Wednesday, June 7, 2023


Special to El Rrun-Rrun

With COVID-19 behind us, the City of Brownsville has started to get things back to normal.

The mask requirement is gone, as are the safe distancing requirements. And also, unfortunately for the former mayor and a select number of favored downtown businesses, the parking spots reserved in front of their night clubs and restaurants. Instead, a new electronic parking system will be installed without the reserved spots.

Ever since COVID began, the city had allowed certain downtown businesses to reserve parking spaces adjacent to their doors, at first to carry out orders, but after the pandemic subsided, as private reserved parking spaces for the select few. It went so far as to have towing companies tow cars away from the spaces even if the business was closed.

According to city staff in the downtown historical district, the city is just waiting for the signage and hardware to replace the old meters and restricted parking spaces in front of Docici's on Adams – former mayor Trey Mendez's pizza and wine joint – and some other clubs like Terra's Urban Lounge, Kuyashi Raman, Main Street Deli, Library at Rioja's, and other businesses have already removed the restricted space covers on parking meters. (Mendez had two spaces for his business apart from the temporary delivery space, making it three. See sign at right.)

The changes will be part of the replacement of the old individual meters with the new electronic parking system already underway on Elizabeth and other major streets downtown.

But as late as last Friday, as a downtown resident pulled into a temporary parking space in front of Dodici's, a female employee told her she could not park there because it was limited to the business and for customers to pick up their orders.

Since the COVID restrictions were over, she called a passing patrol car and asked since she lived on the block whether she could temporarily park there to take some items to her home down the street without the fear of  Dodici employees having her car towed away, as she had seen some towed, even on days when the restaurant was closed.

She was told to get in touch with the city an she did. 

That's when she was told that the city's use of reserved parking spaces for selected businesses was over and that all the city was waiting was for new signage and electronic hardware to arrive to do away with the practice. Yes, she could park in any space if it was not occupied.

"Mendez (the former mayor) was the first to get the reserved spaces and is going to be the last to get rid of them," she said. "I guess it's the privilege of public office."       


Tuesday, June 6, 2023



10,000+ casualties
4,414 confirmed dead
185 M4 Sherman tanks
4,000–9,000 killed, wounded, missing or captured
The Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial is built on the site of a burial ground established by American forces on 8th June 1944. This is located east of St Laurent, directly overlooking Omaha beach where so many lost their lives. It contains the graves of 9,387 U.S. soldiers; most of these were killed in the landings and ensuing operations. Inscribed on the Memorial walls are the names of a further 1,557 soldiers posted "missing in action".


Gloria Mann Gonzalez
Special to El Rrun-Rrun

Word has reached us that Gloria Mann Gonzalez, mother of Texas Southmost College trustee Delia Saenz, and matriarch to a branch of the Gonzalez clan, has passed away in Houston. Saenz is also the wife of Cameron County District Attorney Luis V. Saenz.

She died late Sunday night, sources tell us, after a long and debilitating illness.

The passing of this generation is the closing chapters of the days of the extended Gonzalez family whose public service in Cameron County dating back to the days of Pct. 2 Constable Arturo Gonzalez, sister Cameron County District Clerk Aurora de la Garza and other family members who worked with the district attorneys' office and the sheriff department.

Services are pending. 

Our condolences to Delia, and Luis Saenz and all the extended Gonzalez family.


Special to El Rrun-Rrun
He has risen like a phoenix from the ashes countless times a city attorney for the City of Brownsville, Mission, and now San Benito.

Sources in the Resaca City say that contract lawyer Mark Sossi has handed in his resignation as contract attorney for the City of San Benito and will hand over the position to the new city commission majority during today's meeting.

City attorneys, like school district superintendents, live and die by the political support they get from a majority on the city commission or district board. If they have become a bone of contention or if the eventual winning majority perceives them to be allied with the other as political faction, they can see the writng on the wall.

We don't know who will replace Sossi – who is law partner with Antony P. Troiani, a former City of Brownsville commissioner – but we're sure the crafty counsel will manage to land on his feet as he always has. The graduate of a military school, he has shown his mettle at survival before. 

