Friday, October 28, 2011

Corpus Christi takes a swing at eating Laredo's lunch: Opens 3 Wal-Marts in one day!

The color guard was part of the opening of one of three Walmarts in Corpus Christi Wednesday morning. This one at 4109 S. Staples Street was followed by the opening at 6101 Saratoga Blvd. and another at 1250 Flour Bluff Drive.
Opening ceremonies at one of three Wal-Mart Grand Openings Wednesday in Corpus Christi, Tx.

Not one, not two, but three, tres, trois, 3, III "Wal-Marrs" were all opened in Corpus Christi, Texas in one day.  It all happened a couple of days ago on Wednesday. Although the Gateway City announced the opening of it's 4th Wal-Mart on North Loop 20 a few months ago, I don't think construction has started yet. To be honest, if it has, I haven't noticed.

When I read about the Grand Opening of 3 Wal-Marts on the same day, in the same town and not even in a metropolis like Los Angeles or Chicago or New York City but in a mid-sized town like Corpus Christi, Texas instead had me looking at the calendar to make sure it wasn't April Fools' Day.

OK, so for now, we'll let McAllen go on a diet for a while and it will be Corpus Christi eating Laredo's lunch for a change. They are definitely the Wal-Mart Capitol of South Texas.

When the latest flavor of the month is done with, there's always Vanilla Mitt

"Corporations are people, just like all of you!"

The top of the ice cream case has recently been stocked with assorted flavors of the month. One by one, they have become all the rage only to soon melt away. And there, at the bottom of the refrigerated case is good ol' Vanilla Mitt somehow managing to find itself at the "top" again, for lack of a better word.

If it wasn't Michelle Bachman, it was Rick Perry. Then for a while, the self-described black walnut flavor, Herman Cain came into vogue. Well, after a week of zany commercials and repeated missteps, republicans are going back to the basics once again. Republicans have tried a variety of seasonal favorites but keep coming back to the current standard bearer, "Vanilla Mitt" Romney.

What are the chances the city goes with an "interested party" at new inspection facilities?

Instructions: to update, please replace Valdez with Vera, Thank You

You don't have to really know all the details of the developments at the city's two new refrigerated inspection facilities over at the World Trade Bridge, but be aware of at least one thing. The city council will soon be voting on who's going to manage the facilities and a local brokers' association is simply asking that they select someone who will be neutral, as in no conflict of interest. Is this so hard to expect?  Well, just please don't be shocked if the geniuses over at city hall find to way to come up with a shady deal on this as well.

From today's Laredo Morning Times

The City of Laredo could soon award the final contract for a set of bridge improvements designed to make the city more competitive with Texas ports.

Officials marked the expansion of seven new lanes at the World Trade Bridge in May and the completion of two 6,000-square-foot refrigeration facilities at the World Trade and Colombia-Solidarity bridges months later.

Bids for the management and operation of the buildings are due at the city by Friday, Nov. 4.

City staff told members of a blue ribbon trade committee Thursday that bids could be scored and a recommendation sent to the City Council within another 30 days.

The committee’s president said customs brokers in Laredo have expressed concern about a firm getting an advantage of winning the contract for operation of the facility.

“We want this to happen; we want this to be a positive impact,” Jose D. Gonzalez said at the meeting.

But Gonzalez, also president of the Laredo Licensed U.S. Customs Brokers Association, said members were concerned that if a broker were awarded management of the refrigeration facilities, it would have a competitive advantage.

He said in an interview that brokers would like to see an administrator who acts as a neutral third party.
OK, City council it seems like a pretty simple, common-sense thing to do. Will you manage to spin this in such a way that, when you select one broker over the others, you'll convince yourselves you were right?

Shenanigans back at Webb County via the tax assessor's office

We might have been remiss in not reporting on Webb lately, but they're still up to their old tricks!

When the county commissioners/CAA squandered nearly 1 Million dollars by mis-managing two programs, it was only a matter of time before they came up with a way to take it out on the taxpayer. Between the Community Action Agency and the Comprehensive Energy Assistance Program, the county mis-spent nearly a Million bucks which the state of Texas said it would not reimburse them for.

Now, the Laredo Morning Times is reporting that anyone paying with a check, credit or debit card at the Webb county tax-assessor/collector's office is being slapped with a 3 % surcharge for simply registering their vehicles. Patricia Barrera, tax collector, claims that this is necessary to offset an increased number of "hot checks" being processed by her office.

While it might make sense to charge more for those paying with a check, it makes absolutely no sense to add that same surcharge to any credit and/or debit card transactions. What's worse is that there was essentially no advanced notification about this to the taxpayers.  Barrera claims (correctly) that this is not really news since the good ol' commissioner's court approved it. I guess she figures that Laredoans have nothing better to do than to watch the county commissioners' meetings which are held at 8am every other Monday.

