Wednesday, November 30, 2011

In Conference

You can always tell who the incarcerated drug lords are:  they're the ones who get visited by sexy strippers legal assistants.

Pizza Proceeds To Help Family

I have to give props to Domino's Pizza for helping Derek Trevino's family with funeral expenses.  Derek was out delivering pizzas the night before Thanksgiving when another driver disregarded a red light and hit his car.  In reading comments about Derek, I learned that he was an avid skater and gardener. 

The Keyrose household will be enjoying some pizza tonight in honor of Derek Trevino. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Lemurs Land

It's official:  The Laredo Lemurs have a reason to get up in the morning. 

I'm looking forward to the start of the baseball season next year.  Not so much for the game itself, but to see what an $18 million double deal looks and feels like.

Guajolote Race Bicyclist Beaten By Runner

In today's 956 Sports Unlimited section of the LMT, a female runner from the Guajolote 10K race was featured.  In the background you can see an older gentleman riding his bike towards the finish line.  This race has some redeeming qualities, none of which I can recall at the moment.  But the Guajolote does offer up some quirks, like fully clothed bicyclists interrupting the race just to get some face time. 

Here's a shot from what looks to be the same individual last year.

The only difference is the photos is that he is wearing different shoes.  You can catch him in action in this video (around the 3:20 mark).

Monday, November 28, 2011

Activists Met With Disdain

Members of Occupy Laredo went before city council tonight to hash out the details of organizing at local parks.  The group is looking to camp out in public spaces to speak out against income inequality, Wall Street malfeasance, and other corporate tactics that alienate the working class.  But Councilman Juan Narvaez was suspicious about Occupy's motives and he proceeded to push the members around.

My district's representative, Alex Perez Jr., was so moved by the discussion that he decided to chime in with his usual terse blandness.  But his concern revolved around the possibility that Occupy Laredo's actions may "open up a can of worms."

Gawd forbid you should open up a can of worms when Freedom of Speech is concerned. 

Not to be outdone, Mike Garza proposed exiling Occupy Laredo to the Park & Ride facility, all the better for the group to appreciate the vapor trails of planes flying overhead.  His rationale was that the parking lot/bus stop would serve as a more secure outpost for Occupy.  Naturally, the rest of city council went along with his idea.

This motion is reminiscent of a Bush-era gem:  free speech zones.

I'm really astounded by the council's actions tonight.  In essence, they pushed the group out of sight, and out of mind.  Occupy's plan of camping out seemed too complicated, troublesome, and abstract for council, and in particular for Mr. Narvaez.  It's OK for Mayor Salinas to symbolically camp out for three days, as he does every year to collect money and toys, but according to city staff, it's unproductive when the community wants to do the same.

Alex Perez, at the last meeting, said, "The people have spoken," as he agreed to deny a conditional use permit for the opening of a daycare in the Heights neighborhood.  But in handling a Free Speech issue, he speaks out against the will of the people.  I understand that public speaking is not his forte, but it's amazing how he would equivocate Free Speech with "opening up a can of worms," as if the thought of granting people one of their most basic rights would be a detriment to society, and Democracy.

This performance speaks volumes about all of city council.  Troglodytes would have more sense and courtesy than our elected officials.  Occupy Laredo was seen as a nuisance and inconvenience, and council did their best to cast them out.

I applaud the members of the group for standing up for themselves.

A Touch Of Nepotism

Our mayor was on Pro8news this afternoon to speak about current city business.  He was asked of the conflict of interest in awarding a contract to a company.  (LaredoTejas blogged about it yesterday)

Mindy Casso:  And what do you say to people who ask about the relative of a councilperson who's involved with that particular firm?

Mayor Salinas: First of all, he's not eligible; He's not going to vote.  He has to excuse himself.  But, you know, I think there's other partners and I think also we're going to look at them all.  We're going to look at their financial statements.  We're going to see if they're experienced, but we have to look at the whole picture, and staff is going to make a recommendation.  But I think at the same time, I want the best company to be out there doing business, and uh, you know, somebody's gonna get it.  Rght now I gotta tell you: we're going to be transparent; we're going to show the numbers and that's what the people need to know.
City council meeting.  tonight.


Creative Landscaping

This photo was taken near the Russel Terrace area.  I was out there running an errand for a family member and stopped to take a snapshot of the neighbor's yard.  What you're looking at are oak trees surrounded by pallets.  There could be several explanations for this. 

