WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 27, 2013
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Office makes big bust
By CÉSAR G. RODRIGUEZ THE ZAPATA TIMES
Sheriff ’s deputies seized cocaine valued at nearly $2 million, likely making it the county’s largest drug confiscation in recent history, according to authorities. “(Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations) confirms that we are in the initial stages of this narcotics investigation being worked by HSI and Zapata County,” said HSI spokeswoman Nina Pruñeda. Zapata County Sheriff ’s Office deputies were dispatched to a possible human smuggling incident at about 12:30 p.m. Saturday. Deputies spotted a white Chevrolet Avalanche in the 5300 block of South Siesta Lane in the Siesta Shores neighborhood off U.S. Highway 83. Deputies initiated a traffic stop, but a short pursuit ensued when the Avalanche refused to stop, according to officials. The vehicle stopped, and a driver and passenger exited the Avalanche, running toward the brush area at the intersection of Park and Willow Cove drives. A search for the suspects was conducted in the area by sheriff ’s deputies and U.S. Border Patrol agents, but they were not found. Deputies searched the Avalanche and found two black duffle bags in the back seat filled with 50 small, black-taped bundles of cocaine, totaling 132.12 pounds.
See COCAINE PAGE 10A
Meters eyed By ALDO AMATO THE ZAPATA TIMES
Zapata County commissioners listened to a presentation Monday that would bring modern technology to water meters in residential areas. Chris Phillips, president of HydroPro Solutions, gave a detailed presentation on the benefits of electronic meter readings. The company, based out of Cedar Park, focuses primarily on metering needs of public and private water utilities. Despite not taking action, Commissioner Jose Emilio Vela said he was impressed by what he saw and would consider voting in favor of a pilot program. “The fact that technology has made it to where you don’t have to get out of the vehicle is fascinating,” Vela said. “We’ll look deeper into the benefits of purchasing electronic meter readers and could start a pilot program soon.” Vela said Zapata County wastes about 30 percent of wa-
See WATER PAGE 10A
Funding hold should be lifted after ‘corrective actions’ By CÉSAR G. RODRIGUEZ THE ZAPATA TIMES
The Zapata County Sheriff ’s Office has been on a temporary reimbursement hold for Operation Stonegarden funds since Sept. 26 after failing to comply with a corrective action plan, a Department of Public Safety spokesman said. But Sheriff ’s Office Chief Raymundo del Bosque said it’s just a matter of time for the operation to kick off again. Operation Stonegarden funds
are intended to enhance cooperation and coordination among local, state and federal law enforcement agencies in mission to seDEL BOSQUE cure the United States’ borders. “Zapata County was placed on reimbursement hold Sept. 26 for failing to comply with a corrective action plan that was the result of routine audit findings issued in May,” Tom Vinger, a DPS spokesman in Austin, wrote in an
email to the The Zapata Times. Details of the corrective action plan and the audit findings were not immediately known. Vinger said the reimbursement hold will remain in place until corrective actions are carried out by the county. “Once the corrective actions have been taken, the hold will be lifted. The county can also still move forward with submitting revised operation orders needed for the funding period that began in September,” Vinger states in the email.
Del Bosque said the hold affects the county because operations that are executed by deputies and investigators are halted since funds aren’t available. Being that this is a new administration, the Sheriff ’s Office is working to get all the documentation and all the logs of equipment in compliance. This includes equipment and logs overlooked and not submitted by the previous administration. Sigifredo Gonzalez Jr., retired
See STONEGARDEN PAGE 10A
DEVOTED TO THE SALE Black Friday shoppers wait — and wait — for specials By MALENA CHARUR THE ZAPATA TIMES
LAREDO — Black Friday marks the start of the holiday shopping season — and offers sales opportunities for businesses and big savings for buyers. Unlike other years, companies such as Best Buy and Target are not waiting until Friday to offer savings, but rather will open Thanksgiving Day with big sales. Customers with tents, chairs or sleeping bags have already formed lines and are braving the weather to make the most of the discounts. Such is the case of Orlando Martinez, 26, who is third in line at the Best Buy on 7905 San Dario Ave. In line since Friday, he said he wants to purchase a television for a friend of his mother and electronics for his friends. “Right now I don’t have a job, so I come for fun,” Martinez said. “During the day I use the Internet, watch movies and play games.” Martinez believes he will save about $400 on the price of the television. He added that sometimes others will offer money in an attempt to buy his place in line. Martinez said he does not accept because in other states, businesses will offer gifts to the first few people in line. Miguel Angel Olguin, a retired Laredoan, is second in line, also claiming his spot Friday. He has pitched a tent and uses his truck to store medication and other items he’s using daily until the store opens Thursday. “I like being among the first ones inside. Every year I come and buy laptops, televisions, iPads, and this year, I will buy the same,” Olguin said. Olguin is accompanied by other family members — up to 20 people — giving everybody the opportunity to purchase a larger number of items.
Photo by Danny Zaragoza | Laredo Morning Times
Orlando Martinez stands outside Best Buy’s San Dario Avenue location in Laredo on Monday afternoon as he reserves his place in line for upcoming Black Friday deals. “We bought Christmas presents and what is needed for the house,” he said. “We save money throughout the year, and will spend around $20,000.”
Since Olguin took his place in line Friday, he said he’s learned about 80 percent of the specials. Olguin said he’ll also take advantage of other stores’
sales. ( Contact Malena Charur at 728-2583 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Translated by Mark Webber of the Times staff.)
Zin brief CALENDAR
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2013
TODAY IN HISTORY
THURSDAY, NOV. 28
Guajolote 10k Race. 9 a.m. to noon. Hamilton Trophies, 1320 Garden St. Register at Hamilton Trophies, Hamilton Jewelry (607 Flores Ave.) or at http://www.raceit.com/search/ event.aspx?id=23722. Call 724-9990 or 722-9463. Laredo Border Slam Poetry spoken word competition. 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. Second and fourth Thursday of each month. Gallery 201, 513 San Bernardo Ave. Three minutes to perform, two rounds and five random judges from the audience. Cash and quirky prizes. $2 suggested donation at the door. Email Julia Orduña at email@example.com or visit facebook.com/laredoborderslam.
SATURDAY, NOV. 30 Small Business Saturday. Shop local businesses this Christmas season to help the community. Contact Miriam Castillo at 722-9895 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Photo by Mark Sterkel/Odessa American | AP
TUESDAY, DEC. 3 South Texas Food Bank fundraiser. 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Hal’s Landing, 6510 Arena Blvd. Featuring music of Ross and Friends. Admission $10. Call 324-2432.
THURSDAY, DEC. 5 Christmas Parade and Lighting of the County Plaza. Parade lineup starts 5 p.m.. 17th Avenue and Glenn Street. Music, refreshments and toys with Santa. Email email@example.com. Opening reception for the “Historic Laredo” Photo Competition, hosted by the Webb County Heritage Foundation. 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Villa Antigua Border Heritage Museum, 810 Zaragoza St. The public is invited to view all the competition entries which will be on exhibit through January. For more information, please contact the Webb County Heritage Foundation at 956-727-0977, or visit www.webbheritage.org or Facebook.
SATURDAY, DEC. 7 First United Methodist Church will hold a used book sale, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., at 1220 McClelland Ave. Hardback books are $1, paperback books 50 cents, and magazines and children’s books 25 cents.
SUNDAY, DEC. 8 4th Annual Christmas Animal Posada. 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. St. Peter’s Plaza (Matamoros Street and Main Avenue). Pets should be taken with leash, harness or cage. Owners can participate by wearing animal mask or costume. Contact Berta Torres at 286-7866 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
MONDAY, DEC. 9 Zapata County Commissioners Court meeting. 9 a.m. Zapata County Courthouse. Call Roxy Elizondo at 7659920.
WEDNESDAY, DEC. 11 American Cancer Society, I Can Cope Educational Class, co-sponsored by the American Cancer Society and Doctors Hospital of Laredo. 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Second Wednesday of each month. Doctors Hospital Cancer Treatment Center lobby. For people with cancer and their family and friends; gives participants an opportunity to share their concerns with others having similar experiences and to design ways to cope with the challenges that arise from a cancer diagnosis. Guest speakers include professionals in the field of cancer management. No charge to attend. To RSVP or for more information, contact Diana Juarez at 956-319-3100 or email@example.com.