This is another really bad move by this apparently inept commissioners' court (yes, that includes Judge Danny Valdez). The meetings need to be moved back to the evening so that it's a little bit harder for them to sneak all these tricks through. Most importantly, we need a brand spanking new commissioner's court. I know Garza's not running for re-election. I guess we need to start looking into when Judge Danny's term comes up.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

While the rich play at la posada, over at Jarvis Plaza......

Blustery change a coming

Although it's still a balmy 80ish and it's nearly noontime, the weather should change considerably over the next 12-24 hours. A quick check showed that San Antonio and Austin are still in the 70s. However, El Paso, way out in West Texas is already registering 48 degrees. That's enough to get the lumbritas going in the Gateway City.

This is your chance to actually wear some sweaters, windbreakers and assorted chaquetas. I wouldn't necessarily suggest scarfs and earmuffs but if you keep your eyes open, you might even spot a few people wearing those. Those would be the Laredoans who classify themselves as "friolentos/friolentas". Yes, these are the same people who want to AC turned down when it's 105 degrees outside. Anyway, enjoy the coming cold front and tune in to Heatwave if you want to see him do some gyrations as he explains the movement of assorted weather systems.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Seven Bullets in a BackPack: luckily no one was hurt at LISD school

OK, make that ammunition at school

"Seven Bullets in a Backpack" might sound like a song title or even the name of a band but that's what Laredo Independent School District administrators found themselves grappling Monday morning. A teacher a JC Martin elementary found 7 bullets in a fourth grader's backpack.

The story, appearing in the LMT this morning says the LISD report does not state if any other students actually saw the bullets. My guess is that some student(s) did see them and that's what probably led to the teacher's finding them. Otherwise,we have to assume that either the student took it upon him/herself to disclose the bullets, OR, the teacher was going through the student's backpack and just happened to come across the ammunition.

Veronica Castillon sought to ease parents' concerns by reassuring them that guidelines are in place to prevent such occurrences.

From The Laredo Morning Times
The incident is the first of its kind this academic year for LISD, said Communications Director Veronica Castillon.

“This was an isolated incident,” Castillon said. “That campus continues to be (a) safe campus.”

Additionally, Castillon described the safety precautions taken districtwide.

“At every one of our campuses, we invest a lot of time and resources in the safety of our students,” she said.

“We have LISD police officers. Parents and visitors have to register when they come in and provide a valid

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

An Excercise in Oppulence: High Society in one of the poorest towns in USA

If you are planning to attend the SOL (Streets of Laredo ) Masquerade ball, please make sure to keep both hands on the wheel. I know that may be a hard task since you will be tempted to keep adjusting your masque from time to time.

Also, please exercise caution as you drive past the many, many pawn shops, loan companies, rent-to-own, payday loan companies and other assorted poverty-exploiting businesses throughout Laredo. Remember, more than likely, they're owned by fellow Laredoans with whom you'll be mingling at the Ball.

And, although you'll understandbly be in a hurry to get to La Posada, please drive slowly as you make your way past the countless homeless people begging throughout the streets of our fine city. Proceed with caution; the extent to which your visibility will be impeded depends on just how ornate of a mask you'll be wearing to the gala.


Non-Profits receiving $$ from City of Laredo, include WBCA, "Marthas"

Let them eat cake!  As long as I get my gown!

From The Laredo City Council meeting agenda for 10/17/2011

Laredo Ctr. For the Arts $150,000.00
Border Olympics $ 80,000.00
WBCA $ 60,000.00
Veteran’s Coalition $40,000.00
So. TX Food Bank $ 35,000.00
Webb County Heritage Found. $ 30,000.00
BANC $28,400.00
Children’s Advocacy Ctr $27,825.00
Chamber of Commerce/Cola Blanca $ 25,000.00
Laredo Phil. Orchestra $ 23,400.00
Bethany House $21,000.00
Kidney Foundation $20,000.00
Boys’ & Girl’s Clubs $20,000.00
Laredo AreaYouth Soccer Asso. $ 20,000.00
Casa de Misericordia $16,000.00
Streets of Laredo $ 15,000.00
Sacred Heart Childrens Home $15,000.00
Habitat for Humanity $10,500.00
Society of Martha Wash. $ 10,000.00

Towards the bottom of the list we have :

Literacy Volunteers $ 3,000.00
BigBrother/Sister of So.TX $ 2,000.00
Boys Scouts of America $ 1,000.00
Girl Scouts of So.TX $ 1,000.00

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Occupy Laredo City Hall ? Occupy the $Million dollar new golf course?

"Asst. City Mgr De Leon, please make that $$$ check out to Robert Trent Jones Jr"  

No doubt there's already discussions about what other strategic places around Laredo should be considered for occupation. We at LaredoTejas would like to add our two cents worth and suggest (although I'm sure many already have) the peaceful occupation of  Laredo City Hall during the next city council meeting. For that matter, the Webb County court house during the next commissioner's meeting would also make sense.

Other sites that might merit an occupation include the multi-million dollar golf course currently under construction, the $20 Million dollar baseball park next to the Laredo Energy Arena and North Central Park. As some might have read in today's LMT, the local Occupy movement is already considering making its presence visible at Laredo's most historic site, Saint Agustine Plaza.

