Friday, February 29, 2008

"Huge Stone Oak Grass Fire"

Well, it was a grass fire, but I don't know if ten acres warrants the word "huge."

(From WOAI)

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Strange at the medical center

This is posted as a service to the community, gently reminding you to clean out your car.

[Thanks to Silver Creek 78250]

WOAI Trouble Shooters ask, "Could Corn Tortillas Be Causing Cancer?"

And I think the answer, judging from the Trouble Shooters story, is, who knows?

For nearly two years now, the News 4 Trouble Shooters have been investigating why people living near the former Kelly Air Force Base are dying of liver cancer at a rate twice as high as other parts of Texas. Trouble Shooter Jaie Avila tells us why health officials are now studying whether a very popular food here in South Texas could be responsible.


Many people living in the area are convinced their health problems are the result of the TCE, which was found to have seeped into groundwater. The plume of contaminated water was first mapped out in 1999 and stretched underneath 22,000 homes across the south and southwest sides of town. The area was even dubbed the "Toxic Triangle."

In the last few years, the plume has shrunk because the air force is slowly cleaning it up.

However, a number of studies have failed to connect TCE exposure, to the cancer cases. [Director of the Health Department Dr. Fernando] Guerra told us, "For the most part, we did not find an association in the study that we did, which is reassuring."

So now, the health department is going in a different direction. Texas A&M and Texas Tech researchers are now studying whether corn, like you'd find in corn tortillas, could be causing the liver cancer.

Dr. Kirby Donnelly, who is heading up the study from A&M's end, said it's not as silly as it sounds, when he sat down with Jaie Avila recently.

Avila asked, "You've got this TCE underground in the ground water, and yet you guys are studying corn tortillas."

Dr. Donnelly answered, "Yes, and I'm sympathetic to that frustration. I know on the surface it sounds like, 'Oh, you're coming here and we've got this environmental problem. We know the trichloriethelene's in the ground water. We know that these chlorinated solvents are getting into our households and you're looking at tortillas, and everybody eats tortillas, but not every doesn't get liver cancer.' Well, the issue, the more important issue is, the people who get liver cancer are likely getting liver cancer because of a number of things. Not just their environment. Not just their nutrition. Not just their genes."


You are probably wondering, if corn tortillas are to blame, why don't more of us who eat them get liver cancer? Not just people living near Kelly? Well, researchers tell us they think there may be a combination of factors, unique to that area, contributing to the cancer rate, such as the pollution, genetics, and perhaps, corn tortillas.

Now, I'm not a doctor, nor am I a university researcher, but if I had to take a wild shot at investigating possible causes of cancer in a specific area and the list of possible problems were contaminated groundwater, pollution, genetics, or corn tortillas, I might try to definitively rule out the first three before spending money to study enchiladas and chalupas.

Just sayin' --

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

"Are Corn Tortillas Causing Cancer?"

Mercy. Is it still sweeps month? "Hundreds of San Antonians who lived near Kelly mysteriously died of cancer. News 4 Investigation uncovers a possible cause, Wednesday at 10pm."

I admit, the corn tortilla headline did catch my eye.

Monday, February 25, 2008

"Groups Protest At News 4"

Kudos to WOAI for reporting their own bad news.

Community advocates and members of a Hispanic labor organization protested at News 4 Monday.

Members of a nationwide labor union called Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAC) are accusing News 4 management of discrimination.

They say because David Cruz is no longer the co-anchor on News 4's 5 p.m. broadcast, the station is ignoring more than half of San Antonio's population, which is Hispanic.

"We want to make sure that you start hiring some Hispanic professionals, and to respect their dignity and their worth, and the work that they're doing at WOAI," said Jaime Martinez, President of L.C.L.A.C.

I wonder what Mr. Martinez thinks of other WOAI news team members, such as Kristina De Leon, Jaie Avila, Maclovio Perez, Demond Fernandez, and Jacqueline Ortiz.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

"Three People Pinned Between a Truck and Van"

WOAI reports on an accident involving cars and plumbing. The event was held by the San Antonio Water System to give out low-flow toilets.

Three men are in the hospital, after being pinned between a truck and a van. It happened on Saturday afternoon at the old Albertsons on Highway 151 and Potranco.

After the impact, people were digging through boxes of toilets to get down to one of the SAWS workers who was screaming in pain.


