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UPDATE: Blaschka Tower exchange deal put on hold — for now

August 20, 2013

THE REAL DEAL
By JERRY DEAL
The Blaschka Tower building swapout has been put on hold by the Harlingen Economic Development Board, myleadernews has been told.
This means the Harlingen City Commisssion also will not be voting Wednesday evening at its session, at least temporarily tying up the project.
The Harlingen Community Improvement Board at a session Tuesday of the EDC reportedly wavered in the swap that has been suggested.
Among those objecting to the deal was Joe Rubio, who has adamantly opposed the swap. Rubio is a former police officer and regular blogger here,
This certainly has upset Mayor Christ Boswell, who has visions of the building, which should have been condemned long ago, becoming a viable part of downtown Harlingen.
Although this online publication did not attend the EDC meeting, those in attendance said the board wanted to look at the deal further.
Gee, is this the first sane move yet?
If you have read this column you know that this writer and many others
say it is a very bad deal the Harlingen City Commission was to vote Wednesday on the swap on the Blaschka Tower – N. Commerce exchange warehouse deal.
It should be a no brainer that the Tower not only is a downtown eyesore, it should have been condemned under the city code, not put up for sale with city approval.
The claim is it can be fixed and become an asset to downtown. Ha!
The Blaschka Tower, owned by Wayne Blaschka, is valued at $93,190, according to the Cameron County Appraisal District. Meanwhile, the
warehouse at 710 N. Commerce, owned by the Harlingen Community Improvement Board, is valued at $573,243.
With the Harlingen Economic Development Board in charge of the negotiations involving the property, the exchange is a $300,000 deal.
What say you, readers?

43 Responses to UPDATE: Blaschka Tower exchange deal put on hold — for now

  1. Bremda G. on August 19, 2013 at 11:50 pm

    OMG, unbelievable.

  2. Red Barchetta on August 19, 2013 at 11:50 pm

    Need a lot more details to have an informed opinion. If the Mayor and Commissioners are in favor of the deal, then it must have an economic benefit to the city. Let’s hear their side of the story.

    • erlkonig on August 20, 2013 at 8:04 am

      True, need a lot more details like how much work needs to be done? Plumbing, electrical, structural? How much money for everything? Are there investors or developers that are interested if the city does the improvement? How many units has the Reese sold? What’s the market like for residences downtown? I can appreciate the attempt to improve the area and it’s largest eyesore, obviously Blaska wasn’t going to get better on it’s own.

      • john jay on August 20, 2013 at 6:02 pm

        It’s a money pit and only the blind will not see this.

        This alone is the BIGGEST RED FLAG.

        James on August 13, 2013 at 7:34 am

        The pilings supporting the Blaschka Towers are creosote treated wood poles.

        How long will it be before the foundation gives away and the building
        falls over and goes “BOOM”.

        So how many millions wil it cost to re-enforce or change out these support beams? No more welfare for the rich period and enough with all the BS favoritism.

        • Paige Turner on August 21, 2013 at 2:18 pm

          There goes “john jay” again … believing everything he reads on the Internet — and from an anonymous poster at that. Que vato loco!

          • john jay R. on August 21, 2013 at 5:47 pm

            You just don’t understand how to back up anything you state with fact do you Paige? Do you even live in Harlingen? When was the last time you WHERE ACTUALLY IN THE BUILDING?

            As for I it was over 20 years ago and it should have been condemned WAY,WAY,WAAAAY back then. Your BS does not work on me, elles’ tu vato loco y pendejo tabien.

  3. Joe Rubio 956-536-6515 on August 20, 2013 at 6:27 am

    Today the Harlingen EDC will meet at the Marriott for the sale & swap of the Blaschka Tower and the building known as the Spring Dynamics building. The Harlingen City is mesmerized by the antics of Mayor Boz Hog Boswell. And sources say that the Harlingen EDC is an unwilling partner to the deal. Goober got mighty pissed off when the item was Not placed on the EDC agenda.

    As Goober Boswell explains it, we need to own up to the objectives of the Harlingen 100 Plan that he put together after several meetings and this includes a “facade” image to the lackluster, eye sore, code enforcement violation, Blashka building. No one dares stand up to Goober.

    I spoke to Humberto Zamora about the deal and he is for it. Later I realized that several properties are located in front of Blashka Towers that could be converted to parking lots, etc.

