The Pharr Police Riots 1971

The “Pharr Police Riots” were a series of riots that took place in Pharr, Texas. Some people think that they took place for injustice, discrimination and/or racial attacks. It’s something that probably the whole town will never forget.

On February 6, 1971 local Mexicans started protesting in front of the police station. According to German Guzman, who was there 38 years ago when the Pharr police riots grabbed the attention of the national media, said a crowd gathered by 3 p.m. that day very angry (Leatherman). They argued that the police had targeted and mistreated residents that they had arrested. Guzman also worked part-time at the police station and he had many officer friends whom he had warned to watch their behavior after he had witness many brutal attacks.

That day the crowd that was protesting carried signs that targeted the police department and certain officers and some people had been throwing rocks at the building. According to Guzman nothing had really happened until the chief then grabbed a protestor and took him inside the police department that the violence finally erupted (Leatherman). “It just happened like that,” Guzman recalled (Leatherman). Since the protestors kept throwing rocks and bricks the firefighters took control and used a water hose to calm the crowd down. 

Guzman also ended up hurt that day. He was run over by many people and he eventually brought himself up. He was hit and taken to the 
hospital in Edinburg along with 3 other firefighters that had been injured. Only one person died that day. Alfonso Loredo Flores a 17-year old boy who was getting his haircut at Ramos Barbershop. Guzman knew him and said he was “a real calm boy who came from a poor family (Leatherman).” 

The Pharr Mayor, Leo “Polo” Palacios, said he remembered coming home from work and and seeing about 200 or 300 hundred people gathered around the police station. According to Palacios for days you could see the police perched on top of roofs incase anything like that happened again.


(Source: generations.redmonky.net)

Check this place out! Click on the picture! [NOT SPAM - RGVALT 9/25/12] 
Food & Ice Cream Treats
Living room area with a TV
Stage set up for live music
SUPER accommodating staff
10% discount for students! 
Mega chill

Check this place out! Click on the picture! [NOT SPAM - RGVALT 9/25/12] 

  • Wifi
  • Food & Ice Cream Treats
  • Living room area with a TV
  • Stage set up for live music
  • SUPER accommodating staff
  • 10% discount for students! 
  • Mega chill
~115 people in the Valley use Tumblr 

~115 people in the Valley use Tumblr 



Dear RGV Tumblrs,

Since the inception of this bloggy blog, it has become apparent that there are some seriously cool fools who either live down here or hail from here. That being said, it must be brought to your attention that there is a submit button up in here. We want all of your voices through but not exclusive to: writings such as essays or poetry, music, films, photography, links, art, whatever. We also have an ask button (yes lurkers, there is an anon option), which can be used for the following: ranting, venting, praising (wink), heads-up for events, RGV pro-tips, and general tomfoolery. We want to know what’s up with you beautiful people. Also, suggestions and chill critiques are encouraged. Please, by all means consider this blog as much yours as it is the RGV Alt. This Tumblr is for anyone who has love for the 956. 

Finally, it would be supper cool if an El Valle follow list was created. There has to be folks out who want to connect with their South Texas cohorts, no? RGV Alt will start a list if we get permission from you fine people to share your amazingness. 

Please share or you’ll get the chancla! That is all! 


RGV Alterative Tumblr ;*


Shootouts in Matamoros and Reynosa kill at least 4 

REYNOSA — After several days of relative calm, people in Reynosa and Matamoros experienced stressful moments this weekend as gunmen and the Mexican military exchanged gunfire.

A Saturday firefight began at approximately 5:30 p.m. near the Fraccionamiento Reynosa area and soon spread to other areas, including those near the industrial parks on the city’s east side and the highway that connects the city with Rio Bravo, according to a Tamaulipas law enforcement official who asked not to be named for security reasons.

The chases and shootouts continued for about 45 minutes, with authorities not releasing any official information regarding the cause of the violent outbreak or the number of individuals arrested or killed.

Just hours before, the Mexican military chased and clashed with a group of SUVs carrying gunmen. The chase took place along Avenida Del Niño and resulted in the deaths of four gunmen, the law enforcement official said.

It is unclear whether any civilians were injured or killed during the clashes in either town.

The shootout comes just days after a similar shootout.

In the city’s South side, one civilian was killed Tuesday afternoon and three others injured as a result of stray bullets.

(Source: valleymorningstar.com)


Comic book sale raises money for Kiwanis Club

McALLEN — Nine-year-old Dominic Gonzalez came to the Comics for a Cause sale Sunday in search of the Walking Deadgraphic novels.

