QUIDAM CIRQUE DU SOLEIL
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LOUIS RAWALT'S ADVENTURE CONTINUES
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JEFF CRAFT Publisher
CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Samantha Koepp, Dale Rankin, Georgia Griffin, Ronnie Narmour, Aletha Eyerman, Charlz Vinson
PHOTOGRAPHY Miles Merwin, Jeff Dolan, Janette Park-Rankin Dale Rankin, Georgia Griffin, Max Strycharske, Ronnie Narmour
CONTACT CC @ 361.443.2137 361.949.7700 505 S Water St Suite 545 Corpus Christi, Tx 78401
From the Publisher...
Is going to be a tough year for the triskaidekaphobics out there, but at least we made it past the end of the world (again) and the fiscal cliff turned out to be another Washington time-waster. One thing that drives me up a wall when I hear what passes for discussion in the national arena is the term "entitlement programs." When you pay a 6.2% (or if you're self-employed like me, 12.4%) of your income into social security for fifty years or more, its tough not to feel entitled to have some of it back. The word entitlement just rubs me the wrong way. The word has a negative connotation, like "these people don't want to work, they feel entitled to a monthly check." Well yes actually, I hope my parents feel entitled to their monthly check, and when I'm 83 I might not want to work either. On to happier things, The Destination Bayfront crowd is back in the fight, with a new two-phase construction plan that will take some of the pain out of the funding process. Destination Bayfront hopes to get a bond package on the ballot this November. Lets hope the city council will let us vote on it this time. Downtown CC has been described in a number of colorful terms, but vibrant and beautiful would be nice to hear for a change. If you're reading this and saying "but I never go downtown," then you're missing the point. If our downtown becomes a vibrant, culturally rich center for our city, you will go downtown, and you'll have a great time. In the meantime, try coming down for artwalk on a First Friday, or the Farmer's Market every Wednesday, or a Ride-In Theater show. You'll have a great time, and in years to come when "everyone" is going downtown all the time because of the thriving scene, you can brag that you were there "before it was cool." We have a new advertiser this month that I have to mention. I have to mention them not because they're sending me money (OK, not only because they're sending me money) but because Raul over at Rapid Robot Repair was able to take a broken ipad that was basically a shiny black paperweight with shards of broken glass sticking out of it and make it better than it ever was. He fixed an iphone 4s that apple wouldn't touch, and resurrected a kindle (the only one of these gadgets that I ever got to play with anyway) that I dropped in the bathtub. Anyway the dude's a genius. He's based in Kingsville, but he does make house calls. If you have the broken ipad in your dresser that you're thinking about right now, do it. For less than half of what it would have cost to get a new iphone, I got all my stuff fixed. (And I probably reduced my carbon footprint or something!) Thanks Raul!
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In April 2012, Tanya signed on as a permanent contract performer with Cirque du Soleil’s show, Quidam, but her interest in the circus began long before then. Long before she graduated with a degree in nuclear engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Yeah, nuclear engineering. From MIT. She is the total package of brains, beauty and talent.
Texas Occupy Leaders Targeted for Assasination “C 4 Urself” is unlike any other Mencia routine. It is a “metamorphosis, a transformation of maturity of my performances. I look and sound completely different on stage. As we mature, we change. Carlos told me how he grew up in the projects with “a bunch of naysayers.”
Red Light Cameras They are installed to prevent people from running red lights and causing side or front impact wrecks. I will grant that side and front impact wrecks are the most dangerous types of wrecks. The problem lies in the numbers. The fact is that there are very few traffic fatalities in these situations. Every study concludes that there is no measurable savings in human suffering. In 2009, the Sunset Commission told legislators that red light cameras show no measurable improvement on safety and should be discontinued. They put this in their official findings on the subject.
Inside the Center
10 Milo Hamilton 11 Live Music Calendar 13 Art Scene 16 Dining Guide 19
Rumors & Lies
21 The Lenz 22 The Canvas
The Untamed Isle
In 1925, Louis Rawalt was given 6 months to live. He decided to live the life he always wanted in the short time he had left, and built a home on Padre Island when nobody else was there. Island life suited him and he lived on the Island for years with his wife. This is part 2 of his story.
CC History Courtesy of The Island Moon Newspaper Editor’s note: This is the Second in a series of stories based on the memoirs of Islander Louis Rawalt who moved to The Island with his wife Viola in 1926 after being given six months to live by doctors. He lived here for more than 50 years. In the last issue he and his friend Shorty had made their way to their cabins 40 miles down the beach in the face of the oncoming hurricane of 1933 to get belongings before the storm hit. They didn’t make it back in time.
The Island of Reprieve By Louis Rawalt
Mayan Figurine Dated to 4500 B.C. Among Treasures Louis Rawalt Found on The Island
ortune was kind to us that night. By following our recently made tracks back up the center of the island, we laboriously made our way to the north end of Padre. There we found the waters of the Laguna Madre lapping over the plank troughs of the causeway. Could we make it? The choice had to be made quickly. We would try. So I nosed the Model-A onto the planks, and we inched our way over the water. Wind tore at us, and rain poured down in torrents. In was daylight by then. A liquid, gray daylight in which everything blended and wavered like the scenes in an underwater ﬁlm. At the ship channel we found that the swing bridge had been torn partly loose. The ends of it were two feet higher than the planks of the causeway. A barge was anchored nearby with several men aboard. They came to our rescue. Climbing from the barge to the causeway, they lifted the Ford and set it on the bridge; then they set it down at the other end. Thus, we ﬁnally reached the comparative safety of the mainland. Later we found that during the next hour, the causeway was reduced to a total wreck. The planks were torn lose and ﬂung through the air. Some of them were found weeks later in the mesquite forests of the million-acre King Ranch, twenty miles away. That hurricane left devastation everywhere it moved. Much of Corpus Christi was a shambles. Padre Island was cleared everything for a hundred miles. The contours of the beach were changed and there were thirty channels cut all the way from the Gulf of Mexico to the Laguna Madre. Within a week after the storm, we were back on the island. We got there by loading our car on an improvised raft and poling it across Laguna Madre. Driving the beach was hazardous. It was striped with deep ruts and covered with logs and debris. The passes were ﬁlling up with sand, and we were able to drive through them, although we went through water two feet deep at times. At the site of our former shack there was nothing. Nothing, that is, except an old ice-box half sunk in the sand. Shorty’s tent had caught around the ice-box, and on examination showed its only damage to be a small rent. In searching about the campsite,
The Island of Reprieve he found all the things he had left with the exception of a small stew kettle. Viola and I found, as I have said, nothing. Out of all the supplies, the equipment, the bedding, the clothing, and what we regarded as our treasures, there absolutely was no sign of anything. And Shorty had found everything he owned but a thirty-ﬁve cent kettle! The ways of the sea are strange. They say that whatever it takes away from you, it brings back. I’m inclined to think that it does. The next few months the tide carried in the lumber and piling for us to build a bigger and stronger house. This time we build sixty-ﬁve miles from the north end of Padre. The following paragraph was written into the original manuscript but then redacted. We include it here. That year the “Nicaragua” a Mexican freighter beached on the Gulf at our front door. From her we salvaged doors, windows and portholes which became additions to our shack. The boilers of the Nicaragua still lie in the edge of the surf, and for years have been a landmark to ﬁshermen.
Model Ts on the Island of summers and vacations on the island. But the children had to go to school so we have maintained our home in town. Viola is happy being a mother and housekeeper during the seasons when she has to stay at home, but when summer comes we spend the time together on the beach. My work keeps me on the island much of the time, but even when there is no necessity, the pull of the blue distances overcomes me.
Now, thirty years after the doctors predicted my The following years my time was divided between ﬁshing and exploring the lower He found many campsites of the cannibalistic end of the island. When we were in town, Karankawas on The Island, including one I went to the libraries and lost myself in strewn with the human skulls and bones of a the fascinating history of Padre. The lore of Indians, pirates, and of the early settlers who long-ago massacre or, perhaps, barbecue. had tried unsuccessfully to conquer the sands, had long held great interest for me. But the knowledge of Padre is cumulative. Before long, I was imminent death, I roam the wilds of my unsubdued delving into geology and ornithology. island like an aging Karankawa Indian. Editor’s note: So ends the memoirs of Louis Rawalt. However, in the copy of the manuscript this series was drawn from are two pages of typewritten notes which appear to be based on an interview with Viola and/or Louis Rawalt. It is undated. Here is a summation of its contents.
