Thursday, May 31, 2012

C'mon, Man!

Pranks and vandalism are two separate things.  And the destruction of private/public property merits criminal charges, especially when you start chopping down mature trees to score points.  Broken windows can be replaced, and spray paint can be covered up, but trees are a precious commodity in a town that desperately needs shade and beautification. 

S(h)ock & Awe

The artist painted a wonderful portrait of George W. Bush for the White House.  My compliments.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Women are on a streak as of late in terms of winning judgeship seats.  Beckie Palomo won convincingly last night the office of 341st Dist. Court Judge.  Other recent winners include Rosie Cuellar-Castillo and Monica Zapata Notzon.  I don't know if there are any women out there who would challenge the current sitting male judges -- Joe Lopez, or Oscar Hale -- but if a female threw her hat into the ring, I know where I would place my bet.

Spot The Error

With all the voting hoopla happening yesterday, I left a couple of things for today.  Exhibit A:

And a follow-up:

Have a nice day.

Menso, Not Mensa

Just as stray dogs, dumped tires, and corn-in-a-cup stands are prevalent here in Laredo, so are law enforcement personnel getting into sticky situations.  And I give thanks for that as I needed a new subject for my continuing series, "Menso, Not Mensa." (copyright)

The latest recipient of this tremendous honor is John Jimenez, a young man who works at the county jail.  This blockhead thought it was a good idea to raise some hell at a northside club, and for good measure, shoot his firearm into the air.

Al bote, cabron!

Like Bordertown Blues suggests, I'll embrace that which makes Laredo special and unique.  Well, maybe not so unique, but law enforcement officials getting into trouble does seem like a consistent occurrence around here, a sport even.  And for that, I give thanks for all the Menso, Not Mensa candidates in our midst.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Over For Some

Even though Frank Sciaraffa didn't garner a majority of the vote for his commissioners seat, he appeared to be confident and calm for the cameras.  However, he managed to insert a couple of defamatory comments about his new runoff opponent. 

He was surprised the way the race ended up.
I would expect somebody from the precinct.
And the stinger.
We gotta see if he has a criminal record or not.
That's his way of raising red flags, I guess. 
His motto must be:  influence the electorate with a little doubt.
Gawd help him.

Did not like that Mike Montemayor, his runoff challenger, was not available for post-race commentary.  Again, it's things like that that kept me from the polls today.

And Here You Go

341st District Court
Rufino Lopez    8%
Rebecca Palomo   62%
Fernando Sanchez   30%

County Attorney
Anna Laura Cavazos-Ramirez   37%
Juan Garcia   15%
Marco Montemayor   48%

Commissioner Pct. 1
Louis Bruni   25%
Mike Montemayor   27%
Frank Sciaraffa   48%

Commissioner Pct. 3
George Altgelt   21%
Alfonso Casso    5%
Hector Cortez   5%
John Galo   53%
Daniel Lopez   16%

Constable Pct. 1
Abraham Diaz Jr.    26%
Rudy Rodriguez Jr.   59%
James Roycroft   15%

Constable Pct. 2
Rudy Gonzalez   12%
Ricardo Rangel Jr. 10%
Rick Rodriguez   31%
Ricky Salazar   5%
Mike Villarreal   42%

Constable Pct. 3
Adrian Cortez    41%
Salvador Johnson   45%
Annette Munoz   14%

Constable Pct. 4
Gerardo Carmona   13%
Harold Devally   21%
Jerry Gonzalez   14%
Tony Guardiola   10%
Jesus Ibarra   5%
Wayo Ruiz   37%

UPDATE:  Thanks to Pro8news for keeping us up to date on election numbers.

Final numbers are supposedly in.  Univision reported them on their Facebook page.  Here they are:

Apathy On Their Part

While a bunch of UISD students displayed a total disregard for school property yesterday, several county elected officials decided to show off their indifference today.  Via Twitter:

Commissioners Court is meeting today because of the Memorial Day holiday yesterday.  (3 "days" in a row)  Up for discussion is the appointment of a building maintenance director, seeking applicants for an information systems position, and approval of policies and procedures for volunteer fire fighters.  Trivial stuff.

