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

Archive for April 20th, 2009

NPT Capitol: House considers disadvantaged childen

This afternoon, the House will consider two bills that aim to help foster carers and foster parents, one of them authored by El Paso state Rep Joe Pickett.

pickettPickett’s bill, HB 1462 would give state employees participating in the CASA program up to five hours of paid leave per month in order to attend training workshops or perform volunteer services. The CASA program links up volunteers with children in the foster care sytem.

Another bill, HB 1043 would give those in foster care the day before their 18th birthday, “an employment preference at a state agency over other applicants for the same position who do not have a greater qualification” according to the committee report.

“Texas has a unique moral obligation to assist this population,” the committee report stated.

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

April 20, 2009 at 12:19 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

NPT Capitol: Chavez budget amendment targets cartels

chavezState Rep Norma Chavez was successfully amended the House’s version of the state budget over the weekend.

The amendment “would focus state border security dollars for overtime, per diem and travel expenses related to criminal investigations, arrests and prosecutions targeted at major criminal activity orchestrated by the drug cartels,” said Chavez in an email to NPT.

Our friends over at the Rio Grande Guardian have the story in full hereil

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

April 20, 2009 at 11:55 am

Posted in Uncategorized

NPT Media: A call to investigate EPISD deal with Strelzin

UPDATED (see new item below top item)

From a constituent to EPISD school board member Carlos Flores:

Mr. Flores,

I am sure that you are aware of the El Paso Times editorial coverage of the poor use of EPISD money to pay former educator and former talk show host, Paul Strelzin, a “consulting” fee. You are also probably aware of insights about this story on David Karlsruher’s blog, Refuse the Juice.

Hiring Mr. Strelzin has the appearance of cronyism on the part of EPISD’s Superintendent, Lorenzo Garcia. As a citizen of the district that you represent on the Board, I am asking you to investigate. Quite frankly, I think that you will find reason enough to demand Mr. Garcia’s immediate resignation and perhaps the resignation of other administrators who should be supporting education in the classroom and not cronyism in the costume of consulting.

Because the payments to Strelzin also seem to be a type of payola scheme kickbacks for hosting EPISD officials on his radio talk show, I will be asking the FCC and FBI to investigate.

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Written by newspapertreeelpaso

April 20, 2009 at 11:35 am

Posted in Uncategorized

NPT DC: Reyes on Central Asia following visit: “We have taken our eye off the ball”

News release from the office of U.S. Rep. Silvestre Reyes:


WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Silvestre Reyes (D-TX) released the following statement after leading a Congressional Delegation to Pakistan and Afghanistan from April 12 – April 18 to assess intelligence and security needs in the region. The fact-finding mission included Congressman Mike Thompson (D-CA), a member of the Intelligence Committee, and Congressman Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ), a member of the House Armed Services Committee.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

April 20, 2009 at 10:51 am

Posted in Uncategorized