The Nicaragua It was my pleasure in the last several years to work with the National Audubon Society, who appointed me warden; with Dr. Armstrong Price, who, until recently, headed the department of oceanography at Texas A&I College; and with Dr. H.N. Fisk, research geologist for the Humble Oil Company, and former professor of geology at Louisiana State University.
Family Life Viola has spent much of these last few years in town. About twenty years ago, we discovered a new species of bird circling the skies above our shack. It was a stork. Since it seemed reluctant to leave its bundle on the wild stretches of Padre, we started paying on a home in Corpus Christi. The bundle came, and we called her Louise. Later the stork paid us another visit, this time it was a boy whom we call Charles. The four of us spend many rich and contented hours 06
Among the things Louis Rawalt found on The Island: An Army camp circa 1849-1850 with a saber and buckets of bullets. He also found a survey chain “down to boggy slough” from the 1819 survey of the Island done by “de la Fuentes, prior to giving the land grant to Padre Balli”. Rawalt also made measurements from St. Augustine Pass (now Yarborough Pass) during which he found many ships which had run aground because they thought they were heading for the mouth of the Rio Grande but were 30 miles off. He also found molars from a mastodon, teeth from a giant ray, bones from a mammoth, bison teeth, pieces of an ivory tusk, bones of a prehistoric camel, copper sheathing from an ancient ship, an oriental gong, a bottle from the French Navy, a calling card of the battleship Joan d’Arc which was sunk on Christmas day 1917 off the coast of Africa during World War I, a Mayan ﬁgurine which he ﬁgured was thrown overboard by a Spanish ship trying to lighten its load while being chased down the beach by Tonkawa Indians looking for a Spanish meal; it dated to 4500 B.C. He also identiﬁed the site of a large Karankawa camp at the mouth of the Oso at the spot that is now the intersection of Ennis Joslin and Shoreline
drive, near the entrance to Texas A&M Corpus Christi. The questioner asked if there were any Indian camps on The Island, “You’re looking at it,” Louis said, and pointed to a condominium “across the way.” “Their dredges dug it all up,” he said, and then expressed his opinion of development on The Island which is unprintable in these pages. There was one he found in the 1950s which was that of a Tonkawa village at the north end of The Island where shifting sands exposed a clay bank strewn with thousands of perfect arrowheads and other artifacts. Rawalt said his treasure hunting was done mostly in times of drought when the sand is dry and blows with the wind and the dunes walk. He said the dry dunes “have preserved wood of the old Spanish ships very well” and he would locate the ships by looking for bronze dowel pins. He said he believed it likely that Amerigo Vespucci (the man for whom the Americas were named) was the first European who saw The Island. The first Englishmen to see The Island, he believed, were from the ship Hawks which put ashore two crews in 1639. During World War II Rawalt talked Port Aransian Bob Flood into flying with patrol planes that watched The Island. When Flood would spot a circle of discarded shells behind the dunes he would throw down a spear with a red flag as a marker. Rawalt had learned these circles marked the spot of old Karankawa Indian camps and would scour them for artifacts. He later worked as a handyman and guide for oil company surveyors and the military, and was the guardian of Bird Island for the Audubon Society for 43 years. It was on the beachfront that he discovered the clay banks containing the teeth and bones of the mastodons, mammoths, camels and bison preserved since the Ice Age when the plains of South Texas stretched to the 100 fathom curve. His prehistoric finds also included a Folsom projectile point from approximately 12,000 B.C. At the wreck sites of Spanish galleons he found bottles, silver, ballast stones and the pieces of cannon, armor and ship fittings. He later told an interviewer, "Back of the sentinellike row of dunes, I found the happiest hunting ground of all when I came, one day, upon a flat where the wind had swept away the sand to reveal countless spear points and arrowheads." He found many campsites of the cannibalistic Karankawas on The Island, including one strewn with the human skulls and bones of a long-ago massacre or, perhaps, barbecue. Karankawa sites showed them to have been the first treasure hunters because their campsites often revealed Spanish artifacts scavenged from the shipwrecks. Rawalt did at least one taped interview, in 1978 with Robert Whistler, chief naturalist for the Padre Island National Seashore. Rawalt attended the Sorbonne in Paris, and took engineering at the University of Texas but had to quit due to complications from shrapnel in his side and stomach from World War I. Louis eventually opened the Coastway retail business on Packery Channel next to the JFK Causeway. His son Charlie ran it from 1980, when Louis passed away, until 2004. The building still stands – it is the one just east of the JFK and up on pilings. Viola passed away in 2010. Their son Charlie still lives in Flour Bluff.
So Close to America, So Far From God
Editor’s note: We got such a surprising response from the history series, we asked Dale for some more. He said he still gets requests to reprint this series, about how a group of Texas Rangers tamed the Nueces Strip in the years following the Civil War, originally published in the Island Moon Newspaper in 2011. Thank you for all the emails, facebook messages and phone calls, and if you like this one, please let us know. By Dale Rankin
Corpus Christi 1875. In the years following the Civil War, the area from the Nueces River south to the Rio Grande was known as the Nueces Strip and it was no place for the faint of heart. The U.S. Mexican War which ended with the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ceded all or part of what was later to become the states of California, Nevada, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, New Mexico, Kansas, Arizona and, depending on interpretation, the entire state of Texas for $15 million in cash. In Mexico, the treaty is a wound that has still not fully healed. Many Mexican citizens regard the U.S. as a thief which picked a fight with its smaller neighbor in order to “legally” steal half of Mexico’s territory. The viewpoint is summed up in the phrase often heard south of the Rio Grande, “so close to America, so far from God.”
The Nueces Strip The way the U.S. and Texans interpreted the terms of the treaty with regard to the Nueces Strip was very different than the way the Mexican government and people interpreted it. In their eyes the land south of the Nueces River was still part of Mexico. In the years immediately after the Civil War the carpetbagger government in Austin did almost nothing to police the Strip. On the rare occasions when they would try to run down the bandits or the Indian tribes who raided Texas settlements they did so with highly-bred horses which needed grain for feed. That meant the U.S. troops were chasing Will-O-the Wisp raiders while trailing a caravan of wagons carrying horse feed. To see the futility of this plan one only needs to look a few decades down the road at how successful General Black Jack Pershing was in chasing Pancho Villa into Mexico. Finally, in 1875 a Texan was back in the saddle in the Governor’s office and he formed a Texas Ranger troop to chase the bandits off. The group was commanded by famed Ranger Captain L.H. McNelly who had been a successful leader of a band of raiders for the Confederacy. The record keeper for the Ranger troop was a man by the name of George Durham who rode with McNelly from 1875-1876. He later authored a book about his experiences called Taming the Nueces Strip which gives a detailed description of this area during that period. The book is the most detailed account we have of the Nueces Strip and the Rangers' role in running out the bandits during the the years from 1870-1876. The first thing McNelly needed was to find men and arms. He recruited the men in Washington County, east of San Antonio. For arms McNelly came to Corpus Christi. He led his men to town in April of 1875 where they found a bandit that local vigilantes had caught near Little Oso Creek hanging from a pecan tree on the plaza. They found the town almost deserted due to recent raids from bandits based in 07
Las Cuevas on the south side of the Rio Grand near McAllen – more on that later. Comanche Indians, who began raiding east during the Civil War, had also moved through the area recently. Durham rode into Corpus with McNelly’s troop. His description: “Corpus Christi was a fair-sized settlement at that time. There were one or two big stores and a considerable number of little ones. As we rode into Corpus Christi that morning, I wouldn’t have known that it was Corpus unless someone had told me. I recollect the town seemed mighty quiet for a settlement its size. There were no women or children on the street. And mighty few men. The reason is they were ready for a bandit raid. They were forted as best they could be – had their window shutters drawn close and all hands inside, except for a few outside on errands. I later learned that at the time McNelly rode into Corpus with his new Ranger outfit that April morning in 1875 the river bandits were swarming all over the area, having a big time.”
