Category Archives: 2013 Categories

La Santa Cecilia’s Quierto Verte Feliz is Unleashed

Grammy-winning La Santa Cecilia has been slowly releasing singles from their now unleashed album for a while. And those tunes have definitely kept us happy, with cumbias like Ella Me Enamoro, Estrellita, and the Lila Downs-assisted title track. And although they’ve thrown in a couple of sweet and heavy ballads, this is definitely a cumbia album.

Another big hit will be the huanpanguito collabed with salsero Luis Enrique, Solo En Mis Sueños. That dude still has an amazing voice and complements LSC’s La Marisoul quite well.

Like many of us, La Santa Cecilia has gone through the pandemic as well as they could, and like many of us, they have been quite creative. For the band, though, it was the personal tragedies of a few of the members losing parents over the last couple of years that helped them create Siempre Estoy Pensando En Ti. The ballad, with beautiful vocals, string arrangements, and a soulful guitar solo really brings the message home of missing a loved a one.

Always sending a variety of messages, LSC gives us the powerful, Hierba Mala, which serves as a reminder to avoid the bad seeds out there that grow into hierba (weeds) in our lives, thus affecting, well, everything. The song shifts from cumbia to strings and back to cumbia with ease. On the other side of that feeling is the haunting slow cumbia, Cumbia de la Soledad, which sends a message of wanting one who left.

The ballad, Luz, has painful lyrics and soaring guitar and requinto, but it is the emotional output of La Marisoul that brings out ones emotions, as well. Sort of like she did with her rendition of Amor Eterno on previous album.

La Santa Cecilia’s eight-track album is fire! As I told them yesterday in a chat, it’s on heavy rotation in my car while driving Houston traffic. To find out that its band members (Marisoul, Pepe, Alex, and Oso) wrote and arranged the entire album is no surprise as not only do they create good music, but they reproduce it live to perfection. And they will be in a town or city near you soon.

You can purchase it on various online venues, and it is available on YouTube and Spotify, too. Get it. You will not be disappointed.

Pro-Migrant Groups Demand Action From Harris Dems

Six local pro-migrant action groups protested at Harris County Democratic Party HQ demanding that President Biden and Congressional Dems take action on immigration reform as promised during the 2020 campaign.

CRECEN, FIEL, Houston Rebel Alliance, Woori Juntos, Workers Defense Action Fund, and United We DREAM marched and protested loudly outside of the HQ demanding the local Democratic Party leadership make a statement calling on their own leadership, specifically VP Kamala Harris, to disregard the parliamentarian’s advisory opinion and to enable a pathway to citizenship through reconciliation.

Pointing to the fact that Democrats hold the White House and a Congressional majority, the groups stated that an unelected parliamentarian should be ignored and action taken on legislation supported by 70% of Americans.

More than 1.6 million immigrants and 70,000 refugees call the Houston region home and 63% of them are non-citizens; more than 500,000 Houston-region residents are undocumented. This is a crucial moment. Our communities need democrats to take action reforming our broken immigration system, lifting the constant fear of deportation for them and their family members and finally offering an opportunity to fully integrate into our society. 

FIEL

FIEL posted video of the protest. Apparently, there was no response (or even a simple offer of support) from the local Party leadership. In fact, according to one activist, HCDP pulled a Joel Osteen and locked the doors. The protesters peacefully chanted, “Shame on you” and “We’ll be back,” as they marched away from the headquarters on Lyons Ave.

Meanwhile, Democrats in DC are still spending time playing “Gotcha!” with Trump, and getting embarrassed by sell-outs Manchin and Synema. Action needs to be taken as time is running out before Congress starts spending more time on re-election.

Early Voting Has Begun – Oct 18 – 29, 2021

Early Voting around Harris County has begun and will run through October 29, 2021. You can vote early at any location in Harris County. You can find your sample ballot by clicking here.

On the ballot are eight (8) state propositions and you may also have local school and college board trustee races on your ballot, so, your sample ballot is the best way to find out what’s up.

