Tuesday, June 19, 2018

An Abomination

In 2014, when a wave of immigrants from Central America were coming to this country, the federal government was having trouble handling the overflow.  A lot of unaccompanied minors were part of the large influx of people.  Detention centers in south Texas were crowded.  The problem seemed untenable.  Henry Cuellar said this about the Obama administration:

The problem with the administration is they don't want to give information, he said.  In fact, there's times when they don't want to give information to members of Congress.  It's almost like they don't want the American public to know about the situation.


The way I remember it from 2014, our local leaders didn't want to lift a finger to help the incoming immigrants.  And Henry Cuellar's only concern was how to deport these people back as soon as possible.


Immigrants are still coming to the United States, but team Trump is doing something severely egregious:  he's separating the children from their parents.  As I type this, MSNBC is reporting that the "Trumps administration is housing hundreds of babies and toddlers in at least 3 facilities in south Texas."

Far from showing any sign of outrage now, Henry Cuellar is instead smugly pointing to how he showed us proof of this back in 2014.


Cuellar has the gall to downplay the current humanitarian crisis and not challenge the evil actions of  Donald Trump and his minions.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

The Contests Begin


Tuesday, the day after Memorial Day, signaled the start of the races for the upcoming elections in November.  Mayor Pete Saenz held a press conference, with crooked mustache and all, to announce his re-election bid.  Not to be outdone, greasy-haired challenger Charlie San Miguel is doing things a little more adventurous.


San Miguel is again hosting his Meh*Run at North Central Park, but he's apparently sky diving into the event, all while having a boner for military veterans.  This guy, or the mayor for that matter, looks like he can't do much in regards to physical activity, so he'll fall from the sky instead.

Charlie will be vacating his District 6 seat in the fall.  Word on the street is that there may be up to 12 candidates vying for his chair.  One will definitely have to do something wild to separate him/herself from the pack.  La Sanbe does not recommend sky diving.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

The Same Song

Typical tweet from a typical politician after another school shooting, this time in Texas.


Monday, May 7, 2018

Nepotizzz Yo!


At least one runoff candidate has dropped by the Keyrose compound to remind us of the looming election, later this month.  His message straight and up front: Stop the corruption and nepotism.  Exclamation point.

Over the weekend, approximately 900 voters approved the LISD bond measure, which will allow improvements to existing schools and enable the district to build a new Cigarroa Middle School campus.  Ya veremos.

And the field is getting crowded for the spots that will open up at city hall this fall.  People are already starting to file their paperwork for-to get a chance at Charlie San Miguel's, and Alex Perez's (a La Sanbe favorite) seat.  Let's not forget that a certain FB celebrity is vying for the mayor's office.

Friday, April 20, 2018

El Perez Pendejo

(If you follow me on FB, you've probably already read this. It was posted April 17, 2018.)





Four years ago, then-Council Member Cindy Liendo stepped down to run for mayor. She had represented District 8 for six years. She was unsuccessful in her bid. In 2016, Esteban Rangel stepped down as council member to run for county commissioner against Jesse Gonzalez. Rangel unfortunately lost his bid too. When I asked if Council Member Alex Perez would step down last month to run for county commissioner, I was met with bewilderment, as if I had asked something that was totally unheard of.


Perez never hinted at the possibility of giving up his council seat to seek a different office. Given the current problem he’s facing, perhaps his withdrawal from city hall in March would’ve been the most prudent. An ominous cloud, a moral turpitude shadow, if you will, will hover over Perez until his second term ends later this year: He now faces an ethics probe, courtesy of city council, and a possible civil suit from a local businessman.

Alex Perez is being accused of orchestrating a heavy-handed inspection of a business on Clark Blvd. The proprietor of that establishment alleges that this was the result from him refusing to put up Perez’s campaign signs. Perez apparently saw red when the businessman didn’t comply with his wishes. The gentleman at the receiving end of Perez’s unpleasantness filed a complaint with police; A shrewd move on his part. The business owner was cited for a couple of minor infractions. He, however, categorized the occurrence as a raid and as retaliation by Mr. Perez for not offering his political support. 