Dominic said watching the AMC show The Walking Dead made him want to read the comics. He also has seen many of the superhero movies, including The Avengers, which has made about $457 million at the box office since it opened May 4.  

Dominic’s cousin, Gabriel Garza, wanted to buy Spider-Man andCaptain America comics, two characters whose movies were successful in theaters. Captain America also appears in The Avengers and another Spider-Man movie, The Amazing Spider-Mancomes out this summer.

More people are reading comics after viewing recent shows and movies about superheroes and other comic book characters, said Adan Salazar, a member of the McAllen Kiwanis Club and the co-owner of Hobbies and Heroes, a comic book store.

The Kiwanis Club, Hobbies and Heroes and WhatMcAllen.com, which promotes local events, put on the sale at EBC at the District, at 801 E. Fern Ave. in McAllen. Hobbies and Heroes donated the merchandise and all proceeds went to the Kiwanis Club, which raises money for scholarships and other local causes.

“We wanted to take advantage of the Avengers movie as a fun way to draw a crowd so we could get money for the Kiwanis Club,” Salazar said.

David Garza, who is Gabriel’s father, said he’s glad the comics have kept his young family members interested in reading. He said they’ve also enjoyed watching the shows and movies together.

“It’s a good way to get them reading and move onto bigger books,” he said.

Aron Gomez, 27, who often read comic books growing up, said he’s glad the movies are making comics popular again, but noted that not everything translates well to the big screen.

“I think it’s an interesting aspect for you to base a movie on a comic book, but I feel you lose some details like the inner monologue of the character,” he said.

Gail Burkhardt covers Mission, western Hidalgo County, Starr County and general assignments for The Monitor. She can be reached at gburkhardt@themonitor.com and (956) 683-4462.

(Source: themonitor.com)


Butterflies rebounding after drought

BROWNSVILLE — An abundance of spring butterflies illustrates how wildlife habitat in Cameron County is rebounding since last summer’s devastating heat and drought, experts and enthusiasts said Friday.

The area’s lush landscape appears to be due to a mild winter and regular rainfall in the area since January—including storms in March and this month.

“The habitat is in relatively good shape because of the unusual rains we’ve had, and it all comes down to habitat,” said Stephen J. Benn, project leader for the Las Palomas Wildlife Management Area in the wildlife division of Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. “I was looking at a granjeño yesterday that was just loaded with fruit, and that’s a very good sign.”

Across Texas, butterfly spotters have reported higher populations of red admirals and checkered-white sulphurs this spring as wildflowers thrive. In southern Cameron County, the checkered-whites remain in high numbers, though the red admiral mostly have moved north from Brownsville in the past few weeks, according to Sherry Wilson, a volunteer at Resaca de la Palma State Park in Brownsville and who guides butterfly and nature tours.

Elsewhere in the Valley, red admirals continue to be seen.

At the Brownsville refuge, Wilson has noted the recovery of trees, shrubs and flowers that host caterpillars and provide nectar for butterflies. On Friday afternoon in the butterfly garden near the refuge’s visitor’s center, several other species — including checkered-whites, phaeon crescents and yellow sulphurs — drank nectar from mistflower and daisies.

The Rio Grande Valley is the only place in the United States to see the Mexican blue-winged butterfly, outside of extremely rare sightings along the border toward El Paso. And on Friday, dozens of them fluttered across shaded trails, lighting upon tree branches.

“I noticed, particularly, along this trail that all the plants here were seriously stressed by the drought,” Wilson said. “Then in January, we got some rain, and everything perked up.”

Another spring visitor at the refuge has been the band-celled sister. Elsewhere in the Valley, spotters have seen guava skippers, red-bordered pixies, bordered patches and several others.

Norman Winter, the executive director of the National Butterfly Center in Mission, said he’s noticed a drastic change in the habitat since 2011, when the plants had been hit by a freeze in February and then a drought in the summer.

“When I came out here (in 2011) to apply for my job, there wasn’t a blade of green anything. There wasn’t any green. There wasn’t any butterflies. There wasn’t anything,” Winter said. “It was tough last summer, and I didn’t even realize how bad it was until I saw how good this spring has been.

“There’s so many more butterflies now.”

Butterfly abundance is tied strongly to rainfall patterns, according to “An Introduction to Butterfly Watching” booklet published by TPWD. “Spring and fall are the seasons of greatest abundance in Texas,” the primer states. “Most plants are in peak condition at these times. Fresh leaves are preferred conditions for caterpillar development.”

