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AUGUST 23,2008

INSIDE: Go back to school healthy


The Zapata Times TO 4,000 HOMES




Proposed budget $4M short

Vela goes back to early Texans Joseph I. (Joe) Espitia was right on track when he inquired with family, acquaintances, newspaper archives and Vela names in South Texas to ascertain his family roots from the beginnings of Nuevo Santander, the province that give rise to the ARAMBULA early development of the Rio Grande frontier. Espitia’s genealogical ties stretched to the Santander region that covered the Seno Mexicano on the Gulf, including the modern-day border Mexican states of Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon and Coahuila (Spanish Texas). The East Chicago, Ind., native launched his search for the story of his mother’s maiden (Agnes Ygnacia Vela) name for the sake of a planned Vela family reunion. “I was trying to reach out to as many members of the Vela family as possible,” he said. “I started to trace my Mom’s family history three years ago and it took me back to where it all began in Spain, year 945 A.D.” “I had no idea what I was getting into, but as I gathered information, I found myself wanting to learn more about the Velas.”

Land grant Espitia says he initially was trying to learn what had become of a land grant from the King of Spain to “my fifth great-grandfather, Pedro Vela, my ancestor and land grantee in Revilla-Zapata” involving Porción 34, in the year 1767. Espitia’s interest was further stirred when he kept hearing stories of how some land grantees lost thousands of acres in modern-day Texas over a period of time after Mexico independence from Spain (1810) and subsequent Texas independence from Mexico (1836), giving rise to the Republic of Texas and eventually Texas’ joining the Union (United States of America) after the Mexican-American War. Espitia reached this writer again last week and advised that he would be sending additional material he had obtained from books as well as other genealogical and historical documents. Espitia lucked out when he learned of “a distinguished Spanish historian and genealogist, Don Jaime de Salazar Acha, a member of the Spanish Association of Genealogical and Heraldic Studies.”

Volumious works “I am trying to get a copy of his voluminous published works,” Espitia explained. “It’s based on documents deposited at the Oviedo Cathedral and other Asturian Monasteries. These documents had been referenced in the XVII Century by Don Luis de Salazar y Castro, Pellicer de Tovar, and other genealogists and historians of the time. They were used (mainly wills, donations, privileged charts, etc.) and titled “Una Familia de la Alta Edad Media: Los Vela y Su Realidad Historica, published by Estudios Genealogicos y Heraldicos” Volume I in Madrid. Espitia tells how he learned that the Velas stemmed from “the great family of magnates from Navarro and Alva that matched the wealth and power of other great families established in regions on the western frontier of Spain (Galicia and Portugal).”



The Zapata County tax rate has been proposed to remain 73 cents per $100 valuation, but commissioners are now dealing with a $4 million budget shortfall, according to the budget presented this week by County Judge Rosalva Guerra. During the 2008-09 fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1, Precinct 1 Commissioner Jose Vela said Zapata County anticipates about $23.58 million in revenues. Guer-

ra’s proposed budget, however, estimates $27.35 million in expenditures. “We can’t approve something like this,” Vela said. Guerra did not return multiple calls and mesVELA sages left at her office and on her cellular phone this week. As for the tax rate, it is expected to remain at slightly more than $0.736 per $100

valuation, which would be about a $342 property tax bill for a home valued at $46,500, the median single-family home price, according to 2000 Census Bureau statistics. Commissioners preliminarily discussed GUERRA with Guerra this week parts of the budget they said can be cut to develop a balanced budget. Vela said commissioners are still uncertain of what the

county judge will present at a Sept. 8 meeting when it will be officially debated. Precinct 2 Commissioner Gabriel Villarreal said the budget is still only a proposal and will ultimately need approval by the entire commissioners court. In the interim, he’s working to slim down the budget for his projects to help balance the budget. “I’m doing my best to cut the budget and also to finish my projects,” Villarreal



alcon Lake will be the battlefield of choice for 16 anglers from two states in the fourth annual Texas-Oklahoma shootout, which will be held in Zapata Oct. 27-30. Events for the two teams within the three-day shootout include team overall, team head-to-head, two-person team and singles matches. “FLW and BASS (Bass Anglers Sportsmen Society) pros from those two states are brought together by their team captain,” said Wade Middleton, an angler on the Texas team. “They are handpicked for a Ryder Cup-style matchup in a series of three day matches where there’s some overall events and some head-to-head.” Texas is leading the series 2 to 1, with Oklahoma getting its first win last year at Choke Canyon Reservoir, near Corpus Christi. This year, the Texas team hopes to reclaim its title with the help of all that Falcon Lake has to offer. After the success and media coverage of the records set at last year’s Bassmaster event on Falcon Lake, Middleton said the lake is perfect for the Texas-Oklahoma shootout. “Last year, the world saw Falcon Lake is the best bass-fishing lake in the nation,” Middleton said. “Being a Texan, I’ve known for years how great it was, and we


Photo by Ulysses S. Romero | Laredo Morning Times

Danny Villarreal Sr. helps young David Villarreal with his rod while Danny Villarreal Jr. waits for a bite during a recent fishing session at Falcon Lake.The lake will be the battlefield for 16 anglers in the fourth annual Texas-Oklahoma shootout, scheduled here from Oct. 27-30. wanted to bring the best anglers together in a very unique event and have it be the best it could, so we wanted to go to Falcon Lake.” Kelly Jordon will once again lead the Texas team as team captain. Jordon is a four-time BASS Top 150 winner and a six-time Bassmasters Classic qualifier, with a total of $1.11 million in career winnings. Oklahoma’s team captain for

2008 is Jeff Kriet, a five-time Bassmasters Classic qualifier with $626,151 in career winnings. The winner of the event won’t take home a monetary prize, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t something to win at the end of the day. “This is strictly a braggingrights deal; it’s to defend the honor of the state, basically,” Middleton said. The event will be broadcast in

three half-hour programs on FOX Sports National within the Fishing Texas program. Additional coverage will be picked up on the Versus network on the Americana Outdoors program. Putting the lake in the national spotlight will have nothing but positive effects for Zapata County, said Peggy Umphres-Moffett, director of the Zapata County Chamber of Commerce.

“Again, this is another great opportunity to highlight Falcon Lake and the Zapata area with at national audience.” UmphresMoffett said. “The promotional opportunity is really fantastic. “Once these shows air, we definitely see an increase in our Web site activities from inquires to the businesses, and hotels also see a positive result from more visitors coming in,” she added.

United Way sets $50,000

Schools begin year By ASHLEY RICHARDS




Zapata County Independent School District teachers and administrators jump-started the 2008-09 school year Wednesday at an assembly where highprofile speakers motivated school officials and goals were set for the new year. “Primarily what we’re going to shoot for this year is that we have a recognized district,” said Superintendent Romeo Rodriguez said. “Everything is going to be focused on raising the achievement areas, particularly our weaker areas, which is science and math.” Ret. Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, a native of Rio Grande City who commanded coalition forces in Iraq in 2003 and 2004, spoke to the crowd about embracing change and incorporating it in their teachings in order to build the nation’s future leaders. “You are the ones that are

ing to start engaging here in the next week or so cannot imagine, even the seniors cannot imagine, a life without these technologies,” he said, adding that “across all aspects of our professional lives and all aspects of the society and all the aspects of the world” the fast pace of

With hopes of raising $50,000 this year, Zapata kicked off its United Way Campaign this week. In a presentation at Zapata County ISD, Laredo United Way President Gerardo Leal encourage Zapata community leaders to participate in the program that he said provides much-needed services to those in need. Despite misconceptions about United Way, Leal explained money donated to United Way does indeed make its way to the nonprofit organization. And the money raised in Zapata stays in Zapata, Leal said. Many of those organizations provide services in Zapata, Leal said, including the American Cancer Society, Red Cross, Border MHMR, Boys and Girls Club, Children Advocacy Center, Girl Scouts of America, Laredo Crime



Photo by Cuate Santos | The Zapata Times

Wednesday’s general session for Zapata County Independent School District included a presentation by the Zapata High School Mariachi Halcon. Singers include Ruby Lynn Benavides, Ashley Flores, David Solis and Humberto Perez. building the education foundations for the future leaders of Zapata, for the future leaders of Texas and the future leaders of America,” Sanchez said. “There is a possibility that this year you’re going to touch some child that in the future will make a tremendous difference in this world.” Through his military expe-

riences, Sanchez said he developed techniques to adapt to change and use the technologies that quickly come about in a constantly evolving society. Whether it’s in education, another profession or in one’s personal life, learning from and adapting to those changes is critical, Sanchez said. “The children that you’re go-

Zin brief




WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 3 n The Laredo Texas Exes will host the Longhorn Legacy Dinner tonight at 7 p.m. at the Country Club. The Exes are honoring Congressman Henry Cuellar and state District Judge Elma Salinas-Ender.

SATURDAY, SEPT. 6 n A book sale will be held at First United Methodist Church, 1220 McClelland Ave., from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Widener Room. The public is invited, and there is no admission fee.


SUNDAY, SEPT. 14 n First United Methodist Church, 1220 McClelland Ave., will host an all-you-caneat spaghetti lunch today from noon to 1:30 p.m. in Fellowship Hall. The public is invited, and free-will donations are accepted.

Photo by Rod Aydelotte | AP

Rep. Chet Edwards, D-Texas, left, talks with his next door neighbor, Kenneth Waggoner, at his home in Waco, on Friday. Edwards is considered by Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama as a possible running mate. Standing next to Edwards is his youngest son, Garrison, 11.

Obama veep still a mystery — intro set Saturday

OCT. 27-30 n It’s the Texas-Oklahoma Shootout fishing tournament at Falcon Lake. For more information, call 765-4871.

NOV. 7 n Zapata celebrates its sesquicentennial with a series of events. For more information, call 765-9920.

To submit an item for the daily calendar, send the name of the event, the date, time, location and a contact phone number to


No need to fluff and fold — check out “Laundry in the Library,” a new exhibit of T-shirts with original designs by Laredo Community College students, on display at the Yeary Library. The exhibit will be unveiled during an opening reception Monday at 10:30 a.m. in the Yeary Library foyer. Admission is free and open to the public. The show features 12 T-shirts with unique designs made by printmaking students of LCC art instructor Gary Brown this summer. As part of the show’s theme, the T-shirts will be hung on line cords with clothes hangers. The art show will remain on display through Friday, Sept. 12. It may be viewed during the library’s hours of operation: Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday from 7:30 a.m. to noon and weekends from 1 to 5 p.m. For more information, call 7215281.


WASHINGTON — On a day and night of political suspense, Delaware Sen. Joe Biden emerged as a leading contender Friday to become Barack Obama’s vice presidential pick as two running mate rivals learned they had been eliminated. Virginia Gov. Tom Kaine spread word he had been ruled out and Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana was told he was not Obama’s choice, according to party officials. The normally loquacious Biden maintained a low profile as associates said they believed — but did not know — that he would be tapped. They added they had been asked to stand by in case their help was needed. Additionally, several associates of Obama — including some at his campaign headquarters in Chicago — said they believed Biden was the choice, though they cautioned they had not been told directly. Compounding the mystery, conservative Rep. Chet Edwards of Texas emerged — however briefly — as a contender.



nClasses start at the Zapata County Independent School District.

n Zapata County Commissioners meet at 9 a.m. today at the Zapata County Courthouse. For more information, call 765-9920.


Former first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton’s chances remained uncertain. Senior aides said the Obama campaign had never requested financial or other records from her. Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius rounded out the roster of likely contenders — a list that did not take into account any surprises that Obama might harbor. “No, no, no, no, no, no, no, nooooo,” Sebelius told reporters who asked for her latest thoughts on the months-long search. Three days before Democrats open their convention in Denver, officials said the Obama campaign had taken the trouble to print material bearing the names of several potential ticket mates. The result was to minimizing the significance of a report that one company was churning out signs bearing Bayh’s name. Obama told reporters on Thursday he had made his choice, and aides used the prospect of a text-message announcement to try and attract additional supporters by soliciting their cell phone numbers and email addresses.

Univ.fires mooning debate coach

Md.standoff ends with arrest

Train catches fire after derailment

WICHITA, Kan. — Fort Hays State University has fired its debate coach for losing his temper at a tournament, engaging in a videotaped shouting match that included pulling down his shorts to expose his underwear. University President Edward H. Hammond also announced Friday that the school was immediately suspending its debate program until problems are addressed at the national level. He said it was important to take a stand against the declining standards of college debate.

HANCOCK, Md. — Police ended a two-day standoff with a burglary suspect holed up in a motel with his pregnant girlfriend, arresting the man wanted in four states late Friday, authorities said. Maryland State Police spokesman Greg Shipley said James Prevatt III, 26, was taken into custody at the one-story motel police had surrounded since Wednesday night, when officers came to arrest Prevatt. Shipley didn’t immediately elaborate on how Prevatt was apprehended.

OKLAHOMA CITY — A train derailment in central Oklahoma on Friday sent fireballs into the sky but caused no injuries. Eight cars on the 110-car Burlington Northern Santa Fe train derailed, seven of which were carrying either crude oil or ethanol, company spokesman Joe Faust said. He said he didn’t know how many of the derailed cars had caught on fire. He said only two people — an engineer and a conductor — were aboard the train, and neither was injured. — Compiled from AP reports

Conservationists warn of border fence’s impact

US oil and gas rig count up by eight

MISSION, — The Bush administration’s recently proposed changes to rules involving endangered species could lead to projects like the fence being built along the U.S.-Mexico border that could threaten endangered wildlife, the Sierra Club warned Friday. The group drew parallels between the April 1 waiver of dozens of environmental and cultural preservation laws by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to speed border fence construction. A Sierra Club representative from Washington, D.C., said the border wall was a “very compelling example” of what can happen when rigorous scientific study of potential impacts is not required.

HOUSTON — The number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas in the United States rose by eight this week to 1,998. Of the rigs running nationwide, 1,594 were exploring for natural gas and 395 for oil, Houston-based Baker Hughes Inc. reported Friday. Of the major oil- and gasproducing states, California gained six rigs, Arkansas five, Oklahoma four, Louisiana three and New Mexico two. Colorado and Wyoming lost three rigs each and Alaska and North Dakota lost one each. Texas remained unchanged.

Plane in Spanish crash a workhorse model

McALLEN — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has begun catching all the fish in a South Texas canal in a preliminary step toward cleaning up one of the most toxic sites in the Rio Grande Valley. The federal government has known the main canal south of Donna was polluted with cancercausing PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, in the sediments since 1993. But after years of studies confirmed that original finding, the source has not been found. Last fall, the canal became the Valley’s first site to join a national priority list of contaminated areas at the front of the line to receive federal funding for cleanup. — Compiled from AP reports

DALLAS — The plane involved in this week’s deadly crash in Spain is a workhorse model that makes up nearly half of the fleet of American Airlines and is used extensively by many other carriers around the world. Officials at those carriers say the McDonnell Douglas MD-80 series — which includes the Spanair MD-82 that crashed earlier this week — is one of the safest planes around. They point out that the cause of the Spanair crash, which killed 153 people shortly after takeoff in Madrid, was still unknown on Friday.

EPA takes fish from polluted canal


Photo by Mukhtar Khan | AP

Kashmiri Muslims shout pro-freedom slogans while riding on vehicles during a protest rally in Srinagar, India, on Friday. Long lines of people streamed to a sprawling main square in Srinagar for the largest protest against Indian rule in two months of turmoil.

Report: Arrests tied to Web threat

30 militants killed in Afghan clash

LONDON — Three terrorism suspects arrested in northern England earlier this month were detained in connection with an Internet threat against Prime Minister Gordon Brown. British Broadcasting Corp. said the three men were being held in connection with a Web posting signed “al-Qaida in Britain” that threatened the life of Brown and his predecessor as prime minister, Tony Blair. The statement demanded the withdrawal of British troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.

