Sunday, February 28, 2016


Editor, the Facts,
I was invited to attend the reunion of the Falfurrias High School State Championship Cross Country Teams.  Many of them are former collegiate teammates. Some I competed against, and all of them I consider my friends.  They have accepted me as one of them, and I was honored to have been in attendance at their memorable event of October 24.
I even went as far as thinking as a “Jersey” and as a Jersey on that incoming.  I woke up early and got my stuff ready.  I got my best running shoes and Fal colors that I would wear that night. This was the routine that the great Fal Cross Country and track teams performed before practice, a competition, or an award ceremony.  I was getting ready for that reunion for the teams from that era that had produced nine State Championships, seven in the “State Championship Organization” and two when it was changed to U.I.L. competition. These Fal teams would compete with the big schools from all over Texas and defeat them. These are schools that are now classified as 6A schools. Their times would still be 6A caliber.
Many of these runners still hold both individual and team records in state and college levels. They would be state contenders in any state then and now because of the intense training and fast times. They were known to run 50 to 100 miles a week to prepare for competition. It was common in those years for runners that wore the Fal uniform to run under two minutes in the half mile and under 4:20 in the mile during track season. This may be the reason why many became state ranked cross country and track athletes. Some were even nationally ranked competitors.
Their names appear in many newspapers throughout Texas and even in the pages of the Track & Field News with “Falfurrias” besides their names.  One runner was the Sophomore National record holder for the 880-yard dash, Andres Martinez This was a time when Falfurrias runners wore a “Wing F” on their racing shirt and track uniform that appeared to be like a spacesuit.
Falfurrias Cross Country & Track teams had also become a “Farm Team” for many colleges in Texas. The F.H.S. athletes, while attending different colleges on scholarships, continued breaking records and winning championships as they had done in high school, and still stand to this date.
The reunion was organized by Coach Tony Garza, Robert Gonzalez, and Quirino Caro. “Several team members have passed away,” commented Garza. “This is one reason we did this.”
“This may be the only and last time we see each other,” Caro stated. “This was done to recognize the teams of our time and Falfurrias, and also to reminisce and acknowledge the team members that scored the foundation for the team’s State Championships and tradition that is Falfurrias,” he added.
Hours before the event started, some wondered if the reunion would still happen because of a storm rolling into Texas, but like the workouts years ago in stormy weather, it was not cancelled. So as the night began to fall, the Fal High greats started to gather like moths to a corner light at the Star of Texas Restaurant.
The Fal greats were greeted at the entrance by the trio of organizers and by each other. About 40 Team Champions from Falfurrias High school had arrived to attend a gathering of standouts from yester-years. After all these years, a few were still at their racing weights. The first championship had been captured some 50 years ago.

As they entered they saw their pictures on the walls from their high school days and posters depicting their consecutive years of accomplishments. These men had grown up in Falfurrias and had taken different paths in life. Now they came from all over Texas, one from as far away as Virginia.
After an hour or so of socializing, Alonzo Pena gave the welcoming prayer and included a memoriam for Richard Lewis, Ernesto Cortez, Adrian Garza, Isaac Garza, Gilbert Martinez, Donato Martinez, Albert Munoz, Gilbert Munoz, J.P. Ramirez, Ricky Saenz, and Steve Wilson. After that, dinner was served and the event began.
The speakers that directed the event were Tony Garza, Robert Gonzalez, and Quirino Caro. All three spoke of the history of the nine state titles in the all-terrain sport, and championship accomplishments in Track & Field of those years.
Homer Martinez and Robert Perez spoke of the benefits of being in cross country (Having a place to take a warm shower, or eating a hamburger were luxuries that their families could not afford).
One guest speaker was Coach Hernan Figueroa from Vela High School in Edinburg, Texas. He spoke of being blessed with the opportunity to have been coached by Homer Martinez while in college and to have known Quirino Caro and other fine people from Falfurrias.
The tradition began in 1962 with the late Coach Richard Lewis who coached Homer Martinez, Robert Gonzalez, Baldemar Soliz, Julio Martinez, Raul Rivera, Eduardo Almendarez, Ovidio Cavazos, and Donato Martinez.
The first state championship was earned in 1965. Coach Richard Lewis’ runners at that time were Robert Gonzalez, Homer Martinez, Eliseo Garcia, Robert Perez, Rene Naranjo, Andres Martinez and Cayetano Rodriguez.
The second gold team with a perfect score of 10 pts. Coached aby Richard Lewis was composed of Robert Gonzalez, Amador Arredondo, Quirino Caro, Andres Martinez, Rene Naranjo, Robert Perez, Mache Gonzales, and Israel Vela.
The third championship was attained by Coach Nolan Tommie. The runners were Johnny Mayfield, Andres Martinez, Rene Naranjo, Quirino Caro and Johnny Rosas.
Number four, also coached by Nolan Tommie, were Rene Naranjo, Johnny Rosas, Charlie Canales, Onofre Lopez, Ramon Garza, Gilbert Munoz and Beltrando Soliz.
The fifth was coached by Tony Garza. Runners were Gilbert Martinez, Benito Gonzalez, Ramon Garza, Adrian Garza, Albert Munoz, Ramiro Davila, Gilbert Munoz and Juan Hinojosa.
The sixth title team was again coached by Tony Garza. They were Gilbert Martinez, Ramiro Davila, Ricky Saenz, Adrian Garza, Ramon Garza, Gilbert Munoz, and Edward Gonzalez.
The seventh championship team was coached by Pat Romero. The runners were Gilbert Martinez, Ramiro Davila, Ricky Saenz, Alonzo Pena, Ramon Garza, Benito Gonzalez and Adrian Garza.
Number eight was also coached by Pat Romero and the team was composed of Benny Martinez, Edward Gonzalez, Adrian Garza, Alonzo Pena, Luis Longoria, Danny Pena, Andy Pena, and Benito Gonzalez.
The ninth and last state championship was led by Coach Robert Gonzalez in 1980. The team consisted of Tony Martinez, Jay Cantu, Erlin Garcia, Homer Garza, and Juan Salas. In 1980, Sally Pena was the only state qualifier in the female division for Falfurrias.
The organizers also addressed the great F.H.S. Track Teams of the 1960’s through early 1980s. They were record breakers, and their records still stand in Jersey Land after all these years. The State qualifying members were Julio Martinez, Robert Gonzalez, Homer Martinez, Amador Arredondo, Lamar Rodriguez (high jump), M.L. Best (100 & 200), Greg Pape (hurdles), Johnny Mayfield and Andres Martinez (880). Noe Guerra, Javier Ruelas, Balde De Luna, Best and Pape (mile relay), Naranjo, Caro, R. Garza, Gilbert, Benny, Tony Martinez (mile), and many more.
In 1970, the Fighting Jerseys won the District and Regional Track & Field Championship and advanced to state. Many of the Cross Country teams from that stretch of championships had brothers that composed the Fighting Jersey teams. They were the Martinez, Gonzalez, Garza, and Pena brothers.
Many stories were shared during the “open mike” session. One I recall is Danny Pena saying, “When I was in elementary school, I used to see my neighbor Rene Naranjo and my brother Alonzo running all the time. It was common to see runners in the neighborhoods and in town those days. Then I would read in the Falfurrias Facts that they were champions, so I too wanted to train like them.”
There’s a movie titled “McFarland USA” about running. The Fal story is better and faster. I hope the Falfurrias Facts will continue to acknowledge their accomplishments.
Coach Noe De Leon

