Friday, April 30, 2010

Profiling


This is a form that police officers fill out when they cite someone in Texas.  It was sent in by a blog reader.  The form doesn't look familiar.  It must be something that cops fill out after they drive off from a stop.

It would be interesting to know how Laredo officers deal with undocumented people.  Would they call in border patrol for back-up?  It seems to me that they would be busy with other offenses to go out and profile people for their citizenship status.

With an immigration law like that of Arizona's being considered for Texas, local media outlets have asked their followers how they feel about implementing such a measure.  Que Fregados put up the polls.  KGNS viewers support such a plan, while KLDO's oppose it.  While the accuracy of the polls could be easily called into question,  one wonders if the KGNS poll is more representative of local sentiment.

One person who commented on the QF post relates how local working people would not mind seeing immigration reform resembling what has been done in The Grand Canyon State.  Sure we might have a lot in common with our neighbors to the south, but if they decide to migrate northward, you can bet that most of us would take a stand quickly, and it wouldn't be such a compassionate stance either.

At a town hall meeting a couple of years ago, one lady offered her two-cents worth to city staff when the Slaughter Park was being planned.  Soccer fields were going to be one of the main features of the park.  The attendee said, 'why are you going to build so many soccer fields; the only ones that use them are the people from Mexico,' (paraphrasing)  I think that's the same mentality that a lot of people around here have - - that if somebody from another country is going to come in and benefit from our tax dollars, then something has to be done.  

Again, that KGNS poll doesn't surprise me.  We complain that Mexican tourists can't drive and that they're pushy when we encounter them while shopping, but I think the resentment might go deeper than that.  And it's unfortunate when you think about it.  Most of us were lucky to have landed on this side of the river, and now we have the gall to spite our own when all they want is to be like us.  

Two Kings


Mayor Salinas opines on the new Arizona immigration law:
This law is very much like those first laws passed by the Nazis, slowly stripping individuals of their humanity, stating that they because of their supposed immigration status, they are not citizens of the country they live in. This fundamentally dismisses the basic human rights and dignity of not only the immigrant work force that built this country, but also, disregards the contributions that Hispanic immigrants are making today, doing jobs that most of us, Latinos or otherwise, would rather not do. Those of us in border communities in Texas understand and appreciate the work that our neighbors do in our cities, in our homes. Without them, additionally, many of our economies would grind to a halt for the infusion into our local economies thanks to the money they spend here, because they are able to work here. It is important to take all border communities into consideration when drafting future immigration legislation, because let me tell you something, President Obama, We do NOT have the appetite for racist and hateful laws in this country.

When Good Girls Go Bad

Two Arrested with Heroine in Nuevo Laredo

Authorities were conducting a routine check when they saw two men take off running once they were detected by law officers.
Friday, April 30, 2010
By: OSVALDO RODRÍGUEZ
NUEVO LAREDO.- Police Officials arrested two suspicious subjects that were detected in south Nuevo Laredo, one carried a pellet gun and the other possessed heroine.

Where has the world gone when we can't even count on female heroes.

Full story here.

No Phone Zone Day


Oprah Winfrey started the movement on her show to end texting and cell phone use in the car in order to prevent senseless accidents.

And today is the first ever official National No Phone Zone Day. So leave your cell phones alone while you're in your car. If you can do it today, you can keep doing it.

To quote our own sheriff: "The text message can wait, your safety cannot."
(Here's a text messaging accident in San Antonio, TX)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Photo Op #944


WHO:        City of Laredo, TX Mayor Raul G. Salinas
                   City of Nuevo Laredo, MEX Ramon Garza Barrios

WHAT:      Joint press conference

WHEN &   TOMORROW, Friday, April 30, 2010    9:45 a.m.
WHERE:  Gateway to the Americas Bridge Administration Office,
El Portal, 2nd Floor Conference Room Balcony,
1209 Water Street

WHY:        Several issues affecting both Laredo, Texas, U.S.A. and Nuevo Laredo, Tamps, Mexico have arisen over the last week, causing both Mayor Salinas and Mayor Garza Barrios to come together to publicly address the issues and state their adamant opposition. 

Texas businessman Clayton Williams, Jr. has submitted an application to withdraw 41 million gallons of water from the Rio Grande, posing a significant threat for residential, commercial, industrial, and agricultural sustainability and growth in Laredo, Texas and Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. 

Furthermore, the recent passing of SB1070 in Arizona has the potential for causing racial profiling, and worse.  In a community where the mighty Rio Grande unites two cities, not divides them, this legislation poses a threat to not only Mexican and Mexican-American citizens in Arizona, but potentially, throughout the country.

Looking White


Take heed.

Dumbful

Bribe offer results in arrest

By César G. Rodriguez
LAREDO MORNING TIMES
Published: Thursday, April 29, 2010 12:52 AM CDT
An alleged handicap parking space invader is behind bars after he offered a police officer some money to let him park there.

In a recurring segment we like to call 'Menso, Not Mensa,' we take a look at the case of a man who offered a cop $30 to avoid being ticketed after being caught parking in a handicapped space.  He obviously thought that all local officers are crooked, what with the charges brought against several cops recently.  He was mistaken.

The policeman was offended by the paltry $30 offering put forth his honorable character and sent the community a message:  we're here to uphold the law and not succumb to instant gratification.  Good on him.

