Thursday, March 31, 2011

Next Year's George & Martha might just be what brings BTB back


OOOOPS, wrong WBCA

If there's one thing that all followers of Laredo's blogs can be sure of, is that Bordertown Blues is the premeir blog when it comes to coverage and comments on Laredo's WBCA. With the announcement of next year's George & Martha currently in the news, there might be a pretty good chance that BTB will end his self-imposed hiatus and makes a strong return to the South Texas Blogosphere.

 So far, repeated attempts by his followers and fellow bloggers to coax BTB to resume his Pulitzer-worthy blog have been unsuccessful. Perhaps, this first glimpse into the WBCA festivities of 2012 will be the siren call that finally draws him out.

Iit's about time for update on city's food bill during council meetings

Meeting's cancelled? Good, it won't get in the way of our feast!

A couple of years ago, there was widespread anger among many Laredoans when the Laredo Morning Times revealed just how much money the city council was spending for food during its meetings. One particular example highlights just how arrogant and unconcerned they can be with our money. This was when a regular-scheduled council meeting was cancelled due to an error in the notice posting. This fact did not keep the Mayor and council from showing up to scarf hundreds of dollars of food compliments of Laredo's taxpayers.

I think it's time to, once again, take a peek behind the closed doors at city hall and see what kind of feasting is going up on our dime. Pro8news and/or LMT should give us an update as part of their commitment to our community. In the meantime, I offer for your enjoyment, some excerpts from a story that first appeared on the Laredo Morning Times back on July 20th, 2008.

From the Laredo Morning Times archives
by Ashley Richards
For each meeting, city staff orders lunch or dinner for the mayor, eight council members, four city managers and sometimes the city attorney. Two to three extra meals are also ordered in case there are guests, such as a visiting attorney joining an executive session discussion.

On the high end, a meal served at a City Council meeting in the past year cost about $575, which included prime rib from Embassy Suites with all the trimmings and two key lime pies for dessert. The cheapest meal from June through June was a $116 tab from Chick-Fil-A for chicken nuggets and brownies for dessert.
On at least 14 occasions, dessert was ordered separate from the hot meal orders, totaling $684 worth of cakes, pies and cookies from local bakeries.

At the Jan. 28 City Council meeting, the menu was made up of parrilladas from Palenque Grill for appetizers ($123.99), prime rib from Embassy Suites ($350.02) and dessert from Cakeland ($34.99). Although City Council was served a $509 meal, the meeting was cancelled because the agenda was posted incorrectly.

In May, City Council convened for a brief noon meeting and then recessed and reconvened at 5:30 p.m. for a meeting at which the new police chief was announced. During both meetings council and management were served hundreds of dollars worth of food. At the noon session, burgers from Fuddruckers cost $205, and in the evening, Monte Carlo catered to the council, bringing a $350 tab for dinner and dessert.
 
Three days later, council met for about 10 minutes to canvass the May 10 election votes and was again served food from Monte Carlo for $325.
 
We’re going to start reassessing what a limit might be as far as meals,” Villarreal said, adding Deputy City Manager Cynthia Collazo has been assigned to oversee the orders. Villarreal preliminarily suggested a $200 to $225 cap on the food order.“I’m not looking forward to a City Council meeting so I can eat,” Villarreal said. “We’ll establish a limit.”
I really don't recall if that "limit" was ever set. If it was, is it still in effect, or are the high-rollers back? 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What do you mean new Roma bridge will be gateway to Mexico??

Roma
Is Roma next to eat Laredo's lunch?

I thought Laredo had the market cornered on being the Nafta Highway and the gateway to/from Mexico. We've all heard the Laredo city council and staff state their complacent position that Laredo has a strategic geographic location and does not have to fear McAllen or any other city in the Valley taking over as the preferred port.

Well, Roma, Texas is in the process of building a new bridge that will connect it with it's Mexican sister city of Ciudad Mier. It will be primarily for industrial use (trade) and according to valley officials, it offers the best connection between Monterrey and Houston. So who is right? Will it now be Roma who will be eating our lunch?

Excerpted from the McAllen Monitor
The Roma-Mier bridge’s future location, which officials have narrowed down to five places about four or five miles west of the Roma-Miguel Alem├ín bridge, will serve well as a gateway between the U.S. and Mexico for industry.

“The bridge will have a great opportunity cost,” Leal said in Spanish. “On the Mexican side it is the shortest way to Monterrey, which is the most important door to our industry, and in the United States it is the shortest way to your ports San Antonio and Houston.”

KCS says engineer was on train, not at fast food place

A few days ago, Mayor Salinas was all over the news. Reportedly, the Mayor was extremely upset that a Kansas City Southern (KCS) train was blocking crossings in the downtown area for an extended amount of time. The Mayor said he looked for the engineer everywhere but could not find him. Salinas also said that he had gotten phone calls indicating that the engineer was at a nearby fast food place having breakfast.

Today, KCS officially refuted the Mayor's claim that the engineer was having breakfast. As it turns out, the train was undergoing an air-brake test and the engineer was where he was supposed to be-in the train's cab. There is no word on who started the rumor about the engineer abandoning the train to grab a quick bite.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Cabeza de radio - Sin sorpresas

Books a Million posts Laredo store General Manager position online



We still do not know exactly when the Laredo Books a Million store will open. When it was first announced that Laredo was finally getting a bookstore, the tentative date(s) were late March or early April. It looks like it's not going to be late March. Nonetheless, I was snooping around and found this job vacancy announcement on their corporate website.

Job Description General Manager-Laredo, Texas * - 1100065

Books-A-Million, Inc. is the third largest book retailer in the nation and also sells on the internet at booksamillion.com.  We operate more than 200 stores in 18 states and the District of Columbia under the names of Books A Million, Bookland, Joe Muggs Newsstand, and Books and Company.

Minimum Requirements
- A love for books
- 21 years of age or older
- Bilingual skills a plus
- Positive background check
- Recommended Assessment Score
- Strong customer skills
- Ability to multi-task
- Good communication skills
- Team player
- Professional appearance
- Previous management experience preffered
- Completion of New Associate and Management Training Courses within 60 days.

