Monday, March 28, 2011


Glen Hart, the majority owner of the Laredo Bucks just announced that the team will remain a professional sports franchise.  Hart said he is in current negotiations that have the Bucks playing in a "new" professional hockey league, but not in the Central Hockey League.  Hart said details about the league cannot be released at this time, as teams that will play in the league are currently playing in other league playoffs.

The Laredo Bucks have officially withdrawn their application to play in the amature North American Hockey League. 

Hart says there will be more information on the new league as early as mid-April. 

Here is my personal take on the announcement.  The Bucks, and most likely other CHL teams will be forming a new league, with other non-CHL teams.  They will create a league that will operate at a lower cost, most likely by changing the league franchise agreements, and other methods to lower team operating cost, through required labor, and equipment issues.

Tune in Tuesday morning as I will have Brian Benway (Media Director for the Laredo Bucks) on the show.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


The short answer is yes, the city, county, and school districts can use your money to lobby for you to pay higher taxes to support their spending.  That is what will be taking place this weekend when the city, county and school districts will march in support of raising your taxes. 

Now, none of those entities have come right out and said they want to raise your taxes.  But, none of those groups support  budget cuts in the state budget.  So, what is the alternative?  Of course it is raising taxes.

Yes it is legal for our local governments to lobby to raise your taxes, as shown here in the Texas Local Government Code:

Texas Local Government Code section 556.0055
political subdivision or private entity that receives state funds
may not use the funds to pay:
                        (1)  lobbying expenses incurred by the recipient of the
                        (2)  a person or entity that is required to register
with the Texas Ethics Commission under Chapter 305;
                        (3)  any partner, employee, employer, relative,
contractor, consultant, or related entity of a person or entity
described by Subdivision (2);  or
                        (4)  a person or entity that has been hired to represent
associations or other entities for the purpose of affecting the
outcome of legislation, agency rules, ordinances, or other
government policies.
            (b)  A political subdivision or private entity that violates
Subsection (a) is not eligible to receive additional state funds.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1498, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Note that on the spending of "state" funds is prohibited by law.  So local governments can use local money to lobby for tax increases with your money. 

This law should be changed where no local government can use your money to lobby, only to inform.  There is a big difference.  School districts can only use money to inform about school bond issues, not lobby for or against.  This should be the same practice followed with all local governments. 

Bet the city, county and schools would not lobby for that legislation!


TSTA, please tell the taxpayers in Laredo what you want the legislature to do about the budget shortfall.  Since you are opposed to the budget cuts, you obviously have found a way to fund the budget.  What is it?  We know the "Rainy Day Fund" will not cover all the budget requirements.

So TSAT, what is your plan?  One of these?

From the Center for Public Policy Priorities (CPPP) :
"Unfortunately, our revenue shortfall is so large, that a balanced approach also requires adding new revenue. No one is proposing a "tax-only" solution to our problem, but taxes must be part of the solution. Whether you measure taxes per resident or as a percentage of the economy, Texans pay less than almost any other state. That means we put less into education and the infrastructure we need to maintain our competitive business edge and ensure economic opportunity for our children.
Even in these tough times, we do have options preferred by the public over cuts. For example, we can adopt a Healthy Texas Revenue Package that 1) increases taxes on alcohol, 2) increases taxes on tobacco (raising the cigarette tax a dollar a pack generates $1.9 billion a biennium), and 3) imposes a new one-cent-per-ounce excess tax on sugar-loaded beverages (generating $2.5 billion a biennium). Or, we could eliminate unwarranted sales tax exemptions. Alternatively, we could temporarily increase our state sales tax by half a percent (with a rebate to protect low-income families) and raise about $3 billion a biennium. "  (From Feb 1, 2011 CPPP open letter to Texas Business Leaders)

Or how about this one from the CPPP:
January 2006 Contact: Dick Lavine,
F. Scott McCown,
Part one of this trilogy of policy briefs explains the challenge facing Texas in funding public education. This policy brief explains why a Texas-style personal income tax is the best way to meet the needs of Texas. Only a personal income tax can significantly reduce reliance on property taxes – cutting the school operations tax from $1.50 to $0.50 – while providing adequately for education – over $5 billion annually.   (From CPPP Policy Brief Number Two)