You have to be one lazy bum to park in a handicapped space at Narvaez Meat Market.  It's not like the establishment is settled on a sprawling campus.  And to top it off, the guy left the car running while he was inside the store.  This has always puzzled me.  Why do people do that?
At any rate, now this person has to worry about bond money, the actual ticket, and who knows what other financial charges.  So let this be a lesson to you - if you park in a handicapped space, someone is going to tell on you. 

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Late Night Bike Ride

I was out for some exercise when I came across the scene of an accident.  This is at the corner of Springfield and Guadalupe. 

Sandwiches At United ISD

Chances are if you're served a sandwich with green patches on it, it's probably freezer burn.

Public Is Welcome

CBP Town Hall Meeting set


By
Special to the Times
Published: Wednesday, April 28, 2010 4:46 AM CDT 
Newly appointed U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Alan Bersin will host a public forum at 2 p.m. on Thursday, April 29, to discuss CBP’s new vision for improving the secure flow of legal goods and people through the ports of entry.

New rule:  If any politician, official, or higher up is going to host something before 5:00 p.m., it can't be called a public forum or town hall meeting.  Anything before quitting time is a photo op.  

I must admit, these things are poorly attended by the public, but calling them what they're not is weasely.  


Bordertown Blues has an official flier up.  And he poses an important question:  how do they feel about the Juan Crow Law in Arizona?  Hopefully the local media will ask it.

Oil And Fire

When an explosion hit the oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, I thought it would be the perfect time to rail against expanding off-shore drilling.  But I thought that was too convenient an argument.  Several workers were never found and now officials are dealing with the massive oil spill caused by the accident.

The big slick being set on fire doesn't offer much confidence.  If this is the best they can do to contain a spill, then I don't want any more drilling.  One bad idea is only made worse.

But this recent event aside, I'm still against more exploration.  We need to go in another direction.

Life In A Southern Town

Roaming around this sleepy town my entire life, I've come to expect a certain protocol when it comes to dealing with those whose job it is to secure our port, which is, by the way, the largest inland port in the country.  Did I get that right, daddy Salinas?

At the checkpoint, located near Encinal, TX (Hey, this is the first shout-out to Encinal on LaSanbe), it's usually been an easy process.  The Border Patrol asks if we're U.S. citizens, we says yes, and they wave us through.  We proceed by cranking up the stereo to the deafening levels it was at before, unbuckle our seatbelts, and slouch in our seats just a little.  Relaxed again.

Crossing bridge I is where I've felt harassed by customs agents in the past.  I can recall one time when an officer sternly asked me if I had my birth certificate on me.  He was bothered when I told him I didn't.  Ultimately I was let through but my outlook was a little more jaded.  I don't fly often, but apparently, proving one's citizenship is required at our airport as well.
To this day, when I fly out of Laredo it boggles my mind that Americans must be subjected to an immigration check at the airport.
Arizona is feeling the backlash after the governor signed into law a means of allowing authorities to check a person's immigration status if a doubt exists.  If you look like an immigrant (???) you're going to be pulled over.  Not to be outdone, Representative Debbie Riddle is thinking of doing the same here.
She'll do the same when the Legislature next meets in regular session in January.
It's obvious that these numbskulls aren't taking Latinos' political and purchasing power into account.  But when have they really thought things out?  When their fences don't work, they go to plan B.  Unfortunately the only ones who will benefit from this are prison administrators.  Suddenly they see a possible surge in customers as "violators" will be charged with a crime if caught.  Meanwhile, business owners will suffer as shoppers boycott entire states.  (see Arizona)

Mayor Salinas will undoubtedly make his voice heard.  And if he has to take another trip to D.C. to do it, so be it.  U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar will make a more tactful observation.  He's got a tough crowd to answer to in the northern stretch of his district.  Somehow I don't see him holding any town hall meetings soon.  Democrats will have to take a stand on this issue, even if they don't push for an immigration reform bill by the end of the year.  Immigrants of all stripes will be closely watching for who does what.  And this might just help the Demos in the mid-terms, if they can capitalize on it wisely. 

In the meantime, I'll need to find out if wearing chanclas with socks will get me pulled over.  On second thought, maybe I should go out and buy the biggest sombrero I can find and walk around the downtown area just to fuck with the men in green. 

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The B. Dalton Effect

The new issue of LareDOS features the story of two locals who have taken on the task of documenting the effect that B. Dalton's closing has had on the community.
"It's about giving Laredoans a voice.  This is besides the typical debutante coverage people like to come in and pick up.  There hasn't really been a documentary about Laredo from the inside."
The pair have been interviewing city leaders, as well as others.  If you're interested in taking part in the documentary, contact Ms. Sames and Mr. Cavazos at (956)286-3041, or at bookstoredocumentary@gmail.com.

Colorful Growth

I took this shot along Zacate Creek, near Lyon St.  The grass is a little overgrown, but that's just as well, because the showy flowers would've bitten the dust if city crews came by with their mowers.

NBA playoffs


Milwaukee Bucks' mascot entertains the home crowd yesterday while the Bucks beat the Atlanta Hawks 111-104 to tie up their series 2-2.

But the excitement has to lie in the Western Conference where the San Antonio Spurs lead the Dallas Mavs 3-1, and the not-so-little-engine-that-could OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER tied the series with last year's (irritating) champs the L.A. Lakers. Both series continue tonight.

I admit I have not kept up with the NBA in recent years aside from the casual TV viewing, but once upon a time I was a devoted follower of the game. Football won me and my attention over. The game can still rock though.

What The Hell Is Going On?

