Archive for May 1st, 2009
In the picture you can see Dunnam keying the ivories while Pickett provides the beat. The event drew a good crowd of lawmakers, staffers, press and even the odd lobbyist. Larry Taylor, Debbie Riddle, Armando Walle, Joe Moody and Lon Burnam were all spotted boogieing at one point.
I even played Harmonica on a couple of songs myself. One of the night’s highlights though, was when Norma Chavez took the mic and sung with full band backing her up, the Gloria Gaynor hit “I will survive.” The El Paso state rep can sing!
– Ben Wright
NPT recently posted a couple of stories about one of El Paso’s newer issues-based grassroots groups. It looks as though it’s are already at work on local issues, just a couple of weeks after its tea party. According to an email sent by the organization, its website will offer a breakdown of the “tricky wording” of the proposition to transfer the oversight of the Storm Water Utility. link. It’s also taking on straight-ticket voting.
For background on this group and its Grassroots counterpart, click here.
– Elizabeth Ruiz
A story about the use of eminent domain, which points out the con (“many cities can designate wide areas as blighted, which gives states the right to exercise eminent domain over all buildings in those areas, even well-maintained structures”) and the pro (“Following legislation passed in the wake of Kelo … some government agencies are ‘limited from using eminent domain even when property is in a serious state of decay.’ “)
Here’s the article:
There Goes the Neighborhood: A Fight Over Defining ‘Blight’, by Nathan Koppel, April 30: Marvin Rosenbaum, whose family runs a bus company in El Paso, supports the proposed Texas measure. In 2006, he says, he learned that one of his company’s bus terminals was in a broad swath of downtown El Paso that was declared blighted, as part of the city’s effort to revitalize the area with condominiums, hotels and stores. “We aren’t blighted at all,” Mr. Rosenbaum says. “Blight should be determined parcel by parcel so that you don’t suffer due to the neglect of others.”
The Texas House’s calendar has proceeded speedily this morning. That gave state Rep. Scott Hochberg an idea. The Houston Rep just asked the Speaker if the House could move on to Saturday’s calendar when done with today’s business.
The idea stirred a fair few members to cheer and then sigh when the Speaker answered “not at this time.” Lawmakers were told earlier this month that they would have to come in on Saturdays during May, the House still having a lot of work to get through.
“Just trying to keep us from having to work tomorrow,” said Hochberg walking past the press gallery. Hochberg also said that lawmakers didn’t have to come in next Saturday because it was mother’s day weekend.