Double Dutch

What is that fresh wind of promise blowing into San Antonio, impervious to news that the Army’s recruitment propaganda increasingly appeals only to those without benefit of higher education (or even a high-school diploma) and the international markets’ mortgage-crisis panic attack? Why, it’s a glistening new hilltop development of “sustainable” luxury condos and retail, within easy striking distance of the Shops at La Cantera and the PGA Tour golf course. éilan, inspired by our Texas Foothills Country — so evocative of Tuscany, they always say — is the latest Texas project of Dutch-born real-estate firm Wereldhave USA, inspiring Queque to rename our burgeoning Great Northwest the Nether region. In some parts of the country, uncontrolled fluffiness might be a negative, but not in SA, cuz as you know we love the booty.

Why the fashion-forward love for sleepy SA, long derided by her Lone-Star stepsisters as unworthy of the big ball? Yes, we are a steadily growing metropolis in a time of economic turmoil (can’t fall off the floor, we like to say), but Queque suspects the local lifestyle indicators on rich display in this week’s column played a factor in the southern exposure. Sit back and ponder, is this not the city of the future?

Equal to the opportunity

Queque lauds the historical breakthrough represented by City Council’s January 17 selection of Jennifer Ramos to fill the District 3 seat vacated by Roland Gutierrez, which guaranteed a 6-5 female majority on the council (moments after Ramos’s selection, Louis Rowe was picked to fill the open District 9 seat). Exactly the sort of modern thinking moneyed metrosexuals like to see. We were slightly taken aback, however, by the way District 8 councilwoman Diane Cibrian used the occasion to gush about the supernatural powers of Mayor Phil Hardberger.

“Mayor, this may be your magic, but we have made history once again!” Cibrian said. “It’s a great thing for young girls, that you, too, can lead the greatest city in America!”

Caught up in the feminist spirit of the moment, District 7 Councilman Justin Rodriguez saw fit to inform attendees that he’s married to a strong woman and feels comfortable around members of the opposite sex. In the face of such earnest displays, District 5 Councilwoman Lourdes Galvan jokingly requested that Hardberger “order six hot-pink chairs” for the chambers.

Family land values

While Queque found proposed business name Boobie Rock a bracing departure from run-of-the-mill euphemisms (Boobie Trap, let’s face it, would be even funnier, but is perhaps already taken. Queque’s afraid to google it because we’ve already had that talk with our supervisor.), District 8 Councilwoman and mayoral striver Diane Cibrian knows a winning piece of horseflesh when she sees it. Can she flog neighborhood indignation over the proposed strip club all the way to the ballot box? That may depend on District Judge Andy Mireles, who refused for a second time to grant summary judgment, sending its fate winging toward a January 28 jury date. At issue: Can a restrictive covenant forbidding activities that appeal to “prurient” interests bar run-of-the-mill burlesque activity? (The concept is actually “high-end,” says Boobie Rock legal rep Jim Deegear. The owners hope to create a national chain of expense-account-friendly establishments. “I can take a client there,” for instance, “and know what to expect and it’s not going to be something really raunchy.”)

When he gets his real day in court, Deegear will argue that “prurient” is either “so vague it doesn’t mean anything,” or that we’re stuck with the Supreme Court’s reference to the American Law Institute’s Model Penal Code (Stop. You know it’s spelled differently.) in the old Roth obscenity case: “a shameful or morbid interest in nudity, sex or excretion and it goes substantially beyond the limits of candor in description or representation of such matter.” Deegear expects to obtain a continuance this Thursday and be back in front of Mireles in 30 days or so, but if not, he’s sanguine. “I believe in juries,” he says. “I think that juries are favorable to common sense.”

Labor lawlessness

The American Freedom Riders needn’t have bothered making a scene Saturday at the Cattlemen’s Square day-labor pickup spot. According to the daily, the threat of federal undocumented-worker laws (vaguer than “prurient” if you ask Queque, and in a more considerable state of flux) and Houston vigilantes stalking short-term employers had already scared the City off the idea of an official day-labor site — official sites being a must according to advocates for day laborers, who are often the victims of non-payment and other forms of worker abuse. The idea has been tabled indefinitely while we concentrate on our new green spaces and the upcoming venue-tax referendum.

Is AFR spokesmodel Schuylar Crist even the teeniest bit sorry that Saturday’s contretemps — augmented by the Left with signs reading “KKK go home” and “racists” and by the City with police — might interfere with jobs for documented workers, too? Not really.

“People are not checking their paperwork, people are not verifying the paperwork is real,” says Crist of similar sites in Houston and Austin, echoing the words of U.S. Border Watch president Curtis Collier at Saturday’s clash.

“We’re only opposed to the hiring of illegal aliens,” Collier told the Queque. “We’re not opposed to the day-labor site as long as the day-labor site is for people who have the right to be there.”

Location, location, location

Speaking of stripping down (we were speaking of it just a moment ago), less may be more desirable in the coming decades, according to The Changing Climate of South Texas 1900-2100 (finally off the A&M press), which predicts a dramatically warmer and more volatile Texas, where megadisasters and intensified air pollution are the norm. Greg Harman hit the lowlights in his July 25, 2007, story, “Global Warming Hates South Texas,” online at

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