Saturday, March 31, 2012

Sunny Saturday






Good turnout at the Collectors Expo this afternoon.  I picked up some music, and my son was thrilled with the Lego figures up for sale.  I can't for the life of me figure out how a Dr. Laura doll (in yellow pant suit) made it into the mix.

Friday, March 30, 2012

More Rain To Come Tonight?

I bought a ticket for tonight's Mega Millions but I could see how winning could pose its challenges. 

City Juggling


The city has made strides in providing the public with some infrastructure improvements, such as water line upgrades, and the Bartlet Ave. extension.  And in recent years we've seen a big push towards adding more green spaces.  But on issues of helping to create jobs, very little has actually materialized.  I understand the deflated economy, and the violence in Mexico have stood in the way of progess, but I can't actually point to one instance where the city has actually played a major role in job creation, whether it's this administration or the last.  I welcome my readers to correct me on this.

To hear the mayor sometimes, you get the sense that job creation is his main priority; Until the city is receiving federal funds for public safety, then his priority is public safety.  The Economic Development Advisory Committee recently made note of the tremendous response that employers saw at the Eagle Ford job fair held at the LEA.  Apparently, it was so impressive that communities to the north want to do the same.  Good for Laredo, but I don't know if I can give them full credit since they didn't have anything to do with what goes on deep in shale formations. 

Instead let's look at projects that center around retail.

Maximiliano at LaredoTejas talks about the outlet mall project on the Loop, the Town Center Mall.  Word is now that the developers want to buy the land instead of leasing it from the city.  Of course, the city wants to appraise its property higher for x reason(s).  The outlet mall that was going to be situated downtown never came even though it looked like things were moving right along.



And I haven't even heard a thing on the outlet mall that was going to be standing somewhere along I-35.  Let's not forget the downtown revitalization plan.  From the LMT story above:
City Manager Carlos Villarreal said he would discuss the delays with Kell Munoz, the San Antonio design firm leading the efforts, and set a timeline for additional meetings in Laredo.
What, no meet-ups in Austin with Kell Munoz anymore?

I realize that every councilmember's district has its needs and potential but the city has tried to do too much.  In discussing the transportation bill at last weekend's retreat, it seemed like every representative wanted those funds for a particular project.  Cuatro Vientos, supposedly, still has a ways to go.  Charlie San Miguel mentioned the need for widening work on Del Mar.  And Jorge Vera said that Mines Road is going to need help if traffic is going to lead to and from the new Robert Trent Jones-designed golf course.  Certainly the projects are there, but I don't know if the funding will be available for everything.

With roads I can see how several ideas can be tossed around.  But with economic development and retail growth, perhaps it's better if the city commits to one plan and sees it through.  Take one project and finalize it, please.  Then you can move on to the next thing.  It would save a lot of time and money, I think.  If the golf course is going to be what it's been said it's going to be, then the development around it will come.  If the baseball stadium is going to live up to all its hype (until it fades) then business will pop up around it.  Again, some progress has been made, but perhaps it's time to step back and reconsider outrageous thoughts of bus terminals that will shut out two very important city districts.  Look to your successes and go from there.
 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Random Thought Thread

It's because of acts like these that I'll never give the thought of spillover violence no mind.

A Dallas man's life is woeful enough without the details that led to his eventual execution.  Nevertheless, I have to roll my eyes at the thought of him yelling "Go Cowboys!" during his last moments here.

Three words:  Anchorman Two.  I don't deserve so much joy.

And finally the punchline:




Aguas!!! Frutas!!!


El Mañana has a story about a practice that most of us are familiar with: vendors offering goods and services on our international bridges.  What's different now is that the merchandise that's up for sale is being stockpiled along the path of vehicular traffic.  One lady comments.

"Es increíble, nada más aquí pasa esto. Es algo así como una burla porque esa mercancía la pasaron por el puente, donde se supone que hay autoridades federales al cuidado", dijo Silvia Hernández, mientras conducía en medio de una larga y lenta fila de autos.  "Ya nada más faltaría ver que los vendedores ofrezcan sus productos a los customs americanos en plena caseta de revisión", añadió.