One could be that the caretaker is helping to keep the trees' root systems moist.  Another explanation could be that he, or she, has pets and doesn't want them digging around the trunk area.  Whatever the case, the pallets do offer a distinctive look to the landscape.  I give the owner high marks for recycling used materials.  Maybe not Earthship high marks, but high marks nonetheless!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Crowds

I'm now convinced that people head out to shop at the wee hours of Black Friday only to get a chance to be on t.v.  And that's OK, as long as you don't make a fool of yourself for many to see.  Thankfully there was one such individual who did us a favor.

A Bordertown: Laredo mention from a Houstonian.  Nice.  Ma'am, we appreciate the enthusiasm but please, it's not necessary, especially when you're there for an inflatable mattress.

In related news, a woman was trampled at a north Laredo store.  Carry on.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Another Day Off

Kudos to Bethany House for opening its doors on Thanksgiving to feed the less fortunate.  And I was informed that at least one of my Facebook friends was out there helping out, so big ups to everyone involved. 

Big thumbs down to HEB for opening its stores yesterday.  I have a couple of in-laws who work for the company, and it would've been a total shame if it wasn't for the stories one of them shares. 

Supposedly one store (in north Laredo) was bulging at the seams with customers.  Peoples' carts were overflowing with groceries and all the checkout lines were jammed.  One particular customer had two grocery carts packed with stuff.  After everything was scanned, and her cost tallied, she remarked, "Oh, I forgot the turkey!"  This little oversight caused the other customers to scream bloody murder because she apparently was holding up the line even more.  Security had to be called in to quell any run-ins.

The lady was eventually advised to pay for her groceries and get back in line for the turkey.  Security had to be called back for other infringements.

Never a dull HEB story from my brother-in-law.

Today, I'm staying away from any shopping centers.  I'll stay close to home to work on things I've been putting off.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


First serving of turkey is in the books.  The Green Bay Packers will record another win for the season.  Good weather today.  Good times.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Day Off Thread

Doing several things that have nothing to do with turkey day.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Long Week Off

I'm getting ready to start my Thanksgiving layover.  Blog traffic will undoubtedly drop off as everybody will be busy doing something else, and the news won't kick up until next week, so there will be limited material from which to pick from.  Still, I'll try to post something to keep the conversation going.  I might do random video podcasts to update the site.  At any rate, be safe out there and have a Happy Thanksgiving.   

Integrity Schmegrity

My better half sent me this picture of a sticker which was plastered somewhere inside the Las Cazuelas restaurant.  It reads, "El Azteca No Se Vende."  Orale, pues!  But here's what I found out yesterday.

Las Cazuelas is now Obegon's.  So while the neighborhood might not be for sale, everything in it is. 

In talking to an employee from the restaurant this morning, I learned that the new owners will offer a wider selection of local cuisine.  And their hope is to be open throughout the day, and not just for the lunch rush.  By the way, another Obregon's is located on Saunders.  Could it be that we'll see it become a franchise like Danny's? We'll see, but first, bring on those tostadas (estilo) Siberia.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Heights Can't Have Daycares

The facility pictured above is located at the corner of Musser and Seymour Ave.  Recently, it was painted, and a small playground was added in hopes that it could be turned into a daycare center.  But area residents were not happy with the plan. 

Their contention was that the business would not be in keeping with the neighborhood's zoning.  But if that's the case, how do you explain the fact that the office space next to the corner house used to be a doctor's office?  Currently the olive-colored office space to the right has a sign on the wall that reads 'Acupuncture.'  Heaven knows if it's a nuisance to residents.

I understand how the business would not be allowed to operate given the area's zoning.  But there's a child care center, and a Pronto convenience store one block away.  And in other parts of the Heights barrio, I know of at least two other daycare centers.

The conditional use permit request for the daycare was denied by city staff, but only because a group of residents spoke out, I believe.  If they hadn't shown up, the daycare would've been open today.  And that's fine.  If more people took part in the political process, this city might be better off.  But I don't buy the residents' take that the daycare would disturb the land use pattern of the surrounding properties, another point, among several, in their protest.


Footage from city council meeting on 11/7/2011.

Balancing The Budget

Because Washington has been tied up in gridlock, I propose eliminating Congress's pay until anything productive is done.