My ballot will look like this:

State Propositions (Ballotpedia Explains The Propositions)

Prop 1 – Adds pro rodeo foundations to list authorized to hold raffles. (FOR)

Prop 2 – Allows counties to issue bonds to finance redevelopment of towns and cities. (FOR)

Prop 3 – Forbids local government from prohibiting or limiting religious services (when something like COVID-19 or some sort of disaster occurs and the decision is made for the protection of residents). (AGAINST) (Explanation)

Prop 4 – Changes the eligibility requirements for judges to run for office. (FOR)

Prop 5 – Extends State Commission on Judicial Conduct’s power over judicial candidates. (FOR)

Prop 6 – Allows group home residents to name an essential caregiver with visiting rights. (FOR)

Prop 7 – Allows surviving spouses, 55 or older, of disabled persons a limit on school district property taxes. (FOR)

Prop 8 – Allows surviving spouse of military member killed in action to a property tax exemption. (FOR)

ALIEF ISD

Position 4 – Debby Pepper (Endorsed by TSTA)

Position 5 – Randal Stewart

Position 6 – Ronald Franklin (Endorsed by TSTA)

Position 7 – Damon Barone (Endorsed by TSTA)

Bond Prop A – FOR (Bond Descriptions)

Bond Prop B – FOR

Bond Prop C – FOR

Bond Prop D – FOR


While I do not reside in Houston ISD, I do have some favorites.

District I – Elizabeth Santos

District V – Sue Deigaard

District VI – Holly Flynn Vilaseca

District VII – Anne Sung

And, while I await the outcome of whatever is going on with my own HCC trustee, my favorites for whom I am not able to vote are:

HCC District 3 – Adriana Tamez

HCC District 8 – Eva Loredo

Get your voting done early. Otherwise, you can vote on November 2.

Tomas Q. Morin’s Machete

While I am awaiting the arrival of my copy of Tomas Q. Morin’s latest book of poetry, Machete, the Texas Standard provides us an interview with the accomplished poet, Rice U professor, and personal friend of mine from our days at Southwest Texas State University.

In his new collection, “Machete,” Mórin questions how to prepare his son for life in modern America. He explores the country’s legacy of racism and the importance of joy as a survival tool.

Texas Standard

Morin is currently on a virtual tour giving readings of his latest work and will be in Houston on November 2 at the Houston Public Library in conversation with recent Houston Poet Laureate Leslie Contreras Schwartz. More details soon.

Click here for interview. Purchase book here. And read the first poem in the book at Poetry Society, I Sing the Body Aquatic, as well as a few words about it.

Los Blogs de Tejas – TPA Round-Up

The Texas Progressive Alliance is dining al fresco as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff documents the latest lawsuit (#6 in a series) against Texas’ voter suppression law.

SocraticGadfly dropped a trio of new COVID-related posts. He started by noting that it’s been a sad banner year already passing 2020. He then talked about vax mandates and how “firewalls” have failed outside the US. He wrapped up by looking at a leading COVID contrarian, or COVID obstructionist, the well-known medical public intellectual Dr. John Ioannides, and wondering what the hell happened to him.

Stace gives us a snapshot of the 2021 Alief ISD Bond propositions as we get ready for the November election.

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And here are some posts of interest from other Texas blog.

Lil Kalish speaks to a volunteer driver at the Bridge Collective, which provides transportation and accommodations to people in central Texas seeking abortions, about their work.

Amber Briggle makes the economic case for LGBTQ inclusion in the Texas workforce.

The Texas Politics Project takes a long view at our state’s attitudes towards abortion and anti-abortion laws.

Katelyn Jetelina explains COVID waves.

Texas Election Source draws a maximally competitive Congressional map.

Tacho’s Sabado Playlist

Time to load up that playlist, again. There are some new singles that will soon be inching up the charts in the Tejano genre. Here are a few.

Jay Perez – Para Volvernos Amar – This tune is a soon-to-be Joe Revelez penned classic. Perez’s soaring vocals, particularly during the chorus, are exceptional. His musicians provide a fat bass line and a classic sound that Perez has stuck with throughout his solo career. Give it a listen. The R&B harmonies are amazing, too.