Yes, Ms. Hernández, it is incredible.  And it does seem like this sort of thing only happens here.  But our little neck of the woods can't be that special.  Surely this has to be happening at other border communities.  I will offer, at the risk of sounding facetious, that this form of commerce is cartel-related, or at least, cartel-influenced.  The bridge lanes must offer some sense of security for those selling bottles of water, and other refreshments.  If I had to deal with the ongoing violence in Nuevo Laredo, I'd probably change the way of doing business too.
Whether we'll see these merchants ultimately going up to CBP agents to sell their wares to -- as Ms. Hernández jokingly states -- remains to be seen.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Becky Palomo Back On

And the TX Supreme Court with the assist.


Kudos to blog reader for the news tip

Gawd Help Me I Will Pull This Car Over!


I never knew things were so tense between JPs, constables and their deputies. 

I gotta wonder if the Civil Service Commission ever asked the parties involved why the deputy took a chair from the entrance of the Pct. 2 building and placed it under a tree.  Deputies don't just set chairs under a tree for nothing!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

SCOTUS Talk

Will "Obamacare" be a hit or miss?
The most emphatic defense of an individual mandate came from Justice Stephen Breyer, who several times raised the question of whether Congress may mandate that everyone who has a fatal, communicable disease be inoculated. “A disease is sweeping the United States,” he said, “and 40 million people are susceptible, of whom 10 million will die; can’t the federal government say all 40 million get inoculation?”
Now excuse me while I go spit up part of my lung.

Mexico Violence


The scale of the cartels' brutality hasn't spilled over to Laredo, TX, but is that fear something that can be quelled with a new municipal golf course?
The incident could be a forerunner to major violence, the source said, because mutilating bodies shows that cartels will resort to barbaric acts in an attempt to intimidate each other.
“We cannot deny that two organizations are in the heat of battle in an attempt to take over this part of the border,” the source said.
Outsiders will always think of the Sister Cities as one and the same.

City's Minutes And Agendas

Yesterday I criticized the city for not having the minutes of council's weekend retreat available for the public to view.  I posted a screen grab that I found under the GOVERNMENT tab.  There I found a list of the 2011 agendas and minutes only.  Today I find out that a tab on the main page entitled AGENDAS and MINUTES is located to the left.  That tab, however, only has the 2012 minutes; And it has the audio of Saturday's council retreat.

I apologize for the confusion. 

I inquired with the city's spokesperson about the meeting's minutes to which I got this response:

The meeting was posted to inform the public and the media of the meeting so they could attend if they so wished, of which a few citizens did attend.   Additionally,  City management decided to move forward with an audio-only recording of this event which  complied with the Texas Open Meetings Act, Section 551.021 of the  Government Code as follows:
(a)  A government body shall prepare and keep minutes or make a tape recording of each open meeting of the body.

The media and the public always has a right to request (through the Texas Public Information Act by submitting an open records request) to view and/or, as in this case, listen, to the most recent City Council meeting at the City of Laredo Public Access Channel studio, as soon as it is available, usually, the next day after the meeting.  You can submit that request via the City’s website at www.cityoflaredo.com.

Finally, the minutes of the meeting are being transcribed as we speak, and should be ready for approval at the next City Council meeting , taking place on Monday, April 2.  Once they are approved, they are posted online.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Lemurs Living Large


Update on 4/28/2016:


Never Say They Go Above And Beyond


What do architects Kell Munoz and the LaMantias of Needmore Ranch have in common:  They host city leaders for events and nothing is documented.

Oh sure, on Friday the telecommunications staff tells you that they will tape the council's retreat and then run the footage the following week (as opposed to live) but today somebody at 1101 Garden St. said they didn't make it out to the ranch.  But don't fear, 'because the minutes of the meeting will be up on the city's website by tomorrow,' said city secretary staff member.  But they're not minutes, really; they're more of an interpretation by staff of what actually happened.  Regardless, they won't be up for us to view considering that staff hasn't updated squat this year.



