Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Early Evening Thread

Weather talk everywhere I go.  Random topic podcast coming tonight.
       

                       
   
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Weather Due To Hurricane Alex

I just got word from Laredo Broncos spokesman Danny Angel that Thursday's game against the San Angelo Colts has been rescheduled.  The Broncos will play Friday at 7:35 and then have a double header Saturday starting at 6:05.

Tickets from Thursdays game will be accepted for both Saturday games.

Conditions in Laredo right now are windy, and overcast with occassional drizzle. 

Photo courtesy of Dimitri Garcia.

Pay Him No Mind

A couple of weeks ago I created a post where I described how local radio personality Jay St. John passed off somebody else's work as his own.  He just added three sentences, put his name on it, and posted it on his website.  Well, I noticed something different today:  his post is not there, or any post for that matter.

Que Fregados commented (on my post, link above) on his penchant for scrubbing things that don't fit his plan.
I did have a screenshot of before & after of his facebook page where he deletes comments of someone who tell him he is wrong.  He deletes everything he doesn't like.
That seems to be the case here as I noticed that his Facebook page currently doesn't have a lot of posts.  Last week I caught him doing the same thing (plagiarizing) on FB with another story.  Again, that post is not there.

I know that people are going to suggest to me that I shouldn't give him the time of day, but my hope is that politicians think twice about going on his show.  Oh sure, he'll make local politicos think that making an appearance on his show is a must, but his narcissism only serves to justify his morning ramblings and his spot on our airwaves.  His sway is not that mighty.  I should just ignore him, but his fans would be better off if they did as well.  

Barrio Towers

Trees in the barrio are sometimes hard to come by.  And in most cases, the trees that are present are located in a spot that doesn't lend itself to tree house construction.  As a result, we sometimes have to improvise.

I found this picture the other day that dates to around 1980.  In the background you can see our version of a tree house.  It was near a tree, so to us, it was referred to as such.

I have no idea who constructed it and whether or not it was ever completed.  We were probably just as happy with it just as it appears.  This was our tower.  There were probably many like it but this one was ours.

I wonder if we tried to replicate the towers that stood at Lake Casa Blanca's kiddie park.  Whatever the case, it was our place to pass the time.  And of course, we could check in on our neighbors to the South.  Their house was rectangular, made of brick, and had a flat roof.  The place was old.  We used to call it the Alamo.

That's not me, by the way.

Bike Race In Nuevo Laredo

El Manana reports that the mountain bike race that was supposed to take part this Sunday, July 4, was postponed due to the upcoming elections.  City staff that assists with the race will be busy attending to election day activities.  For that reason the race will take place the following weekend.

A representative from Pro Bike said that they have fliers for the event, but no entry forms at the moment.  And apparently bike enthusiasts from Laredo take part in this race.
The track is situated near the banks of the Rio Grande.  It looks like fun but I don't know how my better half would feel about me taking part in it.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Hurricane Alex Preparedness

Que Fregados has information up to help people deal with Hurricane Alex.

Locate all TxDOT feeds here: http://www.txdot.gov/news/twitter_feeds.htm
TxDOT also maintains a Facebook page: ww.txdot.gov/facebook.
CONTACT: Raul Leal, TxDOT Laredo District public information officer, (956) 712-7416.
TWITTER: Follow the TxDOT Laredo District at http://twitter.com/txdotlaredo

Downtown Touch-Up

Brownsville is trying to revitalize its downtown.  Just like us.  Recently they designated a part of their downtown as an entertainment district.  Just like us.  And they want to make it clear who can set up shop and who can't.

The ordinance spells out what kinds of businesses are welcome in the entertainment district. The category include brewpubs, wine bars and piano bars; coffee houses and coffee shops; cafes, wet and dry restaurants; dancehalls, discos and nightclubs; and music venues, theaters and performance halls. The list of “undesirables” includes amusement arcades, blood or plasma centers, day care or schools for people under 18, payday or car-title lenders, check-cashing establishments, building-material sellers, veterinary offices, ropa usada stores, hospitals and strip clubs
And if things go well, the area could see a positive change for some.
rents will probably rise, which should help clear out the ropa usadas and payday lenders.
Gentrification.  Ask for it by name.

Febreze Gives Men Away

A ton of marijuana was found in an East Laredo home, along with several men and cans of Febreze.  In the KGNS report, investigator Joe Baeza comments on the potency of the weed's odor.  And according to him, officers worked 40 hours straight to make the bust.  They probably acted on a hunch after seeing the alleged culprits buying the air freshener.


Now I'm not saying that men don't buy air freshener.  They do.  But it's a certain kind of man.  If you are going to buy it, wear something appropriate like a nicely starched oxford and shoes with tassles.  In that instance, the clerk isn't going to suspect a thing.  But if you go in there with a plain t-shirt with mustard stains and looking like you haven't showered in days, don't buy cans of Febreze.  It's a dead giveaway.  You might as well buy coasters and scented hand lotion.

I feel for these men, really I do.  If cans of Febreze were found at the scene, that means that they were laying it on thick.  I know too well the effects of Febreze -- not by choice, mind you.  A liberal spraying of the stuff has been known to send me into coughing fits; the watery eyes are an added bonus.  They were probably better off just dealing with the stong cannabis scent.  Cout it have been so oderiferous that they actually bathed themselves in Febreze?!!!  Perish the thought.

We'll never know exactly what happened in that empty house in East Laredo, but we can take comfort in the fact that Mother Nature won this battle.  Acapulco Gold was not going to be outdone by three bumbling jerks and an air freshener that's been a scourge on my sensitive sinuses for far too long.  Cheers, Mary Jane.  I salute thee. 

Cuellar Press Release

On gun rights:
“I support the Supreme Court’s ruling to preserve and apply the Second Amendment throughout this great nation as our Founding Fathers intended. This landmark decision upholds the constitutional rights of Americans and ensures citizens nationwide their individual freedom to keep and bear arms no matter where they live. This ensures state and local governments cannot infringe upon this individual freedom and extends across the country equal value of this law.”
That's nice.  Now can we get to the subject of banning bullets?