Duties
- Responsible for overall operation of the store
- Provide effective leadership for human and physical resources charged to the store.
- Operate the store in adherence with all store policies and guidelines.
- Monitor the quality of customer service throughout the store.
- Supervise, direct, counsel, and assist all associates.
- Assist in interviewing, selecting and training associates.
- Maximize sales and profits, while minimizing controllable expenses.
- Maintain exceptional community and customer relations.
Primary Location TX-Laredo-Mall del Norte, 5300 San Dario, Space #108-#568

City enlists "elite" PR firm to market new golf course


Kingwood, Texas course managed by On Course Strategies LLC

The city of Laredo has decided to secure the services of On Course Strategies LLC to manage, market and promote the Max Mandel golf course now under construction. On Course has been in business since 2001 and is based in Connecticut. Some of the other golf course it manages in Texas are located in Spring, Kingwood, Round Rock and Austin. Assistant city manager Horacio De Leon referred to the selected firm as "among the elite golf public relations and event marketing agencies vying for the project", according to today's Laredo Morning Times.

As previously mentioned, one of the properties managed by On Course is located in Kingwood, Texas which is northeast of Houston. Namely, it's the Kingwood Cove Golf Club. I took the liberty of visiting their website from where I obtained the following information.

Kingwood Cove Golf Club Membership Options

Player's Club Membership ….…….…...… $25 / Month
Single Annual Payment Option……………..$275


Unlimited Driving Range Usage
• Complimentary Instructional Clinics
• KW Cove Golf Association Events
• USGA Golf Handicap Maintained
• Ride or Walk for $12 After 2:00 pm daily
• 10% Food & Beverage Discount
• 20% Golf Shop Merchandise Discount
• 10% Private Instruction Discount


Player's Club Plus Membership ….….. $50 / Month
Single Annual Payment Option…………… $550
• All Regular Player's Club Benefits
• One $15 Weekday Guest Pass Per Month
• Ride for $15 Before 2:00 pm Weekdays
• Walk for $5 Anytime Weekdays
Player's Club Premier Membership….. $75 / Month
Single Annual Payment Optio……………… $825
• All Player's Club Plus Benefits
• Ride for $15 Before 2:00 pm Weekends
Player's Unlimited Membership .….. $175 / Month
Single Annual Payment Option….…… $1,925
• All Player's Premier Benefits
• Unlimited Cart & Walking Fees Included

Convert Any Player's Club Membership to a
Family Membership for 60% of the Base Plan Rate.....

Monday, March 28, 2011

UISD keeps its 100K administrators but cuts Pre-K to half-a-day

How much did this Logo cost you UISD board?


 It is obvious that the UISD board of trustees have lost sight of why their district exists. According to Pro8news, the board unanimously voted to cut the district's pre-k programs from full day to half-day. In doing so, the board has confirmed what many of us have known all along. Board president Pat Campos and the rest of the members consider protecting the jobs of the many UISD administrators who rake in over $100,000 a year as their number one priority.  Tonight's vote to slash the pre-k program in half is shameless proof of that philosophy.

After the vote, one of Superintendent Bobby Santos' lieutenants (some lady)  who also makes over $100K a year had the audacity to try to justify the pre-k cutbacks. Smiling for the camera, she gave her spin of why cutting the kids' program, and not her job, was the perfect solution.

The board also voted to go ahead with some boundary changes that had been proposed previously. An upset parent commented to the Pro8news reporter that the reason his kids could not attend the school of their choice was because  UISD and LISD teachers are given preference in allowing their kids to enroll at the schools where these teachers happen to teach-even if they reside elsewhere.

Laredo wins again by omission from Angriest Cities list




ABC news reported on one of the most recent best/worst lists involving American cities. I initially heard about the story on KTSA 550Am radio this morning. Upon getting home, I looked it up online and found the story in no time at all. As I clicked on the link to read the entire article, there was a slight delay in the response, I started to get somewhat mad and was looking for something to throw at the screen, when I thought to myself......wait, I don't want to add to the chances of Laredo being voted one of the Angriest cities in America, which is what this particular list is about, so I quickly cooled off and proceeded to enjoy the article.

As, it turns out, Laredo is winning again, a la Charlie Sheen, by the mere fact that it is completely absent from the list. So, we know that, according to Men's Health anyway, Laredo is not only NOT the angriest city in the nation, it's not even in the top 100. That dubious top honor was taken by  Detroit Michigan. Some of the criteria used to rank cities include a city's number of:  assaults, people on blood pressure medicine, anger management clinics and hours spent in traffic.

Fear not Motown, according the editors of Men's Health Magazine, who authored the piece, there's a bright side to all of these temper tantrums. They go on to explain:
what we don't know is how angry a city might become if we actually name it the "Angriest Town in America." Well, Detroit, go ahead and let us have it: You are officially the most spitting-mad metropolis. (That being said, getting angry isn't always a bad thing. In fact, occasionally blowing your lid can ease your mind, improve athletic performance, boost libido, and facilitate business negotiations.
See, doesn't that suddenly make your ulcer feel a whole lot better? But wait....when was the last time the Detroit Lions had a winning season? OK. so much for that theory.

Cost of medical procedures across Lone Star State vary w i d e l y



From The New York Times
by Texas Tribune writer Emily Ramshaw

The cost of common medical procedures paid for by Medicaid — the joint state-federal health care program for indigent children, the disabled and the very poor — varies dramatically by hospital and region, according to a Texas Tribune analysis of claims by and payments to hundreds of hospitals statewide.

A routine delivery at St. Luke’s The Woodlands Hospital costs Texas Medicaid twice as much as at Christus St. Catherine Hospital in Katy, just 50 miles away. The Harlingen Medical Center bills Medicaid nearly $5,500 less for a coronary bypass than does the Laredo Medical Center, though both hospitals are along the Texas-Mexico border. The disparity is the result of a payment formula that gives each Texas hospital its own rate. State health officials, seeking ways to curb Medicaid costs and address the concerns of hospitals on the lower end of the payment spectrum, have proposed a single base rate for all hospitals — with a variety of allowances for expensive-to-operate facilities.

Such a formula, they say, would save Texas, which faces an enormous budget shortfall, an estimated $74 million over the next two years — and up to $2.8 billion if lawmakers set the rate at the bare minimum.

You can read the entire article at:
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/27/us/27tthospitals.html

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Language: Sign of the times as "muffin top" becomes part of English Dictionary

Could Muffin Tops become Pride of Laredo?

The latest revision of the Oxford English Dictionary has just been completed and some of the new words which have been officially accepted into our language include: from the digital age, OMG and LOL which are abbreviations for Oh my God and Laughing out loud respectively. Another one that surprised me a bit is IMHO which means in my humble opinon. Then there is the already worn-out BFF, Best Friends forever.