More rains would be welcome, of course, but so far the recent storms have made an impact, Winter said.

“The butterfly year is really shaping up to be a good one,” Winter said. “I think we’ll really have a lot of butterflies.”

Within city limits, success in spotting butterflies depends on the availability of nectar and host plants. For example, the herb garden outside Lola’s Bakeshop on Palm Boulevard produced sightings last week of brown longtails and white peacocks.

“White peacock butterflies can range farther north out of the Valley, but really here and in Florida is the best place to see one,” Wilson said. “Brownsville and the Valley is an excellent place to see them, and it would be incredibly rare in other places.”

The Valley has a variety of long-tailed butterflies.

“Your brown longtail is another Valley specialty,” Wilson said. “The chioides longtail is another specialty, and it’s like the brown longtail, but the undersides of the wings have some white markings on them.”

The TPWD butterfly primer recommends establishing butterfly gardens near pristine, undeveloped areas with natural habitat. “The garden, rich in nectar, will attract the adults while the undisturbed habitat serves as an excellent source of caterpillar food plants,” it explains.

Passion vines attract various fritillary butterfly species, and mistflower, crucita and milkweed lure in queens, soldiers and monarchs.

Groundcovers like silky-leaf and Texas frogfruits appeal to Texan and phaon crescents, among other small butterflies.

The North American Butterfly Association recommends gardens with at least three types of nectar plants, three types of caterpillar host plants and even butterfly feeders, such as a log or board coated with a rotting fruit mixture.

For a beginner’s education in butterfly species, the Gladys Porter Zoo also has a butterfly garden with live native specimens inside a netted tent. There, visitors can observe Mexican blue-winged butterflies, malachites, julias and others.

Summer will bring the return of scorching temperatures, and further rainfall would benefit the region.

“I think things are looking good. We’ve had rains, and we have more on the way,” Stephen Benn with TPWD said before the arrival Friday’s thunderstorms.

(Source: themonitor.com)


Gonzalez: Keeping the DREAM Alive

SAN ANTONIO, April 22 - The proudest claim anyone can make is that they are a citizen of this great country.

Citizenship commands duties and responsibilities freely assumed by those who love and cherish the United States. Citizenship inspires and enables us to make our own unique contribution and is at the core of the American dream.

The original DREAM Act is a bipartisan plan that ensures undocumented children will not be relegated to underclass status. It allows law-abiding, hard-working young people to continue contributing to their adopted homeland and earn citizenship. The DREAM Act permits children who violated no law when they were brought to the U.S. to attain their full potential and enhance American society.

Democrats worked with Republicans to incorporate their ideas and made 11 significant changes to the bill. In fact, Republican Senator Orrin Hatch from Utah was one of the lawmakers who introduced the bill. It took nine years to get a vote on the floors of the House and Senate and though that is a long time, we did not give up. And we will not give up now.

In addition to our partners in both parties, the diverse DREAM student community had a major impact on getting the bill to the floor. Every step of the way, DREAMers were there to show the world how important this legislation is for the economy and for the preservation of American ideals. Hearing from DREAMers was important for legislators in the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and as we continue to work toward passing this bill, we want to continue hearing from them.

Though no bill has been introduced yet, there are rumors that a Republican effort for immigration reform is in the works and is being led by Senator Marco Rubio of Florida. We do not know the text of any new legislative proposal, but if the Rubio Plan bars citizenship it would be the first time in modern history that someone has proposed a law that would permanently prohibit citizenship to one segment of American society.

Earning citizenship is essential because mere legal residency will serve only as a life sentence to being relegated to an underclass status. It is against the values of our country to ask DREAMers to work hard, pay taxes and sacrifice their lives for our country, but deny them citizenship. It is also contrary to the long-established legal principle that you don’t punish children for the acts of a parent.

Many have called the Rubio Plan ‘DREAM-lite,’ but any legislation that does not allow a pathway to citizenship is not worthy of being connected to the DREAM Act. When it comes to immigration reform, it has been argued that ‘something is better than nothing,’ but is it really something if it guarantees a lifelong block to equality? The DREAM Act is not dead, but it must be resuscitated with bipartisan support.

It is unacceptable to keep a group of young people in a state of uncertainty and to restrict their ability to assimilate and become fully vested in this great country. The American people appear to agree. According to a poll conducted by Fox News in December, 66 percent of all registered voters supported a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who paid taxes, learned English and had no criminal background.