Here's what Henry Cuellar would do:
Government spending has been on autopilot for too long and more action like a constitutional amendment is necessary to balance the federal budget. It is a useful tool to steer Congress toward a path to fiscal responsibility and away from wasteful, excessive spending. The national debt now hovers over $15 trillion and your average share of the U.S. debt equals nearly $48,000 – this is unacceptable for Americans.
This week, the U.S. House of Representatives voted on H.J. Resolution 2 – the Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution, which would require that the U.S. government operate under a balanced budget each year and not run any deficits. The measure also requires that the President submit to Congress a budget proposal each fiscal year that is balanced or would produce a surplus.
A balanced budget.  Rick Perry would agree with that, but how's that working for Texas at the moment?

Sunday, November 20, 2011


My weekend wasn't crappy, but at least there was one person who had a worse one than me.

Sunday Thread

Off to help clean up the Chacon Creek Trail.

Here's a link a reader provided.  It's about a Mexican company looking to set up in Austin, and not Laredo.  Enjoy.


Tires, wood, styrofoam, used toilet lids, photos, window blinds, plastic bottles, glass bottles, clothes, PVC tubing, etc., oh my!!!!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Mami Chulas On The Mind

At last week's city council meeting, two individuals went before our leaders to request a zone change in order to set up their business, a car lot on Arkansas Ave, if I'm not mistaken.  Minor car repairs would be performed on site.  But there was at least one resident who opposed the zone change.  Not because of the business dealing cars, but because of what that site might become.


Fracking Sludge Spill In Laredo Continued

The energy industry is building for the future. 

I couldn't be more happier for Halliburton and San Antonio.  As for us, we get stuck with the crap they sow.

The picture you see above is of a recent sludge spill near a bus stop on Hwy 83.  I recommend you visit the area to get a good whiff of what diesel smells like.

There's Always A Reason To Celebrate In Laredo.  No, no!  Keep Laredo Beautiful.  No, that's not it!  Public safety is our main concern.  No.  None of those tag lines fit in with this post, and I don't know why local politicos use them at all when I see something like this. 

Laredoans Speak

I really don't know what to make of this.
In Victor A. Martinez and Ryan Schafer's naive, amateurish documentary, Laredoans (people from Laredo) indeed speak their minds, or at least a few of them do. Some six or seven men (women conspicuously absent), including a mayor, an immigration lawyer, a congressman and a "coyote," offer views on immigration. Unfortunately, they all say the same thing -- and it's nothing new, affecting or articulate. Pic bows Nov. 18 at Gotham's Quad Cinema before moving to the dustbin.

If I want to hear people make a case for immigration, I wouldn't go to politicians for their opinion.  I say that not only because I know what they are going to say, but because they're not the most creative in articulating the pros of immigration.

At any rate, this documentary is being scrapped left and right, it seems.  It begs a viewing, if only out of curiosity. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

Laredo has to be stuck in some kind of time warp to operate the way it does.
We found only one woman in the crowd who received a partial payment. She got some dollar bills and several rolls of coins but most were given a few boxes of chocolates and sent on their way.
Don't get me wrong, I like chocolates.  But the thing I like more than chocolate is the sound of money being directly deposited into my account at midnight on assigned Fridays.  Actually the direct deposit doesn't make a sound because there's nobody around to hear it.  But I digress.

I don't know.  If I was given a roll of coins and chocolates in exchange for work, I might be encouraged to slap somebody.  And that's OK because that's what happens in bizarro world.  In that world, it's common for people to suggest paying a doctor with chickens in exchange for a physical.

Now excuse me while I go stand on my head and bark like a dog.

What Did The Five Fingers Say To The Face?

What is going on with people these days?  We've had deputies in possession of drugs, and confiscated firearms.  Yesterday I posted about the smiling bumper car bandit.  And now we have a lady (I use that term loosely) slapping a referee at a kids basketball game. 

I've had lapses in judgement in the past but this is getting a little crazy.  I know that parents get wild at sporting events, and I've heard of a scuffle or two between parents at these PeeWee tournaments, but never has there been an act of aggression towards an official.  This is Zsa Zsa Gabor territory.  I don't know if there's anywhere to go from here apart from rioting and setting places on fire. 

If acts like this one continue at basketball games, security will have to be mandatory.  And that's not good since local P.D. already has to worry about scantily-clad dancing girls, 8-liner raids, prostitution stings, expired paper license plate offenders........

