full politico garb. Not good. In any event, we'll see if his plan pans out come Tuesday. For now we'll go between Olympic 2010 footage and this little ditty on our teevees.

Cookie Recall?!!!

What do you mean, recall? I just had some Samoas, and Tagalongs the other day!!!

Violence In Nuevo Laredo

Apparently, Nuevo Laredo's mayor is in denial in regards to what's been going on during the past week. The locals have claimed that several shootouts have taken place, but as Que Fregados notes, he casually cites only one.

We know that our city leaders have to put on a good face for our cities, like when our own mayor, Raul Salinas, says that Laredo is a beautiful city. I kid the mayor. But how long can Ramon Garza Barrios keep up his charade?
Even federal authorities are not straying too much from the current line of reports. Miguel Timoshenikov (Laredo Times) reports:
There were no details on time elements or the number of injured and/or deceased,
although hospital officials have confirmed they treated soldiers for gunshot
wounds that night.

Other border city battles have been reported along the valley, and just today, reports come in that The United States Consulate has closed its office temporarily in the Mexican city of Reynosa. Something is apparently going on; we're just not being told everything.

The media has been called out for not reporting what's really going on south of the border, but maybe this statement can offer some insight for the lack of information.
"I know there is no cure," she said. "All of Mexico has this cancer.
There is no corner of the country that is sane. Now it is not fear any
more. It's terror."

At this point, it's a wonder why local authorities would hold back on information. I know it's bad for business and we have to make a good impression for new friends, but they could at least try to reassure us that they're on top of things.

It's easy for me to sit here and criticize those in power. I wouldn't want to be in their shoes right now. Their silence might be part of some law enforcement protocol, but the least they could do is stick their heads out of the sand.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Trucks Are Fun







There are just so many things you can do with them.

Ramblin' Thread

Is it me or has 2010 been a flop so far? Oh sure, we've had a couple of laughs with the local debates, and This Is It came out on DVD, but Jalapeno-eating and debutantes on parade didn't live up to the hype as I hoped it would. There was no splash to be had. A Civil War re-enactment would've been more fun than what we were presented. At least those actors don't mind getting dirty.

But no, we're expected to endure that which is dished out by well-off individuals in spruced-up hair telling us how special our community is supposed to be. It's funny to see this little concrete jungle we call Laredo being invaded by people who are tweaking history. It all doesn't mean anything. Just like next week's election won't mean anything, at least for those 66 percent of registered voters who'll stay home.

But at least we can take comfort in the fact that some guy named Apollo has a ton of medals. Seriously, somebody needs to tell him to shave that stupid little fuzz on his chin so we can focus on stimulating topics like health care reform; That is if we can break away from staring at golfers who go on t.v. and bore us to death.

February is practically in the books and March will probably bring us nothing but runoff races that'll only continue the mundaneness of it all.

This post did nothing for me if not force me to compose a thread with the most links ever.

Quote of the Week

"Save the drama for your mama"

- Julia Mancuso (Olympic athlete)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Placed On A Growth Plan

I don't know what that means, but that's exactly what UISD trustees ordered for Sergio Salazar, a food service supervisor, after employees complained about his conduct.
Nick Georgiou (LMT) reports:
has repeatedly engaged in unprofessional behavior and created a hostile work
environment through the use of profanity and derogatory remarks aimed at his
employees

That passage is taken from a letter that was written by the employees. They go on to point out more nasty behavior from Mr. Salazar, and even mention smelling alcohol on his breath.

He still gets to keep his job but he's walking on thin ice. One more slip up could be the end of him. I wonder how awkward it must be to be working with him now.

The Nerve

I've stuck my foot in my mouth once or twice in the past, and I'm not proud of it. I've learned not to make it personal with women, or anybody for that matter. Well, maybe not everybody.


But what was Tony Kornheiser thinking when he insulted Hannah Storm? What possesses old men to act like this?

Photo of the Weak


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Nuevo Laredo Violence

Authorities in Nuevo Laredo are saying that there is no concrete evidence to reports of ongoing violence in the city. People are urged to wait for official word to surface, and not to rely on rumors circulating on the internet. But in speaking with friends and family who have relatives in Nuevo Laredo, they tell a different story.

I've been told that another shootout took place this morning, which was even more violent than what happened on Friday. Also, several students were held hostage for some time. Claims of cars being taken by force, and used for cover have also been made.

One acquaintance has reported that fatalities have been many. Of course, no photographic evidence has been documented, but locals are being told by their families from across the Rio Grande not to travel to Nuevo Laredo.

Heavily-armed federal soldiers have been spotted making vehicle inspections in broad daylight.

For now, we'll have to depend on unofficial accounts and hope that some type of evidence comes forth to confirm what's really going on in our sister city.

Que Fregados has been writing about this since the beginning. And Bordertown Blues has word on it as well.

Mayor Salinas Chats With Biden

Vice President Biden Calls Mayor Salinas

Telephone conference focuses on local success of stimulus package

Earlier today, City of Laredo Mayor Raul G. Salinas was part of an hour-long phone call with Vice-President Joe Biden, in what Salinas described as a “candid, open-dialogue, with real purpose,” discussing, the local success of the stimulus package, and opportunities for improvement.

Biden, who hosts weekly calls with mayors across the country, hopes that these weekly calls will help with his genuine efforts to help cities across America, establishing direct communication between the White House and cities.

Salinas was quick to point out the immediate impact of stimulus dollars for Laredo: approximately 800 jobs have been created from the $110 million the City of Laredo has received; specifically for three major projects: Cuatro Vientos ($36 million), Jefferson Water Treatment Plant ($48 million) and the Laredo International Airport ($20.5 million).