For the future of our country and our economic well-being, and in keeping with our nation’s proudest tradition of fairness and justice, let’s pass the DREAM Act with the bipartisan support it deserves. Let’s give young people the chance to someday raise their right hands and take an oath of devotion and allegiance to the only country they have ever known and loved. Anything less will be a dream unfulfilled for the students and our nation.

(Source: riograndeguardian.com)


Martinez Fischer: Monies for schools exists, leadership lacks moral vision

SAN ANTONIO, April 22 - Recently, public school students began taking the new, more rigorous STAAR exam.

In honor of the exam, here is a pop quiz: How much did the Leadership of this state cut from the public education budget during the 82nd Legislative Session? A) No money was cut; B) Schools actually received a funding increase; or C) $5.4 billion.

If you answered “A” or “B”, then it seems you are qualified to be the chief financial officer of Texas. Comptroller Combs was recently castigated for stating that the Legislature did not cut funding for public education. If the Comptroller cannot even see the problem, then how can she help Texas solve it? A lie is a lie no matter how many times it is repeated.

This is not the first time the Comptroller got a critical question horribly wrong. In January of 2011, the Comptroller inaccurately guessed that our State’s revenue would decrease by 2.9 percent compared to the previous legislature’s budget. The flawed estimate was an exercise where poor math met bad judgment. To date, revenue collections have far exceeded those pessimistic estimates. In fact, Texas may have at least $4 billion more than it anticipated, enough to set education back on track. The Comptroller’s gloomy forecast forced unnecessary cuts to critical areas like public education. In other words, Republican lawmakers cut more than they should have and even worse, despite being made aware of this error, they have refused to right the wrong.

The good news is that if current economic trends continue, then Texas will have the money to restore education funding. What we lack is the moral vision to do what is right. Mark my words, if we fail to come back into special session to restore education funding, then either the Leadership doesn’t care about public education or they are too afraid to admit they were wrong.

Meanwhile, Texas’s public education system was slashed by $5.4 billion dollars. School districts were forced to take drastic measures. Six thousand nine hundred and eighty eight public school classrooms from kindergarten through fourth grade were granted waivers to exceed the 22-1 student/teacher ratio. Thousands of teachers have been released either through attrition, early retirement incentives, or layoffs. Texas failed to fund enrollment growth. In other words, our schools grew, but the money to operate them did not. To the Leadership, this is fiscal sanity. In the end eyes can glaze over with all the budget numbers, but the reality is that your child’s classes got larger and your neighbor down the street lost their teaching position.

I offered an alternative to this problem. During the budget debate last session, I proposed an amendment allowing the legislature to produce an 18 month budget so that we could come back into session to reassess expenditures with updated revenue information. The amendment failed along party lines and so did the hope to prevent harm to our public education system.  If it had been enacted, this amendment would have forced the legislature to reassess our budget in real time, which in this case would have made billions available to help our schools.

We face significant fiscal problems in this state. One thing we cannot afford is to lie about reality. We cut public education and lowered the ceiling on our future. And, we did it because of bad math. And now, we are unwilling to fix it. Texans should not be fooled by accounting gimmicks, nor should they be fooled with empty rhetoric next session when our state accounts may have an extra $4 billion. 

For the sake of Texas families, teachers, and students, I hope our Leadership will face reality and bring us back to heal these self-inflicted wounds.

(Source: riograndeguardian.com)



Revenge of the Electric Car - This Friday @ 7:00 PM in Heath Sciences West Auditorium 1.404 at UTPA! 


Two Teens Hurt in Auto-Pedestrian Accident

McALLEN —Authorities are investigating the circumstances behind an auto-pedestrian accident on Friday afternoon that sent two teenage girls to the hospital.  

The accident occurred shortly before 4:30 p.m. just west of the intersection of Trenton Road and 29th Street. At the scene McAllen Police officers redirected traffic as students from Michael Fossum Middle School were being picked up from school.  

The accident occurred when the two females in their early teens were flagged by a family member from across the street, McAllen Police Lt. Michael Zellers said.  As the teens crossed, were struck by a maroon Chevrolet pickup moving along Trenton Road. Zellers said the girls were transported to a local hospital. The condition of the girls was not known, but authorities believe one of them sustained internal injuries.

Preliminary information revealed that the pickup had the right of way, the driver appeared to not have been intoxicated and that speed was not likely a factor, Zellers said.

(Source: themonitor.com)