Issuu on Google+

Locally Owned

The idea that you can merchandise candidates for high office like breakfast cereal - that you can gather votes like box tops - is, I think, the ultimate indignity to the democratic process. — Adlai E. Stevenson A JOURNAL OF THE BORDERLANDS September 2012

Est. 1994

Vol. XVII No. 21 64 PAGES

@lareDOSnews

LareDOS Newspaper


2 I LareDOS I S EP T E M B ER 2012

W W W.L A RED OS N E WS.CO M


W W W.L A R ED OS N E WS.CO M

LareDOS I S EP T E M B ER 2012 I

3


Santa María Journal

Adios, big red; happy trails until we don’t meet again

By María Eugenia guerra By MARIA EUGENIA GUERRA LareDOS Publisher

O

ur relationship with the red bull had been a charmed one since his birth. His father, a bull from the gene pool next door, had jumped the fence and bred with one of our beautiful mama cows, and nine months later an outstanding bull calf was born. He grew into a fine torette, eventually becoming the alpha bull of our herd. His progeny were sleek, fine looking animals. A few weeks ago, however, he charged at me when my granddaughter Emily and I were feeding hay – she and Elisa from the bed of the truck, me

on the ground. Because he had always been gentle, his lunge at me was unexpected. But there he was, pushing at me with head and horns – once a quick warning that scraped skin off the arm I raised instinctively across my chest and then again a second later with a little more intent. I made the same decision my father would have made that even a good animal that exhibits bad behaviors will leave the ranch. Keeping my distance, I pulled some of the herd into the corrals with feed, and he came along. I secured the gates and started letting the mother cows out one head at a time until he and a few cows and calves were left in the pens.

When Lolo Gonzalez, who hauls cattle from area ranches to the market in Río Grande, came to load the bull, the animal went snorting mad berserk and pushed Lolo between two gates. When Lolo managed to get him into the small pen we use to push the cattle into the loading chute and onto a trailer, the bull swiveled a 180° and got a short running start to attempt a sail over a pretty tall gate. And there he hung, his front hooves on the ground, one of his back ones stuck in the spaces between the horizontal bars of the gate.

Now a part of the gate, he was suspended, locked in place and unable to move. Lolo and my friend Wally Gonzalez used a long steel pry bar to raise the gate and free the bull who was now in full rampage mode. More quickly than you’d think possible, the bull moved through the pens and chute and onto Lolo’s trailer, but not without having given everyone present powerful jolts of fear and adrenaline. Adios, big red. Happy trails. See you at Burger King. ◆

publisher

María Eugenia Guerra

meg@laredosnews.com Staff Writers

Mariela Rodríguez Silke Jasso Sales

María Eugenia Guerra

ads@laredosnews.com

Contributors Steve Harmon

Juan Alanis

Macedonio Martínez

Cordelia Barrera

Henri Kahn

Circulation, Billing & Subscriptions

Bebe Fenstermaker

Randy Koch

meg@laredosnews.com

Sissy Fenstermaker

Monica McGettrick

Layout/design

Vantage Graphics

Denise Ferguson

Salo Otero

Anita Guerra

Lem Londos Railsback

Neo Gutierrez

design@laredosnews.com

Write a Letter to the Editor meg@laredosnews.com

4 I LareDOS I S EP T E M B ER 2012

W W W.L A RED OS N E WS.CO M


Korean War Veterans were present for the remembrance remarks made on September 11 at the new Laredo Fire Department Fire Administration Building ribbon cutting ceremony. Prayers and a moment of silence were held for the victims and fallen heroes of 9/11.

W W W.L A R ED OS N E WS.CO M

Mariela Rodrgiuez/LareDOS

Mariela Rodriguez/LareDOS

Remembering those who perished

The Tack Room marks a 30-year milestone Laura and Mel Quesada enjoyed the delicious 30th anniversary specials offered at the Tack Room, one of Laredo’s finest eateries.

LareDOS I S EP T E M B ER 2012 I

5


M ailbox L

etters to the publisher

Dear Editor, I am appalled at U.S. Representative Todd Akin’s claim that a woman’s body could shut down a pregnancy in the case of a “legitimate rape!” I am saddened at heart to realize that in our federal seats of power, he has been able for so long to promote his brand of 12th century doctrines. I am appalled that a representative of a group of Americans in the U.S. Congressional District No. 2 could serve so long (Since 2001) and pursue his doctrines. Before District No. 2, he served for years in the state legislature, and apparently never get seriously challenged. Apparently, his constituency likes him and his doctrines enough to currently be promoting him toward one of Missouri’s senatorial positions. I seriously believe that we should carefully and accurately survey the physical boundaries of Congressional District No. 2 and the physical boundaries of those respective districts of all of those Congressional Duds who keep claiming that there is no such thing as “climate change.” Then, if we are going to build a fence around the boundary with Mexico, we should build fences around all those Congressional Districts, too. Perhaps, we can keep the malaise from spreading. Of course, if it is airborne, then, over time, we are all already doomed. Sincerely, Lem Londos Railsback

6 I LareDOS I S EP T E M B ER 2012

Prima Meg, Great August issue. I enjoyed all the articles and pictures. Personally, I found your article on the Eduardo Garza and City Council a bit bothersome. Being able to govern cleanly and openly continues to be an elusive goal for elected officials in our beautiful Laredo. Anyway, I hope voters read LareDOS and remember these shenanigans.    Keep up the good work. Saludos, Joe López

Meg, Thank you for publishing columns by different writers in LareDOS. I especially enjoyed reading Randy Koch’s column titled Serving Sentences In Security. I was laughing all the way from beginning to end while eating my vegetarian lunch and then decided to read it again. I identified with every descriptive step of going through the airport security line. This is one of the best columns and very smartly written to convey the message. I look forward to future issues of LareDOS and Randy’s column in particular. My husband and I enjoy reading your newspaper. Hilda Treviño

W W W.L A RED OS N E WS.CO M


Courtesy Photo

Mariela Rodriguez/LareDOS

Lifetime Member earns Girl Scout Gold Award Candidate Alvarez addresses Kiwanis meeting Kiwanis Club members Richard Leyendecker and Dan Romo are pictured with attorney Patricia Alvarez, who is a candidate for Place 3 on the Fourth Court of Appeals. Alvarez was the guest speaker at the August 28 Kiwanis meeting at the Holiday Inn Cove Lounge.

W W W.L A R ED OS N E WS.CO M

Girl Scout Ambassador member Katia Vega, who earned her Gold Award and is a Lifetime Member of the Girl Scouts, is pictured with Troop 9129 leader Karen Harris and Girl Scout executive Peggy Falian after August 12 award ceremonies at the Girl Scout House. Katia, now a student at UT-San Antonio, was recognized for her dedication, motivation, and accomplishments in scouting. Less than five percent of all Girl Scouts earn the Gold Award.

LareDOS I S EP T E M B ER 2012 I

7


Laredo Public Library board member Carmela Alaniz; TAMIU’s executive director of the Office of Programs for Academic Support and Enrichment Conchita Hickey; Laredo Public Library director Maria Soliz; and adult services librarian Pam Burrel were present for the announcement of the fifth anniversary selection of the One City One Book club read, Marina Nemat’s memoir Prisoner of Tehran.

8 I LareDOS I S EP T E M B ER 2012

Courtesy Photo

Mariela Rodriguez/LareDOS

One City One Book – Prisoner of Tehran

San Ygnacio honoree Lupita Ramirez, 93, was a special guest at recent festivities at the Gabriel Villarreal Nutrition Center in San Ygnacio. She is pictured with Adrian Martinez, Sarita Ramirez Gutierrez, and Victoria Uribe

W W W.L A RED OS N E WS.CO M


Election 2012

L

ifetime educator and former Laredo Independent School District (LISD) administrator Margie Coronado is in the race for the District 4

Margie Coronado seat on the LISD board of trustees. She will face Rick Garza in the November 6 election. Coronado, a Nixon High School graduate (Class of ’76) and a graduate of LCC and Laredo State University, spent 10 years in the trenches as a classroom teacher before moving to the positions of assistant principal and principal within the district. She last served as principal of Buenos Aires (Gallegos) Elementary before moving into administration. “As an experienced teacher and administrator who has worked with students with special needs, students who have limited English proficiency, and students with drug and truancy problems, I know well what our needs are in the district,” Coronado said. W W W.L A R ED OS N E WS.CO M

“I am a product of this school district, and as an educator I am a good communicator, a good listener, and a good problem solver. I have worked with parents, students, district employees, and teachers to find solutions,” she said of her 31year career with LISD. She said that as a principal and an administrator she developed the ability to assess the strengths and weaknesses of classroom teachers. “I was there to help them improve, to move them to their highest potential. I have always been an advocate for educators,” she added. Coronado called herself “a team player who wants to have a part in the success of every student and who wants to make reasonable decisions for programs and district expenses that benefit students and help teachers reach their classroom goals.” The candidate said that despite new and better campuses, the district is still ripe for change. “We still need to take care of business, the business of educating children, the business of helping teachers, and the business of spending taxpayer dollars wisely. We can make changes that improve outcomes and that prepare children for their future in the workplace. We can do this. I’m going in with the intention to make the district better than it is. If you want the same thing – decisions tainted with politics – then keep what you have. I have the educational experience to make informed decisions that can change how the district serves students, parents, teachers, staff, and the taxpayers.” Coronado can be reached at (956) 744-8002 or by email at margiecoronado@rocketmail.com ◆

Maria Eugenia Guerra/LareDOS

Margie Coronado announces for LISD District 4 trustee

At the Treviño Uribe Rancho Robert and Gigi Gonzalez, Carole Alexander, and Henry Mejia were among the Laredoans who attended a reception hosted by the River Pierce Foundation in San Ygnacio on Saturday, September 15. Guests of the foundation took a look at the façade of the Treviño-Uribe Rancho fort as well as plans for its preservation, rehabilitation, restoration, and reconstruction.

LareDOS I S EP T E M B ER 2012 I

9


County Judge Danny Valdez and Commissioner Rosaura “Wawi” Tijerina were present to discuss the importance of the long-awaited Youth Village, at 111 Camino Nuevo Road on Highway 359. Members of the Webb County Commissioners Court and Juvenile Board officially opened the JJAEP building located on the village grounds. Valdez committed himself to allocating the needed funds for the drug prevention facility that will focus on intervention and treatment of youth.

1 0 I LareDOS I S EP T E M B ER 2012

Mariela Rodriguez/LareDOS

Mariela Rodriguez/LareDOS

Inauguration of the JJAEP school on HWY 359

Laredo Public Library’s reading program kickoff On September 1, the Laredo Public Library kicked off its Dahlathon Reading Program which focused on four of Roahl Dahl’s works and was free and open to children ages eight to 14. Each week new discussions, activities, prizes and more were offered pertaining to each literary work.

W W W.L A RED OS N E WS.CO M


W W W.L A R ED OS N E WS.CO M

LareDOS I S EP T E M B ER 2012 I

11


Claudia Rodriguez assisted Martin High School seniors Karina Alvarado and Hector Cuevos with filling out voter registration cards. The registration drive was planned in cooperation with Teaching Mentoring Communities the “I am Laredo. I Vote” project to get out the vote for the November 6 elections.

1 2 I LareDOS I S EP T E M B ER 2012

Maria Eugenia Guerra/LareDOS

Mariela Rodriguez/ LareDOS

MHS voter registration underway

Laredo suite – sofa y llantas largadas Have a seat and let the mosquitoes carrying Dengue Fever nibble on your ankles. How do these two disparately unrelated items end up so frequently paired across the cityscape south of Saunders? These unwanted items sit near the tracks at Moctezuma and Santa Rita.

W W W.L A RED OS N E WS.CO M


Mariela Rodriguez/LareDOS

Under the Sea mural unveiled The Border Region Behavioral Health Center’s Child, Adolescent, and Parent Services wing unveiled its new Under the Sea mural. Mary Bausman, Lestat Alexander, Yulissa Ibarra, and Cindy Ibarra were the artists who brought to life the walls of the facility. The mural is meant to inspire a sense of peace and serenity for CAPS patients.

W W W.L A R ED OS N E WS.CO M

LareDOS I S EP T E M B ER 2012 I

13


News

Pink To Do marks 10th anniversary serving Laredo cancer patients By MARIELA RODRIGUEZ LareDOS Staff

P

ink To Do, a not for profit charitable organization that serves Laredo and the surrounding area, is gearing up for its 10th annual Breast Cancer Awareness Walk on Saturday, October 6 at the South Campus of Laredo Community college. All monies raised go to the needs of breast cancer survivors in the area. Pink To Do’s mission is to educate and create awareness about cancer as well as to improve the quality of life for breast cancer survivors. Elizabeth Benavides, president and founder, initiated the local grassroots movement in 2002, highlighting the overall struggles of breast cancer patients. “One hundred percent of the funds raised at the walk are used exclusively to help breast cancer survivors with assistance with mammograms, sonograms, chemotherapy, radiation, mastectomies, and even reconstructive surgery,” said Benavides, adding, “We assist with the co-pay or the 20% that Medicare doesn’t cover for doctor’s visits and medication costs.” Pink To Do also assists with transportation to and from doctors’ visits in Laredo, San Antonio, and Houston as well as lodging. Benavides said, “If anyone calls us to say they need a ride to get to their doctor or that they need gas money to get to a checkup in San Antonio, we assist them with that.” Benavides added, “We also assist with daily living expenses, such as helping cover utilities. Groceries,

1 4 I LareDOS I S EP T E M B ER 2012

and sometimes items of clothing for themselves or their children are also on the list of things with which we help.” She said one case that has remained in her memory was a cancer survivor, now deceased, who had asked for assistance paying her cable bill while she was hospitalized. “She wanted her daughters to have internet access at home to do their homework,” Benavides said. The organization provides cancer survivors with scarves, wigs, and special lingerie as well as compression sleeves and gloves for those who have emphysema. The all-inclusive organization aims to help breast cancer survivors from all walks of life. “We help all women – from those who have no resources to those who are financially secure, but still must undergo the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer,” said Benavides, adding, “We have men who are breast cancer survivors. Arturo Muñoz is the most outspoken male survivor, and thanks to him we have more men coming forward about their struggles. Male breast cancer patients undergo mastectomies and removal of the lymph nods just like women do.” Early in the life of Pink to Do, Benavides connected with Martha Narvaez, and the two used their own money to promote awareness and to help breast cancer survivors with monetary assistance. Ophelia Noriega, a cancer survivor who was assisted by Pink To Do, joined forces with Benavides and Narvaez. She, like so many cancer survivors, is a role model of endurance in the face of adversity.

