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TO 4,000 HOMES




Goodbye to rough year Budget deficit, tourism trouble mar 2010, but there were bright spots By LORRAINE L. RODRIGUEZ




From a $7 million deficit to Mexican pirates at Falcon Lake, Zapata County endured quite a beating in 2010, but the community stayed optimistic and kept its head above water in one of the largest floods in decades. It was no secret that things did not look very promising for Zapata County after oil

production slowed down, taking tourism with it — not to mention an even greater decrease in tourism after David Hartley was shot and killed by Mexican cartel members while jet skiing with his wife on the Mexican side of Falcon Lake. Despite all the bad news and natural disasters, Zapata County managed to finish several multi-million-dollar projects, including the Zapata County Museum of History, the Advance Education Center, and a new


water treatment plant more than double the size of the old one. The following are The Zapata Times’ top stories of the year; in no particular order: In August, Zapata County received news of a $7 million deficit in the county budget during a Commissioners Court meeting. All county departments were asked to cut 20 percent or more of their



Residents sound off on goals for 2011 By LORRAINE L. RODRIGUEZ THE ZAPATA TIMES

A New Year’s resolution is something you promise to do, promise to do better, or promise to keep doing and this New Year around Zapata County; people from all walks of life are making their New Year’s reso-

lutions lists and mostly asking for healthier lifestyles. “My New Year’s resolution would be to stay in good health and the rest. It doesn’t matter, as long as I’m in good health I can do anything,” said former Zapata County Judge Rosalva


Photos by Ulysses S. Romero | Laredo Morning Times


ABOVE: The Zapata County Animal Shelter is pictured Wednesday afternoon. BELOW RIGHT: An animal shelter sign is seen on the floor because of roofing renovations. BELOW LEFT: A playful pitbull jumps at the fence at the Zapata County Animal Shelter.

Photos courtesy of Steven Martinez

Trucks and trailers fill the parking lot next to the boat ramp Wednesday afternoon. Fishermen have begun to head back to the lake.

Fishermen head back to the lake By LORRAINE L. RODRIGUEZ THE ZAPATA TIMES

Falcon Lake is an international reservoir with a surface area of more than 83,000 acres, so it’s easy to see why it’s hard to keep boaters and fisherman away as trucks with boat trailers attached filled the parking lot of the public boat ramp Wednesday afternoon.

Several months have passed since the David Hartley shooting incident took place on the Mexican side of Falcon Lake that kept most tourists away, and boaters and fishermen have returned to the lake filled with recordbreaking bass for the beginning of the fishing season that runs from January through


MISSION OF LOVE Zapatan works to find home for lost pets By LORRAINE L. RODRIGUEZ THE ZAPATA TIMES


s a Zapata resident holds out hope to win money to expand the county’s animal control, she’s now approaching the head of the program about creating a nonprofit agency to run a shelter. “I have looked in many places for funding and, unfortunately, funding is not available for shelters that are under a government entity,” Hernandez said. “Through my research I found that unlimited

amounts of funding are available for nonprofits.” Specific animal shelter grants would pay for food and supplies, Hernandez added. Animal Control Director Guillermo Martin Saenz was very receptive of the idea, but said he has limited amount of spare time to work on such a large project to transition into a non-profit organization, he said. “I told Auddy (Hernandez) that it won’t be happening until next year, and, as soon as we can get



Zin brief CALENDAR




MONDAY, JAN. 3 Texas A & M International University offices reopen at 8 a.m. for all services. For additional information, contact the Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at (956) 326-2180.

TUESDAY, JAN. 4 The Alzheimer’s Support Group meets today at 7 p.m. in meeting room 2, Building B of the Laredo Medical Center. The support group is for family members and caregivers taking care of someone who has Alzheimer’s. For more information, contact Melissa L. Guerra at (950) 693-9991.

FRIDAY, JAN. 7 The Laredo Early College High School is hosting a blood drive from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at TAMIU. Blood donor requirements are as follows: anyone who is 16 years old weighing 120 pounds (with parental consent form), or at least 17 years old weighing 110 pounds, and in good general health can donate blood. Identification required. Call (800) 292-5534 for more information.

SATURDAY, JAN. 8 Learn about robotics, drive a real robot and explore opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Meet Laredo’s award-winning teams and discover more about Robotics at the Imaginarium of South Texas in Mall del Norte from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, contact Jose Perez at

TUESDAY, JAN. 11 LB Johnson High School is hosting a blood drive from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 5626 Cielito Lindo. Blood donor requirements are as follows: anyone who is 16 years old weighing 120 pounds (with parental consent form), or at least 17 years old weighing 110 pounds, and in good general health can donate blood. Identification required. Call (800) 292-5534 for more information.

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 12 Martin High School is hosting a blood drive from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 2002 San Bernardo. Blood donor requirements are as follows: anyone who is 16 years old weighing 120 pounds (with parental consent form), or at least 17 years old weighing 110 pounds, and in good general health can donate blood. Identification required.

THURSDAY, JAN. 13 Martin High School is hosting a blood drive from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 2002 San Bernardo. Blood donor requirements are as follows: anyone who is 16 years old weighing 120 pounds (with parental consent form), or at least 17 years old weighing 110 pounds, and in good general health can donate blood. Identification required. Today there is a mandatory parade meeting for all WBCA Parade Participants 6 p.m. at the Laredo Civic Center in rooms 1, 2 and 3.

FRIDAY, JAN. 14 Doctors Hospital is hosting a blood drive from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 10700 McPherson Ave. Blood donor requirements are as follows: anyone who is 16 years old weighing 120 pounds (with parental consent form), or at least 17 years old weighing 110 pounds, and in good general health can donate blood. Identification required.

THURSDAY, JAN. 20 Nixon High School is hosting a blood drive from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at 2000 Plum. Blood donor requirements are as follows: anyone who is 16 years old weighing 120 pounds (with parental consent form), or at least 17 years old weighing 110 pounds, and in good general health can donate blood. Identification required.

FRIDAY, JAN. 21 Laredo Medical Center is hosting a blood drive from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 1700 East Saunders. Blood donor requirements are as follows: anyone who is 16 years old weighing 120 pounds (with parental consent form), or at least 17 years old weighing 110 pounds, and in good general health can donate blood. Identification required. To submit an item for the calendar, send the name of the event, the date, time, location and contact phone number to

Photo by David J. Phillip | AP

In this photo taken Dec. 15, pecan grower John Divin looks over his pecans in Ellinger. Some environmentalists, ranchers and scientists believe the cause of trees dying in the area is sulfur dioxide emissions from the nearby Fayette Power Project, a coal-fired power plant.


BASTROP — Along a stretch of Highway 21, in Texas’ pastoral Hill Country, is a vegetative wasteland. Trees are barren, or covered in gray, dying foliage and peeling bark. Fallen, dead limbs litter the ground where pecan growers and ranchers have watched trees die slow, agonizing deaths. Visible above the horizon is what many plant specialists, environmentalists and scientists believe to be the culprit: the Fayette Power Project — a coal-fired power plant that for nearly 30 years has operated mostly without equipment designed to decrease emissions of sulfur dioxide, a component of acid rain. The plant’s operator and the state’s environmental regulator deny sulfur dioxide pollution is to blame for the swaths of plant devastation across Central Texas. But evidence

collected from the Appalachian Mountains to New Mexico indicates sulfur dioxide pollution kills vegetation, especially pecan trees. Pecan growers in Albany, Ga., have received millions of dollars in an out-of-court settlement with a power plant whose sulfur dioxide emissions harmed their orchards. Now, extensive tree deaths are being reported elsewhere in Texas, home to 19 coal-fired power plants — more than any other state. Four more are in planning stages. In each area where the phenomenon is reported, a coalfired power plant operates nearby. The Fayette Power Project sits on a 10square-mile site about 60 miles southeast of Austin, near where horticulturalist Jim Berry, who owns a wholesale nursery in Grand Saline, describes a 30-mile stretch of Highway 21 as a place where "the plant community was just devastated."

Texas community colleges see booming enrollment

Dallas renews effort against graffiti

Police: Texas cop slain trying to protect child

AUSTIN — Community college enrollment in Texas surged 12.2 percent from 2008 to 2009, a trend officials expect to continue even as educators worry whether funding levels during a state budget crunch can support the growth. The Austin American-Statesman reported Thursday that the enrollment increase at two-year schools was nearly three times the growth at four-year institutions.

DALLAS — Dallas officials are renewing they city’s effort against graffiti ahead of the Super Bowl. City Council member Delia Jasso says, “We’re not putting up with it anymore. " At a news conference Wednesday, a demonstration was given on how a machine blasting a mixture of air and baking soda can eliminate graffiti.

ARLINGTON — A rookie police officer responding to a call in suburban Dallas was shot to death trying to protect an 11year-old girl from her mother’s gun-wielding ex-boyfriend, a spokeswoman said Wednesday. Tiara Ellis Richard said Arlington officer Jillian Michelle Smith, 24, was shot by Barnes Samuel Nettles on Tuesday night as she sought to shield the girl from the man in the apartment of Kimberly Deshay Carter, 29.

Houston mayor orders city employee furloughs HOUSTON — Mayor Annise Parker is ordering most Houston city workers to take six unpaid days off over the next six months as she tries to close an estimated $30 million budget shortfall. Parker said police, firefighters, grant-funded positions and workers making less than $24,000 a year would be exempt.

Woman charged in Houston boy’s death HOUSTON — A woman has been charged with capital murder in the death of a 12-year-old Houston boy whose badly burned body was found in a ditch this week following his Christmas Eve disappearance. Mona Yvette Nelson, 44, was arrested Wednesday. She remained in jail Thursday on no bond. Court records did not list an attorney.

Texas, EPA fight over regulations grows fierce HOUSTON — A tit-for-tat between Texas and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over how to regulate pollution has grown fierce in recent months, allowing some plants and refineries to spew more toxic waste into the air, streams and lakes than what is federally acceptable. — Compiled from AP reports

AROUND THE NATION Obama announces 6 recess appointments


HONOLULU — President Barack Obama bypassed the Senate Wednesday to make six recess appointments, including a deputy attorney general whose links to the insurance giant American International Group had stalled his confirmation. Obama first nominated James Cole to the No. 2 Justice Department post in May.

Publisher, William B. Green........................728-2501 Business Manager, Dora Martinez ...... (956) 324-1226 General Manager, Adriana Devally ...............728-2510 Retail Adv. Manager, Raul Cruz................... 728-2511 Classified Manager, Jesse Vicharreli ........... 728-2525 Adv. Billing Inquiries ................................. 728-2531 Circulation Director ................................. 728-2559 MIS Director, Michael Castillo.................... 728-2505 Editor, Diana Fuentes ................................728-2581 City Editor, Mary Nell Sanchez .................. 728-2543 Sports Editor, Dennis Silva II......................728-2579 Business Journal Editor, Sean Bowlin.......... 728-2529 Entertainment Editor, Emilio Rábago III ....... 728-2564 Online Editor, Julie Daffern ....................... 728-2565

Sister’s kidney donation condition of Miss. parole JACKSON, Miss. — For 16 years, sisters Jamie and Gladys Scott have been behind bars for their part in an $11 armed robbery. To share freedom, they must also share a kidney. The governor suspended the sisters’ life sentences on Wednesday, but Gladys Scott’s release is contingent on her giving a kidney to Jamie, her sister.