As we said earlier, hiring and firing of lawyers an superintendents when a new majority comes on board in their respective boards is part and parcel of the profession. Greener fields wait somewhere, we're sure. 

Monday, June 5, 2023



(Ed.'s Note: Brownsville's Dionne Brando Ruvalcaba is representing Brownsville in the U.S. Boxers 2023 Junior Olympics and Dummer Festival Elite Men's Division fighting as a featherweight.
Dionne's dad, Alfredo Silva who trains his fighters at Tony' Gym in Brownsville said the Brownsville boxers are fighting with the Boys and Girls Club of Los Fresnos with the support of director Eddie Barron.

Today his son will fight in the 16th fight at 6 p.m. in Ring Number 2 with Jeremiah Perales, a seasoned fighter from Colorado Springs, Colo., who was runner-up at a recent Olympic boxing tournament in Philadelphia. Click on link above to view the fights.)

Update: The Brownsville fighter came up a bit short losing the bout in a decision to Perales. After the fight, his father said that the despite the loss of the bout with Perales, his son had gained the recognition of the Olympic organizers and was invited to fight in a shot at the Last Chance Tournament in September for  sport on the Olympic Trials. 

"Perales had 158 amateur fights under his belt and Brando has 12," Silva said. "Fighters came up to Brando and told him he had a future in boxing and to keep it up," he said. "Everyone thought that the scoring was lopsided in favor of Perales, but that's boxing. We'll just work at it some more."  




Saturday, June 3, 2023


By Robert Francis

His art is eccentricity, his aim
How not to hit the mark he seems to aim at.

His passion how to avoid the obvious,
His technique how to vary the avoidance.

The others throw to be comprehended. He
Throws to be a moment misunderstood.

Yet not too much. Not errant, arrant, wild,
But every seeming aberration willed.

Not to, yet still, still to communicate
Making the batter understand too late.

Friday, June 2, 2023


Special to El Rrun-Rrun

1. This is my pothole.There are many like it, but this one is mine.

2. Just as a rifle is to a Marine, my pothole is my old friend. It is part of my everyday life. I must treasure it's unique local character as I must treasure my life.

3. My pothole, without my car driving over it and getting damaged, is useless. Without my pothole, I am useless. I must drive over my pothole true. I must aim straight for it, straighter than the other drivers who are trying to avoid it. I must drive though it before the other guy does. I will …

4. My pothole and myself know that what counts in this motorists' war is not the shocks we ruin, the noise of our burst muffler falling off, or the smoke that our car now emanates. We know that it is the hits that count. We will hit it, like a bull's eye, and hit squarely….

5. My pothole is almost human, even as I, because it is me. Thus, I will love it as a brother. I will learn its breadth, its depth, its unique features as it grows with each passing shower. I will ever guard against its ravages of weather and damage as I will ever guard my cracked windshield, struts, ball joints, ruined steel-radial tires, and – most importantly – my  mechanic's job security and that of the city's Public Works employees who patch the streets. I will aim for my pothole straight and steady. We have become part of each other's economy. We will …

6. Before Da Lawd, I swear this creed. Our potholes and we are the symbols of this city. There are potholes in other Rio Grande Valley cities, but none like ours. We are the masters of Browntown, this pot-holed empire. We are the symbols of local life.

7. So be it, until potholes rule here, there is no enemy, but dry weather!!


 By Juan Montoya

May 19, 1916 – 107 years ago last month –  was a typical hot sticky day in Brownsville.
The weather hovered between 74 degrees at night and soared to the 90s during the day.

Inside the the newly-constructed (1912) Cameron County Jail at the corner of Van Buren and 12th street, two men – identified by participants in a bandit raid that left two Anglo men known for their segregationist and racist views dead even though the Civil War had been over more for more than 50 years – were in a chapel saying their last prayers before their execution by hanging.

Melquiades Chapa was between 20 and 23 years old and his companion on the gallows was Jose Buenrostro, 25, had been arrested for offenses related to banditry by perpetrators from across the Rio Grande. This was the height of the cross-border banditry days when people from both sides of the river would cross in search of stolen cattle or to settle a score with residents on either side.