Mayor Salinas and assorted Politicos selling out Laredo

Occupy Laredo extends presence at Jarvis Plaza

Today's Laredo Morning Times again featured the Occupy Laredo Movement on it's Front page.  Starting at 7am on Saturday, members and non-members alike started gathering to protest the current socio-economic & political status quo locally and beyond.

A few more details as to the movement's purpose have started to surface. LMT's Mike Herrera IV included some of the following quotes in today's article.  Marissa Laufers, coordinator of the Webb County Homeless Coalition and a chief organizer of the Occupy movement stated:

 “We want to be more visible, and we want to use the public sphere to create the dialogue that is necessary to address some of these very complicated issues we’re facing,”  
Laufer added :
“There’s a 32.5 percent poverty rate in Laredo. Many young people are having a hard time getting jobs. The housing crisis is here, and the water and sewer bills are so expensive.”
Another Occupy member, Gabriel Sanchez came to express his opposition to one his "pet peeves", the Washington Birthday's Celebration Association. Sanchez stated :
“It’s something I’ve been against for years,” he said, holding a sign reading “Laredo poverty-32%. WBCA-$15,000 per gown.” A political science major at TAMIU, Sanchez continued: “I’d rather see a walk of the unions. I’d rather see people protesting for better living conditions on the east side.”
Interestingly, some of Laredo's bloggers including La Sanbe, Que Fregados, LaredoTejas and Bordertown Blues have also consistently lashed out at the WBCA's elite musings. Also, LaredoTejas recently ran a post decrying the high water and sewer rates in the Gateway City.

With November fast approaching, and both the WBCA hype and the Occupy Movement starting to really rev up, one has to definitely wonder if they just may be on a collision course. It should be a very interesting scenario: the elites and haves on one side &  more progressive elements and have nots on the other.

Friday, October 21, 2011

McAllen Now eating our lunch with whiter teeth

whiten teeth

Laredo's most imposing blog, La Sanbe is reporting today that Nuevo Laredo is losing lots of dental customers to the Mexican town of  Nuevo Progreso which is across the border from, you've guessed it! -McAllen.

 In essence, what this means is that McAllen is now eating out lunch with whiter and healthier teeth. With this new development, a whole of lot of lunch-eating is bound to continue and with it, a whole lot of whining dow at city hall.

It's not just a theory,
It's more than a hunch
McAllen is once again eating our lunch!

Seedy council violates Freedom of Speech- NOW with Video**!

It looks like violating citizens’ first amendment rights is back in vogue at the Laredo seedy council meetings.  This time around, it was not the mayor, but councilman Johnny Rendon who decided that he has the right to deny our citizens their constitutional rights. 

Laredo businessman Victor Trevino prepared to speak on his and Danny Valdez Jr’s plans to restore the old Plaza Theater in downtown. As he addressed the council, Trevino obviously knew exactly what he wanted to say and prefaced his statements as follows:

Before, I begin, I wanted to go ahead and share with you something that goes to the core of why we are here. It’s an important reason why we’re here and it further reinforces our efforts in the downtown area”.

“There was some hesitation to read a letter that was placed on my vehicle the first day we started The Plaza but I think it’s important, I think it sheds light sometimes on change and change is very difficult to accept sometimes, especially in light of the current sitation. It reads something like this.”    

Trevino then proceeds to start reading directly from the letter

Shame on you, shame on you. The Plaza theater has so much history and to think that the people of downtown are going to let two Mojados that are not even from here try to change it into their profiteering enterprise, you have another thing coming”. 

Trevino continues,

This hit very close to the heart of our project and besides the letter being hateful, it was some of the obstacles we initially.....”

At this point, Rendon interferes
Excuse me sir, excuse me…. You were going to present a feasibility study and ...we prefer that you stick to that.

Trevino responds
OK , you know, it’s just,  I felt that it was something that was important…. but basically it is Downtown that’s very important to Laredo and uh just a little recap, I’d like to go over…..”

Rendon, obviously pleased to have violated Trevino’s first amendment rights butts in again

Thank you sir”

Thank You sir indeed. Another day of stepping on the constitution at our good ol' seedy council.

The video can be seen at the following link :  click on the October 17th, 2011 meeting link.

Halloween is around the corner, even for GOP

From The Huffington Post

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Seedy council violates Freedom of Speech again

It looks like violating citizens’ first amendment rights is back in vogue at the Laredo seedy council meetings.  This time around, it was not the mayor, but councilman Johnny Rendon who decided that he has the right to deny our citizens their constitutional rights. 

Laredo businessman Victor Trevino prepared to speak on his and Danny Valdez Jr’s plans to restore the old Plaza Theater in downtown. As he addressed the council, Trevino obviously knew exactly what he wanted to say and prefaced his statements as follows:

Before, I begin, I wanted to go ahead and share with you something that goes to the core of why we are here. It’s an important reason why we’re here and it further reinforces our efforts in the downtown area”.