The three men were loading the toilet into a red truck when a white van slammed into them.


The driver of the white van was still in shock when we spoke to him, but he said he thinks the van simply malfunctioned.

"It has to be the accelerator, (it) got stuck," said the driver of the van. "I don't know how, I was just really surprised."

The SAWS workers were hurt, but nothing seems to be life-threatening.

Death threat spam

Wow, the spammers are really getting scary.

From WOAI:

The subject line of "Be More Careful" was enough to get one woman's attention. The rest of the letter was even more disturbing.

"Right then and there, I was real scared," she told us.

The woman asked to not be identified, but she showed us e-mails sent to her with death threats.

"Now, do you want to live or die as someone has paid us to kill you," she read from the e-mail. "Get back to me now, if you are ready to pay some fees to spare your life."

The letters said people were monitoring her every move and ordered her to reply to "Death Dealers RIP."


The woman contacted the police and an officer told her the e-mail most likely is a scam. The FBI tells us they are familiar with the e-mails and take them seriously.

Always, always delete e-mails if you don't recognize the sender. Spammers are a scourge, and we should all beware. If there truly is a person that is sending out fake death threats to get scared people to cough up some money, that person has crossed the line from slimy marketing to outright extortion.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Bruce Bowen - Flashdancer

Follow the link if you've ever wanted to see a San Antonio Spur dance like a maniac.

[Hat tip: WOAI]

UPDATE: Link is no longer good. The NBA shut it down.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Car crashes into home

Well, this hasn't been reported in a while. (from KSAT)

SAN ANTONIO -- A pickup crashed into a home Tuesday morning on the East Side of San Antonio.

A man was traveling westbound on East Houston at 7 a.m. when it hit a curb and then crashed into a front bedroom of a home in the 4200 block of Roark, police said.

No one in the home was hurt.

I initally chose to highlight these instances of vehicular destruction because they seemed to happen quite often in San Antonio, and it was the frequency of the events that I found strange. And then, I got to thinking about it again, and I came to the conclusion that, no matter how often or how seldom it happens, a car actually crashing into a house is still strange. I'm still gonna highlight them.

Friday, February 15, 2008

"ACS Makes Largest Animal Seizure in SA History"

Holy cow! How can one person possibly keep track of 111 dogs!

From WOAI:

It's being called the largest animal seizure in the history of San Antonio.

A spokeswoman from Animal Care Services told News 4 investigators got a tip that a woman was housing a large number of animals at a home on the Southwest

During a raid, more than a hundred dogs were found inside the home on Covel Road. All but 13 of the dogs were living inside the house and in extremely unsanitary conditions. Some of them, investigators said, were living in their own waste.

Clearly a case of animal hoarding. Poor woman. And poor dogs.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

"Dancing No Longer On Restaurant Menu"

Well, it looks like the busybodies won one. All you waiters and waitresses, watch out, especially if you work in District 5.

From KSAT-12:

SAN ANTONIO -- Waitresses at a Mexican restaurant on the city's West Side will no longer dance while serving customers, District 5 Councilwoman Lourdes Galvan said Wednesday.

Galvan said that the city and the owner of Mariposas Cafe reached a compromise after residents complained and protested about the provocative dancing going on in the eatery.


While the waitresses will not be dancing, they will be allowed to keep their outfits, Galvan said.

Marion Luna, the restaurant's owner, said that she respects the wishes of the community and asks that residents respect her business.

Luna said that her waitresses did nothing wrong and she was trying to create a niche in the competitive restaurant industry.

Hooray for Luna's entrepreneurial spirit. Boo on Galvan's priggishness.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

"La Mariposa, Neighbors Reach Compromise"

KSAT-12 reports that City Councilwoman Lourdes Galvan has come to the rescue, brokering a truce between La Mariposa, the "Mexican Hooters", and the neighbors.

The owner of La Mariposa and members of the Avenida Guadalupe Neighborhood Association were met by District 5 City Councilwoman Lourdes Galvan, and compromises were agreed upon, according to a press release from Galvan.

Details of the agreement are expected to be announced Wednesday.

Thank heaven for politicians.

"Clinton Coming To SA"

This is absolutely strange in San Antonio (from KSAT-12):

With the Democratic Party nomination for president likely to be affected by Texas' March 4 primary, the remaining candidates are beginning to make the Lone Star state a priority.