THURSDAY, DEC. 12 Laredo Border Slam Poetry spoken word competition. 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. Second and fourth Thursday of each month. Gallery 201, 513 San Bernardo Ave. Three minutes to perform, two rounds and five random judges from the audience. Cash and quirky prizes. $2 suggested donation at the door. Email Julia Orduña at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit facebook.com/laredoborderslam.
MONDAY, DEC. 23 Zapata County Commissioners Court meeting. 9 a.m. Zapata County Courthouse. Call Roxy Elizondo at 7659920.
Submit calendar items at lmtonline.com/calendar/submit or by emailing email@example.com with the event’s name, date and time, location and purpose and contact information for a representative. Items will run as space is available.
Workers with Duncan Tree Service remove a tree that fell Sunday on Jack Sullivan’s Cutlass parked in the driveway of his Odessa home, on Monday. Wintry weather with freezing rain, sleet and snow swept through much of West Texas over the weekend, causing power outages and many tree limbs to break under the weight of the ice.
5 die due to weekend weather ASSOCIATED PRESS
DALLAS — Five people died in weekend weather-related traffic accidents in Texas as a wintry storm system left nearly 44,000 homes and businesses without power and stranded travelers to start the Thanksgiving holiday week. The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory until midday Monday for the Dallas-Fort Worth area, downgrading what had been a winter storm warning. But it had already affected travel, as Fort Worthbased American Airlines and American Eagle canceled nearly 300 flights Monday, mainly in and out of Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, spokeswoman Laura Masvidal said. The storm system dumped snow in the Texas Panhandle, but had eased by Monday.
Forecasters predicted a slight chance of flurries Monday in Amarillo. AEP Texas reported more than 6,300 West Texas customers without power Monday in Marathon, Marfa, Valentine and Fort Davis, utility spokesman Fred Hernandez said. Dallas-based electric utility Oncor reported nearly 29,500 customers in north and west parts of Texas were without power Monday. Customers in the Midland and Odessa areas could be without electricity for a couple of days, the utility said. About 8,000 customers of Sharyland Utilities LP in West Texas lost power, spokesman Paul Schulze said. Two travelers were killed in separate traffic accidents Saturday night in the Texas Panhandle on snow-covered roads, DPS said. Three people were killed in a multi-vehicle wreck late Friday on a wet road near Vega.
Series of illegal injections 2 hikers rescued from Big prompts third arrest Bend National Park EDINBURG — South Texas authorities have arrested a third person for allegedly injecting a liquid plastic-like substance into clients at a beauty salon. A judge Tuesday charged 37year-old Elva Navarro with practicing medicine without a license. Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Treviño says his investigators have found between 20 and 30 victims who were injected.
North Texas has 6th earthquake in last week AZLE — North Texas has recorded its sixth earthquake in the past week. The U.S. Geological Survey says a 3.0 magnitude earthquake happened at 8:24 a.m. CST Tuesday and was centered in the city of Azle (AY’-zil). The Parker County Sheriff ’s Office had no immediate reports of damage or injuries.
ALPINE — Two hikers from Central Texas have been rescued after being overdue from a nineday trip to Big Bend National Park. Officials with Customs and Border Protection on Tuesday announced the rescue and said the couple’s injuries were not life-threatening.
Wanted list sex offender caught in Oklahoma AUSTIN — A convicted felon on the Texas Department of Public Safety’s 10 Most Wanted sex offender list has been caught in Oklahoma after fleeing from a Dallas halfway house. DPS says 51-year-old Robert Charles Grunsfeld of Dallas was captured late Monday afternoon in McAlester, Okla., after a weekend on the run. DPS says Grunsfeld last Friday intentionally cut off his electronic ankle monitor and fled.
DPS watching for DWI, violators over holiday AUSTIN — Texas troopers will be on the road watching for people driving drunk and other traffic violators during the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend. DPS on Monday encouraged travelers to practice safe driving habits and use seat belts. Troopers during the 2012 Thanksgiving holiday weekend made 386 DWI arrests.
Corpus Christi park, art spot getting upgrade CORPUS CHRISTI — A South Texas park that’s become popular for art and children’s fun will be upgraded. The Corpus Christi CallerTimes on Tuesday reported renovations are pending for La Retama (ruh-TAH’-muh) Park. Architect Philip John Ramirez says the design could be finished by April. Construction is expected next August. — Compiled from AP reports
AROUND THE NATION Aircraft intrudes on Obama restricted airspace LOS ANGELES — Military jets patrolling over a fundraising appearance by President Barack Obama in Los Angeles were scrambled after an aircraft entered restricted airspace. The North American Aerospace Defense Command says it turned out there was no threat in the Tuesday morning incident. Such incursions into the restricted airspace around the president are not uncommon.
Warrant: Zimmerman had 5 guns, ammo SANFORD, Fla. — Court documents show George Zimmerman had five guns and more than 100 rounds of ammunition with him when deputies arrested him recently on a domestic violence charge. A search warrant made public
Today is Wednesday, Nov. 27, the 331st day of 2013. There are 34 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Nov. 27, 1978, San Francisco Mayor George Moscone (mahs-KOH’-nee) and City Supervisor Harvey Milk, a gayrights activist, were shot to death inside City Hall by former supervisor Dan White. On this date: In 1701, astronomer Anders Celsius, inventor of the Celsius temperature scale, was born in Uppsala, Sweden. In 1901, the U.S. Army War College was established in Washington, D.C. In 1910, the Pennsylvania Railroad began regularly serving New York’s Pennsylvania Station. In 1942, during World War II, the French navy at Toulon (too-LOHN’) scuttled its ships and submarines to keep them out of the hands of German troops. In 1953, playwright Eugene O’Neill died in Boston at age 65. In 1962, the first Boeing 727 was rolled out at the company’s Renton Plant. In 1970, Pope Paul VI, visiting the Philippines, was slightly wounded at the Manila airport by a dagger-wielding Bolivian painter disguised as a priest. In 1973, the Senate voted 92-3 to confirm Gerald R. Ford as vice president, succeeding Spiro T. Agnew, who’d resigned. In 1983, 181 people were killed when a Colombian Avianca Airlines Boeing 747 crashed near Madrid’s Barajas airport. In 1989, a bomb blamed on drug traffickers destroyed a Colombian Avianca Boeing 727, killing all 107 people on board and three people on the ground. In 1999, Northern Ireland’s biggest party, the Ulster Unionists, cleared the way for the speedy formation of an unprecedented Protestant-Catholic administration. In 2009, Tiger Woods crashed his SUV outside his Florida mansion, sparking widespread attention to reports of marital infidelity. Ten years ago: President Bush flew to Iraq under extraordinary secrecy and security to spend Thanksgiving with U.S. troops and thank them for “defending the American people from danger.” Five years ago: Indian commandoes fought to wrest control of two luxury hotels and a Jewish center from militants, a day after a chain of attacks across Mumbai. One year ago: Consumer confidence reached its highest level in nearly five years, with the help of rising home values, more hiring and lower gas prices. Today’s Birthdays: Author Gail Sheehy is 76. Actor James Avery is 65. Academy Awardwinning director Kathryn Bigelow (Film: “The Hurt Locker”) is 62. TV host Bill Nye (“Bill Nye, the Science Guy”) is 58. Actor William Fichtner (FIHK’-nuhr) is 57. Caroline Kennedy is 56. Academy Award-winning screenwriter Callie Khouri (Film: “Thelma and Louise”) is 56. Rock musician Charlie Burchill (Simple Minds) is 54. Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is 53. Rock musician Charlie Benante (Anthrax) is 51. Thought for Today: “Man’s loneliness is but his fear of life.” — Eugene O’Neill, American playwright (born 1888, died this date in 1953).