“There was some hesitation to read a letter that was placed on my vehicle the first day we started The Plaza but I think it’s important, I think it sheds light sometimes on change and change is very difficult to accept sometimes, especially in light of the current sitation. It reads something like this.”    

Trevino then proceeds to start reading directly from the letter

Shame on you, shame on you. The Plaza theater has so much history and to think that the people of downtown are going to let two Mojados that are not even from here try to change it into their profiteering enterprise, you have another thing coming”. 

Trevino continues,

This hit very close to the heart of our project and besides the letter being hateful, it was some of the obstacles we initially.....”

At this point, Rendon interferes
Excuse me sir, excuse me…. You were going to present a feasibility study and ...we prefer that you stick to that.

Trevino responds
OK , you know, it’s just,  I felt that it was something that was important…. but basically it is Downtown that’s very important to Laredo and uh just a little recap, I’d like to go over…..”

Rendon, obviously pleased to have violated Trevino’s first amendment rights butts in again

Thank you sir”

Thank You sir indeed. Another day of stepping on the constitution at our good ol' seedy council.

The video can be seen at the following link :  click on the October 17th, 2011 meeting link.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Absolute political campaign reform crucial in OWS proposed grievances

We, at LaredoTejas, agree with the priority that the "99 Per Cent" is placing on reforming the current, broken system of funding political campaigns. Elected representatives are now beholden to their top donors and assorted lobbyists and not to the people who elect them.

Also, the recent Supreme Court ruling Citizens United  has further driven the real power in elections towards the vested, monied interests. In as much, The 99 Per Cent Declaration hits the nail right on the head in requesting the following in regards to political campaign reform.

From The 99 Per Cent Declaration:

1. Implementing an immediate ban on all private contributions of money and gifts, to all politicians in federal office, from Individuals, Corporations, Political Action Committees, Super Political Action Committees, Lobbyists, Unions and all other private sources of money to be replaced by the fair and equal public financing of all federal political campaigns. We categorically REJECT the concept that money is equal to free speech because if that were so, then only the wealthiest would have a voice. These actions must be taken because it has become clear that politicians in the United States cannot regulate themselves and have become the exclusive representatives of corporations, unions and the very wealthy who spend vast sums of money on political campaigns to influence the candidates’ decisions and ensure their reelection year after year.

2. The immediate reversal, even if it requires a Constitutional Amendment, of the outrageous and anti-democratic holding in the "Citizens United" case by the Supreme Court, which equates the payment of money by corporations, wealthy individuals and unions to politicians with free speech. We, the People, demand that institutional bribery and corruption not be deemed protected speech

Language: In the dictionary, under "Low-Life" should be :

Thanks to 911 caller, van is stopped and drunk dad is arrested.

They came, they saw, they Occupied

Occupy Laredo

Occupy Laredo officially made its debut this past Saturday Morning at Jarvis Plaza in downtown Laredo. In actuality, the group had met the evening before to make some signs and go over some preliminary plans but Saturday marked their first public event.

Inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement that began slightly over a month ago, the local group was also seen later at the RioFest kayak races. The process was peaceful, respectful and organized. Some signs read "We are the 99%" echoing the idea that 1% of American Families control about 40 percent of the country's wealth.  Some of the recurring themes that the movement has given voice to include: the lack of accountability on the part of some of the US's richest corporations, the consequences that rampant GREED is having on American families everywhere. Also, the movement has strived for a much more inclusive process for making decisions about what the direction the movement will continue to move in.

This open democratice approach is probably the biggest difference between the Occupy movement and that of the Tea Party. Whereas the Tea Party played to its conservative base by pandering to the more racists and nativists elemenents in their ranks, the opposite is true of the Occupiers. While the Tea Party sought to exclude many types of Americans in order to rally ultra-conservatives, the Occupy groups have at times been criticized for being perpaps too obsessed with the democratic process that it makes reaching any consensus sometimes difficult. The trick will be to maintain its openess and inclusivity while facilitating its progress.

According to the group's Facebook page, there will be meetings weekly. One on Wednesdays at 7pm and the other on Sundays at 3pm. The meetings are scheduled to be held at 1919 Santa Maria on the third level, unless otherwise announced in their Facebook page.

If at first you don't succeed, stall and stall again

The Seedy Council discusses the Plaza Theater again

After waiting 10 years to do anything about the old Plaza Theater, the Laredo city council started to show signs of stalling even more. Councilman San Miguel in particular started throwing all sorts of ifs and buts around but the initiative to continue with the historic theaters restoration largely survived intact. 

Of course, there will the usual 30-day period which the city will use to inspect and contemplate repairs before deciding whether to lease it out to local businessmen Danny Lopez Jr. and Arturo Trevino Jr. who are behind the Plaza project.