    I have talked to several people in the community and once the EDC says yes to the purchase where $300,000 is given—it is a done deal and then we can start our petition drive. And even City Manager Carlos Yerena has shown his allegiance to the almighty dollar by going along with Goober and his henchmen. Folks this is another Bass Pro Shops deal in the making and there is a commitment of around $800,000 just for the facade!

    My question to Goober & Carlos Yerena is why don’t you spend some of that reserve money that you have stored away for the winter. Your squirrel nuts exceed $13 million dollars in which at least $3 million dollars can be utilized for “Crazy Goober’s idea?”

    And where is the voice of the Old Guard which formed a political committee? Ulhorn was the secret squirrel that created the committee and was the head director but he failed to name a replacement. “Come on Boys, I got some huevos rancheros on the skillet and they need to be devoured! Oops I forgot dem gals that are part of the secret society of squirrels that participate in dem secret squirrel meetings. U all need to step up to the plate ladies and make your own huevos rancheros!”

    Get ready for 2 months of aggravation Goober when the petition drive starts. You will face the wrath of the soccer moms, local business people, and even La Raza Unida. Hell I may even go to the Catholic Church that Commissioner Castillo despises so much along with his protege Steve Mayer and ask for their prayers like Mayer did. “God I am only kidding, please reserve a place in your Kingdom because I am trying to do the right thing for this community which has a void of leadership & gumption to stand up for what is right.”

  4. Fustrated Harlingenite on August 20, 2013 at 8:19 am

    My formed opinion is that it’s another one of those shady deals that our elected mayor in Chris Boswell likes to make. This is another one of those deals where a private citizen makes out like a bandit. Then to beat all, a slum lord who use to be a city inspector or something like that here and that’s where he bought all his property like that puzzle king Bill DeBrooke. Why a shady deal?
    First of all, that nine story supposedly historic building was bought by slumlord Blaschka for peanuts. Then he rents out those insect infested, non code fire trap to people who could barely maintain themselves and then doesn’t maintain the building. I use to remember hearing stories (in coffee shops) where police officers had to use the stairs to respond to calls because of the elevator malfunctioning.
    Second of all, I counted all the windows on that building and my guess would be that it would cost an estimated $500K to replace. Of course, a figure that would come from a Boswell supporter and in the circle. So, imagine the interior of the building and the shape its in?
    Third of all, why should taxpayers AGAIN pay for something that will be traded off so a private citizen can gain? Which is the norm in Harlingen.
    Then I question Emma Trevino? Why did it take so long for you to write the story? Then you write a story to sell the BS trade to the citizens of Harlingen. I bet you haven’t seen the interior of that building? Take a photographer and find out.
    How convenient that the HCIB is holding a SPECIAL meeting at noon. But, that’s Harlingen way when you want to sneak something in. As for the city commissioners, its commons sense when it comes to dollars and sense. They’ll vote for it because daddy Boswell wants it.
    @Red Barchetta, go take a look inside of the building yourself and draw your own opinion. Its not safe!!!

  5. Paige Turner on August 20, 2013 at 9:10 am

    So, let’s assume the Mayor, the city manager, all 5 commissioners, the 7 members of the Community Improvement Board, the EDC executive director and his 5 board members are all in favor of this deal (and it sounds like they are). That makes 20 people that presumably have studied the deal and have a vision of what it means for Harlingen and our downtown. These folks have “determined that development of the 1926-vintage Blaschka Tower building under the direction of the Harlingen Community Improvement Board would revitalize the downtown area, create new jobs, retain employment and could be an incubator for new businesses.” This is a proactive, pro-growth plan for Harlingen. BUT NO … since Mayor Boswell is for this deal and Jerry Deal doesn’t like our Mayor, he is automatically against it even though he really has no idea what is going on. Take off your blinders and open your mind, Mr. Deal!

    • Kenneth J. Benton on August 20, 2013 at 11:48 am

      Those who know me and who read what I sent them this past weekend, including Mr. Deal, Paige, know that I believe that blight is a bad thing. Blaschka Tower, (McKelvey Tower), certainly qualifies as blight.

      So why then do I oppose this deal?

      Where does one begin to expose the stupidity? Let me see if I can get it done. I have a noon engagement and so will not make this farce of a meeting nor do I have time to really think about this response to your question, but here are a few things to consider:

      1. I have been working on and Wayne and his neighbor, Bill DeBrooke for over 20 years trying to get them to cooperate on a plan to renovate and make it economically viable. When I started I was working for File Realty and Mike File, I and others did many, many “what if’s” to see what might work. The buildings poor condition then, (far worse now) and economic obsolescent make that almoset impossible but we did come up with some possibiloities that could work if we could find an economic strong developer to help. That was impossible by……..

