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TO 4,000 HOMES





Much spending

High-speed rail to Monterrey

Senate easily passes $1.1 trillion spending bill By ANDREW TAYLOR ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON — Congress sent President Barack Obama a $1.1 trillion government-wide spending bill Thursday, easing the harshest effects of last year’s automatic budget cuts after tea party critics chastened by October’s partial shutdown mounted


only a faint protest. The Senate voted 72-26 for the measure, which cleared the House a little more than 24 hours earlier on a similarly lopsided vote. Obama’s signature on the bill was expected in time to prevent any interruption in government funding Saturday at midnight. The huge bill funds every

agency of government, pairing increases for NASA and Army Corps of Engineers construction projects with cuts to the Internal Revenue Service and foreign aid. It pays for implementation of Obama’s health care law; a fight over implementing “Obamacare” sparked tea party Republicans to partially shut the government down

for 16 days last October. Also included is funding for tighter regulations on financial markets, but at levels lower than the president wanted. The compromise-laden legislation reflects the realities of divided power in Washington and a desire by both Dem-


U.S. and Mexican officials say they are taking the first steps toward rail service that could take passengers from Monterrey to San Antonio in two hours. The Mexican side already has the right-of-ways from Monterrey to Laredo. The Texas side has support from both state and federal officials. Funding sources have yet to be identified, but U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, says the rail line could be up and running within the decade. San Antonio









Alice Laredo


Corpus Christi

Proposed high-speed corridor to Monterrey


McAllen Monterrey


MEXICO San Antonio Express-News

Rail project takes shape By MALENA CHARUR THE ZAPATA TIMES

Javier Gutierrez, owner of the now-defunct Hacienda de los Gutierrez, sings to Elva Ramos in his restaurant in this undated photograph.

Defunct restaurant attracted celebrities By MALENA CHARUR THE ZAPATA TIMES

LAREDO — Javier Gutierrez’s restaurant marked an era, with its bohemian atmosphere that attracted celebrities. Hacienda de los Gutierrez, located on West Calton Road and Gallagher Avenue, opened in 1972 and for the next 26 years offered a regional menu known as “norestense,” with a local favorite, cabrito al pastor, as its main dish.

The restaurant also offered a bohemian atmosphere, giving diners the opportunity to listen to live music and also to sing along with the musicians, as well as to practice other artistic pursuits. Gutierrez was born in San Ygnacio, the 11th of 12 children. The family moved to Laredo when he was a child, and Gutierrez eventually graduated from Martin High School.



Courtesy photos

Stars Lucia Mendez, left, and Maria Conchita Alonso, with Javier Gutierrez, owner of the now-defunct Hacienda de los Gutierrez pose in this undated photo.

The idea of a high-speed passenger and cargo rail service between Mexico and the United States has taken shape after highranking officials from both countries met Thursday. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx, U.S. Congressman Henry Cuellar, representatives from the Texas Department of Transportation and members of the Mexican delegation met in Washington, D.C., to discuss progress and the economic benefits that would be created with the completion of the project, which would link San Antonio to Monterrey, Mexico. “It’s a historic project that will connect San Antonio, Laredo and Monterrey and also help unite large economies, especially those of our areas,” Cuellar said. The project, which will be presented to Vice President Joe Biden, should have the backing of the U.S. government as it has support on both sides of the border. “Transportation is important to any country,” Cuellar said. “The fact that stakeholders are present is something that is taken into account for the authorization of this project.” The project is in an advanced state on the Mexican side while it’s in the study phase on the U.S. side.



Top races bring in big bucks in final weeks By CHRIS TOMLINSON ASSOCIATED PRESS

AUSTIN — Donors gave Texas political candidates more than $39.2 million during the last half of 2013, providing a signal about the viability of candidates in the highly competitive Republican primary races for lieutenant governor, attorney general and state comptroller. Although the Democrat and Republican expected to face off for governor reported raising $23.7 million between them, fundraising also was steady

among GOP candidates in the next three highest statewide offices. No incumbents are on the ballot in the races for governor, attorney general and comptroller, marking one of the biggest turnovers of power in the last 14 years. “You see a lot of excitement among a large number of donors giving to candidates across the board,” said Mark P. Jones, an expert on campaign finance at Houston’s Rice University. “The fundraising totals suggest we have some very competitive candidates across the board. ...

You can’t really count out anybody.” Texas is the second-largest state and has 20 media markets, forcing statewide candidates to rely on expensive television, radio and direct mail advertising to win. Texas law required all candidates to file campaign finance reports for the last half of 2013 on Wednesday. In the race to replace Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, Todd Staples has reported raising $2 million, with $3.1 million to spend in the next 50 days, while Dan Patrick reported raising $1.7 million

with $3.1 million on hand. Dewhurst reported $2.3 million raised and $1.4 million in cash on hand, though he has a large personal fortune he can tap. Jerry Patterson reported raising $816,000 with $564,000 left over as of Dec. 31. In the Republican attorney general’s race, Dan Branch raised $1.9 million with a $4.9 million war chest. Barry Smitherman raised $1.7 million, but only had $2.1 million left. Ken Paxton raised $1 million, with $2.3 million on hand. There are four candidates for

state comptroller, who is responsible for balancing Texas’ finances. Among Republicans, Glenn Hegar reported $2.57 million in the bank, while Harvey Hilderbran had $1.34 million. Raul Torres and Debra Medina trailed far behind. “You have lots of candidates doing well, particularly in these second-tier statewide races,” Jones said. “All of the (Republican) statewide races, with the exception of governor and land commissioner, are almost cer-




Zin brief CALENDAR




Saturday, Jan. 18 Crime Stoppers Menudo Bowl. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. L.I.F.E. Fairgrounds, Highway 59. Admission for adults $5 and children 12 years and under free. Live music, Brush Country Trail Ride, Laredo Wrestling Alliance, motorcycle ride, merchandise booths, children’s games and rides, food booths, displays on federal agencies, ranch rodeo starting at 10 a.m. and team roping at 2 p.m. Proceeds benefit Crime Stoppers. Contact 724-1876 or Free SAT workshop for high school juniors and seniors. 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. UTHSC Regional Campus Laredo, 1937 E. Bustamante St. To register and for more information, contact Area Health Education Center at 7120037 or Meeting of Down Syndrome Association of Laredo. 1:15 p.m. to 3 p.m. 1008 E. Hillside Road. Caregivers and individuals with Down Syndrome invited. Informational conference on Head Start program and dance showcase participation.

Thursday, Jan. 23 Los Amigos Duplicate Bridge Club. 1:15 p.m. to 5 p.m. Laredo Country Club. Call Beverly Cantu at 7270589. Kickoff rally for American Cancer Society’s 2014 Relay for Life. 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Laredo Firefighters Union Hall, 5219 Tesoro Lane. Receive information, join the committee, sign up as a survivor/caregiver, become a sponsor. Light refreshments. Call event chair Terry Alvarado at 236-2231 or Diana Juarez at 319-3100, or visit

Friday, Jan. 24 Strength Within Me support group meeting. 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Ruthe B. Cowl Rehabilitation Center, 1220 Malinche Ave. Unites people with physical disabilities, from ages 14 to 35. Visit or email TAMIU Planetarium shows. “Earth, Moon and Sun” 6 p.m. and “Destination Saturn” 7 p.m. General admission $4 children and $5 adults. Premium shows $1 more. Call 3263663.

Sunday, Jan. 26 Border Bike Challenge. 8 a.m. Shiloh Trails, intersection of Shiloh Drive and Livingston Drive. Online registration $30. Late registration $40 day of competition, 6 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. Packet pickup Jan. 25, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., at Laredo Ciclomania, 611 Shiloh Drive, Suite No. 2. Participants receive complimentary ticket to attend Border Beer Festival. Contact David Kash Vasquez at 744-5274 or

Monday, Jan. 27 Zapata County Commissioners Court meeting. 9 a.m. Zapata County Courthouse. Call Roxy Elizondo at 7659920.

Thursday, Feb. 20 Winter Texan & Senior Citizen Appreciation Day. 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Monday, March 10 Zapata County Commissioners Court meeting. 9 a.m. Zapata County Courthouse. Call Roxy Elizondo at 7659920.


Photo by Chris Sherman | AP

La Villa Independent School District Superintendent Narciso Garcia poses for a photo in his office in La Villa on Monday. More than 600 students returned to classes Thursday after their winter break was extended by three days because of a dispute over a water bill.


LA VILLA — Students in a small South Texas town returned to classes Thursday after their winter break was extended by three days because of a dispute over a water bill. All four schools in the La Villa school district reopened, welcoming back more than 600 students one day after a state agency refused to intervene, forcing the city and school district back into negotiations. La Villa municipal leaders met Wednesday, conveying options for a compromise to the school district. School Superintendent Narciso Garcia said Thursday the school board would delay its meeting until today so all seven members could be present to consider the offers. But in a show of good faith the city restored water and sewer service

San Antonio: 6th person guilty in $133M tax fraud

Federal budget looks to add 2,000 officers

House creates earthquake subcommittee

SAN ANTONIO — A sixth person has pleaded guilty in a $133 million tax fraud case in South Texas involving funds diverted from payroll and insurance programs. Prosecutors in San Antonio say 61-year-old Larry W. Kimes pleaded guilty Thursday to tax fraud conspiracy and mail fraud conspiracy. Investigators say money was diverted between 2002 and 2008 for the personal use of Kimes and others.

McALLEN — Included in the massive federal budget bill awaiting President Barack Obama’s signature is funding for 2,000 additional customs officers at the country’s ports of entry. A Government Accountability Office report last summer noted that U.S. Customs and Border Protection had determined it needed 3,811 more officers to accomplish its goals in fiscal 2014.

AUSTIN — The chairman of the Texas House Committee Energy on Energy Resources has set up a team of lawmakers to investigate earthquakes in oil and gas regions. The legislative committee that drafts the laws that regulate the oil and gas industry joins the Texas Railroad Commission in examining why there has been a rash of small earthquakes in parts of the state where oil and gas drilling is high.

1 guest dead, 1 sick at Lubbock motel LUBBOCK — A man has been found dead and a woman sick at a West Texas motel in what investigators believe was accidental carbon monoxide poisoning. Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Rob Keinast says a faulty heater may be to blame. He says high levels of carbon monoxide were detected in the room.

42nd Annual Zapata County Fair. 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. Zapata County Fairgrounds.

Site of W.Va. spill was subject of 2010 complaint

Friday, March 14

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Documents show that West Virginia inspectors visited the site of last week’s chemical spill in 2010 after a nearby resident complained about a strong odor of licorice. The odor came from the same chemical that leaked into the Elk River and contaminated drinking water for 300,000 people. The documents released Thursday show that Freedom Industries, the company that stores the chemical, was not cited after the 2010 visit. Robert Keatley, one of the inspectors, says the odor was not strong enough to merit a citation.

Saturday, March 15 42nd Annual Zapata County Fair. 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. Zapata County Fairgrounds.

Monday, March 24 Zapata County Commissioners Court meeting. 9 a.m. Zapata County Courthouse. Call Roxy Elizondo at 7659920. Submit calendar items at or by emailing with the event’s name, date and time, location and purpose and contact information for a representative. Items will run as space is available.

Drought puts Austin-area lakes near record lows Suspect flees San Antonio AUSTIN — The two key Colcourt, nabbed in Killeen orado River lakes near Austin began the year at their secondlowest levels since their dams were built in the 1940s. The Lower Colorado River Authority reports that water inflows into its Highland Lakes are at lower levels than a year ago. Lakes Travis and Buchanan saw inflows greater only than the record low 2011 inflows.

KILLEEN — A defendant who fled from a San Antonio courtroom last week during his aggravated assault trial has been captured in Killeen. The Bexar (bayr) County Sheriff ’s Office says Christopher Jones remains in custody pending extradition to San Antonio. — Compiled from AP reports


Thursday, March 13

42nd Annual Zapata County Fair. 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. Zapata County Fairgrounds.

overnight so classes could resume. La Villa High School Principal Janie Farias said the first day back started as usual with kids coming in for breakfast and quickly congregating with their friends. She had only a few absences, a couple due to a death in the family and one that was going to receive a home visit. “They’re happy to be back in school,” Farias said. She already has started formulating a plan to make up the three days students missed this week, including possible Saturday classes. State examinations are coming in the spring and Farias said, “I need to make sure those students are ready.” La Villa is a rural community of about 2,000 people, 25 miles east of McAllen, near the Texas-Mexico border. Ninety percent of the district’s students are economically disadvantaged.