Today is Saturday, Jan. 1, the first day of 2011. There are 364 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Jan. 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring that slaves in rebel states were free. On this date: In 1511, the first Henry, Duke of Cornwall, son of King Henry VIII of England and Catherine of Aragon, was born. (However, the baby died less than two months later.) In 1861, Mexican forces loyal to Benito Juarez recaptured Mexico City, effectively ending the Reform War. In 1890, the first Tournament of Roses was held in Pasadena, Calif. In 1892, the Ellis Island Immigrant Station in New York formally opened. In 1911, Baseball Hall-ofFamer Hank Greenberg, considered the sport’s first Jewish superstar, was born in New York. In 1953, country singer Hank Williams Sr., 29, was discovered dead in the back seat of his car during a stop in Oak Hill, W.Va., while he was being driven to a concert date in Canton, Ohio. In 1959, Fidel Castro and his revolutionaries overthrew Cuban leader Fulgencio Batista, who fled to the Dominican Republic. In 1961, in the first American Football League Championship Game, the Houston Oilers defeated the Los Angeles Chargers, 24-16, at Jeppesen Stadium. In 1984, the breakup of AT&T took place as the telecommunications giant was divested of its 22 Bell System companies under terms of an antitrust agreement. In 1994, the North American Free Trade Agreement went into effect. Ten years ago: It was announced that Tyson Foods Inc. would buy beef and pork giant IBP Inc. in a deal valued at $3.2 billion in cash and stock. (Tyson later tried to back out, but IBP sued, and a judge ordered Tyson to complete the deal.) In time for the year 2001, a mysterious black monolith, standing nine feet tall, appeared in Seattle’s Magnuson Park, placed there by guerrilla artists. Actor Ray Walston died in Beverly Hills, Calif., at age 86. One year ago: A suicide bomber detonated a truckload of explosives on a volleyball field in northwest Pakistan, killing at least 97 people. Today’s Birthdays: Former Sen. Ernest Hollings, DS.C., is 89. Actor Ty Hardin is 81. Documentary maker Frederick Wiseman is 81. Actor Frank Langella is 73. Rock singer-musician Country Joe McDonald is 69. Writer-comedian Don Novello is 68. Actor Rick Hurst is 65. Country singer Steve Ripley (The Tractors) is 61. Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., is 57. Rapper Grandmaster Flash is 53. Actress Ren Woods is 53. Actress Dedee Pfeiffer is 47. Actress Embeth Davidtz is 45. Country singer Brian Flynn (Flynnville Train) is 45. Actor Morris Chestnut is 42. Actor Verne Troyer is 42. Thought for Today: “It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers.” — James Thurber, American humorist (18941961).

Photo by David Sanders/Arizona Daily Star | AP

Friends and family members attempt to move a car driven by Oscar Lopez after he skidded off the Catalina Highway on a turn in the mountains northeast of Tucson, Ariz. on Wednesday, as a winter storm moved through causing icy roads.

Stocks down slightly as investors lock in gains NEW YORK — Stocks dipped Thursday as investors locked in profits at the end of the year.

While U.S. markets fell slightly, stocks are set to end the year on an upbeat note: The S&P 500 index and the Dow Jones industrial average are both up 14 percent after dividends thanks to big corporate profits. — 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





Cuellar: Thousands will get free services By NICK GEORGIOU THE ZAPATA TIMES

Beginning Saturday, more than 40 million seniors who have Medicare, including 98,000 in the local congressional district, will receive free preventive care services, such as mammograms and colonoscopies. They will also receive significant savings by getting an annual wellness visit without copayments, coinsurance or deductibles. The ten-year process of eliminating the “donut hole” coverage gap will begin as well.

Key provisions U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, highlighted the key health care reform provisions Wednesday at a news conference at the Gateway Community Health Center, which has about 30,000 patients. Cuellar said the reform, passed by Congress in March, will expand coverage to 5.9 million Texans. That includes 1.4 million children and 202,500 uninsured individuals in his congressional district. His district includes Zapata and 11 other counties in South

Texas. It’s the third most uninsured congressional district in Texas and the 10th most in the nation. “These common sense reforms will protect Americans who have coverage and deliver coverage to those who don’t,” he stated in a news release. “Quality, affordable health care will be accessible to all Americans and these landmark insurance reforms will sustain the quality of America’s health care for the future.” Cuellar, who was joined by health care officials Wednesday at the news conference, described some of the other provisions that will take effect Jan. 1.

Effective Jan. 1 Among them: “Fifty-percent discounts for seniors with high prescription drug costs and requiring insurance companies to spend more on medical care and less on executive pay and profits.” Under the health care reform, the millions of seniors whose drug costs “are so high that they end up in the Medicare Rx drug ‘donut hole’ coverage gap, will

begin getting a 50-percent discount on brand-name drugs in the donut hole,” the news release stated.

Increasing discounts Discounts will increase until the donut hole is eliminated by 2020. The news release stated that closing the donut hole will help 5,800 seniors in Cuellar’s congressional district who “have been forced to pay the full cost of their prescription drugs under Medicare.” Some of the health care reform provisions already in effect include the “patient’s bill of rights,” which bans all health plans from dropping people when they get ill, no discrimination against children with preexisting conditions and allowing young adults to stay on their parents’ plans until they turn 26. For more information, visit (Nick Georgiou may be reached at 728-2582 or

Courtesy photo

The Christmas Angels from Four Seasons visit Villarreal Elementary and give the children gifts. To show their appreciation, Villarreal Elementary treated the residence of Four Seasons to tamales and sweet bread. Pictured is Alondra Guerrero with a blanket given by the Muller Family.

THE BLOTTER ASSAULT Deputies responded to an assault call at 4:47 p.m. Dec. 23 in the intersection of 10th Street and Villa Avenue. A woman told officials that someone she knows assaulted her.

STRIKING A FIXTURE Orlando Garza, 29, was ar-

rested in the early hours of Dec. 24 in Romeo T. Flores Park, near the corner of First Avenue and Delmar Street. The man was charged with striking a chain link fence and taken to Zapata Regional Jail.

THEFT Deputies responded to a theft call at 11:20 p.m. Monday in the 1400 block of Jackson Street.

The complainant told deputies he saw someone trying to steal a lawnmower from his property.

TERRORISTIC THREAT Deputies responded to a call at 1:55 p.m. Dec. 25 in the 1600 block of Kennedy Street. The complainant said a man he knows is harassing a friend with threatening text messages and voicemails.









rofound thanks are due televangelist Pat Robertson for stating so clearly what many of us have been screaming in the wilderness for years — that the criminalization of marijuana is a plague on young people. May he lend courage to politicians who know better but won’t do the right thing for fear of seeming “soft” on drugs. “We’re locking up people who take a couple of puffs of marijuana, and the next thing they know, they’ve got 10 years,” Robertson said on his Christian Broadcasting Network show, “The 700 Club.” These are mandatory sentences, he adds, that absurd laws force on judges.

Not all drugs created equal Robertson does not call for legalization of all drugs, as do many disillusioned law enforcers, judges and prominent economists of all political stripes. He does say that criminalizing the possession of small amounts of pot is “costing us a fortune, and it’s ruining young people.” Where are the foes of big government in this? They should note that the federal Drug Enforcement Administration’s budget has more than quadrupled over the decade to $2.6 billion — without making a dent in the quantity of illegal drugs sold in this country. (The narcotics, meanwhile, are more potent than ever.)

DEA bureaucracy But the DEA bureaucrats know how to expand a mandate. The agency now operates 86 offices in 63 countries and runs a shadow State Department that at times mucks up American diplomacy. It employs nearly 11,000 people. And the DEA is but one expense in the drug war. Add in the costs of local law enforcement to round up suspects, courts to prosecute them and jails to hold them, and the war on drugs weighs in at about $50 billion a year. States and municipalities bear most of the costs.

Possible increase in revenue Of course, these numbers don’t take into account the lost tax revenue that legalizing these drugs could generate. Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron estimates that taxing marijuana

like tobacco and alcohol could add $6.4 billion a year to state and local treasuries. If drugs were legalized, narco-terrorists (including the Taliban) would lose their chief source of funds, drug gangs would go out of business, and the drugfueled bloodbath now tormenting Mexico would end. Border security would vastly tighten as drug traffic dried up.

Ending the war has support Ending the war on drugs has support across the political spectrum. Many on the left regard America’s drug laws as an assault on personal freedom and racist in their application. Prominent voices on the right — for example, William F. Buckley and Milton Friedman — long ago declared the war on drugs simply a dismal failure.

War on drugs ‘a disaster’ This month, Britain’s former drug czar and defense secretary, Bob Ainsworth, declared that the war on drugs is “nothing short of a disaster” and called for government regulation of drug manufacturing and sales. “We must take the trade away from organized criminals and hand it to the control of doctors and pharmacists,” he said.

Not an advocate for drug use No one here is advocating drug use. I have never touched hard drugs, but the “war” against them lost its romance the day that a drug addict pointed a knife at my gut, demanding money for a fix that should have cost him no more than a head of celery.

Politicians are hypocrites Then there’s the rank hypocrisy. President Obama admits to having “tried” cocaine, and President George W. Bush all but did, refusing to answer questions about his previous drug use. Yet we still ruin the lives of teenagers caught using or dealing in far less dangerous marijuana. The injustice of this is what aroused Pat Robertson. A social conservative has now filled a gap in the anti-drug-war lineup of liberals, economic conservatives and libertarians. And we welcome him.


