Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hide Yo Kids, Hide Yo Wife.. Part II


I thought this was a 15 minute sorta thing (or thang). Turns out it has legs - 4 of them.

No Household Name Yet


People might frown upon my decision to alter my last name for this blog.  But as has happened many a time, my name has been tweaked by total strangers, not just me.  I won't even get into the pronunciation by telemarketers.

Anyway, my son was fortunate enough to be recognized for his scholastic achievement, but not fortunate enough to have his name properly spelled.
Because such travesties are beset upon our good name, I feel it is my right to spell and pronounce my name any way I want to.

So when I pronounce Quiroz 'Key-rose,' you'll know why.  I'm taking ownership of my name and there's nothing you can do about it.  As a matter of fact, from now on, Keyrose will be pronounced key-ruse.

That is all.  

A Big Coincidence

Judge's brother-in-law's case kept getting postponed
By JULIE DAFFERN
LAREDO MORNING TIMES
Published: Tuesday, November 30, 2010 1:45 AM CST
A local businessman and Laredo City Council candidate’s delinquent tax case was delayed for two years in the district court where his brother-in-law presides.
49th District Court Judge Joe Lopez said he didn’t realize that his brother-in law, Alejandro Perez Jr., had a case in his court until three months ago.

I don't know what irks me more:  a candidate that doesn't show up for debates or a judge that pleads ignorance. 

This election season didn't bring us much in terms of controversy.  Oh sure, we had Mayor Salinas being criticized for his response to the flooding in Los Martinez Dr. We had Gene Belmares being accused of using his influence to control traffic around San Agustin Plaza.  We had Gene Belmares being accused of spending money too hastily in developing his crown jewel, North Central Park.  We had Gene Belmares get defensive when questioned about his education background and El Portal.  But all that didn't rise to the level of corruption; all we found out is that we have some poor choices for mayor.

However, here we have a new development that reeks of favoritism.  We have a city council candidate that has fallen behind on rental property taxes.  Not earth-shattering news since this is something that happens all the time.  What is interesting is that this goes back a couple of years and the person responsible for overseeing the case is related to him.
A petition was originally filed by the City of Laredo on July 30, 2008.
Eventually it was set to be settled in court.
The case was set for trial several times in 2009, according to court documents, but wasn't called.

Enter a different judge.
The case wasn't heard until Sept. 9, 2009, when Judge Elma Teresa Salinas Ender sat in for Lopez.
A motion was filed by the plaintiffs to set a new trial date.  From that time to the present, the Perezes paid their overdue taxes.  Their final payment was just received by one of the local taxing entities recently.
It's not what one would call flattering news for somebody who is running for office. 

Judge Lopez helps to explain his side of the story by saying that he couldn't have known about this case, and his relation to it, since hundreds of cases are filed on a regular basis.  And he sets cases aside sometimes without knowing who, or what, it involves; he's just signing papers at will.  Reassuring.

This might not mean a whole lot in the end but it is way too convenient how everything came to be resolved.

From The Creator of CSI

CBS might offer us a new drama series based 150 miles north of us.
It focuses on a group of lawmen who enact cowboy-style justice in modern times on criminals in San Antonio.


Oh gawd, they're bringing back McCloud!

Casting for the show is still in the works.  I'd like to suggest someone who I think would fit right in.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Classy Stuff


Local small businesses have to make do with what they have.  And they have to offer what the people want.  I'm just not sure why some offer such a diverse list of things.

The Masses

A friend from out of town was here for the Thanksgiving holiday and he happened to stumble into one of Laredo's popular retail stores.  He was actually accompanying a relative who was looking to buy a single item after all the frantic Black Friday activity had subsided.

He was amazed at the disarray found within the aisles of the store:  Carts with merchandise were left behind (pictured) making it difficult for one to navigate through some sections of this well-known outlet.  While the amount of merchandise blocking the passageway was significant, I wasn't all that surprised, even after taking into account the amount of shoppers that must've gone out to make purchases this weekend.

I went on to explain to my amigo that this was a regular occurrence throughout the city.  If it wasn't merchandise abandoned in a toy store aisle, it was clothes thrown randomly about a t clothing retailer, or foodstuffs finding their way into every nook and cranny of a grocery store.  People just don't put things back the way they found them.  It's a lack of respect that carries over into open public spaces, such as roadways, parks and neighborhoods, where we see litter of all types flowing freely.

A.B. Barrera wrote another column in today's Laredo Times Business Journal entitled, "While Laredo Gains Consumer confidence, Customer Service Still Lacks."  Mr. Barrera has been tackling the subject of customer service and the effect it has on Laredo's image and economy.  I am, without a doubt, on board with Mr. Barrera's effort of promoting better customer service.  But what price are we paying if it's all being sabotaged by the actions of unruly store patrons?

While I totally agree that the shopping experience needs to be refined, something also has to give in the way of customer etiquette.  The impression we seek to convey depends largely on those serving our consumer needs.  But if we, as customers, run roughshod through our public spaces, then all the improvement efforts will be undone by those who live simply to act as if they're marking their territory. 

For those who visit Laredo, please excuse the mess.  We'll try to do something about it.

Good (Monday) Morning

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Post Turkey Day Gyms


In case you wanted to shed those Turkey Day pounds, there are places that offer you discount gym memberships.

Check em out.

