Wednesday, May 17, 2006

I keep telling people that I am just not good at keeping up with blogs and this just goes to show that I wasn't's been about a week and a half or so since my last entry...I'm sorry...I'm working on it and I swear that I can get better...I'LL GET HELP! (Sorry...past memory coming back to haunt me...)uhm....let's get started....

Last week (once again, I apologize), I mentioned a few topics that I was going to go over in future entry's...well, seems like today is that time...

Last week, one of the topics that I mentioned dealt with the Brownsville Urban System or B.U.S. as it is so lovingly coined. Well, the topic of today's discussion is a major city in the Rio Grande Valley, why is it that a majority of the stops for public transportation here in Brownsville is rather deplorable...I used to be an avid proponent of public transportation when I was a student attending the University of Texas - San Antonio and I understand how it feels to be waiting for a transit system while braving the elements but the city of Brownsville is ridiculous for the amount of places that people have to wait in the open sun, to the side of major roadways and UNPROTECTED from anything...

I understand that B.U.S. has expanded its' coverage of the city and surrounding areas and they recently constructed the Northside Transfer Station but what about the other areas of this city? Have we overlooked Southmost? Also, why is it that there are so many places in this city that the riders (which help accumulate nearly 1 million miles of travel) must wait in the open elements and just off the sides of the roads? I don't understand this...

We, as a city, should let our voices be heard about this issue. I mean, let's think about it from the viewpoint of a tourist...driving around, we notice that there are a good amount of people waiting around on the side of the road or in the middle of nowhere while waiting for a bus...what does that say about the community that we are visiting? Now, I'm not saying to go and spend a couple of millions to make every stop have state-of-the-art stops and all but I'm saying that we should at least ask for some benches or something. If you need examples, drive down towards the airport or just look at the stop behind Stars Drive In on Price Road.

This is my corner...what's yours?

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Well, I want to say thank you for the visitors that have been showing up and leaving notes and postings to the discussions. Thank you for making my dream of being heard on the Internet a reality! J/K...well, not really but anyhoot. Also, please forgive my week absence. I have been trying to come up with ideas for discussion and I was able to come up with a few but I need to get a few things straightened out before I begin with those topics...just to wet your whistle, here are a few hints: B.U.S., national attention for the RGV (mainly Brownsville though) and lastly, the N.F.L.

I would like to begin this week with a new topic: Welcome to In This Corner! (God...I have been watching way too much of ESPN's Around The Horn, Jim Rome is Burning and Pardon The Interruption.

The Brownsville/South Padre Island International Airport recently received some good news from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The FAA will be awarding our local airport $1 Million for infrastructure improvement. According to the Brownsville Herald (6/6/2006 - Online Edition), "With the funds, the airport will rehabilitate the drainage system, extend the life of the runway and build a new apron where airplanes will hook up to. This will allow for increased airplane traffic at the airport."

The Brownsville/SPI International Airport is a wonderful airport (at least, now it is). I was there recently to pick up an Industrial Magazine (if you've never read these, I suggest that you get one. First off, THEY'RE FREE!!! --I'm so happy. Second, they feature articles about industrial business and economic growth in ONLY Cameron County, Matamoros, and Reynosa.) and as I walked around the lobby, I noticed something that I had never seen before. PEOPLE! The airport was actually filled with the hustle and bustle of people doing their business..whether it be the security guards checking someone over for a pencil or someone buying a drink to even a group of tourists that were reading about the airports 75 year history. The last time I used this airport, it was dead...easy as that, it was dead. I walked into a cramped propeller plan that was going to send me out to Houston and bumped around here and there till I got to my destination. But this last time I visited, I really felt like I was somewhere else. Now don't get me wrong, I've been in big airports before and can tell the difference (Cincinnati, Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, LAX, Sea-Tac, Washington D.C., etc.) but this is a giant step up from where it was before. In all honesty, I can't wait and see what will happen with this airport once the improvements begin and the runway is expanded to 10,000 feet. Who knows, maybe we can get another airline.