Unfortunately, it's election day today, so the county attorney and two commissioners opted to tend to more pressing matters.  These are the same people who 'humbly ask you for your vote' but shirk their duties when they see fit.  Apparently two hours of their time is just too precious.  Why worry about county business when they could be out leading caravans across town?

If you recall from a previous post, Frank Sciaraffa, and Marco Montemayor skipped their recent debate appearances.  So not only is Frank not showing up for work, he's also not showing up for debates.  What good is he for then?

I was contemplating not voting this time around simply because of the lackluster list of candidates running for office.  Seriously, my son's former crossing guard has more charisma than the roster of people currently vying for a job.  But now I definitely know I'm not voting.  If candidates aren't going to have the courtesy, nay, the respect!!! to show up for work, then I'm not going to show up to vote.

And all you all out there telling me how important it is for me to vote, you can bite me!!!!! 

Monday, May 28, 2012

Stay Classy

Good to know that Laredo's image is on the mend.
Exciting in a train-wreck kind of way was Friday’s exit by Laredo manager and former Texas Rangers outfielder Pete Incaviglia, who tossed a garbage can onto the field after being ejected. He was suspended for Saturday’s game and his nephew, hitting coach Thomas Incaviglia, managed.
Saturday’s game saw an incident in the same category when the benches cleared after Laredo’s Ernie Banks Jr. was hit in the second inning by Sox reliever Trent Lare (yes, he was a reliever in the second inning).

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Jorge Vera: Want To See If It Works

The city is looking at a big budget deficit this coming year but that doesn't mean that council can't stop looking for ways to spend more money.

Jorge Vera, at Monday's council meeting, proposed buying a three-acre piece of land to open up a parking facility for big rigs along Mines Rd.  His concern is that owner-operators who park their trucks at home pose a safety risk for the public as they have to maneuver through residential areas.  The roads also suffer significant wear and tear as they're not meant to handle the weight of the semis, he added.

His focus, however, was on the revenue stream this facility could generate.  At 80 percent capacity, the city could collect $171,000 monthly from truck parking fees.

The city would need to come up with nearly $1 million to acquire the land for the facility, money that the city doesn't have.  Councilman Mike Garza suggested leasing the property first so as not to have such a financial obstacle to tackle.  If the plan works as Mr. Vera suggests, then land acquisition could be accomplished.

A friend who used to drive a truck doesn't think people will pay the monthly fee to have a chance at a parking spot.  But to hear Mr. Vera explain it, people are already lining up. 

One thing I can get behind of is getting big trucks out of residential areas.  Pictured above is a truck that was parked along McPherson while the driver went to take care of business at the Credit Union.  Afterwards he got on Corpus Christi St. and went on about his day.  Oh the drawbacks of living in a trade-heavy town with poor zoning.


Friday, May 25, 2012

May 1978: J.C. Martin Indicted

A little Laredo history:
Beginning in 1977 Taxpayers Organized for Public Service, spearheaded by Lawrence Berry, a disgruntled, self-employed handyman, began examining city accounts and uncovered fraud in the street department. The resultant scandal spelled the end for the Independent Club. In November 1977 J. C. Martin, Jr., announced he would not seek reelection. In the April 1978 city election six candidates sought the office of mayor. Aldo Tatangelo, son of Italian immigrants and a political independent, was easily elected. A month after the elections Martin was indicted by a federal grand jury on one count of mail fraud and ordered to pay a $1,000 fine and $201,118 to the city in restitution, and was sentenced to serve thirty weekends in the Webb County Jail. In 1979, as a result of the strong mayoral system of government that had existed in Laredo for more than eighty years, the city council approved a new city charter establishing a city council-manager government.
J.C. Martin was indicted May 8, 1978, to be exact.

May is a pretty big month for Laredo.  Villa de San Agustin de Laredo was officially recognized May 15, 1755.

If there's some other significant fact about Laredo that occurred in the month of May, we could actually make it the official Month of Laredo.  What say you?

UPDATE: October 19, 2019 -- Jury indicts former mayor.

"The investigation began after a Laredo radio station, KVOZ, received copies of receipts from CP&L files that detailed three instances of labor or other services provided to Martin without cost."