“These projects are significant, because they will help infuse our local economy with a continuous ripple effect: local vendors, supplies, and contractors are benefitting from these jobs, as are the local restaurants and non-related businesses that get impacted by these dollars,” said Salinas. “The stimulus package really helps to promote the buy local, buy American angle. Additionally, once these projects are completed, especially the Cuatro Vientos mobility project will help lead to additional economic development in those areas,” he said.

However, Salinas also highlighted the City of Laredo’s disappointment at receiving zero dollars for homeland security; specifically, the COPS program, which would have allowed for additional police personnel to be hired, or to work overtime, keeping Laredo, and the country safe.

“I told him that if homeland security really is a priority for this administration, then they need to take a look at the current formula funding mechanism and improve that, because Laredo police officers are truly America’s first line of defense. Aside from doing hometown security, Laredo police officers are homeland security.” Salinas highlighted that as the nation’s number one inland port, this community needs additional dollars for security. He also mentioned a discussion he had with Alan Bersin, Commissioner-Designate of the U.S. Customs & Border Protection, who is aware of the importance of border security for Laredo. Biden promised to look into the issue, as he was the original author of the COPS program.

Follow The Money

Michael Steele is under fire for being very liberal with his spending habits.
Michael Steele is spending twice as much as his recent predecessor on private
planes and paying more for limousines, catering and flowers

Big spender, he is. But Laredo has its own.
Joe Rutland's Coffee Talk reminded us yesterday that even though the March primary is almost here, we're still not going to be rid of debating politicians. The mayor's race is sure to get testy, and one point of contention that might arise is the money used for meals at city council.
As for the meals at City Council meetings, however, most are realizing catered
meals that include appetizers, New York strip steaks, prime rib

Even if none of the challengers (Belmares, Valdez) bring up the issue, it'll certainly come up. Debate panelists might focus more on topics of infrastructure, or safety, but a viewer might submit this little nugget into the debate just to throw the contestants off a bit. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Monday, February 22, 2010

A Christian Nation?



This year's parade had a musical theme. These jokers managed to get their message across.

Women To Be Honored

The 2010 class of inductees for the City of Laredo Commission for Women Hall of Fame will be presented to the public for the first time. Every two years, the Laredo Commission for Women selects a class of outstanding women to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, recognizing them for their accomplishments to improving the Laredo community.

Come meet this year’s honorees and find out more about what they have done for Laredo. This year’s class includes:

Arts: Gayle A. Rodriguez

Business: Laura Silva Quesada

Civic/Volunteer: Juanita Martinez

Communications: Veronica Castillon

Education: Marian A. Aguilar

Environment: Elizabeth J. Gil

Family: Imelda M. Gonzalez

Government: Graciela M. Medina

NBC: Where the "B" stands for bastards


(I'll let you all help me out with the N and the C.)

So anyway, I was watching some very talented and attractive athletes during the Olympics telecast, when the commercial above comes on.

What? "...Get back to where you once belonged." Geezus! Did the Beatles really allow the use of this song for this purpose?

All I could think of was "Oh good, another way to dis Conan!" No tact whatsoever by this network or Jay.

I found a spoof of one of these commercials already on YouTube. A more appropriate song is used!

(On the bright side seems like Jay's bandleader is getting the big picture at long last. Jay will never get it.)

Goal Not Met

10,000 votes were expected to be cast in the first week of early voting, but so far, only 8,682 have come in. That's a surprising number considering that several races have had their share of fireworks. It could be that some people are just waiting till the last minute.

The polling station that used to be available at the mall is no longer there. That could explain the mark being missed. Another reason could be that none of the candidates have what it takes to draw people to the polls, even though they run around with their entourages, and sell themselves with nothing but nicknames like "Wawi" and "Keko."

Perhaps 8,682 is a reflection of how much effort the candidates have put in to their campaigns. Of the four men who are running for county judge, only one has had his people come knock on my door. And I've seen a handful of commercials on t.v. even though there are approximately 19 people running for different seats.

I dare suggest that the idea of voter apathy might have more to do with candidate complacency.

Perhaps He Was Just A Nut

The guy who rammed a plane into a building in Austin is being called a hero.

Capt. Sully was also called a hero, and rightly so.

Me thinks I have to take flying lessons to even be considered a contender.

UPDATE: Vernon Hunter is the man who died while working in the IRS building.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Makeup!!!!



Here we have one of the younger colonial participants being attended to before the start of the parade. The hair has to be in tip-top shape.

El ozone layer? Eh, les vale madre.

Kevin Rodriguez And Victor Figueroa



Congratulations go out to Kevin and Victor from Martin H.S. for making the All-State Band.

Kevin (sophomore clarinetist) made the All-State Band last year. He told me that he hasn't fixed on what to do after high school, but that a career in music seems like a viable option.

Kevin is two-for-two and a legend.

Victor (senior trumpeter) had an "awesome" time performing with high-caliber musicians. He lamented the fact that the experience had to end. Victor plans on continuing his musical education at Texas A&M Kingsville.

Way to go guys!

UPDATE: Kevin made 8th chair (out of 28 Bb clarinets) in the Symphonic Band, and Victor made 2nd chair (out of 17 trumpets) in the Concert Band.

Sunless Saturday Parade

This is the second year that I spent time milling around the Civic Center parking lot before the big WBCA parade, and I learned one thing: some people get a good seat to watch the parade without having to camp out all night. Towards the end of the video, you can see some people enjoying the parade as the participants are leaving the Civic Center parking lot on Garden St.