KABUL, Afghanistan — U.S.led troops attacked a compound where Taliban leaders were meeting and killed 30 militants, American and Afghan military officials said Friday, but the Interior Ministry said a large number of civilians died. The U.S. said it would investigate. The coalition was striking back against insurgents opposed to the Western-backed government of President Hamid Karzai who have stepped up attacks on foreign and Afghan troops. — Compiled from AP reports

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SUBSCRIPTIONS/PROBLEMS (956) 728-2555 To start receiving the Times, call between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. For delivery problems call Monday through Sunday between 7 a.m. and 11 a.m., including holidays. Published daily Monday through Sunday mornings in Laredo, Texas, by the Laredo Morning Times, a division of The Hearst Corporation, PO Box 2129, Laredo, Texas 78044. Phone (956) 728-2500. Periodicals class postage paid at the Post Office in Laredo,Texas,under the Act of Congress of March 3, 1873. Post Master for address corrections: Please mail to: P.O. Box 2129 Laredo, TX, 78044 Registrado como articulo de segunda clase en la administracion de Correos de Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, fecha 26 de julio de 1928. Certificado de licitud de contenido No. 3887. Certificado de licitud de titulo No. 5086. Reserva de derechos al uso exclusivo de titulo No. 427-90.

Laredo Morning Times is a division of the Hearst Newspaper II, LLC


Today is Saturday, Aug. 23, the 236th day of 2008. There are 130 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Aug. 23, 1927, Italianborn anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were executed in Boston for the murders of two men during a 1920 robbery. (Fifty years later, on this date in 1977, Massachusetts Gov. Michael S. Dukakis proclaimed that “any stigma and disgrace should be forever removed” from their names.) On this date: In 1754, France’s King Louis XVI was born at Versailles. In 1775, Britain’s King George III proclaimed the American colonies in a state of “open and avowed rebellion.” In 1914, Japan declared war against Germany in World War I. In 1926, silent film star Rudolph Valentino died in New York at age 31. In 1939, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union agreed to a nonaggression treaty, the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, in Moscow.

In 1944, Romanian Prime Minister Ion Antonescu was dismissed by King Michael, paving the way for Romania to abandon the Axis in favor of the Allies. In 1960, Broadway librettist Oscar Hammerstein II died in Doylestown, Pa., at age 65. Ten years ago: Boris Yeltsin again dismissed the Russian government, replacing his 36year-old prime minister, Sergei Kiriyenko, with the Soviet-style leader he’d fired five months earlier, Viktor Chernomyrdin. F i v e y e a r s a g o : Former priest John Geoghan, the convicted child molester whose prosecution sparked the sex abuse scandal that shook the Roman Catholic Church nationwide, died after another inmate attacked him in a Massachusetts prison. All-Star baseball player Bobby Bonds, slugger Barry Bonds’ father, died at age 57. One year ago : A report by top U.S. spy analysts concluded the Iraqi government was strained by rampant violence, deep sectarian differences among its political parties and stymied leadership. Nicole Richie spent 82 minutes in a

Los Angeles County jail to complete a four-day sentence for driving under the influence of drugs. Today’s Birthdays: Movie director Robert Mulligan is 83. Actress Vera Miles is 78. Political satirist Mark Russell is 76. Actress Barbara Eden is 74. Actor Richard Sanders is 68. Ballet dancer Patricia McBride is 66. Former Surgeon General Antonia Novello is 64. Country singer Rex Allen Jr. is 61. Singer Linda Thompson is 61. Actress Shelley Long is 59. Actor-singer Rick Springfield is 59. Country singer-musician Woody Paul (Riders in the Sky) is 59. Queen Noor of Jordan is 57. Actor-producer Mark Hudson is 57. Rock musician Dean DeLeo (Army of Anyone and Stone Temple Pilots) is 47. Tejano singer Emilio Navaira is 46. Country musician Ira Dean (Trick Pony) is 39. Actor Jay Mohr is 38. Actor Scott Caan is 32. Country singer Shelly Fairchild is 31. Rock singer Julian Casablancas (The Strokes) is 30. Basketball player Kobe Bryant is 30. Thought for Today: “Friendship is honey — but don’t eat it all.” — Moroccan proverb.

Photo by Chris Butler/Idaho Statesman | AP

Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Ed Freeman, of Boise, Idaho, salutes during a Memorial Day weekend event in 2004 in Boise. Freeman, who served in the Vietnam war,died Wednesday,at 80.Freeman received the Medal of Honor for heroic action he took as an Army helicopter pilot on Nov. 14, 1965.





THE BLOTTER UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OFAFIREARM „Sheriff’s deputies arrested a Zapata man at about 11:30 p.m. Monday for unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon. According to the report,Roel Ramirez,a felon,of the 300 block of Jackson Street, had no insurance, no driver’s license and was illegallycarrying a firearm.The offense location was behind Pizza Hut, located near 3rd Avenue and Highway 83.

POSSESSION OFACONTROLLED SUBSTANCE „Juan Armando Rivera,of the 1700 blockof Delmar Street,was arrested at about 12:30 p.m.Thursday after he was found to be in possession of a tin foil wrapping containing 0.2 grams of a yellowish substance believed to be crack cocaine,sheriff’s deputies said. According to the report, authorities discovered the crack cocaine after pulling over Rivera near the intersection of 4th Street and Diaz Avenue. He was charged with possession of a controlled substance, a state jail felony. „Juan David Chapa,of the 400 blockof Falcon Shore Drive,was arrested at about 1 a.m. Thursday on the charge of possession of marijuana. Authorities said Chapa was pulled over for a traffic violation on Medina Avenue, and upon search of the person and vehicle, discovered the marijuana. „ Authorities arrested two men and a woman Aug. 14 on the charge of possession of marijuana. According to the report,Javier Martinez, of the 3000 block of South Martin Avenue in Laredo,Marco Antonio Garza,of Rio Grande, and Rosa Maria Martinez, of Donna,were apprehended following a

traffic stop on Highway 83, about two miles south of Chihuahua Road. „ Wesley Joe David, of the 1400 block of 6th Street, was arrested at about 1 a.m.Tuesday on the charge of possession of a controlled substance and possession of marijuana. According to the report, he was arrested near the intersection of Mier Avenue and 6th Street. „Jose Armando Galvan,of the 1800 block of Diaz Street,was arrested at about 2 a.m. Wednesday for possession of marijuana. According to the report, authorities discovered the marijuana after pulling Galvan over for a traffic violation.

PUBLIC INTOXICATION „AZapata man was arrested at about 4:30 a.m.Aug. 16 near the intersection of 16th Street and DiazAvenue on the charge of public intoxication. The man was identified as Manuel Mauro Galvan-Gomez of the 1700 block of Bravo Street. „Authorities responded to a report of a drunken pedestrian at about 4 p.m.Aug.16 near the intersection of North Siesta and Peña lanes. According to the report,they arrested Arturo Gomez,of the 400 block of Mango Drive, for public intoxication.

BURGLARY OFAVEHICLE „ A vehicle was reportedly burglarized Aug. 16 outside a residence in the 600 block of Fresno Street. According to the report, two speakers, two speaker boxes and an amplifier were stolen from the vehicle. Sheriff’s deputies said it’s an open case.


Photo by Cuate Santos | The Zapata Times

Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and state Sen.Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, spoke Thursday at the Future of the Region 2008 Economic Development Conference at La Posada Hotel/Suites in Laredo.

Workforce, infrastructure matters keys to local growth By PAUL S. MARTINEZ THE ZAPATA TIMES

Courtesy photo

The Zapata County Attorney’s Office recently donated 150 backpacks with supplies to every school in the Zapata County Independent School District as part of its “Back to School ‘Say No to Drugs’” program. Shown left to right are Mark Serna, Rebeca Flores, Veronica Bustamante, County Attorney S. Alfonso Figueroa, Pedro Morales and Craig Bigler.“We believe that one of the key components for students staying away from drugs and alcohol is to be committed to an education,” Figueroa said. “We encourage our youth to get involved and help make a difference in our community.”

Valley assistance funded for $24 million ASSOCIATED PRESS

McALLEN — More than $24 million has been approved to help people, businesses and infrastructure affected by Hurricane Dolly after the storm hit the Rio Grande Valley last month, several governmental agencies said Friday. The Texas Governor’s Division of Emergency Management, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Small Business Administration

announced that the money has been approved to help people in Cameron, Hidalgo, and Willacy counties. Under FEMA’s Public Assistance (infrastructure) Program, state agencies, local governments and certain nonprofit organizations that provide essential services in Aransas, Bexar, Brooks, Calhoun, Cameron, Hidalgo, Jim Hogg, Jim Wells, Kenedy, Kleberg, Nueces, Refugio, San Patricio, Starr, Victoria and Willacy counties are eligible to apply for federal assistance.

Workforce training and infrastructure are the two main elements Zapata County needs to address, Zapata County Economic Development Center President Peggy Umphries-Moffett said. Umphries-Moffett was one of the three chairpersons for the Future of the Region 2008 Economic Development Conference, a symposium designed to address local concerns as a region, held at La Posada Hotel/Suites. FORI is an association of 47 South Texas counties with similar needs and goals, said President Blas Castañeda. By bring together legislators and community, educational and industry leaders, the region coordinates its efforts for economic development and legislative clout, Castañeda said. In even years, FORI convenes a conference to prepare a position paper for the state Legislature regarding economic development, infrastructure, health care, workforce development and developing the manufacturing industry. “Like all rural areas in Texas and on the border, our infrastructure is aging or not sufficient,” Umphries-Moffett said. “That is what we are addressing because without infrastructure, we can’t support the expansion of business or attract new business.” FORI calls for the establishment of a comprehensive infrastructure development fund to assist communities with these needs, according to the FORI position paper. Umphries-Moffett said Zapata County has grown by 33 percent

“Like all rural areas in Texas and on the border, our infrastructure is aging or not sufficient.” ZAPATA COUNTY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CENTER PRESIDENT PEGGY UMPHRIES-MOFFETT

in the past 10 years. Zapata County has become a large supplier of natural gas, which has contributed to its growth, but the workforce must be trained for these jobs. “If we’re not able to provide our industry with a workforce, the cost of business goes way up and industry will go elsewhere,” she said. “Workforce training creates better quality of life with a larger tax base and more revenue for the county as a whole.” The conference featured five keynote speakers, including Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, U.S. Cen-

sus Bureau Executive Director Steve Murdock and worldrenowned economist M. Ray Perryman. The two-day conference also included various workshops focusing on different issues. FORI was developed 18 years by state Sen. Judith Zaffarini and former Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Henry Cisneros to develop an overall strategic focus for South Texas. (Paul S. Martinez may be reached at (956) 728-2529 or







U.S. doesn’t need waste in Medicare NEW YORK TIMES

edicare is an enormously popular and effective insurance program for older Americans that faces a daunting array of financial problems. Its escalating costs threaten to devour frightening amounts of the federal budget, while the public’s trust in the program has been repeatedly tested by reports of waste and fraud. Some of the worst abuses have arisen in the slice of Medicare that pays for so-called durable medical equipment, including wheelchairs, hospital beds, oxygen concentrators and diabetic test kits. So Medicare’s top officials earned high praise in 2006 when they said they had reduced program fraud and improper payments for such equipment to a mere (for Medicare) $700 million. Now those claims of success — and savings — are crumbling. A government investigation has found a high rate of improper payments and fraud in expenditures for durable medical equipment — and complacency rather than vigilance on the part of Medicare officials. The dimensions of the problem and how it escaped detection were laid out by Charles Duhigg in The New York Times on Thursday. The article was based on a confidential draft report by the inspector-general of the Health and Human Services Department. The findings may be revised before the report is released, but some members of Congress are already expressing outrage at what they deem incompetence or a deliberate effort to mislead the public. As described by the report, Medicare’s auditing program is supposed to review whether payments made to suppliers were jus-


tified and medically necessary by comparing documents and medical information submitted by the suppliers to other pertinent records available from physicians. But according to the report, Medicare officials told their auditors to examine only the documents submitted by the companies. That left plenty of room for unscrupulous companies — eager to sell their wares — to lie, fabricate and mislead. In one example, the inspectorgeneral’s investigation found that Medicare — working only off of a supplier’s paperwork — had bought a power wheelchair for a beneficiary who neither needed nor used the device. The beneficiary did not know the ordering physician or the supplier, and the supposed ordering physician denied placing the order or knowing either the patient or the supply company. The inspector-general’s report pegged the rate of improper payments for medical equipment at 31.5 percent, an astonishingly high proportion that implies improper spending of some $2.8 billion, four times what Medicare had claimed. Congressional committees will need to sort out how much of this problem is sloppy documentation and how much reflects payment for medical services that should never have been provided and often weren’t. Congress must also recognize its own failure to give Medicare an important tool to combat fraud and waste. It postponed a new competitive bidding program for durable medical equipment that would require a more intense look at the qualifications and integrity of the suppliers. With Medicare expenditures soaring, there is no room for any more waste, fraud or complacency.


Pelosi joins drilling flip-flopping boys THE BOSTON GLOBE

ouse Speaker Nancy Pelosi has joined presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama in a flip-flop on the issue of drilling for oil on the Outer Continental Shelf. Until recently, all three had supported Congress’s longtime moratorium on the drilling, lest it endanger marine wildlife in productive fishing areas like New England’s Georges Bank. But polls showing heavy popular support for exploiting the shelf in the face of rising fuel prices seem to have caused the politicians to reconsider. The three would not have switched had they just weighed the merits of drilling. If the moratorium ended tomorrow, there would be no oil production from the shelf for a decade. The output then would be a drop in the bucket of global capacity, with little effect on the world price of oil. Nothing from the Outer Continental Shelf is likely to change the basic math of US energy dependence: Americans use more than 20 percent of world oil production but have just 3 percent of global oil reserves. In the meantime, oil companies are sitting on leases for 64 million acres of public offshore and onshore sites that they have not bothered to explore. Pelosi’s plan is to combine in one bill an end to the moratorium with other energy-related proposals, such as increased mass-


transit subsidies and a requirement that utilities get more of their power from renewable sources. While these would be steps forward, another wrongheaded part of her package is a policy much favored by her fellow Democrats in Congress: release of supplies from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. But the reserve is meant to be tapped in genuine emergencies caused by war or natural disaster, not to bring down the price of gasoline in an election year. Pelosi also wants to require energy companies to pay higher royalties for oil and gas production from leased federal land. This and similar proposals will cost her plan Republican support in the House and spur a guaranteed GOP filibuster if it makes it to the Senate. As far as Pelosi is concerned, that may be just as well she would rather wait until after the election, in hopes of bigger Democratic majorities in Congress and a Democrat in the White House, before taking serious action on energy. For Pelosi, giving ground on the drilling moratorium is a way to let her party’s members cast a vote in favor of a popular proposal. But her maneuver will only feed public cynicism about elected officials and give undeserved respectability to a so-called solution to the energy crisis - one that would likely worsen the global crisis in declining fish stocks.