I love my city. (Uh-oh, where is he going with this statement? Must not be good if he starts out with 'I love my city'?) I think that we should all fly out of Brownsville if all possible. I also feel that Continental Airlines doesn't give us a good break in terms of prices when in reality, the prices that they quote on their website is almost $70-100 more expensive than those of competitors. I also love the way that Continental "loves" this community and boasts how Brownsville has a higher passenger rate than any other city in Texas and one of the best percentages in the nation. Fantastic! If we're doing that well, shouldn't we be entitled to a few more perks? Say, something in the line of having flights to destinations other than Houston? Or how about making us a Point of Destination to cities from Mexico? If we're an International Airport, how come we can only go to Houston? Now, according to the official Brownsville/SPI International Airport website (, you can reserve flights to the following cities: Houston, Atlanta, Toronto, Minneapolis/St.Paul, and Queretaro. Wouldn't it be better for Continental or whoever flies to these destinations to go straight from Brownsville than from going to Houston and stopping for however long the layover is?

Lastly, why is it that the city of Brownsville has been losing more and more opportunities with carriers while the city of McAllen has been growing at an enormous rate? Delta began daily flights to Atlanta (only 2 a day but still) and the non-stop flight to Vegas has also been adding more and more numbers to their airport. Why is it that we can't add another airline if our "numbers are so great"?

Maybe it's just me and I'm looking into it a little too much..who knows...

This is my corner...what's yours?

Monday, May 01, 2006

Today is "Un Dia Sin Inmigrantes" or for my Spanish-troubled brethren, "A Day Without Immigrants"...time for another edition of In This Corner...

As far as immigration and the concern that it plays on our society today, I will address that in a few moments. My primary concern is voicing my opinion about the situation at hand. I am a son of a migrant worker. My father was a migrant worker when he was a young boy; both him and his entire family would go and work in the farmlands of Idaho where they would pick vegetables and tend to the livestock. My father is AMERICAN. He was born in this country and has lived here his entire life; he is a hardworking individual that has worked his entire life to a set of moral beliefs that have held up to this day: Work hard, respect everyone -- even when they don't deserve it, and love your country. He is now an owner of his own electrical supply firm to manufacturers around the nation as well as Mexico. He employs approximately 5-6 people with DECENT pay (far better than some of his competitors) and gives them something that everyone respects -- his time, his honesty and his respect. This is my father, a real American.

I am a descendant of Mexican blood. I am American. I have worked hard (maybe not as hard as my father) and I have earned a college education and will be leaving soon for the U.S. Air Force so that I may be able to provide for my future family and protect the people of America. That being said, I agree with the general public and regards to immigration on SOME viewpoints. I feel that there are too many children that are living in Brownsville, illegally, and our pushing the limits of our public education system. With an estimated 45,000 students attending one of the many schools of B.I.S.D., there is bound to be a breaking point. I agree with the conservative viewpoint that is being swept along our country and issues such as this and one more -- people that come over here, get health care at our Emergency Rooms and then return back to Mexico and not pay their debts. That pisses me off.

Now that I've gotten that out of the way, I disagree with the statements that immigrants are stealing jobs from hard-working Americans and that they are all terrorists in disguise. This is just plain stupidity. Really people, how many "Americans" out there really want to go and work in the fields for $1.50 an hour(that might even be too much of an estimate). It must be true the way groups such as the Minute Men Project state...but then again, how many of them clean hotel rooms, pick up trash and do landscaping for a living? You tell me that you cynical bastards! carried away there for a moment.

