Sunday, October 31, 2010

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Choice Words

Word is going around that the mayor recently asked for election guides to be removed from city hall.  Gene Belmares and his family appeared on the cover of the publications.  The mayor's fastidious behavior aside, the election guides should not have been placed at that location.

City hall acted as a polling station for early voting.  As such, no campaign materials should've been present within a certain distance.

If the mayor did indeed say that El Manana didn't have the same legal rights because it's a Mexican company, then he's a bigger boob than I thought.  Nobody came out looking good on this one.  


Garcia, Campos lead fundraising

By Nick Georgiou
Laredo Morning Times
Published: Saturday, October 30, 2010 4:35 AM CDT
Of the 12 local school board candidates, Hector “Tito” Garcia and Pat Campos have received the most political contributions, including pledges, according to the campaign finance reporting period ending Oct. 4.

Good for them.  They've got their little war chests nice and full.  But......
Campos, meanwhile, received her biggest contributions from individuals who work for companies contracted, either currently or in the past, by UISD.
I'm a big fan of transparency.  While this kind of monetary transaction might be legal (I'm guessing), it does seem a little inappropriate.  

Here's a campaign ad I'd like to see on t.v.

'My name is Pat Campos and I want to keep UISD moving forward.  You can help me continue my work of bringing integrity and honor to the UISD school board.  A vote for me is a vote for the children.  Oh, and by the way, big companies are going to fund my campaign but I'll reward them later with big ass contracts.  My name is Pat Campos and I approve this message.'

World Series Sing-Along

The San Francisco Giants are in the "city by the bay," so it was nice to see Giants fans sang along to Journey's "Lights" during the last World Series game.

Journey's original singer Steve Perry was in the stands to lead them on. Still working that mullet, Steve was very enthusiastic to be the center of attention at least for a few minutes...perhaps memories of those sold-out stadium performances from years past. (I'll always love his voice!)

Although I'm rooting for the Texas Rangers, this was a nice musical break in the action. And it's not fair the Giants fans get to wear orange and black so close to Halloween.

Game 3 is today!

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Point And Wink

"And the most important thing about a name is to make sure that you never tarnish that name.  That's what I tell the kids when I go to the schools:  always be proud of your name and do everything you can to honor your parents..."

Bring The Sanity

If Father Guido is making an appearance at Jon Stewart's rally tomorrow, then I'm watching.  The lawn can wait.
One on the list is Don Novello, who played Father Guido Sarducci years ago on “Saturday Night Live.” He is expected to offer an opening comic benediction, almost surely intended as a parody of the religious-themed rally headed by Mr. Beck. 
I'm laughing already.

The Teen Beat

Because of my son I'm all too familiar with the Disney Channel crowd.  Most of the current crop of teeny boppers get on my nerves, but Selena Gomez is different.

Some of this might be choreographed but the fact that she's speaking out for something other than rehab bodes well in my book.


He might be nuts but how can I stay mad at him when he reminds me of Mr. Roper?

The Home Stretch

Most people have gone out to cast their votes for local candidates but that doesn't mean that those vying for political office are done facing off in public debates.  The LMT reports that Mike Garza (I) and Rolando Garcia squared off and voiced their concerns with the proposed fifth bridge near District 1. 

It is "important for the future of Laredo," but right now, should not be avidly pursued, he said.

Traffic issues are already a problem in the region and a new bridge now would only increase those woes, Garica said.

Four days left.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Rangers Lose Game Two

I'm trying to convince myself that the Giants' good fortune is a sign of things to come for next week's general election:  the blue staters against the red staters.

I'm kidding myself, I know.


LPD arrests 4 men in debris dumping case

By César G. Rodriguez
Published: Thursday, October 28, 2010 1:42 AM CDT
Four men are behind bars, accused of illegally dumping more than 1,000 pounds of building material debris Tuesday afternoon in south Laredo.

That's not good, especially since we already have a trash problem to contend with.

Here's part of a press release from the City of Laredo where they cleaned up District 1.

“Operation Clean-Up is a really positive campaign for helping to beautify Laredo,” said Ronnie Acosta, Community Development Director. “Residents have cleaned up their community, and we have only had to issue a minimal amount of citations.  We encourage everyone to be a part of this campaign,” she said.

Last month’s Operation Clean-Up District I results:
118 verbal warnings
25 written warnings
16 junked vehicles
8 nuisance
94 small tires
9.99 total tons of debris

For additional information on the clean-up campaign, contact the City of Laredo Community Development Department at 795-2675.

9.99 tons of debris?  You probably have to factor in the 16 junked cars into that estimate.  Nevertheless, as good as the city's efforts are, more has to be done on our parts.  We're awash in trash and illegal dumpers don't help matters.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Laredo Golf Course

(Laredo, TX  Oct 26, 2010)  South Texas, with its mild temperatures in winter and the tropical heat of the summer, coupled with the lure of the outdoor activities found in the area, makes it a sports enthusiasts’ paradise.  Today, the City of Laredo broke ground on the Max A. Mandel Municipal Golf Course, a new Robert Trent Jones II designed golf course, so that paradise is going to start looking a lot like heaven to a lot of golfers in Laredo, throughout Texas, the United States and even, Mexico.

