Monday, August 21, 2006

Texas State Representative House District 33: Solomon P. Ortiz Jr. Defeats Mikal Watts at his Own Game. Or Perhaps GOD intervened.

Solomon P. Ortiz Jr. Defeats Mikal Watts at his Own Game. Or Perhaps GOD intervened.

“When Corpus Christi state representative Vilma Luna decided to give up her legislative seat in July to take a lobbying job in Austin with Hillco Partners, the Democratic party had every reason to believe that the seat would remain in the party's column.”

Let’s look a little further into this assertion.

Why did Vilma Luna step down?

One answer and the one on the surface would be as stated, “to take a lobbying job in Austin with Hillco Partners”. Vilma cited more family time as her primary reason. It goes much deeper than that Mr. Burka; remember Vilma Luna is their hero. It is not difficult to understand that the Utility of Vilma Luna was wearing thin like the Firestone tires that made Mikal and his Crew rich. He could have eventually got her into something she will be blamed for. As it is common knowledge in South Texas; Mikal Watts is about reversing the “Capelo” legislation. There were two tort reform bills, one originated by doctors (and endorsed by TLR) that capped non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases at $250,000 and another containing an assortment of protections for businesses, supported by TLR.

There's More.....

Sunday, August 20, 2006

citizensagainstcorruptjudges: The poles are put back in the rack until the next Judge or Democraddick relinquishes power after the critical date.

citizensagainstcorruptjudges: The poles are put back in the rack until the next Judge or Democraddick relinquishes power after the critical date.

Now that Joseph Barrientos’ name and Mikal Watts’ name, is being quoted by messengers like Mike Chavez & Connie Gutierrez, Kenneth Hawkins delivering letters, personal messages of influence, and predictions of marksman accuracy as to County Court at Law # 2 Docket. Who controls the continuing feed to WATTABURGER?

There's more....

Hooking em is one part. Reeling em in is another story. Setting the Drag too tight dont work on some of us. U Just can't Muscle us that way.

Part of the fun and excitement of saltwater fishing is you never know what you've got on the other end of that fishing line. Pound for pound salt water fish give you the most heart pounding action you can imagine. The redfish is famous throughout the south for it's fight that last all the way to the fish box. He'll sometimes snap even the best of fishing lines and strip gears in the finest reels.

The Bull Redfish or Bull Red which can measure from 27" to over 40" is the master of the Louisiana Marsh. This monster and legendary fighter is the one to experience with light tackle. These Bull Reds will have your blood rushing with every run he makes for freedom. Proper line and drag set is what it's all about as he can strip a reel of line in a matter of seconds. The fish stories these big brutes have produced are second to none. Capt. John Pounders with Eccentric Charters can make it happen for you.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Bourgeoisie: Who Dunnit?

Bourgeoisie: Who Dunnit?

Was it the Social "Progressives"?

Was it the Democrats?

Was it the Republicans?

Was it in retaliation for the Republican attack on the Progressive Socialist pre fab party?

Was it kids who hear too much rhetoric?

Did you guys know 1440 KEYS has got a new Political Analyst by the name of Jenny Trejo?

More like a Republican defender and a weak one at that.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Wild Horse Desert: Los Kine�os: The Romanticized Version

Wild Horse Desert: Los Kine�os: The Romanticized Version

“There was a terrible drought in South Texas and Northern Mexico. Captain King traveled to the little hamlet of Cruillas in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas.

“The townspeople were in such dire straits that they sold all of their cattle to him in an attempt to survive the drought. A short distance out of town, slowly driving the cattle north toward Texas, Captain King realized that, in solving an immediate problem for the people of Cruillas, he had simultaneously removed their long-term means of livelihood. He turned his horse back toward the town and made its people a proposition. He would provide them with food, shelter and income if they would move and come to work on his ranch. The townspeople conferred and many of them agreed to move north with Captain King.

“Already expert stockmen and horsemen, these resilient denizens of the rugged Mexican range became known as Los Kinenos - King's people. They and many generations of their heirs would go on to weave a large portion of the historical tapestry of King Ranch. The expert Kineno cowboys now occupy a justifiably legendary place in the annals of the taming of the vast American West. The mystique of the Kinenos is alive and well, and descendants of the original Cruillas residents still live and work on the ranch today - providing a vital link with the past and giving the ranch a key aspect of its unique atmosphere.”

The vastness of the huge ranch on which he lived seems to have given him a wish to know more about the world. He would later turn his attention to being an educator. A definition of an educator is: to demonstrate a commitment to creating new knowledge, to applying knowledge to solving problems to synthesize various strands of knowledge, and to understanding how students learn.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Del Mar Electronic Anonymous Input Forum: Del Mar President Carlos Garcia, "opted not to renew the yearly contract for the former EEO officer, Ms. The

Del Mar Electronic Anonymous Input Forum: Del Mar President Carlos Garcia, "opted not to renew the yearly contract for the former EEO officer, Ms. Theresa Cox"

“We do not want to hear rumors

that (Cox) was fired,” Garcia said.

“Mrs. Cox is on administrative

leave and her contract expires on

Aug. 31, 2006,” Garcia said. “DMC

has a restructuring of the administration,

and it is normal to have several

employees leave for several reasons,

such as retirement, offers for a new

employment or just moving out from

the city.

JK: By the time this article is published in the Foghorn, Gabriel Rivas and the Board of Regents are informed of the situation and the allegations against President Carlos Garcia.

JK: It is certainly valid to question the Board as to why Dr. Garcia has not been placed on Administrative leave as SOP mandates?

JK: Gabriel Rivas (en camera) represents and definitively concludes, when an employee is accused of Sexual Harassment; that employee is placed on Administrative leave.

JK: The Administrative Leave Requirement is an integral step in the Due Process and unequivocally applies to each employee the same. The act of discontinuing or modifying the JOB opportunities of one’s accuser, is a blatant act of retaliation. In the protection of DMC (all) preventing retaliation is an obvious reason the Due Process requires the placement of the accused employee on administrative leave.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Bob Jones @ 1440 KEYS: Corpus Christi Mayors Advisory Committee Member Bob Jones Announcement in a nutshell "Would've made Jaime Proud"

Bob Jones @ 1440 KEYS: Corpus Christi Mayors Advisory Committee Member Bob Jones Announcement in a nutshell "Would've made Jaime Proud"

Kenedy was such a demanding taskmaster that he made Johnny Hall redo the work three times before he'd pay him.