An article written about those days by Norman Rozeff which appeared in the Valley Morning Star accurately paints a picture of the times.

"For over half a century the combative years of the second decade were popularly termed the era of the 'Bandit Wars.' Tempered with the passage of time and as modern-day historians take a more objective look at this period, the term 'Border Wars' has come into use," he wrote. 

The latter term better portrays the many manifestations of the area’s conflicts at that earlier time. Across the river, the vacuum left by the departure of dictator Porfirio Diaz turned into all-out war and anarchy with adherents to the Constitutionalist cause banding under Pancho Villa in the north and Emiliano Zapata in the south. 

At any one time, different generals claimed control of the presidential chair with no one really controlling the northern or southern regions of the country.

The revolution touched the north side of the river as well, with civilian refugees and Mexican combatants alike seeking shelter and safety from the fierce battles that decimated the northern Tamaulipas areas.

Juan Cortina had been driven from the border and placed under house arrest by Diaz when he came to power. He had died in home arrest in Mexico City in 1894, but the anti-Anglo bitterness left over by his revolt against the newcomers who dispossessed local residents of their lands was still an open wound.
The year 1915 was an especially tumultuous year for cross-border raids.

Rozeff says that in that year, multiple murders occurred of both Mexicans and Anglos, often blamed on the theft of cattle or horses and the retaliation by both against people they thought were to blame, Often, innocent people perished in the conflict.

The incident that led to the two men praying in the chapel before they were to be hung had its roots on August 6. A. L. Austin and his son Charles, were shelling corn on their farm outside Sebastian when a band of armed men approached the farm in search of them. 

The Austins were known as segregationists whose personal behavior had angered local Tejanos. The senior Austin was head of the local Law and Order League, a local vigilante group blamed for terrorizing Mexicans across South Texas.

Another historian says that the men were targeted by Mexican-Americans who followed the Plan de San Diego, a movement to drive out the Anglo newcomers who had terrorized local inhabitants and Mexican-American ranchers for their land and eventually annex Texas to Mexico.

A well-known Plan de San Diego advocate named Luis de la Rosa – an adherent of anti-Porfirio Diaz anarchist Ricardo Flores Magon – led the Sebastian raid where Austin and his son Charles were killed. Austin who, according to federal investigators, "had driven several bad men out of that section" and was therefore an ideal target for the raiders who thought of him as a racist. Within the next few days after the deaths of the Austins, several local Mexicans were killed by either the Texas Rangers or vigilantes in revenge for their murders.

One account has the band confronting the Austins in front of Mrs. Austin, and after the raiders had demanded the family weapons, father and son were dragged from the kitchen and summarily shot. Patrols out the next day failed to find the marauders. 

However, a second version of the Austin story differs in some details: "Then at a nearby granary the bandits picked up A.L. Austin and his son Charlie. They were taken to their house which was then robbed. After assuring Mrs. Austin that her men would be safe, the robbers drove them away in a wagon manned by a young man named Elmer Millard. The Austins were then shot to death, but Millard was released. Millard, as a star witness, testified not only against Chapa and Buenrostro, but also against numerous local Mexicans, some of who were not in the vicinity at the time."

The men, after they were identified by Millard in the attack on the Austins, protested their innocence until the very end. Authors Charles H Harris and Louis R Sadler, in "The Plan de San Diego: Tejano Rebellion, Mexican Intrigue" wrote that "on the day before their execution, Chapa reiterated his innocence and requested a bottle of whiskey to calm his nerves and asked that there be music at his execution. He and Buenrostro requested that they be hanged together. The authorities were happy to oblige; two nooses were prepared for the gallows." 

Newspaper accounts of the hanging said the men were tied together and that they fell through the trap at the same time, dying just a few minutes after they fell.

Robert Runyon, who photographed many of the area's historic events, was on hand before and after the hanging to record the events for history.
From there on, things just got hotter. In fact, only three days later, on May 22, 1916, the heat climbed to 102, a record that still stands for that day.