However, not all of the new words  are abbreviations. As an indictment of fast-food living and it's accompanying spike in obesity, the term muffin top is now part of our dictionary as well. This most unflattering term is defined as  "a protuberance of flesh above the waistband of a tight pair of trousers." Well, I am not proud to let you know that just during a short outing this morning, I was privy to witnessing quite a number of Laredoans sporting a prominent muffin top. The funny part is that most that I saw carry it as some badge of honor.  They're everywhere. To be honest, I don't know which is more pervasive, muffin tops or smart phones. Come to think of it, you usually see both of them on the same person. I don't think that bodes well for our over-digitized population.

On the positive side, some other phrases were not recognized despite their frequent use. The list of terms which are NOT yet in our dictionary include stalwarts such as : TOTB (think outside the box), ATEOTD,  (at the end of the day), MF (moving forward) and WTOCB (we're taking our country back).  

How can Laredo's abundance be capitalized on ?



It appears that the latest Business Without Borders seminar was a big success. According to Pro8news, 20 "corporations" have opened across town bringing about 200 jobs. Although, KGNS scrimped on the details as usual, jobs are jobs so this is good news no matter how you look at it.

A little bit after watching this particular story, I couldn't help but wonder (once again) about a couple of things. 1) what is it that Laredo has an abundance of ? And, 2) How can we turn that abundance into jobs for out city? While I'm sure that some of us would come up with different ideas there are a few things that are universally recognized as being plentiful in our city.

First of all, we have plenty of heat and sun. We consistently have among the highest temperatures in the county. We have very little rain but plenty of sunny days. That was probably the reason we used to have an air force base here. How can we capitalize on so much sun and heat? Secondly, we have the highest concentration of Hispanics and Spanish speakers in the entire United States. Sadly, the third thing is that we have some of the worst performing schools in the state, if not the country. And last but not least, we have one of the youngest cities in the state as far as the median age goes. I believe that about half of Laredo's population is under 25 years of age.

The $64,000 question then is how do we use these things to turn the engine of our economy?  I don't claim to have the answers (now he tells us) but I'll go out on a limb and do a little bit of free associating with the first one : Sun and heat.  For starters, how about flying schools, solar farms, Mega-tanning parks or even some company doing sun/heat related research. OK, you can laugh now, but at least you get my drift. Who knows, maybe we can become the buckle of the entire Sun Belt.

Friday, March 25, 2011

TAMIU graduates finding it difficult to secure teaching jobs: WIll buyouts help?



Laredotejas previously reported that for at least the last couple of years, there have been very few new teachers  hired by both school districts. The situation has only been exacerbated by the projected budget cuts which have led to hiring freezes at both LISD and UISD.

Both local school districts are now in process of offering early retirement incentives, usually reffered to as buyouts, to qualified employess. A total of 70 employees have signed up for the offer at UISD which is for substantially less than the option LISD is providing. While UISD personell qualify for a maximum of $1,000 to retire early, LISD is offering amounts equalling 15 percent of base pay. This means a teacher making $50,000 annually would get $7,500. Their plans are to award buyouts to a  maximum of 600 employees, including 300 teachers. The caveat at LISD is that employees would not be eligible to return to the district for a period of 5 years.

All of these developments will no doubt be perceived as positive by those wishing to become teachers in the future. Of course, it remains to be seen whether the buyouts will open up enough teaching positions as to allow both districts to rescind the hiring freezes now in place. In the meantime, graduates of TAMIU's teaching program continue to struggle. Some have decided to extend their studies, others have found it necessary to continue as school paraprofessionals and some have even left town in search of opportunies.

This last decade has seen the educational job market in Laredo make a complete 180 degree turn; from critical teacher shortages to the virtual disappearance of job openings for Laredo's educators. Let's hope this starts to turn around (again) soon.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Racist Arizona: War on ethnic studies set to start in AZ legislature

It's beyond irony that the extreme right in Arizona is so paranoid of ethnic studies and how they could  lead to the possible overthrow of our government. What's closer to the truth is that  Arizona's GOP itself,  is in essence, intent on not recognizing the Obama government nor any part of the US constitution that seeks to ensure equal protection under the law to ALL citizens. It's obvious that many of Arizona's legislators long for the days when each state could arbitrarily oppress the most vulnerable of their citizens.


More locally-oriented AM radio would be good


Did they really used to get dressed for radio ?


At present, there's very little going on in the Gateway City in regards to AM broadcasting. Sure, there's 1490 ESPN radio but that's all sports. Personally, I think what we need more of is issues-oriented local talk radio. I realize I might be in the minority on this, but it would be nice to have the old-fashioned format of News, weather and sports at the local level at our fingertips several times a day. With Television, we have only the 5pm, 6pm and 10pm news broadcasts and usually it's just the 5pm news being repeated.

In the past, Laredo has not been able to support a full time talk radio station. I believe the last attempt was 1490 KLNT which abandoned the format about 10 years ago. At that time, it was an hour or two of early morning local issues followed by a full day of syndicated radio. If I'm not mistaken, Tom Wade, who currently has the only local talk show, cut his teeth on KLNT's last attempt at talk. Wade's Wake Up Laredo at 7am on 1090AM continues to be our only dose of local talk radio. I know Linea Abierta would come on for an hour at 1200 noon weekdays on one of our other stations. But I don't really know if this Spanish hour of call-in radio is still on the air. If it is, someone please let me know.

Waaay back when, it was all about AM radio. FM really didn't become popular until sometime in the later 70s with KOYE, which was AOR (Album Oriented Radio). KTSA Am in San Antonio was a favorite with rock fans. Locally, we were still getting Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin with a sporadic sprinkling of Cat Stevens or someone more current on KVOZ. In retrospect, it was a pretty weird mix. The Late Pepe Joven had the mystery sound contest when you could win money by guessing what the sound coming over your speakers was; most people guessed popcorn. Every hour he would go out and check the temperature out in what he called the patio. Other programs back then included radio-tradio, where you could call in to sell or buy stuff, Serenata Nocturna during which Spanish language DJ Luciano Duarte played dedications of Mexican music. It might be considered more of a dinosaur than ever, but I, for one, wouldn't mind being able to go to back the AM dial for some relief from the digital deluge.

Why would UT-Dallas want Laredo kids' SS #s? Well, we can speculate

I'm sorry Glen, but you don't have a patent on conspiracy theories

Considering that this entire case is short of facts, this situation will probably set off quite a bit of speculation. As long as that's the case, I might as well put in my two cents worth. As a note of precaution, please do not try this at home. We are about to enter the Glen Beck level of speculation.