Georgia conflict calls for new medals I

f the conflict in Georgia were an Olympic event, the gold medal for brutish stupidity would go to the Russian prime minister, Vladimir Putin. The silver medal for bone-headed recklessness would go to Georgia’s president, Mikheil Saakashvili, and the bronze medal for rank short-sightedness would go to the Clinton and Bush foreign policy teams. Let’s start with us. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, I was among the group — led by George Kennan, the father of “containment” theory, Sen. Sam Nunn and the foreign policy expert Michael Mandelbaum — that argued against expanding NATO, at that time. It seemed to us that since we had finally brought down Soviet communism and seen the birth of democracy in Russia, the most important thing to do was to help Russian democracy take root and integrate Russia into Europe. Wasn’t that why we fought the Cold War — to give young Russians the same chance at freedom and integration with the West as young Czechs, Georgians and Poles? Wasn’t consolidating a democratic Russia more important than bringing the Czech Navy into NATO? All of this was especially true because, we argued, there was no big problem on the world stage that we could effectively address without Russia — particularly Iran or Iraq. Russia wasn’t about to reinvade Europe. And the East-

THOMAS FRIEDMAN ern Europeans would be integrated into the West via membership in the European Union. No, said the Clinton foreign policy team, we’re going to cram NATO expansion down the Russians’ throats, because Moscow is weak and, by the way, they’ll get used to it. Message to Russians: We expect you to behave like Western democrats, but we’re going to treat you like you’re still the Soviet Union. The Cold War is over for you, but not for us. “The Clinton and Bush foreign policy teams acted on the basis of two false premises,” said Mandelbaum. “One was that Russia is innately aggressive and that the end of the Cold War could not possibly change this, so we had to expand our military alliance up to its borders. Despite all the pious blather about using NATO to promote democracy, the belief in Russia’s eternal aggressiveness is the only basis on which NATO expansion ever made sense — especially when you consider that the Russians were told they could not join. The other premise was that

Russia would always be too weak to endanger any new NATO members, so we would never have to commit troops to defend them. It would cost us nothing. They were wrong on both counts.” The humiliation that NATO expansion bred in Russia was critical in fueling Putin’s rise after Boris Yeltsin moved on. And America’s addiction to oil helped push up energy prices to a level that gave Putin the power to act on that humiliation. This is crucial backdrop. Nevertheless, today we must support all diplomatic efforts to roll back the Russian invasion of Georgia. Georgia is a nascent free-market democracy, and we can’t just watch it get crushed. But we also can’t refrain from noting that Saakashvili’s decision to push his troops into Tskhinvali, the heart of Georgia’s semiautonomous pro-Russian enclave of South Ossetia, gave Putin an easy excuse to exercise his iron fist. As The Washington Post’s longtime Russia watcher Michael Dobbs noted: “On the night of Aug. 7 ..., Saakashvili ordered an artillery barrage against Tskhinvali and sent an armored column to occupy the town. He apparently hoped that Western support would protect Georgia from major Russian retaliation, even though Russian ‘peacekeepers’ were almost certainly killed or wounded in the Georgian assault. It was a huge miscalculation.” And as The Economist maga-

grammar, length and civility. No name-calling or gratuitous abuse is allowed. This space allows for public debate of the issues of the day. We do publish “thank you” letters, but due to limited space, we ask writers to list no more than 10 names in such letters. Send letters to or mail them to Letters to the Editor; 111 Esperanza Drive; Laredo, TX 78041.

zine also wrote, “Saakashvili is an impetuous nationalist.” His thrust into South Ossetia “was foolish and possibly criminal. But unlike Putin, he has led his country in a broadly democratic direction, curbed corruption and presided over rapid economic growth that has not relied, as Russia’s mostly does, on high oil and gas prices.” That is why the gold medal for brutishness goes to Putin. Yes, NATO expansion was foolish. Putin exploited it to choke Russian democracy. But now, petropower-grabbing has gone to his head — whether its invading Georgia, bullying Western financiers and oil companies working in Russia, or using Russia’s gas supplies to intimidate its neighbors. If it persists, this behavior will push every Russian neighbor to seek protection from Moscow and will push the Europeans to redouble their efforts to find alternatives to Russian oil and gas. This won’t happen overnight, but in time it will stretch Russia’s defenses and lead it to become more isolated, more insecure and less wealthy. For all these reasons, Russia would be wise to reconsider Putin’s Georgia gambit. If it does, we would be wise to reconsider where our NATO/Russia policy is taking us — and whether we really want to spend the 21st century containing Russia the same way we spent much of the 20th containing the Soviet Union.

YOUR OPINION Everyone should get involved in ensuring kids aren’t left to suffer in vehicles To the editor: The number of children/babies dying in cars is a problem that hopefully can be solved. I am asking companies if they would be willing to join a campaign to help save a child’s life. It is simple. Programs need to be instituted to ensure on a daily

basis, that upon entering an office/facility, a driver is alerted to the fact that a child “could” be left in a car. THEIR car. Security guards should add to their inspections a detailed check of parking lots on an hourly basis. If a company is gated, instruct the gatekeeper to

check and note all cars where children could be present. I am not asking for money. Just your time. I am asking that at your next meeting, you bring up this issue. Maybe your company can institute a program to help save a child’s life. Also, you could encourage

your local newspaper, your friends, family and co-workers to try to get other companies to institute a program. Maybe, just maybe, one child will be saved. Signed, Donna Rowden Fort Stockton

There are still good people in the world who teach their children honesty and respect for others To the editor: A while ago my wife and I went shopping, but before going into the store, we decided to fill up the car. As we were getting to the pump, I noticed a man in a pickup who seemed to have been headed toward the same pump I was about to use, so he waited until I was finished. I intended to use a gift

card; however, it did not work and I was short on time so I decided to go into the store and shop, making sure that I punched the cancel button on the pump. We shopped for about 30 to 40 minutes and when we were exiting the store a man and his son approached me asking if I drove a green town car. My first thought was “Why —

did you hit it?” When I told him yes, he said “I owe you $50.” I then thought, “You did hit my car.” He explained that he was waiting to fill up at the same pump I was trying to use. Apparently my transaction was not canceled and he was reimbursing the cost of my gift card. He said the reason he was doing this is so that his son


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR POLICY The Zapata Times does not publish anonymous letters. To be published, letters must include the writer’s first and last names as well as a phone number to verify identity. The phone number IS NOT published; it is used solely to verify identity and to clarify content, if necessary. The Zapata Times does not allow the use of pseudonyms. Letters are edited for style,


grows up to be an honest man and to have respect for others. Thank you, Mr. Fermin Alfaro, for your honesty and above all for the love you have for your son. To Mr. Alfaro’s son, we say be proud of your father and take heed of his wisdom and concern for you. Signed, Ruben L. Perez




Photo by Ricardo Segovia | The Zapata Times

Maribel and Priscilla Garcia, a mother-daughter running combo, do some roadwork recently in preparation for an upcoming marathon.

Going the distance: Mom-daughter duo push each other to new speeds ByTRICIA CORTEZ THE ZAPATA TIMES

Some mothers and daughters bond by shopping, cooking, traveling or frequently eating meals together. Others work together or have long conversations with one another. But Maribel and Priscilla Garcia inspire each other by pounding the pavement for a fast 26.2 miles. The duo has run three marathons in the past year and most recently qualified for the prestigious Boston Marathon. Maribel Garcia, 48, ran her first marathon at 38. Since then, she has raced in 40 marathons, three ultra 50-mile marathons, and seven Boston Marathons. Now, the ever-driven and evercompetitive Maribel Garcia has set her eyes on a new goal: competing in an Ironman triathlon by the time she turns 50. Her daughter, meanwhile, seems to have caught the marathon-running bug and the addictive thrill of pushing your body and mind beyond the point of pain. Turning in faster times is what drives these women. “I like the feeling of pain,” Maribel Garcia said. “Mentally, you block the pain, but there is pain. It makes you a tougher person.”

The Garcias ran their first marathon together in Houston last year and qualified for Boston this year. Running and training together has brought this duo closer together. A few years before, Priscilla Garcia rarely asked her mother about her passion for the sport. “I thought she was crazy,” said Priscilla Garcia, 24. “Getting up to run 20 miles? Wow.” But things changed in high school when her father, Andy, said that a true athlete is someone who runs a marathon. “I thought, ‘Maybe I will run a marathon soon,’” Priscilla said. “I was chunkier and llenita , so I started running to get myself in better shape, and then I started doing it for fun.” She soon joined her mom for the annual Thanksgiving Guajolote 10K Race, sponsored by Hamilton Trophies, and also ran cross-country at Texas A&M International University for a year. “I started competing and noticed that if I focused, I could improve my times,” Priscilla Garcia said. “I liked this, and started to challenge and push myself.” When Maribel Garcia saw her daughter becoming more competitive, she began taking her to races. Most were 10-milers or half-marathons.

“She always stuck by my side,” Maribel Garcia said. “There were times we raced where it was raining and cold. She never whined. I would tell her, ‘I’m going to get up at 5 a.m. to run,’ and she was there. It’s an awesome feeling to have her by my side.” Priscilla Garcia had natural speed, but Maribel Garcia had endurance and the experience of running dozens of marathons. “When we would run, she would take it fast, and I knew at the turnaround, I would get her,” Maribel Garcia said. “Little by little, she learned the tricks of pacing yourself, and now she has built up her confidence and endurance.” Having a mom to guide her paid off. In Boston, Priscilla Garcia turned in a time of 3 hours 36 minutes. “I ran it straight. I didn’t even stop to get water because I thought if I stop, I will lose my momentum,” she said. “I wasn’t thinking. I was in a trance. I wanted to just finish because it was a very tough race.” At one point during the tricky and hilly Boston race — from miles 16 through 20, known as Heartbreak Hill — Priscilla Garcia “hit the wall.”






Nomination battle is the theme of ‘The Best Man’ By KIRSTEN CROW THE ZAPATA TIMES

“The Best Man” is an apt title for Gore Vidal’s political chess game of a play that features the conventions, intrigue and somewhat animalistic behavior involved in securing a nomination for the presidency, showcasing what it takes to take it all — and no, as expected, it’s not always “the best man.” In fact, this is no rosy tale. The characters are human. They are flawed, and while one emerges as arguably the better or more ethical candidate, he’s got his own set of unlikable qualities and questionable personal practices to counterbalance his idealism, which is more centered in aristocracy than democracy, both in the true senses of the words. In the premier production of the newly formed Laredo Theater Guild, in collaboration with Texas A&M International University, the cast is composed of several veteran actors portraying each of their characters to its fullest. Produced by Sam Johnson and under the direction of Jose Flores, “The Best Man” will have you thinking long after you’ve left the theater.

A tale of two men Set in 1960 Philadelphia on the eve of the National Political Convention in two hotel suites, the play begins with tongue-in-cheek commentary about the two-party political system of the U.S.: A fierce focus is on the two “frontrunners,” while the third, darkhorse candidate, is something of a joke, as well as literally and figuratively unseen. The frontrunners stand in stark contrast to one another, not in their stances on the issues, but

Photo by Mayra Flores | The Zapata Times

Tami Summers, playing Mabel Cantwell, and Rafael Orduña, playing presidential-hopeful Sen.Joe Cantwell, flirt in a scene during a rehearsal of Gore Vidal’s “The Best Man” on Tuesday. in their images. The audience is first introduced to the regal, well-heeled and Ivy League-educated former Secretary of State William Russell, played by Joe Arciniega. He’s verbose and grandiose and has a knack for quoting dead men on any number of topics, often leaving the reporters and his campaign manager scratching their heads. His wife, the refined, stately Alice Russell, played by Linda L. Howland, is a woman bred and born to maintain appearances, and who places high value on cultivated behavior in public despite the painful private cost. Their marriage is, in essence, a sham to keep William Russell as a viable candidate. Russell has been known for his “athleticism,” as Alice refers to it, a euphemism for extramarital affairs. Then there’s the man with a mile-wide grin, Sen. Joe Cantwell,

played with smarmy delight by Rafael Orduña. Cantwell is “a man of the people,” rising from humble beginnings and working his way to the top — while cutting a few throats along the way. His wife, Mabel, the more traditional, pretty housewife with a razor-sharp tongue matched only by her even sharper ambition, is smooth as honey as she practices backbiting cattiness, makes snide remarks and asks pointed questions as though it were an art. The pair resemble a modernday version of the Macbeths, minus the homicidal tendencies, driving one another to the extremes necessary to become the power couple they already imagine themselves to be. Cantwell, too, has more than a few issues, among them being an investigation into the Mafia’s influence on the government that yielded the destruction of some “poor Sicilian bandits on the Low-

er East Side” while leaving the big players wielding the puppet strings. There are more than a few allusions and outright references to Sen. Joseph McCarthy here. Both are vying for the endorsement of old Southern politics player President Art Hockstader, played with the stage-stealing presence of Vernon Carroll, who is not interested in “the best man” but the best president. As they compete in a dead heat for Hockstader’s endorsement, the candidates each hold in their clammy hands information on the other that has the potential to devastate their rival’s political career. The question is: Who will pull the trigger? For Cantwell, it’s a necessary, expected clincher of the game. For Russell, it’s a sacrifice of his deepseated beliefs. Along the way, there are more than a few surprises.

MARATHON | Continued from Page 5A “That’s when you reach a point where your body wants to shut down,” she said. “But then I was thinking that it was my grandpa’s anniversary (of his death), and if he could sustain all the pain and horrible cancer that he had, then why couldn’t I? That’s how I overcame.” Maribel Garcia agreed. “It’s all mental. “When you get tired, you have to think positive and remind yourself, ‘I’m stronger than this’ and tell yourself things like, ‘I’m the best’ and ‘I’m not going to quit. I’m going to beat it,’ ” she said. “It’s that feeling of conquering that is so awesome. It makes you a stronger person, physically and emotionally.” Maribel Garcia, a dancer by training, has come a long way since her first marathon in Minneapolis in 1998. “It was freezing, freezing cold,” she recalled. “I was always friolenta, so I brought a wetsuit top and never removed layers and never drank water. You’re supposed to drink every two miles to hydrate.” By the time Maribel reached mile 23, she had gone into hypothermia. She was disoriented and was forced to stop by marathon officials. “I came to tears and was devastated because I didn’t even know what was going on,” she said. Upon her return, she quickly signed up for the San Antonio marathon and posted a time of 4 hours 30 minutes. “I knew I could do better, so I started to train harder,” she said. She soon joined a group in San Antonio, and did speed work, tempo runs and hill running. By the time her 40th birthday rolled around, Maribel Garcia had a time of 3 hours 20 minutes. She now ranked among the top Master runners and qualified for Boston, “not knowing what Boston was,” she said. “I was so clueless.” For Maribel Garcia, running long distances is a spiritual experience. “When I go on long runs, solo, I pray. “I get out all my anger, release everything negative out of my system. It’s the best stress reliever and tranquilizer,” Maribel Garcia said. “When I’m running and climbing a hill and look at the scenery, I feel free. It’s me. I feel like a bird flying.” A 1977 Martin High graduate, Maribel Garcia was a jazz dancer and had dreams of going to Broadway. “Then I got married,” she said with a smile. After graduating from thenSouthwest Texas State University, Maribel Garcia became a physical education coach and dance team sponsor for United Independent School District. Ten years and four

children later, she retired from teaching and focused on her kids and newfound passion. Standing at 5 feet 3 inches and weighing a trim 107 pounds, Maribel Garcia still has a physique capable of putting a 20-something to shame. One of her pet peeves is to hear someone ask her, “You’re still running?” “I’m not going to stop,” Maribel Garcia said. She credits her late father, Oscar Lopez, a pastor, for encouraging her to discover the sport of marathon running, and her drive to constantly improve. “All his words were very positive,” said Maribel Garcia, who is currently training for a halfmarathon in Anaheim, Calif., where a sporting clothes company is sponsoring her trip. After that, it’s the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio Marathon in November. While she watches her daughter develop a love for the sport, Maribel Garcia would like to see the Laredo marathon community grow and become a more cohesive and supportive family. She also would like to see more women — “especially those over the age of 40” — consider running, and marathon running. “You can’t ever say you’re too old to start something you want,” she said. “You just need to set a goal and go for it. Women need to do these things for themselves. We’re in control of our body and our health.”

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It’s an intense look at the strategizing, conniving, commiserating and colluding that go on behind the scenes between the candidates and their advisers, far from the lenses of the cameras and sound bite slogans. The relevance of the story and its many messages is particularly significant in light of the upcoming presidential election, said Arciniega, LTG creative director. Originally suggested by Sam Johnson, the play holds a figurative mirror to some of the issues, including the question of substance versus image, of the current campaigns, he said. “These themes (are) very, very relevant and, in some ways, scary,” Arciniega said. “But they are definitely things to be thoughtful about.”