Robstown, Texas

Saturday, May 2, 2015


The current race for mayor of Robstown is heated and difficult -- pitting friend against friend, neighbor against neighbor -- but it is the only representative democratic process that exists -- that is, ballot box democracy.  The incumbent Rodrigo “Rod” Ramon Jr. is being challenged by two challengers: Mandy Barrera (former city councilperson) and Victor Orona (a former school board member). And the ole truism that politics is about power is at issue. It indispensably requires a difficult choice.

Power is not A = B; it is always A > B or B < A. And in a small community like Robstown, the tension level, as early voting begins in some circles, can almost be cut with a razor-blade. Mayor Ramon, many of his supporters harp on the fact that he is on a roll and has a  workable vision of growth for the city that he desperately wants to achieve. His challenger -- Mandy Barrera -- also has ambitious plans, but pitches that her platform is more comprehensive in that it seeks to promote a plan that reaches more sectors of the populace. Orona, the other challenger, also has a platform called “The New Vision.”

Ramon was first elected mayor in 2001. Before that he served as a city council member and mayor pro tem. Both he and his rivals -- Ms. Barrera and Mr. Orona -- want to   elevate the quality of life to better the quality of life for residents and businesses alike. They want to bring out the best that its city has to offer, make infrastructure improvements and economic development. Orona has voiced that he wants to stop unnecessary spending and exercise fiscal responsibility.

Ms. Barrera -- having been a city council person before -- has a pragmatic plan to develop the downtown area where it can be a bubbling social market that attracts neighboring communities.  At the same time, she wants to address the rising utility bills that especially the elderly struggle to play on a monthly basis. Ms. Barrera, if elected, will also sit on the Robstown Utility Board and thus lobby to introduce some well-thought out exceptions for the elderly and sick.

All three candidates want to move the city forward into the modernization age. However, the incumbent Mayor -- Ramon -- has built an organizational base that will not be easy to unseat. He has a tract record that many point to visually as a credit point in some debates. He has hefty resources available and close-knit contacts to put up a “good fight” this election.

Ms. Barrera says that she is not deterred. She has a degree in business administration and a masters and comes from a family of entrepreneurs. The historic Barrera Fried Chicken place is a testament to the enduring spirit of economic survivability. A business she has managed. She is a serious talker -- and she reserves her smiles and giggles until business is conducted. She is independent and most possible the top opponent Ramon faces.

But do not underestimate Mayor Ramon; he is creative -- he climbed the staircase to the top rolling with the punches of competition. He has mustered an army of supporters and advisors. He is the longest sitting Hispanic mayor in the history of Robstown. He is a negotiator and a think-on-his-feet guy. He is not the tallest guy in the room, but sometimes it seems so -- some observers have expressed.

There is something special about all three candidates. Yet, Mandy’s supporters claim she has the popular vote. She can be bubbly and approachable yet a go-getter. She feels that the signs for her to run were expressed in the needs of many that orbit her world. Her campaign is based on the premise that too many resources have been concentrated on an elevated economic development plan that leaves out certain sectors of the community, sectors that she feels will empathize with her message.  It will most likely, according to Barrera, be the indispensable vote to stamp victory on election day, May 9th.

As in any election, the insecurities are high. It is difficult to predict the future. On the one hand, the mayoral race is exciting and competitive and the community is stirred up pitching their needs and parading their signs; but on the other hand, there is critical reflection, and critical reflection leads to generalizations. And the practical question, at the end of the day, is who can really bring Robstown out of the hole it has been historically for too long and into the light of progress. Not just economic progress, but social and cultural progress.

Since there are three candidates running for the mayoral seat, the chances are there will be a run-off between the two top vote-getters at a future date. The election will not be over by any means, but most likely will be picked up a notch. Immense resources are put (and will continue to pour continuously) into conducting such an expensively daunting campaign.

