Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Fox News Latino reports on CEO fired for Laredo comments

The following excerpt is from Fox News Latino.  By the way, did any of the local media report on this?  If they did, I must have been pullling a Rip Van Winkle or something because I completely missed it. 

One correction, the Fox article below mentions that Schmitd was asked why he wanted "to move his company" from Laredo to Fort Smith Arkansas. The original Fort Smith local story states that Schmitd was asked why "HE wanted to move" (not the company). 

From Fox News Latino 

One of nation’s largest hospital healthcare service companies fired the interim CEO of one of its Texas-based hospital systems after he made racially charged remarks about Latinos during an employee meeting.
Community Health Systems, the parent company of Sparks Health System, quickly dismissed interim CEO Tim Schmidt this week after he uttered startling comments in front of about 125 hospital employees.
During a question-and-answer session, Schmidt was asked why he wanted to move the company from Laredo, Texas, to Fort Smith, Arkansas.
“Have you ever been to Laredo, Texas?” said Schmidt, according toThe City Wire, a local website that covers northern Arkansas. “It’s 97 percent Hispanic.”
Word quickly spread throughout the hospital system’s Latino employees – including one doctor who immediately expressed outrage.
Officials at Community Health Systems took no chances and announced on Thursday that they had let Schmidt go from his post at Sparks Health System. It is unclear if he will still remain an employee.
Read the entire article at Fox News Latinohttp://latino.foxnews.com/latino/money/2014/05/09/dont-mess-with-laredo-outrage-over-ceos-remarks-that-leaving-city-because-it-7/
P.S.  I don't know why links to article(s) don't "work". 

Temp dips into 50s in May ; should be a local holiday

Local HEBs experienced higher than usual sales of charcoal briquets, charcoal lighter, fajitas, chicken quarters and assorted carne asada must-haves as Laredo temperatures dropped substantially.  Local weather legend Richard Heatwave Berhler predicted that Tuesday and Wednesday morning lows will be in the mid 50s. 

Other businesses gearing up for heavier than normal demand include local panaderia, coffee shops and other business providing well-known comfort foods and run of the mill junk food as well.  

For those who were hoping that local schools would be closed. No dice. 

School districts decide not to let parents know about recent incidents

Ol' Pro8news tonight had a story about how both local school districts failed to notify parents about recent gun-related incidents. Both districts claim that they knew that there was no actual threat so that's why they decided not to notify them.  

Hopefully, the districts are being upfront and transparent about these incidents.  Of course everyone will agree that it is a good thing that in neither case was there any "real" threat.  The question is whether the district should trust parents to not over-react with any information they might have provided. Most parents would probably want more details than are now being given. Also, parents would appreciate it if the districts clarified just exactly what their policy is regarding whether or not parents will be notified: what are the situations that will warrant such notifications? 

It's a Laredo tradition to not let the public know much about what's going on even if it's their own taxes that are paying the salaries of all of these public servants.  

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Feds: students may not be refused enrollments regardless of immigration status

I know the question of immigration status and residency are not the same but they often get confused when local school boards take on the question from time to time.  The latest word from the Feds may put the issue to rest for a while, or it may bring it up to forefront once again. It's hard to predict. One thing is almost for sure, Pro8News will include it on it's facebook survey.

From Politico, here are the "painstaking details" of the latest actions.


Monday, May 5, 2014

Councilman's idea could result in new reality show: Trash Divers

Amid all the talk of an increase in Laredo's fly population, Councilman Roque Vela has come up with an idea that he hopes will result in Laredoans being more careful in how they process their garbage: Trash Diving.

This is the stuff of which Reality shows are made!  Vela and other council members as well as Laredo Health Department Director Gonzalez seem to think that Laredoans are to blame for the fly problem because they simply fail to separate their recyclables from other trash. This, in turn results in an over-abundance of non-recyclable trash which prevents many Laredoans from properly closing the lids on their Willie Botes.

Vela's solution as we mentioned before, is to go around and do some trash-diving. Literally, going through people's trash to prove that it's not the once-a-week trash pickup that is the problem. Instead, the councilman is very certain that he will encounter countless incidents the real culprit : poor trash handling.  No word on what part of town, the councilman, with local media in tow, plan to start their diving operations.

Also, no word on what kind of super-hero outfits Vela and fellow councilman Vera, who has volunteered to go along on the dives will be donning.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Is Laredo the largest city without a city-owned Civic Center?

A couple of years ago, Laredo made some rather negative news around the nation for being the largest USA city without a bookstore.  That dubious distinction ended when Books-a-Million came to town.  Now, is Laredo the largest USA city without a municipal Civic Center?

After selling off our civic center to the Laredo Independent School District last year, there has been very little talk about how the city plans to fix this embarassing problem.  There has been more talk/action on spending most of the proceeds from that sale to built yet another "sports complex". The only mention I have heard of addressing the no civic center problem was immediately after the sale. There was some talk at city council of allocated about 2 Million dollars (of the nearly $15M total) to built a new "center where people can congregate" near the proposed outlet mall downtown.  But beyond that, very little has been mentioned.

Yes, I know:  what about the downtown outlet mall?   What about the Laredo Town Center Mall near Lake Casa Blanca?   That's precisely my point.