Stopping the gun flow THE WASHINGTON POST


he Obama administration has shied away from issues involving the regulation of guns. Now comes word from The Washington Post’s James V. Grimaldi and Sari Horwitz that the Justice Department is advancing a plan to stem the flow of semiautomatic rifles to violence-plagued Mexico. It’s about time. Over the past three years, some 30,000 people have been gunned down in Mexico in attacks fueled by drug cartels. Military and law enforcement officers there have seized some 60,000 weapons that were used in these crimes and traced to the United States. Mexican President

Felipe Calderon has pleaded with U.S. officials to step up enforcement of gun laws and to reinstate the assault-weapons ban. Doing so would be good policy but would trigger a fierce fight. For the moment, the administration has something much more modest in mind. As The Post reports, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) plans to require some 8,500 gun dealers along the Southwest border to alert the agency when they sell “within five consecutive business days two or more semiautomatic rifles greater than 0.22 caliber with detachable magazines” to the same individual. The administration will notify dealers

about this requirement through “demand letters,” which were created in 2000 largely to extract information from dealers who were not complying fully with federal reporting rules. The ATF program would lapse after six months unless other action is taken. Mayors Against Illegal Guns last year urged the use of demand letters but only for dealers who have sold a significant number of weapons traced to crimes. That plan would be worth considering if the ATF proposal proves unworkable. When reports of its plan surfaced, the administration came under immediate attack from the gun rights lobby. The National


Immigration impasse up ahead THE WASHINGTON POST


espite the lame-duck defeat of a modest immigration reform known as the Dream Act, both President Obama and Majority Leader Harry M. Reid, D-Nev., said they are not giving up on improving the nation’s immigration laws. We applaud their persistence and hope progress is possible — if not for something “comprehensive,” as was the goal in the past Congress, then for incremental change. The recession and high unemployment certainly clouded the prospects for reform. Not coincidentally, the midterm elections elevated both in Washington and state capitals a number of politicians who are not much open to compromise. Mr. Obama has stepped up deportations and company audits above Bush administration levels, yet these politicians continue to attack

the administration for its supposed softness on the issue. Calls to “close the border” before any other reform can be considered can hardly be taken seriously, given how many resources are now being devoted to border control. In a handful of Southern and Western states, Republican governors and lawmakers are vowing to replicate Arizona’s harshly nativist law or go even further with bills that would outlaw the presence of undocumented immigrants or require police to screen suspects for immigration status — or both. The assumption underlying such legislation is that the 11 million illegal immigrants in this country, including the 7 million who hold jobs, can and should be deported en masse. In fact, deportation on such a scale would be impractical and economically self-defeating. According to

polling data, it would also be broadly unpopular. Even among Americans who don’t depend directly on illegal immigrants as a source of unskilled labor — which many do — there is little appetite for wrenching millions of undocumented families, including many with roots, relatives and children in America, from their communities and shoving them across the border. In Congress, Rep. Steve King, an Iowa Republican who is likely to chair the subcommittee dealing directly with immigration, wants to end automatic or “birthright” citizenship for children born in the United States, which has been enshrined in U.S. law since the 14th Amendment’s adoption in 1868. Mr. King’s proposal, which targets children of illegal immigrants, is unlikely to carry both houses of Congress, and in any event it would

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-calling 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.

Shooting Sports Foundation, the firearms industry trade association, argued that the administration lacked the legal authority to demand data on rifles and shotguns. It has a point: While Congress authorized the ATF to collect information on handgun sales, it declined to extend the requirement to long guns. A court is likely to be asked to decide whether demand letters may be used to shake loose this information. Regardless of the outcome, the administration should continue to look for lawful ways to dam the current of illegal guns, particularly those that are helping to destabilize America’s neighbor to the south.


be vetoed by Mr. Obama. Impasse also seems likely in efforts to shape comprehensive reform that would crack down on employers who hire undocumented workers while providing a steady supply of guest workers, attracting the skilled workers the country needs and offering a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants already here. But particular pieces of immigration reform might still have bipartisan appeal. One such element is the historical shortage of visas for foreign workers with special skills and advanced degrees. Although demand eased somewhat this year due to the recession, and there are legitimate concerns about abuses in the system, the standing quotas in those categories — amounting to just 85,000 available visas per year — have been severely inadequate in recent years.



New Year’s dance with Intocable Event will feature Roma’s Duelo and Laredo’s Adrian Perez y Origen THE ZAPATA TIMES

The Laredo Energy Arena will kick off 2011 with a big bang, presenting a mega concert and dance on the first day of the year. Often called a “legendary norteño band,” Zapata’s Intocable will share the arena stage with another big regional act, Duelo, a band that hails from Roma. Opening duties have been assigned to Laredo’s own Adrián Perez y Origen. The concert and dance is scheduled to start 8 p.m. tonight. Intocable, one of Norteño music’s biggest acts, was born in the early 1990s in Zapata, about 45 miles south of here. It all started with two kids, Ricky Muñoz (vocals and accordion) and René Martinez (drums), who rehearsed every day with dreams of reaching success. Other members are Sergio Serna, Félix Salinas, Juan Hernández, Johnny Lee Rosas and Daniel Sánchez. Fifteen years and 13 albums later, Intocable has come a long way. Among the band’s hit singles are “Estás Que Te Pelas,” “Enséñame A Olvidarte,” “El Poder De Tus Manos,”

Express-News file photo

Zapata’s Intocable will headline a concert/dance tonight at the Laredo Energy Arena. Tickets start at $25 and are still available. “Coqueta,” “Y Todo Para Qué,” “Eres Mi Droga,” ”Fuerte No Soy” and “Tu Adiós No Mata.” Those tracks have earned the group numerous awards, from distinct organizations including the Grammy Awards, Latin Grammy Awards, Univisión’s Premio Lo Nuestro and Premios Juventud, Furia Musical, Oye Awards, and, of course, the Tejano Music Awards. Their popularity spreads across the globe, as is evident in their record sellouts. For instance, Intocable played to 140,000 people in the Mexico City Zócalo, to 74,000 at Reliant Stadium in Houston and to 55,000 in Guadalajara’s Jalisco Stadium.

Duelo, too Duelo, another reknowned Norteño group, will be playing before Intocable. Founded by singer, songwriter, bassist and producer Oscar Iván Treviño and accordionist Dimas López, Duelo’s other four members are Christian Rivera, Jose Luis Ayala Jr., Mario Peña and, Mauricio Cano. Grupo Duelo, as it is also known, was formed in the late 1990s in Roma. The band’s discography

includes: “Duelo Norteño 1,2,3,” released in 1999; “El Amor No Acaba” (2002); “Desde Hoy” (2003); “Para Sobrevivir” (2004); “En el Area de Sueños” (2005); “Relaciones Conflictivas” (2006); “En Las Manos de un Angel” (2007); “Historia de Valentines” (2008); “Necesito Mas de Ti” (2009); and “Solamente Tu” (2010), all of which have spawned multiple hit singles. Tickets start at $25, plus fees, and are available at all Ticketmaster locations, including the arena box office. The event is

being presented by Miller Lite and Garza Entertainment. (Emilio Rábago III may be reached at 728-2564 or


COMING UP Cirque du Soleil’s ‘Alegría’ tix available Cirque du Soleil will present seven performances of “Alegría” at the Laredo Energy Arena in February. “Alegría” will feature an international cast of 55 performers and musicians from 17 countries and will showcase breathtaking acrobatics, including the “Synchro Trapeze” and “Aerial High Bars.” The performances are scheduled between Wednesday, Feb. 2 and Sunday, Feb. 6. Prices are $35 to $79 for adults, $28 to $64 for children 12 and under, and $31.50 to $67.50 for military personnel and students. Premium seats are $95 to $99 for adults, $76 to $80 for children under 12, and $85.50 for students and military. They are available via Ticketmaster and the LEA box office. — The Zapata Times




Agenda en Breve

Estado hace crítica final

SÁBADO 1 DE ENERO AVISO LAREDO: La ruta regular de El Metro y el servicio El Lift tendrán su servicio con el horario de domingo, debido a ser día primero del año. LAREDO: Hoy a las 8 p.m. se presentan en concierto Intocable, Duelo, así como Adrian Perez y Origen, durante el baile de Fin de Año en la Laredo Energy Arena. Los precios varían desde 25 dólares hasta 450 dólares, con mesa o sin mesa incluida.

LUNES 3 DE ENERO AVISO LAREDO: A partir de hoy y hasta el 21 de enero, en horario de 8 a.m. a 5 p.m., se realizarán trabajos para reemplazo de tubería de agua de 8” por Stewart St. desde Tapeyste Ave. hasta Hendricks Ave. Esta obra causará inconvenciencia vial temporalmente pero el servicio de agua no será interrumpido.

MARTES 4 DE ENERO LAREDO: El grupo de apoyo Alzheimer se reunirá hoy a las 7 p.m. en la sala 2, edificio B del Laredo Medical Center. El grupo de apoyo es para familiares y cuidadores de alguien que padezca de Alzheimer.

JUEVES 6 DE ENERO LAREDO: Texas A&M International University llevará a cabo una Sesión Informativa de su Programa de Certificación Alternativa en el aula 104 de Bullock Hall. Llame a Idinia Dominguez al 326-3098 ó escriba a para más información.

VIERNES 7 DE ENERO LAREDO: El Laredo Early College High School tendrá una campaña para donación de sangre de 9 a.m. a 2 p.m. en TAMIU. Más información en el 1-800-292-5534. Hoy se realizará una venta de libros desde las 8:30 a.m. hasta la 1 p.m. en la Widener Room de la First United Methodist Church. El público en general es invitado. La entrada es gratuita.

MARTES 11 DE ENERO LAREDO: LB Johnson High School tendrá una campaña para donación de sangre de 9:30 a.m. a 4 p.m. en el 5626 Cielito Lindo. LAREDO: Hal’s Landing inicia hoy el segundo año de “una campaña de recaudación de fondos al mes” en beneficio del South Texas Food Bank (6510 Arena Road), de 7 p.m. a la medianoche. La música estará a cargo de Jus-B-Cuz. La entrada general es de 10 dólares por persona. Adquiera sus boletos llamando al (956) 726-3120 ó (956) 324-2432.

MIÉRCOLES 12 DE ENERO LAREDO: Martin High School tendrá una campaña para donación de sangre de 9 a.m. a 4:30 p.m. en el 2002 San Bernardo. Más información en el 1-800-292-5534.

JUEVES 13 DE ENERO LAREDO: Martin High School tendrá una campaña para donación de sangre de 9 a.m. a 4:30 p.m. en el 2002 San Bernardo. Más información en el 1-800-292-5534.

VIERNES 14 DE ENERO LAREDO: Doctor’s Hospital tendrá una campaña para donación de sangre de 10 a.m. a 4 p.m. en el 10700 McPherson Ave. Más información en el 1-800-292-5534.

LUNES 17 DE ENERO LAREDO: Las oficinas de TAMIU estarán cerradas debido al feriado de Martin Luther King Jr. day.

JUEVES 20 DE ENERO LAREDO: Nixon High School tendrá una campaña para donación de sangre de 9 a.m. a 3:30 p.m. en el 2000 Plum. Más información en el 1-800-292-5534.

JUEVES 27 DE ENERO LAREDO: Los Harlem Globetrotters se presentan hoy a las 4 p.m. y 7 p.m. en la Laredo Energy Arena. Adquiera sus boletos en la taquilla de LEA.


Foto de cortesía

Egidio Torre Cantú, quien hoy toma el cargo como Gobernador de Tamaulipas, habla durante una reunión con dueños y concesionarios de medios de comunicación de Tamaulipas, a mediados de diciembre en Ciudad Victoria. Torre Cantú dio a conocer con anticipación la lista de su gabinete para los próximos seis años.