The cast Rounding out the cast are Suzy Mayo, who plays the crusty, tough, straight-talkin’ Svengali of the women’s vote, Mrs. Sue-Ellen Gamadge; Joseph Crabtree and John Wallace, playing Russell’s adviser, Dick Jensen, and Cantwell’s adviser, Don Blades, with equal cunning; Andrew Villarreal, playing the quaking Marcus Sheldon; and Henry Flores, playing the good ol’ boy from Texas, Sen. Clyde Carlin. All of the actors, novices and veterans, slip seamlessly into their roles — just as well as they do the vintage clothing. It was, in fact, the clothing that was one of the more fun elements to working on the play, said Linda Howland, who plays the elegant but somewhat chilly Alice. “Unfortunately, I had the clothes,” she joked. This is Howland’s first foray

into the dramatic arts, and she noted that there had been a few challenges. “It’s the challenge of having to act when you’re not (speaking),” she said. “If you’re in a scene, you can’t just sit there like a bump on a log when (you’re not speaking.) That’s what’s been tough on me. I thought it would be memorizing the lines.” But even veteran actors like Carroll, who has participated in more than 300 plays, have their own challenges. “I’ve been acting since I was 14, and I still get stage fright,” he said. “But I’ve learned how to channel it … I’ve never died on stage — literally or figuratively.”

The audience The play is geared toward adults and contains mature themes — there is some cursing, which, while not exorbitant, can be rather harsh for younger ears. Some of the subject matter, too, is mildly risque — there is discussion about “degenerate” sexual activity, as well as extramarital affairs and mental illness, including suicide, although none of those themes is actually played out on stage.

The road to the White House “The Best Man” will be performed at the TAMIU Center for Fine and Performing Arts in the Sam Johnson Experimental Theatre at 8 p.m. tonight and 3 p.m. Sunday. General admission is $15; for students with proper identification, admission is $10. For more information, call 3198610.




Students to get grace period before uniform requirement



Photo by Cuate Santos | Laredo Morning Times

Retired Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, center, poses with members of the VFW Post 7768 from Zapata on Wednesday, following the Zapata Consolidated Independent School District’s general session. VFW members are, left to right Felix Garcia, Luis Dominguez, Post Commander Jerry Gutierrez and Antonio Garcia.

Conservationists warn of fence’s impact By CHRISTOPHER SHERMAN ASSOCIATED PRESS

MISSION — The Bush administration’s recently proposed changes to rules involving endangered species could lead to projects like the fence being built along the U.S.-Mexico border that could threaten endangered wildlife, the Sierra Club warned Friday. “We’re talking about animals already pushed to the brink of extinction,” Liz Walsh, chairwoman of the group’s endangered species committee, said

at a news conference near a border fence construction site. The Rio Grande Valley ranks third in the country in terms of the number of endangered and threatened species, and habitat loss poses one of the area’s biggest threats. The border fence will destroy habitat and make it harder to maintain the numbers for a variety of animals, including endangered large cats such as the ocelot and jaguarundi. The group drew parallels between the April 1 waiver of dozens of environmental and cultural preservation laws by

the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to speed border fence construction and the rule changes proposed this month that would no longer require government scientists to weigh in on the impact to endangered species from projects such as highways and dams. Michael Degnan, a Sierra Club representative from Washington, D.C., said the border wall was a “very compelling example” of what can happen when rigorous scientific study of potential impacts is not required.

EPA begins taking fish from polluted canal ASSOCIATED PRESS

McALLEN — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has begun catching all the fish in a South Texas canal in a preliminary step toward cleaning up one of the most toxic sites in the Rio Grande Valley. The federal government has known the main canal south of Donna was polluted with cancercausing PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, in the sediments since 1993. But after years of studies confirmed that original finding, the source

has not been found. Last fall, the canal became the Valley’s first site to join a national priority list of contaminated areas at the front of the line to receive federal funding for cleanup. The list is part of the Superfund cleanup process. While the EPA started removing fish and keeping new ones from entering the canal this month, it is still waiting on money to be appropriated for cleanup, The McAllen Monitor reported in Friday edition.

A uniform dress code is being implemented for the first time at Zapata County ISD for all grades pre-kindergarten through 12th upon the start of the school year Monday. The uniform policy was to become effective immediately upon the start of school Monday, but Superintendent Romeo Rodriguez said there will be a grace period for those who have been unable to find clothes to comply with the new dress code. “Like many other schools across the state we have researched and found that it is a good thing for kids,” Rodriguez said, adding that families who have had difficulty finding uniform clothes need not worry about the dress code, at least during the first week of school. “We just want to make sure that no one gets the impression that just because they don’t have a uniform they can’t come to school.” Rodriguez said there has been difficulty in Zapata with availability of uniform clothes so the district is offering a one-week grace period that may be extended to two weeks. For eligible families, vouchers to purchase uniforms are available through the Office of Parental Involvement. As per the new uniform policy, all students must wear either a solid maroon or gold shirt or blouse with a collar and sleeves and they

“We just want to make sure that no one gets the impression that just because they don’t have a uniform they can’t come to school.” SUPERINTENDENT ROMEO RODRIGUEZ

must remain tucked in at all times, according to the dress code. Turtlenecks or undershirts must be solid navy or white. No shirt or blouse can have snaps, zippers or visible designs, such as stripes or checks, and logos or trademarks cannot be larger than one inch. The new dress code also requires students wear khaki, navy blue, black pants or blue jeans, all of which must be a solid color. Skirts can be khaki, navy blue or black and cannot be shorter than three inches above the knee. A pleat or split in a skirt is allowed as long as it does not exceed the threeinch limit. For grades pre-kindergarten through fifth shorts are allowed but they must be no more than two inches above the knee. Carpenter or cargo-style pants and skirts are not allowed. Pants cannot be baggy, loose-fitting or wide-leg and they cannot be torn or frayed. Students must where a belt at all times. The dress code does allow for solid maroon, gold, black or white sweatshirts, jackets, sweaters and sweater vests as long as the outer-

wear is worn over the proper shirt or blouse. Letterman or school jackets are permitted, as are hooded sweaters. Trench coats or any coat extending beyond mid-thigh is restricted. No headgear is allowed. Steel-toed boots, skater shoes, house slippers and flip-flops are not permitted footwear. ZCISD can provide an application for uniform assistance for families who cannot afford the required attire. Families receiving temporary assistance to needy families (TANF) or food stamps are eligible for financial assistance. The form must be completed and submitted to the Office of Parental Involvement with a current TANF certificate. If a family does not receive such assistance, they may also be eligible for vouchers by informing the district on the number of members in the family and gross income (before taxes) of any family member in the household. For more information about the new dress code, contact the Office of Parental Involvement at 7654822 or go to

‘Andy’ Vera named Stewart Title manager SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Stewart Title, formerly Border Title Group, recently announced the promotion of Adrian “Andy” Vera to branch manager/escrow officer of the company’s Zapata branch office. Vera is a native Laredoan and has been with the company for five years. He was an escrow officer assistant prior to this promotion. Vera graduated from Martin High School in 1999 where he earned a track and field scholarship to Texas A&M Kingsville. Upon his return from college, Vera worked for STNB for one year before joining Border Title Group.

Vera is now the manager at the Zapata office as well as the escrow officer closing all the real estate transactions. He brings with him many years of experience in the title industry. “We are very fortunate to have Andy as part of our growing team,” said Yolanda Sciaraffa, of Stewart VERA Title. “His determination, dedication and expertise will definitely be a great asset to Stewart Title as well as to the Zapata community.” Vera and his wife, Norma, have one son, Joshua. To reach Vera, call 765-4621.

ZFrontera AGENDAEN BREVE SERVICIO SOCIAL „ LAREDO — El Laredo Entertainment Center realizará una Feria del Empleo el sábado 23 de agosto de las 11 a.m. a las 5 p.m. LEC está ubicado en el 6700 Arena Blvd.,entre el Loop 20 yJacaman Rd. Personal de LEC proveerá información acerca de los puestos disponibles.Los interesados deben presentarse con su curriculum preparado, experiencia laboral y referencias. „ LAREDO — Participe para obtener una oportunidad de asistir a One City, One Book, presentando a Gerda Weissmann Klein.The Food for Thought Foundation lleva a cabo una recaudación de comida para beneficiar a los dos bancos de alimento locales. Lleve cinco productos no perecederos a la Biblioteca Pública de Laredo (1120 E. Calton Rd.) antes del 31 de agosto, para participar en la rifa por un boleto para el evento. Más información llamando a Pam Burrell en la Biblioteca Pública de Laredo en el 795-2400,x2268. „ LAREDO — La Clínica de Vacunas del Departamento de Salud de la Ciudad de Laredo (en el 2600 Cedar) dio a conocer horarios extendidos para aplicación de vacunas debido al regreso a clases. Las vacunas son obligatorias por ley, y se requieren para asistir a la escuela. Deberá llevarse comprobante de vacunas. Las 9 Clíniacs WIC estarán laborando durante lo que resta de agosto en horario, de lunes a jueves, de 8 a.m. a 6 p.m. y el viernes de 8 a.m. a 4 p.m.Hay una cuota mínima de 4 dólares por niño, con máximo de 12 dólares por familia. Más información llamando al (956) 795-4906 ó (956)795-4900. „ LAREDO — El Departamento de Salud de la Ciudad de Laredo recuerda a dueños de mascotas que deben vacunarlas contra la rabia. Una clínica se realizará el miércoles 27 de agosto,de 6:30 p.m.a 7:30 p.m.en la Old Santo Niño WIC Clinic, ubicada en el 2200 Zacatecas. El costo por vacuna es de 12.00 dólares/por mascota. Favor de traer a su perro con correa, a sus gatos en una funda de almohada y se recomeinda dejar a sus hijos en casa. Más información llamando al programa de control animal en el (956) 795-4902 ó (956) 795-2485.

SÁBADO 23 de AGOSTO de 2008


Laredos buscan promoverse en Texas Por MIGUEL TIMOSHENKOV TIEMPO DE LAREDO

Las principales ciudades de Texas están agendadas para ser visitadas por los alcaldes de Laredo, Raúl Salinas y Nuevo Laredo, Ramón Garza Barrios. Ellos se reunieron la semana pasada para empezar a detallar el tema. La visita incluirá las comunidades del Valle del Río Grande, además de San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, Forth Worth y otras. La fecha está por definirse en unas dos semanas. Salinas consideró que hay interés de ambos Laredos por explotar el servicio del turismo, se



trata de una economía que debe atraerse y permitirá una mejor calidad de vida en ambos lados. “Debemos promover el turismo, vender nuestras comunidades”, dijo Salinas. “Unidos hemos avanzado en temas importantes para la vida de ambas fronteras”. Garza Barrios dijo que en Nuevo Laredo se han intensifi-

cado actividades para llamar la atención del visitante nacional e internacional. Ambos gobiernos se organizan para incrementar el potencial turístico, donde incluye su participación de la Secretaría de Turismo del Estado, donde están en proceso con programas de capacitación a prestadores de servicio que podrán ampliar su universo de trato y atención al visitante. “Hay conciencia que debemos diversificar nuestra actividad, como los productos a fin de interesar al turismo”, dijo Garza Barrios. “Tenemos un buen plan. Ahora lo pondremos en operación”, dijo Salinas. “Nos aliaremos con los alcaldes de las difer-

entes ciudades y organismos, les solicitaremos convocar conferencias de prensa”. Las citadas visitas son de vital interés para el gobierno de Laredo, como lo es en su momento a Nuevo Laredo. Garza Barrios, dijo que cada ocasión se palpa más presencia de visitantes, cuando se celebra corridas de toros y otras actividades que están ubicando a Nuevo Laredo, como una ciudad que trabaja, ser esfuerza para continuar en sus liderazgos.

Seguridad Garza Barrios reconoció que en el pasado surgieron algunas in-

EDUCACIÓN „ LAREDO — “El mercado para oportunidades de contratación de mujeres en los negocios”, una discusión de mesa redonda al mediodía se desarrollará por el Centro de desarrollo de negocios pequeños de Texas A&M International University y la Oficina de distrito de San Antonio de la Administración de negocios pequeños de EU, el 11 de septiembre de 11:30 a.m. a 1:30 p.m. en el Embassy Suites, 110 Calle del Norte. El evento es gratuito y abierto al público, pero se requiere inscribirse. Inscríbase llamando al (956) 326-2827 ó escribiendo a

DEPORTES „ LAREDO — Los fanáticos de la WWE deben empezar a hacer planes para el mes de octubre. El próximo martes 21 de octubre se presentará en el Laredo Entertainment Center el evento WWE Smackdown & ECW a las 6:30 p.m. La WWE promete la presencia de las estrellas favoritas. Los boletos saldrán a la venta el viernes 12 de septiembre a las 10 a.m. en la taquilla de LEC y en los expendios de Ticketmaster. Los precios varían de 20, 25, 30 y 40 dólares. Medina dijo que generalmente los eventos de la WWE en Laredo se han vendido al 100%, por lo que esperan los fanáticos compren los boletos el primer día de venta de los mismos.

CULTURA „ LAREDO — La exhibición de arte “Billy Hassell: Migration”, de pinturas e impresiones por el artista de Fort Worth, Billy Hassell tendrá su recepción de apertura el jueves 4 de septiembre, de 5 a 8 p.m. en el Center for the Fine and Performing Arts Arte Gallery de la Texas A&M International University. La entrada es gratuita y abierta al público. La exhibición ya está abierta y continuará hasta el 9 de octubre. Más información llamando a Alma Haertlein, directora de la galería en el 326.3041.

estabilidades de seguridad pública, pero dentro de su gobierno hizo el compromiso de mejorar el status. “Se ha dotado de equipo, se estarán realizando revisiones y operativos al interior de los cuerpos de seguridad”, dijo Garza Barrios. “Sabemos que demoraremos un tiempo en crear la confianza, pero se trabaja en ello”. El alcalde Salinas, dijo que admira el esfuerzo de su homólogo Garza Barrios para recomponer el estado de cosas del gobierno, además de la confianza que se ha ganado de la comunidad. (Puede localizar a Miguel Timoshenkov llamando al (956) 7282583 o escribiendo a

Celebran a adultos mayores



ENTRETENIMIENTO „ LAREDO — El Laredo Entertainment Center presenta del 29 al 31 de agosto el espectáculo infantil “Sesame Street LIVE ‘Elmo Makes Music’”. Puede adquirir boletos en la taquila del LEC ó en los expendedores de Ticketmaster, inclusive llamando al (956) 712-1566 ó en „ Enrique Iglesias y Aventura, Los Reyes de la Bachata,ofrecerán un recital en el Laredo Entertainment Center el 4 de septiembre a las 8 p.m. Será la primera vez que Iglesias ofrezca un recital en el LEC. Puede adquirir sus boletos en la taquilla de la arena o en los ticketmaster ó llamando al (956) 712-1566.Los precios inician en 40 dólares.Se agrega un cargo por servicio en cada boleto.


Foto por Ricardo Segovia | Laredo Morning Times

Andrew Boone Oliver se toma un descanso durante la recepción de la exhibición “El Vaquero Real, The Original American Cowboy” que abrió al público en el Villa Antigua Border Heritage Museum en Laredo, el jueves por la tarde. La exhibición cuenta con fotografías de John Dyer y pinturas de Lionel Sosa. La Webb County Heritage Foundation celebra, de esta manera, el legado cultural de los vaqueros reconocidos por todo el mundo. Puede visitar “El Vaquero Real” de martes al sábado de 9 a.m. a 4 p.m. El museo está ubicado ubicado en el 810 Zaragoza St.

