Saturday, March 30, 2013

Cascaron Weekend Thread



The local outdoor tourism industry slowly hobbles along.  Apart from the scenic river route for kayaking, Laredo has made strides in recent years with its birding festival, and several off-road bicycling trails.  Add to that all the 5K road races that are held here and it's obvious that the locals like the outdoors.

In other news, the whole world now knows that Tony Romo has a new contract that extends his stay with the Dallas Cowboys another six years.  I don't dislike Tony or the 'boys, but it's weird that he would get so much more time added when you consider how long he's been playing.  It seems nowadays that quarterbacks don't get too much time to prove themselves.  John Elway, and Dan Marino had long careers with their respective teams.  Perhaps Jerry Jones thinks that Romo will follow in their footsteps.

A friend asked me about the state reducing the number of tests required to graduate from high school.  Legislators want to reduce the number of tests significantly.  If I had personal experience in education, my input would have some worth, but in casually following what people have had to say about testing at the grade school level and beyond is that nobody is thrilled with 'teaching to the test.' 

Students will still have to pass tests before graduating, just not as many.  Students who will want to take more credits in high school in order to further their opportunities will do so.  But those who don't have plans of obtaining an undergraduate degree should be allowed some flexibility. 

Last thing:  Justin Bieber owns a capuchin monkey.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Hyperbole Works






Just ask Rick Flores (Guatemalan jungle fighters).

The mayor paints the possible effects of sequestration in stark terms.  Via the Rio Grande Guardian:

Salinas believes lives could be lost due to heatstroke if pedestrians have to wait hours on end at international bridges during the hot summer weather.

“Increased wait times for local pedestrians that cross our bridges into Laredo for work, school, shopping or other activities will create inhumane and possibly, unsafe conditions,” Salinas wrote, in his letter to the President. “I believe that waits in excess of 100 minutes plus in weather that will soon be warmer than 100 degrees on a daily basis is unacceptable.”

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Private Contributions My Ass!


The city released the list of people and local organizations that contributed money to them so they could make their way up to Austin to lobby for more money to give those same people in the form of contracts, and then those people give back to the city so they can go back to Austin and D.C. so they can lobby for more money to give to those donators, and in return they give back to the city.......






The LMT provided the list for us to view.  Pictured above are the people who donated several thousand dollars for city staff and officials.  Donations supposedly made up only half of the total $80,000 Austin trip tab for 2013. 

Last year the city provided the public with a list that includes a lot of the usual suspects.

Coming soon, the LMT will show us the fruits of the city's labor when Carlos Villarreal's office releases what money has come to our neck of the woods.  Can't wait.

She Like To Party!

The Border Bail Bonds commercial is still making the rounds on t.v.  The ad's "Godfather" approach is creative and entertaining, but it's been done to death too, and the cheesy factor creeps in, especially when it's recreated on the local level. 

I like the actor's accent.  And the pride for his daughter is priceless.  "She kept her honor" but she's out partying and getting loaded on whiskey.  Nice.

(Thanks for the subtitles, by the way)   


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

They Say It's All Good


It's mind-blowing to hear the supposed, staggering economic impact the Eagle Ford Shale activity has had on south Texas.  Some of the local effects of the shale play are right in our face:  increased truck traffic, hotel occupancy spikes, friends and relatives employed by the oil and gas industry, sludge spills, etc.  But what will the millions of dollars infused into the economy really mean for Laredo?

The city and county must be feeling the love coming from the mining industry.  The City of Laredo has seen an increase of sales tax money coming back from the state the last four years.  That's a good thing.  What's not good is that city hall has to make up for an $11 million deficit.  We can take comfort in the fact that the Eagle Ford will help us avoid becoming the next Detroit, which is now being led by an emergency financial manager.  But it's frustrating to hear a rosy picture always portrayed when our trash fees are increased, again, to make up for a deficit. 