Man accused in Oklahoma bomb plot acquitted TULSA, Okla. — An Illinois man accused in a failed plot to firebomb dozens of Oklahoma

Today is Saturday, Jan. 18, the 18th day of 2014. There are 347 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Jan. 18, 1911, the first landing of an aircraft on a ship took place as pilot Eugene B. Ely brought his Curtiss biplane in for a safe landing on the deck of the armored cruiser USS Pennsylvania in San Francisco Harbor. On this date: In 1778, English navigator Captain James Cook reached the present-day Hawaiian Islands, which he named the “Sandwich Islands.” In 1862, the tenth president of the United States, John Tyler, died in Richmond, Va., at age 71, shortly before he could take his seat as an elected member of the Confederate Congress. In 1919, the Paris Peace Conference, held to negotiate peace treaties ending the (First) World War, opened in Versailles (vehr-SY’), France. In 1943, a U.S. ban on the sale of pre-sliced bread — aimed at reducing bakeries’ demand for metal replacement parts — went into effect. In 1949, Charles Ponzi, engineer of one of the most spectacular mass swindles in history, died destitute at a hospital in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, at age 66. In 1967, Albert DeSalvo, who claimed to be the “Boston Strangler,” was convicted in Cambridge, Mass., of armed robbery, assault and sex offenses. (Sentenced to life, DeSalvo was killed in prison in 1973.) In 1988, a China Southwest Airlines Ilyushin 18 crashed while on approach to Chongqing Airport, killing all 108 people on board. In 1993, the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday was observed in all 50 states for the first time. In 1994, Iran-Contra prosecutor Lawrence Walsh released his final report in which he said former President Ronald Reagan had acquiesced in a cover-up of the scandal, an accusation Reagan called “baseless.” Ten years ago: A suicide truck bombing outside the headquarters of the U.S.-led coalition in Baghdad killed at least 31 people. Five years ago: Israeli troops begin to withdraw from Gaza after their government and Hamas militants declared an end to a three-week war. One year ago: Former Democratic New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin was indicted on charges that he’d used his office for personal gain, accepting payoffs, free trips and gratuities from contractors while the city was struggling to recover from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. (Nagin, who later pleaded not guilty, faces trial in late Jan. 2014.) Today’s Birthdays: Movie director John Boorman is 81. Former Sen. Paul Kirk, DMass., is 76. Singer-songwriter Bobby Goldsboro is 73. Comedian-singer-musician Brett Hudson is 61. Actor-director Kevin Costner is 59. Country singer Mark Collie is 58. Thought for Today: “The compensation of growing old was simply this: that the passions remain as strong as ever, but one has gained — at last! — the power which adds the supreme flavor to existence, the power of taking hold of experience, of turning it round, slowly, in the light.” — Virginia Woolf, English author (18821941).

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A dogsled team pulls passengers on a scenic ride across Mirror Lake on Friday in Lake Placid, N.Y. There is a 50 percent chance of snowfall in the Lake Placid area heading into the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend. churches was found not guilty by reason of insanity Friday after prosecutors and defense attorneys agreed he was mentally ill. U.S. District Judge Claire Eagan found Gregory Arthur Weiler II of Elk Grove Village, Ill., not guilty on a charge of possessing

an unregistered, destructive device. Prosecutors accused Weiler of plotting to bomb 48 churches in Ottawa County, though no explosives were set off and no one was injured. — 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




Running for office Man pleads not guilty Villarreal seeks reelection as Commissioner, Pct. 2 SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Gabriel “Lel” Villarreal Jr., a native of San Ygnacio, has announced his reelection bid for Commissioner Pct. 2 of Zapata County. “It is with great anticipation and respect that I take this opportunity to personally ask you for your continued support and vote as I initiate my campaign,” Villarreal said in an emailed statement. “I have made every effort for the citizens of Precinct 2 to lead a better life.” Villarreal’s current projects include infrastructure advancement from Las Palmas to Hwy. 83, then to 27th


Avenue, “by connecting Las Palmas sewer lines to the Zapata sewer system,” according to the statement. Also, Alamo Street is to be paved from 20th Avenue

to 24th Avenue, and there will be curve and gutter installations to Miraflores Street, from Alamo Street to Villarreal Elementary School. But to Villarreal, there is more to being a commissioner. “The commissioner’s job consists of much more than just repairing roads. My office deals with other issues, such as budgets, questions from citizens, personnel issues, county buildings issues, and county policies. “I am dedicated to serve you, the constituents of this great community,” Villarreal said.

Casimiro RodriguezDimas was arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon Thursday in the 5100 block of Peña Lane. An assault was reported at 9:45 p.m. Wednesday in the 100 block of Ken’s Way Street.

Order violation Pedro Luis Angel Valverde was arrested and

charged with violation of a protective order Thursday in the 200 block of Elizabeth Lane.

Paraphernalia Ruben Rene Villarreal was arrested and charged with possession of drug paraphernalia Tuesday in the 2200 block Carla Street. Mario Medina Jr. was arrested and charged with possession of drug paraphernalia Thursday at


A man recently indicted on human smuggling charges in federal court in Laredo pleaded not guilty Monday, according to court documents. Fernando Ramirez-Araguz is accused of transporting six illegal immigrants in the San Ygnacio area. A grand jury formally charged him Jan. 7 with one count of conspiracy to transport illegal immigrants within the United States, and two counts of transport and attempt to


Stripes, off U.S. 83.

Public intoxication Jose Eliseo Martinez was arrested and charged with public intoxication Thursday in the intersection of 16th Street and Medina Avenue.

Theft A theft was reported at 6:23 p.m. Thursday at a local Dollar General.

transport illegal immigrants for financial gain. Ramirez-Araguz had arraignment Thursday but he waived his appearance and submitted his written not guilty plea Monday, court records show. Pretrial conference is scheduled for Feb. 10 in courtroom 2B before U.S. Magistrate Judge Diana Song Quiroga. If convicted, he faces a maximum of 10 years in prison per count, the indictment reads. A Texas Department of Public Safety trooper pulled over a 2000 Ford F-150 driven by Ramirez-

Araguz for speeding Dec. 21 along U.S. 83, just one mile north of San Ygnacio. The trooper then requested assistance from U.S. Border Patrol agents. A criminal complaint filed Dec. 24 alleges the passengers were determined to be illegal immigrants. Authorities said Ramirez-Araguz picked up the immigrants in an alley in Roma. He, along with the immigrants, was on his way to the Gateway Inn in Laredo, court records state. (César G. Rodriguez may be reached at 728-2568 or

Man pleads guilty By CÉSAR G. RODRIGUEZ



A man accused of smuggling four illegal immigrants in the San Ygnacio area pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court in Laredo, according to court documents released this week. Guadalupe Gonzalez Jr., 34, had entered a not guilty plea Dec. 12. At rearraignment Tuesday, he pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to transport undocumented immigrants within the United

States, and two counts of transport undocumented immigrants for financial gain. Those charges are filed in the indictment filed Dec. 3. If convicted, Gonzalez, a U.S. citizen, faces up to 10 years in prison. U.S. Border Patrol agents detained him Nov. 7 in the San Ygnacio area after a boat coming from Mexico made landfall on the United States about 25 yards away from the agents’ location, a criminal complaint filed Nov. 12 states.

Court documents state that four suspected illegal immigrants followed Gonzalez until agents detained them. Gonzalez was detained about 100 yards away, according to court records. Two illegal immigrants held as material witnesses in the case claimed Gonzalez instructed them to follow him. Gonzalez had a different story. He said the people began following him, court records state. (César G. Rodriguez may be reached at 728-2568 or

Guilty plea in fed case By CÉSAR G. RODRIGUEZ THE ZAPATA TIMES

An immigrant detained in Zapata on Nov. 4 was convicted in federal court in Laredo for being in the country illegally, according to court documents released this week. Jose Luis Razo-Rostro, a native citizen of Mexico, had originally pleaded not

guilty Dec. 10. But at re-arraignment Wednesday, he pled guilty to the sole count of illegal entry after deportation, court records show. Plea documents for RazoRostro state he had no documents allowing him to enter, travel through or remain in the United States. He had been previously removed from the United States on or about Jan. 5,

2004, from Laredo. The defendant was found in the country Nov. 4 near Zapata. The defendant has never applied for or received permission to re-enter the country after his removal. Razo-Rostro remains in federal custody on a $75,000 bond. (César G. Rodriguez may be reached at 7287-2568 or







Pro-life walk is annual, peaceful event


Tomorrow people from throughout the community will gather in Laredo for the 14th annual ProLife Rosary Walk, co-sponsored by the Diocese of Laredo Respect Life Office and the Knights of Columbus. This will be a peaceful 2-mile walk praying for an increase in respect for the sanctity of every human life, and for an end to the violence of abortion. This event begins at 2:30 p.m. on the corner of Boston Street, proceeds south on Santa Ursula Avenue and concludes at San Agustín Cathedral. From 1 to 2 p.m. free shuttle service to the start of the walk will be provided for those who wish to park at San Agustín Cathedral. The Pro-Life Rosary Walk marks the anniversary of the 1973 Roe v. Wade court case which removed legal protection from prenatal babies in all 50 states. Why do we have this walk? Because we believe that the lives of all human beings are sacred, regardless of their size, age, health or state of dependency. They are precious to God and they should be precious to us. It is absolutely wrong to discriminate against the prenatal boys and girls we cannot see, to treat them with less love than we show to newborn babies. In justice and charity, we must pray for those who are most vulnerable, as well as for those who are tempted to acts of violence. Every violent choice in some way denies the sacred dignity of a human

being. The prayers of this walk are for the unborn babies, for their fathers and mothers, and for the spiritual healing of those who have previously chosen abortion. A quick glimpse at any news media reminds us that we live in a world prone to warfare, a culture where people often resort to violence, and an era when peace seems to be very elusive. Earlier this week, Pope Francis said world peace requires the defense of human dignity from violations such as abortion. The pope referred to the secular philosophy of a “throwaway culture” exemplified by “human beings themselves, who are discarded as if they were unnecessary.” Our Holy Father added, “It is horrifying just to think that there are children, victims of abortion, who will never see the light of day.” Those of us who have been blessed to see the light of day need to let our light shine before others, that they may see our good works and give glory to our Heavenly Father (Mt. 5:16). I am asking you to give public witness to the sanctity of human life by joining us in this walk. People of all ages are encouraged to participate, and all you need is a pair of walking shoes and the courage of your convictions. Come and give witness to God’s immense love and mercy for every human being. Come walk with me through the streets of Laredo and let our prayerful voice be heard. May respect for the sanctity of human life continue growing in our community through our unified actions performed Todo Con Amor.


Agency had a bad week in Washington By CHRIS CILLIZZA THE WASHINGTON POST

Ever since contractor/ activist Edward Snowden became a household name last summer, the National Security Agency had been bracing for the other shoe to drop. And drop it did this past Friday, although somewhat softly, when President Barack Obama announced several reforms to the agency’s surveillance programs. Among them: an end to eavesdropping on friendly foreign leaders, a transition of the collected data away from government control and more privacy protections for foreign citizens. Obama came to these reforms somewhat unwillingly, after public outcry over the extent of the programs and pressure from privacy advocates — many in the liberal wing of his party — to curtail the vast collection of data. That reluctance was evident in his speech an-

nouncing the changes. “As president, a president who looks at intelligence every morning, I also can’t help but be reminded that America must be vigilant in the face of threats,” he said. Much remains unknown, even after Obama’s attempt to clarify current policy and point a way forward. Such as: How much (or little) leeway is a skeptical Congress willing to allow the NSA? Regardless of how that question gets answered, Obama’s speech is the first step in curtailing the NSA’s data collection or, at a minimum, making it more difficult for some of these programs to continue in their current state. The NSA, for finally feeling the Snowden chill, you had the worst week in Washington. Congrats, or something. Cillizza covers the White House for The Washington Post and writes The Fix, its politics blog.


Former pot smoker owns up


WASHINGTON — Everybody’s doing it — confessing their youthful, potsmoking ways — so here goes. I don’t remember. Kidding, kidding. Anyone over 30 recognizes the old adage: If you remember the ‘60s, you weren’t there. Nyuk-nyuk-nyuk. It is true that marijuana smoking tends to affect one’s short-term memory, but the good news is that, while stoned, one does relatively little worth remembering. At least that’s my own recollection. So, yes, I toked, too. This doesn’t mean anyone else should, and I haven’t in decades, but our debate might have more value if more of us were forthcoming. Would I have written this when my children were young? Probably not. I was furious when an Episcopal priest, while speaking to my son’s then-fifth-grade class about his ‘60s experience, shared that he had dropped acid in college. My concern then was the same as parents’ now: If a priest (or a columnist) can drop, smoke, drink and become an accomplished adult, how do you tell your children that it’s bad for them? And then there’s the question all parents dread: “Mom, did you ever ... ?” Mom: “Absolutely not.” The correct answer to all such questions is that any

The “war on drugs” hasn’t made a dent in the popularity of pot. Nor, after decades of common use, has it been proved to be the evil weed of “Reefer Madness.” How much better to have dedicated our resources to education … drug, including alcohol, is bad for children, hence a drinking age, even if many ignore it. Children’s brains aren’t fully formed and they are not yet aware of the dangers that accompany impaired judgment. Mind-altering chemicals are bad for adults, too, if abused. But adults at least can make informed choices. Besides, who knows? Maybe I was supposed to become the secretary of state. Among columnists confessing are The New York Times’ David Brooks, who voiced his objections to legalization, and my Washington Post colleague Ruth Marcus, who noted parental concerns and her own reluctance to endorse legalization. This isn’t hypocrisy, which I embrace in the service of civilization, so much as perspectives developed through maturity and experience. Though I respect their views and share their concerns, I come down on the other side. My long-standing position is that marijuana should be decriminalized if not made legal. Regulate and tax the tar out of it, please, but let’s stop pre-

tending that pot consumers are nefarious denizens of the underworld. Among those who enjoy a recreational smoke are the folks selling you a house, golfing on the ninth hole and probably an editor or two here and there. The “war on drugs” (beware government domestic wars) hasn’t made a dent in the popularity of pot. Nor, after decades of common use, has it been proved to be the evil weed of “Reefer Madness.” How much better to have dedicated our resources to education and treatment rather than, through prohibition, to empowering criminals and cartels, not to mention ruining young lives with “criminal” records. I came to this position not when I was a college student, a time when inhaling pot was a consequence of breathing the ambient air, but when I was the lawabiding, straight-arrow, tough-loving mother of a teenager. Suffice to say, I became aware that marijuana use was common among teens of all hues and stripes. I couldn’t imagine then

or now that children might be labeled criminals for behaviors that mostly required parental attention. This should not be construed to mean I recommend pot use, certainly not by minors, any more than William F. Buckley did when he concluded that it shouldn’t be illegal. Marijuana isn’t necessarily harmless — abuse is abuse — but adults should be able to consume it without fear of legal repercussions, just as we consume alcohol. Even though today’s weed is much stronger than the stuff we used to smoke, its use is rarely as consequential as alcohol can be. Stoners might become overinvolved in the microscopic ecosystem of tree bark, but they’re unlikely to shoot up a bar over a pool game. Brooks listed several reasons why he and his buddies quit smoking (you smoked during school, David?!). I quit because it bored me. I’m a caffeinated sort, happiest on Monday mornings when everyone is back to business and I’m on deadline. Give me coffee or give me death. Having given up nearly everything that made getting out of bed worthwhile, I am healthier, happier, more productive — and have discovered that life is not, in fact, short. But both my current abstinence and the indulgences I once enjoyed (and may again, if my cocktail-stoop buddies have any say) were my own. My decisions, my responsibility, my consequences. As they should be — for marijuana as well.