Operation: Que QUE?!!!

There are two words I don't have to deal with by living in the barrio:  homeowners association.  If I want to put up a satellite dish anywhere on my roof, or paint the house an un-gawdly shade of green, I don't have to run it through a neighborhood committee.  But living in the hood means I have to put up with certain things like big semis parked along the curb, or the occassional police sting (see above).  The good thing about the latter is that you could run into a Bordertown: Laredo celebrity and he could sign your paper license plates.

By the way, the arrest of the five men pictured above happened around the corner from my house.  Sleep tight, Laredo. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

What Was That?

This morning I heard a loud blast right before 6 a.m.  I didn't feel the house shake and no more noises followed so I just closed my eyes again.  People have been posting comments on Facebook about hearing the blast and feeling their houses shake.

Univision has been reporting that a Mexican helicopter has been patrolling the south side of Nuevo Laredo this morning.  And they've posted a picture of a structure that was set afire (above).

Pro8news at noon reported that a bomb was detonated at a south Nuevo Laredo hotel parking lot.  Bomb threats have been called in at several locations too.  They're waiting for an official statement from authorities later today.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Money Matters In The LDO

11 million.  Pfft!  Been there, done that.  But.....
Another $700,000 in spending will go toward the municipal animal shelter the city is set to open June 1.  This year, the city and the Laredo Animal Protective Society have operated month to month; in previous years, the shelter received $300,000 annually.

As long as staff doesn't feel the pinch, everything will be fine.

Indulge me this passage, as I think it's so appropriate to this post:

There was, as Squealer was never tired of explaining, endless work in the supervision and organisation of the farm.  Much of this work was of a kind that the other animals were too ignorant to understand.  For example, Squealer told them that the pigs had to expend enormous labours every day upon mysterious things called "files," "reports," "minutes," and "memoranda."

Hey Baby!!!

I don't mind competing for court space with babies in diapers as much as I do against show off amateurs who grip the racket with both hands for every stroke.  One begs for CPS to be called and the other is just annoying.

One thing I will say is that Laredo needs more tennis court facilities.  As it is, the only day you can go out to the Market Courts and be assured a spot is on Friday evenings.  The sunset and the solitude make for a pleasant workout.


I've been known to be critical of the bozos (I use that term lovingly, of course) on city council but one Esteban Rangel actually brought up a brilliant idea at Monday's meeting:  dedicate a separate day for public recognitions.  Sir, you are getting a fruit basket from me, Laredo's Most Imposing Blogger, for making one of the most practical suggestions I've heard in a long time. 

Yes, citizens, if things pan out, no longer will we be subjected to the fawning that takes place at the beginning of city council meetings.  That will occur at a separate gathering on a different day.  Amen!  But after offering up his plan, Mr. Rangel was met with an alternative plan by the city manager:  if it's only two or three recognitions, we can include them before the meetings.  No! No! No! No!

It has to be all or none when it comes to recognizing people's achievements.  Case in point.

At Monday's meeting, an older gentleman named "Chito" Rodriguez was being lauded for his being named the "King of Baseball."  There was a video presentation, then Mr. Rodriguez said some words, and the city manager put in his two cents worth, and then the mayor invited Mr. Rodriguez's obnoxious daughter to the dais, and a picture followed, and yadda yadda yadda.  The whole thing took about 15 minutes.  If two or three recognitions are allowed it could take up to 45 minutes during regularly scheduled meetings, and that defeats the purpose of what Mr. Rangel is trying to accomplish.

Big ups to Mr. Rangel.  You're OK in my book.  At least for now.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Visit Laredo

Bordertown Blues loves the dumped tire and he wants us to embrace the practice.  I can get down with it if people did it right.  Case in point:

The tire atop the mailbox had a peach/tan paint job, and it's home to some petunias.  I give it a ten!!!
What ruins the scene is that there are three dumped tires right behind the white Mustang.

Never let it be said that south Laredoans aren't creative and don't recycle.  May I present, cement mulch!

And in a more somber display, we have a roadside shrine that somebody put together out of scrap pieces of wood.  Don't know if it's a violation having it so close to a hydrant.  Oh, who am I kidding?  Those things don't work most of the time.

