The Monitor: Sandra Sanchez

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Sandra Sanchez

COMMENTARY: Our 'Equal Pay' anniversary not worth celebrating

It’s that depressing time of year when we women are reminded how much less we make than our male counterparts.

Friday 04/01/2016
COMMENTARY: Alleviating STAAR stress via exercise
Posted: April 01, 2016

Like thousands of parents in Texas this week, I watched my daughter fidget and fret over taking the STAAR tests. She is in eighth grade and so will be taking a total of four standardized exams this academic year, which began with exams this week on math and reading.

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Friday 03/25/2016
COMMENTARY: Women are not to blame
Posted: March 25, 2016

Monitor reporters May Ortega and Mitchell Ferman wrote a compelling and disturbing piece that ran Sunday detailing how many college women who spring break on South Padre Island are objectified, groped and even sexually assaulted.

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Friday 03/11/2016
COMMENTARY: Celebrating some really super kids
Posted: March 11, 2016

At McAllen’s Public Library on Sunday night, a red carpet was rolled out and a contingency of “paparazzi” were hastily snapping photos as a cadre of very special youth walked, and some rolled, by to view the premiere screening of a short video in which they starred.

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Friday 03/04/2016
COMMENTARY: Quit the academic gobbledygook
Posted: March 04, 2016

My daughter, and I’m guessing many other eighth-graders throughout Texas and the Rio Grande Valley, has been completely stressing this week as she selects high school courses for the fall.

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Friday 02/05/2016
COMMENTARY: Making school meals appealing
Posted: February 05, 2016

A unique conference is being held at the McAllen Convention Center this week as hundreds of school food service workers from throughout South Texas are here to learn how to make school meals more appealing.

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Friday 01/29/2016
COMMENTARY: Soothing sounds for Valley kids
Posted: January 29, 2016

The chatter inside the McAllen Civic Center Auditorium prior to last Friday’s 2016 Children’s Education Concerts by the Valley Symphony Orchestra was deafening.

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Friday 01/22/2016
COMMENTARY: Sister Norma is sparking a 'revolution of tenderness' in all of us
Posted: January 22, 2016

It’s not often that a room full of lawmakers, city and county leaders and citizens become absolutely still and engaged by a speaker. Unless, that is, they are listening to Sister Norma Pimentel.

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Friday 12/11/2015
COMMENTARY: No elf on my shelf, please
Posted: December 11, 2015

EDITOR’S NOTE: This column is not intended for young readers.

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Friday 11/20/2015
COMMENTARY: Taking a lesson from the wiser among us
Posted: November 20, 2015

WESLACO — At Weslaco City Hall on Wednesday afternoon, three prominent and powerful elected state officials stood before a group of seniors and humbly asked for their advice and guidance in the Legislature and to inform them on how they can work to make Texas a better state and the Rio Grande Valley a better place for seniors to live.

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Friday 11/13/2015
COMMENTARY: Our Texas canine law 'partners'
Posted: November 13, 2015

I love dogs.

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Friday 10/30/2015
COMMENTARY: Building on more than just words
Posted: October 30, 2015

For the past year, the highlight of my morning runs has been seeing a new friend, Jinghua Ni.

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Friday 10/09/2015
COMMENTARY: The Valley is being wooed
Posted: October 09, 2015

I was at an event hosted by Texas A&M University last week in Weslaco when a Hidalgo County leader, whom I had just seen previously at a University of Texas-related event, leaned back and told me that living in the Valley right now “is like having two boyfriends who both want to date us.”

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Friday 09/25/2015
COMMENTARY: Let's run, McAllen kids!
Posted: September 25, 2015

Kids are ridiculously resilient. They are full of unbridled energy, ambition, hope and trust. And those are the ingredients to conquer whatever may seem impossible in life. But somehow, as adults, those characteristics and passions tend to get whittled away over the years. We end up doubting our abilities and putting off our goals. Worst of all: We stop trusting, even in ourselves and what we are capable of accomplishing.

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Friday 09/18/2015
COMMENTARY: One Valley man's pursuit of Pope Francis
Posted: September 18, 2015

Since 2013, I have received letters, emails and updates on one man’s quest to have Pope Francis visit the Rio Grande Valley.

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Friday 08/28/2015
COMMENTARY: Donald Trump is dividing our society
Posted: August 28, 2015

My 13-year-old daughter said something in passing the other day that was profound — and profoundly troublesome.

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Friday 08/21/2015
COMMENTARY: Consequences of not sharing RGV roads with pedestrians
Posted: August 21, 2015

Earlier this month, I rode along with national walkability expert Mark Fenton as he toured South McAllen so he could assess whether this area is inviting to pedestrians and bikers — or is more auto-friendly.

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Friday 08/14/2015
COMMENTARY: A lasting first impression
Posted: August 14, 2015

Although it’s been four days since I met her, I can’t stop wondering whether Itza Marina Soto of Honduras and her 13-year-old son made it safely to Boston.

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Friday 08/07/2015
COMMENTARY: Farewell to my middle son
Posted: August 07, 2015

BROWNSVILLE — “Nineteen days.”