J.B. Rogers, a U.S. Bureau of Investigation agent, wrote his superiors that "Since the execution of Chapa and Buenrostro, there is an attitude of stoicism among the Mexicans. They are both afraid and angry. Very little talk is done. They feel than a great injustice was done by the execution of these two men. The men maintained to the last that they were innocent and their countrymen believed them. The race feeling has been greatly intensified by the occurrence. The danger of an outbreak has been aggravated."

The renovated jail has since been turned into the law offices of Colvin, Chaney, Saenz & Rodriguez, who in their website state that: "Over the years, some of South Texas' most notorious criminals have been incarcerated in the jail.

"The jail also served as the temporary residence of Charles "Hit Man" Harrelson – father of actor Woody Harrelson of "Cheers" and movies fame – after his arrest for the murder-for-hire of South Texas grain dealer Sam Degelia, Jr., a resident of Hidalgo County. The elder Harrelson was later convicted in the assassination of United States District Judge John Wood (in San Antonio)."

Thursday, June 1, 2023


(Ed.'s Note: This morning the City of Brownsville observed June as LGBTQ+Pride Month by raising the pride flag on a mast at the Brownsville Visitors and Convention Bureau at 650 E Ruben M Torres Blvd. According to city commissioner Roy De los Santos, who was on hand to witness the affair with 20 to 30 other participants that included – among others –  police officers, medical professionals, academics, and local residents, the banner will remain there until the end of the month as a symbol of the city's support of diversity and inclusivity for all city residents and visitors.)


Special to El Rrun-Rrun

Most history buffs can recite that the United States was driven to territorial conquest over Mexico based on the doctrine that Americans had been given a "manifest destiny" by Providence to seize the entire continent and spread it's superior "civilization" over the unworthy races and natives who inhabited it then. 

But what many don't realize is that even after the U.S. had initiated the Mexican-American War in 1846 and taken over half of Mexico in 1848, Texans like Sam Houston and John "Rip" Ford continued to harbor notions of further territorial conquest that included establishing a protectorate over large parts of northern Mexican states and over all of all of Mexico.

Some filibusters even wanted to take over not only all of Mexico, but of Central America, and perhaps the entire continent to Tierra del Fuego at the tip of South America.

From the declaration of independence of the Texas Republic from Mexico in 1836, boundary disputes had existed between Mexico and the new country. Texas – even though there were no Texan settlements between the Nueces and Rio Grande rivers – claimed the land between both rivers as part of their new republic.

Michael G. Webster, in his doctoral dissertation "Texan Manifest Destiny and the Mexican Border Conflict, 1865-1880" for the University of Indiana, wrote that "The hatreds produced by the Texas Revolution, the unfulfilled desire of the Texans to incorporate large portions of Mexican territory into the United States, and the repeated eruptions of frontier warfare by both Indians and filibusters, the relationship between Texas and Mexico took on a special character that made the Rio Grande frontier a tinderbox of emotion and intrigue. In particular Anglo-Americans were intensely prejudiced against the inferior races' of Mexico and the 'tyranny' of the Catholic Church in that country. And the most prejudiced Americans were the Texans."

Webster goes on to say that "Texans deprecated the backwardness and ignorance of Mexico and forecast the triumph of Anglo-Saxon culture and the eventual absorption of that nation. Among Anglos the popular image of Mexico was a country inhabited by an inferior race of mixed-bloods, a people weakened by union with the 'ignorant savage' and the 'degenerate' Negro."

Mary Austin Holley, cousin of Stephen F. Austin, proclaimed that Texas should never again be dominated by "the tyranny and anarchy, the rapine and violence of Mexican misrule. The Anglo-Saxon race are destined to be forever the proprietors of this land of promise and fulfillment." 

But the onward thrust of the Anglo-Saxon would not stop with Texas. Holley and others claimed that  there seemed "to be a destiny in the womb of time which marks her (the United States) southern boundary at the extremity of the north continent. Should the United States fail to seize the boon as offered, Texas would."

In 1841 – four years before Texas was annexed into the United States – a filibuster group claimed New Mexico and set out in an expedition to Santa Fe to lay claim to it as part of their new republic. That failed, also, but the plan to extend the boundary to the Sierra Madre in the interior of Mexico reappeared time after time until the late 1870s known as the "Republic of the Sierra Madre."