Monday, June 28, 2010

RUSH Recognized



The Canadian rock trio RUSH was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame last Friday. The members of the band are Geddy Lee (vocals, bass guitar, keyboards), Alex Lifeson (lead guitar), and Neil Peart (drums, percussion). These three have been together since 1974, when Peart replaced the original drummer John Rutsey.

They are the only band I can think of that are still together after so many years, still recording new music (their 19th studio album Clockwork Angels is set to be released early 2011), and still touring...regularly. They don't even have opening acts; it's simply "An Evening with RUSH"!

It's about time they get some recognition here in the U.S. They have been shown little love by critics here even though they keep selling out shows on their tours, have a huge worldwide fan base, and are 3rd behind only the Beatles and Rolling Stones with most consecutive platinum and gold albums.

The band was introduced to American audiences through Cleveland radio station WMMS-FM back in the 70's.  Ironically the centerpiece of Cleveland, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, now won't have anything to do with RUSH.  For years fans have been waiting for them to get inducted, but their petitions and requests have always fallen on deaf ears. Considering Jan Wenner isn't a fan of RUSH and only what he and a few others think is cool gets the green light, we may never see them get the honor they certainly deserve.

The award-winning documentary "RUSH: Beyond The Lighted Stage" comes out on DVD Tuesday, June 29th. That same day RUSH will be in Albuquerque kicking off their new tour, which will feature their very popular album Moving Pictures in its entirety! The tour makes its way to Texas in September. Can't wait!

Classic live footage of RUSH in 1981.

New Tattoo



Half-Korean-reality-show-has-been freak, Jon Gosselin, got himself an enormous tattoo featuring a Korean dragon. Jon stated "I wanted something that resembled a rebirth or a change in me."

I would finish this post, but I gotta go.. Fuck it.

Pics

Can you stay till the end?

Terrorists To Infiltrate Our Nurseries

The Texas Tribune features the story of U.S. Representative Louie Gohmert and his belief that terrorists want to send pregnant women to the U.S. to take advantage of our healthcare system.  
And why wouldn't they.  After all, it was local tea party activist Sam Lozano who propped up U.S. healthcare recently.
But those who can afford, they come to the U.S. for some reason.  Why is that?  We're just better, guys.
Inspiring words.

Mr. Gohmert cites a retired FBI agent as his source of paranoia information.  La Sanbe cannot confirm whether Gohmert is getting pointers from Raul Salinas. 
It appeared they would have young women who become pregnant, [and] would get them into the United States to have a baby.
Those babies would then go back home and train to retaliate against us.  That makes sense.  I mean, if a retired FBI agent and a Congressman from these United States say it's so, then it must be.  I'm just glad that we have these individuals on our side -- people with the far-fetched, err, foresight to think of these things.   

CBP Out Shopping

I saw a person coming out of the Sears yesterday late in the afternoon.  She then took off in a Customs and Border Protection S.U.V.

Naturally, I thought, she must be getting some important merchandise necessary to keep our borders safe. 

Sunday, June 27, 2010

T.V. Watching

Have been watching the Rush documentary on VH1 Classic.  Saw part of it last night, and watching some of it right now.

UPDATE:
I like pizza.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Saturday Musings

Want some opinion?  You got it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Keep It Wasteful Laredo

Bordertown Blues does a great job in capturing a common act perpetrated by Laredoans, young and old:  watering the curb and/or street.

I have never taken part in this practice, mainly because my entire front yard is not paved!   I can see how having your entire property cemented over is much more maintenance-free but some take it a lazier step forward and clean the grounds with hose in hand.  These people can't be bothered with bending forward and pushing a broom around.  I mean, who's got the energy?


My father-in-law (may he rest in peace) used to say that the air would feel cooler after watering the cement.  I don't know about that.  Es mas, try this:  go to your walkway between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. and water a certain spot for fifteen seconds.  Then walk on that same spot barefoot.  As I learned last weekend, the cement doesn't stay cool, much less the air.

People are told to water their cement floor to prevent it from cracking but that might fall more in the urban legend category.

What bugs me is that people who water this way are basically sending their debris down the street.  And landscapers and residents who use leaf blowers do the same thing.  They just blow yard trimmings and leaves onto the street.  What's up with that?!

I know it's more efficient for landscapers to use a blower, but for chrissakes, blow it towards the yard.  Stop littering.  And stop bagging grass and leaves while you're at it.

State Democratic Convention In Corpus Christi

The Texas Tribune provides us with some cool coverage of the convention taking place as we speak.  I had been invited by the local delegation to attend alongside them, and I would've loved to be there, but perhaps next time I'll plan ahead.

At least one local politico is in attendance.
Zaffirini told the crowd that her son started coming to conventions when he was an infant in a stroller covered with campaign stickers.
That's good mothering. 

Friday, June 25, 2010

Death Certificates

Dr. L. Cigarroa gives pointers to doctors who slack off with signing death certificates.
Put in a couple of diagnoses, cause of death, confirm the demographics and it's over with.
Simple.

Rediscover Laredo

Community leaders gathered today to unveil the downtown master plan at city hall.  Kell Munoz Architects, Inc. is working with the city to make the area more inviting and accessible for the public.

Laredoans will have a chance to follow the plan's progress with the website, Rediscover Laredo.  And the community is urged to provide input on what they think downtown should represent.

Within the next six months we should get an idea of how downtown Laredo will be transformed.  I'll post a video update later this afternoon.

Photo courtesy of Xochitl Mora

UPDATE:

 

One Year Has Gone By



A year ago we lost Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson. It's difficult to fathom that an entire year has passed.

Farrah was a native of Corpus Christi, Texas and rose to fame in the 70's with her role in the TV show Charlie's Angels, her marriage at the time to the Six Million Dollar Man, and her famous poster. Her death was not a surprise considering she had been battling cancer for some time before. We knew she was really sick. But her death was completely overshadowed by the sudden death of Michael Jackson.

Michael died later in the afternoon that same day. When I heard the news I thought it was another rumor about him. He couldn't really be dead!?! It wasn't until I got home and saw all the networks talking about Michael that it became real. Growing up would not have been the same without Michael Jackson's music. After his death the documentary film "This Is It" was released. Watching it you forget about any troubles MJ had, and you see how talented he still was at age 50! What an incredible loss.