Gasoline prices may not come down ever as hydraulic fracturing proponents suggested.  But at least we can see that more money is circulating within our city limits.  The trick here is not to squander it all.

UPDATE:  An article in the San Antonio Current entitled "The Sour Side of Life in South Texas' Eagle Ford Shale."

Drug Testing Texas Welfare Applicants

Texas legislators amended a bill that calls for drug testing of welfare recipients.  The revised bill would allow children to still receive benefits after a parent tests positive for drugs. 
The changes satisfied committee Democrats, including Sen. Judith Zaffirini of Laredo, who were prepared to vote against the bill.
Welfare applicants would not be automatically ordered to take a drug test after applying for benefits.  People would be screened first; if a person was strongly suspected of using drugs, then a test would be administered.  

Florida instituted mandatory drug testing for welfare recipients, but the process was struck down by a federal court.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

We Always Need More Roads

It was two weeks ago that city hall went to Washington to "lobby" for money.  And it was last week that the mayor's shorts got all in a bind over criticism about taking such trips.  Time will tell whether the city's efforts will pan out.  From the local Dept. of Transportation:

Local city and county elected officials have discussed the issue of road construction between FM 1472 (Mines Rd.) Webb Co. to FM 1021 (El Indio Rd.) in Maverick Co., however, there is no funding for this locally proposed project. TxDOT can only provide guidance to local governments on this local driven project.
Council man Jorge Vera is pushing for the El Indio Rd. project.  Charisma don't fail him now. 

The mayor urged city staff last week to provide the media with a list of past lobbying successes.  I'm not holding my breath but I would like to see that story written.

The Lemurs Are Coming!

They didn't become Southern Division Champs by just throwing a ball around.  They really know what it takes to make this organization thrive.

LAREDO, TX – The Laredo Lemurs have released their much anticipated 2013 promotional schedule highlighted by the home opener scheduled for Thursday, May 16, 2013 at 7:30pm against the 2012 Northern Division Champs Fargo-Morehead Redhawks.  The Lemurs play the Redhawks in a four-game series before taking on the Grand Prairie AirHogs in a three game series to finish off the opening seven-game homestand. 

The rest of the Lemurs 2013 schedule is highlighted by 30 of its 50 home games falling on a Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday.  The Lemurs will bring back Miller Lite Thirsty Thursdays where fans can enjoy $1.00 Miller Lite beer all night long.  Every Friday night will again feature a spectacular post game fireworks display.  On Saturday, May 18th the 1st 4,000 fans will receive a free Lemurs Rally Rag.  The remaining eight Saturday nights feature giveaways of baseballs, caps, koozies, thundersticks, mini-bats and backpacks to the first 1,000 people through the gates.  New for this year is the addition of “Margarita Mondays” with specially priced $2.00 Margaritas all night long at every Monday night game.  Every Sunday will be “Family Day” at Uni-Trade Stadium where families can purchase 4 tickets, 4 hot dogs, 4 bags of chips and 4 soft drinks for $44.00.  Every Wednesday will be Website Wednesdays where special offers for tickets and concessions will be available on game day by simply visiting the Lemurs website at www.laredolemurs.com.  On Friday, May 31st, the Lemurs will play host to Uni-Trade’s 25th Anniversary Celebration with free hot dogs to everyone in attendance and giveaways through the game of ipads and other electronic gear.  This game is sure to be a sellout.  On Sunday, June 2nd the Lemurs will host Faith & Family Day with a special start time of 3:16pm. Two additional promotional nights slated for this season are Laundry Night on Wednesday, July 17th and Bring Your Imaginary Girlfriend to the Game Night on Friday, June 7th.  On Laundry night, fans are encouraged to bring their dirty laundry to the game.  The Lemurs will wash, dry and fold your laundry and have it waiting for you at the end of the game.  On June 7th special discounts will be available all night long for guys who bring their imaginary girlfriend to the game.  Guys will be asked several key questions about their imaginary girlfriend prior to entering the stadium to ensure its authenticity. 

