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Locally Owned

Sometimes your best investments are the ones you don’t make. — Donald Trump A JOURNAL OF THE BORDERLANDS november 2012

Est. 1994

Vol. XVII No. 23 64 PAGES

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LareDOS Newspaper


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Santa María Journal

Agreeable temperatures lend ease to the chores

By María Eugenia guerra

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ith the temperatures no longer spiking high over 90°, it’s become so pleasant to work through the chores, repairs, and the never-ending clean-up that keeps this place in shape. Our work recently has been to pump out the troughs that water the wildlife and our livestock, to scrub them out, pump out the algae and muck, and re-fill them with clean water. Where we could not run an electric extension cord for the small submersible pump for the troughs in the monte, we’ve used my old Escape Hybrid’s 110-power supply. I love that small SUV’s technology, and I’m sorry I can’t buy a newer vehicle

equipped the same. My time has also gone to moving cattle from one pasture to the next. These are pastures that have yet to recover from the extreme drought. There is no bounce back as in years before when a two-and-a-half-inch rain might produce hip high grass. With those things done, I’ve taken on a project or two that has called for handwork and the strength in my arms. There was an old wooden walk gate between the horse pasture and the barn pasture that I was loathe to look at because it was repaired a few months ago in an un-square manner, and it hung crooked. Huge strap hinges and the biggest nails I’ve ever

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Contributors Salomon Abrego

Jim Lacey

Nancy Black

José Antonio López

Bebe Fenstermaker

Monica McGettrick

Sissy Fenstermaker

Jim Norris

Neo Gutierrez

Lola Norris

Toni Howell

Salo Otero

Henri Kahn

Evelyn Pérez

Cathy Kazen

Jennie Reed

Randy Koch

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seen – the kind you drive with a steel mallet – held it to its post, a 12-inch diameter light pole. It wasn’t easy to pull it off of its hinges – since all my pry tools like my Stanley wonder bar walked off this ranch along with the fellow who made the bad repairs to the gate. I was happy to see the two game wardens who drove onto the property and helped me with the last two nails in the hinges. They seemed pretty busy with the opening of hunting season, so I didn’t ask them for further help. I moved the heavy gate to the barn with a chain attached to the back of the four-wheeler. Wrestling with trying to get it onto two sawhorses, I understood I had under-estimated its height, weight, and its unwieldiness or how complicated the repair and squaring would be. I used the sawhorses for fulcrum and two pine planks as levers to move the gate from the barn floor onto the sawhorses.

It would have been far easier to build a new gate with new lumber, cut it square, and use screws and a drill instead of a hammer, but there was no turning back. The labor I’d invested in getting the gate off its hinges and moving it far outstripped a decision to build a new gate from scratch. While I lauded my resourcefulness at opting for a recycled repair over replacement, I felt as though it took forever to remove nails without the right tools. And I had the splinters to prove it. The more I worked on the gate, the more I understood how thoroughly my hand tool collection had been pillaged. Even the old rusted coffee can holding my lifetime accumulation of hex head wood screws of all sizes had relocated. With the repairs done and a coat of paint on the gate, it’s still not a pretty thing to behold, but it works. It is more square, and it does not remind me of the fellow who took off with the tools. ◆ W W W.L A RED OS N E WS.CO M


Laura Flores, Jennifer Hachar, Celina Alvarado, and Tricia Cortez are photographed portraying their respective roles in Path of Marigolds, a play written by Raquel Valle-Senties. The show had a two-weekend run, November 2 to 4 and November 9 to 11 at the Laredo Center for the Arts.

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Mariela Rodriguez/LareDOS

Mariela Rodriguez/LareDOS

Back by popular demand

Live music at the Farmers Market Rick Cortes, Matt Vinnie, and Kevin Lindberg are photographed performing on Saturday, November 17 at the Farmers Market at Jarvis Plaza. The trio entertained the crowd with some classic covers.

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Pack 84 on a mission to learn

Maria Eugenia Guerra/LareDOS

San Martin de Porres Catholic Church Cub Scouts Pack 84 took an outing on El Metro, learning about the City’s public transit system and earning merit badges along the way. Pictured from left to right, top row, are Joey Sanchez, Webelos; Sebastian Salinas, Bear; Charlie Dominguez, Bear; Joseph Gonzales, Bear; Raul Ramos Jr., Webelos; and Geremy Cardenas, Webelos. Center, left to right are Aaron Medrano, Webelos; Joe García IV, Webelos; Darius Tellez, Tiger; Rodrigo Ramos, Tiger; and Xavier García, Tiger. In the front are Julian García, Me Too and and Joaquín García, Me Too. Pack 84 is preparing for Scouting for Food on December 8 and the Christmas luncheon on December 16. 

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Mariela Rodriguez/LareDOS

First-time voters get the message Students of the Vidal M. Trevi単o School of Communications and Fine Arts heard the message from instructors and peers on the importance of voting.

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Troop 9129

Maria Eugenia Guerra/LareDOS

Members of Girl Scout Troop 9129 are pictured at their weekly meeting at the LBV Scout House on GuatemozĂ­n and Stone. On the front row, left to right, are Daniela Castro, Kendall Harris, Paola Ramon, and Bella Nieto. On the second row are co-leader Ana Ramon, Axielys Santos-Flores, Rebecca Rodriguez, Sophia Harris, Joyce Altgelt, Marcella PeĂąa, Katy Richter, Devinny Moreno, co-leader Aemie Martinez, Emily Altgelt, Melany Perez, and Abril Vega. Not pictured is troop leader Karen Harris.

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Opinion

Notes from an election year diary By JIM LACEY LareDOS Contributor

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arl Rove’s explanation of why he failed to deliver the presidency to Romney is fantastic. It’s as twisted and spun and reminiscent of something out of the GOP distraction manual as Romney’s knee-jerk reactions and reversals were from one day to the next. “Obama kept the coalition that he had in 2008, only it was a little bit smaller,” Rove explains. “This will be the first president reelected to a second term with a smaller percentage of the vote than he got the first term. In fact, there are only two states – two states in the union – where he got a higher percentage of the vote this time around than he got the first

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time.” Oh well, that certainly cleared it up for me. Ok, so like basically, Romney lost because Obama “kept the coalition that he had in 2008, only a little bit smaller.” Well, of course! That explains things perfectly. Coupled with a new black hole in the very center of our solar system that is not behaving the way black holes are supposed to, that would obviously have combined in a way with Rove’s clarification to explain how it is that Romney lost. Later still: Spent some early morning hours in Times Square this morning, camera loaded and ready, watching windows of mostly tall buildings. No jumpers, at least not at this writing. I also zoomed in on lots of revolving doors at the front with the expectation of droves of fired

employees leaving in rags and tears, disobedient sorts with pix of their kids stacked high on in-boxes and stuff from desk drawers that would indicate permanent separation from the biz; but no, nothing so far there either. Knowing there was no way to interview a jumper, I was hoping to catch some walkers on their way out and ask them to explain how it was that they survived the first four years under Obama without being fired – but how that’s all different

now given an Obama re-election, an economy on the rebound, more jobs, and a stock market whose value had doubled. Maybe Friday is their last day? So, no jumpers, no mass exodus. But, a Nor’easter coming in on the heels of Sandy and coupled with gross cold, which I hate, so I’m giving up the stake-out, at least until Friday, and turning my attention to the black hole. Perhaps there’s a connection there to Romney’s demise that I’ve missed . . . ◆

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Maria Eugenia Guerra/LareDOS

Maria Eugenia Guerra/LareDOS

An early morning ride through the rancheria Mike Daniel, a TAMIU biology instructor, and Nicolas Gomez, a member of the TAMIU police department, are pictured in San Ygnacio as they made their way to Zapata early one morning.

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Kid’s Café honors veterans Executive director Alfonso Casso Jr. and CFO Mike Kazen of the South Texas Food Bank are pictured with Boys and Girls Club director Hector Noyola at the recent STFB/Kid’s Café event honoring all Laredo veterans.

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Commentary

Misrepresentations, polarization of electorate hallmark of recent presidential election

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By NANCY BLACK LareDOS Contributor

he recent presidential election has made some wonder if the new reality of 21st century electioneering must inevitably include a degree of misrepresentation to make and score points for the various candidates. It would be unfortunate if this is so. Since at least the beginning of this century, polarization of the American electorate has been palpable, and disheartening. As Americans, we have a duty to act – first and foremost – as Americans, and only secondarily as devotees of a given political party. Our nation would benefit if we could celebrate common ground rather than magnifying differences. We should be concerned with several troublesome issues made obvious by the recent campaigns. The three discussed briefly here are the amount of 1) misinformation bandied about, deliberately or otherwise, 2) money spent by a few very wealthy donors, and 3) the polarization of the electorate and indeed of all, voters and others. The Affordable Care Act, called “ObamaCare” rather derisively by some, became an arena where much misinformation was stated and repeated. Some objected to a provision of the Act requiring employers to make available certain conceptive care services as a part of the health care plan that they provide their employees. They argued that this part of the law abridged their right of religious institutions to the free exercise of religion by “forcing” them to provide contraceptives, sterilizations, and the morning after pill to their employees through their health insurance plans. This is an inaccurate interpretation of the Affordable Care Act. It does require employers who have over a certain number of employees to provide health insurW W W.L A R ED OS N E WS.CO M

ance for their employees. And these employer-provided health insurance plans must make contraceptive care services available to their employees. However, employees are not required to use these services; they may avail themselves of these services or not, as they choose. Moreover, if the employers are religious institutions which meet four requirements outlined in the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 45, Part 147, they qualify for an exemption from the requirement even to make available these contraceptive care services. This situation is not new, nor does it involve just one religious faith. Throughout the last century, several American religious groups protested the infringement of their First Amendment rights of free exercise of religion by various governmental laws and regulations. In an ideal world we would expect that all are able to freely exercise their religion. However, this is not always possible in a diverse society where differing interests must be balanced – those of individuals as well as those of our government. The Religious Society of Friends (also called “Quakers” or “Friends”) has had a presence in America since the late 17th century, and its pacifist beliefs against war and capital punishment have caused it to oppose killing in any form. Because of this religious belief that it is wrong to kill another person, Quakers have protested in various ways – by bringing suit to protect their free exercise rights to oppose war, by defending suits brought by the government against them for refusing to be conscripted, and by filing amicus curiae briefs to help protect others’ First Amendment free exercise right to refuse to bear arms and right of free speech to speak out against war. In addition to Friends, a few other religious groups have mounted similar legal challenges to laws or regulations that they believe abridge their right to religious

freedom, however, most, though not all, have lost. The exemption available to religious institutions in the Affordable Care Act is similar to the exemption for conscientious objectors like Quakers whose pacifist faith opposes war. A second issue highlighted by the campaigns leading to the election should concern all of us who live in a democracy. This is the massive amount of money poured into candidates’ coffers by billionaires like Sheldon Adelson and David and Charles Koch; this is allowed since the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. Not long ago most Americans would have thought that only those in “less developed” countries without a democratic form of government would attempt to buy control of an executive or

legislative branch of a government. The third of these issues raised by the recent election is that of bipartisanship or the lack of it. Doris Kearns Goodwin, the eminent presidential biographer, recently suggested that the cocktail hour should be returned so that federal legislators could meet each other in a more casual atmosphere. A number of them no longer maintain a home in Washington, and so their time to converse in a more relaxed way has been restricted. Goodwin’s suggestion has merit. If Congress-men and -women are able get to know one another as persons and find common ground on small matters, they might also be able to better work together on issues of greater import. Whether it’s tea or bourbon, let’s drink to that idea! ◆

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Commentary

Hispanic or Latino, which is it? By JOSé ANTONIO LóPEZ LareDOS Contributor

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fter the 2010 census, demography analysts announced that the number of Spanishsurnamed citizens was rising rapidly. In today’s debate over the topic, both “Hispanic” and “Latino” terms are used in referring to this large group of citizens. Are the words the same? Of the two, which is the correct term to address members within this ever-growing population? As a Spanish-surnamed U.S. citizen, I grew up hearing different names to describe our group. Some are good; some are not so good. However, when you’re a member of a minority group, you learn to accept the bad with the good. As my mother taught me long ago, “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me.” It especially concerns me that today’s politicians, news commentators, plus most folks in the general public use both Hispanic and Latino without realizing the words are not the same. Hispanic. As its root indicates, the term Hispanic refers to a person whose origins lead to Spain. Typically in the U.S., anyone having a Spanish last name is considered a Hispanic. However, here on the Continent of America, the Hispanic tag can be a tricky term. Perhaps the most fascinating part of the issue is that most of the increase in the U.S. Hispanic population is of Mexican-descent origin (about 30 million). That means that regardless of their Spanish names, the most recent country of origin is Mexico, not Spain. Another way to say this is that only one side of the coin is Hispanic and the other side is Mexican (Native American). It is the Mexican side of their heritage that more recently connects many Spanish-surnamed citizens with America and not

Europe. Another key point to consider is that most people assume that this means that all Spanish-surnamed U.S. citizens of Mexican-descent came from presentday Mexico. That is a false assumption. The reason is that many Mexican-descent citizens trace their roots to Spanish Mexican pioneer ancestors who were already living in Texas and the Southwest when the U.S. took the land from Mexico in 1848. The blending of cultures in the melting pot of America adds to the multinature of the problem. Here, races and ethnicities have freely mixed. Many Hispanic people have non-Spanish names, but still strongly claim their Spanish heritage. Moreover, there is a unique variation regarding Spanish names in today’s America. Many of the names that are sometimes assumed to be Spanish are actually Hispanicized names that have a separate genesis from Spain. Some of the most notable ones include Spanish names with Italian, French, and Sephardic Jewish lineages, for example. Latino. Although I have been called a Latino by well-intentioned Anglo friends, I find the term incorrect. The reason my friends may use it is that it’s often used as a synonym for Hispanic. It is not. In fact, Latino is a very confusing label. It has no organic connection to a country of origin like the word “Hispanic” does to Spain. The idea of an imaginary region called Latin America was actually devised here in the U.S. The word Latino was coined shortly after. Curiously, the word Latino may be more related to the fact that Spanishspeaking countries in America are largely Roman Catholic. So Latino may also refer to the Catholic Mass that up to the 1960s was taught in Latin. Using this definition, the word Latino may include people in Portugal, the Philippines, French Canada, France, and Italy

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– folks who are not normally referred to as Latinos today. Incidentally, the Latin language was invented by the Romans (Italy). At any rate, the purpose for the phrase Latin America was to separate the dominant white Anglo-Saxon Protestant society in the U.S. from those American countries south of the U.S. Mexico border with largely Spanishspeaking, brown-skin populations. That attempt at segregation assumes that all Spanish-descent citizens come from Latin America. That is another false assumption. As stated above, millions of Spanish-surnamed U.S. citizens do not come from Latin America. As I build my case against both Hispanic and Latino terms, I say they only recognize the European land that our pioneer ancestors left way back in the 18th century. Using those identifying words exclusively omits the strong indigenous bloodlines many of us have. Yes, I am proud of my strong Spanish European blood. However, I am equally proud of my beautiful Native American genealogy. Just like smelting iron in a blast furnace, the resulting strong bond has truly created a new race of people, not wholly

white, and not wholly brown. After all, that’s the unique breed of people who have made Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, and California their home for centuries. It genetically connects the old and new worlds. What is more beautiful than that? The bottom line is this. Racial and ethnic labels are usually inexact. They cause more trouble than they’re worth. We don’t need them. There is hope. In the society of the future, national boundaries will not have the limiting effect they do today. Europe is already there. All indications are that we now live in a global economy, solidly connected via the Internet and cell phones. We just need to build on the concept toward global family unity. In closing, let me answer the original question. Which one is it – Hispanic or Latino? The quick answer is neither one. Between the two, I generally accept Hispanic simply because it leads to my direct roots in New Spain, now a part of the U.S. Latino is totally unacceptable in my book. It is improper because I have never lived in Latin America. I am a U.S. citizen of Spanish Mexican origins who in the words of Bruce Springsteen, was “Born in the U.S.A.” ◆

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Evelyn Perez

Mariela Rodriguez/LareDOS

Holiday spirit

Supporting the arts

Fred Treviño, Webb County Commissioner-elect Mike Montemayor, and Wendy Romo are photographed on Novmeber 13 at District Judge Joe Lopez’s annual tamalada at the 49th District Court.