Old School Laredo Pics


For you to check out.

Steelers-Bills Thread


The mighty Pittsburgh Steelers take on the hapless Buffalo Bills today. Enjoy.

Christmas is Already Here



Every year people complain about Christmas arriving earlier and earlier. I am not one of those folks.

But La Sanbe does have the moral responsibility to inform everyone that you need to be ready for the onslaught of people ringing bells, folks dressed in Santa's hats, and other assortment of Christmas era decor. Nevermind that it is only late November. You gotta do what you gotta do.

Flores is Back to Comment on Laredo Politics!


Ex Mayor, Betty Flores, was back in the news today. The Laredo Times, who used to praise Laredo's ex-alcalde to no end, gave her one more platform: weighing in on the current political races.

Flores, who was known affectionately as "The Joker" while she was in office for having a wide, forced smile at every photo op, points out that Laredo needs to maintain strong ties to Nuevo Laredo to ensure growth. Or something like that.

Even though she has not visited Nuevo Laredo since 2009 for "safety reasons" Flores believes that Laredo's next leaders need to keep focus on the intertwined futures of the two cities.

“I think the next four years are going to be very critical for Laredo and Nuevo Laredo. We need someone who will put their foot down and take a stand,” the Joker contends.

There are too many political rules to mention here. Namely suggesting that Laredo needs a strong leader implies that she meant like her. Also, where was all this philanthropy and good will towards the sister city when she was in office four years ago?

Perhaps she is looking out for some extended family members that might have property/wealth tied into the sister city.

Few recall, but Flores's extended family made out pretty well when she was in office. The Laredo Entertainment Center (now LEG) and its outlying areas, which Flores championed relentlessly was built on a kinsman's property.

But, what really got on peoples' nerves the most about Flores was her disastrous appearance on CNN's Lou Dobbs show. It was there with a hate mongerer, that Flores revealed her Ostrich in the sand routine, disavowing that violence was bad in Nuevo Laredo and maintaining a facade of harmony in the Gateway City. She infuriated families of kidnapped/murdered citizens by stating that those individuals were probably involved in the drug trade, thus, implying that they deserved what they got.

Ah, for the out of sight out of mind mantra to be followed.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Holding A Race

If you organize a race, always remember to have more restroom facilities for men than for women. It's an inequality thing. I can't go into it right now.


If a line forms at the female portapotty, don't attempt to rectify the situation. It's their fault they loaded up on fluids before the race. Women!

Maintain order at the event. Have security keep a watchful eye on all participants. Law enforcement has to always be vigilant.

Competitors must wear appropriate clothing for the race. If garments are too distracting for the event, by all means, feel free to disqualify anybody. We can't have any nuts doing as they please. After all, Guajolote is Latin for serious business.

You want to put on an organized event. Make sure you make plans for anything going awry. I can't stress the importance of Plan B.

Details are everything. You want to run a tight ship to make an impression on people.

You can't leave anything to chance. Make sure people are where they're supposed to be. Set boundaries.


Take control of the situation. You can't let confusion overwhelm things. This should be a top notch event. Approach it like a winner!

One More Election Before The Year Is Up

Candidates are out on the move trying to gain support.

Picture below is of Madeline Lopez-Escoto's bus.  


And Alex Perez tailgating at the Slaughter Park.  Beautiful day for it.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Leftover Pumpkin Pie Thread


Camping out for a couple of days at a big box store must be worth something.  I just don't know what it is.

Dr. Ike's probably has some great deals today.  Yet it's the big name stores that get all the attention.  Sigh.



The Black Eyed Peas are going to be the Superbowl halftime entertainment.  Somebody out there must be happy about that.

It was tough seeing the Cowboys give up their lead late in the game yesterday.  I was hoping for a shot of good news for a team that has been trying to salvage its season after a horrendous start.  They came close to pulling out a win in the closing seconds.  Still I have to lay it all on Roy Williams' fumble.  Aver guey, donde 'sta el Hook 'Em Horns sign?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Will try to update this thread as the day goes by.

UPDATE:  It's a Thanksgiving miracle!

UPDATE:  This flier was being distributed at the Guajolote 10K this morning.  It was on my windshield.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Justice

The turkey is going to taste so much better tomorrow.

Las Vistas

San Antonio wants to gets its act together to get more movies filmed in their fair city.  It's been a while since a movie production team has visited. 

For Laredo, it's been even longer.  1983 to be exact.  Whether we'll ever be featured in a motion picture again is anyone's guess. 



That's the old Martin High School Library in that scene.

The Day Before

These are the three big headlines in the LMT today:  "Poll: Drug War's Failed;" "Cops Get $700K;" "LPD Wants Help In Deaths."

It's the uplifting Thanksgiving Eve edition.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Cars

Growing up I dropped a lot of change on wrestling magazines and the occasional Truckin'.  You wouldn't know that today by looking at my ride.  If my car said anything about me it would scream PTA president.

Tricked out cars and trucks do catch my eye but it's easy to go overboard.  If I had my choice, I would go with an El Camino with smooth lines and classic colors.  Power would be nice but not required.  The point is to get from one point of La Sanbe to another.

Overcast Tuesday Thread

The mall is going to open at 6 a.m. Friday morning.  That means I'll be able to get my peanut brittle early and avoid the hordes of spaced-out Laredoans.