All three mayoral candidates also have a slate running for city council seats. This latter adds to the amount of residents showing up to vote. The first days of early voting, it appears the mayor’s supporters showed up in larger numbers to vote; however, by mid-week both Barrera’s and Orona’s surfed in more assertively. . . If there is a run-off, many analysts are predicting the voter turnout will be low in that “slates” will no longer be involved – it will be a one-on-one. And a one-on-one typically favors the incumbent mayor unless the rival manages to keep the enthusiasm high and its former slates members integrated. Courting the candidate that loses on the first round will also be elemental.

Mayor Ramon had not faced such formidable opponents in a long time. He has a master plan, and as long as he continues to seat in the “top gun” seat, his visionary master plan will be pushed forward with all the determination that can be mustered. The election will soon pass. Neighbors have to continue being neighbors: the ultimate survival struggle remains. The animosities roused by the fierce race and rivalry and competition will be puffed away into the distance and a new sun of normalcy will cast its piercing beams on Robstown, the unique small town known as “El Robe” – historically once a famous and thriving agricultural community of cotton-pickers and now famous for its “out of the box” political culture.

Friday, January 9, 2015



Republican Party Investigation:                   INTRA-CONFLICT with the Nueces County Republican Party continues:

REP. TODD HUNTER: "WHO THE HELL RECRUITED JACK PULCHER?" -- the question resounds through the network of comrades.

INVESTIGATOR 1: "It was a demeaning ambush!"

REPUBLICAN CHAIR: "He recruited himself!"

INVESTIGATOR 1: "This lies need to stop right now! This is gonna tear our party apart!"


INVESTIGATOR 1: "This stops now! There is at least one person that say Missy Medary said: 'I did! I recruited Jack Pulcher!"

INVESTIGATOR 1: "Mike, whether Guy Williams or anyone else tries to make us STOP... apparently it did not sink in. This is not about Angelica Heranndez. It is about lies and deceit! This is about a demeaning ambush against a District Judge -- one of our own!"

(to be continued)

Monday, September 15, 2014


The Nueces County Commissioner’s Court voted 4 to 1 to demolish Memorial Hospital.  County Commissioner Oscar Ortiz voted against. 
Since the opening on the discussion on the matter County Commissioner Joe A. Gonzalez (JAG) appeared to many to be both quisling and selling out the interests of the majority of his constituency – from the  simple people of the Westside (God’s pocket) to the interests of the disabled Veteran, from the invalids and sickly elderly to the honest taxpayer.  He not only voted with the POWERFUL against the WEAK, but smirkly pontificated (as if subconsciously desiring to visibly flaunt his callous apostasy) about why he felt he knew what was better for them than they themselves.  Metaphorically speaking, his head had ballooned and he  appeared to be speaking from heights of  political delusion not practical reality.  But a simple pin awaited that would pierce his flatulency and fabricated airs back to mother earth – the pin from God’s pocket.
The simple people of the Westside crowd present stood in the shadows of the room – as they always have in the past and in the present.  They (who rarely leave the pocket of their barrio) had left their trabajo (work), their familias (families) and hijos (children) somewhere else to be there and follow their team to the courthouse as their parents before them had followed the late Dr. Hector P. Garcia and other bona fide leaders.  This time they were there to see their “hero” and “representative”   Commissioner Joe A. Gonzalez (JAG) who has marketed himself as “Commissioner 24/7” defend their collective voice and confidently fight for the preservation of el hospital de la gente (the People’s Hospital).  Instead Commissioner JAG flipped and willowed and then hopped like un conejito to the other side – that is, the enemy’s.  He defected and betrayed and paraded his pro-establishment credentials before them and broke their Corazon (heart) as they saw him try to rationalize the act of violence and slaughter being considered against their community.  JAG meat-axed, bulldozed, bullied with his insensitive airs the very thought of saving Memorial Hospital.  Sadly, he glorified the cause of greedy builders with ubiquitous claws and so-called economic scientists with gory bloodshot eyes who wanted to shell the Westside like a past war had done to Iraq. Because to those in power saw them – los del Westide (from the Westside) --  as unimportant.  “JAG had crossed the tracks and forgotten his roots like the typical politico sin palabra (who does not keep his word),” David Noyola chatted with the troops.
The late Dr. Hector P. Garcia was no longer with them – only JAG who had made promises to keep the spirit of Dr. Hector P. Garcia alive.  But JAG or “Commissioner 24/7” was no longer one of them – uno de ellos.  He dashed their dreams and hopes of the little people, and then “like a puppy dog” (as one observer put it) sycophanted to Political Boss Al Jones (who stood prominently in the room) and to the marching orders of County Judge Loyd Neal.  And Neal from his elevated chair seemed to be looking down on them as if from a balcony as if billowing his coldness, insensitivity for the people of God’s Pocket and urging on JAG to approve the shelling of a sacred building worth 30 million (owned by the taxpayers) on God’s pocket.    
But the voice of righteousness and accountability struck from thin air aimed at JAG’s apostacy. “Tu no eres uno de nosotros ya” (“You are not one of us anymore,” responded former County Commissioner David Noyola from the audience as he held on tightly to his medical device, “You do not live on the Westside I do.  You don’t represent the interests even partially of esta comunidad (the community).  You have no idea what they want.”  Commissioner JAG’s eyes filled with panic and tried to make a comeback but stumbled as traitors to their cause often do when disappointed young and old eyes  stare straight at their hearts and disingenuous souls.  JAG tried to justify the turning over of public land, property owned by taxpayers, to a Corporate giant -- Christus Spohn -- for slaughter.  But JAG, as Dr. Hector P. Garcia’s daughter Cecilia Akers who had made a trip from her home in San Antonio, had forgotten the resounding truism of the founder of the GI Forum: “ OPPRESSION AND VIOLENCE AGAINST  MY PEOPLE CAN NEVER BE JUSTIFIED.” 
Attorney Rene Flores (a native of the Westside) spoke in the audience section.  He and others condemned the madness and reckless urgency of attempting to move Memorial Hospital’s resources to Spohn Shoreline – adding, it was in the direct path of a hurricane and the site was inconvenient and congested with traffic.  Community activist Ray Madrigal (and former candidate for Governor) also followed challenging the Board of Spohn and their socially distant CEO Pam Robertson to invest its millions in building a new hospital not on congested, sardined shoreline but in the heart of Corpus Christi where Memorial sits.  The crowd applauded as many realized the authenticity and idealness in their dream of dreams.  But the pleas from residents of God’s pocket had been puffed into a distant sea by the callous and insensitive agenda of County Judge Loyd Neal and commissioners Mike Pusley and Joe McComb and the quisler JAG 24/7.

