Friday, May 30, 2008

"Bexar County Inmate Mistakingly Freed, Recaptured"

Oops. (From KSAT-12)

SAN ANTONIO -- For the second time in less than a year, officials at the Bexar County jail mistakenly released an inmate not scheduled to be freed -- but police have since recaptured the convicted sex offender.

Lance Kevin Yeoman, 33, was released Wednesday, according to jail officials, but it wasn't until Thursday afternoon that jail officials realized their mistake.

Yeoman was found Friday at his girlfriend's father's home in Universal City, jail officials said. Investigators have not released any additional details of his capture.

And regarding the place where he was found: Sometimes the criminals make it easy for the cops, even if they are set free by mistake.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Awaiting the floating banana

Remember the giant-floating-banana-over-Texas project? It's scheduled to take place this summer (August is the target launch month).

I can't wait!

Oh, and don't forget to check out the official floating banana Web site.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Hannibal Lecter?

KSAT-12 reports on a convicted killer that started ranting in a courtroom. That's interesting enough, but what's weird is the mask that the judge made the man wear before allowing him to continue.

Here's a screen capture from KSAT's Web site:

Really, what use is that mask? Is it to prevent the prisoner from spitting? From seeing? Something else? If anyone knows, I'm truly curious.

"Woman Catches Herself on Fire in Car"

The following is a public service announcement: Don't light up after gassing up.

From WOAI:

A woman caught herself on fire Wednesday night, after lighting a cigarette in her car.

Police say the woman had just finished putting gas in her car near FM 78 on the east side. She took off, lit a cigarette and then caught on fire. The woman lost control of her car and crashed into a bale of hay, which also caught on fire.

I hope she recovers from her burns.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

"Black Fire Hydrants Have Counties Seeing Red"

Here's a follow-up from KSAT-12 on the Green Valley Special Utility District's decision to paint all of its fire hydrants black (previously mentioned here):

SAN ANTONIO -- A new state law is prompting different interpretations as well as a possible lawsuit against one local water utility.

House Bill 1717 mandates utilities distinguish between fire hydrants that can discharge 250 gallons of water per minute by painting underperforming hydrants black.

The Green Valley Special Utility District, which covers parts of Bexar, Comal and Guadalupe counties, has decided to paint all of its hydrants black.


An attorney for Guadalupe County said the utility is not abiding by the intent of the law to avoid being held liable for problems with the system.

"It's very disturbing that now all of a sudden, they're saying whoops," attorney Elizabeth Murray-Kolb said. "In case of malfunctions, we'll just go ahead and not let you use any of our fire hydrants."

Murray-Kolb said many of the utility's hydrants are capable of producing more than four times the required state allotment.

Guadalupe County commissioners agreed to join any lawsuit filed against the utility Tuesday afternoon, and the cities of Cibolo and Schertz are expected to meet Tuesday evening to discuss their involvement.

Sounds like Green Valley is going to have its hands full very soon.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

"Councilwoman Targeting Car Washes"

I think San Antonio City Council in its current make-up is going to end up making things bad for a lot of businesses in this town simply because they don't like the display of boobs.

First, Diane Cibrian wanted to change the city code to regulate all restaurants just because she couldn't stomach a strip club opening in her district. And now, as KSAT-12 reports, Jennifer Ramos wants to regulate all car washes just because one in her district is staffed by girls in bikinis.

SAN ANTONIO -- Criticism was vocal after a car wash staffed by bikini-clad women opened on the city's south side in early May, and it's prompted that district's councilwoman to push for tighter regulations on car wash facilities.

District 3 Councilwoman Jennifer Ramos said businesses like the Bikini Car Wash that opened in her district don't belong near schools, churches and neighborhoods.

"There's a place and area for these types of car washes," she said. "What I'm looking at is trying to put specifications, so that when a business or property owner goes in to get a zoning request, they'll need to get one for car washes."


Ramos said she's not specifically targeting the Bikini Car Wash [yeah, right --ed.], but she said that if her proposal were passed, it would regulate all types of car washes in San Antonio.

Now, can she just do something about taggers? Please?


Who knew ninjas rode the bus in San Antonio?

Sorry for the quality of the picture. I saw this guy while at a red light, and I had just enough time to pull out my camera and snap one quick shot before traffic starting moving again. But, for what it's worth, there it is.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Keeping it in the family

WOAI reports on a family enterprise:

Bexar County investigators said they showed up at the house on Durette Drive hoping to find a fugitive wanted on drug and robbery charges. Instead, the deputies found marijuana, cocaine, and assault rifles inside the home.


A man, his girlfriend, and his mother were arrested after the raid.

Family reunions must be fun.

Monday, May 19, 2008

"Judge Cancels Hearing Because Of Gas Prices"

I know gasoline prices are high, but this is a little ridiculous.

From KSAT-12:

SAN ANTONIO -- A judge canceled a Monday hearing in a lawsuit over Texas' primary and caucus system used to distribute delegates, in part because gas is so expensive.