Council woman Cindy Liendo-Espinosa displayed some frustration with attempts to delay the project any further and essentially invoked the "McAllen is eating our lunch" defense. In an obvious attempt to circumvent San Miguel's perceived stall tactics, Espinosa exclaimed  "This is why people say that we lose business to McAllen and San Antonio, because we don’t offer incentives to businessmen who want to make investments in our community,” she said. “It frustrates me to hear that we don’t want to take those chances'.

District 1 councilman Mike Garza, on the other hand, was more positive and sought to ease some of the tensions on the usually, back-slapping council. For his part, Garza chimed in “What I’m excited about is somebody’s doing something about it,” said Councilman Mike Garza of the long-vacant city property. “We’re at least trying to do something.”  The question is whether this time around Garza's "trying to do something' will provide any results. After all, the city bought the Plaza from United Artists way back in the 20th century; 1999 to be precise.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Ahhh The Simple Life: A Masquerade Ball in Laredo? Who would have thunk?

A Modest Proposal : What says Laredo more than a Masquerade Ball?  That''s exactly what Main Street Laredo has up their sleeve. Well there's nothing "main street" about the outrages prices they're charging for such a bourgeoise-type event. How about a platinum table for $2,000? Are they going to wrap a folding table in reynolds wrap tin foil? 

What's next? Are we going to hear the Rey and Reyna proclaim "Let them eat cake" while they laugh at the commoners milling about downtown?

This would make a nice event to juxtapose right along side an Occupy Laredo rally.  How about it? They love dividing and standing apart from the common folk.

-Platinum Table $2,000
-Gold Table $1,500
-Silver Table $1,000
-Individual Tickets $100
Tickets can be purchased at:

Laredo Main Street
1000 Zaragoza, Laredo, TX 78040

Laredo Center for the Arts
500 San Agustin Avenue, Laredo, Texas 78040

City of Laredo loves spending by the Million$$$ as in New Fleet Center

It looks like the people at the City manager's office love the idea of spending our tax money in increments of Million$$ at the time. As in:

The Arena  $40 Million

New baseball park  $20 Million

El Eden Rec Center  $40 Million $$$$

The Hines (Haynes) Rec Center  $40 Million

The future Mine Roads Rec Center $40 Million

The Paul Young autoplex on Loop 20   $10 Million

The City Manager & his three assistants' salaries:   $.6 Million dollars, an average of $150,000 each

Wow, I never realized how rich of a city we live in?  The latest joke is the New City of Laredo Fleet Management Center / Tax office now housed in the former Paul Young Autoplex on Loop 20.  Assistant City Manager Horacio De Leon, who earns about $150,000 a year claims that the building was a bargain at a whopping $10 Million dollars. Supposedly, it's "valued" at $15 Million. In this real estate market ? I guess the idea is that if they spend our money by the Million$, it'll make their bloated salaries look smaller.  Que Mugrero.

Trickle effect? OK Henry, but trickle where?

I guess our congressman Henry Cuellar forgets from time to time that words exist because they convey meaning. In addressing the question of the trade agreements between the United States and Panama, Columbia & South Korea, Cuellar thinks they will have a "trickle effect".  Perhaps he meant to say "trickle down" as in Reganomics.  Maybe he was so much in a hurry to meet with his donors that he didn't have time to clarify which way he expects the "trickle" to occur.

From The Houston Chronicle:

Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo: “The agreements will have a trickle effect”

“As the Chairman of the Pro-Trade Caucus and representing a trade-centric district in South Texas, I strongly supported the passage of the trade agreements. Laredo, Texas, my hometown, is home to the nation’s largest inland trade post and the 6th largest trade port. These Free Trade Agreements will have a trickle effect in creating jobs in the 28th District of Texas and the rest of the state of Texas.”

“I am pleased with the highly bipartisan agreements that will advance international trade, keep the U.S. competitive, and create a quarter of a million U.S. jobs.”

Friday, October 14, 2011

The GREED industry goes even after those looking to education to improve their lives

Goldman Sachs
Mr Greed, Todd Nelson: Hasta la cara tiene de envidioso

From The Huffington Post
By Chris Kirkham

Education Management Corp. was already a swiftly growing player in the lucrative world of for-profit higher education, with annual revenues topping $1 billion, but it had its sights set on industry domination. So, five years ago, the Pittsburgh company's executives agreed to sell its portfolio of more than 70 colleges to a trio of investment partnerships for $3.4 billion,

One of the new partners brought an outsized reputation for market savvy, deep pockets and a relentless pursuit of profits -- the Wall Street goliath, Goldman Sachs.

After the deal closed and Goldman became a partner, employees soon noticed a drastic shift in culture. Management handed down revamped telemarketing scripts designed to prey on poor and uneducated consumers, honing in on their past mistakes in life as a ploy to convince them that college would solve all their problems.

"You'd probe to find a weakness," said Brian Klein, a former admissions employee who worked for three years at Argosy University Online, one of four major colleges operated by EDMC. "You basically take all that failure and all those bad decisions, and you spin it around and put it right back in their face as guilt, to go to this shitty university and run up all of this debt."