Looking Back at Chaparral

Roses bloomed at Kearney's

November 12, 2003

picturePart IV of IV

On Chaparral Street in the 19th Century, there was always something interesting in the windows of DeRyee's Drug Store. Once, there was a stuffed duck, its bill clamped in an oyster shell.

DeRyee's (which originally was DeRyee and Westervelt) was on the corner of Peoples, on the left side looking north. The two-story building was built by Dr. William DeRyee himself. He made the shellcrete blocks for the building, and he collected mahogany driftwood on the island which he used to frame the doors and windows.

Candles made in Civil War

Dr. DeRyee, a chemist from Alsace-Lorraine, came here in 1848 with John M. Moore. He was a chemist who first made a living by making and selling soap and candles. His candles were in great demand during the Civil War, when the Union blockade limited outside supplies.

DeRyee's drug store was torn down to clear the way for the four-story City National Bank Building, built in 1908. (That building is still there, though it has been remodeled and stripped of its original facade.)

Down the street from DeRyee's was Hall's tin shop, decorated with a stove mounted on a pole. Johnny Hall sold stoves and heating equipment. One story told was that Hall was hired by the rancher Mifflin Kenedy to install the gutterwork on his mansion on the bluff. Kenedy was such a demanding taskmaster that he made Johnny Hall redo the work three times before he'd pay him.

Past Hall's was William Funk's soft-drink stand, and two boarding houses run by Eli Merriman's mother. Across from DeRyee's, on the east side of Chaparral, at the corner of Peoples, was Lichtenstein's department store.

Morris Lichtenstein was a Confederate veteran who fought with Sibley's Brigade in New Mexio. After the war, he opened a store in Indianola. He moved his operation to Corpus Christi in 1874, the year before the great hurricane virtually wiped out Indianola. Lichtenstein sold calico and fancy dress goods which he brought from New York on annual buying expeditions. He also sold guns and ammo. A year after he opened his store on Chaparral, a company of Texas Rangers led by Capt. Leander McNelly stopped at Lichtenstein's. This was after the Nuecestown raid and the Rangers were on their way to clean up the border. Lichtenstein, the story goes, provided the Rangers with Sharps carbines and told them not to worry about paying him, that he would rather give them away than have bandits steal them. That story is told in "Taming the Nueces Strip."

Lichtenstein's establishment, which began in a rented frame building, would become the city's dominant department store for almost a century. The store's operations were moved three times, always on Chaparral.

Past Lichtenstein's was J.B. (John Belden) Mitchell's hardware and furniture store. (This would later be occupied by E.L. Caldwell's hardware store.) Mitchell sold fencing material, plows, Studebaker wagons, harrows and Buckeye mowers. His store was followed by George French's grocery store (later Evans & Hickey). This was followed by the Kearney cottage, which was used as the U.S. Customs Office.

Pale pink cabbage roses

Dr. Thomas Kearney was brought to Corpus Christi during the yellow fever epidemic of 1867. He came from Havana and later sent back to Havana for four rose bushes, which he planted in the front yard, two on each side. They were described as cabbage roses, with pale pink petals. They were Corpus Christi's most famous roses, and always in demand by young men for their sweethearts. Anxious eyes kept a watch on Kearney's cottage for the first blooms of spring. There's a hotel parking lot at that site today, with no rose bushes to mar the view.

At the end of the block, at the intersection with Starr Street, were John Woessner's buildings. At the corner was the Woessner Bank and general merchandise store. Next to this building was the Woessner wool warehouse, with a public hall upstairs where dances were held. Judge Walter Timon once said the best dances in the world were held at Woessner Hall, where the floor was "springy and fine."

In the next block, at the corner of Taylor, was the old Ranahan home, built of shellcrete in 1853. During the federal bombardment of Corpus Christi in 1862, a shell smashed through the front wall, leaving a three-foot hole. When the old building was torn down in 1938, to clear the site for a parking lot for the Ritz Theater, the house-mover, Ed Brennan, was killed when a wall fell on him.

The 'Ironclad Oath' house

Across Taylor, on the east side on the corner, and east of the Church of the Good Shepherd, was the home of Royal Givens, the town's fish and oyster dealer. Before Givens bought it, it was known as the old Russell Home. After the Civil War, Union officers in command of occupation forces used the Russell home as their headquarters. It was here that citizens were required to take the "Ironclad Oath" of loyalty before they could vote. Despite the bitterness left from the war, there was a will for peace._One old Confederate veteran said he'd seen enough fighting, that he would walk three miles to go around a blue coat hanging on a stump.

This is the last of four columns on Chaparral. A series on Mesquite Street will begin next week.

Murphy Givens can be reached at 886-4315 or by e-mail at His radio commentary can be heard at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday and at 6:30 p.m. Friday on KEDT (90.3 FM) and KVRT-Victoria (90.7 FM).


Copyright 2004, All Rights Reserve

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Founder's daughter says financial records will be sent to national office

Suspended local chapter of GI Forum reinstated

Founder's daughter says financial records will be sent to national office

By Anthony Martinez Beven Caller-Times
July 30, 2006

After a nearly two-week suspension the founding chapter of the American GI Forum was restored late Saturday.

Both national leaders and relatives of Dr. Hector P. Garcia were pleased with the outcome, which came at the end of the organization's national convention in Kansas.

Garcia founded the American GI Forum in Corpus Christi in 1948 after he saw many Hispanic veterans in the area being denied educational, medical and housing benefits guaranteed to them under the American GI Bill of Rights.

"For the good and the welfare of this organization, we have entered into an agreement with the state of Texas leadership and the suspension has been lifted," said Tony Morales, national commander for the American GI Forum and chairman of the organization's board.

JK: WATT is the agreement?

The local chapter, which has more than 100 members, was suspended July 14 after financial records were not turned over to the national office for tax purposes.

Requested documents include information about $50,000 paid to the chapter after a 1999 lawsuit filed by Dr. Xico Garcia, Dr. Hector P. Garcia's brother.

Cecilia Garcia Akers, Dr. Hector P. Garcia's daughter and a lifetime member of the founding chapter, said the financial documentation will be handed over to complete an IRS audit.