Info. courtesy of the City of Laredo.

With a couple of new attractions suddenly taking the Rio Grande into account, I might enjoy something that I thought I'd never do in Laredo:  kayaking, and golfing.  This might actually be good for Laredo.  But what do others think?    

I Can't Believe

....."Eddie Macon's Run" wasn't selected to represent Texas.


Too much power

Locals worry about city manager, charter changes
By Zach Lindsey
Published: Wednesday, October 27, 2010 3:34 AM CDT
The November election includes 34 proposed changes to the City Charter, and while some of them may seem innocuous and others confusing, some community members worry that amendments give too much power to the city manager.

As it is the city manager is very strong-willed.  Check out this video where the city manager huffs and puffs.

For your convenience I'm providing Proposition No. 11 as it appears on the current ballot.  It pertains to the city manager.
(1) Shall appoint and, when he/she deems it in the best interest of the City, suspend, reassign, remove or terminate any City department directors provided for by or under this Charter, except as otherwise provided by law, this Charter or personnel rules adopted pursuant to this Charter.  Department directors shall have the power to appoint, remove, or suspend all employees in their respective departments pursuant to policy as stated in section 4.01 (B)
It must be nice to be able to wield that kind of power.  However, I don't know that department directors are constantly being replaced.  This proposition is already in the books; it's only being tweaked a bit.  On Proposition No. 11, I would vote no only to dock the city manager for always speaking too close to the microphone at council meetings. 


The Election Process

Illinois is experiencing administrative difficulties.
Errors on applications sent by the Illinois Democratic Coordinated Campaign to wannabe absentee voters could mean that thousands of voters in the state won't receive their ballots before election day.

Here at home I've heard of two instances where people don't get the ballot that corresponds to their district.  Thus, their city council representative is minus two votes.  Be sure you get the ballot that belongs to you. 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


I'll get mine.  No matter the cost.

On This Day

In 1949, President Truman increased the minimum wage from 40 cents to 75 cents.
And on this day, Bryan Ferry released a new album.

Stop Obamacare

The right has its marching orders heading into the general election:  kill "Obamacare."  Unfortunately there's not much else apart from that.  Meanwhile......
Less than halfway through his first term, Obama has compiled a remarkable track record. As president, he has rewritten America's social contract to make health care accessible for all citizens. He has brought 100,000 troops home from war and forged a once-unthinkable consensus around the endgame for the Bush administration's $3 trillion blunder in Iraq. He has secured sweeping financial reforms that elevate the rights of consumers over Wall Street bankers and give regulators powerful new tools to prevent another collapse. And most important of all, he has achieved all of this while moving boldly to ward off another Great Depression and put the country back on a halting path to recovery.

Campaigning In Los Amores

Los Generales Restaurant and Rene delaVina are getting a lot of play.  Seven days left.

The Big Dog Was In The Valley

That's good and all but why was Henry Cuellar there?  He doesn't even represent Brownsville. 

Monday, October 25, 2010

Alexander Band To Compete At State

The Alexander H.S. Band qualified to compete at the state level after performing their marching presentation to a panel of judges in the valley this weekend.  The band will perform at the Alamodome in San Antonio on November 2.  LaSanbe wishes them luck.  (Thanks to MHM for the tip)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Laredo Community Garden

Taking care of the city

Groups tend gardens, remove trash, engage in other efforts to keep Laredo clean

By César G. Rodriguez
Published: Sunday, October 24, 2010 3:15 AM CDT
About 290 environmental enthusiasts spent Saturday morning cleaning up the Slaughter Park walking trail and working on their bed planters.

Unfortunately I wasn't available to take part in this event yesterday.  However, volunteers are needed to take care of the new plantings.  You and I can still help out by calling Keep Laredo Beautiful at 794-1655.  
I took a trip out there today to check out the progress.  Enjoy.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Hide the Children

Sometimes you need production assistants with dirty minds so things like those shown above do not happen.

But, you gotta hand it to them: that is one massive TV dong. The guilty parties come from a TV station in San Angelo, Texas, in case you are curious.

The weatherman really works his magic on the ol' member doesn't he?

Picture of the Weak

LaSanbe stands by its theory. Texas needs to increase pay to coaches, recruit more talented athletes, expand stadium capacity and enhance training facilities. Doing so would better position the Horns to win football games.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Wisdom Nugget

If the sound system guy shows up wearing Wrangler jeans, the music will suck thoroughly.  And really, do tweeters have to be blown out to Shania Twain?


W. has a book coming out soon.
The former president said his greatest failure in office was not passing Social Security reform.


Ahaaaaa!!!!  He is dressed like a banana!!!!  He is trying to tell me something!!!!!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

We WILL Get To Fiesta Texas

We've been looking for other ways to raise money to fund an end-of-the-year trip at my son's school.  Our last fundraising effort really took a lot of work. 

This time we've taken to collecting aluminum cans and plastic bottles.  My son has really been eager to see this through.  These last several days we've gotten on our bikes and headed out to the Slaughter Park and the tennis courts on Market St.  It's amazing the amount of bottles we've found at these sites and along the way.

