Thursday, March 31, 2011

OP ED: Hidalgo County Judge Ramon Garcia Invites You to LZ:RGV

Vietnam era veterans and their families will get the thanks and honor of a grateful community. LZ:RGV - Operation Welcome Home is on Saturday, April 9 at the McAllen Convention Center. I am proud to be a part of this long-overdue tribute, which includes honoring those who never made it back home, like my good friend and war hero Freddie Gonzalez.
The Healing Wall, a replica of the Vietnam Memorial in Washington will be open to the public from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m, along with an exhibit, from Thursday to Saturday. It lists over 58,000 names of those who lost their lives during the war.
I expect there will be tears shed and smiles made, I know that I've been moved by the stories I've heard and the veterans I've met. But, Operation Welcome Home is not intended to dwell only on the past. It will be a day of education, information and celebration. The Veterans War Memorial located just east of the McAllen Convention Center will kick off the day-long event at 10:30 a.m. with a dedication ceremony of a new memorial installment. At 1:00 p.m., a series of workshops and information booths begin and are presented by veterans’ organizations or agencies; and a memory room is available for veterans who want to display photos, medals or other memorabilia. In the main hall, a locally-produced play, “Pat & Lyndon”, will perform followed by the Corpus Christ Veterans Band. Outside, a large map of South Vietnam showing areas of operations and major battles is on display as well as a military vehicle exhibit from the era.
LZ:RGV - Operation Welcome Home finale begins at 6:00 p.m. in the main hall. The program will include Retired Lt. General Ricardo Sanchez, guest speakers, live entertainment and music from the Vietnam War era performed by major concert headliners. Videos featuring veterans and others will be representative of the South Texas Vietnam War experience and are sponsored by H-E-B. Other major sponsors are: Entravision Communications; Linebarger Goggan; L&F Distributors-Budweiser; IBC Bank,  the del Rio Group, Carrera Communications, Joseph Palacios Family of Edinburg, Mayor Richard Cortez and the City of McAllen.
April 9 is National POW day and our Prisoners of War will be honored along with our MIA and KIA. A special tribute is planned to honor all veterans and our troops overseas because they all deserve our gratitude; however our primary focus will be for those who were caught in the middle of a contentious political battle over America's involvement in the war.
These honorable men and women deserve our recognition and gratitude. An unprecedented 40 proclamations have been received in support of LZ:RGV Welcome Home South Texas Vietnam Veterans Day including all five counties, including their cities and schools, that comprise the Rio Grande Valley and the Texas State House and Senate.
I invite veterans and loved ones to come out to this historic event. I encourage others to come out to show our solidarity and support. Registration is not required and admission is free. The web site,, has a schedule of events and more information.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

South Texas Film Casting: "Miracle at Donna" Cast and Crew

Producer/director Frank Aragon is doing a documentary on the 1961
Donna Redskins Football State Champions. He is looking for documentary
crew and will also be conducting a one week film school. Below is the
information. Please contact him with any questions you may have.


Miracle at Donna (Working Title) is an American sports film.

In 1961, Donna High School in Donna, Texas, one head coach Earl Scott,
was not influenced by a common racism that still existed and treated
every team member equally resulting in inspiring his team to the State

A miraculous story of a very special group of young men who overcame
every unimaginable obstacle and a town that overcame racial barriers
sooner then the rest of the country, this was a result of a couple of
very special coaches and trainers, and town that saw deeper and who
saw no color, just players.

While South Texas has not seen another State Championship since 1961,
Head Coach, Earl Scott, and his 18 member team of Hispanics and Whites
have become legends amongst the sports fans in the community.

View website at or like our Facebook Fan Page.

1211 Entertainment, Frank Aragon producer/director will begin shooting
re-creation/re-enactment footage for the documentary "Miracle at
Donna" on Monday April 18, 2011 for approx ten days.

Seeking crew and cast for "Miracle at Donna"

casting towns people, football players, young kids between ages of
10-19 years old.
all pay is deffered, copy, credit, meals.

Seeking crew for documentary recreation reenactment footage,

Gaffer with truck grip and lighting

Production Designer


6 day shoot beginning April 19th thru April 26th, 2011.

There is pay. 150.00 a day

Writer/Producer/Director Frank Aragon will be teaching a one week film
school while shooting the upcoming documentary "Miracle At Donna" The
True story of 1961 Donna Redskins
The workshop will take place on location during the upcoming shoot the
week of April 18, 2011.

The Workshop will be for 6 days and will last 12 hours a day.