This is one of my favorite live performances by Michael Jackson.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

You Think Things Are Too Uneventful?

A great newspaper needs a great reading public.

El Dirty Gore


Word is out that divorced climatologist and former VP Alberto Gore was up to no good with a friendly massage lady in Portland. According to this story..

The woman herself came forward in 2009 and provided Portland Police with a detailed report on the alleged incident. The massage therapist told investigators about an evening massage session during which Gore allegedly became enraged at times and tried to gain sexual favors from the woman.

"I was shocked and I did not massage beyond what is considered a safe, nonsexual area of the abdomen," she said. "He further insisted and acted angry, becoming verbally sharp and loud."

"I went into much deeper shock as I realized it appeared he was demanding sexual favors or sexual behaviors." The woman said Gore grabbed her hand and shoved it toward his pubic area. She alleged he later tried to have sex with her and began caressing her before she squirmed out of his grasp.

A Tick(ing) Time Bomb

Who knew that ticks could figuratively bring down a whole town?

The town of El Cenizo is divided over the issue of ticks.
It turns out that some residents say that the whole town is infested with the critters, but the mayor begs to differ.  He counters that the problem only exists with residents who don't maintain their yards.

The public cries denial and inaction on the part of the mayor, while the politico says that it's all a political ploy to take him down.  Others are wary that they have become the laughingstock as tick jabs are directed their way.

El Cenizo might have a tick problem, but I would never use it against them.  I would, however, throw this statement about ticks in their face:
"We'd have to see if they 're registered to vote because as far as I know they can't vote."
Gawd.  Life doesn't get better than this.  

 

Mensos And Mensa

LPD: Hammer used in assault

By C├ęsar G. Rodriguez
LAREDO MORNING TIMES
Published: Thursday, June 24, 2010 1:02 AM CDT
Police officers arrested a woman Tuesday who is accused of a robbing a local convenience store and threatening the clerk with a hammer on May 28.

"Menso, Not Mensa" is a regular feature on this site but today I play around with the title a bit because three individuals are alleged to have been up to no good at a local convenience store.

Cesar Rodriguez reports that last month one individual entered a Stripes store while a man and a woman load up their car with soft drinks located outside.  The clerk goes outside and says!!!:
"Ponlos para atras, Cuate," which translates into "Put them back, Cuate."
(Keyrose tries to compose himself; is dying of laughter.)
Cuate was surprised that he had been made so he put the stuff back.  Then the clerk starts to write the license plate number down, and that's when Vela (female arrestee) jumps into action.
but Vela tried to cover the plates and demanded to know what the clerk was doing.
(emphasis mine. Keyrose can't contain himself)
Great improvisers, these local miscreants are. 
Vela then gets a hammer and goes after the clerk, but the clerk manages to take it away.  All three run away with the loot, a pack of batteries.  A good score for the month of May.

Enter June 22, 2010 and Vela visits the same store.  The "Mensa" part has apparently not sunk in to this person and she is turned in to the cops.
This story is inspiring me to produce a re-enactment of this event.  If anybody wants to take part in the production, all I ask is that you bring out the best menso(a) in you.  Oh yeah, and you have to supply your own batteries.

Greenpeace Amy

Que Fregados is back and spots some environmentalists passing through Laredo.
Still - best of luck in sharing information on solar energy and maybe Laredo can someday be an example for others on solar power, we have PLENTY of it
I'm not a big fan of gadgets but solar power is something I've thought about investing in.  I know of at least two houses in town that have solar panels on their roofs.  Hopefully, someday, I can join this elite group of serious environmentalists.

From The Mouths Of Titans

They speak for sensible immigration reform.
"I think we can show the public the benefits of having migrants and the jobs that go with them."

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

These People Are Insane

At Monday's city council meeting, the item of an investigation into insurance premiums being deducted from El Metro employees came up.  The insurance company continued to collect money after the contract had terminated.  Council members were going to discuss the issue and comments from two transit employees were going to be heard.  But the city manager and the city attorney advised against any discussion due to the pending investigation.

A debate went on for about twenty minutes on whether or not to allow public comments.  The city manager was determined to squash any effort to go forward and at one point was adamant about the whole thing.  Most council members didn't want to deny the employees from voicing their concerns.

What's interesting about the proceedings is, of course, the city manager's outburst.  But also, it's how a decision to move past this item was reached.  The chair (mayor) had to ultimately make the call whether or not to allow public comments.  And I'm dumbfounded by what happened.

Mayor Salinas:
We have a situation of an ongoing investigation.  I am really bothered by the fact that something could affect the integrity of the investigation.  I have no knowledge of, you know, specific knowledge of the ongoing investigation.  But if it's going to create a situation where it's going to hurt our city or the investigation, then I do have a problem with that.

But at the same time you have the other side that people have a right to speak and they have that right in the United States of America.  This is a difficult decision, and I think people have a right to speak.  And if people want to incriminate themselves, they have that opportunity to do so.  And I have two people who want to speak.  I want to hear what they want to say.

(Councilman Johnny Rendon voices his concern and walks out)

Mayor Salinas (forcefully):
I am very concerned about this, and because of the nature of this investigation...I know that there are those that sometimes, you have to step up to the plate.
I am not going to do....I took an oath of office a long time ago to protect the integrity of investigations.  Therefore, I am not going to allow it, at this time.

Within twenty seconds he changed his mind.  That's OK but his indecision comes after they spent almost twenty minutes on the matter.  His reaction is unbelievable.  And this person is supposed to be, still, the right man for the job.

"Behind the Music" - Revamped


"Behind the Music" on VH1 used to be wildly popular starting in the late 90's. We would look forward to the next episode of how our favorite bands or singers rose to fame, see their downfalls or reinventions, and even hear about how some of the stars died.

I recently noticed that VH1 had been airing new episodes...with the same narrator. This month alone they have shown a "Behind the Music" documentary on DMX, Eve, Christina Aguilera, and the one I was most surprised by: Courtney Love! I caught it by chance on Monday, and the 2-hour special had me totally riveted.