Here's what we know. UT-Dallas requested students' social security numbers from LISD. Then, LISD developed a form which they sent to TEA asking if was OK to release such information. Someone at TEA signed the form, LISD then proceeded to send the infamous diskette to TEA in Austin. Later, UT-Dallas contacted TEA to see when they were going to forward the disk. TEA was unable to locate the information even though records show that someone signed for the package containing the diskette. Whew, OK this is where I put on my speculating cap.

I'll teach Glen Beck a thing or two about coming up with some zany conspiracy theories yet. I offer for your consideration. What if this entire thing is nothing more than a scam? The request comes from UT-Dallas center for education research. This is legit since they admit they requested the info, however TEA says they never OK'd it. So.......someone who knew of the request and stands to gain something from such information finds a way to become the middle man in all of this. Going so far as to contact LISD and providing them with a fake p.o. box in Austin. After deceiving & approving LISD to release and mail the diskette to the fake p.o. box number, the villain awaits the delivery and signs for it, therefore completing the heist.

Ok, now the motive. The villain is from Dallas, a republican corporate hotbed. He is aware of the kind of information that is being requested from Laredo. He correctly figures out that the vast majority of the students' names will be Hispanic. Afterall, Laredo is about 96 per cent Hispanic. Getting his hands on nearly 25,000 valid social security numbers might help the culprit and his financial backers. Alas, he has found a way of allowing his rich friends in Texas agriculture to hire and exploit illegal immigrants by assigning to them the stolen, but valid, social security numbers of the Laredo kids. In essence, they have solved the problem of finding enough field laborers to provide cheap labor for their fruit and vegetable harvests. Voila!

Nope, I haven't been drinking anything. It's just that it's sometimes irresistable to go off speculating in a stream of consciousness manner. This is especially true when the established media outlets can't or won't do their job in finding the real answers.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wade Watch: Voter ID bill sole aim is to be restrictive

I got a chance to listen to Tom Wade this morning on 1090 AM's Wake up Laredo show which airs Monday through Friday at 7am. First of all, let me say thanks to Tom for consistently promoting the local blogs on the air. He has done this time and again and continues to urge his listeners to visit not only his own website, WakeupLaredo.com, but the rest of Laredo's blogs as well. Having said that, my comments today are about a particularly contentious issue which Wade addressed during the last part of his show.

It was then, that Wade waded into the always controversial issue of Texas's voter ID bill. Having recently passed in the state senate, the bill is coming up for a vote in the Texas house as early as today. It will require any person who wishes to vote in Texas to first provide a photo ID of themselves. Admittedly, Laredoans are already asked to provide such identification but apparently it's not done throughout the state. Personally, I feel that the process used locally helps to ensure the integrity of the voting process. But let's not pretend this legislation will not have an overall restrictive effect on Texas voters.

State representative Richard Raymond again spoke out against the proposed legislation. According to today's Laredo Morning Times, Raymond stated the following:
 "U.S. and Texas elections have no voter fraud problems. Rather, the problem is nearly half of Texans do not vote, he said. The Republican Party has done throughout history everything they can to make it harder to vote,” he said. Now that minorities are the majority in the state, the only thing they can figure is, ‘We’re about to get outnumbered, so let’s make it harder for them to vote. ”
Wade blasted comments these comments as  "one of the stupidest thing's I've heard". Of course, Wade immediately made it clear that he likes Raymond so at least we know it's not a personal thing. For the record, this is not the first time Raymond has protested against this legislation. In May of 2009, Raymond spoke eloquently against the same bill which failed to pass at that time.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

What makes a thugh? Is it behavior......or color?

Jack boots: As they say, the shoes boots make the man.

I was reading in the Huffington post that: This morning, the women on ABC's The View decided to delve into the contextual power of the word thug. First, some background: It all started when hip-hop artist Chris Brown appeared on Good Morning America, on the same network. One of the show's hosts Robin Roberts, in interviewing Brown, kept focusing on Brown's assault of her then girlfriend Rhianna. Brown, obviously uncomfortable, managed to sidestep the issue for the most part. Ms. Roberts, however, kept going back to the assault charge. Finally, Brown told her flat out the he was there to talk about his album and not anything that happened two years ago. Afterwards,  Brown finally got to perform his song.

Skip ahead a couple of hours to the View. The ladies started the show talking about how after his  appearance on GMA, Brown had blown his cool and reportedly broken a window.  This is where the thug thing comes in. Joy Behar mentioned something to the effect that Brown just proved he's still a thug or something like that. View member Sherri Shepherd,  who happens to be black, was somewhat perturbed that another bad boy, Charlie sheen, had never been called a thug. She pointed out that despite having ransacked a hotel room, Sheen was never labeled a thug. She wondered out loud, why Cris Brown would be called a thug without hesitation. At that point, Whoopee (not related to the cushion) addressed the 900 lb elephant in the room and said something like "What she means is that using the word thug only for certain people is racist".

I got to say she's got a point. I don't remember Charlie Sheen being called a thug at all during this last month. Also, Obama has been referred by some in the extreme right as a thug. It's funny how Bush managed to somehow escape the thug label throughout his eight years in office. However, in full disclosure, I do recall the phrase jackbooted thugs used many a time to refer to neo-nazis and the like. Does this mean that whites are only thugs if they are wearing jack boots?

Five minutes with Fox

Bolling up to his usual scare tactics on Fox

Once in a while, I like to take the fair and balanced challenge. This simply involves switching over to Fox News for a few minutes to see if what they're dishing out is actually living up to their slogan. Today, at about 5 minutes before 10am, I decided to give it another shot.

After the commercial break, Fox wasted no time in sounding the alarm bells with Eric Bolling proclaiming that the social security disability program will probably run dry in about 4 years. As usual, he gave little details, preferring to resort mostly to speculation. As it turned out, it wasn't much of a story in itself but more of a plug for Bolling's own show on Fox Business channel. The viewer was urged to tune in to Bolling's show at 10pm Eastern for the whole story. I don't know if I'll watch, but something tells me Bolling will find a way to blame Obama for the apparent pending failure of social security disability.

Las Dos Gildas


Gilda Claudine Karasik

As usual, I'm guessing I'm probably the last one finding out about another Laredo-related site. In particiluar, I'm referring to Las Dos Gildas. For those who many not know, this is a Laredo mother & daughter team who have a love for cooking and for their culture. Ms. Gilda Claudine Karasik,the daughter, is also a contributor to BlogHer.Com.  In yesterday's post, Gilda reflected on her ailing Grandmother and their relationship, of which cooking has always been a part. Today, Ms. Karasik, who is also a lawyer and freelance writer, honors Laredo's La Mexicana Restaurant which her aunt Berta has owned for 45 years.