Miguel Alemán inicia campaña de fumigación ESPECIAL PARA TIEMPO DE LAREDO

MIGUEL ALEMÁN — El 20 de agosto dio inicio la fumigación de colonias afectadas por las intensas lluvias que azotaron esta zona a inicios de semana. El jefe de gobierno de Miguel Alemán, Servando López Moreno, dijo que “no esperará al primer caso de dengue para empezar a actuar”. Las lluvias más fuertes ocurrieron el 19 de agosto, y varias colonias quedaron inundadas. López Moreno, acompañado del director de salud municipal, Dr. Julio Cab, dio por iniciada la campaña de prevención del dengue en la colonia Américo Villarreal. A las 9 p.m. del día 20 de agosto, las unidades y el personal de la Jurisdicción Sanitaria No. V de Nuevo Laredo arrancaron con la fumigación por toda la colonia Américo Villarreal, una de las más afectadas. López Moreno sostuvo que el Municipio cuenta con suficientes bombas “London Fog”, para recorrer todas las colonias inundadas, 11 camionetas nebulizadoras y 25 motomochilas. “Si hay necesidad de adquirir (más) lo vamos a hacer y lo vamos a hacer con mucha anticipación, porque no queremos tener ningún caso de dengue en Miguel Alemán”, dijo el munícipe. Cab Barrera, por su parte,

Foto de cortesía | Gobierno de Miguel Alemán

El jefe de gobierno de Miguel Alemán, Servando López Moreno realizó, junto con personal del sector salud, el arranque de fumigación de colonias, el 20 de agosto, a fin de prevenir la reproducción del mosquito transmisor del dengue. dijo que el personal de la jurisdicción empezó a fumigar de 9 p.m. a 11 p.m. y de 6 a.m. a 9 a.m.. “ya que es el la hora cuando el mosquito “Aedes aegyptiis” empieza su actividad. Algo que destacaron las autoridades de este municipio, es la importancia de la participación de la ciudadanía para prevenir una epidemia de dengue. “Primero la descacharrizacion, que consiste en eliminar todas las llantas, frascos botellas y recipientes que guarden agua, ya que ahí es donde el mosquito deposita su larva”, dijo López Moreno.

“(También) limpiar los patios de su casa a fin de evitar la maleza”. La aplicación de abatización continuará, a fin de aniquilar la larva en los depósitos de agua y por último la aplicación de “aqua reslum” que es el insecticida para la eliminación de mosquito.

Reprograman visita El viernes estaba prevista la presencia del Gobernador de Tamulipas, Eugenio Hernández Flores en Miguel Alemán, pero la visita tuvo que ser pospuesta para una fecha por definir.

El objetivo era evaluar los daños que ocasionó la atípica tromba que el 19 de agosto se sintió en esta frontera. Hernández Flores envió una felicitación a las autoridades estatales y municipales, así como al personal de la milicia y a la sociedad civil, quienes en un esfuerzo conjunto y bajo la coordinación del presidente municipal, Servando López Moreno, evitaron que la corriente del arroyo “El Buey” arrastrara a decenas de familias que viven sobre el afluente y sus márgenes. “Luego de la tormenta viene la chamba”, dijo López Moreno, agregando que en coordinación con los secretarios y directores se trabajará en los renglones de salud, vivienda e infraestructura. Durante la contingencia, el enfoque estuvo en la evacuación de familias que viven sobre y en las márgenes del arroyo, así como a monitorear el nivel del río Bravo. “El trabajo duro fue convencer a las familias de que abandonaran sus casas, veíamos cómo el agua corría con fuerza y llegaba hasta las ventanas de las humildes viviendas, y todavía en el interior algunos niños durmiendo”, dijo López Moreno. El jefe de gobierno concluyó diciendo sentirse “orgulloso” de todos los que participaron en el dispositivo de seguridad, “pues gracias a ese esfuerzo conjunto se salvaron vidas”.

NUEVO LAREDO — El Sistema para el Desarrollo Integral de la Familia estará de fiesta esta semana. Los invitados de honor son los adultos mayores, mayores de 60 años de edad. El miércoles 27 de agosto se celebrará la “Expo Vida en Plenitud” en el Centro Cultural Nuevo Laredo (por el Boulevard Luis Donaldo Colosio) a partir de las 8 a.m. y hasta las 7 p.m. La expo ofrecerá conferencias sobre la importancia de la medicina preventiva, imagen y autoestima; también ejercicios de relajación y alimentación balanceada para los adultos mayores. También se tratarán temas como: manejo adecuado de sentimientos y emociones, el rol del adulto mayor dentro del núcleo familiar, pérdidas y apegos, derechos y obligaciones del adulto mayor. Además de las conferencias, actuarán “Los Tres Reyes” a la 1 p.m. en el CCNL. El miércoles, de las 4 p.m. a las 6 p.m. se efectuará el encuentro intergeneracional en la Cueva Leonística (sobre Avenida Reforma), donde habrá una convivencia deportiva e interactiva entre adultos mayores y jóvenes. Algunos eventos serán Tai Chi, Yoga, baile, teatro, dominó, ajedrez y lotería. Para cerrar con broche de oro, habrá la coronación de los reyes electos de la Casa Club y la actuación de la Sonora Dinamita en conjunto con otra orquesta.

Contingentes A la “Expo Vida en Plenitud” asistirán contingentes de ciudades cercanas. El DIF de Miguel Alemán tendrá representantes de la tercera edad participando en conferencias, pláticas, talleres y los eventos culturales. El DIF de Nueva Ciudad Guerrero enviará un contingente de 40 adultos mayores el miércoles a Nuevo Laredo para participar también.

Coronación en Nueva Ciudad Guerrero El viernes 29 de agosto, habrá una celebración para homenajear a los adultos mayores en Nueva Ciudad Guererro. Entre los eventos programados está la Coronación de la Reina del Adulto Mayor, siendo la Sra. María del Carmen Robledo y de la princesa Sra. María Rodríguez. La Coronación será en el Centro Cívico de esta ciudad a las 4 p.m., donde se contará con la participación de Embajadoras ó Reinas de los DIF Municipales de la frontera chica, desde Diaz Ordaz hasta Ciudad Mier.

Incumplirían plazo para construir valla en el sur de Texas Por CHRISTOPHER SHERMAN ASSOCIATED PRESS

McALLEN — El alza en los costos de construcción de una cerca fronteriza entre Estados Unidos y México ha obligado aparentemente a que el Departamento de Seguridad Interior acceda por vez primera a cambiar el plazo fijado para construirla, el cual vencía a finales de este año. La dependencia ha ofrecido a un condado del sur de Texas ampliar el plazo hasta el 31 de marzo del 2009, para terminar su

segmento más largo de la construcción divisoria, una combinación de dique y muro fronterizo, con la esperanza de que la iniciativa mantenga los costos dentro del margen previsto, de acuerdo con una carta obtenida por The Associated Press. El Congreso ordenó que los 1.078 kilómetros (670 millas) de barrera para impedir el paso de vehículos y peatones estén terminados para finales del 2008 a lo largo de la frontera entre los dos países, de 3.218,54 kilómetros (2.000 millas). El Departamento de Seguridad Interior

había esgrimido ese plazo tan cercano como una razón para justificar en abril una medida por la que hizo caso omiso a decenas de regulaciones ambientales. También se había referido al plazo para explicar en un tribunal federal el motivo por el que había acelerado la presentación de demandas de expropiación de tierras que se interponían en la trayectoria prevista de la valla y cuyos dueños se negaban a entregarlas. Pero Dannenbaum Engineering Company, la firma que supervisa la modificación de unos 320 kilómetros (20 millas)

de diques para que funcionen también como muros en el condado de Hidalgo, señaló en una carta fechada el 18 de agosto que el Departamento de Seguridad Interior ofreció más tiempo, después de que todos los presupuestos de un segmento se habían elevado. Seguridad Interior “ha otorgado una extensión para completar el proyecto”, señaló la carta enviada a las autoridades de drenaje del condado. “La fecha original para completarlo era el 31 de diciembre del 2008. La nueva fecha es el 31 de marzo del 2009”.





Cell use banned in 18 S.A. school zones ASSOCIATED PRESS

SAN ANTONIO — Drivers passing through nearly 20 school zones in San Antonio will soon have to stop talking on their cell phones — or at least get a handsfree device. San Antonio joined several other cities around the country Thursday night in the fight against cell phones near schools, passing an ordinance for a oneyear pilot program banning the use of cell phones in 18 schools zones that have had a high number of speeding violations. Drivers also won’t be allowed to send or read text messages while in the zones during the

Photo by Ricardo Moraes | AP

Workers look over a computer screen at the P-51 drilling platform owned by Petrobras, Petroleo Brasileiro S.A., in Angra dos Reis, Brazil, on Thursday. According to Petrobras, the P-51 will be the first semi-submersible platform built completely in Brazil. It will be pumping oil and natural gas in the country’s offshore Campos basin by December.

Oil prices fall more than $6 on stronger dollar By STEVENSON JACOBS ASSOCIATED PRESS

NEW YORK — Oil prices tumbled more than $6 a barrel Friday — the biggest one-day percentage plunge in nearly four years — after a rebounding dollar and a Russian troop pullback in Georgia sparked another frenzied sell-off. Crude’s nosedive wiped out all the gains from the previous day’s big rally and reaffirmed the belief that high energy prices and a softening global economy are still cutting into consumer demand for fossil fuels in the U.S. and overseas. Light, sweet crude for October delivery fell $6.59, or 5.43 percent, to settle at $114.59 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was crude’s largest singleday price drop percentage-wise since Dec. 27, 2004, when prices dropped 6.47 percent. In dollar terms, it was oil’s steepest oneday slide since Jan. 17, 1991, just after the start of the Gulf War. Crude prices had risen for three straight days, including an almost $6 rally on Thursday. “This is extreme volatility,” said Jim Ritterbusch, president of energy consultancy Ritterbusch and Associates in Galena, Ill. “The fact that we erased all of yesterday’s gains so fast suggests that we’re still in a bear market. There’s just not much demand out there.” At the pump, a gallon of regular fell another penny overnight to a new national average of $3.692, according to auto club AAA, the Oil Price Information Service and Wright Express. Prices had peaked at $4.114 a gallon on July 17, but have come down as high energy costs force Americans cut back on their driving. Crude’s violent fall accelerated throughout the day on renewed bullishness in the U.S. dollar and an apparent easing of geopolitical tensions. Speaking at an econom-

“The fact that we erased all of yesterday’s gains so fast suggests that we’re still in a bear market. There’s just not much demand out there.” JIM RITTERBUSCH, RITTERBUSCH AND ASSOCIATES

ic conference Friday, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said he would “act as necessary” to control inflation — comments which sent the greenback higher compared to rival currencies. A falling dollar encourages selling from investors who bought crude oil and other commodities as a hedge against inflation and weakness in the U.S. currency. The euro fell to $1.4806 in early New York trading Friday from $1.4772 late in New York the night before. “The dollar got pounded yesterday and everybody rushed to buy commodities as a safe haven. Now the dollar is strengthening so everybody’s dumping commodities again,” said Phil Flynn, analyst at Alaron Trading Corp. in Chicago. On Thursday, worries about Russian hostilities helped push crude prices up $5.62 to $121.18, crude’s highest settlement price in over two weeks. “Obviously, yesterday’s rally was overcooked and we’re simply taking back some of that speculative risk premium we injected into the market,” said Ritterbusch. Russian troops began withdrawing from key Georgian positions on Friday, the day the pullback was to be completed under a U.S.-backed cease-fire. Still, there were conflicting statements about the extent of Russia’s withdrawal. Russia’s defense minister said Friday the pullback from most Georgian territories to proMoscow separatist regions was complete, but U.S. State Department spokesman Robert Wood

said that establishing buffer zones was “definitely not part of the agreement.” Oil traders were still eyeing the conflict amid concerns that another flare-up of violence could sever key oil shipments bound for Western countries. Russia is the world’s second largest oil exporter, providing a quarter of EU countries’ crude supplies and half of their natural gas. “It’s still speculative whether Russia will use oil as a weapon to punish the West,” said Victor Shum, an energy analyst with Purvin & Gertz in Singapore. “But it has certainly focused the market on that geopolitical threat.” The United States and Poland signed a deal Wednesday to place a U.S. missile defense base just 115 miles from Russia’s westernmost border, a provocative move that was immediately denounced by Moscow. Russia’s Foreign Ministry warned that Moscow’s response to further development of the missile defense shield would go beyond diplomacy. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has dismissed any suggestion that the missile defense interceptors to be based in Poland constitute a threat to Russia. Washington insists the base is intended only as a defense against long-distance missiles from Iran. London-based BP PLC last week shut down its Baku-Supsa oil pipeline — which runs through the center of Georgia from Baku in Azerbaijan to Supsa on Georgia’s Black Sea coast — because of security concerns.

Violators will face a fine of up to $200 after a 60-day grace period beginning Sept. 1. school day, according to a story in Friday’s San Antonio ExpressNews. But the program has several exceptions. Driving and talking using hands-free devices is allowed. So is calling 911, the fire department, police or a doctor’s office or clinic in an emergency. Finally, it’s OK for parents waiting in so-called “car lines” to call their children to say they’ve ar-

rived at the school for pick up. Violators will face a fine of up to $200 after a 60-day grace period beginning Sept. 1. The Houston enclave of West University Place has banned all cell phone use, including handsfree sets, for drivers within a three-block radius of a local elementary school during school hours. It’s the strictest law of its kind in the nation.



Many Wash. farmworkers are indigenous Mexicans



SEATTLE — Indigenous Mexicans make up nearly a quarter of the farmhands who pick the apples, cherries and other crops in western Washington, a new survey has found. The survey — “A Sustainable Bounty: Investing in Our Agricultural Future” — was conducted by the Washington State Farmworker Housing Trust and released last week. More than 2,800 farmworkers in 14 Washington counties were interviewed for the survey in 2006. Statewide, indigenous farmworkers were 3 percent of those surveyed, while 95 percent of all farmworkers called themselves Mexican or MexicanAmerican. Indigenous peoples from Latin America are the direct descendants of the people who lived in the region before colonial times. The number of indigenous workers “shows the dire economic situation for indigenous people in Latin America,” said Rosalinda Guillen, one of the survey coordinators.

Corn blamed She echoed an argument suggesting that an overflow of American goods — specifically corn — drove the indigenous from their lands after many could not compete with cheap goods from the north. Many were self-sustainable farmers, working small plots of land. The survey found that around 18 percent of those who said Spanish was not their first language reported that they could not read or write in Spanish. County sheriff ’s deputies, who patrol the rural areas where many of the indigenous migrant workers live and work, also have had to adjust to the additional language barriers. “You’d find somebody and they’d be speaking what you thought was Spanish, but you’d find that it’s something else that’s

“Recruiting and retaining a stable and skilled work force is becoming increasingly difficult.” BRIEN THANE, STATE FARMWORKER HOUSING TRUST EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

not Spanish,” said Skagit County Chief Deputy Will Reichardt. The survey also found that nearly half of the workers say they don’t know if they’ll continue working the fields, citing subpar housing conditions plagued by mice, cockroaches and lack of electricity or water.

Poverty wages Moreover, workers have an average annual household income of around $17,500 — below the federal poverty line. Nearly 6 percent of the 2,800 workers described themselves as homeless, living in cars or sheds. That figure jumps to 15 percent for those workers who migrate from community to community in search of work. “Recruiting and retaining a stable and skilled work force is becoming increasingly difficult,” said Brien Thane, trust executive director. “The survey makes it clear housing is a key factor in stabilizing and sustaining that work force.” For the state’s key crops — such as apples and cherries — a lack of hands to pick would mean lost harvests. The state has already seen periodic labor shortages. The survey reports 91 percent of those questioned said better housing would encourage them to continue working in the fields. They also detailed problems with current housing: 32 percent live in overcrowded units, 23 percent reported rodent infestation and others reported lack of heat and poor water quality. The issue of farmworker housing is contentious. Some farmers and local government

officials want the state to relax housing regulations. The state, meanwhile, has to inspect hundreds of housing units and respond to calls of unlicensed camps. In Douglas County, more than 350 cherry pickers live in military-type tents in a field next to the airport in East Wenatchee.

