Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Davy Jones Died Today

Suspended workers

Behavioral health center leader OK'd rule violation

By Nick Georgiou
LAREDO MORNING TIMES
Published: Wednesday, February 29, 2012 2:42 AM CST
The executive director of the local mental health center has been suspended after he allowed an employee to use a car rental account for personal purposes, the center’s attorney said Tuesday.
Who needs primary campaign activities when we have a different kind of freak show in progress?  For the young hoodlum who pointed a gun at a restaurant employee -- and then left, only to come back with his friends as if nothing had happened -- I might give a pass to.  He's a young punk and he's just dumb as a bag of rocks.  But what does it say about us when we have a sheriff deputy taking marijuana evidence from a scene?  We have a firefighter pleading to insurance fraud; El Metro units being transferred to Mexico without proper authorization; And crazy transplants thinking that nobody pays attention to videos posted on the internet. 
 
The year of Sara Walls may not prove to be the most politically inspired.  But we won't be at a loss for acts of idiocy. 

This Is Normal For Texas

Redistricting may have been settled for now, and some candidates can now focus on a primary election day.  We can also turn our attention to other things like the state's budgeting practices and Planned Parenthood being under assault.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Missing Dog

When pleas for help in looking for your dog don't go anywhere, turn to television.


Al Guevara Still Working

I gotta hand it to Al Guevara:  Border Media shuts down the only station that plays rock music, leaving Al in limbo, and rock fans expecting him to answer for the unexpected move.  Yet he comes out to ask the public to support the upcoming St. Jude Radiothon.  Al is the consummate professional.  BMP, you can bite me!


Thanks to the internets, I can find out about new music.  Out today, School of Seven Bells.

Is Life Cruel Or Just Mean?

On the same day a police officer is recognized for his recovery from being dragged by a car, a Border Patrol agent is rear-ended and taken to a local hospital. 

County Debt


For the last five years, my county taxes have increased anywhere from $5 to $23 yearly.  These hikes are a result of property appraisal adjustments.  County officials reassure us constantly that they never raise their tax rates, and now they say the new bond issue will have no effect on our taxes.
Valdez said the bond package will not increase the tax burden for county residents.
Whatever.
The additional debt obligations could be paid for by allocating more funding from the county's existing tax dollars.  Higher property valuations county officials hope for this year could also help service additional debts.
Pues ya si no?!
I say yes to remodeling the Tex-Mex building, and no to a new tax office.  Amazon and iTunes have showed us that brick and mortar facilities are not that ideal any more.  If anything, a small outlet would do.


Monday, February 27, 2012

Veni Vidi Yaqui


Some best friend's sister's boyfriend's brother's girlfriend heard from this guy who knew this kid who's going with the girl who saw the first ever WBCA event say that George Washington was really liked by Hispanics.

George Washington might've been viewed as a rock star, but the fact that we celebrate him locally has more to do with imperialism and xenophobia.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Cool Saturday






Yesterday I attended the plant clinic/swap event hosted by the St. Peter's Historic Neighborhood Association and Keep Laredo Beautiful.  It was originally going to be held at the St. Peter's Plaza, but because the morning was overcast and there was a chance for rain, it was moved indoors.  The location pictured above is half a block from the plaza.

Lynne Nava of KLB went over some plants' characteristics.  She explained how she has, over the years, exchanged cuttings from her garden with neighbors, and they too have  returned the favor.  This method of community propagation is easier on your finances, and the relationships forged through this activity she compared to the roots of a plant that take time to mature.

At the end of the session, attendees were able to take with them cuttings from the featured plants.  There was a St. Peter's resident who took several samples from her garden, including savila, to share with everybody.  I only had one little offering.  I wonder who made off with it.

In talking to my mom later in the day, she told me about how she and my grandmother would exchange plant cuttings with "Docha," an old lady that used to live far out east on Del Mar Blvd.  I have vague memories of going out to her property.  My mom's aunts and one cousin also shared plants with us.  Of course, my mom also bought things at the old Gentry's on Meadow Ave.  Perhaps it's because of all those trips to the nursery and tending to plants that I still enjoy the ritual of gardening.  Something has to explain the fact that I was the only male at the event yesterday.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

They Like Us

I don't know if the new Lacks commercial was done in response to the Sarah Walls rant, but the furniture outlet wants everybody to know that Laredo is good in their book.


