Tuesday, January 31, 2012

El Super Tazon Five Days Away


My better half told me that the upcoming Superbowl could be the most-watched sporting event ever because of its rematch ramifications, nevermind that two big markets are vying for the big prize in football.  It's possible.  But the locals might just watch to have a reason to cook out and drink, because you know, "there's always a reason to celebrate in Laredo."
And don’t forget the keg.  No Super Bowl house party is complete without “el barril”.  And every party has the dude who brought a 6-pack of Busch in a tiny ice chest, who drinks one, then keeps refilling the empty from the keg until it’s floating and then takes off with his 5 Busch beers after the game.  Luckily we tolerate him because he still doesn’t quite understand the concept of point spreads.
Via Drink Laredo.

Laredo Construction Delays


956 Sports Unlimited features a story today about the delayed opening of Shirley Field last Fall.  While I had my doubts that one certain athletic director was trying to coordinate the opening as such to have Martin H.S. be the first to play at the new stadium, the LMT story explains how several details needed to be completed before occupancy could be achieved, such as:  "Light fixtures needed to be replaced, bolts needed to be tightened, electrical revisions had to made, et cetera..."

Because of the delay, and because of contractual obligations, the contractor owes LISD money.
Just because the math adds up to $78,900, however, doesn't mean the district will be paid that amount.  Villarreal was quick to caution LISD is almost certain to receive less than that in negotiations Nelson hopes will be settled outside court.
Rey Villarreal is LISD's Executive Director for Plant Facilities.  If you're curious, see this video.

Now, even though Shirley's progress was initially hamperd by contaminated soil that needed to be hauled away, construction delays are a common thing in the Gateway City.  The Slaughter Park in my neighborhood took years before opening; And that place is mostly soccer, and baseball fields.  The Haynes Recreational Center along Clark Blvd. took a while to be completed.  I don't even want to mention the proposed Chacon Creek Hike and Bike Trail.  And the construction of the library on Zapata Hwy seems to have come to a standstill.  But now we learn -- thanks to a blog reader -- that the baseball stadium that is currently under construction had a bit of a delay from the beginning.


Via CMC Construction Services:
Leyendecker Construction, Inc. is based in Laredo and is a strong supporter of the community. When they looked at the job they agreed the money was tight and the schedule was short but Laredo deserved the stadium and the community needed the project and the team. The project was five months behind schedule when the first spade of dirt was turned. There have been problems with schedules, equipment, etc. but the young ball players in Laredo are not worried, Leyendecker will see to it that the first pitch is thrown May of 2012.
Weather can't possibly be a factor in putting things together in Laredo because the climate usually works in our favor, especially recently with the drought we've been having.  As a local, it's frustrating to hear that things are coming our way and then we have to wait.....and wait....and wait. 

I realize Laredo is a sleepy little town, but at some point, things need to move along a little faster.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Eagle Ford Waste

I want to see the city put on an event at the L.E.A. about this.
“Why should Zapata County take care of Dimmit, La Salle, Webb or other counties' chemical wastes?” he asked.
Of course, they won't, because the Eagle Ford is all around perfect.  But there may be some relief coming.
Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy, the nation’s second-largest natural gas producer after Exxon Mobil Corp., launched the barrage with an announcement on Monday that it would slash natural gas drilling in half over the next few months.
Emphasis mine

Energy companies are looking to pull back on production because the price of natural gas has dropped.  Apparently the mild winter has put a hamper on the need for gas to heat homes.
So let me get this straight:  the fossil fuels that energy companies depend on have affected climate change.  Now that climate change is having an effect on their bottom line.  Oh, that's rich!!! 



Sunday, January 29, 2012

More With Les Norton






I asked Mr. Norton about the investment it takes to make downtown enticing for shoppers.

Well, it's very hard to get people to invest money in an entity like downtown Laredo today when you see: 'Well why should I invest?  What has the city done?'  You know, for years we've been asking them to improve the lighting system; we've been asking them to work with us to improve the situation at the bridge.  Why is it taking so long for pedestrian shoppers to walk across the river?  I understand that's a federal responsibility, but I'm saying, as a city government you certainly could help us.  Take us by the hand and open the right doors, to get some concrete answers to solutions as to how we can get shoppers from Mexico into Laredo faster.