Evelyn Perez

Juana Adela and Arturo de Noche Buena displayed original art at the French Quarter Bazaar on Saturday, November 10.

Looking beyond the stars Ismael Cuellar, Brenda Moreno, Viky Garcia, Claudia Alvarez, and Nora Bertani organized Laredo’s 2012 UFO conference at Texas A&M International University’s Student Center Ballroom on Saturday, November 10. W W W.L A R ED OS N E WS.CO M

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News

News

Bookstore kicks off coffee donation program to benefit overseas troops

Water quality of the Río Grande topic of TAMIU Keynote speaker

By MARIELA RODRIGUEZ LareDOS Staff

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ooks-A-Million (BAM) bookstore is inviting Laredoans to help keep the troops overseas supplied with coffee. BAM’s Coffee for the Troops program will continue through Saturday, December 1 in an effort to provide Joe Muggs coffee for armed forces overseas. Customers have the option of buying a bag of Joe’s Choice Coffee, which BAM’s Coffee For Troops program will send to the Soldiers’ Angels organization, a group sends donated items to members of the armed forces overseas. “This is an extraordinary thing that BAM is doing in an effort to provide a

sense of comfort to all those who fight for us each and every day in the battlefield,” said Mary Benavides, general manager of the Laredo BAM bookstore. The cost for a bag of Joe Muggs Coffee is $10. BAM will provide stickers at the register for customers to fill out so that soldiers can know who the generous donation came from. “What better way to keep our armed forces alert and ready by sending them a bag of delicious Joe Muggs coffee,” Benavides added. BAM is located on 5300 San Dario Avenue, inside Mall Del Norte. For more information please contact Mario G. Cavazos Jr. at (956) 2854855 or email cassadine_s@live.com. ◆

By MARIELA RODRIGUEZ LareDOS Staff

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he quality of the waters of the Río Grande was the topic Dr. David Eaton addressed at Texas A&M International University as part of the International Bank of Commerce Keynote Speaker Series. A Bess Harris Jones Centennial Professor of Natural Resource Policy Studies at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin, Eaton spoke on the focus of his research – improving the water quality of the river through bi-national cooperation. He teaches courses on environmental issues and quantitative methods. In his presentation entitled “Evolving Mexico –U.S Cooperation to Improve Border Water Quality,” Eaton discussed how healthy water quality and access to water should be the primary common concerns between Mexico and Texas. Eaton, who teaches coursework on environmental issues and quantitative measures said that infrastructure, economic growth, quality of life, and fairness should follow. “Since 1999, over $1.5 billion has been invested in border water related infrastructure in 14 Texas border counties and three Mexican states,” he said, noting, “Infrastructure developments to improve bacterial water quality are needed. Encouraging U.S. and Mexico to invest in

sewers, wastewater transportation, and other water quality investments could be a start.” He said that in order to accomplish these goals, further cooperation among national, state, regional, and local institutions is required. “Bacterial pollution exceeds Texas’ water contact recreation standards in many locations, but does not exceed Mexican general use standards,” Eaton said, adding, “Where investment has occurred, water quality has improved, and where investment has not occurred or population/industrial investment has increased, water quality is worse,” Eaton told students and other Laredoans who gathered in the TAMIU Student Center. “There is good reason to think we will continue to be successful in improving water quality along the border and that improvement of quality is not just about water its also about economic development,” Eaton said. Prior to 1976, Eaton served as a staff member at the President’s Council on Environmental Quality, the Office of the President’s Science Advisor, the World Bank, and the U.S. Agency for International Development. Eaton completed a Ph.D. in environmental engineering and geography from Johns Hopkins University, a Masters in environmental health and public works administration at the University of Pittsburg, and a Bachelor’s degree in biology from Oberlin College. ◆

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News

Alvarez’s Fourth Court of Appeals win spells significant shift in representation By MARIA EUGENIA GUERRA LareDOS Publisher

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ne of the most significant wins in the November 6 General Election was that of Laredo attorney and Justice-elect Patricia Alvarez who trumped incumbent Rebecca Simmons for a seat on the Fourth Court of Appeals, Place 3. Alvarez began an organized, welldefined campaign a year ago as she traveled the 32 counties of the district. From the outset, she maintained that the makeup of justices of the Fourth Court of Appeals – largely Republican and most of them from San Antonio – did not represent those who live in the district, and therefore could not serve them. She said the campaign put her in touch with “the most amazing people in the 32 counties of the Fourth District.” She said that the voters of Webb County were key to her win. “I was thrilled that Webb County delivered the vote that I needed to win. I have prayed for the wisdom and strength to serve all the people in my district by protecting their legal and constitutional rights,” she said. The win is more than an historical footnote for Laredo and Webb County, as Alvarez is the first Laredoan elected to the Fourth Court of Appeals, and for the first time, Webb County is represented on the court. Of her win and that of Rebeca Martinez and Luz Elena Chapa, Alvarez said, “The election of three Hispanic Democratic women to the Fourth Court of Appeals brings the court back to balance in terms of ethnicity and experience with

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border issues. All three elected justices speak Spanish and have ties to the Border. Justice-Elect Martinez lived in McAllen early on in her legal career. Justice-Elect Chapa was brought up in El Paso. I have lived and practiced on the border for most of my professional life. The Fourth Court finally looks like the people it represents.” Alvarez attributed her win to the passion and commitment she made to her election bid, to her family, and a campaign team that she said was “cohesive and solid from the start.” She said her direct contact with the people of her district was essential to her victory. “I visited each county twice or more, many times alone. Getting to know the people and their families and their local leaders, and participating in their events was key. Equally important to me was to maintain contact with people through social media, and to communicate with them with honesty and respect. I wanted to touch the hearts of people – as it turned out, they touched my heart and soul!” she said. Alvarez characterized the campaign and the win as a life-changing learning experience. “I am not the same person now that I was when I began campaigning simply because I learned so much about our people. The first most important lesson began in Val Verde County when a gentleman asked me, ‘if we get you elected, are you going to forget about us until it’s time for the next election? What are you going to do for us?’ I learned that the Justices of the Fourth Court rarely visit the county outside the election cycle. As I traveled to other counties, the same question was raised time after time.

I advised the Val Verde gentleman and all the others who voiced the same concern that my commitment to the people of the Fourth District would be to return to their county to talk to their children about the importance of civics and citizenship, and to be a role model for them.” Alvarez said that campaign contributions from attorneys or parties who have matters before the Fourth Court of Appeals was a major issue in her own race against Justice Simmons and in other of the races. “This was a big issue in all the Fourth Court of Appeals races. My position is that a Justice on the Fourth Court of Appeals must be above reproach, and avoid any conflict or conceived conflict of accepting contributions from attorneys and/or litigants who have cases before that Justice. To avoid the appearance of impropriety, monitoring and declining campaign contributions from these individuals is essential,” she said. Alvarez said the turnout of the Hispanic vote was critical to her race, especially in Bexar County. She said she is committed “to make Webb County proud of electing me as their Justice to the Fourth Court of Appeals.” She added, “I will work diligently to be a just and fair justice, and one

who never forgets where she came from. I will show my commitment to justice by treating everyone with dignity, with courtesy and patience, show genuine care about the matter being presented, and decide the case fairly and objectively, based on the evidence presented and on the applicable law. Above all, I will defend the parties’ constitutional right to a trial by a jury, and will not obstruct such right (or any other kind of right) based on political pressure. I also look forward to work for a permanent panel of three judges in a border county so that justice is accessible to all the border.” Attorney David Almaraz said that the Laredo legal community is “very proud that one of its own will be sitting of the Fourth Court of Appeals.” He said that Alvarez exemplifies what every Justice should strive to become. “She will be fair and open-minded in her decisions. She is a legal scholar, exercises sound judgment, and will represent the Court with the highest standard of integrity. Any lawyer coming before her will discover that she is courteous, yet firm. That lawyer had well better be prepared in all legal briefs argued before Pat.  She is passionate about the law and have no doubt that she will be an excellent Justice.” ◆

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News

Banker Ignacio Urrabazo named 2012 UTEP Distinguished Alumni

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By SALO OTERO LareDOS Contributor

gnacio Urrabazo Jr., a native of Del Rio and president and CEO of Laredo Commerce Bank, has been named a 2012 University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) distinguished alumni by the UTEP Alumni Association. Urrabazo, a 1965 graduate of San Felipe High School in Del Rio, was recognized for outstanding achievements, dedication, integrity, and hard work at an awards ceremony Oct. 19 as part of the university’s football homecoming week activities. On his recent visit to UTEP he visited classrooms to speak to students and was recognized at halftime during the Oct. 20 UTEP

vs. Tulane game at the Sun Bowl. Past award honorees include former NASA astronaut Dr. John D. Olivas, retired U.S. Army Major General James P. Maloney, and former chairman and president of BP America, Inc. Robert A. Malone. “Ignacio Urrabazo is exemplary of the caliber of personnel we are proud to have at IBC,” International Bancshares Corporation Chairman Dennis Nixon said. “We are extremely proud that UTEP has recognized him with this well-deserved distinction and consider ourselves fortunate to have him as head of one of our institutions.” Urrabazo graduated with a BBA from UTEP in 1970. He has a masters of business administration from

Commerce Bank CEO Ignacio Urrabazo is pictured at UT El Paso with his sisters, Maria de la Paz, Azucena, and Cecilia just after ceremonies naming him a 2012 Distinguished Alumni.

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UT-San Antonio and a degree from SMU’s Southwestern Graduate School of Banking. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1970 to 1976. He was at the National Bank of Commerce in San Antonio from 1977 to 1983. In 1983 joined Commerce Bank, a subsidiary of International Bancshares Corporation in Laredo. He has used his regional banking success to become one of the leading authorities in the U.S. on minority and small business banking. During is tenure he has grown Commerce Bank into a $560 million enterprise. Urrabazo also serves as chair-elect of the Texas Bankers Association, is a member of the FDIC Advisory Committee on

Community Banking, and has been chairman of the National Bankers Association and Minbanc Foundation, which represent and support minority banks. Urrabazo, 65, has been involved in numerous Laredo civic organizations, among them the Laredo Chamber of Commerce, Laredo Development Foundation, Junior Achievement, United Way, Washington Birthday Celebration Association, and Rotary Club. He is the son of the late Igancio Urrabazo and Filomena Sanchez. His wife Yolanda, also from Del Rio, teaches at United High School. They are the parents of seven children, Tom, Jaime, Elizabeth, Yolanda, Veronica, Alejandra and Claudia. ◆

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News

Subpoena in defamation suit asks for production of flight plans, campaign contributions, council members’ personal financial statements; City’s keeper of records summoned to December 5 deposition By MARIA EUGENIA GUERRA LareDOS Publisher

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Maria Eugenia Guerra/LareDOS

egarding the defamation suit, Eduardo A. Garza and Uni-Trade Forwarding, L.C. vs. VIDA, José A. Valdez, and Dr. Hector Farias, attorneys for Dr. Farias and his watchdog organization Voices in Democratic Action (VIDA) have put the City of Laredo on notice that its keeper of records or agents are to appear for deposition Wednesday, December 5. Through his attorney Baldemar García Jr., Dr. Farias has asked the City to produce the following documents: • Flight plans and passenger lists

for the past five years any aircraft wholly or partially owned or leased by: (1) Eduardo Garza Robles, (2) UnitradeForwarding, L.C., (3) UniTrade Brokers, LC., (4) Uni-Trade Logistics, L.C., (5) Air Trade Laredo, L.C., (6) Garros Services, L.L.C., (7) Cold Cross Dock of Laredo, L.L.C., (8) RGG Holdings, L.L.C., (9) Garros Development, Inc., and (10) EAG-JR Management. • Flight plans and passenger lists for aircraft with Tail No. N414EG for the past five years. • Conflict of Interest questionnaires, affidavits, local government officer conflicts disclosure statements, candidate/officeholder cam-

Baldemar García Jr. and his client Dr. Hector Farias are pictured at a November 9 press conference at which García discussed Farias’ answer to a slander lawsuit filed against him by businessman Eduardo Garza. Farias’ answer maintains that the suit is about curtailing his First Amendment right to speak up and question the actions and expenditures of government. W W W.L A R ED OS N E WS.CO M

paign finance reports, and personal financial statements for the current Mayor and all members of the Laredo City Council. • Copies of mobile phone bills, credit card statements, receipts, and any reimbursements for those phone bills, credit card purchases, and receipts for the Current Mayor and all members of the Laredo City Council for the past 5 years. • All contracts the City of Laredo or any of its departments has with: (1) Eduardo Garza Robles, (2) Unitrade Forwarding, L.C., (3) UniTrade Brokers, LC., (4) Uni­Trade Logistics, L.C., (5) Air Trade Laredo, L.C., (6) Garros Services, L.L.C., (7) Cold Cross Dock of Laredo, L.L.C., (8) RGG Holdings, L.L.C., (9) Garros Development, Inc., and (10) EAG-JR Management. • All payments from the City of Laredo to: (1) Eduardo Garza Robles, (2) Unitrade Forwarding, L.C., (3) Uni-Trade Brokers, LC., (4) Uni-Trade Logistics, L.C., (5) Air Trade Laredo, L.C., (6) Garros Services, L.L.C., (7) Cold Cross Dock of Laredo, L.L.C., (8) RGG Holdings, L.L.C., (9) Garros Development, Inc., and (10) EAG-JR Management. • All correspondence, including e-mails and text messages, between the City of Laredo and: (1) Eduardo Garza Robles, (2) Unitrade Forwarding, L.C., (3) Uni-Trade Brokers, LC., (4) Uni-Trade Logistics, L.C., (5) Air Trade Laredo, L.C., (6) Garros Services, L.L.C., (7) Cold Cross Dock of Laredo, L.L.C., (8) RGG Holdings, L.L.C., (9) Garros Development, Inc., and (10) EAG-JR Management. The production of so vast an inquiry for documentation may shade in whether there is merit to the al-

legations of Dr. Farias and VIDA against Garza , allegations that have questioned the relationship and dealings between Garza and some City administrators and Council members. Garza’s suit against Dr. Farias and VIDA was filed October 11 in the 49th District Court. Garza alleges defamation, slander, damage to his reputation, and exposure to “public hatred, contempt, ridicule, and financial injury.” Garza’s suit decries Dr. Farias’ public comments at the City Hall podium, comments Dr. Farias and attorney García say are free speech protected by the First Amendment. The eloquent opening to Dr. Farias’ October 26 answer to Garza’s suit lays the groundwork for the defense, the First Amendment, with, “Because the instant litigation seeks to gag the voices of democracy with financial intimidation; because the right of freedom of speech is the warning siren that protects against the infringement of all other rights; because public discourse is the beacon that enlightens the political process; and because each citizen should be free to redress grievances involving public issues and public officials in public forums; Dr. Hector Farias – on behalf of all his fellow citizens files this Original Answer, Special Exceptions, Original Counterclaim, and Discovery.” At a November 9 press conference, attorney García said that Garza’s lawsuit and the discovery that will follow presents “a perfect opportunity to have questions answered.” He added that he was Continued on page 19

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Feature

Drum roll: meet percussionist Matt Adams By MARIELA RODRIGUEZ LareDOS Staff

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Mariela Rodriguez/LareDOS

atthew Adams, percussion instructor and the chair of the Laredo Community College Performing Arts Department, enjoys a career that allows him to inspire students with the passion he has for music. For as long as he can remember, Adams has been interested in music. “Some of my earliest childhood memories are of me sitting by my parents’ stereo, listening to and playing records,” he said. His parents signed him up for piano lessons at the age of 7. By 9, he had joined the elementary school band and followed a fascination with drumsets. “I would get excited whenever

I saw or heard a drumset, or any drum for that matter. It just seemed like so much fun to be able to sit behind a set of cymbals, drums, and pedals and manipulate all of those instruments,” Adams said. He added, “As a percussionist, I can play anything that is performed with mallets, sticks or hands. Over the course of many years of training and studying, I have tended to focus on marimba, drumset, and concert percussion.” Adams studied at West Chester University, earning a degree in music education. “Since I loved music, I decided I would major in music in college, and I figured that if for some reason it didn’t work out, I could always go back to school to major in something else,” he said, adding, “I chose education because I believed that I could

Matthew Adams instructing his drumline students.