Chief among those new leaders was Todd S. Nelson, the longtime former chairman and chief executive of Phoenix's parent company, the Apollo Group. Under Nelson, the University of Phoenix had become the unquestionable star of the for-profit higher education world, boasting more than 300,000 students and revenues topping $2.4 billion in 2006 -- triple the revenues from five years earlier.

But he left abruptly in 2006, after signing a $9.8 million settlement with the Department of Education over allegations of widespread recruiting violations at the school -- allegations that have now resurfaced at EDMC.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Bordertown:Laredo, tonight's the night !

Well the Laredo-based "docureality" program Bordertown:Laredo makes it's debut tonight at 9pm Laredo Standard Time on A&E Network.

One question that still remains is : who will be showing repeated clips on the local blogosphere? Will it be LMIB's La Sanbe who has showcased Laredo-based Eddie Macon's Run for years and years OR will it be the tocayo (namesake) of the show, Bordertown Blues?

Either way, there's bound to be a plethora (as El Guapo said) of material to go around.  Here's another sneak Peek.

UISD looks at the bright side: Reason to Celebrate! !

At UISD, theres Alway$$ reasons to Celebrate!

Laredo Morning Times Nick Georgieu is reporting this morning that the local school districts, UISD & LISD may warrant a visit from the Texas Education Agency (TEA) due to sub-par performances in several areas; more specifically, in their bi-lingual and carreer &technology programs.

At LISD, concerns about the passing rates in the Engish version of math, reading and science tests continue. Additionally, their bi-lingual program is also under state scrutiny. Carlos Rios, executive director of compliance and accountability admitted that "the state may intervene in their bi-lingual program".

More predictably, UISD again made the conscious decision to focus on optics. Their bevy of bad news was reported in today's LMT as follows:

1)UISD expects a possible visit from the Texas Education Agency because of performance concerns in the bilingual and career and technical education programs, a district official said this week.

2)According to United Independent School District data, students in the English as a Second Language, or ESL, program had subpar passing rates on the English version of the state’s 2011 math, reading and science exams.

3)Also, elementary school students in the bilingual education program struggled on the Spanish version of the math and science tests.

4) And limited English proficient and special education students in the career and technical education program posted below-average passing rates on the math, reading and science exams.
5)In late October, the Texas Education Agency is expected to notify districts that had low performance in certain programs about the level of intervention needed.

6) Interventions range from drawing up a corrective action plan to a TEA onsite visit.
Amidst this less than stellar performance news, UISD's counterpart to Mr. Rios over at LISD, elected to embellish the silver lining. Again from today's LMT:

While there was concern in some program areas, Guadalupe Gorordo, UISD executive director of instructional accountability, said the district met or surpassed various state standards.

There are reasons to celebrate,” she told the UISD school board’s instructional committee this week, pointing out, among other things, the low dropout rate for limited English proficient students.
Although LaredoTejas could not confirm it,  Ms. Gorordo could have very well been referring to the over 100,000 reasons ($$) to celebrate that make up her inflated salary.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Ohhhh Yeh-ahh....Come own, Come own. OBAMA's the enemy!!

A Golden Oldie from Last Week:

Peso's weakens ahead of Holiday shopping season


After months of gaining against the dollar, the peso is in a weakening trend.

Between April and September, the peso weakened 22.6 percent. This month, it's moderated somewhat, but international banking uncertainty could keep the peso weaker than it had been before this summer's fluctuation in the peso-dollar exchange rate.

The weaker peso exchange rate affects Mexicans living in and visiting San Antonio and South Texas because it reduces their purchasing power — and that could play a large role in the upcoming holiday shopping season.

“Any small incremental change toward a devaluation of the peso can make people nervous,” said Robert Barnett, a partner in the San Antonio-based law firm Cacheaux, Cavazos & Newton, which specializes in U.S.-Mexico legal matters.

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A&M legend passes on: "Pappy Drennan" started football program at LJC

Pappy Drennan played for the Aggies in 1938
From Beaumont's KFDM TV

God called home one of his good and faithful soldiers. W. B. “Pappy” Drennan passed into the next life on Sunday, October 9, 2011. He is survived by a host of friends who will miss him greatly. “Pappy”, as he has been known from his college days at Texas A &M University, was born in rural Texas near Cleburne. He was 101 years old (we think); however, his age is somewhat of a mystery as he claimed to be born on April 29, 1910. His birth record in Johnson County, Texas, shows his birth date to be April 29, 1911. He could be right, as the fact that he was born and lived out on a ranch. His birth may have been recorded some time after he was actually born. “Pappy” was always very proud of his longevity, so we will take his word for it.