Then the final vote came from the commissioners: 4 to 1 voted to wisp away the health needs and concerns of the “little people” into a distant sea.  These outsiders had their own plan.  Commissioner Ortiz stood as the sole vote of dissent.  For Commisioner Ortiz, was not a big-headed boob like JAG, and had taken the normative stares of the people from God’s Pocket earnestly.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


Dear Taxpayer,
Whether it is at birth, sometime in between or at the end of life, at some point you or someone in your family will need health care. And when that time comes, you want the very best for Grandma, Grandpa, Mom and Dad, yourself and your children.

In 1942, the Baptist Foundation donated approximately 18.5 acres of land for the construction of a hospital facility to address the health care needs of Nueces County. In 1944, Nueces County taxpayers built Memorial Hospital. In 1946, and 1952 the taxpayers of Nueces County invested again in Memorial Hospital by expanding services and adding beds and in 1964, a second building adjacent to Memorial Hospital was constructed and the name was changed to Memorial Medical Center.

In 1967, at the recommendation of esteemed County Judge, Robert Barnes, the taxpayers of Nueces County collectively invested in health care in a special election by creating the Nueces County Hospital District to oversee county health care services. This action included the creation of the Hospital District Board of Managers to manage the investment for the Taxpayer and the authorization, by law, to levy an ad valorem tax.

The revenue generated by the self-imposed ad valorem tax has made it possible to expand, renovate, and/or re-equip MMC in 1975, 1982, 1989, and 1993 representing millions of investment dollars by the taxpayers of Nueces County. As a result of this investment, Nueces County taxpayers today rely on a hospital complex easily accessible from all parts of the county and neighboring counties as well as a Trauma 2 Level designation.

This investment by the taxpayers has yielded positive returns for 70 years. No other hospital in Nueces County can make this claim. Keep in mind, the taxpayer has always owned the County Hospital. Why would you, the Taxpayer, want to give away this kind of investment to a corporation with a corporate office in Dallas, Texas?

The recent proposal by Christus Spohn to demolish the County Hospital on Morgan and move all services to their Shoreline unit has sparked controversy throughout Nueces County and the neighboring communities.

The Hospital District Board is almost ready to send the proposal to demolish the County Hospital to the Commissioner’s Court for a final vote and their stamp of approval and for all practical purposes it will be a “done deal” as has been predicted from the onset. But is it really a “done deal” or can Nueces County voters reverse the devastation that will result if indeed a corporation is handed our tax dollars to spend on expansion of their physical plant which is in the direct path of potential hurricanes and gas releasing accidents at the refineries? Do we really want patients to breathe the black dust from refinery row or to be ill and in the direct path of a destructive hurricane?

Why would we allow a corporation to demolish our investment, abscond with ad valorem tax revenues and relocate the Level 2 Trauma Center to their Shoreline unit? Should the medical health care of a community be determined by 5 men and a corporation? As taxpayers, we must protect our investment. If the County Commissioners Court wants to give away an investment paid for by the taxpayer, then the taxpayer should have a voice in the decision. This can only be done by putting this issue to a vote. The Commissioner’s Court should call for an election in lieu of the taxpayers having to petition the Court for a vote.

Instead of talking about demolishing MMC and naming a clinic after a local civil rights leader, let’s talk about reclaiming our investment and ending all agreements with Christus Spohn, and using our local tax money to build a first class medical/teaching campus and upgrading the Level 2 Trauma Center to a Level 1. Let us make Corpus Christi/Nueces County the place to go to for quality health care.

Instead of giving away our investment, let’s talk about creating a teaching medical hospital facility campus to meet the present and future needs of Nueces County and the Coastal Bend communities in the areas of medical services, JOBS and higher educational opportunities in the affiliated medical health science fields. Health care is one of the fastest growing industries in South Texas and encourages the growth of affiliated medical services.

A teaching medical hospital facility campus would consist of:
1) MMC Hospital with a free standing 24-hour Clinic. Ambulance cases will go directly to ER, and a Clinic triage will determine if the patient needs to go to ER or whether they can make an appointment to return to the clinic the next day.
2) Specialty Rehabilitation Hospital for Veterans and patients continuing to need critical medical care and rehabilitation services after being released from the hospital and/or ICU. The Veterans Specialty Rehabilitation Hospital will include an outpatient dialysis center. South Texas does not have a Veterans Hospital and research reflects that 98% of veterans need specialty care rather than hospital care. Corpus Christi does not have an outpatient dialysis clinic for patients that use a trach for breathing assistance and g-tube for nutrition.
3) An affiliated medical health science educational component includes Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Respiratory Therapy, Physician’s Assistant, Nurse Practitioner, Social Workers, EMTs, Intern/Resident programs, etc. At the present time, TXAMU-CC, TAMUK, DelMar, Moody High School, and area businesses are spending lots of money focusing on affiliated and medical health science professions training programs and degrees. An affiliated medical health science educational component would provide students and interns/residents with a place to obtain a certification or degree(s), practice public health and complete their clinical practicum programs while providing support to the medical services at the MMC campus and other medical facilities in and around the Coastal Bend.
4) Chronic Health Diseases/Diabetic Clinic with a fitness center. If we as a community want to decrease the incidence of chronic health diseases and diabetes in our community and save lives and money we must invest in a clinic, fitness center and educational facility to achieve the goal.