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Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, center, kicks off Thanksgiving week in Minnesota by ordering a brief stay of execution for a turkey at the state Capitol in Minneapolis, on Monday. The turkey will be served to the less-fortunate. Tuesday by the Seminole County court clerk shows that Zimmerman had a 12-gauge shotgun, an AR-15 assault rifle and three handguns when he was arrested Nov. 18 at his girlfriend’s house. The girlfriend, Samantha Scheibe, told deputies that Zim-
merman pointed a shotgun at her during an argument. Zimmerman is free on $9,000 bail on charges of aggravated assault, battery and criminal mischief. He has pleaded not guilty. — Compiled from AP reports
SUBSCRIPTIONS/DELIVERY (956) 728-2555 The Zapata Times is distributed on Saturdays to 4,000 households in Zapata County. For subscribers of the Laredo Morning Times and for those who buy the Laredo Morning Times at newsstands, the Zapata Times is inserted. The Zapata Times is free. The Zapata Times is published by the Laredo Morning Times, a division of The Hearst Corporation, P.O. Box 2129, Laredo, Texas 78044. Phone (956) 728-2500. The Zapata office is at 1309 N. U.S. Hwy. 83 at 14th Avenue, Suite 2, Zapata, TX 78076. Call (956) 765-5113 or e-mail thezapatatimes.net
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2013
GETTING READY FOR THE JAM
LCC offers retirement package By PHILIP BALLI THE ZAPATA TIMES
Laredo Community College is once again offering its voluntary separation plan, in which eligible employees can retire from the college and earn a bonus equivalent to half of their salary. The voluntary separation plan is a measure that was implemented last year to restructure payroll and to create savings for the college. The offer entails a 50 percent cut of an employee’s base salary in exchange for their voluntary departure. For example, an English instructor who earns $60,000 annually would receive a $30,000 bonus. To be eligible, employees must have 20 years of full-time service at LCC and must be a full-time employee at the time they separate from the college. “The whole idea here is that nobody is being forced to retire or to leave,” LCC trustee Jesse Porras said. “The plan is just a little incentive to finally allow employees to make a serious decision in their lives.” Last year, 23 LCC employees took the offer and helped shave about $1.3 million from the college’s payroll. The payout for the employees totaled about $700,000. “It is a win-win for those that are interest-
ed in the plan,” said LCC trustee Mercurio Martinez. “Roughly 80 percent of the budget is based on salaries, so when employees decide to take the plan, they are helping to cut down the expenses in the budget.” The college had budgeted for a payout of up to $1.5 million for employees last year. Since only about $700,000 was used for payouts, LCC trustees agreed that administration use the second portion of the funding that had already been approved to reinstate this program again. “There is a remainder of about $800,000,” Porras said. “So with the remainder of the initial amount of money we approved, the one-year program became a two-year program.” When employees leave the college, they are replaced with entry-level counterparts to reduce payroll expenses. Porras said he believes a training or mentoring program should be in place to ensure incoming employees have the knowledge and understanding required for the job. “We don’t want to lose the consistency and continuity of the services that are being provided here,” Porras said. ( Philip Balli may be reached at 728-2528 or firstname.lastname@example.org)
THE ZAPATA TIMES 3A
Photo by Cuate Santos | The Zapata Times
UETA Jamboozie 2014 chairman Victor Garcia, at podium, is accompanied by Laredo Main Street directors Roque Haynes and Arturo Garcia during a press conference Tuesday morning at La Posada Hotel’s Tesoro Room, where Celso Piña was announced as the featured musical act for the event.
Fewer Texans expected to travel By VICKI VAUGHAN SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS
About 3.4 million Texans are expected to hit the road or hop a flight this week as they make their way to Thanksgiving destinations, AAA Texas predicted. The estimated total, based on a survey of Texans who plan round trips of 50 miles or more from home from Nov. 27 to Dec. 1, marks a decline of 0.02 percent compared to 2012. Last year, Thanksgiving travel hit a four-year peak after steep declines that occurred during the 2008-09 recession. Although the economy continues to improve, the still-fragile recovery is creating uncertainty in the minds of consumers, AAA said in a statement. Even so, travel volume in Texas will be the second highest since 2008, AAA said. Texas’ travel picture is stronger than that for the nation as a whole. AAA estimates that 43.4 million Amer-
Photo by Danny Zaragoza | The Zapata Times
A price of $2.42 can be seen on display as a motorist reaches for the gas pump Nov. 11 at the H-E-B plus! in Laredo. icans will travel during the holiday, a decline of 1.5 percent compared to 2012. “While the economy continues to improve, the sluggish pace of the recovery is creating uncertainty in the minds of some consumers, and therefore AAA is projecting a slight decline in the number of Thanksgiving travelers this year,” AAA Chief Operating Officer Marshall Doney said in a statement. Yet motorists will get a ho-
liday bonus because gas prices are lower now than they were a year ago despite a recent creep up in prices. “The decreased cost of gas will provide consumers with real savings that could be used for other purposes on the trip,” AAA said. Tom Kloza, analyst at GasBuddy.com, which tracks prices, said a “minispike” in wholesale gasoline prices began last week and has accelerated this week. The cause, he said, relates to some refin-
ery outages and “surprisingly brisk exports” of gasoline to Central and South America and western Africa. Gas prices could go a bit higher more between now and Thanksgiving Day, Kloza said, but it will be “an episode, rather than a trend change.” In Zapata, gas prices Tuesday averaged $3.13 a gallon for regular unleaded, up more than 30 cents from midNovember, according to GasBuddy.com. The state’s average price Monday was $3.14 a gallon for regular unleaded. It will help travelers that Thanksgiving isn’t a budgetbusting holiday. The nation’s median spending for the holiday is expected to fall almost 7 percent, to $465, compared to $498 last year. That compares with recent holiday spending of $804 for Labor Day, $749 for Independence Day and $659 for Memorial Day, AAA figures show. (The Zapata Times contributed to this report.)
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2013
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‘Selfie’ is appropriate self-portrait THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS
Pope Francis took one. So did Meryl Streep and Hillary Clinton. Michelle Obama snapped one with her dog. And of course, Kim Kardashian, Miley Cyrus and Rihanna have been over-devoted practitioners. Justin Bieber even created a website for it. We’re talking selfies — a digital self-portrait shared through social media — which Oxford Dictionaries selected last week as its word of the year. After Oxford University Press made the announcement, the Mars Rover took a selfie and sent it back to Earth. Try to beat that. Now, rest assured, Oxford did not arrive at its decision lightly. It has apparently been tracking selfie for years. It was in its “Words on the Radar” series in June 2012. Selection of the word, according to Oxford’s website, “was unanimous this year, with little if any argument … Everyone seemed to be in agreement almost from the start. Other words were considered, but ‘selfie’ was the runaway winner.” The fact that selfie can be used in an editorial and most of you know what we’re talking about is an indication that Oxford’s choice was spot-on. Not only have selfies become ubiquitous in these days of Instagram and Twitter, but selfie is one of those rare words that encapsulate a society at a specific moment. It is the word of our times, a reflec-
tion both of who we’ve become — increasingly narcissistic and insular — and how we got there. Oxford’s selfie specifically refers to “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.” But it could also describe the self-absorption of Facebook, or the person holding up traffic with his nose in his cellphone. These days, it’s increasingly all about me — and my device. More and more, we deal with a complicated and hostile world by withdrawing into ourselves and our technology. We share photos as confirmation that we live, seek solace in “friends” we never see, and absorb only information that conforms to our views. With such growing narcissism and insularity, is it any wonder then that civility is fading, that the people who operate our institutions seem unable to meaningfully engage in dialogue, much less compromise? Oxford traces the earliest known use of selfie to a photo taken by an Australian man who drunkenly tripped and busted his lip, then posted the photo and the story on Sept. 13, 2002, in an Australian Internet chat room. “Sorry about the focus,” he wrote about the photo. “It was a selfie.” With all due respect to the learned folks at Oxford, perhaps the roots go back even further. Just try substituting an sh for the e at the end of the word.