There are two things that really fire me up:  censuses and passionate redistricting debate.

Like so many others, I agree with what Digby has to say:
But after 9/11, why would they use this method if they were already in the US? There are literally thousands of places where a suicide bomber could cause widespread panic here without having to go anywhere near an airport. There would be no need to smuggle anything in your underwear or your shoes --- any determined person could find enough explosives in this country to make a bomb without having to go through even one "lovepat" to get it. 
Here's more video from last night's CNN story on one of Laredo's own.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Notorious Figure From Laredo

CNN ran this story tonight.

Oh The Bitterness

Tom Wade used to be Jay St. John's sidekick, eagerly echoing the local radio celebrity's demented reasoning.  When Jay left Laredo to take care of his ailing mother full-time, Tom took on the pontificating duties all on his own.  He stayed on at 1590 AM for a week and then it seemed like the show went off the air.  Thanks to Maximiliano at LaredoTejas I found out that Tom is doing his thing on 1090 AM (same radio outfit, different frequency).

This morning, Tom shared with us his disappointment with Ray LaHood's stance on driving and using a cell phone.  The U.S. Transportation Secretary sees cell phone use while driving as a distraction which leads to accidents on the road.  But Tom is unconvinced, citing non-existent statistics.
Where are the wrecks.  I just don't see 'em out there.  Where's all the accidents?
Perhaps he should look here.  Or here.

Tom brings up the counter argument of 'It's worth it if it saves one life,' but uses that same rationale in trying to discredit LaHood's proposal.  His idea for a safer driving public?
You're only going to go 25 miles an hour.
Tom thinks that we would never agree to a lower speed limit even if the benefit was worthwhile.  With that conclusion he thinks that the cell phone plan becomes moot.  However he misses the point of the secretary's proposal by shoring up his ridiculous analogy.  Speed limits and distracted driving cannot be argued in the same way.

According to Tom, "inherent risk" exists.  He wants us to believe that all bets are off once we decide to get behind the wheel of a car.  But driving and using a cell phone are two things that should not go together, and I know that because a driving test doesn't include the driver dialing up a friend while on the course.

There are some risks associated with driving.  Minimizing some that are within our control should be taken seriously.  I wouldn't expect that from a reactionary radio employee.  It's definitely above his pay grade.

Listen to the rant below.

       

                       
   
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Teen Spirit


It's refreshing to know that the younger generation isn't all about seeing Justin Beiber winning big at the American Music Awards.  They have more meaningful ambitions, like entering writing contests to get a chance to go to CambodiaCambodia!

Kudos to them.  They make Laredo proud.  For that I send this song their way.

Holiday Week Thread

District 3 city council candidate, Alejandro Perez Jr., didn't show up for the Public Access Channel debate.  He's obviously trying to capitalize on the no-show strategy that's been utilized by Frank Sciaraffa and Rick Perry.  We'll know in 19 days if his gamble pays off.

Hey, if John Boehner wants to cry over policy debates, who am I do deny or denigrate him?  Grown men also cry.  Grown..men (pause) also...cry.

LMT Business Columnist, A.B. Barrera, on Laredo's negative portrayal by the media:
We must take every proactive approach to change it and generate that message across all media outlets:  billboards, newspapers, magazines, television, radio, internet-based social media and film - consistently and accurately.

Visit Laredo. It's not St. Louis!  There, I did my part.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Casual Friday


When you're a part of the school board, uniformity in attire isn't necessarily called for.  This collection of higher ups aren't the best example of being fashion forward but I guess it's better than wearing a Dallas Cowboys jersey to church.

Quote (and actions) of the Weak

"He never said to me he was OK and wanted to go back in, and I was told he was a little upset after, and I was also told he threw half his uniform in the stands."
- Jeff Fisher, 11/21/2010

Where to start.. Looks like Texas legend Vince Young has been demoted from his starter role in an apparent meltdown today. A bad day at the office resulted in a Young thumb injury, a screaming match with his boss, leaving the workplace early and then throwing the company uniform at paying customers. We'll see where this goes. Not looking good for VY..

Sighting


The barrio blogger has struck again with another original submission.  Word of caution:  "Don't wear fur."

This Guy

Police say man ID'd self as officer


By C├ęsar G. Rodriguez
LAREDO MORNING TIMES
Published: Sunday, November 21, 2010 4:37 AM CST
Police say a man altered an officer’s business card and told people he met early Saturday at Cheers Cocktail Lounge that he was a peace officer.

The fuzz arrested a 22-year-old individual who was "showing off" his fake credentials.  He must've been such a jerk for people to call the cops at 1:16 in the morning.  The funny thing is that this genius obtained a police officer's business card and pasted a picture of himself to it.

I think the official charge was 'being a dumbass.'


My question is why did he go through the trouble of laminating a business card with his picture on it?  He was probably in there talking shit and at the first sign of trouble would whip out his I.D. to avoid anyone knocking his lights out. 


You see, this is why I stay home.

       

                       
   
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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Cringe-Worthy

Watching the local KGNS newscast can be a trip.  It's often that you find misspelled words, audio that doesn't match the video, names that don't belong to the person who's being interviewed, etc, etc.  But my favorite feature has to be when lead anchor Tim Gutierrez emphasizes Spanish words. 