From Blog.Her.com By Gilda Claudine

La Mexicana

Inside a kitchen
not far from the Rio Grande
a 94 year-old-woman stands
but once a week now, her bones too old for more.

A starched smock aids her appearance.
The round comal at her waist is half as old.
She plunges flautas one-by-one into oil that spits and sizzles
and then swipes her hair from her face,
both gestures grooved in time.

The singular dining room
is brick and mortar and windows
The same sun shining through,
the place just as it ever was.
The clamor of patronage
set to the rhythms of swinging
in-and-out doors.
Servers in uniform taking mental notes,
an occasional approbation in the hint of a smile.


Ordinary napkins flat or crumpled
on laps, in hands, moving across a face.
Melamine plates like plastic moons,
merely a part of the perfunctory mood.
And the sense that everything special
is in the kitchen with the old woman,
who is measuring ingredients intuitively and seasoning the fare with memories
until she is young again.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Texas : New bills seek to initiate Bracero-like program


From Smithsonian Institute Exhibit: Braceros workers being Fumigated

Currently on display From the Smithsonian Collection
 
This photograph shows how upon arrival to the United States, braceros were taken to processing centers where they were searched for vegetables, weapons, marijuana or similar contraband and sprayed with DDT by Department of Agriculture personnel. 

The photographer, Leonard Nadel described the photograph with the following caption: "Much in the same manner and feeling used in handling livestock, upon crossing over the bridge from Mexico at Hidalgo, Texas, the men are herded into groups of 100 through a makeshift booth sprayed with DDT."
Today's McAllen Monitor has a story on legislation that might rekindle the bracero experience.

From the McAllen Monitor

MISSION — Most of the farm workers who harvest and process citrus for South Tex Organics are familiar faces who return each growing season to provide a reliable labor force. At the peak of the season, South Tex Organics, the largest organic citrus and vegetable grower in the state, has up to 80 workers picking in fields scattered across the Rio Grande Valley or processing the food sent to retail shelves from the Mission-based packing shed, said Dennis Holbrook, who established the company in 1984.

Back then, rapid growth in the sale of organic food was just beginning. But as South Tex Organics expanded to meet the demands of his distributors, Holbrook has found it harder and harder to expand his labor force beyond those reliable few.

Fearing a continued shortage of farm workers, Holbrook and other Texas farmers worked with lawmakers in Washington, D.C., to establish a pilot program allowing them to hire laborers from Mexico. But in the polarizing debate on immigration reform, that guest worker program didn’t get far.

While he doubts two bills filed by state legislators to introduce a similar program in Texas will pass muster, Holbrook is hopeful the discussions will at least generate interest in addressing shortages of hired labor in Texas agriculture.

“The bottom line when it comes to the available workforce is that most people who live in this country don’t want to work in the fields,” Holbrook said. “There is just always a shortage of labor because these are jobs that a lot of people don’t want to do.”

The fable of the fly who thought he was riding the wagon



As the Laredo city council returns to inaction action tonight, one has to wonder if they will continue to emulate the fly who thought a little bit much of himself. It certainly seems that the Mayor, staff and council feel very comfortable with delusions of grandeur, which is manifested by thoughts of being more powerful and influential than they really are.

The Fly and the Wagon 
A farm wagon rumbled down a dirt road, stirring up clouds of dust. A fly that was sitting on the back of the wagon said, "My, my! We're rising a lot of dust aren't we?"

Sounds familiar? 

Arizany state senator suffers 5 setbacks at hands of AZ GOP




Perhaps, even the Republicans  in the Arizona state senate could see the cut your nose to spite your face principle at work in an already hurting Arizona economy. Or maybe the new census figures showing strong Hispanic gains throughout country convinced some Republicans that draconian anti-immigration measures are no longer as attractive as they once may have seemed. Regardless, several republican Arizona state senators recently helped defeat 5 harsh, anti-immigration bills which were being sponsored by nativist senator Russell Pearce.

Maybe we should change the name of Laredo. Is it April Fool's already?



I must have been watching the marathon coverage on Japan/Libya or maybe Wisconsin but I completely missed the piece Pro8news had on possibly changing our city's name in order to combat the rash of bad publicity that has plagued Laredo for years. My first questions was : Is it April fool's day already? Once I realized that we were still in March Madness, I become convinced that apparently Pro8news had absolutely nothing else to cover and so they semi-invented the story. That's the only explanation for such a lame idea to merit even 30 seconds of air time, even on a questionable operation such as channel 8. Change a city's name to deal with it's image?

Ok, let's say that in  Bizzaro world, Laredo changed it's name to something else, something like Shangrila. Would this act in itself cause people from all over the country to visit the new town in Texas with the Utopian name? Or would they simply realize that this was indeed the same town of Laredo and that things must be really bad for it to have to change it's name in order to attract any visitors? I think it's safe to say the latter case would probably be true.

One other thing, what would keep Nuevo Laredo from changing it's name to Nuevo Shangrila? Then whenever there would be violence or other bad news in Nuevo Shangrila, chances are pretty good  that the rest of the US would incorrectly assume that it was also happening in............(you've guessed it) Shangrila. Or as Prince would say, the city formerly known as Laredo.

Laredo City council meets Monday, did they accomplish anything up in Austin?



It's been nearly a month since the last Laredo city council meeting. In the interim, a bevy of local officials and representatives visited our nation's capitol at our expense. Will they at least have the common respect and decency to give the public a summary of their accomplishments in Washington? It would also be nice to hear just how much they spent. I don't expect that anyone will rise to the occasion. From the Mayor on down, I'm pretty sure that everyone will be happy to just shift the focus to new business instead.

If some Laredoan should happen to decide to ask questions during the public forum, I think these are some of the questions that should be asked:

 1) How much did the entire party spend while up at Washington?

 2) was the spending all out of the taxpayer's money or did some private sector money help fund the trip?

3) The media said one accomplishment was securing funding for 22 more police officers. Was this not already a done deal even before the trip?

4)Why is it all of a sudden so crucial to make all these trips to Washington and Austin when they never were before?