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Friday 07/31/2015
COMMENTARY: Monitoring our US ports
Posted: July 31, 2015

Last week, U.S. Customs and Border Protection held its first local Media Academy Day to better educate local journalists on what this federal agency does.

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Friday 07/24/2015
COMMENTARY: My pescetarian daughter
Posted: July 24, 2015

This week marked my one year anniversary as a vegetarian. Actually, I’m a lacto-ovo-pescetarian because I eat fish, eggs and cheese. But I don’t eat meat.

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Friday 06/12/2015
COMMENTARY: Environmental worries and a Texas state agency that doesn't seem to care
Posted: June 12, 2015

Edinburg residents who attended a meeting earlier this week to protest a proposed fracking site in their neighborhood struck a personal chord with me, especially after an environmental scare in my own nearby neighborhood this week that has left me doubting whether state regulators are really watching out for our safety.

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Friday 06/05/2015
COMMENTARY: Texting ban needed in Texas
Posted: June 05, 2015

I’m sure I’m not the only Valley driver who has experienced this: You are waiting in a line of cars at a red light that turns green, yet the driver in front doesn’t move. Instead, their head is down as they furiously type or read their cellphone. You honk. They finally move, yet no one else makes it through the light and you find yourself minutes later for your next meeting and irritated by their inconsiderate actions.

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Friday 05/29/2015
COMMENTARY: A lifetime of service and legacy left for the RGV by local nun
Posted: May 29, 2015

When Sister Marcella Ewers, president of Juan Diego Academy, walks around her peaceful and picturesque campus in Mission, students stop to give her hugs and hold doors open for her. She is met with generous smiles and adoring eyes by youth, faculty and parents.

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Friday 05/15/2015
COMMENTARY: An energy in the RGV air
Posted: May 15, 2015

There’s a synergy happening in the Rio Grande Valley toward improving health and fitness and it’s really exciting to witness.

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Friday 05/01/2015
COMMENTARY: Farewell Coach Balducci — Fiery swim coach has been a South Texas legend
Posted: May 01, 2015

Ask Memorial High School Swim Coach Roxanne Balducci what she has loved best about this sport for nearly four decades and she’ll tell you “it’s watching kids blossom.”

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Friday 04/10/2015
COMMENTARY: Wrongly judging the LGBT community in Texas
Posted: April 10, 2015

Did you know in Texas it is legal to fire someone based on their sexual orientation? It also is legal to deny lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders apartment housing, or access to “public spaces,” like restaurants, if the business owner so chooses.

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Friday 04/03/2015
COMMENTARY: Thinking differently about autism
Posted: April 03, 2015

Outside Castañeda Elementary School on 34th Street in McAllen on Thursday, hundreds of young students and staff posed for a mass photo, most wearing special black and blue T-shirts to commemorate World Autism Awareness Day.

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Friday 03/27/2015
COMMENTARY: Lifesaving EpiPen devices should be in all Texas schools
Posted: March 27, 2015

At 2:30 on Wednesday morning I was awoken by my 18-year-old son.

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Friday 03/20/2015
COMMENTARY: Life in an RGV nudist resort
Posted: March 20, 2015

I spent early Thursday afternoon at Sandpipers Resort. It’s a retirement nudist resort in North Edinburg, and it was nothing like I had expected.

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Friday 03/13/2015
SANDRA SANCHEZ COMMENTARY: Sharing RGV space with endangered ocelots
Posted: March 13, 2015

BROWNSVILLE — My teenage daughter is a devout vegetarian and lover of animals. She follows the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals website religiously and always informs my family of the injustices society inflicts upon nature’s furry friends.

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Friday 03/06/2015
COMMENTARY: Our pledge of allegiance to young immigrants
Posted: March 06, 2015

Inside the cafeteria of Emiliano Zapata Elementary School in La Joya on Thursday morning, about 125 first-and second-graders sat “crisscross applesauce” style on the floor listening to mother and daughter co-authors read their children’s book, titled I Pledge Allegiance.

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Friday 12/19/2014
SANDRA SANCHEZ COMMENTARY: Our very big small town
Posted: December 19, 2014

I’ve lived in a fair amount of towns.

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Sunday 11/09/2014
SANDRA SANCHEZ COMMENTARY: Putting a human face on immigration
Posted: November 09, 2014

For the past three months, I have been exploring in-depth the issue of immigration and its effects on the Rio Grande Valley. And I must admit that I have seen more than I’d like regarding the plight of immigrants as they journey north to cross our borders without authorization.

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Friday 10/31/2014
COMMENTARY: Women's pay gap in Texas and the RGV is unfair
Posted: October 31, 2014

Inside a room at the United Way of South Texas on Wednesday morning, there was a bit of preaching to the choir going on when about 100 women gathered for a breakfast to hear results from a recent economic study on Texas women, one that specifically focused on McAllen.

