Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Jose A. Valdez Jr. Readies To Be Our Mayor

I checked in with the candidate at his campaign kickoff ceremony tonight.  Enjoy.

Oh, and by the way, Pro8news talked to Mr. Valdez as well and I can't believe they used this quote for their story:  We're known as the city that has a mayor that has a dog.

Selena: “The Queen of Tejano”

Unbelievably, today marks the 15th anniversary of the death of Selena Quintanilla Perez. Had she lived she would be two weeks shy of her 39th birthday this year.

Personally I was not a fan of her music. It wasn't until after she died that I became more familiar with it. Her murder was such a tragedy because she was so young, she had just been recently married, she was at the height of her Tejano success, and she was about to crossover into English recordings.

Her fans will always remember her live performances, especially her final concert at the Houston Astrodome in that famous purple outfit which she would later be buried in.

Rest in peace forever Selena.


Speek english, you morans!

Eduardo Valenciano

Eduardo "Eddie" Valenciano

Published: Wednesday, March 31, 2010 2:26 AM CDT
Eduardo “Eddie” Valenciano, 65, passed away Monday, March 29, 2010 at his home surrounded by his loving family.

“Eddie,” as everyone knew him, was the owner of Valenciano Brothers Cleaners and Tuxedo Rentals for more than 30 years.

My condolences go out to the Valenciano family.  Valenciano Cleaners was the place we used to take our stuff to be dry-cleaned.  We rented tuxedos, and had our band uniforms cleaned there.  Eduardo's brother was my band director at Martin High School.  My heart goes out to him and his family.

Announcement courtesy of the LMT.

Wait, What?

Barack Obama wants to drill for oil in the Gulf of Mexico.  I voted for Obama; I drive a hybrid.  Therefore I should put a "drill, baby, drill" sticker on my Prius.

UPDATE:  I'm not surprised.

Cuellar applauds President’s plan to increase domestic oil production

Washington, DC – Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) today released the following statement after President Obama released a proposal to open vast offshore coastal regions to oil drilling. The five-year plan will allow, for the first time, oil and natural gas drilling off the East Coast of the United States and parts of the Gulf of Mexico pending a reversal of a Congressional moratorium. The initiative signals a major shift in the future of the nation’s domestic energy policy.

“I applaud President Obama for taking a critical first-step in expanding our domestic oil production by opening up offshore areas to oil and natural gas drilling. I have been a long-time advocate for an ‘all of the above’ approach to energy production, and I have repeatedly called for a positive shift in our nation’s domestic energy policy that includes offshore coastal drilling. I look forward to working with the President to put this proposal into practice and moving towards greater energy independence.”


Ticket Sales

I see; it's our fault that big acts are not coming to Laredo.  Nevermind the fact that the tens of thousands of school-aged kids are barely catered to.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Ricky Martin, Out

Yesterday Ricky Martin officially announced that he is gay by stating that he is "a fortunate homosexual man". I had heard the rumors in the past, but never thought too much about it. Ricky has always been a great performer, who happens to be gorgeous. I know many ladies, myself included, are shedding a tear at this announcement.

I will never forget his fantastic live performance at the 1999 Grammy Awards (technically they were the 1998 Grammys, but they aired in February 1999). He stole the show, and it was this performance that catapulted him to stardom and made Latin music part of the mainstream.

Remember how soon after this, "Livin' La Vida Loca" sickened us after hearing it on the radio 1,971 times in a row? Nevertheless, he deservedly became famous.

Good luck to you Ricky, to your sons, and to whomever your lucky partner(s) may be.

Mexican Military Helicopter Flying In U.S. Airspace

A Mexican military helicopter was sighted in Zapata County this weekend.  It was seen again yesterday, but no photographic evidence was made available.  Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzalez said that one of his deputies spotted the copter approximately 25 miles North of Zapata, TX.  Video courtesy of KLDO.

UPDATE:  Hey, WTF?!  Somebody ripped my stuff without credit!


Easter Bunny Comes Early to South Laredo

WHO: Mayor Pro Tempore Mike Garza, Council Member District I

Associate Judge Juan Caballero, Municipal Court

WHAT: Easter basket distribution

WHEN & TODAY, Tuesday, March 30, 2010 Starting at 5:15 p.m.

WHERE: Benavides Softball Complex, 600 South Bartlett

WHY: To help celebrate the Easter Season, MPT Garza and Judge Caballero wanted to help some low-income South Laredo children experience the fun and joy of receiving and enjoying a candy-filled, toy-stocked Easter basket. Thanks to the generous support of local sponsors and fundraising efforts by Garza, 250 pre-selected children from both school districts will receive their Easter baskets, while enjoying free hot dogs, popcorn and drinks at the park. This is the second year Garza has provided Easter baskets to children in his district.

Everybody Hates Ramiro

Constable candidate Daniel Dominguez has accomplished quite a feat:  he's garnered the support of all his former opponents.  That's a big morale booster for the challenger, and it makes for a great photo op.

But seriously, you have to be a pretty bad constable when you can't even get the support of one of your opponents heading into the runoff.  Sure Veliz isn't the most intelligible of speakers, but he wears his cowboy hat with such conviction; that should count for something.

We'll know in about fifteen days whether these gentlemen are the Four Horsemen to Veliz' political apocalypse.
Correction:  Ramiro Veliz is the incumbent J.P., not constable.


Does today's country music border on elevator music, or is it just me?

UPDATE:  Hey, I'm off this Friday and I'm enjoying the day with a nice juicy steak.

Walk It Off

County employees to hit the streets


Special to the Times

Published: Tuesday, March 30, 2010 8:09 AM CDT

Webb County employees will be sporting walking shoes Wednesday as they start making big changes in their health by participating in a wellness walk this Wednesday at 11:30 a.m.

Good for them.  We'll be looking for the newsreel to see who actually takes part in the walk.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Hits Keep Coming

The Steelers win a couple of Superbowl rings and it all goes to their heads. 