The League of United Latin American Citizens of Texas, the Mexican American Bar Association of Houston and others sued the state of Texas and the Texas Democratic Party earlier this month, contending the complicated system used in the March 4 primary election unfairly diluted Latino votes.

U.S. District Judge Fred Biery cited high gas prices in his order canceling the hearing, which he issued Friday.

"Moreover, numerous gallons of $4.00 a gallon gasoline would be expended for a significant number of persons to appear with the result being an oral presentation of the already written arguments," Biery wrote.

The judge said he expects the plaintiffs in the case to respond in writing to a filing from the defendants.

I'm no lawyer, but this sounds a little fishy. Can a judge cancel hearings just because he thinks people shouldn't be driving? Why does he care so much about the economic impact of fuel costs and not the pollution that would be generated, which would happen no matter what the gas prices are? Why not require them to ride the bus? Or why not just do all hearings through correspondence? After all, gas prices aren't likely to go down anytime soon.

This seems like an odd decision.

Recycling hate

Someone put this on my windshield today.

Normally I would toss such anti-Catholic, world-conspiracy nonsense into the nearest trash can where it belongs, but then something on the masthead caught my eye.

Yep, that crap is recycled. A conspiracy tract from 2003 is still being circulated as news today. I found that a little strange.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

"Homeowners Complaining About Apparent 'Act Of God'"

Well, this is a bummer, and weird since it affected so many units at once.

From KSAT-12:

SAN ANTONIO -- Residents of a northwest side subdivision have been without air conditioning for days after a lightning storm apparently damaged nearly 30 units.

Homeowners in the Silver Oaks subdivision are looking at costly repair bills even though their units are under warranty.

"At first, I thought it was just myself," resident Maryann Cortez said. "Then I found out it was the neighbor, then across the street and so on."

Repairmen from Airtron, the company that installed the units, told neighbors the problem was with a burned-out motor -- which would normally be covered by the manufacturer's warranty -- but Carrier officials told Airton since the units were damaged by a power surge as a result of lightning, it was an "act of God."

"It's not covered under the warranty," Airtron representative Mike Duerler said. "It would be the same as if a storm blew a tree over into your unit or something like that. It's actually damage; it's not a defective part."

Oh, the joys of homeownership.

Friday, May 16, 2008

"Bikini Car Wash Reopens"

KSAT-12 reports that the prigs have suffered a setback.

SAN ANTONIO -- One week after it was closed for code violations, the Bikini Car Wash reopened for business Friday.

The car wash, which is located at the intersection of South Flores and Southcross, had been open for only four days before city officials found problems with the drainage and ordered it closed.

But the owner, Ricardo Arsate, said that he made all the necessary improvements and the city reissued his certificate of occupancy.

Now, can we focus on taggers?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

"Motorists Selling Blood For Gas"

Nope. I'm not buying this story from KSAT-12:

SAN ANTONIO -- As gas prices continue to soar, San Antonians continue to look for affordable ways to afford to keep their cars on the road. Some have found a temporary solution to get some quick cash and fill up their tanks.

Eighteen-year-old Jessica Busby is just one of a growing number of people that are donating some of their blood’s plasma for gas money.

Busby said she was “totally strapped for cash” and needed to find a way to keep her gas tank full.


Twice a week, Busby rides her bicycle to the Biomat USA Plasma Center just north of downtown San Antonio. She gets paid $40 for each donation. Busby said it was the only solution she could think of to keep her car on the road.

Busby said she goes through “a never-ending vicious cycle of donating, and donating and donating.”

Busby said she will continue going to the plasma center “until I get a better job.”

This sounds like a manufactured story to me. I think "eighteen-year-old Jessica Busby" might have donated plasma once or twice for money, but I really doubt she's caught in a "never-ending vicious cycle of donating, and donating and donating." Besides, she obviously has a bicycle. Why doesn't she just use that to get around and save on some gas money?

And, one interview with a plasma donor does not a "growing number of people" make.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

No photos!

At the corner of Quincy Street and North Flores Street, there is a building with an odd painted message on it.

The message, proudly displayed in UT burnt orange, says:


A Picasso
Art in the Hood!
[stray graffito]
No Photos Allowed! ©

I guess I broke the rules.

Monday, May 12, 2008

"Handcuffed Man Escapes From Police"

Well, I can understand the motivation of a handcuffed man trying to escape from police, but I'm not sure I understand why a passing motorist would think it was a good idea to pick up a handcuffed man.

KSAT-12 reports:

After the man was handcuffed and placed in a patrol car, he banged his head on the cage in the cruiser, causing a big gash on his head, said Sgt. Jim Prendergast of the San Antonio Police Department.

When an officer opened the door of the cruiser outside the Brady Green Clinic, the man took off running, police said.

The handcuffed man then began flagging down passing vehicles until someone picked him up, police said.

The man was dropped off at a home in the 1000 block of West Poplar, where he was found trying to hide in a shed behind a home.