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inspire and help students achieve their goals and dreams.” He completed a Masters of music in percussion performance at the University of North Texas. A position opening at LCC in the fall of 2005 brought Adams to Laredo from Howard Payne University in Brownwood. “When the position for percussion instructor at LCC was announced, it seemed pretty interesting so I applied. When I visited the campus, I was pretty impressed with what I saw happening in the performing arts program and the school as a whole,” he said. “My experience teaching has been and still is very rewarding and enjoyable. I have a real sense of mission at LCC, which is different from other places,” said Adams, adding, “I have also found that my fellow faculty are mostly open-minded and team-oriented, which is also important.” On the evolution of music appreciation in the community, Adams said, “I think that it may have evolved in the sense that there seems to be more of an appreciation for different kinds of musical genres.” Currently he is exploring music from South India – especially drumming. “Right now I am listening a lot to Trichy Sankaran – a master South Indian drummer. I am exploring South Indian music because their

whole approach towards rhythm really fascinates me. It is really advanced compared to a lot of Western music,” he said. It is his fascination with exploring all that music has to offer that keeps Adams current with different composers and genres, which he in turn teaches to his students. “I am constantly reading articles and books on music and its history I really don’t have the time to gig a whole lot anymore. My teaching career keeps me very busy, and as much as I love performing, I really don’t need to be playing all the time,” he said. In jazz, he enjoys Keith Jarrett and Bill Evans. “Jarrett is an amazing improviser who has an incredible sense of musicianship. His ideas are always fresh, unique, and spontaneous. Evans completely mastered the art of jazz bebop piano playing, and I consider his playing to be at a level that is close to perfection,” he said, adding, “In the classical world, John Adams might be my favorite composer at the moment. His music is very unique and modern.” Adams said, “I would like to see the music program at LCC continue to grow and prosper. I would like to see it grow to a level that completely exceeds many people’s expectations.” Of his own career goals, he said, “I would like to complete a doctorate, publish my ideas and have as many rewarding musical experiences as I can.” His unwavering love of music fuels Adams’ continued efforts at helping students develop their musical talents. His commitment to expanding the performing arts at LCC guarantees his students the ability to pursue their own passions in the arts. ◆ W W W.L A RED OS N E WS.CO M


Maria Eugenia Guerra/LareDOS

Nixon R.O.T.C. preps for parade

Courtesy Photo

Members of the award-winning J.W. Nixon High School R.O.T.C. prepped for the Veterans Day parade from St. Peter’s Plaza to San Agustín Plaza.

Fancy Nancy flights of fantasy Macy Adams enjoyed an afternoon out with other participants in the Fancy Nancy party at the Kids Bookstore. Tiaras and dressing up were the order of the day. W W W.L A R ED OS N E WS.CO M

 Continued FROM page 17 “proud to defend Dr. Farias” and his First Amendment right to question how the City of Laredo spends its money. García said the importance of Farias’ freedom of expression and the questions he is asking eclipse Garza’s defamation claim. He referenced Dr. Farias’ longstanding political activism, beginning with VIDA’s work to bring a minimum wage to Laredo, challenging the spending practices and property acquisitions of the Laredo Independent School District, Webb County’s management of the golf course, and the privatization debacle of the City’s water delivery utility. According to Dr. Farias’ October 26 answer, “VIDA’s mission to confront and reform governmental abuses is more noble and ambitious than the possible misdeeds of one parasitic businessman. Dr. Farias and VIDA’s policing of local governmental entities predates and will post-date Eduardo Garza’s present heyday.” He said a trial will allow the public to decide if Garza is an influence peddler. Asked about Garza’s subpoena of members of the local media for their notes and documents, García said he feels the media subpoenas bear a two-fold purpose. “It is an attempt to try to get information, and it is a veiled threat to the media. He is saying he was slandered by Dr. Farias and possibly libeled by the media,” he said. “The court will not change the American Constitution for Eduardo Garza. The intention of his lawsuit was to make us afraid and to silence us,” Dr. Farias said. “If he believes he has a basis for a suit because I called Charlie San Miguel ‘el santo de Unitrade,’ he got some bad advice and he doesn’t know the American system. There will be no buying of judges, no silencing of the public,” he continued. District Judge Joe López has recused himself from the case, and

it will be heard by visiting District Judge Fred Shannon, who will decide on Dr. Farias’ motion to dismiss the lawsuit. Longtime community activist Richard Geissler, a member of VIDA since its organization in 1967, said, “VIDA was dormant for many years, but it came back to life about six years ago when we petitioned City government to get an ethics ordinance in place. It went from there to the more recent push to revive the ethics ordinance six years after the voters decided overwhelmingly that it was needed. VIDA’s interest was not Eduardo Garza. It was to look at the ethics of how the City spent money and who it awarded contracts to, as in the $1.7 million construction of the cold storage facilities and who was awarded the management contract. After we showed up at City Council last summer about getting the ordinance passed, the outpouring of calls were non-stop. ‘Look at this, look at that, check this out.’ It was Council member Charlie San Miguel’s relationship to Eduardo Garza and Mr. Garza’s business relationships with the City that brought Mr. Garza to our attention. Eduardo Garza crossed our path. We did not seek him out.” Attorney Ricardo de Anda, who represents VIDA, reiterated Geissler’s position. “VIDA has a right to question the appearance of a conflict of interest between Council member Charlie San Miguel and his sister’s ownership interest in GARROS, which was awarded the 10-year management contract for the two City-built refrigerated inspection warehouses. The organization has a right to question campaign contributions and whether or not Council member San Miguel, who has worked at construction projects for Eduardo Garza, should have appointed Mr. Garza’s attorney Adolfo Campero to the City’s Ethics Commission. These are legitimate questions by a citizen’s watchdog group,” he said. ◆

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Commentary

The Decade of the Hispanics? Hispanic political influence in 2012 and the future. By JAMES A. NORRIS and LOLA O. NORRIS LareDOS Contributors

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n the 1980s, political pundits announced the “Decade of the Hispanics,” expecting a political awakening of Hispanics as an end product of the 1960s and 1970s civil rights movements. Political scientists have waited and waited for the much-anticipated effect of Hispanics on American electoral results. We waited for over 30 years, seemingly in vain. The time for Hispanic political power exercised to win or lose elections did not come in the 1980s, it did not appear in the 1990s, nor was it evident in the 2000s. However, in light of the results of the 2012 presidential race, the time is now, and for Hispanics in the state of Texas, the very near future. The Hispanic population of the United States and of Texas has exploded during these same three decades. According to the U.S. Census, in 1980 there were 14.6 million Hispanics in the United States – only about 6.4 percent of the population, and in Texas there were 3 million Hispanics of 14.2 million Texans – about 21.1 percent of the state population. But by 2000 the Hispanic population of the U.S. had grown to 35.3 million, about 12.5 percent of the population, and in Texas 5.1 million or 32 percent of the state. Ten years later the Hispanic population of the U.S. grew another 43 percent to just under 50.5 million or 16.3 percent of the whole population. Texas’ Hispanic population grew by almost 42 percent to about 9.5 million or 37.6 percent of the state’s total population of 25.1 million. Moreover, the

Texas State Data Center predicts that in about 2023 Texas Hispanics will outnumber Texas “Anglos,” and that in about the year 2026 Texas Hispanics will become the state’s majority ethnic group. Hence, on the basis of pure demographics Hispanics have been progressing into a politically potent force both in the nation and in Texas. This demographic shift does not yet mean that Hispanics have the numbers to dictate election results, and this will not come until a number of years after Hispanics become Texas’ majority population. However, the 2012 presidential election shows that, just as the March 5, 2012 Time Magazine cover-page article suggested, Hispanic voters did, indeed, swing the results of the election to President Barack Obama and away from the challenger Mitt Romney. An overwhelming proportion of Hispanics – about 71 percent (one exit poll said 75 percent), up from 68 percent in 2008 – voted for Obama, and only about 24 to 25 percent voted for the Romney ticket. In Texas, even though this is the state with the second largest Hispanic population, this did not affect the state result. But, what a different story played out in many of the “battleground” states, especially Colorado, Florida, and Nevada. Even though the Hispanic populations of these states do not approach that of Texas (or New Mexico or California), the proportion of Hispanic voters was large enough to affect the marginal results, and, hence, push their “winner-take-all” Electoral College votes into the Democratic Party’s column. Colorado Hispanics comprised 12.4 percent of the voters in 2012, and they voted overwhelmingly, 87

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percent, for President Obama. The margin between President Obama (51 %) and Governor Romney (46%) in Colorado was five percentage points. Hispanic Coloradoans contributed 9.5 percentage points to the Obama vote. Hispanic Floridians were 17.4 percent of the electorate, and President Obama won 58 percent of the Hispanic vote in Florida. This was despite the traditionally overwhelming Republican Cubano/a vote. Sixty-four percent of Cuban heritage Floridians voted Republican in the 2012 presidential race. The margin in Florida was the closest of all the states, 0.9 percent. Hispanic Floridians contributed a 3.1 percent of all Florida votes to President Obama. Hispanics in Nevada overwhelmingly chose President Obama; 80 percent voted for him. The margin between the President and Governor Romney was 6.6 percent, and Nevadan Hispanics contributed 9.3 percent of the President Obama vote. What was President Obama’s appeal to Hispanic voters? What were the issues that galvanized Hispanic support for the President? The largest concern for American voters in most presidential races for perhaps as many as four decades has had very little to do with the “issues.” This doesn’t mean issues don’t matter, but it is candidate image, or voters’ perceptions of each candidate’s personality and personal characteristics, that seem to make a bigger impact on vote choice. On this factor there was a big difference between candidate Obama and candidate Romney in the 2012 race. According to the ImpreMedia/Latino Decisions 2012 Latino Election Eve Poll (see their web site at http://www.latino-

vote2012.com) Hispanic voters overwhelmingly perceived President Obama as “truly caring about Latinos (66 percent),” but that Governor Romney did not care about Latinos (56 percent). Eighteen percent indicated that Governor Romney was hostile towards Hispanics. On the actual campaign issues Hispanics, like almost everyone else, indicated that the most important issue in the election was the national economy (53 percent). But other issues played a role in Hispanic voters’ evaluations of the candidates. One issue rarely mentioned as too hot to handle in the race was immigration policy. Hispanics proved to be much more enthusiastic with President Obama’s policy on immigration than Governor Romney’s. Fiftyeight percent said that President Obama’s “deferred action policy” made them more enthusiastic about Barack Obama, and 57 percent said that Governor Mitt Romney’s position on immigration made them less enthusiastic about his candidacy. In the above mentioned survey of 5,600 registered Hispanic voters, 60 percent said that they personally know someone who is classified as an undocumented immigrant. Hence, rather than hostility towards undocumented immigrants, a majority of Hispanics express compassion and empathy. And this is the attitude they hope to see reflected in U.S. immigration policy. Other issues where Hispanic voters agreed with President Obama were on how to deal with the deficit and healthcare policy. Only 12 percent thought the best way to deal with the deficit Continued on page 32

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News

Laredo Philharmonic celebrates season with December 2 concert

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he Laredo Philharmonic has much to celebrate this season, including its 10year partnership with TAMIU and LCC and its tenth season under the baton of Maestro Brendan Townsend. With this in mind, the orchestra set its season as a series of celebrations, including celebrating partnership, the holiday season, diversity, youth and accomplishment. The second concert in this series of celebrations will be held in the recital hall of the Center for the Fine and Performing Arts at TAMIU on December 2 at 3:00 p.m. The program features a breadth of music from different eras and genres that have come to make the holiday season the musical highlight of the year for many. Whether it be the “Hallelujah Chorus” from Handel’s Messiah, the waltz from the Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker, or the simplicity of the carol “Silent Night,” this music evokes memories of fond traditions. “So many people have a different opinion of the greatest Christmas tune ever, but somewhere in this mix, I hope that we can please as many people as possible,” Townsend said. Included on the program are the “Christmas Concerto Grooso” by Corelli, the Italian baroque composer who evolved the Concerto Grosso

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style of writing for ensemble. This will be followed by arrangements of holiday carols known and loved by many. Newly appointed collaborative pianist and organist Dr. Laryssa Davis of TAMIU will join with members of the brass section of the Laredo Phil to present some additional carol arrangements. The first half will close with music from the Nutcracker Ballet. The second half of the concert will feature music written or arranged by Steven Amundson, the orchestra director of St. Olaf College, who has created a legendary Christmas Spectacle concert that is a feature of the holiday season now in Minneapolis, MN. Included in that collection of works by Amundson will be “Joyous Noel,” in which the Laredo Philharmonic will be joined by the Memorial Bells Choir from First United Methodist Church under the direction of Linda Mott. The perennial favorites “Sleigh Ride” and the “Hallelujah Chorus” will bring this season celebration to its conclusion. The cost of tickets is $20 for adults and $15 for seniors. For more information visit www.laredophil. com.

– LareDOS Staff

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Mariela Rodriguez/LareDOS

It’s official: La Mafia to headline Jamboozie

Servicemen recognized

Bob Weathers, WBCA president; Victor García, festival chairperson; Jack Cruthirds of UETA; Sandra Rocha Taylor, Laredo Main Street Executive Director; and Tito García, LMS board president were on hand to unveil the UETA Jaboozie poster and to announce that La Mafia will headline the upcoming festivity.

Mariela Rodriguez/LareDOS

Reynaldo and Catalina Reyna are pictured at the November 8 ceremony honoring Laredo veterans at the Boys and Girls Club on Moctezuma. A veteran of the Korean conflict, Reynaldo Reyna was recognized for service by the Kids Café and the South Texas Food Bank.

Author meet and greet David Oliphant author of KD: A Jazz Biography is pictured at a book signing event on November 8 at the Laredo Public Library.

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Volunteers who helped re-package food at the South Texas Food Bank included Ridley Goodpasture, Heather  Winter, Alma Garza, Alfredo Vidaurri, Jessica Alcorta, Lizbeth Alcorta, Rosa Chandarlis, Melissa Guerra, Jorge Rodriguez, Kimberly Sanchez, Ashlie Sanchez, Javier Sanchez, and Sherri Sanchez.

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Mariela Rodriguez/LareDOS

Courtesy Photo

A hand up at STFB

At the PMDG media breafast Members of the Laredo media mixed and mingled at the recent PMDG media breakfast. Pictured left to right are Andrea Aguirre, Marisa Limon, and Lorena Ibarra.