I might actually join them next year. Everybody did pretty much the same thing this time for the parade. There were kids in costumes, marching bands, and old men in little cars. But one thing that stuck out was an Elvis impersonator in cahoots with a Mexican Drum and Bugle Corps. What was that all about?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Priorities

San Bernardo usually doesn't see much traffic at night, but yesterday was different. Everybody and their mother was out there trying to save a spot for the parade.

We're Not Going To Take It

Firefighters have to respond to emergencies that occur outside of the city limit, but they want to put a stop to that, claiming that it affects response time for emergencies within the City of Laredo.

That makes sense. If an ambulance is making a run out in Oilton, it won't be available to respond to a 911 call in town. But in order for the argument to carry more weight, EMS staff is going to have to provide us with statistics, and not just hypotheticals.

Example: Here's a response that LMT reporter Zach Lindsey received from David Gonzalez, the local Firefighters Association President.
"How often does Katrina happen?" Gonzalez said.

"Once every 100 years, but are you willing to risk it? It's an odds game."

What?!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Alessandro Vallone Likes Music



The Que Pasa section of the LMT gets some help from a local dentist, Dr. Alessandro Vallone, in putting together a list of his favorite songs.

Without knowing the author, you can tell the list was put together by a man, with choices like Neil Young, and John Coltrane. The list is composed of nothing but deep tracks from some of music's heavyweights. I like it. If only local radio would take this approach, life would be so much better.

One DJ recently told me that Laredoans don't really dig The Talking Heads, but I think this disproves his comment. Enjoy.



Woman Shoots Husband

When defense attorneys make statements like, "it was only one shot," it clears up the idea of why local entities hire counsel from out of town.

Chairs













Laredoans have already set up their chairs, tents, and trucks along San Bernardo Ave. in anticipation of the city's most gloooooooooooorious free event, the parade sponsored by beer makers.

The parade is set to start at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow morning, and I'll be present in the parking lot to document what goes on behind the scenes, i.e. the Civic Center parking lot.

With so many more schools taking part in this event than in the past, and people making extra efforts to stake their own spot along the route, it makes me wonder if parade officials have considered adding some length to the route so we could avoid this sort of behavior and actually give more people a chance to watch the parade.

Respect Your Elders

Explicit language and violence in this clip. Don't click if easily offended.

Tiger Woods

The man is so famous and rich that his public apology interrupted regular programming this morning. There he was: a marginally handsome, balding man saying sorry for his many transgressions. Still, he's too famous and rich not to continue having sex with skinny women.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Picture of the Week


How I Wish

Andrew Sullivan:
Cheney's clear admission of his central role in authorizing waterboarding and the clear evidence that such waterboarding did indeed take place means that prosectuion must proceed.

Nothing To See Here

Because a man running out of a house with a box of parrots is not suspicious at all. Really, it's not.

Agreed

I think Medicare and Social Security should be privatized and nice companies like Halliburton, Enron, Goldman Sachs, or any private insurance company should pick up the slack.

Dead People Voting In Laredo


At least one person was caught using a dead person's identity to vote on the first day of early voting. The elections office is investigating the matter.
And people whose cars display campaign signs are not permitted to park close to a polling site. If they do so, they run the risk of being towed.

Confused

A First Transit employee was quoted in the Laredo Times today.
"Any public transportation agency in the United States would give their
right arm to be able to average 20 boardings per hour," Lyle said.
So why did he bring up a recommendation to cut daily routes by 35 hours?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Thieves Settle For Chevys

The Times reports that local authorities are on the lookout for several suspects with poor taste in cars, after Family Chevrolet employees noticed some of their inventory was missing.
the models of the vehicles taken were not specified, according to preliminary
reports.

Apparently, salespeople were too embarrassed with the lineup of unrefined cars that they refused to give details about which cars were stolen.

One police spokesperson is asking for assistance from the public in catching these uninspired crooks. "If you see anybody contently driving a late model Chevy, please call authorities. They're not so satisfied with owning a Chevy, as much as they think that they've gotten away with a crime."

There you have it, LaSanbe readers: your assignment is to weed out these lovers of homely vehicles.
(Quote courtesy of Laredo's last bastion of journalistic integrity, The Laredo Times.
The Laredo Times: Our stuff is in English.)

The Rules


El Manana reports that those who provide transportation for voters cannot persuade them to vote for a particular candidate. And they have to maintain a certain distance from the polling site.
Monitoring this kind of activity can be difficult, but it has been documented in the past.

The Time Of Year

Come Spring Break, I want to rid my house of a lot of clutter, and that includes my subscription to the Laredo Times. It'll add to my continued effort of lessening my carbon footprint. Instead I'll follow local happenings online.

But I've been really disappointed with what the LMT and Pro8news have to offer online. 'Less is more' seems to be their motto. On second thought, perhaps I should just make a clean break from the LMT.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Spring Olympics

The Northwest feels a bit more like Spring than Winter, so best to get comfy for the weather. That said, LaSanbe's favorite snowboarder Hannah Teter gets ready to bring home the gold.

New Approach


Here we have a picture of the elections administrator massaging his hand after having entered all 104,000 eligible voters into the computer system.
You see, now instead of having Dead Sea Scroll-like lists of voters at polling sites, they'll be able to pull up your name on a laptop when you go vote. This is being utilized so as to not have anybody go around voting twice.
Is that a roll of paper towels, and a bottle of chili sauce I see behind the computer?

