Thursday, May 28, 2009

"Sleeping Man Killed On I-10"

How comfortable can a highway actually be? Is it actually preferable to sleeping anywhere else?
The body of an apparent hitchhiker was found early Thursday morning on Interstate 10 on the city's far east side.


"He was in a sleeping bag," said said Deputy Chief Jeff Humphry of the San Antonio Police Department. "He has a backpack, a snapsack like he's traveling and a pillow laying by the curb ... It looks like he just laid down and went to sleep,"

The man apparently had been run over sometime between late Wednesday night and early Thursday morning.
(from KSAT-12)

That's as strange as people sleeping on train tracks. I've never understood that practice.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Did you catch it?

Remember this post I put up for Memorial Day? I intended it to be a serious post, and I used that particular picture because it was one of the best ones I took out at Fort Sam. But I took the picture of that particular headstone because it struck me as a bit odd in the first place (don't forget, this is "Strange in San Antonio").

Can you figure out what caught my eye on that headstone?

Car crashes into apartments

They are homes, right? So apartment buildings shouldn't consider themselves to be immune to car carnage.
A woman who police said was making a drug transaction crashed her vehicle into an apartment complex while attempting to flee from officers early Wednesday.

Tactical Response Unit officers said they pulled the woman over after they witnessed a drug transaction, but she then sped off before they could approach her car.

The woman drove erratically through the Spring Hill Apartments in the 4800 block of Ray Bon, where she ended hitting two apartment buildings, startling some residents out of bed.

"They were surprised, a little frightened, but no one was injured," said Capt. Mike Gorhum of the San Antonio Police Department.
(from KSAT-12)

I don't think any fences were taken out, though.

UPDATE: On WOAI's website, I found this choice quote from a witness on the scene of this same accident.
Brittany Johnson says she saw the whole thing: “She just got out, dropped her wigs, dropped her flip flops, got her baby, and ran."
Wigs? Flip flops? Baby? All in one breath while describing a crazy crash? That is truly strange.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Car crashes into house

Another car. Another house. Another crash.

And the fence was hit as well.
Richard Daluz and Jen Rodriguez were watching television at their home in the 2100 block of Farmsville Drive at 9 p.m. when they got the startling surprise.

"It sounded like either a plane crashing outside or honestly, if lightning were to strike a couple feet away from you," Daluz said.

Before the car hit the home, it took out a mailbox and shattered a wooden fence, police said.

The boy had taken his father's car without permission so that he could play basketball in the driveway when he lost control, police said.

"He tried to back it up and he didn't realize how strong the car was," said Officer Michael Guzman of the San Antonio Police Department.
(from KSAT-12)

The boy was twelve. The police gave him a ticket for driving without a license.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


Memorial Day 2009
Fort Sam Houston

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Seymour Perkins -- still not settled

Remember Seymour Perkins, who died in February 2009? Apparently he can't be gotten rid of so easily.
The Fourth Court of Appeals District of Texas has reversed an order granting the city of San Antonio permission to demolish the home of Seymour Perkins. ...

Perkins died in February, but his family and lawyers continue to fight for the house which displays some of his artwork. He was a folk artist and his family hopes to renovate the building and turn it into a museum displaying pieces of his work.
(from KENS-5)

Wait a minute. Didn't his home burn down last October?

Strange. Very strange.

When journalism and politics mix

The objectiveness fades.

From the Express-News, which is losing one of its own to the mayor of San Antonio.

San Antonio Express-News metro columnist Jaime Castillo has taken a job in the administration of Mayor Julián Castro as director of communications and senior policy analyst.

Castillo will join a team led by Robbie Greenblum, a local attorney who has agreed to serve as the new mayor's chief of staff. Jed Maebius, an aide to outgoing Mayor Phil Hardberger, will stay on as a liaison to the City Council.

Hardberger's chief of staff, Larry Zinn, has agreed to work with Castro as an unpaid adviser on policy issues, including a major decision facing the city on whether to expand its use of nuclear energy, but will not stay on in a full-time capacity.

