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

Archive for January 2009

Drug War diplomat speaks at Chamber Monday

Special meeting with the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
William J. McGlynn
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary
Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL)
U.S. Department of State
El Paso TX 2 February 2009
There has been a correction. David Johnson will not be speaking, The presenter will be William J. McGlynn. He is the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. The meeting will be held from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the Lockhart Room of the Chamber. Deputy Secretary McGlynn will offer his thoughts and then allow for questions. The violence in Ciudad Juarez is affecting
all of us on both sides of the border.

William J. McGlynn Biography

Bill McGlynn joined INL in June, 2008. Prior to that he was Coordinator of the Foreign Policy Advisor Program in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs.

Bill served as Deputy Chief of Mission in Portugal during 2001-2004. His other overseas assignments include Haiti, Gabon, the U.S. Mission to the European Union in Brussels, and Austria. In Washington, Bill has been Executive Assistant to the Under Secretary for Economic Affairs; Advisor on Policy and Resources to the Deputy Secretary; Deputy Director for Latin American Programs in the Bureau of International Narcotics Affairs; Military and Economic Assistance Advisor in the Bureau of Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs; and Country Officer for Greece. He was also an Executive Fellow at Princeton University and the Department’s Diplomat in Residence for Arizona, Utah, and Nevada.

Bill was promoted to Minister-Counselor (FE-MC) in 2005. He speaks French, German, and Portuguese. He has been married to the former Dawn Putnam since 1985.

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

January 31, 2009 at 12:38 am

Posted in Uncategorized

NPT Capitol: Committee assignments

Lieutenant-Governor David Dewhurst released his list of committee assignments for the 81st session earlier today.
State Senator Eliot Shapleigh, D-El Paso, will again serve as Vice Chairman of the Veterans Affairs & Military Installations committee, as well as retaining the Chair of the Base Realignment & Closure subcommittee. He will also have slots on the Health and Human Services, Nominations, and Transportation & Homeland Security committees.

A full list of Senate Committee assignments from the Senate website is available here

House committee assignments are still up in the air, though Speaker Straus has asked State Reps to submit their preferences over the weekend.

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

January 30, 2009 at 9:28 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

NPT: Reyes on the Recovery act

Some reading materials, followed by a (partly) local press release from U.S. Rep. Silvestre Reyes on the Recovery Act.

Transcript of Pelosi, House Democrats News Conference on Economic Recovery Act

WSJ: House Passes Stimulus Package

WSJ Opinion: A 40-Year Wish List

NY Times: House Passes Obama’s Stimulus Package

RCP: Dems Cheer Vote, GOP Cheers Moral Victory




Reyes says legislation “represents a bold investment in the American people”

El Paso stands to receive millions of dollars for investments in roads, bridges, schools, and other infrastructure projects

Read more here

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

January 30, 2009 at 10:00 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Ben Wright: NPT Capitol: Marquez’s 1st bill

Freshman state Rep. Marisa Marquez, D-El Paso, has filed her
first bill of the 2009 session. If enacted, the law would give more powers
to school districts seeking to clamp down on truancy.


The bill (HB 837) extends the period of time that a
school district can file a charge of truancy against a child.

“Current law requires a charge to be filed within ten school days of a
student’s tenth absence, or else courts must dismiss the charge. The law
would give districts more time,” said Marquez in a press release.

But the law only extends the window for which a charge can be filed from
ten days to fourteen days. Nevertheless Marquez, and EPISD Director of
Pupil Services Mark Mendoza, think the extension will make a big

“This bill will help our school district ensure that no student falls
through the cracks. We will have the proper amount of time necessary to
make sure all complaints are filed and have a shot at making it before a
judge,” said Mendoza. “This will help us to keep kids in school where they
should be.”

Legislation regarding truancy was not part of EPISD’s legislative agenda
(which can be accessed here) However EPISD’s Mendoza seemed to
be very pleased that Marquez had filed the bill.

“I am glad that Rep. Marquez has heard my calls for reform. We want to
have enough time to step in and right a troubled student’s path,” said

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

January 30, 2009 at 12:30 am

Posted in Uncategorized

NPT: LA Times reports Mexican journalist, jailed in El Paso, now free

“The freedom to write doesn’t exist in Mexico,” said Emilio Gutierrez Soto. “Freedom of expression doesn’t exist.”

U.S. immigration authorities surprised press-freedom activists Thursday when they released a journalist — fleeing alleged Mexican government persecution — who had been held in a Texas detention center for seven months.

Emilio Gutierrez Soto walked out of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility in El Paso late in the afternoon and expressed relief that he would soon be reunited with his 15-year-old son.

Read the story here:

Mexican journalist released from U.S. custody, by James Rainey and Ari B. Bloomekatz, L.A. Times, Jan. 30, 2009

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

January 29, 2009 at 11:59 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

NPT: Another mayoral announcement

Carlos Rivera, a native of El Paso and a U.S. Air Force Veteran, will announce his candidacy for Mayor of El Paso on Saturday, January 31, 2009. Mr. Rivera earned his Master’s Degree from the University of Texas at Austin, a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Texas at El Paso, and is an El Paso High School graduate. He successfully completed a career in federal government service, and is currently the President of the Veterans Business Association. He is also a life-time member of the Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 574.

From: Carlos Rivera for Mayor Campaign
What: Official Announcement of Candidacy
Date: Saturday – January 31, 2009
Time: 8:30 am
Location: El Zarape Restaurant 6369 Montana
(behind the Bingo Hall, next to K-Mart)

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

January 29, 2009 at 7:04 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Ben Wright: NPT Capitol: Normus Dramaticus

This week, the folks from the Texas State Florist Association came to the Capitol. One of the things they do is organize a personality for passing lawmakers. (They say what their favorite flower is, the TSFA tell you what that means about your personality.


El Paso’s Norma Chavez took the test. Here are the flowers she chose.

dramatic1 dramatic2
According to the TSFA, this means Representative Chavez has a “dramatic” personality. I spoke with Representative Chavez, who thought the results of the test were fair. (She even said so in a dramatic way, pirouetting several times.)

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

January 29, 2009 at 5:36 pm

Posted in Uncategorized