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. Identity of the letter writer must be verified before publication. We want to assure our

readers that a letter is written by the person who signs the letter. The Zapata Times does not allow the use of pseudonyms. Letters are edited for style, grammar, length and civility. No name-call-


ing or gratuitous abuse is allowed. Via e-mail, send letters to or mail them to Letters to the Editor, 111 Esperanza Drive, Laredo, TX 78041.



Agenda en Breve





Desastre por sequía

LAREDO 01/18— “Menudo Bowl” de Alto al Crimen será de 10 a.m. a 7 p.m. en terrenos del LIFE Fair Grounds por la Carretera 59. Costo: 5 dólares, adultos; gratis para niños de 12 años de edad y menores. Concurso de Menudo de 1 p.m. a 3:30 p.m.; actividades varias a partir de las 10 a.m. 01/18— El equipo de baloncesto fedenil de TAMIU recibe a St. Mary’s a la 1 p.m. en el Kinesiology-Convocation Building; en tanto que el equipo de baloncesto varonil de TAMIU recibe a St. Mary’s a las 3 p.m. en el Kinesiology-Convocation Building. Costo por partido: 5 dólares. 01/18— “Clínica de Bateo” en TAMIU, a cargo del entrenador Scott Libby, el entrenador asociado Arek Zambanini y el equipo de Softball de TAMIU, se realizará de 2 p.m. a 4:30 p.m. en instalaciones de la universidad. Está dirigido a jugadores de softball que estudien del 9no al 12vo grado. Costo: 50 dólares por jugador; 80 dólares por dos jugadores; y, 140 dólares por cuatro jugadores. 01/23— Inicio del Relevo por la Vida del Condado de Webb, organizado por la Sociedad Americana del Cáncer, a partir de las 6 p.m. en el Laredo Firefighters Union Hall, 5219 Tesoro Lane. Habrá información para capitanes, unirse a comités, agregarse como sobreviviente o cuidador, o bien como patrocinador. Informes con Diana Juarez en el (956) 319-3100. 01/24— Planetario Lamar Bruni Vergara de TAMIU presenta, “Earth, Moon and Sun” a las 6 p.m.; y, “Destination Saturn” a las 7 p.m. Costo general: 4 dólares, niños; y, 5 dólares, adultos. 01/24— DJ BL3ND se presentará en vivo en el Club Annex de Laredo Energy Arena, a partir de las 8 p.m. Adquiera su boleto en la taquilla del LEA. 01/25— Miembros del Comité del Relevo por la Vida 2014 de Webb, Zapata y Hebbronville invitan a capitanes de equipo, actuales y anteriores, a participar en el ‘Team Captain University’ a llevarse a cabo de 9:30 a.m. a 2:30 p.m. en el Auditorio del Border Region Behavior Health Center, 1500 Pappas St. en Laredo. Informes llamando al (956) 319-3100. 01/25— Planetario Lamar Bruni Vergara de TAMIU presenta, “One World, One Sky, Big Bird’s Adventure” a las 3 p.m.; “Force 5: Nature Unleashed”, a las 4 p.m.; “IBEX: The Search for the Edge of the Solar System” a las 5 p.m.; y, “Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon” a las 6 p.m. Costo varía de 4 a 6 dólares.


Fotos de cortesa

Bernabé Gutiérrez. padre de Javier Gutiérrez (como cantinero) junto a Sunset Carson y otra persona durante la filmación de la película ‘Río Grande’ estelarizada por Carson y filmada en San Ygnacio el año de 1949.

Javier Gutiérrez comparte anécdotas POR MALENA CHARUR TIEMPO DE ZAPATA


lo largo de 26 años, Javier Gutiérez operó un restaurante de ambiente bohemio que marcó toda una época en Laredo y que contó con la presencia de grandes personalidades. “Hacienda de los Gutiérrez” era un restaurante ubicado en Calton y Gallagher, en Laredo. Abrió sus puertas en 1972 y se caracterizaba por una cocina regional, estilo norestense, cuyo platillo principal era el cabrito al pastor. El lugar además ofrecía a los comensales un ambiente bohemio donde tenían la oportunidad de escuchar música en vivo y de poder participar interpretando alguna melodía u otro número artístico. Gutiérrez nació en San Ygnacio, el onceavo de 12 hijos. Llegó a Laredo, junto a sus padres y hermanos, siendo un niño. Estudió en la ciudad y se graduó en la escuela Martin High School. “Me vine de San Ygnacio en 1952. Mis padres nos trajeron para continuar en la escuela para seguir la vida, pero uno siempre vuelve al terruño. Hicimos nuestra vida aquí, aquí crecimos”, comentó Gutiérrez. “Nuestra casa estaba en Davis y Benavides y enfrente estaba la escuela Macdonell. Después estuvimos en Christen que era la única escuela secundaria y me gradué en 1958 de Martin High School”. Jugó futbol y practicó el pugilismo en su juventud. También fue reserva de los Marines durante la guerra de Corea. Trabajó para el ferrocarril de donde se jubiló pero antes de retirarse decidió abrir el restaurante. “Entré al negocio del restaurante, invitado por la señorita Carmen Jacaman”, recordó Gutiérrez. “Aprendí a cocinar por mi madre que lo hacía maravillosamente, pero también viví mucho tiempo solo, así que yo cocinaba siempre”.

— Tiempo de Zapata

Su gusto por la música la adquirió de su madre a quien le gustaba cantar. Él nunca estudió formalmente música pero su talento le ha permitido cantar y acompañar sus melodías tocando la guitarra. “Yo siempre llevé mi guitarra al negocio y siempre cantábamos ahí. Así nació aquí en Laredo la música en vivo en un restaurante. Existía en clubs nocturnos pero aquí era diferente”, dijo él. Juan Diego Serna, productor de programas de televisión y amigo de mucho tiempo de Gutiérrez, dijo que él también solía acudir al establecimiento a cantar. “En este lugar había bohemia todas la noches. Toda la gente cantaba y se quedaban sorprendidos de sacar su ‘yo’ artístico. Había declamadores, comensales que bailaban, quienes hacían chistes”, dijo Serna. “Por ahí pasaban grandes personalidades porque el lugar tenía su magia. Hicimos muchos programas ahí y tenemos una gran cantidad de evidencia que lo avala”. Serna produjo por cerca de 10 años el programa de televisión ‘El Show de Juan Diego’. Grababan en las instalaciones del restaurante a los que participaban con algún número musical para luego ser transmitido el fin de semana en diferentes canales de la localidad y por cable. “El lugar era realmente má-

gico. No importaba cómo cantaras, al final la gente te aplaudía y te hacía sentir como un artista”, recordó Serna. “Una persona agarraba el micrófono y era totalmente improvisado pero al final todos disfrutaban de un momento agradable, sano, y bueno”. Figuras de talla internacional como Manuel Esperón, quien musicalizó cientos de películas de la época de oro del cine mexicano; Luis Procuna, torero; Lucía Méndez, María Conchita Alonso, Pedro Vargas, José José, Ricardo Montalbán, entre muchos otros pasaron por este lugar. “El mensaje real de Don Javier está en que aportó a la comunidad algo que otros no pudieron hacer. Don Javier no fue egoísta, tenía su establecimiento abierto para quien quisiera ir a comer y cantar”, agregó Serna. Eso es lo más importante y de veras, ahí se presentaron no sólo gente cantando sino todos aquellos que estaban relacionados con la música y todos tenían su oportunidad”. Gutiérrez quien es padre de cuatro hijos, dos de ellos también con inclinaciones musicales, cerró su restaurante en 1998 pero sueña con volver a tener un lugar como el que le llegó a brindar tantas satisfacciones. (Localice a Malena Charur en el 728-2583 o en


NUEVO LAREDO, MX 01/18— Se invita a audicionar para la Compañía de Danza Nuevo Laredo, a partir de las 10 a.m. en el Salón de Danza del Centro Cultural, Blvd. Colosio Km 2.5. Informes en el (867) 717-5959. 01/19— El grupo de Teatro Laberintus estará presentando la obra infantil “La Nave”, de José Luis Pineda Servín, a las 12 p.m. dentro del teatro del IMSS, entre Reynosa y Belden (sector centro). Costo 20 pesos. 01/21— El grupo de Teatro Laberintus estará presentando la obra para adolescentes y adultos “Sueño de una noche de verano” de William Shakespeare, a las 7 p.m. dentro del teatro del IMSS, entre Reynosa y Belden (sector centro). Costo 20 pesos.

De izquierda a derecha, Javier Gutiérrez, Hernando Avilés, Gilberto Puente, Luciano Duarte y Raúl Puente.

Un centenar de condados de Texas se declararon en situación de desastre debido a la sequía, el 15 de enero. Utilizaron el proceso de la Secretaría de Designación de Desastres y se espera que residentes afectados puedan solicitar préstamos de emergencia con intereses bajos, dijo la directora ejecutiva de Texas Farm Service Agency (FSA), Judith A. Canales. Se trata de 108 condados, algunos en la categoría de situación de desastre primario y, un total de 54 considerados en desastre contiguo. Webb y Zapata se ubican en la categoría de condados en desastre contiguo. “La designación de desastre es bienvenida para dar alivio a los productores ya que permite a todos los operadores calificados en los condados primarios y contiguos a solicitar un préstamo de emergencia a bajo interés”, dijo Canales.

Primario Entre los condados en situación de desastre primario se incluyen: Hidalgo, Starr, Jim Hogg, Bexar, Dimmit, Nueces, Uvalde, Val Verde, La Salle, Andrews, Concho, Haskell, McCulloch, Scurry, Aransas, Cottle, Martin, Shackelford, Archer, Crosby, Hockley, Medina, Sherman, Bailey, Dallam, Hutchinson, Midland, Bandera, Dawson, Jack Mills, Stephens, Baylor, Deaf Smith, Mitchell, Sterling, Bee, Dickens, Jim Wells, Moore, Stonewall, Jones, Motley, Swisher, Blanco, Ector, Kendall, Nolan, Terrell, Briscoe, Edwards, Kenedy, Terry, Brooks, Fisher, Ken, Ochiltree, Throckmorton, Brown, Floyd, Kerr, Oldham, Tom Green, Burnet, Foard, Kimble, Palo Pinto, Travis, Cameron, Frio, King, Parmer, Carson, Gaines, Kinney, Potter, Castro, Garza, Knox, Randall, Wichita, Childress, Gillespie, Lamb, Real, Wilbarger, Clay, Goliad, Lampasas, Refugio, Willacy, Cochran, Hale, Runnels, Yoakum, Coke, Hansford, Llano, San Patricio, Young, Coleman, Hardeman, Lubbock, San Saba, Zavala, Collingsworth y Hartley, Lynn.

