MIXER MAGAZINE

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Mixer Magazine is a magazine for the Laredo, Texas and the Rio Grande Valley that is commited to real writing. No fluff here.

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  • August 2011 Issue 1

    PREMIERE ISSUE

    LAREDOS

    CROSSFITTRAINING...

    NOT SO HIDDEN

    IS McALLEN THECITY OF THE FUTURE?

    A LOOK ATBARIATRIC SURGERY

    IS IT APPROPRIATE FOR THE NOVICE?

    TREASURE

    READING INTOTHE COMMUNITYBOOKSTOREWARS?

  • OUR SERVICES

    HIRE USInterior DesignWeb DesignGraphic Design

    Marketing StrategiesMotion Graphics

    Project Management

    info@alvative.comDavid - 956.432.4972Karen - 281.701.4503www.alvative.com

    Smart Designs

  • PublisherCarlos Delgadillo - carlos@mymixermag.com

    EditorMike Herrera IV - editor@mymixermag.com

    Graphic DesignAlvative Design Group - info@alvative.com

    Ad Designer Ariana Farias - mixer@mymixermag.com

    Advertising sales@mymixermag.com

    Contributors Dana AndradeJose EsquedaBeto Gutierrez

    Evelyn HartSam Lozano

    Acerina MadrigalJoe Molina

    Emily Marie Sanchez

    Mixer Magazinewww.mymixermag.com

    editors noteWow!This is big. What you hold in your hand, dear reader, is an example of the American Dream. Sounds corny, but let me explain.It started with an idea. Carlos Delgadillo, a former classmate of mine and a well-known local photographer, comes up to me one day and says, You know what this town needs?If you say water park Im going to smack you, I reply.No, no. This town needs a magazine. One thats not just filled with pictures of girls in big dresses. Not just social pages. A magazine with real writing.Real writing, I thought. He had a point. Laredos filled with social pages. Most reporting, be it in print or on television, is event coverage. Theres scarcely any commentary about the community and its problems, something we can chalk up to Laredos legendary sensitivity, even hostility, to any criticism no matter how reasonable or fact-based. My father dealt with this in the 80s as publisher of the Laredo Morning Times, an era referred to as Laredos newspaper wars by long-time Texas Monthly writer Paul Burka. In a 1984 piece called The Sheets of Laredo, Burka writes that my father made the Times more journalistically aggressive and published front-page columns confronting Laredos problems. The rival paper, the Laredo News, tried to play on Laredos pride by claiming the Times was disrespecting and dividing the community. Even today, public figures play the community pride card in order to gain favor and brush away any opportunity for honest dialogue about community issues. Now, what you hold in your hand represents our attempt at contributing to that dialogue. We want to cover not just Laredo, but South Texas, and we want to do it with style. In this inaugural issue, youll find our founder Carlos Delgadillo exploring the growth of McAllen. Joe Molina, a self-professed dreamer, writes a touching vignette about a carnival worker, and fitness guru Sam Lozano discusses a growing fitness trend. For my own small part, I discuss the possible future of a struggling small business, Escape Again Bookstore. What started as an idea in one persons head is now ink and paper in your hands. Nothing is a more basic expression of American initiative. Times are tough, and its not kosher anymore to call this the American dream, but I cant think of a better term. I havent woken up.

    Mike Herrera IV, Editor

    On the cover: Kayaking the Rio Grande, photo by Jesus M. Garcia. Addl. Photography Credits: Page 9, Mayor Cortez, photo by Carlos Delgadillo. Page 10-11, Escape Again, photos by Mike Herrera IV. Page 13, Types of surgery, graphic provided by The Mayo Clinic. Bariatric surgery photos provided by interviewees. Pg 16, Carnival, stock photo. Pg 17, Chef, photo provided by Beto Gutierrez. Food photos by Carlos Delgadillo. Pg 19, Picketer, photo by The PanAmerican. Pg 21. Pullup guy, stock photo. Pg 22. Food photos by Carlos Delgadillo. Exterior of restaurant, photo by www.burguesa.com.

    Copyright 2011 Mixer Magazine. All rights reserved. August 2011, Volume 1, Number 1. Published monthly by Mixer Magazine, 9652 McPherson Ave #1, Laredo, Texas, 78045. www.mymixermag.com.PROUDLY PRINTED IN TEXAS.All views expressed do not necessarily represent those of Mixer Magazine.