      2. The fact that the building is in a genertally blighted downtown and the tenant mix with payday loan crap, Salvation Army store, Mike Lucio’s Garage and junk yard, and such as the aluminum can recycling guy near by, made it a hard sell to anyone with any vision or brain. For those and other reasons, it cannot work as an economic engine. Lots more to this point but no time.

      2. bill Debrooke owns the building next to the DID build. In order to make the tower work as a hotel there needs to be an expansion of the too narrow tower from 25′ to 75′ to make it work as a hotel or as I dreamed, a Trade Mart. DeBrroke needs to sell that building where his TSTC trained son now has a computer arcade business to the developer so that the tower can be expanded.

      3. Debrooke also owns the lot behind the building which he refuses to sell even as the need to abandon the alley and work a deal with Twins is needed to create the beautiful external elevator effect (want to relocate Twins to the Tower lobby, which would be an open atrium so that they would be “in the lobby” effectively and therefore get all hotel or trade mart breakfast and lunch business).

      Lots more to write but no time so I will share two email responses here. because I am a finance guy and my business, NorCAM, LLC is involved with using New Market and Historic Tax credits help incent developers and attract businesses into low income, blighted areas, I have reached out to others more expert that I for help with this question. Here are two:

      a)
      Given all the changes you are proposing for the exterior, the project is currently ineligible for the 20%. However, we could discuss ways of meeting the needs for expansion that might be a bit more creative and still meet the requirements (i.e. create a secondary building that joins the tower on multiple levels). Only you would be able to make the call as to whether the investment in exploring options at this stage in the game is valuable. I don’t have enough information to know how flexible the programming/space needs are.

      The THC does not have a charge for our review process or the consultation mentioned above.

      Respectfully,

      Theresa A. de la Garza

      Project Review Assistant

      Division of Architecture

      Texas Historical Commission
      P.O. Box 12276

      Austin, Texas 78711

      512-463-8952

      http://www.thc.state.tx.us

      b)Hello again – With the 10% program, you will have a lot of flexibility. There are some interior/exterior wall-retention requirements, but otherwise very few restrictions.

      I don’t think that you’ll need a firm like ours for the 10% program. There are no approvals required and the process to claim the credits is pretty straightforward. Your architect and accountant should be able to handle it.

      Thanks for contacting us, nonetheless,

      Jason

      _______________________________
      Jason A. Yots, President & CEO
      Preservation Studios LLC
      60 Hedley Place
      Buffalo, NY 14208
      716.725.6410
      716.440.0521 – cell phone
      716.725.6412 – fax
      jasonyots@preservationstudios.com
      http://www.preservationstudios.com

      Bottom line is the city’s approach is wrong. Goober knows it and he’d rather convince you and others to do the wrong thing than help do what is really needed to fix our city.

      last thing, from the 1969 comprehensive plan:

      “There are two courses of action can be taken in regards to the serious problems revealed by the previously described studies.
      First, the past trends could be allowed to continue and conditions simply allowed to deteriorate further. The basic difficulty with this approach is that the city must compete with other communities in the valley area for the attraction of commerce and industry. Furthermore, new commercial and industrial enterprises will be placed in the Harlingen area by persons familiar with urban conditions elsewhere, and these persons can be expected to be influenced by the extent of blight in the community. Consequently, if blight increases and if living conditions become worse, the city is likely to lose out to its competitors. And this is in addition to the high cost of maintaining the extensive substandard areas”……1969 Comprehensive Plan, page 34.

      bye, gotta go

      • Kenneth J. Benton on August 20, 2013 at 11:51 am

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    • Don Myers on August 20, 2013 at 12:28 pm

      Well stated……….

      • john jay on August 20, 2013 at 6:44 pm

        Totally right on Benton. TOTALLY IN THE RIGHT!

  6. Fustrated Harlingenite on August 20, 2013 at 11:04 am

    @Paige Turner, you need to go to Blaschka Towers and take a look for yourself. I guarantee you that Blaschka will not let you or the media inside. These 20 people are puppets or followers of Chris Boswell, who only believes in putting money in certain people’s pockets. There is a hidden agenda here for Chris Boswell and his pockets???