You will learn production first hand, camera/DP techniques, sound,
production, in a narrative/ documentary feature format.

The total cost of the workshop is 500.00 dollars.

Only 20 students will be taken on for this workshop.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Former Mexican Prez Vicente Fox: We're at War With Drug Cartels

Danny Sanchez of Grupo Intocable

Explore McAllen - Tourism

Parque Cultural Reynosa

Weslaco Area Chamber of Commerce: Onion Fest Wrap Up

Weslaco Area Chamber of Commerce

Contact: Laura Espinoza/Martha Noell

Address:  301 W. Railroad.
Weslaco, TX 78596
Phone: 956-968-2102
Fax:       956-968-6451

March 29, 2011

Food, Fun, and Music at Weslaco's 22nd Annual Onion Fest

WESLACO - Weslaco's 22nd Annual Onion Fest proved to be another
success with record numbers that came out to the City Park on
Saturday, March 26.  Local food vendors, businesses, and all types of
entertainers were featured at the event.  People of all ages showed up
early to get a head start on all the different attractions and
features, which included vendor booths, contests, and carnival rides
for the children.

The day's event kicked off with the Weslaco High School Mariachi
Pantera on the MVEC Texas stage and Country Shades in our Cool Spot
Mini Stage, sponsored by Shah Eye Center.

The Inter National Bank Arts and Crafts tent highlighted local vendors
with a variety of handmade items and products.  The tent was an
immediate attraction as guests filed in to peruse everything from
purses to scented candles.  Games and activities were available for
children at the South Texas College Kid Zone, while the Knapp Medical
Center Pavilion provided health tests and information.

Back at the main stage, Rene Sings Elvis performed all of the King's
hits, and much like the original Elvis, made the ladies swoon.
Country groups Buck 'N Crazy and George & the Texas Outlaws rounded
out the afternoon's entertainment.

The AEP Texas Culinary Stage held cooking demonstrations, featuring
chefs from H-E-B, Jose's Cafecito, Milano's and Pimiento's.  After the
demos, both amateur and professional cooks competed in the H-E-B
Recipe and Salsa contests.

Rancho Caballo de Pura Raza Azteca performed at the Stoneridge Charro
Arena, entertaining the crowd with Azteca and Andulasia horses dancing
to mariachi music.  In a nearby parking area, the Show & Shine Car
Show featured local car enthusiasts and their vehicles.

The sounds of Tejano music topped off the day's entertainment,
beginning with Marlissa Vela, Grupo Vidal and headliner Jimmy Gonzalez
y Mazz.  Emceeing the event were local funnymen and DJ's La Clicka
from Que Pasa 99.5 keeping the crowd laughing in between sets.  The
main stage area quickly filled with local fans enjoying and dancing to
the music.  Longtime fans of Grupo Mazz were treated to old favorites
as Jimmy Gonzalez played both recent and past hits.

Overall, this year's Onion Fest was another fun-filled and exciting
affair, and would not have been possible without the help of all our
sponsors and volunteers.  Thank you to everyone who helped make the
event a success, as well as everyone who attended.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Screening "Living Juarez" (RGV)

A Diversity Initiative by the UTPA Office of Student Development

In December of 2006, Felipe Calderón took office as president of Mexico and that same week launched the War on Drugs. Since then, some 95,000 soldiers have been dispatched throughout the country and violence has exploded, reaching over 30,000 drug war-related deaths and counting. Many experts calculate that the total by the end of the current administration will be more than twice that, with an increasing number of civilian deaths. The border city of Ciudad Juarez lies at the epicenter of the violence. Its drug-related homicide rate now makes it the murder capital of the world. It is also the most heavily occupied by Mexican military/police forces and the center of debate over Calderon's failed Drug War strategy.

LIVING JUAREZ looks at the Juárez neighborhood of Villas de Salvárcar where in January 2010, of a group of youth attending a birthday party were brutally murdered and in the massacres immediate aftermath, Calderón characterized the youth as gang members. The outraged families personally confronted Calderón at public forums in Juárez during his visits to the city after the massacre.

LIVING JUAREZ tells the story of the real victims in Calderón's Drug War: regular people just trying to survive in a city over run by senseless violence, and corruption. The neighborhood of Villas de Salvárcar is organized and speaking out against the arbitrary and frequent abuses that are committed by the armed forces against civilians and particularly the youth in Juárez.

Laura Carlsen will present LIVING JUAREZ and then lead a discussion on Drug War topics such as militarization, human rights abuses, the Merida Initiative, US drug policy, and corruption. Laura will also present some possible solutions to this on-going quagmire.