Tim takes every precaution to make sure that all the Rs are rolled to the max and stretches out the text for added effect.  It makes me wonder if the teleprompter text is actually italicized.

Last night in talking about a play taking place at the Center for the Arts, he not only emphasizes the name of the production but exaggerates it as well.  The speech is so over the top that it sounds like it was overdubbed.  Take a look, and listen, at his pronunciation of "La Mala Onda de Johnny Rivera."  It's bound to rock your Chicano socks off.



Sobres!

Newsflash: Pope Says Condoms OK (maybe)


In a dramatic reversal of backwards-looking tradition, the following article has the Pope saying condoms may be OK in some cases.
Will this increase condom sales or Church attendance?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday Night Thread


Listen.

       

                       
   
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Congrats!

Santos' contract good till 2012

By Nick Georgiou
Laredo Morning Times
Published: Friday, November 19, 2010 5:52 AM CST
UISD trustees on Thursday extended Superintendent Roberto “Bobby” Santos’ contract and gave him about a $4,000 raise, from $194,000 to approximately $198,000 a year.

Wow!  That's breakfast-tacos-for-the-whole-office kinda money.  Good for Mr. Santos.  Unfortunately the district's funds are tied up to the extent that they can't provide the superintendent with his own tab on UISD's website.  Alas "Bobby" won't have an outlet to brag about his new raise.

Have a good weekend everybody.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

New Forums

The City of Laredo Public Access Channel and TAMIU hosted forums for those heading into the runoff election.  The forums will be available on the city's website or you can catch them on Channel 3 at different times.  See schedule below.

Mayoral:
Friday, November 26, 2010 7:00 P.M.
Saturday, November 27, 2010 9:30 P.M.
Monday, November 29, 2010 8:30 P.M.

Municipal Court Judge:
Friday, November 26, 2010 7:30 P.M.
Saturday, November 27, 2010 9:00 P.M.
Monday, November 29, 2010 8:00 P.M.

District III:
Friday, November 26, 2010 8:00 P.M.
Saturday, November 27, 2010 8:30 P.M.
Monday, November 29, 2010 7:30 P.M.

District VI:
Friday, November 26, 2010 8:30 P.M.
Saturday, November 27, 2010 8:00 P.M.
Monday, November 29, 2010 7:00 P.M.

Steak Plate Sale Sunday

Everything is gone

Family helps after fire
By LORRAINE L. RODRIGUEZ
Laredo Morning Times
Published: Thursday, November 18, 2010 2:48 AM CST
At the end of the day, many Laredoans walk through their front door and relax in comfort of familiar surroundings.
Maricela Ramon can’t. Three weeks ago, a fire destroyed the house she’d lived in for 45 years.



Anyone interested in helping the family should call Maricela Ramon at 220-4930 or her daughter Linda Ramon at 285-1829.

An account has been opened in Maricela Ramon’s name at International Bank of Commerce. Donations can be made at account number 2112146556.
The steak plate sale will be Sunday at LIFE Downs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tickets are $5.
The roping event will begin at noon, and bingo will go from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
The donation for bingo is $20.

Trends

Recently I noticed my son doing his homework and his assignment contained no cursive writing.  I asked him whether or not it was required nowadays and he said no.  The only thing, I guess, he would have to write in cursive now would be his signature.  For everything else he'll have gadgets to help him along.

Ah, cursive writing, how I miss thee.
But years ago, when we wanted to look professional, we wrote in cursive. And when we forgot how to write a lower case "f," we just scribbled a print "f" and connected it to the next letter, praying nobody noticed. It was a way of life.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

We're The Trash Guys

A local company that specializes in clearing properties of overgrown trees or other foliage has taken to advertising on t.v.  Simple enough, right?  Well, it would be if it wasn't for some awkward word placement.

The name of the company is "Sky High."  Not the best name for a tree service provider but it could be worse.  The point that comes into question, and that which makes this a blog-worthy post, is the fact that they spell out their phone number suffix.  You see, the last four numbers of their telephone number spells out R-E-N-T.  So you have the words SKY HIGH appear right over the word RENT.  That might be unintentional but I could see how it might drive some people away. 

Imagine you're watching t.v. and this ad comes on.  You see the overt subliminal message (is that possible?) and it gives you a jolt as you think of your bills and taxes.  Suddenly you want to forget the spot.  And the guys at Sky High are left wondering why nobody has called.

We don't need a local service provider telling us the rent is sky high.  We have doomed gubernatorial candidates for that.  We here at LaSanbe would like to file the ad under unfortunate.  We hope the people have better luck with their venture than they had with their commercial.

Monetary Opportunities


Our frequent-flyer-mile congressman, Henry Cuellar, likes to get out and meet his constituents.  If offers him the chance to prove to everybody that he's working for the needs of the district.  For him it's face time with his peeps.  To us it's an opportunistic earmark announcement. 