The tipping point is NOW…..As residents of Nueces County, are we willing to continue to tax ourselves and support a bond program to build a world class medical/educational facility here in Corpus Christi? Are we willing to demand that our County Hospital not be downgraded to a Clinic? Or will we stand by while the Commissioner’s Court approves the demolition of our county hospital and gives our tax dollars to a corporation whose home office isn’t even in Corpus Christi?
                                                                 -- ALICIA GALLEGOS GOMEZ

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


Corpus Christi, TX -- The CALLER-TIMES lied to us about MEMORIAL HOSPITAL by stating it was TOO OLD – i.e., (the mouthpiece for a self-serving POWER ELITE led by Political Boss Al Jones (ceo of American Bank). Like an old broken record they played their propaganda to “poison the well”, to “poison the minds” of the average John and Mary who were not privy to the true facts of history. Even Spohn’s CEO (Pam Robinson) at a Northside meeting reinforced the perpetrated lie: “Memorial is like a human being that has been devastated by diabetes and over 80 percent of its organs have been damaged – Memorial has outlived its usefulness”. However, soon after, she was challenged by Homer Villarreal (founder of El Defenzor newspaper and former co-host of a KEYS radio program) who happened to be in the audience. 
Political Boss Al Jones’ machine and cronies have capitalized on the populace’s ignorance of historic oral and written history TO GO AFTER PUBLIC DOLLARS. Catholic Bishop Wn. Michael Mulvey recruited the infamous political schemer (who sits on Spohn’s Board of Directors) to lead the political onslaught on this historic health institution (that is one of its kind; it receives public dollars for the indigent and to serve the outlying areas of Nueces County).
Has an act of violence been committed in the Westside, in imposing an agenda that will not adequately serve the indigent, and/or on the population of the city (South, North, East, West) that find themselves with a debilitating illness or injury when “time to treatment” is critical? Of course. As one attorney put it: “An entire inner city’s social and economic ecosystem is being ruthlessly destroyed and it mirrors the agenda of a monster, a bully and a liar.”
The truth is that SPOHN SHORELINE IS OLDER (than Memorial) – it has been suffering from structural fatigue for a number of years and has leaky floors and bathrooms in addition to piping that have led to gems spreading at an alarming rate and thus contributing to contamination, according to one professional repair business who worked on the facility.
Bishop Wn. Michael Mulvey is responsible for providing input into the strategic plan of Spohn Hospital in that it is an international Catholic hospital. Yet in this case, inside sources allege that political boss Al Jones made a proposal to the Bishop and staff, a proposal to place the health care institution (Spohn) in a quasi-monopolistic position in the region. The key aim of Spohn is the same as any voracious corporate institution: to reduce Memorial hospital to a speck in the map of area – i.e., an small HEB-size clinic is being proposed as an alternative. No residency center, no trauma center, no psychiatric unit, no burn unit, no pharamacy – these will be the negative consequences. Not even certified doctors will be seeing patients in every case – doctor’s assistants and nurses will staff the “watered down” venture. Yet, Spohn will claim it has met the agreement (and collect from the county) – i.e., collect for minimally serving the indigent.
Bishop Mulvey has anointed the ruthless unslaught on the poor. The secular benefit: Less services to the poor, equate to more Net Gains (or profits) for the Catholic Corporation. The ecosystem issue: “Many businesses and workers in the Memorial area will lose their jobs, their entire lifesavings, their homes, their businesses. To reiterate: Bishop Mulvey has sided with the “Al Jones’ machine” and shunned the poor and working class Catholics. The bishop has craned his neck to welcome Political Boss Al Jones’ vision of a horizon full of financial gains and exploitative possibilities. But there is a backlash surfacing. The same trend in Europe of disenchantment with the Catholic Church that led to one out of every two Catholics to change religious affiliation is occurring in Corpus Christi to some degree. At one time (or during the early history of the city and county) ninty-nine percent of the population of the Hispanics were Catholic; no longer. 
The question has been asked: “What separates Memorial Hospital from all the other Spohn hospitals?”. The answer: it gets public funds from the county to help the indigent every month. It also gets state and federal public dollars to help those underserved and down on their luck. This boat load of public dollars (paid by the taxpayer) is the target. They want to destroy memorial – to eliminate any competition or alternative options; and then rebuilt a structurally unsafe hospital like Spohn Shoreline.
Other questions linger from taxpayers: “Yes all this stuff is available on line, such as Spohn's agreement with Nueces County. The fact that it is the Counties Hospital being lent to Spohn is getting lost in the message. Is the taxpayer going to own the replacement clinic Spohn builds? Who is going to own the new Spohn facility?”
One local attorney’s post on Facebook suggested an end to the issuet: “Tear down Christus-Spohn Shoreline Hospital, not Memorial Hospital. Shoreline is older. Shoreline has a worse location for a hospital as there are no major highways near it, nor is it as centrally located as Memorial. The land is worth more on Shoreline and will sell for more. The new annex to Shoreline Hospital will further block the view to the bay. And, evacuation of Memorial will not be as necessary in the event of a hurricane. The choice is clear.”

