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Showing posts from December, 2007

Legendary Singer Lydia Mendoza dies in San Antonio, Texas

Lydia Mendoza, born May 21, 1916, died peacefully last night in San Antonio, Texas at the age of 91.

If you don't know who she was, ask your grandmother, who likely remembers her and her twelve-string guitar at the Plaza del Zacate in San Antonio, Texas, with the chili queens in the early 1930s. She sang, literally, for pennies, as part if a struggling musical family following the migrant route to Michigan and back, until she was signed to the Blue Bird label in 1934. One of her songs, Mal Hombre, was an overnight success, when she was just 17 years old.

She emerged as one of the few tejanas to gain national prominence in a time when few women were encouraged to pursue a musical career. Throughout her life, until she suffered a stroke in 1988, she was beloved for singing the songs of the poor, working-class mexicanos she came from, as La cancionera de los pobres and La alondra de la frontera.

In 1982, Lydia Mendoza became the first Texan to receive a National Endowment for the…

In San Antonio, Texas, Free Speech Lawsuit gets its day in Court

In Dallas, Texas, there is no cost for a "political" parade. Or in Austin. Or in Houston - for the first fifteen intersections. Political marchers aren't charged in Los Angeles or in New York City for taking to the streets.
But San Antonio, Texas is different. A new "Parade Ordinance" passed by the City Council on November 29, 2007, requires groups to pay thousands of dollars to march in the public streets. Though the sidewalks, the Ordinance says, are free.

In response, a coalition calling itself The International Woman's Day March Committee and the San Antonio Free Speech Coalition filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the ordinance.

The Injunction Hearing was held today in a packed courtroom at the Federal Courthouse by District Judge Xavier Rodriguez. After more than four hours of testimony and cross-examination of the Coalition's witnesses, Judge Rodriguez decided to postpone his ruling until February 8th. The diverse group o…

Free Speech Advocates File Lawsuit Against the City of San Antonio

With a vote of 9-2, the San Antonio City Council passed a new "Parade" Ordinance that denies marching on the street without a substantial "fee." The new "Ordinance" allows selected "groups" to march for free:

1. At least two "Fiesta" Parades
2. The MLK March
3. The Cesar Chavez March
4. Diez y Seis de Septiembre
5. Veterans Day
6. Mardi Gras

The City of San Antonio is one of many cities around the country facing these restrictive ordinances and legal challenges to them. On December 20th, Judge Xavier Rodriguez will hold a hearing on the injunction that would prevent the City of San Antonio from enforcing the Parade Ordinance.

NO WONDER THE MIRASOL SCANDAL HAPPENED: IT'S ALL ABOUT THE CONTRACTS AT SAHA

Herman Taylor, the recently-hired Assistant Procurement & Facilities Director at SAHA, has resigned after only two months reporting to Patrick Bourcier, Director of Procurement & Facilities - in shock at the contracting miasma at SAHA. Taylor, who is a professionally-certified public buyer, (know as CPPB), was the only procurement-certified manager at SAHA, says that he was appalled at SAHA's antiquated commodity code system that should have been updated "at least five years ago. "
Because SAHA has neglected using the government's national and efficient coding system for contracting, Taylor explained, the Housing Authority has little room for the many variations and categories of contracts that need to be established, reviewed, and re-configured according to governmental regulations.
SAHA has been under fire for the Mirasol Homes Public Housing Project, a westside community beset with poor construction and health problems linked to SAHA's contractual p…