Visit Laredo.  It's like no place else

Monday, May 21, 2012

Tricia Cortez Goes To Africa

Local environmentalist Trica Cortez shared with the public this weekend her experience of traveling to Africa earlier this year.  Through the use of slides, she gave us some background on the four countries she visited: Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania (Zanzibar).  Her photos and personal accounts gave us an idea of just how dynamic the people, and land of Africa really are.

What impressed me most was that Ms. Cortez made use of several means of transportation to get around Africa; And for accomodations she relied on hostels.  This, of course, meant she was traveling on a tight budget.  I like to think I'm somewhat adventurous, but hitching rides with nuns, riding on the back of motorcycles, and sharing living quarters with the natives might be a tad out of my comfort level.  Still, I appreciate her determination. 

Ms. Cortez spoke of what piqued her interest to go to Africa.
The inspiration was the Rwandan genocide of 1994.  I've been very curious about this.  I couldn't understand how a country could self destroy and I wanted to see how it has improved over the last 18 years.  And I'd heard that Rwanda has been the success story, so I wanted to see this.  So the heart of my trip was Rwanda and I added these other things.

Going across the globe, I would think you would experience some type of culture shock.  I asked about this to see if there were any surprises.
The heat is tremendous.  And some of the things that stood out, you're right, you saw in Kibera -- inaudible -- the trash.  And then in Rwanda, very organized, very clean country, very disciplined country - total 180 degree different and change.
One day she noticed the streets of the city being empty.  It was explained to her that the people were busy cleaning up their neighborhoods, as they were supposed to once a month by mandate.  Sounds like something we could benefit from here.

When I think of Africa I think social strife, dictators, and challenging environs, but it's so much more than that.  It's a land with immense beauty, with a people in tune with their past, yet engaged in the present.  I don't know if I'll ever visit Africa, but I'll keep it on my short list of places to see.

Trade Laredo

Our municipal overlords like to boast about our place in the world of international trade, but more and more it seems like we're not all that. 
"Security is not the most important item, but rather (investors) seek options in the areas of motivation and opportunities," Quintanilla said.  "They are interested in expenses, employees and infrastructure."

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Good Turnout At The SAC

The city held a used tire round-up today at the Student Activity Complex.  Above is pictured the receipt I got for taking in one whole tire.  I had the tire in my back yard.   But rather than just going in with just the lone radial, I thought about picking up a couple along the way.  Wouldn't you know it, my neighbors didn't have any throwaways for me to pilfer. 

Friday, May 18, 2012


I love the way some people claim their stake on public spaces for campaign purposes.  Jerry Garza has had his bus parked on Guadalupe, and now Ricky Salazar puts a trailer out in the open for everyone to see.  The setup is not exactly easy on the eyes, but who cares about aesthetics when you have to get your name out there. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Daily Rationalization

Mark Schuster on stadium construction near opening day:
The parking lot will probably be caliche and not actually tar pavement.  I've always said that, from a fan's standpoint, most of it's going to be done.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Happy Laredo Day!!!

Via the Don Tomas Sanchez FB page:
He first arrived in 1749 to a place he named "El Paso de Jacinto", later called "Indian Ford", which is now west of Downtown Laredo. He then petitioned Colonel José de Escandón, 1st Count of Sierra Gorda for permission to found a town at this location. His petition was granted on May 15, 1755. He named the new townsite, Villa de San Agustin de Laredo, in honor to Saint Augustine and Colonel Escandon's hometown Laredo, Cantabria, Spain. Don Tomás Sánchez first established three families in the new villa. The site selected is located in the San Agustin Historical District in Downtown Laredo near the San Agustin Cathedral.
Of course, this means nothing to us since George Washington is our real homey.  Stay indifferent, y'all.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Robert C. Botello Jr. Is Honored

Members of the Martin High School Band Alumni Association hosted a reception for Mr. Roberto Botello this weekend to commemorate his induction into the TMEA Band Directors Hall of Fame.  Accompanied by his wife, Maria, Mr. Botello was praised for his years of dedication and the legacy he left behind.