Torre anuncia cargos TIEMPO DE ZAPATA

Como estaba previsto, el jueves fue dada a conocer la lista de funcionarios que integrarán el gabinete del nuevo gobierno de Tamaulipas, que inicia su labor el día de hoy. El Gobernador Electo Egidio Torre Cantú toma protesta hoy a las 12:45 p.m. en Ciudad Victoria. Los funcionarios en los principales cargos, según lo anunció Torre, son: Secretario general de gobierno: Jaime Morelos Canseco; Secretario de Seguridad Pública, Ubaldo Ayala Tinoco; Procurador General de Justicia, Bolívar Hernández Garza. Secretaria de Desarrollo Social: Dinorah Blanca Guerra Garza; Secretario de Educación: Diódoro Guerra Rodríguez; Secretario de Salud: Norberto Treviño García Manzo; Secretario de Finanzas: Alfredo González Fernández; Administración: Jorge Ábrego Adame; Contraloría Gubernamental: Gilda Cavazos Lliteras; Secretaria de Desarrollo Económico: Mónica González; Secretario del Trabajo: Raúl César González García; Director Estatal del DIF: Gabriel de la Garza. En Obras Públicas: Manuel Rodríguez Morales; Secretario de Desarrollo Urbano y Medio Ambiente: Homero de la Garza Tamez; Secretario de Desarrollo Rural: Jorge Reyes Moreno; Presidente del Instituto Tamaulipeco del Deporte: Enrique de la Garza Ferrer; Instituto Tamaulipeco para la Cultura y las Artes: Libertad García Cabriales. Por otra parte, fue a mediados de di-

EGIDIO TORRE CANTÚ, GOBERNADOR TAMAULIPAS ciembre cuando Torre Cantú presentó a su equipo de Comunicación Social ante dueños y concesionariso de medios informatios de todo el estado. Como Coordinador fue presentado Guillermo Martínez quien dijo que la estrategia preparada deberá sustentarse en tres prioridades: “conocimiento del sistema de medios, la relación armónica con sus actores y la innovación en la manera de informar al ciudadano”. Torre Cantú reconoció que los medios informativos constituyen el rostro de un gobierno hacia la sociedad. “No concibo el gobernar sin comunicar, ni desarrollaré esta función sin escuchar lo que los tamaulipecos tienen que decir”, dijo él. También invitó a los representantes de los medios de comunicación a trabajar unidos con el gobierno estatal para sacar adelante a Tamaulipas.


Dicen adiós con entrega de obras TIEMPO DE ZAPATA


urante la última semana como Gobernador de Tamaulipas, Eugenio Hernández Flores decidió que su último adiós lo daría recorriendo la frontera. Durante tres días recorrió Miguel Alemán, Ciudad Mier, Nuevo Laredo y Reynosa, donde hizo entrega de obras y habló de la inseguridad. “La gente de todo Tamaulipas es más fuerte y grande que sus desafíos, por más difíciles que parezcan”, dijo Hernández en Ciudad Mier. “Así lo demostramos antes y así lo haremos ahora”.

Miguel Alemán En esta ciudad fue inaugurado “Edificio de Docencia I” de la Universidad Politécnica de la Región Ribereña en el Poblado Los Guerra, así como las instalaciones de un nuevo Tamul “Lugar de Encuentro”. “Vivimos tiempos de grandes transformaciones que nos plantean retos que son cada día más grandes y complejos, de tal forma que responder a ellos, nos exige estar mejor preparados”, dijo Hernández. Fue en el Poblado Los Guerra, de Miguel Alemán, informó que durante los seis años de su adminsitración fueron invertidos 700 millones de pesos en la educación superior. En cuanto al Tamul, se trata de un lugar donde las familias contarán con nuevos espacios para la recreación, el deporte y el esparcimiento.

SÁBADO 29 DE ENERO LAREDO: Hoy es el Regreso de Emilio Navaira, en Concierto, en la laredo Energy Arena, a las 8 p.m. Más información en el 523-7736.

No concibo el gobernar sin comunicar, ni desarrollaré esta función sin escuchar lo que los tamaulipecos tienen que decir”.

NUEVO LAREDO — El Gobierno del Tamaulipas arremetió contra el Gobierno Federal, a manos del Partido Acción Nacional, acusándolo de no tener brújula, de tener al país emproblemado, sin seguridad ni empleo. En una gira de trabajo por esta ciudad, el Gobernador Eugenio Hernández Flores aseguró que México está incendiado por la actividad criminal y eso lo observa en los reportes de los medios de comunicación de “como se ve un México ensangrentado sin una solución futura”. “Los ciudadanos no desean mayor violencia”, aseguró en entrevista con medios de comunicación. El viernes a la medianoche Hernández concluyó su gestión de seis años como Gobernador y hoy entrega el poder a Egidio Torre Cantú, del Partido Revolucionario Institucional, quien tomó la candidatura y triunfó tras el homicidio de su hermano Rodolfo a mediados de año. “Hemos visto y Ustedes lo han padecido que el país no transita bien por la inseguridad y desempleo”, dijo Hernández. “Las familias buscan tranquilidad y desean mejores momentos”. Recalcó que no hay brújula ni un buen gobierno federal. En cuanto a seguridad en Tamaulipas admitió que el crimen organizado ha sido un grave problema para la entidad, pero aseguró que se han legislado leyes que serán mas efectivas y podrán status de seguridad al futuro. “Tenemos que llegar a ser un gobierno con más respuestas en seguridad”, dijo Hernandez. “No se trata de disculpas ahora debemos recomponer el estado de cosas del pasado”. Hernández dijo sentirse orgulloso de su gestión y del trabajo desarrollado, de haber estado en contacto directo con la gente y de haber recorrido los 43 municipios de Tamaulipas, donde hizo varios nuevos amigos. “Me voy a tomar varias semanas de vacaciones con mi familia. Se las debo”, dijo Hernández. “Pero a mi regreso me integraré a las filas del Partido Revolucionario Institucional (donde) trabajaremos para recuperar la Presidencia (de la República)”. Hernández se unirá al grupo de trabajo del actual Gobernador de Coahuila Humberto Moreira, uno de los favoritos para representar al PRI en las elecciones del 2012. “Queremos que el pueblo nos de una oportunidad para darle rumbo y certidumbre”, dijo Hernández. Agregó que el Partido Acción Nacional en los diez años de gobierno no ha sabido conducir al país, lo ha acorralado y llevado al caos. Concluyó diciendo que la nueva generación de priístas desea armar equipo de un nuevo PRI, donde estén unidos juventud y experiencia para darle el rumbo a la nación.

Ciudad Mier El Gobierno de Tamaulipas hizo un acuerdo con el gobierno municipal de esta ciudad hace

poco más de 25 días, al regresar en su último recorrido, Hernández hizo entrega de recursos por más de tres millones de pesos para la rehabilitación de viviendas, de la planta potabilizadora, entrega de enseres domésticos y apoyos emergentes por la contingencia. “Mier no está solo, nunca lo ha estado en su anhelo de reactivar la economía, garantizar la seguridad y volver a la normalidad lo más pronto posible”, dijo Hernández. “No hemos bajado la guardia en este tema”. Reunido con familias en la plaza principal agregó “Juntos crecimos, superamos desafíos y salimos adelante. Así lo demostramos ante la crisis que nos golpeó por más de dos años y así lo estamos demostrando hoy, en que la escalada de violencia que vive México ha tomado matices preocupantes de los que no hemos quedado exentos”. Hernández reiteró que espera el operativo noreste sea permanente para favorecer a la región y responder a los anhelos por el orden y la integridad de sus comunidades.

Nuevo Laredo Al hacer entrega de un paquete de obras, dijo que las mismas permitirán incorporar a los neolaredenses a mejores niveles de bienestar y de progreso. Fueron inauguradas las instalaciones del nuevo Centro de Rehabilitación Integral (CRI), el Abue GYM, las obras del boulevard Colosio Norponiente y en el Fraccionamiento “El Progreso” hizo entrega de 401 cartas de asignación de viviendas. Sobre el Colosio Norponiente, Hernández dijo que se tuvo una inversión superior a los 135 millones de pesos y que permitirá

Fotos de cortesía | Gobierno de Tamaulipas

Eugenio Hernández Flores, en su cargo de Gobernador de Tamaulipas, visitó Ciudad Mier donde cumplió la promesa de entrega de recursos para la recuperación del Pueblo Mágico.

La ampliación de la Universidad Politécnica en MIguel Alemán fue una de la inauguraciones realizadas por el Gobierno de Tamaulipas la semana pasada. dar mayor fluidez al tráfico de vehículos de carga, así como contar con una conexión eficiente entre los puentes internacionales.

Reynosa En esta ciudad Hernández inauguró un paquete de obras de infraestructura social, con una inversión superior a los 500 millones de pesos. Se puso en marcha las operaciones de la planta de tratamiento de aguas residuales número dos, la cual permitirá solucionar el problema de contaminación de la laguna La Escondida. Fueron inauguradas las obras

del paso superior vehicular “Bicentenario” que permitirá agilizar el tráfico en el libramiento Monterrey-Matamoros, con la avenida Río Purificación. En la Laguna La Escondida se inauguró la primera etapa de un Centro Deportivo de Alto Rendimiento y una pista atlética en las instalaciones de la Unidad Deportiva Solidaridad. Finalmente, en el Parque Industrial Reynosa, se inauguraron las obras de pavimentación de la avenida “Mike Allen” en la Brecha E-99, que permitirá agilizar el tráfico de unidades de carga hacia el puente internacional Reynosa - Pharr. (Con información del Gobierno de Tamaulipas)



Audit finds CDC misplaced equipment By MIKE STOBBE ASSOCIATED PRESS

ATLANTA — The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lost or misplaced more than $8 million in property in 2007, losing track of items including computer and video equipment, government auditors say. Agency officials said Wednesday they have corrected the lapses that led to that amount of waste. The report was released this week by the inspector general for the Department of Health and Human Services, the parent agency of the CDC. In 2007, the auditors checked on 200 randomly sampled items and found 15 were lost or not inventoried, including a $1.8 million hard disk drive and a $978,000 video conferencing system. CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden wrote the inspector general that the CDC agrees with the report’s conclusions and has now instituted better controls. He wrote that 99 percent of the agency’s property was accounted for in 2009. And the agency says all of its property this year

Photo by Erik S. Lesser | AP

Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is shown at the agency’s headquarters on in this Sept. 3, 2009 photo. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lost or misplaced more than $8 million in property. is accounted for. The agency still hasn’t explained what happened to the 15 pieces of missing equipment from 2007, auditors said. But a CDC spokeswoman on Wednesday said all but four of the items — including the two most expensive ones — have since been accounted for. CDC officials were tsktsked by Tom Schatz, president of Citizens Against Government Waste. “It’s just a good thing they haven’t lost any diseases,” Schatz said. The Atlanta-based CDC often gets high marks for how well it does at its core

mission of promoting health and investigating outbreaks of illness. But it has less incentive to keep track of its computer equipment or take care of other concerns that would seem important to a private business, Schatz said. “There are a lot of agencies that do their job well, but they don’t manage the ’little things’ very well. The Defense Department is notorious for losing all kinds of equipment, but they do a pretty good job defending the country,” Schatz said. The CDC is the only HHS agency to have had such an audit.

