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El Paso-centric info and commentary from the Center of North America

Juarez, Calderon discussed in WSJ

From the Wall Street Journal:

But in weary Ciudad Juárez, he is blamed for having gone to war without a comprehensive victory strategy. Since first sending troops to Ciudad Juárez in March 2008, Mr. Calderon has only made two fleeting visits to the city. He hasn’t engaged residents on the violence consuming the city. “He stays for two hours and he’s gone,” says Daniel Murgía, president of the local Chamber of Commerce. “They’ve left Ciudad Juárez totally alone. There is a total absence of authority.”

For the original quote, click here.

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

December 22, 2009 at 2:05 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

8th H1N1 Fatality

From the City of El Paso Department of Public Health:

El Paso, Texas – A 75-year-old woman from Central El Paso became the county’s 8th 2009 H1N1 influenza-related fatality, the City of El Paso Department of Public Health reported today.

The woman had underlying medical conditions and was recently hospitalized with an influenza-like illness. Laboratory tests confirmed she had the H1N1 virus.

The Department of Public Health would like to reassure the public that it is continuing its surveillance of influenza-like illnesses in El Paso County, and is working in close partnership with health care providers, hospitals, and other organizations to monitor the spread of the virus.

To prevent the spread of the flu, healthcare providers in El Paso County have ordered more than 600,000 H1N1 vaccine doses. The Department of Public Health ordered 27,000 vaccine doses and is preparing to begin distributing them at its five clinics in early November.

Citizens can protect themselves from getting and spreading the flu by:
• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
• Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
• Stay home if you are sick for 7 days after your symptoms begin or until you have been symptom-free for 24 hours, whichever is longer. This is to keep from infecting others and spreading the virus further.

For more information about H1N1 Flu the public may call 2-1-1.

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

October 28, 2009 at 2:19 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

London Telegraph: Juarez is ‘murder capital of the world’

From Telegraph.co.uk:

The city of 1.5 million people just across the border from El Paso, Texas, had 1,600 murders last year but in 2009 that total was exceeded by late summer.

Latest figures from the Chihuahua state attorney general’s office showed there were 195 this month alone.

The annual murder rate has now reached 133 per 100,000 inhabitants, surpassing Caracas, Venezuela. The comparable murder rate in New York last year was six per 100,000.

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

October 22, 2009 at 3:59 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

CDC H1N1 Update

From NPT inbox:

October 21, 2009
Department of Public Health
For Immediate Release
Contact: Tammy Fonce¬-Olivas, (915) 621-6754 office, (915) 873-1974 cell

H1N1 Update

El Paso, Texas – According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) there has been widespread influenza activity in 41 states including Texas and New Mexico, the City of El Paso Department of Public Health reported today.

Overall in the United States, doctors’ visits for influenza-like illness have continued to increase and are higher than the levels expected for this time of year. The same trend is observed in El Paso and we are experiencing a high volume of visits to local emergency rooms and physicians. The Department of Public Health has also noted an increase in the sales of over-the-counter medication to treat flu-like symptoms.

The timing, spread and severity of 2009 H1N1 virus in addition to the regular seasonal influenza viruses remain uncertain. As we move deeper into the flu season we expect higher levels of activity to be reported.

Our Department of Public Health Laboratory has continued to receive an increased number of samples for H1N1 testing and the number of confirmed cases is increasing. The samples tested at the Department of Public Health’s Laboratory are for epidemiological (disease investigation) purposes only and we are assuming that the total number of H1N1 patients is by far higher.

We are in constant communication with all of our local schools and they are voluntarily reporting all influenza-like illness related absences. They have not reached our level for implementing further public health measures. There are no plans to offer vaccines at schools, rather individuals should contact their respective medical providers or visit a Department of Public Health Immunization Clinic when enough vaccine is available.

We are currently recommending a three step approach to fight and contain the spread of the 2009 H1N1 Flu throughout our community: stay home when sick and observe basic hygiene; immunization against this virus and against seasonal influenza; and prompt treatment and use of antiviral medications for those patients that match CDC criteria.

As of October 14th 2009 across the United States there have been 11.4 million doses allocated, 7.9 million doses ordered and 5.8 have been shipped of the 2009 H1N1 Flu vaccine. Locally, about 600,000 doses of the vaccine have been ordered by 244 private medical providers throughout El Paso County.

At the Department of Public Health we have received 200 doses of the nasal mist and 200 doses of the H1N1 shots, not yet enough to offer to the public in a customer-friendly manner. We have ordered a total of 14,000 doses.

As soon as the Department of Public Health has a sizable supply of 2009 H1N1 Flu vaccines to conduct an efficient vaccination clinic, we will notify the public via the media outlets. If demand is high, we may additionally open mass vaccination clinics in the community. We encourage the public to contact their primary health care provider and inquire about the availability of the vaccine.

The vaccine is being shipped from the manufacturers, to distribution centers and then shipped to thousands of localities across the country in small allocations initially. More doses are expected for shipment each week and we ask that those who want to receive the vaccine to be patient as this program expands and more vaccine doses become available.