I do feel that we, as a society, should work together with our Mexican counterparts on this issue. I say MEXICAN COUNTERPARTS because this is what the issue is all about. MEXICANS! You don't hear chants like "Get those filthy Ethiopians out of our country!" (*Note* To all and any Ethiopians reading this, do not take offense. I don't think you're filthy.) People associate Mexicans with gangs and everything that is wrong with society (yes, this is a stretch but bare with me). They say that the gang MS13 is nothing but Mexicans. History note!!! THEY'RE ORIGINALLY FROM L.A. THEY WERE CREATED THERE DURING THE REAGAN ADMINISTRATION AND WERE SHIPPED BACK TO EL SALVADOR, WHERE THEY BECAME EVEN TOUGHER! Now, I know that there are some of you saying, "Mr. ITC! Who told you that bunch of crap?!?" Well, I'm glad you asked. During my stint at San Antonio 2 weeks ago, I was preparing my documents for entry into the U.S. Air Force. While I was waiting for my recruiter (Ah, yes....good ol' HURRY UP AND WAIT! Gotta love it.), there was an individual there waiting as, I'm not going to give any generalizations about this individual...just that she was 5'4", came from an upscale neighborhood outside of Houston and was as white as fresh snow...anyhoot, she began telling me in vague details about how Mexicans were destroying this nation and how Spanish is a (and I quote) "Crap Language"...first off, why would anyone, regardless of skin color, knowingly say something so stupid to an individual from the Rio Grande Valley? I mean, shoot! I fit the generalization of any individual who happens to be from the RGV! Black hair, brown eyes, Hispanic, 5'8" and beautiful..... :O) I had to throw that in...Secondly, what gives anyone a right to say that Spanish is a crap language? Besides, she wanted my job that I qualified for...that being a LINGUIST!!!! How stupid to you have to be to say that something is a "Crap Language" while trying to qualify to be a person that studies languages!!!!!

Well, needless to say, I had my fill of "commonwealth theocracy" and decided to open a little bit of knowledge with this young the way, she was about 19 years old or make a long story short, she learned a few "choice" phrases in Spanish (Crap Language..remember?) and bid her a vibrant farewell...

Back to the topic at hand, I feel that we as a society can show what it means to get together in Harmony...we, Brownsville and the RGV, can show the rest of the nation how to work together and do it in a civilized manner...Get Ready Brownsville! The eyes of the nation are about to turn their direction towards us...

This is my corner...what's yours?

Friday, April 28, 2006

New topic...same discussion as usual for me though, which is the following: "How can we make Brownsville better?" Simple question yet difficult to respond to since there are a multitude of options and venues that we as a city can take. I have an option that was brought up to my attention a few days ago by my loving, caring fiance (who loves you baby?). So, for today's topic...

Why don't we as a city take the "Green Challenge"? Cities around the nation and the world have taken the "Green Challenge" and have learned that it pays (both environmentally, fiscally and physically) to do so in both the short and longterm. Now, for those of you who are wondering, "Dangit boy! What in Tarnations is the 'Green Challenge'"? And my response to you is this:

#1. Please excuse that fact that I don't know how to spell Tarnations and am not sure if that is the correct grammar usage for such a word.
#2. The "Green Challenge" is as follows: a community, whether it be a group of people or an entire city, work together to make an impact in the areas of conservation, energy control, litter reduction and environmental awareness. Cities such as Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington as well as many other communities nationwide have taken this challenge and have become Meccas (I don't mean to offend any of my Muslim brothers/sisters out there by using this word in a wrong way...if I have done so, learn how to take a joke and learn the meaning of an innuendo) for clean living societies around the globe. Communities such as these promote the usage of public transit (this means that they actually make it affordable, easy to use, convenient, CLEAN and safe....Hey San Antonio! You might want to look into this...just a word of advice, you might want to clean up the buses that run the routes 94 - UTSA and 603 - Fredericksburg Rd...sorry to say it but some of those buses could use a little bit of a vacuuming).
These communities also promote and encourage something that is very foreign to other communities...TURNING OFF LIGHTS WHEN THEY'RE NOT NEEDED! I'm sorry to say this but when you leave home to go to work or what have you, your pets DO NOT need the TV or radio to be left on so they won't feel so alone or be me on this, I've worked with animals for the past 3 years (Vet. Tech.) and I can tell you from experience that they don't need any of that stuff on...also, we don't give them the toys and pillows and all that assorted crap that you people leave with us when you go out of town for 2 days...we just don't.