Photo ops aside, republicans are looking to tightening Congress' belt by banning earmarks.  Senators K.B. Hutchison and J. Cornyn couldn't be any happier to abide with their party's wishes.  But as the Texas Tribune reports, Texas does not lead in the area of monetary awards.
compared to some of the states in the United States, such as Hawaii, North Dakota, West Virginia, Vermont, Texas is way, way down the list in terms of the amount of money per capita that is it actually receiving and having funneled to it the earmarking process." 
Texas lawmakers have to go along (as most republicans do) with this little charade to give us the impression that they are fiscal conservatives.  They want to rein in deficit spending and balance the budget.  But their efforts really wouldn't amount to much since earmarks don't take up a lot of the actual budget.
slightly more than three-tenths of 1 percent of federal spendingslightly more than three-tenths of 1 percent of federal spending
A lot of this is mostly for show, a lot like what Cuellar does with his pressers.  Banning earmarks sounds nice to party loyalists but it's a drop in the bucket to, say, making cuts in defense or ending our involvement in the Middle East.

Banning earmarks might not make a whole lot of difference either way.  If they're are done away with, I don't know that people are going to lose sleep over them.  But repubs would use the opportunity to pat themselves on the back once again and smugly pose for more photos.

Andrew Beale Ventures Into Nuevo Laredo

Life can seem very normal in our sister city.
I passed a movie theater about a mile from the bridge. They were showing that stupid Robert Downey Jr./Zach Galifianakis movie, and as I said, I didn’t have anything to do, so I waited around for the movie to start.
Pretty normal until......

The Culture Of Drums And Dance

Bordertown Blues talks up the significance of matachines and their correlation to their surroundings.  He cites the writings of Professor Norma Elia Cantu.
In particular, she highlights the rituals inherent in how barrio residents carved out a specific area of land to hold their traditional dances.
I've recently heard the Heights neighborhood matachin group practicing.  Their drum sounds carries well over into the Chacon.  These devoted individuals can't be missed.  As I show in the video below, they have formed a tight relationship with the locals.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

What?

The mayor wants to help LISD and UISD but I don't know what exactly he wants to do.

Los Pantalones De Andy Harris

What upsets me about this man is not that he's a republican.  It's not that he spoke out against health care reform.  It's not that he has the balls to question the grace period for getting taxpayer funded health coverage as a newly elected congressman.  It's not his arrogant sense of entitlement.  What gets me is that this jackass is so out of touch with reality that he doesn't even know that regular working people have to wait up to three months before they start receiving health benefits from their employer.

Brady. Hair.

Let me start off by saying that I'm not composing this thread simply because of my hatred for all things Patriots and the humiliating loss awarded to the Steelers this Sunday courtesy of the New England ballers.  No, I'm venting here because I take issue with Tom Brady's hair, as do plenty other people.

I don't like to criticize anybody for their looks or choice of dress.  I once wore Winos with clearance rack slacks; I'm not judging anyone.  But Brady's look reminds me of one of my favorite product pitchmen, the Geico caveman.

Normally I wouldn't care since Brady doesn't rule my world but if the Patriots make it into the playoffs, and it looks very likely that they will, I'm going to have to see his matted-hair picture every time they put up his stats.  And then I'll be reminded of the caveman and that won't be good. 

Freedom

Dovalina prison sentence finished

By Denise Blaz
Laredo Morning Times
Published: Tuesday, November 16, 2010 5:18 AM CST
After spending half a month at a halfway house in Laredo, a former Laredo police chief convicted of accepting bribes as a part of a maquinitas corruption scandal will be released today after serving a 36-month federal prison sentence.

It was nearly three years ago that we here at LaSanbe selected Chief Dovalina as Person of the Year for his involvement in the 8-liner scandal.  In the time that he's been away, countless busts have taken place to crack down on those who continue to promote gambling.  City hall, however, has done nothing to bring about real change for the city. 

Today Mr. Dovalina will be a free man.  He has done his time.  But just as he was getting ready to complete his sentence, two others were being introduced to the penal system.  KGNS reports on the actions of two young men:



The number of 8-liner stings will never catch up to the number of drug busts, prostitution round-ups or thefts, but the money will continue to flow as long as there is someone that succumbs to greed.     

Monday, November 15, 2010

Manners

A reader tipped me off to a tense exchange between one Gene Belmares and Sergio Garcia on Facebook.  Take a look.


Belmares toots his own horn for turning some vacant land into park space.  While commendable, I don't like his tone.  He questions why those who came before him didn't accomplish what he has.  Apparently his "leadership, vision and action" are responsible for the Andrew Circle park.  That's great.  It only took him seven years in office to complete. 

Mr. Garcia tries to shift attention to who is really responsible for the park:  the taxpayers.  Belmares shoots back by patting himself on the back and giving Mr. Garcia a condescending exclamation (point).  And the fun continues.



When Mr. Garcia questions Gene about his educational background (as many have in the past), the councilman gets all snooty and starts up with the name-dropping.  I love the way he compares himself to Bill Gates (I capitalized, he didn't) and Michael Dell.  It reminds me of the time when someone at the LMT was comparing their paper to that of the NY Times.  But that's neither here nor there.

If I've learned something from this exchange it's that Gene doesn't handle criticism very well.  He wants us to believe that he's the best choice for mayor but comes out acting like an impulsive adolescent on the Faceplace. 

Raul Salinas didn't fare any better when he had to face an angry constituency.  Now I know why these jokers don't hold town hall meetings.  They either fold like a cheap suit or get up all in your face if given the chance. 

What's With The Volume?


Photo courtesy of City of Laredo bridge cam.

My better half mentioned that a local sporting goods store was teeming with customers yesterday afternoon.  I couldn't offer up an explanation but told her that my visit to K-Mart the night before was met with a lengthy wait at the check-out line due to brisk business.  I owed the experience to regular weekend shopping in the Gateway City. 