You know what?  Perhaps if I look under the Town Hall Meetings section.......



  Peor!!!

No biggie.  It's only economic development.  It's only city property that sits idly by.  It's only wanting to build a convention center (when we have the LEA) and bringing up the issue of a water park again (when our lake is running dry).  Yeah, no need to tape any of that.


Saturday, March 24, 2012

I Wouldn't Even Call It A Start






These signs that were installed to alert drivers of a passing train near the downtown area really don't do much for people driving towards the business district.  If you're lucky to see the message on the screen, then you're already in good position to avoid the train in the first place.

If you happen to get stuck with the train, you either sit and wait or go all the way to Lafayette to bypass all the traffic.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Xeriscaping Laredo


This xeriscape design along Zapata Hwy is excellent, but we'll see how well it does in the coming scorching months.  This picture doesn't do justice to the red salvia in the background (center).  A visit is definitely recommended.  With this area being highly trafficable, I doubt any butterflies drop by to feed on the plants. 

Laredo's Own Hunger Games


I'm only thankful that the position of daydreamer doesn't have any state qualifications.  If it did, I'd be in a bind. 

Crowds


During Spring Break, things were calm and crowds were non-existent at public places in Laredo.  But the week leading up to Easter will be the complete opposite.
"Nuestro slogan de Laredo lo tiene todo dice más que mil palabras, en Laredo pueden encontrar buenas tiendas, buenos restaurantes, excelentes hoteles y una gran calidez humana", afirmó la funcionaria.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Turn It Into Mulch


When I'm not blogging, I do this.  And by this I mean taking in other people's green waste.
The new Nelson Gardens Brush Recycling Center and will be located at 8963 Nelson Road, off of Old Pearsall Road, just north of Loop 1604 South. The new brush recycling center will offer residents in the area a more convenient location to dispose of brush, leaves and grass clippings.
My recycling is not large scale, but still, don't tell anybody.  My wife wouldn't appreciate more people dropping off their cuttings on my curb.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I Hope They Have Refreshments

If you're in the neighborhood, stop in at the Eagle Ford Consortium Conference briefing at the Embassy Suites (Conference Rm 4) tomorrow at 1:30 p.m.  Hear the latest updates on the drilling boom going on in Webb County and points north.

Via Blas Castaneda of CTA Global Solutions:
The Eagle Ford Shale Conference held in San Antonio, demonstrated why the Eagle Ford Shale Play is so critical to the Laredo/Webb County region and how Laredo and Webb County are major contributors to the development of the Eagle Ford Shale. However, the Eagle Ford Shale employers are reporting an inability to meet employment goals, thus possibly stifling major economic development within our region.
Interesting.  I wonder why.

UPDATE:  Here's another event worth attending.


Laredo Invasive Tree


I finally got around to identifying a tree that gives many Laredoans headaches: the Popinac (leucaena leucocephala).  Click this link for more information.

This particular species is annoying for several reasons:  It's so invasive that it takes over landscapes; Once established, it's pretty hard to get rid of; And the thin seed pods land all over the neighborhood when a huge wind blows.  They're messy, they're brittle, and I just don't like them.  I actually prefer the thorny native trees that grow wild over these supposed ornamental things.  The best I can do to contain them in my yard is to cut them down at the base.  Chemicals could be used to eradicate the Popinac but I'm not a big supporter of pesticides and such. 

Enjoy your Spring planting.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Your Laredo City Council


At last night's council meeting, the issue of converting the sports venue tax into a 4b funding process for economic development arose.  As it stands now, the Laredo Development Foundation gets its funding from the city's general fund.  Considering that times are tough -- a common refrain by Raul Salinas -- the organization's budget was decreased. 

Councilman San Miguel asked LDF staff to compare their budget with that of comparable markets, to which an example of McAllen's practices was provided.  Apparently McAllen has the resources to make trips to South Korea to promote the valley.