Nuecestown Raid In what came to be known as the Nuecestown Raid Mexican bandits in groups of fifty to one hundred had raided as far east as Goliad and Refugio before groups of vigilantes had chased them west. Rancher Mike Dunn had surrendered when thirty outlaws hit Nuecestown at a site which is now inside the city limits on Leopard Street near IH37. The town survived until 1905 when the railroads passed it by. On Good Friday 1875 the bandits hit the general store in Nuecestown and set it on fire. The store’s owner, Tom Noakes, escaped with his five children through a tunnel built from under the store to the river for just such an emergency. However, his wife Martha returned to the burning store to try and recover a feather bed and was struck with a riding quirt by a man “with a heavy, deep scar, reaching from his hairline to the point of his chin” when the scarred man wanted to know where to find the store’s cashbox. The bandit was described as a “twopistoled American dressed in all the mail-ordered finery, somewhat taller than usual with brown saddle-colored hair.” Martha escaped with the feather bed and revealed nothing about the whereabouts of the cashbox but the bandits made off with eighteen brand-new Dick Heye saddles, the Cadillacs of the saddle world. They were heavily decorated with silver conchos that allowed them to be seen several miles away on a sunlit prairie. McNelly contacted Sol Lichtenstein who owned the largest store in Corpus and got a detailed description of the stolen saddles then issued an order to “empty them on sight... empty them and leave the men where you drop them and bring the saddles to camp.” Lichtenstein supplied him with thirty-six, single shot, fifty caliber Sharps rifles. They were normally buffalo guns and most man hunters preferred the lighter but quicker shooting repeating rifles. The sharps had a much longer range but were slow to reload. “If you shoot at a buffalo and miss you can reload,” Sol told him, “but if you miss a man…” “I don’t want men who miss,” McNelly replied. Next time: the Rangers join the war in the Nueces Strip.
T Tanya Burka wanted to run away with the circus when she was thirteen years old. She thought that life had more in store for her than what her small town had to offer so when the circus came that warm, summer day, she made plans to join them. In her bag she packed a rainbow haired troll doll, a few sundresses (she figured the circus folks would supply her with the outfits she would perform in) some snacks and, knowing a girl has to dazzle an audience, she tossed in her insanely large collection of lip gloss and one of her mother’s scarlet lipsticks. On the ride to the fairgrounds, she quietly sat in the back of her parent’s hunter green minivan, rehearsing her farewell speech. Sadly, her plans would be foiled when her evil mother told her to leave the bag in the van because 1. there was nothing that important in it she could need while at the circus and 2. she’d end up losing it because she apparently “lost things all the time.”
About Quidam: Young Zoé is bored; her parents, distant and apathetic, ignore her. Her life has lost all meaning. Seeking to fill the void of her existence, she slides into an imaginary world— the world of Quidam—where she meets characters who encourage her to free her soul. “It is so much fun and such a privilege to get to do this for a living. It’s easy to have a positive outlook on live when you do what you love. That first night, I went out and shared my moment with the audience. And when you go on stage to take a bow with Cirque du Soleil, you feel like you’ve arrived.” Yes, I imagine there is no feeling like it.
Never mind. That’s was me, not Tanya Burka. I never got to join the circus (thanks, mom) but I recently hung out (over the phone) with Ms. Burka, a performance artist specializing in aerial contortion and silks with Cirque du Soleil, and got to see how amazing it is to be part of the circus, especially Cirque du Soleil. In April 2012, Tanya signed on as a permanent contract performer with Cirque du Soleil’s show, Quidam, but her interest in the circus began long before then. Long before she graduated with a degree in nuclear engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Yeah, nuclear engineering. From MIT. She is the total package of brains, beauty and talent. So what drives someone to join the circus instead of working for NASA? I found Tanya’s background so fascinating (not to mention, I was a bit jealous) that I just had to know. Tanya had always been interested in performing, beginning with gymnastics around the age of nine or ten and, at her high school, she participated in a program during the last month of her senior year where “they sent you off to intern, anywhere. You just had to go experience something.” It was then that she went to the San Francisco School of Circus Arts where she was “basically an office slave in return for lessons.” And she loved it all!
At MIT, she worked on a small research reactor while pursuing her degree (did I mention she also minored in physics?) and knew that her degree would essentially provide her with “a desk job.” Not a bad job by any stretch but the circus was tugging at her heartstrings and she decided to take the leap. She “took the risk with something that you couldn’t come back to later on in life.” Her parents thought she was “going to go off and work for NASA” but they all had to shift to a new way in thinking when Tanya decided to go for her dream and enrolled in the National Circus School in Montreal, a three year training program. She performed for various circuses and had three days left on her contract with Wonderbolt Circus in Newfoundland when she received the call from Cirque. She would be replacing a performer and they needed her immediately. In fact, the speed at which she joined Cirque was like lightning - she signed her contract on a Saturday and had to be at the Cirque de Soleil headquarters the following day! Tanya had three days to train before show time and although Quidam is highly choreographed, as are all Cirque tours, she had the option of performing her own material due to time restraints. The creators gave her input to help her develop and refine her act but that first performance was all Tanya’s artistry. 08
Tanya’s parents are fine with her career choice now (Cirque de Soleil is a pretty big deal!) and audiences are mesmerized by the lovely lady way up in the air. With only her silks, killer upper body strength and fearlessness (no safety wires!) she twists and turns and keeps everyone on the edge of their seats, watching her beautiful performance. Cirque du Soliel’s tour of Quidam will be at the American Bank Center Arena on Saturday, February 3rd and Sunday, the 4th. Or times, seating charts or to purchase tickets, please visit: www. americanbankcenter.com.
By Samantha Koepp
he circus has long been known as a family show; families performing and families attending. The Shrine Circus is no exception; families from thirteen countries represent several hundred years of circus history. The preservation off a family friendly environment for everyone to enjoy while supporting the local o community has remained priority for the Shrine circus throughout the years. “I am a Shriner- member of Hella Shriners in Dallas- my grandfather, my father and my brother were and are Shriners so there’s a Shrine and Masonic family history and I remember going to the circus at a young age,” said Bill Cunningham, Executive Producer of the Shrine Circus. Bill and his long-time business partner, Chris Moore own Agente Entertainment, the producer of the Al Amin Shrine Circus. “We started our business 25 years ago raising money for the different shrine centers around the country and nine years ago George Carden approached me from George Carden circus about promoting his show and starting to partner together. We started down that path and started servicing the shrine centers around the country and he decided that he wanted to sell us the show, so we bought the circus.” The largest traveling 3 ring circus in America, the Shrine circus certainly offers something for every age group, keeping the traditional feel experienced in the early days at the Memorial Coliseum while implementing modern technology and continuing to expand the entertainment value. “There’s an incredible new trapeze act, camels, a lot of things that have not been seen in Corpus Christi,” said Cunningham. “We’ve got 6 riders in the motorcycle globe; people are going to really love the show.”
For more information on the Shrine circus visit www.2013circus.com. For more information on Al Amin Shrine visit www.alamintemple.org.
In addition to the excitement during the show, the Shrine circus offers an exclusive
SMG managed American Bank Center is Corpus Christi’s premier event center. Follow us online at www.AmericanBankCenter.com, facebook.com/ AmericanBankCenter, or twitter.com/AmericanBankCtr.
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January 23 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM Normally $199.00
Pre-Party for all ticket holders. One hour prior to the show, families are invited to the circus ﬂoor to meet the performers and take part in various activities such as ride an elephant or get their faces painted.
Now Only $145.00
“We see more and more people take advantage of the Pre-Party and making the circus the entire evening’s activity or the entire afternoons activity because they can come in and have several hours of activity for a reasonable amount of money,” said Cunningham.
Howard Johnson Hotel 6301 IH 37, Exit 5
Most notable is that while the show continues to get bigger every year, tickets have stayed affordable for any size family. It is the largest fundraiser for the local Al Amin Shrine Temple and the net proceeds stay in Corpus Christi.
The Al Amin Shrine Circus will visit American Bank Center Arena for various performances January 25-27, 2013. With there being no football that weekend before the Superbowl, it’s the perfect opportunity to take the family out to create memories that will last a lifetime. Tickets are available at the American Bank Center Box Ofﬁce, all Ticketmaster outlets or charge by phone at 1-800-745-3000. Additional fees may apply.