I'm sure that there's many more questions that we would like to have answered. We each got three minutes at the mic to do so. It'd be nice if a group go show up for Monday's 5:30pm meeting.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Fellow blogger shines light on Laredo Health Department's utter disregard of transparency

Laredoans deserve to get restaurant health inspection results free

Allan G. of of local blog Reality Check has revealed a very interesting policy of the Laredo Health Department. Apparently, the department  is complying with required health inspections of all local restaurants but the information is only available to taxpayers who are willing to fork over 5 bucks. And I don't mean 5 dollars for a report on all restaurants, it's 5 dollars Per restaurant! This is an absolutely ridiculous policy that has the effect of keeping vital, health-related information from Laredo consumers. What if some of the eating establishments in town consistently get failing marks on their inspections? Shouldn't all of us be made of aware of this? Why in the world would anyone have to spend $5 per report for information which is secured with public money.  In the past, the local TV news used to feature the inspection results once in a while but, come to think of it, it's been a long time since I've seen any.

It's time for Pro8news to live up to it's slogan of providing "coverage you can count on". We certainly think that is an issue of public concern and public safety. We urge all local media outlets to once again provide restaurant health inspection results to their fellow Laredoans. This is clearly another example of the City of Laredo tolerating policies that work to effectively hinder transparency in our local government.

Once again, thanks to Allan and the Reality Check blog for alerting the public to this important issue.

Still no Tax Freedom Day announced for 2011




The Tax Foundation has yet to announce the so-called Tax Freedom Day for 2011. That is the day on which the average American would pay off his/her total tax liability if all his/her salary would go straight towards their taxes.  In 2010, The foundation designated April 9th as that magic date. One reason for not having announced Tax Freedom Day for this year is that there have been some changes to the tax code under the Obama Administration. Also, during the previous congress's lame duck session, the "Bush tax cuts" for all Americans were extended for two more years. This will no doubt have an impact on calculating when Joe Six Pack (Joanna Wine Cooler) will pay off their tax liability for 2011. The Tax Foundation has been operating since 1937 and states it's mission statement as follows:

The mission of the Tax Foundation is to educate taxpayers about sound tax policy and the size of the tax burden borne by Americans at all levels of government. From its founding in 1937, the Tax Foundation has been grounded in the belief that the dissemination of basic information about government finance is the foundation of sound policy in a free society.
Please read more on their website: Taxfoundation.org

Friday, March 18, 2011

Can Laredo learn Portugese & cash in on Brazil's boom? Voce esta insano?

Orden y Progreso: Order & Progress

President Obama is planning his first trip to Brazil this weekend. The South American country of over 200 million people includes about 100 million who are either black or of mixed blood. Yet, Brazil has never had a black presidente and most of it's people are eagerly anticipating Obama's visit. Brazil is also experiencing an economic boom which is creating a well-defined middle class. The following excerpt gives us an idea of  the kind of success Brazil is enjoying.

From Fox News Latino

The Brazilian boom has drifted north and into the United States where places like Florida, reeling from the recent financial implosion, are experiencing the ripple impact from the influx of Brazilian immigrants, tourists, and investors.

"Brazil's influence has grown dramatically," Joachim Bamrud of the Latin Trade Group and Latin Business Chronicle said. "Their economy, their currency is strong. Up 20 percent in the last five years. They can go into an economy like the American one, where there are a lot of opportunities to buy companies and to invest in local industries," he said. "And the Brazilians have the resources and the talent."

In the past year, no other part of the United States has felt the influence of Brazilians as much as the Miami-area. An estimated 800,000 Brazilian visitors came to South Florida last year and spent more than $1 billion in 2010 alone, according to the Greater Miami Visitors Bureau.
With such impressive numbers, can the Gateway City tap into the Brazilian tourist market? I know most Laredoans can master neither English nor Spanish. But we can always half-way learn another language if it means bringing in big bucks. Can you imagine the LCVB's visitor guide in Portugese?

No le hagas?? / You're kidding me??



Today's Huffington post had a piece on some of the worst products every advertised. One in particular is the Privacy scarf shown above. And you thought the snuggy was misguided. Notice the matching hood.

Enjoy the rest of the slideshow at:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/11/02/the-15-stupidest-products_n_342316.html#s48962&title=The_Privacy_Scarf

What are we? Chopped Liver? Laredo fails to make list of sickest cities in US



Dayton, Ohio ranks #1 as the sickest, and Philadelphia ranks #20 on the list of 20 sickest cities.
The full list goes like this: Below are the cities most affected by flu-related illnesses.

1. Dayton, OH
2. Tampa, FL
3. Mobile, AL
4. San Diego, CA
5. Jacksonville, FL
6. Miami, FL
7. Cleveland, OH
8. San Antonio, TX
9. Oklahoma City, OK
10. Atlanta, GA
11. Chicago, IL
12. Columbus, OH
13. Washington, DC
14. Dallas, TX
15. Phoenix, AZ
16. Orlando, FL
17. Honolulu, HI
18. Houston, TX
19. New York, NY
20. Philadelphia, PA

Continue reading on Examiner.com: Do you live in one of the 'sickest' cities? - Atlanta Healthy Trends | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/healthy-trends-in-atlanta/do-you-live-one-of-the-sickest-cities#ixzz1GvNUnHQT

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Check out the Urban Dictionay once in a while

Sarah Palin as she uttered those famous words: In what respect Charlie?

The Urban Dictionary.com always has a slightly different way of looking at things. It might be a word you've heard a thousand times or a phrase you've hardly ever head. Below is how the Sarah Palin phrase "In what respect Charlie?" appears. This was her answer to Charlie Gibson's question of her opinion on the Bush Doctrine. 

In What respect Charlie? = This response may be used by a person who has absolutley no idea of how to answer a particular question. For example if you're in an English Lit class and have fallen asleep during a lecture and the professor asks you to explain the symbolism in a poem, it would be appropriately for you to respond with "in what respect Charlie?"

Interestingly, this is what the Urban Dictionary has on Laredo

Laredo =  The largest and most trafficked inland port in the United States. A place that some ignorant idiots like to hate on.  Racism is non-existent since the town consists of mostly Hispanics.  Laredo's the s#$t to live in! (as long as you got a/c.)

Once upon a time before No Child Left Behind, there was the Laredo Seminary


Laredo Seminary in 1892

Laredo established its public school system in 1882, supplementing private education that had been provided by Ursuline Academy (1868) and Laredo Seminary (1880), founded by the Methodist Episcopal Church South to educate Mexican children. Nannie Emory Holding of Kentucky became the superintendent of the seminary, and the school became known as Holding Institute throughout her tenure. Photograph is from the Sam N. Johnson Collection, Nuevo Santander Museum, Laredo.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Laredo Generals? as in Washington.....or Villa?