“Pappy” was the oldest living football letterman for Texas A&M University. He lettered four years at A&M graduating in 1938. He served on the Texas A&M Hall of Honor selection committee for many years. He enjoyed telling stories of his days at A&M and had great loyalty to the university all his years. He was a favorite of A&M coaches and athletic office staff. They treated him like royalty, and he loved it. On his many trips “home” to attend ball games, he returned the favor by showering them with beautiful roses he grew in his own yard. “Pappy” and his roses were even featured in an article of the Texas A&M 12th Man Magazine in June of 2010. Also, his story was featured in the Austin-American Statesman in June of 2009.

After his graduation from A&M, “Pappy” started a football coaching career, first at Hallettsville, Texas, and then at Yoakum, Texas, where he had excellent success. This led him to be offered a job at Uvalde, Texas, and he continued his success there as well. He moved from there to Jacksonville, Texas, with continued coaching success. When Laredo Junior College, in Laredo, Texas, called him to begin a football program there, he obliged, and coached there until financial hardship forced the college to terminate their football program.

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BOLAS moves with lightning speed to reprimand LaredoTejas

MIB: Is BOLAS getting too poweful?

LaredoTejas editor Maximiliano had barely finished  typing the last letter on his 'La Sanbe/Eddie Macon" post today when his inbox was bombarded by BOLAS (Bloggers Of Laredo Association Stats). Apparently, BOLAS is a strict enforcer of the "associated content sphere clause" governing the Gateway City's blogs.

Although, there has always been some overlap on what each the blogs cover, certain subjects are considered to be almost exclusive intellectual property of the different  bloggers. For example, the colossal Bordertown Blues is renowned for his Tuesday Tires/Llantas postings as well as the insanely successful fun-filled fotoshop Fridays. Similarly, Keyrose's La Sanbe has long been recognized as the blog that, for all intents and purposes has virtual exclusivity with Eddie Macon Run clips/news and other related posts.

No word yet if LaredoTejas will have to pay a hefty fine to BOLAS as has happened in the past. In recent months, unnamed sources have indicated to LT that perhaps BOLAS has grown just a little bit to powerful in its dealings with the Blogs of Laredo, Texas.

La Sanbe Alert: "Eddie Macon's Run" airs on ENCORE

I don't know what time it was but I'm pretty sure it was on ENCORE that I happened to come across the closing credits of a "Laredo Classic", non other than Eddie Macon's Run. I was deferring to Keyrose to post on it considering that Laredo's Most Imposing Blog, La Sanbe gets more Eddie Macon-related hits than the official website itself.

According to the ENCORE website, it should air again on Tuesday,  November 1st at 7:05 AM and (thanks to Keyrose's lobbying efforts) again at 3:50 PM.  One additional airing is scheduled for Sunday November 6th, bright and early at 6:15 AM. This is your chance to combine two Laredo traditions: mariaches de barbacoa & Eddie Macon's Run.

All times listed are Laredo Standard Time (LST).

Poverty Industry making mega bucks in Gateway City

Location of Loan companies in Laredo: Sure enough, this graphic supports exactly what I saw!

Earlier this morning, as I drove Eastbound on Chihuahua street, I couldn't help but once again notice just how thriving the "Poverty Industry" is in Laredo. The following businesses could all be found within a 3 block area near the Bartlett Street intersection:

A gold-buying business

About 7 or 8 loan or "finance" shops

At least one Pawn Shop

About 2 Tax preparation/refund advance (loan) places

A couple more Payday loan shops

and, in the event all these exploitative predatory businesses still don't manage to help people get out of their financial predicaments, there was at least one other business for those who find themselves resorting to more desperate measures:

A bail-bonding business just in case.

All of these are thriving so its clear that they are getting their fair share of "business".  It's also no mystery why so many of these predatory enterprises are visited upon the South Side, albeit I've also seen them a bit farther North towards GucciLand.  With their high visibility, the lure of patronizing such places is obviously too tempting to many Laredoans. 

Some things I did not see in the same area:  Health care facilities, literacy promoting agencies, employment /temporary staffing agencies, recreation/athletic centers nor a police-substation. No wonder there's a mounting movement against greed.

Webb tax abatement giveaway gets stalled

Cedro Hill wind farm near Bruni, Texas

Thanks to Webb county auditor Leo Flores, tax assessor-collector Patricia Barrera plus county commissioners Jerry Garza and Jaime Canales, Webb's tax abatement give-away was at least temporarily interrupted.  An item to extend tax abatements to White Tail Energy wind farms was tabled.  The four county officials mentioned above had concerns that the total number of  "new" jobs, 5, were not enough to justify the tax abatements.

Although White Tail Energy has announced that it's wind farm in East Webb County would mean amount to a  $125 Million investment, the turbines require virtually no employees to maintain them once they're up and running.  The county did approve a tax abatement deal for the Excel Logistics expansion on Mines Road.