In talking to "El Reportero Urbano" a while ago, he said that Mexican nationals have some time off due to the upcoming Dia de la Revolucion (November 20).  That explains it!

LaSanbe recommends that you watch the traffic out there and make plans for the increased congestion.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Funk a Dunk

It's week 11 and there are no notable Texas college football related blog posts to speak of beyond a really good TCU team. At the same time, the current #1 team in the country, the Oregon Ducks, includes the talents of Texas exports RB LaMichael James and QB Darron Thomas. LaSanbe wonders why and how two overlooked Texas exports could wind up in Oregon..

Decision Points

Even in writing his memoir he's a major fuckup.
major chunks of the book comes almost word for word from third party reports that have already been published.

A Cornucopia That We All Recognize

LISD board gains two members

By Nick Georgiou
Laredo Morning Times
Published: Friday, November 12, 2010 2:35 AM CST
deA smiling John Amaya took his seat on the Laredo Independent School District Board of Trustees on Thursday afternoon after being sworn into office by Justice of the Peace Hector Liendo,

TSTA member Ernest Davila was at the meeting to welcome the new trustees to the LISD board.  New board member Hector Garcia had to be somewhere else.


Family Planning

Pro8news featured a story on the proposal to offer birth control to women through the democrats' health care reform bill.  Of course, KGNS had to find people to comment and offer opposing views.  They succeeded and they got a little more:  two individuals with extreme views who miss the point of what this legislation really means for people.
"There's a lot of women that get Medicaid and all of this stuff and I don't think that's right,” said Rachel Sanchez of Freer, Texas.
The other lady that commented for the story stated that such help would be "used irresponsibly."  Her concern seems to stem from a religious point of view since she goes on to question the value that people put on a human life.

Ms. Sanchez is pretty blunt in her suggestion but both individuals are basically penalizing women for being poor. 

Via the Express News:
“To prevent pregnancy is not to prevent a disease — indeed, contraception and sterilization pose their own unique and serious health risks to the patient,” the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops wrote in letter to the Department of Health and Human Services in October.
Pregancy is not a disease, but a woman's health is certainly affected by pregnancy.  I understand that those who are driven by a religious faith are going to come out against this but how does that fit in to the local culture?  Think of your friends and family who go to church but aren't exactly a mirror image of the Duggar family.  My point is that birth control is more accepted in our culture; it's not in keeping with what religious tenets dictate.  But I digress.
 
The legislation, authored by Senator Barbara Mikulski, looks to give women of lesser means the option of reproductive freedom generally afforded by most.  It's preventative care that enables a woman to have more control over her life.  Because some have more trouble in making ends meet doesn't mean that they don't deserve the same rights as others.  The scorn will come from opposing sides.  What's missing from the debate is the true value of a woman's health and the cost associated with it.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

NFL Hits


Hello out there. Piper Maru checking in to LaSanbe.

My favorite NFL player Troy Polamalu of the Pittsburgh Steelers recently voiced his opinion on the recent fines for violating a new rule concerning "violent helmet-to-helmet hits." He called out the NFL Commish Roger Goodell saying he had too much power when it came to deciding who to fine and how much the fine should be.

Coming to the defense of fellow Steeler James Harrison, who has been fined the most so far for these types of hits, Polamalu believes the fines imposed on Harrison are not justified.

We will have to wait and see how far these penalties go as the season rolls on. And will Troy be next?
Go Steelers!

Will They Or Won't They?

I'm encouraged by those who are seriously looking at the Bush administration's role in advocating torture.
"George W Bush has confessed to ordering waterboarding, which in the view of almost all experts clearly passes the severe pain threshold in the definition of torture in international law," Robertson said. "[H]e is an ex-head of state so he is not entitled to immunity from arrest and trial."
While I don't think that Bush and his cronies would ever be prosecuted for war crimes, having this little dark cloud hanging over his head will hopefully dispel any myth that he was an honorable and courageous president.

He tells himself that history will decide what effect he had in the world during his eight-year reign.  Unfortunately there's too much proof of him acting less than wisely. 

Power Window Problem

Our used car's window system is acting up.  The driver side window stopped halfway through.  We tried this little trick (video below) and it worked.  Go figure.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Drama

In this scene from "Eddie Macon's Run," Eddie is disappointed that he has to put off buying his boat because he has to use the money to pay for his son's medical care.  It takes place on the Mercy Hospital grounds.  Heights in the house!



You're welcome.

Music

Gerry Rafferty's health has recently taken a turn for the worse. 

I'm a big fan of most one-hit wonders.  Although he can be traced back to three popular songs, his biggest smash was "Baker Street."  Whether people even remember the song or the artist is not much concern to me at this moment.  I just want to send a shoutout to a person who reminds me of a simpler time -- a time when AM radio was relevent; a time of mousse-less hair; and Starsky and Hutch.

Chemicals

El Manana reports that city officials are accepting proposals for facilities to be built at the World Trade Bridge.  Local higher ups are looking at the bridge crossing off of Mines Rd. to handle dangerous chemicals.  Currently only the Columbia Bridge is able to process sensitive shipments.

City Manager Carlos Villarreal said that the city will look for the company that can offer the best price for the project.  Uh, this is not something you would want to skimp on, right?