Ben Roethlisberger is currently dealing with charges of sexual assault and now wide receiver Santonio Holmes is facing assault charges as well.  It's alleged that he threw a glass at a woman in a club.  With Ben's case going on, I had declared the upcoming season a bust, thinking that the distraction would affect his play.  But with this new bit of news, all-around play might be atrocious.

Now excuse me while I go put all my Steelers trinkets in a box. 

Laredo Film Festival

The historic La Posada Hotel is hosting a film festival as we speak and ending Wednesday.  The works of Julio Bracho will be showcased.  The public is encouraged to attend this free offering.

The movies are being billed as Mexican cinematic works from The Golden Era.

How appropriate it would be to show these films at a former Laredo theater that once had its heyday in a neighborhood that shared its name:  El Azteca.

El Azteca theater (pictured), sadly, is now used as storage space.

UPDATE: April 21, 2019  EASTER SUNDAY!!!

I took a Google Maps screen grab of the corner building, the one that was next to the Azteca Theater. (Notice the uneven telephone lines?)

On March 26 I snapped a photo of what is now a parking lot.  We can now see the side of the historic theater.

The Look

My better half says that for a band to be successful, the lead singer has to be attractive.  There's some truth to that, I guess.  Case in point:

West Laredo

The West side has been abuzz with illegal activity recently.  There were roosters being kept in unsafe conditions; men busted for soliciting prostitutes; and now a woman using somebody else's credit card to purchase some expensive diamonds.

I wonder if the appraisal district takes this into account when determining home value. 

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Random Things

Hear this post.


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If you're tired of Project Runway on Wednesdays, go over to the Jose Valdez, Jr. reception.

Food and refreshments!!!

Not Good

I didn't find my issue of the LMT on my front lawn this morning.  So I call up the Times to report it, and I get this:  "Thank you for calling the Express-News Laredo Times, your call....."  I tell the lady my problem and she tells me that the paper can be delivered tomorrow, or I could be given credit. 


This little issue doesn't ruin my Sunday, but now I'm irked and my mood could go either way.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Debating The Court

Tax Assessor/Collector Patricia Barrera went before the Webb County Commissioners Court to request that adjustments be made to some of her employees' salaries.  The money that would go to the employees' raises would come from savings that the department has accumulated.  As always the exchange is lively.

Prostitution In Laredo

Fellow blogger Bordertown Blues finds it odd that an 18-year-old would be out seeking prostitutes.  The one that struck me was the 73-year-old caught with cocaine.  Apparently one vice is not enough; not when you've got a bucket list to fill.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Abe Martinez Pressured His Former Employees

In tonight's newscast Univision Laredo (KLDO) presented statements given by two former employees of Abe Martinez, the former Laredo Medical Center CEO currently accused of taking money from two doctors in return for contract renewals.  The report explains how Abe Martinez met with Jose Gonzalez and Gracie Rangel in an Austin hotel after the physicians filed a civil lawsuit against him.  There, he coached both Gonzalez and Rangel as far as what to say to authorities.

Gonzalez was told to stick to his initial story given to investigators, even if it was false.  Martinez didn't want Gonzalez to contradict himself.

Ms. Rangel gives her account:

Were you ever questioned about the checks during Laredo Medical Center's internal investigation?
G.R. - Yes

Did you give true statements?
G.R. - No sir.

You lied to them?
G.R. - Yes

Did someone tell you what to say?
G.R. - Yes

Who did that?
G.R. - Mr. Abe Martinez

Did he meet with you 3 or 4 times and tell you to lie?
G.R. - Yes

What did he want you to say?
G.R. - That somehow we all had the same story as far as saying that the doctor game me the checks.  I met the doctor occasionally, and returned cash to him.

Is that the true story?
G.R. - No sir.

Did you voice your concerns to Mr. Martinez as far as investigators believing your story?
G.R. - Yes

What did you tell him?
G.R. - How are they going to believe it?  The story has too many holes...You know...I never met the doctor and the doctor doesn't know my number.  He never met me.  He doesn't know me.  How can you say that?

How did Mr. Martinez respond?
G.R. - Not to worry; there was no proof of that.



Abe Martinez news coming up on KLDO at ten.  Yay!


The City of Laredo will tape the runoff debates Wednesday of next week.  The hour approaches.

I'm listening to Rita Coolidge and updating my FB page.  So busy.

Yeah, What He Said!!!

Roger Ebert has something to say about 3D technology:
...distracting, annoying, anti-realistic, juvenile abomination to use as an excuse for higher prices.

Runoff Ten Days Away

Clerk candidates back Palumbo

By Zach Lindsey


Published: Friday, March 26, 2010 3:22 AM CDT

The two district clerk candidates eliminated in the March primary election officially threw their support behind candidate Sylvia Palumbo on Thursday.

I was conflicted about this race.  Thankfully, Jackie Ramos and Lydia Liendo-Parra have given me some direction.  Could it be the right one?


I was bothered (big surprise) by Tim Gutierrez's interview of the Consul General the other day.  Mr. Heflin was taken to task by the Pro8news anchor for not divulging any information about the recent wave of violence in Nuevo Laredo.  According to Gutierrez, Consul authorities should've been more forthcoming with details.  Heflin shot back by saying that KGNS never asked them for the information.

Tim insisted that it's the reponsibility of the agency to get in touch with the media.  At that point, I wondered if Gutierrez has come to rely on others to feed him talking points.  The City of Laredo sends out press releases, which I post sometimes, to all media outlets.  Is this what he expected?  I ask this question because he didn't refute Heflin's claim about not placing a call to the Consul. 

We were all pretty concerned when the shit hit the fan in Nuevo Laredo.  All we had to go by were second-hand accounts of violence in our Sister City.  The media, naturally, wanted something to report.  But just as KGNS was not about to travel across the border, they should cut Heflin some slack for not knocking on their door with the scoop of cartel wrongdoing.  Fear goes both ways.  Fear intimidates people into not talking. 