Thursday, July 24, 2014

CORPUS CHRISTI, TX -- Catholic Bishop Steven Mulvey’s sides with political boss AL JONES (and CEO of the “independent bank” known as AMERICAN BANK) against the poor in Nueces County and the predominantly Hispanic Westside community in reference to the DEMOLITION OF MEMORIAL HOSPITAL. AL JONES (who has been a central part of many of the construction schemes from DESTINATION BAYFRONT to WHATABURGER FIELD to the AMERICAN BANK CENTER) sits in the Christus Spohn Hospital Board and seems to have been given free rein by the Bishop to break the spirit of both needy Hispanic Catholics in the Westside and the indigent of Nueces County. The legacy of adequate health care at Memorial Medical Center championed by Civil Rights Leaders in the past and present is now targeted by a political vehemence that breaches all sense of propriety. The AIM: to demolish this 360-bed facility with a level 2 trauma center and a residency program to a dot, a speck in the map of Corpus Christi; the intent is to replace it with an HEB-size clinic. The CEO (Pam Robinson) said: “Well, at least we gonna name the HEB-size clinic after Hector Garcia.”
County Judge Loyd Neal has been linked with the Al Jones machine and thus supports both the razing and tearing down of the health structure in the Southside. However, Neal is up for re-election and the risks to go out for a full $400 million bond would alienate many of the taxpayers against him. Al Jones aim is to go after the public dollars awarded to the indigent and outlying areas. The law requires that any county with over 250,000 residents create a county hospital or equivalent plan to serve the indigent and the outlying areas of the metropolitan region. Thus, what separates Memorial Medical Center from other hospitals is that it has “public funds” (the county commissioner’s award thousands of public dollars to the health endeavor of serving the indigent). Al Jones (CEO of American Bank and who sits on Spohn’s Board of Directors) has never been shy about being in the center of construction schemes whose life blood is going after public dollars.
Christus Spohn is an international Catholic Hospital who lobbied to take over Memorial Medical Center in the late 1990s. The local bishop (in this case, Mulvey) is in charge of being in the strategic planning and marketing of the hospital – and approving it. In the past, former Bishop Edmond Carmody claimed “compassion” was the “word” that separated Spohn from other hospitals in the area (which was marketed in TV commercials and billboards); current Bishop Mulvey, says it is “HOPE”. But the shady agendas and contradictions linger. In the last two decades or so, the Catholic Church in the area has intensified its political agenda charged with the stench of Darwinism. The elite of the Catholic entity has sided with extremist Republicans (who have even removed Cesar Chavez from public school books) and Corporate bottom-line fanatics (cutting services for the indigent) and even Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (to discourage civil and criminal suits against pedophile priests). Some insiders who provide technical and legal pro bono legal work for the Catholic church have pointed out off record: “The pedophiles scandals have taken a toll on the financial treasury of the church. Millions have been paid out to hush scandals and criminal indictments. Citizens Against Law Suit Abuse deters victims from suing to some degree priests who harm children. Even the Kenedy Foundation and Kenedy Trust funds have been tapped into to trouble shoot for area dioceses.”
Former CEO Bruce Holstein told this publication that MEMORIAL MEDICAL CENTER was structurally safe for the next 90 years or so. He was interviewed in 2010. Mr. Holstein also pointed out that Spohn was already in financial dire before 1996 when it agreed to provide for the “indigent” in return for public funds from the Nueces County Commission and additionally funds from the State of Texas and Federal Charities. The contradiction is today was the former CEO of Spohn (Holstein) was more concerned with the safety of Spohn Shoreline which he claimed was suffering from structural fatigue. The internet also shows a company that brags how it went in to fix some of the licky areas of liquids and gems that were supping down into other rooms and causing health concerns at Spohn Shoreline.
The local paper – Corpus Christi Caller-Times – has been disingenuous in its reporting. It has claimed that most of memorial hospital was built in the 1940s. Actually, most of the building and its replacements of old structures (such as the East Wing) were erected close to the late 1960s. On the other hand, Spohn Shorelines has structural pieces that date back to the 1920s. “It would be reasonable to say that if any hospital should be demonished; it’s Spohn Shoreline,” the host of a TIMEWARNER Access TV show said.
Spohn has hired political consultants to launch its campaign to disenchant taxpayers with Memorial such as Katy Kiser (who is a political consultant for a few candidates running countywide). Ms. Kiser is being referred to as the “hired guness” jestingly by the clique that surrounds AL JONES and his voracious cronies. At the North-side Meeting at the Oval Williams Center sponsored by Spohn, Ms. Kiser acted as the Master of Ceremonies. She and her team commissioned an Anglo white male in his late 20 or early 30s to turn off the microphone of residents with strong adverse opinions against Spohn’s agenda (which wants to superimpose a master plan on the public), a public consisting of both the Westside and Northside and outlying areas. The Spohn representatives (upper middle class Anglos) seemed ill at ease and far removed from the population they were addressing.
Spohn CEO – Pam Robinson – compared SPOHN MEMORIAL MEDICAL CENTER to a human body that has lost 80 percent of its organs. “Eighty percent of Memorial Hospital is unusable and has outlived its purpose,” she said. But soon after, the founder of EL DEFENZOR newspaper (during the audience input phase) pointed out she was incorrect in her facts. Homer Villarreal (El Defenzor), who has meticulous historical records of the structure in question, pointed out that the land that Memorial Hospital sits on was donated to both the city and the county by the Baptist Foundation for the indigent. Villarreal, who was commissioned by the former CEO of Spohn (Bruce Holstein) to provide input, especially in reference to Spohn Memorial in 2009-10, shared that most of Spohn Memorial is actually newer than Spohn Shoreline. “If we were to follow your logic Ms. Robinson, then it’s Spohn Shoreline that should be demolished and not Spohn Memorial” (Sordidly, Political Consultant Kiser’s hired “muscle” assistant ran immediately after the remark was made to turn off Mr. Villarreal’s microphone). While the microphone was off, Mr. Villarreal added: “It makes more sense to combine both Hospitals in the Westside and not risk Spohn losing its Level 2 Trauma Status … How can you transport a factory overnight to another location. It seems irresponsible.”
Homer Villarreal, concluded: “Bishop Malvey has disenchanted many of his flock by politicizing the Catholic elite and furthermore has displaced its elemental spiritual mission. Bishop Malvey’s take now is clear: the less health care for the indigent and the poor, the more net gains or profits for his Corporate allies and friends. The disenchantment among the indigent and working class Hispanic Catholics with the Church’s politics is at an all-time high. How can we continue to follow a spiritual leader of our church if it means death to our cultural way of life and health needs. What happen to the Supreme Court ruling of Brown vs The Board of Education.”
Villarreal extended: “How can we support a callous and insensitive agenda targeting our own families? Malvey continues to support Al Jones as a member of Spohn Hospital Board and such an arrangement is clearly disconcerting -- supporting a man with such conflict of interest. Most construction campaigns and schemes have historically ended up doing business with Al Jones; the bank that Jones leads (American Bank) is benefiting. It is time to begin to pull the weeds that have grown in our backyard and the Nueces County Commissioners Court begin to court other hospitals besides Spohn to consider serving the indigent more judiciously. “
The Northside Meeting revealed the calculated poison of Spohn and how its CEO (Pam Robinson) has kept the taxpayers in the dark. They have gone as far as to hire a political consulting company to superimpose an elitist plan and agenda on the masses. “Where is the accountability and transparency and the ‘HOPE’ Bishop Malvey harps on for the indigent? It is an agenda that keeps the poor and the indigent and the profoundly sick thinking rich and eating poor and receiving inadequate healthcare. It is religious Darwinism,” Villarreal said.
The day after the Northside meeting cited, the Corpus Christi Caller-Times and the ultra-conservative radio show (hosted by Jim Logo) viciously censured residents and community activists who disagreed with the agenda proposed by Spohn (and Al Jones his cronies). A malicious and darted attack was executed by partners of both the Catholic Bishop and Spohn on mostly humble Hispanic Catholic residents who democratically decided to exercise their right to speak up for adequate health care of their families and communities. “How can we possibly get anywhere with a Bishop and church that hires political consults and recruits ethnocentric radio personalities to tongue-lash those that disagree with an agenda that is profaning their communities,” Villarreal concluded.
[Homer Villarreal, founder of El Defenzor and El Pueblito Newspapers, is related to the first appointed bishop from the area to serve in various dioceses in Texas – retired Bishop Reymundo Pena. The first Catholic Church in Robstown known today as St. Anthony (back then in the early 1900st was known as La Mision De San Antonio) was built by his great grandfather Antonio Pena – the church was later named in his great grandfather’s honor. Villarreal’s ancestors suffered great trials and tribulations after erecting the First Catholic Church in the larger Nueces county. A few of his relatives homes were burned down by rival Anti-Catholic and Anti-Mexican American groups during the early years of the pioneering history.] ...join