I wish the city luck and I really hope they do a good job.  I say this because my sister-in-law recently moved into the area.  Seriously, you can see the light fixtures of the bridge from her house.  My visits will be few and far between.   

Is The Customer Always Right?

Workshop targets customer service

By Sean Bowlin
Laredo Morning Times
Published: Wednesday, November 10, 2010 2:32 AM CST
Everyone has at least one customer service horror story.
But a local advertising and marketing firm wants to lessen the frequency of those horror stories by launching the first of several planned half-day professional customer service training workshops.
Called “The Customer Is Always Right,” the first workshop was Tuesday morning at the Holiday Inn Civic Center.

Some businesses do employ people who provide good customer service, but for the most part, a friendly greeting and uninterrupted attention is not always on tap. 

I applaud Mr. Barrera for hosting this event but I wouldn't go as far as naming a workshop "The Customer Is Always Right."  You want customers to return and you want to treat them with dignity and respect but sometimes some people can be rather pushy. 

If the customer is always right, then that conveys the message that the employee is doing something wrong.  That phrase might even instill a sense of resentment in an employee.  For someone who's earning minimum wage and being bombarded with a heavy load, a little more motivation might be in store than an old adage.

UPDATE:  New blog LaredoTejas chimes in.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tuesday Night Thread

I really should say something.

Holidays

No doubt a lot of people are going to do quite a bit of shopping as the holidays approach.  As you head out to make purchases, remember to lock your car and place valuables out of sight.  Don't make things easier for thieves.

I Didn't Know People Still Did Quaaludes

Fire Chief Steve Landin comments (via the LMT) after one of his employees was caught with his pants down.
"We want to ensure the public that this allegation in no way reflects on our firefighters who are hardworking individuals that come to work every shift with a mission to save lives and aid those in need,"  said Steve Landin, the LFD fire chief, in a prepared statement Monday.  "Despite this incident, the LFD will continue to move forward as an organization and we, as firefighters, will continue to do the job that we are sworn to do."

Monday, November 8, 2010

Another Era


The 'boys have made a big change today in firing Wade Philips.  Their season might be a wash at this point but that doesn't stop the local fans from showing their Cowboys pride.  The only difference is that Dallas fans are wearing their throwback jerseys (Staubach, Smith, etc.).  This is an anemic year but they're bound to bounce back.

Birdhouses


Are you a bird lover?  Local artist Dimitri Garcia has the thing for you.  He's looking to move his latest creations.  Pictured are some samples of his handiwork.  Call him at 693-3118 for more information.  I've got mine.  Get yours today!

Socialism, Really?

I didn't know trash could be such a divisive issue.
A decision by the Fountain Hills Town Council to hire a single trash hauler and begin a curbside recycling program has been met with angry protests from residents who accuse town leaders of overstepping their bounds and taking a leap toward socialism.
I suggest these people pull themselves up by their own bootstraps and dispose of their trash on their own time.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Return of the Barbarian

Conan O'Brien will make his return to late night TV Monday night on TBS at 10 p.m. after being banished from the airwaves by NBC in order to reinstate the very lame Jay Leno.

The home of his former gig "The Tonight Show" had cited a contractual obligation for Conan to stay away from television after being ousted from the show back in January.

I really like Conan, and I look forward to his comeback. Can't wait to see if he is keeping the beard!

Doubts

The Laredo Buzz and Que Fregados have brought to our attention the number of votes reported to the public by the elections office earlier this week.  The Buzz is alleging that two municipal court candidates lost votes when the final tally was presented.

This is a screen shot of the first set of numbers given out shortly after the polls closed Tuesday night:


And these are the numbers released by the LMT Wednesday afternoon:

Municipal Court Judge

Charles David Wise        1,811    6.54%

George Victor Garcia II    658    2.38%

Madeline Lopez Escoto    7,735   27.92%

Juan Caballero            7,489    27.03%

Rosie Cuellar Castillo        10,011    36.14%


Unfortunately I couldn't find a vote tally for this race being offered between these two reports.  All the official numbers supposedly came in at around 6 a.m. Wednesday morning.  Somebody is going to have to do a little more digging to see if Ms. Lopez-Escoto and Mr. Caballero did indeed receive more than 8,000 each as the Laredo Buzz states.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Getting Rid Of Medicaid

If this won't get people out to protest, I don't know what will.
Some Republican lawmakers — still reveling in Tuesday’s statewide election sweep — are proposing an unprecedented solution to the state’s estimated $25 billion budget shortfall: dropping out of the federal Medicaid program. 
The democrats' health care overhaul prevents insurance companies from dropping people who all of a sudden get too expensive to cover.  Here in deep red Texas we're taking a page from the insurance industry:  drop people when their most vulnerable in order to save our skins.

I guess this is their idea of discretionary spending.  When we tighten our belts, we forgo the HBO, eat out less or hang on to our wardrobes a little longer.  Texas lawmakers get all medieval in this sumbitch.    

Friday, November 5, 2010

Como?

The day after the election, Gene Belmares said that a majority of Laredoans want a new mayor. 
55 percent of the people want change; almost 55 percent are saying that they wanted change in this community so we're excited about those numbers.
I'm not sure where he's getting that number but it might be derived from Raul Salinas' showing of 46 percent on Tuesday.  A reporter even asks him where he got that information from and he cites polling results.