And we all know of the failed Mier expedition, an unsuccessful military operation launched in November 1842 by a Texian militia against northern Mexican border settlements that ended in the execution of some of the raiders and the imprisonment of the rest.

Texans weren't even dissuaded by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo signed in 1848 that established the boundary between the two nations at the Rio Grande.

In September 1851 – Webster writes – that opportunity presented itself in the revolution of La Loba led by Jose Maria Jesus Carvajal. Texas expansionists flocked to Carvajal's revolt.

Among them was Ford, who brought his Texas Ranger company with him. Although the excuse for the uprising had been the Mexican tariff of 1851, its promoters really intended to make northeastern Mexico a separate nation where slavery would be permitted (and runaway slaves be returned to their owners) which would then be annexed by the United States.  Richard King, Charles Stillman,  and Mifflin Kenedy lent their support to Carvajal, and Kenedy even contributed money and supplies. That also failed. 

Yet, even as late as 1858, Sam Houston was proposing in the United States Senate that a protectorate be established over Mexico. At first, Houston had suggested that the protectorate encompass Mexico and Central America, but he later restricted the area to Mexico. The U.S. Congress nixed the plan.

Webster's dissertation notes that: "Repeatedly after the Civil War the subject of a Sierra Madre boundary or a protectorate was revived. As late as 1877 the San Antonio Daily Express was seriously discussing the need to establish the Texas boundary along the Sierra Madre and, if necessary, impose a protectorate over all Mexico. Long after Manifest Destiny had waned in the rest of the United States, Texans still believed it was part of their Manifest Destiny to incorporate the northern states of Mexico."


CNN — The US House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to pass a bill to suspend the nation’s debt limit through January 1, 2025, as lawmakers race to prevent a catastrophic default.

The bill will next need to be passed by the Senate before it can be sent to President Joe Biden to be signed into law. In the Senate, any one lawmaker can delay a swift vote and it is not yet clear when a final vote will take place.

The timeframe to pass the bill through Congress is extremely tight and there is little room for error, putting enormous pressure on leadership in both parties.

Lawmakers are racing the clock to avert a first-ever default ahead of June 5, the date the Treasury Department has said it will no longer be able to pay all the nation's obligations in full and on time, a scenario that could trigger global economic catastrophe.

The debt limit bill faced backlash from the far right and the far left, but in the end it passed the House by a wide margin with significant bipartisan support.

The final tally for the vote was 314 to 117. There were 149 Republicans and 165 Democrats who voted for the bill and 71 Republicans and 46 Democrats who voted against it...

The Congressional Budget Office told McCarthy in a letter Tuesday night that the bill would reduce budget deficits by $1.5 trillion over the next ten years. The letter says that if the bill is enacted, “mandatory spending would, on net, decrease by $10 billion, and revenues would, on net, decrease by $2 billion over the 2023–2033 period,” the agency wrote. “As a consequence, interest on the public debt would decline by $188 billion.” Discretionary spending would be reduced by a projected $1.3 trillion over the 2024-2033 period.

But in a troubling sign for McCarthy, the CBO also warned that changes to the work requirement provisions in the food stamps program “would increase federal spending by about $2.1 billion over the 2023-2033 period.” 

The bill would increase the upper age limit of the existing work requirement through age 54, but veterans, homeless Americans and former foster youth of all ages would be exempt. Combined, these provisions would increase the number of people receiving benefits by about 78,000 people in an average month during the 2025 to 2030 period, when they were fully in effect, according to the agency.

Wednesday, May 31, 2023




(Ed.'s Note: The City of Brownsville has now cordoned the property located at 1257 E. Levee at that has been without a roof, structural roof beams, and propped up by old wooden beams going on two years. Not only that, but it has never had a certificate of occupancy, a requirement for construction and improvements. 

The minutes of the Brownsville Community Improvement Corporation show the board  awarded the owners – Felicia Fruia-Edge, and her husband John Edge – even though she was a BCIC board member, but did abstain from the vote.

BCIC meeting minutes reflect that on December 17, 2021, the board approved a $75,000 application for 409 E. Levee St. to Felicia  Fruia-Edge along with and husband John for exterior facade, interior capitol improvements, and vertical activation (activate second floor.) 