Clinton is expected to speak at a campaign rally beginning at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday on the grounds of St. Mary's University.

Clinton and Obama have tentatively agreed to a debate on Feb. 28 in Houston.

This is strange not just in San Antonio, but pretty much all of Texas. Since the presidential primaries in this state happen in March, the candidates for each party are pretty much locked down by the time we get to vote. As a result, the primaries in Texas mean little or nothing, and the candidates usually forsake the Lone Star State in their campaigns. With such close races this year, especially on the Democratic side, the candidates are suddenly paying attention to us.

I don't know if you like their attention or not, but it is unusual.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

"La Mariposa Draws Protestors"

Oh Lord. Isn't there anything else better to do?

From KSAT-12:

A small group of protestors assembled across the street from La Mariposa, located at the intersection of Guadalupe and Trinity streets.

The reason? Waitresses at the tiny eatery dance suggestively for customers as they serve food, but with no nudity, the restaurant does not fall under the realm of the city's sexually oriented business codes.

"I know you have it guised as a cafe, but do [sic] ahead and place a sign out there on what it really is," one protestor said. "It shouldn't be out in this area near schools. Move it out in an area where there is a business district." [emphasis added]

What's next? A code of conduct for all waitresses in all restaurants in the city?

Thursday, February 07, 2008

"Neighborhood Finds Unique Way To Send City A Message"

I understand being upset if your neighborhood needs sidewalks; San Antonio has a serious shortage of safe places for pedestrians, and I wish there were more sidewalks everywhere. But is this really any way to protest?

WOAI reports:

A message spray painted on a fence on the Northwest Side is getting plenty of attention. The question is -- will it help?

People living near Old Tezel and New Gilbeau are fed up. They feel like something's missing in their neighborhood. So, at least one of them decided to try something a little different to get their message out.

The 'tagged' message is pretty clear, "Old Tezel Road Needs A Sidewalk."

"I think that we've seen a lot of accidents taking place because there is no curb there," explained concerned resident Judith de Santiago. "We see cars swerving into the fences as you're driving."

Geez. What sense does it make to uglify your own neighborhood because you are mad at how slow the wheels at city hall turn?

No sidewalk? Well, put up grafitti on your own fence.

No trash pick-up? Hmm, maybe we can burn a few tires.

Need a streetlight? How about breaking a few windows.

Oh, well. At least it's not my neighborhood.

UPDATE: And, at least they're not in the U.N.

More people angry at a strip club

This time the business is in Lytle.


KSAT-12 says "yes":

LYTLE, Texas -- About 20 miles southwest of San Antonio, residents of this small town are coming together to protest a new business opened to capitalize on the purient interests of Atascosa County.

The Cabaret Dance Club has opened just outside the city limits, which has prompted some in the commuity to protest the establishment, even if it falls outside the legal reach of the city limits.

Lytle currently has an ordinance against sexually oriented businesses, but the new club is located outside the city boundary, leaving protestors upset about the services and people associated with the business, but with little legal recourse.

Hmm, I wonder if any San Antonio City Council members are from Lytle, where -- at just under 2,400 residents -- everybody probably knows your name. Even the strippers.

UPDATE: Dave at Silver Creek 78250 -- ever handy with the camera -- has taken a picture of The Cabaret Dance Club, and you can see it at this post on his adventure southwest of San Antonio. You will not believe how incredibly small and unassuming this place is. It's little! Man, you get a few customers in there with just a couple of dancers and you run the risk of going over the fire marshal's occupancy limit! The best way for the protesters to shut this place down is to just all show up at the same time and demand a drink!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

"Residents Upset At La Mariposa Customers"

It's been called the Mexican Hooters. It's a restaurant where the waitresses serve up a little dance with the food. And it's a good thing it's not in Diane Cibrian's council district.

From KSAT-12:

SAN ANTONIO -- Following a KSAT 12 News report about a new west side restaurant, some people are up in arms over what they said is more than just food.

La Mariposa, located at the intersection of Guadalupe and Trinity streets, is fast becoming known as a well-liked place to eat – namely for its provocatively dancing waitresses.


District 5 City Councilwoman Lourdes Galvan said she has received numerous complaints about the restaurant, but she said there was not much she can do if there’s nothing illegal happening in the restaurant.