Castro said he asked Castillo to be part of the team because of his knowledge of city issues and his solid reputation in the community.

Interesting. It wasn't so long ago that Castillo wrote this of the mayor's race (which Julian Castro won, by the way):
She was followed on the air by opponent Diane Cibrian, who criticized perceived front-runner Julián Castro for accepting “undisclosed, unreported, secret money from the unions.” [emphasis added]
"Perceived" by whom? The press?

And then there's this:
By every measure, Julián Castro has to be considered the pole sitter. He's been more disciplined and polished than four years ago, more dogged in winning business support and more successful at raising campaign cash.
Arguably, this is a good characterization of Castro. But it sticks out a little when the journalist who wrote it accepts a job offer from the same politician less than a month later.

And then there's this, posted just 11 days ago:

In the end, what some called an uninspiring campaign by Castro turned out to be the smart campaign.

In 2005, he brandished a youthful aggressiveness by trying to be the candidate to do everything first.

This time, he painstakingly courted and won members of the business community who opposed him in wholesale fashion four years before.

And, despite carrying the most campaign cash, Castro's team even rationed its TV ads until very late in the campaign season.

“I think it speaks to his four-year organizing effort — lots of shoe leather and schmoozing,” Miller said.

It also speaks to a young man who learned that patience can be a good thing. [emphases added]

Politics. Journalism.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Bumbling crook

Heh heh heh. This is just too good.

That's a crook -- who has just ripped the cash register off the counter of a Mexican restaurant -- doing a face plant into a table after stumbling and falling. Go to WOAI's link, read the story, and be sure to watch the video.

Good stuff, Maynard.

Not strange in San Antonio

Actually this is pretty cool.

After ten months away, Sgt. David Velasquez was nervous.

He said, "It's always scary coming back to the kids because they might not understand that it is my job that I have to out there."

Tuesday Sgt. Velasquez returned from his tour in Iraq, and his first stop was W.W. White Elementary School where the Army sergeant surprised his twin 6-year old sons, Damion and David Jr.

The last time they saw their father was July.

When Sgt. Velasquez entered his sons’ classroom and made eye contact with his sons, the two seemingly froze for a brief moment before running to and hugging their father.

(from KENS-5)

That's heartwarming.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Crazy ants are coming

And they're on the march from Houston.

A destructive menace is heading west on I.H. 10 with San Antonio in its sites. It's the crazy Raspberry ant that was first spotted in Houston in 2002. No one knows where it came from or how to control it but it reproduces faster than any insect experts have ever seen.

"This is an alien species," says Sam Houston State University Entomologist Dr. Jerry Cook. "This is in higher densities than any other insects I've ever seen. They number in the billions and cover everything around them.

"Where you'll have 200,000 ants in a big fire ant mound, you'll have billion of crazy ants in one area, in that one group. They form a carpet of ant over acres that is several inches thick.

"It's a potential ecological disaster, displacing everything in front of it, other insects. Some people think getting rid of insects is good but it's not good for the environment. Insects play a vital role. When you destroy insects you destroy the food for birds and other animals that depend on these insect populations. It could affect our food supply, reducing the crop yield by 30 - 40 percent."

(from KENS-5)

Let's hope this isn't as bad as portrayed in the article. Despite scary visions of attacking, swarming, stinging ants, we've pretty much learned to live with fire ants. And remember all the warnings that preceded the approach of the killer bees from South America? Well, they're here, but somehow we weren't hit with the hellish, buzzing, doomsday scenarios painted by the b-movies. The bees are dangerous, they just didn't take over our towns like people thought they would.

Maybe the crazy ant won't be as bad, either. Granted, I don't like the idea of a "carpet" of ants spreading through my yard, but I'm not going to freak out just yet. Let's see how it plays out when they get here.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Thrashin' for the Lord

Skate punks around? Preach the word. Who knows, they might even listen.