One of the things that city council has long overlooked is the fact that so many affluent Mexican shoppers that could spend a lot of money in Laredo, those same shoppers, because they can afford it, are flying now from Monterrey directly to Houston, to Dallas, to San Antonio.  They don't have to put up with all that it takes to get from Monterrey to Laredo on the freeway -- the traffic jams, the bridge, the time it takes to cross over.  They don't have to put up with that when they can board a plane, in an hour they can be shopping in San Antonio. 


Honors






Congratulations to the band members from UISD that garnered All-State honors.  The number of students achieving such a goal locally pales in comparison to what the valley schools churn out on a yearly basis, but our homegrown talent gives us something to be proud of.

Kudos to the LMT for featuring these talented young musicians.  If I saw another picture of a mascot, I was going to jump into the river or something.

I wonder how LISD did at the state level.


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Les Norton Speaks To Keyrose

Yesterday I had a chance to sit down with downtown store merchant, Les Norton, to talk about the challenges the Laredo Business District faces on a daily basis.  Enjoy.


While downtown's decline has been years in the making, it's been difficult for anyone to put forward a plan to attract people to the area.  As a result, those whose livelihoods depend on shoppers don't really know what the future holds.


I asked Mr. Norton about downtown revitalization and how long the discussion has been taking place.  He's been a business owner for 30+ years.

It's been talked to death and it's been something that it's all talk and no action.  And the thing is, we've tried through administration to administration, city council to city council, to get them to try to understand that you can have the prettiest streets and you can have the prettiest sidewalks, the prettiest parking lots, but if you don't have people with money, spending that money in stores in downtown Laredo, what good is it to have the prettiest sidewalks, the prettiest streets? 

Our main focal point now and what we've been trying to fight with our city government for the longest times is, in my personal oinion, I don't think they still grasp the fact that we're not asking city government -- we're not asking any government agency, whether it's city, county or state -- I'm not asking city government to put customers inside my store.  I'm asking city government to do their best to compete with cities like McAllen, San Antonio, New Braunfels, San Marcos - cities that over the years have taken away shoppers that normally were shopping in Laredo, they've taken away from us. 

Why?  All I say is compare the city of McAllen, what they've done; And look at Laredo, and compare the two cities.  And there are a lot of whys.  You can make a list of whys, probably ten pages long.  Why do they have more restaurants than we do, better hotels?  Why do they have more stores?  Why why why?  And the city council continues to get upset when we try to compare McAllen and Laredo, yet when all I'm asking you to do is look at McAllen and see what they have; Look at Laredo and see what we have.  Explain to me as a taxpayer, as a property owner, as a large employer, explain to me why does McAllen have what they have.  Why does Laredo have what it has?  That's all I'm asking.  I don't see McAllen wasting $500,000 with an architect firm from San Antonio to develop a revitalization plan that I think is a waste of money.  Have you seen the plan that the city spent $500,000 for?  I haven't.  You know, nobody's seen the final draft.  Yet the city spent over $500,000.  They wined and dined our city council at basketball games in San Antonio, professional fights in Las Vegas, dinners in New York, and we as taxpayers, what do we get?  We get trash fees increased, our water bills increased, all under the guise of the city needs more money.  Well, the city needs more money, fine, but don't go telling me that the city needs more money and then they go wasting $500,000 that could've been used much better than to develop pages of good looking paper that serves no purpose more than a paper weight. 





Friday, January 27, 2012

Choose Your Words Carefully



After police officers were found to have been harrassing Hispanic immigrants in East Haven, CT, the mayor was asked to respond to the charges.  Mayor Joseph Maturo:
"I might have tacos when I go home.  I'm not quite sure yet."
People were upset by the mayor's insensitivy, while others didn't see what the big deal was about.  Those who made light of this situation missed the bigger issue in that immigrants were being taken advantage of by those in power.  The off-hand remark made by Mr. Maturo could've been blown off if police officers weren't abusing their power.

Reform Immigration for America sprang into action by delivering the mayor a ton of tacos.


