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Archive for April 30th, 2009

NPT City: Rep. Byrd beats back at builders

Build PAC, the political action committee of the builders’ association, sent a hard-hitting glossy mailer. Hard-hitting? Actually, Byrd termed it in far-less politic terms in a lengthy, very hard-hitting letter that detailed the wrongs in the mailer. You can view both the mailer and the letter via the links below.

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Written by newspapertreeelpaso

April 30, 2009 at 6:06 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

NPT Capitol: Final draft of gambling HJR circulating, Tiguas in

The final (well…probably the final) draft of House Licensing Chair Ed Kuempel’s omnibus gambling bill has begun circulating the capitol. Language authorizing the Tigua Indians to re-open Speaking Rock Casino remains included.

According to one Austin source (armed with a spread sheet) the bills backers have 87 yeas, 45 nays and 34 maybes – that totals 166 house members, meaning that some House member’s names appear in two categories (i.e. maybe leaning yes, maybe leading no).

The draft tidies up a few parts of the previous draft making it narrower in scope.

Firstly the definition of “coastal barrier Islands” is narrowed to islands 25 miles in length connected to the mainland by bridges. “Dredge spoil islands” at least 18 miles in length in coastal islands are added in too. “Populous Metropolitan areas” remains the rather vaguely coded nod to Dallas-Fort Worth, San Antonio, Austin and Houston developing Vegas style resorts – but does El Paso count as a “populous metropolitan area”? Could other small cities one day be classed as “populous metropolitan areas”?

The section authorizing Tigua and Coushatta gambling has words that limit operations to El Paso and Polk Counties added in. This seems to be to prevent other Indian tribes outside the state using the section to claim that they can set up shop in Texas.

Read the full resolution after the jump.

–Ben Wright

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Written by newspapertreeelpaso

April 30, 2009 at 4:37 pm

NPT City: Rep. Quintana’s got Rep. Castro’s back

Yesterday, the city attorney’s office issued an opinion that stated city Rep. Melina Castro owes the city a debt and thus cannot legally take office. The opinion shortly was reported in the media. You can read the NPT story here/

The speed at which the opinion was reported did not sit well with city Rep. Rachel Quintana, who questioned the release in an e-mail to multiple city officials. Below is the e-mail, and a response from City Attorney Charlie McNabb.

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Written by newspapertreeelpaso

April 30, 2009 at 12:13 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

NPT: Drill, baby drill? Not on Otero Mesa, an appeals court rules, agreeing with the city and county.

A press release from various groups involved in a lawsuit to protect Otero Mesa from oil and gas drilling. For background, read:

Beautiful and Wild Otero Mesa Contains Vast Riches, so What Happens Next?, by David Crowder, June 2, 2008: Fragile grasslands, oil and gas, and water: A delicate mix and a struggle for the right solution in Southern New Mexico. Otero Mesa is just the east-northeast of El Paso, and the City Council this week and Commissioners Court next week will consider resolutions calling for protection of the area.

City Council: Preserve Otero, Hold Feds Accountable on Border, by David Crowder, June 3, 2008: The City Council supports protecting Otero Mesa from oil and gas exploration, and jumps into the growing backlash against the border wall.

See below for the news release from today’s court ruling.

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Written by newspapertreeelpaso

April 30, 2009 at 12:06 pm

Posted in Uncategorized