This is our first batch (approx. 10+ pounds), which we intend to recycle tomorrow after school.  The Chacon neighborhood is a little bit cleaner and hopefully this will pan out for the 4th and 5th grade classes of Daiches Elementary.  If we get a decent return tomorrow, we'll get the whole school involved.  Wish us luck.

UPDATE:  (10-24-10)  We sold the bottles, 15 pounds worth, at a business on Santa Maria Ave., right across from the truck stop. 


More violence

Grenades, shootings, more in Sister City
Laredo Morning Times
Published: Thursday, October 21, 2010 3:39 AM CDT
NUEVO LAREDO — Shootings, “levantones” (kidnappings), roadblocks and grenade explosions unhinged the tranquility in the city early Wednesday.

The army and federal police cleared vehicles blocking areas between Bulevar Colosio, Carretera Nacional, Paseo Colón and Bulevar Ruiz Cortines.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

We Run Too?

Charlie San Miguel is a candidate for city council District 6.  His campaign theme that encourages everyone to run with him is clever.   But did he have to pick jail inmate orange for the color of his shorts?  13 days left.


At least one Detroit local is doing his part to revive his city's urban image.

If downtown Laredo is going to have a chance at rebirth, it's going to need the efforts of the younger generation.  El Meson de San Agustin, and the reception hall right next door have revived culturally popular themes.  Another group has recently staked their claim in the area and I'll be featuring them this weekend. 

This Happened Monday

Council Member Cindy Liendo Espinoza thanked and recognized the co-sponsors of the National Night Out – Target and Border Media – who helped to turn strangers into neighbors and helped the community to learn more about the local law enforcement agencies and City of Laredo departments who offer protection and services to the community. Joining Liendo and her colleagues on council were Margarita Rodriguez and Customs Officer Pat, who won the Mascot Dance-Off contest at the event.

Unusual Sightings

Campaign signs and hefty politicos standing on street corners are not the only things catching our eye these days.  Be on the lookout for strange activity as Halloween approaches.

(reader submission)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

How Cute

And the award for most cheerful goes to...........

Look What I Got In My In-Box

Hello Everyone!

The race for City Council District Six is heating up!  I am proud to say that the support is overwhelming and continues to grow.
I spent the last eight years educating myself so that I can "hit the ground running" and defend our industry.

It is time to focus our energy and encourage people to vote.  Your help to ensure we have a voice on council is very important.  Please reach out, take family and friends and exercise your right.

My campaign is built on volunteers eager to see representation that understands the building industry.  I proudly say that I have committed my time on various boards to assure that our message is on every agenda. 

What endorsements have I received?

Laredo Builders Association
Laredo Association of Realtors
Fraternal Order of Police
Laredo Firefighters
Association Local 1390

I am proud to say that after several interviews the above associations know that I will be a strong leader for our community.

Crunch time is upon us.  It is time to make the call.
I ask for your help, support and vote.

Early Elections Oct. 18-29, 2010
Election Day is November 2, 2010


Orlando "Orli" Navarro
Candidate for City Council District Six.

Please feel free to share this email with friends, family and business associates.

Pro8news Covered Early Voting Yesterday

I tried looking for the footage of their reporter talking to Jose Valdez Sr. at a polling site.  Valdez said he didn't have time to read all the amendments to the city charter on the ballot so he voted no on all of them.

The interwebs fail me again.  Nevertheless, here's some music.


With Or Without You

The Texas gubernatorial debate will go on today.

Monday, October 18, 2010


Say no to cyber bullying and stalking.

Over at fellow blog, Que Fregados, City Council candidate Manuel Arechiga is waging a non stop campaign of harrasment against a fellow blogger, posting on her FB page and generally conducting himself in a less than gentleman-like manner.

Que Fregados has posted on the topic.

You know what they say about guys who pick on ladies. . .

Besides, I heard he was a Communist.

Are You Tired?

I don't think I could ever be tired of enchiladas but Tacolare poses the question in hopes of luring customers away from Danny's Restaurant and their daily enchilada specials (also $3.99).

Danny's lowered the price of their enchiladas when business dropped due to the slow economy.  That was a year ago, if not longer.   

All this talk of food is making me hungry. 

Health Hazard

El Manana reports that individuals who clear debris from construction sites are dumping the leftover materials on properties along Highway 359.  These private locations are not meant for disposal of any items; The only site available is the City of Laredo Landfill.  Webb County authorities are concerned with health risks as it might affect people living in the colonias.

Currently two investigators are in charge of looking into any illegal dumping outside of city limits but officials are asking the public to report any such activity.  Photos or video proof is recommended.  Call (956)523-4044 to report any illegal dumping on private county property.

Que What?!

Early voting started today, and with that, candidates have taken to delivering their message through all media outlets available with a sense of urgency.  This morning, Manuel Arechiga, candidate for city council District 6, appeared on the St. John radio hour to state his platform.  During the interview, Mr. Arechiga recounted the harrassment he had to endure after he made some controversial comments about local officials.  To his dismay law enforcement officials were unable to help even after somebody allegedly 'pointed a gun at him.'