FISHERMEN Continued from Page 1A March. Fish are spawning and are filled with eggs this time of year, said James Bendele, co-owner of Falcon Lake Tackle. Since the lakes in the northern states are frozen, people are making their way to Zapata’s Falcon Lake, Bendele added. “People are out there catching fish with no grief, no problems, no trouble anywhere,” said Tom Bendele, co-owner of Falcon Lake Tackle. “There are probably about 40 boats in the water out there today.” The lake is starting to drop to normal levels and fish are getting caught in different areas of the lake, James Bendele added. “Today was one of the busier days in months,” James Bendele said. “People have the week off, so they are here to kick off the spawning season and we’ll continue to see more the next few months that we haven’t seen in months.” As other lake patrons launched their boats, an Air Force disabled veteran, Daniel Peña, and son Miguel Peña fished from the banks, relaxing and taking in the bright sun and all

My father instilled the fishing bug in us, so it calls out to you, ‘Let’s go fishing,’ ” MIGUEL PEÑA

the smells around them. “I decided to accompany my dad and enjoy the tranquility instead of staying home watching TV,” Miguel Peña said. “It’s real beautiful out here.” “My father instilled the fishing bug in us, so it calls out to you, ‘Let’s go fishing,’ ” Miguel Peña added. At 77, Daniel Peña spends most his days by the lake to pass the time, he said. “This is a pastime for me because if I really wanted fish I would go to H-E-B,” he said. “I just want to have a good time.” They sat for hours by the water watching fisherman on boats bring in their large bass and taking pictures with them, Miguel Peña said. Besides the ranchers, farmers, and oil fields, Za-

pata is a tourist town because of Falcon Lake, Miguel Peña said. Many fishing tournaments are held yearly in Zapata County and a few incidents blown out of proportion drove all the tourists away, Miguel Peña added. “Hotels are empty and tourism is hurting,” Miguel Peña said. Miguel Peña admitted he often fished in Falcon Lake with friends from Laredo and they are now afraid to visit because of the attacks on boaters by Mexican cartel members. “Occasional incidents happen everywhere,” Miguel Peña said. “The people that live here are lucky to live in such a peaceful and immaculate place.” (Lorraine L. Rodriguez may be reached at (956)7282557.)

Roberto “El Gancho” Ramirez ZAPATA, TEXAS — Roberto “El Gancho” Ramirez, 58, passed away Sunday, Dec. 26, 2010, at Doctor’s Hospital in Laredo, Texas. Mr. Ramirez is preceded in death by his parents Jose Refugio Ramirez and Adela T. Ramirez. Mr. Ramirez is survived by his wife Maria Concepcion Ramirez; son Roberto Jr. (Maria De La Luz) Ramirez; daughter Elizabeth Ann (David) Guevara; brothers Jose Refugio Jr. (Nora) Ramirez and Armando (Celia) Ramirez; sister Graciela (Mario) Vidaurri; and by numerous nephews, nieces and many friends. Mr. Ramirez owned and operated Ramirez Key Service in Laredo for over 20 years. Mr. Ramirez retired and lived on his ranch in

Hearst, DirecTV reach deal on fees ASSOCIATED PRESS

NEW YORK — DirecTV satellite subscribers around the country will continue to receive network TV stations owned by Hearst Corp. after the two companies reached a new deal over the fees that DirecTV pays the broadcasting company to carry stations on its lineup. The original deal would have expired at midnight Friday, and subscribers in Boston, Pittsburgh, Baltimore and other markets could have lost Hearst-owned stations on DirecTV. Hearst owns 29 local TV stations. Many of these negotiations over fees have been going down to the wire recently as broadcasters look to tap a second source of revenue outside of selling commercial time. Some disputes have even extended past the expiration of previous deals, leaving cable and satellite subscribers without channels for days, even weeks. Sinclair Broadcast Group is wrangling with Time Warner Cable Inc. over the same issue. If a deal isn’t reached by midnight Friday, 33 stations could go dark for Time Warner customers. The stakes in these cases can be big for sports fans. Potentially affected in the SinclairTime Warner dispute is the ABC broadcast of Saturday’s Outback Bowl.

Zapata, Texas, where he raised many different animals. He will be greatly missed by all his family and friends. Honorary pallbearers were Jose Refugio Ramirez Jr., Armando Ramirez and Mario M. Vidaurri. Pallbearers were Mario M. Vidaurri Jr., Jose Roel Vidaurri, Fernando Bernar-

dini Jr., Juan Miguel Bernardini, Rene David Bernardini and Roberto Ramirez Jr. Visitation hours were held Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2010, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. with a rosary at 7 p.m. at Rose Garden Funeral Home. The funeral procession departed Thursday, Dec. 30, 2010, at 9:45 a.m. for a 10 a.m. funeral Mass at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church. Committal services followed at Zapata County Cemetery. Condolences may be sent to the family at Funeral arrangements were under the direction of Rose Garden Funeral Home, Daniel A. Gonzalez, funeral director, 2102 HWY 83 Zapata, TX.

Eusebia Arredondo ZAPATA, TEXAS — Eusebia Arredondo, 78, passed away Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2010, at Falcon Lake Nursing Home in Zapata, Texas. Ms. Arredondo is preceded in death by her husband Andres Arredondo; parents Federico (Maria Del Refugio) Olivares; brothers Brigido Olivares, Adan Olivares and Rosendo Olivares; and sisters Dora Olga (Ramon) Olivares and Reyes Dominguez. Ms. Arredondo is survived by her brother Rumaldo Olivares; sisters-inlaw Simona Olivares and Dominga Olivares; and by numerous nephews, nieces, other relatives and many friends. Pallbearers were Rafael Arambula, Robert Arredondo, Juan Eloy Alvarado, Hector Abel Solis, Federico Olivares, Roel Villarreal, Jr. George Gonzalez Jr. and Paul Yeagley. Visitation hours were held Thursday, Dec. 23, 2010, from noon to 2:30

p.m. with a rosary at 1 p.m. at Rose Garden Funeral Home. The funeral procession departed at 2:30 p.m. for a 3 p.m. funeral Mass at Nuestra Señora Del Refugio in San Ygnacio, Texas. Committal services followed at Panteon Del Pueblo. Condolences may be sent to the family at Funeral arrangements were under the direction of Rose Garden Funeral Home, Daniel A. Gonzalez, funeral director, 2102 HWY 83 Zapata, TX.

Mizel Anahi Navarro ZAPATA, TEXAS — Baby Mizel Anahi Navarro, 2 months, passed away Dec. 28, 2010, at Methodist Children’s Hospital in San Antonio, Texas. Visitation hours were held Thursday, Dec. 30, 2010, from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Rose Garden Funeral Home. A graveside service was held at 4 p.m. at Zapata County Cemetery. Condolences may be sent to the family at Funeral arrangements were under the direction of

Rose Garden Funeral Home, Daniel A. Gonzalez, funeral director, 2102 HWY 83 Zapata, TX.



PETS Continued from Page 1A together, we can talk about it and see what our options are,” Saenz said. “We hope we can get a new shelter, but it’s something that can’t be done right now and as soon as the next year comes, we’ll go from there and see what happens.” In order for the animal control to become a nonprofit animal shelter, Saenz would need to gather a group of volunteers to make up the shelter’s board of directors, Hernandez said. “We need three or four people who are willing to volunteer to head the animal shelter,” Hernandez said. The board of directors would consist of a chairperson, a vice chair person, treasurer and a secretary is optional, Hernandez said. “These people would be responsible for ensuring that all funding is used appropriately, look for alternative funding, fundraise,

ensure the upkeep of the shelter, maintenance of the animals, submit progress reports to county officials and other daily workings of the shelter,” Hernandez said. Hernandez has had a passion for animals since she was a child and is always trying to find a way to help them, she said. “You don’t need to be a resident of Zapata to see the effects of abandoned pets on the streets, passersby can also see the effect,” Hernandez said. “What other people see is the reflection of our community.” Hernandez has been trying to enter the Pepsi Project Challenge to help construct an animal shelter in Zapata County with little success, and she will now have to wait until March to try again. The Pepsi Project would help fund the expansion of the current animal control building or the construction of a new building for a

separate animal shelter, Hernandez said. The county currently does not have an animal shelter and relies only on the animal control employees and services to maintain the growing population of strays. Strays roam the streets and when they are picked up they have less than a week, approximately 72 hours to get adopted or they are humanely euthanized. The only other option for strays in Zapata if they are not picked up is starvation and diseases while roaming aimlessly and running the risk of getting hurt or even killed, Hernandez said. “It just breaks my heart. Strays sometimes belong to someone and if they don’t they just want to belong and be loved,” Hernandez said. (Lorraine L. Rodriguez may be reached at (956)7282557.)

RESOLUTIONS Continued from Page 1A Guerra. Like Guerra, Commissioner Jose E. Vela promises to do something about his health and the environment’s health. “Personally, I’m going to try to see if I can get in better health by starting an exercise program,” Vela said. “My other resolution as a public official is that I’m going to concentrate on environmental issues. I’m going to work on preventing littering and waste spills and cleaning up our county.” Zapata County Chamber of Commerce administrative assistant Amelda Garcia also wants to “lose weight and get in shape this coming year,” she said. Also on the healthy train, but with bigger plans for his new career, was David Brown, director

of the Zapata County Advance Education Center. “Most important thing this New Year is my new job, my new life in Zapata, and I always want to be in good health and stay in shape,” Brown said. “My New Year’s resolution for this coming year is to do the best job I can and be content with the outcome.” Not everyone in Zapata was on the healthy train. Celia Balderas, Zapata County Chamber of Commerce membership services coordinator, said many people promise to lose a couple of pounds they gained during the holidays or slowly through the year and many times people forget about their New Year’s resolutions after January. “This year I just want to look forward to more events for our community

to keep us busy,” Balderas said. Tom Bendele, co-owner of Falcon Lake Tackle, wants something similar to Balderas. He said his New Year’s resolution is “to get people back in the lake.” As new County Judge Joe Rathmell gets sworn into office, Roxy Elizondo, one of his administrative assistants, asks for nothing more than to not disappoint her new boss, she said. For disabled Air force Veteran Daniel Peña there is nothing better than to relax in 2011. “At 77, I just want to take it easy and make my life is as comfortable as possible,” Peña said. “What else can I do?” (Lorraine L. Rodriguez may be reached at (956)7282557.)

