Posts Tagged ‘Newspaper Tree’
On and off, major news organizations such as television network news and major papers like the NY Times write and broadcast stories about the border. In the past week, the LA Times, New York Times, CBS and many others have written and broadcasted about the Drug War and the violence in Juarez and Mexico. Somehow, the old adage, just make sure the name is spelled correctly, doesn’t seem like much comfort:
According to the National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo, El Paso ranks near the bottom of cities in the U.S. for home affordability. According to their survey, El Paso median income and home prices went from $38,600 and $117,000, respectively in 2005, to $37,200 and $131,000 in the fourth quarter of 2008. By their measure, El Paso ranks as number 213 in the nation for affordability. Here’s the news release about the list. Here’s the explanation of how they arrive at the numbers: The NAHB/Wells Fargo HOI is a measure of the percentage of homes sold in a given area that are affordable to families earning that area’s median income during a specific quarter. Prices of new and existing homes sold are collected from actual court records by First American Real Estate Solutions, a marketing company. Mortgage financing conditions incorporate interest rates on fixed- and adjustable-rate loans reported by the Federal Housing Finance Board.
For the spreadsheet with the numbers, go here and click on the third item (“The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index: Complete History by Metropolitan Area (1991-Current”).
– Sito Negron
From the Wall Street Journal, Feb. 21, 2009: Mr. Fasci thinks the gangs are trying to goad the police into a crackdown that would generate antipathy for the authorities and the army. “We’re not going to fall for it,” he says. Neither will the Mexican government call off the soldiers. Mexico has no choice but to deploy the army to do what corrupt and inefficient state and local police forces can’t, says Mr. Fasci. And the protests are likely a sign the military is having success pressuring the drug gangs, say officials.
From NPT, Oct. 16, 2008, Human rights official decries military takeover, abuses in Juarez: Last year, 20 violations of human rights were reported to the Chihuahua State Commission of Human Rights. This year, since the arrival of the military to Juarez, more than 250 violations – including torture, robbery and kidnapping – have been reported.
From NPT, May 1, 2006, Of Juarez and the “Dirty War” in Mexico: A draft of an unprecedented report by Mexico’s government on the nation’s “dirty war” of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, published on The National Security Archive Web site, shows that during the administrations of Presidents Diaz Ordaz (1964-1970), Echeverria (1970-1976) and Lopez Portillo (1976-1982) hundreds of Mexican citizens — uncounted innocent civilians as well as armed militants — were murdered or “disappeared” by military and security forces. Thousands more were tortured, or illegally detained, or subjected to government harassment and surveillance.
Fun with juxtaposition:
U.S. Rep. Silvestre Reyes in this NPT story: When a Spanish language radio reporter asked about what El Paso authorities can do about the number of kidnappings on both sides of the borders, Reyes snapped, “These claims of kidnappings have not been confirmed.
“We need to deal in facts and not in urban legends that have been promulgated here in our community.”
News release from FBI yesterday: Some of you might be interested in attending a 2pm scheduled plea of Ricardo Calleros-Godinez today. He was arrested by the FBI and ICE for kidnapping a person in early 2008. The victim of the kidnapping is serving a 15-year sentence on state charges. This will take place in Judge Garney’s court at the federal courthouse.
There has been much debate and speculation in some El Paso media outlets about the issue of kidnappings (or the lack thereof). This is one drug-related kidnapping that we know happened and was worked. Please note that the FBI is the only federal agency that has jurisdiction to work kidnappings and is the only federal source for accurate kidnapping information. We are certainly concerned if kidnappings are occurring and no one is reporting them to us. We encourage all citizens and entities to report such serious crime information to us.
HCR29 requests that the 81st Legislature, “express its intent that the state accept federal economic stimulus funds appropriated under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (HR1) or any other such legislation.”
The resolution, similar to one filed by State Senator Eliot Shapleigh, D-Paso, (but broader in scope), takes advantage of the Clyburn amendment (Section 1115 of HR1) which provides for states whose governors have expressed hostility toward the stimulus package.(Link)
Texas governor Rick Perry, has derided the bailout in recent weeks and has turned down federal money on more than one occasion. (link) Usually governors have to request federal money, but Section 1115 allows the money to be requested by a concurrent resolution of a state legislature. (link)
Pickett’s resolution, if adopted, would represent such a request. However HR1 is currently seeking passage in the US Senate. Section 1115 may be the targeted for deletion by some conservative lawmakers.