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Milo Hamilton Baseball Royalty By Andy Purvis Winston Churchill once said, “The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you will see.” This fellow must be able to see for miles. He never acted his age his whole life. He was born mature and remained young. The heavens are weeping today in Houston, Texas, because 84-year-old Milo Hamilton announced he will be retiring from the daily broadcasting of the Houston Astros at the end of the 2012 season. I had tears the size of hubcaps streaming down my face. We became friends over the years. For some of us, baseball is life. He realized that the only thing we get to decide in life is what to do with the time we are given. I believe he has used his time wisely. He always believed that the best announcing does not come from your memory; it comes from living through your experiences. And he had experience in spades. I wondered about the places he’s been, the players he’s interviewed and the scores of fans he’s entertained. For most of us, he’s Uncle Milo. He was family; he came into our homes 162 times a year, until these last couple of years. He doesn’t travel as much as he once did. I even listened to his call when I was at the Astros game. He always stirred my imagination. One of the secrets of baseball is that you play almost every day. Therefore redemption was only hours away. Milo used the game to help people discover themselves. They could use those discoveries to confront anything in their life. Baseball is a teacher; it reveals your heart and soul and the game is designed to reveal it to you. There will never be another like him as far as I’m concerned; I love the old man. As he got older, he began to look tired, frail, and almost sickly until he found his way into the announcer booth or onto the field of play. It was like flipping a switch. A microphone made his eyes light up like lanterns. The game simply turned him on. Milo could sing “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” and make you laugh. He walked every day into his radio booth intoxicated by the promise of that day’s game. He didn’t like being surprised; he studied and saved his information in a satchel that may have been as old as him. He loved baseball so much; even his computer wore batting gloves. No one wanted to talk to Milo Hamilton about another announcer or player; they wanted to talk about Milo Hamilton. The longer an announcer stays with the same team the more the fans identify with that team. Fathers, sons, and sons of sons, all become a part of his history. There I sat in the booth next to his; looking out at the glory of Minute Maid Park, home of the Houston Astros. The sun was setting in the west and the afternoon shadows moved across the field like a first baseman creeping toward home plate with the bunt sign on. So this is what he sees, far different than from my regular season seats, or so I thought. How untrue. His educated eyes could fill books with the magic of the grand old game. Most of us know about his calls of eleven no-hitters, the grand slams, and historic home runs. For sixty-seven years, he opened his scorecard and charted baseball history. He taught us how to figure batting averages, told us how players got their nicknames and why. He described routine double-plays, the importance of a
bunt single, why stealing third increases the chances of scoring by nine, and the reason so many players strike out looking. He taught us about Uncle Charlie, twin killings, chin music, and frozen ropes. Seeing-Eye singles, right down Kirby and “Holy Toledo, what a play!” became his signature calls. Every play reminded him of days gone by, when only the player, the city, and the circumstances were different. I would love to see through his eyes, if only for a moment. Listening to him call a game made me feel like a hundred dollar bill in a two dollar wallet. Writer Phil Hirsh once wrote, “Baseball is the only game you can see on the radio.” Milo made it easy for all of us. His canyon deep voice was unmistakable. He was always “in” the game. You could never tell by his tone of voice whether his team was behind or ahead. Everybody wanted to be connected, to be a part of him. Let’s call that a professional. Baseball looks so easy to play from your seat. It is, in fact, the hardest of them all. I know I can’t run the hundred yard dash in under ten seconds. I can’t jump high enough to dunk a basketball; but let a ground ball go through the shortstops legs, and I’m all over that guy like horseflies on spareribs. I know I could have caught it. The game also moves at a pace where a grandfather can talk about what’s happening on the field with his grandson. They see and experience virtually the same game. Milo taught me how to score a game, what to look for, how to anticipate a great play. He gave us a history lesson every night and allowed us to dream about what it would be like to play Major League baseball. All words seemed better to me when spoken by Milo Hamilton. He lost his wife, Arlene, a few years back, and now his days in the booth are numbered. Every man needs someone to tell him how wonderful he is or that they did well or said the right thing. It may be the wife’s number one job. Without Arlene and baseball, what does he have left? He has us, legions of fans who grew up listening to him. As we sat together at Minute Maid Park, I saw him stare at the field as if he were lost in thought. The one thing we can never do is get inside a person’s head completely. No one knows exactly what you’re thinking. A lot of people don’t want to be different and, if they are, they hide it so no one judges them badly. Will Roger once said, “You wouldn’t worry so much what people thought about you if you knew how seldom they did.” What you saw was what you got with Milo. Not many of us find our true place in life; that does not hold true for Milo Hamilton. I can’t imagine him doing anything else. Milo has been a part of the Dennis & Andy’s Q & A Session radio show for over fifteen years. Twice every year he joined us on the air, live from Houston, Texas. My partner Dennis Quinn always referred to our interviews as “Milo unplugged.” On two different occasions, we took our show on the road to Minute Maid Park, and Milo was nice enough to 10
join us there, in the booth, talking baseball. We talked old school baseball; from “Stan the Man” and “Hammerin’ Hank” to “The Ryan Express.” We covered everything from the disappearance of the hook slide to the tragedy of steroids and everything in between. There is never a time I did not learn something. It has been said that the greatest classroom often lies at the feet of the elderly. How true. Milo was inducted into the Broadcast Wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1992. He was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2000. He has been an announcer for 67 years. His first job in Major League baseball started in 1953, with the St. Louis Browns. He has also announced for six other Major League clubs. I once told him how much he was loved as I was leaving his company. We had spent some time together in a suite at Whataburger Field, home of the Corpus Christi Hooks, the Class AA affiliate of the Astros. I think it may have surprised him. He didn’t know how to respond, but he smiled. I’m absolutely sure he knows he’s loved, but does not hear it enough. We are always more appreciative of something we had and have now lost. During our most recent interview that occurred last week, Milo informed us that he would stay on with the Astros as a consultant to the owner, Jim Crane, for the next three years. “Seventy years in baseball is the rabbit I’m chasing now,” said Milo. Crane will also give him a chance to call a game or two and perhaps create a day during the week where we can relive the memories of Milo Hamilton and this great game. He will also travel with the team to new parks that he has not yet visited. Milo will be visiting Corpus Christi on January23, 2013. He will be receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Hooks Winter Baseball Banquet held at the Omni Hotel. I can’t wait to see him then. Afterwards we will have a laugh or two and I’ll pick his brain and try like heck to see the past through his eyes. What wonderful visions of a great game. Andy Purvis is a local author. His books "In the Company of Greatness" and "Remembered Greatness" are on the shelves at the local Barnes and Noble, at Beamer's Sports Grill 5922 S Staples, and online at many different sites including Amazon, bn.com, booksamillion, Goggle Books, etc. They are also available in e-reader format. Contact him at www.purvisbooks.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Live Music Tonight
The Coastal Bend's Most Complete Live Music Calendar
Compiled by Ronnie Narmour