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Commentary

It’s now or never

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By JOSé ANTONIO LóPEZ LareDOS Contributor

n the words of Elvis Presley, “It’s now or never” for the Republican Party. The party can either continue on its path of self-destruction or return to its roots as the party of Abraham Lincoln. Voting trends confirm that over 70 percent of Hispanic citizens voted for President Obama. The message is clear. Even after facing a recordsetting dollar amount in negative advertising, Hispanics soundly rejected the Republican brand. The question is why the shock and awe over the election results? Tea Party-led Republicans can’t have it both ways. On the one hand they can’t continue their relentless campaign of bigotry against Hispanics, while at the same time expect those same citizens to vote for them. To prove the level of bigotry, retired Col. Larry Wilkerson, Gen. Colin Powell’s Chief-of-Staff, and a lifelong Republican said of the Republican Party, “My party is full of racists. Their hatred toward President Obama has nothing to do with his abilities as commander-in-chief and President. They hate him only because of the color of his skin.” Even Speaker John Boehner believes his party is on the wrong track. The Speaker commented, “Well I think what Republicans need to learn is – how do we speak to all Americans? You know, not just to people who look like us and act like us, but how do we speak to all Americans?” Those are good questions and are at the root of the problem. While I can’t speak for other minorities who also rejected the scary Republican agenda, as a citizen of Spanish Mexican-descent, I can help Speaker

Boehner answer his questions. I offer the following suggestions. Learn to accept the re-browning of America. It’s going to happen. Deny it at your own peril. Don’t whitewash Hispanics. We are not Anglos. Those of us of Spanish Mexican-descent citizens are a blend of both white and brown (Native American) bloodlines. We like it that way. Kick the Tea Party out of your party. While you’re at it, throw the Southern Strategy rascals out. They are the ones who from the 1960s have led your party away from the freedom ideals of Abraham Lincoln. The Southern Strategy politicians now rule the Republican Party. They are the same type of southern racists that left the Democratic Party as a result of LBJ’s 1964 Civil Rights Act. Quite simply, they don’t realize the Civil War is over. Republicans, stop your persecution of Mexican-descent citizens in the Southwest. Close your anti-diversity legislation laboratory in Arizona. Reinstate Mexican American Studies programs. Republicans, stop your English Only oppression. You can’t pretend to want to attract Hispanics and then prevent them from speaking the language of their Spanish Mexican pioneer ancestors. Most of all, realize that there’s no such thing as a onesize-fits-all Hispanic. That‘s why Florida Senator Rubio was useless to the Republicans in attracting Hispanics. He does not speak for Mexican-descent Hispanics of the Southwest; the largest group (30 millionplus). The same goes for your other token Hispanic surrogates. Austin Republicans, stop neglecting South Texas, especially, the Río Grande Valley. This region of loyal, extremely patriotic citizens has been

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punished enough since 1848. There’s a deliberate absence of permanent economic development. Fix it! Build the full-service Río Grande Valley Veterans Hospital now. Stop the Berlin Wall-type fence on our southern border. Offer to mutually resolve the border violence created by the insatiable drug use on the U.S. side. Republicans, if you dig your heels in, you’re going to sink. Soften your hearts. Mexican-descent U.S. citizens only want an opportunity to seek the American Dream. Long ostracized in poverty-ridden barrios, many still need temporary social network lifelines, such as bi-lingual education in the lower grades, college tuition loans, and career training programs. They seek education opportunities, jobs, fair wages, affordable health insurance, and safe/secure housing. Their needs are the same as nonHispanic white citizens. Just because they ask for a helping hand doesn’t make them “takers.” Republicans, stop equating U.S. Hispanics with illegal immigrants. Many have been here longer than you and your ancestors. Learn about pre-1836 Texas and Southwest his-

tory. Read about the concept behind the Nuevo México settlements. Learn of the Villas del Norte whose families were split in half in 1848. Only then will you learn why the Spanish Mexican threads are woven so deeply into the tapestry of the borderlands on both sides of the Río Grande. In summary, the picture that emerges is not kind to Republicans. Their party is at an intersection. It can either embrace the re-browning of America as a natural process or continue to follow the anti-diversity agenda of the Tea Party. By voting for President Obama, Hispanics are united in supporting a leader who will protect their hard-won civil rights. Clearly, they are no longer one large mass of uneducated laborers. They are not intimidated by voter suppression. Their voices will continue to be heard during our elections process from this day forward. By the way, for those Tea Partyers who find it hard to accept that fact and vowed to move to Canada if President Barack Hussein Obama was re-elected, there’s some bad news. Canada doesn’t want you! ◆

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News

Celebrity Chefs Aquiles Chávez and Aaron Sánchez sample El Catan’s savory offerings Chávez and tor is located at the epicenter of Sánchez stopped city, county, and federal business, by El Catan on the restaurant enjoys as its clienhefs Aquiles Chávez of October 4, Sántele elected and appointed officials, “El Toque de Aquiles” and chez enjoying judges, and other important figures, Aaron Sánchez, known el plato de catan not to mention the good people who for various Food Network while Chávez had staff downtown offices and own programs such as “Chopped,” are los tacos de catan. businesses. The location also gives currently traveling across the coun“I only had one me the opportunity to expand my try filming segments for Fox Teleco- day to clean up clientele on both sides of the borlombia Latino America’s upcoming and prep for their der,” he said. international food show that will air visit,” Rocha said, El Catan is housed in the hison Utilisima network from Mexico to adding, “Both toric Hamilton Hotel at the corner Argentina. chefs walked in, of Houston and Salinas, a corner En route to Monterrey, the ce- introduced themthat offers diners street views and lebrity chefs stopped in at Rocha’s selves, and sat natural light through the strucChef Aaron Sanchez with Rey Rocha El Catan downtown and sampled down. They said ture’s antique windows. The beautisome of Reynaldo Rocha’s signature they had heard fully appointed restaurant, with its fish dishes. great things about the restaurant La Fisheria in Houston where he, high ceilings and French doors that Rocha was contacted by the and were interested in knowing my too, serves catan. He asked Rocha open to the lobby of the residential show’s producer, Claudia Valencia, secret in prepping the catan that for pointers on preparing his signa- hotel, present a unique charm and who inquired if he’d be interested comes from the Louisiana and Flor- ture dish - all of which Rocha was ambiance. The excellent service for in a filmed presentation on how he ida area.” happy to share, except for the secret which the establishment is noted prepares his dishes. Chávez has recently opened up to his special sauce. has made it a great dining favorite Rocha characterized the visit for Laredoans for breakfast, lunch, with Chávez and Sánchez as “in- and dinner. ◆ tense, cordial, and fun.” El Catan’s cole slaw, an innovative take on a classic side dish, consists of two kinds of cabbage, tomatoes, carrots, cilantro, and a special seasoning with a pinch of lemon. Unlike other slaws, Rocha’s does not contain mayonnaise, and it is used in the tacos and topped off with his signature sauce. “I chose El Catan as the restaurant’s location because I wanted to be different and have something that no one else had,” Rocha said. “Given Annette Solis, Aaron Sanchez, Patricia Alaniz Chefs Aquiles Chavez and Aaron Sanchez with Rey and Araceli Rocha. that the downtown secBy MARIELA RODRIGUEZ LareDOS Staff

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Visitors drawn to Day of the Dead exhibit Phyllis Helms of Uvalde caught the Dia de los Muertos exhibit and reception at Gallery 201.

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News

E.H. Corrigan recognized By: MARIELA RODRIGUEZ LareDOS Staff

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aredo businessman and arts philanthropist E.H. Corrigan was recognized in a celebration of thanks for his support of the arts at Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) on Saturday, November 3 at the Center for the Fine and Performing Arts Recital Hall (CFPA). Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem in D-Minor was performed by guest organist David Eaton on the Sharkey Corrigan Organ, the Laredo Philharmonic Brass Ensemble and Chorale, and the TAMIU Chamber Singers. A special blessing of the organ, which was funded by the Corrigan Foundation in 2006, was conducted by Father Michael Scheerger of the

Congregation of the Brothers of St. John and Father Paul Frey of Christ Church Episcopal. Of his gift to the University, Corrigan said, “This gift is a statement of an affection for a community that has been good to the Sharkey-Corrigan families and brought business successes for many years.” ◆

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E.H. Corrigan with soloists Dana and Joe Crabtree

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Courtesy Photo

Maria Eugenia Guerra/LareDOS

Webb SWCD #337 annual ranch tour Young patriots prepare for parade Members of the Sanchez Ochoa Elementary School drill team prepared for their march in the Veterans Day Parade. They are pictured in front of St. Peter’s Plaza for the event that culminated with ceremonies at San Agustín Plaza.

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Blas Saenz of the Zapata County Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS); Jason Hohlt of the Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative; José Martinez of Zapata County NRCS; Belinda Chapa of the Zapata Soil and Water Conservation District; and district conservationist Flavio Garza Jr. of the Webb County NRCS are pictured at the SWCD ranch tour at 7-B El Bajo Ranch in Oilton.

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 Continued FROM page 20 was to cut government spending, 35 percent preferred raising taxes on the wealthy, while a plurality of 42 percent preferred a balanced approach combining some spending cuts with some higher taxes. On health care 66 percent said the government should ensure that everyone has access to health insurance, and 61 percent wanted to keep “Obama-care” in place. In the Texas survey of the same poll, 64 percent agreed that President Obama cares about Latinos, and 56 percent indicated that Governor Romney does not. An additional 15 percent perceived Mitt Romney as hostile towards Hispanics. Similar to the national poll, 57 percent of Texas Hispanics agreed that the most important election issue was the economy. In Texas, as opposed to many other states, this is probably a more positive issue for the Obama campaign since the Texas state economy has mostly recovered from the

“great recession.” Texas unemployment (September 2012 data, for more details see http://www.thetexaseconomy.org) stands at 6.8 percent as opposed to national unemployment of 7.9 percent, and Texas’ GDP grew by 2.4 percent compared to the nation’s 1.6 percent in 2011. Texas Hispanics also agree that President Obama’s “deferred action policy” made them more enthusiastic about Barack Obama (58 percent), and 55 percent said that Governor Mit Romney’s position on immigration made them less enthusiastic about his candidacy. Texas Hispanic voters agreed with President Obama on how to deal with the deficit and healthcare policy. Only 15 percent of Texas Hispanics thought the best way to deal with the deficit was to cut government spending, 22 percent preferred raising taxes on the wealthy, while a plurality of 50 percent preferred a balanced approach combining some spending cuts with some higher

taxes. On healthcare 60 percent of Texas Hispanics said the government should make sure that everyone has access to health insurance, and 58 percent wanted to keep “Obamacare.” Even though Texas Hispanics are poised to become the state’s ethnic majority in or about 2026, we may or may not see Hispanics “taking over” state-level politics for perhaps as long as ten to 15 years later. Why is this? Very quickly we can think of four reasons for this. There are some others, but these are the big four. The first reason is the youthfulness of the Texas Hispanic population in comparison to the state’s Anglo population. Not only are a large proportion of Texas’ Hispanic population children too young to vote, but as it turns out the eligible young usually vote less reliably than older citizens. The older you are the more likely and more reliably you vote. Texas’ Hispanics also lag a bit in what political scientists call “political resources.” which include wealth, income, social status, education, and free time. Overall Texas Hispanics are less well-off, have lower incomes, lower education attainment, and for a number of reasons—such as larger families or needing to work longer hours or even more than one job-probably have less free time than Texas Anglos. Political science has shown that the more political resources, the higher the levels of voting and other types of political participation. A third reason is redistricting. Legislative districts in Texas are redrawn every ten years following the U.S. Census in order to keep them approximately equal in population. The political party that controls the state legislature generally takes

charge of this process, and naturally they attempt to shape the legislative districts in ways to favor their own party. This means that until Texas Democrats regain control of both houses of the state legislature, legislative districts are largely crafted by Texas Republicans. Of course, they will draw the districts purposely to favor their own party. A fourth reason is citizenship. In Texas, as in most states, U.S. citizenship is required to be eligible to vote. Naturally, a certain percentage of Texas Hispanics are not yet U.S. citizens, and thus ineligible to vote. As Julian Castro, the mayor of San Antonio and the first Hispanic to deliver a keynote address at the Democratic National Convention, asserted earlier in November, Texas seems poised to become a “purple” state. Texas’s Hispanic voters at one time (1996 – 2004) seemed ready to accept Texas as a Republican stronghold embracing the candidacy of George W. Bush, but since then Texas Republicans have not been able to convince Texas Hispanics to support them. Too much of Republican campaign rhetoric has been strident, pejorative, and intolerant. This harsh language has alienated enough Texas Hispanics that some 65 to 70 percent reliably vote Democratic, even though President Bush once garnered over 40 percent support among Texas Hispanics. As long as Texas Hispanics overwhelmingly reject what sounds like neoconservative self-righteous rhetoric, Texas is moving slowly and surely towards the Democratic Party. The days of Republican dominance of state politics are numbered. Additionally, more and more of the country is beginning to look a lot like Texas, less and less Anglo and more and more diverse. ◆

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Maria Eugenia Guerra/LareDOS

Deliveries to the elderly Alfonso Sandoval of the South Texas Food Bank is pictured making deliveries to residents of the Hamilton Hotel retirement home on Salinas Avenue. The STFB provides food for 7,000 elderly clients who qualify for the USDA Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP). Another 1,000 elderly are on the CSFP waiting list.

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Mariela Rodriguez/LareDOS

Mariela Rodriguez/LareDOS

Good food, good company

At the 201 wine tasting Annita Cavazos and Guillermo García, wine steward for the evening, are photographed on Thursday, November 8 at Gallery 201’s wine tasting sponsored by H.E.B.

Alma Perez, Alejanadro Perez, Alma Lopez, and Tita Vela brought their appetites to 49th District Court Judge Joe Lopez’s annual tamalada at the Webb County Justice Center.

www.laredosnews.com Low stress livestock management

Courtesy Photo

Dr. Ron Gill of Gill Cattle Co. Management Services, demonstrated low stress livestock management concepts to local ranchers to area ranchers who attended the recent Webb SWCD #337 Annual Ranch Tour at 7-B El Bajo Ranch in Oilton.

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WWII Marine Vidaurri recognized for service World War II Purple Heart recipient Roberto J. Vidaurri is pictured with Congressman Henry Cuellar at recent ceremonies honoring all veterans. The event was sponsored by the South Texas Regional Food Bank and the Boys and Girls Club Kids CafĂŠ. They are pictured in the Pepe TreviĂąo Gymnaisum at the Moctezuma location of the club. Vidaurri served at Iwo Jima.

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Alison Hinojosa as Judy Bernly, Michael Coronado as an office staffer and a nurse, and Margo Paz as Margaret, the rehabilitated lush, brought 9 to 5, the musical, to life at a matinee performance at the Guadalupe and Lilia Martinez Fine Arts Center Theater on the LCC Fort McIntosh campus. The production was presented as part of the LCC Opera Workshop.

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Maria Eugenia Guerra/LareDOS

Maria Eugenia Guerra/LareDOS

Workplace oppression finds a happy resolution

USBP Bike Patrol gives a hand Members of the USBP bike patrol were on hand as the Veterans Parade assembled in St. Peter’s Plaza on Sunday, November 11.

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Feature

My 36th nation: China By SALOMON ABREGO LareDOS Contributor

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hina is the 36th country that I have toured. When I visit a country, I tour it. In other words, I don’t go to Honolulu and say that I went to Hawaii — I have to travel the four biggest islands. I don’t go to London and say I went to England. It seems that all my life I wanted to see what China looked like. When the trip became possible, I made arrangements with Viking River Cruises to tour this mystical old country. My trip began May 1 in San Antonio with a 6:30 a.m. flight with my daughter Melita. We landed in Chicago at 10:30 the same morning. We were to have boarded a United Airlines flight direct to Shanghai, but there was a three-hour delay. When we finally boarded at 1 p.m. with 643 other passengers, we anticipated our 14.5 hour flight from O’Hare to Pudong Airport in Shanghai. After 30 minutes of idling, the chief steward

announced that the flight was cancelled until the next day due to a computer showing an electrical problem. There were some disgruntled protests and one of the pilots calmed everyone by saying that it was better to be safe than to ditch the airplane in the mid-Pacific. Most of the passengers were taken to hotels, but my daughter and I, and a handful of others were determined to travel on to Shanghai. Our insistence paid off, and we were advised to go to an American Airlines customer relations office to try to get on board their 6 p.m. flight. Luckily there were two seats. Upon landing, we proceeded through customs and a Viking representative wearing a red vest was waiting for us. We had missed the tour through the old Shanghai section that retains the narrow lanes, sights, and sounds of ancient times. We also missed a tour of the Bund, the city’s elegant riverside promenade; the Shanghai museum; and a visit to a silk factory which is said to

Melita and Salomon Abrego

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be amazing. We did, however, make it to the performance of wonderfully talented acrobats. From Pudong Airport we flew to Wuhan where we enjoyed a musical performance of a noted collection of chime and bell artifacts dating to the warring states period. Afterwards we embarked on the Yangtze Emerald riverboat, and some colorful dragons welcomed us. For five days we cruised the third largest river in the world – nearly 4,000 miles long. Breakfast, lunch, and supper were sumptuous and generous. Two hundred and fifty-four passengers were seated at large, round tables in a dining area surrounded with ceiling to floor glass. The Chinese invented tea, printing, characters to express language, fireworks that developed into gunpowder, and paper currency. Marco Polo took tea to India, and the British took it to England and her colonies. On the Yangtze River cruise, I saw that the British passengers were always having tea in the afternoon sessions, and the Americans were drinking coffee. The British are the largest consumer of tea in the world today. On the afternoon cruise we had a tea ceremony in which we learned where tea grows best, the variations of tea, the different processes – three – of making tea. The tea master even told us the different ways to serve tea. The Viking Emerald measures 361 feet in length, which is a little over a block long. It took two years to build. It is a brand new ship with a crew of 138. It has five decks and 128 staterooms for its 258 guests. All the staterooms have a private veranda – balcony with two chairs. I could only afford the least costly, but I had a double bed and bathroom with a shower. So far, not bad for a poor guy who was once a cotton picker. All the rooms had sliding glass doors, premium bath products, bathrobes, and slippers.