JK: This information must be published, documented and made public.

Akers recently said the national office did not follow the constitution of the American GI Forum in suspending the chapter.

"They were supposed to give them notice that they were going to be suspended, then they were supposed to give them a hearing where the chapter could have representation, and they did not do any of those things," Akers said.

JK: WATT Sections in the AGIF Constitution mandate a hearing before a suspension? If violations are committed the violations must cease until a hearing to determine the discrepancies. The seriousness and of electing an expelled member or a sanctioned ineligible ex member coupled with the act of defiance not to follow the AGIF Constitution was the usurping factor demanding the Effective Abatement of the founder's chapter. Everybody knows they cannot disband the Hector P Garcia Founding Chapter of the GI Forum, even myself. But the influence of Dr. Hector was being abused in a way unbecoming to the MAN DR Hector. This was about money and money created the problems. Period.

She said late Saturday that the national organization's legal counsel agreed procedure had not been followed.

Akers said the fighting between the national office and the local chapter had to stop for the organization to continue its mission.

"The family is not going to let my father's name go through the mud anymore," she said. "The American GI Forum is a beautiful organization, and we just need to get it back on track nationally and locally."

JK: Juan Garcia could donate "JUAN HALF" of his "war chest" to the Foundation (on which he sits as Board member) while personally managing the expenditures / projects / financials in a transparent operation. This act of good faith would single handedly restore the Doctor's name, restore the Landmark Building, produce a reaction of engagement in South Texas, and bring enormous masses of HD #32 Democrats to vote for him. He would blow a Sea Man completely out of the water. Pardon the pun?

Morales agreed, saying, "We see nothing but good things happening for us across the board."

Former local chapter commander Ram Chavez, who was expelled from the American GI Forum after allegations of misconduct and refusal to turn over the financial documents, said he was glad to see the founding chapter had been restored. Chavez also led the organization at the state level.

"It's a wonderful way to bring a closing of the 10th anniversary of Dr. Garcia," Chavez said. The community celebrated the 10th anniversary of Dr. Hector P. Garcia's death Wednesday.

JK: My regards Mr Chavez, that took a lot of class and love for the AGIF.

Contact Anthony Martinez Beven at 886-3792 or bevena@

I say this is where Lencho needs Mikal's Assistance? But Watt will Lencho do for Mikal?

BND consultants facing prison time

Couple pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges

The Brownsville Herald

Consultants who took Brownsville Navigation District officials to China and paid U.S. Rep. Solomon P. Ortiz’s travels to the Far East are facing possible prison time after recently pleading guilty to an immigration plot involving Chinese nationals.

Sixty-four-year-old Kenneth D. Cohen, a Houston businessman and board member of the Marine Military Academy in Harlingen, and his wife, Ping Lee Cohen, 54, pleaded guilty in February to conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government in federal court in Houston.

“Mr. Ortiz was deeply disappointed that Ken and Ping broke the law, and the judge will decide the price they pay for that,” Ortiz’s spokeswoman, Cathy Travis, said Friday.

BND Deputy Director Donna Eymard said she was surprised to find out about the conviction.

“They were very professional people,” she said. “They always did a fine job for us,”

In a statement released earlier this year, U.S. Attorney Chuck Rosenberg said between April 2000 and October 2005, the Cohens contacted Chinese citizens who paid up to $120,000 to enter the United States and ultimately obtain citizenship.

The Cohens would bring in Chinese citizens under the false pretenses of attending business seminars or conducting business negotiations.

Rosenberg said the Cohens would recruit the owners of small U.S. companies to offer jobs to Chinese citizens. This allowed the Chinese citizens to obtain employment-based visas to enter the country and remain here on a business visa.

“The defendants then created an illusory relationship between Chinese companies and U.S. companies by submitting forged stock certificates, stock transfer ledgers and financial records in support of petitions to the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), which were then filed with the Immigration Service on behalf of their clients,” Rosenberg stated.

The Cohens would use a law office to petition the INS for the Chinese citizens to enter and remain in the U.S. as executive-level employees of the various U.S. businesses.

“The affected U.S. business owners confirmed that the supporting documents had been forged, that they never employed the Chinese citizens and that their companies were never wholly or partially owned by the Chinese companies as required to obtain this class of visa,” Rosenberg said.

The Cohens face up to five years in prison and $250,000 in fines. They will be sentenced later this fall.

Doing Business with BND

The Cohens have numerous corporations, a review of public records show, but in Brownsville, they were known to BND as Asia Access Corp.

Eymard started working for BND in 2000. Present board member Roy de los Santos was already on the BND board as was former board member Carl “Joe” Gayman. Former board member Sidney Lasseigne was getting ready to join the board.

The late Raul Besteiro was BND’s chief executive officer.

BND’s first payment to the Cohens’ corporation was in March 2001 in the amount of $20,000 for “consulting fees,” public records show.

By November 2002, BND had paid Asia Access $91,108. Of this amount, records indicate that $15,510 was reimbursement for a stay at the Hotel Beijing, $80 for visas to China and $5,980 for airfare to Ningbo-Hong Kong in 2001.

BND paid Asia Access a service fee of $5,000 in 2001 for a trip to China and paid the firm a consulting fee of $40,000 in July 2002.

BND officials made three trips to China between 2000 and 2003.

“I know they arranged all the Far East trips, but how they came here, I could not begin to tell you. I don’t know,” Eymard said.

De Los Santos said he also didn’t know.

Gayman said Ping Lee Cohen was BND’s tour guide in China and arranged meetings with Chinese officials and companies.

“They would arrange the trips and work out the itinerary. I never did see anything suspicious,” de los Santos said.

“From the minute we arrived, all the meetings were set up,” Eymard recalled.

Getting Close to a Congressman

Travis said that Ortiz, D-Corpus Christi, has known the Cohens for more than a decade and became acquainted with them through mutual friends.

Travis said she doesn’t know if Ortiz or any member of his staff introduced the Cohens to BND and left the question to BND.

Gayman thinks Ortiz brought the Cohens to BND: “The congressman is the one that instigated the trips to China,” Gayman said.

Lasseigne recalled that Ortiz, his former chief of staff Lencho Rendon and Besteiro were close to the Cohens to “Madam Ping,” Ping Lee Cohen.