Thursday, Jan. 10 The Heroine, Not in the Face, Bertha @ House of Rock Free Beer Band @ Tarpon Ice House John Eric @ Island Italian Antone & the All Stars @ Dr. Rockits Aaron Watson @ Brewster Street Mike Guerra & Trisum @ Scuttlebutt’s Friday, Jan. 11 Carol Elliott & Mike Williams (5-8) @ Tarpon Ice House Samantha Aiken @ Coast Club Ray T & the City Crew @ Flats Lounge Latin Talk @ Executive Surf Club Another Level @ Brewster Street David & Barbara Brown @ Coffee Waves Chris Saenz @ Scuttlebutt’s Saturday, Jan. 12 Stevie Start @ Coast Club Paul Renna @ Executive Surf Club Fayuca, WITNC, Flatbroke @ House of Rock 2nd Saturday Sing-Along Piano Show @ Brewster Street Stuart Burns @ Coffee Waves Blake Sparx @ Scuttlebutt’s Open Mic with Rev. Toad @ Tango Tea Room
Monday, Jan. 21 Mike Williams @ Tarpon Ice House Open Jam w/ Antone Perez @ Doctor Rockits Stevie Start @ Scuttlebutt’s Tuesday, Jan. 22 Open Mic @ House of Rock John Eric @ Scuttlebutt’s Wednesday, Jan. 23 PA Rockers @ Bernie’s Beach House Cat Scratch Fever @ Dr. Rockits Thursday, Jan. 24 Free Beer Band @ Tarpon Ice House John Eric @ Island Italian Antone & the All Stars @ Dr. Rockits Local Licks @ House of Rock John Cortex Band @ Scuttlebutt’s Friday, Jan. 25 Carol Elliott (5-7) @ Tarpon Ice House Ray T & the City Crew @ Flats Lounge Scarecrow People @ Executive Surf Club David & Barbara Brown @ Coffee Waves Chris Saenz @ Scuttlebutt’s Saturday, Jan. 26
Regular Open Mic Events in the 361:
Sunday Open Mic w/ Billy Snipes & Uel Jackson @ Tarpon Ice House Acoustic Open Mic @ Neptune’s Retreat Monday Open Jam w/ Antone Perez @ Doctor Rockits Tuesday Open Mic w/ Rev. Matt Martinez @ House of Rock Wednesday Open Jam w/ Jered “Wolfjaw” Clark @ Flats Lounge Saturday
Open mic with Rev. Toad @ Tango Tea Room 2nd & 4th Saturday Wednesday, Feb. 6 PA Rockers @ Bernie’s Beach House Thursday, Feb. 7 Stone Sour, Papa Roach @ Concrete Street Free Beer Band @ Tarpon Ice House Stoney LaRue @ Brewster Street John Eric @ Island Italian Antone & the All Stars @ Dr. Rockits
Sunday, Jan. 13 Open Jam @ Tarpon Ice House Bad Chords @ Dr. Rockits Tumble Dry Low @ Bernie’s Beach House Open Jam @ Neptune’s
Stevie Start @ Coast Club Killamora @ House of Rock Bob Schneider @ Brewster Street Phil Pritchett, Matt Hole @ Executive Surf Club Gary Moeller @ Coffee Waves Blake Sparx @ Scuttlebutt’s Open Mic with Rev. Toad @ Tango Tea Room
Monday, Jan. 14
Sunday, Jan. 27
Mike Williams @ Tarpon Ice House Open Jam w/ Antone Perez @ Doctor Rockits John Eric @ Scuttlebutt’s
Open Jam @ Tarpon Ice House Tumble Dry Low @ Bernie’s Beach House Beneﬁt for Lynn (8 bands) @ House of Rock Mike Dillon @ Dr. Rockits Open Jam @ Neptune’s Brian Permenter @ Scuttlebutt’s
Sunday, Feb. 10
Monday, Jan. 28 Mike Williams @ Tarpon Ice House Open Jam w/ Antone Perez @ Doctor Rockits John Eric @ Scuttlebutt’s
Mike Williams @ Tarpon Ice House Open Jam w/ Antone Perez @ Doctor Rockits Fat Tuesday, Feb. 12 Mike Williams Dixie Land Band @ Tarpon Ice House
Tuesday, Jan. 29
Wednesday, Feb. 13
Fabian Rivera @ Scuttlebutt’s Open Mic @ House of Rock
PA Rockers @ Bernie’s Beach House
Wednesday, Jan. 30
Free Beer Band @ Tarpon Ice House Carolyn Wonderland @ Rialto Theater John Eric @ Island Italian Antone & the All Stars @ Dr. Rockits
Tuesday, Jan. 15 Open Mic @ House of Rock Blake Sparx @ Scuttlebutt’s Wednesday, Jan. 16 PA Rockers @ Bernie’s Beach House Flatbroke @ House of Rock Neil Edwards @ Dr. Rockits Uel Jackson @ Scuttlebutt’s Thursday, Jan. 17 Free Beer Band @ Tarpon Ice House Pat Green @ Brewster Street John Eric @ Island Italian Antone & the All Stars @ Dr. Rockits On Blast Standup Showdown @ House of Rock Friday, Jan. 18 Mike Williams (5-7) @ Tarpon Ice House Samantha Aiken @ Coast Club Ray T & the City Crew @ Flats Lounge Cruise Control @ Executive Surf Club Switchblade Jesus, Sun Salutation, Cavegirl @ House of Rock Earl Gard @ Coffee Waves Fabian Rivera @ Scuttlebutt’s Saturday, Jan. 19 Stevie Start @ Coast Club Reely Rotnz @ Executive Surf Club Taste of Texas @ House of Rock Metal Shop @ Brewster Street Ken Barnett @ Coffee Waves Chris Saenz @ Scuttlebutt’s Sunday, Jan. 20 Open Jam @ Tarpon Ice House SlamFest 2013 (6 Bands) @ House of Rock Cat Scratch Fever @ Dr. Rockits Tumble Dry Low @ Bernie’s Beach House Open Jam @ Neptune’s
PA Rockers @ Bernie’s Beach House HOBO @ House of Rock Echo @ Dr. Rockits Uel Jackson @ Scuttlebutt’s Thursday, Jan. 31 Free Beer Band @ Tarpon Ice House John Eric @ Island Italian Wade Bowen @ Brewster Street Antone & the All Stars @ Dr. Rockits Mike Guerra & Trisum @ Scuttlebutt’s Friday, Feb. 1 Mike Williams (5-7) @ Tarpon Ice House Ray T & the City Crew @ Flats Lounge Saturday, Feb. 2 Stevie Start @ Coast Club Sunday, Feb. 3 Open Jam @ Tarpon Ice House Tumble Dry Low @ Bernie’s Beach House Open Jam @ Neptune’s Monday, Feb. 4 Mike Williams @ Tarpon Ice House Open Jam w/ Antone Perez @ Doctor Rockits
Friday, Feb. 8 Carol Elliott (5-7) @ Tarpon Ice House Ray T & the City Crew @ Flats Lounge Saturday, Feb. 9 Stevie Start @ Coast Club Open Mic with Rev. Toad @ Tango Tea Room
Open Jam @ Tarpon Ice House Tumble Dry Low @ Bernie’s Beach House Open Jam @ Neptune’s Monday, Feb. 11
Thursday, Feb. 14 VD-Day
Texas Occupy Leaders Targeted for Assasination Documents Reveal FBI was aware of assassination plot, Would-be murderers identities remain secret By Jeff Craft The Partnership for Civil Justice, a non-proﬁt civil liberties group, obtained documents from the FBI in an effort to uncover the extent of federal involvement in the often violent suppression of occupy camps in 2011 and 2012. They turned up some embarrassing facts, and one tidbit of chilling news. In October 2011, some person or group known to the FBI was collecting intelligence on leaders among the Occupy protesters in Houston with the intention of murdering those leaders with snipers "If deemed necessary."
View the entire document at justiceonline.org
policy has been to alert the person and take steps to stop the assasination. The phrase "An Identiﬁed [Redacted]" should then read "An identiﬁed [extremist group,] and on page 69, you can just make out the bottom of a lowercase g and p in just the right place for the phrase "an identiﬁed extremist group" to ﬁt in the redacted area.
More recently, the president has authorized the murder of at least one US citizen by predator drone because "he was a terrorist." With some in law enforcement publicly calling Occupy a "domestic terrorist threat," suddenly you're not just paranoid, they might really be out to get you.
Now Take Them Off There is a more palatable explanation, and until the FBI lets us in on the game, its the one I'd put money on.
Document 1 (Page 61 of the FOIA PDF) Marked Unclassiﬁed//Law Enforcement Sensitive An identiﬁed [redacted] as of October planned to engage in sniper attacks against protesters in Houston, Texas, if deemed necessary. An identiﬁed [redacted] had received intelligence that indicated the protesters in New York and Seattle planned similar protests in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and Austin, Texas. [Redacted] planned to gather intelligence against the leaders of the protest groups and obtain photographs, then formulate a plan to kill the leadership via suppressed sniper riﬂes.
Document 2 (Pages 68-69 of the FOIA PDF) On October 13, 2011, writer sent via email an excerpt [redacted] regarding FBI Houston’s [redacted] to all IA’s, SSRA’s and SSA [redacted]. This [redacted] identiﬁed the exploitation of the Occupy Movement by [redacted] interested in developing a long-term plan to kill local Occupy leaders via sniper ﬁre. So it looks like the Houston FBI sent out a message on October 13th, 2011, to all intelligence analysts and senior agents that it had what seemed to be a plot in the planning stages. No individuals had yet been targeted, but a plan was in place to collect information on leaders in the Occupy movement and shoot them.
Because no speciﬁc individuals were threatened, the FBI didn't notify anyone that there was a threat. If a speciﬁc political leader is threatened, the FBI's stated
a t i g s s c a a o a m F
Sources and Methods Which leaves us with another mystery, why redact that at all? If you're a nutjob living in Houston who had plans to murder Occupy leaders using suppressed sniper riﬂes, you know who you are. And now you know the FBI was on to you the whole time. If that redaction was meant to protect an informant or method, it deﬁnitely didn't. I'm sure there's some internal investigating happening among whoever hatched the plot, and whatever source the FBI had in that group is blown now.
p t l
So why was this document released at all? Perhaps the idea was to show those pesky activists that the FBI was actually working to help them stay alive. It could be that the would-be snipers have all been identiﬁed and the FBI source removed to safety, so there's no harm done, but then why not just name the group, or at least leave in the phrase? Bureaucratic incompetence?
S o S A
I used to live in a country where the police used extremist groups to disrupt left-wing protests, and this doesn't look like that. For one thing, the FBI, even with its checkered history, is now a professional police organization with more to lose than gain by engaging in political violence. That's not to say the FBI is perfect, but as law enforcement agencies go, I'd rather deal with them than just about any other police force in the US.