Man crashes into Taco Palenque

By Denise Blaz
Laredo Morning Times
Published: Tuesday, April 27, 2010 2:25 PM CDT
Police and fire crews responded to a call Tuesday morning that involved a car driving into a local Taco Palenque restaurant.
An elderly man was ordering food in the drive-through at the restaurant in the 4500 block of San Bernardo Avenue when he crashed into the building.

See photos of the damage at http://www.lmtonline.com/

And then there's this:  Chief Steve Landin involved in a motor vehicle accident.  I knew I was right when I said it was the 'Worst Week Ever to be the Laredo Fire Department chief.'

And it's not even raining out.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Body Found

A man was found lifeless near the railroad tracks in the Chacon neighborhood last night.  A rifle was near the body.

I live near this site.  This is not a regular occurrence.  Creepy.
Sure, San Bernardo Ave. has shootings and raids on gambling parlors, but that's to be expected.  My neighborhood is a sleepy little barrio and it's going to stay that way.

I See Angles

My son is already in bed.  We went over angles, measurements, lines, probabilities, etc.  He should do well on the (math) TAKS tomorrow.

Less Money

$5 million
County eyes shortfall with lower property values
By ZACH LINDSEY
Laredo Morning Times
Published: Monday, April 26, 2010 4:43 AM CDT
The first forecast of the 2011 budget year is in for Webb County and the outlook is “grim,” according to County Judge Danny Valdez.
 
Looks like there's another round of cuts coming for each department at Webb County.
 
We'll know it's bad when we see Valdez spending less money on hair spray.

Worst Week Ever

....to be the Laredo Fire Department chief.

Police arrest third firefighter

By César G. Rodriguez
LAREDO MORNING TIMES
Published: Monday, April 26, 2010 4:43 AM CDT
Police arrested a Laredo Fire Department firefighter Sunday morning, the department’s third employee in trouble with the law during the last few days.

I know a good number of paramedics.  They're a decent bunch; at least they are with me.  But I guess they're bound to get into trouble, even if they should know better.
Here's the list of the alleged offenders:

30-year-old arrested for unlawful restraint
32-year-old booked on family violence
45-year-old accused of insurance fraud

I hope we see the mayor's reaction to this tonight on the news.  His mustached outrage is what I live for.

Do We Get Credit?

For all the sacrifices our fathers and grandfathers made; For all the times we celebrate George Washington and associate ourselves with the American Revolution; For all the times we recite the Pledge of Allegiance and contribute to this country (undocumented immigrants included), there will be people who just won't be that into us. 
Congrats to all the dirty mexicans in San Antonio.
UPDATE:  The intertubes and sports radio are abuzz with this issue.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Last night on SNL

Featuring Andy Samberg and Gabourey Sidibe

A Reader Makes Contact

One LaSanbe reader sends in this little gem from the Sister Cities event at the Laredo Energy Arena.  It gives me reason to stay home more often.  Or does it?

Que Fregados gives us the scoop.

Celebrating Bridge III

One of these things is not like the other, one of these things...

Changes Coming

Soon we'll see some changes in the pages of the LMT.  Staff will be assigned new duties and formats will tweaked a bit, such as the Business Journal, Que Pasa and Art of Living sections.
will convert to magazine style with full color on each page.
What I want to see is what Julie Daffern will do with the paper's website.
She will be developing dynamic new channels and creating lively content including topic-specific blogs, videos, even more twittering and more opportunities for community interaction.
I can't wait.



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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Escape Again Bookstore

Paperbacks abound at this recently-opened bookstore.  It's the brainchild of Eddie Cardenas, a former resident of Laredo who left our fine city to attend culinary school in another state.

He moved back hoping to open a pastry shop, but as things would have it, he decided to go into the used book business.

Currently he and his sister, Marisol Cantu, tend the store.  It's located at 608 W. Calton Rd. (betweeen Emperor Garden and Luby's).  Mr. Cardenas is shopping publishers to offer the public new releases.

Expansion will come down the road.  For now let's support this venture, one that's definitely needed here in Laredo.  For more details, check out their site.

An Election Year

Councilman Mike Garza updates his site.

Best Names in the NFL Draft

NFL announcers better be careful.  Many players just drafted into
the NFL have very colorful names.
The most fun to say has to be the #2 pick Ndamukong Suh
(en-dah-moo-kong soo), who went to the Lions.
Here are some other Piper notables:
#40 Koa Misi (Dolphins), #63 Pat Angerer (Colts)
#9 C.J. Spiller (Bills), #15 Jason Pierre-Paul (Giants)
#10 Tyson Alualu (Jaguars), #78 Brandon LaFell (Panthers)
#61 Vladimir Ducasse (Jets), #18 Maurkice Pouncey (Steelers)
#126 Akwasi Owusu-Ansah (Cowboys)
And a personal favorite #64 Charles Brown...aww.

City To Pat Itself On Back

Laredo, TX—April 23, 2010—The City of Laredo has produced an annual report, entitled “Laredo:  Working For You” that will highlight the investment in the community over the last three years, including monies from certificate of obligation bonds, capital improvement grants and American Recovery and Relief stimulus funding.  The report will highlight projects and capital outlay in equipment, infrastructure improvements, quality of life projects and the Utilities department. 

“The past three years have been marked by a very determined effort by the City of Laredo to capitalize on its good credit rating and sell bonds to move projects forward that had remained stagnant for lack of funding,” said City of Laredo City Manager Carlos Villarreal.  “Additional monies from federal and state grants and other funding sources have helped to push the City of Laredo to an unprecedented level of construction.”