Friday, February 24, 2012

Changes

Slowly I've been making some changes to the site this year.  I did away with the ads that used to appear after the first post, and the sidebar has lost some of its old residents.  As you can now see, I've added some tabs right under the masthead.  Once I transfer all the sites from the blogroll (sidebar) to the new blog tab, nothing will appear on LaSanbe's side. 

I'm still toying around with the idea of creating some new podcasts.  If I do, I'll set up an account with iTunes and leave my old podcasting host, Podbean, altogether.

Feel free to share any thoughts.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Remember The JC Martin House?






The old J.C. Martin house has undergone some remodeling in recent months.  You've probably driven by and noticed the new lighting, iron fencing, yard statues, and a still-under-construction retaining wall on the curb.  When all these additions first started, I figured somebody finally bought the famous landmark that once belonged to one of Laredo's biggest crooks, if not the biggest.  Eventually I learned that the owner was a person with access to a lot of money.  But more on that later.

I didn't really pay attention to the curb construction project until I read a comment on a Pro8news blog post.  The writer basically asked why there was no sidewalk included on the curb.  So I decided to go see for myself, and wouldn't you know it, the person was right.  Oh sure, a sidewalk could be factored in, but there would be no access to it from the corner.  Apart from that I wondered how a private citizen could remodel a section of the street that is supposed to belong to the city, i.e. us!

So I took my pictures, but as I was getting in my car, the owner of the house drove up and asked me what I needed.  And I said, yes, Mr. Javier Santos, how did the city allow this when I would probably be denied from undertaking anything like it on my curb?  And how are people supposed to walk here when there's no access to the curb?  He told me he got a permit for it, and that people don't walk around here so there was no need for pedestrian access.  According to him, the retaining wall is essential so as not to have any dirt fall on Clark Blvd.  And the trees were cut down so no branches fell on the street.  





I asked him for permission to take a picture of the permit on the fence.  But quite frankly, now that I think of it, I didn't need permission since the curb doesn't belong to him.  At least it shouldn't!  

Somebody gave him a permit for the construction of the wall.  But it doesn't look  like anybody is overseeing the project for needed specifications.  Where's the handicapped ramp access?  Forget that for a moment.  Where are the sidewalks for the Heights neighborhood?!  This is Clark -- one of the only roads where a person can access the far east of Laredo with the far west of Laredo.  The road has plenty of medians that could be dressed up; It could be turned into an actual feature for Laredo.  Instead it's being neglected, and the only parts that are getting attention nowadays are not up to code. 

There are plenty other questions I have about this -- questions that I hope get answered.  But in the meantime, all I can do is wonder.  I'll wonder how much money I would have to have to be able to do this.

Buddies


So what if a former Tamaulipas governor is being accused of taking money from cartels?  That doesn't necessarily mean that our representatives are also corrupt.
And documents in a criminal case in Texas allege that Yarrington, who worked hand in hand with his Texas counterparts during his career as state treasurer, governor, Mexican congressman and border mayor, was on the take from one of Mexico's most notorious drug cartels.
Still, if Mr. Yarrington is found guilty, the picture above is a perfect example of keeping your friends close and your enemies closer.

Thanks to the blog reader who gave me a heads up on this story.

Laredoans Taking Action

A lot of people complain about Laredo's shortfalls, but few actually take the initiative to do something to better the community.  Enter Donna Copeland-Magnon.  She, like so many of us, has noticed the trash problem that plagues every corner of our city.  So she's inviting anyone who wants to participate in helping her clean up District II to give her a call.

In talking to Mrs. Copeland-Magnon, she brought up the usual suspects that litter our city:  plastic bags, and furniture.  She even mentioned one company dumping paper products illegally behind a popular big box store in District II.  In cleaning up her area, she hopes to present a clean environment, not only for Laredoans, but for visitors alike.

Mrs. Magnon hopes to keep this endeavor at a grassroots level, because she believes most community projects eventually get co-opted by self-serving politicos.  One of her hopes is that other neighborhoods can follow her lead, and eventually, work in conjunction with each other to keep Laredo clean. 

Lynne Nava of Keep Laredo Beautiful will assist with this project.  Equipment will be provided for those who help out.  For more information, call Mrs. Magnon at :  956-763-3995.