T 6 w m
So I'll have to leave it to you, why release this at all? Was it to show off, or was it a clerical error? Was it to cause a bloodbath in a Houston hate group, or to frighten future protesters into staying home? I think Hanlon's razor, "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity," is probably the best tool to cut through all the theorizing on this one. 12
Put on your Paranoid Glasses The identity of the would-be sniper(s) was redacted from the document, causing the internet to explode with charges that the FBI or some other government entity is actually considering assassinating populist political leaders. Its not unheard-of. If you took even a glance at your high school history book, you probably noticed the rash of assassinations of leftist political leaders in the 60s, some, like Fred Hampton, assassinated more or less openly by the government, most just mysterious murders, usually by sniper ﬁre.
KEY: IA: Intelligence Analyst SSRA: Supervisory Senior Resident Agent SSA: Supervisory Special Agent (U//LES) Unclassiﬁed // Law Enforcement Sensitive
Art Scene A Few Items Of Note For January
K Space Contemporary 415 D Starr Street Corpus Christi, TX 78401 361.887.6834 KSpaceContemporary.org Hours: Wed-Sat 11a – 5p Free Admission September Spectacular Salon First Friday ArtWALK
Main Gallery Prophecy: Peña & Wheeler This exhibit was born out of the thought that according to the Mayans, the year 2012 is predicted to be the end of the world. If mankind is still here in January 2013, this show will be a response to the genesis of a new apocalypse, which according to some, we may be witnessing now as our environment shows signs of deterioration and stress. An important contemporary exhibit; so many in our population are visual learners. This is a fresh approach for this area in addressing these concerns. With an island of plastic the size of Texas ﬂoating in the Paciﬁc, animal injuries, ﬁsh kills, and overﬂowing landﬁlls, man is leaving a negative footprint. On exhibit thru February 22nd.
Art Center of Corpus Christi 100 Shoreline Blvd
Rockport, Texas 78382
ArtCenterCC.org Everyday except Monday
All Membership Show Lisa Baer, Juror Reception & Awards First Friday, February 1st, 5-7pm Original works of art by the members of the Art Center of Corpus Christi. Exhibition will hang from January 22nd through February 17th. Art Museum of South Texas Corpus Christi, TX 78401 Tel: 361.825.3500 STIA.org Tues - Sat 10a to 5p
Students (13+) $4
TreehouseArtCC.com Hours: Tue-Sat
11a – 8p
Noon to 6p
Free Admission The World through our Artist Eyes A collective of 6 core artists, and a varying group of associate artists, who exhibit and sell their artwork in all manner of media. First Friday ArtWALK
Featured Artists: Sharron Hinojosa and Elsebeth Lane
Sharron makes the most incredible 3D pieces. Silk painter Elsebeth makes one of a kind hand painted bags, scarves and wraps. Ladies Night Out at Water Street Market Thursday, January 17th, 5:30 – 9pm Ladies, on the third Thursday of each month, grab your friend and join us for an evening of shopping, prize drawings and tasty refreshments!
Currents 2012: Annual Member Exhibition Annual all-member exhibition highlights our family of artists, providing a chance to stand out as a Merit Artist the following year. An invited juror will chose ﬁve Merit Artists, and a sixth is selected by popular vote. Currents 2012 Juror: Kitty Dudics, Professor of Painting, Drawing & Design, Del Mar College 2013 Art Educator Days January 25-26, 2013 Share ideas, participate in hands-on activities & make new connections.
1902 N. Shoreline Blvd
Closed Mondays & Holidays Adults
“Ocean Wave” Pavel Hlava 2000
Always Free Admission
CCISD Student Show Exhibition will hang from January 2nd through 20th.
Hot Spot Gallery:
Admission is always FREE
Corpus Christi, TX 78401
Sundays, 1p – 4p
These 9 x 12 paintings rely on collage and layered painting for their subtle abstraction. Working with the translucency of Mylar, images within these landscapes can be seen on the other side or beyond.
309 North Water Street, Suite D
Hours: Tues – Sat, 10a – 4p
Hours: 10a – 4p
Sundays 1p to 5p
Treehouse Art Collective LLC
902 Navigation Circle
Corpus Christi, TX 78401
Art Star Gallery: Transcending the Landscape
Located on the third ﬂoor of the building inside K Space Art Studios. The gallery features the works of regional artists, youth and K Space Studio Artists. Shows change monthly and open with First Friday ArtWalks.
Rockport Center for the Arts
Rockport Center for the Art’s Annual Art Educator Days is where fellow art educators come together to explore new ideas & strategies for the classroom, develop new skills, exchange effective lesson plans and build relationships within the ﬁeld. We look forward to seeing you this January in Rockport… a top-ten coastal art colony!
Rockport Clay Expo
Seniors (60 and older) $6
February 2-3, 2013
Active Military $6 All members, Children 12 and under, Texas A&M University-CC students Free Admission Free Admission every First Friday in honor of ArtWALK! Contemporary Studio Glass from the Collection of the Mobile Museum of Art January 25th through May 5th, 2013 The Mobile Museum of Art in Mobile, Alabama, owns one of the most important collections of International Studio Glass in the country, the bulk of which were donated to the Museum’s Permanent Collection by Elice Haverty and Dr Rhodes Haverty. The Collection works from Australia, Britain, Canada, Germany, Sweden, New Zealand and the United States, among the countries. The 65 works of glass in this exhibition are one-of-a-kind pieces, featuring a wide range of subjects and techniques. January 25th - LUNCH AMONGST THE MASTERS
Join us for a weekend for pottery and ceramic art with a variety of activities! The Rockport Clay Expo is an annual event where potters and ceramic artists gather for a weekend in February to show, sell and demonstrate their work from all over Texas. The Bountiful Bowl Pottery Fair (Saturday Only) is a clay/pottery show with over 3-dozen ceramic artists, and beneﬁts the Aransas County Council on Aging. Activities continue Saturday evening and all day Sunday at Rockport Center for the Arts, including an exhibition reception for a featured clay artist and free demonstrations on Sunday!
Tango Tea Room 505 S Water Street, Suite 545 Corpus Christi, TX 78401 361.883.9123 TangoFandango.com Hours: Mon - Thurs. 10a - 7p Fri & Sat 10a - 9p Sunday Noon - 6p First Friday ArtWALK
A Collector’s View Elice Haverty and Dr. Rhodes Haverty will discuss their collection of contemporary studio glass, which was acquired during many buying trips abroad. Many of the pieces are currently on exhibition in Contemporary Studio Glass from the Haverty Collection of the Mobile Museum of Art. Lunch will be catered by Hester’s Café and costs $15-members/$20-nonmembers. Check the museum’s website event calendar for other events throughout the month. 13
Collage paintings by Sarah Fedak at K Space
Every WEDNESDAY 5 to 7 pm 00
EAT LOCAL! & BUY LOCAL!
505 South Water Street
At The Vil age Shopping Center ( Tango Tea Room)
Market Manager Aislynn Campbell
Robotic Cops: the Law, the Danger, and How We Can Get Rid of Them. If you drive around the southside of Corpus Christi, you are probably familiar with the ubiquitous presence of camera towers at intersections. You see them flash at night after the lights switch and you see the warning signs before the intersections. You may even be a victim of one of these cameras. They are creeping into more and more intersections and are increasingly used for more things than just catching people running red lights. Let me give you a little back story on these types of cameras. You have probably heard of speed cameras. Speed cameras look like red light camera towers, except that they are set up on highways with radar devices installed to scan everyone’s speed. The machine then mails you a ticket when the machine thinks you have been speeding. For this article, I will ignore the fact that these speed cameras are not calibrated often enough, that there is no due process, and that they have no effect on safety on our highways. What I will tell you is that these are illegal in Texas. Our legislature had the sense to ban these things in 2007 just as other states began rolling them out. Unfortunately, in a play for extra money for local municipalities, the legislature established the rules for red light cameras. Of course, the official reason is not money. The official reason for these cameras is safety. Check out the TxDPS website of the subject. If you ask any bureaucrat or politician about these cameras, they will always give you the same answer. Unfortunately for them, they are required to publish the laws they pass. If you look it up, you will see in Chapter 707 of the TX transportation code that the Texas legislature took the time to define how much (707.007) and where exactly the money goes (707.008). It is essentially free money to local governments. They get to channel that money into traffic safety improvements, i.e.: every sign, crosswalk, and light on the road. They get extra county money for trauma centers. And as a bonus, they get to use the money to repay the costs of the install, so there is no disincentive to put them in. Houston started installing these cameras in 2005 and raised 45.3 million dollars by 2010. That’s an attractive sum to local governments.
In 2009, the Sunset Commission told legislators that red light cameras show no measurable improvement on safety and should be discontinued. already won, because no matter what the vote is, they won a portion of the lawsuit that made sure the law wouldn’t go into effect until 2014. They sue every city that takes the cameras down by public vote. They are not interested in your welfare; they are interested in their bottom line. Most lawsuits are settled with cash payouts going to these camera companies. Also, these companies are now putting damages clauses in their contracts to make it easier to sue a city if the citizens vote down the surveillance cameras.
