Monday, November 29, 2010

Getting the boot

Legitimate enterprise? Or scam?

You decide.
Mario Fuentes and Jacob Pena tell KENS 5 they were among a few people parked in a downtown parking lot at the corner of South Presa and Durango Saturday afternoon.

The men claim when they drove into the lot the signs said to pay $5. Fuentes said the booth was unattended but they used the pay box to pay.


But when they returned an hour later, Fuentes said the price on the signs was changed and several cars were booted.

"Not all the signs were covered. There was still a few signs that had $5 written on it. That's when we questioned is it $5 or $8" Pena said.

Angry and frustrated, Pena and Fuentes claim they began questioning the attendant who worked for Boot man Inc.
According to them, the attendant said "It's not my job to dispute. Just to put on the boot and take off the boot."

"We asked for a supervisor. He said there was nobody to call. There was no supervisor to be found," Pena said.

"I gave him my credit card and he processed the payment right there on the spot," Said Fuentes, "He released the cars right away."
(from KENS-5)

Be careful where you park downtown.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Burning down the town

Marion is a small town just east of San Antonio, but they've got some big issues with bored volunteers.
Terrance Cooksey, 36, Jeffrey Schauble, 26, and Christopher Zigalo, 25, were arrested on charges of arson and engaging in organized criminal activity.

The three are accused of setting 10 fires and attempting to set three others in the Marion area of Guadalupe County between April to July of this year.

One resident told KSAT on Tuesday what was even more shocking to her is the fact that the men accused of starting the fires were all members or prospective members of the Marion Volunteer Fire Department.
(from KSAT-12)

Which raises the question: Does a make-work program really amount to anything if the newly employed are volunteers?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Raising the question ---- Why?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think this is a sign of the end times.

(from a KENS-5 slideshow about the Amazing Acro-Cats at the Rose Theater)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Opening a museum ----- again

Didn't this place already celebrate its grand opening?
A downtown museum, which had faced some financial trouble in the past, is celebrating a grand opening with a new exhibit.

The Museo Alameda, which is located in the historic Market Square in downtown San Antonio, was shut down back in August to prepare for the new exhibit.

On Saturday, the museum opened again, showcasing its "Revolution to Renaissance" exhibit.
(from KSAT-12)

Oh, yeah, it did.
But creating a hyphenated museum is not always a smooth enterprise, as can be sensed at the Museo Alameda, which opened here to great fanfare on April 13 [2007].
(from the New York Times)

So, then why the grand opening, revisited? Because the NYT called it three years ago: The going didn't promise to be smooth when the place opened, and nothing's been smooth about the financial operations since. The City of San Antonio even had to step in and take over the maintenance and operations of the place so it wouldn't fold outright, in effect buying a white elephant for all the taxpayers to have and to hold for their very own.

But the powers-that-be are going to do all they can to make sure the museum doesn't go away, that it never closes. So, they hold another grand opening, and they swear things will be different this time.
"We're hoping that this exhibit will encourage everyone to come down here and convince everyone that we have begun a new," said [Chairman of the Board Rolando] Pablos. "This exhibit will be the starting point for many great things to come for this institution and we're hopeful that everyone in town can come look at it."
And the exhibit they're hoping will be the successful rebirth of the Museo Alameda? It's about the Mexican Revolution.

That's a bit strange, given that the museum's mission is to "tell the story of the Latino experience in America through art, history, and culture." [emphasis added]

Friday, November 19, 2010

Cougars on the West Side!

OK, it was just one, and it wasn't the sexy kind. And cougars really aren't strangers to this area. But it did lead to some excitement today.
SAN ANTONIO -- A San Antonio police spokeswoman said the adult wild cougar that escaped from the Wild Animal Orphanage on the city's far Northwest Side Friday morning has been located.

Spokeswoman Sandy Gutierrez said the around 3 p.m., "Sarah," the cougar, was found in a wooded area near the intersection of Leslie Road and Loop 1604.


Jamie Cryer, of the Wild Animal Orphanage, said he and orphanage staff walked up on Sarah in a dry creekbed behind the property.