Ineptness reigns in Washington By DAN K. THOMASSON MCCLATCHY-TRIBUNE
WASHINGTON — It’s easy to have mixed emotions about the change in Senate rules that overturns the filibuster employed to block most presidential nominees. On the one hand, requiring 60 votes instead of a simple majority to confirm judges and executive branch nominees has produced a backlog that has denied the chief executive the right to name those he chooses for major jobs as long as they are qualified and have nothing in their backgrounds that would cast doubt. On the other hand doing away with the rule also could lead to abuses of power. The considerable overuse of the filibuster by Republican opponents in what appears to be a concerted effort to thwart the will of the electorate by preventing Barack Obama from carrying out his second-term agenda is shabby policy and has led to the change. It has left large holes in the capability of the judiciary and done considerable violence to good governance. There are 189 executive nominees awaiting confirmation — 85 for Cabinet-
level agencies. Obama nominees have had to wait nearly 100 days longer for Senate approval than did those named by George W. Bush. While Democratic leaders concede there are still hurdles, they believe the rule change will speed things up. Enthusiasm for the rule change, however, should be tempered by the knowledge that there have been times when unfit presidential nominees were legitimately derailed in the wake of highly publicized revelations. Irate Republican leaders have also warned that what goes around comes around if they gain control of the Senate in next year’s mid-term elections, which may be less of a long shot than it was given Obama’s dropping approval rating. All this adds up to a Congress that most analysts believe is if not utterly broken is at best dysfunctional. Who can argue considering the record of ineffectualness of the last decade? Congress hasn’t passed an appropriations bill in years; it bases its decisions on what is good for its members and not for the rest of the country; and its leadership is among the weakest in our history.
Don’t forget to give thanks By PETULA DVORAK THE WASHINGTON POST
Dennis Zotigh, a cultural specialist at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, won’t be celebrating Thanksgiving on Thursday the way most of us are going to. Neither will lots of other Native Americans. Surprised? Then you’re way too close to the papier mache, elementary school version of the Thanksgiving feast, presented as a Disneyesque love fest between the Pilgrims and the Indians.
Stuck in myth Many American Indians don’t see it that way at all. “It makes me really mad — the Thanksgiving myth and what happens on Friday,” said Zotigh, who is a Kiowa, Santee Dakota and Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo Indian. Zotigh is tired of the stereotyping and romanticizing that comes with this day. “The Thanksgiving myth has done so much damage and harm to the cultural self-esteem of generations of Indian people, including myself, by perpetuating negative and harmful images to both young Indian and non-Indian minds,” Zotigh wrote on the Smithsonian museum’s blog. “There are so many things wrong with the happy celebration that takes place in elementary schools and its association to American Indian culture; compromised integrity, ster-
eotyping, and cultural misappropriation are three examples.” Think about it: Thanksgiving is a pretty grim day in Native American history. After the Native Americans helped the ragged colonists survive, they let them in on their tradition of a harvest feast. And what did the colonists do in response? Rape, pillage and nearly destroy a civilization. We like to be all gooey about family and cranberry sauce and football. But the day in 1621 when the Wampanoags feasted with the starving colonists was the beginning of one huge, bloody betrayal of the people who were here first. Even today, some Native Americans refuse to acknowledge the holiday, as mainstream America celebrates it. The National Day of Mourning is what the United American Indians of New England has called it since 1970, when they first led a march and protest to the area known as Plymouth Rock. Their flier for this year’s event urges marchers to “Help shatter the untrue glass image of the Pilgrims and the unjust system based on racism, sexism, homophobia and war.” Zotigh said he’s heard from Native American parents who sign their kids out of school on the day of their Thanksgiving reenactments, whose children have been punished in class for bringing up the American Indian’s side of the story, from those who want “the
national moral atrocity of genocide” to be acknowledged and from those who simply call that day of national gorging “The Last Supper.”
Giving thanks The Native Americans I talked to said they’ve all heard of someone who doesn’t celebrate the holiday, food catalog style. But all of the people I talked to said they hold on to the original message that the Wampanoag had that day — a harvest feast to give thanks. “Thanksgiving is like every day for us. Giving thanks is a big part of the native cultures. So the basic message of the holiday, that’s still part of who we are,” said Ben Norman, 32, a member of the Pamunkey tribe in Virginia. His tribe’s chief, Kevin Brown, said he travels to reservations all across America and he hears about folks who won’t celebrate Thanksgiving. “But most people I know, we love eating and we love being together with family. And that’s what this day is about,” said Brown, 58. “I’m too busy eating and watching football to spend my life worrying about the past,” he said. The Oneida Nation representative, Ray Halbritter, who has been the primary spokesman for the campaign to get the Redskins football team to change their name, takes a similar approach to Thanksgiving. “Thanksgiving comes out
of our culture,” said Halbritter, who himself is a stuffing and squash kind of guy. “It’s a wonderful time to reflect on being thankful, to be with family, to celebrate our blessings. It really comes from our harvest celebrations.”
Keep culture alive Halbritter’s point, the one he makes when he’s talking football, is that American Indians don’t want to be thought of as relics or mascots. And actively celebrating a harvest feast, rather than dwelling on the injustices by the colonists that came after that day, is one of those ways to keep a culture alive and relevant. “That’s one of the reasons we do the Thanksgiving parade,” he said. The Oneida Nation has a big, turtle island float in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in New York every year. And they say it’s to remind Americans of that first meeting, that day when they helped and trusted. If that isn’t enough, what happens on Friday is the final slap in the face. “You know that’s supposed to be our heritage day?” Zotigh said. Yes, the Friday after Thanksgiving is designated as the official day in America to pay homage to the heritage and culture of the American Indian. Somehow, I just don’t think that hand-to-hand combat over a big screen is what the Wampanaog had in mind.
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WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2013
THE ZAPATA TIMES 5A
Mexico frees teen killer ASSOCIATED PRESS
MEXICO CITY — A teenage U.S. citizen who acknowledged being a drug-cartel killer has finished his three-year juvenile-offender term for homicide, kidnapping and drug and weapons possession. The interior secretary of southern Morelos state, Jorge Messeguer, told Milenio television the teen has been released and taken to an airport to be sent to the United States, where he has family. Jorge Messeguer said Edgar Jimenez Lugo would apparently go to a facility, “one of these centers for support, for aid” in San Antonio, Texas. His office did not immediately respond to requests for further information. It does not appear that Jimenez Lugo faces any charges in the United States. The U.S. Embassy said it would not publicly discuss the case due to privacy considerations. The embassy said in a statement it was “closely coordinating with our Mexican counterparts and appropriate authorities in the United States” regarding his release. Jimenez was popularly known in Mexico as “Ponchis,” which roughly translates as “husky,” a nickname a relative has said his family gave him because he was a pudgy child. In 2011 at the age of 14,
Photo by Kevin Green/The News-Journal | AP
Longview police officers comb the area across the road from Good Shepherd Medical Center after a early morning fatal stabbing at Good Shepherd Ambulatory Surgical Center on Tuesday in Longview. A nurse died, and four people were injured. Police also detained a suspect in the stabbings.
File photo by Antonio Sierra | AP
In this Dec. 3, 2010 file photo, Mexican soldiers present Edgar “El Ponchis” Jimenez Lugo to the media in the city of Cuernavaca, Mexico. The teenage U.S. citizen who acknowledged being a drug-cartel killer has finished his three year juvenile-offender term for homicide, kidnapping and drug and weapons possession. The interior secretary of southern Morelos state says the teen was released and taken to an airport Tuesday to be sent to the United States, where he has family. Jimenez Lugo confessed to killing four people whose beheaded bodies were found suspended from a bridge. He was born in San Diego, California, but was raised in Mexico by his grandmother. Authorities said Jimenez Lugo said he had been forcibly recruited by drug traffickers when he was 11, and confessed to working for the South Pacific drug cartel, led by reputed drug lord Hector Beltran Leyva. He had been trying to return to the United States when he was detained in 2010.
He and a sister were arrested in Morelos state, south of Mexico City, as they tried to board a plane to Tijuana, where they planned to cross the border and reunite with their mother in San Diego. When he was handed over to federal prosecutors, the boy calmly said in front of cameras that he participated in four killings while drugged and under threat. The bodies were found in the tourist city of Cuernavaca, which is in Morelos. He served his three-year sentence, the maximum allowable in the juvenile
system, at a juvenile detention center in Morelos. Morelos state was formerly controlled by the Beltran Leyva gang, which broke up after alleged leader Arturo Beltran Leyva was killed in a shootout with Mexican marines in 2009. Because Jimenez Lugo’s case was so highly publicized, some Mexican activists, such as members of the Network for Children’s Rights, expressed concern for his safety after he was released and suggested he might need special protection or a new identity.