“She was very attractive, very, very, attractive, real sharp in business,” Lasseigne said of Ping Lee Cohen.

“I remember Lencho telling me that his ideal dream team (to help BND) would be (lobbyist) Randy DeLay, (Monterrey consult-ant) Esther Rodriguez and ‘Madam Ping,’” Lasseigne said.

The BND present and former officials said that to their knowledge, BND never assisted Chinese nationals in obtaining visas.

Asia Access also figures prominently in trips that Ortiz and Rendon made to the Far East, including China, Hong Kong, Taipei and Beijing.

The firm paid for four trips, a study by the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization, the Center for Public Integrity shows.

The organization recently tracked the travel of U.S. representatives and senators.

The trips were made at Asia Access’ expense by Ortiz and Rendon in 2000, 2003, 2004 and 2005 at a reported cost of nearly $48,000 combined.

Travis said Ortiz accepted the trips because he searches for ways to increase development in South Texas.

“One way to leverage that development has been to travel to Asia with South Texas business owners,” Travis said. “His presence with area businesses in the vibrant, dynamic Asian marketplace ensures their access to the decision makers at Asian companies, as well as to government offices there.”

And no, Travis said, neither Ortiz nor any staff member has facilitated the entry of Chinese nationals into the country.

Neither BND trips nor Ortiz’s trips have resulted in economic development here, Gayman said.

“We never got any business out of China,” Gayman added.


Posted on Jun 11, 06 | 12:01 am

Printer Friendly Version | Email Article


The American public is fed up with the
way business is conducted in government. Perks, trips, monies are too easily obtained by elected officials. Just look around locally and nationally, people seems to accumulate more than they originally had before becoming a public servant. The
everyday American hasn't the time or
energy to investigate these public
servants, so it is left to the media
or investigative agencies to do so.
Someone once said "If you want to
make money ran for some political office." rosa

Posted by: Rosa Cavazos on Jun 13, 06 | 12:05 am

GI Forum Update: Hector P Garcia Founder's Chapter has Charter Restored

GI Forum charter renewal for local chapter

By Anthony Martinez Beven/Caller-Times
July 29, 2006

After nearly a two-week suspension, the charter of the local chapter of the American GI Forum was restored Saturday evening.

"For the good and the welfare of this organization, we have entered into an agreement with the state of Texas leadership and the suspension has been lifted," said Tony Morales, national commander for the GI Forum and chairman of the organization board.

Friday, July 28, 2006

In a final decision Ram Chavez has been expelled from the GI Forum

Today in his final appeal at the GI Forum National Conference in Kansas City, the National GI Forum Board of Directors voted to expel Ram Chavez. In doing so, this action begins the charter re-instatement of the Hector P Garcia Founding chapter and bars Mr Chavez from all GI Forum activities. GI Forum National Director of Civil Rights Joe Ortiz in confirmation from the Convention floor in Kansas City looks forward to the Founding Chapter bouncing back and working in a unified manor to restore the legacy and namesake of Dr Hector P Garcia and the building, at the corner of Morgan Avenue and Bright Street, where activists planned the strategy for the landmark 1968 case Cisneros et. al. v. CCISD, which set the stage for courtordered school integration in Corpus Christi from 1976 to 1982. The building has been under the care of the National Archives & Historical Foundation of the GI Forum, which was set up in 1978 as a fundraising arm of the larger GI Forum - which was established by Dr. Garcia.
Jaime Kenedeno says:

"Juan Garcia: Here is a HD # 32 victory of defeat in a nutshell.

How you gonna act?

Get busy and show us some progress.

A lot can be accomplished before November.

Productivity with the center is productivity for YOU.

Here it is, I am handing your path to victory.

You can ignore it like you have everything else or you can go for it.

WATT have you got to lose?

Get busy and show us WATT Juan Garcia can do!

Flying around the district and uploadable IPOD videos will not bring victory.

Give us some video of the Clinic being restored give us some plans for the National Archives to start taking a lead in the historical Culrural and Public Policy Areas of our Educational Architecture.

Come on start making productive accomplishments right here right now.

We all win if this materializes."

Who @ the Caller wrote this Editorial?

Unfinished business for Dr. Garcia's legacy

The Bright Street clinic is in better shape today, but it is a long way from becoming a living memorial to the late civil rights leader.

July 29, 2006

This week's well deserved recognition of the accomplishments of the late civil rights leader Dr. Hector P. Garcia was also a reminder of the unfinished business at the building that once housed the doctor's clinic.

The vacant clinic building is now in far better physical shape than it was a year ago, when its dilapidated condition signified by its overgrown, unkempt surroundings and vandal-scarred and neglected appearance, made it a shameful legacy for a noble and heroic career.

At one point the building was on the verge of being put on the auction block to pay off the mortgage debt to Garcia's widow.

Thanks to a $20,000 grant from the City of Corpus Christi, the building on Bright Street is now secured by fencing, its windows are boarded against vandals and its roof has been replaced.

The building has at least escaped the ignoble end of becoming a blight on the very neighborhood that Garcia so selflessly served.

What remains unfinished is turning to reality the ambitions of creating a living educational memorial to the late doctor.

Those hopes have revolved around a vision of a center where scholarly work on Dr. Garcia's papers could be done, where meeting places for conferences would be available and where the future generations could learn about the Garcia's fight on behalf of the poor and the victims of discrimination.

The chief vehicle for this has been the National Archives and Historical Foundation of the American GI Forum.

The Foundation has a line on a $250,000 grant and is looking for matching grants. But there's groundwork to be laid even before the first dollar is donated, and that's working on the transparency and accountability that the Foundation has long lacked.

The Foundation has in fact received thousands of dollars in the 10 years since Dr. Garcia died. None of that money has ever been accounted for, other than assurances from the Foundation chairman Amador Garcia, a cousin of the doctor, that it's been well-spent.

Almost a year ago, as the clinic building faced foreclosure, Garcia gave assurances to the Editorial Board that he would reach out to the community.

Shortly thereafter, an audit was promised; if that audit has ever been made public, we're unaware of it.

A year later the Foundation is still saying it needs input from community leaders.

To be fair, there has been some new blood on the board. Juan Garcia, a former Navy pilot who is no relation, has been added and is involved in the fundraising effort.