What I found disturbing was the word he used to describe the people who allegedly arrived at his place of work to assail him: "mojaditos."  This coming from an educated man.  I know that he doesn't like to mince words but for him to use such a derogatory term is regrettable.  Here we have a man who is vying for office, vying for a position where diplomacy is warranted, and makes a stupid remark like that.

I really don't know what he stood to gain from his choice of words.  But I guess it all makes sense judging from his past scathing remarks.  The Laredo Times released its endorsements today and Mr. Arechiga was not picked for District 6.  For once I agree with them. 

(I wanted to post the interview with this thread but it's not available yet.)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

16 Days Left

LaSanbe also endorses Bill White.


In between polishing my mink sunglasses and arguing the merits of James Traficant's hair, I checked in with the Laredo Morning Times' interviews of political candidates.  You can see them on YouTube under the LMT News channel.  Their decision  to use a storage room as a studio is somewhat bone-headed but I have to applaud them for making such interviews accessible.  Now I don't have to wait for the public access channel debates; I can meet the candidates at my own pace. 

I would only suggest to them to spruce the place up a bit --  Maybe add some plants.

Anywhosel, I tuned in to the interview of Abraham Rodriguez.  I managed to get past his fidgeting with his campaign fliers and blurting out a popular tagline:  "once a tiger, always a tiger."  (Keyrose's ulcer just acted up)  I think Mr. Rodrigez is a reasonable man and has a decent chance at city council.  That is, if everybody and their mother watches his interview.  Enjoy.


Day of work on river, at TAMIU science center

By César G. Rodriguez
Published: Sunday, October 17, 2010 3:40 AM CDT
Many youngsters and adults got together at the TAMIU Lamar Bruni Vergara Environmental Science Center to spend their Saturday morning cleaning and mulching the Paso del Indio area.

Que Fregados takes notice as well.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Marching Competition

All the local high school marching bands are in Calallen, TX today to present their show to a panel of judges.  We'll update this post later with results of every band's rating.

Campaign Salinas

Salinas leads in money

By Zach Lindsey
(Editor’s note: This is the third and final installment of a series regarding campaign contributions and expenditures for candidates running in the Nov. 2 election.)

Incumbent Mayor Raul Salinas has caught and surpassed in campaign contributions an opponent who began the election season with a flurry of donations.

He's a man of the people, and he's got their money to use for big pictures of himself posted on large trucks.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Jesus Romero For City Council

I received this nifty little mailer in my box yesterday.  I have to say it's pretty good and must've cost a pretty penny to develop and deliver.  I have not met all five candidates for City Council District 3 (El Chacon).  The public access channel will present their debate sometime soon, if they haven't done so already.  There's where I'll get a better idea of what I'm dealing with.  As far as spending.....

Less spent to get elected

By Zach Lindsey
Published: Friday, October 15, 2010 2:13 AM CDT
In an election season that has proved difficult for candidates to collect campaign donations, many City Council candidates are spending less than in previous elections, and, in some cases, less than they expected to spend.

 Being an incumbent has its ups.  Councilman Landeck:
it means "that I do not have to cross the barrier of presenting myself to the voters."

"You know who I am," Landeck said.  "You know how I respond.  I stand for the district, I fight for the district."
That might be true, but we have no way of knowing since you haven't sent out any type of fliers.   
Abraham Rodriguez and Alex Perez are also running for District 3 and have visited recently.

Deer Tick Played Old No. 2 Last Night

In listening to Deer Tick last night, I was reminded of The Jayhawks.  Whether that comparison is valid is up for debate.  In any case, the band put on a good show and the crowd was all too willing to soak up their tunes. 

A shoutout to bLive Promotions for spearheading this event.

Show Must Go On

UISD debate has one candidate

Published: Friday, October 15, 2010 2:13 AM CDT
United ISD Place 3 candidate Millisa S. Garcia had the microphone to herself at a Public Access Channel debate Wednesday her opponent and incumbent Pat Campos did not attend.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Welcome to the NFL

It has been confirmed that Texas' own Colt McCoy will make his official NFL debut this weekend against none other than my beloved Pittsburgh Steelers. Whooweee!! What a way to start rookie!

The Steeler Nation will be welcoming McCoy and the Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field this Sunday. (Maybe now that the game has a Texas angle CBS will work it into the local TV schedule, but I won't be holding my breath!)

The Steelers are understandably favored after a 3-1 start and a bye week. They will also have QB Ben Roethlisberger back from suspension for his first game. But, anything can happen I suppose. Lucky for Colt he will always get to say the words "Pittsburgh Steelers" when he looks back at the beginning of his career. :)

The Debate On 8

The mayoral candidates graced the KGNS studios with their presence tonight.  One issue that was brought up was that of scantily-clad girls working at Laredo beer runs.  The question focused on what the mayor can do to curtail such activity.

Mayor Salinas mentioned working with TABC and doing whatever possible to protect the citizens of Laredo.  Jose Valdez asked whether the law allows such public displays and said that the issue has been visited once by city council.  He added that certain limitations could be put in place.  Gene Belmares brought up the idea of instituting an ordinance.