Contiguo Los siguientes 54 condados fueron designados como condados en desastre contiguo: Webb, Zapata, Armstrong, Coryell, Hall, Mason, Upton, Atascosa, Crane, Hamilton, Maverick, Victoria, Bastrop, Crockett, Hays, Menard, Ward, Bell, DeWitt, Hood, Montague, Borden, Donley, Howard, Parker, Wheeler, Brewster, Duval, Irion, Pecos, Williamson, Caldwell, Eastland, Karnes, Reagan, Wilson, Calhoun, Erath, Kleberg, Roberts, Winkler, Callahan, Glasscock, Lipscomb, Schleicher, Wise, Comal, Gray, Live Oak, Sutton, Comanche, Guadalupe, McMullen, Taylor. El proceso de designación de desastres emite una declaración de desastre cuando un condado ha experimentado una sequía intensa de por lo menor D2 (sequía severa) durante ocho semanas consecutivas, basadas en el Monitor de Sequías de EU, durante la temporada agrícola. Los préstamos de emergencia ayudan a los productores a recuperar la producción y las pérdidas físicas debido a la sequía, las inundaciones y otros desastres naturales, tales como cuarentena. Los productores tienen ocho meses a partir de la fecha de la designación para aplicar para un préstamo de asistencia de emergencia. FSA considerará cada solicitud de préstamo por sus propios méritos, tomando en cuenta la magnitud de las pérdidas, la seguridad disponible y la capacidad de pago. Los productores pueden pedir prestamos hasta del 100 por ciento por la producción real o las pérdidas físicas, para un monto máximo de 500.000 dólares. Obtenga más información acerca de los préstamos de emergencia, contactando al FSA o visitando


Rodríguez: no existe epidemia de Programarán influenza en Tamaulipas ‘Sábados ESPECIAL PARA TIEMPO DE ZAPATA

Los casos por influenza que se han registrado no constituyen un problema epidémico, afirmaron autoridades del Estado de Tamaulipas. A diferencia del 2009 cuando se presentó un evento pandémico por influenza, se observa un comportamiento estacional, lo que ha permitido a la Secretaría de Salud tenga la capacidad de atender a cada paciente que muestre un cuadro de enfermedad en las vías respiratorias, informó el Director Estatal de Epidemiología, Alfredo Rodríguez Trujillo. Rodríguez explicó que el número de casos se incrementó entre la población a consecuencia de las bajas temperaturas y la humedad, y la pre-

Existe comportamiento estacional. sencia de diversos agentes patógenos. Se ha fortalecido la capacidad diagnóstica del Laboratorio Estatal de Salud Pública para que cada persona que tenga sintomatología de influenza, pueda contar con un diagnóstico certero, señala un comunicado de prensa. Rodríguez mencionó que desde el mes de octubre se lleva a cabo un programa de temporada invernal, donde el énfasis es la prevención de enfermedades respiratorias entre la población. Comentó que este padecimiento es benigno, pero cuando encuentra condiciones

apropiadas en el organismo puede generar complicaciones, la más frecuente es la neumonía, que es una complicación grave que requiere habitualmente un manejo hospitalario, por lo que insistió en que la población se proteja abrigándose adecuadamente. Se recomienda a la población tomar las siguientes medidas de prevención para evitar cualquier tipo de enfermedades respiratorias: lavarse las manos, tener contacto menos estrecho con familiares que pudieran tener sintomatología de influenza, taparse la boca con el brazo, no saludar de mano.


El programa “Sábados Deportivos”, se trasladará al municipio fronterizo de Miguel Alemán con una fecha tentativa para el 8 de febrero, según lo anunció Enrique de la Garza Ferrer, Director General del Instituto Tamaulipeco del Deporte. Durante una visita que realizaron Gerardo Hernández Grimaldo, Director de Deportes de Miguel Alemán y Juan Carlos Pérez, Coordinador del Programa de Instructores Deportivos de dicho municipio, al titular del ITD, los visitantes agradecieron “el apoyo que nos acaban de brindar al entregarnos material deportivo para la práctica del deporte”. Agregaron que acaba de iniciar el programa “Ponte al 100” en donde se dieron cita, niños, jóvenes, adultos y adultos mayores.





Last man hiding dies Japan’s last WWII straggler continued war for 29 years By ELAINE KURTENBACH ASSOCIATED PRESS

Photo by Steve Parsons/PA | AP

Three gravestones mark the site where Hyde Abbey once stood in Winchester, England. Researchers said Friday they may have discovered remains of King Alfred the Great.


LONDON — Researchers said Friday they may have discovered remains of King Alfred the Great, the 9th-century royal remembered for protecting England from the Vikings and educating a largely illiterate nation. The University of Winchester said in a statement that a pelvis found in a box of bones in the city’s museum is likely to be either from the legendary leader or his son, King Edward the Elder. Nick Thorpe, head of the university’s archaeology department, said he and his colleagues are “extremely excited to have been able to plausibly link this human bone to one of these two crucial figures in English history.” Alfred, a Saxon king who ruled from 871 to 899, is known for blocking repeated Viking incursions, reordering his nation’s finances and reforming its legal code. He’s also remembered as an educator, inviting scholars from across the continent to his court, directing young English freemen to learn to read and even translating several works on his own. “He’s one of England’s most famous kings,” said Simon Keynes, a University of Cambridge historian who is an authority on the monarch. “He’s the only one that’s called ‘Great.”’ Alfred’s bones are known to have been moved after he died, eventually being deposited at Hyde Abbey in Winchester, about 65 miles southwest of London. But much uncertainty followed with the tumult of the Reformation; an 18th-century building project

that turned the site into a jail; and the claims of a 19th-century antiquary named John Mellor who boasted of having unearthed the king’s bones. Following a surge of interest with the discovery of the body of King Richard III — another famous monarch whose skeleton was unearthed underneath a parking lot in Leicester in 2012 — researchers went to work hunting for Alfred. They looked first in the place where Mellor claimed to have left them, in the churchyard of nearby St. Bartholomew’s Church, but tests on the remains found there showed the bones were from a number of different people who lived hundreds of years later than Alfred. Researchers had better luck when they went through two boxes of bones excavated from the site of Hyde Abbey about two decades ago and kept at the Winchester Museum. One, a pelvis, was radiocarbon dated to roughly around the time Alfred had died. Researchers say that, given the historical record, bones that old could only have come from Alfred or his family. That conclusion “is based on a valid chain of reasoning,” said Oxford University professor John Blair. Both he and Keynes, who weren’t involved in the discovery, said more data was needed before anyone could determine exactly whose pelvis was found in Winchester. But Keynes said he found it compelling that the bone was said to have been found under Hyde Abbey’s altar. “That’s where Alfred and his family were throughout the Middle Ages,” he said. “That’s where they lay.”

TOKYO — Hiroo Onoda, the last Japanese imperial soldier to emerge from hiding in a jungle in the Philippines and surrender, 29 years after the end of World War II, has died. He was 91. Onoda died Thursday at a Tokyo hospital after a brief stay there. Chief government spokesman Yoshihide Suga on Friday expressed his condolences, praising Onoda for his strong will to live and indomitable spirit. “After World War II, Mr. Onoda lived in the jungle for many years and when he returned to Japan, I felt that finally, the war was finished. That’s how I felt,” Suga said. Onoda was an intelligence officer who came out of hiding, erect but emaciated, in fatigues patched many times over, on Lubang island in the Philippines in March 1974, on his 52nd birthday. He surrendered only when his former commander flew there to reverse his 1945 orders to stay behind and spy on American troops. Onoda and another World War II holdout, Sgt. Shoichi Yokoi, who emerged from the jungle in 1972, received massive heroes’ welcomes upon returning home. Before and during the war, Japanese were taught absolute loyalty to the nation and the emperor. Soldiers in the Imperial Army observed a code that said death was preferable to surrender. Onoda refused to give up, despite at least four searches during which family members appealed to him over loudspeakers and flights dropped leaflets urging him to surrender. In his formal surrender to Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, Onoda wore his

Associated Press file photo

Hiroo Onoda, wearing his 30-year-old imperial army uniform, cap and sword, heads for a helicopter landing site on Lubang Island in March 1974 for a flight to Manila when he came out of hiding in the Philippines. 30-year-old imperial army uniform, cap and sword, all still in good condition. After the initial sensation of his return home wore off, Onoda bought a ranch in Brazil. He later was head of a children’s nature school in northern Japan. “I don’t consider those 30 years a waste of time,” Onoda said in a 1995 interview with The Associated Press. “Without that experience, I wouldn’t have my life today.” Still, he showed a great zeal for making up for years lost. “I do everything twice as fast so I can make up for the 30 years,” Onoda said. “I wish someone could eat and sleep for me so I can work 24 hours a day.” The son of a teacher, Onoda worked for a Japanese trading firm in Shanghai after finishing high school in 1939. Three years later, he was drafted and trained at a military academy. In December 1944, he was sent to Lubang, about 90

miles southwest of Manila. Most other Japanese soldiers surrendered when U.S. troops landed on Lubang in February 1945, though hundreds remained missing for years after the war. As he struggled to feed himself, Onoda’s mission became one of survival. He stole rice and bananas from local people down the hill, and shot their cows to make dried beef, triggering occasional skirmishes. The turning point came on Feb. 20, 1974, when he met a young globe-trotter, Norio Suzuki, who ventured to Lubang in pursuit of Onoda. Suzuki quietly pitched camp in lonely jungle clearings and waited. “Oi,” Onoda eventually called out, and eventually began speaking with him. Suzuki returned to Japan and contacted the government, which located Onoda’s superior — Maj. Yoshimi Taniguchi — and flew him to Lubang to deliver his surrender order in person.



Fighting off a drug cartel Mexico’s federal government warns vigilantes could become cartel-like By MARK STEVENSON ASSOCIATED PRESS

TANCITARO, Mexico — Armed vigilantes who have taken control of territory in lawless Michoacan could turn into the very sort of organized crime forces they’re fighting, a Mexican official assigned to clean up the violence-wracked state said Thursday. Alfredo Castillo, the federal government’s new envoy to coordinate security and development in the state, said the Knights Templar cartel that the vigilantes are battling formed under a different name about 10 years ago with the same mission: to fight an incursion by the Zetas cartel. “You can start with a genuine cause, but when you start taking control, making decisions and feeling authority ... you run the risk of getting to that point,” Castillo told MVS radio. Estanislao Beltran, spokesman for the self-defense groups, said the mission is to kick out the cartel, not become one. To make the point, about 200 vigilante supporters gathered in Tancitaro’s town square Thursday for a symbolic return of 25 avocado orchards that had been

seized by the cartel, which started in drug trafficking and expanded into extortion and total economic control of the areas it dominated. Such events are bolstering the strength and popularity of the vigilantes even as the government demands they disarm. “Thanks to the self-defense groups, we can work our orchards,” said Agustin Arteaga, who had been kept off his land for several years since nearly a dozen trucks pulled up and men tied and beat him before taking his orchard. The appointment of Castillo, one of President Enrique Pena Nieto’s closest allies, is seen as an admission that Michoacan Gov. Fausto Vallejo has lost control of the state. Castillo was named by Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong to coordinate efforts to restore peace and development in the farming-rich state, which is a major producer of limes, avocados and mangos. There are no specifics on how he will do that. “There has been a profound split between the state and society, between the institutions and society,” Castillo said. Government officials are starting to echo what critics are say-

ing about the vigilantes, who had been taking territory from the cartel with the tacit approval and even security cover of the federal government, though Osorio Chong has denied that. The U.S. State Department said Wednesday that the warring between vigilantes and the cartel is “incredibly worrisome” and that it is “unclear if any of those actors have the community’s best interests at heart.” But people who had been kidnapped, beaten and had land confiscated by the Knight Templar praised the vigilantes for providing the security for them to return. Leovigildo Sanchez, who attended the land handover ceremony, said the cartel killed his father and brother and took two orchards. He began working the land again after vigilantes arrived in Tancitaro in November. “I thank God and the self-defense groups. We are here with them,” he said. The cartel’s incursions had caused an exodus of many residents of the Tierra Caliente region, including a flood of people seeking asylum in San Diego, California. The self-defense groups are en-

Photo by Eduardo Verdugo | AP

Mexico’s vigilante movement announced its first big land hand-out, returning 25 avocado orchards to farmers whose properties had been seized by the cartel. couraging everyone, from poor lime pickers to rich businessmen, to return and help keep their movement financially afloat. “There are a lot of businessmen financing this movement,” said The Rev. Gregorio Lopez, a Roman Catholic priest in the farming region’s main city, Apatzingan, which is still under cartel rule. Hipolito Mora, one of the selfdefense movement founders, said he has already called one wellheeled family that fled to Guadalajara to tell them they can return and claim their sprawling ranch. “The rich have lost their fear,

and they are approaching us, they are joining the movement,” Mora said. The Knights Templar also forced owners to take out mortgages or sign over their land to pay extortion demands. Manuel Lucatero is still fighting to get back the 64 acres that the La Familia cartel, the precursor to the Knights Templar, took in 2008, along with 10 million pesos. He’s waging a legal battle because the cartel drew up false ownership papers for the land. “We’re fighting so that everyone can return, and we can live in peace,” he said.