(Emphasis mine)

All that's left as far as promotions are concerned is 'cry yourself to sleep' night.  But we all know that there's no crying in baseball.  I hope the Lemurs' ideas inspire us to think outside the box. 

Never Ceases To Amaze







Monday, March 25, 2013

Carnukas Will Abound


A reader sent in a comment to the LaSanbe news desk about the city of San Antonio letting the public camp out at parks in the lead-up to the Easter holiday.  Last year, Laredoans were not allowed to even line up outside the gate of Lake Casa Blanca (pictured above) the night before Easter.  Public officials cited safety concerns along Bob Bullock Lp. as reason for the restriction.  A lake representative told me that state parks do not allow camping overnight, unless a reservation is made in advance by those who use the RV facilities.  At the present time, there are no camping vacancies, I was told.

Admission to the lake is $4 per adult, and children 12 years and younger enter free. 

I'm planning to go cruise the lake late in the afternoon with the rock music blastin' and then perhaps a quick turn around world famous San Bernardo Ave.  Because, of course, Easter is the official start to the cruising season.


Earth Day 2013 Coming Soon


First of all, let me say that the reusable bag that Tricia and Lauren displayed on yesterday's "Issues 8" program is awesome.  I hope to get my hands on one of them.

Proponents of disposable plastic bags say that the bags have many uses afterwards.  But the use for them that people usually bring up is that of small trash can liner.  I think more people would get on board with reusable tote bags if we just find a way to meet their mini trash can dilemma.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Big Finish

Eddie Macon's Run was released 30 years ago today.

This will probably be the last EMR post ever on LaSanbe.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Random Thought Thread


El Manana had a peculiar story in today's edition about Nuevo Laredo's emergency response team.  Because of limited resources, paramedics arrived at the scene of an accident with no splinting device to assist a woman who was involved in a motor vehicle crash.  The injured person was complaining of leg pain.  So the first responders did what anybody would do in that situation: they went to the nearest corner store to get some used cardboard to make a splint to immobilize the victim's extremity.

If this event teaches us anything it's that we should make the best with what we've got.  I think. 

In other news, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum thought about establishing a "unity party."  Where have I heard that before?

And on this weekend, people from outside Laredo don't have much reason to come to town, but I'll try to find something to do to entertain myself.  Choices include the South Texas Collectors Expo, and the plant exchange with the good people of the St. Peter's neighborhood.

UPDATE:



Trippage






Much was made about the tab that the city racked up on their trip to Austin this year, so much so that the mayor got all upset and wasted a good deal of time at the start of the council meeting trashing the story in the LMT. 

Very little was actually discussed about the Austin meeting(s) by the mayor and the media.  But judging from the presentation prepared by city staff, I understand now why they don't really tell us much about what happens -- it's because the presentations are anemic.  It's no wonder they have to throw a party for legislators in Austin and D.C.


Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Mayor Travels

Laredo, TX – March 21, 2013 – Starting this Friday, March 22, 2013, City of Laredo Mayor Raul G. Salinas will be attending the South Texas Mayors’ Stakeholders Summit in Edinburg, Texas, organized by the New Leaders Texas organization.  The two-day conference will be a convening of community and civic leaders and elected officials from around Texas to talk about the needs and enormous potential of the unique South Texas region, and will feature keynote speaker City of San Antonio Mayor Juli├ín Castro on Saturday.

I hope he has a pleasant stay at the Executive Inn in Edinburg.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Unique Laredo

A family member who lives in the valley recently told me about Elon Musk, an entrepreneur that's looking to set up a rocket launch site in Brownsville, TX.  The prospect sounds promising if not for the fact that public land in Texas is not to be used for this sort of thing.

Even more hopeful for the valley is the establishment of a medical school.  The medical program could be up and running by as soon as 2016, and it could help in meeting the demand for doctors in Texas.

