Monday, February 28, 2011

Oh, Leo

They love to work on people's fears.
illegal immigrants are bringing in tuberculosis, malaria, polio, leprosy — even the plague.
Eh.

S.N.A.P.

Food stamp use always sparks tense debate.  Spectators always point to anecdotal evidence of somebody abusing the system or making unwise food purchases.  Their outrage is justified, supposedly, because its their tax dollars that are buying chips, pizzas and specialty chocolate items for the purported undeserving among us.  

Critics suggest allowing only the basics:  fruits, vegetables, fresh meats, poultry, and perhaps store brand items.  To narrow down the list of allowable foods, it would take an act of Congress.  But our representatives would surely rather avoid the inevitable backlash, nevermind the bureaucratic toll, if such a task were undertaken.

Most who qualify for the Lone Star Card are relegated to a certain standard of living.  Their housing, transportation and schooling will border on substandard.  They will be afforded an existense on the fringes of society.  Our clamorous rebukes seek to further alienate them by having them shop in certain sections of a grocery store.  It's only fair because it's what they deserve, right?

A $5 box of candy is probably not a wise purchase for somebody on food stamps.  But who am I to make that determination?  I have no clue what people are going through.  They might splurge in the short term and then starve in the long run.  Benefits only stretch so much for a month.

Here are some numbers that can possibly put things into perspective, maybe not:
(Via the Texas Health and Human Services Commission)

$405 million in food benefits were given out to 3.3 million Texans last year.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Evolution of Daniel Desario

The 83rd Academy Awards take place tonight on ABC at 7 pm. The red carpet coverage of the Oscars can be seen on E! starting at 1 o'clock! This is the final awards show of the season, and hopefully there are a couple of surprises. The entire list of nominees can be seen here.

The Academy is always looking for the right host to liven up the 3+ hour broadcast. This year there will be 2 hosts: Anne Hathaway and James Franco, the youngest Oscar hosts ever at 28 and 32 respectively. It's not the first time more than one host is used. In the past Bob Hope had several co-hosts including Jimmy Stewart in 1945, and last year Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin shared the stage.

Anne Hathaway helped out 2009 host Hugh Jackman during the opening Oscar number, showing off her musical talents and proving she's more than just a princess. James Franco, on the other hand, is an unusual but welcome choice as co-host such a grand-scale event.

I first noticed Franco when he was in the cast of "Freaks and Geeks" in 1999. He played the lead freak Daniel Desario, the typical bad boy in high school. Franco received widespread acclaim for nailing the title role in the TV movie "James Dean." He has since been in many movies including the "Spider-Man" trilogy, "Milk," "Pineapple Express," "Eat, Pray, Love," and the current "127 Hours," for which he is nominated tonight in the Best Actor category! [He can also be seen doing comedy clips for the "Funny or Die" website, as seen below.]

An amazing fact about James Franco is that he's very studious and focused on his education. He originally dropped out of college as a freshman to begin his acting career. After returning to school, he received his undergraduate degree as an English major in Creative Writing from UCLA in 2008. He then received his Masters in Fine Arts from Columbia University in 2010, and he is the author of a book titled "Palo Alto: Stories." He is currently working on his doctorate in English at Yale University! He has done all this while remaining very active in the movie business.

It's hard to digest that information since I will always remember James as Desario! I cannot wait to see James Franco tonight on the Oscars. You've come a long way Freak!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Overcast Saturday Thread


This picture has nothing to do with anything.  I just thought it would be a shame to discard it.  The horses, dog and driver were here last weekend.

Bordertown Blues has the mug shots of the perps who were busted in a sex sting.  It had been a while since we had one.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Valgame!

Maximilliano at LaredoTejas went over some of the t.v. commercial hits and misses insurance companies have used to push their brands.  They all have used some sort of spokesperson to sell insurance.  Local provider, Pronto Insurance, is no different; they have 'Captain Prontisimo.'  The superhero insurance adjuster promises to spring into action devolada.

But lately Pronto has been doing something different:  they showcase their supposed customers inheriting Captain Prontisimo's physical attributes.  Check it out.

 

Assault


LPD says man attacked couple

By César G. Rodriguez
LAREDO MORNING TIMES
Published: Friday, February 25, 2011 4:27 AM CST
Police say a 37-year-old man used a machete to attack a woman and her boyfriend early Thursday in west Laredo.

Laredo Police Department officers arrested Juan Mexicano Berrones and charged him with two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, one count involving family violence.

The story goes on to note that when Juan Mexicano swung the machete at the couple, the man took off, shirtless and barefoot.  So much for the knight in shining armor.  Apparently an eight-year-old girl called the police.   


I got a chuckle at the fact that the boyfriend left the girl high and dry.  And then we have a grown man named Mexicano wielding a machete.  That's not symbolic enough, is it?


It's fortunate that the woman didn't suffer any life-threatening injuries and that Juan Mexicano was taken into custody.  Violence against women is such a big problem in our community.  We can only hope that Mr. Machete goes away for a while and that the woman dumps her boyfriend.