Friday, May 09, 2008

"Bikini Car Wash Closed Temporarily"

The prigs have won another round, at least temporarily, according to KSAT:

SAN ANTONIO -- A south side car wash with bikini-clad buffers was shut down Friday afternoon as its certificate of occupancy was revoked by the city of San Antonio.

The car wash on the 6000 block of South Flores Street was temporarily closed because of water violations, District 3 City Councilwoman Jennifer Ramos said.

"Typically, car washes have to have a specialized trap to catch the grease and oil that's washed off of cars," said Greg Flores, spokesman for the San Antonio Water System.

If the business owners can rectify the water trap problem, the business will be allowed to re-open, something area residents hope doesn't happen.


Ramos said she would work with the business owners to change their business, but she wants the bikinis put away.

They're complaining about bikinis, for Pete's sake. In South Texas. Don't they have anybody else to hassle who truly deserves it? Like taggers?

"Sewage Spill Forces Highway Closure"

As KSAT-12 reports, yuck.

SAN ANTONIO -- A crash involving an 18-wheeler carrying sewage material has closed Highway 90 near Cupples Road.

The eastbound lanes of Highway 90 have been closed to cleanup the road and will be shut down for several hours, according to traffic officials at the scene.

Pee-yew. Be careful driving.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Not so strange in San Antonio

After all those stupid studies that rank the Alamo City high on such lists as sweatiest, stingiest, drunkest, most hate-filled, most allergic, and whatever, it's nice to finally be on a list that might make you feel good about living in San Antonio. That's because we are the second most recession-proof city in the nation.

From Joshua Zumbrun at Forbes, via Yahoo Finance:

Nationally, home prices are falling, unemployment is on the rise and the economy is expected to grow slowly--or even contract--in the first half of the year.

But some cities are doing just fine.

Take Oklahoma City, Okla. With falling unemployment, one of the country's strongest housing markets, and solid growth in agriculture, energy and manufacturing, it looks best positioned among the nation's largest metropolitan areas to ride out the current crisis.

San Antonio is right behind. It also features solid employment figures and affordable home prices that continue to rise. Its industries are growing; it can't hurt that the new AT&T was formed when San Antonio-based SBC Communications swallowed the old AT&T Corp. and BellSouth.

The others holding steady or improving include Austin, Texas; Houston; Charlotte, N.C.; Dallas; San Jose, Calif.; Raleigh, N.C.; Salt Lake City; and Seattle.

Actually, it looks like just about anywhere in Texas is a good place to weather whatever recession comes our way. Just sit back, have a Lone Star and some brisket, and keep working.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Ukulele Yalie

Ukulele players are proud of their art.

That's a little strange, but what's stranger is the Yale connection.

Both of those stickers were on the same car, making for an odd juxtaposition.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

"Man Dies After Argument About Lawnmower"

I kind of wonder whether this incident really had anything to do with a lawnmower. (Story from KSAT-12)

SAN ANTONIO -- An argument over a lawnmower on the city's south side ended fatally.

Police said Miguel Mejia, 18, was shot and killed during the argument.


Seven people walked up to a house in the 200 block of Ada Street to confront Mejia about a stolen lawnmower, police said.

"A group came over asking about the whereabouts of a lawnmower, whether it had been stolen or misappropriated. That's when a fight broke out, and somewhere in that fight, the victim got shot," San Antonio police spokesman Joe Rios said.

Why would you need six other people to get your lawnmower back? Unless, of course, you really don't.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

"Barrios was shot with an arrow"

If you live in this town, you have most likely heard about the tragic death of local restaurateur Viola Barrios. She started Los Barrios, a popular restaurant on Blanco Road, and then her family opened up another one a bit farther north. She was found dead in her burning home last Thursday, and police arrested her 18-year-old next-door neighbor.

It's all pretty sad, but the strange part is the killer's choice of weapon.

Michelle Mondo and Elizabeth Allen of the Express-News report:

Before setting fire to the bedroom of restaurateur Viola B. Barrios, the 18-year-old neighbor accused in her slaying fired a single arrow into the elderly woman’s head, according to a search warrant affidavit released Wednesday.

The arrow remained lodged in Barrios’ skull and was detected by an X-ray during a postmortem examination, the affidavit said.

The cause of her death, an official with the medical examiner’s office said Wednesday, was a “penetrating injury to the head.”

There's more strangeness with the man who has been arrested, Joe Estrada, but the whole episode is sad. Mrs. Barrios was well-known in this town, and she was even on "Throwdown with Bobby Flay", so she got some national exposure as well. I know her family will miss her, as will many of the friends she made along the way.

And babies make five

A set of identical triplets has been born without outside help in the conception department, which is apparently a bit rare, as Cindy Tumiel of the Express-News reports.

Identical triplet girls were born to a San Antonio couple on Wednesday at Northeast Baptist Hospital.


Multiple births occur regularly in this era of fertility drugs and implanted embryos. But identical triplets, born without special medical procedures, are less common.

Congratulations to the parents. I wish them well.