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Archive for February 2009

NPT: Universities warn Spring Breakers; UTEP, with friends in Juarez, reminds students and faculty to be cautious

An email from UTEP, focused on students and faculty who work with counterparts in Juarez. Further down, spring breakers are warned.
***
The following is a special campus UTEP announcement approved by the President’s Office
Subject: Mexico Travel, Message Sent: 2/26/2009 1:57:15 PM

A new travel alert for Mexico has been issued by the Department of State. Below please find President Natalicio’s October 15th memo on travel to Mexico along with the most recently issued travel alert.

TO: UTEP Faculty, Staff and Students
FROM: Diana Natalicio, President
SUBJECT: Mexico travel

The University of Texas at El Paso has enjoyed a long and multi-faceted set of relationships with institutions and individuals in Mexico, particularly in Ciudad Juárez and the State of Chihuahua. It has been enormously satisfying to see these relationships grow successfully in both breadth and depth during the past several years, as they have involved an increasing number of UTEP students, faculty and staff in a widening range of collaborative activities and programs. Such collaborations are consistent with UTEP’s mission and with the opportunities presented to us by our unique U.S.-Mexico border location, and we are confident that they will continue to grow and prosper in the years ahead.
Despite all of this good news, however, we must also recognize that current conditions in Mexico, and particularly in Ciudad Juárez, require us to take special precautions to ensure the safety and well being of UTEP students, faculty and staff members who participate in UTEP programs and activities in Mexico. As context, I attach for your information an advisory issued by the U.S. State Department and transmitted to us by U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Antonio Garza.

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Written by newspapertreeelpaso

February 27, 2009 at 11:07 am

Posted in Uncategorized

NPT Capitol: Chavez: TXDOT funds welcome. But more to come …if…

chavezTXDOT looks set to hand El Paso a $75m portion of it’s own $1.5bn stimulus purse. Speaking to NPT earlier this week, state Rep Norma Chavez, D-El Paso, while welcoming these funds, was quick to point out the possibility of more…much more that could come the Sun city’s way.

“There is more to the stimulus billions than TXDoT funds. There are workforce dollars, human services dollars…(and so on),” said Chavez, who sits on the Appropriations Stimulus Subcommittee, which she claims will make most of the decisions on the monies that go to the state (above and in addition to TxDoT and MPO’s). Chavez spoke energetically about the subcommittee, and the Select Stimulus Committee headed by Jim Dunnum, D-Waco.

“When Chair Dunnum finishes with his hearings, he will make legislative recommendations to our committee…Their committee will make recommendations on legislative changes that need to be made, for example for workforce funds, we get $30m, but if we make some legislative tweaks we get $230m more,” said Chavez.

That’s just workforce funds. Over $500m could be pulled down if Texas changed its laws on unemployment benefit according to the Statesman. Also there could be a windfall of matching funds ($5 from the feds for every 2$ Texas puts up) available if the state expanded CHIP coverage to 300% of the federal poverty level (from it’s present level of 200%) Chavez, who sits on Appropriations, Calendars and now the Stimulus subcommittee, is in a good position to help maximize the federal funds available to El Paso through the expansion of state programs as well as one-time fund drops like the TXDOT money.

“I am appreciative of the opportunity to serve on this committee that will deal with billions of federal dollars to the states,” said Chavez

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Written by newspapertreeelpaso

February 27, 2009 at 11:01 am

Posted in Uncategorized

NPT Capitol: Moody minute from the Capitol

moody1State Rep Joe Moody released his third minute from the Capitol audio spot this week. El Paso days, where members of the chamber of commerce, local elected officials and lobbyists came to Austin to meet with the powers-that-be.

“Many of your local leaders were in Austin to discuss the important issues facing our community…i believe that this time was well spent,” said Moody.

You can listen to the podcast here

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Written by newspapertreeelpaso

February 27, 2009 at 10:23 am

Posted in Uncategorized

NPT Biz: Ok, so El Paso might not be affordable, but homes still are profitable for those who have one

A post less than a week ago noted a report from the National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo that ranked El Paso near the bottom of cities in the U.S. for home affordability. [link]

Well, that may or may not hold, but the Texas Association of REALTORS® has some news it wants to share as well. Follow the jump for their news release.

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Written by newspapertreeelpaso

February 26, 2009 at 3:48 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

NPT Juxtapose: Border Security, border perspectives

Two quick items. Want to guess about the overall orientation of each? I’ll start: One is social, cultural and academic. The other one, well, it’s all about the money. One way to figure it out is to look at the scheduled speakers for each event. Here’s a brief blurb from each one. To read the entire news release about each event, follow the jump:

— EL PASO, February 10, 2009– Students from the history honor society Phi Alpha Theta will conduct a teach-in on the violence in the El Paso-Juárez region on Thursday, February 26, at the El Paso Natural Gas Conference Center on the University of Texas at El Paso campus. Starting at 6pm, the two-hour event will include four panelists representing both sides of the border and a question and answer period. Originally organized by UTEP doctoral students in the Department of History, the teach-in seeks to bring together experts on the border violence with the El Paso-Juárez community in a forum for discussion and dialogue. Speakers will provide an explanation and understanding of the current situation, explore how the media has covered the issues, and reveal perspectives of those directly impacted by the violence.

— UTEP Hosts Border Security and Immigration Symposium; Speakers to Discuss Balancing Security and Trade, Collaborations with Universities: Several of the nation’s most prominent leaders in the fields of border security and immigration will discuss how to improve border security while addressing immigration and commercial interests at the inaugural National Center for Border Security and Immigration Symposium at UTEP Thursday, Feb. 26, and Friday, Feb. 27. With the theme of “Educating to Make a Difference in Border Security and Immigration,” the symposium will include panel discussions about alliances between universities and the government to solve complex security issues, balancing security and trade, and how universities are responding to the homeland security challenge.

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Written by newspapertreeelpaso

February 26, 2009 at 11:16 am

Posted in Uncategorized

NPT City: Emma’s fund-raiser

Received through the mail. Any others? Send ’em over.

You are Cordially Invited
Reception & Fundraiser For
Emma Acosta
City Council Representative
District #3
Thursday, February 26th
5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Andale’s Restaurant
9201 Gateway W @ Viscount

Want to see the host list? Follow the jump.

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Written by newspapertreeelpaso

February 26, 2009 at 11:11 am

Posted in Uncategorized

NPT Capitol: El Paso to get extra slice of stimulus money

El Paso could receive an extra $75m in stimulus funds, according to plans unveiled by TXDOT yesterday.

El Paso is already in line to receive $21m from the federal government toward transportation projects. But yesterday TXDOT announced it was proposing to send another $75m to the sun city. That money, along with the El Paso MPO’s $21m and TRZ funds would be used to construct 4 direct connectors/flyover ramps at the interchange of I-10 and Loop 375.

“The Texas Transportation Commission is expected to vote on the $1.2 billion staff recommended list during a special meeting on March 5,” said TXDOT in a press release.

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

February 26, 2009 at 10:47 am

Posted in Uncategorized