Laura has been a political analyst and writer in Mexico for over twenty years and has written extensively on trade, security, immigration and gender issues. She is the author of "A Primer on Plan Mexico" and has been closely tracking the Merida Initiative over the years, working with U.S. and Mexican groups to develop facts-based assessments and explore alternatives.

For questions or any special accommodation please do not hesitate to contact the Office of Student Development at (956) 665-2660.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

U.S.A. 6 HOUR MTB RACE... OutWit, OutLast, OutRide!

APRIL 23, 2011

FREE T-SHIRT to FIRST 100...Must register by 04.15.11
Awards to 1st - 3rd each category
Baton-style relay / Le Mans style start
Water, Gatorade, Fruits, Snacks, Groomed trails, lots of fun & giggles!
Texas Branding Iron Burgers & Beer at the finish line!
Dry Camping Available
For online registration, flyer download, and details, please visit web site:


WHERE: Monte Bella Trails Park (West Alton Gloor), Brownsville TX
TIME: 8:00 A.M. - 2:00 P.M.
7:45 A.M. Racer's meeting
7:30 A.M. Registration Closes
COST: $30 per person Before 04.15.11
$40 per person Late Registration, After 04.15.11

Solo - Male, Female, Clydesdale
Teams - Male, Female, Coed, Male Masters (over 40+), Open Pee-wees (12&U)

"TEXAS BRANDING IRON CHALLENGE": Gift cards from Texas Branding Iron... to the Fastest Lap Time, Solo & Team with most completed laps!

Event sponsors:

Event by: Unlimited Sports Adventures
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Smashburger Opens in McAllen

Smashburger opened their doors for  a series of VIP Sneak Peeks yesterday. The first started with members of the media and the RGV Chapter of the Social Media Club. We were treated to a free taste of anything on the menu.

Participants were treated to try the delicious hand-made burgers, which start off as seasoned ground meat that is smashed into a patty, hence the name.

Smashburger also provides delicious alternatives to their handcrafted hamburgers. You can order Smash chicken or a number of salads. Also in the works, there are plans for beer, wine, and vegetarian burgers.

Tired of the same old fries? Smashburger offers fries that are uniquely seasoned in addition to alternatives such as sweet potato fries and Veggie Frites.

Probably the greatest surprise of all is that you would expect handcrafted gourmet burgers to cost more than the average pre-processed hockey pucks at other restaurants; but not at Smashburger. You get real value from your dining experience.

Smashburger is located at the corner of 10th and Nolana in McAllen, Texas. You can follow @smashburgerrgv on Twitter for the latest updates. For a look at the menu, you can visit The restaurant officially opens to the public today.

Monday, March 21, 2011

South Texas College Featured Events

This Week's Featured Events:

Women's History Month Film Showing: "North Country"
            March 24, 8:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.
            Mid-Valley Campus Library
A fictionalized account of the first major successful sexual harassment case in the United States -- Jenson vs. Eveleth Mines, where a woman who endured a range of abuse while working as a miner filed and won the landmark 1984 lawsuit. Admission is free and open to the public. For more information contact Jessica Cruz at or at 956-872-6664.             

Women's History Month Film Showing: "North Country"
            March 24, 1 p.m.
            Pecan Campus Library Room F.102
A fictionalized account of the first major successful sexual harassment case in the United States -- Jenson vs. Eveleth Mines, where a woman who endured a range of abuse while working as a miner filed and won the landmark 1984 lawsuit. Admission is free and open to the public. For more information contact Esther Garcia at or at 956-872-8330.             

            Music Department's 2nd Annual Composers' Forum
            March 24, 7:30 p.m.
            Pecan Campus cooper Center Theater  
Hear original compositions by STC students and faculty. Hear music created by the first students to take the college's new Electronic Music course. Listen to student composers introduce and tell about the conception of their works. Follow the music with original scores shown from  projector. Hear music in a variety of styles and genres performed live. STC's Jazz Combo will premier original songs. Admission is free and open to the public For more information contact Daniel Cather at or at 956-872-2046.

To view the college's entire calendar of events visit

Need more information about South Texas College? Contact Helen Escobar, coordinator of public relations, at 956-872-8359 or, or Edgar Chrnko, PR specialist, at 956-872-8358 or

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Campaign to Elect Estela Chavez Vasquez

Weslaco Chamber: Texas Onion Fest 2011

Friday, March 18, 2011

Congressman Cuellar Hosts Veterans Forums

Dear Friends and Neighbors in the 28th District,

Starting Tuesday, March 22 through Thursday, March 24, I will be hosting a series of veterans forums throughout the 28th District of Texas. I encourage all veterans to join me in these events, which will provide a wealth of information.