LaSanbe applauds Ms. Magnon.  We need more people like her. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Third

Judge's son arrested in fleeing case

By C├ęsar G. Rodriguez
LAREDO MORNING TIMES
Published: Wednesday, February 22, 2012 4:32 AM CST
The son of Municipal Court Judge Rosie Cuellar-Castillo is out on bond after police say he fled from an officer.

But defense attorneys representing Mario Aurelio Castillo III, 20, say they are looking forward to proving Castillo’s innocence once the case reaches the courts.
I don't take joy in anybody's kids getting busted by the law, but it's interesting when men who are carrying the proud family name get into trouble.  I don't necessarily mean having a connection to an elected official, but instead, being one in a line of supposed heirs to some sort of family legacy.  Having a roman numeral at the end of your name should mean something -- until that person gets into trouble and then the parents rethink their whole decision about passing the family name on to a delinquent. 
 
Perhaps it's karma telling people to be more humble. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Thank Goodness For Judith Zaffirini


(AUSTIN) — Senator Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, on Thursday (Feb. 16) received the Horizon Award from the Christian Life Commission, the policy agency of the Baptist General Convention of Texas, for her leadership in promoting access, affordability and excellence in higher education.
As Chair of the Senate Higher Education Committee, I am delighted to accept this award and to champion higher education opportunities for all,” Zaffirini said. "It's my pleasure to share Texas Baptists' goals of increasing high school graduation rates and ensuring that Texas students are college ready."

Press release via Zaffirini camp


Continuing of the subject of "promoting access, affordability and excellence in higher education," I offer this:


They Tell Us Fracking Is Safe



Hydraulic fracturing-related stories have been in the news lately.  Pro8news reported on the arrest of a man responsible for a sludge spill recently.  And last week the town of San Ygnacio spoke out against a proposed waste dump site.  The outcry against the site was influential enough to have TX Energy Services withdraw its application from consideration.


Letter sent in by blog reader

The public, myself included, has been concerned about the potential ill effects that hydraulic fracturing can have on the environment.  Members of the community have even gone before city officials to voice their worries.  But it seems like our efforts have been misguided.  There's actually nothing to worry about and all your suspicions can be eased thanks to a study conducted by the University of Texas Energy Institute.

The study proposes that hydraulic fracturing isn't so much responsible for water contamination, as are practices associated with it.  From the study:

In other words, "fracking" doesn't cause contamination of the environment; Instead it's the cement casings that fail.  And if water is being contaminated, it's because of chemical runoff from surface areas.

Oh, I see.

Mr. Keyrose, the shin splints you are experiencing are not from jogging three miles a day.  They're actually a result of the constant, alternating heel-to-toe motions you're executing over long distances every 24 hours.
And doctor, what about this study being funded by big oil?
No, no.  Big oil didn't contribute any money to this study.  They only contribute enormous amounts of money to the college. 
I see.  Thank you, doctor.

While we're on the topic of doctor's visits, here's another nice little nugget from the study.


But again, remember, these adverse health effects only exist if something were to go wrong.  (See previous excerpt)

I really don't see how supporters of horizontal hydraulic fracturing can point to this UT study to reassure us that the practice is safe when the only science the study includes is explaining how benzene is also found in second hand smoke.  The science hasn't even been done.

There's still much work to be done on everybody's part.  And critics of "fracking" shouldn't be discouraged by university personnel who put out studies based on semantics.  The media didn't create this alleged hysteria.  Look to the people of San Ygnacio and you'll see how fears aren't based in perception, but on reality. 

Monday, February 20, 2012

Did He Say Joey Or Chuy?


Laredo has gotten some press from national media outlets after one Sarah Walls went on and on about this town's shortcomings.  In response to that, Jack Strunk came to Laredo's defense.  So today Jack got a visit at his home in Kentucky from local dignitaries to present him with a key to the city.  They figure:  if this man can speak to Laredo's family-oriented image, the least we can do is deliver him several tokens of appreciation. 

But you don't have to be Jack Strunk to put the word out about Laredo.  No sir.  All you have to do is call in to a popular t.v. show, mention that Laredo is on the border, and let people draw their own conclusions about us and this city.  See video below.






I actually don't remember the show "Sister, Sister" but here's the link if you're curious.  And Tim Reid, aka Gordon "Venus Flytrap" Sims, I recall more fondly from "WKPR in Cincinnati."