Accountability must be instilled before there will be the necessary trust for donors and the community at large to support the clinic vision. Absent accountability, the dream of a living memorial to a wonderful man will remain just that, a dream.

Monday, July 24, 2006

G I Forum Solution Suggestion

Project name: G I Forum Solution Suggestion

List the objectives for the piece: Re instate Founding Chapter, force them to unify, put the money out in front of the membership for all to control (not just a few people), return National Administration to Corpus Christi (perfect example of Brain Drain)

Who will receive or see the piece?

South Texas, South Texas Politicos, GI Forum Founder Hector P Garcia Familia, Ram Chavez (Founding Chapter GI Forum ex Commander / re-elected Commander), Joe Ortiz (National GI Forum Civil Rights Director), Agnes Horne (title) , Tony Morales (National GI Forum Commander)

Explain the concept in one or two sentences:

Two Options; either the Founding Chapter will be erased or it will be reinstated.

Defiance will destroy, disband and certainly bring forth litigation on both civil and criminal fronts.

The path towards reinstatement begins with a very proud man swallowing a little pride and taking one for the team.

What themes or images come to mind?

A productive modernized Hector P Garcia building / program in Unity with Al Gonzalez Center a skatepark at the Memorial Coliseum and a boardwalk from Oso Pier to Cole Park

What are the main messages for the copy?

Supporting Ram Chavez is noble but will not produce positively for the Founding Chapter of the National GI Forum.

What kinds of illustrations will be used?

Hector P Garcia building with high grass

Timeline selected & created from Caller Times Articles

Garcia clinic status OK'd

City recognizes historical, cultural value of building

By Neal Falgoust Caller-Times
December 22, 2004

Dr. Hector P. Garcia's old Bright Street clinic has been designated a local historic and cultural landmark by the city, making it eligible for thousands of dollars in federal grants that could be used to turn it into a museum.

Hector Garcia's clinic was a hotbed of political activity in the 1960s and it was where Garcia and his comrades planned the legal strategy for the 1968 case Cisneros et. al. vs. CCISD. It was that case that set the stage for court-ordered school integration in Corpus Christi from 1976 to 1982.

Legacy of 'Dr. Hector' deserves better than this

The job of turning the civil-rights pioneer's medical office into a museum has been botched; put it in more capable hands.

July 28, 2005

Having the former offices of civil rights leader Dr. Hector P. Garcia go on the auction block would be a dismal turn for the historical legacy of a remarkable man. But the auction block may be one of the few ways to put the building on the city's Westside in new hands and preserve the vision of a museum honoring Garcia.

Even if the auction doesn't take place as scheduled next week, it's time for the present title holders of Garcia's office, the National Archives & Historical Foundation of the American GI Forum and its chairman, Amador Garcia, to step aside. New leadership should be given the opportunity to make the museum vision happen.

The promises made by Amador Garcia, foundation chairman, have a hollow sound, given the record of inaction. The late doctor's widow, Wanda Garcia, is owed $12,000 on a $20,000 promissory note for Garcia's offices signed in 2000. There have been no payments to Mrs. Garcia in years. Her attorney has now filed foreclosure papers, and the building, barring payment, will be sold on the courthouse steps next week.

At this stage of her life, Mrs. Garcia deserves to be living in peace and being honored in her own right, not chasing down deadbeat accounts. As the woman who stood beside Garcia while he fought in the public arena, she deserves far better treatment than this.

Yet even if the foundation and foundation chairman Garcia manage to stave off foreclosure, their stewardship is badly - and sadly - lacking. Nearly $2,000 in back taxes is owed on the building because of an inexplicable oversight in filing for tax-exempt status. In addition, Garcia, a lawyer, offers in defense explanations of missed deadlines for grant applications, pilfered funds and sagging donations. The vandalized and boarded-up building where so much Hispanic history has occurred is a direct reflection of the shabby treatment Dr. Garcia's memory has received.

Good intentions are simply not enough. The job of respecting Dr. Garcia's memory and educating new generations about his life and work is more important than any one person or group of persons. Chairman Garcia can honor the good doctor, his cousin, by handing over the reins to someone else.

Garcias get paid for Dr. Hector's office

Daughters are critical of Amador Garcia, leader of foundation

By Sara Lee Fernandez Caller-Times
August 1, 2005

Dr. Hector P. Garcia's widow on Monday received the balance of the money owed to her by the foundation created to honor her husband, preventing foreclosure on his clinic.

The $12,000 balance of a $20,000 promissory note Wanda Fusillo Garcia financed in 2000 to the National Archives & Historical Foundation of the American GI Forum was wired to her trust fund by the 2 p.m. deadline, said Cecilia Akers, one of Dr. Garcia's daughters.

"She is very happy that this chapter in her life is closed," said Akers, who like her mother lives in San Antonio.

Akers and her older sister, Wanda Garcia, who lives in Austin, said they believe there is a lack of commitment to preserving their father's memory and said Amador Garcia should step aside and allow someone else to lead the foundation.

They cited the deteriorated state of their father's clinic at 1319 Bright St., the three years of nonpayment and a lack of communication by Amador Garcia.

"The Archives needs leadership and direction," Akers said. "The community has lost confidence in (Amador Garcia) and I think the archives are going to have a hard time seeing this project to completion."

With the promissory note paid, the foundation is now free to make major changes to the clinic.

Wanda Garcia said it was her father's wish that Amador Garcia head the foundation, of which she is a board member. However, she has never been notified of a board meeting and is disappointed that the situation got to the point where the family had to foreclose on the building to get Amador Garcia's attention.

Akers said she would like to see the two Corpus Christi chapters of the American GI Forum and the Archives work together to restore the building and make it into a museum.

"I think that if they unite and pool their resources we can see my father's dream to completion," Akers said.

National GI Forum expels Chavez

U.S. organization accused him of acting improperly;he vows to fight the action

By Sara Lee Fernandez Caller-Times
August 10, 2005

Ram Chavez, commander of the Dr. Hector P. Garcia Founders Chapter of the American GI Forum, has been expelled from the national organization, which will affect his status as leader of the original chapter.

Chavez was removed from the American GI Forum of the United States on July 28 after a panel hearing during the national convention in Anaheim, Calif.

He is appealing the decision.

What was the outcome?