It was discovered at last night’s council meeting that Council Member Alex Perez directed the Executive Director of Public Services to investigate the conditions at the business on Clark. It was previously mentioned that the inspection was hastened by an anonymous call. All signs point to an abuse of power on Perez’s part. The timing of the incidents, the fact that the business is not even located in Perez’s district, and his absence from council meetings all suggest a, oh...how you say, clusterfuk.  

Mr. Perez was not present during council proceedings yesterday. Big surprise. He can’t hide forever. Unless he resigns, this problem will plague him until he terms out.

Political pettiness aside, Perez’s command to Mr. Executive Director of Public Services doesn’t fall into uncharted waters. Council Member Charlie San Miguel was chastised by former City Manager Carlos Villarreal for taking mud run proceeds home. He apparently interfered with city administrators the day of the race. When Jorge Vera was busted for alleged drug use at a local bar, he tried to get out of his predicament that night by contacting and urging a police supervisor to look into his matter. Again, interfering with administration. Vera’s wasn’t so lucky in the end. He was recalled from office.

And now we have Perez, an impulsive bully who apparently has no political acumen after being on council for more than 7 years. It appears he doesn’t know, or doesn’t care that a council member is supposed to run things by the city manager’s office if he/she wants anything done. You don’t take matters into your own hands, especially in the reckless manner that he did. He led the raid on a local business and now he’s facing the consequences, sort of.  

City council has opted to send the problem to the ethics commission. I didn’t know we still had one. They are as predictable and impotent as ever. But perhaps it’s for the better. If they chose to judge one of their own, and possibly oust the motherfucker, it would tear apart the already-divided council even more. It’s best, I guess, to let Perez sink into the hole he’s dug for himself.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

The Taj Majal That Canseco Built

Latest on Canseco house garden via KGNS:

City Council approved a non-profit organization that will implement the food policy and urban agriculture in the City of Laredo.
The Canseco House will serve as the base where the organization will run its operations.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Spring Time For Charlie

How do you say 'moment of Zen' in Spanish?


(courtesy photo, sort of)

Friday, March 9, 2018

Unprincipled


I did not vote in Tuesday's primary election.  I was very clear about it on social media.

My absence from the polls was inevitable.  It was only this month that I followed through with my self-imposed ban from voting.  It comes from years of disillusionment with Laredo's political figures.  It comes from shared stories of acts of pettiness on the part of council persons and commissioners.  It comes from the defensive tone that pols take when they're challenged.  And it comes from countless reports of undeserving city and county leaders who do things that are less than honorable.

When you look at the photo above, you notice that there has been a turnover of elected officials.  We can thank term limits for that, perhaps.  Nelly Vielma, George Altgelt and Pete Saenz are seen meeting with federals staffers in Washington, D.C.  The three have settled in nicely to their first term as city representatives.  In the background, to the right, you see Charlie San Miguel and a lady who is strategically positioned behind him.  Through a trusted source, I found out that the lady is his wife.

You have a family member sitting in on official city business inside the White House.  You have a spouse who is taking advantage of fancy lodging in our nation's capital, courtesy of the Laredo taxpayer.  I find this utterly unacceptable.

What's worse is that Vielma, Altgelt and Saenz tacitly approve of San Miguel's actions while away from Laredo.  We have politicians not looking out for our best interests and others looking the other way.

It's a futile battle when the electorate has to go up against the so-called political machines, the uninformed citizenry that blindly casts votes and the vote harvesters who wrangle people's support in return for some type of gain.  Add to all of that the willingness of those who seem honest to go along with the worst of Laredo and Webb Co.

Ni los buenos sirven.

If the well-meaning officials are there to prop up the bad ones, then what effect can my measly vote actually have.

    

Friday, February 9, 2018

What's Going To Happen?


It's almost ten months since FBI agents went all up local government's ass.  It happened on a clear day in April of last year - the 26th, to be exact.  I recall tweeting up a storm that day, and looking out for media updates in the days following.

The only story I posted on this blog was a local lawyer's take on what transpired and what we should expect.  


It would be nice to know who is going to go to jail.  But for now, all I can do is look at the personnel changes that have taken effect in local government and wonder if they have something to do with the ongoing FBI investigation.

In October, Commissioner Jaime Canales announced his campaign for re-election.  Canales' office was one of many that was raided last spring.  Then last month he suspended his campaign, citing health issues and the future of his career.  The timing of his move is all too peculiar.  Is the hammer about to fall?  And what about his brother, Roel Canales, and his short stint as County Court at Law Associate Judge?  Connection?