Stifling regulations County Commissioner Ken Stanton has criticized the state for allowing this, saying that farmers are reluctant to build onsite housing because of regulations. “Give some breaks to farmers to house these folks onsite,” Stanton said. Debra Fisher, who supervises migrant housing for the state Department of Health, said regulations on housing would not be relaxed. “I think it would move to the area of jeopardizing health and safety,” Fisher said. Meanwhile, the Washington Farm Bureau is working on its own projects to provide housing. Dan Fazio, director of employer services for the bureau, said a project that would build a motel-like building where workers could rent rooms for low prices is being planned in Franklin County. The building would be used by various farmers to house their workers. The survey also found that 80 percent of workers didn’t have health insurance, 66 percent reported they did not receive assistance from the government and 11 percent own their own homes.

Photo by Gary Kazanjian | AP

Jan Hami, of Cal-OSHA, samples water to check its quality as Jesse Leija looks on in a peach orchard, in Raisin City, Calif. California, the nation’s leader in heat-related deaths among farmworkers, created new laws aimed at ensuring people toiling in sweltering fields have water breaks and an umbrella for shade.



‘Ramireño’ traces two versions

OBITUARIES WESLEY HARRISON MOORE Faith, family and service describe Wesley Harrison Moore, 93, of Bremerton who died Aug 15 at home from complications of old age. Wesley was born May 23, 1915, in El Paso to Leo Wesley and Hazel Coy Moore. He spent his early years on the family’s Dipper “D” ranch near Marfa in West Texas where his father was foreman. He participated in his first round-up at the age of five and truly was the “littlest cowboy.” He and his brother rode donkeys 6 miles to a one-room school from 1921 to 1924. There were no school buses and the trail was too steep and rough for horses. The family moved back to El Paso in 1924. He graduated from Ysleta High School in 1934 and attended Texas College of Mines (now UTEP). He married Theollie Graham of Wayne County, Miss., on April 20, 1940. He became a propeller mechanic for the Biggs Field Air Base in 1942. The family moved to Utah in 1957, where he continued working for at Hill Air Force Base until his retirement in 1972. Wesley and Theollie lived as snowbirds the next 32 years as snowbirds in Crane, Zapata and Goldsmith, during the winters and in Du-

rango, Colo., and Cloudcroft, N.M., during the summers. They moved to Bremerton in 2004 to be closer to family. Wesley became a Boy Scout in 1928 and began a life-long association with them. He became the scoutmaster of Troop 32 in Ysleta in 1946, received the Scouter’s Key and Silver Beaver awards and earned the Eagle rank while in Texas. He was selected to lead a troop to the 1950 National Jamboree in Valley Forge and led a troop for a 100-mile hike at the Philmont New Mexico Scout Ranch in 1951. He became the scoutmaster for Troop 78 in Clearfield, Utah, in 1957, and continued as an

adult leader with that troop until 1972. Wesley was a life-long member of the Methodist Church. He was raised Master Mason in 1962 and was initiated into the Order of Eastern Star in 1972. He truly enjoyed helping others. He used his skilled hands to help with repairs and construction at churches, lodges and homes of friends and family. This was his way of doing his “daily good deed.” He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Theollie; son Wesley (Vicki); daughter, Glenda; granddaughter, Angela (Kelly) Peters; grandson, Eric (Tina); and three great-granddaughters, Emily, Alyssa and Tori Peters, all of Bremerton; brother, Stanley (Jean) of Colorado City, TX; and sister, Betty (Noel) Adams of Lacey, WA; and numerous nieces, nephews and their children from Florida to California. His parents and brother, Leo, preceded him in death. His life will be celebrated 4 p.m. Monday, August 25, at the Tracyton United Methodist Church and a Masonic burial will be at Restlawn Cemetery, El Paso. The family requests memorials to Hospice of Kitsap County or Tracyton Boy Scout Troop 1552 in lieu of flowers.



There appear to be two different versions of how “El Ramireño” had its start. One version is that a grant was issued to Don Jose Luis Ramirez, my great-great-grandfather, by the King of Spain in 1784, for Porción 5, with 6,195.15 acres in what is now Zapata County. Ramirez and his wife, Maria Bacilia Martinez, and their 10 children established Ramireño, moving from Nuevo Santander (now Tamaulipas) to their new home. Construction of Falcon Reservoir on the Rio Grande caused the relocation of several area communities including Ramireño, the settlement founded by Don Jose Luis. It was

moved in 1953 to a site two miles from the original Ramirez Ranch. These porciones have numerous gas wells. Another version, recently told to me by Ninfa Ramirez Garcia, was that “El Ramireño” was first established in what is now Falcon with several porciones; one was Porción 18 granted to Don Cristobal Ramirez and his wife, Doña Matiana. A 1751 census of Ciudad Mier in what is now the Mexican state of Tamaulipas shows the owner of that property as Don Cristobal Ramirez and lists him as one of the primeros — original settlers. His porción was 5,896.39 acres. At present, this porción has more than 18 gas wells.

According to the records, both versions are correct. The town currently known as Ramireño is 14 miles north of Zapata. That’s where the settlers of what we call Old Ramireño, where I grew up, moved in 1954. As noted previously, it’s just two miles away. It turns out that the Ramirez families in what is now Falcon and what is still called Ramireño are related. I knew Ninfa in high school and we were very close, but it wasn’t until recently that we discovered we were cousins. It’s not clear yet how Don Cristobal’s Ramireño became Falcon or whether the two Ramireños existed by the same name at the same time in some point in history. The research continues.

BP seizes $2.3M of pot near Lopeño SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

LAREDO — Border Patrol Agents from the Zapata station seized more than $2 million worth of marijuana Sunday. Agents responded to reports of suspicious activity on a ranch near Lopeño. The agents came upon an apparently empty flatbed trailer hidden in the brush. A Border Patrol canine alerted toward the trailer, indicating the presence of hidden people or contraband.

Agents removed the floorboards of the trailer and found 181 cellophane-wrapped bundles hidden in the frame. The bundles contained marijuana weighing 2,890 pounds with an approximate street value of $2.3 million. The trailer and the drugs were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration. To report suspicious activity such as drug and/or alien smuggling, contact the Laredo Sector Border Patrol’s toll free telephone number at 1-800343-1994.

BUDGET | Continued from Page 1A said. “It’s not easy to balance those things.” Vela and Precinct 3 Commissioner Joseph Rathmell agreed capital improvement projects would likely be cut to balance the budget. The proposed budget calls for using Zapata County’s fund balance to cover the shortfall, something Rathmell said he would prefer not to do, as that was the situation for about a $1 million shortfall in the current budget. “I hope we have an opportunity to address that shortfall and try to look for ways to come in with a balanced budget,” he said. “I think it’ll be a long process. We still need a lot more work to do on it.

“Some of our capital improvements will have to be cut back, just find ways to come in and live within our means more or less,” Rathmell added. Vela suggested cutting $3 million budgeted for Precinct 2 projects, as other precincts have been allocated about $700,000 each. Villarreal, whose district has been allocated $3 million in the current budget proposal, said a San Ygnacio project has already been partially funded and he needs an additional $1.4 million to finish it. Another $1.5 million is needed to connect a sewer system from Las Palmas to Zapata, Villarreal said, but he’s already

agreed to slice it down to $500,000 in the budget, as he expects grants to pay for part of the project. Also in the budget is an $800,000 expense to realign utility lines for a statefunded bridge project, but Vela said he and another commissioner agreed that expenditure can wait until another budget year because the state will not begin construction until at least 2010. Commissioners also identified $500,000 in the budget for paving in Precinct 3. The paving work has already been paid for by a bond, Vela said, and is therefore a double charge to the budget as it currently proposed.

“The auditor was writing down all these different over expenditures that we had there and with that we might be able to balance it,” Vela said about the discussion at a meeting on the tax rate earlier this week. The most recent numbers, Vela said, show Zapata County has spent nearly $1 million over its current budget, which has a fiscal year that ends Sept. 30. A 2007 audit of Zapata County funds showed an $11 million fund balance, but Vela said just because it’s there doesn’t mean it should be used up because of overspending. The newly proposed budget estimates

approximately $19.9 million of the $23.5 million in revenues will come from taxes. The remaining $3.6 million will be derived from license and permits, intergovernmental receipts, fees of offices, sheriff revenues, tax assessor and district clerk departments, interest earning, oil and gas royalties, and rent from the community and civic centers. In the coming weeks Villarreal said he’s confident the budget will balance. “We’re going to have to get together and try to do it,” Villarreal said. “I’m pretty sure we can do it. “We’re not over that much,” Villarreal said.

UNITED WAY | Continued from Page 1A Stoppers, Serving Children and Adolescents in Need and local food banks. “The community has to be there for United Way and United Way has to be there for the community,” Leal said. “You might not need services but you must know somebody who does.” To ensure money one is donating gets to an or-

ganization of choice, pledge cards can be filled out to designate an agency, Leal said. And none of the money donated to United Way and passed along to the community service agencies goes toward paying salaries, he said. “We really need the help,” Leal said. “Especially with the economic times. This is when more people

KICKOFF change “will demand our adaptability and ingenuity.” Every business and professional, including the education arena, has a duty to understand how to implement change, now and throughout time, Sanchez told the teachers. It must be done in the way teachers present a lesson plan, deal with students as well as in the methods managers manage and individuals live their daily lives, he said. “If you do not change, the consequences of failure are devastating,” he said. “Our children will not be prepared to lead in the global environment and the future of our community. “You have to encourage them to dream and facilitate that dream,” Sanchez added. Sanchez reminded the audience that “if you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you’ve always got.” And while change is necessary, Sanchez also said it’s important to remember some things should never change, including one’s integrity, honor and trust. “Some of us will adapt easily,” he said. “Some of us will adapt with additional training and some of us, some of us will never adapt. “There are dinosaurs amongst us that refuse to change, but the good news is that they too will become extinct,” he added. At Zapata County ISD, Rodriguez said the schools continue to change how they operate in order to provide the best educational environment for its students.

are going to need more help because of the economic presence in our community.” At the presentation, ZCISD schools were awarded recognition for employee contributions in the past year. Fidel and Andrea Villarreal Elementary School received the bronze award, Zapata High School was

give a silver award and Zapata North Early Childhood Center was given the gold award. ZCISD contributed $14,565 to United Way during the most recent campaign. Overall, the Zapata community raised $38,000 last year. In Zapata, United Way hopes to raise at least $20,000, but the ultimate goal is $50,000.

| Continued from Page 1A

Photo by Cuate Santos | The Zapata Times

Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, former commander of the coalition forces in Iraq, was the keynote speaker Wednesday for the Zapata County Independent School District’s general session at Zapata High School. That includes focusing on high school-aged students and providing them the resources to not only graduate but also to prepare them for college without needing remedial classes once they reach that point, Rodriguez said.

“There’s going to be a major thrust to make that occur,” Rodriguez said after the assembly. Zapata schools are also keeping a focus on early childhood education. Unlike other communities, Rodriguez said Zapata

provides early childhood education for all children, regardless of whether they have a language deficiency. Also at Wednesday’s assembly motivational speaker and comedian Efrain “Happy” Guerrero put

on a humorous yet inspiring show for the teachers and administrators. Guerrero entertained the crowd with comic relief about school-related issues while also speaking seriously about realiz-

ing and enjoying the bigger picture in life. Classes at Zapata ISD schools begin Monday. (Ashley Richards may be reached at 728-2538 or

LAKE VIEW | Continued from Page 1A Every business and professional, including the education arena, has a duty to understand how to implement change, now and throughout time, Sanchez told the teachers. It must be done in the way teachers present a lesson plan, deal with students as well as in the methods managers manage and individuals live their daily lives, he said. “If you do not change, the consequences of failure are devastating,” he said. “Our children will not be prepared to lead in the global environment and the future of our community. “You have to encourage them to dream and facil-

itate that dream,” Sanchez added. Sanchez reminded the audience that “if you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you’ve always got.” And while change is necessary, Sanchez also said it’s important to remember some things should never change, including ones integrity, honor and trust. “Some of us will adapt easily,” Sanchez said. “Some of us will adapt with additional training and some of us, some of us will never adapt. “There are dinosaurs amongst us that refuse to change, but the good news is that they too will be-

come extinct,” he added. At Zapata County ISD, Rodriguez said the schools continue to change how they operate in order to provide the best educational environment for its students. That includes focusing on high school-aged students and providing them the resources to not only graduate but also to prepare them for college without needing remedial classes once they reach that point, Rodriguez said. “There’s going to be a major thrust to make that occur,” Rodriguez said after the assembly. Zapata schools are also keeping a focus on early

childhood education. Unlike other communities, Rodriguez said Zapata provides early childhood education for all children, regardless of whether they have a language deficiency. Also at Wednesday’s assembly motivational speaker and comedian Efrain “Happy” Guerrero put on a humous yet inspiring show for the teachers and administrators. Guerrero entertained the crowd with comic relief about school-related issues while also speaking seriously about realizing and enjoying the bigger picture in life. Classes at Zapata ISD schools begin Monday.



The Zapata Times SATURDAY,AUGUST23,2008


Sports&Outdoors Coaches eye tough games 2008 ZAPATA HAWKS FOOTBALL SCHEDULE Aug. 23: vs. United South Aug. 29 @ La Joya, 7:30 p.m. Sept. 5: vs. LBJ, 7:30 p.m. Sept. 12: @ Roma, 7:30 p.m. Sept. 19: Open Sept. 26: * @ Rio Hondo, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 3: * vs. Lyford, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 10: * @ La Feria, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 17: * @ Raymondville, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 24: * vs. Port Isabel, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 31: * @ Progresso, 7:30 p.m. Nov. 7: * vs. Hidalgo, 7:30 p.m. *- District games


Zapata High coaches Mario Arce (football) and Rosie Villarreal (volleyball) may lead two different sports, but seem to have the same goal for their teams this year. “Win a district title and advance into the playoffs.” But what can be expected of the two this year? Will the players, of each team, perform up to the standards and goals set by the coaches? Not only is this a new year, but it’s a new district, as eight schools now make-up District 32-3A, which includes Zapata, Raymondville, Lyford, Port Isabel, La Feria, Hidalgo, Progreso and Rio Hondo. “It’s going to be a very competitive district this year and we are very excited,” Villarreal said. “It’s definitely going to be a bigger challenge for us, but

Seniors look to guide Hawk teams By KEITH MARTIN THE ZAPATA TIMES

I know we are up for it. The girls are working very hard and I feel that they are getting to a point where they know what they have to do to get ready for district. “We have to remember that we didn’t meet up with some of these schools until the bi-district round of the playoffs, so by being in the same district as them it’s a whole different approach to the way we practice and prepare.” Villarreal’s picks for the top three in district are Zapata, Raymondville and La Feria, Hidalgo and Port Isabel. Coach Arce and his Hawks have just a big of task as the Lady Hawks do. They too have gone head-to-head with, now district foes, La Feria and Hidalgo in past playoff games.


Gridders seek another crown in new district THE ZAPATA TIMES

The Zapata Hawks football program enters new territory in District 32-3A this season. The Hawks join seven other clubs – Rio Hondo, Port Isabel, Raymondville, Lyford, La Feria, Hidalgo and Progreso – as they look to continue what they started in 2007, when they went 5-6 (3-1 in district) to finish as bidistrict finalists. But for Hawk loyalists, a lot is unknown surrounding the Hawks’ new batch of competitors this year. So here’s a brief synopsis of each club and what it figures to

RIO HONDO The Bobcats are favored by many to win the district following a 2007 season in which they finished 11-1 and were Division II area finalists. But it won’t be easy, as 11 starters and three all-state picks are gone. Still, there is plenty of firepower behind 6-foot-1, 170pound quarterback Joseph Vela and his 1-2 back tandem of Jacob Martinez and Trevor David.