Courtney has survived a lot of adversity in her life, not the least of which was the suicide death of her famous husband Kurt Cobain. She also seems to have overcome her drug addictions, and she looked the most fresh and alert I've ever seen her.

I'm sure VH1 will be re-running the episode, but you can catch the full episode on VH1.com.

It's Wednesday

And I got nothing.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I'm Leaving!

Police probe



City issues warning, cancels public comment

By ZACH LINDSEY
LAREDO MORNING TIMES
Published: Tuesday, June 22, 2010 6:08 AM CDT
A discussion of insurance issues related to El Metro ended with three council members leaving the room and Mayor Raul Salinas preventing the public from commenting on the issue for fear of possibly disrupting an ongoing legal investigation.

City hall delivers the drama as some councilmen stage a walkout because of some sensitive issue going on with our transit provider where something may or may not have gone down, and the police is looking into something, I'm not sure, but it doesn't look good, but I wouldn't be able to tell if it's bad because this is just another day in council chambers, so who can really tell?


I do like the comment that our adorable mayor made:
I took an oath of office a long time ago to protect the integrity of investigations
Is he trying to tell us again that he was an FBI agent once? 

What's with the earnest proclamation?  "I took an oath of office....."  You signed a confidentiality statement, just like a lot of people do; get over yourself!
"I took an oath of office."  How 'bout taking an oath to tell your council about pending litigation so they won't be in the dark and walk out in the middle of a city council meeting?

It must be tough to be mayor.  It can't always be happy happy, jolly jolly.


Big Four Hit One Stage

The big deal tour featuring the "Big Four" metal groups Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax is currently playing around Europe and may, or may not, tour the U.S. We knew tour would feature all four bands, but on the same stage, at the same time?

Assignment: Downtown Doll-Up

Looks like I'm going to have to change out of my blogging pajamas and pay a visit to city hall.

WHAT: Phase I Unveiling of Downtown Master Plan



WHEN & Friday, June 25, 2010 10:30 a.m.


WHERE: City Hall, Council Chambers, 1110 Houston Street


WHY: Recently, the City of Laredo hired Kell Munoz Architects out of San Antonio “for professional services in the development of a Downtown Master Plan.”


Kell Munoz Architects will assist the City of Laredo in developing a vision for the downtown that features a viable mix of residential, commercial, retail, dining, entertainment and public space uses, which integrate mobility in a workable environment that enhances Laredo’s economy, quality of life and sense of place.

A friend notified me that a Taco Palenque has opened up near the LFD store.  Could it be that rent downtown is at its lowest or does T.P. know something about this revitalization effort?

I just hope that this project focuses on more than a farmer's market.  Laredoans like their A.C. units.  And they like trendy places.  I think if they cater to guys who wear Ed Hardy clothing and the girls who like those guys, it can't fail.  That should be the name of the project:  the Ed Hardy Revitalization Project.

Got Republican Values?

The Texas Republican Platform is getting some attention.  Most of it reads like it was written by the Vatican, except for the part of free markets.  Most Laredoans would probably agree with its suggestions, until it gets to this part:
We urge more stringent legislation to prohibit all pornography including virtual pornography and operation of sexually-oriented businesses.
Oh yeah, and they also don't believe in any sort of gambling.  They propose eliminating the Lotto.  That's fine with me; then I wouldn't have to stand behind old people at a convenience store checking their tickets.

Jobsanger offers his thoughts.  He obssesses over little things like civil rights.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Laredo Books

Benavides was the longtime B. Dalton Bookseller store manager at Mall del Norte until its closure.  Benavides has struck out on her own with Laredo Books and More.

I picked up word about Benavides’ efforts through Que Fregados, one of Laredo’s many alternative news blogs.  Just wanted to give credit where it’s due here.

Laredo Books and More is developing quite a following on Facebook, too.  Laredo Books and More is an online endeavor with hopes of finding a location to sell new books.

Joe Rutland gave a shout-out to Que Fregados in today's LMT Coffee Talk column.  Que Fregados is on a mini hiatus at the moment but that doesn't mean its influence has wavered.  

Participation Award

The LMT featured a picture of some Nixon H.S. drummers accepting a gift certificate worth $500.  It was awarded to them by Remo and L.C.C. for having the most members attend the recent drum camp at the Ft. McIntosh campus.

With that money, they'll be able to buy new drum heads.  Sweet.

What's not so sweet is that the Nixon drumline hasn't had a drum instructor for some time now.  Without one, somebody within the line has to step up to lead the group.

A drum instructor not only can devote his/her time to the drummers but can also make them aware of events like this.  I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that Mr. Luna, Nixon band director (far left), had nothing to do with the drum camp.  He just showed up for the subsequent photo op.

Kudos to Mr. Matthew Adams (far right) for hosting these camps.  And an honorable mention as well for Mr. Bobby Castro from Cigarroa.  He put together an indoor drumline in which these drummers have participated in.  Having someone to give them direction and improve their drum skills makes a ton of difference.  Mr. Luna should thank his lucky stars that he has these two individuals sharpening his students' skills.  The void remains at Nixon but help and attention is not too far off.

Too Few Shovels



Earlier today, District I Council Member Mike Garza, joined by Mayor Raul G. Salinas, various City of Laredo directors and staff and representatives from Crane Engineering Corp. and Whitestone Construction, Ltd., officially broke ground on the Merida Drive Extension Project, hoping to alleviate some of the traffic congestion problems for people who work and live in the Los Presidentes and Independence Hills subdivisions, as well as for United South High School and the future Independence Hills Regional Park. The project will connect Merida Drive to provide a north-south collector to Bob Bullock Loop 20. The total cost of the project is over $2.4 million with a construction calendar timeline of 220 days, approximately 10 months. Funding is available in the 2009 Certificate of Obligation bonds and approximately 25% from federal funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Info. courtesy of Xochitl Mora

What's more unmanly:  using a shovel while wearing a tie, or sharing a shovel with somebody else?

Mayor Salinas uses that same shovel to protect us against terrorists in this post-911 world.

Wait just a minute.  We are getting breaking news into the LaSanbe world news headquarters that the shovels were decorated with bright colorful ribbons.  However they melted off due to the intense heat and high concentration of smugness present. 