But the point was lost on Juan Narvaez.  He wanted to know what became of that globetrotting gamble.  No further details were available for McAllen's ventures, and Narvaez seemingly proceeded to slay the agitator before the council.  But the joke's on him.  The fact that we look up to McAllen and continually think that they're eating our lunch is because we have to contend with people like Juan Narvaez.  He's so dense that he doesn't appreciate the notion that we could learn a thing or two from them.  And what's more surprising is that nobody calls him out on it -- not the other council members, and certainly not the clueless mayor reclining in his chair thinking about wrapping this meeting up.

In the video below, Narvaez chimes in at the 1:15 mark

 

Four Dollars Here We Come

I don't know if it was me, but I sensed somewhat of a gasoline price panic this afternoon.  Along San Dario, unleaded was $3.72.  On Corpus Christi it was thirteen cents cheaper and cars were stacking up to get to the pump.  It might have something to do with rush hour, but I couldn't tell. 

Ramblings

I've casually followed Dancing With The Stars the last several years, but there was a big buzz about last night's season premiere because of one William Levy (Mexico's Brad Pitt).  That's fine and all.  Several family members and Facebook friends were on high alert in anticipation of the Cuban's appearance.  But given the storms that shook south Texas last night, wasn't it convenient how KSAT interrupted the show after Levy performed?!  Hmmm.  Interesting.

In other news, LaredoTejas posted on the new Cat showroom for Laredo.  El Manana also mentions it.  I'm surprised the city hasn't turned this into a publicity event where they pat themselves on the back for this larger facility.  LT thinks they might be preoccupied with other duties.

And the NY Times is getting stingier with its content:  they're decreasing their free articles to ten.  Paywalls are great and I think all outlets should institute them.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Not A Vacation

The mayor and a ton of city staff went to D.C. two weeks ago to present laurels and hardy handshakes to federal representatives, and it was all worth it.


Assorted Colors


Photo via El Manana

I have yet another reason not to run for public office:  monogrammed shirts.  I don't much care for them.

Cesar Chavez Who?


Cesar Chavez was good, but he was no Jaime Zapata.
But where other cities have properly recognized the farmworker and civil rights leader, Laredo has lagged in honoring Chavez, Bocanegra said.  He hopes to change that.
 
Forget Chavez.  What are we going to name in honor of Kaleb Canales?

These Trees Of Ours


If you want to understand Laredo, look to its trees to get a sense of this town.  You'll be hard pressed to find another city that shapes its oak trees like boomerangs, and palm trees.  To the locals, oaks are species to be used for topiary.  Without fail, trees here are planted too close to buildings, placed under power lines, or over-pruned; It's poor planning coupled with horrible follow through and non-existent oversight.

I really don't understand Laredo's fascination with oak trees.  Driving into town on I-35, I don't see any oaks growing wild on private ranch land.  But the way we take to the oak, you'd think it was the official tree of Laredo. 

They're beautiful trees, but to grow to their fullest potential they need a large amount of space.  Yet we plant them trying to remake their character to fit our needs.  We try to make them something they're not.  And we try to pass ourselves as something we're not.

Laredo is heavily Democratic, yet environmentalists are shunned like the plague.  Say 'arborist' and people would probably give you a blank stare.  It's an odd town this Laredo.  But don't take my word for it, just look to its trees.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Cloudy Week






I got in to town this afternoon after a short visit to Austin.  I can't say that I found the city all that weird this time around, but it's certainly not predictable like Laredo.

Here's a shot of a band we checked out during SXSW.  Yes, it's a bike shop.


Friday, March 16, 2012

Tail End Of Spring Break

I haven't been glued to the computer machine all that much this week, and I haven't kept up with much of the news the last couple of days because I've been tending to other things.  There have been some serious developments, though.  On a good note, Kaleb Canales has been named interim coach of the Portland Trailblazers.  On a worse note, bodies were left hanging from a bridge in Nuevo Laredo.  Blog-worthy material it may not be, but it's stuff one can't ignore.