James Newland and Juan Ramirez gave some more colorful answers to the question.  Mr. Newland questioned people's concern when movies are filled with women wearing very little.  And Mr. Ramirez suggested the ladies wear pants.  Take a look.

South Laredo Library Work Begins

This two-story 20,000 square foot facility will be located at the corner of Palo Blanco and Zapata Highway in South Laredo. The new branch library will feature plenty of comfortable seating throughout the building, areas conducive to reading and learning: a special children’s library, with a cozy story-hour “niche;” a pull down screen for movies; a puppet stage; an arts and craft room; a Teen Café for teenagers; a community room for neighborhood events; a classroom; study rooms; and two state-of-the art computer labs with over 70 computers and wireless Internet throughout the building.

It will be fully ADA accessible with plenty of parking. Services such as ESL classes, GED classes, computer/Internet access and classes; a broader range and larger collection of books and DVDs for check out; children’s story hours; summer reading and arts and crafts programs; homework help; reference materials; free tax assistance; and many more programs will once again be provided to the citizens of South Laredo. Additionally, State Representative Ryan Guillen, who represents a portion of South Laredo, will also have a district office in the new library to better serve his constituents.

The design contract was awarded to Architects Plus, Inc., and the construction contract was awarded to Modern Construction, Inc., both of Laredo, Texas. Construction is to be completed in 265 working days; the first book checked out in mid September 2011.

Info. courtesy of the City of Laredo.

Vowels And Consonants

I didn't know Pat Sajak was such a dick.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Soft Pack At Old No. 2 Laredo, TX

Even on a school night I enjoyed some high-powered indie rock.  The Soft Pack were tight early on in their set.  I only wish I could've stayed till the end.  Props to bLive Promotions for putting this show together.

Can't Wait For Televised Debate Tomorrow

Candidates turn up the heat with their questions

By Zach Lindsey
Published: Wednesday, October 13, 2010 2:09 AM CDT
The Texas A&M International University’s mayoral debate got a little hot for some candidates when they were allowed to ask questions of each other.

A Passing Familiarity

One thing I enjoy when I venture out of Laredo is listening to rock radio.  The music is predictable in most cases; it's the little things that distinguish one station from another.  One feature that set Houston's KLOL apart from the rest was the morning duo of Stevens and Pruett.  They were part of the morning crew that featured a lot of adult content.  If I was in Houston, I would tune in to catch their brand of comedy.

Yesterday Mark Stevens passed away.  He was 76.  It's probably a handful of times that I enjoyed his show back in the 90s but it's something that I associate with Houston to this day.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Cat And Mouse

Police arrest two after raids

By Denise Blaz
Laredo Morning Times
Published: Tuesday, October 12, 2010 1:33 AM CDT
Thousands of dollars were seized by authorities late Friday night from two gambling establishments believed to be doling out money illegally to patrons, police said Monday.

I get the feeling that these places benefit a lot of people.  The patrons get a nice payout; the proprietors make out like bandits; a couple of poor schmos get a public shaming; and the cops seize tens of thousands of dollars.  Everyone's role is justified and each actor lays their head on a nice comfy pillow at the end of the day. 

Gambling establishments use up law enforcement resources and contribute nothing in the realm of quality of life.  Yet the topic is MIA in our local political debates.

A Musical

Historic School to Celebrate Columbus Day TONIGHT With Musical Program

WHO: St. Peter’s Memorial School K-4 and K-5 Students
WHAT: PTO Meeting with singing and dancing presentation
WHEN & TONIGHT, Tues., Oct. 12, 2010 6:00 p.m. (meeting begins at 5:30 p.m.)
WHERE: St. Peter’s Memorial School Cafeteria, 1519 Houston St.,
(use Santa Maria gate entrance)

Info. courtesy of the City of Laredo Xochitl Mora.

Betty Flores Didn't Back Down

Former Laredo Mayor Betty Flores returns to us to say that, as mayor, she never let Laredo be anyone's doormat.  (Story in El Manana here)  She says that all our resources should be directed towards building on the strengths of Laredo as a trade route.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Random Shot

Trailer haul on Saunders one night.


Justifying your decision to dress up as a Nazi with that of Civil War buffs doesn't make it right.

John Lennon's 70th

Today would have been John Lennon's 70th birthday.

It's almost 30 years now after his death, but the mark he left with his music is still very influential to this day.

Here's one of KeyRose's favorites...

Friday, October 8, 2010

What Happened?

A lot of activity is going on at Bridge 2 right now. 


Caught this sign at a gaming place somewhere in south Laredo.  Mario!!!


Several die in NL gunfire

Laredo Morning Times
Published: Friday, October 8, 2010 4:07 AM CDT
NUEVO LAREDO — Several people were killed during a clash between members of the Mexican Army and armed civilians Thursday in front of a middle school on the west side of town, but the exact number of the dead was unknown, according to U.S. intelligence reports.

Kid Kaos

In world news, the cartoon character from the movie "Up" will soon lead the military state of North Korea.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Apparently Gene Belmares is the frontrunner in the race for mayor.