"I will have documents and records but I will not hold this appeal in public," Chavez said. "I will do it internally as every organization should do."

But now he is willing to take this internal issue to court?

It is not internal when public money is involved.

According to the written decision the panel issued last month, Chavez was found guilty of improperly removing Founders Chapter members from the organization after former member Willie Davila requested financial documents in 2002.

Because he was expelled from the organization, Chavez will not be eligible for re-election as the Founders Chapter commander during the upcoming annual local elections the first week of September..

Joe Ortiz, civil rights director for the GI Forum's national organization, represented Davila during last month's hearing. He said Davila was a member of the Founders Chapter for about 10 years before he was removed, while Dr. Xico Garcia was commander.

Chavez, 59, was accused of acting improperly because he influenced Dr. Xico Garcia to have Davila removed after he questioned the finances, Ortiz said.

City gives $20,000 to fix Garcia clinic

By Neal Falgoust Caller-Times
August 11, 2005

City Manager Skip Noe said officials have scraped together more than $20,000 in federal grant money to help rehabilitate the clinic, which for many years was the headquarters of the local Hispanic civil rights movement.

At the heart of the fight are allegations levied against Garcia that he has allowed the clinic to slip into disrepair, despite having raised thousands of dollars to renovate it.

Garcia acknowledged Thursday that he needs help in developing a business plan and proposals to solicit donations.

"What we need is somebody who knows how to do that," he said. "I'm not the guy."

JK: Garcia cannot be the only one who has neglected the building of the past 20 years. It has been in disrepair from before he took possession?

Garcia said the foundation might need to hire someone to do that work. He added that he would be willing to relinquish ownership of the building to Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi once the renovations occur so that the building could be used as an education center. The university is the official depository for the doctor's papers.

The building, at the corner of Morgan Avenue and Bright Street, is where activists planned the strategy for the landmark 1968 case Cisneros et. al. v. CCISD, which set the stage for courtordered school integration in Corpus Christi from 1976 to 1982. The building has been under the care of the National Archives & Historical Foundation of the GI Forum, which was set up in 1978 as a fundraising arm of the larger GI Forum - which was established by Dr. Garcia.


Garcia said the division within the GI Forum has hampered rehab efforts.

Members of the Dr. Hector P. Garcia Founders Chapter of the GI Forum have challenged Amador Garcia's leadership in recent weeks and worked behind the scenes to wrestle ownership of the building away from the foundation.

The struggle dates back to 1999, when the Founders Chapter, led by Dr. Garcia's brother Xico, sued the foundation and its directors, charging that the chapters were being denied access to money in the building fund.

The foundation settled the lawsuit for $50,000, leaving about $50,000 remaining in the foundation's coffers.

GI Forum foundation seeks 9-year audit

Work is expected to last about month, cost about $1,000

By Neal Falgoust Caller-Times
October 18, 2005

The nonprofit organization overseeing efforts to renovate Dr. Hector P. Garcia's clinic has hired its former accountant to examine nearly a decade's worth of its own financial record keeping.

It will be the first time in four years that the accountant has examined the finances of the National Archives and Historical Foundation of the American GI Forum. Because the group has not been required to file IRS returns during that time, there has been no need for an accountant.

The foundation came under attack in recent months after allegations of financial mismanagement. At the heart of the issue were accusations that the group's previous leadership allowed the clinic to slip into disrepair, despite raising thousands of dollars at annual fundraisers to renovate it.

JK: All that PUBLIC money and no accountant?

JK: And this prudent idea came about how?

If this initial review raises the possibility of any suspicious activity, at least one newly appointed board member said he would push for a more thorough audit.

"There are real substantive questions about the financial history of the organization," said Juan Garcia III, who was recently appointed to the board of the National Archives and Historical Foundation of the American GI Forum. The accountant hired by the foundation, Adelfino Palacios, is Hector Garcia's former personal accountant and has previously handled the foundation's finances.

The foundation is paying him $1,000 to assemble and review nine years of financial records. The work will start this week and should take about a month, Palacios said.

Also, City Council members will consider an item today to allocate $20,000 in federal grant money to the organization to secure the abandoned clinic and repair its dilapidated roof. The Community Development Block Grant money will be reimbursed to the organization once the work is complete.

The clinic, at the corner of Morgan Avenue and Bright Street, is where activists planned the strategy for the landmark 1968 case Cisneros et. al. v. CCISD, which set the stage for court-ordered school integration in Corpus Christi. The foundation was set up in 1978 as a fundraising arm of the larger GI Forum - which was established by Hector Garcia.

Juan Garcia III said he hopes the financial review will rebuild trust in the beleaguered foundation. He said the results of the review would be made public.

JK: Have the results been made public?

JK: This is a Public issue! We have public money involved. Very much so!

Former Garcia clinic to get roof repaired

Building also will receive fence to deter trespassers from entering property

By Neal Falgoust Caller-Times
November 21, 2005

Work will begin this week on emergency repairs to secure Dr. Hector P. Garcia's former clinic. Those repairs will be the first visible steps taken to restore the building since the reorganization of the group that owns the property.

JK: Why all of the sudden an emergency?

JK: Has not the Garcia Familia been taking care of it while it was in their custody? Before the transfer?

The work will focus on repairs to the roof and on erecting a fence to keep trespassers out of the building. City Hall has committed $20,000 to pay for the emergency repairs.

JK: Why is the City not more involved?

JK: After all, they just chipped in $20 grand.

The clinic, at the corner of Morgan Avenue and Bright Street, is an important landmark in the local civil rights movement.

It is where activists planned the strategy for the landmark 1968 case Cisneros et. al. v. CCISD, which set the stage for court-ordered school integration in Corpus Christi.

JK: Good ole Abe & Janis Jack got CCISD out of paying the million or so dollars just a couple of years ago. D1 says it was 1997.

Juan Garcia III, a member of the board who has no relation to Hector Garcia, said the foundation recently received commitments from state and federal officials to begin the process of seeking historical landmark designations for the building. Such designations would make it eligible for additional grant money.

"This is part of the starting-over process," Garcia said.

JK: Should Juan Garcia practice due diligence for Dr Hector’s sake?

JK: What about Gene Seaman?

JK: HD #33 loophole candidates?