I Propose More Potholes

That is my idea to curb the speeding problem.
"The minute they see a police officer on the curb already giving a citation,
they think this gives them a chance to speed up a little bit."

If I see somebody getting a ticket, I'll keep my slow pace because you never know if another asshole cop is going to pop out in front of you.

Wake-Up Call

As if we didn't know that early voting started today, I got a text message early this morning reminding me of that.

During my lunch hour, guess what, I'm not going to go vote.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Doug Fieger

Gone but not forgotten.

No Beating Around The (Burning) Bush



These cabinet makers at the corner of Corpus Christi (no, really), and Meadow Ave. used to have some religious icons on display on the big window of this building. Now they went all out and gave the place a fresh coat of paint, and a mural to boot.

I love the humility in this town.

Citizenship

For some reason, Hispanics are not sold on the idea of giving immigrants a pass.
African Americans gave the most support to a pathway to citizenship: 39.6
percent, compared with 26.7 percent of Anglos and 32.1 percent of Hispanics.

Wow.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

It's Windy Out

Thanks to blooming Sugar Hackberrys, and windy conditions, I have officially busted out the antihistamines. I will be a zombie for the next couple of weeks.

Happy Valentine's Day!


This song has been covered by other groups lately, but The Cure had the original song from 1989!

I remember watching this video on MTV back then. My mom would walk by and catch a glimpse of singer Robert Smith and say "Que feisimo!" I could never make her understand his beauty. :)

On this Valentine's Day I send it out to the world for a listen and dedicate it to my better half. To quote Lenny Kravitz: "One love..."

I Will Stump You



What you see pictured is a receipt from one of Laredo's most reputable cake makers.

My surname is usually butchered when we order food from Whataburger, but it seems that this particular spelling has caught on.

What kind of legacy am I leaving behind when people can't even spell my name?

Tackiness Galore

This is a special day for couples to express their love for one another with gifts, and flowers, but our mayor wants you to spend it with him at the Casa Blanca Convention Center. There he will make the announcement of his re-election campaign, and take credit for a road project like every other incumbent has so far.
they were able to get almost 90 million dollars in funds for the Camino Cuatro Vientos

It's the perfect day, really, because it's President's Day tomorrow and City Hall will be closed, so they'll get a chance to dance the night away and sleep in tomorrow.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Voting

Louis Bruni raised a stink about the electronic voting machines. This is probably the only time I'll agree with him.

The Embarrassment Continues

I'm sure Gustavo Guevara would like to see this go away.
She also claimed Guevara made unwelcome advances towards, her even pretended to
mount a female intern like a horse when she bent down to pick up some disks.

With the City of Laredo thinking about an appeal in this sexual harrassment case, they appear just as creepy as Mr. Guevara.

Leadership

Our leader, Keyrose, will be leading us in this dance at Jarvis Plaza Sunday - high noon.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Picture of the Weak

Watch Out!

It's good that people are trying to stay fit, but it sucks when those people are being run over by hurried drivers. Now lately we've heard stories of students being struck by cars near school zones, bank employees taking money from their employers, and Danny Valdez' lack of education, but it could be worse. Oh wait, Rick Perry is our governor and Sarah Palin is endorsing him. Nevermind.

Point is, the streets of Laredo are safe. It's not like suckers are being taken out left and right. Oh sure, Que Fregados writes about coming within inches of reckless high school students, and we've talked about the dangers of being a pedestrian on these fair streets, but I can assure you, you can take a walk without being concerned about being roadkill.

Just look both ways before you cross the street and always use your crosswalks. Now get to steppin'.

Pout, Baby Pout!



Life imitating art.

We've got locals dressing up as George and Martha Washington, and Palestinians dressing up as blue movie characters. It's a loony time, this thing they call February.

Highway Robbery


The Laredo Times (Denise Blaz) is reporting that a former employee of Compass Bank, Celina Villarreal, was funneling large amounts of money to personal accounts. $5.5 million was allegedly taken in 2009.
Apart from the transfers to her friends, Villarreal also used some of the money
to pay for cars, a boat and a condominium in South Padre Island
5.5 mil in one year! Apparently these people don't know the meaning of subtlety.
But seriously, who would've found out? I mean, everybody in Laredo has cars, a boat, and a condominium in South Padre; it's not like they spent the money on anything outrageous.
One instance of stolen funds outlined in the suit occurred Oct. 22, when a
$300,000 transfer was made. The same day, a $261,832 wire was given to
Ferrari and Maserati of San Diego.
Modest, hard-working, salt of the Earth people, they were, with hot rides to fulfill their fast lane fantasies.
Tracy Morgan once joked on the David Letterman Show about a job he had early on:
When I worked at McDonald's, I made sure I was placed at the cash register.
How else was I going to get paid?!

I guess taking money out of the cookie jar does entitle you to fast cars. Now excuse me while I go put all my money under my mattress.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Final Debate On 8

KGNS just hosted the debate for those running for county judge. It was interesting, to say the least. In his closing statement, Judge Danny Valdez brought up the Cuatro Vientos road project in South Laredo. That project will do a lot to ease traffic congestion.

But it's funny how every sitting candidate that's running for re-election is taking credit for it. Money was supposed to come from Obama's stimulus package where shovel-ready projects were going to get preference. However, the money was going to be used elsewhere. It took our state representatives going to Austin to ask for the funding.

They too, Raymond and Zaffirini, will surely take credit for the Cuatro Vientos project. It's inevitable.

It's Not The Same Thing

So Roy Williams is having a bad season over at UNC, it's not the end of the world.