The Bravo show is popular with the natives.  Here's another instance of a local calling in to ask a question.

Something's Off


Being a city that depends highly on food stamps while not having enough affordable housing may seem like an inconsistency, but you have to remember that Laredo is heavily Hispanic, yet we celebrate the colonial elite.

Antihistamine-Filled Weekend

Que Fregados blogged at length about the recent parade.  And Bordertown Blues wrote about possible licensing infractions taking place at said event.  This year I decided to venture out to San Bernardo to see the big parade in person.  But instead of camping out the day before, I payed a LaSanbe tenant for four comfy folding chairs for the Keyrose family. 

The only downsides were the windy conditions that kept blowing tree lint all over us, and the family in front of us who stood for the better part of the parade.  I'm thinking:  people, you have front row seats!  Why are you standing looking up the street to see what is coming up next?!  I didn't pay for these chairs to see your ugly mugs all day long.  Sit down!

As for all the pollen flying around that day, my eyes ended up looking like watery tomatoes.  It's the last time I go out for the parade. 

Friday, February 17, 2012

Parade Last Night



The natives went out last night to see their sons and daughters march under the lights.  The Youth Parade, which features younger groups, has the same route as Saturday's big event:  it goes down San Bernardo Ave. and then takes a right on Victoria.  We almost saw it live, but decided against it due to the weather's unpredictability.  Also, we were just tired and didn't want to go anywhere.

Thank goodness Public Access aired the parade.  The theme for the parade was Rock & Roll.  That's funny because we no longer have a rock station in Laredo.  But that didn't stop participants from dressing up in KISS costumes.  And for some reason, the Webb County contingent included an image of the Bordertown Drive-In on their float (around the 2:15 mark).  Big ups to them. 

Kudos also to the two ladies on emcee duties.


Just Like Ours


This sounds familiar.
“San Antonio Rose Live,” which had operated on weekends since Sept. 21, 2009, closed Sunday. The glitzy project — which included a $6 million renovation of the 1926 landmark at St. Mary's and East Commerce streets — was a dream for its creator Rick Drury, director of Drury Southwest.
The theater failed to attract an audience, and one concert promoter spoke to its limitations.
“We looked into it as a live music venue. It's a tough situation down there because of the parking. It's a beautiful theater and has tremendous potential. But with only 970 seats that means you have to sell it out all the time. It's cost prohibitive,” he added.
Parking seems to be a common complaint for anything downtown related.  But how is it that the Majestic Theater is still up and running?  The Majestic is a 2,000+ seat venue.  That helps to some extent but parking can't be used as an excuse. 

Laredo had its own downtown theaters long ago.  None of those spaces are used for entertainment today.


Tivoli Theater pic courtesy of blog reader

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Political Opportunism


I really don't understand our leaders' fascination with Jaime Zapata.  I get that he served the community, died in the line of duty, and for that, should be honored, but does Raul Salinas have to turn this into a photo op?  Really, what business does our mayor, or any city staff member, have in going to an anniversary mass out of town? 

Correct me if I'm wrong, but a former Daiches student died while serving in the Middle East.  Where is his statue?  Where is his yearly press conference?

While We Wait For The Primary

Judge Salinas-Ender's post is a highly coveted position so it makes sense that one would use everything at his/her disposal to try to win a race.  And when attorneys are involved, it's only natural that legal challenges would arise.  Like I had commented before:  I may not have much to do with which candidates wins, and their success will probably not impact me much, but it's great to watch all the manuevering -- good and bad -- that goes on to run a campaign.

In other candidate news - a valley man, Robert "Bobby" Maldonado, put his hat in the ring for constable.

He's a Desert Storm veteran, a former state trooper, and likes to speed while driving around with $1 million in his car.  I hope people won't hold that last part against him.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Southern Pride In The Barrio


A reader submitted a photo to LaSanbe HQ on this humid, overcast Wednesday.  What you see here is a local speaking up for slavery states rights in flying an old Confederate Flag.  Seems right since we're about to get all colonial-proud up in here.

UPDATE:  An ambulance that can't go nowhere.


Another reader sent in this shot of an ambulance held up by the train near Marcella Ave. and Corpus.  Not sure if the EMS crew was responding to a fire that engulfed a house on Lyon, but this scene reinforces people's frustration in dealing with trains.   

