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

Archive for March 5th, 2009

NPT: Ray Pearson Forum heats it up; talk light rail and mass transit options this weekend, mayor’s race coming up

It’s political season, so there are plenty of night-time and weekend public forums for candidates, newsmakers and ideas. One of the best and most consistent is the Ray Pearson Forum, hosted by Joe Oliva. Several weeks ago, the forum was host to all but one of the mayoral candidates, the first full gathering of the group. The event is taped and archived, and can be found here.

It’s every Saturday at 9 a.m. at the Pearson Law Firm, 214 W. Franklin. This weekend, the guest is David Marcus, the managing partner of Marcus, Fairall, Bristol + Co., LLP, a CPA firm, and treasurer of the Camino Real Regional Mobility Authority. He also is a member of the Texas 2030 Committee. The topic of discussion … transportation, and specifically, mass transit and light rail and other options.

On April 18, a mayoral race forum.


Written by newspapertreeelpaso

March 5, 2009 at 10:11 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

NPT Media: Media Buzz blog is down; where’s Roy? Meanwhile, the industry continues to suffer.

The Times has begun to lay off newsroom staff, beginning with Roy Ortega, the popular Media Buzz editor and a long-time El Paso media figure. Here’s the new Media Buzz icon.

Meanwhile, follow the jump to see the memo from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Things could be worse …

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Written by newspapertreeelpaso

March 5, 2009 at 5:47 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

NPT Capitol: TxDoT list of stimulus projects includes 6 for EP

Earlier today, TxDoT finalized the way it will spend $1.2bn in federal stimulus money, including partial funding of the $146m I-10/Loop 375 interchange in east El Paso.

Other projects include:

$4,750,000 to resurface roadway on US 67 from MOSLEY LANE to 7.921 MI W of MOSLEY LANE
$857,009 to resurface roadway on FM 2529 from FM 3255 to FM 2637
$315,226 to resurface roadway on FM 1110 from the intersection of FM 76 and FM 1110 to I-10 GATEWAY WEST on FM 1110
$2,916,000 to resurface roadway on LP 375 from US 54/LP 375 to 1.74 MI W of US 54/LP 375 interchange

You can read the inventory of big here and the list of maintenance projects here

Read TxDoT’s press release after the jump
–Ben Wright Read the rest of this entry »

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

March 5, 2009 at 2:23 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

NPT Drug War: Cereso riot followed conjugal visit

CNN has the story:

Victor Valencia de los Santos, spokesman for the state government of Chihuahua, told El Universal newspaper the fighting began when rival gangs clashed at the end of conjugal visits. El Universal identified the gangs as “Los Artistas Asesinos,” or the Assassin Artists, and the Aztecas drug gang.

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

March 5, 2009 at 11:28 am

Posted in Uncategorized

NPT Capitol: House resolution: Slow down with that stimulus money, TTC and TexDOT

The Texas House sent another shot over the bow of TexDOT and the Texas Transportation Commission with a resolution yesterday. The resolution can be found here. The Austin American-Statesman take on it can be found here.

El Paso state Rep. Joe Pickett, chairman of House Transportation and a long-time critic of TexDOT, was a co-author of the resolution, which has no binding authority: “It’s just kind of a statement
… perhaps way to get support for recommendations in the Sunset bill. Day-to-day operations there need to change a bit, maybe more than a bit.”

Follow the jump for a taste of the resolution, starting the whereas:

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Written by newspapertreeelpaso

March 5, 2009 at 11:21 am

Posted in Uncategorized

NPT Biz: Realtor update; ‘no’ on real estate transfer taxes

Some news from the Texas Association of REALTORS® (El Pasoan Michael Bray is regional vice president):

Just one of dozens or scores of El Pasoans engaged in battle at the Texas Legislature, which will pass laws that affect folks by the thousands and millions:

Real estate transfer tax proposals take center stage

Last week’s Legislative Liaison discussed SB 942, filed by Sen. Jeff Wentworth of San Antonio, which would give counties the ability to impose a real estate transfer at a rate to be determined by the county to pay for transportation needs. However, there are other proposals that include a real estate transfer tax being considered.

One proposal would use a transfer tax to benefit the state’s Housing Trust Fund, established in 1991 to create affordable housing for low-income individuals and families. Last session, the Legislature almost doubled the program’s funding to about $5.8 million per year. Advocates for this transfer-tax proposal claim that the tax would bring in an additional $40 million per year. Another proposal that hasn’t been filed introduces a real estate transfer tax to fund legal defense services for indigent citizens.

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Written by newspapertreeelpaso

March 5, 2009 at 9:47 am

Posted in Uncategorized

NPT Capitol: Marquez carries county ethics bill; Rodriguez: “A new day in El Paso”

In the “that-was-quick” category, a news release from the office of state Rep. Marisa Marquez, D-El Paso, noted that she was carrying the county’s ethics legislation.

For background on the county ethics bill (and its little hiccup along the way), click here and here.

For a little background on the love Marquez is starting to generate from the county, and the school district, click here.

Follow the jump to read the news release from Marquez re: ethics (by the way, did County Attorney Jose Rodriguez really say that — not to say he isn’t on board with the news release, it just sounds a little … enthusiastic).

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

March 5, 2009 at 9:41 am

Posted in Uncategorized