Chente Barrera – Senorita Cantinera – As previously posted, Chente recently released an homenaje to the legendary Primo, Roberto Pulido y Los Clasicos. All those Pulido classics some of enjoyed on our sister’s 8-track player are on this release. And Senorita Cantinera is still a classic as Chente powers through through highs, much like Pulido did in the 70s.

La Fiebre – Cuidala – I had previously added this one to the playlist, but now, it has an on official video from Freddie Records. With it’s tough horns, melodic acordeon, and that sweet rhythm guitar, it’s a tune worthy of a Latin Grammy nom. And the whole album was nominated. Check out the vid.

Greg Abbott Is Evil…The Next Chapter

It’s all a show, really. Greg Abbott’s death mandates to ban vaccination mandates are all for show. At this point, even with slowed vaccination rates, all Greg Abbott is doing is speaking to what’s left of his base that is yet to get vaccinated. I’m pretty sure most of his actual campaign check-writers are vax’d, since they all enjoy taking advantage of the stupid and right-wing.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday issued another executive order cracking down on COVID-19 vaccine mandates — this time banning any entity in Texas, including private businesses, from requiring vaccinations for employees or customers.

Abbott also called on the Legislature to pass a law with the same effect, promising to rescind the executive order once that happenedThe Legislature is in this year’s third special legislative session, which ends Oct. 19.

“The COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective, & our best defense against the virus, but should always remain voluntary & never forced.”

Gee, Greg, you’re talking out of both ends of your body.

I agree with Kuff that it seems like a childish tantrum to whine and moan about President Biden’s COVID-19 vaccination order affecting companies with 100+ employees. The reality is that there is no whining when it comes to all the other vaccines children are required to obtain.

While GOP officials are pushing back against COVID-19 vaccine mandates, the state has allowed other kinds of vaccine mandates in public schools and universities for years.

Texas public schools require K-12 students to get vaccinated for tetanus; polio; measles, mumps and rubella; hepatitis B; chickenpox; meningitis and hepatitis A. College students are required to receive a meningitis vaccination, too. Health care and veterinary students are required to get additional vaccines for rabies, tetanus-diphtheria and hepatitis B.

For Abbott, this is all a response to Biden winning the election, proving again that he is a failure as a governor. Meanwhile, the State of Texas is only 52% vaccinated against COVID-19, over 68,000 have died under Greg Abbott’s failed leadership, and people are still getting sick and suffering.

This is a reminder that, in Texas, since Day 1, we have been on our own. I’d also add that there’s an election in 2022, but we need an announced viable candidate to get excited about that.

Los Blogs de Tejas – TPA Round-Up

The Texas Progressive Alliance has added just a touch of pumpkin spice to this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff took initial looks at the proposed Congressional and State House maps.

SocraticGadfly, with connections to his most recent vacation, shows that, based on both the past at Olympic National Park and the present at Point Reyes National Seashore, the National Park Service still simply cannot be trusted to regularly be a good environmental steward.

Stace laments Houston Cops Being No-Billed for killing of Nicolas Chavez.

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And here are some posts of interest from other Texas blogs.

The Austin Chronicle reviews a new TV special about the Michael Morton case.

South By Southwest shares its views on the “punitive legislation” being pushed and passed by Republicans.

Steve Vladeck testified before Congress about Texas’ unconstitutional abortion ban and the role of the “shadow docket” in SCOTUS letting it stand.

Juanita celebrates the Alex Jones verdict.

Jef Rouner tallies up some of the winners and losers of redistricting so far.

The 2021 Alief ISD Bond

Along with a few races for school trustee, we Alief ISD voters get to decide on over $500 million in bonds to address aging facilities and buses, athletics upgrades, modernization of the stadium, and more technology. With a small tax increase and no tax increase for 65 and older, this kind of investment is needed for this growing district. Sounds good enough, so, let’s dive a little into it.