Redistricting Not Settled Yet

At the rate Texas redistricting is going, Rick Flores might have a chance to enter the race for sheriff after all.
Although the chances of an April primary are not officially extinguished, even the judges acknowledged those prospects are fading because of logistics. Elections workers from some of Texas' largest counties are pushing May 22 as the next earliest date if maps can be settled quickly.
Emphasis mine

Rick Flores moved back to Laredo in April.  Sheriff Martin Cuellar contested Flores' eligibility, noting that Flores had to be a resident of Texas for one year in order to run.  So partisan state politics might actually work in our favor (as well as Flores') as we'll be subjected to more Flores v. Cuellar drama.  As a blogger, I love it.

As for all the other local candidates, their Spring Break, or Easter holiday might include more heartburn and sleepless nights as they have to worry about extending their campaigns.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Fracking Practice Denied






The town of San Ygnacio hosted a public forum yesterday where its citizens were invited to speak on a proposed drilling waste dump site.  In the days leading up to the meeting, people voiced their concerns about the project, saying that it had the potential to contaminate nearby waterways.  Well, the public spoke loud and clear.

Via the Laredo Morning Times (JJ Velasquez):

When Webb County Commissioner Jaime Canales, who serves on the state's Eagle Ford Shale task force, asked the audience to indicate whether they were against the plan by raising their hands, few in the audience had their hands down. 

Their reluctance to having Texas Energy Services set up a dump site for fracking sludge was brought on by their experience with a saltwater disposal site which emits a foul odor.  John Crist of T.E.S. tried to reassure the audience that precautions were taken to prevent any adverse effects on the environment and the public, but they weren't having it.

In a question-and-answer session, Crist responded to ubiquitous complaints and said he would cut the Railroad Commission's work short and pull the application from consideration.  He then left the meeting abruptly.  

And so it was done.  The people of San Ygnacio pulled together and stopped big oil in its tracks.  Well, maybe not big oil, but one of its minions.

I want to hear what Rep. Richard Raymond has to say about this.  I want to see him chastise the people of San Ygnacio the way he talked down to Laredoans who had concerns about fracking in general last year.  We've seen the effects that the natural gas industry has had on our environment and it's not pretty.  We know it and our neighbors due south know it too.  I applaud the citizens of San Ygnacio.  They value their natural resources more than most around here. 

Now if Raul Salinas wants to make nice with these companies, I say go right ahead.  We've got some nice land near the new baseball field, or near the new golf course, where we could store this toxic sludge.  Let's see just how committed he is to this.

Ricky Salazar Makes Contact


I found this flier on my windshield yesterday.  My car was parked amongst other cars so it's not like I was singled out or anything.
The leaflet is chock-full of personal information.  And what is pictured here is only half of it; there's more fine print than meets the eye.

Mr. Salazar seems like a capable candidate for the office of constable, but I don't know if his resume will be viewed as an asset by precinct 2 voters.  And judging from statistics, bald candidates don't fare well in county politics.  Perhaps he's better off running for mayor or city council.

At any rate, Keyrose wishes Ricky Salazar luck. 

No More Shoes Left To Drop

Center chiefs facing moves

By Andrew Kreighbaum
Laredo Morning Times
Published: Tuesday, February 14, 2012 6:09 AM CST
The directors of La Presa Community Center and the Rio Bravo Community and Recreation Centers south of Laredo will rotate after a vote by Webb County commissioners Monday.

The court approved an item by Precinct One Commissioner Frank Sciaraffa to rotate the directors of all precinct community centers, except for Mirando and El Cenizo community centers.

Sciaraffa said he wanted to make the moves to improve customer service at the centers.

I want to send out a special Valentine's shout out to County Commissioner Frank Sciaraffa.  It looks like bad news is yet again following him around, and for that, he gets my sympathy.  
"I work for the community," she said.  "Wherever he wants to send me, that's fine.  I think I can go just about anywhere and be a director."
 
Davila filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission last year.  She confirmed to Laredo Morning Times Monday that the complaint was made against Sciaraffa.  Davila said she and her attorney had received a right to sue letter from the EEOC and plan to file a lawsuit against Sciaraffa soon.
  