 
It's not exactly reassuring to know that other communities also have a numbskull for a mayor, but it's good that he's being called out on his behavior. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Public Transport

The Via bus system in San Antonio is happy about the increase in ridership they've seen lately.  Via is using hybrid buses equipped with WiFi, and has encouraged a code of conduct for the public.  Closer to home, El Metro shuttle buses are being transferred illegally, allegedly, to Mexico.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

This Economy Is Made For Food Stamps

Yesterday a Facebook friend posted a link to a story about the origin of the "welfare queen."  The term was made popular by Ronald Reagan, and it's been a go-to subject for those on the right ever since.  Naturally, with modern day republicans regarding Reagan with such high esteem, it's only logical that they would follow his lead.  But apart from that, the argument against public assistance is red meat for conservative politicians wanting to rally the ravenous base. 
The candidates are using such language to highlight philosophical differences between liberals and conservatives, Hayward says. Liberals believe that government can offer the best path to advancement. Conservatives believe a growing private economy provides more upward mobility than government.
Why can't it be both?

Last week I talked about what the food stamp rolls actually look like.  It differs from what conservatives have in mind.  But putting stereotypes and conservative falsehoods aside, public assistance shouldn't be derided when the country is trying to recover from one of the worst economies ever.  And it shouldn't be looked down upon when the way of doing business is not what our grandparents were used to.  A lot of things are outsourced and that's left us with few choices.
Rather, Apple’s executives believe the vast scale of overseas factories as well as the flexibility, diligence and industrial skills of foreign workers have so outpaced their American counterparts that “Made in the U.S.A.” is no longer a viable option for most Apple products.
That's right.  We can't compete with a workforce that has tea with a biscuit for breakfast and goes on to work a 12-hour shift.  And we can't have politicians bitching about putting Americans to work when the work is going overseas.  Food stamps are essential for Americans when jobs aren't there any more.

I'm sure we'll hear plenty about the republican strategy tonight following the president's State of the Union Address.  But I seriously doubt conservatives will have a solution on how to fix the high unemployment rate in this country.  They'll just take a page from the GOP presidential candidates -- bash Obama, give tax cuts to the rich, limit regulations, and on and on and on.

Absorbent And Yellow And Porous Is He


I take no pleasure in chronicling the misdeeds of Laredo's most dumbest for our wildly popular series, Menso Not Mensa, but there's just too much material for this blogger to ignore.

Today's lucky designee is Eric Compean, an enterprising stereo thief with a penchant for wearing cartoon-themed pajamas in public.  While we're on the subject, let me take this opportunity to say how much I detest when people wear pajama pants in public.  I'm a big advocate of dressing down, but when your wardrobe consists of sleepwear, you've shed any ounce of pride or dignity for yourself.  It calls into question your sense of social norms, not to mention hygiene.

But enough about me -- let's talk about Mr. Bikini Bottom for a moment.  How can you be an effective thief if you're going to go around wearing things that people can easily identify?  'Yes officer, I saw the person running away from the scene and he was wearing bright yellow pants, brown Ugg boots, a red satin shirt with fringed sleeves, and some sort of shark fin on his head.'  I would think that one of the requirements to be a thief would be to maintain a low profile.

The Pro8news story mentions a suspect breaking a police vehicle window.  It doesn't state that Compean was responsible for that act of destruction but it helps add to this post, because when you're already in trouble with the law for alleged robbery, it doesn't help your case by also breaking public property, especially that of the cops.  The level of Menso-ness here is through the roof.  This is one instance where there's no reason to celebrate in Laredo.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Fighting Crime

(Jan. 23, 2012)  In response to a recent attack on a jogger in Century City last week, District I Council Member Mike Garza is hosting a neighborhood meeting tonight, Monday, January 23, 2012, starting at 7:00 p.m. at the Century City Park Entrance, located at 120 Century Boulevard.

Present at the meeting will City of Laredo officials and members of the Laredo Police Department who will be on hand to discuss safety awareness and other safety and precautionary related issues.

“By arming ourselves with information, knowing how to keep safe and being alert for danger, we can all help keep ourselves and our neighborhoods safe, sending a message to any would-be criminal out there, we’re not letting them over our community,” said Cm. Garza.

Press release courtesy of the City of Laredo

While I commend Mike Garza for making himself available to the public, I haven't known him to hold a town hall meeting south of Century City.  And of course, he springs into action once a jogger is assaulted in the Century City area.  What I want to know is if the "Bordertown: Laredo" cast members will be there.  If it's somebody who could rally the citizenry, it's them, judging from yesterday's paper.