Mr. Botello attended the University of Texas at Austin and pursued a graduate degree in Chicago.  His first job as a band director was at Lamar Middle School.  It wasn't until Vidal Trevino became LISD's superintendent that Mr. Botello's presence at Martin H.S. was requested.

Once there he was instrumental in shaping the band's image and giving the group its new byname, "La Banda del Animo."  As the name implies, their performances were filled with excitement -- So much so that they impressed an attendee at a marching competition in Austin, and from there the band got an invitation to perform at halftime during a Dallas Cowboys game.

Mr. Botello left an indelible mark on his students and the band program at Martin.  He respected those he taught, and likewise, demanded respect.  His approach was that of amiable mentor.  For someone who didn't have the pleasure of learning from him, I can appreciate the influence he had in the band world and in the community.


Trouble In Nuevo Laredo And Beyond

The violence continues in Mexico and the media has been forced to report on nothing.
Today the news paper releases a statement saying they will no longer cover violence.
I don't even know what to say at this point.  Maybe the mayor does.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Bad Blood

Apparently Leyendecker Construction has very thin skin.
During tonight’s media event the LMT was not allowed access to the stadium by Leyendecker Construction and the rest of the media in attendance was threatened to be escorted out by police, once again by Leyendecker Construction.
They can suck it.

This Week In Tacky

State representative candidate Jerry Garza parked a bus at the corner of Meadow and Guadalupe yesterday.  This is usually a good spot for people selling assorted produce or other things, but on a stormy Thursday evening, he called dibs on it.

Debate: Commissioners Style

I wasn't expecting to watch last night's debate that featured the candidates vying for Jerry Garza's commissioners spot, but the Keyrose household set up the DVR anyway.  My indifference arose from hearing the same old campaign slogans and recycled refrains coming from different political camps.  It would be the same thing we've seen before, but with different actors, I thought.  But instead, the showing last night was intriguing on several levels.

Several days ago the LMT ran a story on the candidates' fundraising.  John Galo, we learned, was the leader in campaign cash up to this point.  For that reason, and because of his relatively recent political work, he became the target in the field of five. 

The first question out of the gate dealt with his involvement in the El Portal project as councilman.  According to him, the city did not lose out financially in awarding the lease to the Khaledis.  Take a look.

The city may be getting paid $45,000 a month in rent by the Khaledis -- which I find amazing since the property is practically empty -- but what wasn't mentioned in detail was the fact that the city already had a contract with another group and the deadline for bids had already passed.  Nevertheless, the Khaledis made a higher offer to lease El Portal and the city, including Mr. Galo, drooled.  They took the bait, and then the Khaledis adjusted the actual square footage they would pay for.

Mr. Galo only saw more money; little did he know that he and the city were getting played.  And the city showed that proper procedures didn't matter when higher bidders were concerned.  Deadlines be damned when more shekels are offered. 

The fact that the El Portal is half empty may have more to do with the economy tanking than with the misguided efforts of those involved.  But the project is an example of how city leaders blindly bow to those with deep pockets and big promises. 

Mr. Galo may have a bigger war chest than the others in this campaign, but he's also carrying around a bit of political baggage, baggage that some in the community are wary of.  It may not be Frank Sciaraffa kind of baggage but it's enough to repel the finicky Laredo public.  The mere fact that he's played the game before puts him at a disadvantage.  And giving disingenuous answers in debates doesn't bode well for him too.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Listen Up

There's going to be a tire round-up......hehe

at the United Student Activity Complex.......hahaha


From 8 to...hahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!......4...hahahahahahahahah!! (piss pants) hahahahahahahahah!!!


Not Looking Good

While the rest of the country is debating the president's stance on gay marriage, or our weakening support for the war in Afghanistan, we're keeping close tabs on whether the new baseball stadium will be ready in time for opening day.  Bordertown Blues doesn't think so, and I'm with him on that.

Things fell behind, and the LMT documents some of the reasons that led to delays.  This is my favorite:
Even after this, Leyendecker continued emailing several complaints to the city about not being paid in a timely manner.  "You've been taking a long time to process our applications," Leyendecker wrote to Labrada on April 11.  "We are working seven days a week & sometimes 14 (hours) per day and yet you continue to handle this project as if we were all working a 40 hour work week.  Maybe you are working 40 hour work weeks but we are working 80 hour weeks.
Will the people who bought tickets to be the first ones in riot?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Will This Stand?