As the requests for assistance increased, so did the need for fundraising. Benavides, Noriega, and Narvaez combined their expertise and organized the first Pink To Do walk for breast cancer awareness in the Webb County area in 2002. A little over $1,000 was raised, but because Pink To Do was not yet an official non-profit, they donated the funds to the American Cancer Society. Pink To Do became a tax-exempt entity on August 17, 2005. “We see a trend in women who think they are going to make it

through this financially, but end up in this money dilemma that is very difficult. Pink To Do wants to prevent this from happening or assist them to avoid it,” said Benavides. The annual Pink To Do walk begins at 8 a.m. There is a $20 registration fee. A special memorial service will be held for those who died of breast cancer. Attendees are encouraged to form teams and participate in a team t-shirt contest. For more information contact Elizabeth Benavides at (956) 3190384 or Martha Narvaez at (956) 7911446. ◆

W W W.L A RED OS N E WS.CO M


Feature

A

bit of early morning excitement on the 1800 block of Houston early one Saturday morning. There was a loud trueno and then the lights (and the AC) went out in my building, the law office next door, and several houses across the street. By the light of my LED Petzl headlamp I found my Green Mountain account number and made the call to report an outage. First call, 12:18 a.m., reporting the loud “boom” of the transformer, and a qué paso call around 1 during which I was told a crew had been dispatched. Not so, because I got a call from AEP around 2 to ask if my power

h a d c o m e back on. The caller caught my drift that I don’t have access to that kind of magic and said he would be there quickly. He was, lights ablazing. Two trucks and two men who knew exactly what to do by the light of their own Petzls and flashlights had the power back on in less than half an hour. Great service once they arrived. A tlaquache or a large rat (we are just blocks from Seedy Hall) had barbecued himself and caused the outage. Waiting in the dark is not a conW W W.L A R ED OS N E WS.CO M

templative exercise for me. Prior to the outage I had been amassing a huge pile of dirty dishes in the kitchen because I had been preparing a meal I would take to share with friends in San Ygnacio. There was a cake in the (electric) oven. The Petzl threw light on the business in the sink, and I washed the dishes, and by its light I packed the meal into containers. I walked outside a few times, dodging bugs from hell drawn to the lamp on my forehead. From my front porch I saw a man

m o ving with stealth and a flashlight around the building next door, as though he knew the lay of the land. I can’t remember how I greeted him, because I was a little terrified. It was David Almaraz who had been notified that the alarm in his building had powered off. We had a great conversation – as they always are with David. The only light in my house for the hours the power was off was the faint glow of the screen of my laptop. Its lonely emanation gave rise to thoughts of how life would be without power, a contemplation too large to process at a moment that sleep was calling me by my name, all my names. I fell to dreams, my Petzl within reach. ◆

Admiring the cleaned façade of historic fort Karen Mejia, Vernon and Mary Grace Carroll, and David Brown enjoyed a cool morning at the Treviño Fort in San Ygnacio, the historic ranch compound designated a National Historic Landmark and the first site on a new national trail established by the National Parks Service as El Camino Real de los Tejas.

Mariela Rodriguez/LareDOS

By MARIA EUGENIA GUERRA LareDOS Publisher

Maria Eugenia Guerra/LareDOS

Wait and don’t see

Fashion gives way to local charitable cause Laura Rubio, Marsha Narvaez, Edna Santos, and Elizabeth Benavides were present at the Fashion Night Out event at Mall del Norte on September 6. They encouraged attendees to learn more about the Pink To Do Cancer Awareness Association as well as signed people up for their upcoming cancer awareness walk. LareDOS I S EP T E M B ER 2012 I

15


News

Judge Oscar J. Hale, Anna Galo to reign at SOL Masquerade Ball BY MARIELA RODRIGUEZ LareDOS Staff

D

Mariela Rodriguez/LareDOS

istrict Court Judge Oscar J. Hale Jr. and Anna Galo will reign as Rey and Reina over the 2012 Streets of Laredo SOL Masquerade Ball, which is set for October 26 at La Posada Hotel’s San Agustín Ballroom. Both Hale and Galo, active supporters of the revitalization of downtown Laredo, were recognized for their commitment. The October 26 costume ball features live music from Banda Show Internacional, a silent auction for one of a kind items, and La Posada’s signature drink, the “Venetian Vampire.” Attendees are encourages to don

creative attire, including festive costumes and masks, that compliment the evening’s masquerade theme. “The best part of this event is that all of the proceeds go to benefit our very own historic downtown and the many projects of Laredo Main Street” said Enrique Lobo, event chair and LMS board member. Proceeds will go toward projects such as El Centro de Laredo Farmers Market as well as to highlight what downtown has to offer. Individual tickets are $100 per person. Prices for a table of 10 or 12 are being offered at between $1,000 and $2,000. For more information or table purchases contact the Laredo Main Street office at (956) 523-8817 or the Laredo Center for the Arts at (956) 725-1715. ◆

District Judge Oscar J. Hale and Anna Galo will reign over SOL Masquerade Ball festivities. They are surrounded by a coterie of costumed friends at the recent announcement at La Posada Hotel.

1 6 I LareDOS I S EP T E M B ER 2012

W W W.L A RED OS N E WS.CO M


News

SNL’s Seth Meyers to headline Stars 2012 scholarship extravaganza By MARIELA RODRIGUEZ LareDOS Staff

S

aturday Night Live Weekend Update anchor and head writer Seth Meyers will headline the 2012 Stars Extravaganza, the annual scholarship fundraising event which this year will be held on October 24. Of Meyers, Stars co-founder Linda LaMantia said, “We went back and forth. Four years ago we brought in a comedian and everyone found it so refreshing given that it was an election year and everyone was sick of politicians. So this year we decided to bring Seth Meyers from Saturday Night Live.” Stars celebrates its 10th anniversary with the news that nearly $18 million in scholarships have been awarded to local students. The funds available for scholarships are directly dependent on the success of the annual Extravaganzas. In years past, top entertainers

Steve Meyers and presenters have included Steve Forbes, Karl Rove, and Carlos Mencia. Laura Escamila, executive director of Stars, said, “This year we were able to award $2.3 million dollars as a result of the funds raised at the 2011 Extravaganza in the Rio Grande Valley, Corpus Christi, and Laredo.” Escamila added, “Stars is preparing to award an additional $2.2 million in scholarships for the 2012-2013 aca-

demic year.” Through the community’s generosity the Stars Scholarship Fund has helped over 8,000 South Texas students receive a college education. LaMantia said, “We thank you all so much for your support. The importance of education is mutually understood among us. Stars is a community-involved scholarship effort. We want to encourage and motivate other local businesses to sponsor our initiatives

and aid in providing students with the means to pursue their higher education.” Local businesses are encouraged to support Stars’ initiatives by becoming sponsors and attending the private event prior to Meyers’ presentation. The Stars Scholarship Fund applies 100% of contributions made by sponsors towards student scholarships. Stars, formerly the acronym for South Texas Rising Scholars, was renamed to expand the scholarship opportunities to the El Paso area. To become a sponsor or for more information on the Stars Scholarship Fund contact Stars at info@StarsScholarship.org or visit www.StarsScholarship.org ◆

Linda LaMantia W W W.L A R ED OS N E WS.CO M

LareDOS I S EP T E M B ER 2012 I

17


Elections 2012

Sid Holden will face incumbent Jorge Vera, challengers Salinas and Patiño for District VII Council seat By MARIA EUGENIA GUERRA LareDOS Publisher

S

id Holden, a Laredoan wellknown in media sales and for her community service with Crimestoppers and fundraising for numerous local non-profits, has announced her candidacy for City Council District VII. Holden is a founder of the annual Crimestoppers fundraiser, the Menudo Bowl. She will face incumbent Jorge Vera and challengers Yolanda Salinas and Hector Lee Patiño in the November 6 elections. “I am not a politician,” Holden said, adding that she would like to be thought of as a public servant. “I want to be a voice for District VII. I am unencumbered. I don’t have a price, and I can’t be bought off. I speak up, and I want to speak up for the citizens of District VII and their needs,” said the candidate whose upbeat campaign slogan reads, “Tomorrow is looking good!” Holden, a resident of Belmont Plaza neighborhood, said, “After redistricting, I thought about changes I would like to see in my own neighborhood and in the district. I want to be the voice of the people, someone who stands her ground. It is not what I want, it is what you, the residents of District VII want.” The candidate, who is known for her energy and positive ideas, said that she would like to see more of a law enforcement presence on the Mines Road and a designated commercial lane to separate the fast-moving 18-wheelers from the traffic of residents, area business owners, and school buses. Holden said the City needs to rethink its effort to deal with stray pets

1 8 I LareDOS I S EP T E M B ER 2012

Sid Holden

She said the city needs to be more aggressively green in its policies and actions. “We need an ordinance to reduce the use of plastic bags that are an eyesore all over the city.” Enforcement of such an ordinance, she said, would make the city noticeably cleaner. “Veterans need our help with jobs and housing,” she said. “And we need to prioritize our projects to answer their need. We should never turn our backs on them.” Holden said she would like the city have a “can-do” attitude with which problems are addressed rather than ignored. “We need to take charge and

change the things that need changing to make us a progressive city that serves all Laredoans,” she said. “How do you do that?” she asked. “You have transparency and abide by a set of ethics that makes you accountable and trustworthy to those you serve.” Holden said she has not taken campaign contributions from Eduardo Garza. Holden is married to Stephen Holden. They have five children – Tanner, Trevor, and Taylor Lemon, and Brad and Brandi Holden. You can reach Sid Holden at holden4dist7@att.net ◆

on the streets and with pet owners who are not responsible. She cited the costs associated with retrieving a pet that has been picked up. “Most people would not be able to afford the $300 or so dollars associated with getting your dog back. Yes, we need a leash law, the electronic chip, and court fees, but we need to re-visit the whole process. A person unable to come up with $300 should not have to lose a family pet,” she said, adding that the City needs to operate a veterinary facility for spaying and neutering. “I am a strong proponent of education. Let’s utilize the public facilities we already have to provide many of the things we need educationally for our children, such as tutoring and after-school activities that enrich their minds,” Holden said, adding, “Those same facilities need to be used for activities for seniors.” Holden said that even as Laredo is poised for continued growth, “We are not always welcoming to businesses that want to locate here. That needs to change.” W W W.L A RED OS N E WS.CO M


News

On speaking up, giving the devil his due, and redemption in the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit By MARIA EUGENIA GUERRA LareDOS Publisher

S

peaking up in the courtroom has been a hallmark of attorney Edward Fahey’s career, something he says has cost him dearly. When a judge in a bankruptcy case called his own witness to a hearing, Fahey filed a complaint with the Fifth Circuit Judicial Council, alleging that the judge’s witness had improperly impeached Fahey’s. “You expect an opposing attorney to call a witness to a hearing, but not a judge,” Fahey said. “I sent the Judicial Council a transcript, and they considered the matter but dismissed it and told me it would be better handled through an appeal.” The judge, Fahey said, had a heart attack and once recovered turned his sights on Fahey. “He went through all my bankruptcy cases over the last four years, gathered my errors, and filed an action against me under bankruptcy code saying I had a pattern of messing up and that because of that I needed to be enjoined from representing a bankruptcy debtor again.” The judge sent a letter to the State Bar saying that clients had been hurt by Fahey’s actions. The Bar rested on the first letter. On his own motion the judge filed a case against Fahey and ultimately ordered an injunction. “After a second letter and the injunction, the bar had to respond. The judge effectively closed the door to my business, and it cratered. I sent a notice to my Laredo clients advising them that my office was closed, but failed to send notice to three out of town clients, who when they couldn’t find me, reported me to the State W W W.L A R ED OS N E WS.CO M

Bar. There were now three complaints against me.” To keep his law license, Fahey was advised to admit to culpability on the bankruptcy errors and the failure to notify all his clients of his office closure. On October 14, 2010, Fahey took a plea, agreed to a twoyear fully probated State Bar suspension, and kept his law license. Fahey had three employment cases in federal court at the time of the probated sentence, one past summary judgment. On November 8, 2010 Fahey received an Order of Suspension from federal Judge Micaela Alvarez apprising him that he was prohibited from practicing law in the Southern District of Texas pending further investigation by the chief judge of the Court. In her order, Alvarez cited the State Bar of Texas suspension and invoked “reciprocal rule 3 A of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas” by which “a lawyer suspended or disbarred by another court in the United States shall immediately cease to practice before this court.” The order directed Fahey to notify clients of his suspension from practice in federal court. “I provided my clients with the names and addresses of good attorneys. One of my former clients was able to afford another attorney, and the other, unable to afford an attorney, had his case dismissed and lost his cause of action against the city of Laredo.” Fahey said that in June of 2011, he had clients appealing a decision out of the Dallas Merit System Protection Board. The appeal from that board went to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C. “I had

to apply to be a member of the bar. I had to fill out an application that detailed Judge Alvarez’s order. I attached her order of suspension and the docket sheet which showed that the order giving notice to disbar me and barring me from federal court all happened on the very same day, so that notice and the opportunity to be heard were impossible.” The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued an order in December 2011 – which for an erroneous addressee Fahey did not receive until August 21, 2012 – stating that the Judge Alvarez’s November 2010 order issued in District Court was not conclusively binding in the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and that reciprocal discipline could be avoided if an independent review revealed, among other things, that “1) the procedure was so lacking in notice or opportunity to be heard that it constituted a deprivation of due process or 2) the misconduct established is deemed by this court to warrant substantially different discipline.” The order of the Court of Appeals said (without naming her) that Judge Alvarez’s application of Rule 3 to Fahey’s suspension, was without proper notice and without informing him that he could ask the court to follow due process procedures. “Thus Fahey was penalized far beyond the bases cited in support of his suspension,” the order reads, further citing that Rule 4, which deals with suspension by consent, would have been the correct rule to apply. The December 2011 Court of Appeals order, which was signed by Chief Judge Randall R. Rader, orders that “Fahey may practice law

SIDEBAR In 2006 Fahey said he defended a court translator whose job was threatened by a complaint filed by Judge Alvarez. “I appeared before the clerk of the Southern District to negotiate the translator’s future. In a letter I wrote to the Administrative Office of the Federal Courts in Washington on behalf of the translator, I said that the translator was being treated unfairly and that the judge was re-translating what the translator was saying, which to me is giving evidence. I said in my letter that because someone is of Hispanic background that does not necessarily make them an expert translator,” Fahey said. “The Judge may have gotten word of the letter, because that is when she set her sights on me,” Fahey said, adding, “I am reminded of A Man for All Seasons in which Sir Thomas More, a stalwart of due process, argues with William Roper who has asked, ‘So now you’d give the Devil benefit of law?’ More answers, ‘Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?’ Roper counters, ‘I’d cut down every law in England to do that!’ and More answers, ‘Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ‘round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man’s laws, not God’s! And if you cut them down, and you’re just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake! ’” Fahey said, “The laws that protect the devil protect you and me.” Continued on next page

44

LareDOS I S EP T E M B ER 2012 I

19


Fahey posed the question, “What does this mean for the wider community. A lawyer misbehaves, he needs to get slapped. We accept that, but you go too far when you violate the Constitution. Judge Alvarez’s order said there would be an investigation, which never took place. It did not say I would have due process. That is a depreciation of the value of the laws that protect all other citizens. If they can do this to a lawyer, what are they doing to the poor bastards that they pick up in the monte?” “As officers of the court, we have a duty to speak up. If you’ve been cowed or suppressed or humiliated or put down in open court in front of your client, you still need to speak out. I’m an example of the worst that can happen to you. That’s a risk all lawyers should take to defend their clients,” he said. ◆

Maria Eugenia Guerra/LareDOS

before this court on the grounds that he continues to abide by the terms and conditions of his fully probated suspension before the State Bar of Texas; Fahey is directed to send a copy of this order to all other courts before which he is admitted; and that a copy of this order shall be transmitted to the National Lawyer Regulatory Data Bank.” Of the order, which he received nine months after its issuance, Fahey said, “It was unexpected. I read it and put my head in my hands and cried. This was a redemption of sorts. The District Court judge surpassed her authority to slap me harder than her authority allowed her to do. I’ve been home for two years, out of business. Financially, this has been devastating with quasi-criminal repercussions that defeated my income and ruined my business. Her order impugned my integrity like a criminal penalty.”

First you register, then you vote November 6 Martin High School held a voter registration drive to encourage its eligible students to participate in the November 6 election. Pictured left to right with LISD director of communications Veronica Castillon (second from left) are faculty members María Villarreal, Javier Vazquez, Cristina Segovia, Lizzie Galvan, Jamie Hein, Carl Medina, and Richard Treviño.

Mariela Rodriguez/LareDOS

Courtesy Photo

www.laredosnews.com

United South registers voters

Remembering 9/11 TAMIU students offered prayers, a moment of silence, and a candle vigil to commemorate those who perished in the tragic events of September 11.