All had flat panel TVs that broadcast CNN, a telephone, a safe, a hair dryer, and privately controlled thermostats. The two elevators were glass enclosed. The amenities included a nice bar, boutique, a tailor shop that could make a suit or dress in 24 hours, a library, and an Internet café. There was a doctor on board and a hairdresser, and laundry service was very inexpensive. In the afternoons at the lounge you were given conversational Chinese lessons. They even gave you siren signals – the language of the ships on the Yangtze so you would recognize an S-O-S. We learned that 400 million people live in the Yangtze basin – a third of China’s population. I’ve read on the Internet that since 1954 China’s population has more than doubled. The Yangtze River caused so much destruction that the government became desperate to tame this dragon with the construction of the Three Gorges Dam. They relocated over a million people to build the biggest dam in the world. It is China’s largest construction project since the Great Wall. Never before has a dam of such magnitude ever been attempted in the world. It was started in 1993 and finished fully operational in 2009. The electric energy it provides is equivalent to 50 million tons of coal per year. So now it is assumed that the United States consumes more coal than China, which is bad for the environment. According to our tour guide it took 17 years to build and $30 million dollars, not Yuans nor Hong Kong dollars – American dollars. The Three Gorges Dam submerged 13 cities, 140 towns, 650 factories, 1,600 businesses, 4,500 villages the size of Old Guerrero. He also read to us about the 1,300 archealogical sites that were submerged, including the homeland of an Continued on page 39

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 Continued FROM page 38 ancient tribal group who settled in the region more than 3,000 years ago. On the Viking Emerald there were professional masseuses on board. Every morning at 7 a.m. we had a master Tai Chi instructor teach us exercise before the most generous breakfast I have ever seen. Everyday there were shore excursions, daily briefings, bingo nights, floor shows, and live music. The cliffs and green-clad peaks have a characteristic not seen anywhere else in the world. On Monday, May 7 we disembarked to climb the Shibaozhai Pagoda Temple, which is 12 stories high and a thousand steps to its peak. I could not make the last story, but by then everyone knew I was 90, and I became a legend of sorts. Several men would come to my dinner table to see what I ate to figure if they would be able to do what I am able to do when they got to be my age. Another amazing city we visited was Chongqing, which during WWII became the capital of China for Nationalist Party Leader General Chiang Kai-Shek to escape the marauding and

vicious Japanese. It is the world’s largest metropolis. Fifty years ago it was New York City, 30 years ago it was Tokyo, 20 years ago it was Mexico City – but today it is ChongQuing with 31 million residents and growing by half a million every year. We used inter-China flights to travel to Wuhan, Xian, Bejing, and Hong Kong. Remember that China has not only has the biggest dam, the tallest tower, the most population, the largest metropolis, the longest wall (4,000 miles), and the third largest river in the world. It is the third largest country in area in the world. In Xian we visited the Terracotta Army, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We walked on the best preserved sections or the fabled Great Wall of China which stretches the entire border of Manchuria. This engineering marvel is also a UNESCO site. It once was 6,200 miles long and covered Outer Mongolia and part of the Gobi Desert. In Bejing we crossed Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City with its 100-acre public square that is the

front door to the Forbidden City, also a UNESCO site. It has been calculated that 100 acres can hold a million people. The Forbidden City was completed in 1420 and consists of many buildings and 9,999 rooms. It was the imperial palace for the Ming and Quing dynasty, which forbade entry by outsiders for five centuries. Before we flew to Guilin, we also visited the imperial summer resort, which was used as a playground for the imperial family and the royal court. It is the most picturesque city in China, situated on the banks of the Li River, a tributary of the Yellow River, the second largest in China. We flew to Hong Kong, which was a British colony until about 15 years ago and all the skeptics thought that since the British were not going to be there anymore that Hong Kong would go to the dogs. They were proved wrong. The city seems to be thriving, including its sinful professions. According to a recent National Geographic report, prostitution is legal and one can make over $100,000 a year after expenses. The Chinese government has under-

taken many infrastructure projects. We stayed at the newest hotel, the Shangri La, a six-star hotel. There was a songstress that sang beautiful American songs and when I approached her to take her photo, she made a curtsy and sang a Spanish song that was made popular by Vikki Carr, and of course I presumed it was for me, and I became infatuated. We spent four days in Hong Kong, and the last day I felt sick and weak. I felt worse on the 17-hour flight back to San Antonio. Melita felt fine until she arrived the next day in Austin. She had come down with the Hong Kong Flu. We both got well. Two days after this trip and back in Laredo, I thought to myself – this was my last hoorrah. A week later a neighborhood group asked to plan my next trip and all committed to accompany me, and we are going – that is if I do not meet with “calaca” first. Our plan is to traverse western and eastern Europe from Amsterdam to Belgrade, from the English Channel to the Black Sea. I hope to make it. ◆

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Feature

Misconceptions of the paranormal kind

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he Laredo Paranormal Research Society (LPRS) is a quiet, yet vital presence in our community with their continued research of unexplainable phenomena. Although the group has conducted paranormal research for about 18 years, it was officially established in 2001 when LPRS obtained a nonprofit status. Ismael Cuellar, director of the LPRS, said, “The group began with people who loved to investigate in professions such as law enforcement. We took on the challenge of investigating the unexplained as a hobby, because during a tactical training at an undisclosed facility we captured something on film that could simply not be explained.” LPRS has 21 members, including field researchers, a videographer, audio specialists, photographers, social media specialists, and a few demonologists. These individuals have an extensive background and are knowledgeable in various fields related to science and spirits. Half of the group believes in spirits, while the other relies on science to explain the unexplainable. Cuellar said, “I serve as the mediator. I believe that the more value that is placed on evidence or findings, the more discussion there is about them and the more analyzing of all possibilities occurs.” He added, “Curiosity was a major factor in becoming involved in the paranormal, but as a personal investigation it is not something intended for promotion.” LPRS has conducted 108 cases of paranormal research in Laredo and three out of state. Cuellar said that 30 out of 108 cases could be considered to have some form of paranormal activ-

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ity. “Paranormal does not mean ghost, spirit, or entities. Paranormal means unexplained,” he emphasized. One such case proved to be essential in providing an elderly woman with some comfort and relief. He said, “She had contacted us about a knocking sound coming from her roof. Turns out when we investigated that there was a pecan tree that in the wind would release the pecans over her roof and cause the sound. She still calls us up to thank us for providing her some peace of mind.” LPRS has a strict policy to respect and protect the privacy of the client. “We’re not too fond of opening up too much to the media about our findings for that reason,” he added. Cuellar said a common misconception is that ghost hunting and paranormal research is the same thing. “A ghost hunter has already determined that ghosts do exist, although no concrete evidence exists to back this claim. A paranormal researcher simply researches the unexplained,” he said. With $40,000 invested in stateof-the-art night vision and thermal vision equipment, LPRS uses audio recorders, electromagnetic field detectors, thermal and radiation detectors, and light sensors which provide them with clues as to the occurrence of paranormal activity. Some researchers believe that angering spirits will lead them to do something to make themselves visible on film. LPRS does not follow that school of thought. LPRS uses outside professionals to analyze video and images taken during investigations. “When you pick something up with a digital camera – an anomaly – sometimes the explanation for this is a damaged camera or very low battery sensor. We have methods of testing our cameras to ensure validity. We take two pictures

from the same angle so if anything were to appear in a photograph, we eliminate skepticism based on angle reflection,” said Cuellar. Cuellar discussed the reliability of LPRS findings. “Don’t take my word for it. Participate and see for yourself. The LPRS has done numerous investigations in which the public was invited to participate,” he added “Everything can be manipulated, so the best evidence would be the participation of the individual in field research. Field research with a partner adds credit to the investigation.” LPRS also studies astronomy and investigates the night skies for unidentified flying objects. “UFOs, not little green men. More often than not people associate the term with aliens. I prefer the term mystery lights or mystery anomalies that fly in the night sky,” Cuellar said, adding, “We do not believe in aliens, but do believe there is a mystery that must be investigated.” On November 10, the LPRS and the

Webb County Heritage Foundation hosted the second annual UFO conference at Texas A&M International University. “One of the things that inspired this was that once when we were star gazing we captured a UFO in the night sky. Three possible explanations are that it was a natural phenomena, it could have been engineered by man (such as a drone), or maybe it was something extraterrestrial. Our findings fascinated a lot of experienced field researchers at the conference we attended in Roswell,” said Cuellar “We love to educate the public. We don’t hide anything. We’re a nonprofit because our return in investment is the research itself,” said Cuellar, adding “We don’t care about the skeptics. We care about the people that have been through something and need help resolving their possible paranormal activity.” Cuellar can be reached at via email at laredoparanormal@hotmail.com ◆

Evelyn Perez

by Mariela Rodriguez LareDOS Staff

Nuclear physicist Stan Friedman, LPRS researcher Rick Rodriguez (standing), and Brad Newton and Ismael Cuellar (seated), are pictured on November 10 at the 2012 Laredo UFO Conference at Texas A&M International University’s Student Center. LareDOS I N OV E M B ER 2012 I

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News

Contractor who abandoned building commitment found guilty of deceptive trade practices By MARIA EUGENIA GUERRA LareDOS Publisher “This isn’t about the money anymore. It’s about protecting the community from unscrupulous, predatory contractors like Dionico Torres Sr.,” said Leticia Haynes, who paid Torres more than $127,000 in 2010 and 2011 for the construction of a barbecue restaurant at the intersection of Ross Lane and Loop 20 in South Laredo. In a case prepared by the Webb County District Attorney’s office, Torres was found guilty of deceptive trade practices on September 27 in County Court at Law II. He was sentenced to 180 days in jail, has posted bond, and is now appealing the verdict. He was ordered by Judge Jesus Garza to surrender his passport. Torres is also appealing the outcome of a civil action Haynes and her partner Jesse Martinez brought against him in the 49th District Court in which Judge José Lopez issued an April 25, 2012 default judgment of $250,000 against the contractor. Torres, who did not appear at the civil hearing, filed an appeal with the Fourth Court of Appeals. That court ruled on October 2 to uphold Lopez’s April 25 judgment. “Dionicio Torres Sr. made a mockery of everything – of our goodwill, of sub-contractors and material vendors who believed they would be paid for the work and goods, and of the legal system that he was so sure he would evade,” said Martinez, who added that there were many opportunities for Torres to make good on the contract – the last being Judge Lopez’s offer to set up a meeting to work out how Torres could finish out

the structure and give Haynes and Martinez what they had paid for in good faith. “Before being forced to go to court, we met with Mr. Torres and his brothers Ramon and Xenobio who counseled him to finish the project and to honor the contract. He committed to finish the project, but no one ever came to work again,” Martinez said. “Then the liens started coming in, and so did the electrician and the concrete layer who were never paid for the services Mr. Torres had sub contracted for,” Haynes said. “He really left us no choice but to move forward legally.” Martinez said he now knows there are others who paid Torres for construction jobs that were not finished. “That hurts families and households. The clients were deprived of what they saved or borrowed to pay the contractor. The subs lost time and materials and the money that would have gone to workers and their families. The casualties are many in a case like this, and beyond that there is the emotional toll of being ripped off,” he said. What Haynes and Martinez have, instead of the 1,600 square-foot smokehouse and restaurant they paid for, is a shell of a building. “He dragged his feet with getting permits from the city, and he always had excuses, but we were patient,” Haynes said. “When he asked for a draw, we wrote the check, but then too much time elapsed. He had taken the project far beyond our estimated opening date in April. He did not use commercial grade windows or bathroom fixtures. The look we wanted for exposed mechanicals in the ceiling ended up looking like a

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lot of ugly mistakes, like something that belonged in a haunted house,” she continued, adding, “Our bank testified that he did not deposit the checks we wrote him – he cashed them, checks for $20,000, $25,000, $30,000. Who runs a business like that?” Haynes said that she and Martinez will continue working to open their restaurant, the Rib Cage, in the first quarter of 2013. Haynes has asked Mayor Raul Salinas and some members of the City Council to vet contractors, to come

up with a list of qualified contractors known to deliver per their contractual agreements. “Mr. Torres was recommended to us by his brother Ramon. We saw the work he had done at some condos he owns on Calle del Norte. The work was professional. He was very attentive at the beginning. We believed he was mature and responsible and that he was the right contractor for us. Then he stopped answering phone calls and stopped taking workers to the site. This was a very expensive lesson,” Haynes said. ◆

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Feature

Dean Phil Worley Fulfilling state duties while molding young minds By: MARIELA RODRIGUEZ LareDOS Staff

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hil Worley, Laredo Community College Dean of Arts and Humanities, has been appointed by Governor Rick Perry to serve as a member of the Texas Medical Board District Four Review Committee, which reviews cases of medical malpractice and unethical behavior.

Phil Worley Worley said he is looking forward to the work ahead on the review committee. “My role on the Texas Medical Board looks very exciting. On each review committee there are two individuals, a medical doctor and a public figure. They conduct hearings concerning doctors, patients, and disputes that arise,” said Worley, adding, “We will conduct the hearing and then make formal recommendations to the entire board for sanctions and actions.” He said his love of politics is among the reasons he finds the American system of government so W W W.L A R ED OS N E WS.CO M

interesting. Sociology, he said, also interests him because it allows him to focus on individuals and their interactions with each other. His interest and commitment to actively participating in state politics stems from his love of Texas as well as his desire to inspire a positive change. “In life, you can be involved and make a difference, or you can sit on the sidelines. I choose to be involved and hopefully make a positive difference in the lives of Texans,” he said. “When I was a senior in high school, I had a great government teacher. That is what got me started and interested in government and possibly becoming a teacher. Once I started teaching, I realized that this is for me. I have been blessed with great opportunities,” he said. A lifetime educator, Worley holds a BS from Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos and a Masters in political science and sociology from Laredo State University. With 32 years of teaching experience, Worley has taught at Gary Jobs Corps Center in San Marcos, Jim Hogg County Independent School District, Webb CISD in Bruni, and at LCC, where he currently teaches Government 2305 in the classroom and online. Worley has also served for the past six years on the Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corporation Board (TGSLCB). “TGSLCB does many things, but two of the most important are ensuring financial literacy for students, providing them with the best information possible,” Worley said, adding, “Also, we have a public benefit program that awards monies to innovative institutions

and educational groups to enhance the students ability to go on to higher education and to succeed.” Since 2001, when he became a full time instructor at LCC, Worley has served as Department Chair of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Assistant Dean for Student Support Services, Dean of Community Education, Dean of Arts and Sciences, and recently Dean of Arts and Humanities. “I really enjoy teaching and explaining government to the students. It is extremely rewarding to have students succeed in the classroom and go on to great careers. I get this great feeling when I walk into the classroom and get to discuss government with the students,” Worley said, adding, “There are many students who see me years later and say ‘I really enjoyed your class.’ That is what makes teaching so rewarding.” Set to retire from LCC early next year, Worley looked back on his career. “I hope that I have made a difference in the college and in the lives of the many students that have come

through the institution. I have given it my all and feel good about the things we as a team have been able to accomplish. I will always treasure the many friends and co-workers that are at the college,” he said. Of his post-retirement plans, Worley said, “I plan on teaching adjunct classes, and performing my duties with the Texas Medical Board until the end of the term.” Tennis, golf, and home repairs projects are also on his to do list. “I would not rule out a run for office in Jim Hogg County in the future. Hebbronville is a great small town with fantastic people. As I stated before, I feel that I have been very blessed in my career. The opportunities have been great, and I want to thank the many individuals that have had an impact on my career,” he added. The San Antonio native was raised in Austin and has worked in Laredo since 1998. He currently resides a few miles from Hebbronville with his wife Cindy and his children Mark Anthony and Alyssa. ◆

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Courtesy Photo

LTA’s Fall Open Doubles tournament

Author of My Friends and I at book signing Children’s author Heather Herschap is photographed with Mayra Maldonado owner of The Kid’s Bookstore on Thursday, November 8 at Herschap’s book signing and promotion of her upcoming book, The Story of Lucy.