Man charged in immigrant wreck ASSOCIATED PRESS
FALFURRIAS — Federal prosecutors in South Texas have charged a man who they say was smuggling undocumented immigrants when the vehicle he was driving struck a tree,
killing five of them. An affidavit says Manuel Rendon-Lucas told federal agents he was paid $250 for each person he was attempting to drive Saturday from a McAllen home to Houston. The SUV driven by Ren-
don was packed with 14 others when Falfurrias police began pursuing it. Rendon was fleeing at a high speed when the vehicle left the road and struck the tree. Ten others, including Rendon, were injured.
Rendon faces a federal charge of smuggling illegal aliens. The affidavit indicates Rendon himself was in the country illegally. One survivor told investigators he was going to pay $3,000 to be smuggled into the U.S.
Suspect in nurse slaying captured ASSOCIATED PRESS
LONGVIEW — A nurse died and four people were injured Tuesday in a stabbing attack at an East Texas medical complex, which a hospital official called isolated. Police detained a man after the stabbings, which happened around 7 a.m. Tuesday at the Ambulatory Surgical Center of Good Shepherd Medical Center in Longview. Longview Police Officer Kristie Brian had no immediate information on charges or a possible motive for the stabbings. The name of the nurse who died and further details on her duties were not immediately released. “The Good Shepherd family tragically lost a member of our team this morning,” said Steve
Altmiller, president and chief executive officer of the Good Shepherd Health System. A visitor who was stabbed is in critical condition, hospital spokeswoman Victoria Ashworth said, while two other visitors and a hospital worker were in good condition. Their names also weren’t released. “All of the victims were taken to the emergency center for assessment and treatment,” Altmiller said. “This was an isolated incident that was diligently handled by the Longview Police Department and our Good Shepherd response team.” The suspect was not hurt, Ashworth said. Good Shepherd Medical Center is a 425-bed acute-care hospital about 120 miles southeast of Dallas.
6A THE ZAPATA TIMES
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2013
Newtown report focuses on mother By MICHAEL MELIA ASSOCIATED PRESS
Photo by Ed Andrieski | AP
The Supreme Court has agreed to referee another dispute over President Barack Obama’s health care law, whether businesses can use religious objections to escape a requirement to cover birth control for employees. The court will consider two cases. One involves Hobby Lobby Inc., an Oklahoma City-based arts and crafts chain with 13,000 full-time employees. Hobby Lobby won in the lower courts.
Court eyes law dispute By MARK SHERMAN ASSOCIATED PRESS
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to referee another dispute over President Barack Obama’s health care law: whether businesses may use religious objections to escape a requirement to cover birth control for employees. The justices said they will take up an issue that has divided the lower courts in the face of roughly 40 lawsuits from for-profit companies asking to be spared from having to cover some or all forms of contraception. The Obama administration promotes the law’s provision of a range of preventive care, free of charge, as a key benefit of the health care overhaul. Contraception is included in the package of cost-free benefits, which opponents say is an attack on the religious freedom of employers. The court will consider two cases. One involves Hobby Lobby Inc., an Oklahoma City-based arts and
crafts chain with 13,000 fulltime employees. Hobby Lobby won in the lower courts. The other case is an appeal from Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp., a Pennsylvania company that employs 950 people in making wood cabinets. Lower courts rejected the company’s claims. The court said the cases will be combined for arguments, probably in late March. A decision should come by late June. The cases center on the provision of the law that requires most employers that offer health insurance to their workers to provide the range of preventive health benefits. In both instances, the Christian families that own the companies say that insuring some forms of contraception violates their religious beliefs. The key issue is whether profit-making corporations may assert religious beliefs under the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act or the First Amendment provision guaranteeing Americans the right to believe and worship as they choose. Nearly four years ago, the
justices expanded the concept of corporate “personhood,” saying in the Citizens United case that corporations have the right to participate in the political process the same way that individuals do. Some lower court judges have applied the same logic in the context of religious beliefs. “The government has no business forcing citizens to choose between making a living and living free,” said David Cortman of the Alliance Defending Freedom, the Christian public interest law firm that is representing Conestoga Wood. White House press secretary Jay Carney said the health care law “puts women and families in control of their health care by covering vital preventive care, like cancer screenings and birth control, free of charge.” Carney said the administration already has exempted churches from the requirement, and has created a buffer between faith-affiliated charities and contraceptive coverage by requiring insurers or another third party to provide contraceptive coverage instead.
HARTFORD, Conn. — As Adam Lanza withdrew from the world into his bedroom, the only person he appeared to be close to was his mother, LANZA who cooked his favorite meals, did his laundry daily — and bonded with him over shooting and guns. Investigators’ final report on last year’s school massacre in Newtown provided new insights into Nancy Lanza’s home life with her troubled adult son and renewed the debate over whether she bears any responsibility for the
bloodbath that began with her own shooting death. “I think that we will always be bewildered by someone who did express her concern for her son, why she sought to have him engage with firearms,” Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said Tuesday. “Not even those folks who oppose reasonable gun safety legislation would argue that it was a good idea to have someone who was evidencing this kind of disturbance have possession of the kinds of weapons that he had possession of.” Adam Lanza’s fascination with violence was apparent to teachers and other acquaintances, investigators said in their report. He collected materials on mass killings and kept a spreadsheet ranking of mass murders.
But his mother was not allowed to enter his bedroom, according to the report, and it was not clear how much she knew about his obsession. While the details released Monday led some observers to direct their anger at her, others were more sympathetic. James Alan Fox, a criminologist at Northeastern University in Boston, said Nancy Lanza did not ignore her son’s psychological problems and cannot be blamed for his actions. “She was a victim, not an accessory,” he said. “We can easily second-guess parents, and there’s a lot there we can question, but the fact of the matter is many people commit horrible crimes despite the best efforts of parents, siblings and others.”
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2013
Photo by Mark Lennihan | AP
The bus industry seems to be back. Travelers who arrived on a bus from Virginia pull their suitcases along a sidewalk in the Chinatown section of New York on Tuesday. Millions of Americans are hurtling along the nation’s jumble of transportation arteries for Thanksgiving, and more of them are discovering that a bus is the cheapest, comfiest and coolest way to stay Zen while completing the nation’s largest annual human migration.
Sleek breed of buses attracts new travelers By JASON KEYSER ASSOCIATED PRESS
CHICAGO — As millions of Americans hurtle through the jumble of transportation arteries for Thanksgiving, many are discovering that bus travel may be the cheapest, comfiest and even coolest way to stay Zen during the nation’s largest annual migration. After nearly half a century of decline in the bus industry, a new breed of sleek, Wi-Fi-pumping intercity coach is transforming the image of buses as the much-ridiculed travel option of last resort. With free Internet connections, tickets as cheap as $1 and decent legroom, companies such as Megabus.com and BoltBus are luring holiday travelers disenchanted with the hair-pulling rituals of airports and driving. “I’ve been doing it for a couple of years and it is a nice ride,” said theater student Natalie Sienicki, 22,
sitting inside a blue doubledecker Megabus idling on a windy, snowy street corner near the grand colonnades of Chicago’s Union Station. Her journey on Tuesday was not only cheaper than flying ($56 roundtrip) but also took her all the way to her destination in Ann Arbor, Mich. If she had traveled by air, Sienicki would have had to make a side trip through Detroit. The new bus services are capitalizing on generational and technological shifts: younger urbanites are espousing a car-free lifestyle, and gadget-wielding travelers of all ages increasingly expect to buy tickets online and stay connected for the duration of their trip. “Young people have no great psychological connection with the car,” said transportation trends researcher Joseph Schwieterman of DePaul University in Chicago. “They just want to get from Point A to Point B, and being able to
use their electronic device on the way is a bonus.” Many new bus carriers offer free Wi-Fi and have electrical outlets at each seat. Megabus.com has slapped GPS tracking devices on its fleet of 300 double-decker buses, allowing travelers and the people waiting for them on the other end to track the trip with a smartphone app. “Those kinds of things we feel really matter,” said Mike Alvich, Megabus.com’s vice president for marketing. Such innovations along with the prices, he said, are why Megabus.com has enjoyed so much success pulling people out of their cars. The company says 30 percent of its customers are people who otherwise would have taken a car. In another technological leap, new companies such as Wanderu have emerged to become the Expedia or Travelocity of buses, offering deal-seekers the chance to compare prices.
