Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Here are some of the links I used on the show today.  The best link though is the first one.  A comprehensive look at fracking and the laws concerning the process. 

More later.

http://www.haynesboone.com/law_applicable_to_hydraulic_fracturing/  (note, go to bottom of page and open the two pdf links for the overview and the report)



Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Can anyone on city council spell: ETHICS?????

Let's look at this example of the city council showing a total disregard for ethical bidding practices, as well as spending over $300,000 on a higher bid with a less qualified (according to city staff)  service provider.

How it happened:

The city is going to build a baseball park that was approved by the voters.  The city wants to hire a construction manager to oversee construction and assure that the project is completed on time and at the cost allocated for the project.

A bid was posted for the service.

Seven companies submitted bids.

City of Laredo staff rated the companies based on cost, ability to complete the project, and past experience in building baseball fields.

The number 1. ranked (by Laredo city staff)  bidder was Bartlett and Cocke from San Antonio.  Their bid around $600,000.

Read their own words about themselves:

For over 50 years, Bartlett Cocke General Contractors has been on the cutting edge of commercial construction. As the largest commercial building contractor in San Antonio, Texas, we are one of the most qualified firms with a reputation of timely completion, a commitment to safety, honoring warranty services, financial stability and prompt payment that is unequaled. We are experts in CM-at-Risk, Design-Build and Bid services.

Our foundation is our people and their proven ability to build the best possible project for the greatest possible value. Many of our employees, skilled craftsmen, officers and shareholders have been with us for over 20 years. Because we are employee-owned and well managed financially, many of our employees are motivated to stay with us throughout their careers.

The number 7, repeat number 7 ranked (by city staff) was Leyendecker Construction.  Their bid was around $1,200,000.

I could find no self description of their company, as they have no web site, at least that I could locate.  However, they are a locally owned and operated construction company that does all types of construction throughout Laredo.  They have done projects for both school districts,  the city and county.  I have not heard of any serious complaints about their company.  As far as I know they are a good company and capable of doing the job they bid for.

However, Leyendecker has not built any professional baseball fields, nor manged that type of construction.  Bartlett and Cocke built the Nelson Wolff Stadium in San Antonio, Tx. home of the AA San Antonio Missions. 

This, along with the bid amount must be why the city staff ranked Bartlett and Cocke number 1, and for whatever reasons, Leyendecker was ranked number 7.

Now what happens next is beyond words.  And no, this is not fiction.

On April 7th, the city has a council meeting with only one item on the agenda:

1. Discussion with possible action regarding the selection of the construction manager
at risk for the future baseball stadium to be constructed in the immediate vicinity of
the Laredo Entertainment Arena, and any related matters.

It has been reported to me that Bartlett and Cocke had representatives at this meeting.  I am not sure which other bidders were present. 

In the 15 minutes that the meeting lasted, repeat, in the 15 minutes that the meeting lasted, the city council approved Leyendecker Construction for the job of construction manager for the sum of around $920,000.  That is $320,000 higher than the NUMBER 1 selection made by city staff based on several criteria.

So, what happened (and I am not sure if this was during the meeting) was that Leyendecker was allowed to change their bid to a reduced price and was awarded the contract.  Bartlett and Cocke, nor any of the other bidders was allowed to re-submit any bid changes whatsoever.

So, we the taxpayers are now going to pay somewhere around $320.000 more for the ballpark, all in the name of keeping a "local" company in charge of construction. 

And to make things only more murkey is the fact that Leyendecker Construction has contributed cash to several city councilmans campaigns (again not  illegal but what about ethical).  And also, that Mike Garza does a lot of business with Leyendecker through the school district (again not illegal).

Not only did Laredo taxpayers get taken for a ride, but the companies that were at the "15 minute" meeting got no input, no comments.  All they got was a look at one of the most UNETHICAL city councils in Texas.  What the Laredo city council did, while not illegal, will harm this city for years to come. 