Pickett is currently on the floor of the Texas House and as such cannot be reached for comment. More to follow…
Yesterday this blog noted that Gus Haddad is announcing his campaign for mayor against current Mayor John Cook. It should have been noted that Cook did something interesting on the agenda for the last City Council meeting — he threw up a list of heavy-hitters who donated to him. The item was pulled from the agenda, which raises the question of why it was there in the first place. Warning shot? Here is the agenda item, followed by the city rule referred to in the item.
From the Tuesday (Jan. 27, 2009) agenda
NOTATION OF CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTION
For notation pursuant to Section 2.92.110 of the City Code; receipt of campaign contributions by Mayor John Cook: Stanley Jobe, $1,000; El Paso Sheriff’s Officers Association, $1,000: Harold and Beth Hanh, $2000; Paul Foster, $1,000; Robert and Sherry Brown, $1,000; The El Paso Association of Firefighters-Local 51, $1,000; Ike Montey, $1,000; Noel Rosenbaum, $500; Andrew and Leslie Cook, $500; Hector and Debbie Gutierrez, $500; Ainsa & Hutson, $500; James and Samantha Singelyn, $500; Delgado, Acosta, $500; Marty Martin, $500; Elaine Barron, $500; Gary and Leanne Hedrick, $500; Sam Legate, $500; Eliot Shapleigh, $500; Margarita and Gerry Licon, $500; El Paso Electric PAC, $1,000; Robert and Paulette Wingo, $750; Randy and Margo Kuykendall, $500; Bill and April Terrell, $500; Rachel and Gregory Harracksingh $500; Irene Epperson, $500; James F. Scherr, $2,000; Leonard A. Goodman, $500; J.A. Cardwell, $1,000; Henry Ellis, $500; Ginger Francis, $500; L. Fredrick Francis, $500; Adam and Dana Frank, $500; Carlos and Irma Garza, $1,000; Robert Hoy Hill, $500; Woody and Gale Hunt, $500; Michael and Sydney Jelinek, $750; Travis Johnson, $1,000; Linda Jordan, $500; C.F. Jordan III, $500; Susan Mendez, $500; Michael and Clara Miles, $500; Jim Phillips, $500; K. Alan Russell, $500; Cita Sanders, $500; William Sanders, $500; Leo Schuster, $1,000; Scott PAC, $1,250; Lou and Laura Alpern, $2,300; Moore, Nordell, Kroger, $500; Kenneth Gezelius, $500; Ann Morgan Lilly Campaign, $500. [Mayor John F. Cook, (915) 541-4145]
Section 2.92.110 of the City Code
2.92.110 Disclosure of campaign contributions.
A. If a member of the city council has received campaign contributions from a contributor totaling five hundred dollars or more subsequent to the date that the member last filed a campaign finance report pursuant to state law, such member shall disclose the receipt of such contributions to the council before any deliberation or vote of the city council regarding any matter on a meeting agenda which concerns or relates to the contributor, a business entity owned in whole or in part or operated by the contributor or which employs the contributor, or any other time that the contributor appears to address the council during the meeting.
B. This requirement shall apply to all meetings of the city council.
C. Such disclosure shall be orally made by the member and shall be recorded in the minutes of the meeting.
D. If a member of the city council accepts a campaign contribution from a contributor of five hundred dollars or more, he shall report the amount and the donor by an item for notation on the consent agenda of a city council meeting within thirty days of the date of such contribution.
E. No action of the council which is otherwise legal shall be invalidated merely by reason of the disclosure of a campaign contribution by a member of the city council or the failure of a member to disclose a campaign contribution. (Ord. 16301 § 4, 2006)
Gus Haddad is making it official. He’s announcing for mayor at noon tomorrow (Thursday Jan. 29) at Irwin J. Lambka Park, 6600 Cloudview. Stay tuned for more and the race for mayor heats up.