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Say Cheese

It's good to have a sense of humor, even as you're being deloused. 

Times Are Tough

OK, now it's getting a little ridiculous when schools are advertising on report cards.  Que thinking-outside-the-box ni que nada.  But this is what we get when schools face major budget crunches.

UISD has started placing ads on their buses.  Time will tell if they'll reach the level of corporate-sponsored race cars.

Because money is also tight here at LaSanbe world news headquarters, my speaking fees will be going up.  Instead of the grilled cheese sack lunch I usually request, I will now charge $10 for each and every appearance I'm asked to do.  That fee does not include mileage.

Border Security

Henry Cuellar doesn't want anyone calling our area a war zone, but he doesn't mind using war zone-like tactics to patrol the border.
McCaul and Cuellar, who explored prospective equipment transfers during visits with military commanders in Afghanistan and Iraq last week, said surveillance equipment was just one example of the battle-proven technology that could be useful detecting border crossings by drug traffickers, undocumented immigrants and gun runners.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Even the rain amounts favor north Laredo.  Boooooooooooo.


Now that Newt Gingrich has risen in the polls, he's become a target for his opponents.  One unfortunate incident, dating back to 2007, was brought back into the spotlight.  Take a look.
“The American people believe English should be the official language of the government. … We should replace bilingual education with immersion in English so people learn the common language of the country and they learn the language of prosperity, not the language of living in a ghetto,” Gingrich said to cheers from the crowd of more than 100.
Emphasis mine.

Earlier in his speech, Gingrich referred to government documents printed in 700 languages, but in apologizing for his remarks, he did so in Spanish.

The relevance of that four-year-old snippet is debatable but I guess everything's fair game in politics.  However, it does call into question the GOP's claim that theirs is a big tent party.  I don't see how they expect to win over hearts and minds with derogatory language like that.  And worse yet, I don't see how Gingrich can be viewed as an intellectual with words like those from 2007.

Political buffoonery aside, I have a newfound appreciation for the Spanish language, thanks to a character in a Mexican novela, Pancho Lopez.  Now, I don't know if you can consider it proper language since liberties are taken with its usage.  For example, when referring to a computer, the actor(s) will simply say "compu," instead of saying computadora.  "Peque" is used instead of pequeno; "Bici" is used instead of bicicleta, and so forth.  The words are altered to fit the user's needs.  But apart from the slicing and dicing, the rhythm and dynamics utilized make for an interesting interaction.  Here's Pancho Lopez sending out an invite for a Mother's Day event.  It'll explain exactly what I'm talking about.

My wife is somewhat annoyed that I've taken to this character from the series "Familia Con Suerte," but I find him amusing.  His exaggerated facial expressions, and his made-up hair only add to the fascination.

This is not a good representation of the Spanish language, but it reminds me of how we learned to communicate in our younger years.  Our tone, our dialect, and posture changed between recess and our English class.  It might've not been as colorful as Pancho Lopez's, but it was all our own.

Abe Martinez Starts Prison Sentence

El Manana reports that the former hospital CEO has started his prison stay, but few details are provided.

UPDATE:  The Cedar Park Citizen reported the same last week.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Another Photo Op - Goody!

Law enforcement officials will gather tomorrow to highlight their collaborative efforts in fighting crime.  Of course, Mayor Salinas will be there for nothing else than to show off his big shiny ring.

“For Laredo, homeland security has always meant hometown security, and our outstanding Laredo Police Department has always worked closely with every law enforcement to keep our community safe, which in turn has kept our country safe,” said Mayor Salinas.  “As a former FBI agent, I understand the importance and challenges of intelligence gathering, and by working together, these agencies, whether it is the local police department, the sheriff’s office, or any one of our state or federal agencies, will continue to make their presence known throughout the border, keeping us all safe. Under the leadership and direction of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, we all understand that by cooperating together, we will accomplish much,” state Mayor Salinas.
Oddly enough, intelligence gathering never comes through on his part at city council meetings.
Quote courtesy of the City of Laredo.

It Hurts When I Do This

This supposed new trend, where people choose a Med Alert in the form of a tattoo, seems a little fatalistic and sad.  I realize that obesity is a big problem nowadays and people endure a myriad of health problems because of it, but are people keeling over constantly enough to necessitate medical-related branding?  I hope not because then this would officially mean that tattoos have entered the realm of tackiness.