“It is important for our citizens to understand that the City of Laredo and the Mayor and City Council’s continued fiscal responsibility is what helps to bring about these improvements to their community.  This publication will highlight that,” he concluded.

“Laredo: Working for You” was printed and designed by El Mañana Publishing, with photographs taken by Guillermo Sosa of Signature Portrait.  It is printed in full-color, tabloid size, on the highest quality white newspaper. 

Articles were written by a collection of City of Laredo staff members, including:  Sandy Esparza, El Metro Public Relations & Marketing Coordinator; Eddie Millan; Parks & Leisure Services Public Information Officer; Xochitl Mora Garcia, City of Laredo Acting Public Information Officer; and Karla Robles, Utilities Water Conservation Planner.  Horacio De Leon served as the publication’s Editor-in-Chief.  The publication is, in total, 16 pages; however, it is split into eight English pages, and the information repeated again in Spanish on the remaining eight pages.

“Laredo: Working For You” will be distributed in this Sunday’s El Mañana; the remaining 10,000 will be distributed at City of Laredo buildings. It will also be posted to the City of Laredo website, www.cityoflaredo.com, after the distribution.

Mail


It is Saturday and I am waiting for the mail. Unfortunately if Congress gets its way, there will be no more Saturday mail.

I wonder if that is a bad thing.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Get Better, Brett

A family member just called me to tell me that Brett Michaels, yes that Brett Michaels, was hospitalized for a brain hemorrhage last night.  I thought the worst, right off.  But the rocker is alert and doing fine.

We here at LaSanbe have a soft spot for the bandana'd frontman.  Not only is he entertaining us with his current stint on Celebrity Apprentice, but his music was a part of our soundtrack in high school and beyond.  We hope he gets better.

Enjoy this lovely tune from way back when.

Stereotypes

Arizonans are about to get a crash course in racial profiling, what with the new immigration law taking effect.  Things are not going to be nice.

Down here in our neck of the woods, we get our stereotypes served up in the form of marketing.  Take this Pocket billboard, for instance.  They've popped up around Laredo but I wonder if people have really given them a second look.

The ad has a World Cup theme.  You have a Mexican soccer fan wearing a sombrero.  That in itself could be viewed differently.  Hell, I'd wear one just because of the (shade) coverage it provides.  But it's not to say that every person in Mexico wears one.  The model could've been posed with a simple cap or something else.

The one that makes me cringe a little more, however, is the other person, the one that's half-naked and carrying a spear.  The host nation for the soccer event is South Africa, but I really don't think that this portrayal is all that kosher.  

How many people did this idea go through, and are those people still employed?  Let me know if you've seen this ad where you live.

Making Laredo Beautiful



A tree planting ceremony will take place tomorrow, Saturday, April 24 at 9:00 a.m. at the Cielito Lindo Park (5602 Isidore Lane).

Those taking part in the event are the LBJ Honor Society, Keep Laredo Beautiful, and the City of Laredo Parks and Leisure Department.

Councilwoman Liendo-Espinoza recently told me that plants had been stolen from a newly-dedicated park in El Azteca.  I've seen this happen at other locations in central Laredo.  While trees may be safe from thieves, decorative plants are another thing.

One thing I'd like to suggest is that the city use plants that are somewhat invasive and/or easily propagated.  The plants pictured can be easily divided and grown from small cuttings.  If the "spinoffs" are stolen from their new location, you can just start again and not worry about the financial aspect.

Of course you want to take care of the theft issue from local parks, but this could be an efficient way to go when trying to landscape a park or walkway.

The plant in the first picture can add some color to any landscape.  It can act as a groundcover, carpeting a wide plot, or it can be contained to a small area. 

The plants in the second shot are great too.  The ones with the white flowers (Vinca) are pretty low maintenance, and the succulent-looking pointy plant is quite aggressive in its growth.  I've heard it referred to as "La lengua de la suegra."

The last shot is that of the "Esperanza" (Yellow Bells).  It's easily propagated and the showy yellow flowers (when in bloom) add wonderful color to any project.

Tim James

Politician, businessman, and one hell of a compassionate fuck.

Wall Of Tolerance

Laredo Public Library
Public Service Announcement Campaign
“Wall of Tolerance Seeks Educators to Teach Tolerance”

                        Start Date:     April 23 2010         Kill Date: May 4, 2010
                                                                                                7:00 p.m.


The Laredo Public Library hopes that the Wall of Tolerance Center & Museum will be one step to teaching about the consequences of intolerance and indifference.

The Wall of Tolerance Center & Museum will be more than just pictures and memorabilia. The display will have educational lessons that will be included in the nine-month curriculum that accompanies the exhibit.

The classes and discussion will foster a conscience of awareness and social responsibility toward eliminating acts of violence, prejudice and discrimination against men, women and children in our community, across our nation and throughout our world.

 Currently, many lessons are being taught by United I.S.D. teachers; however, the curriculum is open to teachers of all districts and educational institutions who wish to participate. 

An introductory lesson for anyone who wishes to participate will be held on Tuesday, May 4, 2010 at 6:30 PM.  