2 0 I LareDOS I S EP T E M B ER 2012

Jackie Martinez, Communities in School staff member; Chris Sandoval, Student Activity coordinator; and TMC employees Minnie Villarreal and Laura Arriaga were part of the “I am Laredo…I Vote” voter registration drive held recently at United South High School. The group assisted eligible students and employees to register to vote for the upcoming November 6 election. October 9 is the last day to register to vote. UISD will be hosting voter registration drives at the other high school campuses throughout the month of September.   W W W.L A RED OS N E WS.CO M


Election 2012

Roque Vela Jr. seeking election to City Council District V seat By MARIA EUGENIA GUERRA LareDOS Publisher

B

usinessman Roque Vela Jr., a native Laredoan, wants to bring what he knows about budgets, cash flow, and prioritized expenditures to City Council decision-making. “The city is a business,” Vela said. “We could do a much better job budgeting our money, maximizing the potential and productivity of city employees, and developing untapped revenue streams,” he said. The graduate of Nixon High School and Hardin Simmons University said he grew up in the family business – Jett Bowl – and went straight into

them remain “the tough part of the equation.” He said that of necessity and for lack of funds, “We are taking shortcuts on staffing and how they are being maintained. It’s a lack of vision to build them and not be able to run them or care for them properly. It is with a lack of vision that we are spending our money, taxpayer money.” Vela said the city continues to spend money on non-priorities. “We’ve sold a ridiculous amount of bonds this year. We’ve hamstrung ourselves.” He said he is looking forward to “being able to work with reasonable members of the City Council.” He said that quality of life proj-

Roque, Azalee, Tristan, and Kerissa Vela it after college. “I’ve learned how to squeeze everything out of a penny – how to budget, how to maintain a good work environment, and how to treat your customers. There is much truth to the adage ‘a penny saved is a penny earned.’ We would do well as a city to treat taxpayer money as we do our home and business finances – with great care,” he said. Vela said that while the city is building beautiful recreation centers, the overhead and maintenance of W W W.L A R ED OS N E WS.CO M

ects, such as the rec centers, “are always important,” but the city needs to improve infrastructure and catch up with the demands of growth. “We will be in a very precarious situation for lack of infrastructure,” he said, adding that north to south roads like Bartlett need to connect to Del Mar to alleviate traffic congestion. One of the untapped revenue streams Vela sees is “thousands of acres of undeveloped land in north Laredo. One 900-acre tract, which

pays agricultural use taxes, could be turned into residential and commercial development. The five or six million it might cost the city in platting and infrastructure would come back quickly in property taxes.” Vela said such an undertaking would also create job stimulation in construction and real estate, and increase sales tax revenues. He said the best scenario for development of raw land in his district would have been to earmark some of the sports venue tax as an impact tax. As it turned out, Vela said, neither the arena nor the Unitrade stadium “were good investments.” He continued, “We don’t look at the bigger picture. We are reactionary instead of visionary. I can see the uptick in development as a member of the Planning and Zoning Commission. There are more property sales. There are more developers coming before us. We need to be proactive about development. The more they develop, the more tax dollars will flow. We need to be more aggressive. We need to give them a helping hand. We can’t build roads to help developers, but we can plat lands when appropriate.” Vela said he would like to see a forward thinking City Council that will capitalize on the continuing economic opportunities of international trade and the Eagle Ford Shale play. “Opportunities that benefit the entire community and not individuals,” he stressed. He said that while it is important to be part of educating and preparing a workforce for the Eagle Ford Shale, “We cannot lose sight of making sure that those who want a college education get one. For those whose best option is going to work right away in the oilfield, yes, let’s prepare them.” Regarding the Eagle Ford Shale, Vela said the city needs to zone for

RV parks to take advantage of the housing component of the play. “We need to be more diverse as we understand more fully that we are competing with other cities for services and products.” Vela said the city “is not aggressive enough about tax abatements and other amenities that draw new business to Laredo. Those businesses given abatements will become regular taxpayers once the abatement period is up.” As to downtown, Vela said, “It doesn’t so much need to be revived as it needs to be reinvented. We need to work as a team to make a real effort to make a real plan that helps the merchants who are there, but also helps to draw other businesses. I don’t think that effort has really been made.” Vela said the city needs not to forget its sister city and trade partner, Nuevo Laredo. “In many aspects, that relationship is vital,” he said, adding, “We need not to just say we are the largest inland port. We need to be the best inland port, a city that welcomes business and does all possible to expedite the movement of goods.” Vela continued, “I have nothing but the best interests of this community at heart. It is the well being of the community that is important to me, and it should be that way for every council member. I owe no political favors. If we are complicit as a whole council, that limits our ability to move forward. It’s easy to spend when you think you are spending other people’s money, but this is our money, taxpayer money. Think of what could have been done with the millions of dollars that went into the international bridge that was never built.” Vela said he has not taken camContinued on page 24

44

LareDOS I S EP T E M B ER 2012 I

21


News

Deaths in Mexico by U.S. Border agents becoming an alarming trend By MELISSA DEL BOSQUE LareDOS Contributor

A

U.S. Border Patrol agent has shot another man in Mexico – this time in Nuevo Laredo. Nora Isabel Lam Gallegos reported that her husband Guillermo Arevalo Pedroz, 36, was fatally shot on the Mexican side of the Rio Grande Monday at a popular park called “The Skating Rink.” Arevalo and his family were having a BBQ and celebrating a birthday, according to Gallegos in an interview by Laredo’s KGNS News. Gallegos and other witnesses say U.S. Border Patrol agents in a boat were trying to apprehend a man swimming across the Rio Grande to Texas. The man turned back toward Mexico and an agent fired toward the Mexican side of the riverbank hitting Gallegos’ husband at the park. No Border Patrol agents were hurt in the incident. In a statement from the Border Patrol, the agency said people in Mexico pelted the agents with rocks, reports KGNS News. The Mexican government has repeatedly lodged diplomatic complaints with the United States concerning the “disproportionate use of lethal force” by U.S. immigration agents. Both the FBI and the Mexican government are investigating the incident. According to El Universal, a Mexico City-based newspaper, an U.S. citizen reportedly filmed the entire incident on a cell phone and turned it over to the Mexican authorities. This is the second time an U.S. Border Patrol agent in Texas has fatally shot someone in Mexico in the last three months. In both cases, Border Patrol claimed they were being pelted with rocks, which required them to

shoot in self defense. On July 9, an U.S. Border Patrol agent fatally shot Juan Pablo Perez Santillan. The 30-year-old was standing on the bank of the Rio Grande in Matamoros just across from Brownsville. In a lawsuit filed by his family, they claim Perez Santillan was standing on the riverbank while a group of people swam across the river to Texas. The group was spotted by U.S. Border Patrol agents. In a statement after the shooting, the agency says its agents were pelted with rocks and fired in self defense. This death in Nuevo Laredo is the fifth time a U.S. border agent has killed someone on Mexican soil in the last two years. Ramses Torres, 17, was shot in Nogales, Sonora, in 2011, and Jose Yañez Reyes was killed that same year in Tijuana. Sergio Hernandez Guereca, 15, was killed in Juarez in 2010 by U.S. Border Patrol, agent Jesus Mesa. This a disturbing trend that doesn’t bode well for an already tense relationship with Mexico. With the increasing number of fatal shootings in Mexico by U.S. agents and the shooting of two CIA agents in Mexico last week by the Federal Police, Mexico’s incoming President Enrique Peña Nieto has not only domestic woes to contend with but international ones as well. (This story originally appeared in the September 7 issue of The Texas Observer. for which author Melissa del Bosque specializes in reporting on immigration and the U.S.-Mexico border. Her work has been published in national and international publications including TIME magazine and the Mexico City-based Nexos magazine. She has a master’s in public health from Texas A&M University and a master’s in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin.) ◆

2 2 I LareDOS I S EP T E M B ER 2012

W W W.L A RED OS N E WS.CO M


News

BY MARIELA RODRIGUEZ LareDOS Staff

T

he Webb County Heritage Foundation is in preparation for its second annual Laredo UFO Conference, which will be held November 10 at Texas A&M International University. The conference will feature presentations from an international line-up of speakers. Canadian nuclear physicist, UFO researcher, and lecturer Stanton Friedman will speak at the UFO conference. Co-author of Crash at Corona: The Definitive Study of the Roswell Incident, Friedman is the original civilian investigator in the Roswell incident. Over the years, he has provided written testimony at Congressional hearings and has appeared twice before the United Nations. Diana Perla Chapa, Mexican television host and producer, and Monterrey radio host Jeronimo Flores, are also featured speakers. Chapa, who has 30 years experience as a UFO field researcher, began her studies after an encounter she had at the age of nine. She will speak about the Mayan predictions and extraterrestrials. Flores serves as the director of Organización Mexicana de Investigadores del Fenómeno Ovni (OMIFO), the Mexican counterpart of Mutual UFO Network (MUFON). Another speaker, Paul Von Ward of Georgia, holds graduate degrees in government and psychology from Harvard University and Florida State University. Von Ward has served in the U.S. Navy and as a foreign services officer for the W W W.L A R ED OS N E WS.CO M

U.S. State Department. His investigations revolve around the refusal of modern science and religion to address the possibility of human interaction with advanced beings. Von Ward’s use of sacred texts and other historic documents creates a link between religion, gods, and alien intervention. Von Ward will present a history of alien intervention in human development from about 250,000 years ago to the present. Author of Fallen Angel: UFO Crash Near Laredo, Texas, Noe Torres of Edinburg, a member of the MUFON makes his second appearance in Laredo. Known as the “Laredo UFO Crash,” the case addressed in Fallen Angel occurred one year after the famous Roswell UFO Incident. He has co-written three other books with Ruben Uriarte, a California UFO researcher. Torres holds a Bachelor’s in English and a Master’s in library science from the University of Texas at Austin. Laredo’s own Laredo Paranormal Research Society (LPRS), a non-profit organization committed to the scientific investigation of paranormal activity in the area, will focus on documentation of UFO cases that have occurred recently in Laredo and surrounding areas. LPRS members recently gave presentations at UFO conferences in Roswell and Presidio. Tickets to the UFO conference are $30. For more information on the conference visit www.laredoufo.com or call the Webb County Heritage Foundation at (956) 7270977. ◆

Mariela Rodriguez/LareDOS

Nuclear physicist, researchers, investigators headline UFO conference

LPO fundraising gala Sandra Fields, Rolinda Lawrence, Malorie Thomas, and Linda Mott are pictured at the Laredo Philharmonic Gala on Friday, September 14 at the Civic Center Ballroom.

LareDOS I S EP T E M B ER 2012 I

23


right and doing the right thing – I’m going to do what I think is right,” Vela said, adding, “My work will be to set the table for my children and for the children of this community, so that they inherit a city that bears the results of sound planning and sound spending.” Vela is married to Kerissa Gonzalez Vela, and they have two children, Tristan, 10, and Azalee, 5. A 2012 inductee into the Latin American International Sports Hall of Fame, Vela said he represents “the hardworking people of Laredo.” He said, “It comes down to respect – for others and self respect, how you carry yourself, how you present yourself.” He attributes his work ethic to the lessons learned from his parents, Cookie and Roque Vela Sr. He characterized his campaign as a grassroots effort staffed by family and close friends. Vela’s campaign headquarters are at 618 Del Mar. “If you can’t find me there, I’m at the Jett Bowl. I am very approachable,” he said. ◆

2 4 I LareDOS I S EP T E M B ER 2012

Mariela Rodriguez/LareDOS

 Continued FROM page 21 paign money from businessman Eduardo Garza, who has extensive ties to the City of Laredo and who has contributed to the campaign races of Mayor Raul Salinas and several City Council members. He contrasted the differences between himself and his opponent, UISD trustee Pat Campos, as “huge.” He said, “I am accountable to my wife and children. I answer to them. I am completely invested in this community, through my business and my home. The stronger and more progressive our community is, the better future my children will have. This our home. I was born here, and I will die here. The well being of my children and future grandchildren is important to me. We are not building just for the day – we are building for the future.” “Everyone brings something different to the table, “Vela said. “I’m bringing business sense and common sense. Those go a long way, and so does basic arithmetic. Treating people

Children’s illustrated literature on display at TAMIU Texas A&M International University’s Center for the Fine and Performing Arts Gallery hosted the Golden Kite, Golden Dreams art exhibit on September 6, as part of a U.S. tour that features award winning children’s illustrations. Julie and Manuel Barrera were present to admire the artwork.

W W W.L A RED OS N E WS.CO M


Feature

Laredoan Alejandra Salinas addresses Democratic National Convention by MARIELA RODRIGUEZ LareDOS Staff

T

he Democratic National Convention pulled out all the stops to showcase diversity, and Laredoan Alejandra Salinas was a natural as she opened with, “Buenas noches, democratas.” The first-ever Latina president of the College Democrats of America (CDA) is an alumni of Alexander High School and a recent graduate of the University of Texas at Austin’s McCombs School of Business with a BA in Management. She discovered her passion for politics when she organized a student walk-out her junior year of high school to draw attention to the issue of immigration reform and to motivate others to take notice of the issues that directly affected them. In Salinas’ opinion, President Barack Obama has taken a tremendous step forward when it comes to immigration. She said he brings hope and possibilities to Dreamers who through no fault of their own are in this country, a country that they have grown to love and in which they wish to remain. “It is important we elect Democrats up and down the ticket because on the other side we have someone like Mitt Romney who says he’ll veto the Dream Act,” said Salinas. She added, “Just in terms of phrasing, Romney calls these individuals illegal aliens, whereas President Obama refers to them as Dreamers. It is just a different way of looking at the individuals affected by these policies. That’s why we need to reelect the president – because he understands the issues and our community.” Of her own voice in politics, Salinas said, “It’s been a combination of having a very supportive family and learning at a very young age that through poliW W W.L A R ED OS N E WS.CO M

tics and our democracy young people can make a profound difference. You can have a voice whether you are 18 or 50 or older.” Throughout her term as president of CDA, Salinas focused on national and state politics. “There were a number of things I felt we were able to accomplish. Internally we’ve seen a growth as an organization,” she said, adding, “We have a presence now in over 40 states and growth in some of our key battleground states like Iowa, Florida, North Carolina, and Colorado. Where we used to have 15 chapters, now we’re up to 20 or 30 chapters on campuses.” She had also set a goal to raise the profile of College Democrats, which the CDA was able to accomplish through a number of interviews and outreach efforts, but most notably and most recently with Salinas addressing the Democratic National Convention. “It was my first time attending the convention, and it was incredible. The

energy in the room and the energy you feel from the delegates is astounding, and it just reminds you why you are in this. You can’t compare the amount of energy people have for this president and this party. There is a real sense of hope for the future,” added Salinas. Representing Latinos, Laredo, immigrants, and the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community, Salinas made the case for why she believes Obama is the right leader for this country. “I really just wanted to get my message out forwhy I support the president. I wanted people to know my background to show why the president and his policies are important to me and my generation,” she said. Regarding being an LGBT member, Salinas added, “The Democratic Party has always been very welcoming of my identity. I have never received negative scrutiny from the media. I’ve received very positive reactions from my friends

and family.” Salinas maintains that the president has always been a supporter of the LGBT community. “Obama repealed Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and has endorsed marriage equality, whereas Romney wants to pass a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. The choice couldn’t be more clear in every aspect what direction the two candidates would steer this country,” said Salinas. She said political issues should be viewed from a personal stance, for how they will affect you. “For example if you’re a student and have a student loan, as the vast majority of us do, who the next president is will have an impact on you,” she cautioned, referring to this past summer when Republicans wanted to increase student loan interest rates to 6.8% and Democrats wanted to keep it at 3.3%. She said a cure for voter apathy is to really understand the issues and how they will affect students, business owners, the poor, and the elderly. “It is different for everyone and it’s important to figure out what that means to each individual person,” Salinas said. “I hope that Laredoans know that their voice matters just as much as anyone else’s anywhere in the country,” Salinas added, “It is important for them to recognize that they are a part of a growing community of Latinos. We all need to embrace that and take ownership to make sure that the interests and polices that matter most to them are heard.” There is little doubt we will hear again from this focused, well-spoken young voice that was heard so well above the din of the national political arena. Salinas, the daughter of Anna María and Octavio Salinas, is currently studying law at Boston College. ◆

LareDOS I

S EP T E M B ER 2012 I

25


Mariela Rodriguez/LareDOS

Little Ms. Galaxy, Ms. Belleza Latina Kendra Chantal Alfaro, Little Ms. Galaxy and Jessica Thomas, Ms. Belleza Latina Internacional, were present for a meet and greet on Septemeber 6 at Mall Del Norte’s fashion show event.