Happy St. Patrick's Day.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

He's Still In


You can't stop him.  You can only hope to contain him.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

SXSW Feature

I have to see this for myself.
But the program’s critics zeroed in on the divide between its impoverished vendors and Internet-bubble customers.
On one side you have media moguls and people with disposable income and time to slack off; And on the other side you have people on the fringes of society.  I can see how there would be a disconnect.  But is it all that immoral?

Webb County Races






Screen shot courtesy of the LMT

If being first on the ballot means something, then John Galo is the next commissioner of Pct. 3.

What Would You Have Asked?

The mayor visited KGNS today for his weekly chat.  But instead of being asked about the need for a terminal to provide bathrooms for visiting Mexican nationals, where to put the damn thing, or having the city take so many people to Washington last week, the talk centered around controlling the cat population.  The city is partnering with Gateway Gatos to provide spaying and neutering, and naturally, that is more important.


Monday, March 12, 2012

Mondays Are Cheerful Sometimes

Kudos to Commissioners Court for holding a meeting on Spring Break, which is more than I can say for the city.  They, of course, started their Spring Break early last week in D.C.  It might be a slow news week considering the vacation most people are on right now. 

Today, the order of names on the upcoming primary ballot is being settled.  That's something.  And one Justice of the Peace is not too happy with a constable who wants to install a desk at one of the courts for security purposes.  How dare he!!!  (See video below)


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Hijole!






I have to wonder why people even bother planting trees around here.  Laredo is a concrete jungle, littered with little pocket parks, and begging for more shade.  If trees even stand a chance of maturing to their fullest potential, they're not cared for adequately. 

These oak trees at the corner of Calton and McPherson have recently been butchered.  I don't know why people insist on pruning them to look like palm trees.  I went in to the convenience store to ask about who pruned the trees but the attendant didn't know the name of the company.

Horrible, just horrible!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Sunless Spring Break Saturday

Gonna try to use the drizzle to help me wash my car.

UPDATE:

I've been thinking about how Henry Cuellar boasts about Texas having two new Hispanic (democrat) districts because of him.  We lucked out with two new districts even though we keep hearing that Hispanics are going to be in the majority in the near future.  But if we look to the valley, Hispanic democrats are switching to the republican side.  Yes, Hispanics can be republicans, but voting trends along the border tell us otherwise.

Ruben Hinojosa's district (15) will now include GOP-leaning Guadalupe County.  Will his seat be in play?  It's hard for me to get excited about what Cuellar views as a victory when Hispanic representation seems to be in chaos in Texas.

Thoughts?

Friday, March 9, 2012

For You







One tribute can't go without being acknowledged.  If the city doesn't get the funds to build a bus terminal near bridge 2, at least they'll have a nice frame to display at city hall.

Stuff above courtesy of City of Laredo

Pull The Plug Already

Flores challenges ballot call

By Andrew Kreighbaum
Laredo Morning Times
Published: Friday, March 9, 2012 3:02 AM CST
The dispute over former Webb County Sheriff Rick Flores’ ballot eligibility continued this week after local Democratic Party Chairman Sergio Mora rejected his ballot application a second time.

Flores submitted his application Monday, days after the candidate filing period was reopened under the elections calendar issued by a federal court.

But Mora said based on the new filing deadline set for today, Flores still does not qualify to run, based on residency issues.

I really don't think Rick Flores would stand a chance of winning his old seat back, but his involvement in the race would make for compelling political drama.  Unfortunately it's time for Rick to give up his quest.  Residency requirements might seem trivial but they matter. 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Talking Contraception

I glibly answered somebody's tweet in response to the query of when life starts.  What I got in return was very interesting, and odd. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Nuevo Laredo Violence


We hear of spikes in violence in Nuevo Laredo from time to time, but that doesn't seem to keep people away.  I have friends who go over to shop, or have dinner.  I have family members who go to seek medical attention, or care for ailing relatives.  Is it because we've become desensitized to the atrocities, or has denial and a sense of invincibility driven us to visit our sister city?  Whatever the case, I find it fascinating a person's will to go across in the presence of such sporadic chaos.