Going for the Ball United South beats the Hawks in four on the road

the time and effort he has put in thus far. The Hawks’ season starts in La Joya on Aug. 29, with their first district game slated for Sept. 26 at Rio Hondo.

In a new district, but with the same expectations as always, a senior quarterback and two senior captains are leading the way for Zapata football and District title volleyball, respectively. As the 2008 volleyZapata senior quarball season continues terback Meliton Trejo on into its second is a man of few words, week for the Lady but after being named Hawks, senior capas starter this past tains Lynda Leyva and summer, he credits his Tessa Moss have one accomplishments from goal in mind for their all the hard work he team: put in during the offTREJO “Win a district tiseason. tle and advance fur“Our offseason ther into the playoffs.” workouts began early Four-year varsity in the summer, shortly letterman Moss says, after school had ended “My goal this year is last year,” he said. to do all that I can to “What I concentrathelp get this team ed on, during those back into the playoffs. workouts, was my Last year we lost in speed and agility. I also LEYVA the area round, so this worked on my throwyear we’re working to ing, and spent numerget past that round. ous hours in the weight It’s my last year, so room.” I’m looking to go out After a dominating with a bang.” season as defensive Ever since her back for the Hawks last freshman year, Moss year, Trejo is now makhas played on the varing a move to quartersity team. back. MOSS She came up from Last year, he had a record number of interceptions junior high as a talented and (10) and was named to the first gifted young player, and that’s what helped her earn her fourteam defense. This year, he has been a vo- year letterman. But as every pilot needs cal leader on and off the field and is one of the captains on their co-pilot, and as Batman needs his Robin, Moss also rethe team. Trejo’s goals this year are lies solely on teammate and cosimple: win a district title and captain Leyva to help keep the team united. make the playoffs. Both are goals that don’t seem hard to reach considering See SENIORS | PAGE 2B

bring to the table in 2008.


BY CLARA SANDOVAL SPECIAL TO THE TIMES rior to Tuesday night’s game, Zapata head coach Rosie Villarreal was concerned that a true setter had not emerged from her team. After three games, no one really stood out, so she was hoping that someone would grab that role and never relinquish it, but that was not the case. “Right now we are really struggling offensively without a setter,” said Villarreal. “That is the key position in volleyball. It is like trying to play football without a quarterback. You just cannot do it.” The lack of a setter proved to be Zapata’s (2-2) Achilles tendon as they fell to the United South Lady Panthers (32) on the road 21-25, 28-21, 19-25, 19-25 at the Judy McKinney Gymnasium. Zapata fought valiantly each game but one could see that a lack of a setter was stopping their offensive momentum. “Everything looks good … our passing, hitting, and defense is there, but we have to find a setter quick before we get into district,” Villarreal said. Despite this bump in the road, senior all-around player Tessa Moss (two aces, ten points) carried the offensive load for the Lady Hawks as she led the team with 13 kills. Adriana Perez (two aces) added six kills and Lynda Leyva and Brandi King had four apiece. “United South really gave a good game. This will prepare us for district,” Moss said. “If we can play like this against a 5A team then we should do well in our own district. Right now we are looking for a setter. Someone needs to set up.” The Lady Panthers were experiencing their own turmoil as they were without the services of all-district hitter Amy Cirlos due to an ankle injury suffered at the Donna Tournament this past weekend that will keep her out for at least two weeks. Coach Chris Sandoval was very pleased with the team’s performance despite Cirlos being out of the lineup. “This weekend at the tournament we struggled after we lost Amy to the ankle injury. I was very impressed with they way they responded tonight,” Sandoval said.


Photo by Cuate Santos | Laredo Morning Times

Zapata’s Lynda Leyva (1) hits the ball as her teammate Brandi King (3) follows the action during Tuesday’s match against United South in Laredo. South’s Samantha De La Cruz defends the play.


Texans finally feel poised for breakthrough season By CHRIS DUNCAN ASSOCIATED PRESS

Photo by Matt Slocum | AP

Houston Texans linebacker Kevin Bentley (57) and center Bryan Pittman (48) tackle Dallas Cowboys cornerback Adam Jones (21) on a kick return during the first quarter of an NFL preseason football game Friday in Irving.

HOUSTON — The Houston Texans have no more excuses. They’re no longer a young expansion team building from the ground up and fighting for respect. Gary Kubiak is starting his third season as head coach, so he should be past the growing pains of the job after a decade working as an offensive coordinator. Same for Mario Williams, who’s starting his third season and should be used to the media spotlight by now. Houston went 8-8 in 2007, and all the key pieces are back in place for 2008. Starting the franchise’s seventh season, the Texans openly say that anything shy of a winning record will go down as a major

disappointment. “Last year, we made a big step,” said quarterback Matt Schaub. “This year, it’s time for us to make that giant leap and become a playoff contender.” Schaub completed 66 percent of his passes last season, his first running Kubiak’s offensive system. He missed some time with a shoulder injury and concussion, but he’s looked sharp in the preseason. He’s got a deep receiving corps, led by All-Pro Andre Johnson, who’s practicing again after a groin injury early in training camp. Johnson missed part of 2007 with a knee injury after catching 103 passes in 2006. Andre Davis and Jacoby Jones have deep-threat speed and Kevin

Walter led the team with 65 receptions last season. “We have such good rapport and feel for one another,” Schaub said. The Texans ranked 11th in passing offense last season (234 yards per game), but 22nd in rushing (99 yards). Kubiak hired offensive line guru Alex Gibbs to implement the blocking schemes that helped Denver rank among the league’s top rushing teams in the 1990s. “We brought the expert in here to make sure we’re doing it the right way,” Kubiak said. Even with Gibbs, the running game is the team’s most pressing concern.


Zscores American League All Times EDT East Division W L Pct GB Tampa Bay Boston New York Toronto Baltimore

77 73 67 66 61

49 54 60 61 65

.611 — .575 4½ .528 10½ .520 11½ .484 16

Central Division W L Pct GB Chicago Minnesota Detroit Cleveland Kansas City

73 73 62 59 55

53 54 65 67 72

.579 — .575 ½ .488 11½ .468 14 .433 18½

West Division W L Pct GB Los Angeles Texas Oakland Seattle

77 63 58 46

49 65 69 81

.611 — .492 15 .457 19½ .362 31½

Thursday’s Games Cleveland 10, Kansas City 3 Toronto 14, N.Y. Yankees 3 Minnesota 2, L.A. Angels 1, 12 innings Oakland 2, Seattle 0 Friday’s Games N.Y. Yankees at Baltimore, 7:05 p.m. Boston at Toronto, 7:07 p.m. Cleveland at Texas, 8:05 p.m. Detroit at Kansas City, 8:10 p.m. Tampa Bay at Chicago White Sox, 8:11 p.m. Minnesota at L.A. Angels, 10:05 p.m. Oakland at Seattle, 10:10 p.m. Saturday’s Games Boston (Lester 12-4) at Toronto (Litsch 8-7), 1:07 p.m. Tampa Bay (Kazmir 9-6) at Chicago White Sox (Vazquez 10-10), 3:55 p.m. N.Y. Yankees (Pavano 0-0) at Baltimore (Guthrie 10-9), 7:05 p.m. Detroit (Miner 6-4) at Kansas City (K.Davies 5-4), 7:10 p.m. Cleveland (Sowers 2-6) at Texas (McCarthy 0-0), 8:05 p.m. Minnesota (Blackburn 9-7) at L.A. Angels (Garland 11-8), 9:05 p.m. Oakland (Eveland 7-8) at Seattle (Washburn 5-13), 10:10 p.m. Sunday’s Games Boston at Toronto, 1:07 p.m. N.Y. Yankees at Baltimore, 1:35 p.m. Tampa Bay at Chicago White Sox, 2:05 p.m. Detroit at Kansas City, 2:10 p.m. Minnesota at L.A. Angels, 3:35 p.m. Oakland at Seattle, 4:10 p.m. Cleveland at Texas, 8:05 p.m.

National League All Times EDT East Division W L Pct GB

New York Philadelphia Florida Atlanta Washington

71 68 65 56 46

57 59 63 72 83


.555 — .535 2½ .508 6 .438 15 .357 25½

78 73 71 64 57 56

50 55 58 63 70 72

Buffalo 38 Miami 31 N.Y. Jets 33 New England 43

.609 — .570 5 .550 7½ .504 13½ .449 20½ .438 22

West Division W L Pct GB Arizona Los Angeles Colorado San Francisco San Diego

67 65 59 55 48

60 62 70 72 79

.528 .512 .457 .433 .378

Green Bay 54 Chicago 90

















Seattle 43 San Francisco 54 Arizona 41 St. Louis 40






South W L T Pct PF

— 2 9 12 19


Thursday’s Games Chicago Cubs 3, Cincinnati 2 L.A. Dodgers 3, Colorado 1 San Francisco 4, Florida 3 Washington 4, Philadelphia 3 N.Y. Mets 5, Atlanta 4 Arizona 4, San Diego 1 Friday’s Games Washington 13, Chicago Cubs 5 L.A. Dodgers at Philadelphia, 7:05 p.m. Houston at N.Y. Mets, 7:10 p.m. Pittsburgh at Milwaukee, 8:05 p.m. Atlanta at St. Louis, 8:15 p.m. Cincinnati at Colorado, 9:05 p.m. Florida at Arizona, 9:40 p.m. San Diego at San Francisco, 10:15 p.m. Saturday’s Games Washington (Od.Perez 5-9) at Chicago Cubs (Dempster 14-5), 1:05 p.m. Atlanta (Campillo 7-6) at St. Louis (Lohse 13-6), 3:55 p.m. L.A. Dodgers (Kershaw 2-3) at Philadelphia (Hamels 10-8), 3:55 p.m. San Diego (D.Hayhurst 0-0) at San Francisco (Zito 7-15), 4:05 p.m. Pittsburgh (Karstens 2-2) at Milwaukee (Suppan 8-7), 7:05 p.m. Houston (Backe 7-12) at N.Y. Mets (Maine 10-7), 7:10 p.m. Cincinnati (Volquez 15-5) at Colorado (Cook 15-8), 8:05 p.m. Florida (Volstad 4-2) at Arizona (Petit 2-3), 8:10 p.m. Sunday’s Games Houston at N.Y. Mets, 1:10 p.m. Pittsburgh at Milwaukee, 2:05 p.m. Atlanta at St. Louis, 2:15 p.m. Washington at Chicago Cubs, 2:20 p.m. Cincinnati at Colorado, 3:05 p.m. San Diego at San Francisco, 4:05 p.m. Florida at Arizona, 4:10 p.m.

Houston 43 Tennessee 29 Jacksonville 36 Indianapolis 62


0 1.000



0 1.000












North W L T Pct PF PA Baltimore 38 Cincinnati 44 Pittsburgh 34 Cleveland 61





















West W L T Pct PF PA Denver 32 Kansas City 47 Oakland 23 San Diego 24









39 41











NATIONAL CONFERENCE East W L T Pct PF PA Washington 40 N.Y. Giants 47 Philadelphia 29 Dallas 54



0 1.000

















South W L T Pct PF PA Tampa Bay 16 Carolina 44 New Orleans 41 Atlanta 36



0 1.000

















North W L T Pct PF

L.A. Dodgers at Philadelphia, 8:05 p.m.



Detroit 20 Minnesota 49

Preseason Glance

2 2



0 1.000

















West W L T Pct PF


Central Division W L Pct GB Chicago Milwaukee St. Louis Houston Pittsburgh Cincinnati




0 1.000

















Thursday’s Game San Francisco 37, Chicago 30 Friday’s Games Tennessee at Atlanta, 7:30 p.m. Philadelphia at New England, 7:30 p.m. Houston at Dallas, 8 p.m. Green Bay at Denver, 9 p.m. Saturday’s Games Cleveland at Detroit, 4 p.m. New York Giants at New York Jets, 7 p.m. Jacksonville at Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m. Washington at Carolina, 7:30 p.m. Kansas City at Miami, 7:30 p.m. New Orleans at Cincinnati, 7:35 p.m. Baltimore at St. Louis, 8 p.m. Pittsburgh at Minnesota, 8 p.m. Arizona at Oakland, 9 p.m. Sunday’s Game Buffalo at Indianapolis, 8 p.m. Monday’s Game Seattle at San Diego, 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 28 Detroit at Buffalo, 6:30 p.m. New York Jets at Philadelphia, 6:30 p.m. Cincinnati at Indianapolis, 7 p.m. New England at New York Giants, 7 p.m. Jacksonville at Washington 7 p.m. Atlanta at Baltimore, 7 p.m. Carolina at Pittsburgh, 7 p.m. Chicago at Cleveland, 7:30 p.m. Tennessee at Green Bay, 8 p.m. Minnesota at Dallas, 8 p.m. Tampa Bay at Houston, 8 p.m. St. Louis at Kansas City, 9 p.m. Miami at New Orleans, 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 29 Denver at Arizona, 10 p.m. San Diego at San Francisco, 10 p.m. Oakland at Seattle, 10 p.m.

Transactions BASEBALL American League BALTIMORE ORIOLES—Recalled RHP Radhames Liz from Norfolk (IL). BOSTON RED SOX—Recalled

RHP Chris Smith from Pawtucket (IL). Signed C David Ross to a minor league contract. Assigned RHP Lincoln Holdzkom outright to Pawtucket (IL). KANSAS CITY ROYALS—Placed LHP Ron Mahay on the 15-day DL. Recalled RHP Kyle Davies from Omaha (PCL). TEXAS RANGERS—Activated INF Hank Blalock from the 15-day DL. Optioned 3B Travis Metcalf to Oklahoma (PCL). TORONTO BLUE JAYS—Placed OF Brad Wilkerson on the 15-day DL. Added INF-OF Jose Bautista to the 25-man roster. National League COLORADO ROCKIES—Activated OF Scott Podsednik from the 15-day DL. Optioned C Adam Melhuse to Colorado Springs (PCL). HOUSTON ASTROS—Extended its player development contract with Lexington (SAL) for four years through the 2012 season. NEW YORK METS—Activated OF Ryan Church from the 15-day DL. Optioned C Robinson Cancel to New Orleans (PCL). SAN DIEGO PADRES—Activated C Josh Bard from the 15-day DL. Optioned C Luke Carlin to Portland (PCL). Midwest League KANE COUNTY COUGARS—Announced Oakland (AL) has extended its player development contract, through the 2010 season. American Association ST. PAUL SAINTS—Traded RHP Charlie Ruud to Atlantic City (CanAm) for future considerations. Atlantic League LONG ISLAND DUCKS—Signed INF Juan Francia. Can-Am League OTTAWA RAPIDZ—Signed RHP Matthew Tosoni and INF Dytarious Edwards. Little League LITTLE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL—Elected Dr. James Andrews to the board of directors. BASKETBALL National Basketball Association BOSTON CELTICS—Signed F Darius Miles and F Bill Walker. DENVER NUGGETS—Re-signed G J.R. Smith to a multiyear contract. MIAMI HEAT—Re-signed G-F Dorell Wright. PHILADELPHIA 76ERS—Named Jeff Ruland assistant coach. FOOTBALL National Football League DETROIT LIONS—Signed QB

Drew Henson. HOCKEY National Hockey League TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING— Named Ronald J. Campbell special advisor to the ownership. American Hockey League SYRACUSE CRUNCH—Announced Columbus (NHL) has entered into an agreement with Johnstown (ECHL) to serve as the affiliate for both clubs. ECHL CHARLOTTE CHECKERS-Named Tera Black chief operating officer, Aaron Osborne senior vice president and Shawn Lynch and Derek Wilkinson vice presidents. SOCCER Major League Soccer COLUMBUS CREW—Signed M Brian Plotkin to a developmental contract. REAL SALT LAKE—Acquired F Will Johnson from Chicago for conditional 2009 and 2011 draft picks. COLLEGE BATES—Named Bob Flynn men’s and women’s golf coach. BRIDGEPORT—Named Dan Smith athletic trainer. BUFFALO—Reinstated G Andy Robinson to the men’s basketball team, but announced he will miss the season’s first three games for violating team rules. CLEVELAND STATE—Named Ben Stehura wrestling coach. DREXEL—Named Greg Raymond men’s assistant lacrosse coach DUKE—Named Rudy Lawrence men’s volunteer assistant soccer coach. GANNON—Named Kate Glusko and Jennifer Lodge women’s assistant basketball coaches. GEORGIA STATE—Named Chris Ward and Anthony Midget assistant football coaches. MEREDITH—Named Rachel Gale women’s assistant tennis coach. MICHIGAN STATE—Named Nathaniel Emge men’s assistant tennis coach. MOUNT OLIVE—Announced the resignation of Oleksandr Gutor, men’s and women’s volleyball coach, effective immediately. Named assistant volleyball coach James Goodridge interim men’s and women’s volleyball coach. VIRGINIA MILITARY INSTITUTE—Named James Conrad volunteer assistant baseball coach. WRIGHT STATE—Named Roderick Perry senior associate athletic director-director of administration.