We will have more from this town hall meeting photo op as details become available.

Summer is here...at last

So far Laredo has had about 10 days of 100 degree weather or hotter, BUT today marks the official start of Summer. So let's enjoy the sun and the heat along with some Joe Satriani (before he shaved his head!).

Car Chase

Yesterday, apart from some yard maintenance, I didn't do much -- it was Father's Day after all.  I was hoping to see some action-packed movies on the telee but there was not much of a selection.  FX was showing "There Will Be Blood," and I got to see a few scenes from the last "Die Hard" movie, but I guess programming was kept lean due to the American Open being on for most of Saturday and Sunday.

That said, here's hoping that next weekend has more to offer, like car chases with macho detectives.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Happy

I can feel the love emanating from the power suits.

Webb County and U.S. Migration Patterns



This map shows county to county migration patterns across the U.S. over the last year. Information is based on U.S. Census data. Clicking on Webb County, you can see that people are generally staying in Texas when moving out of the Webb. Yet, incoming movers are coming from California, Arizona, Florida, Michigan and Illinois. There needs to be at least 10 movers to generate a line on the map.




On the broader U.S. scale, the exodus from a couple of Michigan and Florida areas is pretty amazing. Have a look.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Eatery

Hey, another Chic-Fil-A for Laredo.  Oh wait..........

UISD Bus Driver

The LMT provides us with video of the exchange that took place last year between a bus driver and a special education student.  At first it looks like student is falling asleep and the bus driver appears to be harmlessly teasing the boy.  But the UISD employee doesn't relent.  He keeps taunting the passenger creating a dangerous driving condition for everybody on board.  Check out the first six minutes.



It becomes obvious that the student has had enough as he begins to fight off the driver's bullying.  Since then the driver has been terminated by UISD and the mother of the student has filed suit against the district and the driver.  In part 2 of the video, you can see the driver pull at the student's hair.

Ponle Flores, Why Don't You

Carlos Landin writes in to the LMT editorial page today.

The mayor's race is on and folks are starting to take sides.  Well, folks, here's the way I see it.  And you know I don't use those big, fancy words that some of us have to get a dictionary to find out what they mean.

The way this city is structured, I for one say we have the perfect lineup.  We have a mayor who worked for the FBI for 34 years, was stationed in Mexico during his tenure and is connected to the federal government, which I am sure keeps him up to date on terrorism threats and on all that other mess going on all along the border from California to Brownsville. 

So, yes, I would rather have a man such as Mayor Raul Salinas watching my back, especially after the Sept. 11 terrorist attack in New York.  Plus, he is always doing what a mayor should in a city manager-oriented type of government and that is working with the community.  You can count on our mayor to do everything from helping with Christmas toys for children to funeral costs for the disadvantaged.

Now we turn to our city manager.  I don't care if you bring someone from Harvard, He could never learn what Mr. Carlos Villarreal knows about our city.  He is by far the most informed person on Laredo politics, Washington connections, Austin connections, etc.  If you want to know about the infrastructure of our city, ask our city manager, Carlos Villarreal.

If you want someone to represent and defend us, to promote Laredo and be there when someone is in need, you can count on the people's mayor, Raul Salinas,  And he is very well informed on border threats, a major advantage for a Laredo leader.  So think about what I just wrote.  Don't fix something that doesn't need fixing.

Wow.  Apparently Mayor Salinas is a people person and gets daily CIA briefings on the threats to our country.  Hearing Mr. Landin tell it, I get the feeling that Salinas has access to launch codes and isn't afraid to use the button when the time comes.

With so much responsibility it's a miracle he finds time to enjoy himself. 

Basketball


The Lakers won. Booooooooo.

The San Antonio T-shirt says it all.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Orange Pride

That's Entertainment?


Ever since accused killer Joran Van Der Sloot was arrested in Peru earlier this month, Entertainment Tonight has been covering the story. This begs the question: Why? Van Der Sloot isn't an actor, he  doesn't have celebrity ties, and he certainly doesn't  live in Hollywood. So again I ask: why is ET covering this criminal's news story?

If they are having trouble filling up a show, there are plenty of other celebs out there that we haven't heard from in a while. ET should have more "Where are They Now?" segments to cover someone that is or was actually in the entertainment field.

What about Haley Joel Osment from The Sixth Sense, or Crystal Gayle and her down-to-the-floor hair,  the guys from Kids in the Hall,  C&C Music Factory , or a personal favorite of KeyRose: Don Johnson? There's a week's worth of stories right there.  C'mon ET. Enough with the douchebag Dutchboy!

Which celebrities, past or present, would you like to hear about?

Tweet of the Day

"Mira, after a couple of bean burritos, mi culo sounds just like a vuvuzela, holmes."

.. for more from this vato that may, or may not, be Danny Trejo - check out El_Danny_Trejo.

Done Good For Themselves

We're represented by the wealthy.
Cuellar reported property and assets of nearly $1.8 million, offset by personal loans and a mortgage totaling nearly $600,000.

Mines Rd. Overpass

Earlier today, Texas Department of Transportation hosted a drive-thru ceremony for the Mines Road Overpass project, that will connect Mines Road-Del Mar-IH-35 over the Union Pacific railroad crossing, so that traffic will avoid getting “stuck” on either side of Mines Road by the train. According to City of Laredo District VII Council Member Jose A. Valdez, Jr., who first worked on the project as a council member back in 2000, when the Metropolitan Planning Organization first studied the issue and set aside funding for the project, ”This project should not only positively impact commerce in the area and, but also alleviate traffic congestion for people living and working in the Mines Road area.” Valdez went on to say that he was happy to have played a major part in pushing this project to fruition. He asked that people drive carefully when taking the new flyover.

“It is always a great benefit when traffic mobility is improved throughout Laredo,” Valdez concluded, stating this was one of the major transportation projects between the City of Laredo and TXDoT.

Info. and picture courtesy of Xochitl Mora.

All Muggles Welcome


The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando is now officially open to the public. Many fans of Harry Potter have been waiting for the chance to see the most realistic creation of Hogwarts and then some.