Immunize Yourself

Laredoans don't need nudging when they're asked to attend menudo or tequila tasting events, as LaredoTejas noted.  But when it comes to matters of well-being, the locals are not as eager to go see the doctor or get immunized against the flu.  This reluctance to take command of one's own health is not good, especially when Mexican health officials worry about the resurgence of the H1N1 influenza virus, commonly known as the swine flu.

2009 was a big year for swine flu; Demand for flu shots was incredible.  But now our concern for H1N1 is practically non-existent.  Thankfully we have celebrities to remind us that the threat of infection is always there.

Squemish individuals aside,  LaSanbe applauds the efforts of those who promote healthy living by getting the flu shot, even if the flu season started months ago.  Stay healthy, Laredo.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Yard Work Weekend Thread

There's something happening in South Carolina today too.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Vikram Datta Sentenced

A blog reader tipped me off to this new development.
The biggest perfume merchant in the Texas border city of Laredo was sentenced Friday in Manhattan Federal Court to 20 years in prison for laundering more than $18 million in cash for a violent Mexican drug cartel.



Food Stamp Need

Numbers are a pesky thing.
Forty-nine percent of recipients are white, 26 percent are black and 20 percent are Hispanic, according to Census data.
We have all these preconceived notions about what a food stamp recipient is but fail to realize that benefits go to people who really have fallen on hard times.

And while we're on the subject of being out of touch, Newt Gingrich should just shut up already.







He Likes His Hat


Our mayor has definitely gone through a style evolution in the last five years.  As time has passed, he's lost quite a bit of hair (eyebrows included), and he's taken to wearing hats lately.  I like hats, but not if they're going to make me look like Dick Armey.  The mayor has enjoyed quite a ride in being our representative.  It'll be a shame to eventually see him go -- not speaking as a constituent, but as a blogger.

Texas Redistricting Debacle


District maps may have to be redrawn.
The justices ordered the three-judge court in San Antonio to come up with new plans, but did not compel the use of maps created by Texas' Republican-dominated state Legislature. Only Justice Clarence Thomas said he would have gone that far.
Time is running out and this only adds uncertainty to what candidate Jerry Garza will face in the primary.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

And One More Makes Five


With a little over ten weeks before the local primaries, I guess it's a little too much to ask to have campaign commercials air.  This county commissioner race (Pct 3) has several candidates with somewhat deep pockets, but I don't expect them to start putting their message out on t.v. for others to dissect this early.  

Mayor's Outing

The mayor presses on to earn his continuing education hours in Washington.  But he has time to pose.


I am very pleased that the U.S. Conference of Mayors has embraced the importance of port economies to lead the nation out of our current economic challenges. Just last week, Laredo was projected to have the greatest job growth potential in the nation. My job and that of my colleagues on the Laredo City Council is to ensure that we live up to this potential.  Transportation funding is so vitally important to our port, and for that reason, I was very grateful for the face time I was able to have with the Secretary LaHood.”

Mayor Salinas also met with representatives from the Department of Homeland Security regarding border security and funding.  “We all agree that the federal government, and by that I mean, Congress and President Obama, must do all they can to support our border crossings. I believe that we best achieve that goal by building relationships, not issuing press releases and studies that are hypercritical. ”

(Photo and press release courtesy of City of Laredo)

LaSanbe will wait for photo proof that the mayor actually met with DHS staff to discuss border security.  Until then, I'll assume that he just had lunch with Henry Cuellar.

L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa comments on the tough political road ahead.
“Anybody who saw the [budget] deal last summer and then the failure of the super committee … knew that there were going to be serious and draconian cuts,” Mayor Villaraigosa said at a breakfast for reporters hosted by the Monitor





Laredo Farmers Market


I always enjoy visiting with friends at the Farmers Market.  This time around I'll get the added bonus of a trolley ride/tour.  Go out to support local vendors and visitors alike.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

They Live Among Us

El Manana reports that a deer hide was confiscated at the Columbia Solidarity Bridge for being infested with ticks.  The person attempting to cross the pelt into the United States said he was hauling it from the state of Nuevo Leon.  The live insects were identified as Boophilus ticks.