Gaddafi's Rhythm Nation

With news of revolution, riots, public floggings, mass exodus and uncertainty coming out of the Middle East, Libya's Muammar Gaddafi and his curious customs have come back into focus. Amongst those is his all-female security detail. Not much is known about this group of she-guards except that they number about 40 and are rumored to have a virginity clause as part of entrance exam.






Based on above, it does appear that El Gaddafi is borrowing from Miss Jackson (if you're nasty) to get his security on.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Too Good To Be True



In hearing Raul Salinas and Mike Garza talk about gambling, they sound more like salesman; They make no mention of the negative effects gambling will have on our community.  The Pro8news story points out that Texas could see $1 billion in tax revenue raised from gambling.  Texas has a $90 billion budget.  Is it really worth it?

The Texas Lotto was supposed to help fund education but it's fallen short as time has passed. 

Just the other day, the mayor was railing against budget cuts that would hurt the poor.  Yet he doesn't mind the poor and working class from being fleeced out of their money by slot machines.
Somebody is bound to benefit from allowing slot machines at race tracks.  I just don't think it's the state of Texas that would.  

Flu Symptom Thread

Damn these bodyaches.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Too Dope Kicks And Klothing

At Saturday's big parade I came across the tdK crowd, which includes BMXers and skaters.  Being a fan of both genres since the 1980s, I naturally had to ask questions.  (Riders appear at the :20 mark in the video below.)



David from tdK spoke to me about last year's Urban Youth Festival held at Karma Lounge.  They had bikers, skaters, DJs, tricked-out cars, etc.  13,000 people attended the event, according to him.  With any luck, LaSanbe will check them out at this year's festivities which is scheduled for the 4th of July.

Check out one of their videos.  More can be had at their YouTube channel:  LostCityTV.



Of course I had to post a video that features my alma mater, La Martin.

CORRECTION:  Attendees at last year's July event was 1,300, not 13,000.

Juan Resendez And Alex Portillo Make State


Two Alexander High School students garner spots at the all-state band level.

Drum major Juan V. Resendez is a senior trumpet player.  He placed third chair in the symphonic band.  He found the experience somewhat intimidating even though he prepared for auditions since August of 2010.  Juan wants to thank Mr. Valenzuela for his assistance. 

After high school, Juan plans on attending UT Austin to study biology, and eventually, dentistry.

Alex P. Portillo is a junior who qualified for 6th chair in the symphonic band as a bassoon player (he marches as a saxophonist).  Alex came close last year, coming in 8th in area tryouts.  He was nervous heading into area this year; but performing with other staters, he was more at ease.  Alex credits Dr. Zhao with helping him reach state. 

This young woodwind player has already been accepted to the Frost School of Music.

Congrats to both Juan and Alex.

More Focus

Sciaraffa quits UISD

'Unforeseen issues' doom commissioner's teaching
By NICK GEORGIOU
LAREDO MORNING TIMES
Published: Wednesday, February 23, 2011 2:08 AM CST
Five and a half months after being hired at UISD, County Commissioner Frank Sciaraffa has resigned from his teaching position, citing unforeseen issues at the county, such as the Texas Legislative agenda and the ongoing Community Action Agency scandal.
However, political insiders have pointed toward Sciaraffa’s need to focus on his 2012 re-election campaign because of reports that City Councilman Mike Garza is considering running for the position.

Seeing as how school districts are facing major budget cuts, I'm tempted to guess that Frank's decision was more of a preemptive tactic to avoid being canned.  Nevertheless, it's a good idea for him to focus more of his time on the pressing issues faced by commissioners court.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Without Fail!

Mayor Raul Salinas wants city staff to come up with a recommendation of how to honor city employees for their many years of service.  Perhaps a plaque, a nice letter, a pin...

Bruno Gutierrez And Hector Lozano Make State Band


The Nixon High School Band has not only had the good fortune of receiving countless marching and concert awards, but two of its members recently qualified for the All-State Band as well.

Bruno Gutierrez is a junior tuba player.  He has auditioned for the state band since his first year of high school.  The third year was a charm as he made first chair in the concert band.  Gutierrez said that he started practicing during the summer break -- had a layoff during marching season -- and then picked up the tryout music again in late Fall.  "Amazing" is how he described his experience in San Antonio, playing with top notch musicians. 

Bruno plans to study music after graduation.

Hector Lozano, senior trombone player, made 8th chair in the symphonic band.  This too was his third year trying out for this coveted position.  He followed Bruno's sentiments by adding, "not even that word can describe" the experience we had.

Hector is thinking about pursuing a degree in either music or biology.

Bruno and Hector thanked Mr. John Reimund, low brass instructor at the VMT Magnet School, for his support.

Congratulations, gentlemen. 

Webb County Antics Thread

Everything about the personnel rotations at the community centers that are in Rosaura Tijerina's district stinks to high heaven.
In response to a LareDOS open records request of Jan. 21, Tijerina’s aide Andrea Arellano said that the decision to make the rotations had the blessing of the Webb County attorney’s office, and that none of the employees had protested their rotations.


