Fall fashion: LaHood-ie?
In what could become one of the most significant races of the current election cycle, one-time bad boy (the impresario of Ecstasy?) Nicholas “Nico” LaHood is reporting campaign-contribution action that could put him in competitive territory with Bexar County District Attorney Susan Reed, who’s also been lashed in the press for more recent transgressions, including what appears to be favorable treatment for her son’s gun-toting friend.
LaHood’s campaign this week reported raising $180,000, compared with last quarter’s $137,000 — impressive for someone so recently disemboweled in the media over a 16-year-old drug charge.
“Any candidate running against a 12-year incumbent who can put together $320,000 is remarkable,” said Christian Archer, one of the local Dems’ key political consultants. “This is going to be an interesting race.”
We couldn’t catch up with Reed’s political machinery by press deadline Tuesday, but unless her team has been able to wrench the tap open to flush this impurity away in a wash of Republican dinero, Bexar County could be in for a super-size dose of ugly entertainment … possibly to be followed by a nasty spell of binge drinking.
Next week: A closer look at the Dems’ DA contender, and his monetary support.
SWU collateral damage
A college intern is in stable condition after being wounded in a drive-by shooting at the Southwest Workers’ Union intern house in East San Antonio early Sunday morning. Several interns and staff, eight in all, were gathered at the Solidarity House on Idaho Street when a spray of bullets hit the front of the building at 2:30 a.m.
At least 25 bullets pierced the front of the house, and several passed through both the front and back walls. A couple of interns were sleeping in the front of the house while the rest sat on the floor eating toward the back when the shots rang out, cutting through the house and filling it with drywall dust. Intern James Domingue, 23, of Southern Louisiana, was hit in the hip. He is being treated for shattered pelvic bones at Brook Army Medical Center, said SWU Director Genardo Rendon.
“It’s incredible when you look at all the holes in the house” that more people weren’t injured, Rendon said.
Police are blaming the incident on a gang-related drive-by, suggesting the assailants hit the wrong Idaho Street house, but no arrests have been made and no warrants issued, said SAPD Spokesperson Ramona Lopez. According to a preliminary SAPD incident report, the assailants called out “Gi Gi” while they fired on the house.
Rendon said the union is calling on the community to support the Domingue family, press for a full investigation of the shooting, and recommit itself to working for peace and justice across the city.
Over the past year, SWU has fought against the siting of a diesel-fuel storage facility on the East Side, organized against Arizona’s SB1070 and for immigration reform, and worked to stop San Antonio from participating in the construction of new nuclear power plants outside Bay City. Other campaigns have worked to close the family-detention ICE facility in Hutto and for better educational opportunities for low-income students in San Antonio.
Domingue came to San Antonio to work in the Roots of Change Community Garden behind the SWU office on East Commerce Street. A Peace & Solidarity Fund has been established to help offset medical and travel expenses.
Donations or cards can be sent to:
Peace & Solidarity Fund
Southwest Workers Union
PO Box 830706
San Antonio, TX 78283
Oil v. water in South Texas
It’s not just the ocean of freshwater underfoot that’s at risk of exploitation by the thirsty natural-gas frack play heating up across South Texas. Recently, Enduring Resources, LLC applied with the state for permission to pump and transfer 200 acre-feet of water a year for 10 years — that’s 65-million gallons times 10 — from the San Antonio River to frack deep shale formations beneath Karnes, Bee, and Dewitt counties.
“San Antonio ought to be concerned,” said attorney Ben Vaughan III. “That’s going to come out of the San Antonio system and this is just the first in a litany of applications would be my guess.”
Vaughan, who will be addressing a group of South Texas landowners about the risks of hydraulic fracturing this week, suggested area residents may want to take note.
Across more than a dozen South Texas counties millions of gallons of water are being shot thousands of feet underground to fracture the hard Eagle Ford Shale and drain out the natural gas and oil found there. Increasingly, supra-national Big Oil is entering the growing energy play and putting new drilling rigs in place `Read “The Next Petro Boom,” June 23`.
“One has to be concerned over removing this water from the hydrologic cycle,” Vaughan said. “This is not like taking this water and flushing it down the commode. This is taking this water and putting it 5,000 feet underground, from whence it shall never see the sun again. They’re not recycling and cleaning it up, they’re removing this water from human access.”
In Texas, the water that does return from these deep-shale formations is shot down disposal wells as waste.
The next expansion of San Antonio’s water supply will likely come from Gonzales County, where fracking is also getting underway, through piggybacking on Schertz’s pipeline, according to SAWS officials. But the loss of water across the area could also potentially reduce the amount of water flowing to the San Antonio Bay, putting additional pressure the endangered Whooping Cranes who winter there. “Two hundred acre feet is not going to make a dramatic difference … but it’d make a hell of a difference if it’s combined with a bunch of others,” Vaughan said.
It’s a difficult trade to consider: South Texas’ water for the promise of energy independence. Vaughan’s suggestion that our grandkids may choose water was echoed by a group of runners from Mexico City who passed through San Antonio last week carrying spiritual gifts of water and fire to the Lakota Nation.