Gasoline

I was one of the persons who blamed George W. for high gas prices, but that was because of what I saw the day of the World Trade Center attacks -- Laredoans scrambling to fill up their tanks because they had gotten word that gasoline prices had spiked in San Antonio.  If the U.S. hadn't been attacked, and if we hadn't gone into the Middle East to fight a terrorist, things would've been different.

Fox News tells me otherwise.  They've said that market forces, and consumption is more to blame.  I agree.  But adding instability to the world, the way W. did, didn't help.  On the other hand, if Fox viewers are going to say that Obama's re-election will bring us $6-per-gallon of gasoline, I suggest they view the explanations of their favorite talking heads who talked up -gasp- conservation!


No Super For Us


If Super Tuesday gave me anything it was a bevy of hairstyles to behold.  We had Callista Gingrich with her unwavering hair, some lady to the right of Rick Santorum with a large do, and of course, Mitt with the hair that most men would kill for.  I watched last night's coverage with the same enthusiasm as me reading boating magazines at my doctor's office:  it helps pass the time, but my I.Q. doesn't necessarily improve.

Some results of note were Dennis Kucinich losing to Marcy Kaptur, and as a result, she'll be going up against "Joe The Plumber" in Ohio this November.  Kucinich I liked because of his vote against the Iraq War back in 2002.  It's all inconsequential to me for the most part, but having Joe in the race tells me that this race will get more coverage than it deserves.  And Jean Schmidt lost her bid to a military veteran who previously ran for mayor.  Jean Schmidt, another person who has no impact in my life, but I'm glad to see leave just because she wasn't very nice.

Our Super Tuesday won't come for another 83 days.  It gives candidates time to cash in their income tax returns to help 'em finance top notch t.v. ads.  If the legal challenges haven't made the local races interesting, the fact that we have "El Protector" running has, at least for me.  Lord help us.  

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Super Wow

The Colts are parting with Peyton Manning.

Smiles, Everyone, Smiles!!!



Mayor Raul G. Salinas, Council Member Johnny Rendon and City Manager Carlos Villarreal started their day meeting with Bernard Melekian, Director of the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) for the U.S. Department of Justice.  According to the City Manager, “COPS funded 22 additional Laredo police officers in the last two years, allowing us to put more police officers on the streets. We wanted to say thank you and explore what other opportunities exist for Laredo.”   Mayor Salinas added, “Laredo has done very well with the COPS program over the years, and I was very pleased to hear that the COPS program is making funding available in its next round to hire military veterans.  Laredo is already on record with a commitment to support our returning veterans.  We are ready to compete for such funds consistent with our civil service policies.”

The Mayor also led a delegation to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to not only explore funding opportunities, but also to request the Department’s leadership to address the train issues in Laredo.  The Mayor explained, “A primary mission of myself, Mayor Pro Tem Cindy Liendo-Espinoza and Council Member Jorge Vera in coming to visit DOT is to seek an answer to the train problems we face in Laredo.  We need and want the commerce that the train brings, but we must balance that trade with the safety of the citizens of Laredo.  We will continue to pursue this issue.”

A delegation led by Mayor Pro Tem Liendo-Espinoza and Council Member Vera met with Walter Bastian, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce.  Secretary Bastian shared with the delegation that when it comes to commerce centers, Laredo is a model for others to follow.  Council Member Vera noted that it is always nice to hear compliments about our city.  He added, “We are pleased to have learned that Walter will be traveling to Laredo in June as part of a fact finding mission to assist the Obama Administration develop a border strategy for economic relationships between the United States and Mexico.” 

Council Members Esteban Rangel and Alex Perez led a delegation to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) where he learned that EPA was very impressed with the new Haynes Recreational Center, the first LEED’s certified facility in Laredo, and that EPA would like an invitation for the Regional EPA Administrator to attend the upcoming ribbon cutting ceremony.”  Council Member Rangel made clear that, “we will be issuing that invitation just as soon as we get home.”