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Thursday 09/11/2014
SANDRA SANCHEZ COMMENTARY: Debate over STC taxes displays American democracy in action
Posted: September 11, 2014

Inside a conference room at the Hidalgo County Tax Assessor & Collector’s Edinburg headquarters on Wednesday morning, County Tax Assessor Pablo “Paul” Villarreal Jr. tried to mitigate concerns raised at an impromptu meeting-turned-debate over a proposed tax increase by South Texas College that could have significant implications for the future of Hidalgo and Starr counties.

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Friday 09/05/2014
SANDRA SANCHEZ COMMENTARY: Nothing is impossible kids
Posted: September 05, 2014

Meet Anthony Robles.

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Friday 08/29/2014
COMMENTARY: Sandra Sanchez: Ensuring students are all fed
Posted: August 29, 2014

Long before he was Dr. Robert Nelsen, esteemed president of the University of Texas-Pan American, he was simply Robert Nelsen, a struggling undergraduate student at Brigham Young University in Utah — and he was homeless.

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Friday 08/01/2014
SANDRA SANCHEZ COMMENTARY: Meals served in McAllen on school bus wheels
Posted: August 01, 2014

The yellow McAllen ISD school bus, No. 111, ambled out of a parking lot near Nikki Rowe High School shortly after 11 a.m. on Thursday en route to deliver hot lunches to dozens of area children.

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Friday 07/18/2014
SANDRA SANCHEZ: The world doesn’t get it
Posted: July 18, 2014

Too many people just don’t get it. And that’s frustrating.

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Friday 06/20/2014
SANDRA SANCHEZ COMMENTARY: Crowded and all alone unaccompanied minors
Posted: June 20, 2014

BROWNSVILLE — After weeks of hearing about the massive influx of unaccompanied minors crossing illegally from Mexico, and imagining the horrific conditions these children endure here after agents detain them, I was among a posse of 30 journalists on Wednesday who were allowed into a holding facility to see for ourselves.

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Friday 06/06/2014
SANDRA SANCHEZ COMMENTARY: Opening doors for RGV vets
Posted: June 06, 2014

WESLACO — There was a time when towns waited with open arms for their returning soldiers. When people honored POWs held in captivity and when seeing a service member in uniform or a retired veteran at the hardware store evoked a sense of pride for the USA.

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Friday 05/30/2014
SANDRA SANCHEZ COMMENTARY: Hard decisions in Progreso
Posted: May 30, 2014

PROGRESO — From the start of Tuesday night’s meeting of the Progreso Independent School District Board of Trustees, it was obvious that this board was rusty in the ways of conducting public meetings.

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Sunday 05/25/2014
COMMENTARY: Emotional Ride of Silence impacts RGV
Posted: May 25, 2014

On Wednesday night I rode in my first Ride of Silence in McAllen alongside 400 other quiet bicyclists who pedaled in solidarity for cyclists killed on Valley roads.

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Sunday 05/11/2014
SANDRA SANCHEZ COMMENTARY: Thanking my kids this Mother's Day
Posted: May 11, 2014

Children aren’t born with manuals. And during my 21 years as a mother, I’ve often needed more guidance and instruction on how to parent them than their adorable brown eyes have given back to me.

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Friday 05/02/2014
SANDRA SANCHEZ COMMENTARY: Confessions of a germaphobe
Posted: May 02, 2014

Anyone who really knows me knows I am a germaphobe. And I admit it’s true.

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Friday 04/18/2014
SANDRA SANCHEZ COMMENTARY: SpaceX could soar in South Texas
Posted: April 18, 2014

BOCA CHICA BEACH — On a spit of beach, 25 miles from downtown Brownsville sits a parcel of coastal land that SpaceX might one day develop into the nation’s first commercial space launch facility.

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Sunday 04/13/2014
SANDRA SANCHEZ COMMENTARY: We are not all equal
Posted: April 13, 2014

My husband approached me Tuesday morning with a stunned look on his face.

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Friday 03/28/2014
COMMENTARY SANDRA SANCHEZ: Hillary Clinton praises McAllen ISD for child health initiatives
Posted: March 28, 2014

It’s not often that a school district is recognized by a former first lady and a present-day first lady in the span of a few weeks. But that’s what happened to McAllen Independent School District, which was honored by Hillary Clinton on Sunday, and Michelle Obama last month, for its efforts to engage children in more fitness activities to curb childhood obesity rates in Hidalgo County.

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Friday 03/21/2014
COMMENTARY: Sandra Sanchez: Public must have its say
Posted: March 21, 2014

There was a moment during Monday night’s McAllen City Commission meeting when Mayor Pro Tem Aida Ramirez turned to Mayor Jim Darling, just prior to commissioners retreating to executive session, and asked whether they had conducted the public comment period or not.

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Sunday 02/09/2014
ANALYSIS: A matter of integrity: How could Hidalgo County pay Integ Corp. $3.73M?
Posted: February 09, 2014

When county officials recently gave a $57,000 pay hike to a consulting firm that is in charge of managing its flood control projects — a firm that has earned $3.73 million from the county since 2007 — and explained it would actually save taxpayer money, it shed light on the mundane but highly lucrative business of flood control in our region.

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