THE ZAPATA TIMES 7A
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2013
ON THE WEB: THEZAPATATIMES.COM
Sports&Outdoors NCAA FOOTBALL: TEXAS A&M AGGIES
Manziel’s timeline Photo by Clara Sandoval | The Zapata Times
Zapata head coach Juan Villarreal leads his team into the Border Olympics this week.
Hawks ready for Border Olympics By CLARA SANDOVAL THE ZAPATA TIMES
Photo by Gerald Herbert | AP
Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel still has no timetable on his decision of whether to turn pro according to his head coach Kevin Sumlin.
No date set on Manziel’s NFL decision By KRISTIE RIEKEN ASSOCIATED PRESS
COLLEGE STATION — Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin says he doesn’t know when Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel will decide whether to enter the 2014 NFL draft. A report this weekend said that Sumlin said that the redshirt sophomore quarterback would make a decision on his future before Texas A&M’s bowl game. On Tuesday, Sumlin said his comments were misconstrued. “I didn’t say that he’s go-
ing to make a decision before the bowl game is played,” Sumlin said. “I never said that.” He said he and his staff will gather information on Manziel and other Aggies who are eligible for early entry into the draft after the regular season ends on Saturday to help them make their decisions when the time is right. “We’ll have an analysis by the NFL, I’ll talk to some different people and what I try to do is give our guys as much factual information that I can gather from the NFL specifically instead of what’s being said on televi-
sion or on blogs and things like that,” Sumlin said. “That’s my job as a coach to give them as much information as I can so they can make the best decision for them and their family.” Manziel has refused to discuss his plans, saying he’s focused on his remaining games this season. But most believe that he will enter the draft after two stellar seasons in College Station. Manziel has thrown for 3,537 yards and 32 touchdowns and ran for 665 yards and eight more scores for No. 19 Texas A&M this season. He be-
came the first freshman to win the Heisman last year, setting numerous school and Southeastern Conference records while leading Texas A&M to an 11-2 mark and a victory over No. 1 Alabama in its first season in the SEC. Sumlin encourages players to take their time with the decision and noted that Damontre Moore, one of his players who declared early for the draft last season, did it before the bowl game, and Luke Joeckel made his decision after the game. “Everybody’s different,” Sumlin said. “You’ve got time.”
NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION: LOS ANGELES LAKERS
Lakers extend injured Kobe By GREG BEACHAM ASSOCIATED PRESS
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — The Los Angeles Lakers signed Kobe Bryant to a two-year contract extension Monday, securing the fourth-leading scorer in NBA history into his 20th season with the franchise. Bryant hasn’t played this season while recovering from surgery on his torn Achilles tendon in April, but the Lakers didn’t wait to renew their commitment to the five-time NBA champion before he got anywhere close to the free-agent market next summer. Bryant inked the deal with owner Jim Buss and general manager Mitch Kupchak at his side in agent Rob Pelinka’s office moments before the Lakers left for an East Coast road trip. Bryant, Buss and Kupchak all had repeatedly stated Bryant wouldn’t leave his only NBA home. The 35-year-old guard quickly tweeted a picture of his signature with the hashtag: Laker4Life. “This is a very happy day for Lakers fans and for the Lakers organization,” Kupchak said in a statement. “We’ve
said all along that our priority and hope was to have Kobe finish his career as a Laker, and this should ensure that that happens.” Bryant has spent more than half of his life playing for the Lakers, and if he fulfills his new contract, he will break John Stockton’s record of 19 seasons with one NBA franchise. Although Bryant is taking a pay cut from his $30.45 million salary this season, Kobe and the Lakers didn’t exactly agree to a hometown discount, either. ESPN reported the deal is worth $48.5 million, keeping Kobe among the NBA’s highestpaid players. Some fans grumbled online that the contract will limit the Lakers’ flexibility in the freeagent market next summer, clouding their starry-eyed dreams of signing Carmelo Anthony or LeBron James. Other fans approved the payout as a reward for an iconic player who still ranked among the NBA’s most dangerous scorers before his injury. Bryant and 39-year-old point guard Steve Nash are the only players signed to significant contracts for next season with
The Hawks will be making their way north this weekend for the Annual Border Olympics basketball tournament, which pits some of the best 16 teams in South Texas against each other. Zapata opens up the tournament on Friday at 9:30 a.m. against Del Rio while their second will game will depend on how they fare in the first. The Hawks will welcome back some of their players who were competing in the football playoffs as Zapata lost this Saturday to Sinton. With the addition of the rest of the roster, Zapata will be in full force for the first time this season as it had to endure one game with a young squad. Zapata opened the season with a 42-33 loss to Laredo LBJ on Nov. 19 due to missing a large portion of its roster. Returning just two lettermen with a team comprised of junior varsity players, the Hawks held their own against a larger LBJ squad with a deep rotation. Seniors Alfonzo Gutierrez and EG Garcia have held the team together with the absence of the rest of the team. They also goot a boost from sophomore Javi Lopez, who caught the eye of his head coach Juan Villarreal. "I was very impressed with the overall team but Javi really stood out," Villarreal said. "We did well moving the ball around and finding the open guy and we were able to break their press." Zapata played well in the opening half but started having problems in the second half with turnovers and eventually allowed LBJ to open up a small lead. The Wolves would not give it back through the remainder of the game for the victory. With just seven players on the roster, it was hard to keep fresh legs out there for the Hawks. "For being the first game I am excited for the upcoming season," Villarreal said. "Having these young bucks come in and hold their own against LBJ — which had a bigger rotation than we did — I feel we are going to do well in district." Zapata will be running an up-tempo offense which will rely on a fresh group on the floor to keep a high level of intensity throughout the game. "We want to push the ball up the floor with a fast break and a transition game," Villarreal said. "Right now we have only seven players on the varsity but once we have everyone together things will look very differently."
File photo by John Bazemore | AP
Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant received a $48.5 million extension over two seasons despite still recovering from the most significant injury of his career. the Lakers, who have been anticipating a major roster restructuring in 2014 ever since Dwight Howard fled town in July. Even if the Lakers waived the oft-injured Nash under a special provision limiting his salary cap hit, Bryant would eat up roughly a third of their room under the projected cap before anybody else joins him next season.
Bryant returned to practice earlier this month, and his return to the court seems imminent, although he isn’t rushing back from perhaps the most significant injury of his career. Bryant said last week that he could adjust his game and contribute something to the Lakers right now, but he wants to make a full return when he finally steps on the court for his 18th NBA season.
Villarreal has always tested his teams and this year is no exception with the tournaments that he picked for preseason. This Friday’s Border Olympics kicks off the tournament season and it will be the first time the whole team is together. The 16-team tournament features Laredo teams including Alexander, Cigarroa, LBJ, Martin, Nixon, St. Augustine, United and United South. Also competing will be Del Rio, Edinburg, McAllen, PSJA, PSJA North, San Antonio Fox Tech and SA Lanier. Zapata then turns around and heads to the Edinburg Tournament where it will feature 14 teams from 5A and 4A. The Hawks will be the only 3A team at the tournament. Finally Zapata heads to the La Feria Tournament featuring 32 teams from the 3A through 5A classifications, which will be no easy task for the Hawks. "These tournaments will get us ready for the district season and that is what we are looking for," Villarreal said. Clara Sandoval can be reached at Sandoval.Clara@Gmail.com
MIÉRCOLES 27 DE NOVIEMBRE DE 2013
Agenda en Breve LAREDO 11/27— Las clases en Texas A & M International University serán suspendidas a partir de hoy y hasta el sábado 30 de noviembre. Las clases reanudarán actividades el lunes 2 de diciembre. 11/28— Las oficinas administrativas del Condado de Webb permanecerán, en observancia al día de Acción de Gracias. Los servicios de protección y emergencia continuarán operando. 11/28— Los servicios de recolección de basura no operarán el día de hoy. El basurero de la ciudad también permanecerá cerrado. 11/28— La Biblioteca Pública de Laredo y la Sucursal de Bruni Plaza estarán cerradas. 11/28— El Metro y del servicio de autobús El Lift permanecerán cerrados. 11/28— Las oficinas administrativas de TAMIU permanecerán cerradas el día de hoy en conmemoración al día de acción de gracias. Las oficinas reanudarán sus actividades el lunes 2 de diciembre. 11/28— Se realizará la carrera Guajolote 10k a partir de las 9 a.m. en Hamilton Trophies, 1320 calle Garden. Puede registrarse en Hamilton Trophies y en Hamilton Jewelry (en 607 avenida Flores) o llamando al 724-9990 o al 722-9463. 11/29— Las oficinas administrativas del Condado de Webb permanecerán, en observancia al día de Acción de Gracias. Los servicios de protección y emergencia continuarán operando. 11/29— Los servicios de recolección de basura no operarán el día de hoy. 11/29— La Biblioteca Pública de Laredo y la Sucursal de Bruni Plaza estarán cerradas. 12/01— El cantante mexicano Alejandro Fernández se presentan en concierto en Laredo Energy Arena, 6700 Arena Blvd., a las 7 p.m. Costos varían de 228, 152, 102, 82 y 62 dólares.