Note: This item was posted Wednesday (Jan. 28). Marquez sent a news release Friday (Jan. 30) correcting the time to 9:30 a.m.
afternoon State Sen. Eliot Shapleigh hosts “Coffee with Eliot” in his office. State Rep. Marisa Marquez is taking it to the house with “Cafecito community meetings.” Here’s the news release:
Rep. Marquez to Host the first of a series of Cafecito community meetings beginning this saturday
EL PASO, TX—State Representative Marisa Marquez (D-El Paso) will hold the first of a series of cafecito community meetings on Saturday. Marquez will provide an update on the legislative session and issues relating to District 77 in central El Paso, as well as, receive vital and necessary feedback from her constituents. The meeting is open to the public and there will be a segment for questions and answers.
WHO: Open to the public
WHAT: Community meeting hosted by Mr. and Mrs. Acosta
WHERE: Residence of Mr. and Mrs. Acosta
2203 Grant Ave
WHEN: Saturday, January 31 at 10:30 AM
A note from the office of city Rep. Susie Byrd:
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Rep. Susie Byrd is pleased to announce the new schedule of community meetings for 2009 through the month of May. The meetings will be held every first Thursday and third Saturday of the month, and each meeting will feature a guest speaker to give constituents insight and information on what is happening throughout the Sun City.
Between now and May, constituents will have the opportunity to hear from several community leaders. Mayor John Cook, City Manager Joyce Wilson, PSB Vice President of Marketing Cristina Montoya, Environmental Services Director Ellen Smyth, County Commissioner Veronica Escobar, and County Sheriff Richard Wiles are all scheduled to speak at upcoming meetings. To view the meeting schedule and to see who will speak at which meeting, please go to Susie’s blog, Notes From District 2, and please print out the attached meeting schedule for easy reference
The location of the Thursday morning meetings has changed, and they will now be held at Tierra del Sol Restaurant, 4201 Alabama, at 7:30 a.m. This move was done to make the meetings more accessible to a wider range of District 2 constituents. The Saturday morning meetings will continue to be held at the Memorial Park Library, 3200 Copper, at 10:00 a.m.
Be sure to include the District 2 community meetings in your calendars as we hope to reach out to and hear back from as many residents as we can so that we can continue to make District 2 one of the best places to live and work in El Paso.
Couple of news releases from the offices of newly elected El Paso state Reps. Joe Moody and Marisa Marquez, respectively. (Moody, by the way, gave a different comment to NPT Austin reporter Ben Wright immediately following the speech. Guess he needed to think on it a bit.) Keep ‘em coming, newbies!
Moody on Perry
Representative Joe Moody Responds to Governor Perry’s State of the State Address
State of the State good, but should be better
Austin – Today Representative Joe Moody responded to Governor Perry’s State of the State address:
“Governor Perry is right, Texas is strong. But we should be stronger. The last few legislative cycles have been divisive and that has prevented us from getting some very important things done for Texas citizens.
What I didn’t hear from the Governor’s speech was solutions. During his time as Governor and with a House chamber that was more about politics than policy, good programs have been ignored or worse, whittled down with budget cuts.
Now that we have new leadership in the House and a positive bipartisan start to this session. Its time to put the focus back on providing health insurance for our children, improving education from kindergarten to college, and making a real investment in clean, renewable energy sources.”
Marquez tours valley
Rep. Marquez Tours the Valley with Lawmakers
Enjoys Opportunity to Get to Know Her Colleagues
AUSTIN, TX—State Representative Marisa Marquez (D-El Paso) joined House colleagues this weekend on an informative trip to the Rio Grande Valley. The trip to Harlingen, Brownsville, and San Benito, gave lawmakers the chance to study key facilities in the area including Cameron Park, Idea Academy, and the Veterans’ Health Center.
“In all the communities I see along the Rio Grande, there is a common theme: tremendous growth and opportunity, but educational resources lagging behind,” said Rep. Marquez. “I am heartened by Lt. Governor Dewhurst’s recognition that schools like UTEP should become Tier 1 institutions to close that gap. What I have seen here in the Valley only makes it more evident.”
In addition to the camaraderie, Marquez was interested in discussions regarding health care, commerce, and education. As the representative for central El Paso, Marquez is gearing up for a session that will have important meaning for the district, especially with the strain on state resources. She believes lawmakers have to fight to ensure state services do not suffer amid calls to tighten the belt. The trip to the Valley was an opportunity to view the infrastructure in growing border areas and better understand how they impact El Paso.
At 30, Rep. Marquez is one of the youngest members of the Texas Legislature. She serves District 77 in downtown El Paso.