GMO label debate now in Washington state By PHUONG LE ASSOCIATED PRESS

SEATTLE — Months after Washington voters narrowly rejected an initiative requiring the labeling of genetically modified foods, lawmakers are reviving the GMO debate in Olympia. Lawmakers on Friday heard a bill that would require labeling genetically engineered salmon for sale, even though federal regulators have not yet approved any genetically modified animals for food. Another bill would require many foods containing GMOs to carry a label. The debate comes as the U.S. Department of Agriculture appears likely to approve an apple that has been engineered not to brown when it’s sliced or bruised. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration also has been considering an application for a genetically modified salmon that grows twice as fast as normal. “Salmon is such an ingrained item here,” said Rep. Cary Condotta, R-East Wenatchee, who is sponsoring House Bill 2143. “We label farmed vs. fresh caught (fish.) Why wouldn’t we label transgenic fish? It just makes sense.” The bill also would prohibit genetically engineered fish with fins from being produced in state waters. Currently, there are no federal or state requirements for genetically engineered foods to be labeled. The Washington Farm Bureau, Washington Fish Growers Association, Washington Association of Wheat Growers and other members of the aquacul-

ture and biotech industry spoke against the bill Friday. Some said the bill wasn’t necessary, because state law already prohibits the use of transgenic fish in aquaculture. Others noted that voters have already spoken — and rejected — a mandate to labeling of GMO foods. Efforts to require labeling in Washington state failed last November, when voters rejected Initiative 522 by 51 to 49 percent. Backers blamed the defeat on a record $22 million raised by labeling opponents, including large biotech corporations and food manufacturers. Supporters raised about $8.1 million. “Let’s be honest. Is this bill really about fish?” said Heather Hansen with Washington Friends of Farms and Forests. She added that the true intent is to stigmatize genetic technology and create fear. Those who spoke in favor of the bill at Friday’s hearing worried about the impact on the state’s native salmon populations. If FDA regulators clear the fast-growing salmon, it would be the first genetically altered animal approved for human consumption in the U.S. The FDA is reviewing public comments on a draft environmental assessment, FDA spokeswoman Theresa Eisenman said. “We can’t predict a timeline when a decision will be made.” Critics call the modified salmon a “frankenfish.” They worry that the modified fish will decimate the natural salmon population if it escapes and breeds in the wild. Others believe breeding engineered ani-

mals is an ethical issue. AquaBounty Technologies, which produces the so-called AquAdvantage Salmon, has said the fish is safe, that they will be grown as sterile, all-female populations in land-based facilities and they won’t pose a threat to wild salmon populations. Messages left with the company were not immediately returned. The FDA has concluded that the salmon was as safe to eat as the traditional variety and that the fish “will not have any significant impacts on the quality of the human environment.” Meanwhile, Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc., a British Columbia company, has asked the USDA to approve two varieties of the non-browning Arctic Apple that it has grown in test trials in Washington and New York. Those modified apples will carry the Arctic Apple brand, but not a specific label noting it is genetically engineered. “We’re not labeling to say that, but we’re not hiding it either,” said Neal Carter, the company’s president. The company licensed the non-browning technology from Australian researchers. Essentially, the genes responsible for producing the enzyme that induces browning have been silenced in the apple variety being marketed as “Arctic.” USDA’s Animal and

Plant Health Inspection Service concluded in a draft environmental assessment that the apples “are unlikely to pose a plant pest risk.” The agency also found there’s not much difference in the Arctic apples compared to conventional apples. “Our expectation has been that we will get approval in 2014,” Carter said. A USDA spokesman said the review process for each petition is unique and he couldn’t speculate on when a final decision may be

made. The agency is taking public comments through Jan. 30. Thousands have responded; many of them fiercely opposed. The Northwest Horticultural Council in Yakima, which represents tree fruit growers, packers and marketers in Idaho, Oregon and Washington, has urged the USDA to reject the apple. Christian Schlect, the group’s president, said he didn’t have concerns about food safety, but he worried about “severe adverse mar-

keting issues” facing traditional and organic growers if the modified apples are allowed into the general marketplace. “Our concern is general marketing issues given the number of consumers who have concerns about that technology,” he said. About 44 percent of the nation’s apples are grown in Washington state. “There’s going to be people who buy it out of curiosity. Once they’ve experience it, they’ll say, ‘Hmm, I wish all apples were like this,’ " Carter said.





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%Chg -44.1 -42.3 -35.4 -33.7 -32.0 -23.5 -21.5 -19.8 -19.7 -17.9



Vol (00)

GAINERS ($2 OR MORE) Name KingtoneW ChelseaTh LiveDeal AlimeraSci DLH Hldgs PTC Ther n ChAdCns rs Control4 n Rntrak Lantronix

Last Chg %Chg 12.30 +8.42 +217.0 4.76 +2.26 +90.4 14.10 +5.45 +63.0 7.88 +2.92 +58.9 2.60 +.93 +55.7 29.32 +9.82 +50.4 7.50 +2.44 +48.2 27.79 +8.79 +46.3 55.00 +17.13 +45.2 2.50 +.77 +44.5

Name Last Chg %Chg InterceptP 292.89-152.94 -34.3 ConatusP n 10.39 -3.86 -27.1 BonTon 11.51 -3.94 -25.5 Galectin wt 7.70 -2.60 -25.2 SodaStrm 38.15 -11.74 -23.5 GalectinTh 11.64 -3.46 -22.9 QIWI n 40.00 -11.20 -21.9 lululemn gs 47.49 -12.11 -20.3 Oramed n 23.08 -5.83 -20.2 ChinaYida 5.80 -1.44 -19.9

Vol (00)


1,748 1,442 448 59 3,241 51 17,432,698,822

Last Chg

SiriusXM 3598010 3.71 +.01 Intel 3204358 25.85 +.32 Cisco 2388763 22.74 +.52 Facebook 2042763 56.30 -1.64 Microsoft 2015649 36.38 +.34 PwShs QQQ1804695 87.88 +.58 MicronT 1616309 22.38 -1.33 Zynga 1300052 3.55 -.56 PlugPowr h 1289024 3.48 -.17 Wendys Co 1182918 8.98 +.54

DIARY Advanced Declined New Highs New Lows Total issues Unchanged


-179.11 115.92 108.08 -64.93

Close: 16,458.56 1-week change: 21.51 (0.1%) 17,000







16,500 16,000

DIARY Advanced Declined New Highs New Lows Total issues Unchanged


1,531 1,175 472 52 2,753 47 10,502,619,857

16,588.25 7,508.74 537.86 11,334.65 2,471.19 4,219.28 1,850.84 19,760.54 1,173.37 5,663.31

13,447.49 5,569.78 456.26 8,671.06 2,186.97 3,093.32 1,463.76 15,444.13 875.42 4,230.25



Dow Jones Industrials 16,458.56 Dow Jones Transportation 7,427.46 Dow Jones Utilities 492.70 NYSE Composite 10,343.46 NYSE MKT Composite 2,374.26 Nasdaq Composite 4,197.58 S&P 500 1,838.70 Wilshire 5000 19,658.71 Russell 2000 1,168.43 Lipper Growth Index 5,654.19













Wk Wk YTD Chg %Chg%Chg




AT&T Inc AMD AEP BkofAm Caterpillar Cisco CCFemsa CmtyHlt ConocoPhil Dillards EmpIca ExxonMbl Facebook FordM GenElec GenMotors HewlettP HomeDp iShEMkts Intel IntlBcsh


1.84 33.70 +.08 ... 4.18 +.01 2.00 46.77 -.43 .04 17.01 +.24 2.40 91.44 +1.53 .68 22.74 +.52 1.19 110.66 -7.69 ... 40.91 -.42 2.76 67.51 -1.36 .24 90.65 -2.58 ... 8.05 -.28 2.52 99.16 -1.36 ... 56.30 -1.64 .50 16.52 +.45 .88 26.58 -.38 1.20 38.60 -1.43 .58 29.80 +2.10 1.56 81.00 -1.01 .87 39.79 -.48 .90 25.85 +.32 .46 25.33 -.21

+0.2 +0.2 -0.9 +1.4 +1.7 +2.3 -6.5 -1.0 -2.0 -2.8 -3.4 -1.4 -2.8 +2.8 -1.4 -3.6 +7.6 -1.2 -1.2 +1.3 -0.8

-4.2 +8.0 +.1 +9.2 +.7 +2.2 -9.1 +4.2 -4.4 -6.7 -4.7 -2.0 +3.0 +7.1 -5.2 -5.6 +6.5 -1.6 -4.8 -.4 -3.9



Wk Wk YTD Chg %Chg%Chg



IBM Lowes Lubys MetLife MexicoFd Microsoft Modine Penney RadioShk RexahnPh S&P500ETF Schlmbrg SearsHldgs SiriusXM SonyCp SPDR Fncl UnionPac USSteel UnivHlthS WalMart WellsFargo

NY 3.80 190.09 +2.83 +1.5 +1.3 NY .72 47.61 -1.89 -3.8 -3.9 NY ... 7.19 +.38 +5.6 -6.9 NY 1.10 52.96 -1.14 -2.1 -1.8 NY 2.94 29.21 -.38 -1.3 -.3 Nasd 1.12 36.38 +.34 +0.9 -2.8 NY ... 12.04 -.81 -6.3 -6.1 NY ... 6.52 -.82 -11.2 -28.7 NY ... 2.04 -.08 -3.8 -21.5 Amex ... 1.10 -.04 -3.5 +115.7 NY 3.35 183.64 -.51 -0.3 -.6 NY 1.60 90.21 +2.04 +2.3 +.1 Nasd ... 37.58 +.87 +2.4 -23.4 Nasd ... 3.71 +.01 +0.4 +6.4 NY .25 17.05 -.75 -4.2 -1.4 NY .32 21.93 -.10 -0.5 +.3 NY 3.16 167.84 -2.54 -1.5 -.1 NY .20 27.42 -1.14 -4.0 -7.1 NY .20 85.28 -.24 -0.3 +4.9 NY 1.88 76.19 -1.85 -2.4 -3.2 NY 1.20 46.39 +.45 +1.0 +2.2

Stock Footnotes: g=Dividends and earnings in Canadian dollars .h= Doe not meet continued- listings tandards lf = Late filing with SEC. n = New in past 52 weeks. pf = Preferred. rs = Stock has undergone a reverse stock split of at least 50 percent within the past year. rt = Right to buy security at a specified price. s = Stock has split by at least 20 percent within the last year. un = Units. vj = In bankruptcy or receivership. wd = When distributed. wi = When issued. wt = Warrants. Mutual Fund Footnotes: b = Fee covering market costs is paid from fund assets. d = Deferred sales charge, or redemption fee. f = front load (sales charges). m = Multiple fees are charged. NA = not available. p = previous day’s net asset value. s = fund split shares during the week. x = fund paid a distribution during the week. Gainers and Losers must be worth at least $2 to be listed in tables at left. Most Actives must be worth at least $1. Volume in hundreds of shares. Source: The Associated Press. Sales figures are unofficial.

MARTHA LAMAR BUENTELLO Nov. 3, 1931 – Jan. 12, 2014

52-Week High Low

Wk Wk YTD Chg %Chg %Chg +21.51 -38.57 -1.17 -27.67 -1.24 +22.92 -3.67 -15.30 +4.06 +18.45

+.13 -.71 -.52 +.36 -.24 +.43 -.27 -.55 -.05 -2.14 +.55 +.50 -.20 -.52 -.08 -.24 +.35 +.41 +.33 +1.14

12-mo %Chg +20.58 +30.41 +6.44 +17.64 -.72 +33.91 +23.74 +25.42 +30.87 +32.56



Last Chg Name

BkofAm 7410169 17.01 +.24 S&P500ETF4518375183.64 -.51 iShEMkts 2848854 39.79 -.48 FordM 2399749 16.52 +.45 SPDR Fncl 2322161 21.93 -.10 AMD 2233858 4.18 +.01 GenElec 1892095 26.58 -.38 Penney 1860072 6.52 -.82 GenMotors 1805441 38.60 -1.43 iShJapan 1777742 12.05 -.03

Dow Jones industrials

4,197.58 +22.92



TEXAS tain to go to a runoff.” In the Democratic primary, where few candidates face significant challengers for the nomination, Mike Collier reported raising $613,518 with $439,015 left over in his bid to become state comptroller. Sam Houston, the Democratic candidate for attor-

ney general, reported $150,000 cash on hand. The governor candidates, Democrat Wendy Davis and Republican Greg Abbott, posted the biggest numbers, even though they don’t face significant competition for their party’s nomination. Davis reported

Prime Rate Discount Rate Federal Funds Rate Treasuries 3-month 6-month 5-year 10-year 30-year


3.25 0.75 .00-.25 0.04 0.06 1.63 2.82 3.75


Pvs Day

3.25 Australia 1.1398 1.1344 0.75 Britain 1.6420 1.6359 .00-.25 Canada 1.0972 1.0920 Euro .7390 .7345 0.04 Japan 104.31 104.32 0.06 Mexico 13.2411 13.2622 1.62 Switzerlnd .9113 .9049 2.86 3.80 British pound expressed in U.S. dollars. All others show dollar in foreign currency.