“Not so,” countered County Attorney Anna Laura Cavazos Ramirez. “We advised commissioner Tijerina on the matter. She refused to follow our advice, the Commissioners Court voted to support her measures, and now there is a conflict of interest. We cannot represent them in the matter of the grievances of Lira, Gribble, and Morales.”
So the commissioners have to deal with budget constraints, the C.A.A. fraud case, and grievances from community center employees.  Hello, 2011.  The tension between legal counsel and the commissioners court is just an added bonus. 
 
Ms. Tijerina's doings remind me of a story I read yesterday (President's Day) regarding George W. Bush.  His shortcomings were brought to bear and he was described as a competent incompetent.  In other words, he knew his decisions would lead to disaster and he made them anyway. 

City-Sponsored Beer Joint?

It looks like a sports bar at the yet-to-be-built baseball stadium is not sitting well with some.
What doesn't make sense to Lamont is the idea of a sports bar being open year round in the stadium, open even when there are no events going on. The big problem he says is that according to the records he has seen the new bar will not be charged ad valorem taxes.
Lamont goes on to say that he doesn't mind the competition as long as it's all on a level playing field.

Personally I find it hypocritical that the city would sponsor a watering hole when they are charged with the public's safety.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Jose Luis Nunez And Kevin Rodriguez Make State Band


Martin High School was fortunate enough to have two of its band members make the All-State Band this year.

Jose Luis, or "Joey," as he's known as by his bandmates, is a senior trumpet player.  He qualified for 12th chair in the concert band in what marked his first trip to the state level.  He was truly excited to have the chance to perform with some of the state's best musicians.  For him it was a dream come true. 

In preparing for the auditions, Jose Luis covered as many musical pieces as he could.  He benefitted from advice from several southern region instructors before the area tryouts; During that teaching session, he was given pointers on what to brush up on. 

Jose Luis plans to pursue a degree in music education at TAMIU.

Kevin Rodriguez, a junior clarinetist, is no stranger in the state band arena.  This is the third consecutive year that Kevin qualifies for the state band.  He is the 4th chair in the state!  (symphonic band)  He commented that he worked just as hard as he had in previous years, and credits Ms. Marissa Luna, L.J. Christen band director, for helping him achieve his goal this year.

Kevin is also planning to study music after graduating high school.

See Kevin in 2009 and 2010.     

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Hiatus

I'll be taking some time off while my family and I attend to a personal matter.  Thank you.

Political Paint


I now know why County Commissioner Frank Sciaraffa is putting his political stamp all over south Laredo:  he's going to have several people vying for his seat next year.

At this auto shop along South Meadow Ave., two other candidates have reserved some prime advertising space.  And both Mr. Villarreal and Mr. Reyes share Sciaraffa's liking of the color red. 

I got word the other day that there might be up to six people throwing their hat into this race.  But something tells me that not one will have a Facebook page or update the public with daily Twitter posts.  I'm betting this will be the technologically introverted bunch of the whole local political crowd.

What Comes This Way?

In talking to the guys from B Live Promotions five months ago, I mentioned that one of the bands that I would like to see play in my hometown is Arcade Fire.  My mention of the Montreal band is responsible, I think, for them winning this year's Grammy for 'Album of the Year.'  It's just another example of my imposing abilities.  It's too early to tell, but I'm predicting that Tommy Tutone will make a comeback and win big at the ceremony next year with a calypso-inspired collection tentatively titled, "Jenny Went To Tobago."

It's unfortunate that most people are not aware of my talents and that most people don't know who Arcade Fire is.  That, however, will not stop me from trudging on with my blogging exploits and from scouring the internets for cheap inexpensive, obscure, melancholy music.  (I use the word inexpensive because, while my powers may be limitless, my intent has limits)

The Jalapeno Festival is scheduled for this weekend and I have yet to attend any of the WBCA festivities.  That's because I don't see how I would benefit by attending an event where the main feature is cow gut.  And watching adolescents pose in guady, beaded costumes would only serve to have me question my sanity.  But that's how I felt about the Grammys.  I though it would be three hours of Justin Beiber and Lady Gaga, but they both lost in the end.  Something that's become so predictable threw us a left hook at the end.  There was a reason I endured Barbara Streisand and Kris Kristofferson staggering out in front of the crowd. 

What all this means is that I will not take what should be insignificant happenings for granted.  When I least expect it, I will be surprised.  Oh sure, it might mean some guy wearing socks in a public place.  Or it might be something greater that'll help me go viral -- like the flu.

Happy New Music Tuesday, y'all!

Ladies And Gentlemen


...Your new C.A.A. Director, Juan Vargas.

Commissioners Court made it official and gave this gentleman more work.  So now Mr. Vargas will be overseeing the Dept. of Economic Development and the Community Action Agency. 

The antediluvian county employee is making out like a bandit as his salary will go up by $20,000.  And the county scored a win by not having to provide another person with health benefits or a reserved parking spot.  But I don't know if this is such a good idea.  Here we have a dept. (CAA) that wasn't closely monitored and as a result found itself under investigation for shelling out federal funds to undeserving people.  What does the county do? -- they appoint a person who will now be pulling double duty. 

LaSanbe wishes everyone involved luck.  Mr. Vargas might be the person to put everything in order, but we hope he has a better year than Christina Aguilera.  Break a leg, sir!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Menso, Not Mensa

If you're going to lead police on a chase, make sure your ATV has a full tank of gas.  Running out of fuel after four blocks is not just embarrassing, it's dumb.