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Maria Eugenia Guerra/LareDOS

Mariela Rodriguez/LareDOS

First place winners in the Laredo Tennis Association’s Women’s Open Doubles Division were Mathena Waters and Sonia Diaz. Consolation winners were Jane Unzeitig and Karen Yamaguchi.

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Commentary

Retirement: working it out By TONI HOWELL LareDOS Contributor

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mong the boxed belongings I brought back to Fort Worth when I retired from Laredo Community College, I found my very last pay stub, a pot luck supper flyer, a recent copy of LareDOS, and an “urgent” memo from Human Resources at LCC: “In order to expedite the retirement process, exit signatures must be submitted by the end of this week.” When I received that memo in May 2011, I felt as excited about retirement as I had about full-time employment at LCC 17 years earlier. “Just think,” I said to myself, “as soon as I get these signatures, I’ll be a retired individual, a free woman with time on her hands and other fish to fry!” Getting signatures? That retirement should be so easy. Fifteen months and countless adjustments after packing my last box and relocating to Fort Worth, I can see that retirement and the new life it brings involves much more that “getting signatures.” Retirees, and this includes those who don’t intend to leave the work force entirely, build new lives as they bring order to the chaos that change can bring. Many deal with sadness and fatigue when the old order and routine of a familiar lifestyle vanishes. A bone weariness and deep sadness were part and parcel of my retirement package, but being with my husband, Lee, every day of the year and not just on the occasional weekend or long holiday was well worth any anxiety I experienced as I made the transition from full-time employment to retirement. Let me explain. When I left Fort Worth in 1994 to start my teaching career at LCC, I traveled light - summer clothing and a frying pan, I think. After all, I’d live W W W.L A R ED OS N E WS.CO M

in campus housing on Fort McIntosh, the historic site of LCC, for a while in a white-washed wooden home that had housed Army officers stationed there during the Mexican-American War. I was thrilled with my new adventure, and when my husband and I relaxed on the front porch, a saggy screened-in affair, we had an unimpeded view of the banks of the Río Grande as well as the outskirts of Laredo’s sister city, Nuevo Laredo, where toxic fumes from the maquiladoras provided many a shockingly vibrant sunset. But we didn’t live together, my husband and I. Lee, a life insurance agent, had many Fort Worth clients who depended on him. On the other hand, I had looked for local post-secondary teaching positions for five years and had no luck at all. So, when the full-time position of English instructor at LCC became a possibility — and finally a firm offer, my husband encouraged me. “Go for it. After all,” he reasoned, “I can drive down every third weekend and you can drive up for Christmas and spring break.” And that’s just what we did for 17 years, until we decided it was time to live together in the same town, in the same house again, and the sooner, the better. By the end of June, safely back in Fort Worth with my husband and with many essential items unpacked — clothing, a few special toys for my cats, Fiesta Ware and silverware to supplement my husband’s dwindling supply, I slowed down and coasted a while. I took long, luxurious afternoon naps. I watched more evening TV than the law allowed and found comfort with the returning regularity of shows like Blue Bloods, Doc Martin, and CSI. One afternoon my friend Elsa called. Because I hadn’t called her, I felt uneasy. After all, she was still

grading papers and meeting stringent deadlines. I was the one with time on my hands. But it was so good to have a friend with whom to commiserate. “Elsa, I’m moving so slowly. I’ve made some headway, the housework, the unpacking, the cleaning, but the work just never ends, does it?” She laughed before she spoke, “You’re not running a race! Take it easy. Take a nap!” And I did. I took a nap. That first July my aching left shoulder, still sore from a bad fall I took the day after I turned in my exit signatures, left me feeling outof-sorts and old, so I joined a nearby gym. Although I resisted the option of paying for a personal trainer in addition to club membership, I soon decided to make the leap, fork out the dough, and just go for it. The voice of reason intervened as my signature hand hovered over the contract. The wise voice said, “Think of this membership as a form of physical therapy. And think of a personal trainer as the most suitable guide to this new pursuit.” In my weakened state, the appeal to health and pain management worked. I signed the document. “Look at me,” I thought. “I’m working it out — my aches and pains, my move back to Fort Worth, my new ‘on-site’ marriage.” I had to laugh. Looked like I’d be busy with a few new fish to fry sooner than I thought I would. Good for me! Within a month I felt stronger and less fatigued. After three months at the gym, I was still a modest participant, but while doing “preacher curls” or leg lifts or abs, I often thought about how much better I moved. I smiled to think how I heaved boxes better and vacuumed with more ease than I had in June when even the prospect of bending at the waist to empty a full dish dryer

seemed an onerous task. Not only was I feeling more agile, I was seeing a slow but steady rise in stamina. Shortly before my first Christmas back in Fort Worth, and with physical fitness concerns better in check, I ventured a little deeper into the whole transition process when I talked to a psychologist about a few nagging psychological issues. I often dealt with a crippling urge to do everything myself and a relentless fear that I wouldn’t live long enough to do everything — the laundry, the cooking, the occasional piece of creative writing — I needed and wanted to do. “In fact,” I said towards the end of my first session, “I’m having a hard time with the whole aging thing.” My counselor laughed and shook her head, “All of us are!” After our good laugh, she added, “How are you doing with sadness at the life you’ve left behind?” At the words, “life you’ve left behind,” I conjured up smiling faces of friends and colleagues, students, health care professionals, and the kind homeless man, a fellow I’d seen and acknowledged many times, at my neighborhood convenience store. One evening on my way back home, I stopped to buy a Hershey’s bar and found myself ten cents short. Before I could leave the candy and turn to go, this man whose name I never knew, tapped me on the shoulder and said, “Here. I got it.” He examined the loose change in the palm of his wrinkled hand, shuffled the coins, and found a dime. How lucky I was to have been surrounded by so many caring individuals. And how lucky I was to have had two fine homes, an historic frame house on the Fort McIntosh Campus of LCC and a tiny stucco home I’d bought after I left Continued on page 46

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the South Texas sun, but my favorites were the painted tin varieties Lee and I found while shopping on San Bernardo at one of many importexport tiendas, the shops, often, of displaced Mexican retail merchants from Nuevo Laredo, many nudged from their own city by the violence of drug cartels. These memories provoked other pungent flashbacks, some of them hard to experience without tears, but when the sadness began to dissipate, I understood that the life I’d left had given me the foundation I needed to create the new life I wanted to live in Fort Worth with my husband. I had come back to my husband a much more complete and mature individual. And this realization made it easier to see that right now, in the glorious present, I needed to complete a project I’d already started, but in a half-hearted way numbed by unacknowledged sadness. I needed to get cracking and keep moving, the better to build a new life right here in Fort

Cowl Center celebrates Physical Therapy Month In recognition of Physical Therapy Month, Ruthe B. Cowl Rehabilitation Center staff were treated to lunch at Chick Fil-A. Pictured are Lizzy Lara, PTA; JD Wendeborn, PT; Joe Zacate, technician; Fay Mainhart, administrative director; Chris Treviño, technician; Delia Canady, PTA; and Raquel Mendez, technician.

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Worth where I stood with my husband after a 17-year absence. So, I enlisted that good man’s assistance. He had, after all, been offering to help ever since he’d unloaded the U-Haul in Fort Worth, which, of course, he had loaded in Laredo. Why not let the man help? It was no time before we’d devised a pretty nifty schedule that saw him feeding the cats and changing their litter boxes, doing our laundry (no more pink underwear catastrophes because this man took time to separate clothes before tossing them in the washer), and a thousand other tedious tasks that freed me to tackle a few creative details. For example, I now had time to choose a few of my favorite framed posters and photographs for display. It took both of us to decide how to group and arrange this conglomeration, but we were delighted at the results. Apparently the decorative items we’d purchased while living 425 miles apart were somehow con-

gruent. My red /yellow/green/blue posters commemorating one of Laredo’s most recent Washington’s Birthday Celebration worked well with Lee’s vintage tin posters of bi-planes and World War II aircraft. Slowly but surely, we integrated all our worldly goods and got to know one another all over again, too. We had become the new and improved Toni and Lee. When my 66th birthday rolled around, we celebrated at The Olive Garden. How wonderful it was that the two of us could commemorate a special day without a 425-mile drive. We laughed and wondered out loud, “How on earth did we pull that off — the drive, the separation, for 17 years?” Later that evening, near the end of our meal, Lee raised his wine glass to propose a toast, “To us, the retirees.” And then, with a smile on his bearded face, he added, “Working it out!” As the rims of our glasses met, I smiled, too, and I concurred, “Working it out--together!” ◆

Mariela Rodriguez/LareDOS

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 Continued FROM page 45 campus housing. While the rapid review of the life I’d left behind kept rolling, I saw my 1,000 square foot stucco house, part magic, part fixer-upper, built in the mid-thirties and located just a short walk from St. Peter’s Square, the crumbling and finally condemned Bender Hotel, and the perimeter of downtown Laredo with its massive post office. I heard street vendors pushing colorful carts with shaved ice for sweaty pedestrians. I remembered the blooming hibiscus bushes, pink and yellow and shy corral, my husband planted for me on the first long weekend he spent with me in that house. I remembered the hungry stray cats congregated at my back door every evening just as dusty gusts of evening wind rattled my wind chimes. I envisioned the modest kitchen garden of zinnias and marigolds and sunflowers. Some of those sunflowers sprouted from seed and grew to outrageous heights in

Culture represented in art Artist Antonio Briones featured some of his pencil work at Gallery 201’s Dia de los Muertos art reception on Friday, November 2. W W W.L A RED OS N E WS.CO M


By salo Otero Salo Otero is the director of marketing for the South Texas Food Bank. He can be reached at sotero@ southexasfoodbank.org or by calling 956-726-3120.

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Ross and Friends highlight STFB’s Dec. 4 fundraiser dollar donated is converted into eight meals. That means the $10 admission fee is worth 80 meals to be served to STFB clients. The admission ticket is also eligible for a raffle that includes a barbecue grill, top-notch Kirby Vacuum cleaner, gift certificates, and other prizes. Tickets are available by calling 324-2432. Laredoan Ross Swisher and his group have entertained at similar SouthTexas Food events over the last three years. Swisher noted, “The STFB is one of our favorite charities. We applaud them for the work they do and we are glad to be part of it.” Swisher started a musical group of teenage friends in 1969 and it evolved into Ross and Friends, which plays music from the 1950s to the present. “The Lamont Family has been one of the strongest advocates in our very crucial mission,” said Cindy

Liendo Espinoza, STFB chief development officer. Marianne Lamont added, “We are just trying to do our part to help in these difficult economic times, and the STFB certainly is one of the organizations that affects the biggest cross section of Laredoans.” STFB board member Danny Cuellar was instrumental in getting the Lamont family involved in the food bank mission. STFB executive director Alfonso Casso lauded the Lamonts. “On behalf of the thousands of clients we serve, a heartfelt thank you to Tom and Marianne,” he said. KIDS CAFÉ HONORS VETERANS The STFB Kids Café program placed the spotlight on Laredo armed services veterans on Thursday, Nov. 8 at the Benavides Boys and Girls Club J.C. “Pepe” Treviño Gym. The event celebrated Veterans Day, which is officially Nov. 11. Dr. Jesse J. Olivarez, director of the STFB Kids Cafés, invited all veter-

ans to share their experiences with the Kids Café participants. Olivarez, a retired Army Ranger who served in Grenada and Desert Storm, also invited Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-Laredo) and Scott Springer of Homeland Security as guest speakers. Others involved in the ceremony were high school ROTC cadets, members of the American Legion, and veterans from World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, Iraq, and Afghanistan. With the childhood hunger rate in Laredo at 42 percent, the STFB Kids Cafés serve an afterschool meal to almost 1,000 children Monday through Friday afternoon from 3:30 p.m. to 6 at 15 Laredo-Webb County sites. More than 100 are served at the Benavides Boys and Girls Club. For Kids Café information call Olivarez at the STFB at (956) 7263120 during business hours. The STFB is located at 1907 Freight at Riverside in west Laredo. Visit the STFB’s website at www. southtexasfoodbank.org ◆

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oss and Friends, one of Laredo’s most popular musical groups, are back at Hal’s Landing Restaurant and Bar for a holiday fundraiser to benefit the STFB mission of feeding the hungry. The event is set for Dec. 4 from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the popular north Laredo nightspot next to the Laredo Energy Arena on 6510 Arena Blvd. Hal’s Landing proprietors Tom and Marianne Lamont, who also help other Laredo non-profits throughout the year, sponsor the music. The admission price of $10 per person goes to the STFB, which distributes supplemental food to 27,000 families per month, including 7,000-plus elderly, 6,000-plus children, and 500 veterans and their widows. Because of the STFB’s affiliation with the national organization Feeding America and state group, Texas Food Bank Network, every

South Texas Food Bank

Ross and Friends will play at the Dec. 4 fundraiser for the STFB at Hal’s Landing. Band members are Ramiro Lopez, Ross Swisher, TJ Ruiz, Rick Rios, and Carlos Longoria. Art Trevino is the sound and lighting director. W W W.L A R ED OS N E WS.CO M

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Laredo Community College

Spring 2013 registration under way at LCC By MONICA McGETTRICK LareDOS Contributor

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all temperatures are starting to settle into the Gateway City, which means it’s time to register for spring classes! Registration for the Spring 2013 semester at Laredo Community College is now under way, and students who are hoping to find their future at LCC next year are encouraged to get advised now in order to register as soon as possible to lock in their classes. Students who have already been advised can log on to www.laredo.edu and click on the PASPort icon. Then click the tab for Additional Resources to view the class schedule or login to PASPort to view the class schedule and register for classes immediately.

Students are encouraged to register early for the best choice of classes and class times. Deadline for payment of all tuition and fees is Tuesday, Dec. 18 in person by 6 p.m. or online through PASPort by 11 p.m. Payment is due in full unless the student has enrolled in an installment plan through the Bursar’s Office. The first day of the Spring 2013 semester is Monday, Jan. 14. Applicants new to LCC can now quickly apply online by visiting www. laredo.com/apply. First-time students and students who have not declared a major can get advised at the Student Success Center at the Fort McIntosh Campus in Memorial Hall, room 107, or at the South Campus in the William N. “Billy” Hall Jr. Student Center, room 116.

Both locations are open for advising Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Friday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Students also can get advised on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Memorial Hall, room 125, at the Fort McIntosh Campus only. Students who have not yet been advised are encouraged to contact the LCC Student Success Center at the Fort McIntosh Campus at 721-5135 or at the South Campus at 794-4135 as soon as possible to make an appointment with an advisor. Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments take priority. Students under the age of 30, including first-time students and those returning to college after being out for at least one fall or spring semester, must be vaccinated against bacterial meningitis and show proof of vaccination before being allowed to register. Students who do not wish to receive the vaccine can apply for an exemption. For more information on applying for an exemption, visit www.laredo. edu/meningitis to obtain more information on how to apply, as well as to learn more about the vaccine and meningitis. Those with a declared major can visit or call their instructional departments to make an appointment for advising. For information on registration, students should call the LCC Enrollment and Registration Services Center

at 721-5109 (Fort McIntosh) or 794-4110 (South). Two new trustees, incumbent elected to LCC Board The Laredo Community College Board of Trustees will soon welcome two new members and the return of an incumbent to its ranks after the outcome of the November 6 general election. Allen Tijerina, who was elected to position 4, will take the place of current Board of Trustees vice president Edward “Ed” Sherwood. Dr. Gilberto “Gil” Martinez was elected to position 6, which will be vacated by Pete Saenz Jr., who did not file for re-election. Incumbent Rene De La Viña, who ran unopposed for position 5, will continue his work with the board. Tijerina, Martinez, and De La Viña were sworn in on Thursday, Nov. 15 when the board held a special meeting to canvass election results. They will attend their first Board of Trustees meeting on Thursday, Nov. 29. The Board of Trustees is a ninemember, citizen-led panel, which serves as the official governing body for the two-campus LCC District. Trustees hold monthly public meetings, as well special-called meetings and committee meetings throughout the year. Trustees are elected to serve six-year, staggered terms. ◆

Course offers 3D imaging LCC student Andrea P. Ortiz designs a model on the computer using the latest 3D imaging software during her Digital Art II course. The class teaches students how to render, illustrate, and animate three-dimensional models through hands-on training. LCC is currently offering Digital Art I (2D) and Digital Art II (3D) to all students whose artistic inclinations crave that digital perspective. Digital Art I (2D) is offered on Mondays and Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and Digital Art II (3D) is offered Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8-10:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Registration is now underway at LCC.