NBC's Today Show held a contest to find the "most extraordinary class" to be chosen to be one of the first visitors to the new attraction. A 1st grade class from San Antonio, Texas and their very enthusiastic teacher were the lucky ones to be chosen by viewers out of four finalists from around the country.

I like Harry Potter, but I am by no means a die-hard fan that knows every last detail. (For that I rely on my Harry Potter Wiki.) I do have some fanatics in my family though. I have a niece that will be going to the Wizarding World in July, and a sister who is planning to take her family later in the year.

Whenever I do go to Orlando, Florida, I'll be sure to add this visit to my list. Click here for more pictures of this week's opening night festivities.
Photo courtesy of OrlandoSentinel.com

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Mayor Promotes Public Transit From His Comfy Office



In an effort to increase bus ridership, El Metro is encouraging the public to get on the bus.  Mayor Salinas and city council is on board with the campaign.  But one rider is not too happy with city hall's lack of participation, and that's when the gloves come off.
It gets you to move around and use your body because when you own a car you do less walking than you should.
Ooooohhhhhhhh.  Was this jab going to go unanswered?  Hell no!  The mayor shoots back.
The first thing they lose is their cars, so they have to depend on an alternate way of travel. 
Translation:  I have a car and you don't, and you're also needy in having to depend on the bus.

Never has an issue like this turned so ugly.  But what should we expect when criticisms are directed at bullying politicians who don't make time to ride the bus?

One person makes a joke about someone's weight and then the other one calls the other poor and all hell breaks loose.
The end result of all this is that it all discourages people from taking part in bus riding.  And the ones that end up suffering most are the lonely, empty bus meters.  Is this what we've come to?  I sure hope it isn't.

Laredo Golf Course

City officials give golf group 2 years


By ZACH LINDSEY
LAREDO MORNING TIMES
Published: Thursday, June 17, 2010 6:05 AM CDT
Foresight Golf has 24 months to develop the Max Mendel Memorial Municipal Golf Course, according to a caveat added to the consulting agreement Tuesday by the city’s Operations Committee.
Each month, the city will provide $7,500 in compensation for the development and maintenance of the course until it opens.

Councilman Landeck wants a timeframe adhered to, while Councilman Mike Garza thinks it's a bad time to invest in a golf course when budget cuts are expected to be made next year.  Both Landeck and Garza are up for re-election this year.

Parking Fail


This person must've gotten the idea from someone else.

Veterans' Museum - Laredo


Earlier today, City of Laredo Mayor Raul G. Salinas and City Manager Carlos Villarreal joined Webb County Judge Danny Valdez for the Veterans’ Museum Contract signing ceremony. All expressed their respect, appreciation and honor to the local veterans who served, as well as their comrades who did not return, with this museum where all will “remember the sacrifice and courage of the true heroes in our community, who have made our freedom and our way of life possible for us all. It is our honor to give them their place of honor, respect and reverence,” said Salinas. Villarreal pointed out the commitment to this project by both the Laredo City Council and Webb County Commissioners Court, who, even in these difficult economic times, set aside monies for this project. Salinas, Valdez and Villarreal sign three copies of the contract, while local veterans look on and smile at this historic day, the first step in making the Veterans’ Museum a reality.

Picture and write-up courtesy of Xochitl Mora

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Never Throw Anything Away

I spotted this canopy at a tire shop the other day I went to have a nail removed from my car's tire.  It looks exactly like the ones that are use in our local parks, except that those have some sort of nylon tarp to provide the shade.

Here the proprietor of the tire shop has used pieces of aluminum siding to act as the cover.  Each sheet is cut to some specification and tied into place with metal wiring.  It might be unsightly but it might prove to be durable.

This canopy proves that not everything should be thrown away.  Stuff can be recycled.

The City of Laredo Parks Dept. should start thinking along these lines to combat the rampant vandalism taking places in the city.  If things continue to be destroyed, then they shouldn't be replaced.  

Meet-Up


City of Laredo Officials Meet With Nuevo Leon Governor


Highlight of discussion is increasing trade opportunities for region

(Laredo, TX – June 16, 2010) Earlier today, City of Laredo Mayor Raul G. Salinas and City Manager Carlos Villarreal, along with Webb County Judge Danny Valdez, Webb County Administrator Leroy Medford and U.S. Customs & Port Director Gene Garza traveled to Anahuac, Nuevo Leon, Mexico for a morning session of discussions and presentations with Nuevo Leon Governor Rodrigo Medina De La Cruz and City of Anahuac Mayor Santos Javier Garza Garcia, all in an effort to increase the trade partnerships between Laredo and Monterrey, as well as Texas and Nuevo Leon.

Laredo Beer Runs

You can get a free ten-pound bag of ice with the purchase of......
(Tales of mysticism complimentary)

And if you overdo it, there's a place you can go to to get a "hang over" drink.

Cops And More Cops

I was surprised when a police officer stopped me for taking pictures of a traffic stop he initiated.  The officer was having a Mercedes SUV impounded and that struck me as odd.  A friend, who shall remain nameless, mocked me for being astonished at the fact that the officer would pull me over.  But I digress. 

Last week I came across another traffic stop in the Heights area where the driver of the vehicle had his hands on the back of his SUV.  I thought something serious was going down so I made my way back to the scene of the stop.  But by the time I got there, the officer was simply questioning the driver.  See video below.



I can understand why police officers would be suspicious of somebody taping them while they work.  I don't like audiences when I'm in a stressful situation at work.  But law enforcement officials have had a bit of a bad streak lately, and today is no different as an officer in Seattle is getting a lot of attention for punching a female who got in the way of a jaywalking citation.

Most traffic stops here are a little more uneventful, but something could happen as it did several years ago.  If I remember correctly, there was the case of a motorcycle cop who had pulled over a lady on McPherson Rd.  The female driver became combative and the officer proceeded to handcuff one of her wrists to her ankle.  And please, feel free to correct me on this as I have a vague memory of the event. 

A caricature of the handcuffed lady appeared in a local paper.  What became of that case, I don't know.  Point is, I wouldn't want things to get out of hand when law enforcement officials have to carry out their duties; And I don't want to interfere with anyone's job.  But they have to know that we're watching.  They, as well as the public, has to be on their best behavior.  If not, somebody with a camera will be there to tape the whole situation, and it will all come back to bite them in the ass.