Anyone wishing to teach a lesson should contact Pam Burrell, who will serve as curator for the Center & Museum, at the Library at 795-2400, x2268 or via e-mail at pam@laredolibrary.org.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Councilwoman Gets Tough On Texting Drivers

....only after she has a close encounter with another driver.
Cantu said she decided to push for an ordinance after a recent near-miss in which she and her 18-year-old daughter were almost hit by an oncoming driver.
There's nothing like personal experience to give people perspective on things.  Anyhow, I have to commend the San Antonio councilwoman for pushing forward this ordinance.

Here in Laredo, the use of a cell phones is prohibited in school zones.  I guess we have to protect the kids; the rest of us can go to hell.  I kid, I kid.  

Police Chief William McManus wants to take it a little further than Ms. Cantu.  He wants drivers' full attention on the road.  He doesn't want people eating, reading, putting on makeup, sewing, changing clothes, building model airplanes, playing solitaire, learning guitar, etc, etc.

I think that's a good idea.  That kind of thing should be instituted here.  Of course, then I couldn't enjoy my McDonald's yogurt parfait on the run like I usually do.  But that's fine.  I'll do it for the people, 'cause that's the kind of guy I am.  You're welcome!!!

Happy Earth Day -- Whatever!

The Keyrose household got a bit of a surprise this morning:  no water.  We noticed a city truck parked on the street at around 6:30 a.m. and water streaming down the avenue.  When we checked our faucets, of course, there was no trickle.

This same thing happened several weeks ago, as you can see by the dark patch of road in the picture.  The new break is off in the near distance (orange cone). 

City crews got to it quick but what bothers me is not so much the interruption in service, but the eventual dust that's going to be flying around for weeks.  Our cars are going to get the brunt of it.  And again I'll be forced to sweep up the gravel from the street to make it look presentable.

So yeah, Happy Earth Day!  Whatever!  

The Day Has Come



God Bless.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

More Books

This ad for Escape Again Bookstore appeared in today's local advertising publication, El Mercadito.

This is the first I hear about this.  When B. Dalton closed early this year, I didn't think we would have independent book sellers setting up shop, but it has happened.

I'll go check it out this weekend and report back to you.
Oh and by the way, you can also buy books here and here.

Kate 8 it!

Dancing with the Stars fans could take it no more. Always at the bottom of the judges list, Kate Gosselin survived up to this point by the call-in votes.

Even though I'm going to miss seeing just how entertaining her lackluster dance moves were, it was hard to watch her
"slow-motion" her way through a song on live TV. Whatever her partner Tony Dovolani may say in public, privately he must be breathing a sigh of relief.



I also grew tired of seeing her artificial hair. (I thought when "hair" cost that much, it was suppose to shine?!?) Ay, ay, ay Katarina!!! Good luck to you and your eight kids.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Local Scenery

See if you can spot the fake and the real.

Church Raffle

Local churches have hosted their Spring jamaicas recently and it looks like Holy Redeemer is next.
All churches seem to have a raffle with a nice vehicle as the big prize.  But I have to take exception with this parish's 5th gift:  a surprise gift from Father Francisco.

??????

I don't know about you but I don't want a surprise gift from no father, not with the history that the Catholic Church has.  I'm not a member of this church so I don't know if surprises have been a regular thing there.

It could be something worthwhile that they're offering, but in reading the ticket, my mind naturally wanders.

Vaccine Drive Tomorrow At 6:30

RABIES “VACUNA” CLINIC


Laredo, TX - -The City of Laredo Health Department will hold its regularly scheduled rabies clinic. Recently our animal control officers have seen a surge of unvaccinated pets and urge the public to get their pets vaccinated. Additionally, we have confirmed several bats with rabies. We want to remind the public that it is their responsibility to safeguard the health and welfare of their pets not only against rabies vaccine but to also protect them against other illnesses as well as against fleas and ticks.

In Laredo we must vaccinate each year to protect your pet and family against rabies. Rabies can spread quickly and easily among dogs and cats; our concern is the potential human exposure, which can be deadly. We would like to remind the public of some precautions for handling bats.

Texting The 80s

I was surprised when I recently learned that a nephew had hit the 1,000,000th text mark.  My immediate thought was, 'who could he be texting, and what could he be texting?'  My astonishment aside, it looks like this form of communication is here to stay.

However, I wonder how different my life would've been if I had a cell phone during my years at la Martin.  Back in high school I had about a handful of friends.  If Facebook existed back then, I could've had double that, easy.  Friends could've texted me the latest party scene scoop.  My social life could've been totally different.  Of course, I probably would be subject to some type of text bullying, but imagine the people I could've met. 

But....if I had a more active social life, I would've never known the struggles of Sonny Crocket.  ???

Monday, April 19, 2010

Kid Gaga


Many of you may be a little sick of Lady Gaga by now, but her songs make me dance. This video shows one of her younger fans in full force, with an overripe banana for a mike.

The most upsetting part of the clip is not the kid's dad making a walk-by cameo in his underwear, to me it's the chairs and artificial flowers in the background.

You're Kidding, Right?

It looks like our governor loves "The Decider."
But here's why he was an incredibly good President:  because this man kept America safe.
It's amazing how people can say that with a straight face.  But just when you think it can't get any more absurd, Perry says this:
there are two things that I think people judge Presidents on:  their safety and the economy.
I want to know how Perry has kept his hair gelling while he's been under a rock for the last ten years.

???