However, there is no such address in the city. It is really 1257 E. Levee and was owned by Fareed
Hussain, and is now roofless. All that stands is one wall facing E. 13th Street propped by rotting two-by-sixes.

The building was once a car audio distributor owned by Hussain who was last given a Certificate of Occupancy back in March 4, 2013. Currently, it does not have one and cannot be used  or occupied. 

The use of it by former BCIC board member Arturo Treviño for a wrestling match between vintage Mexican wrestlers was clearly illegal and exposed participants to a potential wall collapse. With hurricane season starting this month, that danger still exists. However, when the Fruias applied for more grant money for the E. 13th Street property, they stated in their application that the project was "completed." But the tag that was placed on the hulk of the building May 22, 2023 states that the owners were "working without a certificate of occupancy."

Currently, traffic cones block off the alley between both buildings and one lane of 13th Street from Levee Street all the way to Elizabeth.
So are both buildings part of the same development project as some BCIC supporters have claimed in their comments? How can that be? The Cameron County District Appraisal District lists the owners of the 1257 E. Levee as Felicia Fruia-Edge and the owners of the 409 E. 13th Street property as Felicia Fruia-Edge and her son John Tomas Edge Jr. – and as different and distinct properties with a public alley and utility easements separating them. Both properties also have different CCAD property IDs (27874 for Levee, and 27875 for E. St. Charles).  

On August 29, 2019, the BCIC administration recommended that the request for $32,500 by Sharper Edges Investments LLC (with Fruia-Edge and husband John listed as its agent and manager) for 409 E. 13th Street be granted.  Felicia Edge and husband John were awarded $32,500 for: exterior facade improvement,$15,000 for Exterior Facade Improvement, $15,000  for interior capital improvement, and $2,500 for signage improvement. 

Fruia-Edge came back to the BCIC grants water well for a third time on April 27, 2023, this time for a $125,000 BIG 2.0 grant for the same 409 E. 13th St. building which was granted a $32,500 BCIC grant August 29, 2019 that was dutifully approved by the board.


Tuesday, May 30, 2023


PARACHUTE, Colo. (AP) — A Colorado student barred from wearing a sash representing the flags of Mexico and the United States to her high school graduation did so anyway, partially covering it with another sash representing her participation in a service organization.

“Always stand up for what you believe in,” Grand Valley High School graduate Naomi Peña Villasano told the Post Independent of Glenwood Springs, Colorado, after receiving her diploma on Saturday in the west-central Colorado town of Parachute.

Peña Villasano’s case is the latest dispute in the U.S. about what kind of cultural graduation attire is allowed at commencement ceremonies.

Peña Villasano challenged school officials in court after they said she would be banned from graduation ceremonies if she wore the sash that has stars and stripes on one side and a cactus, eagle and a serpent to represent the Mexican flag on the other side.

The courts ruled in favor of the school district, saying it could manage how a graduation was conducted.


Special to El Rrun-Rrun
Various Sources

South Texas and Brownsville will be well represented on the Texas House prosecutorial managers team and on the Texas Senate panel that will hear their case and recommend on its rules of procedures during the trial for Texas Attorney Genera Kenneth Paxton, according to reports by the Texas Tribune and National Public Radio

South Texas members include Erin Gamez D-Brownsville, Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, and Oscar Longoria,  D-Mission; The other 10 managers are Reps. Charlie Geren, R-Fort Worth; Joe Moody, D-El Paso; Jeff Leach, R-Plano; Morgan Meyer, R-University Park; Briscoe Cain, R-Deer Park; Cody Vasut, R-Angleton, and David Spiller, R-Jacksboro.

Rep. Andrew Murr, a Junction Republican and chair of the board of impeachment manager, will manage the prosecution and Rep. Ann Johnson, D-Houston, is the vice chair. Murr and Johnson are also the chair and vice chair of the House General Investigating Committee, which investigated Paxton and recommended his impeachment.