On Sunday afternoons the gym at University United Methodist Church is transformed.

The skate church came about because kids would use the church parking lot to skate. University United Methodist decided instead of asking them to leave, they would invite them in.


After two hours of catching some air with a good board, they hear from the good book. While it may not look like it, it is a church service.

After 15 minutes of sharing the Word and prayer, the boys hit the ramps for another hour with this message:

"You don't have to get all clean, look right an[d] say the right things. Just be here and know that He loves you," said [the Reverend] Kit [Tomlinson].

(from KENS-5)

And, please, no tagging the Lord's house.

Oh, and don't forget, it's still sweeps month:
http:// latestnews/stories/KENS20090516-SWEEPS-skatechurch.d9a8b87.html

Friday, May 15, 2009

Bringing pot to court

I don't know about you, but if I needed an attorney to represent me at the courthouse, I would want that person to be sharp, focused, and prepared for the day.

Attorney Regina Criswell was arrested at the Bexar County Courthouse after deputies say they discovered two ounces of marijuana and a chrome-colored marijuana pipe in her bag.

Deputies say Criswell was heading into the Courthouse to go to work. As is standard, security guards went through everyone's bags including Criswell's. That's when they say they found the baggie and pipe. Deputies were called over, and [they] questioned Criswell. The 50 year old woman admitted she knew the drugs were in her bag, but said they belonged to a client.

(from KENS-5)

Well, if you believe Ms. Criswell that the pot was indeed for her client, then what kind of lawyer would she be? What attorney condones the smoking of pot by their clients in a courthouse, and then agrees to transport the drugs herself? Seems to me to be a lack of good judgment, at the very least.


Or coyotes?

You decide.
SAN ANTONIO -- People who live in a neighborhood along Salado Creek say coyotes are killing their animals. Although families in Castle Hills Forest say they're excited about a new walking trail, they have real concerns about what may be lurking in the area.

Most anytime of the day, you can find people enjoying the wildlife or walking their dogs along the Salado Creek green-way. But when the sun goes down, something else comes out. Connie Priest has been talking with her neighbors. They all agree coyotes are becoming a big problem in their community.

Priest told News 4 WOAI the animals are getting a little too brave, "There's been other sightings in the neighborhood by people who have seen them walking in the street here."
(from WOAI-TV)

Get used to coyotes being around. They adapt well to urban environments.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

"Burglars Use Doggy Door For Entry"

And Fido and Rex just let them do it.
From the backyard, the video shows the two burglars walk along the side of the home into the backyard, then the two suspects get on their hands and knees and enter the home through the small doggy door.

"After seeing the video, it's amazing how they fit through the doggy door," said the homeowner.

The video clearly shows the two burglars squeezing through the small opening, both slithering sideways to enter the home. The family's two dogs were shown wagging their tails and licking one of the suspect's faces as if it were a game. But once the burglars were inside the home, the game was over.
(from KSAT-12)

I like dogs, but sometimes they can be so dumb.

Monday, May 11, 2009


Or smudge?

You decide.

From the WOAI story:
The man told News 4 WOAI he recently cleaned his pool for the summer using a product called "Shock". During the cleaning, he said got some of the product on the side of the pool, and it left a stain. Despite efforts to remove it, the stain would not come out.

The man was working outside again last Saturday and stopped to take a break. When he glanced over at the pool where the stain was, he saw it resembled a man's face. After taking a closer look, he said he realized the face looked like that of Jesus Christ.

To try confirm he wasn't just seeing things, the man asked his wife to take a look at the stain after she arrived home from work. Without telling her his opinion, he asked what she could see. He told News 4 WOAI his wife's eyes opened wide and she said "It's Jesus!"
I don't know, maybe she said, "Oh, Jesus," because she was tired of him leaving stains on the side of the pool, and he just heard what he wanted to hear. After all, he certainly seems to be seeing what he wants to see.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Cactus tree

Have you ever seen prickly pear grow to the size of a tree? Dave's wife has, and she took pictures to prove it.

