Wednesday, January 23, 2019
City Manager Horacio DeLeon announced his retirement last night at the first council meeting of the year. The surprise announcement was made after executive session.
DeLeon took over for Jesus Olivares, who also retired during a council meeting on May 15, 2017. Olivares stepping down came almost three weeks after city hall was raided by FBI agents in a corruption case that may still be ongoing. "Chuy" Olivares was named as a target subject in the federal probe. Nobody from the municipal side of local government has been formally charged yet.
County Commissioner Jaime Canales is set to be sentenced soon in connection with that same investigation.
Carlos Villarreal retired on November 2014. Of the three city managers we've had in the past five years, DeLeon is the one with the most amiable personality. Luck to him in his newfound retirement.
Sunday, January 6, 2019
Before the runoff election took place last month, a video surfaced on FB that featured a chaotic scene at a local establishment. An employee of the newly-opened PlaMor filmed a shouting match between chef Louie Bruni and businessman Roque Vela Jr. (photo above taken FB post/video)
Bruni and Vela yelled their heads off at each other. The chef was then quick to post the video on social media for us to see.
What's interesting about the video is that you had two grown men in each other's face, and it dropped as one of them was in the running for the office of mayor. Vela ended up losing the race against incumbent Pete Saenz. The video was not the deciding factor for voters, I think. It was, however, a glimpse of Roque Vela's storied volatile behavior.
Making the rounds before the general election was a flier that listed Vela's run-ins with the law. It was dirty laundry galore, courtesy of none-friends of Roque Vela Jr. The info. made for great water cooler talk. And it may be what future campaigns look like: third parties making their voices known through push ads.
But gutter politics aside, I want to mention one more thing about the viral video. As the rogue videographer taped the fight on his phone, a lady tries to put an end to it. She wags her finger at the employee while saying no! She puts her hand on the phone, interrupting the visual. She's then heard saying, don't touch me! It's funny to me because she's invading an employee's space, getting physical, but demands not to be touched. Everything that takes place in the clip is a lesson in what NOT to do in that type of situation.
Laredo politics don't disappoint. If it's not the corruption that jars our sensibilities, it's the relationships that are made and the antics that come with it.
Wednesday, January 2, 2019
On the way into town, you pass the Tumble Inn, so named because it seems imminent that the whole place will crash into the arroyo over which it is built.
That passage is from an old issue of Texas Monthly. The Tumble in was a restaurant/dance hall that no longer exists. The arroyo the writer mentions has to be the Chacon Creek, which is near the 3 Points neighborhood. I can't tell you exactly where the restaurant was located, because of the scarcity of information about it.
An ad that I found in an old yearbook lists the Tumble Inn as being located on Corpus Christi Highway.
Photo: an ad for the establishment that appeared in a February 1960 issue of the Laredo Times.
And a photo that a friend sent me via Twitter, showing the actual address of the restaurant: 2803 Cortez.