This exemplies some of the problems the Wind energy has experienced in getting untracked. It obviously uses the bountiful renewal natural resources but that requires few job positions. This fact results in less tax abatements. Unfortunately, it all comes down to a  matter of economics again.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Eagle Ford Shale exploiters experiencing "growing pains"

Helge Lund (left), CEO of Norwegian energy company Statoil, speaks with Statoil  Joint Venture Manager Cesar Alvarez (facing away) and Talisman Energy Frac Specialist Nabila Larsen (right) at a Talisman Energy fracking site near Cotulla, Texas. Statoil is working with Talisman energy to develop oil and gas ventures in the Eagle Ford shale formation in south central Texas. Photo: SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS / SA
"Ahhhh! Don't you just love the smell of benzene in the morning??"

It looks like not everything as going as smooth as the Mayor and the city council would like for the exploiters of the Eagle Ford Shale.  With all the activity that is going on in and North of Webb county, all of a sudden it seems like South Texas might not have really been as prepared as they would have liked. Let's keep an eye on our Mayor and Seedy council just to make sure they don't rush in to give away our money to their heroes- the exploiters of the Eagle Ford Shale region.


there are constraints to growth in the Eagle Ford that will take time to overcome, experts said. There's a shortage of experienced crews and supplies, and more pipelines are needed to quickly get the product to market.

Costs, too, have risen. The cost of drilling a well has zoomed from about $5.25 million to as much as $10 million, Hall said, although some of the higher costs are attributed to more hydraulic fractures being done per well. That leads to increased production.

As production booms, getting the crude oil and natural gas to market could mean that “the wave of production will slam us in 18 to 24 months,” Hall said.

Keith Crawford, regional vice president at Dallas-based Regency Energy Partners LP, said there's another problem that isn't well known: the Eagle Ford's natural gas is sour, meaning it contains significant hydrogen sulfide that can damage pipes, and older pipelines can't handle it.

“All pipelines are designed for a particular type of gas,” Crawford said, and producers need to be aware that the sour gas must be treated to remove hydrogen sulfide before it can be transported. Steve Jacobs, president of Harvest Pipeline company, mentioned yet another constraint: bringing electric power to remote areas of the Eagle Ford to power pumps needed for pipelines.

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Occupy Laredo movement starts to take shape

From Occupy Laredo's Facebook page:

Occupy Laredo is in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Together around the world. This is a NON VIOLENT protest against corruption and greed across the nation.

Currently in the US, the top 1% of the population control the majority of the nation's wealth while the rest of the 99% struggle to get by. They have driven the US economy into the ground while benefiting from the US tax payer sponsored-bailout without any accountability to the public. Those corporate elite have driven the housing and jobs crises that have put so many Americans out of work and out... of their homes. Abroad they drive Free Trade policy that has ruined local economies and driven poor people out of their country and to the US in search of a living.

Inspired by the Occupy Wall Street protests that continue in NY, where what began as hundreds of out of work college graduates turned into thousands of protesters from all walks of life, Occupy Laredo brings those same issues, as well as South Texas' unique set of challenges to the growing national movement.

While no one set of demands are set forth, the growing occupy movement is progressing with One resounding No to a corporate driven society and democracy, and increasing inequality in the US that is destroying both our communities and the earth. At the same time, our many Yesses advocate for freedom, liberty, equality, democracy, the protection of the earth and for the dignity of all its inhabitants.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Roker stokes the fire: Watch for 10-second bleeeeep on Bordertown: Laredo

"Bordertown: Laredo"
Hightlights: Bordertown Laredo features extended bleeeeping!

Al Roker gets all giddy when he has something fascinating to push in his quest for hitting the reality show jackpot. Not one to pull any punches, Roker figures he'll create more controversy and hopefully draw more viewers by proudly announcing that the Laredo-based reality show has to be bleeeeped quite a bit. I guess that's the kind of professionalism the Mayor keeps talking about.

From ZapIt.Com.

"Look, this is reality TV," Roker notes. "We don't get second chances. This is happening, and it would whether we were there with our cameras or not." And the reality extends to the words used: A drug bust sequence in the first "Bordertown: Laredo" episode contains one of the most sustained language "bleeps" in recent memory, lasting a good 10 seconds or so.

"It's raw, but it's real," Roker acknowledges. "That's what these guys have to deal with. What's fascinating about Laredo, and what I think sets this apart from other shows, is that I don't think we've ever seen a predominantly Hispanic-American police force. These are tough guys, and they get the job done. I think people will really be impressed."

Hey, Al Roker! Don't you mean that people will really be *#!*@**^*%#!  impressed ?

Asst City Manager draws $140,000 salary but has no answer for kids' soccer fields

"cough, cough, give us a minute coach!"

Just a few minutes ago, Pro8News had Asst. City Manager Horacio De Leon on video speaking to the continuing problem of the "piedras y tierra" (rocks and dirt) soccer fields on which hundreds of Laredo's youth play flag football and soccer.

With a salary close to $140,000 a year, De Leon had a very weak answer to the problem. He said that "it makes no sense" to improve the Calton Road "rock fields" because some new fields are in the planning stage.  No one asks him to wait for his $140,000 annual salary. Yet he has absolutely no problem in giving a sorry excuse for an answer when it comes to other people's kids and the deplorable recreation fields they must continue to try to play in.