Thursday, May 22, 2014

MONSTERS OF OREGON -- Oregon policians using the pension fund to invest tobacco industry

see MONSTERS OF OREGON (an editorial)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


Bighamian “Benjamin” Mostafa, 59, passed away on April 14, 2014 at his corner store – Tim’s Market. He was born in Iran and during his teen years immigrated to the United States to attend Texas A&I University (now Texas A&M-Kingsville), and went on to complete a degree in chemical/petroleum engineering. He fell in love with America and realized it was a wide open horizon of opportunities.
He moved to Corpus Christi, Texas specifically to apply his entrepreneurial spirit. Like a meteorite he lit up the heavens with his generosity and munificent business practices. He became both a wonderful role model and reference person for the community. He also encouraged other immigrants to invest and settle in Corpus Christi and the region: “This is truly a land of opportunity” was his sales pitch. He founded businesses that addressed the needs of the working class community: Tim’s Market (1600 Ayers), the defunct Hamid’s Grocery (in the Northside), Amerikas Auto Sales, and involved himself in the real estate market. He found create ways to keep the money circulating in the communities he served and offered priceless advice. He identified a void in the market that traditional banks and other lending institutions did not address adequately. He cashed payroll checks and provided loans for hard working families. He provided many creative worthwhile occupational projects and even odd jobs to residents from carpentry to masonry to painting to keep the industrious spirit alive. He reinforced the struggle for survival in those that orbited his immediate world. It was chiseled in his belief system to give back a percentage of his profits to those in need. . . Eventually he became loved by a multitude. He became the apex of success as a small businessman among the working class and low-income Hispanic and Black communities. . . He engaged in benevolent endeavors: he donated the “Old Harlem Theatre” in the Northside (years ago) to the Coleman Foundation and sponsored many sports teams and aided many struggling families to find a normative correct way to survival amid the challenges of a tough economy. He was awarded a plethora of awards by non-profit and benevolent organizations.
April 14 seemed like a normal day; but it became one that was far from that: a little after 1:00 p.m. he was tragically targeted by deviant forces of desperation, a desperation which he saw daily in declining sectors of the community: yet he had faith it could be ameliorated. When his passing was announced by the media. Many in the surrounding community seemed to have heard a bell toll. They tipped off their caps; collective prayers were recited; a rush of residents circled the site. A reoccurring theme was -- Bighamian “Benjamin” Mostafa could be as soft as a misty cloud due to his “big” heart yet as strong as steel when it came to his faith that even the most dilapidated community could prosper if given time and the proper caring. History will note his contributions as a trailblazer; his memory is a testament to the fact that “hard work always pays off!”.