For Immediate Release                                                                    For More Information
                                                                                                           Contact: Xochitl Mora Garcia
                                                                                                                                   (956) 337-3639

St. Peter’s Memorial School Registration Underway for 2010-2011 Academic Year
Small classes, high academic standards and spiritual, family environment
are just some of the school’s highlights

April 20, 2010—As final test schedules are prepared and students are starting to talk about summer vacation, St. Peter’s Memorial School is already busy preparing for the 2010-2011 academic year.  Pre-registration is ongoing; deadline to turn in all documents is May 21, 2010; especially for parents who wish to be considered for scholarship assistance.

“St. Peter’s Memorial School, while having one of the lowest academic tuition rates among Laredo private schools, boasts high academic standards and test scores,” said Dr. Linda Marie Garcia Mitchell, principal of the school.  “Our small class sizes enable the teachers to really work one-on-one with students, pushing them to the next level.  This is evident in the countless awards bestowed on so many of the students in the various academic contests they participate in, and most telling, the scores of the students on their standardized test,” she added.

Why is the City of Laredo promoting a religious private school?

Working Things

While looking through some old photos the other day I came across a shot of me and my brother some 28 years ago.  He was sitting on a short fence near our curb, clearly posing for the picture.  And I'm in the background pushing a lawnmower around.  It's not the clearest of exposures but it gives me a clue as to how long I've been tending yards.

I'm the oldest so I assume that the heavy-lifting chores fell upon me by default.  I didn't mind.  For some reason I found simple landscaping relaxing and enjoyable, even as I used a push mower.  Eventually I graduated to a gasoline-powered mower.  The machine made cutting easy; sometimes the hardest part was turning it on.

The occasional planting or pruning job arose which demanded the use of our small arsenal of unsophisticated garden tools.  My mother's pride and joy was a container garden which was situated under a makeshift gazebo.  My grandmother's yard, on the other hand, had the typical St. Augustine grass layout with trees on the borders.  My time was split between a free-flowing array of decoratives and the more conservative scheme that's so popular with Laredoans.


The makeup of the yards have changed over the years, and I've since moved on to other locations.  I currently own a home, but rented land and familial land has seen my handy work in action.  There's nothing more satisfying than having complete artistic control over my little plot of earth.  With that responsibility, I make all the gardening purchases.  Ask me for directions to the nearest nursery and you shall receive.  The nursery itself can be a place of wonder.  I still recall fond memories of Gentry's Nursery which was located on Meadow and Plum.  The place was a labyrinth filled with enough plantable material to keep you busy for a long time.

A task that I've adopted in recent years is that of composting.  It's really more of a recycling of garden refuse that I employ; I use fallen leaves and grass clippings to protect a plant's roots and soil instead of springing for store-bought mulch.  Inevitably I have enough material left over to create a compost pile.  I don't put much thought into it but it's there.  Dave Grossman expounds: 
Although I am undeniably a pile maker and relish the art of compost I also apply the scientific side of my personality to the building of compost piles.
I don't get technical with the structure of my piles.  Like I said, I just stack up what's on hand.  I don't go through the trouble of adding proper amounts of nitrogen and carbon materials. Nevertheless some decomposition takes place and occasionally I discover a dark substance that once had another form.
it is the fervor of building the real compost pile that makes me such a fan of compost and heals me when I feel broken and ragged.
Caring for my landscape has a therapeutic effect on me.  This labor of love not only brings colorful blooms but peace of mind as well.  But the process that takes place in a compost pile is equally as intriguing.  Something valuable is created out of that which is so often discarded.  I marvel at the crumbly dark mess that's produced.  My yard is a showplace of sorts but also a lab.  In it I put garden waste through an experiment.  There's no time table, and the technique is what I would call lackadaisical, but I know that something is going to happen.  Even if it's not pretty or useful, it's something that I've created. 

I don't get paid for working in the yard anymore, but the sense of accomplishment that I derive from toiling under the Laredo sun is fulfilling all the same, even if the end result is just dirt.

Sanbe Mash-Up

I've been in situations where I'm wearing the same shirt as another guy.  I pretend not to notice, but it still bugs me. 

I'd go to the movies more often but I'm really trying to cut down on my popcorn consumption.

This looks promising, especially for follicaly-challenged people.

And this is different.  And I agree with their assessment.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

One Steeler does good


As a long-time, devoted Pittsburgh Steelers fan, the bad press surrounding their quarterback has been a bitter pill for me to swallow. I'm tired of hearing about Ben Roethlisberger's "lack of better judgement" i.e. stupidity when it comes to his personal life.

Instead I want to discuss my favorite Steeler, Troy Polamalu. Less than a year older than whats-his-name, Troy is married, has a young son, and usually stays out of the spotlight. I'm not saying marriage and fatherhood work for everyone, but Troy is undeniably responsible and focused.

Recently Troy was at his niece's volleyball game (in Arizona no less) and was recognized by some in attendance. He signed some autographs and then surprised some young fans by starting a football game with them in the parking lot. (See full story here.) Lucky kids!

Today is Troy Polamalu's 29th birthday. Woohooooo! So, to the one Steeler I'm patiently waiting to see back on the football field,
Happy Birthday Troy!!!  Love, Piper

Podcast Tonight

First person to call in after 9:00 p.m. tonight will have the opportunity to create a podcast with me.  Call 727-7266 and let's talk.
 Update:
       

                       
   
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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Caption This Photo


Photo found at El Manana.

Happening Stuff

Happy Record Store Day.  I'd celebrate but I don't think I can buy a record in all of Laredo.

The NBA Playoffs started today.  Spurs play the Mavericks tomorrow. 