Council Member Rendon later accompanied Fire Chief Steve Landin out to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) offices to explore funding opportunities for a weather satellite in Laredo. And finally, the day ended with the delegation back at the Department of Commerce where Mayor Pro Tem Espinoza and Council Member Vera explored grant programs at the Economic Development Agency.

Press release courtesy of the City of Laredo

When your city is the largest inland port and McAllen is eating your lunch you have to make yearly trips to Washington to say hello to people and shake hands.  You can apply for COPS funding online, but showing your face really makes a difference.  And the more, the merrier!  (42 to be exact)


I don't know if it really takes 42 people to go say hi.  That number could be a typo, just like the estimated number of people who use our buses.
Improvements at the Lincoln-Juarez Bridge could help reach the goal of expediting border-crossing times, city officials said.  An investment in the mass transit system is needed with 42 buses moving more than 3.1 million passengers per day, they said.
I don't question our leaders' good intentions.  What I question is having to rent 42 hotel rooms when that number could be lower.  And Henry Cuellar could help in all of this.  After all, he is our main lobbyist.



I'm so happy that my councilman was able to go on this field trip.  And I hope he has a nice Spring Break next week.  I expect a full report from him and a copy of all his receipts.
I have no idea what they're referring to with that 3.1 million figure.  Is somebody inflating the numbers just to get funding?

Ron Paul In The Barrio


While I totally dig the art work at this Santo Nino block fence, I can't say I agree with the resident's choice of candidates.  But Ron Paul might be the obvious choice for a Laredoan looking to pick somebody from the GOP field of politicians this primary season.  For one, he's a Texan and ....... well, let's just say his names rolls off the tongue easier than Newt Gingrich's.

I get why people like Ron Paul:  he questions the established order.  He seems to make sense, until you realize his reasoning just keeps going in the other direction to inevitably contradict his other positions.  He argues for the sake of being a contrarian and not so much for actually finding solutions to problems.  The only thing missing from Ron Paul is him waving a cane during the debates.  We here at BOLAS like to incorporate the cane-waving visual into our posts, but we have to be careful with it.  At a certain point, you come across as crotchety and bitter.  No bueno.

Back to the sign.  It's interesting how this Paul supporter speaks up for the candidate in Spanish.  It's appropriate being in the barrio and all, but it stands in contrast with Mr. Paul's isolationist leanings.  It must make sense to somebody.

Enjoy your Super Tuesday.    

Monday, March 5, 2012

Border Crossings

Apparently our commercial bridges are at 25 percent in processing truck cargo.  Makes me wonder what all the fuss was about a fifth bridge.

UPDATE:

Henry Cuellar sent out this message last week.

To this end, I am pleased to share with you that National Journal ranked me as a centrist Member of Congress (click here for more information on vote rankings).  My stance on issues reflects the varying needs of my constituents throughout the 28th District of Texas.
Regardless of what party has been in control of the House, my moderate voting record has not changed. I look at each bill independently as I take a vote, and I will continue to place the district above any political party

Sincerely,


Congressman Henry Cuellar





That's fine.  So why not run as an independent?

UPDATE:

 


Cantu Interiors, located on Chihuahua, decided to spruce up the block with some bright colors.  I actually like the wall art.  It adds some color to an otherwise drab landscape.

But this sort of signage is not sitting well with some north side residents who have to put up with large, brightly-colored political campaign signs situated on cinder block walls.  City council may act on banning this sort of display.  That's funny because it was never a problem before.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Be Water-Wise


More Laredo yards should have a low maintenance appearance like what's pictured above.  These pink-flowering bushes come up every year at this spot.  I'm thinking they're some sort of Agastache plant but I could be wrong. 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Privatizing Medicaid

This new managed care Medicaid plan is supposed to rein in costs to meet the demands of a growing population, but private insurance companies have been known to pull unscrupulous acts on their customers.

Picking Nits

I realize I obsess over things, but why is it that facilities have to have names attached to them?  And since when are the San Miguels big swimming enthusiasts?  I thought the councilman was more of a runner.