Good collar for the federal agents, but now I have an itch just thinking about the whole situation.

In related news, LaredoTejas posted a comment from somebody who stayed at a local hotel.  There were two points of contention from the visitor:  drunk patrons and bedbugs!!! 

And Pro8news had a story on their noon program about a residential property overtaken by ants.  (Link unavailable)  This could've been the hat trick of all blog posts if the story were available online. 

I'm almost tempted to post a video clip of the 1982 movie "Creepshow," but that would send some people running for the hills.

Food Stamp Fraud

Via the Express-News:
Rezaei in August pleaded guilty in the fraud investigation involving swapping card benefits from participants in the food stamp program for discounted amounts of cash. Prosecutors say Rezaei would then charge the government for the full value of the Lone Star card transaction.
When people rail against the supposed Welfare Queen, they've most likely come across a person like Resaei -- someone who buys Lone Star cards for a lesser value. 

Eagle Ford Shale Job Fair


Jose Garcia wrote in to today's LMT Op/Ed page to voice his displeasure at the fact that the Eagle Ford Shale event at the LEA last Friday was more vendor outlet and not so much job fair

The mayor was very vocal about this event, encouraging everybody who wanted to work to come out to meet energy industry employers.  He didn't really go on about the vendor part of the gathering.

What was the real purpose of this event?

UPDATE:

Councilmember Cindy Liendo-Espinoza informed me that 6000 people attended the event.  She was concerned that the turnout would outway the number of positions available.  However, the fair gave people a chance to learn more about the opportunities that the Eagle Ford Shale can afford them.  For the applicants that didn't get hired, they could be considered for eventual employment as the industry activity matures over the next 40 years.  She went on to say:

"The vendors were also there to give local companies an opportunity to offer their services to the oil and gas companies.  If locals get their business, that could mean more local jobs."

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

"Adios Mofo!"

Even if teenagers wanted to show their support for Rick Perry by chanting a line the Texas governor used some time ago, it's not the kind of thing that gets a person elected, at least not at the national level.  Chanting "adios mofo" at a presidential candidate in the run-up to the GOP nomination pretty much solidifies that politician's status as a laughingstock. 
But Rick Perry doesn't need the masses to help him go down in flames.  He's done a pretty good job about blowing his chances for higher office all by himself.  His classic "oops" moment will be a teaching tool for aspiring politicos.  It's something you don't want to do as a candidate.  It might work for somebody in Laredo, but not for someone who is going to have his finger on the button.

Here's another word that I'll remember Rick Perry for:  inappropriate.  That's what he thought of the Marines caught urinating on the dead bodies of Taliban members.  You could characterize the act as inappropriate, but the description wouldn't have the depth, much less grasp, in offering up a point of view on the event.  Unfortunately, lack of depth has been Perry's crutch.  Why he's still in the race is beyond me. 

Come home, Rick Perry.  Most Texans still like you.  Give it up and we won't begrudge you spending all that money for a security detail.  Say adios and be done with it.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Long Weekend Distraction


It's good to do some trail work because the activity helps me ease into some sort of training regimen.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Fences


It's odd the way some fences are built.  Too often I see the frame placed away from the owner's property.  Privacy is achieved, but doesn't that beam placement allow strangers to climb over into the owner's yard?  Even if they don't cross over, they have the means to sneak a peek. 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Laredo Beer Fest


Beer connoisseurs drinkers just caught a break as the organizers of the first-ever Border Beer Fest dropped the admission price from $25 to $15.  This move could be the result of Laredoans waiting till the last minute to buy tickets, a common refrain from local promoters.

I wish David Vasquez the best of luck as he profits from this in raising money for charitable causes.  It should prove to be a great event as 100 different types of beer will be available, in sample form, of course.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Love The Tag Line

Via the Express-News.

On another note, Natural Light must be feeling pretty bad at the fact that Generic Beer rated higher in taste.

This just in:


WHO:             City of Laredo Mayor Raul G. Salinas

WHAT:           Receive yearly flu vaccination

WHEN &        TODAY, January 12, 2012                2:30 p.m. 
WHERE:        City Council Chambers, 1110 Houston Street

WHY:             Flu Season is now in full effect!
The mayor is setting the example for everyone in getting the flu shot.  I will set the example for all men by braving this frigid 49-degree weather for five minutes while wearing no jacket at all.  Carry on.