Meanwhile, in our neck of the woods, C.Y. Benavides wants to set up a new landfill in eastern Webb County.  And an oil and gas company wanted to open a wastewater pit in Los Botines.

Each community has its different set of assets to work with.  It's just amazing sometimes the difference in priorities that each one has.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Blowing Smoke


A blog reader submitted some information into the LaSanbe world news headquarters on COPS funding after watching the mayor go on about monies he's helped secure during his, and city council's recent trips to Washington.  The reader made note about how the county, and not the city, got money from the COPS program during the last round of disbursements (2012), over $600,000 to be exact.






Everybody around the country gets this type of funding to finance their law enforcement operations.  But to hear the mayor talk about it, it sounds like he and the city pulled a rabbit out of a hat.  All they have to do about it is give Henry Cuellar a call and he can do the rest, complete with a photo op and press release.





It's important to discuss these details because our elected officials don't think we're paying attention, and they think they can get away with regurgitating the same old news to justify their travel habits.  When they go to Washington next year, I'm sure they're going to bring up COPS funding as a reason for making the trip.  And they're going to take 60 people with them again.  And they're going to throw a party.  And on and on.

Closing In

State rejects proposed fracking wastewater site in Webb County


By Mikaela Rodriguez
Laredo Morning Times
Published: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 1:05 AM CDT
ShareThis

Following clamor at a Saturday town hall meeting in Las Botines over a proposed fracking wastewater site, Eagle Ford Shale services company High Sierra Water Holdings said the project is postponed because the state rejected a disposal permit.
I don't know about you but the thought of having Eagle Ford Shale activity get closer to town is worrisome.  The shale play is expected to be around for decades and I assume it'll be at our doorstep eventually.  Hats off to the people of Los Botines for making their voices heard.   

Monday, March 18, 2013

New Police Chief

Mr. Ray Garner.

UPDATE:

The city council meeting tonight was important because a new police chief was going to be selected from a pool of three final candidates.  At the start of the meeting, however, Mayor Raul Salinas voiced his displeasure at a story that appeared in the Laredo Times today.  The piece basically took city staff, council, and the mayor to task for spending thousands of dollars on legislative trips taken each year to Austin.

  
The mayor defended the city's actions by saying that it's important to go meet face-to-face with legislators to bring home the bacon.  He got quite hot under the collar.


Councilman Mike Garza said that, at first, he was critical of the city spending so much on legislative trips yearly.  But after he got into office, he saw the importance of such work.  That's funny.  Jorge Vera said the same thing on the Jay St. John radio show this morning.  Kudos to them for getting their stories straight.

The mayor said that their yearly trips have netted big bucks for the likes of the Cuatro Vientos project.  But they've been using the Cuatro Vientos card since four years ago.  When the mayor, Mike Garza, Danny Valdez, Henry Cuellar and everybody's mother was running for re-election, they all mentioned getting Cuatro Vientos funding.  Isn't it about time they let it go?

The mayor also brought up the COPS funding as justification for going to Washington and Austin on a yearly basis.  Credit for COPS funding has been talked about since two years ago.  Henry Cuellar has been taking credit for it since more than two years ago.

The reason we take everyone at city hall to task is because, when they go to D.C. or Austin, they stay in swanky hotels, they take family members up with them, they repeat the same old lines as justification for going, and they never really disclose what was gained from the trips.  And to top it all off, they never say the word party -- instead it's a reception they host for legislators.

Mayor, tell me about all the money that you've helped bring to Laredo and I'll show you Henry Cuellar posing with a big, vinyl check taking credit for it.

Se salen!

They Threw A Party

Can't wait for tonight's city council meeting to hear how their trip to Washington D.C. went.  I'm sure we'll hear about all the things Laredo will get, just like we heard about the bounty we got from their Austin trip in January.