Because initial supplies are limited, we will follow the federal government’s recommendation to target five population groups designated as high risk for developing complications arising from the 2009 H1N1 Flu. Once sufficient amounts of these high risk groups have had the opportunity to receive the vaccine, the state of Texas will recommend that the general public begin receiving the vaccine. The five target populations identified by the CDC who will initially receive the vaccine will be:

• Pregnant women
• Persons who live with or provide care for infants younger than 6 months.
• Healthcare workers and emergency medical services personnel.
• Children and young adults aged 6 months to 24 years, and persons aged 25 through 64 who have medical conditions that put them at higher risk for complications.
• Children receiving long term Aspirin Therapy.

It is our mission to serve all citizens of our community with special emphasis to those who are uninsured or underinsured and we encourage those with a medical provider to make contact and inquire about vaccine availability at their medical office.

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

October 21, 2009 at 3:59 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Longview News-Journal: Pickett won’t run for Shapleigh seat

The Longview News-Journal included the following on their website:

In a statement released a short time ago, Pickett ruled out a Senate race, citing his clout as chairman of the House Transportation Committee:

“I am incredibly grateful and appreciative for all the support and encouragement I have received over the past few days. I received phone calls from numerous legislators on both the House and Senate side, as well as calls from constituents, friends, and family urging me to strongly consider running for the open Senate seat.

“After serious consideration and prayer, I have decided that I can best serve my constituents, the citizens of El Paso, and the State of Texas through my current position.

“It is a tremendous honor for me to serve as the Chairman of the House Transportation Committee and it is simply a position that I cannot, in the best interest of my constituents and the residents of El Paso County, relinquish. As a Chairman, I possess the ability to influence legislation that will best serve the region of El Paso and this is an opportunity that El Paso has never before possessed.”

For more, click here.

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

October 21, 2009 at 3:17 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Playboy Oct. issue hot with Byrd, Escobar at Chicos

By David Crowder

The hardest thing to find in El Paso these days, next to a job, may be the October issue of Playboy.

That’s not because it holds layouts of UTEP co-eds but of a much-discussed article by Luis Alberto Urrea entitled “A Weird Calm at the Edge of the Abyss.” As the title suggests, the article offers a colorful exploration of the peace and funky proud culture of El Paso painted against the eerie dangers and amputated heads a few feet away in our sister city.

Search as you will the Circle Ks and Barnes & Nobles, you will not find that copy of the magazine better known for classy porn than classy words. The question is when the next shipment will arrive?

Urrea works his words hard to explain why El Paso is El Paso and in the process conveys the bouncy optimistic grit of the town in a way that many would find more real and alluring than any splashy chamber of commerce ad in an airline magazine.

He follows publisher Bobby Byrd around town by day and is led by night to Downtown’s gay bar epicenter and on to a mandatory stop at Chico Tacos by that dangerous political sister duo, Susie Byrd and Veronica Escobar.

And there come the quotes that have sent many on a search for the elusive Playboy with the article as a convenient excuse to plop cash on the counter for the plastic-wrapped girly mag.

Oh oh, the radio hosts fret and churn, will their loose, unmanicured quotes be the end of them?

Deep in Urrea’s story, Byrd says, “The secret of Chico’s is I think that this might be government cheese!” Escobar is quoted as adding a comic’s refrain, “It’s that good welfare flavor.”

Of course, we all know that such has been the urban legend of Chico’s for years along with the countervailing belief that the yellow stuff they serves up might not be made of anything uddered by a cow but is a vegetable oil concoction. While the EPA and TCEQ are spending thousands to tease out the ingredients of the water under Asarco, maybe they could give us the definitive answer on Chico’s cheese.

But no one really wants that; it’s far more fun to surmise.

Exhibit 2 in the case for the undoing of the mischievous sisters is the paraphrasing of Byrd about one of El Paso’s rebeatified saints, “The great worry in El Paso is not the narcos or the alleged immigrant influx or even the drug culture. … ”

“But what worries the paseños most are the 33,000 new troops scheduled to come in soon,” Urrea writes, getting his numbers a little wrong. “Thirty-three thousand outsiders, strangers who don’t get the Chuco vibe at all, who will bring in big-city violence and Iraq war anger and strange new military gangs and unwelcome otherness. That’s what scares El Paso.”

Uh-oh.

It would have been safer to pick on Chapo Guzman’s Sinaloa mother than Fort Bliss, but Byrd says she said it late at night in a booth at Chico’s.

So while I may have given you the hot politigoods from the latest edition of Playboy, there’s plenty more in there. If you find one, call me.

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

October 20, 2009 at 11:22 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Prop 11, eminent domain, has a lot to do with El Paso

Check out this news release from proponents of Prop 11, and remember the issues debated during the Downtown Plan process.

Prop11 Fact Packet

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

October 16, 2009 at 10:21 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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