Vamoose

Alma Vazquez's husband apparently killed himself, but Laura Miller can't wait to close her business

Rather than fight it, Vazquez gave in and agreed in late February to close the terminal by August 1. "He surrendered," Spence says.

According to Mike Coker, a zoning consultant who represented Vazquez, he cut the deal directly with Miller to give Vazquez five months to move.

Two days before Vazquez was found dead, Gilberto Cortez, publisher of the Spanish-language weekly La Prensa, says he had a long talk with him about his business troubles. Vazquez, whose death the Dallas Medical Examiner's Office is calling a suicide and the Dallas Police Department is still investigating, talked about being hit from two sides. "His revenue was way down because so many others have gotten into the business," Cortez says. At the same time, some of his competitors had been able to avoid regulation while he was being subjected to the city's powers in the most direct way.

No time to grieve: Alma Vazquez believes her husband's zoning fight with the city contributed to his decision to take his own life.
Peter Calvin
No time to grieve: Alma Vazquez believes her husband's zoning fight with the city contributed to his decision to take his own life.
Mexico bound: Passengers load a southbound bus at the Lucano Transports depot on Davis Street in Oak Cliff. If Councilwoman Laura Miller has her way, the depot will soon close.
Peter Calvin
Mexico bound: Passengers load a southbound bus at the Lucano Transports depot on Davis Street in Oak Cliff. If Councilwoman Laura Miller has her way, the depot will soon close.

"He said he had found a new property, but he thought his location [on Davis] was so important, he wasn't happy to move," Cortez says.

If that's true, then maybe visions of tidy Ann Taylor shops and park spaces had something to do with the death of Fermin Vazquez, as his widow believes.

Last week, Alma Vazquez was busy looking for a new location and was fairly certain she had found one in an industrial section near Interstate 30. Once she's gone, she says she'd like to turn the little gas station at 937 West Davis into a soup kitchen, teeming with homeless men and addicts sleeping in the street. It would stand as a little "thank-you" gift for all the compassion her neighbors have shown.

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