Dear LISD parents,

I hope you take seriously the potential consequences that can arise from the loss of your child's personal data.  Your child's Social Security Number and Name (who knows what else was released, address, parents name?????) have been downloaded to a disc for some sort of research and then lost by the Texas Education Association (TEA) in Austin. 
.  Who knows where the disc is, and if it was copied. You must DEMAND that LISD provide you information as to what data on your child was given to TEA.  The disc has been missing too long for you to assume that the data is not compromised.  If you are smart, you will start running credit reports on your LISD child. 
LISD is obviously downplaying this loss of information.  But you should know that the name and social security number (with a clean credit report) are all that is needed to open quick credit card accounts with spending limits up to $1,000+ credit lines.  A scammer can take that information and turn it into lots of cash.  Also, what might happen if you child's data falls into the hands of document forgers.  Your child and a person in this country illegally may share a name and social security number.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Where Is The Press? No Real Reporters Anymore

After reading the LISD story this morning about the release of 24,000 student social security numbers to the TEA and UT at Dallas, I was shocked that the most important question was never asked by a reporter.

The story, if you did not read it, is as follows:

LISD released the names and social security numbers of the ENTIRE LISD student body (24,000 plus names and SSN's on disc) to the Texas Education Agency at the request of a research group at the University of Texas at Dalla.  The CD was sent to TEA in Austin, but was lost.

Yep, if your kid goes to LISD a CD with their name and social security number (and who know what other information) is lost somewhere in Austin, maybe?  Hopefully you have the resources to do a credit check on your kid to find out if identiy theft might be an issue here.  Better to check now that discover in a few months that your child has had a credit card(s) issued to them and bills have be run up on that card.? 

The big question that no one, repeat no one asked, is WHY did UT-Dallas want the information and what were they going to do with it.  If UT-Dallas only wanted student information, and not the social security numbers, WHY did LISD provide the SSN's?

Is there no one in our local media that has an inquisitive mind?   Or do they just print/broadcast whatever is fed to them by those they are writing/broadcasting about? 

Laredo, this is a big deal and you should complain to your media that they are not doing their jobs. 

More on this later.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Let's Declare War on Something Worthwhile

Let's end the wars in Lybia, Afghanistan, and Iraq right now, and then declare war on something that drives me, and I bet you also, crazy.

Let's declare war on those people who have super high powered stereos in their cars and play music (if you call repetitious drumming or humming music) so loud that everything in a two or three block area vibrates and decibel levels exceed that of jet engines.  Let's use our air force and armies to find a way to jam/disable these sound machines.  If need be, as a last resort of course, utilize drones with Hellfire missiles.  Of course we would warn the occupants to "Get out of the car now, in one minute we will blow it up."   Too extreme?  I don't know, maybe.....

We, the public, should not have to have hearing exams just because we drive down the road, or live close to a street frequented by these machines.  Of course if our police enforced the laws in the city we would not have these cars operating in the neighborhoods or on the streets.  But then again, the police are too busy, at least that is what they always tell us.  Reality, only takes a few tickets and the publicizing of those tickets to get the message out that Laredo respects it's hearing.

OK, enough said by an old fogey.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Kell Munoz, A Name to Remember

Watch for the name Kell Munoz to start appearing more and more in Laredo city politics, maybe even Webb county at some point. 

Kell Munoz Architects is a San Antonio based firm ( ) that has appeared in the San Antonio Express News as a company that  is involved in a controversial contract with the San Antonio Independent School District.  They are becoming very active in Laredo and have started establishing "close" ties to Laredo city council members.  Does a private one on one Austin dinner/drinks hosted by KM Architects ring a bell councilman?

At the bottom of this post I will give you the links to the articles I am talking about.  I urge you to read the articles and look at the comments section also.

The firm was awarded the contract for the City of Laredo downtown master plan on Jan. 4, 2010.  Here is the excerpt from the city's council meeting minute search of Kell Munoz Architects.

Motion to approve Previous HitKell Munoz ArchitectsNext Hit, Inc. as the firm to develop the City of
Laredo Downtown Master Plan.
Moved: Cm. Garcia
Second: Cm. Liendo Espinoza
For: 8 Against: 0 Abstain: 0

Join me in watching as this firm grows in stature in Laredo politics.

Again, read these links, and the comment section of each link:

Sorry.....been away from blog

Sorry folks, I have been lax in my blog duties for a while...back in the saddle now.