    • john jay on August 20, 2013 at 6:39 pm

      Paige is just another one of those crooked clique’ based people who only support what is not just. Like I stated before,you would have to be blind not to realize that it is a money pit. And talk about such a load of bullshit,

      “These folks have “determined that development of the 1926-vintage Blaschka Tower building under the direction of the Harlingen Community Improvement Board would revitalize the downtown area, create new jobs, retain employment and could be an incubator for new businesses.”

      I like that “VINTAGE” what a load. More like it should have been condemned decades ago. Create new jobs? Just like the BP deal and the Reese right?????

      And here some more crap from the crooked supporter,

      “This is a proactive, pro-growth plan for Harlingen. BUT NO … since Mayor Boswell is for this deal and Jerry Deal doesn’t like our Mayor, he is automatically against it even though he really has no idea what is going on. Take off your blinders and open your mind, Mr. Deal!”

      There is nothing “PROACTIVE” about PRIVATE CITIZENS profitting from the city. Do we really have to drudge up all the proof yet again about all the crookedness that has been going on for decades? Do I really have to re-post the truth yet again?

      • Paige Turner on August 21, 2013 at 9:30 am

        This from the guy (i.e. John Jay) who has never had an original thought in his life. All he does is go along with whatever Jerry Deal, Joe Rubio or Kenneth Benton say.

        • john jay R. on August 21, 2013 at 6:02 pm

          Really? Who brought to light and posted on here via youtube the video of the famous Marra admitting ignorance of the law?

          Who drudged up informative links like this TASTY ONE?

          Creating and Denying Conflicts of Interest in Harlingen, Texas http://www.cityethics.org/content/creating-and-denying-conflicts-interest-harlingen-texas

          Hmmm,never had an original thought. Did you just start reading this online news publication? Oh,that’s right,you don’t even know the condition of that money pit you want the city to throw money into.

          It does not take a genius to realize corruption,it just takes someone to pay attention. Deal,Rubio,Benton and I have been paying attention for years and thank God for this publication because there is safety in numbers. The just shall prevail. Sometimes it takes years or decades but the truth shall always be brought up after being buried.

  7. Joe Rubio 956-536-6515 on August 21, 2013 at 1:09 am

    Bottom line-THE HARLINGEN EDC HAS NO MONEY FOR PROJECTS THAT WANT TO COME TO HARLINGEN! So what does Boswell want now, he wants to drain the 4B money fund that has over $2 million in uncommitted funds. Folks the City of Harlingen general fund has over $13 million in reserves and that leaves around $4 million in reserves that can be utilized for Goober’s bright idea. Why won’t Boswell use this money for his Blashka Towers project?

    I promised a petition and we will start the petition drive in a few days. I believe the deal does not qualify as a “quality of life” project and I will seek an opinion from the attorney general on the expenditure of 4B funds. In the meantime, Goober and his merry bunch of buffoons that sit on the commission will have to face the wrath of their decision:

    To the Community of Harlingen, Mayor Chris Boswell & his dormant commissioners have decided to spend your tax money on Blashka Towers…
    Would you rather have your tax dollars spent on a building that will continue to have code enforcement violations after a $1 million is spent on a facade or would you rather have:
    1. The money spent for parks …….
    2. The money spent for job training classes …….
    3. The money spent for primary job creations ……
    4. The money spent for a convention center/hotel……
    5. The money spent for affordable homes ………
    6. The money spent for other projects that are truly “Quality of Life” projects ……..

    Goober Boswell will spend the next 2 months plus wishing that he should have used his own money to finance his “blue pill” dream. “Its the illusion that you create Goober and I am unplugging all the chords that set people free.”

    PS: Goober & Carlos Yerena-your so called Code Enforcement Rangers pissed off Mrs. Lupita Ramirez and during your city commission meeting, we will ask for the resignation of Ken Clark, the director & supervisor of Planning & Zoning. Don’t take it personal Mr. Clark, but your failure to monitor the meeting between Mrs. Ramirez, the Board of Morons, & Staff pissed off Commissioner Sanchez and especially Mrs. Ramirez. In the military, the Generals are held responsible for their subordinates actions and they committed several acts of plain stupidity. Don’t worry Mr. Clark, you will have the protection of Goober and Carlos but this is only your first public wake up call!

    • smalltownboy on August 23, 2013 at 11:35 pm

      If they WANT to come to Harlingen, Joe, why do they need incentives from the EDC?