Special Monday

The City of Laredo attempted to crack down on curbside vendors this Valentine's Day gifts.  They warned the public that permits and zoning would be taken into account.  But I don't think people got the message because the parking lot of Super S on Clark Blvd. was packed with people selling stuffed animals and what not yesterday.

I don't know why people sell such big arrangements (basket with stuffed animal; candy, etc) by the side of the road when a little box of candy will do.  And dinner, of course.  And flowers and a fourteen stanza'd poem.  And a declaration of love for your sweetheart on Twitter, and Facebook.  Also, don't forget the 5x7 ad in your local paper.  A little love note on your spouse's dashboard.  Naturally, a late-night viewing of "The Notebook."  Foot massage.  Fine jewelry.  A slow dance with Josh Groban playing in the background, followed by a serenade with your newly-acquired guitar skills. 

Happy Valentine's Day!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Fundraiser At Hal's This Tuesday

Voz de Niños, along with Hal's Landing, will host a fundraiser Tuesday, February 15 to further advocate for foster children.  (Visit here)








Book Title for the Weak


LaSanbe's book recommendation for the weak is a selection from the Black Eyed Peas very own Taboo: "Fallin' Up". Here is a synopsis from Amazon.com of this soon to be classic.

Born in East L.A. in an area notorious for street gangs and poverty, Taboo was haunted by that environment, which seemed certain to shape his destiny. Yet, steered by his dreams to be a performer and assisted by fate, the young Taboo was thrown a rope when he discovered the world of hip-hop, where talent and love of the music itself transcended all. Supported by his one true champion, his grandmother Aurora, Taboo chased his dreams with a relentless tenacity. He refused to surrender, regardless of what life threw at him— including becoming a father at age eighteen.

But even after the Black Eyed Peas beat seemingly insurmountable odds and achieved stardom, it wasn’t all Grammys and platinum albums. Taboo delivers a searingly honest account of his collision with fame’s demons, including his almost career-ending struggle with drug addiction and alcoholism. He takes us deep into a world few of us can even imagine: a show-business heaven that became a self-made hell. But inspired by the love of his family and tapping anew into the wellspring of self-belief that had sustained him in the past, Taboo learns to keep his demons at bay, his addictions in check.

Weekend ReCap

Thanks for joining us, I'm Keyrose and here's a list of the top Laredo stories this week:

On Monday, Mayor Raul Salinas asked the police chief to crack down on the people who scam the elderly out of their money.  One of the ideas thrown around was to raise awareness about scams.  Yeah, if anybody is going to scam the elderly out of their money it's going to be the local 8-liners.

Chendo Carranco addressed the city council about the old Mercy Hospital property.  He stepped up to the podium in socks.  We really shouldn't be surprised that somebody wears socks to a public meeting when he likes to be referred to by his nickname, Chendo.  That name is actually Latin for 'I just don't care anymore.'

Laredo Main Street was recognized by the National Main Street Conference in Des Moines, Iowa.  Most Laredoans are proud of our historic downtown area as well.  They'd enjoy it more if it wasn't for the trains blocking Laredo's Main Street area.

Buckey the mascot for our local hockey team stole the zamboni for a fundraiser event.  Unfortunately he wasn't able to get away.

And Laredo was named the least romantic town because of the limited number of romantic comedy DVDs rented.  The 100 men interviewed to comment on this designation were confused by the rating.  They also had never set foot inside a flower shop.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Friday Evening Thread

Nothing but Charlie Brown re-runs on t.v.

Sweet Ride

Specifics

Locally we haven't heard much about what LISD intends to do to handle upcoming budget constraints.  Superintendent M. Nelson has only mentioned that staff will be cut.  In the LMT (Nick Georgiou) today:
Nelson told them that during the next 60 to 90 days, he intends to use the policy to lay off employees.  And he said he wanted to show that employee performance is a component of the reduction in force policy.
Over in San Antonio, they are painting a clearer picture.
The cuts — which figure to be the first of many for area districts — will eliminate 120 campus instructional coordinator positions. Commonly known as CICs, they provide support to teachers and principals.
A total of 45 other positions were cut, including dozens of curriculum specialists and some clerical staffers.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Memory

A while back I questioned a comment Jay St. John made about Ronald Reagan never raising taxes.  For some reason people forget what The Gipper really did.  His birthday was recently remembered, and right wingers like to look to him for inspiration but the fact remains that his memory is being distorted all the time.
Reagan increased payroll taxes in 1983. History records that, alarmed by spiraling deficits, he signed tax increases during six of his eight years in office. Even so, his administration tripled the national debt, to almost $3 trillion.

Abortion

If the Republican-led Texas legislature has its way, women seeking an abortion will be asked to review their sonogram beforehand.
Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, said she has been a lector at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church since before she was a lawmaker in the 1980s. But her decision to support the legislation is not, she said, based on her faith. “I support it because I believe in informed consent,” she said.

More On Shoeless Chendo Carranco

Mayor:  Put your shoes on.  Oh, you have your shoes on.
Mr. Carranco:  I want you to put attention, that's why.