As for the Senate panel that will make recommendations on rules of procedure, it will be chaired by Sen. Brian, R-Granbury. Its vice chair is Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, D-McAllen. The other five members are Sens. Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe; Pete Flores, R-Pleasanton; Joan Huffman, R-Houston; Phil King, R-Weatherford,  and Royce West, D-Dallas.

On Monday, the House announced the board of managers to handle the prosecution made up of seven Republicans and five Democrats. The group immediately left the House chamber to deliver the 20 articles of impeachment to the Senate.

Paxton and the former aides settled for $3.3 million and Paxton asked the Legislature to have the taxpayers foot that bill, which appears to have prompted the House investigation that resulted in his impeachment.

Bribery charges stem from Paul allegedly employing a woman with whom Paxton had an affair in exchange for legal help and Paul allegedly paying for renovations to Paxton’s home. Other charges date back to Paxton’s pending 2015 felony securities fraud case, including lying to state investigators.

Paxton told NPR that the charges are based on “hearsay and gossip, parroting long-disproven claims.”

But apart from Gamez, there is also another Brownsville connection, albeit a slight one involving Paul and his relationship with the Roy F. & JoAnn Cole Mitte Foundation of Austin. The Mitte Foundation runs the cultural district in Brownsville.

National Public Radio reported that allegations include attempts to interfere in foreclosure lawsuits, improperly issuing legal opinions to benefit real estate developer Nate Paul, and firing, harassing and interfering with whistleblowers on Paxton’s staff.

Paxton told NPR that the charges are based on “hearsay and gossip, parroting long-disproven claims.”

The article having to do with Paul and the Mitte Foundation is outlined in article 1.

ARTICLE 1 – Protection of charitable organization (Roy F. & JoAnn Cole Mitte Foundation)

Paxton is accused of failing to act as a public protector of charitable organizations by directing his employees in the attorney general’s office to intervene in a lawsuit brought by the Roy F. & JoAnn Cole Mitte Foundation against entities controlled by Paul, harming the Austin charity in an effort to benefit Paul, a wealthy donor. 

Monday, May 29, 2023




By Juan Montoya

Doña Mari is having a pulga, once again
She’s pulled out the folding table and
laid the clean white cloth upon it and neatly,
like an undertaker, lays out her goods

Along the river road that natives trod
And Oblates walked, preaching of God
Where Thornton skirmished and soldiers died

Sits Doña Mari, biding her time

Like clockword, each Saturday,
the neighbors see Doña Mari, under the shade of the gnarled mesquite tree
A few cars stop and we can overhear the talk

“How much you asking for this cartridge belt?,” asks he
“You mean this green one, by the worn fatigues,” says she
That was my son’s, my Juan's, the one he used to wear
 still remember how he taught the neighborhood kids to march
and turn, and do right face

You should have seen them marching through the living room...
You can’t imagine how much pride I felt...
Oh, no, I’m sorry, but I just couldn’t sell that belt.”

“Well, how much for that dress cap with the shiny bill,” she’s asked
“He’s wearing it with his dress blues here,” she cuts him off, and picks the photo up
“You can just see how proud he felt,
trying to look so fierce, so...official, can you see?

But you can tell that he was still so young,
my only one, my Juan...
I’m, I’m sorry, I just can’t see myself selling that one.”

“Pardon me, sir?,” she asks the man with boots in hand
“I asked how much you want for these,” says he
I was in the service once and...”

“Oh, how he used to shine and shine those boots until he saw his face on them,” she said
“Spit-shine’ was what he used to say...
Now, why did I bring those out...
No, no, no, they’re...they’re not for sale today.”

Her hands wrings the apron as she moves among her wares
The hands that counted rosary beads
Each night he wasn’t there

“And this folded flag with medal pinned?
How much for these?,” she’s asked

“Oh, no, I can’t, that’s all this country left to me,” said she
“A week before I got them, two nice young men knocked on this door
and when I saw them, standing there erect and neat,
they tried to act like they were used to it...

Then they told me that my son was gone...
In distant, hostile sands, they say he died
I screamed at them that they had lied...
That my son Juan, my only one, was coming back...
Don’t ask me how, I just know that...

So you see, I cannot possibly sell that flag
Perhaps you’d like a nice backpack instead?”