What vendor in their right mind will want to bid on a Laredo project when they know that the city council only cares about themselves, and their special relationships, forgetting all ethical behavior on bid projects.

The real loser is not Bartlett and Cocke, but the citizens of Laredo who win the future will now have fewer choices when we ask for bids on projects.  We will pay more for projects.  You can bet on it.

Mike Garza was right, $15 million in 15 minutes.  What a waste.

Actual Beer Run Ordinance

I cannot get the actual beer run ordinance to post properly.  If you want to view it, go http://www.cityoflaredo.com/ and follow:

>Council Agendas
>April 18th Full Packet (takes a while to download)

Once open the complete ordinance can be found under public hearings, item number 3 (this is page 23 in the full packet).

Sorry I could not copy and paste it.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Check out this listed on the April 18th Laredo city council agenda.


3. Public hearing and introductory ordinance prohibiting any person from intentionally or knowingly displaying or distributing any obscene materials visual representations or performances with reckless disregard about whether a person is present who will be offended or alarmed by the display.

The item calls for a public hearing on a proposed ordinance to basically prohibit any act, or display of obscene materials that will offend or alarm any person in the presence of such act or display.  Now let it be known that I am not a Constitutional scholar.  But even with my rudimentary understanding of the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights, I would say that any appelate judge would rule this proposed ordinance unconstitutional.

Here is the First Amendment from the U.S. Constitution

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

That sentence that says that Congress (government) shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech will be used to defeat any attempt by the Laredo city council to implement the proposed ordinance.  I understand a certain city councilman's desire to restrict the dancing of scantily clad women outside of some beer runs in his district.  If it is not illegal to burn the United States flag in public, or cover a statue of Jesus Christ with human waste, then dancing girls with few clothes will not qualify as obscene.
In this case it means that the city of Laredo does not have the power to limit these dancing girls if they are not nude.  It is that simple.

I am curiously awaiting to see the city's definition of "obscene" materials, visual representations, or performances.  Also, what is the city's definition of "reckless disregard"?

Also, under what circumstances will a person be deemed to be "offended or alarmed" by the above acts?

Does this mean if I am driving down the street and see an advertisement for beer showing scantily clad women, and I feel offended, that the sign will have to come down.  What about the political cartoons in the Laredo Morning Times?  What if I am offended by one of those cartoons?  Will the LMT editor be held in violation of the ordinance?

My bet, that no one, repeat no one will stand up and speak against this proposed ordinance.  I bet there will folks who stand up and speak against the idea of scantily clad ladies dancing in public though.  And the city council will move forward with this ordinance.

College kids, high school students interested in government, this should be a MUST WATCH for you.  You might see history made in that you will watch the birth of a city ordinance that will be later struck down by our court system. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Off The Air

We had a power failure in Nuevo Laredo (transmitter site) and were off the air for a while.  Back tomorrow.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


I can't understand why the Laredo Firefighters Union will not agree to random drug testing of firefighters.  They operate heavy equipment (owned by the taxpayers), respond to emergency calls, and make life and death decisions.  Why wouldn't a  fellow firefighter want to know if his partner in fighting a fire is under the influence of drugs.

Someone help me please understand this position.


A couple of city council meetings ago I asked Laredo councilman Charlie San Miguel if he would get information from the city on the amount of revenue that is generated at the Laredo Energy Arena.  As of today, he has not produced any numbers. Nor have I seen a request for those numbers posted on the city council agenda as he promised he would.

Now I am wondering, what is going on, is there something to hide?  If not, why not produce those simple numbers so the citizens of Laredo can see just how much the LEA generates in city revenue.

We have been told over and over again that the city has to pay $150,000 in operating cost every year to run the arena.   But no one, repeat no one, has ever shown us the amount of money generated for the city by the arena.

The city is paid the following by the arena:

Sales tax                                        (all tickets, items sold, and food sold)
Rent                                              (on EVERY event that takes place at the arena)
Portion of ticket sales                    (on EVERY ticket sold)
Liquor tax                                     (on every drink sold)

Does that equate to $150,000?  I don't know, but would like to know.  The arena belongs to the citizens of Laredo, not city hall.  We have the right to know, and the city must supply these numbers.