I hope KGNS reached out to authorities on the other side, but from the report, I didn't get that feeling. 


Thursday, March 25, 2010


This video reminds me of a "Return of the Jedi" scene.  If I tried doing this at the same speed, I'd probably hit a tree.  Enjoy.

Separated at Birth?

As I'm sure you all know by now, both Jesse James and Ben Roethlisberger have recently been in the headlines for their alleged scandalous behavior. Jesse was caught cheating on his Hollywood wife, possibly with many women. Ben was accused (again) of sexual assault.

As their pictures keep popping up everywhere I realized that they could be brothers. Ben just needs some tats. Uncanny.
Photos courtesy of TMZ.

It's Not The Same

Republicans have been victims of violence in the recent past:  W. had a shoe thrown at him by an Iraqi journalist; Ann Coulter had pies flinged her way by U. of Arizona students; and Dick Cheney shot a guy!
But for Eric Cantour and John McCain to dismiss what's been directed at Democrats, in regards to violence, is just plain stupid and reckless.  Cantour says that Democrats are "fanning the flames" by pointing the finger at the other side of the aisle.  Really?!

I guess when Sarah Palin encourages her followers to "reload," it's just motivational and not a literal call to arms.  And when Michael Steele suggests that Nancy Pelosi be placed on the "firing line," he's really just recommending that she be relieved of her duties.  And when Mike Vanderboegh of Alabama wants people to break the windows of Democratic offices, it's just a way of saying hello.  That's a friendly greeting in Alabama, I guess.

We can't expect John McCain to call out Palin for her speech; they were on the same ticket once for crissakes.  And Republicans aren't about to ding anybody on their side -- not if Rush Limbaugh has anything to do with it.

El Nosedive Continues

Looks like the once prosperous US newspaper business model continues to nosedive. Latest figures show a drop of 27 percent in advertising revenue including both print and online ads. In dollar terms, that's a change from 37.84 billion dolares to 27.56 billion. 10 billion bolas gone into thin air.

Classified revenue shortfall is even worse at 38% thanks (or no thanks) to free listings like Craigslist. Either way, the move to free online content continues and traditional print giants like the Tribune Co. are going bankrupt. This is no bueno for our friendly neighborhood paper.

Maybe they should raise fees for online access?

Deafening Irony

Nadya Suleman, also known as the "octomom," is on the brink of being homeless because neither she, nor her dad, can come up with the large balloon payment owed on their house. 
She has been offered money to star in an adult film, but she has declined.  Apparently she has some dignity. 
PETA has come to the rescue with some money, and veggie burgers.  That should hold the family over for a week.  In return for the compensation, PETA gets to place a sign (pictured) outside "her" house.  So she's not against public shaming; but she's close to being out of luck.  Let's hope something comes up for the sake of the children before she really has to resort to porn.  

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Music: Rock

Did anyone else see the story on Pro8news this evening about Korn coming June 1st?

The Challenger

With his "yes" vote for health care reform, Henry Cuellar is going to have to do some explaining this Fall.

Underwood ackowledged Tuesday that something needs to be done about health care, but decried the vote and the tortured procedural process

Cuellar's Republican opponent, Bryan Underwood, will surely use this issue to go after the incumbent.  Our representative will undoubtedly hold his own; he knows how to play the game.  But unfortunately he's going to spend more time getting out the vote in other parts of his district, knowing full well that Webb County will obediently fall in line with his campaign.

We won't see a lot in terms of campaign signs, and on-air ads, and we'll be lucky if we get one town hall-type meeting.  The community is not without fault, what with its poor showing at the polls.  A meet-up would probably prove fruitless.  But as Laredo's own, we hope he's abandoned the complacency that this town is known for.  

Decision At UISD

UISD to amend residency policy at meeting today

Published: Wednesday, March 24, 2010 2:29 AM CDT
To avoid a potential lawsuit, UISD counsel has recommended that administration remove part of a proposed, controversial policy that more strictly enforces student residency requirements.

NFL Stuff

Ben Roethlisberger will not have to submit a DNA sample to authorities, but the case isn't going away; and he'll have to sit down with NFL brass to discuss the charges brought against him.
With this off-season distraction, I'm already predicting the next season to be a wash for the Steelers. Ben will be cleared, but the team will fail to make the playoffs.

And the rules for overtime play in playoff games have changed. If I'm not mistaken, if a team scores a field goal, the coach gets a wedgie, and then the other team gets a chance to score. I'm pretty sure it's like that.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


A "New Rule" from Bill Maher: Mexico edition.

Water Pipe Woes

City crews have been working on the water pipes on Rosario, and Market (they run parallel to each other) for the past several months, and needless to say, the streets are a mess. I was just thinking to myself that we had been spared that kind of nuisance.

Then we get home late Saturday night, and we find a backhoe and other city equipment right in front of our house. Water could be seen seeping from the street. Miraculously we never had an interruption in service.

The cones are gone and the hole has been resurfaced.

Next time I'll wait for it, for that proverbial shoe will eventually drop.

Guerrilla Gardening

I've often complained of Laredo's lackluster appearance. The city is seriously lacking in greenery, and that which we have has little character to catch your eye.
The local university might have a space next to the student center that features some nice landscaping; Apart from that, there's not much else. Lynne Nava from Keep Laredo Beautiful, and some volunteers, did some work in the Las Brisas neighborhood where they planted some flowering shrubs.
More community planting needs to be done and someone needs to take the lead. The logistics of such an undertaking can be daunting, not to mention expensive, but our homely little town needs all the help it can get. I could initiate a guerrilla gardening plan, single-handedly beautifying Laredo one Vinca at a time. But again, it's going to take some serious planning.
I included a picture of some art from the ad for the United Methodist Church's Flower and Art Show to illustrate the fact that we love flowers -- we just do it on a smaller scale than most cities.