Fate of GI Forum group to be decided

Ram Chavez says charges against him dropped

By Sara Lee Fernandez Caller-Times
March 18, 2006

The American GI Forum of the United States will decide today whether to remove its founding chapter, despite the local chapter's leader saying charges of misconduct against him have been dropped.

Ram Chavez, commander of the Dr. Hector P. Garcia Founders Chapter of the American GI Forum, said Friday his attorney had received word from the national chapter that his appeal hearing set for this weekend had been canceled and the charges against him dropped.

JK: Is there any documentation of the cancellation?

JK: Or, any documentation of the Charges “being dropped”?

Chavez was removed from the national organization July 28 after a panel found he was guilty of improperly removing Founders Chapter members from the organization after former member Willie Davila requested financial documents in 2002.

JK: What was Mr Chavez’s defense to the charges?

JK: Did he follow through with the appeal?

JK: How did this and the re–electing of Chavez effect the Founding Chapter?

"My attorney received a letter from Bob Sanchez that said all charges against me were dropped and my appeal was not necessary," Chavez said.

JK: Can we see the documentation?

JK: Has anyone seen this documentation?

JK: Has this documentation been provided?

But Antonio Gil Morales, commander for the national organization, said Chavez has not been reinstated and that charges against him have not been dropped.

JK: What is the official ruling?

He (Antonio Gil Morales) also said members of the national organization would discuss today whether the Dr. Hector P. Garcia Founders Chapter would be expelled from the national organization.

JK: This brings to mind the story of King Solomon and the dispute over the baby. Here the baby would be the Founding Chapter and it’s charter.

Morales said the founding chapter could be expelled if it does not hand over financial books and canceled checks involved in a 2002 complaint by former Dr. Hector P. Garcia chapter members Davila and Martin Barrios, who could not be reached Friday for comment.

In the complaint, Davila stated that he was expelled after he requested records, including information about $50,000 paid to the chapter after a 1999 lawsuit filed by Dr. Xico Garcia, brother of civil rights activist and GI Forum founder Dr. Hector P. Garcia.

The lawsuit, against the nonprofit National Archives & Historical Foundation of the American GI Forum and several of its directors, charged that the chapters were denied access to money in a building fund controlled by the nonprofit group. It also stated local members were not allowed to join the nonprofit group, which controls money raised for scholarships and runs fundraising events such as the annual Founders Banquet.

Because he was expelled from the national organization after being found guilty, Chavez was not eligible for re-election as the Founders Chapter commander, a position he had held since April 2003. However, chapter members rallied in his defense, re-electing him to the post in August.

Chavez's attorney Gene Ward denied misinterpreting the information provided to him by Sanchez. He said Friday he had confirmed the charges had been dropped with Sanchez verbally over the phone and in writing.

JK: Can Ward or Chavez produce this documentation?

JK: This is a PUBLIC MATTER not an internal matter. Is an inquest, in the interest of the PUBLIC too much to suggest? After all, it is PUBLIC MONEY being mixed in with private sector for whose benefit?

"There was no doubt whatsoever that we were told the charges were dropped," Ward said. "It appeared to show that (Sanchez) had copied several other people with the correspondence."

JK: Where is the proof?

JK: Email anyone?

JK: This is Public Information (due to PUBLIC MONEY), not an internal matter.

JK: Inquiry continues into local GI Forum chapter

By Brandi Dean Caller-Times
March 19, 2006

The American GI Forum of the United States decided Saturday to continue investigating its founding chapter in Corpus Christi, a step back from the possible expulsion it said it was considering a day earlier.

Antonio Gil Morales, commander for the national organization, said the Dr. Hector P. Garcia Founders Chapter could have been expelled from the national organization for not handing over financial documents involved in a complaint by former chapter members. Instead, Morales said the forum voted to look more thoroughly into the incident.

"The authority was given to the executive board to start some due process procedures to correct the situation in Corpus Christi," he said, declining to say what action, if any, would be taken. "It will be resolved in a short time."

Ram Chavez, commander of the Corpus Christi chapter, said chapter members had not heard about the decision and that no one from the chapter attended the meeting in Fort Worth.

JK: Does this not, demonstrate the knowledge of the meeting and that the Chapter had some responsibility to attend?

Chavez thought the chapter might get more information on Monday.

"We'll just wait and see," he said. "If we don't receive anything, we're just going to stick to what we have in writing."

JK: What does Mr. Chavez have in writing?

JK: Can you provide something to vindicate you Mr. Chavez?

JK: Indeed we will defend your position if the documentation is made available and it is vindicating in nature. Even partially vindicating.

Chavez had planned to go to the meeting to appeal a July decision to remove him from the national organization, which is a civil rights group founded by the late Dr. Hector P. Garcia, after a panel found him guilty of misconduct. A former member of the founding chapter claimed to have been expelled after requesting records about $50,000 paid to the chapter after a 1999 lawsuit filed by Xico Garcia, brother of the forum's founder. Chavez also was named in the complaint.

JK: What is the case number and which court is it in?

JK: If Mr. Chavez failed to attend the meeting; did this moot his appeal?

JK: What about the status of the Founding Chapter since it failed to attend as well?

Although Chavez was expelled from the national organization, the local chapter voted in August to re-elect him as its commander.

JK: Defiance,…….. will only drag the founding chapter down eventhough, in the end a point might be proven but at what cost. Pride has no place in this “internal matter”.

Chavez said he was informed Friday that the charges against him had been dropped, but Morales said Saturday that wasn't true.

"He is not a member," Morales said of Chavez. "His final appeal will be at the National Conference in Kansas in July. It has been postponed until then, and at that time the board of directors will vote on the case."

National GI Forum letter requests forms

Documents regard chapter's internal matters

By adriana garza Caller-Times
March 21, 2006

The national organization of the American GI Forum is drafting a letter to its Dr. Hector P. Garcia Founders Chapter in Corpus Christi that may decide the future of the founding chapter.

National Commander Antonio Morales said during a weekend conference in Fort Worth, that included members of the national organization, that the national board of directors decided to send the founding chapter a letter giving it 30 days to produce requested documents related to internal matters.

In July, a panel found Ram Chavez, commander of the founders chapter, guilty of misconduct and expelled him from the national organization. Despite the expulsion, the founding chapter re-elected him commander in August.