Among the supposed 'target subjects' of the FBI, Jesus Olivares is no longer the city manager.  The City of Laredo also has a new city attorney.

Who is talking to the FBI?  And who is mounting their legal defense?  The waiting game continues.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Mens Suits Laredo


Sulak's announced last week on their Facebook page that they're closing up shop.  I wasn't a regular patron of this downtown institution.  I did buy a suit there a couple of years ago as a Father's Day present to myself.


Yet another nail in the coffin for downtown.  So long, Sulak's.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

This Is Where We Are


City staff hosted a special guest at its property on Chihuahua and Seymour this week.  The purpose of the event was to promote urban gardening.


Veggies were there for the picking.  A fence will eventually block access to the garden.


I spy LMT photographer Cuate Santos getting a group shot.


The garden setup is well done.  Some plants are more mature than others.


The old house that sits on the property is in a state of disrepair.


Props to the workers who help maintain this project.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Oh LCC

It was last May that LCC carried out its "reorganization plan."  Administrators' contracts were not renewed and the college was done having the Health Services Department around anymore.  [Full disclosure: I was part of the Health Services Dept.]

Almost a year after, I've come to terms with the decision made by those at the helm at LCC.  However, I can't understand how the college is still charging students a fee for something that doesn't exist there.



Apparently LCC is charging $5 per student, per semester, for Health Service(s).  I don't know how college brass can justify this fee.  There must be something that I don't know.

Campus police officers were tasked with responding to medical emergencies when Health Services staff wasn't on campus.  But if somebody in their custody was hurt or had a medical issue to address, they would call us to assist.  I have no idea how campus PD is faring now without the resources that were there once.  

I'm sure LCC heads can give us a clever answer as to why they're taking money from students for a phantom line item on their printouts.  And I'm sure they can explain why they still have a fee for Health Service for a department specifically called Health Services, the one that is not there today.

Only they know.


Ricardo Solis described Health Services as a luxury.  I hope he enjoyed his time at La Posada, courtesy of the college district taxpayers.  The president's house on campus wasn't up to his standard, supposedly, and thus needed particular accommodations.  

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

The Hat Though


This flier was delivered to my doorstep a couple of weeks ago.  I set it aside for a while.  Then I noticed the peculiar grammar, which prompted a new game for me: fun with arrows.

Good luck, Judge Veliz.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

White Hair Matches The White Collar Crime


(Image via KGNS)

Dr. Francisco Pena, longtime Laredo physician and Chief of Staff at Laredo Medical Center, was indicted on January 10 on charges of money laundering, healthcare fraud, making false statements to the FBI and obstruction of an investigation.

Word on the street was that Dr. Pena developed chest pain when he was about to be taken into custody.  He was evaluated by medical staff at LMC, but ultimately cleared for authorities to haul him in.  He was wheeled out, wearing a gown and possibly the look of shame on his face.  

The good doctor attended a meeting at the Rio Bravo City Hall last weekend.  It was thought that his removal or exit from office as mayor of Rio Bravo would be acted upon.  Alas, Pena made no effort to vacate the seat and the item is in limbo for the time being.

His attorney, Keko Martinez, spoke to the media.  He said that the doctor's alleged crimes have nothing to do with his duties as mayor.  Thus he sees no reason why Pena should step down as an elected official of Rio Bravo.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Housing Centrally Located


The Russell Terrace housing units are being torn down to make room for modern living quarters.  That's me in the lower right hand corner.



The Russell Terrace community was built in the late 1950s.  Relatives of mine have lived here.  The meeting hall is where the Cub Scouts had one event or two.  Ah, my youth.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

From Foodstuffs To Bingo Chips


The former Super S grocery store has taken on a new life, that of a bingo parlor.

It was two years ago that the store was clearing out:  January 26, 2016 Super S on Clark selling everything 50 percent off. Lease to expire.

In December of that same year I blogged about the owner of the property making questionable improvements on the place. 

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Primaries Coming Soon


There's a lot to be said for campaign signs: they litter the landscape, they add to the local economy and they usually carry with them an unintended whimsy.