GOODBYE Continued from Page 1A budgets to alleviate the deficit for the next fiscal year. Several attacks on boaters were reported through out the year, but no one was prepared for the unexpected attack and death of David Hartley in September. Hartley, who was jet skiing on Falcon Lake and taking photos of the Old Guerrero Church with his wife, was shot and killed, and his body was never found. In July, most of the state received many rainy days, flooding several border cities including Laredo. Zapata County did not expect to receive any flooding due to the land being so elevated above sea level. It was not until millions of gallons of water were released from Amistad Dam that the water came pouring down, raising Falcon Lake’s water levels to record numbers. After an unsuccessful attempt to reach a “recognized” status as a district by the Texas Education Agency in 2009, former ZCISD Superintendent Romeo Rodriguez turned in his resignation in June, a year short of completing his contract with the district. ZCISD Chief Instruction Officer Norma Garcia was chosen to take his position and was sworn into office in August. The Treviño Fort located in San Ygnacio experienced a major accident in January as a construction company working on a large street paving project sprayed tar all over the side of it. After several months of research on how to remove the tar, the fort, a historic building, remains stained. Zapata County broke ground for the new, 7.2 million gallon water treatment plant in March 2009, costing approximately $21.2 million. It

has now been completed and has been running since August. Also in August, the new water treatment plant had to be run simultaneously with the old one for about three weeks, causing a break in a main water line that left Zapata County without water for more than 12 hours. The Zapata County Museum of History, after breaking ground in April 2009, was expected to open exactly a year later, in April of this year. After experiencing several aesthetic issues, the opening of the museum moved back month after month. Despite all the time that has passed, the museum is still not ready and lacks exhibits and landscaping. It was set to open in January after the president and chief executive officer of the Chamber of Commerce was appointed the new director

of the museum. The exact date is still uncertain. Zapata County has also completed construction of the Advance Education Center, expected to open in January for the first day of instruction if all safety discrepancies are fixed and the center is up to Director David Brown’s expectations. The school district completed construction of the new Zapata Middle School campus in November and staff was ready to move in by the end of December. Last but not least, Zapata County voted in new County Judge Joe Rathmell in the primaries in April. He will be sworn into office today. (Lorraine L. Rodriguez may be reached at (956)7282557.)



Sports&Outdoors NFL


Photo by Chris Schneider | AP

Houston Texans cornerback Jason Allen, foreground, intercepts a pass in the end zone intended for Denver Broncos’ Brandon Lloyd (84) in the first quarter a game on Sunday in Denver.

Photo by Paul Connors | AP

Dallas Cowboys running back Marion Barber (24) leaps past Arizona Cardinals defenders Kerry Rhodes (25) and Gerald Hayes, right, on his way to the end zone for a touchdown during the third quarter of a game Saturday in Glendale, Ariz. The Cardinals won 27-26.

Big D faces serious questions for final week By JAIME ARON ASSOCIATED PRESS

IRVING — Jon Kitna will be the starting quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys in their finale Sunday if his strained abdominal muscle heals enough. It’s not likely, though, so secondyear backup Stephen McGee probably will make his first career start. “We have to see what Jon’s availability is throughout the practice week and see what he is able to do,” interim coach Jason Garrett said Monday. “Can he play? Can he practice well enough to play in this game on Sunday? So that’s the No. 1 consideration.

If he’s not able to do that, we will play Stephen. But if he’s able to do that, Jon will be our quarterback.” The Cowboys believe an injured Kitna would give them a better chance to beat Philadelphia than a healthy McGee. Kitna has gone 4-5 since replacing Tony Romo and has been hailed for his leadership. His stats are on par with Romo’s. But Kitna is 38. The Cowboys already are planning on him being Romo’s backup next season. So why not start McGee against the Eagles no matter what, just to find out what they have — especially since Kitna certainly won’t be at full strength?

“There’s probably a lot of different reasons,” Garrett said. “We just feel like it’s best to give Jon a chance to come back and play if he is healthy enough to do it.” McGee made his NFL debut Saturday night after Kitna was hurt during the second quarter against Arizona. He rallied the Cowboys from an 11point deficit to a late lead, only to see the defense blow it in the final seconds. He completed 11 of 17 passes and didn’t have any turnovers. His biggest concern was not fumbling his first snap. The more he played, the better he felt. To appre-



Natural disaster Kubiak on hot-seat after subpar season By CHRIS DUNCAN

the Denver Broncos.


HOUSTON — Gary Kubiak’s time with the Houston Texans could be quickly running out after the team’s unexpected plunge this season. Houston (5-10) lost for the eighth time in nine games on Sunday, blowing a 17-0 halftime lead in a 2423 loss to Tim Tebow and

Sorry streaks Houston will miss the playoffs for the ninth straight season of its existence and is guaranteed its worst record since going 610 in 2006, Kubiak’s first season.



Bowling costs get Sid the Kid higher each year

goes Classic


The numbers grow every year: 35 bowl games, 70 teams — the morphing of what was once a New Year’s Day tradition into one that kicks off in midDecember and finishes closer to Martin Luther King Day than Jan. 1. And if those bowl-season stats seem bloated, try this: Ohio State and Alabama each spend more than $31 million a year to run their football programs, while nine other teams closing out the season at one of those 35 bowl games spend $20 million plus. The cheapest bowlbound program? That would be Troy, winner of the New Orleans Bowl on the first postseason weekend, at just a shade over $5 million. That’s nearly $23 million less than they spend an hour away at topranked Auburn, where the Tigers are playing for the national title this season. Auburn’s opponent in the BCS game, Oregon, spends $18 million — 16th among the bowl-bound schools. The statistics come from the Department of Educa-


Superstars sell outdoor game By ALAN ROBINSON ASSOCIATED PRESS

Photo by Kin Man Hui | San Antonio Express-News

Oklahoma State’s Josh Cooper (25) and Bryant Ward (37) pour Gatorade onto head coach Mike Gundy during the closing moments of the game against Arizona’s at the 2010 Valero Alamo Bowl in San Antonio on Wednesday.

PITTSBURGH — There was no stick-breaking by Sidney Crosby when his 25game scoring streak ended one game short of the Winter Classic. To Crosby, the streak was good while it lasted, but he never had any expectations of threatening Wayne Gretzky’s record 51-game run. “It would have been nice to keep it going,” Crosby said following Pittsburgh’s 2-1 shootout loss to the Islanders on Wednesday night. Whether the streak’s end was met so matter-of-factly in the NHL executive offices is a different matter. The NHL is selling Saturday’s Capitals-Penguins outdoor game at Heinz Field as a return to the sport’s roots, a rare oppor-

Photo by Gene J. Puskar | AP

Pittsburgh Penguins’ Sidney Crosby will be facing off against his bitter rival, Alex Ovechkin, at Heinz Field on New Years Day in the NHL Winter Classic outdoor game. tunity to watch a pro hockey game where the elements might play a role in the outcome. The NFL and MLB play outdoors and indoors, but the NHL usually plays only indoors. It’s a matchup between two competitive rivals and the stars who represent them. But while it’s called the Winter Classic, it might as well be the Crosby Classic. There is no attempt to hide this: The NHL is marketing Crosby, his easy-torecognize skills, his easy-tolike personality, his boyish image, much like the league once hyped Gretzky.

Crosby isn’t just the face of the NHL, he possesses one of the few faces and names a casual sports fan can identify during a time when NHL highlights often take up only a few moments of air time nightly on ESPN. No, the NHL didn’t invite the Penguins to play in its New Year’s Day showcase — one the league compares to the Daytona 500 in terms of impact — because Pittsburgh is a huge media market that will deliver huge TV ratings. Or because the Penguins won





TEXANS Continued from Page 1B The Texans play Jacksonville (8-7) in their finale on Sunday, and speculation has intensified that not even an impressive victory over the Jaguars will be enough to save Kubiak and his staff.

Focus on the game Kubiak has deflected questions about his future for weeks, and he did it again on Monday, saying he’s only focused on the finale. “Nothing’s changed for me,” he said. “I wouldn’t answer the question any differently. I’m concerned about trying to get ready to win a game.” Kubiak’s contract runs through the 2012 season, and team owner Bob McNair offered a vote of confidence for his coach two weeks ago — after the team rallied from 21 points down to tie, but eventually lose, a Monday night game to Baltimore. Houston was then routed by Tennessee and collapsed in the second half against Denver, where Kubiak thrived as an offensive coordinator for 11 seasons under Mike Shanahan.

Surprise, surprise Kubiak said Monday that he’s as shocked as anyone that the Texans’ season unraveled so badly. The team started 4-2, overcoming the suspensions of linebacker Brian Cushing and left tackle Duane Brown for violating the NFL’s policy on banned substances. But when Kubiak looks back on the season, he’ll lament the half-dozen games that got away since then.

The Texans have led or been tied in the fourth quarter of seven of their past eight games, and lost all but one of those. “Getting close doesn’t matter. You’ve got to win those games,” Kubiak said. “The key is to get yourself to play in games like that every week, and we’re playing in them. We’re not winning them. That’s what’s very disappointing. You have to learn to make those plays.”

and most of those defensive breakdowns have occurred in the fourth quarter. “I don’t think it’s one mistake,” Kubiak said. “I think there are things that happen through the course of a game that put you in those situations. But usually, in the fourth quarter, there are four, five or six plays that are the difference in the game, and you’ve got to make three or four of them. Obviously, we haven’t been doing that.”

Serious loss


Kubiak said that the defense never recovered from the loss of Pro Bowl middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans, who ruptured his Achilles’ tendon in the sixth game. The Texans have given up at least 24 points in each of their past eight losses. “If I could change one thing, I’d like (Ryans) to be playing throughout the course of the season,” Kubiak said. “That’s a big, big miss. We lost our leader and our quarterback on defense the day we left the field 4-2. So that’s been very, very difficult.” The Texans’ defense ranks 29th overall and last against the pass, allowing 277 yards per game. Tebow threw for 308 yards on Sunday in his second career start.

With Sunday’s loss, Kubiak’s record slipped to 3643 through five seasons. The Texans’ progress has stalled after they went 9-7 last season, the franchise’s first winning record. “Words can’t describe how I feel,” Kubiak said. “We had a good team coming out of camp, a lot of reasons to be very optimistic. We had some issues early in the season, we weathered the storm very, very well. “But the bottom line is we’ve lost five or six games that we easily could’ve won, and that’s the difference between having a great season and having the season we’re having right now.” Notes: Kubiak said WR Andre Johnson will sit out practice this week to nurse a sprained right ankle. Johnson skipped Sunday’s game in Denver and is questionable for the finale. “If he tells me Friday that he feels good enough to play, then he’s going to play,” Kubiak said. “We’ll have to wait and see how it goes.” ... Kubiak said LB Darryl Sharpton will miss the Jacksonville game with a shoulder injury.