Zach Lindsey (LMT) writes that county is looking into building a jail. But commissioners are going to tread lightly.

Commissioner Sergio "Keko" Martinez wants to make sure that there is a funding mechanism before taxpayer money is spent on a new jail.

And Javier Mendoza is running for City Council.

If elected, Mendoza said he plans to do away with the discretionary funds that each council member uses for special projects. Instead, he wants to see each council member submit an equal-sized list of projects to the voter.

I'll have to ask him about that someday.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Speaking of roosters...

Here is this Seinfeld clip depicting some of the dangers surrounding cock fights. The quality isn't the best, but it's a good summary of the episode titled "The Little Jerry". (No roosters, dogs, or humans were hurt during the filming of this show.)

Tamales, anyone?

What Did We Learn Today?

We learned that a Texas representative is responsible for shouting "it's a baby killer" yesterday as the House debated health care reform. Sadly, with the characters that Texas has to offer (W., Rick Perry, Kinky Friedman, Dick Armey), that's not the most ridiculous thing anyone has ever said.

We learned that Tiger Woods was interviewed by ESPN. He acknowledged that he hurt a lot of people, but I was more hurt by that awful interview. Seriously, I could've gotten more emotion from Steven Wright hopped up on Benadryl.

Also, Glen Beck is still a douchebag.

Laredo is having a birding festival this weekend, so maybe it's not so unusual to have a glut of roosters living within the city limits. Pro8news reported tonight that another rooster round-up was carried out by authorities. That makes three in about a week. Suddenly owning a pitbull is so 2009. Roosters is where it's at nowadays.

And finally, nuns have more balls and brains than most men, and politicians. Nuns came out in support of health care reform, purporting that reform would do more for the living, especially pregnant women. Penguins (borrowing the term from "The Blues Brothers") make me proud, even as priests are dealing with that whole issue of abuse. Can't win 'em all.

Lent Almost Over

Another holiday is fastly approaching, and that's good because I have the long weekend off. But as with any other holiday, there's always the stuff that ruins your diet. Easter is no different. Chocolate bunnies will abound. Heaven help me.

Laredo, TX—March 22, 2010—As the Easter holiday approaches, the City of Laredo Building Development Services Department would like to remind all local vendors that they must have a permit if they plan on selling Easter baskets, cascarones, or other holiday treats.

A 2004 City of Laredo ordinance requires vendors to have a private premises vendor’s permit, along with other requirements, to be able to sell their wares on Laredo by-ways. The application process requires, among other things, that private vendors offer restroom facilities and adequate parking for their customers. The permit, which is issued for a specific location, does not allow for vendors to sell in the City’s right-of-way.

“We want to keep our citizens safe,” said Albert Garza, Zoning Enforcement Supervisor for the City of Laredo. “We urge all citizens who plan to sell Easter items to come by and secure a permit,” concluded Garza.

Zoning enforcement officers, as well as Laredo Police Department ordinance officers, will be out enforcing the ordinance citing offenders for not having the required proper permit. Hefty fines, starting at $500, will be assessed.

Who Do They Think They Are?

What do you get when you interview an Ivy League basketball player? You get this:
"We've got eight seniors on this team, and we want to take this ride as long as
we can because after this it's just nothing but babies and memories, so we'll
just keep going,"

That line was uttered by the Cornell point guard after the team advanced to the Sweet 16. The line is taken from the show, "Friday Night Lights."

It's definitely not something you hear on a daily basis from athletes. We usually get the same old rehashed lines from jocks. There's always talk about composure, focus, working as a team, etc. Win or lose, I hope the team comes up with another note-worthy interview come Thursday. Lord knows, I'll be watching.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Another SXSW 2010 Encounter

Aside from the awesome show, there was another "side show" across the street that I got to experience by necessity. There was a show promoted by an online mag at the Longbranch Inn bar also on E. 11th. They showcased some Brooklyn bands, and my friend and I were fortunate and unfortunate to hear a band called Total Slacker. To me, it was fortunate since I got to experience what seemed like culture shock. It made me re-evaluate my hipness. Was it something new I just didn't get? Am I losing my ability to stay open-minded to different genres of music I've never heard before? Just. not. getting. it. After showing the video to a few trusted friends and co-workers, I am relieved to find that my gut feeling, my instinct, was right, They sucked! The unfortunate part is that there were people listening to this band getting into their reverb suckiness. NOW one can ask what people are smoking. What tha'??

As we were leaving, I asked one of the reps by the door what type of music was playing and he said, "rock n roll." Riiigghhht. Good thing they're young and have lots more time to experiment and practice? Maybe?

I thought I'd share the spectacle with ya'll. It just serves to reinforce a sweeping belief I have about Austin as the live music capital of the world. Sure, there's tons of live music but 90 percent of it.. makes like a Hoover.


I guess we know what's going to be the topic of tomorrow.

¡Ba! Se acabó: SXSW 2010

While it was an adventure and many sights to be seen with all the creative types running around this week in downtown Austin, SXSW 2010 has come to an end.

This year, more music venues spilled over to the East side, the east side of I-35 that is. That's where I had the pleasure of enjoying Ruben Ramos and the Mexican Revolution and Little Joe y la Familia on Thursday evening. A little late for the vid, but what the hey.

The promoters for the Latino/Tejano showcase,, were "expecting about 100 people to show up." Yeah right. What were they thinking? There were a few hundred people in atttendance at the new outdoor venue called Kenny Dorham's Backyard on E. 11th in the new "Cultural Arts District." Since they were running only one concession stand for drinks, they ran out of beer! Imagine that! But, where there's a will there's a way, and the 24 packs arrived quickly, phew.