Also, another possibility could be for the City, County and major businesses in the area (B.I.S.D., Sunrise Mall, Post Office, etc.) to consider utilizing our EXPANSIVE amount of year-round sunshine and installing Solar Panels on the roofs of their offices/businesses. This could easily generate enough electricity to make a significant hit in the yearly budget that these organizations use for electricity...and good citizens of Cameron County..alot of these organizations get money for their budgets from you and me...think about it, what if the local government and the school districts MAIN OFFICES (I know that the cost would be overwhelming to install panels on every school in the district--it would be a great idea over a period of years but I'm not trying to pull a miracle out of my nether-region), the savings would be a matter of fact, the savings would end up paying for the installation and upkeep of the equipment as well as the equipment itself in a very short timespan.

We need to start thinking of ways to promote our city and region through innovative growth. Who knows, maybe our neighbors to the south would be interested in this as well and begin a possible bidding war between local providers (if there are any), driving more and more business as well as competitive pricing and wages...

This is my corner...what's yours?

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Welcome and salutations to each and every individual who reads this deliciously interesting (according to me) revue and open forum on topics concerning Brownsville, TX and the Rio Grande Valley...I hope to write as often as possible about topics that are near and dear to my still-beating-yet-not-insured heart...Brownsville, TX.

Any and everyone is welcome to write and discuss their viewpoints about events and topics that are taking place in this wonderful "city" (we're getting there....not there just yet but we're getting there) that is home to a diverse population of people that are simply trying to get by...the only thing is that I have a few Rules to abide by and I will make sure to apply them to myself as well (most of the time)...

#1. No Racial slurs or anything of that nature...that just doesn't help anything when you get some biggot with an IQ equal to that of the amount of calories that come in a regular bottle of Ozarka water.
#2. Keep it on the grounds of actual information and that it has a point! There are WAY too many sites that have people jibber-jabbing back and forth about things that a irrelevant to one another. I don't care if you think that the new Pope is the spawn of Satan and that is why North Korea has a short dictator...just doesn't make any sense (but if you can prove it, well thenn by all means....)
#3. This is about Brownsville and the Rio Grande Valley...we really don't need to know how people in Madison, WI deal with their overbearing epidimic of U of W - Madison T-Shirts that aren't selling at their local Barnes and Noble. Once again, if it makes sense to us (like, how do we sell all of the extra UTB/TSC shirts from OUR local Barnes and Noble?) don't write it but if it does, then GO RIGHT AHEAD.

Ok, now that that is out of the way and all...time for my first entry...

I was reading a interesting post on Brownsville Talk ( about the need for a new Convention Center here in Brownsville. The article discussed a variety of options and venues that would be a suitable venture here as well as an appropriate size to accomodate a decent amount of people. Here's what I have to say to it --- GOOD IDEA! Now before anyone, especially Tony Lehmann, takes my support as any form of criticism, I want to let you know that I agree with you whole-heartedly. I feel that this is a great idea since the newest Events Center that was built on Paredes Line Road cannot accomodate anything that would be major. Yes, it does have a share of events that are very entertaining and informative but it doesn't match up to the convention centers of South Padre Island, McAllen, Hidalgo (especially since they have the Dodge Arena) and other cities that are nearby. We need something larger!

Now, if you don't know me, then you'll learn VERY quickly that I am a giant proponent for the use of existing buildings that are somewhat vacated due to past problems -- whether it be financial, ownership/tenant, etc...I am also a FRIM believer in the development of an arena for "deeper" South Texas. Yes, we (RGV-wise) have one in Hidalgo that is doing very well but we, as a county and as a region, can support another arena or convention center. I feel that the city of Brownsville should look into the creation of an arena that could possibly hold another sports franchise as well as the possibility of venturing with UTB/TSC to create a brand new men's/women's basketball program that would be housed in the arena. While we're at it, why don't we make it home to the UTB/TSC Women's volleyball team and the future Men's volleyball team as well as the FUTURE Men's/Women's HOCKEY TEAM?! C'mon people! we gotta start thinking LARGE from now on...we as a community can do it! I mean, hell, Matamoros has something like 3-4 decent size arenas (if my information is correct) and they have that somewhat brand new Estadio Olimpico...rather nice I must say.

These are just a few of my ideas/suggestions..take them as you will...anyhoot (I say that alot), let me know what you all out there in Internet land think and drop me a comment...

This is my corner....what's yours?