By the looks of the examples pictured above, I get the impression that people wear their ailments like a badge of honor.  But hey, who am I to criticize?  I'm not doing myself any favors by wearing a Manfred Mann tank top.

One thing's for sure:  those opting for the tattoos are going a bit overboard.  If it's one thing that the medical world loves it's acronyms.  Logos and mascots don't do much in an emergency.  You can save yourself a lot of money if you forego the whole Hello Kitty theme. 


Preferred Customer My Ass!

Something unexpected happened yesterday.
If you weren’t near a TV Sunday afternoon, KENS 5, San Antonio’s CBS affiliate that’s normally the home to Houston Texans games, cut away to the more competitive Pittsburgh Steelers-Cincinnati Bengals game after the Cowboys went ahead 34-7 with 16 second left in the third quarter.
We were watching the game and the same thing happened here.  So where did that leave the hordes of Laredo fans?  As for us, we continued watching the Steelers game (big surprise) and linked up the remainder of the Dallas game online.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Laundering Money In Laredo

A&E's Bordertown: Laredo did a good job of featuring low-level crooks embroiled in the drug trade, but there are, in fact, bigger fish out there.

Despite Norton’s disbelief that Datta could be tangled up in a criminal scheme, Norton said the millions of dollars his friend was convicted of exchanging for perfume was hard to fathom. Even in Laredo’s heyday, Norton said, before Tamaulipas fell into the stranglehold of drug cartels and wait times tripled at border crossings, his own biggest bulk sales of blue jeans came nowhere near Datta’s figures.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Audacity Of Some

I was driving up Hwy 83 the other day and noticed a car with paper plates.  Actually it was more like shredded paper where a license plate should've been.

Eso si me dice que a unos les vale madre

Putting The Mascot Before The Cart

I usually don't pay much mind to the sports section of the LMT, so it was a reader who brought this story to my attention the other day.  Apparently the Laredo Lemurs organization is not experiencing smooth sailing at the moment.  Click on image below to enlarge, por favor.

This whole baseball saga keeps getting interesting.  First the public was wrong to ever imagine that the new baseball stadium (currently under construction) was going to cost anywhere under $10 million.  Now we were wrong to ever think that the Laredo Lemurs would ever be part of a AA baseball league.

This is a perfect opportunity for Laredo to capitalize on Nuevo Laredo losing its team, Los Tecolotes, but things don't look so good on this side of the river.  Laredo has to have a team.  I mean, the city has gone through the trouble of picking a mascot and everything, so.....

Chacon Creek Trail Clean-Up

The 436th Chemical Company (National Guard), in conjunction with the Rio Grande International Study Center, will be on clean up duty Sunday, November 20, 2011, starting at 7:30 a.m.  The public is invited to help out.

Report to Dryden Park at 2700 Diaz St. if you want to help clean up the Chacon Creek Trail.  LaSanbe will be there with its pitch forks to lend a hand.

Tires!  We have to pick up the tires!!!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Shopping For Stuff

I think it was Ron Burgundy who suggested buying new suits when a man finds himself in a spiritual and existential funk.  Cowboy fan may be suffering from low morale right about now.  A collectible/memorabilia sale may be just what the doctor ordered.

Photo courtesy of LMT's Que Pasa.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thursday Night Thread

The end of Bordertown: Laredo is upon us.  Happy viewing.

Small World

Props to local law enforcement for putting the pieces together in this case.  What started with a kidnapping investigation lead authorities to the business of cartel-related murder for hire.  But the glaring tidbit in all this is that one of those arrested yesterday is, or was, my neighbor.  Perhaps I should stop blogging now.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Not one dry eye in the whole place.

Fracking Speak In Laredo

Commissioner Jaime Canales was on t.v. last night praising the effects of the Eagle Ford Shale, namely the tax revenue generated.  The drilling activity has been a godsend for local taxing entities as they've seen an uptick in revenues due to land leases, and money being spent by employees from the various oil and gas patches.  But it all sounds too good to be true. 

Yes the shale play has brought in a lot of money into Laredo and surrounding communities, but we can't sit by and believe that consequences don't exist.

Here's a snippet from a study done by the University of Texas which found no link between drilling and contaminated water wells.
The study also found regular reports of problems with surface casing — the steel pipe installed at the top of a well to keep the flow of hydrocarbons isolated from aquifers — and with cement jobs that hold the casing in place, Groat said.
It's funny.  The report says that there's no link between drilling for oil and gas, and alleged contaminated water sources.  But aquifers may be at risk, because steel pipes near the top may be compromised.  I'm getting mixed messages here. 