One thing I'm not liking about the bridges along Guadalupe and Chihuahua is that traffic lights are still in operation along Cedar Ave., forcing drivers to stop before getting on the bridge (Guadalupe) or getting off the bridge (Chihuahua).  With construction still ongoing, I can see how the lights control the flow of traffic.  But if they're left in operation after all the work is completed, it'll be a dumber setup than the situation in front of JSJ Estates.

The overpasses will help commuters avoid the trains heading to and from downtown.  But the lights have to be synchronized in a way so as to make the trip more efficient. 

Schuster: "Will Be Ready"

Not That It Matters

But I find it interesting that the mayor is nowhere to be found.  I haven't seen him on t.v., in the paper, or in city press releases.  Could he be in some underground bunker?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Ladies And Gentlemen: Louis Bruni

It's not easy being the only man at the podium.

Dance Is A Flop

A blog reader brought to my attention what transpired at a local dance this weekend.  Apparently, Ramon Ayala was set to perform at the Casa Blanca Ballroom.  But after the opening act played, nothing happened, and the attendees grew restless.

Later somebody learned that the musicians were sitting pretty at a local watering hole watching a pay-per-view boxing match.  Awesome.

As per the Lider story (above), the promoter was prepared to pay the act(s) $15,000, but the band demanded $30,000 upon arrival.  Some people asked for their money back since they only enjoyed part of a show.  And the promoter was nowhere to be found when the shit hit the fan.  They, however, were able to make off with the pre-sale ticket money.  Que chulos.

Now I know why I'm not a concert promoter.     

Don't Vote For Him

Why was it that Pro8news didn't bother to schedule a debate for the Pct. 1 commissioners race?, I thought.  It turns out that they knew the participants wouldn't show up, just like they didn't show up for the public access channel debate today.  Via Twitter:

Frank Sciaraffa is notorious for skipping out on debates, opting instead to use the time to reach out to his constituents, or so he says.  But I can't believe he couldn't make time to answer some questions during his lunch hour.  And Mike Montemayor - who has a chance to snatch this race up while the other two confront their former transgressions - goes and pulls a stunt like this.  I'm tempted to endorse Louis Bruni just for showing up, but I can't, not when I have such low regard for the man.

Frank would've had to answer for a lot:  firework bans, nepotism, the CAA scandal, lawsuits, etc.  It's understandable why he chose to stay away.  However, the more he isolates himself, the more this turns into a battle not worth fighting for.  

The Rookie Visits D.C.

Makes me wonder:  don't these people have jobs?  Haven't they got better things to do than visit D.C.?

Monday, May 7, 2012

Election Nearing

Having a cash advantage for a campaing is good, but it doesn't necessarily guarantee you a win.  John Galo should know that.  From 2006:



Always start a video interview with......

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Editing Failure

The people at the paper should really think their story placement out.  Today's front page left me emotionally confused. 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Something Extraordinary

Question:  why is somebody walking towards the entrance of Auto Zone with a fire raging?!!!

River Water Findings

Tricia Cortez, Executive Director of the Rio Grande International Study Center, shared her concerns with the Express-News regarding the quality of water in our river.
When the river hits Laredo and curves toward the downtown international bridges, fecal coliform shoots off the charts. Following close behind is E. coli.
The Rio Grande is our only water source.  To hear that raw sewage is ending up in the river is unsettling.  However, I don't remember ever getting violently sick from the water I drink.  Could it be that I've adapted?
I contacted Ms. Cortez to get more input as to what we can do to better protect ourselves and our precious natural resource.  I asked her who is ultimately responsible for keeping our water safe when two countries depend on the river.