The most I know about Sara Jo Davila is that she has DJed at a local radio station, and was Frank's handler when he was first running for office.  If I've got the wrong Sara Jo, please feel free to correct me.  Now she's proud to serve the community in any setting available (as long as she's a director) but is deciding to sue Frank anyway.  Does anyone know if Ms. Davila worked for Webb County before?
 
Getting back to Frank, he's got a new lawsuit on his hands.  That's on top of Louis Bruni suing him for some supposed unpaid loan some time ago.  Then somebody shot up his house.  And to keep things interesting, his son was busted for drug possession late last year. 
 
It's not easy being Frank.  His is a hard road to hoe.  Now if we could only delay the upcoming primary until the Summer, he would have less to worry about.
 
 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Something To Do


Property owners along San Bernardo Ave. are prepping for the economic surge coming their way as a result of this Saturday's big WBCA parade.  Wendy's, at the corner of LaSanbe and Coke St., will have reserved seats available for $5 (see notice on drive-thru window above).

I might attend the event, but only for sentimental reasons.  And seeing as I have nothing else to do that day, going to watch the parade is motivation for me not to waste a good day on something more meaningless.

People Suspicious Of Cuellar

Henry Cuellar was on t.v. Friday shooting back at allegations that he's a sellout in this whole Texas redistricting fiasco.  This after he sided with Texas AG Greg Abbott in supporting a new map.  He even said that LULAC was on board.  The only trouble is:  LULAC never was
Cuellar likes to model himself a champion of Hispanic voters.  Yet, nobody is coming to his defense in trying to appear bipartisan. 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Friday, February 10, 2012

What's Allowed


I took this picture about a week ago.  Apparently the natives don't yet know that you're not supposed to place ads on any structure that is considered a right of way.  Que Fregados mentioned that even aspiring politicos are doing it.  It's begs the question:  If city officials can't inform its own citizens on the latest ordinances, how do they expect to dispel any misconceptions that non-Laredoans might have about this town? 

UPDATE:  I saw this video over on Que Fregados.

Cierra la boca!!!


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Random Likings

For anyone who's ever linked to "Should I Stay Or Should I Go," or added the song to their DJ or cover band playlist, you've always been docked points in my book.  I don't know that that means much since I dig Mike+The Mechanics.


In other news, the Ohio news station that is recreating court scenes with puppets is tops in my book.  The court case, involving a corrupt commissioner, is closed to the public.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Glasses Come Off

The mayor likes to get real earnest when he's got his gavel handy and the camera is rolling.  At Monday's meeting he even took off his glasses to show how upset he was at a particular Sara that criticized Laredo.  But if I remember correctly, when he took on Glenn Beck, he folded like a cheap suit.  When the residents of Los Martinez neighborhood took him on, he just faded away into his vehicle.  And let's not forget that Meg Guerra of LareDOS handed him his ass after he denied her her 1st Amendment rights.

But that was so long ago.  The mayor will stick up for himself and his people.



Off The Air

Something interesting happened on Monday -- something besides one woman's video going viral.  That something was that two local radio stations, 94.9 FM and 107.3 FM, were switching places for some unknown reason.  In the afternoon, the change had been made, leaving listeners puzzled by the move.  But if that wasn't enough, the signal for 107.3, the new home for the rock station "The Works," went dead. 

I contacted staff at the station and Ms. Ana Rivera had this to say:
Hi, we hear your pain.  We love rock, as well. The fact the The Works is not on the air at this time was not because we did not want it; it is because we were unable to come to terms with the owner of the frequency.  Unfortunately, the choice is not ours.  You can still listen to us online at www. 949theworks.com  Appreciate your passion.
I requested a little more detail from Ms. Rivera but the statement above was all I received.

I'm dumbfounded by the lack of communication from a media company.  And it's strange that they would have to pay somebody ("the owner of the frequency") for the frequency.  I thought radio stations payed dues to the FCC.  Perhaps somebody could shed light on this matter because it sounds a bit off.

Which Way Did He Go?


Another person valiantly escaped from the local jail.  His breakout probably would've gone unnoticed if it wasn't for a bystander.
A preliminary investigation revealed a woman waiting to bond out an inmate saw Garcia coming out of a window on the north side of the building.  Cuellar said Garcia managed to escape through a light fixture in an interview room in a secure area.  "He went up through there and climbed all the way to an administrative office, ... a nonsecure area, and opened the window and he was out," Cuellar explained.
So nobody was in the interview room area, in the administrative office, or outside the window that was used to get out.  So where was everybody?!