Not exactly what you would call looking very presidential


La Sanbe, Laredo's most imposing blog, posted earlier today that the list of names for the "new" Laredo baseball team has been whittled down to six. I guess I'm being redundant because I don't think you can whittle up. In any event, believe it or not, one of the names still in the running is The Laredo Generals. From what I understand, that name was suggested because of our city's tradition of celebrating General George Washington's birthday.

Admittedly, chances are pretty good this entry will not be the winning one. But let's assume for a minute that it were. How can you convert the likeness of our Nation's revered  first President into a minor-league mascot? Will the team apparel feature a a scowling, snarling Washington meant to frighten the living daylights out of its opponents? Will it be appropriate to have a fan or team employee don the George mascot outfit for a few dollars per game? What if the person portraying Washington gets into trouble with the law and is carted away like a common criminal such as was the case with Bucky?

In order to stay away from all of those politically incorrect situations, the team might be forced to consider adopting a Mexican Revolutionary General as the team's mascot. It would be extremely tempting for the club's leaders to play up the warlike, fierceness of a Pancho Villa or Emiliano Zapata but that would be opening up a whole other can of worms. It should be obvious that if portraying George Washington as a minor-league baseball team mascot is not OK, then neither is it OK to attempt to do the same with any of the Mexican Generals.  Next!

Recommended Radio: The Dave Ramsey Show



I realize I might have posted this one before but it's always useful to get some sound financial advice. The Dave Ramsey show does just that. Today, he covered some of the scams that claim to be able to resolve your IRS problems for "pennies on the dollar". He noted that, in his 20 plus years of dealing with such situations, he can recall only 3 or 4 actual cases in which the IRS actually settled for less than the amount owed. I understood him to say that you practically have to prove you're a pauper (his word) in order to get a break from the IRS.

Some of his other favorite targets include collecting agencies, whether they work for credit card companies or anyone else. He usually refers to those who do the actual calling as "unintelligent life" with a track record for constantly lying to the consumer. In this aspect, his common-sense advice is to always get it in writing.

The show includes callers who have been laid off and have very little or no resources looking for some guidance. Many of them are tens of thousands of dollars in debt. Another group of callers are those who were in debt but have used Ramsey's help (according to them) and are now debt-free.

The show can be heard on XM radio channel 165 at 11am Laredo time or you can catch it between 1 and 4pm on KTSA 550 am radio which broadcasts out of San Antonio. I suggest you give it a listen. Maybe you'll pick up a nugget of good advice or two.

Article on local Baptists: "None is more dangerous than Laredo"

Chuy & Maria Avila speak to a resident of a colonia near Laredo, Texas

An article appearing on a Baptist website cites the good work that a husband and wife ministering team are doing in Laredo. It explains how they plan to open at least 10 new Baptist churches a year,  of all sorts and sizes, in the Gateway City. On the negative side, the article starts by failing to show a clear distinction between the danger of Nuevo Laredo and that of Laredo.

From the Florida Baptist Witness
Amidst violence & bloodshed, Avilas share Gospel, one family at a time
Mar 15, 2011 By STAFF

LAREDO, Texas (NAMB)—Among all the hundreds of places North American Mission Board church planting missionaries work and minister across the United States and Canada, none is more dangerous than Laredo in south Texas, where Chuy and Maria Avila live and serve.
Laredo—with a population of 300,000 in the city proper—sits on the north bank of the Rio Grande, right across the river from Nuevo Laredo in Mexico. The Laredo-Nuevo Laredo metro area has a combined population of more than 700,000 American and Mexican citizens. It’s a mecca of cold-blooded murder, drugs and chaos.

Chuy, 48, and Maria—jointly sponsored by NAMB and the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention—are two of more than 5,000 missionaries in the United States, Canada and their territories supported by the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering® for North American Missions. They are among the missionaries featured as part of the annual Week of Prayer, March 6-13, 2011. With a theme of “Start Here,” the 2011 Annie Armstrong Easter Offering’s goal is $70 million, 100 percent of which benefits missionaries like the Avilas.

“Laredo is a dangerous place to minister,” says Avila. “I need prayers and support from my Christian brothers and sisters.”

http://www.gofbw.com/news.asp?ID=12676&page=1

You can read the entire article at :

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Pitchforks and torches: two cited for providing alcohol to minors

 

Pro8news and the Laredo Morning Times both reported on a couple of incidents in which people were cited for furnishing alchohol to minors. It seems many younger Laredoans who stayed in town for spring break wanted a little bit of excitement even if it involved the police.

Incident # 1: "Loose control 2011"

Approximately 350 people were partying at La Hacienda, a reception hall located in the 1100 block of Big Bend Boulevard, near midnight Sunday when police arrived on the scene, according to Investigator Jose E. Baeza, Laredo Police Department spokesman.

“There were two kegs of beer, and punch laced with alcohol was found,” Baeza said about the police findings. An investigation revealed that the cover for the event was $10 to $15 per head and wristbands bearing the phrasing “Lose control, 2011” were given out to partygoers. Norma Guadalupe Perez, 43, owner of the venue, was charged with furnishing alcohol to a minor, a Class A misdemeanor

Incident # 2: No adults in charge
About 20 minutes after police found the first venue allegedly teeming with underage drinkers, they received another report of the same nature.

“LPD received another call of a party in the 2400 block of Bermuda,” Baeza said. “It was reported that minors were being provided alcoholic beverages, 15 people were in attendance and no one 21 years of age was present.” A 17-year-old identified as Alejandra Edith Perez was charged with 15 counts of furnishing alcohol to a minor after it was found she was in control of the party.

Pitchforks anyone?  Or are they all being used agaisnt BTB for his no sports suggestion?

Danny Valdez pushing hard on filing lawsuits in CAA fiasco



It appears that Webb County Judge Danny Valdez is in a real hurry to file lawsuits stemming from the CAA fiasco. More accurately, Valdez is trying just a little bit too hard and it has some wondering why. According to today's Laredo Morning Times, Valdez and Webb attorney Ana Laura Cavazos exchanged more than a few words over this suddenly sensitive issue. Here's some excerpts from LMT's Andrew Kreighbaum's coverage.

From the Laredo Morning Times
 
A tense exchange took place Monday as Webb County Judge Danny Valdez demanded to know why County Attorney Anna Cavazos Ramirez was not proceeding faster with lawsuits against employees who abused the county’s Weatherization Assistance Program.