2 6 I LareDOS I S EP T E M B ER 2012

W W W.L A RED OS N E WS.CO M


W W W.L A R ED OS N E WS.CO M

LareDOS I S EP T E M B ER 2012 I

27


The best kept secret in Laredo

1, 2 and 3 bedroom floorplans available. Prices starting at $725 Town houses and corporate suites also available For more information, please contact: www.carmelapts.com Carmel Apartments Office Hours 830 Fasken Blvd. Laredo, Texas M-F 8:30-5:30 956.753.6500, 956.753.6502 fax Sat. 10:00-5:00

Sit back, relax, and welcome home

2 8 I LareDOS I S EP T E M B ER 2012

W W W.L A RED OS N E WS.CO M


News

Girl Scouts itinerary – Camp Spooky, Caroling Extravaganza, Let It Snow Sleepover, Mother-Daughter Sock Hop

T

he Girl Scouts of Laredo have announced a great lineup of activities for the next several months. The Second Annual Camp Spooky, an evening of safe trick or treating, is set for October 27 at the Girl Scout House at 701 Stone Street. Individual troops will set up and decorate tents for the event. The evening ends with an outdoor movie and S’Mores. Each Scout will receive a participation patch. Girl Scouts will celebrate Thanksgiving with a traditional dinner at the Girl Scout House on November 18 from noon to 2 p.m. Each troop will bring its own traditional Thanksgiving main course, sides, and a dessert. Participation patches

W W W.L A R ED OS N E WS.CO M

will be available for those who register early. The event includes crafts and games. A Cookie Recipe Exchange and Caroling Extravaganza is set for December 8 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Girl Scout House. The cost is $15 and includes a participation patch. Scouts are urged to bring two dozen of their favorite cookies and the recipe for them. Hot chocolate will be served, and Santa will be on hand for photos. The 4th Annual Let It Snow sleepover is on tap for December 15 and 16. Spaces are limited for the event that includes laser tag, 2-lane human sphere racing, a western shootout inflatable game, pizza dinner, campfire fun, and breakfast the next

morning. The event runs from 4 p.m. December 15 through 10 a.m. on December 16. Participation is limited to 120 girls. The cost is $45 and a participation patch is included. The Mother-Daughter Sock Hop will be held February 9 from 2 to 6 p.m. at the Girl Scout House. The cost is $20 per participant, which includes a patch and a meal. Activities include a hula hoop contest, bubble gum blowing contest, limbo, Coke float, and lots of jive. Poodle skirts are welcome.

World Thinking Day, themed Reducing Child Mortality and Improving Maternal Health, is set for Saturday, February 23 at the Girl Scout House from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The focus countries are the Republic of Ireland, Jordan, Malawi, Pakistan, and Venezuela. Scouts are invited to share traditions, foods, and costumes from these countries. For more information on all events, call Raquel Esparza at 6939504. – LareDOS Staff

www.laredosnews.com

LareDOS I S EP T E M B ER 2012 I

29


Chayanne, along with Marc Anthony and Marco Antonio Solis, headlined the Gigant3s tour at the Laredo Energy Arena. Chayanne drove a sold out arena wild with his sensational dance moves.

3 0 I LareDOS I S EP T E M B ER 2012

Mariela Rodriguez/LareDOS

Mariela Rodriguez/LareDOS

Gigant3s concert at LEA

Bazaar hosts artists works Victoria Marques, 16, displayed her impressive art work at the French Quarter Bazaar on Saturday, September 8.  

W W W.L A RED OS N E WS.CO M


W W W.L A R ED OS N E WS.CO M

LareDOS I S EP T E M B ER 2012 I

31


Feature

Youth hunting program educates, offers invaluable outdoor experience By MARIA EUGENIA GUERRA LareDOS Publisher

H

gram, which is open to children between the ages of 9 and 17. TYHP hunt master David Cardwell said that the hunts are organized with eight youths to a group, often an all-boy group, and other times all girls, and sometimes a coed group. “They must have completed a hunter education class and have a hunting license and a markmanship certificate,” Cardwell said. “They go out with a guide, and if they harvest an animal, they will learn how to field dress, skin, and quarter their animal. They will take it home in an ice chest,” he added. According to Cardwell, “Our goal is for the youngster and his or her parent to have a memorable weekend together in a natural setting in

which they learned to appreciate and respect the outdoors and understood the rancher’s wildlife management plan. We hope they become future adult hunters and mentors for future youth hunts.” He said, “The hunts are safe and educational, but the experience reaches far deeper. The lessons in the outdoors are invaluable and rewarding for everyone – the hunters, mentors, hunt masters, and the ranchers. Cardwell said six ranchers have offered their land for youth hunts this season. For further information on participating in the program, either as a hunter or a landowner, call TYHP coordinator Jerry Vasquez at (956) 744-8385. ◆

María Eugenia Guerra/LareDOS

untmasters, mentors, and supporters of the Texas Youth Hunting Program have taken possession of a trailer that was purchased with a grant from the South Texas Friends of the National Rifle Association. The annual youth hunts have come about as a result of a partnership between the Texas Wildlife Association (TWA) and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD). The presentation was made by Vidal Cantu Jr. of the South Texas Friends of NRA to Jerry Vasquez, Area 12 coordinator for TYHP hunts.

The trailer, which was delivered to Laredo by Chris Mitchell, field operations coordinator of TWA/TYHP, will be used to haul gear – tarps, tools, targets, groceries, and kitchen goods – to youth hunt sites on area ranches. Rancher Carroll Summers spearheaded the establishment of the program in Webb County 12 years ago by offering initial youth hunts on La Martineña Ranch near Encinal. Other mainstay supporters of the youth hunts are IBC Bank, which offers the use of its hunting camp near Aguilares, and veterinarian Dr. Sandra Leyendecker who hosts youth hunters at her Cactus Country Ranch near Encinal. About 600 area youth and their parents have participated in the pro-

Chris Mitchell, Texas Wildlife Association/Texas Youth Hunting Program (TYHP) field operations coordinator was in Laredo August 29 to present local youth hunting coordinators and hunt masters with a trailer to haul gear. He is pictured at far left with Webb County landowner and TYHP hunt master Jim Winch; TYHP hunt master Alfonso Blanco; TYHP supporter and banker Fernando Santos; landowner and TYHP supporter Carroll Summers; TYHP hunt master David L. Cardwell; Vidal Cantu of South Texas Friends of NRA; TYHP Area 12 coordinator Jerry Vazquez; and vice-president of Combat Marine Outdoors Master Gunnery Sgt. (Ret.) Arturo García. The trailer purchase was made possible with a grant from the South Texas Friends of NRA.

3 2 I LareDOS I S EP T E M B ER 2012

W W W.L A RED OS N E WS.CO M


Feature

Royal Tea at the Empress

By ANITA L. GUERRA LareDOS Contributor

W

ith the conclusion of the London based Olympics coming on the heels of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebration, the summer of 2012 marks a special occasion for anglophiles for several reasons. Among them, that most British of Canadian cities — Victoria, British Columbia — celebrates its 150th anniversary this summer. Thus, a trip to Western Canada mandated an Afternoon Royal Tea at the Empress in the seaside city of Victoria, British Columbia. The famed Afternoon Tea at the Empress is listed among the top 100 unforgettable Canadian destinations (“Tea at the Empress” British Columbia Unforgettable Canada: 100 Destinations by George Fischer and Noel Hudson The Boston Mills Press 2007 p. 256-7). Kings, queens, and those most royal of American celebrities, movie stars, have graced the Empress and have partaken of its regal hospitality. These include Queen Elizabeth II, Rudyard Kipling, Shirley Temple, Bob Hope, Rita Hayworth, the King and Queen of Siam, John Travolta, Barbra Streisand, and Mel Gibson. From mainland Canada, a visitor must take a ferry to arrive at Vancouver Island, where Victoria, the capital of the Canadian province of British W W W.L A R ED OS N E WS.CO M

Columbia is located. These large ferries carry cars, trucks, buses, and pedestrians to and from the Vancouver Islands on a regular basis. Once at the main BC ferry terminal on Vancouver Island for Victoria, it is an approximate 30-minute drive from the ferry terminal to the city of Victoria. Alternative travel includes an escorted tour by West Pacific tourist bus lines. The Empress is located within Victoria’s scenic inner harbor, where the Victoria parliament and the Royal British Museum are also located. On the grounds of the Empress, a visitor can stop to enjoy the landscaped topiary of two orca whales and

the apiary where the Empress’s honey bees make their honey. E n t e r i n g through the public entrance of the ivy-covered Empress, a visitor passes the posh shops, including a jewelry shop and the gift shop. Once inside, the visitor enters the white French double doors of the Empress Tea Room. The hostess escorts visitors to a table near the windows of the front of the Empress, offering a view of the lovely Victoria inner harbor. The waiter brings a crystal dish of fresh, ice cold blueberries topped with cream. He then offers a choice of different blends of tea, including the “Empress” Blend, Margaret’s Hope Darjeeling, Fairmont Earl Grey, Borengajuli Assam, Jasmine Butterfly Green Tea, Cascade Peppermint Tea, Kea Lani Orange Pineapple, and Willow Stream Spa Blend. The special Empress blend combines Assam, Kenyan black tea, Kenyan green tea, Sri Lankan Dimbula, and Kenayn

Kemum teas and is exclusively carried by the Fairmont Empress. The regular afternoon tea also features a raisin scone with strawberry jam and cream; a smoked salmon pinwheel, a mango and curried chicken sandwich, ham and cucumber with tarragon mayonnaise, egg salad croissant, and sun dried tapenade on crostini. The baked sweets included a lemon curd tartlet, a mini chocolate and pistachio batterburg cake, sable Breton and pear cheese cake, chocolate shortbread, and a Parisian style macaroon. With the royal tea, a glass of wine,

champagne, or port is provided. The royal tea also includes a small plate of locally produced cheeses from the Vancouver Islands. The plate is embellished with a tiny sprig of mint, two blackberries, blueberries, and red grapes. The Fairmont Empress chef, who previously worked at the Fairmont hotel in Dubai, provided a rich and waxy spoonful of honey from the Empress’s apiary. A small box of the Empress tea blend is provided as a take-away souvenir to commemorate a very memorable royal afternoon tea at the Fairmont Empress in Victoria, British Columbia. ◆ LareDOS I S EP T E M B ER 2012 I

33


News Brief

Laredo AIA awards two scholarships

A

The scholarship was created to foster Laredo’s AIA stated mission, “To promote and nurture the importance of excellence in design in Laredo and Webb County through education and awareness.” Grounded in the belief that architecture has a profound impact on people’s lives and the lives of future generations, Laredo AIA members take seriously the responsibility of managing, balancing, and ultimately improving the impact that the built environment has on the safety, welfare, comfort, and use of the planet’s finite resources. Scholarship committee members are Mario A. Peña, Guillermo Cavazos Jr., Monica Guajardo, Telissa Molano, Frank Rotnofsky, and Juan Carlos Ibarra. ◆

Courtesy Photo

rchitecture students Rafael Vasquez, a Master’s candidate at Texas A&M University and José Alfredo Terrones, a Master’s candidate at the University of Texas-San Antonio, are scholarship recipients of the Laredo affiliate of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). The two were recognized at a recent luncheon hosted by Laredo AIA. “We believe the imagination and energy of young architects-to-be can have a huge impact on our growing community. Our goal is to encourage and support them on their path into the workforce as they become an influential part of our built environment,” said Mario Peña, Laredo AIA president.

Pictured with AIA scholarship recipient Rafael Vasquez are committee members Monica Guajardo, Charlie Ibarra, Telissa L. Molano, Mario Peña, Guillermo Cavazos Jr., and Frank Rotnofsky.

3 4 I LareDOS I S EP T E M B ER 2012

W W W.L A RED OS N E WS.CO M


W W W.L A R ED OS N E WS.CO M

LareDOS I S EP T E M B ER 2012 I

35


Feature

Vision and mission go hand in hand

W

Courtesy Photo

Courtesy Photo

hile many students spend their summer vacations taking leisurely trips with friends and family, others seek to gain valuable experiences while giving a little back to their communities or on a more global scale. Sharel Gaskey, a 22-year-old Laredoan, exemplifies this. Gaskey has been involved with her church’s mission work since the 6th grade. “We went all over the country to different states every year. Now I go whenever the opportunity comes and the Lord tugs on my heart to go,” she said. Gaskey graduated from Laredo Community College’s Honors Program in 2010 with an associate degree in the arts. She has continued her studies at Texas Woman’s University (TWU) in Denton where she will graduate in Spring 2013 with a B.A. in general studies with a concentration in child development and art. She is awaiting acceptance into graduate school at TWU in Fall 2013 to begin a Master’s in occupational therapy. “Through the TWU Honors Scholars Program, I have been given opportunities to travel to Ireland, five countries in Central Europe including Germany, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Austria, and Hungary,” Gaskey said, adding,

“Through the college ministry at my church, First Baptist Denton, I have been to the mountains of Honduras to a little village area called San José De Pane as well as to Northern Zimbabwe, Africa which people called ‘the bush.’ ” Gaskey said, “I was in Zimbabwe for the month of May. On June 30, I made my way to Rwanda with an organization called Adventures in Missions, which allows anyone from any denomination that shares the same core beliefs to participate. I had heard about Adventures in Missions through a few of my friends who had either just come back from a trip or were set to depart on one. The work we were to do in Rwanda could be compared to that of The World Race.” The World Race is a Christian mission trip for service in 11 countries over 11 months. Missionaries work side by side with community members. Young adults are challenged to abandon their worldly possessions and a traditional lifestyle in exchange for an eye-opening experience. “A lot of prayer was involved because from the outside looking in, there was no way that I was going to be able to pay for two trips to Africa in one summer, which would have totaled up to over $8,200 excluding the cost of vaccinations and other medications for the trip. Somehow while I was in Zimbabwe most of the money for my Rwanda trip

Making origami for children in Zimbabwe.

3 6 I LareDOS I S EP T E M B ER 2012

came in, so I knew it was a God thing,” Gaskey said. Through donations from friends, family, members of the church, co-workers, and professors, as well as fundraisers selling shirts, bracelets, hand drawn art, duct tape hair bows and wallets, Gaskey gathered funds to make her trips. “Honestly I never grew closer to the Lord until I had to wait and watch to see if the money would come in,” she said. “This summer changed my life while I was in the ‘bush’ of Africa and had only what I had with no convenience store nearby,” said Gaskey. “Rwanda and the few days I was in Uganda was a whole different experience from Zimbabwe. At times it was not what most Americans would anticipate.” Gaskey observed, “I saw things that would scar my heart forever. In Rwanda I learned about the Genocide of 1994. About a million people were killed in 100 days, I saw pictures along the way of almost each person who was killed. They became more than a number. The children, who had close to nothing, were so filled with joy because they had Jesus and He was more than enough.” Gaskey’s missionary work isn’t based on religion, she clarified. “I see being a Christian about a relationship with Christ and not necessarily a particular religion. As a Christian or Christ Follower, we are called to go preach the Gospel

to all nations (Matthew 28:18),” she said. Gaskey advised, “Whether it is a mission trip or an educational trip, go! Take the opportunities given, and don’t say you don’t have the money. Work for it. Not everything is handed to us on a silver platter; There are study abroad programs and scholarships offered at different universities.” She added, “Do it while you can before you are tied down by family commitments, a full time job, and everything else that comes with life after graduating. I work, go to school, travel, and am involved with organizations on campus, if I can do it, anyone can, Also, don’t think you are too old to go. One of our Zimbabwe team members was in her 60s and she was a trooper when we slept on the ground and hiked over nine miles.” Gaskey said, “I want to make sure that my short life is lived to serve others, because I want to leave here knowing that what I did on a daily basis – not just during that month in Africa – saved someone from an eternity separated from God and had an impact in their life. I am ready to leave and go wherever I am called, even if it is maybe somewhere I don’t want to go.” Gaskey is clearly on a mission to change lives while enriching herself spiritually. She is an instrument of change and peace and an emissary of hope. She should be commended. ◆

Courtesy Photo

By MARIELA RODRIGUEZ LareDOS Staff

Sharing Bible stories

With pastor’s family, Zimbabwe W W W.L A RED OS N E WS.CO M


Mariela Rodriguez/LareDOS

Mariela Rodriguez/LareDOS

Rock N Roll at Old No. 2

Labor Day weekend at the Tack Room

New Braunfels natives Rory Grametbaur and Ryan Quiet of Bird Dog played at Old No. 2 on Friday, August 31. Their blend of early Kings of Leon, Black Keys, and Stevie Ray Vaughn kept the rock and roll spirit alive with audience members throughout their set.