Hacen frente al frío TIEMPO DE ZAPATA
El frente frío número 14 que llegara a la región desde el fin de semana, marcó un descenso en la temperatura, principalmente en los municipios de la frontera de Tamaulipas con Texas, y las autoridades están extremando acciones y pidiendo a la comunidad protegerse. El sistema frontal, derivado de una baja presión asociada con aire frío, propició una temperatura mínima de 6 grados centígrados, con sensación térmica de menos 5 grados, lluvia torrencial y vientos durante el fin de semana, informó Pedro Benavides Benavides, coordinador general de Protección Civil de Tamaulipas. El descenso en la temperatura se acentuó en los municipios de Nuevo Laredo, Zona Ribereña,
Matamoros, Reynosa y Río Bravo. El exhorto es evitar exponerse de manera innecesaria a las bajas temperaturas, abrigar con ropa térmica a los menores de cinco años, mayores de 60 y personas enfermas, indica comunicado de prensa. En tanto, en Ciudad Victoria, México, se llevó a cabo una reunión extraordinaria del Consejo General de Salud, a fin de conjuntar acciones y voluntades entre los diferentes órdenes de gobierno que permitan hacer frente a las Infecciones Respiratorias Agudas (IRAs) y sus complicaciones, principalmente las neumonías e influenza estacional. Durante la reunión, presidida por el secretario de Salud, Norberto Treviño García Manzo, se pactaron tres acuerdos con estrategias definidas en los siguientes as-
Confirman cinco defunciones por influenza estacional en Tamaulipas. pectos: Temporada invernal; Cobertura del 100 por ciento de vacunación y Difusión de medidas de prevención y promoción de la salud. A la fecha, el Instituto de Diagnóstico y Referencia Epidemiológicos (INDRE) de la Secretaría de Salud de Gobierno Federal, ha confirmado cinco defunciones por influenza estacional en Tamaulipas, cuatro del sexo femenino y uno masculino, ninguno de los cuales estaba vacunado, de acuerdo a Treviño. Se prevé que el Sector Salud asegure el funcionamiento de las Unidades Monitoras de Influenza
Rebajas podrían subir compras POR ANNE D’INNOCENZIO ASSOCIATED PRESS
NUEVO LAREDO, MÉXICO 11/27— Se realizará una presentación con proyectos de tesis dentro de la Unidad UPN 284 (Reynosa 1410), a partir de las 6 p.m. 11/27— Cine Club presenta “Estas ruinas que ves” a partir de las 6 p.m. en el auditorio de Estación Palabra. 11/27— Se impartirá la conferencia “La Importancia de las Competencias Actitudinales Como Mediadoras del Aprendizaje” dentro de la Unidad UPN 284 (Reynosa 1410), a partir de las 7 p.m. Evento gratuito. 11/29— Se realizará la inauguración de una Exposición Fotográfica dentro de la Unidad UPN 284 (Reynosa 1410), a partir de las 6 p.m. Evento gratuito. 11/29— Se estará realizando una Velada Mexicana con motivo de las celebraciones por el 34 aniversario de la Unidad UPN 284, evento será dentro de la escuela ubicada en Reynosa 1410 a partir de las 7 p.m. Evento gratuito. 11/29— Se estará presentando un homenaje a Jorge Ibargüengoitia por el 30 aniversario de su muerte, a partir de las 7 p.m. en Estación Palabra. 11/30— Se estará llevando a cabo el evento “Vive Nuevo Laredo”, a partir de las 2 p.m. y hasta las 10 p.m. sobre la avenida Guerrero (desde la calle 15 de junio hasta la calle Hidalgo). 12/01— El grupo de Teatro Laberintus estará presentando la obra infantil “La Nave” dentro del Teatro del IMSS, entre las calles Reynosa y Belden, sector centro, a partir de las 12 p.m. Costo 20 pesos.
para la detección de casos, disponer de insumos para la toma de muestras de casos sospechosos de influenza, notificación inmediata (24 horas) de brotes y defunciones, aplicar el 100 por ciento de vacuna estacional 2013-2014 y difundir las recomendaciones pertinentes y signos de alarma. Actualmente Tamaulipas dispone de medio millón de dosis para proteger a los grupos vulnerables, como son niños de 6 a 59 meses de edad, adultos mayores de 60 años, mujeres embarazadas y pacientes con diabetes , cardiopatías, inmunodeficiencias, cáncer, VIH, obesidad, entre otras.
Foto de cortesía | Gobierno de Tamaulipas
El Gobernador de Tamaulipas, Egidio Torre Cantú, durante su Tercer Informe de gobierno, el domingo.
Torre: Nos va a ir mejor TIEMPO DE ZAPATA
l Gobernador Egidio Torre Cantú rindió su Tercer Informe de Gobierno el domingo, y aseguró Tamaulipas es ahora un estado con mayores fortalezas. “Vamos bien y nos va ir mejor porque los tamaulipecos trabajamos todos los días para alcanzar el horizonte de prosperidad que todos merecemos”, sostuvo Torre, agregando que es el tiempo de la
consolidación. Durante su informe sostuvo que es una realidad la refundación de las instituciones de seguridad ya que se ha podido dar una coordinación efectiva con el gobierno federal. En otros rubros explicó que se han incrementado las inversiones por parte de empresarios, se ha continuado con los apoyos alimentarios, becas y útiles escolares, y ha permanecido la asistencia social y el desarrollo integral de las fa-
milias. El Gobernador igualmente refrendó su apoyo y lealtad a las reformas que ha implementado el Presidente de México, Enrique Peña Nieto, como es la reforma energética. “Mi gobierno se siente en cada rincón de Tamaulipas, en la sierra y en la costa, en el altiplano y en la frontera, en el centro y en la Huasteca”, dijo Torre. “Celebremos la identidad tamaulipeca que es valentía y arraigo, fortaleza y empuje, orgullo y alegría”.
NUEVA YORK — En esta temporada de fin de año, los estadounidenses podrían abstenerse de gastar si no encuentran mayores ofertas. A pesar de los indicios de una mejora de la economía, las cadenas gigantes como Wal-Mart y Kohl’s prevén poco ánimo entre los consumidores si éstos no ven grandes rebajas resaltadas en letreros en rojo. La situación ha derivado en la realización adelantada y más a menudo de grandes acontecimientos de ventas que en otras temporadas de fin de año para atraer compradores. Desde el inicio de la recesión a finales de 2007, las tiendas han tenido que ofrecer a los estadounidenses que enfrentan limitaciones financieras mayores descuentos que nunca para que vayan a las tiendas. Sin embargo, esos descuentos merman las ganancias. A la fecha, Wal-Mart, Target y Kohl’s figuran entre más de dos decenas de cadenas importantes que redujeron las proyecciones de sus ganancias para el trimestre o el año. Una gran razón es la expectativa de que tendrán que ofrecer grandes rebajas para invitar a gastar a los clientes. Ya hay indicios de que los minoristas ofrecerán grandes descuentos para el día posterior a Acción de Gracias (conocido como Viernes Negro) Las expectativas relativizadas, descuentos adelantados y proyecciones de menores ganancias de los minoristas tienen lugar pese a los indicios de una recuperación de la economía. El mercado de trabajo logra progresos, el mercado de vivienda se recupera y la bolsa de valores continúa logrando altos niveles históricos. Todos estos son factores que propiciarían un mayor gasto entre los estadounidenses. Pero hasta ahora, esas mejorías no han sido suficientes para reforzar la confianza de los consumidores. De hecho, ese indicador está en su nivel más bajo desde abril. Algunos estadounidenses han recibido menores ingresos debido al aumento del 2% en el impuesto a la nómina que comenzó a cobrarse el 1 de enero. Para un hogar con ingresos de 50.000 dólares, eso significa una reducción de unos 1.000.