The Taste of Laredo will not only satiate you, but it'll entertain you as well.


Seeing these jokers kick out the jams may be worth the price of admission.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Dale Shine Tag


Judging from the font (and grammar) of these writings, I'm guessing we have a newbie tagger on our hands.  He, or she, gets points for the bilingual approach, but drops in favorability with the reference to violence. 

This can't be the work of a girl because I don't think a female would like to 'smoosh' under there.  Or could it be that it's referring to something else?

Buh-Bye


If employees at UISD decide to leave the district, it'll be for some other reason besides having the chance to garner a $500/$1000 stipend.  It's a nice gesture on the part of UISD, but it has to be demoralizing to know that $500 probably doesn't cover the superintendant's phone allowance. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

New Webb County Fire Chief


It'll be interesting to see how the county fire department evolves.  If drought conditions persist in Webb County, it will have its hands full.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Congratulations To The Denver Broncos


                                                           Photo courtesy of ESPN

The Denver Broncos defeated my team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, yesterday in a stunner of a Wild Card playoff game.  Thankfully all the Pitt players can now go nurse their injuries.  The Broncos, on the other hand, will have a short week as they meet the Patriots this Saturday. 

Even though the sting hasn't quite subsided, I'll definitely be watching the rest of the playoffs to see what becomes of the Houston Texans, the Giants, and the three offensive powerhouses: the Packers, Saints, and Patriots. 

But for now I want to turn my attention to all this business of overt displays of faith in football.  Many players have worn their religiosity on their sleeve but Tim Tebow (above) has taken it to a whole 'nother level.  Not only does he thank the Lord during press conferences, he's been known to wear a worn-out biblical verse reference on his eye black.  There are worse things that Tebow could be doing, but what does his faith mean when other players profess their Christianity during regulation?



Ben Roethlisberger always points up when his team scores.  That's a nod to a higher power, no?  And Troy Polamalu subtly crosses himself multiple times during a game.  I get that these players are grateful for the gifts that have been bestowed upon them, but how does all this fit into a game of football?  I never hear a player thanking God for a loss, or for the opportunity to play his heart out. 

I don't begrudge anybody for his or her outward display of faith.  It just seems odd that God would be flip flopping during a game, letting one team score one minute, and then rewarding another the next. 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Goods






Times are good for Kansas City Southern, and Laredo for that matter.

Cross-border merchandise trade totaled $341 billion by the end of September, about 18 percent higher than it was at the same point in 2010, according to the most recent data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics in Washington. The increase will help Kansas City Southern, the only U.S. railroad with a wholly owned Mexican subsidiary, weather the effects of a possible European recession as the 125-year-old company seeks to take business away from trucks traversing the border.

The fact that they block traffic near the downtown area is a minor inconvenience.




Saturday, January 7, 2012

Sunny Saturday Thread

Bright and beautiful day out today.  The NFL playoffs will keep me indoors this afternoon, but I'll try to sneak out every chance I get.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Get Your Fiber

A couple of good friends called me up to talk about a health fair they're hosting at the clinic they work at, the Laredo Digestive Health Center.  As you can tell by the name, our discussion revolved around the importance of eating a healthy diet, and getting screened for diseases of the digestive system.

We talked gastritis, diverticulitis, and reflux disease, but of great concern to them was the high incidence of polyps (adenomas) of the large intestine seen in people young and old.  These benign growths along the inner lining of the colon have the potential of becoming cancerous lesions, and oftentimes a person will present with no symptoms whatsoever.  But if these polyps are caught early and treated accordingly, a person can lead a normal life.  Routine follow-ups and dietary changes help decrease the chance of developing serious gastrointestinal diseases.

Now, talking about screening for colon cancer and actually doing it is something  entirely different.  Usually there is some apprehension on the part of the patient when undergoing any type of procedure that involves a sedative, not to mention the fact that a scope (camera) is going to go up into your colon.  But knowing that changes may be occurring in your large intestine with no tell tale signs whatsoever gives me incentive to undergo a colonoscopy.  And besides, most people get worked up for nothing.  I don't mean to downplay the experience, but people recover easily and without event after getting screened.  But don't take my word for it -- Listen to Dr. Elsa Canales as she explains the importance of getting screened for colon cancer.