According to the district, it has been six years since the last bond and that bond came in on time, on target, and under budget. I must say, it’s nice to see the new buildings that have gone and are going up at the moment that address student career needs, staff development needs, and transportation needs. Currently, the average age of school buildings is 35 years, so, it is time to continue upgrading to ensure equity around the district.

The bond has been broken up into four parts (state law, I’ve been told by a committee member).

Prop A is for $482.6 million to pay for safety and security upgrades for school entrance and more funds for ISD police; two replacement schools; a new agri-center on the site of the Alief Community Garden; all sorts of renovations; for Fine Arts, new instruments, sound-proof practice rooms, dance flooring, and theater lighting.; new equipment for Career and Tech Education programs; and new buses to transport students.

I like Prop A and will vote for it.

Prop B is for $9.1 million in athletic upgrades to include tennis court resurfacing; dugouts at Hastings HS baseball field; gym scoreboards; resurfacing baseball/softball fields; replacement of football turf; and replacement of outdoor scoreboards.

The wealth seems to be spread around the various sports, so, I’m thinking YES on this one. Better turf means increased safety for athletes and less maintenance needs.

Prop C calls for $19.4 million to modernize Crump Stadium. According to the district, the stadium is almost 50 years old and has not had much in investment in improvement. The stadium was also built when enrollment was less than 20% of what it has become. So, they are asking for this cash to build a new press box, new turf, new track, new locker rooms, and one of those fancy video scoreboards.

When I cruised around the district, the first thing I noticed was how modern the stadium was, considering it was 50 years old. It seems they were ahead of the game when it was built. New track and new turf not only ensures safety, but it also makes the stadium attractive for playoff and other community events. It is stuff that is needed, but it is also pricey. The first time I voted against a bond, I lived in Humble ISD because it was too football-centric, but the total package here seems to be about the students. I’m trending toward supporting Prop C because why should the “fancy” school districts get all the nice stuff? Also, at least they didn’t ask for some $200 million monstrosity.

Prop D calls for $30.6 million for technology upgrades. A reminder that there are now over 50,000 students and staff at Alief ISD and they are deserving of the best. The bond ensures the district keeps a tech replacement schedule for the next three years. The bond includes classroom instructional technology; campus iPads and desktops.

Yes, I’m for it. I wish it would have been twice as much!

Anyway, that’s my take on the Alief ISD bond. Early voting begins October 18 and runs through October 29. Election Day is November 2. I’m still trying to find more information about candidates for school trustee. There are a few of those races on the ballot, which makes up a good chunk of the board being chosen, so, this is important.

Thanks to all those neighbors who participated in the bond committee–89 strong, working for 6 months, and over 2000 hours. It is said that if passed, Alief ISD will save over 65 million bucks in escalating construction costs and inflation. I know I have that in mind, especially as the pandemic continues.

For more information, visit the bond website!

Los Blogs de Tejas – TPA Round-Up

The Texas Progressive Alliance did not consult with Nicki Minaj’s cousin’s friend in the making of this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff crunches some more 2020 Congressional data to see how much things have changed since 2012.

SocraticGadfly, with some help from an Arkansas hospital chain CEO punks the fetal stem cell crowd, going beyond religious exemptions for COVID vaccines and to elements of the “pro-life” movement in general.

Stace reminds us of what is really happening on the border: A human rights crisis.

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And here are some posts of interest from other Texas blogs.

Sanford Nowlin observed how quiet many businesses have been since the “heartbeat” law was passed.

The Texas Observer ran a multi-part series on how political corruption is so often ignored by law enforcement in Texas, thanks in part to the legislative dismantling of the Public Integrity Unit of the Travis County DA.

Space City Weather suggests that hurricane season is likely over for Texas.

Michelle Davis outlines how Beto can beat Greg Abbott.

The Great God Pan Is Dead has more fall art to look forward to.

Houstonia welcomes Top Chef to Houston.

The TPA congratulates Lisa Gray for her move to CityCast and the forthcoming debut of CityCast Houston.