Indican explorarían hidrocarburos en 2014 TIEMPO DE ZAPATA
El Proyecto del Puerto Martítimo de Matamoros para el 2014 considera potenciar actividades industriales, de comercio y turismo, lo cual, esperan autoridades, fortalezca el desarrollo económico y bienestar de sus residentes. A decir de Mónica González García, Secretaria de Desarrollo Económico y Turismo, “la tendencia de desarrollo nacional de PEMEX (Petróleos Mexicanos) ubica a Tamaulipas como el estado con mayor prospectiva para el crecimiento
de la exploración y explotación de petróleo y gas natural en aguas profundas”. Como antecedente, González citó la participación de las 650 empresas tamaulipecas en el Foro organizado por PEMEX para las empresas interesadas en formar parte como proveedores y contratistas, lo cual se potenciará con las inversiones del Puerto de Matamoros previstas para el 2014, indica un comunicado de prensa. En breve, PEMEX iniciará la construcción de su terminal marítima con una inversión superior a los 700
“(Se) ubica a Tamaulipas como el estado con mayor prospectiva para el crecimiento de la exploración de petróleo y gas natural en aguas profundas”. MÓNICA GONZÁLEZ GARCÍA, SECRETARIA DE DESARROLLO ECONÓMICO Y TURISMO EN TAMAULIPAS
millones de pesos, lo cual además de atraer nuevas inversiones en la región norte de Tamaulipas, generará empleos temporales y permanentes en plataformas marítimas para extra-
er el petróleo. Así, el Puerto de Matamoros adquirirá capacidad para el transporte de mercancías que requieren movimiento en grandes volúmenes, así como también
el cabotaje al sureste de México, lo cual coloca a Tamaulipas en un polo de desarrollo nacional y altamente competitivo, concluye el comunicado de prensa.
10A THE ZAPATA TIMES
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2013
Health law’s Spanish sign-up delayed By CARLA K. JOHNSON ASSOCIATED PRESS
CHICAGO — Add one more delay to the list for the rollout of President Barack Obama’s health care law. This time, it’s a postponement of the launch of online enrollment tools in Spanish. The Spanish version of HealthCare.gov now provides basic information, but still doesn’t allow users to apply for insurance coverage online. U.S. Health and Human Services spokeswoman Joanne Peters told The Associated Press on Tuesday the administration plans a quiet launch of the Spanish enrollment tools in early December without much advertising. That leaves Spanish speakers getting help by phone from bilingual call center operators or in person from bilingual enrollment counselors while they wait for an online option. An estimated 10.2 million uninsured Latinos may be eligible for coverage through the marketplace. Most of them speak English or are bilingual, but 3.7 mil-
lion rely on Spanish. As recently as last week, the administration had told journalists the Spanish sign-up tools would be ready by the end of November. Hispanic groups had heard the same thing. Those groups have shouldered much of the burden of answering questions from Spanish speakers, hiring additional staff to answer phones and taking calls on Spanish language radio shows. “We want the English language Web page to be up and running and to be successful. Once we have that, then we want the Spanish language one to be up and running,” said Jane Delgado of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health. “People are frustrated when they can’t complete enrollment.”
Making things worse But the administration was worried that launching the Spanish sign-ups would make the problems with the troubled HealthCare.gov website worse. The administration has pledged to get the site working for the vast
majority of users by the end of this month. The December launch will allow Hispanic groups to give their thoughts on how the Spanish tools are working. “We think it’s important to engage with key stakeholders and organizations in this process and get their feedback,” Peters, the HHS spokeswoman, said. After the Spanish enrollment tools launch and Hispanic groups provide feedback, “We will ramp up our promotional efforts to drive Spanish speakers to CuidadoDeSalud.gov,” the Spanish version of HealthCare.gov. Enrollment in the new health insurance marketplace is open until March 31. People who sign up by Dec. 23 can get coverage that starts on Jan. 1. “We still think it’s an urgent issue that Latinos be enrolled. We are confronted with the fact that there are not the types of Spanish-language tools that would have facilitated that process,” said Jennifer Ng’andu of the National Council of La Raza, a Latino advocacy group. “That makes it even more crucial for the bilingual assisters to be a part of
COCAINE Continued from Page 1A The narcotics have an estimated street value of $1,917,760. No arrests have been made in connection to the seizure. “This is one of the largest amounts of narcotics (cocaine) seized in the Zapata County Sheriff ’s Office’s history,” said Sheriff ’s Office Chief Raymundo del Bosque. (César G. Rodriguez may be reached at 7282568 or firstname.lastname@example.org)
this process and to be a central part of the strategy.”
Help needed In Chicago, Luvia Quinones of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights said Spanish speakers need in-person help from bilingual enrollment counselors more than a website in Spanish. “They don’t need the Spanish version to be up and running,” Quinones said. It’s more important, she said, that they are able to sit side by side with someone who can answer their questions in Spanish and help them enroll. Hispanics are viewed as one of keys to the success of Obama’s coverage expansion. It’s not just that there’s a need for health insurance among Latinos, but their relative youthfulness is seen as a plus for the law’s new markets. About 30 percent of Latinos are uninsured, the highest rate of any ethnic group. But with a median age of 27, they are younger than the U.S. population as a whole.
They are heavily represented in major states that the administration is targeting for enrollments, including California, Texas and Florida. And they’re overwhelmingly likely to qualify for tax credits that would help make premiums more affordable. The administration’s own marketing study found that Hispanics account for about 1 in 5 of the healthy and young, the health care overhaul’s most desirable demographic. Overall, the healthy and young represent about half the nation’s uninsured. They take health for granted, are sensitive to costs, and they have low motivation to enroll. But they’re less expensive to insure, and their premiums can help offset the cost of care for older, sicker people. The goal of the Spanish version of the website was to provide an easy enrollment capability for the 17 percent of Latinos who prefer to use Spanish. As it turned out, the English-language website sputtered. But the Spanish version didn’t even get off the ground. Prior to the Oct. 1 launch
of HealthCare.gov, the administration had announced it was postponing Spanish-language sign-ups and other desirable features in an effort to focus on core functions. Although that strategy ultimately did not work, officials said they would not lose sight of having a Spanish-language capability as the underlying English website was repaired.
Immigrants People who live in the United States illegally aren’t eligible for coverage under the law, but they must enroll any children born here or face a tax penalty. Quinones said it’s a common fear among mixed status families that signing up their children for insurance will prompt an unwelcome visit from immigration authorities. Last month, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced it would not use health insurance enrollment information for enforcement.
STONEGARDEN Continued from Page 1A Zapata County sheriff, said he consulted with the State Administrative Agency of the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Office of the Governor-Criminal Justice Division. “I was assured that this had nothing to do with my administration,” the former sheriff said. “I was told they were very minor deficiencies discovered in
May, five months after I left office. Six months later these minor deficiencies have not been corrected. How can I be blamed for something that hasn’t been fixed 10 months after I retired?” Zapata used Stonegarden funds for equipment, fuel, overtime, patrol on the border and surveillance at the lake, among other things.
“To my knowledge, we’ve been in compliance with all the records,” del Bosque said. “Everything was sent off to the proper office … We’re just waiting on a response on when the funds will be released and reimbursement packages will start flowing.” (César G. Rodriguez may be reached at 728-2568 or email@example.com)
Fifty black-taped bundles of cocaine are displayed by sheriff’s office deputies. They have an estimated street value of $1,917,760.
WATER Continued from Page 1A ter per year. He added that a new meter might help bring that number down to 20 and, possibly, 12 percent. “This is most definitely something that I would
support,” he said. “This would be a faster and possibly cheaper way for us to gather meter data.” Though no timetable has been set, Vela said commis-
sioners are likely to discuss a pilot program at the next meeting on Dec. 9. (Aldo Amato may be reached at 728-2538 or firstname.lastname@example.org)