News Party lines 

The Saints we ain’t

It’s gratifying to hear that the New Orleans Saints are packing up and returning to their home state where they belong. No more tooting the NFL horn. No more talk about forcing the taxpayers to build a football stadium so a handful of gridiron nuts can attend home games in San Antonio.

Let’s concentrate on feeding, nurturing, and educating our children, who are vastly more important than a bubba sport in which fully grown (not necessarily mature) men race full tilt at one other on a field, hell-bent on knocking the wind out of opponents with an eye to pushing an odd-shaped ball across a goal line.

Welcome home, New Orleans Saints, fortunately not in San Antonio.

Mayor Phil Hardberger issued a statement congratulating San Antonio’s football fanatics for making the Saints feel welcome during the mercifully short time they played here.

“I want to thank the people of San Antonio for their incredible response to this team,” Hardberger says. “The enthusiasm and support displayed by both the individual fans and our local corporate citizens over this season will pay dividends for our city for years to come.”

Yeah, and maybe the Texas Legislature will get off its butt and fund an outstanding public school system.

Yeah, and maybe the Texas Legislature

will get off its butt and fund

an outstanding public school system.

In other business, the San Antonio Express-News officially acknowledged the existence of the Current last week as it rehashed a recent Current cover story on UTSA atheists `“Losing their religion,” December 15-21, 2005` in its Metro section.

That the lone daily newspaper in town (does that suck, or what?) has actually mentioned this newsmagazine as it nears its 20th anniversary indicates that someone over at the Hearst Corporation is awake and is becoming aware of what’s happening in San Antonio.

The Current has made some changes to improve the Express-News’ alert level, from a previous deep purple (signifying unconsciousness) to at least a pale yellow. Those changes include printing this product on an Austin press instead of at the Express-News, which amounts to locking the fox out of the henhouse.

And to prevent any further confusion as to whether a Current story was published before a replica appears in the daily every Thursday, the Current’s previous publication day, we now come out on Wednesday. This little housekeeping move might disappoint E-N editors who think our stories should be their stories; they’ll just have to work harder since they will no longer ride piggyback on our editorial staff.

Lastly, we spotted photographer/film director/media artist Jorge Sandoval selling large-scale photo prints taken during his frequent travels to such places as Guatemala and México, during the Houston Street Fair and Market last Tuesday.

He plopped down $100 to set up a booth, which attracted a good crowd the day before Nebraska defeated Michigan in the Alamo Bowl.

“I got my $100 back,” grinned Sandoval midway through the city’s third market day event. Just in time, as the well-known local artist was headed to Tulum for a New Year’s Eve celebration in the Yucatan Peninsula.

The fair seemed to work for everybody, even the local Houston Street merchants were beaming as they propped their doors open and welcomed tourists and locals into their shops.

Alejandra Aguilar worked a fresh-fruit booth for her father, who manages the Commerce Street Mercado about a half-block west of City Hall. Alejandra sold fresh flowers, peanuts, fresh fruit, and iced-down fruit cups. It is the Mercado’s third fair, and working a booth “lets locals know where we are,” Aguilar says.

Coach Terry Lowry introduced several young students enrolled in the Network for Young Artists, and they each belted out tunes in the middle of Houston Street. It was like karaoke, except you had to know the words.

Just to get an idea of how the event is doing, we checked in with Albert Anaglia, local owner of Al’s Gourmet Nuts, as he stood at his booth in a chef’s jacket and dispensed samples of cinnamon almonds, pecans, flavored cashews and hazelnuts dipped in his special Bavarian recipes.

Anaglia is a veteran of other fairs and market trade days, as he is a regular in Wimberley, Boerne, Georgetown, Gruene and the annual King William Fair, “my best one.”

As for the Houston Street extravaganza, “It has been very positive, not necessarily for sales, but to bring more people to downtown San Antonio,” Anaglia said. “If it endures over a year, it will be very good.”

By Michael Cary

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