The cars are gone, the light of day subsides
As Doña Mari gathers up her wares
She neatly folds the greens, and packs the gear
In the green foot locker she keeps near
The belt, the boots, the picture dear

And those old fingers pull the long white table cloth and in it wraps her goods

Doña Mari will have another pulga soon

And out will come the boots and belt and then the folding table
And she will lay the long white cloth upon it like a shroud

Thursday, May 25, 2023


Special to El Rrun-Rrun

Texas House Republicans began considering a Senate bill to make illegal immigration a state crime about three hours before the deadline to pass the measure. However, it was lost after Democrat Erin Gamez (D-Brownsville) raised a point of order against the bill.

Texas Republicans filed a bill that would have made illegal immigration a crime at the state level, including a felony penalty for any illegal alien who disobeyed a peace officer's direction to return to Mexico.

Tuesday was the deadline for the House to pass Senate bills to third reading.

Senate Bill (SB) 2424 was taken up at about 8:50 p.m. The bill's sponsor, Rep Cole Heffner (R-Mou8nt Pleasant, began his layout, whereupon Gamez raised a point of order against the bill.

Gamez withdrew her point nof order and Hefner move to postpone the legislation until later in the night, an indication that Gamez's point of order likely had merit and Hefner needed time to work something out. 

When the bill returned to the floor for consideration, Hefner moved to postpone it until after the session, a procedural way of admitting defeat on a piece of legislation.

Wednesday, May 24, 2023



(Ed.'s Note: After sinking $75,000 of a grant from the Brownsville Community Improvement Corporation, the owner of the building at the corner of E. Levee and 13th streets – really 1259 E. Levee – the building has been red-tagged by city inspectors as constituting a hazard to the public. The owners are listed as Felicia Fruia-Edge and her husband John Edge. 

 BCIC meeting minutes reflect that on December 17, 2021, the board approved a $75,000 application for 409 E. Levee St. to Felicia Fruia/Edge along with and husband John and her father Luke Fruia for exterior facade, interior capitol improvements, and vertical activation (activate second floor.) 

According to its mission statement, the BCIC "initiatives, endeavors, programs, and incentives revolve around the human capital that’s within our community and improving the community through funding quality of life projects."

According to the minutes of the BCIC board of directors for their April 27 meeting, the Levee Street project is listed as "completed" and allowed the Fruia-Edges to apply for an additional $125,000 for their building across the alley at 409 E. 13th Street, formerly the 409 Galeria, which the board granted. 

Dear reader, look at the gutted, roofless building. Does that look "completed" to you?

Previously, the BCIC pals of the Fruia-Edges had granted them $32,500 for the 409 E. 13th building as well.

At the August 29, 2019 meeting where they got the $32,500 award, Felicia Fruia-Edge was on the BCIC board, but abstained from the vote. It was approved by her fellow board members.

A city permit was issued to remove the asbestos from the Levee building, but the contractor removed all the roof beams and the roof as well. That the address (409 E. Levee St.) doesn't exist mattered little to the BCIC and its chairman Michael Limas at the time they followed the recommendation of then-BCIC CEO Josh Mejia to approve the award. Now what will happen to that roofless carcass of a building?

And should the public eat the $75,000 of their tax money? What will happen with the additional $125,000?)



“If I hate you, I will keep you here,” Rosado wrote. “And there is no place in my heart for you. This place belongs to [Yadira] and only to her. I need to forgive myself for not hating you. My fight is now with God.”

Victim statement of  Leida Acevedo Rosado at the sentencing of Joe Gonzalez, a career criminal who stole an ambulance and in the course of the crime ran over EMT Yadira Arroyo, a mother of five, as she tried to get him off the wheel and according to sentencing judge Martin Marcus "she held onto the door… trying to get you out of the driver’s seat, you threw the ambulance into reverse causing her to fall underneath it.

 “As you drove backwards and forwards and turned, the tires repeatedly ran over her and crushed her body until it split down from underneath, and she was left lifeless in the intersection.”

Marcus sentenced the grinning defendant to life in prison without parole.

Would you have been as forgiving as the mother?