Patricia Barrera once said that being investigated for selling raffle tickets was like "being raped."

I'm all for using hyperbole but these people need to get a grip.

Longhorn Girl


Unbeknownst to many of us, the University of Texas actually fields teams in sports other than football. Some of these non-football sporting events are actually on TV.

Given that it is not football on display, what else for a camera guy to do but to pan the audience for hot chicks. Such is the case with Longhorn Girl. The UT math major was spotted during a recent basketball game and became an instant Internet sensation. I do recall Pamela getting discovered in a similar fashion. We here at LaSanbe will do our part in this and offer Longhorn Girl her first ever interview with Laredo's Most Imposing Blog. Give us a call girl, holla.

Love Is In The Air

People are making an extra effort to get married on this month. Why?
The County Clerk said that the average number of licenses issued per month
in this office is 135 but in February it rises to over 170 and even about
200.
I actually got married February 7, 1998 but that's because we needed to get a fix on a date. We were engaged for a little more than a year. During that time we planned and paid for the whole affair.

We made it a point not to get married on Valentine's Day, because it seemed so sappy to do so. My wife points to the benefit of the weather. February in Laredo is usually cool and mild. That helps when the church turns on the A.C. one minute before the ceremony so they can save a nickel on their light bill.

It could be that a lot of people who are getting married are thinking along the same line as we did. Or it could be that they are just a bunch of sentimental fools.

How could anyone get married now when we have to celebrate George Washington?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Money Exports

Interesting read on remittances.
When the poor are able to buy things, they expand the demand for goods and services and boost U.S. exports.

Get Out Of Your Bubble

Message to the GOP: If you're going to talk about Global Warming, think global, and not just what's going on in D.C. and the East Coast. Why, just look at what's going on in Vancouver. Here's a hint: they need snow!

Dead People Voting

My recent post, where I included the number of registered voters in town, was met with comments of dead people casting votes. One LaSanbe reader even sent me information on the process by which state and local authorities are supposed to keep track of people who pass away. But without meticulous oversight, people could still fall through the (voting) cracks, so to speak.

A friend who has been involved with local political campaigns told me that loopholes exist and people take advantage of them.

First there's the issue of getting several hundred signatures if you decide not to submit a filing fee for office. A candidate still has to obtain signatures if he/she pays the filing fee, but the number is significantly less. Those petitions are then handed over to the party chair. The party chair may, or may not, go through every signature on the list.

Next, there's this little thing of voter ID cards (color-coded) being mailed out even after people have died. Several people have shared this occurrence with me. How prevalent this is is unknown. However, the local elections office does have a means of figuring this out. They should get detailed information about who is eligible to vote, but again, oversight might be lacking.
One current candidate stated that some people who are running for office show up at funerals to pay their respects. So some are definitely keeping track of people who die, but whether they would take advantage of such a situation might seem a little far-fetched. Nevertheless, the doubt exists.

Then there's the actual voting site where an ID is not necessarily needed. People might vote with their driver's license. Or they might take their voter ID card and not need to present a picture ID (think dead people). Or they could vote without presenting anything at all, but instead, they could fill out and sign an affidavit (again, think dead people) that states that all the information they have given is legit.

Proving that these tactics will be employed by current candidates is tough, but as my source said, those currently running for office will do everything they can to reach their goal.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Complaint

KLDO News reported tonight that a complaint was made against Commissioner Rosaura Tijerina. The person states that Tijerina chastised her and even pinched her arm.

The commissioner is denying these allegations, and says that it's all part of a smear campaign. She maintains, however, that she will not take part in these dirty political games. She is urging people to study the video footage at the courthouse, or bring forth witnesses to test the validity of these claims.

Festivity Planning



The WBCA has a lot to do as far as getting everything ready for this month's festivities. They can't leave anything to chance. I just wonder why they would put up this banner for the big parade so long in advance.

Commissioners Debate On 8

KGNS hosted a debate for the county commissioner Pct. 4 spot tonight. Candidates included: Sergio Martinez, Jaime Canales, and Juan Chavez. It was a riot. If there was a catch phrase to be taken away from this debate, it would be the incumbent's, "is distorting the facts" line.

There was a lot of verbal stumbling, accusations, and head shaking throughout the event. And it sounded like their mouths were getting ahead of their thoughts. They seemed so anxious to respond, and wanted to put out as much information out there, but in trying to do so, they were just tripping on their own tongues.

One funny comeback that Martinez uttered was, "it's like Christmas around here; everybody wants to build a new jail, golf course, etc....." And when the issue of Martinez' odd behavior in the commissioners court came up, Chavez implied that controversy followed Mtz. around. He brought up the instance where Mtz. threw money at Delia Perales during a meeting; the time when he threatened a painter for an unfinished campaign sign; and even mentioned Mtz. assaulting his own daughter.

All in all, Martinez was playing defense, Chavez provided short responses, and Canales was out to draw blood. I'll post some video of the debate later tonight.

What's Wrong With Being Sexy?

Sexist!

In an earlier post, They Make It Easy For Me, I was called sexist for criticizing Sylvia Palumbo's decision for not including her age in the LMT Election Guide. Now, for the record, I am not a sexist person, but I do play one on this blog. But I kid. Or do I?

Calling me out as sexist in Ms. Palumbo's case is debatable, but that doesn't mean I don't have sexist tendencies. I am sexist on some level. It's not something that I do consciously but this flaw exists in me. For instance, a picture of Katy Perry in a bikini was included recently on this site. I could've deleted the post, but I didn't. People post the comment, "vieja caliente" and I don't take it down. And I criticize Danny Valdez for having perfect blow-dried hair, and being soft with his gavel. Surely there are more glaring instances of sexism on this site. I might judge them as harmless, but that only damages my credibility.