I can't knock jail staff for having an inmate escape.  I mean, it's not like the place is Alcatraz or anything.  If Andy Dufresne, and Frank Morris can do it, why not a burgeoning suspected thief?  You've got to wake up pretty early in the morning to stop the Frank Abagnales of the world.


Henry Not Winning People Over

Cuellar a sellout?  Say it ain't so!
“He’s a deplorable, dishonest person. He’s proven it time and time again in redistricting,” said Matt Angle, founder of the Lone Star Project, a group aimed at supporting Democratic candidates in Texas. “I know it sounds over the top, but it’s true.”
Cuellar can play both sides of the fence and it won't affect him one bit.  He knows that because he's got the Laredo public behind him.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

LBJ Color Guard Takes Prize


Props to the LBJ Color Guard for taking home 1st Place honors at this weekend's indoor competition held at Martin H.S.  This goes to show that the south side can represent.

(Photo courtesy of El Reportero Urbano)

Selective With Facts


Yesterday the mayor praised the city of Laredo by calling attention to the new baseball stadium and golf course currently being built.  (You can see the mayor's statements here)  This resulted after a female Colorado transplant channeled Andy Rooney on steroids and dissed Laredo.

What the mayor left out was the fact that several facilities throughout town have yet to be finished.


This photo is not of Mami Chulas #2, but instead, it's of the public library located at the corner of Hwy 83 and Palo Blanco.  For at least a couple of weeks I noticed that construction had stopped.  I didn't know whether the building's design was being redone, or whether the city's only forklift was out for repairs.  Lo and behold, the LMT tells us today that the construction company charged with the project has been let go.  But details are lacking.  The only thing the story tells is that sub-contractors were not being paid.

I don't want to say that city council, the mayor, and the city manager are incompetent, but their Spidey sense has been on vacation for quite some time now.  They haven't picked a winner in quite a while.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Ya Callate!

Blasita Lopez of the Convention and Visitors Bureau was asked to give a status report to city council on the work her department is doing to attract movie makers to Laredo.  Supposedly Laredo is a great location to shoot a movie.  I say: sure, as long as they include car chases.

But before Ms. Lopez speaks, let's have the mayor talk us to death.


A Fiery Monday

So I'm driving to work this morning and I hear Al and Ruben (on 94.9 FM) talking about a video that's gone viral locally.  The video is supposed to be of a young lady who's been living in Laredo for about a year now because her husband was transferred here due to work.  She apparently is not thrilled with this town, so she lets loose with everything she sees wrong with Laredo.  (Que Fregados heard about the video too but didn't post a link)

The video comments section has been filled with a mix of some heated backlash and some acknowledgement of what the videographer states as true.  It's clear that the woman does not like Laredo.  That's alright.  I know not everybody is going to like this city.  But in her making statements like, "Thank God I wasn't born here, or raised here, because I'd probably be dead by now," is pretty ridiculous.  It's hyperbole fueled by anxiety.  But that doesn't mean that I hold anything against her.  Again, Laredo is not for everybody.  Hell, at one point we've all criticized Laredo, and then just brushed it off with a disappointed "Aaaa raza!"

We have to understand where this woman is coming from.  She's not happy and she's just venting; albeit in a juvenile manner, but venting nonetheless.  For those who vehemently disagree with Sara, I hope you look at yourself and ask what you've done to better this town.




UPDATE:  You knew it was coming.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Superbowl Thread

It's been a sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, stuffy head, fever kind of weekend, but I'll tread on. 

Friday, February 3, 2012

Menso






What is it with these law enforcement types that keep getting into trouble?  Don't they know that their hijinks have been tried before and things ultimately ended badly?

MTB Race In Laredo

Alcohol-filled festivities will certainly abound this weekend, as Bordertown Blues attests, but don't fear, for not every event in Laredo requires a designated driver be present.  The Pedalheads of Laredo, together with Laredo Ciclo Mania, are sponsoring a mountain bike race Sunday, April 1, 2012, at the City of Laredo Shiloh Trails.  The registration fee for adults is $25.  For those younger than 18, the fee is $5.

