Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Just another odd mayor's race

The race for mayor in San Antonio is heating up, even though the election isn't for quite a while. The incumbent, Phil Hardberger, will most likely win another term handily as there is no credible opposition. So far, it's just him and Patrick McCurdy, who plans to do a lot of praying for our city.

But there is another person who has just declared that he is running for mayor. This man's name is R.G. Griffing, and he likes to be a thorn in the sides of local governments, politicians, and news organizations by running his own bloggy newsite called San Antonio Lightning Newspaper. He is a bit of firebrand, and he barely minces his words.

Here is the preamble to his declaration of candidacy:

You people make me sick!

Yes, you!

You are hicks and rubes and suckers. You lay down for every tax increase that comes your way. Every stupid political idea.

I sometimes doubt your intelligence.

You are a politician's dream.

Easy marks.

A carnival worker's delight.

Nothing but beasts of burden.

Sometimes you are oxen. Sometimes simply sheep.

You people make me sick!

Ouch. Kinda makes you want to vote for him, doesn't it? But he is apparently quite serious about seeking office.

I can say this to you, without fear of offense, because I, too, am a hick and a rube and a sucker. I, too, am a lay down. I, too, have fallen for stupid ideas. ...

But no more, at least for me. Enough is enough. Time to stand up.

For that reason, I have filed the necessary paperwork to run for Mayor.

He doesn't have a chance against Hardberger, but I will give him credit for being passionate and motivated.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

"Parents Accused of Burglary While Leaving Kids Home Alone"


Police say the couple left their young kids home alone while they broke into a new home under construction on the northwest side.

Wow. Go to the link and watch the video of the WOAI story to see just how strange it is.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Car crashes into house

It's happened again, an automobile accident involving a house. Lomi Kriel of the Express-News reports:

Sylvia Guitron planned on remodeling her kitchen sometime. Just not quite this way.

Around 6 p.m. Wednesday, as she ironed a shirt to wear that night, a white Ford Explorer slammed into her kitchen, knocking a hole in her plumbing, demolishing her oven and washing machine, and smashing the flowered china she inherited from her mother, who passed away last Christmas. ...

Gina Rodriguez, 25, and Sandy Jimenez, 21, were popping over to H-E-B when Jimenez swerved to avoid an oncoming car flying around the corner at Imperial Boulevard and Allendale Drive. Jimenez overcorrected, slamming into the kitchen — passing between a wide tree and a parked van.

"Everything happened so fast," Rodriguez said. "The next thing we knew we were in the lady's house."

Strange, strange.

"Arrests of 5 more ex-firefighters expected"

Didn't they have enough to do, or did they need a hobby?

The Express-News reports the story:

With one former volunteer firefighter already charged with arson, Bexar County fire marshal's officials revealed Thursday that they expect to arrest five more volunteer firefighters suspected of setting brush fires in South Texas that injured one person.

Investigators said five former firefighters from the Poteet and Primrose volunteer fire departments should be arrested in the next few weeks and charged with arson felonies.

The firefighters are suspected of arson in more than 20 fires in Atascosa and Bexar counties that burned hundreds of acres of brush. Those brush fires also damaged several barns and sheds, fire officials said Thursday. In one case, the firefighters are suspected of lighting an uninhabited house on fire, according to fire marshal spokesman Ted Manganello, who characterized the home as "well-damaged." [emphases added]

That's just sad. In my book, firefighters are true heroes, for the most part. They dart into burning buildings to save human life, battle blazes in crappy weather, and perform high-water rescues when necessary.

But, "for the most part" is an important qualifier. Bonehead firefighters that intentionally set blazes that put other people in danger (like what is being alleged in the story mentioned above), are no heroes. They are boneheads at best, and villains most likely.

And they deserve contempt.

"Crook Steals ATM, Drags it for Miles"

Rather bold, I would say.

From WOAI:

According to officers, someone used a pick-up truck to pull a Bank of America ATM machine out of a parking lot on Blanco and Huebner overnight.

The machine was dragged to the 9100 block of Abe Lincoln, where it was abandoned. Police were able to follow marks on the road to locate the ATM.

The intersection of Blanco Road and Huebner is here, and Abe Lincoln is here. That's a long way to drag a big, heavy machine like that (through busy commercial areas and heavily-traveled streets), and it was probably showering sparks into the night the whole way. I wonder that no one saw the strange sight and reported it to the police.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

San Antonio is twelfth-drunkest city

Don't know exactly how strange this is, but San Antonio has been ranked by Forbes as the twelfth-drunkest city in the nation.

To do the study, Forbes ranked each city in five areas: state laws, number of drinkers, number of heavy drinkers, number of binge drinkers and alcoholism. ...

Forbes pointed out some surprising results. Some stereotypically "partying" cities didn't rank high on the list. Las Vegas came in at only No. 14; New Orleans, home to Bourbon Street and Mardi Gras, only ranked in 24th place. And a town known for spring-break revelers, Miami, was only No. 33 on a list of 35 cities.

Hoist that margarita, tip that cerveza; we're drunker than Las Vegas!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Worst customer -- ever

A family of six people suffered a home invasion. Three men forced their way int0 Charles Legnon's apartment, threatened the man and his wife with a shotgun, locked the children in a bathroom, and stole cash and jewelry before leaving. Thankfully, the Legnons were not hurt, though they were shaken up a bit. But the strange part is that Legnon knew one of his assailants -- because he did some work for him, as KSAT reports:

Legnon told police that he recognized one of the men as a customer who wasn't happy with a transmission he had fixed for him.