The National Weather Service has issued a thunderstorm watch for Webb County.  Apparently the rain isn't over yet.

And I'd like to thank Digby for making my day by telling us that conservatives are creating a new network.   Damnit!

You Be The Judge

Sarah Palin has made millions since leaving office/Alaska.  Part of the reason she's been so successful is because there's an audience for her kind of "talent."  Victoria Jackson couldn't be any more pleased with the reception she's gotten as well.


Victoria Jackson from elizabeth glover on Vimeo.

We have our share of loonies characters.

Friday, April 16, 2010

A Message from Axl Rose

Esperamos poder tocar en Costa Rica y Guatemala en alguna fecha futura. Manager y promotores están en negociaciones. Sería fantástico poder tocar para los fans de allí. Nuestras disculpas por cualquier incoveniente que hayamos causado. Es un negocio loco y este tour estuvo lleno de giros y vueltas. Los fans y los shows hicieron que todo el caos y la confusión valiera la pena. Estamos aquí para ustedes!! Esperamos verlos en Puerto Rico!!

www.twitter.com/axlrose

More Bad News

There is yet another story of Ben Roethlisberger behaving inappropriately.  It involves him allegedly dropping his pants and making sexual advances at a party he hosted.  This is the third story that's shed a bad light on Ben's already tarnished reputation.

I think I'm passed the point of forgiving ol' Ben.  Now it seems like stories like these are going to keep popping up and the Rooneys are going to have to make a very difficult decision.  Two days ago, Steelers owner Art Rooney Jr. showed his displeasure with the franchise quarterback, and even hinted at the possibility of trading him.  I'm a longtime fan of the team and I have to say that I wouldn't hold it against management if that happened.

Even if these accusations are false, they still can be distracting for the entire organization.  I'm sorry to say, but Ben is going to have to go.  He brought the Steeler faithful a lot of good years and it seemed that he could win one, or maybe more, championship rings.  But that's hard to do now, what with all this negative publicity hanging over your head.

And the funny thing is that Ben was often quick to thank God for the luck he had on the field.  That's always been a sore point for me -- when stars thank God for some good fortune -- but I digress.  We'll know pretty soon where Roethlisberger ends up.  Who knows; he could end up a Cowboy.

Some More Reportero Urbano

We'll Take Them

Bolivia is cracking down on animal abuse at the hands of circus trainers and managers.  Circus animals have to find a new home because a new law in the country will not allow animals to be used in circuses.

Instantly, I thought, we could receive the animals and give them the love and care they need.  We would have to build a zoo first.  Just the other day, some locals wondered why we don't have a zoo and Nuevo Laredo does.



On second thought, our animal shelter faces a lot of challenges.  Funding is a major issue.  Perhaps a zoo wouldn't be such a good idea.

Big Turnout For Police Exam

Applicants take written exam

By César G. Rodriguez
LAREDO MORNING TIMES
Published: Friday, April 16, 2010 3:08 AM CDT
Webb County Sheriff’s Office deputies, Laredo Independent School District security guards, college students and recent graduates were among the 600 people who took the writing exam Thursday

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Community Development Continued

City of Laredo staff had another meet-and-greet with residents of the neighborhood located just south of LCC's main campus.  I've heard it referred to as El Rincon del Diablo.  Can someone please confirm this?

Anyway, several residents of the area attended to voice their concerns to those who specialize in community development.  Councilwoman Cindy Liendo-Espinoza was also there.  Kudos to her.  Issues, such as the lack of park space for kids to pass the time, street paving, and drug use were brought up.

One resident expressed his disappointment.  He spoke of how former Councilman Ramirez promised a water park and other improvements to the area, but to this day, nothing has been done.

While the discussion was going on, I was trying to come up with ideas for parks in the old neighborhood, but I found it difficult since the barrio is not exactly flush with space.  Afterwards I got to speak with Ms. Liendo about the challenges facing this and other Laredo neighborhoods.

It's Been Fun, But

I'm officially tired of this rain.  It's been raining since Sunday.  Somebody commented the other day that they loved it when it rained.  I call those people 'people who don't like to go outside.'

El Manana shot some video of the streets in neighboring Nuevo Laredo.  It's pretty much the same picture here.  Enjoy.  

Suspects Get I-Prison Instead Of I-Pod

LaredoBuzz has some fun with the title of a story that came out of the police beat.

What happened is that four men in a white car pulled a gun on a student and took from him his iPod.  This incident occured on the South side on March 29.
Officers apprehended the altar boys after spotting their car in North Laredo.  And this is where it gets funny.  These geniuses were driving a stolen car!  And oh yeah, heroin and a syringe were also found in the vehicle.

En que cabeza caven?!!!

I think Darwin awards are in order for these fine gentlemen.
I would've titled the story:  Not Mensa, Pero Mensos.

Sole Man

A 67-year-old man was busted for trying to smuggle heroin in the soles of his shoes.  When questioned about the drugs, the gentleman thought he would never get caught.  'I had my Ed Hardy shoes on.  I was sure I was going to get past the agents.'  Customs and Border Protection personnel initially assisted the border crosser when they noticed his unusual gait.  An agent at the scene pointed out that the man looked like he was wading through quick sand.  They became suspicious when the gentleman replied, 'We have to be very careful with my shoes.'  The man's iPod had to be taken as evidence, and his Justin Bieber haircut was inspected for any other contraband.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Tax Man Arriveth



Procrastinators and penniless people, the time has come again to pay up your taxes. Today is the deadline to file your tax return and remit any taxes due. Is anybody getting a refund? I know I'm not. ='(

You don't want to end up like Pamela Anderson, who owes a mere $493,000+ in back taxes to the State of California! Lucky for her, all that debt doesn't seem to interfere with her stint on Dancing with the Stars.