Food Assistance

Tom Colicchio of "Top Chef" fame talked to Bill Maher this weekend about hunger in America.  He mentioned how 50 million people are in need of food assistance.  While high-end gourmet food is his specialty, his documentary, "A Place At The Table," addresses the call for resources to be spent more wisely, especially on farm subsidies. 

I captured an interesting part of the interview where Colicchio mentioned that subsidies for healthy foods fall way behind subsidies for corn, or dairy.  (the video does not have any audio for some reason)  "Calories are cheap; healthy food is expensive," he said.  What also caught my attention was the link he made between obesity and hunger.  It's natural for people to be both hungry and obese because all the food they're consuming is made up of empty calories, he explained. 


I'm all for people eating healthier foods, but people on food assistance don't have much of a choice when their benefits only afford them the cheapest, and unhealthiest of foods.

Almost two years ago I talked about Richard Raymond's crusade of banning people on SNAP benefits from buying snack foods.  My take on it was that his efforts were misguided because he basically wanted to tackle the obesity problem by penalizing the poor, as if poor people were the only ones eating chips and candies.  Well, he's at it again.  On the surface, the plan may seem practical, but he makes no mention of the disparity in food subsidies that could possibly make healthier foods more affordable.  In Texas, cotton crops gets more monetary love than food.

Raymond misses the mark on this issue because he doesn't really take into account the real cost of nutrition.  And his tone has a hint of derision when he mentions that public funds go towards buying unhealthy food, plus medical assistance to address obesity-related ailments.  But again, what choice do people have?  If oranges sell five for a dollar, and a frozen pizza goes for the same, what are people going to pick?

Healthy food is expensive.  To deny people junk foods is only getting at a small piece of the puzzle.
I think the documentary is worth watching because it might dispel some of the myths we have about people on food stamps.

Here are some SNAP facts.  (The average household receives $289 in benefits)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

EMR Character






This is the last "Eddie Macon's Run" feature post before the big finale.  Today we have Kirk Douglas, a man who has a dimpled chin just like mine.  But apart from that, he played Det. Carl Marzack, the man determined to nab Macon before he slips across the border.  Marzack wasn't playing around; And you can tell from the car chase scene at the end of the movie.



Friday, March 15, 2013

Best Laredo Week Ever

Since I've been at a loss about what to blog about, I thought I'd just create a video podcast to tersely touch on a host of things.  First I thought of going over a list of my favorite things:  favorite movies, songs, sports, etc.  But instead I wrote down some current events as topics and it went from there.  Comment or not. 

 

Oh this! (UPDATE)





Yeah, I guess this is ridiculous on several levels.  In a time of hiring freeze talk all over the place, the sheriff's dept. brings on its very own spiritual adviser.  Mr. Rodriguez used to be a popular DJ locally, affectionately known as "The Bird."  

Well played by the department here - putting this bit of news out very late in the week.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Last Year's Take


Apparently my councilman, Alex Perez, gets a stipend every time he turns on his car. 

Just Say The Word

At the drop of a hat the locals can get into campaign mode.  For if it's one thing that Laredoans do well it's play along up to the primaries.  Even if some candidates don't stand a chance, it's just an honor to be part of the circus. 


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The New Races


I can't believe that the new push for votes is already in gear.  Rolando Saenz already has windshield stickers in use for next year's race.

We still have campaign posters up from last year!

I Believe Him


He told KGNS that he doesn't text while sitting in on a city council meeting.  I think that comes from the fact that he doesn't have anything to say. 

UPDATE:  I only captured part of the KGNS clip.  Notice how the reporter pronounces Narvaez's name.  Perhaps that explains why it appears like that (Navaez) in the clip. 

Monday, March 11, 2013

What Goes On


Interesting write-up from Mr. Arambula today.  His discussion focuses on members of city council texting during actual meetings.  Apart from the fact that they might be zoned out during their gatherings, they could be transmitting important city information to people, thus violating the Open Meetings Act.