Sunday, March 23, 2014


Editorial:  PART 1 OF 3

Nueces County, TX – The late District Judge Thomas “Tom” Greenwell, one of the most respected professionals at the Nueces County Courthouse, took his own life (via a gunshot) – but leaving a written last will and testament bestowing all his lively possessions to  Albert Fuentes (his best friend).  A few critics opined that Sheriff Jim Kaelin for the most part both hijacked and monopolized the investigation into Judge Greenwell’s death targeting a few key members of the Albert Fuentes’ family. 
Even after Judge Greenwell’s body was cremated – his “ashes” set off a political wrangle unkindly maneuvered by a few Republican politicos.  Sheriff Jim Kaelin in a telephone interview with the editor of this newspaper made it seem like he was taking care of “one of their own (a Republican?)” (emphasis added) and he legitimized it by stressing it was clearly in his jurisdictional turf.  But some critics pointed out initially that Kailin used the crisis to aggrandize his political image and more specifically to personally label those involved: i.e., the “wrong-doers”, the “vindicators” and the legitimate “mediums of information.”  In other words, Kaelin had postured himself to be the ultimate authority in the “ins and outs” of the exploration.
Sheriff Kaelin launched a full-blown investigation (a cooperative prearrangement with other entities) both implicitly and explicitly making Albert Fuentes (and a few members of his family as persons of interests).  One media entity claimed that Judge Greenwell was under duress and possibly being extorted. 
“EXTORTED!!!” – this word was enough to make the story go viral and generate a quasi-nationwide media frenzy.  The systematic “demonization” of some members of the ALBERT FUENTES’ FAMILIA had begun.  Kaelin reported that huge “sums of money” were being channeled (or ending up in the hands) of a two specific persons.  One member of the Republican party at the time referred to Sheriff Kaelin as “OUR KNIGHT IN SHINING ARMOR!”. 
After Sheriff Kaelin had frozen his target (the FUENTES FAMILIA), the negative focus target was further amplified.  The volume of the “demonization” was raised when District Judge (of the 105th) Angelica Hernandez place a phone call to late Judge Greenwell’s brother residing in a northern state claiming the Fuentes family was composed of thugs and drug users and trouble-makers.  Her objective: to acquire power of attorney from a surviving relative.  According to the surviving brother, the same judge had claimed that a “millionaire” by the name of Mike Scott was very generous and was going to assist in organizing an impressive funerary observance.  According to sources, Sheriff Kaelin offered him, the surviving brother, a one-way flight to attend the observance. . . Later, when the Fuentes found out about the surviving brother’s ordeal, offered him (i.e., the Judge’s brother) a place to stay as well as a return ticket.  When all was said and done, Judge Hernandez (and the political clique) involved ended up with Judge Greenwel’s “ashes” and held their own victorious rituals. 
After a failed and long-winded attempt to find links of “extortion” linked to key members of the FUENTES FAMILIA, Sheriff Kaelin called a press conference and announced the results of his investigation:  Judge Thomas “Tom” Greenwell had taken his life it appeared due to “financial debt.”
Time cycled by but the political obstacles and accumulated negative stigmatization persisted against the FUENTES FAMILIA.  A few law enforcement officers who reside in their general area still continue to haunt their daily course of living.
It was not until recently that the ALBERT FUENTES FAMILIA  recently agreed to meet with the editor of these newspapers (El Pueblito and El Defenzor) and express their main concern: “The spirit of Judge Thomas ‘Tom’ Greenwell has not rested in peace.”   Albert Fuentes shared two notarized letters addressed to Judge Hernandez requesting the “ashes” (of the late Judge Thomas “Tom” Greenwell) be returned or the whereabouts of the “ashes” (if they have been scattered in a specific location) be known.  Albert Fuentes plans to put an inscribed bronze marker at the hollow location.  There has not been any fruitful response from her.

[Notes: The Fuentes family is far from the negative portrait released by Sheriff Jim Kaelin to the media.  Many members of the Fuentes family are professionals. They are a close-knit family that took in Judge Thomas “Tom” Greenwell as sort of an adopted family member.  One of  Albert Fuentes’ uncles (Alejandro “Alex” Fuentes -- a musician and artist -- who has long hair and is free spirited in nature) was unjustly harassment over a prolong period of time; it resulted in health issues.  The younger family members of the family idolized Judge Greenwell and referred to him merely as “Thomas” or "Tom".  Photos of Judge Greenwell can be found pinned everywhere -- from the portrait of La Virgen De Guadalupe to the kids' rooms.  The beloved Judge Greenwell was a reference person and role model. . .Daily prayers for Judge Greenwell are ritualized daily by the family in an attempt to placate the toll of the restlessness that took place during the Sheriff Kaelin inquiry. They feel Judge Greenwell's spirit is not at peace. They want to bring closure to the whole foul event -- they want to erect a memorial in his honor: for his history as a human being to live on in the community.  They feel Judge Greenwell's history has been squashed and quasi-erased by the politics cited in the article. There was a point where Sheriff Kaelin seemed to have become so irate and desperate when he felt his hypothesizes were proved wrong.  Kaelin went as far as to question Albert Fuentes’ girlfriend in the following manner: “Did Judge Tom Greenwell pay for the pampers of that baby?”]