  8. The Harlingen Insider on August 21, 2013 at 11:13 am

    On hold? Don’t think so? I hear that the HICB board is going through with the deal and let someone else do the shenanigans. The puppet commissioners are going to approve this deal because their strings are being pulled by Chris Boswell. All I can say is that the Anglos in this city get the preferential treatment compared to the Hispanics who outnumber them. The only ones who get the tidbits are the followers and yes men and women who bow to the selected few.

    • yigal elohev on August 21, 2013 at 1:25 pm

      Please – stop playing the race card. A lot of people on this blog like to pretend Harlingen is Mississippi Burning in the 1950s – it’s lunacy.

      • Paige Turner on August 21, 2013 at 2:05 pm

        The race card is all these intellectually-challenged people have.

        • Fernando on August 21, 2013 at 2:18 pm

          Anyone who believes there is no discrimination in Harlingen is kidding himself.

          • yigal elohev on August 21, 2013 at 2:45 pm

            Anyone who believes there is discrimination is probably the type of person who blames everyone else for his/her problems.

          • john jay R. on August 21, 2013 at 6:12 pm

            Mississippi burning,reminds me of those “NO MEXICAN ALLOWED SIGNS” that used to hang in “WHITE” establishments back in the 40′s through the 60′s which is not really that long ago.

            Remember these “business owners” had family and children. Like they say,the apple does not fall far from the tree. So go ahead you supposed Christians ignore it and act like favoritism and racism does not exist in great ol’ Harlingen.

            Knowing better and acting otherwise is one of the greatest SINS you supposed Christians can ever do.

  9. Red Barchetta on August 21, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    So after just a little checking around the facts start coming out. Some highly-regarded and qualified engineering, architectural and construction firms have done their due-diligence on this building and have concluded that it is a sound structure and not in jeopardy of falling down in a very long time. The naysayers on this blog are precisely the same ones complaining about the anti-growth old guard (which simply doesn’t exist). Plus these are the same fools that would be complaining about just the opposite there were no plans to redevelop this building. I can hear it now about the lack of vision and risk-taking from our mayor, city commission and/or EDC, etc. Rubio and Benton, et al are just chronic complainers that only wish they could have come up with this plan themselves. Que lastima!
    Jerry Deal comments: I would be very interested in knowing who these highly regarded firms are. Surely, based on your comment here, you can readily identify them. Will you do that, please?

    • George Hock on August 22, 2013 at 12:24 am

      I agree, let us know who these engineers etc. are. I would like to see and hear this from them. That building is practically useless and not worth the money it will take to make it right. Then what? Just another Harlingen white elephant.

      • The Harlingen Insider on August 22, 2013 at 8:39 am

        Really? I bet those architects and engineers are from the circle of greed of Mayor Chris Boswell?

      • Paige Turner on August 22, 2013 at 9:53 am

        You people should do your own research. Call the city manager, your city commissioner, the EDC, the Downtown Improvement District, someone on the Community Improvement Board (other than Joe Rubio) and ask them. Don’t you think they’ve done their due diligence and had professionals analyze the feasibility of this project, the soundness of the structure, etc.? I would wager that most local architects and engineers know the answer. The building may be an eyesore currently, but it is iconic. There have been discussions about renovating the building for many years. Many experts have toured the building and know how solidly it was built. Why are some of you supposedly “pro-growth” critics now so solidly against doing something good for the community and lighting a spark to spur future growth and development … in our downtown area … using the tallest and most visible building in town? Where’s the vision and can-do spirit?

        • Red Barchetta on August 22, 2013 at 11:46 am

          Bottom line is that you just can’t reason with unreasonable people — especially haters and lunatics!

          • john jay on August 22, 2013 at 1:28 pm

            Paige Turner and Red Barchetta,only fools believe their own lies. Renovation and to bring this money pit up to code will be in the millions and that is the bottom line.

            Benton has presented fact in his above statement to agrue his true points. All you two do is continue to toot the horn of your leader’s clique’ and TRY to spread your foolish propaganda.