LAREDO – If the Mayoral election were to be held today, the likely winner would be Councilman Gene Belmares, according to a poll recently conducted by South Texas research firm Victory Data.
The poll sample included more than 300 likely voters in Laredo elections and measured the job approval/disapproval ratings of several Mayoral candidates, along with several election scenarios involving matchups between the three leading candidates – Councilman Belmares, Councilman Joe Valdez, Jr., and Mayor Raul Salinas.
In area of job approval, Salinas received a rating of 55%, but 29% said they disapproved of the job he’s done as Mayor.  Councilman Valdez fared less favorably, scoring a job approval rating of 33% compared to a disapproval rating of 34%.  Councilman Belmares received a job approval rating of 65% with only 17% disapproval.
In the first preference measurement of all five candidates, Belmares led with 34% of the vote, Salinas was second at 31%, Valdez third at 6%, Councilman Juan Ramirez fourth with 2% and James Newland fifth with 1% of likely voters responding.  Twenty-eight percent of those polled said they were undecided.
In a runoff scenario, Belmares’s lead over both Salinas and Valdez grew substantially.
Victory Data.  Really?

Candidates For Municipal Court Judge

Today KGNS hosted the debate for the office of Municipal Court Judge.  Candidates answered questions submitted by the public to the t.v. station.  I didn't like the questions the panel chose because most, if not all, targeted whichever candidate was up next.

In the clip provided below, candidates answer to alleged problems with the current judge's handling of the office, and the next question deals with the issue of impartiality on the court.  First up is Mr. Wise; his microphone encountered some technical difficulties.


If I don't recite the Pledge of Allegiance, can I too be sent to jail?

So Much Compost Material, So Little Time

Head Count

Apparently, leaving children behind in buses is not particular to Laredo.
A Spring Branch ISD bus driver has been arrested and charged with endangering a child, accused of leaving a 4-year-old boy on parked bus for five and half hours last month.
The Laredo bus driver who left a student in a bus also was fired and arrested.


In today's El Manana we learn that candidates running for office have made little effort to reach out to people.  With 26 days to go before the general election, some people don't know who all the candidates for mayor are. 

When I was approached by one candidate's campaign staff last weekend, they acknowledged me by name.  Obviously they had a list of registered voters to work with.  I'm surprised that more people haven't come knocking since almost everybody that I've interviewed has told me that they would use the traditional block-walking strategy to get their message out.

And by no means do I want to single out the local candidates for doing a poor job of getting out the vote.  Henry Cuellar, Richard Raymond, and Judith Zaffirini don't fare well too.  They might have the luxury of being able to send out mailers but they don't afford us any face time.  They've gotten too complacent and have taken our votes for granted.

Candidates don't necessarily have to come knocking on my door.  They can go the Raul Salinas route of standing on street corners.  That would at least give me the impression that they're trying to get my vote.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Re-elect Transparent


Customs and Border Protection made a drug bust at the World Trade Bridge.  Props to them but did they have to pose the contraband next to their lunch?

No Town Hall Planned But Plenty Of Photo Ops

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Henry Cuellar, TX-28, will announce funds totaling $2.7 million for Serving Children and Adolescents in Need Inc. awarded by the Health and Human Services Department. S.C.A.N.’s Corazones Street Outreach Program will receive $300,000, the Uno a Uno Mentoring Children of Prisoners Program will receive $600,000 the Listo Para Responder HIV and Substance Abuse Prevention Program, will receive $1.5 million, and the Emergency Youth Shelter will receive $378,000. S.C.A.N. programs provide diverse prevention, intervention, and treatment services for children, adolescents, adults, and families.

Join Congressman Cuellar and partners to learn more about how this project will benefit our community.


Jay St. John has placed a link to his old posts on his website.  Check out this little nugget from April.

Posted in Jay's Posts by Administrator on the April 18th, 2010

We can’t allow 5 top financial monsters to strangulate the economy again….
Jay St. John
April 18, 2010

The SEC finally is charging Goldman Sachs with derivative fraud. Of course they deny any wrong doing. Let’s me just say anytime the SEC makes charges, they usually stick.

What’s a derivative? Warren Buffet called them financial weapons of mass destruction. Investors would bet against the housing market, and other markets by buying inexpensive insurance policies that paid off big. Derivatives are complex, so complex that even many of those dealing with derivatives don’t understand them. Evidently, this is the way the financial monsters dealing with derivatives like it. If derivatives are kept arcane, those in the know can swindle their way to billionaire bonanzas.

Thanks to Texas Republican Phil Gramm who drafted legislation which passed in 2000 named the “The Community Futures Modernization Act” encouraged by President Bill Clinton and Alan Greenspan, allowing financial markets to operate credit default swaps with no federal regulations. This type of financial instrument was outlawed in 1907 which caused the stock market to crash yet the republicans brought it back – go figure.