Breaking News

Pro8news just reported that Fernando A. Salinas passed away this morning.

UPDATE:  LMT has news here.

Dreadful Singing

So you know how Christina Aguilera took the National Anthem out for a spin Sunday?  It turns out that I'm not the only one who was miffed by her approach, and that of many other singers who like to add a supposed soulful depth to their work.
The great Jerry Wexler -- who produced both Ray and Aretha -- coined a great term for it: "oversouling." He described it as "the gratuitous and confected melisma" that hollows out a song and drains it of meaning.
Melisma is defined as melodic embellishment.  I define it as somebody who's trying to hard.

There are a ton of artists who are guilty of "oversouling" songs:  Mariah Carey, Cher, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Michael Bolton, the cast of Glee, any American Idol contestant, etc.  Melisma is not a bad thing.  But after watching Aguilera employing it several days ago, I might just group it alongside lip-synching and auto-tuning.

Don't overdo it, friends. 



 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Council Antics Continue

In this clip Councilman Perez starts off his presentation by saying hello to his daughters watching the meeting at home.  City staff chuckles, but Mayor Salinas gets an extra kick out of this.  Apparently he's amused by the councilman taking liberty with personal business.  Salinas had no problem poking fun at somebody earlier (see post below), but to him this shoutout seems just a bit out of place.  Salinas:  "I'm the only one who can cross that laughter line."

 

Etiquette

LaredoTejas brought to our attention the matter of one Mr. Carranco addressing the city council at their regularly scheduled meeting sans shoes.  City staff recognized the lack of footwear and proceeded to mock him.

Carlos Villareal suggested a donation go towards the purchase of some shoes.  And the mayor added that Mr. Carranco would also benefit from some new socks.

Are You Serious?


No, I've never heard of Quantico, and what do statistical probabilities have to do with anything?!!!

I Apologize

This is cheap, I know; but I just had to share it.
Deputy Mayor Beth Malloy said naming the building the "Harry Baals Government Center" was probably not going to happen because, "We're not going to make any decisions that look bad."

Consequences

Many a time I've wanted to voice my hatred for Carlos Mencia, but I know that if I did, it would get me in trouble at work.

Fergie & Slash

Still don't get that halftime show or what the deal is with Slash and Fergie..

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Webb County CAA Chaos

Another job offer


County eyes new candidate for CAA leadership post

By Andrew Kreighbaum
Laredo Morning Times
Published: Tuesday, February 8, 2011 1:32 AM CST
Webb County commissioners withdrew their job offer to would-be Community Action Agency director Juan Gonzalez on Monday and, in an unexpected move, indicated they want to hire Juan Vargas, director of the county’s economic development department, to head the beleaguered CAA.

Where are we on this drama?
  • Last CAA director fired
  • Management team assembled to help put CAA back together
  • Commissioners court narrows field of applicants down to five
  • Court wants management team to pick recommend new director
  • Team declines; would rather start interview process all over again
  • Court decides to pick somebody at last
  • Waits for background check and drug test
  • DWI charge pops up for applicant
  • Court takes back the pick
  • Court now favors person on management team; earns more than CAA position pays
Cue "Yakkity Sax."

He'll Be Watching




The mayor wants to crack down on cell phone use in the city.  You better abide by his rules.  If not he'll find out and get plenty pissed.

Two Days After

The Super Bowl is slowly fading from our consciousness.  For me that's a good thing since my team, the Steelers, lost the game by a mere six points.  It would've been a valiant comeback if it wasn't for the little matter of the clock ticking out.  Nevertheless, my concerns don't amount to a whole hell of a lot.

For America's Team the past six months held a different set of circumstances.  They got to play in a brand new facility and got the nod to host the Superbowl.  That was some incentive for the Cowboys to reach the big game:  moral was high and it would've been so sweet for them to play in their own house.  Unfortunately it didn't work out that way.  The boys' quarterback was lost to injury and their hopes of making the playoffs diminished greatly. 

Fast forward to Super Bowl XLV and the problems mounted for Jerry Jones. 

First there was the issue of the weather.  It took a lot of people by surprise, none more so than the workers who had ice fall on them.  Next up was the seating, or lack thereof, that left many out in the cold.  LITERALLY!!!  And to put a finishing touch on all the festivities, part-time Thin Lizzy guitarist, Gary Moore, passed away Sunday morning.  It's custom around these parts to use the song "The Boys Are Back In Town" every time the NFL season starts.  Naturally local media is going to focus on the Cowboys and what better song to use than the 1976 Thin Lizzy classic.

Now, Gary Moore didn't actually play on the "Jailbreak" album but I'm including him here to put some sort of symbolic twist on this post.  Someway, somehow, bad luck has fallen upon anything Dallas.  Uncle Jerry, however, was pleased with the way the game came together and he hopes to host more Super Bowls in the future.

Time will tell.  For now, on new music Tuesday, we have Cut Copy.  Enjoy.

They Love The Fetus But Hate......