Be careful out there in the traffic near the post offices tonight. Be kind to your neighborhood postal workers.
Snoopy picture courtesy of PEANUTS by Schulz   www.snoopy.com

Really?!

Larry King has been married eight times?!  And he might've had an affair with his soon-to-be ex-wife's sister?!  And Mrs. Larry King is making all these demands?!

Community Development In The Chacon

Representatives from the City of Laredo were at Daiches Elementary today to discuss the various programs available for the community.  The turnout was, how do I put this, less than stellar.  Nevertheless, I got some information that might be of use to one family member.  By the way, that's not me in the jeans and tan shirt.

 
One idea that I brought up to staff was the possibility of me adopting the land next to the Meadow bridge.  The area is cluttered with trash sometimes and the grass gets a bit too bushy.  My plan was to get rid of the debris every now and then, and add some bushes to add color to the landscape.


I was out there one day last week and somebody in a car passing overhead threw a used diaper over the rail.  Luckily I wasn't hit.
Anyway, these trees need some pruning and a few shrubs would make the slope a little more appealing.

I have to get clearance from the railroad company who owns this property.  After that, city staff can assist me in my endeavor.  They can help me haul the trash away, and provide some volunteers to cut the grass once in a while.  We'll see how it goes.

Contact the Community Development Department at 795-2675 if you need rental assistance or home repairs.  (you must qualify for assistance)  They can also address any issues dealing with code enforcement.

The Rain Can Save You Money

Cu. Rainfall 2010
Stations
Date:  April 11 thru 12
Bustamante  1.82
Canal           2.75
Enterprise    0.8
Guerrero     1.35
Jefferson     3.15
Zacatecas   0.72
Hwy 359    0.53
Bulllock      0.99
McPherson/ N. Loop 20     0.49
Del Mar      1.29
SLWWP     0.55
Jefferson Plant    n/a
ESD       2.35

These totals are courtesy of the City of Laredo.  We've gotten a good amount of rain these past several days.  So it's disheartening when I go visit somebody at Laredo Medical Center and the sprinklers are on  -- while it's raining!

A Done Deal

Valdez emerges victorious

By ZACH LINDSEY
LAREDO MORNING TIMES
Published: Wednesday, April 14, 2010 2:15 AM CDT
Incumbent County Judge Danny Valdez beat out political neophyte Tano Tijerina by a narrow margin in Tuesday’s runoff election.
“It’s been a long and difficult race — lots of weekends, days and nights,” Valdez said.

Weekends and nights.  Yeah, the Casa Blanca Convention Center appearances don't count.  That's more of a social call.  It's funny how they supposedly get out to meet the people during election time, but once they're in office, there's not even a hint of a town hall meeting or anything.

Valdez, who was recently dubbed “El Nice Guy” by one local Laredo blog, paid his respects to Tijerina and his campaign, saying, “Let me congratulate Tano for running a good race, a clean race. His time will come.”


I don't know if I would've gone with "El Nice Guy."  I've heard things.  Let's leave it at that.

Another Song For Us

I like Korn and I'm probably going to attend their concert at the Laredo Energy Arena this summer, but would it kill promoters to bring down an indie band every now and then, especially ones that name songs after our little dusty town?
the mid-tempo track references the locale Laredo (most likely the city in Texas)
The song could be about Laredo, Missouri.  At any rate, I'd love to see Band of Horses in our backyard.  That would be so choice.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Reaction

Joe Rubio?  Shouldn't he be somewhere else?

Rosaura Tijerina won but she still managed to jab her opponent for running a "negative campaign."

And Monica Notzon may not have seen the last of Jesus Dominguez' wife.

Early Numbers

County Judge
Tano  48%
Valdez 52%

Commissioner
Wawi 54%
Gutierrez 46%

Commissioner
Martinez 36%
Canales 63%

District Judge
Notzon 56%
Dominguez 44%

UPDATE: 
District Clerk
Degollado 58%
Palumbo 42%

Justice of the Peace
Veliz 53%
Dominguez 47%      

Runoff Day


The final push is in effect as the county collects the last votes for those whose races weren't decided last month.

I wanna see a couple of upsets.  Join LaSanbe this evening as I'll be watching for the early voting numbers to come in just after 7:00 p.m.

Meanwhile, go out and check Que Fregados' list of candidates and offer up a nickname for them.

Our Carne Asada Footprint

Laredoans know how to start fires.  It's something we learn early on, for it will come in handy when we have to prepare one of our favorite food groups, fajitas.  But burning stuff is useful for other things too, such as eliminating household trash and creating energy in the process.  Europeans are utilizing this technology while keeping it eco-friendly.
The plants run cleanly that many times more dioxin is now releasesd from home fireplaces and backyard barbecues than from incineration.
We may not be shipping our trash off to other states like New York does, but our landfill is close to reaching capacity.  Burning our trash (don't try this at home) could be a viable alternative.  Of course, the money to build such a plant would probably be hard to come by.  Nevertheless, this idea is something the younger crop of decision makers should contemplate, if not for its usefulness, than simply as a talking point.  Talk of new jails and bridges can only take you so far.