Mr. A. does mention that this occurs at the county courthouse too.  And in the end, a blind eye is turned to this activity. 

Saturday, March 9, 2013

EMR Featured Character






Today's featured "Eddie Macon's Run" character is John Goodman.  He played Hebert the construction site foreman.  The scene he appears in, where he and Eddie Macon tangle, lasts all of about thirty seconds.  But that's all he needed. 

Apart from the incomparable Kirk Douglas, Goodman has had a very active and successful acting career.  You can see him every week on reruns of "Roseanne."  He plays a major part in one of my all-time favorite movies, "The Big Lebowski."  And of this last Oscar season's list of notable flicks, John Goodman appears in "Argo" and "Flight."  Not bad for a man who had a fleeting role in EMR.  Hats off to you, sir.    

Friday, March 8, 2013

Webb Land For Sale






After several requests to get some information from the county, the sheriff's spokesperson finally sent me the list of people who bought properties at the last Sheriff's Sale.  As far as I understand it, these properties are put up for auction because of delinquent tax status.  It's funny.  I thought the properties sold at this auction went for much less.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Richard Raymond In All Of Us


Quote courtesy of Rio Grande Guardian's Twitter page.

Apparently there's a large Eagle Ford Shale conference in San Antonio today and our very own Richard Raymond entertained the masses with his intellectual prowess.  But I don't want to talk about the shale play as much as this community's, and the rep's take on the environment.  Simply put, we're not into the environment.  Oh sure there might be some in the 956 who want to make a diffence, like the 48 percent of people who took part in the plastic bag ban survey and support the measure.  But for the most part, conservation is not what I would call a buzz word in this neck of the woods.

I don't know if it's apathy, denial, or just a fear of change.  Rep. Richard Raymond's dismissal of our concern for the environment comes from years of political experience, and a donation here and there.  Ours comes from a lack of guidance and will.  And I don't think it's a Hispanic thing because Brownsville has a bag ban in place.  (A co-worker thought that my argument was inspired by race.)

The majority of Laredoans act on behalf of the environment only if there's something in it for them.  We recycle cans to get spare change.  We pick up used tires and turn them in for spare change.  And we turn off the light in the other room only because it's costing us money.  Talk about real change and we zone out.  

  

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Quiet Zones

Okay, so San Antonio officials also went up to Washington to make their needs known to the feds.  It makes sense that Laredo would do the same, especially when the town's yearly operating budget is nearly half a billion dollars.  But is it really necessary to have 60 people go on this trip, and be serenaded?
Gonzalez will join more than 60 Laredoans who are at the nation’s capital this week advocating for federal funds and policy changes to help with various local issues, such as health, security, environmental, water and transportation.
Managing a city is serious business, and travel is necessary, but it's a little insulting when council members post pictures of their kids on Facebook having a great time in Washington.

But to get a better sense of how worthless these trips to D.C. really are, let's look back to 2011.

In a meeting with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), the Laredo delegation discussed downtown improvements and beautification projects such as implementing “quiet zones” around the railroad in the most heavily populated areas downtown, as well as a bus processing facility, and renovating San Bernardo Avenue and Laredo’s all important riverfront.
 “The trains blow their whistles at all hours of the day and night, but even worse, the vibrations from the trains are causing property damage—windows and house walls are cracking,” Council Member Cindy Liendo-Espinoza, District VIII, emphasized.
 Council Member Jose A. Valdez, Jr., District VII, continued with a possible solution, “We would like to treat abatement for train and airplane noise similarly. With federal funding, we are able to purchase noise easements from property owners near the airport, and we are able to purchase damaged property and relocate homeowners. We would like to see a federal program to help us do that for houses close to heavily used train tracks.”
ALL IMPORTANT RIVERFRONT.  City officials must get continuing education hours on these trips because it seems that nothing really comes out of their meetings with people in Washington.  And really, if they're meeting with Sen. Ted Cruz, their words are just going to go in one ear and out the other.


