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Archive for February 24th, 2009

NPT Capitol: Moody probes McCraw over “spill-over” violence

moodyYesterday, state Rep. Joe Moody, who sits on the Border and International Affairs committee, probed Steve McCraw, director of Gov. Rick Perry’s Office of Homeland Security, over the reality of Mexican drug war violence spilling over into the U.S.
–Ben Wright

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Written by newspapertreeelpaso

February 24, 2009 at 11:29 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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NPT Juxtapose: Perry to talk border this afternoon; Shapleigh to diss Perry and lay out ‘a proven approach’

perry2Two takes on border security (ok, it’s not really a take — yet — as all Perry has released is his schedule):

— From the office of Gov. Rick Perry: 2:15 p.m. (MT) – El Paso; Border Security Meeting; Chamizal National Memorial

shapleigh— From the office of state Sen. Eliot Shapleigh: “For too long, we have watched money wasted on virtual immigrant hunts and paid patrols trying to trap immigrants. Now is the time for real security and a clear focus on the real threat—violent, international criminal gangs. Today, we ask the Texas DPS to organize around corridor teams—a proven approach coordinated with local, state and federal law enforcement to gather better intelligence, arrest key gang leaders and seize cash, weapons and property to deny drug cartels a base in our communities.”

View Shapleigh’s entire news release by following the jump here. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

February 24, 2009 at 11:28 am

Posted in Uncategorized

NPT City: Two PSB nuggets: Transparency, quietly; Chamber meeting with Archuleta

psb-el-pasoThe Public Service Board, which oversees the El Paso Water Utilities and has taken heavy fire for its secretive dealings, has taken a few under-the-radar but fundamental steps toward opening up.

No. 1

— The agenda has more detail on the description of Executive Session meeting items. This is important because previously the items would simply state discussion of land issues or some other very general non-informative statement. Now the agenda has a description of the land under question, for example. Why is this important? Because things like this used to happen, and the public would never know.

— In addition, some agendas have actual backup info attached. Click here for the meetings page, which also has podcast and MP4 audio of the meetings. The Feb. 11 meeting, for example, has a few attachments.

— They are working toward streaming live video of the meetings some time in March.

I’m going to give myself a slap on the hand for not paying more attention to the fundamentals of open government, which includes access to meeting information.

No. 2

From the Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce, regarding a first-of-its-kind event:

Ed Archuleta, El Paso Water Utility CEO, will present to The Chamber at what will become an annual public review of the Stormwater Utility management and operations’ financial statements and operating budget as part of an accountability and oversight process. The utility will provide information to help you gain a clear picture of what improvements the utility planned, what resources were expended to achieve completion of those plans, what projects are planned for the future and what funds will be necessary to fulfill obligations.

— What:Stormwater Utility Update provided by Ed Archuleta, EPWU CEO, and Ruben Guerra, Chairman of the PSB
— When:Thursday, February 26th at 12 Noon Where:Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce

Sito Negron

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Written by newspapertreeelpaso

February 24, 2009 at 11:01 am

Posted in Uncategorized

NPT Capitol: Perry and Dewhurst: Look, listen before you abort

cimg9957Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst spoke out in favor of SB 182 sponsored by Houston Senator Dan Patrick, which would require any woman seeking an abortion, to first have the opportunity to hear the heartbeat and see an ultrasound image of the fetus. The bill is being carried in the House by Frank Corte, R-San Antonio.

The press conference begun with a woman who had had an abortion, but believed she may have changed her mind if given proper access to a sonogram before undergoing the procedure. The press conference also featured a pregnant women undergoing a live sonogram, which was projected on a pull down screen adjacent to the speakers.
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Dewhurst, who popped in for five minutes, spoke for two and left, invoked Reagan saying that a fetus must be given the benefit of the doubt when it came to debating it’s humanity. As such, a fetus was entitled to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

“Too often we see abortions that don’t need to happen…I my heart, I believe most people want to see less abortions and more adoptions,” said Dewhurst who thinks the legislation may lead women seeking abortions to a change of heart.

After Dewhurst left, a doctor explained the fetal images on the pull down screen to reporters, “just like you see at home on your LCD screens.” Using a laser pen, he outlined the head, heart and ring of amniotic fluid that allowed the fetus to, “jump around, float around (and) move around.”

““You cant go in and say that is a blob of tissue…we really want to promote the fact that this is a live person,” said the doctor.

If passed, the bill would “give a women the opportunity..to see not a baby but her baby,” said Senator Patrick.

Governor Perry, will also make a speech this morning on the steps of the Capitol building in support of the legislation.

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Written by newspapertreeelpaso

February 24, 2009 at 10:37 am