He said after the fired the tranquilizer dart, they walked her back on a stretcher and she was checked out by a veterinarian, who said she was fine.
(from KSAT-12)

Bonus strangeness: The name "Sarah" given to such a creature. I would have called it "Killer".

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Gettin' western at the wake

C'mon, guys. This is just plain rude.
SAN ANTONIO -- Family and friends gathered to say goodbye to a loved one when, San Antonio Police said, some unwanted guests showed up.

Mourners asked the pair to leave and they did, but the two returned some time later with guns.


They fired three shots into the air and took off.
(from KENS-5)

Any bets as to their profession?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Manhandling your way to the top

When people are young, they're not always sure of what they want to do with the rest of life. Some youngsters are pushed into certain careers by their parents, some are pressured by friends, and some just do whatever they can for the money. But for all those, there are many others who are looking for that one career that is the perfect fit for them, and they just don't know what it is yet.

And then, of course, there are those that have their life-calling thrust upon them at a young age.
SAN ANTONIO -- Arm wrestling is not exactly one of the top sports in the country. For some it ranks up there with "rock, paper, scissors." But for 16-year-old Crystal Yeary, it is more than just a recreational sport. It has become her passion.

Yeary said she was visiting her cousin, who is [a] pro arm wrestler living in New Mexico, this past summer and he talked her into arm wrestling at a tournament.

She said she won and she was hooked.

"When you're up there, (it) gives like a huge adrenaline rush," said Yeary, a junior at MacArthur High School.

In August, Yeary accompanied her cousin to the Arm Wrestling Federation national tournament in Montana. She said they arrived just in time for Yeary to sign up. She wound up finishing first as a left-hander and third as a right-hander -- good enough to get an invitation to the world championships.

"It's like, all right, I want to do this for a while," she said.
(from KSAT-12)

Here's hoping that Ms. Yeary has much success -- and even more fun -- at her new-found passion. I hope she can make a career out of it, but I also hope she remembers that arm wrestling is a sport, and it is not without its dangers.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Getting a free ride somewhere

Really, who's paying for this?
Pledging not to eat as long as necessary and drink only water and juice, a dozen University of Texas-San Antonio students said their hunger strike is an act of solidarity with similar demonstrations across the U.S. in support of the controversial Dream Act.


Among the students is Pamela Resendiz, a political science major who said she plans on becoming an immigration attorney.

Resendiz said she is undocumented, having been arrested and detained in the Travis County Jail and later a federal detention facility in Hutto, Texas. She said she now awaits her deportation proceedings.
(from KSAT-12)

I can tell you from personal experience that it is nearly impossible to pay for a university education with your own hard-earned money. You need assistance of some kind, whether it comes from parents, grants, or loans.

Obviously Ms. Resendiz's parents are too poor to pay for her education, or else they wouldn't have come to this country illegally. (Or let her come, if she came by herself.)

I don't think she would have gotten any grants, because, if I remember correctly, you need to provide frickin' U.S. identification in the form of a Social Security number to get them. Undocumented immigrants aren't supposed to have those.

And, if you ever apply for a loan, they won't even consider your application unless you also provide your parents' tax returns to prove that they can't finance your education fully.

So, I go back to my original question: Who the hell is paying for her education? I would like to know, given that she's so free about flaunting her undocumented status.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Going solar

Noted: San Antonio now has the largest solar farm in Texas.
The Blue Wing Solar project went on-line Nov. 4. An official ribbon cutting will take place on Nov. 9.

Sen. John Cornyn, U.S. Rep. Charles Gonzalez and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro were among those who joined Duke Energy, CPS Energy and Juwi Solar Inc. dignitaries for the ceremony.

The solar farm, which is located near Interstate 37 and U.S. Highway 181 on the far Southeast side of the city, is the largest solar farm in Texas.
(from KSAT-12)

Note: Solar power is horribly inefficient, and you'll pay more to feel green. We all will.
The project is part of CPS Energy's 2020 vision, which calls for 20 percent of its power to come from clean renewable energy resources by 2020.

"That means there's less emissions we put into the air and less pollution," said CPS Energy President & CEO Doyle Beneby.