"Unless we can find probable cause that is causing something illegal in there other than that, I don't believe we can do anything about it," she said.

La Mariposa means "the butterfly." I guess it's a good thing they didn't name the restaurant after some obscure island in the Caribbean.

San Antonio is burning

Loads of plants grew over the summer. Drought has dried them. Winds have been blowing. Prime fire conditions for South Central Texas.

From WOAI in the past two days:

"Grass Fire On West Side Comes Right Up To Doors of Homes"

A grass fire on the West Side came right up to the doors of nearby homes.

The fire started in the 7700 block of Medina Base Road, near Loop 410. Seven fire units were dispatched to fight the fire.

"Residents Grabbed Hoses to Fight Back Grass Fire on South Side"

The fire broke out near Highway 16 and IH-35 around 4:15 p.m.

The fire spread into the backyards of several houses in the area. Some residents grabbed garden hoses and started spraying the flames in an attempt to save their homes.

"After Such A Rainy Summer, Why Is It So Dry?"

We had such a wet summer, why are we having such a hazardous fire season?

The overall weather pattern has really turned completely around during the past year. Last year started with the wettest six month period ever in San Antonio. That was followed by the second driest 6-month period ever, and it's still dry.


To give you an idea, last November the Geronimo Village went on one brush fire, as it got drier in December that jumped to 56. Just last month in January, they went on 85 brush fires.

"La Salle County Prepares For More Fires"

Fires have burned more than 30,000 acres in La Salle County.

That's about 47 square miles. To put that into perspective, it's an area larger than all of Bexar County.

"Barn At Rodeo Catches Fire"

Firefighters battled a fire at the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo Monday afternoon.

The flames broke out around 3:00 p.m. on the roof of a horse barn.

Firefighters have been busy lately.

Monday, February 04, 2008

"Man Robbed Store Of Cash, Tamales"

Well, I guess robbers get hungry, too. And this is San Antonio. And the tamales were Delicious.

KSAT-12 has the story:

The suspect allegedly walked into the Delicious Tamales restaurant on the 3500 block of South Presa Street, pulled out a gun and demanded cash from a store employee.

Police said the man took an undetermined amount of cash along with a dozen tamales before locking the employee in an oven.

The oven was not turned on, according to investigators, who said police arrested the suspect in the 100 block of Arlington Court with evidence linking him to the crime.

I wonder what that evidence was. Husks?

And the next question is, If they were "delicious" tamales, why take only a dozen?

Saturday, February 02, 2008


Now with new test results!

Remember Phylis Canion, the ranchwoman who wanted her dead, mangy coyote to be a chupacabra, so much so that she wasn't happy with a local college's DNA results and swore to get more tests done?

Well, she did. And the results are back. And the creature is not just a coyote. In fact, it's also part Mexican wolf! Booga booga!

From KENS-5:

Its DNA has been flown across the continent as Cuero residents search for a final answer about their mysterious, blood-sucking beast.

The much-anticipated results are back from experts at the University of California at Davis.


Results from the University of California at Davis show the animal is in fact a mutt: on the mother's side it is part coyote.

"On the paternal side, it had Mexican wolf in it," said Canion.

Scientists from the University of California at Davis say they can't tell when the Mexican wolf heritage made its way into the gene pool.

Canion's still not happy. She wants more tests to be done.
The Cuero rancher said she expects further testing to find out where all the hair has gone and why the animal, she says, seems to crave just blood from its victims.

And she REALLY wants it to be a chupacabra. Why, you might ask?

T-shirt sales of the chupacabra are still going strong, with more than 16,000 sold already.

There's even been legal action to keep some knock-offs from being sold on eBay where they were going for three times the price.

That's why.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Boobie Rock shot down

Well, it looks like the Boobie Rock case won't go to trial after all, as KSAT-12 reports:

SAN ANTONIO -- A Bexar County judge ruled late Friday afternoon that will prevent a controversial strip club from opening on the city’s north side.

The judge upheld a covenant preventing adult-oriented businesses – such as Boobie Rock – from opening at the intersection of Interstate 10 and Huebner Road.

District 8 City Councilwoman Diane Cibrian announced the judge’s decision to enforce deed restrictions placed on the property in 1995 and 1996.

The Boobie Rock lawyers may appeal.

By the way, the real Booby Rock is an island in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Here it is, according to Google Maps.