FYI:  I don't get out much so law enforcement doesn't have to worry about me scouring the streets for more footage. 

Drive Ins On The Border

The former Nuevo Laredo drive-in, Autocine Serenata, is getting some tender loving care just as Mexico is getting ready to celebrate its bicentennial anniversary.  El Manana reports that the grounds are being cleaned and light fixtures have been installed so people can appreciate the historic structure at night as well.
The Autocine Serenata has been abandoned for some years now.  It was at its height of popularity over fifty years ago.  For now, those charged with its restoration do not know if it'll be used as an outdoor cinema again.  Kudos to those who are trying to preserve a piece of history. 

Bloggers on this side of the border have given some thought to a Laredo drive-in that has been long gone for about twenty years now: The Bordertown Drive-In.  Bordertown Blues has a picture of the cinema on its front page and has written about it recently.

William Nericcio of Tex{t}-Mex fame gives us some insight into the drive-in's demise.  The establishment, unfortunately, remains in the memories of those who enjoyed its offerings.

One local theater that has been given a facelift is the Plaza Theater in the downtown area.  But its future, much like that of the Autocine Serenata, remains doubtful.    

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Random

Eddie Macon's Run.  Downtown Laredo.  1983.

Tea Party Candidate

The LMT's Joe Rutland chats with Bryan Underwood, challenger to Henry Cuellar this Fall.  Listen in.

Henry Cuellar's (Dream) Act

Eric Balderas excelled in school in San Antonio, enough so that he was awarded a scholarship to Harvard.  He had already completed one year at the Ivy League institution and was preparing to return to spend the summer doing molecular biology research.  That's when immigration officials stepped in and detained him at the airport in San Antonio.  Eric, as it turns out, was brought to the states from Mexico at the age of 4.  The possibility of him being sent back to Mexico exists.

This is where the DREAM Act comes in.  It was introduced in Congress in 2001 but only recently has gained traction.  It would give students like Eric a chance to apply for temporary residence.  He could continue with his education but would face limitations in his financial aid eligibility.

Activists were going to protest outside Henry Cuellar's San Antonio office tomorrow to urge him to support the DREAM Act.  That is until things changed.
Cuellar, as it turns out, is a co-sponsor, though not yet listed as such, says spokeswoman Ashley Patterson.  He signed on last week.
Better late than never, I guess.  His San Antonio constituents are instead going to gather outside his office to show their appreciation.

Cuellar, according to Patterson, wanted to support complete immigration reform and not a stand-alone bill.  Why he didn't come out in support of it last year (non-election year) is beyond me.  Did he really need the input from his constituency?  After all, he is the son of migrant workers and is a well-educated individual.  You'd think he would jump at the chance to support this from the beginning.  Again, his motivation remains in question. 

Nothing Catches My Eye Today, Except

I'd like to take this opportunity to take a jab at our local visiting village idiot, Jay St. John.  You see, as recently as three weeks ago, the radio personality included a post on his website where he challenges a section of H.R. 3590.  He wants us to believe that federal money will be used to fund abortions.  That, in itself, is wrong; but I want to focus on his supposed writing.

I've included the post below and I've highlighted the parts that are actually his.  Practically the whole write-up belongs to David N. O'Steen Ph.D.  You can find the entire text here.

Abortion STILL IN THE BILL

May 25, 2010
Jay St. John

After researching this bill I find that you pro-lifers have been lied to once again. This bill is riddled with
provisions that predictably will result in federal subsidies for private insurance plans that cover abortion (some
of which will be administered directly by the federal government), direct federal funding of abortion through
Community Health Centers, and pro-abortion federal administrative mandates. The sum of these provisions
makes H.R. 3590 the most abortion-expansive piece of legislation ever to reach the floor of the House of
Representatives. And that’s why you saw NO pro-choice people raising hell!
The bill contains additional pools of directly appropriated funds that are not covered by any limitations
regarding abortion, including $5 billion for a temporary high-risk health insurance pool program (Sec. 1101 on
pages 45-52) and $6 billion in grants and loans for health co-ops (Sec. 1322, pp. 169-180). The Senate bill
(Section 1303, page 2069) contains the objectionable “Nelson-Boxer language,” under which private plans
that cover elective abortion would qualify for the federal subsidy, but every enrollee in such a plan would find
himself or herself subject to a requirement that he or she make a separate payment into a fund used
exclusively for elective abortions – an abortion surcharge. When will the liberal lies stop?

When will the liberal lies stop?  Ironic.

For some reason, Jay seems to have a following, even though he's not suited for his on-air hobby.  He doesn't research the issues fully, and doesn't have one original idea in his body.  But apparently he and his listeners seem to think that he's some modern-day Lawrence Barry.

He might provide a platform for local politicians to answer questions from the public.  But this is lazy on the part of the politicos who show up on his radio program.  Instead of holding actual town hall meetings where they might actually be taken to task, local politicians instead face their constituency from the safe confines of a studio. 

Really, you shouldn't believe anything this man peddles.  Our officials might be severely flawed but Jay is hardly the man to expose their shortcomings.  He's created this fake populist persona for himself, all while inserting his extreme Republican views.  If anyone should be held accountable, it's him.

Do yourself a favor and go read the text to actual bills that become law. 
Pages 45-52 of H.R. 3590 deal with providing health insurance for those people who are considered high-risk.  Where they read abortion in that, I don't know.  Well, Jay didn't exactly read it but that doesn't stop him from posting lies.

Buzz In Brownsville

Brownsville is going to make a cameo in a movie coming out next year.
Mel Gibson has been in the area this week filming scenes for his upcoming action motion picture, "How I Spent My Summer Vacation,"

Rihanna coming to Laredo


Wow! It was announced that R&B recording artist Rihanna is scheduled to perform at the Laredo Energy Arena in July. Some of her other dates were cancelled so Laredo was added to the tour, making us one of the two Texas cities she will be playing (San Antonio).

As much as I like Rihanna's music, when I heard this news I got very excited because the guitarist on her tour is none other than Nuno Bettencourt! I want to go to this show to see him! I caught him and his band Extreme back in the 90's in a couple of concerts, and I would love to see Nuno perform again.