   

In The News






Nice update via the Express-News.  Isn't technology great?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Booze It Up, Laredo


Being the son of an elected official and being caught driving while intoxicated is not the most ideal of circumstances.  It's pretty dumb when you consider that, on top of all that, Mr. Mario Aurelio Cuellar-Castillo is not even of legal drinking age.  The end of the world for the Cuellars, I mean Castillos, it's not, but it's certainly embarrassing. 

The only comfort here is that Mario didn't hurt himself or others.

I understand why he did it since my friends and I would do the same thing back in the day.  It used to be so easy -- we would just hop on over to Nuevo Laredo to get our buzz on.  Nowadays, there must be other ways to score alcohol.  For instance, a teenager could just walk in to a locally-owned tiendita in the barrio and walk out with a case of beer, no questions asked.  I'm just thinking out loud here;  I really don't know if this is what actually happens.

But driving while intoxicated is a serious problem.  And you know it's bad when the locals call out our public officials for doing it.  Check out the comments that Rosie Gregory Castilleja sent in to the Op/Ed page of the LMT Sunday.


Please excuse the tiltedness of the picture.  I blame it on the stupid scanner.  Stupid,stupid scanner!

Mario Castillo messed up here but I'm not going to hold it against his parents.  I would if I knew them better.  For now, this is just another story of a drunk driver that makes for sensational news because of his family connection.

Instead I'll call out the whole beer-drinking culture that's so ingrained in our society.  I'll call out the Washington's Birthday Parade that's sponsored by Anheuser-Busch.  I'll call out my adult friends who post comments on Facebook about their hangovers.  And I'll call out a local DJ who is organizing a beer fest.  A beer fest!!!  Really, how can we possibly get outraged when drinking is all around us?

 






Wednesday, January 4, 2012

They Come In Threes






Another fire involving vehicles, this time on Hillside and San Francisco.  Coincidence?
Far be it for me to drum up conspiracy theories, but it's weird how these things happen around the same time.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

And The Bidding Starts At...






8 million?!   How did anyone ever come up with that number?  $18 million (new baseball stadium) is more like it when you factor in seats, and curtains.  Please don't say eight million again because you would only be insulting the city manager.


Monday Politics


How much is the Civic Center really worth?  That, and other topics, will be discussed tonight at the city council meeting.

And then there's the Iowa Caucuses.  They don't really figure into picking the eventual republican nominee, but it'll be fun to watch.

Bike Trail Laredo

Been working on the Slaughter Park bike trail again.



Monday, January 2, 2012

Loud Boom Heard Citywide

Word on Facebook and Twitter is that it was a car that crashed into a house in the Heights Area.

UPDATE:

Picture of scene at the corner of Corpus and Meadow (courtesy of Facebook friend)


UPDATE:









Gimme A Break






This whole Tebow phenomenon is mind blogging.  Sports fans criticize him because his football mechanics are sloppy but the media still hypes him up.  I think the attention has a lot to do with his planking ripoff, Tebowing.  Still, I can't understand the adulation (see headline above) when the Broncos Tebow lost the last three games of the regular season, and when they he scored only three points yesterday.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

First Day Of 2012


Ah, a brand new year.  So many possibilities and a whole lotta political happenings to cover. 

2012 looks to be an interesting year, and not only because its a presidential election year.  The local races should be attention grabbers, but then there's the opening of two brand new facilities: the golf course and the baseball stadium.  There's also the economy/ jobs, and the chance that the drought could continue into this year and even get worse.

For those hoping for another season of "Bordertown: Laredo," I wouldn't hold my breath.

Via The Hollywood Reporter:
On Bordertown: Laredo, A&E’s gripping look at the rise of Mexican drug cartel smuggling into the U.S., the Hispanic detectives in Texas fighting on the front lines feel right out of a Cormac McCarthy novel.  
The Dallas Cowboys' performance tonight will tell us a lot of what Laredo should expect in 2012.  After all, the Cowboys are Laredo's Team and all our hopes and dreams hang on their every move.

Happy 2012, people.  And thanks for visiting.