Diana Sustaita, Darin Hathcock, and Christine Hathcock, Labor Day weekend visitors from Austin, savored some of the tasty dishes offered at the historic Tack Room located at 1000 Zaragoza St. The Tack Room marks its 30th anniversary as Laredo’s premier dining spot.

W W W.L A R ED OS N E WS.CO M

LareDOS I S EP T E M B ER 2012 I

37


Courtesy Photo

Ryan School Library, media center dedicated to teacher Lucila Treviño LISD Superintendent Marcus Nelson, LISD board secretary Cecila M. Moreno, and LISD board member Jesus Martinez – along with the Lucila Treviño family – pose for a picture during the dedication ceremony of the Lucila Treviño Library and Media Service Center at Ryan Elementary School.

3 8 I LareDOS I S EP T E M B ER 2012

W W W.L A RED OS N E WS.CO M


Feature

Lewis Rod band finds a home at Cowboys hursday nights at Headliners finds the five-member Lewis Rod band in performance. The band formed when acoustic guitarist and lead singer Luis Guevara (aka Lewis Rod) called drummer Roger García to start a group. Together they recruited guitarist Johann Salazar, rhythm guitarist Mando Elizondo, and bassist Karlos Roseo. The intimate environment at Cowboys has allowed the Lewis Rod band to hone their craft and to interact with the audience. Guevara enjoys engaging the crowd, and getting them to dance and sing along. “That’s what it’s all about, laughing and having a good time. People forget about the world for a while,” said Guevara.

W W W.L A R ED OS N E WS.CO M

Courtesy Photo

T

By SILKE JASSO LareDOS Staff

Roger García, Mando Elizondo, Luis Guevara (Lewis Rod), Karlos Roseo, and Johann Salazar, members of the Lewis Rod Band. For now, the Lewis Rod band is playing more covers than their original music. With an album in the works, members have plans to play their original music and introduce their new improved sound soon. The Lewis Rod Band opened August

17 for music country sensation Randy Rogers in Crystal City. Guevara has written 12 songs for their first album, which they will start recording before December at City Lights in Laredo. The album’s themes revolve around their life as a band, life’s

experiences, and how complicated it is to break into the music industry. “If you’d told me years ago that I would be playing country with some of the best guys I know and doing what I love, I wouldn’t have believed you. Now I’m scribbling lyrics everywhere,” said Guevara The band’s single, “Road To Nashville,” is a mix of country and grunge sound. Their unique sound sets them apart from a ‘regular’ country band. Guevara described the band as a rock band with a country singer, three guitarists, a bass player, and a drummer who make it known “that guitars aren’t just for strumming.” He said, “We won’t stop until we make it. We love this band, we love music and everyone who has helped us. I’ve learned to never give up, I’m blessed. We know music, and we know how to have fun.” ◆

LareDOS I S EP T E M B ER 2012 I

39


Mariela Rodriguez/LareDOS

Courtesy Photo

Old fashioned lemonade stand at Farmers Market Disco Fever Cristina and Dr. Ricardo Castillon are pictured in full regalia at the Laredo Center for the Arts Disco Fever event.

4 0 I LareDOS I S EP T E M B ER 2012

Members of Project Kids with Lemonade, the children of St. Mary’s University alumni, offered cold lemonade and cookies at the September 17 Farmers Market. Their proceeds benefit the South Texas Food Bank.

W W W.L A RED OS N E WS.CO M


Gail Rodriguez, Anabelle Hall, and Leticia Martinez were in San Ygnacio Saturday, September 15 to view the work in progress at the Treviùo-Uribe Rancho. Now that the façade of the fort has been cleaned, the four phases of preservation, rehabilitation, restoration, and reconstruction will be underway. Laredo architect Frank Rotnofsky is the project manager.

W W W.L A R ED OS N E WS.CO M

Courtesy Photo

Maria Eugenia Guerra/LareDOS

On the streets of historic SY

WBCA Abrazo Children The 2012-2013 Abrazo Children representing the United States are Edward Henry Maddox and Isabella Gibson. They are pictured with their Mexican counterparts, Maria Resendez Rodriguez and Emilio Lerma Garza, and Norbert Dickman of La Posada Hotel and WBCA President Bob Weathers.

LareDOS I S EP T E M B ER 2012 I

41


Genaro Sepulveda, 19, Sophomore, Laredo I’m very excited to get back to school and see my friends that left for the whole summer. Being able to see them everyday is truly a blessing, and I can’t wait to share our stories from summer! TAMIU is great. Dust em’ Devils!

Zuzette Deliz , 18, Freshman San Juan, Puerto Rico I’m excited to come to TAMIU to learn for my future. I’m studying psychology, so it’s going to be tough, but I know TAMIU is going to give me a lot of opportunities for the future. I’m excited to get with all the activities and events that go on – there are plenty to make new friends. It’s the starting point of my future.

Kathya Cavazos, 19 Sophomore, Laredo I am looking forward to seeing my friends as well as meeting new people. I’m really excited for my classes and knowing that it’s a year closer to graduation. I’m looking forward to all the events at TAMIU, such as the soccer, basketball, and baseball games. Hopefully I can attend them all!

4 2 I LareDOS I S E P T E M B E R 2012

On Campus

Fall 2012 Observations By silke Jasso LareDOS Staff

Pricilla Almanza 18, Freshman, Nuevo Laredo I’m happy to be here at TAMIU! I’m a freshman, so it’s my first year and TAMIU is getting bigger by the second, which is scary – but I’m excited to see what’s out there. I know starting college will be difficult at first, but I’m ready to continue with my studies and succeed in all my goals. 

Regina Campos, 19, Junior, Zacatecas, Mexico I’m excited to come back to TAMIU and see all the new people. I get to make new friends. What I didn’t like was the fact they waited till now to make a new entrance; they had the whole summer, and traffic turns into a mess. 

Peter Cossoulis, 19, Sophomore, Laredo The traffic at TAMIU is continuously making it very difficult to get in and out of school. There needs to be more traffic control to maintaining the congestion. Yet, besides the traffic, I’m glad that the school year started once again. It’s fun to be able to see everyone you hadn’t seen in so long. Adventure waits.

W W W.L A RED OS N E WS.CO M


Mariela Rodriguez/LareDOS

Members of the Moreno and Perez families enjoyed shopping and a cool, overcast morning at the September 15 Farmers Market in Jarvis Plaza.

Can’t find a hard copy?

Go to www.laredosnews.com

W W W.L A R ED OS N E WS.CO M

Courtesy Photo

Family time at the Farmer’s Market

Team Killam at Habitat for Humanity Employees of Killam Oil assisted with the framing of a Habitat for Humanity home in the Tierra Prometida subdivision on Saturday, September 8.

LareDOS I S EP T E M B ER 2012 I

43


Opinion

Toeing the line:

Terminated El Metro employee alleges City Hall mayoral pedicures By MARIA EUGENIA GUERRA LareDOS Publisher The recent purge of El Metro employees by management included Josefa Gloria, a quiet $12-an-hour clerical assistant to ousted El Metro second-in-command María Royster. From a journalist’s point of view I am unable to discern the most compelling part of Gloria’s story. After Royster was terminated on August 28, Gloria was moved on Sept. 5 from the position of office assistant to a job in maintenance, and then in very short order – over the span of eight days – was herself suspended and then terminated after three written notices, one for “taking a short lunch without

approval.” The paperwork for the write-ups and subsequent termination evidence the chop-chop rush to be rid of Gloria over a purported petty cash discrepancy ($92.50) during her tenure as Royster’s assistant. Josefa Gloria is mild-mannered, speaking barely above a whisper. She said that in the five years she worked at El Metro there had never been an occasion for which she was written up, disciplined, or chastised for mishandling a petty cash account. Here’s the other part of Gloria’s story, the one I find equally compelling. She is a good friend and political supporter of Yolanda Salinas, Mayor Raul Salinas’ soon to be ex-spouse. Gloria

recently appeared on the witness list for the upcoming Salinas divorce proceedings that will be heard in late October in the 341st District Court. For the last five years, Gloria said, while an employee of El Metro, she has been summoned by Mayor Salinas to give him pedicures in his City Hall office. Yes, a pedicure at City Hall on El Metro’s clock – that is what she said. Gloria, 49, is no short-skirted stereotype of a flirtatious cosmetologist. She would be more like Madge, the all business manicurist in the Palmolive commercials of yore. She is a middleaged head of household mother who depended on that $12 an hour paycheck to support her family.

Tending to the Mayor’s feet for five years was apparently part of her hourly wage, for she said she was never paid for pedicure services. “The people at El Metro knew about this, and so did the Mayor’s staff at City Hall because they were the ones who made the calls looking for me to get over there to his office,” Gloria said of parties complicit to facilitating the pedicures. Mayor Salinas said, “She came once or twice on her own time. Five years is not correct, and it was not a pedicure – she cut my nails. We tried to help her. I asked her, ‘Are you here on your own time?’ We helped her a lot. She’s a good person, a hard worker. I paid her and helped her with the kids.” ◆

LTA hosts Fall open doubles tournament The Laredo Tennis Association (LTA) will sponsor the Laredo Fall Open Doubles Tennis Tournament. on Friday and Saturday, October 19 and 20 at the Market Tennis Center at 1300 Market St. Divisions will include Men’s and Women’s Open Doubles, Mixed Open Doubles, and Men’s Senior Open Doubles for players 50 and over. Junior players are encouraged to enter the tournament as well. In the past, juniors have played in adult divisions, so this will not be new to them. Trophies will be awarded in each division for 1st, 2nd, and consolation winner. A participation gift will be given to all entrants. This will be a non-sanctioned USTA tournament with USTA Rules applied. Tournament director will be Roberto Cavazos.

Entry fees will be $20.00 for one event, and $25.00 for two events. Players may enter only two divisions in any manner.  “We’re looking forward to having a successful tournament, and I hope tennis fans come out to watch some great tennis,” said Tina Treviño, LTA president.  Anyone wishing to enter this tournament can download an entry form from laredotennis.com or by e-mail at tinat@trevinoeyeclinic.com. Forms can also be picked up at Treviño Eye Clinic or at any local tennis pro shop. Entries and payment will required by the deadline date of Monday, October 15 at 5:00 p.m. at Treviño Eye Clinic, 1006 E Hillside Rd. Ste. #1 – LareDOS Staff

4 4 I LareDOS I S EP T E M B ER 2012

W W W.L A RED OS N E WS.CO M


Feature

Librarian María Soliz – an early reading success story By DENISE FERGUSON LareDOS Contributor

L

aredo Public Library director María Soliz and her family provide a powerful example of how a supportive family and the opportunity to begin reading at an early age can engender success. “My dad was a truck driver. He could read at a fifth grade level, but he read a newspaper daily throughout his life,” said Soliz. “When I was little, I bought comic books like Archie, Richie Rich, girl comics, and some super heroes. My dad would buy a box full of comic books while on the road. He knew I liked to read.” Soliz continued, “After a while I thought, that’s it. I was finished reading comic books, and I needed something more in-depth to read.” The first book she read was The Bobbsey Twins. “I started reading regular books in the second or third grade. My mom, who was from Mexico, completed the free school system there. My own first language was Spanish, so I learned English when I started school. It’s easy to learn a new language when you are young. I translated for my mother.” The native Laredoan said, “I always loved to read. I didn’t grow up around libraries, but I did do my homework at the Bruni Plaza Library.” Observing her enthusiasm for reading, the librarians let her check out extra books. Soliz attended Martin High School and attended the University of TexasAustin where she graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in psychology as well as a degree in business administration. While she worked on a Master’s in library science at the University of North Texas in Denton, Soliz worked at a library in Arlington. She noted, “All of my siblings gradW W W.L A R ED OS N E WS.CO M

uated from college. Three are teachers; one is a college professor, one an administrator at LISD, and one is an elementary teacher.” Soliz returned to Laredo in 1995.

María Soliz “There were not many Hispanic librarians in 1995. She met a recruiter from Laredo at a conference. “It was hard to recruit people to come to Laredo at that time.” Soliz recently hired two people who had previously worked in Laredo. “The local library provides an environment that engenders a love of books. One important role is the support of the education system. We have a lot of bilingual books, as well as books in Spanish and English and plenty of resources for teaching English to adults.” Soliz continued. “A popular item in the library is a cassette system called Ingles Sin Barreras which is also available in video, CD, and DVD. We can’t keep them in stock.” Soliz explained. “I saw commercials for that system and bought a computer for its use. It provides a data base for main languages including English, Spanish, French, and German. A library card provides public access to the program.” The library also provides e-books which can be

read on the device as well as magazines. “Audio books are available to be downloaded to IPhone or IPAD,” she said, adding that another popular interactive program is TumbleBooks. As described on its site, “TumbleBooksLibrary is an online collection of TumbleBooks, animated, talking picture books, which provides kids the joy of reading in a format they’ll love. Tumblebooks are created by taking existing picture books, adding animation, sound, music and narration to produce an electronic picture book which you can read or have read to you.” Soliz noted that books rented via the Internet incur no fines as the connection is simply dropped after the rental period ends. “My passion is the library,” said Soliz. “I am excited about the new programs. We are constantly growing and looking forward to two new libraries in the future.” Soliz’s goal is to have a library in every district. “All the libraries are evolving and expanding and becoming part of the community. More people are coming into the library,” said Soliz. “They want jobs, they use computers for job searches and submit their applications on line.