Let’s talk safety on red light cameras. They are installed to prevent people from running red lights and causing side or front impact wrecks. I will grant that side and front impact wrecks are the most dangerous types of wrecks. The problem lies in the numbers. Just like DWI, the risk and danger is overblown. The fact is So, finally you might be wondering: how can citizens fight such a corrupt, that there are very few traffic fatalities money driven system? Like most problems, in these situations. At the bottom talking about the truth and voting are your In Galveston right now, there is a big push to take of this article is a link to 5 full blown most powerful tools. You can contact your down the cameras. Not a push by politicians, but by studies on the subject which actually local representative and ask them to bring the people. So, Redflex Traffic Systems is suing the show that, front and side impact the issue back up in the Texas legislature. accidents are reduced, while rear end If you see a politician, ask him what his city to claim that even voting on the issue is illegal. collisions see a dramatic increase. position is on red light cameras. Most Every study concludes that there is no probably don’t even know that the people measurable savings in human suffering. hate these cameras. Those are not the only studies which have said this, the Texas Sunset Commission Even if the companies do sue, the citizens still get their way. In Houston and San (perhaps my favorite state agency) agrees. In 2009, the Sunset Commission told Antonio, these cameras have been taken down. Cities across the US are voting legislators that red light cameras show no measurable improvement on safety one by one to take these cameras off their streets. You will probably never know and should be discontinued. They put this in their official findings on the subject. when the city is negotiated to have these things installed, since they bring up Unfortunately, legislators yielded to lobbyists from the companies that own these little opposition BEFORE they go in. Once they go in, citizens have the power to cameras and removed the language that would have set up studies to prove petition their government for a redress of grievances, to use the parlance of our safety claims. founding fathers. Wait, what did I just say? That’s right, private companies actually run these red Here in Corpus Christi, we have a mechanism where we can remove these light cameras. It’s not just a money maker for counties, it’s a business model. cameras. We can have a local ballot initiative. I want to get one of these Someone makes profit by sending you those tickets in the mail, and then gets initiatives going. If you are interested in helping, I would like to hear from you. to enforce it through the power of government. This leads to some extremely Email me at email@example.com. I would like to see these things gone, dangerous conflicts of interest, dangerous for citizens, that is. Red light cameras or at the very least, I would like to see the voters affirm that they want them. are slowly getting banned around Texas, but I’ll get to that at the end. Red The worst thing in a free society is to have decisions made behind closed doors light camera companies are realizing their business model is being threatened without voter approval. by local democracy. What is their solution? Halt democracy. In Galveston right now, there is a big push to take down the cameras. Not a push by politicians, Learn More: but by the people. So, Redflex Traffic Systems is suing the city to claim that even http://blog.motorists.org/red-light-cameras-increase-accidents-5-studies-that-prove-it/ voting on the issue is illegal. As it stands, even if the ordinance passes, they have http://fireredflex.com/ 15
Taste The Difference!
Snoopy’s and Scoopy’s
The Gourmet Pizza
Snoopy’s Pier was literally a product of the Redﬁsh Wars, a battle over commercial ﬁshing rights in Texas. Ernie Buttler realized the Redﬁsh Wars signaled the beginning of the end of the commercial ﬁshing industry in Texas. So Ernie decided to give up trying to catch ﬁsh and shrimp and start cooking them instead. In August 1980 Ernie and his wife, Corliss, purchased a small bait stand and burger joint with a ﬁshing pier on the Intracoastal Waterway. Over time, the place was transformed with a lot of hard work and patience into a family-friendly seafood restaurant. Special attention is given to providing local harvested quality seafood at affordable prices.
Our famous Padre Pizza dough is handmade daily. Our sauces are created from the freshest tomatoes and seasoned with our own Chef’s blend of natural herbs and spices. Our lasagna made from scratch daily is the most tasty and delicious you will ever try, and our salad selections are prepared to order using the freshest produce available. 14993 SPID On the Island 949-0787
Scoopy’s was opened by Ernie’s wife and features home made soups, salads and sandwiches using only Texas products. Scoopy’s is proud of their shrimp salad, known by locals as the best in town. They also have great house made desserts and ice cream by the scoop. 13313 S.P.I.D. · Corpus Christi (361) 949-8815 · snoopyspier.com
Great Seafood s r e g r u B d n a Libations Amusements 18 Holes of Miniature Golf
Wednesdays All you can Eat Fried Shrimp Thursdays Prime RIb Open 11 am - 2 am With Twice Baked Potato Kitchen Closes @ 1 am 2034 State Highway 361
One Bite & You’re Hooked
361 749- Taco (8226)
Libations Amusements 18 holes of miniature golf Open 11 am - 2 am Kitchen Closes @ 1 am 2034 State Highway 361 361 749- Taco (8226)
Town & Country Cafe has great breakfast and lunch specials every day, offering great food at a fair price. Town & Country Cafe is a great location for business meetings and client luncheons and there is no charge for the use of the meeting room.
4228 South Alameda
Corpus Christi, TX 78412
Locally Owned and Operated
Tango Tea Room The Tango Tea Room brings a taste of Austin to Downtown Corpus. Tango serves a variety of Mediterranean and world cuisine, including some of the best vegetarian and vegan fare you can ﬁnd in Corpus. We also specialize in vegan and gluten-free desserts, cupcakes and mufﬁns. Come on down and get your hippie on! 505 S. Water Street in downtown Corpus Christi. 361-883-9123 Tangofandango.com
10-7 Monday through Thursday 10-9 Friday & Saturday 12-6 Sunday Farmers Market every Wednesday 5pm
949-7737 15370 SPID- On the Island Located on Padre Island, Island Italian has been serving the community since 1987. A family friendly restaurant, Island Italian also serves beer and wine and is available for private parties of up to 53 people. Flat screen TV and DVD / VHS for meetings. Delivery on Padre Island after 5pm. Daily Lunch and Dinner Specials. Hours of Operation: Monday - Thursday 11am to 9:30pm Saturday 10am to 10pm Sunday 5pm to 9:30pm
A Taste of Austin In Downtown Corpus Christi
Huge Vegetarian, Vegan & Gluten-Free Friendly Menu Yummy Non-veg stuff too. Free WiFi Farmers market Every Wednesday 5pm Open Mic Night every 2nd & 4th Saturday Bizarre Bazaar Every 3rd Saturday
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a r r f a l j b a p S f t r d y t
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Tango Tea Room 505 South Water Street 361-883-9123
( v c s r c d h s c u c s ( i s H c t w s h s l i c b
By Charlz L. Vinson Cvinson@ccmagonline.com
Rumors & Lies 2013: The Year of the Snake
appy New Year! Glad to see you’ve made it to 2013. Hopefully this will be the year you ﬁnally throw away all that junk you have accumulated these past few years. While you're at it, why don't you go ahead and throw out your old tired beliefs and realize the truth. 'What truth?' you might ask. The truth you have been avoiding. This is the same truth that has been and always will be right in front of you. Most importantly, I hope you realize that you only need to look inside yourself to ﬁnd any "truth". Do you ever feel that you are being lied to on a daily basis? It is because you are! That's it, end of story. Go ahead and go back to whatever it is you're doing right now and enjoy the rest of the show. Like a cat catching a mouse, you can't really feel sorry for the mouse. Then the cat starts playing with the dead mouse for a bit. Just like that. Or, you've most likely also heard the tale of the frog and the scorpion. Oh you want me to remind you of it? OK.... it goes something like this.....a scorpion asks a frog for a ride across the river, frog says "No, you'll just end up stinging me." Scorpion says, "If I stung you, then we'd both die because I can't swim." Frog then goes against his ﬁrst intention, which was to not allow a scorpion to ride on his back, and gives our "logically thinking" scorpion permission to get on top of him for a ride across the river. It's logical right? Scorpions are going to be real nice bedfellows for a trip across the river. So the frog is there on the riverbank letting scorpion on his back and proceeds across the river when lo and behold he feels the scorpion's stinger dig deep into his skin releasing a deadly toxin. "SEE!" Screamed the frog, "I knew you'd sting me. Why did you do it? Now we'll both die." And the scorpion said, "You let a scorpion on your back, what other outcome did you expect?" The moral of that story seems to be simply this: Do not trust scorpions.