El Gato Negro was professional as always, with his suited up horn section and rico suave singing and dancing. Great entertainer. Little Joe had a great set, as well. Another great showman. He seemed to have the 60 minute gig down pat with the swells and quells in the right places. Both acts started out with some old timey songs in English. It sure gets the audience worked up in anticipation for the good ol' Tejano songs. It was a fantastic show, and the sound was incredible. Nop notch audio support. Fue "una buena borrachera," just like Little Joe belted out.

To be continued...

Season 3 of Breaking Bad tonight

Season 3 of the hit show "Breaking Bad" premieres tonight on AMC. For those of you not familiar with the show, here is a little introduction: Walter White (Bryan Cranston) is a high-school chemistry teacher who gets diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. He comes up with a crazy plan to make enough money to pay for his cancer treatment and to leave some behind for his pregnant wife and teenage son. His desperate plan involves teaming up with a former student Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul), who is already a small-time drug dealer, "to cook and sell high-quality meth!"

And that's only the beginning. You also get to see how the DEA deals with the Mexican drug cartels, specifically in Cuidad Juarez. This, of course, is very relevant to our own border situation. Tonight's episode is titled "No Mas", and here's a sneak peak to get you caught up.

P.S. You may remember Bryan Cranston from the show Malcolm in the Middle, but I remember him first as a dentist on Seinfeld. I first remember seeing Aaron Paul in a Korn video for one of their coolest songs.

Daniel Dominguez Camp Spreading The Word

I was out tending my yard this afternoon when some Daniel Dominguez staffers greeted me and asked me to support their candidate. They handed me this nifty little flier. I have to say, it's a nice handout. It's definitely better than what one county commissioner is passing around.

Anywho, early voting starts the day after Easter. Get out there and vote.

Don't Do This

LPD: Chase leads to arrest

By César G. Rodriguez
Published: Sunday, March 21, 2010 9:06 AM CDT
Police say road rage led them to chase a woman for several blocks Saturday morning.

Laredo Police Department officials arrested Mabel Ann Muñoz, 46, at about 10 a.m. at the intersection of Sanchez Street and San Francisco Avenue.

If you've got drugs and a handgun in your car, don't do things that are going to draw attention to yourself. But that's exactly what one woman did yesterday when she and another person were at a stop light.

Get this: The car in front did not go when the light turned green so this lady started bumping the car in front of her. A cop tried to make a stop but Munoz took off. Not smart. But at least now I know not to keep people waiting when I'm out and about.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The HCR Vote Coming

It's surprising that so much focus has been placed on the abortion issue when Democrats are on the cusp of reforming the health care system. I attended the local Democratic Convention this afternoon, and of course, the first thing that one gentleman brought up was the concern he had with abortions and how they would fit in the bill. It was a cringe-worthy moment; not just because the issue came up in a table with nothing but men, but because the fate of health care reform seems to be hanging in the balance because of this one thing. Luckily some people see it differently.
she did not believe that the Senate version of the bill would make abortion more widely available

Henry Cuellar was on the fence for a while, but it seems like he's going to support health care reform. We'll definitely watch the vote as it might happen as soon as tomorrow.

I'll post a video of the Democratic Convention later today, as it is still being processed.


The Cost Of Inaction Is Far Greater

Washington, DC – Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) today released the following statement in advance of a pending House vote on H.R. 4872, the Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act of 2010:

“From the beginning, I have wanted to provide what’s in the best health care interest for the people of the 28th Congressional District of Texas. As residents of the third most uninsured district in Texas and one of the ten most uninsured districts in the nation, my constituents face tremendous health care needs.

Texas is the most uninsured state in the nation, with premiums rising faster than wages. Nearly six million hard working Texans, 28 percent of the state population, have no health insurance and for those who do, premiums have doubled in the past decade, nearly a 104 percent increase. This means, Texas is on a health care path that is preventing families from keeping their insurance and this is putting millions of Texans’ health in jeopardy. Families in Texas need more affordable coverage, more access and more choices than they have today. Our small businesses need more buying power and tax cuts to keep their employees covered and employed. And over 1.4 million children in Texas still need health insurance.

For these reasons, I have thoughtfully and thoroughly analyzed how this health care reform plan will benefit the constituents of the 28th District of Texas and the rest of my state. As a Blue Dog Democrat, I am pleased that the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has determined this plan will reduce the deficit by nearly $1.5 trillion in the next two decades while it is fully paid-for. In a time of extreme economic challenges, this is a pivotal moment for the nation to stem rising premiums and begin containing health care costs for the future. No longer can we stand idle as Americans compromise their health because they can’t afford to get care.

Therefore, I have determined that H.R. 4872, the Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act of 2010, will benefit my district and my constituents. Of any state in the nation, Texas stands to gain the most from this health care package, bringing an estimated $120 billion in health care funding to our state’s economy. The cost of inaction is far greater than the investment for these reforms. After many discussions and numerous meetings with my constituents, their families, the uninsured, insured, local businesses, physicians, health practitioners, nurses, local hospitals, community clinics, local officials, statewide officials, educators, community leaders, local advocates and religious leaders, and after a thorough reading of the bill, the changes and several legal analyses, I have decided to stand in support of this plan for health care reform.”

Happy 1st Day Of Spring

Some civic-minded types went out this morning to plant some trees in a North Laredo park. The weather couldn't have been better for the occasion. Good for them, and good for the City of Laredo. The park, however, suffered a minor setback yesterday when a grass fire invaded the area.

It's suspected that somebody using fireworks might be the cause of the blaze. Anyway, a number of those trees planted today will probably not take. We just hope that the rest don't fall victim to unforeseen events.

Enjoy the day. I will be out meeting with people at the local Democratic Convention being hosted by Sergio Mora. Enjoy the Spring Equinox, either way.

Friday, March 19, 2010

She's having a Heat wave

Beyonce can apparently do no wrong. Last month she debuted her fragrance called Heat. She has already sold over $3 million worth of the perfume.

At a New York City Macy's in-store appearance, she sold a whopping 72,000 bottles of Heat in one hour!!! Girl's got the fever.