I am tired of the "white elephant" argument some want to use against the arena.  It is not a white elephant and does produce revenue.  If you want white elephants, look at some of the parks in Laredo that are never used, and take money from the budget for maintenance.  And, not one park that I am aware of generates any revenue.  They are quality of life issues, just like the arena.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


According to the LMT, the mayor is headed to Austin to back a proposal that DPS conduct southbound inspections on vehicle entering Mexico to search for guns and money(maybe money is the real target).
We all know that the gun inspection process has shown very few if any significant results.  Less than a couple of hundred guns recovered in over a years time.  Not very cost or gun reduction effective.

A couple of issues that are not being discussed:

1.  Where will these checkpoints be set up?  Along the highways, on back roads, or at the bridge head.  If at the bridge head, CBP and LPD are already there.  More confusion to be sure.  If out on the highway, it will mean more inspections for US citizens just going about their business.

2.  Under what law will DPS have to "inspect" a vehicle.  DPS will not have the constitutional authority, as does CBP, to search a vehicle without a warrant.  So, just how effective can these checkpoints really be.  LPD has no authority to search a vehicle without a search warrant unless permission is given by the owner/operator.  DPS has the same limitations.

So, is this whole checkpoint thing political in nature, or is it just a "feel good" initiative meant to make us all warm and fuzzy about crime?

Monday, April 4, 2011


A little birde has told me to expect some fireworks tonight at city hall when some city council persons bring up the issue of the Laredo Fire Department Union contract.

It will be interesting for the LFD to explain why they do not want drug testing?  Why not?  Maybe there is a good reason, but make it public.

Also, the issue of the LFD family insurance coverage could be a hot topic.

We will find out tomorrow morning if the Laredo Morning Times does its job.


I don't know why I didn't think of this sooner.  Why should we, the public, wait on city council to have dinner behind closed doors?  Why should we, the people, who are paying for their dinner go without?

My solution is simple.  Just stop off at your local eatery and have them fix you a dinner to go.  When the council breaks for dinner, you will have your own meal, ready to eat.

I would propose that the city invest some money in a rack along one of the city council walls to hold condiments, such as, mustard, mayo, ketchup, hot sauce, salt, pepper, and of course napkins.  This could, or could not be stocked by the city.  If not, then, we the citizens can keep the shelf stocked.  And while we are spending OUR money, why not install "seat back trays" to each city council chamber seat, so we have someplace to put our food and drink.

Once the city council sees that we bring our own food, maybe, just maybe, we can all eat toghther in the city council chambers and continue the meeting.  Of course when we see them eating steak, and us eating tacos, that could cause some complaining.

Nah, they won't come out of their hidout for dinner.  What was I thinking.  They are much more refined and responsible, than we are.  They need their private dinner time, probably for illegal deal making (remember they cannot meet without posting an agenda) or the like.  Opps, maybe we need to see the dinner time discussion agenda posted. 

Or how about this.  Before we turn city council chambers into a mustard, mayo, salsa, stained garbage pit (insert your own joke here), how about we cancel all dinners at city hall while the council is meeting.  That would be cleaner, and eliminate steak/taco envy.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Oh Oh, Another Denier.......


EPA Whistleblower Criticizes Global Warming Science and Policy in New Peer-Reviewed Study