  10. Joe Rubio 956-536-6515 on August 22, 2013 at 3:18 am

    FYI to all the readers of this BLOG, Red is right with an assessment of the building and I will go along with it but….. it still does not stop the fact that Mayor Boswell is forcing the 4B board to fund his vision of a clean downtown area look. His vision is another Bass Pro Shops deal that will just keep on sucking the government tit for more & more money. At tonight’s meeting, I spoke about the $300,000 being spent to acquire the building. What follows next is another half-million estimate for the facade image that Boswell has obtained for a commitment of funds from the 4B. And then he wants a continuous commitment for his next vision of a power wash of the building. And then the exterior brick needs a paint job plus the ladders leading to the roof need to be replaced. How much more $$$$ for his vision will be spent? And then the retired fire marshal that I spoke tonight told me about the elevator that will have to be replaced because it will not fit current ADA standards. Remember Harlingen is being sued already for non-compliance with ADA standards. And then the mold problems will have to be addressed and I estimate another cool million plus. And then we start addressing the downtown entrance floor for the public restroom and a potential police substation. The needs assessment study that was NOT done states that a police substation is needed because the new police department is within 2 mile and Police Chief Whitten wants a view from the 9th floor! Please folks……. the money for the 4B funds has been used wisely to fund other projects that made it a better quality of life for the community. Do the math 4B Chairman Jesse Robles, How much more money do you want for the project BT? The money numbers that has been suggested are vague in nature as posted on the agendas?

    So the VOTE by the commissioners approving the BT project is a farce. I expected that Tudor Ulhorn/Danny Castillo/Mike Mezmar to vote their allegiance. Chino Sanchez was NO surprise because he is like “Rodney King” when he believes that “Can’t we all just get along?”

    But Commissioner Victor Leal has now turned into a wanna be Establishment feller. He has been introduced to the wine and dining of the Harlingen Country Club. Victor did you get a HCC membership offered to you? Victor is the “McFly” of the city commission. He has a social conscious but the Establishment has slapped on the side of the head and said, “You are one of us until you exit out of the city commission! We will use you, abuse you, and we will control you and fund your future campaigns as long as your one of our Players.” Victor’s new saying, “Tennis anyone. I will meet you at the CLUB!”

    • Red Barchetta on August 22, 2013 at 8:48 pm

      Another long-winded and insult-filled rant by Joe “Class Envy” Rubio.

    • Paige Turner on August 23, 2013 at 9:45 am

      Is it just me, or does Joe Rubio have a habit of insulting and picking on successful businessmen in Harlingen that have worked hard and achieved success. And it would seem he saves his harshest criticism for successful Hispanic businessmen. I would submit to Mr. Rubio that Commissioner Victor Leal earned his success and worked hard at building his business over the years, to the point where he can afford to dine in class and style at the Harlingen Country Club (as if that is a bad thing). Don’t worry, Joe, you too can do the same thing if you work hard. Every one of us is afforded the same opportunities to achieve success. Don’t be jealous and envious of Commissioner Leal. You should celebrate his success and use him as a role model to better yourself. Perhaps he would be willing to share some of his secrets to achieving success and put you on the right path.

  11. erlkonig on August 22, 2013 at 8:22 am

    Speaking of the city taking over buildings or offering incentives to improve and somewhat relating to a VMS article regarding the Olive Garden slated for a remodel, how bout Dillard’s? This company remodels Dillard’s department stores across the country and does beautiful work. All the new Dillard’s are really beautiful inside and out. Sometimes just improving a building’s appearance can give you more customers.

    http://www.cdicon.com/project/70/dillards-department-stores

    http://www.timescall.com/ci_22991691/longmont-council-oks-eminent-domain-dillards-at-twin

    Kudos to the the flagship HEB in town for improving their building and Target years back for upgrading theirs too. Cinemark top notch and Harlingen Corners coming along. Wal-Mart Supercenter is old and small now, although it was probably one of the first Supercenters in the valley. The fact that some mainstream, large corporate retailers and restaurants still have “old” buildings in town and haven’t re-invested in them is troublesome. Despite the people that disagree with BPS, Bass Pro really puts most of Harlingen’s main retail district to shame in appearance, including Valle Vista as a whole.

    • erlkonig on August 22, 2013 at 8:27 am

      My sister and her family lived in Harlingen a few years ago and said they would shop in McAllen almost every weekend. I asked her why, and she said, “because McAllen stores are nicer and have more selection including the same stores that are in Harlingen”.

  12. Kenneth J. Benton on August 23, 2013 at 11:58 am

    Jerry, maybe Paige’s real name is Kori. Whoever she is, please get her to read, think, consider and put away the politics and her hatred of sweet innocent, little me.