With the Gulf of Mexico’s ecosystem crippled and coastal residents increasingly wary of the vapors spreading from BP’s deepwater well blowout and the burning being used to contain it, four Native American runners carried a simple message through Texas: Water is sacred.
“This is a call out to the four colors of people: to be aware of the importance of water. It is very clear with what happened in the Gulf” this attitude shift is needed, said a lean Adi Ejekayani Suarez Reyes, 25.
For the abuelita of the group, 76-year-old Guadalupe Ortega Moran, the BP spill is “the bleeding of Mother Earth.” Each day she greets as a gift by thanking the air with her first deep breaths. She thanks the water when she bathes, she said, and expresses a profound gratitude to the Great Spirit for allowing her to be born in Mexico City, which she called a paradise.
If all people lived with that deeper level of appreciation, it would be a different world, she said. “There would be a cleanliness.”
SA’s dumping problem
Two weekends ago, a couple visiting from Houston got a puro San Anto experience that had nothing to do with Mexican food, accordions, or the River Walk. On Friday, July 2, as they visited an old railroad site, they witnessed a man pull up in a pickup, remove a dog from his truck bed and drive away, leaving the young canine all by its lonesome. Being dog lovers, they retrieved the pup and the dog dumper’s license-plate number. According to Rebecca Wheeler, an acquaintance of the couple’s who is active in the animal-rescue community, the couple contacted the San Antonio Police Department to file a report against the dumper. The SAPD response, Wheeler said, proved less than enthusiastic.
“They told her ‘It happens all the time, there’s nothing we can do’ and that was the end of that,” wrote Wheeler. She said the police recommended taking the dog to a shelter, which they did. Not surprisingly, the shelter was full. At that point the couple called Wheeler, who put out an APB of sorts to her contacts in the SA rescue community. They overwhelmingly suggested calling 311, which the couple did at around 7:30 that evening. The response they received was even less encouraging. Because the couple could not keep the dog, “`311` wanted her to take the dog back to where they found it, drop it off and then call in a stray dog,” said Wheeler.
The QueQue spoke with Tony Bosmans at 311, who confirmed that is one of two options, the other one they normally suggest being to take the pup to the Animal Care Services shelter, which closes at 5 p.m. on Saturday. Thanks to Wheeler’s email and the efforts of several local animal rescuers, the couple did not re-abandon the dog and instead found him a temporary home with a local rescue group. However, Wheeler and many in the San Antonio animal-rescue community were shocked that the couple were discouraged from filing a report of animal abandonment, a Class A misdemeanor in Texas, and a particular concern in the San Antonio area. Animal Care Services spokesperson Lisa Norwood said animal-care officers typically respond to this type of call, assuming 311 forwards it to them. For particularly heinous acts, like the two puppies thrown from a moving vehicle which someone recently brought to the ACS shelter, Norwood suggests calling 911 to report the crime. Whether SAPD will actually investigate it is a different story. Apparently, they’re too busy trying to corral loose ponies in graveyards `see the QueQue, July 7`. SAPD declined to comment.
Pentagon’s Queer Quiz
(new & improved)
Greetings, Soldier! You are being contacted today because you were one of approximately 400,000 active and reserve service members contacted earlier this month by the Pentagon’s Office of Traditional Sexual Orientation Servicing Department in our ongoing attempt to assess the impact of popular sexual mores on military morale. It has come to our attention that some of you objected to this survey. We have reviewed the many comments our office received and reformatted our survey to better reflect the dual mission of this office and that of our proud United States military. You may recall our last survey included 103 questions and came with a complimentary Starbucks VIA® Ready Brew. Thanks to your feedback we have eliminated extraneous language and have stricken all previous references to “pillow biters,” “fruitcakes,” and “oklahomo pickle kissers.” Please take a few moments to respond to the following four questions.
1. During your term of service, has a belief that you were serving with a homosexual affected your morale?
a. Yes. I have observed an illicit exchange of precious bodily fluids … and I think I like it.
b. Something smells. It could be Camembert.
c. Can I speak to a priest?
2. If the soldier was a superior officer, were you able to discuss your feelings?
a. We often talk about “switching it up,” but I’m a hopeless submissive.
b. Who said I had feelings for my superior officer?
c. I’m still waiting for the priest.
3. Are you forced to read about the Sacred Band of Thebes, the Greek troop of paired male lovers that defeated the Spartans in 375 BC?
a. I have the DVD version.
b. I <3 Trooper James Wharton
4. For “c” respondents only.
You are pinned down in a firefight, the rest of your squad has already pulled out, the drones are having their oil changed, and only a lone Marine knows your whereabouts and can get to you in time.
a) Get my ass out of here!
b) Request Marine’s gender-attraction matrix.*
* It may be time to consider that Uncle Sam doesn’t need you as much as you need him. A treatment for homophobia exists; please request information from your C.O. •