One point that I didn't see addressed in the story is the matter of air quality.  I've heard that one can immediately get a whiff of noxious fumes near fuel capturing stations.  Putting aside the chance that water and air are not affected, the UT study does note that sludge spills occur, as well as "other rule violations."  But those events are treated as mere inconveniences, if at all, by our local leaders.

The picture above is of a recent sludge spill on South Hwy 83, near the Sierra Vista intersection.  You can see a dark material in the middle of the road, and the white, sandy substance used to contain the debris. 

It's unfortunate that these instances aren't included, or brought up, when our leaders have to comment on the impact of the Eagle Ford Shale.  I mean, just think about these blatant acts of contamination.  If this is happening right in front of us, imagine what is going on behind the scenes. 

But let me get back to Jaime Canales' appreciation of Eagle Ford revenues, and try to put it in a different context.  Think about sugary snacks and drinks sold at schools.
Even more problematic, some districts contract with private companies to sell competitive foods such as fast food in cafeterias and snack vending machines. “Pouring rights” – contracts with companies to sell soda in schools – are also popular. As a result, kids consume a huge amount of unhealthy food and drink items during the school day, and schools have no incentive to change because they benefit financially from the competitive food contracts.
Sodas, full of sugar and empty calories, are detrimental to a child's overall health.  But administrators laud their presence because of the money the contracts bring in.  They're thankful for the money they see, but it comes at a price.  Yes it makes life easier for those who have to worry about the books, but in the end somebody's health suffers. 

Breaking News

The City of Laredo Convention & Visitors Bureau has gone live with a new website.  Click here to check it out.  Here's a statement from Ms. Lopez, Director of the LCVB.
“As they say in the TV business, ‘We have gone live,’ but this time, it’s on the World Wide Web! It’s a modern day makeover,” stated Blasita J. Lopez, LCVB Director.   “We know that marketing experts in the tourism industry tout the importance of an online presence; it was time for a makeover.  According to recent data, mobile device use will take over all other methods of travel research and decision making by the year 2014. So this is a significant step in our efforts to make sure that Laredo stays competitive and visible to everyone that uses the internet for travel planning.”

A blog that features destinations along San Bernardo Ave. has also come into the fray.

The site is pretty sleek.  Kudos to staff.

Conflicts Of Interest Continued

The issue of those that will do business with local government having personal ties with officials has come up before.  It's only natural that it would happen since a small group of citizens in Laredo is active in the political arena.  I don't see how it can be avoided.  The only remedy that could help would be true transparency.

Is It Or Isn't It?

El Manana tells us that two individuals were caught stealing, in my neighborhood no less!!!  I'm not surprised by the attempted theft since I've already been a victim of it some years ago. 

Subsequently my wife and I decided to install burglar bars around the house.  If we ever sell our house, it'll probably be described as guarded modesty.  But I digress. 

The story identified a male and female as the culprits of the crime.  The picture provided by the newspaper identifies the person as Reynaldo Trevino.  But I wonder if it was a mistake since the person featured may pass for a woman.  Not that it matters;  I'm just left wondering why and how little physical cues influence my thought process.   

Go Bucks go!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Elbow Grease

When I'm not blogging, I like to get in touch with the environment.

Election Day

El Manana reports that only 706 people voted during the early voting period.  No es bueno.  Polls close at 7:00 p.m. tonight, so do yourself a favor and go vote.  It's only the state constitution for crissakes!!!

In Cental Texas, a topic is getting a lot of attention, and the crowds at the polls should be big for this one.  Of course, I'm talking about the highly contraversial issue of the disposable container ban!!!  It's gonna be hot tonight.

In Mississippi, the Personhood Amendment is being closely watched.  We'll see if women's reproductive rights take a blow in that state.

To The Pokey

It's good to have a Who's Who character witness list on your side.  Mr. Pang probably thought he had this thing beat with Hector Noyola, Carlos "CY" Benavides, and Mario Castillo (I don't know who he is) backing him up.  Alas, the local luminaries proved inadequate.  Jerry Pang got two years instead of deferred adjudication.