Who deals with derivatives? A handful of financial monsters control the entire estimated 50 trillion dollar market. The top five banks now hold nearly 96% of the entire derivatives market. It appears that the top 5 financial monsters have been borrowing our money and using it to play in the big derivatives casino, for which these chosen ones know the rules and the rest of us don’t. So, they make their pile of money and we lose ours. They become so rich they don’t know what to do with their money and we lose our jobs, our homes and our businesses.

The derivative market must be strongly regulated and there is a strong bill in the Senate to do just that. The Republicans, under the guidance of Mitch McConnell, has 41 Republicans behind him to fight the bill, which he claims would encourage more bailouts. Of course, this is ridiculous, the purpose of the bill is to prevent bailouts in the future. Could it be that McConnell wants these financial monsters to continue fleecing Americans so these banks can make a mint? Could it be that McConnell thinks this would make the banks so thankful they would continue pouring campaign cash into Republican coffers?

I dislike government regulation, but in this case we must regulate derivatives. At the very least we should not allow any company that handles derivatives to work with other aspects of finance. We should Separate real banking (deposits and loans) from gambling casinos (derivatives). This is going to be the most sweeping set of reforms since those put in place after the Great Depression and I think we’re going to have very broad support for this, after all it’s very hard for anybody to argue the devastation that this greed has caused.

For once I finally agree with President Obama who said he would veto any legislation that does not contain strong derivative regulation. That’s the way to go. We can’t allow these financial monsters to strangulate the economy again.

Now here's the Paul Siegel story where Jay ripped most of his lines from.  I don't know what's more sad:  him plagiarizing or saying that 61 percent of your salary goes to taxes.


Not long ago we had a man who possessed a special kind of bravado guarding our border.  His determination was matched only by his meticulously creased and starched oxford shirts and Wrangler jeans.  Luckily we had a local media that was able to keep up with his star power.

When he was voted out left for greener pastures, I feared that a void would be left where charisma once stood, but boy was I wrong.  As the border continues to face challenges, a new man has picked up the baton of justice and photo ops.  That man is Zapata Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzalez.  Watch him in this Rick Perry commercial where he takes a page from the Rick Flores fashion department and does a superb job of pointing.  Glory be, balance restored.  (See the video here if it doesn't appear below)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Oprah-Dave Rewind

LaSanbe recalls a time when a humble, fashion forward Oprah was on Dave's show waxing eloquent on fine dining and how to not play the race card..

Laredo Politics Or Private Property Violation?

A blog visitor was kind enough to share with us a video that's up on the internets.  It includes footage of an Orlando Navarro campaign sign on a brick wall being painted over.  Kudos to the person who was there to capture the scene. 

Orlando Navarro, who is running for City Council District 6, put up a sign on a wall along McPherson Ave.  As I understand it candidates usually ask the homeowner for permission before putting up signs.  However, I have heard of instances where some install posters at will.  Whatever the case, this action by the painter seems suspicious with a couple of weeks to go before early voting starts. 

A homeowner's association could overrule the practice of painting campaign signs on these barriers, but it would make sense that the homeowner would be aware of any restrictions and therefore refuse the sign.  Again, the specific details behind the sign would probably tell us more and I'll try to find out what exactly is going on here.  For now enjoy the video.

New Music Ahorra

Clinic's new album might not be the thing for psychos, ferbies, screaming babies in Mozart wigs or sun-burnt drifters with soapsud beards, but LaSanbe will still indulge.

28 Days Left

In four weeks we'll know if Mayor Raul Salinas will keep getting a pass on his parking habits.
Some political insiders say Salinas, who is running for re-election on Nov. 2, could fall short of even making an expected runoff. He faces four opponents, including three veterans of the nine-member city council over which he presides, who label him more of a figurehead than a leader.

Monday, October 4, 2010

No Imagination

Courthouse Annex is an eyesore; stores are closing downtown; let's embrace gambling


Published: Sunday, October 3, 2010 2:23 AM CDT

To the editor:

Local TV news reports that Webb County Courthouse Annex has again been vandalized and has become an eyesore.

The Laredo Heritage Foundation wants to preserve its historic value with money that doesn’t exist.

Downtown eyesores are increasing rapidly as stores are closing.

It’s what makes the downtown area look like a rundown flea market.

Our heritage may soon be a ghost town.

We can’t even afford to maintain adequate infrastructure (streets, sidewalks, drainage/sewer systems and water treatment plants, school systems, transit systems).

We can’t afford to live in the past; the future is here now.

If we want to develop Laredo into a “destination” tourist attraction, why not make it into a gambling Mecca like the Mississippi and Louisina prosperous enterprises?

America is moving forward in time, not backward. Prohibition didn’t work 90 years ago; if we don’t learn from the past, we are doomed to repeat it.


Clifford A. Gibeaut

We have to give up the idea of gambling becoming legal in Texas and waterparks opening up in Laredo.  Even if by some miracle Texas would allow gambling, people would still not come to Laredo.  They would drop their money somewhere else, like San Antonio.