I could blame the culture for making me sexist, but I would just be stooping to Patricia Barrera's level. (Sorry, I had to throw that jab in there) The timing of my little introspective exercise couldn't be more appropriate since we just finished enjoying the most sexist event of the year: the Superbowl. I must admit, sometimes the examples are so obvious but I might not give them a second thought. In the tire commercial, where the driver gives up his wife in exchange for keeping his tires, I see a play on a old joke. But it reality it's the acting out of our preconceived notions about what roles we're supposed to own. It's telling me that I won't be happy unless I have kickass tires.

Men don't need to prove themselves with rugged attire. And if they want to spend time on their hair and gets manicures, that's fine. After all, we put the man in manicure. Bad joke.
If Ms. Palumbo doesn't want to include her age, that's her business. But be warned, I do have the tendency to nitpick (and be sexist). I think that's obvious by now. I will continue to take local "celebrities" to task, be it male or female, but I'll keep in mind not to make it personal. It's not my intention to demean anyone. That might not be entirely true. Anyway, if anyone wants to call us out on anything, I welcome it. Just try to keep it clean.

Midday

The mayor was just on the teevee. He rambled on about the lady with the seeing eye dog who was denied service at a downtown restaurant.

Mindy and Joey didn't bring up any other city business.

Free Food

Denny's giving up free breakfast today till 2 p.m. Go get you a Grand Slam.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Patricia Barrera Gets Off

My favorite comment from this whole situation concerning Barrera is:
eres o te haces. Tonta

LEC Promotion

The LEC hosted a Superbowl party yesterday. The Times is reporting that 400 people showed up, but judging from last year's event, I think they're overestimating it. Check out the video from last year.

Vamos


As I left the city limits, I thought I'd see a plethora of "creative" campaign signs littering the landscape from here to South Highway 77. I was wrong.

The only one I thought was different was this green one (pictured) with a cyclist on it somewhere in Falfurrias. I take it the candidate is a cyclist. And he needs the picture to drive the "Vamos con Ramos" point across.

They Make It Easy For Me

The LMT conducted interviews for all those who are seeking local elected office. Their Election Guide is supposed to help us make more informed decisions. Maybe.

In the race for Justice of the Peace Pct.2, two candidates decided not to take part in the interview process: Santos Benavides, and Victor M. Schunior. They did not respond to the Times' three-question questionnaire. Whether these two have decided to throw in the towel early, or partake in some sort of unorthodox campaign strategy, is unknown.

That leaves Ramiro Veliz Jr. (wearing cowboy hat in Election Guide picture); Daniel Dominguez III; and Ricardo Urdiales. I'm not a fan of the cowboy hat, so my pick is down to two gentlemen. This is going to be easy.

In the District Clerk race, Ms. Sylvia Palumbo did not provide her age. Strike!!!

Deep Thought

In 2012, Sarah Palin becomes the GOP's John Edwards. However, she'll go on making more money at speaking engagements than George W. Bush.

Registered Voters

Nick Georgiou (LMT) reports that 105,000 people are registered to vote locally. But our elections administrator doesn't see many actually voting.
he expects about 36,000 to 38,000 residents to vote in the March 2 Democratic
and Republican primary elections.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Indoor Drumlines Hit Laredo

I was unable to make the indoor drumline competition this year. Luckily, a blog follower was able to shoot some video for me. Enjoy.

El Metro Laredo, Texas

El Metro planning drastic cut in bus service; City Council must act now


By
Published: Sunday, February 7, 2010 3:18 AM CST
To the editor:

On Feb 22, 2010, El Metro Transit passengers will be faced with the reality of a drastic reduction in bus service.

Most bus routes will end from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

This means the last time you may board a bus to take you home will be between 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.

For example, the last San Bernardo bus will leave downtown at 7:30 p.m.

The last Santa Rita bus will leave downtown at 7:00 p.m.

On Sundays, the reduction in hours of operation is even more drastic.

The last Convent bus on Sundays will leave downtown at 2:30 p.m.

The last Springfield bus leaves downtown on Sundays at 3:27 p.m.

For a town that props up its logistics prowess, it's doing a shitty job of providing transportation for the public. El Metro just recently raised rates for passengers, much to the chagrin of riders. Now one Letter To The Editor, written by Jose G. Arce, lets us know that routes are going to be whittled away.

To be fair, the evening buses do tend to be empty. Once I was riding on the Corpus Christi bus heading South and the driver deviated from the route thinking that there was nobody else on the bus. It looked like he was heading back to the docking station. I asked him if he could drop me off nearby. He agreed and apologized for his oversight.

Still, these early cutoff times do seem a bit drastic. The Santa Rita route is the one that goes farthest South, if I'm not mistaken. Could the 7:00 time slot be omitted and replaced with an 8:30 takeoff, so as to serve those that might be running late?

Much fuss was made of the only corporate bookstore closing last month. But what of the water main leaks that go unattended for weeks, and the disappearing bus service? Basic services are sorely lacking and delusional politicians focus on I-didn't-raise-taxes talking points.

I criticize all sitting politicians. But quite frankly, I don't see how any of them could be voted in again with the way things are going.

Lights Gave Up



In a border city, Bennigan's is going all out to bring in the bean lover.