Thanks For Visiting LaSanbe

The Mayor Puts His Foot Down

Mayor photo-op, I mean, Mayor Salinas calls out Rick Perry for not consulting the Border Coalition on matters of border security.
"We don't want photo ops. We want real action."

The pot calls the kettle black.

Roosters Hoarded On The West Side

An individual has been charged with cruelty to animals when authorities found a bunch of roosters in his possession -- some of them dead.

And in another bust, roosters were recovered from two homes when neighbors reported a foul odor. Hehehe. (Keyrose clears throat, embarrassingly)
The West side has suddenly gone cock crazy. Why, all of a sudden, the two busts?

We here at LaSanbe don't condone animal cruelty, or any cruelty for that matter. We certainly hope these cock bandits get what's coming to them. The cocks, roosters, avians, whatever, will have the last laugh.

She Said, He Said, She Said

Apparently Jose Salinas, former commissioner Pct. 2 candidate, is endorsing Ms. Judith Gutierrez as the runoff race approaches. But incumbent Rosaura Tijerina has something to say. She insists that Mr. Salinas spoke with her right after the election, and promised his support for her in return for a job with the county. She declined.

Of course, Mr. Salinas denies having this conversation with the commissioner. And Ms. Gutierrez says that Ms. Tijerina is spreading this lie in order to discredit Mr. Salinas.

If it's one thing that local politics has, it's drama. The candidates might be average, but the theatrics they put on are top class.

The "Fame Monster" attacks

Pop singer Lady Gaga has been hit with a big lawsuit by none other than an ex-boyfriend who was also a business partner...big mistake.

Lady Gaga, whose real name is Stefani Germanotta, recently won 2 Grammy Awards for her dance hit "Poker Face" and her album "The Fame."

According to her ex Rob Fusari, he helped her create the name " Lady Gaga" and also helped to produce/co-write some of her music. He claims he was dropped and forgotten as soon as "the fame" came making Gaga a star. Now, of course, he wants to get paid!

Oh, the price of love and fame.
"Let's play a love game, play a love game. Do you want love or you want fame? Are you in the game?"

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Musical Interlude

Martinez Flier

Sergio Martinez's supporters were out in the Mines Rd. area today handing out fliers.
They include a list of his supposed accomplishments, and he takes jabs at his opponent, Jaime Canales.

For some reason, he's peeved that Canales is using buses to run a campaign.
"The mask is off with huge billboards and operating empty buses parked next to "Casas de Cambio".

My wife and I have taken our red pen to this thing. And it's appropriate since Martinez seems to like the color red. On the other side of this handout, the incumbent is pictured in different settings, wearing a suit and a red tie. What is this fixation with red? Red is all over his campaign.

Could it be that this is how he wants to run the county, in the red?! Tan-tan-taaaaannnnnn!
You be the judge.

Is there really an Oscars curse?

What is going on? There is a vicious rumor swirling around Hollywood that Sandra Bullock's husband Jesse James has been stepping out on the current Oscar winner for Best Actress!

This is sad for me to hear because I like them both. got me thinking that this is a continuation of a bad trend. Many Best Actress winners end up splitting up from their husbands or long-time partners. Some of these men have cheated! Other couples' break-ups were just due to ongoing "irreconcilable differences."
Here's a list:
Hilary Swank (Won 1999 & 2004) and husband Chad Lowe
Susan Sarandon (Won 1995) and Tim Robbins
Halle Berry (Won 2001) and Eric Benet
Reese Witherspoon (Won 2005) and Ryan Phillippe
Charlize Theron (Won 2003) and Stuart Townsend
Helen Hunt (Won 1997) and Hank Azaria
and most recently Kate Winslet (won 2008) and Sam Mendes

What a shame! Listen to Tim Gunn and "make it work!"

Update: Jesse James has all but admitted to the affair in a Tiger-esque apology. Jerk!
Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Has It Been That Long?

Bribed LPD cop to be a free man

By Denise Blaz
Laredo Morning Times
Published: Thursday, March 18, 2010 12:53 AM CDT
A former Laredo Police Department lieutenant convicted of accepting bribes as part of a maquinitas corruption scandal has been living in a local halfway house and is scheduled to finish his sentence Sunday

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

So You Want To See The Language?

I thought Henry Cuellar was all for health care reform. He previously said that it was a good idea because so many in his district would benefit from it. Now he's holding out?

With all the resistance the previous plans have gotten, I'm thinking that any health care bill would be watered down at this point. What in the world is he worried about? Oh well, at least Henry got his photo (video) op.

Irish for a Day

Hope you all had a good St. Patrick's Day, even though it's not that big a deal around these parts. I did get pinched for not wearing green earlier today.

I already heard some U2, Clannad, and The Pogues. I was watching a little of that movie "Leprechaun". All I need now is a green beer.

May the road rise to meet you and Erin go Bragh!


The City of Laredo gets the go-ahead to build a new baseball stadium, and then proceeds by handing the contract to manage it to an outside company after deliberating for several hours. However, some doubts still exist. The city manager, as quoted by the Laredo Times today:
Villarreal said staff will investigate some issues that arose with the company's background at the "very last minute."

Let's have a do-over, shall we?

The Press

It's good to know that there's no shortage of stupidity.

We reporters need to move to the Laredo-Brownsville area. And report in Mexican.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Difference In Mindset

I found this Jaime Canales flier on my car's windshield the other day. He and his staffers have made the rounds in my neighborhood (El Chacon) at least three times since his campaign started. I can definitely say that he's taking the county commissioner's race seriously.

His Facebook page is a testament to his dedication and stamina. In it, you see his updates where he's out meeting firefighters, residents of different neighborhoods, tenants of the Hamilton Hotel, etc. And that's exactly what he should be doing. Pounding the pavement, and utilizing social media outlets is the new norm in politics.