I will be joined by representatives of the Veterans Administration, who will talk about the services they provide during an open dialogue for you to discuss issues of importance.

During these forums, I will provide a legislative update on issues related to access to the VA healthcare system, an update on the G.I. Bill, and how we can work together to best encourage measures that advance the health, benefits and well-being of our veterans.

We owe our veterans our deepest respect and admiration for their service to this country, and I am committed to looking out for their interests. I encourage all veterans to join us during these events, and look forward to seeing you.

Below is the date, time, and location of the Veterans Forum in Hidalgo County:

Event:         Congressman Cuellar Veterans Forum

Date:          Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Time:          3-4 p.m

Location:   South Texas College Cooper Center

                 3200 West Pecan Boulevard

                 McAllen, Texas


Congressman Henry Cuellar

Congressman Henry Cuellar is a member of the U.S. House Homeland Security and Agriculture, Committees in the 112th Congress.  Accessibility to constituents, education, health care, economic development, and national security are his priorities. Congressman Cuellar is also a Senior Whip and member of the Blue Dog Coalition

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Relearning Travel by Bus

I'm headed up to Austin for an event and for South by Southwest. My rusty green van is still out of commission; and I do not really want to face airport molestation. So, I'm taking the bus.

This is my third trip on the long chariot. I find that it's more relaxed than air travel. On the route to San Antonio and Austin, the seats have not been full.

I find that it is more pleasant than driving, certainly less stressful.

I am surprised that the McAllen Bus Station is open all night. Logically, it should be, but it isn't something I gave much thought to until I booked my trip at night. Is this also a red-eye?

Olympic Barber Shop

Great place for a guy to get an old school haircut before 9 am, when other shops are closed. You'll even get shaved with a straight razor.

It was a great experience. My grandmother used to take me to barber shops in Reynosa; this brought back memories. I hadn't had a barber use a razor on me in ages.

There is something to be said for the barber shop experience that you won't get at a styling salon. My barber had some extra time, so he even threw in a massage.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Weslaco Men Inducted into Rio Grande Valley Walk of Fame

WESLACO - Two Weslaco citizens were inducted into the 2011 Rio Grande Valley Walk of Fame on Wednesday, March 2, 2011 for their service and dedication to the community.

Noble Allen and Robert McAllen were inducted for their life achievements and significant civic contributions to the Weslaco community, Rio Grande Valley and South Texas.

Each year nominations are received from cities and chambers in the Rio Grande Valley and the inductees are then recognized during BorderFest at the Rio Grande Valley Walk of Fame dinner.  The 2011 Induction Ceremony and unveiling took place at the State Farm Arena in Hidalgo.  Over 500 community members from the Rio Grande Valley attended the dinner.

Noble Allen has devoted his life in making Weslaco a better place to live and raise a family. He has been involved in many valley-wide efforts including Rio Grande Valley Partnership, Valley Congress of Jaycees, UTPA Alumni Association, the Catholic Diocese of Brownsville and more.  "The Jaycees taught us to get involved and as a lifelong resident, I knew the city deserved whatever I could do to help make it an even better place to live," commented Noble.  Allen's commitment to community service has shown through in many aspects of his life.  He worked long hours throughout the years to help create a stellar health care facility for the mid-Valley with his many years devoted to Knapp Medical Center.   The Weslaco Area Chamber of Commerce chose Noble Allen as the chamber's inductee has he embodies the spirit of service above self in everything he has done for the community.  

Robert McAllen was recognized for his many years of leadership and service to the Weslaco community.  He has served as chairman of the board for Knapp Medical Center, past President of the Weslaco Economic Development Corporation and Boy Scout Council and was Outstanding Citizen of Weslaco.  He is a long-time member of Weslaco Rotary and an Episcopal Priest.  It his nature to serve his community and has taught his children to do the same.  McAllen said he is pleased and honored to be inducted into the Walk of Fame. "I'm pleased the city is taking the time to recognize ordinary folks that work and work for the community, but don't expect any glory."  The City of Weslaco chose to honor McAllen and his legacy of service with a permanent marker in the Rio Grande Valley Walk of Fame. 


Photo Captions: 

  1. Former Borderfest Ambassadors Carlos Guzman (left) and Joe Morales (right) present an engraved brick paver to Noble Allen (center).
  2. Former Borderfest Ambassadors Carlos Guzman (left) and Joe Morales (right) present an engraved brick paver to Robert McAllen (center).