Students come to do homework. Our staff walks through the process with people who never used a computer before,” Soliz said, “We are also proud of our community services such as tax return preparation and passport application processing.” Soliz and her staff promotes city-wide cooperation with support from Books A Million, Laredo Reads, One City One Book, as well as the Book Festival in conjunction with Legacy Comics, Kids Book Store, and other local partners prioritizing literacy. Her passion for books is equal to her contribution to volunteer work in the community. She is a member of the hundred-year-old Tuesday Music and Literature Club. “I’ve been a member for about 10 years,” Soliz said, serving as the organization’s hostess, secretary, board chair, and president. “The programs this year will bring the club into the new century,” said Soliz. “Guests will include authors, library staff, traditional cultural entertainment, and education. The TMLC is a wonderful group of ladies. It is a learning experience for members. The club promotes literacy, love of music and culture.” ◆

LareDOS I S EP T E M B ER 2012 I

45


Elections 2012

David Towler seeks seat for Place 5, Fourth Court of Appeals By MARIA EUGENIA GUERRA LareDOS Publisher

S

an Diego attorney and rancher David Towler is a candidate for Justice, Place 5 on the Fourth Court of Appeals. He will face incumbent Justice Karen Angelini. LareDOS sat down with Towler for a Q&A about his run, his professional career, and how he would like to make a difference in how justice is served. LareDOS: What is the function of the Fourth Court of Appeals? Define the types of cases that go before this court. Towler: The function of the Fourth Court of Appeals is to review the decisions of the trial courts in the Fourth Court’s 32-county district. This includes both civil and criminal cases. LareDOS: What will you bring to the position? Towler: I have 28 years of legal experience, both in litigation and transactional work. I have extensive litigation experience in cases that were resolved without a trial, but I have tried approximately 45 cases to a jury verdict, including criminal cases, up to murder; real estate cases; contract cases; family law cases; and personal injury cases, both plaintiff and defendant. I also have significant appellate experience, having handled 26 appeals, 21 of which I was lead counsel for my client. In addition to my legal education and experience, I also received a BBA in Accounting, with High Honors, from U.T.S.A. in 1980, and practiced as an accountant for three years. Because of my training and

David Towler practice, I have the experience and ability to understand all of the legal and factual issues that come before the 4th Court of Appeals. Finally, and not least importantly, I have lived in South Texas my entire life, and have worked in agriculture and the oilfield. This gives me the ability to not only understand the legal issues in a case, but also to understand the facts and circumstances that give rise to the legal disputes. LareDOS: Do the seven judges now sitting render an effective court that serves justice? Towler: I can only comment on my opponent, but I believe that her record reflects a strong tendency to find reasons to ignore the jury findings in a case, and to substitute her own judgment. The analysis of all of the Courts of Appeal in Texas done by the University of Houston Law Review published in 2012 reflects that, for the time period covered, the Fourth Court of Appeals had the highest reversal rate (50%) of jury verdicts in the State of Texas. It is hard to imagine that the juries

4 6 I LareDOS I S EP T E M B ER 2012

of this state get it wrong 50% of the time. LareDOS: Is it the work of the Fourth Court of Appeals to retry cases, i.e., to second guess (or void) the verdicts of jury trials? Is that an accurate representation of this court? Towler: The Fourth Court of Appeals (and all Texas Courts of Appeals) review the legal issues from the trial courts. The exclusive role of fact finding rests in the juries (although the Courts of Appeal can review the legal issues surrounding the submission of the fact questions to the juries) and the answers given by the juries. As stated above, however, the University of Houston Law Review’s article indicates that the Fourth Court of Appeals has the highest reversal rate of jury verdicts in the State of Texas. Although each case turns on its own facts, this reversal rate seems high. LareDOS: Do you think the demographic makeup of its officers offers fair representation to those who come before it? Towler: Although the Fourth Court of Appeals is not a “representative body,” the ability to understand the issues that come before the Court depends heavily on a person’s background. When issues such as water rights, oil and gas production, agriculture, rural/small town development, etc., are being litigated, it is important that the Justices reviewing those cases have a personal understanding of the issues. I therefore believe that it is very important that the Court have diverse background. LareDOS: Is there any one of the 14 courts that you feel works at near optimum in terms of its makeup, its

docket, the timeliness of its decisions, its adherence to existing law, and its service to justice? Describe an ideal court as to the above. Towler: The ideal Fourth Court of Appeals should have competent, qualified justices with a mixture of personal backgrounds as well as professional backgrounds. I feel that the justices currently on the Court lack that. I offer the personal background of having lived approximately 34 years in rural South Texas, and also having lived over 20 years in San Antonio. I offer the professional background of having actively practiced in almost every area of the law within the Fourth Court’s jurisdiction, having practiced in both rural South Texas Courts and in San Antonio, and having been licensed as a CPA from 1981 to 1991. This gives me the background to understand and appreciate the issues that will come before the Fourth Court of Appeals better than my opponent. LareDOS: Why are you a better choice for this office than your opponent? Towler: I am the better choice because of both my personal and professional backgrounds. The Fourth Court of Appeals handles appeals from all 32 counties in its District, and it handles all areas of the law, both civil and criminal. I have both litigation and transaction experience in all of these areas of the law. In addition, the majority of the Eagle Ford Shale oil production is located within this Court’s District, and this will result in a significant amount of commercial litigation over the next 20-30 years. With my accounting background, I am better prepared to understand the issues in that type of case than my opponent. ◆ W W W.L A RED OS N E WS.CO M


Feature

Job Corps produces leaders for Job Corps by MARIELA RODRIGUEZ LareDOS Staff

A

driana Hernandez, business and community liaison for Laredo Job Corps, was once herself a Job Corps student. Hernandez has served as an example of the potential Job Corps students can have, should they maximize their talents and skills. A native of Laredo, Hernandez relocated to Nuevo Laredo with her family at a very young age. She returned to Laredo before she began her freshman year at United High School, where she struggled with ESL courses until she regained control of the English language. After high school, she married and started a family. “I was too young and didn’t know what I wanted,” Hernandez said, adding, “I had applied at LCC at some point but didn’t qualify, so I thought maybe college wasn’t for me.” She was not discouraged and she worked as a manager of a downtown retail store. “I have people skills. I love to do this, and I’m not afraid to ask questions,” she said of her confidence and her adaptability in the workplace. As luck would have it, one day Hernandez was sitting at home feeding her six-month-old baby, when a commercial for Job Corps came on TV. She applied and within two months was accepted into the program. “Because my daughter was so young, I didn’t like having to spend so much time away from her, so I finished my vocational training right away and started working at the staffing agency,” said Hernandez. The stress of juggling a family and career proved to be too much. Hernandez eventually divorced her W W W.L A R ED OS N E WS.CO M

Adriana Hernandez then-husband. While working at the staffing agency, she said she had the opportunity to meet many employers. “I knew to call Job Corps if I needed employees for certain fields such as nursing or construction work,” Hernandez said. In the course of constant communication with Job Corps over job placement, she was informed of an available position. Because it was the program that initially gave her the opportunity to start working, Hernandez said, “I was excited about working for a program I truly believe in.” Hernandez worked as an assistant to the transitions department, but because of the employer relations she developed at her previous job, she was quickly promoted me to career advisor. She was responsible for finding jobs for the students after they graduated from Job Corps. Former center director John Bruce approached Hernandez about an opportunity to move up in the organization while improving herself. “That meant I had to try going back to college in order to get promoted,” said Hernandez, adding, “It was difficult because between work and school, I

would spend very little time with my daughter, so I stopped my studies.” The 10 years of experience gained at Job Corps substantial formal trainings led to her promotion. She was sent to Washington and New York to receive trainings on what Job Corps is about and how the program works. “The students that we have here are students that for some reason or another fell through the cracks. A lot of students don’t test well and the stress from state mandated exams proves to be too much at times,” said Hernandez adding, “They come from the same background I came from.” Her open door policy with her students stems not only from being able to relate to them but also from her own experiences with her educators at Job Corps. “When I was a student at Job Corps, I recall one morning I got to class late because I had wrecked my car. I was scared. Mr. Treviño stopped me and talked to me. I told him what had happened and he explained that before I could even focus in class I had to take care of the problem at hand,” said Hernandez, adding, “He advised me on what I should do. That wasn’t his job, but he took the time to guide me, and

I will never forget that.” Hernandez’s current position entails creating an industry advisory council, a group of people that evaluates the vocational training offered every six months to ensure Job Corps keeps up-to-date with equipment and training. Aside from her daily responsibilities, Hernandez has created and led initiatives within the program such as the green committee she initiated. Hernandez led a neighborhood clean up around the center of 300 plus individuals, and managed to get Union Pacific to stop their train for three hours as they collected trash. As a result, Job Corps was recognized with The Community Green Award. Hernandez cites current center director Mike Fernandez as her mentor and biggest supporter. She said, “At this point in my life, I know limitations are self-imposed. This is evident with former students of mine that are now teaching or have their Master’s degree.” Hernandez added, “I love what I do. It’s easy for me because I truly believe in this program. I think we all deserve a second chance, and I see that here with the students.” ◆

LareDOS I S EP T E M B ER 2012 I

47


Notes from Lala Land

By dr. neo gutierrez

Phelps makes Olympic-sized admission

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.

The 2012 Olympics have come and gone, but there’s one item that keeps reverberating, especially after an article in La Prensa Libre of Guatemala, which featured the headline “HACE PIPI EN LA PISCINA” and noted that Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian in history, does No. 1 in the swimming pool – all the time. Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte admitted to the same on the Jay Leno Show a week later. He said it was necessary because the training coaches keep the swimmers in the water for practice up to six hours at a time, with no time off to take a bathroom break. Phelps said, “Don’t waste time going when Mother Nature calls. All swimmers do it, because it’s something normal for swimmers. You just cannot take the time, leaving the pool to urinate. The chlorine in the water, anyhow, takes care of killing all germs, so doing it is really nothing serious. Soon after the Olympics, photos of Phelps sitting in a low water-filled bathtub in his teeny bikini appeared, announcing he would be a model for the French fashionista Louis Vuitton. But soon after came announcements that Phelps had broken the “no commercial” policy immediately after the Olympics. In years past Vuitton has used sports greats Pele and Maradona in ads. Phi Beta Kappa pitcher for Dodgers I almost fell out of my chair when during a Dodgers game when the commentator explained that 33-year-old pitcher Chris Capuano is a Phi Beta Kappa. That’s possibly the most exclusive honor society that celebrates and advocates excellence in the liberal arts and sciences.

It’s the oldest honor society, almost 250 years old. Their motto: Love of learning is the guide of life. Since the organization’s inception, 17 U.S. Presidents, 37 U.S. Supreme Court Justices, and 136 Nobel Laureates have been inducted members. How do you become a member? You have to be nominated by someone already in the organization, then you have to be voted in. Capuano started with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2003, then moved on to the Milwaukee Brewers and the New York Mets before joining the Dodgers recently. Chris was valedictorian of his class at Cathedral High School in Springfield, Mass. and went on to earn a degree in Economics at Duke University, where he was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. Some sources believe he’s a pitcher who relies on his deceptive delivery and also possesses an excellent pickoff move. In 2005 he led the major leagues in pickoffs with 12. He throws his fastball in the mid to upper 80’s and sometimes will hit 90 mph in the early stages of a game. At any rate, generally we don’t associate athletes with Phi Beta Kappa membership, so good for Chris. Mark Ballas in the news Mark Ballas, grandson of ex-Laredo dance teacher Maria Luisa Marulanda Ballas of Houston, is back in the news with the new upcoming “Dancing With the Stars.” This round it’ll be an All-Stars season, using the best of the best from past shows, celebrating the range of the dancing and humor of the show. Although the show will use some of the same music as in the past, all choreography will be new. The show management wants this

4 8 I LareDOS I S EP T E M B ER 2012

upcoming season to be a celebration of the wide range of people who have taken part in previous shows, and the positivity they have brought to the competition. The cast line-up of stars includes past contestants Kirstie Alley, Emmitt Smith, Bristol Palin, Pamela Anderson, Joey Fatone, Helio Castroneves, Melissa Rycroft, Shawn Johnson, Kelly Monaco, Drew Lachey, Apollo Anton Ohno, and Gilles Marini. Camel milk for diabetics To close, I have to admit I am a heavy-duty diabetic, thereby my very personal interest in a news story about camel milk maybe helping control diabetes. The poor animals across Egyptian deserts are sold for

meat or pressed into hauling tourists across historic tombs and temples. Their milk is salty, which makes me think it would raise human blood pressure, if consumed. Diabetes, next to obesity, is one of the world’s greatest problems. In India, experiments indicate that camel milk did reduce blood sugar in Type 2 diabetics. The same was true for Type1 diabetics. Camel milk is high in iron, zinc, and copper. As we know, cow milk has dominated the market. And, unfortunately, a camel yields little milk, about two gallons per day. So, if you have a camel, take good care of it! And on that note it’s time for – as Norma Adamo says: TAN TAN ! ◆

W W W.L A RED OS N E WS.CO M


Courtesy Photo

Martinez Foundation furthers PILLAR’s mission The Guadalupe and Lilia Martinez Foundation recently presented PILLAR with a $10,000 contribution. Pictured from left to right are PILLAR co-founder Arturo Diaz; Bob Gonzalez, Anna Wasielewski, and Shirley Gonzalez of the Martinez Foundation; PILLAR co-founder Manuel Sanchez; PILLAR chair Gerardo Sanchez; and board members Leah Beckmann and Deacon Anastacio Bernal. PILLAR’s mission is to reduce the incidence of bullying and suicide.

www.laredosnews.com

W W W.L A R ED OS N E WS.CO M

LareDOS I S EP T E M B ER 2012 I

49


The Mystery Customer BY THE mystery Customer

Lowe’s 6623 San Dario The MC likes this store, but doesn’t understand how the franchise can sell you a $1,700 Husqvarna riding mower and not stock tires and other basics that may need replacement. Sales rep June was very helpful but could only come up with the smaller front tire and not the larger rear tire. She even called RPM for the MC, the small engine repair shop, to see if they stocked it, but they did not. So the MC embarked on a quest to find the rear tire. Sears San Dario The search took the MC to Sears in Laredo, where a rude salesperson said, despite the fact that the MC had the tire specs with her for a tire that would fit the Husqvarna, that he required the model number for the mower. He was dismissive, as though a woman trying to buy a mower tire was a waste of his time. The MC continued the search on the Internet, finding mower tires for ridiculous prices ($139 +.) And then she came across Tractor Supply as a source of riding mower tires. Tractor Supply 4102 Hwy. 359 The MC encountered good service, an informed salesperson, and a $69 rear tire for the riding mower. The MC had gone there reluctantly, having earlier found dismal service and a really under-staffed store – a shame for such a well-stocked store. The MC had also heard from a friend in SY that he had been treated with great indifference when he asked ques-

Bolillo’s Café – good food, pleasant ambience; Fish-O-Roll, affordable and yummy tions and tried to shop at this store. The indifference, he said, drove him out the door. This MC is happy to say Tractor Supply worked for us. PETCO 5410 San Bernardo The MC picked up the wrong pet product early one morning at this locale, and was very happy with the no-questions-asked return policy. The store is staffed with pleasant, knowledgeable individuals. Bolillos Café 6950 McPherson Rd The MC’s first visit to this establishment left her hankering for more. Despite the lunch hour rush, which put the café at a capacity of 22, the waitresses provided friendly customer service to everyone. This was evident with the satisfied looks on the customers. The establishment has a modern, colorful, fun vibe, not to mention the scrumptious food. Powell Watson Toyota 6324 Northeast Bob Bullock Loop The MC reports very cordial and very professional auto service at Powell Watson Toyota on a Saturday morning. Routine service went off without a hitch and was delivered timely and with a good attitude at the service counter. The MC, accustomed to Toyota service in San Antonio, was amazed by the welcoming greeting and the accommodation. TKO Sports Bar and Grill 520 Shiloh Dr. The new TKO offers a larger venue with more room for fun and entertainment. It’s lined with television screens that simultaneously feature various sporting events. Although

5 0 I LareDOS I S EP T E M B ER 2012

when MC and a party of four decided to stop by and grab a bite, they found it quiet difficult to hold a conversation, despite being in the restaurant and not the bar area. The MC suggests either turning down the TVs or the music playing over the speakers. Even so the party left satisfied with the quality of wings and other appetizers served. Denny’s 3600 Santa Ursula Huele feo! They MC was looking for a late night breakfast and opted for Denny’s. The smell in there is shocking. The place needs a gutting,

new drains, fresh paint, and a makeover that will kill the huele feo of grease and methane. Fish-O-Roll 4220 McPherson Rd The somewhat hidden restaurant offers some of the freshest sushi in town with its classic California Roll and Mismo Roll. The MC along with his companion stopped by for a quick lunch. Both were surprised by the incredibly affordable prices in comparison to other hotspots such as Koto’s, Posh, or Sushi Madre. The lunch special ensures customers get what they pay for and more. ◆

W W W.L A RED OS N E WS.CO M


Serving Sentences

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

R

ecently I’ve been tempted to buy an electronic reading device, maybe a Nook or, better yet, a Kindle Keyboard 3G. According to Amazon, the Kindle, which sells for $139, is “revolutionary” with “50% better contrast than any other e-reader,” “crisper, darker fonts,” “Battery Life of One Month,” and “20% Faster Page Turns.” If I had one of those slick devices, imagine how my life would change. Not only could I get rid of the hundreds of books lining the shelves of every room in my house and teetering in stacks next to my bed but I could show off my technological savoir-faire by discoursing on download speeds, e-ink screens, storage capacity, navigation joysticks, touch-screen interfaces, and cloud storage. But all of that concerns the reading mechanism, not the reading, not books, and it’s the latter that I’ve been bound to for years and in ways and for reasons that can never apply to the spineless digital documents you can buy for Kindle and its inevitable, endless upgrades. Of course, like most people, I buy books to read, but books are more than text. They’re organic, substantive objects with color, heft, thickness, and texture. If I take off my bifocals and squint at the three crowded six-foot tall bookcases in my living room, they look like a huge abstract painting, a combination of Mondrian’s geometry and Monet’s pointillism. Some volumes stand in rows forming long vibrant rectangles, the top edge rising and falling like a city’s skyline; others are stacked horizontally, like scraps of plank carefully ripped at right angles and slapped with different colors: Carl Hiaasen’s lime green Lucky W W W.L A R ED OS N E WS.CO M