Bicycling has had a small following in Laredo but things seem to be looking up.  Just today I learned that the city is making some progress with the Chacon Creek Hike/Bike Trail, offering local enthusiasts an alternative to some of the trails already in place.  The construction of the new stretch of trail, once competed, will enable riders to bike from the south Meadow/Chacon Creek area (Mami Chulas nearby) all the way to the Haynes Rec. Center behind the Target on Loop 20.

San Antonio has even seen an increased interest in cycling.
Cyclist and friend of Francis and Martinez, Leslie Cantu said that the cyclist culture is growing in San Antonio, particularly in Southtown.
Could it be that la raza is finally taking up something constructive, something other than menudo, jalapenos, and beer?
I applaud anyone who does something to further the sport of bicycling in Laredo.  Not only is it a quality of life issue, but the sport can certainly shed a good light on this town's image.  It may not be what Falcon Lake is to fishing, or what local ranches offer hunters, but it has to start somewhere. 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Militarization Of The Border

A lot of back-scratching going on. 
Since the U.S. House Unmanned Systems Caucus, otherwise known as the “Drone Caucus,” was founded in 2009 during the 111th Congress, General Atomics and other defense contractors have contributed to its members’ campaigns. Center for Responsive Politics records show that both co-chairmen have received contributions from the General Atomics PAC. Rep. Buck McKeon has received $64,000 and $7,400 has been contributed to Rep. Henry Cuellar’s campaigns. McKeon has also received $4,800 from General Atomics CEO Neal Blue, and another $4,800 from his brother Linden Blue.
Politicians serve their country serve themselves.


Spanglish Only

An Arizona woman was being kept from running for office because she wasn't proficient in English.  A candidate in El Paso is being challenged because he doens't know enough Spanish.  It's a weird line we walk on the border.
Conversely, in an ongoing city commissioner race in El Paso, the incumbent candidate, Willie Gandara Jr., said his challenger was unfit to serve because he didn't know how to speak Spanish well enough. Gandara claimed that speaking Spanish was "of the utmost importance" for politicians in a border city like his own. In 2006, the tiny border town of El Cenizo, Texas, even declared Spanish its official language, sparking heated discussion on the issue nationally.

Supposed Food Stamp Use At Strip Clubs

Suddenly the "Welfare Queen" takes on a different meaning.

I don't know that people are using SNAP benefits at strip clubs since you can't buy hot meals, or alcohol with them, but wouldn't it make sense to allow the practice at such places as strip clubs, casinos, and liquor stores?  By doing so, Congress could track people who are possibly abusing the system and deny them benefits.  But what am I talking about?  This is Congress after all -- not necessarily a group known for thinking outside the box. 

Fair Is Fair

Virginia State Sen. Janet Howell proposed an amendment to counter legislation requiring women to get an ultrasound before getting an abortion.  Her proposal:  Have men undergo digital exams when asking their doctors for a Viagra prescription.  If you're unclear as to what a digital exam is, think Chevy Chase singing "Moon River."
Oh wow, rectal exams? Did we really have to go there? Actually, yes, yes we did. After all, as Howell stated, it's only FAIR that if women should be so intruded upon, then so should men.
Howell's amendment was defeated by two votes.  I thought the vote count would be a little more lopsided considering that men outnumber women in the political arena, and any male legislator wouldn't want this sort of thing becoming law.  But the vote went along party lines; The Dems in Virginia were willing to take one for the team, so to speak, to bring light to the abortion law's ridiculousness.   

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Thief On The Loose


Authorities are on the lookout for a person who stole items from a car parked at the Wal-Mart on Zapata Hwy.  The suspect broke the vehicle's window to get to the loot, in broad daylight no less!
My question is:  where were all the candy apple, tamales, elote vendors that usually occupy the parking lot area?  You mean nobody was out there asking for change?  Nobody was out there selling knockoff merchandise to witness anything?

The perp shouldn't be out there for too long; the cops will eventually catch him.  An old Mustang with chrome rims and a spoiler will be easy to find.  But if that vehicle description proves difficult to find, just look for a young male wearing either an Ed Hardy, or Scarface top, talking incessantly about his favorite movie, "The Fast & The Furious."  You can probably find him at any local car wash, polishing his chrome rims, but paying no mind to his paper license plates.