Bad calls Kubiak’s decision to start rookie Kareem Jackson and second-year pro Glover Quin at cornerback has proven disastrous. Houston has allowed 32 touchdown passes and 17 pass plays covering at least 40 yards, both league highs,

COWBOYS Continued from Page 1B ciate how much of a step up in competition this was, he hadn’t played a game that counted since he was at Texas A&M, and he’d never thrown to Jason Witten and Miles Austin. He’d had only three series with the first-team offense, despite being the No. 2 guy the past nine weeks. “Being out there and playing, getting those snaps, those are priceless, a confidence boost,” McGee said. “Hey, I’ve got that out of the way. I’ve taken snaps. I’ve played. There are a lot of plays from that game I can draw from and use this

week to really focus on and get better.” Dallas added another quarterback Monday, signing Chris Greisen to the practice squad. Greisen is 34 and has never taken a snap in the NFL despite being Arizona’s No. 3 quarterback from 1999-2001. He spent a few weeks on Washington’s practice squad in 2002 and has since played in NFL Europe, af2, the AFL and the UFL. One of his Arena League teams was the Cowboys-owned Desperados. When Kitna was hurt, Greisen thought there was


a remote chance he might get a call from the Cowboys. He actually missed it while at a Christmas party. Dallas’ pro scouting coordinator Will McClay — who’d been Greisen’s coach on the Desperados — left a message. “I had to call him back,” Greisen said, laughing. “He said, ’I have a proposition for you: Do you want to become a Cowboys?’ I said, ’Heck, yeah.’ It was a great, great surprise.” The Cowboys could move Greisen up to the active roster if Kitna is unable to play Sunday.

Duke’s Nolan Smith (2) drives past North CarolinaGreensboro’s Brian Cole (50) and David Williams (00 in Greensboro, N.C. on Wednesday. The victory for No. 1 Duke pushed Coach K past Dean Smith into sole second-place on the all-time wins list.

Photo by Chuck Burton | AP

NHL Continued from Page 1B the Stanley Cup two seasons ago. It’s because of Sid. Crosby’s jersey is easily the No. 1 best seller nationally, and has pushed Winter Classic sales to their highest level in four years. His face fills Reebok’s ads that proclaim Let’s Take This Outdoors. His name is on top of the NHL’s goalscoring and points lists. His leadership has put the Penguins No. 1 in the NHL standings. His scoring streak was beginning to attract considerable media attention. His accomplishments have made him, at age 23, The Canadian Press’ national athlete of the year for the third time. It’s no coincidence that the Winter Classic took off after Crosby, following the script to perfection, scored the decisive goal in the shootout as the Penguins beat the Sabres 2-1 in a near snowstorm in Buffalo three years ago. “I think this game sets up to potentially be the biggest of them all,” NHL chief operating officer John Collins said Thursday. It’s only one game of 1,230 in the NHL, but it’s the biggest in terms of the league expanding its base audience, getting a regular-season game into the living rooms of families that usually ignore the sport. And showing off a likable star who, following

The Winter Classic was originally planned to highlight the Crosby vs. Alex Ovechkin rivalry, but there’s little argument this season which player is better. a year in which scandals were omnipresent in sports, hasn’t been touched by a hint of any during his first six seasons. During a year in which some of the NFL’s bestknown names dealt with image-damaging behavior issues (Ben Roethlisberger, Brett Favre) or tried to rebuild their images following previous misdeeds (Michael Vick), think that league wishes its No. 1 star was as wholesome as Crosby? No wonder Crosby’s No. 87 will be as visible as NBC’s peacock logo during the three-hour telecast. The Winter Classic was originally planned to highlight the Crosby vs. Alex Ovechkin rivalry, but there’s little argument this season which player is better. Going into Thursday’s games, Crosby had a 13point lead over Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos in the scoring race after getting 32 goals and 33 assists in his first 39 games. Ovechkin was No. 8. In goal scoring, Crosby was

first and Ovechkin was 25th. As former teammate Bill Guerin said earlier this month while announcing his retirement, “Sid’s not a kid any more. He’s a man.” So if playing in this game required Crosby to give up any late-night New Year’s Eve celebration, so be it. “I think we all feel pretty lucky to be in the game,” Crosby said. “For some of us who have played in one already, it’s another opportunity to be part of a pretty unique event. The fact we have it in Pittsburgh, against a rival, and that it’s become such a big event, we all just feel lucky to be part of it.” The NHL’s next challenge is to find a way to keep having Crosby involved in it. “Only a couple of teams get to do this every year,” Crosby said. “To be at home and feel this excitement, it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

BOWLS Continued from Page 1B tion, which has required universities to submit the amount they spend on sports since 2000 as part of the Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act. With that information, the Equity in Athletics Data Analysis Cutting Tool was created. And while the database comes with disclaimers and caveats stating that there are no hard-and-fast guidelines as to what schools count under the term “expenses” and “revenue,” these are the numbers they report to the federal government. After OSU ($31.7 million) and ’Bama ($31.1 million), the rest of top five biggest spenders include Notre Dame, Auburn and LSU, according to the database. Most schools’ figures were for the fiscal year that ended June 30. Broken down on a per-student basis, the Irish spend the most, the database says. Their trip to the Sun Bowl is coming at a price of $3,531 for each of Notre Dame’s 8,351 undergraduates — an overall budget of $29.4 million — while TCU spends $2,822 per student to run its Rose Bowl-bound football program. For all the money they fork out, at least the TCUs and LSUs of the world are going somewhere this season. Texas, last year’s national runner-up, spent $25.1 million and is sitting home for New Year’s after going 5-7. Boise State, meanwhile, looks like a bargain. The underdog Broncos stayed in contention for the national title all year with a program that spends a fraction of what the big boys do. The tab: $6.85 million for an average of $564 a student for a program that

In fact, all but three of the bowl-bound programs reported operating at even or in the black. ended up winning the MAACO Bowl this year. While football also brings in millions, the spending on the sport has given plenty of ammunition to critics of big-time college sports. “It’s a sad commentary given the general conditions out there: 10 percent unemployment, economic stagnation,” said Tom Palaima, the University of Texas’ representative on the Coalition on Intercollegiate Athletics, a group that believes spending on sports has gotten out of hand. “You look at $1,500 per capita (at Auburn), that’s a large outlay. I just don’t see how it can be justified given that most of the revenues will still end up on the sports side of the ledger.” Indeed, the common refrain among many successful football programs is that they are selfsustaining. In fact, all but three of the bowl-bound programs reported operating at even or in the black. In most cases, that allows the football programs — most commonly the biggest money makers in athletic programs — to support all the other sports, which in many cases operate at a loss. In cases where there’s more money left over, some of that is often given to the university, which can use it wherever the need is greatest. The Texas athletic program

boasts that it sends back an average of around $1.5 million a year to the school. Its football program netted a whopping $68 million in the 12-month period ending Aug. 31. At Florida, football spent $24.4 million and brought in $68.7 million for a net profit of $44.2 million. The program will give $6 million to the university in the 2010-11 fiscal year to bring the total to $61.1 million since 1990. “At this place, your main revenue source is football, so you’re going to spend money necessary to sustain a successful football program,” Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley said. “If we go from playing in front of 90,000 people to playing in front of 60,000 people, you’re talking about cutting sports, scholarships, personnel, and nobody wants to see that happen.” But Foley said the benefits of a successful sports program go beyond merely money. Sports help spread the word about the University of Florida, which has grown in stature nationwide over the past two decades — a timeframe that coincides with the arrival of Steve Spurrier as coach and the rise of a once-troubled football program. (Not coincidentally, it’s also when the athletic program started giving money to the school.) “Athletics is a big window,” Foley said. “It provides a look into

the institution. If someone’s viewing the University of Florida and looking at a great athletic program, it enhances the way people view the institution and that’s all good.” Critics, meanwhile, respond that big-time college football programs wouldn’t have anywhere near the drawing power — and would be little more than moneylosing minor-league teams — without the name recognition and fan base the universities and their alumni provide. Not surprisingly, teams from the automatic-bid BCS conferences spend the most on football, with the Southeastern Conference, which has the best TV deal, leading the way. Six of the 10 highest overall spenders on the list were from the SEC. Presumably, football programs around the country should have roughly the same list of expenses: 85 scholarships, weight rooms and training tables, travel budgets and coaches’ salaries. The gap between the most expensive and least was a big one, however — more than $25 million — and there’s no doubt you will see a difference between the weight rooms at Troy and those at Ohio State. “If you need a nice weight room to attract a top athlete, you’re going to do that, but you need that weight room to help that athlete get better, too,” Foley

said. “If you have to spend money to pay a coach like Urban Meyer, you’re going to do that, too. You’ve got to spend money to make money. It doesn’t just happen.” Oregon professor Nathan Tublitz, the former co-chair at Coalition on Intercollegiate Athletics, said the calculation he favors divides the amount spent on any given sport by the number of players in that sport. At Oregon, he lumped them all together and found the athletic program has a $75 million annual budget and 500 scholarship students, for an average of about $150,000 per athlete per year. Meantime, the average cost of education for an instate student runs about $20,000 per year. That says something about the priorities at an institution that’s supposed to be more about learning and research than touchdowns and wild uniforms, Tublitz believes. He’s glad for the success Oregon’s football team is enjoying this season, but wonders if this kind of money should be spent on what is essentially entertainment, especially in a bad economy. “There is no justification for spending over $150,000 per football player per year when the rest of the student body is struggling to register for classes and to pay for books, tuition and living expenses,” he said. “There is a delicate equilibrium between academics and athletics, and our university, like most other big time athletic universities, have lost that balance.”



HINTS BY | HELOISE Dear Readers: Have you ever watched a cat playing with CATNIP? It can be quite comical! Not all cats react to catnip (kittens seldom do), but for those that do, they really have fun! Related to mint, catnip stimulates the cat’s brain. If your cat is playing with catnip, it’s probably best just to let it play; some can become aggressive. So, learn how your cat reacts. Catnip is sold loose and in toys. To use it loose, sprinkle a bit on the floor (yes, it will be messy, and keep from children), or put some in a sock, then tie. To maintain loose catnip’s freshness, store it in the refrigerator or freezer in a sealed, clearly labeled container. Meow! — Heloise REMEMBRANCE PARTY Dear Heloise: We recently lost our beloved dog Rocky — such a tremendous loss. So we had a “remembrance” party. We made homemade ice cream and cake, invited about 20 of our friends and asked each to bring a bag of dry dog/cat food or cat litter. We had a ball. Our neighbors and friends socialized and had a good time, and we raised 144 pounds of dog food, 50 pounds of cat food and 50 pounds of cat litter. We donated this to the local animal shelter in his memory.