Bound to books You, the deep maroon of The Scarlet Letter, yellow bending toward burnt orange on Jami Attenberg’s The Kept Man, and Joseph Heller’s true blue Catch-22. And unlike digital books, the profile of each volume conveys its own character: the rustic formality of Tolkien’s slip-cased The Hobbit with its golden runic font, the playful bubbly lettering on Mario Vargas Llosa’s Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter, and the tiny illumination of short verses in the 3¼-inch-tall edition of Emily Dickinson’s selected poems. Besides words, physical books carry the personal history of both reader and reading. A dog-eared corner or the cracked spine of a favorite paperback can take you back to that ratty chair on the porch where every afternoon one summer you stole away to read. A small brown coffee stain and annotations scribbled in a margin might transport you back to a corner table at Starbucks. Swollen and warped pages still smell like the downpour in Big Bend, and the gritty sand in the gutter of last summer’s bestseller makes you wiggle your toes as you did on Padre Island. And whereas e-books are mostly two-dimensional clones, the concrete elements of physical books imbue them with their own distinct personalities: the staircase of thumb notches on the fore edge of an unabridged dictionary or the way a paperback’s cover curves with the pages in one hand while reading in bed. It’s the compact heft of an Audubon Society Field Guide, the raised letters on the glossy seal affixed to a National Book Award winner’s dust jacket, and the white space surrounding the island of a sonnet. It’s the feel of paper--sad-

dle-stitched heavy gauge stock in a handmade chapbook or delicate rice paper in an expensive hardback, a ribbon marker sewn in the headband. Try smelling the pages of an e-book or getting Sandra Cisneros to sign one at the Texas Book Festival. Try remembering which downloads you received as gifts from your daughter or a friend. Try, but you’ll likely discover that confining yourself to e-books is like trying to conduct your most intimate personal relationships only by e-mail or Skype. Digital books also minimize the author’s work, abstracting both the manuscript and the physical labor required to produce it. Of course, length does not imply quality, but work, whether writing or reading, is evidenced by pages, not kilobytes. The e-book version of Thoreau’s Walden, for example, is 440 KB, which is only a fraction of the memory required to save just one digital color photograph of a landscape. However, my 1951 hardcover edition, illustrated with ink-andline drawings, consists of 354 pages,

which gives a much clearer sense of the scope of the work and Thoreau’s attentiveness during his 26 months at Walden Pond. Similarly, explaining that in order to read Melville’s Moby Dick on Kindle for my phone I must tap through, one by one, 9,915 screens doesn’t make the same impression as the sheer weight of the 536-page manuscript held in my hand. A book is both art and artifact, a physical presence symbolic of the time the writer invested in writing it and the reader devoted to reading it. If you find yourself checking your device’s page-turn speed with a stopwatch or charting its battery life on an Excel spreadsheet, try testing your posture with a Kindle balanced on your head or fixing a wobbly table with a digital book under a leg or pressing autumn-tinged oak leaves between bytes of Whitman’s Leaves of Grass. And regardless of the warmth and hominess suggested by the names “Kindle” and “Nook,” I could never curl up with a kilobyte the way I can with a book. ◆

LareDOS I S EP T E M B ER 2012 I

51


Commentary

The prosperity of Texas hangs on the success of its Latino students By Roberto R. Calderón LareDOS Contributor

T

exas’s future Latino majority is already reflected in its known current and projected public school enrollments. These numbers are widely available. A brief analysis of these numbers reveals the basic contours of Texas’s current and near-term future ethnic demographic changes. The state’s prosperity resides in the near- and long-term success of its Latino public school students. Education is a key battleground to no one’s surprise. Here are the numbers we know and with which we

Texas Public School Enrollments by Race & Ethnicity, 2010-2011 Group Latino White AFAM* Asian Multiracial AI/AN** API*** All Students

Number 2,480,000 1,538,409 637,722 169,338 78,419 23,602 6,127 4,933.617

Percent 50.3 31.2 12.9 3.4 1.6 0.5 0.1 100.0

Source: Texas Education Agency, 2011. *African American **American Indian ***Pacific Islander

prepare this analysis. In a recent interview with Morgan Smith of The Texas Tribune, demographer Steve Murdock sketched some brief but important projections about the Texas school population

pre-K to 12. Murdock, the former longtime Texas State Demographer and later director of the U.S. Census Bureau under George W. Bush. Smith offered the key projected data in two short paragraphs She wrote: But geography aside, Texas public schools may increasingly find more in common with the South Texas district. In 2011, the state reached two landmarks. For the first time, Hispanics became the majority of public school students. And to cope with a historic budget deficit, the Legislature did not finance enrollment growth in the state’s schools — something that had not happened since the modernization of the state’s public school system in 1949. Though the first turning point passed quietly and the second with much political strife, they both underscored the challenges ahead as a dramatic demographic shift occurs in public school classrooms statewide. By 2050, the number of Texas public school students is expected to swell to nine million from roughly five million now, and nearly two-thirds will be Hispanic, according to Steve Murdock, a demographer and director of Rice University’s Hobby Center for the Study of Texas. The overall percentage of white students will drop by half to about 15 percent. Without a change in Hispanics’ current socioeconomic status, that also means Texas students will continue to grow poorer — and their education more expensive — in the next four decades, Murdock added. Based on these projections there will be an estimated 5.94 million Latino students in the public schools of Texas by 2050, about two-thirds of the nine million projected by that date. There will be one million more Latino public school students by 2050 than the total number of Texas

5 2 I LareDOS I S EP T E M B ER 2012

public school students today. That is, the overall student population in Texas is projected to grow by about 80 percent between 2012 and 2050. Within this overall growth trend Latinos will account for some 86 percent of the total increase of public school student enrollments. Blacks, Asians, and others will account for the remaining 560,000 public school student enrollment increase. As evidence of a far more Latino or Mexicanized Texas society specifically these projections are quite compelling. Similarly, if today thirty percent of the five million public school student population is White (or about 1.5 million students statewide), by 2050 this number will have been reduced by half to 15 percent of the total of nine million. This means that there will about 1.35 million White students by 2050 statewide in this age grouping. White student enrollments in this age grouping will not increase between now and 2050 and will in fact decrease slightly by an estimated 150,000 students. White students in this population grouping constitute a static growth category that will decrease by 10 percent between 2012 and 2050, according to the projections cited. Conversely, Latino students will experience an altogether different trend in the age category indicated. While such students today constitute half or about 2.5 million students of the state’s five million students in the pre-K to 12 student population, by 2050 they will have increased their number by an additional projected 3.44 million. That is, Mexican American and other La-

tino students will have increased their number by a percentage of 137.6 percent (or 138.0%). Projected Latino public school student enrollments constitute the most active growth category in Texas bar none. The remainder of the one-third of our Texas pre-K to 12 students by 2050 will be comprised by Black, Asian and other student cohorts. Taken together these student cohorts will comprise 19 percent of the total such number or equivalent to about 1,710,000 students. Texas has the largest and fastest growing actual and projected public school student population in the nation after California. This presents both challenge and opportunity for Mexican American and Latino students. Such historic increases in public school student enrollments will not occur in a vacuum. Every institution will be affected. From the standpoint of the Texas Latino community we can certainly raise several questions: Whither employment and promotions, authority, budgets, resources, etc., for Latino staff, teachers, and administrators? Will two-thirds of the state’s public school positions across the board including staff, teachers and administrators, as well as school board members and superintendents be Latino by 2050? In other words, what do these projected public school enrollment figures represent for the community that is most directly affected? What will happen on the journey getting there from here to there? Will we be able to construct a multiracial society premised on equity Continued on next page4 4 W W W.L A RED OS N E WS.CO M


and parity that may become the norm in our society? Is it possible to grow and build such a progressive consciousness in our society in the short space of four decades? Or will we simply be reproducing more of what we’ve known for the past four decades – as the Occupy movement made manifest – a period in U.S. history wherein we have generated increased social inequality at every level. In practice, equality should be a plural concept in every sense of the term. Short of it, the worst of our history surfaces instead, and racism is the outcome which tends to limit the perks available in society to a privileged few or at best selected cohorts in society. What about shared governance and the effective equitable democratic practice of shared power? Commensurate with said socially conscious practices. our society needs desperately to embark on a history-changing project to challenge and eliminate poverty and extant inequalities. We need leadership that is prepared to walk this path. We need leadership that is unafraid to face the wrath of those who would covet and hoard all power, a trajectory that is fundamentally anathema to the highest ideals of every would-be democratic society in the world including our own. Moreover, what will the Texas public higher education establishments – community colleges and four-year universities – do to widen, create, and extend existing and new success and achievement opportunities for the growing nonWhite student population going forward toward 2050 in light of such a scenario? And because Mexican American and Latino students will comprise two-thirds of the total of such students statewide in that future that is ours already, what specifically will be our policy toward this particular community? Is the expectation of racial, social and economic justice too much to hold? W W W.L A R ED OS N E WS.CO M

Clearly, in order to create a more prosperous and equal society Texas needs to significantly expand rather than contract its available funding of public education at all levels including higher education. The mood, however, for such a progressive turn in policymaking – following on the heels of the recent neoliberal retrenchment in such funding for the first time since 1949 – is up in the air. It’s a political throw of the dice and a game of chicken all rolled into one. The mood on the right politically is plain ugly and beholden to all sorts of self-serving and anti-democratic corporate interests. In Texas, being a conservative also means being subservient to a racialized view of our world that is status quo and thereby reactionary by definition. It’s a posture that conveniently denies contemporary historical developments. It’s a posture that’s determined to hold onto all privilege and power. For those who believe in social justice and live by the principles of equality espoused in the documents of our nation and its society, there is no other possible alternative but to seek and work toward building the equitable society that will benefit all the state’s residents now and in the future. That fight is being waged daily. And it will be in play certainly in the upcoming Texas Legislature’s biennial session scheduled from January to May of 2013. Texas’s current and future prosperity resides in the collective fortunes of its public schoolchildren. And with Texas Latino public school students already comprising the numerical majority today and more so going forward during the next four decades, it is their educational success and economic achievements, their combined effective equitable social and political capital, that will assure the prosperity of the second most populous state in the Union. All Texas residents will win. Let us join and make it happen. ◆

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

I

It’s not the economy, it’s egalitarianism

will not vote for Barack Obama this coming November, but like it or not he will probably be elected for his second term as president. This politician has shocked our country with an exaggerated trend of thought that favors unequivocal equality among all Americans. Think about it, he trumpets an assets-based egalitarianism that has captured the attention and devotion of the middle class, thousands of struggling unemployed Americans and the ever-present poor. Obama’s campaign has intentionally created a sense of envy of and dislike for any person in the U.S.A. that has made the American dream a reality. His statement that the help and cooperation of governmental help is a key factor in the success of any business and not necessarily the hard work and creativity of the entrepreneur has cleverly played into the mentality of the masses rationale for not having achieved financial wealth is flim-flamming done by the well off. Republican politicians doggedly keep talking about the importance of a free market equality of opportunity plan, but all we get is talk and nothing about a plan of implementation or when to get some action. Obamacare will create a negative

economic revolution with employers in 2014 when health insurance becomes mandatory. However, the advantage for people who receive benefits for pre-existing conditions and preventive care now, before November 6, 2012 is hard for the Republicans to refute. Every time politicians screech “Repeal Obamacare,” I realize that, unfortunately, these proclaimers have not taken the time to learn about the good and bad parts of this national health care plan. Finally: my father, a successful business owner, died when I was 11 years old. I always had a job as a teenager, enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps two months after I graduated from high school, attended college for a short while, worked here and there until I became an insurance agent in door to door sales on March 13, 1963. I worked my way into management positions, then to vice president of sales in two different insurance companies, and eventually opened an insurance agency. As a citizen of the U.S.A. I have experienced the freedom to conduct my life. The key factor in my success is my wife of 45 years, Jo-Ann. Well, that’s it for now, and that’s the way I see it. ◆

Can’t find a hard copy? Go to www.laredosnews.com

LareDOS I S EP T E M B ER 2012 I

53


Maverick Ranch Notes

Family – it’s relative; planting the fall garden

By bebe & sissy fenstermaker

I

n our family there is a lot of chauvinism based on a surname in our past. Most of us are pretty distant from it now, at least four generations hence for the oldest of us. It’s wonderment to me how so many of the descendants continue to say, “I’m a ………,” just focusing on that single line. Since many other folks subsequently added genes to the pile, how does one manage to ignore all these (diluting) kin? It’s to the point now that schisms exist based on the children of that “first family,” but if you probe you will find basic ignorance of who they were and what it all means. There are books about the “first family,” and their memoirs and diaries exist. But most of the descendants, intent on sole, single descent, have never read that stuffy old stuff. Feeling a touch of grace by being one, they are content. Facts, as we all know, get in the way. From years of reading the books, memoirs, and letters, I realized the early family consisted of pretty regular folks living through their times and rising to occasion much as others did around them. Yes, one or two of them did some good public works and some of them seemed to have been very nice, but I’ve not found a saint or George Washington among them. They were people of their times and simply that. What set them apart a little was they wrote their memoirs and letters and held onto them, and by chance the surname got into the dictionary as a common noun. A couple of years ago the surname was snatched up by Republican politicians running for office. Conservative descendants stayed quiet while the moderate end went ballistic. Springing from the woodwork, they called on the politicos

to cease and desist. The name was being abused they said, it didn’t mean that at all! Hand-ringing emails swore up and down the name was besmirched and letters opined to The New York Times; for heavens sake, didn’t the world know? It was a royal time to get the public’s eye, and they bent to it! This hullaballoo confirmed one thing: their ignorance of their early people. My favorite part was when a whole line of mid-west descendants who always believed just the southern part of the family was simply awful were stunned to find they were awful, too. They haven’t been able to speak about it since. (But I bet they still haven’t opened a book to see.) Just recently a state marker was placed on the San Antonio site of one of the “first family” children’s home. Written by one of his descendants, approved by historians, and all done without consulting one of those bothersome resources, the person memorialized in brass is now the grandson of his father and the son of his brother. This took some doing and but three cheers for their newly minted family tree. Change can be good. – Bebe Fenstermaker

astounded one evening in early September to see a Blue Gilia (Gilia rigidula var. rigidula) blooming along the twenty acre road. Surely it will be the last of the season. I had not known it to bloom into fall before. It finally rained early in September followed by several cloudy days. What a relief! I’m planting my winter greens in pots and those which can withstand freezes will be out in the yard. The less tolerant ones will be on the front porch and covered on cold nights. It will be the second winter that I’ve tried this method. What a pleasure it was to walk out and harvest my produce as I cooked. Our neighborhood nursery stocks a

variety of winter vegetable starts to choose from, however they are having trouble getting chard; one of my favorites. Spinach also does well in a pot but I didn’t see any there, either. Their Brussels sprouts starts sold out immediately. Backyard gardening is thriving. Bebe and I are plotting new routes into San Antonio as a result of all the construction work on IH10 between us and the city. Work even closer to us along that highway will begin in a couple of years. Our future trips to San Antonio will be even more circuitous than they are now. – Sissy Fenstermaker

F

all arrived with noticeably chillier nights and days not quite as hot. The first chilly morning the cats scurried around upsetting the squirrels and each other. The chickens and Blue, the peacock, were anxious to be out of their coops and the scrub jay raucously demanded its peanuts. The bucks had about finished scraping the velvet off their antlers and the fawns were losing their spots. The wildflower Palafoxia (Palifoxia callosa) began blooming in August, but towards the end of the month it and other plants showed signs of drought stress. I was

5 4 I LareDOS I S EP T E M B ER 2012

W W W.L A RED OS N E WS.CO M


TAMIU

New Master’s Degree approved, focuses on translation

Courtesy Photo

T

CW Green recognizes Blue Top Reprographics Karen and Henry Mejia of Blue Top Digital Reprographics are pictured as they were recognized for their efforts to recycle and do their part in making Laredo green. They are pictured with John Porter of the City’s Environmental Services Department and Carlos Salinas, manager of NBC affiliate KGNS.