The educational system is not perfect but chipping away at the parts that actually work makes no sense.
Tom wade continued to rail against the entire idea of Texas' early childhood education today on his radio show at 1090 on your AM dial. On Sunday, there was an editorial in the Laredo Morning Times urging educational leaders to spare Pre-K & Kinder from any cuts. The newspaper also urged the public to speak out in hopes of maintaining early childhood education intact. Apparently, this did not sit well with Wade at all. Although, I did not catch his entire show today, I did here him repeating his suggestion that pre-kinder/kinder is nothing more than a taxpayer-funded babysitting operation and called for its elimination.
If any doubt crossed your mind, there's this:
Investing in early childhood education can yield impressive economic benefits — both for children and taxpayers, according to a National Institutes of Health study that followed participants until age 26.


I'm going to give LISD's superintendent, Dr. Nelson, the benefit of the doubt that he is aware of this study.  

Saying that early childhood education is a waste of time and money doesn't actually make it so.   

They Have Until The 28th

The field of candidates looking to replace the mighty Joe Valdez Jr. as councilman of District 7 gets crowded.  Here's the list:
  • Ricardo Calderon
  • Roberto Estrada
  • Mario Garcia Juarez
  • Jose Luis Maldonado
  • Hector Lee Patino
  • Jorge A. Vera
They have until the end of the month to turn in the proper paper work to run for office.  The election is in April.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Municipal Band Meets






Musicians from the Gateway City met for the first time to work on several musical selections.  The night was very productive.  A public performance might follow several months from now.

Tradition Continues

A local favorite is set to take place tomorrow evening. 

The Taste of Laredo, or as I like to call it, 'an outlet for people who don't know what to do with themselves on school nights,' will be teeming with hungry Laredoans ready to sample something that they've already eaten a thousand times, for the small price of $22 a pop.

In my life I've attended this event only twice, both times at the arena.  Years back it used to be hosted by the Laredo Civic Center.  Organizers made the venue change, I figure, because of the more ample parking facilities.  I don't really care for the new setting; the warehouse feature isn't all that cozy to promote healthy digestion.



This year I'm going to opt for something different:  the upcoming Bridal Affair.  This one showcases the latest in bridal necessities, from attire to catering.  It's free and the food booths look like they provide a more selective menu than donuts with colored sprinkles.  It'll be interesting to see what's in demand in the area of weddings and what not.  Could Wrangler jeans with a bowtie still be in vogue?  I will find out.

Later Today

Old Mercy Hospital to get another look

By ANDREW KREIGHBAUM
Laredo Morning Times
Published: Monday, February 7, 2011 4:21 AM CST
When he ran for office last fall, one of the issues City Councilmember Alejandro Perez Jr. heard about most often from District 3 constituents was the state of the old Mercy Hospital building.
Now Perez is looking to start a discussion about the future of the building, which has become a nuisance for residents of the Heights neighborhood in East Laredo.

Memo to city hall:  Don't buy the building.  Don't buy the building.  Don't buy the building.

We have a bunch of nuisances in District 3.  Trash is thrown about.  Empty warehouses show signs of wear.  And don't get me started on the puppy mill on the corner of Bartlett and Guadalupe.  Getting the ball rolling on the old Mercy Hospital is a start but it should be left in the private sector's hands. 

Packers Win



What? You thought the entire La Sanbe crew jumped on bandwagons and was rooting for the Steelers?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Picks


The staff over at KGNS have made their big game picks.  Most everybody is picking the Packers to win the Superbowl tonight.  We'll see.

The Buddy System


At tomorrow's city council meeting, the mayor wants to urge the police chief to make mail fraud and identity theft against the elderly a priority.  Raul Salinas wants Laredo's finest to bring awareness to those who might be vulnerable to the possibility of being scammed.  And if he had his way, he would see that those responsible would be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. 

I think the mayor just might get his way.  He's had quite a relationship with the police.  Why, take for instance the little incident that occurred in November where his wife's car was stolen in north Laredo.  In no time at all the cops jumped into action and the car was found.  How's that for backup?

No Cheerleaders Today

26 of the 32 NFL teams include a cheerleading squad in their franchise. 2 of the 6 teams that don't have a squad will be playing in today's Super Bowl. The horror.

So, to complement today's game, LaSanbe brings you this clip of NFL cheerleaders not allowed in Jerry World today. There they are dancing on trampolines in HD glory. You can even watch clip on computer screen next to Super Bowl on TV while blinking eyes real fast to get a 3D effect going..

Superbowl Finally Here


I don't think the Steelers are brutal, but if they do win, the season and the victory will be tainted, so to speak.
Why? Well, let's start where we must, with Big Ben. His actions last year in that Georgia college town -- even though they didn't result in criminal charges -- are too awful for most of the country, and (still) for many people in Pittsburgh, to stomach. Where diehard Steelers fans see a brave quarterback, millions of others see a cowardly, spoiled kid who used his posse to assist his sexual predations.
Ben's actions have divided the city of Pittsburgh.  And those who despise the Steelers are quick to refer to Ben's charges of sexual assault.  So when Howard Fineman says that the team has already lost, there's some truth to that.  People will view this season as invalid because Roethlisberger was allowed to play.

(Picture above has nothing to do with story; it's just compost in my backyard)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Eats


I took my wife to dinner last night to a restaurant I just recently found out about, La Reserva Bar & Grill.  I didn't know anything about the place apart from the ad I had seen in the paper.  I figured it has to be a nice place -- it has it's own logo and decorative font.  Let's go. 