The picture provided by the City of Laredo features what Jorge Vera did the last three days in Washington: point to things.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Spring Break Almost Here

Instead of doing a blogger meet-up/tutorial, I'll probably just go live online and answer questions directly.  Attendance is not necessary, but it'll help.

New music Tuesday:  Hey Marseilles


Laredo Culture: Clashy As It Wants To Be



In the convoluted world of prosaic Tex-Mex cuisine (and I use that word loosely), vendors must distinguish themselves from the masses.  It's not an easy task when delving into the wants of unsophisticated palates.  Ingredients are limited further when costs have to be reined in.  From this framework, choices can only be tweaked so far.  But if it's tortilla chips dressed in sluggish cheese, and topped off with fervent garnishes they seek, who am I to protest?

The only manner left for a pedestrian pabulum peddler to stand out is to market oneself with the panache of young diva wearing a meat dress on Good Friday.  Sure the moniker TACOn' MADRE may be crass on the surface, but we have to remember that the dishware involved in this venture is composed of styrofoam cups, and Frito bags turned on their sides.  Forgive me for disparaging a popular American icon, but if I was asked to translate the name of this eatery, the first thought that would come to mind would be "it's great!" 

I doubt that our entrepreneurial compadres had Tony the Tiger on the mind when searching for titles, but given this town's propensity for copyright infringement, I wouldn't put it past them.

For now, TACOn' MADRE lives on and they request your patronage.  They will endure as long as the cream flows, and until a better catchword emerges.  Bon appetit, bitches!

Join In


I'm a casual Twitter-er.  Nevertheless, let's pump up Jerry Garza's Twitter account.  It's the least we could do.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Earthworm Monday


My idle side got the best of me this weekend.  That's not to say that my weekend was unproductive, but I neglected to post anything on a character from the movie "Eddie Macon's Run."  So without further ado, I'd like to feature Lee Purcell.  She played Jilly Buck, a character familiar with the border that helps Eddie Macon (John Schneider) cross into Mexico.  Another 1983 movie Ms. Purcell appeared in was "Valley Girl."  Two good movies for this burgeoning, teenage movie lover.

Fast forward to March 1993 and we get the story of a 300-lb. earthworm carcass in Laredo.
The 200-word story said that frustrated commuters called police that morning after being unable to drive around the 300-pound worm, described by one motorist as "a grey, fat, rubbery thing." A Laredo State University entomologist, Dr. Luis Leacky, pointed out a sticky trail of mucus along Interstate 35 and surmised that the mutant had emerged from the polluted Rio Grande. U.S. Border Patrol agents, assisted by Laredo police officers wearing rubber gloves, used two cranes and an 18-wheeler to remove the carcass, according to the paper.
That day, Bill Green, publisher of the Hearst-owned Morning Times, dismissed the reporter who wrote the tale. The editor who allowed it to see print also left the paper, although he won't say why. (The publisher would only say the two "no longer work here.") The next morning, Green signed a front page apology to readers on both sides of the border--as well as the Border Patrol, the Laredo Police department and Laredo State University, home of the fictitious Dr. Leacky.

In the age of Twitter, and instant messaging, I would assume that this story would die pretty quickly and people wouldn't waste two minutes going out to see what was really going on.  However, it's disappointing that nobody would carry on with this hoax as a tribute for the reporter.  The possibilities are endless.

The San Antonio Express-News is also taking a look back to March 1983.  That I'm doing the same thing is purely coincidental.  If you recall from nine days ago, I composed a post on another character from "Eddie Macon's Run," Jay Sanders.  My focus on EMR will end in a couple of weeks.

If you can think of anything else that happened in previous years, in the month of March, let 'er rip.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Good Time To Travel

I wouldn't run for office because I don't think I could get a week off from work right before Spring Break.  Our city officials are going to D.C.


Have fun, guys.


But there's more.