"We have some issues with internal matters," Morales said. "We are following the administrative process and constitutional provisions that give us the authority to ask and inquire about specific information."

If the founding chapter does not respond to the letter, it may run the risk of being suspended, Morales said. Chavez had a news conference Monday addressing the possible suspension of the chapter's charter.

He said he was embarrassed that an internal matter had received so much public attention. Chavez and his attorney were to present their side of the story to the national board of directors Thursday, but Chavez's attorney received a letter from the attorney of the national organization saying the charges against Chavez had been dropped.

JK: Is there any documentation that supports the charges being dropped?

But Morales said the charges have not been dropped as of Saturday.

"Now they want to revoke the charter of the founding chapter," Chavez said. "They tried it with me and now they want to try it with the whole chapter."

JK: This is an example of the loyalty and nobility to Mr. Chavez sinking the Founding Chapter of the GI Forum. If they were concerned for the immediacy the most expedient action would be for Mr. Chavez to step down with full honors.

"I'm willing to go to court to fight this," Chavez said. "It's a matter of principle."

JK: I thought the main argument Mr. Chavez makes is regarding it being a public issue?

JK: Will anything positive come out of the courtroom with respect to this issue?

Founding GI forum chapter suspended

Action, taken for failure to provide documents, called unconstitutional

By Adriana Garza Caller-Times
July 21, 2006

The local American GI Forum chapter, which bears the name of founder Dr. Hector P. Garcia, has been suspended by the National American GI Forum.

According to the letter, the suspension was a result of a failure to turn over financial documents requested by the national board of directors. The financial documents were requested in a letter sent to members of the founding chapter last month.

JK: Last Month???? This has been going on since 2002. The records have been withheld and members were expelled for requesting them.

Dr. Hector Day

A decade after GI Forum founder's death, dozens march in honor of his work for Hispanics

By Mike Baird Caller Times
July 23, 2006

Lisa Ann Torres, past president of the Cesar Chavez Committee, another Hispanic labor rights organization, led the procession of flag-waving, banner-toting supporters, peaking over a larger-than-life portrait of Dr. Garcia whose leadership improved the quality of life for Hispanic Americans.

In 1948, Garcia started the local chapter of the American GI Forum, which blossomed into a national Hispanic civil rights group. A veteran of World War II, Garcia was inspired to take action after he saw many area Hispanic veterans being denied educational, medical and housing benefits guaranteed to them under the GI Bill of Rights.

At a program that followed the march, Mayor Henry Garrett proclaimed July 22, 2006 "Dr. Hector P. Garcia Day" to honor the legacy of the organization that led the charge in correcting many discriminatory practices.

Supporters want to convert Garcia's old clinic into a museum outlining his contributions to the community. The effort has been hobbled by financial miscues and vandalism, and so far, organizers haven't raised any funds.

City leaders recently directed $250,000 in grant funds to the education foundation of the local chapter of the American GI Forum but charged the leadership to raise matching funds to restore the building which still displays a faded sign reading "Central Pharmacy."

"We have a year to raise our portion," said Amador C. Garcia, a local attorney overseeing the restoration effort. "We're holding sessions with board members to implement a blue-ribbon committee to raise funds for the rehab."

"It's going to happen," said Joan Veith, new president of the Corpus Christi Barrios Association.

It's been the longtime hope of the association to have the medical facility designated a national historical landmark.

Peter Vallecillo, acting Texas GI Forum civil rights director and director of the Southwest Institute on Poverty and Civil Rights, said the national organization violated the due process of the founding chapter as outlined in the organization's constitution.

"The national board never gave the chapter the right to a hearing," he said.

Vallecillo cited a section of the organization's national constitution that states that a chapter's charter can be suspended "only after a full hearing before the national board whose simple majority ruling shall be final."

According to the constitution, a chapter in danger of losing its charter has the right to counsel and the right to present evidence, as does the national board of directors.

Once a chapter's charter is suspended, it shall remain suspended until the organization "purges itself of fault to the satisfaction of a majority of the national board before it can be eligible to have a new charter issued."

Vallecillo, members of the founding chapter and Cecilia Akers, daughter of Hector P. Garcia, all say no such hearing took place.

Antonio Gil Morales, national commander of the American GI Forum, said he would not discuss what he called an "internal matter," though he did confirm the suspension was a result of a failure to provide requested documents.

Last July, a GI Forum panel found former founding chapter commander Ram Chavez guilty of misconduct and expelled him from the national organization.

Despite the expulsion, the founding chapter re-elected him in August.

The charges against Chavez stemmed from a 2002 complaint in which a former member of the chapter stated he was expelled after he requested financial records from Chavez.

The documents included information about $50,000 paid to the chapter after a 1999 lawsuit filed by Dr. Xico Garcia, brother of civil rights activist and GI Forum founder Dr. Hector P. Garcia.

Vallecillo said the national board shifted the burden of producing the documents to the founding chapter's members. ????????????

Hector P. Garcia Chapter Vice Commander Bob Ortiz said the chapter is conducting an internal audit of bank records to assess the group's financial history.

JK: Gives off the essence of impropriety?

According to a letter sent from the national organization to Ortiz, a chapter is required to turn in all financial records requested for IRS reporting purposes.

Vallecillo said the members of the founding chapter have several options, including filing individual complaints against the national board of directors for violating the due process rights of fee-paying members.

JK: Have not these members been aware of this issue for a reasonably lengthy period of time?

Akers said she asked the national board of directors to rescind the letter suspending the charter, but they did not. She said she was very disappointed with the way the national organization has treated the chapter her father created.

JK: The misfortunate disrespect to the Hector P Garcia Familia is the outcome (a byproduct) of the Leadership and members’ actions concurrently. This is where remedies must immediately materialize. These women never needed to engage themselves in the operation while the good Dr was around; why should they be burdened now? Make things right for Dr Hector’s Family.

"How can you suspend the founding chapter of the American GI Forum and allow other chapters to continue knowing the doctor's family is alive and well and they are still using his name?," Vallecillo said. "This is a travesty within a travesty."

JK: It is agreed, the founding chapter must remain intact. I disagreed to, with the part about using the Doctor’s name due to the fact that the use of Dr Hector P Garcia’s name and legacy was part of the transaction when the building was sold.

Looks like Amador Garcia hung Ram Chavez out to dry?