Total Assets Obj ($Mlns) NAV

Alliance Bernstein GlTmtcGA m Columbia ComInfoA m Eaton Vance WldwHealA m Fidelity Select Biotech d Fidelity Select BrokInv d Fidelity Select CommEq d Fidelity Select Computer d Fidelity Select ConsFin d Fidelity Select Electron d Fidelity Select FinSvc d Fidelity Select SoftwCom d Fidelity Select Tech d PIMCO TotRetIs T Rowe Price SciTech Vanguard 500Adml Vanguard HlthCare Vanguard InstIdxI Vanguard TotStIAdm Vanguard TotStIdx Waddell & Reed Adv SciTechA m

WS 609 ST 2,449 SH 847 SH 7,959 SF 921 ST 255 ST 703 SF 251 ST 979 SF 745 ST 3,394 ST 2,231 CI 150,959 ST 2,927 LB 82,357 SH 9,635 LB 87,843 LB 86,541 LB 105,008 ST 3,577

Total Return/Rank Pct Min Init 4-wk 12-mo 5-year Load Invt

81.32 +4.3 50.99 +6.2 11.85 +9.9 207.44 +21.5 74.55 +5.0 30.35 +8.0 76.31 +6.9 16.26 +2.8 63.84 +4.8 81.58 +3.9 120.23 +6.1 125.26 +6.3 10.76 0.0 39.59 +5.7 169.58 +3.4 193.84 +7.9 168.50 +3.4 46.60 +3.7 46.58 +3.6 16.00 +3.0

+19.5/C +20.9/E +44.8/C +77.6/A +40.1/A +24.8/D +28.6/D +25.2/C +32.3/B +27.2/C +47.3/A +31.2/C -1.2/D +39.6/B +26.8/C +41.7/D +26.8/C +28.0/B +27.8/B +50.0/A

+15.2/D +18.4/E +17.9/E +30.1/A +21.8/A +22.1/C +27.4/A +16.4/C +24.2/B +16.1/D +29.1/A +28.4/A +6.7/C +24.6/B +19.2/B +20.2/C +19.2/B +20.1/A +20.0/A +25.0/B

4.25 2,500 5.75 2,000 5.75 1,000 NL 2,500 NL 2,500 NL 2,500 NL 2,500 NL 2,500 NL 2,500 NL 2,500 NL 2,500 NL 2,500 NL1,000,000 NL 2,500 NL 10,000 NL 3,000 NL5,000,000 NL 10,000 NL 3,000 5.75 750

CA -Conservative Allocation, CI -Intermediate-Term Bond, ES -Europe Stock, FB -Foreign Large Blend, FG -Foreign LargeGrowth, FV -Foreign Large Value, IH -World Allocation, LB -Large Blend, LG -Large Growth, LV -Large Value, MA -Moderate Allocation, MB -Mid-Cap Blend, MV - MidCap Value, SH -Specialty-heath, WS -World Stock, Total Return: Chng in NAV with dividends reinvested. Rank: How fund performed vs. others with same objective: A is in top 20%, E in bottom 20%. Min Init Invt: Minimum $ needed to invest in fund. Source: Morningstar.

Continued from Page 1A raising $12.2 million in three accounts dedicated to her election, while Abbott reported raising $11.5 million since the last campaign finance reports were filed July 15. But the big difference is the cash-on-hand. Abbott has $27 million, and Davis has already

spent more than $1 million setting up her campaign since October. Davis’ campaign bragged about the 71,000 donors she has attracted since she filibustered a strict new abortion law in June, while Abbott’s campaign bragged that 98 percent of his cash came from within Texas.

HIGH-SPEED RAIL Continued from Page 1A Martha Lamar S. Buentello, 83, passed away Sunday, Jan. 12, 2014, at Laredo Medical Center in Laredo. Ms. Buentello is preceded in death by her husband, Faustino Buentello; sons, Faustino Buentello Jr., Mario Alberto Buentello; parents, Amado and Amalia E. Saenz; and a son-in-law, Rev. Gregory Fowler. Ms. Buentello is survived by her sons, Ramiro (Gloria) Buentello and Anselmo (Cynthia) Garza; daughters, Rosa (Armando) Solis, Viola B. (Jose Eloy) Salinas, Alicia Fowler and Hilda (Daniel) Reyes; 30 grandchildren; numerous greatgrandchildren; sister, Eva S. (Ramiro) Garza; daughter-in-law, Matiana Buentello; and by numerous nephews, nieces and friends. Visitation hours were held Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. with a rosary at 7 p.m. at Rose Garden Funeral Home. The funeral procession departed Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014, at 9:30 a.m. for a 10 a.m. funeral Mass at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church. Committal services followed at Zapata County Cemetery. Funeral arrangements were under the direction of Rose Garden Funeral Home, Daniel A. Gonzalez, funeral director, 2102 N. U.S. Hwy. 83, Zapata.

Mexican Congressman Marco Antonio Gonzalez Valdez, of Nuevo Leon, said the state government, like the federal government, has an interest in the project. “The hardest thing is to get the right of way. The easiest thing is to build infrastructure,” Gonzalez Valdez said, adding that the original idea was for cargo service. Later the idea was expanded to include passenger service. Nuevo Leon already has the right of way and is ready to begin construction, as the project has already been approved. The interest in linking San Antonio to Monterrey was made by Manlio Fabio Beltrones, coordinator of the PRI parliamen-

tary group in the Mexican Congress. He asked that the project be extended to other cities as far as Queretaro. Jorge Domene Zambrano, director of the executive office of the Nuevo Leon governor, said they have been working on the project for five years, keeping in mind that investment is coming from both countries as well as input from the public and private sectors. “We know that there are railroad tracks already in place in the United States, but the U.S. government has appropriated funds to conduct studies to determine the infrastructure to be used. The results will be ready later this year,” he said.

RESTAURANT “I was born in 1952. My parents brought us (here) to continue school and to live our lives, but one always returns to the land. We made our life here. We grew up here,” Gutierrez said. “Our house was at Davis Avenue and Benavides Street, in front of Macdonnell (Elementary School). After Christen (Middle School) there was only one high school, and I graduated from Martin High School in 1958.” He played football and boxed as a youth. He was also in the U.S. Marines Reserves during the Korean War. Gutierrez worked for the railroad until his retirement, but decided to open the restaurant be-

fore retiring. “I got my start in the restaurant business from Miss Carmen Jacaman,” Gutierrez said. “I learned to cook from my mother, who was a marvelous cook, but I lived along for a long time so I always cooked.” His taste in music came from his mother, who liked to sing. Gutierrez said he never studied music formally, but his talent has allowed him to sing while he plays a guitar. “I always brought my guitar to the restaurant and always sang there. Thus was born here in Laredo live music in restaurants. There were nightclubs but here (in the restaurant) it was different,” he said.

Domene Zambrano added that there is a possibility that both countries will need to discuss customs matters involving San Antonio and Monterrey in order for the trip to be non-stop between the cities. “I think Secretary Foxx looked favorably on this project. That it is something positive (and would become) a historic project as it will further unite the states and countries,” Gonzalez Valdez said. He said the project would be added to President Barack Obama’s agenda when he visits Mexico in February. (Contact Malena Charur at 728-2583 or at Translated by Mark Webber of the Times staff.)

Continued from Page 1A

“Here you had bohemia every night. Everybody sang and was surprised when their artistic ‘I’ came out. There were orators, diners who danced, who told stories. There were great personalities because the place had its magic. We had many programs there, and a lot of evidence that proves it.” Juan Diego Serna, television producer and Gutierrez’s long-time friend, said he used to go to the restaurant to sing. Serna was producer of “El Show de Juan Diego” for 10 years, and taped segments of the show at the restaurant. The program was broadcast during the weekends on cable television channels.

“The place was really magical. It didn’t matter how you sang, eventually people would applaud and made you feel like a singer,” Serna said. “Someone would grab the microphone and it was totally improvised but in the end everybody had a good time.” Internationally known artists such as Manuel Esperon, who sang in hundreds of movies during the golden age of Mexican cinema; Luis Procuna, bullfighter; as well as Lucia Mendez, Maria Conchita Alonso, Pedro Vargas, José José, and Ricardo Montalban were among the many who visited the restaurant. “The real message is that Don Javier contrib-

uted to the community something that others could not do. Don Javier was unselfish, and opened his restaurant to whomever wanted to eat and sing,” Serna said. “That’s the most important and really, there was not only singing, but everybody who had some relationship to music could drop in, and all had their chance.” Gutierrez, who has four children, two of whom are musically inclined, closed the restaurant in 1998 but have dreams of returning to a place like which gives so much satisfaction. (Contact Malena Charur at 728-2583, or Translated by Mark Webber of the Times staff.)

TRILLION Continued from Page 1A ocrats and Republicans for an election-year respite after three years of budget wars that had Congress and the White House lurching from crisis to crisis. Both parties looked upon the measure as a way to ease automatic spending cuts that both the Pentagon and domestic agencies had to begin absorbing last year. All 53 Democrats, two independents and 17 Republicans voted for the bill. The 26 votes against it were all cast by Republicans. Obama’s budget director, Sylvia Mathews Burwell, called the bill’s passage a positive step for the nation and the economy. “It ensures the continuation of critical services the American people depend on,” she said in a blog post. Shortly before the final vote, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, delivered a slashing attack on Senate Democrats, accusing them of ignoring the problems caused by the

health care law. “It is abundantly clear that millions of Americans are being harmed right now by this failed law,” Cruz said. Unlike last fall, when he spoke for 21 straight hours and helped force the government shutdown over defunding “Obamacare,” this time he clocked in at 17 minutes and simply asked the Senate to unanimously approve an amendment to strip out Obamacare funding. Democrats easily repelled the maneuver. The 1582-page bill was really 12 bills wrapped into one in negotiations headed by Rep. Harold Rogers, R-Ky., and Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., respective chairmen of the House and Senate Appropriations committees, and their subcommittee lieutenants. They spent weeks hashing out line-by-line details of a broad twoyear budget accord passed in December, the first since 2009. The bill, which cleared the

House on a vote of 359-67, increases spending by about $26 billion over fiscal 2013, with most of the increase going to domestic programs. Almost $9 billion in unrequested money for overseas military and diplomatic operations helps ease shortfalls in the Pentagon and foreign aid budgets. The nuts-and-bolts culture of the appropriators is evident throughout the bill. Lower costs to replace screening equipment, for example, allowed for a cut to the Transportation Security Administration. Lawmakers blocked the Agriculture Department from closing six research facilities. And the Environmental Protection Agency is barred from issuing rules on methane emissions from large livestock operations. Another provision exempts disabled veterans and surviving military spouses from a pension cut enacted last month. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, sig-

naled in a brief hallway conversation with The Associated Press that he would oppose a broader drive to repeal the entire pension provision, which saves $6 billion over the coming decade by reducing the annual cost-of-living adjustment for working age military retirees by 1 percentage point. The National Institutes of Health’s proposed budget of $29.9 billion falls short of the $31 billion budget it won when Democrats controlled Congress. Democrats did win a $100 million increase, to $600 million, for so-called TIGER grants for highpriority transportation infrastructure projects, a program that started with a 2009 economic stimulus bill. Civilian federal workers would get their first pay hike in four years, a 1 percent cost-of-living increase. Democrats celebrated winning an addition $1 billion over

last year for the Head Start early childhood education program and excluding from the bill a host of conservative policy “riders” advanced by the GOP. Rogers won two provisions backed by the coal industry. One would block the EPA and Corps of Engineers from working on new rules on “fill material” related to the mountain top removal mining. Another would keep the door open for Export-Import Bank financing of coal power plants overseas. Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, a tea party favorite, didn’t mention the measure’s funding of Obamacare in a floor speech earlier in the week; instead he complained at length that the measure dropped funding of a federal program that sends payments to Western states in which much of the land is owned by the federal government and therefore can’t be taxed by local governments.





Sports&Outdoors MLB: TEXAS RANGERS


Second half struggle File photo by Michael Dwyer | AP

The Rangers and pitcher Alexi Ogando agreed to a one-year deal Friday worth $2,625,000. Texas also agreed to a one-year deal with pitcher Neftali Feliz worth $3 million.

Rangers sign Feliz, Ogando ASSOCIATED PRESS

File photo by Danny Zaragoza | Laredo Morning Times

Danny Chapa and the Zapata basketball team held a four-point edge at the half but lost their district opener to Kingsville, 60-52.

Hawks lose district opener to Kingsville By CLARA SANDOVAL THE ZAPATA TIMES

The Zapata boys’ and girls’ basketball teams are on different spectrums of their district seasons as one is enjoying a great start while the other is searching for their first victory. The Hawks boys’ team did not start the district season the way that they envisioned, dropping a 60-52 decision to one of the preseason favorites, Kings-

ville. Senior guard Alonzo Gutierrez led the way for Zapata as he poured in 18 points to go along with five rebounds and three assists while Javier Lopez added 14 points, seven rebounds and one steal. Zapata (6-15, 0-1 District 31-3A) started off well and was able to get to the basket with Gutierrez in the opening quarter to jump out to a 12-9 lead. The Brahamas were always just a step behind and

finally made a run to end the second quarter, closing the gap heading into halftime at 27-23. ZHS held a four-point lead heading into halftime, but could not hold off Kingsville surge to open the second half. Zapata played well for one half, but Kingsville’s halftime adjustments proved to be too much for the Hawks. Their lead evaporated within a few min-

ARLINGTON, Texas — Neftali Feliz agreed to a $3 million contract with the Texas Rangers and Alexi Ogando accepted a deal worth $2,625,000. The one-year agreements with the right-handed pitcher Friday left designated hitter Mitch Moreland as the only Texas player remaining in salary arbitration. Feliz returned in August from Tommy John ligament replacement surgery, and pitched 4 2-3 scoreless innings in six appearances. With the departure of Joe Nathan in free agency, Feliz could return to a closer role for Texas. Ogando was 7-4 with a 3.11 ERA in 18 starts and five relief appearances last season, when he had three stints on the disabled list for right biceps tendinitis and then right shoulder inflammation. Ogando is expected to remain a starter.