His opponent, incumbent Sergio Martinez, however, is taking a different approach. He held a press conference outside the County Courthouse to let us know that he's filed complaints against Canales and a City of Laredo employee. The complaints state that Canales entered a polling station on Election Day; also that he promised a student, and his family, a trip for their support. Canales counters that the accusations are without merit, and are the actions of a desperate man.

These two candidates' strategies couldn't be any more different. One is adapting to the times, while the other is exposing his panic mode response. And apparently, Martinez thinks he's without sin, so he's casting stones, all in hopes of saving his troubled character and career.

Apart from some campaign signs, I have seen no effort on the part of Commissioner Martinez reaching out to the residents of my neighborhood. I could be wrong. I definitely don't know everything that's going on in El Chacon, but in a town where political races are determined by a small number of votes, every little thing helps -- Martinez's poor showing doesn't.

His little presser outside the courthouse tells me this: he doesn't stray too far from his comfort zone, the place that houses his borrowed leather throne. His strength and motivation come from his temporary base of operation. It gives him the sense that all is well. Little does he know that his complacency and cynicism will be his downfall.

Some candidates are putting their best foot forward, and others are just flapping in the wind.

New Development In Abe Martinez/LMC Saga

LMC owner denies allegations

By Denise Blaz
Laredo Morning Times
Published: Tuesday, March 16, 2010 7:47 AM CDT
The parent company of Laredo Medical Center and its former CEO, Abraham “Abe” Martinez, filed a formal answer in federal court Friday, denying all allegations by two doctors who accuse the hospital

and its executives of taking part “in corrupt and unlawful racketeering activities to manipulate the health care industry in Laredo and increase their own personal and corporate fortunes.”

Asshole Of The Day

Paquita la del Barrio is getting a lot of heat because she said that she would rather see a child die than be adopted by a gay couple. It's good that this woman is able to speak her mind, but she's a real dumbass if she thinks a kid is better off out in streets fending for him/herself.

The Drug Problem

This man is serious about it. And rightly so. Therefore no smile is required.

Today On LaSanbe

The morning started out kinda gloomy, but the sun is out and I'm ready for some french fried potatoes, MmmHm.
What's important is that Tiger Woods is returning to golf and balance has been restored to the universe.

New Arena Name

LEC to get new name

Published: Tuesday, March 16, 2010 7:02 AM CDT
The Laredo Entertainment Center will soon become Laredo Energy Arena, after the City Council approved a naming rights agreement Monday night with Laredo Energy, a natural gas exploration company.

An official press conference will be held tomorrow at the LEC at 2:00 p.m. I might make it out there. Apart from the arena's name change, the logo (arena, Bucks?) will also get a makeover.


Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

The 2010 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony took place last night in Cleveland. Woohoooo. Musical acts are eligible for the hall of fame 25 years after their first recording. This year's main inductees were ABBA, Genesis, The Hollies, Jimmy Cliff, and The Stooges.

I don't know all that goes into the nomination and selection process. It seems unfair that some acts are inducted on their first year of eligibility, while others are inducted years later, even posthumously.

Sadder still are the many bands that have been snubbed for years, even though several of them are still active and still making new music!

Here is a list of notable snubs by the Hall of Fame (many of which, I might add, are KeyRose favorites):
Alice Cooper, Bad Company, Cheap Trick, Chicago, The Cure, Depeche Mode, ELO, Foreigner, Hall & Oates, Heart, Journey, KISS, The Moody Blues, Pat Benetar, Public Enemy, and Rush.

What's it going to take to get these artists "that have enhanced our lives over the years" into the Hall? Come on!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Lights - Engaged

It came to my attention that some intersections are getting preferential treatment over one specific roadway. Case in point: the lights at the intersection of Clark and Newport (near the Target) were installed in October 2009 with the promise of being activated within a month. Here we are five months later and zip. Nada. Naranjas, as they say in Newport.

But look over to the Regency Park entrance (pictured) and they have a working traffic light. Interesting. Another traffic light near Alexander H.S. has also been activated lickity split.

Looks like North Laredo gets what it wants, and those on points South have to wait a little longer. Let's call this the Gene Belmares phenomenon. (Councilman Belmares represents the North)

If anyone's listening, please turn on the lights.

Wait, this just in from the City of Laredo:

Due to unforeseen weather conditions, the City of Laredo Traffic Safety Division is postponing activating the traffic signal light at the intersection of Loop 20 and Lakeview. Originally scheduled to be activated on Tuesday, March 16, 2010, it will be activated on Thursday, March 18, 2010 at 9:00 a.m. Traffic signals will remain on flash mode until the traffic signal light is activated.

The lack of love for Newport and Clark continues.

Afternoon Thread

So far, Spring Break is uneventful, but I'm off to see about some traffic lights. Some new ones have been turned on while others are off. !!!!!!!

Council Meeting Tonight

Council to pick stadium operators

Published: Monday, March 15, 2010 7:19 AM CDT
Headlining tonight’s City Council meeting is the selection of the managers/operators of the City of Laredo baseball stadium that was approved by voters in a referendum in 2008.

Laredo will be on the edge of their seats tonight as council deliberates on issues concerning the new stadium. And I know this only because our city manager says so.
"It's exciting for us, but it'll be more exciting for all the people that will be able to use it"

I can hardly stand myself.

Peter Graves

We'd like to take a moment here to remember a person who impacted our lives in a deep, meaningful way, Mr. Peter Graves. His role in the movie Airplane! has given many Generation Xers (like me) a reason to laugh. If the movie comes up in conversation, his lines are bound to be recited.

Mr. Graves passed away yesterday in Los Angeles.


We should be so thankful.
The City of Laredo is building a new municipal course, and because business is so bad across the United States, golf course designers are fighting to get the Laredo project.

How many times will we hear 'state of the art' design?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Laredo At Its Finest

I was tipped off to this video through YouTube. I might subscribe to this channel since they've produced a couple of videos that showcase Laredo. Check it out, and see if you recognize some of the locations featured.