W W W.L A R ED OS N E WS.CO M

he Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has provided its approval for a new Masters degree to be offered at TAMIU this Spring, with current coursework already available. Dr. Tom Mitchell, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, said the new degree, the MA in Language, Literature and Translation, is uniquely linked to the border region. “The degree will build on the bilingual and bicultural idiosyncrasy of the border region, training students in dual-language and translation skills and at the same time providing them with intensive instruction in one or more disciplines of choice,” Dr. Mitchell explained. Mitchell said the program provides broad and flexible employment opportunities in international business, media, teaching, or the judicial system. “This new graduate degree really allows students to build or capitalize

on their language skills and pursue the career of their choice,” Mitchell noted.  The program includes four complementary course-blocks: English, Spanish, Translation or comparative studies. Students can choose to concentrate on one block, or design their curriculum with courses from the four blocks in addition to the mandatory Core Curriculum. Some coursework will be available online. All students will write a Thesis or a Translation Project of similar length and scope. The program also allows students to concentrate on English Studies or Spanish Studies, meeting the 18 semester credit hour requirement for teaching at the community college level. For additional information on TAMIU’s MA in Language, Literature and Translation, contact Dr. Manuel Broncano, professor and chair, department of Humanities, at 956.326.2471. ◆

LareDOS I S EP T E M B ER 2012 I

55


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.

R

ev. Father Toribio “Toby” Guerrero and his parishioners at St. Peter the Apostle Church in the heart of downtown Laredo saw a need and reacted to it. And thus started a food pantry supplied by the SouthTexas Food Bank (STFB) that now serves 150 needy families per month, mostly the elderly. St. Peter’s Church has only 100 registered families and “80 donation envelopes are distributed” notes Father Guerrero, a 1982 graduate of Crystal City High School and a priest for 16 years, including the last three as pastor at St. Peter’s. Fr. Guerrero was the director of vocations for the Diocese of Laredo at Casa Guadalupe before taking over at St. Peter’s parish. He talked about the evolution of the pantry. “We started with a

South Texas Food Bank

St. Peter’s pantry helps 150 families every month

donation basket in the back of the church for non-perishable items. The cans we collected were minimal – casi nada – (almost nothing). For Thanksgiving we had a bucket brigade to buy turkeys.” Father Guerrero said what happened next was “a defining moment in that parishioners saw that people needed something more than just a few cans and not just for the holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. They found a need to expand and do more.” Led by parishioner José Martinez, a United ISD counselor, the pantry was born that now distributes food to 150 families per month “all in our neighborhood on the second Saturday of the month and any family who comes to our door on a daily basis,” Fr. Guerrero noted. “We’re trying to make the church’s presence in the neighborhood, fulfilling that great corporal act of mercy to feed the hungry.” Money to sustain the pantry comes from parishioner monetary donations that includes one second collection per month. The St. Peter’s pantry is coordinated parish secretary Bertha Ramirez. “We serve mostly the elderly,” Clients pick up their bag of groceries per month said Ms. Ramirez. from the volunteers who run the South Texas Food “They are very apBank pantry at St. Peter The Apostle Catholic preciative. They tell Church on Matamoros Street in downtown Laredo. us that otherwise The pantry distributes to 150 families the second they couldn’t make Saturday of the month. For pantry information call it to the end of the the South Texas Food Bank at 726-3120. month. We started

5 6 I LareDOS I S EP T E M B ER 2012

opening at 9 a.m., then at 8:30 and now at 8. By 7:30 people are already in line.” Ms. Ramirez has a valued group of parishioners who help. Among them are Perfecta Hernandez, Laura Hernandez, Emma Cardenas, Diana Henry, Patsy Morales, Joel Leal and Juan García. “Young kids also come in and help,” she said. Elia Solis, South Texas Food Bank pantry coordinator, lauded Father Guerrero and St. Peter parishioners for stepping up to the plate, especially during times when more Laredoans find themselves in need. “We’re always looking for more distribution sites. It takes someone to make a serious commitment, opening on a regular basis and meeting all the requirements,” Solis said. “Father Toby comes to the food bank to pick up the product and they sort it out and prepare their bags for distribution.” For information on pantries call Solis at the food bank 726-3120 Mon-

day through Friday 8 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 5. MORE THAN JUST A FOOD BANK An observer once noted, “The South Texas Food Bank is one of only a handful of non-profit agencies that help people from birth to death. Their food assistance programs range from children to the elderly.” The South Texas Food Bank numbers have now increased to serving 27,000 families, 6,000-plus children, 7,000-plus elderly and 500-plus veterans and their widows per month. South Texas Food Bank executive director Alfonso Casso said, “We are more than just a food bank. Through our outreach programs, we try to help citizens become aware of any social benefits they are entitled to. As an example, we go beyond that by partnering with the Laredo Work Force Solutions. They come by every month to see if any of our clients may benefit from their service of finding jobs for citizens.” ◆

The Texas Workforce Commission parks its mobile unit outside the Lamar Bruni Vergara South Texas Food Bank at 1907 Freight at Riverside in west Laredo at least once a month to help Laredoans find employment. W W W.L A RED OS N E WS.CO M


Letter from the Village

Bards in blue robes pretending to speak Cornish By IDA SWEARINGEN LareDOS Contributor I have just been out all morning gathering news to share with you. Camelford, a nearby market town, hosted the Gorsedd (pronounced Gorseth), which is the annual meeting of Cornish bards who dress up in blue robes and march around pretending to speak Cornish.

Today’s meeting started with a march through town followed by a speech in Cornish and a welcome from the Lord Mayor. The welcome was somewhat strained since the Lord Mayor doesn’t actually speak Cornish. The chief bard then gave a longish speech and we all pretended to understand what he was saying. The bards then marched off to College Street where they ducked into

As some of you may know, the Cornish language died with its last native speaker, Dolly Pentreath in the 18th century. Ever since the Victorian period, however, people have been trying to revive it and the Gorsedd is one such effort.

an alley only to emerge dressed in street clothes with their robes draped over their arms. Two bards unfortunately took a wrong turn out of the park and wound up having to make a run through the Camelford High street

W W W.L A R ED OS N E WS.CO M

the catch up with their comrades. It was all very elevating. Tomorrow morning I am told there will be a Cornish language class for those of us who know neither Cornish, Welsh, or Breton, the sister languages. I have a feeling I should give it a miss. I have enough trouble juggling living languages. Speaking of Wales, and I was speaking of Wales, Swansea recently held it annual bathtub races. No, you don’t run around your tub as fast as you can. They take bathtubs, attach oil drums filled with air and try to race them across the bay in Swansea. This grand event is followed by the wife-carrying con-

test. I was so sorry to have missed it. We are finishing what is now officially the wettest, coldest summer for 100 years. My friend in Pencuke is so disgusted with the whole thing she’s decamping to the Algarve in Portugal to sit in the sun and look at blue sky. Can’t say I blame her. Our soft fruit crops are pretty bad and the apples all have huge cracks in them. Of course the slugs, of which I have said far too much, have enjoyed a grand old time. A friend claims to have found one as big as a frog. I blame it all on David Cameron and the Tories. Here is wishing all of you a grand late summer and gorgeous early autumn. ◆

LareDOS I S EP T E M B ER 2012 I

57


Laredo Community College

News Brief

Women’s Leadership Launch to offer unique training

KLRN Wine Tasting set for September 26

By ROLANDO SANTOS AND MONICA MCGETTRICK Women from Laredo and the surrounding areas are invited to register for a unique professional development opportunity to explore their inner potential and gain valuable leadership strategies. LCC and Leadership Texas, a Women’s Resources program, will host the first-ever Laredo Women’s Leadership Launch on Friday, Oct. 5, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the De La Garza Building, room 101, at the Fort McIntosh Campus. The one-day workshop will cover a wide variety of topics focused on strengthening leadership skills and improving awareness of personal and professional headship values. Women’s Resources director of solutions Heidi Murray said the seminar will be a great source of information for leaders seeking to improve themselves. “The participants will learn ways to exercise their own unique power and influence more effectively in their work and will be able to walk away with an enhanced, local network of support and

opportunity,” Murray said. The seminar will offer crucial leadership techniques designed to identify leadership types, enhance communication through conflict, and leading through environmental and personal change, among other strategy tips. LCC speech instructor and Leadership Texas regional director Carolyn Schmies said the seminar seeks to improve communication among local women. “The launch will give the women in our community a chance to connect with other leaders as well as with themselves. The leadership team from Women’s Resources is very experienced at making this happen.” Schmies added. Previous Women’s Resources/Leadership Texas graduates include former Laredo mayor Betty Flores and Judge Elma Teresa Salinas Ender. The program is open to women of all ages. Registration for the workshop is ongoing through Thursday, Sept. 20. Admission fee is $200 per person. Women interested in attending the workshop should contact Roxanne Vedia at 721-5437. ◆

5 8 I LareDOS I S EP T E M B ER 2012

A

lfonso and Alejandra Arguindegui, 2012 chairs for KLRN’s Annual Laredo Wine Tasting, invite local and area food and wine enthusiasts to the 17th annual tasting gala. This premier event is scheduled for Wednesday, September 26, from 7 to 9:30 p.m. at UniTrade Stadium. Admission to the tasting is $100 per ticket, all benefiting KLRN.  Attendees will enjoy gourmet foods, sample exquisite wines from around the world and celebrate with great company. “We encourage the local and surrounding areas to attend the tasting and look forward to expanding our network of supporters. Through wine, people can come together, catch up with friends and mingle with business professionals, all with the goal of raising funds for our local public television station,” said Mario A. Vazquez, executive vice presi-

dent and station manager of KLRN. Individual tickets are now on sale, and this year, the Laredo Wine Tasting offers a new sponsorship opportunity. “We’ve added a new element to the event. Through partnership with our host, Uni-Trade Stadium, the stadium suites are available for sponsorship. It’s a unique way to support the event, and it gives attendees a place to enjoy their wine and food in a private setting,” said John Costello, vice president of events and volunteers. All proceeds benefit KLRN, serving South Central Texas, to help fund educational workshops, programming, and community initiatives. For more information about the Laredo Wine Tasting and how to purchase tickets or sponsor suites, call KLRN at (800) 6278193 and ask for a member of the events department or visit klrn.org/wine/Laredo ◆

www.laredosnews.com

W W W.L A RED OS N E WS.CO M


Mariela Rodriguez/LareDOS

Mariela Rodriguez/LareDOS

Girl Scout Open House Troops 9167 and 9128 hosted an open house on September 15 to encourage girls interested in becoming Scouts to stop by and see for themselves what being a Girl Scout is all about.

W W W.L A R ED OS N E WS.CO M

Inauguration of Fire Department Building Fire Chief Steve Landin made heartfelt opening remarks at the inaugural ceremony of the Laredo Fire Department Administration building. Landin recognized and thanked all who moved the project to completion.

LareDOS I S EP T E M B ER 2012 I

59


News

Habitat, vets re-vamp home for Martinez family by MARIELA RODRIGUEZ LareDOS Staff

T

he South Texas Afghanistan Iraq Veterans Association (STAIVA) and Habitat for Humanity have partnered up to provide Afghanistan veteran Peter Martinez Jr., his wife Yvette, and two children with a home in Río Bravo. Martinez, who is from Río Bravo and who served two tours in Afghanistan, qualified as a Habitat home owner and took possession of a home Habitat for Humanity built along with several others on Paseo del Danubio in Río Bravo between 2003 and 2005. A crew of members of STAIVA, National Guardsmen, and Habitat staff and volunteers began the renovation work on the Martinez home on September 11, assisting with painting, carpentry, and the installation of cabinets. The “refreshed” home is awaiting the work of electricians and plumbers, according to Zeke Laurel of

6 0 I LareDOS I S EP T E M B ER 2012

Habitat for Humanity. Cindy Villarreal, volunteer coordinator for Habitat for Humanity said the home will be ready for the Martinez family in the next few weeks. The effort marks the first time Habitat and STAIVA have partnered. Gabriel Lopez, president of STAIVA said, “It is our association’s main focus to address and eradicate the issue of homelessness among veterans within our community.” Lopez added, “The partnership with Habitat for Humanity has been great. We have similar missions, and we were able to come together to provide Peter and his wife with a home.” In an effort to further provide for returning veterans, Lopez said STAVIA is in the process of establishing a homeless shelter that caters specifically to veterans and their needs in Laredo. “We have identified the property we’d like to acquire to establish this facility, and now we are just working on raising the necessary funds to make this a reality,” added Lopez. ◆

W W W.L A RED OS N E WS.CO M


Feature

O

Back to School Tennis Play Day met with enthusiasm

ver 85 children from the ages of 4 to 12 years enjoyed their first introduction to tennis at the “Back to School Tennis Play Day” hosted by the Laredo Tennis Association (LTA) and Laredo Parks and Leisure Dept. The event was held August 25 at the Market Street Tennis Courts. The QuickStart (QS) format of play for new tennis players provided the intro to the world of tennis. This format incorporates smaller rackets, low compression balls, shorter nets, and smaller courts which make learning to play tennis much easier. The children gained basic developmental skills for tennis while playing games according to their age and physical development. Among many games played, children fine tuned their eye-hand coordination with relays of tossing balls into baskets, using QS racquets to pass bean bags and/or tennis balls from team member to team member. Team work and sportsmanship were learned while playing the “alligator” game of alternating QS balls and rackets in teams of six and racing to the finish line. Tennis stokes of forehand and backhand were introduced by catching balls with a special racket with a basketball net attached. Children won door prizes donated by Park and Leisure tennis pros, Laredo Tennis Association, and Treviño Eye Clinic. Each child was awarded a prize. LTA president Tina Treviñothanked numerous volunteers from United South and LBJ High School teams, Laredo Court Crushers, Boys and Girls Club tennis coordinators, Laredo Parks and Leisure staff, Treviño Eye Clinic staff, and members of the TAMIU Tennis Club and LTA. She introduced and thanked Councilman Alex Perez for

W W W.L A R ED OS N E WS.CO M

his presence at the event and for committing to upgrade the Market Courts within the next few months. The first improvements since 2008 will include, according to Councilman Perez windscreens, resurfacing of courts, water fountains, and additional benches. “Children from every sector of the city enjoyed the Play Day, and you could hear many of them saying they wanted to continue to learn and play tennis,” Treviño said. She asked Councilman Perez to take the word back to City Council members that “the children need more courts to play on, throughout the city, but particularly north of Saunders” Many parents signed up their children for the Fall session of Junior Team Tennis and for the newly developed QuickStart Clinic. For more information on upcoming events refer to LTA website laredotennis.com , Facebook or call Tina Trevino at 956-740-8462. – LareDOS Staff

LareDOS I AU G US T 2012 I

61


Las Bodas de

Nuestros

Antepasados

6 2 I LareDOS I AU G US T 2012

Villa San Agustin de Laredo Genealogical Society and Gallery 201 unveiled their display of wedding portraits and memorabilia entitled Las Bodas de Nuestros Antepasados on Friday, September 7. Two years in the making, the Las Bodas exhibit was made possible thanks to the contributions of Cordelia T. Cantu, Rosario F. García, Lupita Zepeda, Sylvia Guerra de Rodriguez, Martin Barrera, Liz Alford, Mireya Guajardo, Norma Salinas, Sanjuanita M. Hunter, Lily Perez, Emma García, Virginia Mayers, Joe Treviño, Mary Treviño, Bibi Garza-Gongora, Estela R. Montemayor, and Alfredo Gutierrez and Elisa Gutierrez.

W W W.L A RED OS N E WS.CO M


W W W.L A R ED OS N E WS.CO M

LareDOS I AU G US T 2012 I

63


6 4 I LareDOS I AU G US T 2012

W W W.L A RED OS N E WS.CO M


LareDOS September Issue