Who Dat WINS the Super Bowl

I'm Back

I just got in from a weekend trip to Brownsville and it feels like I never left Laredo. No, really -- Brownsville is just like Laredo except that they have an awesome beach.

One of the things I did notice is that they have campaign signs up all over town, but I didn't see one that included somebody's nickname. Weird.

Anyway, it's good to be back and what better way to be welcomed back than to find out that Bordertown Blues is back in the saddle again. (I heard that song along on the road) Yay!

Yay for Bordertown Blues, not yay for the song.

BTB is a really great blog; Not the most imposing (LaSanbe) but great nonetheless. Welcome back, sir. We look forward to your take on the whole WBCA mess.

Good times.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Slow News Day

No news is good news. That said, here's Katy Perry in a bikini..

Tiger Released from Sex Rehab

Jimmy Kimmel reports that Tiger is out of rehab and officially on the prowl again.

Reaction below..

Barrera's Luck

Looks like Tax Assessor Patricia Barrera is going to avoid jail time, but she will have to forfeit the money she raised from selling raffle tickets.
"Ms. Barrera acknowledges that the selling of raffle tickets by county
employees is a violation of the gambling laws of the State of Texas...
Yeah, you think? It's been a little more than two years since state officials launched an investigation into the alleged gambling activity going on at the tax assessor's office. As of today, a settlement of over $900,000 has been handed out, thanks to the county's insurance policy, and Barrera will be watched closely for the next year. In all, look for her to be re-elected with no problem whatsoever.

Quote courtesy of the LMT.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Hollywood Justice

The doctor who allegedly prescribed and administered the lethal dose of Propofol that killed Michael Jackson will finally have his day in court soon.

Unfortunately (or fortunately for news media) it's in California. It will surely turn into another 3-ring circus a la O.J. Simpson trial.

All the cast of characters are there, but this time the victim is the most famous. We'll just have to wait and see (if you choose to).

Friendly Neighbor

A man is getting into the shower, just as his wife is finishing up her shower, when the doorbell rings..

The wife quickly wraps herself in a towel and runs downstairs.

When she opens the door, there stands Mitch, the next-door neighbor.

Before she says a word, Mitch says, 'I'll give you $800 to drop that towel.'

After thinking for a moment, the woman drops her towel and stands naked in front of Mitch. After a few seconds, Mitch hands her $800 and leaves.

The woman wraps back up in the towel and goes back upstairs.

When she gets to the bathroom, her husband asks, ' Who was that?'

'It was Mitch, the next door neighbor,' she replies.

'Great,' the husband says, 'did he say anything about the $800 he owes me?'

Sit-up Safety Tip of the Weak

Local Endorsement

What else can Farouk Shami ask for, if not a glowing endorsement from Laredo's first lady.
Salinas compared him to the outsider campaign her husband ran to be Laredo mayor
- one that depended on volunteers and free chicken dinners to attract
voters.

Is that something to highlight: luring people in with free food? I know it's done all the time, but do you want it to be known as your campaign strategy?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Judge's Race

I wasn't going to place much attention on this race but I seem to have a much better opinion of the candidates. I didn't like Ms. Arce's posture, and she came across as an instigator. Ms. Notzon looked prepared and poised. Mr. Dominguez seemed tentative. Check it out.

Tijerina Doing Crazy Stuff

Residents of Los Arcos organized a town hall meeting of sorts where candidates for County Commissioner Pct. 2 were going to have a chance to respond to peoples' concerns. After some back-and-forth, the event was scheduled to take place at a community center in the area, and all candidates were going to show up. But something happened.
Tijerina arrived with an entourage that disembarked from a large white bus
marked with Wawi Tijerina bumperstickers. The individuals wore Wawi caps
and t-shirts and filled the center to standing room only.

Incumbent commissioner Rosaura (won't call her wawi) Tijerina chartered a bus, filled with supporters, to the event. That's rich. But how else was she supposed to get there? We can't expect her to drive her shiny black Mercedes to the colonia, not with all that dust and humility to confront. No sir.

She did what any red-blooded Laredo jerk politician would've done: gone in with a bus. But those that have pulled this stunt have not fared well in the past. So look for an upset in this race.

Rucous

LPD makes arrest at bar


By C├ęsar G. Rodriguez
LAREDO MORNING TIMES
Published: Thursday, February 4, 2010 1:46 AM CST
Perhaps two men thought Rumors Country Patio was a mixed martial arts mat meant for sparring at around midnight Wednesday.

Laredo Police Department officers responded to a fight in progress call at about 12:30 a.m. Wednesday at Rumors, 9803 McPherson Road, and Mario Perez II, 25, was arrested on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a second-degree felony.

Investigator Joe E. Baeza, LPD spokesman, said when officers arrived at the location, the two men were fighting in the parking lot.

“One of the males had the other male in a guillotine chokehold,” Baeza said.

Officers separated and detained the men, identified as Perez and Jose Gonzalez, 36.

Baeza said that allegedly Perez struck Gonzalez with a beer bottle after some altercation.

No! Not the guillotine chokehold!!!

Yes. The guillotine chokehold.

I wonder if police officers get ticked off for having to respond to these type of disputes. I'm sure it's not a treat having to haul in drunkards who all of a sudden think they're ultimate fighters. Even Cesar Rodriguez from the LMT seems annoyed. That first sentence in the story has a hint of sarcasm.

But who could blame him. The bar hoppers are 36, out late on a school night. At that age, you need to be at home, and in bed. You're approaching middle age. Like Prince said, "act your age, not your shoe size."