    Paige, the fact that the mayor is trying to do something about a serious problem is a good thing, I would agree with you. However if you consider the totality of what is needed, in terms of sustainable community economic development, broadening our tax base, revitalizing Harlingen’s blighted and ugly original town site, the criticism of the plan as a “money pit” is a legitimate one.

    The commission in the recent past ended some social service funding by the Community Development Board. Jerry wrote an article about it. Surprise, surprise, surprise, I agree with the mayor and commission on that one. Our core city is run down and we need a plan to INCENT private investment that will lift up rather than further undermine our economic base; one that will improve this community’s appearance. Therefore rather than waste money on duplicate social services which create dependency, it is better, wiser to commit those funds to efforts that can change and help improve Harlingen permanently.

    Did you know that CDBG funds can be used for:

    Eligible Activities

    •acquisition of property for public purposes;
    •construction or reconstruction of streets, water and sewer facilities, neighborhood centers, recreation facilities, and other public works;
    •demolition;
    •rehabilitation of public and private buildings;
    •public services;
    •planning activities;
    •assistance to nonprofit entities for community development activities; and
    •assistance to private, for profit entities to carry out economic development activities (including assistance to micro-enterprises).

    Just imagine the possibility of possibilities.

    The point I hope is made. My reasons for doing so should be clear. Harlingen, some 45 to 60 years late needs to do what McAllen, Weslaco, Edinburg and many progressive communities have done, are doing. The fact that effort is being made, I agree that is good. Now let’s do it right and not waste tax dollars on a plan which will not lead to economic growth or do the job that is needed, politics notwithstanding.

    • Paige Turner on August 23, 2013 at 2:42 pm

      Kenneth, I do not hate you, nor have I called you any names. For many years I’ve been reading your blog posts, so let’s just say I know exactly where you stand. Countless times you have lashed out and insulted our leaders stating that they lack intelligence, vision, leadership, etc. Oftentimes using rather colorful and vitriolic language. And this would apply to past and present mayors, city commissioners, members of the EDC board the airport board, etc. And yet you continue to ask others to take you seriously, work with you, consider your ideas, etc. For you to ask me and others to put aside politics and hatred is rather hypocritical, wouldn’t you say?

      • Kenneth J. Benton on August 23, 2013 at 4:04 pm

        Horse poo poo. Could not agree with you less. Harlingen is what it is and for those like myself who grew weary of years of lies, deceit, duplicity and corruption (liking bribing a sitting D. A.) will be glad I resorted only to blogging and name calling. You don’t hurt people and their families and get away with it.

        If you had the brains and integrity to know where I stand you would acknowledge that the things I have written over the years have all been about Harlingen and making it a better place. Far too many know the truth so you little self pity party falls short of making amendments for the many, many wrongs you and yours have done to so many. Its ok, Paige, God is just.

        Hey Jerry, Harlingen is moving up. Deion “Prime Time” Sanders of Dallas Cowboy and NFL fame was at Golden Corral today about 1:30 or so.

        • john jay on August 23, 2013 at 6:36 pm

          “If you had the brains and integrity ”

          Ahh,come on Benton. You know that these people have rarely worked for anything they have stole and as usual thiefs are stupid due to the fact they get caught along with the evidence of their crimes.

          As for the integrity part,that is a word that they are absolutely ignorant of. God is just and Paige along with the clique’ will all have their day with GOD’s judgement. I always heard God shows no mercy to hypocrits.

  13. Kenneth J. Benton on August 23, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    Hey Jerry, one more thing before the weekend starts, I was just up on north loop 499 (Col Card Blvd) and noticed some type of structure being built. It sits behind a chain link fence and has a caliche curb cut entrance and parking area.

    Is this the type of development Harlingen will permit on a major corridor?
    Jerry Deal comments: Will check it out, but probably too late for today.

  14. Kenneth J. Benton on August 23, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    Well Jerry, I said one. I meant two.

    Has any one wondered about the new restrooms in McKelvey Park? Rather weak and pedestrian design for sure, but hey its only a restroom, right?

    Still I hope for some landscaping and top soil run off controls. You know, make it look better, Harlingen Proud and all of that.

  15. howard hughes on August 29, 2013 at 7:15 am

    typical harlingen and elected officials trying to make an unhonest and fast buck, mayor bozhog take a look at your compadre mayor over in Progreso, perhaps thats what you and your cronies are looking and searching for. Careful you might just find it and get it. Good day

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