It probably had something to do with this:
Thompson inquired about whether the three men were aware of Pang's alleged employment of undocumented workers from 1988 to 2010, involvement in a Mexican cockfighting ring called "El Dragon," alleged ties in illegal gambling in 2008, 2010 and 2011, and his alleged possession of blank Webb County food handler certificates.
Oops.  To be fair, who isn't in possession of blank Webb County food handler certificates?  I use 'em at job interviews all the time.

Better Ride Than Mine

People may have physical limitations, but that doesn't mean that they can't be cool.  Ride on.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Mami Chulas On The Mind

Councilman Mike Garza brought back an issue that is near and dear to local bloggers, Mami Chulas.  Apparently, the public is not too happy with the way these establishments are operating, and it doesn't help that new beer run drive thrus, complete with scantily clad dancing girls, are opening up.

A local ordinance is in the books to address the subject of suggestive public displays at beer runs, but it doesn't go far enough.  At least that's the message I got from the council's commentary.  So far, if a girl is seen defying the ordinance, she's ticketed and that's it.  But that's not good enough for the public. 

So what do our leaders suggest?

Well, for one, Mr. Garza suggested having the girls get a permit every day that they dance outside a beer run, just like the Chick-fil-A cow has to get a permit when it stands on the side of the road to attract customers.  Another suggestion was to look at how many times an establishment, or rather the girls, are cited.  If they get so many strikes, then the business could be labeled a nuisance, and closed down.

Councilman Esteban Rangel raised an interesting point:  If a beer run like Mami Chulas was to open in north Laredo, action would be quick and all the beer runs would be closed.  Well, I wouldn't even go that far.  Just try to open one up in the Heights neighborhood and see what happens. 

Tonight a group of citizens went before the council to voice their opposition to a daycare operating at the corner of Musser and Seymour Ave.  I have no doubt that these same people, or people from the north for that matter, would be out with their pitchforks demanding action.

City staff is going to look at what can be done.  But the city manager did stress that state law trumps local ordinances, so our hands are tied to some extent.  Nevertheless, we can rest assured that Mami Chulas will come back into discussion.  And I thank gawd.


City Council Meets Tonight

The mayor spoke to KGNS' Victoria Marshall this afternoon about the newly-opened Independence Hills Park being vandalized.
I think that what eventually is going to happen we're gonna have cameras all over, in all our parks.  I want to see if we can increase patrols, but police can only cover so many areas at a time.  But I think what we really need is the adults to participate, the public to participate and report this vandalism.  And really, uh, if people think they can get away with it, they have another thing going.
I will be surprised if council comes up with any creative ideas to combat vandalism at our parks.

Laredo Is Different

At the HEB on Guadalupe, the cosmetics aisle is fenced off on one side.  This, I presume, is done to curtail theft.  But it makes it hard for me to have to walk the length of the aisle to get soap (pictured to the left) and then walk back out to complete my selections.  Ah, the obstacles we have to endure.

UPDATE on 4/28/2016:

Lend A Hand

I've never had to deal with an aggressive panhandler. 

I always get a thankful response from the people who are on the receiving end of my spare change.  And for the record, I don't tip them out of guilt.  I tip them to counter the righteous among us who can't stand the thought of panhandlers buying booze or drugs with charitable contributions.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Reading Habits

This indeed looks bad for the city, but I can't be too critical when I wasn't all that ready for college level work back in the day.  Let's just say I was easily distracted.  If only I had a snazzy little video to pep me up for my classes.

But let's face it:  we don't make time for reading.  The mayor even admits it during the recent One City, One Book event.
When I asked him about the book during the author reception, he brought it up to me, pointed and read out the title, and told me, "This title says everything."
That's an answer from a non-reader.

For photo ops and happy sing-alongs we have time.  For books not so much.

Mayor's quote above courtesy of LareDOS story in the October issue entitled, 'Sad showing at author's lecture not good for literacy in Laredo.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Oh Gawd!

Earlier today, City of Laredo Mayor Raul G. Salinas made good on his promise to shave his moustache off after several pledges came in totaling $2,000+ for the Make-A-Wish Foundation Radiothon, hosted by Guerra Communications today in front of Macy’s at Mall del Norte.  Big Buck Country’s Senior Program Director David Gonzalez poses with Mayor – the before shot – at the board that showcases photos of some of the kids here in Laredo who have been helped by Make-A-Wish and the radiothon.  Stylists Anabela Arriage and Aldo Hernandez of Regis Hair Salon, located at Mall del Norte, brave the mayor’s wrath to shave off his moustache, all for a very good cause.  After, a very different looking mayor poses with Arriage and Hernandez and 6-year old Daniel Duarte, who is one of the local Laredo kids helped by Make-A-Wish.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Laredo Tire Round Up

There are several events of interest to me happening this weekend.  Unfortunately, I don't know if I'll get to all of them.  Given the nice weather we're having and the animo I've got for tidying up, I'll probably take in about three tires to the City of Laredo's Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event & Tire Round Up.  That's a mouthful.