Dummies.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Wonders Of Technology

There's a rumor that's being spread through e-mail about a person killing dogs and selling the meat to restaurants in Nuevo Laredo. People are warned not to eat at certain eateries because they might be selling tacos made from dog meat.

But authorities say it's all a hoax. Fictitious restaurant names are used by those who put out the message, and the story has played itself out in other Mexican cities.

"Cachetes"

Closing arguments were scheduled for today in the case against Gerardo "CACHETES" Castillo. Charges are many, including drug possession, and racketeering. We should know Gerardo "CACHETES" Castillo's fate by as early as today.

However, it's been raining straight since last night, so the top story on KGNS will surely be the weather. Odds are 100 to 1 on that bet.

Undoubtedly, Gerardo "CACHETES" Castillo will go away for a long time.
Nevertheless, the weather will take priority over our need to learn more about Gerardo "CACHETES" Castillo.
May gawd be with Gerardo "CACHETES" Castillo.

(Keyrose wonders why Tim Gutierrez says Rosaura "Wawi" Tijerina all the time, but never says Gerardo "CACHETES" Castillo.)

Gag Me With A Spoon!

DeLaredo has created a spinoff, The Rad 80s. The title of the blog speaks for itself: the 80s rule and we're going to talk all about it.

But this is not the first time deLaredo has brought up the 80s. Last year, he posted a story about the 1983 flick, Eddie Macon's Run. That led to me seeking out the movie (on VHS) and featuring it in LaSanbe's first-ever luncheon, which was a huge success if I do say so myself.

Anyway, one of the first posts that the new blog features is the movie Rad. It was the only movie, if memory serves, that focused entirely on BMX racing and freestyling. Quicksilver, and Pretty In Pink had a scene each where bike tricks (freestyling) were also included.

The only reason I know this is because my brother and I, and all our friends in the Puente Blanco neighborhood, were deep into the whole BMX scene. We knew names like Martin Aparijio, and Ceppie Mays. We scoured the city to see where we could get our hands on a pair of Z-Rims, colored fiberglass-like rims that if bent out of shape from too much BMXing, could be brought back to its original form by putting them in the freezer. We thought we were all that because we rode around in name brand bikes like Hutch, GT, and Haro.

Ah, the things we bought into.

Where all that stuff is now is beyond me. Although, there might be an old bike frame still hanging around at my mom's house. We owe her so much for helping us keep up with 80s fads.
And we owe a debt of gratitude to The Rad 80s for helping us relive the "awesome" decade.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Unwanted





It's shameful how some people easily tire of old shopping carts and resort to abandoning them on the streets near Guadalupe Church. These poor four-wheeled creatures have to fend for themselves on the drab, apathetic environs of central Laredo where their only companion is loneliness.

Who could be so cold? I ask, do they not feel?

Prayer Encouraged

Interfaith Prayer Service for Haiti

WHEN & Thursday, February 4, 2010 6:00 p.m.

WHERE: Laredo Civic Center Auditorium, 2400 San Bernardo Avenue

WHY: “We have seen the entire country mobilized to offer money and supplies to the people of Haiti,” said Mayor Salinas. “However, we do not want to overlook the most powerful support we can give to the suffering in Haiti: our prayers.”

“We have tried to include as many faiths as possible. What a beautiful service it will be to have Catholic and Jewish, Buddhist and Baptist, Mormons, Episcopalians, Christians, all children of God on the same stage, praying together, in English, Spanish, Hebrew or whatever tongue, demonstrating the strong spirituality of our Laredo community,” Salinas continued.

Respond to Debate Post

It was a doosy.

Gutierrez and Salinas took issue with Rosaura Tijerina's so-called accomplishments.

Live-Blogging The Pct. 2 Debate

KGNS is about to host the first debate between Rosaura Tijerina, Juan Salinas, and Judith Gutierrez. The County Commissioner Pct. 2 spot is up for grabs.

UPDATE: It's on. Heatwave is keeping time.

Groundhog Day

Que Fregados talks groundhogs, baby Jesus, and roscas. That's one too many symbols for me to keep in order. All I know is that Lost is going to be on for three hours tonight and one blogger (me) will be ordering out.

The weather has been kinda mild around here, so I don't buy this whole "six more weeks of Winter" deal. Then again, 60-degree weather could be considered Winter in Laredo. Maybe our furry friend is on to something there.
By the way, Laredo does have its own version of the groundhog. If it sees its shadow, it drops dead.

Don't Mess With The Recycling Center


It looks like some people haven't gotten the memo as it pertains to what you can drop off at the recycling center on McPherson Ave.
The Laredo Sun reports that people are driving up to the place after hours and leaving things like tires, paint containers, and other assorted trash on the curb.
I'm going to give these people the benefit of the doubt -- perhaps they don't know what is acceptable at this location. I will, however, take issue with the City of Laredo for not having a centralized location for dropping off tires and other trash. The picture definitely highlights the need for expanding recycling facilities.

We Have To Be Facilitators

Mayor Salinas was just on my t.v. talking about roadside vendor permits and El Metro.

He wants those who are going to be selling Valentine's Day baskets to get the appropriate permits to avoid a fine of $500. And he foresees some type of agreement being reached between El Metro and Mall del Norte in the next couple of weeks.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Must get LOST Tonight!


Finally! LOST is back and all new. The 6th and (sadly) final season will begin tonight at 7pm with an hour-long review special, followed by a TWO HOUR season premiere!

I know the show has a lot of haters, but it really can suck you in if you give it a chance. It's astonishing how so many details are connected! Mind-boggling!...but in a good way.

Clue: "Only the dead have seen the end of war."