However, Beneby added, solar energy is 2 to 3 times more expensive than traditional sources. The drawback may be a slight increase in monthly energy bills for CPS Energy customers. Beneby estimated it will only add up to a few cents extra per month on the average bill.

"Hopefully, it's going to be somewhat unnoticeable, but we are very cost conscious. We have the lowest rates of any major city and even with the addition of solar to our portfolio, we're going to keep it that way," said Beneby. [emphases added]
This project will provide power to about 1,800 homes per year. There are over 400,000 households in San Antonio. The green effect is negligible.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Skipping court

Don't feel like going to court? Just cancel your appointment.

That's what one local man tried to do. But it didn't quite work out the way he'd hoped.
A federal judge has issued an arrest warrant for an area podiatrist after he failed to show up for a hearing Thursday on charges of cheating on his taxes.

Donald E. Robinson, 66, faxed papers to the federal courthouse in San Antonio stating that his hearing had been “canceled,” and that he had issued a $300 million warrant naming himself as the surety, though he has no authority, Chief U.S. District Judge Fred Biery said at the hearing.

“As long as we get the $300 million I don't care if he shows up or not,” Biery said in jest. “The government could use that money.”


[Robinson] said he did not show up to his hearing because he believed he was working it out with the IRS.

“The Bible says you take it to your brother and try to settle it in the private. That's what I tried to do.”

(from the Express-News)

Yeah, except the courts don't like for you to decide whether or not you actually show up. If so, you might as well replace the benches with fax machines and great big bins to catch all those cancellation notices.

Bonus strangeness: Someone who thinks of the IRS as their brother.

"Mom Bites Child, Gets Arrested"

OK, that headline is bad enough to make every parent (and even most non-parents) cringe a little.

But the worst part is she's a repeat offender!
A 19-year-old woman was arrested after Kirby police said she bit a child hard enough to leave a bruise and visible teeth marks.

According to an arrest affidavit, Olivia Ramirez admitted to a relative that she bit the child Oct. 23.


This is not the first time that Ramirez has been arrested for the offense.

The affidavit stated that she was arrested in June 2009 for the same charge and was indicted by a grand jury.

It's hard enough keeping your kids away from biters that are their own age, now we've gotta worry about the adults as well.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

"Muffin fight leads to aggravated assault arrest"

There's more to this than a muffin.
Police said Vicente Cerna stayed the night at a woman's apartment. When she told him to leave the next day, he got mad and picked up a muffin and threw it at her. She then threw it back. The fight escalated, and police said Cerna pulled out a gun and threatened the woman.
(from WOAI-TV)

They have more issues than bran vs. blueberry. And I think everything can be blamed on that tattoo.

"Cancer-Stricken Boy Asks Burglars Return Bible"

I know criminals have no compassion -- or at least very little -- but, c'mon! This isn't even human!
SAN ANTONIO -- Besides the usual loot taken by burglars -- electronics, jewelry, cash -- Betsy Kinsey said whoever broke into their Northeast side home last Friday stole a source of strength for her 12-year-old son, Stephen, who has non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

"It helps me a lot," he said.

His mother said Stephen, who had his first chemotherapy last Christmas, is looking at five years of cancer treatments.

Kinsey said her son told her, "Mommy, I wish they'd taken everything in my room and left my Bible."


"Bring my Bible back," Stephen said.


She said the thieves also stole from her daughter's diabetic supplies and her son's chemo medicine.
(from KSAT-12)

Unfortunately for that family, someone cold enough to steal diabetic supplies and chemo medicine is not going to have enough heart to return a book, so that kid will probably never see his bible again. But I certainly hope they get their medical supplies replaced soon.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Taking all the meaning away

OK, it's official: The concept of "awareness ribbons" now means officially nothing.

I saw one of these on a car today:

That's a bit of awareness I could have done without.

Monday, November 01, 2010

"Bone Rattler"

Yes, if you dress up your dog with spray paint to make him look like he is some kind of skeleton, and then you upload a picture of him to KSAT-12's website so that they can include it in their Halloween slideshow, you just might get a comment like this from me:

Nice bone.