Astros moves HOUSTON — The Astros said Friday they have agreed to terms on one-year contracts with All-Star catcher Jason Castro and utility player Jesus Guzman. The 26-year-old Castro hit .276 with 18 home runs and 56 RBIs in 120 games, set-







Photo by Tony Gutierrez | AP

Former Dallas Cowboy player Josh Brent, left, departs from the court room with David Wells, right, and other members of the defense team following the fifth day of his trial for intoxication manslaughter on Friday in Dallas.

Brent’s defense rests in wreck case By NOMAAN MERCHANT ASSOCIATED PRESS

DALLAS — Former Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent’s case in a fatal wreck that left his close friend and teammate dead will soon head to a jury, after his attorneys finished their case in one day, arguing again that he wasn’t drunk during the crash. Brent’s defense called several

witnesses Friday to make the case they laid out from the very beginning: The blood tests implicating him for drinking were wrong, and photos and video of him appearing to be drunk are misleading. Brent’s lead attorney, George Milner, rested his case Friday afternoon, and lead prosecutor Heath Harris said his case was finished shortly af-


At the University of Texas, football is religion. At Penn State University, they need football for redemption. So when these storied programs hired black head coaches within days of each other to return them to past glory, it was a major moment for a sport that has been among the slowest to promote African-American leaders at the highest level. There have been other black head coaches at top football schools — Notre Dame, Stanford, Miami, UCLA. But the recent hiring of Charlie Strong at Texas and James Franklin at Penn State sent a powerful message, because of the combined prestige, mystique and influence of those teams. “It’s a historical moment,” said Doug Williams, the first black quarterback to win a Super Bowl and a former head coach at Grambling. “We’ve come a long way in a couple weeks,” Williams said. “Even though we don’t have as many as you would like, but when you get a Penn State and a Texas, them schools together almost make up for about 10 schools.” There are 125 colleges playing in the top-level Football Bowl

File photo by Eric Gay | AP

Texas football Charlie Strong, left, poses for a photo with athletic director Steve Patterson, right, displaying the "Hook ’em Horns" sign at a press conference Jan. Subdivision. In 2013, 13 of them had black coaches. That was down from 15 in 2012 and an alltime high of 17 in 2011. Strong and Franklin have not been replaced by African-Americans, so the overall numbers remain low. For Franklin, the numbers are less important than the opportunities. “I don’t underestimate the significance of this moment. I take a lot of pride in that,” he said in an interview. “But the most important thing is we’re getting to a point where universities and or-

ganizations and corporations are hiring people based on merit and the most qualified guy. “We’re making tremendous strides,” Franklin said. “The more opportunities that coaches get and go out and do well and succeed, it helps. It helps change perceptions, and perceptions are a powerful thing.” Black coaches have won championships in college basketball and pro football, baseball and basketball. But no black coach has





Hernandez eyed by police

ZAPATA Continued from Page 1B


File photo by Danny Zaragoza | Laredo Morning Times

Zapata’s Alonso Gutierrez had 18 points in a loss to Kingsville last week in the team’s district opener. utes into the third quarter as the tide started turning. Kingsville took its first lead halfway through the third quarter and was able to fend off Zapata the rest of the way, despite the Hawks fighting to keep the score close. The Hawks were looking to rebound Tuesday night against Raymondville. On the girls’ side, the Lady Hawks are 2-0 in District 31-3A after beating La Grulla and demolishing Kingsville 60-28 on Dec. 10. The Lady Hawks were led by the scoring of Clarissa Villarreal with 18 points against Kingsville while

Zapata lost in its district opener to Kingsville 60-52, but faces Raymondville Tuesday. Meanwhile, the girls’ team off to a 2-0 start. Isela Gonzalez poured in 14. With a 2-0 start, Zapata is at the top of the District 31-3A and is looking to add win number three against

Raymondville on Tuesday night. Clara Sandoval can be reached at

BRISTOL, Conn. — Boston police have been investigating whether jailed former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez may have been the gunman in a 2012 double slaying, according to a search warrant request released Thursday. Hernandez, who is awaiting trial on murder charges in a 2013 shooting near his home, was seen on surveillance footage in the same nightclub as the victims the night of the attack in Boston’s South End, authorities have said. But the newly released documents confirm for the first time that police suspect Hernandez could have pulled the trigger. A lawyer for Hernandez did not immediately respond to a request for comment. No charges have been filed in the deaths of Daniel Jorge Correia de Abreu and Safiro Teixeira Furtado, who were killed on July 16, 2012, when somebody inside an SUV opened fire on their car. A third person was shot but survived. In the affidavit and search warrant application released by Superior Court in Bristol, Conn., police write that there is probable cause to believe that Hernandez was driving the vehicle used in the shooting and “may have been the shooter.” The affidavit was filed on June 28 as police sought to search an SUV they say was involved in the shooting and was found that month at Hernandez’s uncle’s home in Bristol, his hometown. The SUV had been given to Hernandez by a Rhode Island company in exchange for participating in promotional activities, according to court filings. The SUV was covered in dust and cobwebs and

File photo by Stephan Savoia | AP

Former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez is being investigated by Boston police for a pair of slayings in 2012. had a dead battery, leading police to believe it has remained untouched in the garage for close to a year, according to the court document. It is not clear from the affidavit why police believe Hernandez may have pulled the trigger in the 2012 shooting. The section of the affidavit that appears to explain that reason is one of several redacted from the public copy of the document. Survivor Aquilino Freire told police an SUV pulled up next to them while they were stopped at a traffic light, and he saw someone in the SUV’s back seat laughing, according to the affidavit. Then, several gunshots were fired from the rear passenger seat into the car, Freire told police. Two other people in the car ran away, Freire said. Authorities found the silver Toyota 4Runner while investigating the slaying of Odin Lloyd, a semi-professional football player whose body was

found June 17 near Hernandez’s North Attleborough, Mass., home. Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to murder in that case. According to the affidavit released Thursday and a second warrant request released earlier this month, police began investigating a possible link between the 2012 and 2103 shootings after receiving an anonymous call on June 22. The caller was identified in the court documents as Sharif Hasheem, a security supervisor at a Boston nightclub. He told authorities the two shootings were related and that “someone accidently spilled the beans in front of me.” The search warrant application also includes a request to search a bag of clothing, identified as belonging to Hernandez, found in the Bristol home. It says police were looking for “clothing and accessories that Aaron Hernandez wore on the night of June 16, 2012.”

BRENT Continued from Page 1B terward. If convicted of intoxication manslaughter or manslaughter, Brent could get anywhere from probation to 20 years in prison. The December 2012 wreck in the Dallas suburb of Irving killed Jerry Brown, a practice squad linebacker who played football with Brent at the University of Illinois. Milner has argued that his client was guilty of poor judgment and bad driving, but not of causing the crash by drinking beforehand. Laboratory expert Janine Arvi-

zu sought to poke holes in a key part of the prosecution’s case — the blood tests that showed Brent to have a blood-alcohol level of 0.189 percent, more than twice the legal limit. A toxicologist estimated the 320-pound Brent would have had to have 17 drinks to get that drunk. But Arvizu accused the Dallas County crime lab of using potentially spoiled fluid to process Brent’s blood samples, something she compared to a person drinking milk past its expiration date. “Just because a result is pre-

cise doesn’t mean it’s accurate,” Arvizu said. Judge Robert Burns would not let her testify about other problems she identified with the crime lab, calling them “pure speculation.” A waitress at the Dallas nightclub where Brent, Brown and other Cowboys players visited that night testified that the club served water in bottles that looked like Champagne — part of Milner’s argument that security video of Brent holding the bottles might not have meant he was

HIRES Continued from Page 1B won the college football national title. For Ty Willingham, who in 2001 became the first black head football coach at Notre Dame, the recent events produced a mixture of emotions. “You are extremely proud that it is an African-American,” Willingham said. “At the same time, it represents that an outstanding coach has proved his abilities. That’s what the whole struggle is about, is the opportunity for a man to prove his abilities. “I don’t think it’s a novelty now,” said Willingham, who also led teams at Stanford and the University of Washington. “In a sense, we’re past it. I still don’t think we’re at that place where it is a commonplace thought. But we are getting closer, and that is a wonderful day.” That may be one reason why race was not a dominant theme when Strong and Franklin were named last week. Some noted that Texas, which fielded college football’s last all-white championship team in 1969, had never had a black coach before. And the success of the black coach Kevin Sumlin at archrival Texas A&M made race less of an issue with Strong. But the issue was still there — when T-shirts went on sale with Strong’s face and the words “Black is the new Brown” (a ref-

erence to outgoing coach Mack Brown), or when people questioned whether race was the reason billionaire Texas booster Red McCombs criticized Strong’s hire and said he would make a good position coach or coordinator. John Thompson, the pioneering black college basketball coach with Georgetown, said it doesn’t make sense when so many players but so few coaches are black. “If you love something well enough to perform at it, you got to perform at it intellectually as well as physically. You can’t be a good football or basketball player consistently and be stupid,” Thompson said. “So (when) you are not in management, you’re still perceived as the one who picks the cotton rather than owns the plantation.” Football coaches usually get their first top jobs after success as offensive or defensive coordinator. Strong was stuck for a decade as defensive coordinator for championship Florida teams, getting passed over for numerous head coach positions. In 2009, just before Louisville made him its head coach, Strong said he was told that one Southeastern Conference doormat did not hire him in part because his wife is white. Franklin, 41, is a dozen years younger that Strong. In some

ways, his rapid rise illuminates the greater opportunities available to a new generation of black coaches. Franklin hopped back and forth from college to NFL jobs before spending 2008-2010 as Maryland’s offensive coordinator and head-coach-in-waiting. Vanderbilt hired him for the 2011 season. Three winning campaigns later, he landed one of the most prestigious jobs in college sports. Since his arrival at Penn State, Franklin’s narrative has not been about race — Mike Tomlin has won a Super Bowl down the road in Pittsburgh — but about restoring Penn State’s reputation, which crumbled beneath the horrific child rape scandal that ended Joe Paterno’s reign of 45 years as head coach. “There’s no question that the so-called prime jobs, programs with great traditions, have been less available to African-Americans,” said Richard Lapchick, who has spent decades advocating for more diversity in sports. He said it has been tougher for black coaches to build winning traditions because they usually get opportunities with losing teams, and it’s tough to turn that around before the ax falls in two or three years. “Stepping in at Texas or Penn State,” Lapchick said, “makes that a lot easier.”

drinking alcohol. Milner also argued Brent wasn’t a skilled driver and could have caused the wreck without being affected by liquor. Aya Matsuda, a restaurateur and close friend of Brent’s, recalled giving him rides to practice after finding out that he was taking the bus because he didn’t have a car. Asked about his drinking at the nightclub, Matsuda said: “He didn’t have a single drink in his hand the whole, entire night.” But Irving Police Officer James Fairbairn, under questioning by

Milner, said Brent swerved and caused the wreck after initially hitting a curb because he was under the influence. “Had he not been intoxicated, he probably never would have ended up at that point,” Fairbairn said. The trial so far has taken a week. With the prosecution and defense both wrapping up their cases, the closely watched trial that’s included testimony from two Cowboys players could finish sooner than the two weeks originally expected.

MLB Continued from Page 1B ting single-season team records for a catcher with his homers, doubles (35), runs scored (63) and extra-base hits (54). The 29-year-old Guzman was acquired from San Diego last month in exchange for infielder Ryan Jackson. Guzman played in 126 games for the Padres in 2013, hitting 17 doubles, nine home runs and knocking in 35 RBIs. He started at four different positions. Terms were not disclosed. Castro and Guzman were the only two unsigned Astros players eligible for salary arbitration.

Yankees moves NEW YORK — Outfielder Brett Gardner and pitchers Ivan Nova, David Robertson and Shawn Kelley have agreed to one-year contracts with the New York Yankees, raising the team’s luxury tax payroll to about $181.5 million for 19 players with agreements. Gardner gets $5.6 million under Friday’s deal, while Robertson earns $5,215,000, Nova $3.3 million and Kelley $1,765,000. New York, which settled with all its players in arbitration, hopes to be under the $189 million luxury tax threshold. It would appear the Yankees might go over the mark even if they don’t sign Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka. The Yankees’ payroll was lowered by Alex Rodriguez’s season-

long suspension for violations of baseball’s drug agreement and labor contract. While he would have counted for $27.5 million on the team’s tax payroll, the suspension likely will lower his figure $3,155,738, pending agreement by Major League Baseball and the players’ association.

Tigers resign Scherzer DETROIT — AL Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer has agreed to a one-year contract with the Detroit Tigers for $15,525,000, setting himself up for an even bigger payday when he becomes eligible for free agency after the season. Scherzer went 21-3 with a 2.90 ERA and 240 strikeouts as the Tigers advanced to the AL championship series against Boston. He made $6,725,000 last year, and another stellar season could put him in position to gain a deal similar to those of teammate Justin Verlander ($180 million for seven years) and Seattle’s Felix Hernandez ($175 million for seven) or even the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw ($215 million for seven). Detroit also reached one-year agreements with right-handers Rick Porcello and Al Alburquerque, and outfielders Andy Dirks and Austin Jackson. All had filed for arbitration.