If he's going with the percentage of votes that the mayor didn't get, I wouldn't say that that's a sign of people wanting change.  That simply means that people did favors for the other candidates (Valdez, Ramirez, Newland, Belmares).  I didn't vote for either runoff candidate.  I must now decide which is the lesser of two evils.  

 

Puro Tiger






I hope everyone has their ticket for tomorrow night's game between Martin and Nixon H.S.  The game will be played one last time at the UISD Student Activity Complex.  It should prove to be the best game of two teams with losing records.  I'm predicting a score of 3 to 2, either way.

I will not be going to the game.  I'm waiting for the opening of the new Shirley Field.  Hopefully it'll be ready in another year.  

There are a lot of Tiger supporters out there that still like to repeat the phrase, "Once A Tiger, Always A Tiger."  I can do without it.  Being from the barrio I'm more partial to "Puro Tiger."  It's to the point and can be emblazoned on my oxford shirts so much more easily.  Say it with me:  Puro Tiger!  It's like a one-two punch.

Have a good weekend.  

Still Something to Cheer For

I Said It So It Must Be True

Laredo gets a mention at the 10:18 mark.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Weatherization

Home funds are on hold

By Zach Lindsey
LAREDO MORNING TIMES
Published: Thursday, November 4, 2010 1:43 AM CDT
As an investigation into alleged misappropriation of Community Action Agency weatherization funds heats up, money for the program has been suspended and some employees “laid off” until the investigation is complete.

The only good thing about this is that it was caught and is being investigated.

Via Texas Monthly

Due to numerous complaints requests, I have included the link of Martin Cuellar's take on border violence in this post. 

Drew Pearson Coming To Laredo


The 6th Annual HEB Holiday Bowl is scheduled for Saturday, December 4, 2010, at 11:00 a.m. at the UISD Student Activity Complex football field.  In the great tradition of the BCS bowl games, this football game delivers a lot of fun for the community, and more importantly, serves as a great fundraiser to help support the City of Laredo Police Department's Blue Santa program.  This entertaining flag football game pits folks from the media – in green – against representatives and employees from the City of Laredo – in red – in a classic game of the pigskin.  Entrance to the game is an unwrapped new toy, or $5, which is donated to Blue Santa, who last year delivered toys to over 2,800 needy girls & boys.

...the main attraction for fans in Cowboy Country will be the appearance of former Dallas Cowboys’ fan favorite Drew Pearson, the original #88. He will be taking pictures and signing autographs throughout the game. Additionally, Pearson will serve as the keynote speaker at a private dinner, hosted by Border Olympics, for the Laredo Morning Times City All-Star Football Team, made up of stand-out players, both offense and defense, from all local high schools.

Info. courtesy of the City of Laredo.

Need


El Manana reports on a family who has been staying at a park in Nuevo Laredo for the last three weeks while an older female relative recuperates in the hospital.  They are from San Luis Potosi and 76-year-old Amanda Soto Castillo has not regained consciousness after she was involved in an accident.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Ma'am, Please Let Go Of The Microphone

Last night it looked like Rosie Cuellar-Castillo was headed into a runoff with Juan Caballero in the Municipal Court Judge's race with Rosie getting 35% of the vote.  But Madeline Lopez-Escoto was right on Caballero's heels.  Sure enough, once all the votes were counted early this morning, it looks like the two ladies will face off December 11.





UPDATE:  Fast forward to the 5 o'clock newscast Wednesday afternoon where lead anchor, Tim Gutierrez, did something odd:  he held up a copy of the Laredo Times and pointed out that the newspaper printed misleading information.  The final numbers showed that Lopez-Escoto and Cuellar-Castillo would be in the runoff.  But what appeared in the LMT this morning showed Cuellar and Caballero facing off.

I really don't see the point in doing what KGNS did.  They were calling out the LMT for giving us information based on the numbers that were available last night.  Sure it could've been worded differently by the writer but if anyone (us) is going to call out the LMT, it certainly can't be KGNS, not with all the errors that occur on their newscast on a daily basis.  And to this day, I haven't seen any story on the Abe Martinez/LMC investigation by Pro8news.

What's more disheartening is that Ann took the lead on the story on the evening news.
We all watched closely for those final totals and while early voting seemed to show one thing, the actual totals showed something different.  Even a local newspaper printed Juan Caballero and Rosie Cuellar-Castillo as the candidates for a runoff...
(sigh)

Poll No Good

Gene Belmares must be feeling some sense of relief now that he gets to move on in the race for mayor.  A poll that he cited on his campaign website did him no favors.  Supposedly, he had a great approval rating.
In a runoff scenario, Belmares's lead over both Salinas and Valdez grew substantially.
Yeah, maybe that's what Belmares needs:  a runoff.  Surely he'll validate the results of the poll.

I hope the poll didn't cost Belmares much.  Victory Data does not come cheap.
Webb County commissioners awarded a $4,500 per month contract to Victory Data for "publicist services."
Righteous bucks.

The More The Merrier

DeLaredo loses a contributor but we gain another blog.

State Marching

With so much thought placed on the elections, I totally forgot about the state marching competition held at the Alamodome the last couple of days.  And the winner isFlower Mound Marcus H.S.
Congratulations to Alexander H.S. for making it to the competition.