When we got there, the maitre d' asked us if we had reservations; We nervously froze for a moment and said no, but the gentleman quickly led us to a table nicely tucked away from the main floor.  I guess it didn't help that I was wearing ripped jeans.  (j.k.) 

Anywho, it was a special occasion so we were out for something different, and we got it.  We had mood lighting, Spanish instrumental music, a wine list, etc.  Mission accomplished.  I decided to order an appetizer, the tostadas de atún.  Here I thought I would get something akin to the tuna patties that I've eaten at home.  Instead we got something right out of a quick fire challenge from Top Chef.  It was a tostada chip topped with a creamy dressing, slivers of tuna, avocado and a salsa.  Good presentation and good delivery.  I liked 'em.

The placed ads (pictured) for their Superbowl offerings smack dab on the table, right next to the small candle.  We questioned that the place was too swanky to host a sporting event.  And the flat screen televisions they had mounted above the central dining area were perhaps too high for someone to truly enjoy the game.  But I guess those who are used to paying $55 for a steak also need to watch the game in a comfortable environment.  To each his own.

But La Reserva isn't the only one catering to the Superbowl crowd.  Arby's is having its regular beef n' cheddar, two for $5.  It's good mood food, according to them.  El Pollo Feliz is offering a 20-piece dinner, with rice, beans, and tortillas, for $15.99.  You get a free 1.5 liter bottle of Topo Chico.  And for those on the west side, Los Generales will have a Superbowl Botana Platter.  It includes:  chips, beef fajita, chicken fajita, sausage, grilled onions, jalapeños, melted cheddar cheese, and 4 Coke bottles.  All this for $25.

It's safe to say that tomorrow a lot of people will wreck their diets.  Whatever.  It's a special occasion; You have to live a little.  Have fun with your friends and your angina.   

Tunes

Love the post that Bordertown Blues did on the cool local blog, Spicy Mustache. I can relate with SM in more ways than one.
3. What has been the most negative/frustrating experience with your blog?

I get overwhelmed with all the music. There is so much good music out there but keeping up with all of it can be time consuming.
I feel your pain.

Below is a song from an album that I put on my Christmas wish list. I knew that my exchange (person) was going to be hard-pressed to find the album here. Oh well.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Hijole!

CAA would-be director has DWI record


By Andrew Kreighbaum
Laredo Morning Times
Published: Friday, February 4, 2011 2:18 AM CST
The final candidate for director of the troubled Webb County Community Action Agency has been convicted of driving while intoxicated and of public intoxication.

At least two county commissioners say that could end his chances of being hired by the county.

Three (Valdez, Tijerina, and Sciaraffa) chose this man on Tuesday, after asking a ton of questions of all the finalists.  Mr. Juan Gonzalez' hiring as CAA director was contingent upon a background check and drug test.  The commissioners court now learned that he has a record.  Not good.
“This position requires a person that is … squeaky clean, and I think that’s what we’re looking for,” Valdez said.
Next up:  another special called meeting next week to choose somebody else.

Our Illustrious Leader

Judith Zaffirini:
Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, told Covie that county judges and commissioners need "to give us suggestions not only regarding where we can cut but also where we ... must add and where we're going to get the money."
Why sure.  You've only been in office since the 80s.  Gawd forbid you should figure it out for yourself.

UPDATE on 4/28/2016:


In Case You Missed It

We're being told to call 311 for any non-emergency concerns.  And if you're going to remove ice from your windshield, use regular tap water; hot water may cause the windshield to crack.

LISD, LCC and TAMIU have closed for today. 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Laredo Bridges Closed

City of Laredo Prepares for Freezing Temperatures

In anticipation of icy road conditions, the City of Laredo is making the following preparations:

Starting tonight, Thursday, February 3, 2011 at 8 PM, Public Works crews will begin sanding down all bridges and other city streets, as necessary.  The following bridges will be closed:
·         LCC/Washington
·         Santa Ursula Down Ramp (south of Zaragoza, going to downtown)
·         Meadow over Tex/Mex Railway
·         LaFayette Bridge

Other bridges (see list of bridges from previous press release) and streets may be closed, as necessary.

Do NOT drive around barricades.  Aside from putting yourself and possible passengers at risk, you are also putting first responders in danger, as well.  Violators will be fined.

City of Laredo departments on stand-by include Fire, Police, Traffic Safety, Health and Parks & Leisure Services.

Non-essential City of Laredo employees must report to work on Friday, February 4, 2011 by 10 AM.  All others must report at 8 AM; all departments must have office personnel on hand to answer phones and service customers.

All citizens are advised to follow the cold-weather safety-tips issued by the Fire, Police and Health Departments.  For all non-emergency issues, please call 3-1-1.  For emergency calls, please call 9-1-1.

Ice Sleet Thread


LISD is having classes tomorrow but they're starting at 10:00 a.m.
Currently my car is covered with ice and a steady drizzle is in progress.
It's dinner time.

Live Stream Thread


Live TV by Ustream

Post a comment in the comments section.

It's Cold!