Why do kids today have ADHD? Do you ever wonder why toddlers misbehave on purpose? They do it to get your attention. Give them your attention to begin with to prevent possible future tantrums. Kids today are raised by TV. Lots of TV programs are aimed at kids. The Disney Channel runs 24 hours a day. Who watches it at two in the morning? "Yo Gabba Gabba!" to me looks like a mind Let's say that today's society, the status quo, is the proverbial frog. The part of control training video. Their use of song, color abstracts, and white teeth are the scorpion is played by a many-faceted organism, a system, which creates and just some of the show's elements that are captivating our young children. I was distributes programs to distract you so that you cannot focus on "truth." Ever surﬁng www.hulu.com one afternoon and was amazed at the vast amount of wonder why the system is in place to begin with? Control. Yes, I realize this different past and present television show were available to me. What appeared sounds like a scene from The Matrix, a life where dreams interact with thoughts to be nearly 1000 different TV programs, each program having multiple episodes collectively all while being managed through a network of electric machines. and preview clips. So many different topics; situation comedies, ﬁctional police/ law enforcement dramas, talk shows, etc. People work hard for their families. We used to have a bond like that not too long ago. It was called Mother Nature They deserve a relaxing moment at the end of the (aka outdoors). Nowadays the attendance of Watching TV is like spraying black spray day. Escape into TV, veg-out, be a couch potato, visitors to state parks has dropped so low, you put on a Snuggie, drink some hot cocoa, and play can hear radio advertisements asking you to paint on your 'Third Eye the episode of The Ofﬁce you missed, the one spend more time at a state park. When you where they all get head lice. renew a vehicle registration there shows a checkbox on your renewal asking if you wish to Most of you by now enjoy the illusions. The donate money to state parks. Locally the city fantasies. The mockumentaries. Ever wonder why has proposed selling off to the private sector TruTV is spelled without the letter "e"? Because some of our own neighborhood parks. The then they would have to only show you things city claims they can't afford the maintenance that are true. I saw one reality show the other day upkeep on all parks. In this life we are all called, "World's Strictest Parents". In the show connected in a form called "our collective two parents of children agree to swap kids for subconscious." This is what late great comedian the weekend just to prove to the audience that (and social commentator) Bill Hicks spoke of they truly are the world's strictest parents. So, in his comedy routine. "Watching TV is like in the story one young lady is worried that the spraying black spray paint on your 'Third Eye'", cigarettes she "hid" were going to be discovered Hicks would state to his audiences. Hicks by her surrogate strict parent. And wouldn't continued spouting out his philosophy on life Bill Hicks you know it, her worst fears conﬁrmed, the box till the day he passed from pancreatic cancer. It of cigarettes was found and now let the drama was he who opened the minds of many young begin. BUT WAIT! What's that I see on the box of skeptics in this world. A conspiracy theory was created shortly after his death and smokes? Black tape covering the cigarette name and logo. Why would a teenage has been rumored to go something like this: Bill Hicks is not dead but is really girl who smokes and is told she could not smoke place tape perfectly covering the still alive as a controversial radio talk show host. My gut says it is not true. Not a name and logo on all sides of the box? Doesn't make sense does it? Seems like logical thought process to go through, just a quick internal check on my natural that was staged and planned, even scripted. Which is very alarming. I hope Judge instinct. To learn more about Bill Hicks, simply google his name and look for his Judy isn't scripted. She is too funny. comedy routine labeled "Sane Man". Reminds me of a song lyric heard years Oh, and in case you were wondering, Lady Gaga is actually Jon Benet Ramsey all back. grown up and not dead after all. Happy 2013, the Year of the Snake. Next month ...but who will save the sane? Some being just can't change. we'll tackle the ever pressing question, Why did Hostess Twinkies suddenly go -by Peter Steele of Type O Negative. way up in value? Until then, drive safe to your next destination and keep telling yourself, "I will not be lied to today." 19
Discover More at METROSCHOOLS.NET
La Posada Lighted Boat Parade & Toys For Tots Collection @ the Island
Photos by Miles Merwin
Canvas Exposing Local Artists…
Day Wheeler… Drawn to Art
appy New Year! This column is a tad different. When I talked to our featured artist, Day Wheeler, about writing a column to showcase her work, she actually sort of deﬂected the idea of focusing just on her own work – what she wanted to share was the wonderful collaborative work she was creating with Jimmy Peña. You may remember Jimmy’s amazing work from my column on
By Georgia Grifﬁn
However, I do throw. “Why teach art? I think for me it was having very little quality art instruction in public school back in the 50s and 60s. I felt there was a need for better art teachers, maybe a new approach. Over the past 40 years, I've taught pre-K through college level art. I'm retired from public school art teaching now; however I still teach part-time at Del Mar leaving me more studio time. “This town has been a bit slow to accept contemporary ideas in art. However, I see that changing. This has come through education. We have some of the best public school and college art teachers anywhere. I really appreciate their efforts. Also, downtown has really become a thriving art market. With 1st Friday in place, we have more visitors than we have ever had and more support.” Personally, I have a fascination with how artists come to choose their media and their subjects. As I view works by individuals and collaborations, it helps to know how the work(s) came about: driven by issues or media? “Both. Mostly issues or concept driven. However, once I begin working with a media, many times the material or process will dictate the direction. “I've had studio space at K Space studios for about 16 years. This is a collaborative space. This situation lends itself to dialogue with other artists. K Space being a contemporary or alternative space attracts artists who are doing very experimental processes so I guess the door is open to collaboration. The artist
him back in 2010. I persuaded Day to give us a little insight into her own career and work, but agreed that the project the two of them are working is magically conceived and so environmentally important what I would share it through the majority of the column and all the images. However, I did get Day to let us know how she came to devote her life to art as both an artist and teacher.
that I have collaborated with the most is Jimmy Peña. We have shared studio space for about 14 years, and have established a rhythm in which we seem to be able to work together toward one response. We've collaborated on murals and installations. We've recently named ourselves "The Art Addicts."” These Art Addicts really are in sync in a way that is rare. It is especially rare in these hard economic times, when even collaborating artists feel an urge to push their own “brand”. Their years working together have given them a yin/yang balance of vision, effort and enthusiasm. That brings us to the fabulous collaboration currently on show at K Space Contemporary – Prophecy. According to the popular interpretation of the Mayan calendar, the year 2012 is predicted to be the end of the world, in which case I’m writing this column as a leap of faith. The premise of Prophecy is that if mankind is still here in January 2013, this show will be a response to a new man-made apocalypse assaulting our environment.
“I've known that I wanted to become an artist since I was 9 years old, in the 3rd grade. My teacher placed a drawing of a llama I did in response to the assignment: "Draw an animal" on the board. It was probably the ﬁrst attention that I had gotten. That started it all. From then on, drawing was my thing. Since I drew every chance that I got after that, I became very good at it and received a lot more attention. Also, I found out that this was my passion. Drawing and creativity are my strongest suits.
Their works provide visual commentary on the ecological imbalance developing within the Gulf Coast brought on by the proliferation of petroleum products and their related wastes and spills. While largely focusing on plastics, Jimmy and Day will also bring other types of refuse into play.
“Drawing, everything is drawing to me no matter what media. However, charcoal is probably my favorite drawing tool. Clay is just as important and I also really like papier-mâché. My personal interest in clay is ceramic sculpture rather than potting. 22
Prophecy will be a truly sensory installation work. The space will envelop the visitor with sounds, lighting effects, and kinetic and visual imagery created entirely from recycled materials, resulting in a seductive yet foreboding environmental experience. The artists’ goal is to reach out to and impact the perceptions of Gulf Coast residents and students, as well as our regional tourists, appealing to visual and auditory senses to bring home their message. “We
hope to make people aware that the world is facing a new apocalypse. The very balance of the ecological system is in obvious danger and the enemy is the human race.” Visitors are invited to participate in the installation/ exhibit via a comment wall/ community art piece where people can add their own drawings or writings on pieces of refuse gathered from the beach, and then add them to a viewer-made collage on the front gallery wall. “Our goal is for visitors to become more aware of their own ecological footprint and, perhaps, alter their garbage disposal behavior accordingly.” To check out Prophecy, head down to K Space Contemporary, 415 D Starr Street – the exhibit runs January 4th through February 22nd. Admission is always free, and they are open Wednesday through Saturday, 11a to 5pm, or 9pm on First Fridays. During both the January 4th and February 1st First Friday ArtWalks, the Texas Coastal Bend Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation will hand out fabric shopping bags, as well as present information and a video on the problems caused by pollution along our shores. Prophecy – an exhibit about a very real apocalypse we can actually do something about – this exhibit is too important to miss!!