Oh, and don't forget to take a gander at this guy, who, of course, is typical of how Texans beef up their rides.

"Man stabbed at motel after ex-girlfriend's family shows up"

Man, family can be rough.

Police say that a man was at the hotel with his new girlfriend when his old girlfriend showed up. An argument started, and then the ex-girlfriend's family showed up.

Police say the man was stabbed under the arm and leg by one of the ex-girlfriend's family members. Police are still searching for the suspect.

(from KENS-5)

I don't guess that guy will be changing his mind about leaving that girl anytime soon.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Naughty, nasty fish

Dave at Silver Creek 78250 reports on a new restaurant coming to his neck of the woods. The title of his blog post is simply great.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Duking it out in Helotes

Ah, small-town politics. They always make for a good read.
Two distinct political parties have emerged in the small town: the reds and the greens.

The reds, who usually align themselves with Mayor Tom Schoolcraft, generally lean toward more and better development in the area, leading to more tax income for the city.

The greens, many of whom have said Myfe Moore is their de facto leader, on the whole dislike large amounts of development and speak on the platform of working for the environment.

The two groups have had a heated and well-publicized relationship in Helotes. Several incidents between the reds and greens have been documented in police reports.

Former City Secretary Judy Reichardt said her mailbox was painted green. Though the city was unable to produce a police report, Police Chief Morton Ault said he remembered the incident.


Though no police report could be found about dead animals, two reports were found regarding trash being thrown in citizens' yards. The complainants were kept anonymous.

The reds are not the only ones complaining. Police reports exist from members of the green party, as well, including the time the police were called to City Hall to witness the posting of a new agenda that former City Councilmembers Alina Eckhardt and Guillerma Contreras said Schoolcraft tried to block.

In other police reports, a box of dog feces were reportedly sent to City Hall with Alan's name on it, though the police were able to track that shipment and said they believe it came from a former co-worker of Alan's, not a Helotes enemy.

(from the Northwest Weekly)

But the important thing is this: Will they allow bikini waitresses into their city?

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Practicing magic

If you have lived in San Antonio for some time, then you have probably already heard of curanderas, the "good" witches of Mexican culture, so this story may not be so strange to you. But, if you are an occasional visitor from elsewhere, then welcome to this profile of a local witch.

They are rejected by modern medicine for not having evidence to support their supernatural claims.

But there are many curanderas, healers, and even present-day witches, who still practice their healing craft and employ what they say are magical powers.

One woman on the south side has been doing this since the 1970s. She goes only by the name Bertie and prefers not to use her last name. She is disabled now, and doesn't get around much on her own, but she doesn't have to because believers come to her.

"You can create your own miracles," Bertie said. Her world is one of rituals, prayers and incantations.

"That's how it works....In the Bible, it tells you there are herbs for prosperity, health and for money," she added.

People have been coming to Bertie for decades to cure their stomach ailments and manage their arthritis and post-surgery pain without drugs.

But they also come to her to get their cards read and to remove hexes.

(KENS-5 story)

P.S.: It must be sweeps month again -- already! Why do I say that? Take a look at the URL for the above story, pasted here with the relevant portion highlighted.
www. /news/specials/stories/KENS20090505-SWEEPS_Curandero.21f6ef50.html
The thin veneer of serious journalism flakes away.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Making it hard on yourself


Is it ever worth it to steal coins?

Apparently one guy thought so.
A man robbed the Palladium IMAX at the Rim Shopping Center of thousands of dollars in coins Monday.

Police said the man parked in the front of the theater at Loop 1604 and Interstate 10 and used a side entrance to enter the building.

The man took an elevator to the second floor, where he confronted the manager and forced him at gunpoint to open a safe and load trash bags with coins and bills, police said.

The manager and an assistance manager were forced to carry the bags, some [of] which tore due to the weight of the coins, to the man's car, police said.
(from KSAT-12)

Be on the lookout for anyone approaching a Coinstar with a wheelbarrow.