    FIND US ON FACEBOOKwww.facebook.com/mymixermag

    TABLE OF

    CONTENTS

  • TABLE OF

    CONTENTS

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    10

    79

  • Story by Carlos Delgadillo | Photography by Jesus M. GarciaLAREDOS NOT SO HID DEN TREASURE

  • Perhaps within the perpetual redundancy of the phrase Theres nothing to do is a person not willing to search for something to do. Excitement may very well be reserved for the go-getters in life. Or maybe its a simple matter of putting in a little effort, a little elbow grease, to find it in your own backyard.

    The Rio Grande is most likely not on anyones list of things to do, or places to go. Still, along a six-mile stretch of the river edging the banks of Laredo runs a kayaking trail that can be a formidable physical challenge and is undoubtedly fun. Eric Ellman heads the Big River Outfitters from a quaint office inside the Rio Grande Plaza, a towering hotel situated by the river. Ellman, a kayaking enthusiast and former teacher, is passionate about many things. Paddling down the river, he constantly points out environmental issues affecting the area. He speaks of projects hes trying to get off the ground, and awes over the natural landscapes trailing along the way. One project in particular he discusses is the educational value the river has.

    Weve secured two grants to create and implement outdoor learning curricula that will demonstrate that the best place to prepare a kid to

    pass his TAKS is under the clear blue sky, Ellman said. One of the multiple intelligences educators sometimes use is the Naturalistic one, which involves taking students outdoors and relating the environment to their corresponding topic of study. However, South Texas is no stranger to extreme temperatures, climbing upward of 100 degrees at times. In fact, the area lacks seasons. Its hot most of the year. This may be one reason some people opt to stay indoors and play video games instead. Ellman is fully aware of this.

    South Texas is home to some of the fattest people in the country, said Ellman. Weve got triple the national diabetes rates, failing schools full of kids who cant make a connection between what they study in books and the natural world, and who know more about animals in Africa than in their own backyard. And their parents let them get away with playing video games instead of going outside because they think its too hot.

    The grants have been awarded to the Big River Foundation, a non-profit organization that Ellman points out has raised thousands of dollars for local charities. The foundations goal is to bring awareness of the rivers educational and environmental benefits as well as the fitness

    alternative kayaking provides. Ellman elaborated: In just six months, weve introduced over 200 customers to their river and gotten the city of Laredo to endorse creation of an official Texas Parks and Wildlife Paddle Trail Department.

    Skeptics will point out the ongoing border violence. While there is no doubt of the recurring turmoil in Mexico, little has spilled onto the Texas side. Yet, various media conglomerates have negligently reported that Laredo is as dangerous as its sister city. Still, no related incidents have been reported by kayakers. Ellman is as alive and free as the river he loves.

    LAREDOS NOT SO HID DEN TREASURETHE RIO GRANDE: IT DOES A BODY GOOD.

    ERIC ELLMAN INSTRUCTS ON PADDLING TECHNIQUES

    7

  • McAllen is a city that both begs and dares you to visit her. One of several linked municipalities comprising the Rio Grande Valley, McAllen is the second most populated and one of the most progressive cities in the nation and, undoubtedly in South Texas.

    At the forefront is no-nonsense Mayor Richard Cortez, now in his second term. In his office hang three Picassos near a paper-laden desk and an assortment of typical office wares. The dcor is a culmination of the mans personality: classy, blue-collared, and Texan. He is relaxed yet intense and has been described as such. His aged eyes stare in content.

    I am intense. Anytime I take something on, I take it on with a passion. If you dont approach it that way, why even have it as a goal, Cortez said.Among the projects presently at work are the building of a new public library, the expansion of a shopping mall, improvements to sporting facilities, and the relocation of the

    Boeye Reservoir. Additionally, the revamping of 17 Street, a club-lined strip, has further developed an already thriving nightlife. Cortez attributes this to the healthy economy the city has been able to maintain.

    Weve invested a lot in lifestyles and beautification. Plus, our population has grown twenty-two percent while our budget grew by fifty percent in the past decade, he remarked. It has helped us develop a good quality of life for our citizens.

    While retail is clearly prominent in the city, there is no shortage of recreation for families and individuals. Teams such as the Central Hockey Leagues Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees and the NBAs developmental Rio Grande Valley Vipers provide an entertainment option.

    Its hard to imagine any city thriving during a recession, and Cortez concedes it hasnt been easy.

    We have three dominant industries: retail, government, and healthcare. The recession affected retail, but weve been blessed to have enough attraction to survive, he said. Cortez further said the aid of strong tourism and a solid marketing plan, including the new website exploremcallen.com, will soften the hit to these industries. It is evident why McAllen is ahead of its time. It offers a grand diversity in retail, dining, and r