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Mariela Rodriguez/LareDOS

Hispanic Festival held at St. Peter’s Plaza Music students from the Vidal M Treviùo School of Communication and Fine Arts performed several numbers on the steel drums at the annual Hispanic Festival in the beautiful old plaza.

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News

By MARIELA RODRIGUEZ LareDOS Staff

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he Washington Birthday Celebration Association (WBCA) is gearing up for two nights of Tejano/Norteño entertainment for the 35th annual Jalapeño Festival. Headlining the star-studded weekend is Tejano sensation Duelo, which will take center stage on Friday, February 22 and Grammy award winner Intocable on Saturday February 23. Crowd pleasing contest favorites such as Ms. Jalapeño, El Grito, Tough Man’s Tug of War, the International Waiter’s race, and the renowned La Costeña jalapeño eating event are part of the 35th celebration. Contestants can register at www.wbcalaredo.org The event promises all its savory cu-

linary classics – tripitas, fajitas, pozole, gorditas, flautas, Mexican style corn, funnel cakes, and a varied selection of domestic beers and beverages. “We are making the two-day festival a party to remember with two of the biggest bands around,” said WBCA president Bob Weathers of the 35th celebration. “We’re excited to have two quality Tejano/Noretño bands, along with games, and additional entertainment on both nights for a nominal fee,” he said. For those who buy their tickets in advance, the 2013 Jalapeño Festival is promoting two concerts for the price of one. Pre-sale two-day passes are available while supplies last for a minimal $25 fee until Wednesday, February 20. Tickets may be purchased at www.jalapenofest. org or will be available in January at local participating Stripes locations. After

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Duelo, Intocable headline 2013 Jalapeño Festival

WBCA treasurer Eddie Villarreal, second vice-president Veronica Castillon, first vice-president Pati Guajardo, Eduardo Garza of Uni-Trade, and WBCA president Bob Weathers note the addition of Uni-Trade as the 2013 Jalapeño Festival’s title sponsor. that, tickets for the concerts will be sold at the gate for $20 per night. WBCA’s 2013 Jalapeño Festival is sponsored by Uni-Trade, Stripes, Anheuser-Busch, Miller Lite, La Costeña, South Texas Ford Dealers, and Guerra Communications/Z93. “WBCA is happy to have Uni-Trade as our new title sponsor. Through their partnership, we are excited to continue giving Laredo its premiere festival,” said Weathers.

The 116th Washington Birthday Celebration begins January 24 and continues through February 25. Tickets for events will go on sale early February at the WBCA Kiosk inside Mall del Norte at Macy’s Center court. For more information on the festival visit www.jalapenofest.org, or text the letters WBCA to 72727 to receive updates and for the opportunity to be entered to win free tickets, souvenirs, and other prizes. ◆

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Serving Sentences

By randy koch

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teach writing. Okay, I teach composition classes, which makes some people think I teach composition. But unlike too many comp instructors I’ve known over the years who just assign writing or discuss published writing, I actually teach writing in freshman comp classes. While for some of those instructors, “composition” means “emergent and enacted rhetorical agency” or “embodied knowing” or “interrogated texts,” you can forget all that academic BS. It’s nothing but a smoke screen meant to fill the vacuum left when some of them claim that “writing can’t be taught.” If those who write like that knew anything about writing, they’d also know better than to use the passive voice and just say what they actually mean: “I don’t know how to teach writing” or “I don’t want to teach writing.” There. The grand secret of many “compositionists” is out of the bag, all the comp theory razzle-dazzle evaporated by applying one basic principle of good writing that should be taught in freshman comp but too often isn’t. Of course, my unwillingness (or, some might argue, my inability) to theorize about my discipline, to abstract it like a “true” academic, prevents me from lighting up the pages of professional journals with gobbledygook like “interrogate the beatific valuation of revision” (Ritter 411) or “’constellations of regulated, improvisational strategies’” (Applegarth 472) or “our contemporary noetic positioning…urges us to expect more in situ sense of students” (Sullivan 370), all of which high-falutinized one recent issue of College Composition and Communication. However, the attitude that leads to this sort of jargonizing takes the humanity out of W W W.L A R ED OS N E WS.CO M

The most humane of the humanities the most humane of the humanities: writing. Yesterday after my 8 a.m. class, I sat at the small table in my office next to Janelle, her blonde ponytail hanging past the white collar of her fleece pullover, her pale cheeks freckled, sparkly fingernails poised above the keyboard of her new laptop. She peered at her narrative essay on the screen, which she’d revised since the last time I saw her but still needed work. Near the bottom of page 2 she described her father being questioned and eventually arrested by a police officer. “Notice,” I said and pointed at a line, “this sentence here: ‘He pushed his hands furiously through his hair.’ This is a good, specific image, but here’s another place where if you choose a more precise action verb, you don’t need the abstraction ‘furiously.’” I sat back in my chair, elbows on the black armrests, and looked at Janelle. “How could he move his hands so that readers understand ‘furiously’ without you having to explain it?” She squinted through the small rectangular lenses of her glasses and twitched her fingers. Then, she looked up at the bare off-white wall. “What are more forceful ways he could move his hands through his hair?” She looked back at the page on the screen. I heard the door to the 3rd floor hallway click open and the shuffle of students’ feet and the echo of their voices crowd the stairs as classes ended. Then, the door thumped shut again, and it was quiet. “Maybe ‘scraped,’” I offered. “Or ‘plowed.’ Okay, maybe not ‘plowed,’” I said and laughed, “but something along those lines.”

Then, her nails clicked across the keys. She nodded. I leaned forward, my elbows on my thighs, and read her sentence: “’He knifed his fingers through his hair.’” I looked at her. “Dang, that’s a nice sentence, Janelle,” I said. She smiled. “I just want it to be perfect,” she said, “before I give it to my sister.” I know why. Janelle, at 18, is the oldest of three children; her sister is in high school, her younger brother in middle school. In the essay, she describes her father, who while driving them home on I-84 after a weekend of camping, screamed out the window at a van passing them and pointed a handgun at the people inside. Janelle knew, even before he was arrested

and taken away, that she had to do what her father was incapable of: take care of her younger sister and brother. For Janelle and other students, their writing – not some thirdparty rhetorical theorizing or textbook “improvisational strategies” – should be the necessary subject and work of the composition course. When they recognize their own tendencies as young, inexperienced writers and then learn how to apply skills that help them change those tendencies, they begin to realize that Composition I is a course but that the ability to write well offers the power to understand ideas, their lives and themselves as students and human beings. ◆

Mariela Rodriguez/LareDOS

Randy Koch earned his MFA at the University of Wyoming and teaches writing at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania.

Music, poetry, and art filled night Renato Garcia showcased his artistic skills on Thursday, November 8 at Caffé Dolce’s poetry slam on November 8. The event inspired musicians, artists, and poets who participated in the evening’s events. LareDOS I N OV E M B ER 2012 I

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LAPS

LAPS names new director, moves forward with plans for sustainability By Cathy Kazen and Jennie Reed LareDOS Contributors

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s the Laredo Animal Protective Society focuses on the future now that they have separated from the City of Laredo Animal Control department, LAPS announces the appointment of Michelle Deveze as the executive director of the Laredo Animal Shelter at 2500 Gonzalez Street. LAPS has served the community since the 1950s and has expectations to continue in this capacity for many more years – with the community’s help. Michelle is the owner and operator of

a mobile pet grooming business and has been serving LAPS as a volunteer, grooming dogs on a near-weekly basis for over three years. “She had also been serving as a board member for four months during which time she has exhibited the leadership and

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skills we have been seeking to fill the posit ion of executive dir e c tor,” according to LAPS president,

Richard Renner. The Laredo Animal Shelter will now be ready to accept a certain number of dogs and cats from the public. In order to surrender a pet to LAPS, we ask that prior to surrender, it be taken to the veterinarian of your

choice for a wellness checkup and first vaccinations including rabies if not a puppy. There will be a reduction in the cost of the relinquishing fee with proof of immunization down to no cost if also spay/neutered. Adoption fees will vary. LAPS operates as a not for profit entity whose mission is to shelter unwanted pets, spay/neutering, vaccinating and caring for them while we find new homes for them. If you are interested in our mission, or in saving a life by adopting, or to discover the many ways that you can volunteer and help the Laredo Animal Shelter, please visit our web sit at www.petdoptlaredo.org. ◆

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Notes from La La Land

By dr. neo gutierrez

James Pappas honored by petroleum engineers

Dr. Neo Gutierrez is a Ph.D. in Dance and Fine Arts, Meritorious Award in Laredo Fine Arts recipient 2009 from Webb Co. Heritage Foundation, Laredo Sr. Int’l 2008, Laredo MHS Tiger Legend 2002, and Sr. Int’l de Beverly Hills, 1997. Contact neodance@aol.com.

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aredo-born James Pappas, now of Sugarland, has deservedly received the Distinguished Service Award from the Society of Petroleum Engineers, which has more than 104,000 members worldwide. The organization shares technical knowledge for the benefit of the petroleum industry. Each year it presents awards that recognize members whose efforts have advanced petroleum technology, as well as their professional achievements and contributions to the industry and society. The award was presented last month in San Antonio, recognizing James’ contributions to the Society that exhibit exceptional devotion of time, effort, thought, and action, as to set them apart from other contributions. He has served SPE at both the section and international level in numerous roles throughout his career. James was nominated by his peers for his contributions to his professional field. The award becomes more significant when we consider that the organization is a non-profit professional association whose members are engaged in energy resources development and production. The organization has more than 104,000 members in 123 countries worldwide, providing technical knowledge of the oil and gas exploration and production industry. The group provides services through its publications, events, training courses, and online resources at www.spe.org. So, who is James Pappas? He was an only child born in Laredo in 1956. He is the grandson of Santiago and Sara Rodriguez Pappas, who emigrated from Kyparissia, Sparta, Greece and Monterrey, N.L.,

James Pappas accepting the Society of Petroleum Engineers International Distinguished Service Award from SPE president Dr. Ganesh Thakur on October 9, 2012. Mexico. He attended Mary Help of Christians, St. Peter’s Elementary, L.J. Christen Jr. High, and received his diploma from Martin High in 1974. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering with minors in mathematics and Spanish from UT-Austin in 1979. His Master’s degree in business administration came with highest honors from UT at Tyler in 1993. James and his wife, Martha Lopez Pappas, also from Laredo, have two sons – James Jr., who is studying computer gaming, and George, who is a missionary. He is currently vice president of the Ultra-Deepwater Programs for the Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America, located in Sugarland. He has worked for Devon Energy and Santa Fe Snyder. He has also held engineering and management positions with Fina Oil and Chemical, Union

Pacific Resources, and Amoco. For 33 years he’s been involved with the Society of Petroleum Engineers, executing a myriad of jobs in top management. He has also done outstanding managerial jobs for the

Texas Society, as well as the Houston chapter of professional engineers, where he serves on the board of directors. An avid academician, James has authored over 70 papers. A speaker at international conferences, he has also testified before the U.S. Congressional Committee regarding the Deepwater Horizon blowout and the current and future technological devices to improve safety and current and future technological devices to improve safety and reduce environmental impacts. All this he has accomplished as an advisor to the U.S. Congressional staff and the U.S. Department of Energy. He was named Area Engineer of the Year in 2007. In 2008 he was named Texas Engineer of the Year by the Society of Professional Engineers. That year the Texas Engineering Foundation named him Distinguished Engineer in Texas. He has been a registered professional engineer in Texas since 1985. And on that note, it’s time for--as Norma Adamo says: TAN TAN! ◆

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Mariela Rodriguez/LareDOS

LCC recognizes veterans Voice instructor Joseph Crabtree lead the singing of the National Anthem at a Veteran’s Day observance on Friday, November 9 at the Private David B. Barkely Cantu Veterans Memorial Chapel on the Laredo Community College Fort McIntosh Campus.

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Seguro Que Si By Henri Kahn Contact Henri D. Kahn with your insurance questions at (956) 725-3936, or by fax at (956) 791-0627, or by email at hkahn@ kahnins.com

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What is the intent of the 2010 Healthcare, Obamacare, and law?

bamacare will materially change healthcare law in the United States. These changes include several new requirements for individuals, employers, health plans, and healthcare providers. The main purpose of the law is to make insurance companies more accountable, make healthcare more available so that it will include eliminating exclusions for pre-existing conditions, expand Medicare and Medicaid, make more comprehensive preventive services, and promote the use of health information technology through electronic medical records as well as to enhance the quality, safety, and coordina-

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tion of healthcare. These are splendid goals, and I don’t think you or I would object to the noble aims of the 2010 law. Since this health reform is a law, many new mandated requirements on individual and group health insurance policies are being imposed. Beginning in 2014 Americans and even undocumented residents will be subjected to fines if they don’t buy an AHC (Adequate Health Coverage) plan created and approved by a government agency and sold via an insurance exchange (Generic Insurance Office), and created and developed by a government agency.

For example employers with at least 50 employees in the preceding calendar year, 30 of which are currently fulltime, must offer a minimum essential insurance coverage, as determined by a government agency, or be fined. If an inadequate health plan is offered to employees an even higher penalty will be imposed on the employer. Small group plans will also be subject to mandated benefits and certain employee related rules. Health reform serves to provide insurance benefits to persons who are now uninsurable and mandates the increase of many benefits. These improved benefits are great,

but don’t be surprised when your health insurance premium increases. In summary, and for now, pray that the government agencies who will impose, control, and administer this national healthcare program, are successful in their duty to bring about all of their pledges to provide unlimited healthcare for all of us. Remember that qualified professional insurance agents will be informed and ready to assist you concerning your need and guidance for the upcoming radical changes in healthcare benefits. Happy Thanksgiving! (Henri D. Kahn is a qualified professional insurance agent.) ◆

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Movie Review

Womb to tomb: Cloud Atlas By CORDELIA BARRERA LareDOS Contributor Cloud Atlas, written and directed by Lana and Andy Wachowski, and Tom Tykwer, is an epic achievement of narrative filmmaking. The film is based on the 2004 novel of the same name by British author Stephen Mitchell. Like the novel, the film is comprised of six nested stories that take the viewer from the remote 19 th century South Pacific to a distant, post-apocalyptic future. The film premiered in September 2012 at the 37th Toronto International Film Festival, where it received a 10-minute standing ovation. This fact is the perfect prelude to this spectacular, sometimes haunting film. One of the great paradoxes of our lives is that, whether we know it or not, our bodies — physical, emotional, social, spiritual — go through enormous changes every day: cells die, others regenerate, bonds with different human and animal forms are broken and made, memories are lost and found, beliefs are crushed and born. We proceed through our daily routines in a perpetual arc of wakefulness and sleep. In sleep, we are literally ourselves, even though we have lost the personal awareness that defines our waking lives. Asleep, we are mired in timelessness and non-locality. When awake, we are conscious of time, of existing and being in a given locality, of our separateness or belonging as human beings. Philosophers, artists, and scientists maintain that these poles of being define us. The polarities of wake and sleep comprise the vast oceans of human existence. So what does this have to do with Cloud Atlas? Possibly nothing, and possibly everything. The film is not incomprehensible, but it is certainly not straightforward. Like dreams, it is full of symbols and motifs, seeds and empires, impossible associations and uncanny

connections. The film is a mosaic, a network of interactions and reference points grounded in emotion and idea. At first its scope seems unwieldy, but when we indulge the idea that an ocean is but a multitude of single drops of water, we see past the seemingly disparate storylines to embrace a whole that flows like cool water against parched skin. Logical connections aside, the transcendent beauty of Cloud Atlas is hard to ignore. The film’s running time is an intense and powerful 172 minutes that patient, objective audiences will not soon forget. Cloud Atlas is meant to stir us, rouse us, compel us to look deeply and genuinely at the things that make us human and the wonders that connect our human forms to our world, our planet, our universe. This is an immense, ambitious film full

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of wonderfully drawn characters who serve to underscore the idea that “all boundaries are connections waiting to be transcended.” Given our present-day American ideological and political impasse, the idea that we are all bound, one to the other, regardless of race, time, national origin, gender, or even space, is not just refreshing but indispensible. Cloud Atlas is an important film that does not preach, but can nonetheless teach us about the necessity of friendship, love, courage, and hope. Actors in the film appear in multiple roles and as members of various races to underscore the idea that “from womb to tomb, we are bound by past, present, and future.” For instance, characters played by Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Susan Sarandon, and Hugh Grant recur in various roles and within different storylines. Some of the actors are often unrecognizable in their roles, quite possibly highlighting

the idea of human consciousness as passing from one perception of reality to the other. One way to conceivably grasp the core of the movements behind each individual body as it progresses through time and space in the film is to think in terms of the works of the philosopher Rudolf Steiner. Steiner proposed the term “Anthroposophy” to theorize the idea of the reincarnation of the human spirit. At the core of Steiner’s philosophy is the idea that human evolution is intuitive, and perhaps even clairvoyant. In other words, when we meet someone on our path of life and intuitively recognize that person, it is likely — in a metaphysical sense — that we have known and engaged with this person before. The universality of human nature and human experience is like the everchanging show of the cloud atlas (a key to the nomenclature of clouds). David Mitchell, who wrote the novel on which the film is based says: “the cloud refers to the ever changing manifestations of the Atlas, which is the fixed human nature and is always thus and ever shall be.” Cloud Atlas, the film, is like so many mirrors and so many clouds: readable, but ephemeral, reflective but parallel. Foreboding and beautiful, experiencing Cloud Atlas is a little like indulging — reading — the clouds themselves: incomparable… transcendent…magical. ◆

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Movie Review

Flight: Does your pilot look hung over? By: MARIELA RODRIGUEZ LareDOS Staff Flight – directed by Robert Zemeckis, who is known for the Back to the Future sequels and Castaway – rivets on the compelling can’t-look-away downward spiral of an airline pilot entrusted daily with the safety of hundreds of passengers who are oblivious to his personal demons, alcohol and drugs.