I've seen a couple of discarded tires along south Meadow, but I'll probably pick up others that are closer to my house.  Hey, I can't adopt every street.

Boat ramp closed at Lake Casa Blanca.  Not good.  Conserve water, Laredo.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Letter To The Editor

Jesus Cantu Cadena wrote in to the LMT Opinion section today to voice his displeasure at "redundant" constables.
There is too much redundancy by the constables in a city the size of Laredo, work that should be assigned, budgeted and performed by the sheriff's office.  The constables should be requalified and assigned to the sheriff's office or resign.  it's bad enough that the police, sheriff, constables, highway patrol and Border Patrol run into each other.  The constables have become mini sheriffs (five-star generals), generating too much expense and depleting the budget.
Last month a constable stopped a big rig from contaminating Hwy 83 any more.  I applaud them.

Cops And Things

For years, border residents have experienced a spillover of goods, culture, and food -- a free exchange between two worlds living side by side.   Now the word 'spillover' has gotten a bad rap, and we can thank hysterical law enforcement officials for that.

Our very own police chief offers some perspective on the recent shooting of a deputy in Hidalgo County.
"I think we still live in a very safe community.  Our crime satistics reflect that,"  Maldonado said.  "This particular incident is certainly ... indicative of the type of events that could take place, but it's not unique to the border."  Maldonado pointed out that municipalities further in the interior of the country see events such as the deputy shooting.  A recent incident, Maldonado recalled, involved a man walking into a police precinct in Detroit and opening fire with a shotgun. 

"This incident that took place in Hidalgo County is not anything that should be alarming or of huge concern to the community," the chief said.  "This isn't indicative of absolute chaos on the U.S. side.  This is an isolated event." 

Small, sleepy communities along the border are not used to violent acts against officials, so I can see how the locals would react when a deputy is shot.  But we can't expect it not to happen when our community is inundated with drug activity on a daily basis.   I am disappointed, however, with the chief's attempt to reassure us.  Him saying that the event "is not anything that should be alarming or of huge concern" will definitely be criticized.

Passage above via LMT story

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Not At All Presumptuous

Indeed most people would vote for Sheriff Cuellar today, but that's only because they don't know who's in the race.

Campaigning: Laredo Style

I've never met Rick Flores but his sign tells me that he's a straight-laced kinda man, and that he's calling up all the help (Philippians 4:13 - I can do all this through him who gives me strength) he can get.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Poncho Casso Is Back

And he's running for county commissioner.


Suddenly the Rick Flores - Martin Cuellar rematch becomes a side note.  And to think that yesterday I was thinking of shutting this whole blogging operation down for good.


It's The Drought

It has been pretty historic.
In a typical year, hay can be a kind of agricultural afterthought, a humdrum staple of country life that is as plentiful as it is affordable. But the historic drought that has devastated much of Texas has transformed these simple bales of dried grass into some of the most sought-after goods in the state. The worst one-year drought in Texas history has produced a statewide hay shortage that has more than doubled the price of large round and small square bales, forcing many ranchers to sell or even abandon all of their cattle and horses because they cannot afford to feed them.
A relative visited last night for the Keyrose Halloween festivities, and before she got through the front door, she made a comment about my front yard.  She said something to the effect of, "what happened to all your plants?"  While I appreciate the fact that she's noticed my landscaping in the past, I had to remind her that Texas' drought really did a number on my plants.

My grass was wiped out, and a couple of bushes dried up.  On one hand, it's a good thing because it gives me a chance to rework, and rethink my landscape design.  On the other, it's bad because I don't think people will change their habits to be more water-wise. 

People just expect Laredo to be hot and they don't adapt as far as water use is concerned.

Another Drug Tale

Law enforcement officials are a special breed.  They put their lives on the line every day.  Because of that, they can use terms like "spillover violence" all they want.  I don't agree with it but who am I to judge?