Study Shows Claims of Catastrophic Warming Are Overwhelmingly Contradicted By Real-Word Data
April 01, 2011
Washington, D.C., April 1, 2011 – The scientific hypotheses underlying global warming alarmism are overwhelmingly contradicted by real-world data, and for that reason economic studies on the alleged benefits of controlling greenhouse gas emissions are baseless.  That’s the finding of a new peer-reviewed report by a former EPA whistleblower.
Dr. Alan Carlin, now retired, was a career environmental economist at EPA when CEI broke the story of his negative report on the agency’s proposal to regulate greenhouse gases in June, 2009.  Dr. Carlin’s supervisor had ordered him to keep quiet about the report and to stop working on global warming issues.  EPA’s attempt to silence Dr. Carlin became a highly-publicized embarrassment to the agency, given Administrator Lisa Jackson’s supposed commitment to transparency.
Dr. Carlin’s new study, A Multidisciplinary, Science-Based Approach to the Economics of Climate Change, is published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.  It finds that fossil fuel use has little impact on atmospheric CO2 levels.  Moreover, the claim that atmospheric CO2 has a strong positive feedback effect on temperature is contradicted on several grounds, ranging from low atmospheric sensitivity to volcanic eruptions, to the lack of ocean heating and the absence of a predicted tropical “hot spot.”
However, most economic analyses of greenhouse gas emission controls, such as those being imposed by EPA, have been conducted with no consideration of the questionable nature of the underlying science.  For that reason, according to Dr. Carlin, the actual “economic benefits of reducing CO2 emissions may be about two orders of magnitude less” than what is claimed in those reports.
Sam Kazman, CEI General Counsel, stated, “One of the major criticisms of Dr. Carlin’s EPA report was that it was not peer-reviewed, even though peer-review was neither customary for internal agency assessments, nor was it possible due to the time constraints imposed on Dr. Carlin by the agency.  For that reason, we are glad to see this expanded version of Dr. Carlin’s report now appear as a peer-reviewed study.”
Read the full report: A Multidisciplinary, Science-Based Approach to the Economics of Climate Change
See also the CEI OnPoint, “Clearing the Air on the EPA's False Regulatory Benefit-Cost Estimates and Its Anti-Carbon Agenda” by Garrett A. Vaughn

Why is this not on the national news?  Thank God there are people who are exposing the lies everyday, more and more.

Wonder What U.S. Gunstore These Weapons Came From?????????

Large weapons cache seized in Matamoros

The Monitor
The Mexican Army announced the seizure Saturday of a large weapons cache that included machine guns, rocket launchers, grenades, explosives, mortars and even one crossbow.
The seizure occurred about 11:30 p.m. Friday. A military convoy was conducting routine patrols through the city streets when they spotted a group of men who suspiciously ran into a house in order to elude capture.  The soldiers secured the house but were not able to find the men. However, the soldiers did seize a weapons cache and $59,700 in bulk cash.
The weapons seized included 59 assault rifles, 21 handguns, seven  Uzi submachine guns, one .762-cal. machine gun, 412 packs of hydrogel industrial explosive, 12 meters of detonation cord, one rocket launcher, one rocket, one grenade launcher, six rounds for 60 mm mortar, three launchable grenades, one RPG and several other grenades.

This report was compiled by Ildefonso Ortiz

I hope the Mexican government does not try to blame the cartel's possession of these weapons on U.S. gun stores.  Of course, maybe they will.  I know I can go down an purchase a few pounds of plastic explosive, and some 60 mm mortar rounds for my newly aquired motar tube.

My point here is that the Mexican government, through loss of equipment, is the biggest supplier of arms and high powered weapons to the drug cartels.  What are the Zetas anyway, ex-Mexican military.  Don't you think that they have enough contacts still in the military for weapons purchases.

Laredo Teachers March

I attended the Saturday morning march sponsored by the local chapter of the TSTA. 

In speaking with the TSTA representatives, I found out that they are for a tax increase if there is no other way to fund education.  I told them even if the rainy day fund is totally spent, there would still be a shortfall, unless all the budget cuts were directed to other state agencies.  I doubt this will happen.  So, the TSTA representatives said, there were for a tax increase, but would not describe what kind of increase.  When asked directly if they would support an income tax, they said no they would not.  I am not sure the state TSTA would agree with that, but so be it.

Anyway, I am glad that the TSTA got their march off OK.  I believe that as Americans, we have the right of open protest, of which this march was a classic example.