This is the type of film in which you have a love/hate relationship with the protagonist as well as the plot. This film’s drama punctuated with the zany comedic relief of John Goodman’s character – 15 minutes at the beginning and the ending of the film. While the film appears to condemn alcoholism, it simultaneously seems to promote the use of cocaine as a way to move through a hangover. Airline pilot Whip Whittaker (Denzel Washington) saves a commercial airline flight from a sureW W W.L A R ED OS N E WS.CO M

death, 50,000-foot plummet in severe weather conditions. Whittaker astonishingly manages to land the plane and is at first revered as a hero, until an investigation into the plane’s malfunctions reveal Whittaker’s alcohol dependency. In the opening scenes (spoiler alert) we have seen Whittaker awakening from a long night of boozing and partying with flight attendant Katarina Marquez (Nadine Velasquez) prior to their departure flight that morning. Whittaker finishes off a beer from the night before, prior to snorting a line of cocaine to place him in the right mindset to fly a plane. Right about here, you begin to think what the heck? But it gets better. Before the severe weather conditions, Whittaker is seen pouring vodka bottles into his orange juice and taking a nap in the cockpit while airborne. The airplane’s malfunction was mechanical and had nothing to do with Whittaker’s hung-over, coke-cranked state, or so Zemeckis repeatedly makes clear. Whittaker develops a relationship with Nicole (Kelly Reily) a junkie who ODs at the exact moment he flies the plane above her apartment complex. As fate would have it, the two meet in a stairwell at the hospital where both have sneaked off to have a smoke. While Nicole’s near-death overdose drives her to seek help and make a genuine effort to change her life, a nearly broken and defeated Whittaker – who recognizes it was God’s will that he live – opts to continue hitting the bottle. Audiences find themselves wanting to like Whittaker for his heroic moment and to root for him to over-

come his addiction, but overall they mistrust him for his addictions. Save for Whittaker flying a plane inverted, as well as a scene near the end of the film, there are few instances of action, and the story becomes repetitive. Whittaker, sober for a few days, is left alone in a hotel room the night before his National Transportation Safety Board hearing. He sets a vodka bottle down for 30 seconds, and the audience wonders what will happen next. Predictably, he’s back at it again. A pristine example of the act of “enabling” while protecting private interests comes to life with Whittaker’s lawyer Hugh Lang (Don Cheadle) and long time friend Bruce Greenwood (Charlie Anderson) decide that the best way to address Whittaker’s blunder is to get him some lines of coke. The audience sees that once again the

protagonist has overcome the fog of his hangover with cocaine and walks out of his hotel room appearing invincible. Disconcerting is the fact that employees of the airline, such as Lang and Greenwood, have a strong interest in exonerating Whittaker solely because if found guilty of operating a plane under the influence during a fatal crash, the legal liability would bankrupt the airline. Whittaker lies throughout much of the hearing, but in the end confesses the truth. While Washington’s compelling performance as well that of the rest of the cast was on key, it was daunting to watch his character’s struggle with drinking. Zemeckis truly captured the despair of addiction on film. Me? I’ll think twice before flying anywhere. ◆

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Music Review

‘Tempest,’ the ninth cut on Dylan’s new album tells the Titanic’s elegaic story in 45 verses By MARIA EUGENIA GUERRA LareDOS Publisher

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could begin and end this review of Bob Dylan’s Tempest album with my granddaughter’s query last Saturday as we made our way to lunch at China Border – “Nana, why are you playing this scary music?” Good question. I buy all of Dylan’s albums like I’ve bought Leonard Cohen’s and Joni Mitchell’s, even those of late, their voices all gnarled and raspy, ravaged by time and smoke. Older and certainly more evolved, they are still today who they were back in the sixties and seventies, the voices of change, and many times, the inspiration for change. I suppose I buy their music because these iconic voices, like those of the Beatles, were the soundtrack for the political upheaval of those times, decades through which I wended my way on a prayer through some of the most important and interesting times of my life, times that formed me and gave me the first inkling that I had a voice and something to say. In the car that day with both of my grandchildren, Dylan’s 35th album in his 50-year romp through folk, rock, and country had moved onto its tenth cut, “Roll On, John,” an homage to John Lennon that incorporates words from the Beatles’ own songs, a dirge of a song some critics have called the “dud” of the album. It is the ninth cut, a 14-minute, 45-stanza song of the same name as the album, that has riveted my at-

tention, a ballad about the sinking of the Titanic. It is set to a Celtic waltz with David Hidalgo of Los Lobos on the accordion and fiddle. Though it is but another version of the same stark and grim story often told – wholesale death on an icy sea – I find something haunting and beautiful in Dylan’s lyrics that characterize the ship “sailing into tomorrow to a golden age foretold.” As an iceberg and death move “through the shadows,” he sings, “the promised hour was near.” In a nod to the 1997 James Cameron film and its star, Dylan’s verses reference a passenger with a sketchbook, Leo (de Caprio). I wasn’t a big fan of the film, but it gave me the visuals for this elegiac song that calls death and tragedy of this proportion by its rightful name – “the wizard’s curse.” What he’s ignored in historical accuracy, Dylan has made up for with poetic license. He says of those about to drown, “They waited at the landing, and they tried to understand, but there is no understanding on the judgment of God’s hand.” While some critics have said that no song has more screamed for the red marks of an editor than “Tempest,” I found perfection in the concise imagery and meaning of many of the lyrics. Will Hermes of Rolling Stone wrote of “Roll On, John,” “It’s a prayer from one great artist to another, and a reminder that Dylan now stands virtually alone among his 1960s peers. His own final act, meanwhile, rolls on. It’s a thing to behold.” ◆

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Mariela Rodriguez/LareDOS

Zombiefied for a good cause Rachel and Rudy Cervantes and Juan and Jeanie Sanchez, as part of national Make A Difference Day, participated in the 2012 Laredo Zombie Walk at St. Peter’s Plaza on October 27. In order to participate, individuals were asked to donate nonperishable food items, clothing, and furniture, collected by members of the St. Peter’s Historic Neighborhood. Participants had zombie makeup applied at the historic downtown Bender Hotel prior to the walk.

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News

Voz de Niños conference: call for presenters

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here is a call for presenters for the first-ever Voz de Niños Court Appointed Special Advocates conference, which is scheduled for February 1, 2013. The event will provide education and professional development for all individuals involved with children in the foster care system, including but not limited to, attorneys, CPS workers, child placement agency workers, school counselors, social workers, foster parents, judges, advocates, and licensed professional counselors. The deadline for submissions is December 1, 2012. Applicants will be notified December 20 if their presentation proposal was accepted. Chosen presenters will be responsible for covering their own travel

and conference expenses. Suggested topics include pediatric development issues for children; effects of cognitive development on children living in poverty; resilience strategies for personnel working with children in foster care; preparing for court; the power of relationships in healing children; and the mental health needs of children in foster care. Other topics include testifying beyond the basics; drug trends in child welfare cases; engaging fathers in the child welfare system; service to youth; advocating for children’s health from entry through exit from foster care; and other relevant topics. Voz de Niños advocates for the best interests of abused and ne-

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glected children in the court system through the training and support of community volunteers. Voz de Niños is the local Court Appointed Special Advocate program serving the abused and neglected children of Webb County. Volunteer advocates are appointed to serve in one case at a time, and as such, they have a unique opportunity to truly serve as the voice of the abused and neglected children involved and advocate for their best interests. Established in 2007, Voz de Niños

is the only organization of its type in Webb County because it participates solely in civil matters affecting abused and neglected minors. Voz de Niños Volunteers are appointed to serve as Guardian ad litem by the presiding court. Presenters are asked to contact Denise A. Longoria at longoriada@ utpa.edu For questions contact executive director Edgar D. Ricalde at (956) 727-8691 or by email at edgar@vozdeninos.org – LareDOS Staff

Write a letter to the publisher. meg@laredosnews.com

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Maverick Ranch Notes

By bebe & sissy fenstermaker “Well, Molé hasn’t come up for supper again,” this to Sissy over the phone. “I don’t know where she is; was she in the yard with the others today?” Sometimes she was and sometimes she wasn’t. The cows hit the Fromme Farm yard several times a week through a hole in the fence. They really annoy Sissy by drinking all the water from the wildlife buckets and overturning her pot plants. I don’t have to pick up after

them, but to me the sight of a bunch of longhorns staring out the entrance gate are a pretty nice deterrent to anybody with “visiting” on their mind. Many are ole unpleasant EW’s descendants who get huffy with folks they don’t know. So, where’s Molé? It’s useless to guess with this who-needs-the rest-ofthe-herd individual. Most of the time she knows exactly where the herd is and it’s her choice to arrive a little later than they do. Sometimes she stays down at the bullpens trying to start a fight with the bull. There are times when everybody’s through with supper, I give up waiting, go down to the house for the night and she shows up. I have to get her supper, fight off Espuma the dominant cow, and wait for Molé to chew up those oats and sheep W W W.L A R ED OS N E WS.CO M

Molé – 21, cranky, and independent pellets, slowly and thoroughly. She refuses to rush over anything. If you are a cow fast approaching 21-years-old and have contended with a lot over those years, it’s okay to be cranky and temperamental. Molé is josca brown with lightning zig-zags down both hind legs and a tail that is white starting half-way down. Many times that white brush has popped me across the face. She get irritated easily and used to kick back at me when herded too closely. That descended to a warning shake-shake-shake of a hind foot when a touch of arthritis set in. Now she just snorts and keeps moving, but she’s still mad being told what to do. Molé was calved in 1992, the first calf of the season. She is Yates and WR, old longhorn lines. Her mother, Burnt Paper Bag, was a calf of a cow we bought at a longhorn auction. That grandmother cow was pretty wild, having been treated cruelly most of her life. All of them were joscas, an interesting color that starts off as a light paper bag color and in about six months turns, hair by hair, to a beautiful deep dark brown with a red line up the back. It is an old-time longhorn color that keeps showing up in Molé’s line. Molé lost her very first calf, a pretty paint heifer, in a tragic accident and that was the first time I ever heard a cow cry. It was heartbreaking and probably affected her all her life. It made me always keep her, even when I thought she’d never grow to be very big. But grow she finally did, into a good average-sized cow. She raised many calves after that and her last was

Bob Dot a beautiful orange and blackstriped brindle steer. We have her last heifer, a pretty josca named Catarina Muszka whose daughter Pedka (josca and white paint) was named by two Tibetan Lamas. Molé was retired when she was sixteen. She had developed a tough attitude toward EW, which resulted in a bad fight. I heard a commotion, saw a cloud of dust in a corral and all the cattle running out. EW had knocked Molé down into an agarita bush and was preparing to gore her. I beat him off and locked the gate. It took some time before Molé could even get up. When she did I saw one teat was torn and she had

a hole in her shoulder. The vet came, but wisely did no sewing up. Molé stayed in the corral several months recovering, hating my daily ministrations with homeopathy and water therapy. About that time longhorn friends suggested feeding certain minerals to get longer horn growth since our soil lacks those minerals. To much surprise, Molé’s horns have almost double twisted. Molé never stopped trying to fight EW through the corral walls and to this day challenges every bull we’ve had here, one of the reasons for having a separate bull pasture. I guess she rules the roost in her own mind. – Bebe Fenstermaker

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News

Optimist Club hosts Youth Appreciation Day

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SPECIAL TO LareDOS

aredo high school seniors took over city, county, and federal offices as the Laredo Noon Optimist Club hosted its annual Youth Appreciation Day on Nov. 15. Seniors from all eight local high schools and one from Harmony Science Academy participated in the event. The students and officials atGeorge Altgelt tended the TSIsponsored Optimist luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., at the Holiday Inn Civic Center. Laredo attorney George Altgelt was the luncheon guest speaker. David Gonzalez is the Optimist Club president. Co-chairs for the event were Albert Ortiz, Raymundo Saldaña, Javier Gomez, Juan Loera, and Ramiro Martinez. The students and the officials they shadowed included from Alexander High School, Mark Stahl, United States District Judge George P. Kazen; Nicole Wong, Municipal Court Judge Rosie Cuellar Castillo; Melissa Flores, 49th District Court Judge Joe Lopez; and Daniel Colchado, City bridge director Mario Maldonado. From LB J High School, Sandra Bernal, Federal Magistrate Diana Song Quiroga; Armando Mendiola, Assistant Police Chief Jesus Torres; Alicia Vasquez, Webb County Judge Danny Valdez; and Rogelio Sauceda, Federal Public Defender John Gill. From United High School, Kimberly Abbot, 406th District Court Judge Oscar Hale; Federico Elizondo, U.S. Marshal Bill Gruenz; Raul Moreno, County W W W.L A R ED OS N E WS.CO M

Court at Law Judge Jesus Garza; and Alexia Herrera, Webb County District Attorney Isidro Alaniz. From United South High School, Juan Ruiz, Justice of the Peace Oscar Liendo; Amanda Castillo, Federal District Judge Marina García Marmolejo; Edgar Trejo, Border Patrol Chief Carl Landrum; and Rhonda Covington, City Parks and Leisure director Osvaldo Guzman. From Cigarroa High School, Antonio R. Jimenez, Justice of the Peace Ricardo Rangel; Jessica Villalon, federal pre-trial officer Jackie de los Santos; Liliana Negrete, Webb County treasurer Delia Perales; and John C. Rodriguez, Webb County Sheriff Martin Cuellar. From Nixon High School, Ricardo Perez, Webb County District Attorney Isidro Alaniz; Jorge Silva, Customs Border Protection director Sydney Aki; Alyssa Benavidez, Webb County District Clerk Esther Degollado; and Omar Carballo, City Secretary Gustavo Guevara. From Martin High School, Erik Villarreal, City Public Works director John Orfila; Flor Cardenas, City Secretary Gustavo Guevara; Itzamari Treviño, Webb County Public Defender Hugo Martinez; and Luciano Diaz, Webb County Clerk Margie Ibarra. From St. Augustine High School, Diego Levy, Federal Magistrate Judge Scott Hacker; Ivanna Etienne, Federal District Judge Diana Saldaña; Abram Gomez, Webb County Court at Law Judge Ben Morales; and Alexa Sandoval, 111th District Court Judge Monica Notzon. From Harmony Academy, Joseph Lee, Assistant Police Chief Jesus Torres. ◆

Mark Stahl shadowed Federal Judge George Kazen.

Antonio R. Jimenez shadowed Justice of the Peace Ricardo Rangel. LareDOS I N OV E M B ER 2012 I

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LareDOS November Issue  

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