I will have my fingers crossed that all goes well and this show comes to pass.

Monday, June 14, 2010

I'm With LaSanbe

Thankfully none of the people I've interviewed have reacted the way Congressman Bob Etheridge did.

Getting The Word Out

I've often wondered about how to get the word out about my little site here.  At first it was mostly word of mouth.  Then I printed up some tees and handed them to some of my most loyal readers.

Then it dawned on me that I should label my videos with the site's name.  Brilliant!  Next up:  advertising in church bulletins.  That's the ticket.  My site will surely crash with all the traffic I get from elderly churchgoing web browsers.

One tactic I've contemplated is using homemade signs and posting them on light poles or fences at busy intersections.  Some of the ones I've seen have been pretty crude but I have to give props to the makers of the sign for Open2art.com.  It definitely attracts watchful eyes with the neat artistic flare.

So look for a LaSanbe ad -- coming to a light pole near you.  This site won't be the same after that. 

Community Garden


Gateway Rotary Club Plants Seed Money For Community Greening and International Environmental Partnerships


(June 14, 2010 – Laredo, TX) A little green from the Gateway Rotary Club is going to go a long way for Keep Laredo Beautiful; a small donation today will help provide seed money that will help plant gardens, both literally and figuratively, in Laredo and beyond.

At today’s regular Gateway Rotary Club luncheon, scheduled for 12:30 p.m. at Embassy Suites, 110 North Calle Del Norte, the civic-minded organization will be donating a total of $7,400 to Keep Laredo Beautiful for two specific outreach projects.

According to Gateway Rotary Club member and Keep Laredo Beautiful Board President Fred Santos, part of the donation is a $2,000 grant to help establish community gardens in Laredo. “This money will go a long way to help create green spots in Laredo that will help not only help beautify neighborhoods, but also, unite our community so that we are all responsible for helping to keep Laredo beautiful,” he said.

However, the bulk of the donation – $5,400 – will be for training teachers on both sides of the border with a bilingual version of the Waste in Place environmental education curriculum from Keep Texas Beautiful and Keep America Beautiful.

(story courtesy of Xochitl Mora)

Laredo could certainly do more in the area of beautification.  The community garden of today could be the botanical garden of tomorrow.  Having this type of attraction could help promote the Gateway City. 

Monday Mash-Up

I don't have a flag to display on this Flag Day, but whenever I come across one, I'll revere it with a sardonic earnestness.

And staying on the topic of fake patriotism, Jobsanger worries about our intentions now that mineral deposits have been discovered in Afghanistan.
There will now be a brand new surge of patriotism regarding this war.  Of course they'll hide the true reason and say it is for self defense or to save the Afghan people, but now we know it is for the same reason we invaded Iraq -- dollars
We've lost a lot of people over there, and spent way too much money as it is.  This new wrinkle should give us more reason to get the hell out of Afghanistan.

Drones (like those used in Afghanistan) might be flying over Laredo someday. 
The tiniest are small enough to fly through a house window.
I don't know if I want those unmanned planes described that way when we've seen some unfortunate house-meets-projectile incidents.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Breaking Bad Season Finale Tonight


Another season of one of my favorite shows is coming to an end tonight. Breaking Bad will have an extended a limited commercial episode tonight on AMC.
I'll be the first to admit that this show is not for everyone. The subject matter gets pretty intense, and I've been shocked many times by what I've seen. But the writing and direction is top notch, and the acting is incredible. All hail Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul.
Photo courtesy of AMC
Update: Laredo gets another mention on the show. (Paraphrasing) "Where did they cross (into the country). Looks like Laredo..."
They couldn't have said El Paso? Brownsville?

Que Suerte!!!

With the blistering heat that has befallen on our fair little town, I decided to take my son out to one of the local pools. 

First we went to the Three Points Pool but were turned away because it was filled to capacity.

So we went to the Civic Center Pool (pictured) but saw that many people were leaving.  It was only 5:00 p.m.  Before we got to the entrance, somebody told us that somebody took a poop in the water.  Pool closed.  Son-of-a......

Our last chance was the Inner City Pool on Plum St.  Unfortunately it closes at 4:30.  Strike three.

So, thanks Parks and Leisure Dept.  Thanks for slowly diverting us to the sprinkler at home.  Cooling, yes, but not the effect we were hoping for.  

As Promised

This is the rest of my conversation with Gene Belmares.  I brought up some issues that Laredoans have been critical of, namely the El Portal project, and the contract with the Laredo Broncos.  Enjoy and comment.

The News

How can the LMT devote a page to a high school graduate when watermelons are dying on our streets?!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Gene Belmares Starts Campaign For Mayor

With less than five months to go before the mayoral election, Gene Belmares is getting his campaign underway.  I got a chance to talk to him about a couple of issues that are bound to come up in the near future.  Take a look.

Keep Laredo Sleepy

Chat With Henry Cuellar

Yesterday I talked to Congressman Henry Cuellar about several things.  Listen up as he discusses:  the extension of unemployment benefits, war funding, troop withdrawal, and the democrats' chances this November.

Menso, Not Mensa

We revisit a recurring feature here on LaSanbe, Menso, Not Mensa, with the story of one Jose Villegas.  This numbskull paid a visit to his probation officer with all sorts of goodies in "his" truck.  I put the word his in quotations because the VIN number did not match that of the vehicle.

Anyway, as a registered dumbass sex offender, he probably didn't think officials were going to inspect his truck.  But they did.  In it they found tear gas canisters and $2,000 in the glove compartment.  Oh yeah, they noticed that the starter was broken.  Minor detail. 

Villegas had a warrant out for his arrest due to the fact that he failed to appear in court on a drug charge.  That's probably because of some mailing error, I'm sure.
Nevertheless officers arrested him and went on to inspect his place of residence.  There they found ammo and an AK 47.

En que cabeza caben?! 

This guy is probably new to the world of probation.  How else can you explain all the missteps he committed near the Webb County Justice Center while on probation!!!

And now his jail sentence begins, not so much for being a sex offender or a druggie, but for being an idiot.  Congratulations, Jose; You're this month's Menso, Not Mensa.