Wow. Most disgruntled customers will complain, call the Better Business Bureau, or just tell friends to steer clear the offending enterprise. This guy is bold and angry enough to actually rip off the man who did auto repairs for him.

But, however, apparently not smart enough to wear a mask.

No arrests have been made. Yet.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

"Fuentes keeping her secrets"

Brian Chasnoff at the Express-News talks about Naomi Fuentes's reaction when he went to talk to her:

When I dropped by the Bexar County Jail annex to chat with Fuentes, currently imprisoned on charges of credit card abuse and misapplication of fiduciary property, she jerked away from the glass, jabbed an unfriendly finger at me and vigorously shook her head.

Translation: Forget please. Go now.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Fuentes returns

Naomi Fuentes is back in town.

Fuentes was arrested in New York last month on charges stemming from allegations that she took nearly $62,000 from Cox Radio, her former employer in Windcrest, and used it to pay down a credit card she took out in the name of a former boss.

Leak explained

Lucille Pope's leaky tree now has an explanation: it's a leak.

From a pipe.

The tree tapped into an active water line that runs to a sink in a shed in their backyard, SAWS spokeswoman Anne Hayden said. The water also tested positive for chlorine residue.

So, the mystery of the water-producing tree is now revealed, but it's still strange.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Follow up to the tree that leaks water

Cary Clack, a local newspaper columnist, wrote about Lucille Pope's amazing tree that spouts water from its trunk. He wonders:

So what makes a tree decide to impersonate a water fountain? What makes a tree decide that after 100 years of existence, it's going to mess with people, boggle their minds, have a little fun and, like Bonnie Raitt, give them something to talk about?

Damned if anybody knows. ...

My own scientific tests, beyond tasting the water, included making sure there wasn't a leprechaun inside of the tree with a water hose and invoking the name of TV prankster Allen Funt to see if we weren't on "Candid Camera."

Both tests proved negative.

Neither Davis' story on Friday nor this column has the address of the Popes' house. To print it would be to invite a pilgrimage to their residence that neither they nor their neighbors may want.

The reasons for The Leaking Tree may be mystical or scientific.

It's still the damnedest thing I've ever seen.

Odd enough, to be sure. But, why -- until they are sure of the source -- are they drinking the water?

Friday, August 11, 2006

Tree sprouts a fountain

Let's say you have a tree in your yard. And let's say that one day it starts leaking water from the trunk. You would most likely be puzzled, but would you take a drink?

Lucille Pope did. And still does.

From Vincent T. Davis's story in the Express-News:

The knotted, towering tree, more than 100 years old, has become the root of scrutiny in her East Side neighborhood. The tree has gurgled water from its trunk for the past three months.

Pope, 65, has sought answers from several specialists, calling experts from the Texas Forest Service, the Edwards Aquifer Authority and nurseries for an explanation. ...

The odd occurrence started in early April when her son, Lloyd Pope, noticed bark smeared with sap when he went to fill his the water trough of his stepson's dog Neno. After moving the Rottweiler's tray, he saw a wide stain that ran from the root up toward the branches, with fluid dripping to the ground from above.

Days later, he saw water streaming onto the ground from the other side, and he showed his mother the sight.

Lloyd Pope, 47, said the water was cool, like it came from a faucet. The only damp spot around the tree trunk is where the water lands.

So far, no one has an explanation as to why a fountain has sprung from Ms. Pope's tree, and tests are still being done on the quality of water produced. Yet, oddly enough, Ms. Pope and her son have seen fit to start drinking the water.

After [hydrologist George] Rice and [executive director of the Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance Annalisa] Peace left with their sample of water, Lloyd Pope continued to sit on the hood of the Cadillac, pressing the mouth of the nearly filled jug to the spout of water, just as he does every other day. Then he put the collected water, which he said is better than faucet water, in the icebox.

His mother cupped her hands to the tree, drinking the pooled water spilling over her fingers.

Strange, indeed.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Car crashes into house

Again, a car crash that involves a house. But this time it was because the driver was running from the police.

From WOAI:

While driving around the east side, officers say the men in the stolen SUV saw a police cruiser and panicked. They crashed the vehicle into a house at Iowa and Pine streets.

Both the SUV and the house suffered serious damage.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Tax-free undies

Here in Texas, one weekend before school starts is designated as a tax-free holiday. That means that certain items (clothing, mostly) are free of sales tax when purchased, ostensibly to give needy families a break when buying expensive items for their children (you can take a look at a list here). Among the other items of clothing that are tax-free are underwear -- panties, boxers, briefs, and the like.

This weekend is the sales tax holiday, and, just like other years, retail stores are jam packed with people looking to save just a little money on their school supply bills. This year, however, it seems that one store that normally would not get back-to-school-shopping traffic has chosen to capitalize on the tax-free weekend. That store is called Texxxas Nights. They sell underwear, and they're advertising.

From WOAI:

The majority of the things Shelley Welch sells in Texxxas Nights are sexy bras and underwear. There are adult movies and novelty items in the back.

She says as long as she has clothes to sell, the signs should be up.

"If my customers can benefit from the tax free weekend, then I felt I should let them know," Welch says.

Strange, but entrepreneurial as well.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

"Woman Beats Neighbor Boy with Garden Hose"

Wow, neighbor women can be tough around here, as WOAI reports:

Investigators say Yolanda Perez beat her neighbor's 6-year-old son with a garden hose. The boy's grandmother says the [sic] he was playing outside, when he squirted the [sic] Perez with a hose. Investigators say Perez then lost her temper and beat the boy with the hose.

So, how bad was the beating? "He suffered some welts".