We still miss him every day, but a lot of animals benefited from our party. — A. Russell in Woodstock, Va. I know the pain of losing a beloved pet! How thoughtful, and nice to know other animals will have a supply of food, in Rocky’s memory. If only a few of my readers followed your example, just imagine! — Heloise SLIPPERY SURFACE Dear Heloise: I have read when someone has used cat litter on a slippery surface. As an EMT, I am speaking from experience: Please do not use cat litter with CLAY, because this makes the situation worse. When the clay gets wet, it’s very slippery. I have seen leg fractures from someone putting cat litter on ice. Regular cat litter is fine as long as it doesn’t have clay in it. — D.M., via e-mail D.M., thank you for the caution. The original hint was for use to aid in traction on slippery streets. When clay cat litter gets wet, it becomes slick and is unsafe to walk on. Some nonclumping cat litter can be used in a pinch, but not on the sidewalk. — Heloise


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LOS ANGELES — Wisconsin’s size against TCU’s speed. The Badgers’ fearsome offensive line versus the Horned Frogs’ ingenious defensive schemes. The story line seems obvious for Saturday’s Rose Bowl, and it’s tough to argue against it after watching Wisconsin’s star left tackle, 6-foot-7 Outland Trophy winner Gabe Carimi, as he ducks down to enter a hotel ballroom. “It’s like a Ferrari and a dump truck,” TCU defensive coordinator Dick Bumpas said with a grin. Yet the third-ranked Frogs and the No. 4 Badgers also say it’s a simplistic way of looking at what’s arguably the biggest bowl outside the national title game this season. Sure, Wisconsin’s offensive line is a worthy heir to the Badgers’ tradition of power football, while TCU’s top-ranked defense is a masterpiece of tactics and technique. But the Frogs (12-0) aren’t exactly small, and the Badgers (11-1) are far from slow. “I get that that’s the first line of the story, but there’s much more to it than that,” Wisconsin offensive coordinator Paul Chryst said. “I think we’d be slighting both teams if all we talked about was our size and their speed.” It’s impossible to miss Wisconsin’s offensive line,


Photo by Jae C. Hong | AP

TCU safety Tejay Johnson laughs while talking to his teammate during a media day for the Rose Bowl in Los Angeles on Thursday. TCU is scheduled to face Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day in Pasadena, Calif. usually because it’s blocking out the sun. The Badgers’ line is a monument to overpowering physicality — a Mount Rushmore Plus One, with every starter at least 6-foot-4 and 313 pounds. Carimi and left guard John Moffitt are among the Badgers’ most popular and talented players, leading a line that has allowed three tailbacks to rush for at least 850 yards apiece while giving up just 12 sacks. “Their offensive line is known throughout the country,” said TCU center Jake Kirkpatrick, an elite talent himself. “With that combination of size and speed, they’re different than anybody. They’re unique, and they’re pretty

awesome.” Wisconsin built its hulking line with history in mind. Superior line play has been a hallmark of Badgers football since shortly after coach Barry Alvarez arrived at the school from Notre Dame in 1990, building the program that eventually produced the only three Rose Bowl victories in Wisconsin history. “You can arguably say the best lines in Wisconsin history went through the Rose Bowl,” said the 22-year-old Carimi, who grew up just east of Madison. “The ’98 and ’99 lines had a lot of the same guys on them, and the first Rose Bowl team (after the 1993 season) had a great line too, I think. That’s

the deal as Wisconsin. If you want to be seen as a great line, getting to the Rose Bowl is a part of it.” The parallels are particularly strong to the 1999 Wisconsin team, with Ron Dayne winning the Heisman Trophy behind a line that bullied every opponent except Michigan during a one-loss season. Coach Bret Bielema has stuck with Alvarez’s physical foundation, even while much of the nation has evolved into various spread offenses. “We’re very conscious that Wisconsin has a tradition of great offensive line play,” Moffitt said. “As long as there’s enormous people in Wisconsin, I think that’s the way it’s going to be.”

ATLANTA — Sponsors Wrangler and Snapper are sticking by Brett Favre after the NFL fined him $50,000 for failing to cooperate in an investigation into allegations he sent inappropriate messages and lewd photos to former New York Jets game-day hostess Jenn Sterger. A spokesperson for VF Corp.’s Wrangler jeans said the brand still has the 41-year-old Minnesota Vikings quarterback under contract. The company wouldn’t comment about the NFL fine. Its commercials featuring Favre are still running. Snapper, a unit of Briggs & Stratton Corp., that makes lawn mowers, snow throwers and other products, has an image of Favre on its Web site and says Favre remains a spokesperson. Although NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell “could not conclude” that Favre violated the league’s personal conduct policy based on the evidence available, the investigation has tarnished Favre’s reputation. He has long been one of America’s most popular athletes and has won a Super Bowl, set many passing and durability records and has an image as an everyday, down-to-earth

BRETT FAVRE: Sponsors stay onboard following NFL fine. guy. It is unclear what the fine and investigation will do over the long term to Favre’s endorsements. After Tiger Woods ran his SUV over a fire hydrant in November 2009, eventually bringing to light his infidelities, Accenture, AT&T Inc. and Gatorade cut ties with him. Gillette and Tag Heuer de-emphasized him in their marketing. Just last week, Gillette said it wouldn’t renew Woods’ contract. EA Sports and Nike, meanwhile, stood by the golfer. The fine might be Favre’s career capper. Although several times he has said he was retiring then changed his mind, Favre has said repeatedly this season is his last. Favre’s marketability is unlikely to take a huge hit from the investigation, said Laura Ries, president of Ries & Ries, an marketing/consulting firm. “It was a minor infraction, a text message,” she said. “This is in no way on the scale of Tiger Woods.” His bigger problem: Retirement will take him out of the spotlight, she said. “People tend to forget these people over time.”

LLWS outlaws composite bats High powered bats deemed illegal for kids ASSOCIATED PRESS

Photo by Bill Kostroun | AP

Philadelphia Eagles’ DeSean Jackson returns a punt for a touchdown during their match up with the New York Giants at New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. Jackson fielded a punt that was supposed to be kicked out of bounds and scored on an incredible 65-yard return on the final play, giving the Eagles a stunning 38-31 victory. That feat earned the game the Most Memorable Game honors.


The MVP, coach of the year and other top NFL awards will be announced in a month. A slew of offbeat honors will be announced, well, right now. MOST MEMORABLE GAME Plenty of candidates during an exciting and news-making season, but the slam-dunk winner came in Week 15 at the New Meadowlands Stadium. The result left Giants fans shaking their heads and mumbling about “The Fumble II.” Philadelphia’s stunning rally for 28 points in the last 71/2 minutes of a 3831 victory gave it control of the NFC East. New York’s shocking collapse, in which it was fooled on an onside kick almost everyone else expected, then was flummoxed on DeSean Jackson’s sensational punt return as time ran out, will live on in Big Apple infamy. Runner-up: Pittsburgh 13, Baltimore 10, in as classic a defensive showdown as the NFL can stage. MOST FORGETTABLE GAME Two also-rans, the Browns and Bills, played an uglyfest at Orchard Park on Dec. 12. The Browns fumbled five

times, losing two, and Jake Delhomme threw an interception late in the game. Buffalo wasn’t a lot better in a 13-6 win. Runners-up: Also on Dec. 12, Green Bay’s 7-3 loss at Detroit, notable for an oddity — the Lions breaking a 19-game slide against division opponents — and an injury, Packers QB Aaron Rodgers’ concussion. That same day, the Dolphins won 10-6 in a sloppy affair at the Jets, who were in a malaise after a blowout loss to New England six days earlier. PLAY OF THE YEAR Jackson’s 65-yard punt return on the final play of Philadelphia’s 38-31 victory over the Giants will be shown on highlights shows for years. Rookie Matt Dodge was supposed to kick the ball out of bounds to avoid Jackson with 14 seconds left. He didn’t, taking a high snap and rushing his punt. The ball floated to Jackson, who then dropped it. But the ultradangerous receiver/returner scooped up the ball, retreated a bit, then sped down the middle, cut right and was gone. He made a slight detour at the 1-yard line to ensure the clock would run out before being mobbed

by the victorious Eagles. Runner-up: David Garrard’s desperation pass that was wisely knocked downward by Houston cornerback Glover Quin. Except he deflected it into the hands of Mike Thomas, lifting Jacksonville to victory on the final play. BEST TURNAROUND A season after going 115, the Rams became a contender, albeit in the Mild, Mild NFC West. Still, the improvement in Steve Spagnuolo’s second season as coach should be lauded. Bringing in top overall draft choice Sam Bradford, then seeing him develop rapidly at quarterback, filled a huge void. Second-round tackle Rodger Saffold has solidified the offensive line, and the defense, thanks to Spagnuolo’s schemes and the gains made by DE Chris Long and LB James Laurinaitis, is on the rise. Runner-up: Look 240 miles west across Missouri to Kansas City, where the Chiefs have gone from also-ran with coaching issues to AFC contender. WORST TURNAROUND So many candidates, but the Arizona Cardinals started bad and got worse. Not only couldn’t the Cardinals find an efficient, let alone decent, replace-

ment for retired quarterback Kurt Warner, but their defense suffered from losing LB Karlos Dansby and DB Antrel Rolle. Star receiver Larry Fitzgerald suffered with Anquan Boldin gone. Then the team looked like vintage Cardinals — you know, the ones who regularly won three or four games a season. Runners-up: The Vikings. Or the Bengals. Or the Broncos. Or the Cowboys. BEST FREE AGENT SIGNING The Monsters of the Midway are back in intimidating form, and a major reason is the addition of DE Julius Peppers. His numbers have not been off the chart since he moved to Chicago from Carolina, but his impact has been on a defense that ranks eighth overall, third against the run, and has allowed six fewer points per game. Runner-up: Even though CB Dunta Robinson of the Falcons made his biggest headlines when he was fined $50,000 for a flagrant hit on Jackson, he’s been solid all season for the NFC front-runner. WORST FREE AGENT SIGNING Cincinnati signed Antonio Bryant to combine with Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens in a dy-

namic receiving corps that would complement the running of Cedric Benson as the Bengals defended their AFC North title. Bryant received a fouryear, $28 million deal, including about $7 million up front, while coming off an injury-marred season. Runner-up: Joey Porter joined Arizona, where it was hoped he’d provide some of the playmaking and leadership lost with Dansby gone. He didn’t come close. BEST NFL BROADCAST CREW No contest. ESPN’s pairing of Jon Gruden, Ron Jaworski and Mike Tirico has no peer. Gruden is instructive and entertaining; he’s even begun to find a critical voice when necessary. Nobody knows more about the ins and outs of the game than Jaworski, who watches more film than a movie critic. Tirico is so smooth and efficient it’s like listening to a close friend describe the action. Runner-up: Sam Rosen and Tim Ryan. Rosen primarily is a hockey man, but his ability to give concise and accurate play-byplay before yielding to analyst Ryan is exemplary. Nobody breaks down each play better than Ryan, whose passion for the game is contagious.

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — Composite bats will no longer be used in the Little League World Series. Little League officials announced a moratorium on the equipment Thursday based on research it commissioned from the University of Massachusetts in Lowell. Composite bats have metal shells enclosing woven fibers inside the barrels. Critics say the bats endanger youngsters because balls fly off them at high speeds and can injure fielders. Supporters say they are lighter and easier to handle. Little League banned composite bats in its older junior, senior and big league divisions in August. The league broadened the ban on Thursday to include the younger majors division featured in the World Series. Players can use wood bats, metal bats or bats with composite materials in the handle only.

The Zapata Times 1/1/2011  

The Zapata Times 1/1/2011