As a result, any outdoor sporting events will be rescheduled.  Via the LMT (Dennis Silva II):
 "Looking at the forecast for Friday, I'll believe we have good weather, so we'll be playing,"  LISD AD Rene Ramirez said.
Gotta dust off the coffee pot.

They Eat Our Lunch

In the Brownsville Herald yesterday I saw a head count of how many valley students qualified for the state band and choir.  The double digit representation is pretty impressive, to say the least.  Locally I was informed that Nixon and Martin H.S. had two 'staters' apiece this year.  UISD has one or two students who qualified as well.  They will all be going to San Antonio next week to perform. 

Decals Around Town

DeLaredo spotted a sticker that made him none too happy.  I think he felt like all the local Dallas Cowboy fans watching local Steeler fans with their car flags up in the air right about now.  (Superbowl is three days away)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Candlemas

Today was the Dia de la Candelaria.  This holiday is celebrated in Mexico but some locals still take part in the event to some degree.  The gist of it is:  whoever finds the baby Jesus in the pan de rosca gets to host a dinner on the 2nd of February.  At least that's what my mom says.  It's also a time when people are supposed to make preparations for Spring planting.

My mom and I had a chat about it.  (She didn't know I was recording it)

       

                       
   
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It's Super Cold But...


Just because classes are being canceled and people have to worry about power outages doesn't mean we should forget about the true reason for the season:  George and Martha Washington. 

Aren't the costumes lovely?

New CAA Director

New blood at CAA


County hires Gonzalez after double voting deadlock

By Andrew Kreighbaum
Laredo Morning Times
Published: Wednesday, February 2, 2011 8:54 AM CST
Webb County Commissioners Court chose Juan Gonzalez, former branch manager at AMP Electric Co., as the next director of the Community Action Agency on Tuesday night after several hours of interviews with five finalists for the position.

Commissioners went through a lengthy selection process before settling on somebody last night.  All five couldn't agree on one person; they had to go into executive session to discuss amongst themselves.  Early on Frank Sciaraffa abstained from voting on anybody, for some reason.  For that reason commissioners encountered a deadlock.


Power Outages

Rolling blackouts have been instituted in some parts of the state.  Locally we've had unconfirmed reports of power outages in the Mines Rd. area and in Century City.  Please leave a comment if you're experiencing any electrical problems.

UPDATE:

30 percent chance doesn't mean much but it would be great if we got some snow around here.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Free Taxi Rides

District Attorney Isidro Alaniz wants to keep the streets of Laredo safe this Superbowl Sunday by offering free taxi rides to drunks those who celebrate with one too many drinks.  This service is apparently being provided, this Sunday night only!, with the help of forfeiture funds.  So do yourself a favor and jot this number down:  723-9177 (International Taxi).  Mark and remember, and have fun getting shitfaced. 

Cold Weather This Way Comes

City of Laredo Cold Weather Notice

In anticipation of the approaching cold-weather to Laredo, the City of Laredo is encouraging people who need to seek shelter from the weather to go to the two centers currently open, the Bethany House, located at 815 Hidalgo, (717-0882) or the Salvation Army, located at 408 Matamoros (723-2349). For requests for shelter, please call 3-1-1. The Laredo Civic Center, located at 2200 San Bernardo (794-1700) is on stand-by as an emergency shelter, if necessary.


Additionally, City of Laredo Public Works crews are on stand-by with trucks to distribute sand over any bridges that may become iced over. A list of bridges follows. Public Works will be working in partnership with Texas Department of Transportation crews to ensure motorists’ safety as they travel throughout Laredo streets.

(courtesy of City of Laredo)

The mayor was on the tube today advising citizens to remember the 3 Ps:  pets, pipes and plants.  Seriously, why would you include plants in that announcement?  I know that some people take extra care of their plants but I just don't think they belong in the discussion, all for the sake of alliteration. 

Que Fregados has an announcement up from UISD saying that school should continue as scheduled.

Our neighbors to the north are definitely bundling up, except.......

New Music Tuesday

Last year I didn't buy much as far as new music is concerned.  As a matter of fact, my list of best albums of 2010 would only include Arcade Fire's "The Suburbs" and Deerhunter's "Halcyon Digest," and that's only because those are the only albums I purchased.  Oh wait - I forgot about The Black Keys' "Brothers."  All good stuff which has added to my paltry collection.

2011 looks to be a good year for music too.  I'm not going to set a record-buying goal for myself but I'll definitely keep my ears open.  For now, enjoy The Go! Team.

LISD Budget Concerns

Via the LMT (Nick Georgiou):
And if staff is cut, it would start from the top down, Superintendent Marcus Nelson said after Laredo Independent School District's first board budget workshop of the year.
Apparently two positions have already been vacated:  directors of energy management, and textbooks and postal.

We Drink Milk


LISD officials in charge of nutrition have come up with a new campaign to encourage students to drink milk.  El Manana reports on the "We Drink Milk" drive which is aimed at all school grade levels and uses local athletes to convey the message of a healthier diet.

I don't think I'll ever get the call from somebody telling me that I'm a 'Tiger Legend' candidate.  But I would like to notify school officials that, as a former student and LMIB, I am available for a milk pose.