But the progress of any legal action has been stymied by lack of access to weatherization files held by FBI investigators and an absence of county employees trained to determine eligibility for the weatherization program, Cavazos Ramirez said.

“I just want it on the record we’re asking you,” Valdez said. “We’ve already told you to file civil action. What is it you need to complete the files?”

The two spoke over each other several times as Valdez repeatedly questioned what documents would allow the cases to proceed. Cavazos Ramirez said she needed the address of each weatherized home and a name attached to it as well as a purchasing order submitted to the contractor. In many cases, a home was submitted to the weatherization program under a name other than the owner’s.

“I’m not sure what your purpose is here, Judge,” Cavazos said.

Apparently, Ms. Cavazos was not the only wondering what Judge Valdez's purpose is. In the comments accompanying this article, a reader essentially echoed the same concerns.


doubleg wrote on Mar 15, 2011 8:20 AM:
" What is Danny Valdez going to do if the FBI determines that the Contractors overbilled the County or billed for work not performed. Will they be prosecuted as well? The hourly employees could not possibly have proceeded with these illegal actions without a directive. Who gave the orders on the upper rung of the ladder? What Officials were involved? Is the big rush for the purpose of getting closure and having the real culprits escape prosecution? Let's not use scape goats anymore. Let's go after the real guilty parties. We need the County Attorney to take her time and get to the bottom of the rotten barrel. Get the District Attorney involved and if he refuses he can invite the Attorney General to the party. Let's punish the real crooks and not make the taxpayers pay for their greed. "

Expert speaks about hate, acknowledges low crime rates along Texas border

Hate expert Jack Levin from Boston's Northeastern University


From The Parthenon-Marshall University's student newspaper

A decorated hate expert informed Marshall University students about the origin and harmful nature of hate Monday. In a Marshall University sociology department-sponsored address to students and faculty, Jack Levin, a Northeastern University professor in sociology in Boston, said there are two kinds of hate.
"Hate often comes from our culture," hate and violence expert Jack Levin said. "It's as normal as apple pie and motherhood and Gatorade, you name it. But there is also a pathological form of hate. Fortunately that's pretty rare."

According to Levin, the more dangerous and destructive form of hate comes from a pathological disorder or from an irrational building of hate. Levin said this form of hate is what brings tragedy. "The ‘normal' kind of hate doesn't lead to murders," Levin said. "It's what we learn around dinner tables from our parents and friends. It's as common place as breathing."

Levin also stated after Sept. 11, 2001 there was a 1600 percent rise in hate crimes against Muslim-Americans, and an even larger percentage against innocent American citizens was only because they were seen as foreigners.

According to Levin, immigrants have the lowest crime rate in the country. "El Paso, Texas, is about 70 percent immigrants," Levin said. "And it's right across the border from Juarez, Mexico, where about 1,800 people are murdered every year. But in El Paso, they have almost no murders. If you don't want to go there check out Laredo, Texas; Mesa, Arizona or San Diego, Ca. And their murder rates are so low because of the high number of immigrants."

Jack Levin has co-authored 30 books and has published over 150 articles in journalism and newspapers involving hate across America and worldwide. He has appeared on television programs including Dateline NBC, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Oprah, The O'Reilly Factor, and Larry King Live.

Monday, March 14, 2011

8 names listed as finalists for Laredo's future baseball team



From Baseball Digest.com

Here are the submissions and the explanation behind the submissions:


Javelinas: The javelina is a wild hog that is prevalent through the Laredo region and can be seen on a daily basis in the brushlands of the Laredo area. Its canine teeth are very well developed for cutting and slashing but the javelina has long held an undeserved reputation for ferocity. (Quien Sabe.....a la mejor)

Lynx: A lynx (or bobcat) is a predatory animal prevalent throughout Texas and is known for its beautiful fur and fleetness of foot. Lynx are highly adaptive felines and throughout most of their range in Texas they have showed a remarked ability to adapt to the inroads of human settlement. (mmm no creo)

Lemurs: The lemur is a primate that previously existed in Laredo millions of year ago. In 1988, Dr. James Westgate, a geologist and teacher at Lamar University, conducted a dig at Lake Casa Blancaand found evidence of a Lemur-like form. Lemurs only live in the wild today off of the coast of Madagascar although people do keep them as pets in the United States. Lemurs are known to befriendly, inquisitive and full of energy. (Ni pa cuando)

Lobos: Lobo is Spanish for Wolf. Lobos were very prevalent at one time throughout the Laredo region but their numbers are dwindling. The lobo is a beautiful and graceful animal known for its beautiful fur and proud demeanour. At one time, there were thousands of Lobos in the Laredo region. (Quien sabe....a la mejor)

Generals: Laredo is the only city in the United States to dedicate an entire month to George Washington’s birthday. On the morning of February 22, 1898, Indians and white men engaged in a “battle” for control of Laredo, Texas. The “battle,” centered at City Hall was fiercely fought, but to no avail.  In the end, the defenders fell and the mayor presented the key of the city to the Great Chief Sachem as a sign of unconditional surrender. The Great Chief in turn presented the key to the lovely Princess Pocahontas, who represented a lost tradition, “a vanishing race.” The ensuring celebration among neighbors lasted for two days, culminating with the reenactment of the “Boston Tea Party.” Thus was born the annual celebration of George Washington’s Birthday in Laredo, Texas. This celebration has lasted for over 100 years and attracts approximately 400,000 attendees annually and has a tremendous positive economic impact on the City. (Nammmbre..........ni pa cuando)

Whiptails: The Whiptail is a lizard that has a pointed snout and very long tail. It is known to inhabit dry desert-like climates.  The WhipTail lizard is very agile and fast and is also referred to as a “racerunner” which characterizes their ability to move swiftly when they need to.(Ni pa cuando)

Pitchforks and torches: 3 women arrested for possession of pot, kid

Coverage you can count on, sorta.

What's going on with many of the young mothers of Laredo?  The incidents of young mothers being arrested for child abandonment, DWI, drugs and other assorted crimes and misdemeanors appear to be on the rise. Just tonight, on the Peabody deserving Pro8news, there was a story of 3 young women in their late teens and early twenties being arrested during a traffic stop. It turns out the trio was not only in possession of marijuana but also of an unsuspecting child. Apparently one of the three was the child's mother. Sadly, this type of story is not that uncommon anymore. Pitchforks anyone?