A Few Words for Congressman Massa, Really

Zilker Park Kite Festival 2010

Thanks To Gastric Bypass Surgery

The South will rise again.

This ad appeared in the pages of the Laredo Times today. It's no surprise that such a picture would fly around here, seeing as the Confederate Flag is displayed in our airport lobby, and the actual flag is flown outside the Laredo Civic Center.

The only association the natives might make with the Stars and Bars is that it was plastered on top of Bo and Luke Duke's car. Apart from that, it might not have more meaning.

Nevertheless, the ad is out there. This fortunate lady has turned her life around and has proudly displayed her "pride" for all to see. She's got a new look, a new attitude; there's no way secession can't happen from here on out.

Talking With Tano

I missed a lot of the activity at yesterday's voter registration drive hosted by Tano Tijerina (county judge candidate), but I got a chance to sit down with him to talk politics.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

New Hour Tonight

The hour 'springs forward' tonight. I really don't mind since Spring Break is in full effect, but I was thinking about getting up in the morning for a five-mile bike ride. I could wake up and go at it after having lost an hour of sleep, but just the thought of it discourages me altogether.

My training is off to a bad start.

Bookstore Coming Soon

I checked out the bookstore that's setting up shop downtown, next to the Laredo Center for the Arts. Currently they are taking book donations and are looking for volunteers. I was ready to make a purchase but their opening is scheduled for March 24.

I was surprised to see Tex{t}-Mex's book there. I got dibs on it. I don't know if I'll be at the opening but I encourage everybody to help this cause out.

One Hot Dad

It's hard to believe but Lenny Kravitz has a 21-year old daughter, the very lucky Zoe Kravitz (pictured)! They were recently together at the Oscars red carpet.

Lenny was there because he was in the Oscar-nominated film "Precious," where he played a nurse. If more male nurses looked like him, more people would seek medical attention.

He's always looked sexy and gorgeous. And at 45 years old, he's proof of the old adage "getting better with age"!

(Update on new material.)

Der Humpink Part II: Origins

Yesterday's Der Humpink post lit up the LaSanbe boards. The post featuring Oscar (meyer) winner Christoph Waltz was met with varying levels of human emotion including disgust, astonishment, curiosity, shame and guilt. There were also a few threats of suicide and self-eye gauging. With that, LaSanbe's research team went to work to unearth the inspiration for this piece (of shit). Turns out it was a Soviet-era bit featuring the original Rick Rolling. Enjoy.

(and yes, KeyRose will be re-enacting this bit at the next gathering..)

Jesus Garcia And Leo Benavides Make State

Cigarroa High School Seniors Jesus and Leo both made the All-State Band (4A Category) and are well on their way to furthering their musical education.

Jesus (Clarinetist, standing left) commented that the preparation was really tough in order to get to this level. One has to really prepare "to stand out" in the crowded woodwind competition.
Jesus qualified at the area level as a sophomore and a junior. He said that the motivation from his instructors, as well as private instruction from a college professor, was a key factor in realizing his goal.

2010 marks the second time that Leo (Oboe player) captures All-State honors. LaSanbe featured him last year as well. He stated that there was an added pressure this time around to repeat his previous task. Like Jesus, Leo also took advantage of several private lessons from a valley-based instructor. Throughout the many tryouts, he never really relaxed, or let his guard down, until he knew he had made it to the end.

Both students plan to attend Texas State University and major in Music Education. LaSanbe congratulates both bandsters and wishes them continued success.

Friday, March 12, 2010


City of Laredo officials went to Washington this week to ask for monies to help fund our local transit system, El Metro. Federal authorities, however, aren't able to help out at this time.

More cuts to our struggling bus line might be coming, so don't be surprised if you see more homemade buggies, like the one pictured, out on the street.

Voter Registration Drive With Tano Tijerina

Join Tano for the Driving Past The Checkered Flag Voter Registration Drive at the Tacolare on 6102 McPherson from 3 - 6 p.m. Come enjoy the food and fun.

LaSanbe will be there to assist in getting the vote out, and help improve voter turnout this election year. See you there.

The Gravity Of It All

The Mexican media has no choice but to follow orders.
the narcos have direct control over us


We Have A Winner

Howard Stern hosted a Tiger Woods mistress beauty contest. The winner was hot blonde Jamie Jungers. Full wrap up and highlights can be found here.
Howard Stern and

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Der Humpink

Ya ya ya ya ya...


Trustees to talk resignation, future

By Nick Georgiou
Published: Thursday, March 11, 2010 1:13 AM CST
Laredo Community College trustees are scheduled to formally accept the resignation of board member Belinda Guerra today and discuss options available to fill the vacancy.

Nick Georgiou goes on to write about a relationship between Guerra and the board's attorney.
"They took every precaution given the situation (of their) ongoing relationship, and I trusted that," Saenz said.

"But it appears (the relationship has) taken a serious step."


Pick Up After Yourselves

Political signs are still up. The city sends out a plea.
"We want to preserve the character of our neighborhoods and keep our community
and citizens safe,"

cough, cough
the character
long wheezing cough
cough, cough, cough
character? (voice fades)

**Keyrose needs a glass of water**

Intractable cough continues

Rumblings Across The River

For weeks, people knew that something heavy had gone down in Nuevo Laredo. Officials in our sister city denied it all, and our authorities kept it vague. But now our suspicions are verified, to some extent.

Pro8news got a hold of the 911 calls that flooded our local system that fateful night. A lot of people on our side of the border can be heard frantically making calls to 911 after hearing explosions and gunfire nearby. I remember getting home that evening and my wife asking me if I had heard the loud boom. I hadn't, but I did notice a lot of police cars heading towards the Azteca neighborhood.

We might not have photographic, or video evidence of what transpired, but at least now we know that our minds weren't playing tricks on us.