VOLLEYBALL | Continued from Page 1B “We came out very well in the first game, then fell into a mental lapse before finally playing the way I know that they can play on the court.” The Lady Panthers were led by on the offensive end by senior Cory Martinez (eight kills and five digs) and junior Samantha De La Cruz (eight kills and five digs). Sandoval was impressed with the play of juniors Mara Benavides and Jessica Contreras who assumed the libero position minutes before the start of the game. “Mara did a great job tonight for us on the offensive spectrum and Jessica who had never played libero prior to tonight did an awesome job on defense,” she said. In the first game, United South

jumped to a 10-5 led before Moss’s cross-court kill stopped the Lady Panther momentum. That would be South’s biggest lead as the Lady Hawks slowly chipped away at the lead to even up the score at 20 a piece. United South’s Carmen Aguilar (eight points, four aces and eleven digs) served an ace and two Zapata mistakes on defense gave the Lady Panthers a 23-20 advantage. United South would take game one 25-21. In the second game, it was the Lady Hawks who were the aggressors on the court. Zapata jumped out to a 3-0 lead on two cross-court kills by Moss. The Lady Panthers responded and tied up the match at 23 a piece.

It’s often said that great players emerge when the game is on the line. Moss literally carried the team when they needed her the most. When the game was tied at 24, Moss had two crucial kills that left a mark on the court and gave the Lady Hawks the momentum and the match (28-26) to tie the series at one a piece. “Tessa is my big hitter,” said Villarreal. “When the game is one the line we want to give her the ball. She carries the team on her back and she relishes that role.” A modest Moss gave her team all the praise in that second match. “That match was such a big rush. I was impressed the way everyone on the team played. We are so close that we lift each other up when the chips

are down,” said Moss. The Lady Panthers took games three and four for the victory. Zapata is at the Valley View Tournament for weekend play.



THIRD AND SHORT Zapata Times’Sports info and news Know of any big, local sports event taking place in Zapata? Want to advertise for a camp or place sports briefs in the Zapata Times? Contact Zapata Times Sports Editor Dennis Silva II at 728-2579 or on local sports. Story suggestions are also requested.

Quail conservation award deadline is Aug.31 SAN ANTONIO – The deadline for applications for the first Texas Wildlife Association Foundation Conservation Awards recognizing outstanding quail stewardship is Aug. 31. The application process involves a two-page form, but only the first page is due soon. The second page may be turned in Sept. 15, and assistance is available in filling it out. TWAF serves as a catalyst for conservation through education and outreach ventures. Six awards will be presented in two categories, Habitat and Lifetime Achievement, and one award will be presented in the Lifetime Achievement category. Visit the TWA Web site for more information, The conservation awards are open to ranches, leases and individuals within Texas. Self-nominations are encouraged. Texas quail experts will judge and rank the nomination forms to determine award finalists. Recipients will be honored at a banquet April 16 at the Omni Hotel in Houston.

Fourth Annual UISD BackTo School 5K Run and Mile Walk The UISD Cross Country Programs will be hosting the Fourth Annual Back to School 5K Run and Mile Walk on Sunday at the UISD Student Activity Complex. The race and walk will begin at 8 a.m., with registration beginning at 7 a.m. Entry fee for the event is $10. The first 80 to register will receive t-shirts. For more information, contact Juan Salazar (4735400), Don Hill (472-5600), Manuel Gamboa (4735203), or Coach L. Mendoza (473-5800).

Laredo Adult Baseball League

ZAPATA STATS: Estella Molina Team and individual registration for the Laredo (two aces), Loraly Rivera (ten assists), Adult Baseball League will start on Monday. There are three divisions: Major/Open (young Lizzette Mendoza (seven assists), Alexadults up to 34 year olds), Veterans (35-47 year olds) is Garza (six assists). UNITED SOUTH STATS: Anabel and Masters (48-years plus). For more information, contact Marco Escamilla at Ramirez (nine points, two aces, 16 assists, four digs), Beatriz Gomez (eight 333-9005 or Jesse Montemayor at 333-6935. points, seven assists, one dig), Jessica Contreras (eleven points, two kills, twelve digs), Lilly Lopez (ten points, | Continued from Page 1B three aces, four kills, two digs, seven blocks), Ashley Tovar (two kills, two “Our goal this year is the same as in previous digs), and Amanda Gomez (five points, years, win district and advance into the playoffs,” three digs). Arce said. “But with teams like Port Isabel, who is ranked 19th in the state, and Hidalgo, whom we lost to in bi-district last year, it’s going to be a whole new | Continued from Page 1B ballgame.” Coach Arce’s picks for the top three in district are Zapata, Rio Hondo and Port Isabel. The Zapata Hawks will be in action today as newcomers B.J. Flores, Skylore Janes and Ray Gray. 4 and was a Division I area finalist in 2007. Quarterback Steve Pedraza will take over the of- they take on United South, in their last scrimmage fense, and the hope is that development comes soon- of the season, in Zapata at a time to be determined. LYFORD er rather than later with wideouts Angel Nava, VicCoach Arce encourages Hawk supporters to The Bulldogs hope the return of 14 starters aide tor Davila and Freddy Chavez. “Come on out and support the Hawks on our quest the improvement upon last year’s 5-6 effort. Coach George Peña has lauded the club’s work for another district championship.” Quarterback Johnny Esparza will have his wealth ethic this season. of options in receivers Andrew Delgado and Noe Valdez. PROGRESO | Continued from Page 1B Defense is a huge question mark for Lyford, The Red Ants are picked by many to be the worst which surrendered 30 points per game last year. “Lynda is more of a passive leader, where as I’m Six defensive starters return to help stop the of the district when it’s all said and done. But 15 starters return from a club that went 4-6 more of an aggressive leader, but that’s what balbleeding. ances us out,” Moss said. “We are both aggressive last season, though 0-4 in district. Running back Juan Vega returns to lead an of- players and we’re doing all we can to help this team LA FERIA fensive attack that averaged just 11.1 points per game be successful.” The Lions return 12 starters to a club that went 6- last year. Leyva has been playing varsity volleyball for three 4, but finished 1-3 in district last year. Vega, though, did his part, rushing for more than years, and she too came up from junior high as anThe ground game figures to be solid behind run- 1,300 yards, thanks in large part to strong line play other outstanding player who has quickly excelled ning backs Randy Rodriguez and Jonathan Perez, as from center Gabriel Silva. throughout her years. well as a deep offensive line led by Jonathan Medra“There’s just something special about this team,” Progreso’s brightest prospects line up on the deno. fensive side, and that aspect figures to be the one Leyva said. “We seem to communicate well with The defense will be steady after allowing just where the Red Ants hope to stay close and compete each other and it’s one of the most talented teams that 16.3 points per game, and the offense will likely im- late in games. I have played on during the last three years. It doesprove on its 25 point-per-game mark. Cornerback Ramon Belmares, and linebackers n’t matter who is in our district now, because I know Jesus Garcia and Eddie Garcia return to improve on this year’s team will never give up without a fight. “As long as we play our game, we know what we last year’s points-against average of 21.4. HIDALGO (Dennis Silva II is the Sports Editor of the Lare- can do.” The Pirates are essentially starting from do Morning Times and Zapata Times. To contact him The Lady Hawks, who are in the Valley View tourscratch. regarding local sports, call 728-2579 or email dsil- nament in Pharr this weekend, started their season Only five starters return from a club that went 8- with a four-set loss to United South on Tuesday.


VOLLEYBALL They’re a dominant club, at least by point differential. In 2007, the Bobcats scored 37 points per game. Their opponents? Just 8.3.

PORT ISABEL The Tarpons have nine starters returning from a club that finished 8-4 and was Division II area finalists in 2007. Neither their starting quarterback or starting running back return from last year’s club, so this year may very well be one of transition. Coach Monty Stumbaugh’s club outscored opponents by 9.7 points per game last season (28 to 18.3). Stumbaugh is hoping that last year’s gaudy record – in spite of a tough schedule – provides confidence for this year’s club. Last year’s opponents claimed a 79-46 overall record.

RAYMONDVILLE Fourteen starters return to a Bearkats club that went 7-4 and was a bi-district finalist in 2007. Offensively, Raymondville figures to improve upon last year’s 27.3 point-per-game output by returning key weapons in quarterback Raul Salinas, receiver Dusty Alejo and fullback Leroy Salazar. The Bearkats are quick and balanced, though small, and will have a relatively young secondary in


TEXANS | Continued from Page 1B Ahman Green was a bust in his first season, missing most of 2007 with a lingering knee bruise. He came to training camp fully healed, then strained his groin on his first play in Houston’s preseason opener. The 31-year-old Green, who has six career 1,000-yard seasons, won’t take another live snap until at least the Texans’ season opener at Pittsburgh on Sept. 7, Kubiak said. Houston picked up Chris Brown in the offseason, but the five-year veteran missed part of training camp with a sore back. He rushed eight times for only 19 yards in the Texans’ second preseason game. Chris Taylor and Darius Walker are also in the mix, and the Texans have liked what they’ve seen from third-round draft pick Steve Slaton, the former West Virginia star. “He’s a player that’s getting

continuously better every time we go out,” Kubiak said. “There are still some mistakes that concern you, the closer you get to the season, but obviously, he can be a big help to us offensively.” On defense, the Texans need a complement up front to Williams, who set a franchise record with 14 sacks in 2007, living up to the expectations as the top overall pick in 2006. The Texans added Rosevelt Colvin, but defensive coordinator Richard Smith said following the second preseason game that he’s “a little bit rusty” after a foot injury kept him out of the last five regular-season games for New England in 2007. While Anthony Weaver leads the depth chart at left end, Kubiak has also used Earl Cochran and N.D. Kalu with the first unit. Cochran appeared in 15 games last season without a start, but had a

sack, one more than Weaver. The 33-year-old Kalu had arthroscopic knee surgery and has surprised coaches with his energy in camp. “We are trying to evaluate these guys and see who can get there, from a one-on-one standpoint, who can create some pressure,” Kubiak said. “The key right now is that we keep moving people around, because I’m not sure that we know who is going to be there opening day.” The Texans are also hoping for a better year from defensive tackle Amobi Okoye, their first-round draft pick in 2007. Okoye made 32 tackles, including 5½ sacks, as a rookie. DeMeco Ryans anchors the linebackers after leading the Texans in tackles for the second straight season and making the Pro Bowl. Morlon Greenwood was Houston’s second-leading tackler last year and Kubiak has liked

what he’s seen in training camp from Zac Diles, Houston’s seventhround pick in 2007. The secondary was shaky last season, but the Texans think they’ve added speed by signing free agent Jacques Reeves. Cornerback Fred Bennett had three of Houston’s league-low 11 interceptions last year and Jamar Fletcher and third-round pick Antwaun Molden have thrived at camp. Kubiak has also raved about the offseason improvement of safety Will Demps. Cornerback Dunta Robinson, who suffered a devastating knee injury last November, is expected to return by midseason. The kicking game should be solid again, with Kris Brown handling field goals and Matt Turk punting. Turk set franchise records in 2007 for yards per punt (41.7) and net average (37.9). After a recent practice Kubiak

was optimistic, but still not sure how good the Texans can be. “To put a finger on right where we’re at right now, we’ve had a good camp. There have been some

good things,” he said. “We’re going to end up with some new faces that are going to make us better. We’ve got a tremendous challenge ahead of us.”



HINTS BY HELOISE Dear Heloise: I was just reading about the woman who uses her DIGITAL CAMERA to take pictures of items in various stores. I used mine recently when visiting a very large fair. I was with my daughter and her infant. Parking was plentiful, but it HELOISE was a long way to walk. Light posts had letters on them so you would know what row you were parked in. I was a little concerned that after a long day, with temperatures around 90 degrees, we would not remember where we had parked, so I took a picture of the letter on the post, along with the row, so we wouldn’t be wandering around later with aching feet and a crying baby. — Carol Charbonneau, Wolcott, Conn. Carol, fab hint! This would be good when vacationing families go to theme parks, too. — Heloise

HOROSCOPES | BY FRANCIS DRAKE ARIES (March 21 to April 19) Something unexpected will happen at work today. Surprises with co-workers and clients will create interruptions or obstacles. Nevertheless, it’s an interesting day. TAURUS (April 20 to May 20) New romance with someone unusual or different could begin today. Existing romantic relationships could have a few upsets or surprises. Parents should be extra vigilant to prevent accidents with their children. GEMINI (May 21 to June 20) You might buy something unusual, very modern or very high-tech for your home today. Similarly, family members could surprise you in some way. CANCER (June 21 to July 22) This is a mildly accident-prone day today. Therefore, go slowly and be extra aware of your movements, actions and words. LEO (July 23 to Aug. 22) Keep an eye on your money today. You could lose money suddenly; however, you also might come up with some unusual moneymaking ideas.

VIRGO (Aug. 23 to Sept. 22) New faces, new ideas and new situations confront you today. Therefore, stay light on your feet. Don’t be rigid and stuck in your habitual patterns. Go with the flow! LIBRA (Sept. 23 to Oct. 22) You feel restless and energetic today. You want to do something different. You want something to happen. You don’t want to be bored! SCORPIO (Oct. 23 to Nov. 21) Relations with members of groups will be stimulating and exciting today. New ideas are flying. You could meet someone who is unusual or different from you. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22 to Dec. 21) Some of you might suddenly develop a crush on your boss. Surprising events with authority figures (parents, bosses and VIPs) might take place. Alternatively, you might surprise others. CAPRICORN (Dec. 22 to Jan. 19) Unexpected opportunities to travel or get further education and training could suddenly appear. If so, act quickly. This window of opportunity will be brief.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20 to Feb. 18) Surprise gifts might come to you today. People might do favors for you. However, the very opposite also might happen, and something you expect from someone is actually gone. Rats! Foiled again! PISCES (Feb. 19 to March 20) Something unexpected or unusual will happen with your closest relationships and partnerships today. Just get ready for this. It’s not a typical day. Y O U B O R N T O D A Y You’re graceful. You have an intense energy that makes people think you’re aloof. This is simply because you’re absorbed in whatever you’re doing. Your technical skills are excellent, and you have high standards for yourself and others. You’ve got lots of energy and are quite competitive. A major change might take place this year, perhaps as significant as something around 1999. Birthdate of: Barbara Eden, actress; Gene Kelly, actor/dancer; Julio Franco, longplaying baseball infielder.


BY PHONE: (956) 728-2527




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