March Weekly Events from Pharr Chamber of Commerce

Pharr Chamber of Commerce "Works For You" Weekly Calendar February
28th - March 4th 2011

Because we know what works for you, we're working for you!

Chamber Members and Community Associates:

Connect with success at the Pharr Chamber of Commerce, your link to
people, programs and resources you need to grow your business.  Join
our member businesses that benefit from the Chamber's pro-business
advocacy, business and professional development programs and
high-visibility events throughout the year.

Motivators In Business (MIB's) meeting

TUESDAY, March 1st 11:30PM Noon - 1:00PM

Motivators in Business (MIB) Ambassador Committee monthly meeting. For
more information, call (956)787-1481 or email

Pharr Partners (Winter Texan Council) Final meeting

TUESDAY,  March 1st 2:00PM - 3:00PM

Pharr Partners will be conducting their last meeting for the season at
the Pharr Chamber Conference room.  If you are interested in becoming
a Pharr Partner and need additional information, call (956)787-1481.

HUB City Toastmasters Weekly Meeting -

WEDNESDAY, March 2nd 12:00PM - 1:00PM

Pharr Chamber Conference Room

Want to become a better leader as well as a more effective speaker and
communicator? Do you need to gain confidence to effectively express
yourself in any situation? Join HUB City Toastmasters and see what all
the "phuss" is about and stay for the "phun"! For more information,
call (956)787-1481 or email

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony- The Social Club Events & Catering
THURSDAY, March 3rd 5:00PM - 8:00PM
205 Conquest Blvd. - Edinburg, TX

The Social Club Events & Catering recently joined the Pharr Chamber of
Commerce and is inviting all Chamber Members to their ribbon cutting
ceremony.  A mixer commemorating this event to appreciate their past,
present and future customers to follow immediately after the ribbon
cutting event.

For more information, call (956)787-1481 or email

Quick Links

Membership Round Up

Not a Pharr Chamber Member yet?

Ten Reasons to join....

1).  Integrity
2).  Support
3).  Unity
4).  Economic Prosperity
5).  Quality of Life
6).  Reputation
7).  Educational Forums
8).  Referal Service
9).  Recognition
10).Tax Deductible

Download an application online at or call us at
(956)787-1481 to apply.

We make office visits also!

For more information, email
. Park Ave.
Pharr, TX 78577

Keeping you connected, active and when you need it
most! Join our growing network today!

Historical Trolley Tours
 Every Friday- 10:00AM Free / 3:30PM Complete Tour - $15.00

Pharr Chamber of Commerce in collaboration wth the Pharr Literacy
Project and Cultural Arts Center will be providing Historical Trolley
Tours every Friday, free for the 10:00AM tour and $15.00 for the
Complete Tour Package. First come, first serve basis. Reservations are
required for ALL trolley tours.  For more information, call

Pharr Chanber of Commerce is an organization of business people united
to promote commercial enterprise, enhance community image and improve
quality of life.

Pharr Chamber of Commerce | 308 W. Park St. | Pharr | TX | 78577

Friday, March 04, 2011

Gone Hollywood Movie Screening at Cine El Rey Theatre

Gone Hollywood Movie Premier Screening at Cine El Rey in McAllen will be THIS WEEKEND ONLY March 4th, 5th and 6th.

Cine El Rey
311 S. 17th St.
McAllen, TX

Movie Schedule:
Friday, March 4th - 5PM & 7PM
Sat & Sun, March 5th & 6th - 11AM, 1PM, 3PM, 5PM & 7PM

Tickets available ONLY at the door for $7. CASH ONLY -No credit card please.

Gone Hollywood is a family friendly movie so bring the whole FAMILY!

Come MEET David Rice (Crazy Loco) co-wrote the screenplay, and it’s co-produced by Valente Rodriguez (and he stars in it too), UTPA graduate, and co-star of the George Lopez Show and several of the cast and crew members from the valley who worked on the film this summer right alongside top Hollywood professionals. It is shot on location in Edcouch-Elsa, Edinburg and McAllen.

Check out their IMDb Page:

Check the credits because you may find someone you know!

After the film you will be asked to RATE the movie on survey cards

This movie screening is not being advertised except by word of mouth due to limited seating. Seating will be first come first serve so get there early to ensure you get your entrance ticket!!! Please invite your friends to this FB event & let's support all the local cast & crew!!!!

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