Wielded With Precision

The new Lexus commercial has a couple of things I find interesting: drumming and exhilirating action shots. A blog reader pointed out how they actually came up with the concept for the ad. I appreciate the work it took to execute the idea and the drum beat itself, even though it gets lost a bit with the sound and visual of the car racing by. Nevertheless, it rocks.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Easily Swayed

Local attorney Emilio Martinez is running for City Council District 6 and the one thing he wants us to remember from his campaign is "Tax Cut."  He doesn't go the usual route of inserting a nickname into his signs.  No, what gets top billing on his posters are the words 'tax' and 'cut.'  This message is so ridiculous, he might as well should've designed the ad to read 'Emilio "Tax Cut" Martinez.'

Mr. Martinez tries to appeal to people's most common of gripes: the alleged high tax rate.  He is running to represent District 6 which is located in north Laredo.  It's safe to say that that part of town has a hefty property tax price tag.  It stands to reason if the HEB in the area is know as the 'Gucci-bee.'  But his strategy is so humorous in its cynicism.  A three-car pileup has more subtlety.  Most people are concerned about their taxes but he wants his candidacy to have the same effect that the Mami Chulas drive-thru has on men:  we'll catch sight of it; slow down; rubberneck; and give it a second thought.

Seriously, a tax cut?  You have to convince the other seven people on the council to go along with you.  And with the city always facing a budget crunch, who has the time or inclination to pass a tax cut.  Sure they'll say that the city council hasn't raised taxes but that doesn't mean anything when your property is appraised at a higher rate every year.    

I can't say this is the most ridiculous sign I've ever seen.  But Mr. Martinez could've been a little more creative; he's a lawyer for crissakes.
The New Generation Rotary Club is hosting a candidate forum this Tuesday with the candidates for District 6.  We'll see if Mr. Martinez is as predictable as he is superficial.

Mexico loves U2 mucho

U2 's 360˚ Tour, which I was fortunate enough to have caught in October 2009 in Houston, had been on hiatus before starting the second leg of the ongoing tour due to a serious back injury Bono incurred back in May.

With Bono recovered and rehabilitated the band continued the tour in Europe this past August and has even announced new tour dates.

Mexico City's date for May 14, 2011 in Estadio Azteca, which holds 104,000 people, sold out in less than 30 minutes. U2 has now added a second date in Mexico City for May 15th! ¡Arriba!

The second leg of the tour was originally supposed to kick off in Salt Lake City, Utah on June 3, 2010 . They should finally be getting their long-awaited show in 2011, almost a year after the original date!

Here's a look back at U2 in Mexico in 1997 during the PopMart tour:

Picture of the Weak

Picture on left suggests that Jesus has gone bat shit crazy.

God help us all.

Mayor's Race

Mayor Raul Salinas is pulling out all the stops and going big (no pun intended).  He has to, especially since the Laredo Firefighters Association endorsed Jose A. Valdez Jr.  See story in today's LMT.

He had a bus parked along Santa Ursula Ave. yesterday.  I apologize for the picture's lack of clarity, but if you see the bus around town, look for the misspelling.

Luckily for the mayor, he was able to find a nice parking spot:  right across the street from Gene Belmares' headquarters.  LaSanbe will be on the lookout for any more mobile billboards from the other candidates.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

WBCA Board Of Directors

Money Money Money Money Money Money Money Money Money Money Money Money

Losing to OU

Ni modo

The Horns lose.


LPOA picks six in city races

By Zach Lindsey
Published: Saturday, October 2, 2010 1:35 AM CDT
The Laredo Police Officers Association announced its endorsements for the Nov. 2 election Wednesday.

The union supports Jose Valdez Jr. for mayor, Juan Caballero for municipal court judge, Rolando “Roli” Garcia for City Council District 1, Victor Garcia for City Council District 2, Michael Landeck for District 3 and Charlie San Miguel for District 6.

I really don't know that local endorsements carry much weight.  Sure, it sounds great to mention an endorsement in a campaign but my guess is that voters aren't that politically attuned.

New Head

The Chamber of Commerce had their annual awards ceremony yesterday.  The new head of the board of directors was named: Ed Ramirez.  I would point him out but all I see in the picture above is shadows.  He might be the man in the middle but I couldn't be sure.

A.B. Barrera and Francisco Barrientos got the "Un Poquito Mas" award.  I have no idea what that means.

Alex Perez Camp Looks For Support In El Chacon

On this sunny Saturday, campaign workers for Alex Perez Jr. were out encouraging people to vote this November 2 (early voting starts Oct. 18).

Mr. Perez is running for City Council District 3.  His motto is:  "Let's Take Our Neighborhoods Back."  You can contact him at:

Pictured at top are:  Cynthia and Noemi.
Lower picture:  Carol and Carmen.

Charlie Brown turns 60!

Charlie Brown, the main character in the Peanuts comic strip, has been defined as "a lovable loser, a child possessed of endless determination and hope, but who is ultimately dominated by his insecurities and a 'permanent case of bad luck', and is often taken advantage of by his peers."

Awww, some of us love you Charlie Brown. The first time Charlie Brown entered the stratosphere was on October 2, 1950, when Peanuts appeared in 8 newspapers!

Sadly many kids today are not really familiar with the Peanuts gang, but they were a very important part of my childhood. They remain near and dear to my heart to this day. Happy Anniversary Charlie Brown!