Yes!!  The Rio Grande is a SHARED river. Both countries are responsible for monitoring the state of its water quality AND for ensuring that certain water quality standards are met. Unfortunately, that is not happening. In this particular case, we are talking about very high levels of bacteria that exceed U.S. and Mexican standards. If Nuevo Laredo were to connect all of its remaining drains to one of its two sewer plants (big one opened in 1996, and second one in 2009) then we might be able to have a much cleaner and healthy river. This must be a concerted bi-national plan, and I think pressure must really be applied by the U.S., Texas, and Laredo.
But bottom line, what’s needed is action from people in authority. We need a champion on the City Council, and we need a champion in the state Legislature. These are the people who can move things, and make plans turn into action.
Yes, our tap water is safe to drink. The city publishes an annual report and mails it to households. As far as I know, yes, our tap water meets state and federal standards for drinking water. The maximum contaminant level (MCL) that the U.S. allows in drinking water for coliform bacteria and E-coli is zero, and that is the case for our tap water.
Laredo’s water plant filters out ALL bacteria, including E-Coli. Also, most of these dangerous bacteria enter downstream from our water intake plant. FYI, E-coli is a substrain of the fecal coliform group and may be tested for, by itself. These harmful germs can cause diarrhea, dysentery, and hepatitis. BUT it is important not to confuse the test for the common and usually harmless E. coli with a separate test for the more dangerous E. coli O157:H7.
Que Fregados also blogged about the Express-News article.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Candidates Debate

KGNS hosted their first debate this afternoon involving the constable candidates for Pct. 4.  One candidate (Gonzalez) did not bother to show up.  Nevertheless, one question was directed at him, which was kind of weird.  He wasn't there to answer but the rest did their best to offer their own two cents.

Gerardo Carmona wasn't as spunky as we've come to know him, but he was still livelier than the others.  I found his slogans amusing but apt for some reason:  "Keep it simple and do it right" and "do more with less."  The latter sounds like a variation on an HEB catchphrase, but we can't confirm if he derived inspiration from the Butt family.

I wish all the candidates luck in their efforts. 

Expense Report: Alex Perez Edition

I don't think I ever saw one picture of our city officials in Washington with Mr. Perez included.  And I don't recall him ever giving the Times a comment about his visit.  But we have proof that he went - $2225.54 worth. 

Media Access

A head shot photograph?  That's so Hollywood.  My coverage of the Lemurs will take on a more pedestrian approach.  That will mean that I'll have to fork over the whopping $5 for admission but I'm sure I'll find the cash somewhere.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

City Of Laredo Travel Expenses

The buzz over the Laredo Bucks calling it quits is fading.  The Bucks legacy makes for an interesting story that has many dynamics to be explored, but I won't do that today.  Instead I want to revisit the D.C. trip taken by our city leaders two months ago.  The timing of this post has a lot to do with city staff providing me with additional travel records this week.  Kudos to those who dug through dusty boxes to find what I asked for. 

Now, last month I blogged about the people who made contributions to the city to fund the D.C. trip.  The city sent out mailers, asking for donations, and a lot of people obliged.  Over $100,000 was collected for the city delegation.  Here are some samples of how that money was spent.

What you see above are the expense reports for the mayor.  Lodging took place at the Renaissance Mayflower Hotel.  Nothing but basic accommodations for our leaders. 

I don't mean to nitpick over every action our representatives make, but I would like to learn more about how they operate.  For instance, I want to know why it took 42 members to make the trip.  And if one person used approximately $2,400 for said trip, what happened to the rest of the money donated by this city's elite?  Multiply 2400 times 42 and you get 100,800.  What happens to the extra cash collected?

And why does everybody get a daily taxi allowance when they should all be in a group?

Tune in again as I'll put up receipts for other members who went to Washington.  I didn't get all 42 expense reports, only the ones for top brass. 

Have a good day.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

It's May Day

Unfortunately, International Workers' Day means nothing to the 20 managers who were fired from J.C. Penney yesterday. 

Bucks Done In Laredo

Last week the internets briefly bristled with an exchange that revolved around the Laredo Bucks being nudged out of town by city leaders.  The issue was stopped dead in its tracks as official sources denied any truth to the Buck's lease being terminated by the city.  But today we learn this:
The Bucks' ticket office stopped selling tickets for the 2012-13 hockey season last week.
And in a "BREAKING NEWS" development:  Bucks cease operations

Too bad, so sad.