OPTIONS REMAIN FOR BLEACH STAIN Dear Heloise: I’m writing in the hope that you will give me some helpful advice on how to REMOVE BLEACH STAINS FROM CARPETING. I’ll be most grateful. — W. Lawson, Laguna Woods, Calif. Unfortunately, it’s not a stain that you can remove, since it has bleached out the color. But here are some hints to try. There are some companies that sell dyeing kits for carpets to try to get it back to its original color. And check at a home-improvement store, too. You can call a professional if it’s a large area of carpet that is bleached. Another idea is, if you have any leftover carpet remnants, the area can be cut out and replaced. If you don’t have any leftover pieces, you can cut a piece out of the closet or some-

where else inconspicuous. If all else fails, you can always cover the spot with an area rug or runner. Hope this helps. — Heloise PET PAL Dear Readers: George and Elaine Statfeld, via email, sent a picture of their 4-year-old miniature schnauzer, Sebastian, snuggled up in a big blanket. George and Elaine rescued him two years ago and say he has added great joy to their family. To see Sebastian’s picture, go to my website,, and click on “Pets.” — Heloise CODES FOR REWARDS Dear Heloise: Here is a hint for all the readers out there who have small children in diapers. Most brand-name diaper and wipe packages come with a code that you can redeem for points on the company website. Save up enough points and you can get rewards like toys, magazine subscriptions, etc. It is a great way to get a little extra from something you are going to buy anyway. — A Mom in Texas





DAILY CRYPTOQUOTES — Here’s how to work it:






ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Embarrassing headlines. Sidelined superstars. Retooled offenses. Shredded defenses. It’s a wonder the New England Patriots and Denver Broncos made it this far. Bill Belichick’s smarts and Tom Brady’s tenacity always seems to trump tribulation. This season, they brushed aside the Tim Tebow distraction and overcame Aaron Hernandez’s arrest and the losses of Rob Gronkowski, Wes Welker, Vince Wilfork and Jerod Mayo to put the Patriots (13-4) into the AFC championship for the third straight year. “I’m sure every team is probably at this point overcome a lot,” Brady said. “I know Denver has done a lot of those things, too. They’ve overcome a lot of things and injuries and so forth. It’s just part of the NFL football season. “To get out there and play 16 weeks and really see where you stand at the end of those 16 weeks, getting to the playoffs, play the best teams and see if you can advance. It’s certainly not easy to do. It’s very challenging.” Nobody does it better than Brady and Belichick, the best quarterback/coach combo in history with a record 18 playoff wins. After last year’s stumble against Baltimore in the playoffs, John Fox and Peyton Manning also steered the Broncos (14-3) through a minefield to send Denver to its first conference championship in eight years. “That shock of what happened against the Ravens contributed to this team being able to be as flexible as it has been and survive the adversity that it’s gone through,” said Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway, who led the Broncos to back-to-back Super Bowls in the late 1990s and now leads them from the front office instead of the huddle. After losing Elvis Dumervil in the infamous fax fiasco when his renegotiated contract didn’t reach team headquarters in time, Elway hit the jackpot in free agency by signing Welker and Louis Vasquez on offense and Shaun Phillips, Terrance Knighton and Dominique RodgersCromartie on defense. They helped the Broncos weather an injury epidemic that claimed Von Miller, Kevin Vickerson, Rahim Moore, Derek Wolfe and Chris Harris while rendering captains Champ Bailey and Wesley Woodyard backups for most of the season.

File photo by Marcio Jose Sanchez | AP

San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick and Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson will face off for the third time this season when the division rivals play in the NFC Championship game at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday in Seattle.


File photo by Elise Amendola | AP

Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are preparing for the AFC Championship as the Patriots head to Denver to face the Broncos at 2 p.m. on Sunday. Fox overcame his own heart operation that sidelined him for a month and even a player quitting on him at midseason, and Manning set a slew of records, including throwing for 55 TDs and 5,447 yards, to help the Broncos become the first 600-point team in league history. The Broncos did it despite losing exceptional blindside protector Ryan Clady in Week 2 and being anchored by a converted guard who hadn’t played a full season at center in 14 years. So, Manning sits just one win shy of returning to the Super Bowl just two years after he was jettisoned by the Indianapolis Colts following four neck surgeries that strengthened his resolve but weakened his throwing arm. “You don’t take it for granted,” Manning said, “especially when you’ve been through an injury, been through a major change and you’re in the home stretch of your career.” Both the Patriots and Broncos have quarterbacks known as grinders, who elevate the play of those around them because of their meticulous preparation. The head coaches have very different reputations. Belichick is known as a mostly dour mad genius — even Manning called him “the best coach that I’ve ever competed against,” and Brady has high praise for the tone he sets. “We’re challenged here on a daily basis by Coach Belichick to show up, do the right thing, always put

the team first and I think that’s what this team has always been about,” Brady said. Fox is the ultimate player’s coach whose bounceoff-the-walls energy and enthusiasm were very much needed after Josh McDaniels’ troubled tenure — and Elway suggested those qualities only increased after he had his aortic valve repaired in November. “He’s got more energy than anybody I’ve ever seen,” Elway said. “That, to me, is the definition of John Fox: the energy level that he brings. He brings it to the practice field, and it’s contagious. I think that’s why he was a perfect fit for us.” Rod Smith, who helped the Broncos win back-toback titles in the late 1990s and will serve as their honorary captain Sunday, said he’s not surprised these are the two AFC teams left standing, battered though they may be, rendering this game in many ways a skirmish among subs. “Honestly, you have two of the best organizations in football,” Smith said. “You have to give it up to Mr. (Robert) Kraft and you have to give it up to Mr. (Pat) Bowlen.” The Patriots lose players left and right, but with Belichick they’re always playing for trophies. Elway has the Broncos doing the same thing again. “Everybody thought it was a huge, horrible, financial disaster gamble with Peyton Manning,” Smith said. “And he’s got those 92 touchdowns in two years. ... So, the organization has done a masterful job.”

RENTON, Wash. — Packers-Bears. SteelersBrowns. Cowboys vs. anybody in the NFC East. Those are long-standing NFL rivalries. Add to them 49ers-Seahawks, with a history of nastiness emanating from the college ranks for their coaches, and a hefty animosity built up in annual doubleheaders in their division. Now they meet for a spot in the Super Bowl. Are those hard feelings for real? “I think so, but it’ll always be that way when you have two good teams in the same division,” 49ers receiver Anquan Boldin said. “You play each other a couple times a year and if you’re good enough, possibly three times a year. It was the same way when I was in Baltimore playing against Pittsburgh. You respect each other as foes, but there is really a dislike.” It’s a healthy thing, really, because it makes for even more uncompromising action — on the field and on the sideline. One of these teams will emerge Sunday from earsplitting CenturyLink Field headed for New Jersey to play for the sport’s biggest prize. The other will carry into the offseason even more loathing for this opponent. “There is no love lost; there is no love found,” said Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, who will find himself lined up often against Boldin in the NFC championship game. “It’s going to be intense. It’s going to be physical. I don’t know if there are going to be handshakes after this one.” That almost goes without saying with the coaches. When 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh was at Stanford

— where, incidentally, Sherman played after being recruited by current Seahawks coach Pete Carroll when he was at Southern California — he ran up the score in a 2009 win at Los Angeles that prompted Carroll to ask him at game’s end: “What’s your deal.” Harbaugh’s deal has always revolved around being a hard-edged player and coach. His teams embody that attitude, and it certainly has worked in San Francisco. The 49ers are 41-13-1 in his three seasons in charge, are in their third straight conference title game, and back down from no one. That can make for some uncomfortable moments, whether it’s Harbaugh’s overzealous handshakes and back slaps after wins or his team playing up to (and sometimes beyond) the whistle. Carroll claims the acrimony between them is overblown. “For whatever reasons, you guys have had a field day with this,” Carroll told reporters Thursday. “We have not been friends over the year, we just know each other through the games. We have a very confined relationship. “I have great respect for Jim. That’s it — you guys have had a blast with it.” Carroll’s Seahawks aren’t exactly wallflowers, either. Defensively, at least, these are the NFL’s two most physical and intimidating units. That, in turn, can lead to ill will. “I don’t hate anybody,” All-Pro cornerback Sherman said. “So I don’t think (there’s) hate. But passion, definitely. There will be some passion, some dislike — some strong dislike. But there will be some intensity. It’s playoff football. “So even if we weren’t two teams that are familiar

with each other ... there’s going to be a lot of intensity, a lot of chippiness, and a hard-fought game.” Where might this antipathy show most? Try whenever Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch — his nickname, “Beast Mode,” says it all about his style of play — meets up with All-Pro NaVorro Bowman and his fellow linebackers, the best group in the NFL. Or when Boldin, among the best clutch receivers in football, uses his physicality against Sherman, safety Earl Thomas, a fellow AllPro, and the rest of the game’s top secondary. All of the matchups for Sunday are familiar to both sides, of course. And when division foes meet for the conference title — each team won at home this season — the results hardly are predictable. Since the 1970 merger, there have been 15 third meetings in conference championships, 10 in the AFC, including the Seahawks losing to Oakland when Seattle was an AFC franchise in 1983. The 49ers beat the Rams in such a meeting in 1989. In 10 of those games, the host won. What can be forecast for Sunday: hard feelings all around, even if 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis tones it down slightly. “There’s no question there’s a lot of hostility between us,” Willis said, “but at the end of the day they’re another football team. So, there’s always going to be dislikes. They’re an opponent of ours and we want to win. “If we weren’t in this race right now there’d be no doubt that if they were playing against someone else, I would wish them well because it’s in our division. But it’s us playing, so there’s not going to be any like at all there.”

Coleman’s hearing not an obstacle By BARRY WILNER ASSOCIATED PRESS

RENTON, Wash. — CenturyLink Field is the loudest around. Derrick Coleman knows it even if he can’t hear it. Seattle’s backup fullback is hearing impaired, which would seem to preclude a pro football career. Yet the second-year player from UCLA has become an integral part of the NFC West champions, and will be on the field Sunday when the Seahawks host the San Francisco 49ers with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line. And when the Seahawks are lined up in the tunnel before being introduced and the crowd is testing the seismograph, Coleman knows exactly what’s going on. “I get the same feeling everybody gets,” said Coleman, who lost his hearing when he was 3 years old. “You all walk through the tunnel and everybody cheering is heartwarming, the fans cheering you on. “In terms of being loud and able to hear that, I feel it. I don’t exactly hear it, I don’t get pain like you guys,” Coleman added Thursday to a group of reporters. “I know they are all yelling, I can hear everybody talking, but it doesn’t hurt me as much as anybody else. “You have a lot of problems if you can’t feel that.”

Photo by Elaine Thompson | AP

Seattle Seahawks’ Derrick Coleman speaks with members of the media about how he can read lips Thursday before practice in Renton, Wash. Coleman, who is hearing impaired, has hearing aids in both ears. It would seem natural to think any deaf player would have problems reaching the NFL, but Seahawks coach Pete Carroll doesn’t believe it’s an issue with Coleman. Seattle picked him up as a free agent in December 2012, and he appeared in 12 games this season, mainly as a blocker and special teamer. And as an inspiration. “He does his job impeccably well in all areas and everything that we ask of him,” Carroll said. “He’s a terrific effort guy. ... He’s been a fantastic part of the team and it’s been a really cool story.

Not because he has issues, because he’s made this team and he’s made a spot for himself and he’s claimed it. The fact that he has a hearing issue is really not even something that we deal with.” Coleman deals with it every second of his life. He recently did a commercial for Duracell batteries that has become a YouTube sensation with, he said, more than 4.5 million hits. The premise of the commercial was the importance of long-lasting batteries. Coleman acknowledges he always has an extra pair

handy for his hearing aids and even needed to change them out in last week’s victory over New Orleans. But to the 23-year-old from Los Angeles, the ad was about much more. “It’s spreading awareness not just for the hearing impaired but for everybody,” Coleman said. “Everybody has problems, but we can still do what we want to do. “I’ve been doing this since I was in college. Like I always tell everybody, there might be 100 people in the room, but if one walks away knowing, ‘I can still

chase the dream,’ that is all I care about. It’s heartwarming.” In so many ways, Coleman’s story is exactly that, too. As a kid, he was a strong, fast athlete, but often was chosen last in pickup games because of the hearing aids. He also was picked on because of his deafness. But he’s never allowed it to be a handicap, as his place in the NFL confirms. “Any opportunity I get, I always cherish it,” Coleman said. “You only get so many opportunities in a lifetime. This is one I definitely didn’t want to squander or pass up.” And there are some advantages to being hearing impaired. Carroll believes in home games, when CenturyLink is rocking “he might be the very best one to get the call from Russell (Wilson).” When Coleman was in high school, his coaches even tried to use his lip-reading skills — he doesn’t use sign language — to steal an opponent’s signals. Coleman laughs when he relays that story, saying that play callers cover their mouths because of people like him. “It is hard 50 yards across the field,” he said with a chuckle. “I’d done it once for having fun, freshman year in high school. Coach said, ‘What are they about to run? I said, ‘outside,’ and he changed the whole defense and we stopped them. “I tried do it again and it didn’t work.”

The Zapata Times 1/18/2014  

The Zapata Times 1/18/2014

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